The Durant Bible, printed in London in 1599, is considered to be the book that has been in North Carolina longer than any other. It was owned by George Durant (1632-94), a pioneer settler in the Albemarle section of the colony and a colonial official. The Bible has a dark brown leather binding that is probably not the original one; it measures 6 inches wide, 8½ inches long, and about 3 inches thick. It contains many marginal notes of births, deaths, marriages, and other events. Some entries have been torn out, however.
The Bible was apparently passed down, through marriage, to the Reed (or Reid) family. Members of the Reed family gave the Bible to Professor Charles Force Deems of the University of North Carolina faculty when he requested it sometime between 1844 and 1857, and it later came into the possession of the Historical Society of North Carolina at UNC. It is now held in the UNC Library's North Carolina Collection.
Samuel A. Ashe, "George Durant," North Carolina Booklet 9 (April 1910).
Richard B. Creecy, "Stray Leaves of Our History," University of North Carolina Magazine 23 (January 1906).
Kelly-Goss, Robert. "Durant Bible: Back Home in the Albemarle." The Daily Advance. September 22, 2012. http://www.dailyadvance.com/features/durant-bible-back-home-albemarle-1226149 (November 1, 2012).
"Bob Anthony, Curator of the North Carolina Collection, holds the 1599 Durant Bible." NC ECHO.
http://www.inst.ncecho.org/PhotoDetail.aspx?siteno=00310&photono=003 (November 1, 2012).
Title page from the New Testament in the Durant Bible, 1599. The upper part of the page was torn by an early reader of the book. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.
1 January 2006 | Powell, William S.