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Ipson Lee (1862-1930) married Cora Tommie Eidson (1866-1957), daughter of the Lees' neighbors David and Amanda Eidson, in Fulton County, Georgia, in 1883. They lived most of their married life and raised their children on the farm that Ipson had acquired from his father, John Lee (1792-1865), before the Civil War. This Bible was used by them to record their family's births, marriages, and deaths and came to me when their youngest child, my great-aunt Ruby Lee Summers, died in 1995.


According to a pencilled inscription on the fly-leaf, this Bible was "Presented to Prof. Ipson Lee by the S[unday] S[chool] of Mt. Olive, 1891." Organized in 1871 as a Missionary Baptist church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church is located on Washington Road in southwest East Point, Georgia. The first building was constructed in 1874 on what was then known as the Newnan Wagon Road and on land donated by the heirs of one of Ipson's half-brothers Elzy Frank Lee. It was used until a new building was constructed in 1898. The present church dates to the 1950s.


This edition of the Bible was originally published in Philadelpha in 1888 by the Henry Altemus Company, a prolific publisher of photograph albums and, beginning in the 1880s, Bibles. It uses the King James text and includes both Old and New Testaments and the "Apocrypha and Psalms." In addition to their appearance in the Old Testatment, the Psalms are presented in metered form in the last section of this volume.

There is a variety of other material presented in two sections, one immediately following the publisher's introduction and another after Revelations. The first section includes:

"The Names and Order of all the Books of the Old and New Testaments, and of the Apochrypha with the Number of Their Chapters"
"Contents of the Books of the Old and New Testaments" that divide the test into chapters
Colored maps of the Exodus and of "The Holy Land as allotted by Joshua to the Twelve Tribes of Israel"
"Life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, compressing the vitally essential truths connected with the purest, most perfect, and holiest of lives, into a convenient and desirable shape for every devout reader"
"Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Paul; in which we catch useful glimpses of the many toils, perils, trials, sufferings and wonderful acts of one of the ablest defenders and unfolders of the Christian faith"
"The Prophecies of the Bible, to which are added the evidences both from scripture and profane history of their wonderful and unmistakable fulfilment. . . ."
"Valuable Facts and Characteristics peculiar to the various months of the year in Palestine"

The concluding section, which immediately follows "Revelations," includes an index and a concordance along with a geographical description of "Judea, Palestine, or the Holy Land"; "A Table of Kindred and Affinity: wherein whosoever are related, are forbidden in scripture, and our laws, to marry together"; as well as "Tables of Scripture Measures, Weights, and Coins: with an appendix containing the method of calculating its measures of surface, hitherto wanting in treatises on this subject by the Right Reverend Richard Lord Bishop of Peterborough."

Between the Apocrypha and the New Testament are four sheets on which the marriage of Ipson and Cora Lee is recorded along with the birth, marriage, and death dates of them and their children. In addition, interspersed through the volume are full-page prints from Gustave Doré's reknowned illustrations from his English Bible that was published in 1866.

The present volume was originally about 2¼" thick, but the covers and spine are now fully detached from the folios and from each other. The volume is in poor condition, although no sheets appear to be missing. The covers measure 9½" by 12¼" and are a quarter inch thick, composed of two sheets of pressed-cloth board, with the outer layer deeply embossed and covered with embossed leather.

Tommy H. Jones, June 2011