Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society - 1809

The Massachusetts Bible Society began on July 6, 1809 and is an ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to promoting Biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue. This blog lists brief biographies of our founders who gathered in the Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber on that historic day to sign the Charter founding MBS. Please visit our website:

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Location: Newton Centre, MA, United States

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mr. Ebenezer Larkin

Ebenezer Larkin was perhaps the most noted bookseller in Boston at the time, although it was his uncle, Deacon John Larkin, who is better remembered, simply for lending his horse for Paul Revere’s famous ride.

Ebenezer Larkin was born in Charlestown on August 14, 1767, the fourth of seventeen children. He was educated in the Charlestown schools and took on adult responsibilities early due to the early death of his father and many younger siblings. He entered the book trade, and at age 21 established a shop at 47 Cornhill in Boston (pictured here).

While successful, the bookselling business was also challenging, and Mr. Larkin found himself more than once in court over monetary disputes, once with fellow founder Samuel Dana over the publication of a newspaper, The Boston Patriot. Mr. Dana won the case.

Like many tradesmen, he was a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association who remembered him at his passing on December 1, 1814 by noting: “He was universally respected for the virtues of uprightness and benevolence, and his society was sought and admired for its characteristic pleasantness and good humor.”

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