The Harlan Bible

A Lawyer's Prayers

Bible, Author Vortix (PD)

The following excerpt is from an article titled “An Exceptional Gift” by Judge Darrell White (Ret.) [1].  It concerns a little-known historic artifact, the personal Bible of Justice John Marshall Harlan.

Every US Supreme Court justice has signed the Harlan Bible since its dedication in 1906.

“John Marshall Harlan was born in…Kentucky, in 1833, into a politically-prominent slave-holding family….[However, in 1861 he] organized the 10th Kentucky Infantry Volunteers for the Union Army and served as its commander…until…1863, when he assumed his father’s law practice following the elder Harlan’s sudden death…

Partly from practical political considerations and partly from revulsion at the Jim Crow laws and vicious acts of ethnic violence committed in the aftermath of the Civil War, Harlan…spoke out boldly in opposition to the execrable institution he had once defended…

A longtime leader in Washington DC’s New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Harlan went on…

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