Jedidiah Morse 1798 Elements Geography 2 maps juvenile rare book wall paperBrian DiMambro- Antiquarian Books, Maps & Prints
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Rare 18th century juvenile pocket-sized school book- The first geography book issued in the United States aimed at children, and almost certainly the first children's book published in the country with educational maps.
Elements of Geography: Containing A Concise and Comprehensive View of that useful Science, as Divided into Astronomical, Physical or Natural, Political Geography, by Jedidiah Morse.
1798, Boston, J. Thomas and E. T. Andrews. pp.143.
Charming and unique period 1/4 leather binding, original wooden boards covered in period hand-stenciled wall paper. Large fragments of the two original copper-engraved maps.
Book survives worn and well-handled, showing signs of age and youthful handling over the past 220 years. Most 18th century American juvenile books are scarce/ rare, those with folding plates or maps even more so. Retains a noble appearance and age patina.
Book opens to title page and finishes with Appendix leaf, no blanks. Both maps very defective and surviving only partially as clearly shown.Joints cracked as typical, front cover almost detached, held by original binding cords.
Text block with some scattered staining and small spotting, nothing offensive nor severe. Small wormholes to title page.
Scarce late 18th century juvenile Geography book by the acknowledged father of American geography, Jedidiah Morse.
Of note for the fragment of the United States map which shows a fascinating outline shapes of the Great Lakes as well as locating Fort Detroit and still no mention yet of Chicago. The fragmentary map of the world in 2 pieces still captures Van Diemen's Land being shown as a peninsula of New Holland (Australia) rather than as an island.
Delightful period details include facts such as Georgia describing as extending westward as far as the Mississippi river, Spanish Dominions on the continent then including East/West Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and California. Unexplored Country still exists and is discussed as this. Morse discusses the key traits and features of all peoples and countries of the world and openly reveals his personal biases.
Book measures: 5 5/8" H X 3 3/4" W.
Wheat & Brun, Maps Published in America Before 1800, 141.(Map of U.S.).