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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1833, by ELEAZER HUNTINGTON and Henry Benton, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of Connecticut.
PUBLISHERS' NOTICE. To insure an extensive introduction of this work among the present popular works on the same subject, the publishers have determined, notwithstanding its improvements, and the double object it embraces, and also the greater quantity of matter it contains, both in the Geogra. phy and the Atlas, and consequently the greater expense, that the price shall be no more than that, heretofore, of the other School Geographies.
EDITOR'S NOTICE. In the present very cheap edition, considerable astronomical and other valuable matter is necessarily omitted, which will be inserted in a future and larger work, if published.
The science of Geography is one of increasing interest and importance. It is an essential branch of elementary education, and is calculated to awaken and cherish that spirit of curiosity and inquiry which is so natural to the juvenile minil, and which under due regulation, often leads to the noblest and happiest results. Nor is it an unworthy theme for mature and cultivated minds, nor beneath the attention of men of learning and taste, nor is it important merely as a source of mental diversion and entertainment; on the conirary it opens a wide field for improving and profitable contemplation, is in many respects connected with the general circle of the sciences, and contributes more than is commonly supposed, to the formation of the scholar, the man of business, the patriot, and the philanthropist. Geographical knowledge, more than any other branches, is in its natnre progressive. The field it embraces is large, and has as yet been but superficially or partially surveyed. Of many parts of the world we are still extremely ignorant. They are yet to be explored. And as travellers and adventurers, froin time to time, are becoming more numerous, intelligent, and faithful, new degrees of light are successively afforded, and fresh discoveries made and announced, so that a growing interest is felt on this subject. At no former period, perhaps, have studies and inquiries in this department, heen more important than at the present. They have a direct bearing upon those various systems and enterprises of benevolence which mark the present age, and which call forth the wisdom and energies of great and good men. One grand reason why multitudes are found so contracted in their sentiments and sympathies, and little in their operations is, that their education has been very limited and defective. They have been accustomed to look only near at home, or upon their own gratification, interest, or party; instead of extending their intellectual and moral vision abroad, and considering their relation to the whole human family. Many of our youth would aspire and attain to greater and nobler achievements, if their minds, in due season, were cultivated and enlarged by an acquaintance with the history of past ages, and a liberal knowledge of the present state of the world, and of the diversified characters and conditions of its inhabitants.
In order to prepare them to act on a generous scale, they should early be accustomed to take large and liberal views. Many illustrious characters, it is well known, have received in their boyhood, and ofien incidentally, those literary or moral impressions which have led to their subsequent celebrity and usefulness. The historian, orator, and poet, have perhaps in the school-room, first fallen in love with history, eloquence, and the muses, and begun to pant with ardor, after indulgence and distinction in the favorite pursuit. Many a noted voyager and benefactor, like Columbus, has, in the prosecution of his geographical studies, inwardly burned with the desire and resolution to cireumnavigate the globe and to satiate his curiosity by visiting all countries and nations; and how many valuable discoveries and noble deeds have hence resulted, we need not undertake to say. No doubt many a pious youth, while reading or hearing impressive descriptions of the vices and miseries of pagan millions, has formed his first resolve, with the leave of providence, to become
a missionary, and devote his life and talents to that most benevolent and sacred enterprise of publishing abroad the joyful news of redemption. These are some of the happy effects on the minds of the young, to be expected from the use of geographical and other well selected and interes:ing school books. And it is gratifying to perceive the more general attention, which, for several years past has been given in schools to this branch of knowledge, the greater facilities afforded in the study of it, and the more rapid progress generally exhibited by learners. The works of Morse, Woodbridge, Willard, Worcester, Olney, Goodrich, and others, are of established merit and popularity, and have, no doubt, contributed greatly to the improvements alluded to. They have their respective peculiarities and excellencies; but it does not bence follow, that they ought to be regarded as superseding all further designs and endeavors in this department of usefulness, or as discouraging any well intended efforts of others to do good in a similar way.
It is the author's design, in the following work, to co-operate with others in endeavoring to excite and encourage the attention of youth to a branch of learning which is every day becoming more and more important, and to lend them assistance in their application to it. He considers a familiar acquaintance with maps as the ground work of all geographical knowledge, and as preceding in the order of nature, any particular statement of facis; at the same time he would avoid burdening the memory of the scholar, or wearying his patience, by being tediously minute or prolix, in questions or travels on the map. It is not to be expected that any pup.1 can long retain in his recollection a very great proportion of the names and words on every map, nor is it worth while to lay upon him this task; but the distinct outlines and boundaries of countries, and the most prominent points, features and places, should be particularly and repeatedly noticed, and he permanently fixed in the mind.
There should be also, in the author's opinion, considerable description in our geographical books, especially for the elder class of pupils; something to inform their understandings, increase their stock of knowledge, to awaken and sustain their interest in the subject, and lead to practical advantages. The study instead of being rendered dry, difficult and irksome, may be, and ought to be made easy and agreeable. The proposed limits of this work would not admit of many minute and copious descriptions. Conciseness and brevity have more or less been consulted. But it is hoped that a considerable variety of inportant facts may here be found stated with general correctness, and in a manner not materially deficient in perspicuity and interest. The plan of the work was intended to be simple and obvious, and conformable to the natural laws of mind. It commences with explanations of some of the most important terms or topics, in connection with exercises on the map with reference to them. Next is exhibited, in the form of interrogation, an introductory view of the globe and its principal outlines, together with the boundaries and relative situations and magnitudes of its grand divisions of land and water. After this a general view is taken, in the descriptive form, of each of the five grand divisions of the land, and more particular views arepresented of the several states or countries which compose them. These descriptions are preceded by necessary references to the maps, and severally followed by questions and reviews, to impress the leading subjects on the memory. The geography of our own country is first treated on, and at far greater length than that of any other ; and here especially, pains has been taken to bring forward the most recent information. Foreign lands have received attention, in some proportion to their importance and interest. The late discoveries, particularly in Africa, are noticed ; and throughout the work, the compiler has been scrupulously careful to state nothing as fact, without respectable authority. The
extent and population of countries, states, and cities, he has labored to exhibit as correctly
as possible, and in such an arrangement, that they might be viewed comparatively and be the more easily remembered.
The descriptive parts of this compilation, it is thought, may prove useful as occasional reading lessons. They have been intentionally composed and printed in reference to this end. It is well known there is often found a defi. ciency of reading books in our schools. The old ores have been repeatedly read over, till they are in a measure worn out and become insipid. A greater number and variety, in many instances are needed. And the parents of the scholars, in general, are obliged to study economy. Why then may not books in this pleasing science, be at times profitably read, as well as studied in schools, and thus serve to contribute to the variety of reading matter, without any additional expense? And if after hearing a class read round, a few prominent questions suggested in the lesson should now and then be proposed by the teacher, would not the practice tend to promote and inculcate geographical knowledge, and be of advantage not merely to those professedly engaged in this study, but to all classes in school ? Formerly the use of this kind of reading book was not uncoinmon in New England, and many people can well remember the satisfaction they derived from it; but at present this usage seems general y laid aside, and it is believed our school geographies, for the most part, are not suited to such a design, being printed chiefly in too small type, or composed in the main, of exercises on the map, with very little descriptive matter. The few lessons on astronomy, towards the conclusion of this work, were intended only as an introduction to a science, in many respects intimately connected with geography.
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance he has derived from various valuable publications, in making out the chart and tables, and procuring other materials in the compilation ; especially from Woodbridge's works, the American Encyclopedia, American Almanac, Quarterly Register of Education, Emigrants and Traveller's Guide to the Mississippi Valley, and the Mis. sionary Gazetteer. The maps have been compiled and prepared expressly for the work, under the immediate hand or superintendance of Eleazer Huntington, whose experience and services in this department are already extensively known to the public. The cuts are chiefly from a recent English work ; others are original, and all executed by two ingenious artists. That this humble effort to promote the interests of education and the cause of youthful knowledge and virtue, may prove in a measure successful and acceptable, is the sincere wish of the author.
NATHANIEL G. HUNTINGTON. Salem Bridge, Now Haven County, Conn