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VIEW OF THE PRESENT STATE OF THE
SIMPLIFIED AND ADAPTED TO THE CAPACITY OF YOUTH.
CONTAINING NUMEROUS TABLES, EXHIBITING THE
AND THE VARIOUS
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, ss.
of America, Ď. F. Robinson & Co. of the said District have
state of the world, simplified and adapted to the capacity of youth; containing numerous tables, exhibiting the divisions, settlement, population, extent, lakes, canals, and the various institutions of the United States and Europe; the different forms of government, the prevailing religions, the latitude and longitude of the principal places on the globe, embellished with numerous engravings of manners, customs, &c. accompanied by a new and improved Atlas. By J. Olney, A. M."
In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, hy securing the copies of Maps, Charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned."— And also of the act, entitled, “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, arıd etching historical and other prints."
CHARLES A. INGERSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut.
CHARLES A. INGERSOLL,
The introduction of Geography into common schools, as a regular branch of education, has of late years become nearly universal. Formerly this science was taught only to the higher classes, it being thought by most teachers that the pupil must be well advanced in other tranches hefore he could study this with advantage. Experience has however taught, that children can learn Geography at a very early age, and hence its introduction into the younger classes at the present time.
But among the books which have been published on this subject, although many of them are works of great merit, there are none suited to the capacities of young beginners. Most of them begin with definitions, which, to be understood, require a degree of knowledge on the subject, never possessed by the new beginner. Children, instead of being made to commit definitions to memory, should, as much as pos. sible; at the beginning, be taught by means of the eye ; and hence the use of maps, pictures, and diagrams, in teaching infants. The map is to Geog. raphy, what orthography is to the art of reading. The scholar must not only understand its use, but must have an intimate knowledge of all its parts, before he can undertake the study of descriptive geography with advantage. When he has acquired a practical and thorough knowledge of the map of a country, he has then laid the ground work for understanding its description, and not before. Suppose a child should learn hy heart every thing about the climate, scenery, and productions of Switzerland, for instance, and suppose him to be intimate with the names of all its mountains, lakes, and forests, how much knowledge of the gegraphy of that countıy would he possess ? It is obvious that with. out knowing also the relative situation of these mountains, lakes, and forests, in respect to each other, together with their distances and bearings, such knowledge never could be applied to any practical use. The map, then, ought to be the first lesson in geography, for by its means, the child can locate his ideas, and can see, at a single glance, the situ. ation of the places, the names of which he learns.
Having been for a number of years occupied in the instruction of youth, and principally in the science of Geography, I have, in common with others, long regretted that no work well adapted to the instruction of youth on this subject could be obtained, and my excuse for offering the present volume to the public is founded on that fact. A practical knowledge of geography, instead of requiring years, I am taught by experience to believe, may be obtained in a few months; and I cannot but hope that others will find this opinion well founded.
In preparing this work, I have endeavored to adapt it to the natural progress of the youthful mind. Instead of introducing the beginner at once into Astronomical Geography, and requiring him to spend weeks in learning definitions, and the description of the heavenly bodies, I have commenced with the town in which he lives. From the town, the sphere of his observation is extended to the county, from the county