Mitchell's Primary Geography was designed as a child's first geography to be used both in schools and by families. Each geography lesson also includes a brief history "of the various portions of the globe." The sections on the United States are the most detailed. The mid-19th Century Preface explains the author's intention to make observations as appropriate "to illustrate the excellence of the Christian religion...." The 144 pages feature 16 color maps and almost 100 black and white engravings. The book is inscribed McGeorge 1874. The cover contains depictions of historical events from different eras and cultures: explorers arriving in new lands, a steam locomotive, soldiers on the battlefield, a tall ship at sea, among others.
Author Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868) was the son of Scottish immigrants. As a school teacher in Connecticut, he became frustrated with the low quality and inaccuracy of maps of the early 19th Century. As a result, in the early 1830’s he began a map publishing business in an attempt to rectify the problem. He became the most prominent American map publisher of his generation. His son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Jr., carried the Mitchell name into the late 1880’s until the copyrights were sold ending the Mitchell family business.
E.H. Butler & Co. was a major publishing house during the 19th Century. Based in Philadelphia, its educational titles included the fields of geography, history, grammar, poetry, geometry, and physiology.
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