The Way of Good & Evil by John Hailer


This color print is a circular allegorical image labeled 'THE WORLD' depicting the divergent paths of good and evil while on life's journey. The path splits as the child leaves the school house, turning left toward the on the lower center and then up the right side of the print that leads from the House of God to Eternal Life. Among the architectural structures portrayed on the Good side are a church, a schoolhouse, a peaceful home, and a college with an American flag flying above it. The key words for the path to Good and the Eternal Life through "The Word" are: OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS AND TEACHERS, TRUTH, WISDOM, INDUSTRY, HEALTH, AVOIDING EVIL, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PURE OF HEART, FAITH IN CHRIST, HUMILITY, .Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth/ the heart. (Proverbs 21:2).toward THE WORD.

The other path has the child turning right up the left side of the print and starts with “disobedience to parents and teachers,” leads from the House of Sin to a tavern, a States Prison to Destruction and Everlasting Punishment. The path to destruction depicts a demon with a pitchfork among the fires of Hell and includes the words: DISOBEDIENCE TO PARENTS AND TEACHERS, DISEASE, SHAME, LUSTING, , DEATH, VANITY, PROFANE, IGNORANCE, LYING PRIDE, FALSE, GAMBLING, GAMING, RUM, INTEMPERANCE, FIGHTING, DUELING, HYPOCRISY, CHEATING, SWEARING, FORGERY, ADULTRY, ROBBERY, MURDER, GALLOWS, EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT, and DISTRUCTION.

This pictorial map for children vividly illustrates the moral choices in life, according to the teachings of Christianity. This genre had been popularized by two German-American printers in Pennsylvania, Gustav S. Peters of Harrisburg and Herman William Villee in Lancaster. Hailer’s distinctive map belongs to this local tradition.

John Hailer (1825-1906) was an artist and publisher, though he may also have had other professions as his Civil War draft record indicates in 1863 he was a currier. His firm was located in Bath, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

Date Made: 1862

Maker: Hailer, John

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania

Subject: Architecture, Commercial BuildingsEducationPatriotism and Patriotic SymbolsArchitecture, Educational BuildingsChronology: 1860-1869MarriageChildrenArchitectureTemperanceArchitecture, Domestic BuildingsGames


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, Religion, Art, Peters Prints, Domestic Furnishings, Morality & Religious Prints


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.60.2955Catalog Number: 60.2955Accession Number: 228146

Object Name: lithographObject Type: Lithograph

Physical Description: paper (overall material)ink (overall material)Measurements: image: 13 in x 13 in; 33.02 cm x 33.02 cm


Record Id: nmah_326121

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