The New Union Spelling-Book compiled by the American Sunday School Union

The New Union Spelling-Book compiled by the American Sunday School Union

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This 19th Century spelling book contains short reading selections on a variety of topics, accompanied by spelling exercises of key vocabulary words. Black and white illustrations appear at the beginning of each section, and there is an animal depicted for each letter of the alphabet. The front cover is illustrated with a border of flowers and ribbons. The back cover contains an illustration of a male schoolteacher with a class of five young pupils. This 128 page book is a revised version of the 1838 text.
The American Sunday-School Union had as its mission the promotion of Sunday schools and early literacy and the spiritual development of children. It was a significant publisher and provider of books and periodicals for children and played a role in shaping the direction of 19th Century children's literature in America. It was formed in 1817 as the Sunday and Adult School Union but officially changed its name to American Sunday School Union in 1824 with an official founding in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The literature published by the Union primarily focused on non-fiction topics such as history and biography, along with poetry, hymns, and didactic teachings. Many authors and artists contributed their efforts at no cost. The Union in turn provided their literature at cost or, when possible, for free. Eventually, it began to produce “libraries” of books that could be purchased at a reduced rate by schools. The American Sunday-School Union continued to publish until 1960. In 1974, it became the American Missionary Fellowship, an organization that remains active today under the name of InFaith, a name it acquired in September 2011.
Object Name
Object Type
instructional materials
date made
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 6 3/4 in x 4 1/4 in x 1/4 in; 17.145 cm x 10.795 cm x.635 cm
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Richard Lodish American School Collection
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Cultural and Community Life: Education
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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