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t 123 .m42
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
J. H. MATHER AND CO.
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
IN offering to the people of New York a Geography of their state, the compilers deem it proper to explain briefly the reasons which have led them to prepare such a work.
They regard the geography of home as the first thing which should be acquired by the pupil. It is the first impulse of the child, even in infancy, to acquaint himself with the objects around him, and with localities which possess an interest for his juvenile fancy. This disposition leads the school boy to familiarize himself with the villages, roads, churches and dwellings of his native county.
We would cultivate this natural taste still farther; we would place before the youth whatever is interesting and important for him to learn, respecting his native county and state, and when he is familiar with this, we would lead him step by step, to other states and countries, till he has acquired a knowledge of the different countries and nations of the earth.
Believing that the outline system of instruction affords the best means of impressing upon the mind the form of countries and the location of places, and, by the principle of association, aids in the recollection of historic facts, we have adopted that system in our work, and in addition to outline maps of each county, which have been inserted in the book, we have prepared a large Outline Map of the state, to accompany the work. In this, as well as the county maps, all the town lines are delineated.
Regarding it as desirable that the benefits of the late Geological Survey should be extended as widely as possible among all classes, we have compiled, from the natural history of the state, brief sketches of the Geology, Mineralogy, Botany and Zoology of the state, and have prepared a Geological Chart, from the map published by the state geologists.
We have also endeavored, by brief but comprehensive historical sketches of the state, and of each county, and by official and other statistics, to render the work a valuable manual for every class of citizens.
We do not profess to have attained complete accuracy, for such a result in a work like this is not to be expected; but from the ample resources which have been at our command, and the careful examination which has been made of every part of the work, we cannot but hope that no material errors will be found in it.
In compiling this work, we have consulted the Gazeteers of New York, compiled by Messrs. Gordon and Disturnell; the New York Historical Collection of Messrs. Barber and Howe; the Reports of the State Geologists, the Natural History of the State, and the various local histories of counties and towns; to the authors of which we acknowledge our obligations.
We would also acknowledge the courtesy of the Hon. Secretary of State, in giving us access to the Dutch records, and the documents transcribed in Europe by Col. J. R. Broadhead; and of the officers of the New York Historical Society, for their kindness in opening to us their valuable library.
The friends, who, in the progress of our work, have so readily communicated to us important facts relative to the history and productions of several counties of the state, also merit our thanks.
With the hope that it may render the youth of the "Empire State" better qualified to become useful and intelligent citizens, we leave the result of our labors in their hands.
HARTFORD, March 20, 1847.
HINTS TO TEACHERS.
Ir will be perceived that we have entirely dispensed with questions in this work. We have taken this course for the following reasons:
1st. We wish to lead children to think.
2d. We believe that every competent teacher is qualified to frame his own questions, and to teach his pupils to do the same. Perhaps no exercise can be better calculated to induce the child to think, than that of requiring him to form questions on the subject of his lesson.
3d. We are satisfied that the use of printed questions tends to make superficial, rather than thorough scholars; while by analysis, mental power and discipline are acquired.
4th. We do not think it desirable to require the pupil, invariably, to commit to memory the words of the book; he should rather be encouraged to treasure up the facts, and clothe them in his own language.
This work may, with propriety, be used both as a manual for study, and a reading book.
When used as a text book, we deem it highly important that the classes should be so thoroughly drilled upon the state and county maps, by drawing them upon the slate and blackboard, as to be able to recognize them at a glance, and to name the rivers, mountains, towns, and villages, of each county correctly.
The primary scholars may become well acquainted with the physical features of the state, by oral instruction upon the large map, in classes; or if permitted to use the book, by drawing the county maps upon their slates. The same course may also be adopted in the instruction of the more advanced classes.
A thorough knowledge of the topography of the state, being thus attained, the scholars are prepared for the study of descriptive geography. The course of descriptive study for the younger classes may very properly be confined to the boundaries, surface, mountains, lakes, rivers, climate, and villages. The advanced classes may study the work in course. It will add much interest to the recitations by allowing the students to add such other incidents and historic facts which they may gather, as are not related in this work, The study of geology and mineralogy will be rendered highly instructive and interesting by collecting specimens, which should be labeled, thus forming a cabinet of minerals for the school room. Geographical definitions and brief descriptions, should be committed to memory, and perfect recitations required; in more extended descriptions, and historical sketches, the pupils will receive greater benefit, if encouraged to use their own language, rather than that of the book.
When the work is used as a reading book, we would suggest that the first scholar in the class should propose a question from the first paragraph of the lesson, to be answered by the second scholar, and he in turn should question the third, and so on, until the whole lesson has been analyzed. Should any scholar fail of answering the question proposed to him, let it be answered by the class. This examination prepares the scholars to read understandingly and correctly.
As an occasional exercise it may be well for the teacher to require some members of the reading class to draw upon the blackboard, maps of one or more counties, from memory, the errors of which may be corrected by other members of the class. This exercise may be followed by descriptions of the surface, productions, or history of the counties thus drawn.
Scholars will find it a profitable and interesting exercise to form an atlas of the state for preservation, by drawing the state and county maps by the eye, from the maps before them, or from recollection only.
If these suggestions are fully carried out in practice, we believe that the youth who study this work, will attain a far more thorough and accurate knowledge of their own state, than by any system of study heretofore pursued.
KEY TO THE MAP OF THE STATE.
P Shawangunk Mountains.
T Matteawan or Fishkill Mts.
Y Peterborough Range.
GG Chateaugay Range.
PP Highlands of St. Lawrence County.
* The mountains are omitted on the small map of the state in the book for
want of room. They are inserted on the large map.