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HISTORY OF VERMONT,
S. R. HALL, L L. D.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,
NOTES AND QUESTIONS.
PLINY H. WHITE,
MEMBER OF THE VERMONT BOARD OF EDUCATION.
ACOMMENDED BY THE Board of EdUCATION OF VERMONT, FOR
C. W. WILLARD.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864,
By C. W. WILLARD,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
District of Vermont.
A BOOK entitled "THE CHILD'S ASSISTANT TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF VERMONT," was written and published in 1827. Several editions were issued, and a large number of children and youth studied that book. The editor of the "Journal of Education," the most able magazine then devoted to improvement in Education, said of the work: "This is one of the most judicious and practical books for primary schools, that we have yet seen. We value it, not so much for its entire correspondence with the views so often expressed in our pages, as for the uncommon quantity of interesting and useful matter it contains; and for its happy adaptation to the minds of children. The geographical details are well selected; and the chapter on natural history will furnish much food for thought, and will aid in the formation of good mental habits. The civil history is sufficiently copious for the purposes of such a volume; and the account of the hardships of the early settlers is highly instructive and entertaining. Books, such as this, contain the true elements of enlightened patriotism, and possess a much higher value than is apparent at first sight."
REV. ZADOCK THOMPSON, the author of an elaborate History of Vermont, in a letter to the publishers, said: "I am very much pleased with the "Child's Assistant to the knowledge of the Geography and History of Vermont," by Rev. S. R. Hall, which you lately put into my hands. It is a work which I think might be profitably introduced into all the primary schools in this State. I have long been persuaded, that the course, ordinarily pursued in teaching geography, ought to be completely reversed; and, instead of commencing with the general view of the solar system, or with the form of the globe, the child should begin at home. He
should first learn the geography of the township in which he lives, and then, in their order, that of his county, of his state, and of the United States. After this, and not before, will he be prepared to understand the geography of the larger and more remote divisions of the earth. How is it possible for children from eight to twelve years of age, totally ignorant of the extent of the township, county and state in which they live, to form any just conception of the extent of continents ? "
An able writer in the " Journal of Education 99 says:
'It is vastly more important to our children and youth, as rising members of towns and states, to learn something of their own town or state, than of any other, or all others put together. Besides, there can be no better preparation for obtaining a knowledge of the geography of our country or of the world, than through an acquaintance with that of our native state."
Many others expressed a similar opinion. But a new generation has arisen since that time. Many, who were children then, but are now parents, have expressed a strong wish that a similar book might be placed in the hands of their children. Many years having passed since the last edition was published, the book has not been attainable. Though in its general geography, natural scenery, climate, &c., Vermont has not greatly changed, many other changes have taken place, and many new facts have been brought to light, during the Geological Survey, construction of railroads, &c. It becomes necessary, therefore, either to modify the book, or to write a new one. The latter course is preferred, with regard to the geographical details; and to the history, many new facts are now added.
The ignorance of the geography and history of the state, now so obvious, is doubtless to be ascribed in part, at least, to the want of a suitable text-book, adapted to the wants of the young. That want, it is hoped, will be supplied by this book. It has been carefully examined and approved by some of the most intelligent friends of education in the state. It is therefore earnestly commended to the attention of parents and teachers, as well as to the rising generation.
It has been thought advisable by the BOARD OF EDUCATION to append to this work, the Constitution of the United States, and that of Vermont, with the "Articles of Confederation," and other