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"A System of School Geography"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The frontispiece of this 1834 geography book illustrates how most Americans viewed their growing Republic. (Use the Select a page to see the frontispiece.) Stagecoaches, canals, steamboats, and factories are pictured as the measure of "Civilized Life" in harsh contrast to the "Savage Life" of few possessions (and clothes!), idol worship, and petty warfare. At this time, smoke from factory chimneys and steamboats were signs of prosperity and growth. (See an early view of Pittsburgh, PA on page 39 on the Select a page menu above.) New England towns and villages, with their neatly laid out canals and millponds, were also held in high regard. (See page 20 on the Select a page menu above.) Geography books such as this one can give us insight into the agrarian life of that time. Apples and cider were important commodities. See a young worker filling a cider keg at a cider press on the edge of an orchard in Pennsylvania. (Click on page 36 on the Select a page menu.)
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