I was recently consulting old Town Meeting proceedings for Concord, New Hampshire, as part of research for a client, when I came across an interesting bit of detail in the school committee report for the 1851 Town Meeting. Along with the expected reporting of the number of students and teachers, wages, expenditures, etc., they also listed, for a few of the Concord school districts, which textbooks were in use. As an example, for District #10, the following text books were being used (p. 51):
Andrews and Stoddard’s Latin Grammar and Reader; Cooper’ Virgil; Leverett’s Lexicon; Legendre’s Geometry; Day’s Algebra; Cutter’s Physiology; Burritt’s Geography of the Heavens; Johnston’s Nat. Philosophy; Preston’s Book-Keeping; Goodrich’s History; Adam’s, Davies’, and Emerson’s Arithmetics; Weld’s Grammar; Welds’ Parsing Book; Mitchell’s Geography; Russell’s Am. Reader; Town’s Series Readers ; Webster’s High School Dictionary; Town’s Speller and Definer.
I was curious what these textbooks were like, so I searched for them on the Internet Archive. I tried to determine the most-recent edition of these texts, prior to 1851. In some cases there was ambiguity, where there were more than one textbook by the same author, targeting different grade levels. But, as best as I can figure, these are the textbooks used in Concord in 1851:
- Andrews, E. A. and Solomon Stoddard, A grammar of the Latin language; for the use of schools and colleges (1849).
- Cooper, G.G., Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera, Or, The Works of Virgil (1844).
- Leverrett, F.P., A new and copious lexicon of the Latin language (1848).
- Legendre, A.M., Elements of geometry and trigonometry (1849).
- Day, Jeremiah, An Introduction to Algebra (1850).
- Cutter, Calvin, A First Book on Anatomy, Physiology and Hygiene (1850).
- Burritt, Elijah, The Geography of the Heavens (1849).
- Johnston, John, A Manual of Natural Philosophy (1846).
- Preston, Lyman, Preston’s Treatise on Book-Keeping (1843).
- Goodrich, Charles A., A History of the United States of America (1850).
- Adams, F.A., First Book of Arithmetic (1849).
- Davis, Charles, Grammar of Arithmetic (1850).
- Emerson, Frederick, The North American Arithmetic (1846).
- Weld, Allen Hayden, Weld’s English Grammar, Illustrated by Exercises in Composition, Analyzing and Parsing (1849).
- Mitchell, Augustus, A System of Modern Geography (1850).
- Goldsbury, John and William Russell, The American Common-School Reader and Speaker (1844).
- Town, Salem, The Grammar School Reader (1850).
- Webster, William G., A High School Pronouncing Dictionary of the English Language (1853).
- Town, Salem, Town’s Speller and Definer (1849).