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School Books
 School Text-Books Used in Dorchester
(from Good Old Dorchester)

Among the earliest text-books used in theDorchester was the "New England Primer." Another was the "horn book", which consisted of a single leaf of coarse paper on which the alphabet and the Lord's Paryer were printed. This was firmly glued on a thin piece of board and covered over with horn to prevent its becoming soiled. One of the requirements for admission to the grammar school was that the child should be ale to read in the Primer.

No other books were used in the school until about 1764, when Dilworth's Spelling Book and Hodder's Arithmetic were introduced. Noah Webster's famous spelling-book came into use about 1783. It is said that two-thirds of the inhabitants of the United States at that time received the rudiments of their education from this book. Among the other books from which the early fathers learned the lessons of their childhood were Colburn's and Daboll's Arithmetic, Woodbridge's Geography and Atlas, Worcester's Friend of Youth, Wilkins' Astronomy, Lee's Spelling Book, Cummings's Pronouncing Spelling Book, Leavitt's Reading Lessons, Murray's English Reader, Whelpley's Compend of History, Pierpont's Readers, and Walker's Dictionary. Such were the books used down to 1832 when a new selection was made by the school committee.


Colburn, Warren. Arithmetic upon the Inductive Method of Instruction: Being a Sequel to Intellectual Arithmetic. 1828.

Colburn, Warren. First Lessons in Arithmetic on the Plan of Pestalozzi with Some Improvements. Second edition. 1822.

Cummings, J.A. The Pronouncing Spelling Book, Adapted to Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary ... Carefully Revised and Corrected from the Third Edition ... 1823.

Daboll, Nathan. Daboll's Schoolmaster's Assistant: Improved and Enlarged Being a Plain Practical System of Artihmetic: Adapted to the United States. First Revised edition ... 1811.

Daboll, Nathan. Dabolls Schoolmaster's Assistnat. Being a Plain Practical System of Artithmetic; adapted to the United States. The Third edition. 1802?

Leavitt, Joshua. Easy Lessons in Reading; for the Use of the Younger Classes in Common Schools. Stereotype Edition. 1831.

Lee, Thomas J. A Spelling Book Containing the Rudiments of the English Language: with Appropriate Reading Lessons ...1831.

Murray, Lindley. The English Reader: or, Pieces in Prose and Poetry Selected from the Best Writers ... 1817.

Murray, Lindley. The Pronouncing Introduction. Introduction to the English Reader: or, A Selection of Pieces, in Prose and Poetry ... 1836.

Murray, Lindley. Sequel to the English Reader: or, Elegant Selections in Prose and Poetry Designed to Improve the Highest Class of Learners, in Reading; to Establsish a Taste for Just and Accurate Composition and to Promote the Interests of Piety and Virtue. From the Third English Edition, Enlarged and Improved. 1810.

Pierpont, John. The Young Reader; To Go with the Spelling Book. Fifteenth Edition. 1835.

Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, and Epositor of the English Language. Abridged for the Use of Schools. To Which is Annexed, and Abridgment of Walker's Key to the Pronunciation of Greek, Latin, and Scripture Proper Names. Boston Stereotype Edition. 1829.

Webster, Noah. The Elementary Spelling Book ... 1836.

Whelpley, Samuel. A Compend of History, From the Earliest Times ... Eighth Edition ... 1825.

Wilkins, John H. Elements of Astronomy, Illustrated with Plates, for the Use of Schools and Academies, with Questions. Second edition.1823.

Woodbridge, William C. Rudiments of Geography on a New Plan ... Fourth Edition ... 1823.

Worcester, Noah. Friend of Youth; or New Selection of Lessons, in Prose and Verse, for Schools and Families, to Imbue the Young with Sentiments of Piety, Humanity, and Universal Benevolence. 1822.

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Created: August 3, 2003   Modified: August 3, 2003