I came across this little geography text from 1846 and was reminded how students have always been at the mercy of the textbooks they are issued and that just because your textbook says something doesn't guarantee its accuracy. But many people cling to what they learned at their mother's knee or in grammar school, despite evidence to the contrary.
When I hear people on the right yammering on about patriotic education and their fear that impressionable youth will be taught to hate the USA if given the historical facts about the slavery and genocide that accompanied the founding of our nation, my mind flashes to the tall black Pilgrim hats and feathered headdresses, both made of construction paper, that were my introduction to USA history. How wonderful that the invaders (Pilgrims) and invadees got along so nicely, down to sharing a Thanksgiving meal!
It's the folks in charge who write the histories, alas.
This little book covers the US and its territories exhaustively and moves on to the rest of the globe. Including Asia, where "our first parents were created" and where appeared "the Savior" and the gospel "which is ultimately to bless all nations." The author is not afraid to characterize whole groups of people as ignorant or lazy or wicked.
And while modern day texts aren't quite so blatant, I suspect many of us were taught some untruths that may still linger. I know I was taught that the Civil War wasn't about slavery (wrong) and that the Native Americans welcomed the White settlers. (Except when they didn't.)
I wonder what sort of man young Benjamin, whose book this was, became? (I can't make out what his last name is or I'd look for him online.)
is my name with my pen
I write the same the grass
is green the rose is red
here lies my name when
I am dead and in my
grave and all my bones
are rotten when this you
see you will remember
me when I am quite
And now we do.