History of American Schoolbooks

By Charles Carpenter | Go to book overview

X
Arithmetics

THE FIRST ARITHMETIC written and published by an American was Isaac Greenwood Arithmetic, Vulgar and Decimal, printed in Boston in 1729. The volume did not carry the compiler's name on the title page, but Greenwood made known in an advertisement in a contemporary newspaper that he wrote the text, and no doubt exists about its authorship. Greenwood advertisement, in the Boston News Letter of May 29, June 5 and 12, 1729, ran:

Just published Arithmetic Vulgar and Decimal; with the application thereof to Variety of Cases in Trade and Commerce. By Isaac Greenwood, A. M., Hollisian Professor of Mathematics, and Philosophy. To be sold by Thomas Hancock at the Bible and Three Crowns near the Town Dock, Boston.1

The Greenwood Arithmetic was 158 pages in length, and had lessons on enumeration, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, just as later arithmetics did. Both common (vulgar) and decimal fractions were thoroughly covered, as were square root, cubes, and so on. Ten pages were given over to "pounds" and "the Aliquot Parts of Shillings"; almost a century

____________________
1
Simons, Introduction of Algebra into American Schools ( Washington: Bureau of Education Bulletin 18, 1924), p. 68.

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History of American Schoolbooks
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 11
  • I - The Early American Schools 15
  • II - The New England Primer 21
  • III - Nineteenth-Century Primers 35
  • IV - Special Primers 43
  • V - Beginning of Readers 57
  • VI - Following the Initial Readers 67
  • VII - The Mcguffey and Contemporary Readers 79
  • VIII - Grammars 93
  • IX - Rhetorics and Foreign Language Books 110
  • X - Arithmetics 122
  • XI - Spelling Books 148
  • XII - Literature Texts 160
  • Xlll - Elocution Manuals 168
  • XIV - Handwriting and Copybooks 177
  • XV - School Histories 196
  • XVI - General Science Texts 212
  • XVII - Physiologies And Mental Science Texts 233
  • XVIII - Geographies 245
  • XIX - Progress of Schoolbook Publishing 271
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 301
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