Auction 117, Lot 883

"Miss Beecher's Geography for Children, on an Improved Plan with Eleven Maps and Numerous Engravings", Beecher, Harriet

Subject: Geography Books

Period: 1833 (dated)


Color: Black & White

4 x 4.1 inches
10.2 x 10.4 cm

This is one of the scarcest American geographies and is the first book by Harriet Beecher Stowe, published when she was only 22 years old. We know of only two copies offered in the past 55 years including one at Sotheby's in 1963 and another at the Baltimore Book Company in 1993. Both examples had condition problems and sold in excess of $600. The 112pp geography has several engravings in the text. At the end are nine full-page uncolored maps: Western States, Eastern States, Southern States, United States, North America, South America, Europe, Asia (engraved by E. Martin), and Africa. A charming vignette of Yale University, where the author's father went to school, and a view of Cincinnati are among the engravings.
The title on the title page replaces "Miss Beecher's" with "Primary" otherwise the titles are identical. This charming geography begins with "My Dear Children, I am now going to teach you geography." It was published by C. and H. Beecher, Principals of the Western Female Institute in conjunction with Corey and Fairbanks. A mostly complete example of this rare geography by the author most famous for exposing the world to the realities of slavery in her 1850 book Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Condition: D

All pages with light foxing. The lower one third of the stiff paper board covers and title page are lacking along with some of the publication information, paper label on back cover is mostly missing. The book's signatures are mostly loose, 4 pages torn without loss, 2 pages torn with some loss, the two maps of the hemispheres are lacking. But the four U.S. maps and the maps of South America, Europe, Africa and Asia are all good. The North America map has a chip with small loss.

Estimate: $150 - $250

Sold for: $850

Closed on 12/6/2006