The quagga illustrated in this children’s book caught my eye because, possibly like you, dear reader, I had never heard of this animal. And so I went to Wikipedia where I read an interesting article about the quagga’s relationship to the plains zebra and about efforts to breed them back into existence. Curator of Children’s Literature Laura Wasowicz describes the book in which this image is found.
Alphabet of Natural History. Hartford: D.W. Kellogg & Co., [ca. 1830-1842]
This fragile accordion-fold format picture book depicts exotic animals, many of which would have been described in African travel narratives that were published in the antebellum era. The image presented here shows the rhinoceros familiar to modern readers, and the exotic quagga, a zebra-like animal that became extinct in the late nineteenth century. The Kellogg brothers (Daniel Wright, Edmund Burke, and Elijah Chapman Kellogg) were prolific publishers of high quality lithographed prints and children’s books for nearly four decades. Purchased from Michael Burstein. General Library Acquisitions II Fund.