Fitch’s Geography for Beginners, ca. 1850-1858.
This handwritten textbook of geography is something of a mystery. Heavily illustrated with original drawings and images clipped from publications, the text is divided into lessons with topics such as “About Travelling,” “About the Surface of the Earth,” “About Animals,” and “About Trees and Plants.” The title, Fitch’s Geography… suggests that the text may have been written by George W. Fitch, author of several geography texts in the 1840s and 1850s. Is this a mockup made by Fitch? Or a work created by a teacher or student? It can be roughly dated by a map showing California (admitted 1850) as a state but Minnesota (admitted 1858) as a territory.