[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe. William B. Fowle.
[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe
[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe
[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe
[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe
[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe
[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe

[Series title:] Fowle’s Outline Maps. [Individual titles:] N. America; S. America; Eastern Hemisphere; Western Hemisphere; Asia; Africa; Europe

Boston: Published by Lemuel N. Ide, No. 138 1/2 Washington Street, 1849. Set of 7 wall maps, hand-colored wood-engravings mounted on original linen and attached to black wooden rods, overall dimensions of each approx. 30.25 x 30.75 inches. Two maps with imprint of publisher Lemuel Ide across the top. Accompanied by photocopy of Fowle’s companion book to the maps.

An exceedingly rare set of 1840s instructional maps of the continents and hemispheres, devised by Boston educator, reformer, and author William B. Fowle specifically for use in the classroom.

The maps consist of simplified representations of their subjects with numbers and letters assigned to various features, including countries, states, islands, bays and gulfs, lakes, straits, peninsulas, capes, mountains, and rivers. These are identified in a key in Fowle’s companion volume, An Elementary Geography; Being Also a Key to the New Series of Outline Maps (Boston, 1849), which includes instructions for teachers, less detailed versions of the same maps, and numerous questions for students to answer by consulting the maps and key. Fowle notes in his preface that “In preparing this series of maps, the author has aimed to make a correct outline of the several countries,—to make it a very bold and distinct outline,—and to confine the outline to the great and important features of the earth. If the outline is less particular than any teacher desires, he can easily add what pleases, after the great outline is familiar to the pupil, but it is not so easy to teach beginners when the map is crowded, and the mind is confused by the multitude of objects.” He suggests first introducing the student to the map of the U.S., noting that “having learned that his own State is one of the United States, the pupil may now be taught that the United States is but one country of North America.” The gradual introduction of other maps was to follow.

William Bentley Fowle (1796–1865) was born in Boston to Elizabeth (Bentley) Fowle and Henry Fowle. His mother was a woman of gifted intellect and the sister of eminent Unitarian minister and scholar William Bentley, who had the second largest private library in America, exceeded only by that of Thomas Jefferson. His father was a pump and block manufacturer. Fowle was prepared for college at fifteen, but due to family financial circumstances was instead apprenticed to Boston bookseller Caleb Bingham, in whose shop he had ample opportunity to read. The Dictionary of American Biography provides a good note on Fowle:

In 1821 he was called upon to organize and teach a school of 200 children who were too old for primary and too ignorant for the grammar schools. By employing the novel monitorial system by which the more advanced pupils aided in teaching the more backward, he gained such success that in a year’s time his school won high commendation from Mayor Quincy. In this school Fowle introduced blackboards, map drawing, written spelling lessons, and by an act even more radical, he abolished corporal punishment. In 1823, upon the establishment of the Female Monitorial School, Fowle gave up his book business to take charge of it. This was probably the first school in the country to have scientific apparatus adequate to illustrate the subjects taught, and most of it was constructed under Fowle’s supervision… In 1842 Fowle undertook the publication of the Common School Journal, which Horace Mann had started four years earlier, and from 1848 to 1852 he edited as well as published it. Throughout his friendship with Mann, Fowle rendered invaluable aid in the many sharp collisions which occurred between his superior and the more conservative teachers of the day… Although Fowle was by nature kindly and tolerant, his opponents in matters of school administration found him a merciless antagonist. He was also consistently bitter in his denunciation of slavery.

The set of maps offered here lacks the map of the United States. There are no complete sets of these maps recorded in OCLC, and neither of the two institutions holding examples of these maps records the U.S. map. The holdings are as follows: American Antiquarian Society having Africa, Asia, N. America, S. America and the Western Hemisphere; and the Peabody Essex Museum having the Western Hemisphere, Eastern Hemisphere, and Africa.

A rare set of maps by an important nineteenth century American educator.

REFERENCES: Malone, Dumas, ed. Dictionary of American Biography (NY, 1934), Vol. VI, p. 561.

CONDITION: Good overall, occasional creases, cracks, and minor stains, as typical for wall maps, some losses to margins, occasional small losses from ink corrosion and wear, but generally intact and sound.

Item #6710

Price: $6,750.00

See all items in Maps
See all items by