The North American Arithmetic. Part First, Containing Elementary Lessons. (Emerson's First Part)
Cloth-backed paper-covered boards; 12mo, 48pp. First printing, preface dated August 20, 1829. Very Good condition with mild rubbing and soil, small tear in the gutter of the flyleaf where it got stuck to the pastedown, some foxing and faint residual tidemark toward the top edge. Presents nicely with bold print and tight binding.
First edition of the exquisitely graphic math text which enjoyed numerous subsequent printings as ... Part First, for Young Learners. Designed for children of 5-8 years upon "the method of instruction practised in the school at Stantz, by the celebrated Pestalozzi..." (preface). Born in New Hampshire, Emerson received a common school education and then immediately entered the teaching profession without any university studies. In the 1820s, he ascended to the role of Writing Master at the Boylston Grammar School in Boston but was embroiled in the politics of education. He had a notably contentious relationship with Horace Mann, who scrutinized the "Association of Boston Masters" to which Emerson belonged, particularly their use of corporal punishment.
Amidst organizational shuffling in Massachusetts schools, Emerson's position of Writing Master was eliminated in 1829. He published this text the same year, which was adopted for use in common schools despite political friction. Emerson did not return to the teaching profession but published several additional textbooks. An ambitious man of many interests, he pursued the research and development of ventilation systems for schools which became invaluable as issues related to clean air and sanitation threatened the health of students and educators (See: William Reese, Testing Wars In The Public Schools: A Forgotten History)