My great great grandmother’s book from the 1850’s

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P1070149I am fortunate to be in possession of several books that belonged to my ancestors back in the mid to late 1800’s. This book was published in 1849 and is entitled:P1070150

Proverbial Philosophy, a Book of Thoughts and Arguments

by Martin Tupper.

My great great grandmother Elizabeth Sweet Briggs signed her name to the book along with the date of August 2, 1854 or 1859. The P1070156name and date is fading and getting hard to read.

She apparently passed the book to her son (my great grandfather) and he signed his name to it also: Frank VanScoter and the year 1892. His signature is still clear and readable.

It ended up with Frank’s daughter Leota, who was my grandmother. Then on to my father, and P1070155now I have it. It is mildewy, not surprising for such an old book which was unfortunately stored in a basement for a long time. I’ve taken measures to keep it preserved now as well as possible.

I’m glad they signed their names and date to the book as it gives it personal significance for me.

I’m also in possession of several of Frank’s public school textbooks from the late 1860’s and 1870’s. In texts on history and geography, it is interesting to see things based on traditional biblical dating and events – like Adam and Eve! Or various references to God – such as being thankful to God for the wonders of creation. A lesson on Asia mentions the heathen temples and how these people are idolators. It refers to missionaries being sent from the US and Europe to teach these people about the true God. They are reminded of the 1st Commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods but me.”

On a related note, my parents attended public school in the late 1930’s and 40’s. My dad (in the northeast USA) remembers saying the Lord’s Prayer in assembly each week. In my mom’s high school English class (in the southeast USA), the teacher had them read a Psalm everyday before class. Etc. These are just matter-of-fact observations. I’m not trying to create a debate, but just reminiscing and it is interesting how much our culture has changed.

Do you have any special antique books?

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