Unfortunately for researchers of the four-issue first American periodical for children, the February issue was unavailable when the issues were microfilmed as part of the American Periodicals Series. Fortunately, it’s been digitized as part of the American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals database. Also fortunately, about a third of the Children’s Magazine published in 1789 was reprinted from The Juvenile Magazine, published in England in 1788. So at least part of that issue can be reconstructed. “An Easy Introduction to Geography,” “The Female Adviser,” and “Familiar Letters on Various Subjects” were being serialized in the Children’s Magazine.

Interestingly, the first part of “The Female Adviser” does not appear in any issue of the Children’s Magazine; since the stories aren’t chapters in a longer story, the editor seems to have felt free not to publish the first story or the framing device. As for the “Geography” and the “Familiar Letters,” while some changes may have been made when they were reprinted in 1789, it’s likely that they were minor.

“An Easy Introduction to Geography” (from The Juvenile Magazine (London, England), February 1788, pp. 63-67)

In order to describe with greater ease, the particular situation of countries, geographers imagine a variety of circles to surround the globe at different parts of it. These they represent on an artificial globe, and determine the situation of each country according as it is near to, or distant from one of these circles. They are generally divided into greater and lesser. Greater circles are such as separate the globe into two equal parts; lesser circles, those that mark off any part less than half. Greater circles are the Equator, the Horizon, the Meridian, and the Ecliptic; lesser circles, the two Tropics, and the two Polar circles. The Equator is a line or circle that cuts the globe into two equal

p. 64

parts, separating the North from the South.

The Horizon, on the artificial globe, is a broad wooden circle, which surrounds it exactly in the middle, dividing it into upper and lower halves or hemispheres: it represents the line or circle which separates the upper and the lower parts of the Heavens and the Earth.

When the Sun is above the horizon it is day; when below, it is night. When it appears in the Eastern part, we say it is rising; when in the Western, then it is setting.

The Meridian is that great brazen circle in which the globe itself is hung. It divides it into Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and represents that circle we may suppose to pass over our head, and cutting the Horizon in the North and South points to come exactly under our feet on the opposite side of the globe.

The Ecliptic cuts the Equator obliquely, passing through certain constellations or signs, contained in a circle called the Zodiac; to these signs the ancients have given the following names and characters:

Northern Signs.
zodiac signs, see text below
[Text: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo.]

Southern Signs.
zodiac signs, see text below
[Text: Libra, Scorpio, Sagettarius [sic], Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.]

The Earth in performing its revolution round the Sun, advances thirty degrees every month in each of these signs; which causes the Sun apparently to do the same in the opposite one; thus, when the Earth is in

p. 65

Libra , the Sun appears to be in Aries , which is the opposite sign; when the Scorpio , we behold the sun in Taurus , and so on through the rest. The twelve signs of the Zodiac show the different months of the year, Aries shows March, because in March the Sun apparently enters that sign; for the same reason Taurus shows April,—Gemini May,—Cancer June,—Leo July,—Virgo August,—Libra September,—Scorpio October,—Sagittarius November,—Capricorn December,—Aquarius [] January,—and Pisces February.

The two Tropics are the largest of the lesser circles; they lie, one on the North, and the other on the South side of the Equator, from which each is distant twenty-three degrees and a half. The Sun never declines further from the Ecliptic than to each of these circles; but when apparently arrived at them seems to return toward the Equator; that on the North part of the Globe touches the sign Cancer, and is for that reason called the Tropic of Cancer. That on the South touches Capricorn, from which it is called the Tropic of Capricorn.

The two Polar Circles lie near to the Poles of the Earth; that nigh the North Pole is termed the Arctic Circle; and that nigh the South, the Antarctic Circle.

By means of the four lesser circles, Geographers divide the Earth into five portions, called Zones: two Temperate, two Frigid, and one Torrid.

The Torrid Zone comprehends all that space

p. 66

which is between the two Tropics: it is called the Torria, or Burning Zone; because being so near the Sun it is intensely hot.

The two Temperate Zones are comprised between the two Tropics, and the two Polar Circles: they are called Temperate, because the inhabitants who live on that part of the Earth receive a moderate degree of heat from the Sun.

The two Frigid Zones are enclosed within the Polar Circles they are called Frigid or Frozen, because for the most part of the year it is extremely cold there, and every thing is frozen so long as the Sun remains below, or but little above the Horizon.

Besides the division of the Earth into Zones and Hemispheres, it is more minutely divided into Climates: those lines which are drawn parallel to the Equator, are termed Parallels of Latitude, and include between each of them a distinct number of Climates, which are proportionably hotter or colder according as they are near to, or distant from the Equator. These Parallels of Latitude determine the day or night to be half an hour longer or shorter in one climate than in another.

There are no terms made use of more frequently in Geography, than Latitude and Longitude.

The Latitude of a place is its distance from the Equator, either North or South, counted on the brazen Meridian, which is marked with three hundred and sixty Degrees, divided

p. 67

into four nineties; the greatest Latitude being ninety Degrees.

The Longitude of a place is its distance either East or West counted on the Equator, which is marked with 1, 10, 20, to 360 Degrees to any given Meridian, every place having its own. Those lines, which, at equal distances cross the Parallels of Latitude, are called Meridians, one of which, in reckoning the Longitude of a place, is always taken for the first.

(To be continued.)

p. 86

From “The Female Adviser” (from The Juvenile Magazine (London, England), February 1788, pp. 86-93)

[Transcriber’s note: As the March issue of Children’s Magazine includes the second in this series, I’ve transcribed the first part here. Alas! it didn’t actually appear in the February issue of Children’s Magazine. You’ll want to read it anyway, so here it is.]

To the
of the



A large seminary for the youth of my own sex, has, for twenty-eight years, engrossed my attention. I have experienced the happiness of conducting a succession of young ladies, distinguished for brilliant accomplishments and a-

p. 87

miable manners, to maturity: and having now transferred my authority to their parents, and respective friends, I have retired, to pass the remainder of my days in that quiet privacy which my declining years require; but I find that habits of long continuance are not easily shaken off; I still retain the same anxious solicitude for the welfare of youth as formerly; I see with equal pain the vice or folly which sullies the brightness of a female character, and am equally desirous to give the mild rebuke, and the approving commendation.

With your permission, therefore, I shall avail myself of the Juvenile Magazine to convey some hints to your young Readers, particularly the female part, under the title of The Female Adviser, which may not prove unworthy their attention; as the experience of fifty years, together with an extensive acquaintance, may enable me to illustrate my observations which some anecdotes that will probably both instruct and entertain them.

The subject of my present consideration shall be, the duty which is due from a child toward its parent; much has, I confess, been said on this subject; but such is the importance of filial duty, that it cannot be too strongly, or too frequently enforced. She who is destitute of this virtue, may justly, in my opinion, be considered as a monster in nature; and though I should hope that there are few, very few, who come under that denomination; yet I am

p. 88

fearful that many possess filial duty but in a small degree; for it is possible to be obedient and not affectionate; and affectionate, (though this less frequently happens and not obedient. In a good child obedience and affection must be united, or the character is incomplete.

Mrs. Marlow, an intimate friend of mine, was, about a year and a half ago, left a widow with three daughters, Louisa, Emily, and Maria. As I am frequently a visitant at her house, I have an opportunity of observing the different dispositions of these young ladies.

Louisa is, at this time, about fourteen years of age; and, till the death of her father, was bred up with an uncle and aunt, who entirely took the care of her education. She is possessed of an excellent understanding, which has been cultivated with the utmost care, and is strictly an adherent to truth; for no circumstance whatever will induce her to conceal an error by falshood. [sic] There is besides, a generosity in her temper that is really worthy of esteem and imitation; but her virtues seem all of the masculine kind: She is an utter stranger to that sensibility of heart, that softness of manners which diffuse an irrisistible charm to every part of the female character.

Louisa returned home with the highest sense of the reverence and obedience she owed to her mother; but it appeared to result from principle rather than from affection. Louisa’s obedience seems to say, You are my mother; it is

p. 89

therefore my duty to obey you; not, You are the parent who has fostered, who has protected, who has watched over my infancy with such sleepless anxiety: what return can I make for such tenderness! such attention! What can I do to express my gratitude and love?

Her mother’s commands are to Louisa ever sacred; she was never known to disobey them, or to utter a disrespectful expression; but as this conduct originates from a sense of duty rather than the emotions of love, she is a stranger to those little tender assiduities which spring only from the latter. The attention which she shows to her mother, being an effort of reason, rather than an overflowing of natural affection, frequently gives that obedience, which, whatever the motive, is certainly praise-worthy, an air of ostentation.

Emily, the second daughter of my friend, is totally unlike her elder sister, Louisa: she professes to be solely actuated by a principle of love: she imagines that she loves her mother beyond any thing in the world: I, likewise, am of her opinion, if we except only herself; but as Emily will not sacrifice her own caprice and whim, to promote the happiness of her Mamma, I cannot stretch my faith further, than to believe, that she loves her the next best to herself.

What Emily gives as proofs of affection, are constantly the source of trouble and uneasiness to her mother. Though she is now twelve years of age, she positively refuses to go to-bed, unless Mrs.

p. 90

Marlow is present during the time the maid is undressing her; nor would she, till last year, when she was sent to boarding-school, on any occasion, let it be ever so pressing, consent to sleep out of her mother’s apartment. In company, she continually reders herself ridiculous, by endeavouring wholly to engross the attention of her Mamma; and if she happens to have made a party, where it is inconvenient for Emily to be one, Emily never ceases her importunities, till Mrs. Marlow, who is but too indulgent a mother, has consented, either to take her, or, if that be absolutely improper, to break her appointment, and stay at home. This is what Emily tells you, is giving the most indisputable proofs of filial affection. Nor does she attempt to deceive others more than she deceives herself.

Poor girl! how I pity her! she has by nature a tender and compassionate heart; and, abstracted from this foible, is really amiable.

In the sweet Maria, who is now only between nine and ten years of age, the pleasing part of her sister’s characters unite. Her obedience is the natural consequence of her affection: though so young, she is the companion and the friend of her Mamma; her behaviour is always tender, respectful, and modest; but should she inadvertently incur the censure or reproof of her Mamma, far from resenting a harsh word or hasty expression, by an impertinent answer, which, with Louisa, notwithstanding all

p. 91

her boasted fondness, is frequently the case; Maria receives the admonition with silent deference, or acknowledges her fault, and promises to amend in future: which promise is always fulfilled by a double portion of diligence.

Whithout being impertinently assiduous, or appearing to be more attentive than usual, Maria is ever on the watch for an opportunity to oblige and give sat[i]sfaction to her mother; every action of her life seems to tend to this one grand point. If she dance, sing, or play the harpsichord, all which, from her diligence, she does to perfection, and receives the general applause of the company, though she pays a well-bed attention to their compliments, her eye naturally rests on her mother; anxiously solicitous for her smile of approbation, from which she receives more real pleasure than she would from the united admiration of the whole world.

Some time ago, Mrs. Marlow had a severe fit of sickness; Emily was inconsolable; it was not possible, but by force, to keep her from the apartment of her mother; and when permitted to be there, so regardless was she of the consequences, as to give way to the most violent emotions of her grief. But I could not help observing, the fear which she was really in of losing her Mamma, did not prevent Emily from committing many faults during the time that Mrs. Marlow was confined to her chamber, which she was conscious would have

p. 92

displeased and made her unhappy, had she been present.

Louisa, on the other hand, still persevered in that implicit obedience which she ever pays to her mother’s commands; but as affection had little part in it, she omitted those tender assiduities, which, from a child toward a parent, are the most powerful alleviations.

This omission was, however, amply supplied by Maria; who, on the melancholy occasion, redoubled her tenderness: with a heart almost breaking, I have seen the dear child in the presence of her mother, appear all cheerfulness and composure, lest by grief she should give her the least uneasiness. Maria entirely withdrew from her young companions, and bade adieu to her childish sports, during the illness of her mother, to whom, when so far recovered as to admit of such amusement, she read, whilst her elder sister was busied about the affairs of the family.

As Mrs. Marlow’s indifferent state of health, rendered her incapable of putting the finishing stroke to the education of her two younger daughters, she resolved on sending them, for a couple of years, to a boarding-school; where they have now been a twelvemonth. I happened to make a visit to my friend, for a few weeks in the Christmas holidays; the two girls were then at home, and during a fortnight, all went on extremely well; but as the time drew

p. 93

nigh, in which they were to return to school, Emily’s countenance became proportionably overcast, till at last nothing but watery eyes and sullen looks were to be seen; she was continually hanging on her Mamma’s neck, and wearying her out with importunities to permit them to remain longer at home; never considering, that while her affection prompted herto solicit the enjoyment of her Mamma’s society, she was endeavouring to purchase that pleasure by transgressing the perfect obedience which is due from every child toward a good parent: and by that means giving pain to a mother, whom she ought above all things to aim at pleasing.

Maria’s conduct was otherwise; she was, as usual, content to express her affection for her Mamma, by a ready compliance with all her desires; she was indeed sensibly affected at parting from a mother whom she tenderly loves, but consoled herself with the idea of the pleasure she should give to that mother, by closely applying to her exercises, and attending to the instructions of her Governess and Masters: supported by these reflections, she never suffered an expression of discontent to escape her, but departed for school with the same cheerfulness and alacrity as she left it.

I will now, Madam, conclude, leaving your young readers to determine which of the above characters is the most worthy of imitation.


p. 94

“Familiar Letters On Various Subjects” (from The Juvenile Magazine (London, England), February 1788, pp. 94-97)


(Continued from page 27.)

From Miss Truelove to
Phillis Flowerdale.

Dear Phillis,

Agreeably to my promise, I mean the subject of my present letter to be Arithmetic; but, as I fear you will not make the progress in this science that I wish, without a more able instructor than myself, I have requested the favour of Mr. Goodall, who is so kind as to instruct you in writing, not only to explain those parts of my letter which you may not comprehend, but also to give you other necessary instructions, which I may possibly omit.

I need not tell you, that Arithmetic is a science which teaches the art of accompting, and instructs us in all the different properties of numbers.

Numeration is, I believe, generally considered as the first rule; at least when at school it was taught to me first. Numeration informs us how to read or express any number set down in the following characters:

one … 1
two … 2
three … 3
four … 4
five … 5
six … 6
seven … 7
eight … 8
nine … 9

These nine figures are dif-

p. 95

ferently valued according to the places in which they stand. For example, 4, simply considered in itself, signifies no more than four; but if another figure be put before it, toward the right hand, thus, 43; 4 will be removed to the second place, and denote ten times so much as it did before; and being added to 3, which standing in the first place, retains its simple value, will make forty-three. If another figure be added to the former thus 432; 3 will be removed into the second place, and consequently denote ten times its simple value; 4 will then be in the third place, and become one hundred times its simple value; that is to say, four hundred, which, with the first and second numbers, will, together, make four hundred and thirty two.

If another figure be joined to the former, thus 4321; 4 will occupy the fourth place, and be one thousand times its simple value, which being added to the other figures that now stand in the first, second, and third places, will, together, signify four thousand three hundred and twenty-one. Thus all figures increase in value as they advance from the right toward the left, as you will see by the following table, which you may comprehend with great ease, if you have paid attention to what I have written.

I shall expect, that by the time you receive another letter from me, you will have learnt this table by rote; Mr. Goodall, I am sure, will inform you

p. 96

how it is to be repeated.

I am, dear Phillis,

Your sincere Friend,

Harriot Truelove.

[Transcriber’s note: This awkward little table appears at the top of page 96 in the original.]

The Numeration Table.

text below

[Note: In the table, the numbers are arranged in columns below each term, which is printed sideways.

Text: Hundreds of millions: 9
Tens of millions: 8, 9
Millions: 7, 8 9
Hundreds of thousands: 6, 7, 8, 9
Tens of thousands: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Thousands: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Hundreds: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Tens: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Units: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

P. S. I had almost forgotten to mention another character which is made use of in Arithmetic; it is marked thus 0, and is called a cypher. This, in itself, does not signify any

p. 97

thing, but serves to occupy the place of numbers, whereby it increases the value of the figure which stands before it; for example, 2, when removed to the second place by a cypher being put before it thus, 20, signifies twenty.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
To “Nineteenth-Century American Children & What They Read
Some of the children | Some of their books | Some of their magazines
To “Voices from 19th-Century America
Some works for adults, 1800-1872
To Titles at this site | Authors at this site | Subjects at this site | Works by date | Map of the site

Talk to me.