The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 292
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292 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
man and the apple tree, old dog Tray and the rest, and finally
passed the picture of the wolf, and so were graduates, if not profi-
It was at this school that some of Peter Parley's new school
books arrived: geography, astronomy, and what not. I was per-
mitted-or required, I forget which- to take lessons in his very
primitive astronomy, and in truth was much interested and per-
haps vaunted my superior course of study over the other boys. Be
that as it may, I came to grief over the constellation of the great
bear, which was one of the pictures in the book. In that picture
the bear's hind legs bent backwards like those of a dog. There was
a pet bear chained at almost every other house, and all the boys
knew that a bear's hind legs bent forward like a man's knees, and
so they voted my new book the work of an ignorant impostor. Will
the makers of books never learn that a false picture is a falsehood?
We were taught arithmetic, whether well or ill, I do not remem-
ber; but I do remember that finding our slates growing continually
dirty, we thought it a good plan to take them to the creek for a gen-
eral washing, and once there, the abundance of sand suggested that
it was a good scouring material and we proceeded to scour the slates,
covering them with marks which we had not calculated upon.
An anecdote is related that somewhere a boy carried his slate to
the teacher and asked this deep question, "Where do all the figures
go to when they are rubbed out ?" I can tell him where our compli-
cated marks and scratches went. They went with the slates to
puzzle future antiquaries who may exhume their fragments.
We had a variety of reading books; mine was the National Reader,
a compend of extracts from notable modern authors, most of them
American. One boy had Aesop's Fables for his text-book, and I
was greatly interested in his recitations; so much so that I at-
tempted compositions in the same vein, compositions in which I
fear that the adventures of the animals were more in evidence than
Our games and sports were much the same as now, but we had
also adventures with wild animals, some of which were exciting as
well as amusing. They should be memorable, though they can not
recur in this country until after the next ice age.
Our teacher joined a company of volunteers to invade Mexico,
known in history as the Federal Expedition, and their departure
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/318/: accessed July 6, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.