Perhaps one of the most-quoted (and most misquoted!) descriptions of the influence of Peter Parley on a generation; “Peter Parley” appeared in Martin’s “Conversation Corner,” a column for children which sometimes featured queries from adults looking for the source of memorable poems and stories from their early-19th-century childhoods. The poem recalled here originally appeared in Peter Parley’s Method of Telling About Geography to Children, which was reprinted well into the 19th century.
“Peter Parley,” by L.H. Martin (from The Congregationalist, 14 October 1897; p. 533)

A lady writes from western New York about her handkerchief, with “The Blackberry Girl” upon it, and says it reminds her of another poem—“The world is round and like a ball”—which she thinks was in an old geography. It certainly was—in dear old Peter Parley’s, under head of “Geographical Rhymes to be repeated by the Pupil”:

The world is round, and like a ball

Seems swinging in the air.

A sky extends around it all,

And stars are shining there.

If necessary, I have no doubt that 1,000 men and women, between sixty and ninety, would stand up and recite in concert all the other verses!

Copyright 1999-2019, 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 | Subjects at this site | Works by date | Map of the site

Talk to me.