The New England Primer was one of several textbooks during the early establishment of the thirteen colonies. Its profound texts were used to educate the early colonists and many of our founding fathers. Learning from these texts shows the importance of Christianity in American history.
The New England Primer:
The New England Colonies in 1690 first published the standard for educational textbooks known as the “New England Primer”. It was the single most influential Christian textbook in history and the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educational textbook published in 18th century America and it became the foundation of most schooling before 1790. Most scholars agree that most, if not all, of the Founding Fathers, were taught to read and write using this The New England Primer, which is unsurpassed to this day for its excellence of practical training and Christian worldview. The goal of the Primer was to combine the study of the Bible with the alphabet, vocabulary, and the reading of prose and poetry. This is the book that introduced the children’s prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” and which became the core of education for all American children.1764 Source: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin
The McGuffey Reader:
William Holmes McGuffey, the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold since 1836 until it was stopped in 1963 due to a Supreme Court decision in Abington v. Schempp whereas the Court eliminated Bible reading in American schools under the pretense of separation of church and state. The “McGuffey Reader’s” contained religious messages and sought to instill morality in its readers. Practically every American who attended public schools during the second half of the nineteenth century learned moral and ethical lessons from these McGuffey’s Reader series. President Lincoln referred to McGuffey as the ‘”Schoolmaster of the Nation.” McGuffey’s very words promoting these textbooks were so profoundly stated: “The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible, I make no apology.”