GRAMMARS, HISTORIES, AND MINOR TEXT-BOOKS
T HE two most successful makers of text-books in the period immediately following the Revolution were Noah Webster and Caleb Bingham. The former's spelling-book outstripped the latter's Child's Companion, but none of Bingham's books were failures, and his American Preceptor and the Columbian Orator were more widely used than Webster's readers or any others.
Caleb Bingham was born in what was then the new town of Salisbury in the northwestern corner of Connecticut in 1757. Many Indians still dwelt in the vicinity, and they were of such doubtful character that the people had always to be on their guard against a treacherous assault. Sundays the pioneers went to church armed; and the log structure used for a meeting-house had portholes, and a sentinel was stationed at the door. These frontier conditions gave little chance for education, but tradition says Caleb studied with the minister and thus prepared for college. He entered Dartmouth in 1779, and as soon as he graduated began to teach.
He came to Boston in 1784, and established a school for girls, but presently gave this up and taught in the public schools of the city. Still later he became a bookseller and publisher. He was an old-fashioned man, and almost to the time of his