Description of the Map of Massachusetts
This map of Massachusetts comes from the 1837 Atlas of the United States. The Atlantic Ocean appears on the right with parallel lines. In the interior, solid lines show the course of rivers; dotted lines show the political boundaries; and a patterned set of triangles show mountains. On the page following each map in this atlas, Howe explained with text in Boston Line Type what the abbreviations on the map meant. He also provided background on each state.
Howe was dissatisfied with the existing European maps that required blind readers to “be taught upon each map, by a seeing person.” Howe explained that the descriptive text and abbreviations in this atlas would provide “a source of great pleasure and useful knowledge to the blind, who can study it unassisted by a seeing person.”
Harriet Gamage, Student and Teacher
After graduating from Perkins, Harriet Gamage returned to her family in New Orleans. In letters to Howe, she recounted enjoying all the books she received from Perkins and explained how she used these books to teach her sister's children. In one letter sent in 1841, Gamage describes teaching with the raised-print maps:
“As I am in a great measure indebted to your noble institution for the faculties I may enjoy I will name the branches I am at present imparting. Reading, Spelling, Arithmetic, History, Geography, the maps, such as the seeing use, which I am enabled to explain from a retentive memory, and a reference to my own which are so beautifully embossed.”