Posts Tagged ‘Geography’

The Game of Prisoner

November 19, 2012

Image from Graphics Fairy


Youngsters Who Play It Become Clever Geographers.

An interesting game when young folk come together is the escape from prison.

It requires children who are clever in geography. It is a lesson in the disguise of pleasure.

The game proceeds after this fashion: A map is held by a judge, usually a grown person or an older child. Then two children are chosen and placed in separate corners.

Says the judge: “Now, Carrie, you represent New York in this corner, and, Richard, you are in Moscow, imprisoned; you want to get away and reach home by Thanksgiving day. You have gotten from behind the walls, but what is your most direct route home?”

Then Richard has to tell each sea, country and ocean he crosses to get home for the turkey and cranberry sauce. If he can’t do it successfully he must remain right on the spot in the floor where he stopped until he thinks out his escape.

Image of Ofuna – Secret POW camp – Yokohama from Amazing Stories

Other members of the game are placed in prisons at various parts of the country. The favorite jails are now located in China and Japan on account of the interest aroused during the late war. A leading question is: “If you were put in a Yokohama prison, how would you get back to Peking?”

Soon the room becomes filled with prisoners, all trying to get home. Half of them are “stalled” in the center trying to think of the boundary line which brings freedom; others are just leaving the prison walls.

When the game has been played frequently, those who join in get very familiar with the junction of countries, and learn many straight lines and clever jumps that had not appeared feasible before. For those who are not quite conversant with geography, easy tasks are given; for instance, to be placed in a Paris prison and find their home in Boston.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Feb 2, 1899

Image from Brie Encounter

Nowadays, what are the chances of children even being able to find Paris on a map, let alone figure out how to get from there to Boston?

Test Your Knowledge, Texas!

November 9, 2010


Texas - 1835

Larger version of this map at U of T Libraries’ website.

Texas History.

1. Why is it incorrect to speak of La Salle as “the discoverer of Texas?”

2. Where and by whom was the first settlement made in Texas?

3. (a) What are the five oldest towns in Texas? (b) Give the dates of their founding and the names of founders.

4. What is meant by the empresario system?


1. The following questions on modern history formed the final test for the senior class on Thursday last. They will be interesting to other pupils throughout the grades immediately below, it is thought. Who among these can find the right answers to the queries below? We hope to publish the  paper receiving the highest mark, next week. Look up the answers and compare them with those published.


I. State the five chief causes of the French revolution.

II. Who were the girondists and what was their aim?

III. What was the battle of Trafalgar? By whom fought? The results?

IV. State the condition of the Russian serfs; their number and by whom emancipated.

V. When and how were Sicily and Naples added to the kingdom of Victor Emanuel?

VI. What territory has been acquired by the United States in the last two years, and how?

VII. What were the causes of the present war in Africa?


U.S. Map 1899 (

Here are some very easy questions in geography. How many can you answer right away?

1. What does the word Transvaal mean?

2. What are the five great “lake shore” cities of the United States?

3. (a) Name the largest state. (b) The smallest state. (c) The longest state. (d) The state with the most neighbors. (i.e. The one that adjoins most other states.) (e) The state that has the longest coast line.

4. If you journey from New York City to San Francisco by rail, going by Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Denver, what states whould you cross?

5. (a) In what states are the following universities: Harvard, Yale, Cornett, Ann Arbor, Stanford? (b) Of these which is the oldest? The youngest?



I. What American poet is called “The Poet of the sea,” and why? [Anyone know this one?]

II. What American author is called “The Dutch Herodotus,” and why?

III. Who is called the “Quaker Poet?” What are his three most popular poems?

IV. (a) Who are the three greatest Southern poets? (b) Which of these once lived in San Antonio? (c) Did he write anything of San Antonio, and if so, what?

V. (a) Who wrote the novel, “Remember the Alamo?” (b) When was it written? (c) Write a brief review of this book, naming the characters, and giving as careful an analysis of the same as you can, also a brief sketch of the author.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Nov 26, 1899