An Elementary Treatise on Physical Geography at the start of the civil war. While rummaging through old books and pictures of my late grandmother I found a copy of the 1873 edition of Warrens’ basic geography text which belonged to my great, great aunt, Ida Hoyt. There are several interesting lithographs in the text on Middle Eastern themes, which I show here.

The first one is “A Sand-Storm in the Desert” illustrating a passage on desert winds. The first two of these are well-known in the Middle East. Warren explains:

(1.) The Simoon, known in the deserts of Arabia, Nubia, Persia, and Syria, derives its name from the temperature and supposed pestilential character: the Arabic Samma signifying at once hot and poisonous
(2.) The Khamsin (fifty) is the name given to a hot south wind, not so oppressive as the Simoon, which blows in Egypt, continuing at intervals for a period of somewhat more or less than fifty days, from the end of April until June.

Excerpts from D. M. Warren, An Elementary Treatise on Physical Geography. Revised by A. von Steinwehr. (Philadelphia, Cowperthwait & Co., 1873), pp. 56, 70.

to be continued …