This school book contains 89 pages of essays, poetry, penmanship exercises, maps, and mathematical problems that Ausben W. Dech composed between December 2, 1858, and March 4, 1860, while he attended the Moravian Day School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Dech drew 33 maps of individual states, regions of the United States, and foreign countries. Many of his earlier maps include rivers, though unlabeled, and most of the later examples indicate the presence of mountains. Several state maps are accompanied by brief essays, often describing the primary natural resources or the state's history. Maps of Maine, France, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut are accompanied by pencil sketches of houses and ships. For a complete list of maps, see Additional Descriptive Data below.
Most early entries consist of essays and penmanship exercises, though Dech also wrote and copied poetry and worked out mathematical problems. One poem, entitled "An Indian's Gratitude," is attributed to "McLellan" (most likely New England author and poet Isaac McLellan (1806-1899)) and four entries are in German, including one essay and three poems. A small cross-stitched token reading "A token of love" is laid in between pages 56 and 57.