This work is an analysis of the development and changes in how the editors of The McGuffey Readers from its first publication in 1836 to the revisions in 1901 sought to shape the behavior, beliefs, and attitudes of its young readers. There are two reasons why this is a unique opportunity to examine moral education in the United States in the Nineteenth Century. By continuing to use McGuffey’s name, the publishers were attempting to translate the popularity of McGuffey’s original vision of American’s moral culture to each succeeding generation. Though they restricted themselves to McGuffey’s general approach, they also needed to adapt his vision to developments in education, morality, and views of child nurture in order to sell schoolbooks to contemporary textbook adopters. These dual dynamics provide a window into the ways in which educators and textbook publishers were attempting to shape readers’ attitudes, beliefs, and behavior throughout the century.