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Title: Stories of American Life and Adventure
Author: Eggleston, Edward, 1837-1902
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Author of _Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans_,
_A First Book in American History_, and
_A History of the United States and its People for the Use of Schools_

American Book Company
New York : Cincinnati : Chicago

1895, 1923

[Illustration: Grand Canyon.]


This book is intended to serve three main purposes.

One of these is to make school reading pleasant by supplying matter
simple and direct in style, and sufficiently interesting and exciting
to hold the reader's attention in a state of constant wakefulness;
that is, to keep the mind in the condition in which instruction can be
received with the greatest advantage.

A second object is to cultivate an interest in narratives of fact by
selecting chiefly incidents full of action, such as are attractive to
the minds of boys and girls whose pulses are yet quick with youthful
life. The early establishment of a preference for stories of this sort
is the most effective antidote to the prevalent vice of reading
inferior fiction for mere stimulation.

But the principal aim of this book is to make the reader acquainted
with American life and manners in other times. The history of life
has come to be esteemed of capital importance, but it finds, as yet,
small place in school instruction. The stories and sketches in this
book relate mainly to earlier times and to conditions very different
from those of our own day. They will help the pupil to apprehend the
life and spirit of our forefathers. Many of them are such as make
him acquainted with that adventurous pioneer life, which thus far has
been the largest element in our social history, and which has given
to the national character the traits of quick-wittedness, humor,
self-reliance, love of liberty, and democratic feeling. These traits
in combination distinguish us from other peoples.

Stories such as these here told of Indian life, of frontier peril and
escape, of adventures with the pirates and kidnappers of colonial
times, of daring Revolutionary feats, of dangerous whaling voyages, of
scientific exploration, and of personal encounters with savages and
wild beasts, have become the characteristic folklore of America. Books
of history rarely know them, but they are history of the highest
kind,--the quintessence of an age that has passed, or that is swiftly
passing away, forever. With them are here intermingled sketches of the
homes, the food and drink, the dress and manners, the schools and
children's plays, of other times. The text-book of history is chiefly
busy with the great events and the great personages of history: this
book seeks to make the young American acquainted with the daily life
and character of his forefathers. In connection with the author's
"Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans," it is intended to
form an introduction to the study of our national history.

It has been thought desirable to make the readings in this book cover
in a general way the whole of our vast country. The North and the
South, the Atlantic seaboard, the Pacific slope, and the great
interior basin of the continent, are alike represented in these pages.


A White Boy among the Indians

The Making of a Canoe

Some Things about Indian Corn

Some Women in the Indian Wars

The Coming of Tea and Coffee

Kidnapped Boys

The Last Battle of Blackbeard

An Old Philadelphia School

A Dutch Family in the Revolution

A School of Long Ago

Stories of Whaling

A Whaling Song

A Strange Escape

Grandmother Bear

The Great Turtle

The Rattlesnake God

Witchcraft in Louisiana

A Story of Niagara

Among the Alligators


Song of Marion's Men

A Brave Girl

A Prisoner among the Indians

Hungry Times in the Woods

Scouwa becomes a White Man again

A Baby Lost in the Woods

Elizabeth Zane

The River Pirates

Old-fashioned Telegraphs

A Boy's Foolish Adventure

A Foot Race for Life

Loretto and his Wife

A Blackfoot Story

How Fremont crossed the Mountains

Finding Gold in California

Descending the Grand Canyon


The Lazy, Lucky Indian

Peter Petersen

The Greatest of Telescope Makers

Adventures in Alaska



Among the people that came to Virginia in 1609, two years after the
colony was planted, was a boy named Henry Spelman. He was the son of a
well-known man. He had been a bad and troublesome boy in England, and
his family sent him to Virginia, thinking that he might be better in
the new country. At least his friends thought he would not trouble
them so much when he was so far away.

Many hundreds of people came at the same time that Henry Spelman did.
Captain John Smith was then governor of the little colony. He was
puzzled to know how to feed all these people. As many of them were
troublesome, he was still more puzzled to know how to govern them.

In order not to have so many to feed, he sent some of them to live
among the Indians here and there. A chief called Little Powhatan asked
Smith to send some of his men to live with him. The Indians wanted to
get the white men to live among them, so as to learn to make the
things that the white men had. Captain Smith agreed to give the boy
Henry Spelman to Little Powhatan, if the chief would give him a place
to plant a new settlement.

Spelman staid awhile with the chief, and then he went back to the
English at Jamestown.

But when he came to Jamestown he was sorry that he had not staid among
the Indians. Captain John Smith had gone home to England. George Percy
was now governor of the English. They had very little food to eat, and
Spelman began to be afraid that he might starve to death with the rest
of them. Powhatan--not Little Powhatan, but the great Powhatan, who
was chief over all the other chiefs in the neighborhood--sent a white
man who was living with him to carry some deer meat to Jamestown. When
it came time for this white man to go back, he asked that some of his
countrymen might go to the Indian country with him. The governor sent
Spelman, who was glad enough to go to the Indians again, because they
had plenty of food to eat.

Three weeks after this, Powhatan sent Henry Spelman back to Jamestown
to say to the English, that if they would come to his country, and
bring him some copper, he would give them some corn for it. The
Indians at this time had no iron, and what little copper they had they
bought from other Indians, who probably got it from the copper mines
far away on Lake Superior.

The English greatly needed corn, so they took a boat and went up to
the Indian country with copper, in order to buy corn. They quarreled
with the Indians about the measurement of the corn. The Indians hid
themselves near the water, and, while the white men were carrying the
corn on their vessel, the Indians killed some of them. About this
time, seeing that the white men were so hungry, the Indians began to
hope that they would be able to drive them all out of the country.

Powhatan saved Spelman from being killed by the Indians; but, now that
the Indians were at war with the white men, who were shut up in
Jamestown without food, they wished to kill all the white people in
the country.

Spelman and a Dutchman, who also lived with Powhatan, began to be
afraid that he would not protect them any longer. So, when a chief of
the Potomac Indians visited Powhatan, and asked the Dutchman and the
boy to go to his country, they left Powhatan and went back with them.
Powhatan sent messengers after them, who killed the Dutchman. Henry
Spelman ran away into the woods. Powhatan's men followed him, but the
Potomacs got hold of Powhatan's men, and held them back until Spelman
could get away. The boy managed at last to get to the country of the
Potomac Indians.

It was very lucky for Spelman that he was among the Indians at this
time. Nearly all the white people in Jamestown were killed, or died of
hunger. Spelman lived among the Indians for years. During this time
more people came from England, and settled at Jamestown. A ship from
Jamestown came up into the Potomac River to trade. The captain of the
ship bought Spelman from the Indians. He was now a young man, and, as
he could speak both the Indian language and the English, he was very
useful in carrying on trade between the white men and the Indians.

At the time that Henry Spelman first went among the Indians, they had
no iron tools except a very few that they had bought of the white
people. They had no guns, nor knives, nor hatchets. They had no hoes
nor axes. They made their tools out of hard wood, shells, stones, deer
horns, and other such things. They had not yet bought blankets from
the white men, but made their clothes mostly out of the skins of

The Indians could not learn much about the white man's arts from
Spelman, because he did not know much. Besides, he had no iron of
which to make tools. He learned to make arrows of cane such as we use
for fishing rods. He also learned to point his arrows with the spur of
a wild turkey, or a piece of stone. These arrow points he stuck into
the arrow with a kind of glue. But he first had to learn how to make
his glue out of deers' horns. Before he could make any of the tools,
he had to make himself a knife, as the Indians did. Having no iron,
the blade of his knife was made out of a beaver's tooth, which is very
sharp, and will cut wood. He set this tooth in the end of a stick. You
see how hard it was for an Indian to get tools. He had to learn to
make one tool in order to use that in making another tool.

One of the principal things that an Indian had to do was to make a
canoe; for, as the Indians had no horses, they could travel only by
water, unless they went afoot. Canoes were the only boats they had.
They had to make canoes without any of the tools that white men use.
Let us explain this by a story about Henry and an Indian boy. The
things in the story may not have happened just as they are told, but
the account of how things are made by the Indians is all true.


Henry had a young Indian friend whose name was Keketaw. One day
Keketaw said to him, "Let us go into the woods and make a canoe."

"If we had an ax to cut down the trees," said the white boy, "or an
adz, such as they have at Jamestown, or if we could get a hatchet, we
might make a canoe; but we have not even a little knife."

"We will make a canoe in the Indian way," said Keketaw. "I will show
you how. Let us get ready."

"What shall we do to get ready?" asked Henry.

"We must take our bows, and we must make many arrows, so as to get
something to eat, and we must have fishing lines," said Keketaw, "or
we shall not be able to live in the woods."

For some days the two boys were getting ready. It took them a long
time to scrape a piece of bone into a fishhook by means of a beaver's
tooth set in a stick, but they made three of these hooks. They made
some more hooks not so good as these by tying a splinter of bone to a
little stick. Keketaw's mother made fishing lines for them. She took
the long leaves of the plant which we call Spanish bayonet, and
separated these threads into a hard cord, rubbing them between her
hand and her knee.

"We must have swords," said Keketaw.

"We can cut our meat with this," said Henry, pointing to a knife made
of cane, such as the Indians called a pamesack.

"But the Monacans may come," said Keketaw. "If we should see one
sticking up his head, I should want a sword to fight him with; and if
we should kill him, we could cut off his scalp with it;" and Keketaw's
eyes glistened a little at the thought of fetching home a Monacan's

The Monacans were fierce Indians of a tribe living in the country west
of the Powhatan Indians. They were deadly enemies of Keketaw's tribe.

The two boys, by much slow work with stones and shells and
beaver-tooth chisels, managed to scrape a wooden sword into shape.
This, Henry was to wear at his back. Keketaw, for his part, found a
piece of deer's horn. He stuck it into a stick so that it made
something like a small pickax. With this he said he could quickly
break the head of a Monacan. It would also serve as a sort of hatchet.

The land round the village in which Keketaw lived had been cleared of
trees. This had been done by burning the trees in order to make room
for fields. In these fields the Indians planted corn, beans, pumpkins,
and tobacco, and a plant something like a sunflower, which is called
an artichoke. Of the root of this artichoke they made a kind of bread.

For many miles there were no good canoe trees near the water. They had
all been picked out and used. Henry and Keketaw traveled twenty miles
into a deep woods, and chose a tree that would make a good canoe, and
that stood near a stream which ran into the James River.

The first thing they did was to break down young trees and boughs, and
build themselves a brush tent. They made a bed out of dry leaves. The
first night they had nothing to eat, for they had no time to shoot any
game. The next morning they were too hungry to sleep late, and they
knew that squirrels are early risers. Soon after daylight the Indian
boy killed a squirrel with an arrow. Having no fire, they ate it
without cooking; for, when one is a savage, one must not be too nice.

How should they get a fire? They first took a piece of dry wood, which
they scraped flat with stones. Then, with a blow of his tomahawk of
deer's horn, Keketaw made a round hole in the wood. One end of a dry
stick was placed in this hole. The other end was supported in the
hollow of a shell which Keketaw held in his hand.

The string to Henry's bow was made of one of the cords or sinews of a
deer's leg. He wound this once round the stick. With his left hand,
Keketaw then put some dry moss about the stick where it entered the
hole in the dry wood.

When all was ready, Henry drew his bow to and fro like a saw. Keketaw
pressed the shell down on the upper part of the stick. The bow-string
holding the stick made it whirl in the hole beneath. At first this
seemed to produce no effect. After a while the rapid rubbing of the
piece of wood in the hole made heat. Presently a very thin thread of
smoke began to come up through the little heap of moss about the
stick. Henry was now pretty well out of breath, but he sawed the bow
faster than ever. At last the moss began to smolder and to show fire.

Keketaw then withdrew the smoking stick, and gathered the moss
together. Lying down by it, and putting his arm about it, the Indian
lad began to blow it gently. The smoldering fire increased until a
little blue flame, which he could barely see, appeared. Keketaw now
added some very thin paper-like bits of dry bark and some small twigs
to the pile of smoking moss. These caught fire, and sent up a
straw-colored flame. Henry put on larger twigs until there was at last
a crackling blaze.

Taking lighted sticks from this fire, the boys made a fire all round
the base of a large tree from which they meant to get the canoe. This
fire they kept going constantly for two days. They even got up at
night to put dead boughs on, it.

[Illustration: Burning down a Tree.]

On the third night of their stay in camp, they didn't lie down at the
usual time, for the tree was burned nearly through. About two o'clock
in the morning a little breeze rustled in the leaves of the great
tree. Slowly at first, then more and more rapidly, the tree fell with
a tremendous crashing sound, until with a final thundering roar it lay
flat upon the ground.

Sleepy as the boys were, they did not lie down for the night until
they had built a new fire near the trunk of the tree. Having no ax to
chop with, they had to burn the log in two. They put the fire at a
place that would cut off enough of the tree trunk to make a canoe.

The next day they built up this new fire, and then went fishing in the
neighboring stream with their bone fishhooks, and lines made of the
Spanish bayonet leaf. In two days after the fall of the tree they had
burned off the log that was to make their canoe, and had scraped off
all the bark with shells.

They then lighted little fires on top of the log, and, when these had
charred the wood for an inch or more in depth in any place, they
removed the fire and scraped away the charcoal. Then they built
another little fire in the same place. These little fires were made
with gum taken from the pine trees.

By burning and scraping they gradually dug out the inside of their
boat, scraping out one end of it while they were burning out the
other, and working at it day after day.

The only tools they had for scraping were shells from the river, and
sharp stones. Keketaw sometimes used his deer-horn tomahawk for the
same purpose. It was fourteen days from the time they first lighted
the fire at the foot of the tree until their canoe was finished. Two
more days were spent in making paddles. This work was also done by
burning and scraping.

When all was done, the canoe was slid down the soft bank into the
water. It floated right side up to the delight of its makers. The boys
now thought it would be a fine stroke to take a deer home with them.
So they pulled one end of their canoe up on the shore, and started out
to look for one.

But the first tracks they found were not deer tracks. They were the
footprints of men. Keketaw made a sign to Henry by turning the palm of
his hand toward the earth, and then moving the hand downward. This
meant to keep low, and make no noise. Then Keketaw climbed a high pine
tree. From the top of the tree he could see a number of Indians at a
spring of water.

The boy slid down the tree in haste. "Monacans on the war path!" he
whispered as he reached the ground.

Swiftly and silently the two boys hurried back to their canoe. They
wasted no time in admiring it. They gathered their weapons and fishing
lines, and got aboard. It was not a question of killing Monacans now,
but of saving themselves and their friends. They rowed with all their
might from the start.

For hours they kept their new paddles busy. They reached the village
after dark, and when they uttered the dreadful word "Monacans," it ran
from one wigwam to another. The women and children shuddered with
fear. The warriors smeared their faces with paint, to make themselves
uglier than ever, and departed. Soon after the boys had started home,
the Monacans had found their camp fire still burning. Thinking they
had been discovered, and knowing that a strong party of the Powhatan
Indians might come after them, the Monacans had hurried back to their
own home more swiftly than they had come.


When the white people first came to America, they had never seen
Indian corn, which did not grow in Europe. The Indians raised it in
little patches about their villages. Before planting their corn, they
had to clear away the trees that covered the whole country. Their axes
were made of stone, and were not sharp enough to cut down a tree. The
larger trees they cut down by burning them off at the bottom. They
killed the smaller trees by building little fires about them. When the
bark all round a tree was burned, the tree died. As dead trees bear no
leaves, the sun could shine through their branches on the ground where
corn was to be planted.

Having no iron, they had to make their tools as they could. In some
places they made a hoe by tying the shoulder blade of a deer to a
stick. In other places they used half of the shell of a turtle for a
hoe or spade to dig up the ground. This could be done where the ground
was soft. In North Carolina the Indians had a little thing like a
pickax which was made out of a deer's horn tied to a stick. An Indian
woman would sit down on the ground with one of these little pickaxes
in her hand. She would dig up the earth for a little space until it
was loose. Then she would make a little hole in the soft earth. In
this she would plant four or five grains of corn, putting them about
an inch apart. Then she covered these grains with soft earth. In
Virginia, where the ground was soft and sandy, the Indians made a kind
of spade out of wood.

Sometimes they planted a patch a long way off from their bark house,
so that they would not be tempted to eat it while it was green. The
Indians were very fond of green corn. They roasted the ears in the
ashes. Some of the tribes held a great feast when the first green corn
was fit to eat, and some of them worshiped a spirit that they called
the "Spirit of the Corn."

When the corn was dry, the Indians pounded it in order to make meal or
hominy of it. Sometimes they parched the corn, and then pounded it
into meal. They carried this parched meal with them when they went
hunting and when they went to war. They could eat it with a little
water, without stopping to cook it. They called it Nokick, but the
white people called it No-cake.

When the Pilgrims came to Cape Cod, they sent out Miles Standish and
some other men to look through the country and find a good place for
them to settle. Standish tried to find some of the Indians in order to
make friends with them, but the Indians ran away whenever they saw him
coming. One day he found a heap of sand. He knew it had been lately
piled up, because he could see the marks of hands on the sand where
the Indians had patted it down. Standish and his men dug up this heap.
They soon came to a little old basket full of Indian corn. When they
had dug further, they found a very large new basket full of fine corn
which had been lately gathered.

The white men, who had never seen it before, thought Indian corn very
beautiful. Some of the ears were yellow, some were red. On other ears
blue and yellow grains were mixed. Standish and his men said it was a
"very goodly sight." The Indian basket was round and narrow at the
top. It held three or four bushels of corn, and it was as much as two
men could do to lift it from the ground. The white men wondered to see
how handsomely it was woven.

[Illustration: Standish and his Men find Corn.]

Near the pile of corn they found an old kettle which the Indians had
probably bought from some ship. They filled this kettle with corn,
They also filled their baskets with it. They wanted the corn for seed.
They made up their mind to pay the Indians whenever they could find
them. The next summer they found out who were the owners of this
buried corn, and paid them for all the corn they had taken. If they
had not found this corn, they would not have had any to plant the next
spring, and so they would have starved to death.

The people that were with Miles Standish settled at Plymouth. They
were the first that came to live in New England. An Indian named
Squanto came to live with the white people at Plymouth. Squanto was
born at this very place. He had been carried away to England by a sea
captain. Then he had been brought back by another captain to his own
country. When he got back to Plymouth, he found that all the people of
his village had died from a great sickness. He went to live with
another tribe near by. When the white people came to Plymouth, they
settled on the ground where Squanto's people had lived. As he could
speak some English, and as all his own tribe were dead, he now came to
live with the white people.

The people at Plymouth did not know how to plant the corn they had
found, but Squanto taught them. By watching the trees, the Indians
knew when to put their corn into the ground. When the young leaf of
the white oak tree was as large as a squirrel's ear, they knew that it
was time to put their corn into the ground. Squanto taught the white
people how to catch a kind of fish which were used to make their corn
grow. They put one or two fishes into each hill of corn, but they were
obliged to watch the cornfield day and night for two weeks after
planting. If they had not watched it, the wolves would have dug up the
fishes, and the corn with them.

The white people learned also to cook their corn as the Indians did.
They learned to eat hominy and samp, and these we still call by their
Indian names. "Succotash" is another Indian word. The white people
learned from the Indians to use the husks of Indian corn to make
things. The Indians made ropes of corn husks, and in some places they
made shoes of plaited husks. The white people in early times made
their door mats and horse collars and beds of corn husks. They also
twisted and wove husks to make seats for their chairs.

Of all the plants that grew in America, Indian corn was the most
important to the Indians. It was also of the most value to the first
white people who came to this country.


When white people first came to this country, they had much trouble
with the Indians. After a while, when they had learned to defend
themselves and got used to danger, they did not mind it much. Even the
women became as brave as soldiers.

In very early times there were some families of people from Sweden
living not far from where Philadelphia now stands. One day the women
were all together boiling soap. It was the custom then to make soap at
home. Water was first poured through ashes to make lye. People put
this lye into a large kettle, and then threw into it waste pieces of
meat and bits of fat of all kinds. After boiling a long time, this
mixture made a kind of soft soap, which was the only soap the early
settlers had. The large kettle in which the soap was boiled was hung
on a pole. This pole was held up by two forked sticks driven into the
ground. A fire was kept burning under the kettle. Of course, this soap
boiling took place out of doors.

Some Indians, creeping through the woods, saw the women together
without any men. They thought it a good chance to kill them or make
them prisoners; but the women caught sight of the Indians, and ran
away to their little church. The churches in that day were often built
so they could be used for forts. The church to which these women ran
was one of this kind. But the women had no guns with them. They knew
that when they got into the church they would have nothing to fight
with. So two of them took hold of the ends of the pole on which the
kettle of boiling soap was hanging, and carried the kettle into the
little church with them.

The Indians tried to get into the church, but every time an Indian
climbed up to get in, a woman would just dip up a ladleful of boiling
soap, and dash it on him. This was a kind of fighting the Indians did
not like. They were not used to soap in any form. So, when an Indian
was scalded by the soap, he would run away in great pain, and not try
it again. The next Indian that came got some of the same hot medicine.
He also would have to go away to cool off, if he could.

[Illustration: Blowing a Conch Shell.]

While some of the women were watching the Indians, and fighting them
with hot soap, one of them took up a dinner horn and blew it. This
dinner horn was made of a great shell called a conch shell. The tip of
a conch shell was sawed off so as to make a hole in it. By blowing
into this hole, a very loud noise could be made. Such horns were used
in that day to call people to dinner, and to call the neighbors when
there was any danger. The woman blew the conch-shell horn, and kept on

The men who were away in the woods heard the sound of the horn. They
knew that something was wrong, because the horn was blowing when it
was not dinner time. Either a house was on fire or the Indians had
come. The men took up their guns and hurried toward the little church.
When the Indians saw the men coming, they ran away.

There was a woman in Massachusetts named Bradley. She had once been a
prisoner among the Indians. She lived in a blockhouse which had a high
fence of posts set up close together all round it to keep the Indians
out. Such a fence was called a stockade. One day Mrs. Bradley was
boiling soap. The gate of the stockade had been left open a little
way. Suddenly she saw an Indian, with war paint on his face and his
tomahawk in his hand, rushing in at the gate. The Indian thought it
would be an easy thing to kill Mrs. Bradley. But the woman was too
quick for him. She dashed a ladle of boiling soap upon him before he
could run away. The soap was so hot that the Indian was killed by it.

The Indians came once more to take Mrs. Bradley. This time, not having
any soap, she got a gun and shot the foremost one dead. The rest ran

In King Philip's War the Indians tried to take the town of Hadley. The
men of the town fought hard, but the Indians were getting the best of
the battle. A little cannon had been sent from Boston. It reached
Hadley while the battle was going on. As all the men were busy
fighting, the women loaded the cannon themselves. First they put in
powder, and then small shot and nails. When the cannon was loaded, the
women took it to the men, who pointed it into the thickest of the
crowd of Indians, and fired it. A hail-storm of nails was a new thing
to the Indians. Those who were not killed ran away very much

There was a young girl in Maine who was in a house when the Indians
attacked it. She held the door shut until thirteen women and children
could get out of the house by the back door, and pass into a
blockhouse, which is a kind of fort. The Indians beat down the door at
last, and then knocked down the brave girl behind it, but they did not
kill her.

Sometimes the Indians attacked a blockhouse when there were none but
women in it. In such cases the women would put on hats, and fix their
hair so as to look like men. Then they would use their guns well. The
savages, thinking there were men in the place, would go away.

There was one girl who was a captive among the Indians for three weeks.
One day she saw a horse running loose in the woods. She stripped some
tough bark from a tree, and made a bridle of it. Then she caught the
horse, and put her bark bridle on him. It was just growing dark when
she climbed on his bare back, for she had no saddle. She turned the
horse's head toward the settlements, and rode hard all night. The next
morning she was safe among her friends.


When the first settlers came to this country, tea and coffee were
unknown to them. The favorite drink of that time was a kind of weak
beer, which was usually made at home. The first settlers in America
could not buy drinks such as they had had in England, and in a new
country they often could not make them. So they found out ways of
making other drinks in place of them. What we call root beer and birch
beer, and a drink flavored with the chips of the hickory tree, were
made in New England. Farther south the people made a kind of drink by
mixing water and molasses together, and putting in Indian corn.

Such drinks were taken at meals as we take tea and coffee. People also
drank a great deal of cider. As the cows hardly ever gave any milk in
winter, children were given cider and water to drink. But about fifty
years after the time that the first settlers came to this country,
people in England began to get tea and coffee. Tea and coffee were
soon after brought into this country. At first they were thought to be
medicines good for many diseases. Little books were written to tell
how many diseases these new drinks would cure. Root beer and birch
beer, and tea and coffee, were good things in one way. After they came
into use, people did not care so much for stronger drinks.

When tea first came, it was very fashionable. It was called the new
China drink. Along with the tea, people brought from China little
teacups to drink it from. Most of the cups before this time had been
made of pewter. The new cups and saucers were called chinaware. They
also brought from China pretty little tables on which they set the
teacups when they drank the tea.

When people first got tea in country places, they did not know how to
use it. There was a minister in Connecticut who bought two pounds of
tea in New York. He took it home with him, and put it away to use when
anybody in his house should be ill. He wanted the tea for medicine.
His daughters had heard about the fine ladies in town who took tea.
They were curious to taste it, and were not willing to wait until they
should be ill. So one afternoon, without letting their father know it,
they asked two young men who were friends of theirs to the house. Then
they got out the package of tea, intending to treat themselves and the
young men to a new pleasure. They knew nothing about making tea. When
they had boiled it a long time, they poured off the tea and threw it
away. They put the tea leaves on a dish, and tried to eat them as one
would eat spinach. This is the way they punished themselves for
disobeying their father.

Before the Revolution, when gentlemen called at fine houses in the
afternoon, the ladies always gave them tea to drink. As soon as a
gentleman's little cup was empty, one of the ladies would fill it up
again, and it was not polite to refuse to drink all the tea that was
offered. A French prince who was in Philadelphia during the Revolution
drank twelve little cups of tea one afternoon. The ladies kept giving
him more, and the poor prince did not know how to stop them until
another French gentleman told him privately that if he would lay his
teaspoon across the top of the cup no more tea would be poured in. He
put the teaspoon across the teacup as a sign that he did not wish to
drink any more.

[Illustration: A Colonial Tea Party.]

Long after tea and coffee were in use in this country they were not
known in the backwoods. The people on the frontier drank tea made from
the root of the sassafras tree or from the leaves of some wild vines.
The whole work of preparing food was done at home. When they wanted to
grind meal, they did it by pounding corn in a hole cut in the stump of
a tree. They used a large stone pounder which was tied by a rope to a
limb of a tree above. After each blow the limb would spring back and
raise the pounder. Their corn meal was sifted through a sieve made of
deerskin with little holes punched through it. They had to make their
shoes and hats and caps themselves, and to weave their cloth at home.

A boy who lived on the west side of the Alleghany Mountains in those
days afterward wrote a book telling all about this rough life. His
name was Joseph Doddridge. He spent his boyhood in a log cabin, in
constant danger from Indians. The settlers had built a fort in the
middle of the settlement. Sometimes in the night Joseph would hear a
man tapping gently on the back window of his father's cabin. As soon
as anybody waked up, the man would whisper, "Indians!" Joseph's father
would then take down his gun. The children would be dressed in the
dark as quickly as possible. Such things as would be needed in the
fort were then picked up. Not a word was spoken, nor was any candle
lighted. Even the little children learned to be perfectly silent, and
the dogs were taught not to bark. When all was ready, the family would
hurry away along the foot path to the fort. All the other families in
the settlement would be called in the same way.

Every fall these settlers sent pack horses over the mountains. The
horses were loaded with the skins of animals. When they came back,
they carried salt, which was the one thing that could not be made in
the settlement. But the men never thought it worth while to bring home
with them tea and coffee or other unnecessary things.

When Joseph was about seven years of age, he was sent over the
mountains to school. The little boy was very much puzzled when he
first saw a house that was plastered inside. He had never in his life
seen anything but a cabin built of logs. He could not understand how a
plastered house was built. It seemed to him like something that had
grown that way.

When supper time came in this plastered house, he saw a teacup and
saucer for the first time in his life. The people in his neighborhood
used wooden bowls to drink out of. But here he saw what seemed to him
to be a little cup standing in a bigger one. He had never heard of
coffee. He only knew that the brownish-looking stuff in his cup was
not milk, or hominy, or soup. What to do with the little cups, or how
to make use of the spoon that was in them, he could not tell, so he
watched the big folks handle their cups and spoons. He drank the
coffee just as they did, but he disliked it very much. It made the
tears come into his eyes to drink it. When he got his cup nearly
empty, it was filled again. He did not dare to say that he had had
enough, and he did not know what to do. At last he saw one man turn
his empty cup bottom upward in the saucer, and lay his little spoon
across the bottom of the cup. That was the custom in those days. He
saw that this man's cup was not filled any more. So Joseph drank his
coffee as quickly as possible, turned his cup over in the saucer, and
laid the spoon across the bottom. He was delighted that he did not
have to drink any more coffee.


In the days when our country belonged to England, white people were
brought here to be sold. Some of these were poor people who could not
get a good living in England. They came over to this country without
any money. The captain of the ship in which they came sold them in
this country to pay their passage.

Men and women who were sold had to serve four years; and boys and
girls, a longer time. The person sold was just like a slave until his
time was out. The man who had bought him might beat him, or sell him
to another master. Many of these white slaves did not get enough to

Here are some stories of boys who were brought to this country and
sold before the Revolution. They are all true stories.


One day a boy named Peter Williamson was walking along the streets of
Aberdeen in Scotland. The little fellow was eight years old. Two men
met him, and asked him to go on board a ship with them. When he got on
board, he was put down in the lower part of the ship with other boys.
The ship sailed to America with twenty boys. Like Peter, the other
lads had been stolen from their parents. They were taken to
Philadelphia and sold, to work for seven years.

Little Peter was lucky enough to fall into the hands of a kind master.
Among those who came to buy boys off this ship was a man who had
himself been stolen from Scotland when he was young. He felt sorry for
little Peter when he saw him put up for sale. The price the cruel
captain asked for him was about fifty dollars. The Scotchman paid this
money, and took Peter for his boy. He sent him to school in the
winter, and treated him kindly. Peter, for his part, was a good boy,
and did his work faithfully. He staid with his master after his time
was out.

When Peter was about seventeen years old, this good master died. He
left to Peter about six hundred dollars in money for being a good boy.
He also gave him his best horse and saddle and all his own clothes.
Some years after this, Peter married, and went to live in the northern
part of Pennsylvania. He was by this time a man of property.

One night, when his wife was away from home, the Indians came about
his house. He got a gun and ran upstairs. He pointed the gun at the
Indians, but they told him that if he would not shoot they would not
kill him. So he came down, and gave himself up as a prisoner.

The Indians treated him very cruelly. He was with them more than a
year. His sufferings were so great that he wished sometimes that he
was dead. He knew that if he ran away the Indians would probably catch
him, and kill him in some cruel way. But one night, when the Indians
were all asleep, he resolved to take the risk. You may believe that
when he had started he ran with all his might.

When daylight came, he hid himself in a hollow tree. After a while he
heard the Indians running all about the tree. He could hear them tell
one another how they would kill him when they found him. But they did
not think to look into the tree.

The next night he ran on again. He came very near running into a camp
of Indians. But at last he came in sight of the house of a friend. He
was tired out, and starving. He had hardly any clothes left on him. He
knocked at the door. The woman who saw him thought that he was an
Indian. She screamed, and the man of the house got his gun to kill
him. But he quickly told his friend that he was no Indian, but Peter
Williamson. Everybody had given him up for dead. But now all his
friends were happy to see him alive once more. He had twice been
carried into slavery,--once by cruel white men, and once by yet more
cruel red men.


You have heard the beautiful story of Joseph in the Bible. You
remember that he was sold by his brothers. Then he was carried into
Egypt, where he became a great man.

In 1730 there was a little English lad at sea with his uncle, who was
the captain of a ship. Whether the boy's father and mother were dead
or not, history does not tell. But the boy was sailing on his uncle's
ship, as though he were the captain's son.

One day the captain was taken ill at sea. After a while he died. The
mate and the sailors thought that they would like to steal the ship
and all the captain's property. But it now all belonged to the little
boy. Like Joseph's brothers, the sailors laid a plan to get the boy
out of the way. You remember that Joseph's brothers saw some slave
traders going by. These traders were Arabs, like the Arabs that carry
off slaves to-day. Joseph's brothers stopped the Arabs, and sold
little Joseph to them. The Arabs took Joseph to Egypt and sold him.

Just so the mate and his men saw a ship coming toward them. This ship
had a great many people on board. They were Irish people, who were
being taken to America to be sold as servants.

The mate hailed the ship, and made a bargain with the captain and the
mate. He sold the poor little boy, who had no friends, to this

Then the mate and his men sailed away. What became of them we do not
know; but the ship, loaded with white servants, sailed to Boston. It
landed at the Long Wharf, a pier running far out into the water. The
servants were obliged to run up and down this wharf. The people who
came to buy watched them to see how strong they might be.

The little boy sold by the mate was there. He ran up and down with the
others, to show how nimble his legs were. He was bought by a Mr.

[Illustration: Selling the Captain's Nephew.]

The boy served out his time, and became free. He became a well-known
officer in the Indian wars. His name was Johnson. He did not become so
great as Joseph in Egypt, but, like Joseph, he gained honor in the
country into which he had been sold as a slave.

Here is another story of the same kind. A little boy six years old got
lost in London. After he had wandered about a good while, a ship
captain met him, and told him that he would take him to his father.
The captain took him into a boat, put him on board his ship, carried
him to Maryland, and sold him. After the boy had served out his time
and grown to be a man, he became a rich farmer.

The wicked ship captain who carried off the boy was caught stealing
many years afterward. In that day, thieves were often sold into
America for seven years, as a punishment. This captain who had sold
others was now put on a ship and sent to be sold in Maryland. The man
who bought him was the very person whom he had carried off when he was
a boy.

You remember how much Joseph's brothers were afraid of him when they
found themselves in his power. This wicked old sea captain was
frightened when he saw that he was now a slave to the boy he had
stolen. He was so much alarmed that he killed himself.


There lived in Ireland a long time ago a certain Lord Altham. The time
was about sixty years before our American Revolution. This Lord Altham
was a weak and foolish man. He quarreled with his wife, and sent her
away. He wasted his money in wicked living, and got into debt. He had
a little son named James Annesley. "Jemmy," as he was called, was sent
to a boarding school; but the father grew more wicked, and more
careless of his son. He sent the boy away, and pretended that he was
dead. He did this because he wanted to sell some property that he
could not sell if Jemmy were alive.

Jemmy found himself badly treated where he lived. When he complained,
he was told that his father did not pay his board: so he ran away. He
lived in the streets with rough boys. He ran on errands for pay, like
the other little street boys. But still the boys knew that Jemmy was
the son of a lord. Strangers were surprised to hear a little ragged
boy called "my lord" by his playmates.

When he was about thirteen years old, his father died. Then Jemmy
Annesley became Lord Altham in place of his father; but his uncle
Richard, who was a cruel man, took Jemmy's property, and called
himself Lord Altham.

The wicked uncle was afraid that people would find out that Jemmy was
alive, and he sent a man to see where the boy was. When the boy was
found, his uncle accused him of stealing a silver spoon. He hired
three policemen to arrest the boy and put him on a ship. Poor Jemmy
wept bitterly. He told the people he was afraid his uncle would kill
him. The ship took him to Philadelphia, where he was sold to a farmer
to serve until he should be of age.

[Illustration: Kidnapping a Lord.]

One day, when he was about seventeen years old, he came into his
master's house with a gun in one hand and a squirrel in the other.
There were two strangers sitting by the fire. They had found the door
open, and had walked in.

One of the men said, "Are you a servant in this house?"

"I am," said James.

"What country did you come from?"


"We are from Ireland ourselves," said one of the strange men. "What
part of Ireland are you from?"

"From the county of Wexford."

"We are from that county. What is your name?"

"James Annesley."

"I never heard that name there," said the traveler.

"Did you know Lord Altham?" asked the boy.


"Well, I am his son."

"What!" cried the stranger, "you the son of Lord Altham! Impossible!"

But the young man insisted that he was Lord Altham's son.

"Tell me how Lord Altham's house stands," said the stranger.

The young man told him enough to show that he knew all about the
place. Then the stranger said, that, if James ever came to Ireland to
claim his estate, he would do what he could to help him.

James Annesley was badly treated by his master. At length he ran away,
but he was retaken, and put into a jail in Lancaster. He was kept in
prison a good while. He had a fine voice, and he amused himself by
singing. The people used to stand outside of the jail to hear him

For running away he was obliged to serve a still longer time. He spent
thirteen years in slavery.

When he got free at last, he told Mr. Ellis of Philadelphia about his
case. This kind-hearted man gave him a passage on a ship going to the
West Indies. An English fleet was then in the West Indies. It was
commanded by the famous Admiral Vernon. When the brave admiral heard
James Annesley's story, he took him to England. In England James found
friends ready to help him.

There was a long lawsuit, but James's old friends and schoolmates came
to court as witnesses for him. One of the men who had talked with him
while he was a servant in Pennsylvania told the Court about it. Two of
the policemen that had helped to put little Jemmy on shipboard
confessed the dreadful act they had done.

Then the jury gave a verdict that James Annesley was the true Lord
Altham. There was great joy among the people, and everybody detested
the cruel uncle. The people made songs about him, and sang them under
his windows. James Annesley was now called Lord Altham. But before the
young lord came into possession of his title and his property, he was
taken ill and died.

I am glad that we live in better times. Children are not kidnapped and
sold now.


Our country now reaches from one ocean to the other. But in the days
before the Revolution there were only English colonies stretching up
and down the Atlantic coast. Merchandise was carried from one colony
to another, and from one country to another, in slow-going sailing
vessels, for there were neither railroads nor steamships.

In those old times there were robbers on the sea. We call sea robbers
pirates. These men carried cannon on their ships, and they robbed any
vessels not stronger than they were. In our days of large steamships a
pirate would not stand any chance of getting away. He would soon be
caught. Some of the pirates of old times sailed up and down the
American coast. They captured ships sailing from America to Europe and
from Europe to America. The worst of all these pirates was Blackbeard.

His real name was Thatch. He was called Blackbeard because he wore a
long black beard that covered his face. This made him look frightful
in that day, when other men shaved their faces smooth. He divided his
beard into locks, and twisted each lock, tying it at the end with
ribbons. To make himself look still worse, he fastened some of these
twists over his ears.

[Illustration: Blackbeard.]

When he was fighting against another ship, he wore a strap over his
shoulders to which were fastened large pistols. In those days, cannon
were touched off by means of a slow match, a kind of cord that burns
slowly like punk. When Blackbeard went into battle, he twisted some of
these slow matches or cords round his head, and stuck some of them
under his hat. The ends of these matches were burning, and they looked
like fiery, hissing snakes. With his beard turned back over his ears,
and fire all about his head, he seemed to be a tall fiend.

Blackbeard was more like a fiend than a man. He was cruel and wicked
in every way. Some bad men are sometimes kind-hearted, but Blackbeard
was always cruel. He would shoot even his own men in order to make his
crew afraid of him.

He did much of his bad work on the coast of North Carolina. Here he
found bays and sounds where the water was shallow. Large ships could
not easily follow him into these places. The Governor of North
Carolina was a bad man. He took part of Blackbeard's plunder, and let
Blackbeard go safely about the country. The people were afraid of the
pirate. They sent to the Governor of Virginia, and asked him to fit
out a ship to capture Blackbeard.

Two sloops that could sail in shallow water were sent. Lieutenant
Maynard was the commander. The ships left Virginia secretly. No one
knew where they were going.

When Maynard came in sight of Blackbeard's sloop, he hung out his
flag. Blackbeard took a glass of rum and drank it, calling to Maynard,
"I'll give you no quarter, nor take any."

Maynard replied, "I do not expect any quarter from you, nor will I
give any."

This meant that neither of them would take any prisoners, but that
every man must fight for his life.

Maynard tried to run alongside Blackbeard's ship. He wanted to take
his men on board the pirate ship, and fight it out on her deck. But
Blackbeard had put a large negro near to the gunpowder on his ship. He
said to the negro, "If the men from the other ship get on board of
ours, you must set fire to the gunpowder, and blow us all up."

Maynard was running toward the pirate ship to get on board; but
Blackbeard fired all the cannon on that side of his ship, and killed
some of Maynard's men. This was really lucky for Maynard; for, if he
had got on board, the negro would have set fire to the gunpowder, and
the pirates and Maynard's men would all have been blown to pieces at

Maynard now sent his men down into the hold of the ship. They were out
of sight of the pirates, but they had their pistols and swords ready.
The sloops were soon close together, and Blackbeard's men threw boxes
full of powder and shot, and pieces of lead and iron, on the deck of
Maynard's sloop. These were so fixed as to go off like bombshells.
But, as nearly all of Maynard's men were down below the deck, these
boxes did little harm.

Blackbeard, thinking that most of Maynard's men had been killed,
jumped on board the sloop with fourteen men. Maynard now called his
men from below, and there was a desperate fight. Blackbeard was shot
five times, and was wounded with swords; but the old monster fought
until he fell down dead while cocking his pistol. The rest of the
pirates on the deck of Maynard's ship were taken prisoners.

Maynard's other sloop was fighting with the men left on board
Blackbeard's vessels. These surrendered, but they had trouble to keep
the big negro from setting fire to the gunpowder and blowing them all

Maynard took away from the Governor of North Carolina many hogsheads
of sugar that Blackbeard had stolen. Then he hung the great ugly head
of the pirate at the bow of his ship, and sailed back to Virginia in


There was a schoolmaster in Philadelphia before the Revolution who did
not like to beat his pupils as other masters of that time did. When a
boy behaved badly, he would take his switch and stick it into the back
of the boy's coat collar so that the switch should rise above his head
in the air. He would then stand the boy up on a bench in sight of the
school, in order to punish him by making him ashamed.

This schoolmaster's name was Dove. If any boy was not at school in
time, the master would send a committee of five or six of the scholars
to fetch him. One of this committee carried a lighted lantern, while
another had a bell in his hand. The tardy scholar had to march down
the street in broad daylight with a lantern to show him the way, and a
boy ringing the school bell to let him know that it was time for him
to be there.

[Illustration: The Tardy Schoolmaster.]

One morning Mr. Dove slept too late, or forgot himself. The boys made
up a committee to bring the teacher to school. They took the lantern
and the bell with them. Mr. Dove said they were quite right. He took
his place in the procession, and the people saw Schoolmaster Dove
taken to school late with a lantern and a bell.

The larger schoolboys of that time were very fond of foot races. They
would take off their coats and tie handkerchiefs about their heads
before starting. The short breeches they wore were fastened at the
knee by bands. When they were going to run a race, they would loosen
these bands, and pull off their shoes and stockings. Some of the boys
ran barefoot in this way, but others wore Indian moccasins. The race
course was round a block; that is, about three quarters of a mile.
Crowds would gather to see the boys run, and the people rushed from
one side of the block to the other to see which was leading in the


What is now the State of New York was first settled by people from
Holland who spoke the Dutch language. New York afterward became an
English colony, but the Dutch settlers and their descendants still
spoke the language of Holland, at the time of the American Revolution.

In Flatbush, which is now a part of Brooklyn, was a family that spoke
the Dutch language, while they were true Americans in feeling. When
the British landed on Long Island, they got ready to leave the town.
The horses were hitched to the wagon, and such things as were thought
most valuable were put in. The first thing they put into the wagon was
the great Dutch Bible with heavy brass clasps. A tall clock was also
carefully lifted into the wagon. Then clothing and other things

The father of the family told the two faithful negro men, Cæsar and
his son Mink, how to take care of things. Femmetia, the most active of
the daughters, had the whip in her hand, and, as the sound of firing
was coming nearer and nearer, she tapped the horses on their ears, and
the family dashed away to the house of a cousin who lived beyond the
region where the fight was to be.

That evening Femmetia helped her father, who was an invalid, to climb
to the top of a little hill from which they could see a fire raging in
the village of Flatbush. The direction of the fire showed the father
and daughter that it was their own house which was burning.

When the fight was over, General Washington's troops had been driven
from Long Island. The good Dutch family went back and found their
house burned. They moved into another house, whose owner was still
away, and then began to build a new house. The mother bought some
boards with what money she had saved, but she could not get any nails.
In that day nails were not made by machinery, as they are now. Each
nail had to be hammered out separately by a blacksmith. Nails made in
this way cost a great deal of money.

There was but one way to do. Femmetia and her sister had to find nails
by raking over the ashes of the old house. Some of these nails were
crooked, and they had to be hammered to make them straight enough to

Some American officers had been made prisoners at the battle of Long
Island. They were allowed to go about the village after having given
their word not to go farther. They liked to help the girls find nails
in the ashes, and hammer them straight on the stones. Other young
girls came to help them, so that there was a party of young people
talking, joking, laughing, and digging in the ashes, every day. It was
fun for all of them. There were not boards enough to finish the house.
The room in which the two sisters slept was upstairs. It had but half
a floor. Where the rest of the floor should have been were only bare

[Illustration: A Nail Party.]

One night the negro woman, whose name was Dian, came into the room
below, and called Femmetia. She told her that the British soldiers had
come into the barn, and that they would soon take away what were left
of the chickens.

"You jes' come down." said Dian to Femmetia. So the old slave and the
young girl went out together. They carried a gun and a broomstick. The
moon was shining. They took great pains not to let the soldiers see
them. First they dodged behind a great walnut tree. Then, when they
were sure the soldiers did not see them, they ran behind the corncrib.
Their next march brought them behind the wagon house, and then they
slipped into the dark shadow of the barn.

Dian thrust the rifle through a hole in the side door of the barn. At
the same moment the bold Femmetia threw a stone which made the
soldiers look round. There was moonlight enough for them to see the
muzzle of the gun coming through the door as though it were ready to
fire at them. They ran away in great haste, and left the chickens

The silver plate and other valuable things were buried under the
hearth in the house. A lady in a neighboring house hid her gold coins
in the middle of a great round ball of a pincushion. Such ball
pincushions were worn by some of the Dutch women at that time. They
hung them at their sides, tied by a bit of ribbon. A party of English
soldiers came into this lady's house. They were much amused to see
this ball at the lady's side. One of them rudely cut the ribbon with
his sword, and then the soldiers played ball with the cushion. It was
sent here and there about the room. Twice it fell into the ashes.

The woman who owned it expected that it would be torn, and all her
gold would spill out, but she went on with her work. If she had shown
any anxiety about the ball, the soldiers might have thought to look
for her money in the cushion. At last they gave it back to her,
much-soiled, but holding its treasures safe.


A hundred and fifty years ago there was a famous teacher among the
German settlers in Pennsylvania who was known as "The Good
Schoolmaster." His name was Christopher Dock. He had two little
country schools. For three days he would teach at a little place
called Skippack, and then for the next three days he would teach at

People said that the good schoolmaster never lost his temper. There
was a man who thought he would try to make him angry. He said many
harsh and abusive words to the teacher, and even cursed him. But the
only reply the teacher made was, "Friend, may the Lord have mercy on

Other schoolmasters used to beat their scholars severely with whips
and long switches. But Schoolmaster Dock had found out a better way.

When a child came to school for the first time, the other scholars
were made to give the new scholar a welcome by shaking hands with him,
one after another. Then the new boy or girl was told that this was not
a harsh school, but a place for those who would behave. And if a
scholar were lazy, disobedient, or stubborn, the master would in the
presence of the whole school pronounce him not fit for this school,
but only for a school where children were flogged. The new scholar was
asked to promise to obey and to be diligent. When he had made this
promise, he was shown to a seat.


"Now," the good master would say, when this was done, "who will take
this new scholar and help him to learn?"


When the new boy or girl was clean and bright looking, many would be
willing to take charge of him or her. But there were few ready to
teach a dirty, ragged little child. Sometimes no one would wish to do
it. In such a case the master would offer to the one who would take
such a child a reward of one of the beautiful texts of scripture which
the schoolmasters of that time used to write and decorate for the
children. Or he would give him one of the pictures of birds which he
was accustomed to paint with his own hands.

The old Pennsylvania teachers were fond of making these tickets with
pictures and writing on them. The pictures which we have here will
show you what they looked like. The writing is in German, as you will

Whenever one of the younger scholars succeeded in learning his A, B,
C, Christopher Dock would send word to the father of the child to give
him a penny, and he would ask his mother to cook two eggs for him as a
treat. These were fine rewards for poor children in a new country.

At certain stages in his studies, the industrious child in one of
Dock's schools would receive a penny from his father, and eat two eggs
cooked by his mother. But all this time he was not counted a member of
the school. He was only on trial. The day on which a boy or girl began
to read was a great day. If the pupil had been diligent in spelling,
the morning after the first reading day, the master would give him
a ticket carefully written with his own hand. This ticket read
"Industrious--One Penny." This showed that the scholar was now really
received into the school. But if he afterward became idle or
disobedient, Schoolmaster Dock would take away his token.

There were no clocks or watches in the country. The children came to
school, one after another taking their places near the master, who sat
writing. They spent their time reading until all were there. But every
one who succeeded in reading his passage without mistake stopped
reading, and came and sat at the writing table to write. The poor
fellow who remained last on the bench was called the Lazy Scholar.

Every Lazy Scholar had his name written on the blackboard. If a child
at any time failed to read correctly, he was sent back to study his
passage, and called again after a while. If he failed a second or a
third time, all the scholars cried out, "Lazy!" Then his name was
written on the blackboard. Then all the poor Lazy Scholar's friends
went to work to teach him to read his lesson correctly. And if his
name should not be rubbed off the board before school was dismissed,
all the scholars might write it down, and take it home with them. But
if he could read well before school was out, the scholars, at the
bidding of the master, called out, "Industrious!" and then his name
was rubbed off the board.

The funniest of Dock's rewards was that which he gave to those who
made no mistake in their lessons. He marked a large O with chalk on
the hand of the perfect scholar. Fancy what a time the boys and girls
must have had, trying to go home without rubbing out this O.

If you had gone into this school some day, you might have seen a boy
sitting on a punishment bench all alone. This was a fellow who had
told a lie or used bad language. He was put there as not fit to sit
near anybody else. If he committed the offense often, a yoke would be
put round his neck, as if he were a brute. Sometimes, however, the
teacher would give the scholars their choice of a blow on the hand or
a seat on the punishment bench. They usually preferred the blow.

At certain times the scholars were permitted to study aloud, but at
other times they were obliged to keep still. And a boy or girl was put
as a watcher, to set down the names of those who talked in this time
of quiet.

The old schoolmaster in Skippack wrote one hundred rules of good
behavior for his scholars. This is perhaps the first book on good
manners written in America. But rules of behavior for people living in
houses of one or two rooms, as they did in that day, were very
different from those needed in our time. Here are some of the rules:

"When you comb your hair, do not go out in the middle of the room,"
says the schoolmaster. This was because families were accustomed to
eat and sleep in the same room.

"Do not eat your morning bread on the road or in school," he tells
them, "but ask your parents to give it to you at home." From this we
see that the common breakfast was bread alone, and that the children
often ate it as they walked to school.

The table manners of that day were very good for the time, but they
seem very curious to us. He says, "Do not wabble with your stool,"
because rough home-made stools were the common chairs then, and the
floors, made of boards that were split and not sawed, were so uneven
that a noisy child could easily rock his stool to and fro.

"Put your knife upon the right and your bread on the left side," he
says. Forks were little used in those days, and the people in the
country did not have any. He also tells them not to throw bones under
the table. It was a common practice among some people of that time to
throw bones and scraps under the table, where the dogs ate them.

The child is not told to wait for others when he has finished eating,
or to ask to be excused. "Get up quietly," says the schoolmaster, "and
take your stool with you. Wish a pleasant mealtime, and go to one
side." The child is told not to put the remaining bread into his

As time passed on, Christopher Dock had many friends, for all his
scholars of former years loved him greatly. He lived to be very old,
and taught his schools to the last. One evening he did not come home,
and the people went to look for the beloved old man. They found their
dear old master on his knees in the schoolhouse. He had died while
praying alone.


In the old days, before petroleum or kerosene had been found in this
country, people had many ways of lighting their houses. A cheap light
was made by putting a little grease or oil in a saucer in which was a
little wick or rag lying over the edge of the saucer or drawn up
through a cork that floated on the grease. When this wick was burning,
it gave hardly as much light as a candle. This is one of the oldest
ways of making light. It was used thousands of years ago. Many people
now living remember little lamps made in this way.

Poor people often made light by burning pine knots, or bits of pitch
pine chopped out of old stumps. These gave a bright light for a time.
Pitch pine in New England was called candle wood; in the South it was
called light wood.

The commonest light in old times was the tallow candle. This was
sometimes made by dipping a candle wick into melted tallow. Then, when
the tallow had cooled, the candle was dipped again and again. A little
tallow remained on it each time, and at last it was thick enough to
burn. Candles made in this way were called "dips." Better candles were
made by running melted tallow into molds.

Before the Revolution a favorite candle for burning at fine houses was
made of the wax-myrtle berry. This berry is full of a kind of green
wax which came out when it was boiled. When this wax rose to the top
of the pot, it was skimmed off and used for making wax candles. These
candles had a pretty green color, and gave out a delicate perfume when
they were burning. More expensive candles were made of beeswax.

For hundreds of years whale oil was burned in large lamps, and
thousands of whales were killed in order to get the oil. Candles were
also made from spermaceti, which is a substance taken from the head of
the sperm whale.

When the people first settled on Long Island, there were a great many
whales in the sea. Sometimes these whales would run into bays and
other shallow places. When the tide went out, the whale would be left
without water enough to swim in. Sometimes he found himself lying on
the dry ground. Before the white people came, the Long Island Indians
used to kill whales stranded in this way, with spears. The Indians
used the fat of the whale for food. The white people killed them, and
got the oil out of the fat by boiling. This oil they sold for lamp

Finding that much money could be made by selling whale oil, the people
on Long Island fitted up boats, which they kept always ready along the
seashore. Whenever anybody saw a whale, the boatmen ran to their
boats, and rowed out to kill it. They did not yet know how to go out
to sea in whaling ships as some people in Europe did. After a while
the Long Island people learned to take their small boats out to sea
for miles to look for whales. This way of killing the whales spread
from Long Island to Connecticut, and from there to Cape Cod.

The people on the island of Nantucket had also learned to kill the
whales that came into shallow water. They got a man to come out from
Cape Cod to show them how to go out in boats and kill whales along the
coast. After a while they built small ships in which they went to sea
to seek for whales, but they brought the fat on shore in order to get
the oil out of it.

In 1718 the people on this island began to build ships with great
kettles in them for rendering the oil on board the ships. The brave
Nantucket men, and the men on the coast near by, soon began to send
their ships into very distant seas. Some of them sailed among the
icebergs in the Arctic regions; others went to the Southern Ocean; and
some of the Nantucket and Cape Cod ships went round Cape Horn into the
Pacific Ocean. The hardy whalemen ran great risks during their long
voyages, but, if they were fortunate in killing whales, they made a
good deal of money.

There are still whaling vessels in our times, but not so many as there
used to be. We do not need whale oil so much, because we have
kerosene, gaslights, and electric lights. There are not so many whales
to be found as there used to be.

When the men on a whale ship in the old times discovered a whale, they
fitted out their boats and rowed toward it. The whale would go down
out of sight. Each officer would place his boat where he thought the
whale would come up. When the whale came up to get breath, the men in
the nearest boat would row toward it. The officer who stood in the bow
of the boat would then throw a harpoon, which would stick fast in the
whale. As soon as the whale was struck with the harpoon, he would go
down into the water. There was a line fast to the harpoon, which was
coiled in a tub standing in the whaleboat. Sometimes the whale would
run down so far, that it would take more line than the boat carried,
to keep hold of him. When this was likely to happen, another whaling
boat would come alongside, and tie its line to the line of the harpoon
that was fast to the whale. In some cases nearly five thousand feet of
line were drawn out of the boats before the whale came to the top
again. Whales breathe air as we do, so the whale that had been
harpooned would have to come up again. Then the whaling boat would run
close to him, and the officer would try to kill him with a sharp
lance. When a whale was killed, the men drew him alongside the ship.

A whale's body is covered with a great mass of fat called blubber.
When the dead whale was lying alongside the ship, the whalemen would
fasten a hook in the blubber. They then cut the blubber into a long
strip running round the whale. As they pulled on the hook with ropes,
the strip of blubber came off the whale, the whale rolling over and
over. The men unwound the blubber from his body in this way, pulling
it up on board the ship, and cutting it into pieces.

If it was a sperm whale, they would cut a hole in his head, to reach a
place where there was a great quantity of oil. This oil they dipped
out. Sometimes forty barrels of oil were dipped out of the head of a
whale. From the fat of some very large whales more than two hundred
barrels of oil could be secured.

The men on the whaling ships were gone from home for years at a time.
When there were no whales in sight, they had to find ways of amusing
themselves. Many of them carried sharp pocket knives, and passed their
time in whittling. By long practice they became very skillful with
their knives. Some of them carved pretty figures in wood, and made
pieces of furniture. Others carved shells into beautiful shapes. After
years at sea, they would bring these things home with them, to give to
their wives or sweethearts. Such work done on shipboard is called
scrimshaw work.

Some of the whaleships met with very curious accidents. In 1807 a ship
named "The Union" was sailing along very quietly. All at once she
struck something which jarred her from end to end. It was found that
she had run right on a whale. Casks of water were thrown out of the
ship to make her lighter, but the bottom of the ship was badly
injured. The men on board had to get out the boats at once. They took
food and water with them, and compasses to sail by. Soon after the
boats got clear of the ship she filled with water, and upset.

The men now found themselves in open boats in the ocean. The land
nearest to them was Newfoundland, but, as the wind was blowing
straight from that land at that season of the year, they knew that
they could not reach it. So they set out in the direction toward which
the wind blew, sailing for the islands called the Azores. These were
hundreds of miles away. They made a sail for each boat.

One day they saw a schooner, but they could not make the schooner see
them. The next day they had fine sailing, but at night a fearful wind
arose. There were violent squalls and bursts of thunder. The boats
were obliged to lie still with their bows to the wind. At last the
waves broke into the captain's boat, and it was all they could do to
get the water out again.

They now had to throw overboard most of their fresh water, so that
they suffered much with thirst from this time on. They had only three
quarts of water a day to be divided among sixteen men. That is about a
small teacupful apiece. After sailing eight days, they came in sight
of the beautiful islands of the Azores. Here they found a ship to
bring them back to their own country again.

A still stranger accident happened to the ship "Essex" in 1820. She
was far away in the Pacific Ocean. Three of the boats of the ship went
out after a whale. The mate's boat, having been injured, went back to
the ship. As the mate stood on the ship, he saw a large sperm whale
rush directly at the vessel. The whale seemed to think the ship some
great animal, and that it would be fine fun to have a fight with it.
He struck the ship with his great square head. The crash was fearful.
For a moment or two the crew were so astonished that they could do
nothing. Then they found the ship sinking. They put up signals for the
other boats to come back.

[Illustration: Attacked by a Whale.]

But the whale was not satisfied. He wanted to fight it out with the
ship. He was soon seen coming toward the vessel again. He came on so
fast that the water foamed round him. He struck the ship a second
blow, which almost crushed it. The mate now quickly put what
provisions he could into a boat, and got ready to leave the ship.

The other boats returned. The men were so horrified that for some time
they could not speak to one another. The ship fell over on her side.
The men cut away her masts. Then they cut holes into the ship's side,
and got out what bread and water they could carry. They were a
thousand miles from land, in the direction that the winds blew.

After twenty-eight days of sailing in these open boats, the men got to
Ducie's Island. Here they could not find food enough for so large a
party, so the boats put off to sea again. Three men remained behind on
the island. These were afterward found by a passing ship, which took
them home. Some of the men in the boats perished, but the rest of them
were picked up by a ship and taken home.



  When spring returns with western gales,
    And gentle breezes sweep
  The ruffling seas, we spread our sails
    To plow the watery deep.

  Cape Cod, our dearest native land,
    We leave astern, and lose
  Its sinking cliffs and less'ning sands,
    While Zephyr gently blows.

  Now toward the early dawning east
    We speed our course away,
  With eager minds and joyful hearts,
    To meet the rising day.

  Then, as we turn our wondering eyes,
    We view one constant show,--
  Above, around, the circling skies,
    The rolling seas below.

  When eastward, clear of Newfoundland,
    We stem the frozen pole,
  We see the icy islands stand,
    The northern billows roll.

  Now see the northern regions where
    Eternal winter reigns;
  One day and night fills up the year,
    And endless cold maintains.

  We view the monsters of the deep,
    Great whales in numerous swarms,
  And creatures there, that play and leap,
    Of strange, unusual forms.

  When in our station we are placed,
    And whales around us play,
  We launch our boats into the main,
    And swiftly chase our prey.


In 1658 there was a little French colony at Onondaga in New York. Some
of the men in this colony were traders, and some were missionaries.
They were living among the Onondaga Indians.

[Illustration: A French Missionary.]

The Indians had been very friendly, but the French found out that a
plot had been formed to put them all to death. Stakes had even been
set up in order to burn some of them alive. There seemed no hope for
the Frenchmen to escape. They knew, that, if they tried to get away by
land, they should all be killed. If they shut themselves up in their
fort, the Indians would besiege them, and they would starve to death.
They had no boats by which to get away by sailing through the lakes
and down the St. Lawrence River.

The Frenchmen went to work and built boats secretly in the attic of
their fort or trading house. They built them strong enough to bear the
floating ice. They had also some light canoes made of bark, which they
hid in the upper part of their house. The question now was how to get
away without the Indians finding it out and pursuing them.

One of the young Frenchmen had been adopted into the tribe of these
Indians. He invited the Indians to a feast. It was a feast, of a kind
the Indians give, in which every guest is obliged to eat everything
that is set before him, leaving nothing. The Indians kept on eating,
while the French amused them with dancing and games. The young
Frenchman played on his guitar, while the guests ate. The Indians
having eaten too much, at length began to fall asleep one by one. The
feast was not over until late at night, nor until every Indian had
eaten till he begged not to be given any more. Some of the Indians
fell asleep while they were eating. The rest of them were soon
sleeping soundly in their wigwams.

The Frenchmen now quickly brought their boats down stairs and put them
into the water. They loaded them with food and other things needed for
their journey. Then they pushed off without making any noise or
speaking above a whisper. The water froze about their boats as they
rowed, and every moment they feared an attack from the Indians. They
rowed all night long, and then they rowed and paddled all the next day
without taking any rest. It was not until the evening of the second
day that they felt they had passed out of the greatest danger.

The Indians slept late the morning after the feast. When they waked at
last, they came out of their huts one by one, and went toward the
French house. They were surprised to see it shut up, and everything
silent about it. They supposed that the French were at prayer, so they
waited quietly outside. They could hear the fowls crowing in the yard,
and when they knocked at the door of the house, the dog barked. Noon
came, and yet no Frenchmen appeared.

Late in the afternoon the Indians climbed up the side of the house and
got in by a window. They could hear no sound but their own steps. They
were much frightened as they stole through the house and opened the
main door. They searched the building from top to bottom, but not a
Frenchman was to be found.

As they were sure that the French had no boats, they were struck with
fear. They gazed a moment at each other in silence. Then they fled
from the house. They believed that the Frenchmen had, by some magic,
made themselves invisible; that is, so that they could not be seen.
They believed that the French had flown away through the air, or
walked off on the water.

Meanwhile the French passed down Lake Ontario through many dangers.
They went down the River St. Lawrence, working their way over rapids
and waterfalls. At last they reached Montreal, where the people looked
on them as men that had come up from the grave.


Mr. Alexander Henry was made prisoner by the Indians on Lake Superior
when Fort Mackinaw was taken by Indians. This was in the time of the
Indian war which is called Pontiac's War, because the great chief
Pontiac started it.

Nearly all the white men in Fort Mackinaw were killed, but Mr. Henry
was saved. He had an Indian friend named Wawatam, who paid for his
life. He went to live with Wawatam. He had his head shaved, and put on
the dress of an Indian. He lived and hunted as the Indians did.

One day Mr. Henry saw a very large pine tree. Its trunk was six feet
in diameter. The bark had been scratched by a bear's claws. Far up on
the tree there was a large hole. All about this hole the small
branches were broken.

Mr. Henry looked at the snow. There were no bear tracks in it. So he
thought that an old bear had climbed up into the tree before the snow
fell. Bears sleep nearly all winter. They do not even come out to get
anything to eat.

Mr. Henry told the Indians about the tree. There was no way of getting
up to the bear's hole. They could not get the bear out except by
cutting down the tree. But the Indian women did not believe that the
Indians could do it. Their axes were too small to chop down so big a

However, the Indians wanted the bear's oil, which is of great use to
them. It serves them for lard, and butter, and many other things. So
at the tree they went with their little axes. As many as could stand
about the tree worked at a time, and when one rested, another chopper
took his place. They all worked, men and women, and they chopped all
day. When the sun went down, they had chopped about halfway through
the tree.

The next morning they began again. They chopped away until about two
o'clock. Then the top of the great pine tree began to tremble. Slowly
it leaned a little. Then the tree began to fall. Everybody got far out
of the way. It fell down among the other trees with a crash that made
the woods roar, and lay at last upon the ground.


But no bear came out of the big tree. Mr. Henry began to be afraid
that there was no bear there. He thought such a crash was enough to
wake up the sleepiest bear in the world. At last the nose of a bear
was poked out of the hole. Then came the head. Then came out the great
brown body of one of the largest bears in the woods. Mr. Henry shot
the bear dead.

Though the Indians kill and eat bears, they are very much afraid of
the ghosts of the bears after they are dead. They are more afraid of a
bear after it is dead than when it is alive. So, whenever an Indian
has killed a bear, he always begs the dead bear's pardon. Each of
these Indians now politely begged pardon of the bear. The old woman
who had adopted Mr. Henry for her son took the bear's head in her
hands and kissed it. She called it her grandmother, and asked it not
to do them any harm. The Indians told the dead bear that a white man
had killed it. Of course, the dead bear did not say anything.

Though they called the bear their grandmother, they made haste to take
off its skin. They were glad to find that Grandma Bear was very fat.
It took two persons to carry home the fat. Four more were loaded with
the meat of this nice old relative of theirs.

But still wishing to fool the bear's ghost, they carried the head also
to their tent. They put all kinds of silver trinkets on the head, and
many belts of wampum or shell beads on it. In order to please the
ghost of Grandmother Bear still more, they laid the head on a kind of
table that they made for it, and placed a large quantity of tobacco
near its nose.

The next morning a feast was made to please the bear's ghost. The head
of the bear was lifted, and a new blanket was spread under it. All the
Indians lighted their pipes, and blew tobacco smoke into the bear's
nose. Wawatam made a speech to the bear's spirit. He told it they were
very sorry to have to kill their friends. But he said it could not be
helped, for, if they did not do this, they should starve to death.

The speech being over, the whole party ate heartily of the bear's
flesh. After three days they even took down the head itself, and put
it into the kettle. Thus they ate their grandmother up, but they did
it very politely.


Among the Indians there are priests or medicine men who pretend to
cure diseases. They also pretend to talk to their gods and other
spirits. They have many ways of deceiving the Indians.

Mr. Alexander Henry, while a prisoner among the Indians, was present
when the tribe he was with asked advice of the Great Turtle, which is
one of the gods they believe in.

The Indians had heard that there was an English army coming against
them. They were very much afraid, because they had killed or taken
prisoner all the English in Fort Mackinaw. They wished to send
messengers to make peace with the white men, but they were afraid the
white men would kill their messengers. In this state of mind, they
asked the Great Turtle what they would better do.

They first built a large house or wigwam. In the middle of this they
set up five posts, and covered these posts with moose skins. This made
a little tent in the middle of the large wigwam.

When night came on, they built fires in the wigwam outside of the
little tent. This lighted up the house where the Indians were seated.
Soon the priest came in. Some of the Indians lifted the moose skins on
one side of their little tent. The priest crept in on his hands and
knees. The little tent began to shake, and from the inside there came
sounds like the barking of dogs and the howling of wolves, with
screams and sobs, and cries of pain and sorrow. Words were spoken in
strange voices, and in a language which nobody could understand. These
voices the Indians had heard before, and they thought that they
belonged to evil spirits who would tell them lies. When they heard
these voices, the Indians hissed. They did not want to hear any spirit
but that of the Great Turtle. After a while these frightful noises
ceased. There was silence for a time. Then the Indians heard a new
voice. It was low and feeble, like the cry of a very young puppy. All
the Indians now clapped their hands for joy. They cried out that this
was the voice of the Great Turtle, the spirit that never lied.

But now new voices came from the tent. For half an hour there were
sounds in many different voices, but none of them were like the
priest's own voice. When these sounds were no longer heard, the
medicine man spoke in his own voice, and declared that the Great
Turtle was present, and would answer any question that might be asked.

The chief of the village now put a large quantity of tobacco into the
little tent. This was a sacrifice to the Great Turtle. Then he told
the priest to ask the Great Turtle whether the white men were coming
to make war on them, and whether there were many soldiers at Fort

The medicine man put this question to the Great Turtle. The tent began
to shake so violently that it seemed about to fall over. Then a loud
cry came from the tent. This was to show that the Great Turtle was

For a quarter of an hour no sound was heard. Then the Great Turtle
returned. He now made a long speech to the priest in his little
squeaky, puppy voice, but it was spoken in a language which nobody
could understand. After the spirit's speech was finished, the medicine
man spoke in his own voice, and explained to the people that in the
last fifteen minutes the Great Turtle had crossed Lake Huron, and gone
to Fort Niagara, hundreds of miles away. Then he had gone on down to
Montreal. He said there were not many soldiers at Fort Niagara, but at
Montreal the river was covered with boats filled with soldiers. He
said the soldiers coming to make war on the Indians were as many as
the leaves on the trees. He told the Indians, that, if they would send
men to the general of this army, he would make peace with them, and
fill their canoes with presents of blankets, kettles, guns, powder,
and shot. And he said, what pleased them still more, that the general
would give them great barrels of rum.

The Indians were so much delighted with this message, that many of
them set out, soon after, to go in boats to make peace with the white
men. No doubt this humbug of the medicine man was a plan to persuade
them to go. Mr. Henry was taken along to act as their friend.


Mr. Henry had traveled several days with the Indians going to Fort
Niagara to make peace. One day the wind was blowing so hard that they
could not go on. So they camped on a point in Lake Huron.

While the Indians were building a hut, Mr. Henry was lighting a fire.
He went off a little way to get dry wood, and while he was picking up
sticks he heard a strange sound. It lasted only a little while; but,
when Mr. Henry went a little farther, it began again. He looked up
into the air to see where it came from. Then he looked down on the
ground, and saw a large rattlesnake coiled close to his naked leg. If
he had taken one step more, he would have stepped on it, and it would
have bitten him.

He now ran back to the canoe to get his gun to kill the snake.

"What are you doing?" asked the Indians.

"I am going to kill a rattlesnake," he said.

"Oh, no! don't do that," they said.

The Indians all got their tobacco bags and pipes, and went to the
place where the snake had been seen. It was still lying in a coil.

[Illustration: Grandfather Rattlesnake.]

The Indians now stood round the snake, and one after another spoke to
it. They called it their grandfather. But they took care not to go too
close to their grandfather. They stood oft and filled their pipes with
tobacco. Each one in turn blew tobacco smoke at the snake. The snake
seemed to like it. For half an hour it lay there in a coil, and
breathed the smoke. Then it slowly stretched itself out at full
length, and seemed in a very good humor. It was more than four feet

After having more smoke blown at it, it slowly crept away. The Indians
followed, begging their grandfather, as they called it, to take care
of their families while they were gone. They also asked that the snake
would open the heart of the English general so that he would give them
a great deal of rum. One of the chiefs begged the snake to take no
notice of the insult offered to him by the white man, who would have
killed it if the Indians had not stopped him. They also begged that it
would remain and live in their country.

The Indians thought that the snake was a spirit or god in this form.
They thought that it had been sent to stop them on their way. They
were almost ready to turn back, but Mr. Henry persuaded them to go on.

The next morning was calm. The Indians took a short course by sailing
straight to an island out in the lake. But after they had got far out,
the wind began to blow very hard. They expected every moment that
their canoe would be swallowed up by the waves. They began to pray to
the rattlesnake to help them. One of the chiefs resolved to make a
sacrifice to the snake. He took a dog, and tied its legs together, and
threw it into the water. He asked the snake spirit to be satisfied
with this. But the wind continued to grow higher, and so another dog
was thrown into the water, and some tobacco was thrown with it. The
chief told Grandfather Snake that the man who wanted to kill him was
really a white man, and no kin to the snake or to the Indians.

Some of the Indians began to think of throwing Mr. Henry in after the
dog and the tobacco to satisfy the snake spirit; but the wind went
down, and they soon got to the island. Some days afterward the party
came to the fort. The English general was very glad to see Mr. Henry,
and his long captivity was over, in spite of the anger of the
rattlesnake god of the Indians.


The Indian medicine men or priests have many ways of deceiving their
people. A French officer found that the people of a certain tribe
believed very much in an idol which a medicine man had set up. This
idol was called by a long name, Vistee-poolee-keek-apook. The Indians,
when they stood near, would sometimes hear it speak, and this seemed
to them a very wonderful thing.

A French officer named Bossu tried to find out what made the idol
talk. He found a long reed, such as we call a cane pole, running from
the back of the idol's head to a cave or hollow in the rocks behind
the idol. This reed had been made into a hollow tube. In the cave
there was a medicine man who talked into the tube. The words coming
out of the other end in the idol's head were heard from the mouth of
the idol, as if the idol were speaking. Bossu showed the Indians the
trick, and then got one of his soldiers to destroy the idol.

The soldier that destroyed the idol was so brave, that the Frenchmen
had given him a nickname which means "fearless." The medicine man
declared that some dreadful thing would fall on Fearless because he
had destroyed the idol. In order to make his people believe in the
power of this god that had been thrown down, he told them that there
was a witch or evil spirit which came to the village in the shape of a
little black panther. He said, that, whenever he pronounced the name
of his god, this little black panther would instantly disappear.

You see, the cunning old medicine man had somehow got hold of a large
black cat with yellow eyes. Cats were not common among the Indians,
these animals having been brought by the white people. Such a cat as
this, the Indians had never seen. The medicine man kept the cat in his
cabin, and trained it. He would strike it with a whip, crying out
every time he struck it, "Vistee-poolee-keek-apook!"

The poor cat became afraid of the long ugly name of the Indian god,
because the whip and the name always came together. One day the black
cat crept into the cabin of an Indian woman to get something to eat.
The medicine man who was near by saw it. He said the name of his god
in his common voice. The cat, which the Indians believed to be a
witch, jumped like lightning through the hole in the cabin that was
used for a window. The Indians really believed that they had seen an
evil spirit in the shape of a little black panther, and that it
disappeared when the medicine man spoke the name of his god.

After that, every time an Indian saw this black cat, or little black
panther, as it was called, he spoke the name of this terrible god. Of
course, the black cat with yellow eyes ran away. Tired out at last
with being driven off in this fashion, the cat disappeared entirely,
and took up its home with the wild animals in the woods, where it
could not hear the terrible name of the idol any more.

Bossu afterward made use of the Indians' belief in spirits for his own
purpose. One of his soldiers had been killed by one of the Indians.
Bossu could not find out who killed the soldier, or even to what tribe
the Indian that killed him belonged. He wanted to punish or frighten
the murderer in order to save the lives of the rest of the French

He called the chief of the Indians, and told him that one of his men
was missing. He said he was sure the man had not run away. He
therefore asked that the Indians should find the man, and said, that,
if he were not found, he should have to think that some of the Indians
had killed him.

The chief answered that the white soldier had probably gone hunting in
the woods, and killed himself accidentally with his gun, or else he
had been killed by a panther. To this Bossu replied that the animal
would not have eaten the gun or the clothes of the soldier. He said
that if the Indians would find the Frenchman's gun, or bits of his
clothes, they could easily show that he had been killed by a wild

Bossu had a friend among the Indians who was very much attached to
him. He persuaded this young Indian to tell him to what tribe the
murderer of the Frenchman belonged, but he solemnly promised that the
other Indians should never know who had told him. He paid the young
Indian for telling him.

The Frenchman who was called Fearless now undertook to have the man
who had killed the other soldier punished, for the dead soldier had
been his friend. But it was necessary that he should not let the
Indians know who had told about it. Fearless stripped off a great
quantity of bark of the pawpaw tree. He thought he would play a trick
like that of the medicine man, and make the Indians believe that a
spirit was talking to them. He did everything very secretly. By
fastening pieces of the pawpaw bark together with pitch, he managed to
make a very large speaking trumpet, which would carry the voice a long

When he had finished this trumpet, he left the camp one very dark
night. He carried with him his gun, some food, and a gourd full of
water. He had also a bearskin of which to make a bed, and a buffalo
robe to cover himself with. With these things he hid himself on a
hill. This hill was near the Indian camp. From the top of it Fearless
could make his voice heard for three miles round by the aid of his
great pawpaw trumpet.

He shouted through this great bark trumpet what seemed to be words in
an unknown language, such as the Indian medicine man used. The
frightful noise sounded through the woods. It did not seem to come
from anywhere. The Indians thought that these cries came down from the
sky. The Indian women were thrown into a great fright, and even the
warriors and chiefs were alarmed. They said that the Master of Life
was angry with their tribe, and that this horrible voice showed that
something bad was going to happen to them.


The day after the voice was heard, the old men of the tribe came to
consult Bossu about this strange noise. Bossu told them that the white
soldier who had been killed could not rest. He said that every night
his voice was heard, though nothing could be seen. He said that the
voice cried out in a melancholy tone, "I am the white soldier that
went with the French captain. I was killed by a man of the tribe of
the Kanoatinos. Frenchmen, revenge my death."

The Indians now saw that it was of no use for them to tell any more
lies about the death of the white man. They believed that the
soldier's ghost had told the Frenchmen all about it. They confessed
the murder, but they explained that the white soldier had provoked it
when he was drunk, by bad treatment of the Indian who killed him.

Captain Bossu was not willing to take their excuses. He told them,
that, if the soldier had done wrong, he ought to have been brought to
his own captain to be punished. He said, "If one of my soldiers should
kill one of your Indians, I would put him to death. You must do the
same with the Indian who killed my soldier."

The oldest of the chiefs now commanded one of his men to go and seize
the guilty man, bind him, and bring him in to be put to death, in
order that the ghost of the French soldier might no longer trouble

Captain Bossu did not wish to put the Indian to death. He knew that
the French soldier had very greatly wronged and provoked the Indian.
He got his young Indian friend to go to the wife of the chief of the
Kanoatinos, and say to her that she might beg the life of the guilty
man. The young Indian told the chief's wife that Captain Bossu would
not refuse her anything. The woman went, and begged that the Indian
might be spared. Bossu consented that the Indian should live, but said
that he did it as a favor to the chief's wife.

The chief then turned to the condemned Indian, and said to him, "You
were dead, but the captain of the white warriors has brought you to
life at the request of the chief's wife." The white people and Indians
then smoked the pipe of peace together.


Many years ago, the falls of Niagara, then in the midst of a great
wilderness, and a long way from the homes of the white people, seemed
even more wonderful than they do now. In those days, travelers from
other countries made long journeys through the woods to see this
wonderful waterfall. Indians lived about it, and there was a fort near
by, belonging to the French.

Wild swans, geese, and ducks used to swim in the Niagara River.
Sometimes great flocks of them lost their lives by going over the
falls. Water fowl are fond of floating on smooth, moving water. The
wild geese and ducks would take great delight in finding themselves
shooting down toward the falls. Sometimes they would try to rise and
fly when it was too late.

[Illustration: Niagara Falls.]

In the autumn the soldiers of the fort used to get their meat by
taking from the water below the falls the ducks and geese that had
been killed in this way. Sometimes they would find a deer or a bear
that had been carried over in trying to swim across the river above
the falls.

In the midst of the falls is an island. Many years ago two Indians
were hunting far above the falls. They had with them a little brandy,
which they drank. This made them sleepy, and they lay down and went to
sleep in their canoe, which was tied to the shore. The canoe got loose
from the shore, and floated down the stream farther and farther, until
it came near to the island which is in the falls.

The roar of the falls awakened one of them. He cried out to the other,
"We are lost!" But by hard work they succeeded in landing the canoe at
the island.

At first they were very glad, but after a while they thought it might
have been better if they had gone over the falls. They had now no
choice but to die of hunger on the island, or to throw themselves into
the water.

At the lower end of the island there is no water running over the
falls. The Indians stripped the bark from a linden or basswood tree.
This bark is very tough and strong. They made a kind of rope ladder of
it. They made it so long that it reached to the water below the falls.
The upper end of this bark ladder they tied fast to a great tree that
grew on the island. The other end they let down to the water below the

Then they went down this ladder until they came to the bottom. The
water was roaring on both sides of them, but they had a place to
stand. Here they rested a little while. The water in front of them was
not rapid. They jumped into it, intending to swim ashore. But the
water that pours in from the falls on each side, runs back against the
rocks in this place. Every time the Indians tried to swim, they were
thrown back against the rocks from which they started. At last they
were so much bruised and scratched, they were obliged to give up this
plan. So they climbed back up their bark stairs to the island, not
knowing what to do.

After a while they saw other Indians on the shore. They cried out to
these to come and help them. The other Indians did not know what to
do. They had no way of getting to the island. If they had tried to get
there in a canoe, they would have been carried over the falls
themselves. They went to the fort, and told the commander about it. He
had poles made, and pointed with iron. He persuaded two Indians to
take these poles, and walk with them to the island.

These two Indians took leave of all their friends as if they were
going to die. Each of them took two poles in his hands. They set these
poles against the bottom of the river to keep themselves steady, while
they waded through the water. It was a very dangerous thing to do, but
at last they got to the island. Then they gave a pole to each of the
two Indians, and all four of them started back again. By the help of
the poles they managed to get to the shore in safety.


Before the Revolution there lived in Pennsylvania a man named William
Bartram. He was a botanist; that is to say, a man who knew a great
deal about different kinds of plants. Wishing to see the plants and
animals of the South, he traveled through South Carolina and Georgia,
and so on into Florida.

In a little canoe, Bartram set out to go up the St. Johns River. He
took an Indian along for a guide, but the Indian got tired of the
trip, and left him. Bartram kept on up the river alone. The country
was wild, and the river was filled with great alligators.

Bartram saw two large alligators fighting. They ran at each other from
opposite sides of the river. They lashed the water with their tails.
They met in the middle of the river, and fought with great fury,
making the water boil all round them. They twisted themselves one
round the other, and sank to the bottom fighting. Their struggles at
the bottom brought up a great deal of mud.

Soon they came to the top once more, clapping their great jaws
together, and roaring. They fell on each other again, and sank to the
bottom. But one of them was by this time beaten. He swam away into the
reeds on the bank. The other rose to the top of the water, and
celebrated his victory by a loud roaring sound. All the alligators
along the shore joined in the horrible roaring at the same time.

The alligators had gathered in great crowds at certain places to catch
the fish that were coming up from the sea. Bartram wanted some fish
for his supper. He took a stick to beat off the alligators, and got
into his canoe. But the farther he paddled from the shore, the more
the alligators crowded round him. Several of them tried to overturn
his canoe. Two large ones attacked him at the same time, with their
heads above the water, and their mouths spouting water all over the
botanist. They struck their jaws together so close to his ears that
the sound almost stunned him.

Bartram beat them off with his club, and paddled for the shore. When
he got near the shore, the alligators left him. He went a little
farther up the river, and got some fish. When he came back, he kept
close to the shore. One alligator twelve feet long followed him. When
Bartram went ashore near his camp, the creature crept close to his
feet, and lay there looking at him for some time.


Bartram ran to his camp to get his gun. When he came back, the
alligator was climbing into his boat to get the fish he had caught. He
fired his gun, and killed the great beast. But while he was cleaning
his fish, another one crept up to him, and would have dragged him into
the water if Bartram had not looked up just in time to get out of his
way. The next day he was pursued by more alligators; but he beat them
off with his club, and got away.


"Marion'S Men" were famous in the Revolution for their bold
adventures. The best known of all these bold men was Sergeant Jasper.
At the battle of Fort Moultrie, when the flag of the fort was shot
away, Jasper jumped down outside of the works, and picked it up. The
balls were raining round him all the time he was outside, but he
coolly fastened the flag to a rod which was used to wipe out the
cannon, and then stuck it up in the sand of the breastworks.

When General Moultrie saw what he had done, he took off his own sword
and gave it to Sergeant Jasper.

When Moultrie and his men were hiding in the swamps of South Carolina,
Moultrie would send Jasper to find out what the British were doing.
Jasper could change his looks so that nobody would know him. He often
went into the British camp, pretending to be on that side.

Once he took a friend with him, and paid a visit to the British
soldiers. While he was there, a small party of American prisoners were
brought in. The wife of one of the prisoners had come with her
husband, carrying her child. As these men had once fought on the
English side, they were all likely to be put to death. Jasper felt
sorry for them, and resolved to deliver them if he could.


The prisoners were sent to Savannah for trial. Jasper and his friend
left the British camp soon afterward, but they went in the opposite
direction. When they got far enough away, they turned about and
followed the party with the prisoners. But what could they do for
these poor fellows? There were ten men with muskets to guard the
prisoners. Neither Jasper nor his friend had a gun.

But they knew that near Savannah there was a famous spring of water.
They thought the party would stop there to eat and drink. So Jasper
and his friend went on swiftly, by a path little known. When they came
near the spring, they hid in the bushes.

When the soldiers with their prisoners came to the spring, they
halted. The prisoners sat down on the ground. The woman sat down near
her husband. Her baby fell asleep in her lap. Six of the soldiers laid
down their arms, and four stood guard.

Two of these went to the spring to get water, and, in doing this, they
were obliged to put down their guns. In an instant Jasper and his
friend leaped out of the bushes and seized the two guns. They killed
the two guards who had guns, before the latter could shoot them. Then
they knocked down every man who resisted them, and got possession of
all the rest of the guns of the British. With these they took the
eight soldiers prisoners. They now gave guns to the American
prisoners, and marched away with the eight British soldiers in

Jasper was one of the boldest of men. He did many brave things, but at
last he lost his life in saving the flag of his company in battle.


  Our band is few, but tried and true,
    Our leader frank and bold:
  The British soldier trembles
    When Marion's name is told.

  We have no fort but dark green woods,
    Our tent's a shady tree:
  We know the forest round us
    As sailors know the sea.

  With merry songs we mock the wind
    That in the tree top grieves,
  And slumber long and sweetly
    On beds of rustling leaves.

  Well knows the fair and friendly moon
    The band that Marion leads,--
  The glitter of their rifles,
    The scampering of their steeds.

  'Tis life to ride the fiery horse
    Across the moonlight plain;
  'Tis life to feel the night wind
    That lifts his tossing mane.

  A moment in the British camp--
    A moment--and away
  Back to the pathless forest,
    Before the peep of day.


[Illustration: One of Marion's Men.]


In the time of the Revolution, a regiment of Hessian soldiers hired
to fight on the British side were camped in South Carolina. They took
possession of the lower part of the house of a farmer named Gibbes. The
family were forced to retire to the upper story.

Two American boats came up the Stono River, and attacked these
Hessians. Cannon balls were soon falling all about the house. Mr.
Gibbes, who was so ill that he could hardly walk, got leave to move his
family to another place. To do this, the whole family had to cross a
field where the cannon balls were flying thick. At last they got out of
reach of the cannons. Then they remembered that a little baby had been
left behind. Neither Mr. Gibbes nor his wife was able to travel back to
the house again. The negroes were too much frightened to go. All the
rest were children.

Little Mary Anne Gibbes was only thirteen years old. The baby that had
been left was her cousin.

"I will go and get him," she said.

It was a dark and stormy night. She went back into the heat of the
battle. When she reached the house, the soldier who stood at the door
would not let her go in. But, with tears in her eyes, she begged so
hard that he let her pass. In the third story of the house she found
the baby.

Then downstairs, and out into the darkness and the crash of battle, she
went. The cannon balls scattered dust over her and the baby when they
struck near her, but she got back to her family at last, carrying the
baby safe in her arms.


James Smith lived in Pennsylvania. He was taken prisoner by the Indians
just before the famous defeat of General Braddock. He was then about
eighteen years old. The Indians took him to the French fort where
Pittsburg now is. They made him run the gauntlet; that is, they made
him run between two lines of Indians, who were beating him all the way.
He was so badly beaten that he became unconscious, and was ill for a
good while after. But at length he got well, and the Indians took him
to their own country in what is now the State of Ohio.

When they arrived at their own town, they did not kill him, as he
thought they would; but an Indian pulled the hair out of his head with
his fingers, leaving only the hair that grew on a spot about the crown.
Part of this he cut off short. The rest was twisted up in Indian
fashion, so as to make him look like a savage. They pierced his ears,
and put earrings in them. Then they pierced his nose, and put in a nose
ring. They stripped off his clothing, and put on the light clothing
that an Indian wears about the middle of his body. They painted his
head where the hair had been plucked out, and painted his face and
body, in several colors. They put some beads about his neck, and silver
bands upon his arms.

All this time James thought they were dressing him up to kill him. But,
when they had decked him in this way, an old chief led him out into the
village street. Holding the young man by the hand, he cried out,--

"Koowigh, Koowigh, Koowigh!"

All the Indians came running out of their houses when they heard this.
The old chief made them a long speech in a loud voice. James could not
understand what this speech was about. When it was ended, the chief
handed James over to three young Indian women.

James thought the young squaws were going to put him to death. They led
him down the bank into the river. The squaws made signs for him to
plunge himself into the water; but, as he thought they wished to drown
him, he refused. He was not going to drown himself to please them. The
young women then seized him, and tried to put him under water. But he
would not be put down All this time the Indians on the bank were
laughing heartily.

[Illustration: James Smith sitting on a Bearskin.]

Then one of the young squaws, who could speak a little English, said,
"No hurt you." Smith now gave up to them, and they scrubbed him well,
dipping his head under water.

When he came out of the water, he was dressed up in a lot of Indian
finery. The Indians put feathers in his hair, and made him sit down on
a bearskin. They gave him a pipe, and a tomahawk, and a bag of tobacco
and dried sumach leaves to smoke. Then they made a speech to him, which
an Indian who could speak English explained to him.

They said that he had been made a member of an Indian family in place
of a great man who had been killed. And then they gave him a wooden
bowl and a spoon, and took him to a feast, where Indian politeness
required that he should eat all the food given to him.

After James Smith was adopted by the Indians, he learned to live in
their way. He learned how to make little bowls out of elm bark to catch
maple-sugar sap, and how to make great casks out of the bark to hold
the sap till it could be boiled. He learned how to make a bearskin into
a pouch to hold bear's oil, of which the Indians were very fond. They
mixed their hominy with bear's oil and maple sugar, and they cooked
their venison in oil and sugar also.

The Indians gave James an Indian name. They called him Scouwa. The
Indians gave him a gun. Once when they trusted him to go into the woods
alone, he got lost, and staid out all night. Then they took away his
gun, and gave him a bow and arrow, such as boys carried. For nearly two
years he had to carry a bow and arrows like a boy.

He was once left behind when there was a great snowstorm. He could not
find the footsteps of the others, on account of the driving snow. But
after a while he found a hollow tree. There was a little room three
feet wide in the inside of the tree. He chopped a great many sticks
with his tomahawk to close up the opening in the side of the tree. He
left only a hole big enough for him to crawl in through. He fixed a
block for a kind of door, so as to close this hole by drawing the door
shut when he was inside. When the hole was shut, it was dark in the

But James, or Scouwa as he was called, could stand up in the tree. He
broke up rotten wood to make a bed like a large goose nest. He danced
up and down on his bed till he was warm. Then he wrapped his blanket
about him and lay down to sleep, first putting his damp moccasins under
his head to keep them from freezing. When he awoke, it was dark. The
hole in the tree was so well closed that he could not tell whether it
was daylight or not, but he waited a long time to be sure that day had

Then he felt for the opening. At last he found it. He pushed on the
block that he had used for a door, but three feet of snow had fallen
during the night. All his strength would not move the block. He was a
prisoner under the snow. Not one ray of light could get into this dark

Scouwa was now frightened. Not knowing what to do, he lay down again
and wrapped his blanket round him, and tried to think of a way to get
out. He said a little prayer to God. Then he felt for the block again.
This time he pushed and pushed with all his might. The block moved a
few inches, and snow came tumbling through the hole. This let a little
daylight in, and Scouwa was happy.

After a while he pulled his blanket tight about him, stuck his tomahawk
in his belt, and took his bow in hand. Then he dug his way out through
the snow into the daylight.

All the paths were buried under the deep snow. The young man had no
compass. The sun was not shining. How could he tell one direction from
another, or find his way to the Indian camp? The tall, straight trees,
especially those that stand alone, have moss on the north or northwest
side. By looking closely at these trees, he found out which way to go.
It was about noon when he got to the camp. The Indians had made
themselves snowshoes to go in search of him.

They all gathered about him, glad to see him. But Indians do not ask
questions at such a time. They led the young man to a tent. There they
gave him plenty of fat beaver meat to eat. Then they asked him to
smoke. While he was resting here, they were building up a large fire in
the open air. Scouwa's Indian brother asked him to come out to the
fire. Then all the Indians young and old, gathered about him.

His Indian brother now asked him to tell what had happened to him.
Scouwa began at the beginning, and told all that had occurred. The
Indians listened with much eagerness.

Then the Indian brother made him a speech. He told the young man that
they were glad to see him alive. He told him he had behaved like a man.
He said, "You will one day be a great man, and do some great things."

Soon after this, the Indians bought him a gun, paying for it with
skins, and he became a hunter.


When James Smith, or Scouwa, had been some years among the Indians, he
was in a winter camp with two of his adopted brothers. The younger of
these, with his family, went away to another place. Scouwa was left
with the older brother and his little son.

The older brother was a very wise Indian. He had thought much about
many things. He talked to his young white brother on many subjects, and
James always remembered him as a great man.

The wise Indian was now suffering from rheumatism. He could hardly move
out of his winter hut at all. But he bore it all with gentle patience.
Scouwa had to do all the hunting for himself, the old man, and the boy.

Almost the only food to be had was deer meat. From time to time Scouwa
succeeded in killing a deer. But at last there came a crust of snow.
Whenever the hunter tried to creep up to a deer, the crust would break
under his feet with a little crash, and the noise would frighten the
deer away. After a while there was no food in the cabin.

Once Scouwa hunted two days without coming back to the cabin, and with
nothing to eat. He came back at last empty-handed.

The wise Indian asked him, "What luck did you have, brother?"

"None at all," said Scouwa.

"Are you not very hungry?" asked the Indian.

"I do not feel so hungry now as I did," said the young man, "but I am
very faint and weary."

Then the lame Indian told the little boy to bring something to eat. The
boy had made a broth out of the dry old bones of foxes and wild-cats
that lay about the camp. Scouwa ate this broth eagerly, and liked it.

Then the old chief talked to Scouwa. He told him that the Great Spirit
would provide food for them. He talked in this way for some time.

At last he said, "Brother, go to sleep, and rise early in the morning
and go hunting. Be strong, and act like a man. The Great Spirit will
direct your way."

In the morning James set out early, but the deer heard his feet
breaking through the snow crust. Whenever he caught sight of them, they
were already running away. The young man now grew very hungry. He made
up his mind to escape from the Indians, and to try to reach his home in
Pennsylvania. He knew that Indian hunters would probably see him and
kill him, but he was so nearly starved that he did not care for his

He walked very fast, traveling toward the east. All at once he saw
fresh buffalo tracks. He followed these till he came in sight of the
buffaloes; then, faint as he was, he ran on ahead of the animals, and
hid himself.

[Illustration: Scouwa shoots a Buffalo.]

When the buffaloes came near, he fired his gun, and killed a large
buffalo cow. He quickly kindled a fire, and cut off a piece of the
meat, which he put to roast by the fire. But he was too hungry to wait.
He took his meat away from the fire, and ate it before it was cooked.

When his hunger was satisfied, he began to think about the wise Indian
and his little boy. He could not bear to leave them to starve, so he
gave up his plan of escaping.

He hung the meat of the buffalo where the wolves could not get at it.
Then he took what he could carry, and traveled back thirteen tedious
miles through the snow.

It was moonlight when he got to the hut. The wise Indian was as
good-natured as ever. He did not let hunger make him cross. He asked
Scouwa if he were not tired. He told the little boy to make haste and
cook some meat.

"I will cook for you," said Scouwa. "Let the boy roast some meat for

The boy threw some meat on the coals, but he was so hungry that he ate
it before it was cooked. Scouwa cut some buffalo meat into thin slices,
and put the slices into a kettle to stew for the starving man. When
these had boiled awhile, he was going to take them off, but the Indian

"No, let it cook enough."

And so, hungry as he was, the wise Indian waited till the meat was well
cooked, and then ate without haste, and talked about being thankful to
the Great Spirit.

The next day Scouwa started back for another load of buffalo meat. When
he had gone five miles, he saw a tree which a bear had taken for its
winter home. The hole in the tree was far from the ground. Scouwa made
some bundles of dry, half-rotten wood. These he put on his back, and
then climbed a small tree that stood close to the one with a hole in
it. The rotten wood he touched to a burning stick from a fire he had
kindled. Then he dropped the smoking bundles of rotten wood one after
another down into the bear's den, and quickly slid to the ground again.

The bear did not like smoke. After a while he crawled out of the hole
to get breath. Scouwa shot him.

He hung the bear meat out of the reach of wolves, and carried back to
the hut all that he could take at one time. The old man and the boy
were greatly pleased when they heard that there was bear meat as well
as buffalo meat in plenty. After this they had food enough.


The next year after this hard winter in the woods, the Indians that
Scouwa lived with went down the River St. Lawrence to Canada. At this
time Canada belonged to the French. The French were at war with the
English, to whom Pennsylvania belonged. The Indians were on the side of
the French.

Scouwa heard that there were prisoners from his country who were to be
sent back in exchange for French prisoners. He slipped away from the
Indians, and went to Montreal. Here he put himself among the other

After a while the prisoners were sent back to their own country. Scouwa
came to his own family again. They did not know that he was alive. He
put on white man's clothes. He let his hair grow like a white man's. He
spoke English once more. He was no longer called Scouwa, but James
Smith. But still he walked like an Indian. All his movements were those
of an Indian. He had lived nearly six years among the savages.

He afterward became a colonel among the white men. He moved to
Kentucky, and fought against the Indians. But he made his men dress and
fight as the red men did. He thought it was the best way of fighting in
the woods.


When people first began to move across the Alleghany Mountains, there
were no roads for wagons; but there were narrow paths called trails.
Families traveled to the west, carrying their goods on horseback along
these trails. Here is a story that will show you how they traveled.

Among those who went from Virginia to Kentucky, in 1781, was a man
named Benjamin Craig, who took his whole family with him. Mr. Craig
wore a hunting shirt and leggings of buckskin and a fur cap. Like all
men in the backwoods, he carried a hatchet and a knife stuck in his
belt, and he almost always had his old-fashioned flintlock rifle on his
right shoulder. A horn to hold powder was worn under his left arm, and
supported by a string over his right shoulder. He had a little buckskin
bag of bullets fastened to his belt. At the head of the party, he
traveled over the mountains on foot, walking before his horses.

The horses came one after another. On the first horse rode Mrs. Craig.
She carried her baby in her arms. Tied on the back of the horse were a
pot and a skillet for frying. In a bag on the same horse were some
pewter plates and cups, and a few knives and forks.

The horse on which Mrs. Craig rode was followed by a pack horse; that
is, a horse carrying things fastened on his back. This horse was led by
means of a rope halter, the end of which was tied to the saddle of the
horse in front. The pack on his back contained some meal and some salt.
This was all the food the family carried for the long journey over the
mountains. Mr. Craig expected to get meat by shooting deer or wild
turkeys in the woods.

The same pack horse carried a flat piece of iron to make a plow, and
some hoes and axes. The hoes and axes were without handles, except one
ax, which was used to cut firewood during the journey. Handles could be
made for the tools after the family got to Kentucky.

Behind this horse another one was tied. He carried two great
basket-like things hanging on each side of him. These baskets or crates
were made of hickory boughs. All the clothing and bedding that people
could take on such long and rough journeys was stored in these crates.

In the middle of each crate a hole was left. In one of these holes rode
little Master George, a boy of six. In the other was stowed Betsey, a
girl of four. One fine day during the journey, the baby was put into
the basket by the side of Betsey, and then the two older children
amused themselves by pointing out to the baby the things they saw by
the wayside.


At length the narrow trail or path passed along the edge of a dangerous
cliff. George and Betsey shut their eyes, so as not to see how steep
the place was. They were afraid the horse might fall off, and they be
dashed to pieces. But baby Ben only laughed and crowed, for what did a
little fellow like him know about danger. A hired man walked behind the
last horse to see that nothing was lost.

When night came, the horses were unloaded and turned loose. The little
bells tied round their necks had been stuffed with grass during the day
to keep them from jingling. This grass was removed, and the bells set
a-tinkling, so that the horses could be found in the morning. The tired
pack horses began at once to eat the long grass, now and then nibbling
the boughs of young trees.


A fire was built by a stream, and supper was cooked. If it had been
raining, the men would have built a little tent of boughs or bark for
the family, but, as the weather was clear, beds were made of grass and
dry leaves in the open air. The whole family slept under blue woolen
coverlets, with only the starry sky for shelter. The fire was kept up
for fear of wolves.

In the morning the children played about while the mother got
breakfast. When the meal was over, Mr. Craig and the hired man went to
look for one of the horses that had strayed away. Baby Ben climbed into
his mother's lap, as she sat upon the log, and fell asleep. In order to
have things all packed by the time the men returned, the mother laid
the little fellow on some long dry grass that grew among the boughs of
a fallen tree. When the father returned, it was nine o'clock. He
hurried the mother upon her horse among the pots and pans, saying that
he wished to overtake a company of travelers that was ahead of him, so
as to travel more safely.

"Now fetch me the baby," said Mrs. Craig.

"No, mother, please let the baby ride with me again," said little
Betsey, just come back from washing her face in the creek.

"All right," said Mrs. Craig. "Put the baby on with the children. This
horse is slow, and I will ride on. You can bring the other horses, and
catch up with me soon."

By the time the second horse was loaded, and George and Betsey were
stowed away in their baskets, both the father and Betsey had forgotten
about the baby. The mother had got so far ahead that it took the other
horses nearly an hour to overtake her's.

"Where is the baby?" cried the mother when she looked back and saw but
two children on the horse behind.

Sure enough, where was the baby? Lying under a tree top in the lonesome
woods, where there might be fierce wolves, great panthers, or hungry

Mr. Craig was almost frantic when he thought of the baby's danger. He
stripped the things from the middle horse, and sprang on his back, gun
in hand. He laid whip to the horse, and was soon galloping back over
the rough path. For more than an hour the mother and children waited
with the hired man, to learn whether the baby had been killed by some
wild animal or not.

At last the sound of Mr. Craig's horse coming back was heard, and all
held their breath. As the father came in sight in a full gallop, he
shouted, "Here he is, safe and sound! The little rascal hadn't waked

Mrs. Craig and Betsey shed tears of joy. George turned his face away,
and wiped his eyes with his coat sleeve. He wasn't going to cry: he was
a boy.


On the banks of the Ohio River, near the place where the city of
Wheeling now stands, there was once a fort called Fort Henry. This fort
was of the kind called a blockhouse, which is a house built of logs
made to fit close together. The upper part of the house jutted out
beyond the lower, in order that the men in the blockhouse might shoot
downwards at the Indians if they should come near the house to set it
on fire. Fort Henry was surrounded with a stockade; that is, a fence
made by setting posts in the ground close together.

During the Revolutionary War the Indians in the neighborhood of this
fort were fighting on the side of the English. A large number of them
came to Fort Henry, and tried to take it. All the men that were sent
outside of the fort to fight the Indians were either killed, or kept
from going back. The women and the children of the village which stood
near had all gone into the fort for safety.

When at last the fiercest attack of the Indians was made, there were
only twelve men and boys left inside of the fort. These men and boys
had made up their minds to do their best to save the lives of the women
and children who were with them. Every man and every boy in the fort
knew how to shoot a rifle. They had guns enough, but they had very
little powder. So they fired only when they were sure of hitting one of
the enemy.

The Indians kept shooting all the time. Some of them crept near to the
blockhouse, and tried to shoot through the cracks, but the bullets of
the men inside brought down these brave warriors.

After many hours of fighting, the Indians went off a little way to
rest. The white men had now used nearly all their gunpowder. They began
to wish for a keg of powder that had been left in one of the houses
outside. They knew that whoever should go for this would be seen and
fired at by the Indians. He would have to run to the house and back
again. The colonel called his men together, and told them he did not
wish to order any man to do so dangerous a thing as to get the powder,
but he said he should like to have some one offer to go for it.

Three or four young men offered to go. The colonel told them he could
not spare more than one of them. They must settle among themselves
which one should go. But each one of the brave fellows wanted to go,
and none of them was willing to give up to another. Then there stepped
forward a young woman named Elizabeth Zane.

"Let me go for the powder," she said.

The brave men were surprised. It would be a desperate thing for a man
to go. Nobody had dreamed that a woman would venture to do such a
thing, nor would any of them agree to let a young woman go into danger.

[Illustration: Elizabeth Zane's Return.]

The colonel said, "No," her friends begged her not to run the risk.
They told her, besides, that any one of the young men could run faster
than she could.

But Elizabeth said, "You cannot spare a single man. There are not
enough men in the fort now. If I am killed, you will be as strong to
fight as before. Let the young men stay where they are needed, and let
me go for the powder."

She had made up her mind, and nobody could persuade her not to go. So
the gate of the fort was opened just wide enough for her to get out.
Her friends gave her up to die.

Some of the Indians saw the gate open, and saw the young woman running
to the house, but they did not shoot at her. They probably thought that
they would not waste a bullet on a woman. They could make her a
prisoner at any time.

She did not try to carry the powder keg, but she took the powder in a
girl's way. She filled her apron with it. When she came out of the
house with her apron full of powder, and started to run back to the
fort, the Indians fired at her. It happened that all of their bullets
missed her. The gate was opened again, and she got safely into the
fort. The men were glad that they had powder enough, and they all felt
braver than ever, after they had seen what a girl could do.

The Indians had seen the gate opened to let her out and to let her in
again. They thought they could force the gate open; but they could not
go and push against it, because the men in the blockhouse would shoot
them if they did. So they made a wooden cannon. They got a hollow log
and stopped up one end of it. Then they went to the blacksmith's shop
in the little village and got some chains. They tied these chains round
the log to hold it together. They had no cannon balls, so, after
putting gunpowder into the log, they put in stones and bits of iron.
After dark that evening they dragged this wooden cannon up near to the
gate. When all was ready, they touched off their cannon. The log cannon
burst into pieces, and killed some of the Indians, but did not hurt the

The next day white men came from other places to help the men in the
fort. They got into the fort, and after a few more attacks the Indians
gave up the battle and went away.

Whenever the story of the brave fight at Fort Henry is told, people do
not forget that the bravest one in it was the girl that brought her
apron full of gunpowder to the men in the fort.


A hundred years ago the country near the great rivers in the interior
of the United States was a wilderness. It contained only a few people,
and these lived in settlements which were widely separated from one
another. Hardly any of the great trees had been cut down.

There were no roads, except Indian trails through the woods. Nearly all
travelers had to follow the rivers. Steamboats had not yet been
invented. Travelers made journeys on flatboats, keel boats, and barges.
It was easy enough to go down the Ohio and the Mississippi in this way,
but it was hard to come up again. It took about fifty men to work a
boat against the stream, and many months were spent in going up the

Boats were pushed up the river by means of poles. The boatmen pushed
these against the bottom of the river. When the water was deep or the
current very swift, a rope was taken out ahead of the boat, and tied to
a tree on the bank. The line was then slowly drawn in by means of a
capstan, and this drew the boat forward.

Sometimes the boat was "cordelled," or towed by the men walking on the
shore and drawing the barge by a rope held on their shoulders. But when
there chanced to be a strong wind blowing upstream, the boatmen would
hoist sail, and joyfully make headway against the current without so
much toil.

These slow-going boats were in danger from Indians. They were in even
greater danger from robbers, who hid themselves along the shore. Some
of these robbers lived in caves. Some kept boats hidden in the mouths
of streams that flowed into the large rivers.

In 1787 all the country west of the Mississippi still belonged to
France. The French territory stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to what
is now Minnesota. It was all called Louisiana. New Orleans and St.
Louis were then French towns, and the travel between them was carried
on by means of boats, which floated down the stream, and were then
brought back by poles, ropes, and sails.

The trip was as long as a voyage to China is nowadays. The boats or
barges set out from St. Louis in the spring, carrying furs. They got
back again in the fall with goods purchased in New Orleans.

In this year, 1787, a barge belonging to a Mr. Beausoleil (bo-so-lay)
started from New Orleans to make the voyage to St. Louis. The goods
with which it was loaded were very valuable. Slowly the men toiled up
against the stream day after day. At length the little vessel came near
to the mouth of Cottonwood Creek. A well-known robber band lurked at
this place. With joy the boatmen saw a favorable wind spring up. They
spread their sails, and the driving gale carried the barge in safety
past the mouth of the creek.

But the pirates of Cottonwood Creek were unwilling to lose so rich a
treasure. They sent a company of men by a short cut overland to head
off the barge at a place farther up the river. Two days after passing
Cottonwood Creek the bargemen brought the boat to land. They felt
themselves beyond danger. But the robbers came suddenly out of the
woods, took possession of the boat, and ordered the crew to return down
the river to Cottonwood Creek.

When they turned back toward the robbers' den, Beausoleil was in
despair. His whole fortune was on the barge. He did not know whether
the robbers would kill him and his men, or not. The only man of the
crew who showed no regret was the cook. This cook was a fine-looking
and very intelligent mulatto slave named Cacasotte. Instead of
repining, he fell to dancing and laughing.

"I am glad the boat was taken," he cried. "I have been beaten and
abused long enough. Now I am freed from a hard master."

Cacasotte devoted himself to his new masters, the robbers. In a little
while he had won their confidence. He was permitted to go wherever he
pleased, without any watch upon his movements.

He found a chance to talk with Beausoleil, and to lay before him a plan
for retaking the boat from the villains. Beausoleil thought the
undertaking too dangerous, but at length he gave his consent. Cacasotte
then whispered his plan to two others of the crew.

Dinner was served to the pirates on deck. Cacasotte took his place by
the bow of the boat, so as to be near the most dangerous of the
robbers. This robber was a powerful man, well armed. When Cacasotte saw
that the others had taken their places as he had directed, he gave the
signal, and then pushed the huge robber at his side into the water. In
three minutes the powerful Cacasotte had thrown fourteen of the robbers
into the waves. The other men had also done their best. The deck was
cleared of the pirates, who had to swim for their lives. The robbers
who remained in the boat were too few to resist. Beausoleil found
himself again master of his barge, thanks to the coolness and courage
of Cacasotte.

But the bargemen dared not go on up the river. Against the stream they
would have to go slowly, and there would be danger from the robbers
remaining at Cottonwood Creek: so they kept on down the river to New

The next year ten boats left New Orleans in company. These barges
carried small cannons, and their crew were all armed. When they reached
Cottonwood Creek, men were seen on shore; but when an armed force was
landed, the robbers had fled. The long, low hut which had been their
dwelling remained. There were also several flatboats loaded with
valuable goods taken from captured barges. This plunder was carried to
St. Louis, and restored to the rightful owners. For fifty years
afterwards this was known as "The Year of the Ten Boats." Cacasotte's
brave victory was not soon forgotten.



There are many people living who can remember when there were no
telegraphs such as we have now. The telephone is still younger.
Railroads are not much older than telegraphs. Horses and stagecoaches
were slow. How did people send messages quickly when there were no
telegraph wires?

When colonies in America were first settled by white people, there were
wars with the Indians. The Indians would creep into a neighborhood and
kill all the people they could, and then they would get away before the
soldiers could overtake them. But the white people made a plan to catch

Whenever the Indians attacked a settlement, the settler who saw them
first took his gun and fired it three times. Bang, bang, bang! went the
gun. The settlers who lived near the man who fired the gun heard the
sound. They knew that three shots following one another quickly, meant
that the Indians had come.

Every settler who heard the three shots took his gun and fired three
times. It was bang, bang, bang! again. Then, as soon as he had fired,
he went in the direction of the first shots. Every man who had heard
three shots, fired three more, and went toward the shots he had heard.
Farther and farther away the settlers heard the news, and sent it along
by firing so that others might hear. Soon little companies of men were
coming swiftly in every direction. The Indians were sure to be beaten
off or killed.

This was a kind of telegraph. But there were no wires; there was no
electricity; only one flint-lock musket waking up another flintlock
musket, till a hundred guns had been fired, and a hundred men were
marching to the battle.


The firing of signal guns was telegraphing by sound. It used only the
hearing. But there were other ways of telegraphing that used the sight.
These have been known for thousands of years. They were known even to
savage people.

The Indians on the plains use fires to telegraph to one another.
Sometimes they build one fire, sometimes they build many. When a war
party, coming back from battle, builds five fires on a hill, the
Indians who see it know that the party has killed five enemies.

But the Indians have also what are known as smoke signals. An Indian
who wishes to send a message to a party of his friends a long way off,
builds a fire. When it blazes, he throws an armful of green grass on
it. This causes the fire to send up a stream of white smoke hundreds of
feet high, which can be seen fifty miles away in clear weather. Among
the Apaches, one column of smoke is to call attention; two columns say,
"All is well, and we are going to remain in this camp;" three columns
or more are a sign of danger, and ask for help.

[Illustration: A Smoke Signal.]

Sometimes longer messages are sent. After building a fire and putting
green grass upon it, the Indian spread his blanket over it. He holds
down the edges, to shut the smoke in. After a few moments he takes his
blanket off; and when he does this, a great puff of smoke, like a
balloon, shoots up into the air. This the Indian does over and over.
One puff of smoke chases another upward. By the number of these puffs,
and the length of the spaces between them, he makes his meaning
understood by his friends many miles away.

At night the Indians smear their arrows with something that will burn
easily. One of them draws his bow. Just as he is about to let his arrow
fly, another one touches it with fire. The arrow blazes as it shoots
through the air, like a fiery dragon fly. One burning arrow follows
another; and those who see them read these telegraph signals, and know
what is meant.


Our forefathers sometimes used fire to telegraph with in the
Revolution. Whenever the British troops started on a raid into New
Jersey, the watchmen on the hilltops lighted great beacon fires. Those
who saw the fires lighted other fires farther away. These fires let the
people know that the enemy was coming, for light can travel much faster
than men on horseback.

Have you heard the story of Paul Revere? When the British were about to
send troops from Boston to Lexington, Revere and his friends had an
understanding with the people in Charlestown. Revere was to let them
know when the troops should march. They were to watch a certain church
steeple. If one lantern were hung in the steeple, it would mean that
the British were marching by land. If two lanterns were seen, the
Charlestown people would know that the troops were leaving Boston by
water. Revere was sent as a messenger to Lexington. He sent a friend of
his to hang up the lanterns in the church steeple.

    "Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
    By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
    To the belfry chamber overhead,
    And startled the pigeons from their perch
    On the somber rafters, that round him made
    Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
    By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
    To the highest window in the wall,
    Where he paused to listen and look down
    A moment on the roofs of the town,
    And the moonlight flowing over all."

Long before Paul Revere got across the water in his little boat, the
people on the other side had seen the lanterns in the tower. They knew
the British were coming, and were all astir when Paul Revere got over.
Revere rode on to Lexington and beyond, to alarm the people.

The lines above are from a poem of Longfellow's about this ride. The
poem is very interesting, but it does not tell the story quite

Paul Revere's lanterns were used at the beginning of the Revolutionary
War. There is a story of a different sort of telegraph used when the
war was near its end. It is told by a British officer who had not the
best means of knowing whether it was true or not. But it shows what
kind of telegraphs were used in that day. This is the story:--

[Illustration: Old North Church Steeple.]

A British army held New York. Another British army under Cornwallis was
at Yorktown in Virginia. General Washington had marched to Yorktown. He
was trying to capture the army of General Cornwallis. He was afraid
that ships and soldiers would be sent from New York to help Cornwallis.
But there were men in New York who were secretly on Washington's side.
One of these was to let him know when ships should sail to help

But Washington was six hundred miles away from New York. How could he
get the news before the English ships should get there? There were no
telegraphs. The fastest horses ridden one after another could hardly
have carried news to him in less than two weeks. But Washington had a
plan. One of the men who sent news to Washington was living in New
York. When the ships set sail, he went up on the top of his house and
hoisted a white flag, or something that looked like a white flag.

On the other side of the Hudson River in a little village a man was
watching this very house. As soon as he saw the white flag flapping, he
took up his gun and fired it. Farther off there was a man waiting to
hear this gun. When he heard it, he fired another gun. Farther on there
was the crack of another, and then another gun. By the firing of one
gun after another the news went southward. Bang, bang! went gun after
gun across the whole State of New Jersey. Then guns in Pennsylvania
took it up and sent the news onward. Then on across the State of
Maryland the news went from one gun to another, till it reached
Virginia, where it passed on from gun to gun till it got to Yorktown.
In less than two days Washington knew that ships were coming.

When Washington knew that British ships were coming, he pushed the
fighting at Yorktown with all his might. When the English ships got to
Chesapeake Bay at last, Cornwallis had already surrendered. The United
States was free. The ships had come too late.


The best telegraph known before the use of electricity, was invented by
two schoolboys in France. They were brothers named Chappé (shap-pay).
They were in different boarding schools some miles apart, and the rules
of their schools did not allow them to write letters to each other. But
the two schools were in sight of each other. The brothers invented a
telegraph. They put up poles with bars of wood on them. These bars
would turn on pegs or pins. The bars were turned up or down, or one up
and another down, or two down and one up, and so on. Every movement of
the bars meant a letter. In this way the two brothers talked to each
other, though they were miles apart. When the boys became men, they
sold their plan to the French Government. The money they got made their

[Illustration: A Mail Carrier.]

About the time they were selling this plan to the French Government, a
boy named Samuel Morse was born in this country. Fifty years later this
Samuel Morse set up the first Morse electric telegraph, which is the
one we now use.

In the old days before telegraph wires were strung all over the
country, it took weeks to carry news to places far away. There were no
railroads, and the mails had to travel slowly. A boy on a horse trotted
along the road to carry the mail bags to country places. From one large
city to another, the mails were carried by stagecoaches.

When the people had voted for President, it was weeks before the news
of the election could be gathered in. Then it took other weeks to let
the people in distant villages know the name of the new President.
Nowadays a great event is known in almost every part of the country on
the very day it happens.


The Natural Bridge has long been thought one of the great curiosities
of our country. It is in Virginia, and the county in which it is
situated is called Rockbridge County.

The traveler is riding in a stage on a wild road in the mountains. The
road grows narrow. Soon it is a mere lane, with high board fences and
small trees on each side. But the traveler sees nothing to show him
that he is on the wonderful Natural Bridge.

[Illustration: The Natural Bridge.]

The bridge that he is driving over is about forty feet thick, and of
solid rock. If he should go to the other side of the board fence, he
could look down into a ravine more than two hundred feet deep.

When the traveler goes down into the ravine, he looks up at the
beautiful curve of this great bridge of rock. The bridge is nearly one
hundred and seventy-five feet above his head.

Many years ago, when the writer of this book was a boy, he stood in the
dark chasm underneath this bridge and looked up at the great bridge of
rock above. He took a stone, as all other visitors do, and tried to
throw it so as to hit the arch of the bridge above. But the stone
stopped before it got halfway up, and fell back, resounding on the
rocks below. Then he was told the old story, that nobody had ever
thrown to the arch except George Washington, who had thrown a silver
dollar clear to the center of the bridge.

There were names scribbled all over the rocks. People are always trying
to write their own names in such strange places as this. Above all the
other names were two rows of mere scratches. If they had ever been
names, they were too much dimmed to be read by a person standing on the
rocks below. The lower of these two high names, the people said, was
the name of Washington. It was said that when he was a young man, he
climbed higher than any one else to scratch his name on the rock. And
the name above his, they said, was the name of a young man who had had
a strange adventure in trying to write his name above that of the
father of his country.

The story of this young man's climbing up the rocks used to appear in
the old schoolbooks. It was told with so many romantic additions, that
it was hard to believe.

The writer afterwards learned that the main fact of the story was true,
and, that the hero of the story was still living in Virginia.

This foolhardy boy, whose name was Pepper, climbed up the rock to write
his name above the rest. Pepper climbed up by holding to little broken
places in the rocks till he had got above the names of all the other
climbers. He ventured to climb till he had passed the marks which
people say are part of Washington's name. Here Pepper held fast with
one hand, while he scratched his name in the rock.

His companions were far below him. He could not get down again. The
rock face was too smooth. He could not stoop to put his hands down into
the cracks where his feet were. If he had tried to, he would have lost
his hold, and been dashed to pieces on the rocks below.

There was nothing to do now but to climb out from under the bridge, and
so up the face of the rock to the top of the gorge. He must do this or

Painfully clinging to the rock with his toes and his fingers, he worked
his way up. Sometimes a crevice in the rock helped him. Sometimes he
had to dig a place with his knife in order to get a hold. It seemed
that each step would be his last.

The few people living in the neighborhood heard of his situation, and
gathered below and above to look at him. They watched him with
breathless anxiety. His friends expected to see him dashed to pieces at
any moment.

As the time wore on, he worked his way up. He also got farther out from
under the bridge. He held on like a cat. He hooked his fingers into
every crack he could find. He dug holes with his dull knife. When he
could find a little bush in the rocks, he thought himself lucky.

Men let down ropes to him, but the ropes did not reach him. They tied
one rope to another so as to reach farther down, but he was too far
under the bridge. The people hardly dared to speak or to breathe.

At last he began to get out at the side of the bridge where he could be
seen from above. His strength was almost gone. His knife was too much
worn to be of any use. He could not cling to the rock much longer.

A rope with a noose in it was swung close to him. He let go his grip on
the rock, and threw his arms and body into the noose. In a moment he
swung clear of the rock, and dangled in the air. The rope drew tight
about his body and held him. Young Pepper knew no more. He was drawn up
over the rocks to the summit quite unconscious.

Years afterward he became a man of distinction in his State. But when
any of his friends asked Colonel Pepper about his climbing out from
under the Natural Bridge, he would say, "Yes; I did that when I was a
foolish boy, but I don't like to think about it."


In 1803 that part of our country which lies west of the Mississippi was
almost unknown to the white men. In that year the President sent
Captain Lewis and Captain Clark to see what the country was like. They
went up the Missouri River and across the Rocky Mountains. Then they
went down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. It took them more
than two years to make the trip there and back.

Lewis and Clark had about forty-five men with them. One of these men
was named Colter. In the very heart of the wild country he left the
party, and set up as a trapper. A trapper is a man who catches animals
in traps in order to get their skins to sell. The Blackfoot Indians
made Colter a prisoner. Colter knew a little of their language. He
heard them talking of how they should kill their prisoner. They thought
it would be fun to set him up and shoot at him with their arrows until
he was dead. At this time the Indians on the western plains had no
guns. But the Indian chief thought he knew a better way. He laid hold
of Colter's shoulder, and said,--

"Can you run fast?"

Colter could run very swiftly, but he pretended to the chief that he
was a bad runner. So they took him out on the prairie about four
hundred yards away from the Indians. There he was turned loose, and
told to run.

The whole band of Indians ran after him, yelling like wild beasts.
Colter did not look back. He had to run through thorns that hurt his
bare feet. But he was running for his life. Six miles away there was a
river. If he could get to that, he might escape.

He almost flew over the ground. At first he did not turn his head
round. When he had run about three miles, he glanced back. Most of the
Indians had lost ground. The best runners were ahead of the others. One
Indian, swifter than all the rest, was only about a hundred yards
behind him. This man had a spear in his hand to kill Colter as soon as
he should be near enough.


Poor Colter now ran harder than ever to get away from this Indian. At
last he was only about a mile from the river. He looked back, and saw
the swift Indian only twenty yards away, with his spear ready to throw.

It was of no use for Colter to keep on running. He turned round and
faced the swift runner, who was about to throw his spear. Colter spread
his arms wide, and stood still.

The Indian was surprised at this. He tried to stop running, so as to
kill the white man with his spear. But he had already run himself
nearly to death, and, when he tried to stop quickly, he lost his
balance, and fell forward to the ground. His lance stuck in the earth,
and broke in two.

Colter quickly pulled the pointed end of the spear out of the ground
and killed the fallen Indian. Then he turned and ran on toward the

The other Indians were coming swiftly behind; but, as they passed the
place where the first one lay dead, each of them stopped a moment to
howl over him, after their custom. This gave Colter a little more time.
He reached a patch of woods near the river. He ran through this to the
river, and jumped in He swam toward a little island.

Logs and brush had floated down the river, and lodged across the
island. This driftwood had formed a great raft. Colter dived under this
raft. He swam to a place where he could push his head up to get air,
and still be hidden by the brush.

The Indians were already yelling on the bank of the river. A moment
later they were swimming toward the island. When they reached the drift
pile, they ran this way and that. They looked into all the cracks and
tried to find the white man. They ran right over his hiding place.
Colter thought they would surely find him.

But after a long time they went away. Colter thought they would set
fire to the raft of driftwood, but they did not think of that. Perhaps
they thought that Colter had been drowned.

He lay still under the raft till night came. Then he swam down the
stream a long distance, left the stream, and went far out on the
prairie. Here he felt himself safe from his enemies.

But he had no clothes and no food. He had no gun to shoot animals with.
It was several days' journey to the nearest place where there were
white men, at a trading house.

Colter had nothing to eat but roots. The sun burned his skin in the
daytime. He shivered without a covering at night. The thorns hurt his
feet when he walked, but he found his way to the trading house at last.

He used to tell of wonderful things that he saw while traveling to the
trading house after he got away from the Indians. He saw springs that
were boiling hot and steaming. He saw fountains that would sometimes
spout hot water into the air for hundreds of feet.

These and many other wonderful things that he saw at this time he used
to tell about. But nobody believed his stories. Nobody had ever seen
anything of the kind in this country. When Colter would tell of these
things, those who heard him thought that he was making up stories, or
that he had been out of his head while traveling and had thought he saw
such wonders.

But after many long years the wonderful place which we call Yellowstone
Park was found, and in it were boiling and spouting springs. People
knew then that Colter had been telling the truth, and that he had
traveled through the Yellowstone country.

[Illustration: A Geyser.]


In old times white men had not made settlements in the country near the
Rocky Mountains. Tribes of Indians fought one another over that whole
region. A few bold white men, fond of wild life, lived there, in order
to hunt and trap the animals that bear furs. But they themselves were
always in danger of being hunted by the Indians.

The Indians called Blackfeet and those called Crows were at war; They
stole each other's horses at every chance, and the Indians of each
tribe were always seeking to kill those of the other.

In one of their attacks on the Blackfeet, the Crows carried off an
Indian girl. One of the bold trappers of the Rocky Mountains was a
Mexican. His name was Loretto. He visited a Crow village once, and saw
this girl. He fell in love with the captive, and bought her from the
Crows. Whether he paid for her in horses or in beaver skins, I do not
know. But from a slave of the enemies of her tribe she was changed to
the wife of a white man who loved her.

Loretto was hired to trap for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. This
company bought furs from the Indians of the Far West. They sent large
parties to the mountains every year with guns, knives, hatchets,
blankets, and other things, which they traded to the Indians for skins.

Loretto was marching over the plains with a party of trappers belonging
to this company. He had his young Blackfoot wife and his baby with him.
The white men were much afraid of the Blackfoot Indians. The company
that Loretto was with examined every ravine that they passed, for fear
that the Indians would surprise them.

One day a band of the Blackfoot tribe appeared on the prairie, but they
kept near some rocks to which they could easily retire. They made signs
of friendship. The trappers also made friendly signs. Then the
Blackfeet sent out a party with a pipe of peace. The white men sent out
a party to meet them. They smoked the pipe in the open ground between
the two companies. This is the Indian way of making peace.

Of course, Loretto's wife was much interested in the Blackfeet. They
were her own people. It had been a long time since she had seen one of
them. She looked closely at the company smoking together, and saw that
one of them was her brother. She handed the child to Loretto. Then she
rushed out to the place where the treaty was going on, and her brother
threw his arms about her with the greatest affection.


But just at that moment, Bridger, the captain of the white men, rode
out where the pipe was being smoked. He had his rifle across the pommel
of his saddle. The chief of the Blackfeet came up to shake hands with
him. Bridger was afraid the chief meant to hurt him, so he slyly cocked
his rifle. The chief heard the click, and seized the gun. He bent it
downwards, and the gun went off, shooting a bullet into the ground. The
chief took the gun and knocked Bridger off his horse with it. Then he
mounted Bridger's horse and galloped back to his Indians. Indians and
white men now got behind the rocks and trees which were not far away,
and began to shoot at each other.

Loretto's wife was carried away by her tribe. In vain she struggled to
get free, and begged to be allowed to go back to her husband and child.
The Indians would not let her go.

Loretto saw her struggles, and heard her cries. He took his child, and
ran to the Indians with it. He handed the child to its mother. The
Indian bullets and arrows were flying all about him.

The chief saw him carry the child across the open ground, and his heart
was touched. It was a noble action.

He said to Loretto, "You are crazy to go into such danger, but go back
in peace; you shall not be hurt."

Loretto begged to be allowed to take his wife with him, but her brother
would not let her go, and the chief now began to look angry.

"The girl belongs to her tribe," he said. "She shall not go back."

Loretto wanted to stay with his wife, but she begged him to go back,
lest he should be killed on the spot. At last he left her, and went
back to the white men.

Night came on, and the Indians drew off. Not much harm had been done to

Loretto could not be happy without his wife. A few months later, he
settled his accounts with the Fur Company and went away. He went boldly
into one of the villages of the savage Blackfeet. Here he found his
wife, and staid with her.

When the white men made peace with the Blackfeet, they set up a trading
house among them. Loretto joined the traders. They were glad to have
him, because he could speak the language of the tribe.


Here is a story the Indians tell. It is one of the tales with which
they amuse themselves in long evenings. It may be true. At least, the
Indians tell it for true.

An Indian chief of the tribe called Blackfoot, or Blackfeet, went over
the Rocky Mountains with a war party. He killed some of the enemies of
his tribe, and then started back. For fear their enemies would follow
their tracks, the party did not take the usual path. They went up over
the wildest part of the mountain. But when it came to going down on the
other side, the Indians had a hard time.

They had to clamber over great rocks and down the sides of cliffs.
Drifts of snow blocked their way in places. At last they had to stop.
They stood on the edge of a cliff. Below this cliff was a ridge or
shelf of rock. By tying themselves together, and so helping one another
down, they got to this shelf. Below this they found still another
cliff. It was harder to get down to this.

But when they had got down as far as this ledge, they were in a worse
plight than ever. They stood on the brink of a great cliff. The rocks
were too steep for them to get down. It was hundreds of feet to the

They tried to get back up the mountain, but that they could not do.
Then they sat down and looked over the brink of the cliff. There was no
chance for them to get down alive. They must stay there and starve.

The Indians filled their pipes with kinnikinnick, or willow bark, and
smoked. Then they knocked the ashes out of their pipes, and lay down to

But the chief did not sleep. He could not think of any way of getting
out of the trouble. When morning came, they all went and looked over
the cliff once more. Then they smoked again. After sitting silent for
some time, the chief laid down his pipe quietly, got to his feet, and
went to painting his face as if he were getting ready for a feast. He
arranged his dress with the greatest care. Then he made a little

"It is of no use to stay here and die," he said. "The Great Spirit is
not willing that we should get away. Let us die bravely."

He added other remarks of the same kind. Then he sang his death song.
When this was finished, he gave a shout, and leaped over the cliff.

When the chief had gone, the others sat down and smoked again in
silence. After a long time, a weather-beaten old Indian got up and
walked to the edge of the cliff.

"See," he said, "there is the soul of our chief, waiting for us to go
with him to the land of spirits."

The others looked over, and saw the form of a man far below, waving the
bough of a tree.

The old warrior now threw off his blanket and sang his death song. Then
he leaped off. The others again looked over, and this time they saw two
forms beckoning to them from below.


One after another the Indians jumped, until there were left but two
young men who were little more than boys. These two boys were nephews
of the chief. They had never been in a war party.

The elder of the two showed his young brother the ghosts of the whole
party standing below. He told his brother he must jump off, but the
frightened boy begged to be allowed to stay and die on the bare rock.

The elder seized him, and, after a struggle, pushed him over. Then he
quietly gathered up all the blankets and guns, and threw them off. He
thought the souls of his friends would need these things in their
journey to the land of spirits.

When this was done, the young man sang his own death song and jumped
off. Falling swiftly as an arrow, feet downward, he struck a great snow
drift at the bottom. It received him like an immense feather bed. He
sank in so far that he had hard work to get out. When he had succeeded,
he found all of his party, not spirits, as he had expected, but living
men, safe and sound. The snow had saved them from injury.


It is many years now since Captain Fremont made his great journey over
plains and mountains to California. At that time California belonged to
Mexico. The wild country east of it belonged to the United States.
There were hardly any roads and no railroads in the country west of the
Missouri River. Fremont was sent out to explore that country; that is,
he was sent to find out what kind of a country it was. The white people
knew very little about it.

Fremont had a large party of men with many horses. After months of
travel he found himself near the great Californian mountains. These
mountains are called the Sierra Nevada, or "Snowy Range."

Here some Indians came to see him. He had a talk with them by signs,
for he could not speak their language. They told him he could cross the
mountains in summer. They said it was "six sleeps" to the place where
the white men lived over the mountains. They meant that a man would
have to pass six nights on the road in going there. But it was now
winter, and they told him that no man could cross in the winter. They
held their hands above their heads to show him that the snow was deeper
than a man is tall.

But Fremont told the Indians that the horses of the white men were
strong, and that he would go over the mountains. He showed them some
bright-colored cloths, which he said he would give to any Indian who
would go along as a guide. The Indians called in a young man who said
he had been over the mountains and had seen the white people on the
other side. He agreed to go with Fremont. Fremont now talked to his
men, and told them there was a beautiful valley on the other side of
the mountains,--the valley of the Sacramento. He told them that Captain
Sutter had moved to this valley from Missouri, and had become a rich
man. It was but seventy miles to Sutter's Fort. The men agreed to try
to cross the mountains.

They had but little left to eat. They killed a dog and ate it that very
evening. They would not have much chance to get food in crossing the
mountains, but they started in bravely the next morning. They did not
talk much. They knew that it was very dangerous to cross the mountains
in February.

For days and days they fought their way through the snow, which got
deeper and deeper as they went higher up into the mountains. Traveling
grew harder and harder. The horses had nothing to eat but what could be
found in little patches of grass where the wind had blown the snow off
the ground. Whenever a horse or mule grew too weak to travel, the men
killed it and ate it.

One day an old Indian came to see them. He told them they must not go
on. He said, "Rock upon rock, rock upon rock, snow upon snow, snow upon
snow, and even if you get over the snow, you will not be able to get
down the mountain on the other side."

He made signs to show them that the walls of rock were straight up and
down, and that the horses would slip oft. This frightened the Indians
in Fremont's company, and one Indian covered up his head and moaned
while the old man was talking.

The young Indian guide was afraid to go on. He ran away the next day,
taking all the pretty things that Fremont had given him, and a blanket
that Fremont had lent him to keep warm.

The men now made snowshoes, so that they could walk over the snow
without sinking in. Sleds were made to draw the baggage on, for the
horses were getting too weak to carry anything. They found the snow
twenty feet deep in some places. The men had to make great mauls or
pounders to beat down the snow, to make a hard road on which the
animals could travel. Fremont's men now grew very hungry, for they had
little to eat except when they killed a starving mule or a dog.

At last the whole party reached the top of the mountains at a place
where they were nine thousand feet high. They had been three weeks in
getting to the top. They had yet the hard task of getting down on the
other side. But they could see the beautiful country of California
below them. They began to work their way down over the snow and rocks.

After some days Fremont took a party of eight men, and went on to get
provisions for the rest. But for a long distance he found no grass, and
his animals began to give out. One of his men grew so hungry and tired
that he became insane for a while. Another got lost from the party, and
found them only after several days. He told the rest that he had
suffered so much from hunger that he ate small toads, and even let the
large ants creep upon his hands so that he could eat them.

One day Fremont saw some Indian huts. The Indians ran away when they
saw the white men coming. Fremont found near these huts some great
baskets as big as hogsheads filled with acorns. Inside the huts he
found smaller baskets with roasted acorns in them. The men took about
half a bushel of these roasted acorns, and left a shirt, some
handkerchiefs, and some trinkets, to pay for them.

At last they came to a place where there were paths, and tracks of
cattle. The horses, having found grass to eat, grew strong enough for
the men to ride them. One day Fremont found some Indians, one of whom
could speak Spanish.

The Indian said, "I am a herdsman, and work for Captain Sutter."

"Where does he live?"

"Just over the hill. I will show you."

In a short time Fremont and his white men were at the house of Sutter.
But Captain Fremont rested only one night. The next morning he started
back with food for his starving men, who were coming on behind. The
second day after he left Sutter's he met his men.

They were a sad sight. They were all on foot. Each man was leading a
horse as weak and lean as he was himself. Many of the horses had fallen
off the rocks, and had been killed. Only half of the mules and horses
that had started over the mountains had lived to get across. As soon as
Fremont met his men, he told them to camp. He fed the poor starving
fellows beef and bread and fresh salmon. The next day they all reached
the beautiful Sacramento River, where the city of Sacramento now


California once belonged to Mexico. Then there was a war between this
country and Mexico. This is what we call the Mexican War. During that
war the United States took California away from Mexico. It is now one
of the richest and most beautiful States in the Union. In the old days,
when California belonged to Mexico, it was a quiet country. Nearly all
the white people spoke Spanish, which is the language of Mexico. They
lived mostly by raising cattle. In those days people did not know that
there was gold in California. A little gold had been found in the
southern part of the State, but nobody expected to find valuable gold
mines. A few people from the United States had settled in the country.
They also raised cattle.

Some time after the United States had taken California, peace was made
with Mexico. California then became a part of our country. About the
time that this peace was made, something happened which made a great
excitement all over the country. It changed the history of our country,
and changed the business of the whole world. Here is the story of it:--

A man named Sutter had moved from Missouri to California. He built a
house which was called Sutter's Fort. It was where the city of
Sacramento now stands. Sutter had many horses and oxen, and he owned
thousands of acres of land. He traded with the Indians, and carried on
other kinds of business.

But everything was done in the slow Mexican way. When he wanted boards,
he sent men to saw them out by hand. It took two men a whole day to saw
up a log so as to make a dozen boards. There was no sawmill in all

When Sutter wanted to grind flour or meal, this also was done in the
Mexican way. A large stone roller was run over a flat stone. But at
last Sutter thought he would have a grinding mill of the American sort.
To build this, he needed boards. He thought he would first build a
sawmill. Then he could get boards quickly for his grinding mill, and
have lumber to use for other things.

Sutter sent a man named Marshall to build his sawmill. It was to be
built forty miles away from Sutter's Fort. The mill had to be where
there were trees to saw.

Marshall was a very good carpenter, who could build almost anything. He
had some men working with him. After some months they got the mill
done. This mill was built to run by water.

But when he started it, the mill did not run well. Marshall saw that he
must dig a ditch below the great water wheel, to carry off the water.
He hired wild Indians to dig the ditch.

When the Indians had partly dug this ditch, Marshall went out one
January morning to look at it. The clear water was running through the
ditch. It had washed away the sand, leaving the pebbles bare. At the
bottom of the water Marshall saw something yellow. It looked like
brass. He put his hand down into the water and took up this bright,
yellow thing. It was about the size and shape of a small pea. Then he
looked, and found another pretty little yellow bead at the bottom of
the ditch.

Marshall trembled all over. It might be gold. But he remembered that
there is another yellow substance that looks like gold. It is called
"fool's gold." He was afraid he had only found fool's gold.

Marshall knew that if it was gold it would not break easily. He laid
one of the pieces on a stone; then he took another stone and hammered
it. It was soft, and did not break. If it had broken to pieces,
Marshall would have known that it was not gold.

In a few days the men had dug up about three ounces of the yellow
stuff. They had no means of making sure it was gold.

Then Marshall got on a horse and set out for Sutter's Fort, carrying
the yellow metal with him. He traveled as fast as the rough road would
let him. He rode up to Sutler's in the evening, all spattered with mud.

He told Captain Sutter that he wished to see him alone. Marshall's eyes
looked wild, and Sutter was afraid that he was crazy. But he went to a
room with him. Then Marshall wanted the door locked. Sutter could not
think what was the matter with the man.

[Illustration: Weighing the First Gold.]

When he was sure that nobody else would come in, Marshall poured out in
a heap on the table the little yellow beads that he had brought.

Sutter thought it was gold, but the men did not know how to tell
whether it was pure or not. At last they hunted up a book that told how
heavy gold is. Then they got a pair of scales and weighed the gold,
putting silver dollars in the other end of the scales for weights. Then
they held one end of the scales under water and weighed the gold. By
finding how much lighter it was in the water than out of the water,
they found that it was pure gold.

All the men at the mill promised to keep the secret. They were all
digging up gold when not working in the mill. As soon as the mill
should be done, they were going to wash gold.

But the secret could not be kept. A teamster who came to the mill was
told about it. He got a few grains of the precious gold.

When the teamster got back to Sutter's Fort, he went to a store to buy
a bottle of whisky, but he had no money. The storekeeper would not sell
to him without money. The teamster then took out some grains of gold.
The storekeeper was surprised. He let the man have what he wanted. The
teamster would not tell where he got the gold. But after he had taken
two or three drinks of the whisky, he was not able to keep his secret.
He soon told all he knew about the finding of gold at Sutter's Mill.

The news spread like fire in dry grass. Men rushed to the mill in the
mountains to find gold. Gold was also found at other places. Merchants
in the towns of California left their stores. Mechanics laid down their
tools, and farmers left their fields, to dig gold. Some got rich in a
few weeks. Others were not so lucky.

Soon the news went across the continent. It traveled also to other
countries. More than one hundred thousand men went to California the
first year after gold was found, and still more poured in the next
year. Thousands of men went through the Indian country with wagons. Of
course, there were no railroads to the west in that day.

Millions and millions of dollars' worth of gold was dug. In a short
time California became a rich State. Railroads were built across the
country. Ships sailed on the Pacific Ocean to carry on the trade of
this great State. Every nation of the earth had gold from California.

And it all started from one little, round, yellow bead of gold, that
happened to lie shining at the bottom of a ditch, on a cold morning not
so very long ago.


The Colorado River is the strangest river in the United States. For
hundreds of miles it runs through channels in solid rocks. These
channels are often thousands of feet deep. In some places the rocks
rise straight up like walls. These walls are quite bare. There are no
trees and no grass on them. There is not even any moss to be seen. The
bare rocks are of many colors. When the sunlight strikes upon them,
they are as beautiful as flowers and as gorgeous as the clouds, we are

These deep cuts, through which the river runs, are called canyons. The
longest of them is called the Grand Canyon (see frontispiece). It is
about two hundred miles long. In some places it is more than a mile and
a quarter deep. The river runs at the bottom of this deep ravine. It
rushes over rapids, and plunges over falls. Sometimes there is a little
strip of rock like a shelf at the edge of the river. In many places the
walls of rock rise straight from the water, and there is no place where
a man can put his feet.

Major Powell resolved to go through this canyon in boats. No boat had
ever gone down this deep, dark channel. Two men, running away from
Indians, had once gone into it on a raft. The raft was dashed over
rapids and waterfalls. The provisions of the men were washed overboard.
One of the men was drowned, and the other at last floated out at the
lower end of the canyon more dead than alive.

Being a man of science, Major Powell wanted to find out about the Grand
Canyon. He knew that it would be a fearful journey. He and his men
might all be lost, but they made up their minds to try to go through.

They did not know how long the canyon was. They had already passed
through the other canyons above, and had suffered many hardships. They
knew how wild and dangerous such places are, but whether they could
ever get through this great and awful gorge they did not know. But they
got into their boats, and started down the long passage. The sun shines
down into this narrow gorge only for a short time each day. Most of the
way the walls are too steep to climb.

The boats shot swiftly down the river. Sometimes they ran over wild
rapids. The men had many narrow escapes. The boats bumped against the
rocks, and some of the oars were broken. New oars had to be made, and,
to do this, the men had to find logs that had drifted down the river.
Sometimes Major Powell and his men had to have pitch to stop the leaks
in their boats. To get this, they had to climb up thousands of feet of
rock to where some little pine trees grew.

They could not see far ahead, because the river was not straight, and
the side walls of the narrow gorge shut out the view. Sometimes they
would hear a loud roaring of water ahead. Then they knew they were
coming to a waterfall. If there was any room to walk, they would carry
and drag their boat round the falls. If there was no shelf or shore on
which to carry the boats, they had to let them float down over the
falls, the men on the rocks above holding ropes tied to the boats.
Sometimes they could not even do this. Then they had to get into the
boats and plunge over the falls among the rocks. They had hard work to
keep off the rocks.

More than once a boat got full of water. The men had to let the boat
run till they got to a wider place, where they could get the water out.

Their flour was spoiled by getting wet. Their bacon became bad. Much of
their food was lost overboard. They usually slept out on the rocks by
the side of the river. Sometimes they slept in caves. Once they sat up
all night on a shelf of rock in a pouring rain.

All day they had to work, to save their lives. At night they had to
sleep on cold rocks without blankets enough to keep them warm. The
great rock walls on either side of them made an awful prison. They
could not tell how far they had gone, nor did they know just how far
they had to go.

At last the food ran short. The men were tired of musty flour. They had
lost their baking powder, and they had to make heavy bread. They
thought that even this bad food would give out before they could reach
the end of the canyon.

But one day they came to a little patch of earth by the side of the
river. On this some corn was growing. The Indians living on the bare
rocks above had come down by some steep path to plant this little
cornfield. The corn was not yet large enough to eat. But among the corn
grew some green squashes.

Major Powell's men were too near starving not to take anything they
could find to eat. They took some of the green squashes and put them
into their boats. Then they ran on down the canyon, out of the reach of
any Indians. Here they stewed some of the squashes, and ate them.

When they had been fifteen days in this great canyon, they had but a
little flour and some dried apples left. They had now come to a place
where one could climb up out of the gorge. But they did not know how
far they were from the end. Three of the men here resolved to leave the
party. They did not believe that there was any hope of running out of
the canyon in the boats alive. They took their share of the food and
some guns, and bade the others good-by. They climbed up out of the
canyon, and were soon after killed by Indians.

One of the boats was by this time nearly worn out by the rocks. As
there were not enough men left to manage three boats, this one was left
behind. Major Powell, with those of his men who were still with him,
went on down the awful river. The very next day they ran suddenly out
into an open space. They had at last got out of the Grand Canyon, which
had held them prisoners for sixteen days.

They went on down the river, and the next day after this they found
some settlers drawing a seine or net to catch fish in the river. These
settlers had heard that Major Powell and his men were lost, and they
were keeping a lookout for any pieces of his boats that might float
down from above. Food of many kinds was sent from the nearest
settlement to feast the hungry men who had so bravely struggled through
the Grand Canyon.


George Northrup was but a boy of fifteen when his father died. Having
nothing to keep him at home, he went to the Indian country, which at
that time was in Minnesota. He had a boyish notion that he could go
through to the Pacific Ocean by making his way from one tribe to
another. When he was eighteen years old, a few years before the Civil
War, he tried to make this journey. He loaded his provisions into a
handcart, and took a big dog along for company. For thirty-six days he
did not see anybody, or hear any voice but his own. Then he found paths
made by Indian war parties. He knew, that, if one of these parties
should find him, he would be killed.

One morning he found all his food stolen from his handcart. Either
Indians or wolves had taken it. He now saw how foolish his boyish plan
had been. He turned back, and at last reached a trading post, almost
starved to death. For days he had had little to eat except such frogs
as he could catch.

After this the Indians always called him

As he grew older, he became a famous trapper and guide. He knew all
about the habits of animals. He could shoot with a better aim than any
Indian or any other white man on the frontier. He often walked eighty
miles in a day across the prairie. He could manage the Indians as no
other man could.

This strange young man lived among rough and wicked men. But he never
drank or swore, or did anything that anybody could have thought wrong.
He never even smoked, as other men about him did, but he lived his own
life in his own way. Everybody loved him for his gentleness. Everybody
admired him for his courage and manliness. All the spare money he got
he spent for good books.

When winter time came, he would sometimes hire other trappers, who did
not know the country so well as he did, to work for him. He would go
away beyond the settlements and set up a camp. He would teach the other
men how to trap. When spring came, he would bring many furs into the
settlement. One winter he camped in the country of the Yankton Indians.
He had six men with him. The Yanktons were wild Indians, and Northrup
was in some danger. But he had a friend among the Indians, a chief
called by a good long name, Taw-ton-wash-tah.

But all the Yanktons were not friendly to the white men. There was one
chief whose name was Old-man. He got together a party to go and rob
Northrup and drive him away. Taw-ton-wash-tah tried to keep these
Indians from going, but he could not do it.

Northrup did not know that a party had been sent out against him. His
men went on with their trapping, while George went hunting to get food
for them. They had only a small bag of flour, and this they did not
eat. They kept the flour for a time that might come in which they could
not find any animals to kill for meat.

One day George followed the tracks of an elk. He overtook it six miles
from his camp. He crept up to it and shot it. Then he loaded his gun,
so as to be ready for anything that might happen. While he was skinning
the elk, he looked up and saw the heads of Indians coming up over a
little hill. He quickly jumped into the bushes. He saw that there were
thirteen Indians in the party. He put his hand on his bullet pouch, and
knew by the feeling of it that there were fifteen bullets in the bag.
"Every bullet must bring down an Indian," he said to himself.

One of the Indians called out in his own language, "Is
The-man-that-draws-the-handcart here?"

George quickly replied in their language, "Stop! If any man comes one
step nearer, I will kill him. Tell me whether this is a war party or a
hunting party."

One of the Indians stepped out in front and fired off both barrels of
his gun. This was a sign of friendship.

Northrup did not think this offer of peace worth much; but, if he
refused it, he would have to fight against thirteen Indians. He could
only accept it by firing off both barrels of his gun. This would leave
him with his gun unloaded.

But he slipped the cap off one barrel of his gun. Then he fired the
other barrel, and brought down the hammer of the one from which he had
taken the cap, so as to make it seem that that barrel of his gun was
empty. Then he slyly slipped the cap back on his gun, so as to have one
barrel ready for use.

He went with the Indians to their camp, where he was a kind of
prisoner, but he managed to load the empty barrel of his gun by going
behind a tree where the Indians could not see him.

He knew that the Indians would try to get to his camp before he did. As
his men did not know how to manage Indians, the Indians could steal
everything in the camp. If they should take his provisions, George and
his men might starve on the prairies, which were covered with snow.

So George made up his mind that he must get to his camp before the
Indians, or lose his life in trying.

He said to the chief, "Old-man, I am going home."

He did not wait for an answer, but started along the trail leading to
his camp. He expected the Indians to shoot him, but they only fell into
line and marched behind him.

George knew that if the Indians got into the camp with him, they would
find everything scattered about. Before he could get things together,
they would steal most of them. So he tried once more what he could do
by boldness. He turned and said to the chief, "My men are new men. They
do not know Indians. If you should go in with me, they might shoot. It
is better that I should go in first, and tell them that you come as

Old-man said "Ho," which is the way that a Yankton has of saying "All

Northrup went into the camp, and gathered everything together in one
place, and told his men to keep watch over the things. The Indians
staid about the camp two days, trying to get a chance to rob the white
men, but Northrup kept his eye on them. Once he found one of his men
without a gun.

"Where is your gun?" he said.

"The Indians are sitting on it," said the man. "They will not give it

George found several Indians sitting on the gun. He took hold of the
gun and looked at the Indians. They all got up. It seemed that they
could not help doing what he wanted them to do. Northrup gave the gun
back to its owner, and told him not to let it go out of his hands

George had a fine double-barreled rifle. An English gentleman whose
guide he had been had sent him this gun from London. When he was in his
tent one day, he heard the Indians on the outside of it disputing who
should have his gun. He knew by this that they meant to kill him.

George patted his rifle as though it had been an old friend, and said,
"Well, old gun, whoever gets you will have to be quick." After that his
hand was always on his gun, and his eye was always on the Indians.

He asked his men where the sack of flour was.

"Old-man has it," said one of his men.

To let the chief keep the flour was to run the risk of starving, but
Northrup knew that if he took it away there might be a battle. He
stepped up to the chief and took the bag of flour from his side and
started away without saying a word.

[Illustration: "You shall go South!"]

"Man-that-draws-the-handcart," said the chief angrily, "bring back my

George stopped, and opened his coat. He pointed toward his heart and

"Old-man, if you want to kill me, shoot me, but you shall not take away
my flour and leave me to starve."

"Very well," said the chief sternly, "then,
Man-that-draws-the-handcart, you shall go south."

In the language of these Indians, to go south means to die. They think
the soul journeys to the southward after death. Old-man meant to say
that Northrup should die.

"Very well," said George, looking the Indian in the eye, "I will go
south, then; but if I go south, you shall go with me, and just as many
more as I can take. Remember, Old-man, you must go south if I do."

Old-man knew Northrup very well. He knew that if anybody tried to kill
him, George's sure aim would be taken at Old-man first of all. George
had also told all of his men to shoot the chief if there should be any

After lingering for two days, the Indians stole a bag of chopped
buffalo meat, or pemmican, and an old gun. With these they went off,
and George hurried away to a better camping place, where they could not
find him again.


Out in the country we now call North Dakota there once lived an Indian
known as "Lazy-man." When he was young, he had been lazy about hunting.
When the other Indians had skins to sell, the lazy Indian had nothing.
He grew poor. His blanket was ragged. His leggings were worn out. His
wigwam was so wretched that all the tribe laughed at its tumble-down

Every winter the tribe went off to the great plains to hunt buffalo.
They took their little ponies along, to carry home what they got. They
brought back the skins of the buffaloes and buffalo meat dried over a
fire. They also brought back pemmican, which is made by chopping
buffalo meat very fine, and mixing it with the tallow from the animal.
Lazy-man was ashamed to go on the hunt. He had no ponies to carry the
meat and the skins he might get.

One winter, when the tribe went off on its regular hunt, Lazy-man and
his wife staid behind as usual. They sat lonesome in their teepee, as a
wigwam is called in their language. The weather grew colder. It was
hard to find anything to eat. The lake near them was frozen, so that
they could not fish. There were not many animals living in the country
about. The lazy Indian and his wife were nearly starved.

[Illustration: Buffaloes.]

The buffaloes had never come down to this lake shore. But one day the
lazy Indian looked out and saw a herd of them coming. They were running
out on the point of land where his teepee stood. He knew that when they
got to the ice on the lake they would turn back.

"Quick, quick!" he called to his wife. The two ran right into the midst
of the herd. It was a dangerous thing to do, but they were so hungry
and miserable that they did not mind the danger. By running into the
herd they separated the buffaloes out on the point from the rest.

When the buffaloes on the point came to the ice, they paused and turned
back. They were soon running in the other direction, but the lazy
Indian and his wife faced the animals as they came. They waved their
ragged blankets at the buffaloes. They shouted in Indian fashion,
"Yow-wow, yow-wow, yow-wow!" They ran to and fro, waving and shouting.

Once more the buffaloes stopped and looked. Lazy-man and his wife now
ran at them, throwing their blankets in the air, and yelling more
wildly than ever. The scared buffaloes turned about again. They were so
badly frightened this time that they ran out on the ice on the lake.

The ice was as smooth as glass. The buffaloes could not stand up on it.
One after another they slipped and fell. The lazy Indian was not lazy
that day. He saw a chance to get out of his poverty. He ran about on
the ice, killing the buffaloes.

For many days he and his squaw worked. They skinned the buffaloes, and
dried the skins. They prepared the stomachs of the buffaloes, and
stuffed them with the chopped meat, making it look like great sausages
as big as pillows. They put a few cranberries in with the meat to give
the pemmican a good taste. Then they poured the smoking fat of the
buffalo into this great sausage. The fat filled up the small spaces.
When it got cold, the pemmican sack was almost as hard as a stone. It
could be cut only by chopping it with a tomahawk.

At last spring came, and the tribe came home from the hunt. You may
suppose that Lazy-man was proud that day. Instead of being the poor
beggar whom everybody laughed at, he was now one of the rich men in the
tribe. He had more buffalo robes and more pemmican than any other man
in the village. He exchanged his buffalo robes for ponies. After that
he always went on the hunt, and lived like the other Indians. He did
not wish to sink into laziness and poverty again.



Peter Petersen was a very little boy living in Minnesota. He lived on
the very edge of the Indian country when the Indian War of 1862 broke

Settlers were killed in their cabins before they knew that a war had
begun. As the news spread, the people left their houses, and hurried
into the large towns. Some of them saw their houses burning before they
got out of sight. The roads were crowded with ox wagons full of women
and children.

Peter Petersen's father was a Norwegian settler. When the news of the
Indian attack came, Peter's father hitched up his oxen, and put his
wife and daughters and little Peter into the wagon. They drove the oxen
hard, and got to Mankato in safety.

The town was crowded with frightened people. Many were living in
woodsheds and barns. In their hurry, these country people had not
brought food enough with them. Before long they began to suffer hunger.

Peter Petersen's father thought of the potato field he had at home. If
he could only go back to his house long enough to dig his potatoes, his
family would have enough to eat.

When he made up his mind to go, Peter wanted to go along with him. As
there were now soldiers within a mile of his farm, Peter's father
thought the Indians would not be so bold as to come there. So he and
Peter went back to the little house.

The next morning Peter's father went out to dig potatoes. Peter, who
was but five years old, was asleep in his bed. He was awakened by the
yells of Indians. He ran to the door just in time to see his father
shot with an arrow.

Little Peter ran like a frightened rabbit to the nearest bushes. The
Indians chased him and caught him. They were amused to see him run, and
they thought he would be a funny little plaything to have. So they just
set him up on the back of a cow, and drove the cow ahead of them. They
laughed to see Peter trying to keep his seat on the cow's back.


The little boy lived among the Indians for weeks. They did not give him
anything to eat. When he came into their tents to get food, they would
knock him down. But he would pick up something to eat at last, and then
run away. When he could not get any food, he would go out among the
cows the Indians had taken from the white people. Little as he was, he
would manage to milk one of the cows. He had no other cup to catch the
milk in but his mouth. Whenever any of the Indians threatened to kill
him, he would run away and dodge about between the legs of the cows or
among the horses, so as to get out of their way. Sometimes he was so
much afraid that he slept out in the grass, in the dew or rain.

After some weeks, Peter and the other captives were retaken by the
white soldiers sent to fight the Indians. But the poor little boy could
speak no language but Norwegian. He could not tell whose child he was,
nor where he came from. His mother and sisters had left the dangerous
country near the Indians. They had gone to Winona, a hundred and fifty
miles away. One of his sisters heard somebody read in the paper that
such a little boy had been taken from the Indians. The kind-hearted
doctor in whose house she lived tried to find the boy, but nobody could
tell what had become of little Peter. His family at last gave up all
hope of seeing him again.

When Peter was taken by the soldiers, he had worn out all his clothes
in traveling through the prairie grass. He had nothing on him but part
of a shirt. The soldiers took an old suit of uniform and made him some
clothes. He was soon dressed from top to toe in army blue.

He was as much of a plaything for the soldiers as he had been for the
Indians. They laughed at his pranks, as they might have done if he had
been a monkey. He passed from one squad of soldiers to another. They
fed him on hard-tack, and shared their blankets with him. He was the
pet and plaything of them all. But after a while the Indians were
driven away from the settlements, and the soldiers were ordered to the
South, for it was in the time of the Civil War.

The regiment that Peter happened to be with got on a steamboat, and
Peter went aboard with them. The soldiers knew that if Peter should be
taken to the South, he would be farther than ever away from his
friends. So the soldiers made up their minds to put him ashore at
Winona. It was the last place at which he would find Norwegian people.
To put such a little fellow ashore in a large and busy place like this
was a hard thing to do. Peter was hardly more than a baby, and he could
not speak English. He stood about as much chance of starving to death
here as he had in the Indian camp.

When the boat landed at Winona, the soldiers gave some money to one of
the hotel porters, and told him to give the child something to eat, and
send him out into the country where there were Norwegian people. But as
soon as Peter had eaten the dinner they gave him at the hotel, he
slipped away, and went back to the river. He expected to find his
friends, the soldiers, waiting for him; but the boat had gone. Peter
was now in a strange city, without friends. Not without friends,
either, for his sisters were in this same city. But he did not think
any more of getting to his mother or his sisters. He was only thinking
of the soldiers who had been so kind to him.

When the next boat came down the river, Peter Petersen, in his little
blue uniform, marched aboard. He thought he might overtake the
soldiers, but the boatmen put him ashore again. He stood gazing after
the boat, not knowing what to do or where to go.

There stood on the bank that day a Norwegian. He was a guest at the
Norwegian hotel in the town. He heard Peter say something in his own
language, and he thought the boy must be a son of the man who kept the
hotel. So he said to him in Norwegian, "Let's go home."

It had been a long time since Peter had heard his own language spoken.
Nobody had said anything to him about home since he was taken away from
his father's cabin by the Indians. The words sounded sweet to him. He
followed the strange man. He did not know where he was going, except
that it was to some place called home. When he got to the hotel, he
went in and sat down. He did not know what else to do.

Presently the landlady came in. Seeing a strange little boy in army
blue, she said, "Whose child are you?"

Peter did not know whose child he was. Since the soldiers left him, he
didn't seem to be anybody's child. As he did not answer, the landlady
spoke to him rather sharply.

"What do you want here, little boy?" she said.

"A drink of water," said Peter.

A little boy nearly always wants a drink of water.

"Go through into the kitchen there, and get a drink," said the

Peter opened the door into the kitchen, and went through. In a moment
two arms were about him. Peter knew what home meant then. His sister,
Matilda, had recognized her lost brother Peter in the little soldier
boy. The next day he was put into a wagon and sent out to Rushford,
where his mother was living. The wanderings of the little captive were


Three great inventors in this country were portrait painters. Fulton,
the builder of steamboats, was one of them; Morse, who planned our
first electric telegraph, was another; and Alvan Clark, who found out a
way of making the largest and finest telescopes in the world, was

Alvan Clark was the son of a farmer. When he was eighteen years old, he
set to work to learn engraving and drawing. He had no teacher. After a
while he began to draw portraits. Once he sent to Boston to get some
brushes to paint with. When the brushes came, there was a piece of
newspaper wrapped round them. In this bit of newspaper was an
advertisement that engravers were wanted. He went to Boston, and found
regular work as an engraver.

When he was not busy engraving, he was studying painting. After some
years he became a painter of portraits and miniatures. He lived at
Cambridgeport, near Boston.

While Mr. Clark was living at Cambridgeport, his son was at a boarding
school. The young boy had become interested in telescopes. He learned
that there were two kinds of these instruments. One brought the stars
near by showing them in a curved mirror. The other magnified by means
of glasses that the light shone through. He had read that it was very
hard to grind these glasses or lenses, as they are called, so that they
would be correct. The telescope that used the mirror was not so good,
but it was easier to make. So George Clark made up his mind that he
would make a reflecting telescope; that is, one with a mirror in it.

The mirror in such a telescope is made of polished metal. One day
somebody broke the dinner bell at the boarding school. George dark
picked up the pieces of brass and took them home.

These pieces of brass he put into a retort. A retort is a vessel that
will bear great heat, and that is used for melting metals and other
substances. Young Clark put some tin into the retort with the brass.
When the two metals were melted together, he poured the liquid into a
mold. When it became cold, it was a round flat piece. Such a piece is
called a disc.

Alvan Clark, the father, was a very ingenious man. He was a fine
marksman. One reason that he could shoot so well was that his eye was
so true. Another was that he made his own rifles, and made them better
than others.

When Mr. Clark found his son trying to make a telescope out of the
pieces of a bell, he became interested in telescopes. He studied all
about them in order to help the boy with his work. He helped his son
grind the metal disc into a concave mirror; that is, a mirror that is a
little dish-shaped. With this they made a telescope with which they
could see the rings of Saturn, and the little moons that revolve round

After Mr. Clark had made this little telescope, he made larger
reflecting telescopes that were very powerful. But he found that no
telescope with a mirror in it could be very good.

He now said to his son that they would make a refracting telescope;
that is, one in which no mirror is used, but which brings the distant
stars to the sight by the light shining through lenses. Lenses are
large glasses that are regularly thicker in one part than in another.
The glasses you see in spectacles are small lenses.

George Clark, the son, told his father that the books said that the
grinding of such glasses was very difficult. Mr. Clark would not give
it up because it was hard. He liked to do hard things. He had already
spent a great part of his money trying to make good reflecting
telescopes; but he made up his mind to give them up, and try to make a
better kind. He first looked through the great telescope just put up
for Harvard College. The large lens in this telescope was not perfect,
and Mr. Clark's eye was so good that he could see what the small fault
was. When he heard that twelve thousand dollars had been paid for this
glass, he was encouraged to try to make such lenses. But there was
nobody in this country who could show him how to do it.

He first got some poor lenses out of old telescopes. These he worked
over, and made them better. By this means he learned how to do it. Then
he got some discs of glass and made some new lenses. These were the
best ever made in this country. But he was not satisfied. He kept on
making better and larger lenses. With one of these he discovered two
double stars, as they are called. These had never been seen to be
double before.

But nobody in America would believe that some of the best telescopes in
the world were made in this country, for even the English astronomers
had to get their telescopes in Germany.

With one of his telescopes, larger than any he had made before, Mr.
Clark now made a new discovery. He wrote about this to an English
astronomer named Dawes. Mr. Dawes thought that a telescope that could
make such a discovery would be worth having, so he bought the large
lens out of this new telescope. Then he bought other glasses from Mr.
Clark, and sold them again to other astronomers. In this way Mr. Clark
became famous in England.

[Illustration: Telescopic View of the Moon.]

Mr. Clark had given up painting. He put his whole heart into making the
best telescopes in the world. He went to England and saw the great
astronomers, and looked through their telescopes.

They were glad to see the man who made the best lenses in the world.
His telescopes had helped them to find out many new things never seen
before. By this time Mr. Clark was coming to be known in his own
country. He got an order to make the largest glass ever made for a
telescope in the whole world. This was to be put up in America. Nobody
had ever dreamed of making so large and powerful a telescope.

After a long time the great glass for this telescope was ground. Mr.
Clark set it up to try it. His younger son, Alvan, who was helping him,
turned the telescope so as to look at the bright star Sirius. As soon
as he had looked, he cried out in surprise, "Why, father, the star has
a companion!" Sirius is a sun. It has a satellite, a dark star like our
world revolving round it. Nobody had ever been able to see this dark
star before. But this telescope was stronger than any that had ever
been pointed at the sky.

Mr. Clark now looked through the tube himself. Sure enough, there was
the companion of Sirius, never seen before by anybody on the earth. The
large glass which had been a year in making had won its first victory.
But Mr. Clark made much larger glasses even than that one. He had
nobody to show him how. But by patient thought and hard work he had
made the greatest telescopes in the world. Medals and other honors were
sent to him from many countries.


[Illustration: Scene in Alaska.]

The Copper River of Alaska flows from north to south into the ocean.
The Yukon River, which is farther north, runs from the east toward the
west. It was known that the waters of these two rivers must be near
together at the place from which they started in the mountains, but it
was not known whether anybody could pass from the valley of the Copper
River over the mountains into the valley of the Yukon. A scouting party
was sent to find out whether the crossing from one river to the other
could be made. This party returned, saying that it was impossible to
pass from the Copper River to the Yukon, because the mountains were too
high and steep.

In 1885 General Miles sent Lieutenant Allen to try to find a pass from
the valley of the Copper River to that of the Yukon. Lieutenant Allen
was a very determined man. He set out with the resolution to find some
way of crossing the mountains, however much labor and suffering it
might cost. He took two soldiers, and had two other white men with him,
and he got Indians to go with him from place to place as he could. The
party started up the Copper River in March. From the first their
sufferings were very great. They had to travel day after day, and sleep
night after night, with their clothes wet to the skin. They soon found
that they could not take their canoe, on account of the ice. They had
to leave most of their provisions, because they could not carry them.
Some nights they sat up all night in the rain.

But when they got to a country where it was not raining all the time,
they had a way of keeping dry at night. They had brought along sleeping
bags. These were made of waterproof linen. Each bag was a little longer
than a man. It had draw strings at the top. They put a folded blanket
inside, and then pushed the blanket down with their feet so that it
would wrap about them and keep them warm. Then they drew the strings
about the top. This kept the body dry.

They suffered a great deal from hunger. There were very few animals in
the country where they were, and most of the Indians they found had but
little to eat. Lieutenant Allen's party were sometimes glad to pick up
scraps of decayed meat or broken bones about an Indian camp to make a
meal on. Much of the meat and fish they had to eat was badly spoiled.
They grew so weak that it was hard for them to climb up a hill,
carrying their guns and their food. They sometimes reeled like drunken
men when they walked.

They would have perished from hunger if they had not had a man with
them who knew how to stop the rabbits when they were running. This man
could make a little cry just like a rabbit's cry. Whenever a rabbit
heard this sound, he would stop and look round for a moment. Then the
hunter would have a chance to shoot him.

But these rabbits were so small and so lean that it took four or five
of them to make a meal for a man. At one place the party were so hungry
that an Indian who was with them fainted away. When they reached a
house soon after, where there lived a chief named Nicolai, they found a
five-gallon kettle full of meat boiling on the fire. They drank large
quantities of the broth, and ate about five pounds of meat apiece. Much
of this meat was pure tallow from the moose. They all fell asleep
immediately after eating. When they awaked, they were almost as hungry
as before.

At last they reached the head waters of the Copper River. Here they
found the hungry Indians waiting for the salmon to come up from the
sea, as they do every year. As long as the salmon are in the river, the
Indians have plenty to eat. So they kept dipping their net, hoping to
catch some salmon. At last one little salmon was caught. It was a thin,
white-looking little fish. The Indians now knew that in two or three
days they would have plenty. They hung their little fish on a spruce
bough, and they kept visiting it, singing to it with delight. The white
men did not wait for the salmon to arrive.

From this place they left the Copper River, and started to cross the
mountains. This was the pass through which it was said that nobody
could go. Lieutenant Allen and his men were obliged to carry provisions
with them. Part of the provisions they carried themselves: the rest
they packed on dogs. This is a way of carrying things used only in
Alaska. A pack is strapped on a dog's back just as though he were a
mule, and with this the little dog goes on a long journey through the

[Illustration: A Dog Pack Train.]

The party started over the mountains in June. At this season of the
year in that country the sun shines almost all night, and it is never
dark. Lieutenant Allen's party traveled either by day or by night, as
they pleased, as there was always light enough.

When they got to the foot of the last mountains they had to climb, they
found a little lake. Here they got some fish to eat, but the salmon had
not come yet. They hired some Indians to go with them, and divided the
weight of everything into packs. Every man carried a pack, and every
dog carried as much as he could bear. As they climbed the mountains,
they could look back over the beautiful valley of the Copper River.
Still hungry and nearly tired out, they pushed on until they camped by
a brook in the mountains.

Here they found that the salmon had come up the Copper River from the
sea, and had run up this brook and overtaken them. The fish were
crowding up the brook to get to a little lake at the head of it, where
they would lay their eggs. In some places there was so little water in
the stream that the fish had to get over the shallow places by lying on
their sides. In doing this, some of them threw themselves out of the
water on the land. The hungry men could catch them easily, and they now
had all they wanted to eat. One of the party ate three large salmon,
heads and all, for his supper. As the sun shines almost all the time in
the Arctic regions, in the summer, the days become very hot. On the
last day of Lieutenant Allen's journey up the mountains the heat was so
great that the party did not start until five o'clock in the afternoon.
They reached the top of the mountains that divided the two rivers at
half-past one o'clock that night. Though it was what we should call the
middle of the night, it was not dark.

The party were now nearly five thousand feet higher than the sea. At
half-past one in the morning the sun was just rising. It rose almost in
the north. Behind them the men could still see the valley of the Copper
River. Before them lay the valley of one of the branches of the Yukon,
with twenty beautiful lakes and a range of mountains in sight. White
and yellow buttercups were blooming about them, though the snow was
within a few feet. No white man had ever looked on this grand scene
before. The men forgot their hunger and their weariness. They had done
what hardly anybody thought could be done.

A mile further on they stopped to build a fire, and here they cooked
the last bit of extract of beef that they had with them. It was the end
of all the provisions they had carried. Having gone to bed at two or
three o'clock in the morning, they did not start again until two in the
afternoon; for day and night were all one to them, except that the
light nights were cooler and pleasanter to travel in than the days.

They were told by the Indians that by marching all that night they
could reach an Indian settlement, and, as they had no food, they
determined to do this. In this whole day's march they killed but one
little rabbit, which was all they had for nine starving men to eat. But
at three o'clock in the morning of the next day the tired and hungry
men dragged themselves into the little Indian village. Guns were fired
to welcome them.

The fish were coming up the river. A kind of platform had been built
over the water. On this platform the Indians stood one at a time, and
dipped a net into the water for fish. All day and all night somebody
was dipping the net.

The Indians had never seen a white man before. They were very much
amused to see white faces, and one of the white men who had red hair
was a wonder to them.

Allen and his men got food here. Then they built a skin canoe, and
started down the river. After many more hardships and dangers, they
reached the ocean, and then took ship for California.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories of American Life and Adventure" ***

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