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Title: Hero Stories from American History - For Elementary Schools
Author: Blaisdell, Albert F., Ball, Francis K.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Hero Stories from American History - For Elementary Schools" ***

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[Frontispiece: "'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
               O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"]









The Athenæum Press

Edwin Ginn


This book is intended to be used as a supplementary historical reader
for the sixth and seventh grades of our public schools, or for any
other pupils from twelve to fifteen years of age. It is also designed
for collateral reading in connection with the study of a formal
text-book on American history.

The period here included is the first fifty years of our national
life. No attempt has been made, however, to present a connected
account, or to furnish a bird's-eye view, of this half century.

It is the universal testimony of experienced teachers that such
materials as are pervaded with reality serve a useful purpose with
young pupils. The reason is plain. Historical matter that is instinct
with human life attracts and holds the attention of boys and girls,
and whets their desire to know more of the real meaning of their
country's history. For this reason the authors have selected rapid
historical narratives, treating of notable and dramatic events, and
have embellished them with more details than is feasible within the
limits of most school-books. Free use has been made of personal
incidents and anecdotes, which thrill us because of their human
element, and smack of the picturesque life of our forefathers.

It has seemed advisable to arrange the subjects in chronological
order. As the various chapters have appeared in proof, they have been
put to a practical test in the sixth grade in several grammar
schools. In a number of instances the pupils learned that, in the
first reading, some of the stories were less difficult than others.
From the nature of the subject-matter this is inevitable. For
instance, it was found easier, and doubtless more interesting, to
read "The Patriot Spy" and "A Daring Exploit" before beginning "The
Hero of Vincennes" and "The Crisis." "Old Ironsides" will at first
probably appeal to more young people than "The Final Victory."

An historical reader would truly be of little value if it could be
read at a glance, like so many insipid storybooks, and then thrown

Hence, it is suggested that teachers, after becoming familiar with
the general scope of this book and gauging with some care the
capabilities of their pupils, should, if they find it for the best
interests of their classes, change the order of the chapters for the
first reading. But in the second, or review reading, they should
follow the chronological order.

The attention of teachers is called to the questions for review, the
pronunciation of proper names, and the reference books and
supplementary reading in American history mentioned after the
chapters below. The index (also below) is made full for purposes of
reference and review.

In the preparation of this book, old journals, original records and
documents, and sundry other trustworthy sources have been diligently
consulted and freely utilized.

We would acknowledge our indebtedness to Mrs. Janet Nettleton Ball,
who has aided us materially at several stages of our work; and to Mr.
Ralph Hartt Bowles, Instructor in English in The Phillips Exeter
Academy, for valuable assistance in reading the manuscript and the


  BOSTON, March, 1903.


CHAPTER I                                          PAGE
THE HERO OF VINCENNES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1

A MIDWINTER CAMPAIGN  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18

HOW PALMETTO LOGS MAY BE USED . . . . . . . . . . .  36

THE PATRIOT SPY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  50

OUR GREATEST PATRIOT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  62

A MIDNIGHT SURPRISE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  77

THE DEFEAT OF THE RED DRAGOONS  . . . . . . . . . .  90

FROM TEAMSTER TO MAJOR GENERAL  . . . . . . . . . . 105

THE FINAL VICTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

THE CRISIS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

A DARING EXPLOIT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156

"OLD IRONSIDES" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

"OLD HICKORY'S" CHRISTMAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

A HERO'S WELCOME  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199

     *     *     *     *     *     *

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217

PRONUNCIATION OF PROPER NAMES . . . . . . . . . . . 231

  AMERICAN HISTORY  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241





Early in 1775 Daniel Boone, the famous hunter and Indian fighter,
with thirty other backwoodsmen, set out from the Holston settlements
to clear the first trail, or bridle path, to what is now Kentucky. In
the spring of the same year, George Rogers Clark, although a young
fellow of only twenty-three years, tramped through the wilderness
alone. When he reached the frontier settlements, he at once became
the leader of the little band of pioneers.

One evening in the autumn of 1775, Clark and his companions were
sitting round their camp fire in the wilderness. They had just drawn
the lines for a fort, and were busy talking about it, when a
messenger came with tidings of the bloodshed at Lexington, in
far-away Massachusetts. With wild cheers these hunters listened to
the story of the minutemen, and, in honor of the event, named their
log fort "Lexington."

[Illustration: A Minuteman of 1776]

{2} At the close of this eventful year, three hundred resolute men
had gained a foothold in Kentucky. In the trackless wilderness,
hemmed in by savage foes, these pioneers with their wives and their
children began their struggle for a home. In one short year, this
handful of men along the western border were drawn into the midst of
the war of the Revolution. From now on, the East and the West had
each its own work to do. While Washington and his "ragged
Continentals" fought for our independence, "the rear guard of the
Revolution," as the frontiersmen were called, were not less busy.

Under their brave leaders, Boone, Clark, and Harrod, in half a dozen
little blockhouses and settlements, they were laying the foundations
of a great commonwealth, while between them and the nearest eastern
settlements were two hundred miles of wilderness. The struggle became
so desperate in the fall of 1776 that Clark tramped back to Virginia,
to ask the governor for help and to trade for powder.

Virginia was at this time straining every nerve to do her part in the
fight against Great Britain, and could not spare men to defend her
distant county of Kentucky; {3} but, won by Clark's earnest appeal,
the governor lent him, on his own personal security, five hundred
pounds of powder. After many thrilling adventures and sharp fighting
with the Indians, Clark got the powder down the Ohio River, and
distributed it among the settlers. The war with their savage foes was
now carried on with greater vigor than ever.

Now we must remember that the vast region north of the Ohio was at
this time a part of Canada. In this wilderness of forests and
prairies lived many tribes of warlike Indians. Here and there were
clusters of French Creole villages, and forts occupied by British
soldiers; for with the conquest of Canada these French settlements
had passed to the English crown. When the war of the American
Revolution broke out, the British government tried to unite all the
tribes of Indians against its rebellious subjects in America. In this
way the people were to be kept from going west to settle.

[Illustration: Indians attacking a Stockaded Fort on the Frontier]

{4} Colonel Henry Hamilton was the lieutenant governor of Canada,
with headquarters at Detroit. It was his task to let loose the
redskins that they might burn the cabins of the settlers on the
border, and kill their women and children, or carry them into
captivity. The British commander supplied the savages with rum,
rifles, and powder; and he paid gold for the scalps which they
brought him. The pioneers named Hamilton the "hair buyer."

For the next two years Kentucky well deserved the name of "the dark
and bloody ground." It was one long, dismal story of desperate
fighting, in which heroic women, with tender hearts but iron muscles,
fought side by side with their husbands and their lovers.

Meanwhile, Clark was busy planning deeds never dreamed of by those
round him. He saw that the Kentucky settlers were losing ground, and
were doing little harm to their enemies. The French villages, guarded
by British forts, were the headquarters for stirring up, arming, and
guiding the savages. It seemed to Clark that the way to defend
Kentucky was to carry the war across the Ohio, and to take these
outposts from the British. He made up his mind that the whole region
could be won for the United States by a bold and sudden march.

In 1777, he sent two hunters as spies through the Illinois country.
They brought back word that the French took little interest in the
war between England {5} and her colonies; that they did not care for
the British, and were much afraid of the pioneers. Clark was a keen
and far-sighted soldier. He knew that it took all the wisdom and
courage of his fellow settlers to defend their own homes. He must
bring the main part of his force from Virginia.

Two weeks before Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga, he tramped through
the woods for the third time, to lay his cause before Patrick Henry,
who was then governor of Virginia. Henry was a fiery patriot, and he
was deeply moved by the faith and the eloquence of the gallant young

Virginia was at this time nearly worn out by the struggle against
King George. A few of the leading patriots, such as Jefferson and
Madison, listened favorably to Clark's plan of conquest, and helped
him as much as they could. At last the governor made Clark a colonel,
and gave him power to raise three hundred and fifty men from the
frontier counties west of the Blue Ridge. He also gave orders on the
state officers at Fort Pitt for boats, supplies, and powder. All this
did not mean much except to show good will and to give the legal
right to relieve Kentucky. {6} Everything now depended on Clark's own
energy and influence.

[Illustration: General George Rogers Clark]

During the winter he succeeded in raising one hundred and fifty
riflemen. In the spring he took his little army, and, with a few
settlers and their families, drifted down the Ohio in flatboats to
the place where stands to-day the city of Louisville.

The young leader now weeded out of his army all who seemed to him
unable to stand hardship and fatigue. Four companies of less than
fifty men each, under four trusty captains, were chosen. All of these
were familiar with frontier warfare.

On the 24th of June, the little fleet shot the Falls of the Ohio amid
the darkness of a total eclipse of the sun. Clark planned to land at
a deserted French fort opposite the mouth of the Tennessee River, and
from there to march across the country against Kaskaskia, the nearest
Illinois town. He did not dare to go up the Mississippi, the usual
way of the fur traders, for fear of discovery.

At the landing place, the army was joined by a band of American
hunters who had just come from the French settlements. These hunters
said that the fort at Kaskaskia was in good order; and that the
Creole militia not only were well drilled, but greatly outnumbered
the invading force. They also said that the only chance of success
was to surprise the town; and they offered to guide the frontier
leader by the shortest route.

{7} With these hunters as guides, Clark began his march of a hundred
miles through the wilderness. The first fifty miles led through a
tangled and pathless forest. On the prairies the marching was less
difficult. Once the chief guide lost his course, and all were in
dismay. Clark, fearing treachery, coolly told the man that he should
shoot him in two hours if he did not find the trail. The guide was,
however, loyal; and, marching by night and hiding by day, the party
reached the river Kaskaskia, within three miles of the town that lay
on the farther side.

[Illustration: A Map showing the Line of Clark's March]

The chances were greatly against our young leader. Only the speed and
the silence of his march gave him hope of success. Under the cover of
darkness, and in silence, Clark ferried his men across the river, and
spread his little army as if to surround the town.

Fortune favored him at every move. It was a hot July night; and
through the open windows of the fort came the sound of music and
dancing. The officers were giving a ball to the light-hearted
Creoles. All the men of the village were there; even the sentinels
had left their posts.

{8} Leaving a few men at the entrance, Clark walked boldly into the
great hall, and, leaning silently against the doorpost, watched the
gay dancers as they whirled round in the light of the flaring
torches. Suddenly an Indian lying on the floor spied the tall
stranger, sprang to his feet, and gave a whoop. The dancing stopped.
The young ladies screamed, and their partners rushed toward the

"Go on with your dance," said Clark, "but remember that henceforth
you dance under the American flag, and not under that of Great

[Illustration: Clark interrupts the Dance]

The surprise was complete. Nobody had a chance to resist. The town
and the fort were in the hands of the riflemen.

Clark now began to make friends with the Creoles. He formed them into
companies, and drilled them every day. A priest known as Father
Gibault, a man of ability and influence, became a devoted friend to
the Americans. He persuaded the people at Cahokia and at other Creole
villages, and even at Vincennes, about one hundred and {9} forty
miles away on the Wabash, to turn from the British and to raise the
American flag. Thus, without the loss of a drop of blood, all the
posts in the Wabash valley passed into the hands of the Americans,
and the boundary of the rising republic was extended to the

Clark soon had another chance to show what kind of man he was. With
less than two hundred riflemen and a few Creoles, he was hemmed in by
tribes of faithless savages, with no hope of getting help or advice
for months; but he acted as few other men in the country would have
dared to act. He had just conquered a territory as large as almost
any European kingdom. If he could hold it, it would become a part of
the new nation. Could he do it?

From the Great Lakes to the Mississippi came the chiefs and the
warriors to Cahokia to hear what the great chief of the "Long Knives"
had to say for himself. The sullen and hideously painted warriors
strutted to and fro in the village. At times there were enough of
them to scalp every white man at one blow, if they had only dared.
Clark knew exactly how to treat them.

One day when it seemed as if there would be trouble at any moment,
the fearless commander did not even shift his lodging to the fort. To
show his contempt of the peril, he held a grand dance, and "the
ladies and gentlemen danced nearly the whole night," while the sullen
warriors spent the time in secret council. Clark appeared not to
care, but at the same time he had a large {10} room near by filled
with trusty riflemen. It was hard work, but the young Virginian did
not give up. He won the friendship and the respect of the different
tribes, and secured from them pledges of peace. It was little trouble
to gain the good will of the Creoles.

Let me tell you of an incident which showed Clark's boldness in
dealing with Indians. Years after the Illinois campaign, three
hundred Shawnee warriors came in full war paint to Fort Washington,
the present site of Cincinnati, to meet the great "Long Knife" chief
in council. Clark had only seventy men in the stockade. The savages
strode into the council room with a war belt and a peace belt. Full
of fight and ugliness, they threw the belts on the table, and told
the great pioneer leader to take his choice.

[Illustration: Fort Washington, a Stockaded Fort on the Ohio, the
Present Site of Cincinnati]

Quick as a flash, Clark rose to his feet, swept both the belts to the
floor with his cane, stamped upon them, and thrust the savages out of
the hall, telling them to make peace at once, or he would drive them
off the {11} face of the earth. The Shawnees held a council which
lasted all night, but in the morning they humbly agreed to bury the

Great was the wrath of Hamilton, the "hair buyer general," when he
heard what the young Virginian had done. He at once sent out runners
to stir up the savages; and, in the first week of October, he set out
in person from Detroit with five hundred British regulars, French,
and Indians. He recaptured Vincennes without any trouble. Clark had
been able to leave only a few of the men he had sent there, and some
of them deserted the moment they caught sight of the redcoats.

If Hamilton had pushed on through the Illinois country, he could
easily have crushed the little American force; but it was no easy
thing to march one hundred and forty miles over snow-covered
prairies, and so the British commander decided to wait until spring.

When Clark heard of the capture of Vincennes, he knew that he had not
enough men to meet Hamilton in open fight. What was he to do? Fortune
again came to his aid.

The last of January, he heard that Hamilton had sent most of his men
back to Detroit; that the Indians had scattered among the villages;
and that the British commander himself was now wintering at Vincennes
with about a hundred men. Clark at once decided to do what Hamilton
had failed to do. Having selected the best of his riflemen, together
with a few Creoles, {12} one hundred and seventy men in all, he set
out on February 7 for Vincennes.

All went well for the first week. They marched rapidly. Their rifles
supplied them with food. At night, as an old journal says, they
"broiled their meat over the huge camp fires, and feasted like Indian
war dancers." After a week the ice had broken up, and the thaw
flooded everything. The branches of the Little Wabash now made one
great river five miles wide, the water even in the shallow places
being three feet deep.

It took three days of the hardest work to ferry the little force
across the flooded plain. All day long the men waded in the icy
waters, and at night they slept as well as they could on some muddy
hillock that rose above the flood. By this time they had come so near
Vincennes that they dared not fire a gun for fear of being

Marching at the head of his chilled and foot-sore army, Clark was the
first to test every danger.

"Come on, boys!" he would shout, as he plunged into the flood.

Were the men short of food? "I am not hungry," he would say, "help
yourself." Was some poor fellow chilled to the bone? "Take my
blanket," said Clark, "I am glad to get rid of it."

In fact, as peril and suffering increased, the courage and the
cheerfulness of the young leader seemed to grow stronger.

{13} On February 17, the tired army heard Hamilton's sunrise gun on
the fort at Vincennes, nine miles away, boom across the muddy flood.

Their food had now given out. The bravest began to lose heart, and
wished to go back. In hastily made dugouts the men were ferried, in a
driving rain, to the eastern bank of the Wabash; but they found no
dry land for miles round. With Clark leading the way, the men waded
for three miles with the water often up to their chins, and camped on
a hillock for the night. The records tell us that a little drummer
boy, whom some of the tallest men carried on their shoulders, made a
deal of fun for the weary men by his pranks and jokes.

Death now stared them in the face. The canoes could find no place to
ford. Even the riflemen huddled together in despair. Clark blacked
his face with damp gunpowder, as the Indians did when ready to die,
gave the war whoop, and leaped into the ice-cold river. With a wild
shout the men followed. The whole column took up their line of march,
singing a merry song. They halted six miles from Vincennes. The night
was bitterly cold, and the half-frozen and half-starved men tried to
sleep on a hillock.

The next morning the sun rose bright and beautiful. Clark made a
thrilling speech and told his famished men that they would surely
reach the fort before dark. One of the captains, however, was sent
with twenty-five trusty riflemen to bring up the rear, with orders to
shoot any man that tried to turn back.

{14} The worst of all came when they crossed the Horseshoe Plain,
which the floods had made a shallow lake four miles wide, with dense
woods on the farther side. In the deep water the tall and the strong
helped the short and the weak. The little dugouts picked up the poor
fellows who were clinging to bushes and old logs, and ferried them to
a spot of dry land. When they reached the farther shore, so many of
the men were chilled that the strong ones had to seize those
half-frozen, and run them up and down the bank until they were able
to walk.

One of the dugouts captured an Indian canoe paddled by some squaws.
It proved a rich prize, for in it were buffalo meat and some kettles.
Broth was soon made and served to the weakest. The strong gave up
their share. Then amid much joking and merry songs, the column
marched in single file through a bit of timber. Not two miles away
was Vincennes, the goal of all their hopes.

A Creole who was out shooting ducks was captured. From him it was
learned that nobody suspected the coming of the Americans, and that
two hundred Indians had just come into town.

With the hope that the Creoles would not dare to fight, and that the
Indians would escape, Clark boldly sent the duck hunter back to town
with the news of his arrival. He sent warning to the Creoles to
remain in their houses, for he came only to fight the British.

{15} So great was the terror of Clark's name that the French shut
themselves up in their houses, while most of the Indians took to the
woods. Nobody dared give a word of warning to the British.

Just after dark the riflemen marched into the streets of the village
before the redcoats knew what was going on.

Crack! crack! sharply sounded half a dozen rifles outside the fort.

"That is Clark, and your time is short!" cried Captain Helm, who was
Hamilton's prisoner at this time; "he will have this fort tumbling on
your heads before to-morrow morning."

[Illustration: Defending a Frontier Fort against the British and

During the night the Americans threw up an intrenchment within rifle
shot of the fort, and at daybreak opened a hot fire into the
portholes. The men begged their leader to let them storm the fort,
but he dared not risk their lives. A party {16} of Indians that had
been pillaging the Kentucky settlements came marching into the
village, and were caught red-handed with scalps hanging at their

Clark was not slow to show his power.

"Think, men," he said sternly, "of the cries of the widows and the
fatherless on our frontier. Do your duty."

Six of the savages were tomahawked before the fort, where the
garrison could see them, and their dead bodies were thrown into the

The British defended their fort for a few days, but could not stand
against the fire of the long rifles. It was sure death for a gunner
to try to fire a cannon. Not a man dared show himself at a porthole,
through which the rifle bullets were humming like mad hornets.

Hamilton the "hair buyer" gave up the defense as a bad job, and
surrendered the fort, defended by cannon and occupied by regular
troops, as he says in his journal, "to a set of uncivilized Virginia
backwoodsmen armed with rifles."

Tap! tap! sounded the drums, as Clark gave the signal, and down came
the British colors.

Thirteen cannon boomed the salute over the flooded plains of the
Wabash, and a hundred frontier soldiers shouted themselves hoarse
when the stars and stripes went up at Vincennes, never to come down

The British authority over this region was forever at an end. It only
remained for Clark to defend what he had so gallantly won.

{17} Of all the deeds done west of the Alleghanies during the war of
the Revolution, Clark's campaign, in the region which seemed so
remote and so strange to our forefathers, is the most remarkable. The
vast region north of the Ohio River was wrested from the British
crown. When peace came, a few years later, the boundary lines of the
United States were the Great Lakes on the north, and on the west the
Mississippi River.




A splendid monument overlooks the battlefield of Saratoga. Heroic
bronze statues of Schuyler, Gates, and Morgan, three of the four
great leaders in this battle, stand each in a niche on three faces of
the obelisk. On the south side the space is empty. The man who led
the patriots to victory forfeited his place on this monument. What a
sermon in stone is the empty niche on that massive granite shaft! We
need no chiseled words to tell us of the great name so gallantly won
by Arnold the hero, and so wretchedly lost by Arnold the traitor.

Only a few months after Benedict Arnold had turned traitor, and was
fighting against his native land, he was sent by Sir Henry Clinton,
the British commander, to sack and plunder in Virginia. In one of
these raids a captain of the colonial army was taken prisoner.

"What will your people do with me if they catch me?" Arnold is said
to have asked his prisoner.

"They will cut off your leg that was shot at Quebec and Saratoga,"
said the plucky and witty officer, "and bury it with the honors of
war, and hang the rest of your body on a gibbet."

{19} This bold reply of the patriot soldier showed the hatred and the
contempt in which Arnold was held by all true Americans; it also
hints at an earlier fame which this strange and remarkable man had
won in fighting the battles of his country.

Now that war with the mother country had begun, an attack upon Canada
seemed to be an act of self-defense; for through the valley of the
St. Lawrence the colonies to the south could be invaded. The "back
door," as Canada was called, which was now open for such invasion,
must be tightly shut. In fact it was believed that Sir Guy Carleton,
the governor of Canada, was even now trying to get the Indians to
sweep down the valley of the Hudson, to harry the New England

[Illustration: The Washington Elm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under
which Washington took Command]

Meanwhile, under the old elm in Cambridge, Washington had taken
command of the Continental army. Shortly afterwards he met Benedict
Arnold for the first time. The great Virginian found the young
officer a man after his own heart. Arnold was at this time captain of
the best-drilled and best-equipped company that the patriot army
could boast. {20} He had already proved himself a man of energy and
of rare personal bravery.

Before his meeting with Washington, Arnold had hurried spies into
Canada to find out the enemy's strength; and he had also sent Indians
with wampum, to make friends with the redskins along the St.
Lawrence. Some years before, he had been to Canada to buy horses; and
through his friends in Quebec and in Montreal he was now able to get
a great deal of information, which he promptly sent to Congress.

Congress voted to send out an expedition. An army was to enter Canada
by the way of the Kennebec and Chaudière rivers; there to unite
forces with Montgomery, who had started from Ticonderoga; and then,
if possible, to surprise Quebec.

The patriot army of some eighteen thousand men was at this time
engaged in the siege of Boston. During the first week in September,
orders came to draft men for Quebec. For the purpose of carrying the
troops up the Kennebec River, a force of carpenters was sent ahead to
build two hundred bateaux, or flat-bottomed boats. To Arnold, as
colonel, was given the command of the expedition. For the sake of
avoiding any ill feeling, the officers were allowed to draw lots. So
eager were the troops to share in the possible glories of the
campaign that several thousand at once volunteered.

About eleven hundred men were chosen, the very flower of the
Continental army. More than one half of {21} these came from New
England; three hundred were riflemen from Pennsylvania and from
Virginia, among whom were Daniel Morgan and his famous riflemen from
the west bank of the Potomac.

On September 13, the little army left Cambridge and marched through
Essex to Newburyport. The good people of this old seaport gave the
troops an ovation, on their arrival Saturday night. They escorted
them to the churches on Sunday, and on Tuesday morning bade them
good-by, "with colors flying, drums and fifes playing, the hills all
around being covered with pretty girls weeping for their departing

On the following Thursday, with a fair wind, the troops reached the
mouth of the Kennebec, one hundred and fifty miles away. Working
their way up the river, they came to anchor at what is now the city
of Gardiner. Near this place, the two hundred bateaux had been
hastily built of green pine. The little army now advanced six miles
up the river to Fort Western, opposite the present city of Augusta.
Here they rested for three days, and made ready for the ascent of the

An old journal tells us that the people who lived near prepared a
grand feast for the soldiers, with three bears roasted whole in
frontier fashion, and an abundance of venison, smoked salmon, and
huge pumpkin pies, all washed down with plenty of West India rum.

Among the guests at this frontier feast was a half-breed Indian girl
named Jacataqua, who had fallen in {22} love with a handsome young
officer of the expedition. This officer was Aaron Burr, who
afterwards became Vice President of the United States. When the young
visitor found that the wives of two riflemen, James Warner and
Sergeant Grier, were going to tramp to Canada with the troops, she,
too, with some of her Indian friends, made up her mind to go with
them. This trifling incident, as we shall see later, saved the lives
of many brave men.

The season was now far advanced. There must be no delay, or the early
Canadian winter would close in upon them. The little army was divided
into four divisions. On September 25, Daniel Morgan and his riflemen
led the advance, with orders to go with all speed to what was called
the Twelve Mile carrying place. The second division, under the
command of Colonel Greene, started the next day. Then came the third
division, under Major Meigs, while Colonel Enos brought up the rear.
There were fourteen companies, each provided with sixteen bateaux.

These boats were heavy and clumsy. When loaded, four men could hardly
haul or push them through the shallow channels, or row them against
the strong current of the river. It was hard and rough work. And
those dreadful carrying places! Before they reached Lake Megantic,
they dragged these boats, or what was left of them, round the rapids
twenty-four times. At each carrying place, kegs of powder and of
bullets, barrels of {23} flour and of pork, iron kettles, and all
manner of camp baggage had to be unpacked from the boats, carried
round on the men's backs, and reloaded again. Sometimes the "carry"
was only a matter of a few rods, and again it was two miles long.

[Illustration: A Map of Arnold's Route to Quebec]

From the day the army left Norridgewock, the last outpost of
civilization, troubles came thick and fast. Water from the leaky
boats spoiled the dried codfish and most of the flour. The salt beef
was found unfit for use. There was now nothing left to eat but flour
and pork. The all-day exposure in water, the chilling river fogs at
night, and the sleeping in uniforms which were frozen stiff even in
front of the camp fires, all began to thin the ranks of these sturdy

On October 12, Colonel Enos and the rear guard reached the Twelve
Mile carrying place. The army that had set out from Fort Western with
nearly twelve hundred men could now muster only nine hundred and
fifty well men. And yet they were only beginning the most perilous
stage of their journey. All about them stood the dark and silent
wilderness, through which they were to make their way for sixteen
miles, to reach the Dead River. In this dreaded route there were four
carrying places. The last was three miles long, a third of which was
a miry spruce and cedar swamp. It took {24} five days of hardest toil
to cut their way through the unbroken wilderness. Fortunately, the
hunters shot four moose and caught plenty of salmon trout.

Now began the snail-like advance for eighty-six miles up the crooked
course of the Dead River. Sometimes they cut their way through the
thickets and the underbrush, but oftener they waded along the banks.
Then came a heavy rainstorm, which grew into a hurricane during the
night. The river overflowed its banks for a mile or more on either
side. Many of the boats sank or were dashed to pieces. Barrels of
pork and of flour were swept away. For the next ten days, these
heroic men seemed to be pressing forward to a slow death by
starvation. Each man's ration was reduced to half a pint of flour a

The old adage tells us that misfortunes never come singly. The rear
guard under Colonel Enos, with its trail hewn out for it, had carried
the bulk of the supplies; but, after losing most of the provisions in
the freshet, he refused any more flour for his half-starved comrades
at the front.

On October 25, the rear guard having caught up with Greene's
division, which was in the worst plight of all, encamped at a place
called Ledge Falls. At a council of war held in the midst of a
driving snowstorm, Enos himself voted at first to go forward; but
afterwards he decided to go back. So the rear guard, grudgingly
giving up two barrels of flour, turned their backs, and, {25} in
spite of the jeers and the threats of their comrades, started home.
Greene and his brave fellows showed no signs of faltering, but, as a
diary reads, "took each man his duds to his back, bid them adieu, and
marched on."

Just over the boundary between Maine and Canada there was a great
swamp. In this bog two companies lost their way, and waded knee-deep
in the mire for ten miles in endless circles. Reaching a little
hillock after dark, they stood up all night long to keep from
freezing. Each man was for himself in the struggle for life. The
strong dared not halt to help the weak for fear they too should

"Alas! alas!" writes one soldier, "these horrid spectacles! my heart
sickens at the recollection."

That each man might fully realize how little food was left, a final
division was made of the remaining provisions. Five pints of flour
were given to each man! This must last him for a hundred miles
through the pathless wilderness, a tramp of at least six days. In the
ashes of the camp fire, each man baked his flour, Indian fashion,
into five little cakes. Though the officers coaxed and threatened,
some of the poor frantic fellows ate all their cakes at one meal.

On November 2, our little army, scattered for more than forty miles
along the banks of the Chaudière River, was still dragging out its
weary way. Tents, boats, and camp supplies were all gone, except here
and there a tin camp kettle or an ax. A rifleman tells us that one
day {26} he roasted and chewed his shot pouch, and adds, "in a short
time there was not a shot pouch to be seen among all those in my
view." For four days this man had not eaten anything except a
squirrel skin, which he had picked up some days before.

Several dogs that had faithfully followed their masters were now
killed and roasted; and even their feet, skin, and entrails were
eaten. Captain Dearborn tells us how downcast he was when he was
forced to kill and eat his fine Newfoundland dog. He writes, "we even
pounded up the dog's bones and made broth for another meal."

A dozen men, who had been left behind to die, caught a stray horse
that had run away from some settlement. They shot it and ate heartily
of the flesh while they rested, and at last reached the main army.
For seven days these men had had nothing for food but roots and black
birch bark.

The Indian girl Jacataqua, with a pet dog, still followed the troops.
She proved herself of the greatest service as a guide. She knew,
also, about roots and herbs, and these she prepared in Indian fashion
for the sick and the injured. The men did not dare to kill her dog,
for she threatened to leave them to their fate if they harmed the
faithful animal.

At one place James Warner, whose wife Jemima was marching with the
troops, lagged behind, and, before his wife knew it, sank exhausted.
The faithful woman ran back alone, and stayed with him until he died.
She {27} buried him with leaves; and then, taking his musket and
girding on his cartridge belt, she hurried breathless and panting for
twenty miles, until she caught up with the troops. And as for
Sergeant Grier's good wife, she tramped and starved her way with the
men. No wonder that one writer, a boy of seventeen at the time, says,
as he saw this plucky woman wading through the rivers, "My mind was
humbled, yet astonished at the exertions of this good woman."

[Illustration: Arnold's Men marching through the Flooded Wilderness]

Where was the bold commander all this time, the man who was to lead
these sturdy riflemen to easy victory? After paddling thirteen miles
across Lake Megantic, {28} Arnold performed one of those brilliant
and reckless deeds for which he was noted. Perhaps no other man in
the American army would have dared to do what he did. The remnant of
his famishing soldiers must be saved, and the time was short.

On October 28, he started down the swollen Chaudière River with only
a few men and without a guide. Sartigan, the nearest French
settlement where provisions could be bought, was nearly seventy miles
away. The swift current carried the frail canoes down the first
twenty miles in two hours. Here through the rapids, there over hidden
ledges, now escaping the driftwood and the sharp-edged rocks, Arnold
and his men wrestled with the angry river.

At one place they plunged over a fall, and every canoe was capsized.
Six of the men found themselves swimming in a large rock-bound basin,
while the angry flood thundered thirty feet over the ledges just
beyond them. The men swam ashore, thankful to escape death.

The last twenty miles was tramped through the wilderness, but such
was the energy of their leader that Sartigan was reached on the
evening of the second day. Long before daybreak, cattle and bags of
flour were ready, and, with a relief party of French Canadians on
horseback, Arnold was on his way back to the starving army.

Four days later, from the famished men in the frozen wilderness was
heard far and wide the joyful cry, "Provisions!" "Provisions!"

{29} The cry was echoed from hill to hill, and along the snow-covered
banks of the great river. The grim fight for life was over. They had
won. How like a pack of famished wolves did they kill, cook, and
devour the cattle!

The next day, two companies dashed through the icy waters of the Du
Loup River, and, shortly afterwards, greeted with cheers the first
house they had seen for thirty days. Six miles beyond, was
Sartigan,--a half dozen log cabins and a few Indian wigwams.

A snowstorm now set in, but the joyful men hastily built huts of pine
boughs, kindled huge camp fires, and waited for the stragglers. The
severe Canadian winter was well begun. It kept on snowing heavily. As
Quebec might be reënforced at any moment, every captain was ordered
to get his men over the remaining fifty-four miles with all possible

"Quebec!" "Quebec!" was in everybody's mouth.

Five days later, on November 9, the patriots reached Point Levi, a
little French village opposite Quebec. The people looked on with
astonishment as they straggled out of the woods, a worn-out army of
perhaps six hundred men, with faces haggard, clothing in tatters, and
many barefooted and bareheaded. Over eighty had died in the
wilderness, and a hundred were on the sick list. So pitiful and so
ludicrous was their appearance that one man wrote in his diary that
they "resembled those animals of New Spain called {30}
orang-outangs," and "unlike the children of Israel, whose clothes
waxed not old in the wilderness, theirs hardly held together."

With his usual bravado, Arnold planned to capture the "Gibraltar of
America" at one stroke. He little knew that, a few days before, some
treacherous Indians had warned the British commander of his approach.

On the night of November 13, Arnold ferried five hundred of his men
across the St. Lawrence, and climbed to the Heights of Abraham, at
the very place where Wolfe had climbed to victory sixteen years
before. At daybreak the walls of the city were covered with soldiers
and with citizens. Within half a mile of the walls, which fairly
bristled with cannon, the ragged soldiers halted and began to cheer
lustily. The redcoats shouted back their defiance. Arnold wrote a
letter to the governor of Quebec, demanding the surrender of the
city. The bearer of the letter, although under a flag of truce, was
not even allowed to come near the walls.

After six days the little army slipped away one dark night, and
tramped to a village some twenty miles to the west of Quebec. Here
they hoped to join forces with Montgomery, who had already captured
Montreal, and then come back to renew the siege.

Ten days later, on December 1, Arnold paraded his troops in front of
the village church to greet Montgomery with his army. The united
forces, still less than a thousand men, now trudged their way back to
Quebec. On {31} arriving there, Montgomery boldly demanded the
surrender of the town.

Meanwhile, on November 19, Sir Guy Carleton had left Montreal, and,
having made his way down the river, in the disguise of a farmer,
slipped into Quebec. This was the salvation of Canada.

The British general was an able soldier. He at once took energetic
steps for the defense of the city. At every available point he built
blockhouses, barricades, and palisades; and mounted one hundred and
fifty cannon. He took five hundred sailors from the war vessels to
help man the guns, and thus increased the garrison to eighteen
hundred fighting men.

For two weeks the patriot army fired their little three-pounders, and
threw several hundred "fire pills," as the men called them, against
the granite ramparts and into the town. Even the women laughed at
them, for they did no more harm than so many popguns. The redcoats
kept up the bloodless contest by raking with their cannon the
patriots' feeble breastworks of ice and snow.

Montgomery spoke hopefully to his men, but in his heart was despair.
How could he ever go home without taking Quebec? Washington and
Congress expected it, and the people at home were waiting for it.
When he bade his young wife good-by at their home on the Hudson, he
said, "You shall never blush for your Montgomery." What was his duty
now? Should he not make at least one desperate attempt? Did not Wolfe
{32} take equally desperate chances and win deathless renown? At last
it was decided to wait for a dark night, in which to attack the Lower

At midnight on the last day of 1775, came the snowstorm so long
awaited. The word was given, and about half past three the columns
marched to the assault. Every man pinned to his hat a piece of white
paper, on which was written the motto of Morgan's far-famed riflemen,
"Liberty or Death!"

Arnold and Morgan, with about six hundred men, were to make the
attack on one side of the town, and Montgomery, with three hundred
men, on the other side.

The storm had become furious. With their heads down and their guns
under their coats, the men had enough to do to keep up with Arnold as
he led the attack. Presently a musket ball shattered his leg and
stretched him bleeding in the snow. Morgan at once took command, and,
cheering on his men, carried the batteries; then, forcing his way
into the streets of the Lower Town, he waited for the promised signal
from Montgomery.

Meantime, the precious moments slipped by, while the young Montgomery
was forcing his way through the darkness and the huge snowdrifts,
along the shores of the St. Lawrence. When the head of his column
crept cautiously round a point of the steep cliff, they came face to
face with the redcoats standing beside their cannon with lighted

{33} "On, boys, Quebec is ours!" shouted Montgomery, as he sprang

[Illustration: The Midnight Attack on Quebec]

A storm of grape and canister swept the narrow pass, and the young
general fell dead. In dismay and confusion, the column gave way. The
command to retreat was hastily given and obeyed. Strange to say, so
dazed were the British by the fierce attack that they, too, ran {34}
away, but soon rallied. The driving snow quickly covered the dead and
the wounded in a funeral shroud.

The enemy were now free to close in upon Morgan and his riflemen, on
the other side of the town. All night long, fierce hand to hand
fighting went on in the narrow streets, amid the howling storm of
driving snow; and the morning light broke slowly upon scenes of
confusion and horror. Morgan and his men fought like heroes, but they
were outnumbered, and were forced to surrender.

The rest of this sad story may be briefly told. Arnold was given the
chief command. Although he was weakened from loss of blood, and
helpless from his shattered leg, nothing could break his dauntless
will. Expecting the enemy at any moment to attack the hospital, he
had his pistols and his sword placed on his bed, that he might die
fighting. From that bedside, he kept his army of seven hundred men
sternly to its duty. In a month he was out of doors, hobbling about
on crutches, and hopeful as ever of success.

Washington sent orders for Arnold to stand his ground, and as late as
January 27 wrote him that "the glorious work must be accomplished
this winter." With bulldog grip, Arnold obeyed orders, and kept up
the hopeless siege. During the winter, more troops came to his help
from across the lakes, but they only closed the gaps made by
hardships and smallpox.

{35} On the 14th of March, a flag of truce was again sent to the
city, demanding its surrender.

"No flag will be received," said the officer of the day, "unless it
comes to implore the mercy of the king."

A wooden horse was mounted on the walls near the famous old St.
John's gate, with a bundle of hay before it. Upon the horse was
tacked a placard, on which was written, "When this horse has eaten
this bunch of hay, we will surrender."

Although they were short of food, and were forced to tear down the
houses for firewood, the garrison was safe and quite comfortable
behind the snow-covered ramparts.

The end of the coldest winter ever known in Canada save one came at
last. The river was full of ice during the first week of May. A few
days later, three men-of-war forced their way up the St. Lawrence
through the floating ice, and relieved the besieged city. The salute
of twenty-one guns fired by the fleet was joyful music to the people
of Quebec. Amid the thundering of the guns from the citadel, the
great bell of the Cathedral clanged the death knell to Arnold's

The "Gibraltar of America" still remained in the possession of




In 1775, in Virginia, the patriots forced the royal governor, Lord
Dunmore, to take refuge on board a British man-of-war in Norfolk
Harbor. In revenge, the town of Norfolk, the largest and the most
important in the Old Dominion, was, on New Year's Day, 1776, shelled
and destroyed. This bombardment, and scores of other less wanton acts
of the men-of-war, alarmed every coastwise town from Maine to

Early in the fall of 1775, the British government planned to strike a
hard blow against the Southern colonies. North Carolina was to be the
first to receive punishment. It was the first colony, as perhaps you
know, to take decided action in declaring its independence from the
mother country. To carry out the intent of the British, Sir Henry
Clinton, with two thousand troops, sailed from Boston for the Cape
Fear River.

The minutemen of the Old North State rallied from far and near, as
they had done in Massachusetts after the battle of Lexington. Within
ten days, there were ten thousand men ready to fight the redcoats.
And so when Sir Henry arrived off the coast, he decided, {37} like a
prudent man, not to land; but cruised along the shore, waiting for
the coming of war vessels from England.

This long-expected fleet was under the command of Sir Peter Parker.
Baffled by head winds, and tossed about by storms, the ships were
nearly three months on the voyage, and did not arrive at Cape Fear
until the first of May. There they found Clinton.

Sir Peter and Sir Henry could not agree as to what action was best.
Clinton, with a wholesome respect for the minutemen of the Old North
State, wished to sail to the Chesapeake; while Lord Campbell, the
royal governor of South Carolina, who was now an officer of the
fleet, begged that the first hard blow should fall upon Charleston.
He declared that, as soon as the city was captured, the loyalists
would be strong enough to restore the king's power. Campbell, it
seems, had his way at last, and it was decided to sail south, to
capture Charleston.

Meanwhile, the people of South Carolina had received ample warning.
So they were not surprised when, on the last day of May, a British
fleet under a cloud of canvas was seen bearing up for Charleston. On
the next day, Sir Peter Parker cast anchor off the bar, with upwards
of fifty war ships and transports. Affairs looked serious for the
people of this fair city; but they were of fighting stock, and, with
the war thus brought to their doors, were not slow to show their

{38} For weeks the patriots had been pushing the works of defense.
Stores and warehouses were leveled to the ground, to give room for
the fire of cannon and muskets from various lines of earthworks;
seven hundred wagons belonging to loyalists were pressed into
service, to help build redoubts; owners of houses gave the lead from
their windows, to be cast into bullets; fire boats were made ready to
burn the enemy's vessels, if they passed the forts. The militia came
pouring in from the neighboring colonies until there were sixty-five
hundred ready to defend the city.

It was believed that a fort built on the southern end of Sullivan's
Island, within point-blank shot of the channel leading into
Charleston Harbor, might help prevent the British fleet from sailing
up to the city. At all events it would be worth trying. So, in the
early spring of 1776, Colonel William Moultrie, a veteran of the
Indian wars, was ordered to build a square fort large enough to hold
a thousand men.

[Illustration: Colonel William Moultrie]

The use of palmetto logs was a happy thought. Hundreds of negroes
were set at work cutting down the trees and hauling them to the
southern end of the island. The long straight logs were laid one upon
another in two parallel rows sixteen feet apart, and were bound
together with cross timbers dovetailed and bolted into the logs. The
space between the two rows of logs was filled with sand. This made
the walls of the fort.

{39} The cannon were mounted upon platforms six feet high, which
rested upon brick pillars. Upon these platforms the men could stand
and fire through the openings. The rear of the fort and the eastern
side were left unfinished, being merely built up seven feet with
logs. Thirty-one cannon were mounted, but only twenty-five could at
any one time be brought to bear upon the enemy.

On the day of the battle, there were about four hundred and fifty men
in the fort, only thirty of whom knew anything about handling cannon.
But most of the garrison were expert riflemen, and it was soon found
that their skill in small arms helped them in sighting the artillery.

One day early in June, General Charles Lee, who had been sent down to
take the chief command, went over to the island to visit the fort. As
the old-time soldier, who had seen long service in the British army,
looked over the rudely built affair, and saw that it was not even
finished, he gravely shook his head.

"The ships will anchor off there," said he to Moultrie, pointing to
the channel, "and will make your fort a mere slaughter pen."

{40} The weak-kneed general, who afterwards sold himself to the
British, went back and told Governor Rutledge that the only thing to
do was to abandon the fort. The governor, however, was made of better
stuff, and, besides, had the greatest faith in Colonel Moultrie. But
he did ask his old friend if he thought he really could defend the
cob-house fort, which Lee had laughed to scorn.

Moultrie was a man of few words, and replied simply, "I think I can."

"General Lee wishes you to give up the fort," added Rutledge, "but
you are not to do it without an order from me, and I will sooner cut
off my right hand than write one."

The idea of retreating seems never to have occurred to the brave

"I was never uneasy," wrote Moultrie in after years, "because I never
thought the enemy could force me to retire."

It was indeed fortunate that Colonel Moultrie was a stout-hearted
man, for otherwise he might well have been discouraged. A few days
before the battle, the master of a privateer, whose vessel was laid
up in Charleston harbor, paid him a visit. As the two friends stood
on the palmetto walls, looking at the fleet in the distance, the
naval officer said, "Well, Colonel Moultrie, what do you think of it

Moultrie replied, "We shall beat them."

{41} "Sir," exclaimed his visitor, pointing to the distant
men-of-war, "when those ships come to lay alongside of your fort,
they will knock it down in less than thirty minutes."

"We will then fight behind the ruins," said the stubborn patriot,
"and prevent their men from landing."

The British plan of attack, to judge from all military rules, should
have been successful. First, the redcoat regulars were to land upon
Long Island, lying to the north, and wade across the inlet which
separates it from Sullivan's Island. Then, after the war ships had
silenced the guns in the fort, the land troops were to storm the
position, and thus leave the channel clear for the combined forces to
sail up and capture the city.

If a great naval captain like Nelson or Farragut had been in command,
probably the ships would not have waited a month, but would at once
have made a bold dash past the fort, and straightway captured
Charleston. Sir Peter, however, was slow, and felt sure of success.
For over three weeks he delayed the attack, thus giving the patriots
more time for completing their defenses.

Friday morning, June 28, was hot, but bright and beautiful. Early in
the day, Colonel Moultrie rode to the northern end of the island to
see Colonel Thompson. The latter had charge of a little fort manned
by sharpshooters, and it was his duty to prevent Clinton's troops
from getting across the inlet.

Suddenly the men-of-war begin to spread their topsails and raise
their anchors. The tide is coming in. {42} The wind is fair. One
after another, the war ships get under way and come proudly up the
harbor, under full sail. The all-important moment of Moultrie's life
is at hand. He puts spurs to his horse and gallops back to the
palmetto fort.

"Beat the long roll!" he shouts to his officers, Colonel Motte and
Captain Marion.

The drums beat, and each man hurries to his chosen place beside the
cannon. The supreme test for the little cob-house fort has come. The
men shout, as a blue flag with a crescent, the colors of South
Carolina, is flung to the breeze.

Just as a year before, the people of Boston crowded the roofs and the
belfries, to watch the outcome of Bunker Hill; so now, the old men
and the women and children of Charleston cluster on the wharves, the
church towers, and the roofs, all that hot day, to watch the duel
between the palmetto fort and the British fleet.

Sir Peter Parker has a powerful fleet. He is ready to do his work.
Two of his ships carry fifty guns each, and four carry twenty-eight
guns each. With a strong flood tide and a favorable southwest wind,
the stately men-of-war sweep gracefully to their positions.
Moultrie's fighting blood is up, and his dark eyes flash with
delight. The men of South Carolina, eager to fight for their homes,
train their cannon upon the war ships.

"Fire! fire!" shouts Moultrie, as the men-of-war come within
point-blank shot. The low palmetto cob house begins to thunder with
its heavy guns.

{43} A bomb vessel casts anchor about a mile from the fort. Puff!
bang! a thirteen-inch shell rises in the air with a fine curve and
falls into the fort. It bursts and hurls up cart loads of sand, but
hurts nobody. Four of the largest war ships are now within easy
range. Down go the anchors, with spring ropes fastened to the cables,
to keep the vessels broadside to the fort. The smaller men-of-war
take their positions in a second line, in the rear. Fast and furious,
more than one hundred and fifty cannon bang away at the little

But, even from the first, things did not turn out as the British
expected. After firing some fifty shells, which buried themselves in
the loose sand and did not explode, the bomb vessel broke down.

About noon, the flagship signaled to three of the men-of-war, "Move
down and take position southwest of the fort."

Once there, the platforms inside the fort could be raked from end to
end. As good fortune would have it, two of these vessels, in
attempting to carry out their orders, ran afoul of each other, and
all three stuck fast on the shoal on which is now the famed Fort

How goes the battle inside the fort? The men, stripped to the waist
and with handkerchiefs bound round their heads, stand at the guns all
that sweltering day, with the coolness and the courage of old
soldiers. The supply of powder is scant. They take careful aim, fire
slowly, and make almost every shot tell. The twenty-six-pound balls
{44} splinter the masts, and make sad havoc on the decks. Crash!
crash! strike the enemy's cannon balls against the palmetto logs. The
wood is soft and spongy, and the huge shot either bury themselves
without making splinters, or else bound off like rubber balls.

Meanwhile, where was Sir Henry Clinton? For nearly three weeks he had
been encamped with some two thousand men on the sand bar known as
Long Island. The men had suffered fearfully from the heat, from lack
of water, and from the mosquitoes.

During the bombardment of Fort Sullivan, Sir Henry marched his men
down to the end of the sand island, but could not cross; for the
water in the inlet proved to be seven feet deep even at low tide.
Somebody had blundered about the ford. The redcoats, however, were
paraded on the sandy shore while some armed boats made ready to cross
the inlet. The grapeshot from two cannon, and the bullets of Colonel
Thompson's riflemen, so raked the decks that the men could not stay
at their posts. Memories of Bunker Hill, perhaps, made the British
officers a trifle timid about crossing the inlet, and marching over
the sandy shore, to attack intrenched sharpshooters. Thus it happened
that Clinton and his men, through stupidity, were kept prisoners on
the sand island, mere spectators of the thrilling scene. They had to
content themselves with fighting mosquitoes, under the sweltering
rays of a Southern sun.

{45} [Illustration: Defending the Palmetto Fort]

All this time, Sir Peter was doing his best to pound the fort down.
The fort trembled and shook, but it stood. Moultrie and his men, with
perfect coolness and with steady aim, made havoc of the war ships.
Colonel Moultrie prepared grog by the pailful, which, with a negro as
helper, he dipped out to the tired men at the guns.

"Take good aim, boys," he said, as he passed from gun to gun, "mind
the big ships, and don't waste the powder."

The mainmast of the flagship Bristol was hit nine times, and the
mizzenmast was struck by seven thirty-two-pound balls, and had to be
cut away. In short, the flagship was pierced so many times that she
would have sunk had not the wind been light and the water smooth.
While the battle raged in all its fury, the carpenters worked like
beavers to keep the vessel afloat.

{46} At one time a cannon ball shot off one of the cables, and the
ship swung round with the tide.

"Give it to her, boys!" shouts Moultrie, "now is your time!" and the
cannon balls rake the decks from stem to stern.

The captain of the flagship was struck twice, Lord Campbell was hurt,
and one hundred men were either killed or wounded. Once Sir Peter was
the only man left on the quarter-deck, and he himself was twice

The other big ship, the Experiment, fared fully as hard as did the
flagship. The captain lost his right arm, and nearly a hundred of his
men were killed or wounded.

In fact, these two vessels were about to be left to their fate, when
suddenly the fire of the fort slackened.

"Fire once in ten minutes," orders Colonel Moultrie, for the supply
of powder is becoming dangerously small.

An aid from General Lee came running over to the fort. "When your
powder is gone, spike your guns and retreat," wrote the general.

Moultrie was not that kind of man.

Between three and five o'clock in the afternoon, the fire of the fort
almost stopped. The British thought the guns were silenced. Not a bit
of it! Even then a fresh supply of five hundred pounds of powder had
nearly reached the fort. It came from Governor Rutledge with a note,
saying, "Honor and victory, my {47} good sir, to you and your worthy
men with you. Don't make too free with your cannon. Keep cool and do

How those men shouted when the powder came! Bang! bang! the cannon in
the fort thunder again. The British admiral tries to batter down the
fort by firing several broadsides at the same moment. At times it
seemed as if it would tumble in a heap. Once the broadsides of four
vessels struck the fort at one time; but the palmetto logs stood
unharmed. A gunner by the name of McDaniel was mortally wounded by a
cannon ball. As the dying soldier was being carried away, he cried
out to his comrades in words that will never be forgotten, "Fight on,
brave boys, and don't let liberty die with this day!"

In the hottest of the fight, the flagstaff is shot away. Down falls
the blue banner upon the beach, outside the fort.

{48} "The flag is down!" "The fort has surrendered!" cry the people
of Charleston, with pale faces and tearful eyes.

Out from one of the cannon openings leaps Sergeant William Jasper.
Walking the whole length of the fort, he tears away the flag from the
staff. Returning with it, he fastens it to the rammer of a cannon,
and plants it on the ramparts, amidst the rain of shot and shell.

[Illustration: Sergeant Jasper saves the Flag]

With the setting of the sun, the roar of battle slackens. The victory
is Moultrie's. Twilight and silence fall upon the smoking fort. Here
and there lights glimmer in the city, as the joyful people of
Charleston return to their homes. The stars look down upon the
lapping waters of the bay, where ride at anchor the shadowy vessels
of the British fleet. Towards midnight, when the tide begins to ebb,
the battered war ships slip their cables and sail out into the
darkness with their dead.

The next day, hundreds came from the city to rejoice with Moultrie
and his sturdy fighters. Governor Rutledge came down with a party of
ladies, and presented a silk banner to the fort. Calling for Sergeant
Jasper, he took his own short sword from his side, buckled it on him,
and thanked him in the name of his country. He also offered him a
lieutenant's commission, but the young hero modestly refused the
honor, saying, "I am not fitted for an officer; I am only a

For several days, the crippled British fleet lay in the harbor, too
much shattered to fight or to go to sea. In {49} fact, it was the
first week in August before the patriots of South Carolina saw the
last war ship and the last transport put out to sea, and fade away in
the distance. The hated redcoats were gone.

In the ten hours of active fighting, the British fleet fired
seventeen tons of powder and nearly ten thousand shot and shell, but,
in that little inclosure of green logs and sand, only one gun was

The defense of Fort Sullivan ranks as one of the few complete
American victories of the Revolution. The moral effect of the victory
was perhaps more far-reaching than the battle of Bunker Hill. Many of
the Southern people who had been lukewarm now openly united their
fortunes with the patriot cause.

Honors were showered upon the brave Colonel Moultrie. His services to
his state and to his country continued through life. He died at a
good old age, beloved by his fellow citizens.




It was plain that Washington was troubled. As he paced the piazza of
the stately Murray mansion one fine autumn afternoon, he was saying
half aloud to himself, "Shall we defend or shall we quit New York?"

At this time Washington's headquarters were on Manhattan Island, at
the home of the Quaker merchant, Robert Murray; and here, in the
first week of September, 1776, he had asked his officers to meet him
in council.

Was it strange that Washington's heart was heavy? During the last
week of August, the Continental army had been defeated in the battle
of Long Island. A fourth of the army were on the sick list; a third
were without tents. Winter was close at hand, and the men, mostly new
recruits, were short of clothing, shoes, and blankets. Only fourteen
thousand men were fit for duty, and they were scattered all the way
from the Battery to Kingsbridge, a distance of a dozen miles or more.

The British army, numbering about twenty-five thousand, lay encamped
along the shores of New York Bay and the East River. The soldiers
were veterans, and {51} they were led by veterans. A large fleet of
war ships, lying at anchor, was ready to assist the land forces at a
moment's notice. Scores of guard ships sailed to and fro, watching
every movement of the patriot troops.

To give up the city to the British without battle seemed a great
pity. The effect upon the patriot cause in all the colonies would be
bad. Still, there was no help for it. What was the use of fighting
against such odds? Why run the risk of almost certain defeat?
Washington always looked beyond the present, and he did not intend
now to be shut up on Manhattan Island, perhaps to lose his entire
army; so, with the main body, he moved north to Harlem Heights. Here
he was soon informed by scouts that the British were getting ready to
move at once. Whither, nobody could tell. Such was the state of
affairs that led Washington to call his chief officers to the Murray
mansion, on that September afternoon.

Of course they talked over the situation long and calmly. After all,
the main question was, What shall be done? Among other things, it was
thought best to find the right sort of man, and send him in disguise
into the British camp on Long Island, to find out just where the
enemy were planning to attack.

"Upon this, gentlemen," said Washington, "depends at this time the
fate of our army."

The commander in chief sent for Colonel Knowlton, the hero of the
rail fence at Bunker Hill.

{52} "I want you to find for me in your regiment or in some other,"
he said, "some young officer to go at once into the British camp, to
discover what is going on. The man must have a quick eye, a cool
head, and nerves of steel. I wish him to make notes of the position
of the enemy, draw plans of the forts, and listen to the talk of the
officers. Can you find such a man for me this very afternoon?"

"I will do my best, General Washington," said the colonel, as he took
leave to go to his regiment.

On arriving at his quarters that afternoon, Knowlton called together
a number of officers. He briefly told them what Washington wanted,
and asked for volunteers. There was a long pause, amid deep surprise.
These soldiers were willing to serve their country; but to play the
spy, the hated spy, was too much even for Washington to ask.

One after another of the officers, as Knowlton called them by name,
declined. His task seemed hopeless. At last, he asked a grizzled
Frenchman, who had fought in many battles and was noted for his rash

"No, no! Colonel Knowlton," he said, "I am ready to fight the
redcoats at any place and at any time; but, sir, I am not willing to
play the spy, and be hanged like a dog if I am caught."

Just as Knowlton gave up hope of finding a man willing to go on the
perilous mission, there came to him the painfully thrilling but
cheering words, "I will undertake {53} it." It was the voice of
Captain Nathan Hale. He had just entered Knowlton's tent. His face
was still pale from a severe sickness. Every man was astonished. The
whole company knew the brilliant young officer, and they loved him.
Now they all tried to dissuade him. They spoke of his fair prospects,
and of the fond hopes of his parents and his friends. It was all in
vain. They could not turn him from his purpose.

"I wish to be useful," he said, "and every kind of service necessary
for the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. If my
country needs a peculiar service, its claims upon me are imperious."

These patriotic words of a man willing to give up his life, if
necessary, for the good of his country silenced his brother officers.

"Good-by, Nathan!" "Don't you let the redcoats catch you!" "Good luck
to you!" "We never expect to see you again!" cried his nearest
friends in camp, as, in company with Colonel Knowlton, the young
captain rode out that same afternoon to receive his orders from
Washington himself.

[Illustration: Hale receiving his Orders from Washington]

{54} Nathan Hale was born, as were his eight brothers and his three
sisters, in an old-fashioned, two-storied house, in a little country
village of Connecticut. His father, a man of integrity, was a stanch
patriot. Instead of allowing his family to use the wool raised on his
farm, he saved it to make blankets for the Continental army. The
mother of this large family was a woman of high moral and domestic
worth, devoted to her children, for whom she sought the highest good.
It was a quiet, strict household, Puritan in its faith and its
manners, where the Bible ruled, where family prayers never failed,
nor was grace ever omitted at meals. On a Saturday night, no work was
done after sundown.

Young Nathan was a bright, active American boy. He liked his gun and
his fishing pole. He was fond of running, leaping, wrestling, and
playing ball. One of his pupils said that Hale would put his hand
upon a fence as high as his head, and clear it easily at a bound. He
liked books, and read much out of school. Like two of his brothers,
he was to be educated for the ministry. When only sixteen, he entered
Yale College, and was graduated two years before the battle of Bunker
Hill. Early in the fall of 1773, the young graduate began to teach
school, and was soon afterwards made master of a select school in New
London, in his native state.

At this time young Hale was about six feet tall, and well built. He
had a broad chest, full face, light blue eyes, fair complexion, and
light brown hair. He had a {55} large mole on his neck, just where
the knot of his cravat came. At college his friends used to joke him
about it, declaring that he was surely born to be hanged.

Such was Nathan Hale when the news of the bloodshed at Lexington
reached New London. A rousing meeting was held that evening. The
young schoolmaster was one of the speakers.

"Let us march at once," he said, "and never lay down our arms until
we obtain our independence."

The next morning, Hale called his pupils together, "gave them earnest
counsel, prayed with them, and shaking each by the hand," took his
leave, and during the same forenoon marched with his company for

The young officer from Connecticut took an active part in the siege
of Boston, and soon became captain of his company. Hale's diary is
still preserved, and after all these years it is full of interest. It
seems that he took charge of his men's clothing, rations, and money.
Much of his time he was on picket duty, and took part in many lively
skirmishes with the redcoats. Besides studying military tactics, he
found time to make up wrestling matches, to play football and
checkers, and, on Sundays, to hold religious meetings in barns.

Within a few hours after bidding good-by to General Washington,
Captain Hale, taking with him one of his own trusty soldiers, left
the camp at Harlem, intending at the first opportunity to cross Long
Island Sound. There were so many British guard ships on the watch
{56} that he and his companion found no safe place to cross until
they had reached Norwalk, fifty miles up the Sound on the Connecticut
shore. Here a small sloop was to land Hale on the other side.

Stripping off his uniform, the young captain put on a plain brown
suit of citizen's clothes, and a broad-brimmed hat. Thus attired in
the dress of a schoolmaster, he was landed across the Sound, and
shortly afterwards reached the nearest British camp.

The redcoats received the pretended schoolmaster cordially. A captain
of the dragoons spoke of him long afterwards as a "jolly good
fellow." Hale pretended that he was tired of the "rebel cause," and
that he was in search of a place to teach school.

It would be interesting to know just what the "schoolmaster" did in
the next two weeks. Think of the poor fellow's eagerness to make the
most of his time, drawing plans of the forts, and going rapidly from
one point to another to watch the marching of troops, patrols, and
guards. Think of his sleepless nights, his fearful risk, the
ever-present dread of being recognized by some Tory. All this we know
nothing about, but his brave and tender heart must sometimes have
been sorely tried.

From the midst of all these dangers Hale, unharmed, began his return
trip to the American lines. He had threaded his way through the
woods, and round all the British camps on Long Island, until he
reached in safety the point where he had first landed. Here he had
{57} planned for a boat to meet him early the next morning, to take
him over to the mainland.

Many a patriotic American boy has thought what he should have done if
he could have exchanged places with Nathan Hale on this evening. Near
by, at a place then called and still called "The Cedars," a woman by
the name of Chichester, and nicknamed "Mother Chick," kept a tavern,
which was the favorite resort of all the Tories in that region. Hale
was sure that nobody would know him in his strange dress, and so he
ventured into the tavern. A number of people were in the barroom. A
few minutes afterwards, a man whose face seemed familiar to Hale
suddenly left the room, and was not seen again.

The pretended schoolmaster spent the night at the tavern.

Early the next morning, the landlady rushed into the barroom, crying
out to her guests, "Look out, boys! there is a strange boat close in

The Tories scampered as if the house were on fire.

"That surely is the very boat I'm looking for," thought Hale on
leaving the tavern, and hastened towards the beach, where the boat
had already landed.

A moment more, and the young captain was amazed at the sight of six
British marines, standing erect in the boat, with their muskets aimed
at him. He turned to run, when a loud voice cried out, "Surrender or
die!" He was within close range of their guns. Escape was {58} not
possible. The poor fellow gave himself up. He was taken on board the
British guard ship Halifax, which lay at anchor close by, hidden from
sight by a point of land.

Some have declared that the man who so suddenly left the tavern was a
Tory cousin to Hale, and saw at once through the patriot's disguise;
that, being quite a rascal, he hurried away to get word to the
British camp. There seems to be no good reason, however, to believe
that the fellow was a kinsman.

However this may be, the British captured Captain Hale in disguise.
They stripped him and searched him, and found his drawings and his
notes. These were written in Latin, and had been tucked away between
the soles of his shoes.

"I am sorry that so fine a fellow has fallen into my hands," said the
captain of the guard ship, "but you are my prisoner, and I think a
spy. So to New York you must go!"

General Howe's headquarters were at this time in the elegant Beekman
mansion, situated near what is now the corner of Fifty-First Street
and First Avenue. Calm and fearless, the captured spy stood before
the British commander. He bravely owned that he was an American
officer, and said that he was sorry he had not been able to serve his
country better. No time was to be wasted in calling a court-martial.
Without trial of any kind, Captain Hale was condemned to die the
death of a spy. {59} The verdict was that he should be hanged by the
neck, "to-morrow morning at daybreak."

[Illustration: The Patriot Spy before the British General]

That night, which was Saturday, September 21, the condemned man was
kept under a strong guard, in the greenhouse near the Beekman
mansion. He had been given over to the care of the brutal Cunningham,
the infamous British provost marshal, with orders to carry out the
sentence before sunrise the next morning.

"To-morrow morning at daybreak."

How cruelly brief! Nathan Hale, the patriot spy, was left to himself
for the night.

When morning came, Cunningham found his prisoner ready. While
preparations were being made, a young officer, moved in spite of
himself, allowed Hale to sit in his tent long enough to write brief
letters to his parents and his friends. The letters were passed to
Cunningham to be sent. He read them, and as he saw the noble spirit
which breathed in every line, the wretch {60} began to curse, and
tore the letters into bits before the face of his victim. He said
that the rebels should never know they had a man who could die with
such firmness.

It was just before sunrise on a lovely Sabbath morning that Nathan
Hale was led out to death. The gallows was the limb of an apple tree.
Early as it was, a number of men and women had come to witness the

"Give us your dying speech, you young rebel!" shouted the brutal

The young patriot, standing upon the fatal ladder, lifted his eyes
toward heaven, and said, in a calm, clear voice, "I only regret that
I have but one life to lose for my country."

These were his last words. The women sobbed, and some of the men
began to show signs of sympathy.

"Swing the rebel off!" cried Cunningham, in a voice hoarse with
anger. The order was obeyed.

[Illustration: Statue of Nathan Hale, standing in City Hall Park in
New York City]

Half an hour later, the body of the patriot spy was buried, probably
beneath the apple tree, but the grave {61} was not marked, and the
exact spot is now unknown. A British officer was sent, under a flag
of truce, to tell Washington of the fate of his gallant young

Thus died in the bloom of life, Captain Nathan Hale, the early martyr
in the cause of our freedom. Gifted, educated, ambitious, he laid
aside every thought of himself, and entered upon a service of the
greatest risk to life and to honor, because Washington deemed it
important to the sacred cause to which they had both given their best

"What was to have been your reward in case you succeeded?" asked
Major Tallmadge, Hale's classmate, of the British spy, Major André,
as his prisoner was being rowed across the Hudson River to be tried
by court-martial.

"Military glory was all I sought for," replied André; "the thanks of
my general and the approbation of my king would have been a rich

Hale did not expect, nor did he care, to be a hero. He had no thought
of reward or of promotion. He sacrificed his life from a pure sense
of what he thought to be his duty.




If American boys and girls were asked to name the one great man in
their country's history whom they would like to have seen and talked
with, nine out of every ten would probably say, "Washington." Many an
old man of our day has asked his grandfather or his great-grandfather
how Washington looked. Indeed, so much has been said and written of
the "Father of his Country" that we are apt to think of him as
something more than human.

Washington was truly a remarkable man, from whatever point of view we
choose to study his life. He left, as a priceless legacy to his
fellow citizens, an example of what a man with a pure and noble
character can do for himself and for his country. Duty performed with
faithfulness was the keynote to every word and every act of his life.

Still, we must not overlook the fact that Washington was, after all,
quite human. Like all the rest of us, he had his faults, his trials,
and his failures. Knowing this, we are only drawn nearer to him, and
find ourselves possessed of a more abiding admiration for the life he

{63} Washington was tall, and straight as an arrow. His favorite
nephew, Lawrence Lewis, once asked him about his height. He replied,
"In my best days, Lawrence, I stood six feet and two inches, in
ordinary shoes."

[Illustration: George Washington]

During his whole life, Washington was rather spare than fleshy. Most
of his portraits, it is said, give to his person a fullness that it
did not have. He once said that the best weight of his best days
never exceeded two hundred and twenty pounds. His chest was broad but
not well rounded. His arms and his legs were long, large, and sinewy.
His feet and his hands were especially large. Lafayette, who aided us
in the Revolution, once said to a friend, "I never saw so large a
hand on any human being, as the general's."

Washington's eyes were of a light, grayish blue, and were so deep
sunken that they gave him an unusually serious expression. On being
asked why he painted these eyes of a deeper blue than life, the
artist said, "In a hundred years they will have faded to the right
{64} color." This painting, by Stuart, of the bust of Washington, is
said to be wonderfully true to life.

Many stories are told of the mighty power of Washington's right arm.
It is said that he once threw a stone from the bed of the stream to
the top of the Natural Bridge, in Virginia. Again, we are told that
once upon a time he rounded a piece of slate to the size of a silver
dollar, and threw it across the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, the
slate falling at least thirty feet on the other side. Many strong men
have since tried the same feat, but have never cleared the water.

Peale, who was called the soldier artist, was once visiting
Washington at Mount Vernon. One day, he tells us, some athletic young
men were pitching the iron bar in the presence of their host.
Suddenly, without taking off his coat, Washington grasped the bar and
hurled it, with little effort, much farther than any of them had
done. "We were indeed amazed," said one of the young men, "as we
stood round, all stripped to the buff, and having thought ourselves
very clever fellows, while the colonel, on retiring, pleasantly said,
'When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I'll try again.'"

At another time, Washington witnessed a wrestling match. The champion
of the day challenged him, in sport, to wrestle. Washington did not
stop to take off his coat, but grasped the "strong man of Virginia."
{65} It was all over in a moment, for, said the wrestler, "in
Washington's lionlike grasp, I became powerless, and was hurled to
the ground with a force that seemed to jar the very marrow in my

In the days of the Revolution, some of the riflemen and the
backwoodsmen were men of gigantic strength, but it was generally
believed, by good judges, that their commander in chief was the
strongest man in the army.

During all his life, Washington was fond of dancing. He learned in
boyhood, and danced at "balls and routs" until he was sixty-four. To
attend a dance, he often rode to Alexandria, ten miles distant from
Mount Vernon. The year he died he was forced, on account of his
failing health, to give up this recreation. "Alas!" he wrote, "my
dancing days are no more."

Many and merry were the dances at the army headquarters during the
long winter evenings. General Greene once wrote to a friend, "We had
a little dance and His Excellency and Mrs. Greene danced upwards of
three hours, without once sitting down." Another winter, although
they had not a ton of hay for the horses, as Greene wrote, and the
provisions had about given out, and for two weeks there was not cash
enough in camp to forward the public dispatches, Washington
subscribed to a series of dancing parties.

Amid all the hardships of campaign life, Washington was ever the same
dignified and self-contained gentleman. At one time, the headquarters
were in an old log {66} house, in which there was only one bed. He
alone occupied this, while the fourteen members of his staff slept on
the floor in the same room. Food, except mush and milk, was scarce.
At this homely but wholesome fare, the commander in chief presided
with his usual dignity.

For a man so large and so strong, Washington ate sparingly and of the
simplest food. We are told that he "breakfasted at seven o'clock on
three small Indian hoecakes, and as many dishes of tea." Custis, his
adopted son, once said that the general ate for breakfast "Indian
cakes, honey, and tea," and that "he was excessively fond of fish."
In fact, salt codfish was at Mount Vernon the regular Sunday dinner.
Even at the state banquets, the President generally dined on a single
dish, and that of a very simple kind. When asked to eat some rich
food, his courteous refusal was, "That is too good for me." People at
a distance, hearing of the great man's liking for honey, took pride
in sending him great quantities of it. During fast days, he
religiously went without food the entire day.

Washington was fond of rich and costly clothes. In truth, he was in
early life a good deal of a dandy. His clothes were made in London;
and from his long letters to his tailor we know that he was fussy
about their quality and their fit. Even while away from home fighting
Indians and making surveys, he did not neglect to write to London for
"Silver Lace for a Hatt," "Ruffled Shirts;" "Waistcoat of superfine
scarlet Cloth and gold {67} Lace," "Marble colored Silk Hose," "a
fashionable gold lace Hat," "a superfine blue Broadcloth Coat with
silver Trimmings," and many other costly and highly colored articles
of apparel worn by the rich young men of that period. As he grew
older, he wore more subdued clothing, and in old age reminded his
nephew that "fine Cloathes do not make fine Men more than fine
Feathers make fine Birds."

You have noticed, of course, the wrong spelling of certain words
quoted from Washington's letters and journals. These words are
spelled as he wrote them. The truth is, the "Father of his Country"
was all his life a poor speller. He was always sensitive over what he
called his "defective education." His more formal letters and his
state papers were in many instances put into shape by his aids or his
secretaries, or by others associated with him in official life.

If Washington had an amiable weakness, it was for horses. From early
boyhood, he was a skillful and daring rider. He rode on horseback,
year in and year out, until shortly before his death. Many were the
stories told by the "ragged Continentals" of the superb appearance of
their commander in chief at the head of the army or in battle. In
speaking of the battle of Monmouth, Lafayette said, "Amid the roar
and confusion of that conflict I took time to admire our beloved
chief, mounted on a splendid charger, as he rode along the ranks amid
the shouts of the soldiers. I thought then, {68} as now," continued
he, "that never had I beheld so superb a man." Jefferson summed it
all up in one brief sentence: "Washington was the best horseman of
his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on

[Illustration: Washington before Trenton]

During all his life, Washington was thrifty, and very methodical in
business. He grew so wealthy that when he died his estate was valued
at half a million dollars. This large fortune for those days did not
include his wife's estate, or the Mount Vernon property, which he
inherited from his brother. He was the richest American of his time.

[Illustration: Mount Vernon, the Home of Washington]

His management of the Mount Vernon estate would make of itself an
interesting and instructive book. Of {69} the eight thousand acres,
nearly one half was under cultivation during the last part of its
owner's life. We must not forget that at this time few tools and very
little machinery were used in farming. At Mount Vernon, the negroes
and the hired laborers numbered more than five hundred. The owner's
orders were, "Buy nothing you can make within yourselves." The Mount
Vernon gristmill not only ground all the flour and the meal for the
help, but it also turned out a brand of flour which sold at a fancy
price. The coopers of the place made the flour barrels, and
Washington's own sloop carried the flour to market. A dozen kinds of
cloth, from woolen and linen to bedticking and toweling, were woven
on the premises.

{70} In 1793, although he had one hundred and one cows on his farms,
Washington writes that he was obliged to buy butter for the use of
his family. Another time, he says that one hundred and fifteen
hogsheads of "sweetly scented and neatly managed Tobacco" were
raised, and that in a single year he sold eighty-five thousand
herring, taken from the Potomac.

For his services in the French and Indian Wars, Washington received
as a bounty fifteen thousand acres of Western lands. By buying the
claims of his fellow officers who needed money, he secured nearly as
much more. After the Revolution, Washington and General Clinton
bought six thousand acres "amazingly cheap," in the Mohawk valley. No
wonder Washington was spoken of as "perhaps the greatest landholder
in America."

Like many other Southern proprietors, Washington had no end of bother
with his slaves. He bought and sold negroes as he did his cattle and
his horses, but, as he said, "except on the richest of Soils they
only add to the Expense." In 1791, the slaves on the Mount Vernon
estate alone numbered three hundred. In this same year, the owner
wrote one day in his diary that he would never buy another slave; but
the next night his cook ran away, and not being able to hire one,
"white or black," he had to buy one. "Something must be done," he
said, "or I shall be ruined. It would be for my Interest to set them
free, rather than give them Victuals and Clooths."

{71} Washington was too kind-hearted ever to flog his slaves, and yet
his kindness was often abused. Fat and lazy, they made believe to be
sick, or they ran away, and they played all kinds of pranks. In his
diary, we read the tale of woe. We are told that his slaves would
steal his sheep and his potatoes; would burn their tools; and wasted
six thousand twelvepenny nails in building a corn-house.

Like other rich Virginians of his time, Washington kept open house.
He once said that his home had become "a well resorted tavern."
Indeed it was, for guests of all sorts and conditions were dined and
wined to their hearts' content. According to the diary, it seemed to
matter little whether it was a real nobleman, or a tramp "who called
himself a French Nobleman," a sick or a wounded soldier, or "a Farmer
who came to see the new drill Plow," all "were desired to tarry," to
help eat the hot roasts and drink the choice wines.

There seems to have been almost no end to the sums of money, both
large and small, which Washington gave away. Through the pages of his
ledgers, we find hundreds of items of cash paid in charity. Here are
a few entries which are typical of the whole: "10 Shillings for a
wounded Soldier"; "gave a poor Man $2.00"; "two deserving French
Women, $25"; "a poor blind Man, $1.50"; "a Lady in Distress, $50";
"the poor in Alexandria, $100"; "Sufferers by Fire, $300"; "School in
Kentucky, $100." His lavish hospitality and his {72} unceasing
charity were a constant drain on his income. Had he not been so
thorough in business, he surely would have been brought to financial

[Illustration: General Washington and Staff riding through a Country

After the war of the Revolution was over, Congress having failed to
pay certain prominent officers of the army, an outbreak was
threatened. A meeting was held at Newburgh, New York. Washington was
there. Everybody present knew that he had served without pay and had
advanced large sums from his private fortune, to pay the army
expenses. There was a deathlike stillness when the commander in chief
rose to read his address. His eyesight had become so poor that he was
now using glasses. He had never worn these in public, but, finding
his sight dim, he stopped reading, took his spectacles from his
pocket, and put them on, saying quietly, "You will permit me to put
on my spectacles. I have grown gray in the service of my country, and
now find myself growing blind." It was not merely what the beloved
general said, but the way he spoke the few, simple words. The pathos
of this act, and the solemn address of this majestic man touched
every heart. No wonder that some of the veterans were moved to tears.

One day a schoolboy stood on the stone steps before the old State
House, in Philadelphia, as the first President of the United States
was driven up to make his formal visit to Congress. This small boy
glided into the hall, under the cover of the long coats of the finely
dressed escort. Boylike he climbed to a hiding place, {73} from which
he watched the proceedings with the deepest awe. The boy lived to
write fifty years afterwards a pleasing description of the affair. He
tells us that while Washington entered, and walked up the broad
aisle, and ascended the steps leading to the speaker's chair, the
large and crowded chamber "was as profoundly still as a house of
worship in the most solemn pauses of devotion."

On this occasion, Washington was dressed in a full suit of the
richest black velvet, with diamond knee buckles, and square silver
buckles set upon shoes japanned with the greatest neatness, black
silk stockings, his shirt ruffled at the breast and the wrists, a
light sword, his hair fully {74} dressed, so as to project at the
sides, and gathered behind in a silk bag, ornamented with a large
rose of black ribbon. As he advanced toward the chair, he held in his
hand his cocked hat, which had a large black cockade. When seated, he
laid his hat upon the table. Amid the most profound silence,
Washington, taking a roll of paper from his inside coat pocket, arose
and read with a deep, rich voice his opening address.

Those who knew Washington have said that his presence inspired a
feeling of awe and veneration rarely experienced in the presence of
any other American. His countenance rarely softened or changed its
habitual gravity, and his manner in public life was always grave and
self-contained. In vain did the merry young women at Lady
Washington's receptions do their best to make the stately President
laugh. Some declared that he could not laugh. Beautiful Nellie
Custis, his ward and foster child, used to boast of her occasional
success in making the sedate President laugh aloud.

We may be sure that President Washington's receptions, every other
Tuesday afternoon, were formal. On such occasions, he was in the full
dress of a gentleman of that day,--black velvet, powdered hair
gathered in a large silk bag, and yellow gloves. At his side was a
long, finely wrought sword, with a scabbard of white polished
leather. He always stood in front of the fireplace, with his face
toward the door. He received each visitor with a dignified bow, but
never shook hands, even with his {75} nearest friends. He considered
himself visited, not as a friend, but as President of the United

[Illustration: Washington at Mount Vernon]

While President, Washington used to give a public dinner, every
Thursday at four o'clock, "to as many as my table will hold." He
allowed five minutes for difference in watches, and, at exactly five
minutes past four by his hall clock, went to the table. His only
apology to the laggard guest was, "I have a cook who never asks
whether the company has come, but whether the hour has come."

If we may judge from the very full accounts of these grand dinners,
as described in the diaries of the {76} guests, they must have been
stiff affairs. These people probably wrote the truth when they said,
"glad it is over," "great formality," "my duty to submit to it,"
"scarcely a word was said," "there was a dead silence." No doubt
there was much good food to eat and choice wine to drink, but the
formal manners of the times were emphasized by awe of their grave
host. Very few of the guests, both at Mount Vernon and at
Philadelphia, failed to allude to the habit that Washington had of
playing with his fork and striking on the table with it.

It would take a book many times larger than this to tell you all that
has been written about Washington's everyday life. Some day you will
delight to read more about him, and learn why he was, in every sense
of the word, a wise, a good, and a great man,--the man who "without a
beacon, without a chart, but with an unswerving eye and steady hand,
guided his country safe through darkness and through storm."

Every young American should remember of Washington that "there is no
word spoken, no line written, no deed done by him, which justice
would reverse or wisdom deplore." His greatness did not consist so
much in his intellect, his skill, and his genius, though he possessed
all these, as in his honor, his integrity, his truthfulness, his high
and controlling sense of duty--in a word, his _character_, honest,
pure, noble, great.




We have certainly read enough about General Washington to know that
he often planned to steal a march on the British. Don't you remember
how surprised General Howe was one morning to find that Washington
had gone to Dorchester Heights, with a big force of men, horses, and
carts, and how he threw up breastworks, mounted cannon, and forced
the British general after a few days to quit the good city of Boston?
Haven't we also read how the "ragged Continentals" left their bloody
footprints in the snow, as they marched to Trenton all that bitter
cold night in December, 1777, and gave the Hessians a Christmas
greeting they little expected?

In January, 1779, England sent orders to General Clinton "to bring
Mr. Washington to a general and decisive action at the opening of the
campaign," and also "to harry the frontiers and coasts north and

General Clinton wrote back that he had found "Mr. Washington" a hard
nut to crack, but he would do his level best, he said, "to strike at
Washington while he was in motion."

{78} The main American force was still in winter quarters in northern
New Jersey, near New York. Various brigades were stationed up and
down the Hudson as far as West Point. As at the beginning of the war,
so now in 1779, the line of the Hudson from Albany to New York was
the key to the general situation. Its protection, as Washington had
written, was of "infinite consequence to our cause."

The first real move in the game was made in May, when a large British
force marched up, captured, and strongly fortified the two forts at
Stony Point and Verplanck's Point, only thirteen miles below West
Point. The enemy thus secured the control of King's Ferry, where
troops and supplies for the patriot army were ferried across the

Our spies now sent word to Washington that the British were ready to
move on some secret service. The patriot army was at once marched up,
and went into camp within easy reach of West Point, to wait for the
next move in the game. Once more these far-famed Hudson Highlands
were to become the storm center of the struggle.

For some reason, Clinton did not push farther up the Hudson. On the
contrary, he began to make raids into various parts of the country,
from Martha's Vineyard to the James River. These raids were marked by
cruelties unknown in the earlier years of the war. The hated Tryon,
once the royal governor of New York, led {79} twenty-six hundred men
into Connecticut. His brutal soldiers killed unarmed and helpless men
and women, and sacked and burned houses and churches.

One of Clinton's objects in sending out the raiders was to coax
Washington to weaken his army by sending out forces to offset them,
or to tease him into making what he called a "false move." Washington
was, of course, keenly alive to the misery brought upon the people of
the country by these brutalities, but he was too wise a general to
run any risk of losing his hold upon the line of the Hudson. The
Continental army could not muster ten thousand men. Although not
strong enough to begin a vigorous campaign, yet it was sufficiently
powerful to hold the key to the Highlands.

Washington could, if need be, strike a quick, hard blow, either in
New England or farther south. It might be, to be sure, a sort of side
play, and yet it was to have the effect of a great battle. Indeed, it
was high time to give the enemy another surprise.

At length it was decided to attack Stony Point. Any open assault,
however, would be hopeless. This stronghold, if taken at all, must be
taken by night.

What kind of place was this Stony Point?

It was a huge rocky bluff, shooting out into the river more than half
a mile from the shore, and rising, at its highest point, nearly two
hundred feet. It was joined to the shore by a marshy neck of land,
crossed by a rude bridge, or causeway.

{80} The British had fortified the top of this rocky point with half
a dozen separate batteries. The cannon were so mounted as to defend
all sides. Between the fort and the mainland, two rows of logs were
set into the ground, with their ends sharpened to a point and
directed outwards, forming what is known in military language as an
abatis. This stronghold was defended by six hundred men.

Washington Irving well describes Stony Point as "a natural sentinel
guarding the gateway of the far-famed Highlands of the Hudson." The
British called it their "little Gibraltar," and defied the rebels to
come and take it.

And now for a leader! Who was the best man to perform this desperate

There was really no choice, for there was only one officer in the
whole army who was fitted for the undertaking,--General Anthony

Wayne was a little over thirty years old. He was a fine-looking man
with a high forehead and fiery hazel eyes. He had a youthful face,
full of beauty. He liked handsome uniforms and fine military
equipments. Some of his officers used to speak of him in fun as
"Dandy Wayne." But the men who followed their dashing, almost
reckless leader called him "Mad Anthony," and this name has clung to
him ever since.

Wayne was, without doubt, the hardest fighter produced on either side
during the American Revolution. {81} He had an eager love of battle;
and he was cautions, vigilant, and firm as a rock. This gallant
officer eagerly caught at the idea when the commander in chief told
him what he wanted. And so it came to pass that Washington did the
planning, and Wayne did the fighting.

[Illustration: General Anthony Wayne]

Washington's plans were made with the greatest care. The dogs for
three miles about the fort were killed the day before the intended
attack, lest some indiscreet bark might alarm the garrison. The
commander in chief himself rode down and spent the whole day looking
over the situation. Trusty men, who knew every inch of the region,
guarded every road and every trail by which spies and deserters could

"Ten minutes' notice to the enemy blasts all your hopes," wrote
Washington to Wayne.

The orders were "to take and keep all stragglers."

"Took the widow Calhoun and another widow going to the enemy with
chickens and greens," reported Captain McLane. "Drove off twenty head
of horned cattle from their pasture."

The hour of attack was to be midnight. Washington hoped for a dark
night and even a rainy one. Not a gun was to be loaded except by two
companies who were to {82} make the false attack. The bayonet alone
was to be used, Wayne's favorite weapon. At Germantown, it was
Wayne's men who drove the Hessians at the point of the bayonet. And
at Monmouth, these men had met, with cold steel, the fierce bayonet
charge of the far-famed British grenadiers.

About thirteen hundred men of the famous light infantry were chosen
to make the attack. Both officers and men were veterans and the
flower of the Continental army.

On the forenoon of July 15, the companies were called in from the
various camps, and drawn up for inspection as a battalion,
"fresh-shaved and well-powdered," as Wayne had commanded.

At twelve o'clock the inspection was over, but the men, instead of
being sent to their quarters, were wheeled into the road, with the
head of the column facing southward. The march to Stony Point had

"If any soldier loads his musket, or fires from the ranks, or tries
to skulk in the face of danger, he is at once to be put to death by
the officer nearest him." One soldier did begin to load his gun,
saying that he did not know how to fight without firing. His captain
warned him once. The soldier would not stop. The officer then ran his
sword through him in an instant. The next day, however, the captain
came to Colonel Hull and said he was sorry that he had killed the
poor fellow. "You performed a painful service," said Hull, "by which,
{83} perhaps, victory has been secured, and the life of many a brave
man saved. Be satisfied."

All that hot July afternoon, the men picked their way along rough and
narrow roads, up steep hillsides, and through swamps and dense
ravines, often in single file. No soldier was allowed to leave the
ranks, on any excuse whatever, except at a general halt, and then
only in company with an officer.

At eight o'clock the little army came to a final halt at a farmhouse,
thirteen miles from their camp, and a little more than a mile back of
Stony Point. Nobody was permitted to speak. The tired men dropped
upon the ground, and ate in silence their supper of bread and cold

A little later, Wayne's order of battle was read. For the first time
the men knew what was before them. No doubt many a brave fellow's
knees shook and his cheek grew pale, when he thought of what might
happen before another sunrise.

Until half past eleven o'clock they rested.

Each man now pinned a piece of white paper "to the most conspicuous
part of his hat or his cap," so that, in the thick of the midnight
fight, he might not run his bayonet through some comrade. No man was
to speak until the parapet of the main fort was reached. Then all
were to shout the watchword of the night, "The fort's our own!"

One of the last things that Wayne did was to write a letter to a
friend at his home in Philadelphia, dated {84} "Eleven o'clock and
near the hour and scene of carnage." He wrote that he hoped his
friend would look after the education of his children.

"I am called to sup," he wrote, "but where to breakfast? Either
within the enemy's lines in triumph, or in another world."

Half past eleven! It was time to start.

A negro, named Pompey, who sold cherries and strawberries to the
garrison, was used as a guide. This shrewd darkey had got the British
password for the night, by claiming that his master would not let him
come in during the daytime, because he was needed to hoe corn. You
will be glad to know that Pompey, as a reward for this eventful
night's service, never had to hoe corn again, and that his master not
only gave him a horse to ride, but also set him free.

[Illustration: Pompey guiding General Wayne]

Wayne divided his little army into two main columns, to attack right
and left, having detached two companies, with loaded guns, to move in
between the two columns and make a false attack.

Each column was divided into three parts. A "forlorn hope" of twenty
men was to be the first to rush headlong into the hand to hand fight.
Then followed an advance guard of one hundred and fifty men, who,
with axes in hand and muskets slung, were to cut away the timbers.
Last of all came the main body.

The silent band reaches the edge of the marsh at midnight, the hour
set by Washington for the assault. {85} Wayne himself leads the right
column, to attack by the south approach. The tide has not ebbed, and
the water is in places waist deep. The marsh is fully six hundred
feet across. No matter for that! Straight ahead the column moves as
if on parade. Now they have crossed, and are close to the outer
defense. The British pickets hear the noise, open fire, and give the
general alarm. The drums on the hill beat the "long roll." Quick and
sharp come the orders. The redcoats leap from the barracks, and in a
few moments every man is at his post.

[Illustration: Wayne leads the Assault]

Up rush the pioneers with their axes, and cut away the sharpened
timbers the best they can in the darkness, while the bullets whiz
over their heads. Then follow the main columns, who climb over, and
form on the other side. Now they reach the second defense. They cut
and tear away the sharp stakes. The bullets fall like hail. On, on,
the two columns rush. They push up the steep hill, and dash {86} for
the main fort on the top. On the left, the "forlorn hope" has lost
seventeen out of twenty men, either killed or wounded.

Meanwhile, Colonel Murfree and his two companies take their stand
directly in front of the fort, and open a brisk and rapid fire, to
make the garrison believe that they are the real attacking party. The
redcoats are surely fooled, for they hurry down with a strong force
to meet them, only to find their fort captured before they can get

Wayne is struck in the head by a musket ball, and falls. The blood
flows over his face. He fears in the confusion that he has received
his death wound.

He cries to his aids, "Carry me into the fort and let me die at the
head of the column."

Two of his officers pick up their gallant leader, and hurry forward;
but it is only a scalp wound, and Wayne returns to the fight.

Wayne's column scales the ramparts.

The first man over shouts, "The fort's our own," and pulls down the
British flag.

The second main column follows.

"The fort's our own!" "The fort's our own!" echoes and reëchoes over
the hills.

The bayonet is now doing its grim work. The darkness is lighted only
by the flashes from the guns of the redcoats. The bewildered British
are driven at the point of the bayonet into the corners of the fort,
and {87} cry, "Mercy, mercy, dear Americans!" "Quarter! quarter!"
"Don't kill us! we surrender!"

At one o'clock the work was done,--thirty minutes from the time the
marsh was crossed! As soon as they were sure of victory, Wayne's men
gave three rousing cheers. The British on the war vessels in the
river, and at the fort on the opposite side of the river, answered;
for they thought that the attacking party had been defeated. The only
British soldier to escape from Stony Point was a captain. Leaping
into the Hudson, he swam a mile to the Vulture and told its captain
what had happened. In this way the news of the disaster reached Sir
Henry Clinton at breakfast.

{88} After the surrender, Wayne wrote the following letter to

Stony Point, 16th July, 1779, 2 o'clock.

Dear General,

The fort and garrison with Colonel Johnson are ours. Our officers and
men behaved like men who are determined to be free.

Yours most sincerely,
Ant'y Wayne.

General Washington.

The news spread like wildfire. Wayne and his light infantry were the
heroes of the hour.

Two days afterwards, Washington, with his chief officers, rode down
to Stony Point and heard the whole story. The commander in chief
shook hands with the men, and "with joy that glowed in his
countenance, here offered his thanks to Almighty God, that He had
been our shield and protector amidst the dangers we had been called
to encounter."

Washington did not, of course, intend to hold Stony Point, for the
enemy could besiege it by land and by water. The prisoners, the
cannon, and the supplies were carried away, and very little was left
to the foe but the bare rock of their "little Gibraltar."

This exploit gave the Continental soldier greater confidence in
himself. It proved to the British that the "rebel" could use the
bayonet with as much boldness and effect as the proudest grenadier.
The fight {89} was not a great affair in itself. Only fifteen
Americans were killed and eighty-three wounded; of the British,
sixty-three were killed and some seventy wounded.

As for Clinton, although he put on a bold face in the matter, and
spoke of the event as an accident, he owned that he felt the blow

"Mr. Washington" was still master of the situation.




If what the proverb tells us is true, that it is always darkest
before dawn, the patriots of the South in 1780 must indeed have
prayed for the light. Affairs had gone rapidly from bad to worse. Sir
Henry Clinton had come again from New York, and in May of that year
had captured Charleston with all of Lincoln's army.

Sir Henry went back to New York, leaving Lord Cornwallis in command.
Washington desired to send his right-hand man, General Greene, to
stem the tide of British success, but the Continental Congress chose
to send General Gates.

In August, this weak general was utterly defeated in the battle of
Camden, in South Carolina. How the bitter words of General Charles
Lee, "Beware lest your Northern laurels change to Southern willows,"
must have rung in his ears! Gates fled from Camden like the commonest
coward in the army. Mounted on a fast horse, he did not stop until he
reached Charlotte, seventy miles away.

No organized American force now held the field in the South, and the
red dragoons easily overran Georgia and South Carolina. There seemed
to be little left for {91} Cornwallis to do; for the three Southern
colonies were for the time ground under the iron heel of the enemy.

Crushing blows, however, only nerved the leaders, Sumter, Pickens,
Marion, Davie, and others, to greater efforts. The insolence, the
cruelty, and the tyranny of the British soldiers, and the bitter
hatred of the Tories, had brought to the front a new class of
patriots. These men cared little about the original cause of the war,
but the burning of their houses, the stealing of their cattle and
their horses, and the brutal insulting of their wives and their
daughters, aroused them to avenge their wrongs to the bitter end. And
many were the skirmishes they brought about with the British.

Thirty days had now passed since the battle of Camden, and Cornwallis
on his return march had not yet reached the Old North State. It was
still a long way to Virginia, and the road thither was beset with
many dangers.

Meanwhile, the British commander had intrusted to two of his
officers, Tarleton and Ferguson, the task of pillaging plantations,
raising and drilling troops among the Tories, and breaking up the
bands of armed patriots.

The brutal manner in which Tarleton and his men plundered, burned,
and hanged does not concern this story.

Ferguson was the colonel of a regular regiment that had been
recruited in this country, instead of in England. With his kind heart
and his winning manner, he was bold {92} and brave, and always ready
to take desperate chances in battle. He was noted for hard riding,
night attacks, and swift movements with his troopers; and as a
marksman he was unsurpassed. In short, Ferguson was just the leader
to win the respect and the admiration of the Tories; and they eagerly
enlisted in his service.

With a few regulars and a large force of loyalists, he pushed his
victories to the foot of the mountains, in the western borders of the
Carolinas. For the first time, he learned that over the high ranges
in front of him were the homes of the men who had been causing him
annoyance, and who were harboring those that had fled before his

The proud young Briton now made the mistake of his life. He sent a
prisoner, Samuel Phillips, over to the frontier settlements, to
Colonel Isaac Shelby, with the insolent message that, if the
"backwater" men did not quit resisting the royal arms, he would march
his army over the mountains, and would straightway lay waste their
homes with fire and sword, and hang their leaders.

He little knew what kind of men he had stirred to wrath. The frontier
settlers of Franklin and Holston, which grew into the great
commonwealth of Tennessee, were, for the most part, Scotch-Irish
people. They had grappled with the wilderness, and had hewn out homes
for themselves. Along with their log cabins they had built
meetinghouses and schoolhouses. Their life was {93} full of
ever-present peril and hardship; for they were engaged in a ceaseless
struggle with the Indians. The minister preached with his gun at his
side, and the men listened with their rifles within their grasp.

As we should expect, these hardy settlers were generally stanch
patriots. They believed in Washington and in the Continental
Congress. They knew that British gold bribed the Indians, and
furnished them with weapons to butcher their women and children. It
was British gold, too, that hired the wild and lawless among them to
enlist in the invading army; and it was British officers that drilled
them to become expert in killing their brethren of the lowlands.

At the time of the Revolution, these backwoodsmen were still fighting
with the savages, and so had not taken an active part in the war on
the seaboard. Like a rear guard of well-seasoned veterans, they stood
between the Indians and their people on the coast.

Now these hardy mountaineers took Ferguson's threat seriously. Their
Scotch-Irish blood was up.

Colonel Shelby, one of the county lieutenants of Washington County,
rode posthaste to John Sevier's home, sixty miles away, to carry
Ferguson's threat.

Sevier lived on the Nolichucky River, and from his deeds of daring
and his hospitality was nicknamed "Chucky Jack." When Shelby arrived,
it was a day of merrymaking. They were having a barbecue; that is,
they were roasting oxen whole on great spits; and a {94} horse race
was to be run. The colonel told his story, and the merrymakers agreed
to turn out.

Shelby now rode home at full speed to muster his own men, and sent
urgent word to Colonel William Campbell, a famous Indian fighter, who
lived forty miles away, to call out the Holston Virginians.

The place appointed for meeting was at Sycamore Shoals, a central
point on the Watauga River. The day set was September 25.

Hither came Shelby and Sevier with about five hundred men, William
Campbell with four hundred Virginians, and McDowell with about one
hundred and sixty refugees from North Carolina.

Word was sent to Colonel Cleveland, a hunter and Indian fighter of
Wilkes County in North Carolina, to come with all the men he could
raise east of the mountains.

Colonel Sevier tried in vain to borrow money to furnish the men with
horses and supplies. The people were willing to give their last
dollar, but they had paid out all their money for land, and the cash
was in the hands of the county entry taker, John Adair.

Sevier appealed to him.

This patriot's reply is historic: "I have no authority by law,
Colonel Sevier, to make that disposition of this money. It belongs to
the treasury of North Carolina, and I dare not appropriate a penny of
it to any purpose. But if the country is overrun by the British,
liberty is {95} gone. Let the money go, too. Take it. If the enemy,
by its use, is driven from the country, I can trust that country to
justify and vindicate my conduct. Take it."

This money, thirteen thousand dollars in silver and gold, was taken,
and the supplies bought. Shelby and Sevier pledged themselves to
refund the money, or to have the act legalized by the legislature.

September 25 was a day of intense excitement in those frontier
settlements. The entire military force of what is now Tennessee met
at Sycamore Shoals. The younger and more vigorous men were to march,
while the older men with poorer guns were to remain behind, to help
the women defend their homes against the savages. But all came, to
bid good-by to husbands, to brothers, and to lovers. Food, horses,
guns, blankets,--everything except money was brought without stint.

The backwoodsmen were mounted on swift, wiry horses. Their long
hunting shirts were girded with bead-worked belts. Some wore caps
made of mink or of coonskins, with the tails hanging down behind;
others had soft hats, in each of which was fastened either a sprig of
evergreen or a buck's tail.

Nearly all were armed with what was called the Deckhard rifle,
remarkable for the precision and the distance of its shot. Every man
carried a tomahawk and a scalping knife. There was not a bayonet in
the whole force. Here and there an officer wore a sword.

{96} There was no staff, no commissary, no quartermaster, and no

Early in the morning of September 26, the little army was ready to
march. Before leaving camp, all met in an open grove to hear their
minister, the Rev. Samuel Doak, invoke divine blessing on their
perilous undertaking.

[Illustration: Praying for the Success of the Riflemen]

Years before, this God-fearing man had crossed the mountains, driving
before him an "old flea-bitten gray horse" loaded with Bibles, and
had cast his lot with the Holston settlers. By his energy in founding
churches and in building schoolhouses, as well as by his skill in
shooting Indians, he had become a potent influence for good among
these frontier people.

Every man doffed his hat and bowed his head on his long rifle, as the
white-headed Presbyterian prayed in burning words that they might
stand bravely in battle, and that the sword of the Lord and of Gideon
might smite their foes.

{97} Our little army now pushed on over the mountains. On the third
day they crossed the Blue Ridge, and saw far away the fertile valleys
of the upper Catawba. The next day they reached the lovely lowlands,
where Colonel Cleveland with three hundred and fifty militia joined

Hitherto, each band of the mountain army had been under the command
of its own leader. Some of the men were unruly; others were disposed
to plunder. This would never do, if they were to be successful; and
so, on October 2, it was decided to give the supreme command to
Colonel Cleveland.

Before the army set out on the following day, the colonels told their
men what was expected of them.

"Now, my brave fellows," said Colonel Cleveland, "the redcoats are at
hand. We must up and at them. When the pinch comes, I shall be with

"Everybody must be his own officer!" cried Colonel Shelby. "Give them
Indian play, boys; and now if a single man among you wants to go back
home, this is your chance; let him step three paces to the rear."

Not a man did so.

The pioneer army continued its march, picking up small bands of
refugees. When they reached Gilberttown the next night, they numbered
nearly fifteen hundred men. They hoped to find Ferguson at this
place, but the wily partisan had sharp eyes and quick ears. He had
been told by his Tory friends that the army of riflemen were after

{98} The Briton sent posthaste to Cornwallis for more men; he called
upon the Tories to rally to his support; and he issued a
proclamation, in which he called the backwoodsmen "the dregs of
mankind," "a set of mongrels," and other bad names. "Something must
be done," he wrote to Cornwallis.

All this showed to the patriot riflemen that Ferguson was retreating
because he feared them. Doubtless he would have escaped easily enough
from ordinary soldiers; but his pursuers were made of different
stuff. They had hunted wild beasts and savages all their lives. Now
they were after the redcoats in the same way they would pursue a band
of Indians. They had come over the mountains to fight, and fight they

Seven hundred and fifty men, mounted on the strongest horses, now
hurried forward, leaving the rest to follow.

At sunset, on October 6, they reached Cowpens, where three months
later Morgan was to defeat Tarleton. Here several hundred militia
under noted partisan leaders joined them. Seated round their blazing
camp fires, the hungry men roasted for supper the corn which they had
stripped from the field of a rich Tory.

The colonels decided in council to pick out about nine hundred men,
and with these to push on all night in pursuit of their hated foe.
Some were so eager to fight that they followed on foot, and actually
arrived in time for the battle.

{99} All this time Ferguson was working to keep out of the way of the
patriots. Several large bands of Tories were already on their way to
help him. He also expected help from Cornwallis. The one thing needed
was a day or two of time, and then he would be able to make a stand
against his pursuers.

[Illustration: A Map of the Military Operations in the Carolinas]

On the same night of October 6, Ferguson halted at King's Mountain,
about a day's march from the riflemen at Cowpens, and thirty-five
miles from the camp of Cornwallis. The ridge on which he pitched his
camp was nearly half a mile long, and about sixty feet above the
level of the valley. Its steep sides were covered with timber.

The next day the British did not move. The heavy baggage wagons were
massed along the northeast part of the ridge, while the soldiers
camped on the south side.

{100} In his pride, the haughty young Briton declared that he could
defend the hill against any rebel force, and "that God Almighty
Himself could not drive him from it."

Through that dark and rainy night the mountaineers marched. It rained
hard all the next forenoon, but the men wrapped their blankets and
the skirts of their hunting shirts round their gunlocks, and hurried
on after Ferguson. A few of Shelby's men stopped at a Tory's house.

"How many are there of you?" asked a young girl.

"Enough," said one of the riflemen, "to whip Ferguson, if we can
catch him."

"He is on that hill yonder," replied the girl, pointing to the high
range about three miles away.

Shelby had sent out Enoch Gilmer as a spy. He came back, saying that
he had met a young woman who had been at the enemy's camp to sell
chickens, and that Ferguson was encamped on the spot where some
hunters had been the year before. These same hunters were with
Shelby, and at once said they knew every inch of the way. Two
captured Tories were compelled to tell how the British leader was

It was now three o'clock. It had stopped raining, and the sun was
shining. All was hurry and bustle. The plan was to surround the hill,
to give the men a better chance to fire upward, without firing into
each other.

When the patriots came within about a mile of the ridge, they
dismounted and tied their horses. The {101} watchword was "Buford,"
the name of the brave officer whose troops had been massacred by
Tarleton after their surrender. Each man was ordered to fight for
himself. He might retreat before the British bayonets, but he must
rally at once to the fight, and let the redcoats have "Indian play."

Sevier led the right wing. Some of his men by hard riding got to the
rear of Ferguson's army, and cut off the only chance for retreat.
Cleveland had charge of the left wing, while Campbell and Shelby were
to attack in front. So swiftly did the different detachments reach
their {102} places that Ferguson found himself attacked on every side
at once.

On horseback the gallant Briton leads his regulars in a bayonet
charge down the steep hillside. With the Indian war whoop, which
echoes and reëchoes, Campbell's riflemen rush forward. They have no
bayonets, and are driven down the hill. In a voice of thunder,
Campbell rallies his men, and up the hill they go with a still
deadlier fire, as the regulars retreat.

[Illustration: Charging the British at King's Mountain]

Now Shelby's men swarm up on the other side. Again the bayonets drive
these new foes down the rocky cliffs. No sooner do the redcoats
retire, than up comes Shelby again at the head of his men, nearer the
top than before.

Meanwhile the riflemen, behind every tree and every rock, were
picking off the redcoats. Clad in a hunting shirt, and blowing his
silver whistle, the brave Ferguson dashes here and there to rally his
men. He cuts and slashes with his sword until it is broken off at the
hilt. Two horses are killed under him.

Some of the Tories raise a white flag. Ferguson rides up and cuts it
down. A second flag is raised elsewhere. He rides there and cuts that

Now he flies at Sevier's riflemen, who had just made their way to the
top of the hill. At once they recognize their man. In an instant,
half a dozen bullets strike the gallant officer, and he falls dead
from his horse. No longer is the shrill whistle heard.

{103} Colonel De Peyster, the next in command, bravely keeps up the
fight, but the deadly rifles have done their work. The British are
hemmed in and there is no escape. At the head of their men the
several colonels arrive at the top of the hill about the same time.
The Tories are now huddled together near the baggage wagons.

"Quarter! quarter!" they cry everywhere.

"Remember Buford!" madly shout the victorious patriots.

"Throw down your arms, if you want quarter!" cries Shelby.

In despair, De Peyster at last raises a white flag, and white
handkerchiefs are waved from ramrods. Some of the younger
backwoodsmen did not know what a white flag meant, and kept on
firing. The colonels ordered them to stop, and then made the Tories
take off their hats and sit down on the ground.

There had been fierce and bloody work this beautiful autumn
afternoon, on the crest of that rocky hill. Friends, neighbors, and
relatives, in their bitter hatred, taunted and jeered one another, as
they shot and stabbed in the desperate struggle.

Ferguson had about eleven hundred men in the action. Of these about
four hundred were killed, wounded, or missing, and some seven hundred
made prisoners. Of the patriots, twenty-eight were killed and about
sixty wounded.

{104} Under bold and resolute leaders, the backwoods riflemen had
swept over the mountains like a Highland clan. Their work done, they
wished to return home. They knew too well the dangers of an Indian
attack on those they had left in their distant log cabins.

After burying their dead, and loading their horses with the captured
guns and supplies, the victors shouldered their rifles, and, carrying
their wounded on litters made of the captured tents, vanished from
the mountains as suddenly as they had appeared.

Such was the defeat of the red dragoons at King's Mountain. It proved
to be one of the decisive battles of the Revolution, and was the turn
of the tide of British success in the South. The courage of the
Southern patriots rose at a bound, and the Tories of the Carolinas
never recovered from the blow.




On July 3, 1775, under the great elm on Cambridge Common, Washington
took command of the patriot army. During the siege of Boston, which
followed, his headquarters were in that fine old mansion, the Craigie
house, where, from time to time, met men whose names became great in
the history of the Revolution.

[Illustration: Washington taking Command of the American Army, at

Hither came to consult with the commander in chief three men who died
hated and scorned by their countrymen. The first was Horatio Gates, a
vainglorious man, given to intrigue and treachery. Next came tall and
slovenly Charles Lee of Virginia, a restless adventurer, who, by his
cowardice in the battle of Monmouth, stirred even Washington to
anger. Then there was a young man for whom Washington had a peculiar
liking on account of his great personal bravery, who afterward became
the despised Benedict Arnold.

But here were also gathered men of another stamp,--men whom the
nation delights to honor. From the granite hills of New Hampshire,
came rough and ready John Stark, who afterwards whipped the British
at Bennington. From little Rhode Island, came Nathanael Greene, a
young Quaker, who began life as a blacksmith, {106} but who became
the ablest general of the Revolution except Washington.

Into this group of patriot leaders came also Daniel Morgan of
Virginia. Little is known of the early life of this remarkable man.
He would rarely say anything about his family. It is believed that he
was born of obscure Welsh people, in New Jersey, about the year 1737.

At seventeen, Morgan could barely read and write. He was rude of
speech and uncouth in manners, but his heart was brave, and he
scorned to lie.

The next two years did wonders for this awkward boy. He grew to be
over six feet tall, with limbs of fine build, and with muscles like
iron. In some way he had found time to study, and was regarded by the
village people as a promising young fellow.

Stirring times were at hand. The bitter struggle between the French
and the English in the Ohio valley was raging.

Morgan at once enlisted in the Virginia troops, and served one of the
companies as a teamster. An incident revealed the stuff of which the
young wagoner was made. The captain of his company had trouble with a
surly fellow who was a great bully and a skillful boxer. It was
agreed, according to the unwritten rules of the time, that the matter
should be settled by a fight at the next stopping place; and so when
the troops halted for dinner, out strode the captain to meet his foe.

{107} "You must not fight this man," said Morgan, stepping to the

"Why not?" asked the officer.

"Because you are our captain," replied the young teamster, "and if
the fellow whips you, we shall all be disgraced. Let me fight him,
and if he whips me, it will not hurt the name of the company."

The captain said it would never do, but at last yielded. Morgan
promptly gave the bully a sound thrashing.

After the defeat of Braddock, in 1755, the French and the redskins
wreaked their vengeance upon the terrified frontier settlements. A
regiment of a thousand men was raised, and Washington was made its
colonel. With this small force, he was supposed to guard a frontier
of two hundred and fifty miles.

Morgan enlisted as a teamster. It was his duty to carry supplies to
the various military posts on this long frontier. This meant almost
daily exposure to all kinds {108} of dangers. It was a rough, hard
school for a young man of twenty; but it made him an expert with the
rifle and the tomahawk, and a master of Indian warfare, which was so
useful to him in after years.

During one of these wild campaigns on the frontier, a British captain
took offense at something young Morgan had said or done, and struck
him with the flat of his sword. This was too much for the high-strung
teamster. He straightway knocked the redcoat officer senseless.

A drumhead court-martial sentenced the young Virginian to receive one
hundred lashes on the bare back. He was at once stripped, tied up,
and punished. Morgan said in joke that there was a miscount, and that
he actually received only ninety-nine blows. With his wonderful power
of endurance, the young fellow stood the punishment like a hero, and
came out of it alive and defiant.

This act, extreme even in those days of British cruelty, doubtless
nerved him to incredible deeds of bravery in fighting the hated

Shortly after this, he became a private in the militia. He made his
mark when the French and Indians attacked a fort near Winchester. The
story is that he killed four savages in as many minutes.

The young Virginian never drove any more army wagons. From this time,
he stood forth as a born fighter and a leader of men. Such was his
coolness in danger, his sound judgment, and, more than all else, his
great {109} influence over his men, that he was recommended to
Governor Dinwiddie for a captain's commission.

"What!" exclaimed the governor, "to a camp boxer and a teamster?"

Still, the best men of Virginia urged it, and the royal governor so
far yielded as to give him the commission of an ensign.

Not long afterwards, in one of the bloody fights with the French and
Indians, Morgan was shot through the back of the neck. The bullet
went through his mouth and came out through the left cheek, knocking
out all the teeth on the left side. Supposing that he was {110}
mortally wounded, and resolved not to lose his scalp, the fainting
rifleman clasped his arms tightly round the neck of his good horse,
and galloped for life through the woods. A fleet Indian ran after
him, tomahawk in hand. Finding at last that the horse was leaving him
behind, the panting savage hurled his weapon, and with a wild yell
gave up the chase.

[Illustration: Morgan's Escape from the Indian]

The hardy frontiersman lay for months hovering between life and
death, but finally recovered, and was once more in the thick of the
wild warfare.

In his old age, Morgan used to tell his grandchildren of the fiendish
look on the Indian's face while he felt sure of another scalp, and he
would also imitate the horrible yell the redskin made when he was
forced to give up the pursuit.

At last the war was over, and Morgan went back to his farm. He
brought home with him, however, the vices of his wild campaign life.
He used strong drink, and gambled. Far and near, he was noted as a
boxer and a wrestler. Pugilists came from a distance to try their
skill with the noted Indian fighter and athlete, who weighed over two
hundred pounds, and yet had not an extra ounce of flesh.

But these were only passing incidents in the life of the great man.
With a giant's frame, he had a tender heart. His good angel came to
him in the person of a farmer's daughter, Abigail Bailey. She had
great beauty; and she was a loving, Christian woman.

{111} They were soon married, and, as the fairy books say, were happy
ever after. As if by a magic spell, the strong man left his tavern
chums and their rough sports, his boxing, his gambling, and his
strong drink, and to the day of his death lived an upright life.

The young wife taught her husband to believe in God, and to trust in
prayer. In his simple-hearted way, Morgan tells us that, just before
the fierce attack on the fort at Quebec, he knelt in the drifting
snow, and felt that God had nerved him to fight.

In riding over the battlefield after his great victory at Cowpens,
old soldiers saw with wonder the fierce fighter stop his horse and
pray aloud, and, with tears running down his face, thank God for the

{112} His men never scoffed at their leader's prayers, for it was
noticed that the harder "old Dan Morgan" prayed, the more certain
they were of being soon led into the jaws of death itself.

Meanwhile, he and his young bride were thrifty and prosperous. They
were both ignorant of books, but they studied early and late to make
up for lost time. For the next nine years, Morgan, with his household
treasures,--his good wife, and his two little daughters,--lived in
the pure atmosphere of a Christian home.

[Illustration: Riflemen treating with Indians in the Wilderness of

The storm cloud of the Revolution was now gathering thick and fast.
Events followed each other with startling rapidity. Morgan watched
keenly. He never did anything in a half-hearted way; and we may be
sure that he took up the cause of the Revolution with all the fervor
of his strong nature.

After the bloodshed at Lexington, the Continental Congress called for
ten companies from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Morgan
received his commission as captain, five days after Bunker Hill. When
he shouted, "Come, boys, who's for the camp before Cambridge?" every
man in his section turned out.

In less than ten days, Morgan at the head of ninety-six expert
riflemen started for Boston. It was six hundred miles away, but they
marched the distance in twenty-one days without the loss of a single

One day as Washington was riding out to inspect the redoubts, he met
these Virginians.

{113} Morgan halted his men, and saluted the commander in chief,
saying, "From the right bank of the Potomac, General!"

Washington dismounted, and, walking along the line, shook hands with
each of them.

Late in the fall of 1775, Morgan and his famous sharpshooters marched
with about a thousand other troops on Arnold's ill-fated expedition
to Quebec. This campaign, as you have read, was one of the most
remarkable exploits of the war.

In the attack upon Quebec, after Arnold had been carried wounded from
the field, and Montgomery had been killed, Morgan took Arnold's place
and fought like a hero. He forced his way so far into the city that
he and all his men were surrounded and captured.

A British officer who greatly admired his daring visited him in
prison, and offered him the rank and pay of a colonel in the royal

"I hope, sir," answered the Virginian patriot, "you will never again
insult me, in my present distressed and unfortunate situation, by
making me offers which plainly imply that you think me a scoundrel."

Soon after his release, Congress voted him a colonel's commission,
with orders to raise a regiment. The regiment reported for service at
Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of 1776.

Five hundred of the best riflemen were selected from the various
regiments, and put under the command of {114} Colonel Morgan. He was
well fitted to be the leader of this celebrated corps of
sharpshooters. They were always to be at the front, to watch every
movement of the enemy, and to furnish prompt and accurate news for
Washington. They were to harass the British, and to fight with the
enemy's outposts for every inch of ground.

Meanwhile, in the fall of 1777, Burgoyne, with a large army of
British, Hessians, and Indians, marched down from Canada, through the
valley of the Hudson. The country was greatly alarmed. Washington
could ill spare Morgan, but generously sent him with his riflemen to
help drive back the invaders.

Two great battles, the first at Freeman's Farm, the second at
Saratoga, sealed Burgoyne's fate. In each battle, the sharpshooters
did signal service. Before their deadly rifles, the British officers,
clad in scarlet uniforms, fell with frightful rapidity. They were a
terror to the Hessians. As Morgan would often say in high glee, "The
very sight of my riflemen was always enough for the Hessian pickets.
They would scamper into their lines as if the devil drove them,
shouting in all the English they knew, 'Rebel in de bush! rebel in de

After the surrender, when Burgoyne was introduced to Morgan, he took
him warmly by the hand and said, "Sir, you command the finest
regiment in the world."

For over a year and a half after Saratoga, Morgan and his riflemen
were attached to Washington's army, and saw hard service. Their
incessant attacks on the enemy's {115} outposts, and their numberless
picket skirmishes, are all lost to history, and are now forgotten.

Just before the battle of Monmouth, a painful disease, known as
sciatica, brought on by constant exposure and hardship, disabled
Morgan. Sick and discouraged because he had seen officers who were
favorites with Congress promoted over his head, he, like Greene,
Stark, and Schuyler, now left the army for a time.

But after Gates was defeated at Camden, the fighting blood of the old
Virginian was greatly stirred. He declared that no man should have
any personal feeling when his country was in peril. So he hurried
down South, and took, under Gates, his old place as colonel.

After the battle at King's Mountain, Congress very wisely made Morgan
a brigadier general.

[Illustration: General Daniel Morgan]

The glorious and ever-memorable victory at Cowpens made him more
famous than ever before. Hitherto he had fought in battles that other
men had planned. Now he had a chance to plan and to fight as he
pleased. It was not a great battle so far as numbers were concerned,
but "in point of tactics," says John Fiske, the historian, "it was
the most brilliant battle of the war for independence."

{116} After leading eleven hundred men into the northeast part of
South Carolina, to cut off Cornwallis from the seacoast, General
Greene gave Morgan the command of about a thousand men, with orders
to march to the southwest, and threaten the inland posts and their
garrisons. Cornwallis, the English earl, scarcely knew which way to
turn; but he followed Greene's example, and, dividing his army, sent
Colonel Tarleton to crush Morgan.

Tarleton, confident of success, dashed away with his eleven hundred
troopers to pounce upon the "old wagoner" and crush him at a single
blow. Morgan, well trained in the school of Washington and Greene,
and wishing just then to avoid a decisive battle, skillfully fell
back until he found a spot in which to fight after his own fashion.

His choice was at a place where cattle were rounded up and branded,
known as Cowpens. A broad, deep river, which lay in the rear, cut off
all hope of retreat. A long, thickly wooded slope commanded the
enemy's approach for a great distance. Morgan afterwards said that he
made this choice purposely, that the militia might know they could
not run away, but must fight or die.

At Cowpens, then, the patriot army lay encamped the night before the
expected battle. A trusty spy was sent to Tarleton, to say that the
Americans had faced about, and were waiting to fight him sometime the
next day. There was no fuss and feathers about Morgan. In the {117}
evening, he went round among the various camp fires, and with
fatherly words talked the situation over.

"Stand by me, boys," said he in his blunt way, "and the old 'wagoner'
will crack his whip for sure over Tarleton to-morrow."

The British commander, eager to strike a sudden blow, put his army in
motion at three o'clock in the morning. He was not early enough,
however, to catch the old rifleman napping. Morgan had rested his men
during the night, and given them a good breakfast early in the
morning. When Tarleton appeared upon the scene about sunrise, he
found the patriots ready.

In the skirmish line, Morgan placed one hundred and twenty riflemen
that could bring down a squirrel from the tallest tree. The militia,
under the command of Colonel Pickens, were drawn up about three
hundred yards in front of the hill. Along the brow of the hill, and
about one hundred and fifty yards behind the militia, were the
veterans of the Continental line. And beyond the brow of the hill, he
stationed Colonel Washington with his cavalry, out of sight, and
ready to move in an instant.

"Be firm, keep cool, take good aim. Give two volleys at killing
distance, and fall back," were the orders to the raw militia.

"Don't lose heart," said Morgan to the Continentals, "when the
skirmishers and the militia fall back. 'Tis a part of the plan. Stand
firm, and fire low. Listen for my turkey call."

{118} Morgan was in the habit of using a small turkey call such as
hunters use to decoy turkeys. In the heat of battle he would blow a
loud blast. This he said was to let the boys know that he was still
alive and was watching them fight.

Tarleton, unmindful of the fact that Morgan's retreat was "sullen,
stern, and dangerous," had marched his men all night through the mud.
They were tired out and hungry. Never mind, their restless leader
would crush "old wagoner" first, and eat breakfast afterwards. He
could hardly wait to form his line or to allow his reserves to come

The battle begins in real earnest. The militia fire several
well-aimed volleys, and fall back behind the Continentals. With a
wild hurrah, the redcoats advance on the run. They are met with a
deadly volley. They overlap the Continentals a little, who fall back
a short distance, to save their left flank. Tarleton hurls his whole
force upon them. The veterans stand their ground and pour in a heavy
and well-sustained fire. Quick as a flash, Morgan sees his golden

"They are coming on like a mob!" shouts Colonel Washington to the
gallant Colonel Howard, the commander of the Continentals. "Face
about and fire, and I will charge them."

Then is heard the shrill whistle of the turkey call, and Morgan's
voice rings along the lines, "Face about! One good fire, and the
victory is ours!"

{119} Like a thunderbolt, Colonel Washington and his troopers, flying
their famous crimson flag, sweep down in a semicircle round the hill,
and charge the enemy's right flank.

"Charge bayonets!" shouts Howard.

Instantly the splendid veterans face about, open a deadly fire, and
charge the disordered British line with the bayonet.

[Illustration: The Carolina Militia resisting the British Grenadiers
at Cowpens]

All was over in a few minutes. The old "teamster" had set his trap,
and the redcoats were caught. Finding themselves surrounded, six
hundred threw down their guns, and cried for quarter. The rest,
including Tarleton himself, by hard riding, escaped.

{120} Colonel Washington and his troopers rode in hot haste to
capture Tarleton, if possible. In the eagerness of his pursuit,
Washington rode in advance of his men. Tarleton and two of his aids
turned upon him. Just as one of the aids was about to strike the
colonel with his saber, a trooper came up and disabled the redcoat's
arm. Before the other aid could strike, he was wounded by
Washington's little bugler, who, too small to handle a sword, fired
his pistol. Tarleton now made a thrust at the colonel with his sword.
The latter parried the blow, and wounded his enemy in the hand.

[Illustration: Hand to Hand Fight between Colonel Washington and
Colonel Tarleton]

As the story is told, this wound was twice the subject for witty
remarks by two young women, the daughters of a North Carolina
patriot. Tarleton remarked to one of these sisters that he understood
Colonel Washington was an unlettered fellow, hardly able to write his

"Ah, Colonel," said the lady, "you ought to know better, for you can
testify that he knows how to make his mark."

At another time, Tarleton said with a sneer to the other sister, "I
should be happy to see Colonel Washington."

"If you had looked behind you at the battle of Cowpens, Colonel
Tarleton," she replied, "you would have enjoyed that pleasure."

In the battle of Cowpens, the British lost two hundred and thirty,
killed and wounded. The Americans had twelve killed and sixty-one

{121} Morgan did not rest for one moment after his victory. He knew
that Lord Cornwallis, stung by the defeat of Tarleton, would do his
best to crush him before he could rejoin Greene's army. By forced
marches, he got to the fords of the Catawba first, and when his
lordship reached the river, he learned that the patriots had crossed
with all their prisoners and booty two days before, and were well on
their way to join General Greene.

Soon after the battle of Cowpens, repeated attacks of his old enemy,
sciatica, so disabled Morgan that he was forced to retire from the
service and go back to his home, in Virginia.

During the summer of 1780, when the British invaded the Old Dominion,
he again took the field. With Wayne and Lafayette, he took part in a
series of movements which led to the capture of Cornwallis. The
exposure of camp life again brought on a severe illness.

"I lay out the night after coming into camp," Morgan wrote General
Greene, "and caught cold."

{122} Crippled and suffering great pain, he went home with the belief
that he had dealt his last blow for the cause he loved so well. He
afterward received from Washington, Greene, Jefferson, Lafayette, and
other leaders, letters that stir our blood after so many years.

From a simple teamster, Morgan had become a major general. After
taking part in fifty battles, he lived to serve his country in peace
as well as in war, and was returned to Congress the second time. His
valor at the North is commemorated, as you already know, by the
statue on the monument at Saratoga. In the little city of
Spartanburg, in South Carolina, stands another figure of Daniel
Morgan, the "old wagoner of the Alleghanies," the hero of Cowpens.




About the middle of March, 1781, Lord Cornwallis defeated Greene in a
stubborn battle at Guilford, North Carolina. Although victorious, the
British general was in desperate straits. He had lost a fourth of his
whole army, and was over two hundred miles from his base of supplies.
He could not afford to risk another battle.

There was now really only one thing for Cornwallis to do, and that
was to make a bee line for Wilmington, the nearest point on the
coast, and look for help from the fleet.

General Greene must have guessed that the British general would march
northwards, to unite forces with Arnold, who was already in Virginia.
At all events, the sagacious American general made a bold move. He
followed Cornwallis for about fifty miles from Guilford, and then,
facing about, marched with all speed to Camden, a hundred and sixty
miles away.

His lordship was not a little vexed. He was simply ignored by his
wily foe, and left to do as he pleased. So he made his way into
Virginia, and on May 20 arrived at Petersburg.

{124} Benedict Arnold, who was now fighting under the British flag,
had been sent to Virginia to burn and to pillage. Washington
dispatched Lafayette to check the traitor's dastardly work. When Lord
Cornwallis reached Virginia, Arnold had been recalled, and the young
Frenchman was at Richmond.

Cornwallis thought he might now regain his reputation by some grand
stroke. The first thing to do was to crush the young Lafayette.

"The boy cannot escape me," he said.

But Lafayette was so skillful at retreating and avoiding a decisive
action that his lordship could get no chance to deal him a blow.

"I am not strong enough even to be beaten," wrote the French general
to the commander in chief.

Away to the west rode our friend Colonel Tarleton, still smarting
from the sound thrashing he had received from old Dan Morgan at
Cowpens. He was trying to break up the State Assembly, and capture
Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia.

It was a narrow escape for the man who wrote the Declaration of
Independence. The story is told that Jefferson had only five minutes
in which to take flight into the woods, before Tarleton's hard riders
surrounded his house at Monticello.

About this time, Mad Anthony Wayne, with a thousand Pennsylvania
regulars, appeared upon the scene and joined Lafayette.

{125} Now Cornwallis, finding that he could not catch "the boy," and
having a wholesome respect for Wayne, stopped his marching and
countermarching, and retreated to Williamsburg by way of Richmond and
the York peninsula.

During the first week in August, the British commander continued his
retreat to the coast, and occupied Yorktown, with about seven
thousand men. Lafayette was encamped on Malvern Hill, in the York
peninsula, where he was waiting for the next act in the drama.

[Illustration: General Lafayette]

Far away in the North, at West Point, Washington was keeping a sharp
lookout over the whole field. The main part of the patriot army was
encamped along the Hudson.

At Newport, there was a French force under General Rochambeau. Late
in May, Washington rode over to a little town in Connecticut, to
consult with him. It was decided that the French army should march to
the Hudson as speedily as possible, and unite with the patriot forces
encamped there.

The plan at this time was to capture New York. This could not be done
without the aid of a large fleet.

Early in the spring of this year, 1781, the French government had
sent a powerful fleet to the West Indies, under the command of Count
de Grasse. De Grasse now had orders to act in concert with Washington
and Rochambeau, against the common enemy. This was joyful news.

{126} News traveled very slowly in those times. It took ten days for
Washington to hear from Lafayette that Cornwallis had retreated to
Yorktown, and thirty days to learn that Greene was marching southward
against Lord Rawdon in South Carolina. And as for De Grasse, it was
uncertain just when and where he would arrive on the coast.

Washington had some hard thinking to do. The storm center of the
whole war might suddenly shift to Virginia.

Now came the test for his military genius. Hitherto, the British
fleet had been in control of our coast. Now, however, nobody but a
Nelson would ever hope to defeat the French men-of-war that were
nearing our shores. Cornwallis was safe enough on the York peninsula
so long as the British fleet had control of the Virginia coast. But
suppose De Grasse should take up a position on the three sides of
Yorktown, would it not be an easy matter, with the aid of a large
land force, to entrap Cornwallis?

The supreme moment for the patriot cause was now at hand. In the
middle of August, word came from De Grasse that he was headed with
his whole fleet for Chesapeake Bay.

As might be expected, Washington was equal to the occasion. The
capture of New York must wait. He made up his mind that he would
swoop down with his army upon Yorktown, four hundred miles away, and
crush Cornwallis.

{127} Yes, but what about Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander in
chief in New York? If Sir Henry should happen to get an inkling of
what Washington intended to do, what would prevent his sending an
army by sea to the relief of Yorktown?

Nothing, of course, and so the all-important point was to hoodwink
the British commander. It was cleverly done, as we shall see.

Clinton knew that the French fleet was expected; but everything
pointed to an attack on New York.

If we glance at the map of this section, we shall see that, from his
headquarters at West Point, Washington could march half way to
Yorktown, by way of New Jersey, without arousing suspicions of his
real design.

Nobody but Rochambeau had the least knowledge of what he intended to
do. Bodies of troops were moved toward Long Island. Ovens were built
as if to bake bread for a large army. The patriots seemed merely to
be waiting for the French fleet before beginning in earnest the siege
of New York.

Washington wrote a letter to Lafayette which was purposely sent in
such a way as to be captured by Clinton. In this letter, the American
general said he should be {128} happy if Cornwallis fortified
Yorktown or Old Point Comfort, because in that case he would remain
under the protection of the British fleet.

Washington wrote similar letters to throw Clinton off his guard. For
instance, to one of his generals he wrote in detail just how he had
planned to lay siege to New York. He selected a young minister, by
the name of Montaigne, to carry the dispatch to Morristown, through
what was called the Clove.

"If I go through the Clove," said Montaigne, "the cowboys will
capture me."

"Your duty, young man, is to obey," sternly replied Washington.

The hope of the ever-alert commander in chief was fulfilled, for the
young clergyman soon found himself a prisoner in the famous Sugar
House, in New York. The next day, the dispatch was printed with great
show in Rivington's Tory paper.

On August 19, or just five days after receiving the dispatch from De
Grasse, Washington crossed the Hudson at King's Ferry, and set out on
his long march, with two thousand Continental and four thousand
French troops.

They had nearly reached Philadelphia before their real destination
was suspected.

The good people of the Quaker city had just heard of Greene's
successes in the South. The popular feeling showed itself in the
rousing welcome they gave to the {129} "ragged Continentals" and to
the finely dressed French troops, as the combined forces marched
hurriedly through the streets. The drums and fifes played "The White
Cockade and the Peacock's Feather"; everywhere the stars and stripes
were flung to the breeze; and ladies threw flowers from the windows.

"Long live Washington!" shouted the people, as the dusty soldiers
marched by in a column nearly two miles long.

"He has gone to catch Cornwallis in his mouse trap!" shouted the
crowd, in great glee.

Even the self-possessed Washington was a trifle nervous. Galloping
ahead to Chester on his favorite charger, Nelson, he sent back word
that De Grasse had arrived in Chesapeake Bay.

By rapid marches, the combined armies reached the head of the Bay on
September 6. From this point, most of the men were carried in
transports to the scene of action. In another week, an army of more
than sixteen thousand men was closing round Cornwallis.

Soon after his arrival, Washington, accompanied by Rochambeau, Knox,
Hamilton, and others, made a formal call on Admiral De Grasse on
board his flagship, the famous ship of the line, Ville de Paris, then
at anchor in Hampton Roads.

When Washington reached the quarter-deck, the little French admiral
ran to embrace his guest, and kissed him on each cheek, after the
French fashion.

{130} "My dear little general!" he exclaimed, hugging him.

Now when the excited admiral stood on tiptoe to embrace the majestic
Washington, and began to call him "petit," or "little," the scene was
ludicrous. The French officers politely turned aside; but it was too
much for General Knox, who was a big, jolly man. He simply forgot his
politeness, and laughed aloud until his sides shook.

Where was the British fleet all this time?

Its commander, Admiral Hood, had followed sharply after De Grasse,
and had outsailed him. Not finding the enemy's fleet in the
Chesapeake, he sailed on to New York and reported to Admiral Graves.

Then Sir Henry began to open his eyes to the real state of affairs.
All was bustle and hurry. Crowding on all sail, the British fleet
headed for the Chesapeake, and there found De Grasse blockading the

It would be all up with Washington's plans if the British fleet
should now defeat the French. The French fleet, however, was much the
stronger, and Graves was no Nelson. There was a sharp fight for two
hours. On the two fleets, the killed and the wounded amounted to
seven hundred. The British admiral was then forced to withdraw; and
after a few days he sailed back to New York. De Grasse was now in
complete control of the Chesapeake.

Cornwallis did not as yet know that Washington was marching at full
speed straight for Yorktown. Still, his {131} lordship began to
realize that he was fast getting himself into a tight place.

Why not cross the James River and retreat to a safe place in North

It was too late. Three thousand French troops had already landed on
the neck of the peninsula, and were united with the patriot forces.
The "boy" had now more than eight thousand men, with which he could
easily cut off every chance for his lordship's retreat.

In the American camp, the combined armies were working with a hearty
good will to hasten the siege. There could be no delay. The British
fleet was sure to return, and another fleet was hourly expected from
England. Again, Sir Henry might at any moment come by sea to the
rescue. Day and night the men toiled. Nobody was permitted to speak
aloud, for they were close to the British pickets. Intrenchments were
made, and cannon were rapidly dragged up and placed in position. By
October 10, all was ready.

[Illustration: General Washington in the Trenches before Yorktown]

{132} The siege begins in earnest. Shot and shell are hurled into the
British lines. All day and all night long, are heard the roaring of
cannon and the bursting of shells. Bang! bang! The French fire
red-hot shot across the water and set fire to the British transports.

New lines of redoubts are thrown up during the night, and guns are
mounted, which pound away at the doomed army. Two of the British
redoubts are troublesome. These are gallantly captured.

On the next night, Cornwallis makes a vigorous effort to break
through the American lines, but is driven back into the town. With
seventy cannon pounding away, the British earthworks are fast
crumbling. The British commander grows desperate. He thinks that, by
leaving his baggage and his sick behind, he can cross the river to
Gloucester in boats, by night, cut through the French, and by forced
marches make his way to New York.

On the night of the 16th, a few of the redcoats actually succeeded in
reaching the opposite shore, when a storm of wind and rain suddenly
arose and continued till morning. This last ray of hope was gone.

Cornwallis had his headquarters in a large brick mansion owned by a
Tory. It was a fine target for the artillery, and was soon riddled.
His lordship stayed in the house until a cannon ball killed his
steward, as he was carrying a tureen of soup to his master's table.

The British general now moved his headquarters into Governor Nelson's
fine stone mansion. Its owner was {133} in command of the Virginia
troops in the besieging army. He was the "war governor" who had left
his crops to their fate, and his plows in the furrows, while his
horses and his oxen were harnessed to the cannon that were being
hurried to the siege. When Nelson learned, through a deserter, where
Cornwallis and his staff were, regardless of his personal loss, he
ordered the bombarding of the house.

In Trumbull's famous painting, "The Surrender of Cornwallis,"
Governor Nelson's mansion is plainly seen.

By this time, the only safe place in Yorktown was a cave, which had
been dug under the bank of the river. To this spot, as the story
goes, Cornwallis moved his headquarters. Here he received a British
colonel who had made his way in the night through the French fleet,
to bring orders from Sir Henry Clinton. Cornwallis was to hold out to
the last. Seven thousand troops had sailed to his relief.

His lordship served a lunch for his guest, and while they were
drinking their wine, the colonel declared his intention of going up
on the ramparts for a moment, to take a look at the Yankees. As he
left, he gayly said that on his return he would give Washington's
health in a bumper. It was useless to urge him to remain under
shelter. He had scarcely climbed to the top of the redoubt when his
head was shot off by a cannon ball.

On October 17, the thirteenth day of the siege and the fourth
anniversary of Burgoyne's surrender, a red-coated {134} drummer boy
stands on the rampart and beats a parley. A white flag is raised on
the British works. The roar of the cannon ceases. Cornwallis sends an
officer to ask that fighting be stopped for twenty-four hours.

Twenty-four hours! No! "No more fighting for two hours," says

Held in an iron grasp both by land and by sea, the British commander
knows that all is lost. He can do nothing but surrender.

At two o'clock on the afternoon of October 19, in a field not far
from Washington's headquarters, the formal surrender takes place.
This ceremony, so joyful to the one side, so painful to the other, is
carried out in stately form. The officers on both sides wear their
best uniforms and military equipments. Washington rides his favorite
charger, Nelson. The stars and stripes of America, and the white flag
and lilies of France, wave in triumph. While the band plays a quaint
old English melody, "The World Turned Upside Down," the British
troops, over seven thousand in number, slowly march between the
columns of the combined armies and lay down their arms.

Cornwallis was not there. Saying that he was sick, he sent O'Hara,
one of his generals, to deliver up his sword, while Washington, with
his usual high regard for official dignity, sent General Lincoln.

As perhaps you may remember, when General Lincoln was forced to
surrender to Cornwallis, at Charleston {135} in 1780, the haughty
British general turned him over to an inferior officer, as if to
treat his surrender with contempt.

Lafayette said, in after years, that the captive redcoats, while they
gazed at the French soldiers with their showy trappings, "did not as
much as look at my darling light infantry, the apple of my eye and
the pride of my heart." Whereupon the lively young French general
ordered his fife and drum corps to strike up "Yankee Doodle." "Then,"
he said, "they did look at us, but were not very well pleased."

After the surrender, both the Americans and the British hastened
away. Scores of brave men, whom thus far the bullets had spared, were
the victims of camp fever and smallpox. Fourteen days afterwards,
Yorktown became again a sleepy little hamlet of sixty houses.

On the same day that Cornwallis found "the world turned upside down,"
Clinton sailed from New York, with thirty-five ships and over seven
thousand of his best troops. Had this great force reached the scene
ten days earlier, the story of Yorktown might have been different.

{136} "Cornwallis is taken!" How quickly the news spread! Men, women,
and children pour in from the country, and wait along the road
leading to Philadelphia, for the long-expected news.

At length a horseman is seen riding at headlong speed.

He waves his hat and shouts to the eager people, "Cornwallis is

It is Colonel Tilghman, whom Washington sent posthaste to
Philadelphia to inform Congress of the surrender.

It is after midnight when he arrives. The drowsy night watchman is
slowly pacing the streets. Suddenly is heard the joyful cry, "Past
three o'clock, and Cornwallis is taken!"

[Illustration: The Night Watchman announcing the Capture of

Up go the windows. Men and women rush into the streets, all eager to
hear the news. An hour before daylight, old Independence bell rings
out its loudest peals, and sunrise is greeted with the boom of

Congress meets during the forenoon, to read Washington's dispatches.
In the afternoon, the members go in solemn procession to the Lutheran
church, "and return thanks to Almighty God for crowning the allied
armies of the United States and France with success."

At noon on Sunday, November 25, the news reached London. Somebody
asked a member of the cabinet how Lord North, the prime minister,
received the "communication."

"As he would have taken a cannon ball in his chest," was the reply;
"for he opened his arms, exclaimed {137} wildly, as he walked up and
down the room during a few minutes, 'O God! it is all over! it is all

The news was sent to King George, who replied the same evening. It
was noted that His Majesty being a trifle stupid, wrote very calmly,
but forgot to mark the exact hour and minute of his writing. This
circumstance, the like of which had never happened before, seemed to
indicate to his cabinet some unusual disturbance. Shortly afterwards,
however, the old king took some comfort in declaring that the Yankees
were a wretched set of knaves, whom he was glad to get rid of at any

     *     *     *     *     *     *

On a gentle slope at Yorktown stands a monument, erected a century
later by Congress, in commemoration of the surrender of Lord
Cornwallis. There it stands, a tall, white shaft, solitary, glorious,
and impressive, a landmark for many miles along that sleepy shore.




Exactly eight years from the day when

              "the embattled farmers stood,
    And fired the shot heard round the world,"

the Continental Congress informed General Washington that the war was
over. In September, 1783, the formal treaty of peace was signed; a
month later, the Continental army was disbanded; and three weeks
later, the British army sailed from New York.

What a pathetic and impressive scene took place at a little tavern,
in lower New York, when Washington said good-by to his generals! With
hearts too full for words, and with eyes dimmed with tears, these
veterans embraced their chief and bade him farewell.

[Illustration: Washington's Farewell to his Generals]

A few days before Christmas, Washington gave up the command of the
army, and hurried away to spend the holidays at Mount Vernon.

"The times that tried men's souls are over," wrote the author of
"Common Sense," a man whose writings voiced the opinions of the

Freedom was indeed won, but the country was in a sad plight.

{139} "It is not too much to say," says John Fiske, "that the period
of five years following the peace of 1783 was the most critical
moment in all the history of the American people."

Thirteen little republics, fringing the Atlantic, were hemmed in on
the north, the south, and the west, by two hostile European nations
that were capable of much mischief.

In 1774, under the pressure of a common peril and the need of quick
action, the colonies had banded together for the common good. By a
kind of general consent their representatives in the Continental
Congress had assumed the task of carrying on the war. But for nine
years Congress had steadily declined in power, and now that peace had
come and the need of united action was removed, there was danger that
this shadowy union would dissolve. Believing strongly in their own
state governments, the people had almost no feeling in favor of

{140} Just before the disbanding of the army and his retirement to
private life, Washington wrote a letter to the governor of each
colony. This letter, he said, was his "legacy" to the American

He urged the necessity of forming a more perfect union, under a
single government. He declared that the war debt must be paid to the
last penny; that the people must be willing to sacrifice some of
their local interests for the common good; and that they must regard
one another as fellow citizens of a common country.

We must not make the mistake of thinking that the Continental
Congress was like our present national Congress.

When the struggle between the colonies and the mother country
threatened war, the colonies through their assemblies, or special
conventions, chose delegates to represent them in Philadelphia. These
delegates composed the first Continental Congress. It met on
September 5, 1774, and broke up during the last week of the following

Three weeks after Lexington, a second Congress met in the same city.
This was the Congress that appointed Washington commander in chief,
and issued the immortal Declaration of Independence.

In the strict sense of the word, this body had no legal authority. It
was really a meeting of delegates from the several colonies, to
advise and consult with each other concerning the public welfare.

{141} There was war in the land. Something must be done to meet the
crisis. The Continental Congress, therefore, acted in the name of the
"United Colonies."

Many of the ablest and most patriotic men of the country were sent as
delegates to this Congress; and until the crowning victory at
Yorktown, although without clearly defined powers, it continued to
act, by common consent, as if it had the highest authority. It made
an alliance with France; it built a navy; it granted permits to
privateers; it raised and organized an army; it borrowed large sums
of money, and issued paper bills.

A few days after the Declaration of Independence was signed, a form
of government, called the "Articles of Confederation," was brought
before Congress; but it was not adopted until several weeks after the
surrender of Burgoyne, in 1777.

The "Articles" were not finally ratified by the states until the
spring of 1781.

The constitution thus adopted was a league of friendship between the
states. It was bad from beginning to end; for it dealt with the
thirteen states as thirteen units, and not with the people of the
several states. It never secured a hold upon the people of the
country, and for very good reasons.

Each state, whether large or small, had only one vote. A single
delegate from Delaware or from Rhode Island could balance the whole
delegation from New York or from Virginia.

{142} Congress had no power to enforce any law whatever. It could
recommend all manner of things to the states, but it could do nothing
more. It could not even protect itself.

Hence, the states violated the "Articles" whenever they pleased. Thus
Congress might call for troops, but the states could refuse to obey.
Without the consent of every state, not a dollar could be raised by

At one time, twelve states voted to allow Congress to raise money to
pay the soldiers; but little Rhode Island flatly refused, and the
plan failed. The next year Rhode Island consented, but New York

Although Congress had authority to coin money, to issue bills of
credit, and to make its notes legal tender for debts, each one of the
thirteen states had the same authority.

Money affairs got into a wretched condition. Paper money became
almost worthless. The year after Saratoga, a paper dollar was worth
only sixteen cents, and early in 1780 its value had fallen to two

A trader in Philadelphia papered his shop with dollar bills, to show
what he thought of the flimsy stuff. In the year of Cornwallis's
surrender, a bushel of corn sold for one hundred and fifty dollars;
and Samuel Adams, the Boston patriot, had to pay two thousand dollars
for a hat and a suit of clothes.

A private soldier had to serve four months before his pay would buy a
bushel of wheat. When he could {143} not collect this beggarly sum,
is it any wonder that he deserted or rebelled?

At one time, being unable to get money for the army, Congress asked
the states to contribute supplies of corn, pork, and hay.

To add to the general misery, the states began to quarrel with one
another, like a lot of schoolboys. They almost came to bloodshed over
boundary lines, and levied the most absurd taxes and duties.

If a Connecticut farmer brought a load of firewood into New York, he
had to pay a heavy duty. Sloops that sailed through Hell Gate, and
Jersey market boats that crossed to Manhattan Island, were treated as
if from foreign ports. Entrance fees had to be paid, and clearance
papers must be got at the custom house.

The country was indeed in a bad condition. There were riots,
bankruptcy, endless wranglings, foreclosed mortgages, and
imprisonment for debt.

The gallant Colonel Barton, who captured General Prescott, was kept
locked up because he could not pay a small sum of money. Robert
Morris, once a wealthy merchant, was sent to jail for debt, although
he had given his whole fortune to the patriot cause.

Thoughtful and patriotic men and women throughout the country felt
that something must be done.

Washington and other far-sighted men of Virginia began to work out
the problem. First it was proposed that delegates from two or three
states should meet at {144} Annapolis, to discuss the question of
trade. Finally all the states were invited to send delegates.

At this meeting, only twelve delegates, from five states, were
present. Alexander Hamilton wrote an eloquent address, which it was
voted to send to the state assemblies, strongly recommending that
delegates should be appointed to meet at Philadelphia on the second
day of May, 1787.

[Illustration: Alexander Hamilton]

This plan, however, Congress promptly rejected.

During the winter of 1786, the times were perhaps even harder, and
the country nearer to the brink of civil war and ruin. There were
riots in New Hampshire and in Vermont and Shays's Rebellion in the
old Bay State. There were also the threatened separation of the
Northern and Southern states, the worthless paper money, wildcat
speculation, the failure to carry out certain provisions of the
treaty of peace, and many troubles of less importance.

As we may well suppose, all this discord made King George and his
court happy. He declared that the several states would soon repent,
and beg on bended knees to be taken back into the British empire.

{145} When it was predicted in Parliament that we should become a
great nation, a British statesman, who bore us no ill will, said, "It
is one of the idlest and most visionary notions that was ever
conceived even by a writer of romance."

Frederick the Great was friendly to us, but he declared that nobody
but a king could ever rule so large a country.

All these unhappy events produced a great change in public opinion.
People were convinced that anarchy might be worse than the union of
these thirteen little commonwealths, under a strong, central

At this great crisis in affairs, Virginia boldly took the lead, and
promptly sent seven of her ablest citizens, one of whom was
Washington, to the Philadelphia convention. This was a masterly
stroke of policy. People everywhere applauded, and the tide of
popular sentiment soon favored the convention. At last Congress
yielded to the voice of the people and approved the plan. Every state
except Rhode Island sent delegates.

[Illustration: The Old State House, in Philadelphia, now called
Independence Hall]

It was a notable group of Americans that met in one of the upper
rooms of old Independence Hall, the last {146} week of May, 1787.
There were fifty-five delegates in all, some of whom, however, did
not arrive for several weeks after the convention began its meetings.

Eight of the delegates had signed the Declaration of Independence, in
the same room; twenty-eight had been members of the Continental
Congress, and seven had been governors of states. Two afterwards
became presidents of the United States, and many others in after
years filled high places in the national government.

Head and shoulders above all others towered George Washington. The
man most widely known, except Washington, was Benjamin Franklin,
eighty-one years old; the youngest delegate was Mr. Dayton of New
Jersey, who was only twenty-six.

Here also were two of the ablest statesmen of their time, Alexander
Hamilton of New York, and James Madison of Virginia.

Connecticut sent two of her great men, Oliver Ellsworth, afterwards
chief justice of the United States, and Roger Sherman, the learned

Near Robert Morris, the great financier, sat his namesake, Gouverneur
Morris, who originated our decimal system of money, and James Wilson,
one of the most learned lawyers of his day.

The two brilliant Pinckneys and John Rutledge, the silver-tongued
orator, were there to represent South Carolina.

{147} Then there were Elbridge Gerry and Rufus King of Massachusetts,
John Langdon of New Hampshire, John Dickinson of Delaware, and the
great orator, Edmund Randolph of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams would no doubt have been delegates,
had they not been abroad in the service of their country. Patrick
Henry and Samuel Adams remained at home; for they did not approve of
the convention.

How Rhode Island must have missed her most eminent citizen, Nathanael
Greene, who had just died of sunstroke, in the prime of manhood!

Washington was elected president of the convention. The doors were
locked, and, every member being pledged to secrecy, they settled down
to work.

Just what was said and done during those four months was for more
than fifty years kept a profound secret. After the death of James
Madison, often called the {148} "Father of the Constitution," his
journal was published, giving a complete account of the proceedings.

[Illustration: James Madison]

When the delegates began their work, they soon realized what a
problem it was to frame a government for the whole country. As might
have been expected, some of these men had a fit of moral cowardice.
They began to cut and to trim, and tried to avoid any measure of
thorough reform.

Washington was equal to the occasion. He was not a brilliant orator,
and his speech was very brief; but the solemn words of this majestic
man, as his tall figure drawn up to its full height rose from the
president's chair, carried conviction to every delegate.

"If, to please the people," he said, "we offer what we ourselves
disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a
standard to which the wise and the honest can repair; the event is in
the hand of God."

The details of what this convention did would be dull reading; but
some day we shall want to study in our school work the noble
Constitution which these men framed.

The gist of the whole matter is that our Federal Constitution is
based upon three great compromises.

The first compromise was between the small and the large states. In
the upper house, or Senate, equal representation was conceded to all
the states, but in the lower house of Congress, representation was
arranged according to the population.

{149} Thus, as you know, little Rhode Island and Delaware have each
two senators, while the great commonwealths of New York and Ohio have
no more. In the House of Representatives, on the other hand, New York
has forty-three representatives, and Ohio has twenty-two, while Rhode
Island has three, and Delaware only one.

The second compromise was between the free and the slave states.

Were the slaves to be counted as persons or as goods?

South Carolina and Georgia maintained that they were persons; the
Northern states said they were merely property.

Now indeed there was a clashing over local interest; but it was
decided that in counting the population, whether for taxation, or for
representation in the lower house, a slave should be considered as
three fifths of an individual. And so it stood until the outbreak of
the Civil War.

It was a bitter pill for far-sighted men like Washington, Madison,
and others, who did not believe in slavery. Without this compromise,
however, they believed that nine slave states would never adopt the
Constitution, and doubtless they were right.

The slave question was the real bone of contention that resulted in
the third compromise. The majority of the delegates, especially those
from Virginia, were not in favor of slavery.

{150} "This infernal traffic that brings the judgment of Heaven on a
country!" said George Mason of Virginia.

At first, it was proposed to abolish foreign slave trade. South
Carolina and Georgia sturdily protested.

"Are we wanted in the Union?" they said.

They declared that it was not a question of morality or of religion,
but purely a matter of business.

Rhode Island had refused to send delegates; and those from New York
had gone home in anger. The discussions were bitter, and the
situation became dangerous.

While the convention "was scarcely held together by the strength of a
hair," the question came up for discussion, whether Congress or the
individual states should have control over commerce.

The New England states, with their wealth of shipping, said that by
all means Congress should have the control, and should make a uniform
tariff in all the states. This, it was believed, would put an end to
all the wranglings and the unjust acts which were so ruinous to

The extreme Southern states that had no shipping said it would never
do; for New England, by controlling the carrying trade, would extort
ruinous prices for shipping tobacco and rice.

When the outlook seemed darkest, two of the Connecticut delegates
suggested a compromise.

"Yes," said Franklin, "when a carpenter wishes to fit two boards, he
sometimes pares off a bit from each."

{151} It was finally decided that there should be free trade between
the states, and that Congress should control commerce.

To complete the "bargain," nothing was to be done about the African
slave trade for twenty years. Slavery had been slowly dying out both
in the North and in the South, for nearly fifty years. The wisest men
of 1787 believed that it would speedily die a natural death and give
way to a better system of labor.

It was upon these three great foundation stones, or compromises, that
our Constitution was built. The rest of the work, while very
important, was not difficult or dangerous. The question of choosing a
president, and a hundred other less important matters were at last

{152} The scorching summer of 1787 was well-nigh spent before the
great document was finished. The convention broke up on September 17.
Few of its members were satisfied with their work. None supposed it

Tradition says that Washington, who was the first to sign, standing
by the table, held up his pen and said solemnly, "Should the states
reject this excellent Constitution, they probably will never sign
another in peace. The next will be drawn in blood."

Of the delegates who were present on the last day of the convention,
all but three signed the Constitution.

[Illustration: Signing the Constitution]

It is said that when the last man had signed, many of the delegates
seemed awe-struck at what they had done. Washington himself sat with
head bowed in deep thought.

Thirty-three years before this, and before some of the delegates then
present were born, Franklin had done his best to bring the colonies
into a federal union. He was sixty years of age when, in this very
room, he put his name to the Declaration of Independence. Now, as the
genial old man saw the noble aim of his life accomplished, he
indulged in one of his homely bits of pleasantry.

There was a rude painting of a half sun, gorgeous with its yellow
rays, on the back of the president's black armchair. When Washington
solemnly rose, as the meeting was breaking up, Franklin pointed to
the chair and said, "As I have been sitting here all these weeks, I
have often wondered whether that sun behind our president is rising
or setting. Now I do know that it is a rising sun."

{153} [Illustration: Benjamin Franklin]

The Constitution was sent to the Continental Congress, who submitted
it to the people of the several states for their approval. It was
agreed that when it was adopted by nine states, it should become the
supreme law of the land.

Now for the first time there was a real national issue. The people
arranged themselves into two great political parties, the
Federalists, who believed in a strong government and the new
Constitution, and the Anti-Federalists, who were opposed to a
stronger union between the states.

And now what keen discussions, bitter quarrels, and scurrilous and
abusive newspaper articles! A bloodless war of squibs, broadsides,
pamphlets, and frenzied oratory was waged everywhere.

Hamilton and Madison were "mere boys" and "visionary young men";
Franklin was an "old dotard" and "in his second childhood"; and as
for Washington, "What did he know about politics?"

{154} The Constitution was called "a triple-headed monster." Many
able men sincerely believed it to be "as deep and wicked a conspiracy
as ever was invented in the darkest ages against the liberties of the

How eloquently did such men as Hamilton, Madison, Randolph, Jay,
"Light-Horse Harry" Lee, John Marshall, Fisher Ames, and a score of
other "makers of our country" defend the "New Roof," as the people
were then fond of calling the Federal Constitution!

A series of short essays written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, and
published under the name of "The Federalist," were widely read.
Although written at a white heat, their grave and lofty eloquence and
their stern patriotism carried conviction to the hearts of the

"The Delaware State," as it was called, was the first to adopt the
Constitution. It was not until the next June that Massachusetts and
Virginia ratified it, as the sixth and tenth states. New York next
fell into line in July.

The victory was won! The "New Roof" was up and finished, supported by
eleven stout pillars!

On the glorious "Fourth" in 1788, there was great rejoicing
throughout the land. Bonfires, stump speeches, fireworks,
processions, music, gorgeous banners, and barbecues of oxen expressed
the joy of the people over the establishment of a federal government.

"Hurrah for the United States of America!" shouted every patriot.

{155} "The good ship Constitution" was at last fairly launched.

The wheels of the new government began to turn slowly and with much
friction. It was not until the first week of April, 1789, that the
House of Representatives and the Senate met and counted the electoral
votes for a President of the newly born nation. There were sixty-nine
votes in all, and of these every one was for George Washington. John
Adams was the second choice of the electoral college. He received
thirty-four votes, and was accordingly declared Vice President.

Thus was formed and adopted our just and wise Constitution, which,
except for a few amendments, has ever since been the supreme law of
the land. This document has been called by Gladstone "the greatest
work ever struck off at any time by the mind and purpose of man." To
it we owe our prosperity and our high place among nations.




About a century ago, pirates on the northern coast of Africa were
causing a great deal of trouble. They used to dash out in their
vessels, and capture and plunder the merchant ships of all nations.
The poor sailors were sold as slaves, and then kicked and cuffed
about by cruel masters.

[Illustration: American Sailors sold into Slavery by the Barbary

You will hardly believe it, but our country used to do exactly what
other nations did. We used to buy the good will of these Barbary
pirates, by giving them, every year, cannon, powder, and great sums
of money. In fact we could not at first help it; for we were then a
young and feeble nation with many troubles, and our navy was so small
that we could not do as we pleased.

The payment of this blackmail soon became a serious affair. The
ruler, or pasha, of Tripoli was bold enough to declare war against
this country, and cut down the flagstaff in front of our consul's
house. Two other Barbary states, Morocco and Tunis, began to be
impudent because they did not get enough money.

This was more than our people could stand. These scamps needed a

{157} You will, of course, remember Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the
Declaration of Independence. He was at this time President of the
United States. As you may well think, he was not the man to put up
with such insults.

[Illustration: Thomas Jefferson]

"It reminds me," said Jefferson, "of what my good friend, Ben
Franklin, once said in his Poor Richard's Almanac: 'If you make
yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you.' We must put a stop to
paying this blood money, and deal with these pirates with an iron

So it came to pass that Commodore Dale was sent to the Mediterranean,
with a small fleet of war ships.

When our little fleet arrived off the Barbary coast, Morocco and
Tunis stopped grumbling and soon came to terms. We were then free to
deal with Tripoli.

Our war ships had orders simply to look after our merchantmen,
without doing any fighting. Still, to give the proud ruler of Tripoli
a hint of what he might soon expect, one of our small vessels, the
Enterprise, afterwards {158} commanded by Decatur, fought a short but
furious battle with a Tripolitan man-of-war.

The pirate captain hauled his flag down three times, but hoisted it
again when the fire of the Enterprise ceased. This insult was too
much for Dale. Bringing his vessel alongside the pirate craft, he
sprang over her side, followed by fifty of his men. The pirate crew,
with their long curved swords, fought hard; yet in fifteen minutes
they were beaten.

[Illustration: Fight between Dale and the Tripolitan Pirates]

Our sailors now cut away the masts of the enemy's vessel, and,
stripping her of everything except one old sail and a single spar,
let her drift back to Tripoli, as a hint of how the new nation across
the Atlantic was likely to deal with pirates.

"Tell your pasha," shouted the American captain, as the Barbary ship
drifted away, "that this is the way my country will pay him tribute
after this."

In the year 1803, the command of our fleet was given to Commodore
Preble, who had just forced the ruler of Morocco to pay for an attack
upon one of our merchant ships. The famous frigate Constitution,
better known to every wide-awake American boy and girl as "Old
Ironsides," was his flagship.

Among his officers, or "schoolboy captains," as he called them, were
many bright young men, who afterwards gained fame in fighting their
country's battles. One of these officers was Stephen Decatur, the
hero of this story, who afterwards, as captain of the frigate United
States, {159} whipped the British frigate Macedonian after a fight of
an hour and a half.

One morning late in the fall of 1803, the frigate Philadelphia, one
of the best ships of our little navy, while chasing a piratical
craft, ran upon a sunken reef near the harbor of Tripoli. The good
ship was helpless either to fight or to get away.

The officers and crew worked with all their might. They threw some of
the cannon overboard, they cut away the foremast, they did everything
they could to float the vessel. It was no use; the ship stuck fast.

Of course it did not take long for the Tripolitans to see that the
American war ship was helpless. Their gunboats swarmed round the
ill-fated vessel and opened fire. It was a trying hour for the
gallant Captain Bainbridge and his men. Down must come the colors,
and down they came. The officers and the sailors were taken ashore
and thrown into prison.

After a time, the Tripolitans got the Philadelphia off the reef.
Then, towing her into the harbor of Tripoli, they anchored her close
under the guns of their forts. {160} The vessel was refitted, cannon
were put on board, together with a crew of several hundred sailors,
and the crescent flag was raised. She was now ready to sail out to
attack our shipping.

Just think of the days of grief and shame for Captain Bainbridge and
his men! Think of them as they looked day after day out of the narrow
windows of the pasha's castle, and saw this vessel, one of the
handsomest in the world, flying the colors of the enemy! These brave
Americans had need of all their grit; but they kept up their courage
and bided their time.

Commodore Preble now sailed to Sicily, and cast anchor in the harbor
of Syracuse.

Don't you suppose the recapture of the Philadelphia was talked of
every day?

Of course it was. Everybody in the fleet, from the commodore to the
powder monkey, was thinking about it. They must do something, and the
sooner the better.

Even Captain Bainbridge in his prison cell wrote several letters with
lemon juice, which could be read on being held to the fire, and sent
them to Preble. These letters contained plans for sinking the
ill-fated ship.

Every one of Preble's young captains was eager to try it. It might
mean glory, and promotion, or perhaps failure, and death.

Somehow or other all looked to the dashing Stephen Decatur; for from
the first he had taken a leading part in planning the desperate deed.

{161} "For the honor of the flag, sir, the ship must be destroyed.
She must never be allowed to sail under that pirate flag," said
Commodore Preble to Decatur.

"My father was the ship's first commander," replied the young
officer, whose fine black eyes gleamed, "and if I can only rescue
her, it will be glory enough for a lifetime."

"You have spoken first," said the commodore, "and it is only right
that you should have the first chance."

[Illustration: Commodore Stephen Decatur]

No time was lost. All hands went to work.

What was their plan?

With a vessel made to look like a Maltese trader, and with his men
dressed like Maltese sailors, Decatur meant to steal into the harbor
at night, set fire to the Philadelphia, and then make a race for

A short time before this, Decatur had captured a small vessel, known
as a ketch. As this kind of boat was common here, nobody would
suspect her.

{162} The little craft, now named the Intrepid, was soon loaded with
all kinds of things that would catch fire easily.

On board the Enterprise on the afternoon of February 3, 1803, the
order was, "All hands to muster!"

"I want sixty-one men out of this ship's crew," said Decatur, "to
leave to-morrow in the Intrepid, to help destroy the Philadelphia.
Let each man who wants to go take two steps ahead."

With a cheer, every officer, every sailor, and even the smallest
powder boys stepped forward. No wonder the young captain's fine face
beamed with joy.

"A thousand thanks, my men," he said, and the tears came into his
eyes; "I am sorry, but you can't all go. I will now choose the men I
want to take with me." He picked out about sixty of the youngest and
most active.

"Thankee, sir," said each man when his name was called.

Besides his own younger officers and his surgeon, Decatur took five
young officers from the Constitution, and a Sicilian pilot named
Catalano, who knew the harbor of Tripoli.

That same evening, the little ketch, with its crew of some
seventy-five men, sailed out of the harbor of Syracuse amid three
lusty cheers. The war brig Siren went with her.

In four days, the two vessels reached the harbor of Tripoli, but a
bad storm drove them off shore. What a time they had for six days!
The Intrepid was a poor {163} affair at best, and there was no
shelter from the fury and the cold of the storm. The sailors slept on
the hard deck, nibbled what little ship bread was not water-soaked,--
for they had lost all their bacon,--and caught rain water to drink.
In cold, hunger, and wet, these men, like true American sailors, sang
their songs, cracked their jokes, and kept up their courage.

After a week, the fury of the storm abated, the bright sunshine
brought comfort, and the two vessels set sail for Tripoli.

As they drew near the coast, towards evening, the wind was so light
that the Siren was almost becalmed. The Intrepid, however, met a
light breeze, which sped her toward the rocky harbor.

Decatur saw that his best hope now was to make a bold dash, without
waiting for the brig.

"Never mind, boys," he said, "the fewer the number, the greater the
glory. Keep your heads level; obey orders every time; and do your

About sunset, the ketch with her alert crew came in sight of the
white-walled city. They could see the chain of forts and the frowning
castle. The tall black hull and the shining masts of the Philadelphia
stood out boldly against the bright blue African sky. Two huge
men-of-war and a score of gunboats were moored near her. {164} The
harbor was like a giant cavern, at the back of which lay the
Philadelphia, manned by pirates armed to the teeth, who were waiting
for an attack from the dreaded Americans.

Into these jaws of death, Decatur boldly steered his little craft.
The breeze was still fresh. It would never do to take in sail, for
the ever-watchful pirates would think it strange. So spare sails and
buckets were towed astern to act as a drag, for fear they should
reach their goal too early.

The men now hid themselves by lying flat upon the deck, behind the
bulwarks, the rails, and the masts. Only a few persons, dressed like
Maltese sailors, could be seen. Decatur stood calmly at the wheel by
the side of Catalano, the pilot.

"We lay packed closer than sardines in a box, and were still as so
many dead men," said one of the men long afterwards to his

About nine o'clock the moon rose, and by its clear light the ketch
was steered straight across the blue waters for the bows of the

"Vessel ahoy! What vessel is that?" shouted an officer of the
frigate, as the Intrepid boldly came nearer.

Decatur whispered to his pilot.

"This is the ketch Stella, from Malta," shouted Catalano, in Italian.
"We have lost our anchors, and were nearly wrecked in the gale; we
want to ride near you during the night."

{165} "All right! but only until daylight," replied the officer, and
ordered a line to be lowered.

Without a moment's delay, a boat under the command of young Lawrence
put off from the Intrepid. On meeting the pirate boat, he took the
line and rowed back to the ketch.

The Americans, in their red jackets and fezzes, hauled away with a
right good will, and brought their little craft steadily in toward
the huge black hull of the frigate, where they were soon being made
fast under her port side.

As the ketch now drifted into a patch of moonlight, the pirate
officer spied the anchors with their cables coiled up.

"Keep off! You have lied to me," he shouted, and ordered his men to
cut the hawser.

As if by magic, the deck of the ketch swarmed with men, whose strong
arms forced their vessel up against the side of the Philadelphia.

"Americans! Americans!" cried the dazed Tripolitans.

"Board! board!" shouted Decatur, as he made a spring for the deck of
the frigate, followed by his gallant men.

Although taken by surprise, the Tripolitans fought hard. They were
called the best hand to hand fighters in the world, but they were no
match for American sailors. As Preble's orders were "to carry all
with the sword," no firearms were used. The only weapons {166} were
cutlasses. The watchword was "Philadelphia," which they were to use
in the darkness.

The Americans formed a line from one side of the ship to the other,
and, with Decatur as leader, swept everything before them on the main
deck. On the gun deck, Lawrence and McDonough did the same thing. In
fifteen minutes, every Tripolitan had been cut down or driven
overboard. In spite of the close, sharp fighting, not one of our men
received a scratch.

But now comes the tug of war! Every man knows exactly what to do, for
he has been well drilled. Some hand up kegs of powder and balls of
oakum soaked in tar. Others carry these along the deck and down
below. Now they drag two eighteen-pounders amidships, double-shot
them, and point them down the main hatch, so as to blow out the
bottom of the ship. In a few minutes everything is ready.

"Start the fires!" A puff of smoke, a little blaze, then flames

Quick and sharp comes the order to leap aboard the ketch. Decatur,
sure that the work thus far is well done, is the last man to leave.

Now all are safe aboard the Intrepid. The order is given to cast off.
The ketch still clings to the blazing frigate, from whose portholes
the flames are shooting out. The gunpowder left on the deck is
covered only with canvas. Life is in peril. They find that the stern
rope has not been cast off. Up rush Decatur and his {167} officers,
and cut the hawser with their swords. The boat swings clear, and the
men row for their lives.

The fierce flames of the burning ship bring the Intrepid into plain
view. She is a target for every gun. Bang! bang! thunder a hundred

"Stop rowing, boys, and give 'em three cheers," shouts Decatur.

Everybody is on his feet in an instant, and joins in the hurrahs.

Solid shot, grape, and shells whistle and scream in the air above the
little ketch, and throw up showers of spray as they strike the water.
Only one shot hits, and that whizzes through the mainsail. The men
bend to their oars and pull for dear life. They are soon well out of
{168} range, and, in a short time, safe under the guns of the Siren.

What wild hurrahs were heard when Decatur, clad in a sailor's
pea-jacket, and begrimed with powder, sprang on board and shouted,
"Didn't she make a glorious bonfire, and we didn't lose a man!"

In telling the story afterwards, the men said it was a superb sight.
The flames burst out and ran rapidly up the masts and the rigging,
and lighted up the sea and the sky with a lurid glare. The guns soon
became heated and began to go off. They fired their hot shot into the
shipping, and even into the town. Then, as if giving a last salute,
the Philadelphia parted her cables, drifted ashore, and blew up.

[Illustration: The Burning of the Philadelphia]

As a popular saying goes, "Nothing succeeds like success." So it was
with Decatur's deed. His cool head and the fine discipline of his men
won success. The famous Lord Nelson, the greatest naval commander of
his time, said it was "the most bold and daring act of the age."

Decatur was well rewarded. At twenty-five he was made a captain, and
given the command of "Old Ironsides," probably the finest frigate at
that time in the world.




  "Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
     Long has it waved on high,
   And many an eye has danced to see
     That banner in the sky."

In 1833, when the old war ship Constitution, unfit for service, lay
in the navy yard in Charlestown, the Secretary of the Navy decided to
sell her or to break her up. On the appearance of this bit of news in
a Boston paper, Oliver Wendell Holmes, a law student at Harvard,
scribbled some verses and sent them to the editor.

This poem of twenty-four lines was at once published, and was soon
copied into the leading newspapers of the country. In our large
cities, the poem was circulated as a handbill. Popular indignation
rose to a white heat, and swept everything before it.

The order was at once revoked, and Congress decided that the old
frigate, so dear to the hearts of the American people, should be

Why did the people care so much about "Old Ironsides"?

[Illustration: "Old Ironsides"]

For twenty-five years after the adoption of the Constitution, we had
a rough road to travel. We were {170} nearly crushed by our foreign
debts, and could do little to defend ourselves on the high seas.
England boarded our ships and carried off our sailors, and France
captured our vessels and stole their cargoes. Even the Barbary
pirates, when they spied the new flag, began to plunder and burn our
merchantmen, and sell their crews into slavery.

In the fall of 1793, eight Algerine pirate craft sailed out into the
Atlantic, and within a month had captured eleven of our ships and
made slaves of more than a hundred of our sailors.

Think of our consul at Lisbon writing home, "Another Algerine pirate
in the Atlantic. God preserve us!"

In behalf of American citizens held as slaves by these pirates, a
petition was sent to Congress. A bill was then passed, allowing
President Washington to build or to buy six frigates.

It was a fortunate day for our nation when the plans of Mr.
Humphreys, a shipbuilder of Philadelphia, were accepted. He was
directed by Congress to prepare the models of six war ships, to be
built in different towns on the coast.

The design of the Constitution was sent to Boston, and her keel was
laid in Hartt's Naval Yard, near what is now Constitution Wharf. The
ideas of Mr. Humphreys were carried out to the letter. The new
frigate was to have better guns, greater speed, greater cruising
capacity,--in fact, was to be a little better {171} in every respect
than the British and the French ships of the same rating.

The Constitution was called a forty-four-gun frigate, although she
actually carried thirty twenty-four-pounders on her main deck, and
twenty-two thirty-two-pounders on her spar deck. She had one gun deck
instead of two, and her cannon were heavier than were usually carried
on foreign war ships of her own class. She was twenty feet longer and
about five feet broader than {172} the far-famed thirty-eight-gun
British frigates. In comparison with a modern war ship, she was less
than one half as long as the armed cruiser New York, and not far from
the size of one of our gunboats.

The British naval officers made much sport of these new ships; but
after "Old Ironsides" had destroyed two fine British frigates, and
had outsailed a large British fleet, they went to work and made over
some of their line of battle ships into large frigates.

The Constitution was built of the best material, and with unusual
care. A Boston shipwright was sent South to select live oak, red
cedar, and hard pine. Paul Revere, who made the famous midnight ride
to Concord, received nearly four thousand dollars for the copper
which he furnished for the new frigate.

From the laying of the keel to the final equipment, the Constitution
was kept in the shipyard fully three years. Her live oak timbers,
having had two years to season, were hard as iron.

After many delays, the stanch ship was set afloat at midday, October
21, 1797, "before a numerous and brilliant collection of citizens."

In 1803, a fleet was sent to the north of Africa, to force the
pirates of the Barbary coast to respect the persons and the property
of American citizens. Commodore Preble was made commander, with the
Constitution as his flagship. He had under him the Philadelphia, a
fine new frigate, and five smaller war ships.

{173} Preble was a remarkable man, and his "schoolboy captains," as
he called them, all under twenty-five years of age, were also
remarkable men.

For two years or more, there was plenty of stubborn fighting. Within
forty days, five attacks were made on the forts and the war ships of
Tripoli. In three of these attacks, the Constitution took part; and
once, while supporting the fleet, she silenced more than a hundred
guns behind the forts of the pirate capital.

Even from the first, the new frigate was lucky. She was never
dismasted, or seriously injured, in battle or by weather. In all her
service, not one commanding officer was ever lost, and few of her
crew were ever killed.

On one occasion, six of our gunboats made a savage hand to hand
attack on twenty-one Tripolitan gunboats, and drove them back into
the harbor with great loss.

"There, Commodore Preble," said young Decatur, as he came over the
side of the Constitution, and walked joyfully up to his commander on
the quarter-deck, "I have brought you out three of the gunboats."

Preble had a kind heart, but a very quick temper. Like a flash, he
seized Decatur by the collar and shook him, shouting, "Aye, sir, why
did you not bring me out more?" and walked into his cabin.

The stern old fighter was over his temper in a moment. He sent for
his young officer, and made ample amends for bad temper and hasty
words. Ever afterwards these two great men were the best of friends.

{174} During the war of 1812, "the war for free trade and sailors'
rights," the Constitution won her chief honors. The story of her
remarkable escape from a British squadron has been often told.

It was at daybreak about the middle of July, 1812, off the New Jersey
coast. Not a breath ruffled the ocean. Captain Isaac Hull, every inch
of him a sailor, was in command. A British fleet of five frigates and
some smaller vessels, which had been sighted the day before, had
crept up during the night, and at daylight almost surrounded "Old

[Illustration: Isaac Hull]

Hull knew his ship and his men. Not for one moment did he think of
giving up his vessel. Of course he could not fight his powerful foe
with his single ship. He must get away. But how?

One of the British frigates, the Shannon, had furled her sails, and
was being towed by all the boats of the fleet.

"This," said Lieutenant Morris, "seemed to decide our fate."

A moment later, however, a puff of wind carried our frigate out of

"How deep is the water?" shouts Captain Hull.

"Twenty fathoms," is the reply.

"Out with the kedge anchor!" cries Hull.

All the spare ropes and cables are fastened together and payed out to
an anchor, which is dropped into the sea a mile ahead. The sailors on
the frigate go round {175} the windlass on the run, and the vessel is
slowly drawn ahead to the anchor, which is now quickly taken up and
carried out once more. This is called kedging.

Our sailor boys give cheer on cheer as they whirl the windlass and
pull at the oars.

The captain of one of the enemy's frigates now sees the game, and
tries kedging, but does not get near enough to throw a shot.

Three of the pursuing frigates open fire at long range, without doing
any damage.

All day long this pursuit is kept up. Every gun is loaded, ready to
fire. The men rest by the cannon, with their rammers and their
sponges beside them. All the next day the chase goes on. At last,
slowly but surely, the American frigate gains on her pursuers. At
four o'clock in the afternoon, the Shannon is four miles astern.

Two hours later, a squall gave Hull a chance to play a trick on his
pursuers. Sail was shortened the moment the squall struck. The
British captain, seeing the apparent confusion on board the Yankee
frigate, also shortened sail. The moment his vessel was hidden by
{176} the rain, Hull quickly made sail again. When the weather
cleared, his nearest pursuer was far astern.

At daylight the next morning, the British fleet was almost out of
sight, and, after a chase of three nights and two days, gave up the

Six days later, the good people of Boston went wild with delight, as
their favorite frigate ran the blockade and came to anchor in the

Captain Hull was not the man to be shut up in Boston harbor if he
could help it. In less than two weeks he ran the blockade and sailed
out upon the broad ocean. A powerful British fleet was off the coast.
Hull knew it, but out he sailed with his single ship to battle for
his country.

Now the British had a fine frigate named the Guerrière. This vessel
was one of the fleet that had given the Constitution such a hot chase
a few days before. Captain Dacres, her commander, and Captain Hull
were personal friends, and had wagered a hat on the result of a
possible battle between their frigates. The British captain had just
written a challenge to the commander of our fleet, saying that he
should like to meet any frigate of the United States, to have a few
minutes _tête-à-tête_.

On the afternoon of August 19, about seven hundred miles northeast of
Boston, these two finest frigates in the world, the Guerrière and the
Constitution, met for the "interview" that Dacres so much wanted.

All is hurry and bustle on "Old Ironsides."

{177} "Clear for action!" shrilly sounds the boatswain's whistle.

The fife and drum call to quarters. Everybody hurries to his place.

The British frigate, as if in defiance, flings out a flag from each
topmast. Her big guns flash, but the balls fall short.

"Don't fire until I give the word," orders Captain Hull.

Now the Guerrière, drawing nearer and nearer, pours in a broadside.

"Shall we not fire, sir?" asks Lieutenant Morris.

"Not yet," is Hull's reply.

Another broadside tears through the rigging, wounding several men.
The sailors are restless at their double-shotted guns.

Now the two frigates are fairly abreast, and within pistol shot of
each other.

"Now, boys, do your duty. Fire!" shouts the gallant commander, at the
top of his voice.

Hull is a short and stout man. As he leans over to give the order to
fire, his breeches burst from hip to knee. The men roar with
laughter. There is no time to waste, however, and so he finishes the
battle in his laughable plight.

An officer, pointing to the captain, cries, "Hull her, boys! hull

The men, catching the play upon words, shout, "Hull her! Yes, we'll
hull her!"

{178} "Old Ironsides" now lets fly a terrible broadside at close
range. The Guerrière's mizzenmast goes overboard.

"My lads, you have made a brig of that craft!" cries Hull.

"Wait a moment, sir, and we'll make her a sloop!" shout back the

Sure enough, the Guerrière swings round and gets a raking fire, which
cuts away the foremast and much of the rigging, and leaves her a
helpless hulk in the trough of the sea. The flag goes down with the
rigging, and there is nothing to do but to surrender.

In just thirty minutes, the British frigate is a wreck.

During the hottest part of the battle, a sailor, at least so runs the
story, saw a cannon ball strike the side of the vessel and fall back
into the sea.

"Hurrah, boys! hurrah for 'Old Ironsides'!" he shouted to his mates;
"her sides are made of iron."

Some say that from this incident the nickname of "Old Ironsides" took
its origin.

Captain Hull received his old friend Dacres, kindly, on board the
Constitution, and said, "I see you are wounded, Dacres. Let me help

When the British captain offered his sword, Hull said, "No, Dacres, I
cannot take the sword of a man who knows so well how to use it, but I
will thank you for that hat!"

[Illustration: Hull refuses Dacres's Sword]

Just as they were ready to blow up the Guerrière, Dacres remembered
that a Bible, his wife's gift, which {179} he had carried with him
for years, had been left behind. Captain Hull at once sent a boat
after it.

Twenty-five years after this incident, Captain Dacres, then an
admiral, gave Hull a dinner on his flagship, at Gibraltar, and told
the ladies the story of his wife's Bible.

When "Old Ironsides" came sailing up the harbor, on the last day of
August, what a rousing reception the people of Boston gave Captain
Hull and his gallant men!

All the people of the town crowded the wharves or filled the windows
and the housetops overlooking the bay. The streets were gay with
bunting, and there was a grand dinner, with many patriotic speeches
and deafening cheers.

In less than five months after her battle with the Guerrière, the
Constitution had her hardest fight. It was with the Java, one of the
best frigates in the British navy. Her commander, Captain Lambert,
was said to be {180} one of the ablest sailors that ever handled a
war ship. The battle took place some thirty miles off the northeast
coast of Brazil.

The Constitution was commanded by Captain William Bainbridge. Before
this, he had done some feats of seamanship, but thus far in his
career he had not been fortunate. As you remember, Captain
Bainbridge, through no fault of his own, lost the Philadelphia off
the harbor of Tripoli.

The battle began about two o'clock in the afternoon, with broadsides
from both frigates.

Bainbridge was soon wounded in the hip by a musket ball; then the
wheel was shattered, and a small copper bolt was driven into his
thigh. Unwilling to leave the deck a moment, he had his wounds
dressed while directing the battle.

Finding that he could not get near enough to the swift British
frigate, Bainbridge boldly headed for the enemy. There was great risk
of getting raked, but fortunately the Java's shots went wild.

[Illustration: "Old Ironsides" bearing down on a British Man-of-War]

"Old Ironsides" was now within close range of the Java, and the fire
of her heavy cannon soon left the British frigate dismasted and
helpless. The British did not surrender, however, until every stick
in the ship except a part of the mainmast had been cut away.

Captain Lambert was mortally injured, his first lieutenant severely
hurt, and nearly fifty men were killed and more than one hundred
wounded. "Old Ironsides" came out of the battle with every spar in

{181} The wheel of the Java was removed and fitted on the
Constitution, to replace the one which had been shot away.

A few years after the war, some British naval officers paid a visit
to "Old Ironsides."

"You have a most perfect vessel," said one of them, "but I must say
that you have a very ugly wheel for so beautiful a frigate."

"Yes," said the American captain to whom the remark was made, "it is
ugly. We lost our wheel in fighting the Java, and after the battle we
replaced it with her wheel, and somehow we have never felt like
changing it."

{182} Bainbridge was a great-hearted and heroic man. When he was told
that Captain Lambert was mortally injured, he forgot his own wounds
and had his men carry him to the blood-stained quarter-deck, where
the British officer lay. He then put into the dying man's hand the
sword he had just surrendered.

On Captain Bainbridge's return to Boston, another long procession
marched up State Street, and another grand dinner was given. When he
traveled by coach to Washington, the people along the route turned
out in great crowds to honor the naval hero.

The Constitution fought her last battle off the Madeira Islands, on
February 20, 1815, under the command of Captain Charles Stewart, one
of the hardest fighters in the history of our navy.

"What shall I bring you for a present?" said Captain Stewart to his

"A British frigate," promptly replied the patriotic young wife.

"I will bring you two," answered Stewart.

On the afternoon of February 20, two British men-of-war hove in
sight. They proved to be the frigate Cyane and the sloop of war

"Old Ironsides" made all sail to overhaul them.

Stewart's superb seamanship in this sharp battle has excited the
admiration of naval experts, even to our own day. It is generally
admitted that no American ship was ever better handled. He raked one
vessel and then {183} the other, repeatedly. Neither of the enemy's
war ships got in a single broadside.

Just forty minutes after Stewart's first fire, the Cyane surrendered.
A full moon then rose in all its splendor, and the battle went
stoutly on with the Levant. At ten o'clock, however, she, too,
perfectly helpless, struck her colors.

"Old Ironsides'" last great battle was over. Singlehanded, she had
fought two British war ships at one time and defeated them, and that,
too, with only three men killed and twelve wounded. In less than
three hours our stanch frigate was again in fighting trim.

With the exception of long periods of rest, "Old Ironsides" carried
her country's flag with dignity and honor for forty years.

Her cruising days ended just before the outburst of the Civil War, in
1861, when she was taken to Newport, Rhode Island, to serve as a
school-ship for the Naval Academy. Later, she was housed over, and
used as a receiving ship at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In the fall of
1897, she was towed to the navy yard at Charlestown, to take part in
her centennial celebration, October 21, 1897.

The old Constitution has been rebuilt in parts, and repaired many
times; so that little remains of the original vessel except her keel
and her floor frames. These huge pieces of her framework, hewn by
hand from solid oak, are the same that thrilled with the shock of the
old guns, {184} before the granite forts of Tripoli. Over them
floated the American flag and the pennants of Preble, Hull,
Bainbridge, Decatur, Stewart, and many other gallant men, whose
heroic deeds have shed luster on the American navy.

It is interesting to know that Commodore Stewart was the last
survivor of the great captains of the war of 1812. He served his
country faithfully for seventy-one years, and lived to be ninety-one.
He died at his home, called "Old Ironsides," in New Jersey, in 1869.

The loss of a few frigates did not matter much to England, but the
loss of her naval prestige in the war of 1812 was of importance to
the whole world. For the first time, Europe realized that there was a
new nation, which was able and willing to fight for its freedom on
the ocean, as it had fought for its independence on land.

"Old Ironsides" still survives, a weather-beaten and battle-scarred
hull, but a precious memorial of the nation's glory. She has earned a
lasting place in the affections of the American people.




At the beginning of the last century, England was fighting for her
very life against the mighty Napoleon. We remained neutral; but our
ships were doing a fine business in carrying supplies to the two

England, however, looked at us with a jealous eye, and was determined
to prevent our trade with France. On the other hand, Napoleon was
eager to shut us out from England.

Thus trouble arose. Both nations began to meddle with our commerce,
and to capture and plunder our ships. What did they care for the
rights of a feeble nation so long as each could cut off the other's

Great Britain, moreover, could not man her enormous navy. To get
sailors, she overhauled our merchantmen on the high seas and carried
men away to supply her war ships. In 1807, nearly two hundred of our
merchantmen had been taken by the British, and fully as many more by
the French. The time had come when we must either fight or give up
our trade.

It was hard to know what was best to do. Some were for fighting both
England and France at the same time.

{186} Thomas Jefferson, who was President at this time, and James
Madison, who followed him in 1809, were men of peace, and believed
that the nation should keep out of war.

In 1811, however, the pent-up wrath of the people, roused by even
greater insults, found relief in electing a "war" Congress. Then,
through men like Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, President Madison
yielded to popular feeling, and in June, 1812, war was declared with
Great Britain.

It was a bold thing to do. England had thousands of well-seasoned
troops, commanded by officers who had been trained by Wellington. Our
regular army had less than seven thousand men, and our main
dependence was upon the militia, who proved of little service. To
meet England on the water, we had only six frigates and a dozen or
more little craft. England had more than two hundred war ships larger
than any of ours.

The war began, and was carried on, in a haphazard sort of way. Most
of our land battles were inglorious enough; but the story of our
naval battles is another thing. England, the "mistress of the seas,"
met with some unpleasant surprises. Out of fifteen naval contests,
with equal forces, we won twelve. Never before had the British navy
met with such defeats.

Early in the year 1814, Napoleon was driven into exile at Elba, and
Europe was for a time free from war. England was now able to send
larger fleets and more {187} troops to our shores, and planned to
capture New Orleans, the gateway to the commerce of the Mississippi.
The hour of trial had indeed come for the fair Creole city.

New Orleans was foreign in character, having been joined to our
republic by purchase, with little in common with our people except a
bitter hatred for England.

In the last week of November, a great fleet with ten thousand
veterans sailed across the Gulf of Mexico, in the direction of New
Orleans. The troops, most of whom had just served in Spain, under the
"Iron Duke," were held to be the best fighting men in the world.

The voyage seems to have been a kind of gala trip. The wives of many
of the officers sailed with their husbands; and the time was spent in
dancing, in musical and theatrical performances, and in other

So sure were the proud Britons of taking the Creole city that they
brought officers to govern it.

On December 9, in the midst of a storm, the ships anchored off the
delta of the Mississippi.

The British, having planned to approach New Orleans from the east,
sent the lighter craft to cross Lake Borgne, some fifteen miles from
the city.

Five American gunboats, commanded by a young officer named Jones,
with less than two hundred men, were guarding the lake. The British
landed twelve hundred marines. There was a sharp hand to hand fight
for an hour, in which over three hundred of the British were {188}
killed or wounded. But it was twelve hundred against two hundred.
Young Jones was severely wounded, and his gunboats were captured.

It was now two days before Christmas. In a little dwelling house in
Royal Street all was hurry and bustle. This was General Jackson's
headquarters. Early in the afternoon, a young French officer, Major
Villeré, had galloped to the door, with the word that an outpost on
his father's plantation, twelve miles below New Orleans, had been
surprised that morning by the British.

"The redcoats are marching in full force straight for the city," he
said; "and if they keep on, they will reach here this very night."

"By the Eternal!" exclaimed Jackson. His eyes flashed, his reddish
gray hair began to bristle, and he brought his fist down upon the
table. "They shall not sleep upon our soil this night."

"Gentlemen," he continued to his officers and to the citizens round
him, "the British are below; we must fight them to-night."

[Illustration: On the Eve of the Battle, Spies Inform Jackson of the
Enemy's Position]

The great bell on the old cathedral of St. Louis begins to ring,
cannon are fired three times to signify danger, and messengers ride
to and fro in hot haste, with orders for the troops to take up their
line of march.

The people of New Orleans had heard how the rough Britons dealt with
the cities of Spain, and they knew well enough that the hated
redcoats would treat their own loved city in like manner.

{189} Jackson put every able-bodied man at work. It was a motley
crowd. Creoles, Frenchmen, Spaniards, prison convicts, negroes, and
even Lafitte, the far-famed "Pirate of the Gulf," and his crew of
buccaneers, answered Jackson's call. The people cheerfully submitted
to martial law. The streets resounded with "Yankee Doodle" and with
"The Marseillaise" sung in English, French, and Spanish.

The backwoodsmen once more came to the front, as they had done at
King's Mountain, thirty-five years before. The stern features of "Old
Hickory" relaxed a bit at the sight of Colonel Carroll and his
riflemen from Nashville. They arrived in flatboats on the same day
that the British vanguard reached the river. Clad in coonskin caps
and fringed leggins, and {190} with their long rifles on their
shoulders, these rough pioneers came tramping into the city. They
were tall, gaunt fellows, with powder horns over their buckskin
shirts, and with hunting knives in their belts.

Colonel Coffee, too, had come with his regiment of mounted riflemen,
and was encamped five miles below the city.

Now Jackson knew that if he did not have time to throw up some
earthworks, the city was likely to fall. In his usual fiery way, he
made up his mind to attack the enemy that very night.

Meanwhile the British had built their camp fires along the levee, and
were eating their supper. Not once did they think themselves in

Soon after dark, a strange vessel, dropping quietly down the river,
anchored within musket shot. Some of the redcoats thought it best to
stir up the stranger, and so fired several times at her.

Suddenly a hoarse voice was heard, "Now give it to them, boys, for
the honor of America!"

It was the Carolina, an American war schooner.

At once shot and shell rained on the British camp, killing or
wounding at least a hundred men in ten minutes. The redcoats trampled
out their camp fires, and fled behind the levee for shelter.

This was a rather warm reception, but it became a great deal warmer
when Jackson charged into their camp. For two hours in the dark was
fought a series {191} of deadly hand to hand fights. The British used
their bayonets, the riflemen their hunting knives.

At last, a thick fog from the river made it impossible to tell friend
from foe. The redcoats retreated and found shelter behind the levee.
The Americans fell back about three miles and camped.

This bold night attack cost the British five hundred in killed and
wounded, and saved New Orleans from capture. Jackson had gained his
point. He had dealt the enemy a sudden, stinging blow.

[Illustration: General Jackson, nicknamed "Old Hickory"]

Christmas opened drearily enough for the invaders, but before night,
to their great joy, Sir Edward Pakenham arrived from England, and
took command. The British had now about ten thousand men, led by
three veterans. Surely, it would be nothing but boy's play for the
great Sir Edward to defeat the "backwoods general" and his motley
army. On his return home, his reward was to be a peerage.

Pakenham went to work bright and early the next morning. Within two
days, eleven cannon and a mortar were brought from the fleet, and
mounted in a redoubt on the bank of the river. The battery at once
began {192} to throw red-hot shells at the two war vessels in the
river. The little Carolina soon blew up, while the Louisiana was
towed out of range and escaped.

The next morning, Sir Edward thought that by marching out his army he
might get a look at the enemy. He was not disappointed, for after
advancing nearly three miles, he stumbled on the Americans in good

No sooner were the British columns in sight than they were driven
back by a brisk fire of shot and shell. Then followed a furious
artillery duel. In vain the British pounded away with field pieces,
rocket guns, and mortars; they were forced back by the cannon of the

The British commander now saw that he must lay regular siege to the
American position.

Shortly after midnight, on New Year's morning, his men silently
advanced to within three hundred yards of Jackson's first
intrenchments, which were made of cotton bales, and threw up a
redoubt of mud and hogsheads of sugar. When the fog lifted at ten
o'clock, the Americans were surprised to see the British cannon
frowning upon them.

The artillery began to roar. Jackson's cotton bales were soon
burning. On the other hand, the Louisiana and a water battery did
fine work with their raking fire, and soon blew the sugar barrels
into thousands of pieces. The British guns were quickly silenced, and
only the gallantry of the sailors from the war ships saved them from

{193} Sir Edward had boasted that he should pass this New Year's
night in New Orleans; but his reception had been so warm that he was
now forced to withdraw. Jackson had made it so lively for the
invaders that they had been without sleep and food for nearly sixty

The British admiral tried a grim joke by sending word to Sir Edward
that, if he did not hurry and capture the city, he should land his
marines and do up the job himself.

The British now decided to carry by storm the American lines on both
sides of the river, and chose Sunday morning, January 8, for the

Jackson gave himself and his men no rest, night or day. He had
redoubts thrown up even to the city itself.

The main line of defense, over which not a single British soldier
passed, except as prisoner, was a mud bank about a mile and a half
long. In front of it was a ditch, or half choked canal, which ran
from the river to an impassable cypress swamp on the left wing.

All Saturday night, January 7, was heard in the British camp the
sound of pickax and shovel, the rumble of artillery, and the muffled
tread of the regiments, as they marched to their several positions in
the line of battle.

After a day of great fatigue, Jackson lay down upon a sofa to rest.
At midnight, he looked at his watch and spoke to his aids.

"Gentlemen," he said, "we have slept long enough. The enemy will be
upon us in a few moments."

{194} Long before daylight, "Old Hickory" saw to it that every man
was at his post. Leaning on their rifles, or grouped about the great
guns, the men in silence saluted their beloved general, as he rode
from post to post, in the thick fog of that long, wakeful night.

The lifting of the fog in the early light revealed the long scarlet
lines of British veterans, in battle array. Surely it was only
something to whet their appetites for breakfast, for such
well-trained fighters to carry that low, mud earthwork.

The bugle sounded, and the red-coated grenadiers and the kilted
Highlanders moved steadily forward in columns. Not a rifle cracked,
but the cannon from the mud earthwork thundered furiously. Grape and
solid shot tore long lanes through the advancing battalions.

General Gibbs led the attack on the left, which a deserter had told
Pakenham was the weakest part of the earthwork. So it was; but on the
day before the battle, Jackson had stationed there his Tennessee

Nearer come the British regulars on the double-quick. The four lines
of sturdy riflemen wait until three fourths of the distance is

Suddenly the clear voice of General Carroll rings out, "Fire!"

A sheet of flame bursts from the earthwork. The advancing columns
falter, stop, break, and run. Not a man reaches the redoubt.

{195} It was said that an old thirty-two-pounder had been loaded to
the muzzle with musket balls, the first volley of which killed or
wounded two hundred of the enemy.

"Here comes the Ninety-Third! Rally on the Ninety-Third!" shouts
Pakenham, as this splendid regiment of eight hundred kilted
Highlanders advances amid the confusion.

The brave men now rally for another desperate charge.

"Hurrah, boys! the day is ours!" shouts Colonel Rennie, as he leads
the attack on the right flank.

But the day is not theirs. A few officers and men actually get across
the ditch, but every one of them is shot dead the moment his head
shows over the earthwork. The wavering columns stagger and give way.

Sir Edward leaves General Lambert in command of the reserve, and,
with generals Gibbs and Keane, now leads the assault. The mud
earthwork again belches its sheets of flame, as the backwoods
riflemen fire their death-dealing volleys. Again the proud columns
give way.

"Forward, men, forward!" cries Pakenham, ordering the bugler to sound
the charge.

A rifle ball carries away the bugle before a note is sounded.

"Order up the reserve!" shouts the British commander, and leads his
men to another deadly charge.

A rifle bullet shatters his right leg, another kills his horse, and
finally a third, fired by a negro, instantly {196} kills him. Gibbs
and Keane are both severely wounded. The officers in the brilliant
uniforms are easy targets for the sharpshooters.

It is what Bunker Hill might have been if the patriots had had
stronger breastworks and plenty of ammunition.

The eight hundred Highlanders, with pale faces but firm step, advance
to the ditch, and, too proud to run, stand the fire until few more
than a hundred are left. These slowly retire with their faces still
toward the Americans.

The battle lasted only twenty-five minutes. During this time the
American flag was kept flying near the middle of the line. A military
band roused the troops. Just after the fight, Jackson and his staff
in full uniform rode slowly along the lines. The wild uproar of that
motley army was echoed by thousands of spectators, who with fear and
trembling had watched the issue of the contest.

[Illustration: General Jackson riding along the Lines, after the

In the final and decisive action on that Sunday morning, the British
had about six thousand men, while Jackson had less than three
thousand. Of the British, seven hundred were killed, fourteen hundred
wounded, and five hundred taken prisoners. The Americans had only
eight killed and fourteen wounded!

It was the most astonishing battle ever fought on this continent.
There had never been a defeat so crushing, with a loss so small.

{197} For a week or more, the British kept sullenly within their
lines. Jackson clung to his intrenchments. He was a fearless fighter,
but was unwilling to risk a battle with well-tried veterans in an
open field. He kept up, however, a continual pounding with his big
guns, and his mounted riflemen gave the redcoats no rest.

In about three weeks, General Lambert skillfully retreated to the
ships, and, soon afterwards, the entire army sailed for England.

Such was the glorious but dreadful battle of New Orleans, the
anniversary of which is still celebrated.

{198} Honors fell thick and fast upon "Old Hickory." Fourteen years
later, he became the seventh President of the United States.

The sad part of this astounding victory is that peace had been
declared about two weeks before the battle was fought. A "cablegram,"
or even an ocean greyhound, could have saved the lives of many brave

When peace was made, nothing was said about impressing our sailors,
or about the rights of our merchantmen. From that day to this,
however, no American citizen has been forced to serve on a British
war ship, and no American vessel has ever been searched on the high

The war of 1812 was not fought in vain. The nations of the world saw
that we would fight to maintain our rights. Best of all, perhaps,
this war served to strengthen the feeling of nationality among our
own people.




Rarely has the benefactor of a people been awarded such measure of
gratitude as we gave Lafayette, in 1824. Eager crowds flocked into
the cities and the villages to welcome this hero. Thousands of
children, the boys in blue jackets and the girls in white dresses,
scattered flowers before him. If you could get your grandfather or
your grandmother to tell you of this visit, it would be as
interesting as a storybook.

The conditions in the United States were just right for such an
outburst of feeling. Everybody knew the story of the rich French
nobleman, who, at the age of nineteen, had left friends, wife, home,
and native land, to cast his lot with strange people, three thousand
miles away, engaged in fighting for freedom.

It was not until after the battle of Bunker Hill that, at a grand
dinner party, the young marquis heard of our struggle for
independence. He knew neither our country nor our people, and he did
not speak our language; but his sympathies were at once awakened, and
he made up his mind to fight for us.

In the spring of 1777, at his own expense, he bought and fitted out a
vessel with military supplies, and sailed {200} for America. Seven
weeks later, he landed in South Carolina, and at once went to
Philadelphia to offer his services to Congress.

He wrote a note to a member of Congress, in which he said, "After the
sacrifices I have made, I have the right to exact two favors; one is,
to serve at my own expense, the other, to serve as a volunteer."

These manly words and the striking appearance of the young Frenchman,
together with letters from Benjamin Franklin, had their effect. His
services were accepted, and he was made a major general.

For seven years Lafayette served Washington as an aid and a personal
friend. His deep sympathy, his generous conduct, and his gracious
ways won all hearts, from the stately Washington to the humblest
soldier. Personal bravery on the battlefield at once gained fame for
him as a soldier, and made him one of the heroes of the hour. His
example worked wonders in getting the best young men of the country
to enlist in the army.

During the fearful winter at Valley Forge, the young nobleman
suddenly changed his manner of living. Used to ease and personal
comforts, he became even more frugal and self-denying than the
half-starved and half-frozen soldiers. How different it must have
been from the gayeties and the luxuries of the French court of the
winter before!

The battle of Monmouth was fought on a hot Sunday in June, 1778. From
four o'clock in the morning until {201} dusk, Lafayette fought like a
hero. Late at night, when the battle was over, he and Washington lay
upon the same cloak, under a tree, and talked over the strange events
of the day until they fell asleep.

After the battle of Monmouth, Lafayette went back to France to visit
his family, and to plead the cause of his adopted country. He was
kindly received at court.

"Tell us all the good news about our dearly-beloved Americans,"
begged the queen.

To the king, Lafayette spoke plainly: "The money that you spend,
Sire, on one of your court balls would go far towards sending an army
to the colonies in America, and dealing England a blow where she
would most feel it."

In the spring of 1780, Lafayette returned to America with the French
king's pledge of help.

At the close of the Revolution, the gallant young marquis went back
to France, the hero of his nation, but {202} his interest in America
never grew less. When the treaty of peace was signed at Paris, he
hired a vessel and hurried it across the ocean, with the good news.

In 1784, the year after peace was declared, Lafayette visited this
country for the third time. He made Washington a long visit at Mount
Vernon, went over the old battlefields, and met his old comrades.

[Illustration: Lafayette's Visit to Washington at Mount Vernon, in

In 1824, it was known that Lafayette, now an old man, longed to visit
once more the American people and the scenes he loved so well.
Congress at once requested President Monroe to invite him as the
nation's guest.

Forty years had wrought a marvelous change in America. The thirteen
colonies, in whose cause the young Frenchman came over the sea, had
been united into a nation of twenty-four states. The experiment of
laying the foundation of a great republic had proved successful. The
problem of self-government had been solved.

The United States had taken its place among the great nations of the
world,--a republic of twelve millions of prosperous and happy people.
Towns and cities had sprung up like magic. The tide of immigration
had taken possession of mountain and valley of what was then the far

The people of the young nation were still rejoicing over the glorious
victories of Hull, Decatur, Bainbridge, Perry, and other heroes of
the sea. Less than ten years {203} before, General Jackson had won
his great victory at New Orleans.

Time had dealt heavily with the great generals of the Revolution.
Washington had been laid away in the tomb at Mount Vernon,
twenty-five years before. Greene, Wayne, Marion, Morgan, Schuyler,
Knox, and Lincoln were all dead. Stark had died only two years
before. Sumter was still living. Lafayette was the last surviving
major general of the Revolution.

The people of this country were familiar with Lafayette's remarkable
history since he had left America. They had heard of his lifelong
struggle against tyranny in his native land. They knew him as the
gallant knight who had dealt hard blows in the cause of freedom. They
cared little about the turmoils of French politics, but knew that
this champion of liberty had been for five years in an Austrian

Do you wonder that the grateful people of the sturdy young republic
were eager to receive him as their guest?

In company with his son, George Washington Lafayette, and his private
secretary, Lafayette landed at Staten Island, New York, on Sunday,
August 15, 1824. He spent the night at the house of Vice President
Tompkins. The next day, six thousand citizens came, in a grand
procession of gayly decked vessels, to escort the national guest to
the city. The cannon from the forts and from the men-of-war boomed a
welcome, while two hundred thousand people cheered themselves hoarse.

{204} Within a few days Lafayette went to Washington, and was
formally received as the nation's guest by President Monroe, at the
White House.

[Illustration: President Monroe, who received the Nation's Guest]

As our guest now enters upon an unbroken series of receptions and
triumphal ovations in the twenty-four states of the Union, let us
take a glimpse at his personal appearance.

Lafayette was tall, rather stout, and had a large head. His face was
oval and regular, with a high forehead. His complexion was light, and
his cheeks were red. He had a long nose, and well-arched eyebrows
overhanging grayish blue eyes. He had lost his hair in the Austrian
prison, and in its place wore a curly, reddish brown wig, set low
upon his forehead, thus concealing the heavy wrinkles upon his brow.

"Time has much changed us, for then we were young and active," said
Lafayette to his old friend, the famous Indian chief Red Jacket, whom
he met at Buffalo.

{205} "Alas!" said the aged warrior, who did not suspect the finely
made French wig, "time has left my white brother red cheeks and a
head covered with hair; but for me,--look!" and, untying the
handkerchief that covered his head, the old chieftain showed with a
grim smile that he was entirely bald.

The veteran soldiers of the Revolution said they could not see any
resemblance to their youthful hero of nearly half a century before.
He was always a plain-looking, if not a homely man, but his smile was
magnetic, his face singularly attractive, and his manner full of
sweet and gracious courtesy. To the people of the Revolution he was
always known as "the young marquis."

Lafayette remained in New York four days; but, having promised to
attend the graduating exercises at Harvard College, he was forced to
hasten to Boston. The trip was made by a relay of carriages, with a
large civic and military escort.

Although the party traveled from five o'clock in the morning until
midnight, it took five days to reach the city. Every village along
the route had its triumphal arch, trimmed with flowers and patriotic
mottoes. People came for many miles round, to welcome the great man
and his party. At night the long file of carriages was escorted by
men on horseback, carrying torches. Cannon were fired and church
bells rung, all along the route; while, after dark, huge bonfires
were lighted on the hilltops and on every village green.

{206} When Lafayette appeared, there was wild excitement in the staid
city of Boston. He rode in an open barouche drawn by six white
horses; and was escorted by companies of militia, and by twelve
hundred mounted tradesmen, clad in white frocks.

It seems that Dr. Bowditch, the famous mathematician, a man too
dignified to smile on ordinary occasions, was caught in the crowd
that was waiting for Lafayette. He walked up a flight of steps, that
he might with proper dignity let the crowd pass. At the sight of the
famous Frenchman, he seemed to lose his senses; for in an instant he
was in the front ranks of the crowd, trying to shake hands with the
honored guest, and shouting with all his might.

On this trip Lafayette went east as far as Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
His tour was then directed by way of Worcester, Hartford, and the
familiar scenes of the Hudson, to the South and the Southwest, where
he visited all the large cities. From New Orleans, he ascended the
Mississippi and the Ohio. He then crossed Lake Erie, and, passing
through the state of New York and the old Bay State, visited
Portland, Maine. Returning by Lake Champlain and the Hudson, he
reached New York in time for the magnificent celebration of the
Fourth of July, 1825. The tour was brought to an end in September, by
a visit to the national capital.

Lafayette's journey through the country lasted for more than a year,
and was one unbroken ovation. {207} Towns and cities all over the
land vied with each other in paying him honor. It was one long series
of public dinners, patriotic speeches, bonfires, flower-decked
arches, processions of school children, and brilliant balls.

The old veterans who had fought under Washington eagerly put on their
faded uniforms, and found themselves the heroes of the hour, as they
fought their battles over again to crowds of eager listeners. In
fact, Lafayette's interviews with the old soldiers and the few
surviving officers appear to have been the most interesting and the
most pathetic features of the whole journey.

A few weeks after his arrival in this country, Lafayette went to
Yorktown, to celebrate the anniversary of that notable victory. He
was entertained in the house which had been the headquarters of
Cornwallis, forty-three years before. A single bed was found for the
marquis; but the little village was so crowded that the governor of
Virginia and the great officers of the state were forced to camp on
straw spread on the floor.

A big box of candles, which once belonged to Cornwallis's supplies,
was found in good order in the cellar. They were lighted and arranged
in the middle of the camp, where the ladies and the soldiers danced.

The next day, Lafayette received his callers in the large Washington
tent, which had been brought from Mount Vernon for this purpose.
Branches cut from a fine laurel in front of the Nelson house were
woven into a crown, and placed on the head of the honored guest.

{208} Lafayette at once took it off, and, putting it on the head of
his old comrade, Colonel Nicholas Fish, who helped him carry the
redoubt at Yorktown, said, "Take it; this wreath belongs to you also;
keep it as a deposit for which we must account to our comrades."

"Nick," said Lafayette at another time to this aged man, as the two
old friends sailed up the Hudson, "do you remember when we used to
slide down that hill with the Newburgh girls, on an ox sled?"

On the trip through the Southwest, one of the grandest ovations took
place at Nashville, Tennessee. General Jackson, the hero of New
Orleans, with forty veterans of the Revolution, and thousands of
people from far and near, gave their guest a rousing welcome.

One old German veteran, who came over with Lafayette in 1777, and who
served with him during the whole war, traveled a hundred and fifty
miles over the mountains to reach Nashville.

As he threw himself into his general's arms, he exclaimed, "I have
seen you once again; I have nothing more to wish for; I have lived
long enough."

In the grand procession at New Orleans, one hundred Choctaw Indians
marched in single file. They had been in camp near the city for a
month, that they might be on hand to see "the great warrior," "the
brother of their great father Washington."

It would fill a good-sized book to tell you all the incidents and the
courtesies that marked this triumphal tour.

{209} At Hartford, Connecticut, eight hundred school children, who
had saved their pennies, gave Lafayette a gold medal, and a hundred
veterans of the Revolution escorted him through the city to the boat.

When the grand cavalcade reached Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the rain
came down in torrents, but a thousand school children, crowned with
flowers, lined the road to greet the far-famed man, and not one left
the ranks.

In New York City, there was a firemen's parade with nearly fifty hand
engines, each drawn by thirty red-shirted men. A sham house was built
and set on fire; then, at the captain's signal, the firemen leaped to
the brakes and showed their foreign guest how fire was put out in

Sixty Boston boys, from twelve to fourteen years of age, formed a
flying artillery company, and, keeping just ahead of the long
procession, fired salute after salute as the party neared the city.

While in Boston, Lafayette rode out to Quincy one Sunday, to pay a
visit of respect to the venerable John Adams, and dine with him. He
was astonished to find this noted man and ex-President of the United
States living in a one-story frame house. Although the old statesman
was so feeble that his grandchildren had to put the food into his
mouth, Lafayette said "he kept up the conversation on the old times
with an ease and readiness of memory which made us forget his
eighty-nine years."

{210} One beautiful night while Lafayette was the guest of
Philadelphia, the whole city was illuminated in his honor. Forty
thousand strangers flocked into town for the night. The next morning
the mayor called upon the distinguished guest, and told him that
although it was "a night of joyous and popular effervescence,"
perfect order prevailed, and not a single arrest was made.

A word was coined to express this flood tide of popular homage, and,
for many years afterwards, whenever special honors were paid to
anybody, he was said to be "Lafayetted."

A touching incident shows the spirit of gratitude which seemed to
seize even the humblest of citizens, in trying to please the nation's
guest. The party stopped at a small tavern on a byroad in Virginia,
to rest the horses. The landlord came out and begged Lafayette to
come into his house, if only for five minutes. The marquis, with his
usual courtesy, yielded to the request, and entered.

The plain but neat living room was trimmed with fir trees, and upon
its whitewashed wall was written, in charcoal, "Welcome, Lafayette."
On a small table was a bottle of strong drink, with glasses, as was
the custom in those days. There was also a plate of thin slices of
bread, all neatly covered with a napkin. The landlord introduced his
wife, and brought in his little five-year old boy. The food was
served, and the health of the guest was drunk.

{211} [Illustration: Lafayette's Reception at a Roadside Tavern in

The speech for the occasion was recited by the boy: "General
Lafayette, I thank you for the liberty which you have won for my
father, for my mother, for myself, and for my country."

Lafayette was much moved by the sincerity of it all; and after
kissing the boy and getting into his carriage, he said, with tears in
his eyes, that it was one of the happiest moments of his life.

While on his way to Yorktown, in October, Lafayette paid a visit to
Mount Vernon. Again he passed through the rooms and over the grounds
with which he was so familiar. What memories of its owner, his great
and faithful friend for twenty-two years, must have crowded upon the
old hero!

The remains of Washington then lay in the old tomb near the river.
The door was opened, and Lafayette went down into the vault, where he
remained some moments beside the coffin of his great chief. He came
out with his head bowed, and with tears streaming down {212} his
face. He then led his son into the tomb, where they knelt reverently,
and, after the French fashion, kissed the coffin.

Meanwhile, the fiftieth anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill was
near at hand. The prosperous and happy people of the old Bay State
were preparing a celebration. The corner stone of Bunker Hill
Monument was to be laid by Lafayette.

[Illustration: Bunker Hill Monument]

The weather on this memorable June day was perfect. Never before had
such a crowd been seen in Boston.

A Yankee stage driver very aptly said, "Everything that had wheels
and everything that had legs used them to get to Boston."

Through the densely crowded streets, a grand civic and military
procession of seven thousand people escorted the guests to Bunker

As one famous man said, "It seemed as if no spot where a human foot
could plant itself was left unoccupied."

Two hundred officers and soldiers of the Revolution marched at the
head of the procession. One old man, who had been a drummer in the
battle of Bunker Hill, carried the same drum with which he had
rallied the patriot forces.

{213} How they shouted when the hero of the day came riding slowly
along, in an open barouche drawn by six white horses! The women waved
their handkerchiefs and the gayly decked school children scattered

How thrilling it was to see those forty white-haired men, the
survivors of Bunker Hill!

During the morning, these honored heroes had been presented to
Lafayette. He had shaken hands with them, had called them by name,
and had spoken a few tender words to each of them, as if to some dear

[Illustration: Lafayette's Reception, in Boston, to the Veterans of
the Revolution]

Not a field officer or a staff officer of the battle was living.
Captain Clark, the highest surviving officer, came tottering along
under the weight of ninety-five years, to shake hands with the French

The young man who introduced the veterans, and who in after years
became one of the most honored citizens and mayors of Boston, said of
this occasion, "If there were dry eyes in the room, mine were not
among them."

{214} What a scene it was for an historical picture, when the brave
old minister, the Reverend Joseph Thaxter, who was chaplain of
Colonel Prescott's regiment, rose to offer prayer and to give the
benediction! As his feeble voice was lifted to ask for the blessing
of God, it did not seem possible that fifty years before, on the same
spot, this man had stood and prayed for the patriot cause.

Daniel Webster was the orator of the day. A famous Englishman once
said that no man could be as great as Webster looked, and on this day
the majestic orator seemed to tower above all other men.

[Illustration: Daniel Webster]

Every American schoolboy who has had "to speak his piece" knows by
heart the famous passage from this oration, beginning, "Venerable
men! you have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has
bounteously lengthened out your lives, that you might behold this
joyous day."

Mr. Webster's voice was in such good order that fifteen thousand
people are said to have been able to hear him.

At the banquet during the same evening, the great orator said, "I
shall never desire to behold again the {215} awful spectacle of so
many human faces all turned towards me."

Near the end, Lafayette visited Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. The
veteran statesman, now eighty-one years old, drove his old-time
friend and guest over to a grand banquet at the University of
Virginia. James Madison was present. When the students and the great
crowd of people saw Washington's friend seated between the two aged
statesmen, a shout went up, the like of which, it was said, was never
before heard in the Old Dominion.

When Lafayette arrived in America, in August, 1824, he first visited
the national capital, and was formally received at the White House by
President Monroe and by many of the great men of the country. On his
return to Washington in 1825, he was told that Congress had voted him
two hundred thousand dollars and two large tracts of land, for his
services during the Revolution.

It was now September, and Lafayette had remained in this country much
longer than he had expected. The new President, John Quincy Adams,
gave him a farewell dinner at the White House, with a large party of
notable men. The President's formal farewell to the country's guest
is a classic in our literature.

Amid the blessings and the prayers of a grateful people, Lafayette
sailed for France in the new and beautiful frigate Brandywine, which
had been built and named in his honor.

{216} For years afterwards, some people used to tell their children,
with a peculiar thrill and feeling of awe, that a beautiful rainbow
arched the heavens just before Lafayette landed at Staten Island, and
that an equally beautiful symbol of peace spanned the broad ocean, as
the steamboat moved slowly down Chesapeake Bay, to take the nation's
guest on board the Brandywine.



1. Who was Daniel Boone?

2. When did Boone live?

3. How old was George Rogers Clark at this time?

4. Was Clark brave?

5. Why were the pioneers so long in hearing of the battle of
Lexington, which was fought in April?

6. How did Lexington, Kentucky, get its name?

7. What kind of life did the pioneers lead in the wilderness?

8. Did the pioneers have other enemies besides the Indians?

9. Why did Clark go back to Virginia?

10. Who lived north of the Ohio?

11. Why did England try to keep the Americans from going west?

12. Who was Hamilton the "hair buyer"?

13. What made the Indians so hostile to the pioneers?

14. How did Clark plan to defend Kentucky?

15. Where was the Illinois country?

16. Why did Clark go back a second time to Virginia?

17. Did anybody think well of Clark's plan of campaign?

18. How much of an army did Clark have for his campaign?

19. Where did Clark plan to begin his campaign?

20. Why did Clark avoid the Mississippi River?

21. Whom did Clark have as guides?

22. How long a march was it to Kaskaskia?

23. What time of year was it when Clark marched to Kaskaskia?

24. Did Clark have trouble in getting into the town of Kaskaskia?

25. What were the people of Kaskaskia doing?

26. How did Clark introduce himself?

27. Who were the Creoles? (Consult a large dictionary.)

28. Who helped Clark make friends?

29. What sort of man was Clark?

30. What did Hamilton do when he heard of Clark's conquest?

31. Why did not Hamilton march from Vincennes to Kaskaskia?

32. Why did Clark decide to push on to Vincennes?

33. At what time of year did Clark start for Vincennes?

34. What did the little army have for food?

35. What hindered Clark's march?

36. How long did it take to cross the plain of the Wabash River?

37. What is a dugout?

38. How did the army get along in crossing the Horseshoe Plain?

39. Who announced Clark's arrival at Vincennes?

40. At what time did Clark reach the village?

41. Why did not Clark allow his men to storm the fort?

42. How did Clark get possession of the fort?

43. Why was Clark's campaign so important?

44. What states are now in this region of Clark's conquest?

45. Do you think Clark was a hero?


1. Who led the patriots to victory at Saratoga, New York?

2. Why did Arnold's leg deserve to be buried with the honors of war?

3. When the Revolution began, why did Washington wish to attack

4. Why did Washington like Benedict Arnold?

5. How had Arnold got information about Canada?

6. How did Arnold try to make friends of the Indians?

7. What is wampum?

8. How was the expedition to reach Canada?

9. Why was it easy to get soldiers for this campaign?

10. What time of year was it when the army started?

11. How were the soldiers treated at Newburyport and at Fort Western?

12. Who was Jacataqua?

13. Why did Jacataqua decide to go with the troops?

14. How was the army divided?

15. What trouble did they have with their boats?

16. What is a carrying place?

17. What made the army diminish in numbers?

18. Why was it so hard to reach the Dead River?

19. Why was the ascent of the Dead River so difficult?

20. How many cups of flour in half a pint?

21. What sort of patriot was Colonel Enos?

22. When the flour was gone, what did the army do for food?

23. What did Jacataqua do?

24. What did Arnold do to save his army?

25. What sort of man was Arnold at this time?

26. How far did Arnold have to go to get provisions?

27. When did the army reach Point Levi?

28. What was the condition of the army when it reached Point Levi?

29. What did the Indians do who learned of Arnold's approach?

30. How did Arnold reach the city of Quebec?

31. How did the British treat Arnold and his men?

32. Why did Arnold leave Quebec?

33. What did Sir Guy Carleton do to save Quebec?

34. Why did the patriots wait so long before attacking the city?

35. How was the attack to be made?

36. What happened to Montgomery, Arnold, and Morgan?

37. How did relief finally come to Quebec?

38. How long had this campaign lasted?


1. Why did the British destroy Norfolk?

2. Why did England wish to punish North Carolina first of all?

3. Why did Sir Henry Clinton delay the attack upon North Carolina?

4. Why did Lord Campbell wish to capture Charleston?

5. What sort of people were the South Carolinians?

6. Why was a fort built on Sullivan's Island?

7. Who was Moultrie?

8. How were the walls of the fort made?

9. How many cannon did Moultrie have?

10. What made the patriots skillful in firing the cannon?

11. What was the difference between General Charles Lee and Governor

12. What sort of man was Colonel Moultrie?

13. How did the British plan to attack the fort?

14. How was the weather on the day of the battle?

15. How many cannon were the British able to fire at one time?

16. What happened to the men-of-war when they were changing their

17. What sort of men were in the palmetto fort?

18. Do you know a good use for palmetto logs?

19. What share in the battle did Sir Henry Clinton and his men have?

20. Did the patriots have plenty of powder?

21. What did McDaniel think about when he was dying?

22. Why did the people of Charleston suppose the fort had

23. What did Jasper do to save the flag?

24. Why did not Jasper accept promotion?

25. The people of South Carolina decreed that the fort on Sullivan's
Island should forever be called Fort Moultrie. Why do you think they
did so?

26. What was the effect of Moultrie's victory?

27. What can you say of Moultrie's after life?


1. What condition of affairs was troubling Washington at this time?

2. Were the British well situated at this time?

3. Why did Washington withdraw from New York?

4. What did Washington think should be done?

5. What kind of man was needed to carry out Washington's plan?

6. Why did Knowlton find it hard to get a man for Washington's

7. What reason did Nathan Hale give for volunteering to act as spy?

8. What kind of home did Hale have?

9. What kind of boy had Hale been?

10. What was Hale doing at the time of the battle of Lexington?

11. What did Hale do when he learned of the battle of Lexington?

12. What kind of life did Hale lead when captain in the army?

13. How did Hale disguise himself?

14. What sort of place was "The Cedars"?

15. Was it wise for Hale to spend the night at "Mother Chick's"

16. What did the British marines do with Hale?

17. Where did the captain of the Halifax send Hale?

18. Did Hale receive a trial?

19. What do you think of Cunningham?

20. What regret did Hale have?

21. How was Hale executed?

22. Where was Hale buried?

23. Was Hale a patriot?

24. Would you call Hale a hero?


1. Whom do you consider our greatest patriot?

2. What kind of example has Washington set us?

3. Why do we admire Washington?

4. What was Washington's appearance?

5. What do you know of Washington's strength?

6. What was Washington's favorite amusement?

7. What can you say of Washington's dignity?

8. What was Washington's diet?

9. What do you know of Washington's fondness for fine dress?

10. What can you say of Washington's education?

11. What kind of horseman was Washington?

12. How wealthy was Washington?

13. How did Washington become so wealthy?

14. How much land did Washington have?

15. What did Washington think of slaves?

16. How did Washington treat his slaves?

17. How did Washington's slaves treat him?

18. Why did Washington call his house "a well resorted tavern"?

19. What can you say of Washington's charity?

20. What kept Washington from financial ruin?

21. How did Washington look when at the meeting at Newburgh, New

22. How was the first President of the United States dressed when he
made his formal visit to Congress?

23. What can you say of Washington's gravity?

24. What do you know of President Washington's public receptions?

25. How did the guests enjoy President Washington's grand dinners?

26. In what did Washington's greatness consist?


1. What sort of general was Washington?

2. What did General Clinton think of Washington?

3. What part of the country did Washington need to protect?

4. What did the British do in May, 1779?

5. Why was it important for the Americans to have possession of
King's Ferry?

6. Where did the patriot army now take up its quarters?

7. How did the British soldiers act in Connecticut?

8. Why did General Clinton send out raiders?

9. Why did not Washington follow up Clinton's raiders?

10. What did Washington decide to do?

11. What kind of place was Stony Point?

12. Who had possession of Stony Point?

13. How was Stony Point defended?

14. How many soldiers were in the garrison at Stony Point?

15. What does Washington Irving say of Stony Point?

16. What name did the British give to Stony Point?

17. Who led the attack on Stony Point?

18. How old was General Anthony Wayne at this time?

19. How did Wayne look?

20. Why was Wayne called "Mad Anthony"?

21. What sort of soldier was Anthony Wayne?

22. What was Washington's plan of attack?

23. At what hour was the attack to be made?

24. What weapons were to be used in attacking Stony Point?

25. How many men were chosen to go to Stony Point?

26. What time of year was it now?

27. Why was the soldier put to death for loading his gun?

28. What sort of road was it to Stony Point?

29. When did the men learn where they were going?

30. What was the watchword?

31. What did Wayne write to his friend?

32. What did Pompey do?

33. How did Wayne divide his army to make the attack?

34. What is a "forlorn hope"? (Consult a large dictionary.)

35. How did the Americans show their good discipline?

36. What are pioneers? (Consult a large dictionary.)

37. What was the effect of having Colonel Murfree and his men appear
in front of the fort?

38. How long did the fight last?

39. How many of the British escaped from Stony Point?

40. Why did not Washington hold Stony Point?

41. What effect did this victory have on the American soldier?

42. What did the British think of the "rebels"?

43. How did General Clinton take it all?


1. How did the patriots of the South get on in 1780?

2. What have we already learned about Sir Henry Clinton? (See the
Index entry for Clinton.)

3. What were General Gates's "Northern laurels"? (See Chapter II.)

4. What sort of man was Gates? (Compare Chapter VIII.)

5. What effect did the crushing blows of the British have on the
Southern patriots?

6. What orders did Tarleton and Ferguson receive from Lord

7. What sort of man was Ferguson?

8. What threat did Ferguson send to the backwoodsmen?

9. What was the character of the Franklin and Holston settlers?

10. What is the name of the state that grew out of the Franklin and
Holston settlements?

11. What have we already learned about the Holston settlements? (See
Chapter I.)

12. What had become of the lawless men of the Franklin and Holston

13. What did the people do when they heard Ferguson's threat?

14. Where was the money got to buy supplies for the army?

15. What do you know of the gathering at Sycamore Shoals?

16. How were the backwoodsmen dressed?

17. What arms did the backwoodsmen have?

18. Who was Samuel Doak?

19. Why were the bands of pioneers put under one supreme commander?

20. Why did the backwoodsmen not find Ferguson at Gilberttown?

21. What kind of spirit did the pioneers show in their pursuit of

22. How far away were the patriots when Ferguson camped at King's

23. Why did Ferguson choose King's Mountain for his camp?

24. How long were the riflemen in getting from Cowpens to King's

25. What was the riflemen's plan of attack?

26. How was Ferguson killed?

27. Who succeeded Ferguson in command?

28. Why was this battle so fierce?

29. What was the effect of the victory at King's Mountain?


1. What have we already learned of Gates? (See the Index entry for

2. Where was Daniel Morgan's home?

3. What kind of education did Morgan have?

4. Why was Morgan well thought of by the village people?

5. What kind of times were at hand?

6. Why did Morgan wish to fight the bully?

7. What is a drumhead court-martial? (Consult a large dictionary.)

8. What do you know of Morgan's strength?

9. Why did Morgan stop driving army wagons?

10. Why did Governor Dinwiddie object to promoting Morgan?

11. How did Morgan escape from the Indian?

12. What effect did the army life have on Morgan?

13. What can you say of Morgan's marriage?

14. What do you know of Morgan's religious life?

15. When was Morgan appointed captain?

16. How many men answered Morgan's call?

17. How long a march was it to Boston?

18. When was Morgan made a colonel?

19. What kind of regiment did Morgan command?

20. What was the duty of Morgan and his sharpshooters?

21. What have we already learned about Morgan at Saratoga, New York?
(See Chapter II.)

22. How did the Hessians like Morgan's riflemen?

23. What did Burgoyne think of Morgan's regiment?

24. Why did Morgan leave the army for a while?

25. Why did Morgan return to the army?

26. When was Morgan made a brigadier general?

27. What do you remember about King's Mountain? (See the last half of
Chapter VII.)

28. Why did the battle of Cowpens make Morgan so famous?

29. What does John Fiske say of this battle?

30. What do you know of Colonel Tarleton? (See Chapter VII.)

31. Where did Morgan get the names "old wagoner," "wagoner," and
"teamster"? (See earlier in this chapter.)

32. Why did not Morgan meet Tarleton at once?

33. Why did Morgan choose Cowpens for his battle ground?

34. What did Tarleton do when the spy told him that Morgan had

35. What was the condition of Morgan and his men when Tarleton

36. What was the condition of Tarleton's soldiers when they began the

37. What did Tarleton do when defeat came?

38. What did the young ladies say to Tarleton?

39. How did Morgan outwit Lord Cornwallis?

40. Why did Morgan again retire from service?

41. When did Morgan again take part in the war?

42. What do you know about Wayne? (See Chapter VI.)

43. How was Morgan remembered by Washington and other leaders?

44. In how many battles did Morgan take part?

45. What was Morgan besides being a great soldier?

46. What was Morgan's success due to?

47. How is Morgan's valor commemorated?


1. What have you already learned about General Greene? (See Chapter

2. What was the condition of Lord Cornwallis after his victory over

3. What did Cornwallis now do?

4. Where is Petersburg, Virginia? (See the map in Chapter VII.)

5. What was the nationality of Lafayette?

6. Where is Yorktown? (See the map in Chapter VII.)

7. Where was Washington at this time?

8. Where was the main part of the patriot army at this time?

9. What was Washington planning to do?

10. Who was Count de Grasse?

11. Why did news travel so slowly in those days?

12. Why did Washington need a fleet?

13. What did Washington hope to do with the assistance of the French

14. Where was Sir Henry Clinton at this time?

15. Why did Washington send troops to Long Island?

16. Why was the young minister sent through the Clove?

17. How were the Continental and French troops received at

18. How large an army did Washington have in Virginia?

19. What have we already learned of Rochambeau? (See earlier in this

20. When did Sir Henry Clinton begin to open his eyes?

21. How did the British fleet fare at Chesapeake Bay?

22. Why did not Lord Cornwallis retreat from Yorktown?

23. Why did the patriots hasten the siege of Yorktown?

24. What last attempt did Lord Cornwallis make?

25. Where did Lord Cornwallis have his headquarters?

26. What kind of man was Governor Nelson?

27. Where did Lord Cornwallis finally make his headquarters?

28. What message did Sir Henry Clinton send Lord Cornwallis?

29. How long did the siege of Yorktown continue?

30. Why did Lord Cornwallis wish a truce for so long a time?

31. What was Washington's reply to Lord Cornwallis?

32. How many soldiers were there in Cornwallis's army?

33. Why did not Cornwallis take part in the surrender?

34. Whom did Washington send to receive Cornwallis's sword?

35. Why did the armies hurry away from Yorktown?

36. How might Sir Henry Clinton have changed the history of Yorktown?

37. How did the people get news of the surrender?

38. How was the news received by the prime minister of England, and
by the king?

39. What did King George say of the Yankees?

40. How is the surrender of Cornwallis commemorated?


1. What battle began the war of the Revolution? (See Chapter I.)

2. How long did the war last?

3. What did Thomas Paine, the author of the pamphlet called "Common
Sense," say of the Revolutionary War?

4. What does John Fiske say of our condition after peace was made?

5. Why did the colonies band together in 1774?

6. Why did the Continental Congress decline in power?

7. What is a federation? (Consult a large dictionary.)

8. Why did the people care so little about a federation, or federal

9. What did Washington say in his letter to the colonies?

10. What authority did the Continental Congress have?

11. What kind of men were delegates to the Continental Congress?

12. How long did the Continental Congress continue to act?

13. What was done by the Continental Congress?

14. What is a privateer? (Consult a large dictionary.)

15. What can you say of the Articles of Confederation?

16. What power did the Articles of Confederation grant to each state?

17. What power did Congress have under the Articles of Confederation?

18. How obedient were the states to the Articles of Confederation?

19. What was the condition of paper money in 1780?

20. How long had a soldier to serve before he could buy a bushel of

21. How did the states begin to treat each other?

22. What can you say of imprisonment for debt?

23. How did Washington and others begin to work out the problem of
our national existence?

24. How successful was the meeting at Annapolis?

25. What further troubles occurred in 1786?

26. How was England affected by our troubles?

27. What prediction about our nation was made in Parliament?

28. What opinion of us did Frederick the Great, King of Prussia,

29. What did the people of the several states at last begin to think?

30. What state took the lead in sending delegates to Philadelphia?

31. How many states were represented at Philadelphia?

32. What kind of men were sent to the Philadelphia convention?

33. Who, next to Washington, was the most noted man at the
Philadelphia convention?

34. Can you name some others of the delegates to the Philadelphia

35. Why did not Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry, and
Samuel Adams attend the Philadelphia convention?

36. What do you know of Nathanael Greene? (See page 105.)

37. Who was chosen president of the Philadelphia convention?

38. How long did the Philadelphia convention continue in session?

39. How did some of the delegates wish to deal with the great problem
of the national government?

40. How did Washington convince the delegates of their duty?

41. By what means did the delegates at Philadelphia succeed in
agreeing on a form of federal government?

42. What is a compromise? (Consult a large dictionary.)

43. What was the first compromise in framing the Constitution?

44. What was the second compromise in framing the Constitution?

45. What question about the slaves arose?

46. How was it decided to count the slaves?

47. How did Washington and others feel about the second compromise?

48. What was the cause of the third compromise?

49. What was the third compromise?

50. What did Washington think of the Constitution?

51. What was Franklin's opinion of the Constitution?

52. When was the Constitution to become law?

53. To what two political parties did the Constitution give rise?

54. What did many of the people throughout the country think of the

55. Which was the first state to sign the Constitution?

56. Why was the Fourth of July in 1788 so glorious?

57. Who was the first President, and who the first Vice President, of
the new nation?

58. What did Gladstone say of the Constitution?

59. Why do we owe such a debt of gratitude to the builders of "the
good ship Constitution"?


1. Who were the Barbary pirates?

2. Why did we buy the good will of the Barbary pirates?

3. What is blackmail? (Consult a large dictionary.)

4. What did Thomas Jefferson think should be done concerning the
Barbary pirates?

5. Who was sent to the Mediterranean Sea?

6. What was the exploit of the Enterprise?

7. What is a pasha? (Consult a large dictionary.)

8. What happened to the frigate Philadelphia and her crew?

9. What did Commodore Preble do when the Philadelphia was captured?

10. Why was Stephen Decatur chosen to destroy the Philadelphia?

11. What was Decatur's plan for destroying the Philadelphia?

12. What is a ketch? (Consult a large dictionary.)

13. How many men volunteered for the dangerous undertaking?

14. What kind of time did Decatur and his men have off the shore of

15. What happened to the Siren?

16. How was the Philadelphia guarded?

17. What was the object in dragging sails and buckets in the water?

18. How did Decatur deceive the pirate officer?

19. How did the pirates discover the Americans?

20. What kind of fighters were the Tripolitan pirates said to be?

21. How long did the fight on board the Philadelphia last?

22. How many of Decatur's men were injured?

23. What did the Americans do with the Philadelphia?

24. Why were the Americans obliged to burn the Philadelphia? (Read
earlier in this chapter.)

25. How successful were the pirates in firing at the Americans?

26. What did the sailors say afterwards about the burning ship?

27. Why was it the Americans were so successful in burning the

28. What did Nelson say of Decatur's deed?

29. What promotion did Decatur receive?


1. What did the Secretary of the Navy in 1833 intend to do with the

2. Why did Congress decide to rebuild the Constitution?

3. What troubles did we have with other nations during the first
twenty-five years of our national life?

4. Why was Washington instructed to add six war ships to our navy?

5. Where was the Constitution built?

6. How does the Constitution compare in size with our modern war

7. Why did England model some of her ships after "Old Ironsides"?

8. When was the Constitution launched?

9. What success did the Constitution have in fighting with Tripoli?

10. How did Commodore Preble treat Decatur after his capture of the
Tripolitan gunboats?

11. How did Captain Isaac Hull get away from the British fleet?

12. How did Captain Hull win a hat from Captain Dacres?

13. How is the Constitution said to have received the name "Old

14. What kind of welcome did Boston have in store for Captain Hull?

15. What was the hardest battle that "Old Ironsides" had?

16. What was done with the wheel of the Java?

17. Why was not a new wheel put on "Old Ironsides"?

18. How did Captain Bainbridge treat the dying Captain Lambert?

19. What was the Constitution's last battle?

20. What is said of Captain Stewart's seamanship in the last battle
of "Old Ironsides"?

21. When was "Old Ironsides" taken to Newport?

22. How was "Old Ironsides" used at Newport?

23. What is a receiving ship? (Consult a large dictionary, under the
word "receive" or "receiving.")

24. When was "Old Ironsides" taken to Charlestown?

25. How much of the original ship Constitution still exists?

26. Why were the battles of "Old Ironsides" so important to us as a

27. Why should we continue to preserve "Old Ironsides"?


1. Why were both England and France so jealous of us a century ago?

2. What did England and France do to our merchantmen?

3. Why did we not declare war on Great Britain before 1812?

4. How did our navy compare with England's in 1812?

5. What was England's plan in 1814?

6. What was the character of New Orleans?

7. Who was the "Iron Duke"? (Wellington.)

8. When did the British fleet arrive at the delta of the Mississippi?

9. Why was General Jackson so busy just before Christmas?

10. How was the alarm sounded to the people of New Orleans?

11. Who answered Jackson's call for assistance?

12. Who came from outside New Orleans to help defend the city?

13. How did the riflemen look as they came into town?

14. Why did Jackson plan to attack the British at once?

15. What did the war schooner Carolina do?

16. How were the British reënforced on Christmas day?

17. What did Sir Edward Pakenham think of the task before him?

18. How did Pakenham begin his operations?

19. How did Sir Edward fare when he marched out to get a look at the

20. What were Jackson's first intrenchments made of?

21. What did Pakenham use for making a redoubt?

22. What happened to Jackson's defenses?

23. Of how much use was Pakenham's redoubt?

24. What did the British now decide to do?

25. What was Jackson's main line of defense?

26. How early did Jackson's men go to their posts on that last Sunday

27. What happened to Sir Edward Pakenham, and to Generals Gibbs and

28. Why did the British lose so many officers in the battle?

29. How long did the engagement on Sunday morning continue?

30. How many men did the British have in the final action, and how
many did the Americans have?

31. How many men did the British lose in the final action, and how
many did the Americans lose?

32. What did General Lambert do after the battle?

33. How was "Old Hickory" honored?

34. Why is the victory a sad one to think of?

35. What was the result of the war of 1812?


1. What kind of welcome did we give Lafayette in 1824?

2. Who was Lafayette?

3. Why did Lafayette first come to this country?

4. When did Lafayette first come to this country?

5. Why did Congress accept Lafayette's services?

6. What was the effect of Lafayette's manner and example?

7. How did Lafayette live at Valley Forge?

8. What did Lafayette do on his return to France?

9. What did Lafayette do when peace was declared?

10. When did Lafayette make his third trip to this country?

11. How had our country changed when Lafayette came in 1824?

12. What had been Lafayette's career in his own country?

13. Why did it take Lafayette so long to go from New York to Boston?

14. Who was Dr. Bowditch?

15. How much of our country did Lafayette visit?

16. What did Lafayette do with the laurel wreath presented to him at

17. Can you describe some of the incidents of Lafayette's visit?

18. What did "Lafayetted" mean?

19. What occurred at the tavern in Virginia?

20. How did Lafayette show his affection for Washington?

21. What can you say of the scenes connected with the fiftieth
anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill?

22. Who was the orator at the laying of the corner stone of Bunker
Hill Monument?

23. How was Lafayette received at the University of Virginia?

24. How did Congress show its gratitude for Lafayette's services
during the Revolution?

25. What was the last honor shown the departing guest? (The frigate
on which Lafayette sailed for France was named in commemoration of
Lafayette's gallantry at the battle of the Brandywine. Although
wounded in the leg, Lafayette kept the field till the battle was
over. To the surgeon who cared for the injured Lafayette, Washington
said, "Take care of him as though he were my son.")



Abigail, _ab'i-gl_.

Adair, _a-dair'_.

Algerine, _al-je-reen'_.

Alleghanies, _al'e-ga-nies_.

André, _an'dray_.

Annapolis, _an-nap'o-lis_.


Bailey, _bay'ly_.

Bainbridge, _bain'bridge_.

Barbary, _bar'ba-ry_.

Belgium, _bel'ji-um_.

Borgne, _born_.

Brandywine, _bran'dy-wine_.

Brazil, _bra-zil'_.

Burgoyne, _bur-goin'_.


Cahokia, _ka-ho'ki-a_.

Calhoun, _kal-hoon'_.

Carleton, _karl'ton_.

Carolina, _kar-o-li'na_.

Catalano, _kah-tah-lah'no_.

Catawba, _ka-taw'ba_.

Champlain, _sham-plain'_.

Chaudière, _sho-de-air'_.

Chesapeake, _ches'a-peek_.

Connecticut, _kon-net'i-kut_.

Cornwallis, _korn-wall'iss_.

Creole, _kre'ole_.

Cunningham, _kun'ing-am_.

Cyane, _see-ann'_.


Dacres, _day'kers_.

Dearborn, _deer'burn_.

Decatur, _de-kay'tur_.

De Grasse, _de-grass'_.

Detroit, _de-troit'_.

Dickinson, _dik'in-son_.

Dinwiddie, _din-wid'y_.


Farragut, _far'a-gut_.


Gardiner, _gard'ner_.

Gerry, _ger'y_ (_g_ as in _get_).

Ghent, _jent_.

Gibault, _zhe-bo'_.

Gibraltar, _ji-brall'tar_.

Gladstone, _glad'ston_.

Gloucester, _gloss'ter_.

Gouverneur, _goo-ver-ner'_.

Grier, _greer_.

Guerrière, _ger-i-air'_ (_g_ as in _get_).

Guilford, _gil'ford_ (_g_ as in _get_).


Hessians, _hesh'ans_.


Illinois, _il-i-noi'_ or _il-i-noiz'_.


Jacataqua, _ja-cat'a-quah_.


Kaskaskia, _kas-kas'ki-a_.

Keane, _keen_.

Kennebec, _ken-e-bek'_.


Lafayette, _lah-fa-yet'_.

Lafitte, _lah-fit'_.

Levant, _le-vant'_.

Louisiana, _loo-eez-i-an'a_.

Louisville, _loo'is-vill_ or _loo'y-vill_.


McDonough, _mak-don'oh_.

Madeira, _ma-de'ra_ or _ma-day'i-ra_.

Maltese, _mall-tees'_ or _mall-teez'_.

Marseillaise, _mar-se-layz'_.

Maryland, _mer'i-land_.

Mediterranean, _med-i-ter-ra'ne-an_.

Megantic, _me-gan'tic_.

Meigs, _megs_.

Montaigne, _mon-tain'_.

Monticello, _mon-te-sel'lo_.

Montreal, _mont-re-all'_.

Morocco, _mo-rock'o_.

Moultrie, _moo'try_ or _mool'try_.


Napoleon, _na-po'le-on_.

Newburyport, _new-ber-y-port'_.

Newfoundland, _new'fund-land_.

Nolichucky, _nol-i-chuck'y_.

Norridgewock, _nor'ij-walk_.


O'Hara, _o-hah'ra_.


Pakenham, _pak'en-am_.

Portsmouth, _ports'muth_.

Preble, _preb'el_.

Prussia, _prush'a_.


Quebec, _kwee-bek'_.

Quincy, _kwin'zy_.


Randolph, _ran'dolf_.

Rappahannock, _rap-a-han'ok_.

Rawdon, _raw'don_.

Rennie, _ren'y_.

Revere, _re-veer'_.

Rochambeau, _ro-sham-bo'_.


St. Louis, _saint loo'is_ or _saint loo'y_.

Saratoga, _sar-a-to'ga_.

Sartigan, _sar'ti-gan_.

Schuyler, _sky'ler_.

Sevier, _se-veer'_.

Shawnees, _shaw-neez'_.

Staten, _stat'en_.


Tallmadge, _tal'mij_.

Ticonderoga, _ti-kon-de-ro'ga_.

Tilghman, _till'man_.

Tompkins, _tomp'kins_.

Tripoli, _trip'o-ly_.


Ville de Paris, _vill de_ (_e_ as in _her_) _pah-ree'_.

Villeré, _vil-ray'_.

Vincennes, _vin-senz'_.


Wabash, _waw'bash_.

Watauga, _wa-taw'ga_.

Wayne, _wain_.

Worcester, _woos'ter_ (_oo_ as in _foot_).


This book is designed to be used either before the formal text-book
on American history is begun, or to be read in connection with it. It
is also intended to serve as a convenient basis for more extended
work on the part of both teacher and pupils. Hence, to the reading of
the preceding chapters should be added a systematic course in
supplementary reading.

The following plan is suggested, which may be readily modified to
meet the needs of any particular class of pupils:


Two books are of special value to teachers. These are Channing and
Hart's _Guide to American History_ (Ginn & Company, $2.00), and Gordy
and Twitchell's _Pathfinder in American History_ (Lee & Shepard,
$1.20. In separate parts, Part I, 60 cents; Part II, 90 cents).

These two works are replete with suggestions, hints, and helps on
collateral study, with numerous references, detailed lists of topics,
and a wide range of other subjects which make them indispensable to
the teacher of American history.

     *     *     *     *     *     *

NOTE.--The subject of reference books on American history is treated
thoroughly in Montgomery's _American History_ (see "Short List of
Books," page xxxiii in Appendix), and Fiske's _History of the United
States_ (see Appendix D, page 530, Appendix E, page 539, and Appendix
F, page 542).

For original materials pertaining to the colonial period and the
Revolution, admirably edited for school use, consult Hart's
"Source-Readers in American History": No. 1, _Colonial Children_; No.
2, _Camps and Firesides of the Revolution_; No. 3, _How our
Grandfathers Lived_.

     *     *     *     *     *     *

In searching libraries for books on the Revolution, the teacher will
find Winsor's _Reader's Handbook of the American Revolution_ very


Pupils should have easy access, by means of the school library or
otherwise, to a few of the formal school text-books on American
history. In connection with this book, Montgomery's _Leading Facts of
American History_, Fiske's _History of the United States_,
Eggleston's _History of the United States_, and Steele's _Brief
History of the United States_ (usually known as "Barnes's History")
are especially valuable.

If less difficult and much smaller works are thought desirable, the
following five books are recommended: Montgomery's _Beginner's
American History_, McMaster's _Primary History of the United States_,
Tappan's _Our Country's Story_, Thorpe's _Junior History of the
United States_, and Eggleston's _First Book in American History_.

These books are useful for additional topics, for dates, maps,
illustrations, reference tables, and for filling in subjects which do
not come within the scope of this book.

Pupils should also have easy reference to books from which topics may
be read, or from which may be read sparingly passages indicated by
the teacher. Some of the books which have been suggested are more
useful on account of their interesting style than for strict
historical accuracy. Read the designated works not as a whole, but
only by topics or by selections. They will do much to awaken and
maintain a lively interest in American history.


While the study of this book is in progress, it is well for the
pupils to limit their home reading to such books as bear directly
upon the subject. Under this head we have suggested several books
which belong to the "storybook" order. Wholesome books of fiction and
semifiction may certainly do much to stimulate and hold the attention
of young students of American history. Thus, Churchill's _Richard
Carvel_ and Cooper's _Pilot_ furnish stirring scenes in the career of
Paul Jones.

With the home reading, as with all other collateral reading, the
teacher should exercise a careful supervision.

The work in history should be enlivened by reading occasionally,
before the class or the school, poems or prose selections which bear
directly upon the general topic under consideration.[1] For instance,
in the appropriate chapters Finch's well-known poem, "Nathan Hale,"
Simms's "Ballad of King's Mountain," and Holmes's "Old Ironsides" may
be read.

[Footnote 1: For a list of books which may be classed as useful under
the preceding paragraphs, see Blaisdell's _Story of American
History_, pp. 431-434.]


Teacher and pupil should appreciate the scope and the usefulness of a
topic book, or notebook. By this is meant a blank book of a
convenient size, with semiflexible or board covers, and of at least
forty-eight pages. Into this blank book should be written carefully,
with ink, brief notes, as the several chapters of this book are read
or studied. It may well be a kind of enlarged diary of the pupil's

Make brief notes of the various books read in whole or in part; of
topics not treated in this book but discussed in the class, such as
the treason of Benedict Arnold, the battle of Bennington, etc.; of
references to new books to be reserved for future reading; and of
other subjects which will readily suggest themselves.

This notebook should be enlivened with inexpensive photographic
copies (sold for about one cent each) of famous pictures illustrating
important events in American history. Catalogues giving the exact
titles, the cost, and other details are frequently advertised.

The notebook may be illustrated with photographic reproductions of
such works as Stuart's "Washington"; Faed's "Washington at Trenton";
Trumbull's "The Surrender of Cornwallis" and "Signing the Declaration
of Independence"; Benjamin West's "Penn's Treaty"; Leutze's
"Washington crossing the Delaware"; Vanderlyn's "The Landing of
Columbus"; Johnson's "Old Ironsides"; Overend's "An August Morning
with Farragut"; and many other historical subjects.

Portraits, maps, facsimiles of documents and autographs, etc., etc.
are often easily obtained from book catalogues, guide books,
advertising pages, and secondhand text-books.

All this illustrative material should be pasted into the notebook at
the proper place, neatly and with good judgment, with plenty of space
for margins. Such a compilation is, of course, a matter of slow
growth. It should be preserved as a pleasant reminder of school days.



For two short articles on George Rogers Clark, read Roosevelt and
Lodge's _Hero Tales from American History_, p. 29, and Brady's
_Border Fights and Fighters_, p. 211. For a more extended account,
consult Roosevelt's _Winning of the West_, Vol. II, p. 31.

A novel by Maurice Thompson, _Alice of Old Vincennes_, gives a
graphic description of Clark's campaign.


For an account of Arnold's expedition to Canada, read articles in
_The Century Magazine_ for January and February, 1903, by Professor
Justin H. Smith. Codman's _Arnold's Expedition to Quebec_ is a
fair-sized volume, and full of interest. Read also Lodge's _Story of
the Revolution_, Vol. I, p. 106.

Tomlinson's _Under Colonial Colors_, the story of Arnold's expedition
to Quebec told for boys, is an interesting and stimulating work of


The defense of Fort Sullivan is well described in Brady's _American
Fights and Fighters_, p. 5, and Lodge's _Story of the Revolution_,
Vol. I, p. 126.


Perhaps the most readable account of Nathan Hale is to be found in
Lossing's _Two Spies_ (André and Hale). Consult Partridge's _Nathan
Hale_, a character study.

In connection with this story, Chapter XVII, "The Story of Arnold's
Treason," in Blaisdell's _Story of American History_ may be
profitably read.


For the everyday life of Washington, consult Paul Leicester Ford's
_The True George Washington_. Refer to sundry sections in Bolton's
_The Private Soldier under Washington_ and in Herbert's _Washington:
His Homes and his Households_.

Read the stirring romance about Washington, _A Virginia Cavalier_, by
Molly Elliot Seawell.


For the capture of Stony Point, read Lodge's _Story of the
Revolution_, Vol. II, p. 130; Brady's _American Fights and Fighters_,
p. 121; and Roosevelt and Lodge's _Hero Tales from American History_,
p. 79. Henry P. Johnston's _The Storming of Stony Point_ is perhaps
the best account ever written of this famous exploit.


Read Roosevelt and Lodge's _Hero Tales from American History_, p. 69,
and Lodge's _Story of the Revolution_, p. 56.

In connection with Chapters VII and VIII, read "The War of the
Revolution in the South," in Blaisdell's _Story of American History_,
Chapter XVI, p, 250.


Read Brady's _American Fights and Fighters_, p. 84, for an account of
General Morgan; also Chapter IV, "King's Mountain and the Cowpens,"
in Lodge's _Story of the Revolution_, Vol. II, p. 56.


For a description of the battle at Yorktown, read Brady's _American
Fights and Fighters_, p. 143, and Chapter VII in Lodge's _Story of
the Revolution_, p. 165. Henry P. Johnston's _The Yorktown Campaign_
is excellent for collateral reference.


Very little collateral reading should be allowed in reading this
chapter on framing the Constitution. Sundry topics may be sparingly
selected for reading from the index to Fiske's _Critical Period of
American History_. Fiske's _Civil Government in the United States_
may be utilized for reference.

Read Brooks's _Century Book for Young Americans_; Chapter II in
Elson's _Side Lights on American History_ (First Series, p. 24), on
"The Framing of the Constitution"; and Chapter XII, p. 283, in
Higginson's _Larger History of the United States_, on "The Birth of a

     *     *     *     *     *     *

NOTE.--For the War of the Revolution no more interesting books can be
read by pupils than Brooks's _Century Book of the Revolution_ and
Coffin's _Boys of '76_. Lossing's _Field Book of the Revolution_, in
two large volumes, is interesting, and contains hundreds of


Read "Decatur and the Philadelphia," in Brady's _American Fights and
Fighters_, p. 199, and "The Burning of the Philadelphia," in
Roosevelt and Lodge's _Hero Tales from American History_, p. 103.

Read Seawell's storybook, _Decatur and Somers_; and Barnes's
_Commodore Bainbridge_, a story.


Consult two chapters in Brady's _American Fights and Fighters_: "The
Constitution's Hardest Fight," p. 215, and "The Constitution's Last
Battle," p. 304. Hollis's _Frigate Constitution_ is invaluable for
reading and reference. Refer to Lossing's _History of the War of
1812_ and Lodge's _A Fighting Frigate and Other Essays_.

In connection with this chapter, read "What our Navy did in the War
of 1812," in Blaisdell's _Story of American History_, Chapter XXI, p.


Read "The Battle of New Orleans," in Roosevelt and Lodge's _Hero
Tales from American History_, p. 139, and "The Last Battle with
England," in Brady's _American Fights and Fighters_, p. 287. Chapter
XVIII, p. 431, in Higginson's _Larger History of the United States_
is well worth reading.


Concerning Lafayette's visit to this country in 1824, no books are
readily accessible. Consult Quincy's _Figures of the Past_ and
Brooks's _The True Story of Lafayette_.


Adair, John, the historic reply of, to Colonel Sevier, 94.

Adams, John, abroad, 147.
  the first Vice President of the United States, 155.
  the visit of Lafayette to, at Quincy, Massachusetts, 209.

Adams, John Quincy, gives Lafayette a farewell dinner at the White
    House, 215.

Adams, Samuel, stays at home, 147.

Alexandria, Virginia, Washington attends dances at, 65.

Algerine pirates, the, in the Atlantic, 170.

Ames, Fisher, defends the Constitution, 154.

André, Major, the British spy, 61.

Annapolis, delegates meet at, 144.

Anti-Federalists, the, 153.

Arnold, Benedict, 18.
  forfeits his place on the monument at Saratoga, 18.
  sends spies into Canada, 20.
  given command of the expedition to Quebec, in 1776, 20.
  leaves Cambridge, 21.
  given an ovation at Newburyport, 21.
  reaches the Kennebec, 21.
  feasted at Fort Western, 21.
  divides his army, 22.
  ascends the Dead River, 24.
  deserted by Colonel Enos, 24.
  reaches the Chaudière River, 25.
  crosses Lake Megantic, 27.
  starts down the Chaudière River, 28.
  reaches Sartigan, 28.
  arrives at Point Levi, 29.
  before Quebec, 30.
  joins Montgomery, 30.
  leads the attack on Quebec and is wounded, 32.
  in the hospital, 34.
  lays siege to Quebec, 34.
  hears from Washington, 34.
  the death knell to the hopes of, 35.
  in Virginia, 124.

Articles of Confederation, the, 141.
  the defects of, 141-144.


Bailey, Abigail, married to Daniel Morgan, 110.

Bainbridge, William, 159, 160.
  in command of the Constitution, 180.

Barbary pirates, the, 156, 157, 172.

Barton, Colonel, captures General Prescott, 143.
  imprisoned for debt, 143.

Bateaux, built for Arnold's expedition, 21.

Bay State, the, Massachusetts, 144, 206, 212.

Beekman mansion, the, Hale a captive of Howe at, 58, 59.

Bennington, Vermont, John Stark defeats the British at, 105.

Boone, Daniel, 1, 2.

Bowditch, Dr., an anecdote of, 206.

Braddock, General, defeated by the French and Indians, in 1755, 107.

Brazil, "Old Ironsides" destroys the British frigate Java off the
    coast of, 180.

Bristol, the, a British man-of-war, 45.

Buford, used as a watchword, 101.

Bunker Hill, the battle of, awakens in Lafayette an interest in us,
  Lafayette visits, 212.

Burgoyne, marches down the valley of the Hudson, 114.
  defeated at Freeman's Farm and at Saratoga, 114.

Burr, Aaron, 22.


Cahokia, a Creole village in the country of the Illinois Indians, 8.

Calhoun, John C., favors making war on Great Britain, 186.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Arnold's expedition leaves, 21.
  Washington's headquarters at, in the Craigie house, 105.
  Morgan marches to, 112.

Camden, defeat of Gates at, 90.

Campbell, Lord, royal governor of South Carolina, 37.
  injured in the attack on Fort Sullivan, 46.

Campbell, William, rallies the backwoodsmen, 94.
  leads the advance at King's Mountain, 101.

Canada, extending to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 3. See the map
    in Chapter I.
  the "back door," 19.
  the winters of, 22, 29.

Cape Fear River, the, Clinton sails for, 36.

Carleton, Sir Guy, 19.
  leaves Montreal and slips into Quebec, 31.
  fortifies Quebec, 31.

Carolina, the, throws shells into the British camp, 190.

Carroll, Colonel, with his riflemen arrives from Nashville, 189.
  in the battle of New Orleans, 194.

Carrying places, work at the, 22.

Catalano, the Sicilian pilot, used by Decatur, 162, 164.

Cedars, The, Hale passes a night at, 57.

Champlain, Lake, Lafayette visits, 206.

Charleston, attack on, planned by the British, 37.
  the patriots prepare for the defense of, 38.

Charleston Harbor, Sullivan's Island near, 38.

Charlestown, a part of Boston, "Old Ironsides" lies in the navy yard
    at, 169, 183, 184.

Charlotte, North Carolina, Gates flees to, 90.

Chaudière River, the, an army to enter Canada by, 20.
  Arnold's army scattered along, 25.
  the perils of, 28.

Chesapeake Bay, De Grasse headed for, 126.
  De Grasse reaches, 129.
  the patriot armies march to, 129.
  Clinton sends a fleet to, 130.
  Admiral Graves forced to withdraw from, 130.
  De Grasse gets control of, 130.
  Lafayette returns to France by, 216.

Chick, Mother, the tavern of, 57.

Clark, Captain, at Bunker Hill, 213.

Clark, George Rogers, 1.
  starts for Kentucky, 1.
  tramps back to Virginia, 2, 5.
  receives help from Virginia, 3.
  plans great deeds, 4.
  sends out spies, 4.
  appointed colonel, 5.
  helped by Jefferson and Madison, 5.
  starts down the Ohio, 6.
  begins his march to Kaskaskia, 7.
  interrupts the dance, 8.
  captures Kaskaskia, 8.
  makes friends of the Creoles, 8.
  shows the kind of man he is, 9.
  visited by Indians, 9.
  shows his contempt for the Indians, 9.
  an incident showing the boldness of, 10.
  decides to recapture Vincennes, 11.
  starts for Vincennes, 12.
  shows brave leadership, 13.
  makes a speech to his men, 13.
  captures an Indian canoe, 14.
  captures a Creole hunter, 14.
  reaches Vincennes, 15.
  punishes some Indians, 16.
  captures Vincennes, 16.

Clay, Henry, favors making war on Great Britain, 186.

Cleveland, Colonel, rallies the backwoodsmen, 94.
  given the supreme command at King's Mountain, 97.
  leads the left wing at King's Mountain, 101.

Clinton, Sir Henry, 18.
  sails for the Cape Fear River, 36.
  at the attack on Fort Sullivan, 44.
  receives orders to bring "Mr. Washington" to a decisive action, 77.
  makes raids along the coast, 78.
  hears of the capture of Stony Point, 87.
  at Charleston, 90.
  hoodwinked by Washington, 127.
  sails for Yorktown, 133, 135.

Coffee, Colonel, and his mounted riflemen at New Orleans, 190.

Commerce controlled by Congress, 151.

Common Sense, a pamphlet by Thomas Paine, 138.

Compromises, the three, in framing the Constitution, 148-151.

Confederation, the Articles of, 141.
  the defects of the Articles of, 141-144.

Congress, sends General Gates to the South, 90.
  believed in by the people of the South, 93.
  calls for ten companies, 112.
  gives thanks for the surrender of Cornwallis, 136.
  the national, erects a monument at Yorktown, 137.
  the weakness of, 139, 142.
  the first Continental, 140.
  the second Continental, 140.
  submits the Constitution to the states, 153.

Connecticut, 54, 125, 143, 146.

Constitution, the, the framing of, 138-155.
  the state of the country before, 142-144.
  the convention meets to frame, 145.
  the noted men who helped frame, 146, 147.
  the three compromises in framing, 148-151.
  Washington signs, 152.
  the witty remark of Franklin about, 152.
  the discussions over the adoption of, by the Federalists and by the
    Anti-Federalists, 153, 154.
  the rejoicings over the adoption of, 154.
  Gladstone's opinion of, 155.

Constitution, the frigate, commanded by Preble, 158.
  the history of, 169-184.
  the poem on, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, 169.
  built in Boston, 170.
  a description of, 171.
  sport made of, by British naval officers, 172.
  the launching of, 172.
  the battle of, before Tripoli, 173.
  the escape of, from a British fleet, 174.
  the battle of, with the Guerrière, 176.
  the battle of, with the Java, 179.
  the battle of, with the Cyane and the Levant, 182.
  the after history of, 183.

Constitution Wharf, in Boston, 170.

Continentals, the ragged, 2, 77, 129.

Cornwallis, Lord, given the command in the South, 90.
  marches north to Virginia, 91, 123.
  attempts to crush Lafayette, 124.
  retreats to Yorktown, 125.
  attempts to escape from Yorktown, 131.
  attempts to break through the American lines, 132.
  forced to surrender, 134.
  the surrender of, announced in Philadelphia, 136.

Cowpens, the battle of, 116-120.

Craigie house, the, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, becomes Washington's
    headquarters, 105.

Creole villages, the, north of the Ohio River, 3, 6, 7-11, 14.

Creoles, the, at New Orleans, 189.

Crisis, the, 138-155. See Constitution.

Cunningham, the cruelty of, to Hale, 59, 60.

Custis, the adopted son of Washington, 66.

Custis, Nellie, Washington's ward, 74.

Cyane, the, a British frigate, destroyed by "Old Ironsides," 182,


Dale, Commodore, sent to the Mediterranean Sea, 157.
  captures a Tripolitan war ship, 158.

Daring exploit, a, 156-168. See Philadelphia, the frigate.

Davie, William, a leader in the South, 91.

Dayton, Jonathan, of New Jersey, at the Philadelphia convention, 146.

Dearborn, Captain, kills his fine dog, 26.

Decatur, Stephen, 158.
  chosen to destroy the Philadelphia, 161.
  calls for volunteers, 162.
  sails for Tripoli, 162.
  boards the Philadelphia and sets her on fire, 165, 166.
  the promotion of, 168.
  how received by Commodore Preble, 173.

Deckhard rifle, the, used in the South, 95.

Declaration of Independence, the, 140, 141, 146, 157.

De Grasse, receives orders to act with Washington, 125.
  headed for Chesapeake Bay, 126.
  defeats the British fleet and controls Chesapeake Bay, 130.
  at the blockade of Yorktown, 134.

Delaware, the representation of, in Congress, 149.
  the first to adopt the Constitution, 154.

De Peyster, Colonel, the bravery of, 103.

Detroit, Fort, Hamilton's headquarters, 4, 11. See the map in Chapter

Dickinson, John, at the Philadelphia convention, 147.

Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia, 109.

Doak, Rev. Samuel, invokes a blessing before the march to King's
    Mountain, 96.

Dragoons, the defeat of the red, 90-104. See King's Mountain.

Du Loup River, the, Arnold's men cross, 29.

Dunmore, Lord, driven from Virginia, 36.


Ellsworth, Oliver, at the Philadelphia convention, 146.

Enos, Colonel, 22, 23.
  deserts Arnold, 24.

Enterprise, the, fights a Tripolitan man-of-war, 157.

Experiment, the, a British man-of-war, 46.


Farragut, Admiral, 41.

Federalist, the, 154.

Federalists, the, 153.

Ferguson, Colonel, character of, 91.
  enlists Tories and raids the Carolinas, 92.
  threatens the backwoodsmen, 92.
  the rally of the backwoodsmen to attack, 94.
  retreats before the backwoodsmen, 97.
  makes a stand at King's Mountain, 99.
  defeated at King's Mountain, 101-103.
  the death of, at King's Mountain, 102.

Fish, Nicholas, with Lafayette at Yorktown, 208.

Fiske, John, the historian, 115, 139.

Fort Detroit, Hamilton's headquarters, 4, 11. See the map in Chapter

Fort Pitt, 5. See the map in Chapter I.

Fort Sullivan, the defense of, 36-49.
  built of palmetto logs, 38.
  the mounting of cannon in, 39.
  visited by General Lee, 39.
  Lee advises the surrender of, 39, 46.
  the British plan of attack on, 41.
  the attack on, 41-48.
  the repulse of the British attack on, 48.
  the moral effect of the defense of, 49.

Fort Sumter, 43.

France, the king of, promises us aid, 201.

Franklin and Holston settlements, now Tennessee, 92.

Franklin, Benjamin, at the Philadelphia convention, 146.
  work of, in framing the Constitution, 150, 152.
  the witty remark of, about the Constitution, 152.
  a quotation from the almanac of, 157.
  aids Lafayette, 200.

Frederick the Great of Prussia, friendly to us, 145.

Freeman's Farm, Burgoyne defeated at, 114.

French Canadians, the, help Arnold, 28.

French fleet, the, under De Grasse, 125. See De Grasse.

French villages, the, north of the Ohio River, 3, 11, 15.


Gates, General, the statue of, at Saratoga, 18.
  sent to take command in the South, 90.
  defeated at Camden, South Carolina, 90.
  the character of, 90, 105.

George, King, receives word of Cornwallis's surrender, 137.

Georgia, overrun by the British, 90.
  protests against abolishing slavery, 150.

Germantown, Pennsylvania, Wayne at, 82.

Gerry, Elbridge, at the Philadelphia convention, 147.

Gibault, Father, aids Clark, 8.

Gibbs, General, leads the British at New Orleans, 195.
  severely wounded, 196.

Gibraltar, Dacres gives Hull a dinner at, 179.

Gibraltar of America, the, Quebec, 30, 35.
  the little, Stony Point, 80, 88.

Gilmer, Enoch, spies out Ferguson, 100.

Gladstone, William Ewart, how the Constitution was regarded by, 155.

Gloucester, Virginia, Cornwallis plans to escape by way of, 132.

Graves, Admiral, forced to withdraw from Chesapeake Bay, 130.

Greene, Nathanael, 65.
  Washington's right-hand man, 90.
  the ability of, 105.
  left the army for a time, 115.
  defeated at Guilford, North Carolina, 123.
  the death of, 147.

Grier, Sergeant, and his wife, with Arnold's expedition to Quebec,
    22, 27.

Guerrière, the, a British frigate, destroyed by "Old Ironsides," 178.

Guilford, North Carolina, Lord Cornwallis defeats Greene at, 123.


Hale, Nathan, the patriot spy, 50-61.
  volunteers to serve as a spy, 53.
  receives his instructions from Washington, 53.
  the parentage and the home of, 54.
  the boyhood of, 54.
  the education of, 54.
  teaches school in New London, Connecticut, 54.
  bids his pupils farewell, 55.
  starts for Cambridge, 55.
  the diary of, 55.
  disguises himself, 56.
  returns in safety from the British lines, but puts up at "Mother
    Chick's," 57.
  arrested, 57.
  taken to New York, 58.
  condemned to die, 59.
  the dying speech of, 60.
  hanged, 60.

Hamilton, Alexander, the address of, at Annapolis, 144.
  at the Philadelphia convention, 146.
  defends the Constitution, 154.

Hamilton, Henry, the "hair buyer," 4.
  stirs up the savages, 11.
  recaptures Vincennes, 11.
  surrenders Vincennes to Clark, 16.

Hampton Roads, Virginia, De Grasse in, 129.

Harlem Heights, the patriots retreat to, 51.

Harrod, James, one of the leaders in Kentucky, 2.

Hartford, Connecticut, Lafayette visits, 206, 209.

Hartt, the naval yard of, in Boston, 170.

Harvard College, Lafayette attends commencement at, 205.

Heights of Abraham, the, Arnold climbs to, 30.
  Wolfe climbs to, in 1759, 30.

Helm, Captain, a prisoner at Vincennes, 15.

Henry, Patrick, aids Clark, 5.
  does not attend the Philadelphia convention, 147.

Hero's welcome, a, 199-216. See Lafayette.

Hessians, the, the "ragged Continentals" meet, at Trenton, 77.
  Wayne meets, at Germantown, 82.
  march with Burgoyne, 114.
  Morgan's men a terror to, 114.

Highlanders, Scotch, in the battle of New Orleans, 194-196.
  the backwoodsmen compared to a clan of, 104.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, saves "Old Ironsides," 169.
  at Harvard College, 169.

Holston settlements, the, now a part of Tennessee, 1, 92.

Hood, Admiral, at Chesapeake Bay, 130.

Horseshoe Plain, the, Clark crosses, 14.

Howard, Colonel, commands the Continentals at Cowpens, 118.

Howe, General, Hale brought before, 58.
  evacuates Boston, 77.

Hudson River, the, 78, 79.
  Lafayette visits, 206, 208.

Hull, Colonel, 82.

Hull, Isaac, Captain, in command of the Constitution, 174.
  has an "interview" with Dacres, 176.
  at Gibraltar, 179.

Humphreys, Mr., of Philadelphia, the builder of "Old Ironsides," 170.


Illinois Indians, the, the country of, 4, 6. See the map in Chapter

Imprisonment for debt, 143.

Independence Hall, the Old State House in Philadelphia, 145.

Intrepid, the, used by Decatur to destroy the Philadelphia, 162-168.

Ironsides, Old, 169-184. See Constitution, the frigate.


Jacataqua, the Indian girl, joins Arnold's expedition to Quebec, 21.
  acts as guide, and cares for the sick and the injured, 26.

Jackson, Andrew, in command at New Orleans, 188.
  hears of the advance of the British, 188.
  prepares to defend New Orleans, 189.
  attacks the British by night, 190.
  throws up earthworks, 193.
  at the battle of New Orleans, 194.
  wins a remarkable victory, 196.
  the after history of, 198.

James River, the, 78, 131.

Jasper, William, the heroism of, 48.

Java, the, destroyed by "Old Ironsides," 180.
  the wheel of, fitted on "Old Ironsides," 181.

Jay, John, defends the Constitution, 154.

Jefferson, Thomas, the narrow escape of, from Tarleton, 124.
  abroad, 147.
  President of the United States, a man of peace, 157, 186.
  visited by Lafayette, 214.

Jones, one of Jackson's officers, guards Lake Borgne and is killed,


Kaskaskia, 6-8.

Keane, General, leads the British at New Orleans, 195.
  severely wounded, 196.

Kentucky, the founding of Lexington, 1.
  the pioneers in, 1, 2.
  the fighting in, "the dark and bloody ground," 4.

King, Rufus, at the Philadelphia convention, 147.

King's Ferry, on the Hudson River, the British get the control of,

King's Mountain, the battle of, 90-104.
  the state of affairs before the battle of, 90-93.
  the rally of the backwoodsmen before the battle of, 93.
  the march of the pioneers to, 96-100.
  the plan of the battle of, 100.
  the battle of, 101-103.
  the victory of the backwoodsmen at, 103, 104.
  the effect of the victory at, 104.

Knowlton, Colonel, 51.
  interviews his officers, 52.

Knox, Henry, an American general, 130, 203.


Lafayette, in the Yorktown campaign, 124, 131, 135.
  hears of our struggle for independence, 199.
  arrives in this country, 200.
  serves under Washington, 200.
  returns to France, 201.
  returns to America with the king's pledge of help, 201.
  returns to France, but remembers us, 201.
  visits America in 1784, 202.
  visits us again in 1824, 202.
  the admiration of our people for, 203.
  the personal appearance of, 204.
  the interview of, with Red Jacket, 204.
  the receptions given to, from New York to Boston, 205.
  the tour of, through the United States, 206.
  visits Yorktown, 207.
  visits New Orleans, 208.
  visits other towns and cities, 208-210.
  goes to Mount Vernon, 211.
  at Boston and Bunker Hill, 212-214.
  the formal reception of, at Washington, 215.
  returns to France, 215.

Lafayette, George Washington, visits us with his father in 1824, 203.

Lafitte, the "Pirate of the Gulf," aids Jackson, 189.

Lake Borgne, near New Orleans, the British cross, 187.

Lambert, Henry, Captain, commander of the British frigate Java, 179.
  mortally wounded, 182.

Lambert, John, General, leads the British reserve at New Orleans,
  retreats from New Orleans and sails for England, 197.

Langdon, John, at the Philadelphia convention, 147.

Lawrence, James, with Decatur, 165, 166.

Ledge Falls, Greene's division reaches, 24.
  Enos turns back at, 24.

Lee, Charles, advises the abandoning of Fort Sullivan, 39, 46.
  the character of, 40.
  the cowardice of, at Monmouth, 105.

Lee, Henry, or "Light-Horse Harry," defends the Constitution, 154.

Levant, the, a British sloop of war, destroyed by "Old Ironsides,"
    182, 183.

Levi, Point, the arrival of Arnold at, 29.

Lewis, Lawrence, Washington's favorite nephew, 63.

Lexington, Kentucky, the origin of the name, 1.

Lexington, Massachusetts, the Revolution begins at, 1, 36, 112, 140.

Lincoln, General, surrenders Charleston, 90, 134.
  receives Cornwallis's sword, 134.

Little Wabash, the, Clark crosses, 12.

Long Island, New York, the patriots defeated in the battle of, 50.
  Hale enters, in disguise, 56.

Long Island, South Carolina, north of Sullivan's Island, 41, 44.

Long Knives, the, the backwoodsmen called, 9, 10.

Louisiana, the, an American war vessel, blows Sir Edward's sugar
    barrels to pieces, 192.

Lower house, the, of Congress, or House of Representatives, 148, 149,

Lower Town, the, at Quebec, Arnold's men attack, 32.


Madeira Islands, the, "Old Ironsides" fights a great battle near,

Madison, James, of Virginia, 146.
  "Father of the Constitution," 148.
  hated slavery, 149.
  defends the Constitution, 154.
  President of the United States, a man of peace, 186.

Maltese sailors, Decatur's sailors dressed like, 161, 164.

Manhattan Island, the patriots retire from, 51.

Map, a, showing the line of Clark's march, 7.
  of Arnold's route to Quebec, 23.
  of the military operations in the Carolinas, 99.

Marion, Francis, a leader in the South, 91.

Marseillaise, The, the national hymn of France, 189.

Marshall, John, defends the Constitution, 154.

Martha's Vineyard, 78.

Maryland called on for volunteers, 112.

Mason, George, of Virginia, opposed to slavery, 150.

McDaniel, an anecdote of, 47.

McDonough, Thomas, with Decatur, 166.

McDowell, leads the refugees, 94.

McLane, Captain, one of Wayne's pickets, 81.

Meigs, Major, a commander under Arnold, 22.

Midnight surprise, a, 77-89. See Stony Point.

Midwinter campaign, a, 18-35. See Arnold.

Minutemen, the, of the Old North State, 36.

Mississippi River, the, Lafayette ascends, 206.

Monmouth, New Jersey, the battle of, 200.
  Wayne at, 82.
  the cowardice of Charles Lee at, 105.

Monroe, President, instructed to invite Lafayette as the nation's
    guest, 202.
  receives Lafayette at the White House, 204.

Montgomery, General, 20.
  joined by Arnold, 30.
  demands the surrender of Quebec, 31.
  despairs of the expedition, 31.
  leads the attack on Quebec, 32.
  the death of, 33.

Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, near Charlottesville,
    Virginia, 124, 214.

Montreal, captured by Montgomery, 30.
  Sir Guy Carleton leaves, 31.

Monument, the, at Saratoga, 18, 122.
  at Yorktown, 137.
  the statues of Schuyler, Gates, and Morgan on, at Saratoga, 18.
  Arnold forfeits his place on, at Saratoga, 18.

Morgan, Daniel, the life of, 105-122.
  the statue of, at Saratoga, New York, 18, 122.
  the statue of, at Spartanburg, South Carolina, 122.
  joins Arnold's expedition, 21.
  leads the advance in Arnold's expedition, 22.
  forced to surrender at Quebec, 34.
  the early life of, 106.
  enlists in the Virginia troops and serves as a teamster, 106.
  takes pride in his company and shows his skill as a boxer, 107.
  enlists as a teamster in Washington's regiment, 107.
  receives one hundred lashes, 108.
  makes his mark as a private, 108.
  drives no more army wagons, 108.
  receives the commission of an ensign, 109.
  severely wounded, 109.
  returns to his farm, 110.
  the marriage of, 110.
  marches to Cambridge, 112.
  at the siege of Quebec, 113.
  made a colonel, 113.
  at Freeman's Farm and at Saratoga, 114.
  leaves the army for a time, 115.
  rejoins the army in the South, under Gates, 115.
  made a brigadier general, 115.
  makes his plan for a battle with Tarleton, 116.
  makes his stand at Cowpens, 116.
  victorious at Cowpens, 119.
  marches to join General Greene, 121.
  retires from the army again, 121.
  takes part in the Virginia campaign of 1780, 121.
  the after life of, 122.
  the valor of, commemorated at Saratoga, New York, and at
    Spartanburg, South Carolina, 122.

Morocco, 156, 158.

Morris, Gouverneur, originator of our decimal system of money,
    attends the Philadelphia convention, 146.

Morris, Lieutenant, with Captain Hull on "Old Ironsides," 174, 177.

Morris, Robert, imprisoned for debt, 143.
  at the Philadelphia convention, 146.

Morristown, New Jersey, Morgan reports at, 113.

Moultrie, William, ordered to build a fort on Sullivan's Island, 38.
  visited by Charles Lee, 39.
  visited by the master of a privateer, 40.
  defends his fort, 42.
  encourages his men, 45.
  honored for his defense of Fort Sullivan, 49.
  the after life of, 49.

Mount Vernon, Washington's home, 68-70, 76, 138.
  visited by Lafayette in 1784, 202.
  visited by Lafayette in 1824, 211.

Murfree, Colonel, at Stony Point, 86.

Murray mansion, the, Washington's headquarters in 1776, 50.


Napoleon, England struggles against, 185.
  at Elba, 186.

Nashville, Tennessee, the riflemen of, 189.
  Lafayette visits, 208.

Natural Bridge, the, in Virginia, Washington throws to the top of,

Nelson, Governor, of Virginia, 132.
  the house of, 132, 133, 207.
  called the "war governor," 133.

Nelson, Lord, England's great admiral, 41.
  praises Decatur's deed in the Mediterranean, 168.

New Jersey, Trenton, 77.
  Monmouth, 82.
  Morristown, 113.
  "Old Ironsides," the home of Commodore Stewart, 184.
  Washington plans to go to Yorktown by way of, 127.

New Orleans, the battle of, 185-198.
  the events leading to the battle of, 185.
  foreign in character, 187, 189.
  the British plan to capture, 187.
  the expedition sent against, 187.
  Jackson's headquarters in, 188.
  Jackson plans for the defense of, 189.
  the arrival of the riflemen at, 189.
  Jackson throws up earthworks below, 190.
  the night attack on the British below, 190.
  the beginning of the battle below, 192.
  a description of the battle of, 194-196.
  the British defeated at, 196.
  the retreat of the British after the battle of, 197.
  the sad part of the victory at, 198.
  Lafayette visits, 206, 208.

New Roof, the, 154.

New York, the city of, 143.
  Lafayette at, 203, 209.
  the state of, 142, 149.

Nolichucky River, the, Sevier's home on, 93.

Norfolk, shelled and destroyed by a British fleet, 36.

Norridgewock, Maine, Arnold's army leaves, 23.

North, Lord, receives word of Cornwallis's surrender, 136.

North State, the Old, North Carolina, 36, 37, 91.


O'Hara, General, sent by Cornwallis to deliver up his sword, 134.

Ohio, the representation of, in Congress, 149.

Ohio River, the, Clark floats down, 6.
  Lafayette ascends, 206.

Old Dominion, the, Virginia, 215.

Old Hickory's Christmas, 185-198. See New Orleans.

Old Ironsides, 169-184. See Constitution, the frigate.
  origin of the name, 178.

Old North State, the, North Carolina, 36, 37, 91.

Old State House, the, in Philadelphia, now called Independence Hall,

Orang-outangs, Arnold's men resemble, 30.


Pakenham, Sir Edward, arrives at New Orleans on Christmas Day, 1814,
  takes a look at the Americans, 192.
  killed in the battle of New Orleans, 195.

Palmetto logs, one way of using, 36-49. See Fort Sullivan.

Parker, Sir Peter, arrives at Cape Fear, 37.
  takes command of the combined British fleets and sails for
    Charleston, 37.
  delays his attack on Charleston, 41.
  attacks Fort Sullivan, 42.
  the fleet of, defeated, 48.

Pasha of Tripoli, the, 156.

Patriot, our greatest, 62-76. See Washington.
  spy, the, 50-61. See Hale.

Peace, the treaty of, with Great Britain signed in Paris, France, in
    September, 1783, 138, 202.
  the treaty of, with Great Britain in 1814 was signed at Ghent,
    Belgium, on Christmas eve, 1814, about two weeks before the
    battle of New Orleans, 198.

Pennsylvania called on for volunteers, 112.

Perry, Commodore, the hero of the battle of Lake Erie, 202.

Petersburg, Lord Cornwallis arrives at, 123.

Philadelphia, the first Continental Congress at, 140.
  the second Continental Congress at, 140.
  the Constitution drafted at, in the Old State House, 145.
  the visit of Lafayette to, 210.

Philadelphia, the frigate, the burning of, 156-168.
  the events leading to the capture of, 156-159.
  towed into the harbor of Tripoli, 159.
  plans made for retaking, 160.
  Decatur's plan for the retaking of, 161.
  Decatur starts for the recapture of, 162.
  the capture and the burning of, 166.

Phillips, Samuel, carries Ferguson's threat to the backwoodsmen, 92.

Pickens, Andrew, a leader in the South, 91.
  at the battle of Cowpens, 117.

Pinckneys, the two brilliant, Charles and Thomas, of South Carolina,
    at the Philadelphia convention, 146.

Pirates, the, on the African coast, 156, 170.

Pitt, Fort, 5. See the map in Chapter I.

Point Levi, the arrival of Arnold at, 29.

Pompey, Wayne's guide at Stony Point, 84.

Poor Richard's Almanac, a quotation from, 157.

Portland, Maine, Lafayette visits, 206.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, "Old Ironsides" at, 183.
  Lafayette visits, 206.

Preble, Commodore, in command of our fleet in the Mediterranean, 158,
    161, 172.
  sails for Sicily, 160.
  the quick temper of, 173.

Prescott, General, captured by Colonel Barton, 143.

Prescott, William, at the battle of Bunker Hill, 213.


Quebec, an expedition planned against, 20.
  the "Gibraltar of America," 30.
  reached by Arnold's expedition, 30.
  the siege of, 31.
  the midnight attack on, 32.
  the siege of, raised, 35.
  Morgan at, 34, 111, 113.

Quincy, Massachusetts, Lafayette visits, to see John Adams, 209.


Randolph, Edmund, at the Philadelphia convention, 147.
  defends the Constitution, 154.

Rappahannock River, the, Washington throws across, 64.

Rawdon, Lord, in South Carolina, 126.

Red Jacket, the Indian chief, meets Lafayette, 204.

Rennie, Colonel, a British commander at the battle of New Orleans,

Representatives in Congress, 149.

Revere, Paul, furnishes the copper used in "Old Ironsides," 172.

Rhode Island, 142, 147.
  sends no delegates to Philadelphia, 145.
  the representation of, in Congress, 149.
  "Old Ironsides" at Newport, 183.

Rutledge, John, Governor, the character of, 40.
  sends powder to Fort Sullivan, 46.
  rewards Sergeant Jasper, 48.
  at the Philadelphia convention, 146.


St. John's gate at Quebec, 35.

Saratoga, New York, the monument at, 18.
  Burgoyne defeated at, 114.
  Morgan at, 114.

Sartigan, Canada, Arnold reaches, 28.
  Arnold's men arrive at, 29.

Schoolmaster, Hale disguised as a, 56.

Schuyler, General, the statue of, at Saratoga, 18.
  left the army for a time, 115.

Scotch-Irish in the South, 92, 93.

Senate, the, or upper house of Congress, 148, 155.

Senators in Congress, 149.

Sevier, Colonel, rallies the backwoodsmen, 93.
  uses the county funds to buy supplies for the riflemen, 94.
  leads the right wing at King's Mountain, 101.

Shannon, the, a British frigate, 174, 175.

Shawnees, the, Clark meets, 10.

Shelby, Colonel, rallies the backwoodsmen, 92, 93.
  leads a column of the riflemen at King's Mountain, 101.

Sherman, Roger, at the Philadelphia convention, 146.

Sicily, Commodore Preble sails to, 100.

Siren, the brig, accompanies Decatur to Tripoli, 162, 163.

Slave question, the, in framing the Constitution, 149-151.

South, the, a blow aimed at, by the British, 36.
  British success in, 90.
  the patriot leaders in, 91.
  the brutality of the British in, 91.

South Carolina, overrun by the British, 90.
  protests against abolishing slavery, 150.

Spy, the patriot, 50-61. See Hale.

Stark, John, defeats the British at Bennington, Vermont, 105.
  leaves the army for a time, 115.

Stewart, Charles, in command of the frigate Constitution, 182.
  the death of, 184.

Stony Point, on the Hudson River, the capture of, by Wayne, 77-89.
  the British capture and fortify, 78.
  Washington plans to attack, 79.
  a description of, 79.
  a description of the fortifications of, 80.
  the "little Gibraltar," 80.
  Wayne appointed commander of the expedition against, 80.
  Wayne's march to, 82.
  Wayne's plan of attack on, 84.
  the attack on, 85.
  the capture of, 86.
  the capture of, announced to Washington, 88.

Sullivan, Fort, the defense of, 36-49. See Fort Sullivan.

Sumter, Fort, 43.

Sumter, Thomas, General, a leader in the South, 91.
  still alive in 1824, 203.

Surprise, a midnight, 77-89. See Stony Point.

Sycamore Shoals, 94.
  the backwoodsmen meet at, 95.

Syracuse, Sicily. Commodore Preble sails to, 160.
  Decatur sails from, 162.


Tallmadge, Major, questions André, 61.

Tarleton, Colonel, the brutality of, in the South, 91.
  defeated at Cowpens, 118, 119.
  and the two young ladies, 120.
  in the Yorktown campaign, 124.

Teamster, the old, 105-122. See Morgan.

Thaxter, Rev. Joseph, at Bunker Hill, 213.

Thompson, Colonel, and his sharpshooters aid Moultrie, 41, 44.

Tilghman, Colonel, informs Congress of Cornwallis's surrender, 136.

Tompkins, Daniel, Vice President of the United States, entertains
    Lafayette in 1824, 203.

Tories, the, at "Mother Chick's," 57.
  in the South, 91, 92, 97, 99, 100, 102.

Trade, free, between the states, 151.

Trenton, New Jersey, the British defeated at, 77.

Tripoli, 156-168, 173, 180, 184.

Trumbull, "The Surrender of Cornwallis" painted by, 133.

Tryon, William, the hated, a British general, 78.

Tunis, 156.

Twelve Mile carrying place, the, 22.
  Enos reaches the, 23.


United Colonies, the, 141.

United States, the frigate, commanded by Decatur, 158.

United States of America, the, 154.
  the Constitution of, 155. See Constitution.
  the growth of, 202.

University of Virginia, the, Lafayette entertained at, 214.


Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Lafayette at, 200.
  the patriots suffer greatly at, 200.

Vernon, Mount, Washington's home, 68.
  the slaves at, 70.
  the hospitality at, 71, 76.
  Washington retires to, 138.
  Lafayette's visits to, 202, 211.

Verplanck's Point, on the Hudson River, the British fortify, 78.

Victory, the final, 123-137. See Yorktown campaign.

Ville de Paris, the flagship of De Grasse, 129.

Villeré, Major, informs Jackson of the approach of the British, 188.

Vincennes, the hero of, 1-17. See Clark.

Virginia, in the struggle with Great Britain, 2, 5.
  aids Clark, 3, 5.
  called on for volunteers, 112.
  takes the lead in sending delegates to Philadelphia, 145.
  the University of, Lafayette visits, 214.

Vulture, the, a British war ship at Stony Point, 87.


Wabash River, the Little, Clark crosses, 12.

Wabash River, the, Clark crosses, 13.

Wagoner, the old, 105-122. See Morgan.

Warner, James, and his wife with Arnold's expedition to Quebec, 22,

Washington, Lafayette received by President Monroe at, 204.
  Lafayette's farewell dinner at, 215.

Washington, George, in the Revolution, 2.
  takes command of the patriots at Cambridge, Massachusetts, 19.
  meets Benedict Arnold, 19.
  confers with his officers at the Murray mansion, 50.
  gives Hale his orders, 53.
  informed of Hale's execution, 61.
  our greatest patriot, 62-76.
  the personal appearance of, 63.
  the strength of, 64.
  likes dancing, 65.
  eats simple food, 66.
  fond of fine clothes, 66.
  a fine horseman, 67.
  methodical in business, 68.
  owns much land, 69, 70.
  dislikes slaves, 70.
  the generosity of, 71.
  attends the meeting at Newburgh, New York, 72.
  the appearance of, on his first visit to Congress, described by an
    eyewitness, 73.
  the formal receptions of, 74.
  the state dinners of, 75.
  the greatness of, 76.
  a hard nut to crack, says General Clinton, 77.
  plans an attack on Stony Point, 79, 81.
  visits Stony Point, 88.
  famous men gathered about, in the siege of Boston, 105.
  meets Daniel Morgan, 112.
  in the Yorktown campaign, 123-136.
  bids farewell to his generals, 138.
  retires to Mount Vernon, 138.
  the "legacy" of, to the American people, 140.
  works at the problem of our national existence, 143.
  attends the Philadelphia convention, 145.
  made president of the Philadelphia convention, 147.
  holds the Philadelphia convention to its duty, 148.
  signs the Constitution, 152.
  the first President of the United States, 155.
  Lafayette serves under, 200.
  Lafayette visits, at Mount Vernon, 202.
  tomb of, at Mount Vernon, 211.

Washington, William, at the battle of Cowpens, 117-119.
  in a hand to hand fight with Tarleton, 120.
  "knows how to make his mark," 120.

Wayne, Anthony, the personal appearance of, 80.
  chosen to attack Stony Point, 80.
  at Germantown and at Monmouth, 82.
  the march of, to Stony Point, 82.
  reads his order of battle at Stony Point, 83.
  writes to a friend at Philadelphia, 83.
  leads the attack on Stony Point, 85.
  wounded in the head, 86.
  captures the fort, 87.
  writes a letter to Washington, 88.
  in the Yorktown campaign, 121, 124.

Webster, Daniel, speaks at the dedication of the Bunker Hill
    Monument, 214.

Wellington, the Duke of, a British general, 186.
  called the "Iron Duke," 187.

West Point, the Americans at, 78, 125.
  Washington's headquarters at, 127.

Wilson, James, the learned lawyer, at the Philadelphia convention,

Winchester, Virginia, 108.

Wolfe captures Quebec in 1759, 30.

Worcester, Massachusetts, Lafayette visits, 206.


Yorktown, the monument at, 137.
  the visit of Lafayette to, 207.

Yorktown campaign, the, 123-137.
  the state of affairs in the South before, 123.
  the first move of Cornwallis in, 124.
  made possible by the aid of a French fleet, 125.
  planned by Washington, 126.
  Washington's first move in, 128.
  the Continental and French troops march to take part in, 128.
  Clinton awakens to the importance of, 130.
  De Grasse aids in, with a large fleet, 130.
  the siege in, 132.
  Cornwallis surrenders in, 134.
  the effect of the victory in, upon King George and his ministers,
    136, 137.


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