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Title: American Leaders and Heroes - A preliminary text-book in United States History
Author: Gordy, Wilbur Fisk, 1854-1929
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "American Leaders and Heroes - A preliminary text-book in United States History" ***












In teaching history to boys and girls from ten to twelve years old
simple material should be used. Children of that age like action. They
crave the dramatic, the picturesque, the concrete, the personal. When
they read about Daniel Boone or Abraham Lincoln they do far more than
admire their hero. By a mysterious, sympathetic process they so identify
themselves with him as to feel that what they see in him is possible for
them. Herein is suggested the ethical value of history. But such ethical
stimulus, be it noted, can come only in so far as actions are translated
into the thoughts and feelings embodied in the actions.

In this process of passing from deeds to the hearts and heads of the
doers the image-forming power plays a leading part. Therefore a special
effort should be made to train the sensuous imagination by furnishing
picturesque and dramatic incidents, and then so skilfully presenting
them that the children may get living pictures. This I have endeavored
to do in the preparation of this historical reader, by making prominent
the personal traits of the heroes and leaders, as they are seen, in
boyhood and manhood alike, in the environment of their every-day home
and social life.

With the purpose of quickening the imagination, questions "To the Pupil"
are introduced at intervals throughout the book, and on almost every
page additional questions of the same kind might be supplied to
advantage. "What picture do you get in that paragraph?" may well be
asked over and over again, as children read the book. If they get clear
and definite pictures, they will be likely to see the past as a living
present, and thus will experience anew the thoughts and feelings of
those who now live only in their words and deeds. The steps in this
vital process are imagination, sympathy, and assimilation.

To the same end the excellent maps and illustrations contribute a
prominent and valuable feature of the book. If, in the elementary stages
of historical reading, the image-forming power is developed, when the
later work in the study of organized history is reached the imagination
can hold the outward event before the mind for the judgment to determine
its inner significance. For historical interpretation is based upon the
inner life quite as much as upon the outward expression of that life in

Attention is called to the fact that while the biographical element
predominates, around the heroes and leaders are clustered typical and
significant events in such a way as to give the basal facts of American
history. It is hoped, therefore, that this little volume will furnish
the young mind some conception of what our history is, and at the same
time stimulate an abiding interest in historical and biographical

Perhaps it is needless to say that the "Review Outline" may be used in
many ways. It certainly will furnish excellent material for language
work, oral or written. In so using it pupils may well be encouraged to
enlarge the number of topics.

I wish to acknowledge my obligations to Professor William E. Mead, of
Wesleyan University, who has read the manuscript and made invaluable
suggestions; also to my wife, whose interest and assistance have done
much to give the book whatever of merit it may possess.

                                                    WILBUR F. GORDY.

HARTFORD, CONN., May 1, 1901.


  CHAPTER                                                         PAGE
            COLONIZE AMERICA,                                       31
            VIRGINIA IN 1676,                                       55
     VI. MILES STANDISH AND THE PILGRIMS,                           64
    VII. ROGER WILLIAMS AND THE PURITANS,                           81
            VALLEY,                                                103
     XI. JAMES WOLFE, THE HERO OF QUEBEC,                          136
    XII. PATRICK HENRY AND THE STAMP ACT,                          146
   XIII. SAMUEL ADAMS AND THE BOSTON TEA PARTY,                    156
     XV. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND AID FROM FRANCE,                    175
            REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER,                                 189
            MARION, THE "SWAMP FOX,"                               211
  XVIII. DANIEL BOONE, THE KENTUCKY PIONEER,                       222
     XX. ROBERT FULTON AND THE STEAMBOAT,                          246
            CONSTITUTION,                                          264


  Christopher Columbus,                                              1
  The Santa Maria,                                                   7
  The Nina,                                                          8
  The Pinta,                                                         9
  The Triumphal Return of Columbus to Spain,                        13
  An Indian Stone Maul,                                             20
  Hernando De Soto,                                                 22
  De Soto Discovering the Mississippi,                              25
  Sir Walter Raleigh,                                               31
  Queen Elizabeth,                                                  35
  Entrance to Raleigh's Cell in the Tower,                          38
  Tower of London,                                                  39
  An Indian Pipe,                                                   40
  John Smith,                                                       42
  John Smith and the Indians,                                       45
  Indian Weapons,                                                   46
  Ruins of Jamestown,                                               47
  Apache's War-club,                                                50
  Sioux Indian Bow and Arrow with Stone Point,                      50
  Navajo Sling,                                                     51
  A Pappoose Case,                                                  51
  Tobacco Plant,                                                    56
  Loading Tobacco,                                                  57
  The Burning of Jamestown,                                         61
  Miles Standish,                                                   64
  The Mayflower,                                                    70
  A Matchlock Gun,                                                  74
  A Group of Pilgrim Relics,                                        75
  Pilgrims Returning from Church,                                   77
  Brewster's and Standish's Swords,                                 79
  Roger Williams on his Way to Visit the Chief of the Narragansett
      Indians,                                                      83
  A Block House,                                                    84
  Roger Williams's Meeting-House,                                   85
  A Puritan Fireplace,                                              87
  William Penn,                                                     92
  William Penn's Famous Treaty with the Indians,                    95
  Penn's Slate-roof House, Philadelphia,                            98
  A Belt of Wampum Given to Penn by the Indians,                    99
  Cavelier De La Salle,                                            103
  Long House of the Iroquois,                                      104
  The Murder of La Salle by his Followers,                         113
  George Washington,                                               116
  Washington's Birthplace,                                         117
  Washington Crossing the Alleghany River,                         119
  The Death of Braddock,                                           129
  James Wolfe,                                                     136
  General Montcalm,                                                139
  The Death of Wolfe,                                              141
  Patrick Henry,                                                   146
  George III.,                                                     149
  St. John's Church, Richmond,                                     152
  Samuel Adams,                                                    156
  Faneuil Hall, Boston,                                            160
  The Old South Church, Boston,                                    161
  The "Boston Tea Party,"                                          163
  Paul Revere,                                                     165
  The Old North Church,                                            168
  Stone in Front of the Harrington House, Lexington, Marking
      the Line of the Minute-Men,                                  170
  The Retreat of the British from Concord,                         172
  Benjamin Franklin,                                               175
  Franklin in the Streets of Philadelphia,                         180
  Franklin Experimenting with Electricity,                         184
  Lafayette Offering His Services to Franklin,                     186
  George Washington,                                               189
  Washington's Coach,                                              190
  A Stage Coach of the Eighteenth Century,                         191
  Washington's Retreat through New Jersey,                         199
  Winter at Valley Forge,                                          204
  Washington's Home--Mount Vernon,                                 208
  Nathaniel Greene,                                                211
  Lord Cornwallis,                                                 215
  General Francis Marion,                                          218
  Marion and His Men Swooping Down on a British Camp,              219
  Daniel Boone,                                                    222
  Indian Costume (Female),                                         224
  Indian Costume (Male),                                           225
  Daniel Boone in his Cabin,                                       228
  A Hand Corn Mill,                                                229
  A Wigwam,                                                        231
  Indian Implements,                                               232
  Thomas Jefferson,                                                234
  Monticello,                                                      237
  Thomas Jefferson at Work upon the First Draft of the Declaration
      of Independence,                                             238
  Robert Fulton,                                                   246
  A Pack Horse,                                                    247
  A Flat Boat,                                                     248
  The Clermont,                                                    251
  Andrew Jackson,                                                  253
  Andrew Jackson's Cradle,                                         254
  A Spinning Wheel,                                                255
  Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans,                            261
  Daniel Webster,                                                  264
  Marshfield--Home of Daniel Webster,                              271
  S. F. B. Morse,                                                  273
  Telegraph and Railroad,                                          280
  Abraham Lincoln,                                                 282
  Lincoln's Birthplace,                                            283
  Lincoln Studying,                                                287
  Slaves on a Cotton Plantation,                                   299
  Ulysses S. Grant,                                                302
  The Meeting of Generals Grant and Lee at Appomattox,             310
  The McLean House,                                                311
  General R. E. Lee,                                               312
  The Wreck of the Maine,                                          316
  Admiral Dewey,                                                   318
  President MCKinley,                                              319
  "Escolta," Manila's Main Street,                                 320


  Places of Interest in Connection with Columbus's Earlier Life,     3
  The First Voyage of Columbus, and Places of Interest in
      Connection with his Later Voyages,                            11
  Routes Traversed by De Soto and De Leon,                          27
  Cabot's Route. Land Discovered by him Darkened,                   33
  Section where Raleigh's various Colonies were Located,            37
  Jamestown and the Surrounding Country,                            48
  The Pilgrims in England and Holland,                              67
  The Pilgrim Settlement,                                           72
  The Rhode Island Settlement,                                      88
  The Pennsylvania Settlement,                                      97
  Map Showing Routes of Cartier, Champlain, and La Salle, also
      French and English Possessions at the Time of the Last
      French War,                                                  107
  The English Colonies and the French Claims in 1754,              121
  The French in the Ohio Valley,                                   123
  Quebec and Surroundings,                                         138
  Paul Revere's Ride,                                              167
  Franklin's Journey from New York to Philadelphia,                178
  Map Illustrating the Battle of Long Island,                      196
  Map Illustrating the Struggle for the Hudson River and the
      Middle States,                                               201
  Map Showing the War in the South,                                213
  The Kentucky Settlement,                                         223
  Map of Louisiana Purchase: also United States in 1803,           242
  Map Illustrating Two of Andrew Jackson's Campaigns,              258
  Map of the United States showing the Southern Confederacy,
      the Slave States that did not Secede, and the Territories,   297
  Map Illustrating Campaigns in the West in 1862-63,               307
  The United States Coast and the West Indies,                     315
  Portion of the Coast of China and the Philippine Islands,        325


Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of America


[Illustration: Christopher Columbus.]

From very early times there existed overland routes of trade between
Europe and Asia. During the Middle Ages traffic over these routes
greatly increased, so that by the fifteenth century a large and
profitable trade was carried on between the West and the East. Merchants
in Western Europe grew rich through trade in the silks, spices, and
precious stones that were brought by caravan and ship from India, China,
and Japan. But in 1453 the Turks conquered Constantinople, and by
frequent attacks upon Christian vessels in the Mediterranean made the
old routes unsafe. A more practicable one became necessary.

Already in the early part of the fifteenth century Portuguese
sea-captains had skirted the western coast of Africa, and by the close
of the century others of their number had rounded the Cape of Good Hope,
in their search for a water route to the Indies. But Spain, at that
time the most powerful nation of Europe, adopted a plan quite different
from that of the Portuguese. What this plan was and how it was carried
out, we can best understand by an acquaintance with the life and work of
the great sea-captain and navigator, Christopher Columbus.

More than four hundred and fifty years ago there lived in the city of
Genoa a poor workingman, who made his living by preparing wool for the
spinners. Of his four sons, the eldest was Christopher, born in 1436.
Young Christopher was not, so far as we know, very different from most
other boys in Genoa. He doubtless joined in their every-day sports,
going with them to see the many vessels that sailed in and out of that
famous sea-port, and listening for hours to the stories of sailors about
distant lands.

But he did not spend all his time in playing and visiting the wharves,
for we know that he learned his father's trade, and in school studied,
among other things, reading, arithmetic, grammar, geography, and
map-drawing. We can easily believe that he liked geography best of all,
since it would carry his imagination far out over the sea and to lands
beyond the sea. In map-drawing he acquired such skill that when he
became a man he could earn his living, when occasion demanded, by making
maps and charts.

Beyond these facts little is known about the boyhood and youth of
Columbus. Very likely much of his early life was spent upon the sea,
sailing on the Mediterranean and along the west coast of Africa. Once
he went as far north as England and perhaps even farther, but of this we
are not certain.

In the course of many voyages he heard much of the work done by
Portuguese sailors and discoverers, for Portugal was at that time one of
the greatest sea-powers of the world. As Lisbon, the capital of
Portugal, was naturally a centre for sea-faring men, and as it was also
the home of his brother Bartholomew, Columbus, at the age of about
thirty-five, went there to live.

[Illustration: Places of Interest in Connection with Columbus's Earlier

Columbus was a man of commanding presence. He was large, tall, and
dignified in bearing, with a ruddy complexion and piercing blue-gray
eyes. By the time he was thirty his hair had become white, and fell in
wavy locks about his shoulders. Although his life of hardship and
poverty compelled him to be plain and simple in food and dress, he
always had the air of a gentleman, and his manners were pleasing and
courteous. But he had a strong will, which overcame difficulties that
would have overwhelmed most men.

While at Lisbon, Columbus married a woman far above him in social
position, and went with her to live on a little island of the Madeiras,
where her family had business interests. Meanwhile he was turning over
in his mind schemes for a future voyage to the countries of the Far
East. His native city, Genoa, had grown rich in trading in the silks,
spices, and precious stones of the Indies, but the journey overland was
dangerous, and a water route was much desired.

This need the Portuguese had felt along with the rest of Europe, and for
a long time Portuguese sea-captains had been slowly but surely finding
their way down the west coast of Africa, in search of a passage around
the southern cape. This route would be easier and cheaper than the old
one through the Mediterranean and across Asia. But Columbus thought out
a more daring course, by which he planned to sail directly west from the
Canary Islands, across the Atlantic Ocean, expecting at the end of his
voyage to find the far-famed Indies.

Columbus was so full of his plan that it became the great thought of his
life. A water route which would safely bring the wealth of the East to
the doors of Europe would be the greatest discovery of the age.
Moreover, his ambition was spurred by the thrilling account of a noted
traveller, Marco Polo, who two centuries before had brought back from
far-off China wonderful tales of golden palaces, of marvellous rivers
crossed by marble bridges, and of countless treasures of gold, silver,
and jewels.

About 1484 Columbus laid his scheme before King John of Portugal. The
king would not promise his assistance, but he borrowed hints from the
charts of Columbus, and sent men of his own to learn whether they could
reach land by sailing west. Meeting with stormy weather, and fearing the
unknown expanse of ocean, the sailors soon put back to port, and brought
word that there was no land to be seen.

When Columbus heard what the king had done he was very indignant, and at
once quitted Portugal for Spain. The future appeared gloomy enough to
the poor navigator without a helping friend. With bitter memories he
shook off the dust of Lisbon, and, leading by the hand his little son
Diego, four or five years old, trudged wearily on his journey. Columbus
took Diego to the home of the boy's aunt, who lived not far from Palos,
and, leaving him in her care, went in search of the king and queen of
Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella.

The king and queen were at that time so much occupied in driving the
Moors out of Spain that Columbus found difficulty in securing a hearing.
When at last he was permitted to unfold his plans to a council of
learned men they ridiculed him, because, forsooth, he said that the
world was round like a globe,[1] and people lived on the opposite side
of the earth. "Such a thing," they declared, "is absurd, for if people
live on the other side of the earth their heads must be down. Then, too,
if it rains there the rain falls upward; and trees, if they grow there,
must grow upside down."

  [1] The belief that the world was round was by no means new,
      as learned men before Columbus's day had reached the same
      conclusion. But only a comparatively small number of people
      held such a view of the shape of the earth.

Some of the learned men, however, agreed with Columbus, and thought the
carrying out of his plan by the aid of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
would bring honor and countless wealth to Spain. But their authority was
not sufficient to affect those who believed Columbus to be a crazy
dreamer or a worthless adventurer.

Month after month, year after year, Columbus cherished his ambitious
scheme, encouraged by the few friends who were ready to use their
influence for him. He followed the king and queen from place to place,
as they moved their camp in the course of the war, and he sometimes
fought bravely in the Spanish army. But in face of scorn and ridicule he
never gave up hope of success. These were days of great trial, when even
the boys in the streets tapped their foreheads as he passed by, and
pointed their fingers at him with a peculiar smile.

[Illustration: THE SANTA MARIA.]

In the autumn of 1491 Columbus made up his mind to leave Spain and try
his fortune in France. So he went to the home of Diego's aunt, and once
more taking his boy with him, started on foot out of the country which
had so little befriended him. We can easily picture him, pale and
wayworn, his clothes threadbare, his long white hair streaming over his
shoulders. The travellers had gone but a short distance when they
stopped at the gate of the Convent of St. Mary, which was only a mile
and a half from Palos, to beg bread and water for the boy. At this
moment the good prior of the convent happened to pass by. He was a man
of learning and, on conversing with Columbus, became much interested in
his story, and arranged a meeting of other learned men, among them the
well-known sea-captain, Martin Alonzo Pinzon, who lived in Palos. The
plans of Columbus appealed so strongly to this sea-captain that he
promised not only to furnish money for an expedition, but to accompany
it himself.

[Illustration: The Nina.]

Moreover, the prior, who had been father-confessor to Isabella, won her
over to the sailor's cause. The queen sent what would now be nearly
$1,200[2] to Columbus, and summoned him back to Court. Supplying himself
with a mule and suitable clothing, Columbus, with lightened heart,
sought the queen's presence. She approved his plan, but Columbus
demanded so great a reward for his services as leader of the expedition
that the queen refused to come to any agreement with him, and let him

  [2] The sum sent was 20,000 maravedis of Spanish money.

Columbus in disgust mounted his mule, and started once more for France.
At this juncture, however, one of the queen's advisers hurried into her
presence, and put the case so earnestly that she sent a swift courier,
who overtook Columbus in a mountain pass not far away, and brought him
back. An agreement was soon reached, and Columbus accepted his
commission with tears of joy.

[Illustration: The Pinta.]

He at once went to Palos to get men and vessels for the expedition. But
here he met with serious difficulties. Sailors called the Atlantic Ocean
the Sea of Darkness, and believed that it contained frightful
sea-monsters, ready to dash in pieces all vessels that might come within
reach. Moreover, we must remember that the vessels in those days were
not safe against storms like the great ships of our day. To venture out
upon this trackless sea signified to sailors almost certain death.
Hence, they were unwilling to sail, and a royal decree had to be issued
to compel them. Even then it became necessary to release criminals from
prisons to supply the number required for the expedition.

The three caravels that were at length got ready for the perilous
expedition westward in search of the Indies were not larger than many of
the fishing-boats of to-day. The largest of the three--the flagship of
Columbus--was called the Santa Maria. The other two were the Pinta and
the Niña ("Baby"). The Santa Maria alone had a deck covering the entire
hold of the vessel.

At last all was ready, and a half-hour before sunrise on Friday morning,
August 3, 1492, this little fleet, with one hundred and twenty men and
provisions for a year, sailed out of the port of Palos. It was a
sorrowful hour for the poor sailors, who felt that they had looked upon
their homes and their friends for the last time. Columbus steered for
the Canaries, where he delayed three weeks to repair the rudder of the

On September 6th he set sail again. When once out of sight of land the
sailors, overcome with fear, cried and sobbed like children. But new
trials awaited them. At the end of a week the compass needle no longer
pointed to the North Star, and this strange fact filled the
superstitious sailors with alarm.

Great was their consternation when a few days later the vessels entered
vast stretches of sea-weed. At first the little fleet easily ploughed
its way through this mass of floating green, but at the end of three
days, on account of a light wind, the vessels moved more slowly. In
their dismay the sailors feared that the vessels might never get
through this immense sea of grass, but might have to lie there and rot,
or, perhaps, escaping this danger, run upon rocks and shoals lying just
beneath the grass and be broken in pieces. Though they were in the midst
of obstacles apparently insurmountable, they were also in the path of
the trade winds that steadily bore them onward. But in their terror, the
sailors imagined they could never return because the wind would not
allow them to sail in the opposite direction. When the wind began to
blow from the southwest they were once more relieved of their fears.

[Illustration: The First Voyage of Columbus, and places of interest in
connection with his Later Voyages.]

After many days all hearts were gladdened by the sight of birds, which
indicated that land was near. It was an idle hope. Again and again some
eager-eyed sailor shouted "land," but found later that he was looking at
distant clouds.

The crews were in despair. Now in the belt of trade-winds that were
steadily blowing them farther and farther from home and friends they
cried in dismay: "We can never return to Spain. We are lost! What shall
we do?" They begged Columbus to turn back. They became angry when he
refused, and declared he was crazy and was leading them all to
destruction. They even plotted to throw him overboard some night and say
that he fell into the sea while looking at the stars. Columbus felt that
dangers were growing thick about him, but he never faltered in his
purpose. His strong will and his abiding faith in success kept him
stanch in face of difficulties that would have caused an ordinary mind
to give way.

On October 11th unmistakable signs of land appeared. A thorn branch with
berries on it, a reed, and a carved stick came floating by. New life
stirred in every heart, and the sailors looked eagerly in every
direction for land.

The king and queen had promised a reward equal to nearly $600 of our
present money to the sailor who should be the first to see land.
Columbus had promised in addition a velvet cloak. Accordingly, all were
on the alert to catch the first glimpse of land, and kept on the watch
during the entire night after the appearance of the thorn-branch and
carved stick.

About ten o'clock Columbus himself saw in the distance a light, which
looked like a torch in the hands of some one moving along the shore.
About two o'clock next morning, Friday, October 12th--or October 21st,
according to our present method of reckoning time--a sailor on the Pinta
saw, about five miles off, a low strip of land. This was an island of
the Bahama Group. Just ten weeks had elapsed since the voyage began at
Palos, and with intense eagerness Columbus and his men awaited the
coming of daylight.

[Illustration: The Triumphal Return of Columbus to Spain.]

At dawn the boats were lowered, and all went on shore. Columbus,
dressed in a rich robe of scarlet, carried the royal standard. His
followers also bore banners, on each of which was a brilliant green
cross with the letters F. and Y.--the Spanish initials for Ferdinand and
Isabella--on each side. Above the letters were crosses. Columbus threw
himself, kneeling, upon the ground. He wept for joy, and, kissing the
earth, took possession of the land in the name of the king and queen of
Spain. The sailors now fell upon their knees at Columbus's feet. They
kissed his hands, and begged him to forgive them for their evil thoughts
toward him.

At first the natives, whom Columbus called Indians because he thought he
was in the East Indies, fled to the woods in fear of the Spaniards; but
later they returned and worshipped the white men as beings from the sky.
They thought the vessels were great birds and the sails wings. The
Spaniards at once began to trade with the Indians, giving them such
trifles as tiny bells, red caps, and glass beads, in exchange for tame
parrots, cotton yarn, and a few small ornaments of gold, such as the
natives wore in their noses.

According to the interesting description of the natives that Columbus
wrote in his journal, they were very poor, dark-skinned, and naked. All
of them seemed to be young and of strong build, with coarse black hair
hanging long behind, but cut short over their foreheads. Their bodies
were painted with various colors and in all manner of ways. The men
carried sticks, pointed with fish-bones, for javelins, and moved their
canoes with paddles that looked like wooden shovels.

The canoes, made out of single trunks of trees, were in some cases large
enough to carry forty men. The dwellings, which were clustered together
in groups of twelve to fifteen, were shaped like tents and had high
chimneys. Inside the tents, hanging between posts, were nets used as
beds and called "hammocks."

Columbus called the island upon which he had landed San Salvador (Holy
Saviour). He wrote of the new country: "I know not where first to go,
nor are my eyes ever weary of gazing at the beautiful verdure. The
singing of the birds is such that it seems as if one would never desire
to depart hence. There are flocks of parrots that obscure the sun, and
other birds of many kinds, large and small, entirely different from
ours; trees, also, of a thousand species, each having its particular
fruit, and all of marvellous flavor."

Columbus sailed along the coast of Cuba and Hayti, landing here and
there, and sent parties inland to find out what they could about the
land and its people. Everywhere he was on the lookout for the cities of
Asia--those wonderful cities of wealth and beauty described in such
glowing colors by Marco Polo. He never doubted that he was in the land
he had sought,--the East Indies.

On Christmas morning (December 25, 1492), while it was still dark, as he
was cruising along the shores of Hayti (or Hispaniola), the Santa Maria
went aground on a sand-bar, where the waves soon knocked her to pieces.
As the Pinta had already deserted, there now remained but one ship, the
Niña. This little vessel was too small to accommodate all the men, and
forty of the number, wishing to stay where they were, decided to build a
fort out of the timbers of the wrecked vessel and put her guns in the
fort for their defence. These men had provisions for a year, and
constituted the first Spanish colony in the New World.

On January 4, 1493, the Niña sailed for Spain. All went well with the
sailors until February 12th, when a great storm suddenly threatened to
break the frail vessel into pieces. Poor Columbus! His heart grew faint
within him. Had he and his men endured such peril and hardship to perish
unknown in the sea? Would the world never know of their great

In his anxiety he wrote on parchment two separate accounts of his
discovery, which he sealed and addressed to Ferdinand and Isabella. He
then wrapped each in a cloth and, enclosing them in large cakes of wax,
put them into barrels. One of these barrels he flung into the sea, and
the other he kept on deck. The Niña passed safely through the storm,
however, and on March 15th, after an absence of nearly seven and a half
months, cast anchor in the harbor of Palos.

The successful voyager lost no time in reaching Barcelona, where he was
received by the king and queen with triumphal honors. Everybody was
ready to praise the man who had become so famous. There was a great
procession in his honor in the streets of Barcelona. Leading this street
parade were six Indians whom Columbus had brought back with him. These
were smeared with paint, decked with feathers of tropical birds, and
ornamented with bits of gold. Following them came men carrying stuffed
and live birds of brilliant plumage, and the skins of different animals,
all products of the New Land. Columbus rode on horseback, attended by
many of Spain's great men, mounted on horses.

When the procession reached the house in which King Ferdinand and Queen
Isabella were, Columbus went into the room where they sat on the throne.
They did him the honor to rise as he entered, and when he knelt to kiss
their hands, they again honored him, by bidding him rise and sit, like
an equal, in their presence.

The poor sailor, once despised as an idle dreamer, had become a
distinguished personage, honored alike by kings and princes and people.
It was no longer necessary to force men by royal decree to sail with the
great admiral. Many were now eager to go where they might reap wealth
and honor.

In September, 1493, Columbus again sailed, this time with a fleet of
seventeen vessels and fifteen hundred men. Many of the latter were young
men of noble birth, and belonged to families of wide influence. All
supposed they were going to the East Indies, the land of jewels and
spices and precious metals. With the purpose of founding a colony,
Columbus took with him not only horses, mules, and cattle, but vines,
vegetables, and seeds of many kinds.

When the fleet reached the island of Hayti, and the place where he had
in the previous winter left the little colony of forty men, he found
that the fort and provisions had been destroyed, and that eleven corpses
had been buried near by; but not one of the forty men was ever again
seen alive. After building a little town, called Isabella in honor of
the queen, Columbus began exploring by land and sea. He found much that
was beautiful and interesting, but much more that was disappointing.
Moreover, the Indians were sometimes unfriendly, and his own men were
often unruly and treacherous. At length, after four years of varying
fortune, he started home, and after a long, hard voyage, during which
provisions gave out, he and his men, weak with hunger, finally reached
Spain in June. He was kindly received, and was promised more ships for
another voyage.

In May, 1498, with six vessels and two hundred men besides the sailors,
Columbus started on a third voyage, this time directing his course more
to the south than he had done before. He landed on an island which he
named Trinidad, and then sailed along the northern coast of South

He was not well, however, and in August turned his course for Santo
Domingo, where he found things were going badly. Trouble with the
Indians had arisen, and even more serious trouble in the colony itself
had broken out. For two years Columbus struggled to set things right.
But he was not successful as a colonizer. Besides, many people were
beginning to lose faith in him because he did not get expected treasures
for Spain. Many others were jealous of his fame, and plotted to ruin
him. At length an official was sent from Spain to Hayti to look into the
situation. When he reached the island he confiscated Columbus's
property, put him in chains, and sent him as a prisoner to the country
from which he had but recently sailed with high honor.

In Spain the people were in sympathy with the admiral in his disgrace;
so too was the queen, who sent money and summoned him to court. She
received him there with tears in her eyes, and he broke down and wept at
her feet.

In 1502 Columbus started on a fourth voyage, sailing along the eastern
coast of Central America. But he was not able to accomplish much, and
finally suffered shipwreck on the island of Jamaica, where he spent a
year of misery. At last he set out for home, arriving there only a short
time before Queen Isabella, his only protector, died.

Poor, sick, and discouraged, Columbus dragged out a weary life for
eighteen months longer. He died in Spain of a broken heart, May 20,
1506, in utter ignorance of the greatness of his discovery. So little
appreciated was he that the city annals make no mention of his death. It
remained for succeeding generations to lift his name from obscurity and
to give faithful acknowledgment of his achievements in the advance of
human progress.

[Illustration: An Indian Stone Maul.]




  1. Find on the map all the countries and places named in this
  chapter, and trace the first voyage of Columbus.

  2. Can you picture to yourself the following: Columbus and Diego
  on the road together; Columbus, mounted on a mule, on his way to
  France; the landing of Columbus on reaching San Salvador; and the
  street parade in Barcelona?

  3. Using the topics in the book, write from memory the account of
  the first voyage.

  4. Select as many words in this chapter as you can telling what
  kind of man Columbus was. What do you admire in his character?

  5. What was Columbus trying to do? Why? What great thing did he
  do? When?


Hernando De Soto and the Discovery of the Mississippi


[Illustration: Hernando De Soto.]

After the discovery of the New World by Columbus, the Spaniards, who had
no other thought than that he had found a new way to India, dreamed
eagerly of its marvellous wealth, and were impatient to be off to the
land where they believed fortunes awaited them. So zealous were they, in
their mad search for gold and adventure, that many were willing to leave
home and friends for years.

The most brilliant of these explorers were Cortez, the conqueror of
Mexico, and Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, both of whom carried back to
Spain many million dollars' worth of gold and silver. With Pizarro was a
young man named Hernando De Soto, whose adventurous life is full of
interest, and whose important discovery of the Mississippi River has
given him a prominent place in the history of our country.

He was born about 1500, of a poor but noble family. In his youth he
excelled in athletic sports, and possessed unusual skill in horsemanship
and in fencing. Taking a leading part in all the dangerous exploits in
the New World, he not only won fame, but went back to Spain after many
years' absence a rich man.

While Cortez and Pizarro had been conquering Mexico and Peru, other
Spaniards had been seeking their fortune in Florida.[3] Thus far these
men had brought back no gold and silver, but their faith in the mines of
the interior was so great that De Soto wished to conquer and explore the
country. Having already won great influence by his achievements, he
secured the favor of the king, who made him governor of the island of
Cuba, and appointed him leader of an expedition to conquer and occupy
Florida. He was to take men enough with him to build forts and plant a
colony, so as to hold the country for Spain.

  [3] De Leon discovered this land in the full bloom of an Easter
      Sunday (1513). In token of the day and the flowers he named
      it Pascua Florida.

De Soto had no difficulty in getting followers to join him in this
enterprise. Young men from noble families flocked to his standard from
all parts of Spain, and as he knew that dangers and hardships awaited
them he was careful to select from the large numbers the strongest men.

De Soto's company included richly dressed nobles and warriors in
glittering armor. It was a gala day when they sailed out of port with
banners flying and cannon booming, and not a young man of them but felt
proud to sail on so grand an expedition. After arriving in Cuba, De Soto
spent some time there, and then leaving his wife to govern the island,
set out to explore Florida. His expedition was an imposing one,
comprising nine vessels, six hundred men, and about two hundred and
twenty-five horses. In May, 1539, the whole force landed at Tampa Bay,
on the western coast of Florida.

They had not advanced far into the interior when De Soto fell in with a
Spaniard named Ortiz, who had accompanied Narvaez in a previous
expedition some ten or eleven years before. According to his story, the
Indians had captured him, and only forbore to kill him because an Indian
girl had begged for his life. Ortiz had lived with the Indians so many
years that he had become very much like one himself; but we can imagine
his joy at seeing white men once more. The Spaniards were equally
rejoiced because they knew how serviceable their countryman would be as
a guide and interpreter.


The advantage of this good-fortune was soon counteracted, however, by De
Soto's unfriendliness to the Indians. He was not only indifferent to
their pleasure and sufferings, but even seemed to enjoy torturing and
killing them. It was his custom upon arriving at an Indian settlement to
demand food for his men and horses, and upon his departure to carry off
with him the head chief as guide and hostage, not releasing him until
the next tribe was reached. Indian men and squaws were forced into
service as porters for the Spanish baggage; and thus enslaved, often
with chains and with iron collars about their necks, they were compelled
to do all sorts of menial work. It is not strange that after such
treatment the Indians lost all confidence in De Soto. They not only
learned to hate him and the Spaniards but longed to be revenged upon
them. In return for the cruelties inflicted they purposely led the
Spaniards astray, and left untried no treachery which would serve to
destroy the pale-faced strangers.

In May, 1540, an Indian princess, rowed by her followers in a canopied
canoe, came across a stream to meet De Soto. When she landed, her
followers carried her in a litter, from which she alighted and
approached him. She gave him presents of shawls and skins, and a string
of pearls which she took from around her neck. In return for these acts
of courtesy De Soto made her a prisoner, and kept her going about on
foot with him until she escaped.

This is but an instance of the cruelty which made enemies of all the
Indians with whom the Spaniards came in contact. No doubt Indian runners
were sent hundreds of miles in many directions to tell the various
tribes of the inhuman deeds of the white men. No doubt these tribes
combined in a desperate effort to destroy De Soto and all his men. How
nearly they succeeded in their plan can be told in a few lines.

In the autumn of 1540 the Spaniards came to the tribe of a giant
chieftain whose slaves held over him, as he sat upon cushions on a
raised platform, a buckskin umbrella stained red and white. He was
sullen in the presence of the richly dressed Spaniards on their prancing
steeds, but allowed De Soto to carry him a prisoner to the next Indian
town, as the other head chiefs had done.

[Illustration: Routes Traversed by De Soto and De Leon.]

This town was called Mavilla, an Indian word from which we get the name
Mobile for the city and river in Alabama. As the Spaniards approached
this town Indians came out to meet them, their faces showing signs of
displeasure and evil intent. Fearing nothing, however, De Soto, attended
by about a dozen of his men, rode boldly inside the town, which was
surrounded with a palisade.

The giant chieftain then asked for a release that he might return to his
own people, and on being refused went into a house in which many Indian
warriors were concealed. When De Soto ordered him to come out he
refused. In the excitement that followed, a Spaniard cut down with his
sword an Indian warrior standing near by. Then, in wild fury, hundreds
of dusky warriors rushed like madmen out of the house to the attack, and
soon shot down five of De Soto's body-guard. Of course he had to flee
for his life. But before he could reach the main force outside the town
he fell to the ground two or three times, struck by Indian arrows.

It was the beginning of a terrible battle, in which the Spaniards,
although outnumbered, had the advantage because of their horses, swords,
firearms, and superior training. Finally, from the outside, they closed
the gates to the town, and set fire to the Indian buildings. The Indians
fought with desperation, but they either fell, cut down by Spanish
swords, or rushed in mad fury to perish in the flames. When night came,
only three Indian warriors remained alive. Two of these fought until
they were killed, and the last unfortunate one hanged himself on a tree
with his bow-string. The Spaniards said they killed at least 2,500
Indians, but they lost in killed and wounded about a third of their own
number. It was a dearly bought victory.

Nor was Indian craftiness the only source of trouble for the Spaniards.
De Soto's men had to travel through thick forests with no road except
the narrow path made by wild animals or the trail made by the Indian
hunter. They spent many laborious days in picking their way through
dense underbrush and miry swamps, stopping here and there to make rafts
to carry them across the numerous streams. Often without food and on the
point of starving, they were obliged to feed upon native dogs, and were
sometimes reduced to berries, nuts, bear-oil, and wild honey.

In spite of hunger, disease, death, and many other misfortunes, however,
De Soto in his mad search for gold threaded his way through the tangled
forests until, in the spring of 1541, about two years after landing at
Tampa Bay, he reached the bank of the Mississippi River. After spending
months in making boats, he at length crossed the mighty stream, and then
continued his march in a northerly and westerly direction, going, it
would seem, as far as the site of what is now Little Rock, the capital
of Arkansas.

Marching southeast, probably to the banks of the Washita, he spent a
winter so severe that many of the party, including Ortiz, died.

About the middle of April, 1542, the Spaniards, travel-spent and sick at
heart, reached the mouth of the Red River, where De Soto, discouraged
and broken in spirit, was taken ill with fever and soon died. At first
his followers buried his body near the town where they were staying, but
when the Indians began with some suspicion to examine the ground under
which he lay, the Spaniards in the darkness of night took up the body,
wrapped it in blankets made heavy with sand, and sadly lowered it into
the waters of the mighty river which it was De Soto's chief honor to
have discovered. After many more hardships the wretched survivors of
this unhappy company, numbering not many more than half of those who
landed at Tampa Bay, found their way to a Spanish colony in Mexico. Thus
ended in disaster the expedition which sailed with such hope of wealth
and renown.




  1. Find on the map Mexico, Peru, Porto Rico, Cuba, Florida,
  Mobile the Mississippi River, and the Washita River.

  2. Draw a map in which you will indicate De Soto's route.

  3. Tell in your own words the story of this wretched march
  through the forests.

  4. Make a mental picture of De Soto's meeting with the Indian
  princess; of De Soto and his body-guard in Mavilla; of the burial
  of De Soto's body by night.

  5. What did De Soto accomplish? When?


Sir Walter Raleigh and the First English Attempts to Colonize America


[Illustration: Sir Walter Raleigh.]

Only five years after Columbus made his discoveries in the West India
Islands, John Cabot sailed from England in search of a short northwest
passage to Asia. Directing his course across the northern part of the
Atlantic Ocean, he landed somewhere on the eastern coast of North
America, perhaps on the shores of Labrador. His son sailed in the
following year along the coast from Nova Scotia down as far as North
Carolina. By reason of these discoveries and explorations, England laid
claim to North America.

Nearly a hundred years passed before England took any further steps
toward getting a foothold in America. In the meantime Spain, by means of
her naval power, had conquered Mexico and Peru, and planted colonies at
various points in the New World.

The precious metals collected by Spanish explorers in Mexico and Peru
had furnished the money with which Spain was enabled to carry on her
expeditions as well as the almost continuous wars with other European
powers. Some people think that Spain took out of these two countries
gold and silver to an amount that would now equal five thousand million

At this time England had not so strong a navy as she has to-day, and the
Spanish King hoped because of her weakness to conquer England and make
her a dependency of Spain. Of course this roused the English people, and
they determined to thwart the ambitious scheming of the Spanish King.

Although England had not a fighting navy, English seamen were alert to
capture Spanish vessels and rob them of their gold and silver. To seize
these prizes, such bold sea-captains as Drake and Hawkins roamed the
sea, burning and plundering Spanish fleets and Spanish settlements along
the coast of Mexico and South America.

Conspicuous among these daring sea-rovers and explorers was Sir Walter
Raleigh, one of the most distinguished Englishman of his time. He was
born in a town near the sea-coast in Devonshire, England, in 1552, his
father and mother both being of high social rank.

In this town lived many old sailors, who could tell the wide-awake boy
stirring tales of seafaring life and of bloody fights with Spaniards.
Walter was a patriotic boy, and therefore soon learned to hate Spain,
because of her insolence toward the English people. As he became older
and learned more of the power of Spain, especially that which came
through possessions in the New World, he was envious for his country's
sake and wished her to become Spain's rival in wealth.

[Illustration: Cabot's Route. Land discovered by him darkened.]

When Walter was old enough, he was sent to Oxford University, where he
became an earnest student. But at seventeen he put aside his studies and
went to France to join the Huguenot army.[4] After remaining there for
about six years, he returned to England and served for a short time in
the English army, fighting against Spain and Austria in the Netherlands.
Later he went as captain of a hundred men to Ireland, and there proved
himself a brave soldier.

  [4] The Huguenots were French Protestants, who were then at war
      with the Catholics in France.

Returning again to England, by a simple act of courtesy he won the
admiration of the powerful queen Elizabeth. It happened in this way. On
one occasion, when with her attendants she was about to cross a muddy
road, Raleigh stood looking on. Noticing that the queen hesitated for an
instant, he took from his shoulder his beautiful velvet cloak and
gallantly spread it in her pathway. The queen, greatly pleased with
this delicate attention, took Raleigh into her Court and in time
bestowed upon him much honor. She not only made him a knight, but
presented him with costly gifts and estates, and showered upon him
offices of rank and dignity. The brave knight, Sir Walter Raleigh,
became a man of great wealth and influence.

As a courtier his dress was rich and dazzling. He wore a hat with a
pearl band and a black jewelled feather. His shoes, which were tied with
white ribbons, were studded with gems worth six thousand six hundred
gold pieces. He had also a suit of silver armor that glittered with
diamonds and other precious stones.

This splendor did not seem so much out of place in those days as it
would now, for much display and ceremony were customary in court life.
Queen Elizabeth, with her ten hundred and seventy-five dresses and
mantles, ornamented with lace, embroidery, and jewels, and with her
eighty wigs of various colors, set a gorgeous example which her
courtiers were delighted to follow.

But Raleigh was not satisfied with the glamour of court life. He was
eager to achieve glory for England and if possible to elevate her upon
the ruins of her enemy, Spain.

It was his desire to build up a new England for the glory of the old,
and to that end he secured from Queen Elizabeth a charter for planting a
colony in America. He therefore fitted out two vessels which were to
sail to the land north of Florida, then occupied by Spain, and bring
back reports of the country.

The captains of these vessels arrived in Pamlico Sound, and landed on an
island which they found rich in grapes and woods and abounding in deer
and other game. The explorers received kind treatment from the Indians,
two of whom accompanied the voyagers to England on their return. Queen
Elizabeth was so pleased with the good reports from the new country that
she called it Virginia in honor of herself--the Virgin Queen.

[Illustration: Queen Elizabeth.]

The next year, 1585, Raleigh sent out to Virginia seven vessels and one
hundred colonists, under his cousin, Sir Richard Grenville, and Ralph
Lane. They landed on Roanoke Island, and made a settlement there, but
the colony was not prosperous. At the outset, by unwise and cruel
treatment they made enemies of the natives. It is related that, an
Indian having stolen a silver cup from one of the colonists, the
Englishmen burned an entire village and ruined the corn belonging to its
people. Such punishment was out of all proportion to the petty offence.
It is not surprising, therefore, that from that time the settlers found
the Indians unfriendly.

Very soon Grenville sailed back to England, leaving the colony in charge
of Ralph Lane. The colonists instead of building houses and tilling the
soil to supply food, were bent upon finding gold. Hence they listened
with eager interest to a story that the Indians told of the Roanoke
River. According to this story, the river flowed out of a fountain in a
rock so near the ocean that in time of storm the waves dashed over into
the fountain. The river, the Indians said, flowed near rich mines of
gold and silver, in a country where there was a town with walls made of
pearls. Lane and his followers foolishly started up the river in a vain
search for this wonderful land. They encountered many difficulties,
including hostile attacks by Indians, and suffered so much from lack of
food that they had to eat the flesh of their own dogs.

But despite these hardships, they made their way back to Roanoke Island,
reaching it just in time to save the colony from destruction by the
Indians. A little later Sir Francis Drake, with a fleet of twenty-three
vessels, appeared off the coast. He had come on his way home from the
West Indies, where he had been plundering the Spanish settlements, and
cheerfully consented to take the destitute and homesick colonists back
to England. A few days after their departure Grenville arrived with
fresh supplies, and found the settlement deserted. Leaving a garrison of
fifteen men, with provisions for two years, to hold possession, he then
sailed back to England.

Although the settlement did not succeed, this effort to plant a colony
was not wholly fruitless, for the colonists took to England on their
return three products which gave to the people a somewhat different idea
of the real wealth of the new lands. These were not precious metals, but
products of the soil, namely, tobacco, the white potato, and Indian

[Illustration: Section where Raleigh's various colonies were located.]

The discovery of the tobacco plant introduced into England the custom of
smoking, and a curious story is told of it in connection with Sir Walter
Raleigh, who soon learned to smoke. One day his servant, who knew
nothing of the new custom, came into his master's room and found him
smoking from a silver pipe. Believing Raleigh was on fire, the faithful
servant hastily dashed a mug of ale at him to quench the flames and
rescue him from death.

The wealth that lay hidden in the soil was yet unknown, and no one felt
any enthusiasm over the new colony of Virginia. Most men would by this
time have lost hope. But Raleigh was not daunted. Two years later he
made a second attempt to plant a colony in the New World, this time
sending over three ships, with a hundred and fifty settlers, including
seventeen women. John White was appointed governor of the colony. These
settlers had the fore-thought to carry with them farming implements to
use in tilling the soil. When they landed on Roanoke Island they found
no trace of the fifteen men left there two years before by Sir Richard
Grenville. The new settlers had not been on the island long before they
were in need of help from England, and begged Governor White to return
home for provisions and more settlers. White at first refused to leave
them, but finally consented. A warm interest in the feeble settlement
and love for his little granddaughter, born soon after the settlers
arrived, persuaded him to yield. This little girl, the first white girl
born in America, was named after the new country, Virginia, her full
name being Virginia Dare.

[Illustration: Entrance to Raleigh's Cell in the Tower.]

When Governor White left the settlement he expected to return
immediately, but upon reaching England he found his countrymen greatly
excited over the coming invasion of the much-dreaded "Spanish Armada."
Everybody was astir, and Raleigh was aroused to his fullest energy in
preparation to meet the hated foe.

But, notwithstanding this, he found time to fit out two small vessels
for Governor White. Although they sailed, trouble with the Spaniards
compelled their return to England, and not until two years later, when
the Spanish Armada had been defeated, did Governor White sail again for
Virginia, this time as a passenger in a West Indiaman. He landed on
Roanoke Island as before, but there remained of the settlement only some
chests of books, some maps, and some firearms, all of which had been
ruined by the Indians.

Upon bidding Governor White farewell, the colonists had agreed to carve
on a tree the name of the place to which they would go if they should
decide to leave Roanoke Island. They were also to carve above the name a
cross if they were in serious trouble. Governor White found the word
CROATOAN cut in capital letters on a large tree, but he found no cross.
Before White could sail to Croatoan, which was an island not far away,
he had to return to England because the captain of the vessel, having
encountered stormy weather, refused to sail further. What became of the
lost colonists is still a mystery. It is possible that the Indians
either killed them or captured and enslaved them.

Raleigh sent out other expeditions in search of the lost colony, but
without success. He had already spent a sum equal to more than a million
dollars in trying to plant this colony, and now felt that he must give
up all hope of accomplishing his purpose.

[Illustration: Tower of London.]

But this was only one of his many disappointments. Because he was a
favorite of the queen and had been a successful man he had many enemies
who were jealous of his good fortune. Men of power envied him and tried
to weaken his influence and do him injury. As his failures increased,
his popularity diminished and he at length became bitter in spirit.

On the death of Queen Elizabeth, James I. became king and, not favoring
Raleigh, at length threw him into prison on a charge of treason. After
an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was
beheaded. Just as he was about to lay his head upon the block, he felt
the keen edge of the axe, saying, "This is a sharp medicine, but a sound
cure for all diseases." Although he failed to carry out the great desire
of his heart, Raleigh gave the English people some definite ideas in
regard to the value of the New World as a place for colonizing--ideas
which before many years found expression in the settlement of Jamestown.

[Illustration: An Indian Pipe.]




  1. Tell in your own language what was done by John Cabot and his

  2. Why did Raleigh when a boy hate Spain?

  3. Write an account of the failure of Raleigh's first and second
  colonies, and give their dates.

  4. What did Raleigh try to do? What did he succeed in doing?


John Smith and the Settlement of Jamestown


[Illustration: John Smith.]

About twenty years after the failure of Raleigh's attempt to plant a
settlement in America, another effort was made by a body of merchants
and wealthy men called the London Company. Their purpose was to discover
gold, of which Englishmen were then dreaming, just as the Spaniards had
dreamed years before when they sailed under the leadership of Columbus,
Pizarro, Cortez, and De Soto. As a beginning for the new colony, which
was destined to be the first permanent English settlement in America,
the London Company sent out one hundred and five men, who set sail from
London on New Year's day, 1607, in three frail vessels. They were not
sturdy, self-reliant men such as give strength to a new enterprise. On
the contrary, about half of them were "gentlemen," who felt themselves
above working with their hands. They were coming to America to pick up
a fortune, and then return to England to live at ease the rest of their
lives. As we shall see, such colonists were unfit for the rough and
rugged life which awaited them in the wild woods of a new country.

Instead of sailing straight across the Atlantic they took a very much
longer route, directing their course down the coast of France and Spain
to the Canaries and from these islands to the West Indies. Here they
stopped a long time. The result was that they were about four months on
the tiresome voyage, and had used up nearly all their provisions before
reaching their journey's end.

This was but a beginning of their troubles. Their purpose had been to
land on the deserted site of Raleigh's colony, Roanoke Island, but, a
violent storm having driven them out of their course, they entered
Chesapeake Bay, naming the headlands on either side Cape Charles and
Cape Henry, after the king's sons. Pushing on, they found a quiet harbor
which they fittingly called Point Comfort. After resting here they
sailed up the river and named it the James, after James I., King of

They were delighted with the country, for it was the month of May and
the banks of the river were luxuriant with beautiful trees, shrubbery,
and many-colored flowers. Fifty miles from the mouth of the James the
voyagers landed on a peninsula, which they chose as the place of
settlement because it was within easy reach of the sea.

At once they set to work building dwellings, and a fort in which to
defend themselves against unfriendly Indians. The dwellings at first
consisted of rude cabins roofed with sage or bark, tents made of old
sails, and holes dug in the ground. An old sail served for the roof of
their first church, and a plank nailed up between two trees for a

They did well to found their Church so early, for they soon had need of
its consolations. The intense heat of July and August and the sultry
atmosphere hanging over the swamps and marshes bred disease, and caused
many of the colonists to fall ill of fever. Sometimes three or four died
in a single night. To make matters worse, food was so scarce that each
settler's daily portion was reduced to a half-pint of mouldy wheat and
the same quantity of barley. And, as if these afflictions from climate,
scanty food, bad water, and loss of friends were not enough, the Indians
kept the wretched settlers in constant terror of their lives. Each man
had to take his turn "every third night" lying on the damp, bare ground
to watch against attack, although at times there were not five men
strong enough to carry guns. Their condition was indeed pitiable. Those
in health were not sufficient to nurse the sick, and during the summer
about half of the settlers died.

[Illustration: John Smith and the Indians.

When Smith fully grasped the situation he threatened the Indians with
death, and then finding himself surrounded by hundreds of hostile
warriors, he boldly seized Powhatan's brother by the scalp-lock, put a
pistol to his breast, and cried, "Corn, or your life!"]

All must have perished but for the bravery and strength of one man, John
Smith, who for several years kept the struggling colony alive by his
personal authority and wise treatment of the Indians. Born in England
in 1579, he was at the time of the settlement of Jamestown twenty-eight
years old. While but a boy he was left an orphan, and was early
apprenticed to a trade; but he had such a longing for adventure that he
soon ran away and went to the Continent to seek his fortune.

From that time his life, according to his own story, was full of
stirring incidents, only a few of which we can tell here. While
travelling through France he was robbed and left helpless in a forest on
the highway, where he would have died from exposure and lack of food but
for the kindly aid of a peasant who chanced to find and rescue him.
Going to Marseilles he took passage on a ship with some pilgrims bound
eastward on a journey to the Holy Land. During the voyage a severe storm
arose, which greatly alarmed the pilgrims, and, believing that in some
mysterious way their strange passenger was the cause of their
misfortune, they threw him overboard. Smith managed to save himself from
the sea, however, and a little later fought in a war against the Turks,
three of whose mighty warriors he slew in single combat. Afterward he
was captured and enslaved by the Turks, but he seemed to lead a charmed
life, and with his usual good-fortune again made his escape.

[Illustration: Chipped flint arrow heads.]

[Illustration: Stone Axe.]

[Illustration: Indian Weapons.]

In 1604 he returned to England, at the age of twenty-five, in time to
join the expedition to Virginia. With such a training as Smith had
received in his many strange adventures, he was well equipped for the
various difficulties that had to be met in the unsettled life of the new
colony in the forests of Virginia.

[Illustration: Ruins of Jamestown.]

When the cool weather of the autumn set in, the general health of all
improved and food became abundant, for the streams were alive with
swans, geese, ducks, and various kinds of fish, while game and garden
supplies were plentiful.

As soon as affairs were in a promising condition, Smith started one very
cold December day on a journey of exploration. He sailed up the
Chickahominy River in search of the South Sea, as the Pacific Ocean was
then called. This was generally believed to be just beyond the
mountains. When the stream had become too shallow for the barge, Smith
with his four companions, two men and two Indian guides, continued his
journey in a canoe. Landing near what is now called White Oak Swamp, he
left the white men in charge of the canoe, and with one Indian pushed
his way into the forest. Soon they were set upon by a band of two
hundred Indian warriors, but Smith so bravely defended himself that he
killed two of the warriors, and held out against the entire force until
he sank in the mire and had to surrender. Having tied their prisoner to
a tree, the Indians were about to shoot him with an arrow when he
aroused their curiosity by showing them his pocket-compass and by asking
that he might write a letter to his friends at Jamestown. Granting the
request, they delivered the letter and brought back the articles for
which it called. They were greatly amazed that the white man was able to
make paper talk, and, believing him to be a superior being, they spared
his life.

[Illustration: Jamestown and the Surrounding Country.]

Smith became much interested in the life of the Indians, and left an
account of their customs and habits. According to his description, some
of them lived in rude dwellings made of boughs of trees, some in huts,
and others in wigwams a hundred feet or so in length, which served for
a number of families. The warriors painted their bodies in many colors,
and decorated themselves with beads, feathers, shells, pieces of copper,
and rattles. What clothing they wore was made of skins, and their
weapons were bows and arrows and clubs.

The Indians had many kinds of horrible dances, in the course of which
they yelled and shrieked as if suffering the most painful torture. The
squaws carried the burdens, built the wigwams, and performed the various
necessary duties; and the men did the hunting, the fishing, the smoking,
and especially the fighting.

The Indians took Smith to many of their villages, leading him finally
into the presence of Powhatan, who lived in one of the long wigwams
mentioned above, on the north bank of the York River, about fifteen
miles from Jamestown.

The old chief was tall and stalwart, with a round fat face and thin gray
hair hanging down his back. Dressed in a robe of raccoon skins, he sat
before the fire on a sort of bench covered with mats, with a young
maiden sitting on each side; at his right and left stood the warriors,
and close to the wall on either side a row of squaws.

Presently one of the squaws brought to Smith some water in a wooden
bowl, and another a bunch of feathers upon which to wipe his hands. Then
followed a step in the proceedings that must have caused even a stout
heart to quake. Having placed two stones upon the ground, the grim
warriors seized Smith, laid his head upon the stones, and stood ready to
slay him with clubs. But just at that moment the chief's little
daughter, Pocahontas, about ten years old, fell upon Smith's body, threw
her arms around his neck, and begged her father to spare his life.
Powhatan's heart was so touched that he released Smith and allowed him
to return three days later to Jamestown.

[Illustration: Apache's War-club.]

In the summer of 1609 Smith started out on another expedition in search
of the Pacific. He sailed as before by way of Chesapeake Bay, exploring
far up the Potomac. It is needless to say that he did not reach the
Pacific, but he covered a distance of about three thousand miles, and
made a map of his explorations, which is considered remarkable for its

[Illustration: Sioux Indian Bow and Arrow with Stone Point.]

In the autumn Captain Newport came from England with orders from the
London Company to crown Powhatan. Along with the crown the company sent
gifts, consisting of a bed, a basin, a pitcher, and a scarlet robe.
Powhatan gave token of his appreciation of the gifts by sending in
return to King James a pair of his moccasins and one of his raccoon-skin
blankets, but refused to kneel in receiving the crown, so that Smith
and Newport had to lean on his shoulders to force him down.

[Illustration: Navajo Sling.]

The crowning of Powhatan was intended to win his favor, but the
compliment did not make the shrewd old chief altogether friendly to the
white strangers. For he noticed that their numbers were increasing, and
he feared that their coming might in the end bring harm to himself and
his people. He therefore planned to get rid of the Englishmen by
refusing them corn, and in the following winter declined to supply them,
asking in a hostile way when they were going home.

The settlers sadly missed his friendly aid, for the rats that had come
over in the vessels had played havoc with their provisions, and they
were greatly in need of corn, venison, and game, such as Powhatan had
furnished the previous year.

[Illustration: A Pappoose Case.]

But Smith, who knew so well how to manage the Indians, was equal to the
occasion. He used smooth words if they served his purpose; if not, he
used threats or even force. Bent upon gaining their good-will, or at
least determined to secure corn, Smith sailed down the James, around
Point Comfort, and up the York River with about forty men to Powhatan's
home. The old chief pretended to be friendly, but Smith learned from an
Indian informer that the wily savage was planning to murder him and his
men. Little Pocahontas, also, came to Smith in the darkness of night and
told him of the plot, thus proving herself, as on many other occasions,
to be a true friend to the white men. Indeed, it has been said that by
her timely aid the Jamestown settlement was saved from ruin.

When Smith fully grasped the situation he threatened the Indians with
death, and then, finding himself surrounded by hundreds of hostile
warriors, he boldly seized Powhatan's brother by the scalp-lock, put a
pistol to his breast, and cried, "Corn or your life!" The Indians, awed
by Smith's fearlessness, no longer held out, but brought him corn in

From the first Smith had been the natural leader of the colony, and in
time was made president of the council. He found the men of his own race
almost as difficult to manage as the Indians. They were so lazy that
Smith was obliged to make a law by which he declared, "He that will not
work shall not eat." The law proved to be a good one, and the idlers
were soon busy making glass, felling trees, and preparing tar, pitch,
and soap-ashes. But they hated rough labor, and were very apt to swear
when it hurt their hands. To put an end to the swearing, Smith required
each man to keep a record of his oaths, and for every offence ordered a
can of cold water poured down the sleeve of the uplifted right arm of
the culprit. By such discipline the settlement was soon put into
excellent working order.

If Smith could have remained at the head of the colony, everything might
have continued to go well. But one day, while out in a boat, he was
wounded so severely by the explosion of some gunpowder that he was
obliged to return to England for treatment. This accident happened in
October, 1609. Five years later he returned to Virginia and explored the
coast to the north, making a map of the region, and naming it New
England. He not only wrote an account of his own life, but also several
books on America. He died in 1632, at the age of fifty-three years.
Without his leadership, the weak and puny colony at Jamestown must have
perished before the end of its first year. But his resolution and
courage held it together until it received from England the help needed
to put it on a firm footing.




  1. Describe the Jamestown settlers. Can you form a mental picture
  of their first dwellings?

  2. Write an account of Smith's capture by the Indians and of his
  later experiences with them.

  3. What do you admire in Smith? In Pocahontas? What do you think
  of Powhatan?

  4. Trace on your map Smith's voyages and explorations.

  5. When was Jamestown settled?


Nathaniel Bacon and the Uprising of the People in Virginia in 1676


When Smith returned to England he left the colony without a leader. At
once the Indians, who had been held in check by fear of Smith, began to
rob and plunder the settlement, and at the same time famine and disease
aided in the work of destruction. Dogs, horses, and even rats and mice
were in demand for food, and while at its worst the famine compelled the
suffering colonists to feed upon the bodies of their own dead.

At the close of that terrible winter, known ever since as the "Starving
Time," barely sixty of the five hundred men whom Smith had left in the
colony survived. The future promised nothing, and the wretched remnant
of sufferers were about to leave Virginia for their fatherland when an
English vessel hove in sight on the James. Greatly to their relief and
joy Lord Delaware had arrived with a company of men and much-needed
supplies. This was in June, 1610.

[Illustration: Tobacco Plant.]

By reason of ill-health Lord Delaware soon returned to England, leaving
Sir Thomas Dale in control of the colony. He was even more firm and
vigorous than Smith had been in dealing with the worthless men who made
the greater part of the colony. Some of the most unruly were flogged,
some were branded with hot irons, and one man was sentenced to death by

Holding down the lawless by the arm of the law, Dale was also able to
introduce reform. Before he took charge of affairs in Virginia there was
a common storehouse from which everybody, whether idle or industrious,
could get food. When the good-for-nothing settlers found out that they
could thus live upon the products of others' labor, they would do
nothing themselves, but held back, throwing all the work upon thirty or
forty men. Dale, appreciating the evil of this system, gave to every man
his own plot of land. Out of what he raised each was obliged to put into
the common storehouse two and a half barrels of corn; the rest of his
crop he could call his own. By this plan the idlers had to work or
starve, and the thrifty were encouraged to work harder, because they
knew they would receive the benefit of their labor.

[Illustration: Loading Tobacco.]

Soon after the new system was put in practice the settlers discovered
that great profits resulted from raising tobacco. The soil and climate
of Virginia were especially favorable to its growth, and more money
could be made in this way than in any other. But since tobacco quickly
exhausted the soil, much new land was needed to take the place of the
old, and large plantations were necessary. Every planter tried to select
a plantation on one of the numerous rivers of Virginia, so that he could
easily take his tobacco down to the wharf, whence a vessel would carry
it to Europe.

For a long time the planters were very prosperous through their tobacco
culture, some even becoming wealthy. But a turn of fortune made things
bad for them. The Navigation Laws were passed, which required them to
send all their tobacco to England in English vessels. These laws also
required that the planters should buy from England all the European
goods that might be needed, and should bring them over to Virginia in
English vessels.

The effect was to compel the colonist to sell his tobacco at whatever
price English merchants were willing to pay, and to buy his goods at
whatever price the English merchant saw fit to charge. Moreover, England
laid heavy taxes on colonial trade, and when, after a while, the price
of tobacco fell, the planter received small return for his labor.

But these grievous trade regulations were not all that vexed the
colonist. He had troubles at home even more irritating than the
impositions of England. In 1660 Sir William Berkeley, a narrow-minded,
selfish man, became Governor of Virginia. This polished cavalier, fond
of the pleasures of the table and of good company, cared far more for
his seventy horses than for the plain people whose welfare was entrusted
to him. He cared so little indeed for the rights and wishes of the
people, that he refused, for sixteen years after he became governor, to
let a new assembly be elected. Having found in 1660 a set of pliant
followers, he kept them in office by adjourning the assembly from year
to year.

Although such conduct was hard to excuse, the people were forbearing
until a great evil fell upon the settlement. The Indians began to invade
the frontier, and used the firebrand, scalping-knife, and tomahawk with
such fearful effect that three hundred settlers were killed and their
homes burned. The people begged Governor Berkeley to send troops to
punish the Indians; but he refused because he was carrying on a
profitable trade in furs with the offenders. At length, five hundred
men, in a frenzy of rage at their wrongs, urged Nathaniel Bacon, a
wealthy, educated planter, to lead them against their red foes.

Bacon was at this time only twenty-eight years old. Tall and graceful in
person, this young man was also brave and generous. He had sympathy with
the plain people, over whom he exerted great influence, and when at
length the Indians killed an overseer and favorite servant on one of his
large plantations, he was willing to join with the people and be their
leader against the common foe. After trying in vain to get a commission
from Governor Berkeley, Bacon put himself at the head of five hundred
troops, and without a commission marched boldly against the Indians.
These he defeated with very little loss.

In the meantime, with a force of his own soldiers, Berkeley followed
after Bacon, whom he called a rebel and traitor. Before he could reach
the young leader, however, Berkeley had to return to Jamestown to put
down an uprising of the people. Nor did he succeed in restoring quiet
until he agreed to an election of a new assembly to which Bacon himself
was chosen a delegate.

On Bacon's return from his attack upon the Indians he became the idol of
the people. In their devotion to him and fear for his safety, thirty men
armed with guns accompanied him on his sloop down the James River as he
went to meet with the assembly at Jamestown. But this force was not
large enough to prevent Berkeley's followers from capturing Bacon and
taking him before the angry governor.

On the advice of a friend, Bacon agreed to apologize to the governor,
with the understanding, as seems probable, that the latter should grant
him the desired commission. But the trouble between the two men was by
no means settled. That very night Bacon's friends warned him of a plot
against his life. Under cover of darkness, therefore, he took horse, and
found safe shelter among his followers. But he speedily returned to
Jamestown at the head of five hundred troops, where he forced Berkeley
to grant him a commission, and compelled the legislature to pass laws
that were favorable to the interests of the people. Then hearing that
the Indians were again beginning to burn and murder on the border, he
marched against them.

While he was gone Berkeley called out the militia, with the intention of
overpowering Bacon upon his return, but on learning the governor's
purpose the troops refused to fight and went back to their homes. Sick
with the sense of failure, Governor Berkeley now sought a place of
safety across Chesapeake Bay in Accomac County.

[Illustration: The Burning of Jamestown.]

Bacon once more occupied Jamestown, but for a third time found it
necessary to march against the Indians. While he was gone Berkeley, who
had succeeded in raising a troop of one thousand men, came back and took
possession of the capital. Although Bacon's men were tired out with
fighting the Indians, they promptly gathered at his call, and attacked
Berkeley with such vigor that the poor governor was glad to escape again
to his retreat in Accomac County.

When Bacon got control of Jamestown, then a mere village of some sixteen
to eighteen houses, he burned it to prevent its falling into Berkeley's
hands. The people's leader had been successful, and had risked his life
and his fortune for the common rights. But the strain of the past four
or five months in the malarial swamps broke down his health, and after a
short illness, he died of fever at the home of a friend, in October,
1676. It is not known where he was buried. His friends were obliged to
hide his body, because they feared that, according to the custom of the
times, Berkeley might seize it and have it hanged.

With Bacon's death the rebellion lost its heart and soul. Berkeley
brutally punished Bacon's friends, some twenty of whom he put to death.
This displeased the English king, who summoned the governor to return to
England, where he soon afterward died a broken-hearted man.

Bacon's Rebellion, as this uprising of Virginians in 1676 has been
rightly called, although it seemed to fail, was not without large
influence for good. For it strengthened the liberty-loving spirit of the
people, and prepared them for that greater movement in behalf of their
rights that took place one hundred years later.




  1. What important thing was done by Sir Thomas Dale?

  2. What were the Navigation Laws, and how did they affect the

  3. Describe Berkeley. What do you admire in Bacon?

  4. Write a paragraph on each of the following topics: Bacon leads
  a force against the Indians; Bacon elected to the assembly; his
  capture and escape; he gets his commission; he attacks Berkeley
  at Jamestown.

  5. Review the following dates: 1492, 1541, and 1607. Add to these


Miles Standish and the Pilgrims


[Illustration: Miles Standish.]

Only thirteen years after Jamestown was settled, a colony of Englishmen,
very different in character from the gold hunters of Virginia, landed on
the Massachusetts coast. These men came not to seek fortunes but rather
to establish a community with high ideals of political and religious
life. With them they brought their wives and children, and a
determination to build for themselves permanent homes in the new world.
Before tracing their fortunes in America, let us glance backward a few
years and see them as they were in their English homes.

At the present time people can choose their own church and worship as
they please, but it was not always so, even in England. In that country,
during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, there was much religious
disturbance, and many people were punished because they would not
worship as the law required. There were Englishmen who, while loving
the English Church, wished to make its services more simple or, as they
said, purify its forms and ceremonies. These people were for this reason
called _Puritans_. Others disliked the ceremonial and doctrines of the
Church so much that they wished to form a separate body and worship
after their own ideas. These were called _Separatists_, or

The Separatists met for service on the Lord's Day in the home of William
Brewster, one of their chief men, in the little village of Scrooby. For
a year they tried to keep together and worship as an independent body.
But as the laws of England required that all should worship in the
Established Church, they found they could not do this without being
hunted down, thrown into prison, and sometimes beaten and even hanged.

They endured these persecutions as long as they could, and then some of
them decided to leave their own land and seek a home in Holland, where
they would be free to worship God as they pleased. James I, then King of
England, being unwilling that they should go, they had much difficulty
in carrying out their plan, but in 1608 they escaped and went to
Amsterdam. From Amsterdam they went to Leyden, and finally from Leyden
to America, by way of England. By reason of their wanderings they became
known later as Pilgrims.

Since they were poor people, the Pilgrims were obliged to accept any
work that would enable them to make a living. In Leyden many found
employment in the manufacture of woollen goods. Here they were
prosperous enough and enjoyed freedom of worship, but were unwilling to
remain with the Dutch, fearing that their children would forget English.
For, although England had been unkind to them, they cherished their
native language, customs, and habits of life.

They had heard much about the English colony in Virginia, and the
association of their own people in a free land appealed strongly to
their English hearts. To Virginia therefore they decided to go,
believing that there they could worship in peace and harmony and bring
up their children in sturdy English thought and feeling.

But it is often easier to plan than to accomplish, and so it was with
these home-yearning Pilgrims. Having decided to leave Holland, they
found practical difficulties to be overcome, the most serious of which
were King James's opposition to their going to America and lack of funds
for the long and expensive journey. He permitted them to sail, however,
and agreed not to disturb them in America so long as they pleased him.
After getting the king's consent and borrowing money on hard terms,
these earnest men and women made ready to sail for their new home in the
forest wilds of America.

They embarked in the Speedwell, at Delft Haven, a port twelve miles from
Leyden, and sailed for Southampton, on the south coast of England. Here
they joined some friends who had made ready another vessel, the now
historic Mayflower. But a brief delay was occasioned by lack of money.
In order to secure the necessary amount, about four hundred dollars, it
was necessary to sell some of their provisions, including much of the
butter. Funds being secured, the two vessels at last put to sea, but
twice returned on account of a leak in the Speedwell. Finally, deeming
that vessel unseaworthy, one hundred and two Pilgrims, including men,
women, children, and servants, took passage in the Mayflower, sailing
from Plymouth, September 16, 1620.

[Illustration: The Pilgrims in England and Holland.]

After a most trying and tempestuous voyage lasting over nine weeks, land
was sighted, November 19, 1620, but instead of arriving off the coast of
Virginia, as they had planned, the storm-beaten voyagers found
themselves in what is now the harbor of Provincetown. Before landing
they entered into a solemn agreement to make and obey such laws as
should be needful for the good of the colony. John Carver was chosen

Not being able on account of the shallow water to get the Mayflower to a
point where they could step ashore, the men had to carry the women in
their arms and wade several rods, though the weather was so cold that
their clothing, wet from the ocean spray, froze stiff. Once on land,
they fell upon their knees and thanked God for bringing them in safety
through the many furious storms. Then immediately the women set to work
lighting fires, boiling water, and washing clothing, while the men stood
on guard to repel the Indians in case they might make an attack.

It soon became clear that Cape Cod was an unfit place for a settlement,
and an exploring party, with Miles Standish as military leader, was
selected to look for a more suitable one.

As military leader Miles Standish at once became conspicuous in the life
of the colony. He was born in Lancashire, England, in 1584, of a noble
family, but was in some way deprived of his estates. Going to the
Continent he became a valiant and daring soldier in the Netherlands.
Feeling a deep interest in the cause of the Pilgrims, he joined them
when they sailed for America in the Mayflower, and made their fortunes
his own.

Small of stature, quick-witted, hot-tempered, and ready to brave any
danger, this stout-hearted man was a fitting leader for the little
Pilgrim army of something like a score of men who were obliged to defend
themselves and their families against wild beasts and unfriendly

Many of the Pilgrim soldiers wore armor to protect themselves against
Indian arrows. In some instances this armor consisted of a steel helmet
and iron breastplates, and in others of quilted coats of cotton wool.
Like Miles Standish, some of the soldiers had swords at their sides, and
all carried either flintlock or matchlock muskets so big and heavy that,
before they could fire them off, they had to rest them upon supports
stuck into the ground for the purpose.

Standish's daring little band of soldiers explored some of the coast on
the day the Mayflower anchored. The next Wednesday after landing they
started out a second time in search of a suitable place for settlement.
As they skirted the coast, landing here and there, they saw and heard
Indians, who fled at their approach.

Soon they came upon some mounds, out of which they dug bows and arrows
and other utensils. These, however, they replaced, because they believed
the mounds to be Indian graves. In a rude and deserted house they also
found an iron kettle. Digging into still another mound these
home-hunters were delighted to discover large baskets filled with ears
of Indian corn--red, white, and yellow. As they were sorely in need of
food after their long voyage, they took with them some of the corn, for
which they were careful to pay the Indians later.

An amusing incident occurred on this otherwise serious journey. Before
they got back to the Mayflower, William Bradford, who afterward became
the second governor of the Plymouth Colony, met with an accident that
must have caused even the stern Pilgrim soldiers to smile. Picking his
way through the underbrush of the wood he stepped unwittingly into a
deer-trap, and was suddenly jerked up into the air, where he dangled by
one leg until his friends released him, none the worse for the ludicrous

[Illustration: The Mayflower.]

After spending more than three weeks in vain efforts to find a place for
settlement, a party of ten picked men, including Governor Carver,
William Bradford, and Captain Miles Standish, set out on the afternoon
of December 16th, in the midst of a driving storm, for another search.
It was so cold that the spray, falling upon them, soon covered their
clothing with coats of ice, but the voyagers, though suffering terribly,
pushed courageously forward.

At the close of the next day, having anchored in a creek, they
constructed a barricade, not only as a protection from the bitter
weather, but as a means of defence against the Indians. This three-sided
barricade, made of boughs, stakes, and logs, was about as high as a man,
and was open on the leeward side. Within this shelter they lighted a big
fire, which they kept roaring all night long. Then lying down around it,
with their feet toward the burning logs, they wrapped their cloaks
closely about them and fell asleep beneath the trees and the open sky,
one man always keeping guard.

Next morning they were astir early, ready for the stubborn work of
another day. Some of them had carried their muskets down to the shore,
leaving them there to be put aboard the boat a little later, and were
returning to breakfast when the shout "Indians!" followed by a shower of
arrows, greeted them. The woods seemed full of red warriors, whose
blood-curdling war-whoops must have struck fear to the hearts of the
small band of explorers. However, the white men bravely stood their
ground, and with cool arm and steady hand so terrified the savages that
they soon took to their heels.

Once out to sea again the Pilgrims encountered a furious gale that
threatened to swamp their frail boat. All day long they were tossed
about on the storm-swept sea, and just before dark an immense wave
almost filled the boat and carried off the rudder. A little later a
fierce gust of wind broke the mast into three pieces. Then without mast
or rudder the dauntless men struggled at the oars until morning when
they reached land and found themselves on an island which they named
Clarke's Island, in honor of the Mayflower's mate.

[Illustration: The Pilgrim Settlement.]

Some further explorations revealed a suitable place for settlement. It
had a good harbor, a stream of excellent drinking water near by, and at
a little distance from the shore a stretch of high ground affording a
good location for a fort. In addition to these advantages there was a
large field of cleared land on which the Indians had raised corn. Much
cheered with their discovery the explorers returned with their report.

After as little delay as possible, the Pilgrims landed[5] on the spot
chosen for their new home,--the spot which John Smith had several years
before named Plymouth. At once they set to work with heroic energy, some
felling trees, some sawing, some splitting, and some carrying logs to
the places of building.

  [5] According to tradition, the Pilgrims, in landing, stepped on a
      small granite bowlder, since known as Plymouth Rock. The date of
      landing, December 21, is called Forefathers' Day.

They first erected a rude log-house, twenty feet square, which would
serve for a common storehouse, for shelter, and for other purposes, and
began the building of five separate private dwellings. They built also a
hospital and a meeting-house.

The houses were all alike in form and size. After cutting down trees and
sawing logs of suitable length, the men dragged them by hand along the
ground--for there were no horses or other beasts of burden--and laid
them one upon another, thus forming the walls. Probably the chimneys and
fireplaces were of stone, the crevices being plastered with mortar made
by mixing straw and mud, and oil paper taking the place of glass for
windows. At the best, these log-houses were poor makeshifts for
dwellings in the severe winter weather along the bleak New England

For furnishing these simple homes, the Pilgrims had brought over such
articles as large arm-chairs, wooden settles, high-posted beds,
truckle-beds for young children, and cradles for babies. Every home had
also its spinning-wheel. The cooking was done in a big fireplace. Here
the housewife baked bread in large ovens, roasted meat by putting it on
iron spits which they had to keep turning in order to cook all sides of
the roast alike, and boiled various kinds of food in large kettles hung
over the fire.

As there were no friction matches in those days, it was the custom to
kindle a fire by striking sparks with a flint and steel into dry
tinder-stuff. Having once started a fire,--which was no easy
matter,--they had to be very careful not to let it go out, and for that
reason covered the coals at bedtime with ashes.

In the place of candles or lamps, pitch-pine knots furnished light at
night. We can well imagine the Pilgrim boys and girls resting on the
settles in the evening, and reading by the blaze from the huge

In this first winter lack of good food and warm clothing, exposure to
the cold, and various kinds of hardship bred disease in the little
colony. At one time only seven men were well enough to take care of the
sick and suffering. One of these seven was the fearless soldier, Miles
Standish. He now became a tender nurse, and joined with William Bradford
and Elder Brewster in making fires, washing clothes, cooking food, and
in other plain household duties.

[Illustration: A Matchlock Gun.]

By spring about half of the colonists, including Governor Carver and
Rose Standish, wife of Captain Miles Standish, had died. Notwithstanding
all the sufferings, however, not one of the Pilgrims went back on the
Mayflower when she sailed for England. But so weak had the colony become
through loss of able-bodied men, that corn was planted on the graves to
keep the Indians from learning how many had died.

One day in early spring, the Pilgrims were startled by the sudden
appearance of an Indian, Samoset by name, who cried in English,
"Welcome, Englishmen." A week later he returned with a friend, named
Squanto,[6] who had formerly lived at Plymouth with other Indians, all
of whom had been swept away by a plague.

  [6] Squanto had been taken to England by some white men in 1614.

Squanto was glad to get back to his old home once more. He afterward
came to live with the Pilgrims, acting as their messenger and
interpreter and showing them how to hunt and how to catch fish. From him
they learned how to plant corn. Putting one or two herring as a
fertilizer in every hill, they would watch for a while to prevent the
wolves from digging up and eating the fish, and in due time would have
an abundant return.

[Illustration: A Group of Pilgrim Relics.]

About a week after Samoset's first appearance, he returned and announced
the approach of Massasoit, an Indian chief living at Mount Hope, some
forty miles southwest of Plymouth. Captain Miles Standish marched out
with his men to escort the Indian chief to meet Governor Carver in an
unfinished house. The Pilgrims had spread upon the floor a green mat,
which they covered with cushions for the chief and the governor. When
the chief, who was a man of fine presence and dignified bearing, was
seated upon the cushions, Governor Carver was escorted to the place of
meeting by the Pilgrim soldiers, amid the beating of drums and the
blowing of trumpets. After the governor had kissed the chief's hand, the
two men agreed to be friends and keep peace between the white men and
the red. The friendship thus romantically begun lasted for more than
fifty years. Before Massasoit's departure the Pilgrims gave him two
skins and a copper necklace.

As summer came on the condition of the Pilgrims improved. There was much
less sickness, and food was more easily obtained. On the arrival of
autumn the corn and barley planted by the Pilgrims yielded a good
return, and ducks, geese, wild turkeys, and deer could be secured by
hunting. When Massasoit with ninety men came to see the Pilgrims in the
autumn, the Indians brought some deer and the Pilgrims furnished food
from their supplies, so that a three days' feast was held. This was the
first celebration of the New England Thanksgiving.

But not all of the Indian neighbors were so friendly as Massasoit and
his tribe. Canonicus, chief of the Narragansetts, sent to Plymouth an
insolent greeting in the form of a number of arrows tied with a snake's
skin. The Pilgrims on their part stuffed the snake's skin full of powder
and bullets, and in defiance sent it back to Canonicus. So deeply
impressed were the Indians by this fearless act that they let the whites

Believing it wise to be prepared against Indian attacks, however, the
Pilgrims surrounded the settlement with palisades, and erected on
"Burial Hill" a building, on the flat roof of which cannon were placed,
the room downstairs serving as a meeting-house.

[Illustration: Pilgrims Returning from Church.]

Energetic in practical affairs, they were equally zealous in religious
observance; for they were very regular in their church attendance. Their
Sabbaths began with sundown on Saturday and lasted until sundown on
Sunday. The beating of a drum on Sunday morning was the signal for the
men to meet at the door of Captain Miles Standish's house, from which
they marched three abreast, followed by their governor in a long robe,
with the minister on his right and Miles Standish on his left.

After the men came the women, then the children, and last of all the
servants. On entering the church they sat in order of rank, the old men
in one part of the church, the young men in another, mothers with their
little children in a third, young women in a fourth, and the boys in a

The services lasted all the morning; then, after an intermission for
lunch at noon, they began again and continuing all the afternoon. But on
the coldest days of winter only foot-stoves were used to heat the
meeting-house. Nor was this the only discomfort the Pilgrims had in
their church worship. For even these good people found it sometimes hard
to remain awake during the long services. And it was the duty of the
constable to see that all kept their eyes open. If this official saw a
boy asleep he rapped him with the end of a wand; if he saw a woman
nodding he brushed her gently with a hare's foot, which was on the other
end of the wand.

The Pilgrims held their town meetings in the meeting-house, where they
held their religious services. At town meetings all the men wore their
hats. In voting they used corn and beans, a grain of corn meaning yes
and a bean meaning no.

Such was the life of the little company of true-hearted men and women at
Plymouth. Small in number as they were, they remained brave in spirit,
amid surroundings which tested all their powers of endurance. For
several years Miles Standish did valiant service there, and then went to
live at Duxbury, where he was soon joined by some of his Pilgrim
friends, among whom was John Alden. Here the good captain remained the
rest of his life, except when he was needed as military leader by the
colony. He died many years later,--in 1656,--leaving behind him a good
name with the Pilgrims and the rest of the world.

[Illustration: Brewster's and Standish's Swords.]




  1. What do you admire in the character of Miles Standish, and
  what did he do for the Pilgrims at Plymouth?

  2. Trace on the map the wanderings of the Pilgrims.

  3. Write an account of the "Dangerous Expedition" of the ten
  picked men who set out on December 16th, in search of a place for
  settlement. Picture to yourself the following: the party lying by
  the big fire under the trees with the barricade about them; the
  Pilgrims on their way to church; and Massasoit entertained by
  Governor Carver.

  4. Describe a Pilgrim dwelling and its furniture.

  5. Compare the Pilgrims with the Jamestown settlers.


Roger Williams and the Puritans


For years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth (1620) their
number grew so slowly that by 1630 the population was only three
hundred. After that year they began to increase more rapidly, by reason
of neighboring settlements made by the Puritans at various places on the
Massachusetts coast.

We have already seen that the Puritans in England were dissatisfied with
the English Church, and that they wished to purify some of its forms and
beliefs. But they did not succeed in their purpose because the Stuart
Kings of England, James I. and Charles I., bitterly opposed the Puritan
movement. For a long time the Puritans held their meetings secretly in
such out-of-the-way places as private houses and barns. At length,
encouraged by the success of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, they decided to
leave their homes in old England and try to form a new England across
the Atlantic.

These Puritans were not, like the Pilgrims, poor men of little
influence, for some of them had been educated at Oxford or Cambridge,
some were wealthy, and some were connected with distinguished families.
All were of sterling character, ready to undergo hardship for the sake
of their religion.

In 1628, therefore, some of the leading Puritans formed a trading
company and, having bought a tract of land in America from the Plymouth
Company, sent out settlers to occupy it. The first settlement was at
Salem with Endicott as leader. Two years later eleven vessels sailed
with nearly 1,000 Puritans, bringing with them horses, cattle, and
stores of various kinds. They located at Boston, Dorchester,
Charlestown, and other towns near Boston. John Winthrop, their leader,
was the first governor.

Each of these settlements constituted a township, which usually included
an area of from forty to sixty square miles. Within this tract settlers
lived in villages, in the centre of which stood their meeting-house,
used not only for a place of worship but for all kinds of public
meetings. Near the meeting-house stood the block-house. This was a rude,
strongly built structure, where the people of the village could take
refuge in case of attack from Indians.

Extending through each village was a long street, and on either side of
it stood the settlers' dwellings with their small farms stretching back
in the rear. These dwellings, which in early years were only log huts,
afterward gave place to high-roofed frame houses. All were simple,
solid, and neat.

[Illustration: Roger Williams on his Way to Visit the Chief of the
Narragansett Indians.]

Upon entering one of these early Puritan homes we should find two
principal rooms, the "best room" and the kitchen. In the kitchen the
thing of special interest to us would be the fireplace, large enough for
a back-log five or six feet long and two or three feet thick. In this
great fireplace a Puritan housewife could roast an entire sheep. As
stoves were unknown in these olden days, all cooking was done at this
open fire, and it was by such firesides that the Puritan boys and girls
used to spend the long winter evenings. While the logs blazed the mother
and daughters would knit, or spin, or quilt, and the father would read
his Bible or smoke his pipe. At this family hearth there was also much
good cheer in cider-drinking, nut-cracking, and story-telling,
especially when the family was fortunate enough to have a stranger
present as a guest. At such times the children were always good

[Illustration: Block House]

But much as it was prized, a visit from a stranger was a rare
occurrence, for as there were no carriages or public conveyances of any
kind, long journeys were seldom made. When travelling by land the
settlers sometimes went on foot and sometimes on horseback. In the
latter case the men sat in front and the women on a pillion behind. For
carrying supplies, sleds were used in winter and ox-carts in summer.

Since travel was so difficult, there was very little communication
between distant villages unless they happened to touch upon the sea. But
frequently this was not the case, for many of the settlements, following
the courses of rivers, extended inland rather than along the coast.

When a stranger did appear, however, he was always welcome, for he was
sure to bring some bit of news from the world outside. Perhaps, if he
had travelled through the woods, he might tell of some dangerous
adventure with wild beasts or Indians. If in midwinter he dared to make
the journey, he might tell how he spent a cold night in some deserted
wigwam, into which he had been driven by howling wolves. Such thrilling
chapters from the book of every-day life were of special interest to
people whose experience was very narrow and monotonous. For in those
days there were no newspapers and few books.

We should make a great mistake, however, were we to imagine that the
Puritans did not value books and reading. They appreciated reading and
education so much that every town was required to have a school. As a
consequence of this excellent system, there were very few people who
could not read and write.

[Illustration: Roger Williams's Meeting-House.]

The study of the Bible was an important feature in all this school
training, and absorbed much of the thought of the Puritan mind,
especially on the Sabbath. The Puritan Sabbath, which began at sunset on
Saturday and ended at sunset on Sunday, was largely given up to church
worship. All work and travel, not absolutely necessary, were suspended,
and no playing on a musical instrument was allowed. Two instances will
illustrate the severity of the Puritan ideas of Sabbath observation. The
first is that of two lovers, who were brought to trial because they
were seen sitting together on the Lord's Day under an apple-tree. The
second tells us of a Boston sea-captain who was put into the public
stocks for two hours because he kissed his wife on the Sabbath Day upon
the doorsteps of his house. He had just returned after a two years'
absence on a sea-voyage.

In all this strictness about Sabbath observance, the Puritans were
wholly sincere. To them purity of religion was the supreme interest of
life. They had left their old homes in England that they might worship
according to their own belief in a community under the control of
Puritan ideas.

But it was no easy matter for them to arrange the affairs of Church and
State just as they wished, even in this new Puritan commonwealth. For
they found some of the settlers unwilling to believe and act in
accordance with Puritan ideas of right and wrong.

One of these troublesome persons was a young man who came with his bride
to Salem in 1631. This young man was Roger Williams. He was born in
England in 1599. An Englishman of influence secured for the clever lad a
scholarship in the Charter-House school, from which young Roger later
went to Cambridge University. Having become a Puritan, Roger Williams,
like so many others of his faith, found it wise to leave England. He
came to America in order that he might escape religious persecution and
enjoy religious freedom.

On reaching New England he went to Salem, and was there appointed a
minister of the church. After a very short time he left Salem, and went
with his family to Plymouth. Remaining there for two years, he became
deeply interested in the Indians, and began the difficult task of
learning their language. He wrote afterward, "God was pleased to give me
a painful, patient spirit to lodge with them in their filthy, smoky
holes to gain their tongue."

In this way he acquired a good knowledge of the Indians, whom he learned
to love and who learned to love him. Little did he realize that this
warm friendship would in after years save not only his own life but also
the lives of many other Puritans.

[Illustration: A Puritan Fireplace.]

While winning the friendship of the Indians, Roger Williams incensed the
Puritans by saying in strong language that they had no just claim to the
lands they were living on. He said that the King had no right to grant
to any company these lands, because they had never belonged to him. The
Indians, and only the Indians, owned them. It is needless to say that
such arguments made many bitter enemies for the youthful preacher.

Of course he could not continue in this severe criticism of matters so
important to the Puritan heart without losing many of his friends. The
wrath of the Puritans at length became so great that they tried him in
court and banished him from Massachusetts. As he became ill about this
time, however, he was told that he might remain in the colony through
the winter if he would not preach. But as soon as he grew better his
friends, who were very fond of him, began to spend much time in talking
with him at his home in Salem, where he now lived. The Puritans, fearing
his influence, determined to send him at once to England.

[Illustration: The Rhode Island Settlement.]

When the heroic young minister heard of this, he hastily said good-by to
his wife and two children--one of whom was a little girl two years old
and the other a baby--and looked for safety in the home of his old
friend Massasoit, living near Mount Hope, seventy or eighty miles away.

The outlook was dreary enough. It was midwinter (January, 1636), and the
snow was lying deep upon the ground. As there was no road cut through
the forest, Roger Williams had to depend upon his compass for a guide.
To keep himself from freezing, he carried with him a hatchet to chop
kindling wood, and a flint and steel to kindle it into flame. Thus
fitted out, he started, though still weak from his recent illness, with
a staff in his hand and a pack on his back, to look for his dusky
friend, Massasoit. This long journey in the bitter weather of a New
England winter was indeed a trying experience to the lonely traveller.
He wrote long afterward, "Steering my course, in winter snow, I was
sorely tossed for one fourteen weeks in a bitter winter season, not
knowing what bed or bread did mean." Having found Massasoit, he spent
much of the winter in the wigwam kindly furnished him by the Indian

In the spring he began to erect buildings at Seekonk on land given him
by the Indians. But his friend, Governor Winthrop, having secretly sent
him word that Seekonk was in the territory belonging to the
Massachusetts colony, he decided to go elsewhere.

Accordingly, he and five of his friends rowed down the river and,
landing at a place pointed out by the Indians as having a spring of good
water, made a settlement, which they called Providence, in token of
God's watchful care over them. This was the beginning of Rhode Island, a
colony where all men, whatever their religious belief might be, were
welcome. Men who had been persecuted elsewhere on account of their
religion were glad to go to Rhode Island, where they were allowed to
worship as they pleased. And thus it soon grew to be a prosperous

Roger Williams was a man of pure and noble soul. He did not seem to bear
any grudge against the people of Massachusetts. For when, in 1637, the
Pequots tried to get the Narragansett Indians to join them in a general
uprising against the whites, and especially against those living in
Massachusetts, he did all he could to frustrate their plans. At this
time he set out one stormy day in his canoe to visit Canonicus, chief of
the Narragansetts, and succeeded, at the risk of his life, in preventing
the union of the two tribes against the whites.

He died in 1683 at the age of eighty-four years. Although his judgment
was not always wise, his motives were upright. In his struggle with the
Puritans he was ahead of his age, which was not yet ready for such
advanced ideas of religious toleration.




  1. Picture to yourself the New England village; also the big
  fire-place with the Puritan family gathered about the blazing
  fire at night.

  2. What do you admire in Roger Williams? How did he make many
  Puritan enemies?

  3. Write an account of his midwinter journey through the woods.

  4. Tell how he befriended the people of Massachusetts at the
  outbreak of the Pequot War.

  5. How did the people of Providence feel about religious freedom?


William Penn and the Settlement of Pennsylvania


[Illustration: William Penn.]

The Pilgrims and Puritans were not the only people who had to suffer
persecution in England because they did not believe in the doctrines and
forms of worship of the Established Church. Under the leadership of
George Fox there sprang up (about 1669) a peculiar religious sect called
by themselves Friends and by others Quakers. These people were severely
punished on account of their religious ideas.

The central doctrine of their creed was that they were in all things led
by the "inner light," as they called conscience, which revealed to them
the will of God. Believing that all men were equal before the law, the
Quaker always kept his hat on in public places as a sign of equality,
refusing to uncover even in the presence of royalty. Other peculiar
tenets of the Quakers were their unwillingness to take an oath in court;
to go to war; to pay taxes in support of war; the use of "thee" and
"thou" in addressing one another; and, as a protest against the rich and
elegant dress of their time, the wearing of plain clothes of sober

Their disdain of familiar customs made them appear very eccentric, and
their boldness of speech and action frequently brought upon them the
punishment of the law. But they were fearless in their defiance, and
even eager to suffer for the sake of their religious belief, some being
fined, some cast into prison, some whipped, and some put to death. Not
only in England, but in Massachusetts also, they were treated like
criminals. The Puritan fathers hated and feared them so much that they
banished Quakers from their colony, and even put some of them to death
on account of their views on religion and government. But, as always,
persecution only seemed to spread the faith, and soon this derided and
abused sect included eminent converts.

Among the most prominent was William Penn, who was born in London in
1644, the son of Sir William Penn, a wealthy admiral in the British
Navy. Conspicuous service to his country had won him great esteem at
Court, and he naturally desired to give his son the best possible

At the early age of sixteen, young William was sent to Oxford, where his
studious habits and fine scholarship soon distinguished him. He became
proficient in Greek and Latin, and learned to speak with ease the modern
languages, French, German, Italian, and Dutch. Devoting a part of his
time to athletics, he became a skilful oarsman and a leader in various
out-door sports.

While he was at Oxford, Penn heard Thomas Loe, a travelling Quaker,
preach. The new doctrines, as expounded by Loe, took so deep a hold upon
him, that he refused to attend the religious services of his college.[7]
For this irregularity he was fined, together with some of his companions
who were of the same mind. Disregarding the reproof, these conscientious
young men even refused to wear the required college gown, and committed
a yet graver offence against their college by tearing off the gowns from
some of their fellow-students.

  [7] Oxford University is composed of a number of colleges. The one
      Penn attended was Christ Church College.

By reason of these bold and unruly proceedings the college authorities
expelled Penn in disgrace. His father was very angry at what he deemed
his son's folly, and knowing that neither rebuke nor persuasion was
likely to swerve the young man from his purpose, Admiral Penn decided to
send William to Paris, with the hope that in the gay life of the French
capital he might forget his Quaker ideas.

Penn was now a strongly built young man of eighteen, with large eyes and
long dark hair falling in curls about his shoulders. For a brief time he
gave himself up to the fashionable social life of Paris. Later he
engaged in study at school for something like a year, and then spent
another year in travelling through France and Italy. When he returned to
England after two years' absence, he was a cultivated young gentleman,
very different from the sober youth who on leaving Oxford had been
called by his companions "a Quaker or some other melancholy thing."


The following year, however, Penn's gay spirits were disturbed by the
awful plague that fell upon London. The Admiral, noting the serious look
and manner of his son, again sent him from home--this time to
Ireland--for diversion. While Penn was in Ireland an insurrection broke
out, and he volunteered as a soldier. Military life evidently appealed
to him, for he caused a portrait of himself to be painted, in full

While still serving as a soldier, Penn learned that the Quaker, Thomas
Loe, was preaching near by, and went to hear him once more. The Quaker
ideas now took complete possession of him, and he embraced the new
religion with his whole heart. A little later, when he was arrested in a
Quaker meeting-house and thrown into prison, his father was indignant
because William had brought upon his family such humiliating disgrace.

After William's release from prison, however, the stern old Admiral in
his great love for his son said he would forgive his peculiar customs if
only he would remove his hat to his father, to the King, or to the Duke
of York. But on praying over the matter, Penn said he could not do it.
One day, on meeting the King, he had the boldness to stand with his hat
on in the royal presence. Instead of getting angry, the fun-loving King
Charles laughed and took off his own hat. "Why dost thou remove thy
hat, friend Charles?" said William Penn. "Because," answered the King,
"wherever I am it is customary for one to remain uncovered."

But the Admiral's patience was by this time exhausted. He drove his
wilful son from his presence, and told him to begone for all time.
Fortunately for William, his mother begged for him, and so did others
who recognized the earnest and sincere purpose of the young Quaker. His
father therefore forgave him once more, and allowed him to return home.

[Illustration: The Pennsylvania Settlement.]

From this time on William Penn used his influence--which was by no means
small--in behalf of the persecuted Quakers; but he had to suffer the
consequences of his own fearlessness. Many times was he thrown into
prison, there to remain, it might be, for months. Yet even in prison he
spent his time in writing books and pamphlets, explaining and defending
the Quaker religion. Indeed, his labors were unceasing, so firm was his
faith in Quaker ideas.

Soon his power for doing good was immensely increased. In 1670 his
father died and left him a princely fortune which, true to his generous
nature, he determined to use for the good of others, and especially for
the good of the despised and persecuted Quakers.

The Crown owed Penn's father about £16,000, which the King, with his
extravagant habits, was not likely to pay for many a day. William Penn,
therefore, decided to ask the King to pay the debt not in money but in
land. The good-natured Charles, thinking this was an easy way to cancel
the obligation, readily granted to William Penn an extensive tract of
land lying on the west side of the Delaware River.

[Illustration: Penn's Slate-roof House, Philadelphia.]

Penn wished his new possession to be called Sylvania, or Woodland, but
the King insisted upon calling it Pennsylvania, in honor of Penn's
father. Upon receiving his grant, Penn at once sent word to the Quakers
that in Pennsylvania they could find a home and a resting-place from
their troubles.

Penn's leading aim was to plant a self-governing colony, whose people
should have justice and religious freedom. Hundreds of Quakers eagerly
took advantage of the favorable opportunity which Penn thus offered to
them. During the year 1681, when the first settlement was planted in
Pennsylvania, something like 3,000 of them sailed for the Delaware
River. The next year Penn himself sailed for America, although he left
his wife and children behind.

He selected the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers as the
site for his city, and called it Philadelphia, or the City of Brotherly
Love, in token of the spirit which he hoped might prevail throughout his
colony. He laid out the city most carefully, giving the streets such
names as Pine, Cedar, Mulberry, Walnut, and Chestnut, after the trees he
found growing there.

When the first settlers came to Philadelphia, some of them lived in
caves which they dug in the high river-banks. The first houses, built of
logs, were very simple, containing only two rooms and having no floor
except the earth. Philadelphia grew so fast, however, that by 1684 it
had 357 houses, many of which were three stories high, with cellars and

[Illustration: A Belt of Wampum Given to Penn by the Indians.]

As we might expect from a man of his even temper and unselfish spirit,
Penn treated the Indians with kindness and justice, and won their
friendship from the first. Although he held the land by a grant from the
King of England, still he wished to satisfy the natives by paying them
for their claims to the land. Accordingly, he called a council under the
spreading branches of a now famous elm-tree, where he met the red men as
friends, giving them knives, kettles, axes, beads, and various other
things in exchange for the land. He declared that he was of the same
flesh and blood as they; and highly pleased, the Indians in return
declared that they would live in love with William Penn as long as the
sun and moon should shine.

Penn paid the Indians friendly visits, ate their roasted acorns and
hominy, and joined them in their sports. One day while they were leaping
and jumping in his presence, he suddenly "sprang up and beat them all."

Penn soon returned to England, but many years later (1699) he came back
to Pennsylvania with his wife and one daughter. As he was very wealthy,
he had two homes, one in the city and another in the country. His
country home, which was northeast of the city on the Delaware River,
cost him $35,000. In this house were elegant furnishings, and here, in
his large dining-hall, Penn lavishly entertained Englishmen, Swedes,
Indians, negroes, and passing strangers who called at his door. We are
told that his table was so bountiful that at one of his feasts the
guests ate a hundred roast turkeys. The grounds about his country home
were magnificent, containing various kinds of fruits and flowers, and in
his stables were many horses.

But notwithstanding these material blessings, Penn's life was not
without trials and disappointments, which it is needless to dwell upon.
Owing to his warm friendship for King James, he was suspected of
plotting in his favor after the King was forced to leave England in
1688. He was therefore more than once arrested, but in every case he
was set free for lack of evidence against him. Many years later, on his
refusal to pay a false claim made by his steward, he was thrown into
prison, where his health was broken by confinement. He died in 1718. His
life had been a hard struggle, but it had been successful, and had come
to an honorable close.




  1. Give some of the peculiar ideas of the Quakers.

  2. Why was Penn thrown into prison? In what ways did he give
  evidence of his stubbornness?

  3. Why did he wish to settle Pennsylvania? Imagine the scene when
  under the elm-tree Penn met the Indians and made a treaty with them.

  4. Tell something about his home life.

  5. What do you admire in Penn's character?

  6. When did the Quakers settle Pennsylvania?


Cavelier De La Salle and the French in the Mississippi Valley


[Illustration: Cavelier De La Salle.]

The same year in which William Penn laid out Philadelphia and there made
a treaty with the Indians, a noted Frenchman sailed down the Mississippi
River, exploring it in the interests of France. This man was Robert
Cavelier, Better known as La Salle, who, like many of his countrymen,
was trying, just as the Spaniards and Englishmen had tried, to find or
do something in America that would not only bring glory to his own name,
but also wealth and honor to his fatherland. We have now to consider the
work of the French in America.

In 1534 Cartier, a French explorer, discovered the St. Lawrence, and
sailed up the river as far as an Indian village on the present site of
Montreal. He took possession of Canada in the name of the French King,
and his favorable reports led to several unsuccessful attempts to plant
settlements there.

More than seventy years after the discovery of the St. Lawrence, another
French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, sailed up the noble river. Much
impressed with the great beauty of the St. Lawrence Valley and its
wealth of forests and furs, he longed to bring all this vast new country
under the control of France. In 1608 he planted the first permanent
French settlement in Canada, at Quebec, and the following year
discovered the lake which bears his name.

Although Champlain loved his country and desired to increase its glory
and power, he made an unfortunate blunder, which proved fatal to the
best interests of France in the New World. In planting the settlement at
Quebec, in 1608, he found that the neighboring tribes of Algonquin
Indians were bitter enemies of the Mohawks, one of the Five Nations, or
Iroquois, who lived in New York.

[Illustration: Long House of the Iroquois.]

The Algonquins begged him to join them in an attack upon the Mohawks,
and he unwisely consented. Having gone up Lake Champlain with a
canoe-party of sixty Indians, he landed near the site of Ticonderoga to
fight a battle with two hundred hardy Mohawk warriors. Champlain, clad
in light armor and gun in hand, advanced at the head of his war-party
and, shooting into the ranks of the astonished Mohawks, who stood in
battle array, brought to the earth two of their chiefs. The others fled
in terror and confusion, while their enemies, Champlain's dusky allies,
yelled with joy, and filled the woods with their terrible warwhoops.

From that day, however, the Iroquois were the bitter enemies of the
French, and this enmity seriously interfered with the successful
carrying out of French plans. Having control of the St. Lawrence River,
France greatly desired to get control of the Mississippi River as well.
Once securing possession of these two great streams, she would come into
possession of the wealth of the North American Continent.

But the Iroquois Indians were strongly posted in the Mohawk River
Valley, and thus held the key to the situation. In this way they blocked
the path of the French, who wished to reach the Ohio and the Mississippi
through Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. So the French were driven to seek a
route farther north, a route which was much longer and more difficult.
It would be well for you to trace on your map this roundabout way, which
extended up the Ottawa River into Georgian Bay, through Lake Huron and
Lake Michigan, across into the Illinois River, and through that into the

In the same year that Champlain made the Iroquois bitter enemies of the
French, Henry Hudson won their lasting friendship for the Dutch. About
the time the Frenchman was fighting in the battle against the Mohawks at
Ticonderoga, Hudson, with a crew of twenty men in the Half Moon, was
sailing up the river that now bears his name. Instead of finding the
short passage to the Pacific, for which he was searching in the
interests of the Dutch, he discovered the great water-way to the
interior. Having received just treatment from him, the Iroquois Indians
became his friends and the friends of the Dutch settlers and traders
that came later.

From that time, in fact, these Iroquois Indians were as ready to sell
their furs to the Dutch and to the English, who in 1664 took New York
away from the Dutch, as they were to oppose the French and compel them
to go many hundred miles out of their way in the tedious explorations in
search of the Mississippi.

This toilsome work of exploration was largely accomplished by the Jesuit
missionaries. Fearless in their heroic efforts to advance their faith,
they suffered all sorts of hardships, many being put to death, in their
earnest struggle to bring religious truth to the ignorant red men of the
woods. In their journeys through the forests and over the lakes, these
Jesuit Fathers made many valuable discoveries and explorations which
they carefully recorded in their journals.

It was one of these missionaries, Father Marquette, who succeeded in
reaching the waters of the Mississippi. Attended by Joliet and five
other Frenchmen, he went, in 1673, as far down the mighty river as the
mouth of the Arkansas. This was sixty-five years after Champlain made
his settlement at Quebec.

[Illustration: Map Showing Routes of Cartier, Champlain, and La Salle,
also French and English Possessions at the Time of the Last French

But the most important of all the French explorations were made by the
daring and tireless La Salle. He was born in France in 1643, and
belonged to an old and rich family. Strong in mind and character, he
received a good education, and became an earnest Catholic. With a heart
ready to brave any danger in the achievement of glory for himself and
for France, this young man at the age of twenty-three sailed for Canada.

His plans, as finally worked out, were twofold: (1) To build forts and
trading centres at various points along the St. Lawrence, the Great
Lakes, and the Mississippi; and (2) to plant a colony at the mouth of
the Mississippi. Wishing to get control of the rich fur trade for
France, his forts and his colony would help to protect and further this
trade, which could be carried on more easily by way of the Mississippi,
than by way of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence. For along the
latter route lay the hostile Iroquois, who were friendly to the Dutch
and the English; and, moreover, the St. Lawrence was ice-bound nearly
one-half of the year.

Early in August, 1679, after long and weary efforts spent in
preparation, La Salle launched on the Niagara River above the Falls, his
little vessel, the Griffin, of forty tons burden, which was to bear him
through the lakes on his way to the Mississippi.

Nearly a year before starting, La Salle had sent up the lakes fifteen
men to trade for furs. He expected them to have ready, against the time
of his arrival, a cargo of furs to be sent back to Canada. For La Salle
needed a great deal of money with which to buy provisions, ammunition,
and tools, and to pay his men for their services. Besides, he wished to
get cables, anchors, and rigging for a new vessel to be built on the
Illinois River, for the purpose of making his expedition to the mouth of
the Mississippi. The expected cargo of furs, taken back and sold in
Canada, would give him the money he needed to carry out his plans.

Having arrived at the head of Lake Huron, therefore, he collected the
cargo awaiting him, loaded the Griffin with furs, and on September 18,
1679, despatched it in charge of six men to Niagara. La Salle himself
pushed on to the mouth of the St. Joseph River, where he built a fort,
and waited long and anxiously for the Griffin's return. But he waited in
vain, for he never heard from his vessel again. It was a great loss and
a keen disappointment. After waiting long he continued his way, careworn
and weary, with eight canoes and a party of thirty-three men.

They rowed up the St. Joseph in search of the carrying-place leading to
the head-waters of the Illinois River. On landing, La Salle started off
alone to look for the pathway. In the midst of a blinding snow-storm he
lost his bearings in the dense forest, and wandered until about two
o'clock in the morning, when he found himself once more at the river,
and fired his gun as a signal to the party.

Then his eyes caught the welcome sight of a fire burning in the woods.
Believing he was near his friends, he quickened his steps, only to find
himself mistaken. Near the fire, under a tree, was a bed of dried grass
which was still warm, and showed plainly that a man had but a few
minutes before been lying there. Very likely the man was an Indian, who
had been frightened off by the sound of the gun. La Salle carefully
placed brush for a sort of barricade on each side of the newly found
bed, and then lay down by the blazing fire and slept till daybreak. He
did not find his friends until four o'clock next afternoon.

On rejoining his party they made their way down the Illinois River,
until their eyes fell upon some Indian wigwams on the forest-covered
bank. The Indians, being friendly, received the Frenchmen with generous
hospitality. They urged La Salle not to go down the Mississippi. They
indeed said so much of the danger of the journey that six of La Salle's
followers deserted, and another tried to poison him. These were sad days
for La Salle and, like all his days, were beset with troubles and
dangers. To protect himself from attack during the winter, he now
planned the building of a fort which he called Crèvecoeur, the French
word for heartbreak, surely a fitting name.

Up to this time the iron-willed La Salle had not given up hope of
hearing from the Griffin, but now he decided that his vessel was lost.
There was but one thing to do. He must make an overland journey to
Canada, 1,500 miles away, to get supplies for his expedition down the
Mississippi. It was a dangerous undertaking. But on March 1, 1680, with
an Indian hunter and four Frenchmen, the dauntless explorer started in
two canoes.

The season was the worst in the year for such a journey. The ground was
covered with melting snow, and the rivers in many places were frozen
with ice, too thick to be broken by the boats. Much of the time the
party had to pull the canoes on rough sleds overland or carry them on
their shoulders until, a few days after starting, they hid them in the
woods and pushed forward on foot to the head of Lake Michigan.

Reaching that point, it was now necessary for them to thread their
toilsome way through the deep forests of Southern Michigan to the head
of Lake Erie. For three days the undergrowth was so thick with thorns
that it tore their clothing into shreds, and scratched their faces until
they were covered with blood. Another three days were spent in wading,
sometimes up to their waists, in the mud and water of the flood-covered
marshes. At night they would take off their clothing and, covering their
bodies with blankets, lie down to sleep on some dry hillock. One frosty
night their clothes froze so stiff that in the morning they had to be
thawed by the fireside before they could be put on. Amid such exposure
some of the men fell sick, and thus delayed the party. But early in May,
at the end of sixty-five days, they reached Canada.

As soon as he could arrange his affairs in Canada, La Salle again
returned to the Illinois River and reached its mouth. But owing to fresh
disappointments, he had to make still another journey through the
wilderness to the base of his supplies on the St. Lawrence.

Not until February 6, 1682, two years and a half after he first started
out in the Griffin, and after three attempts to build a suitable vessel
for the journey, did he float out upon the waters of the Mississippi to
explore it; and at last he was obliged to make the journey in canoes.
This time his party included fifty-four people--eighteen Indian
warriors, ten squaws, three Indian children, and twenty-three Frenchmen.
On reaching the mouth of the river he planted a column bearing the arms
of France, and then, with imposing ceremonies, took possession of the
great Mississippi Valley in the name of the French King, Louis XIV.,
after whom he named the country Louisiana.

By building forts and trading centres along his route, La Salle had
carried out the first part of his plan. He now resolved to go to France
and get men for a colony which he wished to plant at the mouth of the
Mississippi, and thus carry out the second part.

Having succeeded in France in fitting out this colony, he sailed with
four vessels early in July, 1684, in search of the Mississippi River by
way of the Gulf of Mexico. With his usual bad fortune, however, he
missed its mouth and landed at Matagorda Bay, 400 miles to the west.
Then followed many disasters, among which were loss of vessels and
supplies, lack of food, sickness and death, and attacks by unfriendly
Indians. For two years the wretched little colony struggled for life. La
Salle was in sore distress. He knew he had many enemies among his men
who would gladly take his life, but he hoped for help from France. No
help came. It was plain to La Salle that he could save the suffering
colony only by making his way to Canada. He therefore started out on
January 12, 1687, with a party of seventeen men and five horses, on
another long and dangerous journey through the dense forests--this time
from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

[Illustration: The Murder of La Salle by his Followers.]

Travelling north, the party crossed the Brazos River and toiled onward
to the Trinity River. But La Salle's men were tired of travelling
through the forests, and some of them were thirsting for his blood. They
were waiting only for a suitable opportunity to carry out their
murderous purpose. On the morning of March 19th they lay in ambush, and
shot him dead as he approached, probably not far from the Trinity River.

La Salle's life was one of storm and peril; but he was as fearless as a
lion. Ambitious for himself and for his country, he had room for little
else in his life, His repeated failures brought criticism and lack of
confidence from men who had loaned him large sums of money, and these
criticisms hardened his spirit. Many enemies making him suspicious, he
seemed to lose sympathy with his men, and became harsh in his treatment
of them. But he did a great work for France, a work which entitles him
to be regarded as one of the most remarkable of all the explorers of




  1. What did Champlain accomplish? When? Why did the Iroquois
  become bitter enemies of the French and warm friends of the Dutch?

  2. What were La Salle's twofold plans? Trace his route through the
  lakes to the mouth of the Mississippi.

  3. Picture him lost in the forest, and spending the night alone.

  4. Describe his overland journey to Canada.

  5. How did his colony suffer? What do you admire in La Salle's

  6. What do the following dates mean: 1492, 1541, 1607, 1629, 1676,


George Washington, the Boy Surveyor and Young Soldier


[Illustration: George Washington.]

As a pioneer in leading the way along the Ohio and the Mississippi, La
Salle did much for France. He hoped to do far more. His cherished dream
was to build up in this vast and fertile territory an empire for France.
But the French King foolishly feared that planting colonies in America
would take too many of his subjects out of France, and refused to do
that which might have made his new possessions secure. The opportunity
thus neglected was seized fifty years later by the hardy English
settlers who pushed westward across the Alleghany Mountains. This
movement brought on a struggle between the two nations, a few events of
which are important to mention.

You will remember that two years after the coming of John Smith to
Jamestown, Champlain sailed up the St. Lawrence and settled Quebec for
the French. You will also recall that the French explorers, priests,
and traders had been gradually making their way into the heart of the
continent, by way of the Great Lakes, until at last La Salle glided down
to the mouth of the Mississippi, and took possession of the land in the
name of the French King. This was in 1681, the year the Quakers were
settling Pennsylvania and fifty-two years before the settlement of
Georgia, the youngest of the thirteen original colonies.

Just one year before this last settlement there was born in Westmoreland
County, Va., a boy who was to play a large part in the history not only
of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, but of the whole country. This boy
was George Washington. He was born on February 22, 1732, in an
old-fashioned Virginia farm-house, near the Potomac River, on what was
known as Bridge's Creek Plantation. The house had four rooms on the
ground floor, with an attic of long sloping roofs and an enormous brick
chimney at each end.

[Illustration: Washington's Birthplace.]

George's father was a wealthy planter, owning land in four counties,
more than 5,000 acres in all. Some of his lands were on the banks of the
Rappahannock River, near which he had money invested in iron-mines. To
this plantation the family removed when George was seven years old, the
new home being nearly opposite Fredericksburg, then a small village.

Here he was sent to a small school and taught by a man named Hobby, a
sexton of the church and tenant of George's father. It was a simple sort
of training the boy received from such a school-master. He learned a
little reading, a little writing, and a little ciphering, but that was
about all. Later in life he became a fairly good penman, writing a neat
round hand; but he never became a good speller.

When George was eleven years old his father died, leaving to him the
home where they lived on the Rappahannock, and to his brother Lawrence
the great plantation on the Potomac afterward called Mount Vernon.
Lawrence went to live at Mount Vernon, while George remained with his
mother at the house opposite Fredericksburg.

Now left without a father, George received his home training from his
mother. Fortunate, indeed, was he to have such a mother to teach him;
for she was kind, firm, and had a strong practical sense. She loved her
son, and he deeply appreciated her fond care of him. Some of George's
youthful letters to his mother are full of interest. After the manner of
the time he addressed her formally as "Honored Madam," and signed
himself "Your dutiful son."


Nor was his mother the only strong and wholesome influence over his home
life. His eldest brother, Lawrence, played an important part in shaping
his character. According to the custom of those days, Lawrence, as the
eldest son of a Virginia planter, would inherit the bulk of his father's
estate. He was therefore sent to an excellent school in England, to
receive the training which would fit him to be a gentleman and a leader
in social life. For learning was not held in such high esteem as ability
to look after the business of a large plantation and take a leading part
in the public life of the county and the colony.

With such a training Lawrence returned from England, a young man of
culture and fine manners and well fitted to be a man of affairs. From
this time on George, now only seven or eight years old, looked up to his
brother, fourteen years his senior, with cordial admiration. Lawrence
became George's model of manhood, and returned his younger brother's
devotion with a tender love.

Soon after the death of his father, the boy went to live with his
brother Augustine on the Bridge's Creek Plantation, in order to have the
advantages of a good school there. Many of his copy-books and books of
exercises, containing such legal forms as receipts, bills and deeds, as
well as pictures of birds and faces, have been preserved. In these books
there are, also, his rules of conduct, maxims which he kept before him
as aids to good behavior. The following are a few of them:

"Every action in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those

"When a man does all he can, though it succeeds not well, blame not him
that did it.

"Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your

"Speak not evil of the absent: for it is unjust.

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire
called conscience."

[Illustration: The English Colonies and the French Claims in 1754.]

In George's school-days he heard many stories about wars with the
Indians and about troubles between the English and the French colonies.
Moreover, his brother Lawrence had been a soldier in the West Indies in
a war between England and Spain, from which he had returned full of
enthusiasm about what he had felt and seen. It was at this time that
Lawrence changed the name of his plantation on the Potomac to Mount
Vernon, in honor of Admiral Vernon, under whose command he had fought.

Catching his brother's military spirit, George organized his boy friends
into little military companies, and, as their commander, drilled them,
paraded them, and led them in their sham battles in the school-yard.

Naturally the boys looked to him as leader, for he was strong in mind
and body, and fond of athletic sports. It is said that no boy of his age
was his match in running, leaping, wrestling, and pitching quoits. His
athletic skill expressed itself also in his fearless horsemanship. The
story is told that he once mounted a colt that had successfully resisted
all attempts to remain on his back. But George held on until the
spirited animal, in a frenzy of effort to throw off the persistent young
rider, reared, broke a blood-vessel, and fell dead. His keen enjoyment
of a spirited horse, and of hunting in the freedom of woods and fields
for such game as foxes, deer, and wild-cats, lasted to a late period of
his life.

George's good qualities were not confined to out-door sports requiring
skill and physical strength alone. He was a manly boy, stout-hearted and
truthful. All the boys trusted him because they knew he was fair-minded,
and often called upon him to settle their disputes.

But we must not think of him as a perfect boy, finding it easy always to
do the right thing. George Washington had his faults, as some of the
rest of us have. For instance, he had a quick temper which he found it
hard to control. In fact, he found this a harder thing to do than many
brave deeds for which he became famous in his manhood.

The humdrum quiet of a Virginia plantation did not satisfy this alert
boy longing for a life of action. He had heard from Lawrence about life
on a war-vessel, and had also seen, year after year, the annual return
to the plantation wharf of the vessel that carried a cargo of tobacco to
England and brought back in exchange such goods as the planter needed.

[Illustration: The French in the Ohio Valley.]

Eager for a change of surroundings, he made all his plans to go to sea.
The chest containing his clothing had been packed and sent down to the
wharf, but at the last moment he yielded to his mother's persuasion, and
gave up his cherished plan of becoming a sailor-boy. He was then
fourteen years old.

Returning to school, George continued to be careful and exact in all his
work, his motto being "Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing
well." He was also methodical, and herein lay one of the secrets of his
ability to accomplish so much when he came to manhood.

His love of out-door sport gave him a natural bent for surveying, to
the study of which he applied himself diligently. He soon became
proficient enough to command confidence in his ability as a trustworthy

In the autumn of his sixteenth year he went to live with his brother
Lawrence on the Mount Vernon plantation, where he spent much of his time
in surveying. Here he met a man who exerted a large influence on his
later life. This man was Lord Fairfax, a tall, courtly, white-haired
English gentleman of about sixty years of age, who was living at
Belvoir, a large plantation a few miles from Mount Vernon.

At this time George was a shy, awkward youth, somewhat overgrown for his
age, with long arms, and a tall, large frame. But in his serious face
there was a sign of quiet self-control and firm purpose.

The provincial youth of fifteen and the cultured English lord of sixty,
though so far apart in age and experience, soon became close friends.
They were much together. Sometimes they would spend the morning in
surveying, and start out in the afternoon on their horses for a gay time
in fox-hunting. They doubtless talked freely to each other, and as Lord
Fairfax had seen much of the best English life and had read some of the
best English books, he was an interesting companion to his earnest and
thoughtful young friend.

This warm friendship soon had a practical turn. Lord Fairfax owned an
immense tract of country in the Shenandoah Valley--by some said to be as
much as one-fifth of the present State of Virginia. Wishing to learn
more about it and observing George to be exceedingly careful and
accurate in his surveying, he decided to send him over the Blue Ridge
into the wild region to find out and report to him something about the
lands there.

He was to have only one companion, George William Fairfax, who was the
eldest son of Lord Fairfax's cousin, and was then about twenty-two years
old. About the middle of March, 1748, when George Washington was barely
sixteen years old, these two young fellows started out together on
horseback, to travel through the forest a distance of 100 miles before
they reached the Shenandoah Valley. They carried guns in their hands,
for until their return about a month later they would have to depend
mainly upon hunting for their supply of food. The account which George
himself has left enables us to picture them riding alone through the
forest with no road except perhaps, at times, a path made by Indians or
wild animals.

After reaching the wild country they had to live in the most primitive
fashion. For instance, Washington tells of a night in a woodman's cabin
when he had nothing but a mat of straw for his bed, with but a single
blanket for cover, and that alive with vermin. He wrote in his diary: "I
made a promise to sleep so no more, choosing rather to sleep in the open
air before the fire."

Again, in a letter to a friend, he says: "I have not slept above three
or four nights in a bed, but, after walking a good deal all day, I have
lain down before the fire upon a little hay, straw, fodder, or a
bear-skin, with man, wife and children, like dogs and cats; and happy is
he who gets the berth nearest the fire."

Sometimes they tried life in a tent. Once in a storm the tent was blown
over, and at another time the smoke from the fire drove the occupants
out of doors. One night, according to the same diary, "we camped in the
woods, and after we had pitched our tent, and made a large fire, we
pulled out our knapsacks to recruit ourselves. Every one was his own
cook. Our spits were forked sticks; our plates were large chips." As for
bread, most of the time, if not all, they had none, and they drank only
pure water from running streams.

On another occasion they fell in with a war-party of painted warriors
whom Washington and his friend Fairfax fearlessly joined, all gathering
about a huge fire built under the trees. As the great logs blazed in the
midst of the dark forest, the Indians joined in one of their wild, weird
dances. They leaped to and fro, whooped and shrieked like mad beings,
while one of their companions thumped upon a drum made by drawing a
deer-skin across a pot filled with water, and another rattled a gourd
containing shot and decorated with a horse's tail, "to make it look

It was a strange experience which these two youths had that month. But
Washington was well paid, earning from $7 to $21 a day. On the return of
the young surveyor to Mount Vernon his employer, Lord Fairfax, was so
much pleased with the report that he secured his appointment as public
surveyor. For the next three years George lived the life of a surveyor,
spending much of his time with Lord Fairfax at his wilderness home,
Greenway Court, not far from Winchester.

During this time George was gaining valuable knowledge of the forest,
and becoming so intimate with Indian life that, as people said, he came
to walk like an Indian. His life in the woods developed fearlessness,
patience, and self-reliance, qualities which, joined to his ability and
character, inspired men's confidence and established his leadership.
Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, appointed him an officer in the State
militia, with the rank of major. And as an officer, his influence
continued to increase.

Some two years afterward his brother Lawrence died and left the Mount
Vernon estate to his daughter, with George Washington as guardian. On
her death, a little later, Washington became owner of the immense
plantation at Mount Vernon, and hence a wealthy man.

Fortune had favored him, and he might have chosen to enter upon a life
of ease, but events soon occurred which called into action all his
heroic qualities. The strife between the English and the French for
control in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys was advancing rapidly toward

The French had long considered this territory their own. We recall that
La Salle had explored it, and attempted to plant colonies here. For
many years, French explorers, priests, and traders had toiled on,
patiently pushing their way through the forests, and planting stronghold
after stronghold. At length, pressing closer on the English border, they
began to build forts between Lake Erie and the head of the Ohio. For the
English also had their eyes on the fertile valley of the Ohio, and were
beginning to occupy it.

At once a company composed largely of Virginia planters was organized
for the purpose of making settlements in the Ohio Valley. Before they
could do much, however, the French had boldly advanced far into
territory claimed by England.

The people of Virginia in alarm, said, "This advance must stop. What can
be the plans of the French? How many are already in the forts lying
between Lake Erie and the Ohio River?" Governor Dinwiddie and other
Virginia gentlemen grew excited as they asked such questions. They
decided, therefore, to send out to the French commander in the fort near
Lake Erie, a trusty messenger who should ask by what right the French
were invading a country belonging to England. This messenger was also to
find out what he could about the forces of the French in that vicinity,
and about their plans. Moreover, he was to make a strong effort to win
over to the English the Indians, whose friendship the French were trying
to gain. As a suitable man for this dangerous enterprise, all eyes
turned to George Washington, still only twenty-one years of age.

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF BRADDOCK.]

The journey of 1,000 miles through trackless forests, in the bitter cold
of Winter, did not offer a cheerful outlook. But on October 30, 1753,
with seven companions, including an Indian and a French interpreter,
George Washington started from Williamsburg. Stopping at Fredericksburg
to bid good-by to his mother, he went on by way of Alexandria to
Winchester, the familiar spot where he had spent many happy days with
Lord Fairfax. Here he got horses and various supplies needed for his

From Winchester the little band of men moved forward to Will's Creek
(now Cumberland, Md.), and then plunged boldly into the forest. From
that time on, the difficulties of the journey were wellnigh
overwhelming; but by perseverance in climbing lofty mountains and in
swimming rivers swollen by heavy rains, the end of their journey was at
last reached.

On receiving an answer from the French commander, who promised nothing,
Washington started back home. The horses soon proved too weak to make
much headway through the dense forests and deep snow, and it seemed best
to push on without them. He also left behind him all of his party except
a trusty woodsman. Then putting on an Indian costume with a heavy cloak
drawn over it, he strapped upon his back the pack containing his papers
and, gun in hand, started off. A little later they were joined by an
Indian guide, who soon gave evidence of his treachery by suddenly
turning and discharging his gun at Washington.

Washington had another narrow escape from death. He had expected on
reaching the Alleghany River to cross on the ice, but to his dismay he
found the ice broken up and the stream filled with whirling blocks.
There was no way of getting over except on a raft which he and his
companion had to make with a single hatchet. Having at last finished it,
they pushed off, and then began a desperate struggle with the current
and, great blocks of floating ice. Washington, in trying to guide the
raft with a pole, was thrown violently into the water. By catching hold
of one of the raft logs he recovered himself, and by heroic effort
succeeded in reaching an island nearby. Here the travellers suffered
through a night of intense cold, not daring to kindle a fire for fear of
the Indians.

On January 16th they reached Williamsburg, where Washington delivered to
Governor Dinwiddie the unsatisfactory letter he had brought from the
French commander. Although the result of the expedition was not what the
Virginians had hoped for, Washington had so well succeeded in carrying
out his perilous mission that he was highly praised for his effort.

The defiant answer of the French commander made it seem probable to the
people of Virginia that war would follow. Therefore a company of men was
sent out to build a fort at the place where the Alleghany and
Monongahela rivers unite to form the Ohio. Washington's quick eye had
noted the importance of this site, afterward known as the "Gateway of
the West."

In the meantime Washington was drilling men for service, and in April he
set out with the rank of lieutenant-colonel with two companies for the
frontier. He had not gone very far when he learned that the French had
driven off with a large force the men who had been sent to the head of
the Ohio to build a fort; but he continued his march. When a little
later the approach of a small body of French was reported, the
Virginians surprised them, killing, wounding, or capturing all but one.
Colonel Washington was in the thickest of the fight, and wrote in a
letter, "I heard the bullets whistle and, believe me, there is something
charming in the sound."

After this fight, which began the war, Washington returned to Great
Meadows, and, learning that a large body of French were marching against
him, hastily threw up rough earthworks, which he called Fort Necessity.
When attacked soon after by two or three times his own number, the brave
young colonel did not shrink. For nine hours, in a heavy downpour of
rain, he and his sturdy followers stood up to their knees in mud and
water in the trenches. Being so greatly outnumbered, his troops were of
course defeated, but the House of Burgesses gave their commander a vote
of thanks in recognition of his bravery.

The war now began in bitter earnest, and England promptly sent over
troops, with General Braddock in command. When on reaching Virginia he
heard of Colonel Washington, Braddock appointed him a member of his
staff. Colonel Washington soon discovered that General Braddock was not
the man to handle an army in woodland warfare. He would gladly have
advised him, but the haughty British general would hear no suggestions
from a colonial officer.

With 2,000 soldiers, General Braddock marched against the French,
stationed at Fort Duquesne at the head of the Ohio. On the morning of
July 9th, when the army was only eight miles from the fort, it was
suddenly attacked by the French and Indians, who lay in ambush in the
thick forest. The English soldiers, standing in solid masses, were shot
down by squads, but the Virginians fought from behind trees in true
Indian fashion.

Braddock, who has been rightly called a gallant bull-dog, rode madly to
and fro, giving orders to his men, but in vain. He shortly fell from his
horse, with a mortal wound. The manly figure of Colonel Washington was a
conspicuous mark for the enemy's guns. Two horses fell under him; four
bullets tore through his clothing; but he escaped injury.

The result was a sore defeat for the English army. It lost 700 men out
of 2,000, and three-fourths of its officers. Nothing but retreat could
be thought of. The brave but narrow-minded Braddock had made an enormous
and expensive blunder.

After Braddock's defeat Washington was given command of the Virginia
troops. Later in the war he led an expedition against Fort Duquesne, as
Braddock had done. But on hearing of his approach the French fled. The
war having subsided in the Ohio Valley, Washington resigned his
commission, returned to Mount Vernon, and soon afterward married Mrs.
Martha Custis, a rich young widow.

We have seen him first as a robust lad, then as a fearless woodsman, and
later as a brave soldier. We will leave him for a while at Mount Vernon,
where in the refined society of old Virginia he came to be equally well
known as a high-bred gentleman.




  1. Write on the following topics, using a paragraph for each:
  George Washington's early home; his school-training; George and
  his mother; the boy soldier; the young athlete; the truthful boy.

  2. It would be well for you to commit to memory George's rules of

  3. Give an account of the young surveyor's life in the woods out
  in the Shenandoah Valley. Imagine the two young fellows riding
  alone through the forest, and the scene in the woods when the
  Indians danced by the huge fire.

  4. Trace on your map Washington's perilous journey to the French
  forts. What was the purpose of this journey? Travel in
  imagination with Washington on his return to Williamsburg, and
  tell, in the first person, some of your experiences.

  5. What do you think of General Braddock? In what way was he
  defeated? This was one of the battles of the Last French War.
  What caused this war?

  6. Find as many words as you can that describe George Washington.


James Wolfe, the Hero of Quebec


[Illustration: James Wolfe.]

We have just seen how the English and the French struggled to get
control of the Ohio Valley. But the fighting in the Last French War was
not confined to this region. Many of the battles were fought to secure
control of two waterways. One of these was the route to Canada,
including Lakes George and Champlain, and the other was the St. Lawrence
River. Indeed, the crowning feature of the Last French War was the
heroic effort made by a young English general to capture Quebec.

This young general was James Wolfe. He was born in the southeastern part
of England in 1727. From his father, who was an officer in the English
army, he inherited a love for the soldier's life. But in all the trials
and dangers to which he was exposed in his short and stormy career, he
continued to be a devoted son, his love for his mother being especially
tender and sincere. With her he kept up a regular correspondence, in
which he freely expressed his inmost thoughts and feelings.

When only sixteen years of age he was sent to Flanders as an adjutant in
a regiment of the English army. Here, by faithful and thorough work, he
won promotion and soon, through bravery and skill, received an
appointment as brigadier-general. At the age of thirty-two he was sent
to America to assist in an expedition to Louisburg, and played a large
part in the capture of that stronghold.

He presented an awkward figure. At that time he was tall and slender,
with long limbs, narrow shoulders, and red hair tied in a queue behind.
His face was plain, with receding chin and forehead, and up-turned nose.
But his keen, bright eyes, full of energy and fearlessness, gave him an
attractive countenance and revealed a heroic nature.

His health was never robust. As a child he was delicate, and as a youth
he had frequent attacks of illness. But his resolute will and his high
ideals enabled him to do what others of a different mould would never
have attempted. He was governed, too, by an overmastering sense of duty,
which was his most striking trait.

Although at times extremely impatient, his tenderness and frankness of
nature easily won enduring friendships. His soldiers loved him so dearly
that they were willing to follow him through any dangers to victory or

After the capture of Louisburg, Wolfe was so worn by the demands upon
his strength that he returned to England and went to Bath for treatment.
At this time he met Miss Katherine Lowther, to whom he soon became

[Illustration: Quebec and Surroundings.]

But he was not long to remain inactive, for his country needed him. The
great William Pitt, who had now become the head of affairs in England,
saw in this fearless young general a fitting leader for a dangerous and
difficult enterprise. This was an expedition against Quebec, the
strongest and most important position held by the French in America.

The French army at Quebec, commanded by General Montcalm, numbered more
than 16,000 men, consisting of Frenchmen, Canadians, and Indians. But
some were boys of fifteen, and others old men of eighty. Here they
awaited Wolfe, whose army numbered 9,000.

By June 21, 1759, Wolfe's fleet lay at anchor in the north channel of
the island of Orleans, not far below Quebec. Then began a time of trial
and discouragement to the young commander, who vainly looked for a point
from which he might hope to make a successful attack.

In the meantime his soldiers were suffering from intense heat and
drenching rains. Much sickness was the natural result. Wolfe, anxious
with doubt, himself fell a victim to a burning fever. But he would not
give up. He said to his physician, "I know perfectly well you cannot
cure me. But pray make me up so that I can be without pain for a few
days, and able to do my duty. That is all I want." Although racked with
pain, he went from tent to tent among his men, trying to encourage them.

During several weeks there was fighting now and then in the neighborhood
of Quebec. On July 31st Wolfe's troops made a determined attack upon the
French on the heights just north of the Montmorency River. The English
advanced, in the face of a heavy, blinding rain, with great heroism, but
were forced to retire without having gained a foothold.

[Illustration: General Montcalm.]

Thus the summer wore on near to its close. In desperation, Wolfe decided
upon a bold move. He determined to sail up the river, land above Quebec,
scale the steep and rugged cliffs there, and compel the French to fight
a battle or surrender the city.

The most serious difficulty was to find a way to scale the cliffs. At
last one day came a glimmer of hope. For looking through a telescope
from the south side of the river, the resolute young commander
discovered a narrow path leading up the frowning heights not far from
the town. "Here," he quickly decided, "I will land my men."

Promptly, eagerly, he began to lay his plans. On the morning of
September 7th, in order to conceal from Montcalm their real purpose, the
British, in gay red uniforms, embarked and sailed up and down the St.
Lawrence, as if looking for a landing-place. On September 12th, the
fatal time set for decisive action, some of the English vessels, with a
large body of troops on board, hovered about the shore below Quebec, as
if to force a landing there. Montcalm was completely deceived. The ruse
had succeeded.

Meanwhile the main body of English troops, which was to make ready a
landing, was quietly anchored in the river above Quebec. Twenty-four
brave men volunteered as leaders to scale the cliffs. These men took
their places in the foremost boat.

At two o'clock in the morning Wolfe gave the order to advance. It was a
starlit night, but as there was no moon, it was dark enough to conceal
the movements of the English. For two hours the long procession of boats
filled with soldiers floated silently down the river. The brave young
Wolfe, calm and masterful, was in one of the foremost boats. Fully
expecting to be killed in the coming battle, he had, earlier in the
evening, given to an old school-friend the portrait of his betrothed,
Miss Lowther, which he had long worn about his neck. He said to his
friend, "Give this to Miss Lowther, if I am killed."

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF WOLFE.]

We can imagine the strain upon Wolfe's feelings during the two hours in
which the boats floated downstream. Perhaps it was to relieve this
strain that he repeated in a quiet voice Gray's "Elegy in a Country
Churchyard." He seemed to dwell with peculiar feeling upon the last line
in the following stanza:

  The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
  Await alike the inevitable hour,
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

On coming to the end of the poem, he said, "Gentlemen, I would rather
have written those lines than take Quebec."

When they had almost reached their landing-place they heard a sudden
call from a French sentry, "_Qui vive!_" "_France_," replied one of
Wolfe's officers, who spoke French. "_A quel régiment?_" "_De la
Reine_," was the reply, and thinking the boats were under the control of
Frenchmen carrying provisions to Montcalm, the sentry let them pass.
Later when challenged by another sentry, the same English officer said
in French: "Provision-boats. Don't make a noise--the English will hear

At length they came to the spot since called Wolfe's Cove, and there
landed. The twenty-four volunteers clambered up the path in the darkness
and, reaching the top, surprised the small number of Frenchmen stationed
there, and quickly overpowered them. It was with much difficulty that
Wolfe's army succeeded, by seizing hold of trees and bushes, in getting
to the top with muskets, cannons, and supplies.

At daybreak, Wolfe chose as the field of battle the Plains of Abraham,
a high stretch of land extending along the river just above the town.

The brave Montcalm, in doubt and perplexity, had spent a sleepless night
pacing to and fro. When told of the landing of the English troops he
rode up from his camp to see what was going on. Amazed at the "silent
wall of red" presented by the English army drawn up in battle array, he
said, "This is a serious business."

Wolfe, anxious but calm, rode to and fro, inspiring his soldiers with
confidence. "Victory or death" was their watchword, for in case of
failure retreat was impossible.

By ten o'clock the French were in line of battle, ready for the onset.
With loud shouts, they rushed upon the English. But the latter, waiting
quietly until the enemy was only forty paces away, met them with a
withering fire that strewed the ground with dead and dying men. While
the French were wavering, the English fired another deadly volley, and
then with victorious shouts rushed headlong upon the confused ranks.

The fighting was stubborn and furious, and Wolfe was in the thickest of
the fray. While he was leading a charge, a bullet tore through his
wrist. Quickly wrapping his handkerchief about the wound, he dashed
forward until he was for the third time struck by a bullet, this time
receiving a mortal wound. Four of his men bore him in their arms to the
rear, and wished to send for a surgeon; but Wolfe said, "There's no
need; it's all over with me." A little later, hearing someone cry "They
run; see how they run!" he asked, "Who runs?" "The enemy, sir. Egad,
they give way everywhere!" Then said Wolfe in his last moments, "Now,
God be praised. I will die in peace."

Montcalm, too, died like a hero. Shot through the body, he was supported
on either side as he passed through the town; but when he heard cries of
distress and pity from his friends and followers, he said, "It's
nothing, it's nothing; don't be troubled for me, good friends." Being
told that he could not live many hours, he exclaimed, "Thank God, I
shall not live to see Quebec surrendered." A few days later Quebec came
into the hands of the English. Its fall meant the loss to France of all
her possessions in North America except two small islands for
fishing-stations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The treaty of peace at the end of the war, called the Last French
War,[8] was signed at Paris in 1763. By this treaty France ceded to
Spain all the territory between the Mississippi River and the Rocky
Mountains; also the town of New Orleans, controlling the navigation of
the Mississippi. To England she gave Canada and all the territory east
of the Mississippi. Thus by a single final blow did Wolfe so weaken the
hold of the French upon North America, as to compel them to give up
practically all they had there.

  [8] This war has sometimes been called the Old French War, and
      sometimes the French and Indian War.




  1. How did Wolfe look, and what were his most striking personal

  2. What were his trials and difficulties at Quebec?

  3. Picture his army floating down the river on the way to the
  battle-field; also the soldiers climbing the steep heights.

  4. Describe the battle, going in imagination with Wolfe at the
  head of his men.

  5. Why was the capture of Quebec by the English so important?

  6. Are you forming the habit of looking up on your map all the
  places mentioned in the text? If you wish to become strong in
  history, such a habit will be invaluable.

  7. Remember that the Last French War began in 1756 and ended in


Patrick Henry and the Stamp Act


[Illustration: Patrick Henry.]

With the fall of Quebec, France lost her hold of nearly all the
territory in North America that she had acquired through the energy and
heroism of her explorers. England profited by this loss, but England
herself had soon to meet with a misfortune far heavier--the loss of all
her colonies east of the Alleghanies and along the Atlantic coast. Very
soon after the close of the Last French War, she began, under the lead
of the dull-witted King George, to treat them with so much injustice and
oppression that in self-defence they were driven to take up arms for the
security of their rights as a free-born people. The result was the
American Revolution, which began in 1775 and ended in 1783. How this
Revolution came to be, is one of the most interesting chapters in our
history. Let us now trace the course of events leading to its outbreak.

After the close of the Last French War, England was heavily in debt. As
this debt had been incurred largely in defence of the English colonies
in America, George III., King of England, believed that the colonies
should help to carry the burden. Moreover, as he intended to send them a
standing army for their protection, he deemed it wise to levy upon them
a tax for its support.

Parliament, therefore, which was composed largely of the King's friends,
ready to do his bidding, passed a law called the Stamp Act. This
required the colonists to use stamps upon their newspapers and upon
legal documents, the price of stamps ranging from a half-penny to twelve
pounds. The King thought this tax would be just because it would fall
upon all the colonists alike.

But the colonists were of a different mind; for England had not fought
the Last French War so much to defend them as to protect her own trade.
Besides, they had already paid a reasonable share of the war expenses,
and had furnished a fair proportion of soldiers for battle. They had
always given their share toward the expenses of their defence, and were
still willing to do so. If the King would ask them for a definite sum,
they would raise it through their Colonial Assemblies. But they strongly
objected to any English tax.

These Colonial Assemblies were composed of men who represented the
colonists and made laws for the colonists. Therefore the colonists were
willing to pay any taxes levied by the Assemblies. As free-born
Englishmen they objected to paying taxes levied by Parliament, which did
not represent them. Parliament might levy taxes upon the people of
England, whom it did represent. But only the Colonial Assemblies could
tax the colonists, because they alone represented the colonists. In
other words, as James Otis in a stirring speech had declared, there must
be "No taxation without representation."

George III. could not understand the feelings of the colonists, and he
had no sympathy with their views. His mother had said to him when he was
crowned, "George, be King," and this advice had pleased him. For he was
wilful, and desired to have his own way as a ruler. Thus far he had
shown little respect for the British Parliament, and he felt even less
for Colonial Assemblies. Certainly if he was to rule in his own way in
England, he must compel the obedience of the stubborn colonists in
America. The standing army which the King wished to send to America was
designed not so much to protect the colonies as to enforce the will of
the King, and this the colonists knew. They therefore opposed with
bitter indignation the payment of taxes levied for the army's support.

Patrick Henry was one of many who were willing to risk everything in
their earnest struggle against the tyrannical schemes of King George.
Patrick Henry was born in 1736 in Hanover County, Va. His father was a
lawyer of much intelligence, and his mother belonged to a fine old
Welsh family. As a boy, Patrick's advantages at school were meagre, and
even these he did not appreciate. Books were far less attractive to him
than his gun and fishing-rod. With these he delighted to wander through
the woods searching for game, or to sit on the bank of some stream
fishing by the hour. When out-door sports failed, he found delight at
home in his violin.

[Illustration: George III.]

When he was fifteen years old, his father put him into a country store,
where he remained a year. He then began business for himself, but he
gave so little attention to it that he soon failed. He next tried
farming, and afterward storekeeping again, but without success.

At length he decided to practise law, and after six months' study
applied for admission to the bar. Although he had much difficulty in
passing the examination, he had at last found a vocation which suited
him. He did well in his law practice; but we must pass over this part of
his life in order that we may go with him to Williamsburg. He went there
in 1765, soon after the passage of the Stamp Act by the English
Parliament, to attend the session of the Virginia House of Burgesses, of
which he had been elected a member.

We get a vivid picture of our hero at this period of his career as he
rides on horseback toward Williamsburg, carrying his papers in his
saddle-bags. John Esten Cooke says of him: "He was at this time just
twenty-nine, tall in figure, but stooping, with a grim expression, small
blue eyes which had a peculiar twinkle, and wore a brown wig without
powder, a 'peach-blossom coat,' leather knee-breeches, and yarn

There was great excitement in Williamsburg, and it was a time of grave
doubt. What should be done about the Stamp Act? Should the people of
Virginia tamely submit to it and say nothing? Should they urge
Parliament to repeal it? or should they cry out against it in open

Most of the members were wealthy planters, men of dignity and influence.
These men spoke of England as the "Mother" of the colonies, and were so
loyal in their attachment that the idea of war was hateful to them.
Certainly, the thought of separation from England they could not
entertain for a moment.

But Patrick Henry was eager for prompt and decisive action. Having
hastily written, on a blank leaf taken from a law-book, a series of
resolutions, he rose and offered them to the assembly. One of these
resolutions declared that the General Assembly of the colony had the
sole right and power of laying taxes in the colony.

A hot debate followed, in the course of which Patrick Henry, ablaze with
indignation, arose and addressed the body. His speech closed with these
thrilling words: "Cæsar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell,
and George the Third--" "Treason! Treason!" shouted voices from the
stormy assembly. Pausing a moment in a fearless attitude, the young
orator calmly added, "may profit from their example. If this be treason
make the most of it." The resolutions were passed.

It was a great triumph for the young orator, who now became the "idol of
the people." As he was going out of the door at the close of the
session, one of the plain people gave him a slap on the shoulder,
saying, "Stick to us, old fellow, or we are gone!"

The note of defiance sounded by Patrick Henry at this time vibrated
throughout America, and encouraged the colonists to unite against the
oppressive taxation imposed upon them through the influence of the
stubborn and misguided King George.

But the English people as a whole did not support the King. Many of
them, among whom were some of England's wisest statesmen, believed he
was making a great mistake in trying to tax the Americans without their
consent. Said William Pitt, in a stirring speech in the House of
Commons: "Sir, I rejoice that America has resisted. Three millions[9] of
people so dead to all the feelings of liberty as voluntarily to submit
to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of all the

  [9] This number is too large. Two millions is nearer the truth.

In the ten years following the passage of the Stamp Act, events in
America moved rapidly. Some of these we shall learn more about a little
later. It is sufficient here to say that the colonial merchants refused
to import goods so long as the Stamp Act was in effect; that their
action caused the merchants, manufacturers, and ship-owners in England
to lose money heavily; that these merchants and ship-owners at once
begged Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act; and that Parliament did
repeal it one year after its passage.

[Illustration: St. John's Church, Richmond.]

Ten years after Patrick Henry's eloquent speech at Williamsburg against
the Stamp Act, the people of Virginia were again deeply aroused; for
King George, acting through Parliament, had sent 3,000 soldiers to
Boston to force her unruly people and those of Massachusetts to obey
certain of his commands. Virginia having given her hearty support to the
people of Massachusetts, the royal Governor of Virginia drove the
Colonial Assembly away from Williamsburg. But the people of Virginia,
resolute in defence of their rights, elected a convention of their
leading men, who met at old St. John's Church in Richmond, a church
which is yet standing. Excitement was widespread, and thoughtful men
grew serious at the war-cloud growing blacker every hour.

Virginians had already begun to make preparations to fight if they must.
But many still hoped that the disagreements between the Americans and
King George might be settled, and therefore believed that they should
act with great caution. Patrick Henry thought differently. He was
persuaded that the time had come when talk should give place to prompt,
energetic, decisive action. The war was at hand. It could not be
avoided. The Americans must fight, or tamely submit to be slaves.

Believing these things with all the intensity of his nature, he offered
a resolution that Virginia should at once prepare to defend herself.
Many of the leading men stoutly opposed this resolution as rash and

At length Patrick Henry arose, his face pale and his voice trembling
with deep emotion. Soon his stooping figure became erect. His eyes
flashed fire. His voice rang out like a trumpet. As he continued, men
leaned forward in breathless interest, thrilled by his magical words:

"We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and
to the God of Hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we
are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall
we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be
when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be
stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and
inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying
supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until
our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if
we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed
in our power.... There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our
chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!
The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry peace,
peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale
that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of
resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we
here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life
so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains
and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may
take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

This wonderful speech made a deep impression not only in Virginia but
throughout the colonies. The next month the war began at Lexington and
Concord. A little later Patrick Henry was made commander-in-chief of the
Virginia forces, and later still was elected Governor of Virginia.

At the age of fifty-eight he retired to an estate in Charlotte County,
called "Red Hill," where he lived a simple and beautiful life. He died
in 1799. His influence in arousing the people of Virginia and of the
other colonies to a sense of their rights as freemen cannot easily be
measured. Without doubt his impassioned oratory played a most important
part in shaping the course of events which resulted in the Revolutionary




  1. What was the Stamp Act and what was its purpose? Why did the
  colonists object to it?

  2. Describe George the Third. What did his mother mean when she
  said to him, "George, be King"?

  3. What was his personal appearance when he went to Williamsburg
  to attend the session of the House of Burgesses?

  4. How did William Pitt feel about American taxation?

  5. Can you form a mental picture of Patrick Henry as he made his
  great speech in St. John's Church? Do you not think it would be
  profitable for you to memorize this speech? At any rate, you
  might well learn to read it so as to bring out its meaning.


Samuel Adams and the Boston Tea Party


[Illustration: Samuel Adams.]

We have just seen how the people of Virginia, under the leadership of
Patrick Henry, arose against King George's pet measure, the Stamp Act.
But the Virginians were not alone in the feeling of opposition to the
English King. Just as brave and liberty-loving were the Massachusetts
people, with Samuel Adams as their leader.

He was born in Boston in 1722. His father was a well-to-do man, who
filled a large place in the community. Of Samuel Adams's boyhood we know
little, but as far as we can learn he was a studious, in-door sort of
lad, with little fondness for sport of any kind. His father wished him
to be a clergyman, but he preferred to study law. Since, however, his
mother did not approve, he gave that up for a business life, eventually
joining his father in the malt business.

When the excitement over the Stamp Act began, Samuel Adams was
forty-two years old. He was of medium size, with gray hair and keen gray
eyes. Although his hands were tremulous, as if with age, his health was
vigorous. Like Patrick Henry, he had but little aptitude for business.
So we need not be surprised to learn that in time he lost about all the
property his father had left him.

In fact, Samuel Adams soon gave up all kinds of private business,
devoting his time and strength to public life. As a result he and his
family had to live on the very small salary which he received as clerk
of the Assembly of Massachusetts. Poor as he was, however, no man could
be more upright. The British tried to buy him, but found him the very
soul of honor. In what way he gave expression to his interest in the
public welfare can be briefly told.

As we have already seen, King George, much against his will, had to
submit to the repeal of the Stamp Act by Parliament. But he was not
satisfied. He could never carry out his selfish scheme of personal
government in England and in America if he allowed the stubborn
colonists to have their way in this matter.

In 1767, therefore, through his tool, Townshend, Parliament levied new
port duties on a few articles, including glass, lead, paper, and tea.
These new taxes were hateful to the colonists because they were levied
by Parliament, and because the money thus raised was to be used to their
disadvantage in various ways: For example, some of it was to pay for
maintaining in America a small English army. This army, the colonists
believed, the King would use to compel them to do as he willed.

The opposition to the new taxes was just as bitter as it had been
against the Stamp Act. Samuel Adams felt that only slaves would submit
to such high-handed oppression. He urged the people of Boston and
Massachusetts to join in refusing to import any goods from England as
long as the new taxes were imposed by Parliament. They did so agree, and
thus inflicted great injury upon English merchants, as they had done two
or three years before.

Of course these merchants suffered heavy losses, and again begged for a
repeal. But the dull-witted King could not understand the Americans.
Thus far he had not been able to coerce them; he now made a shrewd
attempt to outwit them.

Influenced by him, Parliament took off all the new taxes except the one
on tea. "There must be one tax to keep the right to tax," he said. If he
could only succeed in getting the Americans to submit to paying any
tax--no matter how small--that Parliament might levy, he would carry his
point. He therefore urged not only the removal of all taxes except the
one on tea, but also made arrangements whereby Americans could buy their
taxed tea cheaper than it could be bought in England and cheaper even
than they could smuggle it from Holland, as they had been doing. No
doubt the King had great faith in this foolish scheme. "Of course," he
argued, "the Americans will buy their tea where they can buy it
cheapest, and then we will have them in a trap." But this was a huge
blunder, as we shall now see.

The East India Company arranged to ship cargoes of tea to Boston, New
York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. When the tea arrived, the people in
New York and Philadelphia refused to let it land, and in Charleston they
stored it in damp cellars, where it spoiled. But in Boston, where the
Tory Governor, Hutchinson, was determined to fight a hard battle for the
King, there was a most exciting time. The result was the famous "Boston
Tea Party."

It was a quiet Sunday morning, on the 28th of November, 1773, when the
Darmouth, one of the three tea-ships on the way to Boston, sailed into
the harbor.[10] The people were attending service in the various
churches. "The Darmouth is in!" spread like wildfire, and soon the
streets were astir with people, Sunday though it was, in old Puritan

  [10] The other two ships arrived a few days later.

Fearing that the tea might be landed, the committee of correspondence
quickly got together and secured a promise from Benjamin Rotch, the
owner of the Darmouth, that the tea should not be landed before Tuesday.
On Monday morning an immense town meeting was held in Faneuil Hall, the
"Cradle of Liberty." Five thousand men were present. But Faneuil Hall
proving too small, the crowd had to make its way to the Old South
Church. In addressing the meeting Samuel Adams asked, "Is it the firm
resolution of this body that the tea shall not only he sent back, but
that no duty shall be paid thereon?" With a great shout the men answered

Samuel Adams and the people of Boston and the surrounding towns were
determined that the tea should not be landed. Governor Hutchinson was
equally determined that it should be. The advantage was with the
Governor, for according to law the vessels could not return to England
with the tea unless they got a clearance from the collector of customs
or a pass from himself.

[Illustration: Faneuil Hall, Boston.]

But neither the collector of customs nor Governor Hutchinson would yield
an inch. For nineteen days the struggle continued, growing daily more
bitter. With a stubborn purpose to prevent the landing of the tea even
if they had to fight, the Boston people appointed men, armed with
muskets and bayonets, some to watch the tea-ships by day and some by
night. Six couriers were to be ready to mount their horses, which they
kept saddled and bridled, and speed into the country to give the alarm
to the people. Sentinels were stationed in the church-belfries to ring
the bells, and beacon-fires were ready to be lighted on the surrounding

The morning of December 16th had come. If the tea should remain in the
harbor until the morrow--the twentieth day--the revenue officer would be
empowered by law to land it by force. Men, talking angrily and shaking
their fists with excitement, were thronging into the streets of Boston
from surrounding towns. By ten o'clock over 7,000 had assembled in the
Old South Church and in the streets outside.

They were waiting for the coming of Benjamin Rotch, who had gone to see
if the collector would give him a clearance. Rotch came in and told the
angry crowd that the collector refused to give the clearance. The people
told him that he must get a pass from the Governor. Fearing for his
personal safety, the poor man started out to find Governor Hutchinson
who had purposely retired to his country home at Milton. Then the
meeting adjourned for the morning.

[Illustration: The Old South Church, Boston.]

At three o'clock a great throng of eager men again crowded into the Old
South Church and the streets outside to wait for the return of Rotch. It
was a critical moment. "If the Governor refuses to give the pass, shall
the revenue officer be allowed to seize the tea and land it to-morrow
morning?" Many anxious faces showed that men were asking themselves this
momentous question.

But while, in deep suspense, the meeting waited and deliberated, John
Rowe said, "Who knows how tea will mingle with salt water?" A whirlwind
of applause swept through the assembly and the masses outside the
church. As daylight deepened into darkness, candles were lighted.
Shortly after six Benjamin Rotch entered the church and, with pale face,
said, "The Governor refuses to give a pass." An angry murmur arose, but
the crowd soon became silent, when Samuel Adams arose and said, "This
meeting can do nothing more to save the country."

This was plainly a concerted signal. In an instant a war-whoop sounded,
and forty or fifty "Mohawks," or men dressed as Indians, who were
waiting outside, dashed past the door and down Milk Street toward
Griffin's Wharf, where the tea-ships were lying at anchor. It was bright
moonlight, and everything could be plainly seen. Many men stood on shore
and watched the "Mohawks" as they broke open 342 chests, and poured the
tea into the harbor. There was no confusion. All was done in perfect

The "Boston Tea Party," of which Samuel Adams was the prime mover, was a
long step toward the Revolution. Samuel Adams was at this time almost or
quite alone in his desire for Independence, and he has well been called
the "Father of the Revolution." But his influence for the good of
America continued far beyond the time of the "Boston Tea Party." Up to
the last his patriotism was earnest and sincere. He died in 1803, at the
age of eighty-one years. Not as an orator, like Patrick Henry, but as a
man of action, like Lincoln and Washington, had he a powerful influence
over men. His was truly a life of distinguished service to his country.

[Illustration: The "Boston Tea Party."]




  1. What were King George's new taxes? What was their three-fold

  2. Why were all the taxes repealed except the one on tea? In what
  way did the King try to entrap the Americans?

  3. Tell about the bitter struggle over landing the tea.

  4. Can you form mental pictures of the following: The throng of
  excited men in and about the Old South Church, awaiting the
  return of Benjamin Rotch; and the party of "Mohawks" on their way
  down Milk Street to the harbor?

  5. What was the great work of Samuel Adams? What do you admire in
  his character? Compare him with Patrick Henry. Have you definite
  pictures of the personal appearance of these men?


Paul Revere and the Battle of Concord and Lexington


[Illustration: Paul Revere.]

After the "Boston Tea Party," affairs became more serious than ever in
Massachusetts. As a punishment to the rebellious colonists for daring to
oppose their royal master, the English authorities closed the port of
Boston to all trade, and made General Gage military governor of

One of the first acts of the new Governor was to dismiss the Colonial
Assembly, thus depriving the people of their right to make laws, and
subjecting them wholly to the will of the King. The colonists felt this
to be an outrage upon free government, and immediately organized a new
governing body which they called a Provincial Congress. With John
Hancock as its president and Samuel Adams as its leading spirit, this
congress began at once to make rapid preparations for war. It called for
an army of 20,000 men who were to be ready, at a minute's notice, to
march to any point of danger. These first soldiers of the Revolution,
thus hastily mustered, were called "minute-men."

Meanwhile General Gage, who was in command of 3,000 British troops in
Boston, had received orders from England to seize John Hancock and
Samuel Adams as traitors. General Gage knew that Hancock and Adams were
staying for a while with a friend in Lexington. He had learned also
through his spies that the minute-men had collected some cannon and
military stores in Concord, eighteen miles from Boston. The British
General planned, therefore, to send a body of troops to arrest the two
leaders at Lexington, and then to push on and destroy the stores at

Although he acted with the greatest secrecy, he was not alert enough to
keep his plans from the watchful minute-men. Gage's failure was brought
about by one of these minute-men, Paul Revere, whose famous "midnight
ride" was one of the exciting episodes of the Revolution.

Paul Revere was born in Boston, in 1735, in what is now called the north
end of the town. He followed his father's trade, and became a goldsmith.
To this occupation he added copper-plate engraving, and not only
produced prints of many current events, but engraved plates for money
issued by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts.

He had taken an active part in the "Boston Tea Party," and in 1774, with
about thirty other young patriots, formed a society to spy out the
British plans. Always on the watch, these young men at once made known
any suspicious movement to such leaders as Samuel Adams, John Hancock,
and Dr. Joseph Warren.

On the evening of April 18, 1775, Revere and his friends reported to Dr.
Warren certain unusual movements of troops and boats, and their belief
that General Gage was about to carry out his plan of capturing Adams and
Hancock and of destroying the military stores at Concord.

[Illustration: Paul Revere's Ride.]

Dr. Warren quickly summoned William Dawes and Paul Revere, and
despatched them on horseback to Lexington and Concord, to give the
alarm. He sent them by different routes, hoping that one at least might
escape capture by British patrols, with whom Gage had carefully guarded
all the roads leading from Boston.

Dawes was soon making his way across Boston Neck, while Paul Revere went
home and put on his riding suit for his long night-ride. Then, leaving
orders for a lantern-signal to be hung in the belfry of the Old North
Church, to indicate by which route the British forces were advancing,
"one if by land and two if by sea," he rowed across the Charles River,
passing near the British war-vessels lying at anchor.

On the opposite bank he soon got ready a fleet horse. There he stood,
bridle in hand, watching to catch sight of the signal lights. At eleven
o'clock two lights gleamed out from the belfry, and told him that the
British troops were crossing the Charles River on their march through

Leaping into his saddle he sped like the wind toward Lexington. Suddenly
two British officers sprang out to capture him; but quickly turning his
horse, he dashed into a side path, and soon outdistanced his pursuers.
Ten minutes later he arrived at Medford.

Then at every house along the road, he stopped and shouted, "Up and arm!
Up and arm! The regulars are out! The regulars are out!"

When he reached Lexington it was just midnight. Eight minute-men,
guarding the house where Adams and Hancock were sleeping, warned him not
to disturb the household by making so much noise. "Noise!" cried Paul
Revere. "You'll have noise enough before long. The regulars are out!"

[Illustration: The Old North Church.]

William Dawes soon joined Paul Revere, and after a few minutes spent in
taking refreshments they rode off together toward Concord accompanied by
Dr. Prescott. About half way there they met some mounted British
officers, who called to them to halt. Prescott managed to escape by
making his horse leap a stone wall, and rode in hot haste toward
Concord, which he reached in safety; but Paul Revere and William Dawes
both fell into the hands of the British.

In the meantime, the British troops, numbering 800 men, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, were on their way to Lexington. But they had
not gone far before they were made aware, by the ringing of
church-bells, the firing of signal guns, the beating of drums, and the
gleaming of beacon-fires from the surrounding hilltops, that the
minute-men knew of their movements. Colonel Smith, disturbed by these
signs of threatening storm, sent Major Pitcairn ahead with a picked body
of light infantry, in the hope that they might reach Lexington before
the town could be aroused. He then sent back to Boston for

The British commander had reason to be disturbed, for the alarm-signals
were calling to arms thousands of patriots ready to die for their
rights. Hastily wakened from sleep, men snatched their old muskets from
over the door and, bidding a hurried good-by to wife and children,
started for the meeting-places long since agreed upon.

Just as the sun was rising, Major Pitcairn marched into Lexington, where
he found forty or fifty minute-men ready to dispute his advance.
"Disperse, ye rebels: disperse!" he cried. But they would not disperse.
Pitcairn ordered his men to fire, and eighteen of the minute-men fell
dead or wounded, before the remainder sullenly retired to wait for a
hand in the struggle later in the day.

Before the arrival of Pitcairn the British officers who had captured
Revere and Dawes returned with them to Lexington, where, commanding
Revere to dismount, they let him go. Running off at full speed to the
house where Samuel Adams and John Hancock were staying, he recounted
what had happened, and then guided them across the fields to a place of
safety at Woburn. On their way they heard the guns firing on Lexington
Common, and the sound stirred the soul of Adams, who exclaimed with
enthusiasm, "Oh, what a glorious morning is this!"

[Illustration: Stone in Front of the Harrington House, Lexington,
Marking the Line of the Minute-Men.]

From Lexington, Colonel Smith hastened to Concord, arriving there at
seven o'clock in the morning, about six hours after Dr. Prescott had
given the alarm. The British could not find the military stores, most of
which the people of Concord had hidden, but they cut down the liberty
pole, set fire to the court-house, spiked a few cannon, and emptied some
barrels of flour.

About 200 of them stood guard at the North Bridge, while a body of
minute-men gathered on a hill beyond. When the minute-men had increased
to 400 they advanced upon the British, and brought on a fight which
resulted in loss of life on each side. Then continuing their advance
they crossed the bridge, and forced the British to withdraw into the

By noon Colonel Smith could see that by reason of the ever-increasing
body of minute-men, swarming into Concord from every direction, it would
be unwise to delay his return to Boston. His men had marched eighteen
miles with little or no food for fourteen hours, and were tired and

But when the British started back on their return march, the minute-men
followed and began a deadly attack. It was an irregular fight. The
minute-men, trained to woodland warfare, slipped from tree to tree, shot
down the tired British soldiers, and then retreated only to return and
repeat the annoying attack. The wooded country through which they
marched favored this kind of fighting.

But even in the open country every stone wall and hill, every house and
barn, seemed to the exhausted British troops to bristle with the guns of
minute-men. The retreating army pushed wearily forward, fighting as
bravely as possible, but on the verge of confusion and panic.

When they reached Lexington Common, at two o'clock, they met 1,200 fresh
troops under Lord Percy, whose timely arrival saved the entire force
from capture. The dismayed British troops, half-dead with exhaustion,
entered the square Lord Percy had formed for their protection, and fell
upon the ground, "with their tongues hanging out of their mouths like
those of dogs after a chase."


After resting for an hour, the British again took up their march to
Boston. The minute-men, increasing in numbers every moment, kept up the
same kind of running attack that they had made upon the British between
Concord and Lexington. A British officer, in speaking of the minute-men,
said, "they seemed to have dropped from the clouds." The condition of
the British soldiers was pitiable until, late in the day, they got under
the protection of the guns of the war-vessels in Boston Harbor.

The British had failed. They had been driven back, almost in a panic, to
Boston, with a loss of nearly 300 men. The Americans had not lost 100.
It was a great day for the patriots, for they had not only defeated the
regular troops, but they had tested their own strength and given fresh
inspiration to their cause. Farmers, mechanics, men in all walks of
life, now flocked to the army. Within a few days the Americans, 16,000
strong, were surrounding the British in Boston.

The Americans, eager to drive them out of Boston, threw up breastworks
on Bunker Hill, which overlooked the town. But the next day--June
17th--after they had twice driven the redcoats down the hill--they had
to retreat because their powder had given out. This was the battle of
Bunker Hill, in which the British lost in killed and wounded 1,000 men;
the Americans, 450.

Although Paul Revere took part in no important battle, he was active in
the patriot cause, and became lieutenant-colonel of a Boston regiment of
artillery. After the war he returned to his old business, and
established a foundry in which church-bells and bronze cannon were cast.
He died in Boston in 1818, eighty-three years of age, held in high
esteem by his countrymen.




  1. What were Gage's secret plans, and how did Paul Revere and his
  band of patriots try to thwart them?

  2. Draw a map, locating Boston, Medford, Lexington, and Concord.

  3. Impersonating Paul Revere, write an account of the famous
  "midnight ride."

  4. Imagine yourself as a boy living in Concord at the time of the
  battle, and tell your experiences.

  5. Describe the retreat of the British.

  6. When did this battle take place?


Benjamin Franklin and Aid from France


[Illustration: Benjamin Franklin.]

American independence, the beginnings of which we have just been
considering, was accomplished after a long struggle. Many brave men
fought on the battle-field, and many who never shouldered a musket or
drew a sword exerted a powerful influence for the good of the patriot
cause. One of these men was Benjamin Franklin.

He was born in Boston in 1706, the fifteenth child in a family of
seventeen children. His father was a candle-maker and soap-boiler.
Intending to make a clergyman of Benjamin, he sent him, at eight years
of age, to a grammar-school, with the purpose of fitting him for
college. The boy made rapid progress, but before the end of his first
school-year his father took him out on account of the expense, and put
him into a school where he would learn more practical subjects, such as
writing and arithmetic. The last study proved very difficult for him.

Two years later, at the age of ten, he had to go into his father's shop.
Here he spent his time in cutting wicks for the candles, filling the
moulds with tallow, selling soap in the shop, and acting the part of

Many times he had watched the vessels sailing in and out of Boston
Harbor, and often in imagination had gone with them on their journeys.
Now he longed to become a sailor, and, quitting the drudgery of the
candle-shop, to roam out over the sea in search of more interesting
life. But his father wisely refused to let him go. His fondness for the
sea, however, took him frequently to the water, and he learned to swim
like a fish and to row and sail boats with great skill. In these sports,
as in others, he became a leader among his playmates.

With all his dislike for the business of candle-making and soap-boiling,
and with all his fondness for play, he was faithful in doing everything
that his father's business required. His industry, together with his
liking for good books and his keen desire for knowledge, went far toward
supplying the lack of school-training. He spent most of his leisure in
reading, and devoted his savings to collecting a small library.

His father, noting his bookish habits, decided to apprentice Benjamin to
his older brother, James, a printer in Boston. Benjamin was to serve
until he was twenty-one and to receive no wages until the last year. In
this position he was able to see more of books, and made good use of
his opportunities. Often he would read, far into the night, a borrowed
book that had to be returned in the morning. He also wrote some verses
and peddled them about the streets, until his father discouraged him by
ridiculing his efforts.

About this time, in order to get money for books, he told his brother
that he would be willing to board himself on half the money the board
had been costing. To this his brother agreed, and Benjamin lived on a
very meagre diet. Remaining in the printing-office at noon, he ate such
a simple lunch as a biscuit or slice of bread and a bunch or two of
raisins. As a meal like this required but little time, young Franklin
could spend most of the noon hour in reading. By living thus he easily
saved half of what his brother allowed him, and at once spent his
savings in books.

This youth was never idle, because he put a high value upon time; he was
never wasteful of money, because he knew the easiest way to make money
was to save what he had. These were qualities which helped Benjamin
Franklin to get on in the world.

But during this period of his life he had great hardships to bear, for
his brother was a stern taskmaster, and was so hot-tempered that he
would sometimes beat Benjamin cruelly. No doubt the young apprentice was
sometimes at fault. Be that as it may, the two brothers had so many
disagreements that Benjamin determined to run away and seek his fortune

Having sold some of his books to get a little money, at the age of
seventeen, he secured a passage on board a sloop for New York. Upon his
arrival, friendless and almost penniless, he began to visit the
printing-offices in search of work. But failing to find any, and being
told that he would be more likely to succeed in Philadelphia, he decided
to go to that city.

[Illustration: Franklin's Journey from New York to Philadelphia.]

To-day, the journey from New York to Philadelphia, a distance of ninety
miles, can be made in two hours. But, of course, in Franklin's time
there were no railroads, and it was a more difficult undertaking.

He first had to go by a sail-boat from New York to Amboy, on the New
Jersey coast. On the way a storm came up, which tore the sails and drove
the boat to the Long Island shore. All night Franklin lay in the hold,
while the waves dashed angrily over the boat. At length, after thirty
hours, during which he was without food or water, he was landed at

As he had no money to spare for coach hire, he started to walk, along
rough country roads, the fifty miles across New Jersey to Burlington.
For over two days he trudged along in a downpour of rain. At the end of
his first day's journey he was so wet and mud-spattered, and had such
an appearance of neglect, that on reaching an inn, there was talk of
arresting him for a runaway servant.

Having arrived at Burlington, he was still twenty miles from
Philadelphia, and boarded a boat for the remainder of his journey. As
there was no wind, the passengers had to take turns at the oars, and in
this way they continued down the Delaware until midnight. Then fearing
they might pass the town in the darkness--streets not being lighted in
those days--they landed, made a fire out of some fence-rails, and waited
for morning.

The next day, which was Sunday, they reached Philadelphia, and young
Franklin, poorly clad and travel-soiled, with only a little money in his
pocket, was making his way alone through the streets of Philadelphia.
But he was cheerful and full of hope. His health was strong, and he was
hungry for his breakfast. Going to a baker's shop he bought three large
rolls, and, his pockets being already stuffed with shirts and stockings,
he tucked one roll under each arm, and walked up Market Street eating
the third. His ludicrous appearance afforded much amusement to a certain
Deborah Read, who stood at the door of her father's house as he passed
by. Little did she think that this strange-looking fellow would one day
become the greatest man in Philadelphia and even in Pennsylvania. Little
did she think that one day, not many years after that morning she would
become his wife. Both these things came to pass.

Having eaten as much as he wished, he continued up the street, giving
the two other rolls to a woman and a child who had come on the boat with

In a short time he found work with one of the two master-printers in
Philadelphia. One day, while at work in the printing-office, he received
a call from Sir William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania. Governor
Keith's attention had been directed to this seventeen-year-old youth by
Franklin's brother-in-law, and he called on this occasion to urge him to
start a printing-press of his own.

[Illustration: Franklin in the Streets of Philadelphia.]

When Franklin said he had not the money to buy a printing-press and
type, the Governor offered to write a letter for Franklin to take to his
father in Boston, asking him to furnish the loan. The following spring
Franklin took the letter to his father, but the father refused to lend
him the money.

Upon Franklin's return to Philadelphia Governor Keith advised him to go
to England to select the printing-press and other things necessary for
the business outfit, promising to provide funds. Franklin took him at
his word, and sailed for London, expecting to secure the money upon his
arrival there. But the faithless Governor failed to keep his word, and
Franklin was again stranded in a strange city.

Without friends and without money he once more found work in a
printing-office, where he remained during the two years of his stay in
London. Here, in his manliness and strength, he was very different from
the printers with whom he worked. They spent much of their money in
beer-drinking, and when Franklin refused to drink with them, they made
fun of him, by calling him a water-American. But the young man who had
lived upon a simple diet in order to buy books was not disturbed by such

After two years he returned to Philadelphia, where, four years later, he
married Miss Read. In the meantime he had set up in the printing
business for himself, but in so doing had to carry a heavy debt. He
worked early and late to pay it off, sometimes making his own ink and
casting his own type. He would also at times go with a wheel-barrow to
bring to the printing-office the paper he needed.

His wife assisted him by selling stationery in his shop as well as by
saving in the household, where the furnishings and food were very
simple. Franklin's usual breakfast was milk and bread, which he ate out
of a wooden porringer with a pewter spoon. In time, when their money was
more plentiful, his wife gave him a China bowl and a silver spoon. On
observing how hard Franklin worked, people said, "There is a man who
will surely succeed. Let us help him."

In all these years of struggle Franklin was cheerful and light-hearted.
This was no doubt largely owing to his natural disposition, but in part
also to his healthful reading habits, which took him into a world
outside of himself. No matter where he was or what the stress of his
business, he found time to read and improve himself. He also adopted
rules of conduct, some of which, in substance, are: Be temperate; speak
honestly; be orderly about your work; do not waste anything; never be
idle; when you decide to do anything, do it with a brave heart.

Some of the wisest things Franklin ever said appeared in his Almanac,
which he called "Poor Richard's Almanac." Beginning when he was
twenty-six years of age, he published it yearly for twenty-five years,
building up a very large circulation. It contained many homely maxims,
which are as good to-day as they were in Franklin's time. Here are a few
of them:

  "God helps them that help themselves."

  "Early to bed and early to rise,
  Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

  "There are no gains without pains."

  "One to-day is worth two to-morrows."

  "Little strokes fell great oaks."

  "Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee."

Franklin always had a deep interest in the public welfare. He started a
subscription library in Philadelphia and established an academy, which
finally grew into the University of Pennsylvania. Having a decidedly
practical turn of mind, he had great influence in organizing a better
police force and a better fire department. He invented the Franklin
stove, which soon became popular because it was so much better than the
open fireplace. But the most wonderful thing he ever did was proving
that lightning was the same thing as electricity.

Before he made this discovery, men of science had learned how to store
up electricity in what is called a Leyden jar. But Franklin wished to
find out something about the lightning which flashed across the clouds
during a thunder-storm. Therefore, making a kite out of silk and
fastening to it a small iron rod, he attached to the kite and to the
iron rod a string made of hemp.

One day when a thunder-cloud was coming up he went out with his little
son and took his stand under a shelter in the open field. At one end of
the hempen string was fastened an iron key, and to this was tied a
silken string, which Franklin held in his hand. As electricity will not
run through silk, by using this silken string he protected himself
against the electric current.

[Illustration: Franklin Experimenting with Electricity.]

When the kite rose high into the air, Franklin watched intently to see
what might follow. After a while the fibres of the hempen string began
to move, and then, putting his knuckles near the key, Franklin drew
forth sparks of electricity. He was delighted, for he had proved that
the lightning in the clouds was the same thing as the electricity that
men of science could make with machines.

It was a great discovery and made Benjamin Franklin famous. From some of
the leading universities of Europe he received the title of _Doctor_,
and he was now recognized as one of the great men of the world.

Franklin rendered his country distinguished public services, only a few
of which we can here mention. More than twenty years before the outbreak
of the Revolution, he perceived that the principal source of weakness
among the colonies was their lack of union. With this great weakness in
mind, Franklin proposed, in 1754, at a time when the French were
threatening to cut off the English from the Ohio Valley, his famous
"Plan of Union." Although it failed, it prepared the colonies for union
in the struggle against King George and the English Parliament.

Ten years after proposing the "Plan of Union" Franklin was sent to
England, at the time of the agitation over the Stamp Act, to make a
strenuous effort to prevent its passage. He was unsuccessful in
accomplishing his mission, but later did much toward securing the repeal
of the Stamp Act.

Returning from England two weeks after the battle of Lexington and
Concord, he immediately took a prominent part in the Revolution. He was
one of the five appointed as a committee to write the Declaration of
Independence, and during the discussion over that remarkable State
paper, it was he that said, "Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or
assuredly we shall all hang separately."

[Illustration: Lafayette Offering His Services to Franklin]

After the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, he
was sent to France to secure aid for the American cause. The French
people gave him a cordial reception. There were feasts and parades in
his honor, crowds followed him on the streets, and his pictures were
everywhere displayed. The simplicity and directness of this white-haired
man of seventy years charmed the French people, and won for him a warm
place in their hearts. On one of the great occasions a very beautiful
woman was appointed to place a crown of laurel upon his white locks,
"and to give the old man two kisses on his cheeks." All this was a
sincere expression of admiration and esteem. He did very much to secure
from France the aid which that country gave to us. He indeed rendered to
his country services[11] whose value may well be compared with those of

  [11] Franklin was one of the three commissioners to make a treaty
       with England at the close of the Revolution. The two other
       commissioners were John Adams and John Jay. They were all men
       of remarkable ability, and their united effort secured a
       treaty of peace highly favorable to their country. But, as
       in many other brilliant political achievements in which
       Franklin took part, his delicate tact was a strong force.

Franklin left France in 1785, after having ably represented his country
for ten years. All France was sorry to have him leave. Since it was hard
for him to endure the motion of a carriage, the King sent one of the
Queen's litters in which he was carried to the coast. He also bore with
him a portrait of the King of France "framed in a double circle of four
hundred and eight diamonds."

Although in his last years he had to endure much idleness and pain, yet
he was uniformly patient and cheerful, loving life to the end. He died
in 1790, at the age of eighty-four, one of the greatest of American
statesmen and heroes.




  1. Give an account of Franklin's bookish habits, and of his
  experiences on the journey from Boston to Philadelphia, when he
  ran away from home.

  2. How do you explain the success in life of this poor boy? In
  making your explanation think of all his strong traits of
  character and of all his good habits.

  3. What simple ways of living did Franklin adopt when he was
  trying hard to pay his debts?

  4. Memorize the "Rules of Conduct" and the six homely maxims.

  5. Tell about Franklin's experiment with the kite. What great
  discovery did he make at this time?

  6. What did Franklin have to do with the following: the Stamp
  Act; the Declaration of Independence; securing aid from France?

  7. How was he treated by the French people and their King?


George Washington the Virginia Planter and the Revolutionary Soldier


[Illustration: George Washington.]

We left George Washington at Mount Vernon, his extensive plantation on
the Virginia bank of the Potomac River. After his marriage with Mrs.
Custis, who had large property of her own, Washington became a man of
much wealth. He was at one time one of the largest landholders in
America. As a manager of all this property, he had much to do. Let us
delay our story a little to get a glimpse of the life led by him and
other Virginia planters of his time.

The plantations were scattered along the rivers, sometimes many miles
apart, with densely wooded stretches of land lying between. Each planter
had his own wharf whence vessels, once a year, carried away his tobacco
to England, and brought back in exchange whatever manufactured goods he

Nearly all his needs could be supplied at his wharf or on his
plantation. His slaves included not only workers in large
tobacco-fields, but such skilled workmen as millers, weavers, tailors,
wheelwrights, coopers, shoemakers, and carpenters. Washington said to
his overseers, "Buy nothing that you can make within yourselves."
Indeed, each plantation was a little world in itself. Hence towns
containing shops with goods and supplies of various kinds did not spring
up much in Virginia.

The mansion of the planter, built of brick or wood and having at either
end a huge chimney, was two stories high, with a large veranda outside
and a wide hall-way inside. Near by were the storehouses, barns,
workshops, and slave quarters. These last consisted of simple wooden
cabins surrounded by gardens, where the negroes raised such things as
vegetables and water-melons for their own use. In fact, the mansion and
all the buildings clustered about it looked like a village. Here we
could have seen, at all hours of the day, swarms of negro children
playing happily together.

The planter spent most of his time in the open air, with his dogs and
his horses. Washington gave to his horses rather fanciful names, such as
Ajax, Blueskin, Valiant, and Magnolia, and to his dogs, Vulcan,
Sweetlips, Ringwood, Forrester, and Rockwood. Out-door recreations
included fishing, shooting, and horse-racing.

[Illustration: Washington's Coach.]

Although life on the plantation was without luxury, there was everywhere
a plain and homely abundance. Visitors were sure to meet a cordial
welcome. It was no uncommon thing for a planter to entertain an entire
family for weeks, and then to pay a similar visit in return with his own
family. Social life absorbed much of Washington's time at Mount Vernon,
where visitors were nearly always present. The planter, often living
many miles away from any other human habitation, was only too glad to
have a traveller spend the night with him and give news of the outside
world. Such a visit was somewhat like the coming of the newspaper into
our homes to-day.

[Illustration: A Stage Coach of the Eighteenth Century.]

We must remember that travelling was no such simple and easy matter then
as it is now. As the planters in Virginia usually lived on the banks of
one of the many rivers, the simplest method of travel was by boat, up or
down stream. There were cross-country roads, but these at best were
rough, and sometimes full of roots and stumps. Often they were nothing
more than forest paths. In trying to follow such roads the traveller at
times lost his way and occasionally had to spend a night in the woods.
But with even such makeshifts for roads, the planter had his lumbering
old coach to which, on state occasions, he harnessed six horses and
drove in great style.

Washington was in full sympathy with this life, and threw himself
heartily into the work of managing his immense property. He lived up to
his favorite motto, "If you want a thing done, do it yourself." He kept
his own books, and looked with exactness after the smallest details.

He was indeed one of the most methodical of men, and thus accomplished a
marvellous amount of work. By habit an early riser, he was often up
before daylight in winter. On such occasions he kindled his own fire and
read or worked by the light of a candle. At seven in summer and at eight
in winter he sat down to a simple breakfast, consisting of two cups of
tea, and hoe-cakes made of Indian meal. After breakfast he rode on
horseback over his plantation to look after his slaves, often spending
much of the day in the saddle superintending the work. At two he ate
dinner, early in the evening he took tea, and at nine o'clock went to

As he did not spare himself, he expected faithful service from everyone.
But to his many slaves he was a kind master, and he took good care of
the sick or feeble. It may be a comfort to some of us to learn that
Washington was fonder of active life than of reading books, for which he
never seemed to get much time. But he was even less fond of public
speaking. Like some other great men, he found it difficult to stand up
before a body of people and make a speech. After his term of service in
the French and Indian War he was elected to the House of Burgesses,
where he received a vote of thanks for his brave military services.
Rising to reply, Washington stood blushing and stammering, without being
able to say a word. The Speaker, equal to the occasion, said with much
grace, "Sit down, Mr. Washington, your modesty equals your valor, and
that surpasses the power of any language to express."

While for many years after the close of the Last French War this modest,
home-loving man was living the life of a high-bred Virginia gentleman,
the exciting events which finally brought on the Revolution were
stirring men's souls to heroic action. It was natural, in these trying
days, that his countrymen should look for guidance and inspiration to
George Washington, who had been so conspicuous a leader in the Last
French War.

He represented Virginia at the first meeting of the Continental Congress
in 1774, going to Philadelphia in company with Patrick Henry and others.
He was also a delegate from his colony at the second meeting of the
Continental Congress in May, 1775. On being elected by this body
Commander-in-Chief of the American army, he at once thanked the members
for the election, and added, "I do not think myself equal to the command
I am honored with." He also refused to receive any salary for his
services, but said he would keep an account of the expenses he might
incur, in order that these might be paid back to him.

On the 21st of June Washington set out on horseback from Philadelphia,
in company with a small body of horsemen, to take command of the
American army around Boston. Not long after starting they met a
messenger bringing in haste the news of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Washington eagerly asked, "Did the Americans stand the fire of the
regular troops?" "Yes," was the proud answer. "Then," cried Washington,
gladly, "the liberties of the country are safe!"

Three days later, about four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, he reached New
York, where he met with a royal welcome. Riding in an open carriage
drawn by two white horses, he passed through the streets, escorted by
nine companies of soldiers on foot. Along the route the people, old and
young, received him with enthusiasm. At New Haven the Yale College
students came out in a body, keeping step to the music of a band of
which Noah Webster, the future lexicographer, then a freshman, was the
leader. On July 2d, after arriving at the camp in Cambridge, Washington
received an equally enthusiastic welcome from the soldiers.

Next day General Washington rode out on horseback and, under the famous
elm still standing near Harvard University, drew his sword and took
command of the American army. He was then forty-three years old, with a
tall, manly form and a noble face. He was good to look at as he sat
there, a perfect picture of manly strength and dignity, wearing an
epaulet on each shoulder, a broad band of blue silk across his breast,
and a three-cornered hat with the cockade of liberty in it.

Now came the labor of getting his troops into good condition for
fighting battles, for his army was one only in name. These untrained men
were brave and willing, but without muskets and without powder, they
were in no condition for making war on a well-equipped enemy.

Moreover, the army had no cannon, without which it could not hope to
succeed in an attack upon the British troops in Boston. By using severe
measures, however, Washington soon brought about much better discipline.
But with no powder and no cannon, he had to let the autumn and the
winter slip by before making any effort to drive the British army out of
Boston. When cannon and other supplies were at last brought down from
Ticonderoga on sledges drawn by oxen, the alert American General
fortified Dorchester Heights, which overlooked the city, and forced the
English commander to sail away with all his army.

Washington believed that the next movement of the British would be to
get control of the Hudson River and the Middle States. So he went
promptly to New York in order to defend it against attack. But still his
army was weak in numbers as well as in provisions, equipment, and

Washington had only about 18,000 men to meet General Howe, who soon
arrived off Staten Island with a large fleet and 30,000 men. Not knowing
where the British General would strike first, Washington had to be on
his guard at many points. He had to prepare a defence of a line of
twenty miles. He also built, on opposite sides of the Hudson River just
above New York, Forts Lee and Washington.

When Brooklyn Heights, on Long Island, had been fortified, General
Putnam went with half the army to occupy them. On August 27th General
Howe, with something like 20,000 men, attacked a part of these forces
and defeated them. If he had continued the battle by marching at once
against the remainder, he might have captured all that part of
Washington's army under Putnam's command. He might, also, have captured
Washington himself, who, during the heat of the battle, had crossed over
to Long Island.

[Illustration: Map Illustrating the Battle of Long Island.]

If Howe had done this, he might have ended the war at one stroke. But
his men had fought hard at the end of a long night-march and needed
rest. Besides, he thought it would be easy enough to capture the
Americans without undue haste. For how could they escape? Soon the
British vessels would sail up and get between them and New York, when,
of course, escape for Washington and his men would be impossible. This
all seemed so clear to the easy-going General Howe that he gave his
tired men a rest after the battle on the 27th. On the 28th a heavy rain
fell, and on the 29th a dense fog covered the island.

But before midday of the 29th some American officers riding down toward
the shore, noticed an unusual stir in the British fleet. Boats were
going to and fro, as if carrying orders. "Very likely," said these
officers to Washington, "the English vessels are to sail up between New
York and Long Island, to cut off our retreat." As that was also
Washington's opinion, he secured all the boats he could find for the
purpose of trying to make an escape during the night.

It was a desperate undertaking. There were 10,000 men, and the width of
the river at the point of crossing was nearly a mile. It would seem
hardly possible that such a movement could, in a single night, be made
without discovery by the British troops, who were lying in camp but a
short distance away. The night must have been a long and anxious one for
Washington, who stayed at his post of duty on the Long Island shore
until the last boat of the retreating army had pushed off. The escape
was a brilliant achievement and saved the American cause.

But this was only the beginning of Washington's troubles in this
memorable year, 1776. As the British now occupied Brooklyn Heights,
which overlooked New York, the Americans could not hold that place, and
in a short time they had to withdraw, fighting stubbornly as they slowly
retreated. Washington crossed over to the Jersey side of the Hudson, and
left General Charles Lee with half the army at North Castle. The
British captured Forts Lee and Washington, with 3,000 men, inflicting a
severe loss upon the American cause. The outlook was gloomy, but more
trying events were to follow.

In order to prevent the British from capturing Philadelphia, Washington
put his army between them and that city. The British began to move upon
him. Needing every soldier that he could get, he sent orders to General
Lee to join him. Lee refused to move. Again and again Washington urged
Lee to come to his aid. Each time Lee disobeyed. We now know that he was
a traitor, secretly hoping that Washington might fail in order that he
himself, who was second in command, might become Commander-in-Chief of
the American army.

Lee's disobedience placed Washington in a critical position. In order to
save his army from capture, Washington had to retreat once more, this
time across New Jersey toward Philadelphia. As the British army, in
every way superior to Washington's, was close upon the Americans, it was
a race for life. Sometimes the rear-guard of the Americans was just
leaving a burning bridge when the van of the British army could be seen
approaching. But by burning bridges and destroying food supplies
intended for the British, Washington so delayed them that they were
nineteen days in marching about sixty miles.

Nevertheless the situation for the Americans was still desperate. To
make matters worse, Washington saw his army gradually melting away by
desertion. When he reached the Delaware River it numbered barely 3,000


Having collected boats for seventy miles along the Delaware, Washington
succeeded in safely crossing it a little above Trenton, on December 8th.
As the British had no boats, they were obliged to wait until the river
should freeze, when they intended to cross in triumph and make an easy
capture of Philadelphia.

To most people, in England and in America alike, the early downfall of
the American cause seemed certain. General Cornwallis--who in May of
this year had joined the British army in America--was so sure that the
war would soon come to an end, that he had already packed some of his
luggage and sent it aboard ship, with the intention of returning to
England at an early day.

But Washington had no thought of giving up the struggle. Far from being
disheartened, he confronted the gloomy outlook with all his energy and
courage. Fearless and full of faith in the patriot cause, he watched
with vigilance for an opportunity to turn suddenly upon his
over-confident enemy and strike a heavy blow.

[Illustration: Map Illustrating the Struggle for the Hudson River and
the Middle States.]

Such an opportunity shortly came to him. The British General had
carelessly separated his army into several divisions and scattered them
at various points in New Jersey. One of these divisions, consisting of
Hessians, was stationed at Trenton. Washington's quick eye noted this
blunder of the British General, and he resolved to take advantage of it
by attacking the Hessians at Trenton on Christmas night. Having been
re-enforced, he now had an army of 6,000 and was therefore in a better
condition to risk a battle. With 2,400 picked men he got ready to cross
the Delaware River at a point nine miles above Trenton. There was snow
on the ground, and the weather was bitterly cold. As the soldiers
marched to the place of crossing, some of them with feet almost bare
left bloody footprints along the route.

At sunset the troops began to cross. It was a terrible night for such an
undertaking. Angry gusts of wind, and great blocks of ice swept along by
the swift current, threatened every moment to dash in pieces the frail
boats. From the Trenton side of the river, General Knox, who had been
sent ahead by Washington, loudly shouted to let the struggling boatmen
know where to land. Ten hours were consumed in the crossing. Much longer
must the time have seemed to Washington, as he stood in the midst of the
wild storm, his heart full of mingled anxiety and hope.

It was not until four o'clock in the morning that the troops were ready
to march upon Trenton, nine miles away. As they advanced, a fearful
storm of snow and sleet beat upon the already weary men. But they pushed
forward, and surprised the Hessians at Trenton soon after sunrise,
easily capturing them after a short struggle.

Washington had brought hope to every patriot heart. The British were
amazed at the daring feat, and Cornwallis decided to make a longer stay
in America. He soon advanced with a superior force against Washington,
and at nightfall, January 2, 1777, took his stand on the farther side of
a small creek. "At last," said Cornwallis, "we have run down the old
fox, and we will bag him in the morning."

But Washington was too sly a fox for Cornwallis to bag. During the night
he led his army around Cornwallis's camp, and pushing on to Princeton
defeated the rear-guard, which had not yet joined the main body. He then
retired in safety to his winter quarters among the hills about
Morristown. During this fateful campaign Washington had handled his army
in a masterly way. He had begun with defeat and had ended with victory.

In 1777 the British planned to get control of the Hudson River, and thus
cut off New England from the other States. In this way they hoped so to
weaken the Americans as to make their defeat easy. Burgoyne was to march
from Canada, by way of Lake Champlain and Fort Edward, to Albany, where
he was to meet not only a small force of British under St. Leger from
the Mohawk Valley, but also the main army of 18,000 men, under General
Howe, which was expected to sail up the Hudson from New York. The
British believed that this plan would be easily carried out and would
soon bring the war to a close.


The Relief.]

And this might have happened if General Howe had not failed to do his
part. Instead of going up to meet and help Burgoyne, however, he tried
first to march across New Jersey and capture Philadelphia. But when he
reached Morristown, he found Washington in a stronghold where he dared
not attack him. As Washington would not come out and risk an encounter
in the open field, and as Howe was unwilling to continue his advance
with the American army threatening his rear, he returned to New York.
Still desirous of reaching Philadelphia, however, he sailed a little
later, with his army, to Chesapeake Bay. The voyage took him two months.

When at length he advanced toward Philadelphia, he found Washington
ready to dispute his progress at Brandywine Creek. There a battle was
fought, resulting in the defeat of the Americans. But Washington handled
his army with such skill that Howe spent two weeks in reaching
Philadelphia, only twenty-six miles away.

When Howe arrived at the city he found out that it was too late to send
aid to Burgoyne, who was now in desperate straits. Washington had
spoiled the English plan, and Burgoyne, failing to get the much-needed
help from Howe, had to surrender at Saratoga (October 17, 1777) his
entire army of 6,000 regular troops. This was a great blow to England,
and resulted in a treaty between France and America. After this treaty,
France sent over both land and naval forces, which were of much service
to the American cause.

At the close of 1777 Washington retired to a strong position among the
hills at Valley Forge, on the Schuylkill River, about twenty miles
northwest of Philadelphia. Here his army spent a winter of terrible
suffering. Most of the soldiers were in rags, only a few had
bed-clothing, and many had not even straw to lie upon at night. Nearly
3,000 were barefoot. More than this, they were often for days at a time
without bread. It makes one heartsick to read about the sufferings of
these patriotic men during this miserable winter. But despite all the
bitter trials of these distressing times, Washington never lost faith in
the final success of the American cause.

A beautiful story is told of this masterful man at Valley Forge. When
"Friend Potts" was near the camp one day, he heard an earnest voice. On
approaching he saw Washington on his knees, his cheeks wet with tears,
praying to God for help and guidance. When the farmer returned to his
home he said to his wife: "George Washington will succeed! George
Washington will succeed! The Americans will secure their independence!"
"What makes thee think so, Isaac?" inquired his wife. "I have heard him
pray, Hannah, out in the woods to-day, and the Lord will surely hear his
prayer. He will, Hannah; thee may rest assured He will."

We may pass over without comment here the events between the winter at
Valley Forge and the Yorktown campaign, which resulted in the surrender
of Cornwallis with all his army. Even when not engaged in fighting
battles, Washington was the soul of the American cause, which could
scarcely have succeeded without his inspiring leadership. But there is
yet one more military event--the hemming in of Cornwallis at
Yorktown,--for us to notice briefly before we take leave of Washington.

When at the close of his fighting with General Greene in the South,
Cornwallis marched northward to Yorktown, Washington, with an army of
French and American troops, was encamped on the Hudson River. He was
waiting for the coming of a French fleet to New York. On its arrival he
expected to attack the British army there by land, while the fleet
attacked it by sea.

Upon hearing that the French fleet was on its way to the Chesapeake,
Washington thought out a brilliant scheme. This was to march his army as
quickly and as secretly as possible to Yorktown, a distance of 400
miles, there to join Lafayette and to co-operate with the French fleet
in the capture of Cornwallis. The scheme succeeded so well that
Cornwallis surrendered his entire army of 8,000 men on October 19, 1781.

This was the last battle of the war, although the treaty of peace was
not signed until 1783. By that treaty the Americans won their
independence from England. The country which they could now call their
own extended from Canada to Florida, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the
Mississippi River.

Washington, tired of war, was glad to become a Virginia planter once
more. But he was not permitted to live in quiet. After his retirement
from the army his home became, as he himself said, a well-resorted
tavern. Two years after the close of the Revolution he wrote in his
diary: "Dined with only Mrs. Washington, which I believe is the first
instance of it since my retirement from public life."

When, on the formation of the Constitution of the United States, the
American people looked about for a President, all eyes naturally turned
to George Washington. He was elected without opposition and was
inaugurated at New York, then the capital of the United States, on April
30, 1789.

[Illustration: Washington's Home--Mount Vernon.]

His life as President was one of dignity and elegance. It was his custom
to pay no calls and accept no invitations, but between three and four
o'clock on every Tuesday afternoon he held a public reception. On such
occasions he appeared in court-dress, with powdered hair, yellow gloves
in his hand, a long sword in a scabbard of white polished leather at
his side, and a cocked hat under his arm. Standing with his right hand
behind him, he bowed formally as each guest was presented to him.

After serving two terms as President with great success he again retired
in 1797 to private life at Mount Vernon. Here he died on December 14,
1799, at the age of sixty-seven, loved and honored by the American




  1. By all means make constant use of your map.

  2. Write on the following topics: the plantation, the planter's
  mansion, Virginia hospitality, modes of travel.

  3. What was Washington's favorite motto? What were his working

  4. Describe Washington at the time when he took command of the
  army. What was the condition of this army?

  5. Tell about Washington's troubles and his retreat across New

  6. Imagine yourself one of Washington's soldiers on the night of
  the march against the Hessians at Trenton, and relate your
  experiences. Try to form vivid pictures before you tell the

  7. What were the British plans for 1777, and in what way did
  General Howe blunder in carrying out his part?

  8. Describe the sufferings of the soldiers at Valley Forge.

  9. Give a short account of Washington.

  10. What were the leading causes of the Revolution? Its most
  striking result?


Nathaniel Greene, the Hero of the South, and Francis Marion, the "Swamp


[Illustration: Nathaniel Greene.]

We have rapidly glanced at the course of the Revolution so far as
Washington was concerned in it. But we should fail to understand the
connection of events were we to pass over without mention the work of
the brilliant general, Nathaniel Greene, who by common consent is
regarded as a military leader second to Washington alone.

As already noted, the first fighting in the Revolution was in New
England. Failing there, the British generals vainly tried to get control
of the Hudson River and the Middle States.

Their attention was now turned to the South, where there were many
Tories who would give material support to the King's forces. George the
Third had great hopes of conquering all the Southern States, and holding
them at the end of the struggle as English territory, even though the
Americans should succeed in keeping possession of New England and the
Middle States.

Beginning in Georgia in 1778, the British captured Savannah, but not
until 1780 did they undertake the serious business of conquering the
South. In May of that year General Lincoln, the American commander of
the Southern army, surrendered his entire force at Charleston, and in
the following August, General Gates, at the head of a second American
army, suffered a crushing defeat in the battle of Camden. The outlook
for the patriot cause appeared dark. One thing was certain. An able
military leader must take charge of the Americans, or the British would
soon overcome all opposition. Washington had great faith in General
Greene's ability, and without hesitation selected him for this important

Nathaniel Greene was born in Warwick, R. I., in 1742. His father, a
Quaker preacher on Sundays and a blacksmith and miller on week days,
brought up his son in the strictest Quaker principles, and trained him
to work in the field, in the mill, and at the forge. Nathaniel was
robust and athletic, a leader in outdoor sports. From an early age he
was studious in his habits, and in his manhood, when the troubles with
England seemed to threaten war, he eagerly turned his attention to the
study of military tactics.

In 1774 Greene took an active part in organizing, in Rhode Island, a
military company called the Kentish Guards, in which he at once enrolled
himself as a private. In order to procure a musket it was necessary for
him to make a trip to Boston where, in his Quaker costume of
drab-colored clothes and broad brimmed hat, he was a picturesque and
interested observer of the British regulars taking their customary
drill. On his return he brought with him not only a musket, which he
concealed under some straw in his wagon, but also a British deserter to
drill his company.

On the news of the battle of Bunker Hill a brigade of three regiments
was raised in Rhode Island, and Greene was placed at its head with the
rank of brigadier-general. With this brigade he at once marched to
Boston, and when Washington arrived to take command of the American
troops, General Greene had the honor of welcoming him in behalf of the

[Illustration: Map Showing the War in the South.]

At this time Greene was thirty-three years old, six feet tall, with a
strong, vigorous body and a frank, intelligent face. He speedily won the
friendship and confidence of Washington, who afterward placed him in
positions of great responsibility. Throughout the entire war General
Greene was actively engaged, and in all his campaigns he showed
remarkable energy and promptness. It was natural that a general so able
should be sought in 1780 as commander of the American army in the South.

When General Greene reached the Carolinas (December 2, 1780), he found
the army in a forlorn condition. There was but one blanket for every
three soldiers, and there were not enough provisions in camp to last
three days. The men were disheartened because they had suffered defeat,
rebellious because they were unpaid, and sick because they were unfed.
They camped in rude huts made of fence rails, corn-stalks, and

But by his masterly way of doing things Greene soon inspired the
confidence of officers and soldiers alike. A story is told that well
illustrates the faith his men had in their general. Once he saw a
bare-footed sentry and said to him, "How you must suffer from cold!" "I
do not complain," the sentry answered, not aware that he was addressing
his commander. "I know I should fare well if our general could procure

Not long after taking command of the army he sent General Morgan with
900 picked men toward the mountains in the Carolinas to threaten the
British posts there, while he himself, with the remainder of the army,
took a position nearer the coast on the Pedee River. General Cornwallis,
in command of the British army in the South, detached Tarleton to march
against Morgan. Early on the morning of January 17, 1781, after a hard
night march, Tarleton, over-confident of success, attacked Morgan at
Cowpens. But the Americans repelled the attack with vigor and won a
brilliant victory. The British lost 230 killed and wounded and 600
prisoners, almost their entire force.

Cornwallis was deeply chagrined, for he had expected that Tarleton would
crush the American force. He now planned to march rapidly across the
country and defeat Morgan before Greene's army could unite with him. But
Morgan, feeling certain that Cornwallis would make a strenuous effort to
overwhelm him and rescue the 600 prisoners, marched with all possible
speed in a northeasterly direction, with the purpose of crossing the
Catawba River before Cornwallis could overtake him.

[Illustration: Lord Cornwallis.]

Moreover, when Greene heard the glorious news of the American victory,
he knew that there was great danger that Morgan's force would fall into
the hands of Cornwallis. He therefore planned not only to prevent such a
catastrophe, but also to lead Cornwallis far away from his base of
supplies at Wilmington on the coast, to a place where his own force
united with Morgan's might fight a winning battle.

With these plans in mind, having ordered General Huger to march rapidly
with the army in a northerly direction, Greene himself, with a small
guard, swiftly rode a distance of 150 miles across the rough country to
Morgan's army. On the last day of January he reached it in the Catawba
Valley, and began to direct its movements.

In the meantime Cornwallis, with desperate energy, was pressing in
pursuit. For the next ten days it was a race for life, with the odds in
favor of Cornwallis. But Greene was exceedingly alert and masterful. The
Catawba had been safely crossed, but Cornwallis might overtake the
Americans before they could cross the Yadkin. To make all possible
provision for a speedy crossing, Greene sent men ahead to see that boats
should be collected on this river, ready for use when he should need
them. He also had the fore-thought to carry with his army boats mounted
on wheels. When crossing a river these boats would carry the wheels, and
in advancing across the country the wheels would carry the boats.

Having taken these precautions, Greene sent Morgan forward toward
Salisbury, while he himself waited for a force of militia that was to
guard fords on the Catawba in order to delay Cornwallis. But while
waiting he heard that the militia had been scattered. When this
unfortunate news reached him, he started upon a solitary ride through
the heavy mud and drenching rain in search of Morgan's force. When
Greene alighted at the Salisbury Inn, which had been turned into a
hospital for the soldiers, the army physician greeted him, asking how
he was. "Fatigued, hungry, alone, and penniless," he answered. The
landlady, Mrs. Elizabeth Steele, on hearing the reply, brought out two
bags of money, the savings of many a hard day's labor. She said, "Take
these, you will need them, and I can do without them."

In this famous retreat of 200 miles through the Carolinas the Americans
forded three rivers, whose waters, swollen by recent rains soon after
the Americans had crossed, checked the British in their pursuit. Greene
crossed the last of these rivers, the Dan, with the two parts of his
army now united, just in time to escape Cornwallis.

In all this time of trial and uncertainty General Greene received
valuable aid from partisan leaders in the South. One of the most noted
of these was Francis Marion, who was born near Georgetown, S.C., in
1732. Although as a child, he was extremely delicate, he grew strong
after his twelfth year. In his mature years he was short and slight in
frame, but strong and hardy in constitution.

When the British began to swarm into South Carolina he raised and
drilled a company of his neighbors and friends known as "Marion's
Brigade." These men, without uniforms, without tents, and without pay,
were among the bravest and best of the Revolutionary soldiers. Old saws
beaten at the country forge furnished them with sabres, and pewter mugs
and dishes supplied material for bullets. The diet of these men was
simple. Marion, their leader, usually ate hominy and potatoes, and
drank water flavored with a little vinegar.

The story is told that one day a British officer entered the camp with a
flag of truce. After the conference, Marion, with his usual delicate
courtesy, invited him to dinner. We may imagine the officer's surprise
when, seated at a log used for a table, they were served to a dinner
consisting of roasted sweet potatoes handed to them on pieces of bark.
The British officer was still more surprised to learn that at times
Marion's men were not fortunate enough to have even potatoes.

[Illustration: General Francis Marion.]

"Marion's Brigade" of farmers and hunters seldom numbered more than
seventy, and often less than twenty. With this very small force he
annoyed the British beyond measure by rescuing prisoners and by
capturing supply-trains, foraging parties, and outposts. One day a scout
brought in the report that a party of ninety British with 200 prisoners
were on the march for Charleston. Waiting for the darkness to conceal
his movements, Marion with thirty men sallied out, swooped down upon the
British camp, captured, the entire force, and rescued all the American

It was the custom of Marion's men when hard pressed by a superior force
to scatter, each one for himself, and, dashing headlong into the dense,
dark swamps, to meet again at the well-known hiding-place. Even while
the British were in search of them they sometimes darted out just as
suddenly as they had disappeared, and surprised another British party
near at hand. Well did Marion deserve the name of "Swamp Fox," given him
by the British.

[Illustration: Marion and His Men Swooping Down on a British Camp.]

With the aid of such partisan leaders, and by the skilful handling of
his army, Greene was more than a match for Cornwallis. On receiving
reinforcements from Virginia Greene turned upon his enemy at Guilford
Court House, N. C., where he fought a losing battle. But although
defeated, he so crippled the British army that Cornwallis was obliged
to retreat to the coast to get supplies for his half-famished men before
marching northward into Virginia. In this long and trying campaign
Greene had completely outwitted Cornwallis.

At the close of the war, as he passed through Philadelphia on his way
home, the people received him with great enthusiasm. In 1785 he moved
with his family to a plantation which the State of Georgia had given
him. Here he lived in quiet and happiness less than a year, when he died
of sunstroke at the age of forty-four. His comrade, Wayne, who was with
him at the time of his death, said of him: "He was great as a soldier,
great as a citizen, immaculate as a friend.... I have seen a great and
good man die."




  1. Why did the British wish to get control of the South?

  2. How did Greene look? What do you admire in his character?

  3. What was the condition of his army when he took command of it
  in the South?

  4. What was the "race for life"? How did it result?

  5. Describe Francis Marion and tell all you can about his habits.

  6. Tell the story of Marion and the British officer.

  7. What were Marion's methods of annoying the British?

  8. Are you constantly trying to form mental pictures as you read?


Daniel Boone, the Kentucky Pioneer


[Illustration: Daniel Boone.]

You will recall that at the beginning of the Last French War in 1756 the
English colonies lived almost entirely between the Alleghany Mountains
and the Atlantic Ocean. Such continued to be their narrow boundaries up
to the beginning of the Revolutionary War. To understand how, at the end
of this war, the western boundary had been extended to the Mississippi,
we must turn our attention to those early western pioneers, the
backwoodsmen, who rendered very important services to their country.

One of the most noted of these pioneers was Daniel Boone. He was born in
Bucks County, Pa., in 1735. Caring little for books, he spent most of
his time in hunting and fishing. The woods were his special delight, and
naturally he became an expert rifleman.

The story is told that when a small boy he wandered one day into the
forest some distance from home, and built himself a rough shelter of
logs. There he would spend days at a time with only his rifle and game
for company. The rifle served to bring down the game, and this he cooked
over a fire of logs. A prince might have envied his dreamless slumber as
he lay on a bed of leaves with the skin of a wild animal for covering.
This free, wild life trained him for his future career as a fearless
hunter and woodsman.

[Illustration: The Kentucky Settlement.]

When Daniel was about thirteen years old his father moved to North
Carolina and settled on the Yadkin River, where Daniel grew to manhood.
After his marriage at the age of twenty, he built him a hut in the
solitude of the wilderness, far removed from other settlers' homes.

But Boone was restless. For years he looked with eager eyes toward the
rugged mountains on the west and to the country beyond. Day by day, his
desire to visit this wild unknown region increased, until he could no
longer restrain it. By the time he was twenty-five he had begun his
explorations and had pushed his way as far as Boone's Creek, which is a
branch of the Watauga River in Eastern Tennessee. Near this creek there
yet stands a beech-tree with the inscription: "D. Boon cilled a bar on
(this) tree in the year 1760."

Nine years after this date Daniel Boone, in company with five other men,
started out on May 1st to cross the Alleghany Mountains. For five weeks
the bold travellers picked their way through the pathless woods. But
when in June they reached Kentucky, they were rewarded for all the
hardships they had endured. For here was a beautiful country with an
abundance of game, including deer, bears, and great herds of bison.

[Illustration: Indian Costume (Female).]

They promptly put up a shelter made of logs and open on one side. The
floor of this camp, as it was called, was the earth, covered with leaves
and hemlock twigs.

Six months after their arrival Boone and a man named Stewart had an
unpleasant experience. While off on a hunting expedition, they were
captured by an Indian party. For seven days the dusky warriors carefully
guarded their prisoners. But on the seventh night, having gorged
themselves with the game killed during the day, the Indians fell into a
sound sleep. Boone, while pretending to be asleep, had been watching his
opportunity. So when the right moment came he quietly arose, awoke
Stewart, and the two crept stealthily away until out of hearing of the
Indians. Then, leaping to their feet, they bounded away like deer,
through the dark woods toward their camp. This they found deserted, and
what had become of their friends they never learned.

Some weeks later Boone was pleasantly surprised by the appearance at the
camp of his brother, Squire Boone, and a companion. The four men lived
together without special incident, until one day Stewart was surprised
and shot by some Indians. Stewart's death so terrified the man who had
accompanied Squire Boone, that he gave up the wilderness life and
returned to his home.

[Illustration: Indian Costume (Male).]

Boone and his brother remained together in the forest for three months
longer, but their ammunition getting low, on May 1st Squire Boone
returned to North Carolina for a fresh supply and for horses. Daniel was
thus left alone, 500 miles from home. His life was in constant peril
from wild beasts and Indians. He dared not sleep in his camp, but
resorted at night to a canebrake or some other hiding-place, where he
lay concealed, not even kindling a fire lest its light might betray him.
During these months of solitary waiting for his brother, Boone endured
many privations. He had neither salt, sugar, nor flour, his sole food
being game brought down by his rifle. But the return of his brother, in
July, with the expected provisions, brought him much good cheer.

After two years of this experience in the wilderness, Daniel Boone
returned to his home on the Yadkin to make preparations for removal. By
September, 1773, he had sold his farm and was ready to go with his
family to settle in Kentucky. His enthusiastic reports of the fertile
country he had been exploring found eager listeners, and when his party
was ready to start it included, besides his wife and children, five
families and forty men, with a sufficient number of horses and cattle.
Unhappily they were attacked on their way by Indians, and six men, one
of them Boone's eldest son, were killed. Discouraged by this setback the
party returned to the nearest settlement, and for a while longer the
migration westward was postponed.

But it was Boone's unflinching purpose to settle in the beautiful
Kentucky region. It had already become historic, for the Indians called
it a "dark ground," a "bloody ground," and an old Indian Chief had
related to Boone how many tribes had hunted and fought on its disputed

None of the Indians held an undisputed claim to the land. Nevertheless a
friend of Boone, Richard Henderson, and other white men made treaties
with the powerful Cherokees, who allowed them to settle here. As soon
as it became certain that the Cherokees would not interfere, Henderson
sent Boone in charge of thirty men to open a pathway from the Holston
River, over Cumberland Gap to the Kentucky River. This is still known as
the Wilderness Road, along which so many thousand settlers afterward
made their way.

On reaching the Kentucky River, Boone and his men set to work to build a
fort on the left bank of the stream. This fort they called
Boonesborough. Its four stout walls consisted in part of the outer sides
of log cabins and in part of a stockade, some twelve feet high, made by
thrusting into the ground stout pieces of timber pointed at the top.
There were loop-holes in all the cabins, and a loop-holed block-house at
each corner of the fort.

Daniel Boone, the leader of this settlement, was a man of interesting
personality. He was a tall, slender backwoodsman, with muscles of iron
and a rugged nature that enabled him to endure great hardship. Quiet and
serious, he possessed courage that never shrank in the face of danger.
Men had confidence in him because he had confidence in himself.
Moreover, his kind heart and tender sympathies won lasting friendships.
He usually though not always dressed like an Indian. A fur cap, a
fringed hunting shirt, and leggings and moccasins, all made of skins of
wild animals, made up his ordinary costume.

[Illustration: Daniel Boone in his Cabin.]

If we should go in imagination into Daniel Boone's log cabin out in the
clearing not far from the fort, we should find it a simple home with
rude furnishings. A ladder against the wall was the stairway by which
the children reached the loft. Pegs driven into the wall held the scanty
family wardrobe, and upon a rough board, supported by four wooden legs,
was spread the family meal.

There was an abundance of plain and simple food. Bear's meat was a
substitute for pork, and venison for beef. As salt was scarce, the beef
was not salted down or pickled, but was jerked by drying in the sun or
smoking over the fire. Corn was also an important article of diet. When
away from home to hunt game or to follow the war trail, sometimes the
only food which the settler had was the parched corn he carried in his
pocket or wallet. Every cabin had its hand-mill for grinding the corn
into meal and a mortar for beating it into hominy. The mortar was made
by burning a hole into the top of a block of wood.

[Illustration: A Hand Corn Mill.]

A pioneer boy found his life a busy and interesting one. While still
young he received careful training in imitating the notes and calls of
birds and wild animals. He learned how to set traps, and how to shoot a
rifle with unerring aim. At twelve years of age he became a
fort-soldier, with port-hole assigned to him for use in case of an
Indian attack. He received careful training, also, in following an
Indian trail and in concealing his own when on the warpath. For expert
knowledge of this kind was necessary in the midst of dangers from unseen
foes that were likely to creep stealthily upon the settlers at all
times whether they were working in the clearings or hunting in the

After building the fort, Boone returned to his home in North Carolina
for his family. Some months after the family reached Boonesborough,
Boone's daughter with two girl friends was one day floating in a boat
near the river-bank. Suddenly five Indians darted out of the woods and,
seizing the three girls, hurried away with them. When in their flight
the Indians observed the eldest of the girls breaking twigs and dropping
them in their trail, they threatened to tomahawk her unless she stopped
it. But watching her chance, she from time to time tore off strips of
her dress, and dropped them as guides to the pursuing whites.

As soon as possible after hearing of the capture Boone, with seven other
men from the fort, started upon the trail of the Indians and kept up the
pursuit until, early on the second morning, they discovered the Indians
sitting around a fire cooking breakfast. Suddenly the whites, firing a
volley, killed two of the Indians and frightened the others so badly
that they beat a hasty retreat, leaving the girls uninjured.

Early in 1778, Boone and twenty nine other men were captured and carried
off by a party of Indian warriors. At that time the Indians in that part
of the country were fighting on the English side in the Revolution, and
as they received a ransom for any Americans they might hand over to the
English, they took Boone and the other men of his party to Detroit.

Although the English offered $500 for Boone's ransom the Indians
refused to let him go. They admired him so much that they took him to
their home, and with due ceremony adopted him into their tribe. Having
plucked out all his hair except a tuft on the top of his head, they
dressed this with feathers and ribbons as a scalp-lock. Next they threw
him into the river and gave his body a thorough scrubbing in order to
wash out all the white blood. Then, daubing his face with paint in true
Indian fashion, they looked upon him with huge satisfaction as one of

[Illustration: A Wigwam.]

Boone remained with them several months, during which he made the best
of the life he had to lead. But when he heard that the Indians were
planning an attack upon Boonesborough, he determined to escape if
possible and give his friends warning. His own words tell the story in a
simple way: "On the 16th of June, before sunrise, I departed in the most
secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th after a journey
of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." He could not get any
food because he dared not use his gun, nor would he build a fire for
fear of discovery by his foes. He reached the fort in safety, where he
was of great service in beating off the attacking party.

But this is only one of the many hairbreadth escapes of the fearless
backwoodsman. Once while in a shed looking after some tobacco, four
Indians with loaded guns appeared at the door. They said: "Now, Boone,
we got you. You no get away any more. You no cheat us any more." In the
meantime, Boone had gathered up in his arms a number of dry tobacco
leaves, and with the dust of these suddenly filled the Indians' eyes and
nostrils. Then while they were coughing, sneezing, and rubbing their
eyes, he made good his escape.

[Illustration: Indian Implements]

But from all his dangerous adventures Boone came out safely, and for
years remained the leader of the settlement at Boonesborough. He was
certainly a masterful leader in that early pioneer life in Kentucky.
The solitude of the wilderness never lost its charm for him even to the
last of his long life. He died in 1820, eighty-five years old. It has
been said that but for him the settlement in Kentucky could not have
been made for many years.




  1. Try to form a picture of Boone alone in the woods in his
  boyhood, and then tell the story of what he did.

  2. Do the same with Boone alone in the Kentucky forest after
  his brother had left him.

  3. What do you admire in Boone's character? How did he dress?
  Describe his log cabin. Give some facts about the Kentucky
  settlers' diet.

  4. Tell something about the life of the pioneer boy.

  5. Give an account of Boone's adoption into an Indian tribe.

  6. What was Boone's great work?


Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase


[Illustration: Thomas Jefferson.]

Through the achievements of early pioneers and settlers, of whom Daniel
Boone is the type, the region lying between the Alleghany Mountains and
the Mississippi River came into the possession of the United States. In
a very different way did the territory lying between the Mississippi
River and the Rocky Mountains become a part of the national domain. It
was acquired not by exploration or settlement, but by purchase, and the
man most intimately associated with this purchase was Thomas Jefferson.

He was born in 1743 near Charlottesville, Va., on a plantation of nearly
2,000 acres. From his father, a man of great physical strength and
energy, Thomas inherited a hardy constitution. As a boy he lived an
out-of-door life, sometimes hunting for deer, wild turkeys, and other
game, sometimes swimming or paddling his boat in the river near his
home, and sometimes riding one of his father's horses. A skilful and a
daring rider, he remained to the end of his long life fond of a fine

When he was five years of age he entered school, and thus early began
his life-long habit of reading and study. Even in his younger boyhood
days he was known among his playmates for industry and thoroughness.

At seventeen he entered William and Mary College, at Williamsburg, Va.
Although Williamsburg was a village of only 1,000 people, it was the
State capital, and represented the most aristocratic and refined social
life of the colony. As a young college student Jefferson received the
full advantage of this good society, and at the same time studied very
hard, sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day. But for his strong body
and sound health he must have broken down under such a severe strain.

Being simple, refined, and gentle in manner, with a cheerful disposition
and rare intelligence, he easily won and kept warm friends. One of these
was the rollicking, fun-loving Patrick Henry, who with his jokes and
stories kept everyone about him in good humor. He and Jefferson were, in
their youth, the best of friends, and spent many an hour in playing
their violins together.

While in college at Williamsburg Jefferson, according to a description
left of him as he appeared at that time, was six feet two and one-half
inches tall, with a slender frame, a freckled face, sandy hair,
hazel-gray eyes, and large feet and hands. He stood erect, straight as
an arrow, a perfect picture of health and vigorous young manhood.

It was during the last of his five-year stay at Williamsburg that
Jefferson, then twenty-two-years old, stood one day at the door of the
court-house earnestly listening to his friend Patrick Henry as he
delivered his famous speech. The impassioned words of the great orator,
bitterly denouncing the Stamp Act, made a deep impression upon young
Jefferson's fervid nature. They fell as seed in good soil, and a few
years later yielded harvest in the cause of liberty.

These two men, devoted friends as they were, had many traits in common.
Both were earnest patriots and fought in the same cause. But unlike
Patrick Henry Thomas Jefferson was a poor speaker. His power expressed
itself rather through his writing, and with such grace and strength that
he has rightly been called "The Pen of the Revolution."

At twenty-nine years of age he married a beautiful young widow of
twenty-three. After the wedding festivities, he and his bride started
out in a four-horse carriage to drive to his home, Monticello, more than
100 miles away. It was in the month of January, and a heavy snow-storm
overtook them, compelling them to abandon the carriage and continue the
journey over the rough mountain roads on horseback.

When at last they reached Monticello, tired and hungry, it was so late
that the slaves had gone to their quarters for the night. The house was
dark and the fires all out, but the bride and groom quickly kindled a
fire, hunted up refreshments, and made the empty rooms ring with their
songs and merriment. Thus with joyous hearts did they begin a
long-continued and happy married life in their beautiful home,

Both Jefferson and his wife inherited wealth. When he was married, he
owned 5,000 acres of land and fifty-two slaves, and a year later his
wife's father died and left her 40,000 acres of land and 135 slaves.

[Illustration: Monticello.]

He became strongly attached to his mountain home and his life there as a
planter, taking great interest in laying out and cultivating the
grounds, and in introducing many new varieties of plants and trees.

But he was too public-spirited to be lost in his private interest. In
the year following his marriage, the famous "Boston Tea Party" emptied
the chests of taxed tea into Boston Harbor. Then followed such stirring
events as the Boston Port Bill, the first meeting of the Continental
Congress, and the battles of Lexington and Concord; and finally the
crisis, when the brave men of the Continental Congress, having decided
that the time had come for the American people to declare themselves
free and independent of England, appointed a committee of five to draw
up the Declaration of Independence.


Jefferson was one of this committee and, as he had distinguished himself
for literary ability, it fell to him to write the first draft of this
great state paper. Congress spent a few days in making some unimportant
changes in Jefferson's draft, but left it practically as he had written
it. On July 4, 1776, all the members of the Continental Congress signed
the Declaration of Independence in Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, a
hall which is yet standing.

One of the striking things that Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of
Independence was that "all men are created equal." He was always
democratic in feeling, trying to do what he could for the interest of
rich and poor alike. There was a law in Virginia requiring that the
owner of land should hand it down to his eldest son. In its place he got
a law passed which would permit all the children of a family to share in
the land owned by their father. Another law in Virginia required that
people should pay taxes for the support of the religious denomination,
or church, known as the Established Church. As Jefferson believed this
law unfair, he secured the passage of one which provided that nobody
should be compelled to pay taxes for the support of any church.

But Jefferson showed his sympathy for the rights of others quite as much
in his private as in his public life, and won the personal attachment of
his numerous household. His letters to his little daughters were full
of loving advice, and their letters to him breathed the spirit of
genuine affection. When, after the close of the Revolution, Franklin
returned from his mission as minister to France, Jefferson was sent to
take his place. On his return to Monticello at the end of five years,
his slaves went miles to meet him and give him a hearty welcome home.
They wished to take the horses from the carriage, that they might draw
it themselves; and when, arriving at the house, Jefferson alighted, they
bore him proudly upon their shoulders, while they laughed and cried for
joy because "Massa" had come home again.

Jefferson was truly polite, because he had warm sympathy for others,
especially for the poor and the needy. Once when he and his grandson
were out riding together they met a negro who bowed to them. The young
man paid no attention to the negro, but Jefferson politely returned the
bow, saying, "Do you permit a negro to be more of a gentleman than
yourself?" thus teaching the young man a useful lesson.

After filling many of the highest offices in the country, Thomas
Jefferson became the third President of the United States in 1801. He
had looked on with serious misgivings at some of the ceremonies and
formalities in the executive mansion while Washington was President. He
loved Washington, but he did not think that the President of the United
States should be coldly formal and hold himself aloof from the people
quite as much as Washington did. He believed in "republican
simplicity," which he began to practise on the very day he was

On that occasion he went on foot to the capitol, clothed in his
every-day dress, and attended by some of his political friends. It
became his custom later when going up to the capitol on official
business to ride on a horse, which he tied with his own hands to a fence
near by, before entering. He declined to hold weekly levees, as had been
the custom, but instead opened his house to all on the fourth of July
and the first of January. In these ways he was carrying out his
convictions that the President should be simple in dress and manner, or,
in other words, should live in "republican simplicity."

Many acts of Jefferson prove that he was an able statesman; but one of
the greatest things he did, while President in the years 1801-1809, was
the purchase of Louisiana. Do not think of this territory as the State
of Louisiana. It was far more than this, for it included all the country
lying between the Mississippi River on the east and the Rocky Mountains
on the west, and extending from Canada on the north to Texas on the

In 1763, at the close of the Last French War, France gave up all this
vast region to Spain. But in 1800, Napoleon forced Spain to give it up
to France. When the Americans learned that Louisiana had again become
French territory they were alarmed, as the country that held Louisiana
could control the mouth of the Mississippi, and stop all American goods
passing down through the river. As a consequence, American settlers
living west of the Alleghanies would not be able to find a ready outlet
to the world for their products. Then, too, France might plant a strong
colony in Louisiana and thus give the American people untold trouble.

[Illustration: Map of Louisiana Purchase; also United States in 1803.]

Accordingly, President Jefferson sent Monroe to France to aid in
securing New Orleans and a stretch of territory in Louisiana lying on
the east bank of the Mississippi. By getting that territory, the
Americans would own the entire east bank of the river, and could
therefore control their own trade.

The Americans approached Napoleon at a fortunate time; for he was
greatly in need of money to aid him in his war with England. Besides, he
feared that England might seize Louisiana with her fleet. He therefore
gladly sold us for $15,000,000 all the immense territory of Louisiana.

By carefully looking at your map you will get some idea of its vast
extent. It was much larger than all the rest of the territory which we
held before this purchase was made. Jefferson himself, perhaps, hardly
realized how great a thing he was doing for his country when he made the

At the end of his term of office as President, Jefferson retired to
private life in his much-loved home of Monticello. Famous not only for
his statesmanship, but for his learning, he was called the "Sage of
Monticello," and was visited by people from far and near. The number of
his guests was enormous, his housekeepers sometimes finding it
necessary to provide fifty beds for them.

Of course all this entertaining was a great burden, and the expense of
it almost ruined him financially. But his life moved happily on. Always
busy with some useful work, he took a deep interest in education, and
was the founder of the University of Virginia, in which he felt a just

On July 4, 1826, just fifty years after the signing of the Declaration
of Independence, this great man breathed his last, at the ripe age of
eighty-three. On the tombstone which marks his grave at Monticello is
this inscription, written by his own hand: "Here was buried Thomas
Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, of the Statutes of
Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of
Virginia." It was such things as these--things that touched the freedom
of all men--that he sought to further, and in so doing found his
greatest satisfaction.




  1. Tell about Jefferson's youthful friendship for Patrick Henry.

  2. How did Jefferson look when he was in college?

  3. Describe Jefferson's happy home life. How did he show his
  interest in the people? How did his slaves regard him?

  4. What is meant by his "republican simplicity"?

  5. When and why did Jefferson purchase Louisiana?

  6. Draw a map of Louisiana.

  7. What do you admire in Jefferson's character?


Robert Fulton and the Steamboat


[Illustration: Robert Fulton.]

After the purchase of Louisiana thousands of settlers joined the
ever-swelling tide of westward migration which had been set in motion by
the early pioneers. These frontiersmen had made their way across the
mountains either by the forest trail, leading with them their
pack-horses or, a little later, by the rough road cut through the
forest, their household goods packed in a strong wagon drawn by oxen or

Already this difficult method had given place to the flat boat, which,
though safer and more convenient, was still unsatisfactory except when
it floated down stream. In the early years of this century, therefore,
the increasing demands of migration and traffic turned many inventive
minds to the problem of applying steam-power to river navigation, in the
hope of accomplishing a speedier means of travel and transportation.
The first to achieve success in inventing and bringing into practical
use a steam-driven boat was Robert Fulton.

Robert Fulton was born of poor parents in 1765, in Little Britain, Pa.
His father having died when the boy was only three years old, his mother
took charge of his education. She taught him herself until he was eight
and then sent him to school. But he had no liking for books, and made
slow progress. Drawing and mechanical devices absorbed his interest, and
nothing gave him greater delight than to visit the shops of mechanics
and there with his own hands to work out his new ideas.

It is said that Robert came into school late one morning, and upon being
reproved by his teacher explained that he had been at a shop beating a
piece of lead into a pencil. At the same time he exhibited the pencil
and remarked: "It is the best that I have ever used." Upon examining it
the school-master was so well pleased that he praised Robert's effort,
and in a short time nearly all the pupils were using the same sort of

[Illustration: A Pack Horse.]

His ingenious ideas found expression in other ways. For example, it was
the custom of his town to celebrate the Fourth of July by an
illumination with candles; but one year candles being scarce, the
citizens were requested to omit the usual display. Robert was at this
time only thirteen years old, and like other boys of his age, full of
Fourth of July patriotism which had to be expressed in some
extraordinary way. So he set his busy brain to work, and having bought
gunpowder and pasteboard, produced some home-made sky-rockets which
greatly astonished the community by their mid-air explosions. Such
fireworks were at that time entirely new to the people of the town.

[Illustration: A Flat Boat.]

Another illustration of his inventive gift belongs to his boyhood days.
He and one of his playmates used to go out fishing in a flat boat which
they propelled by the use of long poles. Getting tired of this method of
navigation, Robert made two crude paddle-wheels, one for each side of
the boat, connecting them by a sort of double crank, which the boys
united in turning. They could then easily propel the boat in their
fishing trips to various parts of the lake, and keenly enjoyed this
novel and easy way of going a-fishing.

While still young Robert won the warm regard of a great painter,
Benjamin West, whose father was an intimate friend of Robert's father.
Very likely this friendship turned Robert's mind strongly toward
painting. At all events, the desire to become an artist took so strong
a hold upon him that at the age of seventeen he went to Philadelphia and
devoted his time to drawing and painting. Here he remained three years
and painted with such skill that he not only supported himself, but sent
money to his old home, and saved $400, with which he bought a little
home for his mother.

In time his interest in art led him to go to London, where he studied
under Benjamin West. But very soon he became interested in trying to
improve canal navigation and in working out various mechanical

This love for invention finally diverted his attention very largely from
painting, and led him to the work which made him famous. When about
thirty years old he went to Paris to experiment with a diving-boat, an
invention of his own, intended to carry cases of gunpowder under water.
This machine was not successful, but by the spring of 1801, a little
more than three years after his first effort, he had constructed another
diving-boat, and went with it to Brest where he gave it a successful
trial. With three companions he descended twenty-five feet below the
surface of the water and remained for one hour. In 1805 he tested it
again in England where, with a torpedo of 170 pounds, he blew up a
vessel of 200 tons.

For the invention of the torpedo-boat, the world is indebted to Fulton,
but for the first successful steamboat it owes him a debt of deeper
gratitude. Before leaving Paris, Fulton became acquainted with Robert
R. Livingston, who was at that time the American minister to France. Mr.
Livingston had long felt an interest in steamboat navigation, and was
willing to supply Fulton the necessary money. A steamboat, constructed
at Paris, was finished by the spring of 1803, and the day for its trial
trip was at hand, when, early one morning the boat broke in two parts
and sunk to the bottom of the river. The frame had been too weak to
support the weight of the heavy machinery. On receiving the news, Fulton
hastened to the scene of his misfortune and began at once the work of
raising the boat. For twenty-four hours, without food or rest, and
standing up to his waist in the cold water, he labored with his men
until he succeeded in raising the machinery and in placing it in another
boat. But the exposure to which he submitted himself brought on a lung
trouble from which he never fully recovered.

Having discovered the defects of the machinery Fulton returned in 1806
to America, where, with money furnished by his friend Livingston, he
began to construct another steamboat which he called the Clermont, after
the name of Livingston's home on the Hudson. This boat was 130 feet long
and 18 feet wide, with a mast and a sail, and on each side a wheel 15
feet in diameter, fully exposed to view.

One morning in August, 1807, a throng of expectant people gathered on
the banks of the North River at New York, to see the trial of the
Clermont. Everybody was looking for failure. People had all along
spoken of Fulton as a crack-brained dreamer, and had called the Clermont
"Fulton's Folly." "Of course the thing would not move." "That any man
with common-sense might know," they said. So while Fulton was waiting to
give the signal to start, these wiseacres were getting ready to jest at
his failure.

[Illustration: The Clermont.]

Finally, at the signal, the Clermont moved slowly, and then stood
perfectly still. "Just what I have been saying," said one onlooker with
emphasis. "I knew the boat would not go," said another. "Such a thing is
impossible," said a third. But they spoke too soon, for after a little
adjustment of the machinery, the Clermont steamed proudly up the Hudson.

As she continued her journey, all along the river, people who had come
from far and near stood watching the strange sight. When the boatmen and
sailors on the Hudson, heard the clanking machinery and saw the great
sparks of fire and the volumes of dense, black smoke rising out of the
funnel, they thought the Clermont was a sea-monster. In their
superstitious dread, some of them went ashore, some jumped into the
river, and some fell on their knees in fear, believing the day of
judgment to be at hand. One old Dutchman told his wife that he had seen
the devil coming up the river on a raft.

The trip of 150 miles from New York to Albany was made in thirty-two
hours. Success had at last rewarded this man of strong common-sense,
quiet modesty, and iron will. The Clermont was the first steamboat of
practical use ever invented. From that time men saw the immeasurable
advantage to trade of steam navigation on lakes and rivers.

This was Fulton's last work of great public interest. He died in 1815,
having rendered an untold service to the industrial welfare of his
country and the world.




  1. Give an account of Fulton's life at school, and his youthful

  2. Tell about his experience with the diving-boat.

  3. What serious accident happened to his boat?

  4. Imagine yourself on the Clermont at the time of its trial
  trip, and give an account of the journey from New York to

  5. What do you admire in the character of Robert Fulton?


Andrew Jackson, the Upholder of the Union


[Illustration: Andrew Jackson.]

Only four years after the Clermont made its successful trip up the
Hudson, the first steamboat on the Ohio was launched at Pittsburg. This
boat was the forerunner of numerous steam-driven craft which swarmed the
extensive network of rivers west of the Alleghany Mountains. A fresh
impulse was given to westward migration, for settlers could now easily
and cheaply reach the fertile lands of the Mississippi Valley, and,
having raised an abundant crop, could successfully send the surplus to
the Eastern markets. Under conditions so favorable the West grew in
population with marvellous rapidity.

Wealth went hand in hand with the increase of population, and greatly
strengthened the influence of the people of the West in the affairs of
the country. By 1829, one of their number became the sixth President of
the United States. This was Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee.

Andrew Jackson was born in Union County, N. C., in 1767, of poor
parents, who about two years before had come from Ireland. In a little
clearing in the woods, they had built a rude log hut and settled down to
hard work.

But Andrew's father soon died, and his mother went with her children to
live in her brother's home, where she spun flax to earn money. She was
very fond of little Andrew and hoped some day to make a minister of him.
With this in view she sent him to school where he learned reading,
writing, and a little ciphering. But he cared so little for study that
he made small advancement, and in fact never learned to spell well nor
to write the English language with ease or even correctness.

He found great pleasure in hunting and in rough-and-tumble sports,
excelling in running, jumping, and wrestling. Although not robust, he
was wiry and energetic, and when a stronger boy threw him to the ground,
he was so agile that he always managed to regain his feet.

[Illustration: Andrew Jackson's Cradle.]

As a school-boy Andrew was a bare-footed, freckle-faced lad, with
slender frame, bright blue eyes, and reddish colored hair. Full of life
and fun, he became known as "Mischievous Andy." Andy was brave and ready
to champion the weaker and smaller boys, but sometimes he became
overbearing and at other times his quick temper got him into trouble.
One day his companions, wishing to play a practical joke upon him,
secretly overloaded a gun, and dared Andy to shoot it. The fearless
little fellow, seizing the gun, shot it off, and was kicked violently
upon his back. But quickly jumping up, his eyes blazing with anger, he
shouted, "If any of you boys laugh, I'll kill him." The boys did not

[Illustration: A Spinning Wheel.]

While he was yet a lad the Revolution broke out, and there was severe
fighting between the Americans and the British near his home. His love
of action, which up to that time had expressed itself in out-of-door
sports, now took a more serious turn. War became a passion with him, and
from this time he could not visit the local blacksmith's shop without
hammering into shape some form of weapon. Once while fiercely cutting
weeds with a scythe he was heard repeating these words: "Oh, if I were a
man, how I would sweep down the British with my grass blade!"

In the course of a few years young "Andy" had real British soldiers to
fight; for he was only thirteen when he was made a prisoner of war. One
day soon after his capture, a British officer ordered him to clean his
muddy boots. The fiery youth flashed back: "Sir, I am not your slave. I
am your prisoner, and as such I refuse to do the work of a slave."
Incensed at this reply, the brutal officer struck the boy a cruel blow
with his sword. Andrew saved himself from the brunt of the blow, but
received two severe wounds, the scars and the bitter memory of which he
carried through life.

These indignities were but a beginning. He was transferred to the prison
pen about Camden jail, some forty miles away, where without shelter and
almost without food, he suffered from heartless exposure. In a weak and
half-starved condition, his wounds yet unhealed, he fell a victim to
small-pox. Hearing of his wretched plight, Andrew's mother secured his
release and took him home with her. Andrew struggled for months with a
severe illness. Before he had entirely recovered, his mother died
leaving him quite alone in the world.

But these hardships passed, and some years later Andrew decided to
become a lawyer. After studying law for a while, at twenty-one he
crossed the mountains with an emigrant party into the backwoods region
of Tennessee. Now grown to manhood, he was six feet and one inch tall,
slender, straight, and graceful, with a long slim face and thick hair
falling over a forehead beneath which looked out piercing blue eyes.

When he reached Nashville, the destination of his party, his experience
was, in a large measure, the same as that of Daniel Boone in the wilds
of Kentucky. When the women of the settlement went out to pick berries,
and when the men hoed corn in the clearings, some of the settlers, gun
in hand, with watchful eyes stood guard against attack from stealthy

To the dangers belonging to backwoods life, Jackson was greatly exposed.
The court-houses in which, as public prosecutor, he had to try cases,
were in some instances hundreds of miles apart. In going from one to
another he journeyed alone, and sometimes had to remain alone in the
woods for twenty nights in succession. In periods of unusual danger, he
dared not light a fire or even shoot a deer for fear of Indians.

But in the midst of all these dangers he escaped harm, and by his energy
and business ability achieved success as a lawyer. In time he acquired
the means to become a large land-owner. After his marriage he built a
house which he called The Hermitage, on a plantation of 1,100 acres,
about eleven miles from Nashville.

Here Jackson lived with his wife, whom he loved with a deep and abiding
affection. They kept open house for visitors, and entertained large
numbers of guests at a time, treating rich and poor with like
hospitality. His warm heart and generous nature were especially shown in
his own household, where he was kind to all, including his slaves.
Having no children he adopted two, one of whom was an Indian baby-boy
who had lost his mother. Of these children, Jackson was very fond.

Indeed, childlike simplicity was always one of his striking traits. Not
even when he became a noted man did he give up smoking his corn-cob
pipe. But we must not think of him as a faultless man, for besides being
often rough in manner and speech he had a violent temper which got him
into many serious troubles; among them were some foolish duels.

[Illustration: Map Illustrating Two of Andrew Jackson's Campaigns.]

After one of his duels, with a ball in his shoulder and his left arm in
a sling, he went to lead an army of 2,500 men in an attack upon the
Creek Indians, who had risen against the whites in Alabama. These
Indians had captured Fort Mimms, which was in Southern Alabama, about
forty miles north of Mobile, and had massacred 500 men, women, and
children seeking shelter there. Although Jackson was weak from a long
illness, he marched with vigor against the Creeks. In the campaign he
endured much hardship, increased by the difficulty of feeding his 2,500
men in a wild country, where they almost starved for lack of food.

Under such conditions Jackson had to exercise much firmness and tact to
keep his army from deserting and returning home. The following incident
is told to show in what way he won the confidence and love of his men:
"A soldier, gaunt and woe-begone, approached the general one morning,
while he was sitting under a tree eating, and begged for some food, as
he was nearly starving. 'It has always been a rule with me,' replied
Jackson, 'never to turn away a hungry man when it was in my power to
relieve him, and I will most cheerfully divide with you what I have.'
Putting his hand into his pocket, he drew forth a few acorns, saying:
'This is the best and only fare that I have.'" But in spite of all his
drawbacks, Jackson conquered the Creeks, and thus broke for all time the
power of the Indians south of the Ohio River.

Not long afterward he was sent at the head of an army, with the rank of
major-general, to defend New Orleans against an attack of the British
who hoped to get control of the lower Mississippi and all the southern
part of what was then known as the Louisiana Territory. When Jackson
went down to New Orleans he was in such extremely poor health that he
was hardly able to sit on his horse. Nevertheless he worked night and
day with unflagging energy, arming his men and encouraging them to meet
the over-confident British foe.

The British army consisted of 12,000 veterans fresh from victories over
the great Napoleon. Naturally enough they despised the American
backwoodsmen. Their confidence seemed reasonable, for they numbered
twice as many as the Americans.

On January 8, 1815, the British made a vigorous assault on the American
lines. But they were mowed down with such terrible slaughter that at the
end of twenty-five minutes, they were forced to retreat with a loss of
2,600 men in killed and wounded. The Americans lost only twenty-one. The
resolute courage and unwearied action of "Old Hickory," as Jackson was
fondly called by his men, had won a signal victory. Through his military
reputation Jackson soon became very popular. His honesty and patriotism
took a strong hold on the people, and in due time he was elected
President of the United States.

A man of passionate feeling, he loved his friends and hated his enemies
with equal intensity. Moreover, he did not seem to think that a man
could disagree with him, especially in political matters, and still be
his friend. So when he became President he at once began to turn out of
office those who held government positions, and put into their places
men of his own political party who had helped to bring about his
election. Thus was introduced into our national civil service the
"spoils system."

We can readily imagine that such a man, so warm-hearted, and yet so
intolerant, would make many friends and many enemies. But no one doubted
his sincerity, especially in matters pertaining to the welfare of his
country. His absolute fairness and his high sense of duty are well
illustrated by his dealings with the Nullification Act. By reason of a
high tariff, passed for the protection of manufacturers in the North,
South Carolina declared that she would not allow any such law to be
enforced in that State. This declaration was called the Nullification


Jackson himself did not favor a high tariff, but he was firm in his
purpose that whatever law Congress passed should be enforced in every
State in the Union. When, therefore, he heard of the action of South
Carolina, he rose to the full height of his executive authority. The
news came to him as he was quietly smoking his corn-cob pipe. In a flash
of anger he cried aloud, "The Union! It must and shall be preserved!
Send for General Scott!" Troops were speedily sent to compel obedience,
and South Carolina withdrew her opposition.

In 1837, at the end of his term of office as President of the United
States, he went to his old home, The Hermitage, where he once more took
up the life of a hospitable planter. He was now nearly seventy years
old, and a constant sufferer from disease. With his usual stubborn will,
however, he battled for several years longer. He died in 1845, at the
age of seventy-eight, one of the most striking figures in American
history. His prompt and decisive action in compelling South Carolina to
obey the tariff laws did much to strengthen the Union, for it prepared
the nation to ward off the greater danger of secession, in which South
Carolina took the lead, twenty-eight years later.




  1. Explain the rapid growth of the West.

  2. Give an account of Jackson's experience in the Revolution.

  3. What sort of a man was he in his home life?

  4. What and where was The Hermitage?

  5. What were his most prominent traits of character?

  6. Tell about the Battle of New Orleans.

  7. What did Jackson do for the Union?


Daniel Webster, the Defender and Expounder of the Constitution


[Illustration: Daniel Webster.]

Andrew Jackson's stern rebuke of the nullification movement was a timely
one, for there existed in the South a widespread feeling that the Union
was not supreme over the States. In the North, on the contrary, the
Union was regarded as superior to the States and qualified to enforce
any law passed by Congress unless the Supreme Court should declare such
law unconstitutional. Which point of view was correct? The answer to
that momentous question involved a long and bitter struggle between the
two parts of the Union. The great statesman who set forth the northern
view was Daniel Webster.

He was born among the hills of New Hampshire, in Salisbury (now
Franklin), in 1782, the son of a poor farmer and the ninth of ten

As Daniel was a frail child, not able to work much on the farm, his
parents permitted him to spend much time in fishing, hunting, and
roaming at will over the hills. Thus he came into close touch with
nature, and gained much knowledge which was useful to him in later
years. It was his good fortune to have as a companion on these out-door
excursions an old English soldier and sailor then living in a small
house on the Webster farm. The two friends, so far apart in age, were
good comrades, and were often seen walking together along the streams.
The old soldier entertained his young listener with many thrilling tales
of adventure on land and sea, and the boy read to his friend from books
which the old man liked well.

Daniel's father had also been a soldier, having served in Indian wars
and in the Revolution, and related many interesting experiences to his
son. One which always appealed to young Daniel was the account of a
meeting, years before, with General Washington at the time when Arnold
was found to be a traitor. In this interview Washington had taken
Webster's hand and, looking seriously into his face, had said, "Captain
Webster, I believe I can trust you." This expression of confidence by
the general to his subordinate stirred the boy's imagination.

In these ways did his patriotism receive a great stimulus. An incident
which occurred when he was only eight years old illustrates the
seriousness of his mind. Having seen at a store near his home a small
cotton handkerchief with the Constitution of the United States printed
on it, he gathered up his small earnings to the amount of twenty-five
cents and eagerly secured the treasure. From this remarkable copy he
learned the Constitution word for word, so that he could repeat it from
beginning to end.

Of course this was an unusual thing for an eight-year-old boy to do, but
the boy himself was unusual. He spent much of his time poring over
books. They were few in number, but of good quality, and he read them
over and over again until he made them a part of himself. It was a
pleasure to him to memorize fine poems also, and noble selections from
the Bible, for he learned easily and remembered well what he learned. In
this way he stored his mind with the highest kind of truth.

Naturally his father was proud of his boy and longed to give him a good
education. One day, when Daniel was only thirteen years old, they were
at work together in the hay-field, when a college-bred man, also a
member of Congress, stopped to speak with Mr. Webster. When the stranger
had gone his way Mr. Webster expressed to his son deep regret that he
himself was not an educated man, adding that because of his lack of
education he had to work hard for a very small return.

"My dear father," said Daniel, "you shall not work. Brother and I will
work for you, and will wear our hands out, and you shall rest." Then
Daniel, whose heart was tender and full of deep affection, cried

"My child," said Mr. Webster, "it is of no importance to me. I now live
but for my children. I could not give your elder brothers the advantage
of knowledge, but I can do something for you. Exert yourself, improve
your opportunities, learn, learn, and when I am gone you will not need
to go through the hardships which I have undergone, and which have made
me an old man before my time."

These words show the earnest purpose of the father. The next year the
boy, now fourteen, was sent to Phillips Exeter Academy. The principal
began Daniel's examination by directing him to read a passage in the
Bible. The boy's voice was so rich and musical and his reading so
intelligent that he was allowed to read the entire chapter and then
admitted without further questioning. This was only one illustration of
his marvellous power as a reader. Teamsters used to stop at the home
farm in order to hear that "Webster boy," as they called Daniel, read or
recite poetry or verses of Scripture.

The boys he met at the academy were mostly from homes of wealth and
culture. Some of them were rude and laughed at Daniel's plain dress and
country manners. Of course the poor boy, whose health was still weak and
who was by nature shy and independent, found such treatment hard to

But he studied well, and soon commanded respect because of his high
rank. One of his school duties, however, he found impossible to perform,
and that was to stand before the school and declaim. He would carefully
memorize and practise his declamation, but, when called on to speak, he
could not rise from his seat and go upon the platform. During the nine
months of his stay in the academy, he failed to overcome his deficiency
in declaiming.

After leaving this school he studied for six months under Dr. Woods, a
private tutor, who prepared him to enter Dartmouth, at the age of

Although he proved himself to be a youth of great mental power, he did
not take high rank in scholarship. But he continued to read widely and
thoughtfully, and acquired much valuable knowledge which he used with
great clearness and force in conversation or debate. While in Dartmouth,
he overcame his inability as a declaimer, and gave striking evidence of
the oratorical power for which he afterward became so famous.

After spending two years in Dartmouth, Daniel begged his elder brother
Ezekiel to join him there. But Ezekiel was needed at home, for their
father, who was now sixty years old, was in poor health and had even at
that age to work hard to feed and clothe his family. He had found it
necessary to mortgage the farm to send Daniel to college. How could he
send Ezekiel, too? It seemed foolish to think of doing so. But when
Daniel urged such a course and agreed to help by teaching, the matter
was arranged.

After graduation Daniel taught for a year and earned the money he had
promised Ezekiel. The following year he studied law and in due time was
admitted to the bar. As a lawyer he was very successful, his income
sometimes amounting to $20,000 in a single year. But he could not
manage his money affairs well, and no matter how large his income he was
always in debt. This unfortunate state of affairs was owing to a
reckless extravagance, which he displayed in many ways.

Indeed, Webster was a man of such large ideas that of necessity he did
all things on a large scale. It was vastness that appealed to him. And
this dominating force in his nature explains his idea of nationality and
his opposition to State Rights. He was too large in his views of life to
limit himself to his State at the expense of his country. To him the
Union stood first and the State second, and to make the Union great and
strong became a ruling passion in his life.

Webster's magnificent reach of thought and profound reverence for the
Union is best expressed in his speeches. The most famous one is his
brilliant "Reply to Hayne."

Senator Hayne, of South Carolina, had delivered an able speech, in which
he put the authority of the State before that of the Union, and said
that the Constitution supported that doctrine. Webster, then a senator
from Massachusetts, had but one night to prepare an answer. But he knew
the Constitution by heart, for he had been a close student of it since
the days of childhood, when he had learned it from the cotton

Senator Hayne's masterly speech caused many people to question whether
even Daniel Webster could answer his arguments, and New England men
especially, fearing the dangerous doctrine of State Rights, awaited
anxiously the outcome. When, therefore, on the morning of January 26,
1830, Mr. Webster entered the Senate Chamber to utter that memorable
reply, he found a crowd of eager men and women waiting to hear him.

"It is a critical moment," said a friend to Mr. Webster, "and it is
time, it is high time, that the people of this country should know what
this Constitution _is_."

"Then," said Webster, "by the blessing of Heaven they shall learn, this
day, before the sun goes down what I understand it to be."

Nationality was Webster's theme, his sole purpose being to strengthen
the claims of the Union. For four hours he held his audience spellbound
while he set forth with convincing logic the meaning of the
Constitution. The great orator won an overwhelming victory. Not only
were many of his hearers in the Senate chamber that day convinced, but
loyal Americans all over the country were inspired with more earnest
devotion to the Union. His last words "Liberty and Union! one and
inseparable, now and forever" electrified his countrymen and became a
watchword of national progress.

Webster's power as an orator was enhanced by his remarkable physique.
His striking personal appearance made a deep impression upon everyone
that saw or heard him. One day when he was walking through one of the
streets of Liverpool a navvy said of him, "There goes a king!" On
another occasion Sydney Smith exclaimed, "Good heavens! he is a small
cathedral by himself." He was nearly six feet tall. He had a massive
head, a broad, deep brow, and great coal-black eyes, which once seen
could never be forgotten.

To the day of his death he showed his deep affection for the flag, the
emblem of that Union which had inspired his noblest efforts. During the
last few weeks of his life, troubled much with sleeplessness, he used to
watch the stars, and while thus occupied his eyes would often fall upon
a small boat of his which floated in plain view of his window. On this
boat he had a ship lantern so placed that in the darkness he could see
the Stars and Stripes flying there. The flag was raised at six in the
evening and kept flying until six in the morning to the day of Daniel
Webster's death, which took place in September, 1852. On looking at the
dead face a stranger said: "Daniel Webster, the world without you will
be lonesome."

[Illustration: Marshfield--Home of Daniel Webster.]

Although we need not be blind to his faults, we may indeed count him
among the greatest of Americans. For he did much to make the Union
strong. He filled many high positions and had a wonderful influence in
all the affairs of the nation.




  1. What do the following topics suggest to you concerning the
  boyhood experiences of Daniel Webster; Daniel and the old English
  soldier and sailor; Daniel's reading habits; his power as a
  reader; his deficiency in declamation?

  2. What was Daniel Webster's idea of the Union? Tell what you can
  about "Webster's Reply to Hayne."

  3. What picture have you of Webster's personal appearance? What
  is there in Webster's character that you admire?


Samuel Finley Breese Morse and the Electric Telegraph


[Illustration: S. F. B. Morse.]

Great as was the power of the steamboat and the railroad in quickening
the social life of mankind, of still greater influence in binding
together remote communities was the invention of the electric telegraph.
The steamboat and the railroad made travel and transportation easier,
and frequent intercourse by letters and newspapers possible; but the
electric telegraph enabled men to flash their thoughts thousands of
miles in a few seconds. The inventor of this wonderful mechanism was
Samuel Finley Breese Morse.

He was born, in 1791, in a house standing at the foot of Breed's Hill,
Charlestown, Mass. His father was a learned minister who, as Daniel
Webster said, "was always thinking, always writing, always talking,
always acting"; and his mother a woman of noble character, who inspired
her son with manly purpose.

When Finley was only four years of age he was sent to a school kept by
an elderly woman known as "Old Ma'am Rand." She was lame, but nowise
halting in discipline, for she kept near at hand a long rattan stick by
means of which, when necessary, she could quickly reach her pupils in
any part of the room.

He did not remain long under "Old Ma'am Rand's" tuition, for when he was
seven he went to school at Andover, and still later entered Phillips
Academy in the same town. At fourteen he entered Yale College, where
from the first he was a thoughtful and diligent student.

Very soon Finley's two brothers joined him at college. As their father
was poor, the boys had to help themselves along. Finley turned to
account his talent for drawing. He made considerable money by painting
on ivory likenesses of his classmates and professors, receiving for a
miniature $5, and for a profile $1.

At the end of his college course he made painting his chosen profession,
and planned to get the best instruction for his life work.

Having made a friend of the great artist, Washington Allston, Morse went
with him to London, and there studied under Benjamin West who, as you
remember, was Robert Fulton's teacher. Morse was at this time a young
man of modest, gentle, and sunny manner, and easily won the affection of
his new teacher.

West held his pupils to high standards, as the following instance shows.
Upon one occasion, after spending much time in making what he
considered to be a finished drawing, Morse laid it before West for
criticism. Upon careful examination the master praised it highly, and
then added:

"Very well, sir, very well; go on and finish it."

"It is finished," was Morse's reply.

"Oh, no," said Mr. West, "look here, and here, and here," pointing to
defects in the drawing.

After spending another week upon it, Morse took it to his teacher. Again
Mr. West praised it and added:

"Very well, indeed, sir; go on and finish it."

"Is it not finished?" Morse asked with surprise and disappointment in
his voice.

"Not yet," said his critic.

Morse spent three or four days more in trying to perfect the work, and
again handed it to his teacher, who, after again praising it, said:

"Well, sir, go and finish it."

"I cannot finish it," said Morse, by this time thoroughly disheartened.

"Well," replied Mr. West, "I have tried you long enough. Now, sir, you
have learned more by this drawing than you would have accomplished in
double the time by a dozen half-finished beginnings. It is not numerous
drawings, but the _character of one_, which makes a thorough
draughtsman. _Finish_ one picture, sir, and you are a painter."

After four years of study, Morse returned to Boston. But in the
meantime, like Fulton, he had gradually turned his thought from
painting to invention. His energies were now, for many years, divided
between the two.

During these years Morse had to depend for a livelihood mainly upon
drawing and painting. He travelled through New Hampshire and Vermont,
and even as far as South Carolina, everywhere painting miniatures on
ivory, and establishing his reputation as an artist.

In 1829 he went once more to Europe for study and remained three years;
but upon his return, although painting occupied much of his time, his
career as an artist ended. His change of vocation turned upon an
incident of his voyage home.

On the ocean steamer the conversation at dinner one day was about recent
experiments with electricity. The special question of inquiry was this:
"Does the length of wire make any difference in the velocity of the
electric current passing through it?" One of the men present, Dr.
Jackson, said that so far as experiments yet indicated, electricity
passed through any length of wire in an instant.

"Then," said Morse, "thought can be transmitted hundreds of miles
instantaneously by means of electricity. For if electricity will go ten
miles without stopping, I can make it go around the globe." What a
wonderful idea, in an instant to send thought thousands of miles and
make a record of it there! That is what the telegraph was to do!

When once the possibility of this great achievement entered Morse's
mind it took complete possession of him, and he could think of nothing
else through the busy days and sleepless nights that followed. His
note-book was ever at hand to outline the new instrument and to jot down
the signs in sending messages.

In a short time he had worked out on paper the whole scheme of
transmitting thought over long distances by means of electricity. And
now began twelve toilsome years of struggle to devise machinery for his
invention. To provide for his three motherless children, Morse had to
devote to painting much time that he otherwise would have spent in
perfecting the mechanical appliances for his telegraph. His progress
therefore was slow and painful, but he persistently continued in the
midst of discouraging conditions.

His brothers, who owned a building in New York on the corner of Nassau
and Beekman Streets, allowed Morse to have a room on the fifth floor.
Here he toiled day and night, sleeping little and eating the simplest
and scantiest food. Indeed, so meagre was his fare, consisting mainly of
crackers and tea, that he bought his provisions at night lest his
friends might discover his need.

During this time of hardship he kept starvation from his door by giving
lessons in painting to a few pupils. On a certain occasion, Morse said
to one of them, who owed him a quarter's tuition: "Well, Strothers, my
boy, how are we off for money?"

"Professor," said the young fellow, "I'm sorry to say I have been
disappointed, but I expect the money next week."

"Next week!" cried his needy teacher, "I shall be dead by next week."

"Dead, sir?" rejoined Strothers.

"Yes, dead by starvation," was the emphatic answer.

"Would $10 be of any service?" asked the pupil, now impressed with the
seriousness of the situation.

"Ten dollars would save my life," was the answer of the poor man, who
had been without food for twenty-four hours. You may be sure that
Strothers promptly handed him the money.

But in spite of heavy trials and many discouragements he had by 1837
finished a machine which he exhibited in New York. Among those present
was a gifted and inventive young man by the name of Alfred Vail. Greatly
impressed, he told Morse that he believed the telegraph would be
successful, and later he joined Morse in a business compact.

Alfred Vail's father and brother were wealthy men, the owners of large
iron and brass mills, and he himself was skilful in working brass. Morse
was therefore glad to accept him as a partner, especially on account of
his good financial backing. Young Vail was full of hope and enthusiasm,
and was of great assistance in devising suitable apparatus for the

But in spite of this substantial and timely aid, a patent was not
secured until 1840. Then followed a tedious effort to induce the
government at Washington to adopt and apply the invention. Finally,
after much delay, the House of Representatives passed a bill
"appropriating $30,000 for a trial of the telegraph." As you may know, a
bill cannot become a law unless the Senate also passes it, but the
Senate did not seem inclined to favor this one. Many people believed
that the whole idea of the telegraph was rank folly. They regarded Morse
and the telegraph very much as people had regarded Fulton and the
steamboat, and ridiculed him as a crazy-brained fellow.

Up to the evening of the last day of the session the bill had not been
considered by the Senate. Morse sat anxiously waiting in the Senate
chamber until nearly midnight, when, believing there was no longer any
hope, he withdrew and went home with a heavy heart.

Imagine his surprise, therefore, next morning, when a young woman, Miss
Annie G. Ellsworth, congratulated him at breakfast on the passage of his
bill. At first he could scarcely believe the good news, but when he
found that Miss Ellsworth was telling him the truth his joy was
unbounded, and he promised her that she should choose the first message.

By the next year (1844) a telegraph line, extending from Baltimore to
Washington, was ready for use. On the day appointed for trial Morse met
a party of friends in the chamber of the Supreme Court, at the
Washington end of the line, and sitting at the instrument which he had
himself placed for trial, the happy inventor sent the message, as
dictated by Miss Ellsworth, "What hath God wrought!"

The telegraph was a great and brilliant achievement, and brought to its
inventor well-earned fame. Morse married a second time and lived in a
beautiful home on the Hudson, where, with instruments on his table, he
could easily communicate with distant friends. Simple and modest in his
manner of life, he was a true-hearted, kindly Christian man. He was fond
of flowers and of animals. The most remarkable of his pets was a tame
flying-squirrel that would sit on his master's shoulders, eat out of his
hand, and go to sleep in his pocket.

[Illustration: Telegraph and Railroad.]

In his prosperity, honors were showered upon him by many countries. At
the suggestion of the French Emperor, representatives from many
countries of Europe met at Paris to determine upon some suitable
testimonial to Morse as a world benefactor. These delegates voted him
$80,000 as an expression of appreciation for his great invention. Before
his death, also, a statue to his memory was erected in Central Park,
New York.

In 1872 this noble inventor, at the ripe age of eighty-one, breathed his
last. The sincere expression of grief from all over the country gave
evidence of the place he held in the hearts of the people.




  1. What was the new problem?

  2. Tell the story of Morse and the painter, Mr. West.

  3. How was the idea of the telegraph suggested to Morse?

  4. Give an account of Morse's trials and sufferings.

  5. What honors were showered upon him?

  6. Describe Morse. What do you admire in his character?


Abraham Lincoln the Liberator of the Slaves


[Illustration: Abraham Lincoln.]

While Morse had been patiently struggling toward the completion of his
invention, the nation had been growing more and more tense in its
contest over slavery and State rights. As an outcome of the bitter
feeling in 1846, two years after the fulfilment of Morse's scheme,
Congress declared war against Mexico.

The Southern slaveholders hoped by this war to gain from their weak
neighbor territory favorable for the extension of slavery. For slavery
had long since been dying out in the States east of the Mississippi and
north of the Mason and Dixon Line and the Ohio. On the south of this
natural boundary line the soil and climate were adapted to the
cultivation of rice, cotton, sugar, and tobacco. These four staples of
the South called for large plantations and an abundance of cheap labor
always subject to the bidding of the planter. Slavery satisfied these
conditions, and therefore slavery seemed necessary to the prosperity of
the South.

It was because the soil and climate north of this natural boundary line
did not favor the use of slaves that slavery gradually died out in the
North. The result was that in one section of the Union, the South, there
was a pressing demand for slavery; and in the other, the North, there
was none. As time wore on, it became evident that the North was growing
in population, wealth, and political influence much faster than the
South. Observing this momentous fact, the slaveholders feared that in
the course of years Congress might pass laws unfriendly to slavery.
Hence, their stubborn purpose to struggle for the extension of slavery
as far as possible into the territory west of the Mississippi.

[Illustration: Lincoln's Birthplace.]

But in the North so powerful did the opposition to the spread of slavery
to new States become, that by 1855 there was a great political party
that had such opposition as its leading principle. One of its ablest and
most inspiring leaders was Abraham Lincoln. He was born in Kentucky,
February 12, 1809. The rough log cabin in which he first saw the light
was the wretched home of a father too lazy and shiftless to work, and so
ignorant that he is said not to have learned his letters until taught
by his wife. Little Abe's only playmates were his sister Sarah, two
years older than himself, and his cousin, Dennis Hanks, who lived in the
Lincoln home.

When Abe was seven years old the family moved to Indiana, and settled
about fifteen miles north of the Ohio River. The journey to their new
home was very tedious and lonely, for they had in some places to cut a
roadway through the forest.

Having arrived safely in November, all set vigorously to work to provide
a shelter against the winter. Young Abe was healthy, rugged, and active,
and from early morning till late evening he worked with his father,
chopping trees and cutting poles and boughs for their "camp." This
"camp" was a mere shed, only fourteen feet square, and open on one side.
It was built of poles lying upon one another, and had a thatched roof of
boughs and leaves. As there was no chimney, there could be no fire
within the enclosure, and it was necessary to keep one burning all the
time just in front of the open side.

In this rough abode the furniture was of the scantiest and rudest sort,
very much like what we have already observed in Boone's cabin. For
chairs there were the same kind of three-legged stools, made by
smoothing the flat side of a split log, and putting sticks into
auger-holes underneath. The tables were of the same simple fashion,
except that they stood on four legs instead of three.

The crude bedsteads in the corners of the cabin were made by sticking
poles in between the logs at right angles to the wall, the outside
corner where the logs met being supported by a crotched stick driven
into the ground. Upon this framework, shucks and leaves were heaped for
bedding, and over all were thrown the skins of wild animals for a
covering. Pegs driven into the wall served as a stairway to the loft,
where there was another bed of leaves. Here little Abe slept.

In the space in front of the open side of the cabin, hanging over the
fire, was a large iron pot, in which the rude cooking was done. These
backwoods people knew nothing of dainty cookery, but they brought keen
appetites to their coarse fare. The principal vegetable was the ordinary
white potato, and the usual form of bread was "corn-dodgers," made of
meal and roasted in the ashes. Wheat was so scarce that flour bread was
reserved for Sunday mornings. But generally there was an abundance of
game, such as deer, bears, and wild turkeys, many kinds of fish from the
streams close by, and in summer wild fruits from the woods.

During this first winter in the wild woods of Indiana little Abe must
have lived a lonely life. But it was a very busy one. There was much to
do in building the cabin which was to take the place of the "camp," and
in cutting down trees and making a clearing for the corn-planting of the
coming spring. Besides, Abe helped to supply the table with food, for he
had already learned to use the rifle, and to hunt and trap animals.
These occupations took him into the woods, and we must believe,
therefore, in spite of all the hardships of his wilderness life, that he
spent many happy hours.

If we could see him as he started off with his gun, or as he chopped
wood for the fires, we should doubtless find his dress somewhat
peculiar. He was a tall, slim, awkward boy, with very long legs and
arms. In winter he wore moccasins, trousers, and shirt of deerskin, and
a cap of coonskin with the tail of the animal hanging down behind so as
to serve both as ornament and convenience in handling the cap. On a cold
winter day, such a furry costume might look very comfortable if
close-fitting, but we are told that Abe's deerskin trousers, after
getting wet, shrunk so much that they became several inches too short
for his long, lean legs. As for stockings, he tells us he never wore
them until he was "a young man grown."

But although this costume seems to us singular, it did not appear so to
his neighbors and friends, for they were used to seeing boys dressed in
that manner. The frontiersmen were obliged to devise many contrivances
to supply their lack of manufactured things. For instance, they all used
thorns for pins, bits of stone for buttons, and home-made soap and
tallow-dipped candles. Candles, indeed, were a luxury much of the time,
and in Abe's boyhood, he was obliged in the long winter evenings to read
by the light of the wood fire blazing in the rude fireplace of the log

[Illustration: Lincoln Studying.]

Great as had been his privations in this Indiana home, Abe had now to
suffer a more grievous loss in the death of his mother. The rough life
of the forest and the exposure of the open cabin had been too much for
her delicate constitution. Before she died she said to her boy:
"Abraham, I am going away from you, and you will never see me again. I
know that you will always be good and kind to your sister and father.
Try to live as I have taught you, and to love your Heavenly Father."
Many years later Lincoln said, "All that I am, or I hope to be, I owe to
my angel mother."

A year after this sad event, his father brought home a second wife, who
became a devoted friend to the motherless boy. Energetic, thrifty, and
intelligent, this woman, who had been accustomed to better things than
she found in her new home, insisted that the log cabin should be
supplied with a door, a floor, and windows, and she at once began to
make the children "look a little more human."

Abraham Lincoln's schooling was brief--not more than a year in all. Such
schools as he attended were nothing like the graded schools of to-day.
The buildings were rough log cabins with the earth for floor and oiled
paper for windows. Desks were unknown, the little school-house being
furnished with rude benches made of split logs, after the manner of the
stools and tables in the Lincoln home. The teachers were ignorant men,
who taught the children a little spelling, reading, writing, and
ciphering. While attending the last school, Abe had to go daily a
distance of four and a half miles from his home.

In spite of this meagre schooling, however, the boy, by his
self-reliance, resolute purpose, and good reading habits, acquired the
very best sort of training for his future life. He had but few books at
his home, and found it impossible in that wild country to find many in
any other homes. Among those which he read over and over again, while a
boy, were the Bible, "Æsop's Fables," "Robinson Crusoe," "Pilgrim's
Progress," a History of the United States, and "Weems's Life of

His step-mother said of him: "He read everything he could lay his hands
on, and when he came across a passage that struck him, he would write it
down on boards, if he had no paper, and keep it before him until he
could get paper. Then he would copy it, look at it, commit it to memory
and repeat it."

His step-brother said: "When Abe and I returned to the house from work,
he would go to the cupboard, snatch a piece of corn-bread, take down a
book, sit down, cock his legs up as high as his head, and read." When
night came he would find a seat in the corner by the fireside, or
stretch out at length on the floor, and write or work sums in arithmetic
on a wooden shovel, using a charred stick for a pencil or pen. When he
had covered the shovel, he would shave off the surface and begin over

Having borrowed a copy of the "Life of Washington" on one occasion, he
took it to bed with him in the loft and read until his candle gave out.
Then before going to sleep, he tucked the book into a crevice of the
logs in order that he might have it at hand as soon as daylight would
permit him to read the next morning. But during the night a storm came
up, and the rain beat in upon the book, wetting it through and through.
With heavy heart Lincoln took it back to its owner, who told him that
it should be his if he would work three days to pay for it. Eagerly
agreeing to do this, the boy carried his new possession home in triumph.
This book had a marked influence over his future.

Until he was twenty his father hired him out to all sorts of work, at
which he sometimes earned $6 a month and sometimes thirty-one cents a
day. Just before he came of age his family, with all their possessions
packed in a cart drawn by four oxen, moved again toward the West. For
two weeks they travelled across the country into Illinois, and finally
made a new home on the banks of the Sangamon River, a stream flowing
into the Ohio. The tiresome journey was made in the month of March along
muddy roads and over swollen streams, young Lincoln driving the oxen.

On reaching the end of the journey, Abraham helped his father to build a
hut and to clear and fence ten acres of land for planting. Shortly after
this work was done he bargained with a neighbor, Mrs. Nancy Miller, to
split 400 rails for every yard of brown jeans needed to make him a pair
of trousers. As Lincoln was tall, three and one-half yards were needed,
and he had to split 1,400 fence rails--a large amount of work for a pair
of trousers.

From time to time he had watched the boats carrying freight up and down
the river, and had wondered where the vessels were going. Eager to know
by experience the life of which he had dreamed, he determined to become
a boatman. He was hungry for knowledge, and with the same earnestness
and energy with which he had absorbed the great thoughts of his books,
he now applied himself to learn the commerce of the river and the life
along its banks. When an opportunity presented, he found employment on a
flat boat that carried corn, hogs, hay, and other farm produce down to
New Orleans. On one of his trips he chanced to attend a slave auction.
Looking on while one slave after another was knocked down to the highest
bidder, his indignation grew until at length he cried out, "Boys, let's
get away from this; if I ever get a chance to hit that thing" (meaning
slavery), "I'll hit it hard." Little did he think then what a blow he
would strike some thirty years later.

Tiring at length of his long journeys to New Orleans, he became clerk in
a village store at New Salem. Many stories are told of Lincoln's honesty
as displayed in his dealings with the people in this village store. It
is said that on one occasion a woman in making change overpaid him the
trifling sum of six cents. When Lincoln found out the mistake he walked
three miles and back that night to give the woman her money.

He was now six feet four inches tall, a giant in strength, and a skilful
wrestler. Much against his will--for he had no love of fighting--he
became the hero of a wrestling match with a youth named Armstrong, who
was the leader of the rough young fellows of the place. Lincoln defeated
Armstrong, and by his manliness won the life-long friendship of his

At times throughout his life he was subject to deep depression, which
made his face unspeakably sad. But as a rule he was cheerful and merry,
and on account of his good stories was in great demand in social
gatherings and at the cross-roads grocery stores. At such times, when
the social glass passed around, he always declined it, never indulging
in strong liquor of any kind, nor in tobacco.

Lincoln was as kind as he was good-natured. His step-mother said of him:
"I can say, what scarcely one mother in a thousand can say, he never
gave me a cross word or look, and never refused in fact or appearance to
do anything I asked him." He was tender-hearted too, as the following
incident shows:

Riding along the road one day with a company of men, Lincoln was missed
by his companions. One of them, going to look for him, found that
Lincoln had stopped to replace two young birds that had been blown out
of their nest. He could not ride on in any peace of mind until he had
restored these little ones to their home in the tree-branches.

In less than a year the closing of the village store in which Lincoln
was clerk left him without employment. He therefore enlisted as a
volunteer for the Black Hawk War, which had broken out about this time,
and went as captain of his company. On returning from this expedition,
he opened a grocery store as part owner, but in this undertaking he soon
failed. Perhaps the reason for his failure was that his interest was
centred in other things, for about this time he began to study law.

For a while after closing his store he served the Government as
postmaster in New Salem, where the mail was so scanty that he could
carry it in his hat and distribute it to the owners as he happened to
meet them.

He next tried surveying, his surveyor's chain, according to report,
being a trailing grapevine. Throughout all these years Lincoln was
apparently drifting almost aimlessly from one occupation to another. But
whatever he was doing his interest in public affairs and his popularity
were steadily increasing. In 1834 he sought and secured an election to
the State Legislature. It is said that he tramped a distance of a
hundred miles with a pack on his back when he went to the State Capitol
to enter upon his duties as law-maker.

About four years after beginning to study law, he was admitted to the
bar and established himself at Springfield, Ill. From an early age he
had been fond of making stump speeches, and now he turned what had been
a pleasant diversion to practical advantage in the progress of his
political life. In due time he was elected to Congress, where his
interest in various public questions, especially that of slavery, became
much quickened.

On this question his clear head and warm heart united in forming strong
convictions that had great weight with the people. He continued to grow
in political favor, and in 1858 received the nomination of the
Republican party for the United States Senate. Stephen A. Douglas was
the Democratic nominee. Douglas was known as the "Little Giant," on
account of his short stature and great power as an orator.

The debates between the political rivals challenged the admiration of
the whole country. Lincoln argued with great power against the spread of
slavery into the new States. Although unsuccessful in securing a seat in
the Senate, he won a recognition from his countrymen that led to his
election as President two years later. In 1860 the Republican National
Convention, which met at Chicago, nominated "Honest Old Abe, the
Railsplitter," as its candidate for President, and elected him in the
same autumn.

The burning political question before the people at this time, as for
many years before, related to the extension of slavery into the
Territories. The South was eager to have more States come into the Union
as slave States, while the North wished that slavery should be confined
to the States where it already existed.

Before the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, Mason and Dixon
Line and the Ohio River formed the dividing line between the free States
on the north and the slave States on the south. But after that purchase
there was a prolonged struggle to determine whether the new territory
should be slave or free.

It was thought that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 would forever settle
the trouble, but such was not the case. It broke out again, as bitter as
ever, about the Mexican Cession, which became ours as a result of the
Mexican War. Again it was hoped that the Compromise of 1850 would bring
an end to the struggle. But even after this second compromise, the
agitation over slavery continued to become more and more bitter until
Mr. Lincoln's election, when some of the Southern States threatened to
secede, that is, withdraw from the Union. These States claimed the right
to decide for themselves whether or not they should remain in the Union.
On the other hand, the North declared that no State could secede from
the Union without the consent of the other States.

Before Lincoln was inaugurated, seven of the Southern States had
seceded. The excitement was everywhere intense. Many people felt that a
man of larger experience than Lincoln should now be at the head of the
Government. They doubted the ability of this plain man of the people,
this awkward backwoodsman, to lead the destinies of the nation in these
hours when delicate and intricate diplomacy was needed. But, little as
they knew it, he was well fitted for the work that lay before him.

While on his way to Washington for inauguration, his friends learned of
a plot to assassinate him when he should pass through Baltimore. To save
him from violence, therefore, they prevailed upon him to change his
route and make the last part of his journey in secret.

In a few weeks the Civil War had begun. We cannot here pause for full
accounts of all Lincoln's trials and difficulties during this fearful
struggle that began in 1861 and ended in 1865. His burdens were almost
overwhelming, but, like Washington, he believed that "right makes might"
and must prevail.

When he became President he declared that the Constitution gave him no
power to interfere with slavery in the States where it existed. But as
the war continued, he became certain that the slaves, by remaining on
the plantations and producing food for the Southern soldiers, were a
great aid to the Southern cause, and thus threatened the Union. He
therefore determined, as commander-in-chief of the Union armies, to set
the slaves free in all territory whose people were fighting against the
Union. He took this step as a military necessity.

The famous state paper, in which Lincoln declared that the slaves were
free in all the territory of the seceded States whose people were waging
war against the Union, was called the Emancipation Proclamation. This he
issued on January 1, 1863, and thus made good his word, "If ever I get a
chance to strike that thing" (meaning slavery), "I'll strike it hard."


On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered his army to General Grant at
Appomattox Court House. By this act the war came to a close. Great was
the rejoicing everywhere. But suddenly the universal joy was changed
into universal sorrow. Five days after Lee's surrender Lincoln went with
his wife and some friends to see a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington.
In the midst of the play, a half-crazed actor, who was familiar with the
theatre, entered the President's box, shot him in the back of the head,
jumped to the stage, and, shouting "Sic semper tyrannis!" (So be it
always to tyrants), rushed through the wing to the street. There he
mounted a horse in waiting for him, and escaped, but was promptly hunted
down and killed in a barn where he lay in hiding. The martyr-President
lingered some hours, tenderly watched by his family and a few friends.
When on the following morning he breathed his last, Secretary Stanton
said with truth, "Now he belongs to the ages." A noble life had passed
from the field of action; and the people deeply mourned the loss of him
who had wisely and bravely led them through four years of heavy trial
and anxiety.

Wise and brave as the leadership of Abraham Lincoln was, however, the
drain of the Civil War upon the nation's strength was well-nigh
overwhelming. Nearly 600,000 men lost their lives in this murderous
struggle, and the loss in wealth was not far short of $8,000,000,000.

But the war was not without its good results also. One of these,
embodied later in the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, set free
forever all the slaves in the Union; and another swept away for all time
the evils of State rights, nullification, and secession. Webster's idea
that the Union was supreme over the States had now become a fact which
could never again be a subject of dispute. The Union was "one and

[Illustration: Map of the United States showing the Southern
Confederacy, the Slave States that did not Secede, and the

The immortal words that Lincoln uttered as part of his Second Inaugural
are worthy of notice, for in their sympathy, tenderness, and beautiful
simplicity they reveal the heart of him who spoke them. This inaugural
address was delivered in Washington on March 4, 1865, only about six
weeks before Lincoln's assassination. It closed with these words:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the
work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who
shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan--to do all
which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves
and with all nations."




  1. Explain the conflict between the North and the South over the
  extension of slavery.

  2. Form mental pictures of the following: the "camp"; the
  furniture and the food of the backwoods people; and Abraham
  Lincoln's personal appearance.

  3. What were his reading habits?

  4. Imagine yourself with Lincoln when he saw the slave auction in
  New Orleans, and tell what you see.

  5. Tell, in your own words, what you have learned of his honesty,
  sympathy, and kindness.

  6. The greatest act of Abraham Lincoln's life was the issuing of
  the Emancipation Proclamation. What was this?

  7. What do you admire in the character of Abraham Lincoln?


Ulysses Simpson Grant and the Civil War


[Illustration: Ulysses S. Grant.]

In tracing the leading events in the remarkable career of the
martyr-President, we have had occasion to refer briefly to the causes
and results of the Civil War. It was a struggle that tested the manhood
quite as much as the resources of the warring sections, and each side
might well be proud of the bravery and military skill displayed by its
officers and soldiers. Certainly each side had among its generals some
of the greatest military leaders of all time. One of these, who is by
common consent regarded as the ablest general that led Northern troops
in battle, was Ulysses Simpson Grant.

He was born in a humble dwelling at Point Pleasant, O., in April, 1822.
The year following his birth the family removed to Georgetown, O., where
they lived many years.

The father of Ulysses was a farmer and manufacturer of leather. The boy
did not like the leather business, but was fond of the various kinds of
farm work. When only seven years old he hauled all the wood which was
needed in the home and at the leather factory, from a forest, a mile
from the village. As he was too small to load and unload the wood, the
men did that for him.

From the age of eleven to seventeen, according to his own story as told
in his "Personal Memoirs," he ploughed the soil, cultivated the growing
corn and potatoes, sawed fire-wood for his father's store, and did any
other work that would naturally fall to the lot of a farmer's boy. He
had his recreations, also, including fishing, swimming in the creek not
far from his home, skating in winter, and driving about the country
winter and summer.

Young Grant liked horses, and early became a skilful rider. Lincoln told
a story of him which indicates not only his expert horsemanship, but his
"bull-dog grit" as well. One day when he was at a circus the manager
offered a silver dollar to anybody who could ride a certain mule around
the ring. Several persons, one after another, mounted the animal only to
be thrown over its head. Young Ulysses was among those who offered to
ride, but like the others he was unsuccessful. Then pulling off his
coat, he got on the animal again. Putting his legs firmly around the
mule's body, and seizing him by the tail, Ulysses rode triumphantly
around the ring, amid the cheers of the expectant crowd.

Although he cared little for study, his father wished to give him all
the advantages of a good education, and secured for him an appointment
at West Point. This was indeed a rare opportunity for thorough training
in scholarship, but Ulysses was rather indifferent to it. He had a
special aptitude for mathematics, and became an expert horseman, but
with these exceptions, he took little interest in the training received
at this famous military school, his rank being only twenty-first in a
class of thirty-nine.

After graduation he wished to leave the army and become an instructor in
mathematics at West Point. But as the Mexican War broke out about that
time he entered active service. Soon he gave striking evidence of that
fearless bravery for which he was to become so noted on the
battle-fields of the Civil War.

It fell to his lot to deliver a message which necessitated a dangerous
ride. He says of it: "Before starting I adjusted myself on the side of
my horse farthest from the enemy, and with only one foot holding to the
cantle of the saddle and an arm over the neck of the horse exposed, I
started at full run. It was only at the street crossings that my horse
was under fire, but there I crossed at such a flying rate that generally
I was past and under cover of the next block of houses before the enemy
fired. I got out safely without a scratch."

Shortly after the close of the war Grant was married. Six years later he
resigned from the army and went with his family to live on a farm near
St. Louis. Although he worked hard, he found it up-hill work to support
his family, and was eventually compelled by bad health to give up
farming. He next tried the real estate business, but without success. At
last, his father offered him a place in his leather and hardware store,
where Grant worked as clerk until the outbreak of the Civil War.

With the news that the Southern troops had fired upon the flag at Fort
Sumter, Grant's patriotism was aroused. Without delay he rejoined the
army and at once took an active part in the preparations for war. First
as colonel and then as brigadier-general, he led his troops. At last he
had found a field of action in which he quickly developed his powers as
a leader.

The first of his achievements was the capture of Forts Henry and
Donelson, the centre of a strong Confederate line of defence, extending
from Columbus to Cumberland Gap. At Fort Donelson he received the
surrender of nearly 15,000 prisoners, and by his great victory compelled
the Confederates to abandon two of their most important strongholds,
Columbus and Nashville.

After the loss of Fort Donelson the Confederates fell back to a second
line of defence, extending from Memphis through Corinth to Chattanooga.
The Confederate army took position at Corinth; General Grant's army at
Pittsburg Landing, eighteen miles away. Here, early on Sunday morning,
April 6, 1862, Grant was attacked by Johnston, and his men were driven
back a mile and a half toward the river. It was a fearful battle,
lasting until nearly dark. Not until after midnight was Grant able to
rest, and then as he sat in the rain leaning against the foot of a tree,
he slept a few hours before the renewal of battle on Monday morning.
With reinforcements he was able on the second day to drive the enemy off
the field and win a signal victory.

By this battle Grant broke the second Confederate line of defence.
Although the Confederates fought bravely and well to prevent the
Northern troops from getting control of the Mississippi River, by the
close of 1862 they had lost every stronghold except Port Hudson and
Vicksburg. In 1863, General Grant put forth a resolute effort to capture
Vicksburg, and after a brilliant campaign laid siege to the city. For
seven weeks the Confederate army held out. Meanwhile the people of
Vicksburg found shelter in caves and cellars, their food at times
consisting of rats and mule flesh. But on July 4, 1863, the day
following General Lee's defeat at Gettysburg, General Pemberton, with an
army numbering about 32,000 men, surrendered Vicksburg to General Grant.
Four days later Port Hudson was captured, and thus the last stronghold
of the Mississippi came under control of the North.

General Grant's success was in no small measure due to his dogged
perseverance. While his army was laying siege to Vicksburg a Confederate
woman, at whose door he stopped to ask a drink of water, inquired
whether he expected ever to capture Vicksburg. "Certainly," he replied.
"But when?" was her next question. Quickly came the answer: "I cannot
tell exactly when I shall take the town, but _I mean to stay here till I
do, if it takes me thirty years_."

[Illustration: Map Illustrating Campaigns in the West in 1862-63.]

General Grant having by his effective campaign won the confidence of the
people, President Lincoln in 1864 made him lieutenant-general, thus
placing him in command of all the Northern forces. In presenting the new
commission, Lincoln addressed General Grant in these words: "As the
country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain you." General
Grant made answer: "I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now
devolving upon me; and I know that if they are met, it will be due to
those armies, and above all, to the favor of that Providence which leads
both nations and men."

Early in May, 1864, Grant entered upon his final campaign in Virginia,
and while he marched with his army "On to Richmond," General Sherman, in
Georgia, pushed with his army "On to Atlanta" and "On to the sea." Both
generals were able, and both had able opponents. Grant crossed the
Rapidan and entered the Wilderness, where Lee's army contested every
foot of his advance. In the terrible fighting that followed Grant's
losses were severe, but, with "bull-dog grit," to use Lincoln's phrase,
he pressed on, writing to the President his stubborn resolve, "I propose
to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."

It did take all summer and more, for Grant found it impossible to
capture Richmond by attacking it from the northern side. He therefore
transferred his army across the James River, and attacked the city from
the south; but at the end of the summer Lee still held out.

Nor did Lee relinquish his position until April 2, 1865, when he was
compelled to retreat toward the west. Grant pursued him closely for a
week, during which Lee's troops suffered great privation, living mainly
on parched corn and the young shoots of trees. Aware that the Southern
cause was hopeless, the distinguished leader of the Confederate armies,
after a most brilliant retreat, decided that the time had come to give
up the struggle.

While suffering from a severe sick headache, General Grant received a
note from Lee saying that the latter was now willing to consider terms
of surrender. It was a remarkable occasion when the two eminent generals
met on that Sunday morning, in what is known as the McLean house,
standing in the little village of Appomattox Court House. Grant writes
in his "Personal Memoirs": "I was without a sword, as I usually was when
on horseback on the field, and wore a soldier's blouse for a coat, with
the shoulder-straps of my rank to indicate to the army who I was....
General Lee was dressed in a full uniform which was entirely new, and
was wearing a sword of considerable value--very likely the sword which
had been presented by the State of Virginia.... In my rough travelling
suit, the uniform of a private with the straps of a lieutenant-general,
I must have contrasted very strangely with a man so handsomely dressed,
six feet high and of faultless form.


The result of the interview was the surrender of General Lee with his
entire army of 26,000 men. General Grant at this time gave striking
evidence of his great kindness of heart and fine delicacy of feeling. He
issued orders that all the Confederates who owned horses and mules
should be allowed to take them home. "They will need them for the spring
ploughing," he said. He spared the vanquished troops the humiliation of
marching out and stacking their arms in token of surrender, and even
stopped the firing of salutes by his men. Never, indeed, did General
Grant appear more truly great than on the occasion of Lee's surrender.
Thus ended the military career of the greatest general that the North
produced during the Civil War.

While in the army he seemed to have marvellous powers of endurance. He
said of himself: "Whether I slept on the ground or in a tent, whether I
slept one hour or ten in the twenty-four, whether I had one meal, or
three or none, made no difference. I could lie down and sleep in the
rain without caring."

[Illustration: The McLean House]

His appearance did not indicate his robust health. He was only five feet
eight inches tall, round-shouldered, and not military in bearing or
walk. He had brown hair, blue eyes, and a musical voice. He was of a
sunny disposition and singularly pure soul, never having been known in
all his life to speak an unclean word or tell an objectionable story.
Quiet and simple in manner, he never became excited even in the heat of
battle, but always kept himself cool and collected, ready for the
severest ordeal that he might have to face.

[Illustration: General R. E. Lee.]

It need hardly be said that at the close of the war he had a warm place
in the hearts of his countrymen. Wherever he went people flocked to see
him. But like Washington and Jefferson, he found speech-making most
difficult. At one time, in the presence of friends, General Grant's
young son Jesse, mounted a haystack and said, "I'll show you how papa
makes a speech. 'Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very glad to see you: I
thank you very much. Good-night.'" All present were greatly amused
except Grant, who was much embarrassed, feeling that his little son's
effort verged too closely upon the truth.

Grant was elected President of the United States in 1868, and served two
terms. Upon retiring from the Presidency he made a tour around the
world, and was everywhere received by rulers and people alike with great
honor and distinction.

During his last days he suffered much from an incurable disease, which
became a worse enemy than he had ever found on the field of battle.
After nine months' of struggle he died at Mount McGregor, near Saratoga,
on July 23, 1885. His body was laid to rest in Riverside Park, on the
Hudson, where in 1897 a magnificent monument was erected to his memory.
Like Lincoln and Washington, he will ever live in the hearts of his




  1. Tell as much as you can about the boyhood of Grant.

  2. What can you say of his record in the Mexican War?

  3. Give an account of his capture of Vicksburg.

  4. Picture the scene of the interview which took place when Lee

  5. What can you tell about Grant's personality? About his ability
  as a speech-maker?

  6. What traits in Grant's character do you admire?


Some Leaders and Heroes in the War with Spain


Thus far we have directed our attention to the prominent events in
American history centring about certain leaders and heroes. In so doing
we have in every chapter given emphasis to the achievements of some one
man. But in all these cases there were many other men that received no
mention by name, and yet their co-operation was necessary to the success
of the leader in working out his plans.

This is no doubt true of all times and countries, but it is eminently
true of our own country, whose history is full of striking instances of
individual heroism and devotion to the flag. We shall find no better
example of patriotic daring than in the late war with Spain--a war which
exhibited to us and to the world the strong and manly qualities of
American life and character. It seems fitting, therefore, that we should
in this closing chapter briefly consider a few of the recent events
that help us to understand what manner of people we have come to be,
and what we are able to accomplish in time of earnest endeavor.

[Illustration: The United States Coast and the West Indies.

Distances are given in geographical or sea miles, sixty miles in a
degree of latitude.]

From the very beginning of her dominion in Cuba, Spain ruled the people
there with extreme cruelty and oppression. Again and again did the
Cubans, driven to desperation by unjust treatment, rise in rebellion,
without success. But in 1895 they organized an uprising that Spain
strove in vain to put down. In the last extremity of her power, she sent
over as governor-general a man who tried to starve the Cubans into
submission. A large part of the population lived in the country, and
furnished the Cuban troops with food and recruits. The Spanish
commander's brutal method was to drive these country people into the
towns and cities, burning their homes, and destroying everything that
might be of use to feed and support the fighting Cubans. But the Cubans
were determined to win their independence or die in the attempt.

[Illustration: The Wreck of the Maine.]

As the war continued, and this inhuman policy of starvation grew more
brutal, the horror and indignation of the United States were aroused.
Our Government tried to induce Spain to stop her barbarous methods, but
while the attempt was still in progress an event took place which
greatly embittered the feeling of Americans against Spain. On the night
of February 15, 1898, one of our battle-ships, the Maine, was blown up
in the harbor of Havana, and 266 of our sailors were killed. Many
believed that this awful deed was the work of Spanish officials; and
this conviction deepened when a careful investigation was made by a
court of naval inquiry. In all parts of this country the excitement of
the people increased until they were ready to go to war with Spain if
she would not change her policy toward Cuba.

But Spain was so stubborn that President McKinley, after trying in every
possible way to prevent hostilities, was obliged to say in a message
that "the war in Cuba must stop"; and on April 25, 1898, Congress took
the momentous step of declaring war.

Our Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Long, lost no time in sending a despatch
to Commodore Dewey,--who was in command of an American fleet of six
war-vessels at Hong-Kong,--directing him to proceed at once to the
Philippine Islands and capture or destroy the Spanish fleet stationed

Two days later Commodore Dewey's fleet was steaming southward toward
Manila Bay, in search of the Spanish squadron of ten war-vessels and two
torpedo-boats. It was extremely important that these ships of war should
be captured or destroyed before they could make their way to our Pacific
coast and attack American cities.

On the night preceding May 1st our fleet entered Manila Bay. The supreme
moment in the life of Commodore Dewey, now in his sixty-second year, had
come. He was 7,000 miles from home and in hostile waters. Without even a
pilot to guide his fleet as it moved slowly but boldly into the bay, he
knew well that he might be going into a death-trap. Two torpedoes
exploded just in front of the flag-ship Olympia, which was in the lead,
but the fearless commander did not swerve from his course.

[Illustration: Admiral Dewey.]

Drawn up at the entrance of Bakor Bay, not far from Manila, was the
Spanish fleet, protected on either side by strong shore batteries. When
about three miles distant Commodore Dewey quietly said to the captain of
the Olympia, "If you are ready, Gridley, you may fire." Spanish shells
had already filled the air all about the American fleet, but as the
Spanish gunnery was exceedingly poor it did little serious damage.
During the battle the American fleet steamed forward in single file, the
Olympia in the lead. After going for some distance toward Manila the
ships swung round and returned, firing terrible broadsides into the
Spanish fleet as they passed. Five times they followed the course in
this way, each time drawing nearer to the enemy's position, and each
time pouring in a more furious and deadly fire.

At seven o'clock the Spanish flagship dashed boldly out, as if with the
purpose of running down the Olympia. But the American war-vessels
concentrated their fire upon her so that she had to turn back. As she
was swinging around, the Olympia hurled a shell which raked her deck,
killing or wounding her captain and sixty of her sailors. About this
time two Spanish torpedo-boats darted out toward the American fleet, and
one of them, with the evident purpose of blowing her up, headed for the
Olympia. But a well-aimed shell exploded upon the deck of the
torpedo-boat, and sank it to the bottom of the sea.

At the end of two hours, it being plain that the Spanish fleet was
nearly done for, Commodore Dewey decided to give his tired men a rest.
He therefore withdrew his fleet from the scene of battle, and gave his
brave sailors some breakfast. Three hours later he renewed the fight,
which ended with the destruction of the entire Spanish fleet. Although
1,200 Spaniards were killed or wounded, not one American was killed and
only eight were wounded. None of Dewey's war-vessels received serious
injury. The battle was a brilliant exhibition of superb training and
seamanship on the part of the American sailors, whose rapid and accurate
handling of the guns was marvellous.

[Illustration: President McKinley]

The people were electrified with joy when the news of the glorious
achievement in Manila Bay was cabled to America. On May 9th, Congress
voted that ten thousand dollars ($10,000) should be spent in securing a
sword for Commodore Dewey and medals for all his men, and President
McKinley promptly appointed him a rear-admiral. Before the middle of
August an army of 15,000 troops, under General Merritt, was sent to
Manila to unite with the fleet under Admiral Dewey in capturing the
city. Manila surrendered on August 13th.

With the destruction of the Spanish fleet at Manila, within a week after
Congress declared war, all danger of attack from Spanish war-vessels
upon our Pacific coast was at an end. But there was grave fear that the
Spanish fleet under Admiral Cervera might attack the large and wealthy
cities upon our Atlantic coast. Shortly after the war began, this fleet
was reported to have left the Cape Verde Islands and to have directed
its course toward Cuban waters.

[Illustration: "Escolta," Manila's Main Street.]

At once Americans began to put serious questions which nobody could
answer. "Where is Cervera going?" they asked. "Will he try to break the
blockade which an American fleet under Admiral Sampson is keeping up on
the northern coast of Cuba? Will he try to intercept and destroy the
battle-ship Oregon?[12] Or, will he bring havoc and destruction upon us
by sailing straight for some great Atlantic seaport?" Americans looked
anxious and worried as they considered these questions.

  [12] The American battle-ship Oregon was then on her famous trip
       from San Francisco, by way of Cape Horn, to join Admiral
       Sampson's fleet.

But the uncertainty did not long continue, for soon it was learned by
cable that Cervera had stopped at Martinique, and later at a small
island off the coast of Venezuela, whence he had speedily steamed
northward toward Cuba. We now know that he went to Santiago harbor,
which he thought would prove a good hiding-place while his fleet took on
board coal and other supplies. Shortly after Cervera's arrival at
Santiago an American fleet under Commodore Schley discovered him, and
blockaded the harbor in order to prevent his escape. It was extremely
important to keep him "bottled up" there until an American army might
come down and capture Santiago and the Spanish army which held the
place. This capture accomplished, Cervera would have to fight either in
the harbor or out on the open sea. But there was still some anxiety lest
he might on some dark, stormy night manage to steal out and make his

One reason why Cervera went into the Santiago harbor was that the
entrance was very narrow and well protected by headlands surmounted by
batteries. At its narrowest place, the channel was not much more than a
hundred yards wide. If, therefore, the American war-vessels should
attempt to enter the harbor they would have to enter in single file, and
the foremost one would possibly be blown up by the Spanish torpedoes,
many of which were planted in the channel. The sinking of a single
vessel in the channel would block the way for all the rest.

With these facts in mind Admiral Sampson planned to obstruct the
entrance to Santiago harbor to prevent the Spanish fleet from getting
out. Lieutenant Hobson, a young man of twenty-eight, worked out the plan
of sinking the collier Merrimac across the channel; and to him the
important task of carrying it out was assigned. Torpedoes were so
arranged on the sides of the Merrimac that their explosion would shatter
her bottom and sink her in the channel.

There was serious difficulty in selecting the small number of brave,
cool-headed men who were to accompany Lieutenant Hobson in this perilous
enterprise, for several hundred American sailors were eager to go, even
though they knew that in so doing they were running serious risk of
capture or death. But such was the heroic temper of the American sailors
that many of them begged for an opportunity of rendering this loyal

On the night appointed for the daring feat, the Merrimac did not get
well started before the morning light began to appear in the eastern
sky, so that Admiral Sampson recalled the expedition.

After a long, nervous day of waiting, the next morning, June 3d, the
Merrimac started off a second time. The vessel moved stealthily forward
with its eager, silent crew, but before the place of sinking could be
reached the Spaniards discovered her. Suddenly from the forts and the
war-vessels in the harbor a storm of shot and shell beat in pitiless
fury about the Merrimac. But she pressed forward. When the moment came
for her to be swung across the channel Hobson found that the rudder of
the ship had been shot away, so that she could not be swung about
according to the plan. He therefore had to be content with sinking her
_along_ instead of _across_ the channel.

When the torpedoes exploded and she went down, her crew of eight men,
struggling for life in the seething waters, managed to reach a float
which they had brought with them on the deck of the collier. To this
float they clung, hanging on with their hands, for they dared not expose
their bodies as targets to Spanish soldiers on land or to Spanish
sailors in the launches that were trying to find out what had happened.
For some hours Hobson and his men remained in this uncomfortable
position, shivering with the cold. At length Hobson hailed an
approaching launch to which he swam. He was pulled in by an elderly man,
with the exclamation, "You are brave fellows." This was Admiral Cervera,
who treated the prisoners, Lieutenant Hobson and his crew, with great
kindness. With the rest of the world he admired the courageous spirit of
the "brave fellows" who had given so much in the service of their

During the remainder of June, the American fleet kept watch at the
harbor entrance. Before the end of the month an American army of 15,000
men was ready to advance through a tropical forest upon the Spanish
defences outside of Santiago. On July 1st the Americans made a vigorous
attack upon these outworks, and won a glorious victory.

It looked to Cervera as if he might be compelled to surrender his fleet
without striking a blow. Although he was likely to suffer defeat in a
battle, there was nothing to gain by remaining in the harbor. So he
decided to dash boldly out, in a desperate effort to escape. When at
about half-past nine of that quiet Sunday morning (July 3d) the foremost
Spanish war-vessel was seen heading at full speed out of the harbor, the
American sailors sent up a shout, "The Spanish fleet is coming out!" and
leaped forward to their places at the guns. As at Manila, the battle was
one-sided. The superior seamanship and gunnery of the Americans enabled
them quickly to win a victory as brilliant as that won by Dewey and his
men. Every Spanish vessel was destroyed, 600 Spaniards were killed, and
1,300 captured. Not one American ship was seriously injured, while but
one American was killed and one badly wounded. About the middle of July
Santiago and a Spanish army of 22,000 men surrendered to the Americans.

Although this ended the serious fighting of the war, the treaty of peace
was not ratified by the United States Senate until February 6, 1899. In
accordance with this treaty Spain gave up Cuba and ceded Porto Rico to
the United States; and she also ceded to us the Philippine Islands, in
return for which we agreed to pay her $20,000,000.

But some of the most striking results of the war with Spain received no
mention in the terms of the treaty. From the beginning of the struggle,
Spain doubtless hoped that one or more of the Great Powers of Europe
might intervene in her behalf. Some of them, with ill-concealed dislike
for the United States, were quite ready to interfere in Spain's
interests. But England refused to take any part in the movement. Her
friendly attitude toward us in this struggle has done much to bring the
two countries into closer sympathy with each other. A reflection of this
good-will toward England was especially evident at the time of Queen
Victoria's death in January, 1901.

[Illustration: Portion of the Coast of China and the Philippine

But, after all, one of the most striking results of the war with Spain
has been the bringing of the various sections of our own country into
closer sympathy and union. It is safe to say that never before have the
North, the South, the East, and the West felt so closely bound together
in thought and feeling. Let us hope that with noble ideals of the high
destiny that awaits us, we shall go forward to greater achievements than
we have yet known in our history.


      THE WEST.


  1. What is a hero? Whom do you most admire of all the heroes you
  have read about in this book?

  2. Why did Commodore Dewey go with his fleet to the Philippines?

  3. Imagine yourself with him, and give an account of the battle.

  4. What did Lieutenant Hobson and his men do? Impersonating
  Hobson, give an account of the daring feat.

  5. What caused the war with Spain? What were its most striking

  6. What do you admire in the character of Admiral Dewey? What,
  in the American sailors in the war with Spain?

  7. What do the following dates signify: 1492, 1607, 1620,
  1775-1783, 1861-1865, 1898?


  Adams, Samuel, 156;
    in public life, 157;
    opposes tax on tea, 158-162

  Bacon, Nathaniel, 55;
    marches against the Indians, 59;
    his struggle with Berkeley, 60-62

  Boone, Daniel, 222;
    goes to Kentucky, 224;
    at Boonesborough, 227;
    captured by Indians, 230

  "Boston Tea Party," 158-163

  Braddock, General, 132, 133

  Bradford, Governor, 69, 70, 74

  Bunker Hill, battle of, 173

  Burgoyne, General, 203-205

  Cabot, John, 31

  Cartier, 103

  Carver, Governor, 70, 74-76

  Cervera, Admiral, 320-324

  Champlain, 104

  Civil War, 295, 298

  Clermont, the, 250-252

  Columbus, Christopher, 1;
    at Lisbon, 4;
    goes to Spain, 5;
    first voyage, 10;
    in the New World, 12-15;
    other voyages, 17-20

  Concord, battle of, 170-173

  Continental Congress, 193

  Cornwallis, General, 200-203, 206, 207, 214-220

  Cortez, 22, 23

  Cowpens, battle of, 214, 215

  Dale, Sir Thomas, 56

  Dawes, William, 167-170

  Declaration of Independence, 186, 239

  De Leon, 23

  De Soto, Hernando, 22;
    lands in Florida, 24;
    his trials and difficulties, 26-28;
    discovers the Mississippi, 29

  Dewey, Admiral, 317-319

  Dinwiddie, Governor, 128, 131

  Douglas, Stephen A., 293, 294

  Drake, Sir Francis, 36

  Elizabeth, Queen, 33-35

  Fairfax, Lord, 124-127

  Faneuil Hall, 159, 160

  Ferdinand, King, 6

  Franklin, Benjamin, 175;
    in his brother's printing-office, 176;
    goes to Philadelphia, 179;
    in London, 181;
    "Poor Richard's Almanac," 182;
    his great discovery, 184;
    "Plan of Union," 185;
    in France, 186

  French War, Last, 128-133, 136-144

  Fulton, Robert, 246;
    his boyhood, 247;
    invents a torpedo boat, 249;
    the Clermont, 250-252

  Gage, General, 166, 167

  Gates, General, 212

  George III., 146-152

  Grant, Ulysses S., 302;
    his boyhood and youth, 303;
    in Civil War, 305-309;
    captures Lee's army, 309-311

  Greene, Nathaniel, 211;
    a Quaker boy, 212;
    joins the army, 213;
    in the South, 214-220

  Griffin, the, 108-110

  Hancock, John, 165-168, 170

  Henry, Patrick, 146;
    early life, 148;
    opposes Stamp Act, 150;
    his great speech, 153

  Hobson, Lieutenant, 322

  Howe, General, 195-197, 203-205

  Hudson, Henry, 105

  Hutchinson, Governor, 159-162

  Indians, 14, 15, 17, 48, 49

  Iroquois, 104-106

  Isabella, Queen, 6, 8

  Jackson, Andrew, 253;
    his boyhood, 254;
    goes to Nashville, 256;
    conquers the Creeks, 258;
    at battle of New Orleans, 259;
    as President, 260

  James I., 65, 66

  Jefferson, Thomas, 234;
    at college, 235;
    as President, 240;
   the Louisiana Purchase, 241-243

  Jesuit Missionaries, 106

  La Salle, 103;
    his plans, 108;
    his explorations, 109-112;
    his colony, 112;
    his assassination, 114

  Lee, General, his surrender, 296, 309-311

  Lincoln, Abraham, 282;
    in Kentucky and Indiana, 283-289;
    goes to Illinois, 290;
    debates with Douglas, 294;
    Emancipation Proclamation, 296;
    his assassination, 296

  Long Island, battle of, 196

  Mckinley, President, 317-319

  Maine, the, 316

  Manila, 317

  Marion, Francis, 217-219

  Marquette, Father, 106

  Massasoit, 75, 76

  Merrimac, the, 319-322

  Mimms, Fort, massacre at, 258

  Montcalm, General, 138-140, 143, 144

  Morgan, General, 214-216

  Morse, Samuel F. B., 273;
    studies painting, 274;
    invents the telegraph, 276-280

  Narvaez, 24

  Navigation Laws, 58

  New Orleans, battle of, 259, 260

  Nullification, 260

  Old North Church, 167, 168

  Old South Church, 159, 161

  Olympia, the, 316

  Ortiz, 24

  Penn, William, 92;
    turns Quaker, 94;
    his settlement in Pennsylvania, 98;
    his Indian treaty, 99;
    his country home, 100

  Pilgrims, 65-79

  Pittsburg Landing, battle of, 305

  Pizarro, 22, 23

  Plymouth, landing at, 72

  Pocahontas, 50, 52

  Powhatan, 49-52

  Puritans, 65, 81-88

  Quakers, 92-101

  Quebec, capture of, 142-144

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 31;
    in France, 33;
    his first colony, 35;
    second colony, 37-39;
    in the Tower of London, 40

  Revere, Paul, 165;
    on his "midnight ride," 167-170

  Sampson, Admiral, 322

  Santiago, fighting near, 322-324

  Schley, Commodore, 321

  Secession, 295

  Slavery, 282, 283, 294, 296

  Smith, John, 42;
    early life, 46;
    in Virginia, 47-53;
    relations with the Indians, 47-52;
    explores New England coast, 53

  South Carolina, 261, 262

  Stamp Act, 147-151

  Standish, Miles, 64;
    military leader of the Pilgrims, 68;
    explores coast, 69-71;
    at Plymouth, 72-79

  State Rights, 269

  Tariff, 261, 262

  Telegraph, the electric, 276-280

  Tobacco, 57, 58

  Trenton, battle of, 200-202

  Valley Forge, suffering at, 205, 206

  Vicksburg, capture of, 306

  Warren, Dr. Joseph, 167

  Washington, George, 116;
    at home and school, 117-124;
    the young surveyor, 124-127;
    his journey to the French forts, 130;
    at Great Meadows, 132;
    with Braddock, 132;
    at Mount Vernon, 189-193;
    as General, 193-207;
    as President, 208

  Washington, Lawrence, 118-121

  Webster, Daniel, 264;
    his boyhood and youth, 265-268;
    his "Reply to Hayne," 269;
    his last days, 271

  West, Benjamin, 274, 275

  Williams, Roger, 81;
    goes to Salem, 86;
    driven into exile, 88;
    his settlement at Providence, 89

  Wolfe, James, 136;
    his youth, 136;
    at Quebec, 138-144


1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest
paragraph break.

3. Footnotes have been renumbered and moved to the end of a paragraph in
which they are referenced.

4. Obvious punctuation errors have been silently corrected.

5. The word Crèvecoeur uses an oe ligature in the original.

6. The following misprints have been corrected:
    "Wahington" corrected to "Washington" (page 190)
    "Breeze" corrected to "Breese" (page 273)
    "1809-1861" corrected to "1809-1865" (page 282)

7. Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies in
spelling, hyphenation, and ligature usage have been retained.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "American Leaders and Heroes - A preliminary text-book in United States History" ***

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