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Title: The Child's Book of American Biography
Author: Stimpson, Mary Stoyell
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Child's Book of American Biography" ***

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Transcriber's note:

      A list of corrections will be found at the end of
      this e-book.




Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill

[Illustration: He rode beside the coach on a chestnut horse.

FRONTISPIECE. _See Page 6._]


Little, Brown, and Company

Copyright, 1915,
By Little, Brown, and Company.
All rights reserved

Set up and electrotyped by J. S. Cushing Co., Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


In every country there have been certain men and women whose busy lives
have made the world better or wiser. The names of such are heard so
often that every child should know a few facts about them. It is hoped
the very short stories told here may make boys and girls eager to learn
more about these famous people.



   GEORGE WASHINGTON                 1

   WILLIAM PENN                      9

   JOHN PAUL JONES                  17

   JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY            27

   BENJAMIN FRANKLIN                36

   LOUIS AGASSIZ                    46

   DOROTHEA LYNDE DIX               54

   ULYSSES SIMPSON GRANT            62

   CLARA BARTON                     75

   ABRAHAM LINCOLN                  81

   ROBERT EDWARD LEE                91

   JOHN JAMES AUDUBON               98

   ROBERT FULTON                   106

   GEORGE PEABODY                  116

   DANIEL WEBSTER                  124

   AUGUSTUS ST. GAUDENS            132

   HENRY DAVID THOREAU             141

   LOUISA MAY ALCOTT               149



   PHILLIPS BROOKS                 173

   SAMUEL CLEMENS                  181

   JOE JEFFERSON                   188



   RALPH WALDO EMERSON             215

   JANE ADDAMS                     222

   LUTHER BURBANK                  229


   THOMAS ALVA EDISON              243


   He rode beside the coach on a chestnut horse _Frontispiece_


   He began munching one of these as he went back
   into the street                                          41

   "How big is your trunk?"                                 88

   He rode there on horseback                              129

   The poor fellow fell to the floor as if he were dead    166

   He generally went out alone                             221



No one ever tells a story about the early days in America without
bringing in the name of George Washington. In fact he is called the
Father of our country. But he did not get this name until he was nearly
sixty years old; and all kinds of interesting things, like taming wild
colts, fighting Indians, hunting game, fording rivers, and commanding an
army, had happened to him before that. He really had a wonderful life.

George Washington was born in Virginia almost two hundred years ago.
Virginia was not a state then. Indeed, there were no states. Every
colony from Maine to Georgia was owned by King George, who sent men from
England to govern them.

At the time of George Washington's birth, Virginia was the richest of
the thirteen colonies. George's father, Augustine Washington, had a fine
old southern farmhouse set in the midst of a large tobacco plantation.
This farm of a thousand acres was on the Potomac River. The Washington
boys (George had two older brothers and several younger ones) had plenty
of room to play in, and George had a pony, Hero, of his own.

George was eleven years old when his father died, and his mother managed
the plantation and brought up the children. George never gave her any
trouble. He had good lessons at school and was willing to help her at
home. He was a fine wrestler and could row and swim. Indeed, he liked
the water so well, that he fancied he might lead the life of a sailor,
carrying tobacco from the Potomac River to England. He heard stories of
vessels meeting pirates and thought it would be very exciting. But his
English uncle warned Mrs. Washington that it would be a hard life for
her son, and she coaxed him to give up the idea.

George had shown that he could do the work of a man on the farm when he
was only sixteen. He was tall and strong and had a firm will. He had
great skill in breaking colts and understood planting and harvesting, as
well as tobacco raising. Being good at figures, he learned surveying.
Surveying is the science of measuring land so that an owner will know
just how much he has, how it lies, and what it adjoins, so that he can
cut it into lots and set the measurements all down on paper. George was
a fine land surveyor, and when he went to visit a half-brother, Lawrence
Washington, who had a beautiful new home on the Potomac, which he called
Mount Vernon, an English nobleman, Lord Fairfax, who owned the next
estate, hired George to go all over his land in Virginia and put on
paper for him the names of the people who lived in the Shenandoah
valley, the way the roads ran, and the size of his different
plantations. He really did not know how much land he owned, for King
Charles the Second had given an immense amount of land to his
grandfather. But he thought it was quite time to find out, and he was
sure George Washington was an honest lad who would do the work well.

Lord Fairfax spoke so highly of George that he was made surveyor of the
colony. The outdoor life, and the long tramps in the sunshine made
George's tall frame fill out, and he became one of the stoutest and
handsomest young men in the colony.

Lawrence Washington was ill and had to go to a warmer climate, so he
took George with him for help and company. Lawrence did not live and
left the eight-thousand-acre estate, Mount Vernon, to George. This made
George Washington a rich man at twenty.

The French and English began to discover that there was fine, rich land
on either side of the Ohio River, and each laid claim to it. Now the
Indians had been wandering through the forests of that region, camping
and fishing where they chose, and they felt the land belonged to them.
They grew ugly and sulky toward the English with whom up to this time
they had been very friendly. It looked as if there would be war.

"Some one must go and talk to these Frenchmen," said Dinwiddie, the
English governor at Virginia, "whom shall we send?"

Lord Fairfax, the old neighbor of George, answered: "I know just the man
you want. Your messenger must be young, strong, and brave. He must know
the country and be able to influence both the French and the Indians.
Send George Washington."

Washington served through these troubled times one year with Dinwiddie
and three years with General Braddock, an English general. Always he
proved himself brave. He had plenty of dangers. He was nearly drowned,
four bullets went crashing through his clothes, in two different battles
the horse on which he was riding was killed, but he kept calm and kept
on fighting. He was soon made commander-in-chief of all the armies in

After five hard years of fighting, Washington went back to Mount Vernon,
where he lived quietly and happily with a beautiful widow to whom he was
married a few weeks after meeting her. When he and his bride rode home
to Mount Vernon, she was dressed in white satin and wore pearl jewels.
Her coach was drawn by six white horses. Washington was dressed in a
suit of blue, lined with red satin and trimmed with silver lace. He rode
beside the coach on a chestnut horse, with soldiers attending him.

Mrs. Washington had two children, Jack Custis, aged six, and Martha, who
was nicknamed Patty, aged four. George Washington was very fond of these
children, and one of the first things he did after they came to Mount
Vernon was to send to England for ten shillings' worth of toys, six
little books, and a fashionable doll. Patty broke this doll, but
Washington only laughed and ordered another that was better and larger.

George Washington was having a fine time farming, raising horses and
sheep, having the negro women weave and spin cloth and yarn, carrying on
a fishery, and riding over his vast estate, when there was trouble
between the colonists and England. Again a man was needed that was
brave, wise, and honest. And when the colonists decided to fight unless
the king would either stop taxing them or let them vote in Parliament,
they said: "George Washington must be our commander-in-chief." So he
left his wife, children, and home, and led the American troops for seven

The colonists won their freedom from the English yoke, but they knew if
they were to govern themselves, they needed a very wise man at their
head. They made George Washington the first President of the United
States of America. Of course it pleased him that such honor should be
shown him, but he would have preferred to be just a Virginian farmer at
Mount Vernon. However, he went to New York and took the oath of
office--that is he promised, as all presidents have to, to work for the
good of the United States. He was dressed in a suit of dark brown cloth
(which was made in America) with knee-breeches and white silk stockings,
and shoes with large silver buckles. He wore a sword at his side, and as
the sun shone on his powdered hair, he looked very noble and handsome.
He kissed the Bible as he took the oath; the chancellor lifted his hand
and shouted: "Long live George Washington, President of the United

The people did some wild cheering, cannons boomed, bells rang, hats were
tossed in the air, and there was happiness everywhere.

America had her first President!

Washington ruled the people for eight years wisely and well. He was
greatly beloved at home and he was praised in other countries. A German
ruler said Washington was the greatest general in the world. A prime
minister of England said Washington was the purest man in history. But
we like to say Washington was the Father of our country, and we like to
remember that he said: "Do justice to all, but never forget that we are


When Charles the Second was King of England, there lived in London a
wealthy admiral of the British navy, Sir William Penn. He had been such
a brave sailor that he was a favorite at court. He had a son who was a
handsome, merry lad, whom he meant to educate very highly, for he knew
the king would find some great place for him in his kingdom.

So young William was sent early to school and college, where he learned
Greek and Latin, French, German, and Dutch. He was quick motioned and
strong. At Oxford College there was hardly a student who could equal him
in swimming, rowing, and outdoor sports. His father grew prouder and
prouder of his son each day. "William," he said to himself, "will do
honor to me, to his king, and to his country." And he kept urging money
and luxuries upon his son, whom he dressed like a prince.

Imagine the Admiral's despair when he learned one morning that his son
was hobnobbing with the Quakers! Just then a new sect of religious
people who called themselves Quakers, or Friends, had sprung up in
England. They were much despised. A Quaker believed that all men are
equal, so he never took his hat off to any one, not even the king. The
Quakers would not take an oath in court; would not go to war or pay
money in support of war; always said "thee" and "thou" in addressing
each other, and wore plain clothes and sober colors. They thought they
ought always to act as their consciences told them to.

In England and Massachusetts, Quakers were treated like criminals. Some
of them were put to death. But the more they were abused, the more their
faith became known, and the more followers they had.

A traveling Quaker preacher went to Oxford, and when young William Penn
heard him, he decided that he had found a religion that suited him. He
stopped going to college services, declared he would not wear the
college gown, and even tore the gowns from other students. He was
expelled from Oxford.

The Admiral was very angry. He told his son he had disgraced him. But he
knew William had a strong will, and instead of having many harsh words
with him, sent his son off to Paris. "I flatter myself," laughed the
Admiral, "that in gay, fashionable Paris, William will soon forget his
foolish ideas about the Quakers."

The young people of Paris made friends with William at once, for he was
handsome and jolly. He was eighteen years old. He had large eyes and
long dark hair which fell in curls about his shoulders. For a time he
entered into all the gay doings of Paris and spent a long time in Italy.
So when he returned to England, two years later, his father nodded
approval at the change in his looks and ways. He seemed to have
forgotten the new religion entirely. But presently an awful plague swept
over London, and William grew serious again. The Admiral now packed the
boy off to Ireland. He was bound to stop this Quaker business.

There was some kind of a riot or war in Ireland, and William fought in
the thickest of it, for he liked to be in the midst of whatever was
going on. One evening he heard that the old Quaker preacher he had liked
at Oxford was preaching near by. He, with some other soldiers, went to
hear him, and all his love for the Quaker faith came back to him, and he
joined the society. He was imprisoned with other Quakers, and then his
father said he would never speak to him again. But he really loved his
son and was so pleased when he got out of prison that he agreed to
forgive him, if he would only promise to take off his hat when he met
his father, the king, or the Duke of York. But after young William had
thought about it, he told his father that he could not make such a

William was sometimes in prison, sometimes driven from home by his
father, then forgiven for the sake of his mother; often he was tired out
with writing and preaching, but he kept true to his belief.

When William's father died, he left his son great wealth, which he used
for the good of others, especially the Quakers. William knew the Crown
owed the Admiral nearly a hundred thousand dollars. As the king was
something of a spendthrift, it was not likely that the debt would be
paid very soon, so William asked the king to pay him in land. This the
monarch was glad to do, so he granted an immense tract of land on the
Delaware River, in America, to the Admiral's son.

William planned to call this tract Sylvania, or Woodland, but when King
Charles heard this, he said: "One thing I insist on. Your grant must be
called after your father, for I had great love for the brave Admiral."
Thus the name decided on was Pennsylvania (Penn's Woods).

William Penn lost no time in sending word to all the Quakers in England
that in America they could find a home and on his land be free from
persecution. As many as three thousand of them sailed at once for
America, and the next year William visited his new possessions. He did
not know just how the tract might please him, so he left his wife and
child behind, in England. He laid out a city himself on the Delaware
River and called it the City of Brotherly Love, because he hoped there
would be much love and harmony in the colony of Quakers. The other name
for city of brotherly love is Philadelphia. If you visit this city
to-day, you will find many of its streets bearing the names William Penn
gave them more than two hundred years ago. Some of these are Pine,
Mulberry, Cedar, Walnut, and Chestnut streets.

Of course Indians were to be found along all the rivers in the American
colonies. Penn really owned the land along the Delaware, but he thought
it better to pay them for it as they had held it so many years, so he
called a council under a big tree, where he shook hands with the red men
and said he was of the same blood and flesh as they; and he gave them
knives, beads, kettles, axes, and various things for their land. The
Indians were pleased and vowed they would live in love with William Penn
as long as the moon and sun should shine. This treaty was never broken.
And one of the finest things to remember about William Penn is his
honesty with the much persecuted Indians.

Penn left the Quaker colony after a while and went back to England. But
he returned many years later with his wife and daughter. He had two fine
homes, one in the city of Philadelphia, the other in the country. At the
country home there was a large dining-hall, and in it Penn entertained
strangers and people of every color and race. At one of his generous
feasts his guests ate one hundred roast turkeys.

Penn, who was so gentle and loving to all the world, had many troubles
of his own. One son was wild and gave him much anxiety. He himself was
suspected of being too friendly with the papist King James, and of
refusing to pay his bills. For one thing and another, he was cast into
prison until he lost his health from the cold, dark cells. It seems
strange that the rich, honest William Penn should from boyhood be doomed
to imprisonment because of his religion, his loyalty, and from trying
to obey the voice of his conscience. While he was not born in this
country, the piety and honesty of William Penn will always be remembered
in America.


Along the banks of the River Dee, in Scotland, the Earls of Selkirk
owned two castles. John Paul was landscape gardener at Saint Mary's
Isle, and his brother George made the grounds beautiful at the Arbigland
estate. Little John Paul stayed often with his uncle. At either place he
could see the blue water, and he loved everything about it. At Arbigland
he watched the ships sail by and could see the English mountains in the
distance. From the sailors he heard all kinds of sea stories and tales
of wild border warfare. When a tiny child, he used to wander down to the
mouth of the river Nith and coax the crews of the sailing vessels to
tell him stories. They liked him and taught him to manage small
sailboats. He quickly learned sea phrases and used to climb on some high
rock and give off orders to his small play-fellows, or perhaps launch
his boat alone upon the waters and just make believe that he had a crew
of men on board with whom he was very stern.

For a few years this son of the Scotch gardener went to parish school,
but his mind was filled with the wild stories of adventure, and he
longed to see the world. John had a feeling that his life was going to
be exciting, and he could not keep his mind on his books some days. He
was not sorry when his mother told him that as times were hard, he must
leave school and go to work.

John's older brother, William, had gone to America, and his uncle George
had ceased working for the Earls of Selkirk because he had saved enough
money to go to America. He was a merchant, with a store of his own in
South Carolina.

John heard such glowing accounts of men getting rich and famous in that
land across the sea that he felt it must be almost like fairy-land.
Think how pleased he must have been when at the age of twelve he shipped
aboard the ship _Friendship_, bound for Virginia! And best of all, this
ship anchored a few miles from Fredericksburg, where his brother lived.
When in port, John stayed with William. He loved America from the first
moment he saw a bit of her coast, and he never left off loving our
country as long as he lived.

John went back and forth from America to Scotland on the _Friendship_ a
great many times. He had made up his mind that he would always go to
sea, and he meant to understand everything about ships, countries to
which they might sail, and all laws about trading in different ports. So
he studied all the books he could get hold of that would teach him these

Sometimes he changed vessels, shipping with a different captain.
Sometimes he went to strange countries. But he was one who kept his eyes
open, and he learned to be more and more skilful in all sea matters.

About two years before the Revolutionary War, he was feeling
discouraged. He knew his employers were pirates in a way. He had met
with some trouble on his last voyage, so that he knew it was best not to
go to his brother's when he reached North Carolina from the West
Indies, and that he had best avoid using his own name. As he sat alone
on a bench in front of a tavern one afternoon, his head in his hands, a
jovial, handsome man came along. The man was well dressed, a
kind-hearted, rich Southerner. He hated to see people unhappy. After he
had passed John Paul, he turned back and going close to him, asked:
"What's your name, my friend?"

"I have none," was the answer.

"Where's your home?"

"I have none."

The stranger was struck with the face and figure of John Paul and
noticed that his handsome black eyes had a commanding expression. He
said to himself: "Here is a lad that will be of importance some day, or
my name is not Willie Jones!"

Then Willie Jones took John by the arm and said: "Come home with me. My
home is big enough for us both."

This was quite true, for Willie Jones had a beautiful estate called "The
Grove." The house was like a palace with its immense drawing-rooms,
wide fireplaces, carved halls, and spacious dining-room which overlooked
the owner's race track. For Willie Jones owned blooded horses, went to
country hunts, played cards, and had overseers to manage his fifteen
hundred slaves, who worked in Jones's tobacco fields and salt mines. His
clothes were of the first quality and his linen fine.

On a neighboring estate across the river lived Willie's brother, Allen
Jones. He was married to a dark-eyed beauty who gave parties in her
large ballroom, and who led the minuets and gavottes better than any of
her guests.

Just as John Paul had been at home on the estates of the Earl of Selkirk
in Scotland, he was now at home on both these southern plantations. By
both families he was petted and soon beloved. He seemed like one of
their own blood.

The people of North Carolina talked constantly of Liberty. They declared
themselves anxious to be independent of England. Soon after the famous
Boston Tea-party, the women of North Carolina pledged their word to
drink no more tea that was taxed.

John Paul took the same stand as his good friends. And he more than ever
felt he was born to do great deeds. And he hoped to prove his gratitude
to the Joneses by winning fame. From this time he took the name of John
Paul Jones. All his navy papers are signed that way. And he became an
American citizen.

Paul Jones's rise was rapid. In 1776 he became a lieutenant in the
Continental navy. The colonists had but five armed vessels; the
_Alfred_, on which Paul Jones served, was one of them. These five ships
were the beginning of the American navy. The captain of the _Alfred_ was
slow in reaching his vessel, and so Paul Jones had to get the ship ready
for sea. He was so quick and sure in all his acts that the sailors all
liked him.

The ship was visited by the commodore of the squadron of five ships. He
found everything in such fine condition that he said: "My confidence in
you is so great that if the captain does not reach here by the time we
should get away, I shall hoist my flag on your ship and give you command
of her!"

"Thank you, Commodore," and Paul bowed, "when your flag is hoisted on
the _Alfred_, I hope a flag of the United Colonies will fly at the peak.
I want to be the man to raise that flag on the ocean."

The commodore laughed and replied: "As Congress is slow, I am afraid
there will not be time to make a flag after it actually decides what
that shall be."

"I think there will, Sir," answered Paul Jones.

It seems he knew almost for a certainty that the Continental Congress
had planned their first flag of the Revolution. It was to be of yellow
silk, showing a pine tree with a rattlesnake under it, and bearing the
daring motto: "Don't tread on me." Paul Jones had bought the material to
make one, out of his own pocket, and Bill Green, a quarter-master, sat
up all night to cut and sew the cloth into a flag.

Captain Saltonstall arrived in time to take command, but Paul Jones kept
his disappointment to himself and faithfully did the lieutenant's
duties. He had been drilling the men, and when the commodore came again
to inspect the ship, some four hundred, with one hundred marines, were
drawn up on deck. Bill Green and Paul Jones were very busy for a minute,
and just as the commodore came over the ladder at the ship's side, the
flag with the pennant flew up the staff, under Paul Jones's hand. Every
man's hat came off, the drummer boys beat a double ruffle on the drums,
and _such_ cheers burst from every throat!

The commodore said to Paul Jones: "I congratulate you; you have been
enterprising. Congress adopted that flag but yesterday, and this one is
the first to fly."

Bill Green was thanked, too, and the squadron sailed for the open sea,
the _Alfred_ leading the way.

Paul Jones was very daring, but his judgment and knowledge were so
perfect that in the twenty-three great battles which he fought upon the
seas, though many times wounded, he was never defeated. He made the
American flag, which he was the first to raise, honored, and he kept it
flying in the Texel with a dozen, double-decked Dutch frigates
threatening him in the harbor, while another dozen English ships were
waiting just beyond to capture him. He was offered safety if he would
hoist the French colors and accept a commission in the French navy, but
he never wavered. It was his pride to be able to say to the American
Congress: "I have never borne arms under any but the American flag, nor
have I ever borne or acted under any commission except that of the
Congress of America."

Paul Jones served without pay and used nearly all of his private fortune
for the cause of independence. Congress made him the ranking officer of
the American navy and gave him a gold medal. France conferred the cross
of a military order upon him and a gold sword. It was a beautiful day
when this cross was given him. The French minister gave a grand fête in
Philadelphia. All Congress was there, army and navy officers, citizens,
and sailors who had served under Jones. Against the green of the trees,
the uniforms of the officers and the white gowns of the ladies showed

Paul Jones wore the full uniform of an American captain and his gold
sword. He carried his blue and gold cap in his hand. A military band
played inspiring airs as the French minister and Paul Jones walked
toward the center of the lawn. Paul Jones was pale but happy. He was
receiving an honor never before given a man who was not a citizen of
France, but as his eyes lighted on the stars and stripes floating above
him, they filled with tears, for his greatest joy of all was that he had
left the sands of Dee to become a citizen and defender of his beloved


When the city of Boston, Massachusetts, was just a small town in which
there were no schools where boys and girls could learn to draw and
paint, one little fellow by the name of John Singleton Copley was quite
sure to be waiting at the door when his stepfather, Peter Pelham, came
home to dinner or supper, to ask why the pictures he had been drawing of
various people did not look like them. Peter Pelham could nearly always
tell John what the matter was, because he knew a good deal about
drawing. He made maps and engravings himself.

John remembered what his stepfather told him and practised until he made
really fine drawings. Then he began to color them. He did love gay
tints, and as both men and women wore many buckles and jewels, and
brocades and velvets of every hue in those days, he could make these
portraits as dazzling as he chose.

There is no doubt John loved to make pictures. He had drawn many a one
on the walls of his nursery when he was scarcely more than a baby. He
later covered the blank pages and margins of his school-books with faces
and animals. And instead of playing games with the other boys in
holidays, he was apt to spend such hours with chalks and paints.

When John was fourteen or fifteen, his portraits were thought so
lifelike that Boston people paid him good prices for them. He was glad
to earn money, for his kind stepfather died, leaving his wife to the
care of John and his stepbrother, Henry. He had been working and saving
for years when he married the daughter of a rich Boston merchant. This
wife, Suzanne, was a beautiful girl, proud of her husband's talent and
anxious for him to get on in the world. The artist soon bought a house
on Beacon Hill which had a fine view from its windows. He called this
estate, which covered eleven acres, his "little farm." You can guess how
large it looked when I tell you that the farm is to-day practically the
western side of Beacon Hill.

The young couple were happy and must have prospered, for a man who saw
the house on the hill wrote to his friends: "I called on John Singleton
Copley and found him living in a beautiful home on a fine open common;
dressed in red velvet, laced with gold, and having everything about him
in handsome style." It is evident John still liked bright colors.

John had never seen any really good paintings; he had never had any
teacher; and he longed to see the works of the old masters in other
countries. But at first he did not want to leave his old mother; then it
was the young wife who kept him here; and by and by he felt he could not
be away from his own dear little children, so it was not until he was
nearly forty that he went abroad.

In one of the first letters that Suzanne got from her husband he told of
the fine shops in Genoa. She laughed when she read that in a few hours
after he landed he bought a suit of black velvet lined with crimson
satin, lace ruffles for his neck and sleeves, and silk stockings. "I'd
know," she said to herself, "the suit would have a touch of
crimson--John does love rich colors!"

All his letters told how wonderful he found the old paintings and often
described his attempts to copy them. After he had visited the galleries
and museums of Italy, he went to England. He was delighted to find that
his wife and family had already fled there because of the Revolution in
America. He had heard of the trouble between the Colonists in America
and England and had worried night and day for fear harm would come to
Suzanne and the children. Of course he worried about the "little farm"
too, but it was no time to go back to Boston, and he could only hope his
agent would protect it.

The Copleys liked London, but some days they felt homesick for Beacon
Hill. Still he must keep earning money, and there were plenty of English
people who wanted to sit for their portraits, while of course, with the
fierce Revolution raging, and with soldiers camping everywhere, Boston
people did not care much about having their pictures painted.

In London John began to paint pictures that showed events in history.
Sometimes he would take for a subject a famous battle, sometimes a scene
from the English Parliament, or perhaps a king or lord doing some act
which we have read about in their lives. These pictures were immense in
size and took a long time to do, because Copley was particular to have
everything exactly true. George the Third was so much pleased with his
work that when he was going to paint the large work "The Siege of
Gibraltar", his Majesty sent him, with his wife and eldest daughter, to
Hanover, to take the portraits of four great generals of that country,
who had proved their bravery and skill on the rock of Gibraltar. All the
uniforms, swords, banners, and scenery were as perfect as if Copley had
been at the siege himself, and the officers' faces were just like
photographs. The king was very kind and generous. He told Copley not to
hurry back to England but to enjoy Hanover thoroughly, and to give his
wife and daughter a holiday they would never forget. To enable Copley to
go into private homes and look at art treasures which the public never
saw, the king gave him a letter asking this courtesy, written with his
own hand.

This large canvas, "The Siege of Gibraltar", is owned by the city of
London. There is another huge painting, "The Death of Lord Chatham", at
Kensington Museum, which Americans like to see. It shows old Lord
Chatham falling in a faint at the House of Lords. The poor man was too
sick to be there, but he was a strong friend to the American Colonies
and had declared over and over again that the king ought not to tax
them. When he heard there was to be voting on the question, he rose from
his bed and drove in a carriage to the House to say once more how wicked
it was. The members of the House of Lords look very imposing with their
grave faces and robes of scarlet, trimmed with ermine, but they
sometimes act in a childish manner and show temper. One man who almost
hated Chatham for so defending the Colonies sat as still as if he were
carved out of stone when the poor old lord dropped to the floor. This
picture shows him sitting as cold and stiff as a ramrod while all the
other members have sprung to their feet or have rushed to help the
fainting man.

The Boston Public Library holds one of Copley's historical pictures. It
shows a scene from the life of Charles the First of England. He is
standing in the speaker's chair in the House of Commons, demanding
something which the speaker, kneeling before him, is unwilling to tell.
There is plenty of chance for John Copley to show his love for brilliant
coloring, for the suits of the king, his nephew, Prince Rupert, and his
followers are of velvets and satins, the slashed sleeves showing facings
of yellow, cherry, and green. The knee breeches are fastened with
buckles over gaudy silk stockings and high-heeled slippers. The men wear
deep collars of lace, curled wigs, and velvet hats with sweeping plumes.

But in a picture at Buckingham Palace called "The Three Princesses"
there is a riot of color. The scene is a garden, beyond which the towers
of Windsor Castle show, with the flag of England floating above it;
there are fruit-trees and flowers, parrots of gay plumage, and pet dogs.
The little girls' gowns are rainbow-like, and one of them is dancing to
the music of a tambourine. It is a darling picture, and the royal couple
prized it greatly.

When John Copley was only a young man, he sent a picture from Boston to
England, asking that it might be placed on exhibition at the Royal
Academy. It was called "The Boy and the Flying Squirrel." The boy was a
portrait of his half-brother, Henry Pelham. Copley sent no name or
letter, and it was against the rules of the Academy to hang any picture
by an unknown artist, but the coloring was so beautiful that the rule
was broken, and crowds stopped before the Boston lad's canvas to admire
it. When it was discovered that John Copley painted it, and it was known
he had received no lessons at that time, he was urged to go abroad at
once. At the time he could not. But the praise encouraged him to keep
on, and before he had a chance to visit Italy, he had painted nearly
three hundred pictures. Nearly all of these were painted at the "little
farm" on Beacon Hill, when he or Suzanne would hardly have dreamed the
day would come when he should be the favorite of kings and courts.


One of the greatest Americans that ever lived was Benjamin Franklin. The
story of his life sounds like a fairy tale. Though he stood before
queens and kings, dressed in velvet and laces, before he died, he was
the son of a poor couple who had to work very hard to find food and
clothes for their large family--for there were more than a dozen little

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, one bright Sunday morning more
than two hundred years ago. That same afternoon his father took the baby
boy across the street to the Old South Church, to be baptized. He was
named for his uncle Benjamin, who lived in England.

As Benjamin grew up, he made friends easily. People liked his eager face
and merry ways. He was never quiet but darted about like a kitten. The
questions he asked--and the mischief he got into! But the neighbors
loved him. The women made little cakes for him, and the men were apt to
toss him pennies.

One day when Benjamin was about seven, some one gave him all the pennies
he could squeeze into one hand. Off he ran to the toy shop, but on his
way he overtook a boy blowing a whistle. Ben thought that whistle was
the nicest thing he had ever seen and offered his handful of pennies for
it. The boy took them, and Ben rushed home with his prize. Well, he
tooted that whistle all over the house until the family wished there had
never been a whistle in the world. Then an older brother told him he had
paid the other boy altogether too much for it, and when Ben found that
if he had waited and bought it at a store, he would have had some of the
pennies left for something else, he burst out crying. He did not forget
about this, either. When he was a grown man and was going to buy
something, he would wait a little and say to himself: "Careful,
now--don't pay too much for your whistle!" An Italian sculptor who had
heard this story made a lovely statue called "Franklin and his Whistle."
If you happen to be in the beautiful Public Library in Newark, New
Jersey, you must ask to see it.

Ben always loved the water and was a wonderful swimmer as a little
fellow. He could manage a boat, too, and spent half his play hours down
at the wharves. One day he had been flying kites, as he often did, and
thought he would see what would happen if he went in swimming with a
kite tied to his waist. He tried it and the kite pulled him along
finely. If he wanted to go slowly, he let out a little bit of string. If
he wanted to move through the water fast, he sent the kite up higher in
the air.

But it was in school that Ben did his best. He studied so well that his
father wanted to make a great scholar of him, but there was not money
enough to do this, so when he was ten he had to go into his father's
soap and candle shop to work. The more he worked over the candles, the
worse he hated to, and by and by he said to his father: "Oh, let me go
to sea!"

"No," said Mr. Franklin, "your brother ran away to sea. I can't lose
another boy that way. We will look up something else."

So the father and son went round the city, day after day, visiting all
kinds of work-shops to see what Benjamin fancied best. But when it
proved that the trade of making knives and tools, which was what pleased
Benjamin most, could not be learned until Mr. Franklin had paid one
hundred dollars, that had to be given up, like the school. There was
never any spare cash in the Franklin purse.

As James Franklin, an older brother, had learned the printing business
in England and had set up an office in Boston, Ben was put with him to
learn the printer's trade. Poor Ben found him a hard man to work for. If
it had not been for the books he found there to read and the friends who
loaned him still more books, he could not have stayed six months. But
Ben knew that since he had to leave school when he was only ten, the
thing for him to do was to study by himself every minute he could get.
He sat up half the nights studying. When he needed time to finish some
book, he would eat fruit and drink a glass of water at noon, just to
save a few extra minutes for studying. James never gave him a chance for
anything but work; it seemed as if he could not pile enough on him. When
he found Ben could write poetry pretty well, he made him write ballads
and sell them on the streets, putting the money they brought into his
own pocket. He was very mean to the younger brother, and when he began
to strike Ben whenever he got into a rage, the boy left him.

Benjamin went to New York but found no work there. He worked his way to
Philadelphia. By this time his clothes were ragged. He had no suitcase
or traveling bag and carried his extra stockings and shirts in his
pockets. You can imagine how bulgy and slack he looked walking through
the streets! He was hungry and stepped into a baker's for bread. He had
only one silver dollar in the world. But he must eat, whether he found
work or not. When he asked for ten cents' worth of bread, the baker gave
him three large loaves. He began munching one of these as he went
back into the street. As his pockets were filled with stockings and
shirts, he had to carry the other two loaves under his arms. No wonder a
girl standing in a doorway giggled as he passed by! Years afterwards,
when Franklin was rich and famous, and had married this very girl, the
two used to laugh well over the way he looked the first time she saw

[Illustration: He began munching one of these as he went back into the
street. _Page 41._]

After one or two useless trips to England, Franklin settled down to the
printing business in Philadelphia. He was the busiest man in town.
Deborah, his wife, helped him, and he started a newspaper, a magazine, a
bookstore; he made ink, he made paper, even made soap (work that he
hated so when a boy!). Then he published every year an almanac. Into
this odd book, which people hurried to buy, he put some wise sayings,
which I am sure you must have heard many times. Such as: "Haste makes
waste"; "Well done is better than well said"; and "Early to bed and
early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Franklin and his wife did so many things and did them well that they
grew rich. So when he was only forty-two, Franklin shut up all his shops
and took his time for studying out inventions. When you hear about the
different things he invented, you will not wonder that the colleges in
the country thought he ought to be honored with a degree and made him
Doctor Franklin. Here are some of his inventions: lightning-rods,
stoves, fans to cool hot rooms, a cure for smoking chimneys, better
printing-presses, sidewalks, street cleaning. He opened salt mines and
drained swamps so that they were made into good land. Then he founded
the first public library, the first police service, and the first fire
company. Doesn't it seem as if he thought of everything?

But better than all, Franklin always worked for the glory of America.
When King George was angry and bitter against our colonies, Franklin
went to England and stood his ground against the king and all his
council. He said the king had no right to make the colonies pay a lot of
money for everything that was brought over from England unless they had
some say as to how _much_ money it should be. If they paid taxes, they
wanted to vote. They were not willing to be just slaves under a hard

"Very well, then," said the council, "then you colonists can't have any
more clothes from England."

Mr. Franklin answered back: "Very well, then, we will wear old clothes
till we can make our own new ones!"

In a week or so word was sent from England that clothing would not be
taxed, and the colonists had great rejoicings. They built bonfires, rang
bells, and had processions; and Benjamin Franklin's name was loudly

But England still needed money and decided to make the colonists pay a
tax on tea and a few other things. Then the American colonists were as
angry as they could be. They tipped the whole cargo of tea into Boston
Harbor, and in spite of Franklin's trying to make the king and the
colonists understand each other, there was a long war (it is called the
Revolutionary War) and it ended in the colonists declaring themselves
independent of Great Britain. A paper telling the king and the world
that the colonists should not obey the English rule any longer, but
would make laws of their own was signed by men from all thirteen
colonies. Benjamin Franklin was one of the men from Pennsylvania who
signed it. As this paper--The Declaration of Independence--was first
proclaimed July 4, 1776, the people always celebrate the fourth day of
July throughout the United States.

Franklin was postmaster-general of the colonies; he was our first
minister to the Court of France, the governor (or president, as the
office was then called) of Pennsylvania, and helped, more than almost
any other man, to make America the great country she is.

Franklin was admired in France and England for his good judgment and
clever ideas. Pictures of him were shown in public places; prints of his
face were for sale in three countries; medallions of his head were set
in rings and snuff-boxes; he traveled in royal coaches, and was treated
like a prince. But although it was "the Great Doctor Franklin" here, and
"the Noble Patriot" there, he did not grow vain. Benjamin Franklin was
just a modest, good American!


Louis Agassiz was a Swiss boy who knew how to keep his eyes open. Some
people walk right by things without seeing them, but Louis kept a sharp
lookout, and nothing escaped him.

Louis was born in a small Swiss village near a lake. His father was a
minister and school teacher. His mother was a fine scholar and was very
sure that she wanted her children to love books, but two brothers of
Louis's had died and she meant to have Louis and another son, Auguste,
get plenty of play and romping in the fields so that they would grow up
healthy and strong, first of all; there would be time for study

The Agassiz boys had a few short lessons in the morning with their
father or mother, and then they roamed through the woods and fields the
rest of the day. Of course they found plenty to interest them and never
came home from these jaunts with empty hands. They had pet mice, birds,
rabbits, and fish.

There was a stone basin in his father's yard, with spring water flowing
through it. In this Louis put his fish and then watched their habits. As
I told you, nothing escaped his eyes. He proved this more than once.

It was the custom in Swiss cantons for different kinds of workmen to
travel from house to house, making such things at the door as each
family might need. Louis watched the cobbler, and after he had gone away
surprised his sister with a pair of boots he himself had made for her
doll. And after the cooper had made his father some casks and barrels,
Louis made a tiny, water-tight barrel, as perfect as could be. He kept
his sharpest gaze on the tailor, and Papa Agassiz said to his wife: "Let
us see, now, if Louis can make a suit!" They did not, in the end, ask
him to try, but no doubt he knew pretty well how it was done.

At the age of ten, Louis was sent to a college twenty miles from Motier,
where his parents lived. He was keen at his lessons and asked questions
until he mastered whatever he studied. The second year he went to this
college he was joined by his brother, Auguste. The two boys liked the
same things and never wanted to be away from each other. Whenever a
vacation came, the boys walked home--all that twenty miles--and did not
make any fuss about it!

By and by the boys wanted to own books which would tell them about
birds, fishes, and rocks. These were the things Louis was thinking of
all the time. The boys saved every cent of their spending money for
these books. They were always talking about animals. One day, as they
were walking from Zurich to Motier, they were overtaken by a gentleman
in a carriage. He asked them to ride with him and to share his lunch.
They did so and talked to him about their studies. He was greatly taken
with Louis, who was a handsome, graceful lad, as he told the stranger
his fondness for books. The gentleman hardly took his eyes from the boy,
and a few days later Reverend Mr. Agassiz had a letter from him saying
that he was very rich and that he wanted to adopt Louis. He said he was
sure that the boy was a genius.

Louis was not willing, though, to be any one's boy but his own parents',
and so the matter was dropped.

The boys did not have much spending money, and it took, oh, such a long
time to save enough to buy even one book! So they often went to a
library, or borrowed a book from a teacher, then copied every word of it
with pen and ink, so as to own it. You can see from this that they were
very much in earnest.

When not studying or copying, the brothers were busy outdoors, watching
animals. In this way they learned just what kinds of fishes could be
found in certain lakes, and almost the exact day when different birds
would come or go from the woods. In their rooms the cupboards and
shelves were crammed with shells, stuffed fishes, plants, and odd
specimens. On the ledges of the windows hovered often as many as fifty
kinds of birds who had become tamed and who made their home there.

At seventeen Louis was bending over his desk a good many hours of the
day. He learned French, German, Latin, Greek, Italian, and English. But
he was wise enough to keep himself well and strong by walking, swimming,
and fencing.

Because Louis's parents and his uncle wanted him to be a doctor, he
studied medicine. He carried home his diploma when he was twenty-three
and earned a degree in philosophy, too. But in his own heart he knew he
would not be happy unless he could hunt the world over for strange
creatures and try to find out the secrets of the old, old mountains.

Louis traveled all he could and became so excited over the different
things he discovered that he sometimes stopped in cities and towns and
talked to the people, in their public halls, about them. He had a happy
way of telling his news, and crowds went to listen to the young Swiss.

The King of Prussia thought that any one who used his eyes in such good
fashion ought to visit many places. He said to Louis: "Here is money
for you to travel with, so that you may find out more of these strange
things. You are a clever young man and can do much for the world!"

In the course of his travels, Louis Agassiz came to America. At that
time he could not speak English very well, but all his stories were so
charming that the halls were never large enough to hold the men and
women who wanted to hear him.

Louis Agassiz loved America so well that he made up his mind to spend
the rest of his life here. As time passed, he decided, also, to give
this country the benefit of all that he discovered. He was so bright
that the whole world was beginning to wonder at him. France got jealous
of America's keeping such a great man. So Napoleon offered him a high
office and great honors; but Louis said "No," adding courageously: "I'd
rather have the gratitude of a _free_ people than the patronage of

The city of Zurich begged him to return.

"No," he wrote, "I cannot. I love America too well!"

Then the city of Paris urged him to be at the head of their Natural
History Museum, but this was no use, either. Nothing could win Louis
Agassiz away from America.

At Harvard College Agassiz was made professor of natural history, and
there is to-day at Cambridge a museum of zoology, the largest of its
kind in the world, which Agassiz founded and built. At his home in
Cambridge the professor still kept strange pets, quite as he used to do
when a boy. Visitors to his garden never knew when they might step on a
live turtle, or when they might come suddenly upon an alligator, an
eagle, or a timid rabbit.

The precious dream of going to Brazil came true when Louis Agassiz was
fifty years old. With a party of seventeen and his wife, he went on an
exploring expedition to South America. It was a great adventure.

Agassiz had been to many cold countries and had slept on glaciers night
after night, with only a single blanket under him, but never in his life
had he been in the tropics.

When Agassiz arrived in South America, Don Pedro, the Emperor of
Brazil, was glad to see the man who was known as a famous scientist and
heaped all kinds of honors upon him. Better than all, he helped Agassiz
get into many out-of-the-way places.

If you want to know about a fish that has four eyes, about dragon-flies
that are flaming crimson and green, and floating islands that are as
large as a school playground, yet go sailing along like a ship, bearing
birds, deer, and wild looking jaguars, read: _A Journey to Brazil_ by
Professor and Mrs. Agassiz.

When you have heard the story of all these strange things, you will
agree that Louis Agassiz did certainly know how to keep his eyes open.


Doctor Elisha Dix of Orange Court, Boston, was never happier than when
his pet grandchild, little Dorothea Dix, came to visit his wife and
himself. Every morning he had to drive about the city, in his
old-fashioned chaise, to see how the sick people were getting along, and
he did love to have Dorothea sitting beside him, her tongue going, as he
used to declare "like a trip-hammer." She was a wide-awake,
quick-motioned creature and said such droll things that the doctor used
to shout with laughter, until the dappled gray horse which he drove
sometimes stopped short and looked round at the two in the chaise as if
to say: "Whatever in the world does all this mean?"

But when the time drew near for Dorothea to go back home, she always
looked sober enough. One day she burst out: "Oh, Grandpa, I almost
_hate_ tracts!"

Doctor Dix glanced down at her in his kind way and answered: "I don't
know as I blame you, Child!"

You see, Joseph Dix, Dorothea's father, was a strange man. He had fine
chances to make money because the doctor had bought one big lot of land
after another and had to hire agents to look after these farms and
forests. Naturally he sent his own son to the pleasantest places, but
the only thing Joseph Dix, who was very religious in the gloomiest sort
of a way, really wanted to do, was to repeat hymns and write tracts. To
publish these dismal booklets, he used nearly all the money he earned,
so that the family had small rations of food, cheap clothing, and no

Besides having to live in such sorry fashion, the whole household were
forced to stitch and paste these tracts together. Year after year Mrs.
Dix, Dorothea, and her two brothers sat in the house, doing this
tiresome work. No matter whether, as agent, Mr. Dix was sent to Maine,
New Hampshire, Vermont, or Massachusetts; no matter whether their
playmates in the neighborhood were berrying, skating, or picnicking; no
matter how the birds sang, the brooks sparkled, the nuts and fruit
ripened; the wife and children of Joseph Dix had no outdoor pleasures,
no, they just bent over those old tracts, pasting and sewing till they
fairly ached.

When Dorothea was twelve, she decided to stand such a life no longer.
Fortunately the family was then living in Worcester, near Boston, and it
did not cost much to get there. Doctor Dix was dead, but Dorothea ran
away to her grandmother, who still lived at Orange Court (now it is
called Dix Place), and although Madam Dix was very strict, life was
better there than with the tract-maker.

At Orange Court, Dorothea was allowed no time to play. She was taught to
sew and cook and knit and was sometimes punished if the tasks were not
well done. "Poor thing," she said in after life, "I never had any
childhood!" But she went to school and was so quick at her lessons that
in two years she went back to Worcester and opened a school for little
children. She was only fourteen and rather small for her age, so she
put on long dresses and piled her hair on top of her head with a high
comb. I think people never guessed how young she was. Anyway, she proved
a good teacher, and the children loved her and never disobeyed her.

After keeping this school for a year, she studied again in Boston until
she was nineteen. Then she not only taught a day and boarding-school in
that city, but looked after her brothers and opened another school for
poor children whose parents could not afford to pay for their lessons.
She took care of her grandmother's house, too. While every one was
wondering how one young girl could do so much, she made them open their
eyes still wider by writing three or four books.

By and by her health broke down, and she began to think that she could
never work any more, but after a long rest in England she came back to
America and did something far greater than teaching or writing--she went
through the whole country making prisons, jails, and asylums more
comfortable. Up to the time of Dorothea Dix's interest, no one had
seemed to bother his head about prisoners and insane people. Any kind of
a place that had a lock and key was good enough for such to sleep in.
And what did it matter if a wicked man or a crazy man _was_ cold or
hungry? But it mattered very much to Dorothea Dix that human beings were
being ill-treated, and she meant to start a reform. She talked with
senators, governors, and presidents. She visited the places in each
State where prisoners, the poor, and the crazy were shut up. She talked
kindly to these shut-ins, and she talked wrathfully to the men who
ill-treated them. She made speeches before legislatures; she wrote
articles for the papers, and begged money from millionaires to build
healthy almshouses and asylums. This was seventy years ago, when
traveling was slow and dangerous in the west and south. She had so many
delays on account of stage-coaches breaking down on rough or muddy roads
that finally she made a practice of carrying with her an outfit of
hammer, wrench, nails, screws, a coil of stout rope, and straps of
strong leather. Some of the western rivers had to be forded, and many
times she nearly lost her life. Once, when riding in a stage-coach in
Michigan, a robber sprang out of a dark place in the forest through
which they were passing and demanded her purse. She did not scream or
faint. She asked him if he was not ashamed to molest a woman who was
going through the country to help prisoners. She told him if he was
really poor, she would give him some money. And what do you think?
Before she finished speaking, the robber recognized her voice. He had
heard her talk to the prisoners when he was a convict in a Philadelphia
prison! He begged her to go on her way in peace.

For twelve years Miss Dix went through the United States in the
interests of the deaf and dumb, the blind, and the insane. Then she went
to Europe to rest. But she found the same suffering there as here. In no
time she was busy again. She tried to get audience with the Pope in Rome
to beg him to stop some prison cruelties but was always put off. Any one
else would have given up, but Dorothea Dix always carried her point.
One day she met the Pope's carriage in the street. She stopped it, and
as she knew no Italian, began talking fast to him in _Latin_. She was so
earnest and sensible that he gave her everything she asked for.

It was not long after her return to America before the Civil War broke
out. She went straight to Washington and offered to nurse the soldiers
without pay. As she was appointed superintendent, she had all the nurses
under her rule. She hired houses to keep supplies in, she bought an
ambulance, she gave her time, strength, and fortune to her country. In
the whole four years of the Civil War, Dorothea Dix never took a
holiday. She was so interested in her work that often she forgot to eat
her meals until reminded of them.

After this war was over, the Secretary of War, Honorable Edwin M.
Stanton, asked her how the nation could show its gratitude to her for
the grand work she had done. She told him she would like a flag. Two
very beautiful ones were given her, made with special printed tributes
on them. In her will Miss Dix left these flags to Harvard College. They
hang over the doors of Memorial Hall.

Nobody ever felt sorry that Dorothea ran away from those tiresome
tracts. For probably all the tracts ever written by Joseph Dix never did
as much good as a single day's work of his daughter, among the wounded
soldiers. And as for her reforms--they will go on forever. She has been
called the most useful woman of America. That is a great name to earn.


Once upon a time, at Point Pleasant, a small town on the Ohio River,
there lived a young couple who could not decide how to name their first
baby. He was a darling child, and as the weeks went by, and he grew
prettier every minute, it was harder and harder to think of a name good
enough for him.

Finally Jesse Grant, the father, told his wife, Hannah, he thought it
would be a good plan to ask the grandparents' advice. So off they rode
from their little cottage, carrying the baby with them.

But at grandpa's it was even worse. In that house there were four people
besides themselves to suit. At last, the father, mother, grandfather,
grandmother, and the two aunts each wrote a favorite name on a bit of
paper. These slips of paper were all put into grandpa's tall, silk hat
which was placed on the spindle-legged table. "Now," said the father to
one of the aunts, "draw from the hat a slip of paper, and whatever name
is written on that slip shall be the name of my son."

The slip she drew had the name "Ulysses" on it.

"Well," murmured the grandfather, "our dear child is named for a great
soldier of the olden days. But I wanted him to be called Hiram, who was
a good king in Bible times."

Then Hannah Grant, who could not bear to have him disappointed,
answered: "Let him have both names!" So the baby was christened Hiram
Ulysses Grant.

While Ulysses was still a baby, his parents moved to Georgetown, Ohio.
There his father built a nice, new, brick house and managed a big farm,
besides his regular work of tanning leather. As Ulysses got old enough
to help at any kind of work, it was plain he would never be a tanner. He
hated the smell of leather. But he was perfectly happy on the farm. He
liked best of all to be around the horses, and before he was six years
old he rode horseback as well as any man in Georgetown. When he was
seven, it was part of his work to drive the span of horses in a heavy
team that carried the cord-wood from the wood-lot to the house and shop.
He must have been a strong boy, for at the age of eleven he used to hold
the plow when his father wanted to break up new land, and it makes the
arms and back ache to hold a heavy plow! He was patient with all animals
and knew just how to manage them. His father and all the neighbors had
Ulysses break their colts.

In the winters Ulysses went to school, but he did not care for it as
much as he did for outdoor life and work with his hands. Still he
usually had his lessons and was decidedly bright in arithmetic. Because
he was not a shirk and always told the truth, his father was in the
habit of saying, after the farm chores were done: "Now, Ulysses, you can
take the horse and carriage and go where you like. I know I can trust

When he was only twelve, his father began sending him seventy or eighty
miles away from home, on business errands. These trips would take him
two days. Sometimes he went alone, and sometimes he took one of his
chums with him. Talking so much with grown men gave him an old manner,
and as his judgment was pretty good he was called by merchants a "sharp
one." He would have been contented to jaunt about the country, trading
and colt-breaking, all his life, but his father decided he ought to have
military training and obtained for him an appointment at West Point (the
United States' school for training soldiers that was started by George
Washington) without Ulysses knowing a thing about it. Now Ulysses did
not have the least desire to be a soldier and did not want to go to this
school one bit, but he had always obeyed his father, and started on a
fifteen days' journey from Ohio without any more talk than the simple
statement: "I don't want to go, but if you say so, I suppose I must."

He found, when he reached the school, that his name had been changed. Up
to this time his initials had spelled HUG, but the senator who sent
young Grant's appointment papers to Washington had forgotten Ulysses'
middle name. He wrote his full name as Ulysses Simpson Grant, and as it
would make much trouble to have it changed at Congress, Ulysses let it
stand that way. So instead of being called H-U-G Grant (as he had been
by his mates at home) the West Point boys, to tease him, caught up the
new initials and shouted "Uncle Sam" Grant, or "United States"
Grant--and sometimes "Useless" Grant.

But the Ohio boy was good-natured and only laughed at them. He was a
cool, slow-moving chap, well-behaved, and was never known to say a
profane word in his life. At this school there was plenty of chance to
prove his skill with horses. Ulysses was never happier than when he
started off for the riding-hall with his spurs clanking on the ground
and his great cavalry sword dangling by his side. Once, mounted on a big
sorrel horse, and before a visiting "Board of Directors," he made the
highest jump that had ever been known at West Point. He was as modest
as could be about this jump, but the other cadets (as the pupils were
called) bragged about it till they were hoarse.

After his graduation, Grant, with his regiment, was sent to the Mexican
border. In the battle of Palo Alto he had his first taste of war. Being
truthful, he confessed afterwards that when he heard the booming of the
big guns, he was frightened almost to pieces. But he had never been
known to shirk, and he not only rode into the powder and smoke that day,
but for two years proved so brave and calm in danger that he was
promoted several times. But he did not like fighting. He was sure of

At the end of the Mexican War, Ulysses married a girl from St. Louis,
named Julia Dent, and she went to live, as soldiers' wives do, in
whatever military post to which he happened to be sent. First the
regiment was stationed at Lake Ontario, then at Detroit, and then, dear
me! it was ordered to California!

There were no railroads in those days. People had to go three thousand
miles on horseback or in slow, lumbering wagons. This took months and
was both tiresome and dangerous. Every little while there would be a
deep river to ford, or some wicked Indians skulking round, or a wild
beast threatening. The officers decided to take their regiments to
California by water. This would be a hard trip but a safer one.

It was lucky that Mrs. Grant and the babies stayed behind with the
grandparents, for besides the weariness of the long journey, there was
scarcity of food; a terrible cholera plague broke out, and Ulysses Grant
worked night and day. He had to keep his soldiers fed, watch out for the
Indians, and nurse the sick people.

Well, after eleven years of army life, Grant decided to resign from the
service. He thought war was cruel; he wanted to be with his wife and
children; and a soldier got such small pay that he wondered how he was
ever going to be able to educate the children. Farming would be better
than fighting, he said.

He was welcomed home with great joy. His wife owned a bit of land, and
Grant built a log cabin on it. He planted crops, cut wood, kept horses
and cows, and worked from sunrise till dark. But the land was so poor
that he named the place Hardscrabble. Even with no money and hard work,
the Grants were happy until the climate gave Ulysses a fever; then they
left Missouri country life and moved into the city of St. Louis.

In this city Grant tried his hand at selling houses, laying out streets,
and working in the custom-house; but something went wrong in every place
he got. He had to move into poorer houses, he had to borrow money, and
finally he walked the streets trying to find some new kind of work.
Nobody would hire him. The men said he was a failure. Friends of the
Dent family shook their heads as they whispered: "Poor Julia, she didn't
get much of a husband, did she?"

Then he went back to Galena, Illinois, and was a clerk in his brother's
store, earning about what any fifteen-year-old boy gets to-day. He
worked quietly in the store all day, stayed at home evenings, and was
called a very "commonplace man." He was bitterly discouraged, I tell
you, that he could not get ahead in the world. And his father's pride
was hurt to think that his son who had appeared so smart at twelve could
not, as a grown man, take care of his own family. But Julia Dent Grant
was sweet and kind. She kept telling him that he would have better luck
pretty soon.

In 1861 the Americans began to quarrel among themselves. Several of the
States grew very bitter against each other and were so stubborn that the
President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, said he must have
seventy-five thousand men to help him stop such rebellion. Ulysses Grant
came forward, and said he would be one of these seventy-five thousand,
and enlisted again in the United States Army. He was asked to be the
colonel of an Illinois regiment by the governor of that State. Then, you
may be sure, what he had learned at West Point came into good play. He
soon showed that he knew just how to train men into fine soldiers. He
did so well that he was made Brigadier-general.

He stormed right through the enemies' lines and took fort after fort.
Oh, his work was splendid--this man who had been called a failure!

A general who was fighting against him began to get frightened, and by
and by he sent Grant a note saying: "What terms will you make with us if
we will give in just a little and do partly as you want us to?"

Grant laughed when he read the letter and wrote back: "No terms at all
but unconditional surrender!" Finally the other general did surrender,
and when the story of the two letters and the victory for Grant was
told, the initials of his name were twisted into another phrase; he was
called Unconditional Surrender Grant. This saying was quoted for months,
every time his name was mentioned. At the end of that time, he had said
something else that pleased the people and the President.

You see, the war kept raging harder and harder. It seemed as if it would
never end. Grant was always at the front of his troops, watching
everything the enemy did and planned, but he grew sadder and sadder. He
felt sure there would be fighting until dear, brave Robert E. Lee, the
southern general, laid down his sword. The whole country was sad and
anxious. They said: "It is time there was a change--what in the world is
Grant going to do?" And he answered: "I am going to fight it out on this
line if it takes all summer!" No one doubted he would keep his word. It
did take all summer and all winter, too. Then, when poor General Lee saw
that his men were completely trapped, and that they would starve if he
did not give in, he yielded. Grant showed how much of a gentleman he was
by his treatment of the general and soldiers he had conquered. There was
no lack of courtesy toward them, I can tell you. When the cruel war was
ended, Grant was the nation's hero.

Later, Grant was made President of the United States he had saved. When
he had finished his term of four years, he was chosen for President
again. After that he traveled round the world. I cannot begin to tell
you the number of presents he received or describe one half the honors
which were paid him--paid to this man who, at one time, could not get a
day's work in St. Louis. This farmer from Hardscrabble dined with kings
and queens, talked with the Pope of Rome, called on the Czar of Russia,
visited the Mikado of Japan in his royal palace, and was given four
beautiful homes of his own by rich Americans. One house was in Galena,
one in Philadelphia, one in Washington, and another in New York. New
York was his favorite city, and in a square named for him you can see a
statue showing General Grant on his pet horse, in army uniform. On
Claremont Heights where it can be seen from the city, the harbor, and
the Hudson River, stands a magnificent tomb, the resting-place of the
great hero who was born in the tiny house at Point Pleasant.

There was always a good deal of fighting blood in the Grants. The sixth
or seventh great-grandfather of Ulysses, Matthew Grant, came to
Massachusetts in 1630, almost three hundred years ago; over in
Scotland, where he was born, he belonged to the clan whose motto was
"Stand Fast." I think that old Scotchman and all the other ancestors
would agree with us that the boy from Ohio stood fast. And how well the
name suited him which his aunt drew from the old silk hat--Ulysses--a
brave soldier of the olden time!


It was on the brightest, sunniest kind of a Christmas morning, nearly
one hundred years ago, that Clara Barton was born, in the State of
Massachusetts. Besides the parents, there were two grown-up sisters and
two big brothers to pet the new baby. There was plenty of love and
plenty of money in the Barton household, so the child knew nothing but

Clara was a bright little thing. As she grew old enough to walk and
talk, she followed the family about, repeating all their words and
phrases like a parrot. She was not sure as to the meaning of all these
words, but she liked the sound of them. Her father, who had fought in
the French and Indian wars, had a fondness for the rules and forms that
are used among soldiers. He taught her the names and rank of army
officers. Also the name of the United States' president, the
vice-president, and members of the president's cabinet.

Clara's eyes looked so big, and her voice was so solemn when she babbled
these names that her mother asked her one day what she thought these men
looked like. "Oh," gasped Clara, "Papa always says 'the great president'
so I guess he's almost a giant. I guess the president is as big as the
meeting-house, and prob'ly the vice-president is the size of the

The school-teacher sisters were busy with Clara so that she was reading
and spelling almost as soon as she could talk. One of these gave her a
geography, and Clara was so excited over it that she used to wake this
poor sister up long before daylight, and make her hold a candle close to
the maps so that she could find rivers, mountains, and cities.

Stephen Barton, the older brother, was a wonder in arithmetic. It was he
who taught Clara how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. She made
such good figures and so often had the examples right that she enjoyed
her little slate next best to riding horseback with her brother David.

David did not care much for study, but did like farm work and horses. He
taught Clara to ride, and the two used to gallop across the country at a
mad pace. She felt as safe on the back of a horse as in a rocking-chair.
She did not look much larger than a doll when the neighbors first
noticed her dashing by on the back of a colt which wore neither saddle
nor bridle, clinging to the animal's mane, keeping close to David's
horse, and laughing with joy. Sometimes Button, the white dog, tore
along after them, trying his best to keep up with them. Button belonged
to Clara. He had taken care of her when she was a baby, and very gravely
picked her up each time she fell in the days when she was learning to

Stephen and David went to a school that was several miles away. They
wanted to take Clara with them. It was one of the old-fashioned,
ungraded schools, and the pupils were all ages. The snowdrifts were
high, and Stephen carried Clara on his shoulder. Clara sat very quiet
with her slate until the primer class was called. Then she stepped
before the teacher with the other little ones. The serious man pointed
to the letters of different words for each child, then he asked them to
spell short words like dog and cat. When Clara was asked to do the same,
she smiled at the teacher and said: "But I do not spell _there_!"

"Where do you spell?" he inquired.

"I spell in _artichoke_," she answered, looking very dignified.

"In that case," he laughed, "I think you belong with the scholars who
spell in three and four syllables." So after that, she spelled in the
class of her big brothers.

When Clara was twelve, she was very shy of strangers, and her parents
thought it might help her to get over it if she went away from home to
school in New York. She was a bright pupil and decided she would like to
be a teacher like her two sisters.

Clara made an excellent teacher, but was not very well and went to
Washington, D.C., to work. While there, the Civil War broke out, and
she offered her services as a nurse. Nobody doubted she would be good at
nursing, for when she was only ten years old, she took all the care of
her dear brother David, who was sick for nearly two years. She really
knew just exactly what sick people needed.

Clara worked in hospitals, camps, and battlefields all the time the four
years' war lasted. Sometimes she had to jump on to a horse whose rider
had been shot and dash away for bandages or a surgeon, and she was glad
enough that David had taught her to be such a fine horsewoman.

Clara helped every sick and wounded man she came across, and some people
thought she should only help the northerners. But she did not mind what
anybody said or thought. She made all the soldiers as comfortable as she
could. And she was delighted when, four years later, while she was in
beautiful Switzerland for a rest, she heard of the Red Cross Society.
This society helped every wounded person, no matter what color he was,
no matter what cause or country he fought for.

Clara Barton worked with this Swiss society all through the war between
France and Prussia. The foreigners called her the Angel.

When Clara Barton came back to America, she tried a long time to have a
branch of the Swiss society started in this country, but it was eight
years before the Red Cross Society was actually formed in America. Then,
because there was often sickness and suffering from fires and floods, as
well as from wars, Miss Barton persuaded Congress to say that the
society might help wherever there had been any great disaster.

Miss Barton's name is known in Europe as well as in America. She did Red
Cross work until she was eighty years old. Almost every country on the
globe gave her a present or medal. When we think what a heroine Clara
Barton proved herself, it would seem as if the little girl born on the
sunny December morning was a Christmas present to the whole world.


The more you find out about Abraham Lincoln, the more you will love him.

Abraham was born in Kentucky and lived in that State with his parents
and his one sister until he was eight years old.

The Lincolns were very, very poor. They lived in a small log cabin on
the banks of a winding creek. They need not have been quite so poor, but
the truth of the matter is that Mr. Thomas Lincoln, Abraham's father,
was _lazy_. To be sure he fastened a few logs together for shelter, cut
a little wood, and dug up some ground for a garden. But after the corn
and potatoes were planted, they never received any care, and there is no
doubt the family would have gone hungry many a day if Abraham had not
hurried home with fish which he caught in a near-by stream, or if Mrs.
Lincoln had not taken her rifle into the woods and shot a deer or a
bear. The meat from these would last for weeks, and the skins of animals
Mrs. Lincoln always saved to make into clothes for the children.

Thomas Lincoln could not read or spell, and as near as I can find out,
was not a bit ashamed of it, either. But his wife, Nancy Hanks Lincoln,
was a fair scholar and taught Abraham and his sister, Sarah, to read and

There was no floor to the Lincoln's log cabin and no furnishings but a
few three-legged stools and a bed made of wooden slats fastened together
with pegs. Abraham and Sarah slept on piles of leaves or brush.

Slates and pencils were scarce, and Abraham used to lie before the fire
when he was seven or eight years old, with a flat slab of wood and a
stick which he burned at one end till it was charred; then he formed
letters with it on the wood. In that way he taught himself to write. His
mother had three books, a Bible, a catechism, and a spelling-book. He
had never had any boy playmate and was greatly excited when an aunt and
uncle of his mother's, Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow, with a nephew, named Dennis
Hanks, arrived at the creek and lived in a half-faced camp near by.
Dennis and Abraham became fast friends.

A fever swept the country, and Abraham's mother died. Three years later
his father married a new wife. The second Mrs. Lincoln had been married
before and had three children, a boy and two girls. So there were five
children to play together. Mr. Lincoln had built a better cabin, and she
brought such furniture as the Lincoln children had never seen. Their
eyes opened wide at the sight of real chairs and tables. She made
Abraham and Sarah pretty new clothes. They had neat, comfortable beds,
and the two sets of children were very happy. Mrs. Lincoln loved Abraham
and saw that there was the making of a smart man in him. She helped him
study, and when there was school for a short time in a distant log hut,
she sent Abraham every day. When the school ended, there were four years
when there was no school anywhere near their settlement, so she read
with Abraham and kept him at his lessons in reading and arithmetic all
that time.

Hunters and traders rode that way sometimes, and if a traveler had a
book about him, Abraham was sure to get a look at it.

A new settler had a _Life of Washington_. Abraham looked at the book
hungrily for weeks and finally worked up courage to ask the loan of it.
He promised to take good care of it. He was then earning money to give
his parents by chopping down trees in the forests, and he had no time to
read but in the evenings. One night the rain soaked through the cracks
of the cabin, and the precious book that he had promised to take good
care of was stained on every page. What was he to do? He had no money to
pay for the book, but he hurried to the settler's cabin and told him
what had happened. He offered to work in the cornfield for three days to
pay Mr. Crawford for the loss of the book. It was heavy work, but he did
it and, in the end, owned the stained _Life of Washington_, himself.

Abraham had a fine memory. He could repeat almost the whole of a sermon,
a speech, or a story that he had happened to hear. He had a funny way
of telling stories, too, so when the farmers or woodchoppers were taking
their noon rest, they always asked him to amuse them.

When Abraham was sixteen years old, he was six feet tall and so strong
that all the neighbors hired him whenever he was not working for his
father. He joked and laughed at his work, and every one liked him. He
did any kind of work to earn an honest penny. Once he had a fine time
working for a man that ran a ferry-boat, because this man owned a
history of the United States and took a newspaper, and Abraham had more
to read than ever before in his life. But he had to take the time he
should have slept to read, because when the boat wasn't running there
was farm work, housework (for he helped this man's wife, even to tending
the baby), and rail splitting. Then he kept store for a man. It was here
that he won a nickname that he kept all his life--"Honest Abe." A
woman's bill came to two dollars and six cents. Later in the day
Abraham found he had charged her six cents too much. After he closed
the store that night, he walked three miles to pay her back those six
cents. Another time when he weighed tea for a woman, there was a weight
on the scales so that she did not get as much tea as she paid for. That
meant another long tramp. But he was liked for his honesty and good

When there was trouble with the Indians, Abraham proved that he could
fight and also manage troops, so he was a captain for three months.

Abraham was so well informed that the people sent him to legislature.
They made him postmaster. They hired him to lay out roads and towns. It
became the fashion, if there was need of some honest, skilful work, for
people to say: "Why not get Abraham Lincoln to do it? Then you'll know
it's done right."

He studied law, went to legislature again, and became a circuit judge.
This meant that he had to ride all round the country to attend different
courts. He would start off on horseback to be away three months, with
saddle-bags holding clean linen, an old green umbrella, and a few books
to read as he rode along. When he came to woodchoppers, as he rode
through forests, he liked to dismount, ask for an axe, and chop a log so
quickly that the men would stare.

Abraham Lincoln settled, with his wife and children, in Springfield,
Illinois. He was a lawyer but would not take a case if he thought his
client was guilty. He was still "Honest Abe." He loved children and
usually when he went to his office in the morning, the baby was perched
on his shoulder, while the others held on to his coat tails and followed
behind. All the children in Springfield felt he was their friend. No
wonder, for he was never too busy to help them. One morning as he was
hurrying to his law office, he saw a little girl, very much dressed up,
crying as if her heart would break. Her sobs almost shook her off the
doorstep where she sat. Mr. Lincoln unlatched the gate and went up the
walk, singing out: "Well, well, now what does all this mean?"

"Oh, Mr. Lincoln, I was going to Chicago to visit my aunt. I have my
ticket in my purse and," here the sobs came faster than ever, "the
expressman can't get here in time for my trunk."

"How big is your trunk?"

"This size," stretching her hands apart.

"Pooh, I'll carry that trunk to the station for you, myself. Where is

The little girl pointed to the hall, and in a minute Mr. Lincoln, with
his tall silk hat on his head, his long coat tails flying out behind,
the trunk on his shoulder, was striding to the railroad station, as the
now happy little girl skipped beside him. He was not going to have the
child disappointed.

[Illustration: "How big is your trunk?" _Page 88._]

Mr. Lincoln had a big heart. It never bothered him to stop long enough
to do a kindness. One bitterly cold day he saw an old man chopping wood.
He was feeble and was shaking with the cold. Mr. Lincoln watched him for
a few minutes and then asked him how much he was to be paid for the
whole lot. "One dollar," he answered, "and I need it to buy shoes." "I
should think you did," said the lawyer, noticing that the poor old man's
toes showed through the holes of those he was wearing. Then he gently
took the axe from the man's hands and said: "You go in by the fire and
keep warm, and I'll do the wood." Mr. Lincoln made the chips fly. He
chopped so fast that the passers-by never stopped talking about it.

Abraham Lincoln was known to be honest, unselfish, and clear-headed. He
had grown very wise by much reading and study. Finally the people of the
United States paid him the greatest honor that can come to an American.
They made him President. Yes, this man who had taught himself to write
in the Kentucky log cabin was President of the United States!

As President, Mr. Lincoln lived in style at the White House. But he was
just the same quiet, modest man that he had always been. He was busier,
that was all.

When President Lincoln spoke to the people, or sent letters (messages,
they are called) to Congress, every one said: "What a brain that man
has!" But he used very short, simple words. Once he gave a reason for
this. He said it used to make him angry, when he was a child, to hear
the neighbors talk to his father in a way that he could not understand.
He would lie awake, sometimes, half the night, trying to think what they
meant. When he thought he had at last got the idea, he would put it into
the simplest words he knew, so that any boy would know what was meant.
This got to be a habit, and even in his great talk at Gettysburg the
beautiful words are short and plain.

       *       *       *       *       *

One day when Lincoln was running the ferry-boat for the man I have
spoken of before, he saw at one of the river landings some negro slaves
getting a terrible beating by their master. He was only a boy, but he
never forgot the sight, and one of the things he brought about when he
became President of the United States was the freedom of the black

There are a great many lives and stories about Lincoln which you will
read and enjoy, and it is certain that the more you know of this great
man, Dear "Honest Abe," the better you will love him.


Small Robert Lee, of Virginia, aged five, was playing one day with
another boy of his own age, whose mother was visiting Mrs. Lee. The Lees
had lived for two centuries in the beautiful brick mansion, "Stratford,"
on the Potomac River. While the boys played on the veranda, there was
the sound of busy feet inside the house, and an air of bustle and
hurrying to and fro. Robert knew the cause of this and was feeling very
happy. His father, Colonel Robert E. Lee, was coming home from Mexico,
where he had done brave things in the Mexican War. The story of this had
been in the papers, and though Robert had not seen his father for two
years and sometimes could not remember just how he looked, he knew from
the way people mentioned Colonel Lee's name that he was a man to be
proud of.

When Eliza, Robert's black mammy, called him in to be dressed, there
was trouble. He would not wear what she had ready for him. He was the
Colonel's namesake, and if his father was coming home, nothing was nice
enough but his best frock of blue and white.

Small Robert had his way about the frock. His hair was freshly curled,
and he rushed down to the broad hall, where the family were waiting for
Colonel Lee. The lady visitor had pinned a rose in her hair, and the
other little boy had been dressed in his prettiest clothes. Pretty soon
there were shouts of "Here he comes--here he comes!" and they could see
Colonel Lee, in a handsome uniform, riding his chestnut horse, Grace

He sprang from the horse and up the steps, and when he had greeted the
older ones, he sang out: "Where's my little boy--where's Robbie?" He
seized the child nearest him and kissed him half a dozen times.

But it wasn't Robert that he kissed. It was the other boy!

For a minute Robert cried, but his father had plenty of kisses for him
when he found what a mistake he had made, and he whispered something to
Robert that made everything all right. There was a mustang pony on the
way from Mexico for his little son!

This pony was pure white. A faithful Irish servant taught Robert to ride
in a short time, and he was the proudest boy in the world when he rode
out on Santa Anna beside his father on Grace Darling. Robert bragged a
good deal to his playmates about Grace Darling, because she had carried
his father all through the Mexican War and had the scars of seven
bullets on her sides.

Colonel Lee loved animals and taught all his children to be kind to
their pets. When the family lived in Arlington, "Spec," a lively black
and tan terrier, went everywhere with them, even to church. Colonel Lee
thought he made the children restless, so one Sunday, when they started
for church, he shut Spec in a chamber in the second story. Spec looked
out of the window for awhile. It was open, and he soon made up his mind
that he would rather be with his friends. So he jumped to the ground,
ran as fast as he could, and walked into the pew just behind the
family. After that he was allowed to go to church every Sunday.

Colonel Robert E. Lee was a very handsome man. When he and Mrs. Lee were
going out in the evening, the children always begged to sit up and see
them start. They never saw any man or any picture of a man they thought
so beautiful as their own father.

General Lee was not just a good leader of soldiers; he knew how to make
everyone mind, and although he was the best playmate his children had,
he was very firm with them. No slipshod ways were allowed in his house.
No, indeed! If his boys and girls were not tidy about their clothes,
faithful in their lessons, polite, and truthful, they found their father
stern enough.

When their father was so quick at sports and games and could plan such
perfectly splendid holidays, it did seem pretty hard to the Lee children
that he was so often sent away on war duties. But wherever he was, he
found time from his military affairs to write long letters to his
children, and these were so playful and told of so many strange things
that it partly made up for his absence. The neighboring playmates used
to watch for those letters almost as eagerly as the family, and probably
they envied the Lee children sometimes when their father came for a
visit, wearing some new honor or title. For as he was wise and good and
brave, he did not fail to rise higher and higher in rank. His father had
been a general under George Washington and had taught his son that there
is no grander honor for a man than to defend his country. And in order
that Robert should make a fine soldier, he had been trained at West
Point. When he had proved how keen and skilful he was, Abraham Lincoln,
then president of the United States, asked Robert E. Lee, who had become
a general, to take command of all the armies of the Union.

But general Lee was much troubled in his mind. Just then there was
danger of the northern and southern States fighting against each other.
If the people of the different States should really grow so angry that
they came to blows, Lee felt he must stand by Virginia, because that
was his father's State. Indeed, the Lees had lived there since 1642, and
Robert Lee loved every inch of its soil. He felt sad enough when he
found there must be fighting, but he could not accept Lincoln's offer,
so he gave up his high place in the United States Army and took the post
of Major-general among the Virginian soldiers.

Then the Lee family had to do without their father and chum for four
long years. They had grown up by this time, and all their childhood pets
were dead. Grace Darling's place was taken by Traveller, an iron-gray
horse with black points. He was so large and strong it did not seem
possible to tire him out. He carried General Lee all through the Civil
War. He often went cold and hungry, but he loved his master and would
come when he heard the general's whistle or call, no matter how far away
he might be. The soldiers loved Lee, too, and they obeyed his slightest

The Civil War was long and cruel, as all war is, and at the end Lee had
to yield because his men were starving. But he is counted as one of the
greatest generals known in history, and his fame will never die.

The little Robert E. Lee, who rode the mustang pony, is now a
gray-haired man. He has written the life of his father and has told how
General Lee became a college president after the War. The students loved
their president as well as the soldiers loved their general, and they
always felt proud of him as he went galloping past them on dear old
Traveller after the duties were over for the day. Good old Traveller
deserved a medal, if ever a horse did, for sharing the dangers of her
gallant master, General Robert E. Lee.


Have you ever happened to see a book that cost a thousand dollars?

A man who loved birds and knew a great deal about them drew pictures of
all the kinds to be found in our country, calling these drawings, when
they were colored and bound together _The Birds of North America_. It
took four volumes to hold all these pictures, and each one of these
books costs a thousand dollars. There were only seventy-five or eighty
of these sets of bird books made, but you can see them in the Boston
Public Library, the Lenox and Astor libraries in New York city, and at
several colleges and private homes. Each one of these books is more than
three feet long and a little over two feet wide, and is so heavy that it
takes two strong men to lift it on to a rack when some one wants to look
at the pictures. If you should look through all four books, you would
see more than a thousand kinds of birds, all drawn as big as life, and
each one colored like the bird itself.

You may be sure it took the maker of these books many, many years to
travel all over the United States to find such a number of birds. The
man's name was John James Audubon. He slept in woods, waded through
marshes and swamps, tramped hundreds of miles, and suffered many
hardships before he could learn the colors and habits of so many birds.
He always said his love for birds began when his pet parrot was killed.

It happened this way.

One morning when John James was about four years old and his nurse was
giving him his breakfast, the little parrot Mignonne, who said a lot of
words as plainly as a child, asked for some bread and milk. A tame
monkey who was in the room happened to be angry and sulking over
something. He sprang at Mignonne, who screamed for help. Little John
James shouted too, and begged his nurse to save the bird, but before any
one could stop the ugly monkey's blows, the parrot was dead.

The monkey was always kept chained after that, and John James buried his
parrot in the garden and trimmed the grave with shrubs and flowering
plants. But he missed his pet and so roamed through the woods adjoining
his father's estate, watching the birds that flew through them. By and
by he did not care for anything so much as trying to make pictures of
these birds, listening to their songs, finding what kind of nests they
built, and at what time of year they flew north or south.

John James lived in Nantes, France, when he was a small boy, although he
was born in Louisiana. His father was a wealthy French gentleman, an
officer in the French navy, and was much in America, so that John James
was first in France and then in America until he was about twenty-five,
at which time he settled in his native country for good. Few men have
loved these United States better than he.

John James did not care much for school. Figures tired his head. He
loved music, drawing, and dancing. His father was away from home most of
the time, and his pretty, young stepmother let the boy do quite as he
pleased. She loved him dearly, and as he liked to roam through the
country with boys of his age, she would pack luncheon baskets day after
day for him, and when he came back at dusk, with the same baskets filled
with birds' eggs, strange flowers, and all sorts of curiosities, she
would sit down beside him and look them over, as interested as could be.

Some years later, when John James's father put him in charge of a large
farm near Philadelphia, the young man bought some fine horses, some
well-trained dogs, and spent long summer days in hunting and fishing. He
also got many breeds of fowl. It is a wonder that with all the leisure
hours he had, and the large amount of spending money his father allowed
him, he did not get into bad habits, but young Audubon ate mostly fruit
and vegetables, never touched liquor, and chose good companions. He did
like fine clothes and about this time dressed rather like a fop. I
expect the handsome fellow made a pretty picture as he dashed by on his
spirited black horse, in his satin breeches, silk stockings and pumps,
and the fine, ruffled shirts which he had sent over from France.

Anyway, a sweet young girl, Lucy Bakewell, lost her heart to him. Only
as she was very young, her parents said she must not yet be married. And
while he was waiting for her, he fixed over his house, and with a
friend, Mr. Rozier, and a good-natured housekeeper, lived a simple,
country life. You would have enjoyed a visit to him about this time. He
turned the lower floor into a sort of museum. The walls were festooned
with birds' eggs, which had been blown out and strung on thread. There
were stuffed squirrels, opossums, and racoons; and paintings of gorgeous
colored birds hung everywhere. Audubon had great skill in training
animals and one dog, Zephyr, did wonderful tricks.

When Audubon and Lucy married, they went to Kentucky, where he and his
friend Rozier opened a store. But Rozier did most of the store work, as
Audubon was apt to wander off to the woods, for he had already decided
to make this book about birds. His mind was not on his business, as you
can see when I tell you that one day he mailed a letter with eight
thousand dollars in it and never sealed it! The only part of the
business he enjoyed were the trips to New York and Philadelphia to buy
goods. These goods were carried on the backs of pack horses, and a good
part of the journeys led through forests. He lost the horses for a whole
day once, because he heard a song-bird that was new to him, and as he
followed the sound of the bird so as to get a sight of it, he forgot all
about the pack horses and the goods.

By and by his best friends said he acted like a crazy man. Only his wife
and family stood by him. Finally when his money was gone, and there were
two children growing up, things looked rather desperate. But Lucy, his
wife, said: "You are a genius, and you know more about birds than any
one living. I am sure all you need is time to show the world how clever
you are. I will earn money while you study and paint!"

So Audubon traveled to seek out the haunts of still more birds, while
Lucy went as governess in rich families, or opened private schools where
she could teach her own two boys as well as others. She earned a great
deal of money, and when he had made all his pictures and was ready to
publish the books, she had nearly enough to pay the expense, and gave it
to him.

"No," he said, "I am going to earn part of this myself. I will open a
dancing class." He had danced beautifully ever since he was a child and
could not understand how people could be so awkward and stupid as his
class of sixty Kentuckians proved to be. In their first lesson he broke
his bow and almost ruined his beautiful violin in his excitement and
temper. "Why, watch me," he cried, and he danced to his own music so
charmingly that the class clapped their hands and said they would do
their best to copy him. By and by they did better, and before he left
them, they quite satisfied him. And what was fortunate for him, they had
paid him two thousand dollars. With this and Lucy's earnings, he went
to England and had the famous drawings published. When they were done,
he exhibited them at the Royal Institute, charging admission, and earned
many pounds more.

Audubon was a lovable, courteous man, never too poor to help others,
very modest and gracious. He adored his wife, and as his books (he wrote
many volumes of his travels, which I hope you will read some day)
brought in quite a fortune, the two, with their sons, and their
grandchildren, spent their last days in great comfort, on a fine estate
on the Hudson River.


When Robert Fulton was a little boy in Pennsylvania, he never minded
being called to his lessons with his mother, for she was a famous Irish
beauty, and Robert loved to look at her. She was good-natured too and
told him far more interesting stories than he found in the lesson books.
It was quite a different matter when Robert was sent, at the age of
eight, to a school kept by Caleb Johnson, a Quaker gentleman.

With Mr. Johnson, Robert found lessons rather stupid affairs. He missed
the stories his mother always wove in with the books they read together.
Besides, Robert had taken some toys and old clocks to pieces, and he was
busy planning how he could make some himself, if he but had the tools.
Sometimes Caleb Johnson spoke to him two or three times before Robert
heard him. The old Quaker thought the boy was wasting precious time, so
he feruled him every day.

This was way back, just before the Revolutionary War, and in those days
every school-teacher kept a stout stick on his desk, called a ferule,
with which to slap the naughty pupils' hands. The ferule always made the
hand burn and sting, and if the teacher were harsh, he sometimes
blistered a boy's hand. One time, after the Quaker had used the ferule
on Robert until his own arm ached, he cried: "There, that will make you
do something, I guess."

"But," answered Robert, "I came here, Sir, to have something beaten into
my head, not into my knuckles."

Robert was keener on making things than on learning lessons. One morning
he did not get to the schoolhouse until nearly noon, and Mr. Johnson
exclaimed: "Now, Mr. Tardy-Boy, where have you been?"

"At Mr. Miller's shop, pounding out a lead for my pencil. I want you to
look at it. It is the best one I ever had!" And the teacher had to admit
that he never saw a better one.

Another time Robert told the Quaker teacher that he was so busy thinking
up new ideas that he did not have any room in his mind for storing away
what was in dusty books!

Robert loved pictures. There was a large portrait of his beautiful
mother, painted by Benjamin West, which hung in the parlor, and he had
often wished to try and make one like it. He had not been long at school
before a seat-mate brought to school some paints and brushes belonging
to an older brother. As the war was waging, the people had hard work to
get luxuries or money to buy them with, so Robert quite envied the boy
such a prize. He begged to try them, and he made such wonderful
pictures, pictures so much better than any one else in school could
make, that the owner gave the whole outfit to him.

About this time Robert was always buying little packages of quicksilver.
He was trying experiments with it, but he wouldn't tell the other boys
what they were. So they nicknamed him "Quicksilver Bob." Of course, the
men in shops where firearms were made and repaired were very busy.
"Quicksilver Bob" went to these shops every day. The men liked him, and
as he talked with them, he often made suggestions that they were glad to
follow. "That boy will do something big some of these days," they would
say to each other.

When Robert was fourteen, he met a boy who worked in a machine shop, by
the name of Christopher Grumpf. This boy was eighteen, and his father
was a fine fisherman who knew where the largest number of fish could be
caught, and he took the two boys up and down the river in a
flat-bottomed boat that was pushed along by the means of two long poles.
The boat was clumsy, and this poling made the boys' arms ache. Robert
kept thinking there must be a better way of getting that boat through
the water. He went away to visit his aunt but worked all the time on a
set of paddles and the model of a boat on which they could be built. He
tried a set of these paddles on Mr. Grumpf's boat when he got home, and
they worked so well that Mr. Grumpf never used the poles again on his
fishing trips. He found the paddles saved him from having lame muscles.

Robert and his playmates had fine times watching the two thousand troops
stationed in Lancaster. These were British prisoners. Some of them were
kept in the barracks, the officers lodged in private houses, and the
Hessian troops (some of whom had their wives with them) lived in square
huts of mud and sod. This colony of Hessians greatly interested the boys
of the village, and Robert drew capital pictures of them, for he had
been practising sketching and painting all his spare time. In fact, he
decided, at the age of seventeen, to go to the city of Philadelphia and
make a business of painting portraits and miniatures. For four years he
lived there, earning a good deal of money and sending the greater part
of it home to his mother.

Among the many pleasant friends he made in Philadelphia was Benjamin
Franklin. Mr. Franklin and most of his wealthy patrons advised Robert to
go to Europe and take painting lessons of Benjamin West. Before he went,
Robert bought a farm for his mother and sisters. He never forgot to see
that his mother was comfortable.

Robert had been thinking for years how fine it would be if boats did not
have to depend on sails but could be sent through the water by steam.
Over in Europe he met a lord who was making plans for canals, and while
talking with him he grew more interested than ever in ways of traveling
by water. So although he painted enough portraits to lay away money for
a rainy day, he studied all the rules for building canals and about the
machinery that goes in boats. Certainly he was busier than when, as a
boy, he told Caleb Johnson there was no time for dusty books when his
mind was holding so many new ideas, for he learned three or four
languages, invented the first panorama ever shown in France, a machine
for cutting marble, another for twisting rope, and a torpedo boat to be
used in warfare.

Only you must not think that because he had so many clever notions about
the implements of war he believed in nations killing each other off--no,
indeed. He stood for peace more than a hundred and fifty years ago,
before there was so much said and done to encourage it. He said: "The
art of Peace should be the study of every young American!"

He stayed seven years in France and was pointed out wherever he went as
"that talented young foreigner." He lived most of the time with an
American gentleman, Mr. Joel Barlow, and his wife. They were very fond
of Fulton and believed that the experiments he was trying,--to make
vessels go by steam, would prove a success. They nicknamed him "Toot,"
because every evening, in his room, he was running a tiny model of a
steam-engine across his work table, which gave shrill whistles now and

For as much as thirty years men in Europe and America had been trying to
make vessels run by steam when Fulton finally succeeded in doing it. He
built a boat which was fitted with a steam-engine and gave it a trial on
the river Seine. Something broke, which let the vessel down on to the
river's bottom, but Fulton soon had another puffing its way up and down
a section of the Seine, while the people on the banks cheered and

Fulton returned to America and built a steamer which he intended to run
on the Hudson River. He named it the _Clermont_, but it was generally
spoken of as "Fulton's Folly" by the crowds who watched its building.
The loungers who stood about jeering at the inventor were so
disrespectful as they watched the last few days' work that Fulton feared
they would smash it in pieces and hired a guard to protect it.

It was four years after Fulton had shown the model boat on the Seine, in
France, that he started the _Clermont_ up the Hudson River, in his own
country. There were not thirty people in New York city who believed the
steamer would go a mile in an hour. A few friends went aboard with the
inventor, to make the trial trip, but they looked frightened and
worried. The _Clermont_ was a clumsy affair; its machinery creaked and
groaned; no whistle seemed to work, so a horn was blown whenever the
boat approached a landing. The crew carried on enough wood at each
landing to last till they reached another. This wood was pine, and
whenever the engineer stirred the coals, a lot of sparks flew into the
air, and black smoke poured from the funnel. The crews on the ordinary
sailing vessels were afraid of this strange craft that went chugging by
them, and some of the sailors were in such a panic that they left their
vessels and ran into the woods, declaring there was a horrible monster
afloat on the water.

Well, the _Clermont_ proved a great convenience on the Hudson River. It
ran as a packet boat for years, and Fulton built other steamers. He
realized that it would mean a great deal to America if some quick, cheap
method of carrying people and freight along the great Missouri and
Mississippi rivers could be used. His invention of the steamboat has
given him the name of the "Father of Steam Navigation," and it has been
a blessing to the whole world.

Besides being a wonderful inventor, Robert Fulton was a polished
gentleman. He was tall and handsome, like his mother, as gentle as a
child, and he had a charming way of talking, so whether he spoke of
America, France, steamboats, or pictures, there was always silence in
the room.

Think of the old Quaker teacher, Caleb Johnson, trying to ferule a few
ideas into Robert Fulton's head! No doubt Mr. Johnson was worried, but
Robert's head proved to be an uncommonly wise one.


It was quite a while before you and I were born that a boy by the name
of George Peabody lived in Danvers, Massachusetts. He had such good
lessons in school that his teachers rather thought he would go to
college, but one day he took his books out of his desk and said he must
leave school and go to work, because his mother was very poor. The
teacher said: "We shall miss you, George, and hope you will have much
good luck!"

George was only eleven when this happened. He was a round-faced, plucky,
little fellow, with the good manners that generally go with a kind
heart, and there wasn't a lazy bone in his body. Mr. Proctor, the
grocer, thought he was just the kind of a boy he needed in his store. So
he hired him.

Right away the housekeepers in Danvers agreed that George Peabody was
the nicest grocer-boy they ever saw. They said to each other it was
worth the walk to the store to have him hand out their packages with his
sunny smile, his pleasant words, and polite bow. When he carried the
heavier things, like a bag of meal, or a gallon of molasses home for
them, they would coax him to rest awhile and eat some fruit or cake.
They all liked to talk with him.

George stayed with Mr. Proctor four years. Then he went to Vermont to
help his grandfather. Mr. Proctor almost cried when he saw the big
stage-coach rattle away in a cloud of dust, while the boy who had been
so faithful to his duties waved good-by with his handkerchief as long as
he could see.

When George was sixteen, he joined his brother David, who had a store in
Newburyport. The young people in this old sea-port town made friends
with him at once. They asked him to every fishing-party and picnic they
had, but he was usually too busy to go, for besides selling goods all
day, he often wrote cards in a clear, neat hand, in his room evenings.
He spent almost nothing on himself, but was as happy as could be when
his letters to his mother held more money than usual. His being poor
did not matter. The rich boys in Newburyport were glad to pay his share
in games and excursions any time he could take a holiday, just for the
sake of having his lively company.

A fire destroyed David's store, and George had to make a fresh start in
Georgetown. It was the same story there. It was no time at all before
the mayor of Georgetown said to the doctor and the minister: "I tell
you, George Peabody is a comfortable person to have round!"

At twenty George did not have a dollar of his own, but after the fire
plenty of men offered to lend him money, and he kept on working in his
happy way until he was thirty-five, when he found himself rich enough to
go to London and not only have stores but to open a bank, too. Then
Englishmen began to find out what a comfortable man George Peabody was
to have round. He had no wife and lived rather simply himself, but was
glad to spend a great deal on other folks. He found the working men
lived in filthy, unhealthy places, so he built a great square--almost a
little village--of neat, pretty, working men's homes. (In his will he
left the poor of London half a million dollars.) Then, when it was
feared that Sir John Franklin, the great arctic explorer, was lost, and
there was need to send men to search for him, George Peabody said: "Let
me help--I'll fit out a ship," and he paid for everything that went
aboard the _Advance_. You understand, now, why you find on the geography
maps a point, way up north, called Peabody's Land!

The Englishmen took a strong liking to this sociable American who had
settled among them, and it was thought a great treat to go round to his
rooms in the evening and have a game of backgammon or whist after a
jolly dinner, at which Mr. Peabody always told funny stories. He had a
fine memory and a real gift for story-telling. He loved music and was
delighted when people would sing Scotch songs for him.

Living in England many years did not make Mr. Peabody love America any
the less. When the great Crystal Palace was built in which to hold a
sort of World's Fair, there were to be shown samples of things made by
different countries. The papers were full of talk about this grand
affair. One morning Mr. Peabody opened his paper at the breakfast table
and read an article which ridiculed the looks of the rooms or stalls set
apart for American products. I tell you it did not take him long to eat
his breakfast. He said: "I guess I'll see about this. I guess my own
country is not going to be made fun of!" He did not abuse the man who
wrote the article, but he went right to the Crystal Palace to find out
how our things did look. He knew the minute he got there that our agents
did not have money enough to work with. So he just opened his purse and
wrote letters and offered advice, until in the end the American stalls
were decorated in exquisite taste, and when there were such things shown
as Powers's "Greek Slave" (a wonderful statue), the very useful reaping
machine of McCormack's, Colt's revolvers, and the printing press of Hoe,
with many other interesting things, the visitors to the fair agreed
that few countries had more to their credit than America. Then the
English papers behaved very handsomely and spoke so well of our exhibit
that I expect if George Peabody read the last article at his breakfast
table, he may have chuckled to himself and said: "I'll risk America
every time!"

He noticed, while at the fair, how well the Crystal Palace was suited
for large gatherings (it is mostly of iron and glass--with two immense,
glittering towers) and decided he would give a big dinner on the Fourth
of July to all the Americans in London. This dinner proved a grand
affair. The Duke of Wellington and many famous English people were
present. It was such a success that ever after, as long as he lived,
George Peabody gave a Fourth of July dinner in Crystal Palace.

Queen Victoria so deeply esteemed Mr. Peabody that she sent a message to
him that she wished to make him a baronet, and confer the Order of the
Bath upon him. And what word do you suppose he sent back? Why, he said:
"I am going over to America pretty soon to visit the town where I was
born, and as I do not care one bit about titles and such things, but do
value your interest and friendship, I wish you would just write me a
letter which I may read to my friends in America, who love you as I do!"
The queen wrote a long, affectionate letter to him, saying what a
blessing he had been to England, and asked him to accept her portrait.

So when Danvers, a part of which had been set off into a new town by
itself and named Peabody (for the faithful grocer boy, who had become
the rich banker) was to have its hundredth birthday, George Peabody
crossed the ocean to be there. He gave to his native town a free library
and lecture hall and the portrait of Queen Victoria. This miniature was
so set with gold and jewels as to cost fifty thousand dollars! The
queen's letter is kept there to this day.

Mr. Peabody gave money for museums at Yale and Harvard, an Academy of
Science at Salem, a memorial church at Georgetown, the birthplace of his
mother, and large sums of money for schools in the South, because he
realized that after the Civil War there would be much disorder and
poverty. Some men could not have kept perfectly friendly with two
countries, but Mr. Peabody loved both England and America and in all he
did and said tried to bind the two nations together. The very last time
he spoke in public was at the National Peace Jubilee in Boston.

When George Peabody died, the queen wanted him buried in Westminster
Abbey, and when she found he had left a request to be taken to America,
she sent a ship, the _Monarch_, across the Atlantic Ocean with his body.

A good many lives and stories have been written about George Peabody,
and he has earned several names like The Great Philanthropist--The
Merchant Prince--the Ambassador of Peace--the Friend of the Poor--and so
forth, but none fit him any better than the saying: "He was a
comfortable man to have round!"


Before New England became such a busy, hurried sort of a place--say a
hundred years ago--its men and women had time to listen to sermons that
were more than an hour long, or to lecturers who talked three or four
hours. When a public speaker used very fine words and could keep the
people who listened to him wide awake and eager to hear more, he was
called a great orator. An orator who dazzled our grandfathers and
grandmothers was named Daniel Webster. He has been dead a long time, but
the public speeches he made will never be forgotten.

Down in the business part of Boston can be seen, on a large building, a
tablet which reads "The Home of Daniel Webster." On the terraced lawn of
Massachusetts' State house stands a bronze statue of Daniel Webster. And
in old Faneuil Hall, Boston (which is called the Cradle of Liberty),
there is a huge painting, as long as--well--as long as a street-car,
which is called "Webster's Reply to Hayne." In this picture there are
the portraits of one hundred and thirty senators and other men, but all
of them are watching Daniel Webster. This is a picture well worth
seeing, and Webster was well worth hearing.

Daniel Webster was born in New Hampshire. When he was a year old, his
parents moved onto a farm which they called "The Elms" on account of the
fine old trees which grew there. The older Webster boys did all kinds of
heavy work, but as Daniel was not very strong, he was petted, and as he
grew up, was asked to do only very light work. He rode the plow horse in
the fields, drove the cows to pasture, and tended logs in his father's
sawmill. When he was sent to do this last, he always took a book along,
because it took twenty minutes for the saw to work its teeth through one
of the tree-trunks, and he could not bear to waste all that time. He
learned to read from his mother and sister almost as soon as he could
talk, and he pored over the Bible for hours at a time.

Daniel's father kept a tavern, besides carrying on his farm. The
teamsters who got their dinners there used to ask Daniel to read to
them. His voice was deep and musical, and he gave such meaning to the
words of the Bible that they thought him a wonder. His eyes were like
black velvet, and his hair was as black and shiny as the feathers of a
crow. Every one called him "little black Dan."

Daniel read everything he could find, and could recite whole poems and
chapters of books when he was quite small. At a country store, just
across the road from his father's tavern, he bought a cotton
pocket-handkerchief on which the Constitution of the United States was
printed. After looking at the eagles and flags which were printed as a
border, he sat down under one of the giant elm trees and learned by
heart every word printed there.

Daniel liked to wander along the banks of the Merrimac River, and as he
played in the fields and woods, he learned a great deal about animals
and plants. Robert Wise taught him to fish for the salmon and shad that
were plenty about there. Robert Wise was an old English sailor, who
lived with his wife in a cottage on the Webster farm. He told Daniel
famous stories of the strange countries he had sailed to. This man could
not read, so he felt well repaid for carrying little black Dan on his
shoulder, or paddling him up and down streams half a day at a time, if
the boy would go after supper to his cottage and read aloud to him from
books or newspapers.

Daniel loved all outdoor beauty, the sun, moon, and stars, the ocean,
and the wind. In almost every one of the great speeches that he made, as
a middle-aged, or old man, he mentioned them.

In the state of New Hampshire, when Daniel was a boy, teachers and
schools were scarce. A man or a woman would teach a few weeks in one
town and then move on to another. They were called traveling teachers.
This was done because there were not anywhere near enough teachers to go
round, and it was thought only fair that each little village or town
should get its few weeks. Daniel followed these traveling teachers a
long time every year, sometimes walking two or three miles a day, at
other times boarding away from home. Nothing was taught in these schools
but reading and writing. Daniel was an almost perfect reader but a poor

One of Daniel's teachers wanted his pupils to know good poems and
chapters of books by heart. He offered a prize--a jack-knife--to the one
who should learn the most verses from the Bible. One after another was
called upon to recite. They had found it rather hard, and many of them
had learned but eight or ten verses at the most. When it was Daniel's
turn, he recited chapter after chapter. He kept on and on until it was
time for the teacher to dismiss school. Mr. Tappan said: "Well, there is
no doubt you deserve the prize. How many more chapters did you learn?"

"Oh, a lot more," answered Dan, laughing.

After Daniel was twelve, he began to grow stronger and did his share of
work on the farm. One day when he was helping his father in the
hayfield, Mr. Webster said: "Daniel, it is the men who have fine
educations that succeed in this world. I do not intend that you shall be
a drudge all your days. I am going to send you through college."

[Illustration: He rode there on horseback. _Page 129._]

Daniel was so pleased at this that he sat right down on the hay and

When Daniel was fitting for college at Exeter, he was about the
brightest pupil there, but it did seem funny that the boy who was to one
day be a great orator could not then declaim or recite before the
school. He would learn the nicest pieces and practise them in his own
room, but when he stood up before all the scholars and teachers, his
courage left him. Sometimes, when his name was called, he could not rise
from his seat. He was very much ashamed of himself and shed a good many
tears over his shyness. But he persevered and finally did better than
any of the boys. There is nothing like trying things enough times.

When Daniel went to Dartmouth College, he rode there on horseback,
carrying his feather-bed, blankets, clothes, and books on his horse. He
was still such a dark looking person that the students thought he was an

Daniel studied law and made very fine pleas in the courtrooms. He was a
senator in Congress, a secretary of state, and a public speaker who was
admired in England as well as in America.

Mr. Webster had a wife and children. He bought a large estate at
Marshfield in Massachusetts, where the family spent many summers. He
loved children and animals, was kind to the poor, and bought the freedom
of several slaves. He was very neat in dress. His favorite costume for
court and senate was a blue coat with brass buttons, a buff waistcoat,
and black trousers.

Daniel Webster always liked to look up old friends and was never cold or
haughty to any one. Once when he was going through the West, making
famous speeches in the different cities, a man crowded forward to speak
to him, saying: "Why, is this little black Dan that used to water my
horses?" The dignified orator did not mind a bit. "Yes," he laughed,
"I'm little black Dan grown up!"

Daniel was a good son to the father, who had tried hard to make him a
fine scholar. Only once did he disappoint him. That was when he refused
to be clerk of court. When his father begged him to take that place, he
said: "No, father, I am going to use my tongue in courts, not my pen. I
mean to be an orator!" He proved to be one of America's great ones.


Augustus St. Gaudens was a sculptor. He made wonderful figures of our
American heroes. No matter how often we are told of the brave deeds of
Lincoln, Sherman, Shaw, and Farragut, we shall remember these men longer
because of St. Gaudens's statues of them.

Although Augustus was the son of a French shoemaker, named Bernard Paul
St. Gaudens, and a young Irish girl of Dublin, who lost her heart to
Bernard as she sat binding slippers in the same shop where he made
shoes, we call him an American, for a great famine swept Ireland when
little Augustus was only six months old, and the young parents sailed to
America with all haste. They landed in Boston, where the mother and baby
waited for the father to find work in New York. He soon sent for them,
and as Augustus and his two brothers grew up in that city and always
lived in this country, he seems to belong to us.

Shoemakers, as a rule, are not rich men, and Mr. St. Gaudens did not pay
very strict attention to his work, for he joined so many societies and
clubs that these took his time. His patrons would never have had their
shoes made or mended if he had not hired help. Then, also, his sons
learned to cobble shoes very young.

Before Augustus went into his father's shop to work, and when he had a
good many hours out of school, he found the busy streets of New York
exciting enough. He was laughing and merry, so that he made friends from
the Bowery to Central Park. He had only to sniff hungrily at the bakery
to have the good-natured German cook toss him out brown sugar-cakes, and
if he fell off the wharves, or ran too near big fire-engines, some kind
policeman rescued him. He was not a bad boy. Probably the worst thing he
did was to join some other boys in the string joke. They used to tie
strings from the seats of the bakery-wagons to the posts of high stoops
and watch these strings knock off hats as men hurried by.

Sundays were gala days. If the sun shone, all the boys in the
neighborhood went over to New Jersey on the ferry-boat. Augustus's
father always gave him and his brothers five cents each. Two cents took
a boy over to New Jersey, two cents brought him back, and there was the
other cent for candy or gum. It was good sport to chase each other
through the green fields, hunt birds' nests, and climb trees, but the
best fun came on the way back, when the boys sat in a long row at the
front of the boat, letting their legs dangle over the edge, watching the
life on the river.

When Augustus went to school, at the age of ten, he did more drawing on
his slate than arithmetic. How the pupils craned their necks to see his
pictures! He did not draw just one man, a bird, or a single house, but
whole armies shooting guns and cannon. These soldiers looked alive. On
his way home, Augustus was apt to draw charcoal sketches on every white
house he passed. The sketches were fine, but the housekeepers scolded.
Few people noticed the real talent of the boy, but one old doctor became
much excited and urged Augustus's father to let him study art. His
father had seen very lifelike pictures of his own workshop and cobblers
which Augustus had drawn, and agreed that he would do what he could to
help him. Only Augustus must for a few more years earn money for the
family. So while he went to a night school for drawing lessons, he cut
cameos through the day.

My, but the man who taught him cameo cutting was cross! Augustus was
scolded and driven to work faster all day long.

In spite of the terrible rages into which this stonecutter would go, he
was very artistic, and Augustus learned how to cut wonderful heads of
dogs, horses, and lions, for scarf pins. He made hundreds of lions'
heads, and twenty years later, when he was helping his brother model the
lion figures for the Boston Public Library, his hands fairly flew, he
knew all the lines so well.

When Augustus went in the evenings to the drawing classes at Cooper
Union, he began drawing human figures and was so eager about his art
that he would have forgotten to eat or sleep if his mother had not
watched him. As he grew older, he loved art more and more. The only
thing else that attracted his eye was the city-full of soldiers, at the
beginning of the Civil War. He read the bulletin boards, heard groups of
men telling about battles, and his heart ached with love for America. He
wanted to go to war to show that love. But his father was now sure that
Augustus was a genius and insisted upon his going to Europe to study.
The father could not give him much money, hardly more than enough to get
him across the ocean, but he could cut cameos to pay for his lessons.

Augustus stayed in Paris a year. He made friends among the artists just
as he had made them when a child in New York. Then he worked four years
in Rome. He had a hard time there and grew thin for want of food and
sleep, but he was as eager as ever and worked faster and harder than
before. People began to visit his studio and always went away full of
praise for the talented young man. Rich Americans visiting in Rome urged
him to return to this country. They gave him orders, and he finally came
back to America, where he was kept busy on busts and medallions until he
began to have orders for monuments of great Americans. This was work he
liked. He loved America, and he was proud of her heroes. Perhaps he
loved Abraham Lincoln best of all. He had seen Lincoln a good many
times, and he had read and studied about his beautiful life until every
line of that man's face and figure was clear in his mind. Still, when he
was asked to make a statue of Lincoln for the city of Chicago, he worked
on it many years. On his statue of General Sherman which stands in
Central Park, New York, he labored eleven years. On the beautiful Robert
Gould Shaw monument which stands in front of the State House in Boston,
he spent twelve years. This does not mean that he stood with clay in his
hands all this time, but that from the time he began to plan what he
would draw into the statue, what size it ought to be, and whether the
man should be standing or sitting, until it stood all finished, he
thought and worked a long, long time. His work is almost perfect, and
fine work always takes time and patience.

When busy on the Gould Shaw monument, St. Gaudens often stood on a
scaffolding ten hours at a time in the hottest summer days, not eating
anything but an apple. He was so eager over his work that he did not
want to lose a minute. But he had some fun as well. The horse he used as
a model used to get terribly tired of standing so long and would snort
and prance and paw the ground until it took several men to hold him. And
some of the negroes who posed nearly fainted when they saw St. Gaudens
make faces that looked exactly like them with just a few pinches of his
fingers on the soft clay. They thought he was in league with Satan, they
said. When you see this monument, you will notice how brave Colonel Shaw
looks, riding on his large horse, and how eagerly the colored troops
march behind him.

St. Gaudens was very fond of Phillips Brooks, the good Bishop, and
because of their friendship, his statue of Brooks at Trinity Church,
Boston, is so like the man that you almost expect to hear him speak, as
you stand before it. St. Gaudens had been to concerts with Bishop
Brooks, had heard him preach, had seen him merry and sad, knew how
unselfish he was, and how much he liked to cheer people up, and somehow
managed to make his statue tell us all these traits. There is no doubt
St. Gaudens was one of the world's great sculptors, but he would never
have been great if he had not loved his art so well that he could go
hungry, cold, and tired year after year for the sake of learning it. And
he was great because he was so determined to do his work over and over
again until he felt it was just right. He always urged students to do
the same. "You can do anything you please," he often said; "it's the
_way_ it's done that makes the difference."

Besides becoming famous, the shoemaker's son was happy and rich in the
end. He had a wife and a son who, among other books, has written a life
of his father. From this book and by the stories St. Gaudens's friends
tell of him, we know that the sculptor was a gentle, loving man who
tried to help the world to be better and wiser. It will not matter
whether it is the statue of Sherman, Logan, Lincoln, or Shaw by St.
Gaudens that you are fortunate enough to see; it will be the way any
piece of his is done which makes it so beautiful, and which makes
Americans glad that almost every bit of his work has stayed in this


Concord, Massachusetts, is one of the New England towns that everybody
likes to visit. When tourists reach Boston they usually make a point of
going to Concord, either by electric or steam train, because they have
read about its famous battle ground, where the first British soldiers
fell in the great Revolutionary War, and because they want to see the
very house in which Louisa May Alcott wrote _Little Women_, and the
homes of Hawthorne, Emerson, and Thoreau.

Henry Thoreau, who was born in Concord, loved the town so well that he
spent most of his life tramping through its fields and forests. You
might say the business of his life was walking, for he never had any
real profession, and he walked from four to eight hours a day--across
lots, too. He used to say roads were made for horses and business men.
"Why, what would become of us," he would ask, "if we walked only in a
garden or a mall? What should we see?"

When Mr. Thoreau started out for a long saunter in the woods, he wore a
wide-brimmed straw hat, stout shoes, and strong gray trousers that would
not show spots too easily, and would stand tree-climbing. Under his arm
he usually carried an old music book in which to press plants, and in
his pocket he kept a pencil, his diary, a microscope, a jack-knife, and
a ball of twine. He and a friend, William Ellery Channing, agreed that a
week's camping was more fun than all the books in the world. Once they
tried tramping and camping in Canada. They wore overalls most of the
time, and wishing not to be bothered with trunks or suitcases, they tied
a few changes of clothing in bundles, and each man took an umbrella.
They called themselves "Knights of the Umbrella and Bundle."

The Thoreaus were rather a prominent family in Concord. There were six
of them, all told. The father, Mr. John Thoreau, was a pencil-maker. A
hundred years ago this was a trade that brought good money. Mr. Thoreau
could turn out a great many pencils because all the children helped him
make them. He was a small man, quite deaf, and very shy. He did not talk
much. But his wife, Mrs. Cynthia Thoreau, who was half a head taller
than he, could, and did, talk enough for both. She was handsome,
wide-awake, and had a strong, sweet, singing voice. She took part in all
the merry-makings and also in all the church affairs in Concord. She was
bitter against slavery. She used to call meetings at her house to talk
over ways of putting an end to it, and when slaves ran away from the
South, she often hid them in her home and helped them get further away.
She knew a great deal about nature, bought a good many books for her
children, and was determined that they should have good educations.
Henry, his brother John, and the two sisters, Helen and Sophia, all
taught school. And Helen helped Henry earn money to go to Harvard

The whole Thoreau family were proud of Henry, and his mother never tired
of telling what fine letters and essays he could write. She and Sophia
went one day to call on an aunt of Ralph Waldo Emerson's, Miss Mary
Emerson, who was eighty-four. Mrs. Thoreau began to talk about Henry
right away. Miss Emerson nodded her head and said: "Very true," now and
then, but kept her eyes shut every minute her callers stayed. When they
rose to go, Miss Emerson said: "Perhaps you noticed, Mrs. Thoreau, that
I kept my eyes closed during your call. I did so because I did not wish
to look on the ribbons you are wearing--so unsuitable for a child of God
and a woman of your years!" Poor Mrs. Thoreau was seventy, and her
bonnet was as bright and gay as it had been possible to buy, for she
loved rich colors and silks and velvets. She did not mind Miss Emerson's
rebuke a bit, but Sophia stuffed her handkerchief in her mouth to keep
from laughing aloud.

When Henry was a boy, he used to delight in his Uncle Charles Dunbar,
who paid the family a visit every year. Mr. Dunbar was not a worker like
his sister, Cynthia Thoreau. He did not have any business but drifted
about the country, living by his wits. One of his favorite tricks was to
pretend to swallow all the knives and forks, and a plate or two, at a
tavern, and offer to give them back if the landlord would not charge for
his dinner. He was a great wrestler and could do sleight-of-hand tricks.
Henry used to watch him and ask question after question, and he learned
how to do a few tricks himself.

Just as his mother hoped, when Henry grew up, he decided to be a writer.
To be sure he taught school a while and gave lectures which people did
not understand very well, for he had strange ideas for those times, but
he wrote page after page, sitting in the woods, and liked that better
than all else. He first wrote an account of a week's trip on the Concord
and Merrimac rivers. This book did not sell very well, and one time he
carried home from the publishers seven hundred copies that no one would
buy, saying: "Well, I have quite a respectably sized library now--all my
own writing, too!"

But four or five years later Thoreau built a hut on the shore of Walden
Pond and lived there all alone, like a hermit, for two years. He did
this for two reasons: because he wanted to prove that people spend too
much time and money on food and clothes and because he wanted a
perfectly quiet chance, with no neighbors running in, to write more
books. He said he spent but one hundred dollars a year while he lived in
this hut. He raised beans on his land, ate wild berries, caught
fish--and "went visiting" now and then. I should not wonder if he often
took a second helping of food, when visiting. To buy his woodsman's
clothes and a few necessities, he planted gardens, painted houses, and
cut wood for his friends. He wrote a book called _Walden_ which tells
all about these seven or eight hundred days he went a-hermiting, and
after that, several other books. These sold very well. In all of them he
was rather fond of boasting that he had found the only sensible way to
live. "I am for simple living," he would say, and always was declaring
"I love to be ALONE!" But sometimes people passing by the pond used to
hear him whistling old ballads, or playing very softly and beautifully
on a flute, and they thought he sounded lonely. Although he makes you
feel, when you read his books, that it is fine to roam the fields,
sniffing the wild grape and the yellow violets, and that no one can find
pleasure like the man who rows, and skates, and swims, and tills the
soil, yet the question is bound to come: "_Is_ a man all alone in a hut
any better off than a jolly father in a big house, playing games with
his children?"

Let me tell you, too, that after all Thoreau's talk about wanting to be
alone, the last year he lived in the hut, he used to steal off, just at
twilight, to a neighbor's house where there were little children. While
they curled up on a rug, in front of the open fire, he would draw near
in a big rocking-chair and sit for an hour or more telling them stories
of his childhood. He would pop corn, make whistles for them with his
jack-knife, or, best of all, do some of the juggling tricks, which he
had learned, as a boy, from his uncle Charles. And one day he appeared
at the door with a hay-rack to give them a ride. He had covered the
bottom of the rack with deep hay, then spread a buffalo robe over the
hay to make it comfortable. He sat on a board placed across the front
and drove the span of horses, and as he drove, he told funny stories and
sang songs till the children thought a hermit was a pretty good sort of
a chum.

The hut went to pieces years ago, and only a pile of stones marks the
place where it stood, but if you go to Concord, you will find a pleasant
street named for Thoreau, and the house in which he lived the last
twelve years of his life, half hidden by tall trees. And also you can
read his books and learn how he enjoyed the woods and what beautiful
things he found in them.


As much as seventy years ago, in the city of Boston, there lived a small
girl who had the naughty habit of running away. On a certain April
morning, almost as soon as her mother finished buttoning her dress,
Louisa May Alcott slipped out of the house and up the street as fast as
her feet could carry her.

Louisa crept through a narrow alley and crossed several streets. It was
a beautiful day, and she did not care so very much just where she went
so long as she was having an adventure, all by herself. Suddenly she
came upon some children who said they were going to a nice, tall ash
heap to play. They asked her to join them.

Louisa thought they were fine playmates, for when she grew hungry they
shared some cold potatoes and bread crusts with her. She would not have
thought this much of a lunch in her mother's dining-room, but for an
outdoor picnic it did very well.

When she tired of the ash heap she bade the children good-by, thanked
them for their kindness, and hop-skipped to the Common, where she must
have wandered about for hours, because, all of a sudden, it began to
grow dark. Then she wanted to get home. She wanted her doll, her kitty,
and her mother! It frightened her when she could not find any street
that looked natural. She was hungry and tired, too. She threw herself
down on some door-steps to rest and to watch the lamplighter, for you
must remember this was long before there was any gas or electricity in
Boston. At this moment a big dog came along. He kissed her face and
hands and then sat down beside her with a sober look in his eyes, as if
he were thinking: "I guess, Little Girl, you need some one to take care
of you!"

Poor tired Louisa leaned against his neck and was fast asleep in no
time. The dog kept very still. He did not want to wake her.

Pretty soon the town crier went by. He was ringing a bell and reading in
a loud voice, from a paper in his hand, the description of a lost
child. You see, Louisa's father and mother had missed her early in the
forenoon and had looked for her in every place they could think of. Each
hour they grew more worried, and at dusk they decided to hire this man
to search the city.

When the runaway woke up and heard what the man was
shouting--"Lost--Lost--A little girl, six years old, in a pink frock,
white hat, and new, green shoes"--she called out in the darkness:
"Why--dat's ME!"

The town crier took Louisa by the hand and led her home, where you may
be sure she was welcomed with joy.

Mr. and Mrs. Alcott, from first to last, had had a good many frights
about this flyaway Louisa. Once when she was only two years old they
were traveling with her on a steamboat, and she darted away, in some
moment when no one was noticing her, and crawled into the engine-room to
watch the machinery. Of course her clothes were all grease and dirt, and
she might have been caught in the machinery and hurt.

You won't be surprised to know that the next day after this last affair
Louisa's parents made sure that she did not leave the house. Indeed, to
be entirely certain of her where-abouts, they tied her to the leg of a
big sofa for a whole day!

Except for this one fault, Louisa was a good child, so she felt much
ashamed that she had caused her mother, whom she loved dearly, so much
worry. As she sat there, tied to the sofa, she made up her mind that she
would never frighten her so again. No--she would cure herself of the
running-away habit!

After that day, whenever she felt the least desire to slip out of the
house without asking permission, she would hurry to her own little room
and shut the door tight. To keep her mind from bad plans she would shut
her eyes and make up stories--think them all out, herself, you know.
Then, when some of them seemed pretty good, she would write them down so
that she would not forget them. By and by she found she liked making
stories better than anything she had ever done in her life.

Her mother sometimes wondered why Louisa grew so fond of staying in her
little chamber at the head of the stairs, all of a sudden, but was
pleased that the runaway child had changed into such a quiet,
like-to-stay-at-home girl.

It was a long time before Louisa dared to mention the stories and rhymes
she had hidden in her desk but finally she told her mother about them,
and when Mrs. Alcott had read them, she advised her to keep on writing.
Louisa did so and became one of the best American story-tellers. She
wrote a number of books, and if you begin with _Lulu's Library_, you
will want to read _Little Men_ and _Little Women_ and all the books that
dear Louisa Alcott ever wrote.

At first Louisa was paid but small sums for her writings, and as the
Alcott family were poor, she taught school, did sewing, took care of
children, or worked at anything, always with a merry smile, so long as
it provided comforts for those she loved.

When the Civil War broke out, she was anxious to do something to help,
so she went into one of the Union hospitals as a nurse. She worked so
hard that she grew very ill, and her father had to go after her and
bring her home. One of her books tells about her life in the hospital.

It was soon after her return home that her books began to sell so well
that she found herself, for the first time in her life, with a great
deal of money. There was enough to buy luxuries for the Alcott
family--there was enough for her to travel. No doubt she got more
happiness in traveling than some people, for she found boys and girls in
England, France, and Germany reading the very books she herself, Louisa
May Alcott, had written. Then, too, at the age of fifty, she enjoyed
venturing into new places just as well as she did the morning she
sallied forth to Boston Common in her new green shoes!


Some of these days when you are learning about countries, mountains, and
rivers, you may like to know that a minister by the name of Morse was
called the Father of American Geography. He wrote all the first
geographies used. Some were hard, others much easier. But whatever he
wrote, he had to have the house very quiet. Between the sermons he had
to get ready for Sundays and the books he had to make for schools, he
was nearly always writing in his study, so his little boy "Sammy" had
been taught to tiptoe through the rooms and to be quiet with his toys.
He could not remember the time when his mother was not whispering, with
a warning finger held up, "Sh--Sh--Papa's writing!"

Sammy liked to draw, especially faces! One day an old school-teacher had
come to see his father about a geography. This man had a large,
queer-shaped nose. Sammy wondered if he could draw a picture of it. He
did not dare disturb any one by asking for paper and pencil, so he took
a large pin and scratched a picture on his mother's best mahogany
bureau. The scratches looked so like the man that Sammy clapped his
hands and shouted with laughter. His mother came running to see what had
happened and when she looked ready to cry and said: "Oh, Samuel Finley
Breese Morse--what _have_ you done?" he knew right away that something
was wrong. She usually called him just Sammy. It was only when she was
displeased that she used the whole long name. After this he was watched
pretty closely until he went to school. Then he grew so fond of reading
that there did not seem to be time for anything else.

In school it was noticed that Samuel Morse had better lessons than most
of the boys, and that when it came to questions in history or questions
about pictures and artists, it was Samuel who was able to answer them.
When he was fourteen, he wrote a life of a noted Greek scholar. It was
not published, but it was very good. He also painted pictures in water
colors of his home and portraits of all the family. These were so
perfect that every one said he should go to Europe and study with the
famous Benjamin West. Finally his parents agreed that this was the right
thing for him to do, but they said he would have to live very simply,
because the Morses were not rich.

Samuel did not mind working hard, eating little, or dressing shabbily,
if he could just study with a fine teacher. West noticed how willing
Samuel was to do his pictures over and over again, so he took much pains
with him. Samuel won several prizes and medals, and his pictures were
talked of everywhere.

Morse came back to Boston when he was twenty-four, poor and threadbare,
but famous. People flocked to see his pictures but did not buy them. So
he went to New York to try his luck in that city. From a little boy he
had liked to try experiments with magnets and electricity, so he often
went to lectures on electricity and thought about different things that
might be done with such a force, if only people could learn how to use
it. These lecturers that he heard often made the remark: "If only
electricity could be made to _write_!"

This sentence kept going through Samuel's head, as he sat at his easel,
painting. It stayed in his mind when he went to Europe for the second
time. It followed him aboard ship when he was returning from that second
trip, sad and discouraged, because a big picture on which he had spent
much time and money had not sold. Poor Samuel Morse felt like crying,
but he said to himself: "Well, I won't sit by myself and sulk just
because I have had more hard luck. I will be sociable and talk with the
other passengers." It was fortunate he did, for a group of men were
telling about some experiments they had seen in Paris with a magnet and
electricity. Samuel asked some questions and then began to pace the deck
and think. Pretty soon he took out a notebook from his pocket and began
to make marks in it. He got more and more excited as the hours went by,
for he knew he had thought of something wonderful. He had invented an
alphabet for sending dispatches from one part of the world to another!
When it was daylight, he had written out an alphabet of dots and dashes
that stood for every letter and number in the English language!

Morse expected others to be as pleased as he with his invention, but
they did not even believe in it. "The idea," said they, "that a man in
New York can talk with another in San Francisco!"

Of course, if people did not believe Morse's idea was right, they
naturally would not give any money to try it out, so for years this man
almost starved while he lived in one small room that had to serve for
work-shop, bedroom, kitchen, and artist's studio, while he took pupils,
did small pictures, anything, in fact, to get money for his machine and
to pay for his room and food. You see he needed one beautifully made
machine, and he must have a long line of poles and wires built before he
could prove that with his dots and dashes people could talk to each
other, although they were miles apart. And this would cost a lot of
money. He sent many letters to Washington, asking Congress to help him.
The men in Congress were not interested. His letters were not answered.
"Poor old chap," they laughed, "he's gone crazy over his scheme!"

Finally, as no attention was paid to his letters, Mr. Morse saved up a
little money and went to Washington himself. One senator agreed to ask
Congress to advance him some money. But the time kept slipping by, and
nothing was done.

One night when it was late, and all the senators were eager to get
through with bills and business, the senator who liked Mr. Morse saw him
sitting away up in the gallery, all alone. He went up to him and said:
"I _know_ your bill (or request) will not pass. Oh, do give it up and go

When Mr. Morse went out of the building, he had given up all hopes of
getting help. He went to his boarding-house, and when he had paid for
the room and his breakfast the next morning, (he never ran in debt--for
he had a horror of it!) he had just thirty-seven cents left in the
world. After he had crept up the many flights of stairs, he shut the
door of his small room and knelt down beside his bed. He told God that
he was going to give up his invention--that perhaps it was not right for
him to succeed. He had tried to do something which he thought would be a
help in the world, and if he could not, he would try to be brave and
sensible about it. Then, being very tired, he fell asleep like a tired

But the next morning--what do you think?--a young lady, the daughter of
the friendly senator, came rushing into the room where Mr. Morse was
eating his breakfast, and holding out both hands, said joyfully: "I've
come to congratulate you. Your bill has passed!"

"It cannot be," he answered.

"Oh, it is true. My father let me be the bearer of the good news."

"Well," said Mr. Morse, trembling with delight, "you, my dear
message-bearer, shall send the first message that ever goes across the

It did not take long to convince the world that Professor Morse (as he
was now called) had invented a fine thing. In less than a year a line
was completed from Washington to Baltimore, and Miss Ellsworth, the kind
senator's daughter, sent the first message ever heard over a recording

People found it a great blessing to be able to send quick news, and
Samuel Morse was soon called the greatest benefactor of the age. The man
who had lived in one room and who had gone for two days at a time
without food received so many invitations to banquets that he could not
go to half of them. The ten powers of Europe held a special congress and
sent the inventor eighty thousand dollars for a gift. The Sultan of
Turkey, the King of Prussia, the Queen of Spain, the Emperor of the
French, the King of Denmark, all sent decorations and presents. The name
of Samuel F. B. Morse was on every lip.

But all this success did not spoil him one bit. He was the same modest,
lovable man he had always been. Very few Americans have had so much
honor paid to them as he. When he was an old man, the telegraph people
all over the world wanted to show their esteem for him and so erected a
statue to his memory in Central Park, New York. An evening reception was
held in a large hall, and when Samuel Morse came upon the stage, how the
audience rose and cheered! He was led to a table on which had been
placed the first telegraph register ever used. In some clever way this
had been joined to every telegraph wire in America and to those in
foreign lands. Mr. Morse put his fingers on the keys, and after thanking
his friends for their gift, spelled out, with his own dots and dashes,
his farewell greeting; it was this--Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men!

When Jedediah Morse wrote his geographies of the United States, he
little thought the small boy Samuel, who tried so hard not to disturb
him, would one day bind all the countries on the globe together!


George Washington was a daring soldier himself and of course noticed how
other men behaved on a battlefield. He liked a man who had plenty of
courage--a real hero. There was a certain Colonel Prescott who fought at
the battle of Bunker Hill whom Washington admired. He always spoke of
him as Prescott, the brave.

Colonel Prescott had a grandson, William Hickling Prescott, who was
never in a battle in his life and did not know the least thing about
soldiering, but he deserved the same title his grandfather
won--"Prescott, the brave"--as you will see.

William was born in Salem, in 1796. His father, a lawyer who afterwards
became a famous judge, was a rich man, so William and his younger
brothers and sisters had a beautiful home; and as his mother was a
laughing, joyous woman, the little Prescotts had a happy childhood.

William was much petted by his parents. His mother taught him to read
and write, but when he was very small he went to school to a lady who
loved her pupils so well that she never allowed people to call her a
school-teacher--she said she was a school-_mother_. Between his pleasant
study hours with Miss Higginson, this school-mother, and his merry play
hours at home, the days were never quite long enough for William.

When he was seven, he was placed in a private school taught by Master
Knapp. And there he was asked to study rather more than he liked. He had
loved story books almost from his cradle, and what he read was very real
to him. Sometimes, when he was only a tiny boy, he felt so sure the
goblins, fairies, and giants of which he had been reading might suddenly
appear, unless his mother were at hand to banish them, that he would
follow her from room to room, holding on to her gown. Still these books
were much nicer, he thought, than the ones Master Knapp told him to
study. He was full of fun and frolic and took all Master Knapp's rebukes
so cheerfully that the teacher could not get angry with him. His
schoolmates adored him. Even if he did play a good many jokes on them,
they were not mean, vicious jokes. He had altogether too kind a heart to
hurt a person or to say unkind things. He did manage to get his history
lessons, and he liked to read lives of great men. But he did not study
any great amount until after his father moved to Boston, and William
began to fit himself for Harvard College. He was proud of his father and
fancied that he would like to be a lawyer like him.

[Illustration: The poor fellow fell to the floor as if he were dead.

_Page 166._]

Young Prescott had been in college but a short time when, one night at
dinner, a rough, rude student hurled a hard crust of bread across the
table, not aiming at any one in particular. But it hit Prescott in his
left eye and destroyed the sight in it. The poor fellow fell to the
floor as if he were dead and was very ill for weeks. Then it was that he
began to earn his title of Prescott, the brave. He did not complain, he
did not say: "Well, of course, I shall never try to do anything now that
I have only one eye to use." Instead, he kept up his spirits and
finished his course at Harvard gayly. Everybody talked of his pluck. He
was asked to be orator of his class, and he wrote for graduation day a
Latin poem on Hope, which he recited with such a happy face and manner
that the people clapped their hands and cheered. His parents were so
pleased that William could finish his college work, in spite of his
accident, and that he could keep right on being a rollicking, laughing
boy, that they spread a great tent on the college grounds and feasted
five hundred friends who had come to see William graduate.

Then William went on a wonderful visit to the Azores. His mother's
brother, Thomas Hickling, was United States Consul at St. Michael. This
uncle had married a Portuguese lady, and there was a large family of
cousins to entertain the New England boy. Mr. Hickling had a big country
house and a lot of spirited horses. As William drove over the lovely
island, he used to laugh at the funny little burros the working people
rode and the strange costumes they wore. Of course, he found St. Michael
a different looking place from Boston, with its brick, or sober-colored
houses. At the Azores, you know, everything is bright and gay. A
salmon-pink castle stands next a square, box-like house, painted yellow;
a blue villa and a buff villa probably adjoin dainty green and lavender
cottages, and occasionally a fancy little dwelling, all towers and
balconies, will be painted cherry red. Then the mountain peaks behind
all these houses are vivid green. So William felt almost as if he were
in fairyland.

When he had been looking at these beautiful things about six weeks, he
found suddenly, one morning, that they had turned black. He could not
see a bit with his well eye! A doctor was sent for and he said: "A
perfectly dark room for you, William Prescott, for three months, and
only enough food to keep you alive!" In all the ninety-five days the
doctor kept him shut in, William was never heard to utter one word of
complaint. His cousins sat with him a good deal (thankful that he could
not see them cry), and he told them funny stories, sang songs, and paced
back and forth for exercise, with his elbows held way out at his sides
to avoid running into the furniture. He finally saw again but had to be
very careful of that one useful eye all the rest of his life. The minute
he used it too much, the blindness would come on again.

As studying law was out of the question for him, he thought he would
write histories. He had already learned a good deal about the different
countries but knew most about Spain. So he set about learning all he
could of that country as far back as the days of Christopher Columbus.
Of course, this brought in King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (you
remember she offered to sell her jewels to help Columbus) and stories of
Peru and Mexico, so that William Prescott spent most of his life
gathering facts together about the Spanish people. And the histories of
them he wrote (eight large books) sound almost like story books; when
you read them you seem to see the banquet halls, the queens followed by
their pages and ladies-in-waiting, the priests chanting hymns in their
monasteries, and the Mexican generals in their showy uniforms.

Think how hard it was for William Prescott to make these histories. He
dared use his eye but a few hours a week. So he hired people to read to
him, to go to libraries to look at old papers and letters, and to copy
the notes he made on a queer machine. You can see this instrument that
he contrived at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Some pieces of
wood held sheets of paper in place; other strips of wood kept the pencil
going in fairly straight lines. But sometimes when he used this at
night, or when his eye was bandaged, he would forget to put in a fresh
sheet of paper and would scribble ahead for a long time, writing the
same lines over and across until his secretaries would have a hard time
to find out what he meant. He did not want to waste time by asking to
have the same thing read twice to him, so he trained his memory until he
could carry the exact words on a page in his mind, and after a while he
could repeat whole chapters without a mistake. But it was slow work
making books this way. He was ten years getting his first one, the
history of Ferdinand and Isabella, ready for the publisher.

Prescott did not talk about this work. No one but his parents and the
secretaries knew that he was busy at all, because in his resting hours
he was often seen at balls and parties, laughing and chatting in his own
lively way. And one day one of his relatives drew him aside (this was
when he had been grinding away in his library for eight years) and said:
"William, it seems to me you are wasting your time sadly. Why don't you
stop being so idle and try some kind of work?"

This same relation and all Prescott's friends were astonished and proud
enough when, two years later, three big volumes of Spanish history were
for sale in the book-stores, with William Hickling Prescott's name given
as the author. That season every one who could afford it gave their
friends a Christmas present of the Prescott books. He had compliments
enough to turn his head, but he was too sensible to be vain. He wrote
several other books and soon became famous. When he was in London, he
had many honors shown him.

Prescott was fond of children and always kept a stock of candy and
sweets on hand for small people. His servants adored him and so did his
secretaries. They used to tell how he would frolic, even at his work.
Sometimes when he had got to a place in one of the books where he must
describe a battle scene, he would dash about the room, singing at the
top of his lungs some stirring ballad like: "Oh, give me but my Arab
steed!" And then when he felt he really "had his steam up" he would
begin to write. He was kind and generous and showed so much courtesy to
rich and poor alike that he has been called the finest gentleman of his
time. No doubt he was, but it is true, too, that he was Prescott, the


One of the greatest preachers in America was a Boston boy. His name was
Phillips Brooks, and there is a fine statue of him near Trinity Church,
where he was rector for twenty-two years.

When Phillips was a little boy, he and his five brothers made quite a
long row, or circle, when they sat at the big library table learning
their lessons for the next day's school, while their happy-faced mother
sat near with her sewing, and their father read.

The Brooks boys had all the newest story-books, games, music, and
parties, so they were a very jolly lot, but it is Phillips I want to
tell you the most about.

Phillips liked books better than play and was such a bright pupil that
his teachers were always praising him. In fact, he was a favorite
everywhere. It did not make much difference whether he was spending his
vacation in Andover with his Grandma Phillips, walking across Boston
Common with his mother, or hurrying in the morning sunshine to the
Boston Latin School, people who looked at his handsome face and his big
brown eyes said to themselves: "There goes a boy to be proud of!"

It was just the same when he went to Harvard College. He was such a
likeable chap that he was asked to join all the clubs and invited to the
merry-makings of the students. But he was rather shy. Perhaps he had
grown too fast, for he was only fifteen years old and six feet, three
inches tall--think of it! He stayed in his own room a good deal, writing
and trying for prizes. He won several. He did not like arithmetic or
figures of any kind, but anything about the different countries or the
lives of men and women would keep him bending over a book half the

Things had gone pretty easily for Phillips up to the time he graduated
from Harvard. He had always found faces and voices pleasant. So you can
see how hurt he must have been when the very first time he tried to
teach school the pupils were ugly and rude to him. It almost broke his
heart that they did not _want_ to mind him. The smaller boys loved him
and took pride in learning their lessons, but the older ones hardly
opened their books. Instead of that they spent their time making the
young teacher's life miserable. He was only nineteen! Poor fellow, he
must have wished many a day that he was at the North Pole or the South
Seas instead of in Boston. These rowdies threw heads of matches on the
floor and grinned when they exploded; they piled wood in the stoves
until every one gasped for breath; they fired wads of paper at each
other; and once they threw shot in Phillips's face.

The principal of the school beat his boys when they did not behave, and
he had no patience with Phillips for not doing the same. But Phillips
could not do that. He finally said he would resign. Some principals
would have said to the young teacher: "Now, don't mind it if you have
not done very well at teaching; there are, no doubt, other things that
you will find you can do better than this. Good luck to you--my lad.
Remember you have always a friend in me!" But Phillips's principal
glared at him and declared: "Well, if you have failed to make a good
teacher, you will fail in everything else."

Just then Phillips did not think of much else but his own
disappointment. His father and his five brothers were very successful at
their work and it shamed him to think he was not.

Phillips's brown eyes were very serious in those days. The same ones who
had once sighed: "There's a boy to be proud of," now showed no pity in
their looks, and often hurried down a side street to avoid bowing to
him. Dear me--and it was the very same boy they had praised when he was
taking prizes!

Phillips began to feel that he would like to help the people in the
world who had the heartache. There seemed to be plenty to help the
happy, rich folks, but there were many others who he was sure needed a
friendly word and hand-clasp to give them new courage. His pastor
advised him to become a preacher.

This meant more study. So he went to a seminary down in Virginia, where
men fit themselves for the ministry. He got there after school had
begun, so he had to take a room in an attic. There was no fire in it,
poor light, and he, with his six feet and three inches, could not stand
up straight in it without bumping his head against the rafters. And his
bed was not nearly long enough for him. It _is_ a nuisance, sometimes,
to be as tall as Phillips was. But he never minded all these things. He
only felt in a hurry to finish his studies so that he could preach and
work among the poor.

After he had preached at two churches in Philadelphia, he was asked to
be the rector of Trinity Church in Boston. He was rector there for
twenty-two years--until he was made Bishop of Massachusetts. He spoke so
beautifully from the pulpit that strangers traveled from all parts of
the country to hear him. So many flocked to Trinity Church that the pews
would not hold them. Chairs were packed in the aisles, and a few more
people managed to hear him by squeezing on to the pulpit steps.

Phillips Brooks's sermons were wonderful, but his work among the sick
and the poor was more wonderful still. He carried help and good cheer
with him every day. The more good he did, the happier he grew himself.
His laugh rang out like a boy's. By the time he was made Bishop, he was
so merry that he could hardly contain himself. He helped poor men find
work; he held sick children while their mothers rested; he coaxed young
men away from bad habits, and, like his Master, he went about doing
good. He did not look sober or bothered with all this, either. There was
always a smile on his face.

Phillips Brooks had no wife or children but several nieces. At his home,
on Clarendon Street, he kept a doll, a music-box, and many toys for them
to play with. Every little while, when he was all tired out with his
preaching and his cheering-up work, he would take a long trip to some
distant country, and from all these strange places he would write
letters to these nieces which made them nearly explode with laughter
when their mothers read them aloud. All the funny sights in Venice were
described, and the stories about the children in India made the eyes of
Susie and Gertrude Brooks open their widest. At the end of almost every
letter he would charge the little girls "not to forget their Uncle
Phillips." As if any one who had ever known Bishop Brooks _could_ forget
him! But Christmas time was the best of all for these little girls.
Their uncle Phillips took them right along with him to buy the presents
for the whole family. This would be weeks and weeks before it was time
for Santa Claus, so he would make them promise not to lisp a word of
what was in the packages that arrived at the rectory. They loved sharing
secrets with him and would not have told one for any money. That was a
strange thing about Phillips Brooks--he made people trust-worthy. He
always believed the best of every one, and no one wanted to disappoint

Sometimes when the girls and their uncle started on one of these
entrancing shopping tours, it did seem as if they would never reach the
shops. So many passers-by wanted a word with the great preacher they
had to halt every other minute. I have no doubt his smile was as sunny
for the Irish scrub-woman who hurried after him to ask a favor as it had
been for good Queen Victoria when she thanked him for preaching her a
sermon in the Royal Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Because his heart was filled with love and sympathy, Phillips Brooks
left the world better and happier than he found it. Now, if every one
who passes his statue at Trinity Church should say: "I really must do
some kind, generous thing myself, each day in the week," there would be
sort of a Christmassy feeling all the year round, and we should keep a
little of the sunshine which the Bishop of Massachusetts shed, still


John Clemens, Samuel's father, was a farmer, merchant, and postmaster in
a Missouri town, called Florida. His wife, Jane Clemens, was a stirring,
busy woman, who liked to get her work out of the way and then have a
real frolic. Her husband did not know what it meant to frolic. He was
not very well to begin with, and when he had any spare time, he sat by
himself figuring away on an invention, year after year. He spent a good
deal of time, too, thinking what fine things he would do for his family
when he sold a great tract of land in Tennessee. He had bought
seventy-five thousand acres of land when he was much younger, for just a
few cents an acre, and when that land went up in price, he expected to
be pointed out as a millionaire, at least. John Clemens was a good man
and something of a scholar, but he was not the least bit merry. His
children never saw him laugh once in his whole life! Think of it!

Mrs. Clemens did not like to have any one around when she was bustling
through the housework, so the six children spent the days roaming
through the country, picking nuts and berries. When it came night and
they had had their supper, they would crowd around the open fire and
coax Jennie, a slave girl, or Uncle Ned, a colored farm-hand, to tell
them stories.

Uncle Ned was a famous story-teller. When he described witches and
goblins, the children would look over their shoulders as if they half
expected to see the queer creatures in the room. All these stories began
"Once 'pon a time," but each one ended differently. One of the children,
Sam Clemens, admired Uncle Ned's stories so that he could hardly wait
for evening to come.

Sam was a delicate child. The neighbors used to shake their heads and
declare he would never live to be a man, and every one always spoke of
him as "little Sam."

When Mr. Clemens moved to another town some distance away, the mother
said instantly: "Well, Hannibal may be all right for your business, but
Florida agrees so well with little Sam, that I shall spend every summer
here with the children, on the Quarles farm."

The children were glad she held to this plan, for Mr. Quarles laughed
and joked with them, built them high swings, let them ride in ox-teams
and go on horseback, and tumble in the hayfields all they wished. They
had so much fun and exercise that they were even willing to go to bed
without any stories. Sam grew plump.

A funny thing happened the first summer they went to nice Mr. Quarles's.
Mrs. Clemens, with the older children, the new baby, and Jennie, went on
ahead in a large wagon. Sam was asleep. Mr. Clemens was to wait until he
woke up and then was to carry him on horseback, to join the rest. Well,
as Mr. Clemens was waiting for Sam to finish his nap, he got to thinking
of his invention, or his Tennessee land, and presently he saddled and
bridled the horse and rode away without him. He never thought of Sam
again until his wife said, as he reached the Quarles's dooryard: "Where
is little Sam?"

"Why--why--" he stammered, "I must have forgotten him." Of course he was
ashamed of himself and hurried a man off to Hannibal, on a swift horse,
where Sam was found hungry and frightened, wandering through the locked

Sam was sent to school when he was five. He certainly did not like to
study very well but did learn to be a fine reader and speller.

At the age of nine, Sam was a good swimmer (although he came very near
being drowned three different times, while he was learning) and loved
the river so that he was to be found on its shore almost any hour of the
day. He longed to travel by steamer. Once he ran away and hid on board
one until it was well down the river. As soon as he showed himself to
the captain, he was put ashore, his father was sent for, and he received
a whipping that he remembered a long time.

At nine he had a head rather too large for his body, and it looked even
bigger because he had such a lot of waving, sandy hair. He had fine
gray eyes, a slow, drawling voice, and said such droll things that the
boys listened to everything he said. His two best chums were Will Bowen
and John Briggs. These three friends could run like deer, and what time
they were not fishing or swimming they usually spent in a cave which
they had found.

At twelve he was just a careless, happy, barefoot boy, often in
mischief, and only excelling in two things at school. He won the weekly
medal for spelling, and his compositions were so funny that the teachers
and pupils used to laugh till the tears came, when they were read aloud.
His teachers said he ought to train himself for a writer, but it did not
seem to him that there was anything so noble or desirable in this world
as being a pilot. And he loved the great Mississippi River better than
any place he had known or could imagine.

Sam's father died, whispering: "Don't sell the Tennessee land! Hold on
to it, and you will all be rich!"

After his death Sam learned the printer's trade. He was very quick in
setting type and accurate, so that he soon helped his older brother
start a newspaper. He worked with his brother until he was eighteen, and
then he told his mother that he wanted to start out for himself in the
world. Jane Clemens loved him dearly and hated to part with him, but
when she saw his heart was set on going, she took up a testament and
said: "Well, Sam, you may try it, but I want you to take hold of this
book and make me a promise. I want you to repeat after me these
words--'I do solemnly swear that I will not throw a card or drink a drop
of liquor while I am gone!'"

He repeated these words after her, bade her good-by, and went to St.
Louis. He meant to travel, and as he earned enough by newspaper work, he
visited New York, Philadelphia, and was on his way to South America when
he got a chance to be a pilot on the Mississippi River. While he was
learning this trade, he was happier than he had ever been in his life.
If you want to know what happened to him at this time you must read a
book he wrote, _Life on the Mississippi River_. He wrote a great many
books and signed whatever he wrote with a queer name--MARK TWAIN. This
was an old term used by pilots to show how deep the water is where they
throw the lead. His writings, like his boyish compositions, made people
laugh. So that now, although he has been dead several years, whenever
the name of Mark Twain is mentioned, a smile goes around. If you want to
know more about the actual doings of Sam and his chums, Will Bowen and
John Briggs, read _Tom Sawyer_ and _Huckleberry Finn_, for in those
books Sam has set down a pretty fair account of their escapades.

Mr. Clemens had a wife and children of whom he was very fond. As he made
much money from his books and lectures, they were all able to travel in
foreign countries, and his best book of travel is _Innocents Abroad_. It
seems to me that even his father would have laughed over that book.
Speaking of his father again reminds me to tell you that the Tennessee
land never brought any luxuries to the Clemens family. It was sold for
less than the taxes had amounted to.


Joseph, or as he was always called, Joe Jefferson was a great actor. And
there is never much talk of theaters, actors, and plays but some one is
apt to say: "Ah, but you should have seen Joe Jefferson in Rip Van
Winkle!" All Americans are very proud of the fact that this man was born
in the United States; that he lived and died here. There have been four
actors in the Jefferson family by the name of Joseph, but it was Joe
Jefferson Number Three who played the part of the queer old Dutchman,
Rip Van Winkle, for thirty years, whose life is told of now.

Joe was born in Philadelphia, but his parents went to Washington soon
after. They lived in a house whose back hall led right into the side
entrance of a theater. As soon as he could walk about by himself, little
Joe used to run through this hall and play all day long in the empty
theater, behind the scenes. Out in that part of the old building there
were all kinds of stage settings piled up behind the wings. There were
large pieces of canvas painted to look like an Italian lake, or an
English garden, or a Roman palace. There was a tiny cottage, with a real
door just big enough for Joe to squeeze through and slam behind him. He
used to pretend that he owned this cottage. There were throne chairs for
the make-believe kings and queens to sit in, a robber's cave, and a
lovely board and canvas bank, covered with moss and flowers. Two or
three children often joined Joe here, and they gave plays which they
made up themselves. Oh, it was such an odd, exciting place to play in!

In the dressing-room of this old theater was a large mirror, and Joe
loved to stand before this and act little bits of certain plays which he
had heard his parents recite. His mother was a singer, and his father
both an actor and manager, so Joe, being just across the hall, was often
carried on to the stage when some play called for a baby or small
child. Then, too, some evenings he would escape from his nurse, and, in
his night-dress, peep in through the door of the dressing-room and watch
the actors making up for their parts.

When Joe was four, a friend of the family was making a great success of
a negro part called "Jim Crow." A good deal of dancing and singing went
with it, and it was no time at all before little Joe could copy the man
perfectly. This made Rice, the friend, pleased enough, and he insisted
that Joe should go through the part in public. Rice was more than six
feet tall, and Joe was a tiny four-year-old child. You don't wonder, I
am sure, when the two stood on the stage, side by side, dressed exactly
alike, that the audience shouted with laughter. First the big Jim Crow
would sing a verse and dance, and then the tiny Jim would do the same.
The people in the audience kept clapping their hands for more and threw
silver coins on to the stage for the child, until stage hands, after the
curtain went down, picked up twenty-four dollars and gave them to Joe.

In spite of Joe's being most carefully trained by his parents to tell
the truth and say his prayers, he did, when he was small, let his fancy
run away with him sometimes, and to a dear old lady, always dressed in
stiffly starched frills, black gown and mitts, who kept a book and
notion store, he told stories of horrors that never really happened. No
doubt he liked to see her hold up her hands in dismay as he described
some imaginary runaway accident, and no doubt he liked to have her run
to bring him a nice, cool drink to "steady his nerves after such a
shocking sight!"

Belonging to an actor's family means, of course, living in many
different cities. Joe had known Philadelphia, Washington, and New York
well when the Jefferson family went to Illinois. As Springfield was the
capital of that State, and the men attending the legislature would swell
the audiences, Joe's father decided to build a theater there. Just as it
was finished, the ministers of the place began to preach against
allowing a theater there at all. They preached to such good effect that
the city council put a tremendous tax on the building, so big a tax that
poor Mr. Jefferson could not begin to pay it, for he had used every
dollar he had in building the theater. While he was wondering what he
would do, a young lawyer of Springfield came to him and said that, as he
thought the tax was out of all reason, he would agree to bring the
matter before the council, free of charge. Well--this lawyer made such a
strong plea, and got the members of the council into such gales of
laughter with his funny stories, that the tax was removed, and Mr.
Jefferson opened his playhouse and made a good deal of money.

The young lawyer's name was Abraham Lincoln!

Tennessee proved an unlucky State for the Jeffersons. At Memphis there
had been a money panic, and people had no heart for theaters. Joe's
father had always known how to paint scenery, and now he advertised to
paint signs, but did not get many orders. Joe heard that a law was
passed that all carts, drays, and carriages in the city of Memphis must
bear numbers. He went to the mayor's house and rang the bell. "Please,
Mr. Mayor," he said, "I'm Joe Jefferson's son."

"Oh, yes, my boy; I've seen both you and your father on the stage."

"Well, Sir, my father can paint signs as well as act, and now that the
theaters are closed he is glad of outside work. Couldn't you please give
him the contract to paint the numbers on your city carriages?"

The mayor's eyes twinkled. He was pleased with the business-like way of
the boy and granted his request. The money from this work was a help,
and right after that a rich man hired Joe's father to paint Scottish
scenes on the walls of his reception hall, so they were getting on quite
comfortably when poor Mr. Jefferson was taken ill and died. This meant
that Joe and his sister must leave school and go to work. Mrs. Jefferson
opened a boarding-house, and the two children joined a traveling
theatrical company. They did fancy dancing and sang comic duets, and
ever so many times when they pretended to laugh, they were so tired and
homesick that they wanted to cry. Sometimes Joe would be given a few
lines to speak in some play. It seemed as if he would never get a chance
to show what talent he really had. But he studied all his spare time and
watched great actors carefully, because he intended to win a high place
on the stage some day.

By and by Laura Keene, an actress who had a theater of her own in New
York, let him try a leading character in a play that ran one hundred and
fifty nights. There was not one of these performances at which the
audience did not applaud young Joe Jefferson and say they wanted to see
him in something else. And when they did see him in Dickens's _Cricket
on the Hearth_, as dear old Caleb Plummer, and as Bob Acres in _The
Rivals_, they exclaimed: "This young man is a wonder! Why, he knows the
whole art of acting!" But Joe Jefferson did not think he knew half
enough. He kept on studying for he meant to improve still more.

Finally, after he had become quite famous in half a dozen different
parts, in this country, in England, and Australia, he began giving the
most wonderful play of all--the one always called his masterpiece--"Rip
Van Winkle." In a few years he had all the fame, wealth, and praise that
a man could ask for. The little fellow who, at four years of age, was
blacked up to dance "Jim Crow" and gathered twenty-four dollars for his
queer antics, forty years later could easily count on a thousand dollars
for one night's appearance in Rip Van Winkle. But we must not forget how
hard and patiently he had worked for this. We must not forget what he
had actually done. He had educated himself so that he had friends among
the most cultivated people in the world; he was quoted as one of the
most polished and finished actors in America; and he had earned enough
money to bring up his own children in luxury.

Joe Jefferson had a lovely old age. He bought a large southern estate,
where he spent the winter months, and he owned a summer home at
Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, where he fished and painted pictures to
his heart's content, and where he entertained many distinguished
people. After he stopped playing, except once in a while, and intended
to retire from the stage, every now and then there would be such a call
for him that he would consent to give "Rip Van Winkle" just once more.
He must have been about perfect in this play, else how is it that old
theater-goers look so happy and satisfied when they say: "Ah, you should
have seen the great Joe Jefferson in Rip Van Winkle!"


When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet, was a boy, he lived in
Portland, Maine. In those days Portland did much trading with the West
Indies, and Henry and his boy friends liked to stay down at the wharves
when the Portland vessels came in. It was sport to watch the burly
negroes unload the hogsheads of molasses, the barrels of sugar, and the
spices. The boys used to wish they were sailors or captains, so that
they could sail across the water and perhaps have great adventures.
Henry also thought it would suit him to be a soldier, and when he was
five years old, and there was much talk about the great war which is
called the War of 1812, he sent a letter to his father, who happened to
be away at the time, that he had a toy gun already, and if his father
would please buy him a drum, he would start right off for the
battle-field. Probably he was not as warlike as he fancied he was, for
one Fourth of July just after that, he jumped every time a cannon went
off and begged his mother to stuff his ears with cotton, so that he
would not hear the banging.

Henry liked music and books far better than fighting. He read a great
deal with his mother, and they took long walks together, for they both
loved flowers and birds. Twice every Sunday Henry went to church with
his mother. In the cold weather he carried her foot-stove for her (a
funny little box which held coals) and in the summer her nosegay,
because she never went to service, after the flowers began to bloom,
without a bunch of sweet smelling blossoms. This odd foot-warmer can be
seen any time in the old Wadsworth-Longfellow house in Portland.
Visitors from all over the world, even from India and Turkey, have
wandered through this home of the poet to look at the desk at which he
wrote, the rich mahogany chairs, and the old-fashioned mirrors.

Henry was willing to do errands or any tasks that his mother wished him
to do. He did not mind even driving the cow to pasture, for as he
walked along, he was usually making up rhymes. And although he had very
good lessons in school, he often scribbled little jingles in his copy
book. When he was thirteen, he told his sister that he was going to send
a poem to the Portland newspaper. He did not tell any one but her, and
he only signed "Henry" at the end of the poem, so although the editor
printed it, the other school children did not find out for a long time
that it was his. Henry and his sister read the printed verses until they
wore the newspaper to shreds and felt they had a lovely secret.

After Henry graduated from college, his father wanted him to be a
lawyer, like himself, but Henry was sure he wanted to be an author. He
said: "Don't ask me to study law, father; I think I can write books.
Anyway, if you will let me have my way, I will promise to be famous at
something." So his parents let him travel through Europe, and when he
sent long, happy letters home, telling about the different things he
saw, they were so charming that all the neighbors wanted to borrow the
letters, and Mr. and Mrs. Longfellow agreed that Henry would probably be
famous with his pen.

When Henry came home again, he was chosen for a college professor. He
was only twenty-two, and it began to look as if the Portland boy would
be a success even if he did not study law.

The students at Harvard College loved young Professor Longfellow. He was
so handsome, so lively, so exquisitely neat in dress, that they were
very proud to introduce him to their parents, and best of all, he made
their lessons so interesting that they were actually sorry when the
class was dismissed. He proved a fine teacher. But, besides teaching in
the college, Henry wrote poem after poem. It was not long before his
verses were liked in other countries as well as in America. French
people began to say: "Why, we want our children to know Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow's poems!" And Spanish ladies and Italian noblemen declared
they were beautiful. Finally so many countries were asking for these
poems they were translated into fifteen languages.

Longfellow was soon called "The Poet of Every Land."

You will think that was the right name for him, when you hear what
happened on a big ocean steamer. Once a large party of travelers were
sailing from Greece to France. As they sat talking one evening, somebody
praised the great French poet, Victor Hugo. A lovely Russian lady spoke
up: "Victor Hugo is fine, but no poet is so well known as the American
Longfellow. I want to go to Boston to see the Bridge about which he
wrote." Then she repeated every word of "I stood on the Bridge at
Midnight." Upon that, an English captain just back from the Zulu war,
recited a Longfellow poem. A gray-haired Scotchman said another, an
American remembered one, a Greek sang some verses of Longfellow's that
had been set to music, and when the French captain of the steamer
declaimed "Excelsior", there was great handclapping, and it showed that
Henry Longfellow was indeed a favorite poet.

Henry Longfellow liked Cambridge. He boarded in a fine old place,
Craigie House, where General George Washington had once stayed. And when
he was married to a Boston girl, her father gave them Craigie House for
a wedding present. Longfellow was so happy as the years went on, that he
wrote better than ever. You will like his "Hiawatha", which tells about
the Indians, his "Evangeline", and the story of Myles Standish. Do not
forget to read "The Children's Hour." Longfellow was never too busy to
play with his children and saw to it that they were kept happy. Once
when he took the three girls to England, Charles Dickens, the great
English writer, asked them to visit at his grand place, Gads Hill. He
sent a wonderful coach, all glittering with gold trimmings and driven by
men in scarlet livery, to the station for them, and had a Swiss chalet
in his garden for them to use as a playhouse. Many great people gave
them dinners and parties. But what pleased them most of all was the
respect shown their father. One of the daughters still lives in Craigie
House, which is often visited by people who love Longfellow's poems and
who wish to see the rooms in which he lived.

Longfellow could sell his verses as fast as he wrote them. A New York
editor once paid Longfellow three thousand dollars for one short poem.
And imagine how proud his wife and children must have been to overhear
people saying: "I wonder if Mr. Longfellow has written anything lately.
If he has, I must read it!" Imagine how happy it made his father that he
had kept his word: "If you will let me have my way, I will promise to be
famous in something." And surely all the Americans who were on that
steamer and heard the Russian, the Greek, and other foreigners reciting
Longfellow's poems must have been proud that a man from their own
country had won the name of "The Poet of Every Land."


It was about seventy-five years ago that the Emperor of Russia, Nicolas
I., made up his mind that he wanted a railroad between Moscow and St.
Petersburg. He meant to have it one of the best in the world. So he
called an officer into his council chamber and said: "Now take plenty of
time to look about in the different countries, have all the men you want
to help you, but find me, somewhere, an engineer that will lay out a
perfect railroad line." Men appointed by this colonel traveled some
months. They visited many cities, wrote letters, and asked advice. Then
the colonel went back to the emperor and said: "The man you need to do
this piece of work lives in the United States of America."

"What's his name?" asked Nicolas.

"He is Major George Washington Whistler. He is one of the founders of
the city in which he lives, Lowell, Massachusetts. He is a
distinguished army officer and a fine engineer."

"He is named for a great officer," answered Nicolas, remembering our
General Washington, and he dispatched a letter to the Lowell engineer.

The major made haste to start for Russia, because the honor was great,
and the payment would be generous. He left his boys and his wife behind,
because he did not know just how comfortable he could make them in the
far-off country, but he told the boys to be good and to mind their

These boys were named James McNeill, William, and Charles. Their mother
was a fine woman, but sometimes they wished she would not be quite so
strict. She used to say on Saturday afternoons: "Come, boys, empty your
pockets and gather up your toys; we will put the knives and marbles away
and get ready for Sunday." All day Sunday they were not allowed to read
any book but the Bible. But James liked the stories he found there, and
when he was only nine could say almost half the Bible by heart.

James was the oldest in the family. He was born in Lowell and was such a
cunning baby that everybody wanted his picture. One of his uncles, who
loved him dearly, used to say: "It's enough to make Sir Joshua Reynolds
(this was a great English painter, who had died years before) come out
of his grave to paint Jimmie asleep!" Jimmie had delicate features and
long, silky, brown curls that hung about his face. In among these was
one white lock that dropped straight down over his forehead. This looked
like a tiny feather. More than all his playthings he liked a pencil and
paper. From the time he could scribble at all he drew pictures of
everybody and everything in sight. These pictures were very good, and
when he was large enough to go to school the other children were apt to
ask him to make animals and birds for them on the blackboard.

Major Whistler soon sent for his family to join him in Russia. It was a
long, hard voyage there, and poor little Charlie died on the way. The
two other boys were better sailors and were as well as could be when
they met their father. They did enjoy the strange sights in St.
Petersburg! They were not long in getting acquainted with the little
Russian children or in learning the language. They went skating, dressed
in handsome furs; they learned the folk and fancy dances, joined in the
winter sports, and voted Russia a fine country. Still their parents did
not let them forget they were little Americans.

The climate did not agree with James, and every time he caught cold he
had touches of rheumatism, so that often he had to stay in the house and
have his feet put in hot water. Instead of making a fuss about this, he
used to call for pencil and paper and practise drawing feet until he
could make very perfect ones. Major Whistler sent him to the Art Academy
in St. Petersburg, where he was praised by his teachers. That old,
tiresome rheumatism kept bothering him, and by and by he had a long
rheumatic fever. He was a dear, patient boy, however, and afterwards
declared he was almost glad he had it because some one who pitied the
small invalid sent him a book of Hogarth's engravings. I want you to be
sure and remember about this gentleness and patience, because when he
was older people often accused him of being cross and rude. But at this
time I am sure no one could have been nicer.

James was very careful of his mother, too. One evening she had taken the
boys in a carriage to see a big illumination. Bands were playing and
rockets flying. The horses next their carriage were frightened, and
reared and plunged as if they would hit the Whistler party. James shoved
his mother down on the seat behind him, and standing in front of her,
beat the horses back from them. He always was as polite to her as if she
were the emperor's wife.

The major worked too hard on the great railway and died before James was
fifteen. The emperor was fond of the two boys and wanted them to stay on
in Russia and be trained in the school for pages of the Court. But their
mother said they must grow up in America and hurried back to her own
land. She did not have much money to spend but thought James should go
to West Point to get the military training his father had had. At this
academy he found he did not like to draw maps and forts nearly as well
as he did human figures and faces. Once, when he had been sent to
Washington to draw maps for the Coast Survey, he forgot what he was
about and filled up the nice, white margins with pert little dancing
folks. He was well scolded for this, I can tell you.

James was a tall, handsome young fellow at this time, and liked to go
about to dancing-parties in the evening. He earned very little making
maps and could not afford to buy the real, narrow-tailed coat which was
proper. So he used to take his frock coat that he wore all day and pin
it back to look like a dress coat and start off for big balls, where
nobody was much shocked, because he was always doing droll things and
was so lively that he was welcome in any dress.

In Paris strangers used to ask who the young artist was who had the
snow-white lock among his black curls, for the brown curls had grown as
black as jet, and the map-drawing had grown so tiresome that James had
given up West Point and settled down to painting and etching in Paris.
He had decided that there was nothing in the world which suited him but
the life of an artist. He worked quite steadily and people began to say:
"I think young Whistler is going to do great things some day." But
suddenly he packed up and went to London.

In this city he was praised even more, but he did not sell enough
pictures to pay his bills, and once, when he had kept men waiting a long
time for money that he owed them, officers came and took everything away
but his pictures. The room looked so bare and homely that Whistler
painted a very good imitation of furniture round the walls of his room.
So good, in fact, that a rich man who came to look at the pictures sat
down in one of the imitation chairs and found himself on the floor.

It was fortunate that James could go a long time without food, for it
took nearly all he could earn from his pictures to buy paint and canvas
for others. I dare say that quite often when it was said: "James
McNeill Whistler is growing rude and cross," the real truth of the
matter was that James McNeill Whistler was hungry and worried.

However, he began to make money at last, and just as life seemed bright,
an art critic, Mr. John Ruskin, declared that the Whistler pictures,
which were being bought at big prices, were poor--very poor! Mr. Ruskin
spoke, and what was worse, printed his opinion. "I never expected," he
wrote, "to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of
paint in the public's face!" Well, it did not look for a while as if
there was any more good luck in the world for James Whistler. He did not
lose any time in getting a lawyer to sue Mr. Ruskin for spoiling the
sale of his pictures. There was a trial in London, and the court-room
was crowded. Some were there because they already owned Whistler
pictures and wanted to find out if they had paid good money for bad
pictures; others because they were warm friends of the artist or the
critic; but even more men and women went to hear the sharp questions of
the lawyers and the clever answers of Ruskin and Whistler. Whistler won
the case. When the judge awarded one farthing for damages (this is only
a quarter of a cent in our money!), Whistler laughed and hung the
English farthing on his watch-chain for a charm. Mr. Ruskin had to pay
the costs of the trial, which had mounted up to nineteen hundred
dollars. Some of his friends insisted on raising that sum for him. One
of them said it was worth nineteen hundred dollars to have heard the
talk that went on in the court-room.

Later, Mr. Whistler received much more than two hundred guineas for a
single picture. Two famous ones, of which we often see prints, are
"Portrait of my Mother" and the Scotch writer, "Carlyle." James
Whistler's mother lived to be an old woman, as one can guess from the
picture, and her son loved her just as dearly as he did when he beat the
prancing horses away from her, in Russia. The French nation bought this
portrait, and it hangs in the Luxembourg Museum, Paris. The Scotch
people wanted to own the portrait of Carlyle, and the city of Glasgow
was glad to pay five thousand dollars for it.

Mr. Whistler married a woman who was herself an artist, and she was very
proud of him. "The Duet", one of his pictures, shows his wife and her
sister at the piano. Two portraits by this American artist hang in the
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, but most of them are owned in England.

James Whistler was always kind to young artists and liked to have them
sit by him while he worked. They were very proud to be noticed by him,
for long before he died he had received all kinds of honors and medals
from foreign academies; and France, Germany, and Italy made him an
Officer of the Legion of Honor, a Commander, and a Chevalier. He loved
art so well that he made water-colors, pastels, etchings, and
lithographs, as well as oil paintings. He did not get his fame without
much hard work. You remember how many times he copied his own foot when
he was a child. Well, he was just as patient and thorough when he was
older. For a long time he made a practice of drawing a picture of
himself every night before he went to bed. He traveled a great deal,
painting views in many countries and studying the pictures of other
artists. But Hogarth was his favorite, and it is interesting to know
that James McNeill Whistler lies buried very near Hogarth, in London,
for he had thought him a model ever since his boyhood days in St.


You can't think how hard fathers and mothers used to work and plan to
get their children educated in the old days when there were no public
schools. The Emersons did some planning, I can assure you.

All the pictures of Ralph Waldo Emerson that I have happened to see show
him as a man of middle age, with very smooth hair, and plain but very
nice-looking clothes. He looks in these pictures as nurse Richards used
to say of my father,--"as if he had just come out of the top bureau

Well, Ralph Emerson did not always wear fine clothes, but I would not be
a bit surprised if he always looked middle-aged. Boys who had as little
fun as the Emerson boys had when they were growing up would not be
expected to look young.

In the end, Ralph became a minister, as well as a writer, and a
lecturer, and a philosopher. His father and his grandfather had
been ministers, too. I fancy it was trying to send all these
minister-Emersons to school and college that kept each set of parents so

Ralph's father, William Emerson, did not care to be a minister. He
wanted to live in a city and teach school, play his bass viol, and
belong to musical or singing clubs. But his mother looked ready to cry
when he told her this and said: "Why, William, it has taken all the
money I had to send you through Harvard College. What good will it do
you, if you do not become a preacher?" So, rather than grieve his
mother, he agreed to fit himself for preaching. How he hoped he might be
sent to some large town! But instead of that, he settled in a small
place where neighbors lived two or three miles from each other. He was
as lonesome as he could be. He was too poor to buy a horse and too busy
to spend half his time walking, so he could not get very well acquainted
with the families that came to hear him preach. Besides, his pay was
small, and if the kind-hearted farmers had not brought him a ham, a leg
of lamb, or a load of wood now and then, I don't see how he would have

In spite of all these hindrances, William saved a little money in five
years. He bought a small farm and got married. As the years went by and
there were children to feed, his preaching did not bring half the money
they needed, so he taught school, his wife took boarders, and
he--even--sold--his--beloved bass viol. And I do not think they felt
that anything was too hard if only these children could go to college.
Mrs. Emerson was very proud of her husband when he stood in the pulpit
on Sundays, and used to shut her eyes and try to imagine how their boys
would look in a pulpit.

Finally good luck came their way. Mr. Emerson was asked to preach in
Boston. Then he had the city life he loved, he heard good music, and
could call on his friends three times a day if he wished, and the boys
had fine schools.

None of the children were over ten when this good man, Minister William,
died. And then came the widow's struggle to educate them. The church
members were kind to her; she took boarders again, and sewed and mended
with never a complaint, so long as the boys could go to the Latin
School. They saw how tired she got and kept wishing they could grow up
faster, so they could earn money and let her rest. They helped her wash
dishes, and they chopped wood and cleaned vegetables, while the other
school-boys played ball, or swam, or skated. There were no play hours
for them. They had but one overcoat between them. So they took turns
wearing it. Some of the mean, cruel boys at school used to taunt them
about it, singing out, when they came in sight: "Well, who is wearing
the coat to-day?"

A spinster aunt, Miss Mary Emerson, came to see the family often. She
urged the boys to stand high in their classes and thought it would not
hurt them to do without play. She read all the fine books aloud to them
that she could borrow. Once a caller found her telling the boys stories
of great heroes, late at night, so that they might forget that they had
been without food for a day and a half! They were as poor as that!

Ralph began to go to school when he was three and so was able to enter
Harvard College when he was fourteen. He did not have to pay for his
room at the president's house because he did errands for him. And to pay
for his meals, he waited on tables. That was working to get an
education, wasn't it?

Ralph did not find fault because he had to work all the time that he was
not studying; he was thinking of his mother. When he won a prize of
thirty dollars for declaiming well, he sent it to his mother as fast as
the mails could take it and asked her to buy a shawl for herself. But
she had to take it to buy food for the smaller children! Ralph used to
tell his brothers that he could not think of anything in this world that
would make him so happy as to be able some day to buy a house for his
dear mother and to see her living easily.

The other boys,--Waldo, Charles, Buckley, and Edward,--proved to be fine
scholars, like Ralph, but they were never strong. They were always
having to hurry south, or across the ocean to get over some illness. The
truth is they did not have enough to eat when they were little. Old maid
aunts can tell stories of heroes every night in the year, but that will
never take the place of bread and potatoes, eggs and milk.

Ralph's mother was very happy that he became a minister, and like his
father, preached in Boston. After some years of preaching, he traveled
in Europe. Then he lectured. He had a beautiful, clear voice, and all
the things he told were so interesting that his name became famous, even
before he wrote books. He settled in Concord, where Thoreau and Louisa
May Alcott lived. He knew so much that by and by people called him "The
Sage of Concord." He said he could never think very well sitting down.
So when he wanted to write a poem, or sermon, or essay, (and you can
hardly step into a New England home where there is not a book called
_Emerson's Essays_) he put on his hat and went out for a walk. When he
had walked three or four hours, he had usually decided just what he
wanted to write down. On this account he generally went out alone. It
was after a stroll in the woods near Concord, where the squirrels are
thick, that he wrote the fable about the mountain and the squirrel. It
begins this way:

   "The Mountain and the Squirrel
   Had a quarrel.
   The Mountain called the Squirrel 'Little Prig'--"

[Illustration: He generally went out alone. _Page 221._]

It is rather nice to remember that after William Emerson had sold his
bass viol, after all the pinching and saving of Mrs. William, and after
going with half a coat, Ralph Waldo Emerson proved, in the end, to be
such an uncommon man and scholar that his name is known the world over.
Perhaps if all of us were as willing to study and work, and to keep
studying and working, as the Sage of Concord was, there would be ever so
many more famous Americans than there are to-day.


When Jane Addams was a little girl about seven years old, out in
Cedarville, Illinois, her father used to wonder why she got up in the
morning so much earlier than the other children. She explained to him
politely that it was because she had so much to do. Her mother was dead,
but her father looked after the children very carefully, and to make
sure that Jane read something besides fairy stories, gave her five cents
every time she could tell him about a new hero from _Plutarch's Lives_
and fifteen cents for every volume of Irving's _Life of Washington_. She
would have read what he asked her to without a cent of pay, for she
almost worshiped him. He was tall and handsome and a man of great
importance in the west. Jane was very proud of him, and as she was
plain, toed in when she walked, and had rather a crooked back, she
imagined that he must really be ashamed of her, only he was too kind to
say so. So she tried to keep out of his way.

The Honorable John Addams (her father) taught a Bible class in
Sunday-school, and Jane was so afraid it would mortify him if she walked
home with him that she always ran ahead with an uncle, urging him to
hurry. "My," she used to say, "he would be too ashamed to hold his head
up again, if I should speak to him on the street." No one knew she felt
this way, and she had been dodging him some years when one morning, over
in the neighboring town, she saw him coming down the steps of a bank
building across the street from her. There was no place to hide, so she
stood there blushing and breathing pretty hard. But he lifted his tall
silk hat to her, smiled, and waved his hand. He looked so pleased to see
her that she never worried any more about meeting him on the street.

Across the road from Jane's house was a nice green common, and beyond
this a narrow path led to her father's mills. He owned two, a flour-mill
and a sawmill. In the sawmill great trees from the Illinois forests
were sawed into lumber. Jane used to sit on a log that was every minute
being drawn nearer the great teeth of the saw and jump off it when she
was within a few inches of the saw.

Jane and the other children had great fun in the flour-mill, too. They
made believe the bins were houses, and down in the basement played on
the tall piles of bran and shorts as they would on sand piles.

Jane's home was pretty and all the stores where she bought candy and
toys were fascinating places. She fancied the whole world was pleasant
and gay. She supposed that everybody in Cedarville had as good a home as
she, until one day she went down in the part of the town where the mill
hands lived. There the houses were shabby and untidy, the children
ragged and dirty. They looked hungry, too. Jane ran home, and when her
father came to dinner she asked him why any one had to live in such a
pitiful way. He could not explain it so that she felt any better about
it. "When I grow up," she declared, "I will build a lovely house right
in the middle of those poor huts, so that the children may have
something beautiful to look at; and I will see that they have clean
clothes and good food."

Only a few Sundays later Jane dashed into her father's room ready for
church. "See my new cloak," she called, "isn't it handsome?"

Her father admired it and then answered: "Yes, it is so much nicer than
any other girl has that it may make some of the poorer ones unhappy.
Perhaps you had better wear your old one."

Jane was a child that could not bear to hurt another's feelings, so she
hung the new coat away and wore the other. But as she walked to church,
she asked her father why every child could not have the same kind of
things. He told her probably there would always be a difference in the
clothing families wore, but in religion and education there was no
reason why all should not have equal chances. "And, Jane dear," he
added, "I think it is a mistake ever to make other people unhappy by
dressing too much."

Jane never dropped her plan to have a fine house in the midst of poor
ones. The back gave her a good deal of trouble as she grew older, and
sometimes she had to lie still in bed for a year at a time. But she
managed to fit for college and to graduate. Then she traveled abroad.
But never for a day had she given up that house she had planned when she
was a child of seven.

Jane started to study medicine but was not strong enough to become a
doctor. So she traveled some more, but she could never find a city where
poor people were not suffering. It saddened her, and she said: "I can't
wait any longer. I must have a few people made happy." So with a girl
friend she went to the big city of Chicago and hired a fine old house
that had been built by a millionaire, a Mr. Hull. This house had a wide
hall, open fireplaces, a lot of windows for the sun to stream through,
and was on Halstead Street. This street is thirty-two miles long, and in
it live people from about every country in the world.

Jane Addams made the house so cheerful and pretty that it was a joy to
peep into it. Miss Addams and her friend asked the people about there
to come in and have coffee and cocoa, read books aloud to them, taught
the poor children to sew and cook, visited the sick, and made them
understand--all these poor, tired, discouraged people--that at Hull
House there were friends who wanted to help them in every way.

By and by there were clubs for boys at Hull House, kindergartens for
children, parties for old folks, and Halstead Street began to look
cleaner, for Miss Addams went up and down those thirty-two miles of
street and made it understood that she was there to help people grow
healthy and clean. All the time, she was helping to nurse the sick and
urging the rich people at their end of the city to come down to Halstead
Street to see how the poor lived. At Hull House an idiot child or a
drunken woman was helped as quickly and willingly as if they had been a
clean member of the royal family.

The more Miss Addams found out about what goes on in big cities, the
harder she worked. She remembered what her father said about every one
in this world deserving an equal chance, and she tried to help factory
workers, mill hands, girls and boys who had done wrong, ignorant mothers
who did not know how to keep house and take care of their children, men
who were out of work, and the blind and crippled.

Miss Addams's work set other people to thinking, and to-day there is
hardly a large city but has built a handsome house down in the slums
which offers help and comfort to the poor. But Hull House is the leading
settlement house in the United States.

Jane Addams still dresses simply. She does not care to have the best
clothes in the neighborhood, or jewels, or luxuries for herself. She
does not believe in talking a great deal about what she intends to do
later on. She has found that the world needs busy workers more than
ready talkers. She is a busy, good woman who has done noble work in
America. She is still getting up very early in the morning, and I fancy
that when she is asked why she rests so little, she gives the same
polite answer that her father heard: "Because I have so much to do!"


A few years ago every one who went to California tried to see Luther
Burbank, for the newspapers and magazines were filled with stories of
the wonderful things he was doing. Plenty of men make houses,
automobiles, ships to go on the water, and ships that sail through the
air, clothing, and toys, but this man makes new fruits and flowers. It
is not an easy thing to do, and Mr. Burbank has found that he needs all
his strength and time for his work. So now, at his small farm at Santa
Rosa and at his big farm at Sebastopol, strangers find a sign like this:


And during the six busiest months of the year, from April to October,
other signs tell that it will cost ten dollars to stay one hour. These
signs are not put up because Mr. Burbank is cross or rude, but because
these strange new plants have to be watched as carefully as tiny babies.
He can't leave them for visitors.

Luther Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts. When he was a baby
in his cradle, his mother and sisters found that nothing made him dimple
and crow with delight like a flower. They noticed, too, that he never
crushed a flower, and once, when a petal fell off a flower he was
holding, he tried for hours with his tiny fingers to put it back in
place. And when he was big enough to run about the house and yard,
instead of carrying a toy or a dog or cat in his arms, he was usually
hugging a potted plant of some kind, for as people saw his great love
for such things, they were on the lookout for cunning plants for the
dear little Burbank boy.

One day Luther was trudging across the yard, clasping a small
lobster-cactus in an earthen pot, when he stumbled and fell, breaking
the pot and plant. He cried for days over the accident.

At school, Luther was a delight to his teachers. There were few black
marks against his name. He liked all his lessons, but the books that
told him about birds, trees, and flowers pleased him most.

When Luther was old enough to go to Leicester Academy, he had for his
dearest chum a boy cousin who knew Agassiz, and who through him became
interested in science. This boy wanted to study about rocks and caves,
rivers and fish, while Luther watched the birds that perched on the
rocks and the trees that grew near the rivers. But the two spent many
weeks tramping over the country together.

Luther worked several summers in a factory near his home. He was quick
to understand machinery and invented a machine that saved the manager of
the factory a great deal of money, for it would do the work of six men.
Luther's family and friends were sure he would be an inventor. But he
himself wanted to raise flowers.

Luther saved a little money and started a vegetable garden. He tried
experiments with the potato plants until he raised an entirely
different kind than had ever grown before. Of course this made him want
to experiment with other plants, and he stayed in the hot sun so much
looking after them that he had a bad sunstroke. This led to his going to
a climate where he might live outdoors during more months of the year,
and where he would not be apt to have such attacks.

When Luther reached California, he had only a few dollars, rather poor
health, and was among strangers. He tried to get work on farms or
orchards, because he wanted to experiment with vines and vegetables. But
if he got work, it was usually for only a few days at a time. Finally he
was obliged to work on a chicken ranch, where the only place for him to
sleep was in one of the chicken coops. The pay was small, and he did not
have as much or as good food as some pet dogs get. But all the time he
was saying to himself: "If I can have patience, I shall yet get a farm
of my own."

By and by he was hired to look after a small nursery (this is what a big
plantation of trees is called). He would have been perfectly happy
there if sleeping in a damp room had not given him a fever. He was poor,
sick, and almost alone, but not quite, for a very poor woman, who had
only the milk of one cow to sell, found him one day lying on a bed of
straw, and ever after that insisted on his drinking a pint of her milk
each day. He declared that this milk saved his life.

For some years Luther took one odd job after another until he saved
enough to buy a small piece of ground. Then he was soon raising plants
and making new varieties. He read and studied and tried experiments.
Sometimes he failed, and even when he succeeded there was a good deal of
fun made of him. Some people thought Luther Burbank was crazy. It seemed
such an odd thing for a man to think of doing--making a fruit or a
flower that had not been heard of or dreamed of before! But he did not
pay any heed to all this sneering. He worked harder than ever. And
before long, the first new plants were in great demand, so that by
selling them he got money to buy more land. To-day some of the largest
orchards in California are growing from one of Luther Burbank's
experiments. And our country is millions of dollars richer from his new
kinds of plums, potatoes, and prunes.

Mr. Burbank bought acres of land, hired armies of workmen, denied
himself pleasures and visitors, and did not mind how tired he was, so
long as old plants were being made better, or new plants were being
created. Pretty soon letters began to come from Russia, France, Japan,
England, South America, and Africa, asking for some Burbank plants and
some Burbank advice as to their care.

Mr. Burbank has made more new forms of plant life than any other man. He
has worked on two thousand, five hundred species of plants. Besides
making flowers more beautiful and of sweeter fragrance, he has done
wonders with the cactus plants that grow on prairies. Once all these
plants were covered with thorns and prickles, so that the cattle who bit
into them rushed away with bleeding mouths, feeling much the same as we
should if we put our teeth into a stalk of celery and bit on to
fish-hooks and needles. Well, Mr. Burbank has changed all that. The
fruit of some of his cactus plants is almost as sweet as oranges; the
thorns are all gone so that the stalks are fine food for cattle; some of
the leaves make good pickles or greens; and the small plants are used
for hedges. So the plants that were in old times a pest and nuisance are
to-day, thanks to Mr. Burbank, a comfort to the world.

Luther Burbank is a handsome, courteous gentleman, fond of fun, of young
people and children, but you can see how busy he has been in the odd
science of making new plants and trees, and as he has plans for a great
many more, you will also understand why he really has to have those
signs put up around his farm at Santa Rosa.


On a lovely Sunday morning, some years ago, when all the sweet June
smells came in through the open church window, an old man with silvery
white hair played such a soft, entrancing little air on the organ, as
the ushers took the weekly offering, that the listeners held their
breath. "What is it?" they whispered. "What is the dainty thing called?"
They asked the organist at the close of the service, and he answered:
"That was MacDowell's 'To a Wild Rose'--and MacDowell is a composer of
whom America may well be proud."

Edward MacDowell was born in New York. He had his first piano lessons
when he was eight years old. But as soon as he had learned the notes,
his mother noticed that it was not exercises that he played, but merry,
rollicking airs. When she asked him where he found them, he replied: "In
my head and heart." He was even then composing music of his own. His
mother did not run to the neighbors at once, crying "My son is a
genius." Instead of that she thought: "Dear me, I am afraid Edward will
be a Jack-of-all-trades and good at none, for he writes beautiful
stories and poems and draws exact likenesses of people. What in the
world shall we do with him?"

All his music teachers said it would be wicked not to keep him at the
piano. But that was easier said than done. When, at the age of fifteen,
he went with his mother to Paris, he passed fine examinations for
entrance to the French Conservatory and learned the French language in
no time, so as to understand the teachers and lecturers. But he was
still apt to forget that he went to his classes to listen and spent much
time sketching the faces of teacher or pupils on the margin of his
note-book. MacDowell was busy one day, over a picture of a teacher who
had a large, queerly shaped nose, when the teacher, seeing that the boy
was paying no attention to the lesson, darted to his seat and seized the
sketch. MacDowell was frightened and imagined he would be punished. But
the teacher was not a bit angry when he saw how true the lines were. He
asked to keep the paper and a few days later called on Mrs. MacDowell.
"Madam," he said, "I have shown the picture your son drew of me to an
artist of the School of Fine Arts, and this gentleman is so sure Edward
is meant for a portrait painter that he offers to pay all his expenses
for three years and to give him lessons free of charge." This was a
grand chance for a poor boy. Mrs. MacDowell did not want to make any
mistake. She looked at the teacher a minute and asked: "What would _you_

"Why, I am sure he will make a famous piano player."

There was the same old tiresome question: if Edward could do three or
four things well, how was any one to know which he might do best?

Finally the matter was left to Edward. After a good many days of
thinking, he decided his life should be given to music. Art was given
up, and Edward promised to waste no more time on his drawing. But he
was a great reader and liked good books to the end of his days.

After study of the piano in Paris, MacDowell went to Frankfort for two
years. He had many pupils there, and to one of them he was married.

The young married couple crossed the ocean and stayed in Boston long
enough for MacDowell to give some concerts. His fingers were like velvet
on the keys of the piano, and every one declared he must take part in a
grand American concert that was to be given during the Paris Exposition.
He did as he was asked, and the French people waved their handkerchiefs
and cried in their language: "Good for the little American!" The French
people invited him everywhere and begged him to remain in Paris, but
from first to last Edward MacDowell was a loyal American, and he
returned to Boston, where for eight years he played in concerts, took
pupils, and best of all wrote much of the music which makes Americans so
proud of him. He became a professor of music in Columbia College, and
his piano pieces were played the world over.

Many men who write music try to give it a style like some old Italian or
German composer, but MacDowell's music does not remind one of any
German, Italian, or French writers; it is just itself--it is MacDowell.
Some of his music is heavy and grand, but more of it is delicate. It was
wonderful to hear MacDowell himself play "To a Wild Rose." A friend who
knew how much the composer liked that said once: "Mac, something
dreadful happened a few weeks ago. I heard your 'Wild Rose' played at a
high school graduation, on a high school piano, by a high school

MacDowell laughed and answered: "I suppose she pulled it up by the
roots, didn't she?"

MacDowell loved outdoor life, and after he bought a farm at Peterboro,
New Hampshire, he built a log cabin way off in the woods, had a grand
piano carried there, and in the quiet of that forest wrote some of his
sweetest musical sketches.

The names of MacDowell's compositions show he loved life under the sky.
There are "The Woodland Sketches", "Sea Pieces", "From a Log Cabin", and
single titles like "The Eagle", "A Water Lily", and "The Bars at

MacDowell worked too steadily and died when he was quite young, but he
had written enough music to be remembered as a great American composer.
He said any man who wanted to write music that described his country
must love that country so well that he would put into his notes what the
nation had put into its life. He felt that America was a happy, brave,
hopeful nation, and he tried to make his music show that.

MacDowell was shy and modest and was quite surprised when different
colleges made him a Doctor of Music, when great concert players meekly
asked him if they played his sonatas as he wished them played, and when
medals and jewels were sent him as gifts.

A good many studios are now built near MacDowell's log cabin in
Peterboro, and musicians and authors stay in the forest through the
summer months, liking the quiet spot and hoping the sight of his log
cabin may make them work as faithfully for the glory of America as
Edward MacDowell did.

Even the French artist who wished to make a portrait painter of him must
have been glad that MacDowell clung to music, and Mrs. MacDowell found
that her Jack-of-all-trades was really master of one.


If ever there was a busy boy, Thomas Edison, who was born in Milan,
Ohio, was one. He wanted to do everything that he saw others doing, and
more than that, he liked to contrive new ways of doing things. The
grown-up people wished he would not ask so many questions or stay always
at their elbows, watching their work. But it came out all right in the
end, these busy ways of his, for to-day he is one of the world's
greatest inventors.

Thomas was a sunny, laughing, little boy, and pretty, too, except when
he was trying to think how something was made; then he would scowl and
pucker up his mouth until you would hardly know him. He always wanted to
know how machinery worked and asked his father, or any one near by, to
explain it to him. Sometimes his father would get all tired out
answering questions, and to get rid of the little chap would say: "I
don't know." Then Thomas would stare at his father and say: "You don't
know! _Why_ don't you know?" Then, if Mr. Edison did not answer, Thomas
would perhaps run down by the water, along the tow-path for the canal.

There were shipyards by the water, and he would pick up the different
tools and ask the workmen what the name of each was, how it was used and
why it was used, and get in their way generally until they drove him
home. He built fine houses and tiny villages, with plank sidewalks, from
the bits of wood these ship-builders gave him. The belts and wheels in
the saw and grist mills pleased him. He watched them often. Once, in one
of the mills, he fell into a pile of wheat in a grain elevator and had
nearly smothered before he was found. Several times he fell into the
canal and came near drowning.

When Thomas was six years old, he watched a goose sitting on her eggs
and saw them hatch. He wanted to understand this strange thing better,
so he gathered all the goose and hen's eggs he could and made a big
nest in his father's barn. Then all of a sudden, he was missing. The
family rushed to the canal, the village, and the mills, and finally
found him sitting on the nest of eggs in the barn. He wanted to see if
he could hatch those eggs out!

The only person who did not get out of patience with Thomas was his
mother. He and she adored each other. She had been a school teacher and
was used to children. She saw that Thomas had a keen mind and was always
ready to explain things to him. When he went to school, the teacher did
not know what to make of his strange remarks and almost broke Thomas's
heart one day by telling the principal that she thought the little
Edison boy was "addled." Thomas ran home crying. He could not bear to go
again to the school, so his mother taught him at home. He had a
wonderful memory and must have paid close attention to what was said,
for he never had to be told a thing the second time. Thomas quite often
had his lessons with his mother on the piazza. They seemed so happy
that the children who went to school often wished they could study with
Mrs. Edison. She was fond of children and was apt to run down to the
gate with some cookies or apples for them.

Sunny days Thomas liked to go with his father and mother into a tower
Mr. Edison had built near the house. It was eighty feet high, and from
its top one could see the broad river and hills beyond.

At the age of nine, Thomas was more fond of reading than of playing.
When he was twelve, he got the notion in his head that it would be a
fine thing to read every book that was in the Public Library in Detroit.
He kept at it for months! But when he had read every book on the first
fifteen feet of shelves, he saw that some were very dry and stupid and
gave up his plan. After that he chose the books that told of interesting

When Thomas was eleven, he felt he ought to be doing something besides
reading. He wanted to earn some money. His mother did not agree with
him, but after he had teased for whole weeks, she said: "Well, you may
try working part of each day." He sold papers and candy on the trains
running between Port Huron and Detroit. At first Mrs. Edison was very
nervous. She imagined that perhaps his train was getting wrecked, that
he had fallen under the wheels of the engine, and all sorts of horrid
things, but as he kept coming back home every night, safe and happy, she
stopped worrying. He was bright, and the men who talked and laughed with
him paid him a good deal of money for the papers and the nuts and
candies which he carried in a basket. He was a proud boy to hand over to
his mother the earnings of a week, which sometimes counted up to twenty

Thomas was such a very busy person that the lessons he had with his
mother early in the mornings and his paper work on the train were not
enough to satisfy him, so he bought some old type, a printing-press, and
some ink rollers, and began making a little newspaper of his own. This
newspaper was only the size of a lady's pocket-handkerchief, but it was
so clever that he soon had five hundred subscribers, and he made ten
more dollars a week on that. The great English engineer, Stephenson, was
traveling on Thomas's train one day and was so pleased with the paper
that he bought a thousand copies. He said there were many newspapers
edited by grown-up men that were not one half as good. Remember about
this paper, and if ever you see Thomas Edison's beautiful home at
Orange, New Jersey, ask to look at a copy of it. Mr. Edison thinks as
much of it as of anything in the fine library.

Well, Thomas's business on the trains grew so that he had to hire four
boys to help him. Then he bought some chemicals, and in one corner of
the baggage car, in spare moments, he began trying experiments. He was
just getting hold of some pretty exciting ideas, when one day the train
ran over something rough and spilled a bottle that held phosphorus. This
set the woodwork on fire, and while poor Thomas was trying to beat out
the flames, the conductor, in a rage, threw boy, press, bottles, and all
off the train. And that was the end of the newspaper.

The next thing to interest Thomas was the system of telegraphing. He had
not lost the habit of asking questions and quizzed the operator at Mt.
Clemens, Mr. McKenzie, every chance he had. As he stood on the station
platform one day, asking Mr. McKenzie something, he noticed the
operator's little child playing on the tracks right in front of a coming
train. And that train was an express! Thomas rushed out and seized the
child just as the train almost touched his coat. Mr. McKenzie was so
grateful that he said: "Look here, I want to do something for you. Let
me teach you to be a telegraph operator." Thomas was delighted and after
that used to take four lessons a week. At the end of three months he was
an expert.

Thomas could not have learned so quickly if he had not worked very
steadily. He always put his heart and mind on whatever he was learning,
and he did not sleep more than four or five hours at night all the time
he was studying the dots and dashes that are used in sending telegraph

At the age of sixteen, Thomas Edison took his first position as
telegraph operator. He did not earn very much at this work, at first,
and usually tried to get places where he had night hours. This was so
that he would have part of the daytime to read in public libraries and
to try experiments. There were so many wonderful things to learn or to
understand in this world that it was a pity, he thought, to waste much
time in eating or sleeping.

When Thomas was twenty-two, he had made his ideas worth three hundred
dollars a month. Probably the school teacher who thought the little
Edison boy was "addled" never earned that much at any age! From that
time until now Thomas Edison's experiments have meant a fortune to him
and no end of pleasure and comfort to the world. You cannot go into a
city in the United States that is not fitted with electric
lights--_Edison_ lights. When you hear a phonograph, remember it is an
Edison invention; when you go sight-seeing in a new city, the guide of
the motor carriages will shout the names of places to you through a
megaphone,--another Edison idea. He has patents on fourteen hundred
ideas. No wonder he has had to keep busy! There is no telling how many
more patents his brain will win, for he is only sixty-seven, and that is
young in the Edison family. Thomas's great-grandfather lived to be a
hundred and four, and his grandfather lived to be a hundred and two. And
he himself is just as busy to-day as he was when he drove every one but
his mother nearly crazy with his questions. Only to-day he stays in his
workshop, getting answers to them.

He never loses his interest in telegraph matters; many of his inventions
have been along that line. In fun, he called his first girl and boy
"Dot" and "Dash." And in that fine home in New Jersey, hanging near the
funny little newspaper, is a picture of Thomas Edison when he sold
newspapers on the train and sent telegraph news about the great Civil
War to all the stations along the way. The picture shows a bright, merry
face. America's greatest inventor still laughs like a boy and takes a
day off now and then for music, fishing, and reading. But he is the
busiest man living.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

The following changes have been made to the text:

Page 60: "often she forget to eat" changed to "often she forgot to eat".

Page 141: "electrics or steam train" changed to "electric or steam

Page 206: "forhead" changed to "forehead".

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