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Title: History of the United States - in Words of One Syllable
Author: Pierson, Helen
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United States - in Words of One Syllable" ***

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[Illustration: PAUL REVERE.]




[Illustration: AN ARMORED LOOK-OUT]

9 Lafayette Place

Copyright, 1883.
By Joseph L. Blamire.


In this "Child's History of the United States," it has been
the aim to use words of only one syllable. But it will be seen
that, in a historical work, names must be given of famous men,
of great battles, and of some important measures. It is thought
that parents or teachers can soon familiarize young people with
these names, so that they will read them as readily as the rest.
Titles have been sometimes omitted, and some names which deserve
a place and have it in larger histories, are not found here.
All such omissions have been made from the fear of rendering
the task of reading the book too difficult for many, who, as
they grow older, can add to the list that fame has made illustrious,
and take wider views of the history of this land.

H. W. P.


How this Land was Found.

The New World.

The Red Men.

The War that Made us Free.

Three Great Fights.

First in War--First in Peace.

The Rest of the War.

In Times of Peace.

New Men and New Laws.

The Slave Trade.

A New War.

The War of North and South.

Peace Once More.

History of the United States.




For a long time, in past years, it was not known that the world
was round. If the men in those days had been told that a ship
could start from a port and sail straight on for months and
come round to the same place, it would have made them laugh
as at a good joke. They did not know the real shape of the earth,
but thought it was a flat plane.

In those days our land was the home of the In-di-ans, or red
men, as we call them, from their dark skins. The red man does
not live in a house, but in a sort of tent or hut. The tribes
of red men had all this land for their own when Co-lum-bus was
born. The great woods, the green plains, the bright streams,
were all theirs. They made their wars in a strange and fierce
style, and wore at their belts locks of hair, cut from the heads
of those slain by their hands. These locks, cut from the head
with part of the skin, they call a scalp. It was the pride of
an In-di-an to have scalps hung at his belt. No one had taught
him that this was wrong, and he did not have the Word of God
to show him the right way.

When Co-lum-bus was a mere boy he was fond of the sea and ships.
He would go and watch the waves, and think about how ships were
made, and the best way to sail them. He was born in Gen-oa,
which is by the blue sea; so when he was a small boy he could
watch the white sails come in. Such queer ships they had there,
with strange high prows! As time went on, and he grew of age,
he made trips in these ships, and was in sea-fights, and once
or twice he was in a wreck. So you see he had a chance to grow
strong and brave for the work he had to do.

[Illustration: The Oceian and Islands between Western Europe
and Eastern Asia from the Globus of Martin Behaim 1492.]

What he read in books taught him that the world was round, and
not flat, as was thought in those times. So he knew that if
he could sail west he would come to a new land. He thought of
this a long time, and at last he grew more sure of it, but he
could get no one else to think as he did. He spent ten years
in this way. He was full of plans; but he could get no help
and no gold. He was too poor to do all with no aid from his
friends. At last he went to Spain.

There were a King and Queen there who were kind to Co-lum-bus;
but at first they would not give their gold to help him. They
thought this was a wild dream. At last, with a sad heart, he
made up his mind to turn his back on the court of Spain.

While on his way, a man came to him from Queen Is-a-bel-la.
She had sent him word that she would help him; "that she would
pledge her own gems to give him aid." But she did not have to
do this, as means were found when Co-lum-bus went back to the
court. His heart was made glad; for they gave him a small fleet
of three ships, and on the 3d of August, 1492, the sun rose
on the fleet as it went forth on its way to the new land. All
was strange to the new crew, and they had all sorts of queer
thoughts and fears of the sea. They had not been out of sight
of land in all their lives; and when they saw the deep, dark
sea on all sides, they were full of fear that they would not
see their homes again. The trade-wind which took them west so
fast, would keep them, they thought, from their land when they
had the wish to go back. At last they grew so full of fear,
they swore they would not go on, and Co-lum-bus had hard work
to make them. But soon there were signs of land, and some land
birds flew by the ship; and one of the crew found a branch of
a tree on the waves, which had some fresh red fruit on it.

Oh, how glad they were! Co-lum-bus felt so sure that he was
near land, he gave word for the ships to lie by that night.
No man thought of sleep. They all kept watch on deck to see
this strange new coast for which they had borne so much.

In the night a cry of joy was heard. Co-lum-bus had seen a light
far off, and a shout of "Land! land!" soon came from all sides.

When the sun rose they all saw a green strip of shore some five
miles long. The men fell at the feet of Co-lum-bus and shed
tears of joy. Then they sang a hymn of praise to God, who had
kept them and brought them safe and sound to this new place.
They got out the small boats and put men and arms in them, with
flags, and a band to play a march of joy, and the crews made
their way to the shore. Co-lum-bus, in a rich dress with his
drawn sword in his hand, sprang on the beach, and then the crew
came next. They set up a cross, and all knelt at its foot and
gave thanks for their safe trip. Then Co-lum-bus set up the
flag of Cas-tile and Le-on, and took the new land for the crown
of Spain.

While they stood there with shouts of joy and songs, some strange
dark shapes stole up with soft steps to their side. The crew
thought these men must have come from a new world, as they saw
their dark skins and the gay paint and plumes they wore. Co-lum-bus
gave them the name of In-di-ans, for he thought the new coast
was part of In-dia. He did not know that he had found a new
land. These men with red skins were glad to kiss the feet of
the Span-iards, and change their gold chains and rude rings
for the beads and pins the crew gave to them.

Co-lum-bus spent some time in the new land he had found, and
then he set sail for home to take his friends and the Queen
the great news. A wild storm came on the way home, and Co-lum-bus
thought that all was lost, so he wrote his tale on a cake of
wax and put the cake in a cask and threw it in the sea; so that
if he had gone down in the storm, all that he had found would
not be lost to the world.

But God took care of Co-lum-bus and his crew. They got back
to their homes once more and had a grand time. The King and
Queen gave them a new and fine fleet; and in time they came
back and saw new points of land on which to build homes, and
they found, too, South A-mer-i-ca.

There were some in Spain who did not like Co-lum-bus, for he
had won gold and fame, while they had none. So they told false
tales of him; and when his friend, Queen Is-a-bel-la, died,
he was once brought back from the land he had found in chains.
How sad that was!--was it not? At last he had to die old and
poor, and this land did not have his name. It had no name for
some time; but at last an I-tal-ian, who made a few trips there,
and wrote of what he saw, gave his name to the new world. His
name was A-mer-i-cus Ves-pu-ci-us. That is a hard name for you
to say, but you can all say A-mer-i-ca, and that is the name
of our land.



When the news of this land of gold spread over the world, Eng-land
and France and Spain all sent ships to see what they could find.
They each thought they would like to have a slice. The Eng-lish
thought they had some rights, as one of their men, named Ca-bot,
had, in truth, been the first to touch this new shore. The next
time he came, he made his way down the coast to what we call
Vir-gin-ia, and set up a claim for Eng-land.

Then the King of France sent a man to plant his flag here, and
he gave the name of New France to part of our coast. But though
Eng-land and France both set claim to the land, they did not
send men here to live for a long time.

At last Queen E-liz-a-beth gave one of the great men at court,
called Sir Wal-ter Ral-eigh, a claim to a large tract of land
in A-mer-i-ca. He came with two ships, and found the red skins
kind. They brought him gifts, and he went back to tell of all
the strange things he had seen, and some came to live on the
new shores. But the red skins were hard to live with, and the
small group of white men could get no food, and were near death,
when a brave man, named Sir Fran-cis Drake, came with a ship
and took them off to their homes. The next band that came met
a sad fate, for they all fell by the hand of the red men.

There were some in Eng-land who had a great wish to see this
new world. They thought they would like to live in a land with
no King, and have a church where they could pray to God in their
own way. They were called "Pil-grims," for they went from place
to place and would sing psalms and pray, and they were full
of joy at the thought of their new home.

Do you know the name of the ship they came in? It is a sweet
name, and you must keep it in your mind--The May-flow-er. They
did not have a smooth trip, and a storm blew them on to the
coast of Mass-a-chu-setts. It was bare and cold, but it was
nice to see land at all. There were all sorts of fowl there,
and they saw a whale; but when they went to shoot it the gun
burst. They made their way to a vale where there was a spring,
and there they took their first drink in the new land.


There was a rock called Plym-outh Rock, and here they made their
homes and built the first house. It was in 1620, in a cold time
of the year, that the May-flow-er brought her crew to Plym-outh
Rock. There was not much food, and they had from the first a
foe whom they could not trust or make a friend. These were a
new race of men. They had brown skins; were tall and straight,
with long, coarse black hair. They had no books, and got their
food in the hunt, or caught fish in the streams. They made boats
of birch bark--queer, long things, with a point at each end.
They could make bows, and would pound their corn with two stones
for their bread. They took the skins of beasts for their clothes,
for they knew how to dress them. Each tribe had its head man,
called a chief, and their great joy was in war. When their foes
took them, they would not pray for their lives. They were brave
in their own way, and would show no fear at the sight of the
fire that was to burn their flesh.

Their wives, the squaws, would dress the food and do all the
hard work at home. They were the ones who dug each small patch
of ground and put in the beans and corn. The men had a scorn
for work. They were made to fight, they thought. They would
say, "The Great Chief gave the white man a plow and the red
man a bow, and sent them in the world to gain food, each in
his own way."

In this new land there was not a horse, cow, sheep, cat, dog,
or hen to be found. You would not like such a place, would you?
What did the young people do for pets in those days? No chicks
to feed, no puss with her soft, warm fur, for small hands to

[Illustration: A canoe.]

But the new homes were not left in peace. The red men saw that
their doom was near. They felt that they would have to move
on and on, to give place to these men who knew so much; who
read books and had schools, and taught their young ones to pray.
So they took the guns that they had bought from the white men
and went to war with them. When they took them they would tie
them fast to stakes, burn them to death, and all the time the
flames were at work, these fierce red men would dance a war
dance of joy. They bought rum from the white men, and it made
them like brutes.

They knew that the white men had come to take their land, and
that was cause for their hate. And so the white men, in their
turn, felt no love for the red skin, and thought they did well
to push him back more and more, and take all they could from
him. The white men were to blame, for they first gave the vile
rum to the red men, and that made them wild. They would burn
down the white man's house at night, and kill his wife and babes.
Think how sad it must be to wake up in the night and find the
hot blaze of a fire in your face, and the wild war-whoop of
an In-di-an in your ears. But you can lie down in your bed in
peace, for there is no one to harm you--you live in good times.

But those who were brave enough to come and live in this new
land, had a hard life at first. There were no snug farms as
now, with fields of green corn and wheat. At times the poor
men could not get much to eat, and one wrote home: "The crumbs
that fall from your meals would be sweet to me. When I can get
a cup of meal and boil It with a pinch of salt, I give thanks
as for a great feast. The In-di-ans at times bring corn and
trade it for clothes or knives. One day they gave me a peck
of corn for a small dog. It would be a strange thing to see
a piece of roast beef or veal here."


It will not seem strange, then, that, in such hard times, death
came to these small bands and took some away. But those who
were left kept up brave hearts, and would not go back to their
old homes; and though all were so poor, there was not a case
of theft in four years. They grew to like the land, and one
said, "A sup of New Eng-land air is worth more than a draught
of Old Eng-land ale."

For one of the first bands of men who came here, made their
homes in a place to which they gave the name of New Eng-land,
after their old home. As time went on each place grew to be
a town, and soon had a church and a school of its own. If we
had gone in one of those towns on the Lord's day, we would have
seen some strange sights. As the clocks struck nine, there would
come out a man who would beat a drum or blow a conch shell,
or ring a bell to call all the folks to church. As we drew near
to this church, we would have seen that it was built of logs,
with a small flag to wave on it. There would be a fence of stakes
round it, and a man with a gun on guard near it. Those who went
in left all their guns in his care.

If you look at this church you will see that it has no glass
panes like ours, but small and dull and thick ones set in lead.
It is the style now to like that old thick glass, and to use
it once more. You might see on the front of this church, near
the door, the heads of wolves that had been slain in the hunt
in the past year.

In this church the old men sat on one side, and the young men
were not with them. They had their own place. So, too, the boys
did not sit by the girls. Most of the boys sat on the stairs,
and there was a man there as a sort of guard to see that they
did not talk. He had a long rod or wand in his hand, with a
hare's foot on one end, and a hare's tail on the other. He would
let no one go to sleep. If he saw a girl nod, he would touch
her on the face with the soft brush of the hare's tail; but
if it were a boy who was caught in a nap, he got a sharp rap
from the hare's foot. So you see in those times one could not
make such a snug nest in the pew and take a long sleep as one
does now; and they had to stay three or four hours in church.
It must have been hard for small folks not to nod at times.

When they sung, it was out of a book by the name of "The Bay
Psalm Book," and they did not know more than ten tunes. In those
days no one could stay from church but for a good cause, or
else they had to pay a fine. And if a man staid from church
a month, he was put in the stocks, or in a cage of wood, where
all could see him and laugh and jeer at him.

You do not know what stocks are in these times, but if you had
stood in a New Eng-land town then, you would have seen a strange
thing made of wood, by the road near the church. This queer
frame of wood would hold a man fast so that he could not move,
and you may think a day in the stocks would be hard to bear,
and would make one's bones ache.

A house in such a town, in those days, was all built on the
ground floor; so there were no stairs. It was made of earth
or logs, and had a steep roof of thatch. The place for the fire
was built of rough stones. It was large enough to burn logs
four feet long, and had so much room in it that a man and his
wife and boys and girls could sit in it and look up at the sky.

The dress in those days was not the same as it is now. The men
wore small clothes, which came to the knee like a small boy's
in these times, and they had stiff ruffs round their necks and
caps of rich stuff on their heads. The young men wore fine belts,
and great high boots which were made with a roll at the top.
The girls wore silk hoods in the streets, and stiff rich gowns,
with long waists, and lace caps on feast-days. But folks could
not wear gay clothes if the law did not think they had means
to spend for such fine things.

They had some queer laws in those days. Those who had done wrong
had to stand in the stocks, which held them by the feet and
neck, so they could not get away, or they had to mount stools
in church. If a man had a wife who had the name of a bad scold,
a cleft stick was put on her tongue, or she was made to take
a cold dip in a stream. I dare say you think those were hard
laws, and you are glad to live in these days. But that was a
race who had the fear of God in their hearts; their aim was
to do just right and to rule the land in the best way.



At first, before they had time to plant the fields, the men
could but hunt and fish for food; but as years went by, they
had farms, and made glass and things for trade; they wove cloth
of wool, and some from a plant that grows in the south, of which
you may know the name. It is white and soft.

They had not much coin, and so they had to do the best they
could with skins and corn, or what they could get for trade.
The first mint to make coin was set up in Mass-a-chu-setts in
1652. This coin had a pine tree on one side, and the name of
the State. One side had a date and N. E. for New Eng-land. All
this coin was known as "pine-tree coin." In time the land at
Plym-outh Bay and those near took one name, "Mass-a-chu-setts."

In the meanwhile the small band who had made homes in Vir-gin-ia
had come to grief. They had been men of good birth in their
own land, and did not know much of hard work. They had come
in search of wealth. Great tales had been told of the gold
here. It had been said one could pick up great lumps of gold,
as large as a hen's egg, in the streams. They found that all
this was not true, and that a man had to work hard to live.
They grew sick, and death came in their midst to make things
more sad; so that they lost more than half of their small band.

[Illustration: BUILD-ING IN VIR-GIN-IA.]

[Illustration: JOHN SMITH.]

One man, John Smith by name, did great things for them. He had
been brave from his birth. He had been in wars oft, and once
he built him a lodge of boughs in a forest and took his books
with him, that he might learn the art of war. Once he went to
fight the Turks. He is said to have been sold as a slave. It
may be all these tales are not true; but it is true he taught
his own friends in Vir-gin-ia how to live. He got them to build
a fort and log huts for the cold times. He made friends as far
as he could of the In-di-ans, so that he could get boat loads
of food from them. He said that "he who would not work might
not eat;" so no man could be a drone in the hive. Each one must
learn to swing the axe in the woods or to hunt and to fish.

Once the In-di-ans took him and they told him that he must die.
Their great chief Pow-ha-tan had said the word; so his head was
laid upon a stone, and a huge war club raised to strike the
blow. But a young girl was seen to spring to his side, throw
her arms round his neck, and pray that he might be set free.
She was the pet of the tribe, for she was the child of their
chief; and so Cap-tain Smith was set free. You may be sure he
was full of thanks to his kind young friend, and it is said
she might have been seen on her way to James-town more than
once, as time went on, with small stores of corn for the white
men. And when she grew up a white man made her his wife.

[Illustration: TO-BAC-CO PLANT.]

But at last a bad wound made Cap-tain Smith go back to Eng-land,
and things grew worse and worse in Vir-gin-ia. Food was more
and more scarce, and a sad time came, which was long known as
"Starving Time." It was in 1609. At last they all made up their
minds to go back to their old home. None shed a tear as the
sun rose on that day; they had known bad times in the new land,
and did not grieve to go. But as their ship made its way down
the bay, they met Lord Del-a-ware, with a great stock of food,
and new men to swell the ranks. So they were glad to turn back
and try the place once more; and in the course of time they
throve and built and spread, and that part of the land made
a new State, which we know as Vir-gin-ia. In that State was
first grown a weed which you have seen men smoke and chew.

The folks in Mass-a-chu-setts went by the name of "Pu-ri-tans."
They had left their old home that they might pray to God in
their own way, and they thought that their own way was the right
one. When men came in their midst who did not think as they
did, they were sent out of the place. There was a class called
Quak-ers, or Friends, who were mild, and did all they could
for peace; but they thought they had their rights as well as
the rest, and might serve God in their own way. They did not
believe in wars, and would not bear arms. They would not hire
a man to preach for them; but when they met, each one spoke
as he felt the thought come in his heart. They kept the laws,
and did to all men as they wished them to do to them. They said
"thee and thou" for "you," and "yea and nay" for "yes and no;"
but this could hurt no one, and it seems strange to us that
they were not let stay in the place. They had to fly for their
lives, and four were put to death. In these days all men are
free to serve God in their own way.

And in that time there was one man to raise his voice for the
poor Quak-ers, and all who were like them. This man was Rog-er
Will-iams. He held that the State had no right to say what men
should think and feel. You may be sure those who were high in
place did not like to hear that; so he had to fly from his home
one cold day, and for a time he hid in the woods. But the In-di-ans
gave him a home, and one chief made him a gift of a piece of
land, which he called "Prov-i-dence," as it was to him like
a gift from God. And so the State of Rhode Isl-and, where this
town was built, was known as a place where thought was free.
The Quak-ers were glad to find a home in that State, where they
could dwell in peace.

[Illustration: IN-DI-ANS RID-ING.]

In 1675, a war, known as King Phil-ip's war, broke out in Mass-a-chu-setts.
King Phil-ip was an In-di-an chief who saw that the white man
would soon own all the land, and he knew that meant death to
his race. He made a plan to kill all the white men. The first
blow fell on the Lord's day, as the folks were on their way
home from church. The men flew to arms, and did not dare to
lay them down when they were in the field at work, or at their
homes. When they went to church they would stack them at the

King Phil-ip and his men made their camp in a great swamp, where
it was hard for the white men to reach them. Here they laid
up a store of food, and had great tribes of red men. They would
not fight in the wide fields, but would skulk in nooks, and
rush out and hold all the land in fear, for the foe would seem
to be on all sides. At last they were made to leave their strong
hold, and could find no place to hide. There was a fight, and
the In-di-ans fell thick and fast. Phil-ip ran, but one of his
own tribe, who had a grudge, shot him dead. He had done all
he could for his own folk, but fell by the hand of one of them
at last.

All this time the King of Eng-land was at the head of this land
as well, and the men he sent were wont to rule things with a
high hand. They would not grant what our men thought to be their
rights. Dutch ships had come in to trade for furs with the In-di-ans.
Some of the crews stayed here and made their homes in a place
they called New Am-ster-dam. It is now known by the name of
New York. These first Dutch men bought the land from the In-di-ans,
and it was to go to their heirs through all time.


A band of Swedes made their home in Del-a-ware. A Quak-er by
the name of Will-iam Penn bought a grant of land from the King.
He thought to make a home for all his sect, who had as hard
a time in Eng-land as they did here. He sent a band of these
men here, and the next year he came too. He met the In-di-ans
by a great elm tree. He was a kind and good man, and would not
take their land from them. He bought it and made them his friends.
"We will live in love with Will-iam Penn and his heirs," said
they, "as long as the sun and moon shall shine." And it is said
that to this day a red man is loathe to shed Quak-er blood.

[Illustration: IN-DI-AN PIPES.]

[Illustration: William Penn.]

In 1683, Penn bought land from the Swedes and laid out a town,
to which he gave the name of Phil-a-del-phia. It stood in the
midst of a wood, and the wild deer ran by the men who came to
take a look at their new home. When Penn came, he sent out a
call for all the men to meet in one place, and there he met
with them, and they laid out the code or kind of laws they were
to have. This code was known as "The Great Law." No one could
vote that did not believe in Christ; and all might pray to God
in their own way. So you see the Quak-ers did not wish to force
men to believe as they did. They felt that was not right or

Penn did all he could for his sect, and was mild and good to
the red men. He said to them, "We meet on the broad path of
good faith and good will. I will deal with you in love. We are
one flesh and blood."

So our land grew, and State by State was laid out, and towns
were built, and all this time the King of Eng-land was at the
head of the whole. There were more In-di-an wars; for the red
men gave the new folk no peace. They would come down from the
depths of the woods of Can-a-da on their snow shoes, and drag
men and their wives from their beds and scalp them and set their
homes on fire. Many a child, too, had to fly with the rest in
the cold night, with bare feet and few clothes on, to seek a
place to hide from this fierce foe.

[Illustration: IN-DI-AN SNOW SHOE.]

In 1754, a war broke out which we call the "French and In-di-an
War." The Eng-lish had at this time a great strip of land on
our coast which they held as their own. It was like a string
to the great bow of French land, which went from Que-bec to
New Or-leans. Both French and Eng-lish laid claim to part of
the land; and those who had the wish to live in peace could
not but look on in fear.

The French built three forts, and that made all feel that they
meant to hold the land. A young man by the name of George Wash-ing-ton,
was sent to ask that they should pull down these forts. You
have heard of George Wash-ing-ton, I know. You have been told
that he was "first in peace, first in war, and first in the
hearts of all." You have, I am sure, heard the tale of the fruit
tree that he cut, and how he could not tell a lie to save him.
He was a boy then, and some one had made his heart glad with
the gift of a small axe. What should a boy do with such a thing,
if he could not cut with it? So George went round to try the
sharp edge of his axe, and, as bad luck would have it, he came
on a young fruit tree. It may be that the fruit was of a rare
kind, and so when it was found that the bark of the tree had
been cut in such a way that one could hope for no more fruit,
the cry rang out on all sides, "Who has done this deed?"

Our small boy was not at peace in his own mind. He did not know
in what shape the wrath might fall on him; but he came forth
in a brave way and said, "I did it, Father, I can not tell a
lie. I cut it." We are glad there has been one boy who could
not tell a lie, and we hope there are some in our own times.

So this George Wash-ing-ton, then a young man, was sent to the
French man who was at the head of the forts, to say that he
must take them down at once. He had a hard time to get there,
for it was cold, and the streams were big with the rains. The
snow fell and froze as it fell. His horse gave out, and he had
to go on foot. He had one man with him, and they struck out
in to the woods. They had to cross a stream on a rude raft,
and they were caught in the ice. It bore them on with great
speed, and when Wash-ing-ton threw out his pole to check the
speed, he fell in the stream. But he knew how to swim, and so
he got to land. When day came, it grew still more cold, and
the stream froze in such a way that he could walk on it to the
place where he would be.

The men at the French forts would not say that they would give
them up. In fact, they made boasts that they could hold them
in spite of all, and so the war went on. The French would dart
out and seize Eng-lish ships, and then the Eng-lish would march
on the French, and do them all the harm they could. Wash-ing-ton
fought on the side of the Eng-lish in this war. Once the In-di-ans
laid in wait for them in the wood, and as the men were on the
march with their flags and beat of drum, they heard the fierce
war whoop on all sides. The Brit-ish troops did not know how
to deal with such a foe; but our men sprang down and fought
them in their own way.

One chief made a vow that he would kill Wash-ing-ton. Four balls
were sent through his clothes. Twice his horse was shot. Gen-er-al
Brad-dock, who was at the head of the Eng-lish troops, was shot
and borne from the field to die. There was a great fright, and
the men fled on all sides. Wash-ing-ton did what he could to
save them from the foe, like a brave man. But the French went
on and built more forts, and our men were at their wits' end
to hold their own with foes on all sides.

There were six tribes of the red men who were their friends,
and I would tell you their names if they were not too long and

But you will find in the State of New York lakes and streams
which bear the same names. We ought to bear them in mind, as
they were of great use in those times. So it was thought best
for all our men to meet in a town by the name of Al-ba-ny, to
fix on a way to keep these six tribes our friends, and to join
with them to fight the French. Al-ba-ny was then a small town
with few in it; but it had a stone fort. Here our men met the
chiefs and had a talk with them. The chiefs told our clan they
were not so wise and brave as the French, or they would build
forts like them.

But there was one wise man in our midst, Ben-ja-min Frank-lin.
He had been a poor boy, so poor that when he went in to the
great town of Phil-a-del-phia, he had but a few cents. But he
knew how to print; and more than that he was fond of books,
and so could learn all sorts of things. He brought with him
a small print on which was shown a snake cut in parts. Each
part had on it the name of one of the States. He said they must
be made one or die, and that to be one was the way to be great.
But our men did not see their way clear to do this yet. We know
they made the States one in time.

The death of Gen-er-al Brad-dock was a great blow to their hopes.
They saw that all the red-coats, as we call the Eng-lish, were
not brave; but could run as fast as the rest. Still they took
some forts, with long names, from the French in this war. They
made a move on them at Que-bec, with Gen-er-al Wolfe at the
head of our troops.


Quebec was one of the strong forts of the world. At first Gen-er-al
Wolfe lost at all points. But he found at last a way to go in
boats. With no noise they made their way to land, and up a steep
hill, and at dawn the French woke to see red-coats on all sides.
Their Gen-er-al Mont-calm led them out of the fort to fight.
If he had not, he might have won the day, for the fort was strong.
But he chose to fight in the wide field, and so we won.

At the time of the fight, Gen-er-al Wolfe, who had been struck
by a death shot, heard shouts of joy, "They fly--they fly!"
"Who fly!" came from his white lips. "The French." "Then praise
God, I die at peace," he said, with his last breath.

Gen-er-al Mont-calm, too, on the French side, had a wound, and
was told he could not live. "I am glad of it," he said, "for
then I shall not live to see my town yield to the foe." So you
see they were two brave men who fell that day. In five days
a peace was made with France; for she gave up most of the land
to which she had laid claim.

But there were some of the red men who did not want this peace
with the Eng-lish. They had seen the red-coats run away from
them, and they thought they might now strike a blow for their
own homes and land. The French made them think they would help
them. "The King of France has but slept for a time," they said,
"but he will soon wake up, and then he will drive the foe from
the homes of the red men, and give them back their land."

[Illustration: IN-DI-AN CHIEF.]

There was one brave chief, Pon-ti-ac, who heard all this with
a glad heart. "I will live and die a French man," he said, and
he sent men to each town to bear a belt with red or black beads
on it, and a knife with a red stain on it; these meant war.
The knife was of the kind with which they were wont to scalp
the foe, and the red stain told that deeds of blood were at
hand. When this belt and knife were kept, Pon-ti-ac knew that
the chiefs there would join the war. Their first move was on
a fort at De-troit.

[Illustration: IRON TOM-A-HAWK.]

[Illustration: STONE TOM-A-HAWK.]

This was Pon-ti-ac's plan. He would go some day to the fort
with some men and ask leave to come in and show them a war dance.
While some were in the dance, a few would stroll through the
fort and see all that could be seen. Then they would go once
more as if for a call, with arms hid in their clothes, and strike
down the white men when they did not look for it. The first
part of this plan went on all right; but one of the squaws,
who was a friend to the head man of the fort, told him what
the red men meant to do. So when Pon-ti-ac and his men went
in the fort, each with his gun hid in his clothes, they found
ranks of men with arms to meet them, and they were glad to get
out with their lives.

But Pon-ti-ac would not give up, for he made more friends, and
laid siege to De-troit in 1763. It was a long siege for the
red man, but it held out, though food was scarce, and the men
in it felt that they must soon starve. Pon-ti-ac at last had
to make peace, and met his own death at the hands of a red man,
who was mad with drink; and so the French and In-di-an war came
to an end.



For a time all were at peace; but at last a war broke out that
took more time, and cost more men, than all the wars of the
past. You have heard of it, it may be, by the name of the Rev-o-lu-tion.

There are some old men who fought in that war, who are alive
this day. You see the cause of this war came out of what our
men thought to be their wrongs. They thought the rule of Eng-land
too hard, and that they should have their own men to rule them.
They would have gone on as they were, if they had thought that
Eng-land was just to them; but she put a tax on the things they
had to use. She had a large debt to pay, and so she thought
it fair our men should help to pay it; and our men held that
they ought to have a voice as to what the tax should be, and
fix what they knew to be right.

Do you know what a tax means? It meant, in this case, that when
our men bought a thing, they had to pay a few cents more than
its real price, and these few cents were to go to Eng-land.
Of course these few cents from all sides grew to be a good sum,
and was quite a help. Eng-land, at this time, made a law which
we know by the name of the "Stamp Act." This law, which gave
to Eng-land a tax on all deeds, was one great cause of the wrath
of our men. One man made a speech on it that was put in print,
and the boys in the schools spoke it. In all the States men
took the same view; so that the Stamp Act may be said to have
lit the fire which in time made such a blaze.

In all the States men stood up for what they thought their rights,
and they made up their mind that they would not pay this tax
on Eng-lish things, but would learn to make them of their own.
Men and their wives took a vow that the fine clothes from their
old home should not tempt them, but they would spin and weave,
and wear what they made, though it might be poor and coarse.
One brave dame wrote to her friends, "I hope there are none
of us but would wrap up in the skins of sheep and goats to keep
us warm, if we must else pay a tax which is not just on the
goods of Eng-land."

The wrath at the Stamp Act grew more fierce each day, and the
men who were sent to put it in force did not dare to do so.
One was caught and made to say that he would give the thing
up. He was made to fling up his hat and cry as they told him,
three times, in words which meant that they were right and the
King was wrong. No one was found so bold as to put the Stamp
Act in force; and the news went to the King and set him in a
great rage. Some of their own great men were on our side, and
were glad we did not yield.

At last the King gave up the Stamp Act, but said he had a right
to tax us as he chose. There was great joy here at the news
that the Stamp Act was to be heard from no more. The bells were
rung, and flags were flung out on the breeze, and all who were
held for debt were made free. For a year there was no more heard
of a tax; but then a new act came. This tax was made on tea
and glass, and such things, which were in use all the time.
This woke new wrath, and troops had to come out to keep the
peace, which our men said they would not bear. The boys from
the schools felt the wrong, and would call the "red-coats" in
scorn by that name; and the young men made a vow that they would
drive them from the town.

There were street fights each day; and the men were more and
more set to have their rights. The folk wore the rough clothes
which they spun and wove, and would not buy a yard of Eng-lish
cloth. Then they sought to find some plant that they might use
for tea, so that they would not have to buy tea and pay the
tax on it. They must have had some queer drinks at that time.
When the King found they were so set in their way, he gave up
all but the tax on tea. Then he sent three large ship loads
of it here, in the hope that our folk would want it so much
when they saw it, that they would be glad to pay the tax.

But our men had made up their minds that this tea should not
land. So when the tea ships came in, a guard was set on them
by our men as they lay at the wharf, so that the tea should
not be brought to shore. A large crowd of men met in a Hall
in Bos-ton, to say what should be done with the tea; and at
last they gave out, that if the tea were sent back where it
came from, all would be well. But the head man, who was sent
here to rule us by the King, would not do this, and said so.
When this was told to the crowd, a war-whoop was heard at the
porch, and some men in the dress of In-di-ans made a rush down
to the wharf, and went on board of the three tea ships, and
cast all the chests of tea in the bay. Then they went home in
peace and did no one harm. This was the "Bos-ton Tea Par-ty,"
and is so known at this day.

At New York and Bos-ton they did not try to land the tea when
they heard of this, but took it back. At one time the tea was
set on fire. All this made our men more and more set on their
own way; and the King grew in a rage with them. He made some
strong laws, sent troops to Bos-ton, and put in force a bill
called a Port Bill, which would not let a boat go in or out
the port, save that it brought food or wood. One of their own
men stood up and said this was a "bill to make us slaves." And
the wood and food had to be brought in a new route, and not
straight in the bay. Not a stick of wood or a pound of flour
could be brought in a row boat, or straight in from a near point;
it must all go round to the place where the Eng-lish saw fit,
where they could stop it and see just what was there.

Of course this was hard for the good folk of Bos-ton, and they
did not bear their wrongs in peace. They had gifts sent them
by land--of grain and salt fish and sheep. From the South came
flour and rice, and some times gold for the poor. So that the
Port Bill made all feel to them like friends, for all towns
took up the cause of Bos-ton as their own.

This was just what the wise men at the court of King George
had said would be the case. They knew it would make our folk
more strong to drive them with hard laws to fight. And so it
came to pass, as the two great men, Burke and Fox, had said,
King George was set in his way, and would not change, but did
his best to push the laws through. The Bos-ton Port Bill was
one of the things that made the States one. For they had but
one mind on these harsh laws, and stood as one man for the right.
The day when this Port Bill was first put in force, the Town
Hall in one of the towns was hung with black, as for a death;
the Bill was on it, and the toll of bells was heard all day.

If we could have stood in Bos-ton in those days, we would have
seen that there was not much work, and no ships at the wharves
but those of Eng-land. There were guns in view, and men with
red-coats in the streets. There were tents on the green, and
clubs that met each night, to talk of this strange turn in things,
and what was best to do. They did not want war, but saw no way
to get out of it. Great men spoke of it here and there, and
each speech was read at the clubs.

"We must fight," grew to be the cry. But there were some, of
course, who felt sad at all this, who thought it wrong not to
do the will of the King in all things. They said this land would
come to grief, for we were the ones who had the most to lose
by war. These men had the name of "To-ries," and the rest did
not look on them as friends, but held them as foes. Some of
these men went back to their old homes, and came here in the
troops of the King to fight their old friends. Some stayed and
came round to new views, and took part in the wars that came
to pass in time. All knew that the ranks of the King would be
made of men who had fought in wars, and were known to be brave;
while on our side they would be raw men, who did not know the
art of war. But still our men were brave, and they said, with
strong hearts, "The strife may be long, but the end is sure.
We will fight for our homes, for our lands, for the right. We
will be free!"



In each town, at this time, men thought but of war, and how
to train for it; so that in case of need each one could spring
to arms at once. Guns were put in a safe place, and stores of
food were bought. The Brit-ish in their turn kept watch on all,
and more troops were brought in.

Our men made a plan, that when it should be known that a large
force of the Brit-ish were to move out of Bos-ton at night,
a light should be hung out of the North Church by way of a sign.
One night the watch by the Charles saw the light gleam high
on the church, and they knew some move was on hand. At once
all was stir and noise. Men rode here and there to find out
what it meant. One went in a boat, and then took a fleet horse
to seek out two of the wise and great men, and see what was
best to do. The man who took this ride, and went from house
to house with a call to those who slept, was Paul Re-vere. There
is a song this day on that ride.

You may be sure there was no more sleep in a house that night.
When he rode by--"Do not make so much noise," said one on guard.

"Noise," said Paul Re-vere, "there will be noise ere long; the
foe is on us!"

All this time the Eng-lish troops had made a swift, still march.
They thought no one had seen or known their move; but all at
once the bells in each church rang out a wild peal. In each
town the church bell sent a call to each home. So it was plain
that all was known. Paul Re-vere and the scouts had done the
work well. The Brit-ish sent back for more troops. They came,
and they were told to hold the bridge at Con-cord. But when
Ma-jor Pit-cairn, who was at the head of the Brit-ish, came
to Lex-ing-ton at dawn, he found a great crowd of men with arms.

"What do ye here?" he said, in wrath, "go to your homes! Why
don't ye lay down your arms?" But as they made no move to go,
his troops sent forth a fire on them, which they gave back with
a will. Eight of our men got their death wounds that day, and
this was the first blood shed in the war.

The Brit-ish then gave three cheers and set out on a march to
Con-cord. The people of that town made haste to move their stores
of food and arms to a safe place in the woods. Their scouts
took the North bridge, and could see that the Brit-ish were
in the streets of the town; that they had set the court house
on fire, and cut down the pole, and laid waste the stores they
found. So the men on the bridge made up their minds they would
try to drive this foe out. There were but few of them, but they
had strong hearts.

One of their head men said, "I have not a man who fears to go."
He was the first who was shot, and fell dead. Still they went
on and made a brave fire, so that the Brit-ish set out to run.
But they could not go back as they came; for by this time our
men for miles round, came in on all sides. Some were in their
shirt sleeves, they had come in such haste; but each one had
a gun in his hand, and took his place back of a tree or stone
wall, where he could get good aim. One of the Brit-ish wrote
home that the men came so fast, they would seem to drop from
the sky.

At each step the Brit-ish troops took, a shot would come from
some side, and a man would fall dead. At last such a fear came
on our foe, that they broke into a run. They did not know what
to do. They had no more shot, and could not give back the fire.
One of them wrote, "They had to lie down for rest on the ground,
and their tongues hung out of their mouths like dogs spent by the
chase." All the way to Bos-ton they felt the fire of our men,
and they were glad to get back to their great ships, the men
of war, and rest where they could be safe. They had lost three
times more men than the A-mer-i-cans.

There was a great stir in the court of the King when the news
was brought that their troops had run from a hand full of raw
men, who had no skill in the art of war. Poor Lord Per-cy, who
had been at the head of the Eng-lish, came in for hard names,
though he was a brave man. They were mad, and had to give vent
to their wrath on some one. In A-mer-i-ca it was felt that this
was the first blow struck; and Sam-u-el Ad-ams, when he heard
the news at Lex-ing-ton, said, "Oh, what a grand day this is!"
for he knew this strife would not end till all the States were

There were some hills near Bos-ton, and our men knew that there
was a plan to gain them, and make a place for Eng-lish troops
on them. You see, if the foe had such high ground, they could
have a grand chance to fire down on those in the town. So our
men stole out by night and threw up earth works, and took all
the troops they could get from all parts, and put them in charge
there. In the mean while they sent their wives and young ones
out of the town, so that none but Brit-ish troop were left there.
They made no noise in their march that night; no one heard them,
and the bells in the church struck twelve ere they dug a sod.
But they were soon at work, and could hear the guard on the
man-of-war cry out each hour, "All's well."

When the day came, and the sun rose, the earth works were seen
from the ships, and at once they sent out a fire on them. So
in Bos-ton the troops woke to see the true state of things,
and were not slow to do their best. But our men went on with
their work, spite of the shots. One of the foe had a glass through
which he could see each move of our men round the works. "Will
they fight?" said he. "To the last drop of their blood," said
one who stood near.

So they made up their minds to lose no time, but to make a raid
on the works that day. It was a hot day in June. Part of our
men stood by a rail fence, on the edge of a hill, by the name
of Bun-ker Hill; part were back of the mounds which were but
half made. Then the rail fence was made to screen the men back
of it, by a lot of new mown hay, put in to fill up the gaps.

[Illustration: JO-SEPH WAR-REN.]

The Brit-ish troops went in boats, and took their stand on the
bank of the Charles. They had two men to our one, and were full
of skill in the use of arms. Our men had come in from the farm
or the shop. They did not know what a drill meant; but their
place was more safe back of the earth works, while the troops
of the foe were out in full sight in the field. It is a grand
sight; the long lines, the red coats and white pants of the
Brit-ish; the white cross belts, the beat of drums, the play
of fifes. The sky is clear and hot. Great white clouds sail
on the blue. The folks crowd on the roof of each house in the

So our men laid in wait, as the troops took up a slow march
on them. The Eng-lish found the day hot, and they had their
arms and food to weigh them down. But they had no doubts, and
their march was sure. They would fire now and then, and few
shots fell on them. On they came, till they got ten rods from
the earth works. Then the word rang out on our side, "Fire!"
When the smoke was gone it was seen that the dead lay on the
ground here and there; and those who were left had set off to


A great shout went up from the forts; a cheer came back from
those at the rail fence. They, too, had held back their fire
to the last, and then three fourths of those who had set out
to chase them fell in the ranks, and the rest ran. Gen-er-al
Put-nam was one of our great men in this fight. When the foe
came on, he had said to his men, "Aim low; wait till you can
see the whites of their eyes," and their aim was sure. When
they saw the Brit-ish troops in flight, they thought they would
give them chase; but they had no more shot, and so could not
make good what they had won. They fell back with sad hearts,
one by one, and lost more as they did so than they had done
in the fight.

This was the fight of Bunk-er Hill, and though the A-mer-i-cans
did not win the day, they made plain to all men that they had
stout hearts, and could deal a blow for their rights. In this
fight Gener-al War-ren lost his life.



The first thing George Wash-ing-ton was heard to ask when news
came of this fight was, "Did our men stand fire?" And when he
was told that they did, he said, "Then the rights of our land
are safe." From this day our men took heart and were of good
cheer. The Brit-ish lost one in four of their men in that fight;
and on our side we did not lose half as much. In Eng-land men
did not know what to make of so great a loss to their troops
from so small a force as ours.

In this land there was a call for more troops, and George Wash-ing-ton
was put at their head. He had shown that he was a brave and
true man. He came from Vir-gin-ia, his home, and met the rest
'neath a great elm tree in Cam-bridge. This tree is known as
the "Wash-ing-ton Elm" to this day. All felt a wish to see this
brave man, who had no small fame; they came from all sides to
greet him, and saw a man more than six feet tall, with a broad
chest, large hands and feet, a fine face, a clear eye, and the
air of one born to rule. He wore a blue coat, with buff small
clothes, and a black plume in his hat.

Wash-ing-ton saw, in his turn, a crowd of men of all sorts and
kinds, rude and rough in their looks, and with odd kinds of
arms, no two of which were alike, in their hands. Some were
in old coats, some in their shirt sleeves. No state suits or
gold bands or fine plumes were there. And when Gen-er-al Wash-ing-ton
went round to the camp, he found things were in a bad state.
Some had straight lines of tents, neat and nice, but most were
in small huts made of boards or stones or turf. The food was
rough and scarce, and the men had not the first means for war;
not as much as would load their guns more than a few times.

It would not have been strange if Wash-ing-ton had felt his
heart sink at such a sight. But he went to work in a brave way
to do the best he could. Some store ships of food fell, by good
luck, in the hands of our men, who had been sent out to get
what they could; so that food was not so scarce. But still they
had no food for their guns, and could not march on the foe.

The Brit-ish troops still held Bos-ton; but could not get food
and wood for fires. The small-pox, too, broke out in their midst.
They had to pull down an old house now and then and burn it
to keep warm; and they sent crowds out of the town to be fed.
They put troops in each church, and made a play house of the
Town Hall. At times they would send out play bills to Wash-ing-ton
and his men. They did not want them to know that things were
so hard with them.

Once in this hall they had a play on the times. It was meant
to show how they were shut in by the foe, and of course to make
fun at the same time. In one part, a man in a dress like Wash-ing-ton,
with a great wig, and a long sword all rust, came on the stage.
By his side was a green lad, with an old gun. This was done
to cast a slur on our men. But just then there was a cry, "The
Yan-kees are on Bunk-er Hill." At first this was thought to
be a part of the play; but when Gen-er-al Howe said, in a loud
voice, "Men, to your posts!" there was great fright. Men ran,
their wives fell in a faint, and all felt there was no fun in
such a scare. In a short time the Eng-lish left Bos-ton; for
they could not be safe from the fire that came down on them
from all the hills round.

But they did not give up the fight. When the King and his court
heard of Bunk-er Hill, they made up their minds they would rule
this land, let it cost what it would. So they cut off our trade
as far as they could, and they brought in all the men they could
find from all lands which would give them help. So you may be
sure they had a great crowd to come on us and try to bend us
to their will. But our folk kept up a stout heart in the face
of all. They felt they had gone too far to go back.

[Illustration: Benjamin Franklin.]

There were some wise men who were known as the "Con-gress,"
who had met in Phil-a-del-phia. They gave it as their mind that
"These States are and of right ought to be free;" and they stuck
to this text. The troops had to fight, and it was the part of
Con-gress to raise the men, the pay, and the arms. It would
seem that they had the worst part to do. To be sure, when they
thought of the past, they might take heart. In the face of such
a foe, it must be said, our men had done well. Doc-tor Frank-lin
felt that way; but there were some rich men who thought it would
be death to the States to make war.

So Con-gress met to see if it were best that they should strike
the blow at once that would make them free. They had more than
one talk on this, and at first the time did not seem ripe. They
were to break all ties with Eng-land, to pay no more tax, and
to try to find help if they could, in their fight to be free.
Some great men wrote out the plan, and you can still see it
in the Hall in Phil-a-del-phia. This sheet is called the "Dec-la-ra-tion
of In-de-pend-ence." It meant that they were bound to be free,
and so they wrote it down. It was made Ju-ly 4th, 1776, and
that is why you hear the noise of fire works and see signs of
joy on each Fourth of Ju-ly since that day.


When the men came to sign this Dec-la-ra-tion, the one who wrote
his name first, said, "We must be one; we must all pull the
same way; we must hang side by side." "Or we shall hang with
none at our side," said Frank-lin. But no doubt there were sad
hearts that day, though these words did raise a laugh.

[Illustration: IN-DE-PEND-ENCE HALL.]

They did not change this dec-la-ra-tion much from the way they
wrote it first. There was one clause on the slave trade which
the men from the South did not like; so it was struck out. There
were twelve States--though they did not call them States in those
days--that gave their vote for it. New York would not vote at
all. The bell of the State House was to ring if the "Dec-la-ra-tion"
should pass. This bell had been put up years since, and one
might read on it, though these are not just the words, "Let
all the land be free." So the old man who was wont to ring this
bell, put his boy at the door of the hall where the men met.

When at last the Dec-la-ra-tion should pass, the man who kept
the door was to make a sign to the boy. You may think how all
hearts beat when this boy ran out with a cry of "Ring, ring;"
and what a peal of joy rang out from the bell! Then the Dec-la-ra-tion
was read to each of the troops, and there were loud cheers on
cheers from all sides. That night the form of George the Third,
on horse-back, which had been wrought in stone, and stood in
one of the squares, was laid low in the dust by the crowd.

Yet for all this brave show, the men were sad at heart. They
knew how poor they were, and how few, and the true state of
the troops, and all that could be brought to put them down.
They set out to make a flag of their own; for they had all sorts
of flags at this time. One had a pine tree on a white ground,
and was known as the "pine tree flag." On this flag were words
which meant, "Call to God for help."

When Wash-ing-ton came to take the head of the troops, he had
a new flag made with stripes of red and white, as now; but on
one end was a red and white cross, like that which marks the
Brit-ish flag. This flag went with our troops in Bos-ton, when
the Brit-ish took up their march out of that place. But, by
vote of Con-gress, a change was made, and it was said that our
flag must have red and white stripes, and white stars on a blue
ground--a star and a stripe for each State. Now when they make
a new State, they put a new star on our flag. Count them and
see how strong we are.

The first man to hoist the new flag was Cap-tain Paul Jones.
He was at the head of a man-of-war, and from that ship it was
first flung out on the breeze. This is the flag that now waves
in town and camp, and on our ships to all the ports of the land.
We have more stars now, but the stripes stay the same.



Up to this time, most of the fights had been round Bos-ton.
But Wash-ing-ton now saw that there would be a move made on
New York; so he sent Gen-er-al Lee to help keep the town, and
he soon went there too. Some men came to their aid from the
South, and Lord Howe, with a great mass of Eng-lish troops,
were there to meet them. Lord Howe had word from King George
first to speak of peace, but he did not know to whom he should
speak. He wrote a note to "George Wash-ing-ton;" but our chief
would not read it, as he said his true name, as head of the
troops,  should be on it. So Lord Howe wrote no more. He saw
that the  hour to fight had come.

At first the A-mer-i-can troops came to grief, and Wash-ing-ton
and his men had to make their way back for a time. The Brit-ish
took heart from this, and our men were sad. They were poor,
and had few clothes, and some had no shoes for that long, hard
march; so that one could track their steps by the blood on the

Wash-ing-ton saw there was no time to lose, and he must strike
a swift blow. He knew there were troops of Ger-mans at Tren-ton,
and that they still held to the ways of their land. Do you know
the name of that day when you have a tree with nice gifts and
lights hung on it? It is the day when Christ was born, and which
we keep to this time for His sake. Well, Wash-ing-ton knew these
folk would cling to the ways of their old homes. That they would
keep the feast and be off their guard. So on the eve of that
day he set out to march on them with his men. A storm of sleet
came up in the night, but they went on, and when the dawn rose,
these brave men, who had come through the snow and ice, stood
in ranks for the fight. Some one wrote a note, and a man ran
all the way to Tren-ton to warn the Ger-mans. But they were
at cards. The Gen-er-al had his cards in his hands, and it was
his turn to play. He must look at his cards first.

Yes, his life is at stake, but he does not know it. In the dim
gray of the dawn our men march in on them. There is the sound
of wheels and a shout. Co-lon-el Kall hears the drums beat,
and the cards drop from his hands--too late! He got his death
in that fight, and all his men were held and bound. These things
put our troops in heart once more, and it was the wish of all
to go on; but they had a hard, sad time through the days of
storm and cold at Val-ley Forge.

If we could see that camp at Val-ley Forge, in our mind's eye,
we would know how much those poor men had to bear in this war
to make us free. They had lost some by death, and more were
ill. They had so few clothes to put on when they slept, that
some sat up all night by the fires to keep warm. At one time
there were few who had shoes, and the sick had to lie on the
bare ground, for want of straw. The head men had to wear old
quilts or bed spreads round in the camp, to keep them warm,
for want of the right kind of clothes.

The troops were not paid; or the sort of pay they got would
not buy them food. Food was so scarce that, at last, the pass
word was, "No food--no man." There were men in this camp who
had been at the court of kings; who had fed on rich food, and
had wine to drink, and now they were like to starve.

All this time Wash-ing-ton did his best to keep up the heart
of his troops. He did not tell Con-gress how few and worn they
were; and there were those who gave him blame that he did not
do great things with these few worn out men. All this time the
Brit-ish troops in Phil-a-del-phia had what they chose of good
fare, and led a gay life. Some of them, with Gen-er-al Bur-goyne
at their head, in the mean time, had two or three fights with
our men, but found they did not gain much. At last they were
glad to go back. Just as they made a move to do so, our men
had the luck to hem them in on all sides in one place and won
the day. This was at Sar-a-to-ga. This was good news to those
in Val-ley Forge. It brought cheer to them, and they felt brave
to go on.

In Eng-land men did not know what to make of our luck. It made
a stir in France, where we had friends; and some of their young
men came here to join our troops. We had some great French men
with us at that time. One whose name is still held in love by
all--the great La-fa-yette.

At this time France made a vow to us that she would stand our
friend, and give us aid. When this was known in Eng-land, fears
rose on all sides; for they knew how much help France could
give, and how strong it would make us. They sent men over to
talk to us of peace, but it was too late. The A-mer-i-cans had
no thought but to be free, and they would take no less than
that. But these men still came, and thought they would see what
bribes could do. A large sum of gold was held out to Gen-er-al
Reed, if he would aid their cause. He said, "I am not worth
so much; but such as I am, the King of Eng-land has not so much
gold as would buy me!"

[Illustration: PAUL JONES'S SEA FIGHT.]

But the aid from France was less than they thought it would
be. Fleets were sent, but they gave small help to the cause.
And so the war went on for three years more. At times our men
would make a good fight, and then there would be dark days when
the foe had things all his own way. The Eng-lish had paid some
tribes of In-di-ans to fight on their side; and once there was
a sad scene, where men and their wives and babes were put to
death by these fierce wild men. This was not war, of course.
We give it a much worse name.

Then there were sea-fights. In one of these, the men on the
ships fought three hours, and the ships took fire more than
once; but at last the Brit-ish gave up. In that ship the man
who took the lead on our side was Paul Jones.

There is a tale told of what the brave wife of one of those men,
to whom we give the name of Friends, did for our cause at this
time. Gen-er-al Howe made his home in her house, a long low
brick one, at Tren-ton. He said to her one day, "I want to have
some friends here to night, and I would like to have the spare
back room to meet them in."

"It shall be as thee says," said Friend Ruth.

"See that all the folks in the house are in bed at a good hour,"
said Gen-er-al Howe.

"I will move that they go," said Friend Ruth.

So when the men came to see Gen-er-al Howe that night, it was
all still in the house. Friend Ruth let them in.

"You may go to bed and stay till I call," said Gen-er-al Howe.

Ruth went to her room and lay down awhile; but did not take
off her clothes. She must know what these men meant to do. At
last she took off her shoes and went to the door of the room,
and put her ear to the key hole. This is what she heard. Some
one reads, "Our troops will make a move by stealth on the foe,
and we will take them ere they know we are on them!"

There was no more sleep for Friend Ruth that night. She lay
in her bed till dawn; but all her aim was to think of a plan
to help our troops, and not to let them fall in the snare. At
last she hit on a plan to get out of the lines. She was in need
of some flour; and to get flour, she must go to a grist mill,
for they did not sell it at stores in those days. Gen-er-al
Howe could not say he would not let her get flour, as he ate
at her house; so he gave her a pass. While they ground the grist
for her at the mill, she rode on as fast as she could, till
she came to one of our guards. She said some words to him in
a low voice, and rode back, got her flour, and was home in no

When Gen-er-al Howe came on our troops the next day, he found
them all drawn up in rank and file in good trim to meet him.
He thought it best not to have a fight at all; and it was a
strange thing to him how they could have known of his move.

Down in the South there were brave men at the head of our troops.
One was Ma-ri-on, who led his men through the woods by paths
that were known to few. They gave him the name of the "Swamp
Fox," and the Brit-ish cast slurs on him, and said he would
not come out for a fight in a bold way, but took their posts
at night, and when they were off guard. But he gave them a proof
of what he could do, when he and Greene fought them and won
the day in a fair field. Greene made such a name in this fight
that he took rank next to Wash-ing-ton from that time.

We have to tell a sad tale now of one of our own men--a man,
too, who had won fame in the war. He had shown that he was brave;
but men did not like him much, for he thought more of his own
gain than of his land, and he had the wish for a high place,
which he did not get. His name was Ben-e-dict Ar-nold, and his
bad act was, that he made a plan to sell his own land to the
Eng-lish. He wrote to the foe all he could of the moves our
troops were to make, and their state, but he did not sign his
own name. Once he had his camp at the head of some men at West
Point, and he made up his mind to give this place, which was
strong with forts, to the Brit-ish. This he would have done,
and the whole land would have come to grief, but for a chance
that brought the vile plan to light.

One day a young man rides down the path by the stream. There
is a wood of oak near. On the ground, by the trees, there are
three young men. They have a game of cards. They have been out
all night, and have sat down to rest.

They hear the sound of hoofs.

"Some one on his way to New York for trade," says one.

His friend peers out. "No; his clothes are too good for that,"
he says.

All three spring to their feet, and cry, "Halt!"

The man on the horse stops, and says, "I hope you are on our

"Which side is that?" cry the men.

"The side of the King."

"All right," they say; for they wish to find out more.

"Thank God, I am once more with friends!" he says, as he takes
out his gold watch. "I must get on. I am in great haste."

"We can not let you go," say the men.

"But I have a pass."


"Gen-er-al Ar-nold's."

"You must get off your horse."

"But, I tell you, you will get in a scrape if you stop me. Read
this pass."

[Illustration: MA-JOR AN DRÉ.]

"No good. You said you were Brit-ish; we must search you."

"I have naught."

"We will see. Take off your coat."

The coat is laid off, and the boots. Ah, what is this? The hand
of Ar-nold in this; and "West Point" the date. A shout went
up, "He is a spy!"

He was a young Eng-lish man by the name of An-dré. He took his
watch and purse, and said he would give them all, if they would
let him go free. They would not, but took him to the near A-mer-i-can
Post to try him. Of course, what Ar-nold had done all came out.
He had known this would be the case, for as soon as the news
was brought that An-dré was in the hands of our men, he took
leave of his wife, gave a kiss to his boy, and sped on his way
to an Eng-lish ship. He got to Eng-land, and was paid a large
sum of gold; and they gave him a fine place at the head of some
troops; but no man would make a friend of him. The Eng-lish
had been glad to use him, but they would not take him by the

You may think what a life he had. His own land had cast him
out, but he came back to fight her at the head of the foe. But
the new land where he had made his home had no real place for
him. Once in the great house in Eng-land, where the wise men
meet to talk of their laws, one rose to make a speech. But when
he saw Ar-nold in a seat near him, he said, "I will not speak
while that man is in the house." Long years after, when one
of the great men of France had it in his mind to come to this
land, he went to Ar-nold for some notes to his friends. Ar-nold
said, "I was born in A-mer-i-ca. I spent my youth there; but
Ah! I can call no man in A-mer-i-ca my friend."

In the mean time An-dré, the young Eng-lish man, who had met
Ar-nold, and got the plans which were to give us up in to the
hands of the foe, was shown to be a spy. There was but one doom
for a spy. He must be hung. All felt for his fate. He was young,
and had a fine face, and the air of good birth; but his hour
had come. Tears were shed at his death; though he was our foe.
All knew he was a brave man, who had not been slow to risk his
life in the cause of his land. He thought he was right, and
took all means to serve his own ends. For Ar-nold, who would
have sold his own, there was but hate, and they gave him a name
which would serve to show what his crime had been to all time--Ar-nold
the Trai-tor!

All this while the French had been our friends; but they had
not met with a chance to show what they could do, till a great
fight came which made an end of this war. This was at a place
by the name of York-town, in Vir-gin-ia. Wash-ing-ton was there
with his troops, and the French Gen-er-al, who had a hard name,
which you may learn one of these days, was with him at the head
of his men. They took the best works of the Brit-ish, and made
such a brave stand, that Lord Corn-wal-lis thought it would
be wise to leave by night, with all his troops. But a storm
came, and they could not get off, so they all had to give up
to Wash-ing-ton.

There was a grand scene that day, in the fall of 1781, when
Wash-ing-ton and his French friends stood in two ranks, and
their old foes took up a slow march by them, and laid down their
arms as they went. Great was the joy in all the land when the
news was known. Those who woke that night in Phil-a-del-phia,
heard the watch cry, "Past two o'clock and Corn-wal-lis is ours!"
When the news came to Con-gress, they sent out word for a day
to be set, in all the States, to give thanks to God, and all
who were held for debt, or for crime, or what cause it might
be, were set free, that they might share the great joy.

Well might they all be glad, for this meant the end of the war.
It had cost them dear in gold as well as lives; but it had been
worse for Eng-land than for them. The sums she had spent were
vast, and one could not count the lives she had lost. Add to
this the fact that she had lost this great land, which had once
been all her own, and now was made free. Our land now took a
new name. You can read it, I know, though it is not in short
words, "The U-nit-ed States of A-mer-i-ca."



When peace came, the men who had been in camp went to their
own homes. They were all poor, and did not know what to do.
There was no gold in the land, but a kind of cash which was
so bad that it took more than you could count to buy a pair
of shoes. Gen-er-al Wash-ing-ton found his task more hard to
keep all in good cheer, now there were no fights on hand, than
when they were at war. There had to be a tax on some things
to keep all right, and they did not want to pay the tax, or
their debts at this time. Wash-ing-ton felt that things were
at loose ends, and he must make them more strong.

[Illustration: GEORGE WASH-ING-TON.]

Each State had a wish to be first; and it would seem that, with
no foe to fight, they were on the point of war with their own
selves. There was need of a strong hand to rule the whole land.
So men were sent out of each State to meet in Phil-a-del-phia
and talk of the best plan. They had a long talk, and at last
wrote what we call the "Con-sti-tu-tion." Ten of the States
gave it their vote at once; but three held back for a while.

There were grand times in our land when it was known that the
Con-sti-tu-tion was to be our guide; that we were to be in truth,
"The U-nit-ed States of A-mer-i-ca," with one will, one aim,
one soul as it were, while time should last.

A great crowd came out in Phil-a-del-phia to show their joy.
Each trade had its men there, with the tools of the trade in
their hands. There was a grand car, made in the shape of that
bird which we chose as the sign of our land. It was drawn by
six steeds, and in it sat those who were to judge the folk in
our great courts. They held a staff, and on it was our "Con-sti-tu-tion,"
in a frame, and on the top of the staff a cap, which we might
call the cap of the free--a kind they were fond of in France
at that time. There were ten ships on the river, gay with flags
and gilt, to show forth the ten States that had cast their vote
in the right way.

George Wash-ing-ton was made the first Pres-i-dent, and as he
took his way to New York, which was then the seat of rule, he
met joy and kind words on all the route.

At Tren-ton, where he had fought, there was an arch thrown out
on a bridge, where he must pass. This was hung with wreaths,
and young girls stood with hands full of sweet buds and bloom,
which they flung in his path, as they sung a song to greet him,
and thank him for all he had done.


As he drew near New York, a barge came out to meet him. It had
a crew all in white, and was meant to show the States--a man
for each State. Then more boats came to join them, with our
flag on each. Wash-ing-ton was led in great state to his new
home. When the time came for him first to meet with the folk
and take the oath to be true to the Con-sti-tu-tion, there was
such a rush to the place that some one said, "One might walk
on the heads of the crowd." When Wash-ing-ton came out where
all could see him, and the oath was read to him, and he took
it, a great cheer rent the air, and a cry rang out, "Long live
George Wash-ing-ton, Pres-i-dent of the U-nit-ed States." There
was a flag flung out from that Hall, a peal of bells rang, and
a blast was sent out from the guns, to show the joy and the
love with which they took him for their chief. This was on April
30, 1789.

War is bad for all folks; for it is hard, when it is past, for
men to learn the arts of peace. Wash-ing-ton found the whole
land in debt. They did not want a tax, and the red men were
still their foes. But in a few years he made a great change.
The In-di-ans were put down, and France and Spain and Eng-land
were brought to deal with us as friends. It was a man by the
name of John Jay, who wrote out the terms with Eng-land, and
so we had peace for a time.

Just then there was a great fight in France, not with a foe,
but in their own midst. The men there had seen how our land
had won the day, and they had a mind to be free and have no
King. They did not go at it in the same way that we did; but
shed much blood of their own folk, and cut off the heads of
their King and Queen, and did things which made good men sad.
But they said they did it all to be free. There was a reign
of fright for a time. But at last, the mob could rule no more,
and they were glad to take a King.

Wash-ing-ton kept up great state, for those times, in his own
home, and when he drove out he had a state coach, cream white
in hue, and drawn by six steeds on state days. He took but one
horse on the Lord's day, when he rode to church. This coach
was of the shape of a half sphere, and had wreaths, and the
forms of small fat boys with wings, drawn on it in gay tints.
He set days for all to come and see him in his home. Those who
came would see Wash-ing-ton in front of the fire place, and near
him the band of great men who gave him help with their wise words.
He would be, seen in a coat of black, with a vest of white or
pearl, and buff gloves. His hair was made white with a kind
of dust they had in use in those days; and it was put in a sort
of silk bag at the back of his head. That was a queue.

He would have his hat in his hand, and he wore a long sword.
He did not shake hands with his guests, but made them a bow,
and had some word for each. His wife, too, had times for her
friends to come; and all must be in full dress--the dames in
low necks and short sleeves. On the birth day of Wash-ing-ton,
men would meet to dine in all the large towns; and those who
made rhymes would write odes to the great man. There were some
who did not like all this state and form and show. They thought
it was too much like the style of kings in the old land, and
they would have been glad to have a new mode here. They did
not wish to see a Judge in a robe of red, or the man who was
to preach in the church in a wig, with gown and bands. They
were for plain dress and plain ways.

You may see now bits of the stiff, rich silks of those days,
or it may be a quaint old gown, rich in lace, which has been
kept from that time. You may see in your mind the dame who wore
it, as she waves her fan, sent from France, with the head of
Wash-ing-ton on it. The hair of this dame would be drawn high
on her head, and made white with the dust of which I spoke,
and put in great puffs. The men whose trade it was to dress
hair in those days had such a crowd of folks to fix, that they
had to get up at four to do the work. I have heard of great
dames who sat up all night to keep their hair in good style
for some ball, or the play. The men, too, thought quite as much
of dress as their wives, and in those days they did not wear
plain cloth suits as now. Then a man put on a wig, and a white
stiff stock, that held up his chin; a vest of white silk, it
may be with rose-buds on it, and all the rest of his clothes
were rich.

It was the mode to have a snuff box in those days; it might
be of gold, or some dear stuff, with much work on it, and when
one met a friend they would be as sure to stop and take a pinch
of snuff as to lift the hat in our time.

[Illustration: SPIN-NING WHEEL.]

They gave Balls in those days, which were quite grand, but they
did not dance in the same way as now. They had all sorts of
slow steps and bows. There was a kind of stiff grace in their
style, and some would like it more now, than the rush and whirl
of our mode of to-day. The dames were borne in a sort of chair
through the streets to these Balls.

All this was the way of life with the rich. The poor still wore
the clothes they spun and wove, and they made their own lights,
and struck fire with two flints. They had not seen a match then,
and did not dream of gas, or of the strange new light which has
been found in our time. They went to bed with the chicks, and
rose when the cock crew. The towns at the North throve the best.
At the South towns were few, and in the far West the foot of
man had not yet found its way.

[Illustration: COT-TON PLANT.]

Those brave men who had first come to this land, had seen here
and there in the South a strange plant. It had a sort of bulb
full of a fine white down, and those who had seen it in hot
lands knew it could be spun, and cloth made from it. It was
not hard to make it grow; but the white fluff was so full of
seeds that it took a whole day to get a pound free from them.
Wise men saw in this plant a great fund of wealth for the States.
So they set to work to find a quick way to take the seed out.

There was a man in the East who heard of this, and set his brain
to work. He was a young man by the name of E-li Whit-ney; and
he had not seen the plant when he took it in his head that he
could find a way to "gin" it; for that is the name of the work.
He had to walk all the way to one of the towns at the South,
to get the seed, and as he had no tools or wire, he had to make
them. You may think that was slow work, but he had a strong
will, and when he had made a rude "gin," he bade his friends
come and see how it would do. All saw that it would work well;
but some thieves broke in his house at night and stole it. So
there was a long time that the man who made the "gin" got nought
for it. For those who stole it made gins like it and sold them.
These gins did the work well and fast, and so there grew up
a great trade for us in this soft white fluff.

It is made in cloth for you to wear, and is spread on your beds,
and will take all sorts of bright dyes. We sell it to all the
world, and wealth flows in on all sides. This would not have
been the case had not the young man, E-li Whit-ney, made the

The death of one of the great men of the land came to pass at
this time. We have told you of Ben-ja-min Frank-lin. He was
born in Bos-ton, and he was the son of a poor man. But he knew
how to print, and he set up a press in a room where he could
print each morn the news of the day. He did not scorn to sell
all sorts of wares as well, such as rags, ink, soap, and such
things. He had read a great deal, and found out more than those
round him knew. You have seen the sharp light play in the dark
clouds in a storm. You know that it strikes at times; it may
be a house or a barn or a man, and that the one who is struck
is apt to die.

Well, Frank-lin thought that this light could be drawn down
from the skies, and when he heard a laugh at this, he set to
work to prove it. He sent his son out one day in a storm, with
a kite in his hand. As a low black cloud went by, they saw the
fierce light tear through it; it would seem that the light ran
down the string of the kite. Frank-lin had put a key on this
string, and when he made his friends touch that key, they drew
sparks from it. So they saw that he had found out a great thing;
and from that has come the plan of the rods that are now put
on a house to keep it safe in a storm. This gave him fame here
and in the rest of the world. He was sent to France and made
strong friends for us there. He is said to have done more good
works for his land than all the rest of the men of his time.
So it is not strange that all felt sad when death took him from

The French, too, met in their great hall to mourn his loss;
and one of their chiefs said, "The sage whom two worlds claim
as their own is dead;" and they wore crape on their arms for
three days, for his sake.

While Wash-ing-ton had the rule of the land, more new States
came in. The first of these was Ver-mont. This State was full
of green hills and strong brave men, who had cut down the trees
and made homes there. Once New York laid claim to this land,
but they could not drive these brave men out. They thought they
had a right to the soil, and they sent a man, by name E-than
Al-len, to talk with the men of New York. He was met with gibes
and sneers, but he would not yield. He said to them in words
from the good Book, "Our gods are gods of the hills, so they
are more strong than yours."

So when the men from New York came to drive out those who had
made homes in the midst of these hills, they found a stout foe.
The Vermont boys would take those who came and tie them to trees
and whip them with rods from the beech trees. To this they gave
the name of "the beech seal;" and those from New York did not
care to have the "beech seal" put on them more than once. They
grew mad, of course, and they sent out bills in which they set
forth that they would give a good price for the head of E-than
Al-len. But in time peace was made in these two States, when
they had fought side by side in the great war. And so Ver-mont
was brought in and took that name, which means "Green Hills."

The next State that came in was Ken-tuck-y. This land was next
to Vir-gin-ia, and for a time held to be a part of that State.
The first man who made his way through its wild woods and hills
was Dan-iel Boone, who had won a name for the way he could go
in to the nooks and glens and trap wild beasts for their fur.
He took a small band of men with him, and they had no fear,
but went far in where man had not yet trod, to hunt or fish,
or make salt at the "Salt Licks" or springs. He built forts
and held them with his few friends for quite a time, spite of
the red men. But once they took him and bound him, and thought
they could make him one of them; so much did they like his strength
and pluck, but he got free. When men heard of his brave deeds,
more came to help him. The most of them were from Vir-gin-ia,
and brought their slaves with them.

The In-di-ans were in a rage at all this new force, and made
the best fight they could to drive them from the soil; so that
whole land came to be known as the "Dark Land of Blood." In
time, peace was made, and the land grew to a State by the name
of Ken-tuck-y.

Wash-ing-ton held his post for two terms, or eight years, and
he did not wish to serve more. So John Ad-ams was the choice
of all, for the next chief of our land.



John Ad-ams was one of the men who gave his help to write out
the "Dec-la-ra-tion of In-de-pend-ence," of which you have been
told. That was, as you know, the first step to make us free.
In it we had made known that we would make our own laws, and
no one should rule us but those in our own land. John Ad-ams
had gone to France at the end of the great war, and had been
one to help make the French our friends. In his time. Wash-ing-ton
was made the home of the Pres-i-dents.

This town took its name from our great chief, and he was the
one to pick out a place for the new site. This home we call
the White House. At this time France did not seem to hold to
the old ties that had made us friends. When our men were sent
to her courts, she would not hear them, and there were some
sea fights with our ships. It would seem that a new war must
come out of this, and Wash-ing-ton had a call from his home
to take the head of the troops. But there was no war, for Na-po-le-on,
a young man, who had shown great tact and strength, got things
in his own hands in France, and we made peace through him with
the French.

There were some who did not like John Ad-ams, for the laws that
he made. One of these laws gave him the right to seize and send
out of our States those who came here from strange lands, though
none could prove they had done wrong. So, though he was a great
man, he did not get votes for a new term.

And now the hour had come when Wash-ing-ton must die. All felt
how much they were in debt to him, for the way he had led them
in the war, and his wise rule in time of peace. He had made
all men his friends in the end, and in the great hall at Wash-ing-ton,
it was then said--the words live to this day, that he was "First
in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of all." He
was sick a long time; and his last words were: "I die hard,
but I do not fear to go!"

No new States came in while Ad-ams had the rule; but the land
grew in worth, and more homes were made here. But there was
a great stretch of wild land still, where the bears and the
wolves could prowl in the woods at will, and no smoke from the
fire on a home hearth was seen in the air.

Jef-fer-son was the third man whom the land chose to be their
chief. He was well known as one of the first to frame the Dec-la-ra-tion.
At this time there was a war of France with Eng-land, and we
had hard work to keep clear of both. For France had made a law
that we should not help her foe; and Eng-land had done the same.
And both sides would take our ships at sea, if they thought
they made trade with the foe. So our ships had hard times, and
did not know what way to steer, lest one should seize them and
take all they had on board. More than this, Eng-land said she
had a right to search our ships and see if we had her men on
board of them, and to take such if found. And once or twice
it came to pass, that they took the whole crew of a ship, so
that there was not a man left in it to sail it.

One day a man-of-war went to search one of our ships for men,
they said, who had run from them. They were in sight of one
of our forts; but when our men would not let the search be made,
a fire was made on our ship, and they took four of the men,
and hung one of them. This was bad for our trade, and made a
great stir in our midst, and woke up the old wrath at Eng-land.

So Con-gress, with a wish to give Eng-land tit for tat, as you
would say, made a law that we should not trade with her, and
our ships should not go out of our own ports. But this, you
know, hurt us more than it hurt Eng-land; and, for a time, Jef-fer-son
came in for a share of the hard thoughts, as though it were
all his fault. Those whose trade had been hurt by the law felt
as if he had been to blame, and the cause of loss to them. There
were, too, on the sea a band of sea thieves, as we might call
them. They were men who came from a wild race, far off, who
would seize ships when they could, and take all the crew and
hold them for slaves, till their friends would pay a good price
for them. It was no strange thing in those days to hear read
out in church the names of those who were slaves to such men.
Great sums of gold were sent to set our men free. At last we
made some terms with these thieves of the sea, but they would
not keep the peace.

Then John Ad-ams sent out four ships to fight these men. We
did not own but six war ships in those days. One of these had
the bad luck to run on the shore in that strange land, so the
foe took it, and the crew were made slaves. There was a brave
young man in one of our ships, who made a plan to get back the
lost boat, which had the same name as the town of "Phil-a-del-phia."
He thought if we could not get her from the foe it would be
best to burn her, so that they could not use her for their own
ends. So he took a small boat which had been won from the foe
in a fight, and put some of our own men in her, and stole up
to the side of the "Phil-a-del-phia" by night. If he was seen--it
was thought to be a boat load of friends--but they soon went
to work, and when they got on board, the fight was short and
fierce. The "Phil-a-del-phia" was theirs in no time; but they
found they could not move her, so they set her on fire, and
set sail once more, and did not lose a man. All this won a name
and fame for the young man, whose name was De-ca-tur, and in
time there grew up such a fear of him in those wild States that
they were glad to make peace and take no more slaves.


Jef-fer-son's mode of life was not like Wash-ing-ton's had been.
He did not care for fine things or a state-coach, but was plain
in all his ways. He did not go to the House in a coach and six,
but rode on a horse which he would tie to a post while he went
in to read his speech. In time he did not go at all, but sent
the speech to be read by some one, and so it is done in our
day. He had no state times for the folk to come and see him;
but on New Year's day and the Fourth of July his doors were
flung wide, and all might call who had the wish to do so. He
did not let men know when his birth day came, so that no feasts
should be kept, and odes made on it. He made the debt of the
land less in his time. He thought that all men had a right to
vote, and at that time there were those who did not hold such


There was one great law that came to pass in Jef-fer-son's time.
This was to keep out the slave trade. This trade tore the black
man from his home, and sold him to those who would pay the most.
He must leave his wife, his boys and girls, and see them no more,
and be brought in the dark hold of a ship to a strange land,
where he did not know their speech. Here he must work at his
strange tasks, with no hope and no joy in his life. Jef-fer-son
felt that the slave trade was wrong, and he had the wish to
see it brought to an end. He thought it gave us a bad name.
But there were those in Con-gress who did not feel in that way.
They said if it was right to hold slaves at all, it could not
be wrong to bring them here. So the talk grew fierce, some on
this side and some on that; but, in the end, the law was made.
Spite of this law, the trade went on by stealth for years, though
the ships of more lands than one came to the aid of the slaves
to break up this bad trade. In the States there was no law to
say that slaves should not be bought and sold, and so this went
on till the last war.

One grand thing that came to be made in the time of Jef-fer-son
was the steam boat. There were ships with sails, and boats that
went by oars, but none that went by steam. The first one that
was made would go four miles an hour; but it was not on the
same plan as those we have now. The first made like those now
in use, was built by Rob-ert Ful-ton, in 1807. Men then had
not much faith in it, and would laugh at it as they do at most
new things. Ful-ton said no one spoke a kind word of it; but
when they came to see the launch, and took note of its speed,
those who came to mock were glad to cheer.

The first steam boat made on his plan was the "Cler-mont," and
went at the rate of five miles an hour, spite of wind and tide.
As it went on its way, it sent such a great mass of sparks up
in the air, and the noise of its wheels was so loud that when
the crews of the ships that came in its way saw it, they would
drop on their knees in fright, and pray to be kept safe from
this strange thing. But, in time, more were made, and men saw
that there was naught to fear in these great steam boats, though
they did seem to breathe out fire and smoke. Still, at first,
they did not dare to cross the sea in them.

[Illustration: FUL-TON'S "CLER-MONT" STEAM-ER.]

There was a great tract of land in the west, which Jef-fer-son
bought for the U-nit-ed States from the French. Part of it is
now known as the State of Lou-i-si-ana, and took its name from
the French King. One of the great streams of the world runs
through it. Do you know its name?

Jef-fer-son sent men to find out all they could of this land
he had bought; what kind of tribes of red men were in it, what
wild beasts were in the wood, and what sort of plants grew there.
These men took with them food, fire arms, and gifts for the
chiefs of the red men. They were gone two or three years; and
made their camps in the woods, when the cold and storm were
so great they could not go on. They went up the great stream
to the falls where no white man had been, and then they went
on and found the source of the stream. They wrote of all they
saw, and men read it in their homes. They read of new tribes
of red men; of herds of wild beasts, so large that one herd
would take up a stream a mile wide. They said some of tribes
were poor, but some had good homes and fine steeds, which they
would sell for a few beads. They found, too, they could make
a great trade for furs with these tribes. There was one man
who made a post for this trade. It is said he bought furs by
the weight, and would put his hand or foot in the scale, and
call it a pound. You may think how much fur it would take to
weigh them down.

The next chief of our land was James Mad-i-son. When he came
in, he found that men were once more in a state of wrath with
Eng-land. You see they felt it hard that our ships should have
to let Eng-land stop them and search them as she chose. So at
last it came to war, and at first we did not win at all. The
red men took part with our foe; and one chief, by name of Te-cum-seh,
made a plan to join all the tribes of In-di-ans in war on the
whites. He took part in all the fights, and made a brave stand,
but he fell at last.

Though we did not win much on land, we had good luck on the
sea. We took one of Eng-land's ships; but then they in turn
took one of ours, and a brave man, who fought with his crew
at the head of it, fell, shot with his death wound. "Don't give
up the ship!" was his cry with his last breath.

These words, "Don't give up the ship," were put on a flag, which
was held in a great fight that took place at that time. There
were nine ships on our side, and six on the side of the foe.

This flag was put on our flag ship, and a brave man fought for
it. His name was Per-ry. The flag ship was lost; but Per-ry
flew to a small boat with his flag, and got to the next ship.
He fought so well that he won the day, and the Brit-ish lost
all their six ships. Such a thing had not been known till that
time. When the Brit-ish gave up, Per-ry wrote, "We have met
the foe, and they are ours!"

There was war for three years; and in the last year the Brit-ish
took some of our towns on the coast south, and set fire to the
State Hall and Pres-i-dent's house at Wash-ing-ton. They made
a raid on New Or-leans, but we had a man there who built up
miles of bales for a sort of breast works, and fought back of
them with our troops, so they did not get that town; and this
was the last fight of the war.

Peace was made, and both sides were glad to sign it. From this
time the Eng-lish laid claim to no right of search in our ships.
This was known for a time as the "Late War," but since then we
have had more wars, so it would not do to call it by that name
now. But from that day we have had peace with Eng-land, and
may it long last.

Now came a time of peace when the land grew, and men went west
and made homes, and built flour mills, and cut down trees, so
that in a short time a wild place would change in to a town;
and you would see a church spire point up to the sky, and a
school with its crowd of young ones at their tasks.



Mad-i-son had two terms of rule, and then Mon-roe was the next
choice of the land. He had fought in the great war, and had
a high place in the States. He had shown that he was a brave
man, and was the one sent to France when our land bought Lou-i-si-ana.

When he was made Pres-i-dent, he made a tour of all the posts
north and east, to see what strength they would have in case
of war. He wore a blue coat that was home-spun, and was plain
in all his dress. He won the hearts of all by his frank ways.
He met all men as friends, and had no pride and pomp to keep
them far off; he was as one of them. He thought more of the
good of his land than his own. One said of him, "If we could
turn his soul in side out, not a spot could be found on it."
When he came to die, he was poor in purse but rich in a good

The red men were not at peace in his time, and there was one
more cause of strife, and that was the slaves. Since the first
ship load of slaves had been brought in, the trade had grown
more and more at the South. The men at the North had grown to
like this trade less and less. It had been thought at first
it would soon die out, but they saw this would not be the case.
At last there was a strife each time that a State, that held
slaves, would want to come in. The free States would cry out
that it was wrong to have more slave States.

Those at the South said that when a free State was brought in,
there ought to be a slave State too, or else the North would
grow too strong, and have things all their own way. And so there
was a fight when the time came for the State of Mis-sou-ri to
come in. I do not mean that they went to war with shot and shell.
This was a war of words. The North said that it was wrong to
buy and sell men, and to break up homes; that it was bad for
the men who held slaves, and for those in bonds, and that the
first men of the land had the wish to get rid of it. The South
said that if the great men of the land had the wish to get rid
of it, they still kept their own slaves; that it was the best
state for the black men; that they could learn more than in
their own wild land; that white men could not work out of doors
in the hot time, and so the crops could not be grown if the
black man was made free.

At last Con-gress let Mis-sou-ri come in as a slave State, but
made a law that a line should be drawn in the land. North of
this line there could be no slaves. South of it men could keep
slaves or not, just as they chose; men look on this now as a
weak move. At that time the slaves were few, and the trade not
great, so it might have been put down with more ease. But with
time it grew so strong that it took long years and a great war
to crush it out. Five new States came in while Mon-roe was at
the head of the land.

John Quin-cy Ad-ams came next. He was the son of the Pres-i-dent
of the same name, and had been nine years old when he heard
the Dec-la-ra-tion read from the State House in Bos-ton. Since
then the land had grown to a vast size, and was at peace. Much
was done in his time to make our land thrive and grow. The red
men were made to move west, and their lands were bought.

In his time, the first rail road was built. It was but three
miles long, and it was a horse that drew the car and not steam.
The first use of steam came in more late from Eng-land. The
first steam car did not make much speed; but it was thought
to be a great thing. Still there were those who said it would
not be worth much; that it could not draw its own weight, but
that its wheels would spin round and round on the rail. Some
thought that if it were made to go, it would be bad for the
farms; would scare off the cows and sheep, and the smoke would
make the sheep's wool black. But their fears were laid at rest
in time by the sight of these cars as they ran on in peace,
and brought none of these ills to pass.

[Illustration: FIRST STEAM EN-GINE.]

In the same year the land had to mourn the death of two great
men. Strange to say, they went on the same day, and that was
the Fourth of July. Both these men had put their names on the
great Dec-la-ra-tion, and they had grown to be strong friends.
Jef-fer-son heard the fire of a gun, just as he went. His last
words were, "Is this the Fourth?"

Ad-ams, who lay near to death, saw the sun set and heard the
shouts from those who kept the day in his town. He sent them
word to hold fast the rights that day had brought them; and
the old man could hear the cheer that they gave at his words.

At this time there was a great talk of a sort of tax to be put
on all goods brought here from far lands. This we call a tar-iff,
and we hear a great deal of it in this day. There are those
who think a high tax should be put on all goods made out of
our own land, so as to keep them out and give those made here
a chance. There are some who think that all trade should be
free; and that ships should sail here with what they choose
and land it, with no one to see what it is, and put a tax on

Ad-ams, in his time, was for a high tax, and for this cause
he did not have but one term as our chief. Those who did not
want the tax had the most votes, and they chose An-drew Jack-son
for the next man. He had been well known in the war, and had
built up those breast works in New Or-leans of which we have
told you, from which our men beat the Brit-ish.

While he was chief, there were some in the South who felt that
the North had more than its share of the wealth of the land.
You see there were more great mills and more goods made in the
North, and the tax on strange goods was too much help to those
at home. At least this was so thought by the South, and they
had a plan to cut loose and set up a new band of States. They
had drills of their young men, and got arms, and had made choice
of a man to lead them. His name was John C. Cal-houn, and he
was to be their first chief. But Jack-son said that "if a State
could go out of the band of States when it chose, we would come
to naught;" and he sent troops and ships of war to the South,
and put a stop to all the stir in a short time.

Tribes of the red men had gone out to the far West, but there
were those who would not move. There was a tribe in Flor-i-da
who fought for a long time in the swamps of that land. Some
slaves who had run away from their homes were with them. One
of the chiefs of the red men had a slave for a wife, and when
she went with him to one of our forts, she was held and kept
as a slave, and the chief was put in chains. When he got free,
he made a vow to pay up the white man for all he had borne,
and for the loss of his wife. So he led the red men in this
war. His name was Os-ce-o-la. He was caught at last, and kept
in one of our forts till he died. But the war went on for years,
at a great cost of life, till few of that tribe were left in
the land. And this war cost three times as much as had been
paid for the whole of the State of Flor-i-da.

This war had so much to do with slaves, that all the talk on
the slave trade came up once more. There was a man of that class
of which we have told you--one of the Friends, or Quak-ers,
who put in print his views, that some plan should be made by
which all slaves should be freed in time.

Then a young man, by name of Gar-ri-son, wrote that the best
way was to set all free at once. This made a great stir, and
some said he should be brought to court and made to take back
his words. But he said, "I will speak out what I feel. I will
not go back an inch, and I will be heard." And just at this
time, to make things worse, and stir up great fear in the land,
a slave in Vir-gin-ia, got a mob of black men, and they went
from house to house and put all to death who came in their way.

Gar-ri-son did not like war, and he would not have blood shed;
but there were those who laid all the fault of this at his door.
They said he taught the slave he had a right to be free, and
so this black man rose and took his rights. The slave who had
done so much harm was at last caught, and put in jail and then

Jack-son thought it would be well for Con-gress to pass a bill,
that no thing on the slave trade should go through the mails;
but that bill did not pass. Some were made friends to Jack-son
by this strong course, when the South had a plan to break up
our States, and leave the North; but, of course, there were
those who did not like him for the same cause. He had both strong
friends and foes; but made so good a rule, that he put the land
out of debt, and had a sum left to share with the States. Much
new land was bought in his time.

Jack-son was a great man. He had come from poor folks, and as
a boy he was more fond of sports than of books. His life had
its ups and downs. Once he was in the hands of the foe, and
told he must clean some boots for them. It was too much for
a free born A-mer-i-can to clean Brit-ish boots. It made his
blood boil, and he said with scorn that he would not do such
work. He was not mild or meek, you know, but had a strong will
of his own. And he kept his word spite of blows, and was sent
to jail. There the poor boy had small pox. He knew not where
to turn when he got out of jail, for he was poor, and had no
one left to help him. He had more than one fight in his time,
and scars that he did not gain in war. He was brave through
and through, and won fame where he went. He was in his old home
when he drew his last breath in peace.

When Mar-tin Van Bu-ren came in, the talk on the slave trade
grew worse. A slave child by the name of Med, who had been brought
to Bos-ton by a man, was said to be free by the Court of that
State, as she had trod on free soil. But at the same time some
of the dames who met to take the slaves' part, were set on by
a mob, and Gar-ri-son, who stood up to make them a speech, was
bound with ropes. Then this fierce mob set to work to drag him
through the streets; but some friends got hold of him, and had
to lodge him in jail to save his life. Two schools for the blacks
were set on fire; and one man in the West, who was a great friend
of the slave, met his death at the hands of a mob.

Just at this time there was a plan to bring in Tex-as as a slave
State, and this shook the land from North to South. Long pleas
with the names of a great mass of folks were sent to Con-gress,
to beg them not to let Tex-as come in as a slave State. John
Quin-cy Ad-ams, it is said, spoke an hour a day for twelve days,
on the side of those who would make Tex-as a free State. They
put off the strife at that time, and did not bring Tex-as in
at all. Con-gress made a rule, that no bills that spoke of slaves
should be brought in, and this was in force for ten years.

In Van Bu-ren's time there was a great crash in trade, and hard
times in the land. He did not make the hard times, still he
had but one term for that cause. Men felt a hope that a new
man might bring in a new state of things. They chose Har-ri-son,
who had fought in a brave way in the wars with the red men.

He came from the far West, where his home had once been in a
log house. So he had the name of the Log Cabin man, and the
poor men in the land all felt proud that one of their own kind
was their chief; one who had made his way out of the ranks.
There was a print of that log cabin on all sorts of things,
and toys were made in that form, and songs were made on it,
and sung when men met.

The new Pres-i-dent did not live but one month, and so for the
rest of the four years, John Ty-ler took the rule; but he did
not please those who had cast their votes for him. He would
not let their bills pass: one of which was to form a States
Bank, on which the Whigs had all set their hearts. The State
of Tex-as was brought in at this time.

You have all seen the wires which stretch from pole to pole
in the streets of our great towns, and in lone roads by field
and wood. You know what they are for, and how by means of them
you can send word to a friend in time of need, or hear from
those you love in a flash. It may be a death that is told, or
some news of joy that they can not wait to send by the slow
way of the post.

[Illustration: SAM-UEL F. B. MORSE.]

Well, when James K. Polk was thought of as a good man to make
chief of the land, the news was the first that had been sent
on these wires. The first lines built were made here, and went
from Bal-ti-more to Wash-ing-ton. Morse was the name of the
man who found out how to send news on wires in this way.

At this time there were two great men of whom you should hear,
for their names are on the list of fame, which has stood the
test of time. One was Hen-ry Clay. He was born in the West,
and was poor, but he made his way from the small log school
house, where he went to learn his first task, to rank with the
great men of our land. He could win men to be his friends, when
they had made up their minds to hate him. He had a strong will,
and kept true to his own aims. He spoke with such grace and
force that he could sway men's minds and thrill their hearts.
He has said, "I owe all I have won in life to one fact, that
when I was a boy, and for some years, as I grew up, I would
learn and speak what I read in books. More than one off hand
speech did I make in a corn field or in the woods, or in a barn,
with but an ox or horse to hear me. It is to this I owe much
that has gone to shape and mould my course in life."

One man, who was not his friend, said at his death, "If I were
to write on the stone that marks his place of rest, I would
place there these words: 'Here lies one who led men by his own
force for long years; but did not swerve from the truth, or
call in lies to help him.'"

One more great man died on the same day as Clay. His name was
Web-ster. He was a great states man. He went to school but a
few weeks in all his life. He was then so shy that he could
not pluck up heart to speak a piece in the school. He did not
think that in time to come his words would stir the land. He
says, "I was brave in my own room, and would learn the piece
and speak it there; but when the day came, and I would see all
eyes turn to me, and they would call out my name, I could not
rise from my seat."

In all things but this he stood well at school, and he had a
great wish to learn. But he knew they were all poor at home,
and he felt that he must go to work and help them, fond as he
was of his books. When he heard that he was to go on; that he
should have a chance to make his dream true, he was full of
joy. "I see yet," he said, "the great hill up which we went
that day in the snow. When I heard the news, I could not speak
for joy. There were such a crowd of young ones in our home,
I did not see how they could spare the funds. A warm glow ran
through me; I had to weep."

When he was through school, he at once rose to a high place.
He was at the head of all who spoke in the House. He was grand
and great, but he had a sense of fun in him. Once some one came
to him with one of those books where the names of friends or
great men are kept, with the wish that he would write his name
by the side of John Ad-ams. He wrote:

"If by his name I write my own,
'Twill take me where I am not known;
And the cold words will meet my ear,
Why, friend, and how did you come here?"

When his death was known, there was grief in the length and
breadth of the land. No death since that of Wash-ing-ton was
made such a theme for speech.



In the time of James K. Polk, a war rose in which our States
were not of one mind. Our folk in Tex-as laid claim to a large
tract of land which those in Mex-i-co said was theirs. The States
at the North did not wish to go in to this war; but those at
the South did. This was in 1846. Gen-er-al Tay-lor went with
his troops at once in to the land of the foe, and built a fort
on a stream there. He gave it the name of Fort Brown. On his
way he met the troops of the foe drawn up in the road. They
had three to one of his small band; but he had the good luck
to rout them, with loss of but nine men on our side.

Then he took up his march on their great town, which had the
name of Mon-te-rey. This town had high hills and deep gulfs
round it, and strong forts. Its streets were full of men with
arms. Gen-er-al Tay-lor made a grand move on the town. To get
out of the fire that would seem to pour on them from the roofs,
the troops went in and dug their way through stone walls from
house to house, or they would pass from roof to roof. Ere they
came to the grand place of the town, it was in their hands,
the foe gave up the fight.

[Illustration: CAP-TURE OF MON-TE-REY.]

At this time San-ta An-na, who was chief of the Mex-i-can troops,
heard that most of our men had been drawn off to help Gen-er-al
Scott; so he thought it would be a good time to crush us. They
laid in wait with all their best troops, and the fight went
on from the rise of the sun till dark. It grew hard to hold
our ground, and the day would have been lost but for the guns
of Cap-tain Bragg, who came to our help. He made a dash up to
a few yards from the foe, and let fire. Their ranks were seen
to shake. "Some more grape. Cap-tain Bragg," said Gen-er-al
Tay-lor. One more round, and then a third came, and the Mex-i-cans
broke and fled. In the night San-ta An-na drew all his troops

Gen-er-al Scott, at the head of our troops, made a march through
the land of Mex-i-co, and took all that came in his way. He drew
siege lines round the town of Ve-ra Cruz, and sent bombs in
to it, and in four days the town, with its strong hold, gave
up the fight. A week from that time our troops took up their
march for the chief town. At one pass in the hills, the foe
had a strong hold. Gen-er-al Scott had a road cut round the
base of those hills and through the woods; and then he was in
a place to pour out fire on the rear of the foe, while more
troops took him in front. The foe fled in such haste that San-ta
An-na, who was lame, left his leg of wood on the ground, and
got off on his wheel mule.

The town of Mex-i-co is in the midst of a grand plain, with
green fields and cloud capt mounts round it. The foe had made
a strong stand here, with forts and men. Our men made a move
in the night. It was so dark they had to feel their way; but
they took their stand on a height from which they could storm
the strong points of the foe. At last they took some of the
guns, and the roads were laid bare to the gates of the town.

There was some talk of a peace then, but Gen-er-al Scott found
that it was not in good faith. The foe did it to gain time,
to make things strong once more. So the next day, he took up
his march on the great town of Mex-i-co. A strong fort, on a
high rock by the town, was made ours; each out work fell one
by one, and at last our troops took the great Ci-ty of Mex-i-co,
and the next morn our flag with its stripes and stars was seen
to float in the light from those grand old piles, which had
been the home of more than one prince of Mex-i-co. So the war
came to an end in just two years.

Till this time, Cal-i-for-nia had been known as a far off land,
to which men went by sea, round Cape Horn, to buy hides and
fur. But in 1848, came news to the East-ern States that there
were gold mines in that place. It was said that a Swiss had
found, as he dug in the sand, a bright sort of dust, and it
was thought to be gold. All at once, on this news, there was
a great rush from all parts of the land to the gold mines of
Cal-i-for-nia, and there was a great sum won the first year.
In two years the town of San Fran-cis-co had grown to quite
a large place. The name of Cal-i-for-nia is said to have been
found in an old book in Spain, and means an isle full of gold.

[Illustration: SAN FRAN-CIS-CO IN 1849.]

Three more States were brought in while Polk was our chief,
and two of them were free States. It was shown that those who
came to us from the old world, chose the free States for their
homes, and those at the South felt sure that the North would
grow too fast if they did not gain more ground. There was a
great piece of land which both North and South laid claim to,
and there were high words on both sides. At last a band of men
by the name of Free Soil men, took a stand that slaves should
be kept out of all new land which the U-nit-ed States might
gain in all time to come.

The next man who was the choice of the land was Tay-lor, the
one who led part of our troops in the war with Mex-i-co. He
was put in by the Whigs. The Free Soil men did not vote for
him. He did not live but one year, and then Fill-more took his



Once more the talk on free States and slave States was heard
on all sides, and Hen-ry Clay had made more than one great speech
to try and keep the peace. Cal-i-for-nia came in as a free State;
but a bill went in force which made it a crime to help or keep
a slave who had run off from his home. A man could go in to
a free State and take back his slave by force, and no court
or Judge in the land could stop him. In fact, they were bound
to help him. This was thought harsh and wrong by most of the
men at the North; but it was made a law. This law made more
stir than aught else had done till this time. Men would help
the slaves, spite of the law; and in some States they made laws
of their own, that no one could claim a slave if he did not
bring the case in to court, that they might see if he had a
just claim.

When Pierce was made Pres-i-dent, the strife still went on;
and this was made worse by a wish on the part of those who held
slaves to bring them North of the line, in to a great tract
of land--so large that two States could be made out of it--Kan-sas
and Ne-bras-ka.

The South said all they would ask, would be that those who had
their homes on the soil should say how they would like things
to be, and put it to vote. Con-gress did at last pass a bill
to give them their own choice, to be free or slave States. But
this did not bring peace; for they had fights when they went
to vote. At last they were all at war, and would burn a town
or sack a house, or steal the cows and goods of those they thought
foes. The whole land was a scene of blood, but in the end Kan-sas
was brought in as a free State.

In the time of Pierce a great tract of land was bought from
Mexico. It is now known as New Mex-i-co. In his time, too, trade
with Japan was first made free to our ships.

When Bu-chan-an came to take the place of chief in our land,
the talk on the slaves was by no means at rest. In the great
Court of our land, the "Dred Scott" case was brought up in the
first year of his rule, and it was said that those who held
slaves had the right to take them with them where they chose,
through all the free States. Then came John Brown's raid, which
was like a fire brand in all the slave States.

John Brown was a man who had fought on the side of the Free
Soil men in Kan-sas, and now all was at peace there. He had
a plan to go in to the slave States and free the slaves. He
had been in Vir-gin-ia when he was a boy, and knew there were
strong holds in the hills, where he thought the slaves could
make a stand and fight till they were free. He got a small band
of men and went to a place by the name of Har-per's Fer-ry,
and took the town. Those who had their homes there fled in fright;
so he took the great place where arms were made for our troops.
He thought he would give these arms to the black men, whom he
had no doubt would flock to his side. He had a small force,
but fear made all think it was a great one. The news of the
raid went like a flash on the wires to all parts of the States,
and men were sent to fight him and take him. His small force
were brave, and did not give up till death or wounds made them
do so.

It is said by those who held him as their foe, that John Brown
was cool and firm in the face of death. With one son dead by
his side, and one shot through, he felt the pulse of the son
so near to death with one hand, but held fast to his gun, and
spoke words of cheer to his men. He fell at last with six wounds,
but did not die of them. He was brought in to Court, and they
set to work to try him. The head man of Vir-gin-ia, by the name
of Wise, said, "Those who think John Brown is a mad man, do
not know him. He is a man of clear head and a brave heart. I
would trust him to be a man of truth."

[Illustration: A-BRA-HAM LIN-COLN.]

But he was led out to be hung. On his way there, his last act
was to kiss a slave child. Six of his friends were hung on the
same spot. Some few of the band got off to the free States.
All this made the talk of North and South on the slave trade
more and more fierce; and when a new man was to be made Pres-i-dent,
those who went for free soil, that is, no slaves, chose their
own man, and he got the most votes. These Free Soil men had
grown to be a large throng, and they had a new name. The man
they chose was A-bra-ham Lin-coln. He was a man who would have
been glad to have kept the peace; but the South would not have
it so. They were in a rage, and said they would go out of the
band of States. They thought a State had the right to go out
if it chose to do so. This was "States Rights" to their mind.

[Illustration: BAN-NER OF SOUTH CAR-O-LI-NA.]

"States Rights" had long been held as the creed of the South;
so there were six States that put it to vote, and said they
would go out of the U-nion. South Car-o-li-na was the one to
lead the way. They said they would make a new band of States,
where it would be right to hold slaves; and they took one of
our forts.

Troops were sent in a boat, by name, "The Star of the West,"
but they were met by a fire from the fort. Then they took their
stand on the shore by Fort Sum-ter, which was held by a few
men. For two days the fire went on, and at last the brave man
who held the fort had to give it up. His men were worn out,
the place was on fire, and they had no more food for their guns.
So they went out with the beat of drums and their flags flung
out on the air.

The sound of the first gun at Fort Sum-ter was a shock to all
the land. Most of those at the North, who had not felt the slave
trade to be wrong, now took sides with those who had been its
foes from the first. All the States at the South took one side,
but the slaves were for those who had the wish to make them

In the first of this storm the end came of Bu-chan-an's term.
Three States came in at this time. Or-e-gon, Min-ne-so-ta, and
Kan-sas. The last two bear the name the red men gave two streams
that flow through them. The name Or-e-gon is said to mean "wild

Up to the time of the first gun fired at Fort Sum-ter, men had
felt that the South could be brought back. Few at the North
thought there would be war; but at the South it had been thought
of for a long time. The young men had met for drill, and arms
had been hid where they could be found. Lin-coln found but a
small band of troops, but he sent out a call for more. As these
men were on their march through the streets of Bal-ti-more,
the mob threw stones at them, and three of them fell dead. Then
the troops let fire on the mob, and nine men fell. This made
a great stir at the North, for they thought it went to show
the hate in the hearts of the men at the South.

The next time the troops were sent, they did not march through
Bal-ti-more. They found the rails torn up by the way, and had
to mend them as they went on. Once when they saw a car that
was a wreck by the way side, some one was heard to ask if one
could be found in the ranks who could mend it. "I can," said
a man who stood by it, "for I built it."

So you see the troops were made up of men from all trades, who
had left their work to fight for their land. In the course of
time, troops went in peace through the streets of Bal-ti-more.

Men came in to the ranks on all sides when they heard the call;
but they found that arms were scarce, most had been sent South.
So the North had to buy or make these in as short a time as
they could. There had to be clothes made, too, for the troops,
and food found for stores, and carts to draw it, and drugs for
the sick. All must be done at once, and all in such a way that
there must be no waste or want. Lin-coln at this time made a
law that no ships should go in or out of the ports of the South.

[Illustration: OFF TO THE WAR.]

The war soon made a stand in both East and West Vir-gin-ia.
In the west of this State there were men who did not wish to
fight on the side of the South; but they had to do so or leave
the State. There was a move made to march on Rich-mond; but
the troops had to go back, and lost the day at the fight of
Bull Run. It was a sad rout for the troops of the North, as
they made haste back to Wash-ing-ton, with a fear that the foe
might come and take that place.

At the end of this year Gen-er-al Scott gave up his place at
the head of all the troops to Gen-er-al Mc-Clel-lan.

[Illustration: GEN-ER-AL ROB-ERT E. LEE.]

When this war broke out, we had but four ships in a good state
to take part in it. Yet we were in need of a force that could
block up the ports of the South. Eng-land and France gave help
to the South, for they let them fit out ships in their ports,
and all through the war the South was kept up by the hope of
aid from these lands.

[Illustration: PICK-ETS ON DU-TY.]

A great fight took place at An-tie-tam, where the troops of
Gen-er-al Mc-Clel-lan met those of Lee. This was one of the
worst fights of the war, and there was great loss of life on
both sides. The North won the day, and Lee drew off his troops.
It was thought by some that a move in the right way would have
cut short this flight, and they said Mc-Clel-lan ought to have
made such a move. So Gen-er-al Burn-side took his place at the
head of the troops, and he took the town of Fred-er-icks-burg.
In the mean time there was a ship fight, in which the South
for a time did good work. She had a ship which she had made
strong with iron plates and hard wood, and a bow of steel. This
ship set sail in the bay to fight the whole U-nion fleet. The
ships of wood could make no stand. In vain did they pour out
fire and balls. It was said the balls would strike and glance
off, and did no more harm than peas from a pop gun. At nine
that night two of our ships had gone down in fire and smoke,
and one was run on the ground.

[Illustration: MER-RI-MACK AND MON-I-TOR.]

[Illustration: U-LYS-SES S. GRANT.]

All at once a small queer thing came in sight. Some one said
it was like a cheese box on a raft. This was the Mon-i-tor.
When dawn came it bore down on the Mer-ri-mac and sent out a
fire. The ram gave the fire back. For two hours the fire was
kept up; till at last the Mon-i-tor sent a shel through the
port hole of the foe. This fell right in the midst of her crew.
So those in the Mer-ri-mac thought it would be wise to get out
of the way of more such shells, and it left the coast clear.
There was great joy felt at the North when the news came that
they had won this fight; for all had felt that if this ship,
with its hard sides and bow of steel, had been left free to
sail in to New York bay, all the ships of wood in our port would
have gone down in her path. From the time of this fight, a great
change has been made in the way they have built ships.

Gen-er-al Grant fought in this war, and led our troops to win
the day in more than one fight. One of the great moves of the
war was made on New Or-leans by Far-ra-gut in ships, and Gen-er-al
But-ler with a land force.

[Illustration: FAR-RA-GUT'S SHIPS.]

This town had two strong forts, and there was a long chain with
earth works at each end. There were fire rafts full of stuff
that they could set on fire, and gun boats, and one of the kind
we know as a ram.

[Illustration: LOOK OUT.]

Far-ra-gut sent fire in to the forts in vain. His boats took
fire from the rafts, and he had to put out each as it went by.
At last, he thought he would try and run by the forts with his
fleet, and he did so. The forts, the steam boats, and the ram,
kept up a hot fire, but in the midst of shot and ball, he made
his way up the stream. The next day at dawn, he was in New Or-leans,
and in a day more the fleets and forts were in his hands, and
Gen-er-al But-ler, with a land force, came in to the town.

In this year, 1862, Lin-coln sent out a bill that said "the
slaves should be free then, and for all time."

And it was then thought that it would be a good thing for the
black man to help in this war that had made him free. So there
came to be black troops made up of the free slaves. By this
time the cost of the war had grown great, and the U-nion side
felt that it was time to bring things to a close.

[Illustration: AR-MY HUTS.]

The South took heart and came with their troops in to a free
State; and a great fight took place near a town by the name
of Get-tys-burg. There was great loss on both sides. But Lee
had to fly with his men, and this fight put an end to the hopes
of the South. At the time of the last shot in fight, Gen-er-al
Grant, far off in Vicks-burg, brought the foe to terms. Vicks-burg
was a place on high bluffs, and it had guns on all sides to
stop our ships on their way up the stream. It stood a long siege
of more than a month, but at last it fell.

But as time went on, it grew more and more hard to get men for
the war. There had to be a draft, and the folks did not like
that. In a draft, one has to draw a lot, and no one knew on
whom the lot would fall. In New York there were some who felt
a sort of spite at the black folks, as they held them to be
the cause of the war, and there was a mob that set on them in
the streets. It went on for three days, and some black men fell
struck by stones from the mob. But at last it was brought to
an end.

The next year Grant made some good moves, and, on the whole,
the sky grew more clear. Lin-coln said, "Peace does not seem
so far off as it did. I hope it will come soon and come to stay,
and come so that it will be worth all we have done for it."

In 1864, Gen-er-al Grant was put at the head of all the troops.
He had shown that he knew a great deal of war, and he had done
good work. He soon made a plan of two great moves that should
go on at the same time. One of these was to march on Rich-mond
with one branch of the troops, while Gen-er-al Sher-man should
take one branch through the States of the South, from mount
to sea.

[Illustration: WIL-LIAM T. SHER-MAN.]

Gen-er-al Grant did not swerve from the course he had laid out.
He said, "I will fight it out on this line," and he did, spite
of all loss. He laid siege to Rich-mond, but for a time they
held out. At sea the ships of the South at first won on all
sides. They drove our ships out, and got off with no harm, till
the time that the Al-a-ba-ma was sunk. One more grand fight
with ships took place in Mo-bile Bay.

This bay was a great place for boats to run in with food and
stores to the foe. Our ships could not make their way there,
for there were two forts, a ram of great strength, and shells
that would blow them up set in the way. Far-ra-gut put false
bows on his ships, so that they might charge the ram, and at
last it was sunk.

Sher-man had a hard work to do; for he must take his troops
through the land of the foe, by their strong forts, through
hill and dale and pass. He meant to cut off their chance to
get food, and to break up the rail roads. He first took the
town of At-lan-ta, and from that point set out on the "March
to the Sea," which has won him so much fame. He had to feed
his troops for the most part on what he could find in the land
he went through. He took Sa-van-nah and wrote to Lin-coln, "I
beg to give you the gift of the town of Sa-van-nah, with all
its guns and stores."

Then he took up his march once more through swamp and bog, or
up the high steep hills and rocks. The cold days had come, but
on they went, through storms of sleet and snow, or in the face
of floods of rain, with a foe on all sides. Such a march had
not been known in all the wars of the past. Long will the fame
of that March to the Sea live in our land. He had found, as
he said, that all the men in the South had been drawn out to
aid the troops, and that there were no more left, and the land
was a "mere shell."

Charles-ton gave up at the end of a long siege; but it was set
on fire in all parts by its own folk, so that it might not be
worth much when it fell in our hands.

The last move was made by Grant on Rich-mond. He felt that one
more blow would bring the war to a close. He sent out word to
Sher-i-dan, "When day dawns push round the foe, and get to his
rear." Two days more our troops were in the streets of Rich-mond.
When Lee found he could not hold his place, he sent word by
the wires to Jef-fer-son Da-vis at Rich-mond. Da-vis was the
man the South had made their chief, and he was in church when
the news came to him. He read these words: "My lines are cut
at three points. Rich-mond must be left to night."

Da-vis left the church, and the news spread at once that the
town was lost. There was fright on all sides, and the streets
were soon full of men who knew not what to do. The means for
flight were small, and a poor cart and horse would have brought
a large sum of gold. The ships were set on fire or blown up,
and some of the stores of the town were in a blaze. Oh, what
a night! All sought to fly, but few had means to go.

The next day some black troops were the first to march in the
town. This was the real end of the war. Gen-er-al Lee did all
he could to save his men; but they were so faint with want of
food that they could not march, and so weak they could not hold
their guns. So he gave up all at last to Gen-er-al Grant, and
the whole South had to yield.

This war had cost the land more than you could count in gold
and lives. But it had made the slave free; and we know that
we shall have the curse of the slave trade in our land no more.
And it had shown that the creed of States Rights was not the
best one, for if we were cut up in parts we would be weak, while
if we stay as one, we will be strong. Our true strength, then,
is to hold fast the bond that binds all the States, North and
South, East and West, in one.

There was great joy, and all gave thanks at the North when the
news that the war had come to an end was borne on the wires.
Lin-coln had held his course in a firm, brave way. He had said
in a speech in New York, when he was on his way to take his
place, "When the time comes for me to speak, I shall then take
the ground that I think is right--right for the North, for the
South, for the East, for the West, for all our land."

And so he had done. The war was a grief to him. He said, "We
did not think this war would last so long. Both sides read the
same Word of God, and both pray to Him to aid in a war on those
who are bound to them by near ties. We hope, we pray, that this
scourge of war may soon pass. But if God wills it should stay
till each drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid with one
drawn with the sword, it must be said, 'Shall not the Judge
of all the world do right?'"

Five days from the time that the news of joy came in a flash
on the wires, Lin-coln was dead. He had been shot while he sat
in his box, at the play, by a man of the name of Wilkes Booth.
This man had by some means got in the box and made the door
fast. When he had shot Lin-coln, he sprang from the box to the
stage, but caught his foot in one of our flags, and broke his
leg. He had a horse at the door, and got off; but was at last
found in a barn, where he stood at bay. They set the barn on
fire to drive him out; but he still stood his ground, and fought
till the last, when he fell, shot by one of our men.

Those who stood by the bed side of Lin-coln saw that there was
no hope. All the land was full of gloom, when the sad news came.
As his corpse was borne in a train to his old home, the towns
were hung with black on the whole route, and most men wore the
badge of grief. Those who had not been warm friends of Lin-coln
in his life, felt a shock at his death, for they knew a brave,
true man had gone.



At the time of Lin-coln's death, there had been a sort of plot
to kill more of the head men of the land. Sew-ard had been shot
in his own house, and there was a great fear in Wash-ing-ton;
for no one knew how far this plot might reach.

When An-drew John-son took the place at the head of the land,
there was some fear that those who had spent so long a time
in the war would not know how to live in time of peace. But
they soon made their way to their old homes, and were glad to
lay down their arms and take up the old trades once more. There
was a vast debt, and all sorts of loans to be got. Then there
were those who thought that the States, which were the cause
of the war, should not have the right to come back on their
own terms; and some thought they could come back when they would,
and in their own way.

But John-son brought out a Bill which gave back all their rights
to most of those who had made the war. The States could come
back if they would say that they would have no more slaves,
and that they would be true to the U-nit-ed States in all time
to come. John-son did not act in a way to suit those who had
cast their votes for him, and Con-gress made a move that he
should give up his place. When they came to try him, they found
there was one vote short. That one vote kept him in his place;
but he did not get a new term.

The next man who was the choice of the land was U-lys-ses S.
Grant, whose work in the war had won him such fame. In his time
all the States of the South came back in to the U-nion. Great
tracts of land were made ours; the debt was made less; and there
was a law made which said that men of all races and hues should
have a right to vote. In his last term a grand show took place
in Phil-a-del-phia. All the lands in the world sent things to
be shown there, and all the trades of the world had place in
those great halls.

When Hayes came in there was talk that there had not been a
fair vote for him; but in time he won his way. He was fair to
both North and South, and his rule was mild but firm. He drew
all troops out of the South, that those States might put their
own laws in force, with no help from Wash-ing-ton; so that if
their own folks had wrongs, their own courts must set the thing

Time has shown that this course was wise. The States at the
South have grown in peace and good will to us since that time,
and the white men there now seem quite glad to have the black
men vote. Rail ways have been built so fast that it is thought
in a few years there will be four or five of these great lines
through the whole length and breadth of the land. Our debt has
been paid off at such a quick rate that if we go on it will
be gone ere long, and the tax on all things can be made less.
We have shown, too, that we have not stood still.

In old times each watch in use here came from the old lands,
but now a watch is made here that might win the prize from those
on that side of the sea. So, too, in glass, tools, knives, soap,
combs, and all sorts of things, we have made a name. The beef
and grain we send out bring in vast wealth.

James A. Gar-field was our choice in 1881. A great shock was
felt in the land, just two months from the time he came to the
White House, when we heard he had been shot while on his way
to take a train for the North. A man by the name of Gui-teau,
who had some sort of strange craze, was the one who did the
black deed.

They bore Gar-field at once to his home in the White House,
and for a long time he lay there in great pain. Day by day the
news would flash on the wires that told his state, how his pulse
beat, how he had slept, and what hope there was for his life.
All would seize the news and read it each day, with the wish
that he might yet live. They took him to Long Branch in the
hope that the sea breeze might help him; but though his life
held out for near the space of three months, it came to an end,
and his last breath was drawn in that sweet home by the sea,
Sep-tem-ber 19, 1881. Great grief was felt at his death, and
all lands strove to say a kind word. The Court of Eng-land put
on black for him, and the Queen sent a wreath for his grave.
Gui-teau was hung for his crime.

Ches-ter A. Ar-thur is now our Pres-i-dent. We are at peace
with all the world. The same flag, with the old stars and stripes,
floats now in the South as in the North. Long may it wave, "On
the land of the free and the home of the brave."


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