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CHAPTER I RETROSPECTIVE "WE ARE ONE AND UNDIVIDED" About twenty years ago, I think it was—I won't be certain, though— a man whose name, if I remember correctly, was Wm. L. Yancy—I write only from memory, and this was a long time ago—took a strange and peculiar notion that the sun rose in the east and set in the west, and that the compass pointed north and south. Now, everybody knew at the time that it was but the... more...

"Same Old Bill, Eh Mable!" Dere Mable: Were in sunny France at last. I cant tell you much about it yet on account of its havin been so foggy since we got here. We didnt deboat in Paris as I was expectin. We sailed up a river to a town with a wall around it and got off there. I dont know what the wall was for unless to keep people in. They certinly wouldnt need one to keep anybody out of that place. Were now in what they call a rest camp. If... more...

CHAPTER I. PLAYGOERS. The man who, having witnessed and enjoyed the earliest performance of Thespis and his company, followed the travelling theatre of that primeval actor and manager, and attended a second and a third histrionic exhibition, has good claim to be accounted the first playgoer. For recurrence is involved in playgoing, until something of a habit is constituted. And usually, we may note, the playgoer is youthful. An old playgoer... more...

COLUMBUS   Behind him lay the gray Azores,    Behind the Gates of Hercules;  Before him not the ghost of shores,    Before him only shoreless seas.  The good mate said: "Now we must pray,    For, lo! the very stars are gone.  Brave Admiral, speak; what shall I say?"    "Why say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"   "My men... more...

The present period is so distinguished for historical research, that the publication of an English Chronicle, written in the fifteenth century, will not it is presumed require any other prefatory remarks to recommend it to attention, than a brief account of the MSS. from which it has been transcribed. Two copies are extant in the British Museum; the one in the Harleian MS. 565, the other in the Cottonian MS. Julius B. i. and the material... more...


Declaration of Independence NOTE.—The words "Declaration of Independence" do not appear on the original. IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of... more...

John Adams John Adams was born on October 19 (old style), 1735, near Boston, Mass., in the portion of the town of Braintree which has since been incorporated as Quincy. He was fourth in descent from Henry Adams, who fled from persecution in Devonshire, England, and settled in Massachusetts about 1630. Another of his ancestors was John Adams, a founder of the Plymouth Colony in 1620. Entered Harvard College in 1751, and graduated therefrom four... more...

Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Va., on April 2 (old style), 1743. He was the oldest son of Peter Jefferson, who died in 1757. After attending private schools, he entered William and Mary College in 1760. In 1767 began the practice of the law. In 1769 was chosen to represent his county in the Virginia house of burgesses, a station he continued to fill up to the period of the Revolution. He married Mrs.... more...

James Madison James Madison was born in King George County, Va., on the 16th of March, 1751. He was the son of James Madison, the family being of English descent, and among the early settlers of Virginia. Was fitted for college by private tutors, and entered Princeton College in 1769, graduating in 1771; remained a year at college pursuing his studies. After this he returned to Virginia and began the practice of law. In 1776 was elected a member... more...

James Monroe James Monroe was born April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Va. He was the son of Spence Monroe and Elizabeth Jones, both natives of Virginia. When in his eighteenth year he enlisted as a private soldier in the Army to fight for independence; was in several battles, and was wounded in the engagement at Trenton; was promoted to the rank of captain of infantry. During 1777 and 1778 he acted as aid to Lord Stirling, and distinguished... more...