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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. To relate, by way of leading up to this little book, all the previous achievements of its author would—without disrespect to the greater or the less—have somewhat the appearance of putting a very big cart in front of a pony. But no idea could be more mistaken than that which induces people to believe a small book the easiest to write. Easy reading is hard writing; and a thoroughly good small book stands for so... more...

The Plains Country. Seventy years ago, when some of the events here recounted took place, Indians were Indians, and the plains were the plains indeed. Those plains stretched out in limitless rolling swells of prairie until they met the blue sky that on every hand bent down to touch them. In spring brightly green, and spangled with wild flowers, by midsummer this prairie had grown sere and yellow. Clumps of dark green cottonwoods marked the... more...

CHAPTER I THE GREAT MIGRATION TO AMERICA The tide of migration that set in toward the shores of North America during the early years of the seventeenth century was but one phase in the restless and eternal movement of mankind upon the surface of the earth. The ancient Greeks flung out their colonies in every direction, westward as far as Gaul, across the Mediterranean, and eastward into Asia Minor, perhaps to the very confines of India. The... more...

In taking up the thread of Captain George A. Thayer's admirable chapter upon the Chancellorsville campaign, we find the regiment baling out their old log pens, on a dark night, in the rain. They had stripped the canvas roofs before starting for Chancellorsville. The return to a deserted camp, even in fine weather, flushed with victory, is not agreeable. The failure of Chancellorsville made the discomforts of this memorable night harder to bear,... more...

HOW DEATH VALLEY WAS NAMED There were three of us sitting on a pile of lumber in a sun-baked little mining town down near the Arizona border. One of my companions was the sheriff of the county and the other was an old man with snowy beard and sky-blue eyes whom every one called “Mac.” To look at him was to behold a vision of the past. As we were whiling away the time with idle talk something was said which aroused the spirit of... more...


INTRODUCTORY. —“Our Mississippi, rolling proudly on,Would sweep them from its path, or swallow up,Like Aaron's rod, those streams of fame and song.” Mrs. Hale. The valley of a river like the channel of a man's career, does not always bear proportion to the magnitude or volume of the current, which flows through it. Mountains, forests, deserts, physical barriers to the former—and the obstacles of prejudice, and... more...

THEUNDERGROUND RAILROAD       *       *       *       *       *SETH CONCKLIN. In the long list of names who have suffered and died in the cause of freedom, not one, perhaps, could be found whose efforts to redeem a poor family of slaves were more Christlike than Seth... more...

Chapter I INTRODUCTORY. 1. Plan of the Monograph. 2. The Rise of the English Slave-Trade. 1. Plan of the Monograph. This monograph proposes to set forth the efforts made in the United States of America, from early colonial times until the present, to limit and suppress the trade in slaves between Africa and these shores. The study begins with the colonial period, setting forth in brief the attitude of England and, more in detail,... more...

THE STORY. On Sunday, June 12th, 1864, the U. S. Steamer Kearsarge was lying at anchor in the Scheldt, off Flushing, Holland. Suddenly appeared the cornet at the fore—an unexpected signal, that compelled absent officers and men to repair on board. Steam was raised, and immediately after a departure made, when all hands being called, the nature of the precipitate movement became apparent. Captain Winslow, in a brief address, announced the... more...

Preface For some reason the people of today are not nearly as familiar with the achievements of the last fifty years as they are with those of earlier days. The school boy can glibly recount the story of Columbus, William Penn, or Washington, but asked about the events leading up to the settlement of the West will know nothing of them and will probably reply "they don't teach us that in our school"—and it is true. Outside of the names of... more...