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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...

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...

CHAPTER I. THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA. It was a beautiful evening at the close of a warm, luscious day in old Spain. It was such an evening as one would select for trysting purposes. The honeysuckle gave out the sweet announcement of its arrival on the summer breeze, and the bulbul sang in the dark vistas of olive-trees,—sang of his love and his hope, and of the victory he anticipated in the morrow's bulbul-fight, and the plaudits of the... more...

INTRODUCTION When we speak of History, we may mean either one of several things. A savage will make picture-marks on a stone or a bone or a bit of wood; they serve to recall to him and his companions certain events which appeared remarkable or important for one or another reason; there was an earthquake, or a battle, or a famine, or an invasion: the chronicler himself, or some fellow-tribesman of his, may have performed some notable exploit. The... more...

CHAPTER I. THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF Moving among the members of the second Continental Congress, which met at Philadelphia in May, 1775, was one, and but one, military figure. George Washington alone attended the sittings in uniform. This colonel from Virginia, now in his forty-fourth year, was a great landholder, an owner of slaves, an Anglican churchman, an aristocrat, everything that stands in contrast with the type of a revolutionary radical.... more...


CALIFORNIA'S NAME AND EARLY HISTORY   A Spanish story written four hundred years ago speaks of California as an island rich in pearls and gold. Only black women lived there, the story says, and they had golden spears, and collars and harness of gold for the wild beasts which they had tamed to ride upon. This island was said to be at a ten days' journey from Mexico, and was supposed to lie near Asia and the East Indies. Among those who... 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...

CHAPTER I COLONIAL WOMAN AND RELIGION I. The Spirit of Woman With what a valiant and unyielding spirit our forefathers met the unspeakable hardships of the first days of American colonization! We of these softer and more abundant times can never quite comprehend what distress, what positive suffering those bold souls of the seventeenth century endured to establish a new people among the nations of the world. The very voyage from England to... more...

WALDEN Economy When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again. I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very... more...

CHAPTER I. Abraham Lincoln expired at twenty-two minutes after seven o'clock on the morning of April 15, 1865. Three hours later, in the presence of all the members of the Cabinet except Mr. Seward who lay wounded and bleeding in his own home, the oath of office, as President of the United States, was administered to Andrew Johnson by Chief Justice Chase. The simple but impressive ceremony was performed in Mr. Johnson's lodgings at the Kirkwood... more...