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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...

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...

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Eighty-third Congress: I welcome the honor of appearing before you to deliver my first message to the Congress. It is manifestly the joint purpose of the congressional leadership and of this administration to justify the summons to governmental responsibility issued last November by the American people. The grand labors of this leadership will involve: Application of America's influence in world... 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...

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...


INTRODUCTION The romantic and thrilling story of the southward and westward migration of successive waves of transplanted European peoples throughout the entire course of the eighteenth century is the history of the growth and evolution of American democracy. Upon the American continent was wrought out, through almost superhuman daring, incredible hardship, and surpassing endurance, the formation of a new society. The European rudely... more...

CHAPTER IHOMES OF THE COLONISTS When the first settlers landed on American shores, the difficulties in finding or making shelter must have seemed ironical as well as almost unbearable. The colonists found a land magnificent with forest trees of every size and variety, but they had no sawmills, and few saws to cut boards; there was plenty of clay and ample limestone on every side, yet they could have no brick and no mortar; grand boulders of... 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...

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...

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...