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THE WESTERN TRAIL “An overland highway to the Western sea” was the thought variously expressed by many men in both public and private life among the French, English, and Americans from very early times. In 1659 Pierre Radisson and a companion, by way of the Great Lakes, Fox, and “Ouisconsing” Rivers, discovered the “east fork” of the “Great River” and crossed to the “west fork,” up... more...

THE RIDGE TRAIL Six trails lead to the main ridge. They are all good trails, so that even the casual tourist in the little Spanish-American town on the seacoast need have nothing to fear from the ascent. In some spots they contract to an arm's length of space, outside of which limit they drop sheer away; elsewhere they stand up on end, zigzag in lacets each more hair-raising than the last, or fill to demoralization with loose boulders and shale.... more...

PREFACE. The present work is the outcome of two lines of study pursued, with more or less interruption from other studies, for about thirty years. It will be observed that the book has two themes, as different in character as the themes for voice and piano in Schubert's "Frühlingsglaube," and yet so closely related that the one is needful for an adequate comprehension of the other. In order to view in their true perspective the series of... more...

CHAPTER I. My brother had just been appointed Secretary of Nevada Territory—an office of such majesty that it concentrated in itself the duties and dignities of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of State, and Acting Governor in the Governor's absence. A salary of eighteen hundred dollars a year and the title of "Mr. Secretary," gave to the great position an air of wild and imposing grandeur. I was young and ignorant, and I envied my... more...

THE 'BODY OF THE NATION' BUT the basin of the Mississippi is the BODY OF THE NATION. All the other parts are but members, important in themselves, yet more important in their relations to this. Exclusive of the Lake basin and of 300,000 square miles in Texas and New Mexico, which in many aspects form a part of it, this basin contains about 1,250,000 square miles. In extent it is the second great valley of the world, being exceeded only by... more...


Introduction In an issue of the London World in April, 1890, there appeared the following paragraph: "Two small rooms connected by a tiny hall afford sufficient space to contain Mr. Rudyard Kipling, the literary hero of the present hour, 'the man who came from nowhere,' as he says himself, and who a year ago was consciously nothing in the literary world." Six months previous to this Mr. Kipling, then but twenty-four years old, had arrived in... more...

CHAPTER I. Geographical sketch of California Its political and social institutions Colorado River Valley and river of San Joaquin Former government Presidios Missions Ports and commerce. For the general information of the reader, it will be proper to give a brief geographical sketch of California, and some account of its political and social institutions, as they have heretofore existed. The district of country known... more...

MY FIRST VISIT, DAY THE FIRST It was a fine October evening when I was sitting on the back stoop of his cheerful little bachelor's establishment in Mercer street, with my old friend and comrade, Henry Archer. Many a frown of fortune had we two weathered out together; in many of her brightest smiles had we two reveled--never was there a stauncher friend, a merrier companion, a keener sportsman, or a better fellow, than this said Harry; and here... more...

CHAPTER I. DEPARTURE FROM FRANCE TO RETURN TO NEW FRANCE.—THE DANGERS AND OTHER EVENTS WHICH OCCURRED UP TO THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT THE SETTLEMENT. We set out from Honfleur on the first day of March. The wind was favorable until the eighth, when we were opposed by a wind south-southwest and west-northwest, driving us as far as latitude 42°, without our being able to make a southing, so as to sail straight forward on our course.... more...

CHAPTER I. THE BENEFITS OF COMMERCE HAVE INDUCED SEVERAL PRINCES TO SEEK AN EASIER ROUTE FOR TRAFFIC WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE EAST.—SEVERAL UNSUCCESSFUL VOYAGES.—DETERMINATION OF THE FRENCH FOR THIS PURPOSE.—UNDERTAKING OF SIEUR DE MONTS: HIS COMMISSION AND ITS REVOCATION.—NEW COMMISSION TO SIEUR DE MONTS TO ENABLE HIM TO CONTINUE HIS UNDERTAKING. The inclinations of men differ according to their varied dispositions; and... more...