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This is the story of the Virginia Company and only indirectly of the Virginia colony. Those who seek an account of the early years at Jamestown should turn to another number in this same series. Here the focus belongs to the adventurers in England whose hopes gave shape to the settlement at Jamestown, and whose determination brought the colony through the many disappointments of its first years. In terms of time, the story is short, for it begins... more...


Gentlemen of the Congress: In pursuance of my constitutional duty to "give to the Congress information of the state of the Union," I take the liberty of addressing you on several matters which ought, as it seems to me, particularly to engage the attention of your honorable bodies, as of all who study the welfare and progress of the Nation. I shall ask your indulgence if I venture to depart in some degree from the usual custom of setting before... more...

EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION In the following volumes the authors seek to present a brief account of the beginnings, development, and final unity of the people of the United States. There are many histories of the country, many biographies which are in large measure histories; but these are exhaustive works traversing minutely certain periods, like Rhodes's History of the United States from 1850 to 1877, or Nicolay and Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History;... more...

PREFACE It was in May, 1910, that the author came to Princeton for an interview with President Woodrow Wilson concerning an appointment as Instructor in the Department of History, Politics, and Economics. He was elated when President Wilson engaged him, though not happy over the $1,000 salary. Yet with this sum to fall back on he borrowed $200, and took a trip to England. In London he went treasure hunting, the treasure of old documents... more...


CHAPTER I. PRESIDENT JEFFERSON'S COURT The rumble of President John Adams's coach had hardly died away in the distance on the morning of March 4,1801, when Mr. Thomas Jefferson entered the breakfast room of Conrad's boarding house on Capitol Hill, where he had been living in bachelor's quarters during his Vice-Presidency. He took his usual seat at the lower end of the table among the other boarders, declining with a smile to accept the chair of... more...

Laying the Hearthstones Introduction Successful colonization, contingent upon a stable domestic life, was quickened in Virginia with the coming of the gentlewoman Mrs. Lucy Forest and her maid Ann Burras, who with Mrs. Forest's husband Thomas, arrived in the second supply, 1608, following the planting of the colony at Jamestown, 13 May 1607. The possibility of finding a source of wealth in the new world, such as the Spanish had found in Mexico... more...

CHAPTER I. ST. CLAIR'S DEFEAT, 1791. The Westward March of the Backwoodsman. The backwoods folk, the stark hunters and tree-fellers, and the war-worn regulars who fought beside them in the forest, pushed ever westward the frontier of the Republic. Year after year each group of rough settlers and rough soldiers wrought its part in the great epic of wilderness conquest. The people that for one or more generations finds its allotted task in 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. A Patriot Of 1763 His Majesty's reign... I predict will be happy and trulyglorious.—Benjamin Franklin. The 29th of January, 1757, was a notable day in the life of Ben Franklin of Philadelphia, well known in the metropolis of America as printer and politician, and famous abroad as a scientist and Friend of the Human Race. It was on that day that the Assembly of Pennsylvania commissioned him as its agent to repair to London in... more...