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YOUNG WASHINGTON, SURVEYOR.
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FOR YOUNG AMERICANS
TELLING IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE SUITED TO BOYS AND GIRLS, THE
INSPIRING STORIES OF THE LIVES OF
JOHN PAUL JONES
ROBERT E. LEE
.JAS. A. GARFIELD
CYRUS W. FIELD
THOSE. A. EDISON
BY THE FAMOUS WRITER FOR YOUNG AMERICANS
AND THOMAS SHEPPARD MEEK
RICHLY ILLUSTRATED WITH
SIx BEAUTIFUL LITHOGRAPHS AND ORIGINAL HALF TONE DRAWINGS
BY EMINENT ARTISTS
JOHN C. WINSTON & CO.,
PHILADELPHIA: CHICAGO: TORONTO
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year x897, by
W. E. SCULL,
in the office oi the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
All rights reserved.
ALL PERSONS ARE WARNED NOT TO INFRINGE UPON OUR COPYRIGHT BY USING EITHER THE
MATTER OR THE PICTURES IN THIS VOLUME.
There is nothing which our boys and girls so much love to read or
have told to them as true stories of the lives of great and noble people.
This is what this book does. It deals especially with the early life of
each of twelve great men. It shows what were their natures and
their habits when they were boys. It tells about their mothers and
fathers and their homes; it tells of the circumstances which surrounded
them and relates scores of incidents of their boyhood days, their daily
doings, their jolly sports, their trials and difficulties and how they met
and overcame them. It shows us what books they read, what schooling
they had, how they came to be great and famous men and the wonderful
things they did in the world. This volume really composes twelve books
-each one a separate and complete child's life of a great man.
Every boy and girl who reads this inspiring volume will want to get
out and do something in the world. It is as charming and entertaining
as a fairy tale, but every word of it is true history written in easy lan-
guage for the boys and girls of America.
GEORGE WASHINGTON-His BOYHOOD DAYS AND HOW HE BECAME THE
FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY 17
JOHN PAUL JONES-THE PLUCKY LITTLE SCOTCHMAN WHO REMOVED TO
AMERICA AND BECAME CAPTAIN OF OUR NAVY 32
ABRAHAM LINCOLN-THE POOR BOY, THE NOBLE MAN, THE PRESERVER
OF THE UNION 45
ULYSSES S. GRANT-THE FARMER BOY AND THE HERO OF THE GREATEST
OF MODERN WARS 60
ROBERT E. LEE-THE NOBLE BOY, BRAVE SOLDIER AND MODEL MAN. THE
IDOL OF THE SOUTH 74
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN-THE CANDLEMAKER'S SON WHO, WITH His KITE
DISCOVERED LIGHTNING TO BE THE SAME AS ELECTRICITY 90
PATRICK HENRY-WHo FROM A FARMER BOY BECAME A LAWYER AND THE
FAMOUS ORATOR OF THE REVOLUTION 112
ROBERT FULTON-THE THINKING BOY. THE BUILDER OF THE FIRST
SUCCESSFUL STEAMBOAT 133
GEORGE PEABODY-THE BOY CLERK WHO, WHEN HE DIED, LEFT MILLIONS
TO CHARITY. AMERICA'S FIRST PHILANTHROPIST 147
THOMAS A. EDISON-THE GREATEST ELECTRICIAN OF THE WORLD 163
JAMES A. GARFIELD-THE BOY ON THE CANAL BOAT. THE SECOND MARTYR
PRESIDENT .. 182
CYRUS W. FIELD-THE PERSEVERING BOY, THE MAN WHO LAID THE AT-
LANTIC CABLE 196
List of Illustrations.
George Washington's Inaugural Procession....
Young George Washington Riding a Colt.....
General Braddock's Defeat.......... .....
George Washington Crossing the Delaware....
General Washington at Valley Forge.........
George Washington's Inauguration...........
George Washington's Bedroom, Mount Vernon,
in which he Died......................
John Paul Jones as a Sailor Boy.............
John Paul Jones' Men at Sea...............
J. P. Jones Approaching Whitehaven........
J. P. Jones' Men Ashore-Whitehaven ......
British Captain Surrendering Sword..........
Abraham Lincoln's First Home..............
The Boy Lincoln Studying..................
Abraham Lincoln the Wrestler..............
Abraham Lincoln, as Hired Man, Telling a Story
Abraham Lincoln Keeping Store.............
Abraham Lincoln on the Flatboat............
Abraham Lincoln Entering Richmond........
Ulysses S. Grant's Childhood...............
Ulysses Grant after the Battle of Belmont....
Ulysses Grant at Shiloh ...................
Ulysses Grant at Windsor Castle............
Ulysses S. Grant in Japan..................
General Grant's House, New York, 1885.....
President Grant's Funeral Procession..........
Robert E. Lee as Cadet...................
Young Lee Riding in Front of" Stafford," Va.
"Lee always to be found where the fighting was
Captain Lee at Cerro Gordo................
General Lee Fortifying Richmond ...........
"He waved his sword above his head and
dashed to the front ..................
Franklin's Kite Leads the Way to the Modern
Use of Electricity ....................
Ben Franklin Moulding Candles in his Father's
Franklin Slipping his Contributions to thePaper
under the Office Door ..................
17 Old-style Printing Press.....................
19 Independence Hall, Philadelphia.............
21 Dr. Benjamin Franklin as Minister to France..
24 Franklin's Grave, Corner Fifth and Arch Sts.,
26 Philadelphia. ...........................
28 Patrick Henry ...........................
Patrick Henry Shooting a Deer..............
30 "Often at the country parties he played the
33 fiddle for many a jolly 'Old Virginia
34 Reel' "....... .....................
36 "Many a day you might have seen Patrick
38 plowing among the stumps in his 'New
43 G round '" ............................
45 A Typical Virginia Courthouse in the Days of
48 Patrick Henry............. .. .........
49 An Old Virginia Mansion, common in the Time
51 of Patrick Henry....................
53 Development of Steam Navigation Following
56 Fulton's Discovery ....................
57 Robert Fulton .........................
61 What You Would See To-day at a Steamboat
63 Landing on the Mississippi River........
65 "Chicago," one of the "White Squadron"
67 Warships of the United States...........
69 Model of a Modern U. S. Man-of-War........
71 George Peabody.................. ........
72 The Bullock-Hoe Perfecting Press...........
74 Memorial Hall, Harvard College ............
76 Chapel of Yale College.....................
Thomas Alva Edison at Four Years' of Age...
78 The Birthplace of Thomas A. Edison, at Milan,
80 Ohio .................................
83 Thomas A. Edison when Publisher of the
Grand Trunk Herald," Fifteen Years Old
86 Shop in which the First Morse Instrument was
Constructed for Exhibition before Congress
90 Listening to the Phonograph...............
Thomas A. Edison at Fifty Years of Age.....
93 President James A. Garfield...............
Garfield's Birthplace and the Home of his
Full-page Color Plates.
YOUNG GEORGE WASHINGTON, SURVEYOR.
JOHN PAUL JONES, FIRST CAPTAIN IN THE U. S. NAVY.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, RAIL-SPLITTER.
U. S. GRANT ON THE FIELD, LAST YEAR OF TIE WAR.
ON THE EVE OF GETTYSBURG-GENERAL LEE DIRECTING THE BATTLE.
STHOMAS A. EDISON IN His LABORATORY.
i! ~I~~' f'lt
The Inspiring History
First President of the United States.
DO you know what the twenty-second of February is? It is the
birthday of George Washington. Do you know who George
Washington was? He was the greatest and best man that ever
lived in this dear home-land of yours, which you call America.
He had no little boys or girls of his own, but he has always been
called The Father of His Country." Do you know why people call him
that? Let me tell you how he got this name.
Many years ago, on the twenty-second of February, in the year 1732,
a little baby was born in a comfortable-looking old farm-house down in
Virginia. This baby was named George Washington.
His father was a farmer, who planted and raised and sold large crops
of tobacco in the fields about his house. These fields were called planta-
tions, and George Washington's father was what is called a planter.
The name of George's father was Augustine Washington. His mother's
name was Mary Washington. She was a very wise and good woman,
and George loved her dearly.
When George was a very small boy, his father died and he was brought
up by his mother in a nice, old farm-house on the banks of the Rappa-
hannock River, just opposite the town of Fredericksburg. Ask some
one to show you just where that is on the map.
George was a good boy. He was honest, truthful, obedient, bold and
strong. He could jump the farthest, run the fastest, climb the highest,
wrestle the best, ride the swiftest, swim the longest, and stump all
the other boys he played with. They all liked him, for he was gentle,
kind and brave; he never was mean, never got "mad," and never told
His mother had a sorrel colt that she thought very much of, because
it came of splendid stock, and, if once trained, would be a fine and fast
horse. But the colt was wild and vicious, and people said it could never
be trained. One summer morning, young George, with three or four
boys, were in the field looking at the colt, and, when the boys said again
that it could never be tamed, George said: You help me get on his back
and I'll tame him."
After hard work they got a bridle-bit in the colt's mouth and put
young George on its back. Then began a fight. The colt reared and
kicked and plunged, and tried to throw George off. But George stuck
on and finally conquered the colt so that he drove it about the field.
But in a last mad plunge to free itself from this determined boy on its
back, the colt burst a blood-vessel and fell to the ground dead.
Then the boys felt worried, you may be sure. But while they were
wondering what George's mother would say, the boy went straight to the
house determined to tell the truth.
"Mother," he said, "your colt is dead."
"Dead!" said his mother. "Who killed it? "
"I did," said George, and then he told her the whole story.
His mother looked at him a moment, then she said: It is well, my
son. I am sorry to lose the colt; it would have been a fine horse, but I
am proud to know that my son never tries to put the blame of his acts
upon others, and always speaks the truth."
So you see, that early in his life, this boy was one to be depended upon.
This story, too, shows you that besides his being so truthful and honest,
young George Washington did not give up trying to do a thing until he
YOUNG WASHINGTON RIDING A COLT.
had succeeded. He was bound to tame that fierce sorrel colt, and he
stuck to it until he had conquered the animal, instead of letting it
He loved the woods, and he loved the water. He wanted to be a
sailor, but when he saw that his mother did not wish him to go away to
sea, he said: "All right, mother," and he staid at home to help her on
When he was sixteen years old he gave up going to school and became
a surveyor. A surveyor is one who goes around measuring land, so that
men can know just how much they own and just where the lines run
that divide it from other people's land.
This work kept George out of doors most of the time, and made him
healthy and big and strong. He went off into the woods and over the
mountains, surveying land for the owners. He lived among Indians and
bears and hunters, and became a great hunter himself. He was a fine-
looking young fellow then. He was almost six feet tall. He was strong
and active, and could stand almost anything in the way of out-of-door
dangers and experiences. He had light brown hair, blue eyes and a
frank face, and he had such a nice, firm way about him, although he was
quiet and never talked much, that people always believed what he said,
and those who worked with him were always ready and willing to do
just as he told them.
When he was a boy it took a brave man to be a surveyor. He had to
live in the forests, in all sorts of dangers and risks; he had to meet all
kinds of people, and settle disputes about who owned the land, when
those who were quarreling about it would be very angry with the sur-
veyor. But young George Washington always won in the end, and his
work was so well done that some of his records and measurements have
not been changed from that day to this.
He liked the work, because he liked the free life of the woods and
mountains. He liked to hunt and swim and ride and row, and all these
things and all these rough experiences helped him greatly to be a bold,
healthy, active and courageous man, when the time came for him to be
a leader and a soldier.
People liked him so much that when there was trouble between the
two nations that owned almost all the land in America when he was a
boy, he was sent with a party to try and settle a quarrel as to which
nation owned the land west of Virginia, in what is now called Ohio.
These two nations were France and England. Their Kings were far
over the Atlantic Ocean. Virginia and all the country between the
mountains and the sea, from Maine to Georgia, belonged to the King of
England. There was no President then; there were no United States.
George Washington went off to the Ohio country and tried to settle
the quarrel, but the French soldiers would not settle it as the English
wished them to. They built forts in the country, and said they meant
to keep it all for the King of France.
So George Washington was sent out again. This time he had a lot
of soldiers with him, to drive the French away from their forts. The
French soldiers would not give in, and Washington and his soldiers had
a fight with the French and whipped them.
Then the French King sent more soldiers and built more forts, and the
English King sent more soldiers, and there was war in the land.
War is a terrible thing, but sometimes it has to be made. The King
of England was very angry with the French, and he sent over soldiers
___ __ ~___ __
from England to fight the French. They were led by a British general,
whose name was Braddock. He was a brave man, but he thought he
knew how to do everything, and he would not let anyone else tell him
how he ought to act. But he had never fought in such a land as Amer-
ica, where there were great forests and Indians, and other things very
different from what he was used to.
George Washington knew that if General Braddock and the British
soldiers wished to whip the French and the Indians, who were on the
French side, they must be very careful when they were marching through
the forests to battle. He tried to make General Braddock see this, too,
but the British General'thought he knew best, and he told Washington
to mind his own business.
So the British soldiers marched through the forests just as if they were
parading down Broadway. They looked very fine, but they were not
careful of themselves, and one day, in the midst of the forest, the French
and Indians, who were hiding behind trees waiting for them, sprang out
upon them and surprised them, and surrounded them and fired guns at
them from the thick, dark woods.
The British were caught in a trap. They did not know what to do.
General Braddock was killed; so were many of his soldiers, and they
would all have been killed or taken prisoners if George Washington had
not been there. He knew just what to do. He fought bravely, and
when the British soldiers ran away, he and his Americans kept back the
French and Indians and saved the British army.
But it was a terrible defeat for the soldiers of the King of England.
He had to send more soldiers to America and to fight a long time. But
at last his soldiers were successful, and, thanks to Colonel Washington,
as he was now called, the English lands were saved and the French were
After the war was over, George Washington married a wife. All
American boys and girls know her name. It was Martha Washington.
They went to live in a beautiful house on the banks of the Potomac
River, in Virginia. It is called Mount Vernon. It was Washington's
home all the rest of his life. The house is still standing, and people
nowadays go to visit this beautiful place, just to see the spot that every-
one thinks so much of because it was the home of Washington. Perhaps,
some day, you will see it. You will think it is a beautiful place, I am
While Washington was looking after his great farm at Mount Vernon,
things were becoming very bad in America.
The King of England said the people in America must do as he told
them, and not as they wished. But the Americans said that the King
was acting very wrongly toward them, and that they would not stand it.
They did not. When the King's soldiers tried to make them do as
the King ordered, they said they would die rather than yield, and in a
place called Lexington, in Massachusetts, some of the Americans took
their guns and tried to drive off the British soldiers.
This is what is called rebellion. It made the King of England very
angry, and he sent over ships full of soldiers to make the Americans
But the Americans would not. The men in the thirteen different parts
of the country-called the thirteen colonies-got together and said they
would fight the King's soldiers, if the King tried to make them do as he
wished. So they got up an army and sent it to Massachusetts, and there
they had a famous battle with the King's soldiers, called the Battle of
After the battle, the leading men in the colonies saw that they must
put a brave man at the head of their army. There was but one man
they thought of for this. You know who-George Washington.
He rode all the way from Mount Vernon, in Virginia, to Cambridge,
in Massachusetts, on horseback, because, you know, they had no steam-
cars or steamboats in those days. As he was riding through Connecticut,
with a few soldiers as his guard, a man came galloping across the coun-
try, telling people how the Battle of Bunker Hill had been fought. The
British soldiers had driven the Americans from the fort, and said they
had won. But it had been hard work for the soldiers of the King.
Washington stopped the rider, and asked him why the Americans had
been driven out of the fort.
"Because they had no powder and. shot left," replied the messenger.
And did they stand the fire of the British guns as long as they could
fire back?" asked Washington.
"That they did," replied the horseman. They waited, too, until the
British were close to the fort, before they fired."
That was what Washington wished to know. He felt certain that if
the American farmer boys who stood out against the King's soldiers did
not get frightened
or timid in the face
of the trained sol-
Sdiers of the King,
That they would be
the kind of soldiers
he needed to win
He turned to his
the liberties of the
country are safe,"
he said, and rode
on to Cambridge to
take command of
-. the army.
If ever you go to
Cambridge, in Mas-
sachusetts, you can
see the tree under
sat on horseback,
when he took com-
mand of the Ameri-
WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWABRE. It is an old, old
tree now, but every-
body loves to look at it and to think of the splendid-looking soldier, in
his uniform of buff and blue, who, on a July day, long, long ago, sat his
horse so gallantly beneath that shady elm, and looked at the brave men
who were to be his soldiers, and by whose help he hoped to make his
native land a free and independent nation,
So, at his camp at Cambridge, he drilled his army of farmers and
fishermen, and when it was ready, he drove the British away from Bos-
ton without a battle, when all the American leaders met in the City of
Philadelphia and said they would obey the King of England no longer,
but would set up a nation of their own.
They called this new nation the United States of America, and they
signed a paper that told all the world that the men of America would no
longer obey the King of England, but would be free, even if they had to
fight for their freedom. You know what this great paper they signed is
called-the Declaration of Independence.
The day that they decided to do this is now the greatest day in all
America. You remember it every year, and celebrate it with fire-crackers
and fire-works and flags, and no school. It is the Fourth of July.
Well, the King of England was very angry at this. He sent more
ships and soldiers over the sea to America, and there was a long and
bloody war. It was called the American Revolution.
There was fighting for seven years, and, through it all, the chief man
in America, the man who led the soldiers and fought the British, and
never gave up, nor ever let himself or his soldiers grow afraid, even when
he was beaten, was General George Washington.
If the British drove him away from one place, he marched to another,
and he fought and marched, and kept his army brave and determined,
even when they were ragged and tired, and everything looked as if the
British would be successful.
When the British whipped him in the Battle of Long Island, at Brook-
lyn, and thought they had caught all the American army, Washington,
one stormy night, got all his soldiers safely across the river to New York,
and the British had to follow and fight. And, again, when it looked as
if the Americans must surely give in, Washington took his soldiers, one
terrible winter's night, across the Delaware River and fell upon the
British, when they were not expecting him, and won the Battle of Trenton.
There were many hard and bitter days for George Washington through
these years of fighting. One winter, especially, was very bad. The
British soldiers seemed victorious everywhere. They held the chief cities
of New York and Philadelphia, and the weak American army was half-
starved, cold and shivering in a place in Pennsylvania called Valley
26 GEORGE WASHINGTON.
Forge. Washington was there, too, and it took all his strength and all
his heart to keep his soldiers together and make them believe that, if
they would only "stick to it," they would beat the British at last. But
when their log huts were all coNvered with
snow and they had hardly clothes enough
to keep them war m, or fiIod to keepl) them
from bein hungry, it was not. easy for the
soldiers to see victory ahead, and, if it. bad
not been for Wash- ington the Ameri-
can army would have melted away, owing
to that. dreadful win- ter at. Valley Forge.
But he held it together, anid when
spring caine, marched away from Valley
Forge. Part of his army were attacked by
the British at a place .4,r called Monmouth Court
House,and was almost beaten and driven
back, when General 'P Washington came gal-
lopingup. Hestopped ". the soldiers who were
running away; he brought up other sol-
diers to help them, and WAS O AT LY FOG. he fought so boldly
and bravely, and was so determined, that at last he drove off the
British, and won the important battle of Monmouth.
You see, Washington simply would not give in when people told him
he would have to, and that the British would get all the cities and towns.
He said that the country was large, and, that sooner than give in, he
would go with his soldiers into the mountains and keep up the war until
the British were so sick of it that they would finally go away.
So he kept on marching and fighting, and never giving in, even when
things looked worst, and, at last, on the 19th of October, in the year 1781,
he captured the whole British army, at a place called Yorktown, in Vir-
ginia, and the Revolution was ended.
So the United States won their freedom. They have been a great
nation ever since, and every American, from that day to this, knows that
they gained their freedom because they had such a great, brave, noble,
patriotic, strong and glorious leader as General George Washington.
After the Revolution was over, and Washington had said good-bye to
his soldiers and his generals, he went back to Mount Vernon and became
a farmer again.
But the people of America would not let him stay a farmer. They got
together again in Philadelphia, and, after much thought and talk, they
drew up a paper that said just how the new nation should be governed.
This is called the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution said that, instead of a king, the people should pick
out-elect is what they called it-one man, who should be head man of
the nation for four years at a time. He was to preside over things, and
so he was called the President.
When the time came to elect the first President, there was just one
man in the United States that everybody said must be the President.
Of course you know who this man was-George Washington.
It was a great day for the new nation when he was declared President.
That is what we call being "inaugurated." All along the way, as he
rode from Mount Vernon to New York, people came out to welcome him.
They fired cannon and rang bells, and made bon-fires and put up arches
and decorations; little girls scattered flowers in his path and sang songs
of greeting, and whenever he came to a town or city, every one turned
out and marched in procession, escorting Washington through their town.
When he came to New York, after he had crossed the bay in a big row
boat, he went in a fine procession to a building called "Federal Hall,"
on Wall Street, and there he stood, on the front balcony of the building,
in face of all the people, and, with his hand on an open Bible, he said he
Should be a wise and good and faithful President. Then the Judge, who
had read to him the words he repeated, lifted his hand and cried out:
"Long live George Washington, President of the United States!" A flag
run up to the cupola of the hall, cannon boomed, bells rang, and all the
people cheered and cheered their hero and general, whom they had now
made the head of the whole nation.
So George Washington became President of the United States. He
worked just as hard to make the new nation strong and great and peace-
ful as he did when he led the army in the Revolution.
People had all sorts of things to suggest. Some of these things were
foolish, some were wrong and some would have been certain to have
broken up the United States, and lost all the things for which the coun-
try fought in the Revolution.
But Washington was at the head. He knew just what to do, and he
did it. From the day when, in the City of New York, he was made
President-that is what we call his inauguration-he gave all his thought
and all his time and all his strength to making the United States united
and prosperous and strong. And, when his four years as President were
over, the people would not let him give up, but elected him for their
President for another four years. When Washington was President, the
Capital of the United States was first at New York and afterward at
Philadelphia. Washington and his wife, whom we know of as Martha
Washington, lived in fine style, and made a very noble-looking couple.
They gave receptions every once in a while, to which the people would
come to be introduced and to see the man of whom all the world was
talking. Washington must have been a splendid-looking man then.
He was tall and well-built. He dressed in black velvet, with silver knee
and shoe buckles; his hair was powdered and tied up in what was called
a queue." He wore yellow gloves, and held his three-cornered hat in
his hand. A sword, in a polished white-leather sheath, hung at his side,
and he would bow to each one who was introduced to him. He had so
good a memory, that, if he heard a man's name and saw his face at one
introduction, he could remember and call him by name when he met
him again. But though he was so grand and noble, he was very simple
in his tastes and his talk, and desired to have no title, like prince or
king or duke, but only this-the President of the United States.
His second term as President was just as successful as his first four
years had been. He kept the people from getting into trouble with other
countries; he kept them from war and danger, and quarrels and loss.
But it tired him all out, and made him an old man before his time.
He had given almost all his life to America.
When his second term was ended, the people wished him to be Presi-
dent for the third time. But he would not. He wrote a long letter to
the people of America. It is called Washington's Farewell Address."
He told them they were growing stronger and better, but that he was
worn out and must have rest. He told them that if they would be wise
and peaceful and good, they would become a great nation; and that all
they had fought for and all they had gained would last, if they would
only act right, and they would become great, united and powerful.
So another man was made President, and Washington went back to
his farm at Mount Vernon. He was the greatest, the wisest and the most
famous man in all America. People said it was because of what he had
done for them
that their country
., was free and pow-
Serful and strong.
They said that
.ton was The
Father of His
SCountry." I think
he was; don't
you? He was very
Sglad to get back
to Mount Vernon.
WASHINGTON'S BEDROOM, MOUNT VERNON, IN WHICH HE DIED.
He loved the
beautiful old place, and he had been away from it eight years. He
liked to be a farmer, with such a great farm to look after as there are
in Virginia. He found very much to do, and he mended and built and
enlarged things and rode over his broad plantations, or received in his
fine old house the visitors who came there to see the greatest man in
There came a time when he thought he would have to give up this
pleasant life and go to be a soldier once more. For there came very near
being a war between France and the United States, and Congress begged
Washington to take command of the army once more. He was made
lieutenant-general and commander-in-chief, and hurried to Philadelphia
to gather his army together. Fortunately the war did not occur, and the
new nation was saved all that trouble and bloodshed. But Washington
was ready, if needed.
So he went back again to his beloved Mount Vernon. But he did not
long live to enjoy the peace and quiet that were his right. For, one
December day, as he was riding over his farm, he caught cold and had
the croup. He had not the strength that most boys and girls have to
carry him through such a sickness. He was worn out, and, though the
doctors tried hard to save his life, they could not, and in two days he died.
It was a sad day for America-the twelfth day of December, in the year
All the world was sorry, for all the world had come to look upon
George Washington as the greatest man of the time. Kings and nations
put on mourning for him, and, all over the world, bells tolled, drums
beat and flags were dropped to half-mast, when the news came that
Washington was dead.
When you grow up and go to Mount Vernon, as every American boy and
girl should do some day, you will see his tomb. It is a plain and simple
building, just as plain and simple as he was, and it stands close to his
house, on the green banks of the beautiful Potomac River he loved so much.
Then, sailing up the Potomac, or riding on the steam-cars, you will
come to the beautiful city that is named for this great man-Washing-
ton, the capital of the United States.
There you will see the great white dome of the splendid capitol, the
building in which the American people make laws for the nation that
Washington founded; there is the White House, where all the Presidents
since his day have lived; there is the tall, white monument-the highest
in the world-that the American people have built to honor his memory
and his name.
And in the cities and towns of America are statues and streets and
parks and schools and buildings named after him, and built because all
the world knows that this great American general and President was the
best, the noblest and the bravest man that ever lived in all America-
George Washington, first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his
Love him, children. Never forget him. Try to be like him. Thus
may you grow to be good men and women, and, therefore, good Americans.
THE ENTERTAINING HISTORY OF
JOHN PAUL JONES,
First Captain in the United States Navy.
ONCE upon a time there lived in Scotland a poor gardener, who had
a little son. The gardener's name was John Paul; that was his
son's name, too. The rich man's garden that big John took care
of was close by the sea, and little John Paul loved blue water so much
that he spent most of his time near it, and longed to be a sailor.
This blue water that little John Paul loved was the big bay that lies
between Scotland and England. It is called Solway Firth.
When little John Paul was born, on the sixth day of July, in the year
1747, both far-away Scotland, in which he lived, and this land of America,
in which you live, were ruled by the King of England.
The gardener's little son lived in his father's cottage near the sea until
he was twelve years old. Then he was put to work in a big town, on
the other side of the Solway Firth. This town was called Whitehaven.
It was a very busy place, and ships and sailors were there so much and
in such numbers that this small boy, who had been put into a store,
much preferred to go down to the docks and talk with the seamen, who
had been in so many different lands and seas, and who could tell him
all about the wonderful and curious places they had seen, and about
their adventures on the great oceans they had sailed over.
He determined to go to sea. He studied all about ships and how to
sail them. He studied and read all the books he could get, and, when
JOHN PAUL JONES, FIRST CAPTAIN IN THE U. S. NAVY.
JOHN PA UL JONES.
other boys were asleep or in mischief, little John Paul was learning from
the books he read many things that helped him when he grew older.
At last he had his wish. When he was but thirteen years old, he went
as a sailor boy in a ship called the "Friendship."
The vessel was bound to Virginia, in America, for a cargo of tobacco,
and the little sailor boy greatly enjoyed the voyage, and was especially
delighted with the new country across the sea, to which he came. He
wished he could live in America, and hoped some day to go there again.
JOHN PAUL JONES AS A SAILOR BOY.
But when this first voyage was over, he returned to Whitehaven, and
to the store, where he worked. But, soon after, the merchant who owned
the store failed in business, and the boy was out of a place and had to
look after himself. So he became a real sailor, this time. For thirteen
years he was a sailor. He was such a good one that before he was twenty
years old he was a captain. This is how he became one. While the
JOHN PAUL JONES.
ship in which he was sailing was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a
terrible fever broke out. The captain died. The mate, who comes next
to the captain, died; all of the sailors were sick, and some of them died.
There was no one who knew about sailing such a big vessel, except
young John Paul. So he took command, and sailed the ship into port
without an accident, and the owners were so glad that they made the
young sailor a sea captain.
PAUL JONES' MEN AT SEA.
John Paul had a brother living in Virginia, on the banks of the Rap-
pahannock River. This was the same river beside which George Wash-
ington lived when he was a boy. John Paul visited his brother several
times while he was sailing on his voyages, and he liked the country so
much that, when his brother died, John Paul gave up being a sailor for
a while, and went to live on his brother's farm.
When he became a farmer, he changed his name to Jones. And so
JOHN PAUL JONES.
little John Paul became known ever after, to all the world, as John Paul
While he was a farmer in Virginia, the American Revolution broke
out. I have told you about this in the story of General George Wash-
ington, who led the armies of the United States to victory.
John Paul Jones was a sailor even more than he was a farmer. So,
when war came, he wished to fight the British on the sea. This was a
bold thing to do, for there was. no nation so powerful on the sea as Eng-
land. The King had a splendid lot of ships of war-almost a thousand.
The United States had none. But John Paul Jones said we must have
Pretty soon the Americans got together five little ships, and sent them
out as the beginning of the American navy, to fight the thousand ships
John Paul Jones was made first lieutenant of a ship called the Alfred.
The first thing he did was to hoist, for the first time on any ship, the
first American flag. This flag had thirteen red and white stripes, but,
instead of the stars that are now on the flag, it had a pine tree, with a
rattlesnake coiled around it, and underneath were the words: "Don't
tread on me!"
The British sea captains who did try to tread on that rattlesnake flag
were terribly bitten, for John Paul Jones was a brave man and a bold
sailor. When he was given command of a little war sloop, called the
Providence, he just kept those British captains so busy trying to catch
him that they could not get any rest. He darted up and down Long Is-
land Sound, carrying soldiers and guns and food to General Washington,
and, although one great British war ship, the Cerberus, tried for weeks
to catch him, it had to give up the chase, for John Paul Jones couldn't be
caught. For all this good work, this bold sailor was made Captain Jones,
of the United States Navy, and it is said that he was the first captain
made by Congress.
He sailed up and down the coast, hunting for British vessels. He
hunted so well that in one cruise of six weeks he captured sixteen ves-
sels, or "prizes," as they were called, and destroyed many others. Among
these was one large vessel, loaded with new warm clothing for the British
army. Captain Jones sent the vessel and its whole cargo safely into
JOHN PA UL JONES.
port, and the captured clothes were all sent to the American camp, an(.
were worn by Washington's ragged soldiers.
The next year Captain Jones sailed away to France in a fine new ship
called the Ranger. Before he sailed out of Portsmouth Harbor, in New
Hampshire, he "ran up to the mast head of the Ranger the first "Stars
JONES APPROACHING WHITEHAVEN, EARLY MORNING.
and Stripes" ever raised over a ship-Washington's real American flag,
with its thirteen stripes and its thirteen stars.
He went to France and had a talk with Dr. Benjamin Franklin, the
great American who got France to help the United States in the Revo-
lution. Then, after he had sailed through the whole French fleet, and
made them all fire a salute to the American flag-it was the first salute
ever given it by a foreign nation-he steered away for the shores of Eng-
land, and so worried the captains and sailors and storekeepers and peo-
JOHN PA UL JONES.
pie of England that they would have given anything to catch him. But
The English King and people had not supposed the Americans would
fight. Especially, they did not believe they would dare to fight the
English on the sea, for England was the strongest country in the world
in ships and sailors. So they despised and made fun of "Yankee sailors,"
as they called the Americans. But when Captain John Paul Jones came
sailing in his fine ship, the Ranger, up and down the coasts of England,
going right into English harbors, capturing English villages and burning
English ships, the people begun to think differently.
They called Captain Jones a "pirate," and all sorts of hard names.
But they were very much afraid of him and his stout ship. He was not
a pirate, either. For a pirate is a bold, bad sea robber, who burns ships
and kills sailors just to get the money himself. But John Paul Jones
attacked ships and captured sailors, not for selfish money-getting, but
to show how much Americans could do, and to break the power of the
English navy on the seas. So, this voyage of his, along the shores of
England, taught the Englishmen to respect and fear the American sailors.
After he had captured many British vessels, called "prizes," almost
in sight of their homes, he boldly sailed to the north and into the very
port of Whitehaven, where he had "tended store," as a boy, and from
which he had first gone to sea. He knew the place, of course. He
knew how many vessels were there, and what a splendid victory he
could win for the American navy, if he could sail into Whitehaven har-
bor and capture or destroy the two hundred vessels that were anchored
within sight of the town he remembered so well.
With two row-boats and thirty men he landed at Whitehaven, locked
up the soldiers in the forts, fixed the cannon so that they could not be
fired, set fire to the vessels that were in the harbor, and so frightened all
the people that, though the gardener's son stood alone on the wharf,
waiting for a boat to take him off, not a man dared to lay a hand on
Then he sailed across the bay to the house of the great lord for whom
his father had worked as a gardener. He meant to run away with this
great man, and keep him prisoner until the British promised to treat
better the Americans whom they had taken prisoners. But the great
JOHN PA UL JONES.
lord whom he went for found it best to be "not at home," so all that
Captain Jones' men could do was to carry off from the big house some
of the fine things that were in it. But Captain Jones did not like this;
so he got the things back and returned them to the rich lord's wife, with
a nice letter, asking her to excuse his men.
But while he was carrying on so in Solway Firth, along came a great
JONES' MEN ASHORE-WHITEHAVEN.
British warship, called the Drake, determined to gobble up poor Captain
Jones at a mouthful. But Captain Jones was not afraid. This was just
what he was looking for. Come on! he cried; I'm waiting for you."
The British ship dashed up to capture him, but the Ranger was all ready,
and in just one hour Captain Jones had beaten and captured the English
frigate, and then, with both vessels, sailed merrily away to the friendly
JOHN PA UL JONES.
Soon after this, the French decided to help the Americans in their war
for independence. So, after some time, Captain Jones was put in com-
mand of five ships, and back he sailed to England, to fight the British
The vessel in which Captain Jones sailed was the biggest of the five
ships. It had forty guns and a crew of three hundred sailors. Captain
Jones thought so much of the great Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who wrote
a book of good advice, under the name of "Poor Richard," that he.
named his big ship for Dr. Franklin. He called it the "Bon Homme
Richard," which is French for "good man Richard." The Bon Homme
Richard was not a good boat, if it was a big one. It was old and rotten
and cranky, but Captain Jones made the best of it.
The little fleet sailed up and down the English coasts, capturing a
few prizes, and greatly frightening the people by saying that they had
come to burn some of the big English sea towns.
Then, just as they were about sailing back to France, they came-
near an English cape, called Flamborough Head-upon a great English
fleet of forty merchant vessels and two war ships.
One of the war ships was a great English frigate, called the Serapis,
finer and stronger every way than the Bon Homme Richard. But Cap-
tain Jones would not run away.
"What ship is that?" called out the Englishman. "Come a little
nearer, and we'll tell you," answered plucky Captain Jones.
The British ships did come a little nearer. The forty merchant ves-
sels sailed as fast as they could to the nearest harbor, and then the war
ships had a terrible sea fight.
At seven o'clock in the evening the British frigate and the Bon
Homme Richard began to fight. They banged and hammered away for
hours, and then, when the British captain thought he must have beaten
and broken the Americans, and it was so dark and smoky that they
could only see each other by the fire flashes, the British captain, Pearson,
called out to the American captain: "Are you beaten? Have you
hauled down your flag?"
And back came the answer of Captain John Paul Jones: "I haven't
begun to fight yet!"
So they went at it again. The two ships were now lashed together,
JOHN PAUL JONES.
and they tore each other like savage dogs in a terrible fight. 0, it was
At last, when the poor old Richard was shot through and through, and
leaking and on fire, and seemed ready to sink, Captain Jones made one
last effort. It was successful. Down came the great mast of the Sera-
pis, crashing to the deck. Then her guns were quiet; her flag came
tumbling down, as a sign that she gave in.
At once, Captain Jones sent some of his sailors aboard the defeated
-Serapis. The captured vessel was a splendid new frigate, quite a differ-
ent ship from the poor, old, worm-eaten and worn-out Richard.
One of the American sailors went up to Captain Pearson, the British
commander, and asked him if he surrendered. The Englishman replied
that he had, and then he and his chief officer went aboard the battered
Richard, which was sinking even in its hour of victory.
But Captain Jones stood on the deck of his sinking vessel, proud and
triumphant. He had shown what an American captain and American
sailors could do, even when everything was against them. The English
captain gave up his sword to the American, which is the way all sailors
and soldiers do when they surrender their ships or their armies.
The fight had been a brave one, and the English King knew that his
captain had made a bold and desperate resistance, even if he had been
whipped. So he rewarded Captain Pearson, when he at last returned to
England, by giving to him the title of "Sir," and when Captain Jones
heard of it he laughed, and said: "Well, if I can meet Captain Pearson
again in a sea fight, I'll make a 'lord' of him." For a "lord" is a
higher title than sir."
The poor Bon Homme Richard was shot through and through, and
soon sunk beneath the waves. But even as she went down, the stars
and stripes floated proudly from the masthead, in token of victory.
Captain Jones, after the surrender, put all his men aboard the cap-
tured Serapis, and then off he sailed to the nearest friendly port, with
his great prize and all his prisoners. This victory made him the great-
est sailor in the whole American war.
The Dutch port into which he sailed was not friendly to America, but
Captain Jones had made his name so famous as a sea fighter, that neither
the thirteen Dutch frigates inside the harbor, nor the twelve British
JOHN PA UL JONES.
ships outside, dared to touch him, and, after a while-when he got good
and ready-Captain Jones ran the stars and stripes to the masthead
and, while the wind was blowing a gale, sailed out of the harbor, right
through two big British fleets, and so sailed safely to France, with no
one bold enough to attack him.
He had made a great record as a sailor and sea fighter. France was
on America's side in
the Revolution, you
know, and when Cap-
tain Jones went to
France after his great
victory, he was re-
ceived with great -.'
to see such a hero. ..
He went to the King's
court, and the King
and Queen and French
lords and ladies made
much of him and gave
him fine receptions,
and said so many fine
things about him that,
if he had been at all
vain, it might have
"turned his head,"
as people say. But
John Paul Jones was
not vain. JONES' FIGHT BETWEEN BON IOMME RICHARD AND SERAPIS.
He was a brave
sailor, and he was in France to get help and not compliments. He
wished a new ship to take the place of the old Richard, which had gone
to the bottom after its great victory.
So, though the King of France honored him and received him splen-
didly and made him presents, he kept on working to get another ship.
JOHN PA UL JONES.
At last he was made captain of a new ship, called the Ariel, and sailed
from France. He had a fierce battle with an English ship called the
Triumph, and defeated her. But she escaped before surrendering, and
Captain Jones sailed across the sea to America.
He was received with great honor and applause. Congress gave him
a vote of thanks "for the zeal, prudence and intrepidity with which he
had supported the honor of the American flag "-that is what the vote
People everywhere crowded to see him, and called him hero and con-
queror. Lafayette, the brave young Frenchman, you know, who came
over to fight for America, called him my dear Paul Jones," and Wash-
ington and the other leaders in America said, "Well done, Captain
The King of France sent him a splendid reward of merit called the
Cross of Honor," and Congress set about building a fine ship for him
to command. But before it was finished, the war was over, and he was
sent back to France on some important business for the United States.
After he had done this, the Russians asked him to come and help
them fight the Turks.
This was often done in those days, when soldiers and sailors of one
country went to fight in the armies or navies of another.
Captain Jones said he would be willing to go, if the United States said
he could, for, he said: "I can never renounce the glorious title of a citi-
zen of the United States."
The United States said he could go to Russia, but the British officers
who were fighting for Russia, refused to serve under Jones, because, as
they said, he was a rebel, a pirate and a traitor. You see, they had not
forgiven him for so beating and frightening the English ships and people
in the Revolution. And they called him these names because he, born
in Scotland, had fought for America.
They made it very unpleasant for Captain Jones, and he had so hard
a time in Russia that, after many wonderful adventures and much hard
fighting, at last he gave up, and went back to France.
He was taken sick soon after he returned to France, and, though he
tried to fight against it, he could not recover. He had gone through
so many hardships and adventures and changes that he was old before
JOHN PAUL JONES.
his time, and although his friends tried to help him and the Queen of
France sent her own doctor to attend him, it was no use.
He died on the eighteenth day of July, in the year 1792, when he was
but forty-five years old. He was buried in Paris, with great honor.
The French people gave him a great funeral, as their token of respect
and honor, and cua. t
the French cler- H
gyman who gave
the funeral ora-
tion said: "May
his example teach
posterity the ef-
forts which noble
souls are capable
of making when
hatred to oppres-
Jones was a brave
and gallant man.
He fought des-
perately, and war k -,
is a dreadful -
thing, you know.
But, as I have
told you, some-
times it has to
be, and then it
must be b o I d BRITISH CAPTAIN SURRENDERING SWORD.
and determined. Captain Jones did much by his dash and courage to
make America free. He gave her strength and power on the seas.
He fought twenty-three naval battles, made seven attacks upon Eng-
lish ports and coasts, fought and captured four great war ships, larger
than his own, and took many valuable prizes-to the loss of England
and the glory of America.
44 JOHN PA UL JONES.
American boys and girls know too little about him. If you are to
learn about those who have fought for America on land and sea, you must
surely hear of him who was the first captain in the United States Navy
-and whose brave deeds and noble heroism is the heritage and example
of American sailors for all time.
I have ever looked out for the honor of the American flag," he said
and Americans are just beginning to see how much this first of American
sailors did for their liberty, their honor and their fame.
Some day they will know him still more, and in one of the great cities
of this land which he saved from destruction in those early days, a noble
statue will be built to do honor to Captain John Paul Jones-the man
who was one of the bravest and most successful sea fighters in the history
of the world.
...." ..... .
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L .:R .:- +;.;TE .
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o+,,~#IBB~I.- .:. + -.
LINCOLN, RAIL -SPLITTER.
THE NOTABLE HISTORY OF
Sixteenth President of the United States.
-D .. ID you ever read
Sthe fairy stories
About the poor boy who
.: ~ became a prince? Do
you wish to hear a true
story about just such a
boy? Let me tell it to
A : you. It is the story of
.Abraham Lincoln, the
hero who saved his coun-
try. He was as poor a
boy as ever lived in
America; he rose to be
greater and grander and
more royal than any
prince, or king, or em-
peror who' ever wore a
crown. Listen to his
There was once a poor
carpenter, who lived in a
miserable little log cabin,
out West. It was on a stony, weedy little hill-side, at a place called
Nolin's Creek, in the State of Kentucky.
In that log cabin, on the twelfth day of February, in the year 1809, a
little baby was born. He was named Abraham Lincoln.
I don't believe you ever saw a much poorer or meaner place in which
to be born and brought up than that little log cabin. Abraham Lin-
coln's father was poor and lazy. He could not read and he hated to
work. Abraham Lincoln's mother was a hard-working young woman,
who dreamed about having nice things, but never did have them. Their
house had no windows, it had no floor, it had none of the things you
have in your pleasant homes. In all America no baby was ever born
with fewer comforts and poorer surroundings than little Abraham Lin-
coln. He grew from a baby to a homely little boy, and to a homelier-
looking young man. He was tall and thin and gawky. His clothes
never fitted him; he never, in all his life, went to school but a year; he
had to work hard, he could play but little, and, many a day, he knew
what it was to be cold and hungry and almost homeless.
His father kept moving about from place to place, living almost always
in the woods, in Kentucky and Indiana and Illinois. Sometimes their
home would be a log cabin, sometimes it was just a hut with only three
sides boarded up, and little Abraham Lincoln was a neglected and for-
lorn little fellow.
His mother died when he was only eight years old. Then Abraham
and his sister, Sarah, were worse off than ever. But pretty soon his
father married a second wife, and Abraham's new mother was a good and
She washed him and gave him new clothes; she taught him how to
make the most and do the best with the few things he had and the
chances that came to him; she made him wish for better things; she
helped him fix himself up, and encouraged him to read and study.
This last was what Abraham liked most of all, and he was reading and
studying all the time. There were not many books where he lived, but
he borrowed all he could lay his hands on, and read them over and over.
He studied all the hard things he could find books on, from arithmetic
and grammar to surveying and law. He wrote on a shingle, when he
could not get paper, and by the light of a log fire, when he could not get
candles. He read and studied in the fields, when he was not working;
on wood-piles, where he was chopping wood, or in the kitchen, rocking
the cradle of any baby whose father or mother had a book to lend him.
His favorite position for studying was to lay, stretched out like the long
boy he was, flat on the floor, in front of an open fire. Here he would
read and write and cipher, after the day's work was over, until, at last,
he grew to be as good a scholar as any boy round.
Once he borrowed a book of an old farmer. It was a "Life of Wash-
ington." He read it and read it again, and when he was not reading it
he put it safely away between the logs that made the wall of his log-
cabin home. But one day there came a hard storm; it beat against the
cabin and soaked in between the logs and spoiled the book. Young
Abraham did not try to hide the book nor get out of the trouble. He
never did a mean thing of that sort. He took the soaked and ruined
book to the old farmer, told him how it happened, and asked how he
could pay for it.
"Wall," said the old farmer, "'t'aint much account to me now. You
pull fodder for three days and the book is yours."
So the boy set to work, and for three days "pulled fodder" to feed the
He dried and smoothed and pressed out the "Life of Washington," for
it was his now. And that is the way he bought his first book.
He was the strongest boy in all the country 'round. He could mow
the most, plough the deepest, split wood the best, toss the farthest, run
the swiftest, jump the highest and wrestle the best of any boy or man in
the neighborhood. But, though he was so strong, he was always so kind,
so gentle, so obliging, so just and so helpful that everybody liked him,
few dared to stand up against him, and all came to him to get work done,
settle disputes, or find help in quarrels or trouble.
When he was fifteen years old he was over six feet tall and very strong.
No man or boy could throw him down in a wrestle. He was like Wash-
ington in this, for both men were remarkable wrestlers when they were
boys. But he always wrestled fair. Once, when he had gone to a new
place to live, the big boys got him to wrestle with their champion, and
when the champion found he was getting the worst of it he began to try
unfair ways to win. This was one thing that Lincoln never would
stand-unfairness or meanness. He caught the big fellow, lifted him in
the air, shook him as a dog shakes a rat, and then threw him down to
the ground. The big bully was conquered. He was a friend and fol-
lower of Lincoln as long as he lived, and you may be sure the "boys" all
about never tried any more mean tricks on Abraham Lincoln.
So he grew, amid the woods and farms, to be a bright, willing, oblig-
ing, active, good-natured, fun-loving boy. He had to work early and
THE BOY LINCOLN, STUDYING.
late, and when he was a big boy he went to work among the farmers,
where he hired as a "hired man." He could do anything, from splitting
rails for fences to rocking the baby's cradle; or from hoeing corn in the
field to telling stories in the kitchen.
And how he did like to tell funny stories. Not always funny, either.
For, you see, he had read so much and remembered things so well that
he could tell stories to make people laugh and stories to make people
think. He liked to recite poetry and "speak pieces," and do all the
things that make a person good company for every one. He would sit in
front of the country store or on the counter inside and tell of all the funny
things he had seen, or heard, or knew. He would make up poetry about
the men and women of the neighborhood, or "reel off" a speech upon
things that the people were interested in, until all the boys and girls,
and the men and women, too, said "Abe Lincoln," as they called
him, knew about everything, and was an "awful smart chap."
r-- --- Sometimes
he knew too
when he tried
to explain to
one of the girls
that the earth
Sand the sun did
Snot move, she
He1 would not be-
Se lieve him, and
Said he was
But she lived
to learn that
"Abe," as she
called him, was
LINCOLN, THE WRESTLER. nOt a foo ,
but a bright,
thoughtful, studious boy, who understood what he read and did not
He worked on farms, ran a ferry-boat across the river, split rails for
farm fences, worked an oar on a "flat-boat," got up a machine for lifting
boats out of the mud, kept store, did all sorts of "odd jobs" for the farm-
ers and their wives, and was, in fact, what we call a regular "Jack of all
trades." And all the time, though he was jolly and liked a good time,
he kept studying, studying, studying, until, as I have told you, the peo-
pie where he lived said he knew more than anybody else. Some of them
even said that they knew he would be President of the United States
some day, he was so smart.
The work he did most of all out-of-doors, was splitting great logs into
rails for fences. He could do as much as three men at this work, he was
so strong. With one blow he could just bury the axe in the wood. Once
he split enough rails for a woman to pay for a suit of clothes she made
him, and all the farmers round liked to have "Abe Lincoln," as they called
him, split their rails.
He could take the heavy axe by the end of the handle and hold it out
straight from his shoulder. That is something that only a very strong-
armed person can do. In fact, as I have told you, he was the champion
strong-boy of his neighborhood, and, though he was never quarrelsome
or a fighter, he did enjoy a friendly wrestle, and, we are told, that he
could strike the hardest blow with axe or maul, jump higher and farther
than any of his comrades, and there was no one, far or near, who
could put him on his back. He made two trips down the long Ohio
and the broad Mississippi rivers to the big city of New Orleans, in Louis-
iana. He sailed on a clumsy, square, flat-bottomed scow, called a flat-
boat. Lincoln worked the forward oar on the flat-boat, to guide the big
craft through the river currents and over snags.
On these trips he first saw negro men and women bought and sold the
same as horses, pigs and cattle, and from that day, all through his life, he
hated slavery. When he became a young man, a war broke out in the
Western country with the Indians. They were led by the famous Indian
chief called Black Hawk. Lincoln went with the soldiers to fight Black
Hawk. He was thought so much of by his companions that they made
him captain of their company.
Captain Lincoln's soldiers all liked him, and they were just like boys
together. Sometimes they were pretty wild boys and gave him a good
deal of trouble, but he never got real angry at them but once. That
was when a poor, broken-down, old Indian came into camp for food and
shelter, and Loncoln's "boys" were going to kill him just because he was
an Indian. But Lincoln said, "For shame!" He protected the old
Indian and, standing up in front of him, said he would knock down the
first man that dared to touch him. The soldiers knew that Lincoln
meant what he said, and thought even more of him after that. And
the old Indian's life was saved.
When the soldiers' time was up, and most of them went back home,
Lincoln would not go with them. He joined another regiment as a pri-
vate soldier and staid in the army until the Indians were beaten and
driven away, and Black Hawk was taken prisoner.
Then Lincoln started for home with another soldier boy. They had
I fl f^ ^ -,,ii~l~~.,|-m -- I
LINCOLN, AS HIRED MAN, TELLING A STORY.
great adventures. Their horse was stolen, and they had to walk; then
they found an old canoe and paddled down the rivers until the canoe was
upset and they were nearly drowned; then they walked again until they
"got a lift" on a row-boat, and so, at last, walking and paddling, they
got back to their homes, poor and tired out, but strong and healthy
Then Lincoln tried store-keeping again. He had already been a clerk
in a country store; now he set up a store of his own. He was not very
successful. He loved to read and study better than to wait on custom-
ers, and he was so obliging and good-natured that he could not make
much money. Then he had a partner who was lazy and good for noth-
ing, and who got him into trouble. But, through it all, Lincoln never
did a mean or dishonest thing. He paid all the debts, though it took
him years to do this, and he could be so completely trusted to do the
right thing for everyone that all the people round about learned to call
him "Honest Abe Lincoln." That's a good nick-name, is'nt it?
After Lincoln got through keeping store he was so much liked by the
people that they chose him to go to the capital of the State, as one of
the men who made laws for the State of Illinois, in what is called the
He was sent to the Legislature again and again, and one of the first
things he did was to draw up a paper, saying what a wicked thing
At that time, you know, almost everybody in the southern half of the
United States owned negro men and women and children, just as they
owned horses and dogs and cows. Lincoln did not believe in this. Once,
when he was in New Orleans, on one of his flat-boat trips, he went into
a dreadful place where they sold men and women at auction. It made
young Lincoln sick and angry, and he said if ever he got the chance he
would hit slavery a blow that would hurt it-though, of course, he did
not think he was ever to have the real chance to hit it hard that did
come to him.
But when he was a young man no one said much against slavery, and
the people thought Lincoln was foolish to act and talk as he did. But,
you see, one of the strongest things about Abraham Lincoln was that he
was sympathetic-that is, he felt sorry for anyone in trouble. He was
tender, even with animals-pigs and horses, cats and dogs, and birds.
If he found a little bird on the ground, he would take it up tenderly and
hunt around until he found its nest, and leave it there. He would get
down from his horse to pull a pig out of the mud, and, when he was a
boy, he went back across an icy and rushing river to help over a poor
little dog that was afraid to cross. So you will not wonder that, when
he grew to be a man, he hated slavery, for slavery was unkindness to
men and women.
After he came back from the Legislature, he became a lawyer--he had
always been studying law, you know. He was a bright, smart and suc-
cessful lawyer. What is better still, he was a good and honest one. He
never would take a case he did not believe in, and once when a man
came to engage him to help get some money from a poor widow, Lincoln
refused, and gave the man such a scolding that the man did not try it
LINCOLN KEEPING STORE.
again. So Mr. Lincoln grew to be one of the best lawyers in all that
Because he was so wise and brave in speech and action, Lincoln rose
to be what is called a great politician. He and another famous
man, named Douglas, looked at things differently, and they had long
public talks or discussions about politics and slavery. These discussions
were held where all the people could hear them, in big halls or out of
doors, and crowds of people went to listen to these talks, so that very
soon everybody "out West" and people all over the country had heard
of Lincoln and Douglas.
At last, came a time when the people of the United States were to
choose a new President. And what do you think? These two men
were picked out by the opposite parties to be voted for by the people-
Lincoln by the Republicans, and Douglas by the Democrats.
And on election day the Republicans won. The poor little backwoods
boy, the rail-splitter, the flat-boatman, the farm-hand, was raised to the
highest place over all the people. Abraham Lincoln was elected Presi-
dent of the United States.
Is not that as good as your fairy story of the poor boy who became a
prince ? It is even better, for it is true.
It was a great honor, but it meant hard work and lots of worry for
Abraham Lincoln. Bad times were coming for America.
The men of the South, who believed in slavery and said that their
States had everything to say, stood up against the men of the North,
who did not believe in slavery, and said that the Government of the
United States had more to say than any one of the separate States.
Thus the men of the South said, You do as we say, or we will break
up the Union."
And the men of the North said, You cannot break it up. The union
of all the States shall be kept, and you must stay in it."
The South said, "We won't; we will secede "-that is, draw out of
The North said, You shall not secede. We will fight to keep you in
and preserve the Union."
The South said, "We dare you! "
The North said, "We'll take that dare! "
And then there was war.
Abraham Lincoln, when he was made President, spoke beautifully to -
the people, and begged them not to quarrel. But, at the same time, he
told them that whatever happened, he was there to save the Union, and
he should do so.
But his words then had little effect. War had to come, and it came.
For four dreadful years the men of the North and the men of the South
fought each other for the mastery on Southern battle-fields. Many des-
operate and terrible battles were fought, for each side was bound to win.
Neither side would give in, and brave soldiers, under brave leaders, did
many gallant deeds under that terrible necessity that men call war.
This war was especially dreadful, because it was just like two brothers
fighting with each other, and you know how dreadful that must be.
During all those four years of war Abraham Lincoln lived in the Presi-
dent's house at Washington-the White House, as it is called.
He had but one wish-to save the Union. He did not mean to let
war, nor trouble, nor wicked men destroy the nation that Washington
had founded. He was always ready to say, We forgive you," if the men
of the South would only stop fighting and say, "We are sorry." But
they would not do this, much as the great, kind, patient, loving Presi-
dent wished them to.
That he was kind and loving all through that terrible war we know
very well. War is a dreadful thing, and when it is going on some hard
and cruel things have to be done. The soldiers who are sick or wounded
have to be hurt to make them well. As they lay in their hospitals, after
some dreadful battle had torn and maimed them, the good President
would walk through the long lines of cot-beds, talking kindly with the
wounded soldiers, sending them nice things, doing everything he could
to relieve their sufferings and make them patient and comfortable.
In war, too, you know, even brave soldiers often get tired of the fight-
ing and the privations and the delay, and wish to go home to see their
wives and children. But they cannot, until it is time for them. So,
sometimes they get impatient and run away. This is called desertion,
and when a deserter is caught and brought back to the army, he
Now President Lincoln was so loving and tender-hearted that he could
not bear to have any of his soldiers shot because they had tried to go
home. So, whenever he had a chance, he would write a paper saying
the soldier must not be shot. This is called a pardon, and whenever a
weak or timid soldier was arrested and sentenced to be shot as a deserter,
his friends would hurry to the good President and beg him to give the
man a pardon.
He almost always did it. "I don't see how it will do the man any
good to shoot him," he would say. Give me the paper, I'll sign it,"
and so the deserter would go free, and perhaps make a better soldier
than ever, because the good President had saved him.
The question of slavery was always coming up in this war time. But
when some of the men at the North asked Lincoln to set all the slaves
in the land free, he said: The first thing to do is to save the Union;
after that we'll see about slavery."
Some people did not like that. They said the President was too slow.
LINCOLN ON THE ILAT BOAT.
But he was not. He was the wisest man in all the world; the only one
who could do just the right thing, and he did it.
He waited patiently until just the right time came. He saw that the
South was not willing to give in, and that something must be done to
show them that the North was just as determined as they were. So,
after a great victory had been won by the soldiers of the Union, Abra-
ham Lincoln wrote a paper and sent it out to the world, saying that on
the first day of January, in the year 1863, all slaves in America should
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 57
be free men and women-what we call emancipated-and that, forever
after, there should be no such thing as slavery in free America.
It was a great thing to do. It was a greater thing to do it just as
Lincoln did it, and, while the world lasts, no one will ever forget the
w A Still the
Swear went on.
But, little by
IL little, th e
ra South was
ker, and, at
last, in the
the end came.
J soldiers gave
up the fight.
-. ...... ,' saved.
LINCOLN ENTERING RICHMOND. You may
be sure that
the great and good President was glad. He did not think that he had
done so very much. It was the people who had done it all, he said.
But the people knew that Lincoln had been the leader and captain
who had led them safely through all their troubles, and they cheered
and blessed him accordingly.
But do you think the poor black people whom he had set free blessed
him? They did, indeed.
When President Lincoln at last stood in the streets of Richmond,
which had been the capital of the Southern States, he was almost wor-
shipped by the colored people. They danced, they sang, they cried, they
prayed, they called down blessings on the head of their emancipator-
the man who had set them free. They knelt at his feet, while the good
President, greatly moved by what he saw, bowed pleasantly to the shout-
ing throng, while tears of joy and pity rolled down his care-wrinkled
face. Don't you think it must have been a great and blessed moment
for this good and great and noble man. But it was the same all over
the land. There was cheering and shouting and thanksgiving every-
where for a re-united nation, and even the South, weary with four years
of unsuccessful war, welcomed peace and quiet once more.
Then, who in all the world was greater than Abraham Lincoln? He
had done it all, people said, by his wisdom, his patience and his determin-
ation, and the splendid way in which he had directed everything from his
home in the White House.
The year before, in the midst of the war, he had been elected Presi-
dent for the second time. "It is not safe to swap horses when you are
crossing a stream," he said. So the people voted not to "swap horses."
Lincoln made a beautiful speech to the people when he was again
made President. He spoke only of love and kindness for the men of the
South, and, while he said the North must fight on to the end and save
the Union, they must do it not hating the South, but loving it.
And this is the way he ended that famous speech. Remember his
words, boys and girls, they are glorious: With malice toward none, with
charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the
right, let us finish the work we are in and achieve and
cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all
But, just when the war was ended, when peace came to the land
again; when all men saw what a grand and noble and loving and strong
man the great President was; when it looked as if, after four years of
worry, weariness and work, he could at last rest from his labors and be
happy, a wicked, foolish and miserable man shot the President, behind
his back. And, on the morning of the fifteenth of April, in the year
1865, Abraham Lincoln died.
Then how all the land mourned! South, as well as North, wept for
the dead President. All the world sorrowed, and men and women began
to see what a great and noble man had been taken from them.
The world has not got over it yet. Every year and every day only
makes Abraham Lincoln greater, nobler, mightier. No boy ever, in all
the world, rose higher from poorer beginnings. No man who ever lived
did more for the world than Abraham Lincoln, the American.
He saw what was right, and he did it; he knew what was true, and he
said it; he felt what was just, and he stuck to it. So he stands to-day,
for justice, truth and right.
You do not understand all this now, as you listen to these words and
look at these pictures. Bat some day you will, and you will then know
that it was because Abraham Lincoln lived and did these things that
you have to-day a happy home in a great, free, rich and beautiful coun-
try-" The land of the free and the home of the brave."
So remember this, now, boys and girls: You are free and happy in
America to-day, because Abraham Lincoln saved for you to live in the
land that George Washington made free.
THE REMARKABLE HISTORY OF
ULYSSES S. GRANT,
General of the Armies of the United States.
THIS is the story of a great soldier and a good man. Everybody
likes to see soldiers marching, with their drums and guns and
flags and uniforms. They make a fine sight, and the boys and
girls all hurrah and clap their hands as the regiments march by. But
when these soldiers go marching to battle, it is quite another thing.
For war is terrible, and some of the best and bravest soldiers hate it
Sometimes, however, great questions and bitter quarrels can only be
settled by war and fighting, and then it is well for the people to have
their armies led to battle by such a great and gallant soldier as this
story tells about.
His name was Ulysses Simpson Grant. He was born in a little town,
out in Ohio, called Point Pleasant, on the twenty-seventh of April, in
the year 1822. The house in which he was born is still standing. It is
on the banks of the Ohio River, and you can look across to Kentucky,
on the other side of the river.
When Ulysses was only a year old his father moved to a place called
Georgetown, not far away, and there he spent his boyhood.
He was a strong, healthy, go-ahead little fellow, who did not like to go
to school very well. But, if he had anything to do, either in work or
play, he stuck to it, until it was done.
When he was seventeen years old, Ulysses was sent to the splendid
GRANT ON THE FIELD, LAST YEAR OF THE WAR.
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
school among the beautiful highlands of the Hudson River, in New York,
where boys are taught to become soldiers of the United States Army.
This is called the United States Military Academy, at West Point.
He stayed four years at this fthimou1~ '.
school. He did not. like the schlIool part
of it any imore at West Point than he did '
at his Ohio school-house, but he loved horses, and became a fine horse
When he left West Point, he was made second lieutenant in' the
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
United States Army. He went home, but in a year or two there was a
war between the United States and the country that joins us on the
south. It is called Mexico, and this war is called the Mexican War.
Young Ulysses Grant went to this war as first lieutenant, and fought
the Mexicans in many bloody battles. He was a daring young officer,
and his men followed willingly wherever he led. In one of the hardest
battles in this war with Mexico-the battle of Monterey-the American
soldiers charged into the town and then got out of ammunition-that is,
powder and shot. To get any more, some one would have to ride straight
through the fire of the Mexicans, who were in the houses of the town;
so the general did not think he could order any soldier to do this. But he
asked who would do it. That is what is meant by calling for volunteers.
Lieutenant Grant at once said he would go. He mounted his horse,
but slipped over on the side furthest from the houses in which the Mexi-
cans were hiding. Then he set his horse on a gallop, and so dashed
through the town and past all the hostile houses, and brought back the
ammunition in safety.
He did many other brave and soldierly things when he was a young
officer in this war with Mexico, but he was always such a modest man
that he never liked to tell of his courageous deeds. When he did, he
would generally say: "0, well; the battle would have been won, just as
it was, if I had not been there." The brave men and the bravest boys,
you know, never boast.
In another of these battles in the Mexican war-it has a long, hard
name-Chepultepec, young Grant was so bold and brave that his name
was picked out as that of one of the bravest soldiers in the fight.
At another time, when a strong fort was in the path of the Americans,
Lieutenant Grant dragged a small cannon away up into a church steeple,
and pointing it at the fort, fired his cannon balls so swift and straight
and sure that the Mexican soldiers had to run out of the fort, and the
Americans marched into it and soon after took the city it had defended.
And when the news of this fight was sent home to the United States,
young Grant's brave act was made a part of it, and he was promoted to
be a captain. The Mexicans were defeated in many battles, and, at last
the cruel war was ended. The Americans were victorious and marched
back north to their homes.
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
Then Captain Grant married his wife; but, soon after, he had to go
without her to California and Oregon, where his regiment was sent. He
had a hard time
getting there, for
the dreadful cholera
''l broke out while
the soldiers were on
S,, the way, and if it
had not been for
S- ,' i, Captain Grant's
bravery and devo-
tion most of the
soldiers and their
.i e i wives and chil-
.dren would have
tie f You see, a man
Scan be just as
brave taking care
of sick people as
., when fighting in
:.; : battle.
After he had been
in Oregon for a
while he got tired
of doing nothing,
so he gave up being
S.. a soldier, and went
'" back to his little
farm near St. Louis,
in Missouri. He
lived in a log-
GRANT AFTER THE BATTLE OP BELMONT. house on this farm
with his wife and children, and at times was quite poor. He
tried farming, and buying and selling horses and collecting bills,
and, at last, moved from St. Louis to the town of Galena, in Illi-
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
nois, where he was a tanner and made leather with his father and
While Grant was an unknown tanner in Illinois a dreadful thing hap-
pened in America. The Northern and Southern States, which, joined
together, made these United States of America, became angry with each
other over things that, some day, you will learn all about in school.
The South said: "We won't stay in the Union any longer."
The North said: You've got to stay. We won't let you go."
But the South determined to go, and, in the year 1861, they had gone
and had made a new nation of themselves. Then the North said the
South could not go and should not go, and tried to keep them in the
Union by force.
They began to fight with each other, and there was a terrible war in
the land. We call it now the War of the Rebellion, or the Civil War.
Captain Grant joined the army at once and marched away to the war
with some soldiers from his own town, and, after a while, he was given
command of a regiment and made a colonel. Soon after that he was
promoted to be a brigadier-general.
After the war had been going on for several months the men who were
at the head of things found out what a good soldier General Grant was,
and he was given command of a large number of men and marched
with them against the Confederates, as the Southern soldiers were
There were some hard battles fought, among them that of Belmont, on
the Mississippi, at which village a severe engagement took place. But
Grant was victorious, and at last he got the Confederate soldiers cooped
up in a place called Fort Donelson.
When the general of the Confederate soldiers asked General Grant
how he could save his soldiers and get out of the fort alive, the General
said: "Unconditional surrender." That means, give me your fort and
all your soldiers and guns and flags and swords. Then I will not
fight you. If you will not do this, I shall make you.
There was no other way, so the Comfederates surrendered Fort Donel-
son. It was a great victory for the Northern soldiers, and everybody
praised General Grant. Then he marched to another place. It was
called Shiloh. There was a terrible battle here. At first it was almost
ULYSSES S. GRANT. 65
a defeat for the Union soldiers, but General Grant stuck to it and fought
so bravely, that at last the Confederates were beaten and driven back.
GRANT AT SHILOH.
GRANT AT SHILOH.
It was the first great battle of the war. It continued through two
April days-Saturday and Sunday. The Confederates were led by their
best and bravest general, Albert Sidney Johnston. Had it not been for
* .^'" **
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
General Grant's bravery, determination, persistence and good leadership,
the Northern troops would surely have been beaten, and the Union cause
would have been sadly put back.
But he stuck to it. He must win, that was all. And he did win.
He rode up and down the line all that terrible Saturday and Sunday,
giving orders, directing and encouraging his men. For he knew that they
were mostly soldiers who had never seen a battle, and he knew that un-
less they were made braver by the courage and bravery of their leaders,
they would not make good soldiers.
So all through this dreadful battle of Shiloh, in which the dash and
bravery of the South first met the courage and endurance of the North,
General Grant was in the thick of it, inspiring his soldiers, bringing vic-
tory out of defeat, and showing the world what a great general he really
So he kept driving the Confederate soldiers off whenever he fought
them. They were brave, too, for they also were Americans. But they
had not so great a general to lead them in battle. At last Grant got the
Southern army cooped up in a town called Vicksburg. He marched his
soldiers against it and built forts around it and banged away at it with
his great cannons until at last, when the Confederates in the town could
get no help and could not get away, they gave up the town and all its
forts and soldiers and guns to General Grant. That was the surrender
if Vicksburg. It was another splendid victory.
Then General Grant was promoted to be a major-general, and marched
off to fight more of the bold Southern soldiers. He fought them again at
a place called Chattanooga, among the mountains. This was so hard a
battle and so great a victory for General Grant that the United States
gave him a gold medal to remember it. Then he was given command of
all the armies of the United States. So far he had fought in the West.
Now he came East and took the lead of all the Northern soldiers in Vir-
ginia, which was called the Army of the Potomac. He fought the Con-
federates and their brave leader, General Lee, for a whole year in Virginia.
There were some dreadful battles. There never were harder ones in all
the world. But General Grant knew that if he wished to win, he must
fight hard and terribly. The hardest fighting of all that cruel war was
now to come, you see. It was in the region that separated the two capi-
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
tals-Washington, the capital of the United States, and Richmond, the
Much of the fighting was in a section covered with thick woods and
underbrush, and called "The Wilderness." For sixteen days the two
armies faced each other
.\ in this wilderness, so
close together that they
Could talk across, and
-, I so, watching by night
S. and fighting by day, the
two generals, Lee, the
SConfederate, and Grant,
tthe Union leader, fought
each other in the most
-h tremendous and des-
perate battles of modern
They ended at last,
not by really defeating
Lee, but by forcing him
back, inch by inch, un-
til Grant and his sol-
diers got nearer to Rich-
mond. You see, the
men of the North and
the men of the South
had grown now to be
trained and courageous
soldiers, and they were
GRANT T WINDSO CATL. so equally matched in
numbers, bravery and
determination, and were so ably led by their commanding generals that
the conflict was a stubborn and desperate one.
But General Grant would not be defeated. He never gave up; and
when, in the hot weather, things seemed going badly and he was asked what
he meant to do, he said, Fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer."
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
It did take all summer, and all the winter, too; but, at last, this great
soldier was successful. The Southerners were beaten, and their gallant
leader, General Lee, at a place called Appomattox, on the ninth of April,
1865, surrendered all his soldiers and flags and guns to General Grant.
It was the end to a long and bitter war. Probably no other soldier in
America could have defeated General Lee and his soldiers except General
Grant. The Southern soldiers were brave and determined; they were
desperate; for they knew if they did not beat Grant and capture Wash-
ington the cause of the South must be given up.
So they fought on, even after they began to get hungry and ragged, and
the South was poor and empty. Gradually, however, they grew weaker;
and still General Grant kept at it, forcing them back, back, until at last
they fled from Richmond. The Southern soldiers were beaten or cap-
tured, and, as I have told you, General Lee surrendered at last to General
Grant at Appomattox. The war was over. The North had won the great
fight that had lasted through four terrible years, and General U. S. Grant
was hailed as "the Conqueror."
It is hard for the boys and girls who have quarreled and got the best
of it, not to clap their hands and talk big. It is even harder for men
and women. But General Grant, when he had won the victory, would
not crow over the defeated Southerners. "They are Americans," he
He gave them back their horses so that they could plough their farms
for planting; he gave them food and clothes, and sent them away friends;
he said to North and South alike: "The war is over. Let us have
Of course his great success made him a hero. He was one. But he
hated to be so talked about; he never made a show of himself, nor said,
as a good many boys and men do when they have done something fine:
" Look at me! General Grant was quiet, modest and silent. Of course,
the world thought all the more of him because he did not try to put him-
self forward. His own land thought so much of him that they twice made
him President of the United States, just as they did Washington.
It was a pretty good rise for a little Western farmer boy and tanner, wasn't
it? After he was through being President he left his country and trav-
eled around the world, and the world did him honor.
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
Kings and queens and princes invited him to their palaces and were
glad to see him. He visited the Queen of England in her palace of
Windsor Castle; he talked with the soldiers and statesmen of the world,
GRANT IN TAPAN.
while emperors honored him as one of the world's famous men, and cities
welcomed him as the foremost general of the day and the man who had
been President of the world's mightiest Republic.
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
Amid all these festivities, in all lands and in all scenes set to do him
honor, General Grant was still the same modest, quiet, silent man he had
been all his life. The brilliant carnival at Havana, which he saw and
which honored him, the curious and strange surroundings in far-off Japan,
where they were beginning to think and act for themselves; the court
of China, which few Americans had ever seen; the storied lands of the
East-Jerusalem, Damascus, Constantinople, Alexandria-all these he
visited, and in all he was welcomed and pointed out to the boys and
girls of every nation, tribe and land as the great American-the visitor
from the land beyond the sea. Great men, wherever he went, called
upon him and made friends with him, and, as I have said, the people
everywhere, in Japan and China, and Egypt and Turkey, and Russia and
Germany, and Italy and France and England ran after him just as their
kings and princes had done. They hurrahed for him and made much of
him-more than any man in all the world had ever before been so hon-
oi'ed and entertained.
For, you see, people everywhere knew that General Grant was a great
man, who, by his patience, his perseverance, his wisdom and his will had
carried a mighty nation through a terrible war, won it; had been made
the chief man of that nation, and shown all the world how a man can
be a great soldier and yet a quiet, simple, modest man. But they were
to see him fight one other battle-the hardest that any boy or girl, any man
or woman can fight-the battle against wrong and death. He came back
from his travels round the world, and as he did not like to be idle, he put
what money he had into business and began, so he thought, to grow rich.
He made his home in New York City, in a fine house which the people
who honored him had given him as a token of their respect and
affection and their pride in the man who had done so much for them in
four years of war, and who had governed his native land as President
through eight years of peace.
But his business ventures turned out badly. A wretched man worked
against him, using his honorable name to mislead the people, and taking
for himself both their money and that of General Grant.
All of a sudden the end came. The bad man ran away and General
Grant found himself without a cent. All his money was gone, and,
worse than that, others who had trusted in him had lost their money,
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
too. It broke the great general down. It almost defeated the soldier
who had never known defeat. It made him weak and sick.
But, just as he had
"marched to war courage-
ously, so, now, he faced
disaster just as bravely.
I' He set to work to make
Ships losses good, and, be-
cause all the world wished
to hear about him, he be-
gan to write the story of
his life and his battles.
He kept himself alive to
do this. For over a year
he fought ruin and a terri-
ble pain as stoutly as he
had ever battled with real
soldiers, while all the world
looked on in love and pity,
and kings and beggars sent
him words of sympathy.
He won the fight, for he did
not give up until his book
was finished. Then he died.
On the twenty-first of
July, in the year 1885, on
the mountain-top to which
he had been carried, near
"i Saratoga, in New York,
" .-. General Grant died, and
all the world mourned a
GENERAL GRANT'S HOUSE, NEW YORK; 1885. great man gone.
The world mourned;
men and women everywhere had learned to honor the great general as
much for his victories over disaster, disgrace and pain as for his con-
quests in war and his governing in peace. His funeral, on Saturday,
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
August 8, 1885, was one of the grandest public ceremonials ever seen in
America. The President of the United States, senators, governors, gen-
erals, judges and famous men came to New York to show their sorrow
and ,esteem, and the poor boy of the western prairies was buried amid
the solemn tolling of bells and firing of cannon, while all people and all
lands sent words of sorrow and of sympathy to the Republic which had
so honored him in death as it had honored him in life.
Upo~wn a Ibeauti- ftuLl klnkll in a
beatifiul park in New York iises
a stately monu- men t, above his
tomb_. In the i Cit of Chicago,
in the State from which he came
from poverty t.o .me, another
splendid monu- ment towers in
his honor. GRANT'S FUNERAL PROCESSION.
His is not an uncommon name, and yet in all America, in all the
world, there is but one Grant!
His story is one from which even the smallest boy and the tiniest
girl can learn something. For it teaches them to be persistent, yet
ULYSSES S. GRANT.
modest; strong, yet simple; magnanimous in victory; patient in distress
He was a great soldier, but he hated war; yet, when he had to fight,
he did fight, and nothing could put him aside from the end he had in
Though he became the foremost man of the world, he was always a
quiet, modest and simple American gentleman, and, when he had to face
both pain and loss, he did so patiently, uncomplainingly and heroically,
never giving in until he had done what he had determined to do. To
be a great soldier is a fine thing; to be a noble, truthful, simple man is
still finer. General Grant was both; and while the boys and girls of
America will never forget the battles and victories won for their sake,
let them also never forget that it was his simplicity, his loyalty, his
devotion, his persistence and his honor that made all the world respect
and love Ulysses Simpson Grant as a great American.
THE STIRRING STORY OF
ROBERT E. LEE,
General of the Confederate Armies.
T HIS is to tell you the story of Robert E. Lee.
Every boy and girl in America knows who
he was-a great American soldier.
But he was more than a great soldier, he was
a hero, and this is a hero story. Is there any
boy or girl who does not like to hear about a
hero? You know what a hero is, do you not?
It is one who does great deeds in a grand way.
Ever since the world began there have been
heroes. Some have been soldiers, some have
been kings, some have been just plain, poor men
or boys. But the world has liked to hear their
stories-from David, the boy who killed Go-
liath the giant, to George Washington, who
delivered his land from tyranny.
In this dear America, which is our native
land, we have had many heroes. They have
defended us in danger, fought for us in war, cared
for us in peace, and every boy and girl in Amer-
ica is told the story of their lives and taught to
love and respect and honor them.
It is the story of one of these brave and heroic
CADET LEE. men that I wish now to tell you-the story of
I I .
ON THE EVE OF GETTYSBURG.-GENERAL LEE DIRECTING THE BATTLE.
ROBERT E. LEE.
Robert E. Lee, who fought long and bravely for what he believed to be
the rights and the liberty of his fellow-men in the southern half of
the United States of America. Listen to his story.
Many years ago, when your grandfather's grandfather was helping to
make the Fourth of July, a certain brave and gallant soldier fought in
almost all the battles of the American Revolution. People called him
"Light-horse" Harry Lee. This was because he was the leader of a
number of dashing, fast-riding soldiers or cavalry called "light-horse,"
because the riders were dressed and armed as lightly as possible. In this
dress they could ride swiftly and act quickly. .,
"Light-horse" Harry Lee was a splendid horseback rider, and his swift
and daring dashes with his light-horse legion did a great deal toward
whipping the British and making the American Revolution a success.
General Washington thought very much of this brave Virginian horse-
man, and, when the war was over, wrote him a letter in which he sent
him his "love and thanks for what he had done in the American Revo-
lution. And, when the great and good Washington died, at his beautiful
home at Mount Vernon, it was his friend the dashing cavalry soldier who
spoke those splendid words about the greatest American-words which,
I hope, you all know by heart: Washington! first in war, first in peace
and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
Nearly twenty-five years after the American Revolution ended in suc-
cess, when "Light-horse" Harry Lee had been Governor Lee of Virginia,
and was writing a book about the American Revolution, a little baby boy
was born into his pleasant Virginia home. This baby was named Robert
Edward Lee, and he was to grow up to become an even greater and nobler
man than his famous father.
Robert E. Lee was born on the nineteenth of January, 1807-the very
year in which our great American poets, Longfellow and Whittier, were
born. His father's house was at a beautiful country place in Virginia,
called Stafford. It was in Westmoreland County, on the Potomac River,
the very county in Virginia in which George Washington was born, and
on the banks of the same Potomac River.
He was a good boy in everything, good in his home, good in his school,
good in his looks, and good in his ways. His father was not very well
ROBERT E. LEE.
when Robert was a little boy and had to be away from home a great deal
hunting for good health; so Robert's mother brought her boy up.
She brought him up well and made a man of him, because she made
him true and manly from the start. He was never what boys call a
"sissy" just because he was mild and good, but he was a manly, brave,
'**. -" '- ff:hi^ ? "-
YOUNG LEE BIDING IN FRONT OF "STAFFORD," VIRGINIA, THE MANSION OF
"LIGHT-HORSE" HARRY LEE.
true-hearted little fellow, kind to all about him, always in love with his
mother, always obeying her, attentive to his studies, doing his duty in
every way as a real boy should.
When Robert was four years old his father moved from his country
home at Stafford to the little city of Alexandria, quite near to Wash-
ington, the capital of the nation.
There Robert went to school in a queer, old-fashioned, yellow house
ROBERT E. LEE.
that is still standing in Alexandria, and is still used for a boy's school.
Its right name was Hallowell's School, from the master who kept it; but
the boys who went there called it, because of its yellow walls, Brimstone
When Robert was eleven years old his father, the famous Light-horse"
Harry Lee of the American Revolution, died in Georgia, where he had
gone for his health. The fatherless boy clung closer to his mother than
ever, and determined to do everything he could to help her; but he had
such a great respect for his father's memory, and felt so much pride in
the deeds his famous father had done in the cause of liberty and his native
land, that when the time came for him to decide what he would do when
he became a man, he declared he would be a soldier just as his father
So he went to West Point, the famous Military Academy on the banks
of the Hudson River, where the United States trains boys to lead its
armies and fight its battles.
Robert E. Lee stayed four years at West Point. He entered there as a
plebb," or new boy, in 1825, when he was eighteen years old, and leaving
it, or "graduating" as it is called, as Lieutenant Lee in 1829.
He did finely at that famous school. He was what they called a
model cadet-always spick and span in his gray and white soldier suit,
always at the head in his studies, always ready in his duties, in his
drill, and in all he had to do. He never received a demerit, or bad
mark, in all the four years that he was a cadet at West Point. Think
They said, there, that cadet Lee kept his gun so bright and clean that
the inspecting officer could fairly see his face in its gleaming barrel and
its polished stock.
He was such a fine scholar at West Point that when he got through
and graduated he stood second in his class-that is, next to head, you
This gave him a chance to choose just where he would like to be in
the army when he came out of West Point.
He joined what is called the Engineer Corps, the pick of the whole
The Engineer Corps is made up of men who look after building the forts
ROBERT E. LEE.
and defences of our harbors, set our river channels straight, and protect
the land from the sea as well as from the enemy.
It is a fine position for a young officer, and generally gives him
pleasant places to live in and agreeable things to do. Soldiers like it
"ALWAYS TO BE FOUND WHERE THE FIGHTING WAS THE FIERCEST."
better than being sent off to lonely posts or to watching Indians, and it
gives them a fine training in how to do things about forts and fighting.
Lieutenant Lee was stationed at different places along the Atlantic
coast. He helped plan and build Fortress Monroe, on beautiful Hampton
Roads, in Virginia; he was stationed in Washington in one of the offices
ROBERT E. LEE.
of the big War Department; he helped lay out the boundary line between
the States of Ohio and Michigan; he looked after the improvement of the
harbor of St. Louis, and the changes that were made in the shifting
channel of the mighty Mississippi River; he superintended the building
of the forts in New York harbor, and, when he got back from a war,
which I will soon tell you about, he was made Superintendent of the very
place he had gone to school-the Military Academy at West Point; after
that he had command of all the United States troops in Texas. He was
Second Lieutenant in 1829, then First Lieutenant, then, in 1838, Captain
in the regular army-so, you see, he kept going right on in the world,
and was a great deal thought of in the army.
The United States did not have a very big army in those days, but
whenever there was a war it grew quickly. In the year 1846 there came
about a war between the United States and its next-door neighbor, the
republic of Mexico.
Never mind what it was all about, you will learn that when you study
the history of the United States. It was a cruel war, as all war is cruel;
but it was a great chance for Americans who wished to be real soldiers
to show what they were good for and what they could do.
They did well. They marched into Mexico, which is just the other
side of Texas, you know, and they fought so bravely that in less than
two years they had conquered Mexico and added to the United States all
the land from Texas to California and the Pacific Ocean.
In this war Robert E. Lee made a splendid soldier. He was so brave
and gallant, so ready and reliable, that he was always to be found where
the fighting was fiercest. And yet he was so gentle and kind that he
always struck at the point in the enemy's line where they could be
beaten the quickest, so as to finish the fight with the smallest loss of
men in killed and wounded.
There was one battle in Mexico in which the young engineer was
almost the leader and conqueror. This was the time when he got the
best of the Mexicans at a place called Cerro Gordo, high up in the moun-
tains. The Mexican soldiers held the zig-zag road up the mountains. It
ran between great cliffs and chasms, and had cannons all along so as to
keep the Americans from coming up. But Captain Lee, the.engineer, said:
"If we can't march against them, we must get behind them. I'll
ROBERT E. LEE.
try." He hunted all about for a good place, and at last saw a way by
which a sort of a path could be cut through the mountains and come out
behind the Mexicans. He did this so carefully, so swiftly and so silently
r ........ ..... '
CAPTAIN LEE AT CERRO GORDO.
that before the Mexicans knew what they were about he was right
Captain Lee led the way, and showed the men just what to do. They
lowered the cannons by ropes down the steep cliff and hauled them up
ROBERT E. LEE.
on the opposite hill-side; they cut, and climbed, and jumped, and dug
until they got all the men, all the horses and all the cannons up behind
the Mexican line. Then they turned their guns upon the enemy, and so
surprised and terrified them that almost without a blow all that part of
the Mexican Army surrendered to the American commander, General
This was one of Captain Lee's victories in Mexico. It was one of the
kind he liked, because he had to think it out. It was the best kind of
victory, too, for he won it without having to shoot down and kill very
For his courage and his soldiership he was again and again promoted
-Captain, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel. He was on the staff of
the commander, Winfield Scott, the General of the American Army; and,
after the Mexican war was over, General Scott declared that his success
in Mexico was largely due to the skill, valor and undaunted courage of
Robert E. Lee." That is a good deal to say about one man, is it not,
and fine, too?
After the Mexican War was over and all the soldiers had come home
again, Colonel Lee was made Superintendent of the Military Academy at
West Point, as I have already told you.
For three years he was in charge there, directing the soldier boys in
their studies and their drilling at that splendid military school on the
banks of the Hudson. Then he was sent to join the army stationed in
Texas. He was Colonel of a cavalry regiment, the same position that
his famous father, Light-horse Harry," had held in the Army of the Re-
public. Later on he was placed in command of all the soldiers in what
was called the Department of Texas.
While he was home on a long vacation at his beautiful home in Vir-
ginia called Arlington, just opposite Washington, the Civil War broke out.
You know what that was, of course-the dreadful and terrible trouble
between two parts of our dear native land-the North and the South.
It could not be settled peaceably. Men thought so differently about
things that one side would not give in to the other, and so they just had
to. fight it out.
It was a long and bitter war. Many good and brave men were killed
on both sides, and there was sorrow and distress all over the land.
ROBERT E. LEE.
But when the war was over, the people of the United States became
better friends than they had ever been before, and there will never be
such a war again.
When the war broke out Colonel Robert E. Lee did not know just what
to do. But he thought the matter over long and deeply, and then he
said: "I cannot fight against my relatives, my children, my home. I
have been a soldier of the United States, but I am a son of Virginia, and
I must do as my State does."
He resigned from the United States Army, giving up his position of
Colonel, and was made Major-General of the forces of the State of Virginia.
When Virginia went out of the Union-that is, when her people said,
"We will not belong to the United States any longer, we will join the
Confederate States," Colonel Lee said, "Then I must go with you. "
He was appointed military adviser to Jefferson Davis, the President of
the newly-formed Confederate States-for so the States that went out of
the Union called themselves.
A year later he was made Commanding General of the Army of
Northern Virginia, and for three years he led the brave Southern soldiers
who fought for the Confederacy against the brave Northern soldiers who
fought for the Union.
What a splendid leader of those gallant Southern soldiers General Lee
was! He knew just where to have them march, just when to have them
fight, just what to have them do.
Richmond, in Virginia, was the capital of the Confederate States, just
as Washington is the capital of the United States. General Lee sur-
rounded it with forts and defended it so skilfully that the Northern sol-
diers could not get into it, though they tried again and again, and when-
ever they tried to get through any of the approaches to the city, General
Lee would march his soldiers against them and fight long and desperately.
Boys, when they play at any good game, like a boy to be their leader.
You can do so much better if you have someone to follow, someone who
shows you what to do.
It is just so with men-especially with soldiers-and General Lee was
just such a leader.
His soldiers learned to love him and look up to him almost as you do
to your own father. They called him Marse Bob and Uncle Bobby "
ROBERT E. LEE.
-not to his face, of course, but when they talked together about him.
He was so kind, and patient, and gentle; he was always trying to help
them, and cared for them so much that they knew he was their friend,
* .*q-~~: ; --. .
even when he made them march the longest, and even when he made
them fight the hardest.
But a soldier has to fight, you know. That is why he is a soldier, and,
ROBERT E. LEE.
although General Lee was always calm, and quiet, and gentle in speech
and manner, he was a great soldier and sometimes a fierce fighter.
One day, when there was a terrible battle raging, he saw his soldiers
beaten back by the Union troops from a place he wished them to keep.
"They must not lose it," he said, and he waved his sword above his head
and dashed to the front to lead his soldiers into the battle again. But
his men knew that General Lee's life was precious; that if he were killed
there would be no one to lead them to victory.
"No, no, General!" they cried; "Go back! Go back, Lee, to the
rear! We'll take it! "
And when he dropped back, he saluted his soldiers for their love and
care for him, and pointed at the Union line with his sword.
"Forward," he said, and his men charging forward, thinking of their
brave and gallant leader, won back the place from which they had been
Once when his own son, who was also the commander of a large Con-
federate force of cavalry (as his father and grandfather had been, you
know), was in danger of being surrounded by a great force of the enemy,
his father, the General, cried out cheerfully, Keep your men together,
General, I'll get you out of this," and he did.
General," a young officer shouted, dashing up to him, just as a great
battle was to begin, The Federals are advancing." General Lee looked
at him with a funny smile, enjoying the young officer's excitement.
" Well," he said, just as cool and calm as you please, "I did hear firing,
and I was just beginning to think it was time some of you lazy young
fellows were coming to tell me what it was all about."
And I suppose that made the young officer laugh right on the edge of
that battle, and to get from his calm and cool General all the more
courage to do his best.
So, you see, while he was brave and serious, he could see the funny
side of things, too, and did all he could to make his soldiers bright as
well as brave, hopeful when things went wrong, calm in the midst of
danger. This is what makes a real soldier, you know.
The North had more men and more money than the South; they kept
on fighting, too, for neither side was willing to give in. But the North
for a long time could get no soldier who was as great a general as Lee.
ROBERT E. LEE.
On the third day of June, 1862, he was made General of the Army of
Northern Virginia. That post he held through the war, under that name
he led the Southern soldiers to battle and often to victory, while, by his
wise way of directing his men, he kept the Northern troops away from
Richmond for nearly three years.
He won the Battle of Malvern Hill, he won the Second Battle of Bull
Run, he won the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Twice
he marched his soldiers into the Northern lines, and at Gettysburg, in
Pennsylvania, in 1863, he fought a terrible two-days' battle which called
for all the strength and all the skill of General Meade, the Northern
leader, to turn it into a victory for the Union.
Four generals of the Union led the armies against him in four great
attempts to defeat and conquer him. But each time Lee was more than
a match, and they fell back from Richmond, defeated.
At last, in the beginning of the year 1864, General U. S. Grant, who
had been a successful leader of the Union soldiers in the West, was called
to the East to take command of the armies of the United States. Then
there came a change.
General Grant knew all about General Lee. They had both been in the
Mexican War. He knew that to win he must do his very best. When
someone asked him how long it would take him to get to Richmond,
General Grant said, "Well, about four days, if General Lee is willing;
if he isn't, well, it's going to take a good deal longer."
And it did. General Lee did object; he objected with guns and swords
and men, and the soldiers of the North and the soldiers of the South
fought many terrible battles. The fighting grew fiercer and hotter.
Grant would never give up, but kept pressing on. Bit by bit the Union
soldiers drew about Richmond; bit by bit the Confederate soldiers gave
way, as their money, their strength and their numbers began to fail.
But they fought gallantly still. General Lee was watchful and deter-
mined. His eyes saw every weak spot in the Union line; he could
spread out his brave but tired and hungry soldiers so as to make the
best show, and his men loved him so well and followed him so willingly
that he was able to keep up the fight longer than any other general could
have done. Never before in all the world had so many men been brought
face to face in battle, and dreadful battles they were, there in the swamps
86 ROBERT E. LEE.
and woods and fields of Virginia, in the year 1864. It was because both
sides were brave men, and because brave and great generals led them,
that these battles were so fierce, for Grant was bound to win and Lee
was bound not to let him.
But when, at last, all hope of successfully defending Richmond was
i~~. -....~"`. L i;d-L
"HE WAVED HIS SWORD ABOVE HIS READ AND DASHED TO THE FRONTT"
gone, when the brave chieftain had tried to break his way through the
lines of Union soldiers, who now surrounded his army, and had failed,
when he saw that to keep up the fight any longer was only a useless
killing of men, a thing he always hated and tried to stop, then General
ROBERT E. LEE.
Lee laid down his sword and surrendered himself and his army to his
great foeman, General Grant, a man as gentle, as honorable and as kindly
hearted as was he.
It was a sad day for General Lee, when he at last determined to give
up the battle.
At first, when one of his soldiers saw how useless it would be to
fight any longer, and told the General that he ought to surrender, the
grand old soldier straightened himself up and said:
"Surrender? No, sir. I have too many good fighting men for that."
But General Grant had more, and so, as I told you, General Lee saw
this at last, and to stop the killing of any more brave men, he gave it
up-that is, he surrendered.
It all came to an end at last at a place called Appomattox Court
House, in Virginia. It was on the ninth day of April, 1865. The two
Generals met between the lines at a farm-house near an apple orchard,
and talked it all over. Both were glad to stop fighting; both were
proud of the heroism of their own men, and proud, also, of the courage
of the other side, for all were Americans.
General Grant said to General Lee, "If you will only promise for
yourself and your soldiers not to fight any more against the United
States, that is all I ask."
General Lee promised, and so the greatest civil war that ever was
fought was ended in the kindest way just because both the leaders were
great as well as good, and when they made a promise would keep it.
Then General Lee rode back to his army and told his men what he
had done. "The war is over," he said.
But when his soldiers heard it, although they were hungry and sick
and tired out and weary with so much fighting, they crowded about
their good General when he came back from arranging things with
General Grant, and cried like children.
"General, take back that word," cried one. "We'll die, but we won't
General Lee looked on the brave men lovingly.
"No, no," he said. "We have done all brave men can do. If I let
another brave man be killed I should be a murderer. Go home to your
ROBERT E. LEE.
wives and children; whatever may be my fate, you will be safe. God
bless you all. Good-by! "
And then he turned and went into his tent.
After President Lincoln was killed, there was some fear that the new
President would do some harm to General Lee, because he had been the
leader of the Confederate soldiers. But General Grant stood up boldly
"You must not touch him. I gave him my solemn promise that he
should not be touched, and you must not let me break my word."
So the great and terrible Civil War in the United States came to an
end. Peace was in the land, and as men looked back and thought it all
over, the one man who stood out before all the world as the greatest
soldier of the South in all that long and bloody war was Robert E. Lee,
the General of its Army, the son of brave "Light-horse" Harry Lee.
When peace came and the soldiers had nothing to do in the way of
war, General Lee went home a poor man. He had lost almost all he
owned in those four dreadful years of war.
But the people of his own State loved and honored him so much that
they made him the head of one of the best schools in Virginia-Wash-
ington College. And as soon as it .was known that General Lee was to
be the President of the College, young men flocked to it so that they
might say they had General Lee for a teacher. He was as good a lesson
himself as anything they could learn from books. Do you know how ?
He was so fine a man that they looked up to him and tried to be as good
and true and noble as he was.
For five years he lived as President of Washington College. Then, on
the twelfth day of October, 1870, he died, there among his students and
his books, a noble old man of sixty-three.
He was a great soldier and a great man. He was such a good man,
too. He loved little children dearly and always saluted every boy or
girl who.bowed or courtesied to him as he rode through the streets on
his splendid big horse, "Traveler."
Once he came upon some boys he knew who were quarreling.
Indeed, they called each other names, and began to fight.
Oh, General! cried a little girl, running up to him, "please don't
let them fight."
ROBERT E. LEE.
The General took the boys by the shoulder.
"Come, boys, boys!" he said, gently. "That isn't nice. There is
some better way to settle your quarrels than with your fists."
And how he did love little girls.
"Where is my little Miss Mildred?" he would ask when he got home
from a ride or a walk, as the night was coming on. "She is my light-
bearer. The house is never dark if she is in it."
Was not that a sweet and pretty way to speak about his little
daughter? Do you wonder that the children all loved him ?
What made General Lee a great soldier was because he knew how to
lead a smaller number of soldiers against a larger number and defeat the
enemy by not letting them know what he was doing until he had done it.
This is what is called strategy. It was by this that General Wash-
ington won many battles in the Revolution, and in the same way
General Lee was victorious over and over again in the Civil War.
But he won quite as much by his great, gentle heart as by his flashing
sword. After the war was over people loved him dearly, and since his
death they have loved him even more, because, as they look back and
see how good and grand a man he was, they forget that he failed; they
only remember how hard he tried and how well he did. All through the
South he loved so well and which loved him so much, statues, to-day,
are being built to keep alive the memory of his life.
To-day, North as well as South, all America honors him, and as the
years go by the boys and girls, who, as they grow up, will hear his name
and know his story, will think of him not as Lee the Confederate General,
but as Robert E. Lee, the soldier, the gentleman, the American.
The Candlemaker's Son, who with
his Kite Discovered that Electricity
FRANKLIN'S KITE LEADS THE is the cause of Lightning.
WAY TO THE MODERN USE
DID any of my little readers ever look at a lightning rod putting up
from the roof of a house, and do you know what that lightning
rod is for? I will tell you. When you hear the thunder in the heavens,
there is a strange force which darts out in zigzag lines of fire, and if it
strikes anything like a tree or a house, it tears it to pieces, and perhaps
sets it on fire; but if it strikes a person or an animal, it does not break
even the skin, but passes through them in the twinkling of an eye and
kills them. This strange force most people call lightning, and the
lightning rod is put on the house to catch it and carry it down into the
earth before it strikes the building.
Two hundred years ago nobody knew how to catch the lightning, and
everybody stood in great dread of it. Now we know how to catch it
and carry it away from our houses, and we also know how to make it
run along wires and carry messages from one friend to another so fast
that, if you were a thousand miles away, your friend, if he were at the
end of the wire, would be receiving the message while you were at the
other end sending it.
We have also learned how to make it carry even the human voice for
a thousand miles, so that if you were in New York you might step up
to a little box, called the telephone, and talk into it, and your mother,
father, or friend could hear your words plainly in Chicago; nearly a
thousand miles away. It would pass so quickly that you and they could
talk back and forth almost as easy and quickly as if you were in the
same room. We also make this wonderful force pull our street-cars
through the great cities, thus setting free the horses that used to have
to do it. We also make it light our streets and houses, and we call it
Is this not a very strange and a very wonderful power? And would
you not like to hear the story of the great man who first caught from the
skies this vivid, flashing lightning, and found out that he could harness
it, almost as easily as we can harness a horse, and make the very thing
which people had always dreaded as a terrible destroyer, the best friend
and servant of man ? Did you say you would like to hear his story? I
will tell it to you. His name was Benjamin Franklin.
A very long time ago, perhaps about four hundred years, there lived
in Northhamptonshire, England, a poor blacksmith whose name was
Franklin. In that country at that time, the oldest son always followed
the same trade or work which his father followed. So the oldest son in
the Franklin family always became a blacksmith, and he always got
the property which belonged to his father when the father died. The
other children had to get out and shift for themselves. The youngest
son in one of the large Franklin families was named Josiah. He couldn't
be a blacksmith, as his older brother took up that business and inherited
his father's shop. So Josiah went out and gave himself to a man who
made soap and tallow candles, and agreed to serve him, without any
pay except his board and clothes, until he was twenty-one years of age.
All this he did that he might learn the trade of a soap-boiler and candle-
maker. When he was twenty-one his employer gave him, as was the
custom, a new suit of clothes, a few dollars for his personal use, and a
letter saying that he had learned his trade well. With that letter to
show, young Josiah was able to go and hire himself to work where he
could get pay for his labor. The hired man nearly always lived in his
employer's family, and received his board and a few dollars per month.
After a little while, Josiah was married and continued to live in England
and work at his trade until his wages were hardly sufficient to support
himself, his wife and three children on the coarsest kind of food. He
did, however, save up, in his earlier years, a little money, and the stories
of the New World-America-kept coming to his ears. He heard that
there were few candlemakers and soap-boilers in America, and that a
young man who understood his trade would have a much better chance
here than in England; so in the year 1682, a little more than two
hundred years ago, he took his wife and three children, and such
clothing, bedding and household things as they could bring, on board
a big sailing vessel and came to America. He landed in Boston, and
soon set himself up as a soap and candlemaker. He found it much
easier to support his family here than in the old country, and he became
very much in love with his new home.
In the year 1706, twenty-four years after Josiah Franklin and his wife
and three children came to America, a little baby boy was born. Like
his father, he proved to be the last child in the family, and his father
named him Benjamin. You remember Jacob's youngest son was named
Benjamin. But Ben Franklin had sixteen brothers and sisters older
than himself. Don't you think that was a big family ? Seventeen boys
and girls besides the mother and father! But you must remember they
were not all then in the house. The oldest of his brothers were nearly
thirty years of age when he was born, and they had gone into various
kinds of business for themselves.
Benjamin was a good boy and his father loved him very much;
you know how parents often love their youngest the best. The little
fellow learned to read when he was very young, but he was only sent to
school for two years, and then he was taken away, when he was only
ten years of age, to work in his father's candle-shop. His business was
to cut wicks for the candles, fill the moulds with the melted tallow, tend
the shop and run the errands. But "Ben," as he was called, did not
like this business. He would very much rather look in picture books
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 93
and read the easy stories. He always loved to go down to the water's
edge, and he often did an errand
very quickly, running all the way
to save some time, that he night
jump in a boat or Ugo swiimning with
the boys. Thus he learned to
handle a boat. and to be an expert
swimmer. He heard the sailors talk
countries, and .
the strange peo-
pie and wonder-
ful sights, and he
thought it would be a splendid
thing to be a sailor, and he told
his father how much he would
like to be one and go to sea.
But his father would not con-
sent, and so Benjamin, like an BEN FRANKLIN MOULDING CANDLES IN KIS
obedient son, gave it up, though'S SHOP.
he often lay awake at nights and thought how grand it would be to
bound over the great billows and to visit all the countries of the world.
Sometimes he would dream he was away on the ocean, and would wake
up to find himself in his own little bed.
Franklin was also a great lover of fishing. Every chance he got, he
and his little boy companions would get their lines, and, rolling up their
pants, would wade into the marsh and fish in a mill-pond. Sometimes
the water was too cold, and besides he had heard it was not healthy to
stand in the water. So he said to the boys that it would be a good
thing to build a wharf to stand on as the men did for their work about
the water. They all thought so too.
There was a pile of stones not far away which were to be used to build
a new house. So they said the men could get more for themselves, or,
perhaps, they had more than they wanted; and in the evening, when
the men quit work, the boys slipped out-for they knew it was not just
right-and they carried enough of these stones away to make them a
good pier far out into the water.
Next day when the workmen came they wondered where their rocks
had gone. Upon searching around, they found what the mischievous
boys had done, and, as they had seen them there often fishing, they knew
just who had done it and went straight to their parents about it. Some
of the mothers and fathers only laughed, but Mr. Franklin took Ben aside
and began to lecture him. Ben tried to argue with his father that the
pier was very necessary as it kept the boys' feet dry while they fished,
and he pretended to think it was a good thing they had done. But Mr.
Franklin told him that nothing was good or right that was not honest,
and, to impress the lesson on his mind, he gave Benjamin a sound
thrashing and forbade his fishing there any more. Ever after that, Ben
was an honest boy and an upright man.
But Ben did not get over his desire to go to sea. He did not dare to
ask permission, but he was always talking about what the sailors said,
and using words which showed he had learned the different sails and
much about ships. So his father grew afraid that his son would run
away and go to sea as one of his other sons had already done. One day
after Ben had been in the tallow-candle shop for two years-and was
now ten years old-his father began to talk with him about other trades.
He took him frequently to walk and they would stop to look at different
kinds of workmen, such as bricklayers, carpenters, iron-workers and
many others. He hoped the boy would like some of these better than
the life of a sailor, but Benjamin did not care for any of them.
By this time he had, however, grown very fond of reading. He
poured over his father's dull books and sold little things of his own to
buy more. Often he would trade his old books at the second-hand book-
stores for others he had not read. So Mr. Franklin, seeing he was so
fond of reading books, thought it was best to make a printer of him.
His oldest son, James Franklin, already had a printing office and press.
Benjamin said he would like this trade, so he was apprenticed to his
brother to learn it.
When we say Ben was "apprenticed" we mean he was given to
his brother to have as his own until he should be twenty-one years
old. He was to work for his brother without any pay, except his
board and clothing. As Benjamin was about eleven years old now, he
would have to serve his brother for ten years to learn his trade. Ben-
jamin liked this trade very much. He got to see many new books and
could always borrow all he wanted, and used to sit up sometimes all night
to read a book so he could return it, unsoiled, to the store in the morning.
The boy took a great fancy to poetry and at odd moments wrote some
verses himself. When he had quite a lot, he showed it to his brother
James. Certainly it was, as Franklin afterwards called it, "wretched
stuff," but James printed it and sent Ben around Boston to peddle it.
He was doing this with much pride when his father laughed at him and
made fun of his poetry, and told him he would always be a beggar if he
wrote verses for a living. He stopped short his writing and peddling
poetry. But he was bound to write, for he loved to do it, and I will
tell you how he played a nice trick off on his brother:
James Franklin published a little newspaper. It was Ben's duty
after the paper was printed to carry loads of them around and deliver
them to the subscribers. The boy read this paper, and he thought he
could write as well as many whose articles were published in it. But he
would not dare to ask his brother James to let him write, nor would he
let anyone know what he wrote. His father would be sure to make fun,
as he did of his poetry, if he saw it. So he'wrote almost every week and
slipped his pieces under the office door after it was closed. James
96 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
printed them and his father read them, but they did not dream that Ben
Now I will tell you of a way he saved money to buy books. Remem-
ber he got no wages for his work, but he always had money. A boy is
not of much account if he does not have money. When you see a boy
always going around
without a cent, it is a
pretty good sign he
will never save any-
thing. Franklin had
got the notion that
it was wrong to eat
meat. Now, his
brother paid his
board, you know. So
the boy told his broth-
er if he would give
him half what his
board cost he would
board himself. As
that would save
James something, he
Suit eating meat and
lived on bread and
other cheap foods.
Thus, he saved money
to buy books, and by
THE BOY FRANKLIN SLIPPING HIS CONTRIBUTION TO eating only a bit of
THE PAPER UNDER THE OFFICE DOOR.
bread and a tart for
dinner he had half an hour every day, while the others were eating
heavy dinners, to devote to reading; and this is the way he educated
Would you think it strange if I told you that Benjamin did not like
his brother James? It is a'fact, he did not. They often quarrelled, for
James did not treat his little brother right and sometimes gave him
beatings. I will tell you how he got free from him.
One day James printed something in his paper which made the Gov-
ernor of the Colony mad. They arrested him and put him in jail for a Whole
month. Benjamin published the paper while his brother was in prison,
and he said some very ugly things about the government, but was careful
not to say anything for which they could get him in prison. This pleased
James very much. But when they let him out of prison they forbade his
publishing the paper any longer. Now what was James to do? He was a
shrewd business man, so he said to Benjamin that he would set him free
and run the paper in his name. So they destroyed the papers that
bound the boy in law. Ben, however, said he would remain with his
brother until he was twenty-one years old. This agreement was made
and so it started, but soon James tried to impose' on Ben as he had
done before; but as Ben was no longer bound to him, he left him. Ben
afterwards said that he did not do fairly in this, and he was sorry for it,
though it was, perhaps, nothing more than James deserved.
Benjamin now tried to hire himself to other printers; but none of
them would take him because he had broken his contract with his
brother. Besides they had all agreed together that when one of their
apprentices left, none of the others should hire him.
What was he to do? He was only seventeen years old, but he was
not to be discouraged. Gathering a few of his books, he went aboard a
sloop setting sail for New York. In that city he tried for days, but
could get no work. Someone told him to try Philadelphia. It was
a tedious and dangerous journey as it must be made by water. There
were no railroads then. He took a sail-boat to Amboy, New Jersey.
A storm came up and the boat was driven ashore, and the poor fright-
ened boy lay all night in the little hold of the boat with the waves
dashing over it, and the water, leaking through, soaked him to the skin.
It took him thirty-two hours to get to Amboy, and all that time he had
neither a drink of water nor a bite to eat.
Having very little money he set out on foot and walked to Burlington.
Here he was met by trouble he had not looked for. His ragged clothes,
wet and soiled, made him look like what we now call a tramp; but
there were no tramps in those days. They thought he was a runaway
and came very near putting him in jail, and he says he was then sorry
he had not remained in Boston with his brother James.
But it was now too late to go back, so he found a man with a row-boat
at Burlington who was going to Philadelphia, and Franklin agreed to go
with him and help him row the boat to pay his passage. They arrived
at Philadelphia in the night, but as there were then no street lamps in
the city, they passed by without knowing it. At length they went
ashore and made a fire to dry themselves, and waited until morning
and rowed to the city.
Poor Benjamin Franklin, all soiled, tired and very hungry, started up
the street to find something to eat. He had no trunk or valise for his
extra clothing, so he stuffed his extra stockings and shirt in his pockets.
He soon found a baker shop and asked for biscuits as he used to buy in
Boston. The baker did not know what they were. They did not make
biscuits in Philadelphia. So Franklin asked him to give him threepenny
worth of bread of any kind, as he was very hungry. The baker gave
him three loaves, and, putting one under each arm, he chewed vigorously
on the other as he walked along. Don't you suppose he looked very odd
and funny walking along the streets in his soiled clothes with his pockets
stuffed with socks and a shirt, a loaf of bread under each arm and eat-
Well, so he did. And as he passed along a pretty girl, named De-
borah Read, looked out of the door, and he saw her laughing fit to kill,"
and making all manner of fun of him. His pride was stung, but he was
too hungry and helpless to do anything then. Many years afterwards he
married this very girl, and she was very fortunate and proud to get him.
Franklin soon found a place to work with a printer named Keimer,
and he very quickly showed that he was quite different from other work-
men and boys about the place. He knew all about printing, so he was
a valuable workman, and he had read and knew so much in books that
those who knew him liked to hear him talk, and they used to refer to
him to settle disputes on all sorts of questions. Instead of spending his
evenings at the tavern drinking or gossiping, as other young men did,
he went to his room and read good books or went in the company of
those of whom he could learn something. Such young men as these
always attract the attention of others.