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THE STORY OF THE
UNITED STATES



BY

MARIE LOUISE HERDMAN



WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOR BY

A. S. FORREST




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-



NEW YORK

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

PUBLISHERS



Copyright, 1916, by
FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY



All rights reserved



THE NEV

PUBLIC i



>UNI. IA.T IONS.



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Printed in the United States of America



TO
ERIC AND THEODORA



PREFACE

Beside the Muskingum River, and at the mouth of the
Licking, stands a city where tall factory chimneys rise like
soot-wreathed monuments to Labor. It is a town of pot-
teries, of brick-yards, and of all those creative industries
whereby men produce form out of malleable clay. At one
factory they make the minute tiles that are used in decora-
tive paving, and there I once spent an enthralling after-
noon watching the piecing together of a mosaic depicting
the landing of Columbus. The plan of the picture was
spread out upon a platform. It was divided into colored
squares above each one of which a workman fitted a cor-
respondingly colored tile. Tiny blocks of turquoise blue
made a realistic sea. Gray tiles represented a neutral sky
against which green palm trees stood out in vivid contrast:

As the artisan drew upon the store of colored tiles for
the working out of his plan, so I have drawn upon the pre-
pared facts of history in writing this book. The stories in-
corporated here are taken from so many sources that it is
out of the question to acknowledge my obligation to each
of the authors whose past industry has made this work
possible. Through such magazines as The Century, Har-
per's, and Scribner's, I am beholden to writers whose very
names are a part of American history. My hope for this
Story of the United States is that it may help to quicken
interest in the growth of our great Republic, and that it
may lead, at least a few, young readers into that fascinat-
ing realm of literature which deals with the development
of our country. In so far as it does this, it will relieve my
indebtedness to other authors, since to further the appre-
ciation of the mosaic of history is the true aim of every

historian. n/r T TT

M. L. H.

Ann Arbor, Michigan.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAOE

I IN THE BEGINNING 1

II COLUMBUS DREAMS OF A NEW WAY TO INDIA . 5

III A NEW WORLD IS DISCOVERED 9

IV THE VOYAGE OF THE CABOTS AND OF AMERICUS

VESPUCIUS 13

V THE STORIES OF PONCE DE LEON, FERDINAND DE

SOTO, AND VASCO DE BALBOA 16

VI THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS 21

VII EARLY ATTEMPTS AT HOME BUILDING IN AMER-
ICA 33

VIII SIR WALTER RALEIGH TAKES AN INTEREST IN

AMERICA 37

IX CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH AND THE SETTLEMENT OF

VIRGINIA 42

X THE MAYFLOWER CARRIES THE PILGRIMS TO

NEW ENGLAND 50

XI THE PURITANS IN NEW ENGLAND 57

XII PERSECUTIONS AND WITCHES IN NEW ENGLAND 63

XIII KING PHILIP'S WAR 69

XIV NEW AMSTERDAM AND HOW IT BECAME NEW

YORK 73

XV THE SETTLEMENT OF MARYLAND AND THE CARO-

LINAS 78

XVI WILLIAM PENN AND THE QUAKERS SETTLE

PENNSYLVANIA 83

XVII GEORGIA IS SETTLED AND BECOMES A REFUGE

FOR THE POOR 87

XVIII SLAVERY IN THE COLONIES 92

XIX EARLY DAYS IN THE COLONIES 95

XX WARS BETWEEN FRENCH AND ENGLISH COLON-
ISTS 100

XXI GENERAL BRADDOCK'S DEFEAT, AND THE DRIV-
ING OUT OF THE ACADIANS 107

XXII THE TAKING OF CANADA 115

ix



CONTENTS



CHAPTER p AGB

XXIII PONTIAC'S WAR 123

tXIV GEORGE WASHINGTON 129

XXV GOVERNMENT IN AMERICA BEFORE THE REVOLU-
TION 137

XXVI CAUSES OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR .... 141
XXVII SOME FAMOUS AMERICANS OF THE REVOLUTION 149

XXVIII THE FIRST SHOTS ARE FIRED 155

XXIX THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL 161

XXX GENERAL WASHINGTON TAKES COMMAND OF THE

ARMY 167

XXXI THE AMERICANS DECLARE THEIR INDEPEND-
ENCE 173

XXXII THE WAR GOES ON 175

XXXIII THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777 181

XXXIV THE SURRENDER AT SARATOGA AND ITS CONSE-

QUENCES 188

XXXV THE BIRTH OF AN AMERICAN NAVY 192

XXXVI THE LAST YEARS OF WAR IN THE NORTH AND

THE TREASON OF BENEDICT ARNOLD . . . .201

XXXVII THE REVOLUTION CARRIED INTO THE SOUTH . . 207

XXXVIII THE END OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR . . .212

XXXIX THE UNITED STATES ADOPTS THE CONSTITUTION 217

XL THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT 222

XLI THROUGH THE FIRST ADMINISTRATION . . . .227

XLII THE OLD ORDER CHANGETH, YIELDING PLACE

TO THE NEW 236

XLIII CONCERNING DOLLY MADISON 242

XLIV THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE AND THE TREASON

OF AARON BURR 247

XLV WITH LEWIS AND CLARK FROM THE MISSISSIPPI

TO THE PACIFIC 253

XLVI WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT

BRITAIN 259

XLVII SEA POWER IN THE WAR OF 1812 266

XLVIII THE ARMY IN THE WAR OF 1812. PEACE CON-
CLUDED 273

XLIX THE STEADY GROWTH OF THE UNITED STATES.

MORE STARS FOR THE FLAG . .... 282



CONTENTS



CHAPTER



XI

PAGE



L FROM MONROE TO VAN BUREN. THE RISE OF
NEW POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE MARCH OF

PROGRESS 287

LI TEXAS IS ANNEXED BY THE UNITED STATES

AND WAR WITH MEXICO RESULTS 292

LII MORE RICH TERRITORY FOR THE UNITED

STATES. PEACE WITH MEXICO 299

LIII THE MORMONS IN UTAH 305

LIV SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES 310

LV STORM CLOUDS GATHER. TROUBLE IN KANSAS 317
LVI THE UNSHEATHING OF THE SWORD OF WAR . 323

LVII ABRAHAM LINCOLN 330

LVIII THE GREAT CIVIL WAR IS BEGUN 341

LIX THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN AND ITS CONSE-
QUENCES 350

LX LINCOLN AND LEE 356

LXI THE WAR IN THE WEST 363

LXII DARK DAYS FOR THE UNION 370

LXIII THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. SOME NAVAL INCI-
DENTS OF THE CIVIL WAR 378

LXIV THE SLAVES ARE DECLARED FREE. SOME CON-
FEDERATE SUCCESSES 381

LXV GETTYSBURG 392

LXVI IN THE WEST. THE FALL OF VICKSBURG . . .398
LXVII THE BATTLE IN THE WILDERNESS AND THE

SIEGE OF PETERSBURG 405

LXVIII THE CLOSE OF THE GREAT REBELLION .... 414

LXIX THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN 425

LXX AFTER THE WAR 432

LXXI THROUGH SIX ADMINISTRATIONS. 1868 TO 1892 . 440

LXXII AMERICAN EXPANSION 447

LXXIII WAR WITH SPAIN 452

LXXIV THE END OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR . . 460
LXXV CONCERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF FOUR

PRESIDENTS: McKINLEY TO WILSON . . . .465

LXXVI HOW THE DREAM OF COLUMBUS HAS BEEN MORE

THAN REALIZED 473

LXXVII THE RELATION OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE

GREAT WAR 479

CONCLUSION . 483



ILLUSTRATIONS

"Then Columbus shook out the beautiful red and gold flag of

Spain and took possession of the island" . . Frontispiece



FACING
PAGE



"On the 23rd of December the Pilgrims landed at 'the corner-
stone of a nation,' Plymouth Rock" 52

"The Red Men answered, 'We will live in love with William

Penn as long as the sun and the moon shall endure' : . 86

"Pontiac described a dream in which the great spirit com-
manded that the Indian drive 'the dogs in red' from every
post in the country" 124

" 'Disperse, disperse, you rebels ! Throw down your arms

and disperse !' : .... . . 156

"On the 30th of April, Washington took a solemn oath to

support the Constitution of his beloved country" . . 224

"They saw the Shannon with the conquered Chesapeake, both
battle-grimed and blood-stained, bearing away toward
Halifax" .270

"In many places the slaves were happy" ... . 310

"Little Abe would sit up reading half the night, by the light

of the guttering flame of a 'tallow dip' : ' . . '334

" 'Men,' said Lee simply, 'we have fought through the war

together, and I h^ve done the best I could for you' : . 424

"The great ship sank at once, taking to their death two

officers and two hundred and sixty-four enlisted men" . 454

"To the United States, immigrants flock from every land" . 478



xni



THE STORY OF THE UNITED STATES



THE STORY OF THE UNITED STATES

CHAPTER I

IN THE BEGINNING

MANY thousands of years ago North America was
probably a land of perpetual snow and ice.
There was no summer then, so there were neither
forests nor flowers and, strangest of all, there were no
towns and no people! But in the course of ages the
southern part of the country shook off its frozen sleep and
was free from the frost that had bound it.

Later grass began to appear and at last forests of great
trees covered the land. Beneath these trees roamed
strange animals such as you will not find in any zoo today
because they have disappeared off the face of the earth.
The mastodon and the mammoth lived then, beasts so much
stronger and larger than elephants that their tread must
have shaken the forests! There were also rhinoceros and
horses with three and four toes to each foot. But long ago
these curious creatures vanished or decreased in size and
we might never have known of their existence had not their
bones been discovered. The plowshare has turned up
human bones, as well as those of animals ; and men digging
in the earth have found rough arrowheads and tools ; so we
know that a race of people lived in North America when
the mastodon and the mammoth were there, although we
have no means of telling who these people were.

There are traces of other races who inhabited North
America before the days of books or written history, pos-



2 STORY OF THE UNITED STATES

sibly about two thousand years ago. We call them the
Mound Builders because we know them only through the
huge mounds they have left. These mounds are made
usually of earth, but sometimes of brick and stone; many
of them are very high and they are often built in the shape
of animals or men. One in the State of Ohio is nearly a
thousand feet long and formed like a serpent. We can
only guess what these mounds were intended for. Pieces
of charred wood have been found in them, and this has led
to a belief that they were used by priests as places of sac-
rifice. The wood might be the remains of beacon fires or
altar fires, and the mounds might have been built for forti-
fications, or intended for burial places. In them have been
found bones, carvings in stone, also pottery, silver and
copper tools, axes, knives and chisels, as well as beads,
bracelets and pipes; showing that the Mound Builders
knew arts that were quite unknown to the natives of Amer-
ica at a later time.

It is probable that the first Europeans to visit America
were the Norsemen. They were always bold sailors, ven-
turing far out to sea and delighting in its risks and dangers.
In Iceland they tell how Eric the Red was so unjustly
treated by his neighbors that he decided to sail away and
find a new home. For many weeks he sailed the seas, and
in 985 reached a country which he named Greenland.
Biarni, a friend of Eric, determined to follow him to the
new land, so he put to sea with a few men, but not know-
ing the course that Eric had taken, he wandered for a long
time upon the ocean. One day he saw land a sandy beach
and low hills crowned with trees. But he knew it was too
far south to be the land where Eric was living and he
sailed past it to the north, coming finally to Greenland.

The story he told of the land he had seen interested his
friends; and Leif, a son of Eric, purchased Biarni's vessel
and with thirty-five men set out on a voyage of discovery.



IN THE BEGINNING 3

They first came, to an island that they named Helluland
(Flat Land) and then went on to the country spoken of
by Biarni; this Leif called Markland (Woody Land).
Two days later they landed on an island covered with
trees, which may have been Nantucket. They sailed up
between the island and the mainland and landed on the
bank of a river. Here they built huts and prepared to pass
the winter. Finding delicious wild grapes there they
called the place Vinland. In the spring they loaded their
ship with wood and sailed back to Greenland.

The next year Thorvald, Leif's brother, went to Vin-
land and remained there through two winters. It is
claimed that he sailed down the coast as far as the Caro-
linas. The second summer, while coasting round Cape
Cod, he went ashore. His party was attacked by natives
and Thorvald was killed.

The Norsemen seem often to have gone to Vinland after
this, to get timber to use in barren Greenland. A story
is told of Fredys, the cruel daughter of Eric; how when
she was on her way to Vinland she killed her husband and
brothers and seized the ship for herself. She was brave as
well as cruel, for later we are told that in battle with the
Shraellings, as the Norsemen called the natives, "she slew
many men with her own hand."

Another story is told of Gudrid the Beautiful who went
with her husband Thorfin to live in Vinland, and of how
her son Snorri was born there.

If these legends are true, and if the Vikings of the North
knew and lived in Cape Cod and on Rhode Island hundreds
of years before America was dreamed of by the rest of
Europe, it is strange that they should have forgotten their
discoveries. They probably went home to fight in the wars
with France and England and once in their native country
the land beyond the sea may have seemed of little impor-
tance. At any rate the glory of giving a new continent to



4 STORY OF THE UNITED STATES

the world does not belong to the Norsemen, but to one man
who lived in the fifteenth century. It is possible, however,
that it was the legends of these dauntless rovers,

"Vague legends giving no man place or name
Which kindled in Columbus' breast, like flame
His dream of western lands of boundless stores."



CHAPTER II

COLUMBUS DREAMS OF A NEW WAY TO INDIA

YOU have been taught that the world is round like
an orange. But there was a time when no one
knew the real shape of the earth, and when most
people thought that it was quite flat with the ocean lying
around its edges. In those days men dared to venture only
a very little way out into the ocean, for they were afraid
of being lost in such a great trackless space of water. You
see the sailors guided their ships by the position of the
sun and the stars in the sky, and if a cloud came to hide
the heavens from their sight, there was no way for the
mariners to tell where they were ; so even the bravest cap-
tains did not dare to go very far from the land that they
knew.

But there were wonderful stories told of the fairylike
islands that were away in that flat ocean ! The most inter-
esting things are always those about which we are not sure.
The sailors felt this long ago ; they did not know what lay
beyond all that they could see of the ocean, but they imag-
ined that if they could sail far enough, they would find
islands of gold with walls of crystal. They even had a
story about an old giant called Mildum, whom they said
had seen one of these imaginary islands.

There were things, too, which made it seem that there
truly might be land somewhere out in the Atlantic. One
man had found a piece of curiously carved wood that had
been washed ashore after a storm, and an old pilot had
picked up a carved paddle that was floating on the water



6 STORY OF THE UNITED STATES

west of Portugal. These things were not like anything
that the Europeans had ever seen before, so they felt sure
they must have been made by some unknown race of men.

More than four hundred years ago there was one little
boy, in the city of Genoa, who was very much interested in
all these tales of what might be out in the ocean. This
boy's name was Christopher Columbus.

Genoa is a seaport town in beautiful Italy. Columbus
used to play down by the wharves, watching the ships en-
tering and leaving the harbor, and he probably had many
friends among the sailors. At any rate he was a very
small boy when he decided that he, too, would be a sailor,
and spend his life on the sea that he loved so well the
sea that might hold so many strange secrets. It is believed
that when he was ten years old his father sent Christopher
to the University of Pavia to learn all that could be taught
on land about the management of ships at sea ; this study
is called navigation. Young Columbus may have studied
in Pavia for four years, but it is certain that when he went
home to Genoa he worked in his father's shop at combing
wool. You may be sure that though his hands were busy
with the wool, his thoughts were far away, and he was
dreaming of wonderful voyages in the ships upon the sea.
His father knew his thoughts, and he probably saw that
the boy would make a better sailor than a wool-comber, for

m>

I imagine that the wool often got tangled while Columbus
was day-dreaming; so he was sent to sea when he was not
yet fifteen years old, in a vessel commanded by his great-
uncle Colombo.

For twenty years Columbus was a sailor. During that
time he was in many battles and he always behaved as a
brave man should. He visited all the known ports ; but he
was not satisfied, for he had a wonderful idea : he thought
that men had been mistaken about the shape of the earth.
He had studied a great deal and he believed that instead



A NEW WAY TO INDIA 7

of being flat the world was round, and his idea was that
he could sail west across the Atlantic and come to land.
He did not expect to find a new country, but he thought
that the world was much smaller than it is, and he imagined
that by sailing westward he could reach India sooner than
by going the usual way. He was not afraid, because by
this time men had something safer than the stars to guide
them on the ocean. A stone had been found that seemed
almost like a fairy gift, it had such wonderful properties ;
a needle brought into contact with it pointed ever afterward
straight to the north. You can understand that if men at
sea always knew where the north was, it became as easy for
them to guide themselves at sea as on the land, so that the
need to keep close to shore was gone, and the danger of
venturing out into the unknown ocean was much less after
the "Mariner's Compass" was discovered.

Filled with hope and faith in his belief, Columbus tried
to interest people in his scheme for getting quickly to
India; but he was only laughed at and called a dreamer.
Some weary years went by and Columbus had spent all his
money in traveling about in the hope of finding some one
willing to help on his plans. One day he was tramping
along a dusty road in Spain, with his little son Diego
beside him. It was a very warm day and the boy was so
tired and thirsty that his father stopped at the door of the
Convent of Santa Maria de Rabida and asked the porter
for bread and water for the child. While they rested in
the shade the Prior came out and saw Columbus and began
talking with him. He became so interested in him and in
his ideas that he kept him as a guest at the Convent and
made arrangements for him to have an audience with King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

These Christian monarchs were busy over a great war
with the Moors, and it was not until the end of the year
1491 that they had time to think of Columbus and his



8 STORY OF THE UNITED STATES

dreams. They then summoned him to their camp outside
the city of Granada, which they were besieging. The
kind-hearted Queen, hearing how poor Columbus was, sent
him money to buy clothes that were suitable to wear at
court. At last his chance had come and he told the King
and Queen all about his wonderful idea ; but he demanded
great things. He was so sure that he could reach India by
the west that he said he must be made Admiral and Viceroy
of all the new seas and countries that he should discover
and have one-tenth of all the gains. His demands were
laughed at and he was sent away from the Spanish Court.

But he had friends who were influential with the Queen
and they had faith in him, so they told Queen Isabella
more about the scheme and how fine it would be to get
more quickly to India, to the land where the ivory and
precious stuffs came from, until it is said that she cried
out, "I will undertake the enterprise for my crown of Cas-
tile and will pledge my jewels to raise the necessary
funds!"

Poor Columbus had ridden sadly away on his mule, but
now a messenger was sent to bring him back to the Queen
and it was settled that he should undertake one of the
greatest voyages that the world has ever known.

Before Columbus set out on this voyage, Queen Isabella
appointed his son, Diego, page to Prince Juan, with an
allowance for his support. This was an honor usually
granted only to the sons of persons of rank and it shows
how thoughtful the Queen was, for she knew that unless
Columbus could leave his boy well looked after, he would
sail away with a heavy heart.



CHAPTER III

A NEW WORLD IS DISCOVERED

ON August 3rd, 1492, three ships, the Santa Maria,
the Pinta and the Nina left the Port of Palos
under the command of Christopher Columbus.
The ships were so small that no present-day sailor would
be willing to try to cross the Atlantic in one of them.
They were not very much larger than one of the life-boats
that our great steamers carry on board, only of course they
were of different shape and very different appearance.

The sailors who went with Columbus were not fearless
as he was; indeed, they went on the vo) r age most unwill-
ingly and only because of the Queen's orders. They
thought their commander mad and his plan impossible of
being fulfilled; so they did everything they could to dis-
hearten Columbus and to make the voyage so difficult that
he might be frightened into putting the ships about and
returning to Spain. But in spite of every discouragement
Columbus sailed steadily forward, and after nearly two
months his courage was rewarded, for signs of land began
to appear. Land birds flew about the ships. Can't you
imagine how glad the sailors would be to see them? A
piece of carved wood was picked up by a man on the Pinta
and one of the sailors on the Nina saw floating on the
water a branch of thorn with berries. Then Columbus felt
sure that they were at their journey's end. He had of-
fered a reward to the crew of the ship which first sighted
land; and at two o'clock of the morning of Friday, Octo-
ber 12th, 1492, the men on the Pinta fired a gun, the signal

9



10 STORY OF THE UNITED STATES

that land was to be seen. Rodrige Triana, a sailor on
the Pinta, was the first to see the New World.

The ships lay to and all waited impatiently for morn-
ing. Daylight came at last and about six miles away
there was seen an island thickly covered with trees and
with crowds of natives running up and down the shore.
Small boats were lowered and Columbus, carrying the
royal standard of Castile, and Martin Pinzon and his
brother, each bearing a flag with a green cross, were rowed
to the shore to the sound of music.

The bewildered natives of the island thought the white
men were gods and they watched in wonder as Columbus
stepped on to the beach, the others following, and knelt
down and kissed the ground with tears and prayers of
thanksgiving. Then Columbus stood up, shook out the
beautiful red and gold flag of Spain, and drawing his
sword took possession of the island ; that is, he said that it
now belonged to Spain, and he called it San Salvador.

Columbus never realized that it was a new country he



had reached; he always thought that the beautiful island
he had discovered was off the coast of Asia. It was not
until after he was dead that men knew that what he had
found was the Bahama Islands, off the coast of America.

When the sailors who had made this great voyage of dis-
covery so difficult for Columbus, saw that they had really
reached land and that their leader was not mad after all,
they were ashamed of their conduct. They thronged
around Columbus, kissing his hands and asking forgive-
ness. The natives, too, kissed Columbus and bowed down
before him, for they still thought he must be some great
white god. They told him, with signs, of land to the west
and south. So Columbus put to sea again and found an-
other island more beautiful than the first, where birds of
brilliant colors never ceased to sing and where clear streams
and rivers flowed into the sea. This island is now called



A NEW WORLD IS DISCOVERED 11

Cuba and is off the coast of Florida. From island to
island the three ships sailed, seeing strange and interesting
things. In Cuba the sailors saw for the first time potatoes
and tobacco.

At last Columbus wanted to return to Spain to tell the
Queen of all he had seen ; so the ships were turned toward
home, and after weathering terrible storms they safely
reached the Spanish harbor of Palos just seven months
after their departure.

The people hailed the ships with great excitement, and
the journey of Columbus and his followers from the coast



Online LibraryMarie Louise HerdmanThe story of the United States → online text (page 1 of 35)