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The Beginner's American History

The Beginner's American History
Category: History
Title: The Beginner's American History
Release Date: 2006-04-05
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 25 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Beginner's American History, by D. H.Montgomery

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Title: The Beginner's American History

Author: D. H. Montgomery

Release Date: April 5, 2006 [eBook #18127]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BEGINNER'S AMERICAN HISTORY***



E-text prepared by Ron Swanson







Liberty Enlightening the World
LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD.
A Statue in the Harbor of New York City, given to the American People by the People of France.




THE

BEGINNER'S AMERICAN HISTORY





BY

D. H. MONTGOMERY

AUTHOR OF THE LEADING FACTSOF HISTORY SERIES




BOSTON. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED BY GINN & COMPANY
1893




COPYRIGHT, 1892,
BY D. H. MONTGOMERY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.




TYPOGRAPHY BY J. S. CUSHING &CO., BOSTON, U.S.A.
PRESSWORK BY GINN & CO., BOSTON, U.S.A.




D.H.M.
TO
S.K.K.




PREFATORY NOTE.

This little book is intended by the writer as an introduction to hislarger work entitled The Leading Facts of American History.

It is in no sense an abridgment of the larger history, but ispractically an entirely new and distinct work.

Its object is to present clearly and accurately those facts andprinciples in the lives of some of the chief founders and buildersof America which would be of interest and value to pupils beginningthe study of our history. Throughout the book great care has beentaken to relate only such incidents and anecdotes as are believedto rest on unexceptionable authority.

The numerous illustrations in the text are, in nearly every case,from drawings and designs made by Miss C. S. King of Boston.

In the preparation of this work for the press—as in that of theentire Leading Facts of History Series—the author has beenespecially indebted to the valuable assistance rendered inproofreading by Mr. George W. Cushing of Boston.

DAVID H. MONTGOMERY,        
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.




CONTENTS.

PARAGRAPH
I. COLUMBUS 1
II. JOHN AND SEBASTIAN CABOT 21
III. BALBOA, PONCE DE LEON, and DE SOTO 28
IV. SIR WALTER RALEIGH 32
V. CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH 37
VI. CAPTAIN HENRY HUDSON 52
VII. CAPTAIN MYLES STANDISH 62
VIII. LORD BALTIMORE 76
IX. ROGER WILLIAMS 82
X. KING PHILIP 87
XI. WILLIAM PENN 96
XII. GENERAL JAMES OGLETHORPE 102
XIII. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 109
XIV. GEORGE WASHINGTON 123
XV. DANIEL BOONE 146
XVI. GENERAL JAMES ROBERTSON 156
XVII. GOVERNOR JOHN SEVIER 156
XVIII. GENERAL GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 161
XIX. GENERAL RUFUS PUTNAM 169
XX. ELI WHITNEY 175
XXI. THOMAS JEFFERSON 183
XXII. ROBERT FULTON 191
XXIII. GENERAL WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON 201
XXIV. GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON 206
XXV. PROFESSOR SAMUEL F. B. MORSE 220
XXVI. GENERAL SAM HOUSTON 229
XXVII. CAPTAIN ROBERT GRAY 233
XXVIII. CAPTAIN J. A. SUTTER 236
XXIX. ABRAHAM LINCOLN 243
 
A SHORT LIST OF BOOKS
INDEX




LIST OF LARGE MAPS.

PARAGRAPH
I. Map Illustrating the Early Life of Washington 127
II. Map of the Revolution (northern states) 135
III. Map of the Revolution (southern states) 140
IV. The United States at the close of the Revolution 187
V. The United States after the Purchase of Louisiana (1803) 188
VI. The United States after the Purchase of Florida (1819) 218
VII. The United States after the Acquisition of Texas (1845) 230
VIII. The United States after the Acquisition of Oregon (1846) 235
IX. The United States after the Acquisition of California and New Mexico (1848) 239
X. The United States after the Gadsden Purchase (1853) 240
XI. The United States after the Purchase of Alaska (1867)
See Map of North America (giving a summary of the territorial growth of the United States)
240
NOTE.—In these maps it has been thought best to give the boundariesof the thirteen original states as they now exist; and to show theoutlines of other states before they were organized and admitted.



LIST OF FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.

PARAGRAPH
I. The Statue of Liberty Frontispiece.
II. An Indian Attack on a Settlement 91
III. Paul Revere's Ride 134
IV. Battle of New Orleans 217
V. Niagara Suspension Bridge 218
VI. Mount Hood, Oregon 233
VII. Mirror Lake, California 239




THE BEGINNER'S AMERICAN HISTORY





The paragraph headings, following the paragraph numbers, will befound useful for topical reference, and, if desired, as questions;by simply omitting these headings, the book may be used as a reader.

Teachers who wish a regular set of questions on each section willfind them at the end of the section. Difficult words are defined orpronounced at the end of the numbered paragraph where they firstoccur; reference to them will be found in the index.





(1436-1506).[1]


Columbus as a Boy
COLUMBUS AS A BOY.
(From the statue in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.)

1. Birth and boyhood of Columbus.—Christopher Columbus,[2] thediscoverer of America, was born at Genoa,[3] a seaport of Italy, morethan four hundred and fifty years ago. His father was awool-comber.[4] Christopher did not care to learn that trade, butwanted to become a sailor. Seeing the boy's strong liking for thesea, his father sent him to a school where he could learn geography,map-drawing, and whatever else might help him to become some daycommander of a vessel.

1 These enclosed dates under a name show, except whenotherwise stated, the year of birth and death.

2 Christopher Columbus (Kris'tof-er Ko-lum'bus).

3 Genoa (Jen'o-ah); see map in paragraph 21.

4 Wool-comber: before wool can be spun into thread andwoven into cloth the tangled locks must be combed out straight andsmooth; once this was all done by hand.


2. Columbus becomes a sailor.—When he was fourteen Columbus wentto sea. In those days the Mediterranean[5] Sea swarmed with war-shipsand pirates. Every sailor, no matter if he was but a boy, had to standready to fight his way from port to port.

In this exciting life, full of adventure and of danger, Columbus grewto manhood. The rough experiences he then had did much toward makinghim the brave, determined captain and explorer[6] that he afterwardsbecame.

5 Mediterranean (Med'i-ter-ra'ne-an).

6 Explorer: one who explores or discovers new countries.


3. Columbus has a sea-fight; he goes to Lisbon.—According to someaccounts, Columbus once had a desperate battle with a vessel off thecoast of Portugal. The fight lasted, it is said, all day. At lengthboth vessels were found to be on fire. Columbus jumped from hisblazing ship into the sea, and catching hold of a floating oar,managed, with its help, to swim to the shore, about six miles away.

He then went to the port of Lisbon.[7] There he married the daughterof a famous sea-captain. For a long time after his marriage Columbusearned his living partly by drawing maps, which he sold to commandersof vessels visiting Lisbon, and partly by making voyages to Africa,Iceland, and other countries.

7 Lisbon: see map in paragraph 21.


World as Columbus knew it
The light parts of this map show how much of the world was then well-known; the white crosses show those countries of Eastern Asia of which something was known.

4. What men then knew about the world.—The maps which Columbus madeand sold were very different from those we now have. At that timenot half of the world had been discovered.[8] Europe, Asia, and asmall part of Africa were the chief countries known. The maps ofColumbus may have shown the earth shaped like a ball, but he supposedit to be much smaller than it really is. No one then had sailed roundthe globe. No one then knew what lands lay west of the broad Atlantic;for this reason we should look in vain, on one of the maps drawn byColumbus, for the great continents of North and South America or forAustralia or the Pacific Ocean.

8 See map in this paragraph.


5. The plan of Columbus for reaching the Indies by sailingwest.—While living in Lisbon, Columbus made up his mind to try todo what no other man, at that time, dared attempt,—that was to crossthe Atlantic Ocean. He thought that by doing so he could get directlyto Asia and the Indies, which, he believed, were opposite Portugaland Spain. If successful, he could open up a very profitable tradewith the rich countries of the East, from which spices, drugs, andsilk were brought to Europe. The people of Europe could not reachthose countries directly by ships, because they had not then foundtheir way round the southern point of Africa.

How Columbus Hoped to Reach Asia
This map shows how Columbus (not knowing that America lay in the way) hoped to reach Asia and the East Indies by sailing west.

6. Columbus tries to get help in carrying out his plans.—Columbuswas too poor to fit out even a single ship to undertake such a voyageas he had planned. He asked the king of Portugal to furnish some moneyor vessels toward it, but he received no encouragement. At lengthhe determined to go to Spain and see if he could get help there.

On the southern coast of Spain there is a small port named Palos.[9]Within sight of the village of Palos, and also within plain sightof the ocean, there was a convent,[10]—which is stillstanding,—called the Convent of Saint Mary.

One morning a tall, fine-looking man, leading a little boy by thehand, knocked at the door of this convent and begged for a piece ofbread and a cup of water for the child. The man was Columbus,—whosewife was now dead,—and the boy was his son.

It chanced that the guardian of the convent noticed Columbus standingat the door. He liked his appearance, and coming up, began to talkwith him. Columbus frankly told him what he was trying to do. Theguardian of the convent listened with great interest; then he gavehim a letter to a friend who he thought would help him to lay hisplans before Ferdinand and Isabella,[11] the king and queen of Spain.

9 Palos (Pa'los); see map in paragraph 12.

10 Convent: a house in which a number of people live whodevote themselves to a religious life.

11 Isabella (Iz-ah-bel'ah).


7. Columbus gets help for his great voyage.—Columbus left his sonat the convent, and set forward on his journey full of bright hopes.But Ferdinand and Isabella could not then see him; and after waitinga long time, the traveller was told that he might go before a numberof learned men and tell them about his proposed voyage across theAtlantic.

After hearing what Columbus had to say, these men thought that itwould be foolish to spend money in trying to reach the other sideof the ocean.

People who heard what this captain from Lisbon wanted to do beganto think that he had lost his reason, and the boys in the streetslaughed at him and called him crazy. Columbus waited for help sevenyears; he then made up his mind that he would wait no longer. Justas he was about leaving Spain, Queen Isabella, who had always feltinterested in the brave sailor, resolved to aid him. Two richsea-captains who lived in Palos also decided to take part in thevoyage. With the assistance which Columbus now got he was able tofit out three small vessels. He went in the largest of thevessels—the only one which had an entire deck—as admiral[12] orcommander of the fleet.

12 Admiral (ad'mi-ral).


Columbus Leaving Palos
COLUMBUS LEAVING PALOS, AUGUST 3D, 1492.

8. Columbus sails.—Early on Friday morning, August 3d, 1492,Columbus started from Palos to attempt to cross that ocean which menthen called the "Sea of Darkness,"—a name which showed how littlethey knew of it, and how much they dreaded it.

We may be pretty sure that the guardian of the convent was one ofthose who watched the sailing of the little fleet. From the upperwindows of the convent he could

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