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Title: A New History of the United States

Author: Charles Morris

Release date: July 18, 2010 [eBook #33000]
Most recently updated: January 6, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Mark C. Orton, Suzanne Lybarger, Graeme Mackreth
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


population map



The Greater Republic





Author of "Decisive Events in American History," "Half Hours with the Best American Authors," "An Historical Review of Civilization," Etc., Etc.

Embellished With Over 300 New Engravings



Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1899, by
in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.




The late war with Spain marks a momentous epoch in the progress of our country, whose history, stretching through the centuries of discovery, exploration, settlement, the struggle for independence, foreign and domestic war, lofty achievement in all departments of knowledge and progress, is the most interesting in human annals. It is a record full of instruction and incitement to endeavor, which must fill every American with pride in his birthright, and with gratitude to Him who holds the earth and the sea in the hollow of His hand.

The following pages contain a complete, accurate, and graphic history of our country from the first visit of the Northmen, a thousand years ago, to the opening of its new destiny, through the late struggle, resulting in the freeing of Cuba, the wresting of the Philippines, Porto Rico, and the Ladrones from the tyranny of the most cruel of modern nations, and the addition of Hawaii to our domain. The Greater United States, at one bound, assumes its place in the van of nations, and becomes the foremost agent in civilizing and christianizing the world.

The task, long committed to England, Germany, France, Russia, and later to Japan, must henceforth be shared with us, whose glowing future gives promise of the crowning achievement of the ages. With a fervent trust in a guiding Providence, and an abiding confidence in our ability, we enter upon the new and grander career, as in obedience to the divine behest that the Latin race must decrease and the Anglo-Saxon increase, and that the latter, in a human sense, must be the regenerator of all who are groping in the night of ignorance and barbarism.

It is a wonderful story that is traced in the pages that follow. A comprehension of the present and of the promise of the future necessitates an understanding of the past. The history of the Greater United States, therefore, is complete, from the first glimpse, in the early morning of October 12, 1492, of San Salvador by Columbus, through the settlement of the colonies, their struggles for existence, the colonial wars, the supreme contest between England and France for mastery in the New World, the long gloom of the Revolution that brought independence, the founding of the Republic, in 1787, the growth and expansion of the nation, the mighty War for the Union that united the divided house and planted it upon a rock, and the later "war for humanity," when the perishing islands, stretching their hands to us in helpless anguish, were gathered under the flag of freedom, there to remain through all time to come.

There have been many leaders in this great work. Not the story of the deeds alone, but of those who performed them is told. History, biography, and all that is interesting and profitable to know are here truthfully set forth, for their lesson is one whose value is beyond measurement.

In addition to the history of that which was simply the United States, a complete account is given of our new colonial possessions, Hawaii, Porto Rico, the Philippines, the Ladrones, and of Cuba, the child of our adoption. Their geography, their soil, climate, productions, inhabitants, and capabilities are set forth with fullness and accuracy.

In conclusion, the publishers confidently claim that "The Greater Republic" is the fullest, most interesting, reliable, and instructive work of the kind ever offered the public.


In 1798 our Government was about to declare war against France. Congress appointed Washington Commander-in-chief of the American Army. The Secretary of War carried the commission in person to Mt. Vernon. The old hero, sitting on his horse in the harvest field, accepted in the above patriotic words.




The Visits of the Northmen to the New World—The Indians and Mound Builders—Christopher Columbus—His Discovery of America—Amerigo Vespucci—John Cabot—Spanish Explorers—Balboa—His Discovery of the Pacific—Magellan—Ponce de Leon—De Narvaez—De Soto—Menendez—French Explorers—Verrazzani—Cartier—Ribault—Laudonnière—Champlain—La Salle—English Explorers—Sir Hugh Willoughby—Martin Frobisher—Sir Humphrey Gilbert—Sir Walter Raleigh—The Lost Colony—Dutch Explorer—Henry Hudson



Virginia,—Founding of Jamestown—Captain John Smith—Introduction of African Slavery—Indian Wars—Bacon's Rebellion—Forms of Government—Prosperity—Education—New England,—Plymouth—Massachusetts Bay Colony—Union of the Colonies—Religious Persecution—King Philip's War—The Witchcraft Delusion—New Hampshire,—The Connecticut Colony,—The New Haven Colony,—Union of the Colonies—Indian Wars—The Charter Oak—Rhode Island,—Different Forms of Government—New York,—The Dutch and English Settlers—New Jersey,—Delaware,—Pennsylvania,—Maryland,—Mason and Dixon's Line—The Carolinas,—Georgia



King William's War—Queen Anne's War—King George's War—The French and Indian War—England and France Rivals in the Old World and the New—The Early French Settlements—The Disputed Territory—France's Fatal Weakness—Washington's Journey Through the Wilderness—The First Fight of the War—The War Wholly American for Two Years—The Braddock Massacre—The Great Change Wrought by William Pitt—Fall of Quebec—Momentous Consequences of the Great English Victory—The Growth and Progress of the Colonies and their Home Life



Causes of the Revolution—The Stamp Act—The Boston Tea Party—England's Unbearable Measures—The First Continental Congress—The Boston Massacre—Lexington and Concord—The Second Continental Congress—Battle of Bunker Hill—Assumption of Command by Washington—British Evacuation of Boston—Disastrous Invasion of Canada



Declaration of Independence—The American Flag—Battle of Long Island—Washington's Retreat Through the Jerseys—Trenton and Princeton—In Winter Quarters—Lafayette—Brandywine and Germantown—At Valley Forge—Burgoyne's Campaign—Port Schuyler and Bennington—Bemis Heights and Stillwater—The Conway Cabal—Aid from France—Battle of Monmouth—Molly Pitcher—Failure of French Aid—Massacre at Wyoming—Continental Money—Stony Point—Treason of Arnold—Paul Jones' Great Victory



Capture of Savannah—British Conquest of Georgia—Fall of Charleston—Bitter Warfare in South Carolina—Battle of Camden—Of King's Mountain—Of the Cowpens-Battle of Guilford Court-House—Movements of Cornwallis—The Final Campaign—Peace and Independence



The Method of Government During the Revolution—Impending Anarchy—The State Boundaries—State Cessions of Land—Shays' Rebellion—Adoption of the Constitution—Its Leading Features—The Ordinance of 1787—Formation of Parties—Election of the First President and Vice-President



Washington—His Inauguration as First President of the United States—Alexander Hamilton—His Success at the Head of the Treasury Department—The Obduracy of Rhode Island—Establishment of the United States Bank—Passage of a Tariff Bill—Establishment of a Mint—The Plan of a Federal Judiciary—Admission of Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee—Benjamin Franklin—Troubles with the Western Indians—Their Defeat by General Wayne—Removal of the National Capital Provided for—The Whiskey Insurrection—The Course of "Citizen Genet"—Jay's Treaty—Re-election of Washington—Resignation of Jefferson and Hamilton—Washington's Farewell Address—Establishment of the United States Military Academy at West Point—The Presidential Election of 1796—John Adams—Prosperity of the Country—Population of the Country in 1790—Invention of the Cotton Gin—Troubles with France—War on the Ocean—Washington Appointed Commander-in-Chief—Peace Secured—The Alien and Sedition Laws—The Census of 1800—The Presidential Election of 1800—The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution—Thomas Jefferson—Admission of Ohio—The Indiana Territory—The Purchase of Louisiana—Its Immense Area—Abolishment of the Slave Trade—War with Tripoli—The Lewis and Clark Expedition—Alexander Hamilton Killed in a Duel by Aaron Burr—The First Steamboat on the Hudson—The First Steamer to Cross the Atlantic—England's Oppressive Course Toward the United States—Outrage by the British Ship Leander—The Affair of the Leopard and Chesapeake—Passage of the Embargo Act—The Presidential Election of 1808



James Madison—The Embargo and the Non-Intercourse Acts—Revival of the Latter Against England—The Little Belt and the President—Population of the United States in 1810—Battle of Tippecanoe—Declaration of War Against England—Comparative Strength of the Two Nations on the Ocean—Unpopularity of the War in New England—Preparations Made by the Government—Cowardly Surrender of Detroit—Presidential Election of 1812—Admission of Louisiana and Indiana—New National Bank Chartered—Second Attempt to Invade Canada—Battle of Queenstown Heights—Inefficiency of the American Forces in 1812—Brilliant Work of the Navy—The Constitution and the Guerrière—The Wasp and the Frolic—The United States and the Macedonian—The Constitution and the Java—Reorganization and Strengthening of the Army—Operations in the West—Gallant Defense of Fort Stephenson—American Invasion of Ohio and Victory of the Thames—Indian Massacre at Fort Mimms—Capture of York (Toronto)—Defeat of the Enemy at Sackett's Harbor—Failure of the American Invasion of Canada—The Hornet and Peacock—Capture of the Chesapeake—"Don't Give Up the Ship"—Captain Decatur Blockaded at New London—Capture of the Argus by the Enemy—Cruise of the Essex—The Glorious Victory of Commodore Perry on Lake Erie—Success of the American Arms in Canada—Battle of the Chippewa—Of Lundy's Lane—Decisive Defeat of the Enemy's Attack on Plattsburg—Punishment of the Creek Indians for the Massacre at Fort Mimms—Vigorous Action by the National Government—Burning of Washington by the British—The Hartford Convention



James Monroe—The "Era of Good Feeling"—The Seminole War—Vigorous Measures of General Jackson—Admission of Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Maine, and Missouri—The Missouri Compromise—The Monroe Doctrine—Visit of Lafayette—Introduction of the Use of Gas—Completion of the Erie Canal—The First "Hard Times"—Extinction of the West Indian Pirates—Presidential Election of 1824—John Quincy Adams—Prosperity of the Country—Introduction of the Railway Locomotive—Trouble with the Cherokees in Georgia—Death of Adams and Jefferson—Congressional Action on the Tariff—Presidential Election of 1828



Andrew Jackson—"To the Victors Belong the Spoils"—The President's Fight with the United States Bank—Presidential Election of 1828—Distribution of the Surplus in the United States Treasury Among the Various States—The Black Hawk War—The Nullification Excitement—The Seminole War—Introduction of the Steam Locomotive—Anthracite Coal, McCormick's Reaper, and Friction Matches—Great Fire in New York—Population of the United States in 1830—Admission of Arkansas and Michigan—Abolitionism—France and Portugal Compelled to Pay their Debts to the United States—The Specie Circular, John Caldwell Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster—Presidential Election of 1836—Martin Van Buren—The Panic of 1837—Rebellion in Canada—Population of the United States in 1840—Presidential Election of 1840—William Henry Harrison—His Death—John Tyler—His Unpopular Course—The Webster-Ashburton Treaty—Civil War in Rhode Island—The Anti-rent War in New York—A Shocking Accident—Admission of Florida—Revolt of Texas Against Mexican Rule—The Alamo—San Jacinto—The Question of the Annexation of Texas—The State Admitted—The Copper Mines of Michigan—Presidential Election of 1844—The Electro-magnetic Telegraph—Professor Morse—His Labors in Bringing the Invention to Perfection



The Origin of the "Caucus"—The Election of 1792—The First Stormy Election—The Constitution Amended—Improvement of the Method of Nominating Presidential Candidates—The First Presidential Convention—Convention in Baltimore in 1832—Exciting Scenes—The Presidential Campaign of 1820—"Old Hickory"—Andrew Jackson's Popularity—Jackson Nominated—"Old Hickory" Defeated—The "Log-Cabin" and "Hard-Cider" Campaign of 1840—"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too"—Peculiar Feature of the Harrison Campaign



James K. Polk—The War with Mexico—The First Conflict—Battle of Resaca de la Palma—Vigorous Action of the United States Government—General Scott's Plan of Campaign—Capture of Monterey—An Armistice—Capture of Saltillo—Of Victoria—Of Tampico—General Kearny's Capture of Santa Fé—Conquest of California—Wonderful March of Colonel Doniphan—Battle of Buena Vista—General Scott's March Toward the City of Mexico—Capture of Vera Cruz—American Victory at Cerro Gordo—Five American Victories in One Day—Santa Anna—Conquest of Mexico Completed—Terms of the Treaty of Peace—The New Territory Gained—The Slavery Dispute—The Wilmot Proviso—"Fifty-Four Forty or Fight"—Adjustment of the Oregon Boundary—Admission of Iowa and Wisconsin—The Smithsonian Institute—Discovery of Gold in California—The Mormons—The Presidential Election of 1848



Zachary Taylor—The "Irrepressible Conflict" in Congress—The Omnibus Bill—Death of President Taylor—Millard Fillmore—Death of the Old Leaders and Debut of the New—The Census of 1850—Surveys for a Railway to the Pacific—Presidential Election of 1852—Franklin Pierce—Death of Vice-President King—A Commercial Treaty Made with Japan—Filibustering Expeditions—The Ostend Manifesto—The "Know Nothing" Party—The Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Repeal of the Missouri Compromise



Abraham Lincoln—Major Anderson's Trying Position—Jefferson Davis—Inauguration of President Lincoln—Bombardment of Fort Sumter—War Preparations North and South—Attack on Union Troops in Baltimore—Situation of the Border States—Unfriendliness of England and France—Friendship of Russia—The States that Composed the Southern Confederacy—Union Disaster at Big Bethel—Success of the Union Campaign in Western Virginia—General George B. McClellan—First Battle of Bull Run—General McClellan Called to the Command of the Army of the Potomac—Union Disaster at Ball's Bluff—Military Operations in Missouri—Battle of Wilson's Creek—Defeat of Colonel Mulligan at Lexington, Mo.—Supersedure of Fremont—Operations on the Coast—The Trent Affair—Summary of the Year's Operations




Capture of Forts Henry and Donelson—Change in the Confederate Line of Defense—Capture of Island No. 10—Battle of Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh—Capture of Corinth—Narrow Escape of Louisville—Battle of Perryville—Battle of Murfreesboro' or Stone River—Battle of Pea Ridge—Naval Battle Between the Monitor and Merrimac—Fate of the Two Vessels—Capture of New Orleans—The Advance Against Richmond—McClellan's Peninsula Campaign—The First Confederate Invasion of the NorthBattle of Antietam or SharpsburgDisastrous Union Repulse at FredericksburgSummary of the War's OperationsThe Confederate PrivateersThe Emancipation ProclamationGreenbacks and Bond Issues




The Military Situation in the West—Siege and Capture of Vicksburg—The Mississippi Opened—Battle of Chickamauga—"The Rock of Chickamauga"—The Battle Above the Clouds—Siege of Knoxville—General Hooker Appointed to the Command of the Army of the Potomac—His Plan of Campaign Against Richmond—Stonewall Jackson's Stampede of the Eleventh Corps—Critical Situation of the Union Army—Death of Jackson—Battle of Chancellorsville—Defeat of Hooker—The Second Confederate Invasion—Battle of Gettysburg—The Decisive Struggle of the War—Lee's Retreat—Subsequent Movements of Lee and Meade—Confederate Privateering—Destruction of the Nashville—Failure of the Attacks on Charleston—The Military Raids—Stuart's Narrow Escape—Stoneman's Raid—Morgan's Raid in Indiana and Ohio




The Work Remaining to be Done—General Grant Placed in Command of all the Union Armies—The Grand Campaign—Bank's Disastrous Red River Expedition—How the Union Fleet was Saved—Capture of Mobile by Admiral Farragut—The Confederate Cruisers—Destruction of the Alabama by the Kearsarge—Fate of the Other Confederate Cruisers—Destruction of the Albemarle by Lieutenant William B. Cushing—Re-election of President Lincoln—Distress in the South and Prosperity in the North—The Union Prisoners in the South—Admission of Nevada—The Confederate Raids from Canada—Sherman's Advance to Atlanta—Fall of Atlanta—Hood's Vain Attempt to Relieve Georgia—Superb Success of General Thomas—"Marching Through Georgia"—Sherman's Christmas Gift to President Lincoln—Opening of Grant's Final Campaign—Battles in the Wilderness—Wounding of General Longstreet and Death of Generals Stuart and Sedgwick—Grant's Flanking Movements Against Lee—A Disastrous Repulse at Cold Harbor—Defeat of Sigel and Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley—"Bottling-up" of Butler—Explosions of the Petersburg Mine—Early's Raids—His Final Defeat by Sheridan—Grant's Campaign—Surrender of Lee—Assassination of President Lincoln—Death of Booth and Punishment of the Conspirators—Surrender of Jo Johnston and Collapse of the Southern Confederacy—Capture of Jefferson Davis—His Release and Death—Statistics of the Civil War—A Characteristic Anecdote



Andrew Johnson—Reconstruction—Quarrel Between the President and Congress—The Fenians—Execution of Maximilian—Admission of Nebraska—Laying of the Atlantic Cable—Purchase of Alaska—Impeachment and Acquittal of the President—Carpet-bag Rule in the South—Presidential Election of 1868—U.S. Grant—Settlement of the Alabama Claims—Completion of the Overland Railway—The Chicago Fire—Settlement of the Northwestern Boundary—Presidential Election of 1872—The Modoc Troubles—Civil War in Louisiana—Admission of Colorado—Panic of 1873—Notable Deaths—Custer's Massacre—The Centennial—The Presidential Election of 1876 the Most Perilous in the History of the Country



R.B. Hayes—The Telephone—Railway Strikes—Elevated Railroads—War with the Nez Perce Indians—Remonetization of Silver—Resumption of Specie Payments—A Strange Fishery Award—The Yellow Fever Scourge—Presidential Election of 1878—James A. Garfield—Civil Service Reform—Assassination of President Garfield—Chester A. Arthur—The Star Route Frauds—The Brooklyn Bridge—The Chinese Question—The Mormons—Alaska Exploration—The Yorktown Centennial—Attempts to Reach the North Pole by Americans—History of the Greely Expedition



Grover Cleveland—Completion of the Washington Monument—The Bartholdi Statue—Death of General Grant—Death of Vice-President Hendricks—The First Vice-President to Die in Office—George Clinton—Elbridge Gerry—William R. King—Henry Wilson—Death of General McClellan—Of General Hancock—His Career—The Dispute Between Capital and Labor—Arbitration—The Anarchistic Outbreak in Chicago—The Charleston Earthquake—Conquest of the Apaches—Presidential Election of 1888—Benjamin Harrison—The Johnstown Disaster—Threatened War with Chili—The Indian Uprising of 1890-91—Admission of New States—Presidential Election of 1892



Repeal of the Purchase Clause of the Sherman Bill—The World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago—The Hawaiian Imbroglio—The Great Railroad Strike of 1894—Coxey's Commonweal Army—Admission of Utah—Harnessing of Niagara—Dispute with England Over Venezuela's Boundary—Presidential Election of 1896



Settling the Northwest—The Face of the Country Transformed—Clearing Away the Forests and its Effects—Tree-planting on the Prairies—Pioneer Life in the Seventies—The Granary of the World—The Northwestern Farmer—Transportation and Other Industries—Business Cities and Centres—United Public Action and its Influence—The Indian Question—Other Elements of Population—Society and General Culture



William McKinley—Organization of "Greater New York"—Removal of General Grant's Remains to Morningside Park—The Klondike Gold Excitement—Spain's Misrule in Cuba—Preliminary Events of the Spanish-American War




Opening Incidents—Bombardment of Matanzas—Dewey's Wonderful Victory at Manila—Disaster to the Winslow at Cardenas Bay—The First American Loss of Life—Bombardment of San Juan, Porto Rico—The Elusive Spanish Fleet—Bottled-up in Santiago Harbor—Lieutenant Hobson's Daring Exploit—Second Bombardment of Santiago and Arrival of the Army—Gallant Work of the Rough Riders and the Regulars—Battles of San Juan and El Caney—Destruction of Cervera's Fleet—General Shafter Reinforced in Front of Santiago—Surrender of the City—General Miles in Porto Rico—An Easy Conquest—Conquest of the Philippines—Peace Negotiations and Signing of the Protocol—Its Terms—Members of the National Peace Commission—Return of the Troops from Cuba and Porto Rico—The Peace Commission in Paris—Conclusion of its Work—Terms of the Treaty—Ratified by the Senate




The Islands of Hawaii—Their Inhabitants and Products—City of Honolulu—History of Cuba—The Ten Years' War—The Insurrection of 1895-98—Geography and Productions of Cuba—Its Climate—History of Porto Rico—Its People and Productions—San Juan and Ponce—Location, Discovery, and History of the Philippines—Insurrections of the Filipinos—City of Manila—Commerce—Philippine Productions—Climate and Volcanoes—Dewey at Manila—The Ladrone Islands—Conclusion




List of Illustrations.

Amerigo Vespucci,
Meeting Between the Northmen and Natives,
Sebastian Cabot,
Columbus and the Egg,
An Indian Council of War,
"The Broiling of Fish Over the Fire,"
Indian Village Enclosed with Palisades,
Sir Walter Raleigh,
Seal of the Virginia Company,
Armor Worn by the Pilgrims in 1620,
Landing of Myles Standish,
Roger Williams in Banishment,
Primitive Mode of Grinding Corn,
Friends' Meeting-House, Burlington, N.J.,
Moravian Easter Service, Bethlehem, Pa.,
Colonial Plow—1706,
Ancient Horseshoes,
A Colonial Flax-wheel,
A Comfortier, or Chafing Dish,
Early Days in New England,
Places of Worship in New York in 1742,
Attack on Rioters, Springfield, Mass., in 1786,
Young Washington Riding a Colt,
Braddock's Defeat,
Martello Tower on the Heights of Abraham,
A Dutch Household as Seen in the Early Days in New York,
Memorial Hall, Harvard College,
Bible Brought Over in the Mayflower,
American Stage-coach of 1795,
The Old South Church, Boston,
Patrick Henry,
The Monument on Bunker Hill,
Nomination of Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army,
Faneuil Hall, Boston,
St. Paul's Church, New York,
Independence Hall, Philadelphia,
The Liberty Bell,
The Statue of Liberty,
An Old New York Mansion,
Washington Crossing the Delaware,
"Give Them Watts, Boys,"
Washington at Valley Forge,
An Old Colonial House at Germantown,
Virginia Currency, 1670,
Paul Jones,
The Bon Homme Richard and Serapis,
British Captain Surrendering Sword,
Escape of Benedict Arnold,
Tarleton's Lieutenant and the Farmer,
A Plantation Gateway,
Senate Chamber,
House of Representatives,
An Old Indian Farm-house,
Mary Ball, the Mother of Washington,
George Washington,
Inauguration of Washington,
Alexander Hamilton,
Ben Franklin in His Father's Shop,
Franklin's Grave,
Chief Justice John Jay,
Washington's Bedroom in which He Died,
Mother of Washington Receiving Lafayette,
John Adams,
The Cotton Gin, Invented in 1793,
Thomas Jefferson,
Development of Steam Navigation,
Robert Fulton,
James Madison,
The Arts of Peace and the Art of War,
Mrs. James Madison,
Burning of Washington,
Weathersford and General Jackson,
First Train of Cars in America,
James Monroe,
An Indian's Declaration of War,
John Quincy Adams,
"Johnny Bull," or No. 1,
Andrew Jackson,
Samuel Houston,
Oseola's Indignation,
Western Railroad in Earlier Days,
John C. Calhoun,
Henry Clay,
Daniel Webster,
Martin Van Buren,
William Henry Harrison,
John Tyler,
Where the First Morse Instrument was Constructed,
Speedwell Iron Works, Morristown, N.J.
Old Gates at St. Augustine, Florida,
A Typical Virginia Court-House,
The White House at Washington, D.C.,
Old Spanish House, New Orleans,
The Marigny House, New Orleans,
James K. Polk,
Robert E. Lee in the Mexican War,
General Winfield Scott,
Battle of Cerro Gordo,
The Smithsonian Institute,
Gold Washing—The Sluice,
Gold Washing—The Cradle,
Great Salt Lake City, Utah,
Zachary Taylor,
Millard Fillmore,
Franklin Pierce,
Lucretia Mott,
Henry Ward Beecher,
James Buchanan,
Lucretia Mott Protecting Dangerfield,
Harper's Ferry,
Abraham Lincoln,
From Log-Cabin to the White House,
Jefferson Davis,
Fort Moultrie, Charleston, S.C.,
A Skirmisher,
General George B. McClellan,
Statue of McClellan, Philadelphia, Pa.,
Fortifying Richmond,
Breech-loading Mortar, or Howitzer,
A Railroad Battery,
Sec. Stanton's Opinion about the Merrimac,
John Ericsson,
Libby Prison in 1865,
Libby Prison in 1884,
Moist Weather at the Front,
Antietam Bridge,
Model of Gatling Gun,
U.S. Military Telegraph Wagon,
Admiral Porter,
David G. Farragut,
Grant After the Battle of Belmont,
General George H. Thomas,
General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson,
House in which Stonewall Jackson Died,
General Robert E. Lee,
General George G. Meade,
Cushing's Last Shot,
Entrance to Gettysburg Cemetery,
The Swamp Angel Battery,
Bailey's Dams on the Red River,
Monument of Farragut at Washington,
Bird's-eye View of Andersonville Prison,
Death of General Polk,
General William T. Sherman,
General Lee Leading the Texans' Charge,
General Philip H. Sheridan,
Lincoln Entering Richmond,
The Desperate Extremity of the Confederates,
Horace Greeley,
Lincoln's Grave, Springfield, Ill.,
Andrew Johnson,
Log-cabin Church at Juneau, Alaska,
Southern Legislature Under Carpet-bag Rule,
Ulysses Simpson Grant,
Mrs. Julia Dent Grant,
The Burning of Chicago, 1871,
Section of Chicago Stock-yards,
Monument to General Lee, Richmond, Va.,
General George Crook,
Memorial Hall of 1876,
Samuel J. Tilden,
Rutherford B. Hayes,
Grant at Windsor Castle,
Grant in Japan,
The Boy James Garfield and his Mother,
James A. Garfield,
The Aged Mother of President Garfield,
Assassination of President Garfield,
Memorial Tablet to President Garfield,
Chester Alan Arthur,
The Brooklyn Bridge,
Scene in Chinatown, San Francisco,
A Funeral in the Arctic Regions,
Grover Cleveland,
The Funeral train of General Grant passing west Point,
City Hall, Philadelphia,
Old Haymarket Plaza, Chicago,
General Crook's Apache Guide,
An Indian Warrior,
Benjamin Harrison,
Indian Mother and Infant,
Indian Agency,
Henry Moore Teller,
Model of U.S. Man-of-War,
Machinery Hall, World's Fair, Chicago, 1893,
Horticultural Building, World's Fair, 1893,
Agricultural Building, World's Fair, 1893,
Woman's Building, World's Fair, 1893,
Thomas A. Edison,
The Viking Ship, World's Fair, Chicago, 1893,
Art Palace, World's Fair, Chicago, 1893,
Government Building, World's Fair, 1893,
James G. Blaine,
A Scene of the Chicago Strike of 1894,
A Gold Prospecting Party, British Guiana,
The Venezuelan Commission,
William Jennings Bryan,
Albert Shaw,
A Dispute Over a Brand,
Between the Mills,
Barrel-hoist and Tunnel, Washburn Mill,
Ancient Block-House, Alaska,
The Falls of St. Anthony, 1885,
Lake-shore Drive, Chicago,
Wm. McKinley,
The Obelisk, Central Park, New York,
John Sherman,
Thomas B. Reed,
Tomb of U.S. Grant, New York,
Review of the Navy and Merchant Marine on the Hudson, April 27, 1897,
Map of Alaska,
Ready for the Trail,
General Calixto Garcia,
General Maximo Gomez,
José Marti,
General Antonio Maceo,
The U.S. Battleship Maine and her Officers,
Admiral George Dewey,
Camp Scene at Chickamauga,M
Richmond P. Hobson,
Major-General Fitzhugh Lee,
Rear-Admiral William T. Sampson,
Gov. Theodore Roosevelt,
Rear-Admiral Winfield S. Schley,
Rear-Admiral John C. Watson,
Major-General William R. Shaffer,
Major-General Nelson A. Miles,
Major-General Joseph Wheeler,
Major-General Wesley Merritt,
Major-General Elwell S. Otis,
Admiral Dewey's Flagship the Olympia,
Native Grass House, Hawaii,
Royal Palace, Hawaii,
Raising of the American Flag, Honolulu,

Hula Dancing Girls, Hawaii,
Church in Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands,
Sugar Cane Plantation, Hawaiian Islands,
Tomb of Christopher Columbus, Havana, Cuba,
Indian Statue in the Prado, Havana, Cuba,
Daring Attack of Cuban Patriots,
Sunrise Executions, Havana, Clara Barton
A Spanish Mestiza
A Volante, Cuba,
Entrance to the Public Grounds, Havana,
A Market Girl, Porto Rico,
The Custom House, Ponce, Porto Rico,
Native Belles, Porto Rico,
The Market Place, Ponce, Porto Rico,
Filipinos of the Savage Tribes
Native Hunters, Philippine Islands,
Philippine Warriors,
Native Residence in the Suburbs of Manila,
A Typical Moro Village, Philippine Islands,
Bridge Over the Pasig River,
A Popular Street Conveyance, Manila,
A Wedding Procession, Philippine Islands,
Drying Sugar, Philippine Islands,
The Strange Wagons of Philippine Islands,
Native House and Palms, Ladrone Islands,


List of Full-page Half-tone Illustrations.

"I am ready for any service that I can give my country"
Search for the Fountain of Youth
Pocahontas Saving the Life of John Smith
The Marriage of Pocahontas
Gallup's Recapture of Oldham's Boat
William Penn, the good and wise ruler
Notable Audience in Maryland to hear George Fox
Hiawatha, Pounder of the Iroquois League
Washington's First Victory
The Battle of Bunker Hill
The Capture of Major André
Daring Desertion of John Campe
The Surrender at Yorktown
United States Capitol, Washington
The Battle of Fallen Timbers
Campaign Speechmaking in Earlier Days
Fremont, the Great Pathfinder, addressing the Indians
Battle of Resaca de la Palma
The Blue and the Gray
The First Battle of Bull Run, 1861
The Attack on Fort Donelson
General Lee's Invasion of the North
The Battle of Malvern Hill
The Fatal Wounding of "Stonewall" Jackson
Pickett's Return from his Famous Charge
Attack on Charleston, August 23 to September 29, 1893
The Sinking of the "Alabama"
Sherman's Three Scouts
Surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House, April 9, 1865
The Civil War Peace Conference
The Electoral Commission, 1877
The Farthest North Reached by Lieutenant Lockwood on the Greely Expedition
The Washington Monument
The Hero of the Strike, Coal Creek, Tenn
Congressional Library, Washington, D.C.
Cathedral Spires in the Garden of the Gods
Greater New York
President McKinley and the War Cabinet
City of Havana, Cuba
The U.S. Battleship "Maine"
Map of Cuba
The Battle of Manila, May 1, 1898
Americans Storming San Juan Hill
U.S. Battleship "Oregon"
The Surrender of Santiago, July 17, 1898
In the War-room at Washington
The United States Peace Commissioners of the Spanish War
Popular Commanders in the Filipino War
Prominent Spaniards in 1898
San Juan, Porto Rico
The Escolta, City of Manila
The Beautiful Luneta, Manila's Fashionable Promenade and Drive
The Shipyard and Arsenal at Cavite, Philippine Islands
Raising the Flag on Fort San Antonio de Abad, Malate
Scenes from the Philippine Islands
The Mouth of the Pasig River

Author's introduction.

The annals of the world contain no more impressive example of the birth and growth of a nation than may be seen in the case of that which has been aptly termed the Greater Republic, whose story from its feeble childhood to its grand maturity it is the purpose of this work to set forth. Three hundred years is a brief interval in the long epoch of human history, yet within that short period the United States has developed from a handful of hardy men and women, thinly scattered along our Atlantic coast, into a vast and mighty country, peopled by not less than seventy-five millions of human beings, the freest, richest, most industrious, and most enterprising of any people upon the face of the earth. It began as a dwarf; it has grown into a giant. It was despised by the proud nations of Europe; it has become feared and respected by the proudest of these nations. For a long time they have claimed the right to settle among themselves the affairs of the world; they have now to deal with the United States in this self-imposed duty. And it is significant of the high moral attitude occupied by this country, that one of the first enterprises in which it is asked to join these ancient nations has for its end to do away with the horrors of war, and substitute for the drawn sword in the settlement of national disputes a great Supreme Court of arbitration.

This is but one of the lessons to be drawn from the history of the great republic of the West. It has long been claimed that this history lacks interest, that it is devoid of the romance which we find in that of the Eastern world, has nothing in it of the striking and dramatic, and is too young and new to be worth men's attention when compared with that of the ancient nations, which has come down from the mists of prehistoric time. Yet we think that those who read the following pages will not be ready to admit this claim. They will find in the history of the United States an abundance of the elements of romance. It has, besides, the merit of being a complete and fully rounded history. We can trace it from its birth, and put upon record the entire story of the evolution of a nation, a fact which it would be difficult to affirm of any of the older nations of the world.

If we go back to the origin of our country, it is to find it made up of a singular mixture of the best people of Europe. The word best is used here in a special sense. The settlers in this country were not the rich and titled. They came not from that proud nobility which claims to possess bluer blood than the common herd, but from the plain people of Europe, from the workers, not the idlers, and this rare distinction they have kept up until the present day. But of this class of the world's workers, they were the best and noblest. They were men who thought for themselves, and refused to be bound in the trammels of a State religion; men who were ready to dare the perils of the sea and the hardships of a barren shore for the blessings of liberty and free-thought; men of sturdy thrift, unflinching energy, daring enterprise, the true stuff out of which alone a nation like ours could be built.

Such was the character of the Pilgrims and the Puritans, the hardy empire-builders of New England, of the Quakers of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Catholics of Maryland, the Huguenots of the South, the Moravians and other German Protestants, the sturdy Scotch-Irish, and the others who sought this country as a haven of refuge for free-thought. We cannot say the same for the Hollanders of New Amsterdam, the Swedes of Delaware, and the English of Virginia, so far as their purpose is concerned, yet they too proved hardy and industrious settlers, and the Cavaliers whom the troubles in England drove to Virginia showed their good blood by the prominent part which their descendants played in the winning of our independence and the making of our government. While the various peoples named took part in the settlement of the colonies, the bulk of the settlers were of English birth, and Anglo-Saxon thrift and energy became the foundation stones upon which our nation has been built. Of the others, nearly the whole of them were of Teutonic origin, while the Huguenots, whom oppression drove from France, were of the very bone and sinew of that despot-ridden land. It may fairly be said, then, that the founders of our nation came from the cream of the populations of Europe, born of sturdy Teutonic stock, and comprising thrift, energy, endurance, love of liberty, and freedom of thought to a degree never equaled in the makers of any other nation upon the earth. They were of solid oak in mind and frame, and the edifice they built had for its foundation the natural rights of man, and for its super-structure that spirit of liberty which has ever since throbbed warmly in the American heart.

It was well for the colonies that this underlying unity of aim existed, for aside from this they were strikingly distinct in character and aspirations. Sparsely settled, strung at intervals along the far-extended Atlantic coast, silhouetted against a stern background of wilderness and mountain range, their sole bond of brotherhood was their common aspiration for liberty, while in all other respects they were unlike in aims and purposes. The spirit of political liberty was strongest in the New England colonies, and these held their own against every effort to rob them of their rights with an unflinching boldness which is worthy of the highest praise, and which set a noble example for the remaining colonists. Next to them in bold opposition to tyranny were the people of the Carolinas, who sturdily resisted an effort to make them the enslaved subjects of a land-holding nobility. In Pennsylvania and Maryland political rights were granted by high-minded proprietors, and in these colonies no struggle for self-government was necessary. Only in Virginia and New York was autocratic rule established, and in both of these it gradually yielded to the steady demand for self-government.

On the other hand, New England, while politically the freest, was religiously the most autocratic. The Puritans, who had crossed the ocean in search of freedom of thought, refused to grant a similar freedom to those who came later, and sought to found a system as intolerant as that from which they had fled. A natural revulsion from their oppressive measures gave rise in Rhode Island to the first government on the face of the earth in which absolute religious liberty was established. Among the more southern colonies, a similar freedom, so far as liberty of Christian worship is concerned, was granted by William Penn and Lord Baltimore. But this freedom was maintained only in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, religious intolerance being the rule, to a greater or less degree, in all the other colonies; the Puritanism of New England being replaced elsewhere by a Church of England autocracy.

The diversity in political condition, religion, and character of the settlers tended to keep the colonies separate, while a like diversity of commercial interests created jealousies which built up new barriers between them. The unity that might have been looked for between these feeble and remote communities, spread like links of a broken chain far along an ocean coast, had these and other diverse conditions to contend with, and they promised to develop into a series of weak and separate nations rather than into a strong and single commonwealth.

The influences that overcame this tendency to disunion were many and important. We can only glance at them here. They may be divided into two classes, warlike hostility and industrial oppression. The first step towards union was taken in 1643, when four of the New England colonies formed a confederation for defense against the Dutch and Indians. "The United Colonies of New England" constituted in its way a federal republic, the prototype of that of the United States. The second step of importance in this connection was taken in 1754, when a convention was held at Albany to devise measures of defense against the French. Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan of colonial union, which was accepted by the convention. But the jealousy of the colonies prevented its adoption. They had grown into communities of some strength and with a degree of pride in their separate freedom, and were not ready to yield to a central authority. The British Government also opposed it, not wishing to see the colonies gain the strength which would have come to them from political union. As a result, the plan fell to the ground.

The next important influence tending towards union was the oppressive policy of Great Britain. The industries and commerce of the colonies had long been seriously restricted by the measures of the mother-country, and after the war with France an attempt was made to tax the colonists, though they were sternly refused representation in Parliament, the tax-laying body. Community in oppression produced unity in feeling; the colonies joined hands, and in 1765 a congress of their representatives was held in New York, which appealed to the King for their just political rights. Nine years afterwards, in 1774, a second congress was held, brought together by much more imminent common dangers. In the following year a third congress was convened. This continued in session for years, its two most important acts being the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and the Confederation of the States, the first form of union which the colonies adopted. This Confederation was in no true sense a Union. The jealousies and fears of the colonies made themselves apparent, and the central government was given so little power that it threatened to fall to pieces of its own weight. It could pass laws, but could not make the people obey them. It could incur debts, but could not raise money by taxation to pay them. The States kept nearly all the power to themselves, and each acted almost as if it were an independent nation, while the Congress of the Confederation was left without money and almost without authority.

This state of affairs soon grew intolerable. "We are," said Washington, "one nation to-day, and thirteen to-morrow." Such a union it was impossible to maintain. It was evident that the compact must give way; that there must be one strong government or thirteen weak ones. This last alternative frightened the States. None of them was strong enough to hold its own against foreign governments. They must form a strong union or leave themselves at the mercy of ambitious foes. It was this state of affairs that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, by whose wisdom the National Union which has proved so solid a bond was organized. The Constitution made by this body gave rise to the Republic of the United States. A subsequent act, which in 1898 added a number of distant island possessions to our Union, and vastly widened its interests and its importance in the world's councils, made of it a "Greater Republic," a mighty dominion whose possessions extended half round the globe.

While the changes here briefly outlined were taking place, the country was growing with phenomenal rapidity. From all parts of northern and western Europe, and above all from Great Britain, new settlers were crowding to our shores, while the descendants of the original settlers were increasing in numbers. How many people there were here is in doubt, but it is thought that in 1700 there were more than 200,000, in 1750 about 1,100,000, and in 1776 about 2,500,000. The first census, taken in 1790, just after the Federal Union was formed, gave a population of nearly 4,000,000.

A people growing at this rate could not be long confined to the narrow ocean border of the early settlements. A rich and fertile country lay back, extending how far no one knew, and soon there was a movement to the West, which carried the people over the mountains and into the broad plains beyond. A war was fought with France for the possession of the Ohio country. Boone and other bold pioneers led hardy settlers into Kentucky and Tennessee, and George Rogers Clark descended the Ohio and drove the British troops from the northwest territory, gaining that vast region for the new Union.

After the War for Independence the movement westward went on with rapidity. The first settlement in Ohio was made at Marietta in 1788; Cincinnati was founded in 1790; in 1803 St. Louis was a little village of log-cabins; and in 1831 the site of Chicago was occupied by a dozen settlers gathered round Fort Dearborn. But while the cities were thus slow in starting, the country between them was rapidly filling up, the Indians giving way step by step as the vanguard of the great march pressed upon them; here down the Ohio in bullet-proof boats, there across the mountains on foot or in wagons. A great national road stretched westward from Cumberland, Maryland, which in time reached the Mississippi, and over whose broad and solid surface a steady stream of emigrant wagons poured into the great West. At the same time steamboats were beginning to run on the Eastern waters, and soon these were carrying the increasing multitude down the Ohio and the Mississippi into the vast Western realm. Later came the railroad to complete this phase of our history, and provide a means of transportation by whose aid millions could travel with ease where a bare handful had made their way with peril and hardship of old.

Up to 1803 our national domain was bounded on the west by the Mississippi, but in that year the vast territory of Louisiana was purchased from France and the United States was extended to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, its territory being more than doubled in area. Here was a mighty domain for future settlement, across which two daring travelers, Lewis and Clark, journeyed through tribes of Indians never before heard of, not ending their long route until they had passed down the broad Columbia to the waters of the Pacific.

From time to time new domains were added to the great republic. In 1819 Florida was purchased from Spain. In 1845 Texas was added to the Union. In 1846 the Oregon country was made part of the United States. In 1848, as a result of the Mexican War, an immense tract extending from Texas to the Pacific was acquired, and the land of gold became part of the republic. In 1853 another tract was purchased from Mexico, and the domain of the United States, as it existed at the beginning of the Civil War, was completed. It constituted a great section of the North American continent, extending across it from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and north and south from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a fertile, well-watered, and prolific land, capable of becoming the nursery of one of the greatest nations on the earth. Beginning, at the close of the Revolution, with an area of 827,844 square miles, it now embraced 3,026,484 square miles of territory, having increased within a century to nearly four times its original size.

In 1867 a new step was taken, in the addition to this country of a region of land separated from its immediate domain. This was the territory of Alaska, of more than 577,000 square miles in extent, and whose natural wealth has made it a far more valuable acquisition than was originally dreamed of. In 1898 the Greater Republic, as it at present exists, was completed by the acquisition of the island of Porto Rico in the West Indies, and the Hawaiian and Philippine Island groups in the Pacific Ocean. These, while adding not greatly to our territory, may prove to possess a value in their products fully justifying their acquisition. At present, however, their value is political rather than industrial, as bringing the United States into new and important relations with the other great nations of the earth.

The growth of population in this country is shown strikingly in the remarkable development of its cities. In 1790 the three largest cities were not larger than many of our minor cities to-day. Philadelphia had forty-two thousand population, New York thirty-three thousand, and Boston eighteen thousand. Charleston and Baltimore were still smaller, and Savannah was quite small. There were only five cities with over ten thousand population. Of inland towns, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with something over six thousand population, was the largest. In 1890, one hundred years afterwards, New York and Philadelphia had over one million each, and Chicago, a city not sixty years old, shared with them this honor. As for cities surpassing those of a century before, they were hundreds in number. A similar great growth has taken place in the States. From the original thirteen, hugging closely the Atlantic coast, we now possess forty-five, crossing the continent from ocean to ocean, and have besides a vast territorial area.

The thirteen original States, sparsely peopled, poor and struggling for existence, have expanded into a great galaxy of States, rich, powerful, and prosperous, with grand cities, flourishing rural communities, measureless resources, and an enterprise which no difficulty can baffle and no hardship can check. Our territory could support hundreds of millions of population, and still be much less crowded than some of the countries of Europe. Its products include those of every zone; hundreds of thousands of square miles of its soil are of virgin richness; its mineral wealth is so great that its precious metals have affected the monetary standards of the world, and its vast mineral and agricultural wealth is as yet only partly developed. Vast as has been the production of gold in California, its annual output is of less value than that of wheat. In wheat, corn, and cotton, indeed, the product of this country is simply stupendous; while, in addition to its gold and silver, it is a mighty storehouse of coal, iron, copper, lead, petroleum, and many other products of nature that are of high value to mankind.

In its progress towards its present condition, our country has been markedly successful in two great fields of human effort, in war and in peace. A brief preliminary statement of its success in the first of these, and of the causes of its several wars, may be desirable here, as introductory to their more extended consideration in the body of the work. The early colonists had three enemies to contend with: the original inhabitants of the land, the Spanish settlers in the South, and the French in the North and West. Its dealings with the aborigines has been one continuous series of conflicts, the red man being driven back step by step until to-day he holds but a small fraction of his once great territory. Yet the Indians are probably as numerous to-day as they were originally, and are certainly better off in their present peaceful and partly civilized condition than they were in their former savage and warlike state.

The Spaniards were never numerous in this country, and were forced to retire after a few conflicts of no special importance. Such was not the case with the French, who were numerous and aggressive, and with whom the colonists were at war on four successive occasions, the last being that fierce conflict in which it was decided whether the Anglo-Saxon or the French race should be dominant in this country. The famous battle on the Plains of Abraham settled the question, and with the fall of Quebec the power of France in America fell never to rise again.

A direct and almost an immediate consequence of this struggle for dominion was the struggle for liberty between the colonists and the mother-country. The oppressive measures of Great Britain led to a war of seven years' duration, in which more clearly and decisively than ever before the colonists showed their warlike spirit and political genius, and whose outcome was the independence of this country. At its conclusion the United States stepped into line with the nations of the world, a free community, with a mission to fulfill and a destiny to accomplish—a mission and a destiny which are still in process of development, and whose final outcome no man can foresee.

The next series of events in the history of our wars arose from the mighty struggle in Europe between France and Great Britain and the piratical activity of the Barbary States. The latter were forced to respect the power of the United States by several naval demonstrations and conflicts; and a naval war with France, in which our ships were strikingly successful, induced that country to show us greater respect. But the wrongs which we suffered from Great Britain were not to be so easily settled, and led to a war of three years' continuance, in which the honors were fairly divided on land, but in which our sailors surprised the world by their prowess in naval conflict. The proud boast that "Britannia rules the waves" lost its pertinence after our two striking victories on Lake Erie and Lake Champlain, and our remarkable success in a dozen conflicts at sea. Alike in this war and in the Revolution the United States showed that skill and courage in naval warfare which has recently been repeated in the Spanish War.

The wars of which we have spoken had a warrant for their being. They were largely unavoidable results of existing conditions. This cannot justly be said of the next struggle upon which the United States entered, the Mexican War, since this was a politician's war pure and simple, one which could easily have been avoided, and which was entered into with the avowed purpose of acquiring territory. In this it succeeded, the country gaining a great and highly valuable tract, whose wealth in the precious metals is unsurpassed by any equal section of the earth, and which is still richer in agricultural than in mineral wealth.

The next conflict that arose was the most vital and important of all our wars, with the exception of that by which we gained our independence. The Constitution of 1787 did not succeed in forming a perfect Union between the States. An element of dissension was left, a "rift within the lute," then seemingly small and unimportant, but destined to grow to dangerous proportions. This was the slavery question, disposed of in the Constitution by a compromise, which, like every compromise with evil, failed in its purpose. The question continued to exist. It grew threatening, portentous, and finally overshadowed the whole political domain. Every effort to settle it peacefully only added to the strain; the union between the States weakened as this mighty hammer of discord struck down their combining links; finally the bonds yielded, the slavery question thrust itself like a great wedge between, and a mighty struggle began to decide whether the Union should stand or fall. With the events of this struggle we are not here concerned. They are told at length in their special place. All that we shall here say is this: While the war was fought for the preservation of the Union, it was clearly perceived that this union could never be stable while the disorganizing element remained, and the war led inevitably to the abolition of slavery, the apple of discord which had been thrown between the States. The greatness of the result was adequate to the greatness of the conflict. With the end of the Civil War, for the first time in their history, an actual and stable Union was established between the States.

We have one more war to record, the brief but important struggle of 1898, entered into by the United States under the double impulse of indignation against the barbarous destruction of the Maine and of sympathy for the starving and oppressed people of Cuba. It yielded results undreamed of in its origin. Not only was Cuba wrested from the feeble and inhuman hands of Spain, but new possessions in the oceans of the east and west were added to the United States, and for the first time this country took its predestined place among the nations engaged in shaping the destiny of the world, rose to imperial dignity in the estimation of the rulers of Europe, and fairly won that title of the Greater Republic which this work is written to commemorate.

Such has been the record of this country in war. Its record in peace has been marked by as steady a career of victory, and with results stupendous almost beyond the conception of man, when we consider that the most of them have been achieved within little more than a century. During the colonial period the energies of the American people were confined largely to agriculture, Great Britain sternly prohibiting any progress in manufacture and any important development of commerce. It need hardly be said that the restless and active spirit of the colonists chafed under these restrictions, and that the attempt to clip the expanding wings of the American eagle had as much to do with bringing on the war of the Revolution as had Great Britain's futile efforts at taxation. The genius of a great people cannot thus be cribbed and confined, and American enterprise was bound to find a way or carve itself a way through the barriers raised by British avarice and tyranny.

It was after the Revolution that the progress of this country first fairly began. The fetters which bound its hands thrown off, it entered upon a career of prosperity which broadened with the years, and extended until not only the whole continent but the whole world felt its influence and was embraced by its results. Manufacture, no longer held in check, sprang up and spread with marvelous rapidity. Commerce, now gaining access to all seas and all lands, expanded with equal speed. Enterprise everywhere made itself manifest, and invention began its long and wonderful career.

In fact, freedom was barely won before our inventors were actively at work. Before the Constitution was formed John Fitch was experimenting with his steamboat on the Delaware, and Oliver Evans was seeking to move wagons by steam in the streets of Philadelphia. Not many years elapsed before both were successful, and Eli Whitney with his cotton-gin had set free the leading industry of the South and enabled it to begin that remarkable career which proved so momentous in American history, since to it we owe the Civil War with all its great results.

With the opening of the nineteenth century the development of the industries and of the inventive faculty of the Americans went on with enhanced rapidity. The century was but a few years old when Fulton, with his improved steamboat, solved the question of inland water transportation. By the end of the first quarter of the century this was solved in another way by the completion of the Erie Canal, the longest and hitherto the most valuable of artificial water-ways. The railroad locomotive, though invented in England, was prefigured when Oliver Evans' steam road-wagon ran sturdily through the streets of Philadelphia. To the same inventor we owe another triumph of American genius, the grain elevator, which the development of agriculture has rendered of incomparable value. The railroad, though not native here, has had here its greatest development, and with its more than one hundred and eighty thousand miles of length has no rival in any country upon the earth. To it may be added the Morse system of telegraphy, the telephone and phonograph, the electric light and electric motor, and all that wonderful series of inventions in electrical science which has been due to American genius.

We cannot begin to name the multitude of inventions in the mechanical industries which have raised manufacture from an art to a science and filled the world with the multitude of its products. It will suffice to name among them the steam hammer, the sewing machine, the cylinder printing-press, the type-setting machine, the rubber vulcanizer, and the innumerable improvements in steam engines and labor-saving apparatus of all kinds. These manufacturing expedients have been equaled in number and importance by those applied to agriculture, including machines for plowing, reaping, sowing the seed, threshing the grain, cutting the grass, and a hundred other valuable processes, which have fairly revolutionized the art of tilling the earth, and enabled our farmers to feed not only our own population but to send millions of bushels of grain annually abroad.

In truth, we have entered here upon an interminable field, so full of triumphs of invention and ingenuity, and so stupendous in its results, as to form one of the chief marvels of this wonderful century, and to place our nation, in the field of human industry and mechanical achievement, foremost among the nations of the world. Its triumphs have not been confined to manufacture and agriculture; it has been as active in commerce, and now stands first in the bulk of its exports and imports. In every other direction of industry it has been as active, as in fisheries, in forestry, in great works of engineering, in vast mining operations; and from the seas, the earth, the mountain sides, our laborers are wresting annually from nature a stupendous return in wealth.

Our progress in the industries has been aided and inspired by an equal progress in educational facilities, and the intellectual development of our people has kept pace with their material advance. The United States spends more money for the education of its youth than any other country in the world, and among her institutions the school-house and the college stand most prominent. While the lower education has been abundantly attended to, the higher education has been by no means neglected, and amply endowed colleges and universities are found in every State and in almost every city of the land. In addition to the school-house, libraries are multiplying with rapidity, art galleries and museums of science are rising everywhere, temples to music and the drama are found in all our cities, the press is turning out books and newspapers with almost abnormal energy, and in everything calculated to enhance the intelligence of the people the United States has no superior, if any equal, among the nations of the earth.

It may seem unnecessary to tell the people of the United States the story of their growth. The greatness to which this nation has attained is too evident to need to be put in words. It has, in fact, been made evident in two great and a multitude of smaller exhibitions in which the marvels of American progress have been shown, either by themselves or in contrast with those of foreign lands. The first of these, the Centennial Exposition of 1876, had a double effect: it opened our eyes at once to our triumphs and our deficiencies, to the particulars in which we excelled and those in which we were inferior to foreign peoples. In the next great exhibition, that at Chicago in 1893, we had the satisfaction to perceive, not only that we had made great progress in our points of superiority, but had worked nobly and heartily to overcome our defects, and were able to show ourselves the equal of Europe in almost every field of human thought and skill. In architecture a vision of beauty was shown such as the world had never before seen, and in the general domain of art the United States no longer had need to be ashamed of what it had to show.

And now, having briefly summed up the steps of progress of the United States, I may close with some consideration of the problem which we confront in our new position as the Greater Republic, the lord of islands spread widely over the seas. Down to the year 1898 this country held a position of isolation, so far as its political interests were concerned. Although the sails of its merchant ships whitened every sea and its commerce extended to all lands, its boundaries were confined to the North American continent, its political activities largely to American interests. Jealous of any intrusion by foreign nations upon this hemisphere, it warned them off, while still in its feeble youth, by the stern words of the Monroe doctrine, and has since shown France and England, by decisive measures, that this doctrine is more than an empty form of words.

Such was our position at the beginning of 1898. At the opening of 1899 we had entered into new relations with the world. The conclusion of the war with Spain had left in our hands the island of Porto Rico in the West Indies and the great group of the Philippines in the waters of Asia, while the Hawaiian Islands had became ours by peaceful annexation. What shall we do with them? is the question that follows. We have taken hold of them in a way in which it is impossible, without defeat and disgrace, to let go. Whatever the ethics of the question, the Philippine problem has assumed a shape which admits of but one solution. These islands will inevitably become ours, to hold, to develop, to control, and to give their people an opportunity to attain civilization, prosperity, and political manumission which they have never yet possessed. That they will be a material benefit to us is doubtful. That they will give us a new position among the nations of the earth is beyond doubt. We have entered formally into that Eastern question which in the years to come promises to be the leading question before the world, and which can no longer be settled by the nations of Europe as an affair of their own, with which the United States has no concern.

This new position taken by the United States promises to be succeeded by new alliances, a grand union of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, which will give them a dominant position among the powers of the world. In truth, it may not cease with the union of the Anglo-Saxons. The ambition and vast designs of Russia are forcing the other nations to combine for protection, and a close alliance of all the Teutonic peoples is possible, combined to resist the Slavic outgrowth, and eventually perhaps to place the destinies of the world in the hands of these two great races, the Teutonic and the Slavic.

All this may be looking overfar into the future. All that can be said now is that our new possessions have placed upon us new duties and new responsibilities, and may effectually break that policy of political isolation which we have so long maintained, and throw us into the caldron of world politics to take our part in shaping the future of the uncivilized races. For this we are surely strong enough, enterprising enough, and moral enough; and whatever our record, it is not likely to be one of defeat, of injustice and oppression, or of forgetfulness of the duty of nations and the rights of man.


July, 1899.



The Visits of the Northmen to the New World—The Indians and Mound Builders—Christopher Columbus—His Discovery of America—Amerigo Vespucci—John Cabot—Spanish Explorers—Balboa—His Discovery of the Pacific—Magellan—Ponce de Leon—De Narvaez—De Soto—Menendez—French Explorers—Verrazzani—Cartier—Ribault—Laudonnière—Champlain—La Salle—English Explorers—Sir Hugh Willoughby—Martin Frobisher—Sir Humphrey Gilbert—Sir Walter Raleigh—The Lost Colony—Dutch Explorer—Henry Hudson.


Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

It has been established beyond question that the first white visitors to the New World were Northmen, as the inhabitants of Norway and Sweden were called. They were bold and hardy sailors, who ventured further out upon the unknown sea than any other people. It was about the year 1000 that Biorn, who was driven far from his course by a tempest, sighted the northern part of the continent. Other adventurers followed him and planted a few settlements, which, however, lasted but a few years. Snorri, son of one of these settlers, was the first child born of European parents on this side of the Atlantic. Soon all traces of these early discoverers vanished, and the New World lay slumbering in loneliness for nearly five hundred years.


Nevertheless, the country was peopled with savages, who lived by hunting and fishing and were scattered over the vast area from the Pacific to the Atlantic and from the Arctic zone to the southernmost point of South America. No one knows where these people came from; but it is probable that at a remote period they crossed Bering Strait, from Asia, which was the birthplace of man, and gradually spread over the continents to the south. There are found scattered over many parts of our country immense mounds of earth, which were the work of the Mound Builders. These people were long believed to have been a race that preceded the Indians, and were distinct from them, but the best authorities now agree that they were the Indians themselves, who constructed these enormous burial-places and were engaged in the work as late as the fifteenth century. It is strange that they attained a fair degree of civilization. They builded cities, wove cotton, labored in the fields, worked gold, silver, and copper, and formed regular governments, only to give way in time to the barbarism of their descendants, who, though a contrary impression prevails, are more numerous to-day than at the time of the discovery of America.


meeting northmen & natives


The real discoverer of America was Christopher Columbus, an Italian, born in Genoa, about 1435. He was trained to the sea from early boyhood, and formed the belief, which nothing could shake, that the earth was round, and that by sailing westward a navigator would reach the coast of eastern Asia. The mistake of Columbus was in supposing the earth much smaller than it is, and of never suspecting that a continent lay between his home and Asia.

He was too poor to fit out an expedition himself, and the kings and rulers to whom he applied for help laughed him to scorn. He persevered for years, and finally King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain were won over to his views. They and some wealthy friends of Columbus furnished the needed funds, and on August 3, 1492, he sailed from Palos, Spain, in command of three small vessels, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina.

As the voyage progressed, the sailors became terrified and several times were on the point of mutiny; but Columbus by threats and promises held them to their work, and on Friday, October 12, 1492, land was sighted. He was rowed ashore and took possession of the new country in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella. While it is not known with certainty where he landed, it was probably Watling Island, one of the Bahamas. He named it San Salvador, and, believing it to be a part of India, called the natives Indians, by which name they will always be known. He afterward visited Cuba and Haiti, and returned to Palos on the 15th of March, 1493.

Columbus was received with the highest honors, and, as the news of his great discovery spread, it caused a profound sensation throughout Europe. He made three other voyages, but did not add greatly to his discoveries. He died, neglected and in poverty, May 20, 1506, without suspecting the grandeur of his work, which marked an era in the history of the world.


sebastian cabot


Another famous Italian navigator and friend of Columbus was Amerigo Vespucci, who, fired by the success of the great navigator, made several voyages westward. He claimed to have seen South America in May, 1497, which, if true, made him the first man to look upon the American continent. Late investigations tend to show that Vespucci was correct in his claim. At any rate, his was the honor of having the country named for him.

John Cabot, also an Italian, but sailing under the flag of England, discovered the continent of North America, in the spring of 1497. A year later, Sebastian, son of John, explored the coast from Nova Scotia as far south as Cape Hatteras. It was the work of the elder Cabot that gave England a valid claim to the northern continent.

From what has been stated, it will be seen that Spain, now decrepit and decayed, was one of the most powerful of all nations four hundred years ago. Other leading powers were England, France, and Holland, and all of them soon began a scramble for new lands on the other side of the Atlantic. Spain, having been the first, had a great advantage, and she was wise enough to use all the means at her command. We will first trace the explorations made by that nation.

In 1513, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, a lawless rogue, hid himself in a cask on board of a vessel in order to escape his creditors, and was not discovered by the angry captain until so far from land that he could not be taken back again. As it turned out, this was a fortunate thing for the captain and crew, for Balboa was a good sailor, and when the ship was wrecked on the coast of Darien he led the men through many dangers to an Indian village, where they were saved from starvation. Balboa had been in the country before and acquired a knowledge of it, which now proved helpful.

The story of Spain in America is one long, frightful record of massacre, cruelty, greed, and rapine. Ferocious by nature, her explorers had not sufficient sense to see that it was to their interest to treat the Indians justly. These people, although armed only with bows and arrows, at which the Spaniards laughed, still outnumbered them a thousandfold and could crush them by the simple force of numbers. Besides, they were always provided with food, which they were eager to give to their pale-faced brothers, who were often unable to obtain it, but whose vicious nature would not permit them to be manly and just.


(After an engraving published in 1584.)

Moreover, the Spaniards were crazy after gold, which they believed existed in many places in prodigious quantities. The sight of the yellow ornaments worn by the natives fired their cupidity, and they inquired eagerly in the sign language where the precious metal could be found. One of the Indians replied that six days' travel westward would bring them to the shores of a great sea, where gold was as plentiful as the pebbles on the beach.


This information, as may be believed, set the Spaniards wild, and, engaging a number of the natives as guides, they plunged into the hot, steaming forests, and pressed on until one day they came to the base of a mountain, from the top of which the guides said the great sea could be seen. Balboa made his men stay where they were while he climbed to the crest of the mountain alone. This was on the 26th of September, 1513, and, as Balboa looked off to the westward, his eyes rested upon the Pacific Ocean, the mightiest body of water on the globe.

He had made a grand discovery, and one which led to the conquest of Mexico and Peru and the colonization of the western coast of our country. Spain sent her armed expeditions thither, and in time they overran the sections named, their footprints marked everywhere by fire and blood. Many remains exist to-day in the Southwest of the early visits of those rapacious adventurers, during the first half of the sixteenth century. In Santa Fé, New Mexico, is a building made of adobe or sun-dried clay which was built in 1582.


In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan coasted South America to the strait named in his honor, and, passing through it, entered upon the vast body of water discovered six years before by Balboa. Magellan gave it the name of Pacific Ocean, and, sailing westward, discovered the Philippine Islands, which have lately acquired such importance in our history. There Magellan died. Several of his ships were lost, but one of them succeeded in reaching Spain after an absence of two years. This was the first circumnavigation of the globe and demonstrated the grandeur of the discovery made by Columbus.

Columbus and an egg

At a dinner the Spanish courtiers, jealous of Columbus, said anyone could discover the Indies. When, at Columbus' request, they failed to make an egg stand on its end, he showed them how to do it by flattening the end of it. "Anyone could do that," remarked a courtier. "So anyone can discover the Indies, after I have shown the way."

One of the companions of Columbus on his second voyage was Ponce de Leon. He was well on in years, and became deeply interested in a story told by the Indians of a wonderful land to the north of Cuba, where there was a marvelous spring, which would bring back youth to any who drank from its waters. De Leon set out to hunt for the land and discovered it in Florida on Easter Sunday, in 1513. He drank to repletion again and again from the springs he found, but without restoring his youth, and he was killed by Indians in 1521, while trying to form a settlement on the coast.

De Narvaez visited Florida, in 1528, in charge of a large expedition, with the intention of marching into the interior, but the Spaniards were so brutal to the Indians that they fought them step by step, until only four wretched beings were left alive. They lived a long time with the natives, but gradually worked their way across the continent to California, where they found some of their countrymen, who took care of them.


One of the best-equipped expeditions ever sent out was that of Hernando de Soto, which landed at Tampa Bay in May, 1539. Although the intention was to penetrate far into the interior, the Spaniards had no sooner set foot on land than they began their outrages against the Indians, who, as in the case of De Narvaez, turned upon them and slew large numbers. The explorers, however, pushed on and passed over a large section of country, though the precise course taken is not known. In the summer of 1541 they crossed the present State of Mississippi and thus discovered the Father of Waters. Three years were spent in wandering through the South, during which one-third of the number were killed or died and all the property destroyed. Losing heart at last, De Soto turned about, in May, 1542, and started for the sea with the intention of returning home. He was worn and weakened from fever, and he expired on the 21st of the month. Fearful that the news of his death would incite the Indians to attack them, his survivors wrapped the body in blankets, weighted it with stones, and at midnight rowed stealthily out into the river and let it sink from sight. There was something fitting in the fact that the Mississippi should prove the last resting-place of its discoverer.

Pedro Menendez was one of the most execrable miscreants that ever lived. He arrived off the coast of Florida with a large expedition and at the mouth of the St. John's saw a number of ships flying the flag of France. He furiously attacked them and drove them to sea. Then he returned to a fine harbor which he had discovered and began the town of St. Augustine. This was in 1565, and St. Augustine is, therefore, the oldest settlement within the present limits of the United States, excluding those founded in some of our colonial possessions.

Let us now turn attention to the French explorations. France in those days was a spirited rival of Spain, and, in 1524, she sent out a fleet of four vessels under the command of Verrazzani, who, strange as it may seem, was also an Italian. Two months later, with only a single ship remaining, he sighted the mainland of America, it is believed near North Carolina, from which point he coasted northward along New England. He gave the name of New France to all the countries he visited, but his account of his explorations is so vague that it is uncertain what lands he saw. Verrazzani, however, seems to have been the first navigator who formed a correct idea of the size of the globe.

de leon


In 1534 Jacques Cartier, with two ships, entered the mouth of the St. Lawrence. He was so impressed by the desolation of the shores of Newfoundland that he declared his belief that it was the land to which God had banished Cain. Nevertheless, he took possession of the country in the name of France and then returned home.

Cartier visited the country the following year with a larger expedition and sailed up the St. Lawrence to the sites of Quebec and Montreal. He was not successful in his attempts to found colonies, but his discovery gave France a title to the immense region which she held with a firm grasp for more than a hundred years.

Failing to establish colonies in the North, France now directed her efforts to the south. The Huguenots suffered so much persecution in the Old World that they sought a home in the New. Captain John Ribault, sailing from Havre with two ships, sighted Florida on the last day of April, 1562. The Indians were friendly and the explorers were charmed with the country. Ribault took possession of it in the name of France and gave French names to various places. Finally he dropped anchor in the harbor of Port Royal and began founding a settlement.

All were in good spirits and wished to remain, but Ribault sailed for France, leaving thirty men behind. After a time they quarreled and rigged up a worthless boat with which they set sail for home. All would have perished, had they not been picked up by an English vessel, which humanely landed the feeblest on the coast of France, while the strong men were taken to England as prisoners of war.

It was the intention of Ribault to return to America, but civil war was raging in France, and for a time he was prevented. In April, 1564, three more ships set sail to repeat the attempt at colonization. They were under the command of Captain Laudonnière, who had been a member of the former expedition. He began a settlement at what is now known as St. John's Bluff. The friendly Indians helped and all promised well, but unfortunately the colonists became dissatisfied and rebelled against the strict rule of Laudonnière. Some of the men stole two small vessels and set sail for the West Indies on a piratical expedition. Laudonnière hurriedly prepared two larger vessels to pursue them. When they were ready, the malcontents stole them and followed their comrades. Three of the buccaneers were captured by the Spanish, while the pilot of the fourth, who had been pressed into service, steered the vessel back to the colony before the rogues suspected what he was doing. Laudonnière made them prisoners and hanged the ringleaders.

council of war


At the time when utter ruin impended, Ribault arrived with seven ships and plenty of supplies. It was at this juncture, when everything promised well, that Menendez, the Spanish miscreant, as already stated, appeared with his powerful fleet and attacked the French ships. Three were up the river, and the four, being no match for the Spaniards, escaped by putting to sea. Menendez landed men and supplies further south, learning which Ribault prepared to attack them. Before he could do so, a violent tempest scattered his ships. By a laborious march through swamps and thickets, amid a driving storm, Menendez descended like a cyclone upon the unprotected French and massacred them all, including the women and children. Another force of French, under solemn promise of protection, surrendered, but they, too, were put to death. They were afterwards avenged by an expedition from France.

Samuel de Champlain proved himself one of the greatest of French explorers. He left the banks of the St. Lawrence at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and discovered the lake which bears his name. His numerous excellent maps added much to the knowledge of the country. Joining De Monts, another explorer, he founded the colony of Port Royal in Nova Scotia in 1605. This settlement, afterward named Annapolis, was the first permanent French colony planted in America. Quebec was founded by Champlain in 1608.

The greatest French explorer, however, was Sieur de la Salle, who was hardly twenty-three years old when he first visited Canada in 1666. Leading an expedition westward, he fell ill while in the country of the Seneca Indians and was forced to part with his companions near the head of Lake Ontario. When he regained his strength he pressed on to the Ohio River, down which he descended to the falls opposite the present city of Louisville. Returning to France, he was made a nobleman and appointed governor of the country around Fort Frontenac, which he had planted on the shore of Lake Ontario. He demolished the fort and erected a much stronger one, built four small vessels, and established a thriving trade with the Indians.

In August, 1679, La Salle launched a vessel at the port of Niagara, with which he sailed the length of Lake Erie, across Lakes St. Clair, Huron, and Michigan to Green Bay. He then sent back his vessel for supplies and crossed the lake in canoes to the mouth of the St. Joseph, where he built a fort. He visited the Indian tribes in the neighborhood and made treaties with the chiefs.

On the present site of Peoria, he erected a fort in 1680. Then, sending Father Hennepin to explore the country to the northward, La Salle made the entire journey of several hundred miles, alone and on foot, to Fort Frontenac, where he learned that the vessel he had sent back for supplies was lost.

With a new party he made his way to the fort planted on the Illinois River, but found it had been broken up and all the white men were gone. Thence La Salle went down the Mississippi to its mouth, where he set up a column with the French arms and proclaimed the country the possession of the king of France. He was welcomed back to his native land, and when he proposed to his ruler to conquer the fine mining country in the Southwest, the offer was promptly accepted and he was made commandant. He set out with four ships and about 300 persons.

But the good fortune that had marked the career of La Salle up to this point now set the other way, and disaster and ruin overtook him. His men were mostly adventurers and vagabonds, and the officer in command of the ships was an enemy of the explorer. The two quarreled and the vessels had gone some distance beyond the mouth of the Mississippi before La Salle discovered the blunder. He appealed to the captain to return, but he refused and anchored off Matagorda Bay. Then the captain decided that it was necessary to go home for supplies, and sailing away he left La Salle with only one small vessel which had been presented to him by the king.

The undaunted explorer erected a fort and began cultivating the soil. The Indians, who had not forgotten the cruelty of the Spaniards, were hostile and continually annoyed the settlers, several of whom were killed. Disease carried away others until only forty were left. Selecting a few, La Salle started for the Illinois country, but had not gone far when he was treacherously shot by one of his men. The Spaniards who had entered the country to drive out the French made prisoners of those that remained.



(From the original drawing
made by John White in 1585.
By permission of the British Museum.)

Next in order is an account of the English explorations. Going back to May, 1553, we find that Sir Hugh Willoughby sailed from London in that month with three ships. At that time, and for many years afterward, the belief was general that by sailing to the northwest a shorter route to India could be found, and such was the errand that led the English navigator upon his eventful voyage.

For two years not the slightest news was heard of Sir Hugh Willoughby. Then some Russian fishermen, who were in one of the harbors of Lapland, observed two ships drifting helplessly in the ice. They rowed out to the wrecks, and climbing aboard of one entered the cabin where they came upon an impressive sight. Seated at a table was Sir Hugh Willoughby, with his journal open and his pen in hand, as if he had just ceased writing. He had been frozen to death months before. Here and there about him were stretched the bodies of his crews, all of whom had succumbed to the awful temperature of the far North.

The third ship was nowhere in sight, and it was believed that she had been crushed in the ice and sunk, but news eventually arrived that she had succeeded in reaching Archangel, whence the crew made their way overland to Moscow. A result of this involuntary journey was that it opened a new channel for profitable trade.

Still the ignis fatuus of a shorter route to India tantalized the early navigators. The belief was general that the coveted route lay north of our continent. In 1576 Martin Frobisher started on the vain hunt with three small vessels. He bumped helplessly about in the ice, but repeated the effort twice, and on one of his voyages entered the strait that bears his name. The region visited by him is valueless to the world, and his explorations, therefore, were of no practical benefit to anyone.


(From the original drawing in the British Museum,
made by John White in 1585.)

Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in June, 1583, sailed for America with an important expedition which gave every promise of success. In his case, however, disaster overtook him earlier than others. He was hardly out of sight of land when his most important vessel deserted and went back to port. The men were a sorry lot, and at Newfoundland he sent another ship home with the sick and the mutineers. Of the three vessels remaining, the largest was wrecked and all but fifteen drowned. Sir Humphrey was on the smallest boat on his way home, when one dark night it foundered, carrying down all on board.

The famous Sir Walter Raleigh, a half-brother of Gilbert, and a great favorite at the court of Queen Elizabeth, was deeply interested in the plans of his relative, and in April, 1584, sent out two well-equipped vessels for the purpose of colonization. They brought back a glowing report and Raleigh was knighted by the pleased queen, who gave him the privilege of naming the new country. He called it Virginia, in honor of the virgin Queen Elizabeth.

A large expedition sailed for the new country in the spring of 1585 and a fort was built on Roanoke Island. But the Englishmen were as greedy for gold as the Spaniards, and, instead of cultivating the land, they spent their time groping for the precious metal. This was suicidal, because the Indians were violently hostile, and would not bring forward any food for the invaders. All must have perished miserably but for the arrival of Sir Francis Drake, who carried the survivors back to England.

It is worth recording that this stay in America resulted in the Englishmen learning the use of tobacco, which they introduced into their own country. Sir Walter Raleigh became a great smoker, and the incident is familiar of his servant, who, seeing his master smoking a pipe, was terrified at the belief that he was on fire and dashed a mug of ale over him to put out the flames.

Much more useful knowledge was that gained of maize or Indian corn, the potato, and sassafras. They attracted favorable attention in England, and were gradually introduced to other countries in Europe, where the amount raised is very large.



Sir Walter Raleigh.

A strange and romantic interest attaches to the colony which Sir Walter Raleigh sent out in 1587. It numbered 300 men and women and was in charge of John White. While resting at Roanoke, the daughter of Governor White, the wife of Ananias Dare, had a daughter born to her. She was given the name of "Virginia," and was the first child of English parentage born within the present limits of the United States.

These settlers were as quarrelsome as many of their predecessors and got on ill together. Governor White sailed for England for more immigrants and supplies, but when he reached that country he found the internal troubles so serious that he was kept away from America for three years. When finally he returned to Virginia, he was unable to find a member of the colony. On one of the trees was the word "CROATAN" cut in the bark, which seemed to indicate that the settlers had removed to a settlement of that name; but, though long and continuous search was made and many of the articles belonging to the settlers were recognized, not a person could be discovered. Sir Walter Raleigh sent several expeditions with orders to use every effort to clear up the mystery, but it was never solved. The story of the "Lost Colony" has led to a great deal of investigation and surmise. Two theories have supporters. The most probable is that all the settlers were massacred by Indians. Another is that they were adopted by the red men and intermarried among them. In support of this supposition is the fact that a long time afterward many members of the adjoining tribes showed unmistakable signs of mixed blood. There were so-called Indians with blonde hair, blue eyes, and light complexion—characteristics never seen among those belonging to the genuine American race.

Holland's explorations in America were less important than those of any of her rivals. The thrifty Dutchmen were more anxious to secure trade than to find new countries, and seemed content to allow others to spend wealth and precious lives in penetrating to the interior of the New World and in planting settlements, which almost invariably succumbed to disaster.

Early in the seventeenth century a company of English merchants sent out a skillful navigator named Henry Hudson to hunt for the elusive northwest passage. He took with him only eleven men, one of whom was his son. He made a brave effort to succeed, ploughing his way through the frozen regions until he passed the 80th degree of latitude, which was the furthest point then attained by man. But, within less than ten degrees of the pole, he was forced by the ice to turn back.


Hudson's reputation as a skillful navigator led the wealthy corporation known as the Dutch East India Company to seek his services. He was placed in command of a small vessel called the Half Moon and ordered to sail to the northeast instead of the northwest. He did as directed, but his experience was similar to his previous one, and, being compelled to withdraw, he headed westward. Sighting Cape Cod, he named it New Holland, unaware that it had already been named by Champlain. He continued southward to Chesapeake Bay, where he learned that the English had planted a settlement. Turning northward, he entered Delaware Bay, but was displeased with the shallow water and sailed again northward. On September 3, 1609, he dropped anchor opposite Sandy Hook.

Hudson now began ascending the magnificent river which bears his name. At the end of ten days he had reached a point opposite the present site of Albany. The Indians were friendly and curious. Many of them put out in their canoes and were made welcome on board the little Dutch vessel, which was a source of constant wonderment to them, for they had never seen anything of the kind before.

Descending the stream, Hudson made his way to Dartmouth, England, from which point he sent an account of his discovery to Holland. That country lost no time in claiming sovereignty over the new territory, the claim being so valid that no other nation could legitimately dispute it.

Hudson's achievement added to his fame, and he was once more sent in search of the northwest passage. He entered the bay and strait which bear his name, and passed a winter in that terrible region. In the following spring his crew mutinied, and, placing the navigator, his son, and several members in an open boat, set them adrift, and none of them was ever heard of again.


Seal of The Virginia Company.



Virginia,—Founding of Jamestown—Captain John Smith—Introduction of African Slavery—Indian Wars—Bacon's Rebellion—Forms of Government—Prosperity—Education—New England,—Plymouth—Massachusetts Bay Colony—Union of the Colonies—Religious Persecution—King Philip's War—The Witchcraft Delusion—New Hampshire,—The Connecticut Colony,—The New Haven Colony,—Union of the Colonies—Indian Wars—The Charter Oak—Rhode Island,—Different Forms of Government—New York,—The Dutch and English Settlers—New Jersey,—Delaware,—Pennsylvania,—Maryland,—Mason and Dixon's Line—The CarolinasGeorgia.

At the opening of the seventeenth century there was not a single English settlement on this side of the Atlantic. It has been shown that the French succeeded in planting colonies in Canada, that of De Monts, in 1605, in Acadia (the French name of Nova Scotia), proving successful, while Champlain founded Quebec three years later. St. Augustine, Florida, was founded by the Spanish in 1565, but it has played an insignificant part in our history. England was the mother of the colonies, from which the original thirteen States sprang, and we are vastly more indebted to her than to all other nations combined.


In the year 1606, when James I. was king of England, he gave a charter or patent to a number of gentlemen, which made them the owners of all that part of America lying between the thirty-fourth and thirty-eighth degrees of north latitude. The men who received this gift associated themselves together under the name of the London Company, and in the same year sent out three vessels, carrying 105 men, but no women or children. A storm drove them out of their course, and, in the month of May, they entered the mouth of a broad river, which they named the James in honor of their king. They sailed up stream for fifty miles, and, on the 13th of May, 1607, began the settlement of Jamestown, which was the first English colony successfully planted in America. Everything looked promising, but the trouble was that the men did not wish to work, and, instead of cultivating the soil, spent their time in hunting for gold which did not exist anywhere near them. They were careless in their manner of living and a great many fell ill and died. They must have perished before long had they not been wise enough to elect Captain John Smith president or ruler of the colony.


This man is one of the most interesting characters in the early history of our country. He was a great boaster, and most of his associates did not like him. He had been a wanderer in many parts of the world, and had any number of stories to tell of his wonderful adventures. Probably some of those stories were true and many fiction. Be that as it may, he was an energetic and brave man, and the very one to save the perishing settlers. He made every man work, and none wrought harder than himself. As a consequence matters began to mend at once.

Obeying his orders in London, Captain Smith, when it seemed prudent to do so, spent much of his time in exploring the streams that flowed into the James. It must not be forgotten that it was still believed in Europe that America formed a part of Asia, and that no one needed to penetrate far into the interior to reach that country.

On one of these voyages Captain Smith was taken prisoner by the Indians, who led him before their chief Powhatan. The chief decided that he must be put to death, and, with his hands tied together, he was placed on the ground, with his head resting on two big stones. Then one of the warriors stepped forward to dash out his brains with a club. At that moment Pocahontas, the young daughter of the chief, ran forward, and, throwing her arms around the head of Smith, begged her father to spare his life. The chief consented, and the prisoner was set free and returned to Jamestown. Such is the story which Captain Smith told after the death of Pocahontas in England, which she had visited with her husband, an Englishman named Rolfe, and it can never be known whether the incident was true or not. Some years later Smith was so badly injured by the explosion of gunpowder that he had to return to England for treatment. There he died in 1631. His invaluable services in this country have led historians to regard him as the saviour of the Virginia colony.

pocahontas saving smith's life


The most woeful blow that was struck the American colonies was in August, 1619, when a Dutch ship sailed up the James and sold twenty negroes, kidnapped in Africa, to the colonists as slaves. It was thus that African slavery was introduced into this country, bringing in its train more sorrow, suffering, desolation, and death than pen can describe or imagination conceive. The institution became legal in all the colonies, and the ships of New England, as well as those of old England, were actively engaged for many years in the slave trade.

pocahontas' marriage



The marriage of Pocahontas to one of the settlers made her father a firm friend of the whites as long as he lived. At his death, his brother Opechankano succeeded him. He hated intensely the invaders of the hunting grounds, and began plotting to exterminate them. On the 22d of March, 1622, he made such a sudden and furious assault upon the plantations, as the farms were called, along the James that 400 people were killed in one day. The settlers rallied, slew many of the Indians and drove the remainder far back in the woods, but by the time this was accomplished half of the 4,000 settlers were dead and the eighty plantations were reduced to eight.

Opechankano was not crushed, and for more than twenty years he busied himself in perfecting his plans for a greater and more frightful massacre. It was in April, 1644, that he struck his second blow, killing between three and four hundred of the settlers. Once more the Virginians renewed the war of extermination, and pressed it mercilessly until the Indians sued for peace, gave a large tract of land to their conquerors, and retired still further into the wilderness. It is worth noting that at the time of this last massacre Opechankano was nearly a hundred years old.


Sir William Berkeley was the most bigoted ruler Virginia ever had. In one of his messages, he thanked God that there were no free schools or printing in his province. He was very tyrannous, and, having friends in the assembly, they prevented the election of any new members from 1666 to 1676. The taxes became intolerable, and trade fell into the hands of a few individuals. Not only that, but the governor disbanded the troops which had gathered for protection against the Indians, who renewed their attacks on the exposed plantations.

This was more than the people could stand, and they rose in rebellion under the leadership of Nathaniel Bacon, a popular young planter, who had lost several members of his family through the attacks of the Indians. Berkeley was cowed for a time, but the arrival of some ships from England enabled him to take the field against Bacon. During the civil war, Jamestown was burned to the ground and never rebuilt. Bacon pressed his resistance so vigorously that his success seemed certain, when unfortunately he fell ill and died. Left without a leader, the rebellion crumbled to pieces. The exultant Berkeley punished the leading rebels without mercy. He hanged twenty-two, and was so ferocious that the king lost patience and ordered him to return to England. "The old fool!" he exclaimed; "he has taken away more lives in that naked country than I did for the murder of my father."


Colonial Virginia underwent several changes in its form of government. A "Great Charter" was granted to it in 1613 by the London Company. This permitted the settlers to make their own laws. The House of Burgesses, which was called together at Jamestown by Governor Yeardley, July 30, 1619, was the first legislative body that ever met in this country. King James was dissatisfied with the tendency of things, and in 1624 he took away the charter and granted a new one, which allowed the colony to elect the members of the House of Burgesses, while the king appointed the council and their governor. This made Virginia a royal province, which she remained until the Revolution.



Virginia became very prosperous. Immense quantities of tobacco were raised and sent to England and Holland, where it became widely popular. Its cultivation was so profitable in the colony that for a time little else was cultivated. It was planted even along the streets of Jamestown and became the money of the province. Everything was paid for in so many pounds of tobacco. The population steadily increased, and in 1715 was 95,000, which was the same as that of Massachusetts. A half-century later, Virginia was the richest and most important of the thirteen colonies. The people lived mostly on large plantations, for land was plentiful and the Indians gave no further trouble. Most of the inhabitants were members of the Church of England, and their assemblies passed severe laws against the entrance of people of other religious beliefs into the colony. It required the furnace blasts of the Revolution to purify Virginia and some other provinces of this spirit of intolerance.

Education was neglected or confined to the rich who could send their children to England to be educated. Some of the early schools were destroyed by Indians, but William and Mary College, founded in 1692, was the second college in the United States. It was never a very strong institution.


It is worth recording how Virginia received the name of the "Old Dominion." She remained loyal to Charles I. throughout the civil war in England which ended in the beheading of the king. She was true also to Charles II. when he was a fugitive and declared an outlaw. While in exile, he sent Governor Berkeley his commission as Governor of Virginia, and that ruler was immensely pleased. The king, to show his appreciation of the loyalty of his colony, made public declaration that Virginia added a fifth country to his kingdom, making it consist of England, Scotland, France, Ireland, and Virginia, and he devised as an addition to the motto of the English coat of arms, "En dat Virginia quintam" ("Lo! Virginia gives the fifth"). While Cromwell was turning things topsy-turvy in England, a great many of the best families among the Royalists emigrated to Virginia, where they were received with open arms by Governor Berkeley and the owners of the plantations. From this arose the name "Old Dominion," which is often applied to Virginia.


During the early days of Virginia there was bitter persecution in England of those whose religious views differed from the Church of England. This cruelty drove many people to other countries, and because of their wanderings they were called "Pilgrims." Those who remained members of the English church and used their efforts to purify it of what they believed to be loose and pernicious doctrines were nicknamed "Puritans." Those who withdrew from the membership of the church were termed "Separatists" or "Independents." This distinction is often confounded by writers and readers.

One hundred and two Pilgrims, all Separatists, who had fled to Holland, did not like the country, and decided to make their homes in the New World, where they could worship God as their consciences dictated. They sailed in the Mayflower, and, after a long and stormy passage, landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 21, 1620, in the midst of a blinding snowstorm.

The Pilgrims were hardy, industrious, and God-fearing, and were prepared to face every kind of danger and suffering without murmur. They were severely austere in their morals and conduct, and, when writhing in the pangs of starvation, maintained their faith unshaken in the wisdom and goodness of their Heavenly Father. All these admirable qualities were needed during the awful winter, which was one of the severest ever known in New England. They built log-houses, using oiled paper instead of glass for the windows, and in the spring were able to buy corn of the Indians, who pitied their sufferings, for in the space of a few weeks one-half of the Pilgrims had died. At one time there were but seven well persons in the colony. Among those who passed away was John Carver, the first governor.



The survivors held their ground with grim heroism, and by-and-by other immigrants arrived, and the growth and prosperity, though slow, was certain. It had no charter, but was governed by an agreement which had been drawn up and signed in the cabin of the Mayflower, about the time the bleak coast of New England was sighted. For sixty years after the settlement of Plymouth, its history was uneventful. It was never very large, but the real work which it accomplished was in bringing thousands of other colonists to follow it to New England, who were opponents of the Established Church, and who gave to that section of our country a distinctive character of its own.


It is an interesting coincidence that while Virginia had her Captain John Smith, Plymouth possessed a character quite similar in the person of Captain Myles Standish. He was the military leader of the colony, with a courage that was absolutely fearless. He has been described as a very small man, with a "long, yellow beard," and a temper as inflammable as gunpowder. Nothing would rouse his anger sooner than to hear any slur upon his stature. A big, hulking Indian, belonging to a party much larger than Standish's, once looked down upon the diminutive Englishman, and, with a curl of his lip, referred to him as too small to fight. The next day, in a fight that arose with the chiefs, Standish killed the insulting Indian with his own knife. All readers are familiar with the beautiful poem of Longfellow, which tells how Standish employed John Alden to woo Priscilla, the "loveliest maid of Plymouth," for him, and he did it with such success that Alden won her for himself.


The Massachusetts Bay Colony included the part of the present State of Massachusetts from the neighborhood of Boston northward. It was founded by Puritans, who, it will be remembered, had not separated wholly from the Church of England, but opposed many of its ceremonies. In the civil war with England they sided with the Parliament and were subjected to the same persecution as the Separatists. In 1628 a number of wealthy Puritans bought the territory from the Council of Plymouth, and, receiving a charter the following year from Charles I., sent small colonies across the Atlantic. Then the company itself followed, taking with it the charter and officers, thus gaining a colony in America that was wholly independent of England. Salem and some other small settlements had previously been made.

The colony was one of the most important that ever settled in this country. Its leaders were not only of the best character, but were wealthy, wise, and far-seeing. A large number arrived in 1630, and founded Boston, Cambridge, Lynn, and other towns. Although they suffered many privations, they were not so harsh as those of Plymouth, and the colony prospered. During the ten years succeeding 1630, 20,000 people settled in Massachusetts, and in 1692 the two colonies united under the name of Massachusetts.

It would seem that since these people had fled to America to escape religious persecution, they would have been tolerant of the views of those among them, but such unhappily was not the case. The most important part of their work was the building of churches and the establishment of religious instruction. The minister was the most important man in the colony, and no one was allowed to vote unless a member of the church. A reproof in church was considered the most disgraceful penalty that could be visited upon a wrong-doer. The sermons were two, three, and sometimes four hours long, and the business of one of the officers was to watch those overcome by drowsiness and wake them up, sometimes quite sharply.

death of the king



roger williams


Roger Williams, a Baptist preacher, told the Puritans, as the people came generally to be called, that they did wrong to take the land from the Indians without paying for it, and that a person was answerable to God alone for his belief. These charges were answered by the banishment of Williams from the colony. All the Baptists were expelled in 1635. Shortly afterward, Anne Hutchinson boldly preached the doctrine of Antinomianism, which declares that a man is not saved by the help of good works, but by divine grace alone. In other words, no matter how wickedly he lives, his salvation is wholly independent of it. She went to Rhode Island and afterward to New Netherland, where she was killed in one of the attacks of the Indians upon the Dutch settlements.

The Quakers greatly annoyed the New England colonists. They persisted in rising in the Puritan meetings and disputing with ministers. Many were fined, whipped, imprisoned, and banished, but in the face of warnings they returned. As a consequence, four were put to death. Then a reaction set in and the persecution ceased.

The most formidable war in which the early colonies of New England were involved was with King Philip, who was the son of Massasoit, a firm friend of the settlers until his death. Philip was one of the great Indians of history. Like many of his people he saw with anger the growth of the white men, who in time would drive him and his warriors from their hunting grounds. Realizing the magnitude of the work of exterminating all the settlers, he visited the different tribes and used every effort to unite them in a war against the invaders. He was partly successful, and, with the allies secured, King Philip began the war by attacking a party of settlers at Swansea, on Sunday, June 24, 1675, while they were on their way to church. Several whites were killed, when the Indians hurried off to the Connecticut Valley to continue their dreadful work.

All understood their peril, and flew to arms. Every man carried his musket to church, and they were stacked outside the door, while a sentinel paced up and down. More than once the long sermon was interrupted by the crack of the red men's guns and their wild whoops, as they swarmed out of the woods. Springing down from the pulpit, the minister was among the foremost in beating the heathen back, and, when quiet was restored, probably he resumed and finished his sermon.

The war was prosecuted furiously on both sides. In the depth of winter, when the snow lay several feet on the ground, John Winslow led 1,500 men against the Narragansett stronghold, which was in the heart of a great swamp, and was one of the most powerful fortifications ever erected by the red men on this continent. In the terrible fight, 200 white men and nearly 1,000 Indians were killed. Finally, Philip was run down in a swamp near his old home on Mount Hope, not far from the present city of Bristol, Rhode Island. While stealing out of his hiding-place, he was confronted by a white soldier and a friendly Indian. The gun of the former missed fire, whereupon the Indian leveled his musket and shot the Wampanoag leader dead. The war ended a few months later. During its continuance, six hundred white men were killed and many more wounded; thirteen towns were destroyed and five hundred buildings burned, but the Indian power in southern New England was shattered forever.


One of the most fearful delusions recorded in history is that of the general belief in witchcraft which prevailed in Europe down to the seventeenth century. Its baleful shadow all too soon fell upon New England. Massachusetts and Connecticut made laws against witchcraft and hanged a number of persons on the charge of being witches. In 1692 the town of Salem went crazy over the belief that the diabolical spirits were at work among them. Two little girls, who were simpletons that ought to have been spanked and put to bed, declared with bulging eyes that different persons had taken the form of a black cat and pinched, scratched, and bitten them. The people, including the great preacher Cotton Mather, believed this stuff, and the supposed wizards and witches were punished with fearful severity. Suspicion in many cases meant death; evil men disposed of their creditors and enemies by charging them with witchcraft; families were divided and the gentlest and most irreproachable of women suffered disgraceful death. Everybody, including ministers and judges, lost their wits. The magistrates crowded the jails, until twenty had been put to death and fifty-five tortured before the craze subsided. Then it became clear that no one, no matter what his station, was safe, and the delusion, which forms one of the blackest pages in New England, passed away.

recapture of boat

Which had been taken by the Indians from the Puritan exiles in 1636. "Steer straight for the vessel," cried Gallup, and stationing himself at the bow he opened fire on the Indians. Every time his gun flashed some one was hit. This incident was the beginning of the Pequot War.


New Hampshire was the name of John Mason's share of a territory granted to him and Sir Fernando Gorges by the Council of Plymouth in 1622. This grant included all the land between the Merrimac and Kennebec Rivers. The first settlement was made in 1623, at New and at Little Harbor, near Portsmouth. In 1629 the proprietors divided their grants, the country west of the Piscataqua being taken by Mason, who named it New Hampshire, while Gorges, who owned the eastern section, called it Maine.

The settlements were weak and their growth tardy. In 1641 New Hampshire placed itself under the protection of Massachusetts, but the king separated them in 1679, and made New Hampshire a royal colony. In 1688 it again joined Massachusetts, and three years later was set off once more by the king, after which it remained a royal colony until the Revolution.


The Connecticut colony included all of the present State of Connecticut, excepting a few townships on the shore of Long Island Sound. It came into the possession of the Earl of Warwick in 1630, and the following year he transferred it to Lords Say, Brooke, and others. The Dutch claimed the territory and erected a fort on the Connecticut River to keep out the English. The latter, however, paid no attention to them, and a number of Massachusetts traders settled at Windsor in 1633. Saybrook, at the mouth of the Connecticut, was settled in 1635. A great many emigrants came from Massachusetts in 1636, the principal leader being Thomas Hooker. They founded Weathersfield, Windsor, and Hartford, and in 1639 adopted the name of the Connecticut colony and drew up a written constitution, the first ever framed by a body of men for their own government. Other settlements were made and Saybrook united with them.

The most eventful incident in the history of Connecticut was the war with the Pequot Indians, who were a powerful tribe in the eastern part of the State. They tried to persuade the Narragansetts to join them, but Roger Williams, who lived among them, persuaded Canonicus, their chief, to refuse. Then the Pequots committed the fatal mistake of going to war alone. The settlers, fully roused to their danger, assailed the Pequot stronghold with fury, one summer morning in 1637, and killed all their enemies, sparing neither women nor children. Thus a leading tribe of Indians were blotted out in one day.


The New Haven colony comprised the townships already referred to as lying on Long Island Sound. It was settled in 1638 by a company of English immigrants, who were sufficiently wise and just to buy the lands of the Indians. Other towns were settled, and in 1639 the group took the name of the New Haven colony. Neither of the colonies had a charter, and there was much rivalry in the efforts to absorb the towns as they were settled. The majority preferred to join the Connecticut colony, for the other, like Massachusetts, would permit no one not a member of church to vote or hold office.

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What is known in the history of England as the Commonwealth, established by Cromwell, came to an end in 1660. Charles II. ascended the throne, and Winthrop, governor of the Connecticut colony, which had now grown to be the stronger of the two, went to England to secure a charter. It was granted to him in 1662, and covered the territory occupied by both colonies, who were permitted to elect their assembly, their governor, and to rule themselves. New Haven, after deliberating over the question, reluctantly accepted the charter, and in 1665 the two were united under the name of the Colony of Connecticut.

Everything was going along smoothly, when, in 1687, Governor Andros came down with a company of soldiers from Boston and ordered the people to surrender their charter. He was acting under the orders of the king, who did not fancy the independence with which the colony was conducting matters. Andros confronted the assembly, which were called together in Hartford. They begged that he would not enforce his demands. He consented to listen to their arguments, though there was not the slightest probability of it producing any effect upon him.


The talk continued until dark, when the candles were lighted. Suddenly, at a signal, all were blown out. When they were re-lighted, the charter, which had been lying on the table in plain sight, was nowhere to be found. Captain Wadsworth had slipped out during the interval of darkness and hidden the paper in the hollow of an oak. Then he returned and took his place among the members, looking the most innocent of all. Andros fumed and raved and informed the assembly that their trick would avail them nothing, since their charter government was at an end. He went back to Boston, to be turned out of office two years later, when the precious charter was brought from its hiding-place.

No effort was spared to preserve the historical "Charter Oak," that had thus been made famous. It was supported and propped in every part that showed signs of weakness, and held up its head until 1856, when a terrific storm brought it to the ground, shattered to fragments, all of which were carefully gathered and preserved by those fortunate enough to obtain them.

The early division of the colonies was long marked by the fact that Hartford and New Haven served as the two capitals of the State until 1873, when Hartford became the sole capital.


It has been stated that when Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts he took refuge among the Narragansett Indians, who occupied the country at the head of Narragansett Bay. Canonicus, the chief, held the good man in high esteem, and presented him with a large tract of land, which the devout Williams named "Providence" in remembrance of the manner in which he believed God had directed him thither. Settlers from Massachusetts followed him, and all were hospitably received and kindly treated. The fullest religious liberty was allowed, and even when Anne Hutchinson visited Williams, he treated her like a sister. Williams obtained a charter in 1644 from the Parliament and it was confirmed in 1654. The new one granted by Charles II. in 1663 united all the colonies into one, under the name Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. This is still the legal name of the State, which retains its two capitals, Providence and Newport, the Legislature meeting alternately in each. The charter of Charles II. suited the people so well that it remained in force until 1842, when Thomas Dorr headed a rebellion, as related hereafter, which resulted in the establishment of a new charter.

The existence of Rhode Island was threatened by the claim of Connecticut to all the land on the west to the shore of Narragansett Bay, while Plymouth insisted that the land on the east to the shore of the same bay belonged to her. Rhode Island stoutly resisted, and succeeded in 1741 and 1752 in fixing her boundaries as they are to-day, which make her the smallest State in the Union.


It has been shown that Holland was more anxious to secure trade than territory. Soon after the discovery of the Hudson, by Captain Henry Hudson, the Dutch traders sent vessels to Manhattan Island, now constituting the city of New York, and began bartering with the Indians. In 1621 Holland granted the territory from Delaware Bay to the Connecticut River to the Dutch West India Company. The name given to the territory was New Netherland, while the settlement, which grew in time into the metropolis of America, was called New Amsterdam. The whole island was bought from the Indians for sixty guilders, equal to about twenty-four dollars, a price which is considerably less than would be demanded to-day for the site of Greater New York.

New Netherland was governed successively by Peter Minuet, Walter Van Twiller, William Kieft, and Peter Stuyvesant, who were sent out by the Dutch West India Company, and whose rule extended from 1626 to 1664. Of these, Stuyvesant was by far the ablest, and he made a strong impression on the social and political life of New Netherland. He was severe and stubborn, however, and many of the Dutchmen found his rule so onerous that they were rather pleased than otherwise, when the English, in 1664, claimed the territory by right of discovery and sent out a fleet which compelled Stuyvesant to surrender the town. The doughty old governor stamped about New Amsterdam with his wooden leg, calling upon his countrymen to rally and drive back the rascals, but little or no heed was paid to his appeals.

Charles II. had granted the territory to his brother the Duke of York, who soon after ascended the throne, thus making the colony, which included that of New Jersey, a royal one. The Connecticut people had settled a large part of Rhode Island, which they claimed, but the duke was too powerful to be resisted, and Long Island became a part of New York, as the city and province were named.

In 1673, while at war with England, Holland sent a fleet which recaptured New York, but it was given back to England, upon the signing of a treaty in 1674. The manner in which New Netherland was settled by the Dutch was quite different from that of New England. Wealthy men, termed "patroons," were granted immense tracts of laud and brought over settlers, whose situation was much like that of the serfs of Russia. Traces of the patroon system remained long after the Revolution, and, in 1846, caused the "Anti-Rent War," which resulted in the death of a number of people.

The province of New York suffered greatly from misrule. The people were not permitted to elect their own assembly until 1683, and two years later, when the Duke of York became king, he took away the privilege. William and Mary, however, restored it in 1691, and it remained to the Revolution.

As a proof of the bad governorship of New York, it may be said that there is good reason to believe that one of its rulers was interested with the pirates who infested the coast, while another, who refused to sign the death-warrant of two persons who had committed no serious crime, was made drunk and then persuaded to sign the fatal paper. When he became sober, he was horrified to find that both had been executed.


The piracy alluded to became such a scandalous blight that strenuous measures were taken to crush it. In 1697 Captain William Kidd, a New York shipmaster and a brave and skillful navigator, was sent to assist in the work. After he had cruised for a while in distant waters, he turned pirate himself. He had the effrontery to return home three years later, believing his friends would protect him; but, though they would have been willing enough to do so, they dared not. He was arrested, tried in England, convicted, and hanged. Piracy was finally driven from the American waters in 1720.

In 1740 New York was thrown into a panic by the report that the negroes had formed a plot to burn the town. It is scarcely possible that any such plot existed, but before the scare had passed away four whites and eighteen negroes were hanged, and, dreadful as it may sound, fourteen negroes were burned at the stake. In addition, nearly a hundred were driven out of the colony.

The fine harbor and noble river emptying into it gave New York such advantages that, by 1750, it had become one of the most important cities on the coast, though its population was less than that of Philadelphia. At the time named, its inhabitants numbered about 12,000, which was less than that of Philadelphia. The province itself contained 90,000 inhabitants. The chief towns were New York, Albany, and Kingston. Brooklyn, which attained vast proportions within the following century, was merely a ferry station.




New Jersey, as has been stated, was originally a part of New Netherland. As early as 1618, the Dutch erected a trading post at Bergen. All now included in the State was granted, in 1664, by the Duke of York to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. Carteret was once governor of the island of Jersey in the English Channel, and gave the name to the new province. In the year mentioned, the first English settlement was made at Elizabethtown, now known as Elizabeth.

In 1674, the province was divided into East and West Jersey, a distinction which is preserved to some extent to the present day. Berkeley, who owned West Jersey, sold it to a number of Quakers, some of whom settled near Burlington. Carteret sold his part to William Penn and eleven other Quakers. The various changes of ownership caused much trouble with the land titles. In 1702, all the proprietors surrendered their rights to the crown and New Jersey became a royal colony. The same governor ruled New York and New Jersey, though those in the latter elected their own assembly. A complete separation from New York took place in 1738, and New Jersey remained a royal province until the Revolution. Its location averted all troubles with the Indians. Newark, the principal city, was settled in 1666, by emigrants from Connecticut. Burlington, founded in 1677, was one of the capitals and Perth Amboy the other.




In 1638, a number of Swedes formed the settlement of Christina on the Delaware, near Wilmington. They bought the land from the Indians and named it New Sweden. A second settlement, that of Chester, was made just below the site of Philadelphia in 1643, and was the first in the present State of Pennsylvania. The fiery Governor Stuyvesant of New Netherland looked upon these attempts as impudent invasions of his territory, and, filled with anger, hurried down to Delaware and captured both. It was a matter of no moment to the thrifty Swedes, who kept on the even tenor of their way and throve under the new government as well as under the old. A further account of the settlement of Delaware will be given in our history of that of Pennsylvania.




The peace-loving Quakers were among those who suffered persecution in England for conscience sake. William Penn was the son of Admiral Penn, who disliked the Quakers and had been a valiant officer for the English government. When he died, the crown owed him a large sum of money, which William offered to liquidate in return for a grant of the land now known as the State of Pennsylvania. The king willingly agreed to this, and the Duke of York, who had a strong liking for Penn, added the present State of Delaware to the grant, in which, as has been stated, the Swedes had made a number of settlements.

William Penn was one of the best and wisest rulers that had to do with the settlement of our country. The king, more as a piece of pleasantry than otherwise, insisted upon naming the province "Pennsylvania," in honor of the proprietor, much to the good man's dismay. He offered the royal secretary a liberal fee to omit the first part of the name from the charter, but it was not done. No rule could have been more kindly. Absolute freedom of conscience was permitted; in all trials by jury of an Indian, one-half of the jury were to be composed of Indians, and, although Penn was induced to permit the punishment of death for treason and murder, to be provided for in the code, no man was ever executed while Penn had anything to do with the province.

His first act, after his arrival in 1682, was characteristic. He called the Indian chiefs together, under a great spreading elm at Shackamaxon, and paid them for the land that was already his by royal grant. In addition, he made the red men many presents and signed a treaty, which neither party broke for sixty years. It has been truly said that this was the only treaty not sworn to which was kept inviolate by both parties.

Penn himself laid out the city of Philadelphia in 1683. A year later, it had a population of 7,000, and in three years more its population increased faster than that of New York in half a century. Delaware, then called the "Three Lower Counties," was given a separate government at the request of the people in 1703. They were allowed their own deputy governor, but Pennsylvania and Delaware continued substantially under one government until the Revolution.

The good ruler met with many misfortunes. In 1692, the province was taken from him, because of his friendship to James II., but restored soon afterward. In 1699, when he made his second visit, he found the people had in a great measure grown away from him, and were unwilling that he should exercise his former supervision. While absent, a dishonest steward robbed him of nearly all his property in England; and, failing in health and mind, he died in 1718. His sons became proprietors, but the people grew more and more discontented with the payment of rents. To end the disputes and quarrels, the State abolished the rents during the Revolution, paying the proprietors the sum of $650,000 for the extinguishment of their rights.


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Philadelphia was prosperous from the first. New York City did not catch up to it until after the year 1810. It was early noted, as it has been since, for its cleanliness, fine buildings, and the attention it gave to education. It had a printing press in 1686, and three years later a public high school. In the year 1749, the present University of Pennsylvania was founded as a school, becoming a college in 1755, and a university in 1779. Many of the names of streets, such as Walnut, Chestnut, Pine, Mulberry, and others, were given to it when the city was laid out.

The settlement of the province was confined for a long time to the eastern section. No population was more varied. The Scotch and Irish were mainly in the central portion, the Dutch and Germans in the east and northeast, and the English in the southeastern part of the colony. There are hundreds of people to-day in Pennsylvania, whose ancestors for several generations have been born there, who are unable to speak or understand a word of English.

Maryland is the next colony in order of settlement. The Roman Catholics were among those who suffered persecution in England, and Maryland was founded as a place of refuge for them. Among the most prominent of the English Catholics was Sir George Calvert, known as Lord Baltimore. His first attempt to found a colony was in Newfoundland, but the rigorous climate compelled him to give it up. He decided that the most favorable place was that portion of Virginia lying east of the Potomac. Virginia had its eye already upon the section, and was preparing to settle it, when Charles I., without consulting her, granted the territory to Lord Baltimore. Before he could use the patent, he died, and the charter was made to his son, Cecil Calvert, in 1632. He named it Maryland in compliment to the queen, Henrietta Maria.

Leonard Calvert, a brother of Lord Baltimore, began the settlement of Maryland at St. Mary's, near the mouth of the Potomac. He took with him 200 immigrants and made friends with the Indians, whom he treated with justice and kindness. Annapolis was founded in 1683 and Baltimore in 1729.

Despite the wisdom and liberality of Calvert's rule, the colony met with much trouble, because of Virginia's claim to the territory occupied by the newcomers. William Clayborne of Virginia had established a trading post in Maryland and refused to leave, but he was driven out, whereupon he appealed to the king, insisting that the Catholics were intruders upon domain to which they had no right. The king decided in favor of Lord Baltimore. Clayborne however, would not assent, and, returning to Maryland in 1645, he incited a rebellion which was pressed so vigorously that Calvert was forced to flee. He gathered enough followers to drive Clayborne out in turn. The Catholics then established a liberal government and passed the famous "Toleration Act," which allowed everybody to worship God as he saw fit. Many persons in the other colonies, who were suffering persecution, made their homes in Maryland.

After a time, the Protestants gained a majority in the assembly and made laws which were very oppressive to the Catholics. The strife degenerated into civil war, which lasted for a number of years. The proprietor in 1691 was a supporter of James II., because of which the new king, William, took away his colony and appointed the governors himself. The proprietor's rights were restored in 1716 to the fourth Lord Baltimore. The Calverts became extinct in 1771, and the people of Maryland assumed proprietorship five years later. Comparative tranquillity reigned until the breaking out of the Revolution.

An interesting occurrence during this tranquil period was the arrival from England of George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends or Quakers. In the assemblage which gathered on the shores of the Chesapeake to listen to his preaching were members of the Legislature, the leading men of the province, Indian sachems and their families, with their great chief at their head.

The disputed boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania was fixed in 1767, by two surveyors named Mason and Dixon. This boundary became famous in after years as the dividing line between the free and slave States.

Charles II., in 1663 and 1665, granted the land between Florida and Virginia to eight proprietors. The country had been named Carolina in honor of their king, Charles IX. (Latin, Carolus), and since Charles II. was King of England the name was retained, though he was not the ruler meant thus to be honored. The country was comparatively uninhabited after the failure of the French colony, except by a few Virginians, who made a settlement on the northern shore of Albemarle Sound.


For twenty years the proprietors tried to establish upon American soil one of the most absurd forms of government ever conceived. The land was to be granted to nobles, known as barons, landgraves, and caziques, while the rest of the people were not to be allowed to hold any land, but were to be bought and sold with the soil, like so many cattle. The settlers ridiculed and defied the fantastical scheme, which had to be abandoned. It was the work of John Locke, the famous philosopher, who at one time was secretary of Lord Cooper, one of the proprietors.

The first settlement of the Carteret colony was made in 1670, on the banks of the Ashley, but in 1680 it was removed to the present site of Charleston. The colonies remained united for about seventy years, when it became apparent that the territory was too large to be well governed by one assembly and a single governor. In 1729, the present division was made, and the rights of government and seven-eighths of the land were returned to the crown.

The soil and climate were so favorable that thousands of immigrants were attracted thither. Among them were numerous Huguenots or French Protestants, whose intelligence, thrift, and morality placed them among the very best settlers found anywhere in our country. Newbern was settled by a colony of Swiss in 1711, and there was a large influx of Scotch after their rebellion of 1740, England giving them permission to leave Scotland. Scotch immigrants settled Fayetteville in 1746.

There were occasional troubles with the Indians, the most important of which was the war with the Tuscaroras, in 1711. This tribe was utterly defeated and driven northward into New York, where they joined the Iroquois or Five Nations. The union of the Tuscaroras caused the Iroquois to be known afterward as the Six Nations.

The Carolinas were afflicted with some of the worst governors conceivable, interspersed now and then with excellent ones. Often there was sturdy resistance, and in 1677 one of the governors, who attempted to enforce the Navigation Act, was deposed and imprisoned. In 1688, another was driven out of the colony. The population was widely scattered, but the people themselves were as a whole the best kind of citizens. They would not permit religious persecution, and defeated the effort to make the Church of England the colony church. As a consequence, the Carolinas became, like Maryland and Pennsylvania, a refuge for thousands of those who were persecuted in the name of religion.


Georgia was the last of the thirteen original colonies to be settled, and, though it long remained the weakest of them all, its history is very interesting. It, too, was a country of refuge for those suffering persecution, but their affliction was different in its nature from those of whom we have made record.


(State Agricultural Museum, Albany, N.Y.)

One of the remarkable facts connected with the government of nations claiming the highest civilization, hardly more than a century ago, was the brutality of their laws. Many crimes, comparatively trifling in their nature, were punishable with death. One of the most cruel of these oppressive laws was that which permitted a man to throw into prison a neighbor who was unable to pay the money he owed. If a poor tenant fell ill, and could not pay his landlord, the latter could have him flung into jail and kept there until the debt was paid. Since the debtor was unable to earn a penny while in prison, and probably his wife and children were equally helpless, the landlord thus deprived himself of all possibility of getting his money, while the wretched debtor literally "rotted" in prison. Thousands died in dreadful misery, merely because they were poor.

This system of allowing imprisonment for debt prevailed in our own country until within the memory of men still living. It makes one's cheeks tingle with shame and indignation to recall that Robert Morris, who devoted all his wealth and energies to raising money for the patriots during the Revolution, who furnished Washington with thousands of dollars, and but for whose help the war must have failed, became poor after independence was gained and was imprisoned for debt.


(In the New York State
Agricultural Museum.)

The system caused such horrible suffering in England that the pity of all good men was stirred. Among these was James Edward Oglethorpe, one of the most admirable characters in modern history. He was a brave and skillful soldier, eminently just, of the highest social position and a member of Parliament. He determined to do something practical for the perishing debtors in English jails. He, therefore, asked George II. to give him a grant of land in America to which the imprisoned debtors could be sent, and the king, whose heart also seemed to be touched, promptly did so. It was said of Oglethorpe that the universal respect felt for him made certain that any favor he asked of his own associates or friends would be willingly granted.

The king not only presented him with valuable equipments, but Parliament granted him a liberal sum, to which wealthy citizens added. He had the best wishes of his entire country when he sailed for America with one hundred and fourteen persons. He named the new colony Georgia in honor of the king, and began the settlement of Savannah in 1733, Darien and Augusta being founded three years later. It need hardly be said of such a man, that, like Penn and Baltimore, he bought the lands anew of the Indians and retained their friendship from the start. On one of his visits to England he took a party of red men with him, entertained them at his country place and presented them at court.



The Spaniards claimed Georgia as their own territory, and raised a large force with which to expel Oglethorpe, whose colony had been increased by the arrival of other immigrants, but the English officer handled his men with such extraordinary skill that the Spaniards were utterly routed.

It would be supposed that Georgia would have been one of the most successful of the original colonies, since seemingly it possessed every advantage, but such was far from the fact. One cause for this was the "coddling" the pioneers received. They were harmed by too much kindness. Had they been compelled to hew their own way, like their neighbors, they would have done better. They were like children spoiled by being granted too many favors.


The Iroquois League was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora nations, who founded in the New York wilderness a barbaric republic, with bonds of union that might serve in many respects as a model for civilized nations.

Another cause was the poor laws by which the people were ruled. Slavery at first was forbidden within its borders, though it was tolerated all about them. Then, in 1747, the trustees yielded to the general demand and admitted slavery. Other rules caused discontent, and many settlers moved away. Population appeared to be at a standstill, and finally the trustees in 1752 surrendered their rights to the crown. More liberal laws followed and the prosperity increased.


(Fac-simile of a picture in Edward Williams'
"Virginia Truly Valued." 1650.)

Of General Oglethorpe, it may be added that he lived to reach his ninety-eighth year. It was said of him that he was the handsomest old man in London, and people often stopped on the streets to look at and admire him. He always had a warm regard for the American colonies. Indeed, it was this marked friendship for them which prevented his appointment as commander-in-chief of the British forces during the Revolution.


It will thus be seen that, beginning with Virginia, in 1607, the American colonies had grown in a little more than a century and a quarter to thirteen. These were strung along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida, and in 1750 their population was about 1,260,000. This was vigorous growth. All the colonists, although born on this side of the Atlantic, considered themselves Englishmen, and were proud of their king, three thousand miles away across the ocean. With such loyal subjects, the English crown had the best opportunity in the world to become the most powerful of all the nations.


(New York State Cabinet of
Natural History, Albany.)

But Great Britain was not free from misgiving over the rapid growth of her American colonies. Nothing looked more probable than that before many years they would unite in one government of their own and declare their independence of the British crown. Then was the time for the display of wise statesmanship, but unhappily for England and happily for the colonies, such wise statesmanship proved to be lacking on the other side of the water. The colonies displayed great industry. They grew tobacco, rice, indigo, and many other products which were eagerly welcomed by the British merchants, who exported their own manufactures in exchange for them. The inevitable result was that England and the American colonies increased their wealth by this means. Not only that, but the colonies voted ships, men, and money to help the mother country in the wars in which she was often involved.

As early as 1651, Parliament passed the first of the oppressive Navigation Acts, which forbade the colonies to trade with any other country than England, or to receive foreign ships into their ports. This act was so harsh and unjust that it was never generally enforced, until the attempt, more than a century later, when it became one of the leading causes of the American Revolution.

early days


places of worship

1. Lutheran. 2. French. 3. Trinity. 4. New Dutch. 5. Old Dutch. 6. Presbyterian. 7. Baptist. 8. Quaker. 9. Synagogue.



King William's War—Queen Anne's War—King George's War—The French and Indian War—England and France Rivals in the Old World and the New—The Early French Settlements—The Disputed Territory—France's Fatal Weakness—Washington's Journey Through the Wilderness—The First Fight of the War—The War Wholly American for Two Years—The Braddock Massacre—The Great Change Wrought by William Pitt—Fall of Quebec—Momentous Consequences of the Great English Victory—The Growth and Progress of the Colonies and Their Home Life.


If anything were needed to prove the utter uselessness and horrible barbarity of war, it is found in a history of the strife in which the American colonies were involved through the quarrels of their rulers, thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic. Men lived for years in America as neighbors, meeting and exchanging visits on the most friendly terms, and with no thought of enmity, until the arrival of some ship with news that their respective governments in Europe had gone to war. Straightway, the neighbors became enemies, and, catching up their guns, did their best to kill one another. Untold misery and hundreds of lives were lost, merely because two ambitious men had gotten into a wrangle. The result of such a dispute possessed no earthly interest to the people in the depths of the American wilderness, but loyalty to their sovereigns demanded that they should plunge into strife.

As time passed, Spain and Holland declined in power, and England and France became formidable rivals in the New World as well as in the Old. In 1689, when William III. was on the throne of England, war broke out between that country and France and lasted until 1697. The French, having settled in Canada, were wise enough to cultivate the friendship of the Indians, who helped them in their savage manner in desolating the English settlements. Dover, New Hampshire, was attacked by the French and Indians, who killed more than a score of persons and carried away a number of captives. In other places, settlers were surprised in the fields and shot down. Early in 1690, another party came down from Canada, and, when the snow lay deep on the ground and the people were sleeping in their beds, made a furious attack upon Schenectady. The town was burned and sixty persons tomahawked, while the survivors, half-clad, struggled through the snow to Albany, sixteen miles distant.

The Americans in retaliation attempted to invade Canada, but the result was a disastrous failure. The war continued in a desultory way, with great cruelties on both sides, until 1697, when a treaty signed at Ryswick, Holland, settled the quarrel between King William and James II., by deciding that the former was the rightful king of England. The suffering and deaths that had been inflicted on this side of the Atlantic produced not the slightest effect upon the quarrel between the two claimants to the throne.


In 1702, England got into a wrangle with France and Spain. This time the Iroquois Indians took no part, because of their treaty with France, although in the previous war they fought on the side of the English. In the depth of winter in 1703-4, Deerfield, Massachusetts, was attacked and destroyed. Forty-seven of the people were tomahawked and more than a hundred carried into captivity. Their sufferings were so dreadful on the long tramp through the snow to Canada that nearly all sank down and died. Maine and New Hampshire were devastated by the hordes, who showed no mercy to women and children. Another English invasion of Canada was attempted, but failed like its predecessor. The aimless, cruel war continued until 1713, when a treaty of peace was signed at Utrecht in Holland, by which England secured control of the fisheries of Newfoundland, while Labrador, Hudson Bay, and Acadia or Nova Scotia were ceded to Great Britain. The result in both instances would have been the same had the English and French settlers and the Indians continued on amicable terms.


In 1740, the War for the Austrian Succession broke out in Europe and soon involved most of the European nations. Because George II. was on the throne of England, the struggle is known in this country as King George's War.

A notable event in America was the capture of the fortress of Louisburg, one of the strongest fortifications in the world, mainly by New England troops. It was a grand achievement which thrilled this country and England, and caused consternation in France. A treaty of peace was signed in 1744 at Aix-la-Chapelle, a town in western Germany. New England was enraged to find that by the terms of this treaty Louisburg was given back to France, and all her valor, sacrifice, and suffering went for naught.


attack on rioters


It has already been shown that England and France, who had long been rivals in the Old World, had become equally bitter rivals on this side of the Atlantic. On the west, the thirteen English colonies were walled in by the Allegheny Mountains, beyond which none of the settlers had advanced. All the country lying between these mountains and the Mississippi was claimed by France, who was pushing southward through it, and had given it the name of New France or Louisiana. The first French settlement within the northwestern part of our country was the mission of St. Mary, near Sault Ste. Marie, now in the State of Michigan, it having been established in 1668. Several others of minor importance were planted at different points.

England did not oppose the acquirement of Canada by the French early in the seventeenth century, but no serious attempt was made by that people to colonize the territory within the United States until 1699, when D'Iberville crossed the Gulf of Mexico in quest of the mouth of the Mississippi. When he found it, he planted a settlement at Biloxi, now in Mississippi, but removed it in 1702 to Mobile. The Mississippi Company, a French organization, obtained in 1716 a grant of Louisiana, and in 1718 sent out a colony that began the settlement of New Orleans.

It will thus be seen that by 1750 the French had acquired large possessions in North America. They were, determined to hold them, and, to do so, established a chain of sixty forts reaching from Montreal to the Gulf of Mexico. These forts were the foundations of many important cities of to-day, such as New Orleans, Natchez, Detroit, Vincennes, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Ogdensburg, and Montreal. To the rear of the main chain of forts were others like Mackinaw, Peoria, and Kaskaskia.

Extensive as was the territory thus taken possession of by the French, they were fatally weak because of their scant population, amounting to less than 150,000 souls, while the English colonies had grown to 1,500,000. The French traders were just about strong enough to hold the Indians in check, but no more.

Thus with the French on the west and the English on the east of the Alleghanies, the two rival forces were slowly creeping toward each other, and were bound soon to meet, when the supreme struggle for possession of the North American continent would open. By-and-by, the French hunters and traders, as they climbed the western slope of the mountains, met the English trappers moving in their direction. Being the advance skirmishers of their respective armies, they often exchanged shots, and then fell back to report what they had seen and done to their countrymen.

The fertile lands of the Great West had long attracted attention, and many efforts had been made to buy them at a cheap price to sell again to settlers. In 1749, the Ohio Company was formed by a number of London merchants and several prominent Virginians. The lands they bought lay in western Pennsylvania, which Virginia claimed as part of her territory. This company proved its earnestness by sending out surveyors, opening roads, and offering tempting inducements to settlers.

The French were equally prompt and took possession of the country between the Alleghanies and their main chain of forts. They built a fort at Presq' Isle, on the site of the present city of Erie, and began erecting a new chain of forts southward toward the Ohio. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia saw the danger of permitting this encroachment, and he wrote a letter of remonstrance to the French commander, which was placed in the hands of George Washington, to be carried five hundred miles through wilderness, across mountains and dangerous rivers, to the point in western Pennsylvania where the French officer was building his forts upon disputed ground.

washington riding a horse

One summer morning, young George, with three or four boys, was in the field looking at a colt, given him by his mother, and when the boys said that it could never be tamed, George said: "You help me get on its back, and I'll tame it."

The journey was a long and perilous one, but Washington, who was a magnificent specimen of vigorous young manhood, performed it in safety, and brought back the reply of the French commander, which notified Governor Dinwiddie that he not only refused to vacate the territory, but would drive out every Englishman he found within it.

This meant war, and Virginia made her preparations. She raised about 400 men and placed them under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Washington, who was more familiar with the country than anyone else. The Ohio Company at that time were putting up a fort on the present site of Pittsburg, and Washington hurried forward to protect it. The Frenchmen understood the value of a post at the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela Rivers, and also started on a race for it. They arrived first, captured the fort, strengthened it, and gave it the name of Fort Duquesne. That done, they set out to meet Washington, who was descending the Monongahela.


The meeting between these forces brought on the first fight of the French and Indian War. It was the advance party of each which met, and it is said that the first musket was fired by Washington himself. The French had enlisted a number of Indians, but Washington killed or captured nearly all of them as well as the whites. The main body of the French, however, was so much more powerful than his own, that Washington moved back a few miles and built a fortification which he named Fort Necessity. There, after a brisk fight, he was compelled to surrender, July 4, 1754, on the promise that he and his men should be allowed to return to Virginia. That province was so well pleased with his work that he acted as its leading officer throughout the remainder of the war.

A peculiarity of the French and Indian War must be noted. For two years it was entirely an American war, not extending to Europe until 1756. For the first time the English colonies acted together. They saw the value of the territory in dispute and were ready to make common cause for its possession. England was inclined to let them do the best they could without help from her. She advised that they form some plan for united action. In accordance with this suggestion, a meeting was held at Albany in 1754, composed of delegates from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and the New England colonies. Benjamin Franklin, the great philosopher, proposed the "Albany plan of Union," which was agreed upon.

When this was submitted to the king, he saw too much of American independence in it, and promptly rejected it, while the colonies did the same on the ground that it gave the king too much power. There was much significance in this action.


It was now so evident that war must soon come that England and France began sending troops to America. At the same time, the respective governments continued to profess—diplomatically—their strong friendship for each other. In June, 1755, a force consisting of British regulars and colonial troops sailed from Boston and captured the few remaining French forts in Nova Scotia. The inhabitants were gathered together in their churches, placed on ships, and then distributed southward among the English colonies. This act has been often denounced as one unworthy of the British people.

washingtons first victory

"Washington was at the head of his men with a musket in his grasp. The instant he saw the Frenchmen he discharged his gun at them, and gave the order to his men to fire. Hence it came about that the first hostile shot in the French and Indian War was fired by George Washington."


Among the English officers who arrived in 1755 was General Edward Braddock. He was brave and skillful, but conceited and stubborn. When Washington, who was one of his aides, explained to him the character of the treacherous foes whom he would have to fight and advised him to adopt similar tactics, the English officer insultingly answered that when he felt the need of advice from a young Virginian, he would ask for it. He marched toward Fort Duquesne and was within a few miles of the post, when he ran into an ambush and was assailed so vehemently by a force of French and Indians that half his men were killed, the rest put to flight, and himself mortally wounded. Washington and his Virginians, by adopting the Indian style of fighting, checked the pursuit and saved the remainder of the men.

braddocks defeat


In the spring of 1756, England and France declared war against each other and the struggle now involved those two countries. For two years the English, despite their preponderance of forces in America, lost rather than gained ground. Their officers sent across the ocean were a sorry lot, while the French were commanded by Montcalm, a brilliant leader. He concentrated his forces and delivered many effective blows, capturing the forts on the northern border of New York and winning all the Indians to his support. The English fought in detached bodies and were continually defeated.


But a change came in 1758, when William Pitt, one of the greatest Englishmen in history, was called to the head of the government. He weeded out inefficient officers, replaced them with skillful ones, who, concentrating their troops, assailed the French at three important points. Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, which had been captured more than a hundred years before, during King George's War, was again taken by a naval expedition in the summer of 1758. In the autumn, Fort Duquesne was captured without resistance and named Fort Pitt, in honor of the illustrious prime minister. The single defeat administered to the English was at Ticonderoga, where Montcalm commanded in person. This was a severe repulse, in which the English lost in the neighborhood of 1,600 men. It was offset by the expulsion of the French from northwestern New York and the capture of Fort Frontenac, on the present site of Kingston in Canada.

martello tower


One wise step of Pitt was in winning the cordial support of the provincials, as the colonists were called, to the British regulars. Our ancestors thus gained a most valuable military training which served them well in the great struggle for independence a few years later.


The year 1759 brought decisive success to the English. Knowing that they intended to attack Quebec, Montcalm drew in his troops to defend that city. It therefore was an easy matter for the English to capture Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and Fort Niagara, General Wolfe, one of the very ablest of English leaders, left Louisburg with a fleet and sailed up the St. Lawrence. He found the fortifications of Quebec at so great an elevation that he could make no impression upon them. Three months passed in idle waiting and the besiegers were almost disheartened. Wolfe himself was so distressed by anxiety that he fell ill. The sagacious Montcalm could not be induced to come out and give battle, and there seemed no way of reaching him.

But the lion-hearted Wolfe would not be denied. He found a path leading up to the Heights of Abraham, as the plain above was called, and, selecting a mild night in September, his troops floated down the river in their boats and landed at the foot of the cliff. All night long the English soldiers were clambering up the steep path, dragging a few guns with them, and, when the morning sun rose, it shone on the flashing bayonets of the whole army drawn up in battle array before the walls of Quebec.

The astonished Montcalm, instead of remaining within the city, marched his army out and gave battle. In the fight both Wolfe and Montcalm were fatally wounded. Wolfe lived long enough to learn that the French were fleeing before his victorious troops. "Now, I can die happy," he said, and shortly after expired. When Montcalm was told he must die, he mournfully replied: "So much the better; I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec."

Dutch household

As seen in the early days in New York.


This battle was one of the decisive ones of the world, for, as will be seen, its results were of momentous importance to mankind. The conquest of Canada followed in 1760, and the other French forts fairly tumbled into the possession of the English. Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawas, was so angered at the turn of events that he refused to be bound by the terms of the surrender. He brought a number of tribes into an alliance, captured several British posts in the West, and laid siege to Detroit for more than a year, but in the end he was defeated, his confederacy scattered, and Pontiac himself, like Philip, was killed by one of his own race.

The war was over, so far as America was concerned, but England and France kept it up for nearly three years, fighting on the ocean and elsewhere. In 1762, Spain joined France, but received a telling blow in the same year, when an English expedition captured the city of Havana. In this important event, the provincials gave valuable aid to the British regulars. The colonies also sent out a number of privateers which captured many rich prizes from the Spaniards.

By 1763, Great Britain had completely conquered France and Spain, and a treaty of peace was signed at Paris. France and Spain agreed to give up all of North America east of the Mississippi, and England ceded Cuba to Spain in exchange for Florida, exchanging Florida in 1783 for the Bahama Islands. The former was a victory for Spanish diplomacy, since Florida was practically worthless to Spain, while Havana, the capital of Cuba, was an enormously wealthy city, and the island possessed marvelous fertility and almost boundless resources.

France, after her wholesale yielding to England, paid Spain her ally by ceding to her all her possessions west of the Mississippi, including the city of New Orleans. This enormous territory, then known as Louisiana, comprehended everything between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River, from British America to the Gulf of Mexico. In extent it was an empire from which many of the most important States of the Union have been carved. When it is remembered that these changes were the result of a war in which the capture of Quebec was the decisive conflict, it will be admitted that there was ample warrant for pronouncing it one of the great battles of the world.

The thirteen original colonies were now "full grown." Their population had increased to 2,000,000 and was fast growing. Their men had proven their bravery and generalship in the French and Indian War. Many of them had developed into fine officers, and all compared favorably with the British regulars. Their loyalty to England was proven by the 30,000 lives that had been given that she might conquer her traditional rival and enemy.

The adventurous spirit of the colonists was shown by the fact that many began crossing the Alleghanies into the fertile district beyond, where they were in continual danger from the fierce Indians. James Robertson led a party of emigrants who made the first settlement in Tennessee in 1768, and the famous Daniel Boone and a company of immigrants were the pioneers in Kentucky in 1769. No effort was made to settle the country north of the Ohio until after the Revolution.

memorial hall


The intellectual progress of the colonies was remarkable. The first printing press was set up at Cambridge in 1639, and newspapers and books were in general circulation. Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts in 1638; William and Mary, in Virginia, in 1692; Yale, in Connecticut, in 1700; the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), in 1746; the University of Pennsylvania, in 1749; and King's College (now Columbia), in New York, in 1754. Much attention was given to education, commerce was greatly extended, the oppressive Navigation Act being generally disregarded, and thousands of citizens were in prosperous circumstances.

More significant than all else was the growth of the sentiment of unity among the different colonies. Although properly known as provincials, to distinguish them from the British, they now, instead of speaking of themselves as New Englanders or Virginians or Englishmen, often substituted the name "Americans." The different colonies were looked upon as members of the same great family, ready to make common cause against a danger threatening any one of them. Some of the bolder ones began to express the thought that it would be a fine thing if they were all independent of the mother country, though for years the sentiment assumed no importance.



Now was the time for England to display wisdom, justice, and statesmanship toward her subjects in America. Had she treated them as she now treats Canada and Australia and her other colonies, there never would have been a Revolution. No doubt in time we should have separated from her, but the separation would have been peaceable.

But while Great Britain has always been immeasurably above Spain in her treatment of her American subjects, she was almost as foolish, because she chilled the loyalty that had been proven in too many instances to be doubted. The mother country was laboring under the weight of burdensome taxes, and, since the colonies had always been prompt in voting money and supplies as well as men to assist England, Parliament thought she saw a way of shouldering a large part of this burden upon the Americans. Her attempts to do so and the results therefrom properly belong to the succeeding chapter.


A few facts will assist in understanding the events that follow. Slavery, as has been stated, was legal and existed in all the colonies, but climatic conditions caused it to flourish in the South and decline in the North. All the colonies were Protestant, though religious liberty was permitted everywhere.

The laws were amazingly strict and would never be submitted to in these times. To illustrate: a watchman in Hartford rang a bell every morning as notice to all adults to rise from their beds. Massachusetts had fourteen and Virginia seventeen offenses that were punishable with death. Some of the minor punishments were unique. If a woman became a common scold, she was placed near her own door, with a gag fastened in her mouth, that all might see and beware of her example. For other offenses, a man was ducked in water or put in the stocks. A stock was a strong framework, through which the feet or both feet and hands were thrust and held fast, while the pillory was a framework through which the head and hands of a criminal were imprisoned. Besides the disgrace attending such punishment, it was very trying. The whipping-post was quite common long after the Revolution, and it is still occasionally used in Delaware.


(Probably similar in form to those of the later colonial period.)

Men and boys dressed much alike, and the fashions for women and girls were similar. The breeches of the men suggested the present style of knickerbockers, the rich making quite a display of silver buckles and buttons. The breeches of the poorer people were made of coarse cloth, deerskin, or leather, the object being to obtain all the wear possible. The wealthy used velvet, and the men and women were as fond of display as their descendants.

In the earliest days, all the houses were made of logs, and oiled paper took the place of glass for windows. Carpets were an unknown luxury. Often the floor was the smooth, hard ground. The cooking was done in the big fireplace, where an iron arm called a crane was swung over the fire and sustained the pots and kettles. Coal and matches were unknown, a fire being started by means of a piece of steel and flint or with the help of a sun glass.

Coffee and tea were great luxuries, but nearly every family made its own beer. Rum and hard cider were drunk by church people as well as others, the only fault being when one drank too much. The important cities and towns were connected by stages, but most of the traveling was done on foot or horseback. Since most of the settlements were near the sea or on large rivers, long journeys were made by means of coasting sloops. When a line of stages in 1766 made the trip between New York and Philadelphia in two days, it was considered so wonderful that the vehicles were called "flying machines."

Regarding the state of religion in the colonies, Prof. George F. Holmes says:

"The state of religion among the people differed greatly in the different provinces. The Church of England was the established religion in New York, Virginia, and the Carolinas. In Maryland, the population remained largely Roman Catholic. In New England the original Puritanism was dominant, but its rigor had become much softened. A solemn and somewhat gloomy piety, however, still prevailed. The Presbyterians were numerous, influential, and earnest in New Jersey. There, but especially in Pennsylvania, were the quiet and gentle Quakers. In Carolina and Georgia, Moravians and other German Protestants were settled, and Huguenot families were frequent in Virginia and South Carolina.

"Everywhere, however, was found an intermixture of creeds, and consequently the need of toleration had been experienced. Laxity of morals and of conduct was alleged against the communities of the Anglican Church. In the middle of the eighteenth century a low tone of religious sentiment was general. The revival of fervor, which was incited then by the Wesleys, was widely spread by Whitefield in America, and Methodism was making itself felt throughout the country. The Baptists were spreading in different colonies and were acquiring influence by their earnest simplicity. They favored liberty in all forms and became warm partisans of the revolutionary movement."

bunker hill

When the third attack was made, and the Americans' ammunition was exhausted with the first volley, a desperate hand-to-hand struggle followed. General Warren was fighting heroically when a British officer recognized him, seized a musket from a private and shot him dead



Clauses of the Revolution—The Stamp Act—The Boston Tea Party—England's Unbearable Measures—The First Continental Congress—The Boston Massacre—Lexington and Concord—The Second Continental Congress—Battle of Bunker Hill—Assumption of Command by Washington—British Evacuation of Boston—Disastrous Invasion of Canada.


England was never guilty of greater folly than in the treatment of her American colonies after the close of the French and Indian War. As has been said, she was oppressed by burdensome taxation and began seeking excuse for shifting a large portion of it upon the shoulders of her prosperous subjects across the sea, who had always been ready to vote money and give their sons to help in the wars which were almost solely for the benefit of the mother country. It has been shown that the intercolonial conflicts were of no advantage to the colonies which were dragged into them and suffered greatly therefrom. Since the surrounding territory would soon be necessary for the expansion of the Americans, they had much to gain by the defeat of the French and their expulsion from America; but they had done their full share, and it was unjust to demand further sacrifices from them.


Hardly had peace been declared, when, in 1764, the British government asserted that it had the right to tax her colonies. The latter paid little attention to the declaration, but were rudely awakened in 1765 by the passage of the Stamp Act, which was to go into effect in November of that year. It decreed that thenceforward no newspapers or pamphlets could be printed, no marriage-certificate given, and no documents used in lawsuits, unless stamps were attached, and these could be bought only from British agents.

It was ordered further that the oppressive Navigation Acts, which had been evaded for a hundred years, should be rigidly enforced, while soldiers were to be sent to America to see that the orders were carried out. Since these troops were to be paid from the money received for the stamps, it will be seen that the Americans would be obliged to bear the expense of the soldiers quartered upon them.

Now we use revenue stamps to-day and no one objects, but the difference in the two cases is that we tax ourselves for our own expenses, and our representatives grade the taxes so as to suit the people. If we do not think the taxes equitable, we can elect other representatives, pledged to change them. But it must be remembered that we never had a representative in the British Parliament, whose English members did just as they pleased. That was "taxation without representation."

The news of the action of the British government threw the colonies into an angry mood and they vehemently declared their intention to resist the Stamp Act. They did not content themselves with words, but mobbed the stamp agents, compelled others to resign, and, when the date arrived for the act to go into effect, they refused to buy a single obnoxious stamp.


The Stamp Act Congress, as it was called, met in New York City, October 7, 1765. There were representatives from all the colonies except four, but they supported the others. Lacking the authority to make any laws, it issued a bold declaration of rights and sent petitions to the king and Parliament, setting forth the American grievances. The sturdy resistance of the colonies alarmed England. They had many friends in Parliament, including the illustrious Pitt, and, at the beginning of 1766, the act was repealed. The Americans were so delighted that they almost forgot that England in repealing the act still asserted her right to tax them.

Several years now followed in which the colonies quietly resisted the efforts of England to tax them. This was done by a general agreement not to buy any of the articles upon which taxes were laid. The men who did this and opposed the mother country were known as Whigs, while those who stood by England were called Tories.


But violence was sure to follow where the indignation was so intense and widespread. There were continual broils between the British soldiers and citizens, the most serious of which occurred in Boston on March 5, 1770, when the soldiers fired upon the citizens who had attacked them, killed three and wounded several. This incident, known in history as the "Boston Massacre," added to the mutual anger. In North Carolina, William Tryon, the Tory Governor, had a battle with the patriots at Alamance in 1771, killed a large number, and treated others so brutally that many fled across the mountains and helped to settle Tennessee. In 1772, a British vessel, the Gaspé, which was active in collecting duties from Providence, was captured and burned by a number of Rhode Island people. England offered a reward for the capture of the "rebels," but, though they were well known, no one would have dared, if so disposed, to arrest them.


The British Parliament was impatient with the colonies, and threatened all sorts of retaliatory measures. In 1770, Parliament took the tax off of all articles except tea, upon which it was made so light that the luxury was cheaper in America with the tax than in England without it. The Americans, however, were contending for a principle, and contemptuously rejected the offer. When the tea ships reached Charleston, the cargoes were stored in damp cellars, where they soon molded and spoiled. At New York, Philadelphia, and other points they would not allow the ships to land their cargoes, and they sailed back to England. A similar reception having been given the vessels in Boston, the British officers refused to leave the harbor. Late at night, December 16, 1773, a party of citizens, painted and disguised as Indians, boarded the ships and emptied 342 chests—all on board—into the harbor.


An immense assemblage gathered
here on the evening of Dec. 16, 1773,
and stirring addresses were made
by Josiah Quincy and Samuel Adams.
The "Boston Tea Party" followed.

The "Boston Tea Party" thrilled the colonies and exhausted the patience of England, who felt that the time for stern measures had come. Her dallying course had only encouraged the rebels, and as in the story, having tried in vain the throwing of grass, she now determined to see what virtue there was in using stones.


The measures which she passed and which were unbearable were: 1. The Boston Port Bill, which forbade all vessels to leave or enter Boston harbor. This was a death-blow to Boston commerce and was meant as a punishment of those who were leaders in the revolt against the mother country. 2. The Massachusetts Bill, which was another destructive blow at the colony, since it changed its charter by taking away the right of self-government and placing it in the hands of the agents of the king. 3. The Transportation Bill, which ordered that all soldiers charged with the crime of murder should be taken to England for trial. 4. The Quebec Act, which made the country east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio a part of Canada. These acts were to be enforced by the sending of troops to America.


The result of the passage of these harsh measures was to unite all the colonies in a determination to resist them to the last. The necessity for consultation among the leaders was so apparent that, in response to a general call, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, September 5, 1774, all the colonies being represented except Georgia, which favored the action.

This Congress adopted a declaration of rights, asserting that they alone were empowered to tax themselves, and it named a number of acts of Parliament that were a direct invasion of such rights. An address was sent to the king and to the people of Great Britain, but none to Parliament, which had deeply offended the Americans. The agreement known as the Articles of Association pledged our ancestors not to buy goods or sell them to Great Britain until the obnoxious acts were repealed by Parliament. It declared further that, if force was used against Massachusetts by England, all the other colonies would help her in resisting it. Before adjournment, a new Congress was called to meet in the following May.

The language of the First Continental Congress sounds bold, but the people themselves were bolder. Companies of armed men began drilling everywhere, and the Americans were eager for a conflict with the detested "red coats." The excitement was more intense in Massachusetts than anywhere else, and it was plain that the opening gun of the impending Revolution would be fired upon her soil. The affairs of the colony were directed by a provincial congress, which collected a quantity of guns and ammunition, and ordered the enrollment of 20,000 "minute men," who were to hold themselves ready to answer any call at a minute's notice.

General Gage was the British commander in Boston, and he was so alarmed by the aggressive acts of the Americans that he began to throw up fortifications on the neck of land connecting the town with the mainland. His alert spies notified him that the Americans had collected a quantity of military supplies which were stored at Concord, some twenty miles from Boston. Gage ordered 800 troops to march secretly to Concord and destroy them.

Guarded as were the movements of the British, the Americans were equally watchful and discovered them. Paul Revere dashed out of the town on a swift horse and spread the news throughout the country. In the gray light of the early morning, April 19, 1775, as the soldiers marched into Lexington, on the way to Concord beyond, they saw some fifty minute men gathered on the village green. Major Pitcairn ordered them to disperse, and they refusing to do so, a volley was fired. Eight Americans were killed and a large number wounded, the others fleeing before the overwhelming force. Thus was the shot fired that "was heard round the world."

patrick henry

America's greatest orator;
member of the Second
Continental Congress.

The British advanced to Concord, destroyed the stores there, and then began their return to Boston. All the church bells were ringing and the minute men were swarming around the troops from every direction. They kept up a continuous fire upon the soldiers from behind barns, houses, hedges, fences, bushes, and from the open fields. The soldiers broke into a run, but every one would have been shot down had not Gage sent reinforcements, which protected the exhausted fugitives until they reached a point where they were under the guns of the men-of-war. In this first real conflict of the war, the Americans lost 88 and the British 273 in killed, wounded, and missing. General Gage was now besieged in Boston by the ardent minute men, who in the flush of their patriotism were eager for the regulars to come out and give them a chance for a battle. Men mounted on swift horses rode at headlong speed through the colonies, spreading the stirring news, and hundreds of patriots hurried to Boston that they might take part in the war for their rights. Elsewhere, the fullest preparations were made for the struggle for independence which all felt had opened.

As agreed upon, the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, May 10, 1775. It included some of the ablest men in America, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and Peyton Randolph, of Virginia; Benjamin Franklin and Robert Morris, of Pennsylvania; John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, of Massachusetts; John Jay, of New York; and Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut. The former Congress had talked; the present acted. By general consent it was accepted as the governing body of the colonies. The forces around Boston were declared to be a Continental army, money was voted to support it, and Washington was appointed its commander.

Meanwhile, British reinforcements under Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne arrived in Boston, swelling Gage's army to 10,000 men. They occupied the town, on the peninsula which covers the middle of the harbor, while around them on the hills of the mainland was a larger force of Americans, without uniforms, poorly clothed, badly armed and undisciplined, but overflowing with patriotism.

A little to the north of Boston a second peninsula extended into the harbor. It has several elevations, one of which, Bunker Hill, the patriots determined to seize and fortify. Colonel Prescott with a thousand men set out one dark night to perform the task, but, believing Breed's Hill more desirable, since it was nearer Boston, he set his men to work upon that.

(The name "Bunker" is more euphonious than "Breed's," and the latter is now generally known by the former name. Upon it has been built the Bunker Hill Monument.)



Although close to the British sentinels, the Americans toiled through the night without discovery. When the sun rose June 17, 1775, the enemy in Boston were astonished to see a line of intrenchments extending across the hill above them, with the Americans still working like beavers. They continued without interruption until noon, when the British were seen coming across the harbor in boats. They were the regulars, finely disciplined, and numbered nearly 3,000, who, landing near Charlestown, formed in fine order and advanced with precision against the 1,500 patriots, eagerly waiting for them behind their intrenchments.

It was about the middle of the afternoon that the British columns marched to the attack, covered by a heavy fire of cannon and howitzers, Howe himself commanding the right wing. The steeples and roofs of Boston swarmed with people, breathlessly watching the thrilling sight. Charlestown had been fired and four hundred of its houses laid in ashes.

The Americans behind their breastworks were impatient to open fire, but Prescott restrained them until they could "see the whites of the eyes" of their enemies. Then in a loud, clear voice he shouted "Fire!" There was an outflame of musketry along the front of the intrenchments, and scores of troops in the first rank fell. The others hesitated a moment, and then turned and fled down the slope. There their officers formed them into line, and once more they advanced up the slope. The delay gave the Americans time to reload, and they received the troops with the same withering fire as before, sending them scurrying to the bottom of the hill, where with great difficulty the daring officers formed them into line for a third advance. The British cannon had been brought to bear, and the ships and batteries maintained a furious cannonade. The patriots were compelled to withdraw from the breastwork outside the fort, and the redoubt was attacked at the same moment from three sides. The spectators were confident of seeing the invaders hurled back again, but saw to their dismay a slackening of the fire of the Americans, while the troops, rushing over the intrenchments, fought with clubbed muskets.

At the very moment victory was within the grasp of the patriots, their recklessly fired ammunition gave out, and they began sullenly retreating, fighting with clubbed weapons. As it was, their retreat would have been cut off, had not a company of provincials checked the British until the main body of Americans had fallen back. The battle of Bunker Hill was over and ended with the defeat of the patriots, who had lost 150 killed, 270 wounded, and 80 taken prisoners. General Gage gave his loss as 224 killed and 830 wounded. Among the killed was Major Pitcairn, the leader of the English troops who fired upon the minute men at Lexington. The American Colonel Prescott had his clothing torn to shreds by bayonet thrusts, but was not hurt. A British officer, recognizing the brilliant Warren, snatched a musket from the hands of a soldier and shot him dead.

Prescott and Putnam conducted the retreat by way of Charlestown Neck to Prospect Hill, where new intrenchments commanding Boston were thrown up. The British fortified the crest of Breed's Hill. General Gage, in reporting the affair to his government, used the following impressive language:

"The success, which was very necessary in our present condition, cost us dear. The number of killed and wounded is greater than our forces can afford to lose. We have lost some extremely good officers. The trials we have had show the rebels are not the despicable rabble too many have supposed them to be, and I find it owing to a military spirit encouraged among them for a few years past, joined with uncommon zeal and enthusiasm. They intrench and raise batteries; they have engineers. They have fortified all the heights and passes around the town, which it is not impossible for them to occupy. The conquest of this country is not easy; you have to cope with vast numbers. In all their wars against the French, they never showed so much conduct, attention, and perseverance as they do now. I think it my duty to let you know the situation of affairs."



General Washington, accompanied by his aide, Mifflin, Joseph Reed, his military secretary, and General Lee, arrived at Cambridge, July 2, 1775. He was joyfully welcomed, and he and his companions remained for a few days the guests of President Langdon of Harvard College. On the 3th of July, Washington's commission was read to a part of the army and to the provincial congress of Massachusetts, and he assumed command of the Continental forces.

A prodigious task confronted him. The undisciplined and wretchedly clad swarm came and went as they chose, none having enlisted for more than a brief term. About 2,000 were sick or absent on furlough, out of a total of 16,771 soldiers. Several thousand more were needed to resist the attack that it was believed the enemy would soon make. But the British had received so severe treatment that it required weeks for them to recover, and the summer became oppressively hot. England recalled Gage, who sailed for home in October, and was succeeded by Howe. Washington closely besieged the enemy in Boston. Throwing up intrenchments, he steadily approached the city, and day by day and week by week the situation of Howe became more critical. When winter arrived, Washington formed the plan of crossing Charles River on the ice, but at a council of war the majority of officers declared the scheme too hazardous.

Washington now decided to fortify and occupy Dorchester Heights, which would command the city and in a large degree the harbor. General Knox brought a number of cannon from Ticonderoga, that were dragged over the Green Mountains on sleds. Their arrival did much to cheer the spirits of the patriots, who numbered about 14,000. The commander called upon Massachusetts to furnish him with 6,000 militia, which was partly done.

With a view of concealing his real purpose, Washington kept up a bombardment of the British lines throughout the nights of March 2, 3, and 4, 1776. On the night last named, General Thomas moved with 1,200 men from Roxbury and took possession undetected of the higher hill which commanded Nook's Hill, nearer the city. General Howe was amazed the next morning when he saw what had been done, for his position had become untenable. Preparations were made to embark men in boats and attack the Americans, but a violent storm prevented. Then it was agreed that but one thing could be done, and that was to evacuate Boston.

faneuil hall


The evacuation took place March 17th. The British destroyed a great deal of property, but left many supplies behind which fell into the hands of the Americans. Washington entered the city on the 19th, the main body of troops following the next day. The street through which he rode still bears his name. The Massachusetts Legislature voted their thanks to the great man, and Congress ordered a commemorative medal in gold and bronze to be struck. This medal is now in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

When Howe sailed away, he took with him more than a thousand Tories, who dared not remain behind and meet their indignant countrymen. Instead of going to New York, as he originally intended, the British commander went to Halifax, where he waited for reinforcements and gave his thoughts to forming campaigns for the conquest of the colonies.


While the siege of Boston was in progress, the Americans fixed upon a plan for the invasion of Canada. The mistake, which has been repeated more than once, was in believing that the Canadians, if given the opportunity, would make common cause against Great Britain. General Philip Schuyler was placed in command of the expedition, but fell ill, and Richard Montgomery, the second in command, took charge. He was a valiant Irishman, who had done brilliant service in the British army, and was full of ardor for the American cause.

In several unimportant skirmishes, his men were so insubordinate and cowardly that he was disgusted, and expressed his regret that he had ever taken command of such a lot of troops. Nevertheless, he pressed on from Ticonderoga, while Schuyler at Albany used every effort to forward him supplies. St. John was invested, and the impetuous Ethan Allen, one of his officers, hastened to Chambly to raise a force of Canadians. He recruited nearly a hundred, and, being joined by a few Americans, set out to capture Montreal. The promised reinforcements did not reach him, and, being attacked by a powerful force, he made the best defense he could, but was finally compelled to surrender, with all of his men who had not escaped. Allen was sent to England, where he was held a prisoner for a long time.

The British fort at Chambly was besieged, and surrendered October 18th. With its capture, the Americans secured six tons of powder and seventeen cannon. The fort of St. John was captured November 3d. By that time, Carleton, the British commander, was so alarmed that he abandoned Montreal, which surrendered on the 20th. Taking possession, Montgomery issued a proclamation, urging the Canadians to unite with the colonies in the war for independence, and to elect representatives to the Continental Congress.

Benedict Arnold, at the head of eleven hundred men, had withdrawn from the camp before Boston, September 13th, and was pressing forward to join Montgomery. His course was up the Kennebec, through the gloomy wilderness to the Chaudière, down which he passed to Point Levi. The journey was of the most trying nature. The weather became bitterly cold, and the stream was too swift at times for them to make headway against it, except by wading the chilly current and slowly dragging the boats against it. At other places, even this was impossible, and the heavy boats had to be laboriously carried around the falls and rapids.

Finally the time came to leave the river and plunge into the snowy forests, where all would have been lost, had not a small party, sent in advance, "blazed" the trees. There was plenty of ice in the swamps, but none was strong enough to bear their weight, and they sank through to their knees in the half-frozen ooze. Toiling doggedly forward, a month passed before they reached Duck River, by which time they were in a starving condition. Their provisions gave out, and they ate dogs and candles. Some, in their extremity, chewed boiled moccasins for the infinitesimal nourishment to be extracted from them. Roots and the bark of saplings were devoured, and the wonderful courage of Arnold was all that prevented the men from throwing themselves on the ground and giving up. So many fell ill and died that Colonel Enos, in command of the rear division, turned about with his men and returned to Cambridge.

Nothing, however, could shake the dauntless courage of Arnold. He pushed on, and, obtaining a few cattle, was able to give his men temporary relief. Winter was closing in, the weather was growing colder every day, many men were barefoot, and without any protection against the icy rain except the branches of the leafless trees. The wonder is that the whole band did not perish.

Finally on the 4th of November, the famishing band caught sight of the first house they had seen in weeks. Traveling now became better, and about a week later they reached Point Levi, opposite Quebec. There they had to wait several days to procure canoes, with which the seven hundred men, resembling so many shivering tramps, crossed the St. Lawrence and huddled together under the Heights of Abraham.

What earthly hope could such a body of men, without cannon, with injured muskets and powder, and cartridges partly spoiled, have in attacking the walled town of Quebec? None, unless the Canadians made common cause with them. Following the steep path up which Wolfe and his brave men had climbed seventeen years before, the gaunt Americans struggled after their intrepid leader.

The next act in the grim comedy was to send forward a flag of truce with a demand for the surrender of Quebec. General Carleton must have smiled at the grotesqueness of the proceeding, when he sent back a refusal. A few shots followed, when Arnold, finding he had not half a dozen rounds of ammunition apiece for his men, and was in danger of being attacked himself, retreated to a point twenty miles below Quebec, where Montgomery joined him on the 1st of December and assumed command.

The Americans now numbered 3,000, and had six field-pieces and five light mortars. They set out for Quebec, in front of which they encamped four days later.

Of all the series of disastrous invasions of Canada, none was more dismal and pathetic than that of Montgomery and Arnold. The winter was unusually severe for a region which is noted for its intensely cold weather. The ground froze to the hardness of a rock, and, unable to make any impression in it with shovel and pick, the besiegers threw up walls of ice, which the cannon of the defenders sent flying into thousands of fragments. The men grew mutinous, and, realizing the desperate situation, Montgomery ordered an assault to be made on the last day of the year.

The plan was for the first division under Montgomery to move down the river and attack the lower town near the citadel, while the second division under Arnold was to pass around the city to the north, assault by way of the St. Charles, and unite with Montgomery in his attack upon the Prescott gate. The other two divisions were to remain in the rear of the upper town and divert the garrison by feint attacks.

A blinding snowstorm was raging and the men could hardly distinguish one another. Success depended upon surprise, but the defenders had learned of the intended attack, and Montgomery had hardly started when the battery delivered a fire which instantly killed him and both his aides. Their deaths threw his men into a panic, and they fled in such haste that they escaped the fate of their leaders.

Meanwhile, Arnold had moved, as agreed upon, with his division along the St. Charles, the men bending their heads to the icy blast and protecting their muskets under their coats. As soon as the garrison caught sight of the dim figures they opened fire, but the Americans pressed on and carried the first barricade. Arnold, however, received a severe wound in the leg, and, suffering great pain, was carried to the rear. Daniel Morgan, one of the bravest officers of the Revolution, succeeded to the command, and, with his riflemen at his heels, was the first to climb the ladders placed against the barricade. Two musket-balls grazed the leader's face, which was scorched by the flash, and he was knocked down; but he instantly sprang to his feet and called upon his men to follow him. They did so with such dash that the enemy took refuge in the houses on both sides of the street.

But for the disaster that had overtaken Montgomery, Quebec probably would have been captured, but Morgan's command was in darkness, the driving snow interfered with firing, and they knew nothing of the town. Only a few of the troops found the next barricade, and, when they climbed the ladders, were confronted by leveled muskets whose fire was very destructive. Not only that, but the British, who had taken refuge in the houses in the streets, kept up their firing.



The Americans fought for a long time with the greatest heroism, but after the loss of sixty, the remainder, with the exception of a few that had fled, were obliged to surrender. The fragments of the helpless army fell again under the command of the wounded Arnold, who, despite the hopelessness of the attempt, still pressed the siege of Quebec. He had sent an urgent message to Schuyler for reinforcements. They straggled through the wintry forests to his aid, some 3,000 arriving in the course of the winter. Carleton, who was too wise to venture out on the plain as Montcalm had done, felt secure behind the walls, and gave little heed to the ragged swarm huddled together in front of the town.

General Wooster brought fresh troops in March and assumed command. He lacked military skill, and two months later was succeeded by General Thomas. The latter saw that he had no more than a thousand effective troops under his control, and decided to withdraw the ill-starred expedition. Carleton, who had received large reinforcements, attacked him on his retreat and captured a hundred prisoners and nearly all the stores. The sufferings of the Americans were now aggravated by smallpox, which broke out among them and caused many deaths, General Thomas being one of the victims. General Sullivan succeeded him in command. He lost a number of prisoners and retreated to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, thus bringing the disastrous expedition to a close in the month of June, 1776.

It is proper that tribute should be given to the humanity of Carleton, the British commander. He caused search to be made in the snow for the body of Montgomery, and, when it was found, it was brought into the city and buried with the honors of war. Other parties scoured the woods for the suffering Americans, who were placed in the hospital and received tender care. Those who voluntarily came in were allowed to go as soon as they were strong enough to travel, and to the needy ones Carleton furnished money. A half-century later the remains of Montgomery were brought to New York and deposited beneath the monument in St. Paul's churchyard.




Declaration of Independence—The American Flag—Battle of Long Island—Washington's Retreat Through the Jerseys—Trenton and Princeton—In Winter Quarters—Lafayette—Brandywine and Germantown—At Valley Forge—Burgoyne's Campaign—Fort Schuyler and Bennington—Bemis Heights and Stillwater—The Conway Cabal—Aid from France—Battle of Monmouth—Molly Pitcher—Failure of French Aid—Massacre at Wyoming—Continental Money—Stony Point—Treason of Arnold—Paul Jones' Great Victory.


The Revolution, beginning in New England, gradually moved southward. After the first few conflicts it passed into the Middle States, which for nearly three years became the theatre of the war. Then it shifted to the South, which witnessed its triumphant close.

It has been shown that, despite this change of scene, the colonies were ardently united from the beginning in the struggle for independence. It should be remembered, however, that, for a considerable time after the beginning of actual fighting, the Americans were not struggling so much to gain their liberty as to compel England to do them justice. But for the stubbornness of George III., who at times was insane, the reasonable prayers of the patriots would have been granted, and our ancestors would have been retained as subjects of the crown.

But the most far-seeing of Americans comprehended the inevitable end, which must be subjection to tyranny or independence. The trend of events so clearly indicated this that steps were taken looking toward the utter and final separation of the colonies from the mother country.

Congress was still in session in Philadelphia, and early in June the question of declaring American independence was brought forward by Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, who introduced a resolution, seconded by John Adams, of Massachusetts, declaring the colonies free and independent States. The matter was of so momentous importance that it was debated long and earnestly by the able members, but since there was no doubt that definite action would soon take place, a committee was appointed to draw up the Declaration of Independence. The members were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and R.R. Livingston. The immortal document was the work of Thomas Jefferson, the assistance of the other members being so slight that it is not worth mention.

independence hall

(Washington's statue in front.)

The debate over the Declaration, after it was read to Congress, was earnest, and considerable difference of opinion developed, but on the 4th of July it was adopted and signed by every member present, excepting one, while the absent delegates afterward attached their signatures. Thornton, the member from New Hampshire, signed it precisely four months after its adoption. John Hancock, being President of the Congress, placed his name first in his large, bold hand, and it appropriately stands by itself.

As soon as the Declaration was adopted, it was ordered that copies of it should be sent to the various assemblies, conventions, and committees or councils of safety, to the commanding officers of the Continental troops, and that it should be proclaimed in each of the United States and at the head of the army.

It was received everywhere with delight. Bells were rung, bonfires kindled, and eloquent addresses made. The old Liberty Bell, still carefully preserved in Independence Hall, sent out its note over the city and across the Delaware. How appropriate is the inscription on the bell, cast many years before anyone dreamed of the American Revolution: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."


liberty bell


Now that the nation was born, it required a flag under which to fight for its independence. Various patterns had been used. The one first raised over the American troops at Boston contained thirteen stripes, as at present, but, in place of white stars in a blue field, it displayed a union of the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George. Numerous designs were submitted to Congress, but the first recognized Continental standard was that raised by Washington, January 2, 1776. By resolution of Congress, June 14, 1777, this was replaced by the pattern as it is to-day, excepting in the number of stars. The rule is that whenever a new State is admitted to the Union its representative star shall appear in the blue field of the banner on the 4th of July following its admission.

Despite the enthusiasm with which the Declaration of Independence was received everywhere, the affairs of the States (as they must now be called) were by no means encouraging. Montgomery and Arnold were engaged upon their disastrous invasion of Canada, and the city of New York was in grave peril from the enemy. Moreover, England was not to be frightened by the Declaration of Independence. The angered king and Parliament put forth more strenuous efforts than before to conquer their rebellious subjects.


When Washington entered Boston after the British evacuation, he immediately sent six of his best regiments to New York, which he was convinced would soon be attacked. General Charles Lee had been placed in command there and Washington intended to follow. The people in New York were alive to their danger and Lee did his utmost to strengthen the defenses. An intrenched camp was laid out on Columbia Heights, on the Brooklyn side, to guard the town against an attack from the sea, and another intrenched camp was erected on the New York side, between Fulton and Wall Streets. This was named Fort Stirling and was an important position, since it permitted the batteries to sweep the channel, or, in case of the occupation of the city by an enemy, they could be bombarded. A fort was built opposite Hell Gate to defend an approach by way of the Sound, while works were placed below Canal Street to cover the river. There were no fortifications, however, on the Jersey shore.

Lee ruled with a high hand in New York, showing no consideration to the Tories and making himself highly popular with the revolutionary party. Having been placed in command of the southern department, he left New York, and Lord Stirling (an American who inherited his title) succeeded him. He put forth every effort to make the city impregnable, following the advice and orders of Washington, who knew the necessity of such rigorous measures.


The British plan of campaign was to capture the city of New York, overrun the State, push the war in the South, and invade the Northern States from Canada. The South Carolinans, as soon as they heard the news of Lexington, began fortifying the harbor of Charleston. These included the barricading of the streets, in case of the capture of the harbor defenses. General Lee, as soon as he arrived, inspected the defenses and gave it as his opinion that they were not strong enough to resist the British fleet and the forts would be knocked into ruins.

"Then," said Colonel Moultrie, "we'll fight behind the ruins."

"You have no means of retreat."

"Since we shall not retreat, no means are needed."

Lee, although still apprehensive, yielded to the bravery of the defenders and agreed to do his utmost to assist them in their defense.

On the 17th of June, 2,500 British troops landed with the intention of wading across to Sullivan's Island, but found the supposed ford too deep. Delays followed, and on the 28th the fleet under Admiral Parker opened the attack on the fort. The palmetto logs of which it was composed were the best possible material, since they were too spongy to be shattered, and seemed to absorb the ponderous balls hurled against them. The return fire of the garrison wrought great havoc among the vessels, and the battle raged fiercely for hours.

When everything was obscured by the blinding smoke, the flag staff of the fort was cut away by a cannon ball. It had scarcely fallen, when Sergeant William Jasper sprang through one of the embrasures, caught up the flag, climbed the wall amid a frightful fire, waved it defiantly at the enemy, fastened it to a pike, fixed it in place, and then coolly leaped down among his comrades.


(Presented to the United States by Bartholdi.)

That night Admiral Parker withdrew his fleet, having lost more than two hundred in killed and wounded, while of the Americans only ten had been killed and twenty-nine wounded. The triumph of the patriots was absolute, and General Lee in a letter to Washington wrote that he was enraptured by the coolness and bravery of the defenders. In honor of the gallant conduct of Colonel Moultrie, the fort was given his name, and the whole country was inspired by what was certainly one of the most remarkable achievements of the Revolution.


The progress of the war, however, was less satisfactory in the North. On the same day that the British attacked Fort Moultrie, a part of the fleet from Nova Scotia appeared off Sandy Hook, with the purpose of attacking the city. Before Lee left for the South, he expressed the opinion that no fleet could capture it, but Washington, after arriving and inspecting the defenses, failed to share his confidence, and strengthened the works in every way possible.

Believing Governor's Island a place of strategic importance, General Putnam had seized it before the arrival of Washington, and threw up a number of breastworks, occupying also Red Hook on Long Island. Then Paulus Hook (now Jersey City) was fortified and hulks were sunk in the channel between Governor's Island and the Battery. The erection of Fort Lee, up the Hudson, was begun during the summer, on the Palisades, while Fort Washington was built on the New York side. By the time the fleet arrived, about a hundred cannon and mortars were ready for service.


Governor Tryon, formerly of North Carolina, was now Governor of New York and a bitter Tory. There were thousands who thought like him, and they welcomed General Howe, whose intention was to land on Long Island, but the strong defenses of the Americans caused him to disembark his troops on Staten Island. Admiral Howe, brother of the general, arrived soon after, and, in August, the Hessians swelled the British force to 32,000 men. The Hessians were natives of Hesse-Cassel, Germany, and were hired by England. De Heister, their commander, was a veteran of many campaigns, and they formed fully one-fourth of the enemy's forces. Compared with this formidable array, the Americans presented a pitiful plight. They were scarcely one-half as numerous, were poorly armed and disciplined, most of them without uniforms, while many were lacking in courage, as their commander was to learn to his cost.

General Howe's first move was to send two ships and three tenders up the Hudson, aiming to cut off Washington's communication with the country and Canada. At the same time, he wished to take soundings of the river and encourage the Tories, who were more plentiful than would be supposed. Several weeks were spent in this work, during which one of the tenders was burned by the Americans.




In the latter part of August, the British troops were moved from Staten Island to Gravesend Bay on Long Island, and it was evident that Howe, instead of bombarding New York, meant to advance upon it from across Long Island. In anticipation of this movement, Washington had stationed General Greene's division at Brooklyn. Unfortunately that admirable officer was ill, and General Sullivan took his place. He boastingly declared that no force of the British could carry his fortification, and, indeed, was so foolishly confident, that Washington superseded him with Israel Putnam, who was no better, for he left the pass on the British right unguarded. Quick to discover the oversight, the enemy took advantage of it, and in the battle of Long Island, fought August 27th, the Americans suffered disastrous defeat. Sullivan was caught between two fires, and, fighting with the energy of desperation, most of his men cut their way through the English line and reached Brooklyn. Lord Stirling's division was surprised in the same manner and few escaped the enemy. By noon the victory of the British was complete.

Washington with deep anguish witnessed the overwhelming disaster. He hurriedly crossed to Brooklyn and sent forward every man that could be spared, but nothing availed to check the panic of the rest of the forces, who were chased to the foot of the lines in Brooklyn. Howe was so confident of bagging the whole lot that, in order to save loss of life, he resorted to regular approaches.

The situation of the Americans could not have been more critical, for, when the British fleet passed up the river, their supplies would be cut off. Three hundred patriots had been killed and wounded, and among the prisoners were Lord Stirling and General Sullivan. The Americans in Brooklyn numbered 10,000, while the enemy were twice as numerous.

When it looked as if all hope was gone, the elements came to the relief of the sorely beset patriots. A violent head-wind held back the ships, and a tremendous downpour of rain on the 28th and 29th suspended operations. It was so clear that the only course open was to evacuate Brooklyn, that the work was begun and pressed incessantly for thirteen hours, the rain and fog hiding the movement from Howe. Too weak to hold the city against him, there was nothing left to do but to retreat, future movements being guided by events.


Four ships ascended the river, September 13th, and anchored a mile above the city. Others followed. The movement, however, was a feint, intended to cover General Howe's attack by land. Before the latter, the Americans made such a cowardly flight that Washington and other officers were filled with irrestrainable rage, struck many with the flat of their swords, and threatened to run them through. But nothing could check the panic, until they joined the main body at Harlem. In this manner, the city of New York fell into the hands of the British, who captured 300 prisoners, a number of cannon, and a large quantity of stores. The American army pulled itself together on Harlem Heights, while the enemy encamped in front, their right resting on the East River and their left on the Hudson, with both flanks supported by armed ships.


While General Howe occupied New York, one of the most pathetic incidents of the Revolution occurred. It was of the highest importance that Washington should gain information of the intentions and the strength of the enemy. In order to do so, Captain Nathan Hale, of Connecticut, voluntarily entered the British lines disguised as a spy. He did his work with shrewdness and skill, but on his return, and when about to re-enter the American lines, he was recognized and captured. When accused, he admitted his identity and business, and without trial was condemned to death. He was brutally treated by the provost-marshal, who refused him a light to read his Bible, and destroyed the letters he wrote to his mother. He was hanged the morning after his capture, his last words being: "My only regret is that I have but one life to give to my country."

The months passed without any important movement on either side. Howe made careful preparations and Washington closely watched him. The Continental army was divided into four divisions, commanded respectively by Generals Heath, Sullivan, Lincoln, and Lee (who had lately returned from the South). At a council of war it was decided that Harlem Heights could not be held against the enemy, but at the urgent request of General Greene, a strong garrison was left in Fort Washington. It numbered 3,000, and was under the command of Colonel Robert Magaw of Philadelphia.


In accordance with the plan agreed upon, Washington fell slowly back and was attacked at White Plains. He inflicted severe loss on the enemy, but continued to retreat, whereupon Howe turned back and assailed Fort Washington with such an overwhelming force that Colonel Magaw surrendered.

Washington's fear now was that the British would press a campaign against Philadelphia, the capital. Accordingly, he crossed to New Jersey, and, with General Greene, took position at Fort Lee. The enemy threatened it with such a large force that it was abandoned and he began his retreat through New Jersey, with Cornwallis, the ablest of the British generals, in close pursuit. The two armies were frequently so near each other that they exchanged shots.


The "dark days" of the Revolution had come. Winter was at hand, and hundreds of the ragged Continentals, as they tramped over the frozen roads, left the bloody prints of their bare feet on the ground. Many lost heart, and the desertions were so numerous that it looked as if the whole army would crumble to pieces.

The remark has often been made of Washington that he never won a battle, but the wonder is that he did so well with the miserable force under his command. His greatness, however, rests upon a much broader foundation. He, far more than any other man, saw the end from the beginning, and embodied within himself the spirit of the struggle for American independence. He was the Revolution. Had he been killed, the struggle would have stopped, for no one could have been his successor. Subjected to trials whose exasperating nature it is impossible for us to comprehend, he never lost heart. He pressed forward with sublime faith that no disaster, defeat, or misfortune could weaken. Moreover, let it not be forgotten that he fought from the opening to the close of the struggle without accepting a cent in the way of payment.

When Washington reached the little town of Trenton, he was joined by Stirling, the junction raising the force to 5,000 men. General Lee, disobeying orders, marched so tardily that he was captured at Basking Ridge, N.J., by a company of British horse. Investigations that have since been made leave no doubt that Lee purposely allowed himself to be taken, and that while in the enemy's hands he offered to do all he could in the way of betrayal of his country. Washington crossed the Delaware into Pennsylvania, just as Cornwallis entered the upper end of the town.

The great man, knowing the universal depression, saw that a blow must be struck to raise the drooping spirits of his countrymen. Otherwise the struggle would collapse from sheer despair. As for the enemy, they gave scarcely a thought to the shivering ragamuffins on the other side of the river. The Hessian commander, Colonel Rall, had occupied the town with his men, and they prepared to enjoy life to the full. Rall drank toddy, smoked, and played cards, while the wintry winds roared outside. Perhaps a feeling akin to pity moved him when he thought of the starving, freezing Continentals who were foolish enough to rebel against the rule of the great and good King George III.


Washington determined to attack the Hessians in Trenton. He divided his army into three divisions, sending one to Bristol, opposite Burlington, another remained opposite Trenton, while he himself marched several miles up stream to a point since known as Washington's Crossing.

The movements down the river were to be directed against the enemy's detachments at Bordentown, Burlington, and Mount Holly, but the stream was so choked with masses of floating ice that neither division was able to force its way over. Washington, with 2,500 of the best officers and men in the army, crossed the stream in the face of a driving storm of snow and sleet, and, reaching the village of Birmingham, several miles inland, divided his force. Sullivan took the road which runs close to and parallel with the river, while Washington, with Greene, followed the Scotch road. The latter joins the upper part of the town, while the river road enters the lower end. The plan was for the two divisions to strike Trenton at the same time and attack the Hessians in front and rear. It was hardly light on the morning succeeding Christmas, 1776, when Washington drove in the sentinels and advanced rapidly in the direction of Sullivan, the report of whose guns showed that he had arrived on time and was vigorously pressing matters.



The rattle of musketry and the boom of cannon roused the startled Hessians, who made the best defense possible. Colonel Rall leaped from his bed, and, hastily donning his clothes, strove to collect and form his men. While doing so he was mortally wounded. The moment quickly came when his situation was hopeless. Supported on either side by a sergeant, Rall walked painfully forward to where Washington was seated on his horse, and, handing his sword to him, asked that mercy should be shown his men. Washington assured him his request was unnecessary. Rall was carried to a building, where, as he lay on the bed, he was visited by Washington, who expressed his sympathy for his sufferings, which soon were terminated by death.

The battle of Trenton, as it is known in history, was remarkable in more than one respect. The Americans captured 950 prisoners, six guns, a large number of small arms, killed twenty and wounded nearly a hundred of the enemy. Of the Americans, four were wounded and two killed, and it is probable that these deaths were due to the extreme cold rather than the aim of the Hessians, whose work is very suggestive of that of the Spaniards in the late war.

The moral effect of the victory, however, was almost beyond estimate. The threatening clouds that had so long darkened the land were scattered, and the glorious sun of hope burst through and cheered all. The triumph may be summed up in the expression that it marked the "turning of the tide." Reverses were yet waiting for the Americans, but the war for independence was steadily to advance to its triumphant conclusion.


The situation of Washington at Trenton, however, was critical. Cornwallis with his powerful force was at Princeton, ten miles distant, and was sure to advance against him as soon as he learned of the reverse at Trenton. Washington, therefore, recrossed the Delaware on the same day of the victory, with his prisoners and captured war material. One result was that the British, as soon as they learned what had taken place, abandoned South Jersey.

Washington remained three days in Pennsylvania, when he again crossed the Delaware and re-entered Trenton. More than 3,000 reinforcements joined him, and 1,400 New England soldiers, whose terms of enlistment were expiring, were so inspired by the victory that they volunteered for six weeks longer. Robert Morris, to whom we have referred as the financier of the Revolution, raised $50,000 in specie and sent it to Washington to be used in paying the troops, who very sorely needed it.

As soon as Cornwallis was told by his scouts that Washington had returned to Trenton, he advanced against him with a force of 7,000 men, determined to wipe out the disgrace of a few days before. This was on the 2d of January, 1777. Greene held the British commander in check until the close of the day, when he was able to drive the Americans to the eastern shore of the Assunpink Creek, which runs through the middle of the town and was spanned by a wooden bridge. There was brisk fighting at this bridge, but the cannon of Washington were so effective that the British troops gave up the attempt to force a passage until the morning of the following day.


The two armies encamped in sight of each other on opposite banks of the Assunpink, their camp-fires and sentinels in plain sight. The situation of the American army could not have been more critical. Behind it was the Delaware filled with floating ice and in front the superior army of Cornwallis, confident of capturing Washington and his forces on the morrow.

But when the raw wintry morning dawned, Cornwallis was astounded to hear the booming of cannon in the direction of Princeton, ten miles behind him. Washington had withdrawn his entire force, and, reaching the college town by a roundabout course, was driving the British troops before him. The chagrined and angered Cornwallis hurried to Princeton in order to avert the threatened disaster.


give them watts

The spirit shown by our sturdy patriots is well
illustrated by the story of the minister,
who, when in one battle there was a lack of
wadding, brought out an armful of hymn books
and exclaimed: "Give them Watts, boys!"

But Washington had already won a victory, scattering the British forces right and left. Although he lost a number of brave officers and men, he killed sixty of the enemy and captured 250 prisoners. When Cornwallis arrived the Americans were gone, and the British troops hurried to Brunswick (now New Brunswick) to protect the stores there. Washington withdrew to Morristown, where he went into winter quarters and remained until May, much of the time being devoted to making forays upon the enemy, who now and then retaliated in kind.

Washington left Morristown on the 28th of May, aware that Howe intended to make a campaign against Philadelphia. There was considerable manœuvring by the two armies, Howe trying to flank Washington, who was too alert to be entrapped, and no material advantage was gained by either side.

About this time a number of foreign officers joined the American army. The most distinguished was the Marquis de Lafayette, who served without pay and won the gratitude of the whole country because of his devotion to the cause of American independence and his intimate friendship with Washington.

Meanwhile, being driven out of New Jersey, the British pushed their campaign against Philadelphia by way of the Chesapeake. In August, 1777, Sir William Howe sailed from New York with 16,000 troops, and, on the 24th, reached the head of Elk River in Maryland. At Brandywine, on the 11th of September, the American army was defeated with severe loss, Lafayette being among the wounded. Washington entered Philadelphia the next day, and, crossing the Schuylkill, posted his troops on the eastern bank of the river, with detachments at the ferries where it was thought the enemy were likely to attempt to cross. General Wayne concealed himself and 1,500 men in the woods, intending to attack the British in the rear, but a Tory betrayed his presence to the enemy, who in a furious assault slew 300 of his men. This disaster is known in history as the Paoli Massacre.


Howe, having gained control of the Schuylkill, crossed with his army, and, advancing to Germantown, took possession of Philadelphia on the 27th of September. The main body remained in Germantown, while the American army, now reinforced to 11,000, were on the eastern side of the Schuylkill, eighteen miles distant. Howe was engaged in reducing the forts on the Delaware to open a passage for his fleet, when Washington advanced against the force at Germantown, hoping to surprise it. He would have succeeded, but for several obstacles wholly unexpected. The stone building known as the "Chew House" offered a stubborn resistance and defied the cannon fired against it. The delay caused by the attempt to reduce it gave the enemy time to rally. Besides, the dense fog disorganized the attack, and more than once bodies of Americans fired into one another. On the verge of victory, a retreat was ordered and the Americans fell back, after having suffered a loss of 1,200 men. Congress on the approach of the enemy fled to the little town of York, Pennsylvania.


While the British were holding high revel in Philadelphia, the Continentals shivered and starved at Valley Forge, twenty miles away. Thousands of the men were without shoes and stockings. In each log hut were twelve privates, who had scarcely any bedding, and who kept from freezing at night by the mutual warmth of their bodies. The farmers of the neighborhood were so unpatriotic that Washington was often compelled to take straw and grain from them by force, giving in return an order upon the government for the property thus used. It is said that Isaac Potts, a Quaker at whose house Washington made his headquarters, was passing through the woods one day, when he heard the voice of some one in prayer. Peering among the trees he saw Washington on his knees, beseeching the help of heaven in the struggle for liberty. When Potts returned to his home and related the incident to his wife, he added that he could no longer doubt the success of the Americans, since he had heard Washington praying for it.

valley forge


It has been shown that one of the most important campaigns planned by the British was that of invading New York from Canada. If successful, New England would be cut off from the other States and forced to submit. Formidable preparations were made for this movement. An army of more than 7,000 British and Hessian troops, in addition to a corps of artillery, was placed under the command of General Burgoyne, who was accompanied by several members of Parliament, who had crossed the ocean for the pleasure of witnessing the overthrow of the rebellious Americans. The route was from Canada by way of Lake Champlain to Albany, where the army was to be joined by a strong force to be sent up the Hudson from New York. Clinton failed to carry out his part, because of the delay in sending to him from London a detailed account of the intended plan of campaign.


At Crown Point, Burgoyne was joined by a number of Indian allies, a proceeding which greatly incensed the patriots. It was arranged that another body of British troops under Colonel St. Leger, including Indians and Tories, were to ascend the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, and advance across the State by way of the Mohawk to Albany. Carrying out this programme, St. Leger invested Fort Schuyler at the head of the Mohawk, with a force of 1,800 men. While General Herkimer was hurrying with some militia to the relief of the garrison, he was ambuscaded by a detachment of British and Indians and killed, but an advance from the fort drove off his assailants. St. Leger persisted in his siege of the fort, and Benedict Arnold marched with a brigade to attack him. His force, however, was so weak that he saw the folly of assault, and had recourse to an ingenious and successful stratagem. He sent an underwitted boy, who had been arrested as a Tory, into the British camp with the story that the reinforcements just arrived for the Americans numbered several thousand, the fable being confirmed shortly after by an Indian scout. St. Leger was so frightened that he fled to Canada, leaving his tents and most of his military stores.

The Americans abandoned Fort Ticonderoga before the advance of Burgoyne, who reached Fort Edward, while General Schuyler crossed the Hudson and assumed position at Saratoga. Burgoyne crossed the river on the 13th and 14th of September, and General Gates, lately appointed to the command of the northern department, advanced toward the enemy and encamped a few miles north of Stillwater. On the night of the 17th, the two armies were within four miles of each other, and, two days later, Burgoyne attacked Gates. The loss on each side was severe, but the result was indecisive.

A danger of another character threatened the invading army. Provisions and supplies were running out, and it was impossible to obtain more. No help arrived from Clinton, the desertions were numerous, and, realizing his desperate situation, Burgoyne determined to drive the Americans from their position on the left and then retreat to Canada. He made a determined attempt, but was defeated with the loss of several hundred men, including a number of his best officers, nine pieces of artillery, and the encampment and equipage of a Hessian brigade.


General Gates now disposed his forces so as almost completely to surround Burgoyne, who called a council of war, at which it was agreed that nothing was left for them but to capitulate. Accordingly, October 17, 1777, he surrendered his army to General Gates. This consisted of 5,763 officers and men, including the disappointed members of Parliament. All the Indians having fled, none was left of them to surrender. The spoils of war included a fine train of artillery of forty-two pieces, 5,000 muskets, and a vast quantity of ammunition and stores. The prisoners were treated with great kindness, their captors sharing their food with them.

The news of the loss of one of her most important armies caused dismay in England and unbounded rejoicing in America. It was the climax of the triumph at Trenton, and renewed hope thrilled the country from New England to Georgia.


Congress awarded a gold medal to Gates for his capture of Burgoyne, and he was placed at the head of the new board of war. He was puffed up over his victory, for which most of the credit was due to Schuyler and Arnold. Finding congenial spirits in General Mifflin and an Irishman named Conway, both members of the board, including also General Charles Lee, who had been exchanged, a plot was formed for displacing Washington and putting Gates in supreme command of military affairs. The "Conway Cabal" utterly failed, for there were precious few in the country who did not appreciate the lofty character of Washington, and none except the plotters felt sympathy with any attempt to dim the lustre of the name that will always be among the brightest in history.


One of the immeasurable advantages that followed the capture of Burgoyne was our alliance with France. That country sympathized with us from the first, though her traditional hatred of England had much to do with the sentiment, but hitherto her assistance had been secret. She wished a good pretext for coming out openly, and this was furnished by the capture of Burgoyne. Franklin was in France as our representative, and his quaint wit and homely wisdom made him very popular at the gay court. He urged the claims of the United States so forcibly that the king yielded, and concluded a treaty, February 6, 1778, by which the independence of the United States was acknowledged and relations of reciprocal friendship formed with our country. This was the first treaty made by the United States with a foreign country. France agreed to send a fleet of sixteen war-vessels, under D'Estaing, and an army of 4,000 men to our assistance. Great Britain at once declared war against France, and offered to give the United States freedom from taxation and representation in Parliament if they would join in the hostilities against her old enemy. The Americans were incapable of so perfidious a course, and were now fully determined on securing their independence. Spain joined France, in 1779, in the war against Great Britain (because of the relations of the ruling families), and Holland for commercial reasons united with them in 1780. Thus Great Britain soon found her hands full.

Congress decided, while Washington was at Valley Forge, that the army should consist of 40,000 foot, besides artillery and horse. Washington had 12,000, while the total American force under arms was barely 15,000. At the same time the British had 30,000 troops in New York and Philadelphia, besides 3,700 in Rhode Island.


The British army occupied Philadelphia from September, 1777, until June the following year. Admiral Howe's fleet lay in the Delaware, and General Howe, who was of a sluggish temperament, was superseded by Sir Henry Clinton, between whom and Cornwallis the relations soon became strained. With a view of concentrating the British forces, and, since the French fleet was known to have sailed for America, it was decided that the army in Philadelphia should be removed to New York. Wishing to strike France, it was determined to make a descent upon the French West Indies, for which 5,000 troops were to be detached from the army.

colonial house



Clinton found that he had not enough transports to take his troops to New York, and a considerable number started overland. On the same day that he marched out of Philadelphia, Washington's vanguard entered it. On the 28th, Clinton was encamped near Monmouth Court-House, New Jersey (now Freehold), with Washington close upon him. With five miles separating the two armies at night, Lee, who had command of 5,000 men, moved them nearer the enemy, Washington having ordered him to attack in the morning as soon as Clinton began moving.

The days were the longest in the year and the heat frightful. At the earliest dawn, Washington was notified that the enemy had started toward New York. He ordered Lee to advance and open battle without delay, unless he saw urgent reasons for not doing so. Washington at the same time pushed forward with the main body to his support.

The attack was made about eight o'clock, but the reports of the movements were so confusing that those of the Americans became disjointed; but everything was going in their favor, when greater confusion caused a falling back of the patriots, with the result that at noon Lee's whole division was in retreat, and he had started to follow them when he came face to face with Washington himself.

Those who saw the meeting never forgot it. It required immense provocation to rouse Washington's anger, but he was in a savage mood, and in a voice of thunder demanded of Lee the meaning of his retreat. Lee was confused, but, breaking in upon him, the commander ordered him to the rear, while he took command. The battle lasted until five o clock in the afternoon, scores on each side succumbing from the heat. While the advantage was with the Americans, the battle was indecisive, and Washington anxiously waited for daylight to complete his victory; but Clinton moved away in the night, and, reaching Sandy Hook, was taken aboard of Howe's fleet and landed in New York on the 5th of July. Washington marched to the Hudson, crossed at King's Ferry, and took position near his former camp at White Plains. Lee was court-martialed and dismissed for his conduct, and, as stated elsewhere, it has been proven that he was a traitor to the American cause.

There are several interesting facts connected with the battle of Monmouth, on whose grounds a fine monument was erected some years ago. Among the British grenadiers slain was a sergeant who was seven feet four inches in height. So many of these grenadiers were killed that thirteen were buried in one grave. Lieutenant-Colonel Monckton, their commander, was among the slain. On the pews and floor of the old Tennent church, still standing on the scene of the battle, may be seen the dark stains from the wounds of several soldiers who were carried within the quaint structure.


It would never do to omit the story of Molly Pitcher from the account of the battle of Monmouth, for the incident is true, and is commemorated on one of the bronze reliefs of the monument. Her husband was a cannoneer, who with his companions suffered so much from thirst that Molly was kept busy carrying water for them from a neighboring spring. While thus engaged, her husband was killed before her eyes, and there being no one available to handle the piece, an officer ordered its removal. Molly asked the privilege of taking her husband's place. Permission was given, and she handled the cannon with skill throughout the entire action.

The incident was told to Washington, who after the battle asked that she be presented to him. He complimented her warmly, and conferred upon her the rank of lieutenant, while Congress gave her half-pay during life. The State of Pennsylvania, where she afterward made her home at Carlisle, added to this, so that she lived in comfort for the rest of her days. Her right name was Mary McAuley, and she died in Carlisle in 1833, a fine slab of marble marking her last resting-place.


Despite the great expectations roused by the friendship of France and the arrival of her fleet, it gave little aid to the Americans until the Yorktown campaign. D'Estaing had a fine opportunity of forcing his way into New York, destroying the British fleet and blockading Clinton, but he lacked the courage to do so. Then he sailed for Newport, Rhode Island, to attack the British forces there, but matters were so delayed that Howe arrived with a fleet of equal strength. While they were manœuvring for position, a violent storm arose, and, at the close, D'Estaing sailed to Boston for repairs, taking all his troops with him, while Howe returned to New York.

The Americans were indignant over the desertion of their allies. The French officers were insulted on the streets of Boston, and one of them was killed in a brawl. Sullivan and Greene were so outspoken that it required all the shrewdness of Washington and Congress to prevent an open rupture.


In the month of July, 1778, a band of Tories and Indians entered the lovely valley of Wyoming, under the leadership of Colonel John Butler, whose cousin, Colonel Zebulon Butler, was commander of the old men and boys left in the town by the departure of nearly all of the able-bodied men to fight in the Continental armies. The patriots made a brave defense, but they were overcome and put to flight. Women and children ran to the woods, in which they were overtaken and tomahawked; others died from exposure, while a few succeeded in reaching the towns on the upper Delaware. This sad massacre has made the name of Wyoming known throughout the world, and gives a sad pathos to the monument which was erected in 1824 over the bones of the victims.


Some months later, Cherry Valley in New York suffered a similar visitation from the Indians, who now learned for the first time that a power had grown up in this country which could not only punish, but could do so with unprecedented vigor. The red men were so troublesome that Congress saw it would not do to defer giving them a much-needed lesson. The guilty Indians were the Iroquois in central New York. In 1779, General Sullivan led an expedition against them. He showed no mercy to those that had denied mercy to the helpless. Hundreds were killed, their houses burned, their fields laid waste, and the whole country made such a desert that many perished from starvation.


One of the "sinews of war" is money. It is impossible for any nation to carry on a war long without funds. The Americans were poor, but they issued paper promises to pay, which were known as Continental money. As the war progressed, and more money was needed, it was issued. In 1778, continental currency it took eight paper dollars to equal one of gold or silver. More was necessary and more was issued. Besides this, the paper and printing were of such poor quality that the British in New York made a great many counterfeits that were exchanged with the farmers in the vicinity. The value of the currency decreased until the time came when it was absolutely worthless.

When Clinton occupied New York and Washington was encamped on the Hudson above, there were many forays against each other. The design of the British commander was to force his way to the Highlands, seize the passes and gain full command of the Hudson. He had already secured Stony Point, and Washington formed a plan for retaking it, which was intrusted to the brilliant Anthony Wayne.

In the middle of July, Wayne took command of four regiments of infantry, which marched twelve miles through the insufferably hot night, when they reached a point about a mile from the fort. Wayne went forward while his men were resting and made a careful reconnaissance. Rejoining his troops, he divided them into two columns, and, to prevent any mistake as to their identity, a piece of white paper was pinned to each hat. All the superfluous clothing was flung aside. He impressed upon his men that the bayonet alone was to be used, and, to prevent the discharge of a gun by some nervous soldier, he ordered his officers to cut down the first man who took his musket from his shoulder without the order to do so.

The two divisions approaching from opposite sides were to attack the fort at the same moment. Before it was reached, the pickets discovered them and opened fire. The garrison was aroused, and, hurrying to their posts, cried out tauntingly:

"Come on, you rebels! we're waiting for you!"

"We'll be there," was the reply; and the patriots kept their word, carrying matters with such a rush that the flag was speedily lowered. While leading his men, Wayne was struck in the forehead by a musket-ball and fell to the ground. Believing himself mortally wounded, he asked to be carried forward that he might die within the fort. While his men were assisting him, it was found that he had only been stunned. He recovered a moment later and was among the first to enter the defenses.

The American loss was slight, and they secured nearly six hundred prisoners, with a lot of valuable stores. The fort was destroyed before they left, the ruins being occupied some days later by a British force.


Thus far we have had nothing to tell about the infant American navy. At the beginning of the war, in 1775, Washington sent several privateers to cruise along the New England coast, and Congress established a naval department. Thirteen ships were fitted out and two battalions of seamen enlisted. The opportunity of capturing prizes from the enemy was very alluring to the skillful American seamen, and so many dashing privateers started forth in quest of them that in the course of three years fully five hundred ships, sailing under the English flag, were captured. Some of the daring cruisers did not hesitate to enter British waters in search of the enemy.


No braver man than John Paul Jones ever trod the quarter-deck. On the first chance he displayed so much courage and skill that he was made a captain. He was cruising off Solway Firth near his birthplace one night, when he rowed ashore on the coast of Cumberland, with only thirty-one volunteers, and burned three vessels in the harbor of Whitehaven and spiked a number of cannon in the guard-room of the fort. England was alarmed, declared him a pirate, and put forth every effort to capture him.

In 1779, Paul Jones, as he is more generally known, put to sea in command of the Bon Homme Richard, and accompanied by two consorts, the Alliance and the Pallas. The Richard was an old East Indiaman, given him by the king of France and named in compliment to Franklin, who had published "Poor Richard's Almanac" for so many years that he was often identified with the publication.



When Jones was off Scarborough, he sighted the Baltic fleet of merchantmen homeward bound, and escorted by the frigates Countess of Scarborough and the Serapis. The latter carried fifty guns and the former twenty-two, while Jones had forty-four guns and three hundred and seventy-five men, two-thirds of whom were prisoners of war, since he had greatly weakened his crew in order to send home the many prizes captured.

The moment Jones identified the enemy, he signaled to his consorts to join him in pursuit. Night had closed in and the moon was shining, when the captain of the Serapis hailed Jones, who answered by opening fire. The enemy was equally prompt, and thus one of the most famous fights in naval history began. It is almost past comprehension how Jones fought so terrifically when the disadvantages under which he labored are known. Firing had scarcely begun when one of the guns on the lower deck exploded, killing several men. The survivors ran above, and the piece was not used again during the fight.

Jones tried to close with the Serapis, but, finding he could not bring his guns to bear, he allowed his ship to fall off. The prisoners, who outnumbered his crew, were kept busy extinguishing the fires that continually broke out, by being told that it was the only way to save themselves from death by burning. In the midst of the terrific fighting, when the Richard seemed doomed, Captain Pearson of the Serapis shouted:

"Have you struck?"

"Struck!" replied Jones; "I am just beginning to fight."



While the ships were lurching, one of the enemy's anchors caught the quarter of the Richard and the two held fast, thenceforward fighting side by side. They were so close indeed that the Serapis could not open her starboard ports, and the cannon were fired through the port-lids, which were blown off; but the main deck of the Richard was so high that the broadsides of the enemy injured no one, though they did great damage to the vessel. This tremendous battle lasted for two hours, the muzzles of the guns scraping one another, and the cannon being discharged as fast as they could be loaded. The Richard was soon shattered to that extent that she began sinking. Fire broke out repeatedly on both vessels, and finally Jones was able to work only three of his guns. At this crisis, he found that his consort, the Alliance, Captain Landais, was firing into him as well as the Serapis; but not heeding him, he continued his battle with the Serapis, whose sailors fought as bravely as his own.

The fearful struggle was decided by a sailor in the rigging of the Richard, who was engaged in throwing hand-grenades on the deck of the Serapis. One of these dropped into the hatchway and exploded a mass of eighteen-pound cartridges, which killed twenty and wounded twice as many more. Captain Pearson placed himself at the head of his boarders and made a rush for the deck of the Richard. Jones, leading his own men, drove them back. The explosion of the grenades silenced the main battery of the Serapis, and Captain Pearson himself hauled down his colors, both crews in the awful confusion believing for some minutes that it was the Richard that had surrendered.

When day dawned, the riddled Richard was settling fast, and Jones had barely time to remove his crew to the Serapis when his own vessel went down. Four-fifths of his men had been killed or wounded.



Investigation of the conduct of Captain Landais in firing into the Richard led to the conclusion that he was insane, and he was deprived of his command. Jones did no more special service for the Americans. For his unsurpassable achievement he received the thanks of Congress, and the king of France presented him with a gold sword. After the war he became a rear-admiral in the Russian navy, and died in Paris in 1792.

One of the saddest and most shocking events of the Revolution was the treason of Benedict Arnold, who had won a brilliant reputation for his bravery and generalship. He was quick-tempered, treacherous, and extravagant, and disliked by most of his men, despite his extraordinary daring. His first resentment against Congress was the failure of that body to make him one of the first five major-generals, in the face, too, of Washington's urgent recommendation for such promotion, which was made after Arnold's splendid services at Saratoga.

He was placed in command at Philadelphia, while recovering from the wounds received at Saratoga. He married a Tory lady, and his misconduct caused his trial by court-martial, which sentenced him to be reprimanded by the commander-in-chief. Washington performed the unpleasant duty with delicacy, but its memory rankled and was increased by his anger against Congress for its refusal to allow his claims for expenses in the Canadian expedition. Influenced also, no doubt, by the Tory sentiments of his wife, he determined to take the step which has covered his name with everlasting infamy.

On the plea that his wounds were not yet healed, he induced Washington to place him in command at West Point, the most important post in the country and the principal depot of supplies. He opened a correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton at New York, and agreed for a stated sum of money and an appointment in the British army to surrender the post to a force which Clinton was to send against it. When a point in the negotiations was reached where it was necessary to send a trusted agent to meet Arnold, Clinton dispatched Major John André, who went up the Hudson in a sloop, and, September 22, 1780, met Arnold at the foot of Long Clove Mountain. Everything being agreed upon, André started to return to the sloop, but found that, owing to its having been fired upon by a party of Americans, it had dropped down stream. Obliged to make his way to New York by land, he assumed the dress of a civilian, and, furnished with a pass by Arnold, he set out on horseback.

major andre

Much sympathy was felt in America for André, but the justice of his being hung as a spy was never questioned. His three captors, Paulding, Van Wart and Williams, were honored with medals and $200.00 a year each for life, and monuments were erected to their memories by our Government.

When near Tarrytown, he was stopped by three Americans, Isaac Van Wart, John Paulding, and David Williams, who demanded his identity and business. One of the three happened to be wearing a British coat, which he had exchanged for one of his own while a prisoner of war, and the fact led André to think they were friends. Before he discovered his mistake, he had made known that he was a British officer, and he was ordered to dismount and submit to a search. The fatal papers were found on him, and, seeing his business was known, he offered everything he had, besides the promise of a large sum of money from Sir Henry Clinton, to be allowed to go. His captors refused and conducted him to North Castle, where he was given up to Lieutenant-Colonel Jameson. That officer had the proof before him in the papers that Arnold was the unspeakable traitor, but with a stupidity difficult to understand, he sent a letter to Arnold acquainting him with the capture of André.

b arnold


Arnold was eating breakfast at his house near the Hudson, when the note was brought to him by the messenger. Knowing what it meant, he called his wife to him, told her of his danger, kissed his sleeping boy in the cradle, ran out of the house, mounted his horse and galloped at headlong speed for the river. There he sprang into a boat and ordered the men to row with all haste to the sloop, still at anchor a short distance down stream and waiting for André. Since these men had no suspicion of the truth they obeyed orders, and Arnold, by waving a white handkerchief over his head, prevented the Americans on the shore from firing at him. He reached the sloop in safety and was carried to New York.

The fact that André was wearing a civilian suit at the time of his capture made him a spy, according to the laws of war, and the court-martial before which he was called sentenced him to be hanged. Clinton was greatly distressed by the impending fate of his favorite officer and did his utmost to secure his release by Washington. It was intimated to Clinton that Washington might be induced to exchange André for Arnold, but such an act by the British commander would have covered his name with infamy, and he was too honorable even to consider it.

André accepted his fate bravely, only asking that he might be shot instead of hanged, but even that boon was denied him. General Greene, who presided at the court-martial, insisted that such leniency would have been an admission of a doubt of the justice of his sentence. André was hanged October 2, 1780. King George III. caused a mural tablet to be erected to his memory, and his remains were removed to England in 1821 and placed in Westminster Abbey. A pension was conferred upon his mother and his brother was created a baronet. Sad as was the fate of André, and general as was the sympathy felt for him in this country, there can be no question of the justice of his sentence. He was a spy, and, had he succeeded in his mission, might have caused the failure of the war for independence.

Arnold received more than $30,000 as a reward for his treason. He was disliked by the British officers, and Cornwallis did not hesitate to show his contempt for him. He engaged in several raids against his countrymen, but since he always fought "with a rope around his neck," he was never trusted with any important command.

He removed to England with his family after the war, and his sons received commissions in the British army. It is worth noting that all did creditable service, and their descendants became worthy members of the community, a fact which no one can regret, since they could be held in no way responsible for the horrifying crime of their ancestor, who, despised by all around him, died in London in 1801.



Capture of Savannah—British Conquest of Georgia—Fall of Charleston—Bitter Warfare in South Carolina—Battle of Camden—Of King's Mountain—Of the Cowpens—Battle of Guilford Court-House—Movements of Cornwallis—The Final Campaign—Peace and Independence.


The wave of war continued to roll southward. The British had met with such meagre success in the Northern and Middle States that they turned their efforts toward the conquest of the South. In the latter part of December, 1778, an expedition from New York compelled the small garrison at Savannah to surrender. British troops from Florida then reinforced the expedition, Augusta and other towns were captured, and the whole State was brought under British control. General Benjamin Lincoln, the American commander, had too few troops to offer successful resistance, and the Tories gave much trouble.

In September, 1779, Lincoln crossed into Georgia and, with the aid of the French fleet under D'Estaing, made an attempt to recapture Savannah. The attack was made with the greatest bravery by the allies, but they suffered a disastrous repulse, and D'Estaing again sailed for the West Indies. Georgia was brought so completely under British control that a royal governor and officers were installed. The Whigs were treated with great cruelty, and for two years the struggle in the Carolinas assumed a ferocious character. It was civil war in its most frightful form. Neighbor was arrayed against neighbor. Every man was compelled to be a Whig or Tory, and when one party captured another, it generally executed the prisoners as traitors. There were many instances in which those of the same family fought one another with the utmost fury, and the horrors of war were displayed in all their dreadful colors.

For a long time the British kept a strong force at Newport, but they were withdrawn, and a strong expedition was sent South to capture Charleston.


General Lincoln had a garrison of 3,000, his forts, and a number of vessels, with which he was confident of making a successful defense of the city. The ships, however, were so inferior to those of the enemy that Commodore Whipple sank all except one at the mouth of Cooper River to block the channel, and added his men and guns to the defenses of Charleston.

Clinton's force was about double that of Lincoln, and he made his approaches with care and skill. By April 10th he was within a half-mile of the city, and, Lincoln having refused the demand for surrender, the enemy opened fire. Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton, the best cavalry leader the British had in the country, scattered the patriot cavalry at the rear of the city, which was fully invested. Reinforcements arrived from New York, and the siege was pushed vigorously. The garrison made a sortie which accomplished nothing. Tarleton continually defeated the American cavalry at the rear, many guns were dismounted, food and supplies were exhausted until all hope was gone, and on the 12th of May, 1780, Lincoln surrendered his army and the city.

This was one of the severest blows of the war. Clinton secured the city and more than 400 pieces of artillery. He treated his prisoners kindly, but lost no time in following up his success. Tarleton destroyed the command of Colonel Abraham Buford, numbering 400 men, and thus effectually quenched all organized resistance for a time in South Carolina.

Clinton would have completed the conquest of the South by advancing into North Carolina, had he not learned that a French fleet was expected on the coast. This led him to return to New York with the main army, while Cornwallis was left behind with 4,000 men to complete the unfinished work as best he could.

In the spring of 1780, Washington sent reinforcements to the South, with a regiment of artillery under Baron De Kalb, a German veteran who had come to America with Lafayette. Although one of the finest of officers, he could scarcely speak a word of English, and General Gates, on June 13, 1780, was ordered by Congress to assume command of the southern department. He proved unequal to the difficult task, for not only were the troops few and miserably disciplined and armed, but they were in a starving condition. The summer was one of the hottest ever known, and, although reinforcements were expected, Gates decided not to wait before putting his forces in motion. Reinforcements reaching him after a time, he marched against Cornwallis, who was eager to meet him.


The battle was fought at Camden, and was conducted with such skill by Cornwallis that the raw and untried patriots were utterly routed. The centre and left wings were swept from the field, but the right under De Kalb fought with splendid heroism, and it required the whole army of Cornwallis to drive it from the field. In the fight De Kalb received eleven wounds, and died the next morning.

The battle of Camden marked the complete destruction of Gates' army. The militia scattered to their homes, convinced that it was useless to fight longer, while Gates with a few adherents continued his flight for nearly two hundred miles. Two days later, Colonel Sumter with eight hundred men was attacked on the Wateree by Tarleton, who killed half his force and recaptured his prisoners and booty.


Confident that the complete conquest of the South was close at hand, Cornwallis gave every energy to the work. This was rendered difficult by the activity of Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, and other partisan leaders, who were acquainted with every mile of the country, and on their horses made swift marches, struck effective blows, and were off again before pursuit could be made. The wonderful work of Marion in this respect caused him to be known as the "Swamp Fox of the Carolinas." Many of Tarleton's troopers fell before the fire of these daring rangers, who occasionally were strong enough to capture important posts. It is worthy of mention in this place that to Sumter was the distinction of attaining the greatest age of any officer of the Revolution. At his death, in 1832, he was in his ninety-ninth year.


As illustrative of the spirit of the Southern colonists, we may be pardoned for the digression of the following anecdote. The fighting of Marion and his men was much like that of the wild Apaches of the southwest. When hotly pursued by the enemy his command would break up into small parties, and these as they were hard pressed would subdivide, until nearly every patriot was fleeing alone. There could be no successful pursuit, therefore, since the subdivision of the pursuing party weakened it too much.

"We will give fifty pounds to get within reach of the scamp that galloped by here, just ahead of us," exclaimed a lieutenant of Tarleton's cavalry, as he and three other troopers drew up before a farmer, who was hoeing in the field by the roadside.

The farmer looked up, leaned on his hoe, took off his old hat, and, mopping his forehead with his handkerchief, looked at the angry soldier and said:

"Fifty pounds is a big lot of money."

"So it is in these times, but we'll give it to you in gold, if you'll show us where we can get a chance at the rebel; did you see him?"

"He was all alone, was he? And he was mounted on a black horse with a white star in his forehead, and he was going like a streak of lightning, wasn't he?"

"That's the fellow!" exclaimed the questioners, hoping they were about to get the knowledge they wanted.

"It looked to me like Jack Davis, though he went by so fast that I couldn't get a square look at his face, but he was one of Marion's men, and if I ain't greatly mistaken it was Jack Davis himself."



Then looking up at the four British horsemen, the farmer added, with a quizzical expression:

"I reckon that ere Jack Davis has hit you chaps pretty hard, ain't he?"

"Never mind about that," replied the lieutenant; "what we want to know is where we can get a chance at him for just about five minutes."

The farmer put his cotton handkerchief into his hat, which he now slowly replaced, and shook his head: "I don't think he's hiding round here," he said; "when he shot by Jack was going so fast that it didn't look as if he could stop under four or five miles. Strangers, I'd like powerful well to earn that fifty pounds, but I don't think you'll get a chance to squander it on me."

After some further questioning, the lieutenant and his men wheeled their horses and trotted back toward the main body of Tarleton's cavalry. The farmer plied his hoe for several minutes, gradually working his way toward the stretch of woods some fifty yards from the roadside, where he stepped in among the trees and disappeared. You understand, of course, that the farmer that leaned on his hoe by the roadside and talked to Tarleton's lieutenant about Jack Davis and his exploits was Jack Davis himself.

One day a British officer visited Marion under a flag of truce. When the business was finished Marion urged him to stay to dinner, and the officer accepted the invitation. The meal consisted of only baked sweet potatoes. Noting the surprise of his guest, Marion explained that the fare was the regular food of himself and soldiers, but, in honor of the guest, the allowance had been increased that day. This anecdote, which seems to be authentic, was supplemented by the officer's return to Charleston, where he resigned his commission, declaring that it was useless to try to conquer such men. Marion led a spotless life, held in high esteem by friend and enemy, and his name will always be revered throughout this country, especially in the South.


The next battle took place at King's Mountain, October 8, 1780. Cornwallis had sent Colonel Ferguson with about 1,100 men to rouse the Tories in North Carolina. He met with slight success, and fortified himself on King's Mountain, between the Broad and Catawba Rivers, and on the border between North and South Carolina. Aware of his danger, he sent messengers to Cornwallis urging him to forward reinforcements without delay. The Americans captured every one of the messengers, and of course no reinforcements arrived.

The patriots consisted mainly of North Carolina and Kentucky riflemen, numbering 1,500, all excellent marksmen. They attacked in three separate columns, each of which was repulsed by Ferguson's men, who fought with coolness and bravery. Then the Americans united and attacked again. Ferguson was mortally wounded, and his successor was so hard pressed that he surrendered. Four hundred of his men fled, three hundred were killed, and eight hundred laid down their arms, while the loss of the Americans was no more than twenty.

King's Mountain was a brilliant victory for the Americans and caused Cornwallis to retreat into North Carolina. His men suffered greatly, and the commander himself falling ill, the command was turned over to Lord Rawdon, then a young man and famous afterward in India as the Marquis of Hastings.


The failure of Gates led Congress to send the Quaker General Greene to the South. Next to Washington, he was the most skillful leader of the Revolution, and, despite his discouragements and difficulties, he speedily demonstrated the wisdom of the step that placed him where he was so much needed.


Greene sent Daniel Morgan, the famous commander of the Virginia riflemen, into South Carolina with a thousand men to gather recruits. Cornwallis dispatched Tarleton with the same number after him. The forces met at the Cowpens, near Spartanburg, in January, 1781. This time the terrible Tarleton found that he had met his master. Morgan utterly routed him, as was proven by the fact that Tarleton lost a hundred men killed, besides ten commissioned officers. A large number were wounded, and six hundred prisoners, his two guns, his colors, eight hundred muskets, a hundred horses, and most of his baggage train were captured. Of the Americans only twelve were killed and about fifty wounded. Tarleton himself had a narrow escape, but got away with a handful of men.


Determined to punish the audacious Morgan, Cornwallis started after him with his entire army. Greene and Morgan, having united, fell back, for their troops were too few to risk a battle. Their retreat across North Carolina into Virginia has never been surpassed in this country. Three times the British army were at the heels of the Americans, who avoided them through the fortunate rise of the rivers, immediately after they had crossed. Cornwallis maintained the pursuit until the Dan was reached, when he gave up and returned to Hillboro.


Having obtained a number of recruits, Greene turned back into North Carolina, and the two armies encountered at Guilford Court-House (now Greensboro), in March, 1781. Some of the American militia gave way, but the rest bravely held their ground, and, when compelled at last to retreat, did so in good order. Cornwallis had been handled so roughly that he did not venture to pursue the Americans.


From the American to the English ranks, for the purpose of associating himself with the traitor Benedict Arnold, seizing him and getting him alive into the hands of the Americans.

Cornwallis now withdrew to Wilmington, while Greene moved across North Carolina after the British forces under Lord Rawdon. Several engagements took place, the principal one being at Hobkirk's Hill, near Camden. Greene inflicted severe losses upon the enemy, but was compelled to retreat, and spent the summer among the hills of the Santee, in the neighborhood of Camden. Advancing toward the coast, he fought the last battle in the State, at Eutaw Springs, near Charleston, September 8, 1781. The advantage was with the British, but the victory was one of those that are as disastrous as defeat. Their loss was so heavy that they retreated during the night and took shelter in Charleston. Greene had completed his work with admirable effectiveness. Without winning victories he had, by his caution, skill, celerity of movement, and generalship, almost cleared the South of the enemy, for the only points held by them were Charleston and Savannah, where they were closely hemmed in for the rest of the war.




Meanwhile Cornwallis was at Wilmington, where he learned of Greene's movements too late to intercept him. He was confident, however, that Rawdon was strong enough to overthrow Greene, and he moved northward into Virginia to join the forces already there, and complete the conquest of the State. No serious opposition was encountered by him, and Tarleton plundered the country as he passed through it. Entering Virginia, Cornwallis found himself opposed by Lafayette, with 4,000 troops, which was hardly one-half the force under his own command. Orders came from Clinton in New York for Cornwallis to seize upon some suitable place near the coast, easily reached by the British vessels. Cornwallis selected Yorktown, on the peninsula between the James and York Rivers, where he fixed the headquarters of the army, and began throwing up fortifications.


The time had come when the friendship of France for America was to accomplish something. In the summer of 1780 Rochambeau landed at Newport with 6,000 troops, and later they were marched to Washington's camp, near Peekskill and Morristown. Confident that he now had an army that could achieve important results, Washington made preparations to attack Clinton in New York. Rochambeau gave him every help, the allies working together with the utmost cordiality and enthusiasm.


Clinton was in a constant state of apprehension, for he had good cause to fear the result of the attack that impended. Washington's plan, however, was changed, in the summer of 1781, by the news that a French fleet and a strong force would soon arrive in Chesapeake Bay and shut off Cornwallis from all assistance from Clinton. Washington decided to march southward and capture Yorktown and Cornwallis, meanwhile keeping Clinton under the belief that he meant to attack him. So well was the secret kept that Clinton's suspicions were not aroused until several days after the departure of the allied armies.

De Grasse, the commander of the French fleet, arrived in Chesapeake Bay August 30th. Thus Cornwallis was blocked off from the sea, and enough soldiers were landed to prevent the British commander's escape by land. On the same day Washington and Rochambeau, after making a feint toward Staten Island, began a rapid march through New Jersey to Philadelphia, and thence to Elkton, Maryland. Officers and men were in high spirits, for they knew they were on the eve of great events. The citizens of Philadelphia shared the feeling, and cheered the men as they marched through the streets. On the way southward Washington made a hurried visit to Mount Vernon, which he had not seen since the opening of the war.

Aware of the grave danger threatening Cornwallis, a British fleet made an effort to relieve him, but the more powerful French fleet easily beat it off. The allied armies boarded the waiting ships at Elkton, and, sailing down the Chesapeake to James River, joined Lafayette's force in front of Yorktown.



The historical siege of Yorktown opened September 30, 1781. The French and American armies were ranged in a half-circle in front of Yorktown. Cornwallis was indignant at the apparent desertion by Clinton, and wrote to him in the middle of September: "This place is in no state of defense. If you cannot relieve me very soon, you must expect to hear the worst." Word came from Clinton that a fleet of twenty-three ships and more than 5,000 troops would sail to his relief about the 5th of October.

The French soldiers in their gay uniforms and the Continentals in their rags maintained an ardent but friendly rivalry in pressing the siege. Washington aimed and applied the match to the first gun that was fired into Yorktown. Governor Nelson, being asked to direct the bombardment, selected the house which he believed to be the headquarters of Cornwallis, and calmly saw it battered to ruins. It was his own home.

The condition of the defenders hourly grew worse. The lack of forage compelled them to kill most of their horses, whose bodies drifted down the river. As is generally the case at such times, sickness broke out among the British troops, and 2,000 of the 7,000 were in the hospital. The allies steadily worked their way forward by means of parallels, and finally the guns along the entire front of Cornwallis were dismounted and his shells expended.

His situation had become so desperate that no one could have condemned him for surrendering, but, before doing so, he resolved to make a determined effort to extricate himself from the trap in which he was caught. His plan was to abandon his sick, baggage, and all incumbrances, cross the river in the darkness to Gloucester, attack and scatter the French force stationed there, and then hasten northward through Pennsylvania and New Jersey to New York.

This attempt would have been made, but, after a part of the army had crossed, a violent storm scattered the boats and compelled their return. The result quenched the last spark of hope in the breast of Cornwallis. He opened negotiations with Washington, and the terms of surrender were signed October 18th.


At two o'clock the next afternoon, the British troops marched slowly out of Yorktown, drums beating, muskets shouldered, and colors cased. The American line was drawn up on the right of the road and the French on the left, its extent being fully a mile. Washington allowed no idle spectators present, and repressed every sign of exultation on the part of the captors.

General O'Hara, riding at the head of the troops, saluted when he came opposite Washington, and apologized for the absence of Cornwallis, who was suffering from illness. When O'Hara's sword was offered to Washington, he replied that General Lincoln had been designated to receive it. There was poetical justice in this, since it was Lincoln who had been obliged to surrender Charleston to Clinton the previous year.

The prisoners numbered 7,247 English and Hessian soldiers and 840 sailors. Seventy-five brass and thirty-one iron guns were also secured, including the accoutrements of the army. Clinton with the promised relief arrived off the Chesapeake on the 24th, and learned to his consternation that every British soldier in Virginia was a prisoner of war. With indescribable sadness he sailed back to New York, feeling, as did everyone else, that English rule in America was ended and American independence won.

Washington dispatched a courier with the glorious news to Philadelphia. Riding at headlong speed and changing his horse frequently, he reached the national capital on the evening of the 23d. In those days the city was provided with watchmen, who made the tour of the streets crying the hour. That night the cry rang out—


Windows flew up, lights twinkled from every house, men rushed out half-clothed, cheering, flinging their hats in air and embracing one another in their joy. All the bells were set ringing, and the whole city gave itself over to rejoicing. It was stirred to its profoundest depths by the thrilling tidings, for even the dullest knew it meant the independence for which the patriots had struggled throughout more than six suffering years.

Congress assembled at an early hour and marched to the Dutch Lutheran Church, where all united in giving thanks to God for His great mercy and blessing. The aged doorkeeper of Congress was so overcome with joy that he dropped dead. Washington directed that divine service be held at the heads of the regiments, in gratitude for the "particular interposition of Providence in their behalf."


It would be difficult to describe the dismay caused in England when the news crossed the ocean. Lord North strode up and down his room, flinging his arms above his head and moaning, "My God! it is all over!" While others were equally stricken by the tidings, America had many friends in that country who had opposed from the beginning the attempt to subjugate the colonies. Even those who voted for the war measures were now loud in insisting that no more blood and treasure should be wasted in continuing hostilities. They demanded the removal of the ministers who advised the contrary, and the House of Commons declared by vote that anyone who favored the continuance of the war was a public enemy.

While the surrender at Yorktown virtually ended the struggle, Washington was too wise to disband the army. No more battles took place, but the country remained in an unsettled condition for a long time, and the embers of hate often broke into flame. It is claimed that the last blood shed in the Revolution was that of Captain Wilmot, shot in a skirmish in September, 1782, at Stone Ferry.


It had been agreed by both parties that hostilities should stop, and commissioners were appointed to arrange the terms of peace. The preliminary articles were signed at Versailles, November 30, 1782, but the final treaty was not executed until September 3d of the following year. On April 19, 1783, the eighth anniversary of Lexington, Washington at the headquarters of the army officially declared the war at an end.

By the final treaty, England acknowledged the United States to be free and independent, with Canada as a boundary on the north, the Mississippi River on the west, and Florida, extending westward to the Mississippi, on the south. Spain, which still owned Louisiana west of the Mississippi, now received Florida from Great Britain.

The American army was disbanded, and officers and men went to their homes dissatisfied because they had not been paid for years. Washington presented himself before Congress at Annapolis and resigned his commission. The British evacuated Savannah in July, 1782, Charleston in December, and New York City, their last post, November 25, 1783. The forts north of the Ohio, however, were held by English garrisons for about twelve years longer.





The Method of Government During the Revolution—Impending Anarchy—The State Boundaries—State Cessions of Land—Shays' Rebellion—Adoption of the Constitution—Its Leading Features—The Ordinance of 1787—Formation of Parties—Election of the First President and Vice-President.


(Entrance to the Estate of
William Byrd, at Westover, Va.)

War is not only a blight to mankind, but it inflicts wounds that can never heal and brings a train of woe and suffering which lasts for years. The social system is disorganized, industry checked, resources exhausted, and a debt entailed whose burden is felt for generations. The United States had won the priceless boon of independence, but the States were exhausted and in the lowest depths of poverty. They were like those who, having lost everything, are compelled to begin life anew.


While the war was under way, the States were held together by the one common danger, and the Continental Congress managed the affairs of the Union, but the body was without any authority to govern, and whatever it did in that direction was only what the people permitted. The State governments were tangible, for State constitutions had been formed and the Legislatures received direct authority from the people. When they chose to disobey Congress they did so, and no penalty could be visited upon them. As the end of the war approached, the authority of the respective States increased and that of Congress dwindled until it was but a mere name and shadow.

The Articles of Confederation were agreed upon by Congress in 1777. They defined the respective powers of Congress and were not to go into effect until a majority of the States should agree to them. Within the following two years all yielded their assent except Maryland, which did so March 1, 1781.


The cause of this prolonged delay was the dispute over western territory. Few persons suspect the extent of the wrangling over the respective boundaries of the States. When the charters were granted by England, the western boundaries of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland were defined, and consequently they could not ask for an extension of them. New York insisted that she had no western boundary. The remaining six States had their western boundaries named as the Pacific Ocean, which was at a distance that no one dreamed of at the time. They asserted that the transfer of Louisiana to Spain fixed the Mississippi River as the limit in that direction.

Among these claims none was so remarkable as that of Virginia. The most that her sister States asked was that their northern and southern boundaries should run parallel to the westward, but Virginia insisted that her northern boundary extended northwest, which, if allowed, would have given her all of the present States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Her claim was crossed by those of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The States whose western boundaries had been settled were indignant over the injustice of the claims of the others, for, since the whole thirteen assisted in wresting the territory from Great Britain, they asserted that all should share it. Some of the States sold lands in the west, whose ownership was disputed by other States, and Maryland, as intimated, refused her assent to the Articles of Confederation until assured that these western claims would be abandoned.


It was evident that the only way out of the confusion was by the surrender of these claims, and New York set the example in 1780. In response to the earnest request of Congress, Virginia did the same in 1784, Massachusetts in 1785, Connecticut in 1786, South Carolina in 1787, North Carolina in 1790, and Georgia in 1802. The result was that the western boundaries of the States named were fixed as they are to-day, and the United States came into the possession of a large territory. Connecticut held fast to a large strip of land in northeastern Ohio, which is still known as the Western Reserve. The same State, which had settled Wyoming in Pennsylvania, claimed it for a time, but finally gave it up.

It took but a short time to demonstrate the utter worthlessness of the Articles of Confederation. Congress, the central governing power, had no authority to lay taxes, punish crimes, or regulate foreign or domestic commerce. Its whole function was to give advice to the respective States, which, as might be supposed, paid little or no heed to it. Furthermore, the stronger States made laws inimical to the smaller ones, and Congress was powerless to remedy it. Naturally Great Britain oppressed American commerce, and there was no way of checking it.

The prosperity which most of the people expected to follow peace did not appear. The Continental currency was not worth the paper it was printed on. Even at this late day, when a man uses the expression that an article is "not worth a Continental," it is understood to mean that it has no value at all.


The condition of no one was more pitiful than that of the heroes who had fought through the Revolution and won our independence. They went to their poverty-smitten homes in rags. While Washington was at his headquarters at Newburgh, in 1783, an anonymous paper was distributed among the troops calling upon them to overthrow the civil governments and obtain their rights by force. They even dared to ask Washington to become their king, but that great man spurned the offer in a manner that prevented it ever being repeated. But his sympathy was aroused, and he finally secured five years' full pay for the officers, and thus averted the danger.

At that time the Northern and Middle States contained about a million and a half of people and the Southern a million. Virginia had 400,000 inhabitants, and was the most populous, with Pennsylvania and Massachusetts next, each having 350,000. The present Empire State of New York was one of the weak States, the city containing about 14,000, Boston 20,000, and Philadelphia 40,000. It was estimated that the debt of the respective States was $20,000,000 and of the country $42,000,000.


Rioting and disorder are always sure to follow so deplorable a condition of affairs. Daniel Shays, formerly a captain in the Continental army, headed a mob of 2,000 men in Massachusetts, who demanded the stoppage of the collection of taxes and the issuance of a large amount of paper money for general use. When they had dispersed the Supreme Court, sitting at Springfield, General Lincoln was sent with 4,000 troops to put down the rebellion. Lincoln placed the judges in their seats, and then, when the rioters were about to attack him, he gave them a volley. The rioters scattered and the rebellion ended. Fourteen of the ringleaders were afterward sentenced to death, but were reprieved and finally pardoned.


Shays' rebellion was one of the best things that could have happened, for it showed the country more clearly than before that it was on the verge of anarchy, and that the remedy must not be delayed. Long before this, Washington comprehended the serious peril of the country, and he was in continual consultation with men whose worth and counsel he valued. The result was that a meeting of commissioners from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York met at Annapolis in September, 1786. They held an earnest discussion, but as only a minority of the States were represented, nothing positive could be done, and an adjournment was had with a recommendation that each State should send delegates to meet in Philadelphia in May, 1787. The prestige of Washington's name gave so much weight to the recommendation that at the appointed date all the States were represented except Rhode Island.

The wisdom of Washington was again manifest in a letter which he wrote some months before the meeting of the Constitutional Convention, and which contained the following:

"We have errors to correct. We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation. Experience has taught us that without the intervention of a coercive power, men will not adopt and carry into execution measures best calculated for their own good. I do not conceive we can exist long as a nation without having lodged somewhere a power that will pervade the whole Union in as energetic a manner as the authority of the State governments extend over the several States.... I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking; thence acting is but a single step. But how irrevocable and tremendous! What a triumph for our enemies to verify their predictions! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and fallacious!"

When the news reached Washington of the disorders in New England, he was greatly troubled. "What stronger evidence can be given," he asked, "of the want of energy in our government than these disorders? If there is not a power in it to check them, what security has a man for his life, liberty, or property? The consequences of a bad or inefficient government are too obvious to be dwelt upon. Thirteen sovereigns pulling against one another, and all tugging at the federal head, will soon bring ruin on the whole; whereas, a liberal and energetic constitution, well checked and well watched to prevent encroachments, might restore us to that degree of respectability and consequence to which we had the fairest prospect of attaining."


Washington was placed at the head of the delegation from Virginia. Although he hoped that he would be permitted to spend the rest of his days in the domestic quiet of Mount Vernon, his patriotism would not permit him to decline, even though he saw the certainty that the action would bring him forward once more into public affairs. Only a part of the delegates met in Philadelphia, May 14, 1787, and an adjournment was had from day to day until the 25th, when, a majority being present, the convention organized and unanimously chose Washington as chairman. For four months it sat with closed doors, meeting in the same room in Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and where the chair is still preserved in which Washington sat.

senate chamber


What an assemblage of great and noble men, all of whose names have become historical! With the peerless Washington at the head, there were James Madison, afterward President of the United States; Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin West, Edmund Randolph, Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris, Sherman, Clymer, Read, and Dickinson. It may well be imagined that among those men the discussions, which were continued several hours daily, were of the most interesting nature. Inevitably there was a diversity of views, and the arguments at times grew warm, but with such an aggregation of statesmanship and wisdom, the best results were certain. Steadily the wonderful Constitution was moulded into shape, and on the 17th of September was signed by all the delegates except Randolph and Mason, of Virginia, and Gerry, of Massachusetts. It was then submitted to Congress, which forwarded it to the respective States for acceptance or rejection—the assent of nine being necessary to make it operative.

So important a document was sure to elicit earnest discussion and many able men opposed its adoption. At that early day appeared the germs of the present political parties. The problem was as to the right division of power between the national or central government and the respective States. Those who favored the widest latitude to the States were called Republicans, while their opponents were given the name of Federalists. The views of the latter predominated in the main, though the Constitution was really a compromise between its supporters and opponents.

The beneficent features of the instrument were so manifest that its adoption soon followed. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire ratified it, and, being the ninth State, its provisions became operative throughout the Union. North Carolina and Rhode Island did not assent, and the Constitution went into effect without their vote. These two States had issued a good deal of paper money, and disliked the Constitution because it forbade such action. The opposition of the other States was caused by the fear that too much power was conferred upon the central government. To remove this not wholly unreasonable objection, the first ten amendments were adopted and ratified in 1791.


The Constitution supplied the great requirement without which the government itself would have been a nullity: the power to act supplanted the power simply to advise. The government consists of three departments: a legislative or Congress, which makes the laws; an executive department, consisting of the President and his officers, to execute the laws made by Congress; and a judiciary department (the Federal courts), which decides disputed questions under the laws. The Constitution is our supreme law and must be obeyed by the general government, the State governments, and the people; if not, the general government punishes the offender.

Congress, or the legislative department, consists of two branches, the Senate and House of Representatives. Each State, no matter what its population, is entitled to two Senators, who serve for six years and are elected by the respective State Legislatures; the Representatives are apportioned according to the population, are voted for directly by the people, and serve for two years. In this admirable manner, each State is protected by its Senators against any encroachment upon its rights, while the populous States receive the recognition to which they are entitled through the House of Representatives.

Congress, the two branches acting together, lay taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce, coin money, establish post offices, declare war, raise and support armies and navies, and employ militia to suppress insurrections. All States are forbidden to do any of these things, except to impose their own taxes, borrow for themselves, and employ their own militia. A majority of each house is enough to pass any bill, unless the President within ten days thereafter vetoes the act (that is, objects to it), when a two-thirds vote of each branch is necessary to make it a law. Treaties made by the President do not go into effect until approved by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

house of reps


The executive department is vested in the President, chosen every four years by electors, who are voted for by the people. The President is commander-in-chief of the army and navy and appoints the majority of officers, it being necessary that most of the appointments shall be confirmed by the Senate. In case of misconduct, the President is to be impeached (charged with misconduct) by the House of Representatives and tried by the Senate. If convicted and removed, or if he should die or resign or be unable to perform the duties of his office, the Vice-President takes his place and becomes President. With this exception, the Vice-President presides over the Senate, with no power to vote except in case of a tie. No provision was made for a successor in the event of the death of the Vice-President, but in 1886 the Presidential Succession Law was passed, which provides that, in case of the death or disability of the President and Vice-President, the order of succession shall be the secretaries of State, of the treasury, of war, the attorney-general, the postmaster-general, and the secretaries of the navy and of the interior.

The judiciary department, or power to decide upon the constitutionality of laws, was given to one supreme court and such inferior courts as Congress should establish. The judges are appointed by the President and Senate and hold office during life or good behavior. The State courts have the power of appeal to the supreme court of the United States, whose decision is final, the questions being necessarily based upon offenses against any law of Congress, or upon the doubtful meaning of a law, or the doubt of the constitutional power of Congress to pass a law.

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, three-fifths of the slaves were to be counted in calculating the population for the Representatives. Fugitive slaves were to be arrested in the States to which they had fled. New Territories were to be governed by Congress, which body admits the new States as they are formed. Each State is guaranteed a republican form of government, and the vote of three-fourths of the States can change the Constitution through the means of amendments. The provisions regarding slavery, as a matter of course, lost their effect upon the abolishment of the institution at the close of the Civil War.


Congress remained in session in New York, while the Philadelphia convention was at work upon the Constitution, and during that period organized a territorial government for the immense region northwest of the Ohio, which belonged to the United States. The enterprising nature of the American people asserted itself, and hundreds of emigrants began making their way into that fertile section, where the best of land could be had for the asking. But the Indians were fierce and warred continually against the settlers. Most of these had been soldiers in the Revolution, and they generally united for mutual protection. The Ohio Company was formed in 1787, and, in order to assist it, Congress passed the Ordinance of 1787, of which mention has been made.

Slavery was forever forbidden in the Territory northwest of the Ohio, and the inhabitants were guaranteed full religious freedom, trial by jury, and equal political and civil privileges. The governors of the Territory were to be appointed by Congress until the population was sufficient to permit the organization of five separate States, which States should be the equal in every respect of the original thirteen. From the Territory named the powerful and prosperous States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin were afterward formed.


The Indian titles to 17,000,000 acres of land in the Territory had been extinguished by treaties with the leading tribes, despite which the red men contested the advancing settlers with untiring ferocity. Flatboats were attacked on their way down the Ohio, and the families massacred; blockhouses were assailed, and the smoke of the settlers' burning cabins lit the skies at night. The pioneer path to the fertile region was crimsoned by the blood of those who hewed their way through the western wilderness.

Until formed into States, the region was known as The Northwestern Territory. In 1788, Rufus Putnam, of Massachusetts, at the head of forty pioneers, founded the settlement of Marietta, and within the same year 20,000 people erected their homes in the region that had been visited by Daniel Boone and others nearly twenty years before.

No sooner had the ninth State ratified the Constitution than the Congress of the Confederation named March 4, 1789, as the day on which, in the city of New York, the new government should go into effect.

The time had come for the selection of the first President of the United States, and it need not be said that the name of only one man—Washington—was in people's thoughts. So overmastering was the personality of that great man that he was the only one mentioned, and what is most significant of all, not a politician or leader in the country had the effrontery to hint that he had placed himself "in the hands of his friends" in the race for the presidency. Had he done so, he would have been buffeted into eternal obscurity.

Whatever may be said of the ingratitude of republics, it can never be charged that the United States was ungrateful to Washington. The people appreciated his worth from the first, and there was no honor they would not have gladly paid him.


The date of the 4th of March was fixed without special reason for launching the new government, and it has been the rule ever since, though it often falls upon the most stormy and unpleasant day of the whole year. Some of the States were so slow in sending their representatives to New York, that more than a month passed before a quorum of both houses appeared. When the electoral vote for the President was counted, it was found that every one of the sixty-nine had been cast for Washington. The law was that the person receiving the next highest number became Vice-President. This vote was: John Adams, of Massachusetts, 34; John Jay, of New York, 9; R.H. Harrison, of Maryland, 6; John Rutledge, of South Carolina, 6; John Hancock, of Massachusetts, 4; George Clinton, of New York, 3; Samuel Huntington, of Connecticut, 2; John Milton, of Georgia, 2; James Armstrong, of Georgia, Benjamin Lincoln, of Massachusetts, and Edward Telfair, of Georgia, 1 vote each. Vacancies (votes not cast).

John Adams, of Massachusetts, therefore, became the first Vice-President.





Washington—His Inauguration as First President of the United States—Alexander Hamilton—His Success at the Head of the Treasury Department—The Obduracy of Rhode Island—Establishment of the United States Bank—Passage of a Tariff Bill—Establishment of a Mint—The Plan of a Federal Judiciary—Admission of Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee—Benjamin Franklin—Troubles with the Western Indians—Their Defeat by General Wayne—Removal of the National Capital Provided for—The Whiskey Insurrection—The Course of "Citizen Genet"—Jay's Treaty—Re-election of Washington—Resignation of Jefferson and Hamilton—Washington's Farewell Address—Establishment of the United States Military Academy at West Point—The Presidential Election of 1796—John Adams—Prosperity of the Country—Population of the Country in 1790—Invention of the Cotton Gin—Troubles with France—War on the Ocean—Washington Appointed Commander-in-Chief—Peace Secured—The Alien and Sedition Laws—The Census of 1800—The Presidential Election of 1800—The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution—Thomas Jefferson—Admission of Ohio—The Indiana Territory—The Purchase of Louisiana—Its Immense Area—Abolishment of the Slave Trade—War with Tripoli—The Lewis and Clark Expedition—Alexander Hamilton Killed in a Duel by Aaron Burr—The First Steamboat on the Hudson—The First Steamer to Cross the Atlantic—England's Oppressive Course Toward the United States—Outrage by the British Ship Leander—The Affair of the Leopard and Chesapeake—Passage of the Embargo Act—The Presidential Election of 1808.


mary ball


The name of Washington will always stand peerless and unapproachable on the pages of human history. In great crises, Heaven raises up men for its appointed work. As soldier, statesman, and patriot, he combined in his own personality the full requirements of the prodigious task than which no greater was ever laid upon the shoulders of man. Through trials, sufferings, discouragements, disappointments, abuse, ill treatment, opposition, and misunderstandings, he never lost heart; his lofty patriotism was never quenched; his sublime faith in God and the destiny of his country never wavered, and, seeing with the eye of undimmed faith the end from the beginning, he advanced with serene majesty and unconquerable resolve to the conclusion and perfection of his mighty work.

It has been said of Washington that he embodied within himself the genius of sanity and the sanity of genius. We can conceive of Lincoln, Grant, or any other great man losing his mind, but like the snowy crest of a mountain, rising far above the plain, he stood by himself, and it is impossible to think of him as losing even in the slightest degree the magnificent attributes of his personality. As has been stated, his was the single example in our history in which the fate of our country rested with one man. Had he fallen in battle at any time between Lexington and Yorktown, the Revolution would have stopped and independence been postponed indefinitely. But when Heaven selects its agent, it shields him in impenetrable armor, and, though Washington was exposed to innumerable personal perils in the wilderness and in battle, when his comrades were smitten with death around him, he never received the slightest wound, and lived to see his work finished, when, in the quiet of his own home at Mount Vernon, he lay down, folded his arms, and passed to his reward.


Two terms, 1789-1797.

George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, February 22, 1732. There is a general misunderstanding as to his family. He had three half-brothers, one half-sister, and three brothers and two sisters. His half-brothers and sister, children of Augustine Washington and Jane Butler, were: Butler (died in infancy), Lawrence, Augustine, and Jane. His brothers and sisters, children of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball, were: Betty, Samuel, John Augustine, Charles, and Mildred (died in infancy).

Washington's father died when the son was eleven years old, and his training devolved upon his mother, a woman of rare force of character. He received a common school education, but never became learned in books. He early showed a liking for military matters, was fond of the sports of boyhood, and was manly, truthful, and so eminently fair in everything, that his playmates generally selected him as umpire and cheerfully accepted his decisions. He became an expert surveyor, and, at the age of sixteen, was employed by Lord Fairfax to survey his immense estate. The work, which continued for three years and was of the most difficult nature, attended by much hardship and danger, was performed to the full satisfaction of his employer.

Washington grew to be a magnificent specimen of physical manhood. He was six feet two inches tall, with a large frame and a strength surpassing that of two ordinary men. No one in the neighborhood was his equal in horsemanship, running, leaping, throwing, swimming, and all manner of athletic sports. He was of the highest social rank, wealthy, and a vestryman and member of the Episcopal Church. He was rather fond of pomp and ceremony, somewhat reserved in manner, and at times seemed cold and distant, but with a character that was without flaw or stain. It has already been said that he served throughout the Revolution without accepting a penny for his services. He kept an account of all he received from the government, but sometimes forgot to note what he paid out. In such cases he balanced his books by paying the deficit from his own pocket, so that it may be truthfully said he not only won independence for his country, but paid for the privilege of doing so.

Washington from his first services in the French and Indian War was so identified with the history of his country that the account of one includes that of the other. Having told of his election to the presidency, it, therefore, remains to give the principal incidents of his administration.


A special messenger reached Mount Vernon with news of Washington's election on the 14th of April, and two days later he set out for New York. The journey was one continual ovation, special honors being shown him at Baltimore, Philadelphia, Trenton, and New York, where they attained their culmination. He arrived on the 23d of April, and the inauguration took place a week later. Amid impressive ceremonies, the oath was administered by Robert R. Livingston, the chancellor of the State of New York, in Federal Hall, on the present site of the sub-treasury building. Washington stood in a balcony of the senate chamber, in full view of the great multitude on the outside. He showed considerable embarrassment, but was cheered to the echo and was greatly touched by the manifestations of the love of his fellow-countrymen.



At the opening of his administration, Washington became ill and no important business was done until September. On the 10th of that month, Congress created a department of foreign affairs, a treasury department, and a department of war. Thomas Jefferson was nominated to the first, Alexander Hamilton to the second, and General Henry Knox to the third. All were admirable appointments.


Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury, was one of the most remarkable men identified with the history of our country. He was born in the West Indies in 1757, and, while a child, displayed extraordinary ability. When fifteen years old, he was sent to New York City and entered King's (now Columbia) College. A patriotic speech made when he was only seventeen years old held his hearers spellbound by its eloquence. At twenty, he organized a company of cavalry and performed excellent service on Long Island and at White Plains. Washington was so impressed by his brilliancy that he placed him on his staff and made him his military secretary. Many of the best papers of the commander-in-chief received their finishing touches from the master hand of Hamilton. He was in Congress in 1782-1783, and helped to frame the Constitution. When the New York Convention assembled to ratify the new Constitution, three-fourths of its members were strongly opposed to it, but Hamilton by the sheer force of his eloquent logic won them over and secured the assent of the State to the adoption of the Constitution. He was one of our most brilliant statesmen and the foremost Federalist of his time.


The greatest problem which confronted the country was that of finance, and Hamilton grasped it with the skill of a master. Hardly had he received his commission, when Congress called upon him for a plan to provide for the public debt and to revive the dead national credit. Hamilton's first answer was that the country would begin by being honest, and that every dollar of the confederation, then amounting almost to $80,000,000, should be paid, the United States assuming all debts due to American citizens, as well as the war debt of each State. This bold and creditable ground greatly improved public credit, before any provision was made for the payment of the vast debt.



Hamilton's plan was to fund the entire debt and issue new certificates. It was vehemently opposed, especially the provision that the State debts should be assumed by the general government; but solely by his wonderful ability he carried the measure through Congress. The debate sharpened the lines between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists or Republicans.

It will be remembered that at that time neither North Carolina nor Rhode Island had adopted the Constitution. The former called a convention, and, on the 13th of November, 1789, ratified it, but Rhode Island continued to sulk until Providence and Newport withdrew from the State, and Massachusetts and Connecticut made ready to parcel the State between them. This frightened her, and, on May 29, 1790, she joined her sisters.

The following year Hamilton gave another proof of his power by carrying through Congress, in the face of the strongest opposition, a measure for the relief of the financial straits of the government. The only banks in the country were one each in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, all of which were State institutions. He advocated the establishment of a bank in which the government should be one-fifth owner of the capital stock of $10,000,000 and a preferred borrower to the same amount. It was to be under private management. In the face of the strong opposition, the act creating it was passed, and it was chartered for twenty years. The subscriptions required that one-fourth should be paid in specie and the rest in six per cent. certificates of the bank. Within two hours after the subscription books were opened the entire amount of stock was subscribed. The United States Bank was destined to play an important part in national affairs in after years.


Having provided the means for funding the debt and for borrowing money, it yet remained to find some way of earning the money. The method was so apparent that Congress lost no time in passing a tariff bill. A law placed a duty on imported and domestic spirits, and, in February, 1792, a protective tariff bill was enacted. This provided that the materials from which goods are manufactured should not be taxed, while articles competing with those made in this country were prohibited. A mint was also established in Philadelphia for coining money.


The plan for the Federal judiciary was perfected on the lines proposed by Ellsworth, of Connecticut. The national judiciary consisted of a supreme court, having a chief justice and five associate justices, who were to hold two sessions annually at the seat of the Federal government. Specified jurisdiction was given to the circuit and district courts, and each State was made a district; the Territories of Maine and Kentucky were provided for in the same manner, and the remaining Territories were grouped into three circuits. When the matter in dispute amounted to $2,000, an appeal could be taken from the lower courts to the supreme court. The President was to appoint a marshal in each district, possessing the general powers of a sheriff, and the interests of the government were placed in the hands of a district attorney.

The first chief justice of the United States was John Jay, of New York, while Edmund Randolph, of Virginia, was made attorney-general. The associate judges were John Rutledge, of South Carolina; James Wilson, of Pennsylvania; William Cushing, of Massachusetts; Robert H. Harrison, of Maryland; and John Blair, of Virginia.

Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1791; Kentucky, June 1, 1792; and Tennessee exactly two years later. These three States were all that were formed during the presidency of Washington.



Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia, April 17, 1790, at the age of eighty-four years. Since he was one of the greatest of all Americans, he is entitled to fitting notice. He was born in Boston in 1706, and was the youngest of seventeen children. His father was a tallow chandler and soap boiler, a trade which Benjamin detested. He was apprenticed to his brother, who was a printer, and while a boy gave evidence of his remarkable keenness and brilliant common sense. Rebelling against the discipline of his brother, he ran away, tramping most of the distance to Philadelphia. There he secured a situation and showed himself so skillful and tasteful a printer that he never lacked for work. He established a paper in Philadelphia in 1729, and began the publication of Poor Richard's Almanac in 1732, the year in which Washington was born. The wit, homely philosophy, and keen penetration shown by Franklin attracted wide attention and gave the almanac an enormous circulation, which lasted as long as it was published. Many of his proverbs are still popular and widely quoted.



In 1753, he was appointed deputy postmaster of the British colonies, and, as a delegate to the Albany Convention in 1754, proposed an important plan for colonial union. From 1757 to 1762, and again from 1764 to the Revolution, he was agent of Pennsylvania in England; part of the time also for Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Georgia. Returning to Philadelphia in 1775, he was at once chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress. Few persons, in looking at his handsome signature on the Declaration of Independence, would suspect that it was written when he was seventy years old. It has been shown that he was one of the committee of five who drew up the Declaration, and in the following autumn was sent to Paris to join Arthur Lee and Silas Deane. His services there were of the highest importance. He had a leading part in the negotiations of the treaty of peace in 1783, after which he negotiated a favorable treaty with Russia. He returned to America in 1785, and was chosen president of Pennsylvania, and again in 1786 and 1787. He was an influential member of the Constitutional convention, and probably was second to Washington in popularity. His funeral in Philadelphia was attended by more than 20,000 persons.

Franklin's researches in electricity, though slight as compared with the discoveries since made by Edison, Tesla, and others, extended his fame to Europe. By means of the kite which he sent aloft in a thunderstorm, he proved that the lightning in the atmosphere is identical with that developed by frictional electricity. This discovery led to the invention of the lightning-rod for buildings, which has been the means of saving property beyond estimate. He was the inventor also of an economical stove and other useful contrivances. He made himself wealthy, and the fortune which he left at his death was the foundation of the splendid institution of learning known as the University of Pennsylvania.

fallen timbers

In this memorable battle of August 20, 1794, General Wayne visited a final defeat upon the Indians at Maumee Rapids, putting an end to the war in the Northwest, which for nearly four years had terrorized and devastated the territory now occupied by the States of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.


Returning to the history of Washington's presidency, mention must be made of the troubles with the western Indians, who, as has been stated, fought relentlessly against the advance of civilization into their hunting grounds. Between 1783 and 1790, 1,500 persons were killed by the red men near the Ohio. It being clear that peace could not be secured except by a thorough chastisement of the Indians, Congress gave General Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, authority to call for 500 militia from Pennsylvania and a thousand from Kentucky, to which were added 400 regulars. Under General Harmar they marched against the Indian villages.

In the campaign the Indians outgeneraled Harmar, who, after inflicting some damage, was defeated and lost 200 men in killed and wounded. The defeat encouraged the savages, who became more aggressive than ever. General St. Clair organized a second expedition consisting of 2,000 men, including cavalry and artillery, with which in October, 1793, he entered the Indian country, only to suffer a more disastrous defeat than General Harmar, and in which the losses were so dreadful that the news caused consternation in Philadelphia. Washington had cautioned St. Clair against the very mistakes he made, and he completely lost his temper. He paced up and down his room, giving such expressions to his feelings that those around him were awed into silence. By-and-by, he seemed to regret the outburst, and, when the trembling St. Clair some time later presented himself, the President received him without reproach; but St. Clair was overwhelmed by his disgrace and resigned his command.


Washington determined that no more blunders should be made, and appointed Anthony Wayne to the command of the next expedition. He raised a large force, moved cautiously, and took every precaution against surprise, as Washington had told him to do. He had 4,000 men under his command, and the consummate woodcraft and tricks of the red men failed to deceive him. At Fallen Timbers, near the present city of Toledo, he met a large force, August 20, 1794, of Canadians and Indians, completely routed them, killed a great many, with slight loss to himself, and so crushed the confederation of tribes that they gave no more trouble for a long time. A year later, 1,100 chiefs and warriors met the United States commissioners at Fort Greenville and signed a treaty of peace, by which they ceded to the government an immense tract of land lying in the present States of Michigan and Indiana. An impetus was given to western emigration, which suffered no interruption for many years.


One of the acts of Congress was to declare that Philadelphia was to be the national capital for ten years, from 1790, when it was to be removed to a point on the Potomac River, where the city of Washington now stands. One measure which Hamilton induced Congress to pass caused trouble. It doubled the duty on imported spirits and taxed those distilled in this country. So much dissatisfaction appeared in North Carolina and Pennsylvania that the law was modified, but it did not end the discontent. The officers sent to Pennsylvania to collect the taxes were resisted and the militia sympathized with the rioters, whose numbers swelled to 7,000 under arms. When they began to talk of appealing to England, Washington lost patience and sent a large body of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey militia to the section. They were under the command of General Henry Lee, governor of Virginia, and arrived on the scene in October, 1794. Order was soon restored, and the ringleaders, expressing sorrow for their acts, were not punished. This seems to be the rule in our country, except that repentance on the part of criminals is not required.


The action of "Citizen Genet" caused a flurry during Washington's presidency. The "Reign of Terror" had begun in France, where the most appalling revolution in history had taken place. The tyranny of the rulers had driven the people to frenzied desperation, and, overthrowing the government, their massacres were not checked until literally hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Since their rebellion was begun against tyranny, and France had helped us in our war for independence, there was general sympathy for the people in our own country, though everyone was shocked by the deeds that soon horrified the civilized world.

Having established a government, the revolutionists sent Edward Charles Genet to this country as its representative. He was warmly welcomed at Charleston, where he landed in April, 1793. He was too discourteous to go to Philadelphia to present his credentials, and began enlisting recruits for France and intriguing for an alliance with us. Since France was fighting England, Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, and Holland, it can be understood how desirable such an alliance would have been to her.

Washington was too wise to be misled, and he issued a proclamation of neutrality, forbidding citizens of the United States to equip vessels to carry on hostilities against the belligerent powers. Genet paid no attention to this, but kept on enlisting men and fitting out cruisers in American waters. His course became so intolerable that Washington demanded his recall. This demand was complied with, and he was ordered to return home. No one knew better than he that if he showed himself in France he would lose his head. So he stayed in this country until his death in 1834.


john jay


The course of England became so unjust toward the commerce, because of her war with France, that Chief Justice John Jay, in May, 1794, was sent as envoy extraordinary to that country to demand redress. A treaty was agreed upon and ratified by the Senate in June, 1795, which provided that the British garrisons should be withdrawn from the western posts by June 1, 1796; free inland navigation upon lakes and rivers was guaranteed to both nations, except that the United States was excluded from the territory of the Hudson Bay Company; British vessels were admitted to the rivers and harbors on our seacoast, but our shipping was shut out from the rivers and harbors of the British provinces, with the exception of small vessels trading between Montreal and Quebec; our northeastern boundary was to be fixed by a commission; the payments of debts incurred before the war were guaranteed to British creditors, if such debts were collectible by an American creditor; Great Britain was to pay for losses resulting from irregular captures by her cruisers; citizens of either country were allowed to hold landed possessions in the territory of the other; private property was not to be confiscated in time of war; trade between the United States and the West Indies was free to the vessels of both nations, but American vessels were forbidden to carry West Indian products from the islands or from the States to any other part of the world. The last clause was to be in force only two years, when further negotiation was to take place. In addition, the two years' limit was applicable to the right of American vessels to trade between the East Indies and the United States, but in time of war they were not to take thither any rice or military stores; free commerce was established between the British dominions in Europe and the United States; the regulation of duties was provided for, as well as the appointment of consuls and the rules of blockade; privateering was regulated; what was contraband of war was defined, and it was agreed that piracy should be punished; ships of war could enter the ports of either country; criminals escaping from one country to the other were to be surrendered; and, in the event of war between the two countries, citizens in hostile territory were not to be molested.

Although this treaty possessed many good points, and was the best obtainable by our envoy, it gave so many advantages to Great Britain that it roused bitter enmity in this country. Public meetings were held in the leading cities, where it was denounced as cowardly and made for the express purpose of avoiding a war with England. The feeling rose so high that Jay was burned in effigy, Hamilton was assaulted at a public meeting, the British minister insulted, and even Washington himself treated with disrespect. Better judgment prevailed, when the passions cooled, and it is now admitted that Jay's treaty, when all the circumstances are considered, was a commendable one.


It was Washington's wish to retire to private life on conclusion of his first term, but he could not disregard the demand from all quarters. No competitor appeared in the field against him, and for a second time he was unanimously elected. His vote was 132; that cast for the candidates for the minor office being, John Adams, Federalist, 77; George Clinton, of New York, Republican, 50; Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Republican, 4; Aaron Burr, of New York, Republican, 1; vacancies, 3. This vote made John Adams again Vice-President.

Since Jefferson was the leader of the Republicans (or as now called the Democrats), and Hamilton of the Federalists (afterward the Whigs), and the two, as members of Washington's cabinet, were able and aggressive, they were continually disputing. Sometimes they sorely tried Washington's patience, who, appreciating the ability of both, often had hard work to prevent an open rupture. On the last day in 1793, Jefferson resigned his office as secretary of foreign affairs and retired to private life at Monticello, Virginia. A year later Hamilton resigned as minister of finance. Through his efforts public credit had been restored, and industry and trade had revived. He well deserved the eloquent tribute of Daniel Webster: "He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenues burst forth. He touched the dead corpse of public credit, and it sprung upon its feet."

As Washington's second term drew to a close, a universal demand was made that he should serve again. Despite the fact that the two great political parties were fairly organized, and each contained many able men, no one would have had the temerity to offer himself as a competitor; but he was growing old, his strength had been worn out in the service of his country, and the rest he yearned for could no longer be denied him. He, therefore, issued his immortal Farewell Address to his countrymen and withdrew to Mount Vernon, where he peacefully passed away December 14, 1799, mourned by the whole country and revered by the civilized world.



The Farewell Address contains counsel that can never lose its value to America. After thanking his fellow-countrymen for the confidence they had always shown in him, and the support he had received from them, he said that the love of liberty was so interwoven with every ligament of their hearts that no recommendation of his was necessary to fortify that attachment. The unity of government, by which they were made one people, had also become very dear to them.

"It is justly so," he said, "for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence—the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety, of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But, as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices be employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth—as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed—it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must also exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels and joints efforts; of common dangers, sufferings, and successes."



Previous to his departure for Europe, in the fall of 1784, the Marquis de Lafayette repaired to Fredericksburg to pay his parting respects to Washington's mother and to ask her blessing.

Conducted by one of her grandsons he approached the house, when, the young gentleman observing, "There, sir, is my grandmother," the Marquis beheld, working in her garden, clad in domestic-made clothes and her gray head covered by a plain straw hat, the mother of "his hero, his friend, and a country's preserver." The lady saluted him kindly, observing, "Ah, Marquis, you see an old woman; but come, I can make you welcome to my poor dwelling without the parade of changing my dress."

Washington next pointed out the mutual advantages derived from one another in the different sections of the Union, and impressively warned his countrymen against the danger of sectional parties and the baneful effects of party spirit. He commended the Constitution, which could be amended, whenever the necessity arose, as beneficent in its provisions and obligatory upon all. Other wholesome counsel, which he added, made the Farewell Address a priceless heritage to the generations that came after him.

The immediate effect of the paper was excellent. The various State Legislatures voted thanks to Washington, and were warm in their praises of his wise and patriotic services as President. The regret was universal that the country was so soon to lose his valuable counsel and guidance.


During the Revolution Washington recommended the excellent location of West Point as the proper one for a military school of instruction. An act establishing the United States Military Academy at that place was passed March 16, 1802. It provided that fifty students or cadets should be given instruction under the senior engineer or officer, assisted by the corps of engineers of the army. As the institution grew, professorships of mathematics, engineering, philosophy, etc., were added, and the academy was made a military body subject to the rules and articles of war. A superintendent was designated in 1815, and the present system of appointing cadets was instituted in 1843. The rigid course, steadily elevated, probably prevents fully one-half of those entering from graduating, and, a comparison of the West Point Military Academy with similar institutions establishes the fact that it is the finest of the kind in the world.


The presidential election of 1796 was a close one, the result being: John Adams, Federalist, 71; Thomas Jefferson, Republican, 68; Thomas Pinckney, of South Carolina, Federalist, 59; Aaron Burr, of New York, Republican, 30; Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts, Republican, 15; Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut, Independent, 11; George Clinton, of New York, Republican, 7; John Jay, of New York, Federalist, 5; James Iredell, of North Carolina, Federalist, 3; George Washington, of Virginia, John Henry, of Maryland, and S. Johnson, of North Carolina, all Federalists, 2 votes each; Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina, Federalist, 1 vote. Since it required 70 votes to elect, it will be seen that John Adams was barely successful, with Jefferson close to him.

John Adams, the second President, was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, October 19, 1735. He graduated at Harvard, at the age of twenty, and was admitted to the bar three years later. He was one of the most active and influential members of the First and Second Continental Congresses. It was he who by his eloquent logic persuaded Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, his strenuous political opponent, declared that Adams was the pillar of its support and its ablest advocate and defender. It was Adams who suggested the appointment of General Washington as commander-in-chief of the Continental army. During the progress of the war, he criticised the management of Washington, but, long before the death of the Father of his Country, candidly acknowledged the injustice of such criticism.


One term, 1797-1801.

The services of Adams were not confined to his early efforts in Congress nor to his term as President. He did important work as commissioner to France and Holland, and as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great Britain. He obtained large loans and induced leading European powers to make excellent treaties with his country. Adams and Franklin framed the preliminary treaty of Versailles, and, as the first American minister to England, he served until 1788. He received the thanks of Congress for the "patriotism, perseverance, integrity, and diligence" displayed while representing his country abroad. When John Adams assumed the duties of the presidency, he found the country comparatively prosperous and well governed.

The South was the most prosperous. Until 1793, its principal productions were rice, indigo, tar, and tobacco. The soil and climate were highly favorable to the growth of cotton, but its culture was unprofitable, for its seeds were so closely interwoven in its texture that only by hard work could a slave clean five pounds a day. In the year named, Eli Whitney, a New England schoolteacher, living in Georgia, invented the cotton gin, with which a man can clean a thousand pounds of cotton a day. This rendered its cultivation highly profitable, gave an importance to the institution of slavery, and, in its far-reaching effects, was the greatest invention ever made in this country.


The matter which chiefly occupied public attention during the administration of the elder Adams was our difficulties with France. That country had hardly emerged from the awful Reign of Terror in which a million of people were massacred, and it was under the control of a set of bloody minded miscreants, who warred against mankind and believed they could compel the United States to pay a large sum of money for the privilege of being let alone. They turned our representatives out of the country, enacted laws aimed to destroy our commerce, and instructed their naval officers to capture and sell American vessels and cargoes.

President Adams, who abhorred war, sent special ministers to protest against the course of France. The impudent reply was there would be no stoppage until the men who controlled the French government were paid large sums of money. This exasperating notice brought the answer from Charles Cotesworth Pinckney which has become historical: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute."

cotton gin

A machine which does the work
of more than 1,000 men.

Although war was not declared, it prevailed on the ocean during the latter half of 1798. Congress convened, abolished the treaties with France, strengthened the navy, and ordered it to attack French vessels wherever found. Several engagements took place, in all of which the French men-of-war were whipped "to a standstill." The most important of the naval battles was between the Constitution, under Commodore Truxton, and the French frigate L'Insurgente, in which the latter was captured. A messenger was sent to Mount Vernon, carrying the appointment of Washington as commander-in-chief of the American army. He found the great man in the harvest field; but when Washington donned his spectacles and read the paper, he replied that he was then as always ready to serve his country in whatever capacity he could. He accepted with the understanding that he was not to be called into the field until actual hostilities took place on the land, and that Alexander Hamilton should until then be the commander-in-chief.

Doubtless a destructive war would have resulted, but for the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte, as a stepping-stone to his marvelous career, overturned the French government and installed himself as emperor. He saw the folly of a war with the United States, when he was certain soon to be embroiled with more powerful neighbors near home. He offered fair terms of peace to our country in 1799, and they were accepted.


One of the gravest mistakes made by the Federalists in Congress was the passage of the Alien and Sedition Laws. Irritated by the mischief-making of foreigners, a law was enacted which permitted the President to arrest any alien in the country whose presence he considered dangerous. The acts under which this was to be done were known as the Alien Laws. The most detested measure, however, was that which authorized the arrest of any person who should speak evil of the government, and was known as the Sedition Law. There were arrests and punishments under its provisions, and the majority of the people were bitterly hostile to it. It was unquestionably a direct invasion of the liberty of speech. The claim that no editor, public speaker, or private citizen should be allowed to condemn an action of the government which he disproved was unbearable, but it was in direct line with the Federal policy of a powerful central government, and as directly opposed to Republican principles. The feeling became so intense that at the next presidential election the Federal party was defeated and never afterward gained control of the government.


The census of 1800 showed that the population of the country had increased to 5,308,483. In that year, the national capital was removed from Philadelphia to the straggling, partly built village of Washington, standing in the woods, and without any of the structures that have made it one of the most attractive cities in the world.

The presidential election of 1800 was an exciting one. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, both Republicans, received 73 electoral votes, while John Adams, Federalist had 65; Charles C. Pinckney, Federalist, 64; John Jay, Federalist 1. The vote between the leaders being a tie, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives, where, after thirty-eight ballots, Jefferson was elected, with Burr, the next highest candidate, Vice-President. The preceding election, as will be remembered, gave a President and Vice-President of different political parties, always an undesirable thing, and this fact, added to the difficulties of the election just over, led to the adoption in 1804 of the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires the electors to vote separately for the President and Vice-President.



Two terms, 1801-1809.

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was born at Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia, April 2, 1743. His father, a wealthy planter, died when his son was fourteen years old, and he entered William and Mary College, where he was the most assiduous student in the institution. Jefferson was as fond as Washington of athletic sports, and, though he was of less massive build, he attained the same stature, six feet two inches. In college, he was an awkward, freckle-faced, sandy haired youth, who, but for his superior mental attainments, would have commanded little respect. Except for his fondness for hunting and horseback riding, he never could have acquired the physique which allowed him to spend ten, twelve, and sixteen hours of every twenty-four in hard study.

Jefferson was undoubtedly the most learned of all our Presidents. He was not only a fine mathematician, but a master of Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, and Italian. He was an exquisite performer on the violin, and it was said of him, by one of the most noted European musicians, that he never heard an amateur play the king of instruments as well as the slim Virginian.

Jefferson married a wealthy lady and named his attractive home Monticello. His great ability caused his election to the Virginia Legislature while a young man, and he was soon afterward sent to Congress. Lacking the gifts of oratory, he had no superior as a writer of fine, classical, forceful English. Among the many excellent laws he secured for Virginia was the separation of Church and State. He was the author of a parliamentary manual for the government of the United States Senate, which is still an authority, and of our present system of decimal currency; but the reader does not need to be reminded that his fame will go down to posterity chiefly as the writer of the Declaration of Independence; but Jefferson felt almost equally proud of the fact that he was founder of the University of Virginia, which, abandoning the old system, introduced the "free system of independent schools." He also proposed for his State a comprehensive system of free public schools.

Although wealthy, he went almost to the extreme of simplicity. His dress was as plain as that of the Quakers; he wore leathern shoestrings instead of the fashionable silver buckles; and strove to keep his birthday a secret, because some of his friends wished to celebrate it. He was opposed to all pomp, ceremony, and titles. He is universally regarded as the founder of the Democracy of the present day, and was undeniably one of the greatest Presidents we have had.


The administration of Jefferson proved among the most important in the history of our country. Congress promptly abolished the tax on distilled spirits and a number of other manufactures, a step which enabled the President to dismiss a large number of revenue collectors, whose unwelcome duties had entailed considerable expense upon the country. The obnoxious Sedition Law was repealed, and the Alien Law so modified that it was shorn of its disagreeable features.


In the year 1800, a line was run through the Northwest Territory from the mouth of the Great Miami to Fort Recovery and thence to Canada. Three years afterward, the territory thus defined was admitted to the Union as the State of Ohio. The Indiana Territory included the portion west of the line named, with Vincennes as the capital. The Mississippi Territory was organized so as to extend from the western boundaries of Georgia to the Mississippi.

The punishment administered to France in 1798 naturally gave that country a respect for the United States, and in 1802 our relations with her became quite friendly. Bonaparte, having established a truce with the nations around him, found time to give some attention to the American republic. He seemed to believe he could establish a French colonial empire, not only in the West Indies, but in the immense province of Louisiana. Had Bonaparte succeeded, he would have acquired control of the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing would have pleased England more than to see so serious a check placed upon our growth, and nothing would have displeased our countrymen more than to be shut off from the Father of Waters and the right to emigrate westward. They were ready to go to war before submitting to such deprivation.


No one was more keenly alive to the situation than Jefferson. He carefully instructed our envoy at Paris to make the strongest possible representations to the French ruler of the grave mistake of the course he had in mind, which must inevitably result in an alliance with Great Britain in sweeping France from the seas and driving her from the West Indies. Bonaparte was too wise not to perceive that this was no empty threat, and that his visionary French empire in the West would prove an element of weakness rather than strength. Nothing was plainer than the truth that the stronger the United States became, the more dangerous would it be for his traditional enemy, England. He, therefore, proposed to sell Louisiana to the United States.

This was the very thing for which Jefferson had been skillfully working from the first. The bargain was speedily completed. On April 30, 1803, Louisiana came into our possession for the sum of $11,250,000, we agreeing at the same time to pay certain debts due from France to American citizens, amounting to $3,750,000, so that the total cost of Louisiana was $15,000,000.

It must not be forgotten that the Territory of Louisiana, as purchased by us, was vastly more extensive than is the present State of that name. It included the area from which have been carved the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, Montana, part of Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado, and the Territory of Oklahoma, the whole area being 1,171,931 square miles, as against 827,844, which was all the territory occupied previous to 1803. Peaceable possession was taken on the 20th of December following. The governorship of the Territory was offered to Lafayette, and declined by him, but he received a grant of 12,000 acres within its limits.


At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, it was agreed that the slave trade should be permitted for twenty years. It was abolished, therefore, in 1808, and the penalty for engaging in it was made punishable with death. At the time of the purchase of Louisiana, it was believed that it included Texas, but the United States gave up this claim in 1819 to Spain in return for the cession of Florida.

It seems incredible, but it was true, that for twenty years we had been paying a large tribute to Algiers on condition that she would not molest our commerce. Other nations did the same, because it was more convenient than keeping a navy in those far-off waters. A treaty with Morocco had been signed, in 1787, under which we also paid her tribute. The people of the Barbary States naturally waxed insolent, and when we were slow in sending our tribute they imposed a heavy penalty, which we meekly paid.


One of the most disgusted men was Captain William Bainbridge, when obliged to carry the tribute in 1800 to the Dey of Algiers, who informed him that the Americans were his slaves, and must do as he ordered. The indignant officer expressed the hope that the next tribute he delivered would be from the mouths of his cannon. The following year the ruler of Tripoli became ruffled because we did not send him as much tribute as he thought he was entitled to, and actually declared war against us.

The flurry of 1798 with France had caused a considerable increase in our navy, which was furnished with plenty of daring officers, who afterward made names for themselves. They eagerly welcomed a war of that nature which of necessity was a naval one. The operations were confined to the Mediterranean, on whose shore are the Barbary States.

The first real fight took place in August, 1801, between the Enterprise, a vessel of twelve guns, and a Tripolitan vessel of fourteen guns. It occurred off Malta, and lasted for two hours, when the Tripolitan hauled down his flag. Thereupon the Americans left their guns and were cheering, when the enemy treacherously fired a broadside into the Enterprise. Nothing loth, Lieutenant Sterrett renewed the battle with such vigor that in a few minutes the flag was lowered a second time, only to renew the fighting when the enemy saw an advantage.

Thoroughly exasperated, Lieutenant Sterrett now determined to complete the business. The vessel was raked fore and aft, the mizzen-mast torn away, the hull knocked to splinters, and fifty men killed and wounded. Then the American officer caught sight of the captain leaping up and down on the deck, shrieking and flinging his arms about, as evidence that he was ready to surrender in earnest. He threw his own flag overboard, but Lieutenant Sterrett demanded that his arms and ammunition should follow, the remainder of the masts cut away, and the ship dismantled. That being done, Sterrett allowed him to rig a jury mast and told him to carry his compliments to the Dey.

The war against the Tripolitans was very similar to that against the Spaniards in 1898. The Enterprise had not lost a man, although the Americans inflicted severe loss on the enemy. In July, 1802, the Constellation, in a fight with nine Tripolitan gunboats, drove five ashore, the rest escaping by fleeing into the harbor. More than once a Tripolitan vessel was destroyed, with all on board, without the loss of a man on our side.

But the war was not to be brought to a close without an American disaster. In 1803 the fine frigate Philadelphia, while chasing a blockade-runner, ran upon a reef in the harbor of Tripoli, and, being helpless, a fleet of the enemy's gunboats swarmed around her and compelled Captain Bainbridge and his crew to surrender. The frigate was floated off at high tide and the enemy refitted her.


One night in February, 1804, the Intrepid, a small vessel under the command of Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, one of the bravest of American naval officers, approached the Philadelphia, as she lay at anchor, and, being hailed, replied, through a native whom he had impressed into service, that he was a merchantman who had lost his anchors. The Tripolitans allowed the vessel to come alongside without any suspicion on their part. Suddenly a score of Americans sprang up and leaped through the port-holes of the frigate. It took them but a few minutes to clear the deck, when the vessel was fired in several places and the men safely withdrew. The Philadelphia burned to the water's edge.

Early in August, Commodore Preble bombarded the town of Tripoli from his mortar boats. During a fight with the gunboats James Decatur, a brother of Stephen, received the surrender of one he was fighting, and stepped on the deck to take possession. As he did so, the captain shot him dead. Stephen had just destroyed a gunboat when he learned of this treacherous occurrence and dashed after the craft, which he boarded. Recognizing the captain from his immense size, he attacked him, and, in a desperate personal encounter, in which he narrowly escaped death himself, killed the Moor.


The Americans fixed up the Intrepid as a bomb ketch, storing a hundred barrels of powder and missiles and a hundred and fifty shells on deck. Under command of Captain Richard Somers, and accompanied by twelve men, the vessel ran slowly into the harbor one dark night. The intention was to fire a slow-match and then for the officer and men to withdraw in boats. Captain Somers was discovered by the enemy, and in some unknown way the ketch was blown up with all on board, and without doing any material harm to the shipping and fortifications in the harbor.

Commodore Preble was superseded in November by Commodore Barron, who arrived with the President and Constellation. This gave the Americans ten vessels, carrying 264 guns. Hostilities were pressed with so much vigor that the Dey of Tripoli became anxious to make peace before the terrible fleet from the West destroyed him and his people. Accordingly, a treaty was signed on the 3d of June by which the Tripolitans were given $60,000 for the prisoners in their hands, and the payment of tribute to them was ended.


In those comparatively modern days the vast region west of the Mississippi was almost unknown. President Jefferson recommended a congressional appropriation for the exploration of the country. The appropriation being made, a party of thirty men left the Mississippi, May 14, 1804, under command of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Both had had a good deal of experience in the Indian country, and they ascended the Missouri in a flotilla for 2,600 miles. To the three streams which form the Missouri they gave the names of Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison. A detachment was then left in charge of the boats, and the remainder, riding the horses they had captured and tamed, made their way across the mountains. They discovered the two streams which bear their names, and traced the Columbia to its outlet in the Pacific Ocean.

The expedition was absent for two years, and its report on returning added much to our geographical knowledge of the section. They were the first party of white men to cross the continent north of Mexico. Captain Lewis was appointed governor of Missouri Territory in 1806, and was acting as such when he committed suicide in 1809. Captain Clark was also governor of Missouri Territory, and afterward superintendent of Indian affairs. He died in St. Louis in 1838.


No one read the wicked character of Aaron Burr more unerringly than Alexander Hamilton. He saw that he was ready to ruin his country for the sake of gratifying an insatiate ambition. Hamilton was always outspoken in expressing his opinions; and the hostility between the two became so bitter that Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. Although the latter had had a son killed through the barbarous code within the preceding year, he was foolish enough to accept the challenge, and the duel was fought at Weehawken, New Jersey, July 12, 1804. Hamilton fired in the air, but Burr aimed straight for his antagonist and inflicted a wound from which he died the next day.

Although Burr presided in the Senate after the duel, the whole country was shocked by the occurrence, and his friends fell away from him. In 1804, when Jefferson was re-elected to the presidency, George Clinton took the place of Burr as Vice-President. Burr then engaged in a plot to form a new empire in the southwest, the precise nature of which is uncertain. He found a few to join with him, but it came to naught, and in 1807 he was tried at Richmond, Virginia, on the charge of treason, but acquitted. He spent some years in wandering over Europe, and then returned to resume the practice of law in New York. He died in obscurity and poverty on Staten Island in 1836.



A notable event of Jefferson's administrations was the first voyage of a steamboat up the Hudson. This was the Clermont, the invention of Robert Fulton, who was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1765. This boat was slightly over one hundred feet in length and about twenty feet broad, with side paddle-wheels and a sheet-iron boiler brought from England. There was general ridicule of the idea of moving boats by steam against a current, and the craft was called "Fulton's Folly." The crowd which gathered on the wharf in New York, August 1, 1807, indulged in jests which were not hushed until the craft moved slowly but smoothly up stream. Heading against the current, she made the voyage to Albany in thirty-two hours. She met with some mishaps, but after a time made regular trips between that city and New York, at the rate of five miles an hour.




This incident marked an epoch in the history of the West, where the first steamboat was built in 1811. Within a few years, they were plying on all the important rivers, greatly assisting emigration and the development of the country. The first steamer to cross the Atlantic was the Savannah in 1819. The screw propeller was introduced by the great Swedish inventor, John Ericsson, in 1836. Really successful ocean navigation began in 1838, when the Sirius and Great Western made the voyage from England to the United States.


The devastating war raging between England and France was destructive to American commerce and interests. The star of the wonderful Napoleon Bonaparte was rapidly in the ascendant, and his marvelous military genius seemed to threaten the "equilibrium of the world." England had no love for the United States and played havoc with our shipping. Her privateers infested our coasts, like swarms of locusts. Because of her immense naval superiority, she pestered us almost beyond bearing. She stopped our vessels off-shore, followed them into rivers and harbors, overhauled the crews, and in many cases took sailors away under the plea that they were English deserters. Her claim was that "once a British subject, always a British subject;" no sworn allegiance to any other government could release the claim of England upon him.

Our vessels were prohibited from carrying imports from the West Indies to France, but evaded the law by bringing imports to this country and then reshipping them to France. England peremptorily ordered the practice to stop and declared that all vessels thus engaged should be lawful prizes to her ships. This action caused general indignation in this country and thousands of citizens clamored for war.

Jefferson never lost his self-poise. While a thorough patriot, he knew the meaning of war. He sent a message to Congress on the subject in January, 1806, and the question was one of earnest and prolonged discussion, ending in the adoption of a resolution to prohibit certain articles of British manufacture.

But matters rapidly grew worse. In May following England declared the coast of Europe, from the Elbe in Germany to Brest in France, in a state of blockade. Bonaparte retaliated with the famous Berlin Decree, which blockaded the British Islands. In the spring of 1807 the British ship Leander fired into a coasting vessel and killed one of the men. The President issued a proclamation forbidding the Leander and the two ships in her company from entering any of the waters of the United States; calling upon all officers to apprehend the captain of the Leander on a charge of murder; prohibiting all communication between the shore and the ships, and warning all citizens from giving them aid under penalty of the law. Envoys were sent to England to adjust the trouble, but their efforts came to naught.


Matters were in this tense state when the most glaring outrage of all was perpetrated. The British ship-of-war Leopard, of fifty guns, was cruising off the capes of Virginia, hunting for the American frigate Chesapeake, which she claimed had a number of English deserters on board. The Chesapeake was hailed, and the English captain asked permission to send dispatches on board. Such courtesies were common, and Captain James Barron, the American commander, willingly complied with the request. When the boat arrived, a letter was presented to Captain Barron, containing the orders of the British admiral to search the Chesapeake for a number of deserters, who were mentioned by name. Captain Barron sent word that he had no knowledge of any deserters, and refused to submit. Thereupon the Leopard fired several broadsides into the Chesapeake, which, being entirely unprepared for battle, was obliged to strike her flag, three men having been killed and eighteen wounded. Four men were then selected from the crew of the Chesapeake, three of whom were negroes, all declared to be deserters, and taken on board the Leopard.

The country was thrown into a tumult of excitement, and the President, by proclamation, closed all American harbors and waters against the British navy, prohibited any intercourse with such vessels, and sent a special minister to England to demand satisfaction. Congress was called together, and a hundred thousand men in the different States were ordered to hold themselves in readiness for service. The action of the captain of the Leander was disavowed, reparation offered, and the offending admiral was recalled, but the reparation promised was never made, and Great Britain refused to give up the right of search.


Although the action of England was anything but satisfactory, it averted war for the time. In December, Congress passed the Embargo Act, which forbade all American vessels to leave the coast of the United States. The belief was that by thus suspending commerce with England and France, the two countries would be forced to respect our neutrality. The real sufferers, however, were ourselves; New England and New York, whose shipping business was ruined, denounced the act in unmeasured terms. Thus the administration of Jefferson, which had brought so much material prosperity to the country and was so prolific in beneficent events, closed amid clouds and threatened disaster.


In the presidential election of 1808, the electoral vote was as follows: James Madison, of Virginia, Republican, 122; Charles C. Pinckney, of South Carolina, Federalist, 47; George Clinton, of New York, Republican, 6. For Vice-President, George Clinton, Republican, 113; Rufus King, of New York, Federalist, 47; John Langdon, of New Hampshire, 9; James Madison, 3; James Monroe, 3. Vacancy, 1. Thus Madison and Clinton became respectively President and Vice-President.



THE WAR OF 1812.

James Madison—The Embargo and the Non-Intercourse Acts—Revival of the Latter Against England—The Little Belt and the President—Population of the United States in 1810—Battle of Tippecanoe—Declaration of War Against England—Comparative Strength of the Two Nations on the Ocean—Unpopularity of the War in New England—Preparations Made by the Government—Cowardly Surrender of Detroit—Presidential Election of 1812—Admission of Louisiana and Indiana—New National Bank Chartered—Second Attempt to Invade Canada—Battle of Queenstown Heights—Inefficiency of the American Forces in 1812—Brilliant Work of the Navy—The Constitution and the Guerrière—The Wasp and the Frolic—The United States and the Macedonian—The Constitution and the Java—Reorganization and Strengthening of the Army—Operations in the West—Gallant Defense of Fort Stephenson—American Invasion of Ohio and Victory of the Thames—Indian Massacre at Fort Mimms—Capture of York (Toronto)—Defeat of the Enemy at Sackett's Harbor—Failure of the American Invasion of Canada—The Hornet and Peacock—Capture of the Chesapeake—"Don't Give Up the Ship"—Captain Decatur Blockaded at New London—Capture of the Argus by the Enemy—Cruise of the Essex—The Glorious Victory of Commodore Perry on Lake Erie—Success of the American Arms in Canada—Battle of the Chippewa—Of Lundy's Lane—Decisive Defeat of the Enemy's Attack on Plattsburg—Punishment of the Creek Indians for the Massacre at Fort Mimms—Vigorous Action by the National Government—Burning of Washington by the British—The Hartford Convention.


James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, was born at Port Conway, Virginia, March 16, 1751, and died June 28, 1836. He received the best educational facilities and graduated from Princeton College at the age of twenty. He devoted himself so closely to study that he permanently injured his health. In 1776, he was elected a member of the Virginia Legislature, and was offered the mission to France, after the return of Jefferson, but declined it. Again he had the chance of becoming Jefferson's successor, when the latter resigned as secretary of State, but refused through fear of causing differences in Washington's cabinet. He was a Federalist at first, but changed his views and became an earnest Republican. Jefferson made him his secretary of State, and he served throughout both administrations. He was a cultured gentleman, an ardent friend of Jefferson, and carried out his policy when he became President.


Just before the close of Jefferson's last term, Congress repealed the Embargo Act and passed the Non-Intercourse Act, which forbade all trade with England. This was in 1809, and the law was abrogated in the following year. Our relations with England, however, continued to grow more irritating, until it became clear that war was at hand. Congress gave notice that if either Great Britain or France would repeal their offensive decrees, the Non-Intercourse Act would be revived against the other. Bonaparte immediately announced that he revoked his decrees, but instead of doing so, he enforced them more rigidly than before, thus accomplishing what he sought, that of arraying the United States against Great Britain. The Non-Intercourse Law was revived against Great Britain, whose conduct became more exasperating than ever. Our whole coast was under surveillance, and many of our merchant vessels were captured without any excuse whatever.


JAMES MADISON. (1751-1836.)
Two terms, 1809-1817.

In the dusk of early evening, May 16, 1811, the British sloop Little Belt, while occupied in holding up American vessels, hailed the frigate President off the coast of Virginia. Deeming the reply of the American not sufficiently respectful, the Little Belt fired a shot at the President, which instantly let fly with a broadside, followed by several others, that killed eleven men and wounded twenty-one. The incident added to the angry excitement in both countries and brought war nearer.


The population of the United States in 1810 was 7,239,881, somewhat more than a third of Great Britain and Ireland. Our growth in the West was rapid. There was a continual stream of emigration thither, and the Indians, seeing how rapidly their hunting grounds were passing from them; combined to resist the invasion. This was done under the leadership of Tecumseh, the ablest Indian that ever lived. In this course he was incited by British agents, who, knowing that war was coming, were anxious to do the Americans all the harm they could. The outrages of the red men became so numerous that General William Henry Harrison, governor of the Northwest Territory, gathered a large, force and marched against them. Near the present city of Lafayette, while encamped at a place called Tippecanoe, he was furiously assailed (Nov. 7, 1811) by the Indians. Tecumseh was absent at the time, and the battle was brought on, against his orders, by his brother, called "The Prophet." The loss was severe on both sides, but the Indians were decisively defeated.

By this time the American people were clamoring more loudly than ever for war with England. The congressional candidates were obliged to declare whether they favored or opposed the war. Those who opposed it were beaten at the polls. Congress, which had been making preparations for some time for hostilities, declared war against England, June 18, 1812. It is a regrettable fact that we could not know that almost on the same day England suspended the Orders of Council, so far as they affected this country. Had the Atlantic cable been in existence at the time, there would have been no war.


England had been fighting so continuously with her neighbors that her strength on the ocean was overwhelming when compared with ours. She had 1,036 vessels, of which 254 were ships-of-the-line, not one of which carried less than seventy-four guns. This immense navy was manned by 144,000 men. The American navy numbered 12 vessels, besides a few gunboats of little value. Indeed, the relative strength of the warring nations was so disproportionate that the intention of the United States at first was not to attempt a conflict on the ocean. Captains Bainbridge and Stewart, however, persuaded the government to allow our little navy to try its hand.

Despite the seeming hopelessness of such a struggle, it had some advantages for the Americans. In the first place, it was easier for them to find the enemy than for the latter to find them, because of the disproportion between the number of their vessels. More important, however, than all was the fact that our navy contained no politicians. The men were brave sailors, and marvelously skillful in handling guns. With these conditions they were sure to win glory on the ocean.

Still another fact must be mentioned, for it will explain many of the incidents recorded in the following pages. England had been triumphant so long on the ocean that she had become unduly confident and careless. She held the surrounding nations in light esteem, and had good warrant for doing so. Naturally this led her greatly to underestimate the insignificant American navy. When such a mistake is made the consequences are sure to be disastrous to the one committing the blunder.

Truth compels the statement that in every war in which our country has been engaged since the Revolution, the disasters have been mainly due to the politicians. They have the "pull," as it is called, with the government, and secure the appointment of men as leaders who are totally lacking in military skill. When defeat has followed defeat, with exasperating regularity, the government gradually awakes to the fact that the most criminal thing it can do is to place a politician in charge of a body of brave men, or to appoint a callow youth to the same position, merely because his father was a good soldier and has become a politician.


Moreover, it must be remembered that our country was by no means a unit in favoring the second war with England. It was popular in most of the Middle States and the South, but bitterly opposed in New England. When the news reached Boston of the declaration of war, the shipping hung their flags at half-mast. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey, through their Legislatures, protested against it, but, as in the Revolution, the general enthusiasm swept away all opposition.

An increase of the regular army was ordered to 25,000 men, in addition to the call for 50,000 volunteers, while the States were asked to summon 100,000 militia, to be used in defense of the coast and harbors. The government authorized a loan of $11,000,000, and Henry Dearborn, of Massachusetts, was made the first major-general and commander-in-chief of the army, while the principal brigadiers were James Wilkinson, William Hull, Joseph Bloomfield, and Wade Hampton, the last being father of the general of the same name who became famous as a Confederate leader in the War for the Union.


The opening battle of the war was one of the most shameful affairs that ever befell the American arms. General William Hull, who had made a creditable record in the Revolution, was governor of Michigan Territory. He was ordered to cross the river from Detroit, which was his home, and invade Canada. He showed great timidity, and learning that a British force, under General Brock, was advancing against him, he recrossed the river and returned to Detroit, before which General Brock appeared, on the 12th of August, at the head of 700 British soldiers and 600 Indians. In demanding the surrender of the post, he frightened Hull, whose daughter and her children were with him, by telling him he would be unable to restrain the ferocity of his Indians, if the Americans made a defense.

The soldiers were brave and eager to fight, but, to their inexpressible disgust, the siege had been pressed but a short time when Hull ran up a white flag and surrendered, August 16th. With the submission of Detroit went the whole territory northwest of Ohio.

The country was angered and humiliated by the act. Twenty-five men were given in exchange for Hull, and he was placed on trial, charged with treason, cowardice, and conduct unbecoming an officer. He was convicted on the last two charges and sentenced to be shot. In recognition of his services in the Revolution, however, the President pardoned him, and he died, without ever having gained the respect of his countrymen, in 1825.


Before proceeding with the history of the war, a few incidents not connected with it should be recorded. In the presidential election of 1812, the electoral vote was: for President, James Madison, Republican, 128; De Witt Clinton, of New York, Federalist, 89. For Vice-President, Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, Republican, 131; Jared Ingersoll, of Pennsylvania, Federalist, 86. Vacancy, 1. Thus Madison and Gerry were elected.

Louisiana was admitted as a State in 1812, being a part of the immense territory of that name purchased from France in 1803. Indiana was admitted in 1816, and was the second of the five States carved out of the old Northwest Territory. It will be recalled that the United States Bank was chartered in 1791 for twenty years. Its charter, therefore, expired in 1811. In 1816, Congress chartered a new bank, on the same plan and for the same length of time. The public money was to be deposited in it or its branches, except when the secretary of the treasury choose to order its deposit elsewhere.


Returning to the history of the war, it has to be said that the second attempt to invade Canada was more disastrous if possible than the first, and more disgraceful to American arms. The troops on the Niagara frontier were mainly New York militia, with a few regulars and recruits from other States, all under the command of Stephen Van Rensselaer. Resolved to capture the Heights of Queenstown, he sent two columns across the river on the morning of October 13, 1812. They were led by Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer, cousin of the general and a brave officer. The engagement was a brisk one, the colonel being wounded early in the fight, but his troops gallantly charged the Heights and captured the fortress. General Brock was reinforced and attacked the Americans, but was repulsed, Brock being killed. The fierceness of the battle is shown by that fact that the three commanders who succeeded Brock were either killed or severely wounded.

Under the attack of superior forces, the Americans had managed to hold their ground and they now began to intrench. Meanwhile, the 1,200 New York militia on the other side of the river had become frightened by the sounds of battle, and when called upon to cross refused to do so, on the cowardly plea that they had enlisted to defend only their State. Lieutenant-Colonel Winfield Scott had taken command of the brigade and was engaged in intrenching, when the enemy, again reinforced, drove his troops, after two attacks, to the river, where they were hemmed in and compelled to surrender. The American loss in killed and wounded was fully a thousand. General Van Rensselaer was so disgusted with the conduct of his militia that he resigned his command, and was succeeded by General Alexander Smyth, of Virginia, whose conduct led to the general conviction that he was mentally about as near to being an idiot as it is possible for a man to be and still retain a little ground for being thought otherwise.

The first thing General Smyth did was to issue a proclamation of so bombastic a character that his friends were humiliated. He made several starts toward Canada, but in each instance recalled his troops, and acted so inexplicably that the militia were on the point of revolting, when he was deprived of his command. This closed the military operations for the year 1812, and the story is enough to crimson the cheek of every American with shame.


On the ocean, however, the record was brilliant and as astonishing to friends as to enemies. Hardly had the news of the declaration of war reached New York, when Commodore John Rodgers put to sea in the President, the same vessel that had taught the Little Belt her severe lesson. Some time later Rodgers sighted the frigate Belvidera and gave chase. He killed a number of the crew, but the vessel managed to escape. Continuing his cruise, he captured a number of merchantmen and retook an American prize. The luckiest ship in the American navy was said to be the Constitution, afterward popularly known as "Old Ironsides." Under command of Captain Isaac Hull, nephew of the disgraced general of Detroit, she engaged the sloop-of-war Guerrière off the coast of Massachusetts. The battle was a desperate one, but extraordinary marksmanship prevailed, and the enemy were compelled to strike their flag after a loss of 79 killed and wounded, while that of the Americans was 7 killed and 7 wounded.

The victory caused deep chagrin in England and corresponding rejoicing in the United States. Congress gave Captain Hull a gold medal and distributed $50,000 among his crew.

In October, the sloop-of-war Wasp, Captain Jacob Jones, met the British brig Frolic off Cape Hatteras. Since the vessels were of precisely the same strength, the contest could not have been a more perfect test of the bravery and efficiency of the ships of England and our own country. As respects bravery, it was equal, for the men on both sides fought with a courage that could not have been surpassed. When the crew of the Wasp boarded the Frolic, they found no one on deck except the man at the wheel and two wounded officers. The vessels were so damaged that on the same day the British ship Poicters captured both.

During the same month (October 25th), Commodore Stephen Decatur, in command of the frigate United States, encountered the British frigate Macedonian off the Island of Madeira, and captured her after a battle of two hours, in which he lost twelve men, while that of the enemy was more than a hundred. The Macedonian was so shattered that only with the greatest difficulty was she brought into New London.

The command of the Constitution was now turned over to Bainbridge, who sighted the frigate Java off the coast of Brazil, December 29th. In the terrific battle that followed he lost 34 men, but killed 120 of the enemy, tore out every mast, and burst her hull with round shot. The Java was blown up, and the prisoners and wounded were taken to Boston, where Bainbridge received a right royal welcome.

war and peace


This ends the history of the first half-year of the war of 1812. While everything went wrong on land, the ocean showed only a succession of brilliant victories. England, chagrined and humiliated, declared that her flag had been disgraced "by a piece of striped bunting flying at the mast-heads of a few fir-built frigates, manned by a handful of outlaws."


Congress took measures for strengthening and reorganizing the army. The pay and bounty of the soldiers were increased; the President was empowered to raise twenty additional regiments of infantry, to borrow money, and to issue treasury notes, and provisions were made for adding four ships-of-the-line, six frigates, and as many vessels of war on the Great Lakes as might be needed. The army was organized into three divisions: the Army of the North, under General Wade Hampton, to act in the country about Lake Champlain; the Army of the Centre, under the commander-in-chief, General Henry Dearborn, to act on the Niagara frontier and Lake Ontario; and the Army of the East, under General Winchester, who soon after was superseded by General William Henry Harrison.


The last-named officer did his utmost to drive the British out of Detroit. His troops were volunteers, brave but undisciplined, and displayed their most effective work in scattered fighting and against the Indians; but their success was not decisive. When the swamps and lakes of the Northwest were sufficiently frozen to bear their weight, Harrison repeated his attempts to expel the British from Detroit. His advance, under General Winchester, was attacked on the River Raisin by the British, led by General Proctor. Winchester was as prompt as General Hull in surrendering. Proctor allowed his Indians to massacre the wounded prisoners, most of whom were Kentuckians. Thereafter, when the Kentucky troops rushed into battle they raised the war-cry, "Remember the Raisin!"

The disaster to Winchester caused Harrison to fall back to Fort Meigs, which stood near the site of the present town of Defiance. There, in the spring of 1813, he was besieged by Proctor. A force of Kentuckians relieved him, after severe loss, and Proctor retreated. Some months later he again advanced against Fort Meigs, but was repulsed, and marched to Fort Stephenson, where Fremont now stands.

The besiegers consisted of 3,000 British and Indians, while the garrison numbered only 160, under the command of Major George Croghan, only twenty years of age. When Proctor ordered the youth to surrender he threatened that, in case of resistance, every prisoner would be tomahawked. Major Croghan replied that when the surrender took place there would not be a single man left to tomahawk. Although Croghan had but a single cannon, he made so gallant a defense that his assailants were repulsed, and Proctor, fearing the approach of Harrison, withdrew from the neighborhood.


Perry's great victory on Lake Erie in September, 1813, as related further on, gave the Americans command of that body of water. Harrison's troops were placed on board of Perry's vessels and carried across from Ohio to Canada. They landed near Malden and Proctor fell back to Sandwich, with the Americans following. He continued his retreat to the Thames, where, with the help of Tecumseh, he selected a good battle-ground and awaited the Americans, who attacked him on the 5th of October. Proctor fled early in the battle, but his regulars fought bravely. The 1,500 Indians, under the lead of Tecumseh, displayed unusual heroism, but, when the great Tecumseh fell, they fled in a panic. The American victory was overwhelming and complete.

Tecumseh's irresistible eloquence had roused the Creeks to take the warpath in the South. The danger became so imminent that 500 of the inhabitants took refuge in a stockade known as Fort Mimms, Alabama, thirty-five miles above Mobile. The sentinels, believing there was no danger, were careless, and on August 21, 1813, nearly a thousand Creeks attacked the place, which was surprised and captured after feeble resistance. More than 200 were tomahawked, the negroes being spared to become slaves of the Indians.


In April of this year, General Dearborn crossed Lake Ontario from Sackett's Harbor to Toronto (then known as York), which was the capital of Upper Canada and the chief depot for the supply of the western garrisons. Under a sharp fire, General Zebulon Pike drove the enemy from the works. The explosion of a magazine in the fort caused the death of General Pike in the moment of victory.

The operations left Sackett's Harbor almost unprotected, and led to an attack by the British admiral, Sir James Yeo, and General Prevost. The commander of the garrison appealed to General Jacob Brown, a militia officer of the neighborhood, who hurriedly gathered a small force and added it to the defenders. In the attack which followed Brown showed great skill, and General Prevost, believing his retreat was about to be cut off, fled in a panic, leaving 300 dead and wounded. In the engagements in that section during the remainder of the year, General Brown was about the only officer who displayed any military ability, his skill eventually placing him at the head of the United States army.

The fighting that followed was mainly in favor of the British, who recaptured York. Eight hundred Americans were made prisoners at Beaver Dams, and, as the autumn approached, the enemy found themselves in command of a powerful squadron.


There was much dissatisfaction with General Dearborn, the head of the army. He was in ill-health, never led his troops in person, and missed a good opportunity of capturing Montreal. He was relieved in June and succeeded by General Wilkinson, who arrived at Sackett's Harbor in August. He began preparations for invading Canada, but was so laggard in his movements that the enemy had abundance of time in which to make ready. The St. Lawrence seemed to be fortified at every point, but General Brown, by brave fighting, opened the way for the flotilla.

General Wilkinson reached St. Regis, November 11th, at which point General Wade Hampton was to co-operate with him. But that officer, owing to a lack of provisions, had fallen back to Plattsburg, hoping to keep open his communications with the St. Lawrence. This obliged General Wilkinson to retreat, and Wilkinson, Hampton, and other officers quarreled like so many children.

Disaster and disgrace seemed to follow the American land forces during the first two years of the war, but the fault lay wholly with the officers, who were incompetent, and many times lacking in patriotism. The soldiers were brave, but were comparatively powerless with such poor commanders.

Once again the American navy performed brilliant work, though, unfortunately, the record was marred by a sad disaster. On February 24th, Captain James Lawrence, who had made several minor captures from the enemy, riddled the English brig-of-war Peacock, while in command of the Hornet, and, in a fierce engagement of fifteen minutes, compelled her to surrender and hoist a signal of distress. She went down so quickly that several of the Hornet's crew, who were giving aid, sank with her, besides thirteen of the enemy. Captain Lawrence treated his prisoners so kindly that, upon reaching New York, they gave him a letter of thanks.


Captain Lawrence's fine work caused him to be promoted to the command of the Chesapeake, then refitting at Boston. Captain Broke (afterward Sir Philip, B.V.), commander of the Shannon, cruising off Boston, challenged Lawrence to come out and fight him. The American promptly accepted the challenge. It was a piece of unwarrantable recklessness, for the Chesapeake was not yet ready for the sea, and his crew was undisciplined and in a surly mood, because some promised prize money had not been paid them. Moreover, it is said that most of the sailors were under the influence of liquor.

The Chesapeake sailed gaily out of the harbor on the 1st of June, followed by a number of pleasure boats and barges crowded with spectators, while the hills swarmed with people, many with glasses, all anxious to witness the triumph of the gallant young captain. A woeful disappointment awaited them.

The battle was a terrific one. In a short time the rigging of the Chesapeake was so mangled that she became unmanageable, and could not escape a raking fire which did frightful execution. Captain Lawrence was twice wounded, the last time mortally, and was carried below at the time the enemy were preparing to board. He ordered that the colors should not be struck. "Tell the men to fire faster," he cried; "don't give up the ship!"

Boarders swarmed over the Chesapeake and a few minutes later she was captured, the loss of the Americans being 48 killed and 98 wounded, that of the enemy being about half as great. Lawrence lived four days, most of the time delirious, during which he continually repeated the appeal, "Don't give up the ship!" The impressiveness of the circumstances and the words themselves made them the motto of the American navy in many a subsequent engagement.

dolly madison

During the burning of Washington in 1812
by the British, Dolly Madison's heroism
saved the Declaration of Independence
from destruction. She broke the glass case
containing it and fled.

Lawrence was one of the bravest of men, and entered the navy when only seventeen years old. He helped Captain Decatur in burning the Philadelphia, in the harbor of Tripoli, during the war with that country. His body was taken to Halifax and buried with the honors of war, several of the oldest captains in the British navy acting as pall-bearers.


An exasperating experience befell Captain Decatur. On the day of the capture of the Chesapeake, he was compelled to take refuge in the harbor of New London, to escape a powerful squadron. He was in command of the United States, the Macedonian, and the Hornet. Chafing with impatience, he made repeated attempts to get to sea, but he declared that in every instance the blockading squadron were notified by means of blue lights displayed by Tories on shore. He was thus held helpless until the close of hostilities. This betrayal by his own countrymen caused much resentment throughout the country, and the enemies of the Federal party gave it the name of "Blue Lights," and Connecticut was often taunted for her disloyal course in the war, though the offenders were probably few in number.

By this time, England had acquired so wholesome a respect for the American navy that orders were issued that two or three vessels should always cruise in company, and under no circumstances should a single vessel engage an American, where there was the least preponderance against the British. The Americans were the only nation against whom such an order was ever issued.

Captain William Henry Allen, in command of the brig Argus, boldly entered the English Channel and destroyed much shipping of the enemy. Many vessels were sent in search of him, and on the 14th of August he was captured by the Pelican. Soon afterward the brig Enterprise captured the British Boxer off the coast of Maine. The fight was a desperate one, both commanders being killed. They were buried side by side in Portland.


In the spring of 1813, Captain David Porter (father of Admiral David Dixon Porter), in command of the Essex, doubled Cape Horn and entered the Pacific, where until then no American frigate had ever been seen. He protected American vessels and nearly broke up the British whaling trade in that ocean. He made so many captures that he soon had almost a fleet under his command, and was able to pay his men with the money taken from the enemy. Every nation in that region was a friend of England, and he seized the Marquesas Islands, where he refitted his fleet and resumed his cruise. Early in 1814, he entered the neutral harbor of Valparaiso, where he was blockaded by two British vessels that had long been searching for him. Regardless of international law, they attacked the Essex, which was in a crippled condition and unable to close with them, and finally compelled her surrender.


Thus far our record of the exploits of the American navy has been confined to the ocean, but the most important doings of all occurred on the lakes. At the beginning, our force upon these inland waters was weak. On Lake Ontario, there was but one small vessel, while the British had several. Both sides began building war-vessels. The American fleet was commanded by Commodore Chauncey and the British by Sir James Yeo. They alternated in gaining command of the lake. Meanwhile, the ship-builders were so busy that from about a dozen vessels on either side they increased the number to more than a hundred each by the close of the war.


One of the grandest of all triumphs was gained by the American navy in the early autumn of 1813. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry was sent to Lake Erie to build a navy. Perry at that time was not thirty years old and had never seen a naval battle. By August, he had a squadron of two large and seven small vessels, carrying 54 guns and 416 men, with which he set out to find Commodore Barclay, who had two large and four small vessels, with 63 guns and 440 men.

The two squadrons met at the western end of Lake Erie on the 10th of September. Barclay centred such a furious fire upon the Lawrence, Perry's flagship, that in two hours she was in a sinking condition. Perry entered a small boat, and, exposed to a sharp fire, was rowed to the Niagara, on which he hoisted his flag. The battle was renewed, and, while the enemy was trying to form a new line of battle, Perry ran the Niagara directly through the fleet, delivering broadsides right and left. The other vessels were prompt in following her, and poured such a raking fire into the enemy that fifteen minutes later Barclay surrendered. The British commander had but one arm when the battle opened, and, before it ended, his remaining arm was shot off. He lost 200 killed and wounded and 600 prisoners, while the Americans had 27 killed and 96 wounded.

It has already been shown that this victory was of the utmost importance, for Proctor was waiting to invade Ohio, if it went his way, while General Harrison was also waiting to invade Canada, in the event of an American triumph. In sending news of his victory to General Harrison, Perry, in his hastily written dispatch, used the words which have been quoted thousands of times: "We have met the enemy and they are ours." It will be recalled that Harrison immediately embarked his troops on Perry's ships, and, crossing the lake, pursued Proctor to the Thames, where he decisively defeated him and ended all danger of an invasion of Ohio by the enemy.

The American government now began to heed the benefit of the severe lessons of defeat. The worthless generals were weeded out, and the army in western New York reorganized so effectually that the country was cheered by a number of victories—proof that the rank and file were of the best quality and that their previous defeats were due to their leaders.

On July 3, 1814, Gens. Scott, Ripley, and Brown crossed the Niagara from Black Rock to Erie with 3,000 men. Brown's ability had become so manifest that by this time he was a major-general. When he appeared in front of Fort Erie, it surrendered without resistance. Brown pursued a British corps of observation down the river until it crossed Chippewa Creek and joined the main body. Brown withdrew and united also with the principal forces of the Americans, who attacked the British on the 5th of July, in their strong intrenchments behind the Chippewa. They were completely defeated, routed out of their defenses, and driven up the shore of Lake Ontario. Their Indian allies were so disgusted with the defeat of the British and the furious fighting of the Americans that all deserted the British commander.


The British army received reinforcements and turned back to meet the Americans who were pursuing them. The armies met, July 25th, at Lundy's Lane, within sight of Niagara Falls, where the fiercely contested battle, beginning at sunset, lasted until midnight. The British commander was wounded and captured and the enemy driven back. The loss of the Americans was serious. Scott was so badly wounded that he could take no further part in the war, Brown was less severely injured, and Ripley withdrew with the army to Fort Erie.

An exploit of Colonel James Miller deserves notice. At a critical point in the battle, General Brown saw that victory depended upon the silencing of a battery of seven guns stationed on a hill, that was pouring a destructive fire into the Americans.

"Colonel," said he, "can you capture that battery?"

"I can try," was the modest reply, and a few minutes later Colonel Miller was in motion with his regiment. The darkness enabled the men to conceal themselves under the shadow of a fence, along which they silently crept until they could peep between the rails and see the gunners standing with lighted matches awaiting the order to fire. Thrusting the muzzles of their guns through the openings, they shot down every gunner, and, leaping over the fence, captured the battery in the face of a hot infantry fire. The enemy made three attempts to recapture the battery, but were repulsed each time. When General Ripley retreated, he left the guns behind, so that they again fell into the hands of the British from whom they had been so brilliantly won.

The enemy soon received reinforcements and besieged the Americans in Fort Erie. Brown, although still suffering from his wound, resumed command and drove his besiegers once more beyond the Chippewa. The Americans evacuated Fort Erie on the 5th of November, and recrossing the Niagara went into winter quarters at Black Rock and Ontario. There were no more military operations during the war between Lakes Erie and Ontario.


General Wilkinson was so inefficient with the Army of the North that he was superseded by General Izard, who advanced with his force to the aid of General Brown at Fort Erie. This left Plattsburg uncovered, and the British decided to attack it by land, and to destroy at the same time the American flotilla on Lake Champlain.

Sir George Prevost, at the head of an army of 14,000 men, entered American territory on the 3d of September, and three days later reached Plattsburg. The garrison withdrew to the south side of the Saranac, and prepared to dispute the passage of the stream. Commodore Downie appeared off the harbor of Plattsburg, with the British squadron, September 11th. The American squadron, under Commodore Macdonough, was in the harbor, and consisted of two less barges than the enemy, 86 guns, and 820 men, while the English commander had 95 guns and more than a thousand men.

During the battle which followed the British land forces made repeated attempts to cross the Saranac, but were defeated in every instance. The battle on the water lasted less than three hours, during which Commodore Downie was killed, his vessel sunk, and the remainder sunk or captured. The destruction of the British squadron was complete, and the land forces withdrew during the night. England was so dissatisfied with the action of Sir George Prevost that he was dismissed from command. No more serious fighting took place in that section during the war.


Mention has been made of the massacre at Fort Mimms in Alabama by the Creeks, August 30, 1813. Tennessee acted with prompt vigor. General Jackson at the head of 5,000 men marched into the Creek country and punished the Indians with merciless rigor. After repeated defeats, the Creeks made a stand at the Great Horseshoe Bend of the Tallapoosa River. There a thousand warriors gathered, with their wives and children, prepared to fight to the last. The desperate battle was fought March 27, 1814, and at its close 600 Indians were killed and the remainder scattered. The spirit of the Creeks was crushed, and General Jackson's exploit made him the most popular military leader in the Southwest.

Matters looked gloomy for the Americans at the beginning of 1814. England sent a formidable force of veterans to Canada, and another to capture Washington, while the main body expected to take New Orleans, with the intention of retaining the city and province of Louisiana upon the conclusion of peace.


The American government gathered up her loins for the great struggle. The President was authorized to borrow $25,000,000, and to issue treasury notes to the amount of $5,000,000. Such sums are but bagatelles in these days, but in 1814 the credit of the government was so poor that the notes depreciated one-fifth of their face value. One hundred and twenty-four dollars were offered as a bounty for every recruit, while the pay, rations, and clothing were placed upon a generous scale. An order was issued increasing the regular army to 66,000 men, and an embargo laid with the aim of stopping trade under British licenses was repealed in April.

The British cruisers kept the Atlantic coast in continual alarm. Entering Delaware Bay they burned every merchant vessel in sight. When the people of Lewiston refused to sell food to them, they bombarded their homes. In Chesapeake Bay Admiral Cockburn plundered private dwellings. Among the places sacked and burned were Lewes, Havre de Grace, Fredericktown, and Georgetown. More leniency was shown the New England coast because of her opposition to the war. Another inexcusable proceeding on the part of the invaders was that of persuading many slaves to leave their masters and join the enemy. This business compelled England, after the close of the war, to pay the United States one million and a quarter dollars, on the award of the Emperor of Russia to whom the question was submitted.


But this year saw the crowning disgrace to the American arms. The mismanagement of affairs left our national capital defenseless. In August, 1814, Sir Alexander Cochrane carried a British army up the Chesapeake on board his squadron. Commodore Barney with his few ships had taken shelter in the Patuxent. Paying no attention to him, Ross landed his 5,000 veterans within 40 miles of Washington and advanced against the city. The government had awakened to the threatened peril a short time before, and placed 500 regulars and 2,000 undisciplined militia under the command of General William H. Winder.

Winder took a strong position at Bladensburg and awaited Ross and Cochrane. The British army met with no opposition, and, upon reaching Marlborough, found that Commodore Barney, acting under the orders of the secretary of war, had burned his fleet and hurried to Washington. The English commander arrived in sight of Washington on the 24th of August. His approach to Bladensburg was over a bridge defended by artillery from Barney's flotilla, which were handled by Barney and his sailors. They fought with the utmost heroism, repelling the British again and again; but the militia fled, and, when Barney was wounded and his command helpless, he surrendered. General Ross complimented him for his bravery and immediately paroled him.



This was the only check encountered by the British in their advance upon Washington. General Winder had learned enough of his militia to know that no dependence could be placed upon them, and he fled to Georgetown. The President, heads of departments, and most of the citizens joined in the stampede, and the advance guard of General Ross entered the city that evening.

The British commander offered to spare the city for a large sum of money, but no one was within reach with authority to comply with his demand. Ross claimed that his flag of truce had been fired on, and he ordered the city to be burned. In the conflagration that followed, the President's house, the department offices, numerous private dwellings, the libraries and public archives, many works of art in the public buildings, the navy yard and its contents, a frigate on the stocks, and several small vessels were destroyed. The patent office and jail were the only public property spared. The burning of Washington was an outrage which was generally condemned in England.

After a rest and the reception of reinforcements, Ross marched against Baltimore, which he declared should be his winter quarters. While on the road he was mortally wounded by an American sharpshooter in a tree. Such a brave defense was made by Forts McHenry and Covington, guarding the narrow passage from the Patapsco into the harbor of Baltimore, that the British fleet and the land forces were repelled. The success of this defense inspired Francis S. Key to write our famous national song, The Star-Spangled Banner.


The war became intensely unpopular in New England. Its shipping suffered severely, and the demands for peace grew more clamorous. On the 15th of December, 1814, a convention of delegates, appointed by the Legislatures of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont, met in Hartford and held secret sessions for three weeks. An address was agreed upon charging the national government with carrying on a policy injurious to New England. Amendments were proposed to the Constitution, and a committee was selected to confer with the government at Washington and to propose that the revenues of New England should be applied to her own defense. An agreement was made that if their proposed action failed, and peace was not soon made, the convention should meet again in the following June. There was open talk of a withdrawal from the Union, and doubtless grave results would have followed had the war gone on. The Hartford Convention and the "Blue Lights" of Connecticut gave the final death-blow to the Federal party.


Despite the progress of the war, peace negotiations had been going on for a long time. Russia, whose system of government has always been the exact opposite of ours, has shown us marked friendship in many instances. As early as 1813 she offered to mediate between Great Britain and the United States. The President appointed five commissioners, John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin, who were sent to Ghent, Belgium, where they were met by Lord Gambier, Henry Goulburn, and William Adams, the commissioners for Great Britain. After long negotiations, the commissioners reached an agreement on the 24th of December, 1814. The treaty did not contain a word about the search of American vessels for alleged deserters, which was the real cause of the war, nor was any reference made to the wrongs done our commerce, and the rights of neutral nations were not defined. The Orders of Council, however, died of themselves, Great Britain never again attempting to enforce them. It was agreed that all places captured by either side during the progress of the war or afterward should be surrendered, and provisions were made for fixing the boundary between the United States and Canada.

In those days, when the ocean telegraph was not thought of and there were no swift-going steamers, news traveled slowly, and it did not reach Washington until February 4, 1815. Meanwhile, the most important battle of the war had taken place and several captures were made on the ocean.

The Creek Indians had been so crushed by General Jackson that they ceded a large part of their lands to the Americans. They were sullen, and when a British squadron entered the Gulf of Mexico they eagerly did all they could to help the enemy. The squadron, by permission of the Spanish authorities took possession of the forts of Pensacola, and fitted out an expedition against Fort Bower at the entrance to Mobile Bay. They attacked the fort, September 15th, by sea and land, but were repulsed. Among the land assailants were several hundred Creek warriors, who thus received another lesson of the bravery of American soldiers.

General Jackson, in command of the southern military district, was enraged by the course of the Spanish authorities. He marched from Mobile at the head of 2,000 Tennessee militia and a number of Choctaws, stormed Pensacola, November 7th, drove the British from the harbor, and compelled the Spanish governor to surrender the town.


Having completed his work in this summary fashion, he returned to Mobile, where he found an urgent call for him to go to the defense of New Orleans, which was threatened by a powerful force of the enemy. The invasion, to which we have referred in another place, was a formidable one and had been arranged a long time before. General Jackson reached New Orleans, December 2d, and began vigorous preparations. He enlisted almost everybody capable of bearing arms, including negroes and convicts. One of the most famous freebooters that ever ravaged the Gulf of Mexico was Lafitte, to whom the British made an extravagant offer for his help, but he refused, and gave his services to Jackson.

Jackson's vigor filled the city with confidence, but he was so strict that dissatisfaction was expressed, whereupon he declared martial law; in other words, he took the city government into his own hands and ruled as he thought best. He neglected no precaution. Fort St. Philip, guarding the passage of the Mississippi at Detour la Plaquemine, was made stronger by new works, and a line of fortifications was built four miles below the city, on the left of the river, and extended eastward to an impassable cypress swamp. It was a disputed question for a time whether Jackson used cotton bales in the defenses of New Orleans, but it is established that he placed them on the tops of the intrenchments. Cannon were also mounted at different points. The militia under General Morgan, and the crews and guns of a part of the squadron of Commodore Patterson, held the west bank of the river. These precautions enabled the defenders to enfilade the approaching enemy. A detachment guarded the pass of Bayou St. John, above the city, and a number of gunboats awaited to dispute the passage of the river between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne.

The British fleet appeared at the entrance to this channel, December 14th, and was immediately assailed by the American flotilla, which was destroyed before it could inflict serious damage. Left free to select the point of attack, the British sent a force in flat-bottomed boats to the extremity of the lake, where they landed in a swamp. They repelled an attack by Jackson, who fell back toward the city. On the 28th of December the British were within half a mile of the American lines. They began a fire of shells, but were repulsed by Jackson's artillery.

The defenders numbered some 3,000 militia, who were stationed in a line of intrenchments a mile long and four miles from the town. This line was protected by a ditch in front, flanked by batteries on the other side of the river, and, in addition, eight other batteries were in position.

The British worked slowly forward until on the first day of the year they were within less than a quarter of a mile of New Orleans. As the best material at hand from which to erect breastworks they used hogsheads of sugar and molasses, which were sent flying in fragments by the American cannon. Several attacks upon the defenders were repulsed and the final assault delayed for a number of days.

Sir Edward Pakenham, a veteran of the Peninsular wars, and a brother-in-law of Wellington, the conqueror of Napoleon, was in command of the reinforcements. While the advance went on slowly, 3,000 militia joined Jackson. They were composed mainly of Kentucky and Tennessee riflemen, the finest marksmen in the world. They were men, too, who did not lose their heads in battle, but, kneeling behind their intrenchments, coolly took aim and rarely threw away a shot.

On the morning of Jan. 8, 1815, the English army advanced against the American intrenchments. They numbered nearly 8,000 veterans, and England never placed a finer body of men in the field. The American riflemen, with shotted cannon and leveled rifles, calmly awaited the command to open on the advancing host. They were formed in two lines, those at the rear loading for those in front, who were thus enabled to keep up an almost continuous fire.



Before the outburst of flame the British dissolved like snow in the sun, but the survivors with unsurpassable heroism persisted until it was apparent that not a man would be left alive if they maintained their ground. Then they fell back to decide upon some other method of attack.

Angered by his repulse, Pakenham ran to the head of a regiment bearing scaling ladders and called upon his men to follow him. Only a few succeeded in piercing the American lines. Pakenham fell, mortally wounded; his successor was killed, and the third in command was so badly injured that he could give no orders. "All that were left of them" retreated. From the opening to the close of the battle was less than half an hour, during which the British lost 2,500 in killed, wounded, and prisoners, one-third being killed. On the American side eight were killed and thirteen wounded. A few days later the British withdrew to their ships and sailed for the West Indies, where they learned of the signing of the treaty of peace.


It will be noticed that as the war progressed the principal fighting changed from the ocean to the land. Several encounters took place on the sea, but they were mostly unimportant, and did not always result favorably for us. In September, 1814, Captain Samuel C. Reid, in command of the privateer Armstrong, while lying in the harbor of Fayal, one of the Azores, was attacked by a fleet of boats from three British frigates. He fought all through the night, and, although outnumbered twenty to one, made one of the most remarkable defenses in naval annals.

On the 16th of January following, the President was captured by the British ship Endymion. On the 20th of February, while Captain Charles Stewart was cruising off Cape St. Vincent, in the Constitution, with no thought that peace had been declared, he fell in with two British brigs, the Cyane and the Levant. It was a bright moonlight night, and, after a brief engagement, in which Stewart displayed consummate seamanship, he captured both vessels.

But peace had come and was joyfully welcomed everywhere. The war had cost us heavily in men, ships, and property; the New England factories were idle, commerce at a standstill, and the whole country in a deplorable state. But everything now seemed to spring into life under the glad tidings. The shipping in New England was decked with bunting, and, within twenty-four hours after the news arrived, the dockyards rang with the sound of saw and hammer.


The Barbary States did not forget their rough treatment at the hands of the United States a few years before. During the war they allowed the British to capture American vessels in their harbors, and sometimes captured them on their own account. In 1812 the Dey of Algiers compelled the American consul to pay him a large sum of money to save himself, family, and a few friends from being carried off into slavery. We were too busily occupied elsewhere to give this barbarian attention, but in March, 1815, war was declared against Algiers, and Commodores Decatur and Bainbridge were sent to the Mediterranean with two squadrons to conduct operations.

They did it to perfection. After capturing several frigates, they approached the city of Algiers and demanded the immediate surrender of every American prisoner, full indemnity for all property destroyed, and the disavowal of all future claims to tribute. The terrified Dey eagerly signed the treaty placed before him on the quarter-deck of Decatur's ship. The Pasha of Tunis was compelled to pay a round sum on account of the American vessels he had allowed the British to capture in his harbor during the war. When he had done this, the Pasha of Tripoli was called upon and forced to make a similar contribution to the United States treasury.


The negro had long been a disturbing factor in politics, and, in 1816, the National Colonization Society was formed in Princeton, N.J., and immediately reorganized in Washington. Its object was to encourage the emancipation of slaves by obtaining a place for them outside the United States, whither they might emigrate. It was hoped also that by this means the South would be relieved of its free black population. The scheme was so popular that branches of the society were established in almost every State. At first free negroes were sent to Sierra Leone, on the western coast of Africa, under the equator. Later, for a short time, they were taken to Sherbrooke Island, but in 1821 a permanent location was purchased at Cape Mesurado, where, in 1847, the colony declared itself an independent republic under the name of Liberia. Its capital, Monrovia, was named in honor of the President of the United States. The republic still exists, but its functions were destroyed by the war for the Union, which abolished slavery on this continent, and Liberia has never been looked upon with great favor by the colored people of this country.


It has already been shown that the course of the Federal party in the War of 1812 ruined it. The Federal nominee for the presidency was Rufus King, of New York. He was a native of Maine, a graduate of Harvard College, and had served as a delegate to the Continental Congress. It was he who in 1785 moved the provision against slavery in the Northwest Territory, and he was an active member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, afterward returning to Massachusetts and giving all his energies to bringing about the ratification of the Constitution. He was United States senator from New York in 1789-1796; was minister to London, 1796-1803; and again a United States senator, 1813-1825.

John Eager Howard, the candidate for the vice-presidency, had hardly a less claim upon the recognition of his countrymen, for he joined the patriot army at the outbreak of the Revolution, and fought with marked gallantry at White Plains, Germantown, Monmouth, and Camden, and won special honor at the Cowpens in 1781. He was afterward governor of Maryland, declined the portfolio of war in Washington's cabinet, and was United States senator from 1796 to 1803.

These facts are given to show the character and standing of the candidates of the Federalists in the presidential election of 1816. The following was the result: For President, James Monroe, of Virginia, Republican, 133; Rufus King, of New York, Federalist, 34. For Vice-President, Daniel D. Tompkins, of New York, Republican, 183; John Eager Howard, of Maryland, Federalist, 22; James Ross, of Pennsylvania, 5; John Marshall, of Virginia, 4; Robert G. Harper, of Maryland, 3. Vacancies, 4. Thus Monroe became President and Tompkins Vice-President.





James Monroe—The "Era of Good Feeling"—The Seminole War—Vigorous Measures of General Jackson—Admission of Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Maine, and Missouri—The Missouri Compromise—The Monroe Doctrine—Visit of Lafayette—Introduction of the Use of Gas—Completion of the Erie Canal—The First "Hard Times"—Extinction of the West Indian Pirates—Presidential Election of 1824—John Quincy Adams—Prosperity of the Country—Introduction of the Railway Locomotive—Trouble with the Cherokees in Georgia—Death of Adams and Jefferson—Congressional Action on the Tariff—Presidential Election of 1828.


James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, was born at Monroe's Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, April 28, 1758, and died July 4, 1831. It will be noticed that four out of the first five Presidents were natives of Virginia, and in course of time three others followed. It will be admitted, therefore, that the State has well earned the title of the "Mother of Presidents."


JAMES MONROE. (1758-1831.)
Two terms, 1817-1825.

Monroe received his education at William and Mary College, and was a soldier under Washington. He was not nineteen years old when, as lieutenant at the battle of Trenton, he led a squad of men who captured a Hessian battery as it was about to open fire. He studied law under Jefferson, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, and, when twenty-five years old, was a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was minister plenipotentiary to France in 1794, but his course displeased the administration and he was recalled. From 1799 to 1802 he was governor of Virginia, and, in the latter year, was sent to France by President Jefferson to negotiate the purchase of Louisiana. In 1811 he was again governor of Virginia, and shortly afterward appointed secretary of State by Madison. He also served as secretary of war at the same time, and, as the treasury was empty, pledged his private means for the defense of New Orleans. Monroe was of plain, simple manners, of excellent judgment and of the highest integrity. While his career did not stamp him as a man of genius, yet it proved him to be that which in his situation is better—an absolutely "safe" man to trust with the highest office in the gift of the American people. Under Monroe the United States made greater advancement than during any previous decade.

Everything united to make his administration successful. The Federal party having disappeared, its members either stopped voting or joined the Republicans. Since, therefore, everybody seemed to be agreed in his political views, the period is often referred to as "the era of good feeling," a condition altogether too ideal to continue long.


Shortly after Monroe's inauguration he made a tour through the country, visiting the principal cities, and contributing by his pleasing manner greatly to his popularity. The manufactures of the country were in a low state because of the cheapness of labor in Great Britain, which enabled the manufacturers there to send and sell goods for less prices than the cost of their manufacture in this country. Congress met the difficulty by imposing a tax upon manufactured goods brought hither, and thereby gave our people a chance to make and sell the same at a profit. The controversy between the advocates of free trade and protection has been one of the leading questions almost from the first, and there has never been and probably never will be full accord upon it.


Perhaps the most important event in the early part of Monroe's administration was the Seminole war. Those Indians occupied Florida, and could hide themselves in the swampy everglades and defy pursuit. Many runaway slaves found safe refuge there, intermarried with the Seminoles, and made their homes among them. They were not always fairly treated by the whites, and committed many outrages on the settlers in Georgia and Alabama. When the Creeks, who insisted they had been cheated out of their lands, joined them, General Gaines was sent to subdue the savages. He failed, and was caught in such a dangerous situation that General Jackson hastily raised a force and marched to his assistance.

Since Florida belonged to Spain, Jackson was instructed by our government not to enter the country except in pursuit of the enemy. "Old Hickory" was not the man to allow himself to be hampered by such orders, and, entering Florida in March, 1818, he took possession the following month of the Spanish post of St. Mark's, at the head of Appalachee Bay. Several Seminoles were captured, and, proof being obtained that they were the leaders in a massacre of some settlers a short time before, Jackson hanged every one of them.



Advancing into the interior, he captured two British subjects, Robert C. Ambrister, an Englishman, and Alexander Arbuthnot, a Scotchman. There seemed to be no doubt that the latter had been guilty of inciting the Indians to commit their outrages, and both were tried by court-martial, which sentenced Arbuthnot to be hanged and Ambrister to receive fifty lashes and undergo a year's imprisonment. Jackson set aside the verdict, and shot the Englishman and hanged the Scotchman. He then marched against Pensacola, the capital of the province, drove out the Spanish authorities, captured Barrancas, whose troops and officials were sent to Havana.

Jackson carried things with such a high hand that Spain protested, and Congress had to order an investigation. The report censured Jackson; but Congress passed a resolution acquitting him of all blame, and he became more popular than ever.

Spain was not strong enough to expel the Americans, and she agreed to a treaty, in October, 1820, by which East and West Florida were ceded to the United States, the latter paying Spain $5,000,000. The Sabine River, instead of the Rio Grande, was made the dividing line between the territories of the respective governments west of the Mississippi. Jackson was the first governor of Florida, and, as may be supposed, he had a stormy time, but he straightened out matters with the same iron resolution that marked everything he did.


A number of States were admitted to the Union while Monroe was President. The first was Mississippi, in 1817. The territory was claimed by Georgia, which gave it to the United States in 1802. Illinois was admitted in 1818, being the third of the five States formed from the old Northwest Territory. Alabama became a State in 1819, and had been a part of the territory claimed by Georgia. Maine was admitted in 1820, and, as has been shown, was for a long time a part of Massachusetts, and Missouri became a State in 1821.

The strife over the admission of the last-named State was so angry that more than one person saw the shadow of the tremendous civil war that was to darken the country and deluge it in blood forty years later. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 had made cotton the leading industry of the South and given an enormous importance to slavery. The soil and the climate and economic conditions caused it to flourish in the South, and the lack of such conditions made it languish and die out in the North.

Missouri applied for admission in March, 1818, but it was so late in the session that Congress took no action. At the following session a bill was introduced containing a provision that forbade slavery in the proposed new State. The debate was bitter and prolonged, accompanied by threats of disunion, but a compromise was reached on the 28th of February, 1821, when the agreement was made that slavery was to be permitted in Missouri, but forever prohibited in all other parts of the Union, north and west of the northern limits of Arkansas, 36° 30', which is the southern boundary of Missouri. The State was admitted August 21st, increasing the number to twenty-four. The census showed that in 1820 the population of the United States was 9,633,822. The State of New York contained the most people (1,372,111); Virginia next (1,065,116); and Pennsylvania almost as many (1,047,507).


It was in the autumn of 1820, during the excitement over the admission of Missouri, that the presidential election occurred. The result is not likely ever to be repeated in the history of our country. There was no candidate against Monroe, who would have received every electoral vote, but for the action of one member, who declared that no man had the right to share that honor with Washington. He therefore cast his single vote for Adams of Massachusetts. For Vice-President, Daniel D. Tompkins, Republican, received 218; Richard Stockton, of New Jersey, 8; Daniel Rodney, of Delaware, 4; Robert G. Harper, of Maryland, and Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, 1 vote each. Monroe and Tompkins were therefore re-elected.


South America has long been the land of revolutions. In 1821, there was a general revolt against Spain in favor of independence. Great sympathy was felt for them in this country, and, in March, 1822, Congress passed a bill recognizing the embryo republics as sovereign nations. In the following year President Monroe sent a message to Congress in which he declared that for the future the American continent was not to be considered as territory for colonization by any foreign power. This consecration of the whole Western Hemisphere to free institutions constitutes the Monroe Doctrine, one of the most precious and jealously guarded rights of the American nation. The memorable document which bears the President's name was written by John Quincy Adams, his secretary of State.

America could never forget Lafayette, who had given his services without pay in our struggle for independence, who shed his blood for us, and who was the intimate and trusted friend of Washington. He was now an old man, and, anxious to visit the country he loved so well, he crossed the ocean and landed in New York, in August, 1824. He had no thought that his coming would cause any stir, and was overwhelmed by the honors shown him everywhere. Fort Lafayette saluted him as he sailed up New York Bay, and processions, parades, addresses, feastings, and every possible attention were given to him throughout his year's visit, during which he was emphatically the "nation's guest." Nor did the country confine itself to mere honors. He had been treated badly in France and was poor. Congress made him a present of $200,000 in money, and sent him home in the frigate Brandywine, named in his honor, for it was at the battle of the Brandywine that Lafayette was severely wounded.

An important invention introduced into this country from England in 1822 was lighting by gas, which soon became universal, to be succeeded in later years by electricity. Steamboat navigation was common and travel by that means easy. On land we were still confined to horseback and stages, but there was great improvement in the roads, through the aid of Congress and the different States.


The Erie Canal, connecting Buffalo and Albany, was begun on the 4th of July, 1817, its most persistent advocate being Governor De Witt Clinton. It was costly, and the majority believed it would never pay expenses. They dubbed it "De Witt Clinton's Ditch," and ridiculed the possibility that it would prove of public benefit. In October, 1825, it was opened for public traffic. It is 363 miles long, having the greatest extent of any canal in the world. It passes through a wonderfully fertile region, which at that time was little more than a wilderness. Immediately towns and villages sprang into existence along its banks. Merchandise could now be carried cheaply from the teeming West, through the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal, and the Hudson River, to New York City and the Atlantic. Its original cost was $7,600,000, and its earnings were so enormous that in many single years they amounted to half that sum. It is now operated by the State without charge to those using it.

No combination of statesmen are wise enough to prevent the occasional recurrence of "hard times." Nearly everyone has a cure for the blight, and the intervals between them are irregular, but they still descend upon us, when most unexpected and when it seems we are least prepared to bear them. No one needs a long memory to recall one or two afflictions of that nature.


The first financial stringency visited the country in 1819. The establishment in 1817 of the Bank of the United States had so improved credit and increased the facilities for trade that a great deal of wild speculation followed. The officers of the branch bank in Baltimore were dishonest and loaned more than $2,000,000 beyond its securities. The President stopped the extravagant loans, exposed the rogues, and greatly aided in bringing back the country to a sound financial basis, although the Bank of the United States narrowly escaped bankruptcy—a calamity that would have caused distress beyond estimate.

Amid the stirring political times our commerce suffered from the pirates who infested the West Indies. Their depredations became so annoying that in 1819 Commodore Perry, of Lake Erie fame, was sent out with a small squadron to rid the seas of the pests. Before he could accomplish anything, he was stricken with yellow fever and died. Other squadrons were dispatched to southern waters, and in 1822 more than twenty piratical vessels were destroyed in the neighborhood of Cuba. Commodore Porter followed up the work so effectively that the intolerable nuisance was permanently abated.


There were plenty of presidential candidates in 1824. Everybody now was a Republican, and the choice, therefore, lay between the men of that political faith. The vote was as follows: Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, 99; John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, 84; Henry Clay, of Kentucky, 37; William H. Crawford, of Georgia, 41. For Vice-President: John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, 182; Nathan Sandford, of New York, 30; Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina, 24; Andrew Jackson, 13; Martin Van Buren, of New York, 9; Henry Clay, 2.

This vote showed that no candidate was elected, and the election, therefore, was thrown into the House of Representatives. Although Jackson was far in the lead on the popular and electoral vote, the friends of Clay united with the supporters of Adams, who became President, with Calhoun Vice-President. The peculiar character of this election led to its being called the "scrub race for the presidency."


John Quincy Adams, the sixth President, was born at Braintree, Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, and was the son of the second President. He was given every educational advantage in his youth, and when eleven years old accompanied his father to France and was placed in a school in Paris. Two years later he entered the University of Leyden, afterward made a tour through the principal countries of Europe, and, returning home, entered the junior class at Harvard, from which he graduated in 1788. Washington appreciated his ability, and made him minister to The Hague and afterward to Portugal. When his father became President he transferred him to Berlin. The Federalists elected him to the United States Senate in 1803, and in 1809 he was appointed minister to Russia. He negotiated important commercial treaties with Prussia, Sweden, and Great Britain, and, it will be remembered, he was leading commissioner in the treaty of Ghent, which brought the War of 1812 to a close. He was a man of remarkable attainments, but he possessed little magnetism or attractiveness of manner, and by his indifference failed to draw warm friends and supporters around him. Adams was re-elected to Congress repeatedly after serving out his term as President. He was seized with apoplexy while on the point of rising from his desk in the House of Representatives, and died February 23, 1848.


JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. (1767-1848.)
One term, 1825-1829.

The country was highly prosperous during the presidency of the younger Adams. The public debt, to which the War of 1812 added $80,000,000, began to show a marked decrease, money was more plentiful, and most important of all was the introduction of the steam locomotive from England. Experiments had been made in that country for a score of years, but it was not until 1829 that George Stephenson, the famous engineer, exhibited his "Rocket," which ran at the rate of nearly twenty miles an hour.


The first clumsy attempts on this side were made in 1827, when two short lines of rails were laid at Quincy, near Boston, but the cars were drawn by horses, and, when shortly after, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was chartered, the intention was to use the same motor. In 1829, a steam locomotive was used on the Delaware and Hudson Canal Railroad, followed by a similar introduction on the Baltimore and Ohio Road. The first railroad chartered expressly for steam was granted in South Carolina for a line to run from Charleston to Hamburg. The first locomotive made by Stephenson was brought across the ocean in 1831. The Americans set to work to make their own engines, and were successful in 1833. It will be noted that these events occurred after the administration of Adams.


Most of the country east of the Mississippi was being rapidly settled. Immense areas of land were sold by the Indian tribes to the government and they removed west of the river. The Cherokees, however, refused to sell their lands in Georgia and Alabama. They were fully civilized, had schools, churches, and newspapers, and insisted on staying upon the lands that were clearly their own. Georgia was equally determined to force them out of the State, and her government was so high-handed that President Adams interfered for their protection. The governor declared that the Indians must leave, and he defied the national government to prevent him from driving them out. The situation of the Cherokees finally became so uncomfortable that, in 1835, they sold their lands and joined the other tribes in the Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi.


One of the most impressive incidents in our history occurred on the 4th of July, when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died. It was just half a century after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, of which Jefferson was the author and whose adoption Adams secured.

Adams attained the greatest age of any of our Presidents, being nearly ninety-one years old when he died. He retained the brightness of his mind, his death being due to the feebleness of old age. When he was asked if he knew the meaning of the joyous bells that were ringing outside, his wan face lighted up, and he replied: "It is the 4th of July; God bless it!" His last words, uttered a few minutes later: "Jefferson still survives."


(The first locomotive used.)

It was a natural error on the part of Adams, but Jefferson had passed away several hours before, in his eighty-fourth year. He died quietly, surrounded by friends, with his mind full of the inspiring associations connected with the day. His last words were: "I resign my soul to God, and my daughter to my country."

An important issue of the younger Adams' administration was the tariff. Naturally the South were opposed to a protective tariff, because they had no manufactures, and were, therefore, compelled to pay higher prices for goods than if admitted free of duty. A national convention was held at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1827, to discuss the question of the protection of native industry. Only four of the slave-holding States were represented, but the members memorialized Congress for an increase of duties on a number of articles made in this country. In the session of 1827-28, Congress, in deference to the general sentiment, passed a law which increased the duties on fabrics made of wool, cotton, linen, and on articles made from lead, iron, etc. The Legislatures of the Southern States protested against this action as unjust and unconstitutional, and in the presidential election of that year the entire electoral vote of the South was cast against Adams.

The "Era of good feeling" was gone and politics became rampant. The policy of a protective tariff became known as the American System, and Henry Clay was its foremost champion. Their followers began to call themselves National Republicans, while their opponents soon assumed the name of Democrats, which has clung to them ever since, though the National Republicans changed their title a few years later to Whigs.


The presidential election of 1828 resulted as follows: Andrew Jackson, Democrat, 178; John Quincy Adams, National Republican, 83. For Vice-President, John C. Calhoun, Democrat, 171; Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, National Republican, 49; William Smith, of South Carolina, Democrat, 7. Jackson and Calhoun therefore were elected.



Andrew Jackson—"To the Victors Belong the Spoils"—The President's Fight with the United States Bank—Presidential Election of 1828—Distribution of the Surplus in the United States Treasury Among the Various States—The Black Hawk War—The Nullification Excitement—The Seminole War—Introduction of the Steam Locomotive—Anthracite Coal, McCormick's Reaper, and Friction Matches—Great Fire in New York—Population of the United States in 1830—Admission of Arkansas and Michigan—Abolitionism—France and Portugal Compelled to Pay their Debts to the United States—The Specie Circular, John Caldwell Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster—Presidential Election of 1836—Martin Van Buren—The Panic of 1837—Rebellion in Canada—Population of the United States in 1840—Presidential Election of 1840—William Henry Harrison—His Death—John Tyler—His Unpopular Course—The Webster-Ashburton Treaty—Civil War in Rhode Island—The Anti-rent War in New York—A Shocking Accident—Admission of Florida—Revolt of Texas Against Mexican Rule—The Alamo—San Jacinto—The Question of the Annexation of Texas—The State Admitted—The Copper Mines of Michigan—Presidential Election of 1844—The Electro-magnetic Telegraph—Professor Morse—His Labors in Bringing the Invention to Perfection.


Andrew Jackson, seventh President, ranks among the greatest of those who have been honored with the highest gift their countrymen can confer upon them. He was born of Scotch-Irish parents, at Waxhaw Settlement, on the line between North and South Carolina, March 15, 1767. His parents were wretchedly poor and he received only a meagre education. His father died just before the birth of his son, who enlisted in the patriot army when but thirteen years old, and was captured at the battle of Hanging Rock. When a British officer ordered the boy to clean his boots, he refused. He was brutally beaten for his stubbornness; he told the officer that he might kill him, but he could never make a servant of him.

Shortly afterward he was seized with smallpox and was abandoned to die, but his mother secured his release and nursed him back to health. She died soon afterward, and, while still a boy, Andrew was left without a single near relative. At the close of the Revolution, he took up the study of law, pursuing it in a desultory way, until his removal to Nashville, at the age of twenty-one years. He threw his law books aside when the Indians began their outrages, and we have told of his striking services as a soldier and military leader, culminating with his great victory at New Orleans, the anniversary of which is still widely celebrated. Jackson became the idol of his countrymen, and he possessed many admirable qualities. Never, under any circumstances, did he betray personal fear. He was ready to attack one man, ten men, a hundred, or a thousand, if he deemed it his duty to do so. He was honest to the core, intensely patriotic, and he either loved or hated a man. He would stand by a friend to the death, unless he became convinced of his unworthiness, when he instantly became his unrelenting enemy.


ANDREW JACKSON. (1767-1845.)
Two terms, 1829-1837.

He fought numerous duels, and stood up without a tremor in front of one of the most famous of duelists. When his opponent's bullet tore a dreadful wound in his breast, he resolutely repressed all evidence of pain until he had killed his antagonist, in order that the latter should not have the pleasure of knowing he had hurt Jackson.

While carrying one arm in a sling from this wound, he led a strong force into the Creek country. When the men were close upon starvation, they mutinied. Jackson rode in front of them, pistol in hand, and declared he would shoot the first one who refused to obey his orders. Not a man rebelled. At the same time he divided all the food he had among them, which consisted solely of acorns. Nevertheless, he pressed on and utterly destroyed the Indian confederation.

Added to these fine qualities was his chivalrous devotion to his wife, the unvarying respect he showed to the other sex, and the purity of his own character. Such a man cannot fail to exercise a powerful influence upon those with whom he comes in contact. In Jackson's estimation, the only living person whose views were right upon every question was himself. He was intolerant of opposition, and merciless in his enmity of a personal opponent. He made mistakes, as was inevitable, and some of them wrought great injury; but even his opponents respected while they feared him, and the qualities which we have indicated gave him a warm place not only in the affection of his own generation but in the generations that came after him.

When his tempestuous career came to a close, Jackson retired to his home, known as the Hermitage, in Tennessee, where he passed his declining years in quiet and peace. He became a devout Christian, and died of consumption, June 8, 1845.


It need hardly be said that when Jackson became President he shared his authority with no one. He made up his cabinet of his personal friends, and, on the principle of "To the victors belong the spoils," that an administration to be successful must be composed of those of the same political faith with its head, he began a system of removals from office. The total number of such removals made by his predecessors was seventy-four, some of which were for cause. A year after his inauguration, Jackson had turned 2,000 office-holders out, and, since their successors were obliged in many instances to remove subordinates, in pursuance of the same policy, it will be seen that the President adopted no halfway measures.

He regarded the members of his cabinet as simply clerks, and, when he wished to consult with trusted friends, called together a certain number of boon associates, who became known as his "Kitchen Cabinet."


One of the President's unbearable aversions was the United States Bank. He believed that its strength had been exerted against him, and in his first message to Congress, in December, 1829, he charged that it had failed to establish a uniform and sound currency and that its existence was contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Its charter would expire in 1836, and Congress passed an act renewing it for fifteen years. Jackson vetoed the measure, and the two-thirds majority necessary to pass it again could not be obtained.

By law the deposits of the bank were subject to the secretary of the treasury, who could not remove them without giving Congress his reasons for the step. Jackson ordered his secretary to remove the deposits, and when he very properly refused, the President removed him. He made Roger B. Taney, afterward chief justice of the United States, his new secretary of the treasury, and that pliable official promptly transferred the deposits to certain banks that had been selected.


Although the fight caused much excitement, and the action of Jackson was bitterly denounced, it added to his popularity, as was proven in the presidential election of 1832, when the following electoral vote was cast: Andrew Jackson, 219; Henry Clay, of Kentucky, National Republican, 49; John Floyd, of Georgia, Independent, 11; William Wirt, of Maryland, Anti-Masonic, 7. For Vice-President, Martin Van Buren, Democrat, of New York, received 189 votes; John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, National Republican, 49; Henry Lee, of Massachusetts, Independent, 11; Amos Ellmaker, of Pennsylvania, Anti-Masonic, 7; William Wilkins, of Pennsylvania, Democrat, 30. On the popular vote, Jackson had more than a hundred thousand in excess of all the others in a total of one million and a quarter. It was a great triumph for "Old Hickory."


One of "Old Hickory's" volunteers,
afterward famous in the Texan
War for Independence.

It rarely happens in the history of any country that the government finds itself in the possession of more money than it wants. It became clear, however, that not only would the public debt soon be paid, but a surplus would accrue. In view of this certainty, Henry Clay secured the passage of a bill in 1832, which reduced the tariff, except where such reduction came in conflict with home labor. Several years later, the surplus, amounting to $28,000,000, was divided among the States.


In the year named occurred the Black Hawk War. The tribes known as the Sacs, Foxes, and Winnebagoes lived in the Territory of Wisconsin. The Sacs and Foxes made a treaty with the United States in 1830, by which they ceded all their lands in Illinois to the government. When the time arrived for them to leave, they refused, and the governor called out a military force to compel them to remove beyond the Mississippi. Black Hawk, a famous chieftain of the Sacs, left, but returned at the head of a thousand warriors, gathered from the tribes named, and began a savage attack upon the settlements. The peril was so grave that the government sent troops under Generals Scott and Atkinson to Rock Island. On the way thither, cholera, which had never before appeared in this country, broke out among the troops and raged so violently that operations for a time were brought to a standstill.

When Atkinson was able to do so, he pushed on, defeated the Indians, and captured Black Hawk. He was taken to Washington, where he had a long talk with President Jackson, who gave him good advice, and induced him to sign a new treaty providing for the removal of his people to the Indian Territory. Then Black Hawk was carried on a tour through the country, and was so impressed by its greatness that, when he returned to his people, he gave no more trouble. It is worth remembering that both Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln served in the Black Hawk War.


South Carolina had long been soured over the tariff measures, which, while they helped the prosperity of other sections of the Union, were oppressive to her, because there were no manufactures carried on within her borders. When Congress, in the spring of 1832, imposed additional duties, she was so angered that she called a convention in November, at which her governor presided. The new tariff was declared unconstitutional, and therefore null and void, and notice was given that any attempt to collect the duties would be resisted by South Carolina, which, unless her demands were granted, would withdraw from the Union and establish herself as an independent government. Other States endorsed her action and the situation became serious.

President Jackson hated the tariff as much as South Carolina, but his love for the Union was unquenchable, and, having sworn to enforce the laws, he was determined to do it in the face of any and all opposition. Because Vice-President Calhoun sided with his native State, Jackson threatened to arrest him. Calhoun resigned, went home, and was elected United States senator.

President Jackson issued a warning proclamation on the 10th of December, but South Carolina continued her war preparations, and the President sent General Scott, with the sloop-of-war Natchez, to Charleston, with orders to strengthen the garrison in the harbor. Scott displayed great discretion, and won the good-will of the citizens by his forbearance and courtesy. The other Southern States condemned the rash course of South Carolina, within which gradually appeared quite a number of supporters of the Union. Then Clay introduced a bill in Congress, which became law, providing for a gradual reduction of duties until the 30th of June, 1842, when they were to reach a general level of twenty per cent. Calhoun, now a member of the Senate, supported the compromise, and the threatened civil war passed away for the time.


Trouble once more broke out with the Seminoles of Florida. The aggravation, already referred to, continued. Runaway slaves found safe refuge in the swamps of the State and intermarried with the Indians. A treaty, known as that of Payne's Landing, was signed in May, 1832, by which a number of chiefs visited the country assigned to the Creeks, it being agreed that, if they found it satisfactory, the Seminoles should remove thither. They reported in its favor, but the other leaders, incensed at their action, killed several of them, and declared, probably with truth, that they did not represent the sentiment of their people, and doubtless had been influenced by the whites to make their report. The famous Osceola expressed his opinion of the treaty by driving his hunting-knife through it and the top of the table on which it lay.

It being clear that the Seminoles had no intention of going west, President Jackson sent General Wiley Thompson to Florida with a military force to drive them out. The Indians secured a delay until the spring of 1835, under the promise to leave at that time; but when the date arrived, they refused to a man. Osceola was so defiant in an interview with General Thompson that the latter put him in irons and held him prisoner for a couple of days. Then the chief promised to comply with the terms of the treaty and was released. He had not the slightest intention, however, of keeping his promise, but was resolved to be revenged upon Thompson for the indignity he had put upon him.

In the month of December, 1835, while Thompson and a party of friends were dining near Fort King, with the windows raised, because of the mildness of the day, Osceola and a party of his warriors stole up and fired a volley through the windows, which killed Thompson and four of his companions. Before the garrison of the fort could do anything, the Seminoles had fled.


On the same day of this tragical occurrence, Major Francis L. Dade set out with 140 mounted men to the relief of General Clinch, stationed at Fort Drane, in the interior of Florida, where he was threatened with massacre. Dade advanced from Fort Brooke at the head of Tampa Bay, and was not far on the road when he was fired upon by the Indians from ambush. Half the men were killed, including Major Dade. The remainder hastily fortified themselves, but were attacked in such overwhelming numbers that every man was shot down. Two wounded soldiers crawled into the woods, but afterward died. "Dade's Massacre" caused as profound a sensation throughout the country as did that of Custer and his command forty years later.

The Seminole War dragged on for years. General Scott commanded for a time in 1836, and vigorously pressed a campaign in the autumn of that year; but when he turned over the command, in the spring of 1837, to General Zachary Taylor, the conquest of the Seminoles seemingly was as far off as ever. Taylor attempted to use a number of Cuban bloodhounds for tracking the mongrels into the swamps, but the dogs refused to take the trail of the red men, and the experiment (widely denounced in the North) was a failure.

In October, while Osceola and a number of warriors were holding a conference with General Jessup under the protection of a flag of truce, all were made prisoners, and Osceola was sent to Charleston, and died in Fort Moultrie in 1838. The war dragged on until 1842, when General Worth, after it had cost $40,000,000 and many lives, brought it to an end by destroying the crops of the Seminoles and leaving to them the choice between starvation and submission.




The steam locomotive, of which we have given a brief history, came into general use during the presidency of General Jackson. When he left office 1,500 miles of railway had been built, and many more were being laid in different parts of the country. It wrought a social revolution by bringing all parts of the country into close communication, making settlement easy and the cost of moving crops slight. Anthracite coal was tested in 1837, and, because of its great advantages, was soon widely used. McCormick's reaper was patented in 1834, and gave an enormous impetus to the cultivation of western lands. In the early days fire was obtained by the use of flint and steel or the sun-glass. Friction matches appeared in 1836, and quickly supplanted the clumsy method that had been employed for centuries.

On the night of December 16, 1835, New York City was visited by the most destructive fire in its history. The weather was so cold that the volunteer fire department could do little to check the conflagration, which destroyed 648 buildings, covering seventeen blocks and thirteen acres of ground. The value of the property lost was $20,000,000.


The population of the United States in 1830 was 12,866,020, and the postoffices, which in 1790 numbered only 75, had grown to 8,450. The sales of the western lands had increased from $100,000 to $25,000,000 a year, a fact which explains the rapid extinguishment of the public debt.



Two States were admitted to the Union, Arkansas in 1836 and Michigan in 1837. The former was a part of the Louisiana purchase, and was originally settled by the French at Arkansas Post, in 1635. Michigan was the fourth State formed from the Northwest Territory, and was first settled by the French at Detroit in 1701.

Abolitionism assumed definite form in 1831, when William Lloyd Garrison, in his Boston paper, The Liberator, demanded the immediate abolition of slavery. Anti-slavery societies were organized in different parts of the country and the members became known as abolitionists. The South was incensed by the agitation, which reached its culmination in the great Civil War of 1861-65.


President Jackson impressed his personality upon everything with which he came in contact. We had been pressing a suit against France for the injuries she inflicted upon our commerce during the flurry of 1798, but that country was so laggard in paying that the President recommended to Congress that enough French vessels should be captured to pay the bill. France flared up and threatened war unless Jackson apologized. A dozen wars would not have moved him to recall his words. England, however, mediated, and France paid the debt. Portugal took the hint and lost no time in settling a similar account with us.

President Jackson, imitating Washington, issued a farewell address to his countrymen. It was well written and patriotic; but his last official act, which was characteristic of him, displeased many of his friends. The speculation in western lands had assumed such proportions that the treasury department, in July, 1836, sent out a circular ordering the collectors of the public revenues to receive only gold and silver in payment. This circular caused so much confusion and trouble that, at the beginning of 1837, Congress modified it so that it would have given great relief. Jackson held the bill in his possession until the adjournment of Congress, and thus prevented its becoming a law.

The stormy years of Jackson's presidency brought into prominence three of the greatest of Americans. All, at different times, were members of the United States Senate, where their genius overshadowed those who under other circumstances would have attracted national attention. These men were John Caldwell Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster.



JOHN C. CALHOUN. (1782-1850).

The first named was born near Abbeville, South Carolina, March 18, 1782, and, graduating at Yale, studied law and early developed fine qualities of statesmanship. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1811, and became at once the leader of the younger element of the Democratic party. He was a vehement advocate of the war with Great Britain, and, in 1817, was appointed secretary of war under Monroe, serving to the close of his presidency. It has been shown that he was elected Vice-President with Adams. Elected again with Jackson, the two became uncompromising opponents, and he resigned in 1832, immediately entering the Senate, where he was accepted as the leader of the "State rights" men.

His services as senator were interrupted for a short time when, in 1844-45, he acted as secretary of State in Tyler's administration. He was determined to secure the admission of Texas and by his vigor did so, in the face of a strong opposition in the North. He re-entered the Senate and resumed his leadership of the extreme southern wing of the Democratic party. He died in Washington, March 31, 1850, while Clay's compromise measures were pending.

Calhoun ranks among the foremost of American statesmen, and as the champion of the South his place is far above any who appeared before or who have come after him. As a speaker, he was logical, clear, and always deeply in earnest. Daniel Webster said of him: "He had the indisputable basis of all high character—unspotted integrity and honor unimpeached. Nothing groveling, low, or meanly selfish came near his head or his heart."



HENRY CLAY. (1777-1852).

Henry Clay was born April 12, 1777, in the "Slashes," Virginia. He studied law, and at the age of twenty removed to Kentucky, which is proud to claim the honor of having been his home and in reality his State. His great ability and winning manners made him popular everywhere. He served in the Kentucky Legislature, and, before he was thirty years old, was elected to the United States Senate, of which he was a member from 1806 to 1807. He soon became recognized as the foremost champion of the cause of internal improvements and of the tariff measures, known as the "American System." His speakership of the Kentucky Assembly, his term as United States senator again, 1809-11, and as a member of the House of Representatives in 1811, followed rapidly. Against precedent, being a newcomer, he was chosen Speaker, and served until his resignation in 1814. He was as strenuous an advocate of the war with Great Britain as Calhoun, and it has been stated that he was one of the commissioners who negotiated the treaty of Ghent in 1814. The following year he was again elected to the House of Representatives, and acted without a break as Speaker until 1821. He was the most powerful advocate of the recognition of the Spanish-American States in revolt, and but for Clay the Missouri Compromise would not have been prepared and adopted.

Absent but a brief time from Congress, he again acted as Speaker in 1823-25. President Adams appointed him his secretary of State, and he retired from office in 1829, but two years later entered the Senate from Kentucky. For the following twenty years he was the leader of the Whig party, opposed Jackson in the bank controversy, and secured the tariff compromise of 1833 and the settlement with France in 1835. He retired from the Senate in 1843, his nomination for the presidency following a year later. Once more he entered the Senate, in 1849, and brought about the great compromise of 1850. He died June 29, 1852.

Clay's vain struggle for the presidency is told in the succeeding chapter. It seems strange that while he was indisputably the most popular man in the United States, he was not able to secure the great prize. The American Congress never knew a more brilliant debater, nor did the public ever listen to a more magnetic orator. His various compromise measures in the interest of the Union were beyond the attainment of any other man. His fame rests above that which any office can confer. His friends idolized and his opponents respected him. A strong political enemy once refused an introduction to him on the ground that he could not withstand the magnetism of a personal acquaintance which had won "other good haters" to his side. John C. Breckinridge, his political adversary, in his funeral oration, said: "If I were to write his epitaph, I would inscribe as the highest eulogy on the stone which shall mark his resting-place, 'Here lies a man who was in the public service for fifty years and never attempted to deceive his countrymen.'"



DANIEL WEBSTER. (1782-1852).

Daniel Webster was born January 18, 1782, at Salisbury, New Hampshire, and died October 24, 1852. He was educated at Exeter Academy and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1801. After teaching school a short time in Maine, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1805, and began practice at Boscawen, in his native State. Two years afterward, he removed to Portsmouth, where he speedily became a leader at the bar and served in Congress from 1813 to 1817. At that time he was a moderate Federalist. He settled in Boston in 1818, and assumed a front rank among lawyers by his argument before the United States Supreme Court in the celebrated "Dartmouth College Case," which involved the obligation of contracts and the powers of the national government. He was congressman from Massachusetts from 1823 to 1827, was chairman of the judiciary committee, and attracted great attention by his speeches on Greece, then struggling for independence, and his pleas in favor of free trade.

Webster's fame as an eloquent orator was already established. As such, he was the greatest that America ever produced, and many claim that he surpassed any who spoke the English tongue. Among his masterpieces were his speeches at Plymouth, 1820, on the bi-centennial; at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill monument, 1825; and his eulogy on Adams and Jefferson, 1826.

When he entered the United States Senate in 1827, he immediately took rank beside the giants, Calhoun and Clay. He was an advocate of the protective tariff of 1823, and in 1830 reached the highest point of thrilling and eloquent logic in his reply to Robert Young Hayne, of South Carolina, who asserted that any State had the right to disobey such laws of Congress as she deemed unconstitutional. Webster's speech is a classic, never surpassed in its way, and the debate won for him the proud title of "Expounder of the Constitution."

Naturally Webster opposed nullification, and he and Calhoun had many earnest contests worthy of two such masters of logic. W.H. Harrison appointed him his secretary of State, and he remained with Tyler until 1843. In 1845, he was again sent to the United States Senate, but in 1850 he alienated many of his former supporters by his speech in favor of Clay's compromise measures, He was secretary of State in 1850-52, and his death called out more addresses and testimonials than any other since that of Washington.


The following was the electoral vote cast in 1836: Martin Van Buren, of New York, Democrat, 170; William Henry Harrison, of Ohio, Whig, 73; Hugh L. White, of Tennessee, Whig, 26; Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts, Whig, 14; Willie P. Mangum, of North Carolina, Whig, 11. For Vice-President, Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, Democrat, 147; Francis Granger, of New York, Whig, 77; John Tyler, of Virginia, Whig, 47; William Smith, of Alabama, Democrat, 23. The vote for Johnson as Vice-President was not sufficient to elect him, but he was chosen by the House of Representatives.


Martin Van Buren, eighth President, was born December 5, 1782, at Kinderhook, N.Y., and died July 24, 1862. He became eminent as a lawyer, and his skill as a Democratic politician caused him to be known as the "Little Magician." He held a number of public offices, being State senator, United States senator, 1821-28; governor of New York, 1828-29; and secretary of State under Jackson, 1829-31, when Jackson appointed him minister to England, but his political opponents secured his defeat in the Senate. Becoming Vice-President under Jackson, he presided in the Senate from 1833 to 1837. Jackson was so pleased with Van Buren that he chose him as his successor. He was the Free Soil candidate for the presidency in 1848, and thereby brought about the defeat of Cass by Taylor.

van buren

MARTIN VAN BUREN. (1782-1862.)
One term, 1837-1841.

The administration of Van Buren was one of the most unpopular we have ever had, and through no fault of his. A great deal of the prosperity of Jackson's term was superficial. He had been despotic, as shown in his removal of the United States Bank deposits and the issue of the specie circular of 1836. Confusion ensued in business, and an era of wild speculation followed a distribution of the surplus in the treasury among the States. The credit system took the place of the cash system, banks sprang up like mushrooms, and an immense amount of irredeemable money was put in circulation.

These institutions were known as "wild-cat banks," and their method of defrauding the public was as follows: They bought several hundred thousands of cheap bills which, having cost them practically nothing, they used in offering higher prices for public lands than others could pay in gold and silver. They trusted to chance that their bills would not soon come back for redemption, but if they did so, the banks "failed" and the holders of the notes lost every dollar.

The fraud was a deliberate one, but the establishment of the national banking law since then renders a repetition of the swindle impossible.


Van Buren was hardly inaugurated when the panic of 1837 burst upon the country. The banks were forced to suspend specie payment, many failed, and mercantile houses that had weathered other financial storms toppled over like tenpins. In two months the failures in New York and New Orleans amounted to $150,000,000. Early in May, a deputation of New York merchants and bankers called upon the President and asked him to put off the collection of duties on imported goods, to rescind the specie circular, and convene Congress in the hope of devising measures for relief. All that the President consented to do was to defer the collection of duties. Immediately the banks in New York suspended specie payments, and their example was followed by others throughout the country. The New York Legislature then authorized the suspension of specie payments for a year. This left the national government without the means of paying its own obligations (since no banks would return its deposits in specie) except by using the third installment of the surplus revenue that had been promised to the States.

The country was threatened with financial ruin, and Congress convened in September. The President in his message proposed the establishment of an independent treasury for the custody of the public funds, and their total separation from banking institutions. Such a bill failed, but it became a law in 1840. Congress, however, obtained temporary relief by authorizing the issue of $10,000,000 in treasury notes.

The fact remained, however, that the country was rich, and though much distress prevailed, the financial stress began to lessen as more healthy methods of business were adopted. In 1838 most of the banks resumed specie payments, but the effect of the panic was felt for years. Since the distress occurred while Van Buren was President, the blame was placed by many upon the administration.

At that time the present Dominion of Canada was divided into two provinces, known as Upper and Lower Canada. Dissatisfaction with some of the features of Great Britain's rule caused a rebellion in Lower Canada in 1837. Much sympathy was felt for them in this country, and especially in New York, from which a force of 700 men seized and fortified Navy Island, in Niagara River. There were plenty of loyalists in Canada, who made an attempt to capture the place, but failed. On the night of December 29, 1837, they impetuously attacked the supply steamer Caroline, killed twelve of the defenders, set the boat on fire, and sent it over Niagara Falls.

President Van Buren issued a proclamation forbidding all interference in the affairs of Canada, and General Wool was sent to the frontier with a military force strong enough to compel obedience. He obliged the insurgents on Navy Island to surrender and pledge themselves to refrain from all unlawful acts. These vigorous measures soon brought quiet to the border, and England's wise policy toward the disaffected provinces has made Canada one of her most loyal provinces.

The population of the United States in 1840 was 17,649,453, further evidence of the real prosperity of the country. Railroad building went on vigorously, there being fully 4,000 miles in operation at the close of Van Buren's term.


The following was the presidential vote of 1840: William Henry Harrison, of Ohio, Whig, 234; Martin Van Buren, 70. For Vice-President, John Tyler, 234; E.M. Johnson, 48; L.W. Tazewell, of Virginia, Democrat, 11; James K. Polk, of Tennessee, Democrat, 1.


William Henry Harrison, ninth President, was born February 9, 1773, in Virginia, and was the son of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and afterward governor of Virginia. The son graduated from Hampden-Sidney College, and took up the study of medicine, but was fond of military matters, and, entering the army of St. Clair, he displayed great bravery and skill. He helped General Wayne win his victory over the Indians in 1794, and was rapidly promoted. He became secretary of the Northwest Territory in 1798, and the following year was made delegate to Congress. In 1800, he was appointed governor of Indiana Territory, and was acting as such when he won his decisive victory at Tippecanoe, in the autumn of 1811. An account has been given of his brilliant services in the War of 1812.


One month, 1841.

He attained the rank of major-general in the regular army, but resigned in 1814. He was congressman from 1816 to 1819, United States senator from 1825 to 1828, and United States minister to the United States of Columbia, 1828-29.

President Harrison wore no hat or overcoat while delivering his inaugural. Although accustomed to the hardships of the frontier, and naturally one of the most rugged of men, he was now old and weak in body. His imprudence, added to the annoyance from the clamorous office-seekers, drove him frantic. He succumbed to pneumonia and died on the 4th of April, just one month after his inauguration. He was the first President to die in office, and an immense concourse attended his funeral, his remains being interred near North Bend, Ohio.


As provided by the Constitution, the Vice-President, John Tyler, was immediately sworn into office as his successor. Like many of his predecessors, John Tyler was a native of Virginia, where he was born March 29, 1790. He possessed great natural ability and was a practicing lawyer at the age of nineteen, and a member of the State Legislature at twenty-one. When thirty-five, he was chosen governor of Virginia, and was a United States senator from 1827 to 1836.

Since he was the first President not elected to the office, there was considerable discussion among the politicians as to his precise status. It was contended by some that he was chief executive "in trust," and was therefore bound to carry out the policy of his immediate predecessor. Tyler insisted that he was as much the President, in every respect, as if he had been elected by the people to that office, and in this insistence he was unquestionably right.

Tyler quickly involved himself in trouble with the Whigs. They passed an act to re-establish the United States Bank, whose charter expired in 1836, though it had continued in operation under the authority of the State of Pennsylvania. President Tyler vetoed the bill. He suggested some modifications, and it was passed again, but to the indignant amazement of his party he vetoed it a second time. He was declared a traitor and widely denounced. All his cabinet resigned, with the exception of Daniel Webster, who, as stated elsewhere, remained until 1843, in order to complete an important treaty with England then under negotiation.


This was known as the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. Our northeastern boundary was loosely defined by the treaty of 1783, and it was finally agreed by Great Britain and the United States to refer the questions in dispute to three commissions to be jointly constituted by the two countries. The first of these awarded the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay to the United States; the third established the boundary line from the intersection of the forty-fifth parallel with the St. Lawrence to the western point of Lake Huron. It remained for the second commission to determine the boundary from the Atlantic to the St. Lawrence. The question was a bone of contention for many years, and at last was referred to Daniel Webster and Lord Ashburton. These two gentlemen met in a spirit of fairness, calmly discussed the matter, and without the slightest friction reached an agreement, which was signed August 9, 1842, and confirmed by the Senate.



JOHN TYLER. (1790-1862.)
One partial term, 1841-1845.

Rhode Island had been governed down to 1842 by the charter received from Charles II., in 1663. This charter permitted only the owners of a certain amount of property to vote. Dissatisfaction gradually grew until 1842, when two political parties were formed in the little State, one favoring a new constitution and the other clinging to the old. The former carried the Legislature, after adopting a State constitution, and elected Thomas W. Dorr governor. Their opponents elected Samuel W. King, and both placed armed forces in the field. When civil war was imminent, the national government interfered and Dorr's forces were dispersed without bloodshed. Dorr was arrested, and on his trial found guilty of treason. He was sentenced to imprisonment for life, but offered liberty on condition of taking the oath of allegiance. He refused, and, in June, 1845, was unconditionally released. Meanwhile, the general dissatisfaction with the colonial charter led to the calling of a convention, which adopted a new constitution, that went into effect in May, 1843.


It has been shown that when the Dutch were the owners of New York State many of them took possession of immense tracts of lands, over which they ruled like the feudal lords in ancient England. These grants and privileges were inherited by their descendants and were not affected by the Revolution. Among the wealthiest patroons were the Van Rensselaers, whose estates included most of Albany and Rensselaer Counties. Stephen Van Rensselaer was easy-going and so wealthy that he did not take the trouble to collect the rents due from his numerous tenants, who, at his death, in 1840, owed him nearly a quarter of a million of dollars. His heirs determined to collect this amount and set vigorous measures on foot to do so. The tenants resisted, furious fights took place, and the military were called out, but the tenants remained resolute in refusing to pay rent. The disturbances continued and were known as "The Anti-Rent War." The eastern towns of Rensselaer County and the Livingston manor of Columbia County were soon in a state of insurrection, and many outrages were committed. In Delaware County, while a deputy-sheriff was trying to perform his duty he was killed. The civil authorities were powerless to suppress the revolt, and, in 1846, the governor declared the County of Delaware in a state of insurrection, and called out the military. They arrested the ringleaders, and the murderers of the deputy-sheriff were sentenced to imprisonment for life. Conciliatory measures followed, most of the patroon lands were sold to the tenants, and the great estates gradually passed out of existence.


A shocking accident occurred on the 28th of February, 1844. Mr. Upshur, secretary of State, Mr. Gilmer, secretary of the navy, and a number of distinguished ladies and gentlemen were taken on an excursion down the Potomac, by Commodore Stockton, on the steamer Princeton. For the entertainment of his guests, the commodore ordered the firing of an immense new gun that had been placed on board a short time before. It had been discharged several times, and, upon what was intended and indeed proved to be the last discharge, it exploded, killing Mr. Upshur, Mr. Gilmer, Commodore Kennon, Virgil Maxey, lately minister to The Hague, and several of the visitors, besides wounding seventeen sailors, some of whom died. Although Commodore Stockton lived many years afterward, he never fully recovered from the shock. The accident cast a gloom throughout the whole country.


One State, Florida, was admitted to the Union during Tyler's administration. Its early history has been given, it having been bought from Spain in 1819. It was made a State in 1845.

Texas now became a subject of national interest. Although the United States made claim to it as a part of the Louisiana purchase, the claim was abandoned in 1819, when Florida came into our possession. In 1821, a colony of Americans formed a settlement in Mexican territory, encouraged to do so by the home government. Others emigrated thither, among whom were many restless adventurers and desperate men. By-and-by they began talking of wresting Texas from Mexico and transferring it to the United States. There is little doubt that in this design they received encouragement from many men holding high places in the United States.


The ferment in Texas increased, and, on the 2d of March, 1836, a convention declared Texas independent. Santa Anna, president of the Mexican Republic, crossed the Rio Grande with a large force and advanced to San Antonio, where less than 200 Texans had taken refuge in a mission-house known as the Alamo, with their flag, consisting of a single star, floating defiantly above it. In this body of fearless men were the eccentric Davy Crockett, formerly congressman from Tennessee; the Bowie brothers, one of whom was the inventor of the Bowie knife; Colonel Travis, and others as dauntless as they. They had several rifles apiece, and maintained a spirited defense, night and day, for ten days, under the incessant attacks of the Mexicans. Finally, when the brave band was reduced to less than a dozen, they surrendered under the promise that their lives would be spared. Santa Anna caused the massacre of every one.

"Remember the Alamo!" became the war-cry of the Texans, and, in the following month, under the command of Sam Houston, they virtually destroyed the Mexican army and took Santa Anna prisoner. Houston was more merciful to him than he had been to the Alamo prisoners, and protected him from the vengeance of the soldiers. He was very glad to sign a treaty acknowledging the independence of Texas.

The Mexican government, however, repudiated the action of its president, and a guerrilla warfare was waged by both sides for several years without any progress being made in the conquest of the province. Texas organized itself into an independent republic, elected Sam Houston president, and secured recognition from the United States, England, and several European governments. While making no organized effort to conquer Texas, Mexico insisted that the province was her own.


One of the first steps of Texas, after declaring her independence, was to apply for admission into the Union. There was great opposition in the North because its admission would add an enormous slave area to our country. For the same reason the South clamored that it should be made a State. Calhoun, who succeeded Upshur as secretary of State, in March, 1844, put forth every effort to bring Texas into the Union. Clay's opposition lost him the support of the South in his presidential aspirations. President Tyler, who favored its admission, made an annexation treaty with Texas, but the Senate refused to ratify it. Then a joint resolution was introduced, and, after a hot discussion, was passed with the proviso that the incoming President might act, if he preferred, by treaty. The resolution was adopted March 1, 1845, by the Senate, three days before the close of President Tyler's term. Calhoun instantly dispatched a messenger to Texas with orders to travel with the utmost haste that the new State might be brought in under the resolution. President Tyler immediately signed the bill, and the "Lone-Star" State became a member of the Union. On the last day but one of the close of his term he signed the bills for the admission of Florida and Iowa, but the latter was not formally admitted until the following year.


There were many events of a non-political nature, but of the highest importance, that occurred during Tyler's administration. Copper took its place as one of the great mineral productions of the United States in 1844. The Indians at last abandoned their claims to the country near Lake Superior, in northern Michigan, and the explorations that followed proved that the copper mines there are the richest in the world. Numerous companies were formed and copper-mining became the leading industry of that section. An interesting discovery was that many of the mines had been worked hundreds of years before by the Indians.

The wonderful richness of the gold deposits in California, the vast mineral resources of Missouri and Tennessee, and the untold wealth of the petroleum bed under the surface of Pennsylvania were unsuspected.


The presidential election of 1844 hinged on the question of the proposed annexation of Texas. It has been stated that the Whigs nominated Henry Clay, who opposed annexation. Van Buren lost the Democratic renomination through his opposition to annexation, and the Southern Democrats secured the candidacy of James K. Polk. The Abolitionists did not think Clay's opposition to annexation quite as earnest as it should be, and they placed William Birney in nomination. As a result Clay lost the State of New York, and through that his election to the presidency. The electoral vote was as follows:

James K. Polk, of Tennessee, Democrat, 170; Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Whig, 105. For Vice-President, George M. Dallas, of Pennsylvania, Democrat, 170; Theodore Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, Whig, 105. This secured the election of Polk and Dallas. James G. Birney and Thomas Morris, candidates of the Liberty party for President and Vice-President, received no electoral vote, but, as stated, caused the loss of the State of New York to Clay, thereby throwing enough electoral votes to Polk and Dallas to give them success.




The convention which placed Polk in nomination was held in the city of Baltimore. A railway train was waiting to carry the news to Washington, and, as soon as the passengers could hurry on board, it steamed at the highest speed to the national capital. When the people left the cars an hour later they found, to their inexpressible amazement, newspaper extras for sale containing the news of Polk's nomination. In answer to their questions they were told that it had been received from Baltimore by TELEGRAPH.

This was on the 29th of May, 1844, and was the first public message sent by magnetic telegraph. It marked an era in the history of civilization.

Investigation seems to establish that Professor Joseph Henry, of the Smithsonian Institute, was the real inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph, though that honor has been given and will continue to be given by most people to Professor Samuel F.B. Morse, whose relation to the telegraph was much the same as that of Fulton to the steamboat. He added to the ideas of those before him and first brought them into practical use.

Professor Morse deserves all the credit he has received as one of the greatest of inventors. He studied painting when young and became an artist of considerable skill. As early as 1832 he conceived the idea of an electro-magnetic telegraph and began his experiments. The project absorbed all his energies until he became what is called in these days a "crank," which is often the name of one who gives all his thoughts and efforts to the development of a single project. He drifted away from his relatives, who looked upon him as a visionary dreamer, and when his ragged clothes and craving stomach demanded attention, he gave instruction in drawing to a few students who clung to him.

Light gradually dawned upon Morse, and he continued his labors under discouragements that would have overcome almost any other man. He secured help from Alfred Vail, of Morristown, N.J., who invented the alphabetical characters and many essential features of the system, besides furnishing Morse with funds, without which his labors would have come to a standstill. There was not enough capital at command to construct a line of telegraph, and Morse and his few friends haunted Congress with their plea for an appropriation. Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, gave assistance, and, finally, in the very closing days of the session of Congress in 1844, an appropriation of $30,000 was made to defray the expenses of a line between Baltimore and Washington.

iron works

Here was forged the shaft for the Savannah,
the first steamship which crossed the Atlantic.
Here was manufactured the tires,
axles and cranks of the first American locomotive.
Shop in which Vail and Baxter constructed
the first telegraph apparatus, invented by Morse,
for exhibition before Congress.

The invention, like most others of an important nature, was subjected to merciless ridicule. A wag hung a pair of muddy boots out of a window in Washington, with a placard announcing that they belonged to a man who had just arrived by telegraph; another placed a package on the wires, and called to his friends to see it whisked away by lightning; while many opposed the apparent experimenting with the electric fluid, which they believed would work all sorts of mischief. Nevertheless, the patient toilers kept at work, often stopped by accident, and in the face of all manner of opposition. The first line was laid underground, and, as has been shown, carried the news of Polk's nomination for the presidency to Washington.

Professor Morse was in Washington, and the first message was dictated by Annie Ellsworth, March 28, 1844, and received by Alfred Vail, forty miles away in Baltimore. It consisted of the words, "What hath God wrought?" and the telegram is now in the possession of the Connecticut Historical Society. It may be said that since then the earth has been girdled by telegraph lines, numbers of which pass under the ocean, uniting all nations and the uttermost extremities of the world.

In the preceding pages we have done little more than give the results of the various presidential campaigns. The two leading political parties were the Whigs and the Democrats, and many of the elections were of absorbing interest, not only to the participants, but to the country at large. Several were distinguished by features worthy of permanent record, since they throw valuable light upon the times, now forgotten, and were attended in many instances by far-reaching results.

It seems proper, therefore, that a chapter should be devoted to the most important presidential campaigns preceding and including one of the most memorable—that of 1840—often referred to as the "hard cider campaign."







The Origin of the "Caucus"—The Election of 1792—The First Stormy Election—The Constitution Amended—Improvement of the Method of Nominating Presidential Candidates—The First Presidential Convention—Convention in Baltimore in 1832—Exciting Scenes—The Presidential Campaign of 1820—"Old Hickory"—Andrew Jackson's Popularity—Jackson Nominated—"Old Hickory" Defeated—The "Log-Cabin" and "Hard-Cider" Campaign of 1840—"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too"—Peculiar Feature of the Harrison Campaign.

The presidential nominating convention is a modern institution. In the early days of the Republic a very different method was pursued in order to place the candidates for the highest office in the land before the people.


In the first place, as to the origin of the "caucus." In the early part of the eighteenth century a number of caulkers connected with the shipping business in the North End of Boston held a meeting for consultation. That meeting was the germ of the political caucuses which have formed so prominent a feature of our government ever since its organization.

The Constitution of our country was framed and signed in the month of September, 1787, by the convention sitting in Philadelphia, and then sent to the various Legislatures for their action. It could not become binding until ratified by nine States. On the 2d of July, 1788, Congress was notified that the necessary nine States had approved, and on the 13th of the following September a day was appointed for the choice of electors for President. The day selected was the first Wednesday of January, 1789. The date for the beginning of proceedings under the new Constitution was postponed to the first Wednesday in March, which happened to fall on the 4th. In that way the 4th of March became fixed as the date of the inauguration of each President, except when the date is on Sunday, when it becomes the 5th.

Congress met at that time in the city of New York. It was not until the 1st of April that a quorum for business appeared in the House of Representatives, and the Senate was organized on the 6th of that month. The electors who were to choose the President were selected by the various State Legislatures, each elector being entitled to cast two votes. The rule was that the candidate receiving the highest number became President, while the next highest vote elected the Vice-President. The objection to this method was that the two might belong to different political parties, which very condition of things came about at the election of the second President, when John Adams was chosen to the highest office and Thomas Jefferson to the second. The former was a Federalist, while Jefferson was a Republican, or, as he would have been called later, a Democrat. Had Adams died while in office, the policy of his administration would have been changed.

There could be no doubt as to the first choice. While Washington lived and was willing thus to serve his country, what other name could be considered? So, when the electoral vote was counted on the 6th of April, 1789, every vote of the ten States which took part in the election was cast for him. He received 69 (all); John Adams, 34; John Jay, 9; R.H. Harrison, 6; John Rutledge, 6; John Hancock, 4; George Clinton, 3; Samuel Huntingdon, 2; John Milton, 2; James Armstrong, Benjamin Lincoln, and Edward Telfair, 1 each.


At the next election, in 1792, the result was: Washington, 132 (all) votes; John Adams, 77; George Clinton, 50; Thomas Jefferson, 4; Aaron Burr, 1; vacancies, 3. It would have been the same at the third election had the illustrious Father of his Country consented to be a candidate; but he was growing feeble, and had already sacrificed so much for his country, that his yearning for the quiet, restful life at Mount Vernon could not be denied him. So he retired, and, less than three years later, passed from earth.


What may be looked upon as the first stormy election of a President took place in 1800. When the electoral votes came to be counted, they were found to be distributed as follows: Thomas Jefferson, 73; Aaron Burr, 73; John Adams, 65; Charles C. Pinckney, 64; John Jay, 1. Jefferson and Burr being tied, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives, where the contest became a memorable one. The House met on the 11th of February, 1801, to decide the question. On the first ballot, Jefferson had eight States and Burr six, while Maryland and Vermont were equally divided. Here was another tie.



Meanwhile, one of the most terrific snowstorms ever known swept over Washington. Mr. Nicholson, of Maryland, was seriously ill in bed, and yet, if he did not vote, his State would be given to Burr, who would be elected President. Nicholson showed that he had the "courage of his convictions" by allowing himself to be bundled up and carried through the blizzard to one of the committee rooms, where his wife stayed by his side day and night. On each ballot the box was brought to his bedside, and he did not miss one. The House remained in continuous session until thirty-five ballots had been cast without any change.

It was clear by that time that Burr could not be elected, for the columns of Jefferson were as immovable as a stone wall. The break, when it came, must be in the ranks of Burr. On the thirty-sixth ballot, the Federalists of Maryland, Delaware, and South Carolina voted blank, and the Federalist of Vermont stayed away. This gave the friends of Jefferson their opportunity, and, fortunately for the country, Thomas Jefferson was elected instead of the miscreant Burr.


As a result of this noted contest, the Constitution was so amended that each elector voted for a President and a Vice-President, instead of for two candidates for President. It was a needed improvement, since it insured that both should belong to the same political party.

During the first term of Washington, the country was divided into two powerful political parties. Men who, like Washington, Hamilton, and others, believed in a strong central government, with only such political power as was absolutely necessary distributed among the various States, were Federalists. Those who insisted upon the greatest possible power for the States, yielding nothing to Congress beyond what was distinctly specified in the Constitution, were Republicans, of whom Thomas Jefferson was the foremost leader. Other points of difference developed as the years passed, but the main distinction was as given. After the election of John Adams, the Federalist party gradually dwindled, and in the war of 1812 its unpatriotic course fatally weakened the organization.


The Republican party took the name of Democratic-Republican, which is its official title to-day. During Monroe's administration, when almost the last vestige of Federalist vanished, their opponents gradually acquired the name of Democrats, by which they are now known. After a time, the Federalists were succeeded by the Whigs, who held well together until the quarrel over the admission of Kansas and the question of slavery split the party into fragments. From these, including Know Nothings, Abolitionists, Free Soilers, and Northern Democrats, was builded, in 1856, the present Republican party, whose foundation stone was opposition to the extension of slavery. Many minor parties have sprung into ephemeral life from time to time, but the Democrats and Republicans will undoubtedly be the two great political organizations for many years to come, as they have been for so many years past.


It will be noted that the old-fashioned method of nominating presidential candidates was clumsy and frequently unfair. Candidates sometimes announced themselves for offices within the gift of the people; but if that practice had continued to modern times, the number of candidates thus appealing for the suffrages of their fellow-citizens might have threatened to equal the number of voters themselves. The more common plan was for the party leaders to hold private or informal caucuses. The next method was for the legislative caucus to name the man. The unfairness of this system was that it shut out from representation those whose districts had none of the opposite political party in the Legislature. To adjust the matter, the caucus rule was so modified as to admit delegates specially sent up from the districts that were not represented in the Legislature. This, it will be seen, was an important step in the direction of the present system, which makes a nominating convention consist of delegates from every part of a State, chosen for the sole purpose of making nominations.

white house


The perfected method appeared in New Jersey as early as 1812, in Pennsylvania in 1817, and in New York in 1825. There was no clearly defined plan followed in making the presidential nominations for 1824, and four years later the legislative caucus system was almost universally followed. After that, the system which had been applied in various States was applied to national matters.


In the year 1826, William Morgan, a worthless character, living in Batavia, New York, attempted to expose the secrets of the order of Free Masons, of which he had become a member. While he was engaged in printing his book, he disappeared and was never afterward seen. The Masons were accused of making way with him, and a wave of opposition swept over the country which closed many lodges and seemed for a time to threaten the extinction of the order. An anti-Masonic party was formed and became strong enough to carry the election in several States. Not only that, but in September, 1831, the anti-Masons held a National nominating convention in Baltimore and put forward William Wirt, former attorney-general of the United States, as their nominee for the Presidency, with Amos Ellmaker, candidate for the Vice-Presidency. The ticket received seven electoral votes. The noteworthy fact about this almost forgotten matter is that the convention was the first presidential one held in this country.


The system was now fairly launched, for in December of the same year the National Republicans met in convention in Baltimore and nominated Henry Clay, and in May, 1832, Martin Van Buren was nominated by a Democratic convention. He was renominated at the same place and in the same manner in 1835, but the Whigs did not imitate their opponents. In 1840, however, the system was adopted by both parties, and has been followed ever since.

Our whole country seethes with excitement from the hour when the first candidate is hinted at until his nomination is made, followed by his election or defeat a few months later. Some persons see a grave peril in this periodic convulsion, which shakes the United States like an earthquake, but it seems after all to be a sort of political thunderstorm which purifies the air and clarifies the ideas that otherwise would become sodden or morbid. It is essentially American, and our people's universal love of fair play leads them to accept the verdict at the polls with philosophy and good nature.

And yet there have been many exciting scenes at the nominating conventions of the past, as there doubtless will be in many that are yet to come. Coming down to later times, how often has it proved that the most astute politicians were all at sea in their calculations. The proverbial "dark horse" has become a potent factor whom it is not safe to forget in making up political probabilities.


Probably the most tranquil presidential campaign of the nineteenth century was that of 1820, when James Monroe was elected for the second time. He was virtually the only candidate before the country for the exalted office. When the electoral college met, the astounding fact was revealed that he had every vote—the first time such a thing had occurred since Washington's election.

But there was one elector who had the courage to do that which was never done before and has never been done since: he voted contrary to his instructions and in opposition to the ticket on which he was elected. Blumer, of New Hampshire, explained that, as he viewed it, no President had the right to share the honor of a unanimous election with Washington, and, though an ardent friend of Monroe, he deliberately cast his one vote for Adams, in order to preserve Washington's honor distinct. His motive was appreciated, and Blumer was applauded for the act, Monroe himself being pleased with it.


It is hardly necessary to repeat that this incident has not been duplicated since that day. Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory," was probably the most popular man in the country when the time came for naming the successor of Monroe. It may sound strange, but it is a fact, that when the project of running him for the presidency was first mentioned to Jackson, he was displeased. It had never entered his head to covet that exalted office.

"Don't think of it," he said; "I haven't the first qualification; I am a rough, plain man, fitted perhaps to lead soldiers and fight the enemies of our country, but as for the presidency, the idea is too absurd to be held."

But what American cannot be convinced that he is pre-eminently fitted for the office? It did not take long for the ambition to be kindled in the breast of the doughty hero. His friends flattered him into the conviction that he was the man of all others to assume the duties, and the "bee buzzed" as loudly in Jackson's bonnet as it ever has in that of any of his successors.


It cannot be denied that "Old Hickory" was a great man, and though he was deficient in education, lacking in statesmanship, and obstinate to the last degree, he was the possessor of those rugged virtues which invariably command respect. He was honest, clean in his private life, a stanch friend, an unrelenting enemy, and an intense patriot—one who was ready to risk his life at any hour for his country. In addition, he never knew the meaning of personal fear. No braver person ever lived. When the sheriff in a court-room was afraid to attempt to arrest a notorious desperado, Jackson leaped over the chairs, seized the ruffian by the throat, hurled him to the floor, and cowed him into submission. When a piece of treachery was discovered on a Kentucky racecourse, Jackson faced a mob of a thousand infuriated men, ruled off the dishonest official, and carried his point. He challenged the most noted duelist of the southwest, because he dared to cast a slur upon Jackson's wife. It mattered not that the scoundrel had never failed to kill his man, and that all of Jackson's friends warned him that it was certain death to meet the dead-shot. At the exchange of shots, Jackson was frightfully wounded, but he stood as rigid as iron, and sent a bullet through the body of his enemy, whom he did not let know he was himself wounded until the other breathed his last.

Above all, had not "Old Hickory" won the battle of New Orleans, the most brilliant victory of the War of 1812? Did not he and his unerring riflemen from the backwoods of Tennessee and Kentucky spread consternation, death, and defeat among the red-coated veterans of Waterloo? No wonder that the anniversary of that glorious battle is still celebrated in every part of the country, and no wonder, too, that the American people demanded that the hero of all these achievements should be rewarded with the highest office in the gift of his countrymen.


Jackson, having "placed himself in the hands of his friends," threw himself into the struggle with all the unquenchable ardor of his nature. On July 22, 1822, the Legislature of Tennessee was first in the field by placing him in nomination. On the 22d of February, 1824, a Federalist convention at Harrisburg, Pa., nominated him, and on the 4th of March following a Republican convention did the same. It would seem that he was now fairly before the country, but the regular Democratic nominee, that is, the one named by the congressional caucus, was William H. Crawford, of Georgia. The remaining candidates were John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, and all of them belonged to the Republican party, which had retained the presidency since 1800. Adams and Clay were what was termed loose constructionists, while Jackson and Crawford were strict constructionists.


The canvass was a somewhat jumbled one, in which each candidate had his ardent partisans and supporters. The contest was carried out with vigor and the usual abuse, personalities, and vituperation until the polls were closed. Then when the returns came to be made up it was found that Jackson had received 99 electoral votes, Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37. "Old Hickory" was well ahead, but his strength was not sufficient to make him President, even though on the popular vote he led Adams by more than 50,000. Consequently the election went to the House of Representatives, where the supporters of Clay combined with those of Adams and made him President. Thus came the singular result that the man who had the largest popular and electoral vote was defeated.

It was a keen disappointment to Jackson and his friends. The great Senator Benton, of Missouri, one of the warmest supporters of "Old Hickory," angrily declared that the House was deliberately defying the will of the people by placing a minority candidate in the chair. The senator's position, however, was untenable, and so it was that John Quincy Adams became the sixth President of our country.


But the triumph of "Old Hickory" was only postponed. His defeat was looked upon by the majority of men as a deliberate piece of trickery, and they "lay low" for the next opportunity to square matters. No fear of a second chance being presented to their opponents. Jackson was launched into the canvass of 1828 like a cyclone, and when the returns were made up he had 178 electoral votes to 83 for Adams—a vote which lifted him safely over the edge of a plurality and seated him firmly in the White House.

spanish house, old


It is not our province to treat of the administration of Andrew Jackson, for that belongs to history, but the hold which that remarkable man maintained upon the affections of the people was emphasized when, in 1832, he was re-elected by an electoral vote of 219 to 49 for Clay, 11 for Floyd, and 7 for Wirt. Despite the popular prejudice against a third term, there is little doubt that Jackson would have been successful had he chosen again to be a candidate. He proved his strength by selecting his successor, Martin Van Buren.


The next notable presidential battle was the "log-cabin and hard-cider" campaign of 1840, the like of which was never before seen in this country. General William Henry Harrison had been defeated by Van Buren in 1836, but on the 4th of December, 1839, the National Whig Convention, which met at Harrisburg to decide the claims of rival candidates, placed Harrison in nomination, while the Democrats again nominated Van Buren.

General Harrison lived at North Bend, Ohio, in a house which consisted of a log-cabin, built many years before by a pioneer, and was afterward covered with clapboards. The visitors to the house praised the republican simplicity of the old soldier, the hero of Tippecanoe, and the principal campaign biography said that his table, instead of being supplied with costly wines, was furnished with an abundance of the best cider.

another house

(Where Louis Philippe stopped in 1798.).

The canvass had hardly opened, when the Baltimore Republican slurred General Harrison by remarking that, if some one would pension him with a few hundred dollars and give him a barrel of hard cider, he would sit down in his log-cabin and be content for the rest of his life. That sneer furnished the keynote of the campaign. Hard cider became almost the sole beverage of the Whigs throughout the country. In every city, town and village, and at the cross-roads, were erected log-cabins, while the amount of hard cider drank would have floated the American navy. The nights were rent with the shouts of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too," and scores of campaign songs were sung by tens of thousands of exultant, even if not always musical, voices. We recall that one of the most popular songs began:

"Oh, where, tell me where, was the log-cabin made?
'Twas made by the boys that wield the plough and the spade."

There was no end to the songs, which were set to the most popular airs and sung over and over again. You would hear them in the middle of the night on some distant mountain-top, where the twinkling camp-fire showed that a party of Whigs were drinking hard cider and whooping it up for Harrison; some singer with a strong, pleasing voice would start one of the songs from the platform, at the close of the orator's appeal, and hardly had his lips parted, when the thousands of Whigs, old and young, and including wives and daughters, would join in the words, while the enthusiasm quickly grew to a white heat. The horsemen riding home late at night awoke the echoes among the woods and hills with their musical praises of "Old Tippecanoe." The story is told that in one of the backwoods districts of Ohio, after the preacher had announced the hymn, the leader of the singing, a staid old deacon, struck in with a Harrison campaign song, in which the whole congregation, after the first moment's shock, heartily joined, while the aghast preacher had all he could do to restrain himself from "coming in on the chorus." There was some truth in the declaration of a disgusted Democrat that, from the opening of the canvass, the whole Whig population of the United States went upon a colossal spree on hard cider, which continued without intermission until Harrison was installed in the White House.

And what did November tell? The electoral vote cast for Martin Van Buren, 60; for General Harrison, 234. No wonder that the supply of hard cider was almost exhausted within the next three days.


As we have noted, the method of nominating presidential candidates by means of popular conventions was fully established in 1840, and has continued uninterruptedly ever since. One peculiar feature marked the Harrison campaign of 1840. The convention which nominated Martin Van Buren met in Baltimore in May of that year. On the same day, the young Whigs of the country held a mass-meeting in Baltimore, at which fully twenty thousand persons were present. They came from every part of the Union, Massachusetts sending fully a thousand. When the adjournment took place, it was to meet again in Washington at the inauguration of Harrison. The railway was then coming into general use, and this greatly favored the assembling of mass-conventions.





James K. Polk—The War with Mexico—The First Conflict—Battle of Resaca de la Palma—Vigorous Action of the United States Government—General Scott's Plan of Campaign—Capture of Monterey—An Armistice—Capture of Saltillo—Of Victoria—Of Tampico—General Kearny's Capture of Santa Fé—Conquest of California—Wonderful March of Colonel Doniphan—Battle of Buena Vista—General Scott's March Toward the City of Mexico—Capture of Vera Cruz—American Victory at Cerro Gordo—Five American Victories in One Day—Santa Anna—Conquest of Mexico Completed—Terms of the Treaty of Peace—The New Territory Gained—The Slavery Dispute—The Wilmot Proviso—"Fifty-Four Forty or Fight"—Adjustment of the Oregon Boundary—Admission of Iowa and Wisconsin—The Smithsonian Institute—Discovery of Gold in California—The Mormons—The Presidential Election of 1848.



JAMES K. POLK. (1795-1849.)
One term, 1845-1849.

James K. Polk, eleventh President, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, November 2, 1795, and died June 15, 1849. His father removed to Tennessee when the son was quite young, and he therefore became identified with that State. He studied law, was a leading politician, and was elected to Congress in 1825, serving in that body for fourteen years. He was elected governor of Tennessee in 1839, his next advancement being to the presidency of the United States.

The President made George Bancroft, the distinguished historian, his secretary of the navy. It was he who laid the foundation of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, which was opened October 10, 1845. It is under the immediate care and supervision of the navy department and corresponds to the Military Academy at West Point.

Everybody knew that the admission of Texas meant war with Mexico, for that country would never yield, until compelled to do so, the province that had rebelled against her rule and whose independence she had persistently refused to recognize. Texas was unable to withstand the Mexican army, and her authorities urged the United States to send a force for her protection. General Zachary Taylor, who was in camp in western Louisiana, was ordered to advance into and occupy Texan territory.

Mexico had always insisted that the Nueces River was her western boundary, while Texas maintained that the Rio Grande was the dividing line. The dispute, therefore, was really over the tract of land between the two rivers. Our country proposed to settle the question by arbitration, but Mexico would not consent, claiming that the section (known as Coahuila) had never been in revolt against her authority, while Texas declared that it was a part of itself, and its Legislature so decided December 19, 1836.

General Taylor established a camp at Corpus Christi in the latter part of 1845, at the mouth of the Nueces. With nearly 5,000 troops, he marched, in January, to the Rio Grande to meet the Mexicans who were preparing to invade the disputed territory. Taylor established a depot of provisions at Point Isabel on the Gulf, and, upon reaching the Rio Grande, hastily built Fort Brown, opposite the Mexican town of Matamoras.

Some time later the Mexican forces reached Matamoras, and General Arista on the 26th of April notified Taylor that hostilities had begun. To emphasize his declaration, Captain Thornton with a company of dragoons was attacked the same day, and, after the loss of sixteen men in killed and wounded, was compelled to surrender to a much superior force. This was the first engagement of the war and was fought on ground claimed by both countries.


The Mexicans acted vigorously and soon placed Taylor's lines of communication in such danger that he hurried to Point Isabel to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. He left Major Brown with 300 men in charge of Fort Brown. The Mexicans were exultant, believing Taylor had been frightened out of the country. But that valiant officer paused at Point Isabel only long enough to make its position secure, when he marched rapidly toward Fort Brown. Reaching Palo Alto, on the road, he found the way disputed by fully 6,000 Mexicans, who were three times as numerous as his own army. Attacking the enemy with great spirit, he routed them with the loss of a hundred men, his own loss being four killed and forty wounded.

Resuming his march toward Fort Brown, Taylor had reached a point within three miles of it, when he was brought face to face with a much larger force at Resaca de la Palma. The battle was a severe one, and for a long time was in doubt; but the tide was turned by a dashing charge of Captain May with his dragoons. Despite a destructive fire of grapeshot, the horsemen galloped over the Mexican batteries, cut down the gunners, and captured the commanding officer. Taylor then pushed on to Fort Brown and found it safe, though it had been under an almost continuous bombardment, in which Major Brown, the commandant, was killed.


"Always to be found where the fighting was the fiercest."


News of these battles was carried north by carrier pigeons and telegraph, and the war spirit of the country was roused. Congress on the 11th of May declared that war existed by the act of the Mexican government, and $10,000,000 was placed at the disposal of the President, who was authorized to accept 50,000 volunteers. The call for them was answered by 300,000, who were eager to serve in the war.


General Scott, as head of the army, formed a careful plan of campaign for the conquest of Mexico. Of the three divisions, General Kearny, with the army of the west, was to cross the Rocky Mountains and conquer the northern Mexican provinces; General Scott himself, with the army of the centre, was to advance from the coast into the interior of the country, making the city of Mexico, the capital of the republic, his objective point; while General Taylor, with the army of occupation, was to seize and hold the Rio Grande country. The work of mustering in the troops was intrusted to General Wool, who, some time later, established himself at San Antonio, and sent many soldiers to the different commands.


Within less than two weeks after his victory at Resaca de la Palma, Taylor crossed over from Fort Brown and captured Matamoras. Then he turned up the right bank of the Rio Grande and marched into the interior. The Mexicans retreated to the fortified town of Monterey, where they were so powerful that Taylor waited for reinforcements before attacking them. His forces amounted to 6,600 by the latter part of August, and he then advanced against Monterey, which was defended by a garrison of 10,000 men.

The city was invested on the 19th of September. Two days sufficed for General Worth to capture the fortified works in the rear of the town, and on the next day the remaining defenses on that side were carried by storm. At daylight, on the 23d, the city in front was captured by assault. The Mexicans maintained a vicious defense from their adobe houses, but the Americans, charging through the streets, battered in the doors, chased the defenders from room to room and over the housetops until they flung down their arms and shouted for mercy. The commander was allowed to evacuate the city, and fell back toward the national capital.


Taylor was about to resume his advance when the enemy asked for an armistice, saying the authorities wished to negotiate for peace. Taylor agreed to an armistice of eight weeks, but the proposal was a trick of the enemy, who spent every hour of the respite in making preparations to resist the Americans' advance. Santa Anna, who was undergoing one of his periodical banishments, was called back and given the presidency. When the armistice granted by Taylor expired, the Mexicans had an army of 20,000 in the field, and, under orders from Washington, the American commander moved forward. The first town captured was Saltillo, seventy miles southwest of Monterey. It was taken by General Worth, with the advance, on the 15th of November, 1846. In the following month Victoria, in the province of Tamaulipas, was captured by General Butler, who, advancing from Monterey, united with Patterson at this place. Their intention was to move upon Tampico, on the coast, but they learned that it had surrendered to Captain Conner, commander of an American squadron. Meanwhile, General Wool, marching from San Antonio, arrived within supporting distance of Monterey. Such was the situation when General Scott reached the army and took command.


General Kearny, in command of the army of the west, left Fort Leavenworth, in June, 1846, on the way to conquer New Mexico and California. He had a long and laborious march before him, but he reached Santa Fé on the 18th of August, and it was easily captured and garrisoned. New Mexico was powerless, and the whole province surrendered. Then Kearny, at the head of 400 dragoons, set out for the Pacific coast, but he had not gotten far on the road when he met a messenger who informed him that California had been conquered by Colonel John C. Fremont, acting in conjunction with Commodores Sloat and Stockton. Kearny sent most of his men back to Santa Fé and pushed for the Pacific coast, with a hundred dragoons. He arrived in November, and joined Fremont and Stockton.


Fremont acquired the name of the "Pathfinder" because of his exploring expeditions in the far West. He explored a portion of the Rocky Mountains in 1842, and, in the following two years, conducted an expedition with much skill and success through the regions of Utah, the basin of the Columbia, and the passes of the Sierra Nevada. He was in charge of a third expedition in 1846, and was in California when the Mexican war broke out. He received the dispatches as if they were news to him, but there is good reason to believe that the government had sent him thither, in order that he might be on the ground and do the very work he did. He urged the pioneers to declare their independence. They ardently did so, raised the "Black Bear Flag," and gathered around Fremont, who continually defeated the superior forces of Mexicans.

The town of Monterey, eighty miles south of San Francisco, was captured by Commodore Sloat with an American squadron, and San Diego was taken soon afterward by Commodore Stockton, in command of the Pacific squadron; learning which, Fremont raised the American flag in the place of that of California, and, joining the naval commanders, advanced upon Los Angeles, which submitted without resistance. In a short time the immense province of California was conquered by what may be called a handful of Americans.


Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan had been left at Santa Fé with his small force of dragoons. At the head of 700 men, he performed one of the most remarkable exploits of the war. Riding directly through the enemy's country for nearly a thousand miles, he reached the Rio Grande on Christmas day and won a battle; he then crossed the river and captured El Paso, and, heading for Chihuahua, was met by a Mexican force on the banks of Sacramento Creek. They outnumbered Doniphan's force four to one, and displayed the black flag, as notice that no quarter would be given. The Americans lay flat on the ground, and the first volleys passed harmlessly over their heads. The Mexicans made the mistake of believing they had been decimated by the discharge, and charged upon what they supposed were the few survivors. They were received with a withering volley, and assailed with such fierceness by the Americans that they were utterly routed. Chihuahua thus fell into the possession of Colonel Doniphan, but, since the term of the enlistment of his men had expired, he could advance no further. He then conducted them to New Orleans, where they were mustered out of service. They had marched a distance of 5,000 miles, won several victories, suffered not a single defeat, and were back again in their homes all within a year.

General Scott had landed on the coast for the purpose of marching into the interior to the national capital. In order to make his advance resistless, he withdrew the larger part of Taylor's army and united it with his own. Taylor felt he was used unjustly, for both he and Wool were threatened by Santa Anna at the head of 20,000, men, but bluff "Old Rough and Ready" made no protest and grimly prepared for the danger. The greatest number of troops he could concentrate at Saltillo was about 6,000, and, after placing garrisons there and at Monterey, he had only 4,800 remaining, but, undismayed, he marched out to meet Santa Anna. Four miles away, he reached the favorable battle ground of Buena Vista, posted his men, and awaited attack.

The Mexican commander was so confident of overwhelming the Americans that, in his message to Taylor, he assured him he would see that he was personally well treated after his surrender. General Taylor sent word that he declined to obey the summons, and the messenger who carried the message to Santa Anna added the significant words: "General Taylor never surrenders."


Captain May leaped his steed over the parapets, followed by those of his men whose horses could do a like feat, and was among the gunners the next moment, sabering them right and left. General La Vega and a hundred of his men were made prisoners and borne back to the American lines.

The American army was placed at the upper end of a long and narrow pass in the mountains. It was flanked on one side by high cliffs and on the other by impassable ravines, which position compelled the enemy to attack him in front.




The battle opened early on the morning of February 23d, with the Mexicans swarming through the gorges and over the hills from San Luis Potosi. The first assault was against the American right, but it was beaten back by the Illinois troops; the next was against the centre, but it was repelled by Captain Washington's artillery; and then the left flank was vehemently assailed. A mistaken order caused an Indiana regiment to give way, and for a time the whole army was in danger; but the Mississippians and Kentuckians gallantly flung themselves into the breach, the Indiana and Illinois troops rallied, and the Mexicans were driven tumultuously back. In this brilliant exploit Colonel Jefferson Davis, with his Mississippi regiment, played a prominent part.


The next charge was upon Captain Bragg's battery, but that officer, in obedience to General Taylor's famous request, "A little more grape, Captain Bragg," scattered the Mexican lancers in every direction. The success was followed up by a cavalry charge, which completed the discomfiture of the enemy, who fled with the loss of 2,000 men.

Buena Vista was a superb victory for the Americans, but it cost them dear. The killed, wounded, and missing numbered nearly 800. Among the killed was Colonel Henry Clay, son of the Kentucky orator and statesman. The battle completed the work of General Taylor, who soon afterward returned to the United States. The glory he had won made him President less than two two years later.

Returning once more to General Scott, he entered upon the last campaign, March 9, 1847. Old army officers of to-day contrast the admirable manner in which he did his preliminary work with the mismanagement in the Spanish-American War of 1898. Impatience was expressed at his tardiness in getting his troops ready on the transports at New York. To all such complaints, the grim old soldier replied that he would embark when everything was ready and not a single hour before. As a consequence, his men landed at Vera Cruz in the best condition, there was not the slightest accident, and every soldier when he stepped ashore had three days' rations in his knapsack. Twelve thousand men were landed, and in three days the investment of Vera Cruz was complete. Then a Mexican train was captured and the troops had provisions in abundance.


The city having refused to surrender, the bombardment opened on the morning of March 22d. The water-side of Vera Cruz was defended by the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa, built a century and a half before by Spain at enormous cost. Commodore Conner assisted throughout the four days that the cannonade lasted. The success of the bombardment made the Americans confident of capturing the castle by assault, and they were preparing to do so when the authorities proposed satisfactory terms of surrender, which took place March 29th.

The direct march upon the capital now began, with General Twiggs in command of the advance. The road steadily rises from the coast and abounds in passes and mountains, which offer the best kind of natural fortifications. When Twiggs reached one of these passes, named Cerro Gordo, he found that Santa Anna had taken possession of it with 15,000 troops. The whole American army numbered only 9,000, and it looked as if they were halted in front of an impregnable position, but it must be captured or the whole campaign would have to be abandoned.


There was no hesitation on the part of our troops, who, under the lead of the bravest and most skillful of officers, attacked with their usual energy and daring. The Mexicans made the best defense possible, but within a few hours they abandoned every position and were driven in headlong confusion from the field. They lost 3,000 prisoners, among whom were five generals, while the escape of Santa Anna was so narrow that he left his cork leg behind.

The American army pressed on to Jalapa, which made no resistance, and furnished a large amount of supplies, and Puebla, a city of 80,000 inhabitants, was occupied on the 15th of May. There the ground was high and the air cool and salubrious. The men were exhausted from their arduous campaign, and Scott decided to give them a good rest, so as to be fully prepared for the final struggle. Besides it was necessary to receive reinforcements before venturing further. Santa Anna, realizing that the critical period of the struggle was at hand, put forth every energy to collect an army to beat back the invaders.


"Captain Lee led the way, and showed the men just what to do. They lowered the cannons by ropes down the steep cliffs and hauled them up on the opposite hillside."

Early in August the American army had been increased to 11,000 men, and, leaving a small garrison at Puebla, Scott set out for the beautiful city of Mexico. No serious resistance offered until they reached Ayotla, fifteen miles from the capital. There it was found that the regular road bristled with forts, and, although there was no doubt that all could be carried, the American commander wisely decided to move his army around to the south, where he could advance over a comparatively undefended route. Without any difficulty he reached San Augustine, which was within ten miles of the capital.

Had the positions been changed, a force ten times as great as the Americans could not have captured the city of Mexico, and yet it fell before a force only one-third as numerous as the defenders.


The fighting began before sunrise, August 20, 1847, and when night came five distinct victories had been won. The fortified camp of Contreras was captured in about fifteen minutes. Shortly after the fortified village of San Antonio was taken by another division of the army. Almost at the same time, a division stormed one of the fortified heights of Churubusco, while still another captured the second height. Seeing the danger of his garrisons, Santa Anna moved out of the city and attacked the Americans. The reserves immediately assailed, drove him back, and chased him to the walls of the capital, into which the whole Mexican force crowded themselves at night.

It was in accordance with the nature of Santa Anna that he should set 2,000 convicts loose that night on the promise that they would fight against the Americans. Then he stole out of the city, whose authorities sent a delegation to Scott to treat for peace. This trick had been resorted to so many times by the Mexicans, who never kept faith, that the American commander refused to listen to them. An advance was made, and in a short time the city was completely in our possession.


At Puebla there were 2,000 Americans in the hospital under charge of a small guard. Santa Anna attacked them, thinking that at last he had found a foe whom he could beat; but he was mistaken, for reinforcements arrived in time to drive him away. This terminated for a time the career of the treacherous Santa Anna, with whom the Mexican people were thoroughly disgusted.

It is proper to state at this point that Santa Anna while in command of the Mexican army made a direct offer to General Taylor to betray his cause for a large sum of money, and he actually received an installment, but circumstances prevented the completeness of the bargain. This miscreant was president and dictator of Mexico in 1853-55, was banished and returned several times, and was still plotting to recover his power when he died, in his eighty-second year.

The capture of the capital of Mexico completed the victorious campaign. The entrance into the city was made September 14, 1847, the American flag raised over the palace, and General Scott, with a sweep of his sword over his head, while his massive frame made a striking picture in front of the palace, proclaimed the conquest of the country. All that remained was to arrange the terms of peace.


In the following winter, American ambassadors met the Mexican congress in session at Guadalupe Hidalgo, so named from the small town where it was situated. There was a good deal of discussion over the terms; our ambassadors insisting that Mexico should surrender the northern provinces, which included the present States of California, Nevada, Utah, and the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico and portions of Colorado and Wyoming, as indemnity for the war. Mexico would not consent, and matters drifted along until the 2d of February, 1848, when the new Mexican government agreed to these terms. The treaty was modified to a slight extent by the United States Senate, adopted on the 10th of March, ratified by the Mexican congress sitting at Queretaro, May 30th, and proclaimed by President Polk on the 4th of July. Thus ended our war with Mexico.

By the terms of the treaty, the United States was to pay Mexico $15,000,000, and assume debts to the extent of $3,000,000 due to American citizens from Mexico. These sums were in payment for the immense territory ceded to us. This cession, the annexation of Texas, and a purchase south of the Gila River in 1853, added almost a million square miles to our possessions, nearly equaling the Louisiana purchase and exceeding the whole area of the United States in 1783.

It may sound strange, but it is a fact, that the governing of the new territory caused so much trouble that more than once it was seriously proposed in Congress that Mexico should be asked to take it back again. General Sherman was credited with the declaration that if the identity of the man who caused the annexation of Texas could be established, he ought to be court-martialed and shot. However, all this changed when the vast capabilities and immeasurable worth of the new countries were understood. The section speedily developed a wealth, enterprise, and industry of which no one had before dreamed.


The real peril involved in the acquisition of so much territory lay in the certainty that it would revive the slavery quarrel that had been put to sleep by the Missouri Compromise, nearly thirty years before. The North demanded that slavery should be excluded from the new territory, because it was so excluded by Mexican law, and to legalize it would keep out emigrants from the free States. The South demanded the authorization of slavery, since Southern emigrants would not go thither without their slaves. Still others proposed to divide the new territory by the Missouri Compromise line. This would have cut California in two near the middle, and made one part of the province slave and the other free. Altogether, it will be seen that trouble was at hand.

Before the outbreak of the Mexican War, Congressman David Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, introduced the Proviso known by his name. It was a proposal to purchase the territory from Mexico, provided slavery was excluded. The introduction of the bill produced much discussion, and it was defeated by the opposition of the South.


Great Britain and the United States had jointly occupied Oregon for twenty years, under the agreement that the occupancy could be ended by either country under a year's notice to the other. Many angry debates took place in Congress over the question whether such notice should be given. The United States claimed a strip of territory reaching to Alaska, latitude 54° 40', while Great Britain claimed the territory south of the line to the Columbia River. Congress as usual had plenty of wordy patriots who raised the cry of "Fifty-four forty or fight," and it was repeated throughout the country. Cooler and wiser counsels prevailed, each party yielded a part of its claims, and made a middle line the boundary. A minor dispute over the course of the boundary line after it reached the Pacific islets was amicably adjusted by another treaty in 1871.


It has been stated that the bill for the admission of Iowa did not become operative until 1846. It was the fourth State formed from the Louisiana purchase, and was first settled by the French at Dubuque; but the post died, and no further settlements were made until the close of the Black Hawk War of 1832, after which the population increased with great rapidity.

Wisconsin was the last State formed from the old Northwest Territory. A few weak settlements were made by the French as early as 1668, but, as in the case of Iowa, its real settlement began after the Black Hawk War.


James Smithson of England, when he died in 1829, bequeathed his large estate for the purpose of founding the Smithsonian Institution at Washington "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." In 1838, his estate, amounting to more than half a million dollars, was secured by a government agent and deposited in the mint. John Quincy Adams prepared a plan of organization, which was adopted.

The Smithsonian Institution, so named in honor of its founder, was placed under the immediate control of a board of regents, composed of the President, Vice-President, judges of the supreme court, and other principal officers of the government. It was provided that the entire sum, amounting with accrued interest to $625,000, should be loaned forever to the United States government at six per cent.; that from the proceeds, together with congressional appropriations and private gifts, proper buildings should be erected for containing a museum of natural history, a cabinet of minerals, a chemical laboratory, a gallery of art, and a library. The plan of organization was carried out, and Professor Joseph Henry of Princeton College, the real inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph, was chosen secretary.




For many years hardy hunters and trappers had penetrated the vast wilderness of the West and Northwest in their hunt for game and peltries. Some of these were in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company, whose grounds extended as far toward the Arctic Circle as the rugged men and toughened Indians could penetrate on their snowshoes.

At points hundreds of miles apart in the gloomy solitudes were erected trading posts to which the red men brought furs to exchange for trinkets, blankets, firearms, and firewater, and whither the white trappers made their way, after an absence of months in the dismal solitudes. Further south, among the rugged mountains and beside the almost unknown streams, other men set their traps for the beaver, fox, and various fur-bearing animals. Passing the Rocky Mountains and Cascade Range they pursued their perilous avocation along the headwaters of the rivers flowing through California. They toiled amid the snows and storms of the Sierras, facing perils from the Indians, savage beasts, and the weather, for pay that often did not amount to the wages received by an ordinary day laborer.

Little did those men suspect they were walking, sleeping, and toiling over a treasure bed; that instead of tramping through snow and over ice and facing the arctic blasts and vengeful red men, if they had dug into the ground, they would have found wealth beyond estimate.

gold sluice


The priests lived in the adobe haciendas that the Spanish had erected centuries before, and, as they counted their beads and dozed in calm happiness, they became rich in flocks and the tributes received from the simple-minded red men. Sometimes they wondered in a mild way at the golden trinkets and ornaments brought in by the Indians and were puzzled to know where they came from, but it seemed never to have occurred to the good men that they could obtain the same precious metal by using the pick and shovel. The years came and passed, and red men and white men continued to walk over California without dreaming of the immeasurable riches that had been nestling for ages under their feet.

One day in February, 1848, James W. Marshall, who had come to California from New Jersey some years before, and had been doing only moderately well with such odd jobs as he could pick up, was working with a companion at building a sawmill for Colonel John A. Sutter, who had immigrated to this country from Baden in 1834. Going westward, he founded a settlement on the present site of Sacramento in 1841. He built Fort Sutter on the Sacramento, where he was visited by Fremont on his exploring expedition in 1846.

Marshall and his companion were engaged in deepening the mill-race, the former being just in front of the other. Happening to look around, he asked:

"What is that shining near your boot?"

His friend reached his hand down into the clear water and picked up a bright, yellow fragment and held it between his fingers.

"It is brass," he said; "but how bright it is!"

"It can't be brass," replied Marshall, "for there isn't a piece of brass within fifty miles of us."

The other turned it over again and again in his hand, put it in his mouth and bit it, and then held it up once more to the light. Suddenly he exclaimed:

"I believe it's gold!"

"I wonder if that's possible," said Marshall, beginning to think his companion was right; "how can we find out?"

"My wife can tell; she has made some lye from wood-ashes and will test it."

gold cradle


The man took the fragment to his wife, who was busy washing, and, at his request, she boiled it for several hours with the lye. Had it been brass—the only other metal it possibly could have been—it would have turned a greenish-black. When examined again, however, its beautiful bright lustre was undiminished. There was scarcely a doubt that it was pure gold.

The two men returned to the mill-race with pans, and washed out probably fifty dollars' worth of gold. Despite the certainty of his friend, Marshall was troubled by a fear that the fragment was neither brass nor gold, but some worthless metal of which he knew nothing. He carefully tied up all that had been gathered, mounted a fleet horse, and rode to Sutter's store, thirty miles down the American River.

Here he took Colonel Sutter into a private room and showed him what he had found, saying that he believed it to be gold. Sutter read up the account of gold in an encyclopedia, tested the substance with aqua fortis, weighed it, and decided that Marshall was right, and that the material he had found was undoubtedly gold.

It was a momentous discovery, repeated nearly a half-century later, when the same metal was found in enormous quantities in the Klondike region. Colonel Sutter and his companions tried to keep the matter a secret, but it was impossible. Marshall, being first on the ground, enriched himself, but by bad management lost all he had gained and died a poor man. Colonel Sutter tried to keep intruders off his property, but they came like the swarms of locusts that plagued Egypt. They literally overran him, and when he died, in 1880, he was without any means whatever; but California has since erected a handsome statue to his memory.

For the following ten or twenty years, it may be said, the eyes of the civilized world were upon California, and men rushed thither from every quarter of the globe. There was an endless procession of emigrant trains across the plains; the ships that fought the storms on their way around Cape Horn were crowded almost to gunwales, while thousands halved the voyage by trudging, across the Isthmus of Panama to the waiting ships on the other side. California became a mining camp and millions upon millions of gold were taken from her soil.


By this time the Mormons engaged much public attention. Joseph Smith, of Sharon, Vermont, and Palmyra, New York, was the founder of the sect. He claimed to have found in a cave a number of engraved plates, containing the Mormon Bible, which was his guide in the formation of a new form of religious belief. Although polygamy was not commended, it was afterward added to their peculiar faith, which is that sins are remitted through baptism, and that the will of God was revealed to his prophet, Smith, as it was to be revealed to his successors.

The most grotesque farce in the name of religion is sure to find believers, and they soon gathered about Smith. The first Mormon conference was held at Fayette, N.Y., in 1830. As their number increased, they saw that the West offered the best opportunity for growth and expansion, and, when there were nearly 2,000 of them, they removed to Jackson, Missouri, where they made a settlement. Their practices angered the people, and, as soon as they could find a good pretext, the militia were called out and they were ordered to "move on."

Crossing the Mississippi into Illinois, they laid out a city which they named Nauvoo. Some of them were wealthy, and, as they held their means in common, they were able to erect a beautiful temple and numerous residences. Converts now flocked to them until they numbered fully 10,000. Their neighbors were displeased with their presence, and the feeling grew into indignation when the Mormons not only refused to obey the State laws, but defied them and passed laws of their own in open opposition. In the excitement that followed, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyram were arrested and lodged in jail at Carthage. Lynch-law was as popular in the West as it is to-day in the South, and a mob broke into the jail and killed the Smith brothers. This took place in June, 1844, and the Illinois Legislature annulled the charter of Nauvoo.

salt lake city


The experience of the Mormons convinced them that they would never be allowed to maintain their organization in any of the States. They, therefore, gathered up their worldly goods, and, in 1846, set out on the long journey to the far West. Reaching the Basin of Utah, they founded Great Salt Lake City, which is one of the handsomest, best governed, and cleanest (in a physical sense) cities in the world.

While referring to these peculiar people, we may as well complete their history by anticipating events that followed.

In 1857, our government attempted to extend its judicial system over Utah Territory. Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith, until then had not been disturbed, and he did not mean to be interfered with by any government. He insulted the Federal judges sent thither and drove them out of the Territory, his pretext being that the objectionable character of the judges justified the step. Our government, which is always patient in such matters, could not accept this explanation, and Alfred Cumming, superintendent of Indian affairs on the Upper Missouri, was made governor of Utah and Judge Delano Eckels, of Indiana, was appointed chief justice of the Territory. Knowing that he would be resisted, Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston was sent thither to compel obedience to the laws.

The United States troops, numbering 2,500, entered the Territory in October and were attacked by the Mormons, who destroyed their supply train and compelled the men to seek winter quarters near Fort Bridges. Affairs were in this critical state when a messenger from the President, in the spring of 1858, carried a conciliatory letter to Brigham Young, which did much to soothe his ruffled feelings. Then, by-and-by, Governor Powell of Kentucky and Major McCulloch of Texas appeared with a proclamation of pardon to all who would submit to Federal authority. The Mormons were satisfied, accepted the terms, and in May, 1860, the United States troops were withdrawn from the Territory.

Since that time our government has had many difficulties in dealing with the Mormons. Although polygamy is forbidden by the laws of the States and Territories, the sect continued to practice it. In March, 1882, Congress passed what is known as the Edmunds Act, which excluded Mormons from local offices which they had hitherto wholly controlled. Many persons were indicted and punished for the practice of polygamy, while others abandoned it. Brigham Young, who had become governor of Deseret in 1849, and two years later was appointed governor of Utah, died in 1877, at which time he was president of the Mormon church. The practice of polygamy was never fully eradicated, and Utah, at this writing, is represented in the United States Senate by men who make no attempt at concealing the fact that they are polygamists.


The former Democrats and Whigs who were friendly to the Wilmot Proviso formed the Free Soil party in 1848, to which also the Abolitionists naturally attached themselves. The regular Whigs and Democrats refused to support the Wilmot Proviso, through fear of alienating the South. The Free Soilers named as their nominees Martin Van Buren, for President, and Charles Francis Adams, of Massachusetts, for Vice-President; the Democrats selected Louis Cass, of Michigan, for President, and William O. Butler, of Kentucky, for Vice-President; the Whig candidates were General Zachary Taylor, of Louisiana, for President, and Millard Fillmore, of New York, for Vice-President. At the electoral vote Zachary Taylor was elected President and Millard Fillmore Vice-President.



Zachary Taylor—The "Irrepressible Conflict" in Congress—The Omnibus Bill—Death of President Taylor—Millard Fillmore—Death of the Old Leaders and Debut of the New—The Census of 1850—Surveys for a Railway to the Pacific—Presidential Election of 1852—Franklin Pierce—Death of Vice-President King—A Commercial Treaty Made with Japan—Filibustering Expeditions—The Ostend Manifesto—The "Know Nothing" Party—The Kansas Nebraska Bill and Repeal of the Missouri Compromise.



ZACHARY TAYLOR. (1784-1850.)
One partial term, 1849-1850.

General Zachary Taylor, twelfth President of the United States, was born at Orange Court-House, Virginia, September 24, 1784, but, while an infant, his parents removed to Kentucky. His school education was slight, but he possessed fine military instincts and developed into one of the best of soldiers. His services in the war of 1812 and in that with Mexico have been told in their proper place. His defense of Fort Harrison, on the Wabash, during the last war with England, won him the title of major by brevet, that being the first time the honor was conferred in the American army.

No man could have been less a politician than "Old Rough and Ready," for he had not cast a vote in forty years. Daniel Webster characterized him as an "ignorant frontier colonel," and did not conceal his disgust over his nomination by the great party of which the New England orator was the leader. It was Taylor's brilliant services in Mexico, that made him popular above all others with the masses, who are the ones that make and unmake presidents. Besides, a great many felt that Taylor had not been generously treated by the government, and this sentiment had much to do with his nomination and election.


The "irrepressible conflict" between slavery and freedom could not be postponed, and when, on the 13th of February, 1850, the President sent to Congress the petition of California for admission as a State, the quarrel broke out afresh. The peculiar character of the problem has already been stated. A part of California lay north and a part south of 36° 30', the dividing line between slavery and freedom as defined by the Missouri Compromise, thirty years, before. Congress, therefore, had not the power to exclude slavery, and the question had to be decided by the people themselves. They had already done so by inserting a clause in the Constitution which prohibited slavery.

There were violent scenes on the floor of Congress. General Foote, of Mississippi, was on the point of discharging a pistol at Colonel Benton, of Missouri, when bystanders seized his arm and prevented. Weapons were frequently drawn, and nearly every member went about armed and ready for a deadly affray. The South threatened to secede from the Union, and we stood on the brink of civil war.


It was at this fearful juncture that Henry Clay, now an old man, submitted to the Senate his famous "Omnibus Bill," so called because of its many features, which proposed a series of compromises as follows: the admission of California as a State, with the Constitution adopted by her people (which prohibited slavery); the establishment of territorial governments over all the other newly acquired Territories, with no reference to slavery; the abolishment of all traffic in slaves in the District of Columbia, but declaring it inexpedient to abolish slavery there without the consent of the inhabitants and also of Maryland; the assumption of the debts of Texas; while all fugitive slaves in the free States should be liable to arrest and return to slavery.

John C. Calhoun, the Southern leader, was earnestly opposed to the compromise, but he was ill and within a few weeks of death, and his argument was read in the Senate by Senator Mason. Daniel Webster supported the measure with all his logic and eloquence, and it was his aid extended to Clay that brought about the passage of the bill, all the sections becoming laws in September, 1850, and California, conquered from Mexico in 1846, took her place among the sisterhood of States. Webster's support of the fugitive slave law lost him many friends in the North, and, has been stated, rendered his election to the presidency impossible.

On the 4th of July, 1850, the remains from Kosciusko's tomb were deposited in the monument in Washington, and President Taylor was present at the ceremonies. The heat was terrific and caused him great distress. On his return home he drank large quantities of ice-water and milk, though he was warned against the danger of doing so. A fatal illness followed, and he died on the 9th of July. Vice-President Fillmore was sworn into office on the following day.



MILLARD FILLMORE. (1800-1874.)
One partial term, 1850-53.

Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth President, was born at Summer Hill, New York, February 7, 1800. He learned the fuller's trade, afterward taught school, and, studying law, was admitted to the bar in Buffalo, where he attained marked success. He was State comptroller for one term and served in Congress for four terms. He died in Buffalo, March 7, 1874. Fillmore was a man of good ability, but the inferior of many of those who preceded him in the exalted office. He was a believer in the compromise measures of Clay, and performed his duties conscientiously and acceptably.

Fillmore's administration is notable for the fact that it saw the passing away of the foremost leaders, Clay, Webster, and Calhoun, with others of less prominence. They were succeeded in Congress by the anti-slavery champions, William H. Seward, of New York; Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts; and Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio. From the South, too, came able men, in Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi; John Y. Mason, of Louisiana; and others. The giants had departed and their mantles fell upon shoulders that were not always able to wear them as fittingly as their predecessors.

The slavery agitation produced its natural effect in driving many of the Southern Whigs into the Democratic party, while a few Northern Democrats united with the Whigs, who, however, were so disrupted that the organization crumbled to pieces after the presidential election of 1852, and, for a time, no effective opposition to the Democratic party seemed possible.


The population of the United States in 1840 was 23,191,876. General prosperity prevailed, but all felt the urgent need of a railroad connecting Missouri and California. The Pacific coast had become a leading part of the Union and its importance was growing every year. But the building of such a railway, through thousands of miles of wilderness, across lofty mountains and large rivers, was an undertaking so gigantic and expensive as to be beyond the reach of private parties, without congressional assistance. Still all felt that the road must be built, and, in 1853, Congress ordered surveys to be made in order to find the best route. The building of the railway, however, did not begin until the War for the Union was well under way.


When the time arrived for presidential nominations, the Democratic convention met in Baltimore, June 12, 1852. The most prominent candidates were James Buchanan, Stephen A. Douglas, Lewis Cass, and William L. Marcy. There was little variance in their strength for thirty-five ballots, and everybody seemed to be at sea, when the Virginia delegation, on the next ballot, presented the name of Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire.

"Who is Franklin Pierce?" was the question that went round the hall, but, on the forty-ninth ballot, he received 282 votes to 11 for all the others, and the question was repeated throughout the United States. Pierce's opponent was General Winfield Scott, the commander-in-chief in the Mexican War, who had done fine service in the War of 1812, and ranks among the foremost military leaders of our country. But, personally, he was unpopular, overbearing in his manners, a martinet, and without any personal magnetism. No doubt he regarded it as an act of impertinence for Pierce, who had been his subordinate in Mexico, to presume to pit himself against him in the political field. But the story told by the November election was an astounding one and read as follows:

Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire, Democrat, 254; Winfield Scott, of New Jersey, Whig, 42; John P. Hale, of New Hampshire, Free Democrat, 0; Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts, Whig, 0. For Vice-President: William R. King, of Alabama, Democrat, 254; William A. Graham, of North Carolina, Whig, 42; George W. Julian, of Indiana, Free Democrat, 0.

The Whig convention which put Scott in nomination met also in Baltimore, a few days after the Democratic convention. Webster was confident of receiving the nomination, and it was the disappointment of his life that he failed. The "Free Democrats," who placed candidates in nomination, represented those who were dissatisfied with the various compromise measures that had been adopted by Congress. The only States carried by Scott were Vermont, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Tennessee.



FRANKLIN PIERCE. (1804-1869.)
One term, 1853-1857.

Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth President, was born at Hillsborough, New Hampshire, November 23, 1804. Upon his graduation from Bowdoin College, he became a successful lawyer. He always showed a fondness for military matters, though not to the extent of neglecting politics and his profession. He was elected to his State Legislature and was a member of Congress from 1833 to 1837, and, entering the Senate in 1839, he remained until 1842, afterward declining a cabinet appointment from President Polk. He volunteered in the Mexican War, commanded a brigade, and showed great gallantry in several battles. He died October 8, 1869.

Mr. King, the Vice-President, was in such feeble health that he took the oath of office in Cuba, and, returning to his native State, died April 18, 1853, being the first vice-president to die in office. One remarkable fact should be stated regarding the administration of Pierce: there was not a change in his cabinet throughout his whole term, the only instance of the kind thus far in our history.


It seems strange that until a few years, Japan was a closed nation to the world. Its people refused to have anything to do with any other country, and wished nothing from them except to be let alone. In 1854, Commodore M.C. Perry visited Japan with an American fleet and induced the government to make a commercial treaty with our own. This was the beginning of the marvelous progress of that country in civilization and education, which forms one of the most astonishing records in the history of mankind. Japan's overwhelming defeat of China, whose population is ten times as great as our own; her acceptance of the most advanced ideas of civilization, and the wisdom of her rulers have carried her in a few years to a rank among the leading powers and justified the appellation of the "Yankees of the East," which is sometimes applied to her people.


Pierce's administration was marked by a number of filibustering expeditions against Spanish possessions in the West Indies. None of them succeeded, and a number of the leaders were shot by the Spanish authorities. The American government offered to purchase Cuba of Spain, but that country indignantly replied that the mints of the world had not coined enough gold to buy it. Could she have foreseen the events of 1898, no doubt she would have sold out for a moderate price.

In August, 1854, President Pierce directed Mr. Buchanan, minister to England, Mr. Mason, minister to France, and Mr. Soule, envoy to Spain, to meet at some convenient place and discuss the question of obtaining possession of Cuba. These distinguished gentlemen met at Ostend on the 9th of October, and adjourned to Aix-la-Chapelle, from which place they issued, on the 18th of October, what is known as the "Ostend Manifesto or Circular," in which they recommended the purchase of Cuba, declaring that, if Spain refused to sell, the United States would be justified "by every law, human and divine," in wresting it from her. This declaration, for which there was no justification whatever, caused angry protest in Europe and in the free States of our country, but was ardently applauded in the South. Nothing came of it, and the country soon became so absorbed in the slavery agitation that it was forgotten.


Patriotic men, who feared what was coming, did all in their power to avert it. One of these attempts was the formation of the "Know Nothing" party, which grew up like a mushroom and speedily acquired a power that enabled it to carry many local elections in the various States. It was a secret organization, the members of which were bound by oath to oppose the election of foreign-born citizens to office. The salutation, when one member met another, was, "Have you seen Sam?" If one of them was questioned about the order, his reply was that he knew nothing, from which the name was given to what was really the Native American party. It soon ran its course, but has been succeeded in its cardinal principles by the American Protective Association of the present day.


LUCRETIA MOTT (1793-1880.)
The advance agent of emancipation.

Meanwhile, the slavery question was busy at its work of disintegration. The Democratic party was held together for a time by the Compromise of 1850, to the effect that the inhabitants of the new Territories of New Mexico and Utah should be left to decide for themselves the question of slavery. In a few years the settlements in Nebraska and Kansas made it necessary to erect territorial governments there, and the question of slavery was thus brought before Congress again. The Missouri Compromise forbade slavery forever in those sections, for both of them lie to the north parallel of 36° 30'. Stephen A. Douglas, however, and a number of other Democratic leaders in Congress claimed that the Compromise of 1850 nullified this agreement, and that the same freedom of choice should be given to the citizens of Kansas and Nebraska as was given to those in Utah and New Mexico. This policy was called "Squatter Sovereignty."


The bill was bitterly fought in Congress, but it passed the Senate by a vote of thirty-seven to fourteen, and after another fierce struggle was adopted in the House by a vote of 113 to 100. It received several amendments, and the President signed it May 31, 1854. Thus the Missouri Compromise was repealed and the first note of civil war sounded. The question of slavery was opened anew, and could never be closed without the shedding of blood to an extent that no one dreamed.


The enforcement of the fugitive slave law was resisted in the North and numerous conflicts took place. During the attempted arrest of Anthony Burns in Boston a deputy-sheriff was shot dead, and Federal troops from Rhode Island had to be summoned before Burns could be returned to slavery. Former political opponents began uniting in both sections. In the North the opponents of slavery, comprising Democrats, Free-Soilers, Know Nothings, Whigs, and Abolitionists, joined in the formation of the "Anti-Nebraska Men," and under that name they elected, in 1854, a majority of the House of Representatives for the next Congress. Soon after the election, the new organization took the name of Republicans, by which they are known to-day. Its members, with a few exceptions among the Germans in Missouri and the Ohio settlers in western Virginia, belonged wholly to the North.


Kansas became for the time the battle-ground between slavery and freedom. Societies in the North sent emigrants into Kansas, first furnishing them with Bibles and rifles, while the pro-slavery men swarmed thither from Missouri, and the two parties fought each other like Apache Indians. In the midst of the civil war, a territorial legislature was formed, and in many instances the majority of the candidates elected was double that of the voting population in the district. Governor A.H. Reeder, of Pennsylvania, had been appointed governor of the Territory, and, finding himself powerless to check the anarchy, went to Washington in April, 1855, to consult with the government. While there he was nominated for Congress, and defeated by the fraudulent votes of the pro-slavery men.


The Great Pulpit Orator and
Anti-Slavery Agitator.

Meanwhile, two State governments had been formed. The pro-slavery men met at Lecompton, in March, and adopted a Constitution permitting slavery. Their opponents assembled in Lawrence, August 15th, and elected delegates, who came together in October and ratified the Topeka Constitution, which forbade slavery. In January, 1856, the people held an election under this Constitution. In the same month President Pierce sent a message to Congress, in which he declared the formation of a free State government in Kansas an act of rebellion, while that adopted at Lecompton was the valid government. Governor Reeder was superseded by William Shannon. A committee sent by Congress into the Territory to investigate and report could not agree, and nothing came of it.

The civil war grew worse. A free State government, with General Joseph Lane as its head and supported by a well-armed force, was formed at Lawrence. The town was sacked and almost destroyed, May 20, 1856. On the 4th of July following, the free State Legislature was dispersed by Federal troops, upon order of the national government.

John W. Geary now tried his hand as governor. His first step was to call upon both parties to disarm, and neither paid any attention to him. Finding he could not have the support of the President in the vigorous policy he wished to adopt, Governor Geary resigned and was succeeded by Robert J. Walker of Mississippi. He showed a disposition to be fair to all concerned, but, before he could accomplish anything, he was turned out to make room for J.W. Denver. He was soon disgusted and gave way to Samuel Medary. Before long, it became evident that the influx of northern settlers must overcome the pro-slavery men, and the struggle was given up by the latter. A constitution prohibiting slavery was ratified in 1859 and Charles Robinson elected governor.


Nebraska lies so far north that it was not disturbed. Acts of disgraceful violence took place in Congress, challenges to duels being exchanged, personal collisions occurring on the floor, while most of the members went armed, not knowing what minute they would be assaulted. In May, 1856, Senator Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, for utterances made in debate, was savagely assaulted by Preston S. Brooks, of South Carolina, and received injuries from which he did not recover for several years. Brooks was lionized in the South for his brutal act and re-elected to Congress by an overwhelming majority.

The Republican party was growing rapidly in strength, and in 1856 it placed its candidates in the field and astonished the rest of the country by the vote it rolled up, as shown in the following statistics:

James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, Democrat, 174; John C. Fremont, of California, Republican, 114; Millard Fillmore, of New York, Native American, 8. For Vice-President, John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, Democrat, 174; William L. Dayton, of New Jersey, Republican, 114; A.J. Donelson, of Tennessee, Native American, 8.



JAMES BUCHANAN. (1791-1868.)
One term, 1857-1861.

James Buchanan, fifteenth President, was born in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, April 23, 1791, and graduated from Dickinson College in 1809. He became a lawyer, was elected to the State Legislature and to Congress in 1821. Thenceforward, he was almost continuously in office. President Jackson appointed him minister to Russia in 1832, but, soon returning home, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1834. He left that body, in 1845, to become Polk's secretary of State. In 1853, he was appointed minister to England, where he remained until his election to the presidency in 1856. He died at his home in Lancaster, June 1, 1868. The many honors conferred upon Buchanan prove his ability, though he has been often accused of showing timidity during his term of office, which was of the most trying nature. He was the only bachelor among our Presidents.


Minnesota was admitted to the Union in 1858. It was a part of the Louisiana purchase. Troubles over the Indian titles delayed its settlement until 1851, after which its growth was wonderfully rapid. Oregon was admitted in 1859. The streams of emigration to California overflowed into Oregon, where some of the precious metal was found. It was learned, however, in time that Oregon's most valuable treasure mine was in her wheat, which is exported to all parts of the world. Kansas, of which we have given an account in the preceding pages, was quietly admitted, directly after the seceding Senators abandoned their seats, their votes having kept it out up to that time. The population of the United States in 1860 was 31,443,321. Prosperity prevailed everywhere, and, but for the darkening shadows of civil war, the condition of no people could have been more happy and promising.


Dred Scott was the negro slave of Dr. Emerson, of Missouri, a surgeon in the United States army. In the discharge of his duty, his owner took him to military posts in Illinois and Minnesota. Scott married a negro woman in Minnesota, and both were sold by Dr. Emerson upon his return to Missouri. The negro brought suit for his freedom on the ground that he had been taken into territory where slavery was forbidden. The case passed through the various State courts, and, reaching the United States Supreme Court, that body made its decision in March, 1857.

This decision was to the effect that negro slaves were not citizens, and no means existed by which they could become such; they were simply property like household goods and chattels, and their owner could take them into any State in the Union without forfeiting his ownership in them. It followed also from this important decision that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850 were null and void, since it was beyond the power of the contracting parties to make such agreements. Six of the justices concurred in this decision and two dissented.


When Daniel Dangerfield, a fugitive slave, was tried in Philadelphia, Lucretia Mott sat during all his trial by the side of the prisoner. When the trial was ended Dangerfield was set at liberty, and Mrs. Mott walked out of the court-room and through the mob which threatened to lynch him, her hand on the colored man's arm, and that little hand was a sure protector, for no one dared to touch him.

This decision was received with delight in the South and repudiated in the North. The contention there was that the Constitution regarded slaves as "persons held to labor" and not as property, and that they were property only by State law.


While the chasm between the North and South was rapidly growing wider, a startling occurrence took place. John Brown was a fanatic who believed Heaven had appointed him its agent for freeing the slaves in the South. He was one of the most active partisans on the side of freedom in the civil war in Kansas, and had been brooding over the subject for years, until his belief in his mission became unshakable.

Brown's plan was simple, being that of invading Virginia with a small armed force and calling upon the slaves to rise. He believed they would flock around him, and he fixed upon Harper's Ferry as the point to begin his crusade.

Secretly gathering a band of twenty men, in the month of October, 1859, he held them ready on the Maryland shore. Late on Sunday night, the 16th, they crossed the railway bridge over the Potomac, seized the Federal armory at Harper's Ferry, stopped all railroad trains, arrested a number of citizens, set free such slaves as they came across, and held complete possession of the town for twenty-four hours.

Brown acted with vigor. He threw out pickets, cut the telegraph wires, and sent word to the slaves that their day of deliverance had come and they were summoned to rise. By this time the citizens had themselves risen, and, attacking the invaders, drove them into the armory, from which they maintained fire until it became clear that they must succumb. Several made a break, but were shot down. Brown retreated to an engine-house with his wounded and prisoners and held his assailants at bay all through Monday and the night following.

News having been sent to Washington, Colonel Robert E. Lee arrived Tuesday morning with a force of marines and land troops. The local militia of Virginia had also been called out. The situation of Brown was hopeless, but he refused to surrender. Colonel Lee managed matters with such skill that only one of his men was shot, while Brown was wounded several times, his two sons killed, and others slain. The door of the engine-house was battered in and the desperate men overpowered. The enraged citizens would have rended them to pieces, had they been allowed, but Colonel Lee protected and turned them over to the civil authorities. Brown and his six companions were placed on trial, found guilty of what was certainly an unpardonable crime, and hanged on the 2d of December, 1859.

Many in the South believed that the act of Brown was planned and supported by leading Republicans, but such was not the fact, and they were as earnest in condemnation of the mad proceeding as the extreme slavery men, but John Brown's raid served to fan the spark of civil war that was already kindled and fast growing into a flame.

harper's ferry



The presidential campaigns that had been pressed heretofore with a certain philosophic good nature, now assumed a tragic character. The South saw the growing preponderance of the North. New States were continually forming out of the enormous territory in the West, the opposition to slavery was intensifying, and its overthrow was certain. Senator Seward had announced the "irrepressible conflict" between freedom and the institution, and the only remedy the South saw lay in secession from the Union, for they loved that less than slavery. They announced their unalterable intention of seceding in the event of the election of a president of Republican principles. The Republicans placed Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, in nomination. Jefferson Davis saw that the only way of defeating him was by uniting all the opposing parties into one. He urged such a union, but the elements would not fuse.

The Democratic convention assembled in Charleston in April, 1860, and had hardly come together when the members began quarreling over slavery. Some of the radicals insisted upon the adoption of a resolution favoring the opening of the slave trade, in retaliation for the refusal of the North to obey the fugitive slave law. This measure, however, was voted down, and many were in favor of adopting compromises and making concessions for the sake of the Union. Stephen A. Douglas was their candidate, but no agreement could be made, and the convention split apart. The extremists were not satisfied with "squatter sovereignty," and, determined to prevent the nomination of Douglas, they withdrew from the convention. Those who remained, after balloting some time without result, adjourned to Baltimore, where, on the 18th of June, they placed Douglas in nomination, with Herschel V. Johnson as the nominee for Vice-President. Their platform was the doctrine that the people of each Territory should settle the question of slavery for themselves, but they expressed a willingness to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.

The seceding delegates adjourned to Richmond, and again to Baltimore, where, June 28th, they nominated John C. Breckinridge for President and Joseph Lane for Vice-President. Their platform declared unequivocally in favor of slavery being protected in all parts of the Union, where the owners chose to take their slaves.

The American party, which called themselves Constitutional Unionists, had already met in Baltimore, and nominated John Bell for President and Edward Everett for Vice-President. Their platform favored the "Constitution, the Union, and the enforcement of the laws." This platform was of the milk-and-water variety, appealing too weakly to the friends and opponents of slavery to develop great strength. The question of African slavery had become the burning one before the country, and the people demanded that the political platforms should give out no uncertain sound.

Amid uncontrollable excitement, the presidential election took place with the following result:

Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican, 180; Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, Democrat, 12; John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, Democrat, 72; John Bell, of Tennessee, Union, 39. For Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, Republican, 180; Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, Democrat, 12; Joseph Lane, of Oregon, Democrat, 72; Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, Union, 39.

On the popular vote, Lincoln received 866,352; Douglas, 1,375,157; Breckinridge, 845,763; Bell, 589,581. Lincoln had the electoral votes of all the Northern States, except a part of New Jersey; Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee supported Bell, while most of the Southern States voted for Breckinridge. The Democratic party, which, with the exception of the break in 1840 and 1848, had controlled the country for sixty years, was now driven from the field.


The hope was general that the South would not carry out her threat of seceding from the Union, and, but for South Carolina, she would not have done so; but that pugnacious State soon gave proof of her terrible earnestness. Her Convention assembled in Charleston, and passed an ordinance of secession, December 20, 1860, declaring "That the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America is dissolved." The other Southern States, although reluctant to give up the Union, felt it their duty to stand by the pioneer in the movement against it, and passed ordinances of secession, as follows: Mississippi, January 9, 1861; Florida, January 10th; Alabama, January 11th; Georgia, January 19th; Louisiana, January 26th; and Texas, February 23d.

In the hope of averting civil war numerous peace meetings were held in the North, and Virginia called for a "peace conference," which assembled in Washington, February 4th. The States represented included most of those in the North, and Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. Ex-President Tyler, of Virginia, was made president of the conference. The proposed terms of settlement were rejected by the Virginia and North Carolina delegates and refused by Congress, which, since the withdrawal of the Southern members, was controlled by the Republicans.

The next step of the Southern conventions was to send delegates to Montgomery, Alabama, where they formed "The Confederate States of America," with Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, President, and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President. A constitution and flag, both resembling those of the United States, were adopted and all departments of the government organized.

As the various States adopted ordinances of secession they seized the government property within their limits. In most cases, the Southern United States officers resigned and accepted commissions in the service of the Confederacy. The only forts saved were those near Key West, Fort Pickens at Pensacola, and Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. The South Carolina authorities began preparations to attack Sumter, and when the steamer Star of the West attempted to deliver supplies to the fort, it was fired upon, January 9th, and driven off. Thus matters stood at the close of Buchanan's administration, March 4, 1861.

blue and grey





Abraham Lincoln—Major Anderson's Trying Position—Jefferson Davis—Inauguration of President Lincoln—Bombardment of Fort Sumter—War Preparations North and South—Attack on Union Troops in Baltimore—Situation of the Border States—Unfriendliness of England and France—Friendship of Russia—The States that Composed the Southern Confederacy—Union Disaster at Big Bethel—Success of the Union Campaign in Western Virginia—General George B. McClellan—First Battle of Bull Run—General McClellan Called to the Command of the Army of the Potomac—Union Disaster at Ball's Bluff—Military Operations in Missouri—Battle of Wilson's Creek—Defeat of Colonel Mulligan at Lexington, Mo.—Supersedure of Fremont—Operations on the Coast—The Trent Affair—Summary of the Year's Operations.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN. (1809-1865.)
Two terms (died in office), 1861-1865.

Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President, ranks among the greatest that has ever presided over the destinies of our country. He was born in Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky, February 12, 1809, but when seven years old his parents removed to Indiana, making their home near the present town of Gentryville.

His early life was one of extreme poverty, and his whole schooling did not amount to more than a year; but, possessing a studious mind, he improved every spare hour in the study of instructive books. At the age of sixteen the tall, awkward, but powerful boy was earning a living by managing a ferry across the Ohio. He remained for some time after reaching manhood with his parents, who removed to Illinois in 1830, and built a log-cabin on the north fork of the Sangamon. He was able to give valuable help in clearing the ground and in splitting rails. With the aid of a few friends he constructed a flat-boat, with which he took produce to New Orleans. Selling both goods and boat, he returned to his home and still assisted his father on the farm. In the Black Hawk War he was elected captain of a company, but did not see active service.



By this time his ability had attracted the notice of friends, and at the age of twenty-five he was elected to the Illinois Legislature, in which he served for four terms. Meanwhile he had studied law as opportunity presented, and was sent to Congress in 1846. He opposed the war with Mexico, but, among such giants as Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Benton, and others, he could not make any distinctive mark; but his powerful common sense, his clear logic, his unassailable integrity, his statesmanship and grasp of public questions, and his quaint humor, often approaching the keenest wit, carried him rapidly to the front and made him the leader of the newly formed Republican party. In 1858 he stumped Illinois for United States senator against Stephen A. Douglas, his valued friend. His speeches attracted national attention as masterpieces of eloquence, wit, and forceful presentation of the great issues which were then agitating the country. He was defeated by Douglas, but the remarkable manner in which he acquitted himself made him the successful candidate of the Republican party in the autumn of 1860.

Lincoln was tall and ungainly, his height being six feet four inches. His countenance was rugged and homely, his strength as great as that of Washington, while his wit has become proverbial. His integrity, which his bitterest opponent never questioned, won for him the name of "Honest Abe." He was one of the most kind-hearted of men, and his rule of life was "malice toward none and charity for all". He grew with the demands of the tremendous responsibilities placed upon him, and the reputation he won as patriot, statesman, and leader has been surpassed by no previous President and becomes greater with the passing years.


All eyes were turned toward Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. It was the strongest of the defenses. Major Robert Anderson, learning that the Confederates intended to take possession of it, secretly removed his garrison from Fort Moultrie on the night of December 26, 1860. Anderson was in a trying position, for the secretary of war, Floyd, and the adjutant-general of the army, Cooper, to whom he was obliged to report, were secessionists, and not only refused to give him help, but threw every obstacle in his way. President Buchanan was surrounded by secessionists, and most of the time was bewildered as to his course of duty. He resented, however, the demand of Secretary Floyd for the removal of Anderson because of the change he had made from Moultrie to Sumter. Floyd resigned and was succeeded by Joseph Holt, of Kentucky, an uncompromising Unionist, who did all he could to hold up the President in his tottering position of a friend of the Union. The latter grew stronger as he noted the awakening sentiment of loyalty throughout the North. An admirable act was the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as attorney-general, for he was a man of great ability and a relentless enemy of secession.




Jefferson Davis, who had been chosen President of the Southern Confederacy that was formed at Montgomery, Alabama, early in February, was born in Kentucky, June 3, 1808. Thus he and President Lincoln were natives of the same State, with less than a year's difference in their ages. Davis was graduated at West Point in 1828, and served on the northwest frontier, in the Black Hawk War. He was also a lieutenant of cavalry in the operations against the Comanches and Apaches. He resigned from the army and became a cotton-planter in Mississippi, which State he represented in Congress in 1845-46, but resigned to assume the colonelcy of the First Mississippi regiment.

Colonel Davis displayed great gallantry at the storming of Monterey and at the battle at Buena Vista, and on his return home was immediately elected to the United States Senate, in which he served 1847-51 and 1857-61. From 1853 to 1857 he was secretary of war under Pierce. He was one of the Southern leaders, and had already been mentioned as a candidate for the presidency. He resigned his seat in the United States Senate in January, 1861, upon the secession of his State, and, being elected Provisional President of the Southern Confederacy February 9th, was inaugurated February 18th. In the following year he and Stephens were regularly elected President and Vice-President respectively, and were inaugurated on the 18th of the month.


President-elect Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois, on the 11th of February for Washington. He stopped at various points on the route, and addressed multitudes that had gathered to see and hear him. A plot was formed to assassinate him in Baltimore, but it was defeated by the vigilance of the officers attending Lincoln, who took him through the city on an earlier train than was expected. General Scott had the capital so well protected by troops that no disturbance took place during the inauguration.


The Confederate government sent General Beauregard to assume charge of the defenses in Charleston harbor. Finding the fort was being furnished with supplies, he telegraphed to his government for instructions. He was ordered to enforce the evacuation. Beauregard demanded the surrender of the fort, and, being refused by Major Anderson, he opened fire, early on the morning of April 12th, from nineteen batteries. Major Anderson had a garrison of 79 soldiers and 30 laborers who helped serve the guns. He allowed the men to eat breakfast before replying. In a few hours the supply of cartridges gave out, and blankets and other material were used as substitutes. The garrison were kept within the bomb-proof galleries, and did not serve the guns on the open parapets, two of which had been dismounted by the fire from the Confederate batteries, which after a time set fire to the officers' barracks. The flames were extinguished, but broke out several times. The smoke became so smothering that the men could breathe only by lying flat on their faces. Finally the position became so untenable that Anderson ran up the white flag in token of surrender. No one was killed on either side.

The news of the surrender created wild excitement North and South and united both sections. While the free States rallied to the Union, almost as one man, the Unionists in the South became ardent supporters of the cause of disunion. It was now a solid North against a solid South.

fort moultrie


Three days after the surrender of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to serve for three months, and Congress was summoned to meet on the 4th of July. Few people comprehended the stupendous work that would be required to crush the rebellion. While the South was hurrying its sons into the ranks, 300,000 answered the call of President Lincoln, who on the 19th of April issued another proclamation declaring a blockade of the Southern ports.


Many of the Confederates demanded that an advance should be made upon Washington, and, had it been done promptly, it could have been captured without difficulty. Realizing its danger, the national government called upon the States for troops and several regiments were hurried thither. While the Seventh Pennsylvania and Sixth Massachusetts were passing through Baltimore, they were savagely assailed by a mob. A portion of the Sixth Massachusetts were hemmed in, and stoned and pelted with pistol-shots. They remained cool until three of their number had been killed and eight wounded, when they let fly with a volley which stretched nearly a dozen rioters on the ground, besides wounding many others. This drove the mob back, although they kept up a fusillade until the train drew out of the city with the troops aboard.


The Confederates in Virginia continued active. They captured Harper's Ferry and the Norfolk Navy Yard, both of which proved very valuable to them. Their government issued "letters of marque" which permitted private persons to capture merchant vessels belonging to the United States, against which the Confederate Congress declared war.

The border States were in perhaps the most trying situation of all, for, while they wished to keep out of the war, they were forced to act the part of buffer between the hostile States. The secessionists in Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri made determined efforts to bring about the secession of those States, but the Union men were too strong. The armies on both sides received many recruits from the States named, which in some cases suffered from guerrilla fighting between former friends and neighbors.

Kentucky, whose governor was a secessionist, thought she could hold a neutral position, but the majority of the citizens were Union in their sentiments. Besides, the situation of the State was such that it was soon invaded by armed forces from both sides, and some of the severest battles of the war were fought on its soil.


The prospect of the splitting apart of the United States was pleasing to all the European powers, with the single exception of Russia. France was especially urgent in favoring an armed intervention in favor of the Confederacy, but England would not agree, nor would she recognize the Confederate States as an independent nation, for, had she done so, the United States would immediately have declared war against her. In May, however, England declared the Confederacy a belligerent power, thereby entitling it to make war and man war vessels, which could take refuge in foreign ports. While this recognition was of unquestionable help, it would not have amounted to a great deal had not England permitted the building of swift and powerful cruisers, which were turned over to the Confederates, and did immense damage to Northern commerce.

When June arrived, the Southern Confederacy was composed of eleven States: South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. As soon as Virginia seceded (May 23d), the capital was removed from Montgomery to Richmond. It was clear that Virginia would be the principal battle-ground of the war, and the Confederate volunteers throughout the South hurried into the State.



An intelligent knowledge of the direction from which danger was likely to come was shown by the placing of troops in western Virginia to meet Confederate attacks, while soldiers were moved into southern Kentucky to defend Tennessee. In Virginia they held the line from Harper's Ferry to Norfolk, and batteries were built along the Mississippi to stop all navigation of that stream. The erection of forts along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for protection against the blockading fleets soon walled in the Confederacy on every hand.


General Scott for a time held the general command of all the United States forces. But he was old and growing weak in body and mind, and it was evident must soon give way to a younger man. The national forces held the eastern side of the Potomac, from Harper's Ferry to Fort Monroe, and a small section of the western side opposite Washington. While enlisting and drilling troops, they strove to hold also Kentucky and Missouri, succeeding so well that their grip was never lost throughout the war.

With the opposing forces face to face, continual skirmishing was kept up. This had no effect on the war itself, but was expressive of the martial spirit which animated both sides. General B.F. Butler, who had great executive but slight military ability, was in command at Fort Monroe. While there he refused to surrender a number of fugitive slaves that had fled into his lines, declaring them "contraband of war." The phrase was a happy one and caught the fancy of the North.


Butler fortified Newport News, which is a point of land at the junction of the James River and Hampton Roads. Fifteen miles away was a Confederate detachment, on the road to Yorktown, where the main body was under the command of General J.B. Magruder, a former artillery officer of the United States army. The Confederate position at Big Bethel was a strong one and had a garrison of more than a thousand troops. A short distance in front was Little Bethel, where a small detachment was under the command of Colonel D.H. Hill, also a former member of the United States army.

General Pierce advanced to the attack early on the morning of June 9th. The two columns mistook each other, and not until 10 men were killed was the sad blunder discovered. An assault quickly followed, but the assailants were defeated with the loss of 14 killed and 49 wounded. Among the slain was Lieutenant John T. Greble, a brilliant West Point officer, who ought to have been in command of the brigade, with which he doubtless would have achieved a success. The incompetency of the political leader cost dearly, but the government was yet to learn that full-fledged officers are not to be found among men who have made politics their life profession.


The only place where there were any Union successes was in western Virginia. Colonel Wallace with a detachment of Indiana Zouaves—a favorite form of military troops at the beginning of the war—made a forced march at night over a mountain road, from Cumberland, in Maryland, to Romney, where the Confederates had a battery on a bluff near the village, guarded by a number of field-pieces. By a spirited dash, the Union troops captured the position and drove the defenders into the woods. Unable to overtake them, Colonel Wallace returned to Cumberland.

This incident had important results. General Jo Johnston, one of the best commanders of the war, was at Harper's Ferry, and, fearing for his communications, he evacuated the post, and marched up the Shenandoah Valley to a point near Winchester.


The operations in western Virginia brought into prominence an officer who was destined to play an important part in the war. He was George B. McClellan, born in Philadelphia in 1826, and graduated at West Point in 1846. He rendered fine service in the Mexican War, after which, resigning from the army, he was for several years engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad and afterward a railroad president. He was appointed a major-general at the opening of the Civil War, and, with 15,000 troops, mostly from the Western States, he advanced against the Confederates in western Virginia under the command of General Garnett, also a graduate and formerly an instructor at West Point. Garnett held a position west of the principal line of the Alleghanies, which covered the road leading from Philippi to Beverly. Colonel Pegram was placed in charge of the hill Rich Mountain, a short distance south of Garnett.



McClellan advanced against these two positions. Colonel Rosecrans, with four regiments and in the face of a blinding rainstorm, followed a circuitous path through the woods, and charged up the elevation against a strong fire. The Confederates were driven from their position and down the other side of the hill. Colonel Pegram, finding his position turned, retreated in the direction of Beverly. Rosecrans pursued and Garnett turned to the north, aiming for St. George on the Cheat River. Pegram had surrendered with 600 men, the remainder joining Garnett, who was hard pressed by General Morris. Despite the obstructions thrown in his path, he overtook the fugitives on the 13th of July at Carrick's Ford on the Cheat River. There the Confederates were routed and Garnett shot dead at the head of his troops. The remnant of his force fled in disorder, and succeeded in reaching Monterey on the eastern side of the mountains.

The campaign in western Virginia was a brilliant Union success. A thousand prisoners, seven guns, 1,500 stands of arms, and twelve colors were captured, with slight loss to the victors. All the credit of this success was given to McClellan, and, since the North was yearning for some leader with the halo of success attached to his name, they at once proclaimed "Little Mac" as their idol, destined to crush secession and re-establish the Union in all its strength and former glory.

In September General Robert E. Lee was sent into western Virginia to regain the ground lost, but he failed and was driven out of the section by Rosecrans, the successor of McClellan. Before this took place, however, the opening battle of the war had been fought elsewhere.


The removal of the Confederate government from Montgomery to Richmond was unbearably exasperating to the North. It may be said that the secession flag was flaunted in sight of Washington. The New York Tribune, the most influential journal of the North, raised the cry "On to Richmond!" and the pressure became so clamorous and persistent that the government, although conscious of the risk of the step, ordered an advance against the Confederate capital. Congress, which had met July 4th, appropriated $500,000,000 for carrying on the war, and authorized President Lincoln to call out 500,000 volunteers for crushing the rebellion.

The Union army across the Potomac from Washington numbered about 40,000 men and was under the command of General Irvin McDowell. It was only partly disciplined, had a few good and many incompetent officers, was composed of fine material, but of necessity lacked the steadiness which can only be acquired by actual campaigns and fighting.

General Beauregard, with a Confederate army not quite so numerous, held a strong military position near Manassas Junction, some thirty miles from Washington, and connected with Richmond by rail. General Jo Johnston had a smaller Confederate army at Winchester, it being his duty to hold General Patterson in check and prevent his reinforcing McDowell. At the same time Patterson, to prevent Johnston from joining Beauregard, planned an offensive movement against the Confederate commander at Winchester.


McDowell's plan was to advance to Fairfax Court-House, and then, turning south, cut Beauregard's communications. The first movement was made on the afternoon of July 16th. General Mansfield with 16,000 men remained in Washington to protect the capital from surprise. The advance was slow, occupying several days. McDowell discovered six Confederate brigades posted along the creek known as Bull Run, and he decided to begin his attack upon them. While General Tyler was sent across the stone bridge to threaten the Confederate front, Hunter and Heintzelman were directed to make a detour and attack the enemy's front and rear. Johnston, who had hurried up from Winchester, had decided to hasten the battle through fear of the arrival of Patterson with reinforcements for McDowell, but the latter, moving first, Johnston was compelled to act on the defensive.

bull run

On July 16, 1861, the first great battle of the Civil War was fought, resulting in the complete defeat of the Union army, which fled in panic from the field. Had the Confederates followed up the pursuit they could easily have captured Washington city. The total loss to the Union army in killed, wounded, captured and missing was 3,334 men; that of the Southern army, 1,982. The Confederates gained another victory at Bull Run in 1862.

mcclennan on a stick


Tyler and Hunter were tardy in their movements, but by noon McDowell had turned the Confederate left and uncovered the stone bridge. Instead of using the advantage thus secured and assuming position at Manassas depot, he kept up his pursuit of the fleeing Confederates to the woods. There, when everything seemed to be going the way of the Union array, it was checked by General T.J. Jackson's brigade, whose firm stand in the face of seeming disaster won for him the soubriquet of "Stonewall" Jackson, first uttered in compliment by General Bee, by which name the remarkable man will always be remembered.

The stand of Jackson enabled Johnston to rally the right and Beauregard the left, but matters were in a critical shape, when Kirby Smith, who had escaped Patterson in the valley, rushed across the fields from Manassas with 15,000 fresh troops. This timely arrival turned, the fortunes of the day. McDowell was driven from the plateau he had occupied, and the whole Union army was thrown into a panic and rushed in headlong flight for the defenses of Washington. Nothing could stay their flight, and the city was overrun with the terrified fugitives, who swarmed into the railroad trains, fled to the open fields beyond, spreading the most frightful rumors, while many did not believe themselves safe until at home in the North.

Had the Confederates followed up the pursuit, they could have easily captured Washington. They failed to do so, because they did not know how beaten and disorganized the Union forces were. The Union losses in this first great battle of the war were: Killed, 470; wounded, 1,071; captured and missing, 1,793; total, 3,334. The Confederate losses were: Killed, 387; wounded, 1,582; captured and missing, 13; total, 1,982.


Bull Run was a bitter humiliation for the North, but it served a good purpose. The national government understood for the first time the formidable nature of the task before it. Its determination to subdue the rebellion was intensified rather than lessened, but it now went about it in the right way. Incompetent officers were weeded out, careful and vigorous measures set on foot, and, what was the most popular movement of all, General McClellan was called to the command of the Army of the Potomac. He took charge August 20th, and set about organizing and disciplining the magnificent body of men. No one could surpass him at such work, and he had the opportunity of establishing himself as the idol of the nation. That he failed to do so was clue to an inherent defect of his nature. He shrank from taking chances, lacked nerve and dash, distrusted himself, and was so slow and excessively cautious that he wore out the patience of the government and finally of the nation itself.

General Scott's old age and increasing infirmities compelled him in November to give up the command of the Union armies, and all hopes centred upon McClellan. He kept drilling the Army of the Potomac, and by the close of the year had 150,000 well-trained soldiers under his command. The impatience of the North began to manifest itself, but no general advance took place, though the Confederate line was gradually pushed back from its threatening position in front of Washington to its first position at Bull Run. The Confederacy was also busy in recruiting and drilling its forces. Knowing that Richmond was the objective point of the Union advance, the city was surrounded with formidable fortifications.


On the 19th of October General McCall was ordered to occupy Drainesville, eighteen miles northwest of Washington. At the same time, General Stone was directed to keep watch of Leesburg, from which the patrols afterward reported a weak Confederate force. An advance was ordered, whereupon Colonel Evans, who had given the Confederates great help at Bull Run, concentrated his forces on the road leading from Leesburg to Washington, and, on the morning of the 21st, had assumed a strong position and was ready to be attacked.


In the foreground we see R.E. Lee and two other confederate officers directing the work.

The Union troops were ferried across the river in three scows, two skiffs, and a life-boat, which combined would not carry one-fourth of the men. When all were over they advanced to Leesburg, where no Confederate camp was found, but the enemy in the woods attacked them. Colonel E.D. Baker, a civilian officer from California, hurried across the river with 1,900 men and took command. The enemy was reinforced and drove the Unionists back. Colonel Baker was killed and the Federals fled in a panic to the Potomac, with the Confederates upon them. The fugitives swarmed into the boats and sank three of them; others leaped over the bank and swam and dived for their lives, the enemy shooting and bayoneting all who did not surrender. When the horrible affair was over, the Union loss was fully a thousand men. This occurrence was in some respects more disgraceful than Bull Run.


Claiborne F. Jackson, governor of Missouri, was a strong secessionist, and did all he could to take the State out of the Union, but the sentiment against him was too strong. St. Louis was also secession in feeling, but Captain Nathaniel Lyon kept the disloyalists in subjection so effectively that he was rewarded by being made a brigadier-general. Governor Jackson by proclamation called out 50,000 of the State militia to repel the "invasion" of the State by United States troops. Sterling Price, a major-general of the State forces, was dispatched to Booneville and Lexington, on the Missouri River.

Colonel Franz Sigel, with 1,100 Union troops, had an engagement in the southwestern part of the State and was compelled to retreat, but he managed his withdrawal so skillfully that he killed and wounded a large number of his pursuers. General Lyon joined Sigel near Springfield, and the Confederates, under General Ben McCulloch, retreated to Cowskin Prairie, on the border of the Indian Territory.


Both sides were reinforced, the Unionists being under the command of General John C. Fremont, who had been assigned to the department of the West, which included Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. The two armies met early in August near Wilson's Creek. The Confederates were the most numerous, but were poorly armed and disciplined. The battle was badly mismanaged by both sides, and General Lyon, while leading a charge, was shot dead. His men were defeated and retreated in the direction of Springfield.

Missouri was now overrun with guerrillas and harried by both sides. Colonel Mulligan made a desperate stand at Lexington in September, but an overwhelming force under General Price compelled him to surrender. Price moved southward and Lexington was retaken by the Unionists, who also occupied Springfield. The Legislature sitting at Neocho passed an ordinance of secession, but most of the State remained in the hands of the Federals until they finally gained entire possession.

General Fremont's course was unwise and made him unpopular. He issued what was in reality an emancipation proclamation, which President Lincoln was compelled to modify. He was fond of show and ceremony, and so extravagant that he was superseded in November by General Hunter, who was soon sent to Kansas, and was in turn succeeded by General Halleck. The fighting in the State was fierce but of an indecisive character.

The expected neutrality of Kentucky was speedily ended by the entrance of a body of Confederates under the command of General Leonidas Polk, a graduate of West Point and a bishop of the Episcopal Church. General U.S. Grant was dispatched with a force from Cairo, as soon as it became known that Polk had entered Kentucky. Grant destroyed a Confederate camp at Belmont, but was attacked by Polk and compelled to retreat to his gunboats.


A formidable coast expedition, with land and naval forces on board, under command of General B.F. Butler and Commodore Stringham, in August, 1861, captured Hatteras Inlet and the fort defending it. Establishing themselves at that point, they made other attacks along the adjoining coast of North Carolina. A still larger expedition left Fort Monroe in November under Commodore Dupont and General T.W. Sherman and captured Port Royal. The fleet was so powerful, numbering nearly one hundred vessels and transports, that the garrisons were easily driven out of the forts, after which the land forces took possession of them. The islands between Charleston and Savannah were seized, and in September a Union fleet took possession of Ship Island, not far from the mouth of the Mississippi, with a view of aiding an expedition against New Orleans.


It was all important for the Confederacy to secure recognition from England and France. The Confederate government thought they could be induced to act, if the proper arguments were laid before the respective governments. Accordingly, James M. Mason, of Virginia, and John Slidell, of Louisiana, both of whom had been United States senators, were appointed commissioners, the former to England and the latter to France.

They succeeded in running the blockade to Havana, where they took passage on the British steamer Trent for England. Captain Charles Wilkes, of the steamer San Jacinto, knew of their intended sailing and was on the lookout for them. Before they were fairly on their way, Captain Wilkes stopped the Trent, and, despite the protests of the captain and the rebel commissioners, he forcibly took them off and carried them to the United States.

In acting thus Captain Wilkes did the very thing that caused the war with England in 1812. It was our opposition to the search of American vessels by British cruisers that caused that war, while England was as persistent in her claim to the right to make such search. The positions were now reversed, and England expressed indignation, and demanded the return of the commissioners and a disavowal of the act of Captain Wilkes. The position of our government was untenable, and Secretary Seward gracefully confessed it, and surrendered the prisoners, neither of whom was able afterward to be of the slightest benefit to the Confederacy.


The close of 1861 was to the advantage of the Confederates. The two real battles of the war—Bull Run and Wilson's Creek—had been won by them. In the lesser engagements, with the exception of West Virginia, they had also been successful. This was due to the fact that the people of the North and West had been so long at peace that they needed time in which to learn war. In the South the men were more accustomed to the handling of firearms and horseback riding. Moreover, they were on the defensive, and fighting, as may be said, on inner lines.

It must not be forgotten, however, that the Union forces had saved Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri from joining the Confederacy, despite the strenuous efforts of their disunion governors and an aggressive minority in each State. Washington, which more than once had been in danger of capture, was made safe, and the loyal section of Virginia in the West was cut off and formed into a separate State. In wealth and resources the North vastly preponderated. An immense army had been raised, money was abundant, commerce thriving, the sentiment overwhelmingly in favor of the prosecution of the war, and the manufactories hummed with work made necessary by the building of hundreds of ships for the navy and the furnishing of supplies and equipments to the armies.

fort donelson

This memorable battle of February, 1862, was the first serious blow to the Confederate cause. It was also Grant's first victory of importance, and marks the beginning of his rise to fame. Fifteen thousand prisoners were taken. Grant generously allowed the Confederates to retain their personal baggage, and the officers to keep their side arms. General Buckner expressed his thanks for this chivalrous act, and later in life became Grant's personal friend.




Capture of Forts Henry and Donelson—Change in the Confederate Line of Defense—Capture of Island No. 10—Battle of Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh—Capture of Corinth—Narrow Escape of Louisville—Battle of Perryville—Battle of Murfreesboro' or Stone River—Battle of Pea Ridge—Naval Battle Between the Monitor and Merrimac—Fate of the Two Vessels—Capture of New Orleans—The Advance Against Richmond—McClellan's Peninsula Campaign—The First Confederate Invasion of the NorthBattle of Antietam or SharpsburgDisastrous Union Repulse at FredericksburgSummary of the Wars OperationsThe Confederate PrivateersThe Emancipation ProclamationGreenbacks and Bond Issues.


The fighting of the second year of the war opened early. General Albert Sidney Johnston, one of the ablest leaders of the Confederacy, was in chief command in the West. The Confederate line ran through southern Kentucky, from Columbus to Mill Spring, through Bowling Green. Two powerful forts had been built in Tennessee, near the northern boundary line. One was Fort Henry on the Tennessee River, and the other Fort Donelson, twelve miles away, on the Cumberland.

Opposed to this strong position were two Union armies, the larger, numbering 100,000, under General Don Carlos Buell, in central Kentucky, and the lesser, numbering 15,000, commanded by General U.S. Grant, at Cairo. Under Buell was General George H. Thomas, one of the finest leaders in the Union army. In January, with a division of Buell's army, he attacked the Confederates, routed and drove them into Tennessee. In the battle, General Zollicoffer, the Confederate commander, was killed.

Embarking at Cairo, General Grant steamed up the Tennessee River, intending to capture Fort Henry. Before he could do so, Commodore Andrew H. Foote, with his fleet of gunboats, compelled it to surrender, though most of the garrison escaped across the neck of land to Fort Donelson.


Upon learning that Fort Henry had fallen, Grant steamed up the Cumberland to attack Fort Donelson, which was reinforced until the garrison numbered some 20,000 men. It was a powerful fortification, with many rifle-pits and intrenchments on the land side, and powerful batteries commanding the river. The political General Floyd was in chief command, the right wing being under General Simon B. Buckner and the left in charge of General Gideon J. Pillow.

On the afternoon of February 14th, Commodore Foote opened the attack with two wooden vessels and four ironclad gunboats. The garrison made no reply until the boats had worked their way to within a fourth of a mile of the fort, the elevation of which enabled it to send a plunging fire, which proved so destructive that two of the boats were disabled and drifted down current, the other following. Some fifty men were killed, and among the wounded was Commodore Foote. He withdrew to Cairo, intending to wait until a sufficient force could be brought up from that point.



But General Grant, like the bull-dog to which he was often compared, having inserted his teeth in his adversary, did not mean to let go. Placing his troops in front of the works, it did not take him long to invest the whole Confederate left, with the exception of a swampy strip near the river. The weather, which had been unusually mild for the season, now became extremely cold, and some of the Union men were frozen to death in the trenches. The garrison also suffered greatly, but the siege was pressed with untiring vigor. Seeing the inextricable coils closing round them, the defenders made an attempt to cut their way out, but Grant with true military genius saw the crisis and ordered an advance along the whole line, the gunboats giving all the help they could.

The situation of the garrison was so dangerous that a council of war was held that night. Floyd and Pillow were frightened nearly out of their wits. They rated themselves so high as prizes for the Federals that they determined to make their escape before the surrender, which was inevitable, was forced. Buckner was another sort of man. Disgusted with the cowardice of his associates, he quietly announced that he would stay by his men to the last. Floyd stole out of the fort with his brigade and crossed the river in boats, while Pillow followed in a scow, a large number of the cavalry galloping by the lower road to Nashville.

Grant was ready for the assault at daylight the next morning, when he received a note from General Buckner proposing an armistice until noon in order to arrange terms of capitulation. Grant's reply became famous: "No terms except immediate and unconditional surrender can be accepted; I propose to move immediately upon your works." Buckner was disappointed, but he had no choice except to submit. He was greatly relieved to find that his conqueror was a chivalrous man, who granted better terms than he expected. The privates were allowed to retain their personal baggage and the officers their side-arms. The number of prisoners was 15,000, and the blow was the first really severe one that the South had received. As may be supposed, the news caused great rejoicing in the North and was the beginning of Grant's fame as a military leader—a fame which steadily grew and expanded with the progress of the war.

Jefferson Davis saw the mistake he had made in intrusting important interests to political generals. He deprived Floyd of his command, and that officer dropped back to the level from which he never ought to have been raised. Pillow had done some good work in the Mexican War, but he was erratic and unreliable, and he, too, was summarily snuffed out. Buckner, a West Point graduate, upon being exchanged soon afterward, was assigned to an important command and proved himself an excellent soldier.


The capture of Forts Henry and Donelson compelled a change in the Confederate line of defense. General Albert Sidney Johnston withdrew from Bowling Green to Nashville, but fell back again upon learning of the fall of Fort Donelson, and assumed position near Murfreesboro', Tennessee. All the northern part of that State, including the Cumberland River, was given up by the Confederates, and, when the new line was established, the centre was held by Beauregard at Jackson, the left by Polk at New Madrid, and the right by Johnston at Murfreesboro'. Thus the Confederates were driven out of Kentucky and the northern part of Tennessee. It was a serious check for the Confederacy.


General Grant gave the enemy no rest. In order to retain possession of Island No. 10, it was necessary for them to hold the outpost of New Madrid. In the latter part of February, General Pope led an expedition against that place, while Commodore Foote made a demonstration in front with his gunboats. Through cold and storm the Unionists bravely pushed their way, and the garrison of New Madrid were compelled to take refuge on Island No. 10, and in the works on the Kentucky side of the river. Operations were then begun against Island No. 10. By digging a canal twelve miles long, which permitted the gunboats to pass around the defenses, and by energetic operations in all directions, the Confederate position was rendered untenable, and the post, with a large amount of war material, was surrendered to Commodore Foote.

Meanwhile, General Grant, after the occupation of Nashville, went down the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing, while General Buell, with the other portion of the Union army, started for the same point by land. Aware of this division of the Federal forces, General Albert Sidney Johnston hastily concentrated his own divisions with the intention of crushing the two Union armies before they could unite. When Johnston arrived in the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing on the 3d of April he had 40,000 men, divided into three corps and a reserve.


Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, as it is called in the South, consists of a high bluff, a half-mile in extent, where General W.T. Sherman had been ordered to take position and prepare for the arrival of 100,000 men. Grant was not prepared for the unexpected attack. Buell was some distance away with 40,000 troops, and the Union commander had a somewhat less force on his side of the Tennessee River. Only a few defenses had been thrown up, and the men were scattered over the ground, when at daylight on Sunday morning, April 6th, the Confederates furiously assailed the outlying divisions of the Union army and drove them back upon the main body. They steadily gained ground, and it looked as if nothing could save the Union army from overwhelming disaster.

When the attack was made Grant was on the opposite side of the river in consultation with Buell. Hurrying to the scene of the furious conflict, it looked as if his army was on the edge of inevitable destruction, but he handled his demoralized forces with such masterly skill that the panic was checked, and on the river bank, over which they had been well-nigh driven, an effective stand was made and the Confederates were checked, the gunboats giving invaluable assistance in saving the army from defeat. The night closed with all the advantage on the side of the Confederates.

The darkness, however, was of immeasurable value to the Federals. Buell's army was brought across the river and other reinforcements arrived, so that in the morning Grant found himself in command of fully 50,000 well-equipped troops. The greatest advantage gained by the Federals, however, came during the previous day's fighting, when everything was going the way of their enemies. General Albert Sidney Johnston, while directing operations, was struck by a shot which shattered his knee and mortally wounded him. He spoke only a few words as he was lifted from his horse, and the command devolved upon Beauregard, much his inferior in ability. He was unable to restrain the troops from plundering the captured Union camps; and when on the second day Grant launched his regiments against them, they were driven pell-mell from the field, and did not stop their retreat until they reached Corinth, Mississippi.



Little fear of the Union troops being caught a second time at such a disadvantage. They were established on the upper part of the Tennessee, prepared to strike blows in any direction.


The withdrawal of Beauregard to Corinth made that point valuable to the Unionists, because of the large number of railroads which centre there. It was strongly fortified, and no one expected its capture without a severe battle. General Halleck, who was high in favor with the government, assumed command of the Union armies and began an advance upon Corinth. He moved slowly and with great caution, and did not reach the front of the place until the close of May. While making preparations to attack, Beauregard withdrew and retired still further southward. No further Union advance was made for some time. The important result accomplished was in opening up the Mississippi from Cairo to Memphis and extending the Union line so that it passed along the southern boundary of Tennessee.

Beauregard resembled McClellan in many respects. He was excessively cautious and disposed to dig trenches and throw up fortifications rather than fight. Jefferson Davis always had a warm regard for General Braxton Bragg, whom he now put in the place of Beauregard. By the opening of September, Bragg had an army of 60,000 men. Kirby Smith's corps was at Knoxville and Hardee and Polk were with Bragg at Chattanooga.

They were ordered to march through Kentucky to Louisville, threatening Cincinnati on the way. Kirby Smith's approach threw that city into a panic, but he turned off and joined Bragg at Frankfort.


By this time the danger of Louisville was apparent, and Buell, who was near Nashville, hastened to the defense of the more important city. Bragg ran a race with him, but the burning of a bridge, spanning the river at Bardstown, stopped him just long enough to allow Buell to reach Louisville first. This was accomplished on the 25th of September, and Buell's army was increased to 100,000 men.


Disappointed in securing the main prize, Bragg marched to Frankfort, where he installed a provisional governor of Kentucky and issued a high-sounding proclamation, to which few paid attention. Bragg had entered one of the richest sections of the State, and he secured an enormous amount of supplies in the shape of cattle, mules, bacon, and cloth. His presence in the State was intolerable to the Union forces, and Buell, finding a strong army under his command, set out to attack him. Bragg started to retreat through the Cumberland Mountains on the 1st of October, with Buell in pursuit. A severe but indecisive battle was fought at Perryville, and the Confederates succeeded in carrying away their immense booty to Chattanooga, while the Union army took position at Nashville.

The government was dissatisfied with the sluggishness of Buell and replaced him with General William S. Rosecrans. He posted a part of his army at Nashville and the remainder along the line of the Cumberland River. Advancing against Bragg, he faced him in front of Murfreesboro', some forty miles from Nashville. On the 30th of December brisk firing took place between the armies, and when they encamped for the night their fires were in plain sight of each other.


The opposing forces were on both sides of Stone River (this battle is generally referred to in the South by that name), a short distance to the northwest of Murfreesboro'. By a curious coincidence, each of the respective commanders formed the same plan of attack, it being to mass his forces on the left and crush his enemy's right wing. A terrific engagement lasted all day, and night closed without any decisive advantage to either side, though the Confederates had succeeded in driving back the Union right upon the left and occupying a considerable portion of the field formerly held by the Federals.

The exhaustion of the armies prevented anything more than skirmishing on New Year's day, 1863, but on the afternoon of January 2d the furious battle was renewed. Rosecrans ordered an advance of the whole line, and the Confederate right wing was broken and the flank so endangered that Bragg was compelled to withdraw his entire army. The only way for him to retain Tennessee was to abandon Murfreesboro'. Accordingly, he retreated to a point beyond Duck River, about fifty miles south of Murfreesboro', which was occupied by the Federals, January 5, 1863.

Other important events took place in the West. General Sterling Price wintered in Springfield, Missouri, in the southern part of the State, and gained a good many recruits and a large amount of needed supplies. He was attacked by Sigel and Curtis on the 12th of February, and continued his retreat to the Boston Mountains, where he was reinforced by McCulloch, Van Dorn, and Albert Pike, and felt himself strong enough to turn about and attack Curtis, who was in the neighborhood of Pea Ridge.


The Union right was commanded by General Sigel, the left by General Carr, and the centre by General Jefferson C. Davis. Sigel was surprised and came very near being cut off, but he was master of the art of retreating rather than of advancing, and he extricated his Germans with astonishing skill and joined the main army. General Curtis changed his front, and in the attack his right wing was driven back, obliging him that night to take a new position a mile to the rear. The fighting next day was at first in favor of the Confederates, and for a time the Union army was in a critical position; but with great bravery and skill the enemy's left was turned, the centre broken, and their forces driven in disorder from the field.

In this battle Albert Pike used 2,000 Indian allies. They belonged to the "civilized" tribes, and good service was expected from them; but they were unaccustomed to fighting in the open, could not be disciplined, and in the excitement of the struggle it is alleged they so lost their heads that they scalped about as many of the Confederates as Unionists. At any rate, the experiment was a failure, and thereafter they cut no figure in the war.


The enemy were so badly shaken that they retreated toward the North to reorganize and recruit. Reinforcements from Kansas and Missouri also joined Curtis, who advanced in the direction of Springfield, Missouri, upon learning that Price was making for the same point. Nothing followed, and Curtis returned to Arkansas. He had been at Batesville in that State a few months when he found himself in serious peril. His supplies were nearly exhausted, and it was impossible to renew them in the hostile country by which he was surrounded. An expedition for his relief left Memphis in June, but failed. Supplies from Missouri, however, reached him early in July.

Curtis marched to Jacksonport, and afterward established himself at Helena on the Mississippi. In September he was appointed commander of the department of Missouri, which included that State, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory. There were many minor engagements, and the Unionists succeeded in keeping the Confederates from regaining their former foothold in Missouri and north of Arkansas. It may be said that all the fighting in that section produced not the slightest effect on the war as a whole. The best military leaders of the Confederacy advised President Davis to withdraw all his forces beyond the Mississippi and concentrate them in the East, but he rejected their counsel, and his stubbornness greatly weakened the Confederacy.

Having given an account of military operations in the West, it now remains to tell of the much more important ones that occurred on the coast and in the East, for they were decisive in their nature, and produced a distinct effect upon the progress of the war for the Union.


It has been stated that early in the war the Norfolk navy yard was burned to prevent its falling into the possession of the Confederates. Among the vessels sunk was the frigate Merrimac, which went down before much injury was done to her. She was a formidable craft of 3,500 tons, 300 feet in length, and had mounted 40 guns. The Confederates succeeded in raising her, and proceeded to work marvelous changes in her structure, by which she was turned into the first real armor-clad ever constructed. She was protected by layers of railroad iron, which sloped like the roof of a house, and was furnished with a prow of cast iron which projected four feet in front. Pivot guns were so fixed as to be used for bow and stern chasers, and the pilot-house was placed forward of the smoke-stack and armored with four inches of iron. She carried ten guns, one at the stern, one at the bow, and eight at the sides, and fired shells. Her iron armor sloped down at the sides, so that she looked like an enormous mansard-roof moving through the water. Her commanding officer was Commodore Franklin Buchanan, formerly of the United States navy, while under him were Lieutenant Catesby R. Jones, the executive officer, six other lieutenants, six midshipmen, surgeons, engineers, and subordinate officers, in addition to a crew of 300 men. She was rechristened the Virginia, but will always be remembered as the Merrimac.


"The whole character of the war will be changed."

Of necessity this craft, being the pioneer of its kind, had many defects. She could move only very slowly, and her great length of 300 feet and poor steering apparatus required a half-hour for her to make a complete turn, while her draft of 22 feet confined her to the narrow channel of the Roads. Still she could go faster than an ordinary sailing vessel, and her resistless momentum and iron prow enabled her to crush any vessel afloat as if it were an egg-shell.

Great pains were taken by the Confederates to keep secret the particulars of her building; but it was known in Washington that a strange craft was in course of construction at Norfolk, with which it was expected to capture Washington and devastate the leading cities along the Atlantic seaboard. Ericsson, the famous Swedish inventor, was engaged near New York in building a smaller vessel upon the same principle, and he was pressed to make all possible haste in finishing it; for, though the government did not suspect the terrible effectiveness of the Merrimac, they meant to take all reasonable precautions against it.


There were lying at Hampton Roads at that time five Union vessels, which, being so close to the dangerous craft, were on the alert day and night for her appearance. About noon on March 8th a column of dark smoke in the direction of the Norfolk navy yard, followed by the forging into sight of the huge hulk, left no doubt that the long-expected Merrimac was coming forth upon her errand of death and destruction. In her company were three gunboats ready to aid her in any way possible. The steam frigate Minnesota and Roanoke and the sailing frigates Congress, Cumberland, and St. Lawrence immediately cleared their decks for action.

The Minnesota and Roanoke moved out to meet the Merrimac, but both got aground. In the case of the Minnesota this was due to the treachery of the pilot, who was in the employ of the Confederates. The Cumberland swerved so as to bring her broadsides to bear, and opened with her pivot guns, at the distance of a mile. The aim was accurate, but the iron balls which struck the massive hide of the Merrimac bounded off like pebbles skipping over the water. Then the Congress added her broadsides to those of the Cumberland, but the leviathan shed them all as if they were tiny hailstones, and, slowly advancing in grim silence, finally opened with her guns, quickly killing four marines and five sailors on the Cumberland. Then followed her resistless broadsides, which played awful havoc with officers and men. Swinging slowly around, the Merrimac next steamed a mile up the James, and, turning again, came back under full speed. Striking the Cumberland under the starboard bow, she smashed a hole into her through which a horse might have entered. The ship keeled over until her yardarms were close to the water. The terrific force broke off the prow of the Merrimac, but her frightful shots riddled the Cumberland and set her on fire. The flames were extinguished, and the Cumberland delivered broadside after broadside, only to see the enormous missiles fly off and spin harmlessly hundreds of feet away.

Lieutenant George U. Morris, of the Cumberland, ran up the red flag meaning "no surrender," and with a heroism never surpassed maintained the unequal fight, if fight it can be called where there was absolutely no hope for him. Finally the Cumberland went down to her cross-trees, in fifty-four feet of water. Lieutenant Morris succeeded in saving himself by swimming, but of the crew of 376, 121 lost their lives.

The Cumberland being destroyed, the Merrimac headed for the Congress, which had run aground. She replied with her harmless broadsides, but the Merrimac held her completely at her mercy, raking her fore and aft, and killing 100 of the crew, including the commander. It being evident that not a man could escape, the white flag was run up in token of surrender. The hot firing from the shore preventing Commodore Buchanan from taking possession of the Congress, whereupon he fired her with hot shot.

During the fighting, Commodore Buchanan fearlessly exposed himself on the upper deck of the Merrimac, and was badly wounded in the thigh by a Union sharpshooter, whereupon the command was assumed by Lieutenant Jones. By that time it was growing dark and the Merrimac steamed back to Sewall's Point, intending to return the next morning and complete her appalling work of destruction.


The news of what she had done caused consternation throughout the North. President Lincoln called a special cabinet meeting, at which Secretary Stanton declared, in great excitement, that nothing could prevent the monster from steaming up the Potomac, destroying Washington, and laying the principal northern cities under contribution. The alarm of the bluff secretary was natural, but there was no real ground for it.


The Swedish inventor, John Ericsson, had completed his Monitor, which at that hour was steaming southward from New York. Although an ironclad like the Merrimac, she was as different as can be conceived in construction. She resembled a raft, the upper portion of which was 172 feet long and the lower 124 feet. The sides of the former were made of oak, twenty-five inches thick, and covered with five-inch iron armor.

The turret was protected by eight-inch plates of wrought iron, increasing in thickness to the port-holes, near which it was eleven inches through. It was nine feet high, with a diameter of twenty-one feet. She drew only ten feet of water, and was armored with two eleven-inch Dahlgren guns, smooth bore, firing solid shot weighing 180 pounds.

The pilot-house was made of nine-inch plates of forged iron, rose four feet above the deck, and would hold three men by crowding. The Monitor was one-fifth the size of the Merrimac, and her appearance has been likened to that of a cheese-box on a raft. She was in command of Lieutenant John L. Worden, with Lieutenant S. Dana Green as executive officer. Her crew consisted of sixteen officers and forty-two men, and she left New York on the morning of March 6th, in tow of a tug-boat. The greatest difficulty was encountered in managing her, the men narrowly escaping being smothered by gas, and, had not the weather been unusually favorable, she would have foundered; but providentially she steamed into Hampton Roads, undiscovered by the enemy, and took her position behind the Minnesota, ready for the events of the morrow.


The famous constructor of the Monitor.

The Merrimac was promptly on time the next morning, and was accompanied by two gunboats; but while steaming toward the remaining Union vessels the Monitor darted out from behind the Minnesota and boldly advanced to meet her terrible antagonist. They silently approached each other until within a hundred yards, when the Monitor fired a shot, to which the Merrimac replied. The firing was rapid for a time and then became slower, with the intervening space varying from fifty yards to four times that distance. A number of the Merrimac's shots struck the Monitor's pilot-house and turret, the crash doing no harm except almost to deafen the men within. Most of the shells, however, missed or skipped over the low deck of the smaller boat.

The latter was able to dodge the rushes of the larger craft and play all around her, but the terrible pounding worked damage to both, the Monitor suffering the most. The iron plate of the pilot-house was lifted by a shell, which blinded Lieutenant Worden, and so disabled him that he was forced to turn over the command to Lieutenant Green. Worden, who lived to become an admiral, never fully recovered from his injuries. The firing, dodging, ramming, and fighting continued for four hours, but the Merrimac was unable to disable her nimble antagonist, and slowly steamed back to Norfolk, while the Monitor returned to her former position, and was carefully kept in reserve by the government against future perils of a similar character.


Neither of the vessels was permitted to do further service. Some months later, upon the evacuation of Norfolk, the Merrimac was blown up to prevent her falling into the hands of the Unionists, and the Monitor foundered off Hatteras in December, 1862. The battle wrought a complete revolution in naval warfare. The days of wooden ships ended, and all the navies of the world are now made up mainly of ironclads.

More important work was done by the Union fleets during this year. The government put forth every energy to build ships, with the result that hundreds were added to the naval force, many of which were partial and others wholly ironclad.


A month before the fight between the Monitor and Merrimac, a formidable naval expedition under Commodore Goldsborough and General Ambrose E. Burnside passed down the Atlantic coast and captured Roanoke Island. St. Augustine and a number of other places in Florida were captured by troops from Port Royal. Siege was laid to Fort Pulaski, at the mouth of the Savannah River, and it surrendered April 11th. The advantage of these and similar captures was that it gave the blockading fleets control of the principal harbors, and made it easier to enforce a rigid blockade. There were two ports, however, which the Union vessels were never able to capture until the close of the war. They were Charleston and Wilmington, North Carolina. The latter became the chief port from which the Confederate blockade-runners dashed out or entered and were enabled to bring the most-needed medical and other supplies to the Confederacy, while at the same time the owners and officers of the ships reaped fortunes for themselves.


One of the primal purposes of the war was to open the Mississippi, which was locked by the enemy at Vicksburg and New Orleans. As a necessary step in the opening of the great river, an expedition was fitted out for the capture of New Orleans. Well aware of what was coming, the Confederates had done all they could to strengthen the defenses of the city. Thirty miles from the mouth of the Mississippi were the powerful Forts Jackson and St. Philip, on opposite sides of the river. They mounted 100 heavy guns, and six powerful chains were stretched across, supported by an immense raft of cypress logs. Thus the river was closed and no fleet could approach New Orleans until these obstructions were removed or overcome. When this should be done, it was still seventy-five miles to New Orleans.

Above the boom of hulks and logs was a fleet of fifteen Confederate vessels, including the ironclad ram Manassas, and a partly completed floating battery armored with railroad iron, and known as the Louisiana. It has been stated that the ironclads of those days were only partly protected by armor.

The naval and military expedition which sailed for New Orleans in the spring of 1862 consisted of six sloops of war, sixteen gunboats, five other vessels, and twenty-one mortar-schooners, the last being under charge of Captain David D. Porter, while Commodore David G. Farragut had command of the fleet. The troops, mostly from New England, were commanded by General B.F. Butler.

Farragut crossed the bar, April 8th, and spent several days in making his preparations for bombarding Forts Jackson and St. Philip. The bombardment began April 27th, 1,400 shells being thrown in one day. Farragut then called his captains together and told them he had resolved to run by the forts. The only question, therefore, was as to the best means of doing it. It was decided to make the attempt at night. The darkness, however, was of little benefit, since the enemy's huge bonfires on both shores lit up the river as if it were noonday. Previous to this, Lieutenant C.H.B. Caldwell, in the gunboat Itasca, had ascended the river undiscovered in the darkness and opened a way through the boom for the fleet.

Farragut arranged the fleet in two columns, his own firing upon Fort Jackson, while the other poured its broadsides into Fort St. Philip. The flagship Hartford led the way under cover of Porter's mortar-boats and the others followed. There was a furious fight between the fleets, but every Confederate was either captured or destroyed.

Farragut steamed on to the city, silencing the batteries along the banks, and, at noon, a messenger was sent ashore with a demand for the surrender of the city. General Lovell was in command of 3,000 troops, intended for the defense of New Orleans, but he fled. The mayor refusing to haul down the secession flag, the Union troops took possession, raised the Union banner over the mint, and placed the city in charge of General Butler. The citizens were in such a savage mood that Commodore Farragut had to bring them to their senses by a threat to bombard the city.

General Butler ruled with great strictness, and virtually held New Orleans under martial law. A Confederate won the applause of his friends by climbing to the top of the mint, hauling down the flag, dragging it through the mud, and then tearing it to shreds. Butler brought him to trial before a military commission, and, being found guilty of the unpardonable insult to the flag, he was hanged.

The fall of New Orleans, one of the leading cities, was a severe blow to the Confederacy. The only points where the Mississippi was strongly held by the enemy were at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and attention was already turned to them. Farragut having completed his work, for the time took command in the Gulf of Mexico.

libby prison


The most momentous events of the year occurred in the east and marked the struggle between the Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, as it came to be called.


McClellan continued to drill and train his army through the fall of 1861, and well into the following year. It numbered nearly 200,000 men and was one of the finest organizations in the world. In reply to the expressions of impatience, the commander invariably replied that a forward movement would soon be begun, but the weeks and months passed and the drilling went on, and nothing was done. Finally, the government gave the commander to understand that he must advance.

McClellan's plan was to move against Richmond, from the lower part of Chesapeake Bay, by way of Urbana on the Rappahannock. While this had many advantages, its fatal objection in the eyes of the President was that it would leave Washington unprotected. He issued an order on the 27th of January directing that on the 22d of February there should be a general land and naval movement against the enemy's position on the Potomac, and that, after providing for the defense of Washington, a force should seize and occupy a point upon the railway to the southwest of Manassas Junction. McClellan was offended by the act of the President and protested, but Mr. Lincoln clung in the main to his plan, and, since the delay continued, he issued orders directing the formation of the army into corps and naming the generals to command them. Another order made arrangements for the intended advance, and it was left to McClellan to carry them out.

libby prison


Reliable information reached Washington that General Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the Confederate forces at Manassas, was engaged in withdrawing his lines with a view of taking a stronger position nearer Richmond. General McClellan began a forward movement with the Army of the Potomac on the 10th of March. The truth was that Confederate spies in Washington had apprised Johnston of the intended advance of McClellan from the lower Chesapeake, and his action was with a view of checkmating the Union commander. Instead of carrying out this plan, McClellan marched to Centreville and occupied the vacated intrenchments of the enemy. The general hope was that Johnston would be forced to give battle, but the roads in Virginia, at that season, were one sea of mud, which made progress so slow that the Confederates had time in which to withdraw at their leisure.

Crossing the Potomac into Virginia, with the main army, McClellan made his first headquarters at Fairfax Court-House. About that time he received news that he was relieved of the command of the other departments, his authority being confined to the direction of the Army of the Potomac. He was directed by the President to garrison Manassas securely, see that Washington was protected, and, with the rest of his force, assume a new base at Fort Monroe, or "anywhere between here and there," and, above all things, to pursue the enemy "by some route."

McClellan's four corps commanders were Sumner, McDowell, Heintzelman, and Keyes, and they and he agreed upon a plan of campaign. The difficulties of transporting nearly 100,000 men to Fort Monroe were so great that two weeks were occupied in completing the transfer. In order to prevent the Confederates from getting in his rear, McClellan directed Banks to rebuild the railroad from Washington to Manassas and Strasburg, thus keeping open communication with the Shenandoah Valley, where the enemy were in force, a fact which caused the government much uneasiness for the national capital. Indeed, it was a part of the effective plan of Johnston to embarrass the campaign against Richmond.

Banks occupied Winchester about the middle of March and sent a force under Shields to Strasburg. He found Stonewall Jackson there with such a strong force that he fell back to Winchester, where, after the withdrawal of the main body by Banks, he was attacked by Jackson, who was repulsed.

In pursuance of the new plan of campaign, McClellan made Fort Monroe his first base of operations, using the route through Yorktown and West Point for the advance to Richmond. He expected to fight a great battle on the way thither, for the enemy could not fail to read the meaning of his movements. McClellan reasoned that this battle would take place between West Point and Richmond, and his intention was to advance without delay to the former position and use it as his chief depot for supplies. His plan was to make a combined naval and military attack on Yorktown, send a strong force up the York River, aided by the gunboats, and thus establish his new base of operations within twenty-five miles of the Confederate capital.

It was not long before he began calling for reinforcements, and the government, instead of aiding him, took away piecemeal many of the troops upon which the commander had counted to aid him in his campaign. He wanted 150,000 men and a large increase of cannon. The 10,000 men, composing Blenker's division, were detached, as the President informed him, to support Fremont, but Mr. Lincoln promised to withdraw no more from the main army.

McClellan remained at his headquarters near Alexandria until most of his forces were well on the road to the Yorktown peninsula. He left on the 1st of April and the troops were landed three days later. Then a force of 56,000 men with 100 guns started for Yorktown.

But for the inherent timidity and distrust of McClellan, he might have captured Richmond, by marching straight ahead to the city, for the Confederate force opposed to him was but a fragment of his own, and could have been trampled underfoot. The Confederate intrenchments were a dozen miles in length, and were defended by Magruder with a force that allowed less than a thousand men for each mile.

Instead of pushing on, McClellan began a regular siege of Yorktown. Immense siege guns were dragged through the muddy swamps, and the musket was laid aside for the spade and shovel, which the men applied week after week, until worn out and with thousands prostrated by sickness. The delay, as a matter of course, was improved by the Confederates in strengthening the defenses of their capital. At the end of a month, the Union army advanced, whereupon Magruder fell back to other fortifications nearer Richmond. The whole month had been worse than thrown away by McClellan, for it had given the enemy all the time they needed to complete their defenses.

The Confederate army was increased, and reinforcements were sent to McClellan, whose forces were fully 20,000 in excess of those under Johnston, but the Union leader magnified the strength of the enemy and continued to call for more troops. It was this unvarying demand that brought the impatient remark from Secretary of War Stanton:

"If I gave McClellan a million men, he would swear the rebels had two millions, and sit down in the mud and refuse to move until he had three millions."

The Confederates fell back to Williamsburg, at the narrowest part of the peninsula, between the James and York Rivers, and began fortifying their position. The Union gunboats ascended to Yorktown, where the Federal depots were established. Longstreet, in command of the Confederate rear, halted and gave battle with a view of protecting his trains.

The engagement took place on May 5th. The Unionists were repulsed at first, but regained and held their ground, the night closing without any decided advantage to either army. Longstreet, however, had held the Federals in check as long as was necessary, and when he resumed his retreat McClellan did not attempt to pursue him.

The Confederates continued falling back, with McClellan cautiously following. The delay secured by the enemy enabled them to send their baggage and supply trains into Richmond, while the army stripped for the fray. They abandoned the Yorktown peninsula altogether and evacuated Norfolk, which was occupied by General Wool. It was this movement which caused the blowing up of the Merrimac, referred to elsewhere.

From this it will be seen that both shores of the James were in possession of the Union forces. The Confederate army withdrew within the defenses of Richmond on the 10th of May, and the Federal gunboats, after steaming up the river to within twelve miles of the city, were compelled to withdraw before the plunging shots of the batteries, which stood on the tops of the high bluffs.

Following the line of the Pamunkey, McClellan's advance-guard reached the Chickahominy on the 21st of May, and could plainly see the spires and steeples of Richmond, which was thrown into a state of great alarm. Rain fell most of the time, and the rise of the Chickahominy carried away the bridges, made the surrounding country a swamp, and badly divided the Union army.



One of the most effective means employed by the Confederate commander against the Union advance was by creating a diversion in the Shenandoah Valley and fear for the safety of Washington. Rather than lose that, our government would have sacrificed the Army of the Potomac. General Johnston had sent Stonewall Jackson into the Valley, where Banks was in command. He was another of the political generals, wholly unfitted for the responsibilities placed in his hands.

At the opening of hostilities, Banks was so confident that he telegraphed the government that Jackson was on the eve of being crushed; but it proved the other way. Banks was completely outgeneraled and sent flying toward Washington. His troops marched more than thirty miles a day, and would have been captured or destroyed to a man had Jackson continued his pursuit, but his forces were fewer in numbers, and he allowed the exhausted and panic-stricken fugitives to find refuge in Washington.

This routing of Banks frightened Washington again, and McDowell was hastily called from Fredericksburg to the defense of the capital. This was the very thing for which the Confederates had planned, since it kept those reinforcements away from McClellan, who was ordered by President Lincoln to attack at once or give up his plan. Still cautious and wishing to feel every foot of the way, McClellan pushed a reconnaissance in the direction of Hanover Court-House.

When fire was opened on the Confederates most of them fell back to Richmond. General Jo Johnston, perceiving that the Union army was divided by the swollen Chickahominy, quickly took advantage of it, and prepared to hurl a force of 50,000 against the Union corps, which numbered a little more than half as many. A violent rain so interfered with his plans that 10,000 of his troops were unable to take part in the battle. In the disjointed struggle which followed, the Confederates were successful at what is known as the battle of Seven Pines, but were defeated at Fair Oaks. Both were fought on June 1st.


In the fighting on the morrow, General Johnston, while directing the attack of the right, was desperately wounded by an exploding shell, which broke several ribs and knocked him from his horse. General G.W. Smith succeeded him in command, but three days later gave way to General R.E. Lee, who in time became the supreme head of the military forces of the Confederacy, and retained his command to the last.


The corps commanders believed that if McClellan would press matters Richmond could be captured, but the Union leader devoted several weeks to building bridges. It rained incessantly and the health of the men suffered. Many more died from disease than from bullets and wounds, and McClellan's tardiness gave the enemy the time they needed in which to make their combinations as strong as possible. Stonewall Jackson, although placed in a perilous position in the Shenandoah Valley, skillfully extricated himself and united his corps with the troops that were defending Richmond.


While McClellan was engaged in constructing bridges over the Chickahominy, and no important movement was made by either army, General J.E.B. Stuart, the famous cavalry leader, left Richmond, June 13th, with a strong mounted force, and, by rapid riding and his knowledge of the country, passed entirely around the Federal army, cutting telegraph wires, burning bridges, capturing wagons and supplies, frightening McClellan, and returning to Richmond, after two days' absence, with the loss of only a single man.

The Union commander was discouraged by the withdrawal of McDowell to the defense of Washington, by the uncertainty regarding the disposition of the enemy's corps, and by the belief that they were much more numerous than was the fact. He decided to change the base of his operations from the Pamunkey to the James. Both he and Lee fixed upon the same day—June 26th—for an offensive movement; but Lee was the first to act. On the afternoon of that day a vehement attack was made upon the Union right. The assault was repulsed, after a furious struggle, and it marked the beginning of that fearful series of battles known as the Seven Days' Fight.


Feeling insecure, McClellan fell back, and the terrific fighting, beginning June 26th, at Mechanicsville, continued with scarcely any intermission until July 1st. Both armies were well handled and fought bravely, but McClellan kept steadily falling back. Lee was not satisfied with simply defeating the Union army; he strained every nerve to destroy it, but he was defeated in his purpose, and, as the hot afternoon of June 30th was drawing to a close, the last wagon train of the Union army reached Malvern Hill, and preparations were hurriedly made to resist the assault that every one knew would soon come.

Malvern Hill was a strong position. In addition the Federals had the aid of the gunboats. Indeed, the place was so well-nigh impregnable that the warmest admirers of General Lee must condemn his furious and repeated assaults upon it. He suffered a disastrous repulse, and in the end withdrew to the defenses of Richmond, while McClellan took position at Harrison's Landing. All the Union troops had arrived by the night of July 3d, and their commander began to study out a new plan for another advance against the Confederate capital. Before anything could be done, he was peremptorily ordered to withdraw his army from the peninsula. The movement was begun with the purpose of uniting the troops with those of General Pope, who was to the southeast of Washington, and placing them all under his command.

Pope had 40,000 troops between Fredericksburg and Washington. Learning the situation, Lee kept enough men to hold Richmond, and sent the rest, under Stonewall Jackson, against Pope in the north. Jackson executed the task intrusted to him in his usual meteoric fashion. Despite the risk involved, he threw himself between Pope and Washington and struck here, there, and everywhere so rapidly that the Union general became bewildered, his associate officers disgusted, and everything was involved in inextricable confusion.


The second battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, opened early on August 29th and lasted until dusk. The fighting was desperate, Jackson standing mainly on the defensive and waiting for Longstreet, who was hurrying forward through Thoroughfare Gap. At night Jackson withdrew so as to connect with Longstreet. Believing the movement meant a retreat, Pope telegraphed to that effect to Washington. But he was grievously mistaken, for the Confederates were rapidly reinforced, as was discovered the next day, when the battle was renewed and pressed resistlessly against the Federals. In the afternoon Lee arrived on the ground, and, taking command, ordered an advance. Pope retreated, and that night crossed Bull Run and took position behind the field works at Centreville. Other corps joined him, and on the 1st of September Lee made a demonstration against the Union right flank. Pope now became terrified, as he saw that Washington was threatened, and he began a tumultuous retreat toward the capital, pursued and harassed by the Confederates, until at last the whole disorganized army found rest and safety behind the fortifications at Washington. Pope had been disastrously defeated, and the second campaign against Richmond was one of the worst failures conceivable.


Pope had done the best he knew how, but the task was beyond his ability, and he was glad enough to be relieved of his command, which was assumed once more by McClellan, who still retained a great deal of his popularity with the rank and file. Pope's division had been styled the Army of Virginia, but the name was now dropped, and the consolidated forces adopted the title of the Army of the Potomac, by which it was known to the close of the war.

The success of the Confederates had been so decisive that the Richmond authorities now decided to assume the aggressive and invade the North. It was a bold plan thus to send their principal army so far from its base, and General Lee did not favor it, but the opportunity was too tempting for his superiors to disregard. One great incentive was the well-founded belief that if the Confederacy gained a marked advantage, England and France would intervene and thus secure the independence of the South.

The neighboring State of Maryland was viewed with longing and hopeful eyes by Lee and his army. It was a slave State, had furnished a good many men to the Confederate armies, and, had it been left to itself, probably would have seceded. What more likely, therefore, than that its people would hasten to link their fortunes with the Confederacy on the very hour that its most powerful army crossed her border?


The Confederate army began fording the Potomac at a point nearly opposite the Monocacy, and by the 5th of September all of it was on Maryland soil. The bands struck up the popular air, "Maryland, my Maryland," the exultant thousands joining in the tremendous chorus, as they swung off, all in high spirits at the belief that they were entering a land "flowing with milk and honey," where they would find abundant food and be received with outspread arms.

Frederick City was reached on the 6th, and two days later Lee issued an address to the people of Maryland, inviting them to unite with the South, but insisting that they should follow their free-will in every respect. The document was a temperate one, and the discipline of the troops was so excellent that nothing in the nature of plundering occurred.

But it did not take Lee long to discover he had made a grievous mistake by invading Maryland. If the people were sympathetic, they did not show it by anything more than words and looks. They refused to enlist in the rebel army, gave Lee the "cold shoulder," and left no doubt that their greatest pleasure would be to see the last of the ragged horde.

While at Frederick, Lee learned that the Union Colonel Miles was at Harper's Ferry with 12,000 troops, held there by the direct order of General Halleck, who was the acting commander-in-chief of the United States forces. Lee determined to capture the whole body, and, detaching Stonewall Jackson with three divisions, ordered him to do so and return to him with the least possible delay.

Military critics have condemned this act of Lee as one of the gravest blunders of his career. His advance thus far had been resistless, and it was in his power to capture Baltimore, and probably Philadelphia and Washington; but the delay involved in awaiting the return of Jackson gave McClellan, who was a skillful organizer, time to prepare to meet the Confederate invasion.

Jackson lost not an hour in capturing Harper's Ferry, the defense of which was so disgraceful that had not Colonel Miles been killed just as the white flag was run up he would have been court-martialed and probably shot. Many suspected him of treason, but the real reason was his cowardice and the fact that he was intoxicated most of the time. Be that as it may, Harper's Ferry surrendered with its garrison of 11,500 men, who were immediately paroled. The Confederates obtained seventy-two cannon, 13,000 small arms, and an immense amount of military stores.

Scarcely had the surrender taken place, when Jackson, who had hardly slept for several days and nights, received orders from Lee to join him at once. He started without delay, but he and his men were almost worn out. It is likely that by this time Lee was aware of the mistake he had made when he stopped for several days while his leading assistant went off to capture a post that was of no importance to either side.


Leaving a strong garrison to defend Washington, McClellan, at the head of 100,000 troops, set out to follow Lee, who had about 70,000 under his immediate command. The Union leader reached Frederick on the 12th of September, and there a curious piece of good fortune befell him.

In the house which had been used as the headquarters of General D.H. Hill was found a copy of an order issued by General Lee, which detailed his projected movements, and contained his instructions to his various leaders. It was priceless information to General McClellan, who made good use of it.

Lee manœuvred to draw McClellan away from Washington and Baltimore, that he might attack them before the Union commander could return to their defense. Lee left Frederick on September 10th, after Jackson had started for Harper's Ferry, and, marching by South Mountain, aimed for Boonsboro'. Stuart and his cavalry remained east of the mountains to watch McClellan, who was advancing with every possible precaution. Lee expected Harper's Ferry would fall on the 13th, but the surrender did not take place until two days later. The Confederate army being divided, McClellan tried to take advantage of the fact, hoping to save Colonel Miles at Harper's Ferry. It did not take Lee long to perceive from the actions of the Union commander that in some way he had learned of his plans.

It would not be interesting to give the details of the many manœuvres by each commander, but before long Lee saw he could not hold his position at South Mountain, and he retreated toward Sharpsburg, near the stream of water known as Antietam Creek. He was thus on the flank of any Federal force that might attempt to save Harper's Ferry. Naturally he held the fords of the Potomac, so that in case of defeat the way to Virginia was open.


The Confederate army under General Lee twice invaded the north. The first invasion was brought to a disastrous end by the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862. The second invasion ended with greater disaster at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. Gettysburg was the greatest and Antietam the bloodiest battles of the war.

Still Lee and Jackson were separated by a wide stretch of mountain, river, and plain, and McClellan was aware of the fact. He had the opportunity to cut off each division in detail, but lacked the nerve and dash to do it. There were subordinates in the Army of the Potomac who yearned for just such a chance, but McClellan's timidity and excessive caution deprived him of another golden opportunity, as it had done before and was soon to do again.

The position of Lee was among a range of hills, which, following the form of a crescent, extended from the lower point of Antietam Creek to a bend in the Potomac. Jackson was straining every nerve to join Lee, but his men were taxed beyond endurance, and many of them fell by the roadside from utter exhaustion, only a portion reaching Sharpsburg on the 16th. The full Confederate army did not exceed 40,000, while McClellan, who arrived on the opposite side of Antietam Creek, that afternoon, had 70,000. Instead of attacking at once, he waited two days, and thus gave Lee time to gather many thousand stragglers.




Finally, when McClellan had no excuse for further delay, and the enemy was in fine form, he opened the attack on the morning of the 17th. To reach Lee the Union commander had to cross the creek, which was spanned by three bridges, each defended by Confederate batteries.

The first attack was by Hooker on the enemy's left, where he drove Jackson back, after he had been reinforced by Hood, cleared the woods, and took possession of the Dunker Church, which stood slightly north of Sharpsburg. A little way beyond the Confederates made a stand, and, being reinforced, recovered most of the ground they had lost. General Mansfield was killed and Hooker received a painful wound in the foot. When their two corps were retreating in confusion, Sumner arrived, rallied them, and made a successful stand. Seeing the critical situation, Lee hurried every available man to that point. This left only 2,500 troops in front of the bridge, where Burnside had 14,000. McClellan sent repeated orders for him to advance, but he paid no attention until one o'clock, when he crossed without trouble, and then remained idle for three more hours. The heights were soon captured, and a position secured from which the rebel lines could be enfiladed. A.P. Hill arrived at this juncture from Harper's Ferry with 4,000 men, and drove Burnside in a panic to the creek. Fighting soon ceased, both sides too much exhausted to keep up the terrific struggle, the position of the two armies being much the same as at first.

This fierce battle had wrenched and disorganized both armies, but McClellan, who had much the larger body, could have destroyed or captured those in front of him, had he followed the urgent advice of his officers, and given the enemy no rest. But he decided to await reinforcements, which arrived to the number of 14,000 that night. Then he resumed his preparations, and on the morning of the 19th advanced against the enemy, only to find there was none in front of him.


The retreat of Lee was deliberate. Having accurately gauged the commander in front of him, he spent all of the 18th in completing his preparations, and made no move until the next morning. Then, protected by batteries on the opposite bank, he crossed the Potomac, and on the 20th drove back a Union reconnaissance. The government, impatient with McClellan's tardiness, urged and almost ordered him to follow up Lee, but the commander preferred to guard against being followed up himself by the Army of Northern Virginia. Thus again a golden opportunity slipped away unimproved.

Naturally each side claimed a victory at Antietam or Sharpsburg, as it is called in the South, but such a claim in either case is hardly justifiable. It may be said, on the one hand, that Lee's invasion of the North was brought to a disastrous end by his check at Antietam, but the claim of Lee was that his failure to secure the expected recruits from Maryland, and his distance from the base of supplies, necessitated such a withdrawal on his part, for it is established that he was opposed to the northward advance from the first.

On the other hand, he had received a serious check, but his army remained intact and was as well prepared as ever to contest the campaign against Richmond, a campaign which had to be pushed to a successful conclusion before the war could end. The one grand opportunity of General McClellan's life was presented to him at the close of the battle of Antietam, and, failing to seize it, it never came again, and his military career ended with failure.

Antietam was, in comparison to numbers engaged, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The Union loss was 2,108 killed; 9,549 wounded; 753 missing; total, 12,410. The Confederate loss was 1,886 killed; 9,348 wounded; 1,367 captured and missing; total, 12,601.

The government was insistent that McClellan should push his advance against Richmond, but the favorable autumn wore away and the wet season arrived before a plan of campaign was formulated. This was to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains from Harper's Ferry, following the southeastern side of the range, leaving detachments to guard all the passes, and thus threaten the Confederate communications in the Shenandoah Valley.


Accordingly, on the 25th of October, the Army of the Potomac once more faced toward the Confederate capital. In the course of a week, it held the whole region southwest of the Blue Ridge and was near the army of General Lee, who fell back, cautiously followed at a safe distance by the Union commander. On the night of November 7th, while McClellan was talking in his tent with Burnside, a messenger arrived from Washington with an official order, relieving McClellan of the command of the Army of the Potomac and appointing Burnside as his successor. McClellan promptly turned over the care of the army to him, and, as directed, proceeded to Trenton, N.J., to await further orders.

It may be added that General McClellan never served again in the army. He resigned in 1864, and was nominated the same year for President of the United States, but received only 21 electoral votes. He was Democratic governor of New Jersey 1878-1881, and died at his home in Orange, N.J., October 29, 1885.

Burnside, although a fine corps commander, was not qualified to command the splendid body over which he was thus placed. He devoted a number of days to acquainting himself with his vastly enlarged duties. The six corps were united into three divisions of two corps each, Sumner commanding the right, Hooker the centre, and Franklin the left, while General Sigel had charge of a body of reserve.

After consulting with General Halleck, it was decided that the Army of the Potomac should make a rapid march down the Rappahannock, cross by pontoon-bridges at Fredericksburg, and then advance upon Richmond by way of Hanover Court-House.

Everything depended upon initiating the movement before it was discovered by the enemy, but the delays, which perhaps were unavoidable, revealed the truth to Lee. When Sumner's division reached a point opposite Fredericksburg they saw the Confederates on the other side awaiting them. Still the force was so meagre that Sumner wished to cross and crush it, but Burnside would not permit. The delay gave Lee time to bring up his whole army and make his position impregnable. He stationed a battery some miles below the town to prevent any Union gunboats coming up stream, while every ford was closely guarded.

Burnside faltered before the position that was like a mountain wall, but the North was clamorous for something to be done, and he decided to make the hopeless attack. One hundred and forty-seven cannon were posted, on the night of December 10th, so as to command the town and cover the crossing of the river. Unable to prevent this, Lee made his preparations to annihilate the Unionists after they had crossed.


In the face of a brisk fire, a force was sent over the river and occupied the town, while Franklin laid his bridges two miles below and crossed without trouble. When the cold, foggy morning of December 13th broke, the whole Army of the Potomac was on the southern shore and the Confederate army was on the heights behind Fredericksburg.

As the fog had cleared to some extent, General Franklin advanced against the Confederate right, but, misunderstanding Burnside's order, he made only a feint. Fighting was kept up throughout the day, and once General Meade forced a gap in the enemy's line, but he was not reinforced, and was driven back with severe loss.

The attack on the right having failed, Sumner threw himself against the left. This required the seizure of Marye's Hill, and was hopeless from the first. As the Union troops emerged from the town they were in fair range of an appalling fire that mowed down scores. Still they pressed on with a courage that could not be surpassed until one-half lay dead and dying, when the rest staggered backward out of the furnace-blast of death. The gallant Hancock gathered up the fragments of the shattered line, and, uniting them with his own men, numbering 5,000 in all, he led a charge, which in a brief while stretched 2,000 dead or wounded. Still the survivors held their ground and were joined by others, who fell so fast that it was soon evident that every man would be killed. Then grimly remarking, "I guess we have had enough killed to satisfy Burnside," Hancock ordered the brave fellows to fall back.

Burnside was frantic over the repeated failures. He was determined that the heights should be carried, and ordered Hooker, his only remaining general, to do it. Hooker went across with his three divisions, made a careful reconnoissance, and saw that to carry out the command meant the massacre of all his troops. He returned to Burnside and begged him to recall his order. He refused, and Hooker attempted to obey, leading 4,000 of as brave men as ever shouldered a musket; but before they could reach the stone wall 1,700 lay helpless on the icy earth and the remainder fled.

catling gun


Had not night been at hand, Burnside would have ordered another charge and sacrificed hundreds of more lives, but he concluded to let the men live until the next morning. Already 1,200 had been killed, almost 10,000 wounded, and several thousand were missing. The commanders gathered around Burnside and insisted that the army should be brought across the river before it was annihilated, but he refused. He was resolved on sacrificing several thousand more under the ghastly name of a "charge." At last, however, he became more reasonable and listened to his officers. Perhaps the shrieks of the wounded, who lay for two days and nights where they had fallen without help, produced some effect in awaking him to a sense of his horrible blundering and incompetency, for, when the bleak, dismal morning dawned, the intended "charge" was not ordered. The Army of the Potomac had been wounded so well-nigh unto death that it could not stand another similar blow.

On the cold, rainy night of December 15th, the wretched forces tramped back over the river on the pontoon-bridges, having suffered the worst defeat in the army's whole history. It was in the power of Lee to destroy it utterly, but it slipped away from him, just as it had slipped away from McClellan after the battle of Antietam.

The Union losses at Fredericksburg were: Killed, 1,284; wounded, 9,600; missing, 1,769; total, 12,653. The Confederate losses were: Killed, 596; wounded, 4,068; captured and missing, 651. Total, 5,315.


The eventful year had been one of terrible fighting. It had opened with the Union successes of Forts Henry and Donelson, followed by Pea Ridge, Pittsburg Landing, and Corinth in the West, the naval battle between the Merrimac and Monitor, the capture of Roanoke Island and of New Orleans. Bragg's invasion of Kentucky was injurious to the Union cause, while, as we have seen, the campaign against Richmond had been a series of disastrous failures. Still, taken as a whole, the year showed a decisive step forward. The Union line had been advanced across the State of Tennessee, substantial progress had been made in opening the Mississippi, and the blockade was enforced with a rigidity that caused great distress in the Confederacy.

Both sides felt the terrific strain of the war. The Confederacy in April passed a conscription act, which made all able-bodied males between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years soldiers for the war. All such were taken from the control of the State of which they were residents and placed at the disposal of President Davis until the close of the war. This conscription act was soon made much more severe in its provisions.


One source of help to the Confederacy was her privateers, which wrought immense damage to northern shipping. England assisted in fitting them out. Despite the protests of Minister Adams, many of these were allowed to put to sea. One of the first was the Oreto, afterward known as the Florida. She succeeded in eluding the blockade at Mobile, through flying the British flag, delivered her valuable freight, received her armament, and came forth again in the latter part of December and began her wholesale destruction of American merchantmen.

The privateer Sumter was driven into Gibraltar, and so closely watched by the Tuscarora that Captain Semmes, her commander, sold her, and made his way to England, where the English built for him the most famous privateer the Confederacy ever had—the Alabama—of which much more will be told further on.


The national government had learned by this time the full measurement of the gigantic task before it. By the close of the year, 1,300,000 volunteers had been called for, and the daily expenses amounted to $3,000,000. The conviction, too, was growing that slavery was the real cause of the war, and the time had come to treat it with less consideration than many leading officers and men whose patriotism could not be doubted were disposed to show toward the "peculiar institution." President Lincoln was one of the wisest men who ever sat in the executive chair, and none read so unerringly the signs of the times as he. The Abolitionists were impatient with his slowness, while many of the doubting thought he went too fast. He waited until the right hour, and then issued his Emancipation Proclamation.



This appeared soon after the battle of Antietam, and it is said was the fulfillment of the pledge President Lincoln had made to heaven that, if Lee's invasion was turned back, he would issue the great paper, which, in effect, would see free 4,000,000 bondsmen. In it he warned the seceding States that in every one which failed to return to its allegiance by the first of January, 1863, he would declare the slaves free. The warning was received with scorn, as was expected. From the date named, therefore, all the armed forces of the Union treated the slaves as free wherever encountered. Before long colored men were enlisted as soldiers and sailors, and they bore no inconsiderable part in the prosecution of the war.


It will be understood that the revenue of the government was altogether unequal to the vast demands upon it. Taxation was increased, and, in 1862, the government began the issue of its own paper money. The backs of the bills being printed in green ink, these bills were known as "greenbacks." They were made a legal tender, despite considerable opposition to the measure. The law gave any person owing a debt, no matter if contracted in gold and silver, the right to pay the same with greenbacks. Since it is impossible to regulate the value of money except by the law of supply and demand, the bills, as compared with gold, depreciated a good deal in value.

The act of February 25, 1862, authorized the issue of $150,000,000, and further issues were made on June 11, 1862, and March 3, 1863. The depreciation of greenbacks was such that the price of gold averaged 2.20 throughout 1864, and at one time reached 2.85. In other words, a greenback dollar was worth only thirty-five cents. Another method of raising money was through the sale of bonds, of which many millions were issued. To encourage their sale, the National Banking System was established in 1863. This required all banks that issued currency to deposit a slightly larger amount of bonds in Washington. Thus the banks were compelled to help the government by loaning it money.

malvern hill

Malvern Hill was a very strong position taken by General McClellan in his retreat before the army of Lee. General Lee made furious and repeated assaults upon this well-nigh impregnable position, each time to meet an inevitable repulse, and in the end a defeat accompanied by severe losses, which necessitated his withdrawal to Richmond.




The Military Situation in the West—Siege and Capture of Vicksburg—The Mississippi Opened—Battle of Chickamauga—"The Rock of Chickamauga"—The Battle Above the Clouds—Siege of Knoxville—General Hooker Appointed to the Command of the Army of the Potomac—His Plan of Campaign Against Richmond—Stonewall Jackson's Stampede of the Eleventh Corps—Critical Situation of the Union Army—Death of Jackson—Battle of Chancellorsville—Defeat of Hooker—The Second Confederate Invasion—Battle of Gettysburg—The Decisive Struggle of the War—Lee's Retreat—Subsequent Movements of Lee and Meade—Confederate Privateering—Destruction of the Nashville—Failure of the Attacks on Charleston—The Military Raids—Stuart's Narrow Escape—Stoneman's Raid—Morgan's Raid in Indiana and Ohio.

There were now such immense armies in the field and military operations were conducted on so vast a scale that the reader must carefully study the situation in order to gain an intelligent idea of the progress of the momentous events. We will give our attention first to operations in the West.


There were four Union armies in that section. The first was the one under Rosecrans, which, on the opening days of the year, won the victory at Murfreesboro' or Stone River, an account of which is given in the preceding chapter. The second was near Holly Springs, under General Grant; a third was in New Orleans, under General Banks, who had succeeded General Butler; and the fourth was in Arkansas. The main object of all these armies was to open the Mississippi. When that should be accomplished, the Confederacy would be split in two. Hundreds of thousands of beeves were drawn from Texas and the country beyond the Mississippi, and to shut off this supply would be one of the most effective blows that could be struck against the rebellion.


General Sherman had failed to capture Vicksburg, and General Grant assumed command of the forces besieging it. He saw that the defenses facing the Mississippi and the lower part of the Yazoo were too powerful to be taken by storm. He decided as a consequence to turn the rear of the lines, and, securing an entrance into the upper part of the Yazoo, reach the rear of the batteries at Haines' Bluff.

In this important work he received valuable help from the ironclads of Admiral Porter. With one of them he opened communication with the squadron in the lower part of the Mississippi and disabled a Confederate steamer under the guns of Vicksburg. Two of the boats groped their way through the swamps and wooded creeks, where nothing more than canoes and dugouts had ventured before, obtained a great deal of cotton and burned much more, disregarded the torpedoes and fought the rebels along the banks, explored new routes, and in the end both were captured by the enemy.



Several ingenious plans were tried to capture these formidable fortifications. One was an attempt to force a passage into the Upper Yazoo. Another was to open a new channel for the Mississippi. Both were failures, but the levees along the Yazoo were cut and many acres in the rear of Vicksburg overflowed, while a great deal of Arkansas and Louisiana was flooded. The object of all this was to shut off the supplies of Vicksburg. Admiral Farragut now strove to pass from the lower Mississippi by the Port Hudson batteries to Vicksburg. The effort was made on the night of March 14th, which was of inky darkness. The approach was discovered by the enemy, who kindled large bonfires on the bank which revealed the passing vessels. The latter opened on the batteries with great effect, but only two, including the flagship, were able to get past, the thirteen being forced to turn back. The Mississippi ran aground and was set on fire and abandoned. With the two vessels in hand, Farragut blockaded the mouth of the Red River and gave valuable help to General Grant, but the land forces advancing from Baton Rouge to aid in the attack on Vicksburg turned back upon learning of the failure of Farragut's fleet to run past the batteries.

General Grant had set out to capture Vicksburg and nothing could turn him from his purpose. His aim was to sever the Confederate communications with the east by turning the defenses of the Yazoo and the Mississippi. General McClernand was sent in the latter part of March to occupy New Carthage to the south, while General Banks, by advancing from New Orleans, threatened Port Hudson in conjunction with the fleet lying near.

Banks' force was so large that the most the enemy could do was to delay his advance by burning bridges and obstructing the river. In the latter part of April, he established himself at Simmsport, near the junction of the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi. Admiral Porter, who was lying with his fleet above Vicksburg, now made the attempt to join Farragut below, and it proved one of the most exciting experiences of the war.


Naturally a dark night—April 16th—was selected, and eight gunboats, three transports, and several barges loaded with supplies silently dropped down the river in the impenetrable mist, while the thousands of Union troops intently watched the hulls as they melted from sight in the gloom. The hope was general that they would be able to float past undiscovered, and, when an hour of intense stillness went by, the watchers and listeners began to breathe more freely, though their anxiety was only partly lifted.



Suddenly two crimson lines of fire flamed along the river front, and the earth trembled under the stupendous explosion. The ships had been detected, and the river was swept by a tempest of shot and shell that it seemed must shatter to fragments every one of the craft. It should be remembered that these batteries extended for a long distance along the shore, and they opened one after the other, as the ships came opposite. Thus the fleet became the target of battery after battery, and had a continuous and extended gantlet to run before reaching safety.

The gunboats returned the fire as they swept by, and many of their shots were effective, but in such a duel the advantage is always with the land batteries. One of the transports was disabled, and another, directly behind her, had to stop to avoid running into the injured craft. The crew of the former, finding themselves the centre of a terrific fire, launched the yawl, and, leaping into it, pulled for the shore. They had scarcely left their vessel when it was fired by a shell, and, aflame from stem to stern, it drifted down stream. Meanwhile, the transport that had grounded was towed out of danger. With this exception, the whole fleet got safely past, the loss being only one man killed and two wounded on Porter's flagship.

General Grant was greatly pleased with this success. A few nights later a second attempt was successful. He was thus enabled to send supplies to the army, with which he intended to attack Vicksburg on the south. Gradually shifting his own position, he reached a point opposite Grand Gulf, a short distance below the mouth of the Big Black River.


Although Grand Gulf was strongly fortified its quick capture was a necessity. McClernand had been ordered several times to attack it, but he was so laggard that Grant himself undertook the task. It proved one of extreme difficulty, and he was obliged to make a change of plans, but he handled his troops with admirable skill and with such effect that the Confederate commander's position at Grand Gulf became untenable and he withdrew. Grant rode into town and found the place in the possession of Admiral Farragut.

The success was so brilliant that Pemberton, the Confederate general commanding the forces at Vicksburg, became alarmed and telegraphed to General Jo Johnston for reinforcements, but Johnston was too much occupied with Rosecrans in Tennessee to spare any of his men, and about all he could do was to send encouraging words to his subordinate.


General Grant never displayed his great genius more strikingly than in the operations before Vicksburg. For days and nights he seemed scarcely to eat or sleep. He was here, there, and everywhere, and was familiar with all the minute details of his momentous enterprise. General Pemberton confessed in his reports that the amazing activity of Grant "embarrassed him."

Grand Gulf was made the base of operations, and, well aware that reinforcements would be hurried to the garrison, Grant hastened his movements. While pressing his attack he learned that Johnston was at Jackson with a strong force, with which to reinforce Pemberton. He immediately dispatched McPherson and Sherman thither, and, after a fierce fight, Jackson was captured. Grant learned from deserters that Johnston, the chief Confederate commander in that section, had sent peremptory orders to Pemberton to leave Vicksburg and attack him in the rear. The latter, with his usual promptness, met this danger, and, by decisively defeating the enemy at Champion Hill, he accomplished the splendid feat of keeping Johnston out of Vicksburg and Pemberton in. It was a great exploit, for Jo Johnston was one of the ablest generals of the war, and the fine campaign which he had planned was brought to naught. Not only was he kept out of Vicksburg, but it was made impossible for him to send any help to Pemberton, around whom the Union commander was drawing the coils more tightly each day.



Still the defenses of Vicksburg were too powerful to be captured by storm, and Grant did the only thing possible—he besieged the city. The siege began about the middle of May. The garrison had provisions for barely two months, from which they had to supply the inhabitants of the town. Jo Johnston saw the peril and set to work with such vigor to raise a force to send to the relief of Pemberton, that Grant was hurried into making an assault on the rebel works. This took place before daylight on the morning of May 19th. Though successful at first, the Federals were repulsed. A grand assault was undertaken three days later and pressed with the utmost bravery, but it resulted in another repulse, in which the loss of the assailants was three times greater than that of the defenders. Porter tried to help with his fleet, but his vessels were so badly injured by the batteries that they were compelled to withdraw from action.

This failure showed that it was useless to try to capture Vicksburg except through a regular siege, which was pressed henceforth without intermission. Shells were thrown into the doomed city night and day; the people lived in caves, on short rations, and underwent miseries and sufferings which it is hard to comprehend in these days. All the time Grant was edging closer and closer. Parallels and approaches were constructed; mines sunk and countermining done. Several attempts were made to relieve Vicksburg, but the bulldog-like grip of Grant could not be loosened, and the condition of the garrison became much like that of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781.


The defenders displayed the greatest bravery and endurance, and held out until the time came when it was apparent that it was a choice between surrender and starving to death. That man who prefers to starve rather than submit to a magnanimous foe is a fool. Pemberton had 21,000 troops under his command, but 6,000 were in the hospitals, while Grant had fully 60,000 soldiers waiting and eager to make the assault. On the 3d of July, a flag of truce was displayed in front of Vicksburg, and a message was sent to the Union commander, asking for an armistice with a view of arranging for the capitulation of Vicksburg. Grant's reply was his usual one, that the only terms he could accept were unconditional surrender, and he, therefore, declined to appoint commissioners.

The commanders then met between the lines, and Grant agreed that the garrison should be paroled and allowed to go to their homes, and that the city, stores, arms, and supplies should belong to the conquerors. Although the Union commander's terms "unconditional surrender" sounded harsh, they always proved of a generous nature. There was a good deal of criticism in the South of Pemberton for selecting the 4th of July for making his submission, since the Union people would be sure to make a greater ado over it. Pemberton's explanation was that he believed Grant would be more disposed to give him liberal terms on that date than on any other, and it would not be strange if he was partly right.


The capture of Vicksburg was one of the most important Union successes of the war. In his official report, Grant thus summarized the results of his campaign: "The defeat of the enemy in five battles outside of Vicksburg; the occupation of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi; and the capture of Vicksburg, its garrison and munitions of war; a loss to the enemy of 37,000 prisoners, at least 10,000 killed and wounded, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, who can never be collected or reorganized. Arms and munitions of war for an army of 60,000 men have fallen into our hands, beside a large amount of other public property and much that was destroyed to prevent our capturing it."

Thus one of the great objects of the war was accomplished. The Mississippi was opened throughout its entire length and the Confederacy cut in twain. That President Davis felt the gravity of the blow (to which one still more decisive was added about the same time) was proven by his proclamation calling into service all persons in the Confederacy not legally exempt, who were between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years. He also appointed the 21st of August as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.

Grant's magnificent success greatly increased his popularity in the North. His praises were in every one's mouth; he was declared to be the ablest military leader that had yet appeared, and more than one saw in him the coming saviour of the Union.

Perhaps it is slightly premature to say that the Mississippi was opened from the hour of the surrender of Vicksburg. Port Hudson held out, but its fall was a corollary of that of the more important city. It had stoutly resisted several attacks, but, realizing the hopelessness of his situation, the Confederate commander surrendered on the 9th of July, and the opening of the Mississippi was fully completed.


The reader will recall that the battle of Murfreesboro' took place at the very beginning of the year. Rosecrans, the Union commander, never repeated the brilliant skill he had shown in fighting Bragg on Stone River. He seemed to think that that repulse of the enemy was sufficient to last a good while, for he remained idle throughout the several months that followed. There were a number of brisk skirmishes and fights, but none was of importance. When June arrived without anything of account having been accomplished, the government suggested to Rosecrans that it was time he took steps to drive Bragg into Georgia and thus secure Eastern Tennessee, where the sentiment was strongly Union.

Rosecrans hesitated, but upon receiving a stronger intimation that he ought to be up and doing, he began a series of movements, in the latter part of June, which caused Bragg to withdraw to Chattanooga, where he intrenched himself. Burnside then advanced from Ohio into Eastern Tennessee, but was so delayed that Bragg was heavily reinforced from Virginia. To protect his communications, he fell back, however, upon the approach of the Federal army, which occupied Chattanooga.

Unaware of the increased strength of the enemy, Rosecrans divided his army into three columns, separated by wide spaces of mountains, and marched in loose order against his foe, observing which Bragg determined to overwhelm each of the columns in detail.

The first demonstration was against General George H. Thomas, who commanded the Federal left, and was encamped at the foot of Lookout Mountain. That splendid officer eluded the enemy launched against him, and effected a junction with the other two corps.

At the same time the centre of the three columns was attacked, but the assault was repulsed, and the reunited Union army on the 18th of September stood on the western bank of the Chickamauga, which stream was well named, for the Indian word means "the river of death." The position was twelve miles from Chattanooga, and it was a perilous one, for, as has been stated, Bragg had been heavily reinforced, and Longstreet with a powerful column of veterans from Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was approaching. He, therefore, decided to make an attempt to recover Chattanooga.


The Confederates crossed the Chickamauga, and, on the morning of the 19th, Rosecrans opened the battle by attacking the enemy's right wing. The entire armies were soon involved, and the fighting lasted until nightfall, with the result in favor of the Confederates. Although forced from several positions, they gained and held the road leading to Chattanooga, and the Union troops were driven almost to the base of Missionary Ridge.

Late that night, Longstreet arrived with his fire-seasoned veterans. He was one of Lee's best lieutenants, and it was arranged that the battle should be renewed the next morning at daybreak, with Longstreet commanding the left wing. From some cause, the Confederate attack was delayed until ten o'clock, the delay giving the Federals time to throw up a number of breastworks. Against these Bragg repeatedly charged with his right wing, but was repulsed each time.

Thomas, in command of the Union left, also repelled a sharp attack, but Longstreet routed Rosecrans, and, discerning a gap caused by the transfer of the Union centre to strengthen the left, Longstreet led his men impetuously into the opening, thus splitting the Union army in two. Striking in both directions, he threw the two divisions into such disorder and confusion that the frightened Rosecrans galloped in hot haste to Chattanooga to secure his supply train and the pontoon-bridges over the Tennessee. At the same time, he telegraphed the terrifying tidings to Washington that the whole Union army had been beaten.


At a crisis in the tremendous battle, General Hood, one of the Confederate leaders, was wounded, and a halt was made until another officer could be brought up to take his place. Short as was the delay, it gave the Unionists time to rally and strengthen their endangered points. Despite this advantage, the telegram of Rosecrans would have been verified and the magnificent army destroyed except for one man. He was George H. Thomas, the heroic commander of the Union left. Longstreet launched his veterans against him again and again, but he beat them back in every instance. Never did men fight more bravely than those Americans, arrayed against each other, and never was finer generalship displayed than by General Thomas, whose wonderful defense that day won for him the name by which he will always be remembered—"The Rock of Chickamauga."


"The Rock of Chickamauga."

Holding his heroes well in hand, Thomas was ready to renew the battle the next day, but Bragg did not molest him. The Confederates, however, had won a victory, for they drove the Federals from the field and retained possession of it. Thomas fell slowly back toward Chattanooga, presenting a firm front to the enemy.

Chickamauga ranks as one of the great battles of the war. The Union losses were: killed, 1,656; wounded, 9,749; missing, 4,774; total, 16,179. The Confederate losses were: killed, 2,268; wounded, 13,613; captured and missing, 1,090; total, 16,971.


Rosecrans' conduct of this battle caused his supersedure by Thomas, while several division commanders were suspended, pending an inquiry into their course. President Davis removed General Leonidas Polk, who was thought to have shown hesitancy of action at critical points. Bragg, however, was the most blamable, for, with the advantage overwhelmingly in his favor, he refused to permit Longstreet to follow up his success. One of the peculiarities of the Confederate President was his strong likes and dislikes. He was a personal enemy of Jo Johnston, and more than once humiliated him, but he was also a friend of Bragg, and, in the face of indignant protests, retained him in chief command in the southwest.

As soon as the Union army reached Chattanooga intrenchments were thrown up. Bragg appeared before the town on the 23d, and, finding the position too strong to be carried by assault, he laid siege to it. The situation of the army became so dangerous that great uneasiness was felt in Washington, where the wise step was taken of sending General Grant thither, with his appointment to the command of the entire West. Abundant reinforcements were hurried to the imperiled point, the entire Eleventh and Twelfth Corps from the Army of the Potomac forming the principal commands. The Federals became much the stronger, but Bragg did not abandon his siege of Chattanooga.

Recalling the advance of Burnside from the Ohio to the relief of Rosecrans, it should be stated that he did not arrive in time to take part in the battle of Chickamauga, but occupied Knoxville on the 9th of September. Bragg sent Longstreet with a strong force to attack Burnside, the Confederate commander thereby weakening his army, which could ill stand it. Grant arrived at Chattanooga on the night of October 20th, and telegraphed Burnside to hold Knoxville at all hazards, while he gave his attention to Bragg.

Sherman came up with his troops November 15th, and a week later Grant had an army of 80,000 men on the ground, while the removal of Longstreet left Bragg with only 50,000. His line, twelve miles long, embraced two elevations commanding a view of Chattanooga Valley. Lookout Mountain was on the south, while Missionary Ridge on the east was not quite so high. The Confederate left wing rested on the former, and the right on Missionary Ridge, with the Chattanooga flowing between. Bragg was justified in considering his position impregnable.


Grant, however, held a different opinion. On the night of the 23d the enemy's picket lines were forced back and an improved position secured. The following morning, Hooker, having already crossed the river, was ordered to attack the position on Lookout Mountain. His movements were hidden for a time by a dense fog, and it was his intention to stop as soon as the enemy's rifle-pits at the base were captured; but, when this was accomplished, the men were carried away by their enthusiasm, noting which Hooker ordered them to charge the Confederate position. Up the mountain the cheering, eager fellows swept with irresistible valor. The Stars and Stripes was planted on the crest and 2,000 of the fleeing Confederates were made prisoners. The fog still lay heavy in the valley below, a fact which has led to the battle being called the "Battle above the Clouds."


The following morning was also foggy, but, when it lifted, Sherman's corps was seen advancing against the Confederate right, close to Chickamauga station. In the face of a heavy artillery fire the Federals pressed on, but at the end of an hour they were compelled to retreat. By order of Grant the attack was renewed, but another severe repulse followed. Next a general movement against the left centre was ordered, and this was successful. The enemy was driven in confusion toward Ringgold, to the southeast, while a large number of prisoners and a vast amount of supplies were captured.

General Hooker pursued and drove the Confederates out of Ringgold, but they assumed so strong a position at Taylor's Ridge that Grant ordered him not to attack, but to remain and hold Ringgold, Sherman, in the meantime, marching against Longstreet. Bragg had blundered so much in conducting this disastrous campaign that President Davis was forced to replace him with Hardee.


Meanwhile, Longstreet was besieging Burnside at Knoxville, where the 15,000 Union troops were threatened with starvation. The town was invested November 17th, and the next day some of the outworks were carried. Well aware that Grant, after his defeat of Bragg, would hurry to the relief of Knoxville, Longstreet attacked on the 29th, but suffered a bloody repulse. He stubbornly held his ground until he learned that Sherman was close upon him, when he withdrew and started on his march to Virginia. The campaign soon ended in Tennessee, which was virtually recovered to the Union.

The reader will note that we have described the leading events in the West and Southwest from the opening of the year to its close. Once more it is necessary to return to January, 1863, in order to give a history of the most important campaign of all—that against Richmond, which was defended by the formidable Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of General Robert E. Lee.


Burnside's management of the attack on Fredericksburg in December, 1862, was so incompetent and disastrous that it was impossible for him to retain the chief command. Knowing that several of his generals had severely criticised him, Burnside sent a list of names to Washington, giving the government the choice of removing them or accepting his resignation. Prominent on Burnside's "black list" was the name of Hooker. On the 26th of January Burnside's resignation was accepted, and Hooker was made his successor.

The morale of the grand organization had been injured by its wretched leadership, but the material itself could not have been finer. Hooker set resolutely to work, and, by the 1st of May, the army was well trained and disciplined, and numbered 130,000 men, of whom fully 12,000 were cavalry. Lee had about half as many troops.

Knowing it would not do to remain idle when the beautiful spring weather came, Hooker had been carefully planning for another campaign against Richmond. He had won a fine reputation for himself as a fighter and skillful corps commander, and the hopes were high that he would lead his superb army directly into the rebel capital. Everything seemed to be in his favor, and the campaign opened promisingly.


Hooker's plan was to assail Lee at two points. The Rappahannock and Rapidan were to be crossed a short distance west of Fredericksburg, and the left wing attacked. While this was going on, Hooker's own left wing was to occupy the heights and secure possession of the Richmond Railroad. The powerful Union cavalry were to ride around Lee's position and cut off his retreat to Richmond. This involved the destruction of the railroads and bridges over the North and South Anna Rivers.

This important movement was begun April 27th. The main portion of the corps of Meade, Howard, and Slocum, numbering 36,000 men, marched thirty miles up the Rappahannock and crossed the stream without resistance. A force then moved ten miles down the other side of the river, driving away several Confederate detachments, and opened the way for Couch with 12,000 men to cross and join the other three corps. Taking different routes, the 48,000 advanced toward Chancellorsville, which had been named as the rendezvous. They were soon followed by Sickles with 18,000 men.

It was not until the Union movement had progressed thus far that Lee read its purpose. He hastily called in his divisions, and, on the forenoon of May 1st, the Army of Northern Virginia was drawn up in battle-line in front of that dense-wooded district known as the Wilderness.

Exultingly confident, Hooker ordered an advance that day from near Chancellorsville toward Fredericksburg. Hardly had he started when he learned that Lee was moving against him; he, therefore, paused and threw up defenses. His aim was to flank Lee, and, to prevent it, the Confederate commander took desperate chances. Keeping up a rattling demonstration in front he sent Stonewall Jackson with 30,000 men around the right of the Union army. Had Hooker known of this daring movement, he could easily have crushed each division in detail.


Jackson carried out his programme with fearful completeness. Without his purpose being suspected, he traveled fifteen miles, reaching the road leading from Orange to Fredericksburg, on the southern side of the Rapidan. He was thus within two miles of General Howard's Eleventh Corps. The men were preparing supper with no thought of danger, when the air was suddenly split by thousands of "rebel yells," and the graybacks rushed out of the woods and swept everything before them. The whole Eleventh Corps broke into a wild panic, and ran for their lives toward Chancellorsville.

The German division especially, under the command of Carl Schurz, were irrestrainable in their terror.

The majority, however, stood their ground bravely, and their commanders put forth every effort to stop the wild stampede. A partial success was attained, and the artillery poured in a fire which checked the pursuit. Fortunately night was at hand, and the fighting soon ceased. The position of the Union army was critical in the extreme. It was squeezed in between Chancellorsville and the fork of the two rivers. What fate awaited it on the morrow?



At this juncture, the Confederate cause received the severest blow in its history. That remarkable man, Stonewall Jackson, was confident that the destruction of the Union army was at hand, and he was impatient for the morrow that he might complete the fearful work. In the dusk of early evening he rode forward, accompanied by several of his staff, to reconnoitre the Union position. Passing beyond the outer line of skirmishers, the party halted in the gloom and peered toward the Federal lines. Dimly discerned by a South Carolina regiment, they were mistaken for the enemy, and a volley was fired at them. One of the staff was killed and two wounded. Comprehending the blunder, Jackson wheeled and galloped into the woods, but before the shelter could be reached, the South Carolinians fired a second time.

Jackson was struck twice in the left arm and once in the right hand. His frightened horse whirled about and plunged away. A limb knocked off his hat and came near unseating him, but he managed to keep in the saddle and guide his steed into the road, where one of his staff helped him to the ground and supported him to the foot of a tree where he was laid down. He was suffering so keenly that he could not walk, and was carried on a litter to the rear. For a part of the way, all were exposed to such a hot artillery fire that they had to pause several times and lie down.



The wound grew so bad that the arm was amputated, but pneumonia followed, and Jackson died on Sunday, May 10th. His last words, uttered in his delirium, were: "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shadow of the trees."


The fighting at Chancellorsville was renewed at daylight, May 3d. General Stuart succeeded to the command of Jackson's corps. The superior numbers of the Union army and its compact formation gave it all the advantage. It needed but one thing to insure overwhelming success: that was competent leadership, and that was the one thing which it did not have.


After his first great victory at Chancellorsville, "Stonewall" Jackson believed that the destruction of the Union army was at hand, and in his impatience for the morrow, that he might complete the work, he rode in the dusk of the evening beyond his outposts to reconnoiter. A South Carolina regiment mistook his party for the enemy and fired upon them, mortally wounding their great commander.

With the weaker army still separated, it forced the Federals back toward the river, where Hooker was compelled to form a second line. Holding him there, Lee turned toward Sedgwick, who was at Fredericksburg with 25,000 men. He had a good opportunity to assail Lee in the rear, but failed to do so, and gave his efforts to capturing Marye's Heights, which was defended by a weak garrison. It was easily taken, and Sedgwick sent a column in the direction of Chancellorsville. On the road it encountered some breastworks, thrown up by the force which Lee had dispatched to check Sedgwick's advance. He was driven back, and the rebels, having been reinforced, recaptured Marye's Heights. Sedgwick made a hurried retreat, and thenceforward formed no factor in the battle.

Having disposed of him, Lee turned again upon Hooker. Early on the 5th, he placed a number of his guns within range of United States Ford and dropped a few shells among the wagon trains. Nothing, however, was accomplished on this day, except that the dry and parched woods were set on fire, and many of the wounded who were unable to help themselves were burned to death. Every horror that can be conceived as to war was added to the awful scene.


A heavy rainstorm caused the Rapidan and Rappahannock to rise so rapidly that Hooker decided, after consulting his officers, to get back while he had the chance to do so. The bridges were covered with pine boughs, and, with the noise of the wheels deadened by the crashing thunder, the wagons and artillery made the passage without discovery. By the following morning, the entire Army of the Potomac was once more across the Rappahannock and marching back to its old camp at Falmouth, and once more the advance against Richmond had ended in woeful disaster.

The losses of the Unionists at Chancellorsville were: killed, 1,606; wounded, 9,762; missing, 5,919; total, 17,287. The losses of the Confederates were: killed, 1,665; wounded, 9,081; captured and missing, 2,018; total, 12,764.


After such a frightful Union defeat, it was no wonder that the Confederates again decided to invade the North. Lee was not favorable to the plan, but he must have felt that the prospect of success was better than ever before. He made his preparations with great care, and strengthened his army to 75,000 men, divided into three corps, commanded respectively by Longstreet, Ewell, and A.P. Hill. He had in addition 15,000 cavalry under General J.E.B. ("Jeb") Stuart.

The northward march was begun the first week in June. Longstreet and Ewell advanced upon Culpeper, while Hill remained near Fredericksburg, aiming to deceive Hooker as to his intentions. Hooker quickly perceived that most of the rebel army had disappeared from his front, but it was a mystery to him where it had gone. A reconnoissance developed the direction taken by the two missing corps. Unsuspicious of the grand project that was in the mind of the Confederate commander, Hooker moved down the Shenandoah Valley, taking the same course as Lee, but with the Blue Ridge Mountains between them.


Passing through the defiles in this range, Lee dropped down on Milroy at Winchester before he dreamed of danger. Most of his 7,000 men were captured, but Milroy and a few escaped by a hurried flight at night. All doubt now had vanished as to the intentions of Lee; he was aiming for Pennsylvania, at the head of a powerful, well-organized army; Washington and probably Philadelphia were in peril. The only check that could block its way was the Army of the Potomac, and Hooker lost no time in moving. He reached Fairfax Court-House on the night of the 14th, thus placing himself on the flank of Ewell. The Confederates, however, held the mountain passes securely and nothing effective could be done.


ROBERT E. LEE. (1807-1870)
Confederate Commander-in-chief at Gettysburg.

On the 22d the headquarters of Lee were at Beverly, ten miles from Winchester, with which Lee kept up communication through A.P. Hill's corps, which was between Culpeper and Front Royal. Ewell, without hesitation, forded the Potomac into Maryland, while his cavalry pushed on into Pennsylvania.

By this time the government was so alarmed that President Lincoln, on the 15th of June, called by proclamation on the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia to furnish 100,000 militia for the protection of those States. Pennsylvania, the one in greatest danger, was so laggard that she asked New Jersey to come to her help, and that little State gallantly did so.


Hooker deserved credit for appreciating his own unfitness for the command of the army that was again to fight Lee. He crossed the Potomac June 26th, making a movement which threatened Lee's communications, and resigned the next day. At Frederick, on the 28th, he published an order to the effect that the army had been placed in charge of Major-General George G. Meade.

This was an excellent appointment. Although Meade was born, in 1815, in Cadiz, Spain, he was an American, because his father was the United States naval agent at the time. Meade was graduated from West Point in 1835, and won distinction in the war with the Seminoles and with Mexico. The appointment was a surprise to him, but it pleased everybody, and he modestly took hold, resolved to do the best he could.


He adhered to the general plan of Hooker. His army numbered about 100,000, and no braver men lived anywhere. Nearly all of Lee's troops were north of the Potomac, partly in Maryland and partly in Pennsylvania. On the 27th of June the whole army was at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; but Lee was greatly hampered by the absence of Stuart and his cavalry. That dashing officer was very fond of making raids, and, giving a wider meaning to the permission of Lee than that general intended, he was off on another of his bold ventures, with no certainty as to when he would return. It was upon him that Lee was obliged to depend for news of the Union army. Receiving none, he was on the point of advancing against Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, when he paused upon receiving the first reliable news of the Army of the Potomac.

Meade had pushed his advance beyond Middleton, where his left was lying when he took command of the army at Frederick. This action of the Union commander looked as if he intended to cross the mountains and attack the Confederate rear. Ewell's corps was at York and Carlisle, but still there was no knowledge whatever of the whereabouts of Stuart.

Lee now attempted to draw Meade away from the Potomac by concentrating his army to the east of the mountains. Hill and Longstreet advanced to Gettysburg, while Ewell was ordered to do the same. Lee himself lagged in the hope that Stuart would join him, and because of that, Meade, who was keenly on the alert, arrived in the neighborhood of Gettysburg first. On the last day of June, he was within a few miles of the town, while Lee was somewhat to the north and making for the same place.

Stuart and his cavalry had harassed the Army of the Potomac in Virginia, but, unable to stay its advance, they crossed the Potomac, and, moving to the east of Meade, entered Carlisle shortly after Ewell had left for Gettysburg. Stuart's delay was owing to the fact that he did not know Lee's whereabouts.


The two mighty armies were now within striking distance of each other. It was yet early in the day when a collision took place between a Confederate division and Reynolds' Corps on the western side of the town. Reynolds was one of the best officers in the Union army. He was engaged in directing the movements of his troops when he was struck in the head by a rifle bullet and instantly killed. General Doubleday succeeded him in command, but was unable to drive back the enemy. Howard arrived with the Eleventh Corps early in the afternoon and took charge of the whole force. These were mainly composed of Germans, who were so overwhelmingly stampeded by Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. They did not appear to have recovered from that panic, for they fled pell-mell through Gettysburg, with the enemy whooping at their heels. Nearly all who did not run were cut down or they surrendered.

Meade had sent Hancock to take chief command, and, aided by Howard, he rallied the shattered corps on the crest of Culp's Hill, behind the town. The keen eye of Hancock was quick to see that it was here the decisive struggle must take place, and he sent an urgent message to Meade, fifteen miles away, to lose not an hour in hurrying his troops forward. Meade followed the counsel. Some of his men arrived that night, some the next morning, while those from the greatest distance did not come in until the following afternoon.

The line as formed by Hancock extended along Cemetery Hill on the west and south of Gettysburg. It was a formidable position, and Lee, after carefully studying it, decided to await the arrival of Longstreet and Ewell with their corps before making his attack. Events proved that the decision was a disastrous mistake on the part of the Confederate commander.

When the sultry first day of July drew to a close, the Federal right held Culp's Hill, the centre Cemetery Hill, the left was along Cemetery Ridge, and the reserve on the right. This line curved in the form of a horseshoe, with the projecting portion facing Gettysburg. Sedgwick, it will be remembered, had not arrived, but the force was composed of a hundred thousand veterans who had 200 cannon at command.

That night the Confederates were in Gettysburg and a part of the country to the east and west. Ewell formed the left and held the town; Seminary Ridge was occupied by Hill's Corps, and confronted the centre and left of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. When Pickett's division came up on the 3d, it was placed on the right of Hill's position and faced Round Top.

Most of the succeeding day was spent by both armies in preparing for the tremendous death-grapple. At about five o'clock in the afternoon, having become convinced that the left and left centre of the Union line were the weakest points, Lee directed his efforts against them. They were held by Sickles, who made a blunder by advancing a portion of his force beyond the battle-line and seizing a ridge. It was because of this blunder that the first Confederate attack was made at that point.

Longstreet and Ewell opened with a sharp cannonade, under cover of which Hood's division impetuously assaulted Sickles' left. He drove his right wing between Sickles left and Little Round Top, and was steadily succeeding in his purpose, when one of those apparently trifling things, for which no one can account, interfered and brought about momentous results.


The Union commander-in-chief at Gettysburg.

Little Round Top was the key to the position, and yet it had no real defenders. Had Hood known this, he could have seized it without the slightest difficulty. Perceiving its importance, he began working his way toward it, and only some extraordinary interference could prevent it speedily falling into his possession.

But General Gouverneur Warren, chief engineer, and his officers had climbed Little Round Top and were using it as a signal station. Soon the shots began flying so fast about them that they made hurried preparations to leave. Warren, however, saw the importance of holding the hill, and told his associates to make a pretense of doing so, while he looked around for a force to bring to the spot.

Fortunately, a large body of reinforcements were hurrying past to Sickles, who had sent an urgent call for them. Without hesitation, General Warren detached a brigade for the defense of Little Round Top. They ran up the slope, dragging a battery with them. Hardly had they done so, when Hood made a fierce charge. The fighting was of the most furious nature, and it looked for a time as if the yelling Texans would carry the hill, but they were forced back, and, pressing their way up the ravine at the foot, turned the left Union flank, but were forced again to retire by a bayonet charge.

Sickles called for reinforcements when attacked by Longstreet, but with their aid he could not hold his position. He was rushed back by the terrific fighter, and Longstreet gained and held the key-point of the line against the repeated assaults of the Union troops. Not only that, but he was resistlessly advancing, when more reinforcements arrived and attacked him just as he reached a wheatfield and grove of woods on the western side of Plum Run. The Confederates were beginning to give way, when Hood, having carried Sickles' extreme left, arrived. A vehement charge carried Hood through two divisions that were doubled back on their main line on Cemetery Ridge; Sickles' left having been crushed, his centre and right were assailed, and the latter was driven back. In the fighting Sickles lost a leg as well as his entire advanced position.

The close of the 2d of July brought brilliant, but only partial, success to the Confederates. After reaching Cemetery Ridge, Longstreet's men were repulsed by Hancock. The Confederate commander fell back to the western side of the wheatfield, where he remained until morning. Ewell, impetuously attacking the Union right centre at Cemetery and Culp's Hill, kept back Federal reinforcements from reaching the left, which Longstreet was pounding, drove out the Federal artillery and infantry, and held the works. This was a most important success, and, if Ewell could maintain his position throughout the morrow, General Lee would have a chance of taking Meade's line in reverse. The conclusion of the second day, therefore, left matters in dubious shape for both sides. While the Confederates had made gains, they were not decisive. Still they were such as to cause grave concern on the part of Meade and his brother officers, who held a long, anxious consultation, and discussed the question whether it was not wise to fall back and assume a new and stronger position. The decision was to remain where they were.


Naturally Lee strengthened his force near where Ewell had secured a lodgment within the breastworks of Culp's Hill, with the purpose of making his main attack there; but Meade could not fail to see the utmost importance of driving out the enemy from his position. He shelled it at daylight on the 3d, and sent a strong body of infantry against the intruders. The Confederates made a desperate resistance, but in the end were expelled, and the Union line re-established.

It will be seen that this miscalculation of Lee compelled him to change his plans. Sitting on his horse, riding back and forth, often halting and scanning the battlefield through his glasses, and continually consulting his officers, he finally decided to direct his supreme effort against the Union centre. Success there meant the defeat and rout of the Union army, for, if the two wings could be wedged apart, they would be overwhelmed and destroyed by the charging Confederates.

But the impressive fact was as well known to the Federals as to their enemies, and nothing was neglected that could add to the strength of their position. All night long troops kept arriving, and in the moonlight were assigned to their positions for the morrow. It took Lee several hours to complete his preparations for the assault upon the Union centre. At noon he had 145 cannon posted on Seminary Ridge, opposite Meade's centre, while Meade had 80 pieces of artillery lined along the crest of Cemetery Hill.


At noon the Confederates opened with all their cannon, their object being to silence the batteries in front, to clear the way for the charge against the Union centre. The eighty Federal pieces replied, and for two hours the earth rocked under the most prodigious cannonade ever heard on this side of the Atlantic. Then the Union fire gradually ceased, and, as the vast volume of smoke slowly lifted, a column of 5,000 gray-coated men were seen to issue from the Confederate lines more than a mile away and advance at a steady stride toward the Union intrenchments. Their bayonets shone in the afternoon sun, and their fluttering battle-flags, the splendid precision of their step, and their superb soldierly appearance made so thrilling a picture that an involuntary murmur of admiration ran along the Union lines, even though these same men were advancing to kill and wound them.

They formed the division of General George E. Pickett, and no more magnificent charge was ever made. They advanced in a double line, their own artillery ceasing firing as they gradually passed within range with beautiful regular step, which seemed to hasten, as if even with their perfect discipline they could not restrain, their eagerness to join in the death-grapple.

last shot


The Union artillery remained silent until half the space was crossed, when it burst forth, and the Confederates went down by the score. The gaps could be seen from every point of the immense field, but those who were unhurt immediately closed up and continued their dauntless advance without a tremor. Coming still closer under the murderous artillery fire, they broke into the double-quick, and it looked as if nothing could check them.

Waiting until within a few hundred yards, the artillery and musketry blazed forth again. Through a misconception of orders, the Confederate line had become disjointed, and the supports of Pickett were repelled and a large number killed or taken prisoners, but Pickett's own division came on unfalteringly, let fly with a volley at the breastworks in front of them, and then, with their resounding yells, dashed up the crest of Cemetery Ridge and drove out the defenders at the point of the bayonet.

Immediately the hand-to-hand fighting became like that of so many tigers. Guns were clubbed, men wrestled and fought and struck with their bare fists, while a fire was converged upon the assailants of so murderous a nature that even the daring Pickett saw that every one of his men would be killed, if they remained. He gave the order to fall back, and the survivors broke into a run down the slope for their own lines.


"General, my noble division is swept away."

Pickett's charge ranks among the famous in modern history, and was one of the most striking incidents of the war. The double column which marched across that fire-swept field numbered 5,000 of the flower of the Confederate army. Thirty-five hundred were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. Of the three brigade commanders, one was killed, the second mortally wounded, and the third badly hurt. One only of the fourteen field officers returned, and out of the twenty-four regimental officers, only two were unhurt. The ferocity of the charge resulted in many deaths among the Unionists, and General Hancock was painfully wounded, but refused to leave the field until the struggle was over.

And all this valor had gone for naught. The Southerners had attempted an impossible thing, and the penalty was fearful. Unspeakably depressed, General Lee saw the return of the staggering, bleeding survivors, and, riding among them, he did all he could to cheer the mute sufferers by his sympathetic words. He insisted that the failure was wholly his own fault, and that not a word of censure should be visited upon anyone else.

The expectation of the Confederates was that the Federals would follow up this repulse with an immediate advance, and preparations were hurriedly made to repel it; but the ammunition was low on Cemetery Ridge, and the furious struggle had exhausted the defenders. Day was closing and the great battle of Gettysburg was ended.


The Union losses were: killed, 3,070; wounded, 14,497; missing, 5,434; total, 23,001. The Confederate losses were: killed, 2,592; wounded, 12,706; captured and missing, 5,150; total, 20,448. To quote from Fox's "Regimental Losses in the American Civil War:" "Gettysburg was the greatest battle of the war; Antietam the bloodiest; the largest army was assembled by the Confederates in the Seven Days' Fight; by the Unionists at the Wilderness."


Gettysburg has been styled the Waterloo of the Southern Confederacy. "Highest tide" was reached by its fortunes during those three first days in July, 1863. Lee put forth his supreme effort, and the result was defeat. He and his leading generals clearly saw that their cause had received its death-blow, and, as one of them expressed it, the fighting thenceforward was for terms. They were not yet conquered, and severe work remained to be done, but never again did the Lost Cause come so near success. Its sun, having reached meridian, must now go down until it should set forever in gloom, disaster, and ruin.

General Lee could not fail to perceive that all that remained to him was to leave the country before overtaken by irretrievable disaster. He withdrew Ewell's Corps that night from Gettysburg and posted it on Seminary Ridge, where intrenchments were thrown up. The town was occupied by Meade, and the dismal morrow was spent by the Confederates in burying their dead and removing their wounded. At night the retreat was begun by the Chambersburg and Fairfield roads, which enter the Cumberland Valley through the South Mountain range. Great battles always produce violent storms, and one of these added to the unspeakable wretchedness of the homeward march. Finding Lee was retreating, Meade sent Sedgwick in pursuit. The rear guard was overtaken on the night of the 6th, but its position was too strong to be attacked and the Union army took a route parallel to that of the Confederate. There was considerable skirmishing, but nothing decisive occurred, and the retiring army reached Hagerstown, where it found the fords of the Potomac so swollen as to be impassable. Lee, therefore, intrenched, and stayed where he was until the 13th, by which time the river had fallen sufficiently to be forded, and he once more re-entered Virginia. Meade, fearful that the great prize was about to escape him, made strenuous efforts to intercept him, but failed, and returned to the Rappahannock, while Lee established himself in the neighborhood of Culpeper.



A period of inactivity now followed. Both Meade and Lee sent strong detachments from their armies to the southwest, where, as we have seen, they had the most active kind of service at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Knoxville, and other places. When Lee had considerably depleted his forces, Meade thought the prospect of success warranted his making a move against him. Accordingly, he sent his cavalry across the Rappahannock, whereupon Lee withdrew to a position behind the Rapidan, which was so strong that Meade dared not attack, and he, therefore, attempted a flank movement. Before, however, it could be carried out, he was called upon to send two more of his corps to the southwest, because of the defeat of Rosecrans at Chickamauga. These corps were the Eleventh and Twelfth under the command of Hooker.

This withdrawal compelled Meade to give up his purpose, and he remained on the defensive. By-and-by, when the troops were returned to him, he prepared once more to advance, but Lee anticipated him by an effort to pass around his right flank and interpose between him and Washington. Crossing the Rapidan on the 9th of October, he moved swiftly to Madison Court-House, without detection by Meade, who did not learn of it until the next day, when his outpost was attacked and driven back on the main army at Culpeper. This was proof that the Union right flank had been turned, and Meade immediately started his trains toward the Rappahannock, following a few hours later with his army. On the further side of Bull Run, he fortified himself so strongly that Lee saw it was useless to advance further, and, on the 18th of October, he returned to the line of the Rappahannock.

Meade started for Richmond on the 7th of November. The Confederates were found occupying earthworks on the north of the Rappahannock. An impetuous assault drove them out and across the river. Meade pushed on to Culpeper, and Lee hurriedly retreated across the Rapidan.

Meade's judgment was that no further advance should be made, but the clamor of the North forced him to try another of the many attempts to capture Richmond. He crossed the river on the 26th and 27th of November, his aim being to divide the Confederate army by a rapid march on Orange Court-House. But it seemed as if the flood-gates of heaven were then opened. The rain fell in torrents day and night, and the country became a sea of mud and water. Bridges had to be laid to connect different portions of the army, and all offensive movements were for a while out of the question. The delay gave Lee time to form his troops into a compact mass, so that when the Unionists were ready to attack, it was so evident that another Fredericksburg massacre would follow that the plan was abandoned.

In truth, Lee felt so strong that he was disposed to advance himself, but was dissuaded by the belief that some blunder of the Union commander would give him a better opportunity, but Meade was too wise to do so. On the 1st of December he returned to his old quarters on the Rapidan. The weather had become extremely cold, and both armies went into winter quarters.

The principal military movements of this year have now been described, but it remains to tell of the operations on the seacoast and of the leading military raids.


The Confederates displayed great activity and ingenuity in the construction of ironclads and in running the blockade. Their vessels continually dodged in and out of a few of the leading ports, the principal one being Wilmington, North Carolina. The profits in a single cargo of a blockade-runner were so enormous that the owners were enriched by several successful voyages, while a single one would reimburse them for the loss of their ship. Under such circumstances it was no wonder that they took desperate chances, and firms were organized who paid liberal salaries to the officers of vessels, who advertised among their friends the regular dates of their departure, and, the worst of it was, they were very regular in keeping them.

The Alabama and other privateers were busy on the ocean, and the Confederates strained every nerve to send others to sea. The Nashville was a fine steamer that was in the Ogeechee River, Georgia, waiting for a chance to slip out and join the commerce destroyers. She had a valuable cargo of cotton, and the Federal cruisers were alert to prevent her escape. They would have gone up the river after her, but there were too many torpedoes waiting for them, and the guns of Fort McAllister were too powerful.

Captain Worden, of the old Monitor, was now in command of the Montauk, and he was delighted on the night of February 27th to observe the Nashville lying stuck fast in shallow water above Fort McAllister. The opportunity was too tempting to be neglected, and the next morning, despite a hot attack from the fort, he fired into the Nashville until she broke into flames and soon after blew up.


Naturally the desire was strong in the North to humble Charleston, where the baleful secession sentiment was born and brought all the woe upon the country. General Beauregard was in command of that department, and he made every preparation for the attack, which he knew would soon come. In a proclamation he urged the removal of all non-combatants, and called upon the citizens to rally to the defense of the city.

A fleet of ironclads was always lying outside of Charleston, watching for an opportunity to give its attention to the forts or city. One tempestuous night in January a couple of rams dashed out of the harbor, and, in a ferociously vicious attack, scattered the ironclads, and compelled a gunboat to surrender. Thereupon the Confederates claimed that the blockade had been raised, but no one paid any attention to the claim.

An expedition was carefully organized for the capture of Charleston, and placed in command of Admiral Samuel F. Dupont. The fleet, numbering a hundred vessels, left the mouth of the North Edisto River on the 6th of April, and on the same day crossed the bar and entered the main channel on the coast of Morris Island.

A dense haze delayed operations until the following day, when a line of battle was formed by the ironclads, the wooden vessels remaining outside the bar. A raft was fastened to the front of the Weehawken, with which it was intended to explode the torpedoes. The cumbrous contrivance greatly delayed the progress of the fleet, which advanced slowly until the Weehawken had passed the outer batteries and was close to the entrance to the inner harbor. Then Fort Moultrie fired a gun, instantly followed by that of Fort Sumter, and the batteries on Sullivan and on Morris Island. Then a hawser, which the Confederates had stretched across the channel with the purpose of clogging the screws of the propellers, was encountered, the Weehawken was compelled to grope around for a better passage, and everything went wrong. The New Ironsides made an attempt to turn but became unmanageable, two other ironclads ran afoul of her, and matters were in a bad way when Admiral Dupont signaled for each one to do the best it could.

After a time, eight ironclads secured position in front of Fort Sumter, at distances varying from a third to half a mile. This placed them in direct range of 300 heavy guns which concentrated their appalling fire upon them, the shots following one another as rapidly as the ticking of a watch. The Keokuk, which ran close to Fort Sumter, was struck ninety times, in the course of half an hour, in the hull and turrets, and nineteen shots pierced her sides close to and below the water-line. Her commander with great difficulty extricated her from her perilous position, and she sank the next day.

The fight was another proof of the fact that, in all such engagements, the preponderating advantage is with the land batteries. The ships of the squadron were severely injured, but they inflicted no perceptible damage upon the forts. Admiral Dupont had gone into the battle against his judgment, and he now signaled for the ships to withdraw. All with the exception of the New Ironsides returned to Port Royal on the 12th of April.

This failure caused great disappointment in the North and to the government. Admiral Dupont was ordered to hold his position inside of Charleston bar, and to prevent the enemy from erecting any new defenses on Morris Island. The admiral replied that he was ready to obey all orders, but, in his judgment, he was directed to take an unwise and dangerous step. Thereupon he was superseded by Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, and preparations were begun for a combined land and naval attack upon Charleston.


"After a time eight ironclads secured position in front of Fort Sumpter, at a distance varying from a third to half a mile. This placed them in direct range of 300 heavy guns, which concentrated their appalling fire upon them, the shots following one another as rapidly as the ticking of a watch."

One of the best engineer officers in the service was General Quincy A. Gillmore, who had captured Fort Pulaski at Savannah the previous year. He was summoned to Washington, and helped the government to arrange the plan of attack upon Charleston. The most feasible course seemed to be for a military force to seize Morris Island and bombard Fort Sumter from that point, the fleet under Dahlgren giving help. There was hope that the monitors and ironclads would be able to force their way past the batteries and approach nigh enough to strike Charleston.

Accordingly, a sufficient detachment was gathered on Folly Island, which lies south of Morris Island, and batteries were erected among the woods. On the 10th of July, General Strong with 2,000 men attacked a force of South Carolina infantry at the southern part of Morris Island, and drove them to Fort Wagner at the opposite end. The Confederates were reinforced, and, in the attack on Fort Wagner, the Federals were repulsed and obliged to retreat, with heavy loss.

On the night of the 18th, in the midst of a violent thunderstorm, a determined assault was made upon Fort Wagner, one of the newly formed negro regiments being in the lead. The fighting was of the most furious character, but the Federals suffered a decisive defeat, in which their losses were five times as great as those of the defenders.

General Gillmore carried parallels against the fort, and the ironclads assisted in the bombardments; but, though it continued for weeks, the city of Charleston seemed to be as far from surrender as ever. A part of the time the weather was so intolerably hot that operations were suspended.

Gillmore, however, was so near Charleston that he was able to reach it with his heaviest guns, and he prepared to do so. His principal piece was a Parrott, which threw a 100-pound ball, and was christened the "Swamp Angel."

The first shot was fired at midnight, August 22d. As the screeching shell curved over and dropped into the sleeping city, with its frightful explosion, it caused consternation. The people sprang from their beds and rushed into the streets, many fleeing to the country. Beauregard sent an indignant remonstrance, telling Gillmore that all civilized nations, before bombarding a city, gave warning that the non-combatants might be removed. Gillmore explained his reason for his course, and agreed to wait until the following night before renewing the bombardment.

At that hour it was resumed, with the promise of grave results, but at the thirty-sixth discharge the Swamp Angel exploded, and thus terminated its own career. General Gillmore continued to push his parallels against Fort Wagner. Although the ironclads could not pass the obstructions to the inner harbor so as to help, Gillmore persevered, and finally rendered Forts Wagner and Gregg untenable. The evacuation occurred on the night of September 6th. As soon as the Federals took possession, they had to make all haste to repair the ramparts to protect themselves against the fire from Fort Moultrie and James Island, whose guns were immediately turned upon them.

By this time, Fort Sumter was in ruins, its artillery could not be served, and its garrison comprised only a detachment of infantry. Upon being summoned to surrender by Dahlgren, the commander invited the admiral to come and take the fort. The effort to do so was made by a military force and the ironclads on the 9th of September, but failed. No more important attempts followed. The result had shown that the defenses of Charleston were practically impregnable, and, though shells were occasionally sent into the forts and city, the latter was not captured until near the end of the war, and then it was brought about, as may be said, by the collapse of the Confederacy itself.

When the war began the Southerners were the superiors of the Northerners as regarded their cavalry. Horseback riding is more common in the South than in the North, but it did not take the Union volunteers long to acquire the art, and, as the war progressed, the cavalry arm was greatly increased and strengthened. One of the natural results of this was numerous raids by both sides, some of which assumed an importance that produced a marked effect on the military campaigns in progress, while in other cases, the daring excursions were simply an outlet to the adventurous spirit which is natural to Americans and which manifests itself upon every opportunity and occasion.


Mention has been made of the embarrassment caused General Lee during his Gettysburg campaign by the absence of Stuart with his calvary on one of his raids. In the autumn, Stuart started out on a reconnaissance to Catlett's Station, where he observed French's column in the act of withdrawing from the river, whereupon he turned back toward Warrenton. Taking the road leading from that town to Manassas, he found himself unexpectedly confronting the corps of General Warren. Thus he was caught directly between two fires and in imminent danger of defeat and capture, for his force was but a handful compared with either column of the Federals. Fortunately for the raider, he and his men were in a strip of woods, and had not been seen, but discovery seemed certain, for their enemies were on every hand, and the slightest inadvertence, even such as the neighing of a horse, was likely to betray them.

Stuart called his officers around him to discuss what they could do to extricate themselves from their dangerous situation. No one proposed to surrender, and it looked as if they would be obliged to abandon their nine pieces of horse artillery and wait until night, when they might cut their way out.

swamp angel


Stuart did not like the idea of losing his guns. At any rate, he would not consent, until another plan which had occurred to him was tried. Several of his men were dismounted, and each was furnished with a musket and infantry knapsack. The uniform was not likely to attract notice in the darkness, in case they met any Federals. These messengers were ordered to pick their way through the Union lines to Warrenton, where they would find General Lee, who was to be told of the danger in which Stuart was placed. The Confederate commander could be counted upon to send prompt help. Fortunately for Stuart, two of his men succeeded in getting through the Union lines and reaching Lee.

At the best, however, the night must pass before help could arrive, and it need not be said that the hours were long and anxious ones to the troopers hiding in the woods, with the Federal camp-fires burning on every side, and the men moving about and likely to come among them at any moment. They were so close, indeed, that their laughter and conversation were plainly heard.

The alert horsemen suddenly observed two Union officers coming toward them. Their careless manner showed they had no thought of danger, and they were strolling along, when several dark figures sprang up from the ground, shoved their pistols in their faces, and warned them if they made the least outcry they would be instantly shot. The prisoners saw the shadowy forms all around them, and were sensible enough to submit and give no trouble. The night gradually wore away, and just as it was growing light, and while the Union division on the heights of Cedar Run, where they were posted to protect the rear of General Warren, were preparing breakfast, they were alarmed by the firing of musketry from the advance of a Confederate column coming up the Warrenton road.

"That means that Uncle Bob has sent us help!" was the gratified exclamation of Stuart to his delighted friends; "we must take a hand in this business."

The cavalry opened fire on the Union lines, which were thrown into some confusion, during which Stuart limbered up his guns and quickly rejoined Ewell.


As has been stated, General Hooker at the opening of the battle of Chancellorsville was confident that he was going to defeat Lee. In order to cut off his retreat, he sent General Stoneman, with 2,300 cavalry, on April 28th, to the rear of the Confederate army. Stoneman crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, where his force was divided. One-half, led by General Averill, headed for the Orange Railroad, a little way above Culpeper, then occupied by Fitzhugh Lee, with a force of 500 men. He was attacked with such vigor that he hurriedly retreated across the Rapidan, burning the bridges behind him. Averill, instead of pursuing, turned about and made his way back to Hooker, in time to accompany him in his retreat to the northern bank of the Rappahannock.

Meanwhile, Stoneman crossed the Rapidan on the 1st of May, and galloped to Louisa Station, on the Virginia Central Railroad, a dozen miles to the east of Gordonsville. There he paused and sent out several detachments, which wrought a great deal of mischief. One of them advanced to Ashland, only fifteen miles from Richmond, while another went still closer to the Confederate capital. These bodies of troopers caused much alarm, and a general converging of the enemy's cavalry caused Stoneman to start on his return, May 6th. For a time he was in great danger, but his men were excellently mounted, and, by hard riding, they effected a safe escape along the north bank of the Pamunkey and York Rivers, and rejoined their friends at Gloucester.


During the siege of Vicksburg a daring raid was made in the rear of the city by Colonel B.H. Grierson. In this instance his work was of great help to General Grant, for he destroyed the Confederate lines of communication, and checked the gathering of reinforcements for Pemberton. Grierson, who conceived the plan of the raid, left La Grange on the 17th of April with three regiments of cavalry. After crossing the Tallahatchie, he rode south to the Macon and Corinth Railroad, where the rails were torn up, telegraph lines cut, and bridges and other property destroyed. To do the work thoroughly detachments were sent in different directions, and they spared nothing.

Grierson now changed his course to the southwest, seized the bridge over Pearl River, burned a large number of locomotives, and forced his way through a wild country to Baton Rouge, which he found in the possession of Unionists. He had been engaged for a fortnight on his raid, during which he destroyed an immense amount of property, captured several towns, fought several sharp skirmishes, and carried off many prisoners.

John S. Mosby was the most daring Confederate raider in the East. Some of his exploits and escapes were remarkable, and an account of them would fill a volume with thrilling incidents. General Lee did not look with favor on such irregular work, but accepted it as one of the accompaniments of war, and it cannot be denied that Mosby gave him valuable help in more than one instance.


John H. Morgan was famous in the southwest as a raider and guerrilla. At the beginning of July, 1863, he seized Columbia, near Jamestown, Kentucky, and advanced against Colonel Moore at Greenbrier Bridge. His reception was so hot that he was obliged to retreat, whereupon he attacked Lebanon, where there was considerable vicious fighting in the streets. One of Morgan's regiments was commanded by his brother, who was killed. The incensed leader set fire to the houses, and, although the defenders surrendered, the place was sacked. Then the invaders retreated before the Union cavalry who were advancing against them. Their course was through Northern Kentucky, where they plundered right and left, and spread dismay on every hand.

Reckless and encouraged by their successes, they now swam their horses over the Ohio River, and, entering Indiana, gave that State its first experience in war. The local militia were called out, but the experienced cavalry easily brushed them aside. They knew, however, it would be different when they met the regular Union cavalry who were riding hard after them. To escape them, Morgan started for western Virginia. When he entered Ohio, the State was terrified, and even Cincinnati trembled, but the raiders had no thought of stopping until they readied western Virginia, where they would be safe.

The telegraph had carried the news of Morgan's movements everywhere, and the determination was general that he should not be allowed to escape from the entanglements in which he and his men had involved themselves. The militia guarded all the fords of the Ohio; gunboats steamed back and forth; the roads were blocked by felled trees, and everything possible was done to obstruct the band, who were so laden with plunder that their exhausted animals had to proceed slowly.

It is stated by credible witnesses, who saw the formidable company riding along the highway when hard pressed, that nearly every man in the saddle was sound asleep. They dared not make any extended halt through fear of their pursuers, and when they did pause it was because of their drooping animals.

Reaching the Ohio at last, Morgan planted his field guns near Buffington Island, with the view of protecting his men while they swam the river. Before he could bring them into use, a gunboat knocked the pieces right and left like so many tenpins. Abandoning the place, Morgan made the attempt to cross at Belleville, but was again frustrated. It was now evident that the time had come when each must lookout for himself. Accordingly, the band broke up and scattered. Their pursuers picked them up one by one, and Morgan himself and a few of his men were surrounded near New Lisbon, Ohio, and compelled to surrender. He and his principal officers were sentenced to the Ohio penitentiary, where they were kept in close confinement until November 27th, when through the assistance of friends (some of whom were probably within the prison), he and six officers effected their escape, and succeeded in reaching the Confederate lines, where they were soon at their characteristic work again.

Morgan was a raider by nature, but, as is often the case, the "pitcher went to the fountain once too often." While engaged upon one of his raids the following year he was cornered by the Federal cavalry, and in the fight that followed was shot dead.

Far below these men in moral character were such guerrillas as Quantrell, who were simply plunderers, assassins, and murderers, who carried on their execrable work through innate depravity, rather than from any wish to help the side with which they identified themselves. Most of them soon ran their brief course, and died, as they had lived, by violence.




The Work Remaining to be Done—General Grant Placed in Command of all the Union Armies—The Grand Campaign—Banks' Disastrous Red River Expedition—How the Union Fleet was Saved—Capture of Mobile by Admiral Farragut—The Confederate Cruisers—Destruction of the Alabama by the Kearsarge—Fate of the Other Confederate Cruisers—Destruction of the Albemarle by Lieutenant William B. Cushing—Re-election of President Lincoln—Distress in the South and Prosperity in the North—The Union Prisoners in the South—Admission of Nevada—The Confederate Raids from Canada—Sherman's Advance to Atlanta—Fall of Atlanta—Hood's Vain Attempt to Relieve Georgia—Superb Success of General Thomas—"Marching Through Georgia"—Sherman's Christmas Gift to President Lincoln—Opening of Grant's Final Campaign—Battles in the Wilderness—Wounding of General Longstreet and Deaths of General Stuart and Sedgwick—Grant's Flanking Movements Against Lee—A Disastrous Repulse at Cold Harbor—Defeat of Sigel and Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley—"Bottling-up" of Butler—Explosions of the Petersburg Mine—Early's Raids—His Final Defeat by Sheridan—Grant's Campaign—Surrender of Lee—Assassination of President Lincoln—Death of Booth and Punishment of the Conspirators—Surrender of Jo Johnston and Collapse of the Southern Confederacy—Capture of Jefferson Davis—His Release and Death—Statistics of the Civil War—A Characteristic Anecdote.


Two grand campaigns remained to be prosecuted to a successful conclusion before the great Civil War could be ended and the Union restored. The first and most important was that of General Grant against Richmond, or, more properly, against Lee, who was still at the head of the unconquered Army of Northern Virginia, and who must be overcome before the Confederate capital could fall. The second was the campaign of General Sherman, through the heart of the Southern Confederacy. Other interesting and decisive operations were to be pressed, but all were contributory to the two great ones mentioned.

Several momentous truths had forced themselves upon the national government. It had learned to comprehend the magnitude of the struggle before it. Had the North and South possessed equal resources and the same number of troops, the latter could not have been conquered any more than the North could have been defeated had the situation been reversed. But the North possessed men, wealth, and resources immensely beyond those of the South. The war had made the South an armed camp, with privation and suffering everywhere, while in the North a person might have traveled for days and weeks without suspecting that a domestic war was in progress. It was necessary to overwhelm the South, and the North had not only the ability to do so, but was resolved that it should be done. Its estimates were made on the basis of an army of a million men. Large bounties were offered for soldiers, and, when these did not provide all that was needed, drafting was resorted to. There had been rioting and disorder in New York City and other places during the summer of 1863, when there was a vicious revolt against drafting, but the government persisted and obtained the men it needed.


Another proven fact was that the war could not be successfully prosecuted by a bureau in Washington. This attempt at the beginning had brought disaster; but the excuse for this interference was that the right leaders had not yet appeared. General after general was tried at the head of the armies, and had either failed or come short of the expected success. The events of 1863, however, indicated unerringly the right men to whom the destinies of the nation could be safely intrusted. Foremost among these was General Ulysses S. Grant. With that genius of common sense, which always actuated President Lincoln, he nominated him to the rank of lieutenant-general, the grade of which was revived by Congress in February, 1864, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on the 2d of March. In obedience to a summons from Washington, Grant left Nashville on the 4th of the month, arrived on the 9th, and President Lincoln handed him his commission on the following day.

"I don't know what your plans are, general," said the President, "nor do I ask to know them. You have demonstrated your ability to end this war, and the country expects you to do it. Go ahead, and you may count upon my unfaltering support."

Grant modestly accepted the tremendous responsibility, which placed him in command of all the armies of the United States, and he established his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac at Culpeper, Va., March 26, 1864.


The plan of campaign determined upon by Grant was to concentrate all the national forces into a few distinct armies, which should advance on the same day against the opposing Confederate armies, and, by fighting incessantly, prevent any one of them from reinforcing the other. The armies of the enemy were themselves to be the objective points, and they were to be given no time for rest. Sherman was to advance from Atlanta against Johnston, who had an army larger in numbers than that of Lee; Banks' army, as soon as it could be withdrawn from the disastrous Red River expedition, was to act against Mobile; Sigel was to pass down the valley of Virginia and prevent the enemy from making annoying raids from that quarter; Butler was to ascend the James and threaten Richmond; and, finally, the Army of the Potomac, under the immediate command of Meade, was to protect Washington, and essay the most herculean task of all—the conquest of Lee and his army.

Orders were issued by Grant for a general movement of all the national forces on the 4th of May. Since they were so numerous, and began nearly at the same time, it is necessary to give the particulars of each in turn, reserving that of the most important—Grant's own—for the last.


One of the most discreditable affairs of the war was what is known as Banks' Red River Expedition. That officer was in command at New Orleans, when it was decided to send a strong force up the Red River, in quest of the immense quantities of cotton stored in that region, though the ostensible object was the capture of Shreveport, Louisiana, 350 miles above New Orleans, and the capital of the State.

The plan was for the army to advance in three columns, supported by Admiral Porter with a fleet, which was to force a passage up the Red River. General A.J. Smith was to march from Vicksburg, with the first division of the army, which numbered 10,000 men; Banks was to lead the second from New Orleans, and Steele the third from Little Rock.

General Edmund Kirby Smith was the Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department. Although he had fewer men than the invaders, he prepared for a vigorous resistance. He sent Generals Price and Marmaduke to harass Steele, directed General Dick Taylor to obstruct the Red River as much as he could, while he made ready to make the best fight possible.

Fifty miles above the mouth of the Red River stood Fort de Russy, which, although considerably strengthened, was carried by assault, March 13th. On the 15th, Porter's twelve gunboats and thirty transports joined Franklin at Alexandria. The Federal cavalry occupied Natchitoches, on the last day of the month, and in the van of the army; they arrived at Mansfield on the 8th of April, several days after Admiral Porter had reached Grand Echore on the Red River.

Meanwhile, the Confederate General Dick Taylor kept fighting and falling back before the Union advance, but he was continually reinforced, until he felt strong enough to offer the Federals battle. This took place on the 8th, a short distance from Mansfield. The assault was made with vehemence, and the Union troops, who were straggling along for miles, were taken by surprise and driven into headlong panic, leaving their artillery behind, and not stopping their flight until under the protection of the guns of the Nineteenth Corps. Then a stand was made, and Banks fell back to his old camping ground at Pleasant Hill. His intention was to remain there, but his command was so disorganized that he continued his flight. The Confederates had already chased them so long that they were worn out, while Banks continued retreating until he reached Grand Echore, where he breathed freely for the first time, since he had the protection of the gunboats.

Disgraceful as was the overthrow of the land forces, a still greater disaster threatened the fleet. Porter had gone further up the river, but returned to Grand Echore upon learning of the defeat of Banks. He had to sweep the shores continually with grapeshot, to clear it of the Confederate sharpshooters, who succeeded in capturing two of the transports and blowing up another with a torpedo. The Red River was low, with the water falling hourly. The retreating army reached Alexandria on the 27th of April, but the fleet was stopped by the shallowness of the water above the falls, and the officers despaired of saving it. The only possible recourse seemed to destroy all the vessels to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy.


In this crisis, Colonel Joseph Bailey, of Wisconsin, submitted a plan for a series of wing dams above the falls, believing they would raise the water high enough to float all the vessels. The other engineers scoffed at the project, but Porter placed 3,000 men and all that Bailey needed at his command.

The task was a prodigious one, for the falls, as they were termed, were a mile in length and it was necessary to swell the current sufficiently to carry the vessels past the rocks for the whole distance. The large force of men worked incessantly for nearly two weeks, by which time the task was accomplished and the fleet plunged through unharmed to the deeper water below the falls. The genius of a single man had saved the Union fleet.

Banks, having retreated to Alexandria, paused only long enough to burn the town, when he kept on to New Orleans, where some time later he was relieved of his command. The Red River expedition was the crowning disgrace of the year.


After the fall of New Orleans, in April, 1862, Mobile was the leading port of the Southern Confederacy. It was blockaded closely, but the Confederate cruisers succeeded now and then in slipping in and out, while a number of ironclads were in process of building, and threatened to break the blockade. Admiral Farragut, the greatest naval hero of modern times, after a careful reconnaissance of the defenses, told the government that if it would provide him with a single ironclad, he would capture Mobile. He was promised a strong land force under General Granger and several monitors, which were sent to him.

Farragut, fully appreciating the task before him, made his preparations with care and thoroughness. His fleet consisted of eighteen vessels, four of which—the Tecumseh, Winnebago, Manhattan, and Chickasaw—were ironclads, while the others were of wood. Admiral Buchanan (commander of the Merrimac in her first day's fight with the Monitor) had less vessels, three gunboats, and the formidable ram Tennessee. But he was assisted by three powerful forts, with large garrisons—Gaines, Morgan, and Powell—which commanded the entrance, while the Tennessee was regarded by the Confederates as able to sink the whole Union fleet.



The wooden vessels were lashed in couples, so as to give mutual help, and with the Brooklyn and Hartford (Farragut's flagship) in the lead, the procession entered Mobile Bay on the morning of August 5, 1864. As they came opposite the forts they opened fire upon them, and in a few minutes the latter began their thunderous reply. The battle was tremendous, and the smoke was so dense that Farragut, who was closely watching and directing the action of the fleet, gradually climbed the rigging, so as to place himself above the obstructing vapor. His height was such that the captain of the vessel became anxious for his safety, since if he was struck, as looked probable, he was sure to fall to the deck or overboard. He, therefore, sent a man after him, with a rope in hand. Amid the gentle remonstrances of the admiral, this man lashed him fast to the rigging. When the increasing smoke made it necessary to climb higher, Farragut untied the fastenings, and, after he had taken several upward steps, tied himself again.

The harbor bristled with torpedoes, to which, however, Farragut and his officers paid little heed. The Tecumseh, Commander T.A.M. Craven, was hurrying to attack the ram Tennessee, when a gigantic torpedo exploded beneath her, smashing in the bottom and causing her to sink so suddenly that nearly a hundred men went down with her. The pilot and Craven were in the pilot house, and, feeling the boat dropping beneath them, both sprang to the narrow ladder leading out. They reached the foot together, when the commander bowed and, pausing, said to the pilot: "You first, sir." He had barely time to scramble out, when Captain Craven and the rest went down.

The Union vessels pressed forward with such vigor that, with the exception of the loss of the Tecumseh, the forts were passed without the ships receiving serious injury. When, however, the battle seemed won, the Tennessee came out from under the guns of Fort Powell and headed for the Union vessels. She believed herself invulnerable in her massive iron hide, and selected the flagship as her special target. The Hartford partly dodged her blow and rammed her in return. The ram was accompanied by three gunboats, which were soon driven out of action, but the Tennessee plunged here and there like some enraged monster driven at bay, but which the guns and attacks of her assailants could not conquer.

Tons of metal were hurled with inconceivable force against her mailed sides, only to drop harmlessly into the water. She was butted and rammed, and in each case it was like the rat gnawing a file: the injury fell upon the assailant. She was so surrounded by her enemies that they got in one another's way and caused mutual hurt.

But as continual dropping wears away stones, this incessant hammering finally showed effect. Admiral Buchanan received a painful wound, and a number of his men were killed; the steering-chains were broken, the smoke-stack was carried away, the port shutters jammed, and finally the wallowing "sea-hog" became unmanageable. Then the white flag was displayed and the battle was over. Farragut had won his most memorable battle, and the last important seaport of the Confederacy was gone.

Two days later Fort Gaines was captured, and Fort Morgan surrendered on the 23d of the same month. The land force rendered valuable assistance, and the blockade became more rigid. The coast line, however, was so extensive that it was impossible to seal every port, and the Confederacy obtained a good deal of sorely needed medical supplies through the daring blockade-runners, which often managed to elude the watchful fleets.

farragut on a stick


The Confederate cruisers were still roaming the ocean and creating immense havoc among the Union shipping. Despite our protests to England, she helped to man these vessels, and laid up a fine bill for damages which she was compelled to pay after the close of the war.


During the year 1864, several new cruisers appeared on the ocean, one of which, the Tallahassee, boldly steamed up and down off our northern coast, and, in the space of ten days, destroyed thirty-three vessels. The most famous of all these cruisers was the Alabama, which was built at Birkenhead, England, and launched May 15, 1862. She was a bark-rigged propeller of 1,016 tons register, with a length over all of 220 feet. Her two horizontal engines were of 300 horse-power each. When completed, she was sent on a pretended trial trip. At the Azores she received her war material from a waiting transport, while her commander, Captain Raphael Semmes, and his officers, who had gone thither on a British steamer, went aboard. The Alabama carried 8 guns and a crew of 149 men, most of whom were Englishmen. Thus fairly launched, she started on her career of destruction, which continued uninterruptedly for twenty-two months.


One of the many United States vessels that was engaged in a hunt for the Alabama was the Kearsarge, Captain John Ancrum Winslow. She was of 1,030 tons, carried 7 guns, and had a crew of 163 men, nearly all of whom were Americans. On Sunday, July 12, 1864, while lying off the town of Flushing, Holland, Captain Winslow received a dispatch from Minister W.L. Dayton, at Paris, notifying him that the Alabama had arrived at Cherbourg, France. Winslow lost no time in steaming thither, and reached Cherbourg on Tuesday, where he saw the cruiser across the breakwater with the Confederate flag defiantly flying.

Winslow did not dare enter the harbor, for, had he done so, he would have been obliged, according to international law, to remain twenty-four hours after the departure of the Alabama, which would thereby gain all the opportunity she needed for escape. He, therefore, took station off the port, intending to wait until the cruiser came out.

This precaution, however, was unnecessary, for Semmes, grown bold by his long career of destroying unarmed merchantmen, had resolved to offer the Kearsarge battle. He sent a challenge to Captain Winslow, couched in insulting language, and the Union officer promptly accepted it.

The news of the impending battle was telegraphed far and wide, and excursion trains were run from Paris and other points to Cherbourg. On Sunday, June 19th, fully 15,000 people lined the shores and wharves, and among them all it may be doubted whether there were more than a hundred whose sympathies were not keenly on the side of the Alabama. France was intensely in favor of the Southern Confederacy, and nothing would have pleased Louis Napoleon, the emperor, better than to see our country torn apart. He did his utmost to persuade England to join him in intervening against us.

With a faint haze resting on the town and sea, the Alabama steamed slowly out of the harbor on Sunday morning, June 19th, and headed toward the waiting Kearsarge. The latter began moving seaward, as if afraid to meet her antagonist. The object of Captain Winslow, however, was to draw the Alabama so far that no question about neutral waters could arise, and in case the Alabama should be disabled, he did not intend to give her the chance to take refuge in Cherbourg.


The battle between the Kearsarge and the Alabama took place off the coast of Holland, June, 1864. "The famous cruiser was going down, and the boats of the Kearsarge were hurriedly sent to help the drowning men. The stern settled, the bow rose high in the air, the immense ship plunged out of sight, and the career of the Alabama was ended forever."

Three miles was the neutral limit, but Captain Winslow continued to steam out to sea until he had gone nearly seven miles from shore. Then he swung around and made for the Alabama. As he did so, Captain Semmes delivered three broadsides, with little effect. Then fearing a raking fire, Captain Winslow sheered and fired a broadside at a distance of little more than half a mile, and strove to pass under the Alabama's stern, but Semmes also veered and prevented it.

Since each vessel kept its starboard broadside toward the other, they began moving in a circular direction, the current gradually carrying both westward, while the circle narrowed until its diameter was about a fourth of a mile.

From the beginning the fire of the Kearsarge was much more accurate and destructive than her antagonist's. Hardly had the battle opened when the gaff and colors of the Alabama were shot away, but another ensign was quickly hoisted at the mizzen. Captain Winslow instructed his gunners to make every shot count. This was wise, for its effects became speedily apparent. The Kearsarge fired 173 shots, nearly all of which landed, while of the 370 of the Alabama, only 28 hit the Kearsarge. One of these, a 68-pounder shell, exploded on the quarter-deck, wounding three men, one mortally. Another shell, bursting in the hammock nettings, started a fire, which was speedily extinguished. A third buried itself in the sternpost, but fortunately did not explode. The damage done by the remaining shots was trifling.

One of the Kearsarge's 11-inch shells entered the port of the Alabama's 8-inch gun, tore off a part of the piece, and killed several of the crew. A second shell entered the same port, killed one man and wounded several, and soon a third similar shot penetrated the same opening. Before the action closed, it was necessary to re-form the crew of the after pivot gun four times. These terrific missiles were aimed slightly below the water-line of the Alabama, with a view of sinking her.

About an hour had passed and seven complete revolutions had been described by the ships, and the eighth had just begun, when it became apparent that the Alabama was sinking. She headed for neutral waters, now only two miles distant, but a few well-planted shots stopped her, and she displayed the white flag. Her race was run, and Captain Winslow immediately ceased firing and lowered his only two serviceable boats, which were hurried to the aid of the drowning men. A few minutes later the bow of the Alabama rose high in air, and then the noted cruiser plunged downward, stern foremost, and disappeared forever in the bottom of the ocean.

Cruising in the neighborhood of the fight was the English yacht Deerhound, which now joined in rescuing the crew of the Alabama at the request of Captain Winslow. She was in duty bound to deliver the men she saved to Winslow as prisoners of war, but, instead of doing so, she watched her chance, and, under full steam, made for Southampton, carrying forty-two, among whom were Captain Semmes and fourteen officers. Semmes had flung his sword into the sea and leaped overboard as the Alabama was going down. His vessel had nine killed, ten drowned, and twenty-one wounded, while on the Kearsarge of the three wounded only one died. A demand was made upon the English government for the surrender of the men carried away by the Deerhound, but it was refused.


The Confederate cruiser Georgia took on the guise of a merchant vessel, but was seized off the coast of Portugal by the Niagara, and sent to this country as a lawful prize. The Florida, while lying in the neutral port of Bahia, Brazil, was attacked, October 7th, by the Wachuset, captured, and taken to Hampton Roads. This action was illegal, being similar to the attack made upon the Essex in the harbor of Valparaiso in the War of 1812. While awaiting decision as to the legality of her capture, she was run into by a steam transport and sunk. It may be doubted whether this method of settling the dispute was wholly accidental.

The Shenandoah did most of her destructive work in the far Pacific. As a consequence she did not hear of the conclusion of the war until several months afterward, and she was, therefore, virtually a pirate fighting under a flag that had no legal existence. Her captain, when the news reached him, steamed for England, and turned over his vessel to the British government.


Probably no more formidable ironclad was ever built by the Southern Confederacy than the Albemarle. She had been constructed under great difficulties, work being begun early in 1863, when, it was said, her keel was laid in a cornfield. When finished she was 122 feet over all, and was propelled by twin screws with engines of 200 horse-power each. Her armament consisted of an Armstrong gun of 100 pounds at the bow and a similar one at the stern.

The Albemarle demonstrated on the first opportunity the appalling power she possessed. The Federals had captured Plymouth, North Carolina, which was attacked by the Confederates, April 17th and 18th. They were repulsed mainly through the assistance of two wooden gunboats, the Miami and Southfield, but the Albemarle came down the river on the 19th and engaged them. The shots of the gunboats did no more harm than those of the Cumberland and Congress when fired against the Merrimac. The Southfield was crushed as so much pasteboard, and sent to the bottom of the river, while the mangled Miami limped off, accompanied by two tugboats. The next day Plymouth surrendered to the Confederates. In a fight some weeks later with the Union vessels, the Albemarle inflicted great injury, and withstood all the ramming and broadsides that could be brought against her. She was a most dangerous vessel indeed, and caused the government a great deal of uneasiness.

Several attempts were made to destroy her, but the Confederates were watchful and vigilant. She was moored to the wharf, about eight miles up the river, upon the shores of which a thousand men were encamped. They patrolled the banks and kept bright fires burning all night. The crew of the ram were alert, and a boom of cypress logs encircled the craft some thirty feet from the hull, to ward off the approach of torpedoes. It would seem that no possible precaution was neglected.

Among the most daring men ever connected with the American navy was William Barker Cushing. He was born in 1842, and educated at the Naval Academy. He was of so wild a disposition that many of his friends saw little hope of his success in life. But, entering the service at the beginning of the war, he quickly gave proof of a personal courage that no danger could affect. He seemed to love peril for the sake of itself, and where death threatened he eagerly went. He expressed confidence that he could destroy the Albemarle and asked permission to make the attempt. His superior officers knew that if its destruction was within the range of human possibility, he would accomplish it, and the ram was so great a menace to the Union fleet that he was told to try his hand at the seeming impossible task.

Although Cushing was a young man of unsurpassable bravery, ready at all times to take desperate chances, there was what might be termed method in his madness. He needed no one to tell him that in his attempt to destroy the Albemarle, the slightest neglect in his preparations were likely to prove fatal. He, therefore, took every precaution that ingenuity could devise. Two picket boats were constructed with spar torpedoes attached, and with engines so formed that by spreading tarpaulin over them all light and sound was obscured. When traveling at a low rate of speed, they could pass within a few yards of a person in the darkness without his being able to hear or see anything. A howitzer was mounted at the bow, and the spar, with the torpedo attached, was fitted at the starboard bow.

The boats, having been completed in New York, were sent to Norfolk by way of the canals. One of them was lost in Chesapeake Bay, but the other reached its destination. Several days were spent in preparation, and the night of October 27th was selected for the venture. It could not have been more favorable, for it was of impenetrable darkness and a fine, misty rain was falling. Cushing's companions in the picket boat were: Acting Ensign W.L. Howarth, Acting Master's Mates T.S. Gay and John Woodman, Acting Assistant Paymaster F.H. Swan, Acting Third Assistant Engineers C.L. Steever and W. Stotesbury, and eight men whose names were as follows: S. Higgens, first-class fireman; R. Hamilton, coal heaver; W. Smith, B. Harley, E.J. Houghton, ordinary seamen; L. Deming, H. Wilkes, and R.H. King, landsmen. He took in tow a small cutter, with which to capture the guard that was in a schooner anchored near the Southfield that had been raised, and whose duty it was to send up an alarm rocket on the approach of any expedition against the Albemarle. It was intended to run ashore a little below the ram, board and capture her by surprise, and take her down the river.

It was about midnight that the start was made. Several of the men were familiar with the river, and the boat kept close to shore, where the gloom was still more profound. No one spoke except when necessary and then in the lowest tones, while all listened and peered into the drizzly night. The straining ears could hear only the soft rippling of the water from the prow and the faint muffled clanking of the engine. The speed was slackened as they approached the schooner, whose outlines soon assumed form. No one whispered, but all held themselves ready for the rush the moment the guard discovered them.

Sentinels, however, are not always alert, and on this dismal night the guard detected nothing of the phantom craft which glided past like a shadow with the cutter in tow. This was the first stroke of good fortune, and each man felt a thrill of encouragement, for only a mile remained to be passed to reach the Albemarle.

A little way further and the boats swept around a bend in the river, where, had it been daylight, they could have seen the ram. Here was where the fires had been kept blazing the night through, but the guards were as drowsy as those below, for they had allowed them to sputter and die down to a few embers, while the sentinels were doubtless trying to keep comfortable in the wet, dismal night.

Still stealing noiselessly forward, the men in the boat soon saw the gloom slowly take shape in front. The outlines revealed the massive ironclad lying still and motionless against the wharf, with not a light or sign of life visible. The nerves of each of the brave crew were strung to the highest tension, when the stillness was broken by the barking of a dog. The canine, more vigilant than his masters, gave the alarm, and instantly it seemed as if a hundred dogs were making night hideous with their signals. Springing to their feet, the sentinels on shore discerned the strange boat and challenged it. No reply was given; a second challenge was made, and then a gun was fired. The guards seemed to spring to life everywhere, more dogs barked, alarm rattles were sprung, wood was thrown on the fires which flamed up, soldiers seized their weapons and rushed to their places under the sharp commands of their officers.

Cushing now called to the engineer to go ahead under full speed. At the same moment, he cut the towline and ordered the men on the cutter to return and capture the guard near the Southfield. The launch was tearing through the water straight for the ram, when, for the first time, Cushing became aware of the boom of logs which inclosed it. His hope now was that these logs had become so slimy from lying long in the water that it was possible for the launch to slip over them. With wonderful coolness, he veered off for a hundred yards, so as to gain sufficient headway, and then circled around and headed for the ram.

Standing erect at the bow, Cushing held himself ready to use the torpedo the moment he could do so. A volley was fired, which riddled his coat and tore off the heel of one of his shoes, but he did not falter. Then followed the crisp snapping of the primers of the cannon, which showed the immense guns had missed fire. Had they been discharged, the boat and every man on it would have been blown to fragments.

"Jump from the ram!" shouted Cushing, as he rushed forward, with the speed of a racehorse; "we're going to blow you up!"

The howitzer at the front of the launch was fired at that moment, and then the boat slid over the logs, like a sleigh over the snow, carrying the men directly in front of the gaping mouth of the 100-pounder Armstrong.

The critical moment had come, and, crouching forward, Cushing shoved the torpedo spar under the overhang, and waited till he felt it rise and bump against the ship's bottom, when he jerked the trigger line. A muffled, cavernous explosion was heard, the ram tilted partly over, and an immense geyser spouted upward, filling the launch and swamping it. The enormous cannon was discharged, but, aimed directly at the boat, the aim was deflected by the careening of the ram, and the frightful charge passed harmlessly over the heads of the men.

Cushing called to each one to lookout for himself, and leaped as far as he could into the water. There he kicked off his shoes, and dropped his sword and revolver. The incensed Confederates shouted to the Unionists to surrender, and a number did so; but others, including Cushing, continued swimming until in the darkness they passed out of range.

It surpasses comprehension how Cushing escaped. Nearly half his crew had been struck before the launch was submerged, and Paymaster Swan and another man were shot at his side. Cushing, Woodman, and Houghton leaped into the water at the same time and swam in different directions, no one knowing where he would come out. Houghton was a powerful swimmer, and, keeping cool and husbanding his strength, he made shore a short distance below, passed through the enemy's line to the mouth of the river, and escaped unharmed.

Cushing continued swimming for nearly a mile, when hearing a splashing near him he approached and found Woodman in the last stage of exhaustion. Cushing gave him all the help he could, but he himself was worn out, and, despite his efforts, Woodman slipped from his grasp and was drowned. When about to give up Cushing's feet touched bottom and he struggled to shore, where he sank in a collapse, unable to stir until morning. By that time his strength had sufficiently returned to enable him to stagger to a swamp where he threw himself down near a path. A few minutes later, two officers walked by talking earnestly about the sinking of the Albemarle, but the listener could not overhear enough of their conversation to learn whether or not the ram had been destroyed.

Growing stronger, he pushed into the swamp, until he reached a negro's hut. There he made himself known, and was received kindly. Cushing asked the negro to go to Plymouth and find out whether the Albemarle had been harmed. The African departed, and, when he returned at the end of several hours, his arms were filled with food and his eyes protruding.

"Suah as yo's born, marse!" he gasped, "de Albemarle am at de bottom ob de riber!"

Such was the fact, for the exploding torpedo had gouged more than twenty square feet out of the ram abreast of the port quarter, through which the torrent rushed and carried it down in a few minutes. Cushing remained with his dusky friend until night, when he tramped a long way through swamp and wood to where an old skiff rested against the bank of a small stream. Paddling down this to the river, he kept on until he reached the Union vessels, where he was taken on board and welcomed as deserved the hero who had accomplished that which was beyond the ability of the whole fleet.

Before proceeding with our account of the closing military operations of the war, it is proper to record several minor, but important, events.


The year 1864 was a presidential one. Although Hannibal Hamlin had served acceptably as Vice-President throughout Lincoln's first term, political wisdom suggested replacing him with a man more closely identified with the struggle for the Union. Hamlin belonged to the State of Maine, where the voice of disloyalty was never heard. Andrew Johnson, as we shall learn in the next chapter, was what was termed a war Democrat, who had risked his life in the defense of his principles. He was nominated for Vice-President, while Lincoln, as was inevitable, was renominated for the presidency. The nominees of the Democrats were General George B. McClellan, the unsuccessful Union commander, and George H. Pendleton, of Ohio. McClellan acted very creditably when, finding that many believed him opposed to the war, he stated in unequivocal language that he favored its prosecution until the Union was fully restored. His platform may be described as a criticism of the methods of the administration. His position drove away many who would have supported a candidate in favor of peace at any price, but he preserved his self-respect, although it helped to bring his decisive defeat.

In the November election the result was: Lincoln and Johnson each 212 electoral votes; McClellan and Pendleton each 21. On the popular vote, the Republican ticket received 2,216,067 and the Democratic 407,342 votes. Of course, no vote was cast in the eleven seceding States. The result was emphatic proof that the North was unalterably opposed to peace upon any terms except the full restoration of the Union. The great successes, such as Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Mobile, and the destruction of the Confederate cruisers, as well as the rapid exhaustion of the South, contributed very much to the success of the Republican party.


The distress in the South was intense and grew daily more so. The Confederate money had so depreciated in value that a paper dollar was not worth more than a penny, and by-and-by it had absolutely no value at all. The farce of such a currency caused many grim jests among the Confederates themselves. Thus an officer gave his colored servant five thousand dollars to curry his horse, and another officer exchanged six months of his own pay for a paper dollar. In truth, the Southerners were fighting without pay, while their clothing and food were of the poorest character. All the men being in some branch of the service, the women had to look after the homes that were running to waste. The conscription act was made so rigid that the drag-net gathered in the large boys and men past middle life.


It was far different in the North. The enormous demands of the government for war supplies gave the country an unnatural prosperity. Although prices were high, there was an abundance of money, which, while depreciating to some extent, never did so to a degree to cause distress. The resources were almost limitless, and the conviction was so general that the war was near its conclusion, that the greenback currency and the national bonds began to rise in value. The real dissatisfaction was in the continual demand for more soldiers. In the course of the year fully 1,200,000 men had been summoned to the ranks. Several drafts took place, and bounties were paid, which in many instances were at the rate of a thousand dollars to a man. A good many people began to declare this demand exorbitant, and that, if the real necessity existed, the Union was not worth such an appalling cost of human life.


Behind all this seeming prosperity were thousands of mourning households and desolate hearthstones in the North as well as the South. Fathers, brothers, and sons had fallen, and would nevermore return to their loved ones. The shadow was everywhere. Sorrow, broken-hearts, and lamentation were in the land, for war, the greatest curse of mankind, spares neither parent, child, nor babe. The exchange of prisoners, carried on almost from the very opening of the war, ceased, because the Confederate authorities refused to exchange negro soldiers. As a consequence, multitudes of Union prisoners suffered indescribable misery in many of the Southern prisons. This was especially the case in Andersonville, Georgia, where a brute named Wirz, a Swiss, showed a fiendish delight in adding to the tortures of those committed to his care. This miscreant was afterward tried for his atrocities, found guilty, and hanged. He was the only man executed for the part he took in the war. There was less suffering in other places. The straits to which the Confederates themselves were driven made it impossible in some instances to give the care they would have given to their prisoners. In the early part of 1864, more than a hundred Unionists confined in Libby Prison, Richmond, escaped by tunneling, but most of them were recaptured and returned to confinement.

Nevada was admitted to the Union in 1864. It formed part of the Mexican cession of 1848, prior to which time no settlement had been made in the State. In that year the Mormons settled in Carson and Washoe Valleys. In 1859, silver was found to exist in vast quantities, and, in 1866, the area of the State was increased by additions from Arizona and Utah.


One of the most irritating annoyances resulted from the presence of Confederates in Canada, who continually plotted mischief against the North. In October, 1864, a band of them rode into St. Albans, Vermont, which is only fifteen miles from the border, robbed the bank of a large amount of money, burned a hotel, fired into a crowd of citizens, committed other outrages, and galloped back to Canada, where thirteen were arrested and thrown into prison. The legal proceedings which followed resulted in the discharge of the prisoners on technical grounds. General Dix, in command of the Eastern Department, issued orders that in the future all such marauders were to be pursued and shot down or arrested, no matter where they took refuge. Had these measures been carried out, there would have been war with England, which would never permit such invasion of her territory. General Dix's action was disavowed by our government, while the Canadian authorities took care to prevent any more similar outrages.

It has been stated that General Grant planned a forward movement of the Union forces early in May of this year, with the purpose of keeping the Confederate armies so incessantly engaged that they would have no opportunity of reinforcing one another.


(From a photograph.)
In the middle-ground midway of the swamp is the "Island" which was covered with shelters after the higher ground had all been occupied.


General Sherman, the faithful lieutenant of Grant, was in command of the three armies, respectively, of the Cumberland, of Tennessee, and of Ohio, led by Generals Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield. General Jo Johnston was Sherman's opponent, his commanders being Hardee, Hood, and Polk. The troops were less numerous than the Federals, but they were the finest of soldiers and were led by skillful officers.

Sherman made his preparations with care and thoroughness. Chattanooga was his starting-point on his march through the South, and by the 1st of May he had 254 guns, 100,000 men, and an immense amount of supplies at that town. He began his famous march on the 7th of May. Johnston, who saw his purpose, confronted him at Dalton, where an attack by Unionists was repulsed; but Sherman resorted to flanking tactics, and Johnston fell back, crossing the river, May 15th, and taking a new position at Etowah, forty miles to the south of Resaca.

The great risk assumed by Sherman will be understood. It was necessary to preserve his communications, for he had but a single railroad line behind him. To do this, he had to leave strong detachments at different points, thereby weakening his army as he advanced into Confederate territory. Johnston, being among friends, was not obliged to do anything of that nature. He could preserve his forces intact and add slightly to them. By-and-by, the armies would be nearly equal in numbers, when Johnston proposed to give battle to the invaders.

The Union army marched in three columns, their flanks guarded by cavalry, and the columns always within supporting distance of one another. The steady advance and retreat went on with occasional brisk fighting. On the 14th of June, during an exchange of shots, the head of General Leonidas Polk was carried away by a cannon ball. Now and then Johnston attacked Sherman, but invariably without gaining any important advantage.

At last Sherman grew tired of continually flanking his enemy, and made the mistake of assaulting him. This was at Kenesaw Mountain on the 27th of June. The attack was made with great gallantry, but the Unionists were repulsed with the loss of 3,000 men.

Sherman returned to his flanking tactics, which were conducted with so much skill that finally Johnston was forced into the defenses of Atlanta. It was there he meant to make a stand and deliver battle on something approaching equal terms. His generals were dissatisfied with his continual falling back and protested. That Johnston was sagacious in what he did cannot be questioned; but his old enemy, President Davis, took advantage of the opportunity to remove him and place General Hood in chief command.

Hood had not half the ability of Johnston, but he believed in fighting. He assumed Johnston's place on the 17th of July. The news was pleasant to Sherman, for he rated Hood at his true value as compared with Johnston.

three men in a boat

"Setting out at night they paddled continuously down the river until daylight, when they ran the boat among the reeds and remained in hiding until night came again."

It had been a long and difficult march from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and yet it may be said that Sherman had only reached his true starting-point. He gave his soldiers a needed rest, and waited for reinforcements. Those expected from Corinth, Mississippi, were routed by General Forrest, but the needed men were obtained from other quarters, and the three columns converged upon Atlanta, July 20th. The defenses extended for three miles about the city, but were not quite completed. McPherson secured possession of a hill that gave him a view of the city, observing which Hood made a furious assault upon him on the night of the 22d. He came perilously near success, but, by hastening reinforcements to the threatened point, Sherman was able to repel the attack. In the fighting General McPherson, one of the best of the Union generals, was killed.



The plan of Sherman was to shut off Atlanta from the rest of the world. By thus excluding its supplies, it would be starved into submission, as was the case at Vicksburg. Accordingly, he began a series of works, intended to be extended gradually around the city. This was difficult and dangerous, as was proven when two columns of Union cavalry, failing to effect a junction, through some misunderstanding, were separately attacked and routed. Among the many prisoners taken was General Stoneman, and the cavalry arm of the service was greatly weakened.

The impetuous Hood made a furious onslaught upon the Union army July 28th, renewing it several times, but was defeated with heavy loss in each instance. Sherman, through the failure of one of his generals to reach his assigned position in time, narrowly missed bagging Hood and his whole army.


But Sherman displayed masterly generalship by so manœuvring as to draw Hood away from the defenses and by thrusting his army between the corps of Hardee and Atlanta. The only escape now for the Confederates was to abandon the city, which was done on the 1st of September, many of the citizens going with the retiring army. At nine o'clock the next morning General Slocum, at the head of a strong reconnoitering column, rode into Atlanta, and the mayor made a formal surrender of the place.

The news of the fall of Atlanta caused great rejoicing in the North, and corresponding depression in the South. President Davis hurried to the neighborhood to investigate for himself. He found matters so bad that they could not be much worse. Hood, however, was as combative as ever, and proposed to attack Sherman's lines of communication. It was a dangerous proceeding, but Davis consented. On his way back to Richmond he stopped at Macon and made a speech, in which he announced the plans of Hood. This speech was published in the Southern papers, reached the North, where it was republished, and in due time these papers went to Sherman, It can well be understood that Davis' speech proved "mighty interesting" reading to the Union commander.


Hood's plan was simple. He proposed to march into Tennessee, and, by threatening Sherman's communications, compel him to withdraw from Georgia. But Sherman was not to be caught thus easily. He followed Hood to the north of the Chattahoochee, and, then letting him go whither he chose, turned back to Atlanta. Hood kept right on through northern Alabama, and advanced against Nashville. General Thomas had been sent by Sherman from Atlanta, with the Army of the Cumberland, to look after Hood. General Schofield, in command in the southern part of the State, fell back to Franklin, eighteen miles south of Nashville, where he was attacked November 30th by Hood. It was a savage battle, but the Confederates were held in check until night, when Schofield retreated across the river, and took refuge in Nashville. There General Thomas gathered all his troops, and threw up a line of intrenchments to the south of the city. Hood appeared in front of them December 2d, and began building works and counter batteries. He was certain of capturing the place and its defenders by regular siege operations. Never did the genius of Thomas shine more brilliantly than at the siege of Nashville. He industriously gathered reinforcements, perfected his defenses, and refused to move until fully prepared. The whole country became impatient; even General Grant sent him urgent messages, and at one time issued an order for his removal. But Thomas could not be shaken from his purpose. Not until December 15th did he feel himself ready to strike, and then he did it with the might of a descending avalanche. He sallied forth, captured several redoubts, and drove back the Confederates for a number of miles. He renewed the battle on the 16th, and utterly routed Hood's army. The panic-stricken troops fled in confusion, drawing Forrest and his cavalry into the disorganized flight, while Thomas vigorously pursued until the fugitives scrambled over Duck River toward the Tennessee, which was crossed on the 27th of December.

Hood's army was virtually destroyed. He lost more than 13,000 prisoners, including several general officers, and many guns, while more than 2,000 deserters joined Thomas. The disgusted Hood asked to be relieved of his command, and Dick Taylor, who had defeated Banks some months before in Texas, assumed his place, but he really was left with no army to command. The proud host which had promised so much existed no longer. The Rock of Chickamauga had fallen upon it and ground it to powder.


Sherman proved his confidence in Thomas by not waiting for him to complete his wonderful task, before beginning his march from Atlanta to the sea, 300 miles distant. Since it was impossible to maintain the long and increasing slender line of communications behind him, Sherman made no effort to do so. He "cut loose" entirely, proposing to live off the granary of the South, through which his 60,000 veterans began their famous tramp. Weeks passed, during which the national government heard not a word from Sherman, except such as filtered through the Confederate lines, and which was always tinctured by the hopes of the enemy. There were continual rumors of the Union army meeting "a lion in its path," and of its being overwhelmed by disaster, but nothing of a positive nature was learned, and naturally there was considerable uneasiness, though Grant knew Sherman too well to feel any distrust of his success.

At the beginning of his march, Sherman aimed to deceive the enemy as to his real destination. The secret was shared only with his corps commanders and General Kilpatrick, leader of the cavalry. The advance was in two columns, the right under General Howard and the left under General Slocum. Atlanta was burned on the night of November 15th, and Sherman himself rode out from the city the next day with the left wing.

It was impossible for the Confederates to present any serious opposition to the invaders. Frantic appeals were issued to the South to rise and crush the enemy, but they accomplished nothing. The bands of militia were brushed aside like so many children, and the march "From Atlanta to the Sea" was simply a huge picnic for Sherman and his army. The opening of the Mississippi had sliced off the left limb of the Southern Confederacy, and Sherman was now boring his way through the heart.

Milledgeville, the capital of the State, was reached on the 21st, but before the Federals arrived the Legislature adjourned precipitately and took to its heels. Governor Brown and most of the members ran to Augusta, which was surrendered two days later, plundered, and partly burned. Kilpatrick made a demonstration against Macon, and could easily have captured it, but his movement was intended only as a feint. Rightly surmising by this time that the seacoast was Sherman's destination, General Hardee did all he could to obstruct the roads leading thither, but he was powerless to check the invaders. Thousands of negroes followed the army, singing the "Day of Jubilee has Come," but many of the poor people perished amid the dismal wastes and barrens of Eastern Georgia.

Finally Sherman passed down the peninsula formed by the Ogeechee and Savannah Rivers and approached Savannah. The enemy were easily driven from their field-works, and by December 10th all the Confederates were forced into their lines and the whole Union army was in front of Savannah. The 300 miles had been passed in twenty-five days and the listening ears could now hear the faint boom of the distant Atlantic breakers.

But Hardee was in Savannah with 15,000 men, capable of offering a strong defense. To meet his heavy cannon, Sherman had only field artillery, and, instead of making a direct attack, which would have involved considerable loss of life, he decided to starve the garrison to terms. Admiral Dahlgren was lying off the coast, but the mouth of the river was commanded by Fort McAllister, and it was dangerous work to attempt to communicate with the Union fleet. Sherman sent off three scouts, who paddled cautiously down the river at night, hiding in the rice-fields by day, until they finally succeeded in attracting the notice of a gunboat which ran in and picked them up. The glorious news was carried to Admiral Dahlgren, who immediately dispatched it North, where, as may be supposed, it caused unbounded rejoicing.

Fort McAllister, fifteen miles below the city, was such an obstacle to the co-operation of the fleet that Sherman determined to capture it. It was taken with a rush on the 13th of December, and the way opened for a supply of ammunition and heavy guns from Hilton Head. General Forster, the Union commander of that department, was ordered to occupy the railroad connecting Savannah and Charleston. When that should be done, Savannah would be completely invested.


On the 17th, Sherman demanded the surrender of the city. Hardee refused and Sherman prepared to bombard it. But the Confederates, who still had control of Savannah River, retreated across that stream on the night of the 20th, and tramped into South Carolina. Sherman entered the city the next day and wrote at once to President Lincoln "I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition; also about 25,000 bales of cotton." It was a unique Christmas gift indeed, and President Lincoln sent back the thanks of the government and nation to the Union commander, his officers and soldiers.



One pleasing feature of Sherman's entrance into Savannah was the widespread Union sentiment which manifested itself among the citizens. They were tired of the war and glad to see this evidence that its close was near. They did not destroy their cotton or property, but were quite willing to turn it over to their conquerors. General Geary was appointed commandant and ruled with tact and kindness. Here we will leave Sherman for a time, and give our attention to the single remaining, but most important, campaign of all—that of General Grant against Lee.


When the Army of the Potomac was ready to move against Lee and Richmond, it consisted of three instead of five corps. Hancock commanded the Second, Warren the Fifth, and Sedgwick the Sixth. Beside this, the Ninth Corps, which included many colored troops, was under command of Burnside, and was left for a time to guard the communications with Washington. This force numbered 140,000 men, and, as has been stated, was the largest number ever assembled by the Unionists.

In addition to this stupendous host, 42,000 troops were in and about Washington, 31,000 in West Virginia, and 59,000 in the department of Virginia and North Carolina. In South Carolina, Georgia, and at other points were 38,000. General Lee had less than 58,000 under his immediate command, and the whole number of Confederates in the region threatened by Grant's 310,000 was about 125,000.

General Meade retained command of the Army of the Potomac, and the cavalry corps was under General Philip H. Sheridan. Best of all, the veterans were now inspired by a feeling of confidence to which they had long been strangers. They felt that they had a commander at last who was competent to lead them to victory.

Lee was acting on the defensive and held a powerful position. Longstreet was at Gordonsville, Ewell on the Rapidan, and A.P. Hill at Orange Court-House. The Rapidan itself was held by small bodies of troops, whose duty it was to keep watch of the movements of the Union army.

Grant's plan was to advance directly to Richmond. He intended to cross the Rapidan, attack Lee's right, cut his communications, and compel him to fight. At the same time Butler was to ascend the James from Fort Monroe, seize City Point, and, advancing along the south bank of the river, cut the Confederate communications south of the James, and, if possible, capture Petersburg.

If Grant succeeded in defeating Lee, he intended to follow him to Richmond. If he failed, he meant to transfer his whole army to the southern side of the James, using Butler's column to cover the movement, and attack from that quarter. At the same time, General Sigel was to organize his army into two expeditions, one under General Crook in the Kanawha Valley, and the other commanded by himself in the Shenandoah Valley. The object of this campaign was to cut the Central Railroad and the Virginia and Tennessee Road. Since the bulk of Lee's supplies were received over these lines, the success of the plan would inflict a mortal blow upon the Confederate army.

The Army of the Potomac began moving, May 3d, at midnight. The advance was in two columns. The right, including Warren's and Sedgwick's Corps, crossed the Rapidan at Germania Ford, and the left, Hancock's Corps, made the passage at Ely's Ford, six miles below. On the following night, the bivouac was between the Rapidan and Chancellorsville.


Reading Grant's purpose, Lee determined to attack him in the dense, wooded country known as the Wilderness, where it would be impossible for the Union commander to use his artillery. Acting promptly, a furious assault was made and the Confederates attained considerable success. The ground was unfavorable for the Unionists, but Grant did not shrink. His line was five miles long and mostly within the woods, where he could use neither cavalry nor artillery with effect; but he made his attack with such vehemence that after several hours of terrific fighting he drove the flying Confederates back almost to the headquarters of Lee, where Longstreet saved the army from overthrow and re-established the line.


Before noon the next day, Longstreet forced Hancock's left to the Brock Road and determined to seize the latter. Had he done so, another disastrous defeat would have been added to those suffered by the Army of the Potomac at the hands of Lee. Longstreet was in high spirits and determined to lead the movement in person. While riding forward, he met General Jenkins, who was also exultant over what seemed certain success. The two stopped to shake hands, and when doing so, they and their escorts were mistaken by a body of Confederate troops for Union cavalry and fired upon. Longstreet waved his hand and shouted to the men to stop firing. They did so, but Jenkins had already been killed and Longstreet himself was shot in the throat. He fell from his saddle and lay beside the body of Jenkins. He was believed to be dead, but, showing signs of life, was placed on a litter and carried to the rear, the soldiers cheering as he was borne past. The reader will recall the strange wounding of Stonewall Jackson, under almost similar circumstances, by his own men. Longstreet recovered in time to take a leading part in the closing incidents of the war.

This occurrence caused a feeling akin to dismay in the Confederate ranks, and defeated the movement that was about to be undertaken. General Lee was so disturbed that he placed himself at the head of a Texas brigade, with the resolve to lead it in a charge that should be decisive, but his men would not permit, and compelled him to resume his place at the rear.

Grant's position was too strong to be carried and Lee was equally secure. Meanwhile Grant carefully hunted for a weak spot in his enemy's line, and decided that Spottsylvania Court-House was the place, and thither he marched his army on the night of May 7th.

While this movement was in progress, Sheridan and his cavalry made a dash toward Richmond in the effort to cut Lee's communications. The vigilant Stuart intercepted them at Yellow Tavern, within seven miles of the city, and compelled Sheridan to return, but in the fighting Stuart received a wound from which he died the next day.

When Grant's advance reached Spottsylvania Court-House, the Confederates were in possession, and repulsed the attempt to drive them out. While the preparations for renewing the battle were going on, General Sedgwick was struck in the head by a Confederate sharpshooter and instantly killed.


A series of flank movements followed, with fierce fighting, in which the Union loss was great. Reinforcements were sent to Grant, and nothing could deter his resolution to drive Lee to the wall. At Cold Harbor, on June 3d, however, the Union commander received one of the most bloody repulses of the war, suffering a loss of ten thousand in the space of less than half an hour, and his losses from the Rapidan to the Chickahominy—whither he moved his army—equaled the whole number of men in Lee's army. The latter was within the defenses of Richmond, of which the centre was Cold Harbor. Having much shorter lines, the Confederates were able to anticipate the movements of the Army of the Potomac and present a defiant front at all times.

Meanwhile matters had gone wrong in the Shenandoah Valley. On the 15th of May, Sigel was utterly routed by Breckinridge. The Union officer failed so badly that he was superseded by Hunter, who made just as wretched a failure. The 15,000 troops under Breckinridge were sent to reinforce Lee, when, had Sigel and Hunter done their duty, this force would have been compelled to stay in the Shenandoah Valley.

Another movement that was meant to help Grant materially was that of Butler, who was to threaten Richmond by water, while Grant and Meade were assailing the city in front. But Butler was outgeneraled by Beauregard, who succeeded in "bottling him up," as Grant expressed it, at Bermuda Hundred, a peninsula formed by the James, twenty miles below Richmond. There Butler was held helpless, while Beauregard sent a small part of his meagre force to reinforce Lee.

lee and the texans


The terrible repulse which Grant received at Cold Harbor convinced him that it was only throwing away life to persist in the campaign against Richmond by the "overland" route. With characteristic decision, he decided to move his army to the front of Petersburg and thus shut off Lee's communication with the South. Holding his position in front of the Confederate leader until June 12th, Grant crossed the Chickahominy and advanced to City Point. Passing the James on pontoon-bridges, he marched toward Petersburg, where the army arrived on the 15th. The next day the Army of the Potomac was south of the James. Petersburg was immediately attacked, but the defenders repelled every assault. The next day, Lee's whole army entered the breastworks of the town. After repeated attacks by the Unionists, Grant saw the impossibility of capturing Petersburg by direct attack and he began its siege. Several times the Confederates made sallies against threatening movements and drove the Federals from the positions that had been gained at no little loss of life.

Early in July, Grant consented to allow Lieutenant-Colonel Pleasant, of a Pennsylvania regiment belonging to Burnside's corps, to run a mine under one of the approaches to the enemy's intrenchments before Petersburg. It was believed, apparently with reason, that the explosion would open a gap in the line through which the Federals might make a dash and capture the town before the defenders could rally from their confusion.

The mine was laid and four tons of powder were fired at daylight on the morning of July 30th. A cavity was opened by the stupendous explosion, 200 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 30 feet deep. Instantly, the Union batteries opened on those of the enemy, silenced them, and the assaulting column charged. The dreadful mistake was made by the men of halting in the cavity for shelter. The troops sent to their help also stopped and huddled together, seeing which the terrified gunners ran back to their abandoned pieces and opened upon the disorganized mass in the pit. The slaughter continued until the Confederate officers sickened at the sight and ordered it stopped. The horrible business resulted in the loss of nearly 1,000 prisoners and 3,000 killed and wounded.


Since the entire Army of the Potomac was in front of Petersburg, the Confederates took advantage of the opportunity to give Washington another scare, in the hope, also, of compelling Grant to withdraw a considerable body of troops from before Richmond. General Early was sent thither with 8,000 men by General Lee, with orders to attack the Federals in the valley. Sigel, whose great forte was that of retreating, fell back before the advance of Early, crossed the Potomac, and took position on Maryland Heights. Early moved up the Monocacy into Maryland, causing great alarm in Washington. The President called upon Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts for militia with which to repel the invasion. They were placed under the command of General Lew Wallace, who was defeated at Monocacy Junction, July 9th. Early attacked Rockville, fourteen miles west of Washington, and Colonel Harry Gilmor, himself a citizen of Baltimore, cut the communications between that city and Philadelphia. He captured a railway train, and among his prisoners was General Franklin, who was wounded and on his way north. The loose watch kept over the captives allowed them to escape.

Early was in high feather over his success, and his cavalry appeared in front of Washington, July 11th, and exchanged shots with Fort Stevens; but a spirited attack drove them off, and they crossed the Potomac at Edward's Ferry, and passed to the western side of the Shenandoah. Early made his headquarters at Winchester and repelled several assaults upon him.

The Confederate leader had been so successful that he soon made a second raid. He crossed the Potomac, July 29th, and, entering Pennsylvania, reached Chambersburg, from which a ransom of $200,000 in gold was demanded. It not being forthcoming, the city was fired, and the invaders, after some hard fighting, succeeded in getting back to the southern shore of the Potomac.


These raids were so exasperating that Grant, who could not give them his personal attention, determined to put an effectual stop to them. The government united the departments of western Virginia, Washington, and the Susquehanna, and placed them under the charge of General Sheridan, who had 40,000 men at his disposal. Sheridan, whose force was three times as numerous as Early's, was anxious to move against him, and Grant finally gave his consent on the condition that he would desolate the Shenandoah Valley to that extent that nothing would be left to invite invasion.



In the first encounter between Sheridan and Early near the Opequan, a small tributary of the Potomac, west of the Shenandoah, Early was routed and sent flying toward Winchester, with the loss of many prisoners and supplies. He was driven through the town, and his troops intrenched themselves on Fisher's Hill, near Strasburg. They were again attacked, on the 21st of September, and compelled to retreat further up the valley. Early received a reinforcement, and secured himself at Brown's Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where for the first time he was really safe.

This left Sheridan free to carry out the orders of Grant to devastate the valley, and he made thorough work of it. Nothing was spared, and the burning and destruction were so complete that his homely remark seemed justified when he said that no crow would dare attempt to fly across the region without taking his rations with him.

Feeling that the situation was secure, Sheridan now went to Washington to consult with the government. On the 19th of October the Union camp at Cedar Creek was surprised and routed by Early, who captured eighteen guns, which were turned on the fugitives as they fled in the direction of Middletown. Their commander, General Wright, finally succeeded in rallying them, mainly because the Confederates were so overcome at sight of the food in the abandoned camps that they gave up the pursuit to feast and gorge themselves.


Sheridan had reached Winchester, "twenty miles away," on his return from Washington, when the faint sounds of firing told him of the battle in progress. Leaping into his saddle, he spurred at headlong speed down the highway, rallied the panic-stricken troops, placed himself at their head, and, charging headlong into the rebel mob at Cedar Creek, scattered them like so much chaff, retook the camps, and routed Early so utterly that no more raids were attempted by him or any other Confederates during the remainder of the war. Indeed, it may be said that this disgraceful overthrow ended the military career of Jubal Early. When some months later General Lee was placed at the head of all the military affairs of the Confederacy, he lost no time in doing two things: the first was to restore General Jo Johnston to his old command, and the second to remove Early from his.

The stirring incident described furnished the theme for the well-known poem of T. Buchanan Read, entitled "Sheridan's Ride."

Grant held fast to that which he won by terrific fighting. Petersburg lies about twenty miles to the south of Richmond, and the strongly fortified Union lines were nearly thirty miles in length, extending from a point close to the Weldon Railroad, on Grant's left, across the James to the neighborhood of Newmarket, on the right. Holding the inner part of this circle, Lee was able for a long time to repel every assault.

The Confederate commander fought furiously to prevent his enemy from obtaining possession of the Weldon Road, but late in August a lodgment was effected from which the Federals could not be driven. Other advantages were gained, but the close of the year saw Lee still unconquered and defiant.


Early in February, 1865, Grant attempted to turn the Confederate right, but was repulsed, though he gained several miles of additional territory. Sheridan soon after destroyed the Richmond and Lynchburg Railroad and the locks of the James River Canal, after which he joined the Army of the James.


"The two generals met at the house of Major McLean, in the hamlet of Appomattox Courthouse, where Lee surrendered all that remained of the Confederate Army, which for nearly four years had beaten back every attempt to capture Richmond. Grant's terms, as usual, were generous. He did not ask for Lee's sword, and demanded only that he and his men should agree not again to bear arms against the Government of the United States."

But Lee was beginning to feel the tremendous and continued pressure. His army numbered barely 35,000 men. A.P. Hill commanded the right wing, stretching from Petersburg to Hatcher's Run; General J.B. Gordon, the centre, at Petersburg; and Longstreet, who had recovered from his wound, the left wing, north and south of the James; while the cavalry did what it could to cover the flanks. This attenuated line was forty miles long. Realizing the desperate straits, the Confederate authorities early in 1865 placed the entire military operations of the Confederacy in the hands of Lee.

The latter planned to fall back toward Danville and unite with Johnston. If successful this would have given him a formidable army; but Grant did not intend to permit such a junction. Fighting went on almost continually, the gain being with the Union army, because of its greatly superior numbers and the skill with which they were handled by the master, Grant. April 1st a cannonade opened along the whole Union line. Lee's right wing had been destroyed, but the others were unbroken. At daylight the next morning an advance was made against the Confederate works. Lee was forced back, and he strengthened his lines by making them much shorter.

The Confederates steadily lost ground, many were killed and taken prisoners, and in a charge upon the Union left General A.P. Hill lost his life. At last the enemy's outer lines were hopelessly broken, and Lee telegraphed the startling fact to President Davis, who received it while sitting in church, Sunday, April 2d. The Confederate President was told that Lee could hold Petersburg but a few hours longer, and Davis was warned to have the authorities ready to leave Richmond unless a message was sent to the contrary. No such longed-for message arrived.


The counsel of Lee was followed. Jefferson Davis, the members of his cabinet, and a number of leading citizens left the capital that night for Charlotte, North Carolina. The whole city was thrown into the wildest confusion; rioting and drunkenness filled the streets, buildings were fired, and pandemonium reigned. General Witzel, who occupied the Union works to the north of Richmond, learned the astounding news, and the next morning rode into the city without opposition. The tidings were telegraphed to Washington. The following day President Lincoln arrived, and was quartered in the house formerly occupied by Jefferson Davis. Martial law was proclaimed, and order restored in the stricken city.

But General Lee had not yet surrendered. No men ever fought more heroically than he and his soldiers. On the Sunday that he sent his message to President Davis, the commander found the only line of retreat left to him was that which led to the westward, and even that was threatened. Anticipating Lee's retreat, Grant used all possible energy to cut him off. On the night of April 6th Lee crossed the Appomattox near Farmville. That night his general officers held a consultation, and agreed that but one course was left to them and that was to surrender. Their views were communicated to Lee, but he would not yet consent to that decisive step.



Grant was in Farmville on the 7th, and he sent a letter to Lee, reminding him of the uselessness of further resistance and asking for his surrender. Lee still declined, and continued his retreat. Then Sheridan threw his powerful division of cavalry in front of the Confederates, and Lee decided to cut his way through the ring of bayonets and sabres by which he was environed. This desperate task was assigned to the indomitable Gordon. He made a resistless beginning, when he saw the impossibility of success. The news was sent to Lee, who realized at last that all hope was gone. He forwarded a note to Grant, asking for a suspension of hostilities with a view to surrender. The two generals met at the house of Major McLean, in the hamlet of Appomattox Court-House, on the 9th of April, where Lee surrendered all that remained of the Confederate army, which for nearly four years had beaten back every attempt to capture Richmond.

Grant's terms as usual were generous. He did not ask for Lee's sword, and demanded only that he and his men should agree not to bear arms again against the government of the United States. They were to surrender all public property, but Grant told them to keep their horses, "as you will need them for your spring ploughing." The soldiers who had fought each other so long and so fiercely fraternized like brothers, exchanged grim jests over the terrible past, and pledged future friendship. The reunion between the officers was equally striking. Most of them were old acquaintances, and all rejoiced that the war was at last ended. General Lee rode with his cavalry escort to his home in Richmond and rejoined his family. He was treated with respect by the Union troops, who could not restrain a feeling of sympathy for their fallen but magnanimous enemy.


The bonfires in the North had hardly died out and the echoes of the glad bells were still lingering in the air, when the whole country was startled by one of the most horrifying events in all history. President Lincoln, on the night of April 14th, was sitting in a box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, accompanied by his wife and another lady and gentleman, when, at a little past ten o'clock, John Wilkes Booth, an actor, stealthily entered the box from the rear, and, without any one suspecting his awful purpose, fired a pistol-bullet into the President's brain. The latter's head sank, and he never recovered consciousness.

Booth, after firing the shot, leaped upon the stage from the box, brandished a dagger, shouted "Sic semper tyrannis!" and, before the dumbfounded spectators could comprehend what had been done, dashed out of a rear door, sprang upon a waiting horse, and galloped off in the darkness.

No pen can describe the horror and rage which seized the spectators when they understood what had taken place. The stricken President was carried across the street to a house where he died at twenty-two minutes past seven the next morning.

About the time of his assassination, an attempt was made upon the life of Secretary Seward, who was confined to his bed, suffering from a fall. A male attendant prevented the miscreant from killing the secretary, though he was badly cut. The best detective force of the country was set to work, and an energetic pursuit of Booth was made. He had injured his ankle when leaping from the box upon the stage of the theatre, but he rode into Maryland, accompanied by another conspirator, named David E. Harrold. At the end of eleven days they were run down by the pursuing cavalry, who brought them to bay on the 26th of April. They had crossed from Maryland into Virginia and taken refuge in a barn near Port Royal, on the Rappahannock.


Three commissioners from the Confederacy suggesting terms of peace to President Lincoln and Secretary Seward in Fortress Monroe, January 1865.


The barn was surrounded and the two men were summoned to surrender. Harrold went out and gave himself up. Booth refused and defied the troopers, offering to fight them single-handed. To drive him from his hiding-place, the barn was set on fire. Booth, carbine in hand and leaning on his crutch, approached the door with the intention of shooting, when Sergeant Boston Corbett fired through a crevice and hit Booth in the neck. The wound was a mortal one, and Booth was brought out of the barn and laid on the ground, where he died after several hours of intense suffering. The body was taken to Washington and secretly buried. There is good reason to believe that it was sunk at night in the Potomac.


The country was in no mood to show leniency to any one concerned in the taking off of the beloved President. Of the five conspirators tried, four were hanged. They were: Payne, Harrold, G.A. Atzeroot, and Mrs. Mary A. Surratt, at whose house the conspirators held their meetings. Dr. S.A. Mudd, who dressed Booth's wounded ankle, and was believed to be in sympathy with the plotters, was sentenced to the Dry Tortugas for a number of years. He showed so much devotion during an outbreak of yellow fever there that he was pardoned some time later. John Surratt, the assailant of Secretary Seward, fled to Italy, where he was discovered by Archbishop Hughes, and the Italian government, as an act of courtesy, delivered him to our government. On his first trial the jury disagreed, and on the second he escaped through the plea of limitations.

The whole country mourned the death of President Lincoln. His greatness, his goodness, and his broad, tender charity were appreciated by every one. The South knew that they had lost in him their best friend. Had he lived, much of the strife of the succeeding few years would have been saved, and the bitter cup that was pressed to the lips of the conquered South would have been less bitter than it was made by others. The remains of the martyred President were laid in their final resting-place at Springfield, Illinois, and the fame of Lincoln grows and increases with the passing years.


The army of General Jo Johnston did not surrender until after the death of President Lincoln. Sherman, as will be remembered, made the city of Savannah a Christmas present to the President. Leaving a strong detachment in the city, Sherman moved northward with an army of 70,000 men, including artillery, the start being made on the 1st of February. Charleston, where the first ordinance of secession was passed and which had successfully defied every movement against it, now found itself assailed in the rear. The garrison, after destroying the government stores, the railway stations, blowing up the ironclads in the harbor, bursting the guns on the ramparts of the forts, and setting the city on fire, withdrew. This took place February 17th. The next day General Gillmore entered Charleston and his troops extinguished the few buildings that were still burning.

It has not been forgotten that Wilmington, North Carolina, had become the great blockade-running port of the Southern Confederacy. The mouth of Cape Fear River was defended by Fort Fisher, a very powerful fortification. General Butler made an attempt to capture it in December, but failed. Another effort followed January 15th, under General Alfred Terry, and was successful. The defeated garrison joined Johnston to help him in disputing the northward advance of Sherman.

There was severe fighting, especially at Goldsborough, but the Union army was so much the superior that its progress could not be stayed. There Schofield reinforced Sherman, who, feeling all danger was past, turned over the command to his subordinate and went north to consult with Grant, reaching his headquarters on the 27th of March. Soon after the surrender of Lee, the whole Confederacy was in such a state of collapse that the Union cavalry galloped back and forth through every portion at will.

Returning to his command, Sherman moved against Johnston, April 10th. Four days later, Johnston admitted in a communication to the Union commander that the surrender of Lee meant the end of the war, and he asked for a temporary suspension of hostilities, with the view of making arrangements for the laying down of the Confederate arms. Sherman consented, and these two commanders met and discussed the situation.


In the exchange of views which followed, the great soldier, Sherman, was outwitted by Johnston and the Confederate president and cabinet, who were behind him. They secured his agreement to a restoration, so far as he could bring it about, of the respective State governments in the South as they were before the war, with immunity for the secession leaders from punishment, and other privileges, which, if granted, would have been throwing away most of the fruits of the stupendous struggle. Sherman thus took upon himself the disposition of civil matters with which he had nothing to do. The more sagacious Grant saw the mistake of his old friend, and, visiting his camp, April 24th, told him his memorandum was disapproved, and notice was to be sent Johnston of the resumption of hostilities. Two days later, Sherman and Johnston again met, and the Confederate commander promptly agreed to surrender his army on the same conditions that were given to Lee.



General J.H. Wilson and his cavalry captured Macon, Georgia, April 21st, and, on the 4th of May, General Dick Taylor surrendered the remainder of the Confederate forces east of the Mississippi, at which time also Admiral Farrand surrendered to Admiral Thatcher all the naval forces of the Confederacy that were blockaded in the Tombigbee River. At that time, Kirby Smith was on the other side of the Mississippi, loudly declaring that he would keep up the fight until independence or better terms were secured, but his followers did not share his views, and deserted so fast that he, Magruder, and others made their way to Mexico, where, after remaining awhile, they returned to the United States and became peaceful and law-abiding citizens. The troops left by them passed under the command of General Brent, who, on the 26th of May, surrendered to General Canby, when it may be said the War for the Union was ended.

After the surrender of Johnston, Jefferson Davis and the members of his cabinet became fugitives, under the escort of a few paroled soldiers. It was feared they might join Kirby Smith and encourage him to continue his resistance, while others believed he was striving to get beyond the jurisdiction of the United States.

The party hurried through the dismal wastes of Georgia, in continual fear that the Union cavalry would burst from cover upon them and make all prisoners. In the early morning light of May 10th, Mr. Davis, while asleep in his tent, near Irwinsville, Wilkinson County, Georgia, was aroused by the alarming news that the camp was surrounded by Union cavalry. He leaped to his feet and ran for his horse, but the animal was already in the possession of a Federal trooper. His wife threw a shawl over his shoulders, and he attempted to escape from the camp without being recognized, but he was identified and made prisoner. He had been captured by a squad of General J.H. Wilson's cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Pritchard of the Fourth Michigan. His fellow-prisoners were his wife and children, his private secretary, Burton Harrison, his aide-de-camp, and Postmaster-General Reagan, all of whom were taken to Macon, and thence to Fort Monroe, Virginia.

It was a serious problem, now that the president of the defunct Confederacy was captured, what should be done with him. He was kept in Fort Monroe until his health was impaired, when he was released on bail; Horace Greeley, the well-known editor of the New York Tribune, being one of his bondsmen. He had been indicted for treason in 1866, being released the following year, but his trial was dropped on the 6th of February, 1869. He passed the remainder of his life in Memphis, and later at Beauvoir, Mississippi, dying in New Orleans, December 6, 1889, in the eighty-second year of his age.


The most carefully prepared statistics of the Civil War give the following facts: Number of men in the Union army furnished by each State and Territory, from April 15, 1861, to close of war, 2,778,304, which, reduced to a three years' standing, was 2,326,168. The number of casualties in the volunteer and regular armies of the United States, according to a statement prepared by the adjutant-general's office, was: Killed in battle, 67,058; died of wounds, 43,012; died of disease, 199,720; other causes, such as accidents, murder, Confederate prisons, etc., 40,154; total died, 349,944; total deserted, 199,105. Number of soldiers in the Confederate service, who died of wounds or disease (partial statement), 133,821. Deserted (partial statement), 104,428. Number of United States troops captured during the war, 212,508; Confederate troops captured, 476,169. Number of United States troops paroled on the field, 16,431; Confederate troops paroled on the field, 248,599. Number of United States troops who died while prisoners, 30,156; Confederate troops who died while prisoners, 30,152. It is safe to say that the number of men killed and disabled on both sides during the War for the Union was fully one million. The public debt of the United States, July 1, 1866, was $2,773,236,173.69, which on the 1st of November, 1897, had been reduced to $1,808,777,643.40.

Mention has been made of the frightful brutalities of Captain Wirz, the keeper of Andersonville prison. He richly merited the hanging which he suffered on the 10th of November, 1865. As has been stated, he was the only person executed for his part in the Civil War.

England, upon receiving news of the arrest of Jefferson Davis, declared all ports, harbors, and waters belonging to Great Britain closed against every vessel bearing the Confederate flag. The French government took the same action a few days later.

More than a generation has passed since the close of the great Civil War, which resulted in the cementing of the Union so firmly that the bonds can never again be broken. Whatever resentment may have been felt lasted but a brief while, and the late war with Spain removed the last vestige.



A little incident may serve as one of the thousand similar occurrences which prove how perfectly the North and South fraternized long ago. The officer who did the most effective work for the Union in the South during the closing months of the war was General James H. Wilson, a detachment of whose cavalry captured the fugitive Jefferson Davis. It was General Wilson, who, on the 21st of April, 1865, rode into Macon, Georgia, and took possession of the city. In the month of December, 1898, while on a visit to Macon, he made an address to the citizens, from which the following extract is given:


Fellow-Citizens: It is with infinite pleasure that I address myself in words of peace to a Macon audience. [Cheers.] Thirty-odd years ago I came into this town with 15,000 cavalry thundering at my heels. [Laughter and shouts.] I was met with the roaring of cannon and the firing of musketry. [Cheers.] I was greeted by the burning of warehouses and the destruction of property, which I now profoundly regret. [Cheers.] The welcome that was extended to me then was of the silent quality. [Laughter.] An illustrious citizen, then your chief magistrate, the Hon. Joseph E. Brown, after a four-hours' interview, speaking of me then, said to another gathering of illustrious citizens, at the head of which was Howell Cobb: "He is a clever young man, but, gentlemen, he takes the military view of the situation." [Laughter.] That was a fact then, but now I come among you and I receive a different welcome. I was then a victor; to-day I am a captive. [Cheers.] I must say I am a willing captive of your city. The fair women and the brave and excellent gentlemen of your town have, by their open and generous hospitality, imprisoned me deep down in their hearts, and I would be recreant to every feeling of my own if I desired release from such pleasing bondage.





Andrew Johnson—Reconstruction—Quarrel Between the President and Congress—The Fenians—Execution of Maximilian—Admission of Nebraska—Laying of the Atlantic Cable—Purchase of Alaska—Impeachment and Acquittal of the President—Carpet-bag Rule in the South—Presidential Election of 1868—U.S. Grant—Settlement of the Alabama Claims—Completion of the Overland Railway—The Chicago Fire—Settlement of the Northwestern Boundary—Presidential Election of 1872—The Modoc Troubles—Civil War in Louisiana—Admission of Colorado—Panic of 1873—Notable Deaths—Custer's Massacre—The Centennial—The Presidential Election of 1876 the Most Perilous in the History of the Country.


As provided by the Constitution, Andrew Johnson, Vice-President, took the oath of office as President on the day that Abraham Lincoln died. He was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, December 29, 1808, and his parents were so poor that they did not send him to school at all. When only ten years old, he was apprenticed to a tailor, and anyone who at that time had prophesied that he would some day become President of the United States would have been set down as an idiot or a lunatic.


ANDREW JOHNSON. (1808-1875.)
One partial term, 1865-1869.

Among the visitors to the tailor shop was a kind-hearted old gentleman who was in the habit of reading to the boys and men. Andrew became interested in what he heard, and, seeing how much better it would be for him to be able to read for himself, set to work and learned. He removed to Greenville, Tennessee, in 1826, and there married a noble woman, who encouraged his ambition and helped him in his studies. Nature had given him marked ability, and he became interested in local politics. The citizens had confidence in him, for he was twice elected alderman, twice mayor, was sent three times to the State Legislature, and in 1843 was elected to Congress. He remained there for ten years, when he was chosen governor of Tennessee, and, in 1857, became United States senator.

Johnson had always been a Democrat, and, when the political upheaval came in 1860, he supported Breckinridge. While he favored slavery, he was a Unionist in every fibre of his being, and declared that every man who raised his hand against the flag should be hanged as a traitor. Tennessee was torn by the savage quarrel, and for a time the secessionists were rampant. When Johnson returned to his home in May, 1861, his train was stopped by a mob who were determined to lynch him, but he met the angered men at the door with a loaded revolver and cowed them.

It was such men as Johnson that President Lincoln appreciated and determined to keep bound to him. He appointed him military governor of Tennessee in 1862, and it need hardly be said that Johnson made things lively for the secessionists, and did not forget to give attention to those who had persecuted him. His personal courage and honesty won the admiration of the North, and, as we have shown, led to his being placed on the ticket with President Lincoln, when he was renominated in 1864.

The reader will not forget that the surrender of Johnson and the capture, imprisonment, and release of Jefferson Davis occurred while Johnson was President.


Reconstruction was the grave problem that confronted the country at the close of the war. The question was as to the status of the States lately in rebellion. It would not do to restore them to their full rights, with the same old governments, for they might make better preparations and secede again. Nothing was clearer than that slavery was the real cause of the war, and the safety of the nation demanded that it should be extirpated forever. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure and simply freed the slaves, but did not prevent the re-establishment of slavery. In December, 1865, therefore, the Thirteenth Amendment, having been adopted by three-fourths of the States, was declared a part of the Constitution. By it slavery was forever abolished, and one of the gravest of all perils was removed.

President Johnson was a man of strong passions and prejudices. He had been a "poor white" in the South, whose condition in some respect was worse than that of slaves. He held a bitter personal hatred of the aristocratic Southerners, who had brought on the war. His disposition at first was to hang the leaders, but after awhile he swung almost as far in the opposite direction. At the same time, he was not particularly concerned for the welfare of the freed slaves, who were called "freedmen."


President Johnson termed his plan "my policy," and briefly it was: To appoint provisional or temporary governors for each of the States lately in rebellion. These governors called conventions of delegates, who were elected by the former white voters of the respective States. When the conventions met they declared all the ordinances of secession void, pledged themselves never to pay any debt of the Southern Confederacy, and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, as proposed by Congress early in 1865, and which abolished slavery. Before the close of the year named, each of the excluded States had been reorganized in accordance with this plan. Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas took the step while Lincoln was President.

The vexatious question was as to the treatment of the freedmen. The South had no faith that they would work, except when compelled to do so by slave-overseers. The new governments passed laws, therefore, to compel them to work, under the penalty of being declared vagrants and sent to jail, where they would be forced to hard labor. This method was denounced in the North as a re-establishment of slavery under a new name. The Republican majority in December, 1865, refused for a time to admit any members from the States that had been in rebellion.


Thus a quarrel arose between the President and Congress. The latter proposed to keep the States on probation for a time, before giving them their full rights, while the President strenuously insisted that they should be admitted at once on the same status as those that had not been engaged in secession. To keep out the eighty-five members who had been refused admission, Congress imposed a test oath, which excluded all who had been connected in any way with the Confederate government. The Republicans had a two-thirds vote in Congress which enabled them to pass any bill they chose over the President's veto. While they had not formulated any clear policy, they were resolved to protect the freedmen in all their rights. The reorganization of Tennessee being satisfactory, her members were received by Congress in 1866.

The congressional elections of this year intrenched the Republicans in Congress, and they were sure of the power for the next two years to carry through any policy upon which they might agree. By that time, too, they had fixed upon their plan of reconstruction and prepared to enforce it.

This policy was to allow the freedmen to vote and to deprive the Confederate leaders of the right to do so. To accomplish this, the plan was to place all the seceding States under military governors, who should call new conventions to form State governments. The negroes and not the leading Confederates had the power to vote for these delegates. Provided the new governments allowed the freedmen the right of suffrage, and ratified the Fourteenth Amendment (which excluded the leading Confederates from office), then the Southern senators and representatives would be admitted to Congress.


The "civil rights" bill, which placed the blacks and whites on the same footing, was vetoed by the President, March 27th. He pointed out the danger of giving suffrage to 4,000,000 ignorant people, lately slaves, and said unscrupulous men in the North would hasten South and take advantage of their ignorance. This was precisely what took place. The South was overrun by a set of scoundrels known as "carpet-baggers" (because they were supposed to carry all their worldly possessions when they reached the South in a carpet bag; in many instances a score of trunks would not have sufficed to hold what they took back), whose rule was worse than a pestilence, and forms one of the most shameful episodes in our history. According to the old system, the negroes were counted in making up the congressional representation of the South, and the Republicans insisted that they were, therefore, entitled to vote. The bill was passed April 9th, over the President's veto.



The story of the bitter quarrel between the President and Congress is an unpleasant one. Words were uttered by him and by leading members of Congress which it would be well to forget. The President became angrier as the wrangle progressed, for, in the face of the hostile majority, he was powerless. The fight continued through the years 1867 and 1868. In June of the latter year, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina were re-admitted to Congress. The States that had seceded were divided into five military districts, and President Johnson, much against his will, was obliged to appoint the governors. As a result of all this, the negroes were largely in the majority in the South, and the Republican vote in Congress was greatly increased. But in the North, the fall elections went mostly Democratic, though not enough so to overcome the opposing majority in Congress.

During these exciting times there were several occurrences of a different nature which require notice. The Fenians are men of Irish birth who favor the independence of their country from Great Britain. One of their favorite methods is by the invasion of Canada. In 1866, about 1,500 of them entered Canada from Buffalo, and some skirmishing occurred, but the movement was so clearly a violation of law that the President sent a military force to the frontier and promptly stopped it.


France had taken advantage of our Civil War to make an attempt to establish a monarchy in Mexico. French troops were landed, an empire proclaimed, and Maximilian, an Austrian archduke, declared emperor. He went to Mexico in 1864, where he was compelled to fight the Mexicans who had risen against his rule. With the help of the strong military force which Louis Napoleon placed at his disposal, he was able to maintain himself for a time. With the conclusion of the war, our government intimated to Emperor Napoleon that it would be politic for him to withdraw from Mexico, although we were quite willing to allow Maximilian to remain emperor if it was the wish of the Mexicans. Napoleon acted on the warning, but the misguided victim chose to stay, and was captured by the Mexicans in 1867 and shot. That was the end of the attempt to establish an empire in Mexico, which has long been a prosperous and well-governed republic.


Nebraska was admitted to the Union in 1867. It was a part of the Louisiana purchase and was made a Territory in 1854, by the Kansas-Nebraska act. Being located much further north than Kansas, it escaped the strife and civil war which desolated that Territory. It has proven to be a rich agricultural region, though it suffers at times from grasshoppers, drought, and storms.

The attempts to lay an Atlantic telegraph cable resulted in failures until 1866, when a cable was laid from Ireland to Newfoundland. Since then other cables have been successfully stretched beneath the ocean until it may be said the world is girdled by them.


In 1867 our country purchased from Russia the large tract in the northwest known as Russian America. The sum paid was $7,200,000, a price which many deemed so exorbitant that it was considered a mere pretext of Secretary Seward, who strongly urged the measure, in order to give Russia a bonus for her valuable friendship during the Civil War. Inclusive of the islands, the area of Alaska is 577,390 square miles. The country was looked upon as a cold, dismal land of fogs and storms, without any appreciable value, but its seal fisheries and timber have been so productive of late years that it has repaid its original cost tenfold and more.


One of the acts passed by Congress in March, 1867, forbade the President to dismiss any members of his cabinet without the consent of the Senate. The President insisted that the Constitution gave him the right to do this. Secretary of War Stanton, who had resigned by his request, was succeeded by General Grant, who gave way to Stanton, when the latter was replaced by the Senate, in January, 1868. On the 21st of February the President dismissed him and appointed Adjutant-General Thomas secretary ad interim. Stanton refused to yield, and remained at his office night and day, with a company of friends and a military guard. Several demands for the office were made by General Thomas, but all were refused. It was believed the President would send troops to enforce his order, but he did not proceed to that extremity.


On the 24th of February the House of Representatives passed a resolution to impeach the President. This was simply to accuse or charge him with the commission of high crimes and misdemeanors. In such cases the trial must be conducted by the Senate. A committee was appointed to prepare the articles of impeachment, which, in the main, accused the executive of violating the civil tenure act in his removal of Secretary Stanton, though other charges were added.

When the President is impeached, the Constitution provides that his trial shall take place before the Senate, sitting as a court. The trial occupied thirty-two days, lasting until May 26th, with Chief Justice Chase presiding, on which day a vote was taken on the eleventh article of impeachment. Thirty-five senators voted for acquittal and nineteen for conviction. One more vote—making the necessary two-thirds—would have convicted. Ten days later the same vote was given on the other charges, whereupon a verdict of acquittal was ordered.


The carpet-baggers debauched the negroes, sending some of the most ignorant of them to the Legislature, where their personal conduct was a disgrace and they voted away vast sums of money for adventurers who bribed them with a pittance.


The country was in a lamentable condition. Congress censured the President, who expressed his contempt for that body. General Sheridan, whom the President had removed from the governorship of Louisiana, was complimented for his administration, and Congress declared that there was no valid government in the South, the jurisdiction of which was transferred to General Grant, the head of the army.

By this time the carpet-baggers had swarmed into the sorely harried region like so many locusts. They secured the support of the ignorant blacks, by falsehood and misrepresentations, controlled the State Legislatures, and had themselves elected to Congress. Enormous debts were piled up, and negroes, who could not write their names, exultingly made laws for their former masters, who remained in sullen silence at their homes and wondered what affliction was coming next. The colored legislators adjourned pell-mell to attend the circus; hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen, and extravagance, corruption, and debauchery ran riot. As a public man remarked, one general conflagration, sweeping from the Potomac to the Gulf of Mexico, could not have wrought more devastation in the South than the few years of carpet-bag governments.

Yet all such evils are sure to right themselves, sooner or later. The means are apt to be violent and revolutionary, and sometimes breed crime of itself. It was not in the nature of things that the whites should remain passive and meek under this unspeakable misrule. They united for self-protection. One of the bands thus formed was the Ku-Klux, which in time committed so many crimes in terrorizing the negroes that they were suppressed by the stern arm of the military; a revolt of the best people took place, and soon after 1870 the blight of carpet-bag government disappeared from the South.


Despite the turbulence and angry feeling, the work of reconciliation went on of itself. Northern capital entered the promising fields of the South; former Union and Confederate leaders, as well as privates, respected one another, as brave men always do, and became warm friends. While many of the former went South, hundreds of the latter made their homes in the North, where they were welcomed and assisted in the struggle to "get upon their feet." This fraternal mingling of former soldiers and the friendly exchange of visits between Union and Confederate posts brought about true reconciliation, despite the wrangles of politicians.


Before, however, this was fully accomplished, the presidential election of 1868 took place. The most popular hero in this country, as in others, is the military one, and the great value of General Grant's services in the war for the Union made it clear, long before the assembling of the nominating convention, that he would be the candidate of the Republican party. He was unanimously named, with Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the nominee for Vice-President. The Democrats placed in nomination Horatio Seymour, of New York, and General Francis P. Blair, of Missouri. The result in November was as follows: Republican ticket, 214 electoral votes; Democratic, 80. The election was a striking proof of the popularity of the great soldier.

Andrew Johnson was hopeful of a nomination from the Democrats, but his name was scarcely mentioned. He lived in retirement for a number of years, but was elected United States senator in 1875, and he died at his home July 31st of that year.



Two terms, 1869-1877.

Ulysses S. Grant had already become so identified with the history of our country that little remains to be added to that which has been recorded. He was born at Point Pleasant, Ohio, April 27, 1822. Appointed to West Point, he gave no evidence of special brilliancy, and was graduated in 1843 with only a fair standing. He did good service in the war with Mexico and was brevetted captain, but resigned his commission in 1854 and went into business, where he attained only moderate success. He was among the first to volunteer when the Civil War broke out. The opportunity thus presented for the full display of his military genius rapidly brought him to the front, the culmination of his career being reached when he compelled the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House in April, 1865, thereby bringing the long and terrible war to a triumphant conclusion. He was a man of simple tastes, modest, but with an unerring knowledge of his own abilities, thoroughly patriotic, honest, chivalrous, devoted to his friends, and so trustful of them that he remained their supporters sometimes after receiving proof of their unworthiness. The mistakes of his administration were due mainly to this trait of his character, which it is hard to condemn without reservation.

The country being fairly launched once more on its career of progress and prosperity, the government gained the opportunity to give attention to matters which it was compelled to pass by while the war was in progress. The first most important step was to call England to account for her help in fitting out Confederate privateers, when we were in extremity. It required considerable tact and delicacy to get the "Alabama Claims," as they were termed, in proper form before the British authorities, for they felt sensitive, but it was finally accomplished. The arbitration tribunal which sat at Geneva, Switzerland, in June, 1872, decreed that England should pay the United States the sum of $15,500,000 because of the damage inflicted by Confederate cruisers upon Northern commerce. The amount was paid, and friendly relations between the two countries were fully restored.



Our rapid growth had long since made the building of a railroad from the East to the Pacific a necessity that continually grew more urgent. Construction was begun as early as 1863, but the Civil War caused the work to lag, and at the end of two years only one hundred miles had been graded and forty laid. The progress then became more vigorous.

The road consisted of two divisions. The first was from Omaha, Nebraska, to Ogden, Utah, a distance of 1,032 miles, while the western division, known as the Central Pacific, covered the distance of 885 miles between Ogden and San Francisco. Steadily approaching each other, these long lines of railway met on the 10th of May, 1869, when the last spike, made of solid gold, was driven, and the two locomotives, standing with their pilots almost touching, joined in a joyous screech of their whistles. The important event was celebrated with much ceremony, for it was worthy of being commemorated.


The vexatious work of reconstruction was completed during the early months of 1870. Virginia had held out against the terms prescribed by Congress, but her senators and representatives were admitted to their seats in the latter part of January; those of Mississippi in the following month, and those of Texas in March, at which time the secretary of State issued a proclamation declaring the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees negro suffrage. For the first time in almost twenty years, all the States were fully represented in Congress.


On the 8th of October, 1871, Chicago was visited by the greatest conflagration of modern times, with the single exception of that of Moscow. Like many events, fraught with momentous consequences, it had a trifling cause. A cow kicked over a lamp in a stable on De Koven Street, which set fire to the straw. A gale swiftly carried the flames into some adjoining lumber yards and frame houses. All the conditions were favorable for a tremendous conflagration. The fire swept over the south branch of the Chicago River, and raged furiously in the business portion of the city. The main channel of the river was leaped as if it were a narrow alley, and there were anxious hours when thousands believed the whole city was doomed. As it was, the fire-swept district covered four or five miles, and fully 20,000 buildings were burned. It is believed that 250 lives were lost, about 100,000 people made homeless, and $192,000,000 worth of property destroyed.



Chicago's affliction stirred the sympathy of the whole country. Contributions were sent thither from every State, and everything was done to aid the sufferers who had lost their all. With true American pluck, the afflicted people bent to the work before them. Night and day thousands toiled, and within the space of a year a newer and more magnificent city rose like a Phœnix from its ashes. Chicago to-day is one of the grandest and most enterprising cities in the world.


We had made a treaty with England in 1846 which located the line of our northwestern boundary along the 49th parallel westward to the middle of "the channel" separating the continent from Vancouver's Island, and then southward through the middle of the channel and of Fuca's Strait to the Pacific Ocean. It was found, however, there were several channels, and it was impossible to decide which was meant in the treaty. The claim of England included the island of San Juan, she insisting that the designated channel ran to the south of that island. Naturally, we took the opposite view and were equally insistent that the channel ran to the north, and that San Juan, therefore, belonged to us. The two nations displayed their good sense by referring the dispute to arbitration and selected the Emperor of Germany as the arbitrator. He decided in 1872 in our favor.


It was a curious presidential election that took place in 1872. The South was bitterly opposed to the Republican plan of reconstruction and a good many in the North sympathized with them. One of the strongest opponents of Grant's renomination was the New York Tribune, of which Horace Greeley was editor. The Republicans who agreed with him were called "Liberal Republicans," while the Straight-out Democrats retained their organization. Naturally, the regular Republicans renominated Grant, but Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, took the place of Schuyler Colfax as the nominee for the Vice-Presidency. Horace Greeley, who had spent his life in vigorously fighting the principles of the Democratic party, was now endorsed by that organization after his nomination by the Liberal Republicans, with B. Gratz Brown, of Missouri, as his running partner.

stock yards


The election was a perfect jumble. Eight candidates were voted for as President and eleven for Vice-President. Grant received 286 electoral votes and carried thirty-one States. Greeley was so crushed by his defeat that he lost his reason and died within a month after election. His electors scattered their votes, so that Thomas A. Hendricks, the regular Democratic candidate, received 42; B. Gratz Brown, 16; Charles J. Jenkins, 2; and David Davis, 1.


The second term of Grant was more troublous than the first. The difficulties with the Indians, dating from the first settlement in the country, were still with us. At the suggestion of the President, a grand council of delegates of the civilized tribes met in December, 1870, in the Choctaw division of the Indian Territory. The subject brought before them was the organization of a republican form of government, to be under the general rule of the United States. A second convention was held in the following July and a provisional government organized. A proposal was adopted that the United States should set aside large tracts of land for the exclusive occupancy and use of the Indians. These areas were to be known as "reservations," and so long as the Indians remained upon them they were to be protected from molestation.

This scheme seemed to promise a settlement of the vexed question, but it failed to accomplish what was expected. In the first place, most of the Indians were unfriendly to it. No matter how large a part of country you may give to a red man as his own, he will not be satisfied without permission to roam and hunt over all of it.

A more potent cause of trouble was the origin of all the Indian troubles, from the colonial times to the present: the dishonesty and rascality of the white men brought officially in contact with the red men. Not only did these miscreants pursue their evil ways among the Indians themselves, but there was an "Indian ring" in Washington, whose members spent vast sums of money to secure the legislation that enabled them to cheat the savages out of millions of dollars. This wholesale plundering of the different tribes caused Indian wars and massacres, while the evil men at the seat of the government grew wealthy and lived in luxury.


Trouble at once resulted from removing the Indians to reservations that were inferior in every respect to their former homes. The Modocs, who had only a few hundred warriors, were compelled by our government to abandon their fertile lands south of Oregon and go to a section which was little better than a desert. They rebelled, and, under the leadership of Captain Jack and Scar-faced Charley, a number took refuge among some lava beds on the upper edge of California. On the 11th of April, 1873, a conference was held between the Indian leaders and six members of the peace commission. While it was in progress, the savages suddenly attacked the white men. General Edward S. Canby and Dr. Thomas were instantly killed, and General Meachem, another member, was badly wounded, but escaped with his life.

The war against the Modocs was pushed. After much difficulty and fighting, they were driven to the wall and compelled to surrender. Captain Jack and two of his brother chiefs were hanged in the following October. The remaining members were removed to a reservation in Dakota, where they have given no further trouble.


In the early part of this year, civil war broke out in Louisiana because of the quarrels over reconstruction measures. The difficulty first appeared two years earlier, when opposing factions made attempts to capture the Legislature by unseating members belonging to the opposing party. Matters became so grave that in the following January Federal troops had to be used to preserve the peace. In December, 1872, another bitter quarrel arose over the election of the governor and members of the Legislature. The returning board divided, one part declaring William P. Kellogg elected, while the other gave the election to John McEnery, the candidate of the white man's party. Most of the negro vote had been cast for Kellogg.

As a consequence, two rival State governments were organized. McEnery was enjoined by the United States district court from acting, because, as was asserted, the returning board which declared him elected had done so in defiance of its order.

In the face of this prohibition, McEnery was inaugurated. The question was referred to the Federal government, which declared in favor of Kellogg. Thereupon the McEnery government disbanded, but in the latter part of 1874 McEnery again laid claim to election. D.P. Penn, his lieutenant-governor, and his armed followers took possession of the State House. A fight followed in which Kellogg was driven from the building, twenty-six persons killed and a large number wounded. Kellogg appealed to Washington for help. McEnery, who was absent during these violent proceedings, now returned and took the place of Penn. President Grant ordered his supporters to disperse and General Emory forced McEnery to surrender. The peace was broken in January, 1875, over the election of members to the Legislature, and the Federal troops were again called to restore order. A congressional committee was sent South to investigate, and finally the quarrel was ended and Kellogg was recognized as the legal governor.


Colorado became the thirty-eighth State in August, 1876. The name is Spanish, and refers to that part of the Rocky Mountains noted for its many colored peaks. Colorado has more than thirty peaks within its borders whose height is quite or nearly three miles. The wild, mountainous region was explored in 1858 at two points, one near Pike's Peak and the other in the southwestern portion. Both exploring parties discovered gold, which, while abundant, is hard to extract. The Territory was organized in 1861, and the principal discoveries of the enormous deposits of silver have been made since 1870. The date of Colorado's admission has caused it often to be referred to as the "Centennial State."


We had learned the meaning of hard times in 1837 and again in 1857. Once more, in 1873, the blight fell upon the country. There were various causes, all of which, in one sense, were the war. Prices had become inflated, money was plentiful, and cities, towns, and people had become extravagant. A mania seemed to seize municipal corporations for indulging in "improvements," which brought ruinous debts upon the municipalities. Enormous sums of money were invested in the building of new railroad lines where the country was not developed sufficiently to repay the expenditures. The quantity of goods brought into this country was much in excess of that exported, a fact which turned the balance of trade, as it was termed, against us. This required the sending abroad of a large amount of money.

As illustrative of the extravagance in railroad building, it may be said that, in the single year 1871, 8,000 miles were put in operation. Instead of using ready money with which to build these lines, bonds were issued by the railroad companies, which expected to pay the debts out of the future earnings of the roads. In the course of five years $1,750,000,000 were invested in railroad projects. The same speculative spirit pervaded mining and manufacturing companies, which also borrowed money by issuing bonds. A great amount of these were sold abroad, after which the home market was industriously worked through the newspapers, which overflowed with glowing promises. Thousands of poor widows, orphans, and the trustees of estates invested all their scanty savings in these enterprises.

Then the failures began. The banking firm of Jay Cooke & Company, Philadelphia, one of the greatest in the United States, suspended, and the whole country was alarmed. Next came the panic, which reached its height in a few months. This was followed by dull times, when factories closed, and multitudes were thrown out of employment. Several years passed before the country fully recovered from the panic of 1873.


Many noted men died during those times. The bluff, aggressive, and patriotic Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's war secretary, passed away in December, 1869, shortly after his appointment to the bench of the supreme court by President Grant. General R.E. Lee, who had become president of the Washington and Lee University, died at his home in Lexington, Virginia, in 1870. Among others of prominence who died in the same year were General George H. Thomas and Admiral Farragut. In 1872, William H. Seward, Horace Greeley, Professor Morse, and General George H. Meade breathed their last, and in the year following Chief Justice Chase and Charles Sumner died. Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson, as has been stated, died respectively in 1874 and 1875.

lee monument


The Democrats now gained a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time since 1860. Among the members elected from the South were several distinguished military leaders of the Southern Confederacy, besides Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, who had been its vice-president.

It was about this time that gold was discovered among the Black Hills, which by treaty belonged to the Sioux Indians, since the section was within their reservation. White men were warned to keep away, and steps were taken by the military authorities to prevent them entering upon the forbidden ground. But no risk or danger is sufficient to quench men's thirst for gold, and thousands of the most desperate characters hurried to the Black Hills and began digging for the yellow deposit.


The Sioux are fierce and warlike. They have given our government a great deal of trouble, and, finding their reservation invaded by white men, they retaliated by leaving it, burning houses, stealing horses, and cattle, and killing settlers in Wyoming and Montana. Their outrages became so serious that the government sent a strong military force thither under Generals Terry and Crook, which drove a formidable body of warriors under the well-known Sitting Bull and others toward the Big Horn Mountains and River.



Generals Reno and Custer rode forward with the Seventh Cavalry to reconnoitre, and discovered the Indians encamped in a village nearly three miles long on the left bank of the Little Big Horn River. Custer, who was an impetuous, headlong officer, instantly charged upon the Indians without waiting for reinforcements.

This woeful blunder was made June 25, 1876. All that is known of it has been obtained from the Indians themselves. They agree that Custer and his men dashed directly among the thousands of warriors, and that they fought with desperate heroism, but Custer and every one of his men were killed. The number was 261. General Reno held his position at the lower end of the encampment on the bluffs of the Little Big Horn until reinforcements arrived. Soldiers were sent to the neighborhood, and there was more sharp fighting. It was a long time and there was much negotiation necessary before the Sioux could be persuaded to return to their reservation in Dakota.

On the 4th of July, 1876, the United States was one hundred years old. Preparations had been on foot for several years to give it a fitting celebration. A bill was passed by Congress as early as March, 1871, providing that an exhibition of foreign and American arts, products, and manufactures should be held under the auspices of the government of the United States. A centennial commission was appointed, consisting of General Joseph R. Hawley, of Connecticut; Professor John L. Campbell, of Indiana; Alfred T. Goshorn, of Ohio; and John L. Shoemaker, of Pennsylvania. Naturally Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed, was selected as the most fitting place to hold the celebration. Fairmount Park, one of the largest and finest in the world, was set apart for the buildings.

The invitations sent to other nations were courteously accepted, the following being those that took part: The Argentine Confederation, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France (including Algeria), German Empire, Great Britain and her colonies, Greece, Guatemala, Hawaii, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Orange Free State, Persia, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunis, Turkey, United States of Colombia, and Venezuela.

To furnish room for the display of the myriads of articles, five principal buildings were erected, viz.: the Main Building, 1,876 feet long and 464 feet wide; the Art Gallery or Memorial Hall, Machinery Hall, Agricultural Hall, and Horticultural Hall. The exhibition was formally opened by President Grant, May 1st, and closed by him six months later. The daily attendance began with about 5,000, but rose to 275,000 toward the close. The total number of visitors was some 10,000,000, and the total receipts, as officially given out, were $3,761,598. The exhibition was a splendid success in every sense.


Few people to-day understand the danger through which the country passed in the autumn and winter of 1876. In June, the two great political parties put their presidential tickets in the field. That of the Republicans was Rutherford B. Hayes, of Ohio, and William A. Wheeler, of New York; of the Democrats, Samuel J. Tilden, of New York, and Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indiana. The Independent Greenback party also nominated a ticket, at the head of which was the venerable philanthropist, Peter Cooper, of New York, with Samuel F. Cary, of Ohio, the candidate for the vice-presidency.

There was little difference between the platforms of the two leading parties. The Democrats declared for reform through all the methods of the administration. The Republicans were equally loud in their calls for the reform of every political abuse, and for the punishment of any and all who made wrongful use of political offices. They also insisted that the rights of the colored men should be safeguarded, and denounced the doctrine of State sovereignty, of which there was little to be feared, since it had been effectually killed by the war.

The Greenbackers made considerable stir. They also used the shibboleth of reform, but put the currency question before all others. Although the government was committed to the redemption of the national legal-tenders and bonds in gold, the Greenbackers insisted that this was impossible, and was also unjust to the debtor class. They claimed, further, that it was the duty of the government to provide a national paper currency, based not on specie, but on bonds bearing a low rate of interest. The Republicans and Democrats maintained that the government could not abrogate its promises of redeeming the currency and bonds in gold.

The Greenback party polled 81,740 votes, the Prohibition 9,522, and the American 2,636, none gaining an electoral vote. For several days after the November election, it was generally believed that the Democrats had been successful, though a few Republican papers, notably the New York Times, persistently claimed that the Republican ticket had been successful.



There was a dispute in four States. In Louisiana, the returning board threw out the returns from several parishes on the ground of intimidation and fraud, thereby placing 4,000 majority to the credit of the Republicans. The Democrats insisted that the rejected votes should be counted, and, had it been done, Tilden would have been elected.

In South Carolina, two bodies claimed to be the legal Legislature and both canvassed the returns, one giving a plurality of 800 to the Republican ticket and the other a smaller majority to the Democratic. Precisely the same wrangle occurred in Florida, where each side claimed a majority of about a hundred. Matters were still more complicated in Oregon, where a Republican elector was declared ineligible, because he held the office of postmaster at the time he was chosen elector. The governor proposed to withhold the certificate from him and give it to a Democrat. Had everything claimed by the Republicans been conceded, they would have had 185 and the Democrats 184. It was necessary, therefore, for the Republicans to maintain every point in order to secure their President, for it was beyond dispute that Tilden had received 184 electoral votes. On the popular vote, he had 4,284,885 to 4,033,950 for Hayes. Each party charged the other with fraud, and thousands of Democrats were so incensed at what they believed was a plot to cheat them out of the presidency that they were ready to go to war. Had they done so, it would have been the most terrible peril that ever came upon the Republic, for the war would not have been one section against the other, but of neighborhood against neighborhood throughout the land.


SAMUEL J. TILDEN (1814-1886.)

As if nothing in the way of discord should be lacking, the Senate was Republican and the House Democratic. The election being disputed, it fell to them to decide the question—something they would never do, since they were deadlocked. This was so apparent that thoughtful men saw that some new and extraordinary means must be found to save the country from civil war.

Congress, after long and earnest discussion, passed a bill creating an Electoral Commission, to which it was agreed to submit the dispute. This commission was to consist of fifteen members, five to be appointed by the House, five by the Senate, and the remaining five to consist of judges of the Supreme Court.

The Senate being Republican, its presiding officer, the Vice-President, named three Republicans and two Democrats; the House naturally appointed three Democrats and two Republicans; while of the Supreme Court, three were Republicans and two Democrats. This, it will be noted, gave to the commission eight Republicans and seven Democrats. The body by a strict party vote decided every dispute in favor of the Republicans, and on the 2d of March, 1877, two days before inauguration, Rutherford B. Hayes was decided President-elect of the United States.


Composed of three Republican and two Democratic Senators, three Democratic and two Republican Representatives, three Republican and two Democratic Justices of the Supreme Court; total, eight Republicans and seven Democrats. By a strict party vote the decision was given in favor of Mr. Hayes, who, two days later, March 4, 1877, was inaugurated President of the United States.



R.B. Hayes—The Telephone—Railway Strikes—Elevated Railroads—War with the Nez Perce Indians—Remonetization of Silver—Resumption of Specie Payments—A Strange Fishery Award—The Yellow Fever Scourge—Presidential Election of 1878—James A. Garfield—Civil Service Reform—Assassination of President Garfield—Chester A. Arthur—The Star Route Frauds—The Brooklyn Bridge—The Chinese Question—The Mormons—Alaska Exploration—The Yorktown Centennial—Attempts to Reach the North Pole by Americans—History of the Greely Expedition.



One term, 1877-1881.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Delaware County, Ohio, October 4, 1822, and was graduated from Kenyon College at the age of twenty years. In 1845 he completed his legal studies at Harvard University, and practiced law, first at Marietta, in his native State, then at Fremont, and finally in Cincinnati. He entered the military service, at the beginning of the war, as major, and rose to the rank of brevet major-general. His career as a soldier was creditable. While still in the service, in 1864, he was elected to Congress, and was governor of Ohio in 1867, 1869, and again in 1875. His popularity as chief magistrate of one of the leading States led to his nomination to the presidency, to which, however, it must be conceded, he had not a clear title. He died at Fremont, Ohio, January 17, 1893.

President Hayes proved his desire to strengthen the fraternal feeling between the North and South by appointing as a member of his cabinet David McKey, his postmaster-general. Mr. McKey was from Tennessee, and had served the Confederacy during the Civil War. Hayes' administration on the whole was uneventful, though marked by a number of incidents which deserve mention. It was in 1877 that the first telephone for business purposes was put into use. It connected the residence of Charles Williams, in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his business office in Boston, three miles distant. Alexander Bell, of the latter city, was the inventor of the instrument, which is now in general use throughout the country, and serves to connect points more than a thousand miles apart.


In the summer of 1877 occurred one of the most violent outbreaks among labor men that has ever been known in this country. There was unrest in the mining districts over the question of wages, and the dissatisfaction spread to the principal manufacturing points. When the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad made a reduction of 10 per cent. in the pay of its employees it was followed, July 14th, by a partial strike on their line. The men had the sympathy of workmen throughout the country, and the strike spread to the Pennsylvania, Erie, New York Central, and their western connections, including the Missouri and Pacific, and a number of less important lines west of the Mississippi.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers is one of the most intelligent and conservative labor organizations in the country. It has won the respect of corporations as well as of the community-at-large by its fairness and its refusal to engage in strikes, except as a last resort against grievances. Its members are located in all parts of the country, and include a good many thousands. In the strike named the Brotherhood took the lead, and the firemen, brakemen, and other railroad employees joined them. The result was the stoppage of the wheels of commerce and the ruin of vast amounts of perishable freight, to say nothing of the expensive delays of all kinds. The railroad companies called upon the various State authorities for protection in operating their lines, but, as is generally the case, the militia were either in sympathy with the strikers or were afraid of them. As a final resort, an appeal was made to the United States government, whose soldiers understand only one duty, that of obeying orders.

The strikers stopped all trains in Baltimore and Martinsburg, West Virginia, and defied the authorities. The militia were scattered, but a few regulars were sufficient to raise the blockade. On the 20th of July, in an attempt of the rioters to resist the clearing of the streets in Baltimore, nine persons were killed and a score wounded. The strike extended until it included the whole country, with the exception of the cotton-growing States.

The most dangerous outbreak was in Pittsburg, where an immense mob held control of the city for two days. Disorder and violence reigned, and the authorities were powerless. When on the 21st soldiers appeared on the streets they were assailed with stones and pistol-shots, and they replied with several volleys which killed and wounded a number of rioters. This only added fuel to the flames, and the mob became more savage than ever. The soldiers were attacked so furiously that they ran into a roundhouse of the railway company for protection. There they were besieged, and oil cars were rolled against the building and fired with the purpose of burning the soldiers to death. The firemen were not allowed to put out the flames, and it was several days before the defenders were rescued.

The infuriated mob applied the torch to the buildings of the railroad company, gutted cars, scattered or carried off the contents, burst open and drank barrels of whiskey, and raged like so many wild beasts. Before the terrific outbreak subsided, the Union Depot and all the machine shops and railway buildings in the city were burned. Among the losses were 126 locomotives and 2,500 cars laden with valuable freight. The regular troops finally subdued the rioters, but not until a hundred people had been killed and property destroyed to the value of five million dollars.

There was rioting accompanied with violence in Chicago, Buffalo, Columbus, Ohio, and at many other points. In Chicago, on the 26th of July, nineteen persons were killed. St. Louis was disturbed, but there was no special outbreak. In San Francisco a savage attack was made on the Chinese and the managers of the lumber yards. At one period, on 6,000 miles of railroad not a wheel was turned, and 100,000 laborers were idle or assisting in the rioting. Such violent ebullitions soon expend themselves. By-and-by the men began returning to their work, and within two or three weeks all the railroads were operating as usual.

About this time the elevated railway system was adopted in New York City. It has proved so convenient that many lines have been added in the metropolis, and the same means of travel is used in other cities, though of late years electric trolley cars have been widely introduced.


When Lewis and Clark journeyed across the upper part of our country, at the beginning of the century, they made a treaty with the Nez Perce Indians, whose home was in the northwest. They were visited afterward by missionaries, and no trouble occurred with them until after our war with Mexico. A large section of their land was bought by the United States government in 1854, and a reservation was set apart for them in northwestern Idaho and northeastern Oregon. As in the case of the Seminoles of Florida however, many of the chiefs were opposed to the sale of their lands, and, when the date came for their departure, refused to leave.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces was one of the most remarkable Indians of the century. He was shrewd, sagacious, brave, and remarkably intelligent. General Wesley Merritt, of the United States army, has pronounced his military genius of the highest order, and, in the incidents we are about to narrate, his exploit in its way has never been surpassed. A good many people will recall seeing Joseph at the ceremonies at the tomb of General Grant in 1897, where his fine military appearance attracted much attention.

In 1877, General Howard, commanding the department of the Columbia, marched against the troublesome Nez Perces with a small force of regulars. Being too weak to fight the soldiers, Chief Joseph, at the head of his band, repeatedly eluded them with masterly skill. This strange chase continued for hundreds of miles, Joseph keeping his women, children, and impedimenta not only intact, but beyond reach of the pursuers, who were filled with admiration of his genius. In the autumn of 1877, the Nez Perces passed through the mountains of northern Montana, where they were confronted by Colonel Miles and the regulars. Even then Joseph could not be brought to battle, and crossed the Missouri near the mouth of the Mussel Shell. In the Bear Paw Mountains, however, his camp was surrounded and he was brought to bay. The Nez Perces fought with great bravery, but were defeated. Joseph faced the inevitable, and, walking forward to where General Howard was sitting on his horse, handed him his rifle. Then, pointing to the sun in the sky, he said: "From where the sun is in yonder heavens, I fight the white man no more."

General Howard admired the valiant and chivalrous warrior, who had conducted his campaign not only with rare skill, but without any of the outrages and cruelties which seem natural to the American race. He took his hand, and promised to be his friend. General Howard was able to keep his promise, and secured such a favorable location for Joseph and his band that they have been peaceable and satisfied ever since.


The money or currency question has long been a disturbing factor in politics. During the war the silver currency had been out of circulation, its place being taken for awhile by postage stamps and afterward by "shinplasters," which were paper fractional parts of a dollar. In 1873, Congress made gold the exclusive money standard. Silver depreciated some ten per cent., and the "hard money" people opposed the measures that were set on foot to remonetize silver; that is, to bring it into circulation again. Such a bill was passed, then vetoed by the President, promptly repassed over his veto, and it was ordered that the coinage of silver should proceed at a rate not to exceed $2,000,000 a month. About this time (December 18, 1878), gold and paper money for the first time in seventeen years was of equal value.



In accordance with the law of 1875, specie payments by the United States government was effected January 1, 1879. At that time there was an accumulation of $138,000,000 in the United States treasury, nearly all of it gold, representing forty per cent. of the outstanding bonds. The mere knowledge of this fact so strengthened the public credit that, instead of the anticipated rush on the 1st of January, only $11,000,000 was offered for redemption. The problem of specie payment proved to be a bugbear.


By the treaty of Washington, signed in 1872, Americans were allowed to take fish of every kind, except shellfish, on the seacoasts and shores and in the bays, harbors, and creeks of the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward's Island, and the adjacent islands, without restriction as to the distance from shore. In return for this privilege, our government agreed to charge a duty upon certain kinds of fish brought by British subjects into American harbors. There were other mutual concessions, and, in order to balance matters and make everything smooth, the whole question was placed in the hands of an arbitration commission, which began its sessions in the summer of 1877, at Halifax. The commission included a member appointed by the Queen, one by the President, and the third by the Austrian ambassador at the Court of St. James. Our country was astounded by the verdict of this commission, which was that the United States should pay the sum of $5,000,000 to the British government. Even England was surprised, and our government was disposed to refuse to accept the verdict; but to do that would have established a bad precedent, and the sum named was paid to Great Britain in the autumn of 1878.


Yellow fever has been one of the most dreadful scourges that our country has suffered. It first appeared on this continent in 1780, when Boston was ravaged in the summer of that year. It afterward appeared in New York and Philadelphia, especially in 1793 and 1797, after which its visitations have been mainly confined to the South, where the sanitation measures have been less rigid than in the North. It has been proven that strict quarantine and absolute cleanliness are safeguards against its entrance, though, after the frightful plague has once appeared in a place, it is impossible to stamp it out. It subsides before the approach of frost and cold weather, and the cure for those smitten is to carry them to cool elevations. Thus far science has not been able to discover the real nature of yellow fever, nor to provide a remedy. It has been established, however, that it is due to bacilli or disease germs, as is the case with cholera, consumption, and many other diseases, and there is reason to believe a specific remedy will soon be brought to light.

One of the most destructive visitations of yellow fever was in the summer and autumn of 1873. Memphis and New Orleans suffered the most, and at one time those cities were abandoned by all who could leave them. Other portions of the country contributed every possible assistance in the way of medical help, nurses, and money, but before the scourge was extirpated by cool weather fully 15,000 persons had succumbed.


The Republican National Convention was held in Chicago at the opening of June. As General Grant had returned from his memorable tour round the world, having been received everywhere with the highest honors, a determined effort was now made to renominate him for a third term. Roscoe Conkling, United States senator from New York, was the leader in the movement, and the whole number of Grant's supporters was 306, who without a break cast their vote for him thirty-six times in succession. They failed because of the widespread opposition to any man holding the exalted office for a longer period than Washington, the Father of his Country.

The principal rivals of General Grant were James G. Blaine, of Maine, and John Sherman, of Ohio. There being a deadlock, the supporters of these two candidates united and thereby nominated James A. Garfield, of Ohio, with Chester A. Arthur, of New York, as the nominee for Vice-President.

grant again


The Democratic Convention, which met in Cincinnati in the latter part of June, placed in nomination General Winfield S. Hancock, of New York, and William H. English, of Indiana. The prospect of Hancock's election was excellent, but he destroyed it by one of those unfortunate expressions which more than once have defeated candidates for high office. When questioned concerning the tariff he expressed the opinion that it was a "local issue," a remark which many accepted as displaying ignorance of the important subject, and they, therefore, voted against him. The result was as follows: James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, 214 electoral votes; W.S. Hancock and W.H. English, 155; James B. Weaver and B.J. Chambers, the Greenback candidates, received 307,306 popular votes; Neal Dow and H.A. Thompson, the Prohibition, 10,305; and John W. Phelps and S.C. Pomeroy, American, 707; but none of the three secured an electoral vote.



James A. Garfield was born at Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, November 19, 1831. While he was an infant his father died and he was left to the care of his noble mother, to whom he was devotedly attached.

Garfield spent his boyhood in the backwoods, and at one time was the driver of a canal-boat. He became strong, rugged, and a fine athlete, and at the same time obtained the rudiments of an English education. At the age of seventeen he attended the high school at Chester, and by hard study acquired an excellent knowledge of Latin, Greek, and algebra. He was a student at Hiram College, and became an instructor in 1854. The same year he entered Williams College, from which he was graduated with honor in 1856. He returned to Ohio, and was appointed a professor in Hiram College. He indulged his taste for politics and law, and served for a time in the State Senate, but was president of the college when the war broke out. He at once volunteered, and was appointed lieutenant-colonel and afterward colonel of the Forty-second Regiment of Ohio Volunteers.

Garfield displayed remarkable ability in the military service, and had he remained would have won high distinction. As a brigadier-general he did fine work in Kentucky and Tennessee. He was chief-of-staff to General Rosecrans, and showed great gallantry in the tremendous battle of Chickamauga. He was in the field when elected to Congress in 1862. His desire was to remain, but, at the personal request of President Lincoln, he entered Congress, where it was felt his help was needed in the important legislation before the country. The estimate in which he was held by his fellow-citizens is shown by the fact that he served as a member of Congress for seventeen years. In 1879 he was chosen United States senator, but did not take his seat because of his nomination for the presidency.


The question of "civil service reform," as it is termed, assumed prominence during the term of Hayes. This, as all understand, means that the public offices should be filled not in accordance with politics, but be determined by fitness. The charge has been made with reason that, when public servants have become skilled in the discharge of their duties, they are turned out to make room for the friends of the new administration, where politics are different. In that way public service is injured.


JAMES A. GARFIELD (1831-1881.)
One partial term, 1881.

The opponents of civil service reform maintain, on the other hand, that there are thousands out of office who are just as capable as those in office, and that the party ought to reward those that have helped it to success. "To the victor belong the spoils" was the policy of Andrew Jackson, and it has been followed in a greater or less degree ever since. The cry of civil service reform was long a well-sounding motto with which to catch votes, but no serious effort was made to enforce it. Hayes tried his hand, but the clamor for political rewards was so insistent that he gave it up, and matters dropped back into their old ruts. The vexatious question was inherited by Garfield, and the hope was general that he would not only make a determined effort, but would succeed in carrying out the principles of real civil service reform.

The task soon proved beyond the capacity of himself or any human being. It seemed as if nearly every man in the country had been the deciding factor in the election of the President, while the "original Garfield man" would have formed a full regiment. The executive threw up his hands, and decided to pass over the plague to the next administration.



The quarrel produced a split in the Republican party itself, and two wings were formed, known as "Half-breeds" and "Stalwarts." At the head of the latter was the brilliant New York senator, Roscoe Conkling, who had been so persistent in his efforts to renominate General Grant for a third term. The leader of the Half-breeds was James G. Blaine, as brilliant as Conkling, while both were strong personal opponents. The Stalwarts claimed the right of dividing the offices, as had been the custom for a century, the senators and representatives apportioning the plums among the horde of claimants. The President was supported by the Half-breeds in his claim that it was his province to bestow these gifts as he saw fit.

The collectorship of the port of New York is one of the best offices at the disposal of the administration. The President nominated Judge William Robertson. He was personally distasteful to Conkling, and, when he found himself unable to prevent his confirmation by the Senate, he and Thomas C. Platt, the junior senator from New York, resigned their seats. Both afterward sought and failed to secure a re-election from the Legislature. Congress adjourned in June.


Relieved from the pressure of his duties, the President now made his arrangements for placing his two sons in Williams College and joining his invalid wife at the seashore. On the 2d of July, 1881, accompanied by Secretary Blaine and several friends, he rode to the Baltimore Railroad station to board the cars. He had just entered the building and was chatting with his secretary, when a miscreant named Charles Julias Guiteau stepped up behind him and shot him with a pistol in the back. The wounded President sank to the floor and was carried to the executive mansion, while the assassin was hurried to prison before he could be lynched, as he assuredly would have been but for such prompt action by the authorities.

The shock to the country was scarcely less than when Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theatre. Although the wound of the President was severe, it was not believed to be necessarily fatal. He received the best medical attention, and prayers for his recovery were sent up from every quarter of the land and across the sea. Daily bulletins of his condition were issued and messages of sympathy were received from many crowned heads on the other side of the Atlantic. The sufferer was removed on the 6th of September to Elberon, New Jersey, where it was hoped the invigorating sea-air would bring back strength to his wasted frame. These hopes were vain, and, on the 19th of September, he quietly breathed his last. It may be noted that this date was the anniversary of the battle of Chickamauga, where General Garfield performed his most brilliant service in the war. Amid universal expressions of sympathy the remains were borne to Cleveland, where a fine monument has been erected to his memory.



Guiteau was a miserable "crank," who had long dogged the President for an appointment, failing to obtain which he shot him. That his brain was partly awry, with perhaps a taint of insanity, cannot be questioned, but, none the less, it was shown that he clearly knew the difference between right and wrong and was morally responsible for his unspeakable crime. He was given a fair trial, and, having been found guilty, was hanged on the 30th of June, 1882.


Chester Alan Arthur, who was immediately sworn in as President, was born in Vermont, October 5, 1830. He received his education at Union College, from which he was graduated in 1849. He taught school for a time in his native State, and then removed to the City of New York, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. His ability speedily brought him to the front and gave him a lucrative practice. He was quartermaster-general of the State of New York during the war and displayed fine executive ability. When the war ended, he resumed the practice of law and was made collector of customs for the port of New York in 1871. Seven years later he was removed by President Hayes, and shortly after he entered the presidential canvass of 1880. He died November 18, 1886.

Arthur took the oath of office in New York, on the day succeeding the death of Garfield, and left at once fo