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South After the Civil War

Our country was growing–growing fast. In spite of the war, where so many were killed, the census of 1870 showed that there were about thirty–nine million inhabitants in our country, and that wealth had increased as fast as the people. Railways and steamboats greatly helped commerce, and since the weather signal service was established, in… Read More

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

When the government was formed, slave property was recognized in the Constitution, and each state was left free to do as it chose about keeping slaves. But since then ideas had been changing. The appearance of slave catchers in the North, and the publication of a novel called “Uncle Tom's Cabin——of which many thousands of… Read More


Burnside, having failed to win a victory at Fredericksburg, was now removed in his turn, and the command of the Union army given to General Joseph Hooker, whom the soldiers called “Fighting Joe.” But at Chancellorsville (1863) Hooker was stunned by a cannon ball, and as his army was thus left during several hours without… Read More

Slavery and the Civil War

The Southerners were ready to fight the North; and while most of the white men fought in the army, their plantations were worked by their slaves, who thus supplied them with the food they needed. Hearing that war had broken out, a few Negroes came into the American lines, asking to be set free. But… Read More

Arbitration Between Britain and America

Two questions arose with Great Britain while Ulysses S. Grant was President, which might have made trouble. But, instead of fighting, some of the best statesmen of both countries made a treaty at Washington (1871), saying that the difficulties should be decided by arbitration. Aboard of distinguished men, therefore, met at Geneva, in Switzerland, to… Read More

The Monitor And The Merrimac

At the very beginning of the war, the Confederates seized the Norfolk navy yard and the big ship Merrimac. For some time past there had been rumors afloat that they were changing this vessel into an ironclad, so strong that no cannon balls could harm it. This was quite true, and the Confederates relied upon… Read More

Great Britain Signs Treaty With Colonies

The mother country—also known as Britannia, or Great Britain—wanted to keep the American colonies under her harsh rule, and when they revolted, she took up arms to force them back into a state of blind obedience. It was these thirteen revolted colonies which, banded together, decided to form the new and independent nation which in… Read More

George Washington

As soon as the election was over, the news was carried by a horseman to Mount Vernon, where Washington was busy farming. Although several attempts had been made to reward him for his services, he had steadily refused all pay. When the state of Virginia wished to honor its greatest citizen, it made him a… Read More

James Polk

Just before Tyler finished his four years' term, therefore, Congress decided to admit Texas (1845); but as a dispute soon arose about its southern boundary, the eleventh President, James K. Polk, found himself with a war on his hands. Many good Americans say that Texas had no right to claim the land between the Nueces… Read More

Cotton Gin and Slavery

One day, in 1793, some planters remarked in Mrs. Greene's presence that if a machine could only be invented which would separate cotton from its seeds, the Georgians would soon be rich. The lady promptly answered that if the machine could be made, she was sure Mr. Whitney was the man to do it, for… Read More