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Peace With Spain

San Juan was sacked near the end of the sixteenth century by the famous seaman Drake; pirates of various nations visited the island from time to time; and it was also attacked by British men–of–war. In spite of all this, however, the Spanish settlers prospered, and as they were better governed or more submissive than… Read More

Famous Frigate — The Constitution

The most famous American frigate at that time was the Constitution, which came out safely from so many hard fights that she earned the nickname of “Old Ironsides.” When war began, the Constitution had just come home. In her first cruise she fell in with a British squadron, and as she could not face several… Read More

Two Girls Fake–Out British Attackers

In 1813, a British fleet began ravaging our coast, landing here and there to do damage. Thus they set fire to towns and shipping, robbed churches, and behaved ever where with great cruelty. But although the enemy ravaged the Southern coast, they, spared New England, because they thought the Northern states might yet offer to… Read More

British Shells Baltimore

Not content with burning Washington, the British next attacked Baltimore, where they shelled Fort McHenry for more than twenty–four hours. When their ships first drew near the fort, some Americans came on board with a flag of truce, to arrange for an exchange of prisoners. But fearing that these men would betray their plans, the… Read More

Free versus Slave States

We have seen how Oregon became a part of our country. It was settled mostly by people opposed to slavery, so that it came in as free soil. But the Southerners had already asked that Texas be allowed to join the Union as slave soil. Many people wished thus to keep the balance even. Eight… Read More

Tippecanoe

It was during President Madison's first term that war broke out. Ever since the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the British had secretly excited the Indians against the Americans. This was easy to do, because the Indians were already angry at the rapid advance of the settlers. In 1800, so many Americans had gone to… 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

Erie Canal

New roads were made in many directions, bridges were built over rivers and brooks, and the National Pike or Cumberland Road made traveling easy between the Potomac and Ohio rivers. Stagecoaches now ran regularly between the principal cities, and steamboats began to appear on all the large lakes and rivers. Along the roads and down… Read More

Battles of 1814

Two exciting engagements took place in the North, in 1814. One was the battle of Lundys Lane, or Niagra, so near the falls of that name that the roar of the water rose above the din of battle. Here, one of the officers under General Scott pointed out a battery to Colonel Miller, asking him… Read More

War Between Britain and France

Our greatest trouble during Jefferson's rule was brought about by the war between France and Great Britain. The British did not want the French to have any food from abroad, and, hoping to starve them, said that no vessels should be allowed to enter French ports. The French, to take their revenge, then promptly decreed… Read More