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Zachary Taylor

In 1849 General Zachary Taylor became twelfth President of the United States. He had served in the War of 1812, and had won many friends by his victories–in Mexico. All who fought there with him admired him greatly, and affectionately called him “Old Rough and Ready.” But, the year after his inauguration, Taylor died, and… Read More

War With Pirates Continues

Knowing that the Tripolitans were short of powder, Richard Somers, an intimate friend of Decatur's, next suggested a plan to destroy the Tripolitan shipping by means of a floating mine. This idea was warmly welcomed, and great stores of powder, shot, and iron were placed on board Decatur's boat, the Intrepid. Then Somers solemnly warned… Read More

Indians Agree To Give Up Land

But, in spite of these drawbacks, the land was rapidly, becoming cultivated. Hoping to check the white men, or drive them away, the Indians now began to murder them, stealing upon them when they least expected such unwelcome visits. When Washington heard of this, he sent General St. Clair with an army to attack them… Read More

Confederate Ram – Trouble for Union Navy

The Southern Confederacy was now in a bad plight; for, while it had won most of the triumphs in the beginning of the war, it had lately lost heavily, and its resources were exhausted. Besides, its seaports had fallen, one by one, into the hands of the Union, and now it had hardly any left… Read More

The Union’s Campaign To Take Richmond

While the War of the Secession was raging on in the southern part of the country, the Sioux Indians in the West, who had always been troublesome, suddenly dug up the war hatchet, and invaded Minnesota and Iowa. Here they attacked lonely farmhouses and small villages, killing and scalping nearly a thousand men, women, and… Read More

The Railroad

During Monroe's two terms as President, another great change took place. As there were places where steamboats could not go, and as stages seemed too slow, people began to talk of building passenger railroads. For more than two hundred years the English had used roughly built railroads to carry coal and other heavy materials short… Read More

Don’t Give Up The Ship

Not long after the death of Lawrence, Oliver H. Perry, a young naval officer on Lake Erie, sailed out to meet a British squadron with his nine small and roughly built vessels. Perry, who had never been in a real naval battle before, finding himself face to face with one of Nelson's officers, determined to… Read More

The Reaper

One of the greatest improvements was brought about by the McCormick reaper, which was patented about ten years before it came into much use. Until then, the broad acres of the West had not paid well, for farmers could not get hands enough to cultivate the fields where wheat grew so well. Of course, they… Read More

Goodyear

Women's work, too, had grown far easier than in colonial or Revolutionary times. Spinning and weaving were now done by machine in large mills; cooking was made simpler by the discovery of coal and gas and the invention of friction matches; and even sewing and knitting took far less time since they could be done… Read More

The Mexican War

Texas had grown very tired of Mexico's harsh rule. So Stephen Austin and Samuel Houston, two Americans who had received large grants of land in Texas, encouraged the people to revolt and form a republic of their own. They did so, and when the Mexicans tried to force them to obey, they won their freedom… Read More