≡ Menu

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

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

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

Union Soldiers Gain Victories

While McClellan was drilling his troops so as to have them ready to take Richmond, other Union generals were trying to get possession of the Southern forts along the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi rivers. For instance, Commodore Foote and General Grant took Fort Henry (1862). Next, after three days' very hard fighting at Fort Donelson… Read More

U.S. Chesapeake vs. British Shannon

Several other naval battles took place during the War of 1812. One of the most famous of these was a duel between Captain James Lawrence's ship, the Chesapeake, and the British frigate Shannon. The Chesapeake had just come back from the Cape Verde Islands, and had, lost a mast in a storm. The crew, numbering… Read More

Santiago Bay

From the very first, it was plain to all that our eastern coast was in the most danger, for besides her fleet in the Philippines and gunboats along the Cuban and Puerto Rican coasts, Spain had many war ships near home. Fearing lest some of these vessels should attack our towns, and knowing we had… Read More

The South’s Victories

Although quite unprepared for war, the North was in many respects better off than the South. Not only did it have many more inhabitants, but it owned shipyards, machine shops, and manufactories of all kinds, and could thus supply all its army's needs. This was not the case in the South, where, until then, the… Read More

Wilmot Proviso

The old quarrel about the slavery question raged worse than ever. When President Polk, in 1846, asked for money to pay Mexico, a man named Wilmot proposed that it should be granted only on condition that the territory bought with it should be free soil. This is what is known as the “Wilmot Proviso,” and… 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

Dewey Attacks Spanish Fleet

Many of the sensational newspapers, and a few thoughtless Americans, wanted our government to declare war just as soon as the news came that the Maine had been destroyed. But President McKinley had been in the Civil War, and, knowing how much suffering fighting brings on, he was determined to keep the peace if he… Read More