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Among other interesting inventions of this time was the making of the first photographs, or daguerreotypes. Then there was also the discovery that a patient could be put to sleep, so that he need not feel pain, while doctors performed an operation. But the greatest change in our country, and, indeed, in the whole world… 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

John Quincy Adams

The sixth President was John Quincy Adams, son of Washington's successor. He was a good and learned man, but his election had to be decided by the House of Representatives, as neither he nor any of his three rivals received a majority of the electoral votes. During his term, in 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary… Read More

John Tyler

Harrison being dead, John Tyler had to take his place. During his one term, Florida, the twenty seventh state, was added to the Union. Although our country was already very large, the time was near when it was going to be even larger still. It seems that, during Jackson's rule, a party of Indians traveled… Read More

John Adams

It was during Adams's rule that the government officers left Philadelphia and went to settle in their new quarters at Washington. We are told that both Capitol and White House then stood in a sort of wilderness. Besides, there were so few visitors, and life was so simple, that the lights in the White House… 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

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

Sir Francis Drake Could Be King

The land taken from Mexico included, as we have seen, our present state of California. This new section was still little known, although more than three hundred years had passed since the Spaniards first visited it. They named it California because a fabulous story of the time claimed that there was a rich province of… Read More

Missouri Compromise

The United States had changed greatly during these years. Before the Revolution, Negro slaves had been owned in all the states. As slaves were not needed in the North, where every one worked, and as many people thought that the colored race had as much right as the white to be free, one Northern state… Read More

Supreme Court Slavery Decision

The slavery question created such very strong and bitter feeling that the next election saw the rise of what is still called the Republican party, which soon included all those in favor of free soil. The Democrats proving the stronger, however, James Buchanan, their candidate, became the fifteenth President of the United States. As Buchanan… Read More