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William Henry Harrison

The money troubles during Van Buren's rule were thought by many people to be his fault; so when the time came for a new election, General William Henry Harrison was chosen President in his stead. He had governed the Northwest Territory, had fought in the War of 1812, and on account of his victory over… Read More

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

Slavery Quarrel

The main trouble at home during President Fillmore's rule was the old quarrel between the slavery and antislavery parties. For a time it had slumbered, but the fact that California wished to join the Union as a free state, started it up again with new fury. Men got excited over it, and the Capitol rang… Read More

U.S. Northern Border Treaty with Britain

The Ashburton treaty, which had just been signed with Great Britain, the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick had been settled. But, fortunately, nothing had been said about Oregon. The news of Whitman's daring ride, and of his desire to people Oregon with Americans, rapidly spread all over the country. Before long, many pioneers were… 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

Milard Fillmore

Several interesting things happened while Fillmore was President. For instance, it was then that the first measures were taken to build a railroad from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. This road was to make the journey so short and easy that there would be no more need of crossing the continent in emigrant wagons… Read More

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

Slavery and the Constitution

After four months' discussion, and after all parties had given up some of their ideas and wishes to please the rest, the present Constitution of the United States was drawn up. It was called the “new roof,” because it was to serve as a shelter in time of storm for all the states who chose… Read More

Civil War Begins

A rumor had arisen that, even if elected, Lincoln should never be inaugurated. This made his friends so anxious for his safety that they persuaded him to travel secretly to Washington. There he was inaugurated, on March 4, 1861. After taking his solemn oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,”… Read More

The Taking of Vicksburg

As already stated, Vicksburg stands on a steep bluff; it is more than two hundred feet above the river. It was, besides, well fortified on all sides, and very ably defended by the Confederate General Pemberton. Grant soon saw that it would be best to attack Vicksburg from the land side; but to do that… Read More