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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

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

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

Trouble In Cuba

It seems as if there must always be war somewhere. While all was going on smoothly with us, the newspapers told harrowing tales of the suffering in Cuba, where the people were fighting to win their independence from Spain. Ever since the Spaniards set foot in the Antilles, or West Indies, in the days of… 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

Chester A. Arthur

Very soon after Garfield’s funeral, and during Arthur’s term, there was a grand procession at Yorktown, to celebrate “Surrender Day,” or the centennial of Cornwallis’s surrender, October 19, 1781, in the Revolutionary War. Visitors came thither from all parts of the country, and descendants of the three illustrious Frenchmen, De Grasse, De Rochambeau, and De… Read More

Battle of Fredericksburg

Although McClellan had received orders to follow Lee and meet him in another battle, there was considerable delay. The Northern people, who eagerly read the war news published in the newspapers, grew very impatient, and now asked that another, less cautious, general should be put in command of the Army of the Potomac. General Burnside… Read More

Franklin Pierce

Fillmore, in the meantime, had been succeeded by Franklin Pierce, fourteenth President of the United States. Pierce had been a poor lad, but he managed to secure a good education. He then became a lawyer, and was so determined to succeed that when some people made fun of him, after a first failure, he firmly… Read More

Benjamin Harrison

Our twenty–third President (1889–93) was Benjamin Harrison, a grandson of “Old Tippecanoe,” the ninth President. He, too, served in the Civil War, where his men loved him dearly. After the war, Harrison practiced law, served as a senator, and was chosen to fill the highest position in our country. Six new states were admitted during… Read More

Second Treaty with Pirates

The ruler of Tripoli (or bashaw), hearing that Algiers received tribute from America, wanted some too. So, in 1800, he demanded money, threatening war unless it was paid. The United States, instead of sending it, merely waited until the bashaw declared war, and then sent a squadron to the Mediterranean. On the way thither, it… Read More