Of all the officers who have commanded the army and enjoyed the presidency, Santa Anna has occupied the most distinguished position since the death of Iturbidé.
Battle of Resaca de la Palma 9th May 1846
Battle of Palo Alto 8th. May 1846
Winter at Valley Forge
General George Armstrong Custer portrait and signature
Thomas A Edison
The figure represents a skate made after the English fashion, with some improvements.
Ice Skating (1772)
Ice Skating (1772)
Ice Skating (1772)
There is no doubt whatever that Vespucci made a voyage in 1499-1500, along with Alonzo de Ojeda and the great pilot Juan[Pg 109] de la Cosa, but whether this may be styled his first or his second must be left to the intelligence of the reader, for the historians are at odds themselves, and it might seem presumptuous in the biographer to assume to decide.
In a pamphlet accompanying "the earliest known globe of Johann Schöner," made in 1515, the new region is described as the "fourth part of the globe named after[Pg 246] its discoverer, Americus Vespucius, who found it in 1497." Vespucci did not find it, and he never made the claim that he discovered more than is given in his letters; but this misstatement by another caused him to be accused of falsifying the dates of his voyages in order to rob Columbus of his desserts.
Marco Polo, Vespucci's Countryman
Marco Polo, the Venetian, exercised a strong and lasting influence upon the minds of Toscanelli, Columbus, Vespucci, and, through them, upon others, although he died in the first quarter of the century in which the first-named of this distinguished triad was born. All these had this birthright in common: they were Italians; and, moreover, it was in Genoa, the reputed birthplace of Columbus, that Marco Polo's adventures were first shaped into coherent narrative and given to the world.
Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence, March 9, 1451, just one hundred and fifty years after Dante was banished from the city in which both first saw the light. The Vespucci family had then resided in that city more than two hundred years, having come from Peretola, a little town adjacent, where the name was highly regarded, as attached to the most respected of the Italian nobility. Following the custom of that nobility, during the period of unrest in Italy, the Vespuccis established themselves in a stately mansion near one of the city gates, which is known as the Porta del Prato. Thus they were within touch of the gay society of Florence, and could enjoy its advantages, while at the same time in a position, in the event of an uprising, to flee to their estates and stronghold in the country.
Routes of the discoverers
The Shawnee Prophet
On a picturesque cliff overlooking the Mad River, in what is now the State of Ohio, was located, more than a century ago, the Indian village of the Piqua Shawnees.
The settlement was prosperous and fully two hundred acres of land were in cultivation. A log fort, surrounded with pickets, had been built, and the Shawnees were prepared for defense in the event of an attempt to capture the town.
This beautiful spot was the birth-place of the famous Tecumseh—Shooting Star—the most illustrious Indian that ever battled for the rights of his people. Eloquent, powerful in mind and body, and possessing the soul of a hero, the patriotic chief was, at the opening of the nineteenth century, deep in plans for the advancement of his race. Is it a matter of surprise that he should oppose, with ceaseless energy, the encroachment of the white man? That his talents should be unsparingly used in the hopeless endeavor to stay the westward progress of civilization? He had seen the red man repeatedly deprived of land, under almost compulsory treaties with the Government. His independent spirit rebelled
Ta-ton-ka-I-yo-ton-ka (Sitting Bull)
Sitting Bull, the famous commander at the Custer massacre, was, during his prosperous years, the chief of chiefs, or supreme head of the nation. He first inherited the office, and was able to retain it because of mental superiority and by reason of the fact that, until the last hope was gone, he assumed an uncompromising position in regard to the encroachment of the whites. Then, too, Ta-ton-ka-I-yo-ton-ka was a medicine man, capable of arousing religious fervor. That he was cruel toward the enemies of his people cannot be denied; but, according to the red man's philosophy, that was simple bravery and loyalty.
Wa-hon-ga-shee (No Fool)
There had been frequent, hard-fought battles with the Pawnees, who, being superior in numbers, had usually obtained the victory. However, the Great Spirit punished them when, at last, a small band was discovered, just at nightfall, by a strong party of Kaws.
Revenge, always sweet to the barbarian, was now assured. Surrounding the foe under cover of darkness, the Kaws, commanded by Wa-hon-ga-shee (No Fool), waited patiently for daylight.
Among the Delawares was a chief, who bade fair to equal in fame, the most distinguished of his predecessors. Not many moons before, Ni-co-man had awakened from a dream of conquest and beheld, in the pale light, a shadowy figure wrapped in a blanket of snowy white.
Taken from the marble bust on his monument at Genoa
Many a six pence is picked up in New-York, by the sale of this delicious fruit. They are brought to market in small baskets, which hold nearly a pint, and sell from 4 to 15 cents a basket. You may see men, women, and children, some with long poles, one in each hand, strung full of these little baskets of strawberries, travelling up and down the streets of New-York, crying as above.
To guard against fires, the people of New York are obliged by law, to have their chimnneys swept once a month. To do this, boys are employed, who with brush and scraper, will climb up the chimney, clump-a-clump, as they go, and when at the top, they sing their chimney song, then down they come scraping all the way, all covered with soot.
From midsummer, till late in the autumn, our ears during the evenings are saluted with this cry. The corn is plucked while green, and brought to our markets fro mthe surrounding country, in great quantities. It is boiled in the husk, and carried about the streets in pails and large bowls, with a little salt, and sold from a penny to two pence an ear.
In the summer time, you may see persons in carts, and others with hand-barrows, having a load of the above articles, that they cry along the streets, and sell to those families who live a distance from the markets.
What a vast garden it would ake to raise vegetables enough for all the inhabitants of New-York! Long Island can be considered the garden of New-York: the produce brought to this city daily is very great.
This Sand is brought from the sea shore in vessels, principally from Rockaway Beach, Long-Island. It is loaded into carts, and carried about the streets of New-York, and sold for about 12 1/2 cents per bushel. Almost every little girl or boy, knows that it is put on newly scrubbed floors, to preserve them clean and pleasant.
In the sprint, we have the above cry along our streets, by children and women, who buy them of the gardeners, and for one cent a bunch profit, will trudge along the streets of New-York, with a large long basket hanging on their arm, full of radishes. They sell six radishes to a bunch, and sixpence will buy one to six of these bunches. They are esteemed en excellent relish at tea, and afford business for children most of the summer season.
Great quantities of Potatoes of different kinds, are carried about the streets of New-York, for sale. None make so much noise as those people who cry the Sweet Carolinas. These are held in high esteem by most persons, and one can buy them ready boiled and roasted at the cook-shops. They are of an oblong form, of many sizes, and when boiled,taste much like a roast chestnut. The sell from 75 cents to 1 dollar per bushel.
At the corners of our principal streets, and at the ferries, we may see men, with long baskets on their arms, full of fine yellow oranges, offering them for sale to the passengers fro from 3 to 6 cents a piece. Many a one find their way to the girls and boys in the country, who always esteem them a fine present.
They grow in the West-Indies, and the Floridas, and may be had in New-York at all seasons.
This wholesome beverage, is carried all round the city by men in carts, wagons and very large tin kettles. The cows are pastured on the Island of New-York,some along the New-Jersey shore, and large droves on Long-Island. Milk sells from 4 to 6 cents per quart, delivered at our doors every morning in the winter season and twice a day in summer.
To sell matches, is the employment of women and children, who make a few pence honestly, by splitting pine or cedar sticks, or procuring a long thin shaving, the ends of which they dip in brimstone, which when touched by a spark, will blaze directly. Though a small matter, it is a great convenience to house-keepers.
This is a very humble business, but it is not to be despised on that account.
This man may be seen with a iron ring, on which are strung a great many old keys, of various sizes, going about the streets of New-York, soliciting cusom in the way we observe in the picture. He has with him different tools, and is ready to repair Locks, or fit Keys where they may be broken or lost - What a pity is is, people are not all honest, then we should have no occasion either for locks, keys, bars or bolts.
In the summer months, when it is not lawful to sell Oysters in New-York, we have clams in abundance, brought to our doors, by people, in carts. THe price is from 25 to 62 1/2 cents per hundred. They catch them principally on the shores of Long-Island, and Shrewbury River.
"Many ways to get a living!" some might think, when the broom-dealers are seen going about the streets, with a load of Brooms and Brushes, crying aloud. These useful articles, so much prized by the nice house-wife, are made of Broom-corn whisk, chiefly; and sell from 12 1/2 to 18 3/4 cents each. Those made by the people called Shakers, are much the neatest and best, and will command from 6 to 10 cents more.
There are several men in New-York, who go about with a wheel-barrow, on which is a grind-stone, rigged in such a way as to be easily turned with the foo while the hands apply scissors or a knife to the stone. Another may be seen with his machine slung on his back, and when a customer hails, he will quickly set his grindstone in motion. They strike a bell, as they walk along,as a sign to those who may wish any knives or scissors ground.
Yet it was the first 'stitch' in the great web, and thousands of eyes were turned towards it on August 25th, 1876, when the very first passenger crossed along it from shore to shore. This passenger was Mr. Farrington, one of the engineers. He wished to encourage his men by a good example, for over that terrible gulf it would soon be necessary for many of them to go. His seat was a small piece of board such as we use for a swing in a playground, and it was attached to the wire by four short ropes. The perilous journey took more than twenty minutes, and the people below watched almost breathlessly as the slender thread swayed up and down with the weight of the traveller. To their eyes it appeared at times as if he was soaring through the air unsupported, so thin was the line by which he hung.
An Indian Pipe
It was a desperate undertaking. There were 10,000 men, and the width of the river at the point of crossing was nearly a mile. It would seem hardly possible that such a movement could, in a single night, be made without discovery by the British troops, who were lying in camp but a short distance away. The night must have been a long and anxious one for Washington, who stayed at his post of duty on the Long Island shore until the last boat of the retreating army had pushed off. The escape was a brilliant achievement and saved the American cause.
Nathaniel Greene was born in Warwick, R. I., in 1742. His father, a Quaker preacher on Sundays and a blacksmith and miller on week days, brought up his son in the strictest Quaker principles, and trained him to work in the field, in the mill, and at the forge. Nathaniel was robust and athletic, a leader in outdoor sports. From an early age he was studious in his habits, and in his manhood, when the troubles with England seemed to threaten war, he eagerly turned his attention to the study of military tactics.
General Cornwallis, in command of the British army in the South, detached Tarleton to march against Morgan.[Pg 215] Early on the morning of January 17, 1781, after a hard night march, Tarleton, over-confident of success, attacked Morgan at Cowpens. But the Americans repelled the attack with vigor and won a brilliant victory. The British lost 230 killed and wounded and 600 prisoners, almost their entire force.
When the British began to swarm into South Carolina he raised and drilled a company of his neighbors and friends known as "Marion's Brigade." These men, without uniforms, without tents, and without pay, were among the bravest and best of the Revolutionary soldiers. Old saws beaten at the country forge furnished them with sabres, and pewter mugs and dishes supplied material for bullets. The diet of these men was simple. Marion, their leader, usually[Pg 218] ate hominy and potatoes, and drank water flavored with a little vinegar.
Marion's Brigade" of farmers and hunters seldom numbered more than seventy, and often less than twenty. With this very small force he annoyed the British beyond measure by rescuing prisoners and by capturing supply-trains, foraging parties, and outposts. One day a scout brought in the report that a party of ninety British with 200 prisoners were on the march for Charleston. Waiting for the darkness to conceal his movements, Marion with thirty men sallied out, swooped down upon the British camp, captured, the entire force, and rescued all the American prisoners.
It was the custom of Marion's men when hard pressed by a superior force to scatter, each one for himself, and, dashing headlong into the dense, dark swamps, to meet again at the well-known hiding-place. Even while the British were in search of them they sometimes darted out just as suddenly as they had disappeared, and surprised another British party near at hand. Well did Marion deserve the name of "Swamp Fox," given him by the British.
One of the most noted of these pioneers was Daniel Boone. He was born in Bucks County, Pa., in 1735. Caring little for books, he spent most of his time in hunting and fishing. The woods were his special delight, and naturally he became an expert rifleman.
The story is told that when a small boy he wandered one day into the forest some distance from home, and built himself a rough shelter of logs. There he would spend days at a time with only his rifle and game for company. The rifle served to bring down the game, and this he cooked over a fire of logs. A prince might have envied his dreamless slumber as he lay on a bed of leaves with the skin of a wild animal for covering. This free, wild life trained him for his future career as a fearless hunter and woodsman.
Indian Costume (Female)
Indian Costume (Male)
Daniel Boone in his Cabin
A Hand Corn Mill
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Through the achievements of early pioneers and settlers, of whom Daniel Boone is the type, the region lying between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi River came into the possession of the United States. In a very different way did the territory lying between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains become a part of the national domain. It was acquired not by exploration or settlement, but by purchase, and the man most intimately associated with this purchase was Thomas Jefferson.
At twenty-nine years of age he married a beautiful young widow of twenty-three. After the wedding festivities, he and his bride started out in a four-horse carriage to drive to his home, Monticello, more than 100 miles away. It was in the month of January, and a heavy snow-storm overtook them, compelling them to abandon the carriage and continue the journey over the rough mountain roads on horseback.
Map of Louisiana Purchase; also United States in 1803.
Robert Fulton [1765-1815]
Robert Fulton was born of poor parents in 1765, in Little Britain, Pa. His father having died when the boy was only three years old, his mother took charge of his education. She taught him herself until he was eight and then sent him to school. But he had no liking for books, and made slow progress. Drawing and mechanical devices absorbed his interest, and nothing gave him greater delight than to visit the shops of mechanics and there with his own hands to work out his new ideas.
A Pack Horse
A Flat Boat
Another illustration of his [Robert Fulton] inventive gift belongs to his boyhood days. He and one of his playmates used to go out fishing in a flat boat which they propelled by the use of long poles. Getting tired of this method of navigation, Robert made two crude paddle-wheels, one for each side of the boat, connecting them by a sort of double crank, which the boys united in turning. They could then easily propel the boat in their fishing trips to various parts of the lake, and keenly enjoyed this novel and easy way of going a-fishing.
Fulton returned in 1806 to America, where, with money furnished by his friend Livingston, he began to construct another steamboat which he called the Clermont, after the name of Livingston's home on the Hudson. This boat was 130 feet long and 18 feet wide, with a mast and a sail, and on each side a wheel 15 feet in diameter, fully exposed to view.
One morning in August, 1807, a throng of expectant people gathered on the banks of the North River at New York, to see the trial of the Clermont. Everybody was looking for failure. People had all along spoken of Fulton as a crack-brained dreamer, and had called the Clermont "Fulton's Folly." "Of course the thing would not move." "That any man with common-sense might know," they said. So while Fulton was waiting to give the signal to start, these wiseacres were getting ready to jest at his failure.
Finally, at the signal, the Clermont moved slowly, and then stood perfectly still. "Just what I have been saying," said one onlooker with emphasis. "I knew the boat would not go," said another. "Such a thing is impossible," said a third. But they spoke too soon, for after a little adjustment of the machinery, the Clermont steamed proudly up the Hudson.
Andrew Jackson [1767-1845] the sixth President of the United States
A Spinning Wheel
Jackson at the battle of New Orleans
The British army consisted of 12,000 veterans fresh from victories over the great Napoleon. Naturally enough they despised the American backwoodsmen. Their confidence seemed reasonable, for they numbered twice as many as the Americans.
On January 8, 1815, the British made a vigorous assault on the American lines. But they were mowed down with such terrible slaughter that at the end of twenty-five minutes, they were forced to retreat with a loss of 2,600 men in killed and wounded. The Americans lost only twenty-one. The resolute courage and unwearied action of "Old Hickory," as Jackson was fondly called by his men, had won a signal victory. Through his military reputation Jackson soon became very popular. His honesty and patriotism took a strong hold on the people, and in due time he was elected President of the United States.
Marshfield—Home of Daniel Webste
Inventor of the Electric Telegraph
In a short time he had worked out on paper the whole scheme of transmitting thought over long distances by means of electricity. And now began twelve toilsome years of struggle to devise machinery for his invention. To provide for his three motherless children, Morse had to devote to painting much time that he otherwise would have spent in perfecting the mechanical appliances for his telegraph. His progress therefore was slow and painful, but he persistently continued in the midst of discouraging conditions.