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Franklin Watts, New York, N.Y. 

Copyright ip^7 by Franklin Watts, Inc. All rights reserved. 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without 

permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer 

i&ho may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a 

magazine or newspaper. 

Manufactured in the United States of America by the H* Wolff 

Book Manufacturing Company, Inc., New York 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 56-7433 

Designed by Marshall Lee 


For my nieces and nephews 

ill cifi) 


The selections reprinted in this book are used by permission and special arrange 
ments with the proprietors of their respective copyrights who are listed below. 
The compiler s and publisher s thanks to all who helped make this collection 

The American Mercury for "Smith Street, TJ.SA.," by Elizabeth Hughes, re 
printed by permission of The American Mercury, May 1939. 

M. Barrows and Company, Inc. for "The Village Green," from VMage Greens 
of New England, by Louise Andrews Kent, Copyright, 1948, by Louise Andrews 
Kent and Arthur Griffin, by permission of M. Barrows and Company, Inc. 

The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. for "Sugaring/* from Coming Up the Road, 
by Irving Bacheller, Copyright, 1928, 1956; "Freedom and Courage/ 1 from But 
We Were Born Free, by Elmer Davis; for "The Old Swimmim Hole/ by James 
Whitcomb Riley, from Neighborly Poems; used by special permission of the 
Publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 

Brandt and Brandt for "American Names," from Selected Works of Stephen 
Vincent Benet, Rlnehart and Company, Copyright, 1927, by Stephen Vincent 
Benet, Copyright renewed, 1955, 1956, by Rosemary Can: Benet; "American 
Muse," from John Brown s Body, by Stephen Vincent Benet, Rinehart and 
Company, Copyright, 1927, 1928, by Stephen Vincent Benet, Copyright renewed, 
1955, 1956, by Rosemary Carr Benet. 

Chicago Tribune for "Injun Summer" by John T. McCutcheon. 

Coward-McCann, Inc. for "Montana Wives," reprinted from Young Land, by 
Gwendolen Haste, Copyright, 1930, by Coward-McCann, Inc.; "Paul Bunyan, 
Northwoods Lumberman," from TaU Tale America, by Walter Blair, Copyright, 
1944, by Walter Blair; "Our Town," from Our Town, a Play in three Acts, by 
Thornton Wilder, Copyright, 1938, by Coward-McCann, Inc. This play may 
not be reprinted in part or in whole without written permission of the publish 
ers. No performance of any kind whatsoever may be given without permission 
in writing from the author s agent, Harold Freexlman, 101 Park Ave., New 

Crown Publishers, Inc. for "The Driving of the Last Spike at Promontory 
Point," included in A Treasury of Western Folklore by B. A. Botkm s Crown 
Publishers, Inc. 

Doubleday and Company, Inc. for "Shelter," from American Ways of JJfe, 
by George R. Stewart, Copyright, 1954, by George R. Stewart, reprinted by per 
mission of Doubleday and Company, Inc. 

Duell, Sloan and Pearce, Inc. for excerpts from America Was Promises, by 
Archibald MacLeish, published by Duel, Sloan and Pearce, Inc. 

Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc. for "Tall Tales," from The People, Yes, 
by Carl Sandburg, Copyright, 1936, by Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc.; 
"Pilgrim Farmers," from We Begin, by Helen Grace Carlisle, Copyright, 1932, 


by Helen Grace Carlisle, reprinted by permission of Harcourt, Brace and Com 
pany, Inc. 

Harper and Brothers for "The Pony Express," from Roughing It, by Mark 
Twain; for "Tableau," from Color, by Countee Cullen, Copyright, 1925, by 
Harper and Brothers, Copyright, 1953, by Ida M. Cullen. 
Hendricks House, Inc. for "Shiloh," by Herman Melville. 
Henry Holt and Company, Inc. for "Mending Wiall," from Complete Poems 
of Robert Frost, Copyright, 1930, 1949, by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 
Copyright, 1936, 1948, by Robert Frost; "Chicago," from Chicago Poems, by 
Carl Sandburg, Copyright, 1916, by Henry Holt and Company, Copyright, 
1944, by Carl Sandburg, both by permission of the Publishers. 

The Honorable Herbert Hoover for permission to reprint excerpts from his 
article, "The Miracle of America." 

Houghton Mifflin Company for "The War God s Horse Song," from The 
Navajo Indian, by Dane and Mary Coolidge; "Skyscraper," from America At 
War, by Joseph Husband; "My Country," from The Promised Land, by Mary 
Antin; "The Power of America," from US. 40, by George R. Stewart; "The 
Concord Hymn," by Ralph Waldo Emerson; "The New Colossus," by Emma 
Lazarus; "Our Fathers Fought for Liberty," by James RusseU Lowell; "Paul 
Revere s Ride," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; all reprinted by permission 
of the Publishers, Houghton Mifflin Company. 

Johnsen Publishing Company for "Dugout and Sod House," from The Sod 
House Frontier, 1854-1890, by Everett Dick. 

Alfred A. Knopf for "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," reprinted from The 
Dream Keeper, by Langston Hughes, Copyright, 1932, by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; 
"The Vision," reprinted from The Trees, by Conrad Richter, Copyright, 1940, 
by Conrad Richter; excerpt from The Spirit of Liberty, by Judge Learned 
Hand; all by permission of the Publishers, Alfred A. Knopf. 

J. B. Lippincott Company for "Sheridan s Ride," from The Poetical Works 
of T. Buchanan Read. 

Little, Brown and Company for "Freedom," from The Poems of Emily Dick- 
mson; "America From a Train Window," from God s Country and Mine, by 
Jacques Barzun; "The Signing of the Declaration of Independence," from John 
Adams and the American Revolution, by Catherine Drinker Bowen; "The Ban 
danna," from A Vaguer o of the Brush Country, by Frank J. Dobie; all by per 
mission of Little, Brown and Company. 

The Macmfflan Company for "Chain and Compass," from Land of Promise, 
by Walter Havighurst, Copyright, 1946, by the Macmillan Company; "My 
Fathers Came from Kentucky" and "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight," 
from Collected Poems of Vachel Lindsay, Copyright, 1925, by the Macmillan 
Company; "Mother of Presidents, Orator s Pride," and "America Was School 
masters," from Primer for Americans, by Robert P. Tristram Coffin, Copyright, 
1943, by the MacmlEan Company; and used with the Macmillan Company s 

The Massachusetts Historical Society for "The Boston Tea Party," from The 
Letters of John Andrew Esquire, printed in 1866 by the Press of John Wilson 

and Sous. 

Hie New Yark Times for "I Am An American," by R. L. Duffus, reprinted 

from The Times Magasme. 
Mrs. Paxton Price for "The Old Sewing Room," by Ida M. Tarbell. 

Charles Scribner s Sons for "Thanksgiving," from Customs and Fashions In 
New England, by Alice Morse Earle; "Round-up in the Old West," from An 
Autobiography, by Theodore Roosevelt, Copyright, 1913, by Charles Scribner s 
Sons, Copyright, 1941, by Edith K. Carow Roosevelt, and reprinted by permis 
sion of the Publisher. 

Jane Seward for excerpts from her article, "Life in a Country School." 
The Viking Press, Inc. for "Pioneer Babies," from Daniel Boom, by James 
Dougherty, Copyright, 1939, by James Dougherty; "The Creation," from God s 
Trombones, by James Weldon Johnson, Copyright, 1927, by The Viking Press, 
1955 by Grace Nail Johnson; "The Negro s Contribution," by James Weldon 
Johnson; reprinted by permission of the Viking Press, Inc., New York. 



Introduction xix 


THE WAR GOD S HORSE SONG, Dane and Mary Coolidge 5 

WARRIOR S SONG, tr* Mary Austin 6 

HIAWATHA S CHILDHOOD, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 7 

COLUMBUS, Joaquin Miller 9 

HENRY HUDSON S QUEST, Burton Egbert Stevenson 10 

CHEAP LAND IN VIRGINIA, Captain John Smith 12 


Jeremiah Eames Rankin 13 



Felicia Dorothea Hemans 16 
PILGRIM FARMERS, Helen Grace Carlisle 17 
THANKSGIVING, Alice Morse Earle 19 



Roger Williams 23 

A BETRAYAL, Logan 24 

INJUN SUMMER, John T. McCutcheon 25 




Jonathan Mayhew 30 
THE BOSTON TEA PARTY, John Andrews 30 
PAUL REVERE S RIDE, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 34 
A CALL TO ARMS, Thomas Paine 38 
THE CONCORD HYMN, Ralph Waldo Emerson 39 


Catherine Drinker Bowen 40 




(Bill of Rights) 47 
THE FUTURE OF AMERICA, Benjamin Franklin 49 


SELF GOVERNMENT, Thomas Jefferson 51 


THE GRAY CHAMPION, Nathaniel Hawthorne 52 


THE VISION, Conrad Richter 64 

CHAIN AND COMPASS, Walter Havighurst 67 


PEOPLE OF THE WOODS, Morris Biikbeck 69 
PIONEER BABIES, James Daugherty 70 
PRAIRIE, Francis Parkman 71 
DUGOUT AND SOD HOUSE, Everett Dick 72 


Theodore Roosevelt 77 
THE BANDANNA, J. Frank Doble 82 
THE PONY EXPRESS, Mark Twain 84 





James Sloane Gibbons 95 
SHILOH, Herman Melville 96 


SHERIDAN S RIDE, Thomas Buchanan Read 99 
WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE, Abraham Lincoln 101 


o CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! Walt Whitman 107 


Henry Timrod 108 
THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, Francis Miles Finch 109 



Vachel Lindsay in 
TABLEAU, Countee Cullen 112 


i AM AN AMERICAN, Elias Lieberman 115 

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, Katharine Lee Bates 117 

AMERICAN MUSE, Stephen Vincent Benet 118 

SHELTER, George R. Stewart 121 

THE VILLAGE GREEN, Louise Andrews Kent 124 

CATECHISM (New England Primer) 129 

RULE OF THUMB, Bianca Bradbury 131 

OUR TOWN, Thornton Wilder 132 

MENDING WALL, Robert Frost 134 


Benjamin Franklin 135 

COTTON MATHER S ADVICE, Benjamin Franklin 137 
THE WHISTLE, Benjamin Franklin 138 
FASHIONS IN NEW YORK, 1797, Rachel Huntington 140 
LIFE IN VIRGINIA, Lucinda Lee 141 


Robert P. Tristram Coffin 143 

AMERICA SINGING, Walt Whitman 146 


Robert P, Tristram Coffin 147 

THE MISSISSIPPI, Mark Twain 148 



THE OLD SWIMMIN HOLE, James WHtcomb Riley 154 

SUGARING, Irving Bacheller 156 

THE OLD SEWING ROOM, Ida M. Tarbell 159 


John Greenleaf WMttier 162 
AMERICAN NAMES, Stephen Vincent Benet 163 
THE NEW COLOSSUS, Emma Lazarus 165 
"MY COUNTRY," Mary Antin 165 
CHICAGO, Carl Sandburg 170 
PROUD NEW YORK, John Reed 171 
TALL TALES, Carl Sandburg 172 


MONTANA WIVES, Gwendolen Haste 178 

THE NEGRO S CONTRIBUTION, James Weldon Johnson 179 

THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS, Langston Hughes 1 80 

THE CREATION, James Weldon Johnson 180 

SMITH STREET, u.s.A., Elizabeth Hughes 184 

SKYSCRAPER, Joseph Husband 190 


THE MIRACLE OF AMERICA, Herbert Hoover 194 

THE POWER OF AMERICA, George R. Stewart 196 

"l AM AN AMERICAN," R. L. DllffuS 198 


AMERICA WAS PROMISES, Archibald MacLeish 206 


James Russell Lowell 208 


FREEDOM, Emily Dickinson 209 


AN INDIVISIBLE WORD, Wendell Willkie 211 

THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt 211 

THE FOUR FREEDOMS, Franklin Delano Roosevelt 212 

THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY, Judge Learned Hand 212 


THE WINNING OF FREEDOM, Dwight D. Eisenhower 214 

FREEDOM AND COURAGE, Elmer Davis 2 14 

Index of subjects 219 

Index of familiar words and phrase 223 

Index of authors 227 

Index of titles 229 



This book is called America, America, America. Its title Is an 
exact one because the book contains a selection of what has 
been written about three Americas America the land, Amer 
ica the people, and America the promise. 

For America is all three of these. It is, first, a great, wide, 
rich, and beautiful land. Indeed, many people feel that our 
national anthem should be not "The Star Spangled Banner" 
but another song we all love, "America the Beautiful": 

beautiful for spacious skies, 

For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 

Above the fruited plain. 

Second, America is its people. Not only is it George Wash 
ington and Abraham Lincoln, Thomas A. Edison and George 
Washington Carver, William C. Gorgas and Jonas Salk it is 
all the other millions, living and dead, who have not left their 
names on the pages of history but who together built and are 
still building a great nation. 

Third, and most important, America is a promise. Its rich 
land and its people from every corner of the globe have joined 
in a promise of freedom far greater than any the world has 
known before. Here, the meaning of the word "freedom" itself 
has grown wider with each generation. Where the first Ameri 
cans asked only freedom to worship their God in their own 
ways, their sons and daughters asked also freedom to govern 
themselves. And we, generations later, look forward not only 
to these things but to freedom from want, from disease, and 
from a host of other problems which have plagued men since 


time began. It is this freedom and this idea of freedom as a 
growing thing that is the promise of America. 

I hope you will find in this book of the three Americas 
words you know and love already and words you will learn to 
know and love. Perhaps reading them will lead you to read 
some of the other things we just couldn t find room for here. If 
it does, I am sure you will enjoy your personal exploration of 
America, America, America as much as I did. 



Steadily steering, eagerly peering, 

Trusting in God, your fathers came. 
Pilgrims and strangers, fronting all dangers . . . 

ROBERT COLLIER (1823-1912) 

The first Americans were indeed "pilgrims and strangers" and 
the land they came to was peopled with other strangers. The 
story of how we drove the Indians ever westward, taking their 
land for our own, is probably the saddest in all of American 
history. Today we are only beginning to pay our just debt to 
the first real Americans. 

But what happened to the Indians is only one side of the 
story. The other side the hope, faith, and courage in the face 
of terrible adversity demonstrated by these "pilgrims and 
strangers 77 is something of which we may well be proud. For 
here was the cornerstone laid for the dream that was to be 
come America. 


Philip Freneau 

In spite of all the learned have said, 
I still my old opinion keep; 

The posture that we give the dead 
Points out the souPs eternal sleep. 

Not so the ancients of these lands 
The Indian, when from life released, 

Again is seated with his friends, 

And shares again the joyous feast. 

His imagined birds, and painted bowl, 
And venison, for a journey dressed, 

Bespeak the nature of the soul, 
Activity, that knows no rest. 

His bow, for action ready bent, 

And arrows, with a head of stone, 

Can only mean that life is spent, 
And not the old ideas gone. 

Thou, stranger, that shalt come this way, 
No fraud upon the dead commit 

Observe the swelling turf, and say 
They do not lie, but here they sit. 

Here still a lofty rock remains, 

On which the curious eye may trace 

(Now wasted, half, by wearing rains) 
The fancies of a ruder race. 

Here still an aged elm aspires, 

Beneath whose far-projecting shade 
(And which the shepherd still admires) 

The children of the forest played! 

There oft a restless Indian queen 

(Pale Shebah with her braided hair) 


And many a barbarous form is seen 

To chide the man that lingers there. 

By midnight moon, o er moistening dews, 
In habit for the chase arrayed, 

The hunter still the deer pursues, 

The hunter and the deer a shade! 

And long shall timorous fancy see 

The painted chief, the pointed spear, 

And Reason s self shall bow the knee 
To shadows and delusions here. 


from the Navajo 

Dane and Mary Coolidge 

I am the Turquoise Woman s Son. 

On top of Belted Mountain 

Beautiful horses slim like a weasel ! 

My horse has a hoof like striped agate; 

His fetlock is like a fine eagle plume; 

His legs are like quick lightning. 

My horse s body is like an eagle-plumed arrow; 

My horse has a tail like a trailing black cloud. 

I put flexible goods on my horse s back; 

The Little Holy Wind blows through Ms hair. 

His mane is made of short rainbows. 
My horse s ears are made of round corn. 
My horse s eyes are made of big stars. 

My horse s head is made of mixed waters 
(From the holy waters he never knows thirst) . 
My horse s teeth are made of white shell. 
The long rainbow is in his mouth for a bridle. 

And with it I guide him. 

When my horse neighs, different-colored horses follow. 
When my horse neighs, different-colored sheep follow, 
I am wealthy because of him. 

Before me peaceful, 

Behind me peaceful, 

All around me peaceful 

Peaceful voice when he neighs. 

I am Everlasting and Peaceful. 

I stand for my horse. 


Translated by 

Mary Austin 

Weep not for me, Loved Woman, 

Should I die; 

But for yourself be weeping! 

Weep not for warriors who go 

Gladly to battle. 

Theirs to revenge 

Fallen and slain of our people; 

Theirs to lay low 

All our foes like them, 

Death to make, singing. 

Weep not for warriors, 
But weep for women! 
Oh, weep for women! 

Theirs to be pitied 
Most of all creatures, 
Whose men return not! 
How shall their hearts be stayed 
When we are fallen? 

Weep not for me, Loved Woman, 
For yourself alone be weeping! 


from Hiawatha 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

At the door on summer evenings 
Sat the little Hiawatha; 
Heard the whispering of the pine-trees, 
Heard the lapping of the waters, 
Sound of music, words of wonder; 
"Minne-wawa! " said the pine-trees, 
"Mudway-aushka!" said the water. 

Saw the firefly, wah-wah-taysee, 
Flitting through the dusk of evening, 
With the twinkle of its candle 
Lighting up the brakes and bushes, 
And he sang the song of children, 
Sang the song Nokomis taught Mm: 

"Wah-wah-taysee, little firefly, 

Litfle/flitting, white-fire insect, 
Little, dancing, white-fire creature, 
Light me with your little candle, 
Ere upon my bed I lay me, 
Ere in sleep I close my eyelids ! " 

Saw the moon rise from the water 
Rippling, rounding from the water, 
Saw the flecks and shadows on it, 
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?" 
And the good Nokomis answered: 
"Once a warrior, very angry, 
Seized his grandmother, and threw her 
Up into the sky at midnight; 
Right against the moon he threw her; 
Tis her body that you see there." 

Then the little Hiawatha 
Learned of every bird its language, 
Learned their names and all their secrets, 
How they built their nests in Summer, 
Where they hid themselves in Winter, 
Talked with them whene er he met them, 
Called them "Hiawatha s Chickens." 

Of all beasts he learned the language, 
Learned their names and all their secrets, 
How the beavers built their lodges, 
Where the squirrels hid their acorns, 
How the reindeer ran so swiftly, 
Why the rabbit was so timid, 
Talked with than whene er he met them, 
Called them "Hiawatha s Brothers." 



Joaquin Miller 

Behind Mm lay the gray Azores, 
BeMnd the Gates of Hercules; 
Before him not the ghost of shores, 
Before Mm only shoreless seas. 
The good mate said: "Now must we pray, 
For lo! the very stars are gone. 
Brave AdmVl, speak; what shall I say?" 
"Why, say, c Sail on! sail on! and on! " 

"My men grow mutinous day by day; 
My men grow ghastly wan and weak. * 
The stout mate thought of home; a spray 
Of salt wave washed Ms swarthy cheek. 
"What shall I say, brave Adm r l, say, 
If we sight naught but seas at dawn? 3 
"Why, you shall say at break of day: 
c Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on! " 

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow, 
Until at last the blanched mate said: 
"Why, now not even God would know 
Should I and all my men fall dead. 
These very winds forget their way. 
For God from these dread seas is gone. 
Now speak, brave Adm r l, speak and say " 
He said, "Sail on! sail on! and on!" 

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate: 
"TMs mad sea shows his teeth tonight. 

He curls Ms lip, lie lies in wait. 
With lifted teeth, as if to bite! 
Brave AdmVl, say but one good word: 
What shall we do when hope is gone?" 
The words leapt like a leaping sword: 
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!" 

Then pale and worn, he kept his deck, 
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night 
Of all dark nights ! And then a speck 
Alight! Alight! Alight! Alight! 
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled! 
It grew to be Time s burst of dawn. 
He gained a world; he gave that world 
Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!" 



Burton Egbert Stevenson 

Out from the harbor of Amsterdam 

The Half Moon turned her prow to sea; 
The coast of Norway dropped behind, 

Yet Northward still kept she 
Through the drifting fog and the driving snow, 
Where never before man dared to go: 
"0 Pilot, shaU we find the strait that leads to the Eastern 

"A waste of Ice before us lies we must turn back," said he. 


Westward they steered their tiny bark, 

Westward through weary weeks they sped, 
Till the cold gray strand of a stranger-land 

Loomed through the mist ahead. 
League after league they hugged the coast, 
And their Captain never left his post: 

"0 Pilot, see you yet the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?" 
"I see but the rocks and the barren shore; no strait is there," 
quoth he. 

They sailed to the North they sailed to the South 
And at last they rounded an arm of sand 

Which held the sea from a harbor s mouth 
The loveliest in the land; 

They kept their course across the bay, 

And the shore before them fell away: 

"0 Pilot, see you not the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?" 

"Hold the rudder true! Praise Christ Jesu! the strait is here," 
said he. 

Onward they glide with wind and tide, 

Past marshes gray and crags sun-kissed; 
They skirt the sills of green-clad hills, 

And meadows white with mist 
But alas! the hope and the brave, brave dream! 
For rock and shallow bar the stream: 

"0 Pilot, can this be the strait that leads to the Eastern Sea?" 
"Nay, Captain, nay; tis not this way; turn back we must," 
said he. 

Full sad was Hudson s heart as he turned 

The Half Moon s prow to the South once more; 

He saw no beauty in crag or hill, 
No beauty in curving shore; 


For they shut him away from that fabled main 

He sought his whole life long, in vain: 

"O Pilot, say, can there be a strait that leads to the Eastern 

"God s crypt is sealed! Twill stand revealed in His own good 

time/ 7 quoth he. 



Part of a letter written to attract Englishmen 
to the Virginia Colonies 

Captain John Smith 

Who can desire more content, that hath small means or only 
his own ability to improve his fortune, than to tread and plant 
that ground he hath purchased by the risk of his life? If he 
have virtue and courage, what to such a mind can be more 
pleasant than planting and building a foundation for his pos 
terity, got from the rude earth by God s blessing and his own 
industry? What so truly suits with honor and honesty as dis 
covering things unknown? Erecting towns, peopling countries, 
informing the ignorant, reforming things unjust, teaching vir 
tue, and gaining for our native mother country a new king 
dom? Then who would live at home idly, or think himself of 
any worth if he live only to eat, drink, and sleep, and so to 

You fathers, that are either so foolishly fond or so negli 
gently careless as that you maintain your children in idle wan 
tonness till they become so basely unkind as they wish noth 
ing but your death, can obtain for them an estate, which in a 


small time, but with a little assistance from you, might be bet 
ter than your own. If an angel should tell you that any place 
can afford such fortunes, you would not believe him, no more 
than Columbus was believed. But such a place is Vir 
ginia. . . . 



Jeremiah Eames Rankin 

The word of God to Leyden came, 

Dutch town by Zuyder Zee: 
Rise up, my children of no name, 

My kings and priests to be. 
There is an empire in the West, 

Which I will soon unfold; 
A thousand harvests in her breast, 

Rocks ribbed with iron and gold. 

Rise up, my children, time is ripe! 

Old things are passed away. 
Bishops and kings from earth I wipe; 

Too long theyVe had their day. 
A little ship have I prepared 

To bear you o er the seas; 
And in your souls, my will declared, 

Shall grow by slow degrees. 

Beneath my throne the martyrs cry: 

I hear their voice, How long? 
It mingles with their praises high, 


And with their victor song. 
The thing they longed and waited for, 

But died without the sight; 
So, this shall be! I wrong abhor, 

The world I ll now set right. 

Leave, then, the hammer and the loom, 

You ve other work to do; 
For Freedom s commonwealth there s room, 

And you shall build it too. 
Pm tired of bishops and their pride, 

I m tired of kings as well; 
Henceforth I take the people s side, 

And with the people dwell. 

Tear off the mitre from the priest, 

And from the king, his crown; 
Let all % captives be released; 

Lift up, whom men cast down. 
Their pastors let the people choose, 

And choose their rulers too; 
Whom they select, I ll not refuse, 

But bless the work they do. 

The Pilgrims rose, at this, God s word, 

And sailed the wintry seas: 
With their own flesh nor blood conferred, 

Nor thought of wealth or ease. 
They left the towers of Leyden town, 

They left the Zuyder Zee; 
And where they cast their anchor down, 

Rose Freedom s realm to be. 




In the Name of God, Amen. We, whose names are under 
written, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King 
James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ire 
land, King, Defender oj the Faith, &c. having undertaken for 
the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, 
and the Honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant 
the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these 
presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and 
one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a 
civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation, 
and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; And by virtue hereof 
do enact, constitute, and frame, such just And equal laws, or 
dinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, 
as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general 
good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submis 
sion and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto 
subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, 
in the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, 
France, and Ireland, the eighteenth and of Scotland, the fifty- 
fourth. Anno Domini, 1620. 




Felicia Dorothea Hemans 

The breaking waves dashed high 
On a stern and rock-bound coast, 

And the woods, against a stormy sky, 
Their giant branches tossed; 

And the heavy night hung dark 

The hills and waters o er, 
When a band of exiles moored their bark 

On the wild New England shore. 

Not as the conqueror comes, 

They, the true-hearted, came: 
Not with the roll of the stirring drums, 
And the trumpet that sings of fame; 

Not as the flying come, 

In silence and in f ear, 
They shook the depths of the desert s gloom 

With their hymns of lofty cheer. 

Amidst the storm they sang, 

And the stars heard, and the sea; 

And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang 
To the anthem of the free! 

The ocean-eagle soared 

From his nest by the white wave s foam, 

And the rocking pines of the forest roared; 
This was their welcome home! 

There were men with hoary hair 

Amidst that pilgrim-band; 
Why had they come to wither there, 

Away from their childhood s land? 

There was woman s fearless eye, 

Lit by her deep love s truth; 
There was manhood s brow, serenely high, 

And the fiery heart of youth. 

What sought they thus afar? 

Bright jewels of the mine? 
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war? 

They sought a faith s pure shrine! 

Aye, call it holy ground, 

The soil where first they trod! 
They have left unstained what there they found 

Freedom to worship God! 


from We Begin 
Helen Grace Carlisle 

i. The Landing 

And so we hauled our anchor and sailed the Mayflower into 
the harbor we had chosen, Plymouth. As we came in sight of 
our new shore, Dick Brettridge died. Before we had ever 
breath to choose a site for home and fireside, we had to fix 


upon our graveyard. We buried him on the hill, and gave it 
name at once: Burial Hill. 

When we had done with our burying, we transported the 
rest of our company that wished to see the land, to see and 
plan what next to do. My wife Anne came, though I bade her 
not, seeing how nervous and weak she was. I carried her in my 
arms so she would not get wet from the icy waters, and left 
her with some women and children staring about them at the 
winter bleakness. But I took my son David with me, to look 
about. It seemed a likely place, if ever it would get green, with 
the stream widening out to the sea. We went afield. I poked 
about a bit, smelling and sniffing. 

Here and there I bent to pick up a handful of soil, to crum 
ble it in my fingers, to feel it. It was none too rich, but it was 
earth. We saw trees of many sorts: oak, pine, walnut, hazel, 
cedar, maple, birch, and more. We found also in the woods 
berry bushes of many sorts: blackberry, some currants, goose 
berry, and some places where strawberries would be. And 
many wild vines. We came to some meadows. I saw some 
good grazing places for cattle. And plenty of wood lying about 
to fence them in, and springs to water them. We came on 
some fruit trees also, sparse and few: plum and cherry and 
apple. I told David we would remember where they were. 
Next summer we would see what kind of fruit they bore. Even 
if it were nothing much, pruning and care would help. Per 
haps some young ones would bear transplanting to an orchard. 

I could feel a small excitement commence to bud within 
me, to push forth, grow big, and then to suffocate me a little. 
We went deeper into the woods. 

"Hush! "I said to David. 

We stood quite still and listened. Under foot the leaves rus 
tled faintly with scurrying life. Overhead there wheeled a 
hawk soaring icy quiet on the wing. Before us, on the bare 
branch of a great oak, a gray squirrel stood stone still and 
stared at us, Ms eyes sharp. 


I couldn t help it I burst into laughter. The squirrel fled in 
stantly, all tail. I laughed and laughed, and clapped David on 
the back, and then drew him to me and hugged him close, 
forgetting for the moment that a lad of fourteen is shamed be 
fore such things. 

"Here s a life for us! Here s work for us! This rude earth 
and these our hands. David, son, can t you feel it?" I stretched 
out my hands full, feeling the muscles flex hard as rock as I 
slowly clenched my fists. 


from Customs and 

Fashions in Old 

New England 

Alice Morse Earle 

Thanksgiving, commonly regarded as being from its earliest 
beginning a distinctive New England festival, and an equally 
characteristic Puritan holiday, was originally neither. 

The first New England Thanksgiving was not observed by 
either Plymouth Pilgrim or Boston Puritan. "Giving God 
thanks" for safe arrival and many other liberal blessings was 
first heard on New England shores from the lips of the Pop- 
ham colonists at Monhegan, in the Thanksgiving service of 
the Church of England. 

Days set apart for thanksgiving were known in Europe be 
fore the Reformation, and were in frequent use by Protestants 
afterward, especially in the Church of England, where they 
were a fixed custom long before they were in New England. 
One wonders that the Puritans, hating so fiercely the customs 
and set days and holy days of the Established Church, should 


so quickly have appointed a Thanksgiving Day. But the first 
New England Thanksgiving was not a day of religious observ 
ance, it was a day of recreation. Those who fancy all Puritans, 
and especially all Pilgrims, to have been sour, morose, and 
gloomy men should read this account of the first Thanksgiving 
week (not day) in Plymouth. It was written on December 
1 1 , 1 62 1, by Edward Winslow to a friend in England: 

Our harvest being gotten in our governor sent four men on fowling 
that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had 
gathered the fruits of our labors. They four killed as much fowl as 
with a little help beside served the company about a week. At which 
times among other recreations we exercised our arms, many of the 
Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king 
Massasoyt with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained 
and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer which they 
brought and bestow d on our governor, and upon the captains and 

As Governor Bradford specified that during that autumn 
"beside waterfowle there was great store of wild turkies," we 
can have the satisfaction of feeling sure that at that first Pil 
grim Thanksgiving our forefathers and foremothers had tur 

Thus fared the Pilgrims better at their Thanksgiving than 
did their English brothers, for turkeys were far from plentiful 
in England at that date. 

Though there were but fifty-five English to eat the Pilgrim 
Thanksgiving feast, there were "partakers in plenty," and the 
ninety sociable Indian visitors did not come empty-handed, 
but joined fraternally in provision for the feast, and probably 
also in the games. 

These recreations were, without doubt, competitions in run 
ning, leaping, jumping, and perhaps stool-ball, a popular game 
played by both sexes, in which a ball was driven from stool 
to stool or wicket to wicket 


During that chilly November week In Plymouth, Priscilla 
Mullins and John Alden may have "recreated" themselves 
with this ancient form of croquet If any recreation were pos 
sible for the four women of the colony, who, with the help of 
one servant and a few young girls or maidekins, had to prepare 
and cook food for three days for one hundred and twenty 
hungry men, ninety-one of them being Indians, with an un 
bounded capacity for gluttonous gorging unsurpassed by any 
other race. Doubtless the deer, and possibly the great turkeys, 
were roasted in the open air. The picture of that Thanksgiving 
Day, the block-house with its few cannon, the Pilgrim men 
in buff breeches, red waistcoats, and green or sad-colored 
mandillions; the great company of Indians, gay in holiday 
paint and feathers and furs; the few sad, overworked, homesick 
women, in worn and simple gowns, with plain coifs and 
kerchiefs, and the pathetic handful of little children, forms 
a keen contrast to the prosperous, cheerful Thanksgivings of 
a century later. 

There is no record of any special religious service during 
this week of feasting. The Pilgrims had good courage, staunch 
faith, to thus celebrate and give thanks, for they apparently 
had but little cause to rejoice. They had been lost in the woods, 
where they had wandered footsore, and been terrified by 
the roar of "Lyons/ and had met wolves that "sat on thier 
tayles and grinned" at them; they had been half frozen in 
their poorly built houses; had been famished, or sickened 
with unwonted and unpalatable food; their common house 
had burned down, half their company was dead they had 
borne sore sorrows, and equal trials were to come. They were 
in dire distress for the next two years. In the spring of 1623 a 
drought scorched the corn and stunted the beans, and in 
July a fast day of nine hours of prayer was followed by a rain 
that revived their "withered corn and their drooping affec 
tions." In testimony of their gratitude for the rain, which 
would not have been vouchsafed for private prayer, and tfaink- 


ing they would "show great ingratitude if they smothered up 
the same," the second Pilgrim Thanksgiving was ordered and 

In 1630, on February 22d, the first public thanksgiving 
was held in Boston by the Bay Colony, in gratitude for the 
safe arrival of food-bearing and friend-bringing ships. On 
November 4, 1631, Winthrop wrote again: "We kept thanks 
giving day in Boston." From that time till 1684 there were at 
least twenty-two public thanksgiving days appointed in Mas 
sachusetts about one in two years; but it was not a regular 
biennial festival. In 1675, a time of deep gloom through the 
many and widely separated attacks from the fierce savages, 
there was no public thanksgiving celebrated in either Massa 
chusetts or Connecticut. It is difficult to state when the feast 
became a fixed annual observance in New England. In the 
year 1742 there were two Thanksgiving Days. 

The early Thanksgivings were not always set upon Thurs 
day. It is said that that day was chosen on account of its 
reflected glory as lecture day. Judge Sewall told the governor 
and his council, in 1697, tliat he "desir d the same day of the 
week might be for Thanksgiving and Fasts," and that "Boston 
and Ipswich Lectures led us to Thorsday." The feast of thanks 
was for many years appointed with equal frequency upon 
"Tusday com seuen-night," or "vppon Wensday com fort-nit." 
Nor was any special season of the year chosen: in 1716 it was 
appointed in August; in 1713, in January; in 1718, in Decem 
ber; in 1719, in October. The frequent appointments in grati 
tude for bountiful harvests finally made the autumn the 
customary time. 


i, April, 1649 

This was actually the cornerstone of 
religious freedom in the United States 


. , . And whereas the enforceing of the conscience In matters 
of religion hath frequently fallen out to be of dangerous con 
sequence in those commonwealths where it hath been prac 
ticed, . . . 

Be it therefore . . . enacted . . . that no person or per 
sons whatsoever within this province, or the islands, ports, 
harbors, creeks, or havens thereunto belonging professing 
to believe in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth be any 
ways troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect 
of his or her religion nor in the free exercise thereof within 
this province or the islands thereunto belonging nor any way 
compelled to the belief or exercise of any other religion against 
his or her consent. . . . 




Roger Williams 

. . . There goes many a ship to sea, with many hundred souls 
in one ship, whose weal and woe is common, and is a true 
picture of a commonwealth, or a human combination or 
society. It hath fallen out sometimes, that both papists and 
protestants, Jews and Turks, may be embarked in one ship; 
upon which supposal I affirm, that all the liberty of con 
science, that ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges 
that none of the papists, protestants, Jews, or Turks, be 


forced to come to the ship s prayers or worship, nor com 
pelled from their own particular prayers or worship, if they 
practice any. I further add, that I never denied, that notwith 
standing this liberty, the commander of this ship ought to 
command the ship s course, and also command that justice, 
peace, and sobriety, be kept and practiced, both among the 
seamen and all the passengers. If any of the seamen refuse to 
perform their services, or passengers to pay their freight; if 
any refuse to help . . . towards the common charges or de 
fense; if any refuse to obey the common law and orders of the 
ship; ... the commander or commanders may judge, resist, 
compel, and punish these transgressors according to their de 
serts and merits. 


CMef of the Mingo Indians, to 
Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia 


I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan s 
cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold 
and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the 
last long and bloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an 
advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my 
countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, "Logan is the 
friend of white men." I had even thought to have lived with 
you, but for the injuries of one man, Colonel Cresap, the last 
spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the rela 
tions of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. 


There runs not a drop of my blood In any living creature. 
This called on me for revenge. I have sought it: I have killed 
many: I have fully glutted my vengeance: for my country I 
rejoice at the beams of peace. But I do not harbour a thought 
that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will 
not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for 
Logan? Not one. 


John T. McCutcheon 

Yep, sonny, this is sure enough Injun summer. Don t know 
what that is, I reckon, do you? 

Well, that s when all the homesick Injuas come back to play. 
You know, a long time ago, long afore yer granddaddy was 
born even, there used to be heaps of Injuns around here thou 
sands millions, I reckon, far as that s concerned. Reg Iar sure 
nough Injuns none o yer cigar store Injuns, not much. They 
wuz all around here right here where you re standin . 

Don t be skeered hain t none around here now, leastways 
no live ones. They been gone this many a year. 

They all went away and died, so they ain t no more left. 

But every year, long about now, they all come back, least 
ways their spirits do. They re here now. You can see 3 em off 
across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o hazy, misty 
look out yonder? Well, them s Injuns Injun spirits marchin* 
along and dancin in the sunlight. That s what makes that kind 
o haze that s everywhere it s jest the spirits of the Injuns all 
come back. They re all around us now. 

See off yonder; see them tepees? They kind o look like corn 
shocks from here, but them s Injun tents, sure as you re a foot 


high. See em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that 
smoky sort o smell in the air? That s the campfires a-burnin j 
and their pipes a-goin . 

Lots o people say it s jest leaves burnin , but it ain t. It s 
the campfires, an th Injuns are hoppin round em t beat the 
old Harry. 

You jest come out here tonight when the moon is hangin 
over the hill off yonder an the harvest fields is all swimmin in 
the moonlight, an you can see the Injuns and the tepees jest 
as plain as kin be. You can, eh? I knowed you would after a 
little while. 

Did you notice how the leaves turn red bout this time o 
year? That s jest another sign o redskins. That s when an old 
Injun spirit gits tired dancin an goes up and squats on a leaf 
t rest. Why, I kin hear em rustlin an whisperin an 3 creepin 
round among the leaves all the time; an ever once n a while 
a leaf gives way under some fat old Injun ghost and comes 
floatin down to th% ground. See here s one now. See how red 
it is? That s the war paint rubbed off n an Injun ghost, sure s 
you re born. 

Purty soon all the Injuns U go marchin away again, back to 
the happy huntin grounds, but next year you ll see em all 
troopin* back th sky jest hazy with em and their campfires 
smolderin away jest like they are now. 



All the achings and the quaking of t{ the times that tried 
men s souls" 


James G. Elaine, who was defeated for the presidency of the 
United States by Grover Cleveland in 1884, once said, "The 
United States is the only country with a known birthday. All 
the rest began, they know not when, and grew into power, 
they know not how. If there had been no Independence Day, 
England and America combined would not be so great as each 
actually is. There is no Republican, no Democrat, on the 
Fourth of July all are Americans. All feel that their country 
is greater than party." 

Although it is not true that the United States is the only 
country with a birthday most of our neighbors to the south 
have birthdays too it is true that the American Revolution 
marked the beginning of our country s greatness. The selec 
tions that follow tell that story. 





Jonathan Mayhew 

If we calmly consider the nature of the thing itself, nothing 
can well be imagined more directly contrary to common sense 
than to suppose that millions of people should be subjected 
to the arbitrary, precarious pleasure of one single man ... so 
that their estates, and everything that is calculable in life, and 
even their lives also should be absolutely at his disposal if he 
happens to be wanton and capricious enough to demand them. 
What unprejudiced man can think that God made all to be 
thus subservient to the lawless pleasure and frenzy of one, so 
that it shall always be a sin to resist him! 


from The Letters of John Andrews, Esq. 

John Andrews 

December i&tk [1773] 

However precarious our situation may be, yet such is the 
present calm composure of the people that a stranger would 
hardly think that ten thousand pounds sterling of the East 
India Company s tea was destroyed the night, or rather evening 


before last, yet it is a serious truth; and if yours, together with 
the other Southern provinces, should rest satisfied with their 
quota being stor d, poor Boston will feel the whole weight of 
ministerial vengeance. However, it is the opinion of most peo 
ple that we stand an equal chance now, whether troops are 
sent in consequence of it or not; whereas, had it been stor d, 
we should inevitably have had em, to enforce the sale of it. 
The affair was transacted with the greatest regularity and 
despatch. Mr. Rotch finding he exposed himself not only to 
the loss of his ship but for the value of the tea in case he sent 
her back with it, without a clearance from the custom house, 
as the Admiral kept a ship in readiness to make a seizure of it 
whenever it should sail under those circumstances; therefore 
declin d complying with his former promises, and absolutely 
declar d his vessel should not carry it, without a proper clear 
ance could be procur d or he to be indemnified for the value 
of her: when a general muster was assembled, from this and 
all the neighboring towns, to the number of five or six thou 
sand, at 10 o clock Thursday morning in the Old South Meet 
ing house, where they pass d a unanimous vote that the Tea 
should go out of the harbor that afternoon, and sent a com 
mittee with Mr. Rotch to the Custom house to demand a 
clearance, which the collector told em was not in his power 
to give, without the duties being first paid. They then sent Mr. 
Rotch to Milton, to ask a pass from the Governor, who sent 
for answer, that "consistent with the rales of government and 
his duty to the King he could not grant one without they 
produc d a previous clearance from the office." By the time 
he returned with this message the candles were light in the 
house, and upon reading it, such prodigious shouts were made, 
that induc d me, while drinking tea at home, to go out and 
know the cause of it. The house was so crowded I could get 
no farther than the porch, when I found the moderator was 
just declaring the meeting to be dissolved, which caused an 
other general shout, out doors and in, and three cheers. What 


with that, and the consequent noise of breaking up the meeting, 
you d thought that the inhabitants of the infernal regions 
had broke loose. For my part, I went contentedly home and 
finished my tea, but was soon informed what was going for 
ward: but still not crediting it without ocular demonstration, 
I went and was satisfied. They muster d, I m told, upon 
Fort Hill, to the number of about two hundred, and proceeded, 
two by two, to Griffin s wharf, where Hall, Bruce, and Coffin 
lay, each with 114 chest of the ill fated article on board; the 
two former with only that article, but the latter arriv d at the 
wharf only the day before, was freighted with a large quantity 
of other goods, which they took the greatest care not to injure 
in the least, and before nine o clock in the evening, every 
chest from on board the three vessels was knock d to pieces 
and flung over the sides. They say the actors were Indians from 
Narragansett. Whether they were or not, to a transient ob 
server they appear d as such, being cloth d in Blankets with 
the heads muffled, and copper color d countenances, being 
each arm d with a hatchet or axe, and pair pistols, nor was 
their dialect different from what I conceived these geniusses 
to speak, as their jargon was unintelligible to all but them 
selves. Not the least insult was offer d to any person, save 
one Captain Conner, a renter of horses in this place, not 
many years since remov d from dear Ireland, who had ripped 
up the lining e of his coat and waistcoat under the arms, and 
watching his opportunity had nearly filPd em with tea, but 
being detected, was handled pretty roughly. They not only 
stripped him of Ms clothes, but gave him a coat of mud, with 
a severe bruising into the bargain; and nothing but their utter 
aversion to make any disturbance prevented his being tar d 
and feathered. 

Should not have troubled you with this, by this Post, hadn t 
I thought you would be glad of a more particular account of 
so important a transaction, than you could have obtain d by 
common report; and if it affords my brother but a temporary 


amusement, I shall be more than repaid for the trouble of 


from Ms speech to the Virginia legislators urging 
armed resistance to British policy, 1775 

Patrick Henry 

It is natural for man to indulge in the illusion of hope. We are 
apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the 
song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this 
the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle 
for liberty? . . . For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it 
may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth to know the 
worst, and to provide for it. 

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that 
is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the 
future but by the past. ... If we wish to be free, if we mean 
to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which 
we have been so long contending, . . . we must fight! . . . An 
appeal to arms, and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us. 

The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the 
vigilant, the active, the brave. . . . There is no retreat but 
in submission and slavery. Our chains are forged their clank 
ing may be heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevitable; 
and let it come! . . * 

Gentlemen may cry peace! peace! but there is no peace. 
The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the 
north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms I 
Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? 
What is it that the gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is 


life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the 
price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know 
not what course others may take; but as for me, give me 
liberty, or give me death! 


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 


Listen, my children, and you shall hear 

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, 

On the eighteenth of April, in seventy-five; 

Hardly a man is now alive 

Who remembers that famous day and year. 

He said to his friend, "If the British march 
By land or sea from the town to-night, 
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch 
Of the North Church tower as a signal light, 
One, if by land, and two, if by sea; 
And I on the opposite shore will be, 
Ready to ride and spread the alarm 
Through every Middlesex village and farm, 
For the country folk to be up and to arm." 

Then he said, "Good night! " and with muffled oar 

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, 

Just as the moon rose over the bay, 

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay 

The Somerset, British man-of-war; 

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar 


Across the moon like a prison bar, 

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified 

By its own reflection in the tide. 

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street, 
Wanders and watches with eager ears, 
Till in the silence around him he hears 
The muster of men at the barrack door, 
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, 
And the measured tread of the grenadiers, 
Marching down to their boats on the shore. 

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church 

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread, 

To the belfry-chamber overhead, 

And startled the pigeons from their perch 

On the sombre rafters, that round him made 

Masses and moving shapes of shade, 

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall, 

To the highest window in the wall, 

Where he paused to listen and look down 

A moment on the roofs of the town, 

And the moonlight flowing over all. 

Beneath in the churchyard, lay the dead, 

In their night-encampment on the hill. 

Wrapped in silence so deep and still 

That he could hear, like a sentinel s tread. 

The watchful night-wind, as it went 

Creeping along from tent to tent, 

And seeming to whisper, "All is well! " 

A moment only he feels the spell 

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread 

Of the lonely belfry and the dead; 

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent 


On a shadowy something far away, 
Where the river widens to meet the bay, 
A line of black that bends and floats 
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats. 

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, 
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride 
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere. 
Now he patted his horse s side, 
Now gazed at the landscape far and near, 
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth, 
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth; 
But mostly he watched with eager search 
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church, 
As it rose above the graves on the hill, 
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still. 
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry s height 
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light! 
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, 
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight 
A second lamp in the belfry burns ! 

A hurry of hoofs in a village street, 

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, 

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark 

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet: 

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light, 

The fate of a nation was riding that night; 

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight 

Kindled the land into flame with its heat. 

He has left the village and mounted the steep, 
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, 
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides; 
And under the alders that skirt its edge, 


Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge, 
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides. 

It was twelve by the village clock, 

When he crossed the bridge into Medf ord town. 

He heard the crowing of the cock, 

And the barking of the farmer s dog, 

And felt the damp of the river fog, 

That rises after the sun goes down. 

It was one by the village clock, 

When he galloped into Lexington. 

He saw the gilded weathercock 

Swim in the moonlight as he passed. 

And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare, 

Gaze at Mm with a spectral glare, 

As if they already stood aghast 

At the bloody work they would look upon. 

It was two by the village clock, 
When he came to the bridge in Concord town. 
He heard the bleating of the flock, 
And the twitter of birds among the trees, 
And felt the breath of the morning breeze 
Blowing over the meadows brown. 
And one was safe and asleep in Ms bed 
Who at the bridge would be first to fall, 
Who that day would be lying dead, 
Pierced by a British musket-ball. 

You know the rest. In the books you have read, 
How the British Regulars fired and fled, 
How the farmers gave them ball for ball, 
From beMnd each fence and farmyard waU, 
Chasing the red-coats down the lane, 


Then crossing the fields to emerge again 
Under the trees at the turn of the road, 
And only pausing to fire and load. 

So through the night rode Paul Revere; 

And so through the night went his cry of alarm 

To every Middlesex village and farm, 

A cry of defiance and not of fear, 

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, 

And a word that shall echo forevermore! 

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, 

Through all our history, to the last, 

In the hour of darkness and peril and need, 

The people will waken and listen to hear 

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, 

And the midnight message of Paul Revere. 


from The Crisis, 1776 

Thomas Paine 

These are the times that" try men s souls. The summer soldier 
and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the 
service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves 
the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell, is 
not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, 
that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 
... It is the object only of war that makes it honorable. And 
If there was ever a just war since the world began, it is this 
in which America is now engaged. ... We fight not to 


enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the 
earth for honest men to live in. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April s breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood. 
And fired the shot heard round the world. 

The foe long since in silence slept; 
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; 
And Time the ruined bridge has swept 
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps. 

On this green bank, by this soft stream, 
We set today a votive stone; 
That memory may their dead redeem, 
When, like our sires, our sons are gone. 

Spirit, that made those spirits dare 
To die, and leave their children free, 
Bid Time and Nature gently spare 
The shaft we raise to them and thee. 



from John Adams and the American Revolution 

Catherine Drinker Bowen 

Thomas Jefferson, sitting next to Dr. Franklin in Congress, 
shifted his position for the fifth time in as many minutes. It 
was the morning of July the fourth, and the delegates in Com 
mittee of the Whole were discussing the Declaration. They 
had been at it since late afternoon of July second, when the 
vote on independence was announced. 

The process was quite obviously painful to the author. 
From time to time, Franklin glanced at him quizzically. The 
thing was not going at all as Jefferson had expected. It was in the 
Preamble that he and John Adams too had looked for most 
trouble. The Preamble contained extremely dangerous doc 
trines: AU men are created equal was a hard morsel for pa 
trician landholders to swallow. But somehow, Congress let it 
through, and with it the statement that men are endowed by 
their Creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of 

Life, liberty, and property was the old revolutionary slogan. 
For denying it, Tories had lost their lives. Property was in 
cluded even in the very radical Virginia Declaration of Rights, 
published in Philadelphia newspapers less than a month ago. 
Jefferson preferred his own phrase, "the pursuit of happiness." 

It was when Harrison reached the indictments against the 
King that Jefferson began truly to suffer. He had composed 
twenty separate clauses, twenty fierce "reasons" to let the 


world know that America was justified in what she did. Batter 
ing their way through all twenty, Congress cut and slashed, 
deleted, contracted, changed words and phrases and then 
took out, entire, Jefferson s most cherished outburst against 
the slave trade. (This assemblage of horrors, Jefferson had 
called it; this market where men are bought and sold.) 

Congress, plainly, saw no reason to lay on George Rex the 
blame for this deplorable but traditional trade. Had General 
Washington s slaves, John Hancock s slaves, been imported by 
order of George III? What about the late very lucrative Rhode 
Island traffic? New England s hands were far from clean. 
South Carolina and Georgia, moreover, were still importing 
slaves from Africa. . . . They made it instantly clear they had 
no slightest intention of letting Clause 20 go through. 

John Adams darted to his feet, shouting angrily at Rutledge 
something about freedom being a mere masquerade in a 
country that sold human beings in chains. John talked (Jeffer 
son noted gratefully) much louder than the opposition 
"fighting fearlessly for every word/ Jefferson testified later. 
John banged with his hickory cane against the floor and got, 
in the end, absolutely nowhere. 

Calmly, with infinite and ruthless good sense, Congress 
drew the sting from Jefferson s expressed and ferocious desire 
for "eternal separation" from the British people as well as the 
British King. Why, said Congress, close the door on a people 
of whom a large proportion had shown great sympathy for 
the American cause? In the end, Harrison crossed out the 
word "eternal," crossed out indeed a whole page of angry 
accusation. America, he wrote above the lined-out sentence, 
would hold the British people, as she held the rest of man 
kind, enemies in war, in peace friends. 

On the table before Mm, Harrison had one of Jefferson s 
copies of the Declaration. Above it the official pen hung 
poised as Harrison began to read aloud in a singsong, monoto 
nous, well-bred voice. Jefferson sat near the front; Ms clear, 


steady gaze was fixed with awful intentness on the manu 
script. His author s imagination reproduced each paragraph, 
each page with its horrid changes and interlineation : 

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for 
one dissolve the political bonds which have connected them 

^.people to^vancc from that subordination in vvliidi LLuy have 
with another, and to 
WtlitiLu miuiikld, & to assume among the powers of the earth the 

equal and independent station to which the laws of nature & of 
nature s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of 

mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel 

the separation 
them to the change. 


We hold these truths to be, ottered and undeniable . 


That last change was Dr. Franklin s. Grudgingly, Jefferson 
confessed to himself that one word, even hyphenated, was 
better than three. 

Congress, in point of fact, improved the document by 
every single alteration. Moreover they shortened rather than 
expanded it, a feat seldom if ever achieved by parliamentary 
critics. In the end, however, it was still Jefferson s composi 
tion; no one could doubt it. His pen had written it, his spirit 
brooded over it, giving light to the whole. . . . Now he sat 
listening as Harrison s voice droned on. This was the final 
reading. When it was over, the Declaration would be voted on 
in full Congress. There was no question of signing the docu 
ment today; this mutilated copy was not fit for formal signa 
ture. It must be properly printed, "engrossed on parchment." 
Congress moreover possessed no official seal or stamp to 
honor such a document; for a hundred years the colonies had 
used only th^ King s great seal. A stamp must be invented, 
and quickly. 


We therefore (read Harrison), the Representatives of the 
United States of America in General Congress assembled . . . 
do solemnly PUBLISH and DECLARE, That these United 
Colonies are and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDE 
PENDENT STATES . . . with FULL POWER to levy 
War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, 
and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT 
STATES may of right do. 

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm re 
liance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually 
pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred 

In the State House Yard there stood a round scaffold about 
twenty feet high, with a little railed platform on top. From 
this "awful stage/ as John called it, the Declaration was first 
proclaimed on Monday, July eighth, at noontime. Colonel 
Nixon of the Philadelphia Troops, drawn up in formation, 
saluted, the people gave three great huzzas. Forty-nine mem 
bers of Congress, standing just below the platform, cheered 
too, then filed through the State House door and went back 
to work. 

It was not a big celebration nor a loud one. Pennsylvania 
had made more noise, rung more bells and lighted more 
bonfires when she held her first Provincial Congress. But 
there was no question that people felt deeply the significance 
of the Declaration. As the days passed and post riders 
carried it north and south, the country everywhere responded. 
In towns and hamlets men gathered cheering as the Declara 
tion was read from Meeting-house steps, then ran to tear 
down the King s Arms from their courthouse doors. The Lion 
and the Unicom would prance no more in these American 

American States . . . People tried the phrase, turning 
it over on their tongue . . . God bless the American 
States! . . . 





WHEN, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary 
for one people to dissolve the political bands which have 
connected them with another, and to assume, among the 
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which 
the laws of nature and of nature s God entitle them, a decent 
respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should 
declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are 
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with 
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, 
governments are instituted among men, deriving their just 
powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any 
form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is 
the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to in 
stitute new government, laying its foundations on such prin 
ciples, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them 
shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. 
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that government long estab 
lished should not be changed for light and transient causes; 
and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are 
more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right 
themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are ac 
customed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, 
pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to re 
duce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is 
their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new 
guards for their future security. Such has been the patient 
sufferance of these colonies, and such is now the necessity 
which constrains them to alter their former systems of gov- 


eminent The history of the present king of Great Britain is 
a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in 
direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over 
these States. . . . 

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for 
redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have 
been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose char 
acter is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is 
unfit to be the ruler of a free people. 

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British 
brethren. We have warned them, from time to time., of at 
tempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdic 
tion over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances 
of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to 
their native justice and magnanimity and we have conjured 
them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these 
usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections 
and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice 
of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce 
In the necessity which denounces our separation and hold 
them as we hold the rest of mankind enemies in war, in 
peace, friends, 

WE, therefore, the representatives of the United States of 
America in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Su 
preme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, 
do in the name and by authority of the good people of these 
colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these united 
colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and Independent 
States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British 
crown, and that all political connection between them and the 
state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved, 
and that, as free and independent State, they have full power 
to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish com 
merce, and to do all other acts aid things which Independent 
State may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, 


with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, 
we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and 
our sacred honor. 




That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, 
alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white 
in a blue field, representing a new constellation. 



We the people of the United States, in order to form a more 
perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, 
provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, 
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our poster 
ity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United 
States of America. 



Bill of Rights 

Article I 

CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment 
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridg 
ing the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the 
people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government 
for a redress of grievances. 

Article II 

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of 
a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms 
shall not be infringed. 

Article HI 

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house 
without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in 
a manner to be prescribed by law. 

Article IV 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, 
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and 
seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue but 
upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and 
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the per 
sons or things to be seized. 

Article V 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other 
infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a 


Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, 
or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or 
public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same 
offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall 
be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against 
himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without 
due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for 
public use without just compensation. 

Article VI 

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the 
right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the 
State and district wherein the crime shall have been com 
mitted, which districts shall have been previously ascertained 
by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the 
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; 
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his fa 
vor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. 

Article VII 

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy 
shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall 
be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re- 
examined in any court of the United States than according to 
the rules of the common law. 

Article VIII 

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines im 
posed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 

Article IX 

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall 
not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the 


Article X 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the 
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved 
to the States respectively, or to the people. 


from a letter to George Washington, 1780 

Benjamin Franklin 


I must soon quit the scene, but you may live to see our coun 
try flourish; as it will amazingly and rapidly after the war is 
over; like a field of young Indian corn, which long fair weather 
and sunshine had enfeebled and discolored, and which in 
that weak state, by a sudden gust of violent wind, hail, and 
rain, seemed to be threatened with absolute destruction; yet 
the storm being past, it recovers fresh verdure, shoots up 
with double vigor, and delights the eye not of its owner 
only, but of every observing traveler. 




. . . Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man 
shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious wor 
ship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, re- 


strained, molested, or burdened in Ms body or his goods 
nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions 
or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by 
argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion 
and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect 
their civil capacities . . . 


from Ms Farewell Address, 1796 

George Washington 


Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate 
peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin 
this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally 
enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at 
no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the 
magnanimous and too novel example of a people always 
guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. . . . 


Thomas Jefferson 


I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of 
society but the people themselves; and if we think them not 
enlightened enough to exercise their control with a whole 
some discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but 
to inform their discretion by education. 



from Ms first inaugural address, 1801 

Thomas Jefferson 


Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the 
government of himself. Can he then be trusted with the 
government of others? Or have we found angels in the form 
of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question. 




... In the wars of the European powers in matters relating 
to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it com 
port with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are 
invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make 
preparations for our defense. With the movements in this 
hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, 
and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and 
impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers 
is essentially different in this respect from that of America. 
This difference proceeds from that which exists in their re 
spective governments; and to the defense of our own, which 
has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, 
and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citi 
zens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, 
this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor 
and to the amicable relations existing between the United 


States and those powers to declare that we should consider 
any attempt on their part to extend their system to any 
portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and 
safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any 
European power we have not interfered and shall not inter 
fere. But with the governments who have declared their in 
dependence and maintained it, and whose independence we 
have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowl 
edged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of 
oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their 
destiny, by any European power in any other light than as 
the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the 
United States. 


Nathaniel Hawthorne 

There was once a time when New England groaned under 
the actual pressure of heavier wrongs than those threatened 
ones which later brought on the Revolution. James II, the 
bigoted successor of Charles the Voluptuous, had annulled 
the charters of all the colonies and sent a harsh and unprin 
cipled soldier to take away our liberties and endanger our 
religion. The administration of Sir Edmund Andros lacked 
scarcely a single characteristic of tyranny: a governor and 
council, holding office from the king and wholly independent 
of the country; laws made and taxes levied without concur 
rence of the people, immediate or by their representatives; the 
rights of private citizens violated and the titles of all landed 
property declared void; the voice of complaint stifled by re 
strictions on the press; and, finally, disaffection overawed by 


the first band of mercenary troops that ever marched on our 
free soil. For two years our ancestors were kept in sullen 
submission by that filial love which had invariably secured 
their allegiance to the mother country. Till these evil times, 
however, such allegiance had been merely nominal, and the 
colonists had ruled themselves, enjoying far more freedom 
than is even yet the privilege of the native subjects of Great 

At length, a rumor reached our shores that the Prince of 
Orange had ventured on an enterprise the success of which 
would be the triumph of civil and religious rights and the 
salvation of New England. It was but a doubtful whisper; 
it might be false or the attempt might fail; and, in either case, 
the man that stirred against King James would lose his head. 
Still, the intelligence produced a marked effect. The people 
smiled mysteriously in the streets and threw bold glances at 
their oppressors; while far and wide there was a subdued and 
silent agitation, as if the slightest signal would rouse the whole 
land from its sluggish despondency. Aware of their danger, the 
rulers resolved to avert it by an imposing display of strength, 
and perhaps to confirm their despotism by yet harsher meas 
ures. One afternoon in April, 1689, Sir Edmund Andros and 
his favorite councilors, being warm with wine, assembled the 
redcoats of the governors guard and made their appearance 
in the streets of Boston. The sun was near setting when the 
march commenced. 

The roll of the drum at that unquiet crisis seemed to go 
through the streets, less as the martial music of the soldiers 
than as a muster-call to the inhabitants themselves. A multi 
tude by various avenues assembled in King Street, which was 
destined to be the scene nearly a century afterward of another 
encounter between the troops of Britain and a people strug 
gling against her tyranny. 

Though more than sixty years had elapsed since the pil 
grims came, this crowd of their descendants still showed the 


strong and somber features of their character, perhaps more 
strikingly in such a stern emergency than on happier occa 
sions. There were the sober garb, the general severity of 
mien, the gloomy but undismayed expression, the scriptural 
forms of speech, and the confidence in Heaven s blessing on 
a righteous cause, which would have marked a band of the 
original Puritans when threatened by some peril of the wilder 
ness. Indeed, it was not yet time for the old spirit to be 
extinct, since there were men in the streets that day who had 
worshipped there beneath the trees, before a house was reared 
to the God for whom they had become exiles. Old soldiers 
of the Parliament were here, too, smiling grimly at the 
thought that their aged arms might strike another blow 
against the house of Stuart. Here, also, were the veterans of 
King Phillip s War, who had burned villages and slaughtered 
young and old with pious fierceness, while the godly souls 
throughout the land were helping them with prayer. Several 
ministers were scattered among the crowd, which, unlike all 
other mobs, regarded them with such reverence as if there 
were sanctity in their very garments. These holy men exerted 
their influence to quiet the people but not to disperse them. 

Meantime, the purpose of the governor, in disturbing the 
peace of the town at a period when the slightest commotion 
might throw the country into a ferment, was almost the 
universal subject of inquiry, and variously explained, 

"Satan will strike his master stroke presently," cried some, 
"because he knoweth that his time is short. All our godly 
pastors are to be dragged to prison! We shall see them at a 
Smithfield fire in King Street! " 

Hereupon the people of each parish gathered closer round 
their minister, who looked calmly upward and assumed a 
more apostolic dignity, as well befitted a candidate for the 
highest honor of his profession, the crown of martyrdom. 

The governor under the old charter, Bradstreet, a venerable 
companion of the first settlers, was known to be in town. 


There were grounds for conjecturing that Sir Edmund Andros 
intended at once to strike terror by a parade of military force, 
and to confound the opposite faction by possessing himself of 
their chief. 

"Stand firm for the old charter, Governor!" shouted the 
crowd, seizing upon the idea. "The good old Governor Brad- 

While this cry was at the loudest, the people were surprised 
by the well-known figure of Governor Bradstreet himself, a 
patriarch of nearly ninety, who appeared on the elevated steps 
of a door and, with characteristic mildness, besought them to 
submit to the constituted authorities. 

"My children," concluded this venerable person, "do noth 
ing rashly. Cry not aloud, but pray for the welfare of New 
England, and await patiently what the Lord will do in this 

The event was soon to be decided. All this time the roll 
of the drum had been approaching through Cornhill Street 
louder and deeper, till, with reverberations from house to 
house, and the regular tramp of martial footsteps, it burst 
into tie street. A double rank of soldiers made their appear 
ance, occupying the whole breadth of the passage with shoul 
dered matchlocks and matches burning, so as to present a row 
of fires in the dusk. Their steady march was like the progress 
of a machine that would roll irresistibly over everything in its 
way. Next, moving slowly, with a confused clatter of hoofs 
on the pavement, rode a party of mounted gentlemen, the cen 
tral figure being Sir Edmund Andros, elderly, but erect and 
soldierlike. Those around Mm were his favorite councilors and 
the bitterest foes of New England. 

The captain of a frigate in the harbor and two or three civil 
officers under the Crown were also there. But the figure which 
most attracted the public eye and stirred up the deepest 
feeling was the Episcopal clergyman of King s Chapel, riding 
haughtily among the magistrate in his priestly vestments, the 


fitting representative of the union of church and state, and all 
those abominations which had driven the Puritans to the 
wilderness. Another guard of soldiers, in double rank, brought 
up the rear. 

The whole scene was a picture of the condition of New 
England; and its moral: the deformity of any government 
that does not grow out of the nature of things and the char 
acter of the people. On one side the religious multitude 
with their sad visages and dark attire and, on the other, the 
group of despotic rulers, with the high churchman in the 
midst, and here and there a crucifix at their bosoms, all 
magnificently clad, flushed with wine, proud of unjust author 
ity, and scoffing at the universal groan. And the mercenary 
soldiers, waiting but the word to deluge the street with 
blood, showed the only means by which obedience could be 

^ "0 Lord of Hosts," cried a voice among the crowd, "pro 
vide a champion for thy people ! " 

This ejaculation was loudly uttered and served as a herald s 
cry to introduce a remarkable personage. The crowd had rolled 
back and were now huddled together nearly at the extremity 
of the street, while the soldiers had advanced no more than a 
third of its length. The intervening space was empty a paved 
solitude between lofty edifices which threw almost a twilight 
shadow over it. Suddenly, there was seen the figure of an 
ancient man who seemed to have emerged from among the 
people and was walking by himself along the center of the 
street to confront the armed band. He wore the old Puritan 
dress, a dark cloak and a steeple-crowned hat, in the fashion 
of at least fifty years before, with a heavy sword upon his 
thigh, but a staff in his hand to assist the tremulous gait of 
age. 6 

When at some distance from the multitude, the old man 
turned slowly round, displaying a face of antique majesty 
rendered doubly venerable by the hoary beard that descended 


on his breast. He made a gesture at once of encouragement 
and warning, then turned again, and resumed his way. 
"Who is this gray patriarch?" asked the young men of their 

"Who is this venerable brother?" asked the old men among 


But none could make reply. The fathers of the people, those 
of fourscore years and upward, were disturbed, deeming it 
strange that they should forget one of such evident authority 
whom they must have known in their early days, the asso 
ciate of Winthrop and all the old councilors, giving laws and 
making prayers and leading them against the savage. The 
elderly men ought to have remembered him, too, with locks 
as gray in their youth as their own were now. And the young! 
How could he have passed so utterly from their memories 
that hoary sire, the relic of long-departed times, whose awful 
benediction had surely been bestowed on their uncovered 
heads in childhood? 

Meanwhile, the venerable stranger, staff in hand, was pur 
suing his solitary walk along the center of the street. As he 
drew near the advancing soldiers, and as the roll of their drum 
came full upon his ear, the old man raised himself to a loftier 
bearing, while the decrepitude of age seemed to fall from 
his shoulders, leaving him in gray but unbroken dignity. Now, 
he marched onward with a warrior s step, keeping time to the 
military music. Thus, the aged form advanced on one side, 
and the whole parade of soldiers and magistrates on the other, 
till, when scarcely twenty yards remained between, the old 
man grasped his staff by the middle, and held it before him 
like a leader s truncheon. 

"Stand! "cried he. 

The eye, the face, and attitude of command; the solemn, 
yet warlike peal of that voice, fit either to rule a host in the 
battlefield or be raised to God in prayer, were irresistible. At 
the old man s word and outstretched arm, the roll of the 


drum was hushed at once, and the advancing line stood still. 
A tremulous enthusiasm seized upon the multitude. That 
stately form, combining the leader and the saint, so gray, so 
dimly seen, in such an ancient garb, could only belong to 
some old champion of the righteous cause, whom the oppres 
sor s drum had summoned from his grave. They raised a shout 
of awe and exultation, and looked for the deliverance of New 

The governor, and the gentlemen of his party, perceiving 
themselves brought to an unexpected stand, rode hastily for 
ward, as if they would have pressed their snorting and 
affrighted horses right against the hoary apparition. He, how 
ever, blenched not a step, but glancing his severe eye round 
the group which half-encompassed him, at last bent it sternly 
on Sir Edmund Andros. One would have thought that the 
dark old man was chief ruler there, and that the governor 
and council with soldiers at their back representing the whole 
power and authority of the Crown had no alternative but 

"What does this old fellow here?" cried Edward Randolph, 
fiercely. "On, Sir Edmund! Bid the soldiers forward and give 
the dotard the same choice that you give all his countrymen 
to stand aside or be trampled on! " 

"Nay, nay, let us show respect to the good grandsire," said 
Bullivant, laughing. "See you not, he is some old round- 
headed dignitary who hath lain asleep these thirty years and 
knows nothing of the change of times ?" 

"Are you mad, old man?" demanded Sir Edmund Andros 
in loud and harsh tones. "How dare you stay the march of 
King James s governor?" 

"I have stayed the march of a king himself, ere now/ re 
plied the gray figure, with stern composure. "I am here, Sir 
Governor, because the cry of an oppressed people hath dis 
turbed me in my secret place; and beseeching this favor 
earnestly of the Lord, it was vouchsafed me to appear once 


again on earth in the good old cause of his saints. And what 
speak ye of James? There is no longer a tyrant on the throne 
of England, and by tomorrow noon his name shall be a by 
word in this very street where ye would make it a word of 
terror. Back, thou that wast a governor, back! With this night 
thy power is ended tomorrow, the prison! back, lest I fore 
tell the scaffold!" 

The people had been drawing nearer and nearer and drink 
ing in the words of their champion, who spoke in accents 
long disused, like one unaccustomed to converse except with 
the dead of many years ago. But his voice stirred their souls. 
They confronted the soldiers, not wholly without arms, and 
ready to convert the very stones of the street into deadly 
weapons. Sir Edmund Andros looked at the old man; then 
he cast his hard and cruel eye over the multitude and beheld 
them burning with that lurid wrath so difficult to kindle or to 
quench; and again he fixed his gaze on the aged form which 
stood obscurely in an open space, where neither friend nor foe 
had thrust himself. What were his thoughts? he uttered no 
word which might discover. 

But whether the oppressor were overawed by the Gray 
Champion s look, or perceived his peril in the threatening at 
titude of the people, it is certain that he gave back, and 
ordered his soldiers to commence a slow and guarded retreat. 
Before another sunset, the governor and all that rode so 
proudly with him were prisoners and, long ere it was known 
that James had abdicated, King William was proclaimed 
throughout New England. 

But where was the Gray Champion? Some reported that, 
when the troops had gone from King Street, and the people 
were thronging tumultuously in their rear, Bradstreet, the 
aged governor, was seen to embrace a form more aged than 
his own. Others soberly affirmed that, while they marvelled 
at the venerable grandeur of his aspect, the old man had faded 
from their eyes, melting slowly into the hues of twilight till, 


where he stood, there was an empty space. But all agreed that 
the hoary shape was gone. The men of that generation watched 
for his reappearance in sunshine and in twilight, but never 
saw him more, nor knew when his funeral passed, nor where 
Ms gravestone was. 

And who was the Gray Champion? Perhaps his name might 
be found in the records of that stern Court of Justice, which 
passed a sentence too mighty for the age, but glorious in all 
aftertimes for its humbling lesson to the monarch and its 
high example to the subject. I have heard that, whenever 
the descendants of the Puritans are to show the spirit of 
their sires, the old man appears again. When eighty years 
had passed, he walked once more in King Street. Five 
years later, in the twilight of an April morning, he stood 
on the green beside the meetinghouse at Lexington, where 
now the obelisk of granite, with a slab of slate inlaid, com 
memorates the first fallen of the Revolution. And when our 
fathers were toiling at the breastwork on Bunker Hill, all 
through that night the old warrior walked his rounds. 

Long, long, may it be ere he comes again! His hour is one 
of darkness and adversity and peril. But should domestic 
tyranny oppress us, or the invader s step pollute our soil, still 
may the Gray Champion come, for he is the type of New 
England s hereditary spirit; and his shadowy march on the eve 
of danger must ever be the pledge that New England s sons 
will vindicate their ancestry. 



The American dream has been a dream of the west, of 
the world farther on. 


The land opened before the American people, who pressed 

against each new frontier and flowed over It. There were 
mountains to climb they climbed them. There were endless 
miles of plain and desert to travel they traveled them. 

These were the pioneers who carried the American dream 
and the promise across the Alleghenies, the Mississippi, the 
Great Plains, the Rockies, the high Sierras, to the Pacific. 

North, south, and west they went, but if it was north, it was 
north-by-west, and if it was south, it was south-by-west. Some 
people think that something died in our people when we 
reached the Pacific Ocean and the only west that remained 
was water. But that is not so. There are other frontiers now 
frontiers of science, of industry, of faith, even, and Americans 
are pressing against them and flowing over them. Americans 
will always find new frontiers. 



from The Trees 

Conrad Richter 

They moved along in the bobbing, springy gait of a family 
that followed the woods as some families follow the sea. In 
the midday twilight of the forest, the father s shaggy gray 
figure looked hump-backed, but the hump was a pack. In that 
pack under his rifle were a frow and augur, bar lead and 
powder, blacksmith s traps and a bag of Indian meal wrapped 
up in a pair of yellow yarn blankets. 

Sayward carried the big kettle and little kettle packed with 
small fixings, Genny the quilts thonged to her white shoulders 
and Achsa a quarter of venison with the bloody folded buck 
skin her father had taken since the last trader. Even the littliest 
ones, Wyitt and Sulie, had their burdens of axe, bullet mould 
and clothes. Only their mother, Jary Luckett, went light, for 
she was poorly with the slow fever and could lug no more 
than the old blue Revolutionary greatcoat with the mended 
slit in the right shoulder. 

It was the game that had fetched the Lucketts out of 
Pennsylvania. Months before the chestnut burrs had begun to 
sharpen, Worth Luckett looked for a woods famine. It would 
be like nothing since the second winter after Yorktown, he 
claimed. He spent so much time in the woods with nobody 
to talk to but Sarge, his old hound, that when he opened his 
mouth Jary had learned to pick up her ears and listen. For a 
month he had been noticing sign. The oaks, beeches and hazel 
patches would have slim mast for bears and pigeons this year. 
Deer paths lay barer than any time he could recollect of fresh 
droppings. And now the squirrels were leaving the country. 

He claimed he had stood on a log near the old Mingo 


hemlock and seen them pouring like a miU race through the 
woods. . . . The very floor of the forest was gray and black 
with them. When they came to Paddy s Run, they didn t wait 
to take up and over the trees but plunged in like beaver. And 
the live ones fought over the drowned ones bodies. 

If meat on the go wasn t likely to be tainted. Worth could 
have caught himself a club and laid out a hundred without 
the waste of a dram of powder. As it was, he just stood on his 
log like a duck in thunder, waiting to see if the old Harry 
himself was not on the tail end. And when the last came, 
there was nothing behind them; nothing, he allowed, but 

The Luckett young ones stood listening to the tale with 
open mouths. The homespun over their hearts plopped in 
and out like the flanks of those runaway squirrels. They 
would have given the last stitch off their backs to have seen it. 
They wanted to go up West anyhow, and now they couldn t 
wait till tomorrow. But they daren t show it in front of their 
father. No, they just stood there gaping and dying to hear 
what their mother would have to say. 

Jary sat quiet on her homemade hickory rocker. Oh, she 
knew how bad Worth wanted an excuse to get away from 
here. Her eyes slanted down toward the clay floor. Her mouth 
rounded a bit as if she took all these things, good, bad and 
indifferent, and was running them quietly around inside her 
lips. Her mouth was so gentle and yet could shut like a 
mussel shell. She looked up and there was no telling what lay 
in her mind. 

"You re aimin to cross the Ohio?" she asked, and her eyes 
glinted a moment dangerously at her man. 

He gave a nod. . . . 

Now they had crossed the Ohio on a pole ferry and the 
mud on their feet was no longer the familiar red and brown 
earth of Pennsylvania. It was black like dung. The young ones 
were wild over tramping the same trace their father had 


tramped as a boy with Colonel Boquet. Here was where the 
army sheep had to be shut in for the night and here where 
the soldiers had axed the trace wider to let the army train 
through. It was a country of hills and Jary had said she could 
breathe again like on those mortal sweet hills of Pennsylvania. 
Now that those hills were so far behind her, it was easier to 
give them up. Perhaps it wouldn t be so bad out here like she 
thought. What was the use of living in the same state as 
your folks if you never saw them anyhow? 

They rounded a high ridge. A devil s race-course cleared 
the air of limbs below. Here was something Worth had not 
told them about. 

For a moment Sayward reckoned that her father had 
fetched them unbeknownst to the Western ocean and what 
lay beneath was the late sun glittering on green-black water. 
Then she saw that what they looked down on was a dark, 
illimitable expanse of wilderness. It was a sea of solid tree- 
tops broken only by some gash where deep beneath the foliage 
an unknown stream made its way. As far as the eye could 
reach, this lonely forest sea rolled on and on till its faint blue 
billows broke against an incredibly distant horizon. 

They had all stopped with a common notion and stood 
looking out. Sayward saw her mother s eyes search with the 
hope of finding some settlement or leastwise a settler s clear 
ing. But over that vast solitude no wisp of smoke arose. 
Though they waited here till night, the girl knew that no 
light of human habitation would appear except the solitary 
red spark of some Delaware or Shawnee campfire. Already 
the lowering sun slanted melancholy rays over the scene, and 
as it sank, the shadows of those far hills reached out with 
long fingers. 

It was a picture Sayward was to carry to her grave, although 
she didn t know it then. In later years when it was all to go so 
that her own father wouldn t know the place if he rose from 
Ms bury hole, she was to call the scene to mind. This is the 


way it was, she would say to herself. Nowhere else but in the 
American wilderness could it have been. 


from Land of Promise 
Walter Havighurst 

No other country has been so conscious of the surveyor s 
chain and compass as has America. Within a span of three 
generations a whole continent was surveyed. That was the first 
task in the vast process of occupation. While it was under way 7 

surveying became an everyday science. "Navigation" appeared 
in the meager curriculum of schools and academies far inland. 
Handbooks of practical astronomy circulated in country stores 
and were studied by firelight in settlers cabins. Surveying 
manuals were packed in the tin trunk beside the Emigrant s 
Guide and the family Bible. Gibson s Theory and Practice of 
Surveying, Gummere s Treatise on Surveying, Telford s Ele 
ments of Surveying, Simms 7 Principle and Practice of Levelling 
these were the scientific literature of the unsettled coun 
try. Countless young Americans began their careers as mem 
bers of a surveying crew and thousands who went on to other 
pursuits had followed surveying as their first profession. 

Take the surveyors out of American history and the gaps 
become appalling. George Washington handled the chain and 
compass in the rough valleys of western Pennsylvania. Wil 
liam Clark, discoverer of the Columbia River, ran county 
lines in the Blue Ridge Mountains before he was nineteen 
years old and was surveyor-general of Illinois twenty years 
later. Abraham Lincoln ran section lines over the low hills 
that hem the Sanganion. Even Henry David Thoreau, a 


transcendentalist at heart, measured the strict bounds of 
Concord township and located many farmers corners. Hosts 
of men shared in that task that was as broad as the continent, 
using the light of Aldebaran and Polaris and the sun s rays to 
fix a net of invisible lines across America. 

It must have left a mark on them as well as on their maps. 
They pushed ahead of settlement into new country, not roving 
like traders and hunters but methodically following a compass 
needle, taking measurements, calculating elevations, fixing 
exact and unalterable benchmarks. They waded the swamps 
and climbed the ridges, they set up their tripods in creek beds 
and hacked a way through thickets to run their uncompromis 
ing lines. So they learned a way of doing. There were no 
detours, no evasions and circumventions in their profession. 
They learned a way of thinking. Their lines ran straight over 
rough, confused and difficult country. They learned a way of 
living. For long seasons they took the fortunes of weather and 
isolation. They waited, sometimes weeks on end, for an ob 
servation of the stars to clinch their meridian. They fought 
wolves and camp rats and mosquitoes, they shook with ague 
and bled from the furious little wounds of the black fly, they 
counted their chain links over quaking swamps and snow-beak 
prairies. They advanced into a country that was land merely, 
and they left it invisibly and forever changed. Their field notes 
were the basis of a future civilization. With every sight and 
measurement they gave the land a pattern as fixed and final 
as the ordered stars. No men in America did more lasting 
work than theirs. 



Southern Illinois 

Morris Birkbeck 

Our journey across the Little Wabash was a complete de 
parture from all mark of civilization. We saw no bears, as they 
are now buried in the thickets, and seldom appear by day; 
but, at every few yards, we saw recent marks of their doings, 
wallowing in the long grass, or turning over the decayed logs 
in quest of beetles or worms, in which work the strength of 
this animal is equal to that of four men. Wandering without 
track, where even the sagacity of our hunter-guide failed us, we 
at length arrived at the cabin of another hunter, where we 

The man and his family are remarkable instances of the 
effect on the complexion produced by the perpetual incarcera 
tion of a thorough woodland life. Buried in the depth of a 
boundless forest, the breeze of health never reaches these 
poor wanderers; the bright prospect of distant hills fading away 
into the semblance of clouds, never cheered their sight. They 
are tall and pale, like vegetables that grow in a vault, pining 
for the light. 

The cabin, which may serve as a specimen of those rudi 
ments of houses, was formed of round logs, with apertures of 
three or four inches between. No chimney, but large intervals 
between the "clapboards" for the escape of smoke. The roof 
was, however, a more effectual covering than we have generally 
experienced, as it protected us very tolerably from a drench 
ing night. Two bedsteads of unhewn logs, and cleft boards 
laid across; two chairs, one of them without a bottom, and a 


low stool, were all the furniture required by this numerous 

family. A string of buffalo hide stretched across the hovel, was 

a wardrobe for their rags; and their utensils, consisting of a 

large iron pot, some baskets, an effective rifle and two that 

were superannuated, stood about in corners, and the fiddle, 

which was only silent when we were asleep, hung by them. 

At one of these lone dwellings we found a neat, respectable 

female, spinning under the little piazza at one side of the 

cabin, which shaded her from the sun. Her husband was 

absent on business, which would detain him some weeks. She 

had no family, and no companion but her husband s faithful 

dog, which usually attended him in his bear hunting in the 

winter. She was quite overcome with "lone" she said, and 

hoped we would untie our horses in the wood and sit awhile 

with her during the heat of the day. We did, and she rewarded 

,us with a basin of coffee. Her husband was kind and good to 

her, and never left her without necessity, but a true lover of 

bear hunting, which he pursued alone, taking only his dog 

with him, although it is common for hunters to go in parties 

to attack this dangerous animal. The cabin of this hunter was 

neatly arranged, and the garden well stocked. 


from Daniel Boone 

James Daugherty 


Kentucky cradles were never empty. 
Torrents of fat naked babies overflowed from bulging cradles 

and cluttered crowded cabins. 
Wide solemn eyes peered from behind their mothers skirts 

at strangers. 


Tiny toddlers squealed gleefully to skin-clad daddies bringing 

home fat turkeys from the forest. 
Then they turned their toes toward the sundown. 
They waddled west as soon as they could stagger. 
They cooed and gurgled to the crimson sunset. 
They reached their paws for a slice of the red pumpkin pie 

going down over the purple hills. 

They wrassled the wild cats and they romped with wolves. 
They pulled the panthers by their tails. 
They tackled tall turkey gobblers and ruined their pride. 
They rolled in rapture down the Rappahannock, 
They rafted in their cradles down the Ohio. 
They climbed the Tuscaroras and they coasted down the 

Cumberlands in three-cornered pants 

And dug their toes into the black loam of the fat bottom lands 
To grow up tall and lean and towheaded 
Like the green-waving tasseled Indian corn. 


from The Oregon TrtM 

Francis Parkman 

The face of the country was dotted far and wide with count 
less hundreds of buffalo. They trooped along in files and 
columns, bulls, cows, and calves, on the green faces of the 

declivities in front. They scrambled away over the Mils to the 
right and left; and far off, the pale blue swells in the extreme 
distance were dotted with innumerable specks. Sometimes I 
surprised shaggy old bulls grazing alone, or sleeping behind 
the ridges I ascended. They would leap up at my approach, 


stare stupidly at me through their tangled manes, and then 
gallop heavily away. The antelope were very numerous; and 
as they are always bold when in the neighborhood of buffalo 
they would approach to look at me, gaze intently with their 
great round eyes, then suddenly leap aside, and stretch lightly 
away over the prairie, as swiftly as a race-horse. Squalid, 
ruffian-like wolves sneaked through the hollows and sandy 
ravines. Several times I passed through villages of prairie-dogs, 
who sat, each at the mouth of his burrow, holding his paws 
before him in a supplicating attitude, and yelping away most 
vehemently, whisking his little tail with every squeaking cry 
he uttered. Prairie-dogs are not fastidious in their choice of 
companions; various long checkered snakes were sunning them 
selves in the midst of the village, and demure little gray 
owls, with a large white ring around each eye, were perched 
side by side with the rightful inhabitants. The prairie teemed 
with life. Again and again I looked toward the crowded hill 
sides, and was sure I saw horsemen; and riding near, with a 
mixture of hope and dread, for Indians were abroad, I found 
them transformed into a group of buffalo. There was nothing 
in human shape amid all this vast congregation of brute 


from The Sod House Frontier, 1854-1890 

Everett Dick 

. . . When the hardy settler began the conquest of the prairie, 
he found at hand material for shelter and fuel. The dugout 
and the sod house provided shelter, and buffalo chips and 
prairie grass served for fuel. Where timber was available it was 


natural for the people to make the conventional log house. 
Even In the eastern part of the trans-Missouri-Red River 
territories, however, dugouts and makeshift, hay-covered, sod 
structures were used at first for shelter. As settlement crept 
westward and timber became more scarce, the homesteader 
came to depend more and more on soil and grass for homes. 
The typical prairie home was made of sod or was dug out of 
the side of a hill or ravine. 

It was customary for the emigrant upon locating Ms home 
stead to arrange a temporary shelter until the permanent 
dwelling was ready for occupancy. When the wagon halted, 
the head of the family took out a spade and began to con 
struct the dwelling. The dugout was more easily made than 
the sod house and hence many pioneers, anxious to get set 
tled and to plant crops, made this type of dwelling their first 
home. In a few days excavation for the dugout was complete. 
The family meanwhile lived in the covered wagon box while 
the father used the running gears to haul the logs, poles, 
brush, and grass needed for the roof and front of the dugout. 
The mother of the family cooked the meals by a camp-fire 
and the group slept in the wagon or other temporary abode. 
Sometimes a hole dug in the ground and covered with canvas 
or sheets supplied the necessary shelter. Mr. and Mrs. M. E. 
Babcock of Fillmore County, Nebraska, made their first home 
by sewing four sheets together for a tent. Within a few days a 
windstorm blew down their shelter at night and wrecked their 
covering irreparably. The first residence in Antelope County, 
Nebraska, was a shack made of poles and grass. 

The dugout was a room dug in the side of a Mil or ravine. 
A few rails or posts were used to make a door frame and pos 
sibly a window. The door, of course, opened out into the ra 
vine. The front wall was made of square cut turf, or logs if 
they were obtainable. A roof sloping back onto the Mil was 
made of poles or logs covered over with brush, a layer of 
prairie grass tMck enough to hold dirt, and finally a layer of 


dirt over the grass. It was by no means ideal, however, for 
after a rain the high water often drove the occupants from 
their home. It was necessary to dig a trench from the house to 
the drainage level to carry water off the floor. Then, too a 
frog pond for a front yard meant mosquitoes in summer and a 
very unhealthful environment. Even in dry weather the place 
was dirty. . . . 

A spade was used to cut the sod into bricks about three feet 
long. These bricks were then carried to the building site by 
wagon or by a float made of planks or the forks of a tree. 
J. Clarence Norton of La Harpe, Kansas, related that in build 
ing the house on the homestead, the line for the wall was 
drawn after dark so that it could be located by the north star. 
For the first layer of the wall the three foot bricks were placed 
side by side around the foundation except where the door was 
to be made. The cracks were then filled with dirt and two 
more layers were placed on these. The joints were broken as 
in brick laying. Every third course was laid crosswise of the 
others to bind them together. This process was continued un 
til the wall was high enough to put a roof on the structure. A 
door frame and two window frames were set in the wall and 
the sod built around them at the proper time. Sometimes the 
builder drove hickory withes down into the wall as a sort of 
reinforcement. The gables were built up of sod or frame ac 
cording to the means of the settler. The poorer settler built a 
roof in the crudest manner. A forked post set in each end of 
the cabin furnished a support for the ridge pole. The rafters 
were made of poles and the sheeting of brush; a layer of prairie 
grass covered this, and over all sod was placed. The settler who 
could afford it put a frame roof on his sod house. In that 
event sheeting was nailed on the rafters and tar paper spread 
over the sheeting boards. This was then covered with sods 
thinner than those used to cover the side walls, and laid with 
grass side down; the cracks were filled with fine clay. From 
time to time this dirt filling had to be renewed as the rains 


carried it away. In a short time great growths of sunflowers 
and grass appeared on the roofs. If the house were to be pla* 
teredj a mixture of clay and ashes was used. If it were to be a 
smooth finish, the builder took a spade and hewed the wall 
to a smooth finish and symmetrical proportions. The whole 
thing, as one pioneer said, was "made without mortar, square, 
plumb, or greenbacks." All that was needed was a pair of will 
ing hands, and many home seekers came to the plains with no 
assets other than a wagon cover. The little sod cabin was fre 
quently divided into two rooms by a piece of rag carpet or 
quilt. The windows and door were closed with buffalo robes or 
other blankets. The house was crudely furnished. A nail keg 
and a soap box did duty as chairs. A dry goods box made a 
table and a rude bed of boards was fashioned in the comer. 
When the migration immediately following the Civil War 
broke in its fury, the demand for doors, sashes, and blinds was 
so great that even small towns ordered in carload lots. The 
dealer at the little town of Milford, Nebraska, advertised in 
March, 1871, that he had three carloads of this type of mer 
chandise on the way. 

The ordinary sod house had grave faults. Its few windows 
permitted little light and air for ventilation. The immaculate 
housekeeper abominated them because they were so hard to 
keep clean. The dirt and straw kept dropping on everything 
in the house. The most disagreeable feature of these houses 
was the leaky roof. Few of the sod-covered houses really 
turned water. A heavy rain came, soaked into the dirt roof, 
and soon little rivulets of muddy water were running through 
the sleepers hair. The sod-house dweller had to learn to mi 
grate when it rained. If the rain came from the north, the 
north side of the house leaked, and it was necessary to move 
everything to the south side, if from the south, a move had to 
be made again. When the roof was saturated it dripped for 
three days after the sky was bright without. Dishes, pots, pans, 
and kettles were placed about the house to catch the continual 


dripping. One pioneer woman remembered frying pancakes 
with someone holding an umbrella over her and the stove. A 
visitor at the home of a Dakota woman said that when great 
clouds rolled up in the afternoon the lady of the homestead 
began gathering up all the old dishes in the house and placing 
them here and there on the floor, on the stove, and on the 
bed. The visitor remarked that the prairie woman seemed to 
understand her business for when the rain came down in tor 
rents a few minutes later every drop that came through the 
numerous holes in the roof of the shack went straight into 
those vessels. After a heavy rain it was necessary to hang all 
the bed clothing and wearing apparel on the line to dry. One 
old settler mentioned keeping the clothes in the covered 
wagon to keep them dry. 

When the roof was well soaked its weight was immense. 
The heavy rafters sank deeper and deeper into the soggy walls 
until occasionally the roof caved in or the walls collapsed, 
burying people underneath the ruins. To prevent this kind of 
accident, heavy posts were placed in the house to support the 
roof; these were a great nuisance because they took up so 
much room. Frequently the cabin was covered with long 
coarse prairie grass. This type of roof also had the fault of 
dripping water after a heavy rain. 

There were, however, some striking advantages of the sod 
house. It was cool in summer and warm in winter. There was 
no fear of the wind blowing it over and no danger of destruc 
tion by prairie fires. Neither was there danger of fire from a 
faulty fireplace. A fireplace was safely built of sod. The average 
life of a sod house was six or seven years. 



from Theodore Roosevelt; An Autobiography 
Theodore Roosevelt 

The spring and early summer round-ups were especially for 
the branding of calves. There was much hard work and some 
risk on a round-up, but also much fun. The meeting-place was 
appointed weeks beforehand, and all the ranchmen of the ter 
ritory to be covered by the round-up sent their representatives. 
There were no fences in the West that I knew, and their place 
was taken by the cowboy and the branding-iron. The cattle 
wandered free. Each calf was branded with the brand of the 
cow it was following. Sometimes in winter there was what we 
called line riding; that is, camps were established and the line 
riders traveled a definite beat across the desolate waste of 
snow, to and fro from one camp to another, to prevent the 
cattle from drifting. But as a rule nothing was done to keep 
the cattle in any one place. In the spring there was a general 
round-up in each locality. Each outfit took part in its own 
round-up and all the outfits of a given region combined to 
send representatives to the two or three round-ups that cov 
ered the neighborhoods near by into which their cattle might 
drift. For example, our Little Missouri round-up generally 
worked down the river from a distance of some fifty or sixty 
miles above my ranch towards the Kildeer Mountains, about 
the same distance below. In addition we would usually send 
representatives to the Yellowstone round-up, and to the 
round-up along the upper Little Missouri, and, moreover,, if 
we heard that cattle had drifted, perhaps towards the Indian 
reservation southeast of us, we would seed a wagon and rider 
after them. 
At the meeting-point, which might be in the vaUey of a 


half-dry stream, or in some broad bottom of the river itself, or 
perchance by a couple of ponds under some queerly shaped 
butte that was a landmark for the region round about, we 
would all gather on the appointed day. The chuck-wagons 
containing the bedding and food, each drawn by four horses 
and driven by the teamster cook, would come jolting and rat 
tling over the uneven sward. Accompanying each wagon were 
eight or ten riders, the cowpunchers, while their horses, a 
band of a hundred or so, were driven by the two herders, one 
of whom was known as the day wrangler and one as the night 
wrangler. The men were lean, sinewy fellows, accustomed to 
riding half-broken horses at any speed over any country by day 
or by night. They wore flannel shirts, with loose handkerchiefs 
knotted round their necks, broad hats, high-heeled boots with 
jingling spurs, and sometimes leather chaps, although often 
they merely had their trousers tucked into the tops of their 
high boots. There was a good deal of rough horseplay, and, as 
with any other gathering of men or boys of high animal 
spirits, the horseplay sometimes became very rough indeed; 
and as the men usually carried revolvers, and as there were oc 
casionally one or two noted gun-fighters among them, there 
was now and then a shooting affray. A man who was a coward 
or who shirked his work had a bad time, of course; a man 
could not afford to let himself be bullied or treated as a butt; 
and, on the other hand, if he was "looking for a fight," he was 
certain to find it. But my own experience was that if a man 
did not talk until his associates knew him well and liked him, 
and if he did his work, he never had any difficulty in getting 
on. In my own round-up district I speedily grew to be friends 
with most of the men. When I went among strangers I al 
ways had to spend twenty-four hours in living down the fact 
that I wore spectacles, remaining as long as I could judiciously 
deaf to any side remarks about "four eyes/ unless it became 
evident that my being quiet was misconstrued and that it was 
better to bring matters to a head at once. 


If, for instance, I was sent off to represent the Little Mis 
souri brands on some neighboring round-up, such as the Yel 
lowstone, I usually showed that kind of diplomacy which con 
sists in not uttering one word that can be avoided. I would 
probably have a couple of days solitary ride ? mounted on one 
horse and driving eight or ten others before me, one of them 
carrying my bedding. Loose horses drive best at a trot, or 
canter, and if a man is traveling alone in this fashion it is a 
good thing to have them reach the camp ground sufficiently 
late to make them desire to feed and sleep where they are un 
til morning. In consequence I never spent more than two 
days on the journey from whatever the point was at which I 
left the Little Missouri, sleeping the one night for as limited 
a number of hours as possible. 

As soon as I reached the meeting-place I would find out the 
wagon to which I was assigned. Riding to it, I turned my 
horses into the saddle-band and reported to the wagon boss, 
or, in his absence, to the cook always a privileged character, 
who was allowed and expected to order men around. He would 
usually grumble savagely and profanely about my having been 
put with his wagon, but this was merely conventional on his 
part; and if I sat down and said nothing he would probably 
soon ask me if I wanted anything to eat, to which the correct 
answer was thai I was not hungry and would wait until meal 
time. The bedding rolls of the riders would be strewn around 
the grass, and I would put mine down a little outside the ring, 
where I would not be in any one s way, with my six or eight 
branding-irons beside it. The men would ride in, laughing and 
talking with one another, and perhaps nodding to me. One of 
their number, usually the wagon foreman, might put some 
question to me as to what brands I represented, but no other 
word would be addressed to me, nor would I be expected to 
volunteer any conversation. Supper would consist of bacon, 
Dutch oven bread, and possibly beef; once I won the good 
graces of my companions at the outset by appearing with two 


antelope which I had shot. After supper I would roll up in my 
bedding as soon as possible, and the others would follow suit 
at their pleasure. 

At three in the morning or thereabouts, at a yell from the 
cook ? all hands would turn hurriedly out. Dressing was a sim 
ple affair. Then each man rolled and corded his bedding if he 
did not, the cook would leave it behind and he would go with 
out any for the rest of the trip and came to the fire, where he 
picked out a tin cup, tin plate, and knife and fork, helped him 
self to coffee and to whatever food there was, and ate it stand 
ing or squatting as best suited him. Dawn was probably break 
ing by this time, and the trampling of unshod hoofs showed 
that the night wrangler was bringing in the pony herd. Two of 
the men would then run ropes from the wagon at right angles 
to one another, and into this as a corral the horses would be 
driven. Each man might rope one of his own horses, or more 
often point it out to the most skillful roper of the outfit, who 
would rope it for him for if the man was an unskillful roper 
and roped the wrong horse or roped the horse in the wrong 
place there was a chance of the whole herd stampeding. Each 
man then saddled and bridled his horse. This was usually fol 
lowed by some resolute bucking on the part of two or three of 
the horses, especially in the early days of each round-up. The 
bucking was always a source of amusement to all the men 
whose horses did not buck, and these fortunate ones would 
gather round giving ironical advice, and especially adjuring the 
rider not to "go to leather" that is, not to steady himself in 
the saddle by catching hold of the saddle-horn. 

As soon as the men had mounted, the whole outfit started 
on the long circle, the morning circle. Usually the ranch fore 
man who bossed a given wagon was put in charge of the men 
of one group by the round-up foreman; he might keep his men 
together until they had gone some ten or fifteen miles from 
camp, and then drop them in couples at different points. Each 
couple made its way toward the wagon, gathering all the cattle 


it could find. The morning s ride might last six or eight hours, 
and it was still longer before some of the men got in. Singly 
and in twos and threes they appeared from every quarter of the 
horizon, the dust rising from the hoofs of the steers and bulls, 
the cows and calves, they had collected. Two or three of the 
men were left to take care of the herd while the others 
changed horses, ate a hasty dinner, and then came out to the 
afternoon work. This consisted of each man in succession be 
ing sent into the herd, usually with a companion, to cut out 
the cows of his brand or brands which were followed by un- 
branded calves, and also to cut out any mavericks or un- 
branded yearlings. We worked each animal gently out to the 
edge of the herd, and then with a sudden dash took it off at a 
run. It was always desperately anxious to break back and re 
join the herd. There was much breakneck galloping and twist 
ing and turning before its desire was thwarted and it was 
driven to join the rest of the cut that is, the other animals 
which had been cut out, and which were being held by one or 
two other men. Cattle hate being alone, and it was no easy 
matter to hold the first one or two that were cut out; but soon 
they got a little herd of their own, and then they were con 
tented. When the cutting out had all been done, the calves 
were branded, and all misadventures of the "calf wrestlers," 
the men who seized, threw, and held each calf when roped by 
the mounted roper, were hailed with yelling laughter. Then 
the animals which for one reason or another it was desired to 
drive along with the round-up were put into one herd and left 
in charge of a couple of night guards, and the rest of us would 
loaf back to the wagon for supper and bed. 



from A Vaguer o of the Brush Country 
J. Frank Dobie 

Modem cowboys seem to be giving up the bandanna handker 
chief. Perhaps the moving pictures have made it tawdry. Yet 
there was a time when this article was almost as necessary to a 
cowboy s equipment as a rope, and it served for purposes al 
most as varied. The prevailing color of the bandanna was red, 
but blues and blacks were common, and of course silk ban 
dannas were prized above those made of cotton. 

When the cowboy got up in the morning and went down to 
the water hole to wash his face he used his bandanna for a 
towel. Then he tied it around his neck, letting the fold hang 
down in front, thus appearing rather nattily dressed for break 
fast. After he had roped out his bronc and tried to bridle him 
he probably found that the horse had to be blindfolded before 
he could do anything with him. The bandanna was what he 
used to blindfold the horse with. Mounted, the cowboy re 
moved the blind from the horse and put it again around his 
own neck. Perhaps he rode only a short distance before he 
spied a big calf that should be branded. He roped the calf; 
then if he did not have a a piggin string" a short rope used 
for tying down animals he tied the calf s legs together with 
the bandanna and thus kept the calf fast while he branded it. 
In the summertime the cowboy adjusted the bandanna to pro 
tect his neck from the sun. He often wore gloves too, for he 
liked to present neat hands and neck. If the hot sun was in his 
face, he adjusted the bandanna in front of him, tying it so that 
the fold would hang over his cheeks, nose, and mouth like a 
mask. If his business was with a dust-raising herd of cattle, 


the bandanna adjusted in the same way made a respirator; in 
blizzardly weather it likewise protected his face and ears. In 
the swift, unhalting work required in pen the cowboy could,, 
without losing time, grab a fold of the bandanna loosely hung 
about his neck and wipe away the blinding sweat In the pen, 
too, the bandanna served as a rag for holding the hot handles of 
branding irons. 

Many a cowboy has spread his bandanna, perhaps none too 
clean itself, over dirty, muddy water and used it as a strainer 
to drink through; sometimes he used it as a cup towel, which he 
called a "drying rag." If the bandanna was dirty, it was prob 
ably not so dirty as the other apparel of the cowboy, for when 
he came to a hole of water, he was wont to dismount and wash 
out his handkerchief, letting it dry while he rode along, hold 
ing it in his hand or spread over his hat. Often he wore it un 
der his hat in order to help keep his head cool. At other times, 
in the face of a fierce gale, he used it to tie down his hat. The 
bandanna made a good sling for a broken arm; it made a good 
bandage for a blood wound. Early Irish settlers on the Nueces 
River used to believe that a bandanna handkerchief that had 
been worn by a drowned man would, if cast into a stream 
above the sunken body, float until it came over the body and 
then sink, thus locating it. Many a cowboy out on the lonely 
plains has been buried with a clean bandanna spread over Ms 
face to keep the dirt, or the coarse blanket on which the dirt 
was poured, from touching it. The bandanna has been used to 
hang men with. Rustlers used to "wave" strajogers around with 
it, as a warning against nearer approach, though the hat was 
more commonly used for signaling. Like the Mexican som 
brero or the four-gallon Stetson, the bandanna could not be 
made too large. When the cowboys of the West make their 
final parade on the grassy shores of Paradise, the guidon that 
leads them should be a bandanna handkerchief. It deserves to 
be called the flag of the range country. 



from Roughing It 

Mark Twain 

In a little while all interest was taken up in stretching our 
necks and watching for the "pony-rider" the fleet messen 
ger who sped across the continent from St. Joe to Sacramento, 
carrying letters nineteen hundred miles in eight days! Think 
of that for perishable horse and human flesh and blood to 
do! The pony-rider was usually a little bit of a man, brimful 
of spirit and endurance. No matter what time of the day or 
night his watch came, and no matter whether it was winter or 
summer ? raining, snowing, hailing, or sleeting, or whether his 
"beat" was a level straight road or a crazy trail over mountain 
crags and precipices, or whether it led through peaceful re 
gions or regions that swarmed with hostile Indians, he must 
be always ready to leap into the saddle and be off like the 
wind! There was no idling-time for a pony-rider on duty. He 
rode fifty miles without stopping, by daylight, moonlight, 
starlight, or through the blackness of darkness just as it hap 
pened. He rode a splendid horse that was born for a racer and 
fed and lodged like a gentleman; kept him at his utmost speed 
for ten miles, and then, as he came crashing up to the station 
where stood two men holding fast a fresh, impatient steed, 
the transfer of rider and mailbag was made in the twinkling of 
an eye, and away flew the eager pair and were out of sight be 
fore the spectator could get hardly the ghost of a look. Both 
horse and rider went "flying light." The rider s dress was thin, 
and fitted close; he wore a "roundabout," and a skull cap, and 
tucked his pantaloons into his boot-tops like a race-rider. He 
carried no arms he carried nothing that was not absolutely 
necessary, for even the postage on his literary freight was 


worth five dollars a letter. He got but little frivolous corre 
spondence to carry Ms bag had business letters In it, mostly. 
His horse was stripped of all unnecessary weight, too. He 
wore a little wafer of a racing saddle, and no visible blanket. 
He wore light shoes, or none at all. The little flat mail- 
pockets strapped under the rider s thighs would each hold 
about the bulk of a child s primer. They held many and many 
an important business chapter and newspaper letter, but these 
were written on paper as airy and thin as gold-leaf, nearly, and 
thus bulk and weight were economized. The stage-coach trav 
eled about a hundred to a hundred and twenty-five miles a day 
(twenty-four hours), the pony-rider about two hundred and 
fifty. There were about eighty pony-riders in the saddle all the 
time, night and day, stretching in a long, scattering procession 
from Missouri to California, forty flying eastward, and forty 
toward the west, and among them making four hundred gal 
lant horses earn a stirring livelihood and see a deal of scenery 
every single day in the year. 

We had had a consuming desire, from the beginning, to see 
a pony-rider, but somehow or other all that passed us and all 
that met us managed to streak by in the night, and so we 
heard only a whiz and a hail, and the swift phantom of the 
desert was gone before we could get our heads out of the win 
dow. But now we were expecting one along every moment and 
would see him in broad daylight Presently the driver ex 
claims : 

"Here he comes!" 

Every neck is stretched farther and every eye strained wider* 
Away across the endless dead level of the prairie a black speck 
appears against the sky, and it is plain that it moves. Well, I 
should think so! In a second or two it becomes a horse and 
rider, rising and falling, rising and falling sweeping toward us 
nearer and nearer growing more and more distinct, more and 
more sharply defined nearer and still nearer, and the flutter 
of the hoofs comes faintly to the ear another instant a whoop 


and a hurrah from our upper deck, a wave of the driver s hand, 
but no reply, and man and horse burst past our excited faces 
and go swinging away like a belated fragment of a storm! 

So sudden is it all and so like a flash of unreal fancy that, 
but for the flake of white foam left quivering and perishing on 
a mail sack after the vision had flashed by and disappeared, 
we might have doubted whether we had seen any actual horse 
and man at all, maybe. 


from The Pacific Tourist, /. R. Bowman s Illustrated Trans- 
Continental Guide to Travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
Ocean, 1882-1883 


American history, in its triumph of skill, labor, and genius, 
knows no event of greater thrilling interest, than the scene 
which attended the driving of the last spike, which united the 
East and West with the bands of iron. First of great enter 
prises since the world s known history began that gigantic 
task of joining the two great oceans with bands of steel, over 
which thousands of iron monsters are destined to labor for un 
numbered years, bearing to this young country continued 
wealth and prosperity. The completion of a project so grand 
in conception, so successful in execution, and likely to prove 
so fruitful and rich in promise, was worthy of world-wide ce 

Upon the loth of May, 1869, the rival roads approached 
each other, and two lengths of rails were left for the day s 
work. At 8 A.M., spectators began to arrive; at quarter to 
9 A.M., the whistle of the Central Pacific Railroad is heard, 


and the first train arrives, bringing a large number of passen 
gers. Then two additional trains arrive on the Union Pacific 
Railroad, from the East. At a quarter of n A.M., the Chinese 
workmen commenced leveling the bed of the road with picks 
and shovels, preparatory to placing the ties. At a quarter past 
eleven the Governor s (Governor Stanford s) train arrived. 
The engine was gaily decorated with little flags and ribbons 
the red, white, and blue. The last tie is put in place eight feet 
long, eight inches wide, and six inches thick. It was made of 
California laurel, finely polished, and ornamented with a silver 
escutcheon, bearing the following inscription: 


Then follow the names of the directors and officers of the 
Central Pacific Company and of the presenter of the tie. 

The exact point of contact of the road was 1,085.8 miles 
west from Omaha, which allowed 690 miles to the Central 
Pacific Railroad, for Sacramento, for their portion of the work. 
The engine Jupiter, of the Central Pacific Railroad, and the 
engine 119 of the Union Pacific Railroad, moved up to within 
thirty feet of each other. 

Just before noon the announcement was sent to Washing 
ton that the driving of the last spike of the railroad which con 
nected the Atlantic and Pacific would be communicated to all 
the telegraph offices in the country the instant the work was 
done, and instantly a large crowd gathered around the offices 
of the Western Union Telegraph Company to receive the wel 
come news. 

The manager of the company placed a magnetic ball in a 
conspicuous position, where all present could witness the per 
formance, and connected the same with the main lines, notify 
ing the various offices of the country that he was ready. New 
Orleans, New York, and Boston instantly answered "Ready/ 

In San Francisco, the wires were connected with the fire- 
alarm in the tower, where the heavy ring of the bell might 


spread the news immediately over the city, as quick as the 
event was completed. 

Waiting for some time in impatience, at last came this mes 
sage from Promontory Point, at 2 127 P.M. 

Almost ready. Hats off, prayer is being offered. 

A silence for the prayer ensued; at 2 140 P.M., the bell tapped 
again, and the officer at Promontory said: 

We have got done praying, the spike is about to be presented. 

Chicago replied: 

We understand, all are ready in the East. 

From Promontory Point: 

All ready now; the spike will soon be driven. The signal will be 
three dots for the commencement of the blows. 

For a moment the instrument was silent, and then the ham 
mer of the magnet tapped the bell, one, two, three, the signal. 
Another pause of a few seconds, and the lightning came flash 
ing eastward, 2,400 miles to Washington; and the blows of 
the hammer on the spike were repeated instantly in tele 
graphic accents upon the bell of the Capitol. At 2:47 P.M., 
Promontory Point gave the signal, "Done" ; and the great Amer 
ican Continent was successfully spanned. 

Immediately thereafter, flashed over the line the following 
official announcement to the Associated Press: 

Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10. THE LAST RAIL 
FIC RAILROAD IS COMPLETED! The point of junction 
is 1,086 miles west of the Missouri River, and 690 miles east 
of Sacramento City. 


Central Pacific Railroad 


Union Pacific Railroad. 


Such were the telegraphic incidents that attended the com 
pletion of the greatest work of the age but during these few 
expectant moments the scene itself at Promontory Point was 
very impressive. 

After the rival engines had moved up toward each other 3 a 
call was made for the people to stand back, in order that all 
might have a chance to see. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. 
Todd of Massachusetts. Brief remarks were then made by 
General Dodge and Governor Stanford. Three cheers were 
given for the Government of the United States, for the Rail 
road, for the Presidents, for the Star Spangled Banner, for the 
Laborers, and for those, respectively, who furnished the 
means. Four spikes were then furnished two gold and two 
silver by Montana, Idaho, California, and Nevada. They were 
each about seven inches long, and a little larger than the iron 

Dr. Harkness, of Sacramento, in presenting to Governor 
Stanford a spike of pure gold, delivered a short and appropri 
ate speech. 

The Hon. F. A. Tritle, of Nevada, presented Dr. Durant 
with a spike of silver, saying: 

To the iron of the East, and the gold of the West, Nevada adds her 
link of silver to span the Continent and weld the oceans. 

Governor Safford, of Arizona, presenting another spike ? 

Ribbed in iron, clad in silver, and crowned with gold, Arizona pre 
sents her offering to the enterprise that has banded the Continent and 
welded the oceans. 

Dr. Durant stood on the north side of the tie, and Gover 
nor Stanford on the south side. At a given signal, these gen 
tlemen struck the spikes, and at the same instant the electric 
spark was sent through the wires, east and west. The two loco 
motives moved up until they touched each other, and a bottle 
of wine was poured, as a libation, on the last rail. 


A number of ladies graced the ceremonies with their pres 
ence, and at i P.M., under an almost cloudless sky, and in the 
presence of about 1,100 people, the greatest railroad on earth 
was completed. 

A sumptuous repast was given to all the guests and railroad 
officers, and toward evening the trains each moved away and 
darkness fell upon the scene of joy and triumph. 

Immediately after the ceremonies, the laurel tie was re 
moved for preservation, and in its place an ordinary one sub 
stituted. Scarcely had it been put in its place before a grand 
advance was made upon it by the curiosity seekers and relic 
hunters and divided into numberless mementoes, and as fast 
as each tie was demolished and a new one substituted, this, 
too, shared the same fate, and probably within the first six 
months there were used as many new ties. It is said that even 
one of the rails did not escape the grand battery of knife and 
hack, and the first one had soon to be removed to give place to 

A curious incident, connected with the laying of the last 
rails, has been little noticed hitherto. Two lengths of rails, 
56 feet, had been omitted. The Union Pacific people brought 
up their pair of rails, and the work of placing them was done 
by Europeans. The Central Pacific people then laid their pair 
of rails, the labor being performed by Mongolians. The fore 
men, in both cases, were Americans. Here, near the center of 
the great American Continent, were representatives of Asia, 
Europe, and America America directing and controlling. 



/ believe this government cannot endure permanently half 
slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be di$~ 
solved, but I do expect it will cease to be divided. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865) 

To every man and every woman there comes a time of testing, 
some crisis which in the end determines how he or she will 
live. What is true of men and women is equally true of na 
tions. America faced such a test in the war between its own 
states. In the North, we called it the Civil War or even the 
War of the Rebellion; in the South, we called it the War Be 
tween the States or the War of the Secession. 

It was a terrible war and even today our country bears its 
scars. But out of it came some of the greatest of great Ameri 
cans and two people, in particular, who have become legends. 
They were Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. Each of 
them was all that each of us would like to be. And it is by 
following their example that we and our country can become 
what we ought to be. 



Abraham Lincoln 

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This 
expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, 
to the extent of the difference, is no democracy. 


Julia Ward Howe 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; 

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are 

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift 

His truth is marching on. 

I have seen Him. in the watch-fires of a hundred circling 

They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and 

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring 

His day is marching on. 


I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel: 

"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall 


Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, 
Since God is marching on." 

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, 
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; 
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, 
While God is marching on. 


James Sloane Gibbons 

We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand 

From Mississippi s winding stream and from New England s 

We leave our plows and workshops, our wives and children 


With hearts too full for utterance, with but a silent tear; 
We dare not look behind us, but steadfastly before; 
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand 


If you look across the hilltops that meet the northern sky ? 
Long moving lines of rising dust your vision may descry; 
And now the wind, an instant, tears the cloudy veil aside, 
And floats aloft our spangled flag, in glory and in pride, 
And bayonets in the sunlight gleam, and bands brave music 


We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand 


If you look all up our valleys where the growing harvests shine, 
You may see our sturdy farmer boys fast forming into line; 
And children from their mothers knees are pulling at the 

And learning how to reap and sow against their country s 


And a farewell group stands weeping at every cottage door; 
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand 



A Requiem (April, 1862) 

Herman Melville 

Skimming lightly, wheeling still, 

The swallows fly low 
Over the field in clouded days, 

The forest field of Shiloh 
Over the field where April rain 
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain 
Through the pause of night 
That followed the Sunday fight 

Around the church of Shiloh 
The church so lone, the log-built one, 
That echoed to many a parting groan 
And natural prayer 

Of dying foemen mingled there 
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve 

Fame or country least their care: 


(What like a bullet can undeceive! ) 

But now they lie low, 
While over them the swallows skim, 

And all is hushed at Shiloh. 



Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year 

of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proc 
lamation was issued by the President of the United States, 
containing, among other things, the following, to wit: 

That on the first day of January, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all per 
sons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of 
a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion 
against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, 
and forever free; and the Executive Government of the 
United States, including the military and naval authority 
thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such 
persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such per 
sons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for 
their actual freedom. 


Delivered at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863 
Abraham Lincoln 

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on 
this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedi 
cated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now 
we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that na 
tion, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long 
endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have 
come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place 
for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. 
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But 
in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we 
cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, 
who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor 
power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long re 
member, what we say here; but it can never forget what they 
did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to 
the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far 
so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to 
the great task remaining before us, that from these honored 
dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they 
gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly re 
solve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this na 
tion, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that 
government of the people, by the people, and for the people, 
shall not perish from the earth. 




Thomas Buchanan Read 

Up from the South, at break of day, 

Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay, 

The affrighted air with a shudder bore, 
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain s door, 
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar, 
Telling the battle was on once more, 

And Sheridan twenty miles away. 

And wider still those billows of war 
Thundered along the horizon s bar; 
And louder yet into Winchester rolled 
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled, 
Making the blood of the listener cold, 
As he thought of the stake in that fiery f ray ? 
And Sheridan twenty miles away. 

But there is a road from Winchester town, 

A good, broad highway leading down; 

And there, through the flush of the morning light, 

A steed as black as the steeds of night 

Was seen to pass, as with eagle flight, 

As if he knew the terrible need; 

He stretched away with his utmost speed; 

Hills rose and fell;" but his heart was gay, 

With Sheridan fifteen miles away. 

Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering South, 
The dust, like smoke from the cannon s mouth; 


Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster, 
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster. 
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master 
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls, 
Impatient to be where the battlefield calls; 
Every nerve of the charger was trained to full play, 
With Sheridan only ten miles away. 

Under his spurning feet the road 

Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed, 

And the landscape sped away behind 

Like an ocean flying before the wind, 

And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace ire, 

Swept on, with his wild eye full of fire. 

But lo! he is nearing his heart s desire; 

He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray, 

With Sheridan only five miles away. 

The first that the general saw were the groups 

Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops. 

What was done? What to do? A glance told him both. 

Then striking his spurs, with a terrible oath, 

He dashed down the line, mid a storm of huzzas, 

And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because 

The sight of the master compelled it to pause. 

With foam and with dust, the black charger was gray; 
By the flash of his eye, and red nostril s play, 
He seemed to the whole great army to say: 
"I have brought you Sheridan all the way 
From Winchester town to save the day! " 

Hurrah! Hurrah for Sheridan! 
Hurrah! Hurrah for horse and man! 
And when their statues are placed on high, 


Under the dome of the Union sky, 
The American soldiers Temple of Fame; 
There, with the glorious general s name, 
Be it said, in letters both bold and bright; 
"Here is the steed that saved the day, 
By carrying Sheridan into the fight, 
From Winchester twenty miles away! " 


from Ms second Inaugural Address, 1865 
Abraham Lincoln 

. . . With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firm 
ness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive 
on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation s 
wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and 
for his widow, and Ms orphan, to do all which may achieve 
and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and 
with all nations. 





from The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant 
Ulysses S. Grant 

... I found him (Lee) at the house of a Mr. McLean, at 
Appomattox Court House, with Colonel Marshall, one of his 
staff officers, awaiting my arrival. The head of his column was 
occupying a hill, on a portion of which was an apple orchard, 
beyond a little valley which separated it from that on the 
crest of which Sheridan s forces were drawn up in line of bat 
tle to the south. . . . 

I had known General Lee in the old army, and had served 
with him in the Mexican War, but did not suppose, owing to 
the difference in our age and rank, that he would remember 
me, while I would more naturally remember him distinctly, 
because he was the chief of staff of General Scott in the 
Mexican War. 

When I had left camp that morning I had not expected so 
soon the result that was then taking place, and consequently 
was in rough garb. I was without a sword, as I usually was 
when on horseback in the field, and wore a soldier s blouse 
for a coat, with the shoulder straps of my rank to indicate to 
the army who I was. When I went into the house I found 
General Lee. We greeted each other, and after shaking hands 
took our seats. I had my staff with me, a good portion of 
whom were in the room during the whole of the interview. 

What General Lee s feelings were I do not know. As he was 


a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impos 
sible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had 
finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to 
show it. Whatever Ms feelings, they were entirely concealed 
from my observation; but my own feelings, which had been 
quite jubilant on the receipt of his letter, were sad and de 
pressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the down 
fall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had 
suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I be 
lieve, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one 
for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, how 
ever, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were op 
posed to us. 

General Lee was dressed in a full uniform which was en 
tirely new, and was wearing a sword of considerable value, 
very likely the sword which had been presented by the State of 
Virginia; at all events, it was an entirely different sword from 
the one that would ordinarily be worn in the field. In my 
rough traveling suit, the uniform of a private with the straps of 
a lieutenant-general, I must have contrasted very strangely 
with a man so handsomely dressed, six feet high and of fault 
less form. But this was not a matter that I thought of until 

We soon fell into a conversation about old army times. He 
remarked that he remembered me very well in the old army; 
and I told him that as a matter of course I remembered Mm 
perfectly, but from the difference in our rank and years (there 
being about sixteen years difference in our ages), I had 
thought it very likely that I had not attracted his attention suf 
ficiently to be remembered by Mm after such a long interval. 
Our conversation grew so pleasant that I almost forgot the ob 
ject of our meeting, and said that he had asked for this inter 
view for the purpose of getting from me the terms I proposed 
to give Ms army. I said that I meant merely that his army 
should lay down their arms, not to take them up again during 


the continuance of the war unless duly and properly ex 
changed. He said that he had so understood my letter. 

Then we gradually fell off again into conversation about 
matters foreign to the subject which had brought us together. 
This continued for some little time, when General Lee again 
interrupted the course of the conversation by suggesting that 
the terms I proposed to give his army ought to be written out. 
I called to General Parker, secretary on my staff, for writing 
materials, and commenced writing out the following terms 
(of the surrender) . . . 

When I put my pen to the paper I did not know the first 
word that I should make use of in writing the terms. I only 
knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly, 
so that there could be no mistaking it. As I wrote on, the 
thought occurred to me that the officers had their own private 
horses and effects, which were important to them, but of no 
value to us; also that it would be an unnecessary humiliation 
to call upon them to deliver their side arms. 

No conversation, not one word, passed between General Lee 
and myself, either about private property, side arms, or kin 
dred subjects. He appeared to have no objection to the terms 
first proposed; or if he had a point to make against them he 
wished to wait until they were in writing to make it. When he 
read over that part of the terms about side arms, horses, and 
private property of the officers, he remarked, with some feel 
ing, I thought, that this would have a happy effect upon his 

Then, after a little further conversation, General Lee re 
marked to me again that their army was organized a little dif 
ferently from the army of the United States (still maintaining 
by implication that we were two countries) ; that in their army 
the cavalrymen and artillerists owned their own horses; and he 
asked if he was to understand that the men who so owned 
their horses were to be permitted to retain them. I told him 
that as the terms were written they would not; that only the 


officers were permitted to take their private property. He then,, 
after reading over the terms a second time, remarked that that 
was clear. 

I then said to him that I thought this would be about the 
last battle of the war I sincerely hoped so; and I said further 
I took it that most of the men in the ranks were small farm 
ers. The whole country had been so raided by the two armies 
that it was doubtful whether they would be able to put in a 
crop to carry themselves and their families through the next 
winter without the aid of the horses they were riding. 

The United States did not want them, and I would ? therefore, 
instruct the officers I left behind to receive the paroles of Ms 
troops to let every man of the Confederate army who claimed 
to own a horse or mule take the animal to Ms home. Lee re 
marked again that this would have a happy effect. . . . 

General Lee, after all was completed and before taking his 
leave, remarked that his army was in a very bad condition for 
want of food, and that they were without forage; that his men 
had been living for some days on parched corn exclusively, 
and that he would have to ask me for rations and forage, I 
told him "certainly/ and asked for how many men he 
rations. His answer was "about twenty-five thousand/ and I 
authorized him to send his own commissary and quartermas 
ter to Appomattox Station, two or three miles away, he 
could have, out of the trains we had stopped, all the 
he wanted. As for forage, we had ourselves almost 
entirely upon the country for that. . . . Lee and I sepa 
rated as cordially as we had met, he returning to Ms own 
lines, and all went into bivouac for the night at Appomattox. 




Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia 

April 10, 1865 

After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed 
courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has 
been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and re 

I need not tell the survivors of so many hard-fought battles, 
who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have con 
sented to this result from no distrust of them; but, feeling that 
valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could com 
pensate for the loss that would have attended the continuation 
of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice 
of those whose past services have endeared them to their 

By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return 
to their homes and remain until exchanged. 

You may take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from 
the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I ear 
nestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His bless 
ing and protection. 

With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devo 
tion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your 
kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you all an 
affectionate farewell. 

R. E. Lee, General 



Walt Whitman 

Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; 

The ship has weather d every rack, the prize we sought is 


The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: 
But O heart! heart! heart! 
O the bleeding drops of red, 
Where on the deck my Captain lies, 

Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; 
Ri se U p for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills; 
For you bouquets and ribbon d wreaths for you the shores 


For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning: 
Here Captain! dear father! 
This arm beneath your head! 
It is some dream that on the deck, 

You ve fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; 
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; 
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and 


From fearful trip, the victor ship comes in with object won: 
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! 
But I, with mournful tread, 
Walk the deck my Captain lies, 
Fallen cold and dead. 



Henry TImrod 

Sleep sweetly In your humble graves, 

Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause; 

Though yet no marble column craves 

The pilgrim here to pause. 

In seeds of laurel in the earth 

The blossom of your fame is blown, 

And somewhere, waiting for its birth, 
The shaft is in the stone! 

Meanwhile, behalf the tardy years 

Which keep in trust your storied tombs, 

Behold! your sisters bring their tears, 

And these memorial blooms. 

Small tributes ! but your shades will smile 
More proudly on these wreaths today, 

Than when some cannon-moulded pile 
Shall overlook this bay. 

Stoop, angels, hither from the skies ! 

There is no holier spot of ground 
Than where defeated valor lies, 

By mourning beauty crowned! 



Francis Miles Finch 

By the flow of the inland river, 

Whence the fleets of iron have fled, 
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver, 

Asleep are the ranks of the dead: 
Under the sod and the dew ? 

Waiting the Judgment Day: 
Under the one, the Blue; 

Under the other, the Gray. 

These in the robings of glory, 

Those in the gloom of defeat^ 
All with the battle-blood gory 3 

In the dusk of eternity meet: 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the Judgment Day: 
Under the laurel, the Blue; 

Under the willow, the Gray. 

From the silence of sorrowful hours 

The desolate mourners go ? 
Lovingly laden with flowers, 

Alike for the friend and the foe: 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the Judgment Day: 
Under the roses, the Blue; 

Under the Hies, the Gray. 

So 7 with an equal splendor 
The morning sun-rays fall, 


With a touch impartially tender, 

On the blossoms blooming for all: 

Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the Judgment Day: 

Broidered with gold, the Blue; 
Mellowed with gold, the Gray. 

So, when the summer calleth, 

On forest and field of grain, 
With an equal murmur falleth 

The cooling drip of the rain: 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the Judgment Day: 
Wet with the rain, the Blue; 

Wet with the rain, the Gray. 

Sadly, but not with upbraiding, 

The generous deed was done. 
In the storm of the years that are fading 

No braver battle was won: 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the Judgment Day; 
Under the blossoms, the Blue; 

Under the garlands, the Gray. 

No more shall the war cry sever, 

Or the winding rivers be red: 
They banish our anger forever 

When they laurel the graves of our dead! 
Under the sod and the dew, 

Waiting the Judgment Day:- 
Love and tears for the Blue; 

Tears and love for the Gray. 



in Springfield, Illinois 

Vachel Lindsay 

It is portentous, and a thing of state 
That here at midnight, in our little town 
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest, 
Near the old court-house pacing up and down, 

Or by his homestead, or in shadowed yards 
He lingers where his children used to play, 
Or through the market, on the well-worn stones 
He stalks until the dawn-stars burn away. 

A bronzed, lank man! His suit of ancient black, 
A famous high top-hat and plain worn shawl 
Make him the quaint great figure that men love, 
The prairie-lawyer, master of us all. 

He cannot sleep upon Ms hillside now. 
He is among us as in times before! 
And we who toss and Me awake for long 
Breathe deep, and start, to see Mm pass the door. 

His head is bowed. He tMnks on men and kings. 
Yea, when the sick world cries, how can he sleep? 

Too many peasants fight, they know not why, 
Too many homesteads in black terror weep. 


The sins of all the war-lords burn his heart. 
He sees the dreadnaughts scouring every main. 
He carries on his shawl-wrapped shoulders now 
The bitterness, the folly and the pain. 

He cannot rest until a spirit-dawn 
Shall come the shining hope of Europe free: 
The league of sober folk, the Workers Earth, 
Bringing long peace to Cornland, Alp, and Sea. 

It breaks his heart that kings must murder still, 
That all his hours of travail here for men 
Seem yet in vain. And who will bring white peace 
That he may sleep upon his hill again? 

Countee Cullen 

Locked arm in arm they cross the way, 
The black boy and the white, 

The golden splendor of the day, 
The sable pride of night. 

From lowered blinds the dark folk stare, 
And here the white folk talk, 

Indignant that these two should dare 
In unison to walk. 

Oblivious to look and word 

They pass, and see no wonder 

That lightning brilliant as a sword 
Should blaze the path of thunder. 



/ don t know who my grandfather was; I am muck more 
concerned to know what Ms grandson will be. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865) 

First there was tlie land. Then there were the people. There 
were all kinds of people and they came from everywhere. The 
West was open space to take. The Statue of Liberty held out 
its welcoming arms. And the country grew* And the people 

"America is God s Crucible/ wrote Israel Zangwill, "the 
great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting 
and reforming!" Then he went on to say, "God is making the 

This section of our book is about the America and the 
American that God made. 

* * * 


EHas Lieberman 

I am an American. 

My father belongs to the Sons of the Revolution; 

My mother, to the Colonial Dames, 


One of my ancestors pitched tea overboard in Boston Harbor; 

Another stood his ground with Warren; 

Another hungered with Washington at Valley Forge. 

My forefathers were Americans in the making: 

They spoke in her council halls; 

They died on her battle-fields ; 

They commanded her troop-ships; 

They cleared her forests. 

Dawns reddened and paled. 

Staunch hearts of mine beat fast at each new star 

In the nation s flag. 

Keen eyes of mine foresaw her greater glory: 

The sweep of her seas, 

The plenty of her plains, 

The man-hives in her billion-wired cities. 

Every drop of blood in me holds a heritage of patriotism. 

I am proud of my past. 

I am an AMERICAN. 

I am an American. 
My father was an atom of dust, 
My mother a straw in the wind, 
To His Serene Majesty. 

One of my ancestors died in the mines of Siberia; 

Another was crippled for life by twenty blows of the knout 

Another was killed defending his home during the massacres. 

The history of my ancestors is a trail of blood 

To the palace-gate of the Great White Czar. 

But then the dream came 

The dream of America. 

In the light of the Liberty torch 

The atom of dust became a man 

And the straw in the wind became a woman 

For the first time. 


"See/ ? said my father, pointing to the flag that Muttered near, 

"That flag of stars and stripes is yours; 

It is the emblem of the promised land. 

It means, my son, the hope of humanity. 

Live for it die for it ! " 

Under the open sky of my new country I swore to do so; 

And every drop of blood in me will keep that vow. 

I am proud of my future. 

I am an AMERICAN. 

Katharine Lee Bates 

O beautiful for spacious skies, 

For amber waves of grain, 

For purple mountain majesties 

Above the fruited plain! 

America! America! 

God shed His grace on thee 

And crown thy good with brotherhood 

From sea to shining sea! 

O beautiful for pilgrim feet, 
Whose stern, impassioned stress 
A thoroughfare for freedom beat 
Across the wilderness! 
America! America! 
God mend thine every flaw, 
Confirm thy soul in self-control, 
Thy liberty in law! 


beautiful for heroes proved 

In liberating strife, 

Who more than self their country loved, 

And mercy more than life! 

America! America! 

May God thy gold refine 

Till all success be nobleness 

And every gain divine! 

beautiful for patriot dream 

That sees beyond the years 

Thine alabaster cities gleam 

Undimmed by human tears! 

America! America! 

God shed His grace on thee 

And crown thy good with brotherhood 

From sea to shining sea! 

Stephen Vincent Benet 

American muse, whose strong and diverse heart 
So many men have tried to understand 
But only made it smaller with their art, 
Because you are as various as your land, 

As mountainous-deep, as flowered with blue rivers, 
Thirsty with deserts, buried under snows, 
As native as the shape of Navajo quivers, 
And native, too, as the sea-voyaged rose, 


Swift runner, never captured or subdued. 
Seven-branched elk beside the mountain stream. 
That half a hundred hunters have pursued 
But never matched their bullets with the dream, 

Where the great huntsmen failed, I set my sorry 
And mortal snare for your immortal quarry. 

You are the buffalo-ghost, the broncho-ghost 
With dollar-silver in your saddle-horn, 
The cowboys riding in from Painted Post, 
The Indian arrow in the Indian corn, 

And you are the clipped velvet of the lawns 
Where Shropshire grows from Massachusetts sods, 
The grey Maine rocks and the war-painted dawns 
That break above the Garden of the Gods. 

The prairie-schooners crawling toward the ore 
And the cheap car, parked by the station-door. 

Where the skyscrapers lift their foggy plumes 
Of stranded smoke out of a stony mouth, 
You are that high stone and its arrogant f times, 
And you are ruined gardens in the South 

And bleak New England farms, so winter-white 
Even their roofs look lonely, and the deep, 
The middle grainland where tie wind of night 
Is like all blind earth sighing in her sleep. 

A friend, an enemy, a sacred hag 

With two tied oceans in her medicine-bag. 

They tried to fit you with an English song 
And dip your speech into the English tale. 


But, even from the first, the words went wrong. 
The catbird pecked away the nightingale. 

The homesick men begot high-cheekboned things 
Whose wit was whittled with a different sound, 
And Thames and all the rivers of the kings 
Ran into Mississippi and were drowned. 

They planted England with a stubborn trust, 
But the cleft dust was never English dust. 

Stepchild of every exile from content 
And all the disavouched, hard-bitten pack 
Shipped overseas to steal a continent 
With neither shirts nor honor to their back, 

Pimping grandee and rump-faced regicide, 
Apple-cheeked younkers from a windmill-square, 
Puritans stubborn as the nails of Pride, 
Rakes from Versailles and thieves from County Clare, 

The black-robed priests who broke their hearts in vain 
To make you God and France or God and Spain. 

These were your lovers in your buckskin-youth, 
And each one married with a dream so proud 
He never knew it could not be the truth 
And that he coupled with a girl of cloud. 

And now to see you is more difficult yet 
Except as an immensity of wheel 
Made up of wheels, oiled with inhuman sweat 
And glittering with the heat of ladled steel. 

All these you are, and each is partly you, 
And none is false, and none is wholly true. 



from American Ways of Life 
George R. Stewart 

In considering the development of the United States we are 
constantly inclined to forget one important fact the utter and 
abysmal ignorance of the first colonists as to how to cope with 
the wilderness. Transferred immediately, without experience 
or schooling from the highly civilized countries of England 
and Holland, they can only be described as complete green 
horns. They were much more innocent and helpless, in fact, 
than the average American man of today would be if placed 
in similar circumstances. The present-day American has had 
some boy-scout training, or gone on a camping trip, or at the 
very least he has read in books or picked up at school some 
tradition of pioneering. He would be likely, moreover, to have 
some knowledge of the dangers of mosquitoes, rats, and pol 
luted drinking water. 

The men who landed at Jamestown knew none of these 
things; apparently they did not even know how to make them 
selves comfortable. And being comfortable, we may say, 
means a great deal more, when it comes to founding a coloey, 
than merely being comfortable. If a man is cold and wet and 
unable to sleep well, he soon grows dispirited and listless. 
Then he wears down physically, and falls sick at the Irst occa 
sion. Once down, he may never get up. One reason for the 
death of many of the Jamestown colonists may have been 
merely their inability to shelter themselves. . . . 

Shelter was like drink. Unlike food and clothing, but like 
drink, it was too bulky to be brought over In the ships, ex 
cept in a makeshift way. Tents could be transported, and 
there were tents at Jamestown, but even before the irst hot 


and humid summer had passed, the cloth was rotten. The 
settlers erected temporary shelters to supplement or. replace 
the tents, but seem to have botched the job, being quite inex 
perienced in such matters. Smith describes the "cabins" as 
"worse than nought." Doubtless they were flimsy structures of 
branches and bark that gave shade and shed a light rain, but 
would be of little help against the downpour and wind of a 
Virginia thunderstorm. 

In New England it was the same story. Bradford sums it up 
in a couplet: 

And till such time as we could houses get, 
We were exposed to too cold and wet. 

At Boston the poorer people spent much of the first winter 
with little other shelter than tents. They suffered severely, as 
they naturally would, when trying to live through a Massachu 
setts winter with no better protection. 

. . . After they had seen Indian houses, the colonists had 
some models to work by. Smith describes these, not without a 
suggestion of envy at the savages ingenuity: "Their houses are 
built like our arbors of small young springs (saplings) bowed 
and tied, and so close covered with mats or the barks of trees 
very handsomely, that notwithstanding either wind, rain, or 
weather, they are as warm as stoves." Some settlers imitated 
these structures, and the Indian word wigwam was used to de 
scribe them. 

The dugout was another expedient, although the word in 
this meaning did not come into use until the nineteenth cen 
tury. Some of the first Jamestown settlers are described as liv 
ing in "holes within the ground." The dugouts of the first set 
tlers of Concord, Massachusetts, have become famous by 
being commemorated in Thoreau s Walden. "Old Johnson, in 
his Wonder-Working Providence, speaking of the first settlers 
of this town, with whom he was contemporary, tells us that 
they burrow themselves in the earth for their first shelter un- 


der some hillside, and casting the soil (earth) aloft upon tim 
ber, they make a smoky fire against the earth, at the highest 
point. 7 " As might be expected, such elaborate fox-holes were 
far from satisfactory, and as Johnson continues, perhaps too 
mildly, "the long rains penetrate through, to their great dis 
turbance in the night season." The same writer applies the word 
wigwam to these dugouts, good evidence that, as might be 
expected, it had come to mean any kind of makeshift shelter. 

Besides cabins and wigwams, the settlers also erected what 
they called huts, booths, and cottages (. . .we would call 
them shacks). The very multiplicity of terms probably indi 
cates that these shelters were not particularly one thing or an 
other, but were merely the expedients of hard-pressed people 
who had no specific answer to the problem at hand. 

. . . The Dutch were not better prepared. In 1626 a de 
scription of the settlement on Manhattan Island indicates that 
the countinghouse was built of stone, thatched with reed. 
Then it adds, "the other houses are of the bark of trees.* 7 Such 
structures must have been no better than the huts and hovels 
and booths of the English. 

Obviously one of the first needs of the colonists was for 
decent houses. The wigwam, easily constructed and proved by 
experience to be adapted to the climate, might actually have 
served them very well as a starting point, and they could then 
have elaborated upon it. But just as the colonists rejected what 
the Indians had to offer as regards clothing, and many other 
matters, so also they rejected the Indians system of housing. 
A wigwam could keep the cold and rain out, but it lacked the 
associations of civilization and Christianity and home. So, as 
their models, the colonists kept in their minds the houses of 
England and Holland. 



from Village Greens of New England 
Louise Andrews Kent 

A common is not necessarily a green, although a green is al 
ways a common. Common is the larger term and may mean 
only rough, rocky, upland pasture with no houses near it at all. 
A green is the center of a "community. It may be called a com 
mon but still it has about it a feeling of compactness, of 
neighborliness that belongs to the time when small towns 
were self-sufficing, weaving wool shorn from their own sheep, 
grinding their own grain, baking bricks for the occasional man 
sion house that accents the green and white pattern of the vil 
lage, making their own harness and saddles from the hides of 
their own steers. 

Local craftsmen built the houses around the greens. Glass 
for the small-paned windows and for the fanlights over the 
doors came from a distance, but the timbers and clapboards, 
shingles and panels once grew on hillsides above the town. 
The brook with its blue flags and jewelweed supplied the 
power that sawed the boards. The village blacksmith ham 
mered out hinges and latches. If nails were needed, he made 
them, but many of the old houses were joined almost en 
tirely with wooden pegs. It is natural enough that the houses 
look as if they grew out of the ground on which they stand. 
For the most part they did. 

Those days when the blacksmith would finish shoeing a 
horse and then set to work on a strap hinge for somebody s 
barn door are gone long ago. The door where the hinge still 
swings is a century old or more. The common is often much 
older and the underlying reason for its existence may be 
traced back a thousand years before it gets lost in the mists 


of antiquity. The English settlers, who came first to Plym 
outh and a few years later to Salem and Boston, brought with 
them ideas about the ownership of land that were already old 
in England when William the Conqueror crossed the chan 
nel. The system of agriculture, based on these ideas, came into 
England with the Angles and Saxons. It was called the com 
mon field system. The historian, Tacitus, found German 
tribes carrying on farming in this way which goes back to the 
time when nomads settled down and had to plan for a fair 
division of land. First the division was among members of a 
family; then, as the group increased, between members of a 
clan, later among neighbors. 

There is a record of how in 1500 twelve elders of a village 
organized a community. They began by laying out a village 
green, which was in the center of the town and was to be used 
as a night pasture to protect cattle from wolves and thieves, 
The rest of the land was divided into plough land, meadow 
land, and common. Each householder was assigned a piece of 
plough land near his house for an orchard. His meadows 
might be at some distance away. Each holding contained 
some of the better land and some of the poorer. Sometimes 
things were equalized by assigning a larger amount of the 
poorer land to one owner. 

The common land belonged to the whole village and all the 
landholders had certain rights in it They could lop off the 
limbs for their own firewood, but not cut down trees and go 
into the lumber business. They could dig up gravel or clay for 
their own use but not sell it. They had the right of turbary, 
the cutting of turf for fuel. This fuel might consist of a 
bush, roots and all, and the turf that came with It a back- 
breaking and prickly privilege. Villagers could remove grass 
from the common land but only "by the mouths of their cat 
tle"; they could not store it or sell it. 

If you have in your china cupboard a blue Staffordshire 
plate bordered with seasheHs or roses and showing Boston 


State House and some placid cows, removing, or having re 
cently removed, grass by their mouths from the Common, 
you have an early nineteenth-century assertion of one of these 
ancient rights. Indeed, only the other day we saw a lovely, 
cream-colored Jersey being milked on Boston Common. Were 
she and her calf, an innocent looking creature as pretty as a 
young fawn, driven to the Common along the old right of way 
leading from Beacon Hill by which Benjamin Franklin and 
later Ralph Waldo Emerson used to drive the family cows? 
We like to think so, although, as this event occurred in Na 
tional Dairy Week, we have an uneasy feeling that more likely 
the visitors arrived on the Charles Street side and in a truck. 
On the common, cattle were more easily protected from 
wolves. Wolves were a danger to the early settlements and so 
were Indians. Even the friendly Indians sometimes found it 
easier to hunt beef than venison. The earliest settlements were 
often enclosed by a stockade behind which animals as well as 
owners could be safe from Indian attacks. Our grandmother 
used to tell us a story, told her by her great grandmother, 
about a small girl, Hepzibah Gray, who lived in a lonely, 
seventeenth-century settlement west of Boston. It consisted of 
a few houses clustered together and fenced away from the 
shadowy wilderness where at night a cry might be the howling 
of a wolf, the scream of a catamount, or an Indian war 
whoop. When darkness came, the only light was from rushes 
dipped in grease or from the logs burning in the fireplace. 
Brick chimneys were a luxury then for many of these early 
houses had chimneys of wood daubed with clay. The Grays 
house had a brick chimney and also glass in its diamond- 
paned windows. Hepzibah liked to look through them and 
watch for her father and the other men of the village to come 
home from their work in the fields outside. Her big brother 
would be driving the brindled cow back to the night pasture 
and her father, with his gun over his shoulder, tired from 
ploughing all day, would be walking beside the oxen. 


Sometimes her father went hunting and the oxen would be 
tethered outside on the common. It could hardly be called a 
green yet. There were still stumps of trees on it and although 
there was grass, there were weeds too goldenrod, asters, 
ferns, joe-pye weed. Where the brush had been piled there 
were raspberries growing up. There were blackberries, too. 
Hepzibah had picked some that day and was saving the big 
gest and shiniest ones for her father. He was out hunting and 
he might bring back a wild turkey. Hepzibah knew just how it 
would look with the sun shining on the bronze feathers. She 
knew a good deal about her world although, in spite of being 
four years old, she did not talk plainly. Indeed she preferred 
not to talk at all. The mothers of more loquacious daughters 
pitied Mrs. Gray for having such a backward child. 

On this September day the maples had already begun to 
turn and Hepzibah was watching the path under the flame 
and orange branches. Once she thought she saw someone 
move along it. She pushed open the casement to see better 
but the path was empty. Her mother was making soft soap in 
a wooden bucket, stirring it with a long paddle cut from a 
piece of pine. Hepzibah wrinkled her small nose and leaned 
farther out the window. The smell of soap was not one she 

This time she was sure she saw something move in the 
maples beyond the raspberry patch. She heard a noise only 
a rustle, hardly more than a robin makes leaving its nest 
Then something rose out of the brush pile: first some feathers, 
then some greasy black hair and below it a face streaked with 
red and black paint, with a red and black band around the 
mouth making it look enormous. 

Hepzibah got down off the bench she had been standing on 
and tugged at her mother s skirt. 

"Him top f ewers, him head, Mm ugly mouf ," she said. 

Her mother did not understand. 

"Go and watch for father. He ll come soon/* she said. 


Hepzibah went back to the window and watched the brush 
pile. Perhaps the varmint that was what she had heard her 
father call Indians had gone away, but he hadn t. This time 
she saw two of them feathers, black hair, hideously smeared 
faces and all, rise again out of the brush, only nearer, almost at 
the house. She ran to her mother again and tugged hard at 
her skirt. 

"Two top fewers, two ugly mouf," she said. 

Still her mother did not understand her. 

"Two varmints/ the little girl gasped out, driven to speak 
ing plainly. 

Her mother lifted the heavy bucket of soap and moved 
quietly to the window as the feathers rose above the sill and 
after them the red and black faces and the terrible mouths. 
Hepzibah saw her mother swing the bucket, saw the golden 
stream of hot soap fly through the air. There were screams, 
worse than the yelling of panthers, as the Indians crashed 
through the brush, scrambled over the fence, and ran off into 
the woods. Ezekiel Gray heard them as he came home with a 
turkey over his shoulder. He came running through the asters 
to the door, thumped on it, calling, until his wife unbarred it. 

They told him the story, she and Hepzibah. He told it to 
every one in the settlement until people got pretty tired of 
hearing it, our grandmother said and he always ended up, "I 
want you should know that Hepzibah can talk as plain as any 
one when she s a mind to." 

Rights of pasturage used to belong to certain houses in 
America just as they did in England. We like to imagine the 
present residents of Beacon Street in the section opposite Bos 
ton Common driving cows to pasture, lopping off branches 
(estovers), bringing in wood (firebote), and cutting turf. Un 
fortunately for this dream, the city took away these rights 
many years ago so there is no use renting an apartment today 
in one of those houses with violet glass windows so as to pas 
ture your cow across the street! In fact, commons and greens 


are seldom places for pasturage now, but they are still used for 

pleasure, a pleasure which they offer to every visitor willing to 
turn aside from main roads and rest awhile under their elms. 
The roots of so many Americans are in these peaceful village 
commons that they bring to us not only a sense of dignity, 
serenity, and quiet beauty, but also of home-coming. 


from The New England Primer 

A In Adam s Fall 

We Sinned all 

B Thy Life to Mend 
This Book Attend. 

C The Cat doth play 

And after flay. 

D A Dog will bite 
A Thief at night. 

E An Eagle s flight 
Is out of sight. 

F The Idle Fool 

Is whipt at School. 

G As runs the Glass 

Man s life doth pass. 

H My Book and Heart 
Shall never part. 


J Job feels the Rod 
Yet blesses GOD. 

K Our King the good 
No man of blood. 

L The Lion bold 

The Lamb doth hold. 

M The Moon gives light 
In time of night. 

N Nightingales sing 
In time of Spring. 

The Royal Oak it was the Tree 
That saved his Royal Majesty. 

P Peter denies 

His Lord and cries. 

Q Queen Esther comes 
In Royal state 
To save the Jews 
From dismal fate. 

R Rachel doth mourn 
For her first-born. 

S Samuel anoints 

Whom God appoints. 

T Time cuts down all, 
Both great and small. 


U Uriah s beauteous wife 
Made David seek Ms life. 

W FMwintheSea 
God s Voice obey. 

X Xerxes the great did die 
And so must you and I. 

Y Youth forward slips 
Death soonest nips. 

Z Zacheus he 

Did climb the Tree 
His Lord to see. 

Bianca Bradbury 

New England says, "Make do, or go without," 
So they make do. 

A garment s better for a patch or two; 
What s brash, new, raw, is not for them, 
What s worn, indigenous, has their esteem. 
By the being turned, let out and dyed 
The hand-me-down is glorified, 
And fifty years are not too much 
To wear an ax helve smooth to touch. 

Then take their weather they 

Make do with what their betters throw away; 


Heat waves, cold fronts, glacial 

Hurricanes or any special 

Cast-off storms that no one else will take. 

The Old World sent its odds and ends to make 

New England then it taught them: "Wear it out, 

Eat it up, make do. 77 One simple rule 

Turns out the Yankee article 

Genuine and Simon-pure, 

Something which will last, which will endure. 


Prologue to Act I 

Thornton Wilder 

The name of the town is Grover s Corners, New Hampshire 
just across the Massachusetts line: longitude forty-two de 
grees, forty minutes: latitude seventy degrees, thirty-seven 

The first act shows a day in our town. The day is May 7, 
1901. The sky is beginning to show some streaks of light over 
in the east there, behind our mountain. The morning star al 
ways gets wonderful bright the minute before it has to go. 

Well, Fd better show you how our town lies. Up here is 
Main Street. Way back there is the railway station; tracks go 
that way. Polish Town s across the tracks and some Canuck 
families. Over there is the Congregational Church; across the 
street s the Presbyterian. Methodist and Unitarian are over 
there. Baptist is down in the holla by the river. Catholic 
Church is over beyond the tracks. 

Here s the Town Hall and Post Office combined; jail s in 


the basement. Bryan once made a speech from the steps here. 
Along here s a row of stores. Hitching posts and horse blocks 
in front of them. First automobile s going to come along in 
about five years belonged to Banker Cartwright, our richest 
citizen . . . lives in the big white house up on the hill. 

Here s the grocery store and here s Mr. Morgan s drugstore. 
Most everybody in town manages to look into those two stores 
once a day. Public school s over yonder. High school s still 
farther over. Quarter of nine mornings, noontimes, and three 
o clock afternoons, the hull town can hear the yelling and 
screaming from those schoolyards. 

This is our doctor s house Doc Gibbs. This is the back 
door. . . . There s a garden here. Corn ... peas ... beans 

hollyhocks . . . heliotrope ... and a lot of burdock. 

In those days our newspaper come out twice a week the 

Grover s Corners Sentinel and this is Editor Webb s house. 

And this is Mrs. Webb s garden. Just like Mrs. Gibbs s, only 

it s got a lot of sunflowers, too. Right here, big butternut tree. 

Nice town y know what I mean? Nobody very remarkable 

ever come out of it s f ar as we know. The earliest tombstones 

in the cemetery up there on the mountain say 1670, 1680 

they re Grovers and Cartwrights and Gibbses and Herseys 

same names as are around here now. 

Well as I said, it s about dawn. The only lights on m town 
are in a cottage over by the tracks where a Polish mothers 
just had twins. And in the Joe Crowell house where Joe 
Junior s getting up so as to deliver the paper. And in the 
depot, where Shorty Hawkins is gettin ready to flag the five 
forty-five for Boston. Naturally, out in the country-aU around 
-they ve been lights on for some time, what with milkin and 
so on. But town people sleep late. . . . 



Robert Frost 

Something there is that doesn t love a wall, 

That sends the frozen ground-swell under it, 

And spills the upper boulders in the sun; 

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. 

The work of hunters is another thing: 

I have come after them and made repair 

Where they have left not one stone on a stone, 

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, 

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, 

No one has seen them made or heard them made, 

But at spring mending-time we find them there. 

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; 

And on a day we meet to walk the line 

And set the wall between us as we go. 

To each the boulders that have fallen to each. 

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls 

We have to use a spell to make them balance: 

"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!" 

We wear our fingers rough with handling them. 

Oh, just another kind of outdoor game, 

One on a side. It comes to little more: 

There where it is we do not need the wall: 

He is all pine and I am apple orchard. 

My apple trees will never get across 

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. 

He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors." 

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder 

If I could put a notion in his head: 

"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn t it 


Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. 

Before I built a wall I d ask to know 

What I was walling in or walling out, 

And to whom I was like to give offense. 

Something there is that doesn t love a wall, 

That wants it down!" I could say "Elves" to him, 

But it s not elves exactly, and I d rather 

He said it for himself. I see him there, 

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top 

In each hand, like an old stone savage armed. 

He moves in darkness, as it seems to me, 

Not of woods only and the shade of trees. 

He will not go behind his father s saying, 

And he likes having thought of it so well 

He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors." 


from the Autobiography 
Benjamin Franklin 

Our city [Philadelphia], though laid out with a beautiful 
regularity, the streets large, straight, and crossing each other at 
right angles, had the disgrace of suffering those streets to re 
main long unpaved, and in wet weather the wheels of heavy 
carriages plowed them into a quagmire, so that it was difficult 
to cross them; and in dry weather the dust was offensive. I had 
lived near what was called the Jersey Market, and saw with 
pain the inhabitants wading in mud while purchasing their 
provisions. A strip of ground down the middle of that market 


was at length paved with brick, so that being once in the 
market they had firm footing; but were often over shoes in 
dirt to get there. By talking and writing on the subject, I was 
at length instrumental in getting the street paved with stone 
between the market and the brick foot pavement that was on 
the side next the houses. This for some time gave an easy 
access to the market dry-shod; but the rest of the street not 
being paved, whenever a carriage came out of the mud upon 
this pavement it shook off and left its dirt upon it, and it was 
soon covered with mire, which was not removed, the city as 
yet having no scavengers. 

After some inquiry I found a poor, industrious man, who 
was willing to undertake keeping the pavement clean by 
sweeping it twice a week, carrying off the dirt from before all 
the neighbors 7 doors, for the sum of sixpence per month, to be 
paid by each house. I then wrote and printed a paper setting 
forth the advantages to the neighborhood that might be ob 
tained from this small expense; the greater ease in keeping 
our houses clean, so much dirt not being brought in by peo 
ple s feet; the benefit to the shops by more custom, as buyers 
could more easily get at them; and by not having in windy 
weather the dust blown in upon their goods, etc., etc. I sent 
one of these papers to each house, and in a day or two went 
round to see who would subscribe an agreement to pay these 
sixpences; it was unanimously signed and for a time well 
executed. All the inhabitants of the city were delighted with 
the cleanliness of the pavement that surrounded the market, it 
being a convenience to all, and this raised a general desire to 
have all the streets paved and made the people more willing 
to submit to a tax for that purpose. 

After some time I drew a bill for paving the city and 
brought it into the Assembly. It was just before I went to 
England, in 1757, and did not pass till I was gone, and then 
with an alteration in the mode of assessment which I thought 
not for the better, but with an additional provision for light- 


ing as well as paving the streets, which was a great improve 
ment. It was by a private person, the late Mr. John Clifton, 
giving a sample of the utility of lamps by placing one at Ms 
door, that the people were impressed with the idea of light 
ing all the city. The honor of this public benefit has also been 
ascribed to me, but it belongs truly to that gentleman. I did 
but follow his example, and have only some merit to claim re 
specting the form of our lamps, as differing from the globe 
lamps we were at first supplied with from London. These were 
found inconvenient in these respects: they admitted no air 
below; the smoke therefore did not readily go out above ? but 
circulated in the globe, lodged on its inside, and soon ob 
structed the light they were intended to afford, giving be 
sides the daily trouble of wiping them clean; and an acci 
dental stroke on one of them would demolish it and render 
it totally useless. I therefore suggested the composing them of 
four flat panes, with a long funnel above to draw up the 
smoke, and crevices admitting the air below to facilitate the 
ascent of the smoke; by this means they were kept clean and 
did not grow dark in a few hours, as the London do, 

but continued bright till morning; and an accidental stroke 
would generally break but a single pane, easily repaired. 


from a letter to Rev. Samuel Matker, 1784 

Benjamin Franklin 


When I was a boy, I met with a book entitled "Essays to Do 
Good," which I think was written by your father [Cotton 
Mather]. It had been so IMe regarded by a former possessor 
that several leaves of it were torn out, but the remainder gave 
me such a turn of thinking as to have an influence on my 


conduct through life, for I have always set a greater value on 
the character of a doer of good than on any other kind of 
reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful 
citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book. 

You mention your being in your seventy-eighth year. I am 
in my seventy-ninth. We are grown old together. It is now 
more than sixty years since I left Boston, but I remember well 
both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in 
the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw 
your father was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him 
after my first trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his 
library, and on my taking leave showed me a shorter way out 
of the house through a narrow passage, which was crossed by 
a beam overhead. We were still talking as I withdrew, he 
accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, 
when he said hastily, "Stoop, stoop!" I did not understand 
him till I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man 
that never missed any occasion of giving instruction, and 
upon this he said to me, "You are young and have the world 
before you. Stoop as you go through it, and you will miss 
many hard thumps." This advice, thus beat into my head, has 
frequently been of use to me, and I often think of it when I 
see pride mortified and misfortunes brought upon people by 
their carrying their heads too high. 



Benjamin Franklin 

When I was a child of seven years old, my friends, on a 
holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a 
shop where they sold toys for children; and, being charmed 


with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the 
hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my 
money for one. I then came home and went whistling all over 
the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all 
the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understand 
ing the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times 
as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good 
things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and 
laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with 
vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the 
whistle gave me pleasure. 

This however was afterwards of use to me, the impression 
continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to 
buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don t give too 
much for the whistle; and I saved my money. 

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the 
actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who 
gave too much for the whistle. 

When I saw one too ambitious of court favour, sacrificing 
his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his 
virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to 
myself, This man gives too much for Ms whistle. 

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly em 
ploying himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, 
and ruining them by that neglect, He pays, indeed, said I, 
too much for Ms whistle. 

If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable 
living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem 
of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, 
for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you 
pay too much for your whistle. 

When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every 
laudable improvement of the mind, or of Ms fortune, to mere 
corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, 
Mistaken man, said I, you are providing pain for yourself, 


instead of pleasure; you gave too much for your whistle. 

If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, 
fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which 
he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, Alas! say I, 
he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle. 

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an 
ill-natured brute of a husband, What a pity, say I, that she 
should pay so much for a whistle! 

In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of man 
kind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have 
made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for 
their whistles. . . . 


From a letter written by Rachel Huntington, daughter of 
Benjamin Huntington, Governor of Connecticut. 

New York, May 28th, 
My dear sister, 

... I have bought two bands which are the most fashion 
able trimmings for beaver hats, a white one for the blue hat, 
and a yellow one for the black one; they should be put twice 
around the crown and fastened forward in the form of a beau 
knot. Brother has got each one of you a pink silk shawl which 
are very fashionable also Many ladies wear them for turbans, 
made in the manner that you used to make muslin ones last 
summer; George has given me one like them. The fine lace 
cost 10 shillings a yard, and I think it is very handsome. 
There is enough for two handkerchiefs and two double 
tuckers. The way to make handkerchiefs is to set lace, or a 
ruffle on a straight piece of muslin (only pieced on the back to 


make it set to your neck) and put it on so as to show only the 
ruffle, and make it look as if it was sej; on the neck of your 
gown. ... I have got a braid of hair which cost four dollars. 
It should be fastened up with a comb (without plaiting) 
under your turban if it has a crown, and over it, if without a 
crown. Brother has got some very beautiful satin muslin and 
also some handsome "tartan plaid" gingham for your gowns. 
. . . Sleeves should be made half a yard wide and not drawed 
(gathered) less than seven or eight times. I think they look 
best to have two or three drawings close together and a plain 
spot alternately. Some of the ladies have their sleeves covered 
with drawing tacks, and have their elbows uncovered* If you 
don t like short sleeves, you should have long ones with 
short ones to come down almost to your elbows, drawed four 
or five by the bottom. If you want to walk with long gowns, 
you must draw the train up through one of the pocket 
holes . . . 


From the diary of Ludnda Lee, a Virginia girl, on a wit to 
her cousins, the Lees and the Waskmgtons. 

September 19, 1782 

Today we dine at old Mrs. Gordon s: I flatter myself I 
shall spend the day agreeably. This evening Colonel Ball in 
sisted on our drinking tea with him: we did, and I was much 
pleased with my visit; his wife was not at home. 

I have returned, and am sitting alone, writing to my dear 
est Polly. I don t think I ever met with kinder, better people 
in my Efe; they do everything in their power to make you 


happy. I have almost determined not to go to the races this 
fall; every one appears to be astonished at me, but I am sure 
there is no solid happiness to be found in such amusements. 
I have no notion of sacrificing my own ease and happiness 
to the opinion of the world in these matters. They laugh, and 
tell me while I am moping at home, other girls will be en 
joying themselves at races and balls; but I never will, I am 
determined, go to one unless I have an inclination. 

September 20 

I have spent this morning in reading Lady Julia Mandeville, 
and was much affected. Indeed, I think I never cried more in 
my life reading a novel: the style is beautiful, but the tale is 

September 22 

We had a very pleasant walk; got a number of grapes and 
nuts on our way. Lucy and I are going to walk in the garden, 
to get some pink-seed I am anxious to have. 

October 5 

Mr. Pinkard and a Mr. Lee came here today from the 
Fredericksburg races. How sorry I was to hear Republican 
was beaten. I was really interested in that race. Adieu. I must 
crape my hair for dinner. 

October 27 

When we got here we found the house pretty full. Nancy 
was here. I had to dress in a great hurry for dinner. About 
sunset Nancy, Milly, and myself took a walk in the garden. 
It is the most beautiful place. We were mighty busy cutting 
thistles to try our sweethearts, when Mr. Washington caught 
us; and you can t conceive how he plagued us chased us all 
over the garden, and was quite impertinent. 

I must tell you of our frolic after we went in our room. We 


took It into our heads to want to eat; well, we had a large 
dish of bacon and beef; after that, a bowl of Sago cream; and 
after that, an apple pie. While we were eating the apple pie 
in bed God bless you! making a great noise in came Mr. 
Washington dressed in Hannah s short gown and petticoat, 
and then Cousin Molly. Hannah soon followed, dressed in 
his coat. They joined us in eating the apple pie ? and then went 
out. After this we took it in our heads to want to eat oysters. 
We got up, put on our wrappers, and went down in the 
cellar to get them: do you think Mr. Washington did not 
follow us and scare us just to death? We went up, though, and 
eat our oysters. We slept in the old Lady s room, too, and she 
sat laughing fit to kill herself at us. 


Robert P. Tristram Coffin 

Virginia is peanuts, paddocks white 
Against the Blue Ridge and the night, 
Lace of elm twigs shadowy scrawls 
On pink brick of Williamsburg walls. 

The Old Dominion is a myth, 
Quick, freckled boys, and kin and kith 
One family to cousins at ten removes, 
Neighs of stallions, sound of hooves. 

Virginia is worm fences, weathered, 
Tobacco, nut-brown horses tethered, 


She is red-clay hills and runs, 
Red with blood of her finest sons. 

She is Monticello s dome, 
Black singers crowding a one-room home. 
The mountain cabin s straight-up smoke, 
John Randolph of old Roanoke. 

Virginia is orators, hams aged sweet, 
Men who had rather talk than eat, 
Men who had rather fight than talk, 
And small boys tough as a fighting cock. 

She is lawyers, Presidents, 
And pride that stalks with clothes in rents, 
Stonewall Jackson teaching black 
Boys the Bible when war ran slack. 

She is Jefferson s serpentine wall, 
Silver hunting horn bringing in Fall, 
The Shenandoah white with wheat 
Or pink with apple trees blowing sweet. 

Mother of our Father George, 
Plantations and blue mountain gorge, 
Pines that wade into the sea, 
And the demigod that was Lee! 


Vachel Lindsay 

I was born in Illinois 
Have lived there many days, 
And I have Northern words ; 
And thoughts 7 

And ways. 

But my great-grandfathers came 
To the west with Daniel Boone, 
And taught his babes to read, 
And heard the redbird s tune; 

And heard the turkey s call, 
And stilled the panther s cry, 
And rolled on the blue-grass hills, 
And looked God in the eye. 

And feud and Hell were theirs; 
Love, like the moon s desire, 
Love like a burning-mine, 
Love like rifle-fire. 

I tell tales out of school 
Till these Yankees hate my style, 
Why should the young lad cry, 
Shout with joy for a mile? 

Why do I faint with love 
Till tie prairies dip and reel? 


My heart is a kicking horse 
Shod with Kentucky steel. 

No drop of my blood from north 
Of Mason and Dixon s line. 
And this racer in my breast 
Tears my ribs for a sign. 

But I ran in Kentucky hills 

Last week. They were hearth and home 

Under the redbird s wings 

Was peace and honeycomb. 


Walt Whitman 

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, 

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be 

blithe and strong, 

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, 
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves 

off work, 
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the 

deckhand singing on the steamboat deck, 
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter 

singing as he stands, 
The wood-cutter s song, the ploughboy s on his way in the 

morning, or at the noon intermission or at sundown; 
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at 

work, or of the girl sewing or washing, 
Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else; 


The day what belongs to the day at night, the party of young 
fellows, robust, f riendly, 

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs. 


Robert P. Tristram Coffin 

America was forests, 
America was grain, 
Wheat from dawn to sunset, 
And rainbows trailing rain, 

America was beavers, 
Buffalo in seas, 
CornsUk and the johnnycake, 
Songs of scythes and bees. 

America was brown men 

With eyes full of the sun ? 

But America was schoolmasters, 

Tall one by lonely one. 

They hewed oak, carried water, 
Their hands were knucHeboned, 
They piled on loads of syntax 
Till the small boys groaned. 

They taught the girls such manners 
As stiffened them for life, 
But made many a fine spdler 7 
Good mother and good wife. 


They took small wiry children. 
Wild as panther-cats. 
And turned them Into reasoning, 
Sunny democrats. 

They caught a nation eager. 
They caught a nation young. 
They taught the nation fairness, 
Thrift, and the golden tongue. 

They started at the bottom 
And built up strong and sweet. 
They shaped our minds and morals 
With switches on the seat! 


from Huckleberry Finn 
Mark Twain 

It was a monstrous big river down there sometimes a mile 

and wide; we run nights, and laid up and hid daytimes; 

as night was most gone we stopped navigating and tied 

up always in the dead water under a towhead; and 

cut cottoawQods and willows, and hid the raft with 

we set out the lines. Next we slid into the river 

a so as to freshen up and cool off; then we set 

oa the bottom where the water was about knee- 

and the daylight come. Not a sound anywheres 

still just like the whole world was asleep, only 

the bullfrogs a-cluttering, maybe. The first thing to 


see, looking away over the water, was a kind of dull line 
was the woods on t other side; you couldn t make else 

out; then a pale place in the sky; then more 
around; then the river softened up away off, and warn t 
any more, but gray; you could see little dark drifting 

along ever so far away trading-scows, and suet things; and 
long black streaks rafts; sometimes you could hear a 
screaking; or jumbled-up voices, it was so still, and 
come so far; and by and by you could see a streak on the 
which you know by the look of the streak that there s a 
there in a swift current which breaks on it and that 

streak look that way; and you see the mist curl up off of the 
water, and the east reddens up ? and the river, and you 
out a log cabin in the edge of the woods, away on the 
on t other side of the river, being a wood-yard ? likely, and 
piled by them cheats so you can throw a dog through it 
anywheres; then the nice breeze springs up, and 
fanning you from over there, so cool and fresh and to 

smell on account of the woods and the lowers; but 
times not that way, because they ve left dead fish 
around, gars and such, and they do get pretty rank; and next 
you ve got the full day, and everything smiling In the sun ? and 
the song-birds just going it! 

A little smoke couldn t be noticed now, so we would 
some fish off of the lines and cook up a hot breakfast. And 
afterwards we would watch the lonesomeness of the river, 
and kind of lazy along, and by and by lazy off to sleep. Wake 
up by and by, and look to see what done it, and maybe see a 
steamboat coughing along upstream, so far off the 

other side you couldn t tell nothing about her only 
she was a stern-wheel or side-wheel; then for an hour 

there wouldn t be nothing to hear nor to see Just 

solid lonesomeness. Next you d see a raft by, away off 

yonder, and maybe a galoot on it chopping, 
most always doing it on a raft; you ? d see the ax lash and coie 


down you d0n ? t hear notMng; you see that ax go up again, 
and by the time it s above the man ? s head then you hear the 
k ckmnk! it had took afl that time to come over the water. 
So we would put in the day, lazying around, listening to the 
stillness. Once there was a thick fog, and the rafts and things 
that went by was beating tin pans so the steamboats wouldn t 
run over them. A scow or a raft went by so close we could 
hear them talking and cussing and laughing heard them 
plain; but we couldn t see no sign of them; it made you feel 
crawly; it was like spirits carrying on that way in the air, Jim 

he believed it was spirits; but I says: 
"No; spirits wouldn t say, *Dern the dern fog/ " 
Soon as it was night out we shoved; when we got her out 
to about the middle we let her alone, and let her float wherever 
the current wanted her to; then we lit the pipes, and dangled 
our legs in the water, and talked about all kinds of things 
we was always naked, day and night, whenever the mos- 
would let us the new clothes Buck s folks made for 
me was too good to be comfortable, and besides I didn t go 

on clothes, nohow. 

Sometimes we d have that whole river all to ourselves for 

the longest time. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across 

the water; mid maybe a spark which was a candle in a cabin 

and sometimes on the water you could see a spark 

or two on a raft or a scow, you know; and maybe you could 

a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. 

It s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all 

with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look 

up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only 

just Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed 

I judged it would have took too long to 

so many. Jim said the moon could V laid them; well, 

Mud of reasonable, so I didn t say notMng against 

it, Fve a frog lay most as many, so of course it 

be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and 


see them streak down. Jim allowed they d got spoiled said was 
hove out of the nest. 

Once or twice of a night we would see a steamboat slipping 
along in the dark, and now and then she would belch a whole 
world of sparks up out of her chimbleys, and they would 
rain down in the river and look awful pretty; then she would 
turn a corner and her lights would wink out and her powwow 
shut off and leave the river still again; and by and by her 
waves would get to us ? a long time after she was gone, and 
joggle the raft a bit, and after that you wouldn t hear nothing 
for you couldn t tell how long, except maybe frogs or some 

After midnight the people on shore went to bed, and then 
for two or three hours the shores was black no more sparks 
in the cabin windows. These sparks was our clock the first 
one that showed again meant morning was coming, so we 
hunted a place to hide and tie up right away. 

Jane Seward 

The older children went to town to school, and the younger 
ones attended the one-room district school which stood on the 
top of a hill in sight of most of the houses which suppled 

it. ... 

There were rarely more than fifteen pupils attending the 
school at any one time. We had a different teacher every year, 
and I do not remember any who had attended high school 
Our school was the only one in our part of the State wHch 
still used the furniture made by the local carpenter. It^ was 
pine which carved easily with a jackknife, and it was painted 


a dull blue-gray. The desks on both sides of the center aisle 
were double, while those on the sides of the room were 
single and were built directly against the board siding. The 
teacher s desk stood on a low platform, flanked on one side by 
an ancient version of the unabridged dictionary, and on the 
other by a globe. . . . 

The teacher never complained about the janitor service, 
for she herself was the janitor. She swept the room as often as 
she saw fit, and on cold mornings she came early to build 
the fire. The room was more or less heated by a large stove 
which stood in the center of the building. On very cold days 
the seats along the sides of the room were too cold to use, 
and the boys brought in planks from the coal-bin and placed 
them near the stove, one end propped on the nearest bench 
and the other on an upturned water pail or coal-scuttle. 
Four or five children would sit on each plank near the com 
forting warmth of the stove. This arrangement had the added 
attraction of being easily upset, thus making it possible to 
introduce a bit of entertainment into an otherwise dull ses 

The pupils used whatever textbooks were to be found 
around the house when school started in September. Text 
books usually descended from the elder to the younger chil 
dren of the family. Frequently, there was only one book of a 
kind in the school. In reciting, the pupil usually stood facing 
the teacher, his book in his hand. . . . 

I do not remember any teaching. When we had finished 
reciting Lesson Thirty-two, we went on to Lesson Thirty- 
three, which we apparently learned by spontaneous combus 
tion, if we did not already know it from hearing it recited 
again and again by the older children. 

I never learned either the addition or the multiplication 
tables until I had grown up and needed to use them. All the 
way through school I added columns of figures by making 
little dots and counting them. . . . 


In reading we progressed at the rate of a set lesson a day, 
no matter what our abilities were. At home I was enjoying 
Mark Twain s A Tramp Abroad, while I was officially in the 
second reader in school. 

The most entertaining study was grammar. We the 

Reed and Kellog textbooks. The headings of the were 

decorated with ornaments which simulated the twigs of a tree, 
with outstanding knots. We learned an elaborate system of 
diagramming, beginning with "The gorilla lives in Africa/* 
and increasing in complexity to sentences which covered all 
of one side of the slate and ran over to the other side. 

By way of variety, there were occasional pages of Errors to 
be Corrected, which offered such diverting statements as, "I 
saw a man digging a well with a Roman nose," and, "Thea 
the Moor, seizing a bolster, filled with rage and jealousy, 
smothers her." 

Day after day we diagrammed and parsed. la my later 
reading I am still discovering the sources of 
complex and compound sentences. They sampled the 
range of literature and philosophy. . . , 

The teacher had few serious disciplinary problems to settle, 
for children were generally taught obedience at home, and 
the parents usually upheld the teacher in requiring be 

havior. The parents point of view was frequently 
by the statement, "My boy knows that if he gets a lickin at 
school, he gets another one when he comes home." . , . 

School raised no enthusiasm, nor did we particularly object 
to it Everybody from our side of the district came and 
together. We carried our lunches in covered tin lard pails. 
They were considered standard equipment^ and any child 
who carried a "boughten" lunch kit was thought to be "stuck 
U p a terrible accusation. The gang had no mercy on the 
Individual who was different, especially if the 
of superiority. 

The writing period came directly after the BOOH races and 


IE warm weather the copy-books were hard to keep neat. The 
of these books were elaborately ruled. Different letters 
were supposed to rise to different heights above the main line. 
We copied "Diligence is the mother of good luck" all the way 
from the top of the page to the bottom. We brought bottles 
of ink from home and accidents occurred frequently. After a 
perspiring half hour of writing with pen and ink in the copy 
book, we thankfully put away the ink bottle, with whatever 
ink remained unspilled, and wrote for the rest of the day on 
our slates. . . . 

Once or twice a day two pupils went for water to a house 
near the school. This was a privilege very much desired, for 
it gave the two pupils an opportunity to be out in the open 
during school hours. The pail of water was carried on a stick 
between the two carriers. When the outdoors was very alluring, 
it was possible to spill the water just before delivering it, 
making it necessary to go back for more. This device raised 
suspicion and had to be used sparingly. 

Safely inside the school room, the water pail was placed 
on a vacant desk, where the tin dipper hung on a nail beside 
it. Everylxxiy drank from the same dipper without any 
questioning, the only rale being that any water remaining 
in the dipper must be thrown out the window. 

James Whitcomb Riley 

Oh! the old swimming-hole! whare the crick so still and deep 

like a baby-river that was laying half asleep, 
the of the worter round the drift jest below 

like the laugh of something we onc t ust to know 


Before we could remember anything but the eyes 
Of the angels lookin out as we left Paradise; 
But the merry days of youth is beyond our controle, 
And it s hard to part f erever with the old swimming-hole, 

Oh! the old swimmin -hole! In the happy days of yore, 

When I ust to lean above it on the old sickamore, 

Oh ! it showed me a face in its warm sunny tide 

That gazed back at me so gay and glorified, 

It made me love myself, as I leaped to caress 

My shadder smilin up at me with sich tenderness. 

But them days is past and gone, and old Time s tuck Ms toll 

From the old man come back to the old swimmin -hole. 

Oh! the old swimmin -hole! In the long, lazy days 

When the humdrum of school made so many ran-a-ways, 

How pleasant was the jurney down the old dusty lane ? 

Whare the tracks of our bare feet was all printed so plane 

You could tell by the dent of the heel and the sole 

They was lots o fun on hand at the old swimmin -hole. 

But the lost joys is past! Let your tears in sorrow roll 

Like the rain that ust to dapple up the old smmminVbole. 

Thare the bulrushes growed, and the cattails so tall, 

And the sunshine and shadder fell over it all; 

And it mottled the worter with amber and gold 

Tel the glad lilies rocked in the ripples that rolled; 

And the snake-feeder s four gauzy wings fluttered by 

Like the ghost of a daisy dropped out of the sky, 

Or a wounded apple-blossom in the breeze s controle 

As it cut acrost some orchard to rds the old swimming-hole* 

Oh! the old swimmin -hole! When I last saw the place, 
The scenes was all changed, like the change in my face; 
The bridge of the railroad now crosses the spot 


Whare the old di\in 7 -!og lays sunk and fergot. 

And I stray down the banks wfaare the trees ust to be 

But never again will theyr shade shelter me! 

And I wish in my sorrow I could strip to the soul, 

And dive off in my grave like the old swimmin ? -hole. 


from Coming Up the Road 
Irving Bacheller 

I that the most joyful time between summers was the 

coming of spring. The mild south wind had in its wings the 
fragrance of the great snow-filled forest. The snow was melt- 
Ing. The sugar season had come. The great iron kettle was 

scrubbed with soap and hot water and fastened with an iron 
chain to its lug-pole, and lifted a little above the ground. It 
was from the well and a fire built beneath it. The cedar 

and buckets were brought down from the loft above 
the and scalded in the hot water and drained and dried. 
Next morning, I went with the older boys on the sleds, 
with spouts and buckets. Down through the melting 
we chose our way to the sugar bush. I helped to carry 
the buckets, wading in the deep wet snow. Each man had 
Ms kit of ax, augur, bit, mallet, hammer and nails. At a 
breast-high on the tree, he hewed away the rough sur 
face of the bark. That done, he bored a hole in the tree-trunk 
an or deep, slanting downward. With Ms mallet he 

the cedar spout into the hole. A nail was driven be- 
the spout The bucket was hung on the nail and the sap 
dripping. It sounded on the cedar bottom like the 
of a drum. If I were near,, I loved to reach up 


and catch the sweet sap in the hollow of my hand and taste 
It. Many were busy with this task until hundreds of buckets 
were catching the drip of the thawed maples. 

Meanwhile, the sugar shanty was repaired. Next day the 
woods rang with our voices as we gathered the sap with 
milk cans on a jumper drawn by one horse or a yoke of steers 
laboring through the deep snow. The men went to hillsides 
and remote dingles with pails and neck-yokes bringing the 
sap to the jumper. It was hard, slow work when the buckets 
were overflowing. . . . 

It was a great privilege to be allowed to go with the boys 
after supper down into the woods to the sugar shanty where a 
man spent every night boiling the sap. We lay on the buffalo 
robes under the shanty-roof with the warm flames circling 
around the kettle before us and making a deep lighted cavern 
in the darkness. There I heard stories of bears and panthers 
and the deadly lynx. Uncle Miner would show us how a lynx 
walked and imitate the cry of a panther. Suddenly I would 
hear the cry from behind a tree, a little way back in the 
gloomy wood whither Orwell and one of my older brothers 
would have gone unobserved. Then my heart would be beating 
fast although I knew it was play. My fear was half pretense 
for I loved the illusion. 

As the sap boiled up. Uncle Miner would throw off the 
foam with a long-handled skimmer and keep the big pit 
from boiling over with a ladle. When the mass had a 

bit, he would rub the inside of the kettle with a piece of fat 
pork to prevent burning when the syrup boiled tip again. , , 

Next day I would be in the woods again with the sap 
haulers and sitting in the shanty before the fire where I ate 
my cold luncheon with the others like a man. It was a 
to me that I could have but one evening in the for I 

loved the crackle of the fire and the smell of the smoke and 
the talk of the men. 

When some hundreds of buckets of sap had been 


the great kettle was cooled down. Then two or three pails of 
syrup would be dipped from its bottom into a milk can and 

hauled to the house to be sugared off in the big brass kettle 
on the stove. It was purged with much skimming and ladled 
with care to prevent boiling over. We boys were wont to watch 
this process with deep interest having brought a pan of clean 
snow and put it on the table. When the syrup dripped from 
the dipper in thick brown flakes we brought our saucers, which 
were filled at the stove-side, and began to spoon our portions 
OH the pan of snow. The hot sugar immediately turned into 
thick hard wax. The sweetness and the maple flavor of it was 
one of our great joys. No revel of my childhood was so 
intemperate. It is a sticky memory, and our pleasure like 
most of those we know had its contrast of pain. We lived 
much in the open air through the sugar season which helped 
in its problem of assimilation. But our chief enemy was 
sugar. The siege of Sweetness continued with buckwheat cakes 
and syrup every morning. The idle Sundays gave our enemy 
his chance to undermine our good health and soon one or 
more of us would go to bed with the great affliction of the 
northern Yankees headache. 

Some of the sugar was poured into greased tins to cake. 
Most of it went to the cellar where it fell into the big sugar 
tub. Before the season ended the latter was filled to its top 
with some five hundred pounds of this product of the maple 
forest a mass so solid that one needed an ax or a chisel to 
Mm fill a bowl. 

Somewhere in the neighborhood, before the season ended, 
there would be a sugar party and dance. 



Ida M. Tarbell 

To the average family of the seventies and ^eighties the sew 
ing room was second only to the kitchen in importance. My 
Mother, my Sister and myself bought nothing ready-made 
except our hoop skirts and corsets, stockings and shoes, and an 
occasional coat. We were clothed from the skin out in the 
sewing room. 

Sewing activities were continual, but the big moment came 
every Spring and Fall, when a real dressmaker arrived to pro 
duce the "best 7 or Sunday dress which each of us was to have 
for the coming season. Days were spent choosing the material 
from the dry goods store s large assortment of wools and silks, 
poplins and alpacas for winter of delaines and organdies, 
lawns and calicoes for summer. Again and again we looked 
them over, considered price and, above all, quality for qual 
ity, in my Mother s code, was moral 

Before the dressmaker arrived the sewing room be 

ready. Scissors had been sharpened, patterns prayerfully se 
lected, and innumerable bobbins wound for the double thread 
Grover and Baker machine which had been overhauled and 
oiled. On hand was an extraordinary collection of 
whale bones, braids, spools of thread, hooks and eyes of sev 
eral sizes, packages of pins and needles. Sewing lap 
boards and scrap baskets must be ready and the coming auto 
crat s favorite chair in the place she wanted it. ... 

For a fortnight the dressmaker was the center of the 
hold. A cup of coffee was sent up to her as soon as she arrived 
in the morning. She shared our noon dinner, and Mother saw 
to it that her favorite dishes were served. At four o clock 


both Mother and the dressmaker had a cup of tea to help 
them through the last terrible hour when their cheeks were 
flushed and their tempers a bit ragged. 

The basic dressmaking processes were methodical the cut 
ting, basting and trying on. But the trimming was exciting; 
you had a wide choice of bands or ruffles; you could have 
fringes, bugles ? passementeries. The buttons, in an endless 
variety of sizes and shapes, contributed not only to our adorn 
ment but to one of the favorite collecting hobbies of the 
young the button string. I had buttons from all the family 
past, and from friends ? and I knew the history of every button. 
1 would give a great deal today for my old button string. 

After each day s work came the operation called "cleaning 
up the litter." This was serious business, for everything must 
be saved. The big pieces were carefully put away for future 
repairing and remaking. The scraps went into Mother s piece 
bag to be used on the crazy quilt Mother always had under 
way, I have now a treasured crazy quilt from which I could 
write a fairly complete history of the gowns which came out 
of our sewing room over a period of twenty-five years. 

Besides these seasonal campaigns a steady production of 

undergarments went on. In the seventies I was wearing high 

neck, sleeve, wool combination suits; home-made be- 

Mother did not think those beginning to come from the 

factory fitted properly. Over these were worn cotton drawers 

buttoned around the waist "panties" we called them and a 

chemise. Our best undergarments received the 

care as our best gown. Mother would never permit 

lace or machine embroidery. She hated imitations 

as she lies. She herself knit beautiful lace, hemmed and 

miles of them for the bottom of drawers and 

. . . 

Over underthings we wore petticoats and skirts. In 

winter I a red flannel petticoat for every-day wear ? and one 
of white flannel for Sunday. Over that, I wore a heavy ? colored 


petticoat. In summer we had tucked and frilled white petti 
coats. We wore cotton stockings in summer and heavy woolen 
stockings in winter, sometimes of Mother s beautiful knitting. 
I never heard of silk stockings in those days. 

Thus we were outfitted with pain and thought and care. 
And for what occasions? The name "Sunday dress" suggests 
the most important function going to Church. Sunday prom 
enades up the main street in our town of Titusville, Penn 
sylvania, had all the features of the Fifth avenue parade in 
New York today. People surreptitiously looked to see how 
your new basque was made or your hat trimmed. When you 
met someone who had a gown or a hat like yours that was a 

When occasion demanded, simple accessories turned the 
"best" dress into a "party" dress. My favorite device was the 
fichu, a very long scarf, fitted about the shoulders, brought 
down and crossed around the waist and tied in a big flat bow 
behind. I liked them long and soft and trimmed with little 
ruffles. . . . 

What impresses me now, as I think of the way I dressed, is 
that I got much more fun out of it, as well as a greater feeling 
of dignity, than I do from my present method. The careful 
planning, the attention to principles, all contributed to making 
the sewing room respected in our domestic economy. Its two 
chief principles were Mother s insistence that quality was a 
virtue, imitation a kind of sin, and Father s contention that 
waste was wrong, because 4 you robbed the poor. 

When you finally discarded an old dress you gave it to some 
body who needed it, after first putting it in order and pressing 
it. Then you watched to see how she used it. If she didn t take 
care of it you were not likely to give her another. You re 
sented the lack of respect for the thing which you had so 
long respected. 

The final act in the sewing room drama was the burning 
of the contents of the waste barrel into which had gone only 


those old scraps of cloth that would serve no useful pur 

On some still evening my Father would empty the barrel 
in the middle of his garden. I always sat on the back steps 
and watched the remnants of the processes which had meant 
so much going up in smoke. When the last particle was 
consumed Father would rake the ashes over his garden. Good 
fertilizer. "Nothing lost but the smoke," he would laugh. But 
even the smoke had not been lost on me. I had dreamed 
dreams as it went up, dreams of new dresses and less, far less 
substantial things. Who can say that smoke which evokes 
dreams is lost? 


John Greenleaf Whittler 

The proudest now is but my peer, 

The highest not more high; 
Today, of all the weary year, 

A king of men am I. 
Today, alike are great and small, 

The nameless and the known; 
My palace is the people s hall, 

The ballot-box my throne! 

Who serves today upon the list 
Beside the served shall stand; 

Alike the brown and wrinkled fist, 
The gloved and dainty hand! 


The rich is level with the poor, 

The weak Is strong today; 
And sleekest broadcloth counts no more 

Than homespun frock of gray. 

Today let pomp and vain pretense 

My stubborn right abide; 
I set a plain man s common sense 

Against the pedant s pride. 
Today shall simple manhood try 

The strength of gold and land; 
The wide world has not wealth to buy 

The power in my right hand! 

While there s a grief to seek redress, 

Or balance to adjust, 
Where weighs our living manhood less 

Than Mammon s vilest dust 
While there s a right to need my vote, 

A wrong to sweep away, 
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat! 

A man s a man today! 

Stephen Vincent Benel 

I have fallen in love with American names, 
The sharp names that never get fat, 
The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims, 
The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat, 
Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat. 


Seine and Piave are silver spoons. 
But the spoonbowl-metal Is thin and worn. 
There are English counties like hunting-tunes 
Played on the keys of a postboy s horn. 
But I will remember where I was born. 

I will remember Carquinez Straits, 
Little French Lick and Lundy s Lane, 
The Yankee ships and the Yankee dates 
And the bullet-towns of Calamity Jane. 
I will remember Skunktown Plain. 

1 will fall in love with a Salem tree 
And a rawhide quirt from Santa Cruz, 
I will get me a bottle of Boston sea 
And a blue-gum nigger to sing me blues, 
I am tired of loving a foreign muse. 

Rue des Martyrs and Bleeding-Heart- Yard, 
Senlis, Pisa ? and Bllndman s Oast, 
It is a ghost you guard. 
But I am sick for a newer ghost, 
Harrisburg, Spartanburg, Painted Post. 

Henry and John were never so 

And Henry and John were always right? 

Granted, but when it was time to go 

And the tea and the laurels had stood all night, 

Did never watch for Nantucket Light? 

I not rest quiet in Montparnasse. 

1 not lie easy at Winchelsea. 
You may bury my body in Sussex grass, 
You bury my tongue at Charapmedy. 
I not be there. I shall rise and pass. 
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee. 



This poem appears on the of the of 

in New York 

Emma Lazarus 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, 

With conquering limbs astride from to 

Here at our sea-washed sunset 

A mighty woman with a torch, 

Is the Imprisoned lightning, and her 

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand 

Glows world-wide welcome; her 

The air-bridged harbor that twin-cities 

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" she 

With silent lips, "Give me your tired, 

Your huddled masses yearning to 

The wretched refuse of your 

Send these ? the homeless, to me 

I lift my lamp beside the ! " 


from Tke 

Mary Antin 

The public school has done its best for us and for 

the country, when it has made us into 1 am 

glad to tell how the miracle was in one You 

should be glad to hear of it, you born Americans, for It is the 


story of the growth of your country: of the flocking of your 
brothers and sisters from the far ends of the earth to the 
flag you love; of the recruiting of your armies of workers, 
thinkers, and leaders. . . . 

How long would you say ... It takes to make an Ameri 
can? By the middle of my second year in school I had 
reached the sixth grade. When, after the Christmas holidays, 
we began to study the life of Washington, running through 
a summary of the Revolution, and the early days of the 
Republic, it seemed to me that all my reading and study had 
been idle until then. . . . When the teacher read to us out of 
a big book with many bookmarks in it, I sat rigid with 
attention in my little chair, my hands tightly clasped on the 
edge of the desk; and I painfully held my breath, to prevent 
sighs of disappointment escaping, as I saw the teacher skip 
the parts between bookmarks. When the class read, and it 
cane my turn, my voice shook and the book trembled in 
my hands. I could not pronounce the name of George Wash 
ington without a pause. Never had I prayed, never had I 
chanted the songs of David, never had I called upon the 
Most Holy, In such utter reverence and worship as I repeated 
the simple sentences of my child s history of the patriot. I 
with adoration at the portraits of George and Martha 
Washington, till I could see them with my eyes shut. . . . 

As I read about the noble boy who would not tell a lie to 
save himself from punishment, I was for the first time truly 
repentant of my sins. Formerly I had fasted and prayed and 
sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, but it was more 
half play, in mimicry of my elders. . . . Goodness, as I 
had known it, was respectable, but not necessarily admirable. 
The people I really admired, like my Uncle Solomon, and 
Cousin Rachel, were those who preached the least and laughed 
the most. My sister Frieda was perfectly good, but she did 
not the less of me because I played tricks. What I 

tared in my Meads was not inimitable. ... A human-being 


strictly good, perfectly wise, and unfailingly valiant, all at 
the same time, I had never heard or dreamed of. This wonder 
ful George Washington was as inimitable as he was Irre 
proachable. Even if I had never, never told a lie, I could not 
compare myself to George Washington; for I was not brave 
I was afraid to go out when snowballs whizzed and I could 
never be the First President of the United States. 

So I was forced to revise my own estimate of myself. But 
the twin of my new-bom humility, paradoxical as it may 
seem, was a sense of dignity I had never known before. For If 
I found that I was a person of small consequence, I discovered 
at the same time that I was more nobly related than I had 
ever supposed. . . . This George Washington, who died long 
before I was born, was like a king in greatness, and he and I 
were Fellow Citizens. There was a great deal about Fellow 
Citizens in the patriotic literature we read at this time; and I 
knew from my father how he was a Citizen, through the 
process of naturalization, and how I also was a citizen, by 
virtue of my relation to him. Undoubtedly I was a Fellow 
Citizen, and George Washington was another. It thrilled me 
to realize what sudden greatness had fallen on me; and at the 
same time it sobered me, as with a sense of responsibility, I 
strove to conduct myself as befitted a Fellow Citizen. . . . 

As I read how the patriots planned the Revolution, and the 
women gave their sons to die in battle, and the heroes led to 
victory, and the rejoicing people set up the Republic, It 
dawned on me gradually what was meant by my 
The people all desiring noble things, and striving for 
together, defying their oppressors, giving their lives for 
other all this it was that made my country. It was not a 
thing that I understood; I could not go home and tell Frieda 
about it, as I told her other things I learned at school. But I 
knew one could say "my country" and feel It, as one felt 
"God" or "myself." My teacher, my schoolmate, . . . 
George Washington himself could not mean more than I 


when they said "my country/ 7 after I had once felt it. For 
the Country was for all the Citizens, and / was a Citizen. 
when we stood up to sing "America," I shouted the 
words with all my might. I was in very earnest proclaiming to 
the work! my love for my new-found country. 

On the day of the Washington celebration I recited a 
that I had composed in my enthusiasm. But "com 
posed" is not the word. The process of putting on paper the 
sentiments that seethed in my soul was really very discompos 
ing. I dug the words out of my heart, squeezed the rhymes 
out of my brain, forced the missing syllables out of their 
hilling-places in the dictionary. . . . 

When I had done, I was myself impressed with the length, 
gravity, and nobility of my poem. My father was overcome 
with emotion as he read it. His hands trembled as he held 
the paper to the light, and the mist gathered in his eyes. My 
teacher, Miss Dwight, was plainly astonished at my perform 
ance. . . . When Miss Dwight asked me to read my poem 
to the on the day of celebration, I readily consented. It 

not in me to refuse a chance to tell my schoolmates 
what 1 thought of George Washington. 

I was not a heroic figure when I stood up in front of the 

class to pruiioiince the praises of the Father of his Country. 

Thin, and hollow, with a shadow of short black curls on 

my brow, and the staring look of my prominent eyes, I must 

looked more frightened than imposing. . . . Heels 

together, and hands glued to my sides, I lifted up my 

voice in praise of George Washington. It was not much of a 

voice; like my hollow cheeks, it suggested consumption. My 

pronunciation was faulty, my declamation flat. But I had the 

courage of my convictions. I was face to face with two-score 

Citizens in clean blouses and extra frills. I must tell 

what George Washington had done for their country 

for our country for me. 

I can laugh HOW at the impossible meters, the grandiose 


phrases, the verbose repetitions of my poem. . . . But to the 

forty Fellow Citizens sitting in rows in front of me it was no 
laughing matter. Even the bad boys sat in attitudes of atten 
tion, hypnotized by the solemnity of my demeanor. If they 
got any inkling of what the hail of big words was about, it 
must have been through occult suggestion. I their 

eighty eyes with my single stare, and gave it to them, stanza 
after stanza, with such emphasis as the lameness of the lines 

He whose courage, will, amazing bravery, 

Did free his land from a despot s rale, 
From man s greatest evil, almost slavery, 

And all that s taught in tyranny s school, 
Who gave his land its liberty, 

Who was he? . . . 

The best of the verses were no better than these, but the 
children listened. They had to. Presently I gave them news ? 
declaring that Washington 

Wrote the famous Constitution . . . 

This was received in respectful silence, possibly because the 

other Fellow Citizens were as hazy about historical facts as I 
was at this point. "Hurrah for Washington!" they 
and "Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue!" was only 
to be expected on that occasion. But there ran a 
through my poem a thought that only Israel or 

Beckie Aronovitch could have fully understood^ my 

self. For I made myself the spokesman of the sons 

of Abraham/ 7 saying 

Then we weary Hebrew children at last f rest 
In the land where reigned Freedom, and like a nest 
To homeless birds your land proved to us, and therefore 

Will we gratefully sing your praises evermore. 


The boys and girls who had never been turned away from 

any door because of their father s religion sat up as if fasci 
nated in their places. But they woke up and applauded heartily 

when I was done, following the example of Miss Dwight, who 
wore the happy face which meant that one of her pupils had 
done well. 


Carl Sandburg 

Hog Butcher for the World, 

Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, 

Player with Railroads and the Nation s Freight 


Stormy ? husky, brawling, 
City of the Big Shoulders: 

They tell me you are wicked, and I believe them; for I have 
seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring 
the farm boys. 

And they tell me you are crooked, and I answer: Yes, it is 
true I have seen the gunman Mil and go free to kill 

And they tell me you are brutal, and my reply is: On the faces 
of women and children I have seen the marks of 
wanton hunger. 

having answered so I turn once more to those who 
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer 
and say to them: 

Come and show me another city with lifted head singing 
so proud to be 1 alive and coarse and strong and cun 


Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, 
here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little 
soft cities; 

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a 
savage pitted against the wilderness, 

Building, breaking, rebuilding. 
Under the smoke, dust all over Ms mouth, laughing with 

white teeth, 
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young 

Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never 

lost a battle, 

Bragging and laughing that under Ms wrist is the pulse, 
under his ribs the heart of the people, 


Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth ? half- 
naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher^ Tool Maker, 
Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight 
Handler to the Nation. 


John Reed 

By proud New York and its man-piled 
The hard blue sky overhead and the 
Steam-plumes waving from sun-glittering 
And deep streets shaking to the mSKonr-river: 


Manhattan, zoned with ships, the cruel 

Youngest of all the world s great towns, 

Thy bodice bright with many a jewel, 

Imperially crowned with crowns . . . 

Who that has known thee but shall burn 

In exile till he corae again 
To do thy bitter will, O stern 

Moon of the tides of men! 


from"Tke People, Yes" 

Carl Sandburg 


They have yarns 

Of a skyscraper so tall they had to put hinges 
On the two top stories so to let the moon go by, 

Of one corn crop in Missouri when the roots 
Went so deep and drew off so much water 
Tfae Mississippi riverbed that year was dry, 
Of pancakes so thin they had only one side, 
Of a "fog so thick we sMngled the bam and six feet out on 

the fog," 
Of Pete straddling a cyclone in Texas and riding it to 

the coast where "it rained out under him/ 7 
Of the who drove a swarm of bees across the Rocky 

Mountains and the Desert "and didn t lose a bee," 
Of a railroad curve where the engineer in his cab 

can touch the caboose and spit in the conductor s 
Of the boy who climbed a cornstalk growing so fast he would 


have starved to death If they hadn t shot tip 

to him. 
Of the old man s whiskers: "When the wind was Mm Ms 

whiskers arrived a day before he did r 
Of the hen laying a square egg and cackling, "Ouch!" and of 

hens laying eggs with the dates printed on them, 
Of the ship captain s shadow: it froze to the one 

winter night, 
Of mutineers on that same ship put to 

rubber hammers ? 
Of the sheep counter who was fast and accurate: "I Just 

count their feet and divide by four," 
Of the man so tall he must climb a to 

Of the runt so teeny-weeny it takes two a to sec 


Of mosquitoes: one can kill a dog, two of a 
Of a cyclone that sucked cookstoves out of the up 

the chimney flue, and on to the town, 
Of the same cyclone picking up in 

and dropping them over in the Dakotas, 
Of the hook-and-eye snake unlocking 

each piece two inches long, in iat 

snapping itself together again, 
Of the watch swallowed by the cow 

her a year later the watch was and had the 

correct time, 
Of horned snakes, hoop snakes, that roll 

they want to go, and 

of rattles on their tails, 

Of the herd of cattle in California lost in a red 

wood tree that had hollowed out, 
Of the man who killed a by its tail in its 

mouth so that it swallowed itself, 
Of railroad trains whizzing along so fast the 

before the whistle, 


Of pigs so thin the farmer had to tie knots in their tails to 

keep them from crawling through the cracks in their 

Of Paul Bunyan s big blue ox, Babe, measuring between the 

eyes forty-two ax-handles and a plug of Star tobacco 

Of John Henry s hammer and the curve of its swing and his 

singing of it as "a rainbow round my shoulder." 


from Tall Tale America 

Walter Blair 


Paul Bunyan worked at lumbering a long time. He started 
lumbering back there in Maine, where he was born, in the 
early days of lumbering. . . . 

Whenever there s any doubt about where a great man was 
born, any number of places are likely, through their Chambers 
of Commerce, to fight for the honor. ... It was so with 
Paul. . . . But there is some reason for saying that he may 
have been born several places all at once, since he was large 
enough, even at the start, to need some scope for being 
in. Mostly, though, he was born in the state of Maine. 

At three weeks, baby Paul got his family into a bit of 
trouble by kicking around his little tootsies and knocking 
down something like four miles of standing timber. This was 
In Maine, and remembering the old saying, "As goes Maine, 


so goes the nation," the government took action right away. 
They told Paul s family they d have to move the little 
somewhere or other where he d do less damage. 

With the timber Paul had kicked over, the family 
Paul a cradle, which they anchored off Eastport. Everything 
went well until, getting playful, Paul began waving his 
and legs around, the way babies do. That started the 
rocking, and that started a bunch of waves that larruped 
and came close to drowning every town along the New 
England coast. 

So they had to move him again keep him 
ashore until he was a year or two old and could shift for him 
self and watch out about hurting people. By that time, Paul 
had invented fishing and hunting, modern style, 
started, so to speak, to invent logging. People 
logging, if you could call it that, on a small B.P.B. 

(Before Paul Bunyan). But since Paul figured out all the 
dodges in the business, you might say he invented it. 

When Paul came along, all lumbermen did in the of 
logging was chop trees down any old way and in a 

haphazard fashion, get the logs to the sawmill. 
it would be so much bother and take so long to do this, It 
was scarcely worth the trouble. 

But Paul changed all that in short order. 

At the start, for instance, the way ax-men 
sharpened was most awkward. The ax-man would go up to 
the top of a hill, find a big stone, and start it 
he d gallop downhill alongside the stoae, Ms ax 

against the stone. 

"That won t do," says Paul, Just like that "If the 
bumpy, or if the hill is, you get the ax sharp, but the 

blade s likely to have too many scallops in it, pretty ike 

a washboard. Guess 111 invent a grindstone." 

Which he did. And that ended that Mud of and 

saved the men the work of running so much. 


Two inventions of Paul s were the Two-Man Saw and 

the Dowa-Cutter. ... He hit on the scheme of getting a 

of enough to reach over a quarter section, 

it and it along one side, and putting 

on end. "Here s a Two-Man Saw I invented/ 

Pan! as he it up. 

To this, Paul would pull one end ? several men would 

the oilier end, the trees would tumble like tenpins 

all over the quarter section. Paul always told the men at the 

side, u l don t care if you ride the saw, but for heaven s 

don t d^agyour feet." 7 

This saw, however, wasn t worth a hoot in hilly country. 

There, ifd cut the trees on the hilltops right and 

proper y, ifd take off only the tops of the trees in the valleys. 

Tliis led Fan! to the Down-Cutter a rig like a mowing 

(which gave Mm the idea) only enough bigger so 

it fell a swatch of trees five hundred feet wide. So 

the Two-Man Saw or the Down-Cutter, Paul felled 

the at the rate in any kind of country there was. 

But still was the problem of turning logging sledges 


In the men would find their trees, fell them, shave 

the off close and clear, cut the logs into the right 

and roll down to the road. Then the team- 

with their little flat wooden sledges, 

to the down to the skidways. 

It the teamsters came along with their sledges 

the came in. The road ? you see, was narrow, and 

the on bo tli of it made turning around impossible. 

So the had to twiddle their thumbs (which was 

with mittens on) and wait until Paul came 

up the four horses and the load, and headed 

in the direction* 

"We re too much time this way," says Paul. "Guess 

111 a round-turn." After he did this, turning around 


without Paul s help was easy as falling off a log easier, so far 
as loggers were concerned old-timers, at any rate. 

After he d perfected processes and methods all along the 
line, things went smoothly everywhere they d gone roughly 
before, pretty nearly half of the time. And when he ? t! lined 
up his help, both animal and human, Paul Bunyan had a 
set-up that couldn t help but be world famous. 

Babe, the Blue Ox, was the most useful of the animals. 
They say he was sky-blue because of his being bora in the 
Winter of the Blue Snow, though most of us historians think 
this explanation is a little silly. If this was so, we d like to 
know, why d he have a black nose and white horns? Anyhow, 
Babe was a big beast forty-two ax-handles and a plug of Star 
tobacco between the horns and strong in proportion. 

Some ways, Babe was a bother. Supplies for a monster ani 
mal like that were naturally a problem. Every time Babe 
needed to be shod, they d have to open a new iron mine 
on Lake Superior. Then there was the problem of feeding 
Mm. In one day, he could eat all the feed one crew could lug 
to camp in a whole dad-blamed leap year. Another thing about 
the brute that was bothersome was Ms sense of humor. Noth 
ing he could tMnk up seemed cuter to Babe than sneaking 
up behind a drive and drinking up the river, until the logs 
were as dry as a skeleton and even less likely to move. 
And Ms other playful pranks were likely to be 

But all in all, Babe doubtless was more useful than he was 
bothersome. He could pull a down-cutter with the of 

ease, sometMng no single animal, or quadruple one, for that 
matter, could do. He could haul logs to the landing 
than a scandal could travel a whole section of them at a 
regardless of how big the stand of timber had been. 

Or you take the way he had with crooked roads. 
stretch on the St. Croix in Wisconsin showed what he 
do a road nineteen miles long as the sober crow lies, but 


longer if you had to follow it, because it jogged and 
jiggled around and doubled back on itself so often. When the 
teamsters kept twisting around until they were dizzy, and 
then, on top of that, kept meeting themselves on the way 
back, they began to get the jumping jimjams. Result was, 
Paul decided to hitch Babe to die end of this road and 
straighten her out. 

Hitched onto the end of this wiggly road, which by good 
luck was on a level stretch. Babe scowled, put his tongue in 
one comer of his mouth, hunched his shoulders, and just 
about touched the ground with his belly. His legs were quiver 
ing like daddy longleg legs before he could get started moving. 
Finally, though, after he d started going, he kept going until 
he d pulled her straight. And there was enough road left over 
fifty-three miles and a fraction to do a number of useful 
things with, I don t recall exactly what. 


Gwendolen Haste 

I had to laugh, 

For when she said it we were sitting by the door, 

And straight down was the Fork 

Twisting and turning and gleaming in the sun. 

And then your eyes carried across the purple bench beyond 

the river 
With the Beartooth Mountains fairly screaming with light 

and blue and snow 
And fold and turn of rimrock and prairie as far as your eye 

could go<. 
And she says: "Dear Laura, sometimes I feel so sorry for you, 


Shut away from everything eating out your heart with lone 

When I think of my own full life I wish that I could share it. 
Just pray for happier days to come, and bear it." 

She goes back to Billings to her white stucco house, 

And looks through net curtains at another white stucco house, 

And a brick house, 

And a yellow frame house. 

And six trimmed poplar trees, 

And little squares of shaved grass. 

Oh, dear, she stared at me like I was daft. 
I couldn t help it! I just laughed and laughed. 


James Weldon Johnson 

Not only as folk but as individual artists the Negro in 
America is a creator; and as such he has exercised an influence 
greater than it is yet realized to be, and which is far in excess 
of what his numbers and status would seem to warrant, 

There is one other contribution the Negro in America has 
made that will eventually influence national thought. I hesitate 
to stress it because it is so intangible. However, it is the 
contribution in spiritual values that he has made through 
the fortitude with which he has borne himself and steadily 
forced his way forward. 



Langston Hughes 

Fve known rivers: 

I ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow 

of human blood in human veins. 

My has grown deep like the rivers. 

I bathed In the Euphrates when dawn was young. 

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. 

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. 

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went 

down to New Orleans^ and Fve seen its muddy bosom 

turn all golden in the sunset. 

Fve known rivers; 
Ancient, dusky rivers. 

My soul has grown deep like rivers. 


^4 Negro Sermon 

James Weldon Johnson 

And stepped out on space. 
And He looked around and said: 

I m lonely 

Fll make me a world. 


And far as the eye of God could see 
Darkness covered everything, 
Blacker than a hundred midnights 
Down in a cypress swamp. 

Then God smiled, 

And the light broke. 

And the darkness rolled up on one side, 

And the light stood shining on the other, 

And God said: That s good! 

Then God reached out and took the light in His hands, 

And God rolled the light around in His hands 

Until He made the sun; 

And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens. 

And the light that was left from making the sun 

God gathered it up in a shining ball 

And flung it against the darkness, 

Spangling the night with the moon and stars. 

Then down between 

The darkness and the light 

He hurled the world; 

And God said: That s good! 

Then God himself stepped down 
And the sun was on His right hand, 
And the moon was on His left; 
The stars were clustered about His head, 
And the earth was under Has feet, 
And God walked, and where He trod 
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out 
And bulged the mountains up. 

Then He stopped and looked and saw 
That the earth was hot and barren. 


So God stepped over to the edge of the world 
And He spat out the seven seas- 
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed 
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled 
And the waters above the earth came down, 
The cooling waters came down. 

Then the green grass sprouted, 

And the little red flowers blossomed, 

The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky, 

And the oak spread out his arms, 

The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground, 

And the rivers ran down to the sea; 

And God smiled again, 

And the rainbow appeared, 

And curled itself around His shoulder. 

Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand 

Over the sea and over the land, 

And He said; Bring forth! 

And quicker than God could drop His hand, 

Fishes and fowls 
And beasts and birds 
Swam the rivers and the seas, 
Roamed the forests and the woods, 
And split the air with their wings. 
And God said; That s good! 

Then God walked around, 
And God looked around 
On all that He had made. 
He looked at His sun, 
And He looked at His moon, 
And He looked at His little stars; 
He looked at His world 


With all its living things, 
And God said: I m lonely still. 

Then God sat down 

On the side of a hill where He could think; 

By a deep, wide river He sat down; 

With His head in His hands, 

God thought and thought, 

Till He thought: I ll make me a man! 

Up from the bed of the river 

God scooped the clay; 

And by the bank of the river 

He kneeled Him down; 

And there the great God Almighty 

Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky, 

Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night. 

Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand; 

This Great God, 

Like a mammy bending over her baby, 

Kneeled down in the dust 

Toiling over a lump of clay 

Till He shaped it in His image; 

Then into it He blew the breath of life, 
And man became a living soul. 
Amen. Amen. 



Elizabeth Hughes 

Between the years 1912 and 1929, in the United States, in 
Oklahoma, in a small town named Vinita, and on a street 
called Smith, more than a hundred children, of whom I was 
one, learned to be Americans. 

We were born Americans, to be sure, but we learned practi 
cal, applied Americanism on Smith Street, just as millions of 
other children were learning it on their own Elm or Third or 
Walnut Streets in thousands of small towns all over the 
nation. Smith Street, I believe, was in every major detail 
typical of American small town life. There was nothing un 
usual or distinctive about the block on Smith Street where 
I grew up and that is its distinction. 

Smith Street may not have been beautiful, and it certainly 
was not perfect. No doubt it had the faults of narrowness, 
provincialism, and ignorance so often ascribed to it in fiction. 
But whatever else Smith Street may have been, it was im 
portant. We didn t know it then, and perhaps few of the 
millions who grew up on such a street have thought about 
it since, but Smith Street was the most significant social 
phenomenon in America. To have grown up on Smith Street 
was to have lived in the nearest thing to a pure democracy 
that this country has ever seen. It was to have been as 
nearly unconscious of class or economic distinctions as it is 
possible for humankind to be. 

On that block (we called it the neighborhood, and the 

meant something) lived employers and employees, 

tradesmen, professional men, laborers, government workers, 

schoolteachers, clerks, city and county workers. The most well- 


to-do did not live on Smith Street, but neither did the families 
who constantly had to be "helped." There were twenty houses 
on our block, and, when we moved there, I think every house 
was owned by the family who lived in it. 

Only three houses were two stories high. The rest were 
one-story, generally five-room, cottages; all frame, and all 
painted either white or yellow. They had a front room, dining 
room, kitchen, and two bedrooms. The front porch was for 
sitting on after supper. The front yard, theoretically, was a 
lawn, but there were few grass lawns on Smith Street because 
the trees cast too much shade and the children trampled the 
grass down in their play faster than it could grow. 

There was no nonsense about the back yard. It was for 
hanging out the wash and raising a vegetable garden and 
sometimes for keeping a cow or chickens. Nobody had a maid, 
though from time to time one or more families would have a 
hired girl, if they could Afford it or if someone were sick. The 
hired girls ate with the family and usually shared a bed with 
one of the children. 

The residents of Smith Street were at least third generation 
Americans. Probably most of them had had forefathers in the 
Revolution. Some were of Indian descent. All bore names of 
English, Scotch, Irish, or German derivation McKay, Thax- 
ton, Long, Reidemann, Hughes, Sherwood. 

Now, after twenty years, I can call up Smith Street as it 
was in my childhood. I can start at the corner house at the 
north end of the block on the west side, go down the block, 
cross over, and come back on the east side, and describe 
every family, how they made their living, how many children 
they had. We knew one another that well. 

Mr. Cartwright, the home-loan executive, had the highest 
income of any man on the block, but Ms wife seldom kept 
help. She did the work of a two-story house and cooked three 
meals a day for five people, quite as a matter of course. 

Mrs. Rowe, the widow who clerked in a department store, 


had the lowest income. Her husband died shortly before the 
birth of her youngest child, leaving her with five children to 
rear. She owned her five-room house and rented two rooms of 
it. I can remember hearing my mother and other neighbor 
hood women speaking with the greatest admiration of Mrs. 
Rowe. She still was poor, even by our modest standards, but 
she had weathered the danger that her children would starve 
unless she was "helped/ 7 an alternative almost equally intoler 

Between the Cartwrights and Mrs. Rowe lay a wide scale 
of economic situations. Almost everyone, from time to time, 
would have a period of financial distress and worry over debt, 
but we always had ample clothing and food. 

My family, financially, must have been somewhere in the 
middle range of Smith Street. The two little girls I played 
with most were Peggy Cartwright and Ellen Rowe. We waded 
in the gutters when it rained and sewed doll clothes together 
and went to Sunday school together because we were within 
two months of the same age, and all the other little girls on 
the block were noticeably older or younger than we. 

Before World War I there was a neighborhood club. Every 
one on the block belonged to it. The women met in the 
afternoon at one of the houses and brought their children. 
There was no one to leave them with, even if anyone had 
thought of leaving them. Several times a year the club met at 
night so the husbands could come. Then it was a dinner 
party and each wife brought her special dish, the one no one 
else could make quite as well. 

Everyone was solicitous to see that old Major Buford, a 
CMl War veteran who had been Indian agent at Muskogee, 
had everything he liked best. He generally had to eat in the 
apart, where we children were sent with our plates. If 
he hadn t eaten with us we would have eaten with him. We 
adored the Major. He seemed to enjoy our society as much as 
we enjoyed Ms, which was a good thing, for he had in his 


front yard the neighborhood s most desirable tree for climb 
There were no formal calls of condolence on Smith Street. 

When there was a death in the neighborhood everyone went 
in. Already, if there had been need, they had helped care for 
the dying neighbor. After death came, they divided the night 
into shifts and sat up, two to a shift, while the family slept. At 
that time there were no funeral homes to which the dead could 
be sent, and in the two nights between death and burial 
the neighbors kept watch in the house that sheltered both the 
dead and the living. They came in the daytime and brought 
quantities of food, cakes and pies, roast meat and vegetables. 
They put it on the table and urged the family to eat, often 
staying to eat with them. The neighborhood women did the 
housework. Everyone came, even though they were not close 

The unformulated principle was that a woman s place was 
where she was needed most. If she had small children she 
stayed at home and took care of them. If she had no children, 
or her children were in school, and she could be useful work 
ing with her husband, she went to town and worked with 
him. The druggist and his wife and the jeweler and his wife, 
neither of whom had children, always worked together in the 
stores. My mother, after I was in school, went more and 
more often to the photograph studio with my father. 

Artificial class distinctions had no meaning to us. When 
they were brought to our attention by people from larger 
cities we thought they were funny. I still remember my 
father s roars of laughter at the remark of a visitor to Smith 
Street. She had accompanied her hosts to one of the evening 
parties of the neighborhood club and had recognized immedi 
ately the great personal charm of Mr. Prentice, one of the 
most popular men on the block. 

We left the party just after the visiting lady and her hosts 
and walked down the street not far behind them. 


"Mr. Prentice is a delightful man/ 3 the visitor remarked. 

"What does he do?" 

"He s a barber/ 7 said her resident relative. 

"A barber! A barber! Do you know a barber?" 

"Well, of course we know a barber/ her host snorted. "He 
lives only two doors from us. 7 

"But socially! He s charming but I certainly never ex 
pected to meet a barber." 

My father reached home without bursting, but it was a 
near thing. For days afterward he was apt to say, "A barber! 
A barber! " and go off into shouts of mirth. 

I would not have you think that Smith Street was Utopia. 
There were clashes. A coolness would arise between two 
families occasionally. Politics (which meant Democrat or 
Republican and nothing else) were often argued with more 
heat than tolerance. Our moral code was strict, and if the 
suspicion arose, which happened rarely, that one of the girls 
OE the block had violated it, we gossiped our heads off. 

The gossip was exciting and stimulating, even enjoyable. 
But underneath it lay a genuine kindliness, and we expressed 
it by action that was eminently practical. The girl was not 
shunned or ostracized. Girls her own age may have been 
quietly instructed by their mothers to see less of her, but that 
was the limit to overt action. We pretended to her parents 
that we had heard nothing, with a determination which pos 
sibly defeated its purpose. When she married, as in the course 
of time she always did, we not only treated the whole thing 
as water under the bridge but persuaded ourselves that there 
probably was never anything to the talk in the first place. 

To me, and I suspect to most of the men and women who 
up on Smith Street, the present bitter arguments of the 
OH both right and left sound silly. We know all about 
a classless society : we lived in one. 

We never thought that Mr. Cartwright was necessarily a 


superior person because lie made more money than Mrs. 
Rowe. They were members of the same church. Their chil 
dren played together. Mrs. Rowe would have been shocked at 
the thought of hating Mr. Cartwright because he was a capital 
ist. He would have been equally shocked at the thought of fear 
ing or distrusting Mrs. Rowe because she belonged to the 
masses. In fact, he would have been shocked at the suggestion 
that Mrs. Rowe did belong to the masses. He would have 
suspected that the observation implied some reflection on 
Mrs. Rowe, whom he knew well and held in the highest re 

The children who grew up on Smith Street are not likely 
to be very sympathetic toward an ideology that would prevent 
them from talking freely about anything and anybody they 
want to. They will not take readily, either, to any system that 
commands them to regard henceforth as enemies the same 
kind of people who were their friends and neighbors through 
the formative years. 

It has been ten years since I quit the physical environs of 
Smith Street. Time enough, one would think, for me to lose 
the idea that life on Smith Street was reality and life among 
the class conscious an illusion. Yet to this day I am incapable 
of making distinctions based on wealth or position. They do 
not exist for me. After a childhood spent on Smith Street 
people are either individuals of good character and agreeable 
disposition, hence persons to be admired, or they are not, and 
are hence persons to be avoided. 

We hundred and more men and women who were children 
together no longer live, geographically, on Smith Street. The 
millions of others have gone from their Elm or Third or 
Walnut Streets. But Smith Street has not left us. It never will 

There is good reason to believe that those who worry over 
American democracy simply do not know about Smith Street. 
They can t have forgotten it, so they must never have lived 


there. If the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields 
of Eton, the battle for the preservation of American democ 
racy was won on Smith Street, or it is already lost. 


from America at War 

Joseph Husband 


The old brick building had vanished before the wreckers in a 
cloud of broken brick and plaster. From my window I could 
look down into the cavity which had held it. Already the 
muddy floor was dotted with the toadstool tents of the 
excavators, and day and night, unceasingly, wagonloads of 
sticky clay and mud dragged up the incline to the street. Far 
down in the stifling air of the caissons, the concrete roots were 
being planted, tied with cement and steel to the very core of 
the world. 

The foundations were finished and the first thin steel 
columns stretched upward. In a day they multiplied. A hun 
dred black shoots pierced the soil; a hundred sprouting shoots, 
in even rows, like a well-planted garden. In ordered plan the 
crossbeams fell into their places, and the great lattice of the 
substructure shaped itself. Then, above the uproar and vibra 
tion of the street, rose the angry clatter of the pneumatic 
riveters, steel against steel in a shattering reverberation. 

With Incredible rapidity the gaunt frame piled upward. On 

the topmost story the derricks crouched like giant spiders, 

thin legs braced against post and I-beam, casting their 

of steel softly to the distant street to take a dozen 

tons of girders In their grasp and lift them, gently turning, to 


the top. Against the pale sky the black ribs of the building 
surged higher. As through prison bars I saw the distant blue 
of the harbor; the familiar view had vanished; a miracle had 
transformed it. Untiring, hour after hour, the derricks lifted 
bales of steel to swing into their destined place; and, as each 
new story was bolted down, the derricks lifted themselves 
heavily to the new level, clean cut against the sky, above the 
highest towers of the city. 

Like beetles, the steelworkers clambered surefooted over 
the empty frame. Far out on the end of narrow beams they 
hung above the void; on the tops of slender columns they 
clung, waiting to swing into place a ton of steel. Braced 
against nothing but empty space, they pounded red-hot rivets 
with their clattering hammers; like flies, they caught the slim- 
spun threads of the derricks and swung up to some inacces 
sible height. On flimsy platforms, the glow of their forges 
blinked red in the twilight. 

I am thinking also of other workers: of men who measured 
this tall tower on their slide rules, of grimy workers who fol 
lowed their mystic blueprints and made each piece with such 
fine precision that the great masses of steel fell softly into 
their final place with hair-breadth accuracy, rivet hole to rivet 
hole, and tongue in groove. Engineers, who foresaw each bolt 
and fitted so perfectly mass on mass with only imagination 
and their books of figures to guide them; workers in the steel 
mills of the distant city who molded each beam and pillar to 
go together like a watch theirs is the silent forgotten labor! 

Day faded in fog and darkness. Black-blurred, the fame of 
the skyscraper rose in the gray of the mist and the shadow of 
the night. Through the tangle of its skeleton frame, the flam 
ing red and yellow of an electric sign spattered a trail of 
jeweled fire against the sky. Another, with a flash of myriad 
color, shone and was gone. Far down in the streets, the glare 
of automobile lights stroked the gleaming blackness of the 
pavement. From surrounding buildings the glitter of countless 


windows shone brightly through the mist. But high above the 
firefly activity of the city, the black frame of the skyscraper 
touched the starless sky. Like beacon fires, the forges of the 
workers glowed intermittently, panting breaths of red, half 
smothered in the approaching night. In graceful curves, like 
tiny comets, the heated rivets, tossed from forge to the 
waiting bucket of the riveter, gleamed yellow and vanished. I 
thought of Whistler s nocturnes; of the fireworks at Cremorne. 

I stood on the rough staging of the top floor of the tower. 
Above, the light steel ribs of the dome met in a heavy 
rosette from which a flagpole pointed to the drifting clouds. 
Standing on its base, a man was arranging the tackle which 
would lift him up the slender mast, to paint it, or gild the 
ball at its tip. He saw me and leaned down. 

"Come up," he shouted. 

I climbed the ladder and, with his arm to steady me, 
crawled out above the dome. There was room for my feet 
beside his. I heard him laughing beside me. 

"Don t break off that pole, I ve got to climb it." 

I looked down. The curving ribs of the dome ended in a 

shallow cornice twenty feet below. That was all. Far down, 

the roofs of neighboring buildings lay flat and small in the 

sunlight. Like the great black matrix for a printed page, the 

roofs and streets extended to the harbor and the hills; like 

column rales, the shallow grooves of avenues cut sharply the 

lines of the side streets. Here and there were the open 

of public squares; far off, the green sweep of a city park. 

And everywhere above the roofs, wisps of steam and smoke 

lay softly on the breeze. Like crooked fingers, the wharves 

caught the edge of the harbor; the water was a quivering 

green, dotted with toy boats that crossed and recrossed like 

water insects, leaving a chum of white behind them and a 

smear of smoke above. 

Straight down in the street the cars crawled jerkily in two 
thin lines, the beetle-backed roofs inch-long in the distance. 


And everywhere were the moving dots of people, swarming 
upon the pavement. 

It was very still. Far below, the noises of the street, the 
living cry of the city, rose like the murmur of a river in a 
deep canon. Beside me, the steeple jack leaned easily against 
the mast, his eyes watching the distant glimmer of the sea. 
I looked up, and the slowly moving clouds seemed suddenly 
to stand still, the tower took the motion, and racing across 
the sky, the flagpole seemed bending to the earth. 

Down in the street I joined the crowd on the sidewalk, 
necks bent back to watch a tiny speck at the top of the thin 
shaft of the flagpole. 

"Pretty high up," said someone. 

"Yes," answered another, "but they re putting in the foun 
dation for a higher one on the corner." 


from God s Country and Mine 
Jacques Baxzun 

The way to see America is from a lower berth about two in 
the morning. You ve just left a station it was the jerk of 
pulling out that woke you and you raise the curtain a bit 
between thumb and forefinger to look out. You are in the 
middle of Kansas or Arizona, in the middle of the space 
where the freight cars spend the night and the men drink 
coffee out of cans. Then comes the signal tower, some bushes, 
a few shacks, and nothing. You see the last blue switch-light 
on the next track, and beyond it is America dark and grassy, 
or sandy and rocky and no one there. Nothing but the 
irrational universe with you in the center trying to reason 


it out. It s only ten, fifteen minutes since you ve left a thriv 
ing town ? but life has already been swallowed up in that 
ocean of matter which is and will remain as wild as it was 

Come daylight, tlwfear vanishes, but not the awe or the 

secret pleasure. 


Herbert Hoover 

During the last score of years our American form of civiliza 
tion has been deluged with criticism. It comes from our own 
people who deplore our undoubted faults and genuinely wish 
to remedy them. It comes from our political parties by their 
denunciation in debate of our current issues. It arises from 
the forthright refusal of the American people to wash their 
dirty linen in secret. It comes from our love of sensational 
incidents where villainy is pursued by law, and virtue 
triumphs. It comes from intellectuals who believe in the 
American system but who feel that our moral and spiritual 
greatness has not risen to the level of our industrial accom 
plishments. . . . 

Perhaps the time has come for Americans to take a little 
stack and something good about themselves. 

We could point out that our American system has per 
fected the greatest productivity of any nation on earth; that 
our standard of living is the highest in the world. We could 
point to our constantly improving physical health and length 
ening span of life. We could mention the physical condition 
of our youth as indicated somewhat by our showing in the 
recent Olympic games. 


In the government field, we could suggest that our sup 
posedly decadent people still rely upon the miracle of the 
ballot and the legislative hall to settle their differences of 
view and not upon a secret police with slave camps. 

In the cultural field, we could point out that with only 
about six percent of the world s population we have more 
youth in high schools and institutions of higher learning, 
more musical and literary organizations, more libraries and 
probably more distribution of the printed and spoken word 
than all the other ninety-four percent put together. 

On the moral and spiritual side, we have more hospitals and 
charitable institutions than all of them. And we could suggest 
that we alone, of all nations, fought in two world wars and 
asked no indemnities, no acquisition of territory, no domina 
tion over other nations. We could point to an advancement of 
the spirit of Christian compassion such as the world has never 
seen, and prove it by the tons of food and clothes and billions 
of dollars we have made as gifts in saving hundreds of millions 
from famine and governments from collapse. 

Much as I feel deeply the lag in spots which do not give 
chance to our Negro population, yet I cannot refrain from say 
ing that our 12 million Negroes probably own more auto 
mobiles than all the 200 million Russians or the 300 million 
Negroes under European governments in Africa. 

All of which is not boasting, but just a fact. And we could 
say a good deal more. . . . 

The meaning of our word America flows from one pure 
source. Within the soul of America is the freedom of mind 
and spirit in man. Here alone are the open windows through 
which pours the sunlight of the human spirit. Here alone hu 
man dignity is not a dream but a major accomplishment. 

At the time our ancestors were proclaiming that the Crea 
tor had endowed all mankind with rights of freedom as the 
children of God, with free will, the German philosophers, 
Hegel and others, and later Karl Marx, were proclaiming a 


satank philosophy of agnosticism and that the rights of man 
came from the state. The greatness of America today comes 
from one philosophy, the despair of Europe from the other. 

But there are people in our country today who would com 
promise in these fundamental concepts. They scoff at these 
tested qualities in men. They never have understood and 
never will understand what the word America means. They 
explain that these qualities were good while there was a con 
tinent to conquer and a nation to build. They say that time 
has passed. No doubt the land frontier has passed. But the 
frontiers of science and better understanding of human wel 
fare are barely opening. 

This new land of science with all its high promise cannot 
and will not be conquered except by men and women in 
spired by these same concepts of free spirit and free mind. 

And it is those moral and spiritual qualities which rise alone 
in free men which will fulfill the meaning of the word Ameri 
can. And with them will come centuries of further greatness 
to our country. 


from US. 40 

George R. Stewart 


A transcontinental journey over ILS. 40 or over any other 
coast-to-coast road should be, for any thinking person, a 
somewhat sobering experience. He has traversed more than 
one-eighth of the circumference of the globe, the whole 
breadth of a nation and one of the earth s two great land- 

, . , 
No observant man can well complete the run . . . without 


... the sense of power. There are indeed long stretches of 
desert and mountain and scrubby woods, but by and large the 
productivity of a nation that is at the same time almost a con 
tinent becomes gradually overpowering, as one looks at it 
along both sides of the highway. The people of the United 
States have been granted a natural heritage such as perhaps no 
other people have ever been granted, and they have exploited 
it materially. Mile after mile, hundred-mile after hundred- 
mile, stretch the farmlands, interspersed with mines and oil 
fields, dotted with towns and great cities full of manufactur 
ing plants. A jingo imperialist would be justified in feeling 
drunk with power. 

One may indeed ask, "Is not this heritage at its full peak 
of production, ready to decline? Has not the soil been de 
pleted of its riches? Are not the oil-fields and the mines now 
at their peak, ready to decline?" It may be. One passes gullied 
and eroded hillsides. There is a surprising amount of land that 
was once farmed, and is now going back to forest, depleted. 
There are abandoned mines, and oil-fields where the pumps 
are no longer going. 

Yet on the whole the argument would seem to work in the 
other direction. The wastage itself, though appalling, is in 
dicative of a kind of greatness. Only a supremely prosperous 
people could afford to waste so much to let land revert to un 
productiveness, to be careless of erosion, not even to practice 

Take, for example, one small item. On both sides of the 
pavement along most of the course of U.S. 40 grass grows pro 
fusely. In almost any other country there would be some pro 
vision by which this grass could be fed to animals. Either they 
would be tethered there and allowed to graze, or the grass 
would be cut. Along U.S. 40 these countless potential bales of 
hay are nearly all allowed to go to waste. 

If say about the year 1937 one Adolph Hitler could have 
been spirited away and taken upon a tour across U.S. 40, what 


might have been the effect upon the history of the world? 
Would he ever have let himself become embroiled in a war 
into which the United States was in the long run almost cer 
tainly to be drawn? Did Hitler . . . have any real idea of the 
power of the United States? Such a conception can hardly 
come from reading figures in books. It comes, in an entirely 
different way, when one drives at the speed of the modern 
automobile, day after day, through highly populous and amaz 
ingly productive country. . . . 

R. L. Duffus 

/ H an American. The things I shall say about myself may 
seem at first to contradict one another, but in the end they 
add up. I am almost always recognized at once, wherever I go 
about the world. Some say it is my clothes that give me away. 
Some say it is my way of talking. I think it is more than that. 

I have had an unusual history. My ancestors came over in 
the Mayflower. They also came over during the hungry Forties 
of the last century, in the hopeful Eighties, in the troubled 
Nineties. Or I came five years ago and have just become a citi 
zen. Name any race I belong to it. 

I have been around. I have seen the earth. No plain, no 
river, BO mountain, no ocean, no race is alien to me, but now 
/ am an American. I am an American because my father, or 
Ms father, or some other one of my ancestors grew tired of be 
ing ordered about by persons no better or wiser than himself; 
or lad more ambition or more energy than there was room for 
in the place where he was born; or was eager for new experi- 
ence y or was hungry for land. 


I, or someone for me, bought my share of America at a 
price. I have known hardships, sickness, and danger. 

I could not be held within the limits set for me by kings 
and lordlings on the other side of the water. I pushed forward. 
I hunted far beyond the mountains. I returned and took my 
wife and our brood and our wagons over. I crossed the great 
river and the little rivers. I crossed the ocean of plains. I 
crossed the deserts and the further ranges. 

The life I lived shaped me into a new kind of human be 
ing. I will not say a better kind, only a different kind. 

I have not loved arrogant authority. I have not respected 
any man because of the accident of birth. I have judged my 
fellows by what they were and what they did. I have relied 
upon myself. I have hoped greatly. 

Out of the hate for power not answerable to the people, out 
of the bravest words and the boldest acts of my ancestors in 
other lands, out of the necessities of a new and untamed 
world, out of the knowledge learned by pioneers, that no man 
lives to himself alone; out of the desire for freedom, for peace 
and moderation, I have tried to create my government. I have 
not been wholly successful. I hope to be. I shall be. 

In my struggle with this continent, out of my dreams, out 
of my grief, out of my sins, I have laid by a great store of 
memories. They are a part of what I am. No torrent of words 
can tell of them. Some of them are too deeply hidden for 
words. But no new world, no new order in the world, can 
wipe them out. 

I remember great men and great deeds. I remember great 

But I remember, also, sayings that were never written down 
and deeds known only to a few: the pioneer greeting his wife 
as he came in from his new cornfield, in the dappled shade of 
ringed and dying trees; the strong surge of discussion in re 
mote crossroads stores; the young man in Georgia or Ohio 
kissing his mother good-by as he goes to enlist; a Mississippi 


Negro, a Texas cowboy, a roundhouse wiper making a song; a 
small-town William Tell standing up to a petty tyrant; all 
manner of men and women planning, working, saving, see 
ing that the children had better schooling than the parents; re 
formers crying out against brutality and corruption; dreamers 
battling against the full tide of materialism. 

I remember all these things. They help to steady me when 
I lie awake at night, or when I walk the streets or go about 
the countryside in the darker night of injustice and violence 
that has come over the earth. 

I stand up straighter. These are my people that have said 
and done these things. 

I am an American. I am of one race and of all races. I am 
heir to a great estate. I am free and bound to the wheel of a 
great responsibility. 

I turn. I look back across the oceans. Are they not my peo 
ple, too, all of them? 

Have we come so far, done so much, suffered so much, 
hoped so much and does it mean nothing? Is this New World 
to become an Old World? Were the brave words and the 
braver deeds in vain? Shall men stand straight and proud, 
manful and just, courageous and tender, building and sharing, 
on but one continent and for but a little time? 

/ am an American. I say, "No! " 

On this continent, in God s good time, was brought forth "a 
new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposi 
tion that all men are created equal." What was proved three 
centuries ago, a century and a half ago, three-quarters of a 
century ago, is not the less true now. 

Freedom is not a lie. The brotherhood of man is not a lie. 
The kindly help given by neighbor to neighbor does not rest 
oa a lie. "These truths we hold to be self-evident." Chal 
lenged, they are none the less true. 

/ am an American. I cannot let the challenge drop. I can 
not say, "I am not as other men, and their tribulations do not 


concern me." I cannot say, free "let others be slaves for all of 

I am an American and the inheritor of this continent. But 
the deed of gift was not handed to me without a codicil. 
There are stipulations and conditions. What was won by cour 
age must be kept by courage. What was won in pain will have 
to be defended in pain. What was achieved cannot be enjoyed 
without new achievement. 

I cannot rest upon my memories. I shall make new and 
proud memories for my children. I shall say to tyrants, as they 
said, "Stand aside!" Over vast prairies, beyond loftier moun 
tains than my pioneer fathers crossed, I see a new vision: all 
who struggle anywhere for liberty are my countrymen, and no 
spot where blood has been shed for conscience sake is foreign 
ground to me. 

After the years, the centuries, I begin to know what it 
means to be an American. 



For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may 
lead nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free 
to combat it. 


First there was the land. Then there were the people. And al 
ways there was the promise and the idea of liberty. 

Americans have written and talked about the promise of 
their country and their ideas of liberty and freedom since the 
beginning. God willing, they will never stop. 

The largest possible book would be too small a book to con 
tain all that you should read and know about what Americans 
have said about the promise of their country. What follows 
here was said by Presidents and poets, judges and journalists, 
but it is only a small segment. of the whole. They may not 
have agreed with each other, just as today you and I may not 
agree in our ideas of what America is and what it should be. 

The important thing is that I am free to tell you and you 
are free to listen or not, as you choose and you are free to tell 
me and I to listen. And that is the essence of freedom. 

* * * 



Archibald MacLeish 


America was promises to whom? 

Jefferson knew: 

Declared it before God and before history: 

Declares it still in the remembering tomb. 

The promises were Man s: the land was his 

Man endowed by his Creator: 

Earnest in love; perfectible by reason: 

Just and perceiving justice : his natural nature 

Clear and sweet at the source as springs in trees are. 

It was Man the promises contemplated. 

The times had chosen Man: no other: 

Bloom on his face of every future: 

Brother of stars and of all travelers: 

Brother of time and of all mysteries: 

Brother of grass also; of fruit trees. 

It was man who had been promised; who should have. 

Man was to ride from the Tidewater; over the Gap: 

West and South with the water; taking the book with him: 

Taking the wheat seed; corn seed; pip of apple: 

Building liberty a farmyard wide; 

Breeding for useful labor; for good looks; 

For husbandry; humanity; for pride 

Practicing self-respect and common decency. . . . 

America was promises to whom? 
Old Man Adams knew. He told us 
An aristocracy of compound interest 
Hereditary through the common stock! 


We d have one sure before the mare was older. 

"The first want of every man was his dinner: 

The second his girl." Kings were by the pocket. 

Wealth made blood made wealth made blood made wealthy. 

Enlightened selfishness gave lasting light. 

Winners bred grandsons: losers only bred! , . . 

For whom the promises? For whom the river? 

"It flows west! Look at the ripple of it ! " 

The grass "So that it was wonderful to see 

And endless without end with wind wonderful! " 

The Great Lakes; landless as oceans; their beaches 

Coarse sand; clean gravel; pebbles; 

Their bluffs smelling of sunflowers: smelling of surf; 

Of freshwater; of wild sunflowers . . . wilderness. 

For whom the evening mountains on the sky; 

The night wind from the west; the moon descending? 

Tom Paine knew. 

Tom Paine knew the People. 

The promises were spoken to the People. 

History was voyages toward the People. 

Americas were landfalls of the People. 

Stars and expectations were the signals of the People. . . . 


America is promises to 

America is promises to 

To take them 
With love but 
Take them. 

O believe this! 



James Russell Lowell 

Our fathers fought for liberty, 
They struggled long and well, 
History of their deeds can tell 
But did they leave us free? 

Are we free to speak our thought, 
To be happy and be poor, 
Free to enter Heaven s door, 
To live and labor as we ought? 

Are we then made free at last 
From the fear of what men say. 
Free to reverence today, 
Free from the slavery of the past? 

Our fathers fought for liberty, 
They struggled long and well, 
History of their deeds can tell 
But omsehes must set us free. 



Emily Dickinson 

Could I but ride indefinite, 
As doth the meadow bee, 

And visit only where I liked, 
And no man visit me, 

And flirt all day with buttercups, 
And marry whom I may, 

And dwell a little everywhere, 
Or better, run away, 

With no police to follow, 

Or chase me if I do, 
Till I should jump peninsulas 

To get away from you 

I said, but just to be a bee 

Upon a raft of air, 
And row in nowhere all day long, 

And anchor off the bar 
What liberty! So captives deem 

Who tight in dungeons are. 



from Ms Pueblo speech on the League of Nations, 1919 
Woodrow Wilson 

The most dangerous thing for a bad cause is to expose it to 
the opinion of the world. The most certain way that you can 
prove that a man is mistaken is by letting all his neighbors 

discuss what he thinks, and if he is in the wrong you will no 
tice that he will stay at home, he will not walk on the street. 
He will be afraid of the eyes of his neighbors. He will be 
afraid of their judgment of his character. He will know that 
Ms cause is lost unless he can sustain it by the arguments of 
right and justice. The same law that applies to individuals ap 
plies to nations. 


from "Robert E. Lee" /pip 
Woodrow Wilson 

A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does 
not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are 
trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came 

from or what we have been about. 



from One World 
Wendell Willkie 

Freedom is an indivisible word. If we want to enjoy it, and 
fight for it, we must be prepared to extend it to everyone, 
whether they are rich or poor, whether they agree with us or 
not, no matter what their race or the color of their skin. 


from his first inaugural address 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt 

In the world of world policy I would dedicate this nation to 
the policy of the good neighbor the neighbor who resolutely 
respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of 
others the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects 
the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neigh 



from his Annual Message to Congress, 1941 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt 

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look for 
ward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. 

The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere 
in the world. 

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in 
Ms own way everywhere in the world. 

Hie third is freedom from want which, translated into 
world terms, means economic understandings which will se 
cure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants 
everywhere in the world. 

The fourth is freedom from fear which, translated into 
world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to 
such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation 
will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression 
against any neighbor anywhere in the world. 


from "I Am An American Day" speech 

Judge Learned Hand 


What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can 
only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit 
which is not too sure that it is right. The spirit of liberty is 
the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men 


and women. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs 
their interests alongside its own without bias. The spirit of 
liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth un 
heeded. The spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two 
thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never 
learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a 
kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by 
side with the greatest. 


from a speech given at a dinner of the Four Freedoms 
Foundation, 1953 

Harry S. Truman 

The good life is not possible without freedom. But only the 
people, by their will and by their dedication to freedom, can 
make the good life come to pass. We cannot leave it to the 
courts alone, because many of the invasions of these freedoms 
are so devious and so subtle that they cannot be brought be 
fore the courts. 

The responsibility for these freedoms falls on free men. 
And free men can preserve them only if they are militant 
about freedom. We ought to get angry when these rights are 
violated, and make ourselves heard until the wrong is righted 
. . . There are times when the defense of freedom calls for 
vigorous action. This action may lead to trouble, and fre 
quently does. Effective effort to preserve freedom may involve 
discomfort and risk. It takes faith, unselfishness, and courage 
to stand up to a bully; or to stand up for a whole community 
when it has been frightened into subjection. But it has to be 
done, if we are to remain free. 


D wight D. Eisenhower 

The winning of freedom is not to be compared to the win 
ning of a game with victory recorded forever in history. Free 
dom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men 
and so it must be daily earned and refreshed or else like a 
flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. 


from But We Were Born Free 

Elmer Davis 


This nation was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the prin 
ciple among others that honest men may honestly disagree; 

that if they all say what they think, a majority of the people 
will be able to distinguish truth from error; that in the com 
petition in the market place of ideas, the sounder ideas will in 
the long ran win out. . . . 

The United States has worked; the principles of freedom 
on which it was founded free thought as well as political lib 
erty have worked. This is the faith once delivered to the fa 
thers the faith for which they were willing to fight and, if 
necessary, die, but for which they fought and won. These 
men, whose heirs and beneficiaries we are, risked, and knew 
they were risking, their lives, their fortunes and their sacred 


honor. We shall have no heirs and beneficiaries, and shall de 
serve to have none, if we lack the courage to preserve the herit 
age they won for us. ... This will remain the land of the 
free only so long as it is the home of the brave. 



Adams, John, 4O-4 1 , 2 6 

Alden, John, 21 

Amendments to the Constitution, 


American place names, 163-164 
Andros, Sir Edmund, 52-53, 55, 58- 


Antelope County, Nebraska, 73 
Appomattox Court House, 102 
Azores, 9 

Babe, the Blue Ox, 177-178 

Bandanna, 82-83 

Beacon Street, Boston, 128 

Beartooth Mountains, 178 

Bill of Rights, 47-49 

Blacksmith, 124 

Blaine, James G., 29 

Blue Ox, 177-178 

Boston, Massachusetts, 19, 3-33> 

52-60, 122, 125, 128 
Boston Tea Party, 30-33 
Bradford, Governor William, 20, 


Bradstreet, Governor Simon, 54-55 
Buffalo, 71-72 
Bunyan, Paul, 174-178 
Burial Hill, Boston, 18 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 15 
Cattle round-up, 77-81 
Central Pacific Railroad, 86-90 
Chicago, 170-171 
Chinese, 87 
Chuck-wagon, 78 

Church of England, 19 

Cities, 135-137, 140-14*, 170-172, 


Civil War, 94-114 
Clark, William, 67 
Cleveland, Grover, 29 
Clifton, John, 137 
Clothes, 140-141, 159-162 
Columbus, Christopher, 9-10 
Commons, 124-125 
Concord, Massachusetts, 37, 68, 122 
Concord, Battle of, 39 
Confederates, 102-106, 108-110 
Conner, Captain, 32 
Constitution of the United States 

First Ten Amendments, 47-49 

Preamble, 46 

Continental Congress, 40-43 , 46 
Country school, 151-1 54 
Cowboys, 77-83 
Cresap, Colonel, 24 
Cutting-out, 81 

Declaration of Independence, 40-46 
Down-cutter, 176 
Dressmaking, 159-162 
Dugouts, 72-76, 122-123 
Dunmore, Lord, 24 
Dutch in New York, 123 

Education, 50, 129-131, i47 I 4^ 

151-154, 165-170 
Election day, 162-163 
Emancipation Proclamation,, 97 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 126 


Explorers, 9-12, 67-68 
Extravagance, 138-140 

Farmers, 17-19, 124-129 

Fashions in New York, 140-141 

Fichu, 161 

Fifth Avenue, 161 

Fiilmore County, Nebraska, 73 

Flag of the United States, 46 

Folklore, 172-179 

Fort Hill, Boston, 32 

Four Freedoms, 212 

Fourth of July, 29, 40 

Franklin, Benjamin, 40, 42, 49, 126, 

i35 I37i38 

Freedom, 13-14, 16-17, 22-24, 30, 
33-34, 38-39* 44-50, 52-60, 
94, 97, 134-135, 162-163, 

165-170, 208-209, 211-215 

Games of the Pilgrims, 20 
Gates of Hercules, 9 
Gettysburg Address, 98 
Good Neighbor policy, 211 
Government, 15, 46-49, 51, 93, 97, 

98, 162-163 

Grant, Ulysses S., 102-105 
Gray, Hepzibah, 126-128 
Green , village, 124-129 
Griffin s wharf, Boston, 32 
Graver s Comers, New Hampshire, 


Half Moon, 10 

Hancock, John, 41 
Handkerchiefs, 140 
Harrison, Benjamin, 40-43 
Hegel, Gcoig Wilhclm Friedrich, 


Hiawatha, 7-8 
Highways, 196-198 

Hitler, Adolph, 197-198 

Houses, 69-70, 72-76, 121-124, 190- 

Hudson, Henry, 10-12 

Illinois, 69-70, 145 
Independence Day, 29, 40 
Indian summer, 25-26 
Indians, 3-8, 24-26, 123, 127-128 
International relations, 50, 52, 211 

James II, 52-53, 58-59 
Jamestown, Virginia, 121-122 
Jefferson, Thomas, 40-42, 50, 144, 

205, 206 
July Fourth, 29, 40 

Kansas, 74 

Kentucky, 70-71, 145-146 
Kildeer Mountains, 77 
King Philip s War, 54 

La Harpe, Kansas, 74 

Lake Superior, 177 

Lee, Robert E., 93, 102-105, 106 

Lexington, Massachusetts, 37 

Leyden, Holland, 13-14 

Lincoln, Abraham, 67, 93, 94, 98, 

107, ni-112, 115 
Line riders, 77 

Little Missouri River, 77, 79 
Little Wabash River, 69 
Log Cabins, 69-70 
Logan, Chief, 24-25 

Magnolia Cemetery, 108 
Mail, United States, 84-86 
Maine, 1 74 
Maple sugar, 156-158 
Marshall, Colonel, 102 
Maryland Toleration Act, 22-23 


Mather, Cotton, 137-138 
Mather, Samuel, 137 
Mayflower, 17-19 
Mayflower Compact, 15 
Medford, Massachusetts, 37 
Melting-pot, 115-117, 198-201 
Mexican War, 102 
Milford, Nebraska, 75 
Mingo Indians, 24-25 
Mississippi River, 148-150 
Monhegan, Maine, 19 
Monroe Doctrine, 51-52 
Montana, 178-179 
Mullins, Priscilla, 21 

Narragansett, Rhode Island, 32 

Nebraska, 73, 75, 87 

Negroes, 112, 179-183, 195 

New England, 15-24, 3~39, 5 2 -6o> 

122, 124-135 

New England Primer, 129-131 
New York, N.Y., 123, 161, 171-172 
Nixon, Colonel, 43 
Nokomis, 7-8 

Ohio River, 65 

Oklahoma, 184 

Old Dominion, 143 

Old North Church, Boston, 34-35 

Old South Meeting House, Boston, 


Olympic Games, 194 
Omaha, Nebraska, 87 

Paine, Thomas, 38, 207 
Party dresses, 161 
Pasturage, 128 
Penmanship, 153-154 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4-43, 

Pilgrims, 13-22, 53 

Pioneers, 64-76 

Plymouth, Massachusetts, 17, 19-22, 


Pony Express, 84-86 
Popham Colony, 19 
Prairie, 71-72 
Prairie dogs, 72 
Prince of Orange, 53 
Promontory Point, Utah, 86-90 
Puritans, 19, 56 

Railroads, 86-90 

Randolph, Edward, 58 

Reed and Kellogg, 1 53 

Reformation, 19 

Religion, 22-24, 47, 49-5* 180-183 

Revere, Paul, 34-38 

Revolution, American, 29-60 

Rutledge, Edward, 41 

Sacramento, California, 87 

Salem, Massachusetts, 125 

St. Croix River, 177-178 

School life, I5I-I54, 165-170 

Schoolmasters, 147-148 

Scott, General WMeld, 102 

Sewing, 159-162 

Sheridan, General Philip, 99-102 

Sbiloh, battle of, 96-97 

Skyscrapers, 190-193 

Slave trade, 41 

Slavery, 94, 97 

Sleeves, 141 

Small towns, 124-129, 184-190 

Smith Street, U.S A, 184-190 

Sod houses, 72-76 

South, 12-13, 22-23, 33-34, 49-50, 

93, 9H7, 99-* 01 102-106, 

108-109, 141-146 
Stanford, Leland, 87-88 
Statue of Liberty, 165 


Steel workers, 191 
Street cleaning, 135-13? 
Street lighting, 135-137 
Sugaring, 156-158 
Sunday dresses, 159-161 
Surveyors, 67-68 
Swimming hole, 154-156 

Tacit os , 125 

Tali tales, 1 72-1 78 

Tents, 1 21-122 

Thanksgiving, 19-22 

Thoreau, Henry David, 67-68, 122 

Thrift, 131-132, 139-140 

Titusville, Pennsylvania, 161 

Tolerance, 22-24, 49-50 

Transcontinental railroad, 86-90 

Turbans, 140 

Turbary rights, 125 

Turkeys, 20 

Two-man saw, 1 76 

Union Pacific Railroad, 86-90 
U.S., 40, 196-198 
Utah, 86-90 

Vinita, Oklahoma, 184 

Virginia, 12-13, 33, 99-ioi, 121- 

122, 141-144 
Voting, 162-163 

Walden, 122 
Washington, D.C., 187 
Washington, George, 49, 67, 142- 

143, 166, 169 
West, 62-90, 178-179 
Western Union Telegraph Company, 


Wigwams, 123 
Winchester, Virginia, 99-101 
Winslow, Edward, 20 
William the Conqueror, 125 
Winthrop, John, 22 
Wisconsin, 177-178 
Wolves, 126 
Wranglers, 78 

Yellowstone River, 77-79 
Zangwill, Israel, 115 



A just and lasting peace, 101 

All men are created equal, 44 

America was promises, 206 

A new birth of freedom, 98 

And Sheridan twenty miles away, 99 

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master, 94 

Behind him lay the gray Azores, 9 
Bind up the nation s wounds, 101 

Conceived in liberty, 98 

Defeated valor, 108 

Don t give too much for the whistle, 139 

Four score and seven years ago, 98 
Freedom is an indivisible word, 211 
Freedom to worship God, 17 
Freedom s commonwealth, 14 
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve, 96 

Gentlemen may cry peace 1 peace! but there is no peace, 33 

Give me liberty or give me death, 34 

Give me your tired, your poor, 165 

God s Crucible, 115 

Good fences make good neighbors, 134 

Hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year, 34 

Hiawatha s Chickens, 8 

Hog Butcher for the World, 170 

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, 33 
I hear America singing, 146 


I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the 

people themselves, 50 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door, 165 
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains 

and slavery? 33-34 

Life ? liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, 44 

Make do, or go without, 131 

Martyrs of a fallen cause, 108 
Mine eyes have seen the glory, 94 

Not as the conqueror comes, 16 

beautiful for spacious skies, 117 

O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done, 107 

One if by land, and two if by sea, 34 
Ourselves must set us free, 208 

Rainbow round my shoulder, 174 
Reason s self shall bow the knee, 5 

Sail on! and on! and on! 9 

Something there is that doesn t love a wall, 134 

Stem and rock-bound coast, 16 

That government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall 

not perish, 98 
That these dead shall not have died in vain, 98 

Hue battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone, 33 

The breaking waves dashed high, 16 

The fate of a nation was riding that night, 36 

The four freedoms, 212 

The good neighbor, 211 

The grapes of wrath, 94 

The great Melting-Pot, 115 

Hie shot heard round the world, 39 

Hie summer soldier and the sunshine patriot, 38 

The times that try men s souls, 38 

The world will little note, nor long remember, 98 


Under the roses, the Blue; under the lilies, the Gray, 109 
Up from, the South, at break of day, 99 

Wah-wah-taysee, little firefly, 7 

We are coming, Father Abraham, 95 

Wear it out, eat it up, make do, 132 

We fight not to enslave, but to set men free, 38-39 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 44 

When, in the course of human events, 44 

With malice toward none, 101 



Andrews, John, 30-33 
Antin, Mary, 165-170 
Austin, Mary, 6-7 

Bacheller, Irving, 156-158 
Barzun, Jacques, 193-194 
Bates, Katharine Lee, 117-118 
Benet, Stephen Vincent, 118-120, 


Birkbeck, Morris, 69-70 
Blair, Paul, 174-178 
Bowen, Catherine Drinker, 40-43 
Bowman, J. R. } 86-89 
Bradbury, Bianca, 131-132 

Carlisle, Helen Grace, 17-19 
Coffin, Robert P. Tristram, 147- 

148, I43-I44 

Coolidge, Dane and Mary, 5-6 
Cullen, Countee, 112 

Daugherty, James, 70-71 
Davis, Elmer, 214-215 
Dick, Everett, 72-76 
Dickinson, Emily, 309 
Dobie, J. Frank, 82-83 
Duffus, R. L., 198-201 

Earle, Alice Morse, 19-22 
Eisenhower, D wight D., 214 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 39 

Finch, Frances Miles, 109-110 
Franklin, Benjamin, 49, 135-140 

Freneau, Philip, 3-5 
Frost, Robert, 134-135 

Gibbons, James Sloane, 95-96 
Grant, Ulysses S., 102-105 

Hand, Learned, 212-213 
Haste, Gwendolen, 178-179 
Havighurst, Walter, 67-68 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 52-60 
Hemans, Felicia Dorothea, 16-17 
Henry, Patrick, 33-34 
Hoover, Herbert, 194-196 
Howe, Julia Ward, 94-95 
Hughes, Elizabeth, 184-190 
Hughes, Langston, 180 
Huntington, Rachel, 140-141 
Husband, Joseph, 190-193 

Jefferson, Thomas, 49-51 
Johnson, James Weldon, 179, 180- 

Kent, Louise Andrews, 124-129 

Lazarus, Emma, 165 
Lee, Luanda, 141-143 
Lee, Robert E., 106 
Lieberman, EHas, 115-117 
Lincoln, Abraham, 94, 98, 101 
Lindsay, Vachel, 111-112, 145-146 
Logan, Chief, 24-25 
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworfh, 7-8, 

Lowell, James Russell, 208 


McCutchcon, John T., 25-26 

MacLeish, Archibald, 206-207 
Mayhew, Jonathan, 30 
Melville, Herman, 96-97 
Miller, Joaquln, 9-10 

Paine, Thomas, 38-39 
Parkman, Francis, 71-72 

RanMn, Jeremiah Eames, 13-14 

Read, Thomas Buchanan, 99-101 

Reed, John, 171-172 

Richter, Conrad, 64-68 

Rilcy, James Whitcomb, 154-156 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 211, 


Roosevelt, Theodore, 78-81 
Sandburg, Carl, 1 70-1 74 

Seward, Jane, 151-154 
Smith, Captain John, 12-13 
Stevenson, Burton Egbert, 10-12 
Stewart, George R., 121-123, 196* 

Tarbell, Ida M., 159-162 
Timrod, Henry, 108 
Truman, Harry S., 213 
Twain, Mark, 84-86, 148-151 

Washington, George, 50 
Whitman, Walt, 107, 146-147 
Whittier, John Greenleaf, 162-163 
Wilder, Thornton, 132-133 
Williams, Roger, 23-24 
Wfflkie, Wendell, 21 1 
Wilson, Woodrow, 210 



Abraham Lincoln Walks at Mid- Cotton Mather s Advice, 137-138 
night, ui-112 Creation, The, 180-183 

America From a Train Window, 

America the Beautiful, 117-118 

America Was Promises, 206-207 

America Was Schoolmasters, 147- 

American Muse, 118-120 

American Names, 163-164 

America s Duty to Resist, 33-34 

Education for Democracy, 50 
Emancipation Proclamation, The, 


Evils of Submission to Higher 
Powers, The, 30 

Declaration of Independence, The, 

Difference Between Liberty and Li 
cense, The, 23-24 

Driving the Last Spike at Promon 
tory Point, 86-90 

Dugout and Sod House, 72-76 

Bandanna, The, 82-83 

Battle Hymn of the Republic, The, 


Betrayal, A, 24-25 
Bill of Rights, The, 47-49 
Blue and the Gray, The, 109-110 
Boston Tea Party, The, 30-33 

Fashions in New York, 1797, 140- 

First Ten Amendments to the Con 
stitution, The, 47-49 

Four Freedoms, The, 212 

Freedom, 209 

Call to Arms, A, 38-39 

Catechism, 129-131 

Cattle Round-Up in the Old West, Freedom and Courage, 214-215 

7 7-8 1 Future of America, The, 49 

Chain and Compass, 67-68 

Cheap Land in Virginia, 12-13 Gettysburg Address, The, 98 

Chicago, 170-171 Good Neighbor, The, 211 

Columbus, 9-10 Gray Champion, The, 52-60 

Concord Hymn, The, 39 
Constitution of the United States, Henry Hudson s Quest, 10-12 

The Hiawatha s Childhood, 7-8 

Preamble, The, 46 

First Ten Amendments, The, 47- I Am an American (Elias Lieber- 
49 man), 115-117 


"I Am an American," (R. L. Duf- 

fus), 198-201 

I Hear America Singing, 146-147 
Importance of Yesterday, The, 210 

Indian Burying Ground, The, 3-5 
Indivisible Word, An, 211 
Injun Summer, 25-26 
International Relations, 50 

Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, 

The, 16-17 

life in a Country School, 151-154 
Life in Virginia, 1782, 141-143 

Maryland Toleration Act, The, 22- 


Mayflower Compact, The, 15 
Meaning of Democracy, The, 94 
Mending Wai, 134-135 
Miracle of America, The, 194-196 
Mississippi, The, 148-151 
Monroe Doctrine, The, 51-52 
Montana Wives, 178-179 
Mother of Presidents, Orators, 

Pride, 143-144 
"My Country," 165-170 
My Fathers Came from Kentucky, 


Negro Speaks of Rivers, The, 180 
Negro s Contribution, The, 179 
New Colossus, The, 165 
New Engknd Primer, 129-131 

O Captain! My Captain! 107 
Ode to the Confederate Dead, 108 
Old Sewing Room, Hie, 159-162 
Old Swimmin* Hole, The, 154-156 
Our Fathers Fought for Liberty, 

Our Town, 132-133 

Paul Bunyan, 174-178 

Paul Revere s Ride, 34-38 

People of the Woods, 69-70 

Pilgrim Farmers, 17-19 

Pioneer Babies, 70-71 

Pony Express, The, 84-86 

Poor Voter on Election Day, The, 


Power of America, The, 196-198 
Power of Public Opinion, The, 210 
Prairie, 71-72 
Preamble to the Constitution of the 

United States, The, 46 
Proud New York, 171-172 

Resolution of the Continental Con 
gress on the United States 
Flag, 46 

Responsibility of Free Men, The, 

Robert E. Lee s Farewell to His 
Army, 106 

Rule of Thumb, 131-132 

Self Government, 51 

Shelter, 121-123 

Sheridan s Ride, 99-101 

Shiloh, 96-97 

Signing the Declaration of Inde 
pendence, 40-43 

Skyscraper, 190-193 

Smith Street, U.S.A., 184-190 

Spirit of Liberty, The, 212-213 

Street Cleaning and Lighting in 
Philadelphia, 135-137 

Sugaring, 156-158 

Surrender of General Robert E. 
Lee, The, 102-105 

Tableau, 112 
Tall Tales, 172-174 


Thanksgiving, 19-22 War God s Horse Song, The, 5-6 

Three Hundred Thousand More, 95- Warrior s Song, 6-7 

96 Whistle, The, 138-140 

Winning of Freedom, The, 214 

Village Green, The, 124-129 With Malice Toward None, 101 

Virginia Statute for Religious Free- Word of God to Leyden Came, The, 

dom, The, 49-50 13-14 

Vision, The, 64-68