Tag Archives: American exceptionalism

William Penn And The Indians

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

William Penn

The King of England gave all the land in Pennsylvania to William Penn. The King made Penn a kind of king over Pennsylvania. Penn could make the laws of this new country. But he let the people make their own laws.

Penn wanted to be friendly with the Indians. He paid them for all the land his people wanted to live on. Before he went to Pennsylvania he wrote a letter to the Indians. He told them in this letter that he would not let any of his people do any harm to the Indians. He said he would punish anybody that did any wrong to an Indian. This letter was read to the Indians in their own language.

Soon after this Penn got into a ship and sailed from England. He sailed to Pennsylvania. When he came there, he sent word to the tribes of Indians to come to meet him.

The Indians met under a great elm tree on the bank of the river. Indians like to hold their solemn meetings out of doors. They sit on the ground. They say that the earth is the Indian’s mother.

When Penn came to the place of meeting, he found the woods full of Indians. As far as he could see, there were crowds of Indians. Penn’s friends were few. They had no guns.

Penn had a bright blue sash round his waist. One of the Indian chiefs, who was the great chief, put on a kind of cap or crown. In the middle of this was a small horn. The head chief wore this only at such great meetings as this one.

When the great chief had put on his horn, all the other chiefs and great men of the Indians put down their guns. Then they sat down in front of Penn in the form of a half-moon. Then the great chief told Penn that the Indians were ready to hear what he had to say.

William Penn's Treaty with the Indians by Currier & Ives

Penn had a large paper in which he had written all the things that he and his friends had promised to the Indians. He had written all the promises that the Indians were to make to the white people. This was to make them friends. When Penn had read this to them, it was explained to them in their own language. Penn told them that they might stay in the country that they had sold to the white people. The land would belong to both the In­dians and the white people.

Then Penn laid the large paper down on the ground. That was to show them, he said, that the ground was to belong to the Indians and the white people together.

He said that there might be quarrels between some of the white people and some of the Indians. But they would settle any quarrels without fight­ing. Whenever there should be a quarrel, the In­dians were to pick out six Indians. The white people should also pick out six of their men. These were to meet, and settle the quarrel.

Penn said, “I will not call you my children, be­cause fathers some-times whip their children. I will not call you brothers, because brothers some­times fall out. But I will call you the same per­son as the white people. We are the two parts of the same body.”

The Indians could not write. But they had their way of putting down things that they wished to have remembered. They gave Penn a belt of shell beads. These beads are called wampum. Some wampum is white. Some is purple.

They made this belt for Penn of white beads. In the middle of the belt they made a picture of purple beads. It is a picture of a white man and an Indian. They have hold of each other’s hands. When they gave this belt to Penn, they said, “We will live with William Penn and his children as long as the sun and moon shall last.”

Tomorrow, Holiday Celebrations      Rita Bay

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The Author Of ” Little Women”

Louisa Alcott

Louisa Alcott (1832-1888) was a wild little girl. When she was very little, she would run away from home. She liked to play with beggar children. One day she wandered so far away from her home, she could not find the way back again. It was growing dark. The little girl’s feet were tired. She sat down on a door-step. A big dog was lying on the step. He wagged his tail. That was his way of saying, “I am glad to see you.”

Little Louisa grew sleepy. She laid her head on the curly head of the big dog. Then she fell asleep. Louisa’s father and mother could not find her. They sent out the town crier to look for her. The town crier went along the street. As he went, he rang his bell. Every now and then he would tell that a little girl was lost.

At last the man with the bell came to the place where Louisa was asleep. He rang his bell. That waked her up. She heard him call out in a loud voice, “Lost, lost a little girl six years old. She wore a pink frock, a white hat, and new green shoes.” When the crier had said that, he heard a small voice coming out of the darkness. It said, “Why, dat’s me.” The crier went to the voice, and found Louisa sitting by the big dog on the door-step. The next day she was tied to the sofa to punish her for running away.

She and her sisters learned to sew well. Louisa set up as a doll’s dressmaker. She was then twelve years old. She hung out a little sign. She put some pretty dresses in the window to show how well she could do. Other girls liked the little dresses that she made. They came to her to get dresses made for their dolls. They liked the little doll’s hats she made better than all. Louisa chased the chickens to get soft feathers for these hats.

She turned the old fairy tales into little plays. The children played these plays in the barn. One of these plays was Jack and the Bean-stalk. A squash vine was put up in the barn. This was the beanstalk. When it was cut down, the boy who played giant would come tumbling out of the hayloft.

Louisa found it hard to be good and obedient. She wrote some verses about being good. She was fourteen years old when she wrote them. Here they are :

MY KINGDOM.

A little kingdom I possess Where thoughts and feelings dwell,

And very hard I find the task Of governing it well.

For passion tempts and troubles me, A wayward will misleads,

And selfishness its shadow casts On all my words and deeds.

I do not ask for any crown But that which all may win,
Nor seek to conquer any world Except the one within.

Later, Louisa wrote many popular books enjoyed by people everywhere.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, William Penn and the Indians     Rita Bay

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A Wonderful Woman

 

Dorothea Dix

Dorothy Dix was poor. Her father did not know how to make a living. Her mother did not know how to bring up her children. The father moved from place to place. Some­times he printed little tracts to do good. But he let his own children grow up poor and wretched. Dorothy wanted to learn. She wanted to become a teacher. She wanted to get money to send her little brothers to school.

Dorothy was a girl of strong will and temper. When she was twelve years old, she left her wretched home. She went to her grandmother. Her grandmother Dix lived in a large house in Boston. She sent Dorothy to school. Dorothy learned fast. But she wanted to make money. She wanted to help her brothers. When she was fourteen, she taught a school. She tried to make herself look like a woman. She made her dresses longer.

She soon went back to her grandmother. She went to school again. Then she taught school. She soon had a school in her grandmother’s house. It was a very good school. Many girls were sent to her school.

Miss Dix was often ill. But when she was well enough, she worked away. She was able to send her brothers to school until they grew up. Besides helping her brothers, she wanted to help other poor children. She started a school for poor children in her grandmother’s barn. After a while she left off teaching. She was not well. She had made all the money she needed. But she was not idle. She went one day to teach some poor women in an almshouse. Then she went to see the place where the crazy people were kept. These insane people had no fire in the coldest weather.

Miss Dix tried to get the managers to put up a stove in the room. But they would not do it. Then she went to the court. She told the judge about it. The judge said that the insane people ought to have a fire. He made the managers put up a stove in the place where they were kept. Then Miss Dix went to other towns. She wanted to see how the insane people were treated. Some of them were shut up in dark, damp cells. One young man was chained up with an iron collar about his neck.

Miss Dix got new laws made about the insane. She persuaded the States to build large houses for keeping the insane. She spent most of her life at this work. The Civil War broke out. There were many sick and wounded soldiers to be taken care of. All of the nurses in the hospitals were put under Miss Dix. She worked at this as long as the war lasted. Then she spent the rest of her life doing all that she could for insane people.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, Louisa May Alcott       Rita Bay

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Heroes of Faith

Heroes of Faith  by Edgar De Witt Jones

By faith the voyaging Mayflower embarked
from Old England and found harbor off the
bleak New England shores.

By faith the Pilgrim Fathers set up a government
on a new continent dedicated to God and
inspired by a desire to do his will on earth as it is
done in heaven.

By faith Thomas Jefferson was stirred to strike a
blow for political independence and wrote the
thrilling document that declared that all men are
created equal and endowed with certain
inalienable rights.

By faith he said, “Love your neighbor as
yourself and your country more than yourself.”

By faith George Washington left his spacious
mansion at Mount Vernon and espoused the
cause of the tax-burdened colonists.

By faith he forsook ease and comfort, choosing
rather to suffer hardship with his men at Valley
Forge than to enjoy the favor of a king.

By faith he became the President of the newly
born republic and endured as seeing Him who is
invisible.

By faith Alexander Hamilton established the
financial credit of the nation. In the eloquent
words of Daniel Webster: “He touched the
corpse of public credit and it sprang into life.
He smote the rock of national resources and
abundant streams of revenue flowed.”

By faith James Madison gave richly of his
scholarly mind to form the Federal Constitution.

By faith Andrew Jackson fought the battle of the
impoverished and underprivileged many against
the privileged few.

By faith Abraham Lincoln bore the awful burden
of four purgatorial years seeking to preserve the
Federal Union.

By faith he carried a dreadful war to its
conclusion without hate in his heart, saying, “I
have not only suffered for the South, I have
suffered with the South.”

By faith Woodrow Wilson in the dreadful
heartbreak of a world war dreamed a dream of a
war less world in which the nations should be
leagued together to keep the peace.

By faith he glimpsed that promised land which,
like Moses, he might not enter. And what shall I more say?

For time would fail me if I should tell of that unnumbered host,
the unnamed and obscure citizens who bore
unimagined burdens, sacrificed in silence and
endured nobly, that a government of the people,
for the people, and by the people might not
perish from the earth.

Tomorrow, The Star Spangled Banner       Rita Bay

Heroes of Faith was included in the RootsWeb collection of Thanksgiving poems on Ancestry.com. The author, Edgar Dewitt Jones (1876-1956), was a minister in the Disciples of Christ Church and a prolific author.  To read the complete collection of Thanksgiving poems: http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~homespun/tpoems.html

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Captain Clark’s Burning Glass

Clark & Indians

The Indians among whom Captain Clark and Captain Lewis traveled had many strange ways of doing things. They had nothing like our matches for making fire. One tribe of Indians had this way of lighting a fire. An Indian would lay down a dry stick. He would rub this stick with the end of another stick. After a while this rubbing would make something like sawdust on the stick that was lying down. The Indian would keep on rubbing till the wood grew hot. Then the fine wood dust would smoke. Then it would burn. The Indian would put a little kindling wood on it. Soon he would have a large fire.

In that time the white people had not yet found out how to make matches. They lighted a fire by striking a piece of flint against a piece of steel. This would make a spark of fire. By letting this spark fall on something that would burn easily, they started a fire.

White men had another way of lighting a fire when the sun was shining. They used what was called a burning glass. This was a round piece of glass. It was thick in the middle, and thin at the edge. When you held up a burning glass in the sun, it drew the sun’s heat so as to make a little hot spot. If you put paper under this spot of hot sun­shine, it would burn. Men could light the tobacco in their pipes with one of these glasses.

Captain Clark had something funny happen to him on account of his burning glass. He had walked ahead of the rest of his party. He sat down on a rock. There were some Indians on the other side of the river. They did not see the captain. Captain Clark saw a large bird called a crane flying over his head. He raised his gun and shot it. The Indians on the other side of the river had never seen a white man in their lives. They had never heard a gun. They used bows and arrows.

They heard the sound of Clark’s gun. They looked up and saw the large bird falling from the sky. It fell close to where Captain Clark sat. Just as it fell they caught sight of Captain Clark sitting on the rocks. They thought they had seen him fall out of the sky. They thought that the sound of his gun was a sound like thunder that was made when he came down. The Indians all ran away as fast as they could. They went into their wigwams and closed them.

Captain Clark wished to be friendly with them. So he got a canoe and paddled to the other side of the river. He came to the Indian houses. He found the flaps which they use for doors shut. He opened one of them and went in. The Indians were sitting down, and they were all crying and trembling.

Starting FIre with Magnifying Glass

Among the Indians the sign of peace is to smoke together. Captain Clark held out his pipe to them. That was to say, “I am your friend.” He shook hands with them and gave some of them presents. Then they were not so much afraid.

He wished to light his pipe for them to smoke. So he took out his burning glass. He held it in the sun. He held his pipe under it. The sunshine was drawn together into a bright little spot on the tobacco. Soon the pipe began to smoke. Then he held out his pipe for the Indians to smoke with him. That is their way of making friends. But none of the Indians would touch the pipe. They thought that he had brought fire down from heaven to light his pipe. They were now sure that he fell down from the sky. They were more afraid of him than ever.

At last Captain Clark’s Indian man came. He told the other Indians that the white man did not come out of the sky. Then they smoked the pipe, and were not afraid.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, Heroes of Faith at Thanksgiving     Rita Bay

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How Washington Escaped A Trap

After the battle of  Trenton, Washington went back across the Delaware River. He had not men enough to fight the whole British army. But the Americans were glad when they heard that he had beaten the Hessians. They sent him more soldiers. Then he went back across the river to Trenton again. There was a British general named Cornwallis. He marched to Trenton. He fought against Wash­ington. Cornwallis had more men than Washington had. Night came, and they could not see to fight. There was a little creek between the two armies. Washington had not boats enough to carry his men across the river. Cornwallis was sure to beat him if they should fight a battle the next morning.

Cornwallis said, “I will catch the fox in the morning.” He called Washington a fox. He thought he had him in a trap. Cornwallis sent for some more soldiers to come from Princeton in the morning. He wanted them to help him catch the fox. But foxes sometimes get out of traps.

When it was dark,Washington had all his camp fires lighted. He put men to digging where the British could hear them. He made Cornwallis think that he was throwing up banks of earth and getting ready to fight in the morning.

But Washington did not stay in Trenton. He did not wish to be caught like a fox in a trap. He could not get across the river. But he knew a road that went round the place where Cornwallis and his army were. He took that road and got behind the British army.

It was just like John waiting to catch James. James is in the house.  John is waiting at the front door to catch James when he comes out. But James slips out by the back way. John hears him call ” Hello ! ” James has gone round behind him and got away.

Washington went out of Trenton in the darkness. You might say that he marched out by the back door. He left Cornwallis watching the front door. The Ameri­cans went away quietly. They left a few men to keep up the fires, and make a noise like digging. Before morning these slipped away too. When morning came, Cornwallis went to catch his fox. But the fox was not there.

He looked for the Americans. There was the place where they had been digging. Their camp fires were still burning. But where had they gone? Cornwallis thought that Washington had crossed the river by some means. But soon he heard guns firing away back toward Princeton. He thought that it must be thunder. But he found that it was a battle. Then he knew that Washington had gone to Princeton.

Washington had marched all night. When he got to Princeton, he met the British coming out to go to Trenton. They were going to help Cornwal­lis to catch Washington. But Washington had come to Princeton to catch them. He had a hard fight with the British at Princeton. But at last he beat them.

When Cornwallis knew that the Americans had gone to Princeton, he hurried there to help his men. But it was too late. Washington had beaten the British at Princeton, and had gone on into the hills, where he was safe.  The fox had got out of the trap.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, Washington’s Last Battle    Rita Bay

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