Tag Archives: youth history stories

Daniel Webster and His Brother

Daniel Webster, Senator & Statesman

Daniel Webster (1762-1852) was a great statesman. As a little boy he was called ” Little Black Dan.” When he grew larger, he was thin and sickly‑looking. But he had large, dark eyes. People called him ” All Eyes.” He was very fond of his brother Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a little older than Daniel. Both the boys had fine minds. They wanted to go to college. But their father was poor.

Daniel had not much strength for work on the farm. So little “All Eyes ” was sent to school, and then to college.            Ezekiel stayed at home, and worked on the farm.

While Daniel was at school, he was unhappy to think that Ezekiel could not go to college also. He went home on a visit. He talked to Ezekiel about going to college. The brothers talked about it all night. The next day Daniel talked to his father about it. The father said he was too poor to send both of his sons to college. He said he would lose all his little property if he tried to send Ezekiel to college. But he said, that, if their mother and sisters were willing to be poor, he would send the other son to college.So the mother and sisters were asked. It seemed hard to risk the loss of all they had. It seemed hard not to give Ezekiel a chance. They all shed tears over it. The boys promised to take care of their mother and sisters if the property should be lost. Then they all agreed that Ezekiel should go to college too.

Daniel taught school while he was studying. That helped to pay the expenses. After Daniel was through his studies in college, he taught a school in order to help his brother. When his school closed, he went home. On his way he went round to the college to see his brother. Finding that Ezekiel needed money, he gave him a hundred dollars. He kept but three dollars to get home with.

The father’s property was not sold. The two boys helped the family. Daniel soon began to make money as a lawyer. He knew that his father was in debt. He went home to see him. He said, ” Father, I am going to pay your debts.” The father said, “You cannot do it, Daniel. You have not money enough.”

 I can do it,” said Daniel, “and I will do it before Monday evening.” When Monday evening came round, the father’s debts were all paid.

When Daniel became a famous man, it made Ezekiel very happy. But Ezekiel died first. When Daniel Webster made his greatest speech, all the people praised him. But Webster said, “I wish that my poor brother had lived to this time. It would have made him very happy.”

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, Dorothea Dix     Rita Bay

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The Star-Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key

Everybody in the United States has heard the song about the star-spangled banner. Nearly everybody has sung it. It was written by Francis Scott Key. Key was a young lawyer. In the War of 1812 he fought with the American army. The Brit­ish landed soldiers in Maryland. At Bladens­burg they fought and beat the Americans. Key was in this battle on the American side.

After the battle the British army took Wash­ington, and burned the public buildings. Key had a friend who was taken prisoner by the British. He was on one of the British ships. Key went to the ships with a flag of truce. A flag of truce is a white flag. It is carried in war when one side sends a message to the other.

When Key got to the British ships, they were sail­ing toBaltimore. They were going to try to take Baltimore. The British commander would not let Key go back. He was afraid that he would let the Americans know where the ships were going.

Key was kept a kind of prisoner while the ships attacked Baltimore. The ships tried to take the city by firing at it from the water. The British army tried to take the city on the land side. The ships did their worst firing at night. They tried to take the little fort near the city. He was afraid that the men in it would give up.

Fort McHenry

Key could see the battle. He watched the little fort. He was afraid that the fort would be broken down by the cannon balls. When these burst, they made a light. By this light Key could see that the little fort was still standing. He could see the flag still waving over it. He tells this in his song in these words : —

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

After many hours of fighting the British became discouraged. They found that they could not take the city. The ships al­most ceased to fire. Key did not know whether the fort had been knocked down or not. He could not see whether the flag was still flying or not. He thought that the Americans might have given up. He felt what he wrote in the song:

“Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave? O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?”

When the break of day came, Key looked toward the fort. He could see the fort. It was still standing. It grew lighter. There was a flag flying over it. Key was full of joy. He took an old letter from his pocket. The back of this letter had no writing on it. Here he wrote the song about the star-spangled banner. The British commander now let Key go ashore.

When he got to Bal­timore, he wrote out his song. He gave it to a friend. This friend took it to a printing office. But the printers had all turned soldiers. They had all gone to defend the city. There was one boy left in the office. He knew how to print He took the verses and printed them on a broad sheet of paper.

The printed song was soon in the hands of the soldiers around Baltimore. It was sung in the streets. It was sung in the theaters. It traveled all over the country. Everybody learned to sing:

” Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just ; And this be our motto— In God is our trust ‘— And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

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, Daniel Webster and his Brother   Rita Bay

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