A Brief History of the United States
Barnes & Co.

Part 4 out of 8

matches awaiting the order to fire, when Hull, apparently unnerved
by the fear of bloodshed, ordered the white flag--a table-cloth--to
be raised. Amid the tears of his men, it is said, and without even
stipulating for the honors of war, he surrendered not only Detroit,
with its garrison and stores, but the whole of Michigan.



BATTLE OF QUEENSTOWN HEIGHTS (October 13).--Late in summer, another
attempt was made to invade Canada. General Van Rensselaer
(ren'-se-ler) finding that his men were eager for a fight, sent a
small body across the Niagara River to attack the British at
Queenstown Heights. The English were driven from their position,
and General Brock was killed. General Van Rensselaer now returned
to the American shore to bring over the rest of the army; but the
militia denying the constitutional right of their commander to take
them out of the State, refused to embark. Meantime their comrades
on the Canadian shore, thus basely abandoned, after a desperate
struggle, were compelled to surrender.

NAVAL VICTORIES.--These signal disgraces by land were in striking
contrast to the successes on the sea.

_Constitution and Guerriere_ (August 19).--The fight off the
coast of Massachusetts, between the American frigate Constitution
(popularly called Old Ironsides) and the Guerriere (gayre-e-ayre)
is memorable. The latter vessel opened fire first. Captain Isaac
Hull refused to answer until he had brought his ship into the exact
position he desired, when he poured broadside after broadside into
his antagonist, sweeping her deck, shattering her hull, and cutting
her masts and rigging to pieces. The Guerriere soon became
unmanageable, and was forced to surrender. She was so badly injured
that she could not be brought into port; while the Old Ironsides,
in a few hours, was ready for another fight.

[Footnote: "Captain Hull sent an officer to take possession of the
Guerriere. When he arrived alongside, he demanded of the commander
of the English frigate if he had struck. Dacres was extremely
reluctant to make this concession in plain terms, but, with a
shrewdness which would have done honor to a Yankee, endeavored to
evade the question. 'I do not know that it would be prudent to
continue the engagement any longer,' said he. 'Do I understand you
to say that you have struck?' inquired the American lieutenant.
'Not precisely,' returned Dacres; 'but I don't know that it will be
worth while to fight any longer.' 'If you cannot decide, I will
return aboard,' replied the Yankee, 'and we will resume the
engagement.' 'Why, I am pretty much _hors de combat_ already,'
said Dacres; 'I have hardly men enough left to work a gun, and my
ship is in a sinking condition.' 'I wish to know, sir,'
peremptorily demanded the American officer, 'whether I am to
consider you as a prisoner of war or an enemy. I have no time for
further parley.' 'I believe there is now no alternative. If I
could fight longer, I would with pleasure; but I--must
surrender--myself--_a prisoner of war!_'"]

[Footnote: Nephew of General Hull. His bravery retrieved the name
from its disgrace.]

_Frolic and Wasp_ (October 13).--The next noted achievement
was the defeat of the English brig Frolic by the sloop-of-war Wasp,
off the coast of North Carolina. When the former was boarded by her
captors, her colors were still flying, there being no one to haul
them down. The man at the helm was the only sailor left on deck

Other victories followed. Privateers scoured every sea, inflicting
untold injury on the British commerce. During the year over three
hundred prizes were captured.

[Illustration: Capture of the Frolic.]

_The Effect of these Naval Victories_ was to arouse enthusiasm
and inspire confidence. Volunteer corps were rapidly formed.
Madison was re-elected, thus stamping his war policy with the
popular approval.


PLAN OF THE CAMPAIGN.--Three armies were raised: (I) the Army of
the Centre, under General Dearborn, on the Niagara River; (2) the
Army of the North, under General Hampton, along Lake Champlain; and
(3) the Army of the West, under General Harrison, of Tippecanoe
fame. All three were ultimately to invade Canada. Proctor was the
British general, and Tecumseh had command of his Indian allies.

[Footnote: When the British heard that Dearborn had sailed away
from Sackett's Harbor with the fleet, they immediately made an
attack on that place. They were bravely repulsed by General Brown
and a few regulars.]

THE ARMIES OF THE CENTRE AND NORTH did but little. General Dearborn
attacked York, General Pike gallantly leading the assault.
Unfortunately, in the moment of success the magazine blew up,
killing Pike and making sad havoc among his men. Dearborn did
nothing, and soon after resigned. General Wilkinson, his successor,
was directed to descend the St. Lawrence in boats, and join General
Hampton in an attack on Montreal. At Chrysler's Field he repulsed
the British, but owing to a disagreement with General Hampton he
returned. (Map opp. p. 160.) General Hampton went north as far as
St. John's, where he was defeated by the British. He then made the
best of his way back to Plattsburg, where, in the winter, he was
joined by General Winchester's men. Thus ingloriously ended the
campaign of these two armies.

ARMY OF THE WEST.--A detachment of General Harrison's men was
captured at Frenchtown, on the River Raisin, by Proctor, who then
besieged Harrison himself at Fort Meigs (megz). Repulsed here,
Proctor stormed Fort Stephenson, garrisoned by only one hundred and
fifty men under Major Croghan, a young man of twenty-one. Beaten
again, he returned to Malden. As yet, however, the British held
Michigan and threatened Ohio, and the Americans had been as
unsuccessful this year as they were the preceding, when a glorious
triumph on Lake Erie gave a new aspect to the campaign.

[Footnote: This party was stationed on the Maumee, under General
Winchester. Having learned that the people of Frenchtown feared an
attack from the Indians, he allowed his military judgment to yield
to his humanity, and marched to their relief. He defeated the
enemy, but was soon attacked by a body of fifteen hundred British
and Indians under Proctor. Winchester, being captured in the course
of the battle, agreed to the surrender of his men under the solemn
promise that their lives and property should be safe. Proctor,
however, immediately returned to Maiden with the British, leaving
no guard over the American wounded. Thereupon the Indians, maddened
by liquor and the desire for revenge, mercilessly tomahawked many,
set fire to the houses in which others lay, and carried the
survivors to Detroit, where they were dragged through the streets
and offered for sale at the doors of the inhabitants. Many of the
women of that place gave for their ransom every article of value
which they possessed. The troops were Kentuckians, and the war-cry
of their sons was henceforth "Remember the Raisin."--The great
object of the Indians in battle was to get scalps, Proctor paying a
regular bounty for every one. They were therefore loth to take
prisoners. Proctor, brutal and haughty, was a fit leader under a
government that would employ savages in a civilized warfare.]

PERRY'S VICTORY (September 10).--When Captain Perry, then only
twenty-seven years old, was assigned the command of the flotilla on
Lake Erie, the British were undisputed masters of the lake, while
his fleet was to be, in part, made out of the trees in the forest.
By indefatigable exertion he got nine vessels, carrying fifty-four
guns, ready for action, when the British fleet of six vessels and
sixty-three guns bore down upon his little squadron.

[Footnote: Perry had never seen a naval battle, while Captain
Barclay, the British commander, was one of Nelson's veterans, and
had lost an arm in the service.]

Perry's flag-ship, the Lawrence, engaged two of the heaviest
vessels of the enemy, and fought them till but eight of his men
were left. He helped these to fire the last gun, and then leaping
into a boat bore his flag to the Niagara. He had to pass within
pistol-shot of the British, who turned their guns directly upon
him; and though he was a fair mark for every shot, he escaped
without injury. Breaking through the enemy's line, and firing right
and left, within fifteen minutes after he mounted the deck of the
Niagara the victory was won. Perry at once wrote to General
Harrison, "_We have met the enemy, and they are ours._" This
laconic despatch produced intense excitement throughout the
country. Upon the result of this battle depended, as we shall see,
important issues.

[Footnote: From its mast-head floated a blue pennant, bearing the
words of the dying Lawrence, "Don't give up the ship." (See p. 166)]

BATTLE OF THE THAMES.--Proctor and Tecumseh were at Maiden with
their motley array of British and Indians, two thousand strong,
waiting to lay waste the frontier. Harrison, at Sandusky Bay, was
nearly ready to invade Canada, and at the news of this victory
pushed across the lake. Landing at Maiden, which he found deserted,
Harrison hotly pursued the flying enemy and overtook them on the
_River Thames_ (temz). Having drawn up his troops, he ordered
Colonel Johnson, with his Kentucky horsemen, to charge the English
in front. Dashing through the forest, they broke the enemy's line,
and forming in their rear, prepared to pour in a deadly fire. The
British surrendered, but Proctor escaped by the swiftness of his
horse. Johnson then pushed forward to attack the Indians. In the
heat of the action, a bullet, said to have been fired by Johnson
himself, struck Tecumseh. With his death the savages lost all hope,
and fled in confusion.

_Effect._--This victory, with Perry's, relieved Michigan, gave
control of Lake Erie, and virtually decided the war. General
Harrison returned amid the plaudits of the nation.

NAVAL BATTLES.--The American navy achieved some brilliant successes
during the year, but was not uniformly victorious.

_Chesapeake and Shannon_.--Captain Lawrence, of the Hornet,
having captured the British brig Peacock, on his return was placed
in command of the Chesapeake, the ill-starred frigate which struck
her flag to the Leopard off the coast of Virginia. While refitting
his vessel at Boston, a challenge was sent him to fight the
Shannon, then lying off the harbor. Lawrence, although part of his
crew were discharged, and the unpaid remainder were almost
mutinous, consulted only his own heroic spirit, and at once put to
sea. The action was brief. A hand-grenade bursting in the
Chesapeake's arm-chest, the enemy took advantage of the confusion,
and boarded the vessel. A scene of carnage ensued. Lawrence,
mortally wounded, was carried below. As he left the deck he
exclaimed, "_Don't give up the ship_." But the feeble crew
were soon overpowered, and the colors hauled down.

WAR WITH THE CREEKS.--Tecumseh had been (1811) among the Alabama
Indians, and had aroused them to take up arms against the
Americans. They accordingly formed a league (1813), and fell upon
_Fort Mimms_, massacring the garrison and the defenceless
women and children. (Map opp. p. 160.) Volunteers flocked in from
all sides to avenge this horrid deed. Under General Jackson they
drove the Indians from one place to another, until they took refuge
on the _Horseshoe Bend_, where they fortified themselves for
the last battle (March 27, 1814). The soldiers, with fixed
bayonets, scaled their breastwork. The Creeks fought with the
energy of despair, but six hundred of their number were killed, and
those who escaped were glad to make peace on any terms.

[Footnote: An event occurred on Jackson's march which illustrates
his iron will. For a long time his soldiers suffered extremely from
famine, and at last they mutinied. General Jackson rode before the
ranks. His left arm, shattered by a ball, was disabled, but in his
right he held a musket. Sternly ordering the men back to their
places, he declared he would shoot the first who advanced. No one
stirred, and soon all returned to their duty.]

RAVAGES ON THE ATLANTIC COAST.--Early in the spring the British
commenced devastating the southern coast. Admiral Cockburn,
especially, disgraced the British navy by conduct worse than that
of Cornwallis in the Revolution. Along the Virginia and Carolina
coast he burned bridges, farm-houses, and villages; robbed the
inhabitants of their crops, stock, and slaves; plundered churches
of their communion services, and murdered the sick in their beds.

[Footnote: New England was spared because of a belief that the
northern States were unfriendly to the war and would yet return to
their allegiance to Great Britain.]

[Illustration: MILLER AT LUNDY'S LANE]


Battle of Lundy's Lane (July 25).--The American army, under General
Brown, crossed the Niagara River once more, and for the last time
invaded Canada. Fort Erie having been taken, General Winfield
Scott, leading the advance, attacked the British at _Chippewa_
(July 5), and gained a brilliant victory. A second engagement was
fought at _Lundy's Lane_, opposite Niagara Falls. (Map opp. p.
160.) Here, within sound of that mighty cataract, occurred one of
the bloodiest battles of the war. General Scott had only one
thousand men, but he maintained the unequal contest until dark. A
battery, located on a height, was the key to the British position.
Calling Colonel Miller to his side, General Brown asked him if he
could take it. "I'll try, sir," was the fearless reply. Heading his
regiment, he steadily marched up the height and secured the coveted
position. Three times the British rallied for its re-capture, but
as many times were hurled back. At midnight they retired from the
field. This victory, though glorious to the American army, was
barren of direct results.

BATTLE OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN (September ll).--All but fifteen hundred
of the troops at Plattsburg had gone to reinforce General Brown.
Prevost, the commander of the British army in Canada, learning this
fact, took twelve thousand veteran soldiers, who had served under
Wellington, and marched against that place. As he advanced to the
attack, the British fleet on Lake Champlain assailed the American
squadron under Commodore McDonough.

[Footnote: One of his vessels he had built in twenty days, from
trees growing on the bank of the lake.]

The attacking squadron was nearly annihilated. The little army in
Plattsburg, by their vigorous defence, prevented Prevost from
crossing the Saranac River. When he found that his ships were lost,
he fled precipitately, leaving his sick and wounded, and large
quantities of military stores.

RAVAGES ON THE ATLANTIC COAST.--The British blockade extended this
year to the north. Commerce was so completely destroyed that the
lamps in the light-houses were extinguished as being of use only to
the English. Several towns in Maine were captured. Stonington,
Conn., was bombarded. Cockburn continued his depredations along the
Chesapeake. General Ross marched to Washington (Aug. 24) and burned
the capitol, the Congressional library, and other public buildings
and records, with private dwellings and storehouses. He then sailed
around by sea to attack Baltimore. The army having disembarked
below the city (Sept. 12), moved against it by land, while the
fleet bombarded Fort McHenry from the river. The troops, however,
met with a determined resistance, and, as the fleet had made no
impression on the fort, soon retired to their ships.

[Footnote: While the British troops were marching toward Baltimore,
General Ross rode forward with a part of his staff, to reconnoitre.
Two mechanics, who were in a tree watching their advance, fired
upon them, and Ross fell mortally wounded. The two patriots were
instantly shot.]

[Footnote: During the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis S. Key.
an American detained on board of an English vessel, wrote the
national song, "The Star Spangled Banner."]

The greatest excitement was produced by these events. Every seaport
was fortified; the militia were organized, and citizens of all
ranks labored with their own hands in throwing up defences. Bitter
reproaches were cast upon the administration because of its mode of
conducting the war. Delegates from New England States met at
Hartford (December 15) to discuss this subject. The meeting was
branded with odium by the friends of the administration, and to be
called a "Hartford Convention Federalist" was long a term of

PEACE, as afterward appeared, was made even before the convention
adjourned. The treaty was signed at Ghent, December 24. Before,
however, the news had reached this country, a terrible, and, as it
proved, unnecessary battle had been fought in the South.

BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS (January 8, 1815).--A powerful fleet and a
force of twelve thousand men, under General Pakenham, undertook the
capture of New Orleans. General Jackson, anticipating this attempt,
had thrown up intrenchments several miles below the city. The
British advanced steadily, in solid columns, heedless of the
artillery fire which swept their ranks, until they came within
range of the Kentucky and Tennessee riflemen, when they wavered.
Their officers rallied them again and again. General Pakenham fell
in the arms of the same officer who had caught General Ross as he
fell at Baltimore.

[Footnote: Jackson at first made his intrenchments in part of
cotton-bales, but a red-hot cannon-ball having fired the cotton and
scattered the burning fragments among the barrels of gunpowder, it
was found necessary to remove the cotton entirely. The only defence
of the Americans in this battle was a bank of earth, five feet
high, and a ditch in front.]

[Footnote: The British were tried and disciplined troops, while
very few of the Americans had ever seen fighting. Besides, the
British were nearly double their number. But our men were
accustomed to the use of the rifle, and were the best marksmen in
the world.]

Neither discipline nor bravery could prevail. General Lambert, who
succeeded to the command, drew off his men in the night, hopelessly
defeated, after a loss of over two thousand; while the American
loss was but seven killed and six wounded.


RESULTS OF THE WAR.--The treaty left the question of impressment
unsettled, yet it was tacitly understood, and was never revived.
The national debt was $127,000,000, but within twenty years it was
paid from the ordinary revenue. The United States had secured the
respect of European nations, since our navy had dared to meet, and
often successfully, the greatest maritime power in the world. The
impossibility of any foreign ruler gaining a permanent foothold on
our territory was shown. The fruitless invasion of Canada by the
militia, compared with the brave defence of their own territory by
the same men, proved that the strength of the United States
consisted in defensive warfare. Extensive manufactories were
established to supply the place of the English goods cut off by the
blockade. This branch of industry continued to thrive after peace,
though for a time depressed by the quantity of English goods thrown
on the market. The immediate evils of the war were apparent: trade
ruined, commerce gone, no specie to be seen, and a general
depression. Yet the wonderful resources of the country were shown
by the rapidity with which it entered upon a new career of

[Footnote: The Algerines had taken advantage of the war with
England to renew their depredations on American commerce. Decatur,
in May, 1815, was sent with a squadron to right matters in that
quarter. Proceeding to Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, he obtained the
liberation of American prisoners, and full indemnity for all
losses, with pledges for the future. The United States was the
first nation effectually to resist the demands of the Barbary
pirates for tribute.]

POLITICAL PARTIES.--When Madison's term of office expired, the
federalist party had been broken up by its opposition to the war.
James Monroe, the Presidential candidate of the republican party,
was almost unanimously elected. He was generally beloved, and all
parties united in his support.


Monroe's administration was one of general prosperity. After the
ravages of war, the attention of all was turned to the development
of the internal resources of the country and to the building up of
its industries.

[Footnote: James Monroe was born 1758; died 1831. As a soldier
under General Washington, he bore a brave record, and especially
distinguished himself in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and
Monmouth. Afterward, he studied law, and entered political life.
Having been sent by Washington as Minister to France, he showed
such marked sympathy with that country as to displease the
President and his cabinet, who were just concluding a treaty with
England, and wished to preserve a strictly neutral policy; he was
therefore recalled. Under Jefferson, who was his warm friend, he
was again sent to France (1803), when he secured the purchase of
Louisiana. He is said to have always taken particular pride in this
transaction, regarding his part in it as among the most important
of his public services. Soon after his inauguration as President,
he visited all the military posts in the north and east, with a
view to a thorough acquaintance with the capabilities of the
country in the event of future hostilities. This tour was a great
success. He wore a blue military coat of homespun, light--colored
breeches, and a cocked hat, being the undress uniform of a
Revolutionary officer. The nation was thus reminded of his former
military services. This, with his plain and unassuming manners,
completely won the hearts of the people, and brought an
overwhelming majority to the support of the administration. Monroe
was a man more prudent than brilliant, who acted with a single eye
to the welfare of his country. Jefferson said of him: "If his soul
were turned inside out, not a spot would be found on it." Like that
loved friend, he died "poor in money, but rich in honor;" and like
him also, he passed away on the anniversary of the independence of
the country he had served so faithfully.]


DOMESTIC AFFAIRS. _The Missouri Compromise_.--When the admission of
Missouri as a State was proposed, a violent discussion arose as to
whether it should be free or slave. Through the efforts of Henry Clay,
it was admitted as a slave state (1821), under the compromise that
slavery should be prohibited in all other territories west of the
Mississippi and north of parallel 36 degrees 30 minutes--the southern
boundary of Missouri.

[Footnote: The question of slavery was already one of vast
importance. At first slaves were owned in the northern as well as
the southern States. But at the North, slave labor was
unprofitable, and it had gradually died out; while at the South it
was a success, and hence had steadily increased. In 1793, Eli
Whitney, of Connecticut, invented the cotton-gin, a machine for
cleaning cotton from the seed, an operation before performed by
hand, and very expensive. (Read Barnes's Pop. Hist, of the U. S., p
346.) This gave a new impulse to cotton-raising. Sugar and tobacco,
also great staples of the South, were cultivated exclusively by
slave labor.]

_La Fayette's Visit_ to this country (1824) as "the nation's
guest" was a joyous event. He traveled through each of the
twenty-four States, and was everywhere welcomed with delight. His
visit to the tomb of Washington was full of affectionate
remembrance. He was carried home in a national vessel, the
Brandywine, named in honor of the battle in which La Fayette first
drew his sword in behalf of the colonies.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_Florida_.--By a treaty (1819), Spain now ceded
Florida to the United States. (See p. 146.)

_Monroe Doctrine_.--In one of President Monroe's messages he
advocated a principle since famous as the _Monroe Doctrine_.
He declared that any attempt by a European nation to gain dominion
in America would be considered by the United States as an
unfriendly act.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--Divisions now became apparent in the great
party which had twice so triumphantly elected Monroe as President.
The whig party, as it came to be called in Jackson's time, was
forming in opposition to the republican--thenceforth known as the
democratic party. The whigs were in favor of a protective tariff,
and a general system of internal improvements; the democrats
opposed these. No one of the four candidates obtaining a majority
of votes, the election went to the House of Representatives, where
John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, was chosen.

[Footnote: John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay were the champions of
the whigs; Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun, of the democrats. In
1834, the democrats began to be called "Locofocos," because, at a
meeting in Tammany Hall, the lights having been put out, were
relighted with locofoco matches, which several, expecting such an
event, had carried in their pockets.]

[Footnote: A _protective tariff_ is a duty imposed on imported goods
for the purpose of encouraging their manufacture at home. By _internal
improvements_ are meant the improving of the navigation of rivers, the
building of bridges and railroads, the dredging of harbors, etc.]


[Footnote: John Quincy Adams was born in Massachusetts, 1767; died
1848. He was a man of learning, of blameless reputation and
unquestioned patriotism, yet as a President he was hardly more
successful than his father. This was, doubtless, owing greatly to
the fierce opposition which assailed him from the friends of
disappointed candidates, who at once combined to weaken his
measures and prevent his re-election. Their candidate was Andrew
Jackson, a man whose dashing boldness, energy, and decision
attracted the popular masses, and hid the more quiet virtues of
Adams. To add to his perplexities, a majority of the House, and
nearly one-half of the Senate, favored the new party, his own
Vice-President, John C. Calhoun, being the candidate of the
opposition, and of course committed to it. To stem such a tide was
a hopeless effort. In two years Adams was returned to Congress,
where he remained until his death, over sixteen years afterward.
Ten years of public service were thus rendered after he had passed
his "threescore years and ten," and so great was his ability in
debate at this extreme age, that he was called "the old man
eloquent." Like his father, he was a wonderful worker, and his mind
was a complete storehouse of facts. He lived economically, and left
a large estate. He was the congressional advocate of anti-slavery,
and a bitter opponent of secret societies. His fame increased with
his age, and he died a trusted and revered champion of popular
rights. He was seized with paralysis while occupying his seat in
Congress, after which he lingered two days in partial
unconsciousness. His last words were--"This is the last of earth; I
am content."]

(SIXTH PRESIDENT: 1825-1829)


This was a period of great national prosperity. During this term
the first railroad in the United States was completed, and the Erie
Canal opened. The debt was fast diminishing, and there was a
surplus of $5,000,000 in the treasury. A protective tariff, known
as the "American System," reached its height. It was popular at the
east, but distasteful to the south.

[Footnote: The southern States, devoted to agricultural pursuits,
desired to have foreign goods brought to them as cheaply as
possible; while the eastern States, engaged in manufactures, wished
to have foreign competition shut off by heavy duties.]

Adams was a candidate for re-election, but Andrew Jackson, the hero
of New Orleans, and the democratic nominee, was chosen. The
principle of a protective tariff was thus rejected by the people.


[Footnote: Andrew Jackson was born 1767; died 1845. He was of
Scotch-Irish descent. His father died before he was born, leaving
his mother very poor. As a boy, Andrew was brave and impetuous,
passionately fond of athletic sports, but not at all addicted to
books. His life was crowded with excitement and adventure. At
fourteen, being captured by the British, he was ordered to clean
the commander's boots. Showing the true American spirit in his
refusal, he was sent to prison with a wound on head and arm. Here
he contracted the smallpox, which kept him ill for several months.
Soon after his mother had effected his exchange, she died of
ship-fever while caring for the imprisoned Americans at Charleston.
Left destitute, young Jackson tried various employments, but
finally settled down to the law, and in 1796 was elected to
Congress. His imperious temper and inflexible will supplied him
with frequent quarrels. He first distinguished himself as a
military officer in the war against the Creek Indians. His dashing
successes in the war of 1812 completed his reputation, and
ultimately won him the Presidency. His nomination was at first
received in many States with ridicule, as, whatever might be his
military prowess, neither his temper nor his ability recommended
him as a statesman. His re-election, however, proved his popular
success as President. His chief intellectual gifts were energy and
intuitive judgment. He was thoroughly honest, intensely
warm-hearted, and had an instinctive horror of debt. His moral
courage was as great as his physical, and his patriotism was
undoubted. He died at the "Hermitage," his home near Nashville,
Tennessee.--Jackson and Adams were born the same year, yet how
different was their childhood. One born to luxury and travel, a
student from his earliest years, and brilliantly educated; the
other born in poverty, of limited education, and forced to provide
for himself. Yet they were destined twice to compete with each
other for the highest place in the nation. Adams, the first time
barely successful, was unfortunate in his administration; Jackson,
triumphing the second, was brilliant in his Presidential career.]


President Jackson commenced his administration with an inflexible
honesty that delighted all, but with a sturdiness of purpose that
amazed both friends and foes. He surrounded himself at once by his
political friends, thus establishing the now popular principle of
"rotation in office."

[Footnote: "During the first year of his administration, there were
nearly seven hundred removals from office, not including
subordinate clerks. During the forty years preceding, there had
been but sixty-four."]

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_Nullification_.--South Carolina (1832)
passed a Nullification ordinance declaring the tariff law "null and
void," and that the State would secede from the Union if force
should be employed to collect any revenue at Charleston. President
Jackson acted with his accustomed promptness. He issued a
proclamation announcing his determination to execute the laws, and
ordered troops, under General Scott, to Charleston.

[Footnote: John C. Calhoun and Robert Y. Hayne were the prominent
advocates of the doctrine of "State rights," which declared that a
State could set aside an act of Congress. During this struggle
occurred the memorable debate between Webster and Hayne, in which
the former, opposing secession, pronounced those words familiar to
every school-boy, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and
inseparable." Calhoun's public life extended over forty years. He
was one of the most celebrated statesmen of his time. As a speaker
he was noted for forcible logic, clear demonstration, and earnest
manner. He rejected ornament, and rarely used illustration.
Webster, his political antagonist, said of him, "He had the
indisputable basis of all high character, unspotted integrity, and
honor unimpeached. Nothing grovelling, low, or meanly selfish came
near his head or his heart."]

In the mean time Henry Clay's celebrated "Compromise Bill" was
adopted by the Senate. This measure offering a gradual reduction of
the tariff, was accepted by both sides and quiet restored.

[Footnote: Alexander H. Stephens says: "To do this, Clay had to
break from his old political friends, while he was offering up the
darling system of his heart on the altar of his country. No one can
deny that he was a patriot--every inch of him. When he was
importuned not to take the course he did, and assured that it would
lessen his chances for the Presidency, he nobly replied, 'I would
rather be right than President'--a sentiment worthy to be the motto
of every young patriot in our land."]

[Illustration: BANK OF THE UNITED STATES (now the Custom House).]

_Bank of the United States_.--During his first term, Jackson
vetoed a bill renewing the charter of the United States Bank. After
his re-election by an overwhelming majority, considering his policy
sustained by the people, he ordered (1833) the public money to be
removed from its vaults. The bank thereupon contracted its loans,
money became scarce, and people being unable to pay their debts,
commercial distress ensued. Jackson's measure excited violent
clamor, but he was sustained by the democratic majority in the
House of Representatives.

_Speculations_.--When the public money, which had been withdrawn from
the Bank of the United States, was deposited in the local banks, it
became easy to borrow money. Speculation extended to every branch of
trade but especially to western lands. New cities were laid out in the
wilderness. Fabulous prices were charged for building lots, which
existed only on paper. Scarcely a man could be found who had not his
pet project for realizing a fortune. The bitter fruits of these hot-
house schemes were gathered in Van Buren's time.

[Illustration: Andrew Jackson]

_Indian Troubles_. 1. broke out in the Northwest Territory (1832). The
Sacs and Foxes had some time before sold their lands to the United
States, but when the settlers came to take possession, the Indians
refused to leave. After some skirmishes they were driven off, and
their leader, the famous Black Hawk, was captured. 2. _THE FLORIDA
WAR_ (1835) with the Seminoles grew out of an attempt to remove them,
in accordance with a treaty, to lands west of the Mississippi.
Osceola, the chief of the Seminoles, was so defiant, that General
Thompson, the government agent, put him in irons. Dissembling his
wrath, Osceola consented to the treaty. But no sooner was he released
than, burning with indignation, he plotted a general massacre of the
whites. General Thompson was shot and scalped while sitting at dinner,
under the very guns ol Fort King. The same day Major Dade, with over
one hundred men, was waylaid near the _Wahoo Swamp_. All but four were
killed, and these afterward died of their wounds.

[Footnote: Osceola, in October, 1837, visited the camp of General
Jessup, under a flag of truce. He was there seized and sent to Fort
Moultrie, where he died the following year.]

After several battles the Indians retreated to the everglades of
southern Florida, in whose tangled swamps they hoped to find a safe
retreat. They were, however, pursued into their hiding-places by
Colonel Taylor, and beaten in a hard-fought battle (Okechobee, Dec.
25, 1837), but were not fully subdued until 1842.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_France._--The French government had promised to pay
$5,000,000 for damages to our commerce during Napoleon's wars. This
agreement not being kept, Jackson urged Congress to make reprisals on
French ships. The mediation of England secured the payment of the debt
by France, and thus averted the threatened war.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--The democratic candidate, Martin Van Buren, was
chosen President. The people thus supported the policy of
Jackson--no United States Bank and no Protective Tariff. General
Harrison was the whig candidate.

[Footnote: No Vice-President being chosen by the people, Colonel R.
M. Johnson was selected by the Senate. ]


[Footnote: Martin Van Buren was born 1782; died 1862. He early took
an interest in politics, and in 1818 started a new organization of
the democratic party of New York, his native State, which had the
power for over twenty years. In 1831 he was appointed minister to
England, whither he went in September, but when the nomination came
before the Senate in December, it was rejected, on the ground that
he had sided with England against the United States, on certain
matters, and had carried party contests and their results into
foreign negotiations. His party regarded this as extreme political
persecution, and the next year elected him to the Vice-Presidency.
He thus became the head of the Senate which a few months before
condemned him, and where he now performed his duties with "dignity,
courtesy, and impartiality." ]

(EIGHTH PRESIDENT: 1837-1841.)

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_Crisis of_ 1837.--The financial storm
which had been gathering through the preceding administration, now
burst with terrible fury. The banks contracted their circulation.
Business men could not pay their debts. Failures were every-day
occurrences, and the losses in New York city alone, during March
and April, exceeded $100,000,000. Property of all kinds declined in
value. Eight of the States failed, wholly or in part. Even the
United States government could not pay its debts. Consternation
seized upon all classes. Confidence was destroyed, and trade stood

[Footnote: As a President, Van Buren was the subject of much
partisan censure. The country was passing through a peculiar
crisis, and his was a difficult position to fill with satisfaction
to all. That he pleased his own party is proved from the fact of
his re-nomination in 1840 against Harrison. In 1848 he became the
candidate of the "free democracy," a new party advocating
anti-slavery principles. After this he retired to his estate in
Kinderhook, N. Y, where he died.]

[Footnote: The direct causes of this were (1) the specie circular,
which was issued by Jackson in 1836, just at the close of his last
term, directing that payments for public lands should be made in
gold and silver. The gold and silver was soon gathered into the
United States treasury. (2) The surplus public money, amounting to
about $28,000,000, which was ordered by Congress to be withdrawn
from the local banks and distributed among the States. The banks
could not meet the demand. (3) During the season of high prices and
speculation, when fortunes were easily made, there had been heavy
importations of European goods, which had to be paid for in gold
and silver. Thus the country was drained of its specie. (4) A
terrible fire in the city of New York on the night of Dec. 16,
1835, which had burned 600 valuable stores, and property to the
amount of $18,000,000.]

[Footnote: At the present time the public money is kept in the
United States treasury at Washington, and in sub-treasuries. This
was Van Buren's favorite idea, and only adopted by Congress at the
close of his term. It was called the Sub-Treasury Bill, and was
used as a great argument againbt Van Buren's re-election. It was
repealed during Tyler's administration, but re-enacted under Polk.]


Foreign Affairs.-_The "Patriot War" _(1837-8).--The Canadian
rebellion against England, at this time, stirred the sympathies of
the American people. Meetings were held, volunteers offered, and
arms contributed. The President issued a proclamation refusing the
protection of the United States government to any who should aid
the Canadians, and sent General Scott to the frontier to preserve
the peace.

[Footnote: A body of American sympathizers having taken possession
of Navy Island in Niagara River, had hired a steamer, called the
Caroline, to convey their provisions and war materials. On the
night of December 29, 1837, a party of British troops attempted to
seize this vessel at Schlosser. A desperate fight ensued; but the
ship was, at last, set on fire and left to drift over the Falls.
This event caused great excitement at the time.]

_The Northeast Boundary_ between Maine and New Bruns--wick had
never been settled. The people of that region threatened to take up
arms to support their respective claims. For some time there was
great peril of a war with England. During Tyler's administration
the difficulty was adjusted by what is known as the Ashburton
treaty (1842), which was negotiated between the United States and
Great Britain; Daniel Webster and Lord Ashburton acting as

POLITICAL PARTIES.--The financial difficulties caused a change in
political feeling, and for the time weakened the confidence of the
people in the wisdom of the democratic policy. Van Buren failed of
a re-election, and General Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe, the
whig nominee, was chosen President by an immense majority.

* * * * *


[Footnote: William Henry Harrison was born in 1773; died 1841 He
distinguished himself during the war of 1812, especially in the
battle of the Thames. His military reputation made him available as
a Presidential candidate. His character was unimpeachable, and the
chief slur cast upon him by his opponent was that he had lived in a
"log cabin" with nothing to drink but "hard cider." His friends
turned this to good account. The campaign was noted for immense
mass-meetings, long processions, song-singing, and great
enthusiasm. "Hard cider" became a party watch-word, and "log
cabins" a regular feature in the popular parades. Harrison was
elected by a large majority, and great hopes were entertained of
his administration. Though advanced in years, he gave promise of
endurance. But "he was beset by office-seekers; he was anxious to
gratify the numerous friends and supporters who flocked about him;
he gave himself incessantly to public business; and at the close of
the month he was on a sick-bed." His illness was of eight-days
duration. His last words were, "The principles of the government; I
wish them carried out. I ask nothing more."

John Tyler was born 1790; died 1862. He was in early life a great
admirer of Henry Clay, and is said to have wept with sorrow when
the whigs in convention rejected his favorite candidate for the
Presidency, and selected Harrison. He was nominated Vice-President
by a unanimous vote, and was a great favorite with his party. In
the popular refrain, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too," the people sung
praises to him as heartily as to Harrison himself. The death of
Harrison and the succession of Tyler, was the first instance of the
kind in our history.

Tyler's administration was not successful. He opposed the measures
of his party, and made free use of the veto power. His former
political friends denounced him as a renegade, to which he replied
that he had never professed to endorse the measures which he
opposed. The feeling increased in bitterness, and all his cabinet
finally resigned. He was, however, nominated for the next
Presidency by a convention composed chiefly of office-holders; he
accepted, but finding no popular support, soon withdrew. In 1861 he
became the presiding officer of the peace convention in Washington.
All efforts at reconciliation proving futile, he renounced his
allegiance to the United States and followed the Confederate
fortunes. He died in Richmond where he was in attendance as a
member of the Confederate Congress.]


General Harrison had scarcely entered upon the duties of his office
and selected his cabinet, when he died. John Tyler, the
Vice-President, in accordance with the Constitution of the United
States, became President. He was elected as a whig, but did not
carry out the favorite measures of his party.

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_United States Bank_.--The whigs,
immediately upon coming into power, passed a bill to establish a
United States Bank, but it was vetoed by Tyler, to the great
disgust of the men who had elected him.

_The Suffrage Difficulties_, commonly known as "Dorr's
Rebellion," grew out of efforts to secure a more liberal
constitution in the State of Rhode Island. The charter granted by
Charles II was still in force. It limited the right of suffrage to
those holding a certain amount of property, and fixed very
unequally the number of deputies in the Assembly from the different
towns. In 1841, a new constitution was adopted, the vote being
taken in mass conventions, and not by the legal voters, according
to the charter. Under this constitution, T. W. Dorr was elected
governor. The old government still went on, treating his election
as illegal. He attempted to seize the State arsenal, but, finding
it held by the militia, gave up the attempt. Dorr was afterward
arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to imprisonment for
life; but was finally pardoned. Meanwhile, a liberal constitution
having been legally adopted, went into operation (1843).

_Anti-Rent Difficulties_ (1844).--The tenants on some of the
old "patroon" estates in New York refused to pay the rent. It was
very light, but was considered illegal. The anti-renters, as they
were called, assumed the disguise of Indians, tarred and feathered
those tenants who paid their rents, and even killed officers who
served warrants upon them. The disturbances were suppressed only by
a military force (1846).

[Footnote: The rent consisted of only "a few bushels of wheat,
three or four fat fowls, and a day's work with horses and wagon,
per year,"]

[Illustration: VIEW OF NAUVOO.]

_The Mormons._--A religious sect called Mormons had settled at
Nauvoo, Ill. (1840). Here they had built a city of several thousand
inhabitants, and laid the foundation of a costly temple. Having
incurred the enmity of the people about them, their leader, Joseph
Smith, was taken from the custody of the authorities, to whom he
had entrusted himself, and killed. A mob bombarded the city for
three days, and finally (September, 1845) drove out the
inhabitants, who fled to Iowa.

[Footnote: Joseph Smith, while living at Palmyra, N. Y., claimed to
have had a supernatural revelation, by which he was directed to a
spot where he found buried a series of golden plates covered with
inscriptions, which he translated by means of two transparent
stones (Urim and Thummim) found with them. The result was the Book
of Mormon, said to be the history of a race favored by God, who
occupied this continent at a remote period of antiquity. The
Mormons accept the Holy Bible as received by all Christian people,
but believe the Book of Mormon to be an additional revelation, and
also that their chief or prophet receives direct inspiration from
God. They practice plural marriage, or polygamy, claiming that the
Scriptures justify, while one of their revelations directly
commands it. After the death of Smith and their expulsion from
Nauvoo, a company under the leadership of Brigham Young crossed the
Rocky Mountains, and settled near Great Salt Lake, in Utah. They
were followed by others of their sect, and, after great sufferings,
succeeded in subduing the barren soil, and establishing a
prosperous colony. They founded Salt Lake City, where they erected
a large temple for worship. Their prophet, Brigham Young, who died
August 19, 1877, is still remembered by his followers with the
greatest reverence.]

Foreign Affairs.-_Annexation of Texas_.-The Texans, under
General Sam. Houston, having won their independence from Mexico,
applied (April, 1844) for admission into the Union. Their petition
was at first rejected by Congress, but being endorsed by the people
in the fall elections, it was accepted before the close of Tyler's

[Footnote: There were two reasons why this measure was warmly
discussed--(1). Mexico claimed Texas, although that country had
maintained its independence for nine years, and had been recognized
by several European nations as well as by the United States.
Besides, Texas claimed the Rio Grande (reo-granday), while Mexico
insisted upon the Nueces (nway-ses) River as the boundary line
between Texas and Mexico. The section of country between these
rivers was therefore disputed territory. Thus the annexation of
Texas would bring on a war with Mexico. (2). Texas held slaves.
Thus, while the South urged its admission, the North as strongly
opposed it.]

_Northwest Boundary_.-The northeast boundary question had
scarcely been settled, when the northwest boundary came into
dispute. It was settled during Polk's administration, by
compromise, fixing the boundary line at 49 degrees instead of 54
degrees 40 minutes as claimed by the United States.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--The question of the annexation of Texas went
before the people for their decision. The democrats, who favored
its admission, nominated James K. Polk, who, after a close contest,
was elected President. The whigs, who opposed its admission, had
nominated Henry Clay.

[Footnote: The announcement of Polk's nomination was the first news
ever sent by magnetic telegraph. It was transmitted from Baltimore
to Washington, May 29 1844 over a line built with $30,000
appropriated by Congress to test Professor Morse's invention This
was the grandest event of this administration and it had largely
influenced the civilization and prosperity of the country. Thus the
steamboat and the magnetic telegraph were the first fruits of
American liberty and industry (Read Barnes's Popular History of the
United States pp. 360 and 442)]


[Footnote: Henry Clay was a man whom the nation loved, but signally
failed to honor. Yet his fame and reputation remain far above any
distinction which mere office can give, and unite with them an
affection which stands the test of time. Respected by his opponents
he was almost idolized by his friends. In this he somewhat
resembled Jefferson, but, unlike him, he had not in his early years
the advantages of a liberal education. His father, a Baptist
minister of very limited means, died when Henry was five years old
and at fifteen he was left to support himself. Meantime he had
received what little tuition he had, in a log-cabin school house
from very indifferent teachers. With a rare tact for making
friends, ready talent waiting to be instructed, and a strong
determination seeking opportunities, he soon began to show the
dawnings of the power which afterward distinguished him. He said,
"I owe my success in life to one single fact, namely that at an
early age I commenced, and continued for some years, the practice
of daily reading and speaking the contents of some historical or
scientific book. These off-hand efforts were sometimes made in a
corn field, at others, in the forest, and not unfrequently in some
distant barn, with the horse and ox for my only auditors. It is to
this that I am indebted for the impulses that have shaped and
molded my entire destiny." Rising rapidly by the force of his
genius, he soon made himself felt in his State and in the nation.
He was peculiarly winning in his manners. An eminent and stern
political antagonist once refused an introduction to him expressly
on the ground of a determination not to be magnetized by personal
contact as he "had known other good haters" of Clay to be "United
with this suavity was a wonderful will and an inflexible honor."
His political adversary but personal admirer John C. Breckenridge,
in an oration pronounced at his death, uttered these words--"If I
were to write his epitaph I would inscribe as the highest eulogy on
the stone which shall mark his resting place 'Here lies a man who
was in the public service for fifty years, and never attempted to
deceive his countrymen.'"]


[Footnote: James K. Polk was born 1795; died 1849. He was one of
the most conspicuous opposers of the administration of J. Q. Adams,
and a warm supporter of Jackson. In 1839, having served fourteen
years in Congress, he declined a re-election and was chosen
governor of Tennessee. His Presidential nomination, in connection
with that of George M. Dallas of Pennsylvania, as Vice-President,
had the effect of uniting the democratic party, which had been
disturbed by dissensions between the friends and opponents of
Martin Van Buren. The Mexican war, which was strongly opposed in
many States, the enactment of a tariff based on a revenue principle
instead of a protective one, and the agitation caused by the
"Wilmot proviso" (see p. 190), all conspired to affect his
popularity before the end of his term. He had, however, previously
pledged himself not to be a candidate for re-election. He died
about three months after his retirement from office.]




CAMPAIGN ON THE RIO GRANDE.--General Taylor having been ordered
with his troops into the disputed territory, advanced to the Rio
Grande and built Fort Brown. Returning from Point Isabel, whither
he had gone for supplies, on the plains of _Palo Alto_ (pah-lo
ahl'-to) he met six thousand Mexicans, under General Arista
(ah-rees-tah), drawn up across the road. (Map opp. p. 161.) Though
they outnumbered his little army three to one, he routed them with
a loss of but nine men killed. The next afternoon he met them again
at _Resaca de la Palma_ (ray-sah-kah day lah pahl'-mah),
posted in a deep ravine through which the road ran, flanked by
thickets. Their artillery held Taylor's men in check for a time,
when Captain May, charging with his cavalry in the face of a
murderous fire, captured the guns, and with them their commander,
General La Vega (lah-vay-gah), just in the act of firing a gun. The
infantry now rushed forward and drove the enemy, who fled across
the Rio Grande in utter rout.


--_Capture of Monterey_ (Sept 24).--General Taylor, with about
six thousand men, advanced upon Monterey (mon-tay-ray). This city,
surrounded by mountains and almost impassable ravines, was strongly
fortified, and its streets were barricaded and defended by a
garrison of ten thousand men. A grand assault was made on the city.
To avoid the deadly fire from the windows, roofs, and barricades,
the troops entered the buildings and dug their way through the
stone walls from house to house, or passed from roof to roof. They
came at last within one square of the Grand Plaza, when the city
was surrendered. The garrison was allowed to march out with the
honors of war.


_Battle of Buena Vista_ (bway'-nah vees'-tah) (February 23,
1847).--Santa Anna, the Mexican general, learning that the flower
of Taylor's command had been withdrawn to aid General Scott,
determined to crush the remainder. The little American army took
post at Buena Vista, a narrow mountain pass with hills on one side
and a ravine on the other.

Here they were attacked by Santa Anna with twenty thousand of the
best troops of Mexico. The battle lasted from early morning till
dark. In the final desperate encounter, our infantry being
overwhelmed by numbers, Bragg's artillery was ordered to the
rescue. Without any infantry support he dashed up to within a few
yards of the crowded masses of the enemy. A single discharge made
them waver. "A little more grape, Captain Bragg," shouted Taylor. A
second and a third discharge followed, when the Mexicans broke and
fled in disorder. During the night, Santa Anna drew off his
defeated army.

General Taylor's work was now done. His army was intended only to
hold the country already gained, while General Scott penetrated to
the capital from Vera Cruz (va-rah krooss).

[Footnote: Several anecdotes are told of General Taylor in
connection with this battle. The day before the principal attack,
the Mexicans fired heavily on our line. A Mexican officer, coming
with a message from Santa Anna, found Taylor sitting on his white
horse with one leg over the pommel of his saddle. The officer asked
him "what he was waiting for?" He answered, "For Santa Anna to
surrender." After the officer's return a battery opened on Taylor's
position, but he remained coolly surveying the enemy with his
spy-glass. Some one suggesting that "Whitey" was too conspicuous a
horse for the battle, he replied that "the old fellow had missed
the fun at Monterey, and he should have his share this time." Mr.
Crittenden having gone to Santa Anna's headquarters was told if
General Taylor would surrender, he should be protected. Mr.
Crittenden replied, "General Taylor never surrenders." This became
a favorite motto during the election of 1848. The anecdote told
concerning Capt. Bragg is disputed, but has become historical
(Barnes's Pop. His. U. S., p. 454).]


was directed to take the Spanish provinces of New Mexico and
California. Starting from Fort Leaven worth (June, 1846), a journey
of about a thousand miles brought him to Santa Fe. Unfurling here
the United States flag he continued his march toward California
(map opp. p. 161). On his way, however, he learned from Kit Carson,
the noted hunter, that he was too late. The winter before, Captain
John C. Fremont, with a company of sixty men, had been engaged in
surveying a new route to Oregon. Hearing that the Mexican
commandant intended to expel the American settlers, he went to
their rescue, although he was not aware that war had broken out
between the United States and Mexico. With greatly inferior
numbers, he was victor over the Mexicans in every conflict. By the
help of Commodores Sloat and Stockton, and also General Kearney,
who came in time to aid in the last battle, the entire country was

[Footnote: Colonel Doniphan, with one thousand men, the main body
of General Kearney's command, marched over a thousand miles through
a hostile country, from Santa Fe to Saltillo, having on the way
fought two battles and conquered the province and city of Chihuahua
(che-wah-wah). At the end of their term of service he marched his
men back to New Orleans and discharged them. They had been
enlisted, taken three thousand miles, and disbanded, all in a year.]


CAPTURE OF VERA CRUZ (March 29, 1847).--General Winfield Scott
landed an army, twelve thousand strong, without opposition, and
forthwith drew his siege-lines among the shifting sand-hills and
chaparral thickets about Vera Cruz (map opp. p. 161). After a
fierce bombardment of four days, the city and the strong castle of
San Juan de Ulloa (sahn hoo-ahn' da ool-yo'-ah) were surrendered.

MARCH TO MEXICO.--_Battle of Cerro Gordo_ (April 18).--A week
afterward the army took up its march for the capital. At the
mountain pass of Cerro Gordo, the enemy were strongly fortified. A
road was cut around the base of the mountain through the forest,
and cannon were dragged up the precipice by ropes, to the rear of
the position. Thence a plunging fire was opened simultaneously with
an assault in front. The Mexicans fled in such haste that Santa
Anna only escaped on his wheel-mule, leaving behind him his wooden

The city of Puebla (pweb-lah), next to Mexico in importance,
surrendered without resistance. Here Scott waited three months for

_Battles before Mexico_.--With eleven thousand men the march
was resumed (August 7), and in three days the army reached the
crest of the Cordilleras, where the magnificent valley of Mexico
lay stretched before them. In the midst was the city, surrounded by
fertile plains and cloud-capped mountains. But the way thither was
guarded by thirty thousand men and strong fortifications. Turning
to the south to avoid the strongest points, by a route considered
impassable, the army came before the intrenched camp of
_Contreras_, within fourteen miles of Mexico (Aug. 19). The
next morning this was taken, the troops having moved to their
positions in darkness so intense that, to avoid being separated,
they had to touch each other as they marched. The same day the
height of _Churubusco_ was stormed, numerous batteries were
captured, and the defences laid bare to the causeways leading to
the very gates of the city. An armistice and fruitless negotiations
for peace delayed the advance until General Scott found that the
Mexicans were only improving the time in strengthening their works.
Once more (September 8) our army moved to the assault. The attack
was irresistible. The formidable outworks were taken one by one. At
last the castle of _Chapultepec_ (cha-pool-te-pek), situated
on a high rock commanding the city, was stormed. The next day
(September 14) the army entered the city, and the stars and stripes
waved in triumph over the palace of the Montezumas.

PEACE.--The fall of the capital virtually closed the war. A treaty
was concluded February 2, 1848. The United States gained the vast
territory reaching south to the Gila (ghee-lah), and west to the
Pacific (maps of IVth and VIth Epochs).

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_The Wilmot Proviso_.--Texas, the prize of
the war, became at once the bone of contention. David Wilmot
offered in Congress (August, 1846) a bill forbidding slavery in any
territory which should be acquired. This measure, though lost,
excited violent debate in and out of Congress, and became the great
feature of the fall election.

_Discovery of Gold in California_.--A workman in digging a
mill-race in the Sacramento valley (February, 1848) discovered
shining particles of gold. A further search proved that the soil
for miles around was full of the precious metal. The news flew in
every direction. Emigration began from all parts of America, and
even from Europe and Asia. In eighteen months one hundred thousand
persons had gone from the United States to this El Dorado, where a
fortune was to be picked up in a few days. Thousands made their way
across the desert, amid privations which strewed the route with
skeletons. The bay of San Francisco was soon surrounded by an
extemporized city of shanties and booths. All ordinary employments
were laid aside. Ships were deserted by their crews, who ran to the
mines, sometimes, it is said, headed by their officers. Soon
streets were laid out, houses erected, and from this Babel, as if
by magic, grew up a beautiful city. For a time, lawlessness reigned
supreme. But, driven by the necessity of events, the most
respectable citizens took the law into their own hands, organized
vigilance committees, and administered a rude but prompt justice
which soon restored order.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--Three parties now divided the suffrages of the
people. The whigs nominated General Taylor for President; the
democrats, Lewis Cass; and the free-soilers, who were opposed to
the extension of slavery, Martin Van Buren. The personal popularity
of General Taylor, on account of his many sterling qualities and
his brilliant victories in the Mexican war, made him the favorite
candidate, and he was elected.


* * * * *


[Footnote: Zachary Taylor was born in Virginia in 1784 Soon after
his birth his parents removed to Kentucky. His means of education
were extremely scanty, and until he was twenty-four years of age he
worked on his father's plantation. Madison, who was a relative and
at that time Secretary of State, then secured for him an
appointment in the army as lieutenant. From this he rose by regular
and rapid degrees to a major-generalship. Palo Alto, Resaca de la
Palma, Monterey, and Buena Vista, won him great applause. He was
the hero of a successful war, and the soldiers admiringly called
him "Old Rough and Ready." Many whig leaders violently opposed his
nomination. Daniel Webster called him "an ignorant frontier
colonel." The fact that he was a slaveholder was warmly urged
against him. He knew nothing of civil affairs, and had taken so
little interest in politics that he had not voted in forty years.
His nomination caused a secession from the whigs, resulting in the
formation of the free-soil party; yet he maintained his popularity
as President, and was one of the most esteemed who have filled that
office. He died July 9, 1850, at the Presidential mansion, after an
illness of five days.]


General Taylor, like General Harrison, died soon after his
elevation to the Presidency. Millard Fillmore, Vice-President,
succeeded him.

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--Slavery questions were the great political topic
of this administration. When California applied for admission to
the Union as a free State, all these subjects were brought to a
focus. A hot debate ensued, and for awhile it seemed as if the
Union would be rent asunder. At this terrible crisis Henry Clay,
the "Great Pacificator," came forward, and, with his wonderful
eloquence, urged the necessity of mutual compromise and
forbearance. Daniel Webster warmly seconded this effort at


[Footnote: When Daniel Webster, the great American statesman and
jurist, was fourteen years old, he first enjoyed the privilege of a
few months' schooling at an academy. The man whose eloquence was
afterward to stir the nation, was then so shy that he could not
muster courage to speak before the school. He says, "Many a piece
did I commit and rehearse in my own room, over and over again; yet
when the day came, when my name was called, and I saw all eyes
turned toward me, I could not raise myself from my seat." In other
respects, however, he gave decided promise of his future eminence.
One year after, his father resolved to send him to college--a dream
he had never dared to cherish. "I remember the very hill we were
ascending through deep snow, in a New England sleigh, when my
father made known this purpose to me. I could not speak. How could
he, I thought, with so large a family, and in such narrow
circumstances, think of incurring so great an expense for me? A
warm glow ran all over me, and I laid my head on my father's
shoulder and wept."--Having finished his collegiate education and
entered his profession, he at once rose to eminence. Elected to
Congress, in his maiden speech he "took the House and country by
surprise." By rapid strides he placed himself at the head of
American orators. His speeches are masterpieces, and may well be
the study of every aspirant for distinction. It was a
disappointment to many of Webster's friends, as it was, perhaps, to
himself, that he was never called to the Presidential chair. But,
like Clay, although he might have honored that position, he needed
it not to enhance his renown. His death, which occurred in 1852,
called out, it is said, more orations, discourses, and sermons,
than had any other except that of Washington.]

_The Compromise of 1850_.--The Omnibus Bill, Clay's measure,
was adopted as the best solution of the problem. It proposed (1)
that California should come in as a free State; (2) that the
Territories of Utah and New Mexico should be formed without any
provision concerning slavery; (3) that Texas should be paid $10,
000,000 to give up its claim on the Territory of New Mexico; (4)
that the slave trade should be prohibited in the District of
Columbia, and (5) that a _Fugitive Slave Law_ should be
enacted providing for the return to their owners of slaves escaping
to a free State.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_Invasion of Cuba_.--About six hundred
adventurers, "fillibusters," undertook to effect the annexation of
Cuba to the United States. The attempt ended in utter defeat, and
in the execution, at Havana, of Lopez, the leader.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--The democratic and whig parties both declared
that they stood by the provisions of the Omnibus Bill. The
free-soil party was outspoken against it. Franklin Pierce, the
Presidential nominee of the democratic party, was elected by a
large majority of votes over General Scott, the whig candidate.

* * * * *


[Footnote: Franklin Pierce was born 1804; died 1869. He had barely
attained the requisite legal age when he was elected to the Senate.
He there found such men as Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Thomas H.
Benton, and Silas Wright. Nathaniel Hawthorne says in his biography
of Mr. Pierce: "With his usual tact and exquisite sense of
propriety, he saw that it was not the time for him to step forward
prominently on this highest theatre in the land. He beheld these
great combatants doing battle before the eyes of the nation, and
engrossing its whole regards. There was hardly an avenue to
reputation save what was occupied by one or another of those
gigantic figures." During Mr. Tyler's administration, he resigned.
When the Mexican war broke out, he enlisted as a volunteer, but
soon rose to the office of brigadier-general. He distinguished
himself under General Scott, against whom he afterward successfully
ran for the Presidency, and upon whom, during his administration,
he conferred the title of lieutenant-general. Pierce opposed
anti-slavery measures in every shape. He, however, espoused the
national cause at the opening of the Civil War.]


DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_Kansas-Nebraska Bill_.--The Compromise
Bill of 1850 produced only a lull in the slavery excitement. It
burst out anew when Stephen A. Douglas brought forward (1853) his
famous bill organizing the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and
advocating the doctrine of "squatter sovereignty;" i. e., the right
of the inhabitants of each Territory to decide for themselves
whether the State should come into the Union free or slave. This
bill being a virtual repudiation of the Missouri Compromise,
excited the most intense feeling. It, however, became a law (May,

[Footnote: During the discussion, which was exciting almost beyond
precedent, Mr. Sumner, of Massachusetts, made some severe
reflections upon Senator Butler, of South Carolina. For this he was
assailed by Preston S. Brooks, a nephew of Senator Butler and a
South Carolina representative, and so severely injured that for
three years he could not resume his seat. Mr. Brooks was censured
for this act, but, having resigned his seat, was immediately
returned without opposition.]

[Footnote: The public lands have often threatened the peace of the
nation. (1.) The question of their ownership was one of the
greatest obstacles to the Union of the States. In 1781, New York
was the first to present her western territory to the general
government. Virginia followed her example in 1784, donating tho
great Northwestern Territory--a princely domain, which, if
retained, would have made her the richest of the States; she
reserved only 3,700,000 acres in Ohio, which she subsequently sold
in small tracts to settlers. Massachusetts, in 1785, relinquished
her claim, retaining a proprietary right over large tracts in New
York. Connecticut, in 1786, did the same, and from the sale of her
lands in Ohio laid the foundation of her school fund of $2,000,000.
Georgia and the Carolinas gave up their right to territory from
which have since been carved the States of Tennessee, Mississippi,
and Alabama. (2.) Since these lands became the property of the
general government, a most perplexing question has been, Shall they
be free? Upon it has hinged largely the politics of the country.
The admission of Missouri, Texas, California, and Kansas has each
been the signal for the reopening of this vexed question.--Though
the public lands have been the cause of intestine strife, they have
been a great source of national wealth. Their sale has brought
large sums into the treasury. They have been given to settlers as a
stimulus to emigration. They have been granted to endow colleges
and schools, to build railroads, to reward the soldiers and support
their widows and orphans. In every township to be incorporated
hereafter in the great west, a portion of the land must be reserved
for school purposes. By the Homestead Act of 1862, any citizen may
secure one hundred and sixty acres.]

_"Border Warfare." _--The struggle was now taken from Congress
to Kansas. A bitter contest arose between the pro-slavery and
anti-slavery men--the former anxious to secure the State for
slavery; the latter, for freedom. Each party sent bodies of armed
emigrants to the Territory and civil war ensued. Bands of "armed
men" crossed over from Missouri, took possession of the polls, and
controlled the elections. Houses were attacked and pillaged, and
men murdered in cold blood. For several years Kansas was a scene of
lawless violence.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_Mexico._--Owing to the inaccuracy of the
map used in the treaty between the United States and Mexico, a
dispute arose with regard to the boundary line. General Gadsden
negotiated a settlement whereby Mexico was paid $10,000,000, and
the United States secured the region (map, Epoch VI) known as the
"Gadsden purchase."

_Japan._--Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan (1854) excited
great attention. He negotiated a treaty which gave to the merchants
of the United States two ports of entry in that exclusive country.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--The compromises of 1820 and 1850 being now
abolished, the slave question became the turning-point of the
election. New party lines were drawn to meet this issue. The whig
party ceased to exist. The republican party, absorbing all who
opposed the extension of slavery, nominated John C. Fremont, who
received the vote of eleven States. The democratic party, retaining
its organization, nominated James Buchanan, who was elected

[Footnote: A third party, called the Know-Nothing or American
party, was organized to resist the influence of foreigners. It
carried the vote of only one State, Maryland. Its motto was
"America for Americans." The party aroused bitter feelings, but had
a transient existence. (Read list of Political Parties, Barnes's
Pop. Hist., p. 654.)]


[Footnote: James Buchanan was born 1791; died 1868. The
"bachelor-President" was sixty-six years old when he was called to
the executive chair. He had just returned to his native country,
after an absence of four years as minister to England. Previously
to that he had been well known in public life, having been
Representative, Senator, and Secretary of State. As Senator in
Jackson's time, he heartily supported his administration. With Van
Buren, he warmly advocated the idea of an independent treasury (see
p. 179), against the opposition of Clay, Webster, and others. Under
Tyler, he was urgently in favor of the annexation of Texas, thus
again coming into conflict with Clay and Webster. He cordially
agreed with them, however, in the compromise of 1850 (see p. 193),
and urged the people to adopt it. Much was hoped from his election,
as he avowed the object of his administration to be "to destroy any
sectional party, whether North or South, and to restore, if
possible, that national fraternal feeling between the different
States that had existed during the early days of the Republic." But
popular passion and sectional jealousy were too strong to yield to
pleasant persuasion. We shall see in the text how the heated nation
was drawn into the horrors of civil war. When Mr. Buchanan's
administration closed, the fearful conflict was close at hand. He
retired to his estate in Pennsylvania, where he died.]



_Dred Scott_

[Footnote: Scott and his wife were slaves belonging to a surgeon in
the United States army. They were taken into and resided in
Illinois and at Fort Snelling, in territory from which, by the
ordinance of 1787, slavery was forever excluded. Afterward they
were carried into Missouri, where they and their children were held
as slaves. They claimed freedom on the ground that, by the act of
their master, they had been taken into free territory. The decision
of the court against their claims created an intense excitement
throughout the country.]

_Decision_.--The Supreme Court of the United States (1857),
through Chief-Justice Taney, declared that slave-owners might take
their slaves into any State in the Union without forfeiting
authority over them. At the North, this was considered as removing
the last barrier to the extension of slavery, and as changing it
from a local to a national institution; at the South, only as a
right guaranteed them by the Constitution, whereby they should be
protected in the possession of their property in every State.

_The Fugitive Slave Law_ had intensified the already heated
controversy, and the subject of slavery now absorbed all others.
The provision which commanded every good citizen to aid in the
arrest of fugitives was especially obnoxious to the North.
Disturbances arose whenever attempts were made to restore runaways
to their masters. Several of the northern States passed "Personal
Liberty" bills, securing to fugitive slaves, when arrested, the
right of trial by jury.

_John Brown_, a man who had brooded over the exciting scenes
through which he had passed in Kansas until he thought himself
called upon to take the law into his own hands, seized upon the
United States Arsenal at Harper's Ferry (1859), and proclaimed
freedom to the slaves in the vicinity. His feeble band was soon
overpowered by United States troops, and Brown himself hanged as a
traitor. Though it was soon known that in his wild design he had
asked counsel of no one, yet at the time the Southern feeling was
aroused to frenzy, his act being looked upon as significant of the
sentiments of the North.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--The fall elections again turned on the question
of slavery. The democratic party divided, and made two nominations
for President: Stephen A. Douglas, who favored squatter
sovereignty, and John C. Breckinridge, who claimed that slavery
could be carried into any territory. The republican party nominated
Abraham Lincoln, who held that while slavery must be protected
where it was, it ought not to be carried into free territory.
Lincoln was elected.

[Footnote: The "Union" party put up John Bell, of Tennessee. Their
motto was, "The Union, the Constitution, and the Enforcement of the

[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.]

THE SOUTH SECEDES.--Throughout the fall campaign the Southern
leaders had threatened to secede if Mr. Lincoln were elected.

[Footnote: This was not a sudden movement on their part. The
sectional difference between the North and the South had its source
in the difference of climate, which greatly modified the character
and habits of the people; also, while the agricultural pursuits and
staple products of the South made slave labor profitable, the
mechanical pursuits and the more varied products of the North made
it unprofitable. These antagonisms, settled first by the Missouri
Compromise of 1820, reopened by the tariff of 1828, bursting forth
in the nullification of 1832, pacified by Clay's compromise tariff,
increased through the annexation of Texas and the consequent war
with Mexico, irritated by the Wilmot Proviso, lulled for a time by
the compromise of 1850, awakened anew by the "squatter sovereignty"
policy of 1853, roused to fury by the agitation in Kansas, spread
broadcast by the Dred Scott decision, the attempted execution of
the Fugitive Slave Law and the John Brown raid, had now reached a
point where war was the only remedy. The election of Lincoln was
the pivot on which the result turned. The cause ran back through
thirty years of controversy to the difference in climate, in
occupation, and in the habit of life and thought. Strange to say,
each section misunderstood the other. The Southern people believed
the North to be so engrossed in money-making and so enfeebled by
luxury that it could send to the field only mercenary soldiers, who
would easily be beaten by the patriotic Southerners. They said,
"Cotton is King;" and believed that England and France were so
dependent upon them for that staple, that their republic would be
recognized and defended by those European powers. On the other
hand, the Northern people did not believe that the South would dare
to fight for slavery when it had 4,000,000 slaves exposed to the
chances of war. They thought it to be all bluster, and hence paid
little heed to the threat of secession or of war. Both sides sadly
learned their mistake, only too late.]

They now declared that it was time to leave a government which had
fallen into the hands of their avowed enemies. Since the time of
Calhoun they had been firm believers in the doctrine of State
rights, which taught that a State could leave the Union whenever it
pleased. In December (1860) South Carolina led off, and soon after
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas passed
ordinances of secession. In February (1861) delegates from these
States met at Montgomery, Ala, and formed a government called the
"Confederate States of America". Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi,
was chosen President, and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia,
Vice-President. United States forts, arsenals, customhouses, and
ships were seized by the States in which they were situated.
Buchanan did nothing to prevent the catastrophe. General Scott
urged action, but the regular army was small, and the troops were
widely scattered. The navy had been sent to distant ports. The
Cabinet largely sympathized with the secessionists. Numerous
unsuccessful efforts were made to effect a compromise.

[Illustration: JEFFERSON DAVIS]

It was the general expectation that there would be no war, and the
cry, "No coercion," was general. Yet affairs steadily drifted on
toward war.

[Footnote: Even the New York Tribune declared--"Whenever any
considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go
out, we shall resist all coercive measures to keep them in."]

[Illustration: FORT SUMTER]

FORT SUMTER--All eyes were now turned on Fort Sumter. Here Major
Anderson kept the United States flag flying in Charleston harbor.
He had been stationed in Fort Moultrie (map, p. 280), but fearing
an attack, had crossed over (December 26) to Fort Sumter, a
stronger position. The South Carolinians, looking upon this as a
hostile act, took possession of the remaining forts, commenced
erecting batteries, and prepared to reduce Fort Sumter. Major
Anderson was compelled by his instructions to remain a quiet
spectator of these preparations. The Star of the West, an unarmed
steamer, bearing troops and supplies to the fort, was fired upon
and driven back. The Southern leaders declared that any attempt to
relieve Fort Sumter would be a declaration of war. The government
seemed paralyzed with fear. All now waited for the new President.


The number of States increased during this epoch from thirteen to
thirty-four. The following is the order in which they were

VERMONT, the fourteenth State, and the first under the
Constitution, was admitted to the Union March 4, 1791. It was so
called from its principal range of mountains (_verd_, green,
and _mont_, mountain). Champlain discovered and explored much
of it in 1609. The first settlement was made in 1724, in the
present town of Brattleborough, where Fort Dummer was erected. The
region was claimed by both New Hampshire and New York (see p. 110).
In 1777, the inhabitants declared the "New Hampshire grants" an
independent State, under the title "New Connecticut, alias
Vermont." In 1791, however, New York consented to relinquish her
claim on the payment of $30,000, and Vermont was accordingly
admitted into the Union.

KENTUCKY, the fifteenth State, was admitted to the Union June 1,
1792. The name, "dark and bloody ground," had its origin in the
fierce conflicts which took place between the whites and the
Indians. Daniel Boone, a famous hunter, for two years rambled
through the forests of this region, delighted with its scenery and
the abundance of game. After many thrilling adventures and narrow
escapes from the Indians, he established a fort at Boonesborough,
and removed his family thither in June, 1775. This was the first
permanent settlement in the State, then a part of Virginia, from
which it was not separated till 1790.

TENNESSEE, the sixteenth State, was admitted to the Union June 1,
1796. It was named from the river Tennessee, the "river with the
great bend." It is thought that DeSoto, in his wanderings, visited
the spot where Memphis now stands. The first permanent settlement
in the State was at Fort Loudon, thirty miles from the present site
of Knoxville, in 1756. In 1780, James Robertson crossed the
mountains with a party, and located where Nashville now stands, but
which was then a wilderness. In 1789, North Carolina gave up her
claim on the region, and the next year it was joined with Kentucky
to form an independent territory. It received a distinct
territorial government two years before it became a State.

[Footnote: This was the first permanent English settlement south of
Pennsylvania and west of the Alleghanies.] was at Fort Loudon,
thirty miles from the present site of Knoxville, in 1756. In 1780,
James Robertson crossed the mountains with a party, and located
where Nashville now stands, but which was then a wilderness. In
1789, North Carolina gave up her claim on the region, and the next
year it was joined with Kentucky to form an independent territory.
It received a distinct territorial government two years before it
became a State.

OHIO, the seventeenth State, was admitted to the Union November 29,
1802. It was so called from the river of that name, signifying the
"beautiful river." The first explorations were made by the French,
under LaSalle, about 1680. The first permanent settlement was at
Marietta, in 1788. It was the first State carved out of the great
Northwestern Territory.

[Footnote: This territory was created in 1787, and included all the
public land north of the Ohio. It embraced the present States of
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of
Minnesota. It was a part of New France before the French authority
ceased in 1763. The British held possession for twenty years, when
the country was ceded to the United States (see Map of VIth Epoch,
and p. 146)]

LOUISIANA, the eighteenth State, was admitted to the Union April 8,
1812. The territory was named in honor of Louis XIV, king of
France. The French explored the river Mississippi to the sea in
1682 (see p. 34), but their first settlement was made by Iberville
at Biloxi, near its mouth, in 1699. New Orleans was founded in

[Footnote: The colony was granted to the great Mississippi Company,
organized by John Law, at Paris, for the purpose of settling and
deriving profit from the French possessions in North America. When
this bubble burst, the French crown resumed the country. (See Brief
History of France, p. 176.)]

The territory was ceded to Spain in 1762, but in 1800 was receded
to France. When the United States purchased it (see p. 155),
Louisiana included all the region north and west between the
Mississippi and the Pacific (except those portions then occupied by
Spain: see California) and north to the British possessions. In
1804, this region was divided into two parts--the territory of
Orleans, which included the present State of Louisiana, and the
district of Louisiana, which comprised the remainder. The former
was admitted to the Union as Louisiana, and the name of the latter
changed to Missouri.

INDIANA, the nineteenth State, was admitted to the Union December
11, 1816. The name is derived from the word Indian. The exact date
of the first settlement is undetermined. When Ohio was taken from
the Northwestern Territory, the remainder was called Indiana. It
was reduced to its present limits in 1809, and was the second State
admitted from the Northwestern Territory. After the Indian
difficulties which hindered its early development had subsided, its
growth was very rapid. Between 1810 and 1820, its population
increased five hundred per cent.

MISSISSIPPI, the twentieth State, was admitted to the Union
December 10, 1817. It is named from the Mississippi River, the
"Great Father of Waters." De Soto was the first European who
traversed this region. In 1700, Chevalier de Tonty, with a party of
Canadian French, ascended the river to the Natchez country, where
they selected a site for a fort and called it Rosalie. A settlement
called St. Peters was made in 1703, on the Yazoo. In 1728, the
Indians swept every vestige of civilization from the present limits
of the State. Under the French governors who followed, fierce and
bloody wars were waged with the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw
Indians. In 1763, Louisiana east of the Mississippi, including a
part of what is now Mississippi and Alabama, was ceded to the
British, and became a part of Georgia. The Mississippi Territory
was created in 1798, and lands were afterward added until it
embraced the present States of Mississippi and Alabama. The latter
became a separate Territory in March, 1817.

ILLINOIS, the twenty-first State, was admitted to the Union
December 3, 1818. Its name is derived from its principal river,
signifying "River of men." Its first settlements were made by La

[Footnote: That enterprising traveler, after exploring the Illinois
River, built a small fort which he called Crevecoeur (krave-kur),
and left it in command of the Chevalier de Tonty. Three years
afterward he returned with some Canadians and founded Kaskaskia,
Cahokia, and other towns, which early became flourishing, though
the settlers, in manners and habits, were assimilated to the

After the States of Ohio and Indiana, and the Territory of Michigan
had been taken from the Northwestern Territory, the remainder was
styled the Illinois Territory, and comprised the present States of
Illinois, Wisconsin, and a part of Minnesota. The settlement of
this Territory was greatly impeded by Indian hostilities. The
massacre at Fort Chicago, August 15, 1812, and the Black Hawk war,
are instances of the dangers and trials which beset the pioneer.
The great prosperity of the State dates from the year 1850, when
munificent grants of land were made to the Central Railroad. The
prairie wilderness was rapidly settled, and towns and cities sprang
up as by magic.

ALABAMA, the twenty-second State, was admitted to the Union
December 14, 1819. Its name is of Indian origin, and signifies
"Here we rest." It was originally a part of Georgia. (See
Mississippi.) The fierce contests with the Creek Indians, ended by
Jackson, gave to the State a vast and fertile region. The first
settlement was made by Bienville on Mobile Bay, in 1702. Nine years
afterward, the present site of Mobile was occupied. Mobile was the
original seat of the French colonization in Louisiana, and for many
years the capital. Having been ceded to Great Britain and then to
Spain, in 1813 it was surrendered to General Wilkinson, and has
since remained in the possession of the United States (p. 146).

MAINE, the twenty-third State, was admitted to the Union March 15,
1820. (See p. 60.)

MISSOURI, the twenty-fourth State, was admitted to the Union August
10, 1821. Its name is derived from its principal river, and means
"Muddy water." Its oldest town, St. Genevieve, was founded in 1755.
St. Louis was settled nine years after, but was not incorporated as
a town until 1809; its first newspaper was published in 1808, and
the first steamboat arrived at its wharf in 1817. The District of
Louisiana was organized as Louisiana Territory in 1805, with St.
Louis as its capital. When Louisiana became a State, the name of
the Territory was changed to Missouri.

ARKANSAS, the twenty-fifth State, was admitted to the Union June
15, 1836. It took its name from a now extinct tribe of Indians. It
was discovered and settled by the French under Chevalier de Tonty,
as early as 1685. It followed the fate of the other portions of
Louisiana. On the admission of the State of Missouri, Arkansas was
organized as a Territory, including the present State and a part of
Indian Territory.

MICHIGAN, the twenty-sixth State, was admitted to the Union January
26, 1837. The name is of Indian origin, signifying "Great Lake." It
was early visited by missionaries (see p. 33) and fur traders.
Detroit was founded in 1701 by Cadillac. This region, first a part
of the Northwestern Territory, then of Indiana Territory, was
organized as a separate Territory in 1805. The country north of the
present States of Indiana and Illinois was annexed to Michigan in
1818. The act of admission gave the State its present boundaries.

FLORIDA, the twenty-seventh State, was admitted to the Union March
3, 1845. The Spanish word _florida_, means "blooming" (see p.
27). Its early visitors, Ponce de Leon, De Narvaez, and De Soto,
its first settlement at St. Augustine, its history under the
Spaniards, and the Seminole war, have been incidentally described.
It was organized as a Territory March 3, 1819.

TEXAS, the twenty-eighth State, was admitted to the Union December
27, 1845. It was explored by De Leon and La Salle. The latter,
intending to found a French settlement at the mouth of the
Mississippi, sailed by it unawares, and, landing at Matagorda Bay,
built Fort St. Louis on the Lavaca. The Spaniards afterward
explored and partially settled the country, establishing missions
at various points. These did not prosper, however, and the region
was populated mainly by roving bands of Indians. Civil war had
impoverished the few settlers who were unable to flee from the
country, and Galveston was nearly deserted, when, in 1820, Moses
Austin, a native of Connecticut, obtained from the Spanish
authorities in Mexico a grant of land. Emigration from the United
States was encouraged, and in 1830 there were twenty thousand
Americans in Texas. The jealousy of Mexico being excited, acts of
oppression followed, and in 1835 the Texans were driven to declare
their independence. After a year of severe fighting and alternating
victories, Santa Anna was conquered.

[Footnote: Santa Anna, with four thousand men, having attacked the
Alamo, a fort garrisoned by only one hundred and seventy-two men,
every one of that gallant few died at his post except seven, who
were killed while asking for quarter. Here David Crockett, the
famous hunter, who had volunteered to fight with the Texans for
their liberty, fell, pierced with wounds, but surrounded by the
corpses of those whom he had cut down ere he was overpowered. In
the battle of San Jacinto, Santa Anna, with fifteen hundred men,
was defeated by eight hundred, under General Sam. Houston (See
Barnes's Popular History of the United States, p. 445.)]

The next year (1837) Texas sought admission into the Union. In 1844
the question was revived. The last act of Tyler's administration
was to sign a bill for its admission. This bill was ratified by a
convention of the State, July 5th of the same year.

IOWA, the twenty-ninth State, was admitted to the Union December
28, 1846. Its name is of Indian origin, signifying "Drowsy ones."
Julien Dubuque, a Canadian Frenchman, obtained, in 1788, a large
tract of land, including the present site of Dubuque. He there
built a fort and traded with the Indians till 1810. The first
permanent settlement was made at Burlington in 1833, by emigrants
from Illinois. The same year, Dubuque was founded. This Territory
belonged to the Louisiana tract and partook of its fortunes. It was
successively a part of Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin
Territories, but was organized separately in 1838. It then included
all of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, but when admitted
as a State was reduced to its present limits.

WISCONSIN, the thirtieth State, was admitted to the Union May 29,
1848. Its name is derived from its principal river, and signifies
"The gathering of the waters." It was explored by French
missionaries and traders as early as 1639. Green Bay was founded in
1745. This region was also a part of the Northwestern Territory. It
was comprised in the Territory of Illinois, then of Michigan, and
in 1836 became a separate Territory.

CALIFORNIA, the thirty-first State, was admitted to the Union
September 9, 1850 (see p. 190). Sir Francis Drake, in 1579, sailed
along its coast, naming it New Albion, and visited San Francisco
harbor (see p. 35). In 1769, the Spaniards established the mission
of San Diego (de-a'-go), and in 1776 (the year of the Declaration
of Independence), one at San Francisco.

[Footnote: In 1835, a shanty owned by one Richardson was the only
human habitation and the vast bay was a solitude The first survey
of streets and town lots was in 1839 The principal trade was in
exporting hides and that was small. In 1846 an American man of war
entered the harbor and took possession in the name of the United
States. The town was known as Yerba Buena (good herb) until 1847
when it was changed to its present name. About that time it had a
population of four hundred and fifty nine. The discovery of gold in
1848 gave the city its first start toward its present distinction.
Within eighteen months following December 1849, the city lost by
fire $16,000,000 of property though its population did not exceed
thirty thousand. Such however, was the enterprise of its citizens
that these tremendous losses scarcely interrupted its growth or
prosperity. Its magnificent harbor and its railroad communications
give it an extensive commerce on the Pacific Coast.]

[Illustration: SAN FRANCISCO BAY

In 1803, they had eighteen missions with over fifteen thousand
converts, and the entire government of the country was in the hands
of the Franciscan monks. The Mexican revolution, in 1822, overthrew
the Spanish power in California, and in a few years the Franciscans
were stripped of their wealth and influence. In 1831, the white
population did not exceed five thousand. From 1843 to 1846, many
emigrants from the United States settled in California, and, under
the leadership of Fremont and others, wrested the country from
Mexico (see p. 188). By the treaty at the close of the Mexican war,
Upper California was ceded to the United States. It embraced about
450,000 square miles, comprising what is now known as California,
Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. (Maps
of IVth and VIth Epochs.)

MINNESOTA, the thirty-second State, was admitted to the Union May
11, 1858. It is so called from the river of that name, and
signifies "Cloudy water." In 1680, La Salle and Hennepin penetrated
this region. Other travelers followed, and within the present
century the whole country has been thoroughly explored. Fort
Snelling was established in 1819. St. Paul was settled in 1846 by
emigrants from the East. The Territory of Minnesota was organized
in 1849, with the Missouri and White rivers for its western
boundary, thus embracing nearly twice the area of the present
State. At this time its population was less than five thousand,
consisting of whites and half-breeds settled about the various
missions and trading-posts. In 1851, the Sioux ceded a large tract
of land to the United States. After this, the population increased
so rapidly that in six years Minnesota applied for admission into
the Union.

OREGON, the thirty-third State, was admitted to the Union February
14, 1859. It is said to derive its name from the Spanish
_oregano_, wild marjoram, abundant on its coast. It constituted a part
of the Louisiana purchase, though for a long time little was known of
this portion of that vast territory. In 1792, Captain Gray, of Boston,
entered the river to which he gave the name of his ship, the Columbia.
On his return, he made such a flattering report that there was a
general desire to know more of the country. In 1804, the year after
the Louisiana purchase, Jefferson sent an exploring party, under the
command of Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Clark, which followed the
Missouri to its source and descended the Columbia to the Pacific. The
history of their adventures is one of the most romantic of the
century. An extensive fur-trade soon began. Fort Astoria was built in
1811 by the American Fur Company, of which John Jacob Astor was a
prominent member. Hunters and trappers in the employ of American and
British companies roamed over the whole region. Fort Vancouver was
occupied by the Hudson Bay Company, a British organization, till 1860.
In 1839, the first American emigration set toward this region. The
danger of war which had seriously threatened its dawning prosperity
was averted when the northwest boundary was settled by the treaty
of 1846. In 1848, it was organized as a Territory, and included all
the possessions of the United States west of the Rocky Mountains.
In 1850, Congress granted three hundred and sixty acres to every
man, and the same to his wife, on condition of residence on the
land for four years. Eight thousand claims were made for farms. In
1853, Washington Territory was organized north of Columbia River.
When Oregon was admitted as a State, it was reduced to its present

KANSAS, the thirty-fourth State, was admitted to the Union January
29, 1861. The name is of Indian origin, and is said to mean "Smoky
water." This region was also a part of the Louisiana purchase.
After the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and
Minnesota had been carved from it, there was left a vast,
unoccupied tract at the west, which was organized by the Kansas and
Nebraska Act of 1854. The history of the strife which decided
whether it should be slave or free has been narrated.

Summary of the History of the Fourth Epoch,
arranged in Chronological Order.

1789. Washington inaugurated, April 30
1791. Vermont admitted to the Union, March 4
1792. Kentucky admitted to the Union, June 1
Discovery of Columbia River by Captain Gray, May 11
1793. Difficulties with Genet
1794. The Indians defeated by Wayne, August 20
Whisky insurrection
1795. Jay's treaty ratified, June 24
1796. Tennessee admitted to the Union, June 1
1797. John Adams inaugurated, March 4
1799. Washington died at Mount Vernon, December 14
1800. Capitol removed to Washington
Treaty with France, September 30
1801. Thomas Jefferson inaugurated, March 4
War declared by United States against Tripoli, June 10
1802. Ohio admitted to the Union, November 29
1803. Louisiana purchased from France, April 30
Fleet sent against Tripoli
1804. Lieut. Decatur destroyed frigate Philadelphia, Feb. 15
Hamilton killed by Burr, July 11
1805. Treaty of peace with Tripoli, June 3
1807. The Chesapeake fired into by the Leopard, June 22
Embargo on American ships, December 22
Fulton first ascended the Hudson, September 14
1809. James Madison inaugurated, March 4
1811. Action between the President and the Little Belt, May 16
Battle of Tippecanoe, November 7
1812. Louisiana admitted to the Union, April 8
War declared against England, June 19
Hull invaded Canada, July 12
Mackinaw surrendered, July 17
Detroit surrendered, August 16
The Constitution captured the Guerriere, August 19
Battle of Queenstown, October 13
The Wasp captured the Frolic, October 13
1813. Battle of Frenchtown, January 22
Capture of York, April 27
Siege of Fort Meigs, May 1
Sackett's Harbor attacked, May 29
American frigate Chesapeake captured by the Shannon, June 1
1813. Battle of Fort Stephenson, Ohio, August 2,
Massacre of Fort Mimms, August 30,
Perry's victory on Lake Erie, September 10,
Battle of the Thames, October 5,
Battle of Chrysler's Field, November 11,
1814. Battle of Horse-shoe Bend (Tohopeka), March 27,
Battle of Chippewa, July 5,


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