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Stories of American Life and Adventure   By: (1837-1902)

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Author of Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans , A First Book in American History , and A History of the United States and its People for the Use of Schools

American Book Company New York : Cincinnati : Chicago

1895, 1923

[Illustration: Grand Canyon.]


This book is intended to serve three main purposes.

One of these is to make school reading pleasant by supplying matter simple and direct in style, and sufficiently interesting and exciting to hold the reader's attention in a state of constant wakefulness; that is, to keep the mind in the condition in which instruction can be received with the greatest advantage.

A second object is to cultivate an interest in narratives of fact by selecting chiefly incidents full of action, such as are attractive to the minds of boys and girls whose pulses are yet quick with youthful life. The early establishment of a preference for stories of this sort is the most effective antidote to the prevalent vice of reading inferior fiction for mere stimulation.

But the principal aim of this book is to make the reader acquainted with American life and manners in other times. The history of life has come to be esteemed of capital importance, but it finds, as yet, small place in school instruction. The stories and sketches in this book relate mainly to earlier times and to conditions very different from those of our own day. They will help the pupil to apprehend the life and spirit of our forefathers. Many of them are such as make him acquainted with that adventurous pioneer life, which thus far has been the largest element in our social history, and which has given to the national character the traits of quick wittedness, humor, self reliance, love of liberty, and democratic feeling. These traits in combination distinguish us from other peoples.

Stories such as these here told of Indian life, of frontier peril and escape, of adventures with the pirates and kidnappers of colonial times, of daring Revolutionary feats, of dangerous whaling voyages, of scientific exploration, and of personal encounters with savages and wild beasts, have become the characteristic folklore of America. Books of history rarely know them, but they are history of the highest kind, the quintessence of an age that has passed, or that is swiftly passing away, forever. With them are here intermingled sketches of the homes, the food and drink, the dress and manners, the schools and children's plays, of other times. The text book of history is chiefly busy with the great events and the great personages of history: this book seeks to make the young American acquainted with the daily life and character of his forefathers. In connection with the author's "Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans," it is intended to form an introduction to the study of our national history.

It has been thought desirable to make the readings in this book cover in a general way the whole of our vast country. The North and the South, the Atlantic seaboard, the Pacific slope, and the great interior basin of the continent, are alike represented in these pages.


A White Boy among the Indians

The Making of a Canoe

Some Things about Indian Corn

Some Women in the Indian Wars

The Coming of Tea and Coffee

Kidnapped Boys

The Last Battle of Blackbeard

An Old Philadelphia School

A Dutch Family in the Revolution

A School of Long Ago

Stories of Whaling

A Whaling Song

A Strange Escape

Grandmother Bear

The Great Turtle

The Rattlesnake God

Witchcraft in Louisiana

A Story of Niagara

Among the Alligators


Song of Marion's Men

A Brave Girl

A Prisoner among the Indians

Hungry Times in the Woods

Scouwa becomes a White Man again

A Baby Lost in the Woods

Elizabeth Zane

The River Pirates

Old fashioned Telegraphs

A Boy's Foolish Adventure

A Foot Race for Life

Loretto and his Wife

A Blackfoot Story

How Fremont crossed the Mountains

Finding Gold in California

Descending the Grand Canyon

The Man that draws the Handcart

The Lazy, Lucky Indian

Peter Petersen

The Greatest of Telescope Makers

Adventures in Alaska


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