« AnteriorContinuar »
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875,
BY JOHNSON, WILSON & CO.,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Electrotyped by SMITH & MCDOUGAL
UR country, as known to civilized men, is young in years and without antiquity of Art, Science, Literature or Government, measured
by the standards of other continents. It is in a New World, as the chroniclers have called it; its existence suspected by the ancients but proven only in the later periods of history. Yet its people possess the treasures of the experience of ages, and the results of the progress of the human race from pre-historic times. With these treasures they have bought wisdom wherewith to construct, with wonderful celerity, the fabric of a nation marvellous in its strength and resources developed and undeveloped.
It is only yesterday in the calendar of the earth's existence, when the fact was first made known to modern men, that our planet was a globe, and that in the waters between the western coasts of Europe and Africa and the eastern coasts of Asia, there lay a vast continent teeming with life, wealth and beauty. For generations after that discovery, it was wrapped in profound mystery, the subject of wild conjecture and tales of wonder. Then newly-awakened moral forces impelled brave and earnest men and women to venture across the Atlantic Ocean and establish homes in the virgin wil. derness. So began the heroic age of our Republic, in which time were planted the germs of the great commonwealths that compose this nation.
The story of the growth of the Republic since the planting of those germs, is deeply interesting in incident and rich in suggestions. It is full of picturesque passages which give life and color to the less attractive details, making the whole a fascinating drama. I have endeavored, in the following pages, to unfold that story in language so plain and in form so simple, that whole households may be interested and instructed by the reading of it. Greater prominence than usual has been given to what may be called the