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T is the aim of this book to tell the story of the

United States in a clear and simple manner, for young and old. In writing it, I have adopted two plain rules, — to omit all names and dates not really needful, and to make liberal use of the familiar traits and incidents of every d-y. If there is any merit in the design, it belongs largely to my honored friend, George B. Emerson, Esq., of Boston, from whom the first suggestion of the work came, and by whose kind co-operation it has been carried through. I am indebted, also, to Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D., to Richard Frothingham, Esq., and to Francis Parkman, Esq., for valuable hints and criticisms; and to Rev. J. G. Palfrey, D.D., and the Maine Historical Society, for permission to use important maps, originally engraved for them.

It will be noticed that less space than usual is given, in these pages, to the events of war, and more to the affairs of peace. This course has been deliberately pursued. It is desirable, no doubt, that the reader





should fully understand the way in which every important war began and ended, and that he should read enough of the details to know in what spirit it was carried on. Beyond this, the statistics of sieges and battles are of little value, and are apt to make us forget that the true glory of a nation lies, after all, in orderly progress. Times of peace, the proverb says, have few

. historians; but this


be more the fault of the historians than of the times.

T. W. H.

NEWPORT, R.I., Jan. 1., 1875.





HO were the very first men and women that

ever trod the soil of North America ? Of what race were they, of what color, of what size ? and how did they look? History cannot answer these questions. Science can only say, “Perhaps we shall find out; but we do not yet know.”

We know already a good deal about the changes in form and appearance of the North-American Continent itself. We know that a large part of it was at one time covered with a thick coating of ice, and that this vast glacier several times stretched itself farther southward, as the climate grew colder, and then shrank to smaller size again, as the climate, during unknown ages, grew milder. We know that the whole surface of the continent has risen or sunk, irregularly, at various times ; so that the sea once covered much that is now dry land. We know that plants and animals of species now unknown have existed in many parts of the continent. The reindeer, which is now found only in the far

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