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Bill Thayer

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Mace's Primary History
Stories of Heroism

I became acquainted with this engaging little book by sheer happenstance: one of my neighbours was selling a pile of books at our yearly block lawn sale in the summer of 2006; best quarter I ever spent.

More formally, here is the review in The Elementary School Teacher, 11:333 (1911):

A Primary History: Stories of Heroism. By William H. Mace, Professor of History in Syracuse University. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1910. Cloth, 8vo, pp. 396.

This book gives a simple and interesting story of American history by means of biographies, grouped according to periods. The purpose of the author has been "to bring before the mind of the pupils a series of great historical characters. These men do interesting things from the beginning to the end of life. Because their deeds are concrete and physical, they are easily pictured in imagination." The biographies are unusually well selected to give various types of heroism, emphasizing the services rendered to the country by overcoming great obstacles in its industrial development as well as by fighting its battles.

The author has wisely taken advantage of the charm always attached to biography. Children are not attracted by a brief, summarized treatment of events. It is the dramatic personal story that arouses interest. This is a principle well understood by teachers but rarely followed by writers of textbooks.

Professor Mace has not only written entertaining stories of the great men who made the nation but has also related these stories in such a way as to give a connected study of our history. Better still, each character is presented with some background or social environment which brings the child nearer to the understanding of historical problems than the mere story. However, the book covers too much ground to be entirely successful. The child's imagination cannot picture the social situation in any period without more detailed statements. For this reason it is doubtful if any one-volume textbook covering the whole of American history can ever be satisfactory. At least, such a textbook should be used in connection with supplementary reading offering fuller treatment of social life.

The style of this book is so vivid, simple, and clear that children of the fourth and fifth grades read it easily and enjoy it thoroughly. It is well illustrated with both pictures and maps.

E. J. R.

The Northmen and the Most Famous Traveler in the Far East

1

Leif Ericson, Who Discovered Vinland

1

Marco Polo, the Man Who Wrote a Book About the Far East

3

Christopher Columbus, the First Great Man in American History

8

He Sought India and Found America

8

The Men Who Succeeded Where Columbus Failed

21

Magellan, Who Proved That the World is Round by Sailing Around It

21

Cortés, Who Found the Rich City of Mexico

25

Pizarro, Who Found the Richest City in the World

29

Two Men Who Proved that North America Had no More Rich Cities

36

Coronado, Who Discovered New Kinds of Towns and the Grand Canyon of the Colorado

36

De Soto, the Discoverer of the Mississippi

39

The Men Who Made America Known to England and Who Checked the Progress of Spain

42

John Cabot also Searches for a Shorter Route to India and Finds the Mainland of North America

42

Sir Francis Drake, the English "Dragon" Who Sailed the Spanish Main and Who "Singed the King of Spain's Beard"

45

Sir Walter Raleigh, the Friend of Elizabeth, Plants a Colony in America to Check the Power of Spain

50

Famous People in Early Virginia

56

John Smith, the Savior of Virginia and Pocahontas its Good Angel

56

Sir William Berkeley, the Cavalier Governor, and Nathaniel Bacon, the First American rebel

63

Lord Baltimore, in a Part of Virginia, Founds Maryland as a Home for Persecuted Catholics (1634) and Welcomes Protestants

70

Some Old England Puritans in New England

75

Elder Brewster, the Pilgrim Preacher, and Miles Standish, the Pilgrim Soldier

75

John Winthrop, the Founder of Boston; Roger Williams, the Founder of Rhode Island; and Thomas Hooker, the Founder of Connecticut

87

The Men Who Planted Colonies for Many Kinds of People

95

Henry Hudson, Whose Discoveries Led Dutch Traders to Colonize New Netherland

95

Peter Stuyvesant, the Great Dutch Governor of New Netherland

100

William Penn Founds a Home for the Quakers, but Makes Welcome all Persecuted Christians

104

James Oglethorpe, the Founder of Georgia as a Home for English Debtors, as a Place for Persecuted Protestants, and as a Barrier Against the Spaniards

111

The Men Who Planted New France in America and Threatened to Keep the English South of the St. Lawrence and the Lakes, and East of the Mountains

116

Samuel de Champlain, the Father of New France

116

Joliet and Marquette, Fur Trader and Missionary, Explore the Mississippi Valley for New France

119

La Salle and Hennepin Pushed Forward the Work Begun by Joliet and Marquette

124

Montcalm, the Defender, and Wolfe, the Conqueror of New France

131

The Men Who Defended America by Tongue and Pen

141

Patrick Henry, the Orator of the Revolution

141

Samuel Adams, the Firebrand of the Revolution

148

The Men Who Fought for American Independence with Gun and Sword

159

George Washington, the First General and First President of the United States

159

The Three Men Who Prepared the Way for the Capture of Burgoyne's Army

187

Generals Greene, Morgan, and Marion, the Men Who Helped Win the South from the British

200

The Men Who Helped Win Independence Fighting England on the Sea

211

Paul Jones, a Scotchman, Who Won the Great Victory in the French Ship, "Bon Homme Richard"

211

John Barry, Who Won More Sea Fights in the Revolution than Any Other Captain

215

The Man Who Helped Win Independence by Winning the Hearts of Frenchmen for America

220

Benjamin Franklin, the Wisest American of his Time

220

Foreigners Who Came Over the Sea to Help Washington Win Independence

230

Marquis de Lafayette

230

Baron von Steuben

233

Tadeusz Kosckiuszko

235

Casimir Pulaski

236

Johann De Kalb

238

The Men Who Crossed the Mountains, Defeated the Indians and British, and Made the Mississippi River the First Western Boundary of the United States

241

Daniel Boone, the Hunter and Pioneer of Kentucky

241

James Robertson and John Sevier, the Pioneers of Tennessee

249

George Rogers Clark, the Hero of Vincennes

258

The Men Who Helped Washington Start the New Government

267

Alexander Hamilton, the Youngest of the Great Men of the Revolution and the Father of the Federalist Party

267

Thomas Jefferson, Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence, Founded the Democratic Party, and Purchased the Louisiana Territory

272

Heroes of the War of 1812

282

William Henry Harrison, the Victor at Tippecanoe and the Thames

282

Oliver Hazard Perry, the Victor in the Battle of Lake Erie

288

Andrew Jackson, the Victor of New Orleans

293

The Three Greatest Statesmen of the Middle Period

303

Henry Clay, the Founder of the Whig Party, and the Great Pacificator

303

Daniel Webster, the Defender of the Constitution

309

John C. Calhoun, Champion of Nullification

314

The Men Who Won Texas, the Oregon Country, and California

320

Sam Houston, the Hero of San Jacinto

320

Lewis and Clark. Finding the Way to the Oregon Country

324

John C. Fremont, the Pathfinder of the Rocky Mountains

330

The Men Who Made the Nation Great by Their Inventions and Discoveries

337

Robert Fulton, the Inventor of the Steamboat

337

Samuel F. B. Morse, Inventor of the Telegraph

341

Cyrus West Field, Who Laid the Atlantic Cable Between America and Europe

345

Thomas A. Edison, the Greatest Inventor of Electrical Machinery in the World

348

The Men Who Saved the Union

354

Stephen A. Douglas, the Little Giant

354

Abraham Lincoln, the Liberator and Martyr

360

Ulysses S. Grant, the Great General of the Union Armies

372

The Man Who Led the Confederate Armies

380

Robert Edward Lee

380

The Men Who Fought Spain, Conquered the Philippines, and Made Cuba Free

388

George Dewey, the Hero of Manila Bay

388

The Capture of Cervera's Fleet

390
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Technical Details

Proofreading

This transcription is being minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, sections shown on blue backgrounds indicate that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree, while sections shown on red backgrounds have not been proofread yet. As elsewhere on this site, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

My printed edition was very well proofread, and the inevitable errors are minor. Because this is a children's book, I didn't obstruct the visible text with my usual little bullets, but marked the corrections only in the source code. A small number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!-- sic --> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line);p57 these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.



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