Category Archive: American History

Books and Curriculum relating to American history

Jan 27

American Liberties from the Outside, Looking in

The execution of Louis the XVI initiated a period of murderous anarchy in Revolutionary France.

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. “

Apr 29

Famous Inventors and Their Amazing Inventions

Thomas Edison

Edison was instructed at home by his mother and worked far above grade level. By age twelve he was finished with most of his formal studies and decided to see something of the world by working as a newsboy on a local train circuit. Unable to remain idle for any period of time, he set up shop in an unoccupied train-car and ran both a vegetable market and a newspaper business out of it. Using his own funds, he purchased a second hand printer, and began publishing the Weekly Herald, the first newspaper ever written, printed, and sold on board a moving train.

Feb 27

“Victory or Death” at the Alamo


“I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword . . . I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. . . . . I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.” —William Barret Travis

Feb 12

Fight for Freedom of the Seas: Stephen Decatur

“As the Americans swarmed over the rails and came upon the deck the pirates gathered in a panic-stricken, confused mass on the forecastle. Apparently they thought themselves assailed by an opponent many times more numerous than themselves, whereas, in truth, the odds were all on their own side had they but known it. . . . .The pirates, terrorized from the beginning, stood before the fierce onslaught only long enough to see scores of their number go down under the unerring pistol shots and cutlass thrusts of the Americans, and then those of them who could, fled to the rails and jumped madly overboard. . . .”

Nov 06

Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite History Series

Lincoln reading with his son Tad.

“I want to thank you and your brother for Abbott’s series of Histories. I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians, and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have.” —Abraham Lincoln.

Nov 06

November FREE e-Book: Story of the Pilgrims


Stories of the Pilgrims, by Margaret Pumphrey, is a family favorite, perfect for read-aloud in the weeks before Thanksgiving. It tells the dramatic story of the Pilgrim families who embarked for America on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom. Beginning at their first home in Scrooby, England, the book follows the family of William Brewster, first to Holland and then to the New World, where they endured great hardships in the years leading up to the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Sep 11

Book Review: Buccaneer and Pirate History

These swashbuckling pirate tales makes for a grand feast of adventure. With chapters such as Masters in Piracy, A Pirate Potentate, and Villainy on a Grand Scale the author recounts the dastardly deeds and desperate feats of dozens of pirates who terrorized the Caribbean Coasts during the age of Piracy. There is no shortage of action in this book; most horrifying exploits are rendered in reasonably good taste, and many of the tales are surprisingly amusing.

Sep 07

September Freebie: 100 American Adventure Stories


Every month Heritage History selects one book from its online collection to give away as a free sample, so that people will see how easy it is use our e-books. Our library contains over 400 books, so it will take a while to go through them all and we’re hoping that some of you history …

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Sep 04

Featured Series: Colonial Children

James Otis, author of the Colonial Children’s series has an extraordinary ability to weave complex characters and communicate vivid images with exceedingly few words. The series was written to appeal to very young readers, and features short chapters, simple sentences, and an illustration on nearly every page. The books can be read by novice readers, yet the stories are rich with character development, drama, and fascinating observations.

Sep 02

Poem: Old Ironsides

Decatur on Old Ironsides

The USS Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides” was one of the first frigates commissioned by the United States Navy. It was launched in 1797 and five years later was the flagship of the United States campaign against the Barbary Pirates in Tripoli. It was commanded by such great naval heroes as Edward Preble, Stephen Decatur, and Isaac Hull, and saw great service in the War of 1812. By 1830 she was considered unfit for service, but due to great public indignation, best expressed by this poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., was reconstructed and returned to commission.