It is natural enough that history should be mixed with myth, to make it interesting to the populace. But it is uttery unnatural that history or myth should not be interesting to the populace. — G. K. Chesterton

Early America—Book Summaries

    U.S. History     Regional History     Military History     Statesmen and Authors
    Explorers and Inventors     American Negros     American Indians

 
Colored stars indicate texts of special interest or importance.
Red Stars indicate comprehensive histories. Most study questions are based on these texts.
Gold Stars indicate recommended books of exceptional interest and quality.
Green Stars are assigned to high quality, but easy-to-read books for younger readers.
Black Stars indicate that only selected chapters pertain to the subject civilization.

Click on Title Link to add Book to Reading List.         Reading credits indicate book length.
 

U. S. History

American History Stories—Volume I   by Mara L. Pratt   62 credits
This first of a four volume series written for older grammar school children covers American History from the landing of Columbus through the French and Indian Wars. The voyages of Francis Drake, the landing of the Pilgrims, the founding of New York and Philadelphia, the Salem witchcraft trials, and King Philips's War are some of the other topics covered. The series is nicely illustrated and organized in short, easily read chapters.

American History Stories—Volume II   by Mara L. Pratt   62 credits
This second volume in Pratt's American History Series covers the Revolutionary War in Detail. It tells a variety of short stories about interesting events associated with the Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride, the Capture of Ticonderoga, the winter at Valley Forge. It also introduces many of the heroes of the revolution including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Israel Putnam, Lafayette, and many others.

American History Stories—Volume III.   by Mara L. Pratt   62 credits
The third volume in Pratt's American History Series covers the time from the end of the Revolutionary War to the middle of the 19th century. Topic include the administrations of Washington and Jefferson, the War of 1812 and various Indian Wars, and interesting characters such as Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Zachary Taylor, William Henry Harrison, and John Brown.

American History Stories—Volume IV   by Mara L. Pratt   76 credits
The fourth volume in Pratt's American History Series covers the Civil War from the beginning of Lincoln's first term to his assassination following the Union victory. In addition to military history, such as the battles of New Orleans, Vicksburg and Gettysburg, and Sherman's march to the sea, cultural subjects are discussed. Sketches of the lives of slaves, hymns and folksongs, and civil war era folktales are interspersed with the story of the progress of the war.

America First   by Lawton Evans   151 credits
This delightful collection of stories from America's past recounts one hundred interesting and romantic incidents from America's history, and provides character sketches of dozens of early American heroes and heroines. It makes no attempt to relate or explain complicated government issues and does not provide a chronological or comprehensive account, but instead focuses on interesting stories and reads like a book of fairy tales.

Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans   by Edward Eggleston   62 credits
This book is a popular introduction to American history for very young readers. It contains dozens of simply told stories of warriors, statesmen, explorers, scientists, inventors, men and women of letters, and other famous Americans. Featured are Marquette in Iowa, Penn and the Indians, Thomas Smith and the beginning of rice culture in South Carolina, Franklin and the ants, Putnam and the wolf, and dozens of other stories. The collection of sketches features inspirational stories as well as short histories.

Stories of American Life and Adventure   by Edward Eggleston   84 credits
This book is a companion to Eggleston's well-known Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans. While the former volume focused mainly on statesmen, soldiers, and inventors, this volume contains thirty fascinating stories from America's early years that do not relate to political history. Instead they are drawn to reflect the adventures and unusual incidents of explorers, colonists, sailors, townsfolk, and regular citizens.

American Book of Golden Deeds   by James Baldwin   98 credits
Forty four short and inspiring stories of heroism and personal sacrifice made by Americans for the benefit of their community or their country. Most of the subjects of these stories are everyday citizens rather than famous leaders but their noble deeds are worthy of note.

First Book in American History   by Edward Eggleston   109 credits
Edward Eggleston wrote a number of books that include short vignettes of American history appropriate for younger grammar school children. In this book his stories are arranged in chronological order and cover most of the major events from the landing of Columbus to the end of the Civil War. Short stories from American history from the landing of Columbus to the end of the Civil War. It could be used as an introductory American history for grammar school students.

Story of the Thirteen Colonies   by Helene Guerber   141 credits
This book is the first part of a two book series written to provide a comprehensive history of the United States to middle school aged children. It begins with the explorations of Columbus, tells the story of the founding of each of the American colonies, and ends with the Revolutionary War, which severed the colonies from the British Empire. Its companion book, The Great Republic covers American history from the Revolutionary war to the early 20th century.

Story of the Great Republic   by Helene Guerber   151 credits
This book is the second volume of Guerber's American history series. It covers United States history from just after the Revolutionary War to the beginning of the 20th century. Guerber uses short, story-based based narratives, each based on a particular character or incident, to tell the story of America from the founding throughout the 19th century. An excellent introduction to American history for middle school students.

This Country of Ours   by H. E. Marshall   276 credits
Marshall's history of the United States begins with a full account of the English exploration and settlement of North America and ends with the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. Nearly 100 stories from American history are grouped under 7 headings: Stories of Explorers and Pioneers, Stories of Virginia, Stories of New England, Stories of the Middle and Southern Colonies, Stories of the French in America, Stories of the Struggle for Liberty, and Stories of the United States under the Constitution.

Comic History of the United States   by Bill Nye   129 credits
This delightful book tells the history of the United States from colonial times to the years following the civil war, from a humorous perspective. It is illustrated with dozens of cartoon style illustrations and the author's insights into many of the incidents of American history are insightful as well as humorous. Bill Nye was an American humorist of the late 19th century who founded the Laramie Boomerang, in Wyoming territory.

Builders of our Country Vol. I   by G. Southworth   131 credits
Short biographies of some of the famous pioneers who first explored America and founded some of the earliest settlements. Included are stories of Columbus, Cabot, Drake, Raleigh, the Pilgrims, Hudson, Roger Williams, the Dutch in New York, Marquette, La Salle, Baltimore, Penn, Oglethorpe and many more.

Builders of our Country Vol. II   by G. Southworth   136 credits
Short biographies of some prominent men who were influential in American history from the revolutionary period to the opening of the twentieth century. Includes stories of Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Nathaniel Greene, Boone, Whitney, Perry, Jackson, Clay, Morse, Farragut, McCormick, Edison, and many others.

Historical Tales: 1—American   by Charles Morris   139 credits
This is the first of two volumes of stories from American History and covers the colonial period through the beginning of the civil war. The author has selected a great number of lesser known but highly interesting stories, usually emphasizing adventure or romance rather than political significance. Some of the lesser known but entertaining characters include Sir William Phips, Israel Putnam, Elizabeth Zane, Lydia Darrah, and Francis Marion.

Historical Tales: 2—American   by Charles Morris   138 credits
The second volume of Morris's American Tales focus primarily on stories the occurred in the Southeast. Short accounts of some of the earliest explorers, including Ponce de Leon, de Soto, John Smith, and La Salle are given, followed by several chapters dedicated to Indian Wars, the colonization of the South, and the Mexican-American War which resulted in the annexation of Texas and much of the Southwest. The last dozen chapters are all dedicated to stories of interest which occurred during the American Civil War.


Regional History

Stories of the Pilgrims   by M. B. Pumphrey   86 credits
Beginning with Queen Anne's visit to Scrooby inn, this book tells stories of the everyday life of the Pilgrims in England and Holland, of their voyage on the Mayflower and of their adventures in the New World. The Brewster children and other Pilgrim boys and girls are the center of interest. A wonderful book to read aloud in the weeks before Thanksgiving.

Peter of New Amsterdam   by James Otis   64 credits
This book tells the story of Peter, an orphaned Puritan living in the Holland who is sent as a worker to New Amsterdam (now New York), in the New World. He comes of age during the Anglo-Dutch war that led to the Dutch colony falling into the hands of the English, and the story of his life introduces students to contemporary customs and historical events.

Ruth of Boston   by James Otis   67 credits
This book follows the story of Ruth, a Puritan girl of ten who travels to the new world and is one of the earliest settlers of the New England colony that formed around Boston. The book emphasizes episodes from the daily life of a Puritan settler, such as preparing food, attending church and school, and doing household chores. Relations with the Indians and historical events are all portrayed from a Puritan's viewpoint.

Martha of California   by James Otis   58 credits
This book follows the life of Martha, a young girl from Missouri who travels to California by way of the Oregon trail. The story is told in the first person by a young lady who travels with her family in a covered wagon and relates the adventures encountered on the trail, including confrontations with Indians, night time travel over deserts and salt fields, hunting excursions, and difficulties with livestock and provisions.

Seth of Colorado   by James Otis   60 credits
This book tells the story of Seth, a young man who travels to Colorado with a family intent on homesteading in the area. After farming for a short time, Seth opens a store in the pioneer town of Auraria, across the river from an outpost at Denver. The families survive fires and flood and eventually see Denver grow into a substantial town.

Richard of Jamestown   by James Otis   68 credits
This book follows the life of Richard, a poor boy from London, who finding himself homeless and alone in the world, sets sail with Captain John Smith for the Jamestown colony in the new world. The book closely follows the historical events recorded by John Smith, but they are relayed from a young boys point of view and emphasis issues related to daily life, such as hunting and building fortifications, as well as historical events.

Hannah of Kentucky   by James Otis   62 credits
This book recounts the story of Hannah, whose family is closely associated with that of the great pioneer, Daniel Boone. Her father follows Boone to the wilderness fortress at Boonesborough and shares in many of his adventures. The story emphasizes the daily activities of pioneer life in a remote fortification, but also touches on historical events related to the siege of Boonesborough in 1778.

Calvert of Maryland   by James Otis   68 credits
This book follows the life of Calvert, who together with his father settles in the newly established Catholic colony in Maryland. Although they have many adventures with Indians, conflicts with other colonists provide much of the action in the narrative.

Benjamin of Ohio   by James Otis   64 credits
This book follows the story of Benjamin who joins the exploration and settlement party of Rufus Putnam and helps to establish the Marietta, the first American settlement in the Ohio River valley. The settlers have to combat weather, Indians, and raging rivers as they travel on flatboats to their destination.

Antoine of Oregon   by James Otis   60 credits
This book follows the story Antoine, son of a French trader who first traveled over the Oregon trail with his father. After his father dies he is hired as a young guide for a group of settlers who seek to cross the Rockies in covered wagons. Even at a young age, he has more experience in unsettled regions than most of other travelers, and his conflicts with older members of the party provide considerable drama on the journey.

Stephen of Philadelphia   by James Otis   69 credits
This book follows the life of a young Quaker boy from London whose goes to settle the New World with a group of colonists sent by William Penn. The story covers the earliest days of the settlement that would grow to became Philadelphia and emphasizes both the industry and resourcefulness of the settlers and the complicated religious and political differences between the Quaker and other colonists.

Mary of Plymouth   by James Otis   63 credits
This book follows the life of Mary of Plymouth, a young girl who arrives with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and shares in their difficulties and adventures. It is very authentic in both in portraying the daily life and work of the early settlers, and in depicting the attitude of many of the pilgrims towards Indians, other settlers, and Englishmen with less than orthodox Puritan views.

Philip of Texas   by James Otis   60 credits
This is one of a seris of twelve book in a series by James Otis that features dramatic stories of American pioneer children. It is written in an easy-to-read style and tells the story of a young man who homesteads with his parents in North Texas during the 1840's. His family raises sheep and deals with a number of difficulties including a severe flood, an attack by wild boars, and complicated relations with suspected smugglers. Events in Texas leading up to the Mexican-American War are portrayed from the point of view of an American pioneer family and are told with personality and passion that will hold the interest of younger children.

Puritan Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins   47 credits
Daniel and Nancy are 12 year-old twins growing up in Puritan New England during the seventeenth century. As the children of farmers, much of their time is spent helping their parents around the homestead, but the family has an opportunity to go on a sailing expedition and returns to Plymouth rock, the landing place of the pilgrim fathers.

Buccaneers and Pirates of our Coasts   by F. R. Stockton   101 credits
This swashbuckling set of pirate tales makes for a grand feast of adventure stories. 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. 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.

Conquest of the Old Northwest   by James Baldwin   111 credits
This book is the second part of Baldwin's history of the discovery and settlement of the Ohio Valley. It begins with an overview of the rival claims between the French and English. Although most of the earliest settlers were French, by the end of the 18th century England became predominant. Introduces lesser known French and English heroes of the region, such as Juchereau, Vincennes, Joncaire, Carver, and Clark, as well as the predominant Indian chiefs of the era.

Famous Missions of California   by W. H. Hudson   28 credits
This short book tells the complete story of the founding of the Franciscan Missions of California under Junipero Serra and his followers. Only 80 pages long, it is lavishly illustrated and provides a short, balanced, and fascinating introduction to early California history.

Gold Seekers of '49   by Edwin Sabin   134 credits
This book follows the story of a young man who is lured to the territory of California during the gold rush of 1849. The first part the book covers his experience on a boat rounding the Cape of South America, and his introduction to the small town of San Francisco. His adventures in the gold fields themselves consume the second half of the book. Although the book is fiction, it accurately portrays the spirit of the California gold rush.

Junipero Serra—the Man and his Work   by A. H. Fitch   135 credits
This biography of Junipero Serra recounts his experience founding missions along the California coast. It reveals a dedication and patience that almost surpasses belief, for he was met at every turn with both political and practical difficulties. This history draws heavily on original sources and provides a highly authentic portrait of the events surrounding the founding of the California missions, including insight into the lives of the native peoples of the region.

Miles Standish   by John S. C. Abbott   127 credits
This biography of Miles Standish tells the thrilling story of the first pilgrim settlers in the colony of Plymouth. Standish arrived on the Mayflower and was the chief military leader of the pilgrims. He was exceedingly brave and respected by both Pilgrims and Indians, and his story is told using many original sources written by the pilgrim leaders themselves.

Texas and the Mexican War   by N. W. Stephenson   0 credits
This history of the early years of Texas focuses on the politics and personalities behind the battles, rather than emphasizing the military conflicts themselves. Far from being dull, however, the book tells one of the most interesting "inside stories" in our American history collection. The battle for Texas is too often portrayed as a simple Americans vs. Mexican saga, when in fact the alliances of various factions was far more complicated. The Texas patriots of fought for Texas independence were a complicated mix of independent settlers, mexicans, slave-owners, land-speculators, heroes and deperados, and the Mexico, at the time of the war, was far from United. Likewise American diplomats and financiers were far from innocent of interference, not only in the Texas/Mexico dispute, but in internal Mexican politics following the war of Mexican Independence. Stephenson provides a balanced and thought provoking account of a fascinating episode in American history.


Military History

On the Trail of Grant and Lee   by Frederick T. Hill   98 credits
This middle school biography tells the story of the Civil war from the vantage point of its two most famous antagonists, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Both characters are treated sympathetically, and the most interesting incidents of each of their lives are touchingly retold. By presenting the best sentiments, aims, and heroics of both sides, the full tragedy of the Civil war is fully recounted.

Boys' Book of Border Battles   by Edwin Sabin   141 credits
This is the final book in the Frontier Fighter series from Edwin Sabin that covers many of the battles in American history fought on the frontiers and borders of the expanding American nation. His other two books cover many of the wars with Eastern and Western Indian tribes. The final books contains a few pre-revolutionary wars with Indians, but is mostly dedicated to the Spanish-American War in the South and the Sioux War on the northern plains.

Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters   by Edwin Sabin   154 credits
This second book in Sabin's Series of Frontier Fighters features the exploits of American frontiersmen, including Simon Kenton, Simon Girty, 'Betty' Zane, John Colter, Samuel Brady, Buffalo Bill, and many more. Many of the stories feature great exploits or escapes rather than military battle, and tell the stories of many of the frontier heroes of early American folklore.

Into Mexico with General Scott   by Edwin Sabin   141 credits
This work of historical fiction follows the American Army under Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War. The protagonist is a young man who joins the army and serves under second Lieutenant U. S. Grant. With the rest of the U.S. army, he participates in the landing of U. S. ships at Vera Cruz, and the march of 200 miles inland in order to capture the Capital city of Mexico and force a surrender.

Little Book of the War   by E. M. Tappan   54 credits
This book gives a clear and thorough description of the causes and course of the first world war. The complicated ambitions and grievances of the axis powers, namely Germany, Austria, and Turkey are first made clear. As the war unfolds and the fronts multiply; first in France and Eastern Europe, and then later, in Italy, Serbia, and Turkey, an excellent summary of all major operations are given, as well as an introduction to the new techniques of 'modern warfare'.

Midshipman Farragut   by James Barnes   64 credits
This exciting adventure story follows the boyhood of the Civil War era naval hero David Farragut during his days as a midshipman during the War of 1812. His escapades on the USS Essex were as action-packed as his later ventures during the Civil War, and they are the primary focus of this biography.

Son of Light Horse Harry   by James Barnes   72 credits
Light Horse' Harry Lee was one of George Washington's most trusted generals during the Revolutionary War, and his son Robert E. Lee led the confederate army during the Civil War. This book follows the early years of Robert E. Lee during his youth, education, and shows how he distinguished himself as an officer in the Mexican-American War and as an outstanding citizen.

Hero of Stony Point   by James Barnes   61 credits
Mad Anthony' Wayne was one of Washington's leading generals during the Revolutionary war, and the hair-raising victory at Stony Point was one of his most heroic actions of the early war years. Wayne distinguished himself as a great leader, not only in his greatest moment of victory, but also in numerous battles that ultimately were won by the British. His heroism never flagged in difficulty or defeat.

Twelve Naval Captains   by Molly E. Seawell   86 credits
A dozen stories of the most famous naval heroes in American history are given here. Written in the late 19th century, it includes only sea-captains who served between 1776 and 1890, but the fascinating stories of John Paul Jones, Steven Decatur, Edward Preble, and William Bainbridge, among others are given.

Lafayette for Young Americans   by Rupert Holland   103 credits
The book follows the fascinating career of the Marquis de Lafayette from his youth in France, through the years of his heroic service to Washington during the Revolutionary Wars, to his ill-fated service the Revolutionary cause in France. The story of Lafayette's life provides a fascinating juxtaposition between the successful and laudatory American revolution, and the far more blood-thirsty French revolution. The author does an excellent job of presenting complicated political events in terms comprehensible to middle school ages students.

Boys' Book of Sea Fights   by Chelsea Fraser   108 credits
Many of the greatest sea battles of all time are revisited in this book, with much detail and vigor, by an outstanding storyteller. The action packed stories of many of the great Naval heroes of all time are given, including Francis Drake, John Paul Jones, Stephen Decatur, Horatio Nelson, Commodore Perry, and many others.

Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers   by J. W. McSpadden   90 credits
These short biographical sketches of twelve famous soldiers are unusual in that the focus entirely on the early years and formative experiences of the commanders, and end their narrative just as the well-known battle-field exploits commence. The author seeks to provide clues to character rather then rehash war stories, and does an excellent job of revealing the less-well-known side of Washington, Grant, Lee, Napoleon, Wellington, Kitchener, Joffre, Foch, Pershing, and several others.

History of the War with Mexico   by H. O. Ladd   105 credits
This is a thorough and balanced history of the War between Mexico and America, written only twenty years after the conflict. It emphasizes the dubious political machinations that led to the war, and the dysfunctional condition of the Mexican government, as well as American feats of heroism.

War with Spain   by Charles Morris   169 credits
Detailed, and well written history of the Spanish American War, authored shortly after the close of hostilities. Strongly presents the American case for the war, and provides much background in terms of the ongoing rebellions against the Spanish governments in Cuba and the Philippines which preceded the American invasion. Of particular interest are reports of Spanish atrocities against the native population of Cuba, which helped provoke an American declaration of War on Spain.


Statesmen and Authors

Story of Abraham Lincoln   by M. A. Hamilton   39 credits
This easy-to-read biography of Abraham Lincoln is perfect for grammar and middle school students. It is short but detailed enough to give inspiring insights into Lincoln's character so that his heroism during the terrible years of the Civil War can be fully appreciated. The book covers many important events from his childhood and recounts the long political career that eventually led to the White house. The final chapters deal with his leadership during America's greatest trial, and show how his firm conviction, honesty, and perseverance sustained him during our nation's critical hour.

Four Great Americans   by James Baldwin   74 credits
Elementary level biographies of four prominent American statesmen: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln. The author emphasizes their childhoods and early careers rather than their political achievements in order to hold the interest of young children.

Four American Patriots   by Alma H. Burton   81 credits
Stories of four famous Americans. These well-developed biographies include the stories of Patrick Henry, the first governor of Virginia; Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury; Andrew Jackson, Indian fighter and seventh president; and Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War Hero and eighteenth president.

Story of Thomas Jefferson   by J. W. McSpadden   56 credits
Short biography of Thomas Jefferson which follows his career from a young law student, to that of President of the United States. He composed the declaration of Independence while still a young man, and did not become president until a quarter century afterward. Until that time he worked for the government of Virginia and spent many years as the American ambassador to France.

Story of Theodore Roosevelt   by J. W. McSpadden   60 credits
Short biography of Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States. Describes his early years as he developed from a sickly child, to an advocate of the 'strenuous life'. His years spent studying in the east were followed by those of sport, exercise and work in the far west. His rise to national fame came quickly, particularly after his famous Charge with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill. As a president he was an uncompromising reformer, who gathered both a large following, and many enemies. He remains one of the most colorful of American presidents.

True Stories of Our Presidents   by Charles Morris   124 credits
Charles Morris provides fascinating sketches of the first twenty-three presidents. The life stories of some, such as Washington and Lincoln, are already well-known, but many of our lesser known Presidents had fascinating lives prior to becoming president, and these are told with great interest in this volume. The book does not focus on issues or political achievements of the presidents while they were in office, but rather, on their character and career before being elected to the highest office in the land.

George Washington   by Ada Russell   81 credits
This middle school biography of Washington tells the story of his youth, young adulthood, and career as commander of the Revolutionary forces. The final chapter summarizes his accomplishments as first President of the United States, and the appendix includes a selection of Journals, letters, and addresses given by the foremost of the founding fathers that make for fascinating reading and give first hand insight into his character.

Story of Harriet Beecher Stowe   by R. B. MacArthur   53 credits
This short biography tells the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the daughter of a New England abolitionist who wrote the landmark novel Uncle Tom's Cabin which did much to incite American sympathy for Negroes toiling under the slavery in the south. It shows how her life as daughter and sister of Protestant preachers, and work with her abolitionist husband on the Underground Railroad contributed insights into her views on slavery.

Story of Our Constitution   by E. M. Tappan   54 credits
This books combines both history and civics, as it pertains to the founding documents of the United States of America. It explains the state of the Confederation following the civil war and the persons and events which drove the development of the American Constitution. Included are stories of the circumstances which led to the passage of the first through 19th amendments.


Explorers and Inventors

Story of Columbus   by G. M. Imlach   35 credits
The Story of Columbus does not end when he discovered the American continents in 1492. In his lifetime he made four voyages to the New World and instead of enjoying honor and rewards, he suffered much due to jealous colleagues and scheming courtiers. The promise of gold brought out the worst in everyone, as this book, which retraces the years both before and after Columbus's great discovery, makes clear. The life of the great explorer provides a fascinating character study in a thoughtful manner appropriate for intermediate readers.

Men Who Found America   by F. W. Hutchinson   49 credits
This book provides an excellent introduction to the exploration of the Americas. It provides adventure packed short biographies of Columbus, Cortez, Pizarro, Hudson, La Salle, Balboa, De Vaca, Raleigh, Champlain, and many others. The author is very even handed in his treatment of explorers and Indians, and makes moral distinctions between the most abusive conquistadors, and the relatively noble missionary explorers.

Eric the Red   by George Upton   40 credits
This book records the stories of Eric the Red and his son Lief Ericson, the Norsemen credited with discovering North America in the 11th century. The adventures of other Norsemen, such as Thorwald, Thorfinn, and Finnboge, whose stories are related in the Nordic sagas are also told, along with other Pre-Columbian Nordic explorers.

Boys' Life of Edison   by W. H. Meadowcroft   98 credits
This biography of Thomas Edison was written by a close associate and contains many autobiographical anecdotes. Much attention is given to Edison's early life and the author paints a picture of a young man whose resourcefulness and entrepreneurial tendencies were apparent from a young age. The range of Edison's contributions to American industry is simply astounding, and his entire life is rich in relevance, but is also rich in anecdote and humor since Edison's ceaseless activities led to innumerable conflicts and adventures.

Heroes of Progress in America   by Charles Morris   151 credits
This collection of American biographies tells the stories of four dozen heroes, including statesmen, patriots, inventors, religious leaders, suffragettes, businessmen, and philanthropists. About half of the subjects are quite famous but many others, such as Robert Morris, George Peabody, and Peter Cooper, contributed greatly to America life but are not as well-known.

Four American Inventors   by Frances Perry   83 credits
Four short biographies of some of the most important inventors in American history, are provided in a single volume. The subjects include Fulton (steam-boat), Whitney (cotton-gin), Morse (telegraph), and Edison (all sorts of stuff). Attention is given not only to the lives of the subjects, but also to the importance of their inventions in American history.

Opening the West with Lewis and Clark   by Edwin Sabin   114 credits
The primary character in this story is a pioneer boy who tags along with the Lewis and Clark expedition. The main character was raised by Indians after his family is killed and so is able to help the party as a translator. He describes the characters, sites and events of the expedition with great detail and interest. Although the story is fictional it is based on meticulous research and presents many true-to-life incidents associated with the famous expedition.

With Lieutenant Pike   by Edwin Sabin   114 credits
This book tells the story of a boy, kidnapped by Indians as a youth, who joins the expedition of Lieutenant Pike as he travels down the Arkansas river towards the rocky mountains. During the expedition they travel to Colorado and discovered Pike's peak before becoming lost, and ending up in Spanish territory. Although the main character is fictional, most of the events depicted in the story are faithful to the real history of the Pike expedition.

Trails of the Pathfinders   by G. B. Grinnell   171 credits
This book focuses on the stories of the earliest English Speaking explorers of the American wilderness, several of who pre-dated Lewis and Clark. Using original journals as sources, these stories tell of traders, trappers and others who traveled into Indian territory when it was still wild, and paved the way for later settlers. The expeditions recounted in this book range from those of Alexander Henry in the 1770's, to Fremont's journey to California in the 1840's.

Kit Carson   by John S. C. Abbott   116 credits
This book tells the life story of Kit Carson one of the most famous and frontiersmen of the American southwest. It follows his exploits guiding the Fremont expedition and his relationship with many of the native tribes of the region. Carson's contributions to settlement of the New Mexico, Arizona, and California throughout his 25 year career were enormous, and he was admired by both white men and Indians for his gentlemanly character in a lawless age.

Adventures of Chevalier de La Salle   by John S. C. Abbott   81 credits
La Salle was a French explorer who followed the path of the Mississippi river from the great lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. In doing so he overcame nearly insurmountable difficulties and faced down terror, privation, freezing cold, and savage natives. He passed thousands of miles of lakes and rivers in a birch canoe and transversed countless trails to claim the Mississippi valley for France.

Ponce de Leon   by Frederick Ober   83 credits
Ponce de Leon is best known for his quixotic quest in search of the Fountain of Youth in Florida. The full story of his life, however, includes expeditions of conquest in both Hispaniola and Jamaica, and several expeditions in the region of the Bahamas and the coast of Florida. He was killed in battle with the war-like Caribs, who resisted the Spaniards with a ferocity unmatched by their docile Arawak neighbors.

Ferdinand de Soto   by Frederick Ober   85 credits
Fernando de Soto made a name for himself as a young man, during the conquest of Peru under Pizarro. With the gains he made in Peru he equipped an expedition into the unknown regions of Florida and the Southwestern United States in hopes of discovering yet another empire, and more gold. After two years of fruitless wondering, and many encounters with Indian, de Soto discovered the Mississippi river, but failed to realize its significance, considering it only as an obstacle in his quest for gold and empire.


American Negro History

Uncle Tom's Cabin Told to the Children   by H. E. Marshall   48 credits
This short retelling of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin tells the life stories of a number of slaves and slave-owners in the south, and shows the detrimental effects of servitude on both master and slave. It follows the original story faithfully and does an excellent job of depicting complex character development in a brief space.

Uncle Remus His Songs and Sayings   by J. C. Harris   125 credits
This delightful and very funny book recounts stories told by a former slave, Uncle Remus, to children of the south in the days after the Civil war. Most of the stories involve mischievous animals and they are told with terrific flair and humor. Much of the book is written in a negro dialect that may be difficult for inexperience readers, but is delightful when read aloud.

Up from Slavery   by Booker T. Washington   113 credits
Autobiography of Booker T. Washington, a man who was born into slavery, but overcame hardships through hard work and diligence. At 25, he became the first principle of Tuskagee college, founded to teach newly freed slaves the skills to gain employment. In this position he rose to become a nationally known figure, and advocate for American freedmen. His story provides great insight into the condition of the former slaves of the south in the years following the civil war.

Short History of the American Negro   by Benjamin Brawley   90 credits
This book, written by a dean of Morehouse College, provides a brief history of negroes in America beginning with the first incidences of slavery in the American colonies and ending with an analysis of the state of the American negro in the early 20th century. The stories of several important negro leaders are given, and the politics of slavery, emancipation, and reconstruction efforts in the south are discussed.

Negro and the Nation   by G. S. Merriam   188 credits
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the state of American Negros in the years before and after their emancipation. The severe political conflicts in the years leading up to the Civil War and during the reconstruction period afterward are explained thoroughly, and several short biographies of important negro political leaders are given.


American Indian History

Eskimo Twins   by Lucy F. Perkins   49 credits
Share the adventures of Menie and Monnie, 5 year-old twins in an Eskimo village, where the villagers have to provide for all their own needs. Their father, Kesshoo, is a brave fisherman and strong hunter and their mother Koolee is clever in making clothing and shoes out of the skins of the animals which he brings home. We watch the twins as they spot a polar bear while coasting on their sleds, then join with the villagers in the sharing of the meat and the feasting afterwards. Among the other activities they enjoy are ice fishing, building a snow house, hunting for seals, and traveling by boat to their summering ground where they catch salmon to dry for the winter. Children are captivated by the humor and playfulness in this community where the winter night lasts for four long months!

Massasoit: A Story of the Indians of New England   by Alma H. Burton   98 credits
The story of the Wampanoag Indians and their dealing with the Indians is told in a manner appropriate for young readers in this charming but tragic book. Massasoit was the Great Sachem of the New England tribe that was most helpful and friendly to the Pilgrims in the early years. Within his lifetime however, the number of white men in the area constantly increased and by the time his son, King Philip, came to rule the tribe, conflict between the settlers and the native Indians was inevitable.

Indian Boyhood   by Charles Eastman   90 credits
Autobiographical story of a the last few years of childhood for a plains Indian boy whose family converts to Christianity and sends him to school in "civilization." He adjusts well to his new life but remembers his free and easy early years with great fondness. The author wrote many books on Indian life and was involved in the formation of the American Boy Scouts.

Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains   by Charles Eastman   62 credits
This book gives an insightful account of many of the most important chiefs of the Plains and Northwest Indians. Besides the very well-known Indian heroes such as Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Chief Joseph, it also gives the stories of several lesser known Sioux and Dakota chiefs such as Spotted-Tail, Dull Knife, and Rain-in-the-face.

Blackfeet Indian Stories   by G. B. Grinnell   62 credits
This collection of Blackfeet legends and stories was written by George Bird Grinnell, one of the foremost Indian scholars of the day, and an early naturalist. It includes nature and creation legends and hero tales, as well as humorous stories. The final chapter provides much information about Blackfeet life and culture.

When Buffalo Ran   by G. B. Grinnell   41 credits
This book recounts the true story of a boy growing up among the plains Indians in the early nineteenth century during the years when the white men were steadily encroaching upon the Indian territories and threatening their way of life. It was written by one of the predominant scholars of Indian history of the early 20th century.

Famous Indian Chiefs I Have Known   by O. O. Howard   80 credits
The author of this book was a famous Civil War General, head of the Freedman's Bureau and founder of Howard University. As liaison for Indian Affairs under President Grant, he negotiated with almost all the major Indian Chiefs in the west in the decades after the civil war. He was sympathetic to their plight and tried to arrange peace between the white men and Indians.

Four American Indians   by Frances Perry   98 credits
Short and sympathetic biographies of four of the most prominent Indian chiefs in American History are provided in a single text. Each of the four subjects, including King Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, and Osceola, were talented leaders who organized diverse tribes to fight against the encroachments of the white man.

Boys' Book of Indian Warriors   by Edwin Sabin   147 credits
This book, written from the point of view of the American Indians who tried to defend their land from the white men, highlights the lives and deeds of some of the most important Indian chiefs from the earliest Iroquois and Algonquins in 17th century New England, to the flight of the Nez Perces under Chief Joseph. Piskaret, King Philip, Pontiac, Logan and Cornstalk, Little Turtle, Tecumseh, Black-hawk, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull are some of the Chiefs whose stories are told here.

With the Indians in the Rockies   by James W. Schultz   63 credits
This book tells the fascinating story of two young men, one Indian and one white, who became stranded in the Rockies in early winter with only the clothes on their back. Resorting to primitive methods of making fire, weapons, shelter and clothes, they survive a frigid winter, and have numerous fantastic adventures. Although the book is fiction, it is based on a story told by a well-known fur trader who had lived most of his life among the Western Indians.

Bird Woman—Sacajawea   by James W. Schultz   76 credits
This moving account of the life of Sacajawea is recounted as told to some of the Sioux Indians and frontiersmen who actually met her and other members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. They tell, not only of her heroism during the great expedition, but of her early life, and the story of her capture by hostile Indians which ended in her marriage to a French trader. The author was a trader who lived much of his life among the Indians of Montana and knew members of Sacajawea's tribe personally .

Adventures of Buffalo Bill   by William Cody   54 credits
This books is two books in one. It includes both a short autobiography of Colonel William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, and four extended accounts, written by Cody himself, describing several of his most famous adventures. Buffalo Bill was a larger-than-life character, right out of the old west, and his life was filled with remarkable adventures. He worked from a very young age as a scout, trail guide, Indian fighter, trapper, pony-express rider, and soldier and like many Westerners of his age, had a complex, non-politically-correct view of Indians.

Isaac Jogues: Missionary and Martyr   by Martin J. Scott   48 credits
Isaac Jogues and his fellow Jesuits were some of the earliest missionaries to the new world. Jogues life story tells much of the condition of the native Americans at the time of their first encounter with white men, and of the stunning bravery and dedication of the early missionaries. Isaac was tortured by the Iroquois but forgave his tormentors and returned to preach only to die a martyr.

Soul of the Indian   by Charles Eastman   29 credits
An accessible and thoughtful discourse about the native religion of the American Indians, written by a Dakota Indian. He treats issues of worship, morals, and afterlife sympathetically and with great insight into the Indian soul.

Indian History for Young Folks   by Francis Drake   284 credits
This book was considered the standard narrative of the history of the American Indians from the time its first version was published in the 1880's to the mid twentieth century. It was written for the general reader and is both thorough and well balanced. It gives fair treatment to the point of view of the Indians and early white settler, and dozens of anecdotes illustrate both the treachery and misdealing as well as faithful friendships between the two civilizations.

King Philip   by John S. C. Abbott   118 credits
King Philip was the leader of the Wampanoag Indians. His father had been friendly to the early American colonists in New England. After a long period of peace, he saw that as the colony thrived, his lands were ever diminished. He realized the Indians were doomed unless they drove the white men from their soil, and so turned against the settlers in what became the most ferocious uprising of Indians in New England history.