Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes. — G. K. Chesterton

America First - Lawton Evans

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.

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Indian birch bark canoe

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When children advance beyond the nursery age, no story is so wonderful as a true story. Fiction to them is never as appealing as fact. I have often been faced with the inquiry: whether or not a story is a true one. The look of gratification, when told that "it actually happened," was most satisfying to me as a story-teller.

The nearer a story is to the life and traditions of the child, the more eagerly it is attended. True stories about our own people, about our neighbors and friends, and about our own country at large, are more interesting than true stories of remote places and people. We naturally are interested in our own affairs, and the nearer they are to us the greater the interest we feel.

That history is just a long, thrilling story of the trials and triumphs of pioneers and patriots is well known to those who have had to do with the teaching of history to youthful minds. That the dry recital of political and governmental history does not interest children is also well known. History should be made vital, vibrant, and personal if we expect children to be stirred by its study.

To gratify the love of children for the dramatic and picturesque, to satisfy them with stories that are true, and to make them familiar with the great characters in the history of their own country, is the purpose of this volume.

It is hoped that through appeal to youthful love of adventure, this collection of stories, covering the entire range of American history, will stimulate the ambition and strengthen the patriotism of those young citizens whose education has been the constant concern of the author for many years.


Augusta, Ga

[Contents, Page 1 of 3] from America First by Lawton Evans [Contents, Page 2 of 3] from America First by Lawton Evans [Contents, Page 3 of 3] from America First by Lawton Evans


Front Matter

Leif, the Lucky
Spaniards Conquer Mexico
Conquest of Peru
The Fountain of Youth
De Soto and the Mississippi
Sir Walter Raleigh
The Lost Colony
Adventures of John Smith
More about John Smith
Pilgrims and Puritans
Miles Standish
Building a Canoe
Roger Williams
Old Silver Leg
William Penn
The Charter Oak
Bloody Marsh
Saving of Hadley
Sir William Phips
Hannah Dustin
Israel Putnam
A Young Surveyor
Young Washington
Indians and Major Putnam
How Detroit was Saved
Blackbeard the Pirate
Daniel Boone
Sunday in the Colonies
The Salem Witches
Traveling by Stage-coach
King George and the Colonies
Patrick Henry
Paul Revere
Green Mountain Boys
Father of his Country
Nathan Hale
Elizabeth Zane
Capturing the Hessians
Lafayette Comes to America
Lydia Darrah
Captain Molly Pitcher
The Swamp Fox
Outwitting a Tory
Supporting the Colors
Nancy Hart
Mad Anthony
Execution of Major Andre
How Schuyler was Saved
An Indian Trick
Winning the Northwest
Benjamin Franklin
Nolichucky Jack
Eli Whitney
Thomas Jefferson
Burning of the Philadelphia
Lewis and Clark
Colter's Race for Life
Pike Explores Arkansas Valley
How Pumpkins Saved a Family
Old Ironsides
Star Spangled Banner
Traveling by Canal
Lafayette Returns
Osceola, Seminole Chief
Journey by Railroad
Old Hickory
Daniel Webster
Henry Clay
Plantation Christmas
John C. Calhoun
Heroes of the Alamo
Freedom for Texas
Electric Telegraph
Gold in California
Crossing Continent
The Pony Express
Boy Who Saved Village
Rescue of Jerry
Abraham Lincoln
Robert E. Lee
Stonewall Jackson
Stealing a Locomotive
Sam Davis
Escape from Prison
Running the Blockade
Heart of the South
Surrender of Lee
Laying the Atlantic Cable
The Telephone
Thomas A. Edison
Clara Barton
Hobson and the Merrimac
Dewey at Manila Bay
Conquering Yellow Fever
Sinking of Lusitania
Private Treptow
Frank Luke, Aviator
Sergeant York