酷兔英语



FOUR GREAT AMERICANS

WASHINGTON

FRANKLIN

WEBSTER

LINCOLN

A BOOK FOR YOUNG AMERICANS

BY JAMES BALDWIN, PH.D.

CONTENTS

THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

CHAPTER

I WHEN WASHINGTON WAS A BOY

II HIS HOMES

III HIS SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS

IV GOING TO SEA

V THE YOUNG SURVEYOR

VI THE OHIO COUNTRY

VII A CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES

VIII A PERILOUS JOURNEY

IX HIS FIRST BATTLE

X THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR

XI THE MUTTERINGS OF THE STORM

XII THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR

XIII INDEPENDENCE

XIV THE FIRST PRESIDENT

XV "FIRST IN THE HEARTS OF HIS COUNTRYMEN"

THE STORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

CHAPTER

I THE WHISTLE

II SCHOOLDAYS

III THE BOYS AND THE WHARF

IV CHOOSING A TRADE

V HOW FRANKLIN EDUCATED HIMSELF

VI FAREWELL TO BOSTON

VII THE FIRST DAY IN PHILADELPHIA

VIII GOVERNOR WILLIAM KEITH

IX THE RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA

X THE FIRST VISIT TO ENGLAND

XI A LEADING MAN IN PHILADELPHIA

XII FRANKLIN'S RULES OF LIFE

XIII FRANKLIN'S SERVICES TO THE COLONIES

XIV FRANKLIN'S WONDERFUL KITE

XV THE LAST YEARS

THE STORY OF DANIEL WEBSTER

CHAPTER

I CAPTAIN WEBSTER

II THE YOUNGEST SON

III EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

IV PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

V AT EXETER ACADEMY

VI GETTING READY FOR COLLEGE

VII AT DARTMOUTH COLLEGE

VIII HOW DANIEL TAUGHT SCHOOL

IX DANIEL GOES TO BOSTON

X LAWYER AND CONGRESSMAN

XI THE DARTMOUTH COLLEGE CASE

XII WEBSTER'S GREAT ORATIONS

XIII MR. WEBSTER IN THE SENATE

XIV MR. WEBSTER IN PRIVATE LIFE

XV THE LAST YEARS

THE STORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

CHAPTER

I THE KENTUCKY HOME

II WORK AND SORROW

III THE NEW MOTHER

IV SCHOOL AND BOOKS

V LIFE IN THE BACKWOODS

VI THE BOATMAN

VII THE FIRST YEARS IN ILLINOIS

VIII THE BLACK HAWK WAR

IX IN THE LEGISLATURE

X POLITICS AND MARRIAGE

XI CONGRESSMAN AND LAWYER

XII THE QUESTION OF SLAVERY

XIII LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS

XIV PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

XV THE END OF A GREAT LIFE

THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

[Illustration of George Washington]

THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

* * * * *

I.--WHEN WASHINGTON WAS A BOY.

When George Washington was a boy there was no United States. The land

was here, just as it is now, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the

Pacific; but nearly all of it was wild and unknown.

Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Alleghany Mountains there were

thirteen colonies, or great settlements. The most of the people who

lived in these colonies were English people, or the children of English

people; and so the King of England made their laws and appointed their

governors.

The newest of the colonies was Georgia, which was settled the year after

George Washington was born.

The oldest colony was Virginia, which had been settled one hundred and

twenty-five years. It was also the richest colony, and more people were

living in it than in any other.

There were only two or three towns in Virginia at that time, and they

were quite small.

Most of the people lived on farms or on big plantations, where they

raised whatever they needed to eat. They also raised tobacco, which they

sent to England to be sold.

The farms, or plantations, were often far apart, with stretches of thick

woods between them. Nearly every one was close to a river, or some other

large body of water; for there are many rivers in Virginia.

There were no roads, such as we have nowadays, but only paths through

the woods. When people wanted to travel from place to place, they had to

go on foot, or on horseback, or in small boats.

A few of the rich men who lived on the big plantations had coaches; and

now and then they would drive out in grand style behind four or six

horses, with a fine array of servants and outriders following them. But

they could not drive far where there were no roads, and we can hardly

understand how they got any pleasure out of it.

Nearly all the work on the plantations was done by slaves. Ships had

been bringing negroes from Africa for more than a hundred years, and now

nearly half the people in Virginia were blacks.

Very often, also, poor white men from England were sold as slaves for a

few years in order to pay for their passage across the ocean. When their

freedom was given to them they continued to work at whatever they could

find to do; or they cleared small farms in the woods for themselves, or

went farther to the west and became woodsmen and hunters.

There was but very little money in Virginia at that time, and, indeed,

there was not much use for it. For what could be done with money where

there were no shops worth speaking of, and no stores, and nothing to

buy?

The common people raised flax and wool, and wove their own cloth; and

they made their own tools and furniture. The rich people did the same;

but for their better or finer goods they sent to England.

For you must know that in all this country there were no great mills for

spinning and weaving as there are now; there were no factories of any

kind; there were no foundries where iron could be melted and shaped into

all kinds of useful and beautiful things.

When George Washington was a boy the world was not much like it is now.

* * * * *

II.--HIS HOMES.

George Washington's father owned a large plantation on the western shore

of the Potomac River. George's great-grandfather, John Washington, had

settled upon it nearly eighty years before, and there the family had

dwelt ever since.

This plantation was in Westmoreland county, not quite forty miles above

the place where the Potomac flows into Chesapeake Bay. By looking at

your map of Virginia, you will see that the river is very broad there.

On one side of the plantation, and flowing through it, there was a

creek, called Bridge's Creek; and for this reason the place was known as

the Bridge's Creek Plantation.

It was here, on the 22d of February, 1732, that George Washington was

born.

Although his father was a rich man, the house in which he lived was

neither very large nor very fine--at least it would not be thought so

now.

It was a square, wooden building, with four rooms on the ground floor

and an attic above.

The eaves were low, and the roof was long and sloping. At each end of

the house there was a huge chimney; and inside were big fireplaces, one

for the kitchen and one for the "great room" where visitors were

received.

But George did not live long in this house. When he was about three

years old his father removed to another plantation which he owned, near

Hunting Creek, several miles farther up the river. This new plantation

was at first known as the Washington Plantation, but it is now called

Mount Vernon.

Four years after this the house of the Washingtons was burned down. But

Mr. Washington had still other lands on the Rappahannock River. He had

also an interest in some iron mines that were being opened there. And so

to this place the family was now taken.

The house by the Rappahannock was very much like the one at Bridge's

Creek. It stood on high ground, overlooking the river and some low

meadows; and on the other side of the river was the village of

Fredericksburg, which at that time was a very small village, indeed.

George was now about seven years old.

* * * * *

III.--HIS SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS.

There were no good schools in Virginia at that time. In fact, the people

did not care much about learning.

There were few educated men besides the parsons, and even some of the

parsons were very ignorant.

It was the custom of some of the richest families to send their eldest

sons to England to the great schools there. But it is doubtful if these

young men learned much about books.

They spent a winter or two in the gay society of London, and were taught

the manners of gentlemen--and that was about all.

George Washington's father, when a young man, had spent some time at

Appleby School in England, and George's half-brothers, Lawrence and

Augustine, who were several years older than he, had been sent to the

same school.

But book-learning was not thought to be of much use. To know how to

manage the business of a plantation, to be polite to one's equals, to be

a leader in the affairs of the colony--this was thought to be the best

education.

And so, for most of the young men, it was enough if they could read and

write a little and keep a few simple accounts. As for the girls, the

parson might give them a few lessons now and then; and if they learned

good manners and could write letters to their friends, what more could

they need?

George Washington's first teacher was a poor sexton, whose name was Mr.

Hobby. There is a story that he had been too poor to pay his passage

from England, and that he had, therefore, been sold to Mr. Washington as

a slave for a short time; but how true this is, I cannot say.

From Mr. Hobby, George learned to spell easy words, and perhaps to write

a little; but, although he afterward became a very careful and good

penman, he was a poor speller as long as he lived.

When George was about eleven years old his father died. We do not know

what his father's intentions had been regarding him. But possibly, if he

had lived, he would have given George the best education that his means

would afford.

But now everything was changed. The plantation at Hunting Creek, and,

indeed, almost all the rest of Mr. Washington's great estate, became the

property of the eldest son, Lawrence.

George was sent to Bridge's Creek to live for a while with his brother

Augustine, who now owned the old home plantation there. The mother and

the younger children remained on the Rappahannock farm.

While at Bridge's Creek, George was sent to school to a Mr. Williams,

who had lately come from England.

There are still to be seen some exercises which the lad wrote at that

time. There is also a little book, called _The Young Man's Companion_,

from which he copied, with great care, a set of rules for good behavior

and right living.

Not many boys twelve years old would care for such a book nowadays. But

you must know that in those days there were no books for children, and,

indeed, very few for older people.

The maxims and wise sayings which George copied were, no doubt, very

interesting to him--so interesting that many of them were never

forgotten.

There are many other things also in this _Young Man's Companion_, and we

have reason to believe that George studied them all.

There are short chapters on arithmetic and surveying, rules for the

measuring of land and lumber, and a set of forms for notes, deeds, and

other legal documents. A knowledge of these things was, doubtless, of

greater importance to him than the reading of many books would have

been.

Just what else George may have studied in Mr. Williams's school I cannot

say. But all this time he was growing to be a stout, manly boy, tall and

strong, and well-behaved. And both his brothers and himself were

beginning to think of what he should do when he should become a man.

* * * * *

IV.--GOING TO SEA.

Once every summer a ship came up the river to the plantation, and was

moored near the shore.

It had come across the sea from far-away England, and it brought many

things for those who were rich enough to pay for them.

It brought bonnets and pretty dresses for George's mother and sisters;

it brought perhaps a hat and a tailor-made suit for himself; it brought

tools and furniture, and once a yellow coach that had been made in

London, for his brother.

When all these things had been taken ashore, the ship would hoist her

sails and go on, farther up the river, to leave goods at other

plantations.

In a few weeks it would come back and be moored again at the same place.

Then there was a busy time on shore. The tobacco that had been raised

during the last year must be carried on shipboard to be taken to the

great tobacco markets in England.

The slaves on the plantation were running back and forth, rolling


生词表:
  • indian [´indiən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.印度的 n.印度人   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • farewell [feə´wel] 移动到这儿单词发声  int.再见 n.&a.告别   (初中英语单词)
  • governor [´gʌvənə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总督;州长   (初中英语单词)
  • lawyer [´lɔ:jə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.律师;法学家   (初中英语单词)
  • politics [´pɔlitiks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.政治(学);政治活动   (初中英语单词)
  • virginia [və´dʒinjə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.佛吉尼亚(州)   (初中英语单词)
  • whatever [wɔt´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.&a.无论什么   (初中英语单词)
  • tobacco [tə´bækəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.烟草(叶);卷烟   (初中英语单词)
  • western [´westən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.西的;西方的   (初中英语单词)
  • wooden [´wudn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.木制的;呆板的   (初中英语单词)
  • polite [pə´lait] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有礼貌的;温和的   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • estate [i´steit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财产;庄园;等级   (初中英语单词)
  • lately [´leitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.近来,不久前   (初中英语单词)
  • lumber [´lʌmbə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.伐木 n.木材   (初中英语单词)
  • doubtless [´dautlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无疑地;大概,多半   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • ashore [ə´ʃɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.向岸上   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • perilous [´periləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.危险的;冒险的   (高中英语单词)
  • kentucky [kən´tʌki] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.肯塔基   (高中英语单词)
  • georgia [´dʒɔ:dʒjə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.乔治亚   (高中英语单词)
  • horseback [´hɔ:sbæk] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.马背   (高中英语单词)
  • plantation [plæn´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.种植园;栽植;移民   (高中英语单词)
  • doubtful [´dautful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.怀疑的,可疑的   (高中英语单词)
  • learned [´lə:nid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有学问的,博学的   (高中英语单词)
  • regarding [ri´gɑ:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • eldest [´eldist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.最年长的   (高中英语单词)
  • studied [´stʌdid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.故意的;有计划的   (高中英语单词)
  • congressman [´kɔŋgresmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.国会议员   (英语四级单词)
  • lincoln [´liŋkən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.林肯   (英语四级单词)
  • arithmetic [ə´riθmətik] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.算术   (英语四级单词)
  • speaking [´spi:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说话 a.发言的   (英语六级单词)
  • hunting [´hʌntiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.打猎   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:59:03
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