« السابقةمتابعة »
INTRODUCTION. "The Story of Our Country'' has been often told, but cannot be told too often. I have spared no effort to make the following pages interesting as well as truthful, and to present, in graphic language, a pen-picture of our nation's origin and
progress. It is a story of events, and not a dry chronicle of official succession. It is an attempt to give some fresh color to facts that are well known, while depicting also other facts of public interest which have never appeared in any general history. Wherever I have taken the work of another I give credit therefor; otherwise this little book is the fruit of original research and thought. The views expressed will doubtless not please everybody, and some may think that I go too far in pleading the cause of the original natives of the soil. Historic justice demands that some one should tell the truth about the Indians, whose chief and almost only fault has been that they occupied lands which the white man wanted. Even now covetous eyes are cast upon the territory reserved for the use of the remaining tribes.
For such statements in regard to General Jackson at New Orleans as differ from the ordinary narrative I am indebted to a work never published, so far as I am aware, in this country or in the English language_Vincent Nolte's“Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres,” issued in Hamburg in 1853. As Nolte owned the cotton which Jackson appropriated, and also served as a volunteer in the battle of New Orleans, he ought to be good authority.
In dealing with the late war I have sought to be just to both the Union and the Confederacy.
The lapse of over thirty years has given a more accurate perspective to the events of that mighty struggle, in which, as a soldier-boy of sixteen, I was an obscure participant, and all true Americans, whether they wore the blue or gray, now look back with pride to the splendid valor and heroic endurance displayed by the combatants on both sides. Those who belittle the constancy and courage of the South belittle the sacrifices and successes of the North.
The slavery conflict has long been over, and the scars it left are disappearing. Other and momentous problems have arisen for settlement, but there is every reason for confidence that they will be settled at the ballot-box, and without appeal to rebellion, or thought or threat of secession. In the present generation, more than in any preceding, is the injunction of Washington exemplified, that the name of American should always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. This supreme National sentiment overpowering all considerations of local interest and attachment, is the assurance that our country will live forever, that all difficulties, however menacing, will yield to the challenge of popular intelligence and patriotism, and that the glorious record of the past is but the morning ray of our National greatness to come.