| Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans|
|by Edward Eggleston|
|Very simply told stories of warriors, statesmen, explorers, scientists, inventors, men and women of letters, and others. 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. Ages 7-9 |
ONE LITTLE BAG OF RICE
THE first white people that came to this country hardly knew how to
get their living here. They did not know what would grow best in
Many of the white people learned to hunt. All the land was covered
with trees. In the woods were many animals whose flesh was good to
 There were deer, and bears, and great shaggy
were rabbits and squirrels. And there were many kinds of birds. The
hunters shot wild ducks, wild turkeys, wild geese, and pigeons. The
people also caught many fishes out of the rivers.
Then there were animals with fur on their backs. The people killed
these and sold their skins. In this way many made their living.
Other people spent their time in cutting down the trees. They sawed
the trees into timbers and boards. Some of it they split into staves
to make barrels. They sent the staves and other sorts of timber to
other countries to be sold. In South
Carolina men made tar and
pitch out of the pine trees.
But there was a wise man in South Carolina. He was one of those men
that find out better ways of doing. His name was Thomas Smith.
Thomas Smith had once lived in a large island thousands of miles away
from South Carolina. In that island he had seen the people raising
rice. He saw that it was planted in wet ground. He said that he would
like to try it in South Carolina. But he could not get any seed
rice to plant. The rice that people eat is not fit to sow.
One day a ship came to Charleston, where Thomas Smith lived. It had
been driven there by storms. The ship came from the large island
 where Smith had seen rice grow. The captain of this ship was an old
friend of Smith.
The two old friends met once more. Thomas Smith told the captain that
he wanted some rice for seed. The captain called the cook of his ship,
and asked him if he had any. The cook had one little bag of seed rice.
The captain gave this to his friend.
There was some wet ground at the back of Smith's garden. In this wet
ground he sowed some of the rice. It grew finely.
He gathered a good deal of rice in his garden that year. He gave part
of this to his friends. They all sowed it. The next year there was a
great deal of rice.
After a while the wet land in South Carolina was turned to rice
fields. Every year many thousands of barrels of rice were sent away
to be sold.
All this came from one little bag of rice and one wise man.
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