| This Country of Ours|
|by H. E. Marshall|
|Stories from the history of the United States beginning with a full account of exploration and settlement and ending with the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. The 99 chapters 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. Ages 10-14 |
TYLER—FLORIDA BECOMES A STATE
 JOHN TYLER now became President. At first there was some doubt as
to what he should be called. Adams, the ex-President, said he should
be called "Vice-President acting as President." But that was much
too long. Someone else suggested "Regent," but that smacked too
much of royalty. But the people did not worry about it; they just
called him President, and so the matter settled itself.
One important matter during Tyler's presidency was the settling of
the boundary between British America and Maine. The uncertainty of
where the border between the two countries really was had caused a
good deal of friction, the British accusing the Americans and the
Americans accusing the British of encroaching on their territory.
Many attempts had been made to settle it, but they had all failed.
And both sides had become so angry over it that it was very nearly
a question of war.
But now at last the question was thrashed out between Daniel Webster,
the great orator acting for the United States, and Lord Ashburton
acting for Britain. Lord Ashburton came out to Washington. The
business was carried through in a friendly fashion and settled
The twenty-seventh state was admitted to the Union during Tyler's
time of office. This was Florida. Since Spain had given up Florida
to the United States there had been a good deal of unrest among the
Indians. And at last the settlers decided that it would be better
to send them out of the country altogether.
 So the settlers made a treaty with the Indians by which the Indians
agreed to accept lands in the West instead of their Florida lands.
But when the time came for them to go they refused to move, and a
war which lasted seven years was begun.
It was a terrible war and thousands of lives were lost on either
side, for the Indians were led by a brave and wily chief named
Osceola. But at length they were defeated. They were then removed
to western lands as had been agreed; only about three hundred were
allowed to remain, and these were obliged to keep to the extreme
south of the province.
The war ended soon after Tyler became President. Then land was
offered free to settlers who would promise to remain at least five
years. Many were glad to get land on such easy terms, and soon the
country which had been a refuge for escaped slaves and a haunt for
desperadoes became the home of orderly people.
In a very short time these new settlers wished to join the Union,
but at first they could not agree as to whether Florida should be
made into one or two states. Finally, however, it was decided that
it should be one, and in March, 1845, it was admitted to the Union
as a slave state.
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