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Builders of Our Country: Book II by  Gertrude van Duyn Southworth

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Builders of Our Country: Book II
by Gertrude van Duyn Southworth
A lively account of American history told through 31 biographies, beginning with Patrick Henry at the start of the Revolution and ending with Andrew Carnegie at the close of the 19th century. The biographies are so chosen as to acquaint the reader with the chief personages and events in our national life, by including many vivid pictures of each.  Ages 10-12
319 pages $13.95   



Back Matter



1. Who governed the colonies at the close of the French and Indian War? At that time what was the feeling of the colonies toward that government?

2. What change did the war make in the feeling of the colonies toward one another? Why?

3. Why did King George III wish to tax the colonies? How did he try to do it?

4. Why did the colonists object to paying the tax? Who was the first American publicly to speak against it? Where and when was this speech made?

5. What were the resolutions adopted by the House of Burgesses?

6. What other laws that England was trying to enforce were unfair to the colonies? Why?


1. Who was Samuel Adams? Name four occasions on which he guided the Massachusetts colony.

2. Why did England repeal the Stamp Act? What did she substitute in its place? With what result?

3. Why were British regulars in Boston?

4. What was the effect of the Boston Massacre?

5. What were Committees of Correspondence, and why were they needed?

6. Describe the Boston Tea Party. What did England do to punish the colony for this? Why was it a severe punishment? How did the colony retaliate?

7. What was the first battle of the American Revolution? What caused it? What were the soldiers of the colonists called? Why?

8. What were the results of the fighting at Lexington and on Bunker Hill?


1. Tell what you can of Washington's family and of his boyhood in Virginia.

2. What training had Washington had to make him a fit messenger for Governor Dinwiddie to send to the French commander?

3. What was the object of his first journey to the Ohio? Describe his route.

4. What was the object of General Braddock's campaign? Why was he not successful?

5. Tell of four things that Washington did during his expeditions that showed him to be a good soldier.


1. Describe plantation life in Virginia.

2. What was the First Continental Congress? Why did it meet? When and where?

3. What important step was taken by the Second Continental Congress? Why?

4. Compare Washington's army with England's forces in America.

5. Describe briefly three campaigns during 1776, when Washington outwitted the English.

6. What was the most important event of 1776? Why?

7. Name three friends of Washington, and tell what each did to help the Revolution.

8. How did Washington plan for the surrender at Yorktown? When did the war end?

9. What did Washington do for his country after the war?


1. At the beginning of 1777, what plan did England have for ending the war?

2. At the outset how did General Schuyler prove himself an able commander?

3. What three patriots greatly assisted Ceneral Schuyler, and how?

4. When, where, and to whom did General Burgoyne surrender? How is this explained? What were the effects of this victory?

5. Tell what you can of the story of our first American flag.


1. In what colony was Nathanael Greene's native home? How was he honored there?

2. How did he come to have a command in Washington's army?

3. Why did Cornwallis undertake a southern campaign? Who opposed him before Nathanael Greene? Why was Greene appointed to the southern command?

4. What officer assisted General Greene in the South? What was Greene's plan of campaign?

5. Describe the flight of Greene's army.

6. How did Georgia reward General Greene?


1. How was it that John Paul of Scotland became John Paul Jones of Virginia?

2. What was his first achievement in the American navy?

3. What were the exploits of the Ranger?

4. What was Paul Jones's greatest victory?

5. How did it happen that Paul Jones had funeral honors in 1905?


1. In what year, and where, was the last battle of the Revolution?

2. What did Lafayette do for the American cause?

3. What kind of man was he as shown by his behavior at Monmouth?

4. When did he last visit America? How did this country show its appreciation of his aid?


1. With what city is Alexander Hamilton most closely associated? In what ways? Describe some scene there in which he took part before the Revolution.

2. What were "Liberty poles"? What name was given to the British sympathizers at this time?

3. How did Alexander Hamilton win recognition as a soldier?

4. At the close of the Revolution what difficulties proved the need of a National Constitution?

5. Explain what is meant by "depreciated money."

6. What did Hamilton do toward the adoption of the new Constitution?

7. Who was the first President of the United States? When and where was he inaugurated?

8. What position did Hamilton occupy during this administration? What did he accomplish?

9. Recount the circumstances of Hamilton's death.


1. When did Jefferson enter upon public life? What training had he had for it?

2. What was his greatest work? To whom was it submitted, and by whom adopted? Give the date of its adoption. What did the occasion mean to the American people? Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?

3. What did Jefferson do for Virginia?

4. Who were his predecessors in the Presidency? How did he differ from them in his ways of living?

5. What was the territory of the United States at the beginning of Jefferson's administration? at the end? Account for this.

6. Who were Lewis and Clark, and why are they famous?


1. Why are the pioneer woodsmen to be counted important characters in our history?

2. What territory did Daniel Boone explore?

3. What was his route into the West?

4. Describe the fort at Boonesborough, and explain why it was built as it was.

5. How much farther west did Boone explore?


1. Where did Eli Whitney spend his youth?

2. How did he become interested in Georgia cotton?

3. Describe Whitney's cotton gin.

4. What difference did the cotton gin make to the planter? to the merchant? to the purchasers of retail goods?

5. How did it affect foreign commerce? the growth of the whole country?

6. How were clothes made in early colonial times?

7. Who invented the sewing machine? When? How did he come to do this? Tell what you can about his efforts.

8. How was the sewing machine received by tailors and those who sewed for a living? Why? What do we think of it to-day?


1. How did the early colonists travel from one settlement to another? In what kind of vessels did they cross the ocean? About how long did it take?

2. How long does it take now to go from this country to England?

3. What has brought about the change?

4. What were some of Robert Fulton's first inventions?

5. Where was Fulton's native home? In what city did he make his fame? Who was his friend and helper?

6. Describe the first trip of the Clermont.

7. What scheme of Fulton's, discarded in his day, is now of great use to all the navies of the world?


1. Describe methods of land travel in colonial times.

2. How quickly can a California senator to-day travel from his home to the National Capital?

3. When was the first line of railroad across our country completed? When was our first railroad opened? Where?

4. Had there been steam engines before Stephenson's Rocket? For what were they used? Give the story of Stephenson's boyhood and early work.

5. In what ways have railroads helped this country?


1. Why did America have war with England in 1812?

2. What work did this Government have for Perry to do? What were his forces? How did he prepare to defend his position?

3. What training had fitted Perry for such work?

4. What famous command was on Perry's flag? By whom was it spoken first?

5. Quote Perry's message which has become famous in our naval history. What did it mean?

6. Why was the battle of Lake Erie a very important one?


1. What was the combined attack planned by the British in 1814?

2. Describe the battle of Lake Champlain.

3. Where else had Thomas Macdonough fought for his country? Under whom?

4. How did the Barbary pirates exact tribute?


1. During what events of our history was Andrew Jackson born? Where was he born?

2. What part did he take in the different wars of our country during his lifetime? What great victory did he win?

3. Where did he spend most of his manhood? What were his occupations there?

4. What Government positions did he hold? When did he go to the White House?

5. Explain one of the great National disputes during Jackson's administration. What two men led the great debate in the Senate? What were Jackson's views?


1. How did Henry Clay fit himself to be a lawyer?

2. What state did he represent in Congress? In what position?

3. What topics were interesting Congress during Clay's first two terms? during his later years in Congress?

4. Why did one half of our country hold to slavery and the other half not?

5. What conditions led Clay to offer the Missouri compromise? For what did it provide? When was it adopted?

6. What conditions led to another compromise in 1850? What were the terms of this? What name was given to this compromise? Why?

7. What name has been given to Clay, and why?


1. Tell the story of Daniel Webster's love for the Constitution. Where and how was Webster educated?

2. Who were some of Webster's associates in Congress?

3. What was the great question of debate argued by Webster and Clay between 1813 and 1828?

4. What was the question of 1830? Who opposed Webster in this?

5. For what principle does Webster stand in the history of our country?

6. Describe Daniel Webster as an orator.

7. What stand did Webster take which injured his chances for the Presidency?


1. Why was it desirable to have a canal across New York State? What are the terminal points of the Eric Canal?

2. After the canal was completed, what changes did it make in the growth of commerce? in the cost of goods? in the growth of New York State?

3. To whom chiefly was the building of the canal due? How was the cost of building it defrayed? Did the building of it prove a financial gain or loss to the State, and why?

4. Describe the opening of the Erie Canal. When was this?


1. What were the different ways of sending messages before the invention of the telegraph?

2. Why could not the sealed letter be sent by telegraph?

3. Who was the inventor of the telegraph? What was the first message sent?

4. What was the great work of Cyrus W. Field? What was the Great Eastern? How many attempts were made to lay a cable across the Atlantic, and between what years? How does the cable differ from our land telegraph lines?

5. When was the telephone first exhibited? Who was its inventor?

6. What is the chief feature of Marconi's telegraph system?


1. Taking the Lincoln family as a type, describe the life of a Kentucky settler before 1820.

2. What were the happenings of most importance to Lincoln in his boyhood?

3. In what places in the West did Lincoln live? What circumstances decided his going to each?

4. In what war did Lincoln serve as Captain? What public offices did he hold before 1860?

5. What qualities of Lincoln made him both beloved by his neighbors and a worthy candidate for public office?

6. Who was Lincoln's chief opponent in politics? What bill did he offer in Congress? In what year?

7. What was the result of Douglas's bill? Give the story of John Brown.

8. What was the famous court decision of 1857?


1. When was Lincoln inaugurated President?

2. Which were the first states to secede? How did they govern themselves after they left the Union? What other states soon joined them? Was slavery or secession the immediate cause of the war?

3. When and where did the Civil War begin? What was Lincoln's attitude on the question of slavery?

4. What was the objective point of attack of the North for the first year of the war? of the South? Why?

5. What were some of the great battles between 1861 and 1863? At the end of that time what had been gained by each side?

6. What change in the condition of the South was made at the beginning of 1863? What great battles hastened the war to a close? When did it end?

7. What were the circumstances of Lincoln's death?


1. Where was the home of Grant's boyhood?

2. What military training and experience did Grant have before the Civil War?

3. What was the cause of the Mexican War?

4. Describe General Grant. Tell what made him a good commander.

5. Give an account of his great campaign in the West.

6. What were his plans in 1864 for ending the war? What two generals greatly assisted him?

7. Quote three famous sentences spoken by Grant, and give the circumstances in which each was said.


1. Tell what you know of the home life and family of Robert E. Lee.

2. What was Lee's military training and experience before 1861?

3. Who was President of the Confederacy? What advantage did the North have over the South at the opening of the war? What was the effect on each side of the first battle of Bull Run?

4. Who were the successive Union commanders in the East, and in what important battles did they command? Why was so much of the war fought in Virginia and Maryland?

5. What was General Lee doing from the summer of 1864 to April, 1865? What was the importance of this? Give the events of April, 1865.

6. What kind of man was General Lee? Give incidents and quotations to illustrate what you say.


1. What war was going on while Farragut was a boy, and what part did he take in it?

2. On what occasion did Farragut escort a Revolutionary commander?

3. What kind of ships were most of our war vessels before 1854?

4. How did Farragut differ from Lee in deciding his part in the Civil War?

5. What were Farragut's two greatest naval battles? When? Why were these two points important for the North to take?

6. Describe the action of Farragut's fleet on the Mississippi.

7. Describe the kinds of vessels used in the Battle of Mobile Bay? Tell what you know of Farragut himself in this battle.

8. Name three other famous vessels and three naval commanders of the Civil War, telling what part each took.


1. What year marked the great change in grain farming? How had grain been harvested before this?

2. What can McCormick's one harvesting machine do? How much labor does it save?

3. From what you have read and, if possible, from your own observations, describe the parts of one of these machines.

4. What was McCormick's home state? Why did he go west? Where did he build his factories? What great characteristic had Cyrus McCormick besides inventive power?


1. For what was the Red Cross Society organized, and what are some of the things it does?

2. When and by whom was it, organized in this country? What took the place of such a body during the Civil War? Name two other women who helped this commission.

3. Where did the Red Cross Society originate? What is the American Red Cross Society? Name some disasters in times of peace, in which it has worked.

4. Where and when has this American Society done work outside of our own land?

5. What influence do you think that this whole Society has had on the spirit of modern warfare?


1. What reason did the United States have for fighting Spain in 1898? What was the immediate cause of the declaration of war?

2. Who was President of the United States at that time? What were the two important moves to be made by the American forces?

3. What squadron was ordered to attack the Spanish fleet in the Philippines? Why? Who commanded it?

4. What had been Commodore Dewey's career before this battle? What promotion did he receive afterwards?


1. How were houses lighted before the use of gas and electricity?

2. When and by whom was lighting by electricity accomplished?

3. What had been Edison's chief work before he went to Menlo Park? What improvements has he made in telegraphy?

4. Name and describe as well as you can two other inventions of his.

5. Describe Benjamin Franklin's printing press. How was a cylinder press an improvement over the press of Franklin's day? Why were not the single and double cylinder presses perfectly satisfactory?

6. What kind of printing press did Richard M. Hoe invent in 1847? What did it accomplish?

7. What other kind of press did Hoe make? How did it differ from his earlier one?

8. Tell about the printing press of to-day and what it can do.


1. To what does Mr. Carnegie owe his success in life?

2. What is the name of the great business that he has built? What does this business supply to the world? Where are its headquarters?

3. How did Mr. Carnegie work up to the founding of such a business?

4. In what ways has Mr. Carnegie used his millions to help the world?

5. Where was Mr. Carnegie born?


1765. Parliament passes the Stamp Act.
1766. Stamp Act repealed and Declaratory Act passed.
1767. Duties placed on glass, paper, paints, and tea.
1768. English troops land in Boston.
1770. Boston Massacre, March 3rd.
1773. All duties repealed but that on tea.
Boston Tea Party.
1774. Boston port closed.
First Continental Congress.
1775. Second Continental Congress.
Battles of Lexington and Concord, April 19th.
Washington appointed Commander-in-chief.
Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17th.
1776. British evacuate Boston, March 17th.
Declaration of Independence signed, July 4th.
Battle of Long Island, August 22nd.
Washington's retreat across New Jersey.
Battle of Trenton, December 26th.
1777. Battle of Princeton, January 3rd.
Washington's army at Morristown.
Battle of Beoniogton, August 16th.
Battle of Brandywine, September 11th.
Battle of Bemis Heights, September 19th.
Howe enters Philadelphia.
Battle of Germantown, October 4th.
Battle of Stillwater, October 7th.
Burgoyne's surrender, October 11th.
Washington's ariuy at Valley Forge.
1778. France acknowledges America's independence.
British leave Philadelphia.
Battle of Monmouth, June 28th.
Savannah captured, December 29th.
1779. Paul Jones captures the Serapis, September 23rd.
1780. Fall of Charleston, May 12th.
Battle of Camden, August 16th.
Arnold's treason.
Battle of King's Mountain, October 7th.
1781. Battle of Cowpens, January 17th.
Greene's retreat north through the Carolinas.
Battle of Guilford Court House, March 16th.
Cornwallis in Virginia.
British surrender at Yorktown, October 19th.
1783. Treaty of peace with England.
1787. Federal convention frames the Constitution.
1789-1797. Washington, President.
1791. United States Bank established.
1792. United States Mint established.
1793. Whitney invents the cotton gin.
1797-1801. John Adams, President.
1800. City of Washington becomes the National Capital.
1801-1809. Jefferson, President.
1801-1805. War with Tripoli.
1803. Purchase of Louisiana.
1804. Lewis and Clarke Expedition.
1807. Fulton launches the Clermont.
1812. War declared against England.
1813. Battle of Lake Erie, September 10th.
1814. Battle of Plattsburg, September 11th.
Treaty of Ghent.
1815. Battle of New Orleans, January 8th.
1819. First Steamship crosses the Atlantic.
1820. Missouri compromise.
1824. Lafayette visits America.
1825. Opening of the Erie Canal.
1830. Opening of the first steam railway.
1834. McCormick invents the reaper.
1844. Morse sends the first telegraph message.
1845. Texas annexed.
1846. Elias Howe patents the sewing machine.
War declared against Mexico.
Battle of Monterey, September 24th.
1847. Fall of the City of Mexico, September 14th.
Richard M. Hoe invents a type-revolving rotary-printing press.
1848. Treaty of peace with Mexico.
1850. Omnibus Bill.
1854. The Kansas-Nebraska bill.
1857. Dred Scott decision.
1858. First Atlantic cable laid.
1859. John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, October 16th.
1860. Secession of South Carolina.
1861. Confederacy formed.
1861-1865. Civil War.
1861-1865. Lincoln, President.
1861. Fort Sumter fired upon, April 12th.
Norfolk Navy Yard seized, April 20th.
Battle of Bull Run, July 21st.
1862. Attack on Fort Henry, February 6th.
Attack on Fort Donelson, February 16th.
Battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac, March 9th.
Battle of Shiloh, April 6th-7th.
Farragut takes New Orleans, April 25th.
Lee takes command of the Confederate army.
Seven Days' battles, June 26th - July 1st.
Pope's campaign in Virginia, August.
Second battle of Bull Run, August 30th.
Battle of Antietam, September 17th.
Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13th.
1863. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, January 1st.
Battle of Cliancellorsville, May 2rd-3rd.
Battle of Gettysburg, July 1st-3rd.
Fall of Vicksburg, July 4th.
Capture of Port Hudson, July 9th.
Siege of Chattanooga, October-November.
1864. Grant made Lieutenant, General.
Campaign in the Wilderness.
Battle of Cold Harbor, June 3rd.
Battle between the Kcarsargc and the Alabama, June 19th.
Destruction of the Albemarle, October.
Battle of Mobile Bay, August 5th.
Sherman takes Atlanta, September 2nd.
Sherman takes Savannah, December 22nd.
1865. Capture of Petersburg, April 2nd.
Grant takes Richmond, April 3rd.
Lee's surrender, April 9th.
Assassination of Lincoln, April 14th.
1866. Second Atlantic cable laid.
1869-1877. Grant, President.
1869. Pacific Railroad completed, May 10th.
1871. All states again represented in Congress.
1889. Johnstown flood.
1898. Destruction of the Maine, Febmary 15th.
War with Spain declared.
Battle of Manila Bay, May 1st.
1899. Treaty of peace with Spain.


Pequot War. 1637. Pequot Indians and New England settlers. Indian jealousy. Pequot tribe practically destroyed.
King Philip's War. 1675—1676. Settlers and Indians in New England. Indian jealousy and desire for revenge. King Philip was killed. Indian power in New England completely broken.
French and Indian Wars. 1689—1763. The English and French colonists. The Indians in the main allied themselves with the French. England and France both sent aid to their colonists. Rival land claims. Loss of French power in America. Helped to unite the English colonists and taught them to fight together. Created an enormous debt, which ended in the levying of unjust taxes on the colonies by England.
The Revolution. 1775—1783. England and her American colonies. England undertook to tax the colonies without their consent. Independence of the colonies and the formation of the United States of America.
War of 1812 1812–1815. England and the United States. England persisted in stopping American ships, seizing American sailors and forcing them to serve under the English flag. Great Britain was convinced...
Mexican War. 1816—1818. Mexico and the United States. Disputes over the boundary between Texas and Mexico. Texas became the possessor of the disputed territory, and New Mexico and California were ceded to the United States.
Civil War. 1861—1865. North and South. Disputes over slavery. Established the Union and ended the possibility of secession. Freed the negro slaves.
Spanish War. 1898. United States and Spain. United States demanded that Spain give Cuba her liberty. Spain refused, and the United States declared war. Freedom of Cuba. Philippine Islands, Porto Rico, and Guam became possessions of the United States.


Territory of Louisiana. 1819. Purchased from France.
Florida. 1803. Purchased from Spain.
Texas. 1845. Annexed.
Oregon country. (Present states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Wyoming and Montana.) 1846. By treaty with Great Britain.
California & New Mexico. 1848. By conquest, and the payment of $15,000,000.
Southern New Mexico and southern Arizona (known as the Gadsden Purchase). 1853. Purchased from Mexico.
Alaska. 1867. Purchased from Russia.
Hawaii. 1898. Annexed.
Philippine Islands. 1899. By conquest and treaty with Spain, involving the payment of $20,000,000.
Porto Rico & Island of Guam. 1899. By treaty at the close of the Spanish-American War.

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