| 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 |
 IT is night in Philadelphia. In spite of their worries
the members of Congress are in bed. Quiet is over all,
and the only sound that breaks the stillness is the lagging
footsteps of the drowsy watchman going his rounds. "One
o'clock, and all is well!" he cries. "Two o'clock, and all
The minutes wear on. Then his ear catches a distant
sound. He listens. Muffled at first, it grows nearer and
nearer, louder and louder. It is the even hoof beats of a
horse ridden at full speed. The rider comes in sight.
"What news?" shouts the watchman. What news indeed!
His steps no longer lag. The tones of his voice are
jubilant now, as he shouts from house to house, "Past
three o'clock, and Cornwallis has surrendered! Past
three o'clock, and Cornwallis has surrendered!"
Let bells peal! Let cannon boom! Speed the good
tidings from man to man, from town to town, from colony
to colony! Let all America know and rejoice that victory
Not many days behind the bearer of the glorious news,
another man journeys from Yorktown to Philadelphia.
He is young, tall, and slender. He is the French Marquis
Four years before, at the very time when our future
 looked the darkest, Lafayette came to America a boy of
nineteen and offered Congress his services without pay.
Loyally and well he has played his part in the Revolution.
Now the hour of victory is come. America no longer needs his
help, and his heart
yearns for France.
Congress gladly gives
him leave to go. So
journeying to Boston, he sails back to
France; back to his
young wife; back to
all the luxury, position, and honor due
his rank and wealth
at home. All these
lie left behind to take
up arms in the cause
of a stranger people's
liberty; and to all
these he returns, while that people exults in its triumph
THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE WHEN A YOUNG MAN.
Years go by. The United States of America adopts a
constitution, sets up a government, and takes her place
among the nations of the earth. Meanwhile, the Marquis
de Lafayette passes through fortune and misfortune at
home. Often his thoughts turn back to America and the
countless friends his ready sympathy and generous ways
won for him there.
WASHINGTON'S EYE-GLASSES, TREASURED BY LAFAYETTE IN MEMORY OF HIS FRIEND.
In 1824 a welcome invitation comes. The United
States bids him once more to her shores, this time as the
guest of the American nation.
LAFAYETTE AS HE APPEARED IN 1824.
 In the man she greets again in this year of 1824,
America still sees the youth who paid from his own purse
for that first ship that brought him to take up arms
against her foe. She has not forgotten
how he used his wealth in her behalf;
how the starving, ragged troops of
Washington's army were fed, warmed,
and clothed at his expense. She has
not forgotten the wounds he received
while bravely fighting at Brandywine.
She has not forgotten his gallant behavior at Monmouth.
It was at Monmouth that Lafayette
was given a trusted command. Washington sent him ahead in charge of the
detachment that was to attack the
British. But no sooner was he well
away than Lee claimed the right to
lead the advance and, overtaking
Lafayette, deprived him of the com
mand. Though bitterly disappointed, Lafayette accepted the
conditions without complaint and fought
his best under Lee's ill-starred orders.
Then did he not also have a hand
in the final victory? He led Cornwallis a chase through Virginia
until, reinforced, he was able to turn
the tables, follow the enemy to
Yorktown, and keep him there while
Washington marched south.
The forty-odd years since the
surrender of Cornwallis have in no
way dimmed America's gratitude to
 the French Marquis, and she rejoices in his return. In
August he reaches Staten Island and spends the night
there. The next day, gayly decorated ships come to
escort him to New York. There he is welcomed by
booming cannon, and cheering thousands follow his four-horse
carriage through the streets.
HILT OF THE SWORD PRESENTED TO LAFAYETTE
IN 1824 BY THE NINTH REGIMENT, NEW YORK STATE ARTILLERY.
For over a year Lafayette stays in America. He
travels through New England, through New York, to
Philadelphia, to Washington, where
the President welcomes him to the
White House. He goes to Mount
Vernon, although Washington, his
revered friend, has long since died.
He visits Yorktown and the South.
He goes even to New Orleans and
ascends the Mississippi River and the
Ohio. What a difference between
the thirteen struggling colonies and
this fast growing nation! Can it be
that one lifetime compasses it all?
Everywhere crowds line the roads
to greet him. Everywhere he passes
under arches raised in his honor, while
each town and city vies in the length
of its processions and the brilliancy
of its balls and dinners. September,
1825, finds Lafayette in Washington,
where he receives from Congress the
gift of two hundred thousand dollars
and two large tracts of land.
His visit is now near its end. The new ship Brandywine
waits to carry him to France. And Lafayette sails
down Chesapeake Bay while a grateful nation bids her
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