Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

The Celebration at Yorktown

Very soon after Garfield's funeral, and during Arthur's term, there was a grand procession at Yorktown, to celebrate "Surrender Day," or the centennial of Cornwallis's surrender, October 19, 1781, in the Revolutionary War. Visitors came thither from all parts of the country, and descendants of the three illustrious Frenchmen, De Grasse, De Rochambeau, and De Lafayette, were invited to be present, as well as those of the German Von Steuben.

On that occasion, the corner stone of a beautiful monument was laid, and speeches were made in English, French, and German. One of the guests present was the widow of President Tyler, who came forward to shake hands with President Arthur. Many other noted people were there, and the crowd loudly applauded such heroes as Sherman, Hancock, and Fitzhugh Lee, who, having taken part in the Civil War, had many admiring friends among their former soldiers.

Besides illuminations, there was also a grand naval review, and when an English vessel came up, flying the Union Jack at its masthead, the whole American fleet fired a salute. This showed very plainly that none but friendly and courteous feelings now existed between the two nations which had twice been face to face in war.

In 1883, after fourteen years of hard work and at the expense of nearly fifteen million dollars, the great Brooklyn Bridge was finished. This bridge was planned by John A. Roebling, and constructed by his son. It is one of the mechanical wonders of the world, and streams of people now constantly pass to and fro over it. They can be seen on foot, in carriages, or in cars, for this structure has five separate avenues for those who go back and forth in. New York between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In 1884-85, New Orleans, the "Crescent City," the largest cotton market in the South, held an exhibition to celebrate the Cotton Centennial. One hundred years before, eight bags of cotton had been sent from Charleston to England. But now the South could well boast that "cotton is king," for more than two million bales were shipped in one year from the port of New Orleans alone.

Brooklyn bridge


The cotton crop is far greater, however, for, besides exporting cotton, the South supplies all the mills in this country. Most of the work in the cotton fields is still done by the colored people, who now get good wages. They are daily growing more self-reliant and thrifty, and whereas they did not even own themselves in 1860, they are now free and own several million dollars worth of property.

The New Orleans Exhibition was preceded and followed by smaller expositions of the same kind at Atlanta, Louisville, and Nashville, all showing that the "New South "was growing fast. Not only were the cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco crops far finer than ever before, but other things were now grown in great quantities in the South. Besides, many manufactories have been built, and shops of all kinds are seen in the South, where many of the towns are real "hives of industry."

Among the other grand changes which have taken place in the country, one of the most remarkable is that made in our mail service since the first postage stamps were used in 1847. It has grown better, quicker, and cheaper every year, the last great reduction being made in 1885, when Congress decided that all letters weighing one ounce or less should be carried from one end of our great country to the other for only two cents. Thus, a two-cent stamp will now carry a letter even from Florida to Alaska. The distance, as you can see in your geography, is very great, but Alaska is part of our country, and in 1884 it was provided with a government, and Sitka was chosen as its capital.