A Michigan Boyhood

A FAMOUS HISTORIAN RECALLS THE COUNTRY WHERE HE GREW UP

First there was the ice; two miles high, hundreds of miles wide, and many centuries deep. It came down from the darkness at the top of the world, and it hung down over the eaves, and our Michigan country lay along the line of the overhang. To be sure, all of the ice was now gone. It had melted, they said, ten thousand years ago; but they also pointed out that ten thousand years amounted to no more than a flick of the second hand on the geologic time clock.Read more »

A Schoolboy’s Sketchbook

Charles Manon Russell, the famous artist of the American West, came to Montana m 1880 as a boy of sixteen. He lived there the rest of his life, working for a number of years as a cattle wrangler and gradually getting to know with intimacy the men and the country that were to be his great subject during forty-six years of drawing, painting, and sculpting. Read more »

Growing Up In Newport

A Brush with the Law & OTHER OFF-SEASON ADVENTURES, or

When Winfield Townley Scott, the American poet, died in 1968, he left among his papers a warm and engaging account of his early boyhood in Newport, Rhode Island. The lavish world of Newport’s summer visitors with their fifty-five-room “cottages” meant little to him as a local boy—only providing background for a small child’s play and wonder. Mr.Read more »

My Friend Garfield

One summer brought excitement and glory to the young secretary of a political leader. How could he know that the next one would brim with tragedy?

In 1880, Joseph Stanley Brown—there was no hyphen m the name then—just short of his twenty-second birthday, had a job that almost any young man might envy, as secretary to Ohio’s Congressman James A. Garfield. A product of Washington’s public schools, Brown was self-tutored in shorthand and typewriting, the latter a new and rare skill.Read more »

Echoes Of The Little Bighorn

No single battle in American history has won more attention from more writers than the relatively insignificant defeat of a handful of cavalry by a few thousand Indians on the Little Bighorn River in 1876. How could there be anything new to say about it?Read more »

Spoon River Revisited

An artist recalls his Midwestern home town and the poet who made it famous

I always felt at home in Edgar Lee Master᾿s quarters in the Chelsea Hotel. It was all so much like a Petersburg, Illinois, law office that I might have been back in Papa Smoot’s office overlooking the courthouse square. Edgar Lee, plain and short and stocky, sat in a straight chair near a big desk. there was the same smell of books and tobacco. The same southern light filtered through the braches of the ailanthus trees, and the court behind the Chelsea was almost as quiet as the empty Petersburg square with its big elms.Read more »

Voices Of Lexington And Concord

What was it like to actually be there in April, 1775?
This is how the participants, American and British, remembered it

“When the regulars had arrived within eighty or one hundred rods, they, hearing our drum beat, halted, charged their guns, and doubled their ranks, and marched up at quick step.”
 

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Asa Smith Leaves The War

AN AMERICAN HERITAGE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT
Edited and with an introduction

In the summer of 1861 a twenty-five-year-old resident of Natick, Massachusetts, by the name of Asa Smith set out to join the Union Army. It was not very easy to do this, because all the companies around Natick seemed to be full; eventually, on July 2, Smith managed to get into a company being raised at Watertown, and this company became part of the l6th Massachusetts Infantry.Read more »