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*HESE colloquial appellations, by which the United States are per

sonified as rather shrewd specimens of the Yankee type, had their growth under circumstances that, by some lucky chance, brought them into general use in a section, and thence spread because they were convenient forms by which the people could designate familiarly the governmental powers that be. The first-named dates back to Revolutionary times. After Washington was appointed commander of the patriot army, and took command at Cambridge, he found his soldiers in want of ammunition and many other needed supplies. As this want continued for many months, Washington was compelled to face grave difficulties. On one occasion, when no way could be devised for obtaining the supplies needed, and when an attack from the enemy was daily expected, he wound up the conference of his officers with the remark, “We must consult Brother Jonathan,” referring to Jonathan Trumbull, who was then the wise, popular and efficient governor of Connecticut. As in previous cases, when he had been severely tested, the governor proved a generous and helpful friend. As the army spread out over the country, the expression “We must consult Brother Jonathan,” that had become a by-word to it in all cases of difficulty, became generally adopted by the people; and as time passed, and knowledge of the party referred to was lost, "Brother Jonathan" became a synonym for the Nation itself, and occupies a place upon this side of the sea like that of “John Bull”

upon the other.

The name “Uncle Sam," as also applied to the United States, is said to have had its origin in the War of 1812. An inspector of army provisions at Troy, New York, named Samuel Wilson, was commonly

called by his workmen "Uncle Sam." While purchasing beef, pork and sundry articles for the government after the declaration of war with England, a contractor named Elbert Anderson had a number of barrels of such goods marked with his own initials, followed by “U. S." for United States. The latter initials were not familiar to Wilson's men, and when enquiry was made as to what they meant, the answer was, “I don't know, unless they mean “Uncle Sam,'” referring to Wilson. A vast amount of such property passed through Wilson's hands during the war, all marked the same way, and he was rallied as to the extent of his possessions. The joke gradually spread through the army, and ere long the initials “U. S.,” when applied to property of the United States, were translated “Uncle Sam," and hy a natural transition came to stand for the Nation itself.


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is generally supposed that our dollar sign $ is a monogram of

the initials U. S., and as such had its origin. This is not the case. The American dollar is taken from the Spanish dollar, on the reverse of which is a representation of the pillars of Hercules, and around each pillar is a scroll with the words Plus Ultra. This device, in course of time, has degenerated into the sign which at present stands for both the Spanish and the American dollar. It is thought that the scroll around the pillars represents the two serpents sent by Juno to strangle the young Hercules in his cradle.



HE southern boundary line which separates the free state of

Pennsylvania from what was at one time the slave states of Maryland and Virginia, has received the special title of Mason and Dixon's line, from the fact that it was run by Charles Mason and

Jereniah Dixon, two English mathematicians and surveyors. The line lies 39° 43' 26" north latitude, and the work was performed between November 15, 1763, and December 26, 1767. In the debates on slavery prior to the admission of Missouri to the Union, John Randolph used the words “Mason and Dixon's line” as figurative of the discussion between the two systems of free and slave labor. The designation was taken up and used by the press and the politicians, and continued in such use until the extinction of slavery in the great

Civil war.



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O determine the years covered by a given congress, double the

number of the congress, and add the product to 1789; the result will be the year in which the congress closed. Take this for example: the Thirty-fifth congress doubled, gives us 70; add 1789, and we have 1859, the year in which, on March 4, the Thirty-fifth congress closed. To find the number of a congress sitting in any given year, substract 1789 from the year. If the result is an even number, half that number will give the congress of which the year in question saw the close. If the result is an odd number, add one, and half the result will give the congress of which the year in question was the first year.

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" 1873

Thirteenth..............1813 to 1815 Thirty-third............1853 to 1855 Fourteenth..............1815

.1815 " 1817 Thirty-fourth..........1855 “ 1857 Fifteenth............. .1817 “ 1819 Thirty-fifth ..............1857 “ 1859 Sixteenth........... ..1819 “ 1821 Thirty-sixth....... ......1859 “ 1861 Seventeenth.............1821 “ 1823 Thirty-seventh.........1861 “ 1863 Eighteenth......... .1823 “ 1825 Thirty-eighth..........1863 “ 1865 Nineteenth...............1825 “1827 Thirty-ninth............1865 “ 1867 Twentieth......... .1827 “ 1829 Fortieth........... ..1867 “ 1869 Twenty-first............1829 “ 1831 Forty-first...............1869 “ 1871 Twenty-second........1831 “ 1833 Forty-second...........1871 Twenty-third... .1833 “ 1835 Forty-third...... ....... 1873 “ 1875 Twenty-fourth... .... 1835 “ 1837 Forty-fourth...........1875 “ 1877 Twenty-fifth...........1837 “ 1839 Forty-fifth....... .1877 Twenty-sixth...... ....1839 “ 1841 Forty-sixth.............1879 “ 1881 Twenty-seventh ......1841 1843 Forty-seventh..........1881 1883 Twenty-eighth ....1843 “ 1845 Forty-eighth... .....1883 'T wenty-ninth..........1845 “ 1847 Forty-ninth.............1885 “ 1887 Thirtieth............ 1847


1887 “ 1889 Thirty-first... .1849

Fifty-first.... .1889 “ 1891 Thirty-second. .1851


.... 1891 “1893 Fifty-third, 1893 to 1895.

" 1879

« 1885

" 1849 " 1851 “ 1853






In connection with the study of the growth and development of the American Nation, it may not be uninteresting to take a brief glance into past history, to see where the human family has been disposed to choose its residence in different epochs of the world, with a short reference to the causes which seem to have determined the selection. The progressive teacher will find it one thing to fix a knowledge of dates, events and occurrences, but another thing altogether, to understand the philosophy of these events. The historian who simply tells us where and when battles were fought, who chronicles and only chronicles the rise and fall of parties, the coronation and the death of kings; who notes the ebb and flow of the shifting tides of National life, but fails to discuss the secret causes of these manifold changes, renders but limited service to the student.

It is the true teacher's business to dig down to the roots of these recorded events and give some intelligible account of the causes that deposed the king or drove a party from power.

The education that informs its pupils of the great historical events of dead and buried nations, and leaves them almost entirely ignorant of the history of the living empires of to-day, is manifestly incomplete. It is a good thing that the mind should be stored with the record of the valor of Rome and the classic beauty of ancient Greece, and of the storms that shook other dynasties of the world's young day ; but the England, the India, the Australia, and especially the America of our own time, demand as much attention at least as these empires of the antique past.

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