In Gentryville, Indiana, in the year 1816, might have been seen a log
cabin without doors or window-glass, a dirt floor, a bed made of dried
leaves, and a stool or two and table formed of logs....
Alaric The Visigoth
King from 394-410 A.D.
Long before the beginning of the period known as the Middle Ages
a tribe of barbarians called the Goths lived north of the River
Danube in the country which is n...
Alexander Von Humboldt
The great Agassiz, in his eloquent address, in Boston, on the hundredth
anniversary of the birth of Humboldt, said: "All the fundamental facts
of popular education in physical science, beyon...
Alfred The Great
King from 871-901 A.D.
The Danes were neighbors of the Norwegian Vikings, and like them
were fond of the sea and piracy. They plundered the English coasts
for more than a century; and m...
Attila The Hun
King from 434-453 A.D.
The fierce and warlike tribe, called the Huns, who had driven the
Goths to seek new homes, came from Asia into Southeastern Europe
and took possession of a large t...
In the town of Montbeliard, France, then belonging to the Duke of
Wuertemberg, August 23, 1769, was born the founder of the Science of
Comparative Anatomy; the greatest naturalist of his tim...
Since Samuel Johnson toiled in Grub Street, London, literature has
scarcely furnished a more pathetic or inspiring illustration of struggle
to success than that of Bayard Taylor. Born of Quaker...
Among those whose contributions to physics have immortalized their
names in the annals of science, there is none that holds a more
prominent position in the history of the world than Benjamin F...
In the Louvre in Paris, preserved among almost priceless gems, are
several pieces of exquisite pottery called Palissy ware. Thousands
examine them every year, yet but few know the struggles of ...
A few months ago we visited a plain old house in Copenhagen, the boyhood
home of the great Danish sculptor. Here he worked with his father, a
poor wood-carver, who, thinking his boy would be a ...
Canute The Great
King from 1014-1035
The Danes, you remember, had the eastern and northern parts
of England in the time of Alfred. Alfred's successors drove them
farther and farther north, and at length...
Captain James B Eads
On the steamship "Germanic" I played chess with the great civil
engineer, Captain Eads, stimulated by the thought that to beat him was
to defeat the man who had twice conquered the Mississippi....
It was on the 24th of July that we left Stockholm, the Venice of the
North, built on her nine islands, for the famous university town of
Upsala, Sweden. The ride, of about two hours by rail,...
King from 768-814 A.D.
Pepin had two sons Charles and Carloman. After the death of their
father they ruled together, but in a few years Carloman died, and
then Charles became sole k...
714-741 A.D. and Pepin, 741-768 A.D.
After the death of Mohammed the Saracens, as Mohammedans are also
called, became great warriors. They conquered many countries and
established the Mohamme...
Charles Robert Darwin
On Wednesday, April 26, 1882, sitting in the North Transept of
Westminster Abbey, I looked upon a sad and impressive scene. Under the
dome stood an oaken coffin, quite covered with white wre...
King from 481-511 A.D.
While the power of the Roman Empire was declining there dwelt on
the banks of the River Rhine a number of savage Teuton tribes called
Franks. The word Frank means...
Benjamin Thompson, like Franklin, was a native of Massachusetts, his
ancestors for several generations having been yeomen in that province,
and descendants of the first colonists of the Bay. In...
David Glasgow Farragut
The possibilities of American life are strikingly illustrated by the
fact that the two names at the head of the army and navy, Grant and
Farragut, represent self-made men. The latter was born o...
Dr Samuel Johnson
In a quaint old house in Lichfield, England, now used as a draper's
shop, Samuel Johnson, son of a poor bookseller and bookbinder, was born.
Here, as in Westminster Abbey, a statue is erected t...
Dwight L Moody
"There's no chance to get in there. There's six thousand persons inside,
and two thousand outside."
This was said to Dr. Magoun, President of Iowa College, and myself,
after we had waited fo...
Edward The Black Prince
Lived from 1330-1376
One of the most famous warriors of the Middle Ages was Edward the
Black Prince. He was so called because he wore black armor in
The Black Prince was the ...
Edward The Confessor
King from 1042-1066
The Danish kings who followed Canute were not like him. They were
cruel, unjust rulers and all the people of England hated them. So
when in the year 1042 the last o...
King from 802-837 A.D.
Egbert the Saxon lived at the same time as did Harun-al-Rashid and
Charlemagne. He was the first king who ruled all England as one
kingdom. Long before his birth...
In the winter of 1819 might have been seen travelling from New Jersey to
De Ruyter in New York, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles, some
covered emigrant wagons, containing a wife and si...
If you were to go into the woods and hear the rustling of the leaves,
the singing of the birds, and the babbling of the brook over the stones,
could you come home and describe th...
Francis Joseph Haydn
THE CHOIR BOY
Once upon a time there lived, in a tiny village in Austria, a
wheelwright and his family. The wheelwright was poor, industrious, and
God-fearing. He lived in a c...
Francis Trevelyan Buckland
Most of those whose lives are sketched in this volume lived to be old
men; but Frank Buckland, the pet and pride of thousands in England, died
in his prime, almost at the beginning of his fame;...
Franz Peter Schubert
God sent his singers upon earth
With songs of gladness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men
And bring them back to heaven again.
Emperor from 1152-1190
Frederick I was one of the most famous of German emperors. He was
a tall, stalwart man of majestic appearance. He had a long red
beard and so the people called h...
A POLISH LAD WHO BECAME FAMOUS
Many famous men were born in the year 1809. We are proud to number among
them several of our own countrymen. President Lincoln was born in that
"The same memorable day is marked by the setting of one of the most
brilliant stars in the firmament of art and the rising of another in the
sphere of science, which was to enlighten the wor...
Genseric The Vandal
King from 427-477 A.D.
The Vandals were another wild and fierce tribe that came from the
shores of the Baltic and invaded central and southern Europe in
the later times of the Roman Empi...
George Frederick Handel
THE WONDER CHILD
[Music: (The Messiah.) He shall feed His flock like a shepherd.]
It is a bright, sunshiny morning. In an old town in Germany a coach
stands waiting before t...
If America had been asked who were to be her most munificent givers in
the nineteenth century, she would scarcely have pointed to two grocer's
boys, one in a little country store at Danvers, Ma...
George W Childs
The "Public Ledger" of Philadelphia, and its owner, are known the world
over. Would we see the large-hearted, hospitable millionaire, who has
come to honor through his own industry, let us ente...
Few men come to greatness. Most drift on with the current, having no
special plan nor aim. They live where their fathers lived, taking no
thought beyond their neighborhood or city, and die in t...
Lived from 1400-1468
While Joan of Arc was busy rescuing France from the English, another
wonderful worker was busy in Germany. This was John Gutenberg,
who was born in Mainz.
Caliph from 786-809 A.D.
The most celebrated of all Mohammedan caliphs was Harun-al-Rashid,
which means, in English, Aaron the Just. Harun is the hero
of several of the stories of the "...
It would not be easy to mention two men between whom there was a
greater contrast, both in respect of their characters and lives, than
that which existed between Benjamin Franklin and the Honou...
Henry The Fowler
King from 919-936 A.D.
About a hundred years had passed since the death of Charlemagne,
and his great empire had fallen to pieces. Seven kings ruled where
he had once been sole emperor....
Henry The Second
1154-1189 and His Sons 1189-1216
In 1154, while Barbarossa was reigning in Germany, Henry II, one
of England's greatest monarchs, came to the throne.
Henry was the son of Geoffrey Plantagene...
King from 1413-1422
Of all the kings that England ever had Henry V was perhaps the
greatest favorite among the people. They liked him because he was
handsome and brave and, above all, b...
Among the hills of New Hampshire, in a lonely, unpainted house, Horace
Greeley was born, Feb. 3, 1811, the third of seven children. His father
was a plain farmer, hard-working, yet not very suc...
James Clerk Maxwell
The story of the life of James Clerk Maxwell has been told so recently
by the able pen of his lifelong friend, Professor Lewis Campbell, that
it is unnecessary, in the few pages which now remai...
The history of inventors is generally the same old struggle with
poverty. Sir Richard Arkwright, the youngest of thirteen children, with
no education, a barber, shaving in a cellar for a penny ...
Jean Paul Richter
Vasari, who wrote the lives of the Italian painters, truly said, "It is
not by sleeping, but by working, waking, and laboring continually, that
proficiency is attained and reputation acquired."...
Joan Of Arc
Lived from 1412-1431
In the long wars between the French and English not even the Black
Prince or King Henry V gained such fame as did a young French
peasant girl, Joan of Arc.
John James Audubon
The problem why certain men and women come to eminence, and why others,
with apparently as much ability, remain forever in obscurity, is an
interesting one to solve. Most persons desire fame...
John Sebastian Bach
THE CHILD MUSICIAN
Long ago, in a little German town, lived a jolly old miller. From
morning till night he sang about his work, for he loved music dearly. He
had learned to...
Joseph Henry Lld
On Thursday evening, January 16, 1879, a large company gathered in the
hall of the House of Representatives at Washington. They came to honor
the memory of one of our greatest in science, si...
Joseph Marie Jacquard
The small world which lives in elegant houses knows little of the great
world in dingy apartments with bare walls and empty cupboards. Those who
walk or ride in the sunshine often forget the da...
Justinian The Great
Emperor from 527-565 A.D.
In the time of Clovis the country now called Bulgaria was inhabited
by Goths. One day a poor shepherd boy, about sixteen years of
age, left his mountain home i...
On January 6, 1883, Paris presented a sad and imposing spectacle. Her
shops were closed; her public buildings and her homes were draped in
black. Her streets were solid with hundreds of thousan...
Lieutenant General Sheridan
It is sometimes said that circumstances make the man; but there must be
something in the man, or circumstances, however favorable, cannot
develop it. A poor lad, born of Irish parents in the li...
In the midst of as beautiful scenery as one finds on earth, snow-white
Alps, blue lakes, great fields of purple crocus, and picturesque homes,
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was born at Motier,...
Louis The Ninth
King from 1226-1270
After the time of Barbarossa and Richard Cœur de Lion lived another
great Crusading king. This was a grandson of Philip II, named
Louis IX, who became sovereign of F...
Ludwig Van Beethoven
EARLY LIFE OF BEETHOVEN
Some day you may be fortunate enough to cross the broad Atlantic and
visit European countries. If you are, you will surely wish to go to
Germany. Many ...
Lived from 1254-1324
Some years before St. Louis led his last Crusade there was born in
Venice a boy named Marco Polo. His father was a wealthy merchant
who often went on trading journe...
The old maxim, that "the gods reward all things to labor," has had fit
illustration in Meissonier. His has been a life of constant, unvaried
toil. He came to Paris a poor, unknown boy, and has ...
In the heart of busy London, over a stable, lived James and Margaret
Faraday, with their four little children. The father was a blacksmith,
in feeble health, unable to work for a whole day at a...
The work of Michael Faraday introduced a new era in the history of
physical science. Unencumbered by pre-existing theories, and
untrammelled by the methods of the mathematician, he set forth on...
Lived from 570-632 A.D.
A great number of people in Asia and Africa and much of those in
Turkey in Europe profess the Mohammedan (Mo-ham'-me-dan) religion.
They are called Mohammedans, M...
The quaint old city of Salzburg, Austria, built into the mountain-side,
is a Mecca for all who love music, and admire the immortal Mozart. When
he was alive, his native city allowed him nearly ...
In the quaint old town of Bergen, Norway, so strange with its narrow
streets, peculiar costumes, and open-hearted people, that no traveller
can ever forget it, was born, Feb. 5, 1810, Ole Bull,...
On a low slab in a quiet spot, just north of the Church of Knight
Templars, in London, are the simple words, "Here lies Oliver Goldsmith."
The author of the "Vicar of Wakefield" needs no grande...
Peter The Hermit
During the Middle Ages the Christians of Europe used to go to the
Holy Land for the purpose of visiting the tomb of Christ and other
sacred places. Those who made such...
EARLY LIFE OF WAGNER
[Music: (Die WalkÃ¼re.) (Sword Motif.)]
Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, in 1813. He was the youngest of a
family of nine children. His father died w...
Robert Boyle was descended from a family who, in Saxon times, held
land in the county of Hereford, and whose name in the Doomsday Book is
written Biuvile. His father was Richard Boyle, Earl of ...
King from 1306-1329
The most famous king that Scotland ever had was Robert Bruce. He
lived in the days when Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III were
kings of England.
During the reign of...
BOYHOOD OF SCHUMANN
"Left, face! Forward, march!" Clear rang out the words of the little
commander. Quickly the straight ranks moved across the playground. Back
and forth they...
Rollo The Viking
Died 931 A.D.
For more than two hundred years during the Middle Ages the Christian
countries of Europe were attacked on the southwest by the Saracens
of Spain, and on the northwest by th...
Samuel Finley Breese Morse
Samuel F. B. Morse was born at the foot of Breed's Hill, Charlestown,
Mass., April 27, 1791. He was the eighth child in a family of eleven
children, all of whom, except three sons, Samuel, Rich...
Sir Charles Lyell
Galileo studied and found out the truth that the earth moves around the
sun, and died recanting it.
Buffon, the great French naturalist, studied, and ascertained that the
earth has been subj...
Sir Henry Bessemer
A little way from London, England, at Denmark Hill, looking toward the
Crystal Palace, is a mansion which is fit for royalty. The grounds,
covering from thirty to forty acres, are beautifully t...
Sir Humphrey Davy
Coleridge said, "Had not Davy been the first chemist, he probably would
have been the first poet of his age."
Said Professor Silliman's "American Journal of Science and Arts:" "His
Sir Isaac Newton
In the same year, 1642, in which Galileo, sad and blind, went away from
the earth, Sir Isaac Newton came to make his home upon it.
He was born December 25, the only child of Isaac Newton a...
Sir Josiah Mason
One sunny morning in June, I went out five miles from the great
manufacturing city of Birmingham, England, to the pretty town called
Erdington, to see the Mason Orphanage. I found an immense br...
Sir Titus Salt
I spent a day, with great interest, in visiting the worsted mills and
warehouses at Saltaire, just out from Bradford, England, which cover
about ten acres. The history of the proprietor, Sir Ti...
Sir William And Caroline Herschel
In Hanover, Germany, in the year 1732, Isaac Herschel and a plain,
industrious girl, Anna Ilse Moritzen, began their home life together.
The young man did not like the calling of his father,...
Lived from 1333-1405
Tamerlane was the son of the chief of a Mongolian tribe in Central
Asia. His real name was Timour, but as he was lamed in battle
when a youth he was generally calle...
Late one sunny afternoon one and twenty knights were riding along
the highway in the northern part of Spain. As they were passing a
deep mire they heard cries for help, and turning, saw a ...
The time came when the people of Western Europe learned to believe
in one God and were converted to Christianity, but the old stories
about the gods and Valkyries and giants and heroes, w...
Theodoric The Ostrogoth
King from 475-526 A.D.
The Ostrogoths, or East Goths, who had settled in Southern Russia,
at length pushed southward and westward to the mouth of the Danube.
They were continually inva...
Four of my favorite pictures from childhood have been Cole's "Voyage of
Life." I have studied the tiny infant in the boat surrounded by roses,
life's stream full of luxuriant vegetation; the ha...
"We here meet with a man altogether beyond the common standard, one in
whom natural endowment and sedulous cultivation rivalled each other in
the production of a true philosopher; nor do we hes...
Warwick The Kingmaker
Lived from 1428-1471
The earl of Warwick, known as the "kingmaker," was the most famous
man in England for many years after the death of Henry V. He lived
in a great castle with two tow...
William Lloyd Garrison
For a great work God raises up a great man. Usually he is trained in the
hard school of poverty, to give him courage and perseverance. Usually he
stands alone among a great multitude, that he m...
William Tell And Arnold Von Winkelried
Far up among the Alps, in the very heart of Switzerland, are three
districts, or cantons, as they are called, which are known as the
Forest Cantons and are famous in the world's history. A...
William The Conqueror
King from 1066-1087
On the death of Edward the Confessor the throne of England was
claimed by William, Duke of Normandy.
When Edward took refuge in Normandy after the Danes conquered
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
THE CHILD MOZART
Far, far away over land and sea lies the little town of Salzburg. What a
beautiful place it is! Old Mother Nature herself has given it its charm.
The town lie...