The principal aim of this book is to make the reader acquainted with American life and manners in other times. The history of life has come to be esteemed of capital importance, but it finds, as yet, small place in school instruction. The stories and sketches in this book relate mainly to earlier times and to conditions very different from those of our own day. They will help the pupil to apprehend the life and spirit of our forefathers. Many of them are such as make him acquainted with that adventurous pioneer life, which thus far has been the largest element in our social history, and which has given to the national character the traits of quick-wittedness, humor, self-reliance, love of liberty, and democratic feeling. These traits in combination distinguish us from other peoples.
neighboring stream with their bone fishhooks, and lines made of the Spanish bayonet leaf. In two days after the fall of the tree they had burned off the log that was to make their canoe, and had scraped off all the bark with shells.
They then lighted little fires on top of the log, and, when these had charred the wood for an inch or more in depth in any place, they removed the fire and scraped away the charcoal. Then they built another little fire in the same place. These little fires were made with gum taken from the pine trees.
By burning and scraping they gradually dug out the inside of their boat, scraping out one end of it while they were burning out the other, and working at it day after day.
The only tools they had for scraping were shells from the river, and sharp stones. Keketaw sometimes used his deer-horn tomahawk for the same purpose. It was fourteen days from the time they first lighted the fire at the foot of the tree until their canoe was finished. Two more days were spent in making