Grant, Ulysses S.
In preparing these volumes for the public, I have entered upon the task with the sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to any one, whether on the National or Confederate side, other than the unavoidable injustice of not making mention often where special mention is due. There must be many errors of omission in this work, because the subject is too large to be treated of in two volumes in such way as to do justice to all the officers and men engaged. There were thousands of instances, during the rebellion, of individual, company, regimental and brigade deeds of heroism which deserve special mention and are not here alluded to. The troops engaged in them will have to look to the detailed reports of their individual commanders for the full history of those deeds.
Rowlandson, Mary White
This is the story of Mary Rowlandson’s capture by American Indians in 1675. It is a blunt, frightening, and detailed work with several moments of off-color humor. Mary, the wife of a minister, was captured by Natives during King Philips War while living in a Lancaster town, most of which was decimated, and the people murdered. See through her eyes, which depict Indians as the instruments of Satan. Her accounts were a best-seller of the era, and a seminal work, being one of the first captivity narratives ever published by a woman. Without works such as hers, there would likely not be many modern works inspired by similar themes, such as The Searchers, starring John Wayne.
Life on the Mississippi is a memoir by Mark Twain detailing his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War.
Roughing It is semi-autobiographical travel literature written by American humorist Mark Twain. It was authored during 1870–71 and published in 1872 as a sequel to his first book Innocents Abroad. This book tells of Twain's adventures prior to his pleasure cruise related in Innocents Abroad.
Booker T. Washington
Up from Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington sharing his personal experience of having to work to rise up from the position of a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton Institute, to his work establishing the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to help black people learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. He reflects on the generosity of both teachers and philanthropists who helped in educating blacks and Native Americans. He describes his efforts to instill manners, breeding, health and a feeling of dignity to students. (Mark Nelson)
Famed American humorist Washington Irving published a series of short stories telling of his adventures traveling from America to England. This volume contains some of his observations about that trip, including his impressions of the English countryside, the differences between the wealthy and the poor, rural customs, and other aspects of British culture. During a visit to the library located in the depths of Westminster Abbey, Irving muses on the issue of why some examples of English literature stand the test of time, while others are lost to history. The collection concludes with Irving's memories of his visit to Stratford-on-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare, and the nearby communities that influenced some of Shakespeare's work. ( Greg Giordano)
Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
While there are many books upon the subject of sea life, there are few that can compare with Two Years Before the Mast. It is the story of a sailor's life from the forecastle, not a captain, nor a passenger, but a regular hand. The book was a great favorite with the jack tar of Dana's day, and two thousand copies are said to have been sold to Liverpool sailors in a single day. Even those who haven't the faintest idea what reefing topsail is, or which is starboard and which larboard, will find it an engaging story of an era long past told in simple narrative style.
Patterson, John Henry
In 1898, during the construction of river-crossing bridge for the Uganda Railway at the Tsavo River, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked at night, dragged into the wilderness, and devoured by two male lions.
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo is the autobiographical account of Royal Engineer Lt. Col. J.H. Patterson's African adventures. Among them, his hunt for the two man-eaters.
This book was the basis for the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness.
In 1879 John Muir went to Alaska for the first time. Its stupendous living glaciers aroused his unbounded interest, for they enabled him to verify his theories of glacial action. Again and again he returned to this continental laboratory of landscapes. The greatest of the tide-water glaciers appropriately commemorates his name. Upon this book of Alaska travels, all but finished before his unforeseen departure, John Muir expended the last months of his life.
Jack London credited his skill of story-telling to the days he spent as a hobo learning to fabricate tales to get meals from sympathetic strangers. In The Road, he relates the tales and memories of his days on the hobo road, including how the hobos would elude train crews and his travels with Kelly’s Army.
Higginson, Thomas Wentworth
These pages record some of the adventures of the First South Carolina Volunteers, the first slave regiment mustered into the service of the United States during the late civil war. It was, indeed, the first colored regiment of any kind so mustered, except a portion of the troops raised by Major-General Butler at New Orleans. These scarcely belonged to the same class, however, being recruited from the free colored population of that city, a comparatively self-reliant and educated race.
The Brothers Orville (1871 - 1948) and Wilbur (1867 – 1912) Wright made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, on 17th December 1903. They were not the first to build and fly aircraft, but they invented the controls that were necessary for a pilot to steer the aircraft, which made fixed wing powered flight possible. The Early History of the Airplane consists of three short essays about the beginnings of human flight. The second essay retells the first flight: "This flight lasted only 12 seconds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction of speed and had finally landed at a point as high as that from which it started."
While Belgium is bleeding and hoping, while Poland suffers and dreams of liberation, while Serbia is waiting for redemption, there is a little country the soul of which is torn to pieces—a little country that is so remote, so remote that her ardent sighs cannot be heard.
It is the country of perpetual sacrifice, the country that saw Abraham build the altar upon which he was ready to immolate his only son, the country that Moses saw from a distance, stretching in beauty and loveliness,—a land of promise never to be attained,—the country that gave the world its symbols of soul and spirit. Palestine!
No war correspondents, no Red Cross or relief committees have gone to Palestine, because no actual fighting has taken place there, and yet hundreds of thousands are suffering there that worst of agonies, the agony of the spirit.
Those who have devoted their lives to show the world that Palestine can be made again a country flowing with milk and honey, those who have dreamed of reviving the spirit of the prophets and the great teachers, are hanged and persecuted and exiled, their dreams shattered, their holy places profaned, their work ruined. Cut off from the world, with no bread to sustain the starving body, the heavy boot of a barbarian soldiery trampling their very soul, the dreamers of Palestine refuse to surrender, and amidst the clash of guns and swords they are battling for the spirit with the weapons of the spirit.
The time has not yet come to write the record of these battles, nor even to attempt to render justice to the sublime heroes of Palestine. This book is merely the story of some of the personal experiences of one who has done less and suffered less than thousands of his comrades.
A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty’s ship The Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh. Including an account of the Mutiny on board the said ship, and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew, in the ship’s boat, from Tofoa, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch settlement in the East Indies. (Summary is the full title)
The title is, I think self explanatory. The nurse in question went out to France at the beginning of the war and remained there until May 1915 after the second battle of Ypres when she went back to a Base Hospital and the diary ceases. Although written in diary form, it is clearly taken from letters home and gives a vivid if sometimes distressing picture of the state of the casualties suffered during that period. After a time at the General Hospital in Le Havre she became on of the three or four sisters working on the ambulance trains which fetched the wounded from the Clearing Hospitals close to the front line and took them back to the General Hospitals in Boulogne and Le Havre. Towards the end of the account she was posted to a Field Ambulance (station) close to Ypres.
Pengilly, Mary Huestis
Mary Pengilly was taken to a Lunatic Asylum by her sons where she kept a diary, which this book is taken from. Mary records the harsh conditions and treatments received at the hands of the nurses during her stay. Once Mary is released she takes it upon herself to make the authorities aware of the situation at the Provincial Lunatic Asylum.
Sailing voyage from England to Portugal in the mid Eighteenth Century, by one of the premier humorists, satirists, novelists and playwrights of his age. It was to be his last work, as his failing health proved unable to persevere much longer after the voyage.
Venture Smith was an African captured as a child and transported to the American colonies to be sold as a slave. As an adult, he purchased his freedom and that of his family. His history was documented when he gave a narrative of his life to a schoolteacher, who wrote it down and published it under the title A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa: But Resident above Sixty Years in the United States of America, Related by Himself.
Beerson, Joseph Lievesley
A Narrative of Personal Experiences of the Officer Commanding the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial Force . From his leaving Australia December 1914 till his evacuation due to illness after 5 months at Gallipoli. Read to remember those who were there.
A brief record of the fighting on the Eastern front in the great war by a participant in that great conflict
Leander Stillwell was an 18-year-old Illinois farm boy, living with his family in a log cabin, when the U.S. Civil War broke out. Stillwell felt a duty "to help save the Nation;" but, as with many other young men, his Patriotism was tinged with bravura: "the idea of staying at home and turning over senseless clods on the farm with the cannon thundering so close at hand . . . was simply intolerable." Stillwell volunteered for the 61st Illinois Infantry in January 1861. His youthful enthusiasm for the soldier's life was soon tempered at Shiloh, where he first "saw a gun fired in anger," and "saw a man die a violent death."
Stillwell's recounting of events is always vivid, personal, and engrossing. "I distinctly remember my first shot at Shiloh . . . The fronts of both lines were . . . shrouded in smoke. I had my gun at a ready, and was trying to peer under the smoke in order to get a sight of our enemies. Suddenly I heard someone in a highly excited tone calling to me from just in my rear, --'Stillwell! Shoot! Shoot! Why don't you shoot?' I looked around and saw that this command was being given by . . . our second lieutenant, who was wild with excitement, jumping up and down like a hen on a hot griddle. 'Why, lieutenant,' I said, 'I can't see anything to shoot at.' 'Shoot, shoot, anyhow!' 'All right,' I responded. . . And bringing my gun to my shoulder, I aimed low in the direction of the enemy, and blazed away through the smoke. But at the time the idea to me was ridiculous that one should blindly shoot into a cloud of smoke without having a bead on the object to be shot at."
The Story of a Common Soldier is a compelling coming of age tale that will appeal not only to Civil War buffs but to anyone who enjoys autobiographies. Written at the urging of his youngest son, when Stillwell was a mature man--a lawyer, judge, and member of the Kansas legislature, it combines graphic detail (provided by his war diary and letters written at the time to his family) with the insights of a thoughtful man looking back on those horrific times.
An intensely personal account of the immigration experience as related by a young Jewish girl from Plotzk (a town in the government of Vitebsk, Russia). Mary Antin, with her mother, sisters, and brother, set out from Plotzk in 1894 to join their father, who had journeyed to the "Promised Land" of America three years before. Fourth class railroad cars packed to suffocation, corrupt crossing guards, luggage and persons crudely "disinfected" by German officials who feared the cholera, locked "quarantine" portside, and, finally, the steamer voyage and a famiily reunited. For anyone who has ever wondered what it was like for their grandparents or great grandparents to emmigrate from Europe to the United States last century, this is a fascinating narrative. Mary Antin went on to become an immigration rights activist. She also wrote an autobiography, The Promised Land, published in 1912, which detailed her assimilation into American culture.
A. J. Evans
Described by some as one of the greatest escape books published. The Escaping Club recounts Evans' escape to Switzerland from a supposedly "escape-proof" German prison camp during World War I. After repatriation and rejoining the war, Evans again finds himself captured, this time first by Arabs and then by Turks. He again manages to escape. A detailed look at the trials faced by Allied POWs during World War I.
Written for the Atlantic magazine in 1877, this is a collection of stories about a trip Mark Twain made with some friends to Bermuda.
Watkin Tench was an officer of the British Marines in the First Fleet to settle NSW. This is an interesting and entertaining account of his experiences during that time.
American novelist Edith Wharton was living in Paris when World War I broke out in 1914. She obtained permission to visit sites behind the lines, including hospitals, ravaged villages, and trenches. Fighting France records her travels along the front in 1914 and 1915, and celebrates the indomitable spirit of the French people.
Grenfell, Anne MacLanahan
A collection of letters from Anne (MacLanahan) Grenfell, future wife of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, regarding her year of missionary service at the orphanage in St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Being the full account of the capture and fifteen months'
imprisonment of Corporal Edwards, of the Princess Patricia's
Canadian Light Infantry, and his final escape from Germany
Cornelia Stratton Parker
In a memoir marked by joy, love, and an unbending sense of adventure, Cornelia Stratton Parker reveals the heart of a unique man and their life together. As a member of California's turn-of-the-20th-century Immigration and Housing Commission, Carlton H. Parker came to understand the problems surrounding migrant camps and the labor movement in general. In this volume she recounts his undertakings in that regard and their family life.
Mina Benson Hubbard
Mina Benson Hubbard set out in 1905 on a 576 mile canoe journey across the interior of Labrador with the assistance of four guides. Her husband Leonidas Hubbard had perished in an attempt to make the same trip in 1903 while working as a writer for an outdoor magazine. Mrs Hubbard was the first person to accurately map the river routes her expedition followed. The story of her journey is followed at the end of the book by her husband's diary of his ill-fated trip and an account by George Elson of his efforts to save himself and his companions, and ultimately to recover Mr Hubbard's body.
Sometime in the month of July, 1812, nearly a hundred years ago now, a well dressed, smooth spoken man, less than thirty years of age, made his appearance at Windsor, Nova Scotia. The story as told in subsequent pages by Sheriff Bates is unique in criminal annals and is worthy of careful perusal. - Summary Adapted from the Preface
Annie L. Burton
This is a short and simple, yet poignant autobiography of Annie Burton, who recounts her early carefree childhood as a slave on a southern plantation while the Civil War raged around her, and after the Emancipation Proclamation, how her life changed as she struggled to maintain herself and family, manage her finances, and develop as a free person of color. The last half of the narrative relies heavily upon speeches, poems, and hymns written by others that stirred Annie's religious passions and increased her pride in her heritage, including a very powerful speech by Dr. P. Thomas Stanford, "The Race Question in America", which no doubt gave Annie some historical perspective, boosted her pride, and offered much food for thought to her readers upon that important subject.
Hambleton, Chalkley J.
"Early in the summer of 1860, I had an attack of gold fever. In Chicago, the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue."
Thus Chalkley J. Hambleton begins his pithy and engrossing tale of participation in the Pike's Peak gold rush.
Four men in partnership hauled 24 tons of mining equipment by ox cart across the Great Plains from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Denver, Colorado. Hambleton vividly recounts their encounters with buffalo herds, Indians, and"the returning army of disappointed gold seekers."
Setting up camp near Mountain City, Colorado, Hambleton watched one man wash "several nice nuggets of shining gold" from the dirt and gravel, only to learn afterwards that [i]"these same nuggets had been washed out several times before, whenever a 'tenderfoot' would come along, who it was thought might want to buy a rich claim."
Two years later, "tired and disgusted with the whole business," Hambleton returned to Chicago, where he arrived "a wiser if not richer man."
In later years, Hambleton was a prominent Chicago lawyer, real estate developer, and a member of the Chicago Board of Education. He wrote this candid account for family and friends, publishing it privately in 1898. It is based in good part on letters he had sent from the gold fields to his sister. Summing up his experience with wry humor, he writes: "After selling out my interest in the joint enterprise, I still had left some fifty claims on various lodes . . . Some time after returning to Chicago, I was making a real estate trade . . . and I threw in these fifty gold mines. . . Had I only kept them, and gotten up some artistic deeds of conveyance, in gilded letters, what magnificent wedding presents they would have made. . . In the long list of high-sounding, useless presents, the present of a gold mine would have led all the rest."
Grenfell, Sir Wilfred
This autobiographical work describes the author's harrowing experience caught on a small drifting piece of ice, while crossing a frozen bay by dog team on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland.
Mary Roberts Rinehart
A personal account of the American author's visit to Europe in January 1915 while a war correspondent in Belgium for The Saturday Evening Post. She writes: "War is not two great armies meeting in a clash and frenzy of battle. It is much more than that. War is a boy carried on a stretcher, looking up at God's blue sky with bewildered eyes that are soon to close; war is a woman carrying a child that has been wounded by a shell; war is spirited horses tied in burning buildings and waiting for death; war is the flower of a race, torn, battered, hungry, bleeding, up to its knees in icy water; war is an old woman burning a candle before the Mater Dolorosa for the son she has given. For King and Country!"
Wright, Jacob William
Short memory of boyhood by a little-known American poet based in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
Memoirs written by Napoleon's private secretary, "a work based on years of intimate friendship and professional association."
George Washburn Smalley
“These Memories  were written in the first instance for Americans and have appeared week by week each Sunday in the New York Tribune…. they are mainly concerned with men of exceptional mark and position in America and Europe whom I have met, and with events of which I had some personal knowledge. There is no attempt at a consecutive story.” (Preface) Smalley was an American journalist born in Massachusetts in 1833; he wrote from and about many places in America (including the Civil War) and Europe.
Do you love books? No, I mean REALLY love books? These series of sketches on the delights, adventures, and misadventures connected with bibliomania (bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.). The author wholeheartedly enjoyed this pursuit all his life and his descriptions are delightful to read. Anyone who has lovingly held a book, smelled it, and enjoyed it for being just what it is, will understand what the author puts so well. According to the author, collectors may be grouped in three classes: Those who collect from vanity, those who collect for the benefits of learning and those who collect out of veneration and love for books. Mr. Field fell squarly in the latter category.
Henry Ford profiles the events that shaped his personal philosophy, and the challenges he overcame on the road to founding the Ford Motor Company. Throughout his memoir, he stresses the importance of tangible service and physical production over relative value as judged by profits and money. He measures the worth of a business or government by the service it provides to all, not the profits in dollars it accumulates. He also makes the point that only service can provide for human needs, as opposed to laws or rules which can only prohibit specific actions and do not provide for the necessaries of life. Ford applies his reasoning to the lending system, transportation industry, international trade and interactions between labor and management. For each, he proposes solutions that maximize service and provide goods at the lowest cost and highest quality. He analyzes from a purely material viewpoint, going as far as to argue that the need for a good feeling in work environments may reflect a character flaw or weakness. However, his unflinching focus on the ultimate material products and necessities of life provide clever insights in how he created an efficient and flexible system for providing reliable transportation for the average person.
'Roughing It In the Bush' is Susanna Moodie's account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.
Sarah Emma Edmonds
The “Nurse and Spy” is simply a record of events which have transpired in the experience and under the observation of one who has been on the field and participated in numerous battles—among which are the first and second Bull Run, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, the Seven days in front of Richmond, Antietam, and Fredericksburg—serving in the capacity of “Spy” and as “Field Nurse” for over two years.
While in the “Secret Service” as a “Spy,” which is one of the most hazardous positions in the army—she penetrated the enemy’s lines, in various disguises, no less than eleven times; always with complete success and without detection.
Her efficient labors in the different Hospitals as well as her arduous duties as “Field Nurse,” embrace many thrilling and touching incidents, which are here most graphically described.
Sam R. Watkins
Samuel “Sam” Rush Watkins (June 26, 1839 – July 20, 1901) was a noted Confederate soldier during the American Civil War. He is known today for his memoir Company Aytch: Or, a Side Show of the Big Show, often heralded as one of the best primary sources about the common soldier's Civil War experience....Sam’s writing style is quite engaging and skillfully captures the pride, misery, glory, and horror experienced by the common foot soldier. Watkins is often featured and quoted in Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary titled The Civil War. (Introduction from Wikipedia)
Barnum, P. T.
P. T. Barnum exposes some of the chief humbugs of the world with his usual entertaining style. He looks at medicine and quacks, ghosts, witchcraft, religious humbugs, money manias, adventurers, personal reminiscences, and much more.
From 1884 until 1891, James Berry was an executioner. In this time he carried out 131 hangings. In this memoir he writes about the methods he used, and the final moments of some of those he executed.
Matthew A. Henson
In this fascinating memoir, Matthew Henson describes the incredibly dangerous, exhausting, and bone-chilling trip to what was until then the never-before reached point on earth, the North Pole.
"Robert Peary is remembered as the intrepid explorer who successfully reached the North Pole in 1909. Far less celebrated is his companion, Matthew Henson, a black man from Maryland. Henson's gripping memoir, first published in 1912, tells this unsung hero's story in his own words. Henson...was indispensable to the famous explorer's journey; he learned the language of the Eskimos, was an expert dog-sled driver and even built the sleds...." (Publishers Weekly)
"An original document.... One of the giants of polar exploration, Henson had the graceful modesty of genuinely big men.... The world would know even more about him now if his commander, Peary, had been less an egotist and more generous in sharing credit for his discovery of the North Pole." (Washington Post Book World)
"A really valuable addition to the literature of [polar exploration].... Filled with incident, occupation, description, emotion, [and] comment." (The New York Times)
Isaac Mason was born into slavery. As a young man, he escaped to freedom and made a life for himself. An intelligent man, he gave lectures on his experiences and was later encouraged to publish them in book form.
Houghton, Eliza P. Donner
The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the "westering fever" of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the Donner Party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode.
The author was about 4 at the time. The first part of the book accounts the tragic journey and rescue attempts; the last half are reminiscences of the child orphan, passed from family to family while growing up.
Frank Berkeley Smith
"Cocher, drive to the rue Falguière"--this in my best restaurant French.
The man with the varnished hat shrugged his shoulders, and raised his eyebrows in doubt. He evidently had never heard of the rue Falguière.
"Yes, rue Falguière, the old rue des Fourneaux," I continued.
Cabby's face broke out into a smile. "Ah, oui, oui, le Quartier Latin."
And it was at the end of this crooked street, through a lane that ledinto a half court flanked by a row of studio buildings, and up one pairof dingy waxed steps, that I found a door bearing the name of the authorof the following pages--his visiting card impaled on a tack. He was inhis shirt-sleeves--the thermometer stood at 90° outside--working at hisdesk, surrounded by half-finished sketches and manuscript.
The man himself I had met before--I had known him for years, infact--but the surroundings were new to me. So too were his methods ofwork.
Nowadays when a man would write of the Siege of Peking or the relief ofsome South African town with the unpronounceable name, his habit is torent a room on an up-town avenue, move in an inkstand and pad, and acollection of illustrated papers and encyclopedias. This writer on therue Falguière chose a different plan. He would come back year afteryear, and study his subject and compile his impressions of the Quarterin the very atmosphere of the place itself; within a stone's throw ofthe Luxembourg Gardens and the Panthéon; near the cafés and the Bullier;next door, if you please, to the public laundry where his washerwomanpays a few sous for the privilege of pounding his clothes into holes.
It all seemed very real to me, as I sat beside him and watched him atwork. The method delighted me. I have similar ideas myself about thevalue of his kind of study in out-door sketching, compared with thelabored work of the studio, and I have most positive opinions regardingthe quality which comes of it.
If then the pages which here follow have in them any of the trueinwardness of the life they are meant to portray, it is due, I feelsure, as much to the attitude of the author toward his subject, as muchto his ability to seize, retain, and express these instantaneousimpressions, these flash pictures caught on the spot, as to any othermerit which they may possess.
Nothing can be made really _real_ without it.
F. HOPKINSON SMITH.
Paris, August, 1901.
In this book Mathewson is telling the reader of the game as it is played in the Big Leagues.... It’s as good as his pitching and some exciting things have happened in the Big Leagues, stories that never found their way into the newspapers. Matty has told them. This is a true tale of Big Leaguers, their habits and their methods of playing the game, written by one of them.