Free history Kindle books for 09 May 15

The Art of War

by Sun Tzu

Chios Classics brings literature’s greatest works back to life for new generations. All our books contain a linked table of contents.

This edition of Sun Tzu’s classic military treatise is translated by Lionel Giles.

My First Summer in the Sierra (Illustrated)

by John Muir

In the great Central Valley of California there are only two seasonsâ??spring and summer. The spring begins with the first rainstorm, which usually falls in November. In a few months the wonderful flowery vegetation is in full bloom, and by the end of May it is dead and dry and crisp, as if every plant had been roasted in an oven.

Then the lolling, panting flocks and herds are driven to the high, cool, green pastures of the Sierra. I was longing for the mountains about this time, but money was scarce and I couldn’t see how a bread supply was to be kept up. While I was anxiously brooding on the bread problem, so troublesome to wanderers, and trying to believe that I might learn to live like the wild animals, gleaning nourishment here and there from seeds, berries, etc., sauntering and climbing in joyful independence of money or baggage, Mr. Delaney, a sheep-owner, for whom I had worked a few weeks, called on me, and offered to engage me to go with his shepherd and flock to the headwaters of the Merced and Tuolumne riversâ??the very region I had most in mind. I was in the mood to accept work of any kind that would take me into the mountains whose treasures I had tasted last summer in the Yosemite region. The flock, he explained, would be moved gradually higher through the successive forest belts as the snow melted, stopping for a few weeks at the best places we came to. These I thought would be good centers of observation from which I might be able to make many telling excursions within a radius of eight or ten miles of the camps to learn something of the plants, animals, and rocks; for he assured me that I should be left perfectly free to follow my studies. I judged, however, that I was in no way the right man for the place, and freely explained my shortcomings, confessing that I was wholly unacquainted with the topography of the upper mountains, the streams that would have to be crossed, and the wild sheep-eating animals, etc.; in short that, what with bears, coyotes, rivers, cañons, and thorny, bewildering chaparral, I feared that half or more of his flock would be lost. Fortunately these shortcom ings seemed insignificant to Mr. Delaney. The main thing, he said, was to have a man about the camp whom he could trust to see that the shepherd did his duty, and he assured me that the difficulties that seemed so formidable at a distance would vanish as we went on; encouraging me further by saying that the shepherd would do all the herding, that I could study plants and rocks and scenery as much as I liked, and that he would himself accompany us to the first main camp and make occasional visits to our higher ones to replenish our store of provisions and see how we prospered. Therefore I concluded to go, though still fearing, when I saw the silly sheep bouncing one by one through the narrow gate of the home corral to be counted, that of the two thousand and fifty many would never return.

Genghis Khan (Illustrated)

by Jacob Abbott

The word khan is not a name, but a title. It means chieftain or king. It is a word used in various forms by the different tribes and nations that from time immemorial have inhabited Central Asia, and has been applied to a great number of potentates and rulers that have from time to time arisen among them. Genghis Khan was the greatest of these princes. He was, in fact, one of the most renowned conquerors whose exploits history records.

As in all other cases occurring in the series of histories to which this work belongs, where the events narrated took place at such a period or in such a part of the world that positively reliable and authentic information in respect to them can now no longer be obtained, the author is not responsible for the actual truth of the narrative which he offers, but only for the honesty and fidelity with which he has compiled it from the best sources of information now within reach.

Commerce of the Prairies

by Josiah Gregg

EXCERPT (Preface):
IN adding another to the list of works which have already been published, appearing to bear more or less directly upon the subject matter of these volumes, I am aware that my labors make their appeal to the public under serious disadvantages. Topics which have occupied the pens of Irving and Murray and Hoffman, and more recently, of Kendall, the graphic historiographer of the “Texan Santa Fe Expedition,”” may fairly be supposed to have been so entirely exhausted, that the entrance of a new writer in the lists, whose name is wholly unknown to the republic of letters, and whose pretensions are so humble as mine, may be looked upon as an act of literary hardihood, for which there was neither occasion nor excuse. In view of this â??foregone conclusion,’ I trust I may be pardoned for prefacing my literary offering with a few words in its justification , â?? which will afford me an occasion to explain the circumstances that first led to my acquaintance with life upon the Prairies and in Northern Mexico.
For some months preceding the year 1831, my health had been gradually declining under a complication of chronic diseases, which defied every plan of treatment that the sagacity and science of my medical friends could devise. This morbid condition of my system, which originated in the familiar miseries of dyspepsia and its kindred infirmities, had finally reduced me to such a state, that, for nearly a twelvemonth, I was not only disqualified for any systematic industry, but so debilitated as rarely to be able to extend my walks beyond the narrow precincts of my chamber. In this hopeless condition, my physicians advised me to take a trip across the Prairies, and, in the change of air and habits which such an adventure would involve, to seek that health which their science had failed to bestow. I accepted their suggestion, and, without hesitation, proceeded at once to make the necessary preparations for joining one of those spring Caravans which were annually starting from the United States, for Santa Fe.
The effects of this journey were in the first place to re-establish my health, and, in the second, to beget a passion for Prairie life which I never expect to survive. At the conclusion of the season which followed my first trip, I became interested as a proprietor in the Santa Fe Trade, and continued to be so, to a greater or less extent, for the eight succeeding years. During the whole of the above periods I crossed the Prairies eight different times ; and, with the exception of the time thus spent in travelling to and fro, the greater part of the nine years of which I speak, were passed in Northern Mexico.

Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation: 1838-1839

by Fanny Kemble

The following diary was kept in the winter and spring of 1838-9, on an estate consisting of rice and cotton plantations, in the islands at the entrance of the Altamaha, on the coast of Georgia.

The slaves in whom I then had an unfortunate interest were sold some years ago. The islands themselves are at present in the power of the Northern troops. The record contained in the following pages is a picture of conditions of human existence which I hope and believe have passed away.


January 16, 1863.

Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

by Katharine Berry Judson

From the edge of the Darkening Land, where stand the mountains which encircle the earth-plain, eastward toward the Sunland, lie the great plains of America. Smooth and flat and green they stretch away, hundreds of miles, rising from a dead level into a soft rolling of the land, then into the long green waves of the prairies where rivers flow, where the water ripples as it flows, and trees shade the banks of the gleaming water.

Here, amidst the vast sweep of the plains which stretch away to the horizon on every side, boundless, limitless, endless, lived the plains Indians. Standing in the midst of this vast green plain on a soft May morning, after the Thunder Gods have passed, when the sun is shining in the soft blue above, and the sweet, rain-swept air is blown about by the Four Winds which are always near to man, day and night,â??standing far out on the plains with no hint of the white man or his workâ??one sees the earth somewhat as the Indian saw it and wonders not at his reverence for the Mysterious One who dwelt overhead, beyond the blue stone arch, and for the lesser powers which came to him over the four paths guarded by the Four Winds. It was Wakoda, the Mysterious One, who gave to man the sunshine, the clear rippling water, the clear sky from which all storms, all clouds are absent, the sky which is the symbol of peace. Through this sky sweeps the eagle, the “Mother” of Indian songs, bearing upon her strong wings the message of peace and calling to her nestlings as she flies. Little wonder that to some tribes song was an integral part of their lives, and that emotions too deep for words were expressed in song.

History of The Discovery and Settlement of The Valley of the Mississippi, by the Three Great European Powers, Volume I

by John Monette

EXCERPT (Preface):
The records of the first European colonies in the Valley of the Mississippi are distributed sparsely through the archives of foreign governments, and are to be found published only in fragments and hasty sketches, interspersed through miscellaneous works and periodicals, so that a connected and concise account of their rise and progress is not accessible to those who desire to trace their history. In like manner, the early records of the Anglo-American settlements west of the Alleghany Mountains, and their extension over the Valley of the Mississippi, are concealed chiefly among the archives of the several states and territories, or among the voluminous documents of the Federal government, thus placing any connected account of these infant colonies equally beyond the reach of common research. Other fragments, pertaining to the early history of the western settlements, are enveloped in private memoirs, narratives of individual observers loosely compiled, and meriting but slender claims to the confidence of the discerning reader.
Hence that portion of the reading public who are desirous of tracing the true history of past events in the rise and progress of the new states in the Valley of the Mississippi, free from the glosses and episodes of visionary writers, are excluded from any concise and connected history of the whole West, which discloses correctly the progressive changes, and notes the order in the chain of events, in their advance from isolated, feeble frontier colonies, to populous, wealthy, and enlightened states.
To supply this desideratum, and to present a concise and comprehensive detail, a complete but condensed narrative of American colonization west of the Alleghanies is the object of the present work. In this undertaking, the author has endeavored to connect the history of the French and Spanish colonies, which have had their important agency in the destiny of the American Republic, with those of the Anglo-Americans in their advance upon the tributaries of the Ohio River.
The blending of these three great branches of European emigration in North America has resulted in the formation of a great and powerful Republic, the wonder, if not the admiration, of the civilized world, teeming with an enterprising and ever-active population, proud of their origin from the three great nations that have successively held dominion in the Western World.

History of the Discovery and Settlement of the Valley of the Mississippi, by the Three Great European Powers, Volume II

by John Monette

WHATEVER pertains to manners and customs of the early-pioneer settlers on the tributary waters of the Ohio, applies, with nearly equal correctness, to the early white population of all the western half of Pennsylvania and Virginia, no less than to Kentucky and Tennessee, from the year 1770 to 1794, and to the white settlements northwest of the Ohio, until the termination of the Indian war by the victorious arms of General Anthony Wayne. All the settlements on the northwest, as well as those on the southeast side of the Ohio, during the hostilities of the western tribes, were placed in nearly the same circumstances in every thing pertaining to frontier life.
[A.D. 1770-1794.] One general trait has always characterized most of the frontier settlers contiguous to hostile tribes of Indians, and that is a daring, fearless, and enterprising spirit; a hardy, robust, and patient constitution, unaccustomed to the refinements, luxuries, or comforts of the older Atlantic colonies. The circumstances by which they were surrounded were such as tended to form constitutions capable of enduring almost any privation or bodily exposure without danger of serious disadvantage, mentally or physically.
Such qualifications were indispensable to those whose situation compelled them to brave the inclemency of the seasons, far remote from civilized life, and to contend with the fierce beasts of prey, and with the wily savage in his native haunts and forests. The pioneer who advances into the American wilderness against the consent of the fierce and vindictive savage, must possess no ordinary share of courage, and an iron constitution to sustain him.
To form a proper estimate of the character of the western pioneer, we must view him in all the relations of life, under the circumstances in which he is placed; examine him in his manners, customs, mode of life; in his pursuits, pastimes, and his domestic relations. Living in constant intercourse with the savage tribes, his costume, manner of life, habits, and customs were necessarily half savage and half civilized, and often the whole character of the savage was assumed.

Medieval People

by Eileen Power

Social history sometimes suffers from the reproach that it is vague and general, unable to compete with the attractions of political history either for the student or for the general reader, because of its lack of outstanding personalities. In point of fact there is often as much material for reconstructing the life of some quite ordinary person as there is for writing a history of Robert of Normandy or of Philippa of Hainault; and the lives of ordinary people so reconstructed are, if less spectacular, certainly not less interesting. I believe that social history lends itself particularly to what may be called a personal treatment, and that the past may be made to live again for the general reader more effectively by personifying it than by presenting it in the form of learned treatises on the development of the manor or on medieval trade, essential as these are to the specialist. For history, after all, is valuable only in so far as it lives, and Maeterlinck’s cry, â??There are no dead’, should always be the historian’s motto. It is the idea that history is about dead people, or, worse still, about movements and conditions which seem but vaguely related to the labours and passions of flesh and blood, which has driven history from bookshelves where the historical novel still finds a welcome place.

In the following series of sketches I have tried to illustrate at the same time various aspects of social life in the Middle Ages and various classes of historical material. Thus Bodo illustrates peasant life, and an early phase of a typical medieval estate; Marco Polo, Venetian trade with the East; Madame Eglentyne, monastic life; the Ménagier’s wife, domestic life in a middle-class home, and medieval ideas about women; Thomas Betson, the wool trade, and the activities of the great English trading company of Merchants of the Staple; and Thomas Paycocke, the cloth industry in East Anglia. They are all quite ordinary people and unknown to fame, with the exception of Marco Polo. The types of historical evidence illustrated are the estate book of a manorial lord, the chronicle and traveller’s tale, the bishop’s register, the didactic treatise in household management, the collection of family letters, and houses, brasses, and wills. At the end of the book I have added a bibliography of the sources which form the raw material for my reconstructions, and a few additional notes and references. I hope that this modest attempt to bring to life again some of â??our fathers that begat us’, may perhaps interest for an hour or two the general reader, or the teacher, who wishes to make more concrete by personification some of the general facts of medieval social and economic history.

My thanks are due to my publishers, Messrs. Methuen and Co., for allowing me to incorporate in Chapter VI the greater part of a chapter in my book â??The Paycockes of Coggeshall’, and to the Cambridge University Press for similarly allowing me to repeat in Chapter III a few sentences from my study of â??Medieval English Nunneries’. I have also to thank my friends Miss M.G. Jones and Miss H.M.R. Murray of Girton College, Cambridge, for various suggestions and criticisms, and my sister Miss Rhoda Power for making the index.

May 1924


London School of Economics and Political Science

University of London

History of the Philippine Islands

by Antonio de Morga

History of the Philippines–
From their discovery by Magellan in 1521 to the beginning of the XVII

Century; with descriptions of Japan, China and adjacent countries, by Dr. ANTONIO DE MORGA

Omens and Superstitions of Southern India

by Edgar Thurston

This is a comprehensive look at some of the fairy tales and folk legends that came out of Southern India going all the way back to ancient times. 

Lee’s Last Campaign

by John C. Gorman

When I returned to my command in the early part of March, after a long absence as a prisoner, I was greatly depressed at the sad state of feeling in which I found almost the whole army.â??The buoyant, hopeful tone that animated them during the bloody and heroic struggles in the Wilderness, and at Spotsylvania, was gone. The men who followed the immortal Jackson in his historic and eventful campaigns, and endured every fatigue and hardship without a murmur, in the full hope of eventual victory, were dejected, crestfallen and despondent. The wear and tear of a continuous campaign from the Rappahannoc to the James, and the disasters of the Valley struggle of the previous fall, together with the continuous marching and counter-marching on their present lines, without rest and with short rations, were telling upon their hardy natures. Longstreet’s veterans, who had followed their old leader from the ensanguined fields of Virginia to Chicamauga and East Tennessee, and who had again been forwarded to their old fields of conflict, were thinned in numbers, and had lost much of the fierce fire of pluck that characterised them of old.

Five Years’ Explorations at Thebes

by George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Carnarvon

The following volume contains a record of work done in the Theban Necropolis during the years 1907-11. In the editing of this report I have availed myself of the generous help of several scholars, whose names appear at the heads of the chapters they have contributed. To these gentlemen I wish to tender my sincere thanks for their co-operation.

Mr. Howard Carter has been in charge of all operations; and whatever successes have resulted from our labours are due to his unremitting watchfulness and care in systematically recording, drawing, and photographing everything as it came to light.

To Professor Sir Gaston Maspero, the Director-General of the Service des Antiquités, I wish to proffer my thanks for his most kind and valuable support; as also to Mr. Weigall, who, in the course of his official work, has given me his most willing assistance. To Dr. Budge I should also like to express my indebtedness for several valuable suggestions.



August 1911.

Modern India

by William Curtis

This volume contains a series of letters written for The Chicago Record-Herald during the winter of 1903-04, and are published in permanent form through the courtesy of Mr. Frank B. Noyes, Editor and publisher of that paper.

Narrative of the Captivity of William Biggs among the Kickapoo Indians in Illinois in 1788

by Walter Biggs

In the year 1788, March 28th, I was going from Bellfontain to Cahokia, in company with a young man named John Vallis, from the State of Maryland; he was born and raised near Baltimore. About 7 o’clock in the morning I heard two guns fired; by the report I thought they were to the right; I thought they were white men hunting; both shot at the same time. I looked but could not see any body; in a moment after I looked to the left and saw sixteen Indians, all upon their feet with their guns presented, about forty yards distant from me, just ready to draw trigger. I was riding between Vallis and the Indians in a slow trot, at the moment I saw them. I whipped my horse and leaned my breast on the horse’s withers, and told Vallis to whip his horse, that they were Indians. That moment they all fired their guns in one platoon; you could scarcely distinguish the report of their guns one from another.

History of Australia and New Zealand

by Alex Sutherland


To the people who lived four centuries ago in Europe only a very small portion of the earth’s surface was known. Their geography was confined to the regions lying immediately around the Mediterranean, and including Europe, the north of Africa, and the west of Asia. Round these there was a margin, obscurely and imperfectly described in the reports of merchants; but by far the greater part of the world was utterly unknown. Great realms of darkness stretched all beyond, and closely hemmed in the little circle of light. In these unknown lands our ancestors loved to picture everything that was strange and mysterious. They believed that the man who could penetrate far enough would find countries where inexhaustible riches were to be gathered without toil from fertile shores, or marvellous valleys; and though wild tales were told of the dangers supposed to fill these regions, yet to the more daring and adventurous these only made the visions of boundless wealth and enchanting loveliness seem more fascinating.

Thus, as the art of navigation improved, and long voyages became possible, courageous seamen were tempted to venture out into the great unknown expanse. Columbus carried his trembling sailors over great tracts of unknown ocean, and discovered the two continents of America; Vasco di Gama penetrated far to the south, and rounded the Cape of Good Hope; Magellan, passing through the straits now called by his name, was the first to enter the Pacific Ocean; and so in the case of a hundred others, courage and skill carried the hardy seaman over many seas and into many lands that had lain unknown for ages.

Australia was the last part of the world to be thus visited and explored. In the year 1600, during the times of Shakespeare, the region to the south of the East Indies was still as little known as ever; the rude maps of those days had only a great blank where the islands of Australia should have been. Most people thought there was nothing but the ocean in that part of the world; and as the voyage was dangerous and very longâ??requiring several years for its completionâ??scarcely any one cared to run the risk of exploring it.

History of the Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers

by B. F. Blakeslee

It is to be regretted that a complete history of the 16th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, has not been written. At this late day it would require much time, labor, and expense, to prepare one, and probably will never be done. Many volumes might be written which would be of inestimable value hereafter. Their services in the War for the Union cannot be placed upon a few pages. This volume is but a mere outline history, mostly compiled from diaries written by me at a young age, the importance of which was not then comprehended; with no expectation of the future use they would be put to,â??but little was written, and that mostly concerned myself. It is the object of this work to create a permanent record of some of the marches, battles, and experiences generally of the organization above mentioned. This undertaking is made in behalf of the surviving members of the regiment, to whom it is hoped the work will prove of some value as a book of reference. The hope is also expressed that this work may prove a not unwelcome though sad memorial to the friends of those members of the regiment who lost their lives in battle or prison. The author is unaccustomed to historical composition, and makes no boast of literary education.

Medieval Heresy & The Inquisition

by A.S. Turberville

The aim of this book is to provide, within a short space, and primarily for the general reader, an account of the heresies of the Middle Ages and of the attitude of the Church towards them. The book is, therefore, a brief essay in the history not only of dogma, but, inasmuch as it is concerned with the repression of heresy by means of the Inquisition, of judicature also. The ground covered is the terrain of H. C. Lea’s immense work, â??A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages’; but that was published more than thirty years ago, and since then much has been written, though not indeed much in English, on the mediæval Inquisition and cognate subjects. As the present work has been undertaken in the light of some of these more recent investigations, it is hoped that it may be of utility to rather closer students, as well as to the general reader, as a review of the subject suggested by the writings of Lea’s successors, both partizans and critics. At the same time this book does not profess to be a history, even the briefest, of the mediæval Inquisition. Its main concern is with doctrine, and for that reason chapters on Averrhoïsm and on Wyclifitism and Husitism have been included, though they have little bearing on the Inquisition.

The entire subject, on both its sides, is complex and highly controversial. Probably no conceivable treatment of it could commend itself to all tastes, be accepted as impartial by the adherents of all types of religious belief. It can, however, at least be claimed that this work was begun with no other object in view than honest enquiry, with no desire whatever to demonstrate a preconceived thesis or draw attention to a particular aspect of truth. The conclusion arrived at in these pages is, that the traditional ultra-Protestant conception of ecclesiastical intolerance forcing a policy of persecution on an unwilling or indifferent laity in the Middle Ages is unhistorical, while, on the other hand, some recent Catholic apologists, in seeking to exculpate the Church, have tended to underestimate the power and influence of the Church, and to read into the Middle Ages a humanitarianism which did not actually then exist. Heresy was persecuted because it was regarded as dangerous to society, and intolerance was therefore the reflection, not only of the ecclesiastical authority, but of public opinion. On the other hand, clerical instruction had a large formative influence in the creation of public opinion.

This book inevitably suffered a prolonged interruption owing to the War. That there was not a complete cessation at once I owe to my Father, who most ungrudgingly devoted valuable time to making transcriptions from needed authorities in the British Museum, at a time when other duties debarred me from access to books. My friend and former colleague, Mr. W. Garmon Jones, Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Liverpool, gave me the benefit of his ripe scholarship and fine judgment in reading through the greater part of the work in manuscript, though I need hardly say that any errors in statement or opinion are to be attributed to me alone. I have to thank the Rev. T. Shankland of this College for generously undertaking the thankless task of reading the proofs, and my Wife for the compilation of the Index and for other help besides.


Bangor, April, 1920.

Osage Traditions

by James Owen Dorsey

When the author visited the Osage, in the Indian Territory, in January, 1883, he learned of the existence of a secret society of seven degrees, in which, it was alleged, the traditions of the people have been preserved to the present time. Owing to the shortness of his visit, one month and eleven days, he was unable to gain more than fragmentary accounts of the society, including parts of two traditions, from several Osage who had been initiated.

The version of the first tradition was dictated to the author by Hada-É?üÊ?se (Red Corn), a halfbreed Osage of the TsíÉ?u wactáÊ?e gens. He obtained it from Sadeki¢e. Hada-É?üÊ?se was adopted in childhood by a white man named Matthews, who sent him to a Jesuit college in Missouri(?) to be educated for the priesthood. But the boy left the institution after he had been taught to read and write, as he did not wish to become a priest. He took the name of William P. Matthews, but among his white associates he is known as Bill Nix. He has tried several occupations and is now an Indian doctor. The author was inclined at first to underrate Mr. Matthews’s accomplishments and stock of information, but subsequently changed his opinion of him, as he obtained much that agreed with what had been furnished by members of other tribes in former years. Besides, the author obtained partial accounts of similar traditions from other Osage, who used the same chant which Hada-É?üÊ?se had sung. None of the younger Osage men knew about these matters and the author was urged not to speak to them on this subject. He observed that several of the elder men, members of the secret order in which these traditions are preserved, had parts of the accompanying symbolic chart (Fig. 389) tattooed on their throats and chests. This chart is a fac simile of one that was drawn for the author by Hada-É?üÊ?se. At the top we see a tree near a river. The tree is a cedar, called the tree of life. It has six roots, three on each side. Nothing is said about this tree till the speaker nearly reaches the end of the tradition. Then follows the “ceremony of the cedar.” The tree is described very minutely. Then follows a similar account of the river and its branches.

Whistle-blowing? or Responsible Defiance of Authority?

by M. L. Milne

“All it takes for wrongdoing to proliferate is for good people to see it and do nothing.” The confusing question in the Edward Snowden scenario is, “Who are the good people?” Before that question can be seriously considered, it is necessary to look back in history at others who have been in trouble with the authorities.

This article takes a look at Socrates, Martin Luther, and Galileo and how their actions have proved to be a “responsible defiance of authority.” They did not act carelessly, but out of conscience and a desire to “tell people the truth.” The drama with Edward Snowden is still in Act I so it remains to be seen how the story will enfold and who will prove to be the “good people” and who will prove to be the villains. This article is intended to provoke thought by offering a different view of the issue than is provided by the news media.

History Of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, And Assyria In The Light Of Recent Discovery

by Leonard King

The present volume contains an account of the most important additions which have been made to our knowledge of the ancient history of Egypt and Western Asia during the few years which have elapsed since the publication of Prof. Maspero’s Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de l’Orient Classique, and includes short descriptions of the excavations from which these results have been obtained. It is in no sense a connected and continuous history of these countries, for that has already been written by Prof. Maspero, but is rather intended as an appendix or addendum to his work, briefly recapitulating and describing the discoveries made since its appearance. On this account we have followed a geographical rather than a chronological system of arrangement, but at the same time the attempt has been made to suggest to the mind of the reader the historical sequence of events.

At no period have excavations been pursued with more energy and activity, both in Egypt and Western Asia, than at the present time, and every season’s work obliges us to modify former theories, and extends our knowledge of periods of history which even ten years ago were unknown to the historian. For instance, a whole chapter has been added to Egyptian history by the discovery of the Neolithic culture of the primitive Egyptians, while the recent excavations at Susa are revealing a hitherto totally unsuspected epoch of proto-Elamite civilization. Further than this, we have discovered the relics of the oldest historical kings of Egypt, and we are now enabled to reconstitute from material as yet unpublished the inter-relations of the early dynasties of Babylon. Important discoveries have also been made with regard to isolated points in the later historical periods. We have therefore attempted to include the most important of these in our survey of recent excavations and their results. We would again remind the reader that Prof. Maspero’s great work must be consulted for the complete history of the period, the present volume being, not a connected history of Egypt and Western Asia, but a description and discussion of the manner in which recent discovery and research have added to and modified our conceptions of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization.

New Discoveries at Jamestown (Illustrated)

by John L. Cotter

Jamestown, a name of first rank among historic names, saw the birth of English America. Here on an island in the James River in the heart of tidewater Virginia the English carved a settlement out of the wilderness. It grew from a rude palisaded fort into a busy community and then into a small town that enjoyed many of the comforts of daily living. For 13 years (until 1620) Virginia was the only English colony on the American mainland. Jamestown served this colony as its place of origin and as its capital for 92 yearsâ??from 1607 to 1699.

After its first century of prominence and leadership, “James Towne” entered a long decline, precipitated, in 1700, by the removal of the seat of government to Williamsburg. Its residents drifted away, its streets grew silent, its buildings decayed, and even its lots and former public places became cultivated fields. Time passed and much was forgotten or obscured. So it was when it became a historic area, in part, in 1893, and when the whole island became devoted to historical purposes in 1934.

Since these dates, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and the National Park Service have worked toward the preservation of all that still exists of old Jamestown, and are dedicated to learning its story more completely. Thus the American people can more fully understand and enjoy their historic heritage of Jamestown. A great deal of study along many lines has been required and much more is still needed to fill the many gaps. Libraries have been searched for pictures, documents, and plans. Land records have been carefully scrutinized and old existing landmarks studied. Seventeenth-century buildings and objects still surviving in England, America, and elsewhere have been viewed as well as museum collections. A key part of the search has been the systematic excavation of the townsite itself, in order to bring to light the information and objects long buried there. This is the aspect of the broad Jamestown study that is told in this publication, particularly as its relates to the material things, large and small, of daily life in Jamestown in the 17th century.

These valuable objects are a priceless part of the Jamestown that exists today. Collectively they form one of the finest groups of such early material that has been assembled anywhere. Although most are broken and few are intact, they would not be traded for better preserved and more perfect examples that do exist elsewhere. These things were the property and the possessions of the men and women who lived, worked, and died at Jamestown. It was because of these people, who handled and used them in their daily living, and because of what they accomplished, that Jamestown is one of our best remembered historic places.

April 6, 1956

Charles E. Hatch, Jr.

Colonial National Historical Park

Record of the Past, Volume 1

by A.H. Sayce

This is volume one of the second series of Records of the Past, under the editorship of A. H. Sayce. This volume includes two versions of the Creation epic, today known as the Enuma Elish, and several historical texts, including the Babylonian Chronicles, and the hair-raising Inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I.

Record of the Past, Volume 2

by A.H. Sayce

Records of the Past 2:2 has more Egyptian material than the first, including the Inscription of Uni, the Adventures of Sinuhit, and the Legend of the Expulsion of the Hyksos. Also of interest on the Egyptian side are some of the Tel El-Amarna letters, Babylonian cuneiform tablets found in Upper Egypt, copies of correspondence between Amenophis III and rulers throughout the ancient Near East. From Mesopotamia comes the brutal Inscription of Assur-natsir-pal, the Moabite Stone and an Akkadian Hymn to the Setting Sun, plus detailed king lists and chronologies. If you are curious about Assyrian, but found cuneiform off-putting, the Specimens of Assyrian Correspondence has complete transliterations of three short texts in the footnotes. Even the most mundane of these inscriptions are bejeweled with the names of gods and goddesses, some of them little-known local deities. Another very interesting entry in this series.â??J.B. Hare, October 14, 2008.

Record of the Past, Volume 3

by A.H. Sayce

This entry in the Records of the Past series includes the Precepts of Ptah-Hotep, the â??oldest book in the world,’ the Hymn to the Nile, and the India House inscription of Nebuchadrezzer.

The Holocaust – A Tale of Survival

by Baron Schuster

With the Nazi invasion ongoing, the German army was determined to round up as many Jews as they could and place them into concentration camps. Many feared for their lives, fled the country, or went into hiding. This incredible book takes a personal look at some of the most frightful, disturbing moments at this point in World War II. Hear the personal stories of those that survived the Nazi occupation and lived to tell the tale. Learn about the brutal medical experiments, the harsh living conditions, and the constant fear, loathing, and suffering. These stories spare few details and will be sure to shock and amaze. Let us never forget.

The Republic (Xist Classics)

by Plato

Justice, Order and the Nature of Man

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” â?? Plato, The Republic

The Republic is Plato’s best-known work. Composed as a Socratic dialogue, The Republic is one of the world’s most influential works of philosophy and history.

The Rise and Fall of Soviet Power: A Collection of 9 Essays

by Gary S. Zeidman

This is a must read for those interested in Soviet history or the future of Russian politics.

The collection of these 9 essays shed insight and paint a picture as to how the Soviet mind and power developed domestically and within the Bloc over the course of the last century.

This is a critical examination which explains current post-Soviet regional geopolitics and can be our key and guide to understanding the future Russia will pursue.

Woodrow Wilson Warmonger: A Brief Analysis of How America was Deceived Into World War 1

by M King

Though not nearly as glorified as the Second World War which followed two decades later; America’s entry into World War I is generally regarded as a noble cause. We needed to fight in order to “make the world safe for democracy”, or so the goof-ball narrative goes. Mainly for that reason, Woodrow Wilson is ranked as one of the “Top Ten” Presidents by the court historians of American Academia.

But is Woodrow Wilson truly worthy of such respect? Was America’s entry into World War I, at a price of 120,000 dead “doughboys”, really a just and necessary cause to be celebrated?

Woodrow Wilson Warmonger will address these questions in the form of a line-by-line, fully illustrated rebuttal to Wilson’s pre-fight speech delivered to Congress, and published, in full, in the February 11, 1918 issue of the New York Times. This pamphlet is by no means a comprehensive analysis, but the reader will nonetheless find it very informative and highly thought-provoking.

It is hoped that this work will whet the appetite of your inquiring mind and prompt you to explore The Bad War: The Story Never Taught About World War 2; a best-selling masterpiece which provides a thoroughly documented and illustrated summary of both World Wars; events which can more accurately be described as World War, Part 1 and World War, Part 2.

Glimpses of Bengal

by Rabindranath Tagore

1885 to 1895

The letters translated in this book span the most productive period of my literary life, when, owing to great good fortune, I was young and less known.

Youth being exuberant and leisure ample, I felt the writing of letters other than business ones to be a delightful necessity. This is a form of literary extravagance only possible when a surplus of thought and emotion accumulates. Other forms of literature remain the author’s and are made public for his good; letters that have been given to private individuals once for all, are therefore characterised by the more generous abandonment.

It so happened that selected extracts from a large number of such letters found their way back to me years after they had been written. It had been rightly conjectured that they would delight me by bringing to mind the memory of days when, under the shelter of obscurity, I enjoyed the greatest freedom my life has ever known.

Since these letters synchronise with a considerable part of my published writings, I thought their parallel course would broaden my readers’ understanding of my poems as a track is widened by retreading the same ground. Such was my justification for publishing them in a book for my countrymen. Hoping that the descriptions of village scenes in Bengal contained in these letters would also be of interest to English readers, the translation of a selection of that selection has been entrusted to one who, among all those whom I know, was best fitted to carry it out.


20th June 1920.

Great Women (Illustrated)

by John Lord



When Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise, they yet found one flower, wherever they wandered, blooming in perpetual beauty. This flower represents a great certitude, without which few would be happy,â??subtile, mysterious, inexplicable,â??a great boon recognized alike by poets and moralists, Pagan and Christian; yea, identified not only with happiness, but human existence, and pertaining to the soul in its highest aspirations. Allied with the transient and the mortal, even with the weak and corrupt, it is yet immortal in its nature and lofty in its aims,â??at once a passion, a sentiment, and an inspiration.

To attempt to describe woman without this element of our complex nature, which constitutes her peculiar fascination, is like trying to act the tragedy of Hamlet without Hamlet himself,â??an absurdity; a picture without a central figure, a novel without a heroine, a religion without a sacrifice. My subject is not without its difficulties. The passion or sentiment I describe is degrading when perverted, as it is exalting when pure. Yet it is not vice I would paint, but virtue; not weakness, but strength; not the transient, but the permanent; not the mortal, but the immortal,â??all that is ennobling in the aspiring soul.

“Socrates,” says Legouvé, “who caught glimpses of everything that he did not clearly define, uttered one day to his disciples these beautiful words: â??There are two Venuses: one celestial, called Urania, the heavenly, who presides over all pure and spiritual affections; and the other Polyhymnia, the terrestrial, who excites sensual and gross desires.'” The history of love is the eternal struggle between these two divinities,â??the one seeking to elevate and the other to degrade. Plato, for the first time, in his beautiful hymn to the Venus Urania, displayed to men the unknown image of love,â??the educator and the moralist,â??so that grateful ages have consecrated it by his name. Centuries rolled away, and among the descendants of Teutonic barbarians a still lovelier and more ideal sentiment burst out from the lips of the Christian Dante, kindled by the adoration of his departed Beatrice. And as she courses from star to star, explaining to him the mysteries, the transported poet exclaims:â??

“Ah, all the tongues which the Muses have inspired could not tell the thousandth part of the beauty of the smile of Beatrice as she presented me to the celestial group, exclaiming, â??Thou art redeemed!’ O woman, in whom lives all my hope, who hast deigned to leave for my salvation thy footsteps on the throne of the Eternal, thou hast redeemed me from slavery to liberty; now earth has no more dangers for me. I cherish the image of thy purity in my bosom, that in my last hour, acceptable in thine eyes, my soul may leave my body.”

Great Writers (Illustrated)

by John Lord

This being the last possible volume in the series of “Beacon Lights of History” from the pen of Dr. Lord, its readers will be interested to know that it contains all the lectures that he had completed (although not all that he had projected) for his review of certain of the chief Men of Letters. Lectures on other topics were found among his papers, but none that would perfectly fit into this scheme; and it was thought best not to attempt any collection of his material which he himself had not deemed worthy or appropriate for use in this series, which embodies the best of his life’s work,â??all of his books and his lectures that he wished to have preserved. For instance, “The Old Roman World,” enlarged in scope and rewritten, is included in the volumes on “Old Pagan Civilizations,” “Ancient Achievements,” and “Imperial Antiquity;” much of his “Modern Europe” reappears in “Great Rulers,” “Modern European Statesmen,” and “European National Leaders,” etc.

The consideration of “Great Writers” was reserved by Dr. Lord for his final task,â??a task interrupted by death and left unfinished. In order to round out and complete this volume, recourse has been had to some other masters in literary art, whose productions are added to Dr. Lord’s final writings.

In the present volume, therefore, are included the paper on “Shakspeare” by Emerson, reprinted from his “Representative Men” by permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the authorized publishers of Emerson’s works; the famous essay on “Milton” by Macaulay; the principal portionâ??biographical and generally criticalâ??of the article on “Goethe,” from “Hours with the German Classics,” by the late Dr. Frederic H. Hedge, by permission of Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., the publishers of that work; and a chapter on “Tennyson: the Spirit of Modern Poetry,” by G. Mercer Adam.

A certain advantage may accrue to the reader in finding these masters side by side for comparison and for gauging Dr. Lord’s unique life-work by recognized standards, keeping well in view the purpose no less than the perfection of these literary performances, all of which, like those of Dr. Lord, were aimed at setting forth the services of selected forces in the world’s life.

NEW YORK, September 15, 1902.

The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers

by Various Authors

This is a compilation of papers and works from the fictional author Sir Roger de Coverley, who “contributed” to Joseph Addison’s The Spectator.  

Jewish Heroes and Prophets (Illustrated)

by John Lord


From a religious point of view, Abraham appears to us, after the lapse of nearly four thousand years, as the most august character in history. He may not have had the genius and learning of Moses, nor his executive ability; but as a religious thinker, inspired to restore faith in the world and the worship of the One God, it would be difficult to find a man more favored or more successful. He is the spiritual father equally of Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, in their warfare with idolatry. In this sense, he is the spiritual progenitor of all those nations, tribes, and peoples who now acknowledge, or who may hereafter acknowledge, a personal God, supreme and eternal in the universe which He created. Abraham is the religious father of all those who associate with this personal and supreme Deity a providential oversight of this world,â??a being whom all are required to worship, and alone to worship, as the only true God whose right it is to reign, and who does reign, and will reign forever and ever over everything that exists, animate or inanimate, visible or invisible, known or unknown, in the mighty universe of whose glory and grandeur we have such overwhelming yet indefinite conceptions.

When Abraham appeared, whether four thousand or five thousand years ago, for chronologists differ in their calculations, it would seem that the nations then existing had forgotten or ignored this great cardinal and fundamental truth, and were more or less given to idolatry, worshipping the heavenly bodies, or the forces of Nature, or animals, or heroes, or graven images, or their own ancestors. There were but few and feeble remains of the primitive revelation,â??that is, the faith cherished by the patriarchs before the flood, and which it would be natural to suppose Noah himself had taught to his children.

Got a new Kindle or know someone who has? Check out the ultimate guide to finding free books for your Kindle. Also available in the UK.