The History of America

The History of America
by Miss Betty Ojala
(fifth grade, age 10) (1962-63, Atlanta, Georgia)

1. Oh, how Columbus wanted to be a sailor. He thought sure that someday he would be. So, he told his friends he would be a famous man and a captain of a vessel. They only laughed at him and said he was dreaming. That night he told his father about being a sailor. His father said, “To be a sailor, you have to be a good one.” So Columbus went to school and studied hard so his father and teachers were proud of him. Finally, when he was finished with school, he became a sailor.

Now, the popular belief in his day was to think the world was flat. Most of the people did, actually, think the world was flat. But, Columbus was one of the few who didn’t. He said that the world was round! People said he was crazy! Some said he ought to be put in an insane asylum! Finally, C. Columbus went to the king and asked for a vessel. The king of England would not think of it! He said, “Columbus, I think you’re out of your mind,” and then dismissed him from the palace. Then, after 18 years of toil, his plans took favor in the eyes of the Queen of Spain! She said she would get him 3 vessels. “If this is impossible,” she offered, “I will even sell my jewels.”

So, Columbus got his vessels, sailed across the wide blue sea, discovered a rich land, came back to England, and became a famous rich man. So ends the story of Christopher Columbus, the man that discovered the wonderful and free country we live in today; America.

2. A couple hundred years after Columbus discovered America, there was a lot of discouragement in Old England.

Some people there thought they had a bad king because he would not let them worship in their own manner. He said that everyone had to worship in his way or else he would be put in stalks. And if a woman was caught gossiping, she would be ducked. Sometimes the person would be hanged. So, that group of people decided to move to another place (another country).

They went to Holland and made their homes there. They stayed there for only a few years. Then……..some people got mad about staying there! That person must have said, “Why, my child is forgetting the English language! She’s beginning to speak Dutch!” “That must be stopped,” cried the others. “Let us go to the new world!” “Yes, yes, let us,” cried the others, “a place to keep our children speaking our own language and we can worship God in our own way!” So, the pilgrims went, and made a good place to live in for us today.

3. Between the time of the Revolutionary war and the time that the Pilgrims came there was a rude and very merciless war called the French and Indian war.

“It happened this way”………
One day a French person probably got the idea that Canada wasn’t big enough for him. He probably thought, “Let’s see now, there is a large bit of land down below us here, um, I’ll just move there!!!”

Well, it turned out that when he did move down into America with all his armies and built their big forts, the English didn’t like it one bit! So started that war that lasted nine long years, the French and Indian war.

4. Yes sir, General George Washington was a wonderful leader, the kind of man that was born to be a leader! Yes, he was the best leader of men, in the whole army and Revolutionary warfare!

You say, yes, he was a General in the Revolutionary war, but what was the R-R-R-evolutionary war? Well, I can’t tell you what it was, but I can tell you how it was started……….

The English king was taxing American people with English taxes! And, that made the American people very, very angry! So, the English started a war with the Americans. The war lasted 3 long years. It ended up, the Americans won, and so today, we have a country free of all English taxes and customs. That is why they fought the war.

5. Bang, bang! Crash, crash! They are having war! The war between the states! This is the way it started…………….

“It is right!” “‘Tis not right!” “It is, I say, it is!” There was a difference in opinion. The South said it was alright to have slaves, and the North said it was not. Well, who was right? To find out, they fought a long war. A war that lasted 4 l-l-l-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g long long years. That war was also a very bitter war. The most bitter, I believe, that I have ever studied about! Anyway, it ended that the North won. And if the North hadn’t won, think, you might have been a slave yourself!


[Mrs. Dee gave me an “A” for my “excellent report.” She must have been every bit as kind and tolerant as I remember her being.]


(c) March 5, 2015 Bette Ojala

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