Happy May Day! The days are growing warmer and summer is on the way. This time of year is always busy with traveling to homeschool conventions. I love meeting the people I've connected with online. If you are planning to attend a convention this year and I'm going to be there please stop by and say "hi."
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Online Classes by Amy Puetz
This fall Amy will be teaching two online classes for grades 4th-6th.
Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History by Amy Puetz
Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History by Amy Puetz
By Albert Franklin Blaisdell, Francis Kingsley Ball, 1913
Betsy Brandon was a pretty girl of twelve. She lived with her father and mother on a plantation in North Carolina. It was a bright May morning in 1791, and the birds were singing in the big oak under which she sat. But the young girl was sad and almost ready to cry.
At this time the Revolution was at an end, after eight years of fighting. The thirteen colonies were now the United States of America, and General George Washington was the first president.
Now this great and good man, whom all the people admired and loved, made up his mind to travel through the South. He wanted to see and to talk with the men and women who had borne so many hardships during the war. He longed to greet the many brave officers and soldiers who had fought so well and so bravely under Marion, Sumter, and Greene.
The people of the South were pleased to have this great man with them. Everywhere they came in crowds to greet and honor their beloved president. In some towns, arches of flowers spanned the road. In other places young girls scattered flowers and wreaths of roses before him as he rode along the street.
The morning on which our story opens was the very day that President Washington and his party were expected to ride through the town of Salisbury, about six miles from Betsy Brandon's home. All the family except Betsy had gone early. She was left behind to look after the house.
Washington and his party rode in a large cream-colored coach, drawn by four white horses. By the side of the coach milk-white saddle-horses were led along, to be used when the President was tired of riding in the carriage. Then there were men on horseback, who rode as an escort, besides a number of servants dressed in white suits with yellow trimmings. Behind the coach came the baggage-wagon, drawn by two horses, and followed by an escort on horseback.
"What a splendid time they'll have at Salisbury," thought Betsy, sadly, "and brother Obed is to make an address of welcome. Too bad! Too bad!" and this time she gave a sob as she thought of the pleasant scene, and herself at home all alone.
How quiet it was and it was only nine o'clock, with the long summer day still before her.
Suddenly Betsy heard the sound of galloping horses. It could not be the redcoats, for they had gone away long ago. A party came galloping down the road. In another moment, a great coach drawn by four horses stopped at the gate. Servants in yellow and gold opened the door of the carriage, and out stepped a tall, fine-looking gentleman.
Betsy had dried her tears and now stood on the piazza, looking with wonder at the tall, richly dressed stranger, who walked slowly toward the house and paused before the steps.
"Good morning, little miss. Can you not give me some breakfast? I have had a long ride since sunrise, and I am very hungry."
Now, while Betsy was astonished at this request from a stranger, she was well-bred. She made a deep curtsy, as any well-bred girl of that time would do.
"Father and Mother have gone to Salisbury, sir, to see General Washington, and I am left to tend the house. I hardly know what to say."
"Pray tell me your name, little miss."
"Betsy Brandon, sir."
"And how old are you, Betsy?"
"I shall be thirteen next August, sir."
"Well, Betsy," continued the stranger, taking a seat on the broad piazza, "never mind if you are alone. If you will get me some breakfast, I promise that you shall see General Washington before any of your family."
"Very well, sir," and her bright eyes began to shine. "I will do the best I can for you, but our food is plain."
Betsy was an excellent housekeeper. Her mother had taught her how to cook and to wait on the table. In a few moments, the young girl had spread the table with snow white linen and got out her mother's best china and silver. She prepared bacon and eggs, and made coffee. Then with nimble feet she ran to the spring for milk and butter. In a few minutes a meal good enough for the best man in the land was neatly spread on the table in the cool sitting room.
"Come, sir, your breakfast is ready," curtsied Betsy.
"Ah, my little maid, you have done well. Do you please sit down with me, and I shall enjoy this good breakfast with you."
The stately gentleman served his young hostess, and then ate with relish the plain but dainty breakfast.
The guest was extremely dignified and sober, so dignified and so sober that I suppose Betsy was not sorry when the meal was over.
When he had finished his breakfast and was ready to go on his journey, he bent gently down and kissed his little hostess on the hand.
"Betsy, my dear, you may tell your father and mother that you not only saw General Washington before anybody else in the city, but that you ate breakfast with him, and that he kissed your hand."
Betsy Brandon lived to be an old lady. She often told of the day when she had the honor of preparing breakfast for President Washington and of eating it with him.