There are over 80 books included in the Heritage History Early America Classical
Library. More than half of these books are part of a series, produced either by
a single author or by a group of authors working with a specific publisher. Some of
these series focus mainly on topics central to American history, while others cover
a broad range of civilizations.
All the series in the Early American library are included in the table below.
In some cases, all of the books in the series relate to American history, but
in others cases, most of the books pertain to other civilizations.
American History related titles are highlighted, but all other titles
are listed so that when a student finds a book he enjoys, he can locate
Although an overall description
of each series is provided, the content of specific books is not indicated.
To see a short synopsis of individual books included in the Early America
library, see the Book Summaries page.
American History Stories
Mara Pratt was a prolific author of children’s history books in the late 19th century,
and her American History Stories series includes many of the most famous anecdotes from
the early days of the colonies to the close of the civil war. The books are intended
for young readers and tell short stories of interesting characters and events rather
than providing civics instruction on constitutional matters.
In addition to introducing important historical characters by way of short vignettes,
Pratt also uses songs, poems and art to illustrate her stories. Several chapters consist
only of lyrics or verses composed in honor of specific events or characters. Pratt
delights in telling interesting stories of not-so-famous people who in some way or another
supported American values or advanced the cause of freedom.
American History Stories by Mara L. Pratt
Colonial Children Series
James Otis was a very popular children’s author around the turn of the century, although his
primary genre was historical fiction rather than regular history. In this
series, set in the early years of colonial America, the protagonist of each book is a
young child of American settlers. The point of the series is not to deal in detail with
political events, but rather to show the manner in which the children of early pioneers
and colonists lived their everyday lives. The following is from the introduction to
Richard of Jamestown.
"The purpose of this series of stories is to show children, and those who have already
taken up the study of history, the home life of the colonists with whom they meet in their
books. To this end every effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and
to deal only with facts, so far as it is possible, while describing the daily life of those
people who conquered the wilderness whether for conscience sake or for gain.
That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are told from the viewpoint
of a child, and purport to have been related by a child. Should any criticism be made
regarding the seeming neglect to mention important historical facts, the answer would be
that these books are not sent out as histories,—although it is believed that they will
awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the nation,—and only such incidents as
would be particularly noted by a child are used."
The Colonial Children's series is extremely well done and includes dozens of interesting
illustrations. It provides an excellent transition between chapter-book style fiction and
genuine history for grammar school children.
Colonial Children by James Otis
Great Americans Series
Edward Eggleston was an America author, well-known both as a historian for children, and
as an author of fiction. Eggleston wrote serious history for adults and was particularly
well known for his "local-color" accounts of small-town American life. When he tackled
children's history it was with the specific intention of engaging young children with
anecdotes of early American life—particularly that of the pioneers and explorers who
settled this great land with little more than their own courage and wit. The following
paragraph is taken from his Preface to American Life and Adventure.
. . . 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.
Eggleston was a gifted writer and both of these book were written specifically for
very young readers. They use short sentences, short chapters, and a limited vocabulary
that is accessible to beginning readers, while retaining interest and
capturing the authentic spirit of early America.
Great American Series by Edward Eggleston
Guerber's Elementary Histories
Helene Guerber was an American author whose series of historical readers
provides an excellent introduction to the major societies of Western Civilization.
She writes specifically for an early middle school audience and every book
is divided into short chapters, each of which deals with a specific character or event.
Guerber is an excellent writer who tells her stories with great interest. She understands her
students' mindset well, and states in one of her introductions:
This elementary history of Greece . . .is made up principally of stories about persons; for,
while history proper is largely beyond the comprehension of children, they are able at an early age
to understand and enjoy anecdotes of people, especially of those in the childhood of civilization. At the
same time, these stories will give a clear idea of the most important events that have taken place in the
ancient world, and, it is hoped, will arouse a desire to read further.
Guerber wrote around the turn of the century, primarily for the American Book Company, which
at the time supplied a great many textbooks for use in American public schools. Her histories were
very popular with American students in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Classical Histories for Young People by Helene Guerber
| Title || Compact Library || size |
| Story of the Greeks || Ancient Greece || 116|
| Story of the Romans || Ancient Rome|| 114 |
| Story of the English || British Middle Ages || 145 |
| Story of Old France || Christian Europe || 165 |
| Story of Modern France || Modern Europe || 142 |
| Story of Thirteen Colonies|| Early America || 141 |
| Story of Great Republic|| Early America || 151 |
American Boys' Frontier Battles
Edwin Sabin grew up in the Midwest and worked for a time in the newspaper business before setting about
to the task of writing, "American History stories, of the adventure kind." His particular interest was
the conquest and settlement of the west and the border wars fought by early American pioneers. The
Boy's Book of Indians Warriors was the first book in his frontier fighter series, and is told
primarily from the Indian point of view. Other wars covered in his trilogy include the French and Indian
Wars, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 including the Creek Wars, the Mexican American
War, and a selection of Indian Wars.
Boy's Frontier Battles by Edwin Sabin
Four Great Americans
This series of American biographies was edited by James Baldwin, of the American Book Company, a
prominent editor of children's books in the early twentieth century. Each volume
features the life stories of four prominent Americans written at an upper grammar or middle school level.
In order to appeal to young readers, most of the biographies spend a considerable amount of
time on the formative years of their subjects, and explain their accomplishments in terms
that are of interest to a young audience.
Four Great Americans by various authors
| Title || Compact Library || size |
| Four Great Americans by Baldwin || Early America, Young Readers || 74 |
| Four American Patriots by Burton || Early America || 81 |
| Four American Indians by Perry || Early America || 93 |
| Four American Inventors by Perry || Early America || 83 |
| Four American Explorers by Kingsley || || |
| Four American Poets by Cody || || |
| Four American Pioneers by Perry || || |
| Four American Naval Heroes by Beebe || || |
| Four Famous American Writers by Cody || || |
| Great American Educators by Winship || || |
Famous Americans for Young Readers
This series of American biographies features well-known American statesmen, authors, explorers and inventors.
Each volume is written at middle school level and in order to hold the interest of younger students,
emphasizes stories from the subject's childhood and personal anecdotes that show his or her character.
Famous Americans for Young Readers by various authors
| Title || Compact Library || size |
| Thomas Jefferson by Stone || Early America || 56 |
| Theodore Roosevelt by McSpadden || Early America || 60 |
| Harriet Beecher Stowe by MacArthur || Early America || 53 |
| John Paul Jones by Fraser || || |
| Abraham Lincoln by McSpadden || || |
| Mary Lyon by Stengel || || |
| Robert Fulton by McFee || || |
| George Washington by Walker || || |
Trail Blazers Historical Fiction
Whether Sabin was contributing to the "Trail Blazer" series or to the "Great West"
and the "Range and Trail" series, his plots were ingenious and his research as meticulous
as he could make it. He soon learned that historical investigation was much like
stepping into quicksand—the more one struggled to find truth, the more one sank by
the pull of endless problems and queries. He did the best he could, scouring the
country for primary sources and hard evidence. Perhaps no author of juveniles of
the day labored harder to base his work on facts, or what were believed to be facts.
The previous quote, from a short biography of Edwin L. Sabin's life, illustrates
what an outstanding historian he was. His historical fiction as well as his action-packed
historical anecdotes are rich in detail. Much of his dialogue, of course, is made up, but
even so it abounds with authentic character and accents. Almost all of Sabin's most
notable works relate to the conquest and settlement of the American frontier, from the
earliest colonial settlers in the east to the cowboys and Indians of the West.
Sabin's Trail Blazer series exemplifies the best kind of historical fiction. The plot
lines often feature a young lad who accompanies a famous historical character on his
feats of daring-do. He tells engaging, as well as historically valuable stories
and a great deal of information can be absorbed effortlessly by his readers.
The subjects of the Trail Blazer stories include many of the most famous
heroes of the west, including Daniel Boone, Davy Crocket, General Custer, Zebulon Pike,
Sam Houston, Kit Carson, and many others.
Trail Blazers Historical Fiction by Edwin Sabin
Twins of the World Series
This series of books introduces world geography and the customs of different
civilizations, by telling the story of a pair of twins growing up in various countries.
The books are written for grammar school students and each features a set of twins—always
a boy and a girl—who are young and curious. The plots are simple, but the characters themselves
are developed in enough detail to be of real interest.
The books deal primarily with lifestyle and social concerns rather than
historical or political issues. Several of the stories are set with a historical
circumstance such as a war, a flood, or land-reform in the background and in these cases,
the situation of a family in unusually difficult circumstances
is portrayed. Even in the most trying of times, however, the focus
is on presenting the daily activities and education of children
rather than on exploring the political dimensions of the situation. In all
cases the story is told in such a way that it
is entirely accessible to grammar school age children.
Twins of the World by Lucy Fitch Perkins
| Title ||Compact Library|| size |
| Dutch Twins ||Young Readers || 50 |
| Eskimo Twins ||Young Readers || 49 |
| Japanese Twins ||Young Readers || 47 |
| Swiss Twins ||Young Readers || 32 |
| Scotch Twins ||British Middle Ages, Young Readers || 57 |
| Mexican Twins ||Spanish Empire, Young Readers || 52 |
| Belgian Twins ||Modern Europe, Young Readers || 48 |
| French Twins ||Modern Europe, Young Readers || 50 |
| Spartan Twins ||Ancient Greece, Young Readers || 43 |
| Puritan Twins ||Early America, Young Readers || 45 |
Old Time Tales
Lawton Evans was a public school teacher from Augusta, Georgia, and an extraordinarily
talented storyteller. In the first decades of the twentieth century he wrote a series
of story books based on historical episodes and several American history textbooks.
The Old Time Tales series is a collection of his best stories from American history, European history, and Biblical
Evans believed strongly in story-based history, and his books were favorites of
school children throughout the nation.
America First is a collection of 100 fascinating stories from American
history, many involving interesting anecdotes from lesser-known characters, as well
as retellings of some of the most famous episodes in American history. It is not a comprehensive history by
any means, since the stories are of diverse origin and generally unconnected. Likewise, Old Time
Tales (also published under the title Kings and Knights of Old), tells a variety of stories from
European History from the last days of the Roman Empire to the French Revolution. Heroes of
Israel retells stories form the Old Testament in chronological order, but each story is told
with great interest at a level comprehensible to a grammar school student.
Old Time Tales by Lawton Evans
| Title ||Compact Library|| size |
| America First||Early America, Young Readers|| 151|
| Old Time Tales||Christian Europe, Young Readers|| 112|
| Heroes of Israel||Young Readers|| 130|
Children’s Heroes Series
The Children's Heroes series was published in the early 1900s by T.C. and
E.C. Jack, and has many of the same positive attributes as their well-known
Told to the Children series. Instead of focusing on literature, however,
it is a series of biographies, primarily about historical English men-of-action.
Several of the "heroes" described in this series were not unambiguously good
men, but all lived important and action-filled lives that are of great
interest to young people.
A few of the heroes introduced in these tales, such as Lincoln, Columbus,
and Joan of Arc, were not British, but most of the others were. This series,
therefore, is not only a wonderful collection of fascinating biographies,
but also gives terrific insights into British history. We recommended many
of these books to older students who are undertaking a comprehensive study
of England and the British Empire, since they are fast-moving, fact-filled,
and easy to read.
Children's Heroes by Various Authors
| Title ||Compact Library|| size |
| Story of Robert Bruce by Lang ||British Middle Ages, Young Readers|| 44 |
| Story of Joan of Arc by Lang ||Christian Europe, Young Readers|| 35 |
| Story of Columbus by Imlach ||Spanish Empire, Young Readers|| 34 |
| Story of Francis Drake by Elton ||British Middle Ages, Young Readers|| 37 |
| Story of Raleigh by Duncan ||British Middle Ages, Young Readers|| 36 |
| Story of Lord Clive by Lang ||British Empire, Young Readers|| 32 |
| Story of Captain Cook by Lang ||British Empire, Young Readers|| 34 |
| Story of Napoleon by Marshall ||Modern Europe, Young Readers|| 34 |
| Story of Nelson by Sellar ||British Empire, Young Readers|| 40 |
| Story of Abraham Lincoln by Hamilton ||Early America, Young Readers|| 37 |
| Story of Livingstone by Golding ||British Empire || 32 |
| Story of H. M. Stanley by Golding ||British Empire || 32 |
| Story of Lord Roberts by Sellar ||British Empire || 39 |
| Story of General Gordon by Lang ||British Empire || 38 |
Charles Morris was a prolific American writer of the late 19th century. After a
brief career in academics, he began publishing a great number of books and
articles under various pseudonyms, but his piece de resistance was his
Historical Tales, a collection of romantic and entertaining stories from
history in twelve volumes.
Although most of the stories in these volumes are told in chronological order,
they cannot be read as comprehensive histories. Morris makes no attempt to tie
them together, contenting himself to jump from one fascinating episode in history
to another. For this reason, the Historical Tales are best read after one
is already familiar with the basic outline of the history of a particular civilization.
On the other hand, Morris is an outstanding writer, and he picks fascinating
subjects for his stories. The stories are selected for their
entertainment value rather than purely for historical significance, so Morris
treats his readers to fascinating renditions of some compelling "secondary"
characters and events. He tells all of his stories in enough depth to make them
truly enlivening, even when he is dealing with already well-known events. The
Historical Tales are an entertaining treat, and though they are not recommended
for introductory reading, they are terrifically rewarding for intermediate or
advanced readers of history.
Historical Tales by Charles Morris
| Title || Compact Library || size |
| Historical Tales: American I || Early America, Mature Readers || 136 |
| Historical Tales: American II || Early America, Mature Readers|| 135 |
| Historical Tales: Greek || Ancient Greece, Mature Readers||141 |
| Historical Tales: Roman ||Ancient Rome, Mature Readers|| 131 |
| Historical Tales: Latin American ||Spanish Empire, Mature Readers|| 130 |
| Historical Tales: English || British Middle Ages, Mature Readers|| 142 |
| Historical Tales: German || Christian Europe, Mature Readers || 134 |
| Historical Tales: French || Christian Europe, Mature Readers|| 136 |
| Historical Tales: Spanish || Spanish Empire, Mature Readers||129 |
| Historical Tales: Russian || Mature Readers || 136 |
| Historical Tales: Scandinavian ||Mature Readers || 144 |
| Historical Tales: Japanese and Chinese || Mature Readers||143 |
Pioneers and Patriots
"I want to thank you and your brother for Abbott’s series of Histories. I have not
education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians, and if I had,
I have no time to read them. But your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just
that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest
interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have."
As the quote from above shows, even Abraham Lincoln was a fan of the Abbott histories.
Their famous series was so well known and widely read that they were staples of virtually
every American library from the time they were published in the mid-nineteenth century
until after the first World War. Both informative and terrifically entertaining, the
Abbott brothers had an enormous talent for writing biographies and selecting those
stories and anecdotal episodes from history that are of most interest to the general
John and Jacob Abbott are most famous for their Makers of History series, which focused
primarily on Ancient, English, and European History. Following that series, John S. C. Abbott,
the younger of the two brothers, completed another biographical series that featured
famous American explorers and patriots.
The Abbotts had a terrific gift for narrative, and their books all read as if they were
high-suspense novels. Although the vocabulary level is relatively high, more appropriate
for high school or college than elementary schools, the writing style is not difficult,
and the stories move along at a fast pace. The Abbott biographies have a delightful
combination of action and adventure, along with truly interesting personality portraits,
intriguing subplots, and fascinating secondary characters which should be appealing to
both young men and young women.
Pioneers and Patriots of America by John S. C. Abbott
Copyright © Heritage History 2012
The size listed indicates the number of 8½ by 11 sheets of paper required to print the entire book,
single-sided. This number is about half the number of pages in the original book, since approximately
two "pages" of text are reproduced on every sheet.
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