George thomas and abe, p.1

George, Thomas, and Abe!, page 1


George, Thomas, and Abe!

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George, Thomas, and Abe!

  Photograph credit: The White House, pp. 9, 57, 105

  George Washington and the General’s Dog text copyright © 2002 by Frank Murphy, illustrations copyright © 2002 by Richard Walz; Thomas Jefferson’s Feast text copyright © 2003 by Frank Murphy, illustrations copyright © 2003 by Richard Walz; Abe Lincoln’s Hat text copyright © 1994 by Martha Brenner, illustrations copyright © 1994 by Donald Cook All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. The works in this collection were originally published separately in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, New York, in 2002, 2003, and 1994, respectively.

  Step into Reading, Random House, and the Random House colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

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  Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data for these titles is available upon request.

  George Washington and the General’s Dog

  ISBN 978-0-375-81015-2 (trade) — ISBN 978-0-375-91015-9 (lib. bdg.)

  Thomas Jefferson’s Feast

  ISBN 978-0-375-82289-6 (trade) — ISBN 978-0-375-92289-3 (lib. bdg.)

  Abe Lincoln’s Hat

  ISBN 978-0-679-84977-3 (trade) — ISBN 978-0-679-94977-0 (lib. bdg.)

  ISBN 978-0-449-81288-4

  ISBN: 978-0-375-98144-9 (ebook)

  Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.


  Title Page


  George Washington and the General’s Dog

  Thomas Jefferson’s Feast

  Abe Lincoln’s Hat

  For my father—

  like Washington, so brave and so honest


  For Tom and Marianne—

  wonderful people, wonderful friends


  Author acknowledgments: Thanks to the world’s greatest librarian, Liz Dobuski, for guiding me toward this story. Thanks to Caprice Serafine for her help with mastiffs. Thanks to my editor, Shana Corey, for her grace and expertise in helping to draft this story. Thanks to Diane Landolf for help with photo research. Much of the research that went into crafting this story was supported by the words of George Washington himself through his voluminous writings, available at the Library of Congress, and by James Thomas Flexner’s biography Washington: The Indispensable Man.

  Photograph credits: George Washington with Nelson: © Francis G. Mayer/CORBIS; Alexander

  Hamilton: © Archivo Iconographico, S.A./CORBIS; William Howe: © Hulton Archive by Getty

  Images; note to William Howe courtesy of the Library of Congress.

  George Washington is one of

  America’s greatest heroes.

  Most people know that

  George was honest and brave.

  But there is something

  about George that people

  don’t always know.

  George Washington loved animals.

  George learned

  to ride horses as a boy.

  Sometimes he rode into town.

  George rode fast,

  but he never fell.

  People said

  he was the best rider

  they had ever seen.

  When George grew up,

  he moved to a farm

  called Mount Vernon.

  Every day,

  George checked on

  the horses and hogs.

  He checked on the oxen,

  mules, and sheep.

  But he spent the most

  time with his dogs.

  George had a lot of dogs.

  He owned thirty-six dogs

  in his lifetime.

  He took them hunting.

  He played with them.

  He even gave them cute names

  like “Mopsey,” “Sweetlips,”

  and “Truelove.”

  Sometimes George

  spoiled his dogs.

  He let them run

  around the house.

  One day,

  George’s wife, Martha,

  cooked a ham for dinner.

  George’s dog Vulcan

  jumped up and

  stole the ham—

  right off the table!

  Martha chased after him.

  But George just laughed.

  George liked being

  at Mount Vernon

  with Martha and the animals.

  But America needed him.

  America was not yet

  its own country.

  It was an English colony.

  That means it belonged

  to England.

  Many American colonists

  wanted to be free

  from England.

  So they went to war.

  The war was called

  the American Revolution.

  The colonists chose George

  to be their general.

  George chose his favorite dog,

  Sweetlips, to go with him.

  He said goodbye

  to Martha and Mount Vernon.

  He jumped on

  his horse, Nelson.

  Then he rode into battle.

  Sweetlips was right beside him.

  In George’s day,

  soldiers often brought

  dogs with them to war.

  Dogs helped hunt.

  Dogs helped track the way.

  Dogs helped guard

  against wild animals.

  Best of all,

  dogs were great partners!

  The general of

  the English army

  was named William Howe.

  He had a dog, too.

  He also had 9,000 soldiers.

  They had plenty of supplies.

  George did not have

  nearly as many supplies.

  Sometimes his soldiers

  were cold.

  Sometimes they were hungry.

  But they did not give up.

  In the fall of 1777,

  George’s troops

  went to Pennsylvania.

  They were fighting

  the English troops.

  Guns fired!


  Cannons roared.


  Smoke filled the air.

  Finally, the fighting ended.

  The English soldiers

  went back to their camp.

  The battle was over

  for the day.

  The smoke began to clear.

  George noticed a dog

  without a soldier.

  It looked lost.

  George bent down

  and patted the dog’s head.

  The dog followed George

  back to the colonists’ camp.

  He wagged his tail.

  Whose dog is this?

  wondered George.

  George looked

  at the dog’s collar.

  The tag had

  a man’s name on it.

  That name was William Howe.

  William Howe!?

  George couldn’t believe his eyes!

  William Howe was the enemy!

  Word about the enemy dog

  spread through camp.

  Some of George’s men

  wanted to keep the dog.

  But George said no!

  George believed the dog

  belonged with his master.

  George had his friend

Alexander Hamilton

  write a note to General Howe.

  The note said that George

  wanted to return the dog.

  Both sides raised white flags.

  The white flags meant

  no one could fight.

  George’s soldiers

  walked the dog

  across the battlefield.

  They gave him back

  to General Howe.

  People in England

  found out about

  George’s good deed.

  The English still wanted

  to beat George

  and win the war.

  But now they respected him.

  Some English people

  even liked him.

  They had never heard

  a story of such great kindness

  between enemies.

  In 1783, America won

  the war against England.

  America became

  its very own country.

  George Washington

  went home to Mount Vernon.

  Friends around the world

  wanted to honor George.

  They wondered what

  he would like.

  Then they remembered

  the story about the dog.

  Soon, presents started

  arriving at Mount Vernon.

  The King of Spain

  sent George a mule!

  George named him

  “Royal Gift.”

  A friend from France gave George

  an even bigger gift—

  seven dogs!

  George’s work

  was not done, though.

  The American people

  needed a leader.

  They elected George

  to be their first president.

  People all over America

  loved their new president.

  They cheered when

  he rode by in his carriage.

  They knew it was him

  because his six white horses

  always led the way.

  For Katie Claire Gisondi and Jack Gisondi,

  two unforgettable little treats


  To Mary, with love


  Author acknowledgments: Thanks to Bryan Craig, research librarian at Monticello, for his expertise. Thanks to my talented editor and collaborator, Shana Corey, for her patience and creativity. Thanks to Angela Roberts for her assistance. And thanks to Mark Klein for finding that apple picker!

  Photograph credits: Portrait of Thomas Jefferson: © Burstein Collection/CORBIS. Macaronimaking machine courtesy of the Library of Congress.

  Long ago, before your great-greatgrandparents were born, there lived a man named Thomas Jefferson. You probably know his name because he was the third president of the United States.

  But that’s not all there is to know about Thomas Jefferson.

  Thomas Jefferson loved to read.

  He collected books about the stars and books about history. In fact, he had one of the largest libraries in America.

  Thomas Jefferson also loved to write.

  He wrote letters to people like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. In his lifetime, he wrote over 20,000 letters. That’s like writing a letter a day, every day, for 55 years!

  Many of Thomas’s letters said that America should be its own country. (The British thought America belonged to them.)

  So Thomas Jefferson went to work writing the Declaration of Independence. He wrote and rewrote it for 17 days straight—until he got it just right.

  Of course, with all that reading and writing and thinking, sometimes Thomas Jefferson got tired.

  Sometimes his back hurt.

  And sometimes he got hungry. When that happened…

  …he usually took a break and had a snack. Because Thomas Jefferson really, really loved food!

  Thomas liked food so much, he sometimes spent as much as 50 dollars on groceries in just one day! (That would be like spending 750 dollars today!)

  Thomas also spent a lot of time thinking about food. He even thought about better ways to get food!

  Sometimes Thomas Jefferson got hungry late at night after everyone else had gone to bed.

  When that happened, he had to tiptoe down the hallway and all the way downstairs to the kitchen.

  Then he had to fix a tray of food and carry it all the way back upstairs and down the long, dark hallway to the dining room.

  If he was lucky, there was still a little left when he sat down to eat.

  Thomas needed an easier way to get his food upstairs.

  So he built a little elevator in his house. It was too small to carry people. But it could take food and drinks from the kitchen to the dining room upstairs—without spilling a drop! Thomas called his invention a dumbwaiter.

  Thomas’s dumbwaiter is still in his house in Virginia today—and it still works!

  Thomas had a giant garden behind his house. The garden was 1,000 feet long. It was filled with more than 200 different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

  If you visit Thomas’s house, Monticello, today, you can still see many of the fruit trees he planted.

  Sometimes Thomas wanted a snack from his garden. But the apples on the bottoms of the trees were usually already picked.

  “Hmmm,” thought Thomas. “There must be a simple way to get apples from the tops of the trees.”

  Thomas found a long wooden pole. He attached a metal basket to it. The basket had hooks at the top.

  He used the hooks to pull off the apples. Presto! Ripe apples fell into the basket!

  In 1784, Thomas sailed to France. He wanted to help make America’s friendship with France stronger.

  Thomas was sad to leave America and Monticello. But he knew it was an important job. He also knew there would be lots of new foods to try!

  Thomas was right!

  In between meetings, he tasted macaroni covered with cheese!

  He munched on potatoes fried in the French manner.

  One night, he went to a dinner party.

  “Hello!” said Thomas.

  “Bonjour!” said his host. (Bonjour means “hello” in French.)

  Thomas’s host offered him a special dessert. It was ice cream wrapped in a warm pie crust. Ice cream hadn’t come to America yet.

  Thomas took a bite.

  “Good!” said Thomas.

  “Bon!” said his host. (Bon means “good” in French.)

  During his visit, Thomas saw a Frenchman eating a bright red fruit. It was called a pomme d’amour. (That means “love apple” in French.)

  Thomas had seen the fruit before. But in America it was usually just used for decoration. Most people thought it was poison, so no one ate it.

  The Frenchman promised it was not poison. So Thomas took a bite.

  Thomas loved the love apple!

  Thomas stayed in France for five years. When it was time for him to go back to America, he couldn’t wait to share all his new favorite foods!

  He wrote down the recipes for macaroni and cheese, fried potatoes, and ice cream. He even decided to plant some love apples at Monticello.

  He waved goodbye to his French friends and got on the ship.

  “Au revoir!” he said. (Au revoir means “goodbye” in French.)

  “How was France?” everyone asked when Thomas got home.

  “Delicious!” answered Thomas.

  He decided to have a feast to show off the new foods.

  Of course, that was easier said than done.

  Thomas planted love apple seeds—

  and waited for them to grow.

  He drew a picture of a macaroni-making machine he had seen in France. Then he sent a friend all the way to Italy to buy one. (Thomas had heard that Italy had the best macaroni-making machines!)

  He dug up potatoes from his garden.

  Finally, he made ice cream. This was not easy. First he mixed cream and eggs and sugar. He pack
ed it with ice and salt.

  Then he stirred and stirred and stirred.

  At last, everything was ready. The love apples were ripe. The macaroni was cheesy. The potatoes were crisp. The ice cream was icy.

  “Perfect!” said Thomas.

  Thomas invited all his friends.

  “What’s for dinner?” they asked.

  “It’s a surprise,” said Thomas. “Let’s eat!”

  Thomas’s guests loved the feast! They gobbled up the macaroni and cheese. They ate every last fried potato. They asked for more of Thomas’s ice cream. They even asked for the recipes.

  When they were about to go home, Thomas noticed something. No one had touched their love apples! Everyone believed they were poison.

  “Try them,” Thomas begged.

  “No thanks,” everyone said. “We’re full.”

  Thomas felt terrible! How could he get people to try love apples?

  The next day Thomas rode into the town of Lynchburg to visit a friend. He noticed a few love apples growing in her yard. Suddenly, Thomas had an idea!

  He asked if he could pick a few love apples. His friend said yes.

  Thomas walked down the street with the love apples.

  He raised one to his mouth. People stopped and pointed. “What are you doing?” they shouted. “That’s poison! Stop!”

  Thomas took a bite.

  “Oh no!” everyone said. “Save him! He’s going to get sick!”

  But Thomas didn’t get sick.

  He just kept eating.

  Pretty soon, people got curious about the love apples. They tried them themselves. “Scrumptious!” everyone said.

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