A Journey West

In the spring of 1850, a wagon train set out from Independence, Missouri, bound for the fertile lands of the Oregon Territory, drawn by the promise of free land and a better life for their children. Among the many families making the journey west were the Johnsons, a hardworking couple with three young children.

The Johnsons faced many challenges on the journey. The harsh terrain, unpredictable weather, and rugged living conditions tested their endurance and perseverance. And they struggled to keep their wagon moving through the thick mud and steep mountain passes while battling illnesses and injuries.

One day, disaster struck while crossing a wide river. Their wagon tipped over, and the strong current swept away their belongings. The family was left with only the clothes on their backs and a few basic supplies.

But despite the loss of their wagon, the Johnsons were determined to reach their new home in the west. They refused to give up on their dream. With the help of fellow travelers who welcomed the family into their wagons and gave what little assistance they could spare, the Johnsons continued the journey west through the treacherous mountains and vast plains.

While there were many challenges throughout the journey, nights were often full of joy as the travelers gathered around the campfire, sharing stories of their old life in Missouri and their hopes and dreams for the future. They laughed and sang, finding joy and strength in each other’s company.

After months of travel, the families arrived in the lush green lands of the Oregon Territory, into the scent of fresh pine and wildflowers. There, the Johnsons found a spot to settle down and began building their new home.

They worked tirelessly, clearing the land, planting crops, and building a sturdy log cabin. It was hard work, but they were filled with purpose and pride. They knew they were building something new and important that would last for generations to come.

The Johnsons thrived in their new home, and as the years passed, they became respected members of the community, known for their hard work ethic and generosity. Their children grew strong and healthy, and went on to have their own children.

Through it all, the Johnsons never forgot the trials and hardships of their journey west. They remembered the courage and resilience it took to make the journey and passed that spirit down to their children and grandchildren.

And though they faced many challenges along the way, they always knew the reward was worth the struggle. They had found a new home in the wild and untamed lands of the west and built a life that was rich in love and happiness.


  • “A Journey West” is a work of historical fiction. While based on real events, the story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.
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The Inauguration

The sun shines bright on the morning of April 30th, 1789, as people fill the streets of New York City, eager to witness the inauguration of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Among them is a young man named Samuel, dressed in his finest clothes.

Politics have always fascinated Samuel. Even as a young boy, he would read biographies of political leaders and philosophies on governance. And so now, he has come to New York from his home in Philadelphia to witness this historic event firsthand. 

He spent the previous night walking around the city, talking to people and listening to their stories. Everyone is excited. The feelings have carried into today. Samuel can feel the energy building around him as he makes his way through the crowds. People of all ages and backgrounds, from wealthy merchants to humble farmers, gather to witness the birth of a new nation.

And then, they, he see him. George Washington, hero of the Revolution, standing tall and proud on a platform in front of Federal Hall. Samuel can feel his heart racing as he watches the great man take the oath of office, his hand on a Bible.

As the cheers and applause die down, the President begins to speak, his voice strong and steady, 

“Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the fourteenth day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years: a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my Country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with dispondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver, is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of eve ry circumstance, by which it might be affected. All I dare hope, is, that, if in executing this task I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof, of the confidence of my fellow-citizens; and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me; my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my Country, with some share of the partiality in which they originated.”

Samuel can see the passion in President Washington’s eyes as he speaks, the depth of his conviction. President Washington continues speaking, his words echoing through the streets of New York, reaching the hearts and minds of all those who hear him. His speech is full of optimism and hope, as well as a deep sense of responsibility for the future of the country. He promises to do his best to serve the people of the United States, and to uphold the principles of freedom and democracy that the country has fought so hard to achieve.

As Samuel listens, he feels a sense of hope and optimism inside him. Samuel knows that he is witnessing a moment he will never forget, and one which will be remembered for centuries. It is like hearing the words of a prophet. He thinks of his dreams and the many opportunities he can participate in to help improve the nation.

As President Washington’s speech ends, and the crowds erupt into cheers and applause, Samuel feels a sense of newfound pride and gratitude. As he walks away from Federal Hall, his notebook and pen tucked safely in his pocket, Samuel knows he will never forget this day. He will always carry George Washington’s words with him, like a beacon of hope shining brightly in the darkness.


WASHINGTON’S INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF 1789 – National Archives and Records Administration


“The Inauguration” is a work of historical fiction. While based on real events, the story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.

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Voting for the First Time

Jane woke up before sunrise on the morning of November 2nd, 1920. The night had gone by slowly, with much of the time spent awake thinking about the years before and what was to come of the day ahead. She had waited for this day her entire adult life. Today was the first presidential election in which women could vote, and she was determined to exercise her newfound right.

Jane was a simple woman, born and raised on a farm in the heart of Missouri. After much work on the farm in childhood and some education, she married and, with her husband, raised eight children. Many good times and bad had passed. But today was different. Today, she felt part of something big, something historic.

After attempting to eat a small breakfast, Jane nervously made her way to the polling station in a small schoolhouse on the edge of town. She wasn’t sure what to expect. As the schoolhouse came into view, she saw a long line of people stretching out the door.

She took her place at the back of the line and waited patiently. As she stood there, she couldn’t help but overhear the conversations of those around her. Some were excited, like her, about the prospect of voting for the first time. Others were skeptical, wondering what difference one vote could make.

Jane didn’t let their skepticism bother her. She knew every vote counted and was determined to make hers count too.

After what seemed like an eternity, Jane finally reached the front of the line. The poll worker greeted her warmly and asked for her name and address. Jane handed her registration card, and the poll worker checked her name off the list.

“You’re all set,” the poll worker said with a smile. “You can head over to the booth on your right to cast your ballot.”

Jane thanked the poll worker and made her way to the booth. Inside, she found a small table with a stack of ballots and a pen. She picked up a ballot and stared at it for a moment. It was a simple piece of paper but it held so much power.

She carefully filled out her ballot, marking her choices clearly. When she was finished, Jane folded the ballot and placed it in the box on the table.

As she did, she felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. She had done something that she, and all the women before her could only dream of.

As she left the polling station, Jane felt much gratitude for the suffragettes who had fought hard for her right to vote. She thought of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two of the most prominent suffragettes who had paved the way for her and women like her.

Jane knew that there was still work to be done. Women still faced discrimination and inequality in many areas of life. But for today, at least, she felt like progress had been made. And that was something worth celebrating.

As she made her way home, Jane thought of her mother, a staunch feminist who had died before she could see this day. She knew that her mother would have been proud of her.

Jane arrived home to her small farm, and as she looked out at the fields, she felt a sense of hope for the future. She knew that change wouldn’t happen overnight, but she was grateful to be part of a country that was always striving to improve.

And with that, Jane went to bed, exhausted but content. She had done something today that would forever change the course of her life and women’s lives throughout the country. And that was something worth remembering.


“Voting for the First Time” is a work of historical fiction. While based on real events, the story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.

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Lucy Helps Enslaved People Escape

In the summer of 1855, the small town of Bridgewater was abuzz with rumors of a new abolitionist movement. Whispers of a secret network known as the Underground Railroad spread throughout the community. Many wondered if it was true.

Lucy was a young woman who grew up in Bridgewater. She had a curious demeanor and a fierce sense of justice. Intrigued upon hearing of the Underground Railroad, she wanted to learn more and become part of the movement helping others.

One night, as she walked home from a late shift at the local factory, she saw a group of men huddled together in the shadows. She recognized them as some of the town’s most prominent abolitionists.

As she approached, one of the men, a tall and ruggedly handsome man named Caleb, stepped forward. He looked her up and down, then nodded. After some cordial small talk, Caleb explained that they were looking for a safe house to hide escaped enslaved people on their way to freedom in the North. “Can you help?” he asked.

Lucy’s heart raced. “Of course,” she replied, feeling a newfound sense of purpose.

Over the next few months, Lucy worked tirelessly to help the Underground Railroad. She helped hide escaped enslaved people in her home, and in the basements and attics of sympathetic families, and she secretly smuggled food and supplies to them.

Lucy learned to keep a low profile to avoid suspicion from the slave catchers, who were always looking for runaway enslaved people. She connected with other abolitionists in neighboring towns and became a valuable part of the Underground Railroad network.

As the months passed, Lucy realized the work was more dangerous than she had thought. She heard stories of escaped enslaved people being caught and sent back to their owners or killed in their attempts to reach freedom. And many dangers befell on those helping as well. 

One day, as she walked through the woods to deliver supplies to a group of escaped enslaved people, she heard the sound of horses’ hooves behind her. She turned to see a group of slave catchers riding towards her.

Her heart pounded as she ran through the woods, trying to outrun them. She heard them shouting and cursing behind her. They were getting closer.

Just as she thought they would catch her, she saw a group of abolitionists emerge from the trees. They had heard the commotion and came to help.

Together, they fought off the slave catchers, driving them back into the woods. Lucy was shaken but unharmed, and she felt a sense of gratitude for the brave men who had come to her rescue.

Over the years that followed, Lucy continued working for the Underground Railroad. She helped dozens of escaped enslaved people to reach freedom in the North, risking her own life to fight for what was right.

And though the work was dangerous, and the risks were high, she never regretted it. For Lucy, the Underground Railroad was more than just a secret network of safe houses and sympathetic families. It was a symbol of hope and courage, a testament to the power of ordinary people to make a difference in the world.


  • “Lucy Helps Enslaved People Escape” is a work of historical fiction. While based on real events, the story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.
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What was the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850?

The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was a law passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850. It was part of a series of laws known as the Compromise of 1850 that were designed to ease tensions between Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery.

The law made it a federal crime to assist an escaped slave and allowed slave owners to retrieve their escaped slaves even if they had fled to free states. The law also established a system of federal commissioners who were responsible for hearing and adjudicating cases of runaway slaves.

Under the law, anyone accused of being a runaway slave was denied the right to a trial by jury, and their testimony was not admissible in court. The law also required citizens and law enforcement officials to assist in the capture and return of escaped slaves.

The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was highly controversial and was opposed by many in the North, who saw it as a violation of their states’ rights and a betrayal of the principles of freedom and democracy. The law was one of the factors that led to the outbreak of the American Civil War.


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An Ellis Island Arrival

It was a cold and foggy morning in November of 1892 when Maria stepped off the ship and onto the docks of the newly opened Ellis Island in New York. She looked around in awe at the massive buildings and the bustling crowds of people. She had heard stories about Ellis Island but never imagined it would be like this.

Maria was just 18 years old and had left her small village in Italy to seek a better life in America. Her parents had saved every penny they could to pay for her passage, and now she was here, alone and scared but determined to make a new life for herself.

As she made her way through the crowds, she was directed to a long line of people waiting to be processed by the immigration officials. She stood there for what felt like hours, shivering in the cold and feeling increasingly anxious.

Finally, it was her turn to be interviewed. She stepped up to the desk, where a stern-looking man asked her a series of questions in English, a language she barely spoke.

“Do you have any money?” he asked.

Maria shook her head, feeling her heart sink. She had no money or job prospects, but she couldn’t bear the thought of returning home.

The immigration officer looked at her with suspicion. “I’m sorry, miss, but I can’t let you into the country without any means of support. You’ll have to go back to Italy.”

Maria felt tears welling up in her eyes. She pleaded with the man, telling him she would do anything to stay in America. But he was unmoved.
As she stood there, feeling defeated, a young woman waiting in line behind her stepped forward.

“Excuse me,” she said, “but I couldn’t help overhearing. I work at a factory in the city, and we’re in desperate need of workers. I could take her with me and help her get settled.”

The immigration officer looked skeptical, but the woman was insistent. “Please,” she said. “She’s just a young girl, all alone. She deserves a chance.”

In the end, the officer relented, and Maria was allowed to enter the country with the help of the kind stranger. She followed the woman out of Ellis Island and onto a ferry that would take her across the harbor to the city.

As they sailed past the Statue of Liberty, Maria felt a sense of hope and possibility that she had never felt before. She was grateful to the woman who had helped her and determined to make the most of this new opportunity.

Years later, Maria would tell her grandchildren how she arrived at Ellis Island with nothing but a dream. And how a stranger’s kindness changed her life forever.


  • “An Ellis Island Arrival” is a work of historical fiction. While based on real events, the story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.
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Audrey Hepburn quote: “I am more than…

Audrey Hepburn quote:

“I am more than ever awed and overwhelmed by the monumental talents it was my great, great privilege to work for and with. There is therefore no way I can thank you for this beautiful award without thanking all of them, because it is they who helped and honed, triggered and taught, pushed and pulled, dressed and photographed — and with endless patience and kindness and gentleness, guided and nurtured a totally unknown, insecure, inexperienced, skinny broad into a marketable commodity. I am proud to have been in a business that gives pleasure, creates beauty, and awakens our conscience, arouses compassion, and perhaps most importantly, gives millions a respite from our so violent world. Thank you, Screen Actors Guild and friends, for this huge honor — and for giving me this unique opportunity to express my deepest gratitude and love to all of those who have given me a career that has brought me nothing but happiness.”

Audrey Hepburn, 1956
Audrey Hepburn, 1956


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“Audrey Hepburn quote: “I am more than…” sources:

  • Quote – Statement accepting the Screen Actors Guild Achievement Award, read by Julia Roberts, because of Audrey’s failing health. (January 1993) – Audrey Hepburn Wikiquote

“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel”


“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, 1931
Mahatma Gandhi, 1931


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“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel” sources:

  • Quote: Young India (4 October 1930) – Wikiquote

Isadora Duncan: an artiste for social change


Isadora Duncan loved to dance. She would say she began dancing while in her mother’s womb. In her words, “Before I was born my mother was in great agony of spirit and in a tragic situation. She could take no food except iced oysters and iced champagne. If people ask me when I began to dance I reply, ‘In my mother’s womb, probably as a result of the oysters and champagne — the food of Aphrodite.’”

Music became a part of Isadora’s life at a young age. Her mother, who was a music teacher, would play for hours at night. And it was here in the evenings, in a home in San Francisco around the early 1880s, that Isadora began to dance, using her mother’s piano as a stage. By her teen years, this evening joy became work, as Isadora dropped out of school to teach wealthy San Franciscans. 

Dancing in this age was usually either the waltz or pirouetting. Neither appealed to Isadora. For her, dance was free-flowing movement without restrictions and corsets. It was about expression. “I have always believed that art should be free from rules and regulations, and that the dancer should be guided by the impulses of the soul,” she would say. She rejected being called a dancer. Instead, she went by the title of “artiste.”

Isadora Duncan, circa 1920
Isadora Duncan, circa 1920

But there was a dance philosophy for Isadora that was greater than self. Isadora believed that changing your outward behavior could improve your inner being. That character and personality were malleable. Isadora thus “conceived dance not as entertainment, but as social betterment.”

Isadora must have been a splendor, a joy to the eyes of those seeking freedom and social change. She embodied what they felt and wanted, a more modern life without suffocating and often arbitrary social rules and for feelings of optimism. That Isadora gave audiences. And as one person commented about watching her perform, “she was an event not only in art, but in the history of life.”

While she brought much joy to people, she experienced much tragedy in her life. Two of her children died in a car accident in 1913, another child shortly after birth, and her husband physically abused her. But through the struggles, Isadora danced and taught dancing worldwide throughout her life.

When asked how people might remember her, she said, “I freed women from corsets.” Isadora passed away at the age of fifty in 1927.


  • (Kirstein, Lincoln. “Isadora Duncan.” The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, vol. 9, no. 2, 1941, pp. 10–11. JSTORhttps://doi.org/10.2307/4057836. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.)
  • Francis, Elizabeth. “From Event to Monument: Modernism, Feminism and Isadora Duncan.” American Studies, vol. 35, no. 1, 1994, pp. 25–45. JSTORhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/40642583. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.
  • Daly, Ann. “Isadora Duncan’s Dance Theory.” Dance Research Journal, vol. 26, no. 2, 1994, pp. 24–31. JSTORhttps://doi.org/10.2307/1477914. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.
  • Genthe, Arnold, photographer. Isadora Duncan dancer. Between 1915 and 1923. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2018708198/>.

Chief White Eagle quote


“When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still; be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists – as it surely will. Then act with courage.”

– Chief White Eagle

Chief White Eagle portrait, 1877


  • Chief White Eagle was also known as Hde-Da-Ska and Called Scares The Bears
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Quote Sources

Quote: Native American Quotes – Xavier University

Portrait: Taken in 1877 – Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, P1967.2941.