why, fifty years later, a million bales were sent from America?
This is the story:
In the war with England, America had some brave generals.
One of these was General Nathaniel Greene.
He had helped to win victories in the South.
The State of Georgia gave him a tract of land.
General Greene lived with his family upon this land.
He at last died there.
Mrs. Greene was very lonely.
She went to the North to visit her friends.
On her voyage home she met a pleasant gentleman.
He was a young man, only twenty-seven years of age.
He, too, was going to Georgia.
His name was Eli Whitney.
And now you must know something of his story.
Eli Whitney was born in Massachusetts in 1765.
His people were farmers.
They were not rich people.
Eli's father had a workshop.
In this shop he worked upon rainy days.
He made wheels and chairs.
Eli grew up like other farm boys.
He helped on the farm.
He attended the district school.
He took care of the cattle and horses.
But very early in his life he became fond of tools.
He used to creep into his father's shop.
He could scarcely wait to be old enough to use the tools there.
One of the interesting tools was a lathe for turning chair posts.
His father allowed him the use of all these as soon as he was large enough to take care of them.
After that, he was always at work at something.
He liked work in the shop much more than work upon the farm.
Eli's mother died when he was a little boy.
This is a sad event in any boy's life.
When Eli was about twelve years old, his father took a journey from home.
He was gone two or three days.
When he returned, he called the housekeeper.
He asked her what the boys had been doing.
She told him what the elder boys had done.
"But what has Eli been doing?" said he.
"He has been making a fiddle," was the answer.
"Ah!" said the father, "I fear Eli will take his portion in fiddles."
The fiddle was finished like a common violin.
It made pretty good music.
Many people came to see it.
They said it was a fine piece of work for a boy.
Afterwards people brought him their violins to mend.
He did the mending nicely.
Every one was surprised.
They brought him other work to do.
Eli's father had a nice watch.
Eli loved to look at it.
It was a great wonder to him.
He wished to see the inside of it.
His father would not allow this.
One Sunday the family were getting ready for church.
Eli noticed that his father intended leaving his watch at home.
He could not lose such a good chance.
So he pretended to be quite sick.
His father allowed him to stay at home.
Soon he was alone with the wonderful little watch.
He hurried to the room where it hung.
He took it down carefully.
His hands shook, but he managed to open it.
How delightful was the motion of those wheels!
It seemed a living thing.
Eli forgot his father.
He thought only of the wonderful machinery.
He must know just how it went.
He took the watch all to pieces before he remembered how wrong it was to do so.
Then he began to be frightened.
What if he couldn't put it together!
He knew his father was a very stern man.
Slowly and carefully the boy went to work.
And so bright was he that he succeeded in getting it together all right.
His father did not find out the mischief.
Several years afterward Eli told him about it.
When Eli was thirteen years old his father married a second time.
Eli's stepmother had a handsome set of table knives.
She valued them highly.
One day Eli said, "I could make as good knives as those if I had tools.
"And I could make the tools if I had common tools to begin with."
His mother laughed at him.
But soon after one of the knives was broken.
Eli made a blade exactly like the broken one, except its stamp.
Soon Eli was fifteen years of age.
He wished to go into the nail-making business.
It was during the Revolution.
Nails were made almost entirely by hand.
They were in great demand.
They brought good prices.
Eli asked his father to bring him a few tools.
His father consented.
The work was begun.
Eli was very industrious.
He made good nails.
He also found time to make more tools for his own use.
He put in knife blades.
He repaired broken machinery.
He did many other things beyond the skill of country workmen.
Eli worked in this way two winters.
He made money.
He worked on the farm in the summer.
At one time Eli took a journey of forty miles.
He visited every workshop on the way.
These visits taught him much.
He found a man who could go back with him and help him in his business.
At the close of the war it did not pay to go on with the nail-making.
The ladies began a new fashion about that time.
This was the use of long pins for fastening on their bonnets.
He made very nearly all the pins used.
Eli made these pins with great skill.
This work was done in the time spared from his farm work.
He also made excellent walking canes.
During all these years Eli's schooling had been received at different times at the district school.
He was very fond of arithmetic.
During his nineteenth year he made up his mind to have a college education.
His step-mother did not wish him to do this.
But he worked hard and saved his money.
A part of the time he taught school.
He was twenty-three when he entered Yale College.
He borrowed some money, for which he gave his note.
At one time one of the college teachers wished to show his pupils some experiments. But some of the things to be used were broken.
Eli offered to mend them.
This he did, and succeeded in surprising every one.
A carpenter lived near his boarding place.
Eli asked for the loan of some of his tools.
The careful carpenter did not wish to lend them.
He at last gave his consent in this way:—
The gentleman with whom Mr. Whitney boarded must promise to pay all the damages.
But he soon saw how skilful Mr. Whitney was.
He was surprised and said:
"There was one good mechanic spoiled when you went to college."
Mr. Whitney graduated in 1792.
He was engaged by a gentleman in Georgia to teach his children.
It was on this journey to his new work that he met Mrs. Greene.
Mrs. Greene liked Mr. Whitney very much.
When they reached Savannah, she invited him to her home.
At this time he had a great disappointment.
The gentleman who had hired him to come to Georgia coolly told him his services were not wanted.
He had no friends.
He was out of money.
But Mrs. Greene became his good friend.
He went to live at her house.
Here he began the study of law.
Mrs. Greene was one day doing some embroidery.
She broke the frame upon which she was working.
She did not know how to finish the