something useful. It never occurred to the boy that these men might not answer him.
So he took his Encyclopædiaits trustworthiness now established in his mind by General Garfields letterand began to study the lives of successful men and women. Then, with boyish frankness, he wrote on some mooted question in one famous persons life; he asked about the date of some important event in anothers, not given in the Encyclopædia; or he asked one man why he did this or why some other man did that.
Most interesting were, of course, the replies. Thus General Grant sketched on an improvised map the exact spot where General Lee surrendered to him; Longfellow told him how he came to write Excelsior; Whittier told the story of The Barefoot Boy; Tennyson wrote out a stanza or two of The Brook, upon condition that Edward would not again use the word awful, which the poet said is slang for very, and I hate slang.
One day the boy received a letter from the Confederate general Jubal A. Early, giving the real reason why he burned Chambersburg. A friend visiting Edwards father, happening to see the letter, recognized in it a hitherto-missing bit of history, and suggested that it be published in the New York Tribune. The letter attracted wide attention and provoked national discussion.
This suggested to the editor of The Tribune that Edward might have other equally interesting letters; so he despatched a reporter to the boys home. This reporter was Ripley Hitchcock, who afterward became