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Honor Above All

From illegitimacy, Alexander Hamiliton rises to power, driven by ambition and his moral code

BEYOND Unsinkable

Margaret "Molly" Brown uses her name and wealth to reform conditions for the nation's working class.

Passenger pigeons

Drawn From Nature

John James Audubon captured a disappearing world in his paintings.

The Grapes of Wrath's Tom Joad can't find work at a camp.

Filming the American Novel

From The Great Gatsby to Sister Carrie, writers tell stories of social climbers and fortune hunters.

Remembering Mary Lou Beatty

"Try again"

Captain John Smith by Simon de Passe, seventeenth century

Soldier of Fortune: John Smith before Jamestown

Smith's experiences as a pirate, mercenary, and Turkish slave prepare him to survive in the New World.

Uncovering Powhatan’s Empire

Excavations reveal the site where John Smith and Chief Powhatan first meet.

Firsthand Accounts

A Web site offers manuscripts, maps, and sketches from early Virginia.

Essay winner Elise Liu

Building the Bill of Rights

Federalists and and anti-federalists put aside their differences and agree on the First Amendment in this first-place entry in the 2006 Idea of America Essay Contest.

Percy Julian in a laboratory

Percy Julian

A scientist makes inroads in chemistry and civil rights.