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Today's Featured Biography

Giuseppe Garibaldi

      Garibaldi has not left the world without some account of his birth, parentage, and early life. Not a little of his great, naïve, and enthusiastic character may be studied in those Memoirs, of which his eccentric friend, Alexander Dumas, published a free translation. He was born July 22, 1807. He was a native of Nice, a city inhabited by a mongrel race, but himself sprung from a purely Italian family The name of Garibaldi, common enough throughout North Italy, betokens old Lombard descent. He first saw light, as he states, in the very house and room where, forty-nine years before, Masséna was born. His father, Domenico, had come from Chiavari, in the Riviera di Levante; he gives his mother's name Rosa Raguindo. Garibaldi's father and grandfather were seamen, and he took to the sea as his native element, developing great strength and skill as a swimmer, an accomplishment which enabled him to save drowning men on several memorable occasions. For what book learning he had he seems to have been indebted to the desultory lessons of priestly schoolmasters under the direction of his mother. Of this latter he always spoke with great tenderness, acknowledging that "to her inspiration he owed his patriotic feelings," and stating that "in his greatest dangers by land and sea his imagination always conjured up the picture of the pious woman prostrated at the feet of the Most High interceding for the safety of her beloved."

      In early life he embarked in his father's...

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