A Brief History of the United States
Barnes & Co.
Part 1 out of 8
Produced by Robert Prince, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
[Illustration: GEORGE WASHINGTON AND HISTORICAL SCENES]
BARNES'S ONE-TERM HISTORY.
[Illustration: PLYMOUTH ROCK]
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The experience of all teachers testifies to the lamentable
deficiency in historical knowledge among their pupils; not that
children dislike the incidents and events of history, for, indeed,
they prefer them to the improbable tales which now form the bulk of
their reading, but because the books are "dry." Those which are
interesting are apt to be lengthy, and the mind consequently
becomes confused by the multitude of details, while the brief ones
often contain merely the dry bones of fact, uninviting and unreal.
An attractive book which can be mastered in a single term, is the
necessity of our schools. The present work is an attempt to meet
this want in American histories. In its preparation there has been
an endeavor to develop the following principles:
1. To precede each Epoch by questions and a map, so that the pupil
may become familiar with the location of the places named in the
history he is about to study.
2. To select only the most important events for the body of the
text, and then, by foot-notes, to give explanations, illustrations,
minor events, anecdotes, &c.
3. To classify the events under general topics, which are given in
distinct type at the beginning of each paragraph; thus impressing
the leading idea on the mind of the pupil, enabling him to see at a
glance the prominent points of the lesson, and especially adapting
the book to that large and constantly increasing class of teachers,
who require topical recitations.
4. To select, in the description of each battle, some
characteristic in which it differs from all other battles--its
key-note, by which it can be recollected; thus not only preventing
a sameness, but giving to the pupil a point around which he may
group information obtained from fuller descriptions and larger
5. To give only leading dates, and, as far as possible, to
associate them with each other, and thus assist the memory in their
permanent retention; experience having proved the committing of
many dates to be the most barren and profitless of all school
6. To give each campaign as a whole, rather than to mingle several
by presenting the events in chronological order. Whenever, by the
operations of one army being dependent on those of another, this
plan might fail to show the inter-relation of events, to prevent
such a result by so arranging the campaigns that the supporting
event shall precede the supported one.
7. To give something of the philosophy of history, the causes and
effects of events, and, in the case of great battles, the objects
sought to be attained; thus leading pupils to a thoughtful study of
history, and to an appreciation of the fact that events hinge upon
8. To insert, in foot-notes, sketches of the more important
personages, especially the Presidents, and thereby enable the
student to form some estimate of their characters.
9. To use language, a clause or sentence of which cannot be
selected or committed as an answer to a question, but such as,
giving the idea vividly, will yet compel the pupil to express it in
his own words.
10. To assign to each Epoch its fair proportion of space; not
expanding the earlier ones at the expense of the later; but giving
due prominence to the events nearer our own time, especially to the
11. To write a National history by carefully avoiding all sectional
or partisan views.
12. To give the new States the attention due to their importance by
devoting space to each one as it is admitted into the Union, and
becomes a feature in the grand national development.
13. To lead to a more independent use of the book, and the adoption
of the topical mode of recitation and study, as far as possible, by
placing the questions at the close of the work, rather than at the
bottom of each page.
14. To furnish, under the title of Historical Recreations, a set of
review questions which may serve to awaken an interest in the class
and induce a more comprehensive study of the book.
Finally--this work is offered to American youth in the confident
belief that as they study the wonderful history of their native
land, they will learn to prize their birthright more highly, and
treasure it more carefully. Their patriotism must be kindled when
they come to see how slowly, yet how gloriously, this tree of
liberty has grown, what storms have wrenched its boughs, what sweat
of toil and blood has moistened its roots, what eager eyes have
watched every out-springing bud, what brave hearts have defended
it, loving it even unto death. A heritage thus sanctified by the
heroism and devotion of the fathers can but elicit the choicest
care and tenderest love of the sons.
[Illustration: MOUNT VERNON]
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
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EARLY DISCOVERIES AND SETTLEMENTS,
DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLONIES,
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR,
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATES,
THE CIVIL WAR,
RECONSTRUCTION AND PASSING EVENTS,
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QUESTIONS FOR CLASS USE,
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,
A SUGGESTION TO TEACHERS
[Entered according to Act of Congress, A. D. 1872, by A. S. Barnes
& Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.]
* * * * *
The following method of using this work has been successfully
employed by many teachers. At the commencement of the study let
each pupil be required to draw an outline map of North America, at
least 18 x 24 inches in size. This should contain only physical
features, viz., coast-line, mountains, lakes, and rivers. If
desired, they may be marked very faintly at first, and shaded and
darkened when discovered in the progress of the history. As the
pupils advance in the text let them mark on their maps, day by day,
the places discovered, the settlements, battles, political
divisions, etc., with their dates. They will thus see the country
growing afresh under their hand and eye, and the geography and the
history will be indissolubly linked. At the close of the term their
maps will show what they have done, and each name, with its date,
will recall the history which clusters around it.
Recitations and examinations may be conducted by having a map drawn
upon the blackboard with colored crayons, and requiring the class
to fill in the names and dates, describing the historical facts as
they proceed. In turn, during review, the pupil should be able,
when a date or place is pointed out, to state the event associated
It will be noticed that the book is written on an exact plan and
method of arrangement. The topics of the epochs, chapters, sections
and paragraphs form a perfect analysis; thus, in each Presidential
Administration, the order of subjects is uniform, viz.: Domestic
Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Political Parties--the subsidiary
topics being grouped under these heads. The teacher is therefore
commended _to place on the board the analysis of each Epoch, and
conduct the recitation from that without the use of the book in the
[Illustration: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES]
WHO FIRST SETTLED AMERICA?--It was probably first peopled from
Asia, the birth-place of man. In what way this happened, we do not
know. Chinese vessels, coasting along the shore according to the
custom of early voyagers, may have been driven by storms to cross
the Pacific Ocean, while the crews were thankful to escape a watery
grave by settling an unknown country or, parties wandering across
Behring Strait in search of adventure, and finding on this side a
pleasant land, may have resolved to make it their home.
AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES.--In various parts of the continent, remains
are found of the people who settled the country in prehistoric
times. Through the Mississippi valley, from the Lakes to the Gulf,
extends a succession of defensive earthworks.
[Footnote: It is a singular fact that banks of earth grassed over
are more enduring than any other work of man. The grassy mounds
near Nineveh and Babylon have remained unchanged for centuries.
Meantime massive buildings of stone have been erected, have served
long generations, and have crumbled to ruin.]
Similar ruins are found in various other sections of the United
States. The largest forest trees are often found growing upon them.
The Indians have no tradition as to the origin of these structures.
They generally crown steep hills, and consist of embankments,
ditches, &c., indicating considerable acquaintance with military
science. At Newark, Ohio, a fortification exists which covers an
area of more than two miles square, and has over two miles of
embankment from two to twenty feet high.
Mounds, seemingly constructed as great altars for religious
purposes or as monuments, are also numerous. One, opposite St.
Louis, covers eight acres of ground, and is ninety feet high. There
are said to be 10,000 of these mounds in Ohio alone.
[Illustration: THE SERPENT MOUND.]
A peculiar kind of earthwork has the outline of gigantic men or
animals. An embankment in Adams County, Ohio, represents very
accurately a serpent 1000 feet long. Its body winds with graceful
curves, and in its wide-extended jaws lies a figure which the
animal seems about to swallow. In Mexico and Peru, still more
wonderful remains have been discovered. They consist not alone of
defensive works, altars, and monuments, but of idols, ruined
temples, aqueducts, bridges, and paved roads.
[Illustration: MOUNDS NEAR LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS.]
THE MOUND BUILDERS is the name given to the people who erected the
mounds of North America. They seem to have emigrated to Central
America, and there to have developed a high civilization. They
built cities, wove cotton, worked in gold, silver, and copper,
labored in the fields, and had regular governments.
THE INDIANS who were found on this continent east of the
Mississippi, by the first European settlers, did not exceed 200,000
in number. In Mexico, Peru, and the Indies, however, there was an
immense population. The Indians were the successors of the Mound
Builders, and were by far their inferiors in civilization. We know
not why the ancient race left, nor whence the Indians came. It is
supposed that the former were driven southward by the savage tribes
from the north.
[Footnote: This description applies to the Indians inhabiting the
present limits of the United States.]
_Arts and Inventions_.--The Indian has been well termed the
"Red Man of the Forest." He built no cities, no ships, no churches,
no school-houses. He constructed only temporary bark wigwams and
canoes. He made neither roads nor bridges, but followed foot-paths
through the forest, and swam the streams. His highest art was
expended in a simple bow and arrow.
_Progress and Education_.--He made no advancement, but each
son emulated the prowess of his father in the hunt and the fight.
The hunting-ground and the battle-field embraced everything of real
honor or value. So the son was educated to throw the tomahawk,
shoot the arrow, and catch fish with the spear. He knew nothing of
books, paper, writing, or history.
[Footnote: Some tribes and families seem to have been further
advanced than others and to have instructed then children,
especially those young men who hoped to become chiefs, in the
history and customs of their nation.]
[Illustration: INDIAN LIFE.]
_Domestic Life_.--The Indian had no cow, or domestic beast of
burden. He regarded all labor as degrading, and fit only for women.
His squaw, therefore, built his wigwam, cut his wood, and carried
his burdens when he journeyed. While he hunted or fished, she
cleared the land for his corn by burning down the trees, scratched
the ground with a crooked stick or dug it with a clam-shell, and
dressed skins for his clothing. She cooked his food by dropping hot
stones into a tight willow basket containing materials for soup.
The leavings of her lord's feast sufficed for her, and the coldest
place in the wigwam was her seat.
[Illustration: SPECIMEN OF INDIAN HIEROGLYPHICS.]
[Footnote: This cut represents a species of picture-writing
occasionally used by the Indians. Some Indian guides wished to
inform their comrades that a company of fourteen whites and two
Indians had spent the night at that point. Nos. 9, 10 indicate the
white soldiers and their arms; No. 1 is the captain, with a sword;
No. 2 the secretary, with the book; No. 3 the geologist, with a
hammer; Nos. 7, 8 are the guides, without hats; Nos. 11,12 show
what they ate in camp; Nos. 13,14,15 indicate how many fires they
_Disposition_.--In war the Indian was brave and alert, but cruel and
revengeful, preferring treachery and cunning to open battle. At home,
he was lazy, improvident, and an inveterate gambler. He delighted in
finery and trinkets, and decked his unclean person with paint and
feathers. His grave and haughty demeanor repelled the stranger; but he
was grateful for favors, and his wigwam stood hospitably open to the
poorest and meanest of his tribe.
_Endurance_.--He could endure great fatigue, and in his expeditions
often lay without shelter in the severest weather. It was his glory to
bear the most horrible tortures without a sign of suffering.
[Illustration: ROVING INDIANS OF THE PRESENT TIME.]
_Religion_.--If he had any ideas of a Supreme Being, they were vague
and degraded. His dream of a Heaven was of happy hunting-grounds or of
gay feasts, where his dog should join in the dance. He worshipped no
idols, but peopled all nature with spirits, which dwelt not only in
birds, beasts and reptiles, but also in lakes, rivers and waterfalls.
As he believed that these had power to help or harm men, he lived in
constant fear of offending them. He apologized, therefore, to the
animals he killed, and made solemn promises to fishes that their bones
should be respected. He placed great stress on dreams, and his camp
swarmed with sorcerers and fortune-tellers.
THE INDIAN OF THE PRESENT.--Such was the Indian two hundred years
ago, and such he is to-day. He opposes the encroachments of the
settler, and the building of railroads. But he cannot stop the tide
of immigration. Unless he can be induced to give up his roving
habits, and to cultivate the soil, he is doomed to destruction. It
is to be earnestly hoped that the red man may yet be Christianized,
and taught the arts of industry and peace.
THE NORTHMEN (inhabitants of Norway and Sweden) claim to have been
the original discoverers of America. According to their traditions,
this continent was seen first about the year 1000, by one Biorne,
who had been driven to sea by a tempest. Afterward other
adventurers made successful voyages, established settlements, and
bartered with the natives. _Snorre_, son of one of these
settlers, is said to have been the first child born of European
parents upon our shore.
[Footnote: Snorre was the founder of an illustrious family. One of
his descendants is said to have been _Albert Thorwaldsen_, the
great Danish sculptor of the present century. The beautiful
photographs of Thorwaldsen's "Day," "Night," and "The Seasons,"
which hang in so many American parlors, thus acquire a new interest
by being linked with the pioneer boy born on New England shores so
many centuries ago.]
The Northmen claim to have explored the coast as far south as
Florida. How much credit is to be given to these traditions is
uncertain. Many historians reject them, while others think there
are traces of the Northmen yet remaining, such as the old tower at
Newport, R.I., and the singular inscriptions on the rock at
Dighton, Mass. Admitting, however, the claims of the Northmen, the
fact is barren of all results. No permanent settlements were made,
the route hither was lost, and even the existence of the continent
[Footnote: See "The Old Mill at Newport" in _Scribner's Magazine_,
March, 1879, and the _Magazine of American History_, September, 1879.]
The true history of this country begins with its discovery by
Columbus in 1492. It naturally divides itself into six great
EARLY DISCOVERIES AND SETTLEMENTS.
This epoch extends from the discovery of America in 1492 to the
settlement at Jamestown, Va., in 1607. During this period various
European nations were exploring the continent, and making widely
DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLONIES.
This epoch extends from the settlement at Jamestown, Va., in 1607,
to the breaking out of the Revolutionary War in 1775. During this
period the scattered settlements grew into thirteen flourishing
colonies, subject to Great Britain.
This epoch extends from the breaking out of the Revolutionary War
in 1775, to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. During this
period the colonies threw off the government of England, and
established their independence.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATES.
This epoch extends from the adoption of the Constitution in 1787,
to the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861. During this period
the States increased in number from thirteen to thirty-four, and
grew in population and wealth until the United States became the
most prosperous nation in the world.
THE CIVIL WAR.
This epoch extends from the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861,
to the surrender of Lee's army in 1865. During this period a
gigantic strife was carried on between the Northern and the
Southern States, the former struggling for the perpetuation of the
Union, and the latter for its division.
RECONSTRUCTION, AND PASSING EVENTS.
This epoch extends from the close of the Civil War to the present
time. During this period the seceding States have been restored to
their rights in the Union, peace has been fully established, and
many interesting events have occurred.
REFERENCES FOR READING.
The following works will be found valuable for reference and
additional information. It is not the intention to give a catalogue
of U. S. Histories and biographies of celebrated Americans, but
simply to name a few works which will serve to interest a class and
furnish material for collateral reading. Bancroft's and Hildreth's
Histories, Irving's Life of Washington, and Sparks's American
Biographies, are supposed to be in every school library, and to be
familiar to every teacher. They are therefore not referred to in
this list. The Lives of the Presidents, the Histories of the
different States, and all works of local value are useful, and
should be secured, if possible. The Magazine of American History
will be found serviceable for reference on disputed points of
American History and Biography. Holmes's American Annals is
invaluable, and the early volumes of the North American Review
contain a great deal of interesting historical matter. The American
Cyclopaedia and Thomas's Dictionary of Biography are exceedingly
serviceable in preparing essays and furnishing anecdotes. With a
little effort a poem, a good prose selection, or a composition on
some historical topic may be offered by the class each day to
enliven the recitation.
_Beamish's Discovery of America by the Northmen.--Bradford's
American Antiquities.--Baldwin's Ancient America.--Squier and
Davis's American Antiquities and Discoveries in the West--Sinding's
History of Scandinavia.-Cattin's North American Indians.
--Thatcher's Indian Biography.--Stone's Life and Times of Red
Jacket, and Life of Brandt--Cooper's Leather Stocking
Tales--Morgan's League of the Iroquois.--Schoolcraft's Memoirs of
Residence Among the Indians, and other works by the same author.
--Foster's Prehistoric Races of the United States of America.
--Bancroft's Native Races--Matthew's Behemoth, a Legend of the
Mound Builders (Fiction).--Lowell's Chippewa Legend (Poetry).
--Whittier's Bridal of Penacook (Poetry).--Jones's Mound-Builders
of Tennesee.--Goodrich's So-called Columbus.--Ancient Monuments in
America, Harper's Magazine, vol._ 21.
[Illustration: A SPANISH CARAVEL.
(From a drawing attributed to Columbus.)]
EARLY DISCOVERIES AND SETTLEMENTS.
GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.--The people of
Europe had then never heard of America. About that time, a great
desire for geographical knowledge was awakened. The compass and the
astrolabe--an instrument for reckoning latitude--had been already
invented. Voyagers were no longer compelled to creep along the
shore, but began to strike out boldly into the open sea. The art of
printing had just come into use, and books of travel were eagerly
[Footnote: _Questions on the Geography of the First Epoch_.--In the
accompanying map there are no divisions of the continent, as none
existed at that time. When they are called for in the following
questions, the object is to test the pupil's geographical knowledge.
Locate the West Indies. San Salvador (now called Guanahani,
gwah-nah-hah'-ne, and Cat Island). Cuba. Hispaniola or Hayti
(he-te), name given to the island in 1803 by Dessalines. (See Lipp.
Gazetteer.) Newfoundland. Cape Breton. Roanoke Island. Manhattan
Describe the Orinoco River. Mississippi River. St. Lawrence River.
James River. Ohio River. Colorado River. Columbia River. St. John's
River (see map for Epoch V).
Where is Labrador? Central America? Florida? Mexico? New Mexico?
California? Oregon? Peru?
Locate St Augustine. Santa Fe (sahn-tah-fay). New York. Montreal.
Quebec. Albany. Jamestown. Port Royal. Isthmus of Darien. Cape
Henry. Cape Charles. Cape Cod. Chesapeake Bay. Hudson Bay.
Marco Polo and other adventurers returning from the East, told
wonderful stories of the wealth of Asiatic cities. Genoa, Florence,
and Venice, commanding the commerce of the Mediterranean, had
become enriched by trade with the East. The costly shawls, spices,
and silks of Persia and India were borne by caravans to the Red
Sea, thence on camels across the desert to the Nile, and lastly by
ship over the Mediterranean to Europe.]
The great problem of the age was how to reach the East Indies by
sea, and thus give a cheaper route to these rich products.
COLUMBUS conceived that _by sailing west he could reach the East
Indies_. He believed the earth to be round, which was then a
novel idea. He, however, thought it much smaller than it really is,
and that Asia extends much further round the world to the east than
it does. Hence, he argued that by going a few hundred leagues west
he would touch the coast of Eastern Asia. He was determined to try
this new route, but was too poor to pay for the necessary ships,
men, and provisions.
[Footnote: Several facts served to strengthen the faith of Columbus
in the correctness of his theory. The Azores and the Cape de Verde
islands were the most westerly lands then known. There had been
washed on their shores by westerly winds, pieces of wood curiously
carved, trees, and seeds of unknown species, and especially the
bodies of two men of strange color and visage.]
[Footnote: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, 1435. He
was trained for the sea from his childhood. Being the eldest of
four children, and his father a poor wool-comber, much care
devolved upon him. It is said that at thirty his hair was white
from trouble and anxiety. His kind and loving disposition is proved
by the fact that in his poorest days he saved part of his pittance
to educate his young brothers and support his aged father. Columbus
was determined, shrewd, and intensely religious. He believed and
announced himself to be divinely called to "carry the true faith
into the uttermost parts of the earth." Inspired by this thought,
no discouragement or contumely could drive him to despair utterly.
It was eighteen years from the conception to the accomplishment of
his plan. During all this time his life was a marvel of patience,
and of brave devotion to his one purpose. His sorrows were many;
his triumph was brief. Evil men maligned him to Ferdinand and
Isabella. Disregarding their promise that he should be
governor-general over all the lands he might discover, the king and
queen sent out another governor, and by his order Columbus was sent
home in chains! No wonder that the whole nation was shocked at such
an indignity to such a man. It is sad to know that although
Ferdinand and Isabella endeavored to soothe his wounded spirit by
many attentions, they never restored to him his lawful rights. From
fluent promises they passed at last to total neglect, and Columbus
died a grieved and disappointed old man. At his request, his chains
were buried with him, a touching memorial of Spanish ingratitude.]
COLUMBUS AT THE COURT OF PORTUGAL.--He accordingly laid his plan
before King John of Portugal, who, being pleased with the idea,
referred it to the geographers of his court. They pronounced it a
visionary scheme. With a lurking feeling, however, that there might
be truth in it, the king had the meanness to dispatch a vessel
secretly to test the matter. The pilot had the charts of Columbus,
but lacked his heroic courage. After sailing westward from Cape de
Verde islands for a few days, and seeing nothing but a wide waste
of wildly tossing waves, he returned, ridiculing the idea.
COLUMBUS AT THE COURT OF SPAIN.--Columbus, disheartened by this
treachery, betook himself to Spain. During seven long years he
importuned King Ferdinand for a reply. All this while he was
regarded as a visionary fellow, and when he passed along the
streets, even the children pointed to their foreheads and smiled.
At last, the learned council declared the plan too foolish for
further attention. Turning away sadly, Columbus determined to go to
[Footnote: "It is absurd," said those wise men. "Who is so foolish
as to believe that there are people on the other side of the world,
walking with their heels upward, and their heads hanging down? And
then, how can a ship get there? The torrid zone, through which they
must pass, is a region of fire, where the very waves boil. And even
if a ship could perchance get around there safely, how could it
ever get back? Can a ship sail up hill?" All of which sounds very
strange to us now, when hundreds of travelers make every year the
entire circuit of the globe.]
COLUMBUS SUCCESSFUL.--His friends at the Spanish court, at this
juncture, laid the matter before Queen Isabella, and she was
finally won to his cause. The king remained indifferent, and
pleaded the want of funds. The queen in her earnestness exclaimed,
"I pledge my jewels to raise the money." But her sacrifice was not
required. St. Angel, the court treasurer, advanced most of the
money, and the friends of Columbus the remainder,--in all about
$20,000, equal to six times that amount at the present day.
Columbus had succeeded at last.
COLUMBUS'S EQUIPMENT.--Though armed with the king's authority,
Columbus obtained vessels and sailors with the greatest difficulty.
The boldest seamen shrank from such a desperate undertaking. At
last, three small vessels were manned; the Pinta (peen'tah), Santa
Maria (ma-re-ah), and Ninah (ne-nah). They sailed from Palos,
Spain, Aug. 3, 1492.
INCIDENTS OF THE VOYAGE.--When the ships struck out boldly westward
on the untried sea, and the sailors saw the last trace of land fade
from their sight, many, even of the bravest, burst into tears. As
they proceeded, their hearts were wrung by superstitious fears. To
their dismay, the compass no longer pointed directly north, and
they believed that they were coming into a region where the very
laws of nature were changed. They came into the track of the
trade-wind, which wafted them steadily westward. This, they were
sure, was carrying them to destruction, for how could they ever
return against it? Signs of land, such as flocks of birds and
fresh, green plants, were often seen, and the clouds near the
horizon assumed the look of land, but they disappeared, and only
the broad ocean spread out before them as they advanced. The
sailors, so often deceived, lost heart, and insisted upon returning
home. Columbus, with wonderful tact and patience, explained all
these appearances. But the more he argued, the louder became their
murmurs. At last they secretly determined to throw him overboard.
Although he knew their feelings, he did not waver, but declared
that he would proceed till the enterprise was accomplished.
Soon, signs of land silenced their murmurs. A staff artificially
carved, and a branch of thorn with berries floated near. All was
now eager expectation. In the evening, Columbus beheld a light
rising and falling in the distance, as of a torch borne by one
walking. Later at night, the joyful cry of "_Land!_" rang out
from the Pinta. In the morning the shore, green with tropical
verdure, lay smiling before them.
THE LANDING.--Columbus, dressed in a splendid military suit of
scarlet embroidered with gold, and followed by a retinue of his
officers and men bearing banners, stepped upon the new world,
Friday, Oct. 12, 1492. He threw himself upon his knees, kissed the
earth, and with tears of joy gave thanks to God. He then formally
planted the cross, and took possession of the country in the name
of Ferdinand and Isabella.
The wondering natives, who crowded the shore, gazed on them with
awe. They supposed the ships to be huge white-winged birds, and the
Spaniards to have come from heaven. How sadly and how soon these
simple people were undeceived!
FURTHER DISCOVERIES.--Columbus found the land to be an island,
which he named St. Salvador. He supposed that he had reached the
islands lying off the eastern coast of India, and he therefore
called the dark-hued natives, Indians. Careful inquiries were also
made concerning the rich products of the East, such as spices,
precious stones, and especially gold. The simple people had only a
few golden ornaments. These they readily bartered for hawks' bells.
Cuba, Hayti, and other islands were discovered and visited in the
vain hope of securing Oriental treasures. Columbus even sent a
deputation into the interior of Cuba to a famous chief, supposing
him to be the great king of Tartary!
At last, urged by his crew, he relinquished the search, and turned
his vessels homeward.
HIS RECEPTION, on his return, was flattering in the extreme. The
whole nation took a holiday. His appearance was hailed with shouts
and the ringing of bells. The king and queen were dazzled by their
new and sudden acquisition. As Columbus told them of the beautiful
land he had discovered, its brilliant birds, its tropical forests,
its delicious climate, and above all, its natives waiting to be
converted to the Christian faith, they sank upon their knees, and
gave God thanks for such a signal triumph.
[Illustration: TOMB OF COLUMBUS AT HAVANA]
[Footnote: The body of Columbus was deposited in the Convent of San
Francisco, Valladohd, Spain. It was thence transported, in 1513, to
the Carthusian Monastery of Seville where a handsome monument was
erected, by command of Ferdinand and Isabella with the simple
inscription--"To Castile and Leon, Colon gave a new world." In 1536
his body, and that of his son Diego, were removed to the city of
Saint Domingo, Hayti, and interned in the principal chapel. But
they were not permitted to rest even there, for in 1796 they were
brought to Havana with imposing ceremonies. His final resting place
in the Cathedral is marked by a slab elaborately carved, on which
is inscribed in Spanish,
"Oh, rest thou, image of the great Colon,
Thousand centuries remain, guarded in the urn,
And in the remembrance of our nation."]
SUBSEQUENT VOYAGES.--Columbus afterward made three voyages. In 1498
he discovered the mainland, near the Orinoco River. He never,
however, lost the delusion that it was the eastern coast of Asia,
and died ignorant of the grandeur of his discovery.
HOW THE CONTINENT WAS NAMED.--Americus Vesputius (a-mer-i-cus
ves-pu-she-us), a friend of Columbus, accompanied a subsequent
expedition to the new world. A German named Waldsee-Mueller
published an interesting account of his adventures, in which he
suggested that the country should be called America. This work,
being the first description of the new world, was very popular, and
the name was soon adopted by geographers.
JOHN CAB'-OT, a navigator of Bristol, England, by studying his
charts and globes, decided that since the degrees of longitude
diminish in length as they approach the pole, the shortest route to
India must be by sailing northwest instead of west, as Columbus had
done. He easily obtained royal authority to make the attempt. After
a prosperous voyage, he came in sight of the sterile region of
Labrador, and sailed along the coast for many leagues. This was
_fourteen months before Columbus discovered the continent_.
Cabot supposed that he had reached the territory of the "Great
Cham," king of Tartary. Nevertheless, he landed, planted a banner,
and took possession in the name of the king of England. On his
return home he was received with much honor, was dressed in silk,
and styled the "Great Admiral." The booty which he brought back
consisted of only two turkeys and three savages.
[Footnote: There is a map of Cabot's preserved at Paris, on which
the land he first saw, and named _Prima Vista_, corresponds
with Cape Breton. On it is the date 1494. If this be authentic, it
will give the priority of the discovery of the American continent
to Cabot by four years, and decide that Cape Breton, and not
Labrador nor the Orinoco River, was first seen by European eyes.
Very little is definitely known of John Cabot, and even the time
and place of his birth and death are matters of conjecture.]
SEBASTIAN CABOT continued his father's discoveries. During the same
summer in which Columbus reached the shore of South America,
Sebastian, then a youth of only twenty-one, discovered
Newfoundland, and coasted as far south as Chesapeake Bay. As he
found neither the way to India, nor gold, precious stones, and
spices, his expedition was considered a failure. Yet, by his
discoveries, England acquired a title to a vast territory in the
new world. Though he gave to England a continent, no one knows his
We shall now follow the principal explorations made within the
limits of the future United States, by the SPAINIARDS, FRENCH,
ENGLISH, and DUTCH. The Spaniards explored mainly the southern
portion of North America, the French the northern, and the English
the middle portion along the coast.
Feeling in Spain.--America, at this time, was to the Spaniard a
land of vague, but magnificent promise, where the simple natives
wore unconsciously the costliest gems, and the sands of the rivers
sparkled with gold. Every returning ship brought fresh news to
quicken the pulse of Spanish enthusiasm. Now, Cortez had taken
Mexico, and reveled in the wealth of the Montezumas; now, Pizarro
had conquered Peru, and captured the riches of the Incas; now,
Magellan, sailing through the straits which bear his name, had
crossed the Pacific, and his vessel returning home by the Cape of
Good Hope, had circumnavigated the globe. Men of the highest rank
and culture, warriors, adventurers, all flocked to the new world.
Soon Cuba, Hispaniola, Porto Rico, and Jamaica were settled, and
ruled by Spanish governors. Among the Spanish explorers of the
sixteenth century we notice the following:
PONCE DE LEON (pon'-tha-da-la-on') was a gallant soldier, but an
old man, and in disgrace. He coveted the glory of conquest to
restore his tarnished reputation, and, besides, he had heard of a
magical fountain in this fairy land, where one might bathe and be
young again. Accordingly he equipped an expedition, and sailed in
search of this fabled treasure. On Easter Sunday (_Pascua Florida_, in
Spanish), 1512, he came in sight of a land gay with spring flowers. In
honor of the day, he called it Florida. He sailed along the coast, and
landed here and there, but returned home at last, an old man still,
haying found neither youth, gold, nor glory.
[Footnote: About eight years afterward, De Ayllon (da-ile-yon')
made a kidnapping expedition to what is now known as South
Carolina. Desiring to obtain laborers for the mines and plantations
in Hayti, he invited some of the natives on board his vessels, and,
when they were all below, he suddenly closed the hatches and set
sail. The speculation, however, did not turn out profitably. One
vessel sank with all on board, and many, preferring starvation to
slavery, died on the voyage. History tells us that in 1525, when De
Ayllon went back with the intention of settling the country, the
Indians practised upon him the lesson of cruelty he had taught
them. His men were lured into the interior. Their entertainers,
falling upon them at night, slew the larger part, and De Ayllon was
only too glad to escape with his life.]
BALBOA crossed the Isthmus of Darien the next year, and from the
summit of the Andes beheld the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Wading into its waters with his naked sword in one hand, and the
banner of Castile (kas-teel) in the other, he solemnly declared
that the ocean, and all the shores which it might touch, belonged
to the crown of Spain forever.
DE NARVAEZ (nar-vah-eth) received a grant of Florida, and (1528)
with 300 men attempted its conquest. Striking into the interior,
they wandered about, lured on by the hope of finding gold. Wading
through swamps, crossing deep rivers by swimming and by rafts,
fighting the lurking Indians who incessantly harassed their path,
and nearly perishing with hunger, they reached at last the Gulf of
Mexico. Hastily constructing some crazy boats, they put to sea.
After six weeks of peril and suffering, they were shipwrecked, and
De Narvaez was lost. Six years afterward, four--the only survivors
of this ill-fated expedition--reached the Spanish settlements on
the Pacific coast.
[Illustration: DE SOTO'S MARCH]
FERDINAND DE SOTO, undismayed by these failures, undertook anew the
conquest of Florida. He set out with 600 choice men, amid the
fluttering of banners, the flourish of trumpets, and the gleaming
of helmet and lance. For month after month this procession of
cavaliers, priests, soldiers, and Indian captives strolled through
the wilderness, wherever they thought gold might be found. They
traversed what is now Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. In the
third year of their wanderings (1541) they emerged upon the bank of
the Mississippi. After another year of fruitless explorations, De
Soto died. (See Map, Epoch I). At the dead of night his followers
sank his body in the river, and the sullen waters buried his hopes
and his ambition. "He had crossed a large part of the continent,"
says Bancroft, "and found nothing so remarkable as his
burial-place." De Soto had been the soul of the company. When he
died, the other adventurers were anxious only to get home in
safety. They constructed boats and descended the river, little over
half of this gallant array finally reaching the settlements in
MELENDEZ (ma-len-deth), wiser than his predecessors, on landing
(1565) forthwith laid the foundations of a colony. In honor of the
day, he named it St. Augustine. _This is the oldest town in the
[Footnote: Many Spanish remains still exist. Among these is Fort
Marion, once San Marco, which was founded in 1565 and finished in
1755. It is built of coquina--a curious stone composed of small
EXPLORATIONS ON THE PACIFIC.
California, in the sixteenth century, was a general name applied to
all the region northwest of Mexico. It is said to have originated
in an old Spanish romance very popular in the time of Cortez, in
which appeared a character called California, queen of the Amazons.
The Mexicans told the Spaniards that most of their gold and
precious stones came from a country far to the northwest. Cortez,
therefore, immediately turned his attention to that direction, and
sent out several expeditions to explore the Californias. All these
adventurers returned empty-handed from the very region where, three
centuries afterward, the world was startled by the finding of an El
Dorado such as would have satisfied the wildest dreams of Cortez
and his credulous followers.
_CABRILLO_ (1542) made the first voyage along the Pacific coast, going
as far north as the present limits of Oregon.
_NEW MEXICO_ was explored and named by Espejo (es-pay'-ho) who (1582)
founded Santa Fe, which is the second oldest town in the United
States. This was seventeen years after the settlement of St.
EXTENT OF THE SPANISH POSSESSIONS.
Spain, at the close of the sixteenth century, held possession not
only of the West Indies, but of Yucatan, Mexico, and Florida.
[Footnote: A writer of that time locates Quebec in Florida, and a
map of Henry II. gives that name to all North America.]
The Spanish explorers had traversed a large portion of the present
Southern States, and of the Pacific coast. All this vast territory
they claimed by the rights of discovery and possession.
[Footnote: The conquests of the new world enriched Spain, which
became the wealthiest and most powerful country in Europe. This
made other nations all the more anxious to find the western passage
to India. The routes by the Cape of Good Hope and by the Straits of
Magellan were long and dangerous. To find the shorter northwestern
route now became the great wish of all maritime nations, and has
been anxiously sought down to the present time.]
The French were eager to share in the profits which Spain was
acquiring in the new world. Within seven years after the discovery
of the continent, the fisheries of Newfoundland were frequented by
[Footnote: Cape Breton was named by the fishermen in remembrance of
their home in Brittany, France.]
VER-RA-ZA-NI (zah-ne), a Florentine, was the first navigator sent by
the French king to find the new way to the Indies. Sailing westward
from Madeira (1524), he reached land near the present harbor of
[Footnote: A letter of Verrazani's giving an account of this
voyage, and, until of late, thought to be reliable, is now
considered by many to be a forgery perpetrated by some Italian
anxious to secure for his country the glory of the discovery.]
He supposed this had never been seen by Europeans, although we know
that Cabot had discovered it nearly thirty years before. He coasted
along the shores of Carolina and New Jersey, entered the harbors of
New York and Newport, and returned with the most glowing
description of the new lands he had found. He named the country New
France. This term was afterwards confined to Canada.
CARTIER (kar-te-a) ascended the River St. Lawrence (1535) to the
Indian village of Hochelaga (ho-she-lah-ga) the present site of
Montreal. The town was pleasantly situated at the foot of a lofty
hill which Cartier climbed. Stirred by the magnificent prospect, he
named it Mont Real (Mong Ra-al), Regal Mountain.
[Footnote: Cartier had discovered and named the Gulf and River St.
Lawrence the previous year. In 1541-2, he and Lord Roberval
attempted to plant a colony near Quebec. It was composed chiefly of
convicts and proved a failure.]
JOHN RIBAUT (re-bo) led the first expedition (1562) under the
auspices of Coligny.
[Footnote: Jean Ribaut, as his name is given in Coligny's Ms. and
in his own journal published in 1563, was an excellent seaman.]
[Footnote: Coligny (ko-lon-ye) was an admiral of France, and a
leader of the Huguenots (Hu-ge-nots), as the Protestants were then
called. He had conceived a plan for founding an empire in America.
This would furnish an asylum for his Huguenot friends, and at the
same time advance the glory of the French. Thus religion and
patriotism combined to induce him to send out colonists to the new
The company landed at Port Royal, S.C. So captivated were they,
that when volunteers were called for to hold the country for
France, so many came forward "with such a good will and joly
corage," wrote Ribaut, "as we had much to do to stay their
importunitie." They erected a fort, which they named Carolina in
honor of Charles IX., king of France. The fleet departed, and this
little band of thirty were left alone on the continent. From the
North Pole to Mexico, they were the only civilized men. Food became
scarce. They tired of the eternal solitude of the wilderness, and
finally built a rude ship, and put to sea. Here a storm shattered
their vessel. Famine overtook them, and, in their extremity, they
killed and ate one of their number. A vessel at last hove in sight,
and took them on board only to carry them captives to England. Thus
perished the colony, but the name still survives.
[Footnote: The most feeble were landed in France. It is said that
Queen Elizabeth while conversing with those sent to England, first
thought of colonizing the new world]
LAUDONNIERE (Lo-don-yare), two years after, built a fort, also
called Carolina, on the St. John's River.
[Footnote: The history of this colony records an amusing story
concerning the long life of the natives. A party visited a chief in
the midst of the wilderness who gravely assured them that he was
the father of five generations, and had lived 250 years. Opposite
him, in the same hut, sat his father, a mere skeleton, whose "age
was so great that the good man had lost his sight, and could speak
one onely word but with exceeding great paine." The credulous
Frenchmen gazed with awe on this wonderful pair, and congratulated
themselves on having come to such a land,--where certainly there
would be no need of Ponce de Leon's fabled fountain.]
Soon the colonists were reduced to the verge of starvation.
[Footnote: Their sufferings were horrible. Weak and emaciated, they
fed themselves with roots, sorrel, pounded fish-bones, and even
roasted snakes. "Oftentimes," says Laudonniere, "our poor soldiers
were constrained to give away the very shirts from their backs to
get one fish. If at any time they shewed unto the savages the
excessive price which they tooke, these villaines would answer them
roughly: 'If thou make so great account of thy merchandise, eat it,
and we will eat our fish;' then fell they out a laughing, and
mocked us with open throat."]
They were on the point of leaving, when they were reinforced by
Ribaut. The French now seemed fairly fixed on the coast of Florida.
The Spaniards, however, claimed the country. Melendez, about this
time, had made a settlement in St. Augustine. Leading an expedition
northward through the wilderness, in the midst of a fearful
tempest, he attacked Fort Carolina and massacred almost the entire
CHAMPLAIN (sham-plane), at the beginning of the seventeenth
century, crossed the Atlantic in two pigmy barks--one of twelve,
the other of fifteen tons--and ascended the St. Lawrence on an
exploring tour. At Hochelaga all was changed. The Indian town had
vanished, and not a trace remained of the savage population which
Cartier saw there seventy years before.
[Footnote: This fact illustrates the frequent and rapid changes
which took place among the aboriginal tribes.]
Champlain was captivated by the charms of the new world, and longed
to plant a French empire and the Catholic faith amid its savage
DE MONTS (mong) received a grant of all the territory between the
fortieth and forty-sixth parallels of latitude.
[Footnote: Between the sites of Philadelphia and Montreal.]
This tract was termed _Acadia_, a name afterward confined to
New Brunswick and the adjacent islands, and now to Nova Scotia.
With Champlain, he founded Port Royal, N. S., in 1605. This was
_the first permanent French settlement in America._ It was
three years before a cabin was built in Canada, and two before the
James River was discovered.
CHAMPLAIN RETURNED in 1608, and established a trading post at
Quebec. _This was the first permanent French settlement in
Canada._ The next summer, in his eager desire to explore the
country, he joined a war party of the Hurons against the Iroquois,
or Five Nations of Central New York.
[Footnote: The interference of Champlain with the Indians secured
the inveterate hostility of the Iroquois tribes. Not long after,
they seized the missionaries who came among them, tortured and put
them to death. This cut off any farther explorations toward the
south. The French, therefore, turned their attention toward the
On this journey he discovered that beautiful lake which bears his
name. Amid discouragements which would have overwhelmed a less
determined spirit, Champlain firmly established the authority of
France on the banks of the St. Lawrence. "The Father of New
France," as he has been termed, reposes in the soil he won to
THE JESUIT MISSIONARIES.--The explorers of the Mississippi valley
were mostly Jesuit priests. The French names which they gave still
linger throughout that region. Their hope was to convert the
Indians to the Christian faith. They pushed their way through the
forest with unflagging energy. They crept along the northern shore
of Lake Ontario. They traversed the Great Lakes. In 1668 they
founded the mission of St. Mary, the oldest European settlement in
Michigan. Many of them were murdered by the savages; some were
scalped; some were burned in rosin-fire; some scalded with boiling
water. Yet, as soon as one fell out of the ranks, another sprang
forward to fill the post. We shall name but two of these patient,
indefatigable pioneers of New France.
_FATHER MARQUETTE_ (mar-ket), hearing from some wandering
Indians of a great river which they termed the "Father of Waters,"
determined to visit it. He floated in a birch-bark canoe down the
Wisconsin to the Mississippi (1673), and thence to the mouth of the
[Footnote: Soon after, while on another expedition, he went ashore
for the purpose of quiet devotion. After waiting long for his
return, his men, seeking him, found that he had died while at
prayer. He was buried near the mouth of the Marquette. Years after,
when the tempest raged, and the Indian was tossing on the angry
waves, he would seek to still the storm by invoking the aid of the
_LA SALLE_ was educated as a Jesuit, but had established a
trading post at the outlet of Lake Ontario. He undertook various
expeditions full of romantic adventure. Inflamed with a desire to
find the mouth of the Mississippi, he made his way (1682) to the
Gulf of Mexico. He named the country Louisiana, in honor of Louis
XIV., king of France.
RESULTS OF FRENCH ENTERPRISE.--Before the close of the seventeenth
century, the French had explored the Great Lakes, the Fox, Maumee,
Wabash, Wisconsin and Illinois Rivers, and the Mississippi from the
Falls of St. Anthony to the Gulf. They had traversed a region
including what is now known as Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi,
Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, the Canadas and Acadia.
[Footnote: As we shall see hereafter, the English at this time
clung to a narrow strip along the Atlantic coast.]
In 1688 it had a population of 11,000.
* * * * *
We have seen how the Cabots, sailing under an English flag,
discovered the American continent, exploring its coast from
Labrador to Albemarle Sound. Though the English claimed the
northern part of the continent by right of this discovery, yet
during the sixteenth century they paid little attention to it. At
the close of that period, however, maritime enterprise was awakened
and British sailors cruised on every sea. Like the other navigators
of the day, they were eager to discover the western passage to
[Illustration: Drake Beholds the Pacific]
FROBISHER made the first of these attempts to go north of America
to Asia--Cabot's plan repeated. He pushed through unknown waters,
threading his perilous way among icebergs, until (1576) he entered
Baffin Bay. Here he heaped a pile of stones, declared the country
an appendage of the British crown, and returned home.
[Footnote: One of the sailors brought back a stone which was
thought to contain gold. A fleet of fifteen vessels was forthwith
equipped for this new El Dorado The northwest passage to Cathay was
forgotten. After innumerable perils incident to Arctic regions, the
ships were loaded with the precious ore and returned. Unfortunately
history neglects to tell us what became of the cargo.]
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE was a famous sailor. In one of his expeditions on
the Isthmus of Panama, he climbed to the top of a lofty tree,
whence he saw the Pacific Ocean. Looking out on its broad expanse,
he resolved to "sail an English ship on those seas." Returning to
England he equipped a squadron. He sailed through the Straits of
Magellan, coasting along the Pacific shore to the southern part of
Oregon. He refitted his ship in San Francisco harbor, and thence
sailing westward, returned home (1579) by the Cape of Good Hope.
[Footnote: He was thus the first Englishman who explored the
Pacific coast, and the second European who circumnavigated the
SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT was not a sailor, but he had studied the
accounts of American discoveries, and concluded that instead of
random expeditions after gold and spices, companies should be sent
out to form permanent settlements. His attempts to colonize the new
world, however, ended fatally. Sailing home in a bark of only
ten-tons burden, in the midst of a fearful storm the light of his
little vessel suddenly disappeared. Neither ship nor crew was ever
SIR WALTER RALEIGH was a half-brother of Gilbert, and adopted his
views of American colonization. Being a great favorite with Queen
Elizabeth, he easily obtained from her a patent of an extensive
territory, which was named Virginia in honor of Elizabeth, the
[Footnote: Raleigh was not only a man of dauntless courage, but he
also added to a handsome person much learning and many
accomplishments. Meeting Queen Elizabeth one day while she was
walking, he spread his mantle over a wet place in the path for her
to tread upon. She was so pleased with his gallantry that she
admitted him to court, and he continued a favorite during her
entire lifetime. Conversing with her one day upon the singular
properties of tobacco, the new Indian weed which was coming into
use, he assured her that he could tell the exact weight of smoke in
any quantity consumed. The incredulous Queen dared him to a wager.
Accepting it, Raleigh weighed his tobacco, smoked it, and then
carefully weighing the ashes, stated the difference. Paying the
bet, Elizabeth remarked that she "had before heard of turning gold
into smoke, but he was the first who had turned smoke into gold."
This incident illustrates the friendly relations between Raleigh
and the Queen. After her death, he was accused by James I. of
treason, was imprisoned for many years, and at the age of 65 was
executed. On the scaffold he asked for the axe, and feeling the
edge, observed, with a smile, "This is a sharp medicine, but a
sound cure for all diseases." Then composedly laying his bead on
the block, and moving his lips as in prayer, he gave the fatal
_Raleigh's first attempt to plant a colony_ was on Roanoke Island. The
settlers made no endeavor to cultivate the soil, but spent most of
their time in hunting for gold and pearls.
[Footnote: They believed the Roanoke River had its head-waters in
golden rocks, by the Pacific Ocean. The walls of a great city near
its fountain were affirmed to be thickly studded with pearls.]
At last they were nearly starved, when Drake, happening to stop
there on one of his exploring tours, took pity on them and carried
them home. They had lived long enough in America to learn the use
of tobacco and the potato. These they introduced into England. The
custom of "drinking tobacco," as it was called, soon became the
[Footnote: An amusing story is told of Raleigh while he was
learning to smoke. On entering his study one morning to bring his
master a cup of ale, his servant saw a cloud of smoke issuing from
Sir Walter's mouth. Frantically dashing the liquor in his face, he
rushed down stairs imploring help, for his master would soon be
burnt to ashes!]
_Raleigh's Second Attempt_.--Raleigh, undiscouraged by this
failure, still clung to his colonizing scheme. The next time he
sent out families, instead of single men. John White was appointed
governor of the city of Raleigh, which they were to found on
Chesapeake Bay. A granddaughter of Governor White, born soon after
they reached Roanoke Island, was the first English child born in
America. The governor, on returning to England to secure supplies,
found the public attention absorbed by the threatened attack of the
Spanish Armada. It was three years before he was able to come back.
Meanwhile, his family, and the colony he had left alone in the
wilderness, had perished. How, we do not know. The imagination can
only picture what history has failed to record.
Raleigh had now spent about $200,000, a great sum for that day, on
this American colony; and, disheartened, transferred his patent to
TRADING VOYAGES.--Fortunately for American interests, trading
ventures were more profitable than colonizing ones. English vessels
frequented the Banks of Newfoundland, and probably occasionally
[Footnote: The English ships were at that time accustomed to steer
southward along the coast of Spain, Portugal, and Africa, as far as
the Canary Islands, then they followed the track of Columbus to the
West India Islands, and thence along the coast of Florida]
Gosnold, a master of a small bark (1602), discovered and named Cape
Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and other neighboring localities. Loading
his vessel with sassafras-root, which was then highly esteemed as a
medicine, he returned home to publish the most favorable reports of
the region he had visited. Some British merchants accordingly sent
out the next year a couple of vessels under Captain Pring. He
discovered several harbors in Maine, and brought back his ships
loaded with furs and sassafras.
[Footnote: northward to the point they wished to reach. Navigators
knew this was a roundabout way, but they were afraid to try the
northern route straight across the Atlantic. Gosnold made the
voyage _directly_ from England to Massachusetts, thus shortening the
route 3,000 miles. This gave a great impulse to colonization, since it
was in effect bringing America 3,000 miles nearer England.]
As the result of these various explorations, many felt an earnest
desire to colonize the new world. James I. accordingly granted the
vast territory of Virginia, as it was called, to two companies, the
London and the Plymouth.
THE LONDON COMPANY, whose principal men resided at London, had the
tract between the thirty-fourth and thirty-eighth degrees of
latitude. This was called South Virginia. They sent out a colony in
1607 under Captain Newport. He made at Jamestown the _first permanent
English settlement in the United States_.
[Footnote: The river was called James, and the town Jamestown, in
honor of the king of England. The headlands received the names of
Cape Henry and Cape Charles from the king's sons; and the deep
water for anchorage "which put the emigrants in good comfort," gave
the name Point Comfort.]
THE PLYMOUTH COMPANY, whose principal men resided in Plymouth, had
the tract between the forty-first and forty-fifth degrees of
latitude. This was called North Virginia.
[Footnote: They sent out a colony under Captain Popham (poo-am), in
the same year with the London Company. He settled at the mouth of
the Kennebec, but the entire party returned home the next spring,
discouraged by the severity of the climate.]
THE CHARTER granted to these companies was the first under which
English colonies were planted in the United States. It is therefore
worthy of careful study. It contained no idea of self-government.
The people were not to have the election of an officer. The king
was to appoint a council which was to reside in London, and have
general control of all the colonies; and also a council to reside
in each colony, and have control of its local affairs. The Church
of England was the established religion. Moreover, for five years,
all the proceeds of the colonial industry and commerce were to be
applied to a common fund, no one being allowed the fruits of his
During all this time, the Dutch manifested no interest in the new
world. In the beginning of the seventeenth century, however,
Captain Henry Hudson, an English navigator in the Dutch service,
entered the harbor of New York. Hoping to reach the Pacific Ocean,
he afterward ascended the noble river which bears his name (1609).
[Illustration: Henry Hudson]
On this discovery, the Dutch based their claim to the region
extending from the Delaware River to Cape Cod. They gave to it the
name of New Netherland.
EXTENT OF THESE EXPLORATIONS.
1. The Spaniards confined their settlements and explorations to the
West Indies and the adjacent mainland, and in the United States
made settlements only in Florida and New Mexico.
2. The French claimed the whole of New France, and made their first
settlements in Acadia and Canada.
3. The English explored the Atlantic coast at various points, and
claimed this vast territory, which they termed Virginia, having
made their first settlement at Jamestown.
[Footnote: After this time, the English is the only nation that
directly influences the history of the United States. The country
was settled mainly by emigrants from Great Britain, and in the next
epoch all the colonies become dependencies of that empire.]
4. The Dutch laid claim to New Netherland, but made no settlement
The Rival Claims.--These four claims overlapped one another, and
necessarily produced much confusion. While the first few
settlements were separated by hundreds of miles of savage forests,
this was of little account. But as the settlements increased, the
rival claims became a source of constant strife, and were decided
principally by the sword.
[Footnote: It is noticeable that the English grants all extended
westward to the Pacific Ocean, the French southward from the St.
Lawrence to the Gulf, and the Spanish northward to the Arctic
Ocean. None of the European nations had any idea of the immense
territory they were donating.]
Two Centuries of Exploration and One of Settlement.--These
explorations had lasted during the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, and at the close of the sixteenth century, the only
permanent settlements were those of the Spaniards at St. Augustine
and Santa Fe. In the beginning of the seventeenth century,
permanent settlements multiplied. They were made by
The FRENCH at _Port Royal, N S.,_ in _1605_;
The ENGLISH at _Jamestown,_ in _1607_;
The FRENCH at _Quebec,_ in _1608_;
The DUTCH at _New York,_ in _1613_;
The ENGLISH at _Plymouth_, in _1620_.
[Footnote: Here lay the shaggy continent from Florida to the Pole,
outstretched in savage slumber. On the bank of the James River was
a nest of woebegone Englishmen, a handful of fur-traders at the
mouth of the Hudson, and a few shivering Frenchmen among the
snowdrifts of Acadia; while amid still wilder desolation Champlain
upheld the banner of France over the icy rock of Quebec. These were
the advance guard of civilization, the messengers of promise to a
desert continent. Yet, not content with inevitable woes, they were
rent by petty jealousies and miserable quarrels, while each little
fragment of rival nationalities, just able to keep up its own
wretched existence on a few square miles, begrudged to all the rest
the smallest share in a domain which all the nations of Europe
could not have sufficed to fill.--_Parkman._]
Summary of the History of the First Epoch,
arranged in Chronological Order.
1492. Columbus discovered the New World, October 12
1497. The Cabots discovered Labrador, July 3
1498. The Cabots explored the Atlantic Coast
South America was discovered by Columbus, August 10
Vasco de Gama sailed round the Cape of Good Hope
and discovered a passage to India
1512. Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, April 6
1513. Balboa saw the Pacific Ocean, September 29
1519-21. Cortez conquered Mexico
1520. Magellan discovered and sailed through the straits
which bear his name, into the Pacific Ocean; and his
vessel returning home by the Cape of Good Hope,
had made the first circumnavigation of the globe
1524. Verrazani explored the coast of North America
1528. Narvaez explored part of Florida
1534-35. Cartier discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence and ascended
the river to Montreal
1539-41. De Soto rambled over the Southern States and in 1541
discovered the Mississippi River
1540-42. Cabrillo explored California and sailed along the Pacific
1541-42. Roberval attempted to plant a colony on the St. Lawrence,
1562. Ribaut attempted to plant a Huguenot colony at Port
Royal, but failed
1564. Laudonniere attempted to plant a Huguenot colony
on the St. John's River. It was destroyed by the
1565. Melendez founded a colony at St. Augustine, Florida;
first permanent settlement in the United States
1576-7. Frobisher tried to find a northwest passage; entered
Baffin Bay, and twice attempted to found a colony
in Labrador, but failed
1578-80. Drake sailed along Pacific Coast to Oregon; wintered
in San Francisco, and circumnavigated the globe
1582. Espejo founded Santa Fe; second oldest town in the
1583. Gilbert was lost at sea
1583-7. Raleigh twice attempted to plant a colony in Virginia
1602. Gosnold discovered Cape Cod, May 14
1605 De Monts established a colony at Port Royal, Nova
Scotia first permanent French settlement in America
1607 The English settled Jamestown first permanent
English settlement in America, May 23
1608 Champlain planted a colony at Quebec first permanent
French settlement in Canada,
1609 Hudson discovered the Hudson River,
Champlain discovered Lake Champlain,
1613 Settlement of New York by the Dutch,
1620 Pilgrims settled at Plymouth first English settlement
in New England December 21
REFERENCES FOR READING
Irving's Columbus-Parkman's Pioneers of France Jesuits in North
America, and Discovery of the Great West--Longfellow's Sir Humphrey
Gilbert (Poem)--De Vere's Romance of American History--Abbott's
Biography of Illustrious Men and Women--T. Irving's De Soto in
Florida--Help's Spanish Conquest of America-Biddle's Sebastian
Cabot--Nicholls's John Cabot--Barlow's Vision of Columbus (Poem)
and Poems on Columbus by Samuel Rogers and F R Lowell-Simms's
Damsel of Danen (Poem)--Scibner's Monthly, Nov 1874 art, Pictures
from Florida--Harper's Magazine, Nov etc 1874, art The first
Century of the Republic--Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella
(Columbus)--Hawk's History of North Carolina (Lost Colony of
Roanoke)--Shea's Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi
Valley--Wallace's Fair God (Fiction)--Barnes's Popular History of
[Illustration: THE OLD GATEWAY AT ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA]
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENGLISH COLONIES.
* * * * *
From 1607--the Founding of Jamestown,
To 1775--the Breaking out of the Revolution.
This Epoch traces the early history of the thirteen
colonies--Virginia, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey,
Connecticut, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, New
York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Georgia. The Cavaliers land
in Virginia, and the Puritans in Massachusetts. Immigration
increases and the settlements multiply along the whole coast. The
colonies, however, still have little history in common. Each by
itself struggles with the wilderness, contends with the Indian, and
develops the principles of liberty.
[Footnote: _Questions on the Geography of the Second Epoch_.--Names of
places in italic letters may be found on the map for Epoch III. Locate
Jamestown. Salem. _Charlestown_. Boston. _Cambridge_. Swanzea.
Providence. Bristol. Hadley. Hatfield. Portsmouth. Dover. Hartford.
Wethersfield. New Haven. Windsor. Saybrook. New York. Albany.
Schenectady. Elizabethtown. Wilminton. Philadelphia. St. Mary's.
Edenton. Charleston. Savannah. Haverhill. Deerfield. St. Augustine.
Locate Fort Venango. Oswego. Presque Isle. Fort Le Boeuf. Crown
Point. Fort Ticonderoga. Fort Niagara. Fort du Quesne. Fort William
Henry. Fort Edward.
Describe the Ohio River. Monongahela River. French Creek. Chowan
River. Ashley River, Cooper River. River St. John. Potomac River.
James River. Hudson River. Connecticut River. Mohawk River.
Delaware River. Kennebec River. Penobscot River. _Mystic River_. Miami
River. St. Lawrence River.
Locate Manhattan Island. Alleghany Mountains. Cape Breton.
Massachusetts Bay. _Albemarle Sound_. Chesapeake Bay.]
THE CHARACTER of the colonists was poorly adapted to endure the
hardships incident to a settlement in a new country. They were
mostly gentlemen by birth, unused to labor. They had no families,
and came out in search of wealth or adventure, expecting, when
rich, to return to England. The climate was unhealthy, and before
the first autumn half of their number had perished.
JOHN SMITH saved the colony from ruin. First as a member of the
council, and afterward as president, his services were invaluable.
He persuaded the settlers to erect a fort and to build log huts for
the winter. He made long voyages, carefully exploring Chesapeake
Bay, securing the friendship of the Indians, and bringing back
boat-loads of supplies. He trained the tender gentlemen till they
learned how to swing the axe in the forest. He declared that "he
who would not work, might not eat." He taught them that industry
and self-reliance are the surest guarantees to fortune.
[Footnote: Captain John Smith was born to adventure. While yet a
boy he leaves his home in Lincolnshire, England, to engage in
Holland wars. After a four-years service he builds a lodge of
boughs in a forest, where he hunts, rides, and studies military
tactics. Next we hear of him on his way to fight the Turks. Before
reaching France he is robbed, and escapes death from want only by
begging alms. Having embarked for Italy, a fearful storm arises;
he, being a heretic, is deemed the cause, and is thrown overboard,
but he swims to land. In the East, a famous Mussulman wishes to
fight some Christian knight "to please the ladies;" Smith offers
himself and slays three champions in succession. Taken prisoner in
battle and sold as a slave, his head is shaved and his neck bound
with an iron ring; he kills his master, arrays himself in the dead
man's garments, mounts a horse and spurs his way to a Russian camp.
Having returned to England, he embarks for the new world. On the
voyage he excites the jealousy of his fellows and is landed in
chains; but his worth becomes so apparent that he is finally made
president of the colony. His marvelous escapes seem now more
abundant than ever. A certain fish inflicts a dangerous wound, but
he finds an antidote and afterward eats part of the same fish with
great relish. He is poisoned, but overcomes the dose and severely
beats the poisoner. His party of fifteen is attacked by
Opechancanough (Op-e-kan-ka-no), brother and successor of Powhatan,
with seven hundred warriors; Smith drags the old chief by his long
hair into the midst of the Indian braves, who, amazed at such
audacity, immediately surrender. He is shockingly burned on a boat
by the explosion of a bag of powder at his side; but he leaps into
the water, where he barely escapes death by drowning. These and
many other wonderful exploits he published in a book after his
return to England. Historians very generally discredit them, and
even the story of his rescue by Pocahontas (p. 48) is considered
very doubtful. His services were, however, of unquestionable value
to Virginia; and his disinterestedness appears from the fact that
he never received a foot of land in the colony his wisdom had
saved. Of his last years we know little. He died near London,
Smith's Adventures were of the most romantic character. In one of
his expeditions up the Chickahommy he was taken prisoner by the
Indians. With singular coolness he immediately attempted to
interest his captors by explaining the use of his pocket compass
and the motions of the moon and stars. At last they permitted him
to write a letter to Jamestown. When they found that this informed
his friends of his misfortune, they were filled with astonishment.
They could not understand by what magical art he could make a few
marks on paper express his thoughts. They considered him a being of
a superior order, and treated him with the utmost respect. He was
carried from one tribe to another, and at last brought to the great
chief, Powhatan, by whom he was condemned to die. His head was laid
on a stone, and the huge war-club of the Indian executioner was
raised to strike the fatal blow. Suddenly Pocahantas, the young
daughter of the chief, who had already become attached to the
prisoner, threw herself upon his neck and pleaded for his pardon
(see note, p. 46). The favorite of the tribe was given her desire.
Smith was released, and soon sent home with promises of friendship.
His little protector was often thereafter to be seen going to
Jamestown with baskets of corn for the white men.
[Footnote: This was undertaken by the express order of the company
to seek a passage to the Pacific Ocean and thus to India. Captain
Newport before his return to England made a trip up the James River
for the same purpose but on reaching the falls concluded that the
way to India did not lie in that direction. These attempts which
seem so preposterous to us now show what inadequate ideas then
prevailed concerning the size of this continent.]
[Footnote: His route was over the peninsula, since rendered so
famous by McClellan's campaign.]
[Illustration: SMITH SHOWING HIS COMPASS TO THE INDIANS]
[Footnote: As another evidence of the simplicity of the Indians, it
is said that having seized a quantity of gunpowder belonging to the
colonists, they planted it for seed, expecting to reap a full
harvest of ammunition for the next contest.]
A SECOND CHARTER was now obtained by the company (1609). This
vested the authority in a governor instead of a local council. The
colonists were not consulted with regard to the change, nor did the
charter guarantee to them any rights.
THE "STARVING TIME."--Unfortunately, Smith was disabled by a severe
wound and compelled to return to England. His influence being
removed, the settlers became a prey to disease and famine. Some
were killed by the Indians. Some, in their despair, seized a boat
and became pirates. The winter of 1609-10 was long known as the
Starving Time. In six months they were reduced from 490 to 60. At
last they determined to flee from the wretched place. "None dropped
a tear, for none had enjoyed one day of happiness." The next
morning, as they slowly moved down with the tide, to their great
joy they met their new governor, Lord Delaware, with abundant
supplies and a company of emigrants. All returned to the homes they
had just deserted, and Jamestown colony was once more rescued from
THE THIRD CHARTER.--Up to this time the colony had proved a failure
and was publicly ridiculed in London. To quiet the outcry, the
charter was changed (1612). The council in London was abolished,
and the stockholders were given power to regulate the affairs of
the company themselves.
THE MARRIAGE OF POCAHONTAS (1613).--The little Indian girl had now
grown to womanhood. John Rolfe, a young English planter, had won
her love and wished to marry her. In the little church at
Jamestown, rough almost as an Indian's wigwam, she received
Christian baptism, and, in broken English, stammered the marriage
vows according to the service of the Church of England.
Three years after, with her husband, she visited London. The
childlike simplicity and winning grace of Lady Rebecca, as she was
called, attracted universal admiration. She was introduced at court
and received every mark of attention. As she was about to return to
her native land with her husband and infant son, she suddenly died.
[Footnote: This son became a man of wealth and distinction. Many of
the leading families of Virginia have been proud to say that the
blood of Pocahontas coursed through their veins.]
FIRST COLONIAL ASSEMBLY.--Governor Yeardley (yard'-le) believed
that the colonists should have "a hande in the governing of
themselves." He accordingly called at Jamestown, June 28, 1619,
_the first legislative body that ever assembled in America_.
It consisted of the governor, council, and deputies, or "burgesses,"
as they were called, chosen from the various plantations, or
"boroughs." Its laws had to be ratified by the company in England,
but, in turn, the orders from London were not binding unless
ratified by the colonial assembly. These privileges were afterward
(1621) embodied in a _written constitution_--the first of the
kind in America. A measure of freedom was thus granted the young
colony, and Jamestown became a nursery of liberty.
PROSPERITY OF THE COLONY.--The old famine troubles had now all
passed. The attempt to work in common had been given up, and each
man tilled his own land and had the avails. Tobacco was an article
of export. The colonists raised it so eagerly that at one time even
the streets of Jamestown were planted with it. Gold-hunting had
ceased, and many of the former servants of the company owned
plantations. Settlements lined both banks of the James for 140
miles. Best of all, young women of good character were brought over
by the company. These sold readily as wives to the settlers. The
price was fixed at the cost of the passage--100 pounds of
tobacco--but they were in such demand that it soon went up to 150
pounds. Domestic ties were formed. The colonists, having homes, now
became Virginians. All freemen had the right to vote. Religious
toleration was enjoyed. Virginia became almost an independent
[Footnote: In the early life of this colony, particles of mica
glittering in the brook were mistaken for gold dust. "There was no
talk, no hope, but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold."
Newport carried to England a shipload of the worthless stuff. Smith
remonstrated in vain against this folly.]
SLAVERY INTRODUCED.--In 1619 the captain of a Dutch trading vessel
sold to the colonists twenty negroes. They were employed in
cultivating tobacco. As their labor was found profitable, larger
numbers were afterward imported.
[Footnote: From this circumstance, small as it seemed at the time,
the most momentous consequences ensued,--consequences that, long
after, rent the republic with strife, and moistened its soil with
INDIAN TROUBLES.--After the death of Powhatan, the firm friend of
the English, the Indians formed a plan for the extermination of the
colony. So secretly was this managed that on the very morning of
the massacre (March 22, 1622) they visited the houses and sat at
the tables of those whose murder they were plotting. At a
preconcerted moment they attacked the colonists on all their
widely-scattered plantations. Over three hundred men, women, and
children fell in one day. Fortunately, a converted Indian had
informed a friend whom he wished to save, and thus Jamestown and
the settlements near by were prepared. A merciless war ensued,
during which the colony was reduced from 4,000 to 2,500; but the
Indians were so severely punished that they remained quiet for
twenty years. Then came a fearful massacre of five hundred settlers
(1644), which ended in the natives being expelled from the region.
VIRGINIA A ROYAL PROVINCE.--The majority of the stockholders gladly
granted to the infant colony those rights for which they were
struggling at home. King James, becoming jealous of the company
because of its patriotic sentiments, took away the charter (1624),
and made Virginia a royal province. Henceforth the king appointed
the governor and council, though the colony still retained its
A PERIOD OF OPPRESSION.--The British Parliament enforced the
Navigation Act (1660), which ordered that the commerce of the
colony should be carried on in English vessels, and that their
tobacco should be shipped to England. Besides this, their own
assembly was composed mainly of royalists, who levied exorbitant
taxes, refused to go out of office when their term had expired,
fixed their own salary at 250 pounds of tobacco per day, restricted
the right of voting to "freeholders and housekeepers," and imposed
on Quakers a monthly fine of one hundred dollars for absence from
worship in the English Church. Two parties gradually sprung up in
their midst; one, the aristocratic party, was composed of the rich
planters and the officeholders in the colony; the other comprised
the liberty-loving portion of the people, who felt themselves
deprived of their political rights.
[Footnote: It is a curious fact that the royalists who fled from
England in Cromwell's time took refuge in Virginia, and were
hospitably entertained, while the "regicides" (the judges who
condemned Charles I) fled to Massachusetts and were concealed from
BACON'S REBELLION.--These difficulties came to a crisis in 1676,
when Governor Berkeley failed to provide for the defence of the
settlements against the Indians. At this juncture, Nathaniel Bacon,
a patriotic young lawyer, rallied a company, defeated the Indians,
and then turned to meet the governor, who had denounced him as a
traitor. During the contest which followed, Berkeley was driven out
of Jamestown and the village itself burned.
[Illustration: The Ruins at Jamestown.]
[Footnote: Going up the James River, just before reaching City
Point, one sees on the right-hand bank the ruins of an old church.
The crumbling tower, with its arched doorways, is almost hidden by
the profusion of shrubbery which surrounds it. Its moss covered
walls, entwined with ivy planted by loving hands which have since
crumbled into dust, look desolately out upon the old churchyard at
its back. Here, pushing aside the rank vines and tangled bushes
which conceal them, one finds a few weather--beaten tombstones A
huge buttomwood tree, taking root below, has burst apart one of
these old slabs and now, with its many fellows spreads its lofty
branches high over the solitary dead. And this is all that remains
of that Jamestown whose struggles we have here recorded.]
In the midst of this success, Bacon died. No leader could be found
worthy to take his place, and the people dispersed. Berkeley
revenged himself with terrible severity. On hearing of the facts,
Charles II. impatiently declared, "He has taken more lives in that
naked country than I did for the murder of my father."
* * * * *
THE PLYMOUTH COMPANY made several attempts to explore North
Virginia. Captain John Smith, already so famous in South Virginia,
examined the coast from Penobscot to Cape Cod, drew a map of it,
and called the country NEW ENGLAND. The company, stirred to action
by his glowing accounts, obtained a new patent (1620) under the
name of the Council for New England. This authorized them to make
settlements and laws, and to carry on trade through a region
reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and comprising over a
million square miles. New England, however, was settled with no
consent of king or council.
SETTLEMENT.--_Landing of the Pilgrims._--One stormy day in the
fall of 1620, the Mayflower, with a band of a hundred pilgrims,
came to anchor in Cape Cod harbor. The little company, gathering in
the cabin, drew up a compact, in which they agreed to enact just
and equal laws, which all should obey. One of their exploring
parties landed at Plymouth, as it was called on Smith's chart,
[Footnote: The exact number of the pilgrims was 102.]
[Footnote: This was Dec. 11, Old Style. In 1752, eleven days were
added to correct an error in the calendar, thus making this date
the 22d. Only 10 days, however, should have been allowed, and
therefore the correct date is the 21st, New Style.]
Finding the location suitable for a settlement, they all came
ashore, and amid a storm of snow and sleet commenced building their
[Footnote: They were called _Pilgrims_ because of their wanderings.
About seventy years before this time the state religion of England had
been changed from Catholic to Protestant; but a large number of the
clergy and people were dissatisfied with what they thought to be a
half-way policy on the part of the new church, and called for a more
complete purification from old observances and doctrines. For this,
they were called Puritans. They still believed in a state church, that
is, that the _nation_ of England was the _church_ of England; and that
the queen, as the head of both, could appoint church officers and
prescribe the form of religious worship. They, however, wanted a
change, and desired the government to make it to suit them. The
government not only refused, but punished the Puritan clergy for not
using the prescribed form of worship. This led some of them to
question the authority of the government in religious matters. They
came to believe that any body of Christians might declare themselves a
church, choose their own officers, and be independent of all
external authority. When they began to form these local churches,
they separated themselves from the Church of England, and for this
reason are called Separatists and Independents. One of these
churches of Separatists was at Scrooby, in the east of England. Not
being allowed to worship in peace, they fled to Holland (1608),
where they lived twelve years. But evil influences surrounded their
children, and they longed for a land where they might worship God
in their own way and save their families from worldly follies.
America offered such a home. They came, resolved to brave every
danger, trusting to God to shape their destinies.]
[Footnote: The little shallop sent out to reconnoitre before
landing, lost, in a furious storm, its rudder, mast, and sail. Late
at night, the party sought shelter under the lee of a small island.
They spent the next day in cleaning their rusty weapons and drying
their wet garments. Every hour was precious, as the season was late
and their companions in the Mayflower were waiting their return;
but "being ye last day of ye week, they prepared there to keepe ye
Sabbath." No wonder that the influence of such a people has been
felt throughout the country, and that "Forefathers' Rock," on which
they first stepped, is yet held in grateful remembrance.]
THE CHARACTER of the Pilgrim settlers was well suited to the
rugged, stormy land which they sought to subdue. They had come into
the wilderness with their families in search of a home where they
could educate their children and worship God as they pleased. They
were earnest, sober-minded men, actuated in all things by deep
religious principle, and never disloyal to their convictions of
THEIR SUFFERINGS during the winter were severe. At one time there
were only seven well persons to take care of the sick. Half of the
little band died. Yet when spring came, not one of the company
thought of returning to England.
THE INDIANS, fortunately, did not disturb them. A pestilence had
destroyed the tribe inhabiting the place where they landed. They
were startled, however, one day in early spring by a voice in their
village crying in broken English, "Welcome!" It was the salutation
of Sam'-o-set, an Indian whose chief, Mas-sa-suit, soon after
visited them. The treaty then made lasted for fifty years.
Ca-non'-i-cus, a Narraganset chief, once sent a bundle of arrows,
wrapped in a rattlesnake skin, as a token of defiance. Governor
Bradford returned the skin filled with powder and shot. This
significant hint was effectual.
[Illustration: WELCOME--PLYMOUTH, 1621]
The progress of the Colony was slow. Their harvests were
insufficient to feed themselves and the new-comers. During the
"famine of 1623," the best dish they could set before their friends
was a bit of fish and a cup of water.
[Footnote: As an illustration of their pious content it is said
that Elder Brewster was wont over a meal consisting only of clams
to return thanks to God who "had given them to suck the abundance
of the seas, and of the treasures hid in the sands."]
After four years they numbered only 184. The plan of working in
common having failed here as at Jamestown, land was assigned to
each settler. Abundance ensued. The colony was never organized by
royal charter; therefore they elected their own governor, and made
their own laws. In 1692, Plymouth was united with Massachusetts Bay
colony, under the name of Massachusetts.
MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY.
SETTLEMENT.--John Endicott and five associates having obtained a
grant of land about Massachusetts Bay, secured (1628) a royal
charter giving authority to make laws and govern the territory.
This company afterward transferred all their rights to the colony.
It was a popular measure, and many prominent Puritan families
flocked to this land of liberty. Some gathered around Governor
Endicott, who had already started Salem and Charlestown, some
established colonies at Dorchester and Watertown, and one thousand
under Governor Winthrop founded Boston (1630).
RELIGIOUS DISTURBANCES.--The people of Massachusetts Bay, while in
England, were Puritans, but not Separatists. Having come to America
to establish a Puritan Church, they were unwilling to receive
persons holding opinions differing from their own, lest their
purpose should be defeated. They accordingly sent back to England
those who persisted in using the forms of the Established Church,
and allowed only members of their own church to vote in civil
_Roger Williams_, an eloquent and pious young minister, taught
that each person should think for himself in all religious matters,
and be responsible to his own conscience alone. He declared that
the magistrates had, therefore, no right to punish blasphemy,
perjury, or Sabbath-breaking. The clergy and magistrates were
alarmed at what they considered a doctrine dangerous to the peace
of the colony, and he was ordered (1635) to be sent to England. It
was in the depth of winter, yet he fled to the forest and found
refuge among the Indians. The next year, Canonicus, the Narraganset
sachem, gave him land to found a settlement, which he gratefully
_Mrs. Anne Hutchinson_, during the same year, aroused a violent and
bitter controversy. She claimed to be favored with special revelations
of God's will. These she expounded to crowded congregations of women,
greatly to the scandal of the clergy and people. Finally she also was
_The Quakers_, about twenty years after these summary measures,
created fresh trouble by their peculiar views. They were fined,
whipped, imprisoned, and sent out of the colony; yet they as
constantly returned, glorying in their sufferings. At last four
were executed. The people beginning to consider them as martyrs,
the persecution gradually relaxed.
A UNION OF THE COLONIES of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven,
and Connecticut, was formed (1643) under the title of THE UNITED
COLONIES OF NEW ENGLAND. This was a famous league in colonial
times. The object was a common protection against the Indians and
the encroachments of the Dutch and French settlers.
KING PHILIP'S WAR.--During the life of Massasuit, Plymouth enjoyed
peace with the Indians, as did Jamestown during that of Powhatan.
After Massasoit's death, his son, Philip, brooded with a jealous
eye over the encroachments of the whites. With profound sagacity,
he planned a confederation of the Indian tribes against the
intruders. The first blow fell on the people of Swansea as they
were quietly going home from church on Sunday (July 14, 1675). The
settlers flew to arms, but Philip escaped, and soon excited the
savages to fall upon the settlements high up the Connecticut
[Footnote: At Hadley the Indians surprised the people on Fast day,
June 12,1676. Seizing their muskets at the sound of the savage
war-whoop, the men rushed out of the meeting-house to fall into
line. But the foe was on every side. Confused and bewildered, the
settlers seemed about to give way, when suddenly a strange old man
with long white beard and ancient garb appeared among them. Ringing
out a quick, sharp word of command, he recalled them to their
senses. Following their mysterious leader, they drove the enemy
headlong before them. The danger passed, they looked around for
their deliverer. But he had disappeared as mysteriously as he had
come. The good people believed that God had sent an angel to their
rescue. But history reveals the secret. It was the regicide Colonel
Goffe. Fleeing from the vengeance of Charles II, with a price set
upon his head he had for years wandered about, living in mills,
clefts of rocks, and forest caves. At last he had found an asylum
with the Hadley minister. From his window he had seen the stealthy
Indians coming down the hill. Fired with desire to do one more good
deed for God's people, he rushed from his hiding-place, led them on
to victory, and then returned to his retreat, never more to
reappear.--One learns with regret that recent research throws great
doubt over the truth of this thrilling story. It is curious to
notice also that there is no proof that Philip possessed any
eloquence or was even present in any fight, though all these
statements have hitherto been made by reliable historians.]
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