A School History of the United States
John Bach McMaster
Part 2 out of 10
3. The Algonquian group, which occupied the rest of what is now the
United States east of the Mississippi, besides the larger part of
Canada. In this group were the Mohegans, Pequots, and Narragansetts of
New England; the Delawares; the Powhatans of Virginia; the Shawnees of
the Ohio valley, and many others living around the Great Lakes.
[Illustration: Flint Hatchet]
%61. Weapons and Implements and Clothing.%--All of these tribes had
made some progress towards civilization. They used pottery and
ornamental pipes of clay. They raised beans and squashes, pumpkins,
tobacco, and maize, or Indian corn, which they ground to meal by rubbing
between two stones. For hunting they had bows, arrows with stone heads,
hatchets of flint, and spears. In summer they went almost naked. In
winter they wore clothing made from the skins of fur-bearing animals and
the hides of buffalo and deer. For navigating streams and rivers, lakes
and bays, they constructed canoes of birch bark sewed together with
thongs of deerskin and smeared at the joints with spruce-tree gum.
%62. Traits of Character.%--Living an outdoor life, and depending for
daily food not so much on the maize they raised as on the fish they
caught and the animals they killed, the Indians were most expert
woodsmen. They were swift of foot, quick-witted, keen-sighted, and most
patient of hunger, fatigue, and cold. White men were amazed at the
rapidity with which the Indian followed the most obscure trail over the
most difficult ground, at the perfection with which he imitated the bark
of the wolf, the hoot of the owl, the call of the moose, and at the
catlike tread with which he walked over beds of autumn leaves the side
of the grazing deer.
[Illustration: Ornamental pipe]
[Illustration: Quiver, with bows and arrows]
Courage and fortitude he possessed in the highest degree. Yet with his
bravery were associated all the vices, all the dark and crooked ways,
which are the resort of the cowardly and the weak. He was treacherous,
revengeful, and cruel beyond description. Much as he loved war (and war
was his chief occupation), the fair and open fight had no charm for him.
To his mind it was madness to take the scalp of an enemy at the risk of
his own, when he might waylay him in an ambush or shoot him with an
arrow from behind a tree. He was never so happy as when, at the dead of
night, he roused his sleeping victims with an unearthly yell and
massacred them by the light of their burning home.
%63. The French and the Indians.%--The ways in which French and
English colonists acted towards the Indian are highly characteristic,
and account for much in our history.
From the day when Champlain, in 1609, joined his Huron-Algonquin
neighbors and went with them on the warpath against the Iroquois, the
French held to the policy of making friends with the Indians. No pains
were spared to win them to the cause of France. They were flattered,
petted, treated with ceremonial respect, and became the companions, as
the women often became the wives, of the Frenchmen. Much was expected of
this mingling of races. It was supposed that the Indian would be won
over to civilization and Christianity. But the Frenchmen were won over
to the Indians, and adopted Indian ways of life. They lived in wigwams,
wore Indian dress, decorated their long hair with eagle feathers, and
made their faces hideous with vermilion, ocher, and soot.
%64. Coureurs de Bois.%--There soon grew up in this way a class of
half-civilized vagrants, who ranged the woods in true Indian style, and
gained a living by guiding the canoes of fur traders along the rivers
and lakes of the interior. Stimulated by the profits of the fur trade,
these men pushed their traffic to the most distant tribes, spreading
French guns, French hatchets, beads, cloth, tobacco and brandy, and
French influence over the whole Northwest. Where the trader and the
_coureur de bois_ went, the priest and the soldier followed, and soon
mission houses and forts were established at all the chief passes and
places suited to control the Indian trade.
%65. The English and the Indians.%--How, meantime, did the English
act toward the Indians? In the first place, nothing led them to form
close relationship with the tribes. The fur trade--the source of
Canadian prosperity--and the zeal of priests eager for the conversion of
the heathen, which sent the traders, the _coureurs de bois_, and the
priests from tribe to tribe and from the Atlantic halfway to the
Pacific, did not appeal to the English colonists. Farming and commerce
were the sources of their wealth. Their priests and missionaries were
content to labor with the Indians near at hand.
In the second place, the policy of the French towards the Indians, while
founded on trade, was directed by one central government. The policy of
the English was directed by each colony, and was of as many kinds as
there were colonies. No English frontier exhibited such a mingling of
white men and red as was common wherever the French went. Among the
English there were fur traders, but no _coureurs de bois_. Scorn on the
one side and hatred on the other generally marked the intercourse
between the English and the Indians. One bright exception must indeed be
made. Penn was a broad-minded lover of his kind, a man of most
enlightened views on government and human rights; and in the colony
planted by him there was made a serious effort to treat the Indian as an
equal. But the day came when men not of his faith dealt with the Indians
in true English fashion.
Remembering this difference of treatment, we shall the better understand
how it happened that the French could sprinkle the West with little
posts far from Quebec and surrounded by the fiercest of tribes, while
the English could only with difficulty defend their frontier.
[Footnote 1: A fine account of the Indians, and the French and English
ways of treating them, is given in Parkman's _Conspiracy of Pontiac_,
Vol. I., pp. 16-25, 41-45, 46-56, 64-80.]
%66. Early Indian Wars.%--Again and again this frontier was attacked.
In 1636 the Pequots, who dwelt along the Thames River in Connecticut,
made war on the settlers in the Connecticut River valley towns. Men were
waylaid and scalped, or taken prisoners and burned at the stake.
Determined to put an end to this, ninety men from the Connecticut towns,
with twenty from Massachusetts and some Mohegan Indians, in 1637 marched
against the marauders. They found the Pequots within a circular stockade
near the present town of Stonington, where of 400 warriors all save five
%67. King Philip's War.%--During nearly forty years not a tribe in
all New England dared rise against the white men. But in 1675 trouble
began again. The settlers were steadily crowding the Indians off their
lands. No lands were taken without payment, yet the sales were far from
being voluntary. A new generation of Indians, too, had grown up, and,
heedless of the lesson taught their fathers, the Narragansetts,
Nipmucks, and Wampanoags, led by King Philip and Canonchet, rose upon
the English. A dreadful war followed. When it ended, in 1678, the three
tribes were annihilated. Hardly any Indians save the friendly Mohawks
were left in New England. But of ninety English towns, forty had been
the scene of fire and slaughter, and twelve had been destroyed utterly.
%68. The Iroquois.%--Elsewhere on the frontier a happier relation
existed with the Indians. The Iroquois of central New York were the
fiercest and most warlike Indians of the Atlantic coast. But the fight
with Champlain, in 1609, by turning them into implacable enemies of the
French, had rendered them all the more tolerant of the Dutch and the
English, while their complete conquest and subjugation of the Delawares,
or Lenni Lenape, prepared the way for the easy settlement of New Jersey
%69. Penn and the Lenni Lenape.%--These Indians were Algonquian, and
lived along the Delaware River and its tributaries. But early in the
seventeenth century they had been reduced to vassalage by the Five
Nations, had been forbidden to carry arms, and had been forced to take
the name of Women.
[Footnote 1: Read Parkman's _Conspiracy of Pontiac_, Vol. I., pp. 30-32,
When the Dutch and Swedes began their settlements on the South River,
and when Penn, in 1683, made a treaty with the Delawares, the settlers
had to deal with peaceful Indians. No horrid wars mark the early history
%70. The Powhatans in Virginia.%--Much the same may be said of the
Virginia tribes. They were far from friendly, and had they been as
fierce and warlike as the northern tribes, neither the skill of John
Smith, nor the marriage of Pocahontas (the daughter of Powhatan) with
John Rolfe, nor fear of the English muskets, would have saved Jamestown.
[Illustration: Powhatan Indians at work]
[Footnote 1: From a model.]
On the other hand, the destruction of the tribes in New England and the
feud between the French and the Iroquois saved New England. For the time
had now come for the opening of the long struggle between the French and
the English for the ownership of the continent.
1. The inhabitants of the New World at the time of its discovery, by
mistake called Indians, were barbarians, lived in rude, frail houses,
and used weapons and implements inferior to those of the whites.
2. The Indian tribes of eastern North America are mostly divided into
three great groups: Muskhogean, Iroquoian, and Algonquian.
3. In general, the French made the Indians their friends, while the
English drove them westward and treated them as an inferior race.
[Illustration: THE BRITISH COLONIES AND EUROPEAN POSSESSIONS 1733]
THE STRUGGLE FOR NEW FRANCE AND LOUISIANA
%71. Louisiana, or the Mississippi Basin.%--The landing of La Salle
on the coast of Texas, and the building of Fort St. Louis of Texas, gave
the French a claim to the coast as far southward as a point halfway
between the fort and the nearest Spanish settlement, in Mexico. At that
point was the Rio Grande, a good natural boundary. On the French maps,
therefore, Louisiana extended from the Rocky Mountains and the Rio
Grande on the west, to the Alleghany Mountains on the east, and from the
Gulf of Mexico on the south, to New France on the north. This confined
the English colonies to a narrow strip between the Alleghany Mountains
and the Atlantic Ocean. As the colonies were growing in population, and
as the charters of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and Carolina
gave them great stretches of territory in the Mississippi valley, it was
inevitable that, sooner or later, a bitter contest for possession of the
country should take place between the French and the English in America.
The contest began in 1689, and ended in 1763, and may easily be divided
into two periods: 1. That from 1689 to 1748, when the struggle was for
Acadia and New France. 2. That from 1754 to 1763, when the struggle was
not only for New France, but for Louisiana also.
%72. The Struggle for Acadia and New France; "King William's
War."%--In 1688-89 there was a revolution in England, in the course
of which James II. was driven from his throne, and William and Mary, his
nephew and daughter, were seated on it. James took refuge in France, and
when Louis XIV. attempted to restore him, a great European war
followed, and of course the colonists of the two countries were very
soon fighting each other. As the quarrel did not arise on this side of
the ocean, the English colonists called it "King William's War"; but on
our continent it was really the beginning of a long struggle to
determine whether France or England should rule North America.
The French recognized this at once, and sent over a very able
soldier--Count Frontenac--with orders to conquer New York; but the
colony was saved by the Iroquois, who in the summer of 1689 began a war
of their own against the French, laid siege to Montreal, and roasted
French captives under its walls. Frontenac was compelled to put off his
attack till 1690, when in the dead of winter a band of French and
Indians burned Schenectady, N.Y. Salmon Falls in New Hampshire was next
laid waste (1690), and Fort Loyal, where Portland, Me., is, was taken
and destroyed. A little later Exeter, N.H., was attacked. The boldness
and suddenness of these fearful massacres so alarmed the people exposed
to them that in May, 1690, delegates from Massachusetts, Plymouth,
Connecticut, and New York met at New York city to devise a plan of
attack on the French. Now, at the opening of the war, there were three
French strongholds in America. These were Montreal and Quebec in Canada,
and Port Royal in Acadia. In 1690 a Massachusetts fleet led by Sir
William Phips destroyed Port Royal. It was decided, therefore, to send
another fleet under Phips to take Quebec, while troops from New York and
Connecticut marched against Montreal. Both expeditions were failures,
and for seven years the French and Indians ravaged the frontier. In 1692
York, in Maine, was visited and a third of the inhabitants killed. In
1694 Castine was taken and a hundred persons scalped and tomahawked. At
Durham, in New Hampshire, prisoners were burned alive. Groton, in
Massachusetts, was next visited; but the boldest of all was the
massacre, in 1697, at Haverhill, a town not thirty-five miles from
Boston. In 1696, Frontenac, at the head of a great array of Canadians,
_coureurs de bois_, and Indians, invaded the country of the Onondagas,
and leveled their fortified town to the earth.
[Illustration: MAP OF PART OF ACADIA]
%73. The Struggle for Acadia and New France; "Queen Anne's War."%--In
1697 the war ended with the treaty of Ryswick, and "King William's War"
came to a close in America with nothing gained and much lost on each
side. The peace, however, did not last long, for in 1701 England and
France were again fighting. As William died in 1702, and was succeeded
by his sister-in-law Anne, the struggle which followed in America was
called "Queen Anne's War." Again Port Royal was captured (1710); again
an expedition went against Quebec and failed (1711); and again, year
after year, the French and Indians swept along the frontier of New
England, burning towns and slaughtering and torturing the inhabitants.
At last the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, ended the strife, and the first
signs of English conquest in America were visible, for the French gave
up Acadia and acknowledged the claims of the English to Newfoundland and
the country around Hudson Bay. The name Acadia was changed by the
conquerors to Nova Scotia. Port Royal, never again to be parted with,
they called Annapolis, in honor of the Queen.
[Footnote 1: Read Parkman's _A Half-century of Conflict_, Vol. I., pp.
%74. The French take Possession of the Mississippi Valley; the Chain of
Forts.%--The peace made at Utrecht was unbroken for thirty years. But
this long period was, on the part of the French in America, at least, a
time of careful preparation for the coming struggle for possession of
the valleys of the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Lakes. In the
Mississippi valley most elaborate preparations for defense were already
under way. No sooner did the treaty of Ryswick end the first French war
than a young naval officer named Iberville applied to the King for leave
to take out an expedition and found a colony at the mouth of the
Mississippi, just as La Salle had attempted to do. Permission was
readily given, and in 1698 Iberville sailed with two ships from France,
and in February, 1699, entered Mobile Bay. Leaving his fleet at anchor,
he set off with a party in small boats in search of the great river. He
coasted along the shore, entered the Mississippi through one of its
three mouths, and went up the river till he came to an Indian village,
where the chief gave him a letter which Tonty, thirteen years before,
when in search of La Salle, had written and left in the crotch of
Iberville now knew that he was on the Mississippi; but having seen no
spot along its low banks suitable for the site of a city, he went back
and led his colony to Biloxi Bay, and there settled it. Thus when the
eighteenth century opened there were in all Louisiana but two French
settlements--that founded on the Illinois River by La Salle, and that
begun by Iberville at Biloxi. But the occupation of Louisiana was now
the established policy of France, and hardly a year went by without one
or more forts appearing somewhere in the valley. Before 1725 came,
Mobile Bay was occupied, New Orleans was founded, and Forts Rosalie,
Toulouse, Tombeckbee, Natchitoches, Assumption, and Chartres were
erected. Along the Lakes, Detroit had been founded, Niagara was built in
1726, and in 1731 a band of Frenchmen, entering New York, put up
[Footnote 1: Parkman's _A Half-century of Conflict_, Vol. I., pp.
288-314. For the French posts see map on pp. 74, 75.]
The meaning of this chain of forts stretching from New Orleans and
Mobile to Lake Champlain and Montreal, was that the French were
determined to shut the English out of the valley of the Mississippi, and
to keep them away from the shores of the Great Lakes. But they were also
determined at the first chance to reconquer Annapolis and Nova Scotia,
which they had lost by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. As a very
important step towards the accomplishment of this purpose, the French
selected a harbor on the southeast coast of Cape Breton Island, and
there built Louisburg, a fortress so strong that the French officers
boasted that it could be defended by a garrison of women.
%75. The Struggle for New France; "King George's War."%--Such was the
situation in America when (in March, 1744) France declared war on
England and began what in Europe was called the "War of the Austrian
Succession"; but in our country it was known as "King George's War,"
because George II. was then King of England. The French, with their
usual promptness, rushed down and burned the little English post of
Canso, in Nova Scotia, carried off the garrison, and attacked Annapolis,
where they were driven off. That Nova Scotia could be saved, seemed
hopeless. Nevertheless, Governor Shirley of Massachusetts determined to
make the attempt, and that the King might know the exact situation he
sent to London, with a dispatch, an officer named Captain Ryal, who had
been taken prisoner at Canso and afterwards released on parole.
[Footnote 2: The reception of that officer well illustrates the gross
ignorance of America and American affairs which then existed in England.
When the Duke of Newcastle, who was prime minister, read the dispatch,
he exclaimed: "Oh, yes--yes--to be sure. Annapolis must be
defended--troops must be sent to Annapolis. Pray where is Annapolis?
Cape Breton an island! Wonderful! Show it me on the map. So it is, sure
enough. My dear sir [to Captain Ryal], you always bring us good news. I
must go and tell the King that Cape Breton is an island."]
Although Shirley applied to the King for help with which to defend Nova
Scotia, he knew full well that the burden of defense would fall on the
colonies. And with that determination and persistence which always
brings success he labored hard to persuade New Hampshire, Connecticut,
and Rhode Island to join with Massachusetts in an effort to capture
Louisburg. It would be delightful to tell how he overcame all
difficulties; how the young men rallied on the call for troops; how at
the end of March, 1745, 4000 of them in a hundred transports and
accompanied by fourteen armed ships set sail, followed by the prayers of
all New England, and after a siege of six weeks took the fortress on the
17th of June, 1745. But the story is too long. It is enough to know
that the victory was hailed with delight on both sides of the Atlantic,
but that when peace came, in 1748, the British government was still so
blind to the struggle for North America which had been going on for
fifty years, that Louisburg was restored to the French.
[Footnote 1: Read Samuel Adams Drake's _Taking of Louisburg_; Parkman's
_A Half-century of Conflict_, Vol. II., pp. 78-161.]
%76. The French on the Allegheny River; the Buried Plates.%--With
Louisburg back in their possession and no territory lost, the French
went on more vigorously than ever with their preparations to shut the
British out of the Mississippi valley; and as but one highway to the
valley, the Ohio River, was still unguarded, the governor of Canada, in
1749, dispatched Celoron de Bienville with a band of men in twenty-three
birch-bark canoes to take formal possession of the valley. Paddling up
the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, they carried their canoes across to
Lake Erie, and, skirting the southeastern shore, they landed and crossed
to Chautauqua Lake, down which and its outlet they floated to the
Allegheny River. Once on the Allegheny, the ceremony of taking
possession began. The men were drawn up, and Louis XV. was proclaimed
king of all the region drained by the Ohio. The arms of France stamped
on a sheet of tin were nailed to a tree, at the foot of which a lead
plate was buried in the ground. On the plate was an inscription claiming
the Ohio, and all the streams that run into it, in the name of the King
[Illustration: Half of one of the lead plates]
[Footnote 1: Now owned by the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester,
* * * * *
TRANSLATION OF THE ENTIRE INSCRIPTION
In the year 1749, during the reign of Louis XV., King of France, we,
Celeron, commander of a detachment sent by the Marquis de la
Gallissoniere, commander in chief of New France, to restore tranquillity
in some savage villages of these districts, have buried this plate at
the confluence of the Ohio and ... this ... near the river Ohio, alias
Beautiful River, as a monument of our having retaken possession of the
said river Ohio and of those that fall into the same, and of all the
lands on both sides as far as the sources of the said rivers, as well as
of those of which preceding kings have enjoyed possession, partly by the
force of arms, partly by treaties, especially by those of Ryswick,
Utrecht, and Aix-la-Chapelle.
* * * * *
A second plate was buried below the mouth of French Creek; a third near
the mouth of Wheeling Creek; and a fourth at the mouth of the Muskingum,
where half a century later it was found protruding from the river bank
by a party of boys while bathing. Yet another was unearthed at the mouth
of the Great Kanawha by a freshet, and was likewise found by a boy while
playing at the water's edge. The last plate was hidden where the Great
Miami joins the Ohio; and this done, Celoron crossed Ohio to Lake Erie
and went back to Montreal.
[Footnote 1: Read T. J. Chapman's _The French in the Allegheny Valley_,
pp. 9-23, 187-197; Parkman's _Montcalm and Wolfe_, Vol. I., pp. 36-62;
Winsor's _The Mississippi Basin_, pp. 252-255.]
%77. The French build Forts on the Allegheny.%--This formal taking
possession of the valleys of the Allegheny and the Ohio was all well
enough in its way; but the French knew that if they really intended to
keep out the British they must depend on forts and troops, and not on
lead plates. To convince the French King of this, required time; so that
it was not till 1752 that orders were given to fortify the route taken
by Celoron in 1749. The party charged with this duty repaired to the
little peninsula where is now the city of Erie, and there built a log
fort which they called Presque Isle. Having done this, they cut a road
twenty miles long, to the site of Waterford, Pa., and built Fort Le
Boeuf, and later one at Venango, the present site of the town
%78. Washington's First Public Service.%--The arrival of the French
in western Pennsylvania alarmed and excited no one so much as Governor
Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia. He had two good reasons for his
excitement. In the first place, Virginia, because of the interpretation
she placed on her charter of 1609, claimed to own the Allegheny valley
(see p. 33). In the second place, the governor and a number of Virginia
planters were deeply interested in a great land company called the Ohio
Company, to which the King of England had given 500,000 acres lying
along the Ohio River between the Monongahela and the Kanawha rivers, a
region which the French claimed, and toward which they were moving.
As soon, therefore, as Dinwiddie heard that the French were really
building forts in the upper Allegheny valley, he determined to make a
formal demand for their withdrawal, and chose as his messenger George
Washington, then a young man of twenty-one, and adjutant general of the
Washington's instructions bade him go to Logstown, on the Ohio, find out
all he could as to the whereabouts of the French, and then proceed to
the commanding officer, deliver the letter of Dinwiddie, and demand an
answer. He was especially charged to ascertain how many French forts had
been erected, how many soldiers there were in each, how far apart the
posts were, and if they were to be supported from Quebec.
[Footnote 1: Read T.J. Chapman's _The, French in the Allegheny Valley_,
pp. 23-47; Parkman's _Montcalm and Wolfe_, Vol. I., pp. 128-161; Lodge's
_George Washington_, pp. 62-69.]
With that promptness which distinguished him during his whole life,
Washington set out on his perilous journey the very day he received his
instructions, and made his way first to Logstown, and then to Fort Le
Boeuf, where he delivered Governor Dinwiddie's letter to the French
commandant. The reply of Saint-Pierre--for that was the name of the
French commandant--was that he would send the letter of Dinwiddie to the
governor of Canada, the Marquis Duquesne (doo-kan'), and that, in the
meantime, he would hold the fort.
[Illustration: The French and the English Forts]
%79. Fort Duquesne.%--When Dinwiddie read the answer of Saint-Pierre,
he saw clearly that the time had come to act. The French were in force
on the upper Allegheny. Unless something was done to drive them out,
they would soon be at the forks of the Ohio, and once they were there,
the splendid tract of the Ohio Company would be lost forever. Without a
moment's delay he decided to take possession of the forks of the Ohio,
and raised two companies of militia of 100 men each. A trader named
William Trent was in command of one of the companies, and that no time
should be lost, he, with forty men, hurried forward, and, February 17,
1754, drove the first stake of a stockade that was to surround a fort on
the site of the city of Pittsburg. While the English were still at work
on their fort, April 17, 1754, a body of French and Indians came down
from Le Boeuf, and bade them leave the valley. Trent was away, and the
working party was in command of an ensign named Ward, who, as resistance
was useless, surrendered, and was allowed to march off with his men. The
French then finished the fort Trent had begun, and called it Fort
Duquesne, after the governor of Canada.
%80. "Join or Die."%--Meantime the legislature of Virginia voted
L10,000 for the defense of the Ohio valley, and promised a land bounty
to every man who would volunteer to fight the French and Indians. Joshua
Frye was made colonel, and Washington lieutenant colonel of the troops
thus to be raised. As some time must elapse before the ranks could be
filled, Washington took seventy-five men and (in March, 1754) set off to
help Trent; but he had not gone far on his way when Ensign Ward met him
(where Cumberland, Md., now is) and told him all about the surrender.
Accounts of the affair were at once sent to the governors of Maryland,
Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
[Illustration: JOIN, or DIE.]
In publishing one of these in the _Pennsylvania Gazette_, Franklin
inserted the above picture at the top of the account.
[Footnote 1: There is an old superstition, then very generally believed,
that if one cuts a snake in pieces and allows the pieces to touch, the
snake will not die, but will live and become whole again. By this
picture Franklin meant that unless the colonies joined for defense
against the French they would die; that is, be conquered.]
%81. Albany Plan of Union.%--The picture was apt for the following
reason. The Lords of Trade in London had ordered the colonies to send
delegates to Albany to make a treaty with the Iroquois Indians, and to
this congress Franklin purposed to submit a plan for union against the
French. The plan drawn up by the congress was not approved by the
colonies, so the scheme of union came to naught.
%82. Washington's Expedition.%--Meanwhile great events were happening
in the west. When Washington met Ensign Ward at Cumberland and heard the
story of the surrender, he was at a loss just what to do; but knowing
that he was expected to do something, he decided to go to a storehouse
which the Ohio Company had built at the mouth of a stream called
Redstone Creek in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pushing along, cutting as
he went the first road that ever led down to the valley of the
Mississippi from the Atlantic slope, he reached a narrow glade called
the Great Meadows and there began to put up a breastwork which he named
Fort Necessity. While so engaged news came that the French were near.
Washington thereupon took a few men, and, coming suddenly on the French,
killed or captured them all save one. Among the dead was Jumonville, the
leader of the party. Well satisfied with this exploit, Washington pushed
on with his entire force towards the Ohio. But, hearing that the French
were advancing, he fell back to Fort Necessity, and there awaited them.
He did not wait long; for the French and Indians came down in great
force, and on July 4, 1754, forced him, after a brave resistance, to
surrender. He was allowed to march out with drums beating and flags
[Footnote 1: Lodge's _George Washington_, pp. 69-74; Winsor's _The
Mississippi Basin_, pp. 294-315.]
%83. The French and Indian War.%--Thus was begun what the colonists
called the French and Indian War, but what was really a struggle
between the French and the British for the possession of America.
Knowing it to be such, both sides made great preparations for the
contest. The French stood on the defensive. The British made the attack,
and early in 1755 sent over one of their ablest officers, Major General
Edward Braddock, to be commander in chief in America. He summoned the
colonial governors to meet him at Alexandria, Va., where a plan for a
campaign was agreed on.
%84. Plan for the War.%--Vast stretches of dense and almost
impenetrable forest then separated the colonies of the two nations, but
through this forest were three natural highways of communication: 1.
Lake George, Lake Champlain, and the St. Lawrence River. 2. The Hudson,
the Mohawk, Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River. 3. The Potomac to Fort
Cumberland, and through the forest to Fort Duquesne.
It was decided, therefore, to have four expeditions.
1. One was to go north from New York to Lake Champlain, take the French
fort at Crown Point, and move against Quebec.
2. Another was to sail from New England and make such a demonstration
against the French towns to the northeast, as would prevent the French
in that quarter going off to defend Quebec and Crown Point.
3. The third was to start from Albany, go up the Mohawk, and down the
Oswego River to Lake Ontario, and along its shores to the Niagara River.
4. The fourth was to go from Fort Cumberland across Pennsylvania to Fort
%85. Braddock's Defeat, July 9, 1755.%--Braddock took command of this
last expedition and made Washington one of his aids. For a while he
found it impossible to move his army, for in Virginia horses and wagons
were very scarce, and without them he could not carry his baggage or
drag his cannon. At last Benjamin Franklin, then deputy
postmaster-general of the colonies, persuaded the farmers of
Pennsylvania, who had plenty, to rent the wagons and horses to
All this took time, so that it was June before the army left Fort
Cumberland and literally began to cut its way through the woods to Fort
Duquesne. The march was slow, but all went well till the troops had
crossed the Monongahela River and were but eight miles from the fort,
when suddenly the advance guard came face to face with an army of
Indians and French. The Indians and French instantly hid in the bushes
and behind trees, and poured an incessant fire into the ranks of the
British. They, too, would gladly have fought in Indian fashion. But
Braddock thought this cowardly and would not allow them to get behind
trees, so they stood huddled in groups, a fine mark for the Indians,
till so many were killed that a retreat had to be ordered. Then they
fled, and had it not been for Washington and his Virginians, who covered
their flight, they would probably have been killed to a man.
[Footnote 1: Read Parkman's _Montcalm and Wolfe_, Vol. I., Chap. 7, pp.
162-187; T.J. Chapman's _The French in the Allegheny Valley_, pp. 60-72;
Sargeant's _History of Braddock's Expedition_.]
Braddock was wounded just as the retreat began, and died a few days
%86. The Other Expeditions.%--The expedition against Niagara was a
failure. The officer in command did not take his army further than
Oswego on Lake Ontario.
The expedition against Crown Point was partially successful, and a
stubborn battle was fought and a victory won over the French on the
shores of that beautiful sheet of water which the English ever after
called Lake George in honor of the King.
%87. War declared.%--Up to this time all the fighting had been done
along the frontier in America. But in May, 1756, Great Britain formally
declared war against France. The French at once sent over Montcalm,
the very ablest Frenchman that ever commanded on this continent, and
there followed two years of warfare disastrous to the British. Montcalm
took and burned Oswego, won over the Indians to the cause of France, and
was about to send a strong fleet to attack New England, when, toward the
end of 1757, William Pitt was made virtually (though not in name) Prime
Minister of England.
[Footnote 1: Read Parkman's _Montcalm and Wolfe_, Vol. I., pp. 318-380.]
William Pitt was one of the greatest Englishmen that ever lived. He
could see exactly what to do, and he could pick out exactly the right
man to do it. No wonder, then, that as soon as he came into power the
British began to gain victories.
%88. The Victories of 1758.%--Once more the French were attacked at
their three vulnerable points, and this time with success. In 1758
Louisburg surrendered to Amherst and Boscawen. In that same year
Washington captured Fort Duquesne, which, in honor of the great Prime
Minister, was called Fort Pitt. A provincial officer named Bradstreet
destroyed Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario. This was a heavy blow to the
French; for with Fort Frontenac gone and Fort Duquesne in English hands,
the Ohio was cut off from Quebec.
An attack on Ticonderoga, however, was repulsed by Montcalm with
dreadful loss to the English.
%89. The Victories of 1759; Wolfe.%--But the defeat was only
temporary. At the siege of Louisburg a young officer named James Wolfe
had greatly distinguished himself, and in return for this was selected
by Pitt to command an expedition to Quebec. The previous attempts to
reach that city had been by way of Lake George. The expedition of Wolfe
sailed up the St. Lawrence, and landed below the city.
Quebec stands on the summit of a high hill with precipitous sides, and
was then the most strongly fortified city in America. To take it seemed
almost impossible. But the resolution of Wolfe overcame every obstacle:
on the night of September 12, 1759, he led his troops to the foot of the
cliff, climbed the heights, and early in the morning had his army drawn
up in battle array on the Plains of Abraham, as the plateau behind the
city was called. There a great battle was fought between the French, led
by Montcalm, and the British, led by Wolfe. The British triumphed, and
Quebec fell; but Wolfe and Montcalm were among the dead.
[Footnote 1: Parkman's _Montcalm and Wolfe_, Chaps. 25-27; A. Wright's
_Life of Wolfe;_ Sloan's _French War and the Revolution_, Chaps. 6-9.]
[Illustration: European Possessions 1763]
Ticonderoga and Crown Point had been captured a few weeks before.
Montreal was taken in 1760, and the long struggle between the French and
the English in America ended in the defeat of the French. The war
dragged on in Europe till 1763, when peace was made at Paris.
%90. France driven out of America.%--With all the details of the
treaty we are not concerned. It is enough for us to know that France
divided her possessions on this continent between Great Britain and
Spain. To Great Britain she gave Canada and Cape Breton, and all the
islands save two in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Entering what is now the
United States, she drew a line down the middle of the Mississippi River
from its source to a point just north of New Orleans. To Great Britain
she surrendered all her territory east of this line. To Spain she gave
all her possessions to the west of this line, together with the city of
New Orleans. But Great Britain, during the war, had taken Havana from
Spain. To get this back, Spain now gave up Florida in exchange.
At the end of the war with France, Great Britain thus found herself in
possession of Canada and all that part of the United States which lies
between the Atlantic and the Mississippi, the little strip at the mouth
of the river alone excepted.
We have now come to the time when the third European power was driven
from our country. The first was Sweden when New Sweden was captured by
the Dutch. The second was Holland when New Netherland was captured by
the English. The third was France.
1. The struggle for the French possessions in America may be divided
into two periods: A. That from 1689 to 1748, when the contest was for
Acadia and New France. B. That from 1754 to 1763, when the struggle was
for Louisiana as well as New France.
2. The first war, "King William's," was indecisive, but the second,
"Queen Anne's," ended (1713) in the transfer of Acadia to England.
3. After the treaty of Utrecht, 1713, the French began seriously to take
possession of the Mississippi valley, and began a chain of forts to
stretch from New Orleans and Mobile to Montreal.
4. "King George's War" interrupted this work for a few years
(1744-1748), but in 1749 Celeron was sent to bury plates in the valleys
of the Allegheny and Ohio and claim them in the name of France.
5. The next step after claiming the valleys was to take armed
possession, and in 1752 the French began to build forts.
6. This alarmed the governor of Virginia, who sent Washington to bid the
French leave the Allegheny valley. When they refused, troops were sent
to build a fort on the site of what is now Pittsburg; but these men,
under Trent and Ward, were driven away, as were also the reinforcements
under Washington (1764).
7. Braddock (with Washington) was next sent against the French, who had
built Fort Duquesne. He was surprised by the Indians (July 9, 1755),
defeated, and killed.
8. The "French and Indian War" thus opened was fought with varying
success till 1760, when the British held Quebec, Montreal, Fort
Duquesne, and all the other French strongholds in America. In 1763 peace
was made, and nearly all the French possessions east of the Mississippi
River were surrendered to the British.
* * * * *
THE FRENCH DRIVEN FROM AMERICA:
THE STRUGGLE FOR NEW FRANCE AND ACADIA:
King William's War:
1690. Sir W. Phips takes Port Royal.
Sir W. Phips attacks Quebec.
1690-1697. The New York and New England frontier ravaged by the
French and Indians.
1697. Peace of Ryswick. Port Royal given back to the French.
Queen Anne's War. Acadia lost to the French:
1702-1713. Frontier of New England ravaged.
1710. Port Royal again taken.
1711. Quebec again attacked.
1713. Peace of Utrecht. Acadia held by the English.
King George's War:
1744. French attack Canso and Annapolis (Port Royal).
1745. Louisburg (Cape Breton Island) taken.
1748. Louisburg given back to the French.
THE STRUGGLE FOR NEW FRANCE AND LOUISIANA.
Occupation of Louisiana:
1699. The French at the mouth of the Mississippi.
1701. The occupation of the valley begun.
1701-1748. The chain of forts joining New Orleans and Montreal.
1749. The French on the Allegheny. Celeron's expedition. The buried
1753. The French fortify the Allegheny valley.
The French and Indian War:
1754-1763. The struggle for final possession.
1758. The capture of Louisburg.
1759. The capture of Quebec.
1760. The capture of Montreal.
1763. The French abandon America.
LIFE IN THE COLONIES IN 1763
%91. Things unknown in 1763.%--Had a traveler landed on our shores in
1763 and made a journey through the English colonies in America, he
would have seen a country utterly unlike the United States of to-day.
The entire population, white man and black, freeman and slave, was not
so great as that of New York or Philadelphia or Chicago in our time. If
we were to write a list of all the things we now consider as real
necessaries of daily life and mark off those unknown to the men of 1763,
not one quarter would remain. No man in the country had ever seen a
stove, or a furnace, or a friction match, or an envelope, or a piece of
mineral coal. From the farmer we should have to take the reaper, the
drill, the mowing machine, and every kind of improved rake and plow, and
give him back the scythe, the cradle, and the flail. From our houses
would go the sewing machine, the daily newspaper, gas, running water;
and from our tables, the tomato, the cauliflower, the eggplant, and many
varieties of summer fruits. We should have to destroy every railroad,
every steamboat, every factory and mill, pull down every line of
telegraph, silence every telephone, put out every electric light, and
tear up every telegraphic cable from the beds of innumerable rivers and
seas. We should have to take ether and chloroform from the surgeon, and
galvanized iron and India rubber from the arts, and give up every sort
of machine moved by steam.
[Illustration: Lamp and sadiron]
[Illustration: Postrider (Footnote: From an old print, 1760)]
%92. State of the Arts, Sciences, and Industry.%--The appliances left
on the list, because in some form they were known to the men of 1763,
would now be thought crude and clumsy. There were printing presses in
those days,--perhaps fifty in all the colonies. But they were small,
were worked by hand, and were so slow that the most expert pressman
using one of them could not have printed so much in three working days
as a modern steam press can run off in five minutes. There was a general
post, and Benjamin Franklin was deputy postmaster-general for the
northern district of the colonies. But the letters were carried thirty
miles a day by postriders on horseback, and there were never more than
three mails a week between even the great towns. Every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday a postrider left New York city for Philadelphia.
Every Monday and Thursday another left New York for Boston. Once each
week a rider left for Albany on his way to Quebec. On the first
Wednesday of each month a packet boat sailed from New York for Falmouth,
England, with the mail, and this was the only mail between Great Britain
and her American colonies. We put electricity to a thousand uses; but in
1763 it was a scientific toy. Franklin had just proved by his experiment
with the kite that lightning and electricity were one and the same, and
several other men were amusing themselves and their hearers by ringing
bells, exploding powder, and making colored sparks. But it was put to no
other use. If we take up a daily newspaper published in one of our great
cities and read the column of wants, we find in them twenty occupations
now giving a comfortable living to millions of men. Yet not one of these
twenty existed in 1763. The district messenger, the telegraph operator,
the typewriter, the stenographer, the bookkeeper, the canvasser, the
salesman, the commercial traveler, the engineer, the car driver, the
hackman, the conductor, the gripman, the brakeman, the electrician, the
lineman, the elevator boy, and a host of others, follow trades and
occupations which had no existence in the middle of the
Run away, the 23d of this Instant _January_, from _Silas Crispin_
of _Burlington_, Taylor, a Servant Man named _Joseph Morris, _by
Trade a Taylor, aged about 22 Years, of a middle Stature, swarthy
Complexion, light gray Eyes, his Hair clipp'd off, mark'd with
a large pit of the Small Pox on one Cheek near his Eye, had on
when he went away a good Felt Hat, a yelowish Drugget Coat with
Pleits behind, an old Ozenbrigs Vest, two Ozenbrigs Shirts, a pair
of Leather Breeches handsomely worm'd and flower'd up the Knees,
yarn Stockings and good round toe'd Shoes. Took with him a large
pair of Sheers crack'd in one of the Bows & mark'd with the Word
[_Savoy_]. Whoever takes up the said Servant, and secures him so
that his Matter may have him again, shall have _Three Pounds_
Reward besides reasonable Charges, paid by me _Silas Griffin._
From a Philadelphia newspaper
%93. Labor.%--On the other hand, if we take up a newspaper of that
day and read the advertisements, we find that a great deal of what
existed then does not exist now. The newspapers were published in a few
of the large towns, and appeared not every day, but once a week. In the
largest of them would be from seventy-five to eighty advertisements,
setting forth that such a merchant had just received from England or the
West Indies a stock of new goods which he would sell for cash; that the
_Charming Nancy_ would sail in a few weeks for Londonderry in Ireland,
or for Barbados, or for Amsterdam in Holland, and wanted a cargo; that a
tract of land or a plantation would be sold "at vendue," or, as we say,
at auction; that a reward of five pistoles would be paid for the arrest
of "a lusty negroe man" or an "indented servant" or an "apprentice lad,"
who had run away from his owner or master. Very rarely is a call made
for a mechanic or a workman of any sort.
[Illustration: From a Philadelphia newspaper]
The reason for this was two fold. In the first place, negro slavery
existed in all the thirteen colonies. In the second place, there were
thousands of whites in many of the colonies in a state of temporary
servitude, which was sometimes voluntary and sometimes involuntary.
Those who served against their will were convicts and felons, not only
men and women who had been guilty of stealing, cheating, and the like,
but also forgers, counterfeiters, and murderers, who were transported by
thousands from the English prisons to the colonies and sold into slavery
or service for seven or fourteen years. Advertisements are extant in
which the masters from whom such servants have run away warn the people
to beware of them.
[Footnote 1: One act of Parliament, for instance, provided that persons
sentenced to be whipped or branded might, if they wished, escape the
punishment by serving seven years in the colonies, and never returning
to England. Another allowed convicts sentenced to death to commute the
sentence by serving fourteen years.]
But all "indented" or bond servants were not criminals. Many were
reputable persons who sold themselves into service for a term of years
in return for transportation to America. Others, generally boys and
young women, had been kidnaped and sold by the persons who stole them.
%94. Indentured Servants.%--In the case of such as came voluntarily,
carefully drawn agreements called indentures would be made in writing.
The captain of the ship would agree to bring the emigrant to America.
The emigrant would agree in return to serve the captain three or five
years. When the ship reached port, the captain would advertise the fact
that he had carpenters, tailors, farmers, shoemakers, etc., for sale,
and whoever wanted such labor would go on board the ship and for perhaps
fifty dollars buy a man bound to serve him for several years in return
for food, clothes, and lodging. Not only men, but also women and
children, were sold in this way, and were known as "indented servants,"
or "redemptioners," because they redeemed their time of service with
labor. Their lot seems to have been a hard one; for the young men were
constantly running away, and the newspapers are full of advertisements
offering rewards for their arrest.
What we call the workingman, the day laborer, the mechanic, the mill
hand, had no existence as classes. The great corporations, railroads,
express companies, mills, factories of every sort, which now cover our
land and give employment to five times as many men and women as lived in
all the colonies in 1763, are the creatures of our own time.
[Illustration: Wigs and wig bag]
[Illustration: Flax wheel]
%95. No Manufacturers.%--For this state of things England was largely
to blame. For one hundred years past every kind of manufacture that
could compete with the manufactures of the mother country had been
crushed by law. In order to help her iron makers, she forbade the
colonists to set up iron furnaces and slitting mills. That her cloth
manufacturers might flourish, she forbade the colonists to send their
woolen goods to any country whatever, or even from one colony to
another. Under this law it was a crime to knit a pair of mittens or a
pair of socks and send them from Boston to Providence or from New York
to Newark, or from Philadelphia across the Delaware to New Jersey. In
the interest of English hatters the colonists were not allowed to send
hats to any foreign country, nor from one colony to another, and a
serious effort was made to prevent the manufacture of hats in America.
People in this country were obliged to wear English-made hats. Taking
the country through, every saw, every ax, every hammer, every needle,
pin, tack, piece of tape, and a hundred other articles of daily use came
from Great Britain.
Every farmhouse, however, was a little factory, and every farmer a
jack-of-all-trades. He and his sons made their own shoes, beat out nails
and spikes, hinges, and every sort of ironmongery, and constructed much
of the household furniture. The wife and her daughters manufactured the
clothing, from dressing the flax and carding the wool to cutting the
cloth; knit the mittens and socks; and during the winter made straw
bonnets to sell in the towns in the spring.
Even in such towns as were large enough to support a few artisans, each
made, with the help of an apprentice, and perhaps a journeyman, all the
articles he sold.
[Illustration: Hand loom]
%96. The Cities.%--If we take a map of our country and run over the
great cities of to-day, we find that except along the seacoast hardly
one existed, in 1765, even in name. Detroit was a little French
settlement surrounded with a high stockade. New Orleans existed, and St.
Louis had just been founded, but they both belonged to Spain. Mobile and
Pensacola and Natchez and Vincennes consisted of a few huts gathered
about old French forts. There was no city, no town worthy of the name,
in the English colonies west of the Alleghany Mountains. Along the
Atlantic coast we find Portsmouth, Boston, Providence, New Haven, New
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Alexandria, Williamsburg, Charleston,
Savannah, and others of less note. But the largest of these were mere
collections of a few hundred houses ranged along streets, none of which
were sewered and few of which were paved or lighted. The watchman went
his rounds at night with rattle and lantern, called out the hours and
the state of the weather, and stopped and demanded the name of every
person found walking the streets after nine o'clock. To travel on Sunday
was a serious and punishable offense, as it was on any day to smoke in
the streets, or run from house to house with hot coals, which in those
days, when there were no matches, were often used instead of flint and
steel to light fires.
[Footnote 1: From an old loom in the National Museum, Washington.]
[Illustration: Colonial mansion in Charleston]
Travel between the large towns was almost entirely by sailing vessel, or
on horseback. The first stagecoach-and-four in New England began its
trips in 1744. The first stage between New York and Philadelphia was not
set up till 1756, and spent three days on the road.
%97. The Three Groups of Colonies.%--It has always been usual to
arrange the colonies in three groups: 1. The Eastern or New England
Colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut).
2. The Middle Colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and
Delaware). 3. The Southern Colonies (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina, and Georgia). Now, this arrangement is good not only
from a geographical point of view, but also because the people, the
customs, the manners, the occupations, in each of these groups were very
unlike the people and the ways of living in the others.
[Illustration: New England mansion]
%98. Occupations in New England.%--In New England the colonists were
almost entirely English, though there were some Scotch, some
Scotch-Irish, a few Huguenot refugees from France, and, in Rhode Island,
a few Portuguese Jews. As the climate and soil did not admit of raising
any great staple, such as rice or tobacco, the people "took to the sea."
They cut down trees, with which the land was covered, built ships, and
sailed away to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland for cod, and to the
whale fisheries for oil. They went to the English, Dutch, and Spanish
West Indian Islands, with flour, salt meat, horses, oxen; with salted
salmon, cod, and mackerel; with staves for barrels; with onions and
salted oysters. In return, they came back with sugar, molasses, cotton,
wool, logwood, and Spanish dollars with which the New England Colonies
paid for the goods they took from England. They went to Spain, where
their ships were often sold, the captains chartering English vessels and
coming home with cargoes of goods made in England. Six hundred ships are
said to have been employed in the foreign trade of Boston, and more than
a thousand in the fisheries and the trade along the coast.
[Illustration: Dutch House at Albany]
[Footnote 1: From an old print.]
Farming, outside of Connecticut, yielded little more than a bare
subsistence. Manufactures in general were forbidden by English law.
Paper and hats were made in small quantities, leather was tanned, lumber
was sawed, and rum was distilled from molasses; but it was on homemade
manufactures that the people depended.
%99. Occupations in the Middle Colonies.%--In the Middle Colonies the
population was a mixture of people from many European countries. The
line of little villages which began at the west end of Long Island and
stretched up the Hudson to Albany, and out the Mohawk to
Schenectady---the settled part of New York--contained Englishmen,
Irishmen, Dutchmen, French Huguenots, Germans from the Rhine countries,
and negroes from Africa. The chief occupations of those people were
farming, making flour, and carrying on an extensive commerce with
England, Spain, and the West Indian Islands.
[Illustration: Shoes worn by Palatines in Pennsylvania]
In New Jersey the population was almost entirely English, but in
Pennsylvania it was as mixed as in New York. Around Philadelphia the
English predominated, but with them were mingled Swedes, Dutch, Welsh,
Germans, and Scotch-Irish. Taken together, the Germans and the
Scotch-Irish far outnumbered the English, and made up the mass of the
population between the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna rivers. Both were
self-willed and stubborn, and they were utterly unable to get along
together peaceably, so that their settlements ran across the state in
two parallel bands, in one of which whole regions could be found in
which not a word of English was spoken. Indeed, then, and long after the
nineteenth century began, the laws of Pennsylvania were printed both in
English and in German. The chief occupation of the people was farming;
and it is safe to say that no such farms, no such cattle, no such grain,
flour, provisions, could be found in any other part of the country.
Lumber, too, was cut and sold in great quantities; and along the
frontier there was a lively fur trade with the Indians. At Philadelphia
was centered a fine trade with Europe and the West Indies. Had it not
been for the action of the mother country, manufactures would have
flourished greatly; even as it was, iron and paper were manufactured in
%100. Occupations in the Southern Colonies.%--South of Pennsylvania,
and especially south of the Potomac River, lay a region utterly unlike
anything to the north of it. In Virginia, there were no cities, no large
towns, no centers of population. At an early day in the history of the
colony the legislature had attempted to remedy this, and had ordered
towns to be built at certain places, had made them the only ports where
ships from abroad could be entered, had established tobacco warehouses
in them, had offered special privileges to tradesmen who would settle in
them, and had provided that each should have a market and a fair. But
the success was small, and Fredericksburg and Alexandria and Petersburg
were straggling villages. Jamestown, the old capital, had by this time
ceased to exist. Williamsburg, the new capital, was a village of 200
houses. There was no business, no incentive in Virginia to build towns.
The planters owned immense plantations along the river banks, and raised
tobacco, which, when gathered, cured, and packed into hogsheads, was
rolled away to the nearest wharf for inspection and shipment to London.
In those early days, when good roads were unknown and wagons few, shafts
were attached to each hogshead by iron bolts driven into the heads, and
the cask was thus turned into a huge roller. With each year's crop would
go a long list of articles of every sort,--hardware, glass, crockery,
clothing, furniture, household utensils, wines,--which the agent was
instructed to buy with the proceeds of the tobacco and send back to the
planter when the ships came a year later for another crop. The country
abounded in trees, yet tables, chairs, boxes, cart wheels, bowls, birch
brooms, all came from the mother country. The wood used for building
houses was actually cut, sent to England as logs to be dressed, and then
taken back to Virginia for use.
[Illustration: Tobacco rolling]
[Footnote 1: From a model in the National Museum, Washington.]
Maryland was in the same condition. Her people raised tobacco, and with
it bought their clothing, household goods, brass and copper wares, and
iron utensils in Great Britain.
In South Carolina rice was the great staple, just as tobacco was the
staple of Virginia, and there too were large plantations and no towns.
All the social, commercial, legal, and political life of the colony
centered in Charleston, from which a direct trade was carried on
[Illustration: %An old Maryland manor house%]
Labor on the plantations of Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia was
performed exclusively by negro slaves and redemptioners.
%101. Civil Government in the English Colonies.%--If we arrange the
colonies according to the kind of civil government in each, we find that
they fall into three classes:
1. The charter colonies (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island).
2. The proprietary colonies (Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland).
3. The royal, or provincial, colonies (New Hampshire, New York, New
Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia).
The charters of the first group were written contracts between the King
and the colonists, defined the share each should have in the government,
and were not to be changed without the consent of both parties. In
colonies of the second group some individual, called the proprietary,
was granted a great tract of land by the King, and, under a royal
charter, was given power to sell the land to settlers, establish
government, and appoint the governors of his colony. In the third group,
the King appointed the governors and instructed them as to the way in
which he wished his colonies to be ruled.
With these differences, all the colonies had the same form of
government. In each there was a legislature elected by the people; in
each the right to vote was limited to men who owned land, paid taxes,
had a certain yearly income, and were members of some Christian church.
The legislature consisted of two branches: the lower house, to which the
people elected delegates; and the upper house, or council, appointed by
the governor. These legislatures could do many things, but their powers
were limited and their acts were subject to review: 1. They could do
nothing contrary to the laws of England. 2. Whatever they did could be
vetoed by the governors, and no bill could be passed over the veto. 3.
All laws passed by a colonial legislature (except in the case of
Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland), and approved by a governor,
must even then be sent to England to be examined by the King in Council,
and could be "disallowed" or vetoed by the King at any time within three
years. This power was used so constantly that the colonial legislatures,
in time, would pass laws to run for two years, and when that time
expired would reenact them for two years more, and so on in order to
avoid the veto. In this way the colonists became used to three political
institutions which were afterwards embodied in what is now the American
system of state and national government: 1. The written constitution
defining the powers of government. 2. The exercise of the veto power by
the governor. 3. The setting aside of laws by a judicial body from whose
decision there is no appeal.
%102. The Colonial Governors.%--The governor of a royal province was
the personal representative of the King, and as such had vast power.
The legislature could meet only when he called it. He could at any
moment prorogue it (that is, command it to adjourn to a certain day) or
dissolve it, and, if the King approved, he need never call it together
again. He was the chief justice of the highest colonial court, he
appointed all the judges, and, as commander in chief of the militia,
appointed all important officers. Yet even he was subject to some
control, for his salary was paid by the colony over which he ruled, and,
by refusing to pay this salary, the legislature could, and over and over
again did, force him to approve acts he would not otherwise have
sanctioned. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the people elected the
governors. This right once existed also in Massachusetts; but when the
old charter was swept away in 1684, and replaced by a new one in 1691,
the King was given power to appoint the governor, who could summon,
dissolve, and prorogue the legislature at his pleasure.
%103. Lords of Trade and Plantations.%--That the King should give
personal attention to all the details of government in his colonies in
America, was not to be expected. In 1696, therefore, a body called the
Lords of the Board of Trade and Plantations was commissioned by the King
to do this work for him. These Lords of Trade corresponded with the
governors, made recommendations, bade them carry out this or that
policy, veto this or that class of laws, examined all the laws sent over
by the legislatures, and advised the King as to which should be
disallowed, or vetoed.
In the early years of our colonial history the Parliament of England had
no share in the direction of colonial affairs. It was the King who owned
all the land, made all the grants, gave all the charters, created all
the colonies, governed many of them, and stoutly denied the right of
Parliament to meddle. But when Charles I. was beheaded, the Long
Parliament took charge of the management of affairs in this country, and
although much of it went back to the King at the Restoration in 1660,
Parliament still continued to legislate for the colonies in a few
matters. Thus, for instance, Parliament by one act established the
postal service, and fixed the rates of postage; by another it regulated
the currency, and by another required the colonists to change from the
Old Style to the New Style--that is, to stop using the Julian calendar
and to count time in future by the Gregorian calendar; by another it
established a uniform law of naturalization; and from time to time it
passed acts for the purpose of regulating colonial trade.
%104. Acts of Trade and Navigation.%--The number of these acts is
very large; but their purpose was four fold:
1. They required that colonial trade should be carried on in ships built
and owned in England or in the colonies, and manned to the extent of two
thirds of the crew by English subjects.
2. They provided a long list of colonial products that should not be
sent to any foreign ports other than a port of England. Goods or
products not in the list might be sent to any other part of the world.
Thus tobacco, sugar, indigo, copper, furs, rice (if the rice was for a
port north of Cape Finisterre), must go to England; but lumber, salt
fish, and provisions might go (in English or colonial ships) to France,
or Spain, or to other foreign countries.
3. When trade began to spring up between the colonies, and the New
England merchants were competing in the colonial markets with English
merchants, an act was passed providing that if a product which went from
one colony to another was of a kind that might have been supplied from
England, it must either go to the mother country and then to the
purchasing colony, or pay an export duty at the port where it was
shipped, equal to the import duty it would have to pay in England.
4. No goods were allowed to be carried from any place in Europe to
America unless they were first landed at a port in England.
[Footnote 1: Edward Eggleston's papers in the _Century Magazine_, 1884;
Scudder's _Men and Manners One Hundred Years Ago_; Lodge's _English
1. The men who began the long struggle for the rights of Englishmen
lived in a state of society very different from ours, and were utterly
ignorant of most of the commonest things we use in daily life.
2. Labor was performed by slaves, by criminals sent over to the colonies
and sold, and by "indented servants," or "redemptioners."
3. Manufactures were forbidden by the laws of trade. Nobody was
permitted to manufacture iron beyond the state of pig or bar iron, or
make woolen goods for export, or make hats.
4. Taking the colonies in geographical groups, the Eastern were engaged
in fishing, in commerce, and in farming; the Middle Colonies were
agricultural and commercial; the Southern were wholly agricultural, and
raised two great, staples--rice and tobacco.
5. As a consequence, town life existed in the Eastern and Middle
Colonies, and was little known in the South, particularly in Virginia.
6. Over the colonies, as a great governing body to aid the King, were
the Lords of Trade and Plantations in London. Under them in America were
the royal and proprietary governors, who with the local colonial
legislatures managed the affairs of the colonies.
LIFE IN THE COLONIES IN 1763.
_Social and Industrial Condition_.
Implements and inventions unknown.
The printing press.
The postal service.
Trades and occupations then unknown.
}The "indented servant."
No manufactures. }Iron making
Acts of trade regulating. }Cloth making.
The cities. }Hat making.
The Navigation Acts.
State of agriculture.
The charter colonies.
The proprietary colonies.
The royal colonies.
The colonial governor.
The Lords of Trade and Plantations.
"LIBERTY, PROPERTY, AND NO STAMPS"
%105. The New Provinces.%--The acquisition of Canada and the
Mississippi valley made it necessary for England to provide for their
defense and government. To do this she began by establishing three new
In Canada she marked out the province of Quebec, part of the south
boundary of which is now the north boundary of New York, Vermont, New
Hampshire, and Maine.
In the South, out of the territory given by Spain, she made two
provinces, East and West Florida. The north boundary of West Florida was
(1764) a parallel of latitude through the junction of the Yazoo and
Mississippi rivers. The north boundary of East Florida was part of the
boundary of the present state. The territory between the Altamaha and
the St. Marys rivers was "annexed to Georgia."
%106. The Proclamation Line.%--By the same proclamation which
established these provinces, a line was drawn around the head waters of
all the rivers in the United States which flow into the Atlantic Ocean,
and the colonists were forbidden to settle to the west of it. All the
valley from the Great Lakes to West Florida, and from the proclamation
line to the Mississippi, was set apart for the Indians.
%107. The Country to be defended.%--Having thus provided for the
government of the newly acquired territory, it next became necessary to
provide for its defense; for nobody doubted that both France and Spain
would some day attempt to regain their lost possessions. Arrangements
were therefore made to bring over an army of 10,000 regular troops,
scatter them over the country from Canada to Florida, and maintain
them partly at the expense of the colonies and partly at the expense of
[Illustration: THE BRITISH COLONIES IN 1764]
The share to be paid by the colonies was to be raised
1. By enforcing the old trade and navigation laws.
2. By a tax on sugar and molasses brought into the country.
3. By a stamp tax.
%108. Trial without Jury.%--In order to enforce the old laws, naval
vessels were sent to sail up and down the coast and catch smugglers.
Offenders when seized were to be tried in some vice-admiralty court,
where they could not have trial by jury.
[Footnote 1: This is one of the things complained of in the Declaration
%109. The Sugar Act and Stamp Tax.%--The Sugar Act was not a new
grievance. In 1733 Parliament laid a tax of 6_d_. a gallon on molasses
and 5_s_. per hundredweight on sugar brought into this country from any
other place than the British West Indies. This was to force the
colonists to buy their sugar and molasses from nobody but British sugar
planters. After having expired five times and been five times reenacted,
the Sugar Act expired for the sixth time in 1763, and the colonies
begged that it might not be renewed. But Parliament merely reduced the
molasses duty to 3_d_. and laid new duties on coffee, French and East
Indian goods, indigo, white sugar, and Spanish and Portuguese wines. It
then resolved that "for further defraying the expense of protecting the
colonists it would be necessary to charge certain stamp duties in the
At that time, 1764, no such thing as an internal tax laid by Parliament
for the purpose of raising revenue existed, or ever had existed, in
America. Money for the use of the King had always been raised by taxes
imposed by the legislatures of the colonies. The moment, therefore, the
people heard that this money was to be raised in future by parliamentary
taxation, they became much alarmed, and the legislatures instructed
their business agents in London to protest.
This the agents did in February, 1765. But Grenville, the Prime
Minister, was not to be persuaded, and on March 22, 1765, Parliament
passed the Stamp Act.
[Footnote 1: The exact text of the Stamp Act has been reprinted in
_American History Leaflets_, No. 21. For an excellent account of the
causes and consequences of the Stamp Act, read Lecky's _England in the
Eighteenth Century_, Vol. III., Chap. 12; Frothingham's _Rise of the
Republic of the United States_, Chap. 5; Channing's _The United States
of America, 1765-1865_, pp. 41-50.]
%110. The Stamp Distributors.%--That the collection of the new duty
might give as little offense to the colonists as possible, Grenville
desired that the stamps and the stamped paper should be sold by
Americans, and invited the agents of the colonies to name men to be
"stamp distributors" in their colonies. The law was to go into effect on
the 1st of November, 1765. After that day every piece of vellum, every
piece of paper, on which was written any legal document for use in any
court, was to be charged with a stamp duty of from three pence to ten
pounds sterling. After that day, every license, bond, deed, warrant,
bill of lading, indenture, every pamphlet, almanac, newspaper, pack of
cards, must be written or printed on stamped paper to be made in England
and sold at prices fixed by law. If any dispute arose under the law, the
case might be tried in the vice-admiralty courts without a jury.
[Footnote: The stamps were not the adhesive kind we are now accustomed
to fasten on letters. Those used for newspapers and pamphlets and
printed documents consisted of a crown surmounting a circle in which
were the words, "One Penny Sheet" or "Nine Pence per Quire," and were
stamped on each sheet in red ink by a hand stamp not unlike those used
at the present day to cancel stamps on letters. Others, used on vellum
and parchment, consisted of a square piece of blue paper, glued on the
parchment, and fastened by a little piece of brass. A design was then
impressed on the blue paper by means of a little machine like that used
by magistrates and notaries public to impress their seals on legal
documents. When this was done, the parchment was turned over, and a
little piece of white paper was pasted on the back of the stamp. On this
white piece was engraved, in black, the design shown in the second
picture on p. 113, the monogram "G. R." meaning Georgius Rex, or
[Illustration: Stamps used in 1765]
The money raised by this tax was not to be taken to England, but was to
be spent in America for the defense of the colonies. Nevertheless, the
colonists were determined that none should be raised. The question was
not, Shall America support an army? but, Shall Parliament tax America?
%111. The Virginia Resolutions.%--In opposition to this, Virginia now
led the way with a set of resolutions. In the House of Burgesses, as the
popular branch of her legislature was called, was Patrick Henry, the
greatest orator in the colonies. By dint of his fiery words, he forced
through a set of resolutions setting forth
1. That the first settlers in Virginia brought with them "all the
privileges and immunities that have at any time been held" by "the
people of Great Britain."
2. That their descendants held these rights.
3. That by two royal charters the people of Virginia had been declared
entitled to all the rights of Englishmen "born within the realm
4. That one of these rights was that of being taxed "by their own
5. That they were not bound to obey any law taxing them without consent
of their Assembly.
[Footnote 1: These resolutions, printed in full from Henry's manuscript
copy, are in Channing's _The United States of America, 1765-1865, _pp.
51, 52. They were passed May 29, 1765.]
Massachusetts followed with a call for a congress to meet at New York
%112. Stamp-act Congress.%--To the congress thus called came
delegates from all the colonies except New Hampshire, Virginia, North
Carolina, and Georgia. The session began at New York, on the 5th of
October, 1765; and after sitting in secret for twenty days, the
delegates from six of the nine colonies present (Massachusetts, New
York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland) signed a
"Declaration of Rights and Grievances." 
[Footnote 1: This declaration is printed in full in Preston's _Documents
Illustrative of American History_, pp. 188-191.]
%113. Declaration of Rights.%--The ground taken in the declaration
1. That the Americans were subjects of the British crown.
2. That it was the natural right of a British subject to pay no taxes
unless he had a voice in laying them.
3. That the Americans were not represented in Parliament.
4. That Parliament, therefore, could not tax them, and that an attempt
to do so was an attack on the rights of Englishmen and the liberty of
%114. Grievances.%--The grievances complained of were: 1. Taxation
without representation. 2. Trial without jury (in the vice-admiralty
courts). 3. The Sugar Act. 4. The Stamp Act. 5. Restrictions on trade.
%115. The English View of Representation.%--We, in this country, do
not consider a person represented in a legislature unless he can cast a
vote for a member of that legislature. In Great Britain, not individuals
but classes were represented. Thus, the clergy were represented by the
bishops who sat in the House of Lords; the nobility, by the nobles who
had seats in the House of Lords; and the mass of the people, the
commons, by the members of the House of Commons. At that time, very few
Englishmen could vote for a member of the House of Commons. Great cities
like Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, did not send even one member. When
the colonists held that they were not represented in Parliament because
they did not elect any members of that body, Englishmen answered that
they were represented, because they were commoners.
%116. Sons of Liberty.%--Meantime, the colonists had not been idle.
Taking the name of "Sons of Liberty," a name given to them in a speech
by a member of Parliament (named Barre) friendly to their cause, they
began to associate for resistance to the Stamp Act. At first, they were
content to demand that the stamp distributors named by the colonial
agents in London should resign. But when these officers refused, the
people became violent; and at Boston, Newark, N.J., New Haven, New
London, Conn., at Providence, at Newport, R.I., at Dover, N.H., at
Annapolis, Md., serious riots took place. Buildings were torn down, and
more than one unhappy distributor was dragged from his home, and forced
to stand before the people and shout, "Liberty, property, and
%117. November 1, 1765.%--As the 1st of November, the day on which
the Stamp Act was to go into force, approached, the newspapers appeared
decorated with death's-heads, black borders, coffins, and obituary
notices. The _Pennsylvania Journal_ dropped its usual heading, and in
place of it put an arch with a skull and crossbones underneath, and this
motto, "Expiring in the hopes of a resurrection to life again." In one
corner was a coffin, and the words, "The last remains of the
_Pennsylvania Journal_, which departed this life the 31st of October,
1765, of a stamp in her vitals. Aged 23 years." The _Pennsylvania
Gazette_, on November 7, the day of its first issue after the Stamp Act
became law, published a half sheet, printed on one side, without any
heading, and in its place the words, "No stamped paper to be had."
During the next six months, every scrap of stamped paper that was heard
of was hunted up and given to the flames. Thus, when a vessel from
Barbados, with a stamped newspaper published on that island, reached
Philadelphia, the paper was seized and burned, one evening, at the
coffeehouse, in the presence of a great crowd. A vessel having put in
from Halifax, a rumor spread that the captain had brought stamped paper
with him, and was going to use it for his Philadelphia clearance. This
so enraged the people that the vessel was searched, and a sheet of paper
with three stamps on it was found, and burned at the coffee-house.
%118. Non-importation Agreements.%--Meantime, the merchants in the
larger towns, and the people all over the country, had been making
written agreements not to import any goods from England for some
months to come.
The effect of this measure was immense. Not a merchant nor a
manufacturer in Great Britain, engaged in the colonial trade, but found
his American orders canceled and his goods left on his hands. Not a ship
returned from this country but carried back English wares which it had
brought here to sell, but for which no purchaser could be found.
%119. Stamp Act repealed.%--When Parliament met in December, 1765,
such a cry of distress came up from the manufacturing cities of England,
that Parliament was forced to yield, and in March, 1766, the Stamp Act
was repealed. In the outburst of joy which followed in America, the
intent and meaning of another act passed at the same time was little
heeded. In it was the declaration that Parliament did have the right to
tax the colonies "in all cases whatsoever."
%120. The Townshend Acts.%--If the people thought this declaration
had no meaning, they were much mistaken, for next year (1767) Parliament
passed what have since been called the Townshend Acts. There were three
of them. One forbade the legislature of New York to pass any more laws
till it had provided the royal troops in the city with beds, candles,
fire, vinegar, and salt, as required by what was called the Mutiny Act.
The second established at Boston a Board of Commissioners of the Customs
to enforce the laws relating to trade. The third laid taxes on glass,
red and white lead, painter's colors, paper, and tea. None of these
taxes was heavy. But again the right of Parliament to tax people not
represented in it had been asserted, and again the colonists rose in
resistance. The legislature of Massachusetts sent a letter to each of
the other colonial legislatures, urging them to unite and consult for
the protection of their rights. Pennsylvania sent protests to the King
and to Parliament. The merchants all over the country renewed their old
agreements not to import British goods, and many a shipload was sent
back to England.
%121. Colonial Legislatures dissolved.%--The letter of
Massachusetts to the colonial legislatures having given great offense to
the King, the governors were ordered to see to it that the legislatures
did not approve it. But the order came too late. Many had already done
so, and as a punishment the assemblies of Maryland and Georgia were
dismissed and the members sent home. To dissolve assemblies became of
frequent occurrence. The legislature of Massachusetts was dissolved
because it refused to recall the letter. That of New York was repeatedly
dissolved for refusing to provide the royal troops with provisions. That
of Virginia was dismissed for complaining of the treatment of New York.
[Footnote 1: One of the charges against the King in the Declaration of
%122. Boston Riot of 1770.%--And now the troops intended for the
defense of the colonies began to arrive. But Massachusetts, North
Carolina, and South Carolina followed the example of New York, and
refused to find them quarters. For this the legislature of North
Carolina was dissolved. Everywhere the presence of the soldiers gave
great offense; but in Boston the people were less patient than
elsewhere. They accused the soldiers of corrupting the morals of the
town; of desecrating the Sabbath with fife and drum; of striking
citizens who insulted them; and of using language violent, threatening,
and profane. In this state of feeling, an alarm of fire called the
people into the streets on the night of March 5, 1770. The alarm was
false, and a crowd of men and boys, having nothing to do, amused
themselves by annoying a sentinel on guard at one of the public
buildings. He called for help, and a corporal and six men were soon on
the scene. But the crowd would not give way. Forty or fifty men came
armed with sticks and pressed around the soldiers, shouting, "Rascals!
Lobsters! Bloody-backs!" throwing snowballs and occasionally a stone,
till in the excitement of the moment a soldier fired his gun. The rest
followed his example, and when the reports died away, five of the
rioters lay on the ground dead or dying, and six more dangerously
[Footnote 1: The soldiers were tried for murder and were defended by
John Adams and Josiah Quincy. Two were found guilty of manslaughter. The
rest were acquitted. On the massacre read Frothingham's _Life of
Warren,_ Chaps. 6, 7; Kidder's _The Boston Massacre_; Joseph Warren's
Oration on March 6, 1775, in _Library of American Literature_, Vol.
III., p. 256.]
This riot, this "Boston Massacre," or, as the colonists delighted to
call it, "the bloody massacre," excited and aroused the whole land,
forced the government to remove the soldiers from Boston to an island in
the bay, and did more than anything else which had yet happened, to help
on the Revolution.
%123. Tea sent to America and not received.%--While these things were
taking place in America--indeed, on the very day of the Boston riot--a
motion was made in Parliament for the repeal of all the taxes laid by
the Townshend Acts except that on tea. The tea tax of 3d. a pound,
payable in the colonies, was retained in order that the right of
Parliament to tax America might be vindicated. But the people held fast
to their agreements not to consume articles taxed by Great Britain. No
tea was drunk, save such as was smuggled from Holland, and at the end of
three years' time the East India Company had 17,000,000 pounds of tea
stored in its warehouses (1773). This was because the company was not
permitted to send tea out of England. It might only bring tea to London
and there sell it at public sale to merchants and shippers, who exported
it to America. But now when the merchants could not find anybody to buy
tea in the colonies, they bought less from the company, and the tea lay
stored in its warehouses. To relieve the company, and if possible tempt
the people to use the tea, the exportation tax was taken off and the
company was given leave to export tea to America consigned to
commissioners chosen by itself. Taking off the shilling a pound export
tax in England, and charging but 3d. import tax in America, made it
possible for the company to sell tea cheaper than could the merchants
who smuggled it. Yet even this failed. The people forced the tea
commissioners to resign or send the tea ships back to England. In
Charleston, S.C., the tea was landed and stored for three years, when it
was sold by South Carolina. In Philadelphia the people met, and having
voted that the tea should not be landed, they stopped the ship as it
came up the Delaware, and sent it back to London.
%124. The Boston Tea Party.%--At Boston also the people tried to send
the tea ships to England, but the authorities would not allow them to
leave, whereupon a band of young men disguised as Indians boarded the
vessels, broke open the boxes, and threw the tea into the water.
%125. The Five Intolerable Acts.%--When Parliament heard of these
events, it at once determined to punish Massachusetts, and in order to
do this passed five laws which were so severe that the colonists called
them the "Intolerable Acts." They are generally known as
1. The Boston Port Bill, which shut the port of Boston to trade and
commerce, forbade ships to come in or go out, and moved the customhouse
2. The Transportation Bill, which gave the governor power to send
anybody accused of murder in resisting the laws, to another colony or to
England for trial.
3. The Massachusetts Bill, which changed the old charter of
Massachusetts, provided for a military governor, and forbade the people
to hold public meetings for any other purpose than the election of town
officers, without permission from the governor.
4. The Quartering Act, which legalized the quartering of troops on the
5. The Quebec Act, which enlarged the province of Quebec (pp. 111, 124)
to include all the territory between the Great Lakes, the Ohio River,
the Mississippi River, and Pennsylvania. This territory was claimed by
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia under their "sea to sea"
charters (pp. 33, 46, 52, 156).
%126. A Congress called.%--When the Virginia legislature in May,
1774, heard of the passage of the Boston Port Bill, it passed a
resolution that the day on which the law went into effect in Boston
should be a day of "fasting, humiliation, and prayer" in Virginia. For
this the governor at once dissolved the legislature. But the members met
and instructed a committee to correspond with the other colonies on the
expediency of holding another general congress of delegates. All the
colonies approved, and New York requested Massachusetts to name the time
and place of meeting. This she did, selecting Philadelphia as the place,
and September 1, 1774, as the time.
%127. The First Continental Congress.%--From September 5 to October
26, accordingly, fifty-five delegates, representing every colony except
Georgia, held meetings in Carpenter's Hall at Philadelphia, and issued:
1. An address to the people of the colonies.
2. An address to the Canadians.
3. An address to the people of Great Britain.
4. An address to the King.
5. A declaration of rights.
%128. The Declaration of Rights.%--In this declaration the rights
of the colonists were asserted to be:
1. Life, liberty, and property.
2. To tax themselves.
3. To assemble peaceably to petition for the redress of grievances.
4. To enjoy the rights of Englishmen and all the rights granted by the
[Footnote 1: Printed in Preston's _Documents_, pp. 192-198. The best
account of the coming of the Revolution is Frothingham's _Rise of the
Republic of the United States,_ Chaps. 5-11.]
These rights it was declared had been violated:
1. By taxing the people without their consent.
2. By dissolving assemblies.
3. By quartering troops on the people in time of peace.
4. By trying men without a jury.
5. By passing the five Intolerable Acts.
Before the Congress adjourned it was ordered that another Congress
should meet on May 10, 1775, in order to take action on the result of
the petition to the King.
1. As soon as Great Britain acquired Canada and the eastern part of the
Mississippi valley from France, and Florida from Spain, she did
A. She established the provinces of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida,
and the Indian country.
B. She drew a line round the sources of all the rivers flowing into the
Atlantic from the west and northwest, and commanded the colonial
governors to grant no land and to allow no settlements to be made west
of this line.
C. She decided to send a standing or permanent army to America to take
possession of the new territory and defend the colonies.
2. A part of the cost of keeping up this army she decided to meet by
taxing the colonists. This she had never done before.
3. The chief tax was the stamp duty on paper, vellum, etc. This the
colonists refused to pay, and Parliament repealed it.
4. The colonists having denied the right of Parliament to tax them, that
body determined to establish its right and passed the "Townshend Acts."
But the colonists refused to buy British goods, and Parliament repealed
all the Townshend duties except that on tea.
5. As the Americans would not order tea from London, the East India
Company was allowed to send it. But the people in the five cities to
which the tea was sent destroyed it or sent it back.
6. Parliament thereupon attempted to punish Massachusetts and passed the
7. These acts led to the calling and the meeting of the First
Cape Breton. Florida
Louisiana east of
and cuts the new territory (1763) into
Province of Quebec,
and draws proclamation line
limiting colonies in the west.
New colonial policy necessary.
Country to be defended by 10,000 royal troops.
Cost of troops to be paid
Partly by crown. Partly by colonies.
Share of colonies to be raised by
Enforcing acts of trade and navigation.
Taxes on sugar and molasses.
Stamp tax (1765).
Resisted. Principle involved.
Action of Virginia and Massachusetts.
Stamp Act Congress.
Act repealed (1766).
Declaratory Act (1766).
--------------- / \
| | Glass. |
| | Red and white lead. |
--------------- | Painters' colors | Resisted and repealed (1770)
Townshend Acts | Paper. |
(1767). | Tea. /
Resistance / \
punished by | Five Intoler- | Continental
| able Acts. | Congress called(1774).
THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE
[Illustration: Statue of the Minute Man at Concord]
%129%. When the 10th of May, 1775, came, the colonists had ceased to
petition and had begun to fight. In accordance with the Massachusetts
Bill, General Thomas Gage had been appointed military governor of
Massachusetts. He reached Boston in May, 1774, and summoned an assembly
to meet him at Salem in October. But, alarmed at the angry state of the
people, he fortified Boston Neck,--the only land approach to the city,
and countermanded the meeting. The members, claiming that an assembly
could not be dismissed before it met, gave no heed to the proclamation,
but gathered at Salem and adjourned to Concord and then to Cambridge. At
Cambridge a Committee of Safety was chosen and given power to call out
the troops, and steps were taken to collect ammunition and military
stores. A month later at another meeting, 12,000 "minute men" were
ordered to be enrolled. These minute men were volunteers pledged to be
ready for service at a minute's notice, and lest 12,000 should not be
enough, the neighboring colonies were asked to raise the number
[Illustration: Map of Country around Boston]
%130. Concord and Lexington.%--Meantime the arming and drilling went
actively on, and powder was procured, and magazines of provisions and
military stores were collected at Concord, at Worcester, at Salem, and
at many other towns. Aware of this, Gage, on the night of April 18,
1775, sent off 800 regulars to destroy the stores at Concord, a town
some twenty miles from Boston. Gage wished to keep this expedition
secret, but he could not. The fact that the troops were to march became
known to the patriots in Boston, who determined to warn the minute men
in the neighborhood. Messengers were accordingly stationed at
Charlestown and told to ride in every direction and rouse the people,
the moment they saw lights displayed from the tower of the Old North
Church in Boston. The instant the British began to march, two lights
were hung out in the tower, and the messengers sped away to do
[Footnote 1: The ride of one of these men, that of Paul Revere, has
become best known because of Longfellow's poem, _Paul Revere's Ride._
Read it. ]
The road taken by the British lay through the little village of
Lexington, and there (so well had the messengers done their work), about
sunrise, on the morning of the 19th, the British came suddenly on a
little band of minute men drawn up on the green before the meeting
house. A call to disperse was not obeyed; whereupon the British fired a
volley, killing or wounding sixteen minute men, and passed on to
Concord. There they spiked three cannon, threw some cannon balls and
powder into the river, destroyed some flour, set fire to the courthouse,
and started back toward Boston. But "the shot heard round the world" had
indeed been fired. The news had spread far and wide. The minute men
came hurrying in, and from farmhouses and hedges, from haystacks, and
from behind trees and stone fences, they poured a deadly fire on the
retreating British. The retreat soon became a flight, and the flight
would have ended in capture had they not been reenforced by 900 men at
Lexington. With the help of these they reached Charlestown Neck by
sundown and entered Boston. All night long minute men came in from
every quarter, so that by the morning of April 20th great crowds were
gathered outside of Charlestown and at Roxbury, and shut the British
[Footnote 2: Read R. W. Emerson's fine poem, _Concord Hymn._ ]
[Footnote 3: Force's _American Archives,_ Vol. II.; Hudson's _History of
Lexington,_ Chaps. 6, 7; Phinney's _Battle of Lexington;_ Shattuck's
_History of Concord,_ Chap. 7. ]
When the news of Concord and Lexington reached the Green Mountain Boys
of Vermont, they too took up arms, and, under Ethan Allen, captured Fort
Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775.
%131. Congress becomes a Governing Body.%--The first Continental
Congress had been chosen by the colonies in 1774, to set forth the views
of the people, and remonstrate against the conduct of the King and
Parliament. This Congress, it will be remembered, having done so, fixed
May 10, 1775, as the day whereon a second Congress should meet to
consider the results of their remonstrance. But when the day came,
Lexington and Concord had been fought, all New England was in arms, and
Congress was asked to adopt the army gathered around Boston, and assume
the conduct of the war. Congress thus unexpectedly became a governing
body, and began to do such things as each colony could not do by itself.
%132. Origin of the Continental Army.%--After a month's delay it did
adopt the little band of patriots gathered about Boston, made it the
Continental Army, and elected George Washington, then a delegate in
Congress, commander in chief. He was chosen because of the military
skill he had displayed in the French and Indian War, and because it was
thought necessary to have a Virginian for general, Virginia being then
the most populous of the colonies.
Washington accepted the trust on June 16, and set out for Boston on June
21; but he had not ridden twenty miles from Philadelphia when he was met
by the news of Bunker Hill.
%133. Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.%--On a narrow peninsula to the
north of Boston, and separated from it by a sheet of water half a mile
wide, was the village of Charlestown; behind it were two small hills.
The nearer of the two to Charlestown was Breeds Hill. Just beyond it was
Bunker Hill, and as the two overlooked Boston and the harbor where the
British ships lay at anchor, the possession of them was of much
importance. The Americans, learning of Gage's intention to fortify the
hills, sent a force of 1200 men, under Colonel Prescott, on the night of
June 16, to take possession of Bunker Hill. By some mistake Prescott
passed Bunker Hill, reached Breeds Hill, and before dawn had thrown up a
large earthwork. The moment daylight enabled it to be seen, the British
opened fire from their ships. But the Americans worked steadily on in
spite of cannon shot, and by noon had constructed a line of
intrenchments extending from the earthwork down the hill toward the
water. Gage might easily have landed men and taken this intrenchment in
the rear. He instead sent Howe and 2500 men over in boats from
Boston, to land at the foot of the hill and charge straight up its steep
side toward the Americans on its summit. The Americans were bidden not
to fire till they saw the whites of the enemy's eyes, and obeyed. Not a
shot came from their line till the British were within a few feet. Then
a sheet of flames ran along the breastworks, and when the smoke blew
away, the British were running down the hill in confusion. With great
effort the officers rallied their men and led them up the hill a second
time, to be again driven back to the landing place. This fire exhausted
the powder of the Americans, and when the British troops were brought up
for the third attack, the Americans fell back, fighting desperately with
gunstocks and stones. The results of this battle were two fold. It
proved to the Americans that the British regulars were not invincible,
and it proved to the British that the American militia would fight.
[Footnote 1: General William Howe had come to Boston with more British
troops not long before. In October, 1775, he was given chief command.]
[Illustration: BOSTON, CHARLESTOWN, ETC.]
%134. Washington takes Command.%--Two weeks after this battle
Washington reached the army, and on July 3, 1775, took command beneath
an elm still standing in Cambridge. Never was an army in so sorry a
plight. There was no discipline, and not much more than a third as many
men as there had been a few weeks before. But the indomitable will and
sublime patience of Washington triumphed over all difficulties, and for
eight months he kept the British shut up in Boston, while he trained
and disciplined his army, and gathered ammunition and supplies.
%135. Montreal taken.%--Meanwhile Congress, fearing that Sir Guy
Carleton, who was governor of Canada, would invade New York by way of
Lake Champlain, sent two expeditions against him. One, under Richard
Montgomery, went down Lake Champlain, and captured Montreal. Another,
under Benedict Arnold, forced its way through the dense woods of Maine,
and after dreadful sufferings reached Quebec. There Montgomery joined
Arnold, and on the night of December 31, 1775, the two armies assaulted
Quebec, the most strongly fortified city in America, and actually
entered it. But Montgomery was killed, Arnold was wounded, the attack
failed, and, six months later, the Americans were driven from Canada.
[Illustration: Bunker Hill Monument]
%136. The British driven from Boston, March 17, 1776.%--After eight
months of seeming idleness, Washington, early in March, 1776, seized
Dorchester Heights on the south side of Boston, fortified them, and so
gave Howe his choice of fighting or retreating. Fight he could not; for
the troops, remembering the dreadful day at Bunker Hill, were afraid to
attack intrenched Americans. Howe thereupon evacuated Boston and sailed
with his army for Halifax, March 17, 1776. Washington felt sure that the
British would next attack New York, so he moved his army there in April,
1776, and placed it on the Brooklyn hills.
%137. Independence resolved on.%--Just one year had now passed since
the memorable fights at Concord and Lexington. During this year the
colonies had been solemnly protesting that they had no thought of
independence and desired nothing so much as reconciliation with the
King. But the King meantime had done things which prevented any
1. He had issued a proclamation declaring the Americans to be rebels.
2. He had closed their ports and warned foreign nations not to trade
3. He had hired 17,000 Hessians with whom to subdue them.
[Footnote 1: The Hessians were soldiers from Hesse and other small
These things made further obedience to the King impossible, and May 15,
1776, Congress resolved that it was "necessary to suppress every kind of
authority under the crown," and asked the colonies to form governments
of their own and so become states.
On the 7th of June, Richard Henry Lee, acting under instructions from
Virginia, offered this resolution:
That these United Colonies are, and of
right ought to be, free and independent states, that
they are absolved from all allegiance to the British
Crown, and that all political connection between them
and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be,
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