THE LAND WE LIVE IN
The Story of Our Country
Author of "Handbook for American Citizens," etc.
Published by The Christian Herald, Louis Klopsch, Proprietor, Bible House, New York. Copyright, 1896, by Louis Klopsch.
"The Story of Our Country" has been often told, but cannot be told too often. I have spared no effort to make the following pages interesting as well as truthful, and to present, in graphic language, a pen-picture of our nation's origin and progress. It is a story of events, and not a dry chronicle of official succession. It is an attempt to give some fresh color to facts that are well known, while depicting also other facts of public interest which have never appeared in any general history. Wherever I have taken the work of another I give credit therefor; otherwise this little book is the fruit of original research and thought. The views expressed will doubtless not please everybody, and some may think that I go too far in pleading the cause of the original natives of the soil. Historic justice demands that some one should tell the truth about the Indians, whose chief and almost only fault has been that they occupied lands which the white man wanted. Even now covetous eyes are cast upon the territory reserved for the use of the remaining tribes.
For such statements in regard to General Jackson at New Orleans as differ from the ordinary narrative I am indebted to a work never published, so far as I am aware, in this country or in the English language—Vincent Nolte's "Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres," issued in Hamburg in 1853. As Nolte owned the cotton which Jackson appropriated, and also served as a volunteer in the battle of New Orleans, he ought to be good authority.
In dealing with the late war I have sought to be just to both the Union and the Confederacy. The lapse of over thirty years has given a more accurate perspective to the events of that mighty struggle, in which, as a soldier-boy of sixteen, I was an obscure participant, and all true Americans, whether they wore the blue or gray, now look back with pride to the splendid valor and heroic endurance displayed by the combatants on both sides. Those who belittle the constancy and courage of the South belittle the sacrifices and successes of the North.
The slavery conflict has long been over, and the scars it left are disappearing. Other and momentous problems have arisen for settlement, but there is every reason for confidence that they will be settled at the ballot-box, and without appeal to rebellion, or thought or threat of secession. In the present generation, more than in any preceding, is the injunction of Washington exemplified, that the name of American should always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. This supreme National sentiment overpowering all considerations of local interest and attachment, is the assurance that our country will live forever, that all difficulties, however menacing, will yield to the challenge of popular intelligence and patriotism, and that the glorious record of the past is but the morning ray of our National greatness to come.
CHAPTER I. PAGE.
A Land Without a History—Origin of the American Indians—Their Semi-civilization—The Spanish Colonial System—The King Was Absolute Master—The Council of the Indies—The Hierarchy—Servitude of the Natives—Gold and Silver Mines—Spanish Wealth and Degeneracy— Commercial Monopoly—Pernicious Effects of Spain's Colonial Policy —Spaniards Destroy a Huguenot Colony, 21
Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh—English Expedition to North Carolina—Failure of Attempts to Settle There—Virginia Dare—The Lost Colony—The Foundation of Jamestown—Captain John Smith—His Life Saved by Pocahontas—Rolfe Marries the Indian Princess—A Key to Early Colonial History—Women Imported to Virginia, 32
The French in Canada—Champlain Attacks the Iroquois—Quebec a Military Post—Weak Efforts at Colonization—Fur-traders and Missionaries—The Foundation of New France—The French King Claims from the Upper Lakes to the Sea—Slow Growth of the French Colonies—Mixing With the Savages—The "Coureurs de Bois," 41
Henry Hudson's Discovery—Block Winters on Manhattan Island—The Dutch Take Possession—The Iroquois Friendly—Immigration of the Walloons—Charter of Privileges and Exemptions—Patroons—Manufactures Forbidden—Slave Labor Introduced—New Sweden—New Netherlanders Want a Voice in the Government, 46
Landing of the Pilgrims—Their Abiding Faith in God's Goodness—The Agreement Signed on the Mayflower—A Winter of Hardship—The Indians Help the Settlers—Improved Conditions—The Colony Buys Its Freedom—Priscilla and John Alden—Their Romantic Courtship and Marriage, 52
The Puritan Immigration—Wealth and Learning Seek These Shores—Charter Restrictions Dead Letters—A Stubborn Struggle for Self-government— Methods of Election—The Early Government an Oligarchy—The Charter of 1691—New Hampshire and Maine—The New Haven Theocracy—Hartford's Constitution—The United Colonies—The Clergy and Politics—Every Election Sermon a Declaration of Independence, 57
Where Conscience Was Free—Roger Williams and His Providence Colony— Driven by Persecution from Massachusetts—Savages Receive Him Kindly—Coddington's Settlement in Rhode Island—Oliver Cromwell and Charles II. Grant Charters—Peculiar Referendum in Early Rhode Island, 64
Puritans and Education—Provision for Public Schools—Puritan Sincerity—Effect of Intolerance on the Community—Quakers Harshly Persecuted—The Salem Witchcraft Tragedy—History of the Delusion— Rebecca Nourse and Other Victims—The People Come to their Senses— Cotton Mather Obdurate to the Last—Puritan Morals—Comer's Diary— Rhode Island in Colonial Times, 68
New England Prospering—Outbreak of King Philip's War—Causes of the War—White or Indian Had to Go—Philip on the War-path—Settlements Laid in Ashes—The Attack on Hadley—The Great Swamp Fight—Philip Renews the War More Fiercely Than Before—His Allies Desert Him— Betrayed and Killed—The Indians Crushed in New England, 77
Growth of New Netherland—Governor Stuyvesant's Despotic Rule—His Comments on Popular Election—New Amsterdam Becomes New York—The Planting of Maryland—Partial Freedom of Conscience—Civil War in Maryland—The Carolinas—Settlement of North and South Carolina—The Bacon Rebellion in Virginia—Governor Berkeley's Vengeance, 82
The Colony of New York—New Jersey Given Away to Favorites—Charter of Liberties and Franchises—The Dongan Charter—Beginnings of New York City Government—King James Driven From Power—Leisler Leads a Popular Movement—The Aristocratic Element Gains the Upper Hand—Jacob Leisler and Milborne Executed—Struggle For Liberty Continues, 90
William Penn's Model Colony—Sketch of the Founder of Pennsylvania— Comparative Humanity of Quaker Laws—Modified Freedom of Religion— An Early Liquor Law—Offences Against Morality Severely Punished— White Servitude—Debtors Sold Into Bondage—Georgia Founded as an Asylum for Debtors—Oglethorpe Repulses the Spaniards—Georgia a Royal Province, 95
THE STRUGGLE FOR EMPIRE.
Struggle for Empire in North America—The Vast Region Called Louisiana— War Between England and France—New England Militia Besiege Quebec— Frontenac Strikes the Iroquois—The Capture of Louisburg—The Forks of the Ohio—George Washington's Mission to the French—Braddock's Defeat—Washington Prevents Utter Disaster—Barbarous Treatment of Prisoners, 103
Expulsion of the Acadians—A Cruel Deportation—The Marquis De Montcalm—The Fort William Henry Massacre—Defeat of Abercrombie— William Pitt Prosecutes the War Vigorously—Fort Duquesne Reduced— Louisburg Again Captured—Wolfe Attacks Quebec—Battle of the Plains of Abraham—Wolfe and Montcalm Mortally Wounded—Quebec Surrenders—New France a Dream of the Past—Pontiac's War, 108
Causes of the Revolution—The Act of Navigation—Acts of Trade—Odious Customs Laws—English Jealousy of New England—Effect of Restrictions on Colonial Trade—Du Chatelet Foresees Rebellion and Independence—The Revolution a Struggle for More Than Political Freedom, 115
Writs of Assistance Issued—Excitement in Boston—The Stamp Act—Protests against Taxation Without Representation—Massachusetts Appoints a Committee of Correspondence—Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry—Henry's Celebrated Resolutions—His Warning to King George—Growing Agitation in the Colonies—The Stamp Act Repealed—Parliament Levies Duties on Tea and Other Imports to America—Lord North's Choice of Infamy—Measures of Resistance in America—The Massachusetts Circular Letter—British Troops in Boston—The Boston Massacre—Burning of the Gaspee—North Carolina "Regulators"—The Boston Tea Party—The Boston Port Bill—The First Continental Congress—A Declaration of Rights—"Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!" 122
The Battle of Lexington—The War of the Revolution Begun—Fort Ticonderoga Taken—Second Continental Congress—George Washington Appointed Commander-in-Chief—Battle of Bunker Hill—Last Appeal to King George—The King Hires Hessian Mercenaries—The Americans Invade Canada—General Montgomery Killed—General Howe Evacuates Boston—North Carolina Tories Routed at Moore's Creek Bridge—The Declaration of Independence—The British Move on New York—Battle at Brooklyn—Howe Occupies New York City—General Charles Lee Fails to Support Washington—Lee Captured—Washington's Victory at Trenton—The Marquis De Lafayette Arrives, 133
Sir John Burgoyne's Campaign—His Bombastic Proclamation—The Tragic Story of Jane McCrea—Her Name a Rallying Cry—Washington Prevents Howe From Aiding Burgoyne—The Battle of Brandywine—Burgoyne Routed at Saratoga—He Surrenders, With All His Army—Articles of Confederation Submitted to the Several States—Effect of the Surrender of Burgoyne— Franklin the Washington of Diplomacy—Attitude of France—France Concludes to Assist the United States—Treaties of Commerce and Alliance—King George Prepares for War with France—The Winter at Valley Forge—Conspiracy to Depose Washington Defeated—General Howe Superseded by Sir Henry Clinton—The Battle of Monmouth—General Charles Lee's Treachery—Awful Massacre of Settlers in the Wyoming Valley— General Sullivan Defeats the Six Nations—Brilliant Campaign of George Rogers Clark—Failure of the Attempt to Drive the British from Rhode Island, 143
The British Move Upon the South—Spain Accedes to the Alliance Against England—Secret Convention Between France and Spain—Capture of Stony Point—John Paul Jones—The Bon Homme Richard and the Serapis—A Thrilling Naval Combat—Wretched Condition of American Finances— Franklin's Heavy Burden—The Treason of Benedict Arnold—Capture of Andre—Escape of Arnold—Andre Executed as a Spy—Sir Henry Clinton Captures Charleston, General Lincoln and His Army—Lord Cornwallis Left in Command in the South—The British Defeat Gates Near Camden, South Carolina—General Nathanael Greene Conducts a Stubborn Campaign Against Cornwallis—The Latter Retreats Into Virginia—Siege of Yorktown—Cornwallis Surrenders—"Oh, God; it is All Over!" 155
Condition of the United States at the Close of the Revolution—New England Injured and New York Benefited Commercially by the Struggle— Luxury of City Life—Americans an Agricultural People—The Farmer's Home—Difficulty of Traveling—Contrast Between North and South— Southern Aristocracy—Northern Great Families—White Servitude—The Western Frontier—Early Settlers West of the Mountains—A Hardy Population—Disappearance of the Colonial French—The Ordinance of 1787—Flood of Emigration Beyond the Ohio, 167
The Spirit of Disunion—Shays' Rebellion—A National Government Necessary—Adoption of the Constitution—Tariff and Internal Revenue—The Whiskey Insurrection—President Washington Calls Out the Military—Insurgents Surrender—"The Dreadful Night"—Hamilton's Inquisition, 174
Arrogance of France—Americans and Louis XVI.—Genet Defies Washington —The People Support the President—War With the Indians—Defeat of St. Clair—Indians State Their Case—General Wayne Defeats the Savages— Jay's Treaty—Retirement of Washington—His Character—His Military Genius—Washington as a Statesman—His Views on Slavery—His Figure in History, 180
John Adams President—Jefferson and the French Revolution—The French Directory—Money Demanded From America—"Millions for Defence; Not One Penny for Tribute"—Naval Warfare with France—Capture of The Insurgent —Defeat of The Vengeance—Peace With France—Death of Washington— Alien and Sedition Laws—Jefferson President—The Louisiana Purchase— Burr's Alleged Treason—War with the Barbary States—England Behind the Pirates—Heroic Naval Exploits—Carrying War Into Africa—Peace With Honor, 191
French Decrees and British Orders in Council—Damage to American Commerce—The Embargo—Causes of the War of 1812—The Chesapeake and The Leopard—President and Little Belt—War Declared—Mr. Astor's Messenger —The Two Navies Compared—American Frigate Victories—Constitution and Guerriere—United States and Macedonian—Constitution and Java— American Sloop Victories—The Shannon and Chesapeake—"Don't Give Up the Ship!" 200
The War on Land—Tecumseh's Indian Confederacy—Harrison at Tippecanoe— General Hull and General Brock—A Fatal Armistice—Surrender of Detroit —English Masters of Michigan—General Harrison Takes Command in the Northwest—Harrison's Answer to Proctor—"He Will Never Have This Post Surrendered"—Croghan's Brave Defence—The British Retreat—War on the Niagara Frontier—Battle of Queenstown—Death of Brock—Colonel Winfield Scott and the English Doctrine of Perpetual Allegiance, 209
Battle of Lake Erie—Master-Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry—Building a Fleet—Perry on the Lake—A Duel of Long Guns—Fearful Slaughter on the Lawrence—"Can Any of the Wounded Pull a Rope?"—At Close Quarters— Victory in Fifteen Minutes—"We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Ours"— The Father of Chicago Sees the End of the Battle—The British Evacuate Detroit—General Harrison's Victory at the Thames—Tecumseh Slain—The Struggle in the Southwest—Andrew Jackson in Command—Battle of Horseshoe Bend—The Essex in the Pacific—Defeat and Victory on the Ocean—Captain Porter's Brave Defence—Burning of Newark—Massacre at Fort Niagara— Chippewa and Lundy's Lane—Devastation by the British Fleet—British Vandalism at Washington—Attempt on Baltimore—"The Star Spangled Banner" 216
British Designs on the Southwest—New Orleans as a City of Refuge—The Baratarians—The Pirates Reject British Advances—General Jackson Storms Pensacola—Captain Reid's Splendid Fight at Fayal—Edward Livingston Advises Jackson—Cotton Bales for Redoubts—The British Invasion—Jackson Attacks the British at Villere's—The Opposing Armies—General Pakenham Attempts to Carry Jackson's Lines by Storm—The British Charge—They are Defeated with Frightful Slaughter—Pakenham Killed—Last Naval Engagement —The President-Endymion Fight—Peace—England Deserts the Indians as She Had Deserted the Tories—Decatur Chastises the Algerians, 225
SOUTH AMERICA FREE.
England and Spanish America—A Significant Declaration—The Key to England's Policy in South America—Alexander Hamilton and the South Americans—President Adams' Grandson a Filibuster—Origin of the Revolutions in South America—Colonial Zeal for Spain—Colonists Driven to Fight for Independence—A War of Extermination—Patriot Leaders—The British Assist the Revolutionists—American Caution and Reserve—The Monroe Doctrine—Why England Championed the Spanish-American Republics —A Free Field Desired for British Trade—The Holy Alliance—Secretary Canning and President Monroe—The Monroe Declaration Not British, But American, 233
The United States Taking the Lead in Civilization—Manhood Suffrage and Freedom of Worship—Humane Criminal Laws—Progress the Genius of the Nation—A Patriotic Report—State Builders in the Northwest—Illinois and the Union—Immigration—British Jealousy—An English Farmer's Opinion of America—Commerce and Manufactures—England Tries to Prevent Skilled Artisans From Emigrating—The Beginning of Protection—The British Turn on their Friends the Algerians—General Jackson Invades Florida—Spain Sells Florida to the United States, 246
The Missouri Compromise—Erie Canal Opened—Political Parties and Great National Issues—President Jackson Crushes the United States Bank—South Carolina Pronounces the Tariff Law Void—Jackson's Energetic Action—A Compromise—Territory Reserved for the Indians—The Seminole War— Osceola's Vengeance—His Capture and Death—The Black Hawk War—Abraham Lincoln a Volunteer—Texas War for Independence—Massacre of the Alamo —Mexican Defeat at San Jacinto—The Mexican President a Captive—Texas Admitted to the Union—Oregon—American Statesmen Blinded by the Hudson Bay Company—Marcus Whitman's Ride—Oregon Saved to the Union—The "Dorr War," 253
War With Mexico—General Zachary Taylor Defeats the Mexicans—Buena Vista—Mexicans Four to One—"A Little More Grape, Captain Bragg!"— Glorious American Victory—General Scott's Splendid Campaign—A Series of Victories—Cerro Gordo—Contreras—Churubusco—Molino del Rey—Chapultepec—Stars and Stripes Float in the City of Mexico— Generous Treatment of the Vanquished—Peace—Cession of Vast Territory to the United States—The Gadsden Purchase, 264
The Union in 1850—Comparative Population of Cities and Rural Districts —Agriculture the General Occupation—Commercial and Industrial Development—Growth of New York and Chicago—The Southern States— Importance of the Cotton Crop—Why the South Was Sensitive to Anti-Slavery Agitation—Manufactures—Religion and Education—The Cloud on the Horizon, 272
THE SLAVERY CONFLICT.
Aggressiveness of Slavery—The Cotton States and Border States—The Fugitive Slave Law—Nullified in the North—Negroes Imported from Africa—The Struggle in Kansas—John Brown—Abraham Lincoln Pleads for Human Rights—Treason in Buchanan's Cabinet—Citizens Stop Guns at Pittsburg—Conditions at the Beginning of the Struggle—Southern Advantages—The Soldiers of Both Armies Compared—Conscription in the Confederacy—Southern Resources Limited—The North at a Disadvantage at First, but Its Resources Inexhaustible—Conscription in the North— Popular Support of the War—Unfriendliness of Great Britain and France—Why They Did Not Interfere, 277
The Confederate Government Organized—Fort Sumter—President Lincoln Calls for 75,000 Men—Command of the Union Forces Offered to Robert E. Lee—Lee Joins the Confederacy—Missouri Saved to the Union—Battle of Bull Run—Union Successes in the West—General Grant Captures Fort Donelson—"I Have No Terms But Unconditional Surrender"—The Monitor and Merrimac Fight—Its World-wide Effect—Grant Victorious at Shiloh —Union Naval Victory Near Memphis—That City Captured—General McClellan's Tactics—He Retreats from Victory at Malvern Hill—Second Bull Run Defeat—Great Battle of Antietam—Lee Repulsed, but Not Pursued—McClellan Superseded by Burnside—Union Defeat at Fredericksburg —Union Victories in the West—Bragg Defeated by Rosecrans at Stone River—The Emancipation Proclamation, 287
General Grant Invests Vicksburg—The Confederate Garrison—Scenes in the Beleaguered City—The Surrender—Hooker Defeated at Chancellorsville— Death of "Stonewall" Jackson—General Meade Takes Command of the Army of the Potomac—Lee Crosses the Potomac—The Battle of Gettysburg—The First Two Days—The Third Day—Pickett's Charge—A Thrilling Spectacle —The Harvest of Death—Lee Defeated—General Thomas, "The Rock of Chickamauga"—"This Position Must Be Held Till Night"—General Grant Defeats Bragg at Chattanooga—The Decisive Battle of the West, 295
Grant Appointed Lieutenant-General—Takes Command in Virginia—Battles of the Wilderness—The Two Armies—Battle of Cedar Creek—Sheridan's Ride—He Turns Defeat Into Victory—Confederate Disasters on Land and Sea—Farragut at Mobile—Last Naval Battle of the War—Sherman Enters Atlanta—Lincoln's Re-election—Sherman's March to the Sea—Sherman Captures Savannah—Thomas Defeats Hood at Nashville—Fort Fisher Taken—Lee Appointed General-in-Chief—Confederate Defeat at Five Forks—Lee's Surrender—Johnston's Surrender—End of the War—The South Prostrate—A Resistance Unparalleled in History—The Blots on the Confederacy—Cruel Treatment of Union Men and Prisoners—Murder of Abraham Lincoln—The South Since the War, 301
THIRTY YEARS OF PEACE.
Reconstruction in the South—The Congress and the President—Liberal Republican Movement—Nomination, Defeat and Death of Greeley—Troops Withdrawn by President Hayes—Foreign Policy of the Past Thirty Years—French Ordered from Mexico—Last Days of Maximilian—Russian America Bought—The Geneva Arbitration—Alabama Claims Paid—The Northwest Boundary—The Fisheries—Spain and The Virginius—The Custer Massacre—United States of Brazil Established—President Harrison and Chile—Venezuela—American Prestige in South America—Hawaii—Behring Sea—Garfield, the Martyr of Civil Service Reform—Labor Troubles— Railway Riots of 1877 and 1894—Great Calamities—The Chicago Fire, Boston Fire, Charleston Earthquake, Johnstown Flood, 308
The American Republic the Most Powerful of Nations—Military and Naval Strength—Railways and Waterways—Industry and Art—Manufactures—The New South—Foreign and Domestic Commerce—An Age of Invention—Americans a Nation of Readers—The Clergy—Pulpit and Press—Religion and Higher Education—The Currency Question—Leading Candidates for the Presidency —A Sectional Contest Deplorable—What Shall the Harvest Be? 322
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
No Classes Here—All Are Workers—Enormous Growth of Cities—Immigration —Civic Misgovernment—The Farming Population—Individuality and Self-reliance—Isolation Even in the Grave—The West—The South—The Negro—Little Reason to Fear for Our Country—American Reverence for Established Institutions, 327
The Land We Live In.
A Land Without a History—Origin of the American Indians—Their Semi-civilization—The Spanish Colonial System—The King Was Absolute Master—The Council of the Indies—The Hierarchy—Servitude of the Natives—Gold and Silver Mines—Spanish Wealth and Degeneracy— Commercial Monopoly—Pernicious Effects of Spain's Colonial Policy— Spaniards Destroy a Huguenot Colony.
America presented itself as a virgin land to the original settlers from Europe. It had no history, no memories, no civilization that appealed to European traditions or associations. Its inhabitants belonged evidently to the human brotherhood, and their appearance and language, as well as some of their customs, indicated Mongolian kinship and Asiatic origin, but in the eyes of their conquerors they were as strange as if they had sprung from another planet, and the invaders were equally strange and marvelous to the natives. To the Spanish adventurer the wondrous temples of the Aztecs and the Peruvians bore no significance, except as they indicated wealth to be won, and rich empires waiting to be prey to the superior prowess and arms of the Christian aggressor; while the Englishman, the Frenchman, Hollander and Swede, who planted their colors on more northern soil, saw only a region of primeval forests inhabited by tribes almost as savage as the wild beasts upon whom they existed. It is needless, therefore, in this pen picture of our country, to go into any extended notice of its ancient inhabitants, although the writer has devoted not a little independent study to their origin and history. That study has confirmed him in the opinion that the American Indians came from Asia, with such slight admixture as the winds and waves may have brought from Europe, Africa and Polynesia. The resemblance of the American Indians to the Tartar tribes in language is striking, and in physical appearance still more so, while the difference in manners and customs is no greater than that between the Englishman of the seventeenth century and his descendant in the mountains of West Virginia or Kentucky. It is probable—indeed what is known of the aborigines indicates, that the immigrations were successive, and their succession would be fully accounted for by the mighty convulsions among Asiatic nations, of which history gives us a very dim idea. It is easy to suppose that more than one dusky AEneas led his fugitive followers across the narrow strait which divides Asia from America, and pushed on to the warmer regions of the South, driving in turn before him less vigorous and warlike tribes, seizing the lands which they had made fruitful, and adopting in part the civilization which they had built up. Many of the conquered would prefer emigration to submission, and in their turn push farther south, even to the uttermost bound of the continent.
The writer is not of those who believe that the remote inhabitants of America are unrepresented among the red men of the present age. In European and American history the myths about exterminated races are disappearing in the light of investigation. Our ancestors were not so cruel as they have been painted. It is not likely that any nation was ever cut off to a man. Men were too valuable to be destroyed beyond the requirements of warfare or the demands of sanguinary religious customs. Conquered nations, it is now agreed, were usually absorbed by their conquerors, either as equals or serfs. In either event unity was the result, as in the case of the Romans and Latins, the Scots and the Picts, the Normans and the Saxons. The mound builders, in all probability, survive in the Indian tribes of to-day, some of whom in the Southwest were mound builders within the historic period, while the ruined cities of Arizona and New Mexico were the product of a rude civilization, admittedly inherited by the pueblos of the present generation.
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There was nothing in the civilization of the most advanced American races worth preserving, except their monuments. The destruction of the Aztec and Peruvian empires was, on the whole, an advantage to humanity. The darkest period of religious persecution in Europe saw nothing to compare with the sanguinary rites of Aztec worship, and bigoted, intolerant and oppressive as the Spaniards were they did a service to mankind in putting an end to those barbarities. The colonial system established by Spain in America was founded on the principle that dominion over the American provinces was vested in the crown, not in the kingdom. The Spanish possessions on this continent were regarded as the personal property of the sovereign.
The viceroys were appointed by the king and removable by him at pleasure. All grants of lands were made by the sovereign, and if they failed from any cause they reverted to the crown. All political and civil power centred in the king, and was executed by such persons and in such manner as the will of the sovereign might suggest, wholly independent not only of the colonies but of the Spanish nation. The only civil privileges allowed to the colonists were strictly municipal, and confined to the regulation of their interior police and commerce in cities and towns, for which purpose they made their own local regulations or laws, and appointed town and city magistrates. The Spanish-American governments were not merely despotic like those of Russia and Turkey, but they were a more dangerous kind of despotism, as the absolute power of the sovereign was not exercised by himself, but by deputy.
At first the dominions of Spain in the new world were divided, for purposes of administration, into two great divisions or vice-royalties: New Spain and Peru. Afterward, as the country became more settled, the vice-royalty of Santa Fe de Bogota was created. A deputy or vice-king was appointed to preside over each of these governments, who was the representative of the sovereign, and possessed all his prerogatives within his jurisdiction. His power was as supreme as that of the king over every department, civil and military. He appointed most of the important officers of the vice-royalty. His court was formed on the model of Madrid, and displayed an equal and often superior degree of magnificence and state. He had horse and foot guards, a regular household establishment and all the ensigns and trappings of royalty. The tribunals which assisted in the administration were similar to those of the parent country. The Spanish-American colonies, in brief, possessed no political privileges; the authority of the crown was absolute, but not more so than in the parent State, and it could hardly have been expected that liberties denied to the people at home would have been granted to subjects in distant America.
Over the viceroys, and acting for the sovereign, was the tribunal called the Council of the Indies, established by King Ferdinand in 1511, and remodeled by Charles V. in 1524. This Council possessed general jurisdiction over Spanish-America; framed laws and regulations respecting the colonies, and made all the appointments for America reserved to the crown. All officers, from the viceroy to the lowest in rank, could be called to account by the Council of the Indies. The king was supposed to be always present in the Council, and the meetings were held wherever the monarch was residing. All appeals from the decisions of the Courts of Audience, the highest tribunals in America, were made to the Council of the Indies.
The absolute power of the sovereign did not stop short at the Church. Pope Julian II. conferred on King Ferdinand and his successors the patronage and disposal of all ecclesiastical benefices in America, and the administration of ecclesiastical revenues—a privilege which the crown did not possess in Spain. The bulls of the Roman pontiff could not be admitted into Spanish America until they had been examined and approved by the king and Council of the Indies. The hierarchy was as imposing as in Spain, and its dominion and influence greater. The archbishops, bishops and other dignitaries enjoyed large revenues, and the ecclesiastical establishment was splendid and magnificent. The Inquisition was introduced in America in 1570 by Philip II., the oppressor of Protestant England and of the Netherlands, and patron of the monster Alva. The native Indians, on the ground of incapacity, were exempted from the jurisdiction of that tribunal. No scruple was shown, however, in converting the natives to Christianity, and multitudes were baptized who were entirely ignorant of the doctrine they professed to embrace. In the course of a few years after the reduction of the Mexican empire, more than four millions of the Mexicans were nominally converted, one missionary baptizing five thousand in one day, and stopping only when he had become so exhausted as to be unable to lift his hands.
Conversion to Christianity did not save the Indians from being reduced to slavery. Columbus himself, in the year 1499, to avoid the consequences of a disaffection among his followers, granted lands and distributed a certain number of Indians among them to cultivate the soil. This system was afterward introduced in all the Spanish settlements, the Indians being everywhere seized upon and compelled to work in the mines, to till the plantations, to carry burdens and to perform all menial and laborious services. The stated tasks of the unhappy natives were often much beyond their abilities, and multitudes sank under the hardships to which they were subjected. Their spirit was broken, they became humble and degraded, and the race was rapidly wasting away. The oppressions and sufferings of the natives at length excited the sympathies of many humane persons, particularly among the clergy, who exerted themselves with much zeal and perseverance to ameliorate their condition. In 1542 Charles V. abolished the enslavement of the Indians, and restored them to the position of freemen. This caused great indignation in the colonies and in Peru forcible resistance was offered to the royal decree. But although relieved in some degree from the burdens of personal slavery, the natives were required, as vassals of the crown, to pay a personal tax or tribute in the form of personal service. They were also put under the protection of great landholders, who treated them as serfs, although not exacting continuous labor, so that during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the condition of the Indians did not greatly improve.
Notwithstanding the avidity of the first Spanish adventurers for the precious metals, and the ardor with which they pursued their researches, their exertions were attended for a number of years with but little success. It was not until 1545 that the rich mines of Potosi, in Peru, were accidentally discovered by an Indian in clambering up the mountain. This was soon followed by the discovery of other highly productive mines of gold and silver in the various provinces, and Spanish America began to pour a flood of wealth into the coffers of Spain. The mines were not operated by the crown, but by individual enterprise, the crown receiving a share of the proceeds, and alloting a certain number of Indians to the mine-owners as laborers. These Indians did all the work of the mine without the aid of machinery, and with very little assistance from horse-power. Their industry enriched Spain and her colonies to a degree unexampled in the previous experience of mankind.
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Silver and gold, however, did not bring lasting prosperity. Already in the early part of the seventeenth century Spain showed signs of decay. Her manufactures and commerce began to decline; men could not be recruited to keep up her fleets and armies, and even agriculture felt the blight of national degeneracy. The great emigration to the colonies drained off the energetic element of the population and the immense riches which the colonies showered upon Spain intoxicated the people and led them to desert the accustomed paths of industry. Nineteen-twentieths of the commodities exported to the Spanish colonies were foreign fabrics, paid for by the products of the mines, so that the gold and silver no sooner entered Spain than they passed away into the hands of foreigners, and the country was left without sufficient of the precious metals for a circulating medium.
Although wholly unable to supply the wants of her colonies Spain did not relax in the smallest degree the rigor of her colonial system, the controlling principle of which was that the whole commerce of the colonies should be a monopoly in the hands of the crown. The regulation of this commerce was entrusted to the Board of Trade, established at Seville.
This board granted a license to any vessel bound to America, and inspected its cargo. The entire commerce with the colonies centred in Seville, and continued there until 1720. It was carried on in a uniform manner for more than two centuries. A fleet with a strong convoy sailed annually for America. The fleet consisted of two divisions, one destined for Carthagena and Porto Bello, the other for Vera Cruz. At those points all the trade and treasure of Spanish America from California to the Straits of Magellan, was concentrated, the products of Peru and Chili being conveyed annually by sea to Panama, and from thence across the isthmus to Porto Bello, part of the way on mules, and part of the way down the Chagres river. The storehouses of Porto Bello, now a decayed and miserable town, retaining no shadow of former greatness, were filled with merchandise, and its streets thronged with opulent merchants drawn from distant provinces. Upon the arrival of the fleet a fair was opened, continuing for forty days, during which the most extensive commercial transactions took place, and the rich cargoes of the galleons were all marketed, and the specie and staples of the colonies received in payment to be conveyed to Spain. The same exchange occurred at Vera Cruz, and both squadrons having taken in their return cargoes, rendezvoused at Havana, and sailed from thence to Europe. Such was the stinted, fettered and restricted commerce which subsisted between Spain and her possessions in America for more than two centuries and a half, and such were the swaddling clothes which bound the youthful limbs of the Spanish colonies, retarding their growth and keeping them in a condition of abject dependence. The effect was most injurious to Spain as well as to the colonies. The naval superiority of the English and Dutch enabled them in time of war to cut off intercourse between Spain and America, and thereby deprive Spanish-Americans of the necessaries as well as the luxuries for which they depended upon Spain, and an extensive smuggling trade grew up which no efforts on the part of the authorities could repress. Monopoly was starved out through the very rigor exerted to make it exclusive, and the markets were so glutted with contraband goods that the galleons could scarcely dispose of their cargoes.
The restrictions upon the domestic intercourse and commerce of the Spanish colonies were, if possible, more grievous and pernicious in their consequences than those upon traffic with Europe. Inter-colonial commerce was prohibited under the severest penalties, the crown insisting that all trade should be carried on through Spain and made tributary to the oppressive duties exacted by the government. While Spain received a considerable revenue from her colonies, notwithstanding the contraband trade, the expenses of the system were very great, and absorbed much of the revenue. Corruption was widespread, and colonial officers looked upon their positions chiefly with a view to their own enrichment. They had no patriotic interest in the welfare of the colonies, and conducted themselves like a garrison quartered upon the inhabitants. Although salaries were high the expenses of living were great, and the salaries were usually but a small part of the income. Viceroys who had been in office a few years, went back to Spain with princely fortunes.
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Such was the condition of affairs in Spain's vast American empire when England, France and the United Provinces started on a career of colonization in North America. It seems to have been providential that the same generation which witnessed the discovery of America witnessed the birth of Luther. In the century which followed the Theses of Wittenberg the eyes of sufferers for conscience' sake turned eagerly and hopefully toward the New World as a refuge from the oppression, the scandal and the persecution of the old. The first to seek what is now the Atlantic region of the United States with the object of making their home here were French Huguenots, sent out by the great Admiral Coligny, who afterward fell a victim in the massacre of Bartholomew's Day. The Frenchmen planted a settlement first at Port Royal, which was abandoned, and afterward built a fort about eighteen miles up the St. John's River, Florida, and named it Fort Caroline. This was in the year 1564. In the following year a Spanish fleet, commanded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, appeared at the mouth of the St. John's. In answer to the French challenge as to his purpose the Spanish commander replied that he came with orders from his king to gibbet and behead all the Protestants in those regions. "The Frenchman, who is a Catholic," he added, "I will spare. Every heretic shall die." The Huguenots, had they held together, might have been able to offer a successful resistance to the Spaniards, but Jean Ribault, the French commander, unfortunately decided to sail out from the shelter of Fort Caroline and seek a conflict at sea with the enemy. A storm destroyed the French fleet, but the crews succeeded in escaping to land. Menendez marched overland with his troops to the unprotected fort and easily captured it with its handful of defenders. The Spaniards cruelly murdered almost the entire colony of two hundred men, women and children, some of them being hung to trees with the inscription: "Not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans."
Ribault, ignorant of the tragedy at the fort, sought to return there from the place where he had been shipwrecked. His men were divided in two detachments. Menendez went in search of them, and meeting one party told them that Fort Caroline, with its inmates, had been destroyed. The Frenchmen were helpless, and pleaded for mercy. Menendez asked: "Are you Catholics or Lutherans?" They answered: "We are of the reformed religion." The pitiless Spaniard replied that he was under orders to exterminate all of that faith. They offered him fifty thousand ducats if he would spare their lives. Menendez demanded that the Frenchmen should place themselves at his mercy. They consented to do so. A small stream divided the Huguenots from the Spaniards. Menendez ordered that the French should cross over in companies of ten. As they crossed they were taken out of sight of their companions and bound with their arms behind them. When all of the Frenchmen, about two hundred in number, had been thus secured, Menendez again asked them: "Are you Catholics or Lutherans?" Some twelve professed to be Catholics, and these with four mechanics who could be made useful to the Spaniards, were led away. The remainder of the two hundred were put to death. Menendez next intercepted Ribault and the remnant of his men, and by similar treachery accomplished their destruction, refusing an offer of one hundred thousand ducats to spare their lives. Menendez wrote to King Phillip that the Huguenots "were put to the sword, judging this to be expedient for the service of God our Lord, and of your majesty."
Thus ended the first attempt of members of the reformed religion to settle within the limits of what is now the United States. But the blood of the victims did not cry in vain to Heaven for vengeance. A Frenchman, himself a Roman Catholic, the Chevalier Dominic de Gourges, determined to punish the Spaniards for their cruelty. He sold his property to obtain money to fit out an expedition to Florida. Arriving in Florida in the spring of 1568, he was joined by the natives in an attack on two forts occupied by the Spaniards below Fort Caroline. The forts were captured and their inmates put to the sword, except a few whom de Gourges hung to trees with the inscription: "Not as Spaniards and mariners, but as traitors, robbers and murderers."
Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh—English Expedition to North Carolina—Failure of Attempts to Settle There—Virginia Dare—The Lost Colony—The Foundation of Jamestown—Captain John Smith—His Life Saved by Pocahontas—Rolfe Marries the Indian Princess—A Key to Early Colonial History—Women Imported to Virginia.
The lives of the hapless Huguenots who perished at the hands of Menendez were, perhaps, not altogether wasted, for it is believed that a refugee from the Port Royal colony, wrecked on the coast of England, gave Queen Elizabeth interesting information about the temperate and fruitful regions north of the Spanish territories and prepared her mind to favor the projects of Sir Walter Raleigh. That bold and talented adventurer, whose name will live forever in American annals, and whose monument is North Carolina's beautiful State capital, is said in the familiar story to have attracted the notice of Queen Elizabeth by spreading his scarlet cloak over a miry place for the queen to walk upon. He made rapid progress in the good graces of his sovereign, who was quick to discern the men who could be useful to her and to her kingdom. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, half brother to Sir Walter, had perished on an expedition to found an English colony in America. A storm engulfed his vessel, the Squirrel, and he went down with all his crew. Queen Elizabeth graciously granted to Sir Walter a patent as lord proprietor of the country from Delaware Bay to the mouth of the Santee River, and substantially including the present States of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and a large portion of South Carolina, with an indefinite extension to the west.
Raleigh sent out an expedition of two ships under the command of Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow. They landed upon the coast of North Carolina at mid-summer, in the year 1584. The scenery and climate were charming, the natives hospitable and everything seemed to promise well for future settlement. The adventurers reported to Raleigh, who decided to plant a colony in the region visited by his vessels. Queen Elizabeth herself is said to have given the name of Virginia to her dominion, to commemorate her unmarried condition. Untaught by the experience of American colonists from the days of Columbus, the English settlers in North Carolina had the usual quarrel with the natives, and were saved from the usual fate only by the timely arrival of Sir Francis Drake on his return to England from a cruise against the Spaniards. The colonists sought refuge on Drake's vessels and were carried back to their native country.
Subsequent attempts of Sir Walter Raleigh to establish colonies in North Carolina also failed, but these efforts were productive of at least one important benefit in introducing to the attention of the English and also of the Irish, the potato, which, although previously brought to Ireland by a slave-trader named Hawkins, and to England by Sir Francis Drake, attracted but little notice before it was imported by John White, Raleigh's Governor of Roanoke. At Roanoke was born, August 18, 1587, the first white child of English parentage on the North American continent, Virginia Dare, the daughter of William and Eleanor Dare, and granddaughter of Governor White.
In the little wooden chapel, two or three weeks after the event, the colonists assembled one bright day to attend the baptism and christening of the little stranger. The font was the family's silver wash ewer, and the sponsor was Governor White himself, the baby's grandfather. Thereafter she was known as Virginia Dare, a sweet and appropriate name for this pretty little wild flower that bloomed all alone on that desolate coast. About the time that Virginia was cutting her first teeth there came very distressing times to the colony. There was great need of supplies, and it was determined to send to England for them. Governor White went himself, and never saw his little granddaughter again.
It was three years before the Governor returned to Roanoke Island. He was kept in England by the Spanish invasion, and after the winds and the waves had shattered the dreaded Armada, it was some time before Raleigh could get together the men and supplies that were needed by the far-off colony. At last the ship was ready and White took his departure, but he had not sailed far when his vessel was overtaken by a Spanish cruiser and captured. White himself escaped in a boat, and after many days reached England again. Then he had to wait for another ship, and the weary old man saw day after day go by before he left the chalk cliffs of England behind him. After long, anxious months he approached the new land. It was near sunset and he expected to see the smoke rising from the chimneys and the settlers hurrying in from the fields to eat their evening meal, or crowding down to greet the long-looked for arrivals. But no such cheering sight met his gaze. There stood the cabins, but they were deserted; not a single human soul was visible. They landed and walked up the grass-grown paths. Vines and climbers festooned the doorways. A dreary stillness reigned everywhere. The colony had disappeared, and tradition has it to this day that the settlers were absorbed in the Indian tribes and that little Virginia Dare may have become a white Pocahontas.
Raleigh lost his best friend when Queen Elizabeth died, and her successor, James, gave into other hands the task of establishing English power in America. The London Company, with a patent from the king, sent a fleet of three vessels to Virginia, which ascended the James River, and fifty miles from its mouth laid the foundation of Jamestown, May 13, 1607.
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It was a lovely day in summer, presenting a bright southern contrast to the bitter winter weather which welcomed the Pilgrims thirteen years later to Plymouth Rock, when the Englishmen began the erection of a fort on the peninsula or island in the river, where they proposed to establish the capital of their colony. They chose for their president Edward Maria Wingfield, ignoring Captain John Smith, a gallant and resourceful soldier of fortune who would have been invaluable as a leader against any foe. The fort had not been completed when the Indians gathered in large numbers and made a desperate attack on the colony. Twelve of the colonists were killed and wounded before the savages were driven off by the use of artillery. In the following winter Captain John Smith explored the waters in the vicinity of Jamestown in search of a passage to the Pacific. This may seem ridiculous in the light of present knowledge, but it is to be remembered that two years later, in 1609, the great navigator, Henry Hudson, ascended the river which bears his name, in the expectation of discovering a northwest passage to the Orient. Even the most enlightened nations of Europe were slow to give up the idea that a connection by water existed through the American continent, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
To return to Captain John Smith. It appears that in the course of his explorations he was captured by Indians, and taken before Chief Powhatan at his forest home. As Smith tells the story, the chief wore a mantle of raccoon skins and a head-dress of eagle's feathers. The warriors, about two hundred in number, were ranged on each side of Powhatan, and the Indian women were assembled behind the warriors to witness the unwonted scene. Two daughters of the chief, or, as the English called him, the "emperor," had seats near his "throne." Smith was well received, one woman bringing him water to wash his hands, and another a bunch of feathers to dry them with. Then he was fed, and the council deliberated as to his fate. They resolved that he should die. Two large stones were placed in front of Powhatan and Smith was pinioned, dragged to the stones, and his head placed upon them, while the warriors who were to carry out the sentence brandished their clubs for the fatal blow. One of the daughters of Powhatan, named Matoa, or Pocahontas, sixteen or eighteen years old, sprang from her father's side, clasped Smith in her arms, and laid her head upon his. Powhatan, savage as he was, and full of anger against the English, melted at the sight. He ordered that the prisoner should be released, and sent him with a message of friendship to Jamestown.
Pocahontas continued to be a friend to the white man. Learning, two years later, of an Indian plot to exterminate the intruders, she sped stealthily from her father's home to the English settlement, warned Captain Smith of the impending peril, and was back in Powhatan's cabin before morning. The English were not ungrateful for her goodness, even although it appears she was unable to prevent her father from giving expression at times to his hatred of the colonists. On one occasion, when the settlers were suffering from scarcity of food, and Powhatan would not permit his people to carry corn to Jamestown, an Englishman named Samuel Argall went on a foraging expedition near the home of Powhatan, and enticed Pocahontas on board his vessel. He held the young woman as a prisoner, and offered to release her for a large ransom in corn. Powhatan refused to have anything to do with Argall, but sent word to Jamestown saying that if his daughter should be returned to him he would treat the English as friends. Pocahontas was detained at Jamestown for several months, being treated with respect, and having the free run of the colony. She appears to have been a romping, good-natured young woman, comely for an Indian, passing her time as happily as possible, without moping for her kinspeople, and not at all the typical heroine of song and story. It was wicked to detain her, but she seemed to enjoy her captivity and frolicked about the place in a way that must have shocked those who regarded her as of royal birth. Evidently Pocahontas liked the English from the first, and preferred their company at Jamestown to her childhood home in the Virginia forests. A young Englishman, named John Rolfe, fell in love with her. Wives from England were scarce, and this fact may have made Pocahontas more attractive in his eyes. When some one objected that she was a pagan—"Is it not my duty," he replied, "to lead the blind to the light?" Pocahontas learned to love Rolfe in return, and love made easy her path to conversion to Christianity. She was baptized by the name of Rebecca, and was the first Christian convert in Virginia. Powhatan consented to his daughter's marriage—he had probably concluded by this that she was bound to be English anyhow—and the ceremony was performed in the chapel at Jamestown, on a delightful spring day in April, 1613. Pocahontas, we are told, was dressed in a simple tunic of white muslin from the looms of Dacca. Her arms were bare even to her shoulders, and hanging loosely to her feet was a robe of rich stuff presented by the Governor, Sir Thomas Dale, and fancifully embroidered by Pocahontas and her maidens. A gaudy fillet encircled her head, and held the plumage of birds and a veil of gauze, while her wrists and ankles were adorned with the simple jewelry of the native workshops. When the ceremony was ended, the eucharist was administered, with bread from the wheat fields around Jamestown, and wine from the grapes of the adjacent woodland. Her brothers and sisters and forest maidens were present; also the Governor and Council, and five English women—all that there were in the colony—who afterward returned to England. Rolfe and his spouse "lived civilly and lovingly together" until Governor Dale went back to England in 1616, when they and the Englishwomen in Virginia accompanied the Governor. The "Lady Rebecca" received great attentions at court and from all below it. She was entertained by the Lord Bishop of London, and at court she was treated with the respect due to the daughter of a monarch. The silly King James was angry because one of his subjects dared marry a lady of royal blood! And Captain Smith, for fear of displeasing the royal bigot, would not allow her to call him "father," as she desired to do, and her loving heart was grieved. The king, in his absurd dreams of the divinity of the royal prerogative, imagined Rolfe or his descendants might claim the crown of Virginia on behalf of his royal wife, and he asked the Privy Council if the husband had not committed treason! Pocahontas remained in England about a year; and when, with her husband and son she was about to return to Virginia, with her father's chief councillor, she was seized with small-pox at Gravesend, and died in June, 1617. Her remains lie within the parish church-yard at Gravesend. Her son, Thomas Rolfe, afterward became a distinguished man in Virginia, and his descendants are found among the most honorable citizens of that commonwealth.
Between the lines of the story of Pocahontas can be found the key to much of the early history of Virginia and other colonies. Even before regular settlements were attempted on these shores the Indians had learned by bitter experience to dread and hate the strangers in the big canoes. Slave-traders and adventurers made prey of the natives, and many a depredating visit was doubtless paid to America that is not recorded in the annals of those times. Argall's abduction of Pocahontas ended fortunately, but it might have brought on a terrible Indian war and the destruction of the Virginia colony. Had such been the result the civilized world would never have known the red man's side of the story, and Powhatan's just vengeance would have been set down to the barbarous and savage nature of the Indian.
The scarcity of women in the Virginia colony has already been alluded to in connection with the marriage of Rolfe and Pocahontas. Of the early immigrants very few were women, and there could be no permanent colony without the home and family. The London Company, at the instance of their treasurer, Edwin Sandys, proposed, about twelve years after the first settlement, to send one hundred "pure and uncorrupt" young women to Virginia at the expense of the corporation, to be wives to the planters. Ninety were sent over in 1620. The shores were lined with young men waiting to see them land, and in a few days everyone of the fair immigrants had found a husband. Wives had to be paid for in tobacco—the currency of the colony—in order to recompense the company for the expense of importing them. The price of a wife was at first fixed at one hundred and twenty-five pounds of tobacco—equal to about $90—but afterward rose to $150. The women were disposed of on credit, when the suitor had not the cash, and the debt incurred for a wife was considered a debt of honor. Virginia became a colony of homes. The settlement was saved from becoming a refuge of the criminal and the outcast, and in the unions formed at that time many of the families in the country had their origin. That some of the refuse of English society floated into the colony is true, and many of the unruly children of London and other English towns, were sent there as apprentices. But the unruly street boy often has the diamond of energy and genius concealed within the rude exterior, and in the genial clime of Virginia, with an opportunity to be a man among men, the young apprentice from the slums of London or Plymouth proved himself to possess qualities of value to the community.
The French in Canada—Champlain Attacks the Iroquois—Quebec a Military Post—Weak Efforts at Colonization—Fur-traders and Missionaries—The Foundation of New France—The French King Claims from the Upper Lakes to the Sea—Slow Growth of the French Colonies—Mixing with the Savages—The "Coureurs de Bois."
Although the French navigator, Jacques Cartier, had sailed up the St. Lawrence as early as 1534, it was not until 1608—the year after the foundation of Jamestown—that Samuel de Champlain effected a permanent settlement at Quebec. It happened that the Indians of the St. Lawrence region were at bitter enmity with the Iroquois, or Five Nations, who lived in the present State of New York, and this enmity had no small influence in deciding the subsequent duel between France and England for empire in North America. Champlain accepted the St. Lawrence Indians as allies, and consented to lead a war party against the Iroquois. In 1609, the year after the settlement of Quebec, Champlain entered the lake which bears his name, accompanied by a number of the St. Lawrence Indians, and engaged the Iroquois in battle. The warriors of the Five Nations were brave, but the white man's gun was too much for them, and when two of their chiefs fell dead, pierced by a shot from Champlain's weapon, they turned and fled. The French thus won the friendship of the Canadian Indians and the undying hatred of the Five Nations, and the latter therefore stood faithfully by first the Dutch, and later the English in the establishment of their power at Manhattan.
Quebec continued for many years to be hardly more than a military post. At the time of Champlain's death, in 1635, there was, says Winsor, a fortress with a few small guns on the cliffs of Cape Diamond. Along the foot of the precipice was a row of unsightly and unsubstantial buildings, where the scant population lived, carried on their few handicrafts, and stored their winter provisions. It was a motley crowd which, in the dreary days, sheltered itself here from the cold blasts that blew along the river channel. There was the military officer, who sought to give some color to the scene in showing as much of his brilliant garb as the cloak which shielded him from the wind would permit. The priest went from house to house with his looped hat. The lounging hunter preferred for the most part to tell his story within doors. Occasionally you could mark a stray savage who had come to the settlement for food. Such characters as these, and the lazy laborers taking a season of rest after the summer's traffic, would be grouped in the narrow street beneath the precipice whenever the wintry sun gave more than its usual warmth at mid-day. It was hardly a scene to inspire confidence in the future. It was not the beginning of empire. If one climbed the path leading to the top of the rugged slope he could see a single cottage that looked as if a settler had come to stay. There were cattle-sheds and signs of thrift in its garden plot. If Champlain had had other colonists like the man who built this house and marked out this farmstead, he might have died with the hope that New France had been planted in this great valley on the basis of domestic life. The widow of this genuine settler, Hebert, still occupied the house at the time when Champlain died, and they point out to you now in the upper town the spot where this one early householder of Quebec made his little struggle to instil a proper spirit of colonization into a crowd of barterers and adventurers. From this upper level the visitor at this time might have glanced across the valley of the St. Charles to but a single other sign of permanency in the stone manor house of Robert Gifart, which had, the previous year, been built at Beauport.
The French pushed their explorations toward the west and missionary stations were established in the country of the Hurons. Two French fur-traders reached in 1658 the western extremity of Lake Superior, and heard from the Indians there of the great river—the Mississippi—running toward the south. Upon the return of the traders to Canada an expedition was organized to proceed to the distant region to which the traders had penetrated, exchange trinkets for furs, and convert the natives to the Christian faith. It was now that the French began to reap the fatal fruits of their causeless war on the Iroquois. The latter attacked and dispersed the expedition, killing several Frenchmen. In 1665, western exploration was resumed, Father Allouez reaching the Falls of St. Mary in September of that year, and coasting along the southern shore of Lake Superior to the great village of the Chippewas. Delegations from a number of Indian nations, including the Illinois tribe, met Father Allouez in council at St. Mary's, and complained of the hostile visitations of the Iroquois from the east and the Sioux from the west. Father Allouez promised them protection against the Iroquois. Soon after this the French summoned a great convention of the tribes to St. Mary's, and in presence of the chieftains formally took possession of the country in behalf of the king of France. A large wooden cross was elevated with religious ceremonies. The priests chanted and prayed and the French king was proclaimed sovereign of the country along the upper lakes and southward to the sea. Thus was founded the short-lived empire of France in America.
The only French occupation of the St. Lawrence was not of the kind to flourish. Sir William Alexander, in a tract which he published in 1624, to induce a more active immigration on the part of his countrymen to his province of New Scotland (Nova Scotia), accounts for the want of stability in the French colony in that they were "only desirous to know the nature and quality of the soil and did never seek to have (its products) in such quantity as was requisite for their maintenance, affecting more by making a needless ostentation that the world should know they had been there, more in love with glory than with virtue.... Being always subject to divisions among themselves it was impossible that they could subsist, which proceeded sometimes from emulation or envy, and at other times from the laziness of the disposition of some, who, loathing labor, would be commanded by none." In 1660, after more than half a century after the first settlement, a census of Canada showed a total of 3418 souls, while the inhabitants of New England numbered at the same time not far from eighty thousand. The establishment of seigneuries was not calculated to invite or promote desirable immigration. A seigneurial title was given to any enterprising person who would undertake to plant settlers on the land, and accept in return a certain proportion of the grist, furs and fish which the occupant could procure by labor. Immigrants of the class which builds up a country want to own the land which they cultivate. The sense of independence inspires them with energy and with a patriotic interest in the commonwealth. Another peculiar feature of French colonization was the tendency to mingle with the natives. As early as 1635, Champlain told the Hurons, at his last Council in Quebec, that they only needed to embrace the white man's faith if they would have the white man take their daughters in marriage. The English principle was to drive out the savage when he could be driven out, or to tolerate him as a ward and an inferior when it would be unjust to expel or destroy him; the Frenchman embraced the Indian as a brother. "The French missionary," says Doyle in his Puritan colonies, "well nigh broke with civilization; he toned down all that was spiritual in his religion, and emphasized all that was sensual, till he had assimilated it to the wants of the savage. The better and worse features of Puritanism forbade a triumph won on such terms." One of the worst products of French colonial life was the class known as the "coureurs de bois," a lawless gang, half trader, half explorer, bent on divertisement, and not discouraged by misery or peril. They lived in a certain fashion to which the missionaries themselves were not averse, as Lemercier shows where he commends the priests of his order as being savages among savages. Charlevoix tells us that while the Indian did not become French, the Frenchman became a savage. Talon speaks of these vagabonds as living as banditti, gathering furs as they could and bringing them to Albany or Montreal to sell, just as it proved the easiest. If the intendant could have controlled them he would have made them marry, give up trade and the wilderness, and settle down to work.
 Winsor's "Cartier to Frontenac."
Henry Hudson's Discovery—Block Winters on Manhattan Island—The Dutch Take Possession—The Iroquois Friendly—Immigration of the Walloons— Charter of Privileges and Exemptions—Patroons—Manufactures Forbidden —Slave Labor Introduced—New Sweden—New Netherlanders Want a Voice in the Government.
When Henry Hudson managed, notwithstanding his detention in England by King James, to send an account of his discoveries to Holland, the Dutch were swift to avail themselves of the opportunities thus offered to extend their trade to North America. The traders who first sought Manhattan Island and Hudson's River, or the "Mauritius" as the Dutch called the North River, were not settlers. Among them was the daring navigator, Adrian Block, from whom Block Island is named, who gathered a cargo of skins and was about to depart, late in the year 1613, when vessel and cargo were consumed by fire. Block and his crew built log-cabins on the lower part of Manhattan Island, and spent the winter constructing a new ship, which they called the "Onrust" or "unrest"—an incident and a name significant now in view of the commercial pre-eminence and activity of the metropolis founded where those men built the first habitations occupied by Europeans. Block sailed in the spring of 1614 on a voyage of further discovery in his American built ship. He passed through the East River and Long Island Sound and ascertained that the long strip of land on the south was an island. He saw and named Block Island, and entered Narragansett Bay and the harbor of Boston. His report led the States-General to grant a charter for four years from October 11, 1614, to a company formed to trade in the region which Block had explored, the territory "lying between Virginia and New France," being called the New Netherland. When the charter expired, the States-General refused to grant a renewal, it being designed to place New Netherland under the jurisdiction of the Dutch West India Company as soon as that company should have received the charter for which application had been made. This charter, granted June 3, 1620, conferred on the Dutch West India Company almost sovereign powers over the Atlantic coast of America, so far as it was unoccupied by other nations, and the western coast of Africa. The Company was organized in 1622, and its attention was at once called to the necessity of founding a permanent colony in the New Netherland in order to preserve the country from seizure by the English, now established in New Plymouth to the north, as well as Virginia on the south. Dutch traders had not been idle during the period between the lapse of the old charter and organization under the new and the West India Company found its operations greatly facilitated by the labors of the pioneers. The storehouse on Manhattan Island had been enlarged, a fort had been erected on an island near the site of Albany, and the Iroquois had learned that in the Dutch they had an ally who would assist them with arms at least against their enemies on the St. Lawrence. The West India Company began wisely the work of settlement. They invited the Walloons, Protestant refugees from the Belgic provinces of Spain, to emigrate to New Netherland. They were most desirable settlers for a new country, as industrious as they were intelligent and religious, and well versed in agriculture as well as the mechanical and finer arts. Having abandoned their homes for conscience' sake they could be trusted to do their duty loyally to their adopted State, and to advance to the best of their ability the interests of the Company.
Thirty families, including one hundred and ten men, women and children, and most of them Walloons, were in the first emigration. Four of the families, young couples who had been married on shipboard, and who, perhaps, concluded that they would get along better apart from the older households, chose to settle on the Delaware, four miles below the site of Philadelphia, where they built a blockhouse and called it Fort Nassau. Eight seamen went with them and formed a part of their colony, which grew and prospered. Others of the emigrants went to Long Island; some founded Albany; some settled on the Connecticut River, and several families made their homes in what is at present Ulster County. The Company sent over Peter Minuit as Governor in 1626, who bought from the natives their title to Manhattan Island, paying therefor trinkets and liquor to the value of twenty-four dollars. Governor Minuit built a fortification at the southern end of the island, and called it New Amsterdam. The States-General constituted the colony a county of Holland, and bestowed on it a seal, being a shield enclosed in a chain, with an escutcheon on which was the figure of a beaver. The crest was the coronet of a count.
In 1629 the Dutch West India Company gave to the settlers a charter of "privileges and exemptions," and sought to encourage immigration by offering as much land as the immigrants could cultivate, with free liberty of hunting and fowling under the direction of the Governor. They also offered to any person who should "discover any shore, bay or other fit place for erecting fisheries or the making of salt pounds" an absolute property in the same. To further promote the settlement of New Netherland the company proposed to grant lands in any part of the colony outside the island of Manhattan, to the extent of sixteen miles along any navigable stream, or four miles if on each shore, and indefinitely in the interior, to any person who should agree to plant a colony of adults within four years; or if he should bring more, his domain to be enlarged in proportion. He was to be the absolute lord of the manor, with the feudal right to hold manorial courts; and if cities should grow up on his domain he was to have power to appoint the magistrates and other officers of such municipalities, and have a deputy to confer with the Governor. Settlers under these lords, who were known as patroons—a term synonymous with the Scottish "laird" and the Swedish "patroon"—were to be exempt for ten years from the payment of taxes and tribute for the support of the colonial government, and for the same period every man, woman and child was bound not to leave the service of the patroon without his written consent. In order to prevent the colonists from building up local manufactures to the detriment of Holland industries and of the Company's trade, the settlers were forbidden to manufacture cloth of any kind under pain of banishment, and the Company agreed to supply settlers with as many African slaves "as they conveniently could," and to protect them against enemies. Each settlement was required to support a minister of the gospel and a schoolmaster. The system thus established contained the seed of evil as well as of good. African slave labor, already introduced in Virginia, where the climate was some excuse for its adoption, worked injury to the New Netherland, where all the conditions were favorable to white labor, and tended to create a servile class. The negroes, both bond and free, were for many years a most obnoxious element in the colony, viewed with apprehension and suspicion even down to the beginning of the present century by the general body of white citizens, and often subjected to most cruel and unjust persecution and punishment on charges that were either baseless or founded only in malice. The restriction on domestic manufactures was another barb in the side of the colonists, and that policy continued by the English successors of the Dutch, had much to do with exciting the War for Independence. The patroons also were an aristocratic element foreign to the prevalent spirit of North American settlement, and their feudal rule, although liberal and patriarchal in some instances, became less tolerable as years rolled on, and the people comprehended the absurdity and injustice of mediaeval institutions on American soil. It is fortunate that the patroon system, unlike slavery, was ultimately uprooted without revolution.
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Americans should be proud of the fact that Gustavus Adolphus, the great king of Sweden who died on the field of Lutzen in the cause of religious liberty, gave his approval to the project for planting a Swedish colony in America, and by proclamation, while in the midst of his campaign against the Catholic League, recommended the enterprise to his people. Eighteen days later the champion of Protestantism fell in the hour of victory, and a noble monument erected by the German people marks the spot where he gave up his life that Germany might be free. The scheme was carried out by the regency which took charge of the kingdom, and Governor Minuit, recalled from New Netherland, sailed from Gottenburg in 1637 to plant a new colony on the west side of Delaware Bay. The colonists arrived at their destination in the spring of 1638, and Minuit procured from an Indian sachem a deed for a region which, the Swedes claimed, extended from Cape Henlopen to the Falls of the Delaware, where Trenton is now, and an indefinite distance inland. The Dutch protested and threatened, but Minuit built a fort on the site of Wilmington, and called it Fort Christina, in honor of the young queen of Sweden, daughter of Gustavus Adolphus. The colony prospered, and a number of Hollanders settled there with the Swedes. Minuit died in 1641, and the Swedish government proceeded to place the colony on a permanent footing, and called it "New Sweden." The colony was unable to hold its own against the Dutch, and surrendered in 1655 to an expedition led by Peter Stuyvesant.
While New Netherland remained under Dutch rule the people had no voice in the choice of those officers whose duties were more than local in character. The governor was an appointee of the West India Company, and responsible solely to it; though the latter was subject to a certain amount of control from the States-General. That the people desired the privilege of electing their general officers, is shown by a petition sent in 1649 to the States-General from the Nine Men. A request was made in this document for a suitable system of government, and it was accompanied by a sketch of the methods of written proxies used by the New England colonies in selecting their governors. On the other hand, a letter sent two years later by the magistrates of Gravesend to the directors at Amsterdam, stated that it would involve "ruin and destruction" to frequently change the government by allowing the people to elect the governor, partly on account of the numerous factions, and partly because there were no persons in the province capable of filling the office. Nor did the Dutch colonists possess any voice in the making of laws. There was no regular representative assembly, although we find that there were several emergencies when the advice of the people was asked by the governors.
 See "History of Elections in the American Colonies." Columbia College Series.
Landing of the Pilgrims—Their Abiding Faith in God's Goodness—The Agreement Signed on the Mayflower—A Winter of Hardship—The Indians Help the Settlers—Improved Conditions—The Colony Buys Its Freedom—Priscilla and John Alden—Their Romantic Courtship and Marriage.
It is usual to celebrate the landing day of the Pilgrim Fathers on the bleak shore of New Plymouth, December 11 (22) 1620, as the beginning of New England. It was an event which richly deserves all the commemoration in song and story and banquet-hall which it has received or ever will receive, but the real and substantial foundation of New England was laid about ten years later, when a numerous and well-to-do body of Puritans, under a charter granted by the crown, formed the colony of Massachusetts Bay. The Pilgrim Fathers were merely a handful in number, and as poor as they were loyal and conscientious. Exiles to Holland, they declined an offer from the Dutch West India Company to accept lands in New Netherland. They wished to remain English, and with the aid of some London merchants whose Puritan sympathies were mingled with a desire for gain, the little community procured the means to sail for "the northern parts of Virginia." The Pilgrims were just as true to King James as the settlers of Jamestown, but they did not intend to join that colony, whose members were attached to the Established Church, so far as they had any religion, and where dissenters would have been ill at ease. At the same time the immigrants in the Mayflower did not intend to land so far north as they did. The wearisome voyage, however, made them anxious to get on shore, the land could not be more inhospitable than the winter sea, and they had an abiding faith in God's goodness and providence which enabled them to face with resolution the hardships and dangers of the northern wilderness. The act which the men of the party signed on the Mayflower, previous to landing, showed that they were determined to have an orderly government. It was the first American constitution, and as such deserves to be remembered: "In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are hereunder written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc., having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith, and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do, by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitution and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November (O. S.) in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini 1620."
The day of landing was, as already stated, December 11, or according to the new style, December 22. The spot which the Pilgrims selected for settlement was well-watered and promising, and they gave to it the name of the haven where they had taken a final leave of their native land. The winter was fortunately mild, but they had to endure cruel hardships. Their stores were scanty; they had no fishing tackle, and game was not abundant. Fortunately spring came early; but forty-four of the little company succumbed to want and cold, and those who retained their health were hardly equal to the task of nursing the sick and burying the dead. Had the savages been numerous and hostile they could have swept the little settlement out of existence with but small effort; but the country had been wasted not long before by a deadly pestilence and the native tribes were too weak and too much in fear of more powerful enemies of their own race, to make an attack on the strangers. Instead of injuring the newcomers the Indians helped them, brought them game and fish, and taught them how to cultivate corn. In 1623 the colony had, with new arrivals, about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. The first division of land was made this year, and a large crop of corn was harvested. Twelve years after the foundation the people of Plymouth hardly numbered five hundred, and they were soon overshadowed by the large Puritan immigration to Salem and Boston. The poor and struggling settlers of Plymouth did not even have the satisfaction of knowing that the fruits of their toils and sufferings would be their own. They were still bound to the London merchants who had supplied them with the means for emigration, and these partners in the enterprise were impatient of the lack of returns. As the Pilgrims gradually grew better off they were the more anxious to remove the yoke which interfered with their independence, and some members of the community who were richer than the others agreed, in exchange for a monopoly of the Indian trade and the surrender of the accumulated wealth of the colony, to pay its debt to the English shareholders. The colony thus achieved its freedom, and its members were able to proceed in building their settlement according to their own ideas of religion and civil government without restraint from partners who had sought only for worldly profit.
One of the most interesting incidents connected with the early history of the Plymouth Colony was the romantic marriage of Priscilla and John Alden, immortalized in the verse of Longfellow. Captain Miles Standish was a redoubtable soldier, small in person, but of great activity and courage. He came over in the Mayflower, and his wife Rose Standish fell a victim to the privations which attended the first year in America. Another passenger on the Mayflower was Priscilla Mullins, daughter of William Mullins, a maiden of unusual beauty, just blooming into womanhood. The gallant widower fell in love with Priscilla, but for some reason which does not clearly appear, but probably bashfulness, he sent another to do his courting. Standish himself was about thirty-seven years of age, and doubtless showed the effect of his hard service in the wars. Nevertheless, he might have won Priscilla had he gone for her in person, for, as the military leader of the colony, beset as it was by savages who might at any time become hostile, he was a man of importance and desirable for a son-in-law. He made the mistake of choosing as Cupid's messenger a handsome young man named John Alden, a cooper from Southampton, with whom Priscilla was already well acquainted, and with whom she had quite possibly whiled away many hours of the wearisome three months' voyage from old Plymouth. Alden and Priscilla may have been in love with each other already, when Captain Standish sent the youth on his embarrassing mission. Even the rigid rules of Puritanism could not prevent young men and women from falling in love, while their elders were engaged in more sedate occupations. It is to be said for Standish, also, that he evidently did not intend that the young man should state the case to Priscilla, but only to her father. The parent promptly gave his consent, but added that "Priscilla must be consulted." The maiden was called into the room, and a brighter light dawned in her eyes, and a ruddier flush suffused her cheeks, as her gaze met that of the handsome young cooper. John Alden, too, could not remain unaffected, as he repeated his message to the fair young woman, into whose ears he had probably poured sweet nothings many a time while they dreamed, perhaps, of the day when more serious words would be spoken. Priscilla asked why Captain Standish had not come himself. Alden replied that the Captain was too busy. This naturally made the maiden indignant, for she was justified in assuming that no business could be more important than that of asking for her hand. It is also possible that she was glad of an excuse for rejecting the proffered honor. She declared that she would never marry a man who was too busy to court her, adding, in the words of Longfellow:
"Had he waited awhile, had only showed that he loved me, Even this captain of yours—who knows?—at last might have won me, Old and rough as he is, but now it never can happen."
John Alden pressed the suit in behalf of his soldier friend, secretly hoping, it is to be feared, that Priscilla would not take him too much in earnest, when, continues Longfellow:
"Archly the maiden smiled, and with eyes over-running with laughter. Said, in a tremulous voice: 'Why don't you speak for yourself, John?'"
John did not speak for himself—at least not directly, on that occasion, but he did later on, and shortly afterward the marriage of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins was celebrated with all the display that the Plymouth settlers could afford. Captain Standish did not blame Alden, but he did not remain long near the scene of his disappointment, moving, in 1626, to Duxbury, Massachusetts. He lived to a hale old age, respected both for his private virtues and his public services.
The Puritan Immigration—Wealth and Learning Seek These Shores—Charter Restrictions Dead Letters—A Stubborn Struggle for Self-government— Methods of Election—The Early Government an Oligarchy—The Charter of 1691—New Hampshire and Maine—The New Haven Theocracy—Hartford's Constitution—The United Colonies—The Clergy and Politics—Every Election Sermon a Declaration of Independence.
John Endicott's settlement at Salem, and the large immigration which followed the granting of a royal patent to the Massachusetts Bay Company, together with the transfer of the charter and corporate powers of the company from England to Massachusetts, led to the growth of a powerful Puritan commonwealth which overshadowed and ultimately absorbed the feeble settlement at Plymouth. The natal day of New England was that on which John Winthrop landed at Salem, with nine hundred immigrants in the summer of 1630, bringing not merely virtue, muscle and brawn, such as carried the Pilgrims through their appalling experience, but wealth and substance, learning and art, men to command as well as men to obey. From that time, except during the season of depression which followed King Philip's war, New England went steadily forward in population, prosperity and political power. Her rulers were well able to meet and defeat their would-be oppressors in the field of diplomacy, and now defying, now ignoring and again pretending to yield to royal dictation, Massachusetts never gave up the principles which animated her founders, or the purpose which prompted them to abandon homes of comfort and even of luxury, and establish new institutions in a new world. The Massachusetts settlers were forbidden by the terms of their charter to enact any laws repugnant to the laws of England. This restriction was a dead letter from the very beginning. Indeed, literally construed, it would have defeated the very object of Puritan emigration—to escape from the rule of a hierarchy established under English laws. As Massachusetts was for many years the leading colony of the north of English origin, and probably made more of an impress than any other colony and State upon our national character, it may be of interest to quote here a sketch of its political institutions and their changes in the colonial period.
The charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company authorized the election of a governor, deputy governor and eighteen assistants on the last Wednesday of Easter. Endicott, the first governor, was chosen by the company in London in April, 1629, but in October of the following year it was resolved that the governor and deputy governor should be chosen by the assistants out of their own number. After 1632, however, the governor was chosen by the whole body of the freemen from among the assistants at a general court or assembly held in May of each year. The deputy governor was elected at the same time. The charter, as already mentioned, provided also for the annual election of assistants or magistrates, whose number was fixed at eighteen. Besides the officers mentioned in the charter, an order of 1647 declared that a treasurer, major-general, admiral at sea, commissioners for the United Colonies, secretary of the General Court and "such others as are, or hereafter may be, of like general nature," should be chosen annually "by the freemen of this jurisdiction." The voting took place in Boston in May at a court of election held annually, and freemen could vote at first only in person, but eventually by proxy also, if they desired to do so. In both Massachusetts and New Plymouth all freemen had originally a personal voice in the transaction of public business at the general courts or assemblies which were held at stated intervals. One of these was known as the Court of Election, and at this were chosen the officers of the colony for the ensuing year. As the number of settlements increased, it became inconvenient for freemen to attend the general courts in person and they were allowed to be represented by deputies. As it was impossible for all freemen when the colony became more populated, to attend the courts of election, the deputies were at length permitted to carry the votes of their townsmen to Boston.
The governor, as well as the other officers in Massachusetts, were first chosen by show of hands, but about 1634 it was provided that the names should be written on papers, the papers to be open or only once folded, so that they might be the sooner perused. Afterward the voting was by corn and beans, a grain of Indian corn signifying election, and a black bean the contrary. The offence of ballot-box stuffing seems to have existed, or at least was provided against even among the early Puritans, for it was enacted that any freeman putting more than one grain should be fined ten pounds—a large sum of money in those days.
The Massachusetts colonial government has been called a theocracy. As a matter of fact it was an oligarchy, the political power residing in but a small proportion of even the church-going freemen. This is shown in the remonstrance addressed to the colony by the royal commission appointed under King Charles II. to investigate the governments of the New England colonies. Said the Commissioners to Massachusetts:
"You haue so tentered the king's qualliffications as in making him only who paieth ten shillings to a single rate to be of competent estate, that when the king shall be enformed, as the trueth is, that not one church member in an hundred payes so much & yt in a toune of an hundred inhabitants, scarse three such men are to be found, wee feare that the king will rather finde himself deluded than satisfied by your late act."
During the rule of Dudley and Andros the whole legislative power of Massachusetts was lodged in a council, appointed by the crown through its governor, and popular election in the New England colonies was limited to the choice of selectmen at a single meeting held annually in each town, on the third Monday in May.
The ultimate result of the revolution of 1688 in England was to unite Massachusetts and New Plymouth under the Charter of 1691. By virtue of this instrument, "the Great and General Court of Assembly" was to consist of "the Governor and Council or Assistants for the time being, and such Freeholders of our said Province or Territory as shall be from time to time elected or deputed by the Major parte of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the respective Townes and Places." The governor, deputy governor and secretary and the first assistants were appointed. After the first year, the assistants were to be annually elected by the General Assembly. Under this charter, with the exception of the deputies, the only elective officers whose functions were at all general in their nature were the county treasurers, and they were chosen upon the basis of the town rather than upon the basis of the provincial suffrage.
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New Hampshire owed its original settlement to John Mason, a London merchant, who was associated with Sir Ferdinand Gorges in obtaining a grant of land in 1622, from the Merrimac to the Kennebec and inland to the St. Lawrence. Gorges and Mason agreed to divide their domain at the Piscataqua. Mason, obtaining a patent for his portion of the territory, called it New Hampshire, in commemoration of the fact that he had been governor of Portsmouth in Hampshire, England. The Rev. Mr. Wheelwright, brother of Anne Hutchinson, founded Exeter. The New Hampshire settlements were annexed by Massachusetts in 1641, and remained dependent on that colony until 1680, when New Hampshire became a royal province, ruled by a governor and council and house of representatives elected by the people. The settlers of New Hampshire were mostly Puritans, and thoroughly in sympathy with the political-religious system of Massachusetts. Massachusetts obtained jurisdiction over Maine through purchase from Gorges, and that territory remained attached to Massachusetts until 1820. Vermont had no separate existence until the Revolution.