SIGNING OF THE
LC 1i 1
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
A BOOK FOR HOME AND FIRESIDE
Thoroughly Truthful Narratives of the Greatest, Most Interesting, and Romantic Incidents
from the Earliest Days to the Present Time
TOLD IN EASY, FAMILIAR LANGUAGE
COL. MARSHAL H. BRIGHT
EMBELLISHED WITH ABOUT
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FINE ENGRAVINGS
BY THE BEST AMERICAN ARTISTS
Illustrating that which is Best, Noblest, Most Interesting and Irspiring in the History of
tne Land we ,,e in
MONROE BOOK COMPANY,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year rg98. by
W. E. SCULL,
in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
All rights reserved.
All persons are warned not to infringe upon our copyright by using either the matter or the
pictures in this volume.
T HIS book is designed to impress upon the mind of American youth the
principal great events in our history; to acquaint them with the manners
and customs of different periods and in different sections, and to stimulate
in them such a love for American history that they will seek its fuller details in
the volumes of our great historians.
It was the custom among some nations of antiquity to repeat to each fresh
generation the noble deeds of their ancestors, thus making history a great oral
tradition, and turning it from a dead record into a living romance. The Athenian
boys learned Homer by heart; the Iliad and Odyssey took the place of
the pile of books which the schoolboy of to-day carries under his arm when he
sets his morning face" schoolyard. In this way boys learned beauty and
'--'- LL -.: :- --,:__ r
eloquence of speech, and imbibed the spirit of art while they were yet at their
\..~ -- .....
games. But they learned even greater things than these; they grew up with
the heroes of their race and took part in their great deeds. The bravest and
most poetic things which their race had done were familiar and became dear to
them while their natures were most receptive and responsive. The past was
not dim and obscure to them as it is to too many Americans; it was a living
past, full of splendid figures and heroic deeds. To boys so bred in the very
arms and at the very heart of their race it was a glorious privilege to be an
Athenian; to share in a noble history, to be a citizen of a beautiful city, to have
the proud consciousness of such place and fame among men. It is not surprising
that as the result of such an education the small city of Athens produced more
great men in all departments in the brief limits of a century than most other
cities have bred in the long course of history. There was a vital inspiring
education behind that splendid flowering of art, literature, philosophy, and
This book endeavors to do for American boys and girls what such training
as the above did for the young Athenian, by setting before them in true but
glowing narrative the most heroic and most interesting things in the history of
our grand and glorious country.
It is doubtful if any country has ever developed greater energy of spirit or
greater variety of character than this; and this is the chief reason why our history
has such significance and such fruitage of achievement.
To know this history is a duty and a delight. A man whose brave ancestors
have carried the name he bears far, and made it a synonym for courage and
honor, is rightly proud of his descent and gets from it a new impulse to bear as
brave a part in his own day. Americans can honestly cherish such pride; it is
justified by what lies behind them. No man can be truly patriotic who does not
know something of the nation to which he belongs, and of the country in which
he lives. Such knowledge is a part of intelligent citizenship. In this country,
where the government rests on the intelligence and virtue of the entire population,
such a knowledge is a duty and a necessity. Not to know these things is to miss
a noble and inspiring landscape which we might see simply by the lifting up of
The American boy and girl ought to have the same education, and this book
is for them both. Too many women and almost as many men grow up with the
most indefinite ideas of their own country. They do not know what has been
done here; they do not even know how people live in other parts of the broad
land. They know something of their own communities, but they are ignorant
of the greater community to which they belong. The story of the country's
birth and growth, of its struggles and achievements, of its wonderfully diversified
life, of its heroic men and noble women, ought to be familiar to every boy and
girl from earliest childhood. This knowledge is the A B C of real education,
and to furnish this knowledge was an object in the preparation of this volume.
It is a book for the family and for fireside reading. America is pre-eminently
the country of homes; that is, the country which, by its free institutions and its
large social and industrial conditions, makes comfortable homes possible to its
entire population. These homes are not only the sources of happiness and the
nurseries of purity and prosperity, they are also the schools of citizenship.
From these schools are graduated year after year, in unbroken and never-ending
classes, the men and women who continue and enlarge the work and the influ-
ence of the nation. The Bible has been and will remain the great text-book in
these schools; but other books are needed, and this book aims to take its place
as an indispensable book of instruction and entertainment. The history of a
race is the best possible material for the education of the children of that race.
There is no romance so marvelous as this record of fact; none so full of
incident, adventure, heroism, and human vicissitude. From the voyages of the
earliest Spanish, French, and English explorers to the inventions and discoveries
INTR OD AUCTION.
of modern times; from the struggles for our own freedom in 1776 to our heroic
battle for Cuban liberty from Spanish oppression in 1898, the story never fails
of thrilling interest. It is a romance of humanity written by the hand of Provi-
dence on the clean, broad page of a new continent. It is a Bible for new illus-
tration of the old laws of right and wrong which underlie all history; but it is a
modern version of The Arabian Nights for marvels and miracles of human skill
and achievements. The building of Aladdin's palace was a small affair compared
with the building of some of our States; and the rubbing of Aladdin's lamp was
but a faint burnishing compared with the glow of prosperity which hard work
has brought out on the face of this continent. There is no romance so wonderful
as the story of life told, not by novelists of varying degrees of skill, but acted
out by great multitudes of eager, energetic men and women as recorded in this
volume, for the education and inspiration of the boys and girls, young men and
women of America.
America / What heart does not thrill with patriotic pride at the mention of
the word? Of her glorious history how truly has the poet sung:
"Land of the West, though passing brief
The record of thine age,
Thou hast a name that darkens all
On history's wide page."
Yet, if we may dare to prophesy, the past with all its achievements is not
to be compared to the future greatness of our country, from whose fires on
freedom's altar the torch of liberty is being lighted throughout the world, and
"We behold, as in a vision, stern Columbia, sword in hand,
And we hear the tramp of legions marshaling at her command;
Listen to the ringing challenge that she sends across the sea,
They that wield the rod oppression must account for it to me.'
We behold her, God commissioned, striking ancient error down,
Wresting from the cruel despot sword and sceptre, throne and crown;
All the watching world applauds her when she cuts the captive's thongs
And, full fortified by justice, rights the martyred nation's wrongs."
LIST OF CHAPTERS AND SUBJECTS.
THE STORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND WHAT HE DID 17
Discovery and discoverers-The Norsemen-Did they discover America ?-The evidence-Conclusions-Columbus-
Early years-Characters of his time-Leaves Italy for Portugal-His plan-Sees the king-The king's indifference
-Visits Spain-A true friend-Disappointment and delay-Ferdinand-His coolness to Columbus's project-
Isabella-Exorbitant terms-At last success-The expedition from Palos-Mutiny-Columbus's firmness-Mis-
taken signs-Land at last-A new world found-Returns to Spain-Voyages and discoveries-Humiliation-His
death at Valladolid.
GREAT DISCOVERERS AND EXPLORERS WHO FOLLOWED COLUMBUS 41
Columbus and his discoveries-Their effect-Other nations aroused-The Cabots and Labrador-Americus Vespucius
-The name America-Cannibals and their sacrifices-Pinzon turns voyager-His discoveries-Da Gama-De
Cabral-Bastidas-De La Cosa-Ponce De Leon-His campaign in Florida-Verazzano-Balboa-He discovers
the Pacific-Davila-Ferdinand De Soto-Attempts to conquer Florida-A long march-Onward to the far west
-De Soto discovers the Mississippi-Death and burial.
THRILLING EXPERIENCES OF OUR FOREFATHERS IN EARLY DAYS 6
Beginnings of immigration-Condition of Europe-First attempt at colonization-The Thirty Years' War-First Roa-
noke colony-Women and the colonists-Raleigh assigns his patent-Acadie-The Virginia charter-Laziness and
ill feeling-Obtaining a new charter-The Pocahontas myth-John Smith-His character-The Plymouth colony
-A cruel winter-Miles Standish-Picturesque charters-Massachusetts Bay Colony-Indian wars-Boundary dis-
putes-Town meetings-Hendrick Hudson-New Amsterdam-Penn-The Friends-Rapid success of the
CURIOUS MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN OLD COLONIAL TIMES ... .81
Home and social life-Isolation of communities-The typical Puritan home-Friendliness and repression-Home
industries-The loom and the spinning-wheel-Habits of the people-Books and reading-School and meeting-
house-Minister and squire.
THE ROMANTIC STORY OF CAPTAIN KIDD AND OTHER BUCCANEERS AND PIRATES 95
Tortuga-The first home of the buccaneers-Spain jealous of the French-The capture of a war-ship-Character of
LIST OF CHAPTERS AND SUBJECTS. 15
the buccaneers-Pierre Francois and the pearl fishers-A change of base-Portugues-Supposed death of the
pirate-Rejoicing of the Spaniards-Braziliano-The profligacy of Port Royal-Davis's strategy-Defeat and
vengeance of Lolonois-Wealth of the Spanish-American cities-The defense of Merida-An old soldier of
Flanders-The last of the buccaneers-Henry Morgan-His career-The taking of Puerto Bello-St. Catherine's
Falls-Maracaibo again-The Spanish admiral's ultimatum-How Morgan answered it-Theatrical civility-
Morgan approaches Panama-In sight of Panama-An arduous battle-Rich booty-Treachery of Morgan-Other
pirates-Kidd-Blackbeard-How Kidd got his commission, etc.
THE STORY OF THE REVOLUTION, ITS BATTLES AND HEROES III
Character of the war-The British plan of campaign-Bunker Hill-Ticonderoga-The Declaration of Independence
-Battle of Long Island-Harlem Heights-Washington's crossing the Delaware-Trenton and Princeton-
Burgoyne's expedition-Surrender of Burgoyne-Howe at Philadelphia-Battle of Germantown-Washington at
Valley Forge-The French alliance-Monmouth court-house-invasion of Georgia and South Carolina-Gates's
failure-Greene's strategy-Benedict Arnold's treachery-Paul Jones and the Serapis"-At Yorktown-Wash-
ington's decisive move-Surrender of Cornwallis-Independence acknowledged.
THE EVENTFUL STORY OF DANIEL BOONE, FREMONT, AND OTHER PATHFINDERS AND PIONEERS 133
Daniel Boone-A picturesque character-Walker-Stewart-Holden-Moncey-Finley-Cool-A first view of Ken-
tucky-The bivouac-A Kentucky fort-Indian captures-David Crockett-A fascinating career-Lewis and
Clark-Their westward travels-Fremont-Kit Carson-Arctic explorers-Behring-Van Wrangel-Ross-Parry
-Sir John Franklin-The Grinnell expedition-Kane-Dr. Hayes-Schwalker-The Bennett expedition-Cap-
tain Long-Death and rescue.
THE BURNING OF WASHINGTON CITY AND THE STORY OF THE WAR OF 1812 149
Meaning of the war-Its causes-Neutral rights-Impressing American sailors-Insults and outrages-The "Chesa-
peake and the Leopard -Injury to American commerce-Paper blockades-The orders in council-Embargo
as retaliation-Our naval glory in this war-Failure of the campaign against Canada-Hull's surrender at Detroit
-Splendid victories at sea-The Constitution" and the Guerrimre "-The Wasp and the Frolic "-Other
sea-duels-American privateers-On the lakes-Perry's great victory-Land operations-Battle of the Thames-
Wilkinson's fiasco-The "Shannon" and the "Chesapeake "-English reinforcements-Lundy's Lane and
Plattsburg-The burning of Washington-Baltimore saved-General Jackson at New Orleans-The treaty of peace
-The Hartford convention.
THE STORY OF THE INDIAN FROM THE COMING OF THE WHITE MAN TO THE PRESENT TIME 165
BY HON. HENRY L. DAWES,
CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS, U. S. SENATE.
Our relations to the Indian-Period of Discovery-Hospitality to first settlers-Abuse of hospitality-Distrust and
warfare-Colonial period-Early outbreaks and massacres-French and English Wars-Revolutionary War-
Indian struggle for territory-National period-Conflict between two civilizations-Indian bureau-Government
policy-Treaties-Reservation plan-Removals under it-Indian wars-Plan of concentration-Disturbance and
fighting-Plan of education and absorption-Its commencement-Present condition of Indians-Nature of educa-
tion and results-Land in severalty law-Missionary effort-Necessity and duty of absorption.
16 LIST OP CHAPTERS AND SUBJECTS.
THE STORY OF THE BLACK MAN IN SLAVERY AND IN FREEDOM 195
The negro in America-The first cargo-Beginning of the slave traffic-As a laborer-Increase in numbers-Slavery;
its different character in different States-Political disturbances-Agitation and agitators-John Brown-War and
how it emancipated the slave-The free negro.
THE STORY OF OUR GREAT CIVIL WAR 210
Secession-Not exclusively a Southern idea-An irrepressible conflict-Coming events-Lincoln-A nation in arms-
Sumter-Anderson-McClellan-Victory and defeat-" Monitor" and Merrimac '-Antietam-Shiloh-Buell-
Grant-George H. Thomas-Rosecrans-Porter-Sherman-Sheridan-Lee-Gettysburg-A great fight-Sher-
man's march-The Confederates weakening-More victories-Appomattox-Lee's surrender-From war to peace.
LESSONS AND RECOLLECTIONS OF THE CIVIL WAR BY AN OLD SOLDIER .234
BY ALEXANDER K. McCLURE,
EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR OF THE PHILADELPHIA TIMES.
Emancipation-Reluctance of the North to fight-Fort Sumter-False estimates on both sides-The question of the
right to coerce-Naval warfare revolutionized-Gloomiest period of the war-Sherman at Atlanta-Battle of Get-
THE STORY OF OUR NAVY AND GREAT NAVAL BATTLES 255
The origineof the American navy-John Paul Jones and his famous victory-Sights on guns and what they did-Sup-
pressing the Barbary pirates-Opening Japan-Port Royal-Passing the forts-The Monitor" and "Merrimac "
-In Mobile Bay-The Kearsarge" and the "Alabama "-Naval architecture revolutionized-The Samoan hur-
ricane-Building a new navy.
THE STORY OF GOLD AND SILVER MINING, WHERE THE PRECIOUS METALS ARE FOUND AND
How OBTAINED 277
Opening the way to California-Discovery of gold-Marshal and Sutter-Profits one dollar per minute-San Francisco
with fifty houses-Five times destroyed by fire-Discovery of silver in 1857-The fate of early miners-Mining
life-Vigilance committees, etc.
THE STORY OF THE FARMER AND HIS FARM FROM PRIMITIVE COLONIAL DAYS TO THE PRESENT
TIME .. ........... .289
The homestead system-Importance of the agricultural industries-The great grain harvests-Truck-farming-Nurseries
-Floriculture-Seed-farms-Fruit culture-Oranges, bananas, and grapes-The neglected farms of New England
and the great plantations of the West-The cottonfields of the South.
LIST OF CHAPTERS AND SUBJECTS.
THE MARVELOUS STORY OF OUR GREAT INDUSTRIES ... .307
In the rock-ribbed hills-Buried treasures of earth-Rare stones-Variegated marbles-Granites-How to get the
stones out-A young industry-The great flour mills-Old-time milling-The new process-The great flour mills
of the West-Their vast outputs, etc.-The great oil wells-A wonderful industry-More light-Petroleum-Its
history-Development-Gas wells-The great pipe-lines-" Gushers "-Suggestive figures, etc.
THE THRILLING STORY OF LIFE ON THE FRONTIER 3.17
Illustrated by FREDERIC REMINGTON.
The squatter and his train-The settler and his homestead-Cattle ranges and the cowboys-Scenes on the great plains
-A cattle funeral-The women of the ranch.
THE INTERESTING STORY OF OUR DIFFICULTIES WITH FOREIGN POWERS 331
Perpetual peace impossible-The Barbary States-Buying peace-Uncle Sam aroused-Thrashes the Algerian pirates-
A splendid victory-King Bomba brought to terms-Austria and the Koszta case-Captain Ingraham-His Bravery
-"Deliver or I'll sink you "-Austria yields-The Paraguayan trouble-Lopez comes to terms-The Chilian
imbroglio-Balmaceda-The insult to the United States-American seamen attacked-Matta's impudent letter-
Backdown-Peace-All's well that ends well, etc.
THE STORY OF OUR WAR WITH SPAIN FOR CUBA'S FREEDOM 351
A war for humanity's sake-Breaking off relations-Call for troops-Bombardment of Matanzas-Prizes captured-
Battle of Manilla-Dewey's method of fighting-Terrible destruction wrought-The thanks of a nation-First loss
of life on American side-Bombardment of San Juan-Chasing Cervera-Bottled up at last-Hobson sinks the
Merrimac"-Shafter's army of invasion-The battle of Santiago-Destruction of Cervera's fleet-Fall of the city-
Other notable battles-Effects of the war in America and Spain.
How OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT DOES ITS WORK 419
The National Government-Congress-How composed-Duties-Executive-Election of President-Cabinet-Judiciary
-Powers of Supreme Court-Federal system-Relation of States to nation-The rights and duties of citizens of
the United States.
LIST OF LITHOGRAPH PLATES AND FULL-PAGE
SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (Lithograph).
SEARCH FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.
POCAHONTAS SAVING THE LIFE OF JOHN SMITH.
"I AM READY FOR ANY SERVICE THAT I CAN GIVE MY COUNTRY."--(GEORGE
KING PHILIP'S WAR-DEATH OF THE KING.
PAUL REVERE'S RIDE.
WASHINGTON'S FIRST VICTORY.
BATTLE OF FALLEN TIMBERS.
" DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP."-CAPT. LAWRENCE, WAR OF 1812 (Lithograpf).
HIAWATHA, FOUNDER OF THE IROQUOIS LEAGUE.
THE MARRIAGE OF POCAHONTAS.
THE ATTACK ON FORT DONELSON.
PICKETT'S CHARGE AT GETTYSBURG (Lithograph).
LANDING AT TAMPA, FLORIDA.
CAMP SCENE AT CHICKAMAUGA.
U. S. BATTLESHIP MAINE AND HER OFFICERS.
U. S. BATTLESHIP INDIANA.
LOADING TROOPS AT TAMPA, FLORIDA.
ROOSEVELT'S ROUGH RIDERS.
SPANIARDS REPELLING THE ATTACK OF CUBAN INSURGENTS
THE BATTLE OF MANILA, MAY I, 1898 (Lithograph).
In addition to the above, there are nearly 200 full-page and smaller illustrations in this book.
The Story of Christopher Columbus and
What He Did.
WHEN civilization had grown hoary
with age in the orient, there still remained
in the western hemisphere a vast land of
marvelous wealth and resources-a con-
tinent undiscovered and undreamed of.
True, three hundred years before Christ
Aristotle had said the world was round,
and that by sailing west from Athens
S.' one might touch the shores of eastern
S Asia. Nearly four hundred years later,
SSeneca, the philosopher of Rome, under
Nero, made a similar affirmation. Fully
-"- :. nine hundred years further down the
: vistas of time the Norsemen first planted
foot upon American soil, and they claim
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. to have done so more than once again
during the next three hundred years.
But they either lacked the intelligence or the enterprise to make their discov-
eries known, and America lay in oblivious darkness until Columbus came.
It was the glory of Italy to furnish the greatest of the discoverers of the
New World. Not only Columbus, but Vespucci (or Vespucius), the Cabots, and
Verazzani were born under Italian skies; yet singularly enough the country of
the Cesars was to gain not a square foot of territory for herself where other
nations divided majestic continents between them. So, too, in the matter of
Columbus biography and investigation, up to the present time but one Italian,
Professor Francesco Tarducci, has materially added to the sum of the world's
knowledge in a field pre-eminently occupied by Washington Irving, Henry
Harrisse, and Roselly de Lorgues, a Frenchman-these comprising the powerful
original writers in Columbian biography.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
In treating our subject we naturally begin at the starting point of
biography, the birthplace. The generally accepted statement has been that
Columbus was born at Genoa, especially as Columbus begins his will with the
well-known declaration, "I, being born in Genoa."
But it has been asserted by numerous writers that in this Columbus
was mistaken, just as for a long time General Sheridan was mistaken in
supposing himself to have been born in a little Ohio town, when he learned,
within a year or two of his death,
that he was born in Albany, N. Y.
: **; But passing this, it remains to be
." -said that the evidence of the Geno-
ese birth of Columbus may now be
considered as fully established. As
to the time of his birth there has
S' .. been not a little question. Henry
':; '' l Harrisse, the American scholar al-
'- ready referred to, placed it between
March 25th, 1446, and March 2oth,
1447. This, however, we can hardly
accept, especially as it would make
Columbus at the time of his first
naval venture only thirteen years of
age. Tarducci gives 1435 or 1436
"" I as the year of his birth. This is also
the date given by Irving, and it
TOn" ,_ would seem to be the most proba-
ble. This is the almost decisive
testimony of Andres Bernaldez, bet-
ter known as the Curate of Los
Palacios, who was most intimate with
S' LColumbus and had him a great deal
MONUMENT TO COLUMBUS AT GENOA. in his house. He says the death of
Columbus took place in his seven-
tieth year. His death occurred May 20th, 1506, which would make the year
of his birth probably about 1436. And now starting with Genoa as the
birthplace of Columbus and about the year 1435 or 1436 as the time of his
birth, we proceed with our story.
Christopher Columbus (or Columbo in Italian) was the son of Dominico
Columbo and Susannah Fontanarossa his wife. The father was a wool carder,
a business which seems to have been followed by the family through several
generations. He was the oldest of four children, having two brothers,
COLUMBUS AT PORTUGAL.
Bartholomew and Giacomo (James in English, in Spanish, Diego), and one
sister. Of the early years of Columbus little is known. It is asserted by
some that Columbus was a wool comber-no mean occupation in that day-
and did not follow the sea. On the other hand, it is insisted-and Tarducci
and Harrisse hold to that view-that, whether or not he enlisted in expeditions
against the Venetians and Neapolitans (and the whole record is misty and
uncertain), Columbus at an early age showed a marked inclination for the
sea, and his education was largely directed along the lines of his tastes, and
included such studies as geography, astronomy, and navigation. Certain it
is that when Columbus arrived at Lisbon he was one of the best geographers
and cosmographers of his age, and was accustomed to the sea from infancy.*
Happily his was an age favorable for discovery. The works of travel were
brought to the front. Pliny and Strabo, sometime forgotten names, were
more than Sappho and Catullus, which a later but not a better age affected.
The closing decade of the fifteenth century was a time of heroism, of deeds
of daring, and discovery. Rude and unlettered to some extent, it may be
conceded it was; yet it was far more fruitful, and brought greater blessings
to the world than are bestowed by the effeminate luxury which often character-
izes a civilization too daintily pampered, too tenderly reared. Life then was
at least serious.
Right here it may be in place to state how invention promoted Columbian
discovery. The compass had been known for six hundred years. But at this
time the quadrant and sextant were unknown; it became necessary to discover
some means for finding the altitude of the sun, to ascertain one's distance
from the equator. This was accomplished by utilizing the Astrolabe, an
instrument only lately used by astronomers in their stellar work. This inven-
tion gave an entirely new direction to navigation, delivering seamen from the
necessity of always keeping near the shore, and permitting the little ships-
small vessels they were-to sail free amidst the immensity of the sea, so that a
ship that had lost its course, formerly obliged to grope its way back by the
uncertain guidance of the stars, could now, by aid of compass and astralobe,
retrace its course with ease. Much has justly been ascribed to the compass as
a promoter of navigation; but it is a question if the astralobe has not played
quite as important a part.
The best authorities place the arrival of Columbus at Lisbon about the year
1470. It is probable Columbus was known by reputation to Alfonso V, King
of Portugal. It is unquestionable that Columbus was attracted to Portugal
by the spirit of discovery which prevailed throughout the Iberian peninsula,
fruits of which were just beginning to be gathered. Prince Henry of Portugal,
Tarducci, I, 41.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
who was one of the very first of navigators, if not the foremost explorer of his
day, had established a Naval College and Observatory, to which the most
learned men were invited, while under the Portuguese flag the greater part of
the African coast had been already explored. Having settled in Lisbon, at the
Convent of All Saints, Columbus formed an acquaintance with Felipa Mofiis de
Perestrello, daughter of Bartholomew de Perestrello, an able navigator but poor,
with whom and two others Prince Henry had made his first discovery. The
acquaintance soon ripened into love, and
Columbus made her his wife. Felipa's father F .. .....
COLUMBUS'S ARRIVAL AT THE CONVENT OF LA RABIDA.
r- --1c- -
COLUMBUS'S ARRIVAL AT THE CONVENT OF LA RABIDA.
soon died, and then with his wife and her mother Columbus moved to Porto
Santo, where a son was born to them, whom they named Diego. Felipa hence
forth disappears from history; there is no further record of her. At Porto
Santo Columbus supported his family and helped sustain his aged father, who
was living poorly enough off at Savona, and who was forced to sell the little
property he had, and whose precarious living led him to make new loans and
incur new debts.
COLUMBUS AND THE KING OF PORTUGAL.
Meanwhile Columbus was imbibing to the full the spirit of discovery so
widely prevalent. It was not his wife who materially helped him at this time, as
has been asserted, but his mother-in-law, who, observing the deep interest that
Columbus took in all matters of exploration and discovery, gave him all the
manuscripts and charts which her husband had made, which, with his own
voyages to some recently discovered places, only renewed the burning desire
for exploration and discovery. The leaven was rapidly working.
But the sojourn at Portugal must be briefly passed over. The reports that
came to his ears while living at Porto Santo only intensified his convictions of
the existence of an empire to the West. He heard of great reeds and a bit of
curiously carved wood seen at sea, floating from the West; and vague rumors
reached him at different times, of strange lands in the Atlantic-most if not
all of them mythical. But they continued to stimulate interest as they show the
state of public thought at that time respecting the Atlantic, whose western regions
were all unknown. All the reports and all the utterances of the day Columbus
watched with closest scrutiny. He secured old tomes for fullest information as
to what the ancients had written or the moderns discovered. All this served to
keep the subject fresh in his mind, nor would it "down," for his convictions were
constantly ministered to by contemporary speculators. Toscanelli, an Italian
mathematician, had written, at the instance of King Alfonso, instructions for a
western route to Asia. With him Columbus entered into correspondence,
which greatly strengthened his theories.
Now they came to a head. Constant thought and reflection resulted in
his conception of an especial course to take, which, followed for a specific time,
would result in the discovery of an empire. And the end! He would subdue
a great trans-Atlantic empire, and from its riches he would secure the wealth to
devote to expeditions for recovering the Holy Land, and so he would pay the
Moors dearly for their invasion of the Iberian peninsula,-a truly fanciful but
not a wholly unreasonable conception, as the times were.
COLUMBUS AND THE KING OF PORTUGAL.
At last he found means to lay his project before the King of Portugal.
But the royal councillors treated the attempt to cross the Atlantic as rash and
dangerous, and the conditions required by Columbus as exorbitant. The
adventurous King, John II,-Alfonso had died in 1481-had more faith in his
scheme than his wise men, and, with a dishonesty not creditable to him,
attempted at this time to reap the benefit of Columbus' studies and plans by
sending out an expedition of his own in the direction and by the way traced in
his charts. But the skill and daring of Columbus were wanting, and at the
first mutterings of the. sea the expedition sought safety in flight. It turned
back to the Cape de Verde islands, and the officers took revenge for their
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
disappointment by ridiculing the project of Columbus as the vision of a day
dreamer. 0, valiant voyagers !-New Worlds are not discovered by such
men as you!
Columbus's brother Bartholomew had endeavored about this time to
interest the British monarch in the project, but the first of the Tudors had too
much to do in quelling insurrection at home, and in raising revenues by illegal
means, to spend any moneys on visionary projects. Henry III would have
none of him.
Meantime, indignant at the infamous treatment accorded him, and with
his ties to Portugal already sundered by the death of his wife, he determined
to shake the dust of Portugal off his feet, and seek the Court of Spain. He
would start at once for Cordova, where the Spanish Court then was. Leaving
Lisbon secretly, near the close of 1484, he chose to follow the sea coast to Palos,
instead of taking the direct inland route, and most happily so; for, in so doing
he was to gain a friend and a most important ally; this circumstance the
unthinking man will ascribe to chance, but the believer to Providence. Weary
and foot-sore, on his journey, he finally arrived at Palos, then a small port on
the Atlantic, at the mouth of the Tinto, in Andalusia; here hunger and want
drove him to seek assistance from the charity of the Monks, and ascending the
steep mountain road to the Franciscan monastery of Santa Maria de La
Rabida, he met the pious prior, Father Juan Perez, who, struck with his
imposing presence, despite his sorry appearance, entered into conversation with
As the interview grew in interest to both the parties, Columbus was led to
impart to the prior his great project, to the prior's increasing wonder, for in Palos
the spirit of exploration was as regnant as in Lisbon. Columbus was invited
to make the Convent his place of sojourn, an invitation he was only too glad
to accept. Then Father Perez sent for his friend, a well known geographer
of Palos, and, deeply interested in all that related to exploration and the
discovery of new lands, the three took the subject into earnest consideration,
thorough discussion of the question being had. It was not long before
Father Perez-all honor to his name !-became deeply interested in the plans
of Columbus. To glorify God is the highest aim to which one can address
himself; of that feeling Father Perez was thoroughly possessed; and how
could he more fully glorify him than by aiding in the discovery of new lands
and the spreading of Christianity there? Impelled by this feeling, he urged
Columbus to proceed at once to Cordova, where the Spanish Court then was,
giving him money for his journey, and a letter of commendation to his friend,
the father prior of the monastery of El Prado Fernando de Talavera, the
queen's Confessor, and a person of great influence at Court. There was hope,
and there was a period of long and weary waiting yet before him.
COLUMBUS AT THE SPANISH COURT.
Arriving at Cordova, Columbus found the city a great military camp, and
all Spain aroused in a final effort to expel the Moors. Fernando, the Confessor,
was a very different man from Perez, and instead of treating Columbus kindly,
received him coolly, and for a long while actively prevented him from meeting
the king. The Copernican theory, though held by some, was not at this time
established, and the chief reason why the Confessor opposed Columbus's
plan was unquestionably because he measured a scientific theory by appeal
to the Scriptures-just as the Sacred Congregation did in Galileo's case a
century and a half later-just as some well-meaning but mistaken souls do
At length, through the friendship of de Quintanilla, Comptroller of the
Castilian Treasury, Geraldini, the Pope's nuncio, and his brother, Allessandro,
tutor of the children of Ferdinand and Isabella, Columbus was made known to
Cardinal Mendoza, who introduced him to the king. Ferdinand listened to him
patiently, and referred the whole matter to a council of learned men, mostly
composed of ecclesiastics, under the presidency of the Confessor. Here again
dogma supplanted science, and controverted Columbus's theories by Scriptural
texts, and caused delay, so it was not till 1491-Columbus had now been
residing in Spain six years-that the Commission reported the project "vain
and impossible, and not becoming great princes to engage in on such slender
grounds as had been adduced."
The report of the Commission seemed a death-blow to the hopes of
Columbus. Disappointed and sick at heart, and disgusted at six years of
delay, Columbus turned his back on Spain, indignant at the thought of having
been beguiled out of so many precious years of waning existence." Deter-
mined to lay his project before Charles VIII, of France, he departed, and
stopped over at the little Monastery of La Rabida, from whose Prior, Juan
Perez, six years before, he had departed with such sanguine hopes, for
The good friar was greatly moved. Finally he concluded to make another
and final effort. Presuming upon his position as the queen's Confessor, Perez
made an appeal direct to Isabella, and this time with the result that an inter-
view was arranged, at which Isabella was present. His proposals would have
at once been accepted but that Columbus demanded powers which even
His principal stipulations were (i) that he should have, for himself during his life, and
his heirs and successors forever, the office of admiral in all the lands and continents which he
might discover or acquire in the ocean, with similar honors and prerogatives to those enjoyed by
the high admiral of Castile in his district. (2) That he should be viceroy and governor-general
over all the said lands and continents, with the privilege of nominating three candidates for the
government of each island or province, one of whom should be selected by the sovereigns. (3)
That he should be entitled to reserve for himself one-tenth of all pearls, precious stones, gold, silver,
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
de Talavera pronounced -arbitrary and
presLuT mptuouJs". tlhIou h they were of like
character with thoi'se c':ncededl Lb Porti-.
-i al to \as:o dee Gamba. Anererd and in
dignant at the rejeiction of hi; terms,
\\ which were conditioned
cnly i upo:n hii success,
S l, umrLb us impuIlsively
it-ft tihe royal presence.
and taking leave of
hi friends, set
out for France,.
offer his s
]SA.EEl.i..\ HAz .\ '-FBER .
SE_-CONiT TH,-,LiHT. ,'
M.-' r. .,. *d'j..
But n': sooner
had ColumLbus gone.
than the queen, who we may
believe regretted the loss of ,
possible glory of discovery, .
ha;tily dispatched a messen-
ger after him, who o-vertook
him wxhen two leagues away
and brought him back. (
spices, ani- all o:th r artr,_les and mcerchan-
dis-_e ir, ..hate. _r mar ,enn r f.-.,i. d, bt:,oght,
barterej. ...r cainre:d! ah;r, h;- ad.riiralti, the
cost beinren frst d&jductJ 14)1 T-T t he, :r
his lieuteritri, t h. *.hIld b th.e .- Ile juid,_e' in
all caIw : ar,'l i_,t a r;rnd *J',, r lr .iL t :.- traffic
between th:r e co:i.rntries and Spaini. pro:d ;dc.l
the high admiral of Castile had similar
jurisdiction in his district.
OLUMBUS AND THE MESSENGER.
COLUMBUS AND THE MESSENGER.
FITTING OUT THE EXPEDITION. 27
was opposed to the project, Isabella concluded to yield to Columbus his terms
and agreed to advance the cost, 14,000 florins, about $7,000, from her own
revenues, and so to Spain was saved the empire of a New World. On May 12
Columbus took leave of the king and queen to superintend the fitting out of
the expedition at the port of Palos. The hour and the man had at last met.
FITTING OUT THE EXPEDITION.
What thoughts and apprehensions filled the heart and mind of Columbus
as he at last saw the yearning desires of years about to be met, may be to some
extent conceived; they certainly cannot be expressed. Not a general at the
head of his great army who, at a critical moment in battle, sees the enemy make
the false move which insures him the victory, could feel more exultant than
Columbus must have felt when he left the pres-
ence of the Spanish Court, and, after seven years
of weary and all but hopeless waiting at last saw
the possibilities of the great unknown opening up
before him, and beheld, in a vision to him as clear
and radiant as the sun shining in the heavens, a
New World extending its arms and welcoming him
to her embrace. It would seem as if everything
now conspired to atone for the disappointing past.
His old tried friend, Perez, prior of the La Rabida
rionastery, near Palos, received him with open arms,
and well he might, for had not his kind offices I
made success possible? And the authorities, as if -~
to make good the disappointments of seven years, i'
could not now do too much. All public officials, of ---
CARAVELS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.
all ranks and conditions in the maritime borders of (AfRAEL OnF CHRISTOPHER COLUin S.
Andalusia were commanded to furnish supplies and
assistance of all kinds. Not only so, but as superstition and fear made ship
owners reluctant to send their vessels on the expedition, the necessary ships
and men were to be provided, if need be, by impressment, and it was in this
way vessels and men were secured.
In three months the expedition was ready to sail. The courage of
Columbus in setting sail in untried waters becomes more evident when we
consider the size of the ships comprising the little expedition. They were
three in number; the largest of them, the Santa Maria, was only ninety feet
long, being about the size of our modern racing yachts. Her smaller consorts,
the Pinta and the Nina, were little caravels, very like our fishing smacks,
without any deck to keep the water out. The Santa Maria had four masts,
of which two were square rigged, and two fitted with lateen sails like those
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
used on the Nile boats; this vessel Columbus commanded. Martin Alonzo
Pinzon commanded the Pinta, and his brother, Vincente Yafiez Pinzon, the
Nina. The fleet was now all ready for sea; but before setting sail Columbus
and most of his officers and crew confessed to Friar Juan Perez, and partook
of the Sacrament. Surely such an enterprise needed the blessing of heaven,
if any did!
It was before sunrise on Friday morning, August 3, 1492, that Columbus
with 30 officers and adventurers and 90 seamen, in all 120 souls, set sail, "in
the name of Christ," from behind the little island of Saltes. Those inclined to
be superstitious regarding Friday will do well to note that it was on a Friday
Columbus set sail from Palos; it was on Friday, the I2th of October, that he
landed in the New World; on a Friday he set sail homeward; on a Friday,
again, the 15th of February, 1493, land was sighted on his return to Europe,
and that on Friday, the I5th of March, he returned to Palos. The story of that
eventful trip has never ceased to charm the world, nor ever will so long as
the triumphs of genius, the incentives of religion, and the achievements of
courage have interest for mankind.
It was Columbus's intention to steer southwesterly for the Canary Islands,
and thence to strike due west-due to misconception occasioned by the very
incorrect maps of that period. On the third day out the Pinta's rudder was
found to be disabled and the vessel leaking, caused, doubtless, by her owner,
who did not wish his vessel to go,-the ship having been impressed-and
thinking to secure her return. Instead of this, Columbus continued on his
course and decided to touch at the Canaries, which he reached on the 9th.
Here he was detained for some weeks, till he learned from a friendly sail that
three Portuguese war vessels had been seen hovering off the island Gomera,
where he was taking, in wood, water, and provisions. Apprehensive, and
probably rightly so, that the object was to capture his fleet, Columbus lost
no time in putting to sea.
AND NOW FOR THE NEW WORLD.
It was early morning on the 6th of September that Columbus again set
sail, steering due west, on an unknown sea. He need fear no hostile fleets,
and he was beyond the hindrance of plotting enemies on shore; and yet so far
from escaping trouble it seemed as if he had but plunged into deeper tribulations
and trials than ever.
As the last trace of land faded from view the hearts of the crews failed
them. They were going they knew not where; would they ever return?
Tears and loud lamentings followed, and Columbus and his officers had all they
could do to calm the men. After leaving the Canaries the winds were light and
baffling, but always from the East. On the I Ith of September. when about
AN ASTRONOMIC DISCOVERY
450 miles; west of Ferro, they aw" part of
a mast floatin. l-,\. x which. frin its size.
appeared to have belonged to a vessel of
about i 21 tons Lu rden T the T Irete this
imant thle story o wreck xhv I11, ro-)
:hrtic o(- their own ? The diso:ncrrv onlyix
added t, their Ifears -\nd no a remaiark -
able andI unpreceijdented i:henomcnon pre- J
... ... .. -- --W---- --
A iI ,l0:1i h I
,, iilliiik IiC 1sentti itself A s true
YII" as the needle to the
rile ma" be a pretty
WIh. I V C simile, bt it it is false iH
Ph~,. :. .t. For, on the i th
.THE.EC.... OFf SepStember, at night-
THE ECLIPSE OF THE SUN, AS PREDICTED BY COLUMBUS.
fall, Columbus, for the
first time in all his experience, discovered that the needle did not point to
the North star, but varied about half a point, or five and a half degrees to the
northwest. As he gave the matter close attention Columbus found the variation
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
to increase with every day's advance. This discovery, at first kept secret,
was early noticed by the pilots, and soon the news spread among the crews,
exciting their alarm. If the compass was to lose its virtues, what was to become
of them on a trackless sea? Columbus invented a theory which was ingenious
but failed wholly to allay the terror. He told them that the needle pointed to
an exact point, but that the star Polaris revolved, and described a circle around,
the pole. Polaris does revolve around a given point, but its apparent motion is
slow, while the needle does not point to a definite fixed point. The true expla-
nation of the needle variations -sometimes it fluctuates thirty or forty degrees-
is to be found in the flowing of the electrical currents through the earth in
different directions, upon which the sun seems to have an effect.
Columbus took observations of the sun every day, with an Astrolabe, and
shrewdly kept two logs every day. One of these, prepared in secret, contained
the true record of the daily advance; the other, showing smaller progress, was
for the crew, by which means they were kept in ignorance of the great
distance they were from Spain.
INDICATIONS OF LAND.
On the 14th of September the voyagers discovered a water-wagtail and a
heron hovering about the ships, signs which were taken as indicating the
nearness of land, and which greatly rejoiced the sailors. On the night of the
i5th a meteor fell within five lengths of the Santa Maria. On the i6th the
ships entered the region of the trade winds; with this propitious breeze,
directly aft, the three vessels sailed gently but quickly over a tranquil sea, so
that for many days not a sail was shifted. This balmy weather Columbus
constantly refers to in his diary, and observes that "the air was so mild that it
wanted but the song of nightingales to make it like the month of April in
Andalusia." On the 18th of September the sea, as Columbus tells us, was "as
calm as the Guadalquiver at Seville." Air and sea alike continued to furnish
evidences of life and indications of land, and Pinzon, on the Pinta, which, being
the fastest sailer, generally kept the lead, assured the admiral that indications
pointed to land the following day. On the 19th, soundings were taken and no
bottom found at two hundred fathoms. On the 20th, several birds visited the
ships; they were small song birds, showing they could not have come a very
long distance; all of which furnished cause for encouragement.
But still discontent was growing. Gradually the minds of the men were
becoming diseased through terror, even the calmness of the weather increasing
their fears, for with such light winds, and from the east, too, how were they
ever to get back? However, as if to allay their feelings, the wind soon shifted
to the southwest.
A little after sunset on the 25th, Columbus and his officers were examining
INDICATIONS OF LAND.
their charts and discussing the probable location of the island Cipango,* which
the admiral had placed on his map, when from the deck of the Pinta arose the
cry of Land Land At once Columbus fell on his knees and gave thanks
to Heaven. Martin Alonzo and his crew of the Pinta broke out into the
"Gloria in Excelsis," in which the crew of the Santa Maria joined, while
the men of the Nina scrambled up to the masthead and declared that they,
too, saw land. At once Columbus ordered the course of the vessels to be
changed toward the supposed land. In impatience the men waited for the
dawn, and when the morning appeared, lo the insubstantial pageant had faded,
the cloud-vision, for such it was, had vanished into thin air. The disappoint-
ment was as keen as the enthusiasm had been intense ; silently they obeyed the
admiral's order, and turned the prows of their vessels to the west again.
A week passed, marked by further variations of the needle and flights of
-birds. The first day of October dawned with such amber weather as is common
on the Atlantic coast in the month of "mists and yellow fruitfulness." -The
pilot on Columbus's ship announced sorrowfully that they were then 520 leagues,
or 1560 miles, from Ferro. He and the crew were little aware that they had
accomplished 707 leagues, or nearly 2200 miles. And Columbus had a strong
incentive for this deception; for, had he not often told them that the length of
his voyage would be 700 leagues ?-and had they known that this distance had
already been made, what might they not have done On the 7th of October the
Nina gave the signal for land, but instead of land, as they advanced the vision
melted and their hopes were again dissipated.
The ship had now made 750 leagues and no land appeared. Possibly he
had made a mistake in his latitude; and so it was that, observing birds flying
to the southward, Columbus changed his course and followed the birds, recalling,
as he says in his journal, that by following the flight of birds going to their
nesting and feeding grounds the Portuguese had been so successful in their
discoveries. On Monday, the 8th, the sea was calm, with fish sporting every-
where in great abundance; flocks of birds and wild ducks passed by. Tuesday
and Wednesday there was a continual passage of birds. On the evening of
this day, while the vessels were sailing close together, mutiny suddenly broke
out. The men could trust to signs no longer. With cursing and imprecation
Cipango was an imaginative island based upon the incorrect cosmography of Toscanelli,,
whose map was accepted in Columbus's time as the most nearly correct chart of any extant. The
Ptolemaic theory of 20,400 geographical miles as the Equatorial girth was accepted by Columbus,
which lessened his degrees of latitude and shortened the distance he would have to sail to reach
Asia. The island Cipango was supposed to be over 1ooo miles long, running north and south,
and the distance placed at 52 degrees instead of the 230 degrees which actually separates the coast
of Spain from the eastern coast of Asia. The island was placed in about the latitude of thl
Gulf of Mexico.
they declared they would not run on to destruction, and insisted upon returning
to Spain. Then Columbus showed the stuff he was made of. He and they, he
said, were there to obey the commands of their Sovereigns; they must find the
Indies. With unruffled calmness he ordered the voyage continued.
On Thursday, the i ith, the spirit of mutiny gave way to a very different
feeling, for the signs of the nearness of land multiplied rapidly. They saw a
green fish known to feed on the rocks, then a branch with berries on it,
evidently recently separated from a tree, floated by them, and above all, a
rudely carved staff was seen. Once more gloom and mutiny gave way to
sanguine expectation. All the indications pointing to land in the evening, the
ships stood to the west, and Columbus, assembling his men, addressed them.
He thought land might be made that night, and enjoined that-a vigilant lookout
be kept, and ordered a double watch set. He promised a silken doublet, in
addition to the pension guaranteed by the Crown, to the one first seeing land.
That night, the ever memorable night of Thursday, opening into the
morning of Friday, the 12th of October, not a soul slept on any vessel. The
sea was calm and a good breeze filled the sails, moving the ships along at
twelve miles an hour; they were on the eve of an event such as the world had
never seen, could never see again. The musical rippling of the waves and the
creaking of the cordage were all the sounds that were audible, for the birds
had retired to rest. The hours passed slowly by. It was just past midnight
when the admiral, with restless eye, sought to penetrate the darkness. Then a
far-off light came to his vision. Calling Guiterrez, a court officer, he also saw
it. At two in the morning a gun from the Pinta, which led the other boats,
gave notice that land was at last found. A New World had indeed been
discovered. The hopes of years had attained their fruition. It was Rodrigo de
Triana, a seaman, who first saw land-though, alas he received neither promised
doublet nor pension. Friday, the 12th of October, 1492, corresponding to the
2 ISt of October, 1492, of the present calendar, was the ever memorable day.
The morning light came, and, lifting the veil that had concealed the
supreme object of their hopes, revealed a low, beautiful island, not fifty miles
long, and scarcely two leagues away. Columbus gave the signal to cast anchor
and lower the boats, the men to carry arms. Dressed in a rich costume of
scarlet, and bearing the royal standard, upon which was painted the image of
the crucified Christ, he took the lead, followed by the other captains, Pinzon and
Yafiez. Columbus was the first to land; and as soon as he touched the shore
he fell down upon his knees and fervently kissed "the blessed ground" three
times, returning thanks to God for the great favor bestowed upon him. The
others followed his example; and then, recognizing the Providence which had
THE -NEWLY FOUND LAND.
crowned his efforts with success, he gave the name of the Redeemer-San
Salvador-to the discovered island, which was called by the natives "Guana-
hani." And now the crews, who but a few days previously had reviled and
cursed Columbus, gathered around, asking pardon for their conduct and prom-
ising complete submission in future.
Columbus supposed at last he had reached the opulent land of the Indies,
and so called the natives Indians. But it was an island, not a continent or an
Asiatic empire, he had found; an island "very large and level, clad with the
freshest trees, with much water in it, a vast lake in the middle, and no
The natives dwelling on the island were found to be a well-proportioned
people with fine bodies, simple in their habits and customs, friendly, though shy
in manner, and they were perfectly naked. They thought the huge ships to be
monsters risen from the sea or gods come down from heaven. Presents were
exchanged with them, including gold bracelets worn by the natives. Inquiry
was made as to where the gold came from. For answer the natives pointed by
gestures lo the southwest. Columbus tried to induce some of the natives to go
with him and show where the land of gold was to be found. But this they
refused tc do; so on the next day (Sunday, the I4th), taking along by force
seven natives, that he might instruct them in Spanish and make interpreters of
them, he ,et sail to discover, if possible, where gold was to be had in such
abundance and which, he thought, must be Cipango.
It is simply impossible to say which one of that long stretch of islands, some 3000 in
number, extending from the coast of Florida to Haiti, as if forming a breakwater for the island of
Cuba, Guanalani is. Opinion greatly varies. San Salvador, or Cat Island, was in early favor;
Humboldt anl Irving-the latter having the problem worked out for him by Captain A. S.
Mackenzie, US. N.-favored that view. The objections are that it is not "a small island" as
Columbus caljd it, and it does not answer to the description of having "a vast lake in the
middle" as (Dlumbus says of Guanahani in his journal. Navette advocates the Grand Turk
Island which has the lake. Watling's Island was first advocated by Mufioz and accepted by
Captain Beecer, R. N., in 1856, and Oscar Perchel in 1858. Major, of the British Museum, has
taken up witl Watling's Island, as did Lieutenant J. B. Murdoch, U. S. N., after a careful
examination il 884. This view is accepted by C. A. Schott of the U. S. Coast Survey. On the
other hand, Cptain G. V. Fox, U. S. N., in 1880, put forth an elaborate claim for Samana, based
upon a very careful examination of the route as given in Columbus's journal. This claim, with
careful consideration of other conditions, has been very carefully examined by Mr. Charles H.
Rockwell, an astronomer, of Tarrytown, N. Y. Mr. Rockwell assents to Captain Fox's view,
which he findsconfirmed by the course Columbus took in bringing his ship to land. He also
traverses CaptRn Beecher's claim for Watling's Island, which he finds to be inconsistent with
Columbus's native. As we have said, the problem is beset with difficulties, both as relates to
the sailing coue, and the extent and topography of the island; and at the present time it appears
to be well-nigh soluble. Where the external conditions are met, the internal conditions, including
the large lake, 4m wanting; the difficulties in the case seem to be irresistible.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
He was, of course, in the midst of the Bahama group, and did not have to
sail far to discover an island. On the I5th he discovered the island Conception.
On the third day he repeated the forms of landing and took possession, as he
did also on the 16th, when he discovered an island which he called Fernandina,
known to be the island at present called Exuma. On the 19th another island
was discovered, which Columbus named Isabella, and which he declared to be
"the most beautiful of all the islands" he had seen. The breezes brought
odors as spicy as those from Araby the Blest; palm trees waved their fringed
banners to the wind, and flocks of parrots obscured the sky. It was a land
where every prospect pleased and Nature bestowed her largesse, from no
But no-it was not a land of gold. Leaving Isabella after a five days'
sojourn, on Friday, the 26th of October, he entered. the mouth of a beautiful river
on the northeast terminus of the island of Cuba, where sky and sea seem to
conspire to produce endless halcyon days, for the air was a continual Dalm and
the sea bathes the grasses, which grow to the water's edge, whose tendrils and
roots are undisturbed by the sweep of the tides. Upon the delights thtt came to
Columbus in this new-found paradise we cannot dwell; admiration aid rapture
mingled with the sensations that swept over the soul of the great navigator
as he contemplated the virgin charms of a new world won by his valir.
But the survey of succeeding events must be rapid. From the 28th of
October till November 12th Columbus explored the island, skirting the shore in
a westerly direction. He discovered during that time tobacco, of which he
thought little, but which, singularly enough, proved more productive to the
Spanish Crown than the gold which he sought but did not find.
On the 20th of November Columbus was deserted by Matin Pinzon,
whose ship, the Pinta, could outsail all the others. Martin would fhd gold for
himself. This was a kind of treachery which too often marred ie story of
Spanish exploration in the New World.
For two weeks after the Pinta's desertion Columbus skirted lowly along
the coast of Cuba eastwardly till he doubled the cape. Had he nly kept on
what was now a westerly course he would have discovered Mexico. But it was
not to be. Before sailing he lured on board six men, seven wom and three
children, a proceeding which nothing can justify. Taking a southwesterly
course, on Wednesday, December 5th, Columbus discovered H ti and San
Domingo, which he called Hispaniola, or Little Spain. The ext day he
discovered the island Tortuga, and at once returned to Haiti, :ploring the
island; there, owing to disobedience of orders, on Christmas morr g, between
midnight and dawn, the Santa Maria was wrecked upon a sand-b nk, near the
present site of Port au Paix. A sorry Christmas for Columbus, il eed !
The situation was now critical. The Pinta, with her mutinou commander
COLUMBUS RETURNS TO SPAIN.
and crew, was gone; the Santa Maria was a wreck. But one little vessel
remained, the little, undecked Nina. Suppose she should be lost, too ?-how
would Spain ever know of his grand discoveries ? Two things were necessary:
he must at once set out on his return voyage, and some men must be left
behind. The first thing he did was to build, on a bay now known as Caracola,
a fort, using the timbers of the wrecked Santa Maria. In this he placed thirty-
nine men. Nature would surely give them all the shelter and provisions they
COLUMBUS RETURNS TO SPAIN.
It was not until Friday, January 4, 1493, that the weather was sufficiently
favorable so that Columbus could hoist sail and stand out of the harbor of the
Villa de Navidad, as he named the fort, because of his shipwreck, which
occurred on the day of the Nativity. Two days later the ship Pinta was encoun-
tered. Pinzon on the first opportunity boarded the Nina, and endeavored,
but unsuccessfully, to explain his desertion and satisfy the admiral. The two
vessels put into a harbor on the island of Cuba for repairs, and continued to
sail along the coast, now and then making a harbor. On Wednesday, the 16th
day of January, 1493, they bade farewell to the Queen of the Antilles, and then
the prows of the Nina and the Pinta, the latter the slower sailer because of an
unsound mast, were turned toward Spain, 1450 leagues away.
It is not possible within the limits of this chapter to follow Columbus from
day to day as he sails a sea now turbulent and tempestuous, as if to show its
other side, in marked' contrast to the soft airs and smooth waters that had
greeted the voyagers when their purpose held-
"To sail beyond the sunset and the baths
Of all the western stars."
Nor can we follow with minuteness Columbus in his subsequent career. He had
made the greatest discovery of his or any other age: he had found the New
World, and this, more than anything else, has to do with The Story of America."
It was on Friday, March 15, 1493, just seven months and twelve days aftel
leaving Palos, that Columbus dropped anchor near the island of Saltes. It was
not until the middle of April that he reached Barcelona, where the Spanish
Court was sitting. As he journeyed to Court his procession was a most
imposing one as it thronged the streets, his Indians leading the line, with birds
of brilliant plumage, the skins of unknown animals, strange plants and orna.
ments from the persons of the dusky natives shimmering in the air. When he
reached the Alcazar or palace of the Moorish Kings, where Ferdinand and
Isabella were seated on thrones, the sovereigns rose and, received him standing.
Then they commanded him to sit, and learned from him the story of his discovery.
Then and there the sovereigns confirmed all the dignities previously bestowed.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
The rejoicing over, the good news spread everywhere, and Columbus was
the hero of the civilized world. Ferdinand and Isabella at once addressed
themselves to the task of preserving and extending their conquests, and a fleet
of seventeen vessels and fifteen hundred men was organized to prosecute
further discovery. It was on September 25, 1493, that Columbus set sail with
his fleet. On the 3d of November he sighted land, a small, mountainous island,
which Columbus called Dominica, after Sunday, the day of discovery. Then
again they set sail, and in two weeks discovered several islands in the Caribbean
waters. It was not till November 27th that Columbus arrived in the harbor of
La Navidad. He fired a salute, but there was no response. On landing the
next morning, he found the fortress gone to pieces and the tools scattered, with
evidences of fire. Buried bodies were discovered-twelve corpses-those of
white men. Of the forty who had been left there, not one was present to tell
the tale. But all was soon revealed, and a harrowing, sorrowful tale it was.
From a friendly chief, Guacanagari-whom Columbus at first suspected of
treachery, and was never quite satisfied of his innocence-it was learned that
mutiny, perfidy, and lust had aroused resentments and produced quarrels,
resulting in a division into two parties, who, separating and wandering off, were
easily overwhelmed by the superior numbers of the incensed natives.
Having discovered the Windward Islands, Jamaica, and Porto Rico, he
founded a new colony in Hispaniola (Haiti or San Domingo), which he named
Isabella, in honor of his queen. The place had a finer harbor than the ill-fated
port of the Nativity. He named his brother Bartolomnmeo lieutenant governor,
to govern when he should be absent on his explorations. On February 2,
1494, Columbus sent back to Spain twelve caravels under the command of
Antonio de Torres, retaining the other five for the use of the colony, with which
he remained. The vessels carried specimens of gold and samples of the rarest
and most notable plants.
Besides these, the ships carried to Spain five hundred Indian prisoners, who,
the admiral wrote, might be sold as slaves at Seville-an act which places an
indelible stain upon the brilliant renown of the great admiral: that one inhuman
act admits of no palliation whatever.
Of the troubles that ensued it is impossible to give any account in detail.
Men returning, disappointed at not finding themselves enriched, complained of
Columbus as a deceiver, and he was charged with cruelty, and, indeed, there was
scarcely a crime that presumably was not laid at his door. Then troubles broke
out in the colony; the friar, incensed at Columbus, excommunicated him, and the
admiral, in return, cut off his rations. Then the men, in the absence of Columbus,
off on trips of exploration, gave way to rapine and passion, and the poor natives
had no other means than flight to save their wives and daughters. Matters
proceeded from bad to worse, the colony growing weaker through dissension.
COLUMBUS SETS FORTH ON A THIRD EXPEDITION
Finally four vessels from Spain arrived at Isabella, in October, 1495, laden with
welcome supplies. These were in charge of Torres, who was accompanied by
a royal commissioner, Aquado, who was empowered to make full investigation
of the charges brought against Columbus. It was evident to the admiral that
he should take early occasion to return to Spain and make explanation to his
sovereigns. Accordingly, in the spring of 1496, Columbus set sail for Cadiz,
where he arrived on June I I, 1496. He was well received, and was successful
in defending himself against the many charges and the clamor raised against
him. Ships for a third voyage
were promised him, but it was .
not until the late spring of 1498
that the expedition was ready for
COLUMBUS SETS FORTH ON A THIRD
On May 30, 1498, with six
ships, carrying two hundred men,
besides sailors, Columbus set out
on his third expedition. Taking
a more southerly course, Colum- .
bus discovered the mouth of the
Orinoco, which he imagined to -
be the great river Gihon, men- .: --
tioned in the Bible (Genesis ii, 13) :
as the second river of Paradise; -r i
so sadly were our admiral's geo-
graphy and topography awry!
Columbus also discovered the ". \
coast of Para and the islands of 4-
Trinidad, Margarita, and Cabaqua, HAYTIAN INDIAN GIRL SPINNING.
and then bore away for Hispaniola.
It was the old story told over again, with sickening disappointment. He
found the colony was more disorganized than ever. For more than two years
Columbus did his best to remedy the fortunes of the colony. At last an
insurrection broke out. It was necessary to act promptly and decisively. Seven
ringleaders were hanged and five more were sentenced to death. At this time
the whole colony was surprised by the arrival at St. Domingo of Francisco de
Bobadilla, sent out by Ferdinand and Isabella as governor, and bearing
authority to receive from Columbus the surrender of all fortresses and public
property. Calumny had done its work! Bobadilla then released the five
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
men under sentence of death, and finally, when Columbus and Bartholo-
mew arrived at St. Domingo, Bobadilla caused them both to be put in
chains, to be sent to Spain. Seldom has a more touching, more cruel, more
pathetic picture been presented in the world's sad history of cruelty and
Shocked as the master of the ship was at the spectacle of Columbus in
irons, he would have taken them off, but Columbus would not allow it; those
bracelets should never come off but at the command of his Sovereigns It was
early in October, 1500, that the ships with the three prisoners, Columbus and
COLUMBUS IN IRONS.
his brothers, Bartholomew and Diego, left Isabella. On the 25th of November,
after an unusually comfortable passage, the vessels entered the harbor of Cadiz.
The sight of the venerable form of Columbus in chains as he passed through
the streets of Cadiz, where he had been greeted with all the applause of a
conqueror, was more than the public would suffer. Long and loud were the
indignant protests that voiced the popular feeling. The news of the state of
affairs coming to Isabella, a messenger was dispatched with all haste to Cadiz,
commanding his instant release. When the poor broken-hearted admiral came
into the queen's presence Isabella could not keep the tears back-while he,
after~ ~~-; anuuulycmotbepsae h vsesetrdtehro fCdz
Th Ighftevnrbefr fClmbsi hisa epse hog
th tres fCai, hreh hdbengeee wt alth ppaseo
HIS LAST VOYAGE.
affected at the sight, threw himself at the feet of his sovereigns, his emotion
bursting out in uncontrollable tears and sobs-and this was Columbus's
reward for discovering a new world!
HIS LAST VOYAGE.
The rest is soon told. The acts of the miserable creature, Bobadilla, were
instantly disapproved, and he was recalled, but was drowned on his way home.
Columbus, however, was not allowed to return to Hispaniola, but after two
years' waiting sailed from Cadiz, May 9, 1502, with four vessels and a hundred
and fifty men, to search for a passage through the sea now known as the Gulf
of Mexico. It was the middle of June when Columbus touched at San
Domingo, where he was not permitted to land. He set sail, and was dragged
by the currents near Cuba. Here he reached the little island of Guanaja,
opposite Honduras, and voyaged along the Mosquito coast, having discovered
the mainland, of which he took possession. After suffering from famine and
many other forms of hardship, he went to Jamaica and passed a terrible year
upon that wild coast. In June, 1504, provision was made for returning to
Spain, and on November 7th of that year, after a stormy voyage and narrow
escape from shipwreck, Columbus landed at San Lucar de Barrameda, and
made his way to Seville. He found himself without his best friend and pro-
tector, for Isabella was then on her death-bed. Nineteen days later she
breathed her last. Ferdinand would do nothing for him. A year and a half of
poverty and disappointment followed, and then his kindliest friend, Death, came
to his relief, and his sorrows were at an end. Columbus died on Ascension
Day, May 20, 1506, at Valladolid, in the act of repeating, Pater, in manus tuas
depono spiritum meum,-" Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit." Death
did not end his voyages. His remains, first deposited in the Monastery of
St. Francis, were transferred, in 1513, to the Carthusian Monastery, of Las
Cuevas. In 1536 his body, with that of his son, Diego, was removed to Hispa-
niola and placed in the cathedral of San Domingo, where it is believed, and
pretty nearly certain, they were recently discovered. There seems no sufficient
evidence that they were ever taken to Havana.
Thus passed away the greatest of all discoverers, a man noble in purpose,
daring in action, not without serious faults, but one inspired by deep religious
feeling, and whose character must be leniently measured by the spirit of the age
in which he lived. He received from his country not even the reward of the
flattering courtier, for he was deprived of the honors his due, and for which the
royal word had gone forth; and in the end, when the weight of years was upon
him and there was nothing more he could discover, he was allowed by Ferdinand
to die in poverty, "with no place to repair to except an inn." But if Ferdinand
was not a royal giver Columbus was more than one. For the world will never
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
forget the inscription that, for very shame, was placed upon a marble tomb over
his remains-he was now seven years dead-and which reads:-
"A Castilla y A Leon
Nuevo mundo dio Colon."
To Castile and Leon Columbus gave a new world.
As to the character of Columbus, there is wanting space here for consider-
ing the subject at any length; nor does it at all seem necessary. Time has
given the great navigator a character for courage, daring, and endurance, which
no modern historian can take from him-least of all can the statement, that the
falsification of the record of his voyage was reprehensible, stand. It was no
more reprehensible than the act of Washington in deceiving the enemy at
Princeton; and in Columbus's case his foes were the scriptural ones "of his own
household." Living in an age when buccaneering was honorable and piracy
reputable, it will not do to gauge Columbus by the standard of our day. It is
sufficient to say that he was great, in the fact that he put in practice what others
had only dreamed of. Aristotle was sure of the spheroidicity of the earth, and
was certain that "strange lands" lay to the west: Columbus sailed and found;
*-he went, he saw, he conquered. And these pages cannot better be brought
to a close than by quoting what one of the most thoughtful of recent poets,
Arthur Hugh Clough, has expressed in his lines, prompted no doubt by his visit
to this country:-
"What if wise men had, as far back as PTOLEMY,
Judged that the earth like an orange was round,
None of them ever said, Come along, follow me,
Sail to the West and the East will be found '
Many a day before
Ever they'd come ashore,
From the San Salvador,'
Sadder and wiser men,
They'd have turned back again;
And that he did not, but did cross the sea,
Is a pure wonder, I must say, to me."
M. H. B.
Great Discoverers and Explorers Who
No SOONER had the news of the successful results achieved
by Columbus reached Spain than it spread like wild-fire
j. .r.. through the then civilized world. The three other great
S.., maritime powers-Portugal, England, and France-were
-.n especially aroused to discover, if possible, lands for them-
selves. On the one side were Ferdinand and Isabella,
who were determined to acquire and hold the strange
SEBASTIAN CABOT. lands to the west," the possession of which had been guar-
anteed them by the Pope. On the other hand, there were
the three other great powers, with whom desire of conquest and dominion ex-
isted no less strongly than with Spain. These nations were resolved to do all
that lay in their power to acquire dominion; whatever difficulty might arise with
Spain could be settled later.
The first country to compete with Spain in western discovery was England,
and the first one to follow in the footsteps of Columbus was John Cabot, who,
with his son Sebastian, was destined to make important discoveries which would,
hand the name of Cabot down to history as surely as that of the great pioneer
discoverer, Columbus, himself.
It was as early as 1492 that Sefor Puebla, then the Spanish Ambassador
to the Court of England, wrote to his Sovereigns that a person had come, like
Columbus, to propose to the King of England an enterprise like that of the
Indies." The Spanish King immediately instructed his minister that he should
inform Henry VII. that the prior claims of Spain and Portugal would be inter-
fered with if he commissioned any such adventurer. But the warning came too
It is possible that the unsuccessful mission of Bartholomew Columbus to
England, while the future Admiral was besieging the Spanish Court, may have
been the means of arousing in John Cabot's mind a desire to test the truth of
the new theory of a westward path to the Indies. When the accomplished feat,
of the first voyage to the West Indies fired the imagination of Europe and
became the ,hief topic .of interest among the maritime nations, even cool-
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
blooded England was measurably excited, and her parsimonious King yielded
to the urgent prayers of a Genoese navigator, and authorized John Cabot and his
three sons "to sail to the East, West, or North, with five ships, carrying the
English flag, to seek and discover all the islands, countries, regions, or provinces
of pagans in whatever part of the world." We do not learn that this generous
permission to sail and discover unknown countries was accompanied by anything
more than a meagre provision for carrying it out, although the King in return
for the commission given and the single vessel equipped was to have one-fifth
of the profits of the voyage. According to at least one authority, Cabot had a
little fleet of three or four vessels fitted out by private enterprise, "wheryn
dyvers merchants as well of London as Bristowe aventured goodes and
sleight merchandise wh departed from the West cuntrey in the begynnyng
of somer--." We are only sure, however, of one vessel, the Matthews, which
left Bristol in May of 1497.
Choosing the most probable of several vague accounts of Cabot's course in
starting out, we find the sturdy adventurer, with his son and eighteen followers,
standing to the northward, after leaving the Irish coast, and then westerly into
the unknown sea. The plan was that which Columbus followed, when he sailed
from the Island of Ferro in the Canaries, of striking a certain parallel of latitude
and sticking to it. The transatlantic liners of to-day call that "great-circle
We have absolutely no record of the month or more spent upon the
outward course. What strange experiences the Gulf Stream or the Labrador
current presented to Cabot we can only surmise. There were no summer isles
and turquoise seas for him. Instead of the song birds, the spicy breezes and
silver sands that Columbus found, his less fortunate countryman came upon the
forbidding coast of Labrador, bleak even in the summer time, where he saw no
It was on the 24th of June, 1497, that those on board of the Matthews
unexpectedly caught sight of that strange, unknown land. They had no more
notion than had Columbus of the magnitude of the discovery. This was to their
appreciation no new world, but rather the extreme coast of the kingdom of the
Grand Khan-a remote and desolate shore of India. But their imagination
peopled it with strange beings; demons, griffins, and all the uncouth creatures
of medieval mythology dwelt there with the bear and the walrus. If the South
was the scene of brighter illusions, of kingdoms where the rulers lived in golden
halls and fountains which could confer upon the bather the gift of perpetual
youth, the glamour and legend which the cold crags of the North conjured up
were not less characteristic. Haunted islands and capes, where the clamor of
men's voices were heard at night, were known to all the sailors and pilots that
followed after the Cabots.
JOHN SEBASTIAN CABOT
The land that John Cabot first reached, wherever it was, ne called "Terra
Firma." There he planted the royal standard of England, after which he seems
to have sailed southward; presumably to reverse the course by which he came
over. Peter Martyr, in relating the wonders that Cabot discovered, recounts
that "in the seas thereabouts he found so great multitudes of certain Bigge
fishes much like unto Tunies (which the inhabitants called baccalaos) that they
sometimes stayed his shippes."
Another writer stated that the
"Beares also be as bold which
will not spare at mid-day to
take your fish before your
face." Coasting probably for th i
three hundred leagues, with
the land to starboard, Cabot
seems to have discovered New-
foundland on the mainland side t
and to have passed through a-p a
the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He --
named several islands and -
prominent points, but the z
names are uncertain and the tk
localities problematical. We -.
only know that in his opinion -
England would no longer have
to go to Iceland for her fish, 7
and that he relied upon his -
crew to corroborate his state-
ments when he returned to
England, because his unsup- -
ported word would not have
established the fact of his dis-
coveries. Royalty is not al-
ways liberal, despite the phrase CABOT ON THE SHORES OF LABRADOR.
"a royal giver" ; for we learn
right here of the munificence of the English King, who gave this intrepid sailor
and discoverer ten pounds as a reward for his labor, and afterwards added a
yearly pension of twenty pounds, or $Ioo. There is something pathetic in this
fragmentary story of the second continent-finder. The little spasm of approval
and excitement which his success occasioned soon died away, and even at its
height was utterly inadequate to the magnitude of his work. The simple sailor
must have made as great a show as possible upon the stipend granted by the
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
king, for we read in a letter of the Venetian, Pasqualigo, that "he is dressed in
silk and the English run after him like a madman."
A second voyage of John and Sebastian Cabot to discover the island of
Cipango,-that illusory land that Columbus had so hopefully sought,-was
undertaken; but a storm came up and one of the vessels was much damaged,
finally seeking refuge in an Irish port. The others sailed into a fog of tradition -
and mystery as dense as that which wrapped the new-found land. We read
that the expedition returned and that Sebastian Cabot lived to engage in further
adventures, but of his father we know nothing further, the supposition being
that he died upon this second expedition. Whether the third traditional voyage
of Sebastian Cabot in the fifteenth century is fact or fable is not known. His
subsequent career was mainly in the service of other sovereigns.
The profits of the second voyage of the Cabots were so meagre as to fail
to arouse any enthusiasm; they were so small, in fact, that almost all interest
died out in England. We read of one or two minor adventures, as those of
Rut and Grube, the former of whom went to find the northern passage to
Cathay, in which voyage his two ships encountered vast icebergs, by which one
of them was lost and the other "durst go no further," and after visiting Cape
Race returned to England. With these few exceptions England took no part
in the great work of discovery, by which, little by little, with here an island
and there a headland, now a river and then a bit of coast, the results of that
great discovery were combined into that which came to be known, though not
at first, as the New World.
Yet Newfoundland was not deserted. Almost from the first the Breton
and Basque fishermen, hardy and adventurous, frequented its shores. The Isle
of Demons and other uncanny places in the new country were visited by
fleets of French fishermen's boats, and plenteous cargoes of "Baccalois," or
cod-fish, were taken eastward yearly for the Lenten market.
AMERICUS VESPUCIUS AND HIS VOYAGES.
The year 1500 was one of extreme importance in the making of New
World history. The Spanish and Portuguese had already settled their dispute
over the division of territory, the Pope's decision, to which all good Catholics
in that day yielded unhesitating obedience, having given to Spain all land dis-
covered west of a certain meridian line, and to Portugal whatever lay to the
eastward. In this way Portugal acquired her right to the Brazils; and she also
laid claim to Newfoundland. But the great element, time, had just begun to
work. It was destined, under the ordering of Providence, that Spain and
Portugal should make conquests, but not hold them. The Anglo-Saxon was
only then a potentiality; his greatness was becoming recognized: he was yet to
sweep the Atlantic, and, finally, settling on the stormy coast to the west, was
A1IUbRICUS VESPUCIUS AND HIS VOYAGES.
to lay the foundations of a great empire, which was to make it possible to tell
the inspiring and unique Story of America.
We now come to Americus Vespucius, who was, singularly enough, and
through no scheming of his own, to give his name to a country that should
rightly have borne the name Columbia. And he was to do this though he
headed but one expedition. The story must necessarily be brief.
Vespucius was a Florentine-another conspicuous illustration of the fact
that he was to discover even as Columbus had discovered, but Italy was to reap
no benefit. He was, indeed, to sow the seed, but the strong arms of others
were to reap the harvest. On the 9th day of March, 1451, Vespucius was
born, in the city of Florence. Of a noble but not at all wealthy family, he
received a liberal education, devoting himself to astronomy and cosmography.
The fortunes of business took him to Seville, where he became the agent of
the powerful Medici family. It was in 1490 that he became acquainted 'with
Columbus, and was concerned in fitting out four caravels for voyages of dis-
covery; he took an active part in assisting Columbus in preparing for his
second voyage. Vespucius makes the statement, which we are prepared to
accept, that in 1497 he sailed, and probably as astronomer, with one of the
numerous expeditions that the success of Columbus had called into existence,
leaving Cadiz on the. oth of May of that year. After twenty-seven days of
sailing, the fleet, consisting of four vessels, reached "a coast which we thought
to be that of a continent," traversing which they found themselves in "the
finest harbor in the world." Just what that harbor is it is impossible to say.
Some writers have placed it as far south as Campeachy Bay; Chesapeake Bay
has also been designated, Cape Charles being the point of entering. It is
impossible, however, owing to Vespucius's loose manner of writing, to fix the
place with any certainty. But he states that he doubled Cape Sable, the
southernmost point on the peninsula of Florida. Vespucius tells us that
while in "the finest harbor" mentioned the natives were very friendly, and
implored the aid of the whites in an expedition against a fierce race of cannibals
who had invaded at different times their coasts, carrying away human victims
whom they sacrificed by the score. The island in question was one of the
Bahamas, one hundred leagues away. The fleet accordingly bore away, the
Spaniards being piloted by seven friendly Indians. The Spaniards arrived off
an island called Iti, and landed.
Here they encountered fierce cannibals, who fought bravely but unsuccess-
fully against firearms. More than two hundred prisoners were made captive,
seven of them being presented to the seven Indian guides. But nearly a year
had passed since they had left Cadiz. The vessels were leaky; it was time to
return. Accordingly, leaving some point of the coast line of the United States,
the fleet reached Cadiz on the i5th of October, 1498, with two hundred and
AN 1TIAN CANNIBAL CHIEF OFFERING A HUMAN SACRIFICE TO THE SUN.
SEARCH FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH.
HOW AMERICA CAME TO BE NAMED.
twenty-two cannibal prisoners as slaves, where they were well received and
sold their slaves for a good sum.
Still following Vespucius's statement, on the i6th of May, 1499, he started
on a second voyage in a fleet of three ships, under Alonzo de Ojeda. In this voy-
age Ojeda reached the coast of Brazil, and being compelled to turn to the north
because of the strong equatorial current, they went as far as Cayenne, thence to
Para, Maracaibo, and Cape de la Vela. They also touched at Saint Domingo.
The expedition returned to Cadiz on the 8th of September, 1500. Three
months later Yafiez Pinzon, taking a like course, discovered the greatest river
on the earth, the Amazon, as will be seen a little further on in this chapter.
Ojeda just missed that discovery. A year later, for some reason dissatisfied
with his position-and Vespucius seems to have passed at pleasure from one
command to another-he entered the service of Emanuel, King of Portugal,
and took part in an expedition to the coast of Brazil. He wrote a careful
account of this voyage, which he addressed to some member of the Medici
family, to whom, in 1504, he sent a fuller narrative of his expedition, which
was published at Strasbourg. This gave him high reputation as a navigator
and original discoverer.
Under the command of Coelho, a Portuguese navigator, on either May
Ioth or June Ioth, 1503, a little squadron, with Vespucius, left the Tagus to
discover, if possible, ,Malacca somewhere on the South American coast; but
through mishap the fleet was separated, and Vespucius, with his own vessel,
and later joined by another, proceeded to Bahia. Thence they sailed for
Lisbon, arriving there, after about a year's absence, on the 18th of June, 1504.
HOW AMERICA CAME TO BE NAMED.
In a letter written from Lisbon, in 1504, to Ren6, Duke of Lorraine, Ves-
pucius gives an account of four voyages to the Indies, and says that the first
expedition in which he took part sailed from Cadiz May 20, 1497, and returned
in October, 1498. This letter has provoked endless discussions among his-
torians as to the first discovery of the mainland of America, and it has been
charged against Vespucius that after his return from his first voyage to Brazil
he prepared a chart, giving his own name to that part of the country. It is high
time the name of Vespucius was rid of this stain. It seems to be established
that at this time the Duke Rene, of Lorraine, a scholar, and one deeply inter-
ested in the discoveries of the age, caused a map to be prepared for him by an
energetic young student of geography, a young man named Waldsee-Miiller,
who innocently affixed the name America to the Brazil country. In this way the
name became fixed, and was eventually taken up by others. It was not till
nearly thirty years afterward-in 1535-that the charge of discrediting Colum-
bus by affixing his own name was brought, and most unjustly so, against Vespu-
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
cius. Latter-day opinion acquits Vespucius of this charge, and now with the
fact established, at this time of our Columbian anniversary, it should no more be
brought against the distinguished navigator, whose discoveries were important,
if he did not accomplish all that was expected, and that through no fault of his.
Vespucius died in Seville, February 2, 1512-six years after his predecessor,
the first Admiral, had passed away.
YANEZ PINZON AS A VOYAGER.
The first man of importance to sail after Ojeda and Vespucci was Vincent
Yefiez Pinzon, who with his brother Ariez Pinzon, built four caravels, little deck-
less or half-decked yachts, with which he sailed from Palos in the month of
December, 1499. Going further south than his predecessors, Pinzon bore away
toward the coast of Brazil, his first land being discovered at a point eight
degrees north of the equator, near where the town of Pernambuco was afterwards
built: he was the first Spaniard to cross the equinoctial line. We read that he
lost sight of the pole-star, a circumstance which must have alarmed his sailors.
More wonderful still,-most miraculous it must have seemed,-was the finding
of a great flood of fresh water, at the Equator, out of sight of land, which
induced the navigator to seek for a very large river, and he found it !-for there
was the mighty Amazon with its mouth a hundred miles wide and sending a
great tide of fresh water a hundred miles out to sea. At their first landing
Pinzon's sailors cut the names of their ships and of their sovereign on the trees
and the rocks, while he took possession of the land in behalf of Spain. Here
Pinzon seized some thirty Indians as slaves. The mighty Amazon, with its
hundred-mile wide mouth, filled the explorers with wonder, as well it might.
But the capturing of the Indians had created difficulties which endangered
the safety of the fleet, so that Pinzon deemed it prudent to shorten his stay.
Accordingly he set sail, and skirting along the coast discovered the Orinoco
River and Trinidad; after which they stood across to Hispaniola. A hurricane
overtaking the little fleet nearly put an end to Pinzon's adventure, but he finally
escaped with the loss of two of his vessels. With the others he returned to
Spain, only to find that Diego de L6pe had sailed after him and returned before
him, with a report of the continuance of the South American continent far to
Rightly Da Gama has no place here, save as a discoverer in times of
discovery. A skilled Portuguese mariner, he coasted the eastern shores of
Africa and visited India. In a second voyage he became involved in hostilities
with the towns of the Malabar coast. In 1499 he was made Admiral of the
Indies. He died at Cochin, India, Christmas Day, 1524.
In 1499, the same year that the Pinzons and L6pe sailed, Pedro Alvarez de
Cabral was commissioned by the Portuguese King, Emanuel, to follow Vasco da
PORTUGAL IN THE FIELD.
Gama's course and establish a trading station on the Malabar coast. Gomez,
for some reason unknown, sailed by the way of the Cape Verde Islands, and
taking from thence a much more westerly course than he intended, came, quite
by accident, upon the Continent that Pinzon and L6pe had so lately left.
Probably the real cause of Cabral's deflection from his original course was to
avoid the calms of the Guinea shore. He had no sooner made the strange
land than he resolved to cruise along it, and concluded that this wonderful
coast was a continent. Despatching a ship home to Portugal with the news-
with Gaspar de Lemos in com-
mand-he pursued his voyage. .
When Pinzon returned, therefore, -leet e iw
he not only found that L6pe had
been there before, but ascertained
that Portugal pressed its prior
claim to the coast he had discov-
ered, based on the Pope's edict as
well as the voyage of Cabral.
The King of Portugal, on receiv-
ing Cabral's message, soon des-
patched a fleet to discover new
territory for his crown; and
Americus Vespucius, till then in
the Spanish service, accepted his
overtures and went with the ex-
pedition. When Gaspar de
Lemos started for Portugal with
the news of the discovery of the
southern continent, Cabral waited
only a few days and then sailed
The result of this second part VASCO DA GAMA.
d(From the MSS. of Pedro Barretto de Resdiuda.)
of his voyage was the discovery
of the Cape of Good Hope. There the fleet, heretofore so successful, was
overtaken by a terrific storm, in the course of which four of his vessels went
down, among them being one which was commanded by the navigator Bar-
tholomew Diaz. The name which Cabral gave to this new country was Vera
Cruz. The appellation by which it was afterwards known, of Brazil" or "the
Brazils," was taken from the dye wood found there; an Arabic word being
borrowed for the purpose. Columbus discovered the new world without.
knowing he had done so, although his work was in pursuance of carefully
laid plans. Cabral however, like Vespucius off the North American coast,
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
was aware from the first that the land he accidentally discovered was the main.
land of a great continent.
After his adventure at the Cape of Good Hope Cabral went as far as
Hindostan and returned with laden ships, in which were immense quantities of
spices, jewels and rare merchandise. "Verily," said Vespucius, who met him in
the Cape Verde Islands upon his return voyage, "God has prospered King
Emanuel." The same year  that the Pinzons and Cabral sailed from
their respective countries, Portugal sent the brothers Gaspar and Miguel
Cortereal on the first of a series of new expeditions to explore the Northwest.
The papal line of demarcation between Spanish and Portuguese possessions was
called Borgia's meridian, and the suspicion that Cabot's discoveries lay to the
eastward of this was sufficient cause for an expedition from Lisbon. These were
unfortunate voyages, for although the region already explored by the Cabots
was revisited and the flag of Portugal planted in the chill domain of the griffins
and demons of Breton fancy, yet the wild men and curiosities which they brought
home were but a sorry exchange for the lives that they cost. From Gaspar
Cortereal's second voyage he never returned. Two of his ships came home,
and when his brother Miguel went in search of him his flag-ship also was lost,
with all on board.
Rodigero de Bastidas and John de la Cosa, sailing with two ships from
Cadiz, in 1502, discovered the Gulf of Darien, which point Ojeda on his
second voyage also touched, thence proceeding to the West Indies. Following
these, after a number of smaller adventurers that tried their fortune upon
the Atlantic, Juan de Solis and Vincent Yafiez Pinzon sailed from the Port
of Saville, six years later. They directed their two caravels toward the
coast of Brazil, going to the thirty-fifth degree south latitude, where they
discovered the Rio de la Plata,-the River of Silver,-which they at first
called Paranaguaza. To them also is due the credit for the discovery of
Yucatan, on this same voyage. De Solis was by some considered the very
ablest navigator of his time, and his fame at last induced the King of Spain to
appoint him to the command of two ships fitted out to discover a passage to the
Spice Islands, or Moluccas, for which he sailed in October, five years after he
and Pinzon had made the trip just alluded to. He returned to the la Plata
River, which stream he entered in January, 1516, but a tragic fate awaited him.
Attempting to ascend the river and explore its banks, de Solis and a number of
his crew were surprised and overpowered by the savages, who with barbaric
heartlessness roasted and ate the unfortunate Spaniards in the sight of their
companions on the vessels. The survivors, sickened and terrified by such a
spectacle, lost no time in escaping from the land of these cannibals. They
stopped only at Cape San Augustin, where they loaded their vessels with Brazil
PONCE DE LEON DISCOVERS FLORIDA.
wood, and made the best of their way back to Europe with the sad news.
In the following year Charles V sent Cordova, with a command of iio men
in three caravels, into that distant but no longer dreaded West, which still had
its rewards for the adventurer.
Upon the shore of Yucatan, where he first landed, at Cape Catoche, the
Spaniards saw with surprise people who in one respect differed very greatly
from the natives who had so far been met with in the western voyages, inasmuch
as they dressed in cotton and other fabrics, instead of going naked and painting
their bodies. Not only in their dress but in their houses they exhibited signs
of civilization that excited the wonder of Cordova and his men.
PONCE DE LEON DISCOVERS FLORIDA.
Six years had passed after the death of Columbus, when, in 1512, Juan
Ponce de Leon sailed from Puerto Rico in a northerly direction and discovered
the peninsula which the Admiral had so nearly found upon his first voyage.
De Leon first sighted land at about the boundary line separating Florida from
Georgia. Landing, he took possession in the name of his sovereign, calling
the new country Florida; for it was in April, when the Cherokee roses, the wild
jessamine, and all the multitudinous blossoms of a Floridian spring-time were
filling the air with their fragrance. The discoverer of this paradise returned to
Spain, and, obtaining the governorship of the new coast, undertook to enter
upon its possession. But the savages were otherwise minded. The followers
of Ponce de Leon were hunted through the tangled growth of the luxuriant
forests or harassed in their defences behind the sand-dunes, till many of them
had been killed, and their leader was glad to escape with the little remnant of
his force. So he re-embarked, abandoning the country; but the Spaniards
claimed Florida from that day, in spite of a counter-claim which England
presented in virtue of the discoveries of the Cabots.
Later, in 1527, Pamphilo de Narvaes repeated Ponce de Leon's experiment,
with a similar result. Then Ferdinand de Soto, who had been Governor of
Cuba, obtained the title of Marquis of Florida, and, with nearly a thousand
men and ten ships, he landed, in 1539, on the west coast of the peninsula.
Five years later a little handful of broken, impoverished, beaten, disheartened
Spaniards, less than a third of the number that had sailed so proudly to the
conquest of Florida, left its shores to the sole occupancy of the jealous natives
who inhabited it. There was no perpetual "fountain of youth" there for
de Soto, but ageing, weariness, and disaster instead.
When Charles V, of Spain, was beginning to feel the benefit of the con-
quest in the New World, and Cortez and the Spanish captains and adventurers
were planting the standard of Spain in rich territory, Francis the.First, of France,
chafed at the necessity of acknowledging the success of his rival. Francis was
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
one of the most curious characters of European history, a combination of good
and evil traits. Vanity, culture, sensibility to the influences of art and literature,
hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness distinguished him. He was the friend of
philosophers and of those who were far from being philosophers.
From Florence came Verazzano, a navigator of repute who, unlike most of
the new world-finders, was by birth a gentleman, descended from men who had
been prominent in Florentine history. He was appointed to sail westward from
Dieppe with four ships, in the year 1523, to seek a new passage to that Cathay
which still lured the hopes of Christendom ; and in passing we may remark
upon the curious irony of fortune which permitted Italy to lend to other nations
the men who should win the greenest laurels as discoverers, when she herself
was unable to claim a foot of territory in the new world. The beginning of
Verazzano's voyage was puzzling enough. He had not proceeded far from
Dieppe when a storm overtook him and he escaped with two of his vessels to
Brittany; thence he cruised against the Spaniards and finally, having but one
vessel left out of the four with which he started, he set sail for the island of
Madeira, and on the 17th of January, 1524, turned the prow of his caravel, the
Dolphin, westward, to cross the Atlantic. After a passage of forty-five days,
during which the strange experiences common to such an adventure were not
lacking, he sighted a low shore where vast forests of pine and cypress rose from
the sandy soil. This was not far from the present site of Wilmington, North
Carolina. Among other things the Florentine noticed the presence of many
fragrant plants "which yeeld most sweete savours farr from the shore." The
savages who appeared on shore attracted the greatest attention from the voy-
agers since they were not at all sure what their reception might be when they
landed for the supply of water of which they stood in need. A boat approached
as near as possible to the beach, when one of the sailors, taking some gifts as a
propitiatory offering, jumped overboard and swam through the surf. But as he
neared the beach and saw the throng of screeching red men who awaited him
his courage failed, and flinging his presents among them he endeavored to
return; but the savages succeeded in capturing him and returned to the sand,
where in the sight of the terrified captive they built a great fire. Instead, how-
ever, of cooking him, as he expected, they warmed and dried him, showed him
every mark of affection, and then led him to the shore and let him go. At the
next place they touched, the crew of the Dolphin showed their appreciation
of the courtesy of the Indians by stealing one of their children.
From the Carolinas Verazzano's course was northward along the coast,
his first anchorage being in the bay of New York. Into that beautiful harbor,
'through the Narrows and under the green and tree-covered banks of Staten
Island, he rowed, being met by numerous canoes filled with Indians who came
out to welcome him. From New York the Dolphin followed the Long Island
THE FRENCH VISIT NEW ENGLAND.
coast as far as Block Island, and from there to the harbor of Newport, where for
fifteen days they rested, being entertained by two savage chiefs, who did all that
lay in their power to dazzle the eyes of their white visitors with the signs of opu-
lence, as evidenced by copper bracelets, wampum belts, the skins of wild
From here the little vessel steered along the New England coast, neither offi-
cers nor seamen finding much to attract them. The Indians were suspicious and
inhospitable, driving them back with shouts and showers of arrows when they
ventured ashore in their boats. The seaboard of Maine was visited, and then
the banks of Newfoundland, from which last point Verazzano, whose expedition
was for us, perhaps, the most significant of all, sailed back for France, having
explored the American coast from Hatteras to Newfoundland.
In the following year Verazzano sailed again from France with a fleet, but
no news of that expedition ever came back, and the mystery of its loss chilled
the ardor for discovery in that country, so that for several years we hear of no
further adventures to the new world. But in 1534 the persuasions of Admiral
Chabot led to the issuing of a commission to Jacques Cartier, of St. Malo, who
sailed from that port in the same year with two ships and one hundred and
twenty-two men. He circumnavigated Newfoundland and explored the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, and upon a second voyage sailed up the river of the same
name for three hundred leagues, as far as the "great and swift Fall." On the
site of Montreal he visited an Indian town. Having attempted the settlement
for which he had been sent out, Cartier went back to France only to return with
a larger expedition to Canada five years later.
Half a century of discovery and adventure had elapsed. The map-makers
of Europe during that time were kept busy by the changes made necessary
from fresh data requiring the readjustment of old lines. From Columbus to
Verazzano and Cartier, the whole coast, with a few exceptions, had been discov-
ered, from the stony crags of Labrador to the Cape of Good Hope. It only
remained now for the round-up of this magnificent hunt, which was accom-
plished by the intrepid Magellan, prince of navigators, who, first turning west-
wardly across the Pacific found the true path to far-off Cathay, which the mighty
Genoese had sought so patiently, so grandly, so mistakenly, among the isles of
June and the pearl banks of the Caribbean Sea.
More than ordinary romance and interest attend the story of Vasco Nunez
de Balboa. His appearance in the story of Spanish conquest in America, if
not dignified, is captivating to the imagination. Martin Fernandez de Enciso,
the geographer, sailed from St. Domingo to go to the relief of the explorer,
Ojeda, who was dying of famine at San Sebastian. Among the stores in his
vessel was a cask which contained something more valuable than the bread
which it was invoiced as containing. When Enciso's ships had got fairly out
STORY OF AMERICA.
to sea, Balboa crept out of his cask and presented himself to the commander,
who could, after all, do nothing but scold, as it was then too late to return the
fugitive to the creditors from whom he had taken that means of escaping.
There were some threats of putting the culprit ashore on a small desert island,
but that was not done, or one of the most popular stories of the New World
would have been unwritten.
But by the time the expedition in search of Ojeda had been abandoned
and the followers of Enciso, reinforced by the haggard remnant of Ojeda's
force, had reached the Gulf of UrabA, Balboa was no inconsiderable figure in
When the building of Santa Maria del Darien had commenced and Enciso's
temper provoked an insurrection, the stowaway, Balboa, was spoken of as his
successor. The new-comers had encroached on the province of Nicuesa, who
had been given a province in Darien, of which he was Governor, at the same
time that Ojeda was similarly favored by King Ferdinand. Some of them,
therefore, were for giving their allegiance to that Governor. The matter was
settled by giving Balboa charge till Nicuesa should come.
Nicuesa, embittered by famine and all manner of hardship, was rejected by
the men of Darien when he finally came to them, and, turning his poor little
brigantine seaward, was never heard from again. The cruelty shown to him at
this time was afterward charged upon Balboa, but he was cleared by the court.
He, however, showed little kindness to the irate Enciso, who went home to
Spain an avowed enemy, complaining bitterly of the treatment he had received
at the hands of the stowaway, whom, doubtless, he regretted not having
" marooned," i. e., cast on a desert island, when he had the chance.
Balboa next explored Darien. He married a native princess, thus making
the old chief Comogre, her father, his firm friend. The first evidence which the
Spaniards had of the superior claims of the people of Central America to civil-
ization was at Comogre's house, where "finely wrought floors and ceilings," a
chapel occupied by ancestral mummies, and other signs of ease and leisure,
appeared. But dearer than anything else was the sight of ornaments and flakes
of virgin gold. This the Spaniards, with their usual propensity, acquired, and
marveled at the strange tales which were told them of a land further to the west-
ward where the people made bowls and cups of the yellow metal. This was
the first news they had received of the kingdom of Peru. Balboa sent the
whole of the story and a fifth of the gold to Spain as Ferdinand's share, but the
ship went down on the voyage. Its arrival at Court would have done more
than anything else to check the legal proceedings which were being commenced
against him at home. However, Balboa was appointed Captain-General of
Darien by the Government of Hispaniola, which was some little comfort to
... ,,- L .F /
.. .: .... T1F
POCAHONTAS SAVING THE LIFE OF JOHN SMITH,
STORY OF AMERICA.
Balboa next advanced across
he had heard. On the twenty-
fifth of S,-pt'I:, rihb r, in i i 3. aftr,-
sonim tr:.ubL i- it [11 i IndJian-,
\ asco NLI. : d, Balboa S[[:,'od
\uhere thl p_-,oe Kr:atL; har made
C )1rt-: st'Lndi l,-or some \t ar
pasr, on a peak in Darien, a
inloulltain in tli country o
(niiarrqua. and lool-d withi the
glad eyes o, a diicoverer on the
blu', waterss of thlie mi-hgli Pa-
the Isthmus to find "the great sea" of which
, ... '*lsf'.r
S- i, ,ci c an. that till then
l a.i hIad no herald in tllhe
FEa.-tern world. Having
shortly after this painted d
-A. .-l th, P ciFi: coat, B ID ,-,aa
Returned t, D rien iith
BALBOA DISCOVERS THE PACIFIC. the news of his great dis-
covery, which might have
gained him the gratitude and reward it merited had not Pedrarias Davila suc-
,ceeded in gaining the royal ear, and with a band of cavaliers, lured to new fields
STORY OF AMERICA.
by the golden rumors of Peru, started for Darien. By his commission Davila
was Admiral and Governor; he was a leading figure on the Isthmus for sixteen
years, and during that time committed so many crimes that the historian Oviedo
computes that he would have to face two million souls at the judgment day!
Oviedo, like the humane Las Casas, believed that the Indians possessed souls;
and though we know how given the Spanish chroniclers were to exaggeration
and even downright mendacity, still we cannot doubt that enough murders were
committed during the governorship of Davila to make even the conscience of a
Spaniard feel uncomfortable. With the cavaliers who came over with Davila
were Oviedo, the historian already named, and Enciso, Balboa's old commander.
The first thing that the jealous Davila did was to arrest Balboa on trumped-up
charges, but they did not suffice to insure his conviction, and about this time the
news of his great discoveries was beginning to turn the tide in Spain in his favor.
It is to be said to Balboa's credit that he was very politic in his treatment of the
Indians, using kindness where the new Governor practiced the utmost cruelty.
As a result Balboa was regarded with friendly feelings and his rival hated-a
condition of affairs that could not fail to engender jealousy and danger.
The Spanish Bishop, who had come with the expedition, strove to patch up
Smatters by suggesting a betrothal between Balboa and the daughter of the
Governor. As the daughter was in Spain, and the alliance could not be con-
summated for some time, Balboa consented, though we have no evidence that
he really contemplated abandoning his beloved Indian wife. The proposed
marriage was but one article in an important treaty, without which the younger
man would have been crushed by the elder.
Before long, however, Balboa again incurred the hatred of his enemy, and
/accepting a treacherous invitation to visit him, was arrested by his old comrade,
SPizarro, and beheaded, at the age of forty-two, in the land with which his name
and fame are indissolubly connected. It was just before his last quarrel with
Davila, which resulted in his untimely end, that Balboa performed one of the
most astonishing feats in Spanish-American annals; having taken his ships apart,
he transported them across the Sierras, and launched them on the Pacific.
Ferdinand de Soto was born in Xeres, Spain, in 1500. We first meet with
him, so far as American exploration is concerned, on accompanying his friend
and patron Davila [previously referred to in the account of Balboa], on his
expedition to Darien, of which Davila was Governor, and whose offensive
administration De Soto was the first to resist. He supported Hernandez in
Nicaragua in 1527, who perished by the hand of Davila for not obeying his
instructions. Withdrawing from the service of Davila, in 1528 he explored the
coasts of Guatemala and Yucatan for 700 miles, in search of the strait which was
supposed to connect the two oceans. In 1532, by special request of Pizarro,
he joined him in his enterprise of conquering Peru. He was present at the
STORY OF AMERICA.
seizure of the Peruvian Inca, and took part in the massacre which followed,
serving the usual apprenticeship in butchery which hardened the hearts and made
callous the nerves of those who followed the Spanish conquerors: but we are told
he condemned the murder of the Inca Alahualpa, as well he might!-Prescott
has pictured the infamy of this crime in indelible colors.
In 1537, De Soto was appointed Governor of Cuba, and two years later
he crossed the Gulf of Mexico to attempt the conquest of Florida at his own
expense, believing it to be the richest
province yet discovered. Anchoring
S, in Tampa Bay, May 25th, 1539, his
v t t route was through a country made hos-
w,, yt tile by the violence of the Spanish in-
vader, Navarez. It was fighting
all the time, but it was not conquest.
He continued to march northward,
reaching, October 18th, 1540, the present site of Mobile, Alabama, and finally
arriving at the mouth of the Savannah river. That country was then, as it is
now, flat and sandy, its low forests of pine interspersed with cypress swamps
and knolls where the live-oaks flourished. Frequent streams intersect portions
of it. Traveling with such means as De Soto had at his disposal was very slow
and troublesome. From the Savannah he turned inland, fighting the Indians at
almost every step, and overcoming mighty obstacles. With nearly a third of
58 STORY OF AMERICA.
his men slain or lost, after a winter spent on the Yazoo, and disappointment
following disappointment as he searched in vain, in his westward course, for the
cities of gold which he saw in glowing but illusory vision, after a year and a half
of unparalleled hardships and constant marching, in April, 1542, he discovered
the Mississippi, that mighty stream whose current flows for four thousand miles
upon which the eyes of a white man had never before rested. This he explored
for a short distance above and below Chickasaw Bluffs. Here his great career
ended, for he died of malignant fever. To conceal his death from the Indians,
his body was wrapped in a mantle, and in the stillness of midnight was silently
sunk in the middle of the stream. His soldiers pronounced his eulogy by griev-
ing for their loss, while the priests chanted the first requiem ever heard on the
waters of the Mississippi.
Thrilling Experiences of our Forefathers in
the Early Days.
S- A FEW years cover the be-
innings of westward migration
S-from Europe and the British
Isles. Great impulses seem to
be epidemic. The variety of
causes which led to the planting
P-D I of the American colonies be-
came operative under diverse
national and race conditions, so
-isinteretw- i-- e that they appear in history as
Sthe synchronous details of a
common plan. As the reader
.- follows these pages and appro-
S 2 priates all the wonderful and
THE MARIGNY HOUSE, NEW ORLEANS, WHERE LOUIS PHILIPPE inspiring details of this une-
STOPPED IN 1798.
equaled record of four centuries,
his interest will deepen and his amazement will keep pace with his interest.
Finding a barren shore, broken only by the roar of the surf, the cries of birds
and animals, and the whoop of the Indian, he will lay down the volume, having
discovered that civilization has followed the sun until the two oceans have met-
connected by an unbroken tide of humanity ebbing and flowing from the Atlantic
to the Pacific; and westward the Star of Empire still takes its way!
A minute account of the social and political situations in the various king-
doms of Europe during the sixteenth century is not within the scope of this
work, but it will be well to make a very brief statement of the questions that,
agitated Christendom at this time, and to notice the temper of the times.
Cupidity and a love of adventure led the Spaniard to the conquest of the
New World. Spain was then paramount in Europe, most powerful as well as
most Catholic; and the controlling motive of her sovereigns was conquest.
It was not reformation nor revolution that sent her people over seas, but
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
the love of power and wealth. In France, on the contrary, the spirit of
revolt against established dogmas had led to persecution, so that the Hugue-
nots were glad to find an asylum in the wilderness of the New World.
Under these conditions the first colonies were attempted in the middle of
the sixteenth century. Thirty years later a second planting, more general and
more effectual, was begun.
At that time Protestant England had a Catholic king. Henry of Navarre
was upon the throne of France, which he had gained by his apostacy. Holland,
the mighty little republic, was, under the wise leadership of John of Barne-
veld and the States General, keeping Catholic Europe in check. Spain
had been for years planning the conquest of England "as a stepping-
stone to the recovery of the Netherlands." It will be seen that the very
causes which led emigrants to colonize the new continent forbade friendship
or common interests between those of different races, the animosities of the
Old World being very carefully transplanted to the new along with other
France made the first attempt at colonization in 1555. One of the leaders
in the enterprise was Coligny, the Huguenot admiral; John Ribault and
Laudoniere were masters of successive expeditions, seeking first the Florida
coast and afterward establishing a settlement in Carolina. The French have
seldom made good colonists, and those of Carolina were no exception to the
general rule. It is probable that their quarrelsome dispositions would have
destroyed them in time had not the Spanish claimants of the country, led by
Menendez, hastened the event. This expedition of the Spaniards was not
only noteworthy because of the cruel massacre of Ribault and his Huguenot
followers, but also as the occasion of the founding of the most ancient of,
North American cities, St. Augustine. This occurred in 1564.
The settlement of St. Augustine was followed by a hiatus in which nothing
was done toward the colonization of America. This was due to the great
religious war which was then raging in Europe. But in the interval the mis-
sionary expeditions of the Spanish Franciscans, Ruyz and Espejio, in 1582,
resulted in the building of Santa F6 in New Mexico. There had also been the
establishment by adventurers of various fishing and trading stations, notably
the one on the island of New Foundland.
During the interval England had been steadily growing as a marine power,
and her navigators had directed men's eyes anew towards the land where so
many of their countrymen should find refuge. Finally Raleigh, following in
the footsteps of his famous half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, obtained a
patent from Queen Elizabeth, by the terms of which he should become pro-
prietor of six hundred miles radially from any point which he might discover
or take, provided he did not encroach upon territory otherwise granted by any
AN INDIAN ATTACK ON BROOKFIELD.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
Christian sovereign. As an auxiliary to this grant the queen gave her favorite
a monopoly of the sale of sweet wines, by the profits of which business he was
soon enabled to fit out what was known as the Lane expedition, that sailed
under the command of Grenville in 1585, and landed at Roanoke, in Virginia.
THE ROANOKE COLONY.
Grenville's first act upon landing was to rouse the animosity of the Indians
by burning one of their villages and some cornfields, after which he left Lane,
the Governor, with only an hundred and ten men and returned to England.
Scarcity of provisions, a constant quarrel with their Indian neighbors, and a
general feeling of discouragement
led these first Virginia colonists to
hail the navigator, Drake, who ap-
peared on the coast a few months
after, as a deliverer, and rejecting
his offers of a vessel and provi-
Ssions, they insisted upon returning
with him to the mother country.
Their departure was almost imme-
diately followed by the arrival of
reinforcements and supplies from
Raleigh, brought by Grenville, who,
when he found the place deserted,
left fifteen men to guard it and
himself proceeded southward to
pillage the Spaniards of the West
A second expedition, dis-
INDIAN VILLAGE ENCLOSED WITH PALISADES. e c n d expedition, dis-
(From the original drawing in hie Britisk Museum, made by John patched by Raleigh, included many
White in 1585.)
women, that families might be
formed on the new soil and the colonists be satisfied to remain. This enter-
prise was led by John White and eleven others, having a company charter.
Upon arrival in Virginia White found only a skeleton to show where the
former settlement had been. Indian treachery was assigned as the reason for
its disappearance. .Actuated probably by a nervous anxiety, White massacred
some friendly Indians, under the impression that they were hostiles, and in
August of 1587 returned to England for supplies, leaving behind him eighty-
nine men, seventeen women, and eleven children, the youngest being his
own granddaughter, Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America.
White arrived in England to find the nation preparing for a struggle with
Spain. His return to the colonies was therefore delayed. Raleigh, finding
THE FRENCH ATTEMPT COLONIZATION.
himself impoverished by the former expeditions, which had cost him $200,000,
made an assignment, under his patent, to a company which included White and
one Thomas Smith. A new fleet was procured, though with considerable
trouble, and again the adventurers sought the Virginia coast, in 1590, only to
find that the unfortunate settlement of three years before had been utterly wiped
out of existence. So ended the first English attempt to settle America.
THE FRENCH ATTEMPT COLONIZATION.
About the same time de La Roche, a Marquis of Brittany, obtained from
Henry IV of France a commission to take Canada. His company consisted
largely of convicts and criminals. Following him came Chauvin de Chatte, but
he accomplished little of permanent value.
For some years following the last attempt of Raleigh to colonize Virginia,
a desultory trade with the Indians of the coast was pursued, the staples being
sassafras, tobacco, and furs. Richard Hakluyt, one of the assignees of Raleigh,
was most active in promoting this traffic; and among others employed was
Bartholomew Gosnold, who, taking a more northerly course than the one
usually followed, discovered Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard,
and the Elizabeth Islands. Following Gosnold, in 1603, came Martin Pring,
exploring Penobscot Bay, tracing the coast thence as far south as Martha's
A French grant of the same year gave to Sieur de Monts, a Protestant, the
whole of North America between the 4oth and 46th parallels of north latitude.
This domain was named Acadie. De Monts looked for a monopoly of the fur
trade on what is now the New England and Canadian coast. His Lieutenants in
the expeditions which he soon commenced, were Poutrincourt and Champlain,
of whom the latter became famous for several discoveries, but in particular for
the lake which bears his name.
So it will be noticed that both the French and English were stretching out
their hands to acquire the same territory. De Monts and Champlain settled
their colony at St. Croix, but soon shifted, trying various points along the coast,
and even attempted to inhabit Cape Cod, but were driven away by the savages.
At last they transferred the settlement to Port Royal (Annapolis), where it
endured for about a year. De Monts' commission or patent was recalled in
1606, and but a little while previously Raleigh's grant was forfeited by
attainder, he having been imprisoned by King James on a charge of
The frequent failures to effect a permanent settlement in America did not
discourage adventurers, whose desire to possess the new world seemed to grow
stronger every year. Soon two new companies were incorporated under Royal
charter, to be known as the First and Second Colonies of Virginia. The
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
former was composed of London men, and the latter of Plymouth people
The charter authorized the Companies to recruit and ship colonists, to
engage in mining operations and the like, and to trade ; their exports to be free
of duties for seven years and duties to be levied by themselves for their own
use for a period of twenty years. They might also coin money and protect
themselves against invasion. Their lands were held of the King.
HARD TIMES COME AGAIN.
Hardly had the charter been granted when James began to make regu-
lations or instructions for the government of the colonies, which gave a shadow of
self rule, established the church of England, and decreed, among other things,
that the fruits of their industries were to be held in common stock by the colo-
nists for five years.
These instructions, along with the names of the Council appointed by
James for the government of the settlement, were carried, sealed in a tin box, by
Captain Christopher Newport, who commanded the three vessels which con-
stituted the initial venture of the London Company. An ill chosen band
landed at last at Old Point Comfort, after a stormy voyage. Of the one hundred
and five men there were forty-three "gentlemen ", twelve laborers, half a dozen
mechanics and a number of soldiers. These quarreled during the voyage, so
that John Smith, who it afterward appeared was one of the Councillors
appointed by the Crown, entered Chesapeake Bay a prisoner, charged with con-
spiracy. As might have been expected, this company did not fare well. They
were consumed with laziness and jealousy; there were cabals in the council and
bickerings outside of it. Repeatedly the men tried to desert; deaths were fre-
quent and want stared them in the face. During this time it is hardly too
much to say that the energy and wisdom of John Smith held the discouraged
adventurers together. New arrivals of the same sort as the first added to,
rather than diminished, the difficulties of the situation, so that at length Smith
wrote that thirty workmen would be worth more than a thousand of such people
as were being sent out. Not till the third lot of emigrants arrived did any
women visit the new settlement, and then only two. The Indians became more
and more troublesome, and the London Company, dissatisfied at receiving no
returns from their, investment, threatened to leave the settlers to shift for
In 1609 the London Company succeeded in obtaining a new charter, by the
terms of which it organized as a stock company, with officers chosen for life,
a governor appointed by the Company's Council in England, and a territory
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a strip four hundred miles in width.
During the interval between the granting of the charter and the organization
of the new government anarchy reigned in Virginia. Smith did everything
possible to restore order, but was at last wounded by an accidental explosion
of powder and forced to return to England. At this time Jamestown, which was
the name of the settlement, contained
five hundred men., ixrv d\\ellin.n a t:rr.
store and church. The people p' -'s,:,:
a little live stock and about thirty acr-s '.
of cultivated land, but as this w as all ,.. ... ..
"" inadequate to their support
S '.- there followed what is known
AN INDIAN COUNCIL OF WAR. in the annals of the colony
as the Starving time."
These earlier days in Virginia, while historically valuable only as a warning,
have afforded an unusual share of romance, much of which centres about the
unromantic name of Smith. The historian gladly concedes to this remarkable
man his full share of credit for the survival of one of the most ill assorted
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
parties that ever attempted to settle a new land. But, added to what is known
of Smith's adventures, struggles and escapes, is a great deal that rests solely
upon his own authority, and much of this is probably apocryphal. One hesitates,
for instance, to examine the Pocahontas legend too closely. There is no doubt
of the existence of that aboriginal princess, of her marriage to the Englishman,
Rolfe, of her enthusiastic reception by English society, or of the fact that some
of her proud descendants live to-day in Virginia. But the pretty story of her
devotion in saving the life of John Smith by protecting him with her own person
when the club of the executioner was raised by chief Powhatan's order may be
questioned. The account was not given in Smith's first narratives, and was
subsequently written by him several years after the death of the lady in
question. The multitude of hairbreadth escapes and marvelous adventures of
which Smith made himself the centre, have laid him open to the suspicion of
drawing a longer bow than Powhatan himself.
Clearing away the romance, and allowing all that is necessary to one who is
so often the hero of his own narrative, it may not be uninteresting to briefly note
some of the unquestioned services that John Smith performed for the struggling
colony. We have seen how he arrived under suspicion and arrest, landing on
the site of the little settlement which was destined to owe so much to him, like
a felon. The opening of the hitherto secret instructions given under the broad
seal of England, disclosed the fact that he was one of the Councillors named in
that document. But it was his own clear head and strong courage rather than
any royal appointment which won him the leadership in the affairs of the settle-
ment. The quarrels and incompetency of the two governors, Wingfield and
Ratcliffe, acted as a foil to display his superior quality. Although believing to,
the full in the common creed of his time, that the inducements of wealth were
the only ones which would lead men to sacrifice home and comfort for the
wilderness, yet he evinced a genius for hard work and a contempt for hard
knocks worthy of a nobler purpose.
It was in his first extended exploration of the Chickahominy that the Poca-
hontas affair is supposed to have occurred. That he was taken prisoner then,.
and by some means escaped from his captors, is undeniable. And in passing,
we may observe the curious misapprehension regarding the width of the Amer-
ican continent which Smith's journey up the Chickahominy betrayed. He was
actually looking for the Pacific ocean! In keeping with this error is that clause
in the American charters which would make the land grants like long, narrow
ribbons reaching from ocean to ocean.
In 1608 Smith ascended Chesapeake Bay and explored the larger rivers
emptying into it. In an open boat, he traveled over two thousand miles on fresh.
BACON DEMANDING HIS COMMISSION OF GOVERNOR BERKELEY.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
water. He parleyed with the Mohawks, and returned to subdue the much more
unmanageable colonists at Jamestown. When the half-starved and wholly
discouraged adventurers became mutinous, his methods of dealing with them
were dictatorial and effectual.
As already stated, Smith, upon his departure from Virginia, left nearly five
.hundred people there. In six months there remained only sixty. Many had
died, some thirty or more seized a small vessel and sailed South on a piratical
expedition, and a number wandered into the Indian country and never came
-back. Sick and disheartened, the remainder resolved to abandon Virginia and
:seek Newfoundland. Indeed, they had actually made all preparations and were
:starting upon their voyage, when they were met by the new governor from
England, Lord De La War, with ships, recruits and provisions.
The charter under which De La War assumed the government of Virginia
was sufficiently liberal. It was that granted to Raleigh. But in the years that
followed, the colony began to be prosperous and to excite the jealousy of the
king-the same base, faithless king that had beheaded Raleigh. James began
to conspire against the Virginia charter. It was too liberal : he dreaded the
power it conferred. By 1620 colonists were pouring into Jamestown at the rate
of a thousand a year, and thence being distributed through the country.
To try to condense the early colonial history of Virginia to the limits of our
space would result in a bare recital of names, or a repetition of the narrative of
ignorance, vice, and want, occasionally relieved by some deed of devotion or
,daring. At first, in spite of the liberal provisions of the charter, the conditions
were, to a large extent, those of vassalage. In 1623 James ordered the Com-
pany's directors to surrender their charter, a demand which they naturally
refused. He then brought suit against the Company, seized their papers so
-that they should have no defence, and finally, through foul means obtained a
;decision dissolving the Company. After that the government of the colony
consisted in a governor and two councils, onc of which sat in Virginia and the
.other in London. The governor and councils were by royal appointment.
Here we must be allowed to digress a little, to give the part played by one
Nathaniel Bacon in the affairs of Virginia. It was the year 1676, when Bacon
became the leader of a popular movement instituted by the people of Kent
County, whose purpose was twofold-first, to protect themselves against the
Indians, which the Government failed to do; and, secondly, to resist the unjust
taxes and the oppressive laws enacted by the existing legislative assembly, and
-also to recover their liberties lost under the arbitrary proceedings of Sir William
Berkeley, then Governor. Bacon, a popular, quiet man, who had come over
:from England a year before, was selected as their leader by the people, who,
GOVERNOR BERKELEY REMOVED.
enrolling themselves 300 strong, were led by Bacon against the Indians. Bacon's
success increased the jealousy of Sir William, who, because of Bacon's irregular
leadership,-he having no proper commission,-proclaimed Bacon a rebel.
Finally, the people rose en masse, and demanded the dissolution of the old
assembly, whose acts had caused so much trouble. Berkeley was forced to yield,
and a new assembly was elected, who,
condonin. Bacon's irre-.ular lad,-r-
shiip, promise t him a ; a rO.ular .omr-
mision as Genral. T hi; c,,mm- ," --i-'n
Bk' H -Berk and demanded his commission,
Bacon entered Jamestown, the Capital, and
burned: asthe tn. Ai lh~ t water, in O ber, Ban died, and with him t
h"rebellion," or populard uprising" as it had been variously called, subsided.
Shortly afterward Berkeley was removed, for oppression and cruelty-a cruel,
--t 9 I
bloodthirsty man he was-and, sailing for England, died soon after his arrival,
m-.- ha .-. t) _r_ t r. [ran,..a ia rr'p, nting
l. iihis conc, n .""- L-rk "re- rmined to
opi_- ,:Ise acon 1:.\ Iv I In this he w%-as
BURNING OF JAMESTOWN. unsuccessful, and in July of that year,
Bacon entered Jamestown, the Capital, and
burned the town. A little later, in October, Bacon died, and with him the
"rebellion," or "popular uprising" as it had been variously called, subsided.
Shortly afterward Berkeley was removed, for oppression and cruelty-a cruel,
bloodthirsty man he was-and, sailing for England, died soon after his arrival,
and the world's population of scoundrels was lessened by just one.
While the curious mixture of cavalier and criminal was working out the
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
early destinies of Virginia, a deeply religious element in Nottinghamshire and
Yorkshire, England, were being educated by adversity for an adventure of a
very different sort. At Scrooby, in 1606, a congregation of Separatists or
Bronnists, who were ultra Puritans, used to meet secretly for worship at the
house of their elder, William Brewster. King James, like most renegades, was a
good persecutor, and he finally drove the Scrooby church to flee. Led by their
pastor, that wisest and gentlest of the Puritans, John Robinson, the little com-
pany escaped to Holland. The history of their ten years of sorrow and hard-
ship in Amsterdam and Leyden is too well known to require repetition here.
It is impossible to overestimate the influence of such a man as Robinson, or to
question the permanency of the impression which his character and teaching
made upon his flock.
Procuring a patent from the London company, the Scrooby-Leyden Sepa-
ratists prepared for their adventure. Only about half the Holland company
could get ready, and it fell to the pastor's lot to stay with those who were left
behind. Embarking on the Speedwell, at Delft Haven, the colonists bade
good-by to their friends and directed their course to England, where they
were joined by the Mayflower.
ARRIVAL OF THE MAYFLOWER.
The Speedwell was found to be unseaworthy, so at length most of her
passengers were transferred to the Mayflower, which proceeded on the voyage.
To those who know how small a vessel of 180 tons is, the fact that one hundred
souls, besides the crew, were upon a stormy ocean in her for more than sixty
days, will be as eloquent as any description of their discomforts could be. The
objective point was far to the southward of the land that they finally fell upon,
which was not within the limits of their patent from the Virginia Company. But
they dropped anchor in Cape Cod harbor, sick and weary with the voyage, and
landed, giving thanks for their deliverance. With wisdom and frugality the
plans for the home in the wilderness were made.
Being too fir North to be bound or protected by the provisions of the
Virginia charter, the Pilgrims, as they called themselves, made a compact which
was mutually protective. The terms of the contract foreshadowed republican
institutions. Thus in character, purpose and outward surroundings the Puritan
of Plymouth and the Cavalier of Jamestown differed essentially. The after
development of the two settlements followed logically along these lines, empha-
sizing these differences.
Of the hundred souls left in Plymouth only fifty per cent. remained alive
when the supplies from England came, a year later. Scurvy, famine and
exposure to the severe climate had killed most of the weakest of them. Not a
household but had suffered loss. Yet not one offered to go back. Men and
THE PILGRIMS OF THE "MAYFLOWER."
women alike stood to their posts with a heroism that has never been excelled in
the world's history. We read how they planted their corn in the graveyard
when planting time came, so that the Indians might not discover the greatness
of their loss. Cotton Mather, in writing of this dark time says, with that
provoking, cold-blooded philosophy that can bear other people's troubles with
equanimity: "If disease had not more easily fetched so many away to heaven,"
all must have died for lack
of provisions. The Indians -
were at first very hostile,
owing to depredations com- -
mitted by a previous navi- -
gator, but they were too few 'N.
in number to be very trouble- .
some. Squanto, who became
the interpreter, and Samoset,
a sagamore from the east-
ern coast, were their first .i
friends among the red men. _'o
Squanto was their tutor V. .--
in husbandry and fishing. !.
Then, too, came Hobba-
mock, whom Longfellow has -.-
immortalized as the "friend _..-_ .-I
over the land. Miles Stan-
dish, John Alden, Priscilla,
Elder Brewster, Bradford,-
where are these names not
Frual as the Pilrims ARMOR WORN Y THE PILGRIMS IN 1620.
were, and industrious, they
found that their inexperience in planting maize, together with other drawbacks,
kept them on the edge of starvation for several years. Clams became at one
time the staple diet, and were about all that the settlers had to regale their
friends with, when a new ship-load of those that had been left behind in Leyden,
A description of Plymouth, given in 1626, shows the situation of the town:
A broad street, "about a cannon shot of eight hundred yards long," bordered
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
by the houses of hewn planks, followed by a brook down the hillside. A second
road crossed the first, and at the intersection stood the Governor's house. Upon
s of te p e hd bn c,
SCompany's hch srter.ed Buthe din 1624le thiurpose ofplan wa
done away with and the lands t hereafter held separately. Still the perroplnded
unlike thosethe whole. At first the agricultural and others
respectlabors of the people had been communistic, descended to their children
MILES STANDISH HOLDS A COUNCIL WITH accordance with the conditions of the London
Company's charter. But in 1624 this plan was
done away with and the lands thereafter held separately. Still the people,
unlike those of Virginia, continued to dwell in towns, and their habits in this
respect descended to their children.
BOUNDARY DISPUTES AND INDIAN. WARS.
The second New England colony was that of Massachusetts Bay, which
was sent out by a company provided with a charter very much like that of Vir-
ginia. The provisions of this patent allowed for the appointment of officers by
the company, but it was not stated where the headquarters of the company were
to be. This important oversight allowed the transplanting of the company, with
officers, elective power, and other democratic rights, to New England. The
company, which pretended to be a commercial organization, was really composed
of Puritans, who, though not Separatists, were strict to the point of fanaticism.
The leader of the first emigrants was John Endicott. His followers numbered
less than a hundred souls,
with which little force he
planted Salem. The Salem ,
colonists, though they had --
known less persecution and
hardship than those of Ply- ~
mouth, or perhaps for that
reason, yet were more intol-
erant and Quixotic in their ,N F
rules for self government,
in social observances, and Th i
especially in their dealings .
with people of other reli-
gious sects. The transfer-
ence of the government of u.r
the company, together with cm-
the addition of over eight
hundred new colonists, was
made in 1630.
As the Massachusetts
colonies grew they excited e
the jealousy or animosity of
two very different classes of A PIONEiR FLEEING FROM ENRAGED PEQUOTS.
people. These were their
Dutch neighbors and the Indians. The most serious of the early difficulties
with the aborigines was, in fact, the effect of Dutch interference. These
people had purchased the Connecticut river lands from the Pequots. The
Pequots only held the territory by usurpation and the original owners obtained
the Puritan protection, giving them a rival title. The enraged Pequots com-
menced hostilities which were promptly resented by the Puritan Governor,
Endicott, who led his men into the Indian country, punishing the assailants
severely. This act, however necessary it may have been, laid the colony open
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
to all the cruelty of a long-continued war, which
nant of the Pequot tribe had been extinguished.
lasted until the final rem-
.i l ,: i E.L
The war with Philip, Iassasoit's
son, occurred in 1075, when the col-
ony was stronger and better able to
bear the tax upon its vigor, but during the year
in wic it l -
in which it lasted the settle-
--;1-- ~1~-. -.
J.- --- =-
=aNi~L-a -~-=---: : iT'lli
ments were frightfully crippled. Six hundred houses had been burned, the
fighting force of the English had been decimated, and the fruits of years of
labor wasted. The whole difficulty arose from the Puritans' lust for inflicting
justice," and might have been avoided.
One of the most significant, as well as beneficial, of early New England
institutions was the "town meeting," which ranked next to "the meeting house
worship in importance to the colonist; for while in one he indulged liberty of
conscience, the other allowed him liberty of speech. Having both his speech
and his conscience under control, the Puritan took a sober delight in their
indulgence. The town meeting was in the New Englander's blood, and it needed
only the peculiar conditions of his new life to bring it out. His ancestors had had
their Folkmotes where all questions of public policy and government were freely
discussed. So it came natural to him to gather in unsmiling earnestness with his
neighbors, and attend to their plans or suggest others for their mutual guidance
and safety. This ventilation of grievances and expression of views did more, in
all probability, to prepare for the part which New England should take in future
political movements than any other one agency.
The discovery of the Hudson River, and that of Lake Champlain occurred
at nearly the same time, each discoverer immortalizing himself by the exploit.
That of Hudson has, however, been of vastly more importance to America and
the world than that of his French contemporary.
Hudson was known as a great Arctic explorer prior to his discovery of
the site of America's metropolis. He had previously sailed under English
patronage, but now he and his little "Half-Moon" were in the service of the
Dutch East India Company, and in search of a northwest passage, which he
essayed to find by way of Albany, but failed. At the same time Smith was
:searching the waters of the Chesapeake. In 1614, the charter granting all of
America between Virginia and Canada was received by the Company of the
New Netherlands from the lately formed States General of Holland. The
.command of so magnificent a river system as that of the Hudson and its
tributaries established almost at once the status and success of the Dutch
The States General held complete control of their American dependency
They appointed governors and councillors and provided them with laws.
Ordinarily, the people seemed to care as little to mix with politics as does the
modern average New Yorker, a good deal of bad government being considered
better than a little trouble.
Once in a while a governor got in some difficulty over the Indian question,
and called a council of citizens to help him, but ordinarily he was despotic.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
The colonists were content to wax fat without kicking. They were honest,
shrewd, good-natured, tolerant bodies, as different from the New Englander
as from the Virginian, or as either of these neighbors was from the other.
Primarily traders, they found themselves in one of the best trading grounds in
the world, with nothing serious to prevent them from growing rich and
multiplying. This they proceeded to do with less noise and more success than
either of the other contemporary settlements. In the fifty years of Dutch rule,
the population of New Amsterdam reached eight thousand souls. The
character of the city was so cosmopolitan that it has been estimated that no
less than twelve languages were spoken there. Free trade obtained, in
contrast to the policy of New England and Virginia. The boundary difficulties
with the Puritan colonies were a constant irritation, but were allowed to
slumber when it was necessary to make common cause against the Indians,
THE DUTCH LOSE NEW AMSTERDAM.
In the time of Petrus Stuyvesant, the last of the Dutch governors, the
rivalry which existed between the English and Dutch nations regarding the
trade of the new world led the treacherous Charles II of England to send an
armament in a time of profound peace to take the colony of a friendly nation.
Colonel Richard Nichols commanded the expedition. His orders caused
him to stop at the Massachusetts Bay for reinforcements. The colonists there
were reluctant to aid him, but those of Connecticut joined eagerly with the
expedition, and Governor Winthrop took part in it. The colony passed,
without a blow, with hardly a murmur on the part of the people, though
considerably to the rage of Governor Stuyvesant, into the hands of the English,
to be known thenceforth as New York. Notwithstanding the success of the
Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, it was unquestionably a most important
advantage in the after history of America that it should have fallen into the
hands of the English.
As a conservative element, the peaceful, prosperous Friend was of immense
value in colonial development. The grant which William Penn obtained in 1681
gave him a tract of forty thousand square miles between the estates of York
and Baltimore. Penn's charter was in imitation of that granted to Maryland,
with important differences. With the approval of Lord Baltimore, laws passed
by the Maryland Assembly were valid, but the king reserved the right to approve
the laws of Pennsylvania. The same principle was applied to the right of
taxation. There was about fifty years between the two charters.
The settlement of New Jersey by Quakers was that which first drew Penn's
attention to America. In drawing up the plans for his projected State he did so
in accordance with Quaker ideas, which in point of humanity were far in advance
of the times. The declaration that governments exist for the sake of the
PENN'S TREATY WITH THE INDIANS.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
governed, that the purpose of punishment is reformation, that justice to Indians
as well as to white men should be considered, were startling in their novelty.
The success of this enterprise was instant and remarkable. In three years
the colony numbered eight thousand people. The applications for land poured
in and the affairs of the colonists were wisely administered, and before the
death of her great founder, Pennsylvania was firmly established. Education
was a matter of care from the very start in Philadelphia, although throughout
the rest of the state it was neglected for many years. Indian troubles were
scarcely known. The great blot on the scutcheon of the Quaker colony was
the use of white slaves, for whom Philadelphia became the chief market in the
new world. Not less remarkable than the unity of time which characterized the
planting of several American settlements was the unity of race into which
they all finally merged, with few and slight exceptions, so that in after years
all of the various lines of development which have been indicated in this
chapter should combine to form a more complete national life. Penn made a
treaty with the Indians, and kept it; and herein lies the secret of his success.
If only all treaties had been kept, what bloodshed might not have been
Curious Manners and Customs in Colonial
MANY were the varieties of
New England life before the Ameri-
can Revolution. Each township
maintained its own peculiar laws;
clung to its own peculiar customs;
cherished its own peculiar traditions.
SNever, perhaps, except in Greece,
were local self-government and local
patriotism pushed to such an ex-
treme. Not only did common-
A CHAISE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. o i o
(From L'Art du Menuissier-Carrossier." 77.) wealth hold itself separate from
commonwealth, but township from
township, and often village from village. Long stretches of uninhabited land
effectively divided these self-reliant communities from one another. "The road
to Boston," says one of the most graphic of New England's local historians,*
when speaking of the route from Buzzard's Bay, in 1743, was narrow and
tortuous-a lane through a forest-having rocks and quagmires and long reaches
of sand, which made it almost impassable to wheels, if any there were to be
ventured upon it. Branches of large trees were stretched over it, so that it was
unvisited by sunlight, except at those places where it crossed the clearings on
which a solitary husbandman had established his homestead, or where it followed
the sandy shores of some of those picturesque ponds which feed the rivers
emptying into Buzzard's Bay. Occasionally a deer bounded across the path,
and foxes were seen running into the thickets." Such roads, picturesque as
they were, naturally discouraged travel. Occasionally a Congregational council
called together the ministers of several towns at an installation or an ordi-
nation. Once a year the meeting of the General Court tempted the rural
authorities up to the capital; during a week's time a few travelers may have
Mr. W. R. Bliss, in his Colonial Times on Buzzard's Bay," an excellent depiction of early
New England life, from which other quotations will appear later in this chapter.
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
ridden by on horseback and baited at the village inn; now and then a visitor
came to town, making no little stir, or perhaps a new immigrant settled on the
confines of the parish. But there were then no Methodist preachers, with short
and frequent pastorates, and no commercial travelers, with boxes of the latest
goods, who could serve as conductors of thought and gossip from village to
village and make them homogeneous.
America was not then a land of travelers,
What little travel there might have been,
was often still further discouraged by
local ordinances, and in many a town,
S a citizen had to have a special permit
From the Selectmen before he could enter-
tain a guest for anything over a fort-
night. Thus one father was fined ten
.. shillings for showing hospitality to his
COLONIAL PLOW WITH WOODEN MOLD-BOARD. 1706. daughter beyond the legal period. In
(State A;ricultural Museum, Albay,N. Y.) many a spot in early New England the
protectionist principle was so thoroughly
localized that the importation of labor, as well as of merchandise, was
rigorously restricted. Towns so insulated naturally took on distinctive traits.
Even religious customs, literal scripturalists as these people were, differed in
different places. The Puritan Sabbath began on Saturday night in one
commonwealth, on Sunday morning in another. In brief, no picture of any
one town can serve as a picture of any other.
To describe a typical Puritan home, therefore, is
not easy. Yet it is not impossible. For the New
England Puritans were a peculiar and easily distin- '' J
guished people. The fundamental differences in
character which set them off from the rest of the
world, are far more prominent to the eye than are the .
local differences which divided town from town. A -':'
Connecticut settler, or even a Rhode Island Baptist,
might be taken for a Massachusetts Puritan, but a
Knickerbocker could be mistaken for neither. ANCIENT HAND-MADE SPADE.
To begin with, the New Englanders were the (stae Agricultra v.Museum, Alb
most truly benevolent and unselfish people of their
time. They had hardly set foot on New England's shore before their history
was marked by a magnanimous act of genuine forgiveness of injuries. It
was in the middle of the landing at Plymouth Rock, when the colony was
prostrated by illness and was exposed to the worst inclemencies of a
new and inclement climate. "Destitute of every provision which the weak-
THE CHARACTER OF THE NEW ENGLANDER.
ness and daintiness of the invalid require," so runs the description, of a
well-known historian, the sick lay crowded in the unwholesome vessel or in
half-built cabins, heaped around with snow-drifts. The rude sailors refused
them even a share of those coarse sea-stores which would
have given a little variety to their diet, till disease spread
among the crew and the kind ministrations of those
whom they had neglected and affronted brought them
to a better temper." There could be no better example
of Christian forbearance than this. At the start the
Indians also came within the scope of the Puritan's
charity. He nursed them assiduously in times of small-
pox, rescued many a child from a plague-stricken wigwam,
helped them through times of famine, Christianized and
partially civilized some of them, and in business dealings
treated them not only justly but with a sincere though
tactless kindness. The Puritan's home life was unselfish;
he was profoundly regardful of his children, though he IRSH IMIGANT'S FLA-
evinced that regard not by indulging them, but by pains-
taking discipline and a rigorous thrift, the better to provide for their future.
It was a French Jesuit of the last century who testified that the New Englander,
unlike the Canadian, labored for his heirs. These early settlers made staunch
neighbors. They were ready at almost any
time to leave their work to drive a pin
or nail in a young home-maker's new
dwelling-house as a token of their good
will, while they found their greatest pleas-
ures in such means of mutual helpfulness
as corn-huskings, quilting-bees, and barn-
raisings. They were, no doubt, exacting
and unsympathetic masters, but in the
commands which they enjoined they kept
in' view the moral welfare of their slaves
and servants as of far greater importance
_g _____ than their own material prosperity. Never
< were slaves better treated than in New
A COLONIAL FLAX-WHEEL. The Puritans were strenuously intent
on making the world, not only better,
but, as they thought, happier. It was to guard the more solid pleasures of a
pure home-life and of an honest pride in one's country, that they bulwarked
themselves against the encroachments of sordid self-indulgences. But they went
84 THE STORY OF AMERICA.
about, their task in crude fashion. They recognized, for instance, quite wisely,
that there is no more insidious enemy of happiness than vanity, which makes a
man utterly miserable whenever he is ignored and only uneasily pleased even
when he is admired the most, but they tried to
eradicate vanity from the human heart not by
Planting something better in its place, but by
such petty sumptuary laws as prohibiting the
wearing of lace. They simply attempted to cut
off whatever might minister to vanity's indul-
gence. Their chief reliance for improving the
condition of the world was in a countless number
A COMFORTIER, OR CHAFING-DISH.
(New York State Cabinet of Natural History, of minute restrictions and self-limitations. The
more law there is, however, the more there needs
to be, for prohibit nine-pins and soon there will be a new game of ten-pins
to prohibit also. So it was with the Puritans. Restriction was placed here
and restriction was placed there, until restriction became constriction and grew
intolerable. The children were never allowed to lose sight of parental regula-
tions, the parents of township ordinances, .
the town of state laws. But it was in the
number and pettiness of these laws, not
any cruelty in them, which made them
intolerable, for the humanity of New
England's legislators is evinced in the fact
that there were only ten crimes punish-
able with death in New England when
there were one hundred and sixty in Old
England. The New Englanders were
swaddled, not chained. The best that
was in them did not have full play, but it i
had more play than it could have had in
any other country, except Great Britain
From the start New England was a
country of homes. The typical New
England dwelling was the work of several
generations. It had begun perhaps as a DUTCH HOUSE IN ALBANY, N. Y.
(From an Old Print.)
solidly built but plain rectangular house
of one story and two rooms. In one of them the good wife cooked the meals
on the hearth-and simple cooking was never better done-laid the table, as
meal-time approached, with the neat wooden bowls, plates, platters, and spoons
and primitive knives of the time, or, the meal over, received a neighbor dropping
THE HOUSE AND THE HOME
in on a friendly errand, or perhaps the minister gravely making the rounds of
his parish. This was the living room, the centre of the family life. The
other room contained two great bedsteads with their puffy feather-beds, while
the trundle-bed in the corner betrayed the presence of little children in the
household. If the family was large, a rude ladder led the way to a sleeping-
place in the garret, the very spot for a boy with a romantic turn.
Slowly but faithfully the farmer added to the size and to the comforts of his
home. What a place the hearth soon became! "In the wide fireplace and
over the massive back-log, crane, jack, spit and pot-hook did substantial work,
PRIMITIVE MODE OF GRINDING CORN.
while the embers kept bake-kettle and frying-pan in hospitable exercise." Here
was the place for the iron, copper or brass andirons, often wrought into curious
devices and religiously kept bright and polished. In front of the fire was the
broad wooden seat for four or five occupants, with its generously high back to
keep off the cold. This was the famous New England settle, making an inviting
and cozy retreat for the parents in their brief rests from labor, or perhaps for
lovers when the rest of the house was still. On each side of the hearth, in lieu
of better seats were wooden blocks on which the children sat as they drew close to
the fire on winter evenings to work or read by its blaze. Perhaps, in some corner
of the room could be seen the brass warming-pan, which every winter's evening
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
was filled with embers and carried to the sleeping chambers to give a temporary
warmth to the great feather-beds. There was a place near at hand for the
snow-shoes, while matchlocks, swords, pikes, halbert, and some pieces of
armor fixed against the wall showed that the farmer obeyed the town
ordinances and kept himself prepared against Indian raids.
For like all frontiersmen, these farmers never felt secure. The Indians,
instigated by the French, and exasperated by the cheating and bullying English
adventurers, who had crept into New England against the colonists' will, were
not only the cruelest of foes, they were the most treacherous of friends. They
had pillaged and destroyed more than one secluded and unsuspecting settle-
ment, murdering, torturing, or carrying into captivity, as they pleased, the
peaceful inhabitants. The big,
vague rumors of such midnight
Sraids exercised their uncanny spell
over many a household as it
gathered about the hearth of a
S Vi winter's evening. There was the
__Deerfield massacre, for instance.
Just before the dawn of a cold
winter's night the Indians fell
upon the fated village. They
S f spent twenty-four hours in wanton
destruction, slaughtered sixty help-
less prisoners, and carried a hun-
dred back with them for an eight
weeks' cruel march to the north,
during which nineteen victims were
OLD FRENCH HOUSE, murdered on the way and two
were starved to death.
Such was the story associated with the arms upon the wall; but a happier
story was told by the ears of corn, the crooknecks, the dried fruit, and the flitches
of bacon hanging from the beams and ceiling of the room. They were a
perpetual reminder of Thanksgiving Day. If the Puritan discountenanced
Christmas observances as smacking of papishness "-such was the narrow-
mindedness of the times-he showed by this feast-day, his appreciation of the
good things of earth. It was characteristic of the early New Englanders to
make much of little things. The housewife was rightfully proud of her simple
but nice cooking, and her husband of his plain but substantial produce. There
is something appetizing in the very thought of their homely but choice dishes,
their hasty-pudding, their Yankee breads, their pumpkin and mince pies. These
simple people cultivated to an unsurpassed extent the wholesome pleasure
which comes from a full appreciation of nature's wealth of gifts. They were
lovers and cultivators of the wholesome fruits. It was a custom often observed
in New England to give a favorite tree or bush a special and appropriate name,
as a token of affection and so to make it seem the more companionable. The
Puritan, indeed, had strong local affections and attachments. He found his
pleasures in what came to his hand and made pleasures often out of the work he
had to do. He provided little that was even amusement for his children, but
this misfortune was alleviated by the abundant outlet for youthful energies
which they found in the activities of the household. There was little time which
could be spent in mere amusement. The home was a hive of busy workers.
The planting, cultivating and harvesting of his crops consumed perhaps the
smaller portion of the farmer's time. Cattle raising for the West Indies and
sheep growing took much of his
attention. He was something
of a lumberman, as well, and
still more of a mechanic. Per-
haps he bought iron rods and,
when debarred from outdoor
labor, hammered them into nails
at the kitchen fireside. It was
much more important, however,
that he should have some skill ---
at carpentry. Often too, he
carved out of wood his table
dishes. In the diverse indus-
tries of his house was the germ SILK-WINDING.
of many a nucleus factory. From (Fac-sintie of a Picture in Edward Williams "Vi ginza Truly
his wife's busy loom came home-
spun cloth for the family. In the kitchen were distilled her favorite remedies.
The children of the family were not only kept busy; they were kept thinking;
their inventive faculties were constantly on the alert. Hardly a week passed
but a new device was needed. Early in the history of New England, to be
sure, there were tanners who would keep half the skins they received and
return the other half in leather, brickmakers, masons, carpenters, millers
with very busy wind-mills, carriers, sawyers, smiths, fullers, masters, shoe-
makers, wheelwrights, weavers and other artisans to do the work of specialists
in the community, yet the farmer did not a little for himself in every one. of
these trades. His home was an industrial community in and of itself.
The fisherman who dwelt upon the sea-coast needed quite as active and
versatile a family as did his inland brother. He left them to build the boats,
hoop the casks, forge the irons, and manage the many other industries pre-
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
requisite to the complete outfit of a vessel for a long and hazardous voyage.
At any time they might be obliged to support themselves entirely or be thrown
upon the town, for all fishing out at sea is a dangerous vocation, and whaling had
its peculiar perils. Occasionally a boat and crew were sunk by the tremendous
blows with which some great whale lashed the sea in his death agony. Now and
then one of these tormented giants would turn madly upon his pursuers. Then,
so says one careful historian, "he attacked boats, deliberately, crushing them
like egg-shells, killing and destroying whatever his massive jaws seized in their
horrid nip. His rage was as tremendous as his bulk; when will brought a purpose
to his movement, the art of man was no match for the erratic creature." One
such fighting monster attacked the good ship "Essex," striking with his head
just forward of her fore-chains. The ship, says the mate, "brought up as sud-
denly and violently as if she had struck a rock, and trembled for a few seconds
like a leaf." She had already begun to settle when the whale came again,
crashing with his head through her bows. There was bare time to provision and
man the small boats before the vessel sank. The crew suffered from long
exposure and severe privations, and only a part of them were ever saved.
Such tales as this reached inland and attracted boyish lovers of adventure
to the sea. There were other and different tales of the sea, as well, to allure
them-tales of great wealth amassed in the India trade, of prizes captured from
the French by audacious privateersmen, or of pirates, then scourging the sea, or,
more boldly still, entering Boston harbor and squandering their ill-gotten gains
at the Boston taverns. The ocean was then the place for the brave and the
ambitious. It is a significant fact that probably the first book of original fiction
ever published in New England was "The Algerine Captive," a story of a
sailor's slavery among the Moors. Yet this story was long in coming. New
England produced no fiction of its own and reprinted little of old England's
until ten years after the close of the American Revolution. In the early farm-
houses, the library consisted of two or three shelves of Puritan theology. As
time went on Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, a few ecclesiastical and local histories,
one or more records of witchcraft trials, and some doggerel verse from the New
England poets were added to the dry and scant supply of reading. Yet the
enterprising and imaginative reader, though a child, could ferret out not a few
exciting episodes from such uninviting volumes as Josephus's "History of the
Jews," or Rev. Mr. Williams's record of Indian Captivity, while by 1720 a few
of the more fortunate little ones had a printed copy of Mother Goose jingles
for their amusement. But, although this was all the reading the farmer had-
for the newspapers were wretched and were seldom seen fifty miles from Bos-
ton-it must not be supposed that he underestimated the value of books. He
read far more than the modern farmer does-indeed all he could afford to get
and had the time for; the clergy of the time often had substantial libraries of
THE YOUNG LADY.
one or two or even three hundred volumes; while in the Revolutionary period,
any young lady in a well-to-do family could easily obtain the best writings of
Dryden, Pope, Addison, Swift, Thomson, and the other classic writers of the
vrr orv ytnauy ooryjarVre or anaaa n stma nJ.ams a .apopy 4ourfe trI.YCuieCt. mn onLerw orm a frvataK.e aMout wi
16 build ,nira taaitan. d J.fet "tui; dty felllarerldrt with theirreeth, in such a manner as to make thum /ame Crfome &
ld. to layfoundatiionof.'am:t ay makejuLrtar. work up, and fiwnibhy' Ale with l arorder and wonderfull.3extrtey.
1 Atareraj haavre trwoooors to ar tZodges, one to fhe Weter and the oter to daeatd .d'je ..dtea Ad yrnch coun
NIAGARA AND THE BEAVER DAMS.
(From Moll's "New and Exact Malp." 171 .)
Indeed, the "young lady," as the feature of human society, was not alto-
gether neglected, even in earlier times. To be sure, she could not dance with-
out shocking most, if not all, of the community; she could not act in church
charades-for all dramatic exhibitions were forbidden by law; but. in the inter-
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
vals between her sewing and her housekeeping cares, she played battledore
and shuttlecock with her sister or friends, or practised the meeting-house
tunes on the old-fashioned and quaint spinet or virginal. If she were so
fortunate as to be born in the eighteenth century instead of the seventeenth,
she was regularly escorted by her swain to the singing-school, which not
only furnished training in psalmody, but was the occasion of much social
companionship among the young people of the village, and of not a little
These gatherings often started incidentally other intellectual interests
besides those of music, and books were discussed and recommended. Here was
the birth-place of the reading circle and the modern lecture system. Awkward
and restrained as their society manners were, the Puritans were a social people;
jealously as they preserved their home-life, they joined quite as readily as do
modern farmers in general village pleasures. The barn raising for men, the
quilting-bees for women and the merry corn-huskings and house-warmings for
both, were not the only social gatherings of young and old. Every Drdination
or installation of a new minister-it came seldom, to be sure,-was the occasion
of feasting and a sociable assembling by the congregation. Training day was
another time when the township was agog with excitement. Every male citi-
zen of the village, from the boy of sixteen to the man of sixty, was compelled on
these occasions to shoulder his musket and march in the militia. An awkward
SCHOOL AND MEETING HOUSE.
squad of amateur soldiers they were, as they paraded the village, complacent
and valiant in fair weather, but bedraggled, crestfallen and wofully diminished
in numbers in wet. Yet the women and children were proud of them and fol-
lowed along the route. In honor of the occasion special booths were erected
for the sale of gingerbread and harmless drinks to the on-lookers. The tavern
too was kept busy, for every settlement of any pretensions had a tavern, where
the passing traveler might get refreshment for himself and his horse. Here the
selectmen planned the village policy for the consideration of the town-meeting.
Here too were held public debates between rival theological disputants, sitting
over their mild spirituous beverages. Here too was disseminated the latest
news from Boston and the old world.
The two other public buildings of the place were the school-house and the
meeting-house. As early as 1647, every Massachusetts village of fifty house-
holders was required by state law to maintain a school, in which the catechism
and the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic should be taught, while
every town which boasted a hundred householders was obliged to establish a
grammar school. But New England was not dependent upon these schools
alone for her education. Massachusetts and Connecticut each had its college, in
which learned and often eminent men trained the more ambitious youth of the
land. One hundred thousand graduates were among the early emigrants from
England and mingled with the people, while in the first days of the church, the
pulpits even in the smaller towns, were almost without exception filled with men
accomplished in the best learning of the time.
The church was the centre of the community's social and political life.
Attendance on public worship was enforced, during many decades and in many
places, by village ordinance. Church and state were curiously confused. Only
church members were allowed to vote at town-meetings, and the selectmen of
the village assigned the seats to the congregation, according to the peculiar
regulations of the town-meeting. Customs differed in different places. In
some villages, just before service began, the men would file in on one
side of the church and the women on the other, while the boys and
girls, separated from each other as scrupulously, were uncomfortably fixed
in the gallery, or placed on the gallery stairs, or on the steps leading
up to the pulpit. It was in one of these churches that the following ordinance
"Ordered that all ye boys of ye town are and shall be appointed to sitt upon ye three pair
of stairs in ye meeting-house on the Lord's day, and Wm. Lord is appointed to look to the boys
yt sit upon ye pulpit stairs, and ye other stairs Reuben Guppy is to look to."
In other meeting-houses, each household had a curious box pew of its own,
fashioned according to the peculiar tastes of its occupants. The assignment of
92 THE STORY OF AMERICA.
pew room in these places of worship was determined by the most careful class
distinctions, for democratic as the Puritans were in their political institutions and
commercial methods, each family jealously guarded whatever aristocratic pre-
tensions it might have inherited. To the plain seats in the gallery were relegated
the humbler members of the parish; a few young couples had pews of their
own set off for them there, while a special gallery was occasionally provided for
the negro slaves. There was no method of heating the edifice; to warm their
feet the women had recourse to foot-stoves, carried to the meeting-house by the
children or apprentices; the men to the more primitive method of pinching
their shins together. When the hour-glass in the pulpit had marked the passage
of an hour and a half, the sermon usually came to a close, and the people in the
CHAMPLAIN'S FORTIFIED CAMP; THE FIRST HOUSE ERECTED IN QUEBEC.
gallery descended and marched two abreast up one aisle and past the long pew
which directly faced the pulpit and in which the elders and deacons sat. Here
was the money-box, into which each person dropped his shilling or more, as the
case might be, while the line was turning down the other aisle. There was
an intermission of service at noon, when the people ate their luncheon
in the adjacent school-house, where a wood-stove could be found, and
discussed the village gossip and the public notices posted on the meeting.
In every family the minister of the parish was received with an awe and
reverence which seemed suitable not only to the dignity of his calling, but to
the extreme gravity of his deportment and the impressive character of his learn-
ing. In weight and authority he was the peer of the village officials. Only the
MINISTER AND SQUIRE.
squire, the appointee of the Crown, was his superior; for he held his office as
representative of the Crown. If offenders did not pay the fines imposed upon
them, this village dignitary could place them in the stocks, or order them to be
whipped. Persons who lived disorderly, "misspending their precious time, he
could send to work-house, to the stocks, or to the whipping-post, at his discre-
tion. He could break open doors where liquors were concealed to defraud His
Majesty's excise. He could issue hue-and-cries for runaway servants and
thieves. There are instances on record in which a justice of the peace issued
COLONIAL MANSION. RESIDENCE OF THE LATE WILLIAM BULL PRINGLE, ESQ., CHARLESTON, S. C.
his warrant to arrest the town minister, about whose orthodoxy there were dis-
tressing rumors, and required him to be examined upon matters of doctrine and
faith. But a more pleasing function of his office was to marry those who came
to him for marriage, bringing the town clerk's certificate that their nuptial inten-
tions had been proclaimed at three religious meetings in the parish during the
The Squire's office, however, was an English, not an American institution,
and did not long survive on our soil. What was peculiar to New England public
life was the town meeting, held in the parish church. Every freeman of the
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
township was obliged to attend it, under penalty of a fine. It distributed in
early days the land among the settlers; it regulated, often according to com-
munistic and often according to protectionist principles, the industries of the
community; and it repressed gay fashions and undue liberties in speech and
deportment. Its representatives were the selectmen and town-clerk, and were
held in high esteem, from the respect due to their office.
Yet none of these dignitaries, much as they were held in awe, could per-
manently suppress the instincts of youth for gayer fashions and happier times.
It is impossible on any rational basis to explain the inconsistent Puritan standards
of right and wrong amusements. The most conscientious of Puritans would go,
merely out of curiosity, to a hanging, and see no harm in it, but he looked with
grave suspicion on church chimes as a worldly frivolity. Feasting he encouraged
and religious services he discouraged at a funeral. Marriage he made a secular
function; the franchise religious. To dancing he objected as improper and to
card-playing as dangerous, but he saw no harm in kissing-games and lotteries.
Finally the influence of the city proved too much for him. Boston customs were
imitated in the provincial towns. Young and old indulged in the fashionable
disfigurements of the day. The women wore black patches on their faces to set
off their complexions and the men slashed the sleeves of their coats to show the
fine quality of their underclothes, and even funeral services became occasions
for display. Sumptuary laws were ignored or repealed. The country towns
became social centres. By the time of the American Revolution, New England
was already merging from Puritanism, with its virtues and limitations, into a new
Americanism, with its new merits and its new defects.
The Romantic Story of Captain Kidd and
Other Buccaneers and Pirates.
To the north of Cuba, between that island and the
Great Bahama banks, is a navigable channel known as
the old Bahama passage. Three centuries ago it had
its day, a rich day, when freighted Spanish merchantmen
and galleons, seeking in the new world the riches which
impoverished Spain grasped so eagerly for, "dropped
down with costly bales from Cuba and the American
coast, finding their way by the Caicos passage to the
Between Cuba and Haiti, or Hispaniola, is what is
known as the windward passage," almost at the inter-
section of which with the Bahama channel, at the north-
west end of Haiti, is Tortuga del Mar-the sea tortoise.
As it was described in the sixteenth century, so it is to-day-a wooded,
rocky island, with few inhabitants and much game. Its only good harbor is on
the south, and the blue water that surrounds it is as clear as a mountain spring
and deeper than the mountain itself. It covers the entrance to the little for-
tified Haitian town of Port au Paix, with a strait ten miles wide between them.
With its beauty of foliage, mild, sea-tempered, tropical climate, and advantage of
position, nature evidently intended Tortuga for a little insular heaven, but man
succeeded in making quite the reverse of it. On Tortuga the Buccaneers
(formerly known as Boucaniers and Buccaniers) started and developed, till
Spain rang with the terror and fame of their achievements, and throughout the
Antilles and the Spanish Main they enacted one of the most terrific romances
Boucaning, from which we get Buccanier, originally meant to prepare beef
in a peculiar way, by smoking; and the Buccaneers were cow-boys, who were a
part of the French settlement that had driven the Spanish owners from Tortuga.
The horses and cattle of the latter, running wild in large droves, afforded the
material for their adventurous trade, It was not long before these old-time
cowpuncherss" became a separate and peculiar people, living much of their
lives in camp, and returning to town only to dispose of their spoils and to
commit untold debaucheries. Spain, in possession of Hispaniola, naturally was
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
jealous of her interloping French neighbors. France disclaimed any responsi-
bility' for their acts, on the ground that she neither governed nor received
tribute in Tortuga. Then the Spaniards tried to eject the Buccaneers, and only
succeeded in incurring their undying enmity. At last a destruction of cattle
drove the Frenchmen to more desperate adventures.
The first departure was that of Pierre Le Grand, who, tired of the waning
activity of the beef business, took a small vessel, and with twenty-eight men,
cruised towards Caicos, with the purpose of surprising some Spanish merchant-
man. Finally discovering a war vessel, instead of such game as he was in
search of, this Peter the Great approached to examine his prey more closely,
and succeeded in exciting the suspicions of some of the Spaniards on board of
the stranger, who told their captain that they believed the little vessel to be a
pirate; but the commander, who was vice-admiral of the Spanish fleet, laughed
at their anxiety, replying that even if the Frenchman was near their own
vessel's size they would have nothing to fear.
Waiting till cover of evening, the Buccaneers approached so close to the
Spaniard that they could not have withdrawn without discovery and suspicion.
In order to insure success, Pierre made the pirates' chances desperate by
scuttling his own vessel; thereupon they closed with the man-of-war and
boarded her with such adroitness and celerity that they succeeded in surprising
the captain and some of his officers in the cabin, and, after a short struggle,
shooting down those that opposed them, possessed themselves of the gun
room. It was an easy but brilliant victory, an achievement that set the hot
blood of the Tortuga Buccaneers in a sudden blaze, and freebooting on the
high seas became at once a fashionable and much-followed profession. As for
Pierre le Grand, the pioneer in piracy, he was content with his first venture,
and, having taken his rich prize to France, remained there, never revisiting the
Western World. Doubtless the Spaniards passing Cape de Alvarez in their
little tobacco boats, or hide-laden vessels from Havana, were surprised and,
not pleasantly so, by the sudden appearance and activity of canoes and small
boats manned with murderous Frenchmen from Tortuga.
The Buccaneer was beginning his trade of piracy in a small way,
industriously accumulating the capital with which to venture on greater
enterprises. The small vessels he converted into little freebooting ships; the
small cargoes he took home and sold in Tortuga, till he had enough saved to
equip them properly. When everything was ready, and agreements as to the
share of each man had been entered into, and every man had chosen his side
partner, who should share his good and evil fortune and stand by him in a
fracas, the notice was given to assemble. Whereupon every pirate brought
his powder and arms to the appointed' place, and off they went. That was the
fashion of it. As we would plan a little jaunt down the river, or across the
DEEDS OF DARING.
lake, or up to the top of a mountain to see the moon rise, these jolly
Buccaneers got ready and went a-pirating.
Let us not be misled at the outset by a glamour of romance which time and
a partial historian have thrown about the deeds of the buccaneers. No more
utterly debased, bestial, merciless, and bloodthirsty set of fiends ever figured
in history; but it is no less true that their physical fearlessness led them to deeds
which, by their audacity and atrocity, set the world ringing with their fame.
The first four great prizes were made within a month. Two of these were
Spanish merchantmen and two were vessels loaded with plate at Camp6che.
Success so great, the proofs of which were at once brought to Tortuga, as to
arouse the wildest enthusiasm. In a little time there were twenty vessels in
the buccaneer fleet. Spain, disgusted at this new state of affairs, sent two
men-of-war to guard her shipping. It is impossible to say how much more
mischief might have been done had it not been for this precaution. As it was,
the commerce of His Most Catholic Majesty suffered frightfully.
A second Pierre, called Francois, led a crew of twenty-six men in a little
vessel against the pearl fleet, near the river De La Plata, where they lay at work
under the protection of a gun-boat. The man-of-war was barely half a league
away from the fleet, but Frangois resolved to attempt a swoop. He feigned to
be a Spanish vessel coming up the coast from Maracaibo. On reaching the fleet
he assaulted the vessel of the vice-admiral, of eight guns and sixty men, and
forced a surrender. He then resolved to take the man-of-war. So he sunk his
own boat and, compelling the Spaniards to assist him, set sail in the prize, with
Spanish colors flying. Thinking that some of the sailors were trying to run
away with what they had got, the man-of-war gave chase. This did not suit
Francois at all. It is one thing to fight a surprised and unsuspecting enemy, and
quite another to combat a foe that greatly outweighs and outmeasures one's self
when he is suspicious and advancing. Frangois tried to get away. That he
would have succeeded in escaping had his rigging stood, there is little doubt.
As it was the mainmast gave way under the sudden strain of canvas, and the
freebooters were at the mercy of their enemy. On being overhauled Franqois
and his men-twenty-two of whom could fight-made a fierce resistance, but
were at length overcome, but only yielded on favorable terms, which were that
they were to be put, uninjured, on shore, on free land.
It is estimated that the booty which they obtained and lost that day was
worth about Ioo,ooo pistoles, or about $400,000.
In course of time, and no very long time, Port Royal, in Jamaica, became
the chief rendezvous for the pirates. On the harbor where Kingston now
stands there is a little town to remind one of the city that was engulfed by the
great earthquake-a city said to be the wickedest in the world. Near Port
Royal, upon the same harbor, is a landing by which one could go, and still
THE STORY OF AMERICA.
can, by a short cut of half a dozen miles, to the capital city, Santiago de la
Vega, now known as Spanish-Town. Near this landing there are large caverns
and fissures of enormous depth, into which one may cast a stone and hear it
bound and rebound, till the sound is lost in the distance. These caverns,
tradition says, were the hiding places and silent accomplices in murder of the
Buccaneers when they were hard pressed. Some are still supposed to contain
Attracted by the
Great success of the
From English, Portuguese,
Sand Dutch mariners joined
u the ranks of those who
preyed upon Spanish com-
merce. Nearly always the
buccaneers appear to have
sailed under some semi-
official letters of marque
granted by the colonial
gues, a man of cat-like
cunning, courage, and
ferocity, was among the
first to arrive. He had
been a noted desperado
in the old world before
he ventured his fortunes
.. Iin the new. With a small
OIMTUGEE. vessel, about thirty men,
a&e lwe ,w, and four small cannon, he
attacked a large Spaniard
(From the Portrait in "De Americaensche Zee Roovers.")
running from Maracaibo
to Havana, and after being once repulsed succeeded in taking her. Her force
of men was more than double his own, and her armament vastly larger,
but she finally struck her flag to the pirate, who had lost ten or twelve
men. Being bothered by head winds, Portugues sailed for a cape on the west
end of Cuba, to repair and take in supplies. Just as he rounded the cape, he
ran into the midst of three large Spanish vessels, by whom he was taken.
Shortly afterward a storm arose and separated the ships, but the one which
bore the desperado put into Camp6che, where he was recognized by some
Spaniards who had suffered at his hands in other waters. He was condemned
without trial, to be hung at daybreak, and for safe keeping was confined that
night on the ship; but having a friend and accomplice near, he procured a knife.
murdered his guard and escaped to land, floating on earthen wine jars, for he
could not swim. Hiding in the woods for three days without food other than
that the forest afforded, the pirate saw the parties sent in search of him.
and afterward traveled nearly forty leagues, living on what he could glean on
the shore, and exposed to all the discomforts, which only those who have
traveled in a tropical country can at all appreciate. On his journey he
performed, it is said, a remarkable feat which illustrated his tenacity of
purpose, and power of will. Coming to a considerable river and being unable
to cross it by swimming, he shaped rude knives from some great nails which
he found attached to a piece of wreckage on the shore, and with no other
instrument, cut branches with which he constructed a sort of boat. When
he reached Golfo Triste and found there others of his own kidney, he told
them of his sufferings and adventures and begged a small boat and twenty men
with which to return to Camp6che.
In the meantime the Spaniards, having supposed their foe dead, made a
great rejoicing, which was summarily cut short by his unexpected return. In
the dead of night he encountered the very vessel which had lately captured
him, and from which he had escaped. She was lying in the mouth of the river.
Softly the pirates steal across the starlit water, slipping from shadow to
shadow along the shore, starting at the whistle of the duck or the hoarse cry
of the flamingo, till they are in position to pounce upon their prey. Then
a sudden dash, a few shots and groans, and Portugues is again the successful
Buccaneer, the master of a rich prize.
But he did not keep it long. He was wrecked on his way to Jamaica, and
returned to that evil place as empty as when he started out, and although he
engaged in several expeditions and made brilliant efforts to regain his
advantages he never did so, but was always followed by the ill fortune he so
Braziliano-a Dutchman, long resident in Brazil-had his share of
notoriety. He won a rich prize or two and spent his money so recklessly that
a fortune slipped through his fingers in three months. At this time Port Royal
was so choicely wicked that only the quaint chronicler of three hundred years
ago would dare to put in words the details of its debauchery, and only in the
old fashioned style of that early day would the account be readable. Literally,
wine flowed in the streets like water, was thrown over the persons of passers
by, who were ordered, at the pistol mouth, to partake. Murder, lust, and
drunkenness, in forms indescribably beyond all precedent or comparison, were
the order of the day. And this tremendous reputation for crime and