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  • 1907
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home manufactures were encouraged by gifts of money, by exemptions of property from taxation, and by excusing workmen from military duty. The cultivation of flax was encouraged, children were taught to spin and weave, and glass works, salt works, and iron furnaces were started.

[Illustration: YARN REEL. [15] In Essex Hall, Salem, Mass.]

On the farms utensils and furniture were generally made in the household. Almost everything was made of wood, as spoons, tankards, pails, firkins, hinges for cupboard and closet doors, latches, plows, and harrows. Every boy learned to use his jack-knife, and could make brooms from birch trees, bowls and dippers and bottles from gourds, and butter paddles from red cherry. The women made soap and candles, carded wool, spun, wove, bleached or dyed the linen and woolen cloth, and made the garments for the family. They knit mittens and stockings, made straw hats and baskets, and plucked the feathers from live geese for beds and pillows.

THE HOUSES.–On the farms the houses of the early settlers were of logs, or were framed structures covered with shingles or clapboards. The tables, chairs, stools, and bedsteads were of the plainest sort, and were often made of puncheons, that is, of small tree trunks split in half. Sometimes the table would be a long board laid across two X supports. This was “the board,” around which the family sat at meals. [16] In the better houses in the towns the furniture was of course very much finer.

THE VILLAGES.–The center of village life was the meetinghouse, or church. Near by was the house of the minister, the inn or tavern, and the dwellings of the inhabitants. In early times, if the village was on the frontier or exposed to Indian attack it was guarded by blockhouses surrounded by a high stockade. These “garrison houses,” as they were called, were of stone or logs, with the second story projecting over the first, and had loopholes in place of windows. Most of them have long since disappeared, but a few still remain, turned into dwellings. Sometimes there were three or more blockhouses in a village, and to these when the Indians were troublesome the farmers and their families came each night to sleep.

SCHOOLS.-Among the acts passed by the General Court of Massachusetts in early days were several in regard to education. In 1636 four hundred pounds [17] was voted for a public school. Two years later, John Harvard, a former minister, left his library and half his fortune to this school, and in grateful remembrance it was called Harvard College. Thus started, the good work went on. Parents and masters were by law compelled to teach their children and apprentices to read English, know the important laws, and repeat the orthodox catechism. Another law required every town of fifty families to maintain a school for at least six months a year, and every town of two hundred householders a primary and a grammar school, wherein Latin should be taught.

[Illustration: FAIRBANKS HOUSE, NEAR BOSTON. As it looks to-day. Built partly in 1650.]

PERSECUTION OF THE QUAKERS.–Though the Puritans suffered persecution in the Old World, they had not learned to be tolerant. As we have seen, no man could vote in Massachusetts who was not a member of their church. They drove out Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, and again and again, in later times, banished, or fined, imprisoned, and flogged men and women who wished to worship God in their own way. When two Quaker women arrived (1656), they were sent away and a sharp law was made against their sect. [18] But in spite of all persecution, the Quakers kept coming. At last (in 1659-61) three men and a woman were hanged on Boston Common because they returned after having once been banished. Plymouth and Connecticut also enacted laws against the Quakers. [19]

CONNECTICUT CHARTERED (1662).–By this time the days of Puritan rule in old England were over. In 1660 King Charles II was placed upon the throne of his father. Connecticut promptly acknowledged him as king, and sent her governor, the younger John Winthrop, to London to obtain a charter. He easily secured one (in 1662) which spread the authority of Connecticut over the New Haven Colony, [20] gave her a domain stretching across the continent to the Pacific, and established a government so liberal that the charter was kept in force till 1818. New Haven Colony for a time resisted; but one by one the towns which formed the colony acknowledged the authority of Connecticut.

THE SECOND CHARTER OF RHODE ISLAND.–Rhode Island, likewise, proclaimed the king and sought a new charter. When obtained (in 1663), it defined her boundaries, and provided for a form of government quite as liberal as that of Connecticut. It remained in force one hundred and seventy-nine years.

THE NEW COLONIAL ERA.–From 1640 to 1660 the English colonies in America had been left much to themselves. No new colonies had been founded, and the old ones had managed their own affairs in their own way. But with Charles II a new era opens. Several new colonies were soon established; and though Rhode Island and Connecticut received liberal charters, all the colonies were soon to feel the king’s control. As we shall see later, Massachusetts was deprived of her charter; but after a few years she received a new one (1691), which united the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, and Maine in the one colony of Massachusetts Bay. New Hampshire, however, was made a separate royal province.


1. In 1620 a body of Separatists reached Cape Cod and founded Plymouth, the first English settlement north of Virginia.

2. Two years later the Council for New England granted land to Gorges and Mason, from which grew Maine and New Hampshire.

3. Between 1628 and 1630 a great Puritan migration established the colony of Massachusetts Bay, which later absorbed Maine and New Hampshire.

4. Religious disputes led to the expulsion of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson from Massachusetts. They founded towns later united (1643) as Providence Plantations (Rhode Island).

5. Other religious disputes led to the migration of people who settled (1635-36) in the Connecticut valley and founded (1639) Connecticut.

6. Between 1638 and 1640 other towns were planted on Long Island Sound, and four of them united (1643) and formed the New Haven Colony.

7. Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven joined in a league –the United Colonies of New England (1643-84).

8. New Haven was united with Connecticut (1662), and Plymouth with Massachusetts (1691), while New Hampshire was made a separate province; so that after 1691 the New England colonies were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

9. The New England colonists lived largely in villages. They were engaged in farming, manufacturing, and commerce.

10. For twenty years, during the Civil War and the Puritan rule in England, the colonies were left to themselves; but in 1660 Charles II became king of England, and a new era began in colonial affairs.

[Illustration: THE CHARTER OAK, HARTFORD, CONN. From an old print.]


[1] On his map Smith gave to Cape Ann, Cape Elizabeth, Charles River, and Plymouth the names they still retain. Cape Cod he called Cape James.

[2] The Puritans were important in history for many years. Most of the English people who quarreled and fought with King James and King Charles were Puritans. In Maryland it was a Puritan army that for a time overthrew Lord Baltimore’s government (p. 52).

[3] Read Fiske’s _Beginnings of New England_, pp. 79-82.

[4] The little boat or shallop in which they intended to sail along the coast needed to be repaired, and two weeks passed before it was ready. Meantime a party protected by steel caps and corselets went ashore to explore the country. A few Indians were seen in the distance, but they fled as the Pilgrims approached. In the ruins of a hut were found some corn and an iron kettle that had once belonged to a European ship. The corn they carried away in the kettle, to use as seed in the spring. Other exploring parties, after trips in the shallop, pushed on over hills and through valleys covered deep with snow, and found more deserted houses, corn, and many graves; for a pestilence had lately swept off the Indian population. On the last exploring voyage, the waves ran so high that the rudder was carried away and the explorers steered with an oar. As night came on, all sail was spread in hope of reaching shore before dark, but the mast broke and the sail went overboard. However, they floated to an island where they landed and spent the night. On the second day after, Monday, December 21, the explorers reached the mainland. On the beach, half in sand and half in water, was a large bowlder, and on this famous Plymouth Rock, it is said, the men stepped as they went ashore.

[5] As to the early settlements read Fiske’s _Beginnings of New England_, pp. 90-95.

[6] The Massachusetts charter granted the land from within three miles south of the Charles River, to within three miles north of the Merrimac River, and all lands “of and within the breadth aforesaid” across the continent.

[7] Roger Williams was a Welshman, had been educated at Cambridge University in England, and had some reputation as a preacher before coming to Boston. There he was welcomed as “a godly minister,” and in time was called to a church in Salem; but was soon forced out by the General Court. He then went to Plymouth, where he made the friendship of Mas’sasoit, chief of the Wam-pano’ags, and of Canon’icus, chief of the Narragansetts, and learned their language. In 1633 he returned to Salem, and was again made pastor of a church.

[8] The fate of John Endicott shows to what a result Williams’s teaching was supposed to lead. The flag of the Salem militia bore the red cross of St. George. Endicott regarded it as a symbol of popery, and one day publicly cut out the cross from the flag. This was thought a defiance of royal authority, and Endicott was declared incapable of holding office for a year.

[9] Anne Hutchinson held certain religious views on which she lectured to the women of Boston, and made so many converts that she split the church. Governor Vane favored her, but John Winthrop opposed her teachings, and when he became governor again she and her followers were ordered to quit the colony.

[10] The first written constitution made in our country, and the first in the history of the world that was made by the people, for the people. Other towns were added later, among them Saybrook, which had grown up about an English fort built in 1635 at the mouth of the Connecticut.

[11] Besides New Hampshire, which in 1643 was practically part of Massachusetts; and Maine, which became so a few years later.

[12] The Dutch, as we shall see in the next chapter, had planted a colony in the Hudson valley, and disputed English possession of the Connecticut.

[13] Students at Harvard College for many years paid their term bills with produce, meat, and live stock. In 1649 a student paid his bill with “an old cow,” and the steward of the college made separate credits for her hide, her “suet and inwards.” On another occasion a goat was taken and valued at 30 shillings. Taxes also were paid in corn and cattle.

[14] The coins were the shilling, sixpence, threepence, and twopence. On one side of each coin was stamped a rude representation of a pine tree.

[15] On which the yarn was wound after it was spun. For a picture of the loom used in weaving, see p. 52.

[16] On the board were a saltcellar, wooden plates or trenchers, wooden or pewter spoons, and knives, but no china, no glass. Forks, it is said, were not known even in England till 1608, and the first ever seen in New England were at Governor Winthrop’s table in 1632. Those who wished a drink of water drank from a single wooden tankard passed around the table; or they went to the bucket and used a gourd.

[17] This was a large sum in those days, and about as much as was raised by taxation in a year. The General Court which voted the money, it has been said, was “the first body in which the people, by their representatives, ever gave their own money to found a place of education.”

[18] The Friends, or Quakers, lived pure, upright, simple lives. They protested against all forms and ceremonies, and against all church government. They refused to take any oaths, to use any titles, or to serve in war, because they thought these things wrong. They were much persecuted in England.

[19] Another incident which gives us an insight into the character of these early times is the witchcraft delusion of 1692. Nearly everybody in those days believed in witchcraft, and several persons in the colonies had been put to death as witches. When, therefore, in 1692, the children of a Salem minister began to behave queerly and said that an Indian slave woman had bewitched them, they were believed. But the delusion did not stop with the children. In a few weeks scores of people in Salem were accusing their neighbors of all sorts of crimes and witch orgies. Many declared that the witches stuck pins into them. Twenty persons were put to death as witches before the craze came to an end.

[20] The New Haven Colony was destroyed as a distinct colony because its people offended the king by sheltering Edward Whalley and William Goffe, two of the regicides, or judges who sat in the tribunal that condemned Charles I. When they fled to New England in 1660, a royal order for their arrest was sent over after them, and a hot pursuit began. For a month they lived in a cave, at other times in cellars in Milford, Guilford, and New Haven; and once they hid under a bridge while their pursuers galloped past overhead. After hiding in these ways about New Haven for three years they went to Hadley in Massachusetts, where all trace of them disappears.



THE COMING OF THE DUTCH.–We have now seen how English colonies were planted in the lands about Chesapeake Bay, and in New England. Into the country lying between, there came in 1609 an intruder in the form of a little Dutch ship called the _Half-Moon_. The Dutch East India Company had fitted her out and sent Captain Henry Hudson in her to seek a northeasterly passage to China. Driven back by ice in his attempt to sail north of Europe, Hudson turned westward, and came at last to Delaware Bay. Up this the _Half-Moon_ went a little way, but, grounding on the shoals, Hudson turned about, followed the coast northward, and sailed up the river now called by his name. He went as far as the site of Albany; then, finding that the Hudson was not a passage through the continent, he returned to Europe. [1]

[Illustration: LANDING OF HUDSON. From an old print.]

DISCOVERIES OF BLOCK AND MAY.–The discovery of the Hudson gave Holland or the Netherlands a claim to the country it drained, and year after year Dutch explorers visited the region. One of them, Adrien Block, (in 1614) went through Long Island Sound, ascended the Connecticut River as far as the site of Hartford, and sailed along the coast to a point beyond Cape Cod; Block Island now bears his name. Another, May, went southward, passed between two capes, [2] and explored Delaware Bay. The Dutch then claimed the country from the Delaware to Cape Cod; that is, as far as May and Block had explored.

[Illustration: NEW NETHERLAND.]

THE FUR TRADE.–Important as these discoveries were, they interested the Dutch far less than the prospect of a rich fur trade with the Indians, and in a few years Dutch traders had four little houses on Manhattan Island, and a little fort not far from the site of Albany. From it buyers went out among the Mohawk Indians and returned laden with the skins of beavers and other valuable furs; and to the fort by and by the Indians came to trade. So valuable was this traffic that those engaged in it formed a company, obtained from the Dutch government a charter, and for three years (1615- 18) enjoyed a monopoly of the fur trade from the Delaware to the Hudson.

THE DUTCH WEST INDIA COMPANY.–When the three years expired the charter was not renewed; but a new association called the Dutch West India Company was chartered (1621) and given great political and commercial power over New Netherland, as the Dutch possessions in North America were now called. More settlers were sent out (in 1623), some to Fort Orange on the site of Albany, some to Fort Nassau on the South or Delaware River, some to the Fresh or Connecticut River, some to Long Island, and some to Manhattan Island, where they founded the town of New Amsterdam.

[Illustration: DUTCH MERCHANT (1620).]

THE PATROONS.–All the little Dutch settlements were forts or strong buildings surrounded by palisades, and were centers of the fur trade. Very little farming was done. In order to encourage farming, the West India Company (in 1629) offered an immense tract of land to any member of the company who should take out a colony of fifty families. The estate of a Patroon, as such a man was called, was to extend sixteen miles along one bank or eight miles along both banks of a river, and back almost any distance into the country. [3] A number of these patroonships were established on the Hudson.

THE DUTCH ON THE CONNECTICUT.–The first attempt (in 1623) of the Dutch to build a fort on the Connecticut failed; for the company could not spare enough men to hold the valley. But later the Dutch returned, nailed the arms of Holland to a tree at the mouth of the river in token of ownership, and (1633) built Fort Good Hope where Hartford now stands. When the Indians informed the English of this, the governor of Massachusetts bade the Dutch begone; and when they would not go, built a fort higher up the river at Windsor (1633), and another (1635) at Saybrook at the river’s mouth, so as to cut them off from New Amsterdam. The English colony of Connecticut was now established in the valley; but twenty years passed before Fort Good Hope was taken from the Dutch.

DUTCH AND SWEDES ON THE DELAWARE.–The Dutch settlers on the Delaware were driven off by Indians, but a garrison was sent back to hold Fort Nassau. Meantime the Swedes appeared on the Delaware. After the organization of the Dutch West India Company (1623), William Usselinex of Amsterdam went to Sweden and urged the king to charter a similar company of Swedish merchants. A company to trade with Asia, Africa, and America was accordingly formed. Some years later Queen Christina chartered the South Company, and in 1638 a colony was sent out by this company, the west bank of the Delaware from its mouth to the Schuylkill (skool’kill) was bought from the Indians, and a fort (Christina) was built on the site of Wilmington. The Dutch governor at New Amsterdam protested, but for a dozen years the Swedes remained unmolested, and scattered their settlements along the shores of Delaware River and Bay, and called their country New Sweden. Alarmed at this, Governor Peter Stuyvesant (sti’ve-sant) of New Netherland built a fort to cut off the Swedes from the sea. But a Swedish war vessel captured the Dutch fort; whereupon Stuyvesant sailed up the Delaware with a fleet and army, quietly took possession of New Sweden, and made it once more Dutch territory (1655).

DUTCH RULE.–The rulers of New Netherland were a director general, or governor, and five councilmen appointed by the West India Company. One of these governors, Peter Minuit, bought Manhattan (the island now covered by a part of New York city) from the Indians (1626) for 60 guilders, or about $24 of our money. [4]

DEMAND FOR POPULAR GOVERNMENT.–As population increased, the people began to demand a share in the government; they wished to elect four of the five councilmen. A long quarrel followed, but Governor Stuyvesant at last ordered the election of nine men to aid him when necessary. [5]

POPULATION AND CUSTOMS.–Though most of the New Netherlanders were Dutch, there were among them also Germans, French Huguenots, English, Scotch, Jews, Swedes, and as many religious sects as nationalities.

The Dutch of New Netherland were a jolly people, much given to bowling and holidays. They kept New Year’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, Easter and Pinkster (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday the seventh week after Easter), May Day, St. Nicholas Day (December 6), and Christmas. On Pinkster days the whole population, negro slaves included, went off to the woods on picnics. Kirmess, a sort of annual fair for each town, furnished additional holidays. The people rose at dawn, dined at noon, and supped at six. In no colony were the people better housed and fed.

[Illustration: DUTCH DOOR AND STOOP.]

THE HOUSES stood with their gable ends to the street, and often a beam projected from the gable, by means of which heavy articles might be raised to the attic. The door was divided into an upper and a lower half, and before it was a spacious stoop with seats, where the family gathered on warm evenings.

Within the house were huge fireplaces adorned with blue or pink tiles on which were Bible scenes or texts, a huge moon-faced clock, a Dutch Bible, spinning wheels, cupboards full of Delft plates and pewter dishes, rush- bottom chairs, great chests for linen and clothes, and four-posted bedsteads with curtains, feather beds, and dimity coverlets, and underneath a trundle-bed for the children. A warming pan was used to take the chill off the linen sheets on cold nights. In the houses of the humbler sort the furniture was plainer, and sand on the floors did duty for carpets.

[Illustration: FOUR-POSTED BED, AND STEPS USED IN GETTING INTO IT. In the Van Cortland Mansion, New York city.]

TRADE AND COMMERCE.–The chief products of the colony were furs, lumber, wheat, and flour. The center of the fur trade was Fort Orange, from which great quantities of beaver and other skins purchased from the Indians were sent to New Amsterdam; and to this port came vessels from the West Indies, Portugal, and England, as well as from Holland. There was scarcely any manufacturing. The commercial spirit of the Dutch overshadowed everything else, and kept agriculture at a low stage.

THE ENGLISH SEIZE NEW NETHERLAND.–The English, who claimed the continent from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, regarded the Dutch as intruders. Soon after Charles II came to the throne, he granted the country from the Delaware to the Connecticut, with Long Island and some other territory, to his brother James, the Duke of York.

In 1664, accordingly, a fleet was sent to take possession of New Amsterdam. Stuyvesant called out his troops and made ready to fight. But the people were tired of the arbitrary rule of the Dutch governors, and petitioned him to yield. At last he answered, “Well, let it be so, but I would rather be carried out dead.”

NEW YORK.–The Dutch flag was then lowered, and New Netherland passed into English hands. New Amsterdam was promptly renamed New York; Fort Orange was called Albany; and the greater part of New Netherland became the province of New York. [6]

GOVERNMENT OF NEW YORK.–The governor appointed by the Duke of York drew up a code of laws known later as the Duke’s Laws. No provision was made for a legislature, nor for town meetings, nor for schools. [7] Government of this sort did not please the English on Long Island and elsewhere. Demands were at once made for a share in the lawmaking. Some of the people refused to pay taxes, and some towns to elect officers, and sent strong protests against taxation without their consent. But nearly twenty years passed before New York secured a representative legislature. [8]

EDUCATION.–In the schools established by the Dutch, the master was often the preacher or the sexton of the Dutch church. Many of the Long Island towns were founded by New Englanders, who long kept up their Puritan customs and methods of education. But outside of New York city and a few other large towns, there were no good schools during the early years of the New York colony.


NEW JERSEY.–Before the Duke of York had possession of his province, he cut off the piece between the Delaware River and the lower Hudson and gave it to Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley (1664). They named this land New Jersey, and divided it by the line shown on the map into East and West Jersey. Lord Berkeley sold his part–West Jersey–to some Quakers, and a Quaker colony was planted at Burlington. Carteret’s portion–East Jersey– was sold after his death to William Penn [9] and other Quakers, who had acquired West Jersey also. In 1702, however, the proprietors gave up their right to govern, and the two colonies were united into the one royal province of New Jersey.

PENNSYLVANIA.–Penn had joined the Friends, or Quakers, when a very young man. The part he took in the settlement of New Jersey led him to think of founding a colony where not only the Quakers, but any others who were persecuted, might find a refuge, and where he might try a “holy experiment” in government after his own ideas. The king was therefore petitioned “for a tract of land in America lying north of Maryland,” and in 1681 Penn received a large block of land, which was named Pennsylvania, or Penn’s Woodland. [10]

[Illustration: CHARLES II AND PENN.]

PHILADELPHIA FOUNDED.–Having received his charter, Penn wrote an account of his province and circulated it in England, Ireland, Wales, Holland, and Germany. In the autumn of 1681 three shiploads of colonists were sent over. Penn himself came the next spring, and made his way to the spot chosen for the site of Philadelphia. The land belonged to three Swedish brothers; so Penn bought it, and began the work of marking out the streets and building houses. Before a year went by, Philadelphia was a town of eighty houses.

PENN AND THE INDIANS.–In dealing with the Indians the aim of Penn was to make them friends. Before coming over he sent letters to be read to them.. After his arrival he walked with them, sat with them to watch their young men dance, joined in their feasts, and, it is said, planned a sort of court or jury of six whites and six Indians to settle disputes with the natives. In June, 1683, Penn met the Indians and made a treaty which, unlike most other treaties, was kept by both parties.

THE GOVERNMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA.–As proprietor of Pennsylvania it became the duty of Penn to provide a government for the settlers, which he did in the _Frame of Government_. This provided for a governor appointed by the proprietor, a legislature of two houses elected by the people, judges partly elected by the people, and a vote by ballot. [11] In 1701 Penn granted a new constitution which kept less power for his governor, and gave more power and rights to the legislature and the people. This was called the _Charter of Privileges_, and it remained in force as long as Pennsylvania was a colony.

THE “TERRITORIES,” OR DELAWARE.–Pennsylvania had no frontage on the sea, and its boundaries were disputed by the neighboring colonies. [12] To secure an outlet to the sea, Penn applied to the Duke of York for a grant of the territory on the west bank of the Delaware River to its mouth, and was granted what is now Delaware. This region was also included in Lord Baltimore’s grant of Maryland, and the dispute over it between the two proprietors was not settled till 1732, when the present boundary was agreed upon. Penn intended to add Delaware to Pennsylvania, but the people of these “territories,” or “three lower counties,” objected, and in 1703 secured a legislature of their own, though they remained under the governor of Pennsylvania.

[Illustration: PENN’S RAZOR, CASE, AND HOT WATER TANK. Now in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society.]

THE PEOPLING OF PENNSYLVANIA.–The toleration and liberality of Penn proved so attractive to the people of the Old World that emigrants came over in large numbers. They came not only from England and Wales, but also from other parts of Europe. In later times thousands of Germans settled in the middle part of the colony, and many Scotch-Irish (people of Scottish descent from northern Ireland) on the western frontier and along the Maryland border.

As a consequence of this great migration Pennsylvania became one of the most populous of the colonies. It had many flourishing towns, of which Philadelphia was the largest. This was a fine specimen of a genuine English town, and was one of the chief cities in English America.

Between the towns lay some of the richest farming regions in America. The Germans especially were fine farmers, raised great crops, bred fine horses, and owned farms whose size was the wonder of all travelers. The laborers were generally indentured servants or redemptioners.

[Illustration: CAROLINA BY THE GRANT OF 1665.]

CAROLINA.–When Charles II became king in 1660, there were only two southern colonies, Virginia and Maryland. Between the English settlements in Virginia and the Spanish settlements in Florida was a wide stretch of unoccupied land, which in 1663 he granted for a new colony called Carolina in his honor. [13]

Two groups of settlements were planted. One in the north, called the Albemarle Colony, was of people from Virginia; the other, in the south, the Carteret Colony, was of people from England, who founded Charleston (1670). John Locke, a famous English philosopher, at the request of the proprietors drew up a form of government, [14] but it was opposed by the colonists and never went into effect. Each colony, however, had its own governor, who was sent out by the proprietors till 1729, when the proprietors surrendered their rights to the king. The province of Carolina was then formally divided into two colonies known as North and South Carolina.

LIFE IN NORTH CAROLINA.–The people of North Carolina lived on small farms and owned few slaves. In the towns were a few mechanics and storekeepers, in whose hands was all the commerce of the colony. They bought and sold everything, and supplied the farms and small plantations. In the northern part of the colony tobacco was grown, in the southern part rice and indigo; and in all parts lumber, tar, pitch, and turpentine were produced. Herds of cattle and hogs ran wild in the woods, bearing their owner’s brands, to alter which was a crime.

There were no manufactures; all supplies were imported from England or the other colonies. There were few roads. There were no towns, but little villages such as Wilmington, Newbern, and Edenton, the largest of which did not have a population of five hundred souls. As in Virginia, the courthouses were the centers of social life, and court days the occasion of social amusements. Education was scanty and poor, and there was no printing press in the colony for a hundred years after its first settlement.

Much of the early population of North Carolina consisted of indented servants, who, having served out their term in Virginia, emigrated to Carolina, where land was easier to get. Later came Germans from the Rhine country, Scotch-Irish from the north of Ireland, and (after 1745) Scotchmen from the Highlands. [15]

SOUTH CAROLINA.–In South Carolina, also, the only important occupation was planting or farming. Rice, introduced about 1694, was the chief product, and next in importance was indigo. The plantations, as in Virginia, were large and lay along the coast and the banks of the rivers, from which the crops were floated to Charleston, where the planters generally lived. At Charleston the crops were bought by merchants who shipped them to the West Indies and to England, whence was brought almost every manufactured article the people used. Slaves were almost the only laborers, and formed about half the population. Bond servants were nearly unknown. Charleston, the one city, was well laid out and adorned with handsome churches, public buildings, and fine residences of rich merchants and planters.

[Illustration: CHARLESTON IN EARLY TIMES. From an old print.]

THE PIRATES.–During the early years of the two Carolinas the coast was infested with pirates, or, as they called themselves, “Brethren of the Coast.” These buccaneers had formerly made their home in the West Indies, whence they sallied forth to prey on the commerce of the Spanish colonies. About the time Charleston was founded, Spain and England wished to put them down. But when the pirates were driven from their old haunts, they found new ones in the sounds and harbors of Carolina, and preyed on the commerce of Charleston till the planters turned against them and drove them off. [16]

GEORGIA CHARTERED.–The thirteenth and last of the English colonies in North America was chartered in 1732. At that time and long afterward, it was the custom in England and the colonies to imprison people for debt, and keep them in jail for life or until the debt was paid. The sufferings of these people greatly interested James Oglethorpe, a gallant English soldier, and led him to attempt something for their relief. His plan was to have them released, provided they would emigrate to America. Others aided him, and in 1732 a company was incorporated and given the land between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers from their mouths to their sources, and thence across the continent to the Pacific. The new colony was called Georgia, in honor of King George II.

The site of the new colony was chosen in order that Georgia might occupy and hold some disputed territory, [17] and serve as a “buffer colony” to protect Charleston from attacks by the Spaniards and the Indians.


THE SETTLEMENT OF GEORGIA.–In 1732 Oglethorpe with one hundred and thirty colonists sailed for Charleston, and after a short stay started south and founded Savannah (1733). The colony was not settled entirely by released English debtors. To it in time came people from New England and the distressed of many lands, including Italians, Germans, and Scottish Highlanders. Oglethorpe’s company controlled Georgia twenty years; but the colonists chafed under its rule, so that the company finally disbanded and gave the province back to the king (1752).

Under the proprietors the people were required to manufacture silk, plant vineyards, and produce oil. But the prosperity of Georgia began under the royal government, when the colony settled down to the production of rice, lumber, and indigo. Importation of slaves was forbidden by the proprietors, but under the royal government it was allowed. The towns were small, for almost everybody lived on a small farm or plantation.


1. While the English were planting the Jamestown colony, the Dutch under Hudson explored the Hudson River (1609), and a few years later the Dutchmen May and Block explored also Delaware Bay and the Connecticut River.

2. The Dutch fur trade was profitable, and in 1621 the Dutch West India Company was placed in control of New Netherland.

3. Settlements were soon attempted and patroonships created; but the chief industry of New Netherland was the fur trade.

4. In 1638 a Swedish colony, called New Sweden, was planted on the Delaware; but it was seized by the Dutch (1655).

5. The English by this time had begun to settle in New England. This led to disputes, and in 1664 New Netherland was seized by the English, arid became a possession of the Duke of York, brother of King Charles II.

6. Most of the province was called New York; but part of it was cut off and given to two noblemen, and became the province of New Jersey.

7. In 1663 and 1665 Charles II made some of his friends proprietors of Carolina, a province later divided into North and South Carolina.

8. In 1681 Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn as a proprietary colony.

9. In order to obtain the right of access to the sea, Penn secured from the Duke of York what is now Delaware.

10. The last of the colonies was Georgia, chartered in 1732.

11. Education scanty and poor. No printing presses for one hundred years after first settlement.

[Illustration: POUNDING CORN.]


[1] Henry Hudson was an English seaman who twice before had made voyages to the north and northeastward for an English trading company. Stopping in England on his return from America, Hudson sent a report of his discovery to the Dutch company and offered to go on another voyage to search for the northwest passage. He was ordered to come to Amsterdam, but the English authorities would not let him go. In 1610 he sailed again for the English and entered Hudson Bay, where during some months his ship was locked in the ice. The crew mutinied and put Hudson, his son, and seven sick men adrift in an open boat, and then sailed for England. There the crew were imprisoned. An expedition was sent in search of Hudson, but no trace of him was found.

[2] One of these, Cape May, now bears his name; the other, Cape Henlopen, is called after a town in Holland.

[3] The first patroonship was Swandale, in what is now the state of Delaware; but the Indians were troublesome, and the estate was abandoned. The second, granted to Michael Pauw, included Staten Island and much of what is now Jersey City; it was sold back to the company after a few years. The most successful patroonship was the Van Rensselaer (ren’se-ler) estate on the Hudson near Albany. It extended twenty-four miles along both banks of the river and ran back into the country twenty-four miles from each bank. The family still occupies a small part of the estate.

[4] New Amsterdam was then a cluster of some thirty one-story log houses with bark roofs, and two hundred population engaged in the fur trade. The town at first grew slowly. There were no such persecution and distress in Holland as in England, and therefore little inducement for men to migrate. Minuit was succeeded as governor by Van Twiller (1633), and he by Kieft (1638), during whose term all monopolies of trade were abandoned. The fur trade, heretofore limited to agents of the company, was opened to the world, and new inducements were offered to immigrants. Any farmer who would go to New Netherland was carried free with his family, and was given a farm, with a house, barn, horses, cows, sheep, swine, and tools, for a small annual rent.

[5] From these nine men in time came an appeal to the Dutch government to turn out the company and give the people a government of their own. The first demand was refused, but the second was partly granted; for in 1653 New Amsterdam was incorporated as a city with a popular government.

[6] Read Fiske’s _Dutch and Quaker Colonies_, Vol. I, pp. 286-291. In 1673, England and Holland being at war, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York and named it New Orange, and held it for a few months. When peace was made (1674) the city was restored to the English, and Dutch rule in North America was over forever.

[7] Each town was to elect a constable and eight overseers, with limited powers. Several towns were grouped into a “riding,” over which presided a sheriff appointed by the governor. In 1683 the ridings became counties, and in 1703 it was ordered that the people of each town should elect members of a board of supervisors.

[8] In 1683 Thomas Dongan came out as governor, with authority to call an assembly to aid in making laws and levying taxes. Seventeen representatives met in New York, enacted some laws, and framed a Charter of Franchises and Privileges. The duke signed this as proprietor in 1684; but revoked it as King James II.

[9] William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, an admiral in the navy of the Commonwealth and a friend of Charles II. At Oxford young William Penn was known as an athlete and a scholar and a linguist, a reputation he maintained in after life by learning to speak Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. After becoming a Quaker, he was taken from Oxford and traveled in France, Italy, and Ireland, where he was imprisoned for attending a Quaker meeting. The father at first was bitterly opposed to the religious views of the son, but in the end became reconciled, and on the death of the admiral (in 1670), William Penn inherited a fortune. Thenceforth all his time, means, and energy were devoted to the interests of the Quakers. For a short account of Penn, read Fiske’s _Dutch and Quaker Colonies_, Vol. II, pp. 114-118, 129-130.

[10] Penn intended to call his tract New Wales, but to please the king changed it to Sylvania, before which the king put the name Penn, in honor of Penn’s father. The king owed Penn’s father £16,000, and considered the debt paid by the land grant.

[11] All laws were to be proposed by the governor and the upper house; but the lower house might reject any of them. At the first meeting of the Assembly Penn offered a series of laws called _The Great Law_. These provided that all religions should be tolerated; that all landholders and taxpayers might vote and be eligible to membership in the Assembly; that every child of twelve should be taught some useful trade; and that the prisons should be made houses of industry and education.

[12] Pennsylvania extended five degrees of longitude west from the Delaware. The south boundary was to be “a circle drawn at twelve miles’ distance from Newcastle northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward.” This was an impossible line, as a circle so drawn would meet neither the thirty-ninth nor the fortieth parallel. Maryland, moreover, was to extend “unto that part of Delaware Bay on the north which lieth under the fortieth degree of north latitude.”

Penn held that the words of his grant “beginning of the fortieth degree” meant the thirty-ninth parallel. The Baltimores denied this and claimed to the fortieth. The dispute was finally settled by a compromise line which was partly located (1763-67) by two surveyors, Mason and Dixon. In later days this Mason and Dixon’s line became the boundary between the seaboard free and slave-holding states. The north boundary of Pennsylvania was to be “the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude,” which, according to Penn’s argument in the Maryland case, meant the forty- second parallel, and on this New York insisted.

[13] The grant extended from the 31st to the 36th degree of north latitude, and from the Atlantic to the South Sea; it was given to eight noblemen, friends of the king. In 1665 strips were added on the north and on the south, and Carolina then extended from the parallel of 29 degrees to that of 36 degrees 30 minutes.

[14] This plan, the _Grand Model_, as it was called, was intended to introduce a queer sort of nobility or landed aristocracy into America. At the head of the state was to be a “palatine.” Below him in rank were “proprietaries,” “landgraves,” “caciques,” and the “leetmen” or plain people. Read Fiske’s _Old Virginia and her Neighbours_, Vol. II, pp. 271-276.

[15] Read Fiske’s _Old Virginia and her Neighbours_, Vol. II, pp. 310-319.

[16] Read Fiske’s _Old Virginia and her Neighbours_, Vol. II, pp. 361-369.

[17] Ever since the early voyages of discovery Spain had claimed the whole of North America, and all of South America west of the Line of Demarcation. But in 1670 Spain, by treaty, acknowledged the right of England to the territory she then possessed in North America. No boundaries were mentioned, so the region between St. Augustine and the Savannah River was left to be contended for in the future. England, in the charter to the proprietors of Carolina (1665), asserted her claim to the coast as far south as 29°. But this was absurd; for the parallel of 29° was south of St. Augustine, where Spain for a hundred years had maintained a strong fort and settlement. The possessions of England really stopped at the Savannah River, and sixty-two years passed after the treaty with Spain (1670) before any colony was planted south of that river.



GROUPS OF COLONIES.–It has long been customary to group the colonies in two ways–according to their geographical location, and according to their form of government.

Geographically considered, there were three groups: (1) the Eastern Colonies, or New England–New Hampshire, Massachusetts (including Plymouth and Maine), Rhode Island, and Connecticut; (2) the Middle Colonies–New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware; and (3) the Southern Colonies–Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. (Map, p. 134.)

Politically considered, there were three groups also–the charter, the royal, and the proprietary. (1) The charter colonies were those whose organization was described in a charter; namely, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. (2) The royal colonies were under the immediate authority of the king and subject to his will and pleasure–New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. [1] (3) In the proprietary colonies, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, authority was vested in a proprietor or proprietaries, who owned the land, appointed the governors, and established the legislatures.

[Illustration: COLONIAL CHAIR. In the possession of the Concord Antiquarian Society.]

THE FIRST NAVIGATION ACT.–It was from the king that the land grants, the charters, and the powers of government were obtained, and it was to him that the colonists owed allegiance. Not till the passage of the Navigation Acts did Parliament concern itself with the colonies.

The first of these acts, the ordinance of 1651, was intended to cut off the trade of Holland with the colonies. It provided that none but English or colonial ships could trade between England and her colonies, or trade along the coast from port to port, or engage in the foreign trade of the plantations.

THE SECOND NAVIGATION ACT was passed in 1660. It provided (1) that no goods should be imported or exported save in English or colonial ships, and (2) that certain goods [2] should not be sent from the colonies anywhere except to an English port. A third act, passed in 1663, required all European goods destined for the colonies to be first landed in England. The purpose of these acts was to favor English merchants.

THE LORDS OF TRADE.–That the king in person should attend to all the trade affairs of his colonies was impossible. From a very early time, therefore, the management of trade matters was intrusted to a committee appointed by the king, or by Parliament during the Civil War and the Commonwealth. After the restoration of the monarchy (in 1660) this body was known first as the Committee for Foreign Plantations, then as the Lords of Trade, and finally (after 1696) as the Lords of the Board of Trade and Plantations. It was their duty to correspond with the governors, make recommendations, enforce the Navigation Acts, examine all colonial laws and advise the king as to which he should veto or disallow, write the king’s proclamations, listen to complaints of merchants,–in short, attend to everything concerning the trade and government of the colonies.

THE COLONIAL GOVERNOR.–The most important colonial official was the governor. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the governor was elected by the people; in the royal colonies and in Massachusetts (after 1684) he was appointed by the king, and in the proprietary colonies by the proprietor with the approval of the king. Each governor appointed by the king recommended legislation to the assemblies, informed the king as to the condition of the colony, sent home copies of the laws, and by his veto prevented the passage of laws injurious to the interests of the crown. From time to time he received instructions as to what the king wished done. He was commander of the militia, and could assemble, prorogue (adjourn), and dismiss the legislature of the colony.


THE COUNCIL.–Associated with the governor in every colony was a Council of from three to twenty-eight men [3] who acted as a board of advisers to the governor, usually served as the upper house of the legislature, and sometimes acted as the highest or supreme court of the colony.

THE LOWER HOUSE of the legislature, or the Assembly,–called by different names in some colonies, as House of Delegates, or House of Commons,–was chosen by such of the people as could vote. With the governor and Council it made the laws, [4] levied the taxes, and appointed certain officers; but (except in Rhode Island and Connecticut) the laws could be vetoed by the governor, or disallowed by the king or the proprietor.

There were many disputes between governor and Assembly, each trying to gain more power and influence in the government. If the governor vetoed many laws, the Assembly might refuse to vote him any salary. If the Assembly would not levy taxes and pass laws as requested by the governor, he might dismiss it and call for the election of a new one.


THE LAWS.–Many of the laws of colonial times seem to us cruel and severe. A large number of crimes were then punishable with death. For less serious offenses men and women had letters branded on their foreheads or cheeks or hands, or sewed on their outer garments in plain sight; or were flogged through the streets, ducked, stood under the gallows, stood in the pillory, or put in the stocks. In New England it was an offense to travel or cook food or walk about the town on the Sabbath day, or to buy any cloth with lace on it.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT was of three systems: the town (township) in New England; the county in the Southern Colonies; and in the Middle Colonies a mixture of both.

TOWN MEETING.–The affairs of a New England town were regulated at town meeting, to which from time to time the freemen were “warned,” or summoned, by the constable. To be a freeman in Massachusetts and Connecticut a man had to own a certain amount of property and be a member of a recognized church. If a newcomer, he had to be formally admitted to freemanship at a town meeting. These meetings were presided over by a moderator chosen for the occasion, and at them taxes were levied, laws enacted, and once a year officers were elected. [5] The principal town officers were the selectmen who managed the town’s affairs between town meetings, the constables, overseers of the poor, assessors, the town clerk, and the treasurer.

THE COUNTY.–In the South, where plantations were numerous and where there were no towns of the New England kind, county government prevailed. The officers were appointed by the royal governor, formed a board called the court of quarter sessions, and levied local taxes, made local laws, and as a court administered justice.

In the Middle Colonies there were both town and county governments. In New York, each town (after 1703) elected a supervisor, and county affairs were managed by a board consisting of the supervisors of all the towns in the county. In Pennsylvania the county officers were elected by the voters of the whole county.

NO REPRESENTATION IN PARLIAMENT.–The colonies sent no representatives to Parliament. In certain matters that body legislated for the colonies, as in the case of the Navigation Acts. But unless expressly stated in the act, no law of Parliament applied to the colonies. Having no representation in Parliament, the colonies often sent special agents to London to look after their affairs, and in later times kept agents there regularly, one man acting for several colonies. [6]

A UNION OF THE COLONIES.–The idea of uniting the colonies for purposes of general welfare and common defense was proposed very early in their history. In 1697 Penn suggested a congress of delegates from each colony. A little later Robert Livingston of New York urged the grouping of the colonies into three provinces, from each of which delegates should be sent to Albany to consider measures for defense. As yet, however, the colonies were not ready for anything of this sort.

THE CHARTERS ATTACKED.–The king, on the other hand, had attempted to unite some of the colonies in a very different way–by destroying the charters of the northern colonies and putting them under one governor. The first attack was made by King Charles II, on Massachusetts, and after a long struggle her charter (p. 58) was taken away by the English courts in 1684. The charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut were next annulled, and King James II [7] sent over Edmund Andros as governor of New England.

CONNECTICUT SAVES HER CHARTER.–Andros reached Boston in 1686, and assumed the government of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. [8] He next ordered Plymouth, Rhode Island, and Connecticut to submit and accept annexation. Plymouth and Rhode Island did so, but Connecticut resisted. Andros therefore came to Hartford (1687), dissolved the colonial government, and demanded the Connecticut charter. Tradition says that the Assembly met him, and debated the question till dusk; candles were then lighted and the charter brought in and laid on the table; this done, the candles were suddenly blown out, and when they were relighted, the charter could not be found; Captain Wadsworth of Hartford had carried it off and hidden it in an oak tree thereafter known as the Charter Oak.

But Andros ruled Connecticut, and in the following year New York and East and West Jersey also were placed under his authority. Andros thus became ruler of all the provinces lying north and east of the Delaware River. [9] His rule was tyrannical: he abolished the legislatures, and with the aid of appointed councilmen he made laws and levied taxes as he pleased.

THE ENGLISH REVOLUTION OF 1689.–In 1689 King James II was driven from his throne, William and Mary became king and queen of England, and war broke out with France. News of these events caused an upheaval in the colonies. The people in Boston promptly seized Andros and put him in jail; Connecticut and Rhode Island resumed their charter governments; the Protestants in Maryland overthrew the government of the proprietor and set up a new one in the name of William and Mary [10]; and in New York Leisler raised a rebellion.

MASSACHUSETTS RECHARTERED.–Massachusetts sent agents to London to ask for the restoration of her old charter; but instead William granted a new charter in 1691, which provided that the governor should be appointed by the king. Plymouth and Maine were united with Massachusetts, but New Hampshire was made a separate royal colony. The charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut were confirmed, so that they continued to elect their own governors.

[Illustration: THE FORT AT NEW YORK.]

LEISLER’S REBELLION.–Andros had ruled New York through a deputy named Nicholson, who tried to remain in control. A rich merchant named Jacob Leisler denied the right of Nicholson to act, refused to pay duty on some wine he had imported, and, aided by the people, seized the fort and set up a temporary government. A convention was then called, a committee of safety appointed, and Leisler was made commander in chief. Later he assumed the office of lieutenant governor. When King William heard of these things, he appointed a new governor, and early in 1691 three ships with some soldiers reached New York. Leisler at first refused to give up the fort; but was soon forced to surrender, and was finally hanged for rebellion. [11]

BACON’S REBELLION.–Massachusetts and New York were not the first colonies in which bad government led to uprisings against a royal governor. In Virginia, during the reign of Charles II, the rule of Governor Berkeley was selfish and tyrannical. In 1676 the planters on the frontier asked for protection against Indian attacks, but the governor, who was engaged in Indian trade, refused to send soldiers; and when Nathaniel Bacon led a force of planters against the Indians, Berkeley declared him a rebel, raised a force of men, and marched after him. While Berkeley was away, the people in Jamestown rose and demanded a new Assembly and certain reforms. Berkeley yielded to the demands, and was also compelled to give Bacon a commission to fight the Indians; but when Bacon was well on his way, Berkeley again proclaimed him a rebel, and fled from Jamestown.

Bacon, supported by most of the people, now seized the government and sent a force to capture Berkeley. The governor and his followers defeated this force and occupied Jamestown. Bacon, who was again on the frontier, returned, drove Berkeley away, burned Jamestown lest it should be again occupied, and a month later died. The popular uprising then subsided rapidly, and when the king’s forces arrived (1677) to restore order, Berkeley was in control. [12]

GROWTH OF POPULATION.–During the century which followed the restoration of monarchy (1660) the colonies grew not only in number but also in population and in wealth. In 1660 there were probably 200,000 people in the English colonies; by 1760 there were nearly 2,000,000–all east of the Appalachian watershed. The three great centers were Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Sparse as the population seems to us, the great march across the continent had begun. [13]

CITIES AND TOWNS.–The century (1660-1760) had seen the rise of but one real city in the South–Charleston. Annapolis was a village, Baltimore a hamlet of a hundred souls, Williamsburg and Norfolk were but towns, and no place in North Carolina was more than a country village. Philadelphia, which did not exist in 1660, had become a place of 16,000 people in 1760, neat, well-built, and prosperous. Near by was German town, and further west Lancaster, the largest inland town in all the colonies. Between Philadelphia and New York there were no places larger than small villages. New York had a population of some 12,000 souls; Boston, the chief city in the colonies, some 20,000; and in New England were several other towns of importance.

LIFE IN THE CITIES.–In the cities and large towns from Boston to Charleston in 1760 were many fine houses. Every family of wealth had costly furniture, plenty of silver, china, glass, and tapestry, and every comfort that money could then buy. The men wore broadcloth, lace ruffles, silk stockings, and silver shoe buckles, powdered their hair, and carried swords. The women dressed more elaborately in silks and brocades, and wore towering head-dresses and ostrich plumes. Shopkeepers wore homespun, workingmen and mechanics leather aprons.

[Illustration: COLONIAL SIDEBOARD, WITH KNIFE CASES, CANDLESTICK, PITCHERS, AND DECANTER. In the possession of the Concord Antiquarian Society.]

THINGS NOT IN USE IN 1660.–Should we make a list of what are to us the everyday conveniences of life and strike from the list the things not known in 1660, very few would remain. A business man in one of our large cities, let us suppose, sets off for his place of business on a rainy day. He puts on a pair of rubbers, takes an umbrella, buys a morning newspaper, boards a trolley car, and when his place of business is reached, is carried by an elevator to his office floor, and enters a steam-heated, electric-lighted room. In 1660 and for many years after, there was not in any of the colonies a pair of rubbers, an umbrella, a trolley car, a morning newspaper, an elevator, a steam-heated room, [14] an electric light.

[Illustration: COLONIAL FOOT STOVE.]

The man of business sits down in a revolving chair before a rolltop desk. In front of him are steel pens, India rubber eraser, blotting paper, rubber bands, a telephone. He takes up a bundle of typewritten letters, dictates answers to a stenographer, sends a telegram to some one a thousand miles away, and before returning home has received an answer. In 1660 there was not in all the land a stenographer, or any of the articles mentioned; no telephone, no telegraph, not even a post office.

TRAVEL AND COMMUNICATION.–If business calls him from home, he travels in comfort in a steamboat or a railway car, and goes farther in one hour than in 1660 he could have gone in two days, for at that time there was not a steamboat, nor a railroad, nor even a stagecoach, in North America. Men went from one colony to another by sailing vessel; overland they traveled on horseback; and if a wife went with her husband, she rode behind him on a pillion. The produce of the farms was drawn to the village market by ox teams.

[Illustration: TRAVELING IN 1660.]

NEWSPAPERS AND PRINTING.–In 1660 no newspaper or magazine of any sort was published in the colonies. The first printing press in English America was set up at Cambridge in 1630, and was long the only one. The first newspaper in our country was the _Boston News Letter_, printed in 1704, and there was none in Pennsylvania till 1719, and none south of the Potomac till 1732.

LIBERTY OF THE PRESS did not exist. No book, pamphlet, or almanac could be printed without permission. In 1685, when a printer in Philadelphia printed something in his almanac which displeased the Council, he was forced to blot it out. Another Philadelphia printer, Bradford, offended the Quakers by putting into his almanac something “too light and airy for one that is a Christian,” whereupon the almanac was suppressed; and for later offenses Bradford was thrown into jail and so harshly treated that he left the colony.

In New York (1725) Bradford started the first newspaper in that colony. One of his old apprentices, John Peter Zenger, started the second (1733), and soon called down the wrath of the governor because of some sharp attacks on his conduct. Copies of the newspaper were burned before the pillory, Zenger was put in jail, and what began as a trial for libel ended in a great struggle for liberty of the press; Zenger’s acquittal was the cause of great public rejoicings. [15]

CHANGES BETWEEN 1660 AND 1760.–By 1760 the conditions of life in the colonies had changed for the better in many respects. Stagecoaches had come in, and a line ran regularly between New York and Philadelphia. Post offices had been established. There were printing presses and newspapers in most of the colonies, there were public subscription libraries in Charleston and Philadelphia, and six colleges scattered over the colonies from Virginia to Massachusetts.

EDUCATION.–What we know as the public school system, however, did not yet exist. Children generally attended private schools kept by wandering teachers who were boarded around among the farmers or village folk; and learned only to read, write, and cipher. But a few went to the Latin school or to college, for which they were often prepared by clergymen.

SPORTS AND PASTIMES.–Amusements in colonial days varied somewhat with the section of the country and the character of the people who had settled it. Corn huskings, quilting parties, and spinning bees were common in many colonies. A house raising or a log-rolling (a piling bee) was a great occasion for frolic. Picnics, tea parties, and dances were common everywhere; the men often competed in foot races, wrestling matches, and shooting at a mark. In New England the great day for such sports was training day, which came four times a year, when young and old gathered on the village green to see the militia company drill.

In New York there were also fishing parties and tavern parties, and much skating and coasting, horse racing, bull baiting, bowling on the greens, and in New York city balls, concerts, and private theatricals. In Pennsylvania vendues (auctions), fairs, and cider pressing (besides husking bees and house raisings) were occasions for social gatherings and dances. South of the Potomac horse racing, fox hunting, cock fighting, and cudgeling were common sports. At the fairs there were sack and hogshead races, bull baiting, barbecues, and dancing. There was a theater at Williamsburg and another in Charleston.

[Illustration: A MILL OF 1691. The power was furnished by the great undershot water wheel.]

MANUFACTURES AND COMMERCE.–Little manufacturing was done in 1760, save for the household. A few branches of manufactures–woolen goods, felt hats, steel–which seemed likely to flourish in the colonies were checked by acts of Parliament, lest they should compete with industries in England. But shipbuilding was not molested, and in New England and Pennsylvania many ships were built and sold.

Land commerce in 1760 was still confined almost entirely to the Indian fur trade. In sea-going commerce New England led, her vessels trading not only with Great Britain and the West Indies, but carrying on most of the coasting trade. In general the Navigation Acts were obeyed; but the Molasses Act (1733), which levied a heavy duty on sugar or molasses from a foreign colony, was boldly evaded. The law required that all European goods must come by way of England; but this too was evaded, and smuggling of European goods was very common. Tobacco from Virginia and North Carolina often found its way in New England ships to forbidden ports.


1. The English colonies were of three sorts–charter, royal, and proprietary; but before 1660 each managed its affairs much as it pleased.

2. Charles II and later kings tried to rule the colonies for the benefit of the crown and of the mother country. They acted through the Lords of Trade in England and through colonial governors in America.

3. In 1676 Bacon led an uprising in Virginia against Governor Berkeley’s arbitrary rule.

4. In 1684 Massachusetts was deprived of her charter, and within a few years all the New England colonies, with New York and New Jersey, were put under the tyrannical rule of Governor Andros.

5. When James II lost his throne, Andros was deposed, and Massachusetts was given a new charter (1691).

6. The government of each colony was managed by (1) a governor elected by the people (Rhode Island, Connecticut) or appointed by the king or by the proprietor; (2) by an appointed Council; and (3) by an Assembly or lower house elected by the colonists.

7. Local government was of three sorts: in New England the township system prevailed; in the Southern Colonies the county system; and in the Middle Colonies a mixture of the two.

8. In 1660-1760 the population increased nearly tenfold; stagecoaches, post offices, and newspapers were introduced; commerce increased, but little manufacturing was done.


[1] New Hampshire after 1679, New York after 1685 (when the Duke of York became king), New Jersey after 1702, Virginia after 1624, North and South Carolina after 1729, Georgia after 1752.

[2] These goods were products of the colonies and were named in the act– such as tobacco, sugar, indigo, and furs. There was a long list of such “enumerated goods,” as they were called.

[3] In the royal colonies they were appointed by the crown; in Massachusetts, by the General Court; in the proprietary colonies, by the proprietor.

[4] In Massachusetts as early as 1634 the General Court consisted of the governor, the assistants, and two deputies from each town. During ten years they all met in one room; but a quarrel between the assistants and the deputies led to their meeting as separate bodies. For an account of this curious quarrel see Fiske’s _Beginnings of New England_, pp. 106-108. In Connecticut and Rhode Island also the towns elected deputies. Outside of New England the delegates to the lower branch of the legislature were usually elected from counties, but sometimes from important cities or towns.

[5] The first government of Plymouth Colony was practically a town meeting. The first town to set up a local government in Massachusetts was Dorchester (1633). Thus started, the system spread over all New England. Nothing was too petty to be acted on by the town meeting. For example, “It is ordered that all dogs, for the space of three weeks after the publishing hereof, shall have one leg tied up…. If a man refuse to tye up his dogs leg and he be found scraping up fish [used for fertilizer] in the corn field, the owner shall pay l2_s._, besides whatever damage the dog doth.” The proceedings of several town meetings at Providence are given in Hart’s _American History told by Contemporaries_, Vol. II, pp. 214-219.

[6] Penn’s charter required him to keep an agent in or near London.

[7] Charles II died in 1685 and was succeeded by his brother, the Duke of York (proprietor of the colony of New York), who reigned as James II.

[8] New Hampshire, which had been annexed by Massachusetts in 1641, was made a separate province in 1679; but during the governorship of Andros it was again annexed.

[9] These were Massachusetts (including Maine), New Hampshire, Plymouth, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, East Jersey, and West Jersey–eight in all. The only other colonies then in existence were Pennsylvania (including Delaware), Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina. For an account of the attack on the New England charters, read Fiske’s _Beginnings of New England_, pp. 265-268.

[10] The Protestant Episcopal Church of England was established in the colony (1692), and sharp laws were made against Catholics. From 1691 till 1715 Maryland was governed as a royal province; but then it was given back to the fifth Lord Baltimore, who was a Protestant.

[11] Read Fiske’s _Dutch and Quaker Colonies_, Vol. II, pp. 199-208. _In Leisler’s Times_, by Elbridge Brooks, and _The Segum’s Daughter_, by Edwin L. Bynner, are two interesting stories based on the events of Leisler’s time.

[12] Berkeley put so many men to death for the part they bore in the rebellion that King Charles said, “The old fool has put to death more people in that naked country than I did here for the murder of my father.” Berkeley was recalled. Read Fiske’s _Old Virginia and her Neighbours_, Vol. II, pp. 44-95; or the _Century Magazine_ for July, 1890.

[13] In New Hampshire settlers had moved up the valley of the Merrimac to Concord. In Massachusetts they had crossed the Connecticut River and were well on toward the New York border (map, p. 59). In New York settlement was still confined to Long Island, the valley of the Hudson, and a few German settlements in the Mohawk valley. In Pennsylvania Germans and Scotch-Irish had pressed into the Susquehanna valley; Reading had been founded on the upper Schuylkill, and Bethlehem in the valley of the Lehigh (map, p. 78). In Virginia population had gone westward up the York, the Rappahannock, and the James rivers to the foot of the Blue Ridge; and Germans and Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania had entered the Great Valley (map, p. 50). In North Carolina and South Carolina Germans, Swiss, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish were likewise moving toward the mountains.

[14] Houses were warmed by means of open fireplaces. Churches were not warmed, even in the coldest days of winter. People would bring foot stoves with them, and men would sit with their hats, greatcoats, and mittens on.

[15] Read Fiske’s _Dutch and Quaker Colonies_, Vol. II, pp. 248-257.



Wherever the early explorers and settlers touched our coast, they found the country sparsely inhabited by a race of men they called Indians. These people, like their descendants now living in the West, were a race with copper-colored skins, straight, jet-black hair, black eyes, beardless faces, and high cheek bones.

MOUNDS AND CLIFF DWELLINGS.–Who the Indians were originally, where they came from, how they reached our continent, nobody knows. Long before the Europeans came, the country was inhabited by a people, probably the same as the Indians, known as mound builders. Their mounds, of many sizes and shapes and intended for many purposes, are scattered over the Ohio and Mississippi valleys in great numbers. Some are in the shape of animals, as the famous serpent mound in Ohio. Some were for defense, some were village sites, and others were for burial purposes.


In the far West and Southwest, where the rivers had cut deep beds, were the cliff dwellers. In hollow places in the rocky cliffs which form the walls of these rivers, in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, are found to- day the remains of these cliff homes. They are high above the river and difficult to reach, and could easily be defended. [1]

[Illustration: TOTEM POLE IN ALASKA.]

TRIBES AND CLANS.–The Indians were divided into hundreds of tribes, each with its own language or dialect and generally living by itself. Each tribe was subdivided into clans. Members of a clan were those who traced descent from some imaginary ancestor, usually an animal, as the wolf, the fox, the bear, the eagle. [2] An Indian inherited his right to be a wolf or a bear from his mother. Whatever clan she belonged to, that was his also, and no man could marry a woman of his own clan. The civil head of a clan was a “sachem”; the military heads were “chiefs.” The sachem and the chiefs were elected or deposed, and the affairs of the clan regulated, by a council of all the men and women. The affairs of a tribe were regulated by a council of the sachems and chiefs of the clans. [3]

CONFEDERACIES.–As a few clans were united in each tribe, so some tribes united to form confederacies. The greatest and most powerful of these was the league of the Iroquois, or Five Nations, in central New York. [4] It was composed of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida (o-ni’da), and Mohawk tribes. Each managed its own tribal affairs, but a council of sachems elected from the clans had charge of the affairs of the confederacy. So great was the power of the league that it practically ruled all the tribes from Hudson Bay to North Carolina, and westward as far as Lake Michigan. Other confederacies of less power were: the Dakota and Blackfeet, west of the Mississippi; the Powhatan, in Virginia; and the Creek, the Chickasaw, and the Cherokee, in the South.


HUNTING.–One of the chief occupations of an Indian man was hunting. He devised traps with great skill. His weapons were bows and arrows with stone heads, stone hatchets or tomahawks, flint spears, and knives and clubs. To use such weapons he had to get close to the animal, and to do this disguises of animal heads and skins were generally adopted. The Indians hunted and trapped nearly all kinds of American animals.

ANIMALS AND IMPLEMENTS UNKNOWN TO THE INDIANS.–Before the coming of the Europeans the Indians had never seen horses or cows, sheep, hogs, or poultry. The dog was their only domesticated animal, and in many cases the so-called dog was really a domesticated wolf. Neither had the Indians ever seen firearms, or gunpowder, or swords, nails, or steel knives, or metal pots or kettles, glass, wheat, flour, or many other articles in common use among the whites.

[Illustration: INDIANS IN FULL DRESS.]

CLOTHING.–Their clothing was of the simplest kind, and varied, of course, with the climate. The men usually wore a strip of deerskin around the waist, a hunting shirt, leggings, moccasins on the feet, and sometimes a deerskin over the shoulders. Very often they wore nothing but the strip about the waist and the moccasins. These garments of deerskin were cut with much care, sewed with fish-bone needles and sinew thread, and ornamented with shells and quills.

Painting the face and body was a universal custom. For this purpose red and yellow ocher, colored earths, juices of plants, and charcoal were used. What may be called Indian jewelry consisted of necklaces of teeth and claws of bears, claws of eagles and hawks, and strings of sea shells, colored feathers, and wampum. Wampum consisted of strings of beads made from sea shells, and was highly prized and used not only for ornament, but as Indian money.

[Illustration: WAMPUM.]

HOUSES.–The dwelling of many Eastern Indians was a wigwam, or tent-shaped lodge. It was formed of saplings set upright in the ground in the form of a circle and bent together at their tops. Branches wound and twisted among the saplings completed the frame, which was covered with brush, bark, and leaves. A group of such wigwams made a village, which was often surrounded with a stockade of tree trunks put upright in the ground and touching one another.

On the Western plains the buffalo-hunting Indian lived during the summer in tepees, or circular lodges made of poles tied together at the small ends and covered with buffalo skins laced together. The upper end of the tepee was left open to let out the smoke of a fire built inside. In winter these plains Indians lived in earth lodges.

FOOD.–For food the Eastern Indians had fish from river, lake, or sea, wild turkeys, wild pigeons, deer and bear meat, corn, squashes, pumpkins, beans, berries, fruits, and maple sugar (which they taught the whites to make). In the West the Indians killed buffaloes, antelopes, and mountain sheep, cut their flesh into strips, and dried it in the sun. [5]

[Illustration: INDIAN JAR, OF BAKED CLAY.]

Fish and meat were cooked by laying the fish on a framework of sticks built over a fire, and hanging the meat on sticks before the fire. Corn and squashes were roasted in the ashes. Dried corn was also ground between stones, mixed with water, and baked in the ashes. Such as knew how to make clay pots could boil meat and vegetables. [6]

CANOES.–In moving from place to place the Indians of the East traveled on foot or used canoes. In the northern parts where birch trees were plentiful, the canoe was of birch bark stretched over a light wooden frame, sewed with strips of deerskin, and smeared at the joints with spruce gum to make it watertight. In the South tree trunks hollowed out by fire and called dugouts were used. In the West there were “bull boats” made of skins stretched over wooden frames. For winter travel the Northern and Western Indians used snowshoes.

[Illustration: MAKING A DUGOUT.]

After the Spaniards brought horses to the Southwest, herds of wild horses roamed the southwestern plains, and in later times gave the plains Indians a means of travel the Eastern Indians did not have.

INDIAN TRAILS.–The Eastern Indians nevertheless often made long journeys for purposes of war or trade, and had many well-defined trails which answered as roads. Thus one great trail led from the site of Boston by way of what is now the city of Springfield to the site of Albany. Another in Pennsylvania led from where Philadelphia stands to the Susquehanna, then up the Juniata, over the mountains, and to the Allegheny River. There were thousands of such trails scattered over the country. As the Indians always traveled in single file, these trails were narrow paths; they were worn to the depth of a foot or more, and wound in and out among the trees and around great rocks. As they followed watercourses and natural grades, many of them became in after times routes used by the white man for roads and railroads.

Along the seaboard the Indians lived in villages and wandered about but little. Hunting and war parties traveled great distances, but each tribe had its home. On the great plains the Indians wandered long distances with their women, children, and belongings.


WORK AND PLAY.–The women did most of the work. They built the wigwam, cut the wood, planted the corn, dressed the skins, made the clothing, and when the band traveled, carried the household goods. The brave made bows and arrows, built the canoe, hunted, fished, and fought.

Till a child, or papoose, was able to run about, it was carefully wrapped in skins and tied to a framework of wicker which could be carried on the mother’s back, or hung on the branch of a tree out of harm’s way. When able to go about, the boys were taught to shoot, fish, and make arrows and stone implements, and the girls to weave or make baskets, and do all the things they would have to do as squaws.

For amusement, the Indians ran foot races, played football [7] and lacrosse, held corn huskings, and had dances for all sorts of occasions, some of them religious in character. Some dances occurred once a year, as the corn dance, the thanksgiving of the Eastern tribes; the sun dance of the plains Indians; and the fish dance by the Indians of the Columbia River country at the opening of the salmon-fishing season. The departure of a war party, the return of such a party, the end of a successful hunt, were always occasions for dances. [8]

INDIAN RELIGION.–The Indians believed that every person, every animal, every thing had a soul, or spirit, or manitou. The ceremonies used to get the good will of certain manitous formed the religious rites. On the plains it was the buffalo manitou, in the East the manitou of corn, or sun, or rain, that was most feared. Everywhere there was a mythology, or collection of tales of heroes who did wonderful things for the Indians. Hiawatha was such a hero, who gave them fire, corn, the canoe, and other things. [9]

WARFARE.–An Indian war was generally a raid by a small party led by a warrior of renown. Such a chief, standing beside the war post in his village, would publicly announce the raid and call for volunteers. No one was forced to go; but those who were willing would step forward and strike the post with their tomahawks. Among the plains Indians a pipe was passed around, and all who smoked it stood pledged to go.

The weapons used in war were like those used in the hunt. Though the Indians were brave they delighted to fight from behind trees, to creep through the tall grass and fall upon their enemy unawares, or to wait for him in ambush. The dead and wounded were scalped. Captive men were generally put to death with torture; but captive women and children were usually adopted into the tribe.

INDIAN WARS IN VIRGINIA.–The first Europeans who came to our shores were looked on by the Indians as superior beings, as men from the clouds. But before the settlers arrived this veneration was dispelled, and hostility took its place. Thus the founders of Jamestown had scarcely touched land when they were attacked. But Smith brought about an alliance with the Powhatan, and till after his death there was peace.

Then (1622), under the lead of Opekan’kano, an attack was made along the whole line of settlements in Virginia, and in one day more than three hundred whites were massacred, their houses burned, and much property destroyed. The blow was a terrible one; but the colonists rallied and waged such a war against the enemy that for more than twenty years there was no great uprising.

But in 1644 Opekankano (then an old and grizzled warrior) again led forth his tribes, and in two days killed several hundred whites. Once more the settlers rallied, swept the Indian country, captured Opekankano, and drew a boundary across which no Indian could come without permission. If he did, he might be shot on sight. [10]

EARLY INDIAN WARS IN NEW ENGLAND.–In New England the experience of the early settlers was much the same. Murders by the Pequot Indians having become unendurable, a little fleet was sent (1686) against them. Block Island was ravaged, and Pequots on the mainland were killed and their corn destroyed. Sassacus, sachem of the Pequots, thereupon sought to join the Narragansetts with him in an attempt to drive the English from the country; but Roger Williams persuaded the Narragansetts to form an alliance with the English, and the Pequots began the war alone. In the winter (1636-37) the Connecticut River settlements were attacked, several men killed, and two girls carried off.

DESTRUCTION OF THE PEQUOTS.–In May, 1637, a force of seventy-seven colonists from Connecticut and Massachusetts, led by John Mason and John Underhill, marched to the Pequot village in what is now the southeast corner of Connecticut. Some Mohicans and Narragansetts went along; but when they came in sight of the village, they refused to join in the attack. The village was a cluster of wigwams surrounded by a stockade, with two narrow openings for entrance. While some of the English guarded them, the rest attacked the stockade, flung torches over it, and set the wigwams on fire. Of the four hundred or more Indians in the village, but five escaped.


KING PHILIP’S WAR.–For thirty-eight years the memory of the destruction of the Pequots kept peace in New England. Then Philip, a chief of the Wampanoags, took the warpath (1675) and, joined by the Nipmucks and Narragansetts, sought to drive the white men from New England. The war began in Rhode Island, but spread into Massachusetts, where town after town was attacked, and men, women, and children massacred. Roused to fury by these deeds, a little band of men from Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut in the dead of winter stormed the great swamp fortress of the Narragansetts, destroyed a thousand Indians, and burned the wigwams and winter supply of corn. The power of the Narragansetts was broken; but the war went on, and before midsummer (1676) twenty villages had been attacked by the Nipmucks. But they, too, were doomed; their fighting strength was destroyed in two victories by the colonists. In August Philip was shot in a swamp. These victories ended the war in the south, but it broke out almost immediately in the northeast, and raged till the summer of 1678.

During these three years of war New England suffered terribly. Twelve towns had been utterly destroyed, forty had been partly burned, and a thousand men, besides scores of women and children, had perished. As for the New England Indians, their power was gone forever. [11]

INDIAN WARS IN NEW NETHERLAND.–The Dutch in New Netherland were on friendly terms with the Iroquois, to whom they sold fire-arms; but the Tappans, Raritans, and other Algonquin tribes round about New Amsterdam were enemies of the Iroquois, and with these the Dutch had several wars. One (1641) was brought on by Governor Kieft’s attempt to tax the Indians; another (1643-45) by the slaughter, one night, of more than a hundred Indians who had asked the Dutch for shelter from their Mohawk enemies. Many Dutch farmers were murdered, and a great Indian stronghold in Connecticut was stormed one winter night and seven hundred Indians killed. [12] After ten years of peace the Indians rose again, killed men in the streets of New Amsterdam, and harried Staten Island; and again, after an outbreak at Esopus, there were several years of war (1658-64).

IN NORTH CAROLINA some Algonquin tribes conspired with the Tuscarora tribe of Iroquois to drive the white men from the country, and began horrid massacres (1711). Help came from South Carolina, and the Tuscaroras were badly beaten. But the war was renewed next year, and then another force of white men and Indians from South Carolina stormed the Tuscaroras’ fort and broke their power. The Tuscaroras migrated to New York and were admitted to the great Iroquois confederacy of the Five Nations, which thenceforth was known as the Six Nations. [13]

IN SOUTH CAROLINA.–Among the Indians who marched to the relief of North Carolina were men of the Yam’assee tribe. That they should turn against the people of South Carolina was not to be expected. But the Spaniards at St. Augustine bought them with gifts, and, joined by Creeks, Cherokees, and others, they began (in 1715) a war which lasted nearly a year and cost the lives of four hundred white men. They, too, in the end were beaten, and the Yamassees fled to Florida.

The story of these Indian wars has been told not because they were wars, but because they were the beginnings of that long and desperate struggle of the Indian with the white man which continued down almost to our own time. The march of the white man across the continent has been contested by the Indian at every step, and to-day there is not a state in the Union whose soil has not at some time been reddened by the blood of both.

WHAT WE OWE TO THE INDIAN.–The contact of the two races has greatly influenced our language, literature, and customs. Five and twenty of our states, and hundreds of counties, cities, mountains, rivers, lakes, and bays, bear names derived from Indian languages. Chipmunk and coyote, moose, opossum, raccoon, skunk, woodchuck, tarpon, are all of Indian origin. We still use such expressions as Indian summer, Indian file, Indian corn; bury the hatchet, smoke the pipe of peace. To the Indians we owe the canoe, the snowshoe, the toboggan, lacrosse. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn in hills, just as it is planted to-day, and long before the white man came, the Indians ate hominy, mush, and succotash, planted pumpkins and squashes, and made maple sugar.


1. The Indians were divided into tribes, and the tribes into clans.

2. Each tribe had its own language or dialect, and usually lived by itself.

3. Members of a clan traced descent from some common imaginary ancestor, usually an animal. The civil head of a clan was the sachem; the military heads were the chiefs.

4. As the clans were united into tribes, so the tribes were in some places joined in confederacies.

5. The chief occupations of Indian men were hunting and waging war.

6. Their ways of life varied greatly with the locality in which they lived: as in the wooded regions of the East or on the great plains of the West; in the cold country of the North or in the warmer South.

7. The growth of white settlements, crowding back the Indians, led to several notable wars in early colonial times, in all of which the Indians were beaten:–
In Virginia: uprisings in 1622 and in 1644; border war in 1676. In New England: Pequot War, 1636-37; King Philip’s War, 1675-78. In New Netherland: several wars with Algonquin tribes. In North Carolina: Algonquin-Tuscarora uprising, 1711-13. In South Carolina: Yamassee uprising, 1715-16.


[1] Read Fiske’s _Discovery of America_, Vol. I, pp. 85-94, 141-146.

[2] The sign or emblem of this ancestor, called the totem, was often painted on the clothing, or tattooed on the body. On the northwest coast, it was carved on a tall pole, made of a tree trunk, which was set up before the dwelling.

[3] Scientists have grouped the North American tribes into fifty or more distinct families or groups, each consisting of tribes whose languages were probably developed from a common tongue. East of the Mississippi most of the land was occupied by three groups: (1) Between the Tennessee River and the Gulf of Mexico lived the Muskho’gees (or Maskoki), including the Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw tribes. (2) The Iroquois (ir-o-kwoi’), Cherokee’, and related tribes occupied a large area surrounding Lakes Erie and Ontario, and smaller areas in the southern Appalachians and south of the lower James River. (3) The Algonquins and related tribes occupied most of the country around Lakes Superior and Michigan, most of the Ohio valley, and the Atlantic seaboard north of the James River, besides much of Canada.

[4] Read Fiske’s _Discovery of America_, vol. I, pp. 72-78.

[5] The manner of drying was called “jerking.” Jerked meat would keep for months and was cooked as needed. Sometimes it was pounded between stones and mixed with fat, and was then called pemmican.

[6] Fire for cooking and warming was started by pressing a pointed stick against a piece of wood and turning the stick around rapidly. Sometimes this was done by twirling it between the palms of the hands, sometimes by wrapping the string of a little bow around the stick and moving the bow back and forth as if fiddling. The revolving stick would form a fine dust which the heat caused by friction would set on fire.

[7] A game of football is thus described: “Likewise they have the exercise of football, in which they only forcibly encounter with the foot to carry the ball the one from the other, and spurn it to the goal with a kind of dexterity and swift footmanship which is the honor of it. But they never strike up one another’s heels, as we do, not accounting that praiseworthy to purchase a goal by such an advantage.”

[8] One who was with Smith in Virginia has left us this account of what took place when the Powhatan was crowned (p. 42): “In a fair plain field they made a fire before which (we were) sitting upon a mat (when) suddenly amongst the woods was heard … a hideous noise and shouting. Then presently … thirty young women came out of the woods … their bodies painted some white, some red, some black, some particolor, but all differing. Their leader had a fair pair of buck’s horns on her head, and an otter’s skin at her girdle, and another at her arm, a quiver of arrows at her back, a bow and arrows in her hand. The next had in her hand a sword, another a club … all horned alike…. These fiends with most hellish shouts and cries, rushing from among the trees, cast themselves in a ring about the fire, singing and dancing…. Having spent near one hour on this masquerade, as they entered in like manner they departed.”

[9] Read Longfellow’s _Hiawatha_.

[10] Thirty-one years later another outbreak occurred, and for months burning and scalping went on along the border, till the Indians were beaten by the men under Nathaniel Bacon (p. 94).

[11] Read Fiske’s _Beginnings of New England_, pp. 128-133, 211-226, 235-236.

[12] Read Fiske’s _Dutch and Quaker Colonies_, Vol. I, pp. 177-180, 183-188.

[13] Read Fiske’s _Old Virginia and her Neighbours_, Vol. II, pp. 298-304.



While English, Dutch, and Swedes were settling on the Atlantic seaboard of North America, the French took possession of the St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi. Though the attempt of Cartier to plant a colony on the St. Lawrence failed (p. 30), the French never lost interest in that part of the world, and new attempts were made to plant colonies.


THE FRENCH IN NOVA SCOTIA.–All failed till De Monts (d’mawng) and Champlain (sham-plan’) [1] came over in 1604 with two shiploads of colonists. Some landed on the shore of what is now Nova Scotia and founded Port Royal. The others, led by De Monts, explored the Bay of Fundy, and on an island at the mouth of a river planted a colony called St. Croix. The name St. Croix (croy) in time was given to the river which is now part of the eastern boundary of Maine. One winter in that climate was enough, and in the spring (1605) the coast from Maine to Massachusetts was explored in search of a better site for the colony. None suited, and, returning to St. Croix, De Monts moved the settlers to Port Royal.

QUEBEC FOUNDED.–This too was abandoned for a time, and in 1607 the colonists were back in France. Champlain, however, longed to be again in the New World, and soon persuaded De Monts once more to attempt colonization. In 1608, therefore, Champlain with two ships sailed up the St. Lawrence and founded Quebec. Here, as was so often the case, the first winter was a struggle for life; when spring came, only eight of the colonists were alive. But help soon reached them, and France at last had secured a permanent foothold in America. The drainage basin of the St. Lawrence was called New France (or Canada); the lands near Port Royal became another French colony, called Acadia.

EXPLORATION OF NEW FRANCE.–Champlain at once made friends with the Indians, and in 1609 went with a party of Hurons to help fight their enemies, the Iroquois Indians who dwelt in central New York. [2] The way was up the St. Lawrence and up a branch of that river to the lake which now bears the name of Champlain. On its western shore the expected fight took place, and a victory, due to the fire-arms of Champlain and his companions, was won for the Hurons. [3] Later Champlain explored the Ottawa River, saw the waters of Lake Huron, and crossed Lake Ontario. But the real work of French discovery and exploration in the interior was done by Catholic priests and missionaries.

THE CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES.–With crucifixes and portable altars strapped on their backs, these brave men pushed boldly into the Indian country. Guided by the Indians, they walked through the dense forests, paddled in birch-bark canoes, and penetrated a wilderness where no white man had ever been. They built little chapels of bark near the Indian villages, and labored hard to convert the red men to Christianity. It was no easy task. Often and often their lives were in danger. Some were drowned. Some were burned at the stake. Others were tomahawked. But neither cold nor hunger, nor the dangers and hardships of life in the wilderness, could turn the priests from their good work. One of them toiled for ten years among the Indians on the Niagara River and the shores of Lake Huron; two others reached the outlet of Lake Superior; a fourth paddled in a canoe along its south shore.


THE KING’S MAIDENS.–For fifty years after the founding of Quebec few settlers came to Canada. Then the French king sent over each year a hundred or more young women who were to become wives of the settlers. [4] Besides encouraging farming, the government tried to induce the men to engage in cod fishing and whaling; but the only business that really nourished in Canada was trading with the Indians for furs.

THE FUR TRADE.–Each year a great fair was held outside the stockade of Montreal, to which hundreds of Indians came from the far western lakes. They brought canoe loads of beaver skins and furs of small animals, and exchanged them for bright-colored cloth, beads, blankets, kettles, and knives.

[Illustration: INDIAN AND FUR TRADER.]

This great trade was a monopoly. Its profits could not be enjoyed by everybody. Numbers of hardy young men, therefore, took to the woods and traded with the Indians far beyond the reach of the king’s officers. By so doing these wood rangers (_coureurs de bois_), as they were called, became outlaws, and if caught, might be flogged and branded with a hot iron. They built trading posts at many places in the West, and often married Indian women, which went a long way to make the Indians friends of the French. [5]

THE MISSISSIPPI.–When the priests and traders reached the country about Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, they heard from the Indians of a great river called the Mississippi–that is, “Big Water” or “Father of Waters.” Might not this, it was asked, be the long-sought northwest passage to the Indies? In hopes that it was, Father Marquette (mar-ket’), a priest who had founded a mission on the Strait of Mackinac (mack’i-naw) between Lakes Huron and Michigan, and Joliet (zho-le-a’), a trapper and soldier, were sent to find the river and follow it to the sea.


They started in the spring of 1673 with five companions in two canoes. Their way was from the Strait of Mackinac to Green Bay in Wisconsin, up the Fox River, across a portage to the Wisconsin River, and down this to the Mississippi, on whose waters they floated and paddled to a place probably below the mouth of the Arkansas. There the travelers stopped, and turned back toward Canada, convinced that the great river [6] must flow not to the Pacific, but to the Gulf of Mexico.


LA SALLE ON THE MISSISSIPPI, 1682.–The voyage of Marquette and Joliet was of the greatest importance to France. Yet the only man who seems to have been fully awake to its importance was La Salle. If the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, a new and boundless Indian trade lay open to Frenchmen. But did it flow into the Gulf? That was a question La Salle proposed to settle; but three heroic attempts were made, and two failures, which to other men would have been disheartening, were endured, before he passed down the river to its mouth in 1682. [7]

LOUISIANA.–Standing on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, La Salle put up a rude cross, nailed to it the arms of France, and, in the name of the French king, Louis XIV, took formal possession of all the region drained by the Mississippi and its branches. He named the country Louisiana.

La Salle knew little of the extent of the region he thus added to the possessions of France in the New World. But the claim was valid, and Louisiana stretched from the unknown sources of the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains on the east, to the unknown Rocky Mountains on the west, and from the watershed of the Great Lakes on the north, to the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

LA SALLE ATTEMPTS TO OCCUPY LOUISIANA, 1682.–But the great work La Salle had planned was yet to be done. Louisiana had to be occupied.

A fort was needed far up the valley of the Mississippi to overawe the Indians and secure the fur trade. Hurrying back to the Illinois River, La Salle, in December, 1682, on the top of a steep cliff, built a stockade and named it Fort St. Louis.

A fort and city also needed to be built at the mouth of the Mississippi to keep out the Spaniards and afford a place whence furs floated down the river might be shipped to France. This required the aid of the king. Hurrying to Paris, La Salle persuaded Louis XIV to help him, and was sent back with four ships to found the city.

LA SALLE IN TEXAS, 1684.–But the little fleet missed the mouth of the river and reached the coast of Texas. There the men landed and built Fort St. Louis of Texas. Well knowing that he had passed the river, La Salle left some men at the fort, and with the rest started on foot to find the Mississippi–but never reached it. He was murdered on the way by his own men.

[Illustration: LA SALLE’S HOUSE (CANADA) IN 1900.]

Of the men left in Texas the Indians killed some, and the Spaniards killed or captured the rest, and the plans of this great explorer failed utterly. [8]

BILOXI.–La Salle’s scheme of founding a city near the mouth of the Mississippi, however, was carried out by other men. Fear that the English would seize the mouth of the river led the French to act, and in 1699 a gallant soldier named Iberville (e-ber-veel’) built a small stockade and planted a colony at Bilox’i on the coast of what is now Mississippi.

NEW ORLEANS FOUNDED.–During fifteen years and more the little colony, which was soon moved from Biloxi to the vicinity of Mobile (map, p. 134), struggled on as best it could; then steps were taken to plant a settlement on the banks of the Mississippi, and (1718) Bienville (be-an-veel’) laid the foundation of a city he called New Orleans.


1. After many failures, a French colony was planted at Port Royal in Acadia (Nova Scotia) in 1601; but this was abandoned for a time, and the first permanent French colony was planted by Champlain at Quebec in 1608.

2. From these settlements grew up the two French colonies called Acadia and New France or Canada.

3. New France was explored by Champlain, and by many brave priests.

4. Marquette and Joliet reached the Mississippi and explored it from the Wisconsin to the Arkansas (1673).

5. Their unfinished work was taken up by La Salle, who went down the Mississippi to the Gulf (1682), and formally claimed for France all the region drained by the river and its tributaries–a vast area which he called Louisiana.

6. Occupation of the Mississippi valley by the French followed; forts and trading posts were built, and in 1718 New Orleans was founded.

[Illustration: AN INDIAN VILLAGE.]


[1] Samuel de Champlain (born in 1567) had been a captain in the royal navy, and had visited the West Indies, Mexico, and the Isthmus of Panama, across which he suggested a canal should be cut. In 1603 he was offered a command in a company of adventurers to New France. On this voyage Champlain went up the St. Lawrence to the site of the Indian town called Hochelaga by Cartier (p. 30); but the village had disappeared. Returning to France, he joined the party of De Monts (1604).

[2] The year 1609 is important in our history. Then it was that Champlain fought the Iroquois; that the second Virginia charter was granted; and that Hudson’s expedition gave the Dutch a claim to territory in the New World.

[3] The fight with the Iroquois took place not far from Ticonderoga. When the two parties approached, Champlain advanced and fired his musket. The woods rang with the report, and a chief fell dead. “There arose,” says Champlain,” a yell like a thunderclap and the air was full of arrows.” But when another and another gun shot came from the bushes, the Iroquois broke and fled like deer. The victory was won; but it made the Iroquois the lasting enemies of the French. Read Parkman’s _Pioneers of France in the New World_, pp. 310-324.

[4] About 1000 came in eight years. When married, they received each “an ox, a cow, a pair of swine, a pair of fowls, two barrels of salted meat, and eleven crowns in money.” Read Parkman’s _Old Regime in Canada_, pp. 219-225.

[5] The fur trade, which was the life blood of Canada, is finely described in Parkman’s _Old Regime in Canada_, pp. 302-315.

[6] Marquette named the river Immaculate Conception. He noted the abundance of fish in its waters, the broad prairies on which grazed herds of buffalo, and the flocks of wild turkeys in the woods. On his way home he ascended the Illinois River, and crossed to Lake Michigan, passing over the site where Chicago now stands. Read Mary Hartwell Catherwood’s _Heroes of the Middle West_; also Parkman’s _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West_, pp. 48-71; and Hart’s _American History as told by Contemporaries_, Vol. I, pp. 136-140.

[7] In the first attempt he left Fort Frontenac, coasted along the north shore of Lake Ontario, crossed over and went up the Niagara River, and around the Falls to Lake Erie. There he built a vessel called the _Griffin_, which was sailed through the lakes to the northern part of Lake Michigan (1679). Thence he went in canoes along the shore of Lake Michigan to the river St. Joseph, where he built a fort (Fort St. Joseph), and then pushed on to the Illinois River and (near the present city of Peoria) built another called Fort Crèvecoeur (crav’ker). There he left Henri de Tonty in charge of a party to build another ship, and went back to Canada.

When he returned to the Illinois in 1680, on his second trip, Crèvecoeur was in ruins, and Tonty and his men gone. In hope of finding them La Salle went down the Illinois to the Mississippi, but he turned back and passed the winter on the river St. Joseph. (Read Parkman’s description of the great town of the Illinois and its capture by the Iroquois, in _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West_, pp. 205-215.)

From the St. Joseph, after another trip to Canada, La Salle (with Tonty) started westward for the third time (late in 1681), crossed the lake to where Chicago now is, went down the Illinois and the Mississippi, and in April, 1682, floated out on the waters of the Gulf.

On his first expedition La Salle was accompanied by Father Hennepin, whom he sent down the Illinois and up the Mississippi. But the Sioux (soo) Indians captured Father Hennepin, and took him up the Mississippi to the falls which he named St. Anthony, now in the city of Minneapolis.

[8] Read Parkman’s _La Salle_, pp. 275-288, 350-355, 396-405.



KING WILLIAM’S WAR.–When James II was driven from his throne (p. 93), he fled to France. His quarrel with King William was taken up by Louis XIV, and in 1689 war began between France and England. The strife thus started in the Old World soon spread to the New, and during eight years the frontier of New England and New York was the scene of French and Indian raids, massacres, and burning towns.


THE FRONTIER.–The frontier of English settlement consisted of a string of little towns close to the coast in Maine and New Hampshire, and some sixty miles back from the coast in Massachusetts; of a second string of towns up the Connecticut valley to central Massachusetts; and of a third up the