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Colonial settlements.

Settlements were made, as productive germs of colonies, in the following order of time: St. Augustine, Fla., was settled by Spaniards, under Menendez, 1565, and is the oldest settlement by Europeans within the domain of the United States. It was permanently occupied by the Spaniards, excepting for a few years, until Florida passed from their control (see Florida and St. Augustine). Virginia was first settled by the English temporarily (see Raleigh, Sir Walter). The first permanent settlement was made by them in 1607, under the auspices of London merchants, who that year sent five ships, with a colony, to settle on Roanoke Island. Storms drove them into the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, when they ascended the Powhatan River 50 miles, landed, and built a hamlet, which they called Jamestown. The stream they named James River—both in compliment to their King. After various vicissitudes, the settlement flourished, and, in 1619, the first representative Assembly in Virginia was held at Jamestown. Then were laid the foundations of the State of Virginia (q. v.). Manhattan Island (now the borough of Manhattan, city of New York) was discovered by Henry Hudson in 1609, while employed by the Dutch East India Company. Dutch traders were soon afterwards seated there and on the site of Albany, 150 miles up the Hudson River. The government of Holland granted exclusive privilege to Amsterdam merchants to traffic with the Indians on the Hudson, and the country was called New Netherland. The Dutch West India Company was formed in 1621, with unrestricted control over New Netherland. They bought Manhattan Island of the Indians for about $24, paid chiefly in cheap trinkets, and in 1623 thirty families from Holland landed there and began a settlement. Then were laid the foundations of the State of New York, as New Netherland was called after it passed into the possession of the English. Late in 1620 a company of English Puritans (Puritans) who had fled from persecution to Holland, crossed the Atlantic and landed on the shores of Massachusetts, by permission of the Plymouth Company (see Plymouth Company). They built a town and called it New Plymouth; they organized a civil government and called themselves “Pilgrims.” Others came to the shores of Massachusetts soon afterwards, and tile present foundations of the State of Massachusetts were laid at Plymouth in 1620 (Pilgrim fathers). In 1622 the Plymouth Company granted to Mason and Gorges a tract of land bounded by the rivers Merrimac and Kennebec, the ocean, and the St. Lawrence River, and fishermen settled there soon afterwards. Mason and Gorges dissolved their partnership in 1629, when the former obtained a grant for the whole tract, and laid the foundations for the commonwealth of New Hampshire (q. v.).

King James of England persecuted the Roman Catholics in his dominions, and George Calvert, who was a zealous royalist, sought a refuge for his brethren in America. King James favored his project, but died before anything of much consequence was accomplished. His son Charles I. granted a domain between North and South Virginia to Calvert (then created Lord Baltimore). Before the charter was completed Lord Baltimore died. but his son Cecil received it in 1632. Tile domain was called Maryland, and Cecil sent his brother Leonard, with colonists, to settle it (see Baltimore; Baltimore, Lords; Calvert, Leonard). They arrived in the spring of 1634, and, at a place called St. Mary, they laid the foundations of the commonwealth of Maryland (Maryland). The Dutch navigator, Adriaen Block (q. v.), sailing east from Manhattan, explored a river some distance inland, which the Indians called Quon-eh-ti-cut, and in the valley watered [241] by that river a number of Puritans from Plymouth began a settlement in 1633. The first permanent settlement made in the valley of the Connecticut was planted by Puritans from Massachusetts (near Boston), in 1636, on the site of Hartford. In 1638 another company from Massachusetts settled on the site of New Haven. The two settlements were afterwards politically united, and laid the foundations of the commonwealth of Connecticut (q. v.), in 1639.

Meanwhile, elements were at work for the formation of a new settlement between Connecticut and Plymouth. Roger Williams, a minister, was banished from Massachusetts in 1636. He went into the Indian country at the head of Narraganset Bay, where he was joined by a few sympathizers, and they located themselves at a place which they called Providence. Others, men and women, joined them, and they formed a purely democratic government. Others, persecuted at Boston, fled to the Island of Aquiday, or Aquitneck (now Rhode Island), in 1638, and formed a settlement there. The two settlements were consolidated under one government, called the Providence and Rhode Island Plantation, for which a charter was given in 1644. So the commonwealth of Rhode Island was founded. A small colony from Sweden made a settlement on the site of New Castle, Del., and called the country New Sweden. The Dutch claimed the territory as a part of New Netherland, and the governor of the latter proceeded against the Swedes in the summer of 1655, and brought them under subjection. It is difficult to draw the line of demarcation between the first settlements in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, owing to their early political situation. The (present) State of Delaware remained in possession of the Dutch, and afterwards of the English, until it was purchased by William Penn, in 1682, and annexed to State of Pennsylvania (q. v.) So it remained until the Revolution as “the Territories,” when it became the State of Delaware (q. v.) The first permanent settlement in New Jersey (q. v.) was made at Elizabethtown in 1644. A province lying between New Jersey and Maryland was granted to William Penn, in 1681, for an asylum for his persecuted brethren, the Quakers, and settlements were immediately begun there, in addition to some already made by the Swedes within the domain. Unsuccessful attempts to settle in the region of the Carolinas had been made before the English landed on the shores of the James River. Some settlers went into North Carolina from Jamestown, between the years 1640 and 1650, and in 1663 a settlement in the northern part of North Carolina had an organized government, and the country was named Carolina, in honor of Charles II., of England. In 1668 the foundations of the commonwealth of State of North Carolina (q. v.) were laid at Edenton. In 1670 some people from Barbadoes sailed into the harbor of Charleston and settled on the Ashley and Cooper rivers (see State of South Carolina). The benevolent General Oglethorpe, commiserating the condition of the prisoners for debt, in England, conceived the idea of founding a colony in America with them. The government approved the project, and, in 1732, he landed, with emigrants, on the site of the city of Savannah, and there planted the germ of the commonwealth of Georgia (q. v.)

The first English colony planted in America was the one sent over in 1585 by Sir Walter Raleigh, who despatched Sir Richard Grenville, with seven ships and many people, to form a colony in Virginia, with Ralph Lane as their governor. At Roanoke Island Grenville left 107 men under Lane to plant a colony, the first ever founded by Englishmen in America. This colony became much straitened for want of provisions next year, and, fortunately for them, Sir Francis Drake, sailing up the American coast with a squadron, visited the colony and found them in great distress. He generously proposed to furnish them with supplies, a ship, a pinnace, and small boats, with sufficient seamen to stay and make a further discovery of the country; or sufficient provisions to carry them to England, or to give them a passage home in his fleet. The first proposal was accepted; but a storm having shattered his vessels, the discouraged colonists concluded to take passage for home with Drake, which they did. The whole colony sailed from Virginia June 18, 1586, and [242] arrived at Portsmouth, England, July 28. Madame de Guercheville, a pious lady in France, zealous for the conversion of the American Indians, persuaded De Monts to surrender his patent, and then obtained a charter for “all the lands of New France.” She sent out missionaries in 1613. They sailed from Honfleur March 12, and arrived in Acadia (q. v.), where the arms of Madame Guercheville were set up in token of possession. Her agent proceeded to Port Royal (now Annapolis), where he found only five persons, two of whom were Jesuit missionaries previously sent over. The Jesuits went with other persons to Mount Desert Island. Just as they had begun to provide themselves with comforts, they were attacked by Samuel Argall (q. v.), of Virginia. The French made some resistance, but were compelled to surrender to superior numbers. One of the Jesuits was killed, several were wounded, and the remainder made prisoners. Argall took fifteen of the Frenchmen, besides the Jesuits, to Virginia; the remainder sailed for France. This success induced the governor of Virginia to send an expedition to crush the power of the French in Acadia, under the pretext that they were encroaching upon the rights of the English. Argall sailed with three ships for the purpose. On his arrival he broke in pieces, at St. Saviour, a cross which the Jesuits had set up, and raised another, on which he inscribed the name of King James. He sailed to St. Croix and destroyed the remains of De Mont's settlement there; and then he went to Port Royal and laid that deserted town in ashes. The English government did not approve the act, nor did the French government resent it.

Though the revolution in England (1688) found its warmest friends among the Low Churchmen and Non-conformists there, who composed the English Whig party, the high ideas which William entertained of royal authority made him naturally coalesce with the Tories and the High Church party. As to the government of the colonies, he seems not to have abated any of the pretensions set up by his predecessors. The colonial assemblies had hastened to enact in behalf of the people the Bill of Rights of the Convention Parliament. To these William gave frequent and decided negatives. The provincial acts for establishing the writ of Habeas corpus were also vetoed by the King. He also continued the order of James II. prohibiting printing in the colonies. Even men of liberal tendencies, like Locke, Somers, and Chief-Justice Holt, conceded prerogatives to the King in the colonies which they denied him at home. The most renowned jurists of the kingdom had not yet comprehended the true nature of the connective principle between the parent country and her colonies.

As early as 1696 a pamphlet appeared in England recommending Parliament to tax the English-American colonies. Two pamphlets appeared in reply, denying the right of Parliament to tax the colonies, because they had no representative in Parliament to give consent. From that day the subject of taxing the colonies was a question frequently discussed, but not attempted until seventy years afterwards. After the ratification of the treaty of Paris in 1763, the British government resolved to quarter troops in America at the expense of the colonies. The money was to be raised by a duty on foreign sugar and molasses, and by stamps on all legal and mercantile paper. It was determined to make the experiment of tax ing the American colonists in a way which Walpole feared to undertake. A debate arose in the House of Commons on the right of Parliament to tax the Americans without allowing them to be represented in that body. The question was decided by an almost unanimous vote in the affirmative. “Until then no act. avowedly for the purpose of revenue, and with the ordinary title and recital taken together, is found on the statute-book of the realm,” said Burke. “All before stood on commercial regulations and restraints.” Then the House proceeded to consider the Stamp act (q. v.).

In 1697 the right of appeal from the colonial courts to the King in council was sustained by the highest legal authority. By this means, and the establishment of courts of admiralty, England at length acquired a judicial control over the colonies, and with it a power (afterwards imitated in our national Constitution) of bringing her supreme authority to bear not alone upon the colonies as political [243] corporations, but, what was much more effectual, upon the colonists as individuals.

At the beginning of the French and Indian War (1754), the period when the American people “set up for themselves” in political and social life, there was no exact enumeration of the inhabitants; but from a careful examination of official records, Mr. Bancroft estimated the number as follows:

Colonies.White.Colored.
Massachusetts 207,0003 000
New Hampshire50,000
Connecticut 133,0003,500
Rhode Island 35,0004,500
New York85,00011,000
New Jersey73,0005,000
Pennsylvania and Delaware195,00011,000
Maryland104,00044,000
Virginia168,000116,000
North Carolina70,00020,000
South Carolina40,00040,000
Georgia5,0002,000
——————
Total1,165,000 260,000

At this period the extent of the territorial possessions of England and France in America was well defined on maps published by Evans and Mitchell—that of the latter (a new edition) in 1754. The British North American colonies stretched coastwise along the Atlantic about 1,000 miles, but inland their extent was very limited. New France, as the French settlers called their claimed territory in America, extended over a vastly wider space, from Cape Breton, in a sort of crescent, to the mouth of the Mississippi River, but the population was mainly collected on the St. Lawrence, between Quebec and Montreal. The English colonies in America at that time had a population of 1,485,634, of whom 292,738 were negroes. The French were scarcely 100,000 in number, but were strong in Indian allies, who, stretching along the whole interior frontier of the English colonies, and disgusted with constant encroachments upon their territories, as well as ill-treatment by the English, were always ripe and ready for cruel warfare.

The war with the French and Indians, and the contests with royal authority in which the colonies had been engaged at its close, in 1763, revealed to the colonists their almost unsuspected innate strength. During these contests, disease and weapons had slain 30,000 of the colonists. They had also spent more than $16,000,000, of which $5,000,000 had been reimbursed by Parliament. Massachusetts alone had kept from 4,000 to 7,000 men in the field, besides garrisons and recruits to the regular regiments. They served but a few months in the year, and were fed at the cost of the British government. At the approach of winter they were usually disbanded, and for every campaign a new army was summoned. Yet that province alone spent $2,000,000 for this branch of the public service, exclusive of all parliamentary disbursements. Connecticut had spent fully $2,000,000 for the same service, and the outstanding debt of New York, in 1763, incurred largely for the public service, was about $1,000,000.

The Southern colonies, too, had been liberal in such public expenditures, according to their means. At that time Virginia had a debt of $8,000,000. Everywhere the English-American colonies felt the consciousness of puissant manhood, and were able to grapple in deadly conflict with every enemy of their inalienable rights. They demanded a position of political equality with their fellowsubjects in England, and were ready to maintain their rights at all hazards.

In Pitt's cabinet, as chancellor of the exchequer, was the brilliant Charles Townshend, loose in principles and bold in suggestions. He had voted for the Stamp Act, and voted for its repeal as expedient, not because it was just. In January, 1767, by virtue of his office, on which devolved the duty of suggesting ways and means for carrying on the government, he proposed taxation schemes which aroused the most vehement opposition in America. He introduced a bill imposing a duty on tea, paints, paper, glass, lead, and other articles of British manufacture imported into the colonies. It was passed June 29. The exportation of tea to America was encouraged by another act, passed July 2, allowing for five years a drawback of the whole duty payable on the importation. By another act, reorganizing the colonial custom-house system, a board of revenue commissioners for America was established, to have its seat at Boston. Connected with these bills were provisions very obnoxious to the Americans, all having relation to the main object—namely, raising a revenue [244] in America. There was a provision in the first bill for the maintenance of a standing army in America and enabling the crown to establish a general civil list; fixing the salaries of governors, judges, and other officers in all the provinces, such salaries to be paid by the crown, making these officers independent of the people and fit instruments for government oppression. A scheme was also approved, but not acted upon, for transferring to the mother-country, and converting into a source of revenue, the issue of the colonial paper currency.

The narrow-minded Hillsborough, British secretary of state for the colonies wishing, if possible, to blot out the settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains, and to extend an unbroken line of Indian frontier from Georgia to Canada, had issued repeated instructions to that effect, in order to make an impassable obstruction of emigration westward. These instructions were renewed with emphasis in 1768, when John Stuart, an agent faithful to his trust, had already carried the frontier line to the northern limit of North Carolina. He was now ordered to continue it to the Ohio, at the mouth of the Kanawha. By such a line all Kentucky, as well as the entire territory northwest of the Ohio, would be severed from the jurisdiction of Virginia and confirmed to the Indians by treaties. Virginia strenuously opposed this measure; and, to thwart the negotiations of Stuart with the Indians, sent Thomas Walker as her commissioner to the congress of the Six Nations held at Fort Stanwix (q. v.) late in the autumn of 1768. There about 3.000 Indians were present, who were loaded with generous gifts. They complied with the wishes of the several agents present, and the western boundary-line was established at the mouth of the Kanawha to meet Stuart's line on the south. From the Kanawha northward it followed the Ohio and Alleghany rivers, a branch of the Susquehanna, and so on to the junction of Canada and Wood creeks, tributaries of the Mohawk River. Thus the Indian frontier was defined all the way from Florida almost to Lake Ontario; but Sir William Johnson (q. v.), pretending to recognize a right of the Six Nations to a larger part of Kentucky, caused the line to be continued down the Ohio to the mouth of the Tennessee River, which stream was made to constitute the western boundary of Virginia.

In striking a balance of losses and gains in the matter of parliamentary taxation in America, it was found in 1772 that the expenses on account of the Stamp Act exceeded $60,000, while there had been received for revenue (almost entirely from Canada and the West India islands) only about $7,500. The operation of levying a tax on tea had been still more disastrous. The whole remittance from the colonies for the previous year for duties on teas and wines, and other articles taxed indirectly, amounted to no more than about $400, while ships and soldiers for the support of the collecting officers had cost about $500,000; and the East India Company had lost the sale of goods to the amount of $2,500,000 annually for four or five years.

After the proclamation of King George III., in 1775, Joseph Hawley, one of the stanch patriots of New England, wrote from Watertown to Samuel Adams, in Congress: “The eyes of all the continent are on your body to see whether you act with firmness and intrepidity—with the spirit and despatch which our situation calls for. It is time for your body to fix on periodical annual elections—nay, to form into a parliament of two houses.” This was the first proposition for the establishment of an independent national government for the colonies.

On April 6, 1776, the Continental Congress, by resolution, threw open their ports to the commerce of the world “not subject to the King of Great Britain.” This resolution was the broom that swept away the colonial system within the present bounds of the republic, and the flag of every nation save one was invited to our harbors. Absolute free-trade was established. The act was a virtual declaration of independence.

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