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in fact, a patent for constitutional liberty, emanating from the whole people ; and it was the first time, since “the morning stars sang to. gether," that the people themselves had met in council, and framed a government based upon “equal rights.”
Compacts had been made before-partial enfranchisements had been conceded, and the sovereign's power, in some instances, had been limited. England, however, notwithstanding her Magna Charta, was still in chains; and neither civil nor religious liberty understood or practiced in the island. “ The Pilgrims” on board the Mayflower did more for human freedom than whole centuries had done before; and by one single insulated act, immortalized their memories throughout the length and breadth of our wide expanded Republic. Their example has since been imitated, and its influence has been felt on the plains of Marathon and the prairies of Mexico-among the Alps and on the Andes.
“ The Pilgrims,” on landing, found nothing but graves. A pestilence, as they were afterward informed, had previously swept off the greater part of its native population. A few deserted wigwams, however, were dis. covered, and a heap of Indian corn, much to their joy. While traversing the country, on the 8th of December the exploring party, as usual, rose at five o'clock in the morning, and had scarcely finished their prayers, when a flight of arrows, accompanied by a war-whoop, announced the approach of savages. The Indians, however, were the remnant of a tribe, who had known the English only as kidnappers, too few in num. bers to create alarm. The encounter was, therefore, attended with no important results. They continued still their search, until Monday, the 11th of December, when they entered a little port, which they called Plymouth, on account of the hospitalities which the company had received at the last English town from which they had sailed ; and the Mayflower was soon thereafter moored safely in its harbor. Their civil constitution had already been formed, and John Carver had been elected governor for the first year. Liberty, equality, and independent Christian worship, at once existed. Disease as well as famine soon stared them in the face. While they were wasting rapidly away with consumptions, with fevers, and other diseases incident to their exposed situation, they commenced building houses on the 9th of January, 1621, each family for itself—but owing to the weather, to sickness, and to other causes, their progress was slow and uncertain ; and before spring opened, the governor, his wife, and one son, together with about half of the whole colony, were in their graves. Such was their distress, that the living were scarce able to bury the dead-much less to afford them that attention which their situation required. At one time there were but seven able to render any assistance whatever. “I have seen men,” says Winslow, “ stagger by reason of faintness for want of food.” During the third year of their settlement their provisions were so exhausted, that when some of their old friends arrived from England in order to join them; a lobster, a piece of fish without bread or salt, with a cup of cold water, was the best and only dish the whole colony afforded. During, however, this period of selfdenial, this agony of human suffering, their confidence in the mercies of Providence remained unshaken. In the fourth year of their settlement neat cattle were introduced, and after harvest in 1623, there was no general scarcity of food.
Although no living inhabitants could be found, the smoke of distant wigwams was frequently seen, which indicated the presence of the natives. The colony, therefore, assumed at once a military organization, and Miles Standish, a man of the greatest courage, “a devoted friend of the church which he never joined,” and the best linguist in the colony, was appointed its commander-in-chief.
On the 16th of March, 1621, one Samoset, an Indian, who had learned a little English from the fishermen at Penobscot, entered the town o. Plymouth, and passing to their rendezvous, in broken accents, exclaimed: “Welcome, Englishmen!” He belonged to the Wampanoags, a nation afterward conspicuous in the history of New England. In the name of his tribe, he desired them to occupy the soil which there was no one alive to claim. Shortly thereafter, Massasoit, their principal sachem, visited them at Plymouth, and was received with military honors. The colony at that time consisted of fifty persons, including men, women and chil. dren. A treaty of friendship was immediately concluded, and to the honor of both parties, was sacredly kept for more than fifty years. This is the oldest act of diplomacy recorded in New-England. An embassy from thence was sent to their friend and ally in July following. The embassadors performed the undertaking through forests, and on foot, and without the pride and pomp, and, perhaps, the insincerity of modern missions. It was received in like manner, and prepared the way for a trade in furs. It reminds us of the first embassy se nt by the Athenians to Philip, of Macedon, of which Demosthenes was a prominent member.*
Their influence over the natives became shortly extensive, and sachems who had threatened the colony with destruction soon asked for mercy, and afterward sought its friendship. Having thus pointed out to the oppressed of other realms a sure way to an asylum of freedom on this side of the Atlantic, although it lay through perils and dangers, others followed in their wake, until, like a small “cloud no bigger at first than a man's hand,” they increased and multiplied and covered the earth. Accustomed in early youth to a country life, and the innocent occupations of agricul. ture, they set examples in industry and economy, patience and perseve
* Demosthenes tells us, that on his mission, as joint embassador with nine others 10 Philip of Macedon, the daily allowance of each was equivalent, in English money, to nearly eight pence sterling. Demosthenes, we are informed, placed himself at the court of Macedon, in the most ridiculous of all lights" the clown affecting the courtier." “ And this,” says Æschines, in his humorous sketch of the scene, "furnished no small merriment to the assembly.” “His appearance was so ludicrous," says Mitford, in his history of Greece,“ that though Philip himself preserved a decent gravity, the bystanders, could not refrain from laughing aloud."
rance, purity and virtue, worthy of imitation ; and thus, transmitted to a grateful posterity their habits and customs, manners and constitutions, with scarcely a blot on their escutcheon. Although they endured for many years every species of hardship, and were reduced at times to the lowest stages of depression, they never allowed a desponding thought for a single moment to enter their minds, but looked forward amid surrounding gloom with an eye of faith, to that period when their sufferings and exertions should be appreciated—when they should enkindle in the wil. derness the beacon-fire of pure and undefiled religion,“ whose undying light should penetrate the wigwam of the heathen, and spread its benig. nant beams across the darkness of the habitable globe.” These anticipations, to a certain extent, have since been realized ; although they failed to convert the heathen, they succeeded in civilizing a world. Whatever, therefore, may be the opinion of posterity in relation to the conduct and motives of “the Pilgrims,” 't is certain that “recorded honors will gather round their tombs.”
To trace the progress of European settlements on the Atlantic coasts, is foreign to our present purpose. Our remarks on the colonization of the Atlantic states must, therefore, be brief. Other spirits of a kindred nature-men of religious fervor, uniting great enthusiasm with unbounding perseverance in thought, word, and deed-men of considerable fortune, and not a few of exalted rank-men of undoubted courage and extraordinary cheerfulness, unwilling to endure the restraints and vexations of the English law, and the severities of the English hierarchy, became active and efficient friends of colonial enterprise, and sought for themselves and their posterity seclusion in the New World, from the supposed corruptions of the Old. The settlements increased, therefore, in number and respectability. The title to Indian lands became extinguished by purchase, and being too insignificant to receive the notice of an English Parliament, they flourished by its neglect.
In their religious ceremonies, they reduced the simplicity of Calvin to a yet plainer standard. Outcasts from England, but favorites of Heaven --the chosen emissaries of God, the sure depositories of the true faith, and the selected instruments for its further dissemination-nothing was, therefore, too hazardous for them to undertake; nothing too arduous for them to perform. Deeming the continuance of their liberty inconsistent with the exactions of prelacy, they repudiated the religion from which they had suffered so much, and prohibited episcopacy within their borders. The first settlers of New England were a body of sincere believers, desiring purity of religion, and not a colony of philosophers, who had come thither to promote toleration. Possessed of a soil which they had purchased, and of a charter they had obtained by extraordinary efforts, they sought to plant those religious doctrines only, and the forms of civil liberty, which they considered valuable. Constituting, as they did, a cor. poration, they assumed the right to prescribe the terms of admission into
it; and holding its key themselves, acted under an impression that they had a right to exclude whom they pleased.
During the first fifteen years after the settlement of Plymouth, twentyone thousand two hundred persons, or about four thousand families, mi. grated hither, and but few thereafter. Their descendants at the present time exceed four millions.
The refinements of chivalry constituted no part of their character. Their ideas of national grandeur were predicated on universal education. Liberty and equality, industry and economy, were their polar starsand piety was the sun that kept everything in order, and attracted everything above, around, and within them, to a common centre.
Hume, the historian, states that John Hampden, Oliver Cromwell, and others, having resolved “to abandon their native country and Ay to the extremity of the globe, where they might enjoy lectures and discourses of any length or form 'which pleased them,” went on board a ship to embark for New England, and were detained by an order of the privy council, in 1637, of which the king (Charles I.) had reason to repent. Hume's authority, however, for this assertion, is exceedingly questionable. Hampden, who, as Lord Clarendon observes, possessed “ a head to contrive, a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute ;” and Cromwell, who sought the office of high constable of England, in order to keep the peace, were never, it is believed, in this country, nor did they ever embark for the purpose of coming hither. The ships, in which it is said they em. barked in order to come, were detained but for a few days, and were then authorized to proceed on their voyage. The passengers arrived in safety, but no mention is made of Hampden, Cromwell, Hazelrig, or Pym, being of their number. Sir Harry Vane, who was a member of the long Parlia. ment in 1653, to whom Cromwell, when he prorogued it, said : “ The Lord has done with you, and has chosen other instruments for carrying on his work :” and on Vane’s remonstrating against his proceeding, replied: “ Oh, Sir Harry Vane ! Sir Harry Vane! the Lord deliver me from Sir Harry Vane!” had previously been in this country, and was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1636.
Hugh Peters, afterward chaplain to Cromwell, executed in the reign of Charles II. for treason, was a settled minister at Salem, in Massachusetts, for several years. Some of the regicides of Charles I. came also to New. England, and were concealed or protected from arrest, and thus saved fromthe effects of royal indignation.
Inasmuch as the people of northern and southern Illinois are scarcely acquainted with each other, an introduction through some common me. dium, it is hoped, will be serviceable. And as their ancestors once mingled their blood on the fields of Saratoga and at Yorktown, in defence of a common object, (the liberties we now enjoy,) it is hoped, that by mutual and more frequent intercourse, and the aid of a common interest, they will shortly become united in one common feeling.
French fisheries-French navigators-Denys—Verrazani — Cartier - Roberval-De la
Roque-Chauvin-Champlain-Founds Quebec, in 1608— Jesuits in Canada-In Europe-Reformation-Martin Luther-Henry VIII.--Ignatius Loyola founds the Society of Jesuits-Allouez, James Marquette-Joliet-Marquette discovers the Mississippi, 1673–Returns to Chicago-Dies in Michigan, 1675—Robert Cavalier De la Salle-Arrives in Canada, 1667–Commander of Fort Frontenac-Builds a vessel on Lake Erie-Discovers the Illinois river, and builds a fort, Creve Coeur, near Peoria-Father Hennepin ascends the Mississippi to the Falls of St. Anthony, 1608_Tonti-Commands on the Illinois-La Salle visits Canada-Returns-Descends the Mississippi to its mouth, 1682-Returns-Founds Kaskaskia and Cahokia, 1683, the oldest towns on the Mississippi-Revisits France-Embarks for the Mississippi, 1684- Passes its mouth, January, 1685—Disembarks at Matagorda, in Texas-Joutel—Texas, a part of Louisiana—La Salle enters the confines of Mexico, 1686–Massacred near Trinity River, March 20, 1687-His character.
FRANCE, at an early day, saw and felt the importance of the American fisheries; and the banks of Newfoundland, soon after Columbus's first voyage, became familiar to the mariners of Brittany. The Island of Cape Breton acquired from them its name, and from thence the fishermen of Normandy derived experience, wealth, and fame. Denys, a practical navigator, and a citizen of Honfleur, in 1506, drew a map of the Gulf of St. Lawrence; and in 1522, John Verrazani, a Florentine mariner, of great skill, in the service of Francis I., King of France, with a caraval called the “ Dolphin,” explored the American coast from Wilmington, in North Carolina, to Nova Scotia ; landed at New-York, at Newport, in Rhode Island, and elsewhere; and was received by the aboriginees, “the goodliest people he had ever seen,” with great hospitality. In July, 1524, he returned to France, having advanced, to a considerable extent, the knowledge of geography ; and furnished the French monarch with a pretext for claiming the whole country, as an appendage of France.
The misfortunes of Francis, at the disastrous battle of Pavia, in which he was taken prisoner by the emperor, Charles V., although for a time fatal to any further efforts at discovery, on the part of France, did not for a moment repress the energy or activity of her seamen. As early as August, 1527, an English captain, writing from St. Johns, in New. foundland, to Henry the VIII. of England, observes that he found in one harbor, eleven sail of Normans, and one Breton, engaged in the fisheries.
Shortly thereafter, (in 1534) Chabot, Admiral of France, a man of extraordinary bravery, engaged the king, (Francis I.) in another attempt to explore the Continent, and James Cartier, of St, Malo, was selected to