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English Revolution in 1688—The prototype of our own-Rise of Holland-Dutch, East
and West India companies-Henry or Hendrick Hudson-New-York colonized by the Dutch-Taken by the English in 1664—The Iroquois allies of the Dutch-Afterward of the English-The only barrier between the English settlements and the French of Canada–The English Indians, (the Iroquois,) and the French Indians, (the Hurons, Illinois, and others,) become parties in the wars of Europe-Catholic missions established among the Onondagas Abandoned—War between the French and Iroquois-Western New-York severed from Canada by the Mohawks—Montreal taken by the latter-Congress at Albany-The Six Nations attend-Frontinac re'appointed Governor of Canada–Holds a council with the Western Indians-Schenectady and other towns, destroyed-Jesuit missionaries in Illinois-Allouez Rasles - Pinet-Binnitau, his death-Marest succeeds him-Marmet, afterward-Ibberville appointed Governor of Louisiana-Builds fort Biloxi-Colonizes Louisiana-A line of fortified forts between New Orleans and Quebec completed—Sir David Kirk attacks Quebec-It surrenders for want of provisions- Is restored to France by treaty -Congress at Albany-Colonel Nicholson captures Port Royal and AcadiaColonel Schuyler visits England—Takes Iroquois chiefs thither—They are presented to Queen Ann-Sir Hoveden Walker, under the auspices of Lord Bolingbroke, sails for Quebec-Is shipwrecked, and the expedition abandoned-Louis XIV. desires peace-It is granted to him, and signed at Utrecht in 1713, the peace party having previously triumphed in England Canada and Louisiana confirmed to FranceEngland becomes false to the principles she had avowed, “ that free ships make free goods"-Louisiana granted to Crozat-Its extent-Illinois included in the grantDe La Motte appointed Governor of Louisiana-St. Denys sent as agent to Mexico -Spaniards seize upon Texas–Bienville succeeds De La Motte as governor-Cro. zat surrenders his patent to the crown.
Soon after the death of La Salle, in 1687—when the arms and religion of France, (closely united,) were permanently established, to all human åppearances, not only in Canada, but in Hudson's Bay and Newfoundland, in a part of Maine, a part of Vermont, and more than one half of New-York; in the whole valley of the Mississippi, and in Texas, as far as the Rio Bravo del Norte-James the Second, of England, abdicated its throne, and fled to the Continent. On his arrival in France, he was received by his friend and ally, Louis XIV., “with the highest generosity, sympathy and regard,” and lodged in splendor at St. Germains.
It may, perhaps, here be asked, what had the abdication of a British monarch, in 1688, to do with the history of Illinois? We answer, much. It unburied the tomahawk. It aroused the savage warrior from his lair, and wrapt whole villages in flames. Its native and French population participated in all its vicissitudes, and even he, who was afterward its
governor, (Ibberville,) was a volunteer in the midnight attack upon Sche. nectady, and there signalized himself by an act of mercy. It had, too, another effect-it laid the foundation of our glorious Revolution. In the wars between England and France that followed the event above referred to, the same questions were agitated between the prince and people of England, which severed the British empire afterward in twain. Every argument for and against ship money, might have been pleaded for and against the Stamp Act. The right of self-government in the people of England, was as distinctly avowed by Parliament in the act of settlement, transferring the crown to William of Orange, as in the American Decla. ration of Independence. Still, English historians speak of theirs, as a glorious revolution, and of ours, as a successful rebellion. There is also another point of resemblance. The tomahawk and the scalpingknife were employed by Louis XIV., “in the cause of legitimacy,” precisely as they were by George III. and his emissaries, when our ances. tors, in 1775, “ unfurled their banners to the breeze."
In the war between England and France, concluded by the peace of Ryswick, in 1697, and also in the war which commenced on the death of William of Orange, and was afterward concluded by the peace of Utrecht, in 1713, Louis of France took up arms in defence of legitimacy. England, on the other hand, asserted the right of self-government. In both contests, France was aided by all those powers unfriendly to change. Having encroached, however, upon every neighbor, and threatened Eu. rope with universal monarchy, during the long and apparently triumphant and prosperous reign of Louis XIV., fear, and a sense of wrong, made every nation upon the Continent her enemy. William of Orange, (now King of England,) before he ascended its throne, was at variance with Louis, and that enmity was in no respect impaired by his subsequent elevation. In the wars, therefore, which succeeded, he was not only the defender of England against the encroachments of France, but he was also the defender of the territorial freedom of Europe. The German em. pire feared the power, and trembled at the name of Louis. Germany became, therefore, the ally of England. The Spanish Netherlands, lying between Germany and France, and a barrier between Holland and the latter, followed her example. Other nations upon the Continent, en. tertaining similar fears, and threatened by Louis with subjugation, embarked also in the contest. An issue was thereupon joined between England, Germany and the Netherlands, on the one side, and France on the other.
In this contest, the roving enterprise, and religious faith of the French colonists, secured to Louis XIV. an active support.
The English colonies, on the other hand, sided heartily with England. The revolution which had just taken place, was regarded by them as the pledge of American freedom; and the exile of a tyrant, followed by the election of a constitutional king, in their estimation, the exhibition of its first fruits.
In 1688, the whole number of French colonists in North America, was only eleven thousand two hundred and forty-nine; and those were scat. tered along the St. Lawrence, through the whole extent of its valley, and from the neighborhood of Frontenac or Kingston, to Mackinaw and the Illinois. The English, at that time, far exceeded them in numbers, and were scattered along the Atlantic coasts and rivers. The savages then were important allies. Hence the French, and also the English, (sometimes honorably, and sometimes otherwise,) sought their friendship.
The forest rangers, who penetrated every grove, and the Jesuit missionaries, who visited every Algonquin's cabin, and the homes of the Sioux, the Illinois, the Miamies, and the Pottawatomies, were to France the origin and the end of all her hopes. Denonville, Governor of Canada, in speaking of the year 1688, says, “ God alone could have saved Canada this year. But for the missions at the west, Illinois would have been abandoned—the fort of Mackinaw would have been lost ; and a general rising among the natives, have completed the ruin of New-France."
Previous to the time of which we have been speaking, the United Netherlands, by incessant toil, had emerged into consequence. A country of limited extent, stolen, as it were, from the sea, and protected from its en. croachments by extensive embankments, and numerous pumps driven by windmills, had become, in a few years, the richest in Europe. The muster of her patriot emigrants was on board her ships, and the rendezvous of her martyrs on the deep. They had pursued their enemies as the whaler his game, from sea to sea. Every house was a school for mariners, and the sports, even of children, were among the breakers. A boat was the infant's toy; and a ship, laboring on the billows without oars and without a sail, stamped upon her coin. Without agriculture, Holland had become a granary for the Continent; without flax, the residence of weavers; without sheep, the manufacturer of woollens; and without forests, the ship-yard and workshop of Europe. Amsterdam, her chief town, had become the pride and the glory of cities ; and Antwerp, and Lisbon, and Cadiz, and Venice, had been despoiled to do her service.*
In 1600, the plan of a West India company was presented to the States General, and referred to a committee, of which the celebrated Grotius was a member. The United Provinces, it was said, had mariners and capital to spare, and America was unable to exhaust their enterprise ; the sea itself was their home, and the storm and the tempest but playthings. On the other hand, it was urged by those who desired peace with Spain, (and of this number was Grotius,) that wars, at all events, were uncertain ; and that the sea itself was treacherous. This last opin. ion predominating, the charter, of course, was refused.
The Dutch, however, soon found their way to the Continent, through another and a different channel.
Some English merchants, excited by the enormous profits of voyages
to the East, as early as 1606, equipped and sent a vessel in search of a passage thither. Its command was intrusted to a Dutchman, by the name of Henry or Hendrick Hudson.
Hudson, in their employment, made two unsuccessful voyages. He afterward went to Amsterdam, and tendered his services to the Dutch East India company. They were immediately accepted, and a vessel called the Crescent at once awaited his commands. On the 4th of April, 1609, he embarked in pursuit of a northwest passage as before. His voyage, however, was interrupted by fields of ice, extending from Continent to Continent. He therefore turned his course to the south, and sailed along the American coast as far as Virginia. Then turning to the north, the Crescent on the 3rd of September, 1609, anchored within Sandy Hook. He afterward sailed through the Narrows, ascended the river which bears his name as far as Hudson-sent a boat to the north of Albany, and was there welcomed by the Mohawks.
He afterward descended the river, and on the 4th of October sailed for Europe. The adventures of this extraordinary seaman, deserving as they do perpetuation for ever, our readers, we have no doubt, will pardon a short digression, in order to recite his fate. On the 17th of April, 1610, he embarked in a like perilous expedition, got encompassed among icebergs, and being short of provisions, his crew mutinied. After dividing his last bread among his men, and weeping as he gave it them, he was seized by the mutineers, and with his only son and seven others, a part of whom were sick, thrust forcibly into a boat and left in the open sea. Philip Stoffe, the carpenter, seeing his commander thus exposed, sought and obtained permission to share his fate ; and as the shallop was cut loose, leaped on board and became his companion. Hudson was never heard of more. The wide expanse of waters known and distinguished as Hudson's Bay, is his tomb and his monument.*
An agent of the Dutch East India company, having first discovered and ascended the Hudson, the whole country adjacent was claimed for the United Provinces ; and in 1610, some merchants, residing at Amsterdam, fitted out a ship to trade with the natives. The voyage being prosperous, was afterward repeated ; and in 1613, three or four rude hovels were erected on the island of Manhattan. The foundation of the city of New York, containing at the present time three hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, was thus laid two hundred and thirty years ago, by a few mariners and Indian traders, by accident.
In the following year, a Dutch trading-house was established near Albany, just below the present city. Owing, however, to intestine commotions at home, (a party there being opposed to colonization,) New. Netherlands, (now New-York,) advanced but slowly. In 1621, the Dutch West India company was incorporated, to which the States General, intent chiefly on promoting trade, gave five hundred thousand guild
ers, and subscribed a similar amount in stock. The company was to form and execute its own plans, and provide for its own security. It was authorized to conquer provinces, only however, at its own expense, the States General being known merely as allies or patrons. A little nation of merchants, thus without scruple gave away Continents. The year 1623, properly speaking, was the commencement of colonization in NewYork. Cottages began at this time to cluster around the block-house on Manhattan Island, and Peter Minuits, the commercial agent of the Dutch West India company, for six years held the office of governor. This, we are told, was “the day of straw roofs, wooden chimneys, and wind. mills.” The Dutch West India company, having been incorporated principally with a view to reprisals upon Spanish commerce, it answered admirably the object of its creation. The merchant-warriors of Amsterdam conducted their naval expeditions like princes; and the fleets of Spain and Portugal, for several years enriched the island of Manhattan. In 1646, Peter Stuyvesant, (then) from the West Indies, “a soldier of experience," and a “scholar of some learning” arrived, and took upon himself the government of the province. The country gained also by emigration, and merchants began to congregate upon the island. Goy. ernor Stuyvesant, it is said, was at times a " little headstrong.” If, however, he displayed the rashness of a soldier, his employers reproved him. If he changed the rate of duties arbitrarily, the merchant-princes, ever sensitive to commercial honor, charged him “ to keep every contract inviolate.” If he tampered with the currency, by raising the value of foreign coin, they rebuked him for dishonesty. If he attempted to fix the price of labor by arbitrary rules, he was told that it was unwise and insupportable. If he interfered with the merchants, by inspecting their accounts, the deed was considered “as a measure without precedent in Christendom," and he was ordered “to treat the merchants with kindness.” If his zeal for Calvinism led him to persecute those of a different creed, he was chid for his bigotry. If his hatred for “the abominable sect called Quakers” led him to imprison them, he was told by the directors, that freedom of conscience was a blessed thing, and had made Amsterdam “ the asylum of fugitives from every land.” New-Amsterdam thus became what New-York now is, a “city of the world."* Although its governor was frequently wrong, he was sometimes right, and this, on account of its rarity, was a subject of commendation. Freedom of opinion in religious matters being thus established by law, multitudes allured thither by traffic, including the outcasts of every country and clime. made the island of Manhattan their permanent residence. Holland, for many years, had been a gathering place for the unfortunate. It became now a channel, through which French Protestants, who had escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew's eve, and their descendants; those who had listened to the voice of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, the relics