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Hawkins, the celebrated slave merchant, arrived from the West Indies. He had just sold a cargo of Africans, which he had kidnapped under extraordinary circumstances, and was now inspired with the most generous sympathy. He supplied their wants, and tendered for their use a vessel from his fleet. While, however, these preparations were going on, Ribault returned to assume the command, and brought supplies from France-emigrants, with their families, garden seeds, implements of husbandry, and domestic animals of every kind. The French colonists, elated with joy, abandoned their contemplated voyage, and agreed with one voice to remain. It seemed as though the dominion of France was now established in Florida, with Calvinism for its creed.
Spain, however, had not yet relinquished her title, though many of her bravest sons had fallen in the cause, and no colony had yet been estab. lished; but it comported not with the dignity of Philip II. to abandon, even a small territory to France, or to suffer the commercial monopoly of Spain to be endangered by a rival settlement, or the heresy of Calvin to be planted in its neighborhood. To prevent this, decisive measures were required.
About this time, there appeared at the Spanish court a reckless adventurer, fitted by nature and education for the task. Pedro Melendez de A vilès, had for a long time been accustomed to scenes of carnage. His natural ferocity had been improved by the infamy of his life. His bigotry had been nourished by a long and protracted war with the Protestants of Holland ; and Melendez himself, by encountering pirates, excluded by the law of nations from mercy, had become inured to deeds of vengeance. He had acquired a fortune in Spanish America, where benevolence was seldom taught, and less frequently practiced. His conduct even there had provoked inquiry, which caused his arrest, and procured his conviction; and the justice of his sentence was confirmed by the king, who knew him well, and esteemed his bravery.
The heir of Melendez had been previously shipwrecked near Bermuda, and the father asked leave of his sovereign merely to return, and search among the islands for his only son. Philip II., however, suggested to him the conquest and colonization of Florida. A compact was soon framed, and Melendez was appointed its hereditary governor.
By this compact, bearing date on the 20th of March, 1565, Melendez, at his own cost, was to invade Florida with at least five hundred mento complete its conquest in three years—to explore its currents and channels, the dangers of its coasts, and the depth of its havens—to establish a colony of at least five hundred persons, of whom one hundred were to be married mento introduce at least twelve ecclesiastics, besides four Jesuits—to transport thither all kinds of domestic animals, and import into Florida five hundred negro slaves.
While preparations were thus making in Spain, intelligence was received, through the treachery of France, that the Huguenots had made a settlement in Florida, and that Ribault was preparing to sail thither.
The cry was immediately raised that all heretics must be extirpated. Fanaticism lent its aid, and the ranks of Melendez were immediately filled. More than two thousand five hundred persons—soldiers, sailors, priests, jesuits, married men, with their families, laborers and mechanics ; and, with the exception of two hundred soldiers, all at the cost of Melen. dez, embarked. After some delay, occasioned by a storm, and encoun. tering on his passage a tempest, which scattered his fleet, he arrived at Porto Rico on the 9th of August, 1565, with about one-third of his forces. He sailed for Florida without waiting for the residue, and on the 28th came upon its coast. On the 2nd of September, he discovered a fine har. bor and a beautiful river, into which he entered, and gathered from the natives some account of the Huguenots. The 28th of August having been consecrated to the memory of one of the most eloquent and vene. rated fathers of the church, a son of Africa, and Bishop of Carthage, he gave to the harbor and stream the name of St. Augustine. Sailing north, he discovered the French fleet, lying at anchor, and in answer to a demand made by the French commander, of his name and objects, he replied :
"I am Melendez, of Spain, sent hither with strict orders from the king, to gibbet and behead all Protestants in these regions. The Frenchman, who is a Catholic, I will spare-every heretic shall die.”
The French, unprepared for action, cut their cables and fled. Melen. dez thereupon returned to the harbor of St. Augustine, and arrived there on the evening of the 7th, preceding the festival of the nativity of the blessed Virgin. On the following day, (September 8th, 1565,) at noon, he went on shore, and took possession of the whole Continent in the name of his king, and proclaimed Philip II. of Spain, monarch of North Amer. ica. A solemn mass was performed, and the foundation of St. Augustine, (the oldest town in the United States,) was immediately laid. This took place more than forty years before any effectual settlement was made in Virginia ; and houses, it is said, are now standing in St. Augustine, erected before any French or English settlement was made upon the Continent. · Melendez had no sooner landed and performed the usual ceremones on such occasions, than, with an indifference to toil that ever marked his character, he led his troops through lakes, marshes and forests, to St. John's, where he surprised the French governor-anticipating, and of course fearing no danger, except from toward the sea; and massacred in cold blood, men, women and children, about two hundred in all—the old and the young, the sick in their beds, and the soldier in armor. A few, and among them, Laudonniere, escaped to the woods-death, how. ever, met them there. It seemed as though Heaven and earth, the sea and the savage, had conspired against them. A part surrendered to the Spaniards, and were immediately murdered; others found their way to the coast, after enduring the severest hardships, and were received on board a French vessel, remaining in the harbor; and the Spaniards,
angry that any should escape, vented their malignant fury upon the bodies of the slain.
This massacre took place on the 21st of September, 1565, on the festival of St Matthew. The slaughter being completed, religious services were performed, a cross was raised, and the site of a church selected on ground yet smoking with human gore.
Those who had escaped being shipwrecked on the coast, were soon discovered. Wasted by fatigues at sea, and half famished for want of food, they were invited by Melendez to rely on his mercy. They accordingly surrendered; and as they stepped on shore, their hands were tied behind them, and they were thus driven to St. Augustine, like sheep to a slaughter-house. As they approached the fort, a signal was given, the trumpet was sounded, and the Spaniards fell upon them; disarmed, and unable to resist—with the exception of a few Catholics, who were spared, and a few mechanics, who were reserved as slaves—all were massacred, “not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans." About nine hundred, including those who had previously been slain, were thus sacrificed on the altar of religious zeal. It was before the massacre of St. Bartholomews, in France, and partook strongly of its character.
The French government, equally bigoted with that of Spain, heard of the outrage, and listened to its horrid details with heartless indifference. Not even a remonstrance was made. The nation, however, awoke to vengeance, and the Huguenots especially, felt the wound in every pore.
There lived at that time in Gascony, a bold and reckless soldier, whose life had been a series of adventures. His name was Dominic de Gourguis. He was at one time a private in the army of France; at another, a prisoner and galley-slave in Spain. He was taken by the Turks, sold as a captive, and redeemed from thence by the commander of the Knights of Malta. He had now returned to his native province, and burned for revenge. The honor of his country, and his own—the blood of his slaughtered relatives, and the cries of his persecuted brethren, called aloud for vengeance. Having sold his property in France, and received contributions from his friends, he fitted out three ships, in which he embarked for Florida, accompanied by one hundred and fifty gallant men. A favorable breeze soon wafted him thither. He landed immediately, and surprised two Spanish forts near the mouth of the St. Mattheo ; and as terror magnified his numbers, and courage and revenge both nerved his arm, he was enabled to get possession, almost without a struggle, of the principal fort, near the spot where his friends and relatives had previously been massacred. Too weak to maintain his position, he weighed anchor immediately for Europe, having first hanged all his prisoners upon the trees, and placed over them this inseription : "I do not this as unto Spaniards, but as unto traitors, robbers and murderers.”
The Indians, who had suffered much from the French and Spaniards both, looked on with delight, and seemed to enjoy the spectacle.
The attack of the fiery Gaseon was but a passing storm. Charles IX. disowned the expedition, and abandoned all pretensions to Florida. Spain, in the meantime, seized, and grappled it to her bosom ; and if its first discovery conferred a right, her claim, unquestionably, was just. Not only Florida, but North America itself, was thenceforward annexed to the Spanish crown, and thus included within her empire.
The amount paid by Atahualpa for his ransom, may be collected from the following facts, stated by Robertson : “ The apartment in which the Inca was confined, was twentytwo feet in length, and sixteen in breadth. This he undertook to fill with vessels of gold as high as he could reach; and a line was drawn upon the walls of the chamber, to mark the stipulated height to which the treasure was to rise. It amounted to eight thousand pesos, (equal in effective value, to as many pounds stirling,) to each horseman, and half that sum to each foot soldier ; and to the officers, dividends in proportion to the dignity of their rank. These wages of iniquity, the spoils of an innocent people, procured by deceit, extortion and cruelty, were distributed with religious rites, on the festival of St. James, the patron Saint of Spain; and Atahualpa, after a mock trial, and receiving baptism, was strangled by order of Pizarro. The spoils of Cusco, probably exceeded the amount received for Atahualpa's ransom."
Colonization of Virginia - English and Dutch settlements, how material-Henry VII.
-John Cabot-Sebastian Cabot-Henry VIII.-Queen Elizabeth-Attempts to discover the northwest passage-Sir Humphrey Gilbert-Martin Frobisher-Sir Francis Drake-English commerce and fisheries--Sir Walter Raleigh-His attempts to colonize North Carolina-Its failure-London Company—Its charter_James I.John Smith-Captain Newport-James Town settled-Powhattan-Pocahontas John Rolfe-Lord Delaware—Sir Thomas Dale—Sir Thomas Gates-Petition to Parliament for aid, rejected-Charter amended— Yeardly appointed captain-general --First colonial Assembly-Sir Edwin Sandye-Young ladies sent to Virginia Earl of Southampton-Virginia freedom.
WHILE the Spaniards, (despising the petty range of Europe, as too limited for their ambition,) were pursuing a career of glory in South America—without regard to principle that cast other nations in the shade, and every sea, and coast, and island, was resounding with their fame; England was neither inattentive to, nor entirely regardless of, the passing scene. No sooner had Columbus announced the discovery of another world, whose sands it was said sparkled with gold, than Eng. land, France, and Holland, saw in prospect the glittering bait, and felt new energies within. Their exertions, however, in comparison with those of Spain, were at first tardy and ineffective.
The history of the English and Dutch settlements upon the Atlantic coast, is important here, because it furnishes matter for serious reflection. It is from thence that we are principally descended ; our population, with the exception of a few persons from abroad, who have recently migrated hither, is made up of eastern and southern emigrants. Our laws and our religion, our habits, our mode of thinking and rules of action, our code of morals and political sentiments, are from them mostly derived. An attempt, therefore, to write the history of Illinois, without adverting to the pilgrims of New England, the burghers of New Amsterdam, the plan. ters of Virginia, and to others who, at an early day, settled on the Atlantic rivers and bays, would be like the attempt of a lawyer to recover in ejectment without producing his patent. Although a title may, in law, be presumed, and frequently is so, by the lapse of time, the production of the title-deeds is always desirable, and courts and jurors are unwilling to presume what is capable of direct and positive proof.
Every citizen in this country being regarded as a sovereign, and his patent derived from the King of Kings, no one need blush for his origin, although a pilgrim, a burgher, or a planter, may have been his ancestor. We are not, then, called upon to vindicate the American character from