NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center OLLibrary



Sketchexplore the great river of the west, of which be bad beard from the Indians; and in 1673 be and Louis Joliet, a trader of Quebec, with five of their countrymen, entered the Mississippi from the Wisconsin, and, in two birch-bark canoes, floated down its current below the mouth of the SketchArkansas, the first European explorers of that river since De Soto.1
   Nine years afterwards La Salle explored the river to its mouth, and naming the vast region drained by it and its branches Louisiana,2 claimed it for France. See p. 80.

Horz. bar



   1. AT the close of this Period the territory of the present United States was still claimed by England, France, and Spain.3
East of the Mississippi, the English, having crowded the French out of Carolina,4 and the Dutch out of New Netherland,5 as the Dutch had previously crowded the Swedes out of New Sweden,6 occupied the Atlantic coast from Maine to South Carolina. France included among her American possessions part of the present States of Maine, Vermont, and New York,7 and all that immense region between the Mississippi, the Great Lakes, and the Alleghenies, thus limiting on the west grants made by England.8 The Spanish claim included, in addition to the present Florida, an indefinite region having for its southern boundary the whole northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
West of the Mississippi, claims and possessions, except the claim that the re-discovery of that river gave to France, remained as at the close of the first Period.3 Scattered missions and trading-posts had been established by Spain in Texas, and as far north as the present New Mexico and California, while farther north extended her indefinite New Mexico, and on the Pacific lay England's almost forgotten New Albion.9
   3. The population of the English colonies at the close of this Period is estimated at about two hundred thousand.10

   1 See p. 13, ¶ 3.       2 In honor of Louis XIV., king of France.    3 See p. 20, § II.
   4 See p. 15, § 11.      5 See p. 54, ¶ 8.               6 See p. 59, Chap. VIII., ¶ 2.
   7 See p. 67, Chap. XII., and note 5.    8 See p. 46, Chap. IV, ¶ 1.     9 See p. 16, ¶ 2.
   10 Bancroft gives the following approximate distribution of this number: Massachusetts, with Plymouth and Maine, 44,000; New Hampshire, 6,000; Rhode Island, 6,000; Connecticut, 19,000; New York, 20,000; New Jersey, 10,000; Pennsylvania, with Delaware, 12,000; Maryland, 25,000; Virginia, 50,000; the two Carolinas, 8,000.

   QUESTIONS. -- Give an account of La Salle's exploration of the Mississippi. 1. At the close of this period what nations claimed the territory of the present United States? What is said of the English east of the Mississippi? Of France? Of the Spanish claim? 2. What is said of claims and possessions west of the Mississippi? 3. What was the estimated population of the English colonies at the close of this Period?



   4. The manners of the colonists in Virginia were those of the less rigid English. There was found in the colony a good deal of that frankness, hospitality, taste, and refinement which distinguish the better classes of the southern people at this day. In New England the people were more strict in their notions, and consequently more rigid in their manners. If they had no greater faith in the Scriptures than the people of Virginia, they moulded their government and shaped private character and morals upon a more severe and literal construction of them.1 They studied simplicity of manners, taste, and living. They were patriotic, industrious, and public-spirited. In New York, the manners of the colonists were strictly Dutch, -- with no other modifications than those which the privations of a new country, and the few English among them. necessarily effected. The same steadfast pursuit of wealth, the same plodding industry, the same dress, air, and physiognomy, which are given as characteristic of Holland, were exhibited in New Netherland.
   5. Slavery at an early period found its way into all the colonies, -- first silently permitted, then regulated. by law.
This odious institution was introduced into the country not less by the cupidity of the north, which found its profits in the slave trade, than by the cupidity of the south, which found its profits in slave labor. The commercial policy of England, too, tended to fasten it upon the colonies. In New England slavery was not generally profitable, and slaves were chiefly employed as house servants. In the middle and southern colonies they were employed in the field, and indeed in every department of manual labor. South Carolina alone, of the original thirteen states, was, from its infancy, a slave colony. The year after Old Charleston was settled, negro slaves were imported from Barbadoes.2

   1 The laws of the colonies throw great light on the views and manners of the people of that age. Take, for example, several laws of the Massachusetts colony: one, in 1639, prohibiting the drinking of healths; another, in 1651, prohibiting "persons whose estate did not exceed two hundred pounds wearing gold or silver lace, or any bone lace above two shillings per yard," and requiring the selectmen to take notice of the "apparel" of the people. especially their "ribbands and great boots." "Only a small number of persons of the best condition had the designation Mr. or Mrs. prefixed to their names; this respect was always shown to ministers and their wives. Goodman and Goodwife were the appropriate addresses of persons above the condition of servitude and below that of gentility." Mr. Josias Plaistowe, for stealing corn from the Indians, was to be called only Josias Plaistowe, and not Mr., as formerly. Robert Shorthose, for swearing in a certain manner, was sentenced to have his tongue put into a cleft stick, and to stand so for the space of half an hour. The colony of Connecticut ordered that no person under twenty years of age should use any tobacco, without a certificate from a physician; and no others, although addicted to its use, unless they, were ten miles from any house, and then not more than once a day. And this regulation was made while the Virginians were raising all the tobacco they were able, deriving a revenue from it for the support of government, paying their ministers with it, and using it as a currency. In Hartford every freeman who neglected to attend town-meeting was fined sixpence, unless he had a good excuse. And in 1643 it was ordered that the watch should ring a bell every morning, before daybreak, and that at least one person should be up within one quarter of an hour after, in every house.
   2 Negro slavery did not originate in America. The first European immigrants to the New World brought with them negro slaves. They also enslaved the natives. But the condition of slavery under which the negro throve, was destructive to the Indian: and to prevent the utter extinction of the red man, Bartolome de his Casas, about a century before the introduction of negro slaves Into Virginia, with a sincere but mistaken benevolence, advocated and effected the general substitution of negro for Indian slavery in the Spanish colonies. From this time the slave trade was a source of great gain, and the profits of slavery blinded men to its iniquity.

   QUESTIONS. -- 4. What can you tell of the manners of the colonists in Virginia? In New England? In New York? 5. What of slavery in the colonies? -- How introduced? What of slavery in New England? In the middle and southern colonies? What is said of South Carolina in connection with slavery?



   6. Religion. -- The French and Spanish settlements and missions within the present limits of the United States were exclusively Roman Catholic. Of the English colonies whose history has already been given, Maryland was Protestant by a great majority, and the rest almost unanimously.
The Church of England was established in Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas. In New England the colonists were Calvinists in doctrine and Congregational in discipline. The Dutch Reformed Church was the prevailing religion in New York. The first settlers in Maryland were chiefly Roman Catholics; and this church has ever exercised great influence in that colony. The first Baptist church in America was formed at Providence, under Roger Williams. The Quakers made their appearance in Massachusetts in 1656; and at the close of this Period, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Jersey, Rhode Island, and in some measure North Carolina, were Quaker colonies.
The different sects in America were often at war with each other. Catholics were at some time the victims of oppression in all the colonies. Massachusetts in the north, however, and Virginia in the south, -- the former Puritan, the latter of the English Church, -- always foremost in their respective sections, were the foremost in the work of persecution. Massachusetts persecuted Baptists with fines and imprisonments, and inflicted on Quakers still severer penalties.1 The other New England colonies, except Rhode Island, followed her lead. Virginia fined and imprisoned Quakers and Baptists, and banished New England Puritans.
   9. Indian Missions. -- The Spanish and French immigrants to America made strenuous efforts for the conversion of the Indians to Christianity. This is particularly true of the French. It was their untiring zeal for the spread of the gospel that led their priests to penetrate those vast regions of western wilderness, till then untrodden by the foot of civilized man. The history of Christianity presents no names more illustrious for unselfish devotion than Anthony Daniels, Claude Allouez, and James Marquette,2 Jesuit missionaries to the American Indians. Nor were the English neglectful of the spiritual welfare of the Indian. Conspicuous among their missionaries to the natives stand John Eliot, "the

   1 Believing the principles of the Quakers subversive of good order and good government, -- and, indeed, the extravagant conduct of some of the sect gave occasion for this belief, -- the rulers of Massachusetts enacted a law banishing them from the colony on pain of death; seeking "not the death, but the absence, of the Quakers." Under this law two Quakers were hanged on Boston Common in 1659; and later, two others were executed, one of them a woman.
   2 See p. 67, ¶ 3.

   QUESTIONS. -- 6. What was the religion of the French and Spanish settlements? The religion of the English colonies? 7. In what colonies was the church of England established? What were the New England colonies in doctrine and discipline? What was the prevailing religion in New York? What of Roman Catholics in Maryland? Of the first Baptist church in America? What of the Quakers? 8. What is said of the different sects in America? Of Catholics? What colonists were foremost in the work of persecution? what more is said of Massachusetts? What of the other Now England colonies? What more is said of Virginia? 9. For what purpose did the Spanish and French immigrants make strenuous efforts? What more is said of the French? What devoted missionaries are mentioned? of what were the English not neglectful? Who were conspicuous among their missionaries?



apostle to the Indians," and the Mayhews, father and son. So cheering was their success, that in 1660 there were ten towns of converted Indians in Massachusetts.
   10. Education. -- Schools, supported in part by endowments and in part by fees for tuition, were early established in most of the colonies. But the common school was almost from the first the peculiar glory of New England.1
In Massachusetts measures were early taken to establish a college, which in 1638 was located in a part of SketchNewtown, afterwards called Cambridge. The institution was named Harvard College, in honor of the Rev. John Harvard, who bequeathed to it his library, and half of his estate, amounting to several hundred pounds. The first printing press in America was established in Cambridge in 1639. There were no newspapers in America during this Period.
At first the colonies had but little trade and commerce, except with England, and that was very limited. They imported all their merchandise, and made such returns as they were able in tobacco, peltry procured from the Indians, lumber, beef, pork, grain, and fish. Arts and manufactures were of slow growth. Thread and yarn were spun and knit by the women at their homes. The weaving of woollen and cotton fabrics was introduced by some Yorkshire clothiers, who began the settlement of Rowley, Massachusetts, in 1638. After a little time the manufacture of linen, woollen, and cotton cloth in this province became very remunerative.
The first business of the settlers was to clear the forests, and supply themselves with food from the soil. But the fertility of the earth soon taught them to look to agriculture as a source of wealth, as well as of subsistence. It therefore became the leading object of industry. Indian corn and different kinds of European grain, as well as most of the garden fruits and vegetables common in the mother country, were cultivated in all the colonies. Besides these, beef and pork were the principal products of the northern and middle colonies, and tobacco of the southern. The cultivation of tobacco was introduced into Virginia almost from the First. Cotton, that since, as an American product, has played so important part in the commerce of the world, was first cultivated in Virginia in 1621.

   1 To certain official inquiries respecting education In the colonies, the governor of Connecticut replied, "One fourth of the annual revenue is laid out in maintaining free schools." To the same questions Governor Berkeley, of Virginia, replied, "I thank God there are no free schools, nor printing, and I hope we shall not have them these hundred years."

   QUESTIONS. -- Success of the English missionaries? 10. What is said of schools in the colonies? Of the common school? What can you tell of Harvard College? Of the first printing press in America? Of newspapers? 11. What of the trade and commerce of the colonies? Of arts and manufactures? When, where, and by whom was the manufacture of cotton and woollen fabrics introduced? 12. What of agriculture? What were cultivated in all the colonies? What other principal products of the northern and middle colonies? Of the southern? What of tobacco? Of Cotton?




   [The figures at the end of the paragraphs in the Chronological Review refer to The pages upon which the events are mentioned.]

   1607. Jamestown was founded in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America, 29.
   1609. Hudson discovered the Hudson River, 52.
        Champlain discovered Lake Champlain, 67.
   1610. The starving time prevailed in Virginia, 31.
   1614. Captain Smith explored the coast of New England, 36.
   1619. A legislative assembly, the first in America, was convened in Virginia, 32.
   1620. Negro slavery was introduced into Virginia, 32.
   Plymouth was settled by the Puritans, the first permanent English settlement in New England, 36.
   1622. Opechancanough's war broke out in Virginia, 33.
   1623. Dover and Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, were settled, 45.
        The permanent colonization of New York was begun by the Dutch, 53.
   1630. Boston was founded by Governor Winthrop, 40.
   1634. The colonization of Maryland was begun at St. Mary's, 60.
   1634-6. Wethersfield, Windsor, and Hartford, in Connecticut, were settled by emigrants from Massachusetts, 47.
   1636. Roger Williams founded Providence, 50.
   1638. Delaware was settled by the Swedes and Finns, 58.
        New Haven was founded by Eaton and Davenport, 48.
        Harvard College was established in Cambridge, 71.
   1639. A separate government was organized for Connecticut, 48.
   1643. The confederacy styled the United Colonies of New England was formed, 41.
   1644. The Rhode Island and Providence Plantations were united, forming Rhode Island, 51.
   1663. The Albemarle colony (North Carolina) was organized, 64.
   1664. New Netherland was taken by the English, and named New York, 54.
        Elizabethtown, in New Jersey, was settled, 57.
   1665. Connecticut and New Haven were united, under the name of Connecticut, 49.
   1673. Marquette explored the Mississippi, 67.
   1675. King Philip's war began, 42.
   1676. Bacon's rebellion broke out in Virginia, 34.
   1680. Charleston, South Carolina, was founded, 65.
   1682. La Salle explored the Mississippi to its mouth, 68.
   1683. Philadelphia was founded by William Penn, 63.
   1686. Sir Edmund Andros was appointed governor of New England, 44.
   1689. Andros was seized and sent to England, 44.




   1609. The Independence of the Dutch Republic acknowledged.
   1610. Henry IV. of France assassinated by Ravaillac.
   1618. The beginning of the " Thirty Years' War."
   1624. Richelieu, chief minister of Louis XIII. of France. He was for eighteen years the leading statesman of Europe.
   1632. Victory and death of Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, at the battle of Lützen.
   1640. Portugal revolted from Spain, and regained her independence under John IV., Duke of Braganza.
        Frederic William, the Great Elector of Brandenburg. He laid the foundation of the kingdom of Prussia.
   1642. Beginning of the civil war in England between Charles I. and Parliament.
   1645. The battle of Naseby, in England, ruined Charles I.
   1647. A revolution in China placed the present ruling dynasty on the throne.
   1648. The Peace of Westphalia put an end to the "Thirty Years' War." Origin of the system of the "balance of power."
   1649. Charles I. of England beheaded.
   1653. Cromwell proclaimed Lord Protector.
   1660. The Restoration. Charles II. restored to the English throne.
   1661. Colbert minister of France, which becomes the most formidable power in Europe. With his administration commenced the era called the "Age of Louis XIV."
   1665. Great Plague in London --100,000 deaths.
   1679. Habeas Corpus Act passed by the English Parliament.
   1683. The last siege of Vienna by the Turks, raised by John Sobieski king of Poland.
   1685. The Edict of Nantes revoked by Louis XIV.
   1688. League of Augsburg. The principal continental states, afterwards joined by England, united to resist France.

Among the eminent men who closed their career during this Period were,







Francis Bacon




Lope de Vega


Ben Jonson
























Previous Page Button
Appendix Button
Contents Button
Pronouncing Index Button
Next Page Button

© 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller