A School History of the United States eBook

A School History of the United States by John Bach McMaster

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section Page

Start of eBook1

Page 1


I. Europe finds America
II.  The Spaniards in the united states
III.  English, Dutch, and Swedes on the seaboard
IV.  The planting of new England
V. The middle and southern colonies
VI.  The French in the Mississippi valley
VII.  The Indians
VIII.  The struggle for new France and Louisiana
IX.  Life in the colonies in 1763
X.  “Liberty, property, and no stamps
XI.  The struggle for independence
XII.  Under the articles of confederation
XIII.  Making the constitution
XIV.  Our country in 1790
XV.  The rise of parties
XVI.  The struggle for neutrality
XVII.  Struggle forFree trade and sailorsrights
XVIII.  The war for commercial independence
XIX.  Progress of our country between 1790 and 1815
XX.  Settlement of our boundaries
XXI.  The Rising west
XXII.  The highways of trade and commerce
XXIII.  Politics from 1824 to 1845
XXIV.  Expansion of the slave area
XXV.  The territories become slave soil
XXVI.  Progress in the united states between 1840 and 1860
XXVII.  War for the union, 1861-1865
XXVIII.  War along the coast and on the sea
XXIX.  The cost of the war
XXX.  Reconstruction of the south
XXXI.  The new west (1860-1870)
XXXII.  Politics from 1868 to 1880
XXXIII.  Growth of the northwest
XXXIV.  Mechanical and industrial progress
XXXV.  Politics since 1880


Declaration of independence
constitution of the united states
state constitutions


Page 2

Discovery on the east coast of America
European claims and explorations, 1650
French claims, etc., In 1700
British colonies, 1733
European possessions, 1763
the British colonies in 1764
British colonies, 1776
results of the war for independence
the united states, 1783
the united states, 1789
distribution of population, 1790
slave and free soil in 1790
the united states, 1801
the united states, 1810
north America after 1824
distribution of population, 1820
freedom and slavery in 1820
the united states, 1826
territory claimed by Texas in 1845
the Oregon country
routes of the early explorers
territory ceded by Mexico, 1848 and 1853
results of the compromise of 1850
the united states in 1851
expansion of slave soil, 1790-1860
distribution of population, 1850
the united states, 1861
war for the union
industrial and railroad map of the united states


* * * * *




%1.  Nations that have owned our Soil.%—­Before the United States became a nation, six European powers owned, or claimed to own, various portions of the territory now contained within its boundary.  England claimed the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida.  Spain once held Florida, Texas, California, and all the territory south and west of Colorado.  France in days gone by ruled the Mississippi valley.  Holland once owned New Jersey, Delaware, and the valley of the Hudson in New York, and claimed as far eastward as the Connecticut river.  The Swedes had settlements on the Delaware.  Alaska was a Russian possession.

Before attempting to narrate the history of our country, it is necessary, therefore, to tell

1.  How European nations came into possession of parts of it.

2.  How these parts passed from them to us.

3.  What effect the ownership of parts of our country by Europeans had on our history and institutions before 1776.

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%2.  European Trade with the East; the Old Routes.%—­For two hundred years before North and South America were known to exist, a splendid trade had been going on between Europe and the East Indies.  Ships loaded with metals, woods, and pitch went from European seaports to Alexandria and Constantinople, and brought back silks and cashmeres, muslins, dyewoods, spices, perfumes, ivory, precious stones, and pearls.  This trade in course of time had come to be controlled by the two Italian cities of Venice and Genoa.  The merchants of Genoa sent their ships to Constantinople and the ports of the Black Sea, where they took on board the rich fabrics and spices which by boats and by caravans had come up the valley of the Euphrates and the Tigris from the Persian Gulf.  The men of Venice, on the other hand, sent their vessels to Alexandria, and carried on their trade with the East through the Red Sea.

[Illustration:  Routes to India]

%3.  New Routes wanted.%—­Splendid as this trade was, however, it was doomed to destruction.  Slowly, but surely, the Turks thrust themselves across the caravan routes, cutting off one by one the great feeders of the Oriental trade, till, with the capture of Constantinople in 1453, they destroyed the commercial career of Genoa.  As their power was spreading rapidly over Syria and toward Egypt, the prosperity of Venice, in turn, was threatened.  The day seemed near when all trade between the Indies and Europe would be ended, and men began to ask if it were not possible to find an ocean route to Asia.

Now, it happened that just at this time the Portuguese were hard at work on the discovery of such a route, and were slowly pushing their way down the western coast of Africa.  But as league after league of that coast was discovered, it was thought that the route to India by way of Africa was too long for the purposes of commerce.[1] Then came the question, Is there not a shorter route? and this Columbus tried to answer.

[Footnote 1:  Read the account of Portuguese exploration in search of a way to India, in Fiske’s Discovery of America, Vol.  I., pp. 274-334.]

%4.  Columbus seeks the East and finds America.%[2]—­Columbus was a native of Genoa, in Italy.  He began a seafaring life at fourteen, and in the intervals between his voyages made maps and globes.  As Portugal was then the center of nautical enterprise, he wandered there about 1470, and probably went on one or two voyages down the coast of Africa.  In 1473 he married a Portuguese woman.  Her father had been one of the King of Portugal’s famous navigators, and had left behind him at his death a quantity of charts and notes; and it was while Columbus was studying them that the idea of seeking the Indies by sailing due westward seems to have first started in his mind.  But many a year went by, and many a hardship had to be borne, and many an insult patiently endured in poverty and distress, before the Friday morning in August, 1492, when his three caravels, the Santa Maria (sahn’-tah mah-ree’-ah), the Pinta (peen’-tah), and the Nina (neen’-yah), sailed from the port of Palos (pah’-los), in Spain.

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[Footnote 2:  There is reason to believe that about the year 1000 A.D. the northeast coast of America was discovered by a Norse voyager named Leif Ericsson.  The records are very meager; but the discovery of our country by such a people is possible and not improbable.  For an account of the pre-Columbian discoveries see Fiske’s Discovery of America, Vol.  I., pp. 148-255.]

[Illustration:  Santa Maria]

His course led first to the Canary Islands, where he turned and went directly westward.  The earth was not then generally believed to be round.  Men supposed it to be flat, and the only parts of it known to Europeans were Iceland, the British Isles, the continent of Europe, a small part of Asia, and a strip along the coast of the northern part of Africa.  The ocean on which Columbus was now embarked, and which in our time is crossed in less than a week, was then utterly unknown, and was well named “The Sea of Darkness.”  Little wonder, then, that as the shores of the last of the Canaries sank out of sight on the 9th of September, many of the sailors wept, wailed, and loudly bemoaned their cruel fate.  After sailing for what seemed a very long time, they saw signs of land.  But when no land appeared, their hopes gave way to fear, and they rose against Columbus in order to force him to return.

[Illustration:  Nina]

But he calmed their fears, explained the sights they could not understand, hid from them the true distance sailed, and kept steadily on westward till October 7, when a flock of land birds were seen flying to the southwest.  Pinzon (peen-thon’), who commanded one of the vessels, begged Columbus to follow the birds, as they seemed to be going toward land.  Had the little fleet kept on its way, it would have brought up on the coast of Florida.  But Columbus yielded to Pinzon.  The ships were headed southwestward, and about ten o’clock on the night of October 11, Columbus saw a light moving in the distance.  It was made by the inhabitants going from hut to hut on a neighboring coast.  At dawn the shore itself was seen by a sailor, and Columbus, followed by many of his men, hastened to the beach, where, October 12, 1492, he raised a huge cross, and took possession of the country in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, who had supplied him with caravels and men.[1] He had landed on one of a group of islands which we call the Bahamas.[2]

[Footnote 1:  Columbus called the new land San Salvador (sahn sahl-vah-dor’, Holy Savior), because October 12, the day on which it was discovered, was so named in the Spanish calendar.]

[Footnote 2:  Three islands of this group, Cat, Turks, and Watlings, have rival claims as the landing place of Columbus.  At present, Watlings Island is believed to be the one on which he first set foot.  Read an account of the voyage in Fiske’s Discovery of America, Vol.  I., pp. 408-442; Irving’s Life and Voyages of Columbus, Vol.  I., Book III.]

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[Illustration:  Coat of arms of Columbus]

During ten days he sailed among these islands.  Then, turning southward, he coasted along Cuba to the eastern end, and so to Haiti, which he named Hispaniola, or Little Spain.  There the Santa Maria was wrecked.  The Pinta had by this time deserted him, and, as the Nina could not carry all the men, forty were left at Hispaniola, to found the first colony of Europeans in the New World.  Giving the men food enough to last a year, Columbus set sail for Spain on the 3d of January, 1493, and on March 15 was safe at Palos.

Of the greatness of his discovery, Columbus had not the faintest idea.  That he had found a new world; that a continent was blocking his way to the East, never entered his mind.  He supposed he had landed on some islands off the east coast of Asia, and as that coast was called the Indies, and as the islands were reached by sailing westward, they came to be called the West Indies, and their inhabitants Indians; and the native races of the New World have ever since been called Indians.  Although Columbus in after years made three more voyages to the New World, he never found out his mistake, and died firm in the belief that he had discovered a direct route to Asia.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Columbus began his second voyage in September, 1493, and discovered Jamaica, Porto Rico (por’-to ree’-co), and the islands of the Caribbean Sea.  On his third voyage, in 1498, he discovered the island of Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela, and saw South America at the mouth of the Orinoco River.  During his fourth and last voyage, 1502-1504, he explored the shores of Honduras and the Isthmus of Panama in search of a strait leading to the Indian Ocean.  Of course he did not find it, and, going back to Spain, he died poor and broken-hearted on May 20, 1506.]

%5.  The Atlantic Coast explored.%—­And now that Columbus had shown the way, others were quick to follow.  In 1497 and 1498 came John and Sebastian Cabot (cab’-ot), sailing under the flag of England, and exploring our coast from Labrador to Cape Cod; and Pinzon and Solis, with Vespucius[2] for pilot, sailing under the flag of Spain along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, around the peninsula of Florida, and northward to Chesapeake Bay.  Between 1500 and 1502 two Portuguese navigators named Cortereal (cor-ta-ra-ahl’) went over much the same ground as the Cabots.  For the time being, however, these voyages were fruitless.  It was not a new world, but China and Japan, the Indian Ocean, and the spice islands, that Europe was seeking.  When, therefore, in 1497, Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon, passed around the end of Africa, reached India, and came back to Portugal in 1499 with his ship laden with the silks and spices of the East, all explorers turned southward, and for eleven years after the visit of the Cortereals no voyages were made to North America.

[Footnote 2:  As this man was an Italian, his name was really Amerigo Vespucci (ah-ma’-ree-go ves-poot’-chee), but it is usually given in its Latinized form, Americus Vespucius (a-mer’-i-cus ves-pu’-she-us).]

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%6.  Why the Continent was called America.%—­But some great voyages meantime were made to South America.  In 1500 a Portuguese fleet of thirteen vessels, commanded by Cabral, started from Portugal for the East.  In place of following the usual route and hugging the west coast of Africa, Cabral went off so far to the westward that one day in April, 1500, he was amazed to see land.  It proved to be what is now Brazil, and after sailing along a little way he sent one of his vessels home to Portugal with the news.


He did this because six years before, in June, 1494, Spain and Portugal made a treaty and agreed that a meridian should be drawn 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands and be known as “The Line of Demarcation” All heathen lands discovered, no matter by whom, to the east of this line, were to belong to Portugal; all to the west of it were to be the property of Spain.  Now, as the strange coast seemed to be east of the line of demarcation, and therefore the property of Portugal, Cabral sent word to the King that he might explore it.

Accordingly, in May, 1501, the King sent out three ships in charge of Americus Vespucius.  Vespucius sighted the coast somewhere about Cape St. Roque, and, finding that it was east of the line of demarcation, explored it southward as far as the mouth of the river La Plata.  As he was then west of the line, and off a coast which belonged to Spain, he turned and sailed southeastward till he struck the island of South Georgia, where the Antarctic cold and the fields of floating ice stopped him and sent him back to Lisbon.

The results of this great voyage were many.  In the first place, it secured Brazil for Portugal.  In the second place, it changed the geographical ideas of the time.  The great length of coast line explored proved that the land was not a mere island, but that Vespucius had found a new continent in the southern hemisphere,—­off the coast of Asia, as was then supposed.  This for a time was called the “Fourth Part” of the world,—­the other three parts being Europe, Asia, and Africa.  But in 1507 a German professor published a little book on geography, in which he suggested that the new part of the world discovered by Americus, the part which we call Brazil, should be called America.

As Columbus was not supposed to have discovered a new world, but merely a new route to Asia, this suggestion seemed very proper, and soon the word “America” began to appear on maps as the name of Brazil.  After a while it was applied to all South America, and finally to North America also.

%7.  The Pacific discovered; the Mexican Gulf Coast explored.%—­A few years after the publication of the little book which gave the New World the name of America, a Spaniard named Balboa landed on the Isthmus of Panama, crossed it (1513), and from the mountains looked down on an endless expanse of blue water, which he called the South Sea, because when he first saw it he was looking south.

Page 7

Meantime another Spaniard, named Ponce de Leon (pon’tha da la-on’), sailed with three ships from Porto Rico, in March, 1513, and on the 27th of that month came in sight of the mainland.  As the day was Easter Sunday, which the Spaniards call Pascua (pas’-coo-ah) Florida, he called the country Florida.

[Illustration:  Map of 1515][1]

[Footnote 1:  Showing what was then supposed to be the shape and position of the newly discovered lands.]

Six years later (1519) Pineda (pe-na’-da) skirted the shores of the Gulf from Florida to Mexico.

%8.  Spaniards sail round the World.%—­In the same year (1519) that Pineda explored the Gulf coast, a Portuguese named Magellan (ma-jel’-an) led a Spanish fleet across the Atlantic.  He coasted along South America to Tierra del Fuego, entered the strait which now bears his name, passed well up the western coast, and turning westward sailed toward India.  He was then on the ocean which Balboa had discovered and named the South Sea.  But Magellan found it so much smoother than the Atlantic that he called it the Pacific.  Five ships and 254 men left Spain; but only one ship and fifteen men returned to Spain by way of India and Cape of Good Hope.  Magellan himself was among the dead.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Magellan was killed by the natives of one of the Philippine Islands.  The captain of the ship which made the voyage was greatly honored.  The King of Spain ennobled him, and on his coat of arms was a globe representing the earth, and on it the motto “You first sailed round me.”]

%9.  Importance of Magellan’s Voyage.%—­Of all the voyages ever made by man this was the greatest.[2] In the first place, it proved beyond dispute that the earth is round.  In the second place, it proved that South America is a great continent, and that there is no short southwest passage to India.

[Footnote 2:  By all means read the account of this voyage by Fiske, in his Discovery of America, Vol.  II., pp. 190-211.]

%10.  Search for a Northwest Passage; our North Atlantic Coast explored.%—­All eyes, therefore, turned northward; the quest for a northwest passage began, and in that quest the Atlantic coast of the United States was examined most thoroughly.


1.  Towards the close of the fifteenth century the Turks cut off the old route of trade between Asia and Europe.

2.  In attempting to find a new way to Asia, the Portuguese then began to explore the west coast of Africa.

3.  When at last they got well down the African coast it was thought that such a route was too long.

4.  Columbus (1492) then attempted to find a shorter way to Asia by sailing westward across the Atlantic Ocean, and landed on some islands which he supposed to be the East Indies.

5.  The explorations of men who followed Columbus proved that a new continent had been discovered and that it blocked the way to India.

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6.  The attempts to find a southwest passage or a northwest passage through our continent led to the exploration of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

7.  The new world was called America, after the explorer Americus.

8.  The voyage of Magellan proved that the earth is round.



%11.  The Spaniards explore the Southwest.%—­Now it must be noticed that up to 1513 no European had explored the interior of either North or South America.  They had merely touched the shores.  In 1513 the work of exploration began.  Balboa then crossed the Isthmus of Panama.  In 1519 Cortes (cor’-tez) landed on the coast of Mexico with a body of men, and marched boldly into the heart of the country to the city where lived the great Indian chief or king, Montezuma.  Cortes took the city and made himself master of Mexico.  This was most important; for the conquest of Mexico turned the attention of the Spaniards from our country for many years, and finally led to the exploration of the Southwest.  But the first explorers of what is now the United States came from Cuba in 1528.

[Illustration:  Map of 1530, Sloane MS.[1]]

[Footnote 1:  Notice that the two continents begin to take shape, and that as the result of Magellan’s voyage is not generally known, North America is placed very near to Java.]

In that year Narvaez (nar-vah-eth), excited by Pineda’s accounts of the Mississippi Indians and their golden ornaments, set forth with 400 men to conquer the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  At Apalachee Bay he landed, and made a raid inland.  On returning to the shore, he missed his ships, and after traveling westward on foot for a month, built five rude vessels, and once more put to sea.  For six weeks the little fleet hugged the shore, till it came to the mouth of the Mississippi, where two of the boats were upset and Narvaez was drowned.  The rest reached the coast of Texas in safety.  But famine and the tomahawk soon reduced the number of the survivors to four.  These were captured by bands of wandering Indians, were carried over eastern Texas and western Louisiana, till, after many strange adventures and vicissitudes, they met beyond the Sabine River.[1] Protected by the fame they had won for sorcery, and led by one Cabeza de Vaca, they now wandered westward to the Rio Grande[2] (ree’-o grahn’-da) and on by Chihuahua (chee-wah’-wah) and Sonora to the Gulf of California, and by this to Culiacan, a town near the west coast of Mexico, which they reached in 1536.  They had crossed the continent.

[Footnote 1:  Now the western boundary of Louisiana.]

[Footnote 2:  Rio Grande del Norte—–­Great River of the North.]

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%12.  “The Seven Cities of Cibola."%—­The story these men told of the strange country through which they had passed, aroused a strong desire in the Spaniards to explore it, for somewhere in that direction they believed were the Seven Cities.  According to an ancient legend, when the Arabs invaded the Spanish peninsula, a bishop of Lisbon with many followers fled to a group of islands in the Sea of Darkness, and on them founded seven cities.  As one of the Indian tribes had preserved a story of Seven Caves in which their ancestors had once lived, the credulous and romantic Spaniards easily confounded the two legends.  Firmly believing that the seven cities must exist in the north country traversed by Vaca, Mendoza, the Spanish governor of Mexico, selected Fray Marcos, a monk of great ability, and sent him forth with a few followers to search for them.  Directed by the Indians through whose villages he passed, he came at last in sight of the seven Zuni (zoo’-nyee) pueblos (pweb’-loz) of New Mexico, all of which were inhabited in his time.  But he came no nearer than just within sight of them.  For one of the party, who went on in advance, having been killed by the Zuni, Fray Marcos hurried back to Culiacan.  Understanding the name of the city he had seen to be Cibola (see’-bo-la), he called the pueblos the “Seven Cities of Cibola,” and against them the next year (1540) Coronado marched with 1100 men.  Finding the pueblos were not the rich cities for which he sought, Coronado pushed on eastward, and for two years wandered to and fro over the plains and mountains of the West, crossing the state of Kansas twice.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Do not fail to read a delightful little book called The Spanish Pioneers, by Charles F. Lummis.  In it the story of these great journeys is told on pp. 77-88, 101-143.]

[Illustration:  The kind of cities found by Marcos and Coronado in the Rio Grande valley.]

[Illustration:  CORONADO’S EXPEDITION 1540]

%13.  The Spaniards on the Mississippi.%—­In 1537 De Soto was appointed governor of Cuba, with instructions to conquer and hold all the country discovered by Narvaez.  On this mission he set out in May, 1539, and landed at Tampa Bay, on the west coast of our state of Florida.  He wandered over the swamps and marshes, the moss-grown jungles, and the forests of the Gulf states, and spent the winter of 1541 near the Yazoo River.  Crossing the Mississippi in the spring of 1542 at the Chickasaw Bluffs, he wandered about eastern Arkansas, till he died of fever, and was buried in the Mississippi.  His followers then built rude boats, floated down the river to the Gulf, steered along the coast of Texas, and in September, 1543, reached Tampico, in Mexico.

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More than half a century had now gone by since the first voyage of Columbus.  Yet not a settlement, great or small, had been established by Spain within our boundary.  Between 1546 and 1561 missionaries twice attempted to found missions and convert the Indians in Florida, and twice were driven away.  In 1582 others entered the valleys of the Gila and the Rio Grande, took possession of the pueblos, established missions, preached the Gospel to the Indians, and brought them under the dominion of Spain.  But when Santa Fe (sahn’-tah fa’) was founded, in 1582, the only colony of Spain in the United States, besides the missions in Arizona and New Mexico, was St. Augustine in Florida.

[Illustration:  A Spanish mission]

%14.  St. Augustine.%—­St. Augustine was founded by the Spaniards in order to keep out the French, who made two attempts to occupy the south Atlantic coast.  The first was that of John Ribault (ree-bo’).  He led a colony of Frenchmen, in 1562, to what is now South Carolina, built a small fort on a spot which he called Port Royal, and left it in charge of thirty men while he went back to France for more colonists.  The men were a shiftless set, depended on the Indians till the Indians would feed them no longer, and when famine set in, they mutinied, slew their commander, built a crazy ship and went to sea, where an English vessel found them in a starving condition, and took them to London.

In 1564 a second party, under Laudonniere (lo-do-ne-ar’), landed at the St. Johns River in Florida, and built a fort called Fort Caroline in honor of Charles IX. of France.  But the King of Spain, hearing that the French were trespassing, sent an expedition under Menendez (ma-nen’-deth), who founded St. Augustine in 1565.  There Ribault, who had returned and joined Laudonniere, attempted to attack the Spaniards.  But a hurricane scattered his ships, and while it was still raging, Menendez fell suddenly on Fort Caroline and massacred men, women, and children.  A few days later, falling in with Ribault and his men, who had been driven ashore south of St. Augustine, Menendez massacred 150 more.[1] For this foul deed a Frenchman named Gourgues (goorg) exacted a fearful penalty.  With three small ships and 200 men, he sailed to the St. Johns River, took and destroyed the fort which the Spaniards had built on the site of Fort Caroline, and put to death every human being within it.

[Footnote 1:  The story of the French in Florida is finely told in Parkman’s Pioneers of France in the New World; also J. Sparks’s Life of Ribault; Baird’s Huguenot Emigration.]

[Illustration:  Gateway at St. Augustine[2]]

[Footnote 2:  Remaining from the Spanish occupation of Florida.]


1.  From 1492 to 1513 the Europeans who came to America explored the coasts of North and South America, but did not go inland.

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2.  In 1513 exploration of the interior of the two continents began.  Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama, 1513, and Cortes conquered Mexico, 1519-21.

3.  In 1528 Narvaez made the first serious attempt to enter the Mississippi valley.  He died, and some of his followers, under Cabeza de Vaca, crossed the continent.

4.  When the Spanish governor of Mexico heard their story, he sent Fray Marcos to find the “Seven Cities of Cibola”; and began the exploration of the southwestern part of the United States.

5.  In 1539-1541 De Soto and his band explored the southeastern part of the United States from Florida to the Mississippi River.

6.  By 1582 two Spanish settlements had been made in the United States —­St. Augustine, 1565, and Santa Fe, 1582.




1492.  Columbus.  Islands off the coast.
1493.  Columbus.  Islands off the coast.
1497.  John Cabot.  North America.  Labrador.
1498.  John and Sebastian Cabot.  Labrador to Cape Cod. 
Pinzon and Solis.  Florida to Chesapeake Bay.
1500.  Cabral.  Discovers Brazil.
1501.  Vespucius.  Explores Brazilian coast.
1500-1502.  Cortereals.  Explore coast North America.
1513.  Ponce de Leon.  Discovers and names Florida.


1498.  Pinzon and Solis.  Explore Gulf of Mexico and
coast of Florida.
1519.  Pineda.  Sails from Florida to Mexico.
1528.  Narvaez.  Florida to Texas.
1543.  Followers of De Soto sail from Mississippi River
to Mexico.


1519-21.  Cortes.  Conquers Mexico.
1534-36.  De Vaca.  From the Sabine River to the Gulf
of California.
1539.  Fray Marcos.  Search for the Seven Cities.  Wanders
over New Mexico.
1540-42.  Coronado, Gila River, Rio Grande, Colorado
1539-41.  De Soto.  Wanders over Florida, Georgia, and
Alabama, and reaches the Mississippi River.
1582-1600.  Spaniards in the valleys of the Gila and Rio


1513.  Balboa.  Discovers the Pacific Ocean.
1520.  Magellan.  Sails around South America into the
1578-1580.  Drake.  Sails around South America and
up the Pacific coast to Oregon. (See p. 26.)



%15.  The English Claim to the Seaboard.%—­After the Spaniards had thus explored the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and what is now Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, the English attempted to take possession of the Atlantic coast.  The voyages of John and Sebastian Cabot in 1497 and 1498 were not followed up in the same way that Spain followed up those of Columbus, and for nearly eighty years the flag of England was not displayed in any of our waters.[1] At last, in

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1576, Sir Martin Frobisher set out to find a northwest passage to Asia.  Of course he failed; but in that and two later voyages he cruised about the shores of our continent and gave his name to Frobisher’s Bay.[2] Next came Sir Francis Drake, the greatest seaman of his age.  He left England in 1577, crossed the Atlantic, sailed down the South American coast, passed through the Strait of Magellan, and turning northward coasted along South America, Mexico, and California, in search of a northeast passage to the Atlantic.  When he had gone as far north as Oregon the weather grew so cold that his men began to murmur, and putting his ship about, he sailed southward along our Pacific coast in search of a harbor, which in June, 1579, he found near the present city of San Francisco.  There he landed, and putting up a post nailed to it a brass plate on which was the name of Queen Elizabeth, and took possession of the country.[3] Despairing of finding a short passage to England, Drake finally crossed the Pacific and reached home by way of the Cape of Good Hope.  He had sailed around the globe.[4]

[Footnote 1:  For Cabot’s voyages read Fiske’s Discovery of America, Vol.  II., pp. 2-15.]

[Footnote 2:  See map of 1515.]

[Footnote 3:  The white cliffs reminded Drake strongly of the cliffs of Dover, and as one of the old names of England was Albion (the country of the white cliffs), he called the land New Albion.]

[Footnote 4:  For Drake read E.T.  Payne’s Voyages of Elizabethan Seamen.]

%16.  Gilbert and Ralegh attempt to found a Colony.%—­While Drake was making his voyage, another gallant seaman, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, was given (by Queen Elizabeth) any new land he might discover in America.  His first attempt (1579) was a failure, and while on his way home from a landing on Newfoundland (1583), his ship, with all on board, went down in a storm at sea.  The next year (1584) his half-brother, Sir Walter Ralegh, one of the most accomplished men of his day and a great favorite with Queen Elizabeth, obtained permission from the Queen to make a settlement on any part of the coast of America not already occupied by a Christian power; and he at once sent out an expedition.  The explorers landed on Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina, and came home with such a glowing description of the “good land” they had found that the Virgin Queen called it “Virginia,” in honor of herself, and Ralegh determined to colonize it.[1]

[Footnote 1:  For Ralegh read E. Gosse’s Raleigh (in English Worthies Series); Louise Creighton’s Sir W. Ralegh (Historical Biographies Series).]

%17.  Roanoke Colony; the Potato and Tobacco.%—­In 1585, accordingly, 108 emigrants under Ralph Lane left England and began to build a town on Roanoke Island.  They were ill suited for this kind of pioneer life, and were soon in such distress that, had not Sir Francis Drake in one of his voyages happened to touch at Roanoke, they would have starved to death.  Drake, seeing their helplessness, carried them home to England.  Yet their life on the island was not without results, for they took back with them the potato, and some dried tobacco leaves which the Indians had taught them to smoke.

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Ralegh, of course, was greatly disappointed to see his colonists again in England.  But he was not discouraged, and in 1587 sent forth a second band.  The first had consisted entirely of men.  The second band was composed of both men and women with their families, for it seemed likely that if the men took their wives and children along they would be more likely to remain than if they went alone.  John White was the leader, and with a charter and instructions to build the city of Ralegh somewhere on the shores of Chesapeake Bay he set off with his colonists and landed on Roanoke Island.  Here a little granddaughter was born (August 18, 1587), and named Virginia.  She was the child of Eleanor Dare, and was the first child born of English parents in America.

[Illustration:  Roanoke Island and vicinity]

Governor White soon found it necessary to go back to England for supplies, and, in consequence of the Spanish war, three years slipped by before he was able to return to the colony.  He was then too late.  Every soul had perished, and to this day nobody knows how or where.  Ralegh could do no more, and in 1589 made over all his rights to a joint-stock company of merchants.  This company did nothing, and the sixteenth century came to an end with no English colony in America.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Doyle’s English Colonies in America, Virginia, pp. 56-74; Bancroft’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 60-79; Hildreth’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 80-87.]

%18.  Gosnold in New England.%—­With the new century came better fortune.  Ralegh’s noble efforts to plant a colony aroused Englishmen to the possibility of founding a great empire in the New World, and especially one named Bartholomew Gosnold.

Instead of following the old route to America by way of the Canary Islands, the West Indies, and Florida, he sailed due west across the Atlantic,[2] and brought up on the shore of a cape which he named Cape Cod.[3] Following the shore southward, he passed through Nantucket Sound and Vineyard Sound, till he came to Cuttyhunk Island, at the entrance of Buzzards Bay.  On this he landed, and built a house for the use of colonists he intended to leave there.  But when he had filled his ship with sassafras roots and cedar logs, nobody would remain, and the whole company went back to England.[4]

[Footnote 2:  By thus shortening the journey 3000 miles, he practically brought America 3000 miles nearer to Europe.]

[Footnote 3:  Because the waters thereabout abounded in codfish.  For a comparison of Gosnold’s route with those of the other early explorers see the map on p. 15.]

[Footnote 4:  Bancroft’s United States, Vol.  I., pp. 70-83.  Hildreth’s United States, Vol.  I., p. 90.]

%19.  The Two Virginia Companies.%—­As a result of this voyage, Gosnold was more eager than ever to plant a colony in Virginia, and this enthusiasm he communicated so fully to others that, in 1606, King James I. created two companies to settle in Virginia, which was then the name for all the territory from what is now Maine to Florida.

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1.  Each company was to own a block of land 100 miles square; that is, 100 miles along the coast,—­50 miles each way from its first settlement,—­and 100 miles into the interior.

2.  The First Company, a band of London merchants, might establish its first settlement anywhere between 34 deg. and 41 deg. north latitude.

3.  The Second Company, a band of Plymouth merchants, might establish its first settlement anywhere between 38 deg. and 45 deg..

4.  These settlements were to be on the seacoast.

5.  In order to prevent the blocks from overlapping, it was provided that the company which was last to settle should locate at least 100 miles from the other company’s settlement.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Over the affairs of each company presided a council appointed by the King, with power to choose its own president, fill vacancies among its own members, and elect a council of thirteen to reside on the company’s lands in America.  Each company might coin money, raise a revenue by taxing foreign vessels trading at its ports, punish crime, and make laws which, if bad, could be set aside by the King.  All property was to be owned in common, and all the products of the soil deposited in a public magazine from which the needs of the settlers were to be supplied.  The surplus was to be sold for the good of the company.  The charter is given in full in Poore’s Charters and Constitutions, pp. 1888-1893.]

%20.  The Jamestown Colony.%—­Thus empowered, the two companies made all haste to gather funds, collect stores and settlers, and fit out ships.  The London Company was the first to get ready, and on the 19th of December, 1606, 143 colonists set sail in three ships for America with their charter, and a list of the council sealed up in a strong box.  The Plymouth Company soon followed, and before the year 1607 was far advanced, two settlements were planted in our country:  the one at Jamestown, in Virginia, the other near the mouth of the Kennebec, in Maine.  The latter, however, was abandoned the following year (see Chapter IV).

The three ships which carried the Virginia colony reached the coast in the spring of 1607, and entering Chesapeake Bay sailed up a river which the colonists called the James, in honor of the King.  When about thirty miles from its mouth, a landing was made on a little peninsula, where a settlement was begun and named Jamestown.[1] It was the month of May, and as the weather was warm, the colonists did not build houses, but, inside of some rude fortifications, put up shelters of sails and branches to serve till huts could be built.  But their food gave out, the Indians were hostile, and before September half of the party had died of fever.  Had it not been for the energy and courage of John Smith, every one of them would have perished.  He practically assumed command, set the men to building huts, persuaded the Indians to give them food, explored the bays and rivers of Virginia, and for two dreary years held the colony together.  When we consider the worthless men he had to deal with, and the hardships and difficulties that beset him, his work is wonderful.  The history which he wrote, however, is not to be trusted.[2]

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[Footnote 1:  Nothing now remains of Jamestown but the ruined tower of the church shown in the picture.  Much of the land on which the town stood has been washed away by the river, so that its site is now an island.]

[Footnote 2:  Read the Life and Writings of Captain John Smith, by Charles Dudley Warner; also John Fiske in Atlantic Monthly, December, 1895; Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation, pp. 31-38.  Smith’s True Relation is printed in American History Leaflets, No. 27, and Library of American Literature Vol.  I.]

[Illustration:  All that is left of Jamestown]

Bad as matters were, they became worse when a little fleet arrived with many new settlers, making the whole number about 500.  The newcomers were a worthless set picked up in the streets of London or taken from the jails, and utterly unfit to become the founders of a state in the wilderness of the New World.  Out of such material Smith in time might have made something, but he was forced by a wound to return to England, and the colony went rapidly to ruin.  Sickness and famine did their work so quickly that after six months there were but sixty of the 500 men alive.  Then two small ships, under Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, arrived at Jamestown with more settlers; but all decided to flee, and had actually sailed a few miles down the James, when, June 8, 1610, they met Lord Delaware with three ships full of men and supplies coming up the river.  Delaware came out as governor under a new charter granted in 1609.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read “The Jamestown Experiments,” in Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation, pp. 25-72.]

[Illustration:  Vicinity of Jamestown]

%21.  The Virginia Charter of 1609% made a great change in the boundary of the company’s property.  By the 1606 charter the colony was limited to 100 miles along the seaboard and 100 miles west from the coast.  In 1609 the company was given an immense domain reaching 400 miles along the coast,—­200 miles each way from Old Point Comfort,—­and extending “up into the land throughout from sea to sea, west and northwest.”  This description is very important, for it was afterwards claimed by Virginia to mean a grant of land of the shape shown on the map.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Hinsdale’s Old Northwest, pp. 74, 75.]


%22.  The First Representative Assembly in America.%—­Under the new charter and new governors Virginia began to thrive.  More work and less grumbling were done, and a few wise reforms were introduced.  One governor, however, Argall, ruled the colony so badly that the people turned against him and sent such reports to England that immigration almost ceased.  The company, in consequence, removed Argall, and gave Virginia a better form of government.  In future, the governor’s power was to be limited, and the people were to have a share in the making of laws and the management of

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affairs.  As the colonists, now numbering 4000 men, were living in eleven settlements, or “boroughs,” it was ordered that each borough should elect two men to sit in a legislature to be called the House of Burgesses.  This house, the first representative assembly ever held by white men in America, met on July 30, 1619, in the church at Jamestown, and there began “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

%23.  The Establishment of Slavery in America.%—­It is interesting to note that at the very time the men of Virginia thus planted free representative government in America, another institution was planted beside it, which, in the course of two hundred and fifty years, almost destroyed free government.  The Burgesses met in July, and a few weeks later, on an August day, a Dutch ship entered the James and before it sailed away sold twenty negroes into slavery.  The slaves increased in numbers (there were 2000 in Virginia in 1671), and slavery spread to the other colonies as they were started, till, in time, it existed in every one of them.

%24.  Virginia loses her Charter, 1624.%—­The establishment of popular government in Virginia was looked on by King James as a direct affront, and was one of many weighty reasons why he decided to destroy the company.  To do this, he accused it of mismanagement, brought a suit against it, and in 1624 his judges declared the charter annulled, and Virginia became a royal colony.[1]

[Footnote 1:  On the Virginia colony in general read Doyle’s volume on Virginia, pp. 104-184; Lodge’s English Colonies in America, pp. 1-12; of course, Bancroft and Hildreth.  For particular epochs or events consult Channing and Hart’s Guide to American History, pp. 248-253.]

%25.  Maryland begun.%—­A year later James died, and Charles I. came to the throne.  As Virginia was now a royal colony, the land belonged to the King; and as he was at liberty to do what he pleased with it, he cut off a piece and gave it to Lord Baltimore.  George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, was a Roman Catholic nobleman who for years past had been interested in the colonization of America, and had tried to plant a colony in Newfoundland.  The severity of the climate caused failure, and in 1629 he turned his attention to Virginia and visited Jamestown.  But religious feeling ran as high there as it did anywhere.  The colonists were intolerantly Protestant, and Baltimore was ordered back to England.

Undeterred by such treatment, Baltimore was more determined than ever to plant a colony, and in 1632 obtained his grant of a piece of Virginia.  The tract lay between the Potomac River and the fortieth degree of north latitude, and extended from the Atlantic Ocean to a north and south line through the source of the Potomac.[1] It was called Maryland in honor of the Queen, Henrietta Maria.

[Footnote 1:  It thus included what is now Delaware, and pieces of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.]

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The area of the colony was not large; but the authority of Lord Baltimore over it was almost boundless.  He was to bring to the King each year, in token of homage, two Indian arrowheads, and pay as rent one fifth of all the gold and silver mined.  This done, the “lord proprietary,” as he was called, was to all intents and purposes a king.  He might coin money, make war and peace, grant titles of nobility, establish courts, appoint judges, and pardon criminals; but he was not permitted to tax his people without their consent.  He must summon the freemen to assist him in making the laws; but when made, they need not be sent to the King for approval, but went into force as soon as the lord proprietary signed them.  Of course they must not be contrary to the laws of England.

%26.  Treatment of Catholics.%—­The deed for Maryland had not been issued when Lord Baltimore died.  It was therefore made out in the name of his son, Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, who, like the first, was a Roman Catholic, and was influenced in his attempts at colonization by a desire to found a refuge for people of his own faith.  At that time in England no Roman Catholic was permitted to educate his children in a foreign land, or to employ a schoolmaster of his religious belief; or keep a weapon; or have Catholic books in his house; or sit in Parliament; or when he died be buried in a parish churchyard.  If he did not attend the parish church, he was fined L20 a month.  But it is needless to mention the ways in which he suffered for his religion.  It is enough to know that the persecution was bitter, and that the purpose of Lord Baltimore was to make Maryland a Roman Catholic colony.  Yet he set a noble example to other founders of colonies by freely granting to all sects full freedom of conscience.  As long as the Catholics remained in control, toleration worked well.  But in the year 1691 Lord Baltimore was deprived of his colony because he had supported King James II., and in 1692 sharp laws were made in Maryland against Catholics by the Protestants.  In 1716 the colony was restored to the proprietor.

The first settlement was made in 1634 at St. Marys.  Annapolis was founded about 1683; and Baltimore in 1729.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Scharf’s History of Maryland; Doyle’s Virginia; Lodge’s English Colonies; Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation,.]

%27.  The Dutch on the Hudson.%—­Meantime great things had been happening to the northward.  In 1609 Henry Hudson, an English sailor in the service of Holland, was sent to find a northwest passage to India.  He reached our coast not far from Portland, Maine, and abandoning all idea of finding a passage, he sailed alongshore to the southward as far as Cape Cod.  Here he put to sea, and when he again sighted land was off Delaware Bay.  In attempting to sail up it, his ship, the Half-Moon, grounded, and

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Hudson turned about.  Running along the Jersey coast, he entered New York Bay, and sailed up the river which the Dutch called the North River, but which we know as the Hudson.  Hudson’s voyage gave the Dutch a claim to all the country drained by the Delaware or South River and the Hudson River, and some Dutch traders at once sent out vessels, and were soon trading actively with the Indians.  By 1614 a rude fort had been erected near the site of Albany, and some trading huts had been put up on Manhattan Island.  These ventures proved so profitable that numbers of merchants began to engage in the trade, whereupon those already in it, in order to shut out others, organized a company, and in 1615 obtained a trading charter for three years from the States General of Holland, and carried on their operations from Albany to the Delaware River.

[Illustration:  View of New Amsterdam in 1656]

%28.  Dutch West India Company.%—­On the expiration of the charter (in 1618) it was not renewed, but a new corporation, the Dutch West India Company (1621), was created with almost absolute political and commercial power over all the Dutch domains in North America, which were called New Netherland.  In 1623 the company began to send out settlers.  Some went to Albany, or, as they called it, Fort Orange.  Others were sent to the South or Delaware River, where a trading post, Fort Nassau, was built on the site of Gloucester in New Jersey.  A few went to the Connecticut River; some settled on Long Island; and others on Manhattan Island, where they founded New Amsterdam, now called New York city.

All these little settlements were merely fur-trading posts.  Nobody was engaged as yet in farming.  To encourage this, the company (in 1629) took another step, and offered a great tract of land, on any navigable river or bay, to anybody who would establish a colony of fifty persons above the age of fifteen.  If on a river, the domain was to be sixteen miles along one bank or eight miles along each bank, and run back into the country as far “as the situation of the occupiers will admit.”  The proprietor of the land was to be called a “patroon,” [1] and was absolute ruler of whatever colonies he might plant, for he was at once owner, ruler, and judge.  It may well be supposed that such a tempting offer did not go a-begging, and a number of patroons were soon settled along the Hudson and on the banks of the Delaware (1631), where they founded a town near Lewes.  The settlements on the Delaware River were short-lived.  The settlers quarreled with the Indians, who in revenge massacred them and drove off the garrison at Fort Nassau; whereupon the patroons sold their rights to the Dutch West India Company.[2]

[Footnote 1:  The patroon bound himself to (1) transport the fifty settlers to New Netherland at his own expense; (2) provide each of them with a farm stocked with horses, cattle, and farming implements, and charge a low rent; (3) employ a schoolmaster and a minister of the Gospel.  In return for this the emigrant bound himself (1) to stay and cultivate the land of the patroon for ten years; (2) to bring his grain to the patroon’s mill and pay for grinding; (3) to use no cloth not made in Holland; (4) to sell no grain or produce till the patroon had been given a chance to buy it.]

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[Footnote 2:  Lodge’s English Colonies, pp. 295-311; Winsor’s Narrative and Critical History, Vol.  III., pp. 385-411; Bancroft’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 501-508.]

%29.  The Struggle for the Delaware; the Swedes on the Delaware.%—­And now began a bitter contest for the ownership of the country bordering the Delaware.  A few leading officials of the Dutch Company, disgusted at the way its affairs were managed, formed a new company under the lead of William Usselinx.  As they could not get a charter from Holland, for she would not create a rival to the Dutch Company, they sought and obtained one from Sweden as the South Company, and (1638) sent out a colony to settle on the Delaware River.[1] The spot chosen was on the site of Wilmington.  The country was named New Sweden, though it belonged to Maryland.  The Dutch West India Company protested and rebuilt Fort Nassau.  The Swedes, in retaliation, went farther up the river and fortified an island near the mouth of the Schuylkill.  Had they stopped here, all would have gone well.  But, made bold by the inaction of the Dutch, they began to annoy the New Netherlanders, till (1655) Peter Stuyvesant, the governor of New Netherland, unable to stand it any longer, came over from New Amsterdam with a few hundred men, overawed the Swedes, and annexed their territory west of the Delaware.  New Sweden then became part of New Netherland.[2]

[Footnote 1:  Sweden had no right to make such a settlement.  She had no claim to any territory in North America.]

[Footnote 2:  Lodge’s English Colonies, pp. 205-210; Bancroft’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 509, 510; Hildreth’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 413-442.]


1.  After the discovery of the North American coast by the Cabots, England made no attempt to settle it for nearly eighty years; and even then the colonies planted by Gilbert and Ralegh were failures.

2.  Successful settlement by the English began under the London Company in 1607.

3.  In 1609 the London Company obtained a grant of land from sea to sea, and extending 400 miles along the Atlantic; but in 1624 its charter was annulled, and in 1632 the King carved the proprietary colony of Maryland out of Virginia.

4.  Meantime Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch, discovered the Delaware and Hudson rivers (1609), and the Dutch, ignoring the claims of England, planted colonies on these rivers and called the country New Netherland.

5.  Then a Swedish company began to colonize the Delaware Bay and River coast of Virginia, which they called New Sweden.

6.  Conflicts between the Dutch and the Swedes followed, and in 1655 New Sweden was made a part of New Netherland.



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%30.  The Beginnings of New England.%—­When the Dutch put up their trading posts where New York and Albany now stand, all the country east of New York, all of what is now New England, was a wilderness.  As early as 1607 an attempt was made to settle it and a colony was planted on the coast of Maine by two members of the Plymouth Company, Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice of England, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, governor of Plymouth.  But the colonists were half starved and frozen, and in the spring of 1608 gladly went home to England.

Six years later John Smith, the hero of Virginia, explored and mapped the coast from the Penobscot to Cape Cod.  He called the country New England; one of the rivers, the Charles; and two of the promontories, Cape Elizabeth and Cape Ann.  Three times he attempted to lead out a colony; but that work was reserved for other men.

%31.  The Separatists.%—­The reign of Queen Elizabeth had witnessed in England the rise of a religious sect which insisted that certain changes should be made in the government and ceremonials of the Established or State Church of England.  This they called purifying the Church, and in consequence they were themselves called Puritans.[1] At first they did not intend to form a new sect; but in 1580 one of their ministers, named Robert Brown, urged them to separate from the Church of England, and soon gathered about him a great number of followers, who were called Separatists or Brownists.  They boldly asserted their right to worship as they pleased, and put their doctrines into practice.  So hot a persecution followed, that in 1608 a party, led by William Brewster and John Robinson, fled from Scrooby, a little village in northern England, to Amsterdam, in Holland; but soon went on to Leyden, where they dwelt eleven years.[2]

[Footnote 1:  Read Fiske’s Beginnings of New England, pp. 50-71.  The teacher may read “Rise and Development of Puritanism” in Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation, pp. 98-140.]

[Footnote 2:  Read Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation, pp. 141-157; Fiske’s Beginnings of New England, pp. 71-80; Doyle’s Puritan Colonies, Vol.  I., pp. 47-81; Palfrey’s New England, Vol.  I., pp. 176-232.]

%32.  Why the Separatists went to New England%.—­They had come to Holland as an organized community, practicing English manners and customs.  For a temporary residence this would do.  But if they and their children’s children after them were to remain and prosper, they must break up their organization, forget their native land, their native speech, their national traditions, and to all intents and purposes become Dutch.  This they could not bring themselves to do, and by 1617 they had fully determined to remove to some land where they might still continue to be Englishmen, and where they might lay the foundations of a Christian state.  But one such land could then be found, and that was America.  To America, therefore, they turned their attention, and after innumerable delays formed a company and obtained leave from the London Company to settle on the coast of what is now New Jersey.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation, pp. 159-176.]

This done, Brewster and Bradford and Miles Standish, with a little band, sent out as an advance guard, set sail from the Dutch port of Delft Haven in July, 1620, in the ship Speedwell.  The first run was to Southampton, England, where some friends from London joined them in the Mayflower, and whence, August 5, they sailed for America.  But the Speedwell proved so unseaworthy that the two ships put back to Plymouth, where twenty people gave up the voyage.  September 6, 1620, such as remained steadfast, just 102 in number, reembarked on the Mayflower and began the most memorable of voyages.  The weather was so foul, and the wind and sea so boisterous, that nine weeks passed before they beheld the sandy shores of Cape Cod.  Having no right to settle there, as the cape lay far to the northward of the lands owned by the London Company, they turned their ship southward and attempted to go on.  But head winds drove them back and forced them to seek shelter in Provincetown harbor, at the end of Cape Cod.

[Illustration:  The Mayflower[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From the model in the National Museum, Washington.]

[Illustration:  THE MASSACHUSETTS COAST (map)]

%33.  The Mayflower Compact%.—­Since it was then the 11th of November, the Pilgrims, as they are now called, decided to get permission from the Plymouth Company to remain permanently.  But certain members of the party, when they heard this, became unruly, and declared that as they were not to land in Virginia, they were no longer bound by the contracts they had made in England regarding their emigration to Virginia.  To put an end to this, a meeting was held, November 21, 1620, in the cabin of the Mayflower, and a compact was drawn up and signed.[1] It declared

1.  That they were loyal subjects of the King.

2.  That they had undertaken to found a colony in the northern parts of Virginia, and now bound themselves to form a “civil body politic.”

3.  That they would frame such just and equal laws, from time to time, as might be for the general good.

4.  And to these laws they promised “all due submission and obedience.”

[Footnote 1:  The compact is in Poore’s Charters and Constitutions, p. 931, and in Preston’s Documents Illustrative of American History, pp. 29-31.  Read, by all means, Webster’s Plymouth Oration.]

[Illustration:  Plymouth Rock]

%34.  The Founding of Plymouth%.—­The selection of a site for their home was now necessary, and five weeks were passed in exploring the coast before Captain Standish with a boatload of men entered the harbor which John Smith had noted on his map and named Plymouth.  On the sandy shore of that harbor, close to the water’s edge, was a little granite bowlder, and on this, according to tradition, the Pilgrims

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stepped as they came ashore, December 21, 1620.  To this harbor the Mayflower was brought, and the work of founding Plymouth was begun.  The winter was a dreadful one, and before spring fifty-one of the colonists had died.[1] But the Pilgrims stood fast, and in 1621 obtained a grant of land[2] from the Council for New England, which had just succeeded the Plymouth Company, under a charter giving it control between latitudes 40 deg. and 48 deg., from sea to sea.[3] It was from the same Council that for fifteen years to come all other settlers in New England obtained their rights to the soil.

[Footnote 1:  In the trying times which followed, William Bradford was chosen governor and many times reelected.  He wrote the so-called “Log of the Mayflower,”—­really a manuscript History of the Plymouth Plantation from 1602 to 1647,—­a fragment of which is reproduced on the opposite page.]

[Footnote 2:  This grant had no boundary.  Each settler might have 100 acres.  Fifteen hundred acres were set aside for public buildings.]

[Footnote 3:  Fiske’s Beginnings of New England, pp. 80-87; Palfrey’s New England, Vol.  I, pp. 176-232; Thatcher’s History of the Town of Plymouth.]

[Illustration:  Fragment of History of the Plymouth Plantation.]

%35.  A Puritan Colony proposed.%—­Among those who obtained such rights was a company of Dorchester merchants who planted a town on Cape Ann.  The enterprise failed, and the colonists went off and settled at a place they called Naumkeag.  But there was one man in Dorchester who was not discouraged by failure.  He was John White, a Puritan rector.  What had been done by the Separatists in a small way might be done, it seemed to White, on a great scale by an association of wealthy and influential Puritans.  The matter was discussed by them in London, and in 1628 an association was formed, and a tract of land was bought from the Council for New England.

%36.  The “Sea to Sea” Grant%.—­Concerning the interior of our continent absolutely nothing was known.  Nobody supposed it was more than half as wide as it really is.  The grant to the association, therefore, stretched from three miles north of the Merrimac River to three miles south of the Charles River, along these rivers to their sources, and then westward across the continent from sea to sea.[1]

[Footnote 1:  You will notice that when this grant was made in 1628 the Dutch had discovered the Hudson, and had begun to settle Albany.  To this region (the Hudson and Mohawk valleys) the English had no just claim.]

As soon as the grant was obtained, John Endicott came out with a company of sixty persons, and took up his abode at Naumkeag, which, being an Indian and therefore a pagan name, he changed to Salem, the Hebrew word for “peace.”

%37.  The Massachusetts Charter, 1629%.—­The next step was to obtain the right of self-government, which was secured by a royal charter creating a corporation known as the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England.  Over the affairs of the company were to preside a governor, deputy governor, and a council of eighteen to be elected annually by the members of the company.[2]

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[Footnote 2:  The charter is printed in Poore’s Charters and Constitutions, pp. 932-942, and in Preston’s Documents, pp. 36-61.]

Six ships were now fitted out, and in them 406 men, women, and children, with 140 head of cattle, set sail for Massachusetts.  They reached Salem in safety and made it the largest colony in New England.

%38.  Why the Puritans came to New England.%—­It was in 1625 that Charles I. ascended the throne of England.  Under him the quarrel with the Puritans grew worse each year.  He violated his promises, he collected illegal taxes, he quartered troops on the people, he threw those into prison who would not contribute to his forced loans, or pressed them into the army or the navy.  His Archbishop Laud persecuted the Puritans with shameful cruelty.

Little wonder then that in 1629 twelve leading Puritans met in consultation and agreed to head a great migration to the New World, provided the charter and the government of the Massachusetts Bay Company were both removed to New England.  This was agreed to, and in April, 1630, John Winthrop sailed with nearly one thousand Puritans for Salem.  From Salem he moved to Charlestown, and later in the year (1630) to a little three-hilled peninsula, which the English called Tri-mountain or Tremont.  There a town was founded and called Boston.

The departure of Winthrop was the signal, and before the year 1630 ended, seventeen ships, bringing fifteen hundred Puritans, reached Massachusetts.  The newcomers settled Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Watertown, and Newtown (now Cambridge).  New England was planted.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Fiske’s Beginnings of New England, pp. 75-105.  Eggleston’s Beginners of a Nation, pp. 188-219.]

%39.  New Hampshire and Maine.%—­When it became apparent that the Plymouth colony was permanently settled, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, whose interest in New England had never lagged, together with John Mason obtained (1622) from the Council for New England a grant of Laconia, as they called the territory between the Merrimac and the Kennebec rivers, and from the Atlantic “to the great river of Canada.”  Seven years later (1629) they divided their property.  Mason, taking the territory between the Merrimac and Piscataqua rivers, called it New Hampshire because he was Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire in England.  Gorges took the region between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec, and called it Maine.  After the death of Mason (1635) his colony was neglected and from 1641 to 1679 was annexed to Massachusetts.  The King separated them in 1679, joined them again in 1688, and finally parted them in 1691, making New Hampshire a royal colony.

Gorges took better care of his part and (in 1639) was given a charter with the title of Lord Proprietor of the Province or County of Maine, which extended, as before, from the Piscataqua to the Kennebec, and backward 120 miles from the ocean.  But after his death the province fell into neglect, and the towns were gradually absorbed by Massachusetts, which, in 1677, bought the claims of the heir of Gorges for L1250 and governed Maine as lord proprietor under the Gorges charter.

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%40.  Church and State in Massachusetts.%—­Down to the moment of their arrival in America the Puritans had not been Separatists.  They were still members of the Church of England who desired to see her form of worship purified.  But the party under Endicott had no sooner reached Salem than they seceded, and the first Congregational Church in New England was founded.

Some in Salem were not prepared for so radical a step, and attempted to establish a church on the episcopal model; but Endicott promptly sent two of the leaders back to England.  Thus were established two facts:  1.  The separation or secession of the Colonial Church from that of England. 2.  That the episcopal form of worship would not be tolerated in the colony.

In 1631 another step was taken which united church and state, for it was then ordered that “no man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body politic, but such as are members of some of the churches within the limits of the same.”

This was intolerance of the grossest kind, and soon became the cause of troubles which led to the founding of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

%41.  The Planting of Rhode Island.%—­There came to Salem (from Plymouth), in 1633, a young minister named Roger Williams.  He dissented heartily from the intolerance of the people of Massachusetts, and, though a minister of the Salem church, insisted

1.  On the separation of church and state.

2.  On the toleration of all religious beliefs.

3.  On the repeal of all laws requiring attendance on religious worship.

To us, in this century, the justice of each of these principles is self-evident.  But in the seventeenth century there was no country in the world where it was safe to declare them.  For doing so in some parts of Europe, a man would most certainly have been burned at the stake.  For doing so in England, he would have been put in the pillory, or had his ears cut off, or been sent to jail.  That Williams’s teachings should seem rank heresy in New England was quite natural.  But, to make matters worse, he wrote a pamphlet in which he boldly stated

1.  That the soil belonged to the Indians.

2.  That the settlers could obtain a valid title only by purchase from the Indians.

3.  That accepting a deed for the land from a mere intruder like the King of England was a sin requiring public repentance.

In the opinion of the people of New England such doctrine could not fail to bring down on Massachusetts the wrath of the King.  When, therefore, a little later, Endicott cut the red cross of St. George out of the colors of the Salem militia, the people considered his act a defiance of royal authority, attributed it to the teachings of Williams, and proceeded to punish both.  Endicott was rebuked by the General Court (or legislature) and forbidden to hold office for a year.  Williams was ordered to go back to England.  But he fled to the woods, and made his

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way through the snow to the wigwam of the Indian chief, Massasoit, on Narragansett Bay, and there in the summer of 1636 he founded Providence.  About the same time another teacher of what was then thought heresy, Anne Hutchinson, was driven from Massachusetts, and with some of her followers went southward and founded Portsmouth and Newport, on the island of Rhode Island.  For a while each of these settlements was independent, but in 1643 Williams went to London and secured a patent from Parliament which united them under the name of “The Incorporation of Providence Plantations on the Narragansett Bay in New England.”

%42.  Connecticut begun.%—­In the same year that Roger Williams began his settlement at Providence, several hundred people from the towns near Boston went off and settled in the Connecticut valley.  For a long time past there had been growing up in Massachusetts a strong feeling that the law that none but church members should vote or hold office was oppressive.  This feeling became so strong that in 1635 some hardy pioneers from Dorchester pushed through the wilderness and settled at Windsor.  A party from Watertown went further and settled Wethersfield.  These were small movements.  But in 1636 the Newtown congregation, led by its pastor, Thomas Hooker, walked to the Connecticut valley and founded Hartford.  The congregations of the Dorchester and Watertown churches soon followed, while a party from Roxbury settled at Springfield.  During three years these four towns were part of Massachusetts.  But in 1639, Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield adopted a constitution and formed a little republic which in time was called Connecticut.  Their “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” was the first written constitution made in America.  Their republic was the first in the history of the world to be founded by a written constitution, and marks the beginning of democratic government in our country.

%43.  The New Haven Colony.%—­Just at the time these things were happening in the Connecticut valley, the beginnings of another little republic were made on the shores of Long Island Sound.  One day in the summer of 1637 there came to Boston a company of rich London merchants under the lead of an eloquent preacher named John Davenport.  The people of Boston would gladly have kept the newcomers at that town.  But the strangers desired to found a state of their own, and so, after spending some months in seeking for a spot with a good harbor, they left Boston in 1638 and founded New Haven.  In 1639 Milford and Guilford were laid out, and Stamford was started in 1640.  Three years later these four towns joined in a sort of federal union and took the name of the New Haven colony.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Fiske’s Beginnings of New England, pp. 134-137.]


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%44.  “The United Colonies of New England."%—­There were now five colonies in New England; namely, Plymouth, or the “Old Colony,” Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Haven.  Geographically, they were near each other.  But each was weak in numbers, and if left without the aid of its neighbors, might easily have fallen a prey to some enemy.  Of this the settlers were well aware, and in 1643 four of the colonies, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and New Haven[1] united for defense against the Indians and the Dutch, who claimed the Connecticut valley and so threatened the English colonies on the west.

[Footnote 1:  Rhode Island was not allowed to come in, for the feeling against the followers of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson was still very strong.]

The name of this league was “The United Colonies of New England,” and it was the first attempt in America at federal government.  All its affairs were managed by a board of eight commissioners,—­two from each colony,—­who must be church members.  They had no power to lay taxes or to meddle with the internal concerns of the colonies, but they had entire control over all dealings with Indians or with foreign powers.

%45.  The Year 1643.%—­The year 1643 is thus an important one in colonial history.  It was in that year that the New Haven colony was founded; that the league of The United Colonies of New England was formed; and that Roger Williams obtained the first charter of Rhode Island.

%46.  New Charters.%—­During the next twenty years no changes took place in the boundaries of the colonies.  This was the period of the Civil War in England, of the Commonwealth, of the rule of Cromwell and the Puritans; and affairs in New England were left to take care of themselves.  But in 1660 Charles II. was restored to the throne of England, and a new era opens in colonial history.  In 1661 the little colony of Connecticut promptly acknowledged the restoration of Charles II. and applied for a charter.  The application was more than granted; for to Connecticut (1662) was given not only a charter and an immense tract of land, but also the colony of New Haven.[1] The land grant was comprised in a strip that stretched across the continent from Rhode Island to the Pacific and was as wide as the present state.[2] In 1663 Rhode Island was given a new charter.

[Footnote 1:  In 1660, after the restoration of Charles II., Edward Whalley and William Goffe (the regicides, “king-killers,” as they were called), two of the judges who had condemned Charles I. to be beheaded, fled to New Haven and were protected by the people.  This act had much to do with the annexation of New Haven to Connecticut.]

[Footnote 2:  Read Fiske’s Beginnings of New England, pp. 192-196.  Many of the New Haven colonists were disgusted by the union of their colony with Connecticut, and in June, 1667, migrated to New Jersey, where they founded “New-Ark” or Newark.]

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In 1684 the King’s judges declared the Massachusetts charter void, and James II. was about to make New England one royal colony, when the English people drove him from the throne.  William and Mary in 1691 granted a new charter and united the Plymouth colony, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia, in one colony called Massachusetts Bay.  This charter was in force when the Revolution opened.


1.  The first colony established by the Plymouth Company (1607, on the coast of Maine) was a failure.

2.  Captain John Smith explored the New England coast and mapped it (1613), but did not succeed in planting any colonies.

3.  The permanent settlement of New England began with the arrival of a body of Separatists in the Mayflower (1620), who founded the colony of Plymouth.

4.  The Separatist migration from England was followed in a few years by a great exodus of Puritans, who planted towns along the coast to the north of Plymouth, and obtained a charter of government and a great strip of land, and founded the colony of Massachusetts Bay.

5.  Religious disputes drove Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson out of Massachusetts, and led to the founding of Rhode Island (1636).

6.  Other church wrangles led to an emigration from Massachusetts to the Connecticut valley, where a little confederacy of towns was created and called Connecticut.

7.  Some settlers from England went to Long Island Sound and there founded four towns which, in their turn, joined in a federal union called the New Haven Colony.

8.  In time, New Haven was joined to Connecticut, and Plymouth and Maine to Massachusetts; New Hampshire was made a royal colony; and the four New England colonies—­Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut—­were definitely established.

9.  The territory of Massachusetts and Connecticut stretched across the continent to the “South Sea,” or Pacific Ocean.



%47.  North and South Carolina.%—­You remember that away back in the sixteenth century the French under Jean Ribault and the English under Ralegh undertook to plant colonies on what is now the Carolina coast.  They failed, and the country remained a wilderness till 1653, when a band of emigrants from Virginia made the first permanent settlement on the banks of the Chowan and the Roanoke.  In 1663 some Englishmen from Barbados began to settle on the Cape Fear River, just at the time when Charles II. of England gave the region to eight English noblemen, who, out of compliment to the King, allowed the name of Carolina given it by Ribault to remain.  In 1665 the bounds were enlarged, and Carolina then extended from latitude 29 deg. 00’ to 36 deg. 30’, the present south boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

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[Illustration:  CAROLINA AS GRANTED BY King Charles II]

There was at first no intention of dividing the territory, although, after Charleston was founded (1670), North Carolina and South Carolina sometimes had separate governors.  But in 1729 the proprietors sold Carolina to the King, and it was then divided into two distinct and separate royal provinces.

%48.  New York.%—­An event of far greater importance than the chartering of Carolina was the seizure of New Netherland.  After the conquest of New Sweden, in 1655, the possessions and claims of the Dutch in our country extended from the Connecticut River to the Delaware River, and from the Mohawk to Delaware Bay.  Geographically, they cut the English colonies in two, and hampered communication between New England and the South.  To own this region was therefore of the utmost importance to the English; and to get it, King Charles II., in 1664, revived the old claim that the English had discovered the country before the Dutch, and he sent a little fleet and army, which appeared off New Amsterdam and demanded its surrender.  The demand was complied with; and in 1664 Dutch rule in our country ended, and England owned the seaboard from the Kennebec to the Savannah.

The King had already granted New Netherland to his brother the Duke of York, in honor of whom the town of New Amsterdam was now renamed New York.

%49.  New Jersey.%—­The Duke of York no sooner received his province than he gave so much of it as lay between the Delaware and the ocean to his friends Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, and called it New Jersey, in honor of Sir George Carteret, who had been governor of the island of Jersey in the English Channel.  The two proprietors divided it between them by the line shown on the map (p. 56).  In 1674 Berkeley sold West Jersey to a company of Quakers, who settled near Burlington.  A little later, 1676, William Penn and some other Quakers bought East Jersey.  There were then two colonies till 1702, when the proprietors surrendered their rights, and New Jersey became one royal province.

%50.  The Beginnings of Pennsylvania.%—­The part which Penn took in the settlement of New Jersey suggested to him the idea of beginning a colony which should be a refuge for the persecuted of all lands and of all religions.


Now it so happened that Penn was the son of a distinguished admiral to whom King Charles II. owed L16,000, and seeing no chance of its ever being paid, he proposed to the King, in 1680, that the debt be paid with a tract of land in America.  The King gladly agreed, and in 1681 Penn received a grant west of the Delaware.  Against Penn’s wish, the King called it Pennsylvania, or Penn’s Woodland.  It was given almost precisely the bounds of the present state.[1] In 1683 Penn made a famous treaty with the Indians, and laid out the city of Philadelphia.

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[Footnote 1:  There was a long dispute, however, with Lord Baltimore, over the south boundary line, which was not settled till 1763-67, when two surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, came over from England and located it as at present.  In later years, when all the Atlantic seaboard states north of Maryland and Delaware had abolished slavery, this “Mason and Dixon’s Line” became famous as the dividing line between the slave and the free Atlantic states.]

%51.  The Three Lower Counties:  Delaware.%—­If you look at the map of the British Colonies in 1764, you will see that Pennsylvania was the only English colony which did not have a seacoast.  This was a cause of some anxiety to Penn, who was afraid that the settlers in Delaware and New Jersey might try to prevent his colonists from going in and out of Delaware Bay.  To avoid this, he bought what is now Delaware from the Duke of York.

The three lower counties on the Delaware, as the tract was called, had no boundary.  Lawfully it belonged to Lord Baltimore.  But neither the Dutch patroons who settled on the Delaware in 1631, nor the Swedes who came later, nor the Dutch who annexed New Sweden to New Netherland, nor the English who conquered the Dutch, paid any regard to Baltimore’s rights.  At last, after the purchase of Delaware, the heirs of Baltimore and of Penn (1732) agreed on what is the present boundary line.  After 1703 the people of the three lower counties were allowed to have an assembly or legislature of their own; but they had the same governor as Pennsylvania and were a part of that colony till the Revolution.[1]

[Footnote 1:  For Pennsylvania read Janney’s Life of William Penn or Dixon’s History of William Penn; Proud’s or Gordon’s Pennsylvania; Lodge’s Colonies, pp. 213-226.]

%52.  Georgia.%—­The return of the Carolinas to the King in 1729 was very soon followed by the establishment of the last colony ever planted by England in the United States.  The founder was James Oglethorpe, an English soldier and member of Parliament.  Filled with pity for the poor debtors with whom the English jails were then crowded, he formed a plan to pay the debts of the most deserving, send them to America, and give them what hundreds of thousands of men have since found in our country,—­a chance to begin life anew.


Great numbers of people became interested in his plan, and finally twenty-two persons under Oglethorpe’s lead formed an association and secured a charter from King George II. for a colony, which they called Georgia.  The territory granted lay between the Savannah and the Altamaha rivers, and extended from their mouths to their sources and then across the country to the Pacific Ocean.  Oglethorpe had selected this tract in order that his colonists might serve the patriotic purpose of protecting Charleston from the Spanish attacks to which it was then exposed.

Money for the colony was easily raised,[1] and in November, 1732, Oglethorpe, with 130 persons, set out for Charleston, and after a short stay there passed southward and founded the city of Savannah (1733).  It must not be supposed that all the colonists were poor debtors.  In time, Italians from Piedmont, Moravians and Lutherans from Germany, and Scotchmen from the Highlands, all made settlements in Georgia.

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[Footnote 1:  The House of Commons gave L10,000.]

%53.  The Thirteen English Colonies.%—­Thus it came about that between 1606 and 1733 thirteen English colonies were planted on the Atlantic seaboard of what is now the United States.  Naming them from north to south, they were:  1.  New Hampshire, with no definite western boundary; 2.  Massachusetts, which owned Maine and a strip of territory across the continent; 3.  Rhode Island, with her present bounds; 4.  Connecticut, with a great tract of land extending to the Pacific; 5.  New York, with undefined bounds; 6.  New Jersey; 7.  Pennsylvania and 8.  Delaware, the property of the Penn family; 9.  Maryland, the property of the heirs of Lord Baltimore; 10.  Virginia, with claims to a great part of North America; 11.  North Carolina, 12.  South Carolina, and 13.  Georgia, all with claims to the Pacific.


1.  The English seized New Netherland (1664), giving it to the Duke of York; and the Duke, after establishing the province of New York, gave New Jersey to two of his friends, and sold the three counties on the Delaware to William Penn.

2.  Meanwhile the King granted Penn what is now Pennsylvania (1681).

3.  The Carolinas were first chartered as one proprietary colony, but were sold back to the King and finally separated in 1729.

4.  Georgia, the last of the thirteen English colonies, was granted to Oglethorpe and others as a refuge for poor debtors (1732).




1579.  Gilbert.
1584. }Ralegh, Roanoke Island.
1587. }


1606.  London Company, Plymouth Company.
1607.  Virginia settled.
1609.  Boundary of London Company changed.  Origin of
Virginia claim.
1620.  Landing of the Pilgrims.  Plymouth colony.
1622.  Grant to Mason and Gorges.
1628.  Land bought for Massachusetts Bay colony.
1629.  Mason and Gorges divide their grant into Maine
and New Hampshire.
1632.  Maryland patent granted.
1639.  Connecticut constitution
(Windsor.  Hartford.  Wethersfield)
1643.  New Haven colony organized
(New Haven.  Milford.  Guilford.  Stamford.)
1643.  Rhode Island chartered.
1662.  Connecticut chartered. 
(Connecticut.  New Haven.)
1663.  Rhode Island rechartered.
1663.  Carolina patent granted. 
After 1729 North and South Carolina.
1664.  New Netherland conquered and New York founded.
1664.  New Jersey granted to Berkeley and Carteret.
1681.  Pennsylvania granted to Penn.
1682.  Three counties on the Delaware bought by Penn.
1691.  Plymouth and Maine (and Nova Scotia)
united with Massachusetts.
1732.  Georgia chartered.

   1613.  Begin to colonize New Netherland

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   1638.  South Company makes settlement on the Delaware.
   1655.  Conquered by the Dutch.



%54.  The Early French Possessions% on our continent may be arranged in three great areas:  1.  Acadia, 2.  New France, 3.  Louisiana, or the basin of the Mississippi River.

ACADIA comprised what is now New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and a part of Maine.  It was settled in the early years of the seventeenth century at Port Royal (now Annapolis, Nova Scotia), at Mount Desert Island, and on the St. Croix River.

NEW FRANCE was the drainage basin of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes.  As far back as 1535 Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River to the site of Montreal.  But it was not till 1608 that a party under Champlain made the first permanent settlement on the river, at Quebec.

The French settlers at once entered into an alliance with the Huron and Algonquin Indians, who lived along the St. Lawrence River.  But these tribes were the bitter enemies of the Iroquois, who dwelt in what is now central New York, and when, in consequence of this alliance, the French were summoned to take the warpath, Champlain, with a few followers, went, and on the shore of the lake which now bears his name, not far from the site of Ticonderoga, he met and defeated the Iroquois tribe of Mohawks in July, 1609.

The battle was a small affair; but its consequences were serious and lasting, for the Iroquois were thenceforth the enemies of the French, and prevented them from ever coming southward and taking possession of the Hudson and the Mohawk valleys.  When, therefore, the French merchants began to engage in the fur trade with the Indians, and the French priests began their efforts to convert the Indians to Christianity, they were forced to go westward further and further into the interior.


Their route, instead of being up the St. Lawrence, was up the Ottawa River to its head waters, over the portage to Lake Nipissing, and down its outlet to Georgian Bay, where the waters of the Great Lakes lay before them (see map on p. 63).  They explored these lakes, dotted their shores here and there with mission and fur-trading stations, and took possession of the country.

%55.  The French on the Mississippi.%—­In the course of these explorations the French heard accounts from the Indians of a great river to the westward, and in 1672 Father Marquette (mar-ket’) and Louis Joliet (zho-le-a’) were sent by the governor of New France to search for it.  They set out, in May, 1673, from Michilimackinac, a French trading post and mission at the foot of Lake Michigan.  With five companions, in two birch-bark canoes, they paddled up the lake to Green Bay, entered Fox River, and, dragging the boats through its boiling rapids,

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came to a village where lived the Miamis and the Kickapoos.  These Indians tried to dissuade them from going on; but Marquette was resolute, and on the 10th of June, 1673, he led his followers over the swamps and marshes that separated Fox River from a river which the Indian guides assured him flowed into the Mississippi.  This westward-flowing river he called the Wisconsin, and there the guides left him, as he says, “alone, amid that unknown country, in the hands of God.”

The little band shoved their canoes boldly out upon the river, and for seven days floated slowly downward into the unknown.  At last, on the 17th of June, they paddled out on the bosom of the Mississippi, and, turning their canoes to the south, followed the bends and twists of the river, past the mouth of the Missouri, past the Ohio, to a point not far from the mouth of the Arkansas.  There the voyage ended, and the party went slowly back to the Lakes.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West.]

%56.  La Salle finishes the Work of Marquette and Joliet.%—­The discovery of Marquette and Joliet was the greatest of the age.  Yet five years went by before Robert de la Salle (lah sahl’) set forth with authority from the French King “to labor at the discovery of the western part of New France,” and began the attempt to follow the river to the sea.  In 1678 La Salle and his companions left Canada, and made their way to the shore of Lake Erie, where during the winter they built and launched the Griffin, the first ship that ever floated on those waters.  In this they sailed to the mouth of Green Bay, and from there pushed on to the Illinois River, to an Indian camp not far from the site of Peoria, Ill.  Just below this camp La Salle built Fort Crevecoeur (cra’v-ker, a word meaning heart-break, vexation).


Leaving the party there in charge of Henri de Tonty to construct another ship, he with five companions went back to Canada.  On his return he found that Fort Crevecoeur was in ruins, and that Tonty and the few men who had been faithful were gone, he knew not where.  In the hope of meeting them he pushed on down the Illinois to the Mississippi.  To go on would have been easy, but he turned back to find Tonty, and passed the winter on the St. Joseph River.

From there in November, 1681, he once more set forth, crossed the lake to the place where Chicago now is, went up the Chicago River and over the portage to the Illinois, and early in February floated out on the Mississippi.  It was, on that day, a surging torrent full of trees and floating ice; but the explorers kept on their way and came at last to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.  There La Salle took formal possession of all the regions drained by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and their tributaries, claiming them in the name of France, and naming the country thus claimed “Louisiana.”  The iron will, the splendid courage, of La Salle had triumphed over every obstacle and made him one of the grandest characters in history.

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But his work was far from ended.  The valley he had explored, the territory he had added to France, must be occupied, and to occupy it two things were necessary:  1.  A colony must be planted at the mouth of the Mississippi, to control its navigation and shut out the Spaniards. 2.  A strong fort must be built on the Illinois, to overawe the Indians.

In order to overawe the Indians, La Salle now hurried back to the Illinois River, where, in December, 1682, near the present town of Ottawa, on the summit of a cliff now known as “Starved Rock,” he built a stockade which he called Fort St. Louis.  In 1684, while on a voyage from France to plant a colony on the Mississippi, he missed the mouth and brought up on the coast of Texas; and, landing on the sands of Matagorda Bay, the colonists built another Fort St. Louis.  But death rapidly reduced their numbers, and, in their distress, they parted.  Some remained at the fort and were killed by the Indians.  Others, led by La Salle, started for the Illinois River and reached it; but without their leader, whom they had murdered on the way.


1.  After the settlement of Quebec (1608) the French began to explore the regions lying to the west, discovered the Great Lakes, and heard of a great river—­the Mississippi.

2.  This river Marquette and Joliet explored from the mouth of the Wisconsin to the mouth of the Arkansas (1673).

3.  Then La Salle floated down the Mississippi from the Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico, took formal possession of the valley in the name of his King, and called it Louisiana (1682).

[Illustration:  Starved Rock]



[Illustration:  A typical Indian]

%57%.  When Europeans first set foot on our shores, they found the country already inhabited, and, adopting the name given to the men of the New World by Columbus, they called these people “Indians.”

They were not “Indians,” or natives of Asia, but a race by themselves, which ages before the time of Columbus was spread over all North and South America.

Like their descendants in the West to-day, they had red or copper-colored skins, their eyes and long straight hair were jet black, their faces beardless, and their cheek bones high.

%58.  The Villages.%—–­East of the Rocky Mountains the Indians lived in villages, often covering several acres in area, and surrounded by stockades of two and even three rows of posts.  The stockade was pierced with loopholes, and provided with platforms on which were piles of stones for the defenders to hurl on the heads of their enemies.  Sometimes the structures which formed the village were wigwams—­rude structures made by driving poles into the ground in a circle, drawing their tops near together, and then covering them with bark or

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skins.  Sometimes the dwellings had rudely framed sides and roofs covered with layers of elm bark.  Usually these structures were fifteen or twenty feet wide by 100 feet long.  At each end was a door.  Along each side were ten or twelve stalls, in each of which lived a family, so that one house held twenty or more families.  Down the middle at regular intervals were fire pits where the food was cooked, the smoke escaping through holes in the roof.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s Conspiracy of Pontiac, Vol.  I., pp. 17, 18.]

[Illustration:  Buffalo-skin lodge]

%59.  Clans and Tribes.%—­All the families living in such a house traced descent from a common female ancestor, and formed a clan.  Each clan had its own name,—­usually that of some animal, as the Wolf, the Bear, or the Turtle,—­its own sachem or civil magistrate, and its own war chiefs, and owned all the food and all the property, except weapons and ornaments, in common.  A number of such clans made a tribe, which had one language and was governed by a council of the clan sachems.

[Illustration:  Seneca long house]

%60.  The Three Indian Races.%—­With slight exceptions, the tribes living east of the Mississippi are divided, by those who have studied their languages, into three great groups: 

1.  The Muskhogees, who lived south of the Tennessee River and comprised the Creek, the Seminole, the Choctaw, and the Chickasaw tribes.

2.  The Iroquoian group, which occupied the country from the Delaware and the Hudson to and beyond the St. Lawrence and Lakes Ontario and Erie, besides isolated tracts in North Carolina and Tennessee.  The chief tribes were the Iroquois proper,—­forming a confederacy in central New York known as the Five Nations (Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks),—­the Hurons, the Eries, the Cherokees, and the Tuscaroras.

[Illustration:  Moccasin]

3.  The Algonquian group, which occupied the rest of what is now the United States east of the Mississippi, besides the larger part of Canada.  In this group were the Mohegans, Pequots, and Narragansetts of New England; the Delawares; the Powhatans of Virginia; the Shawnees of the Ohio valley, and many others living around the Great Lakes.

[Illustration:  Flint Hatchet]

%61.  Weapons and Implements and Clothing.%—­All of these tribes had made some progress towards civilization.  They used pottery and ornamental pipes of clay.  They raised beans and squashes, pumpkins, tobacco, and maize, or Indian corn, which they ground to meal by rubbing between two stones.  For hunting they had bows, arrows with stone heads, hatchets of flint, and spears.  In summer they went almost naked.  In winter they wore clothing made from the skins of fur-bearing animals and the hides of buffalo and deer.  For navigating streams and rivers, lakes and bays, they constructed canoes of birch bark sewed together with thongs of deerskin and smeared at the joints with spruce-tree gum.

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%62.  Traits of Character.%—­Living an outdoor life, and depending for daily food not so much on the maize they raised as on the fish they caught and the animals they killed, the Indians were most expert woodsmen.  They were swift of foot, quick-witted, keen-sighted, and most patient of hunger, fatigue, and cold.  White men were amazed at the rapidity with which the Indian followed the most obscure trail over the most difficult ground, at the perfection with which he imitated the bark of the wolf, the hoot of the owl, the call of the moose, and at the catlike tread with which he walked over beds of autumn leaves the side of the grazing deer.

[Illustration:  Ornamental pipe]

[Illustration:  Quiver, with bows and arrows]

Courage and fortitude he possessed in the highest degree.  Yet with his bravery were associated all the vices, all the dark and crooked ways, which are the resort of the cowardly and the weak.  He was treacherous, revengeful, and cruel beyond description.  Much as he loved war (and war was his chief occupation), the fair and open fight had no charm for him.  To his mind it was madness to take the scalp of an enemy at the risk of his own, when he might waylay him in an ambush or shoot him with an arrow from behind a tree.  He was never so happy as when, at the dead of night, he roused his sleeping victims with an unearthly yell and massacred them by the light of their burning home.

%63.  The French and the Indians.%—­The ways in which French and English colonists acted towards the Indian are highly characteristic, and account for much in our history.

From the day when Champlain, in 1609, joined his Huron-Algonquin neighbors and went with them on the warpath against the Iroquois, the French held to the policy of making friends with the Indians.  No pains were spared to win them to the cause of France.  They were flattered, petted, treated with ceremonial respect, and became the companions, as the women often became the wives, of the Frenchmen.  Much was expected of this mingling of races.  It was supposed that the Indian would be won over to civilization and Christianity.  But the Frenchmen were won over to the Indians, and adopted Indian ways of life.  They lived in wigwams, wore Indian dress, decorated their long hair with eagle feathers, and made their faces hideous with vermilion, ocher, and soot.

%64.  Coureurs de Bois.%—­There soon grew up in this way a class of half-civilized vagrants, who ranged the woods in true Indian style, and gained a living by guiding the canoes of fur traders along the rivers and lakes of the interior.  Stimulated by the profits of the fur trade, these men pushed their traffic to the most distant tribes, spreading French guns, French hatchets, beads, cloth, tobacco and brandy, and French influence over the whole Northwest.  Where the trader and the coureur de bois went, the priest and the soldier followed, and soon mission houses and forts were established at all the chief passes and places suited to control the Indian trade.

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%65.  The English and the Indians.%—­How, meantime, did the English act toward the Indians?  In the first place, nothing led them to form close relationship with the tribes.  The fur trade—­the source of Canadian prosperity—­and the zeal of priests eager for the conversion of the heathen, which sent the traders, the coureurs de bois, and the priests from tribe to tribe and from the Atlantic halfway to the Pacific, did not appeal to the English colonists.  Farming and commerce were the sources of their wealth.  Their priests and missionaries were content to labor with the Indians near at hand.

In the second place, the policy of the French towards the Indians, while founded on trade, was directed by one central government.  The policy of the English was directed by each colony, and was of as many kinds as there were colonies.  No English frontier exhibited such a mingling of white men and red as was common wherever the French went.  Among the English there were fur traders, but no coureurs de bois.  Scorn on the one side and hatred on the other generally marked the intercourse between the English and the Indians.  One bright exception must indeed be made.  Penn was a broad-minded lover of his kind, a man of most enlightened views on government and human rights; and in the colony planted by him there was made a serious effort to treat the Indian as an equal.  But the day came when men not of his faith dealt with the Indians in true English fashion.

Remembering this difference of treatment, we shall the better understand how it happened that the French could sprinkle the West with little posts far from Quebec and surrounded by the fiercest of tribes, while the English could only with difficulty defend their frontier.[1]

[Footnote 1:  A fine account of the Indians, and the French and English ways of treating them, is given in Parkman’s Conspiracy of Pontiac, Vol.  I., pp. 16-25, 41-45, 46-56, 64-80.]

%66.  Early Indian Wars.%—­Again and again this frontier was attacked.  In 1636 the Pequots, who dwelt along the Thames River in Connecticut, made war on the settlers in the Connecticut River valley towns.  Men were waylaid and scalped, or taken prisoners and burned at the stake.  Determined to put an end to this, ninety men from the Connecticut towns, with twenty from Massachusetts and some Mohegan Indians, in 1637 marched against the marauders.  They found the Pequots within a circular stockade near the present town of Stonington, where of 400 warriors all save five were killed.

%67.  King Philip’s War.%—­During nearly forty years not a tribe in all New England dared rise against the white men.  But in 1675 trouble began again.  The settlers were steadily crowding the Indians off their lands.  No lands were taken without payment, yet the sales were far from being voluntary.  A new generation of Indians, too, had grown up, and, heedless of the lesson taught their fathers, the Narragansetts, Nipmucks, and Wampanoags, led by King Philip and Canonchet, rose upon the English.  A dreadful war followed.  When it ended, in 1678, the three tribes were annihilated.  Hardly any Indians save the friendly Mohawks were left in New England.  But of ninety English towns, forty had been the scene of fire and slaughter, and twelve had been destroyed utterly.

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%68.  The Iroquois.%—­Elsewhere on the frontier a happier relation existed with the Indians.  The Iroquois of central New York were the fiercest and most warlike Indians of the Atlantic coast.  But the fight with Champlain, in 1609, by turning them into implacable enemies of the French, had rendered them all the more tolerant of the Dutch and the English, while their complete conquest and subjugation of the Delawares, or Lenni Lenape, prepared the way for the easy settlement of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

%69.  Penn and the Lenni Lenape.%—­These Indians were Algonquian, and lived along the Delaware River and its tributaries.  But early in the seventeenth century they had been reduced to vassalage by the Five Nations, had been forbidden to carry arms, and had been forced to take the name of Women.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s Conspiracy of Pontiac, Vol.  I., pp. 30-32, 80-82.]

When the Dutch and Swedes began their settlements on the South River, and when Penn, in 1683, made a treaty with the Delawares, the settlers had to deal with peaceful Indians.  No horrid wars mark the early history of Pennsylvania.

%70.  The Powhatans in Virginia.%—­Much the same may be said of the Virginia tribes.  They were far from friendly, and had they been as fierce and warlike as the northern tribes, neither the skill of John Smith, nor the marriage of Pocahontas (the daughter of Powhatan) with John Rolfe, nor fear of the English muskets, would have saved Jamestown.

[Illustration:  Powhatan Indians at work[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From a model.]

On the other hand, the destruction of the tribes in New England and the feud between the French and the Iroquois saved New England.  For the time had now come for the opening of the long struggle between the French and the English for the ownership of the continent.


1.  The inhabitants of the New World at the time of its discovery, by mistake called Indians, were barbarians, lived in rude, frail houses, and used weapons and implements inferior to those of the whites.

2.  The Indian tribes of eastern North America are mostly divided into three great groups:  Muskhogean, Iroquoian, and Algonquian.

3.  In general, the French made the Indians their friends, while the English drove them westward and treated them as an inferior race.




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%71.  Louisiana, or the Mississippi Basin.%—­The landing of La Salle on the coast of Texas, and the building of Fort St. Louis of Texas, gave the French a claim to the coast as far southward as a point halfway between the fort and the nearest Spanish settlement, in Mexico.  At that point was the Rio Grande, a good natural boundary.  On the French maps, therefore, Louisiana extended from the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande on the west, to the Alleghany Mountains on the east, and from the Gulf of Mexico on the south, to New France on the north.  This confined the English colonies to a narrow strip between the Alleghany Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.  As the colonies were growing in population, and as the charters of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and Carolina gave them great stretches of territory in the Mississippi valley, it was inevitable that, sooner or later, a bitter contest for possession of the country should take place between the French and the English in America.

The contest began in 1689, and ended in 1763, and may easily be divided into two periods:  1.  That from 1689 to 1748, when the struggle was for Acadia and New France. 2.  That from 1754 to 1763, when the struggle was not only for New France, but for Louisiana also.

%72.  The Struggle for Acadia and New France; “King William’s War."%—­In 1688-89 there was a revolution in England, in the course of which James II. was driven from his throne, and William and Mary, his nephew and daughter, were seated on it.  James took refuge in France, and when Louis XIV. attempted to restore him, a great European war followed, and of course the colonists of the two countries were very soon fighting each other.  As the quarrel did not arise on this side of the ocean, the English colonists called it “King William’s War”; but on our continent it was really the beginning of a long struggle to determine whether France or England should rule North America.

The French recognized this at once, and sent over a very able soldier—­Count Frontenac—­with orders to conquer New York; but the colony was saved by the Iroquois, who in the summer of 1689 began a war of their own against the French, laid siege to Montreal, and roasted French captives under its walls.  Frontenac was compelled to put off his attack till 1690, when in the dead of winter a band of French and Indians burned Schenectady, N.Y.  Salmon Falls in New Hampshire was next laid waste (1690), and Fort Loyal, where Portland, Me., is, was taken and destroyed.  A little later Exeter, N.H., was attacked.  The boldness and suddenness of these fearful massacres so alarmed the people exposed to them that in May, 1690, delegates from Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New York met at New York city to devise a plan of attack on the French.  Now, at the opening of the war, there were three French strongholds in America.  These were Montreal and Quebec in Canada, and Port Royal in Acadia.  In 1690 a Massachusetts

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fleet led by Sir William Phips destroyed Port Royal.  It was decided, therefore, to send another fleet under Phips to take Quebec, while troops from New York and Connecticut marched against Montreal.  Both expeditions were failures, and for seven years the French and Indians ravaged the frontier.  In 1692 York, in Maine, was visited and a third of the inhabitants killed.  In 1694 Castine was taken and a hundred persons scalped and tomahawked.  At Durham, in New Hampshire, prisoners were burned alive.  Groton, in Massachusetts, was next visited; but the boldest of all was the massacre, in 1697, at Haverhill, a town not thirty-five miles from Boston.  In 1696, Frontenac, at the head of a great array of Canadians, coureurs de bois, and Indians, invaded the country of the Onondagas, and leveled their fortified town to the earth.

[Illustration:  MAP OF PART OF ACADIA]

%73.  The Struggle for Acadia and New France; “Queen Anne’s War."%—­In 1697 the war ended with the treaty of Ryswick, and “King William’s War” came to a close in America with nothing gained and much lost on each side.  The peace, however, did not last long, for in 1701 England and France were again fighting.  As William died in 1702, and was succeeded by his sister-in-law Anne, the struggle which followed in America was called “Queen Anne’s War.”  Again Port Royal was captured (1710); again an expedition went against Quebec and failed (1711); and again, year after year, the French and Indians swept along the frontier of New England, burning towns and slaughtering and torturing the inhabitants.  At last the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, ended the strife, and the first signs of English conquest in America were visible, for the French gave up Acadia and acknowledged the claims of the English to Newfoundland and the country around Hudson Bay.  The name Acadia was changed by the conquerors to Nova Scotia.  Port Royal, never again to be parted with, they called Annapolis, in honor of the Queen.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s A Half-century of Conflict, Vol.  I., pp. 1-149.]

%74.  The French take Possession of the Mississippi Valley; the Chain of Forts.%—­The peace made at Utrecht was unbroken for thirty years.  But this long period was, on the part of the French in America, at least, a time of careful preparation for the coming struggle for possession of the valleys of the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Lakes.  In the Mississippi valley most elaborate preparations for defense were already under way.  No sooner did the treaty of Ryswick end the first French war than a young naval officer named Iberville applied to the King for leave to take out an expedition and found a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, just as La Salle had attempted to do.  Permission was readily given, and in 1698 Iberville sailed with two ships from France, and in February, 1699, entered Mobile Bay.  Leaving his fleet at anchor, he set off with a party in small boats in search of the great river.  He coasted along the shore, entered the Mississippi through one of its three mouths, and went up the river till he came to an Indian village, where the chief gave him a letter which Tonty, thirteen years before, when in search of La Salle, had written and left in the crotch of a tree.

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Iberville now knew that he was on the Mississippi; but having seen no spot along its low banks suitable for the site of a city, he went back and led his colony to Biloxi Bay, and there settled it.  Thus when the eighteenth century opened there were in all Louisiana but two French settlements—­that founded on the Illinois River by La Salle, and that begun by Iberville at Biloxi.  But the occupation of Louisiana was now the established policy of France, and hardly a year went by without one or more forts appearing somewhere in the valley.  Before 1725 came, Mobile Bay was occupied, New Orleans was founded, and Forts Rosalie, Toulouse, Tombeckbee, Natchitoches, Assumption, and Chartres were erected.  Along the Lakes, Detroit had been founded, Niagara was built in 1726, and in 1731 a band of Frenchmen, entering New York, put up Crown Point.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Parkman’s A Half-century of Conflict, Vol.  I., pp. 288-314.  For the French posts see map on pp. 74, 75.]

The meaning of this chain of forts stretching from New Orleans and Mobile to Lake Champlain and Montreal, was that the French were determined to shut the English out of the valley of the Mississippi, and to keep them away from the shores of the Great Lakes.  But they were also determined at the first chance to reconquer Annapolis and Nova Scotia, which they had lost by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713.  As a very important step towards the accomplishment of this purpose, the French selected a harbor on the southeast coast of Cape Breton Island, and there built Louisburg, a fortress so strong that the French officers boasted that it could be defended by a garrison of women.

%75.  The Struggle for New France; “King George’s War."%—­Such was the situation in America when (in March, 1744) France declared war on England and began what in Europe was called the “War of the Austrian Succession”; but in our country it was known as “King George’s War,” because George II. was then King of England.  The French, with their usual promptness, rushed down and burned the little English post of Canso, in Nova Scotia, carried off the garrison, and attacked Annapolis, where they were driven off.  That Nova Scotia could be saved, seemed hopeless.  Nevertheless, Governor Shirley of Massachusetts determined to make the attempt, and that the King might know the exact situation he sent to London, with a dispatch, an officer named Captain Ryal, who had been taken prisoner at Canso and afterwards released on parole.[2]

[Footnote 2:  The reception of that officer well illustrates the gross ignorance of America and American affairs which then existed in England.  When the Duke of Newcastle, who was prime minister, read the dispatch, he exclaimed:  “Oh, yes—­yes—­to be sure.  Annapolis must be defended—­troops must be sent to Annapolis.  Pray where is Annapolis?  Cape Breton an island!  Wonderful!  Show it me on the map.  So it is, sure enough.  My dear sir [to Captain Ryal], you always bring us good news.  I must go and tell the King that Cape Breton is an island.”]

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Although Shirley applied to the King for help with which to defend Nova Scotia, he knew full well that the burden of defense would fall on the colonies.  And with that determination and persistence which always brings success he labored hard to persuade New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to join with Massachusetts in an effort to capture Louisburg.  It would be delightful to tell how he overcame all difficulties; how the young men rallied on the call for troops; how at the end of March, 1745, 4000 of them in a hundred transports and accompanied by fourteen armed ships set sail, followed by the prayers of all New England, and after a siege of six weeks took the fortress on the 17th of June, 1745.  But the story is too long.[1] It is enough to know that the victory was hailed with delight on both sides of the Atlantic, but that when peace came, in 1748, the British government was still so blind to the struggle for North America which had been going on for fifty years, that Louisburg was restored to the French.

[Footnote 1:  Read Samuel Adams Drake’s Taking of Louisburg; Parkman’s A Half-century of Conflict, Vol.  II., pp. 78-161.]

%76.  The French on the Allegheny River; the Buried Plates.%—­With Louisburg back in their possession and no territory lost, the French went on more vigorously than ever with their preparations to shut the British out of the Mississippi valley; and as but one highway to the valley, the Ohio River, was still unguarded, the governor of Canada, in 1749, dispatched Celoron de Bienville with a band of men in twenty-three birch-bark canoes to take formal possession of the valley.  Paddling up the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, they carried their canoes across to Lake Erie, and, skirting the southeastern shore, they landed and crossed to Chautauqua Lake, down which and its outlet they floated to the Allegheny River.  Once on the Allegheny, the ceremony of taking possession began.  The men were drawn up, and Louis XV. was proclaimed king of all the region drained by the Ohio.  The arms of France stamped on a sheet of tin were nailed to a tree, at the foot of which a lead plate was buried in the ground.  On the plate was an inscription claiming the Ohio, and all the streams that run into it, in the name of the King of France.

[Illustration:  [1]Half of one of the lead plates]

[Footnote 1:  Now owned by the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.]

* * * * *


In the year 1749, during the reign of Louis XV., King of France, we, Celeron, commander of a detachment sent by the Marquis de la Gallissoniere, commander in chief of New France, to restore tranquillity in some savage villages of these districts, have buried this plate at the confluence of the Ohio and ... this ... near the river Ohio, alias Beautiful River, as a monument of our having retaken possession of the said river Ohio and of those that fall into the same, and of all the lands on both sides as far as the sources of the said rivers, as well as of those of which preceding kings have enjoyed possession, partly by the force of arms, partly by treaties, especially by those of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix-la-Chapelle.

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* * * * *

A second plate was buried below the mouth of French Creek; a third near the mouth of Wheeling Creek; and a fourth at the mouth of the Muskingum, where half a century later it was found protruding from the river bank by a party of boys while bathing.  Yet another was unearthed at the mouth of the Great Kanawha by a freshet, and was likewise found by a boy while playing at the water’s edge.  The last plate was hidden where the Great Miami joins the Ohio; and this done, Celoron crossed Ohio to Lake Erie and went back to Montreal.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read T. J. Chapman’s The French in the Allegheny Valley, pp. 9-23, 187-197; Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, Vol.  I., pp. 36-62; Winsor’s The Mississippi Basin, pp. 252-255.]

%77.  The French build Forts on the Allegheny.%—­This formal taking possession of the valleys of the Allegheny and the Ohio was all well enough in its way; but the French knew that if they really intended to keep out the British they must depend on forts and troops, and not on lead plates.  To convince the French King of this, required time; so that it was not till 1752 that orders were given to fortify the route taken by Celoron in 1749.  The party charged with this duty repaired to the little peninsula where is now the city of Erie, and there built a log fort which they called Presque Isle.  Having done this, they cut a road twenty miles long, to the site of Waterford, Pa., and built Fort Le Boeuf, and later one at Venango, the present site of the town of Franklin.

%78.  Washington’s First Public Service.%—­The arrival of the French in western Pennsylvania alarmed and excited no one so much as Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia.  He had two good reasons for his excitement.  In the first place, Virginia, because of the interpretation she placed on her charter of 1609, claimed to own the Allegheny valley (see p. 33).  In the second place, the governor and a number of Virginia planters were deeply interested in a great land company called the Ohio Company, to which the King of England had given 500,000 acres lying along the Ohio River between the Monongahela and the Kanawha rivers, a region which the French claimed, and toward which they were moving.

As soon, therefore, as Dinwiddie heard that the French were really building forts in the upper Allegheny valley, he determined to make a formal demand for their withdrawal, and chose as his messenger George Washington, then a young man of twenty-one, and adjutant general of the Virginia militia.

Washington’s instructions bade him go to Logstown, on the Ohio, find out all he could as to the whereabouts of the French, and then proceed to the commanding officer, deliver the letter of Dinwiddie, and demand an answer.  He was especially charged to ascertain how many French forts had been erected, how many soldiers there were in each, how far apart the posts were, and if they were to be supported from Quebec.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Read T.J.  Chapman’s The, French in the Allegheny Valley, pp. 23-47; Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, Vol.  I., pp. 128-161; Lodge’s George Washington, pp. 62-69.]

With that promptness which distinguished him during his whole life, Washington set out on his perilous journey the very day he received his instructions, and made his way first to Logstown, and then to Fort Le Boeuf, where he delivered Governor Dinwiddie’s letter to the French commandant.  The reply of Saint-Pierre—­for that was the name of the French commandant—­was that he would send the letter of Dinwiddie to the governor of Canada, the Marquis Duquesne (doo-kan’), and that, in the meantime, he would hold the fort.

[Illustration:  The French and the English Forts]

%79.  Fort Duquesne.%—­When Dinwiddie read the answer of Saint-Pierre, he saw clearly that the time had come to act.  The French were in force on the upper Allegheny.  Unless something was done to drive them out, they would soon be at the forks of the Ohio, and once they were there, the splendid tract of the Ohio Company would be lost forever.  Without a moment’s delay he decided to take possession of the forks of the Ohio, and raised two companies of militia of 100 men each.  A trader named William Trent was in command of one of the companies, and that no time should be lost, he, with forty men, hurried forward, and, February 17, 1754, drove the first stake of a stockade that was to surround a fort on the site of the city of Pittsburg.  While the English were still at work on their fort, April 17, 1754, a body of French and Indians came down from Le Boeuf, and bade them leave the valley.  Trent was away, and the working party was in command of an ensign named Ward, who, as resistance was useless, surrendered, and was allowed to march off with his men.  The French then finished the fort Trent had begun, and called it Fort Duquesne, after the governor of Canada.

%80.  “Join or Die."%—­Meantime the legislature of Virginia voted L10,000 for the defense of the Ohio valley, and promised a land bounty to every man who would volunteer to fight the French and Indians.  Joshua Frye was made colonel, and Washington lieutenant colonel of the troops thus to be raised.  As some time must elapse before the ranks could be filled, Washington took seventy-five men and (in March, 1754) set off to help Trent; but he had not gone far on his way when Ensign Ward met him (where Cumberland, Md., now is) and told him all about the surrender.  Accounts of the affair were at once sent to the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

[Illustration:  JOIN, or DIE.]

In publishing one of these in the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin inserted the above picture at the top of the account.[1]

[Footnote 1:  There is an old superstition, then very generally believed, that if one cuts a snake in pieces and allows the pieces to touch, the snake will not die, but will live and become whole again.  By this picture Franklin meant that unless the colonies joined for defense against the French they would die; that is, be conquered.]

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%81.  Albany Plan of Union.%—­The picture was apt for the following reason.  The Lords of Trade in London had ordered the colonies to send delegates to Albany to make a treaty with the Iroquois Indians, and to this congress Franklin purposed to submit a plan for union against the French.  The plan drawn up by the congress was not approved by the colonies, so the scheme of union came to naught.

%82.  Washington’s Expedition.%—­Meanwhile great events were happening in the west.  When Washington met Ensign Ward at Cumberland and heard the story of the surrender, he was at a loss just what to do; but knowing that he was expected to do something, he decided to go to a storehouse which the Ohio Company had built at the mouth of a stream called Redstone Creek in southwestern Pennsylvania.  Pushing along, cutting as he went the first road that ever led down to the valley of the Mississippi from the Atlantic slope, he reached a narrow glade called the Great Meadows and there began to put up a breastwork which he named Fort Necessity.  While so engaged news came that the French were near.  Washington thereupon took a few men, and, coming suddenly on the French, killed or captured them all save one.  Among the dead was Jumonville, the leader of the party.  Well satisfied with this exploit, Washington pushed on with his entire force towards the Ohio.  But, hearing that the French were advancing, he fell back to Fort Necessity, and there awaited them.  He did not wait long; for the French and Indians came down in great force, and on July 4, 1754, forced him, after a brave resistance, to surrender.  He was allowed to march out with drums beating and flags flying.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Lodge’s George Washington, pp. 69-74; Winsor’s The Mississippi Basin, pp. 294-315.]

%83.  The French and Indian War.%—­Thus was begun what the colonists called the French and Indian War, but what was really a struggle between the French and the British for the possession of America.  Knowing it to be such, both sides made great preparations for the contest.  The French stood on the defensive.  The British made the attack, and early in 1755 sent over one of their ablest officers, Major General Edward Braddock, to be commander in chief in America.  He summoned the colonial governors to meet him at Alexandria, Va., where a plan for a campaign was agreed on.

%84.  Plan for the War.%—­Vast stretches of dense and almost impenetrable forest then separated the colonies of the two nations, but through this forest were three natural highways of communication:  1.  Lake George, Lake Champlain, and the St. Lawrence River. 2.  The Hudson, the Mohawk, Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River. 3.  The Potomac to Fort Cumberland, and through the forest to Fort Duquesne.

It was decided, therefore, to have four expeditions.

1.  One was to go north from New York to Lake Champlain, take the French fort at Crown Point, and move against Quebec.

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2.  Another was to sail from New England and make such a demonstration against the French towns to the northeast, as would prevent the French in that quarter going off to defend Quebec and Crown Point.

3.  The third was to start from Albany, go up the Mohawk, and down the Oswego River to Lake Ontario, and along its shores to the Niagara River.

4.  The fourth was to go from Fort Cumberland across Pennsylvania to Fort Duquesne.

%85.  Braddock’s Defeat, July 9, 1755.%—­Braddock took command of this last expedition and made Washington one of his aids.  For a while he found it impossible to move his army, for in Virginia horses and wagons were very scarce, and without them he could not carry his baggage or drag his cannon.  At last Benjamin Franklin, then deputy postmaster-general of the colonies, persuaded the farmers of Pennsylvania, who had plenty, to rent the wagons and horses to the general.

All this took time, so that it was June before the army left Fort Cumberland and literally began to cut its way through the woods to Fort Duquesne.  The march was slow, but all went well till the troops had crossed the Monongahela River and were but eight miles from the fort, when suddenly the advance guard came face to face with an army of Indians and French.  The Indians and French instantly hid in the bushes and behind trees, and poured an incessant fire into the ranks of the British.  They, too, would gladly have fought in Indian fashion.  But Braddock thought this cowardly and would not allow them to get behind trees, so they stood huddled in groups, a fine mark for the Indians, till so many were killed that a retreat had to be ordered.  Then they fled, and had it not been for Washington and his Virginians, who covered their flight, they would probably have been killed to a man.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, Vol.  I., Chap. 7, pp. 162-187; T.J.  Chapman’s The French in the Allegheny Valley, pp. 60-72; Sargeant’s History of Braddock’s Expedition.]

Braddock was wounded just as the retreat began, and died a few days later.

%86.  The Other Expeditions.%—­The expedition against Niagara was a failure.  The officer in command did not take his army further than Oswego on Lake Ontario.

The expedition against Crown Point was partially successful, and a stubborn battle was fought and a victory won over the French on the shores of that beautiful sheet of water which the English ever after called Lake George in honor of the King.

%87.  War declared.%—­Up to this time all the fighting had been done along the frontier in America.  But in May, 1756, Great Britain formally declared war against France.  The French at once sent over Montcalm,[1] the very ablest Frenchman that ever commanded on this continent, and there followed two years of warfare disastrous to the British.  Montcalm took and burned Oswego, won over the Indians to the cause of France, and was about to send a strong fleet to attack New England, when, toward the end of 1757, William Pitt was made virtually (though not in name) Prime Minister of England.

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[Footnote 1:  Read Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, Vol.  I., pp. 318-380.]

William Pitt was one of the greatest Englishmen that ever lived.  He could see exactly what to do, and he could pick out exactly the right man to do it.  No wonder, then, that as soon as he came into power the British began to gain victories.

%88.  The Victories of 1758.%—­Once more the French were attacked at their three vulnerable points, and this time with success.  In 1758 Louisburg surrendered to Amherst and Boscawen.  In that same year Washington captured Fort Duquesne, which, in honor of the great Prime Minister, was called Fort Pitt.  A provincial officer named Bradstreet destroyed Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario.  This was a heavy blow to the French; for with Fort Frontenac gone and Fort Duquesne in English hands, the Ohio was cut off from Quebec.

An attack on Ticonderoga, however, was repulsed by Montcalm with dreadful loss to the English.

%89.  The Victories of 1759; Wolfe.%—­But the defeat was only temporary.  At the siege of Louisburg a young officer named James Wolfe had greatly distinguished himself, and in return for this was selected by Pitt to command an expedition to Quebec.  The previous attempts to reach that city had been by way of Lake George.  The expedition of Wolfe sailed up the St. Lawrence, and landed below the city.

Quebec stands on the summit of a high hill with precipitous sides, and was then the most strongly fortified city in America.  To take it seemed almost impossible.  But the resolution of Wolfe overcame every obstacle:  on the night of September 12, 1759, he led his troops to the foot of the cliff, climbed the heights, and early in the morning had his army drawn up in battle array on the Plains of Abraham, as the plateau behind the city was called.  There a great battle was fought between the French, led by Montcalm, and the British, led by Wolfe.  The British triumphed, and Quebec fell; but Wolfe and Montcalm were among the dead.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe, Chaps. 25-27; A. Wright’s Life of Wolfe; Sloan’s French War and the Revolution, Chaps. 6-9.]

[Illustration:  European Possessions 1763]

Ticonderoga and Crown Point had been captured a few weeks before.  Montreal was taken in 1760, and the long struggle between the French and the English in America ended in the defeat of the French.  The war dragged on in Europe till 1763, when peace was made at Paris.

%90.  France driven out of America.%—­With all the details of the treaty we are not concerned.  It is enough for us to know that France divided her possessions on this continent between Great Britain and Spain.  To Great Britain she gave Canada and Cape Breton, and all the islands save two in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Entering what is now the United States, she drew a line down the middle of the Mississippi River from its source to a point just north of New Orleans.  To Great Britain she surrendered all her territory east of this line.  To Spain she gave all her possessions to the west of this line, together with the city of New Orleans.  But Great Britain, during the war, had taken Havana from Spain.  To get this back, Spain now gave up Florida in exchange.

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At the end of the war with France, Great Britain thus found herself in possession of Canada and all that part of the United States which lies between the Atlantic and the Mississippi, the little strip at the mouth of the river alone excepted.


We have now come to the time when the third European power was driven from our country.  The first was Sweden when New Sweden was captured by the Dutch.  The second was Holland when New Netherland was captured by the English.  The third was France.

1.  The struggle for the French possessions in America may be divided into two periods:  A. That from 1689 to 1748, when the contest was for Acadia and New France.  B. That from 1754 to 1763, when the struggle was for Louisiana as well as New France.

2.  The first war, “King William’s,” was indecisive, but the second, “Queen Anne’s,” ended (1713) in the transfer of Acadia to England.

3.  After the treaty of Utrecht, 1713, the French began seriously to take possession of the Mississippi valley, and began a chain of forts to stretch from New Orleans and Mobile to Montreal.

4.  “King George’s War” interrupted this work for a few years (1744-1748), but in 1749 Celeron was sent to bury plates in the valleys of the Allegheny and Ohio and claim them in the name of France.

5.  The next step after claiming the valleys was to take armed possession, and in 1752 the French began to build forts.

6.  This alarmed the governor of Virginia, who sent Washington to bid the French leave the Allegheny valley.  When they refused, troops were sent to build a fort on the site of what is now Pittsburg; but these men, under Trent and Ward, were driven away, as were also the reinforcements under Washington (1764).

7.  Braddock (with Washington) was next sent against the French, who had built Fort Duquesne.  He was surprised by the Indians (July 9, 1755), defeated, and killed.

8.  The “French and Indian War” thus opened was fought with varying success till 1760, when the British held Quebec, Montreal, Fort Duquesne, and all the other French strongholds in America.  In 1763 peace was made, and nearly all the French possessions east of the Mississippi River were surrendered to the British.



King William’s War: 

1690.  Sir W. Phips takes Port Royal. 
Sir W. Phips attacks Quebec. 
Montreal attacked.
1690-1697.  The New York and New England frontier ravaged by the
French and Indians.
1697.  Peace of Ryswick.  Port Royal given back to the French.

Queen Anne’s War.  Acadia lost to the French: 

1702-1713.  Frontier of New England ravaged. 1710.  Port Royal again taken. 1711.  Quebec again attacked. 1713.  Peace of Utrecht.  Acadia held by the English.

King George’s War: 

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     1744.  French attack Canso and Annapolis (Port Royal).
     1745.  Louisburg (Cape Breton Island) taken.
     1748.  Louisburg given back to the French.


Occupation of Louisiana: 

1699.  The French at the mouth of the Mississippi.
1701.  The occupation of the valley begun.
1701-1748.  The chain of forts joining New Orleans and Montreal.
1749.  The French on the Allegheny.  Celeron’s expedition.  The buried
1753.  The French fortify the Allegheny valley.

The French and Indian War: 

1754-1763.  The struggle for final possession. 1758.  The capture of Louisburg. 1759.  The capture of Quebec. 1760.  The capture of Montreal. 1763.  The French abandon America.



%91.  Things unknown in 1763.%—­Had a traveler landed on our shores in 1763 and made a journey through the English colonies in America, he would have seen a country utterly unlike the United States of to-day.  The entire population, white man and black, freeman and slave, was not so great as that of New York or Philadelphia or Chicago in our time.  If we were to write a list of all the things we now consider as real necessaries of daily life and mark off those unknown to the men of 1763, not one quarter would remain.  No man in the country had ever seen a stove, or a furnace, or a friction match, or an envelope, or a piece of mineral coal.  From the farmer we should have to take the reaper, the drill, the mowing machine, and every kind of improved rake and plow, and give him back the scythe, the cradle, and the flail.  From our houses would go the sewing machine, the daily newspaper, gas, running water; and from our tables, the tomato, the cauliflower, the eggplant, and many varieties of summer fruits.  We should have to destroy every railroad, every steamboat, every factory and mill, pull down every line of telegraph, silence every telephone, put out every electric light, and tear up every telegraphic cable from the beds of innumerable rivers and seas.  We should have to take ether and chloroform from the surgeon, and galvanized iron and India rubber from the arts, and give up every sort of machine moved by steam.

[Illustration:  Lamp and sadiron]

[Illustration:  Postrider (Footnote:  From an old print, 1760)]

%92.  State of the Arts, Sciences, and Industry.%—­The appliances left on the list, because in some form they were known to the men of 1763, would now be thought crude and clumsy.  There were printing presses in those days,—­perhaps fifty in all the colonies.  But they were small, were worked by hand, and were so slow that the most expert pressman using one of them could not have printed so much in three working days as a modern steam press can run

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off in five minutes.  There was a general post, and Benjamin Franklin was deputy postmaster-general for the northern district of the colonies.  But the letters were carried thirty miles a day by postriders on horseback, and there were never more than three mails a week between even the great towns.  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a postrider left New York city for Philadelphia.  Every Monday and Thursday another left New York for Boston.  Once each week a rider left for Albany on his way to Quebec.  On the first Wednesday of each month a packet boat sailed from New York for Falmouth, England, with the mail, and this was the only mail between Great Britain and her American colonies.  We put electricity to a thousand uses; but in 1763 it was a scientific toy.  Franklin had just proved by his experiment with the kite that lightning and electricity were one and the same, and several other men were amusing themselves and their hearers by ringing bells, exploding powder, and making colored sparks.  But it was put to no other use.  If we take up a daily newspaper published in one of our great cities and read the column of wants, we find in them twenty occupations now giving a comfortable living to millions of men.  Yet not one of these twenty existed in 1763.  The district messenger, the telegraph operator, the typewriter, the stenographer, the bookkeeper, the canvasser, the salesman, the commercial traveler, the engineer, the car driver, the hackman, the conductor, the gripman, the brakeman, the electrician, the lineman, the elevator boy, and a host of others, follow trades and occupations which had no existence in the middle of the eighteenth century.

Run away, the 23d of this Instant January, from Silas Crispin of Burlington, Taylor, a Servant Man named Joseph Morris, by Trade a Taylor, aged about 22 Years, of a middle Stature, swarthy Complexion, light gray Eyes, his Hair clipp’d off, mark’d with a large pit of the Small Pox on one Cheek near his Eye, had on when he went away a good Felt Hat, a yelowish Drugget Coat with Pleits behind, an old Ozenbrigs Vest, two Ozenbrigs Shirts, a pair of Leather Breeches handsomely worm’d and flower’d up the Knees, yarn Stockings and good round toe’d Shoes.  Took with him a large pair of Sheers crack’d in one of the Bows & mark’d with the Word [Savoy].  Whoever takes up the said Servant, and secures him so that his Matter may have him again, shall have Three Pounds Reward besides reasonable Charges, paid by me Silas Griffin.

     From a Philadelphia newspaper

%93.  Labor.%—­On the other hand, if we take up a newspaper of that day and read the advertisements, we find that a great deal of what existed then does not exist now.  The newspapers were published in a few of the large towns, and appeared not every day, but once a week.  In the largest of them would be from seventy-five to eighty advertisements, setting forth that such a merchant had just received from England

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or the West Indies a stock of new goods which he would sell for cash; that the Charming Nancy would sail in a few weeks for Londonderry in Ireland, or for Barbados, or for Amsterdam in Holland, and wanted a cargo; that a tract of land or a plantation would be sold “at vendue,” or, as we say, at auction; that a reward of five pistoles would be paid for the arrest of “a lusty negroe man” or an “indented servant” or an “apprentice lad,” who had run away from his owner or master.  Very rarely is a call made for a mechanic or a workman of any sort.

[Illustration:  From a Philadelphia newspaper]

The reason for this was two fold.  In the first place, negro slavery existed in all the thirteen colonies.  In the second place, there were thousands of whites in many of the colonies in a state of temporary servitude, which was sometimes voluntary and sometimes involuntary.

Those who served against their will were convicts and felons, not only men and women who had been guilty of stealing, cheating, and the like, but also forgers, counterfeiters, and murderers, who were transported by thousands from the English prisons to the colonies and sold into slavery or service for seven or fourteen years.[1] Advertisements are extant in which the masters from whom such servants have run away warn the people to beware of them.

[Footnote 1:  One act of Parliament, for instance, provided that persons sentenced to be whipped or branded might, if they wished, escape the punishment by serving seven years in the colonies, and never returning to England.  Another allowed convicts sentenced to death to commute the sentence by serving fourteen years.]

But all “indented” or bond servants were not criminals.  Many were reputable persons who sold themselves into service for a term of years in return for transportation to America.  Others, generally boys and young women, had been kidnaped and sold by the persons who stole them.

%94.  Indentured Servants.%—­In the case of such as came voluntarily, carefully drawn agreements called indentures would be made in writing.  The captain of the ship would agree to bring the emigrant to America.  The emigrant would agree in return to serve the captain three or five years.  When the ship reached port, the captain would advertise the fact that he had carpenters, tailors, farmers, shoemakers, etc., for sale, and whoever wanted such labor would go on board the ship and for perhaps fifty dollars buy a man bound to serve him for several years in return for food, clothes, and lodging.  Not only men, but also women and children, were sold in this way, and were known as “indented servants,” or “redemptioners,” because they redeemed their time of service with labor.  Their lot seems to have been a hard one; for the young men were constantly running away, and the newspapers are full of advertisements offering rewards for their arrest.

What we call the workingman, the day laborer, the mechanic, the mill hand, had no existence as classes.  The great corporations, railroads, express companies, mills, factories of every sort, which now cover our land and give employment to five times as many men and women as lived in all the colonies in 1763, are the creatures of our own time.

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[Illustration:  Wigs and wig bag]

[Illustration:  Flax wheel]

%95.  No Manufacturers.%—­For this state of things England was largely to blame.  For one hundred years past every kind of manufacture that could compete with the manufactures of the mother country had been crushed by law.  In order to help her iron makers, she forbade the colonists to set up iron furnaces and slitting mills.  That her cloth manufacturers might flourish, she forbade the colonists to send their woolen goods to any country whatever, or even from one colony to another.  Under this law it was a crime to knit a pair of mittens or a pair of socks and send them from Boston to Providence or from New York to Newark, or from Philadelphia across the Delaware to New Jersey.  In the interest of English hatters the colonists were not allowed to send hats to any foreign country, nor from one colony to another, and a serious effort was made to prevent the manufacture of hats in America.  People in this country were obliged to wear English-made hats.  Taking the country through, every saw, every ax, every hammer, every needle, pin, tack, piece of tape, and a hundred other articles of daily use came from Great Britain.

Every farmhouse, however, was a little factory, and every farmer a jack-of-all-trades.  He and his sons made their own shoes, beat out nails and spikes, hinges, and every sort of ironmongery, and constructed much of the household furniture.  The wife and her daughters manufactured the clothing, from dressing the flax and carding the wool to cutting the cloth; knit the mittens and socks; and during the winter made straw bonnets to sell in the towns in the spring.

Even in such towns as were large enough to support a few artisans, each made, with the help of an apprentice, and perhaps a journeyman, all the articles he sold.

[Illustration:  Hand loom[1]]

%96.  The Cities.%—­If we take a map of our country and run over the great cities of to-day, we find that except along the seacoast hardly one existed, in 1765, even in name.  Detroit was a little French settlement surrounded with a high stockade.  New Orleans existed, and St. Louis had just been founded, but they both belonged to Spain.  Mobile and Pensacola and Natchez and Vincennes consisted of a few huts gathered about old French forts.  There was no city, no town worthy of the name, in the English colonies west of the Alleghany Mountains.  Along the Atlantic coast we find Portsmouth, Boston, Providence, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Alexandria, Williamsburg, Charleston, Savannah, and others of less note.  But the largest of these were mere collections of a few hundred houses ranged along streets, none of which were sewered and few of which were paved or lighted.  The watchman went his rounds at night with rattle and lantern, called out the hours and the state of the weather, and stopped and demanded the name of every person found walking the streets after nine o’clock.  To travel on Sunday was a serious and punishable offense, as it was on any day to smoke in the streets, or run from house to house with hot coals, which in those days, when there were no matches, were often used instead of flint and steel to light fires.

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[Footnote 1:  From an old loom in the National Museum, Washington.]

[Illustration:  Colonial mansion in Charleston]

Travel between the large towns was almost entirely by sailing vessel, or on horseback.  The first stagecoach-and-four in New England began its trips in 1744.  The first stage between New York and Philadelphia was not set up till 1756, and spent three days on the road.

%97.  The Three Groups of Colonies.%—­It has always been usual to arrange the colonies in three groups:  1.  The Eastern or New England Colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). 2.  The Middle Colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware). 3.  The Southern Colonies (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia).  Now, this arrangement is good not only from a geographical point of view, but also because the people, the customs, the manners, the occupations, in each of these groups were very unlike the people and the ways of living in the others.

[Illustration:  New England mansion]

%98.  Occupations in New England.%—­In New England the colonists were almost entirely English, though there were some Scotch, some Scotch-Irish, a few Huguenot refugees from France, and, in Rhode Island, a few Portuguese Jews.  As the climate and soil did not admit of raising any great staple, such as rice or tobacco, the people “took to the sea.”  They cut down trees, with which the land was covered, built ships, and sailed away to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland for cod, and to the whale fisheries for oil.  They went to the English, Dutch, and Spanish West Indian Islands, with flour, salt meat, horses, oxen; with salted salmon, cod, and mackerel; with staves for barrels; with onions and salted oysters.  In return, they came back with sugar, molasses, cotton, wool, logwood, and Spanish dollars with which the New England Colonies paid for the goods they took from England.  They went to Spain, where their ships were often sold, the captains chartering English vessels and coming home with cargoes of goods made in England.  Six hundred ships are said to have been employed in the foreign trade of Boston, and more than a thousand in the fisheries and the trade along the coast.

[Illustration:  Dutch House at Albany[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an old print.]

Farming, outside of Connecticut, yielded little more than a bare subsistence.  Manufactures in general were forbidden by English law.  Paper and hats were made in small quantities, leather was tanned, lumber was sawed, and rum was distilled from molasses; but it was on homemade manufactures that the people depended.

%99.  Occupations in the Middle Colonies.%—­In the Middle Colonies the population was a mixture of people from many European countries.  The line of little villages which began at the west end of Long Island and stretched up the Hudson to Albany, and out the Mohawk to Schenectady—–­the settled part of New York—­contained Englishmen, Irishmen, Dutchmen, French Huguenots, Germans from the Rhine countries, and negroes from Africa.  The chief occupations of those people were farming, making flour, and carrying on an extensive commerce with England, Spain, and the West Indian Islands.

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[Illustration:  Shoes worn by Palatines in Pennsylvania]

In New Jersey the population was almost entirely English, but in Pennsylvania it was as mixed as in New York.  Around Philadelphia the English predominated, but with them were mingled Swedes, Dutch, Welsh, Germans, and Scotch-Irish.  Taken together, the Germans and the Scotch-Irish far outnumbered the English, and made up the mass of the population between the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna rivers.  Both were self-willed and stubborn, and they were utterly unable to get along together peaceably, so that their settlements ran across the state in two parallel bands, in one of which whole regions could be found in which not a word of English was spoken.  Indeed, then, and long after the nineteenth century began, the laws of Pennsylvania were printed both in English and in German.  The chief occupation of the people was farming; and it is safe to say that no such farms, no such cattle, no such grain, flour, provisions, could be found in any other part of the country.  Lumber, too, was cut and sold in great quantities; and along the frontier there was a lively fur trade with the Indians.  At Philadelphia was centered a fine trade with Europe and the West Indies.  Had it not been for the action of the mother country, manufactures would have flourished greatly; even as it was, iron and paper were manufactured in considerable quantities.

%100.  Occupations in the Southern Colonies.%—­South of Pennsylvania, and especially south of the Potomac River, lay a region utterly unlike anything to the north of it.  In Virginia, there were no cities, no large towns, no centers of population.  At an early day in the history of the colony the legislature had attempted to remedy this, and had ordered towns to be built at certain places, had made them the only ports where ships from abroad could be entered, had established tobacco warehouses in them, had offered special privileges to tradesmen who would settle in them, and had provided that each should have a market and a fair.  But the success was small, and Fredericksburg and Alexandria and Petersburg were straggling villages.  Jamestown, the old capital, had by this time ceased to exist.  Williamsburg, the new capital, was a village of 200 houses.  There was no business, no incentive in Virginia to build towns.  The planters owned immense plantations along the river banks, and raised tobacco, which, when gathered, cured, and packed into hogsheads, was rolled away to the nearest wharf for inspection and shipment to London.  In those early days, when good roads were unknown and wagons few, shafts were attached to each hogshead by iron bolts driven into the heads, and the cask was thus turned into a huge roller.  With each year’s crop would go a long list of articles of every sort,—­hardware, glass, crockery, clothing, furniture, household utensils, wines,—­which the agent was instructed to buy with the proceeds of the tobacco and send back to the planter when the ships came a year later for another crop.  The country abounded in trees, yet tables, chairs, boxes, cart wheels, bowls, birch brooms, all came from the mother country.  The wood used for building houses was actually cut, sent to England as logs to be dressed, and then taken back to Virginia for use.

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[Illustration:  Tobacco rolling[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From a model in the National Museum, Washington.]

Maryland was in the same condition.  Her people raised tobacco, and with it bought their clothing, household goods, brass and copper wares, and iron utensils in Great Britain.

In South Carolina rice was the great staple, just as tobacco was the staple of Virginia, and there too were large plantations and no towns.  All the social, commercial, legal, and political life of the colony centered in Charleston, from which a direct trade was carried on with London.

[Illustration:  %An old Maryland manor house%]

Labor on the plantations of Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia was performed exclusively by negro slaves and redemptioners.

%101.  Civil Government in the English Colonies.%—­If we arrange the colonies according to the kind of civil government in each, we find that they fall into three classes: 

1.  The charter colonies (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island).

2.  The proprietary colonies (Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland).

3.  The royal, or provincial, colonies (New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia).

The charters of the first group were written contracts between the King and the colonists, defined the share each should have in the government, and were not to be changed without the consent of both parties.  In colonies of the second group some individual, called the proprietary, was granted a great tract of land by the King, and, under a royal charter, was given power to sell the land to settlers, establish government, and appoint the governors of his colony.  In the third group, the King appointed the governors and instructed them as to the way in which he wished his colonies to be ruled.

With these differences, all the colonies had the same form of government.  In each there was a legislature elected by the people; in each the right to vote was limited to men who owned land, paid taxes, had a certain yearly income, and were members of some Christian church.  The legislature consisted of two branches:  the lower house, to which the people elected delegates; and the upper house, or council, appointed by the governor.  These legislatures could do many things, but their powers were limited and their acts were subject to review:  1.  They could do nothing contrary to the laws of England. 2.  Whatever they did could be vetoed by the governors, and no bill could be passed over the veto. 3.  All laws passed by a colonial legislature (except in the case of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland), and approved by a governor, must even then be sent to England to be examined by the King in Council, and could be “disallowed” or vetoed by the King at any time within three years.  This power was used so constantly that the colonial legislatures, in time, would pass laws to run for

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two years, and when that time expired would reenact them for two years more, and so on in order to avoid the veto.  In this way the colonists became used to three political institutions which were afterwards embodied in what is now the American system of state and national government:  1.  The written constitution defining the powers of government. 2.  The exercise of the veto power by the governor. 3.  The setting aside of laws by a judicial body from whose decision there is no appeal.

%102.  The Colonial Governors.%—­The governor of a royal province was the personal representative of the King, and as such had vast power.  The legislature could meet only when he called it.  He could at any moment prorogue it (that is, command it to adjourn to a certain day) or dissolve it, and, if the King approved, he need never call it together again.  He was the chief justice of the highest colonial court, he appointed all the judges, and, as commander in chief of the militia, appointed all important officers.  Yet even he was subject to some control, for his salary was paid by the colony over which he ruled, and, by refusing to pay this salary, the legislature could, and over and over again did, force him to approve acts he would not otherwise have sanctioned.  In Connecticut and Rhode Island the people elected the governors.  This right once existed also in Massachusetts; but when the old charter was swept away in 1684, and replaced by a new one in 1691, the King was given power to appoint the governor, who could summon, dissolve, and prorogue the legislature at his pleasure.

%103.  Lords of Trade and Plantations.%—­That the King should give personal attention to all the details of government in his colonies in America, was not to be expected.  In 1696, therefore, a body called the Lords of the Board of Trade and Plantations was commissioned by the King to do this work for him.  These Lords of Trade corresponded with the governors, made recommendations, bade them carry out this or that policy, veto this or that class of laws, examined all the laws sent over by the legislatures, and advised the King as to which should be disallowed, or vetoed.

In the early years of our colonial history the Parliament of England had no share in the direction of colonial affairs.  It was the King who owned all the land, made all the grants, gave all the charters, created all the colonies, governed many of them, and stoutly denied the right of Parliament to meddle.  But when Charles I. was beheaded, the Long Parliament took charge of the management of affairs in this country, and although much of it went back to the King at the Restoration in 1660, Parliament still continued to legislate for the colonies in a few matters.  Thus, for instance, Parliament by one act established the postal service, and fixed the rates of postage; by another it regulated the currency, and by another required the colonists to change from the Old Style to the New Style—­that is, to stop using the Julian calendar and to count time in future by the Gregorian calendar; by another it established a uniform law of naturalization; and from time to time it passed acts for the purpose of regulating colonial trade.

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%104.  Acts of Trade and Navigation.%—­The number of these acts is very large; but their purpose was four fold: 

1.  They required that colonial trade should be carried on in ships built and owned in England or in the colonies, and manned to the extent of two thirds of the crew by English subjects.

2.  They provided a long list of colonial products that should not be sent to any foreign ports other than a port of England.  Goods or products not in the list might be sent to any other part of the world.  Thus tobacco, sugar, indigo, copper, furs, rice (if the rice was for a port north of Cape Finisterre), must go to England; but lumber, salt fish, and provisions might go (in English or colonial ships) to France, or Spain, or to other foreign countries.

3.  When trade began to spring up between the colonies, and the New England merchants were competing in the colonial markets with English merchants, an act was passed providing that if a product which went from one colony to another was of a kind that might have been supplied from England, it must either go to the mother country and then to the purchasing colony, or pay an export duty at the port where it was shipped, equal to the import duty it would have to pay in England.

4.  No goods were allowed to be carried from any place in Europe to America unless they were first landed at a port in England.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Edward Eggleston’s papers in the Century Magazine, 1884; Scudder’s Men and Manners One Hundred Years Ago; Lodge’s English Colonies.]


1.  The men who began the long struggle for the rights of Englishmen lived in a state of society very different from ours, and were utterly ignorant of most of the commonest things we use in daily life.

2.  Labor was performed by slaves, by criminals sent over to the colonies and sold, and by “indented servants,” or “redemptioners.”

3.  Manufactures were forbidden by the laws of trade.  Nobody was permitted to manufacture iron beyond the state of pig or bar iron, or make woolen goods for export, or make hats.

4.  Taking the colonies in geographical groups, the Eastern were engaged in fishing, in commerce, and in farming; the Middle Colonies were agricultural and commercial; the Southern were wholly agricultural, and raised two great, staples—­rice and tobacco.

5.  As a consequence, town life existed in the Eastern and Middle Colonies, and was little known in the South, particularly in Virginia.

6.  Over the colonies, as a great governing body to aid the King, were the Lords of Trade and Plantations in London.  Under them in America were the royal and proprietary governors, who with the local colonial legislatures managed the affairs of the colonies.


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Social and Industrial Condition.

Implements and inventions unknown. 
The printing press. 
The postal service. 
Trades and occupations then unknown.

Labor.}The apprentice.
      }The “indented servant.”
      }The redemptioner.
      }The slave.

No manufactures. }Iron making
Acts of trade regulating. }Cloth making. 
The cities. }Hat making.

The Navigation Acts. 
State of agriculture.


The charter colonies. 
The proprietary colonies. 
The royal colonies. 
The colonial governor. 
The Lords of Trade and Plantations. 
The King.



%105.  The New Provinces.%—­The acquisition of Canada and the Mississippi valley made it necessary for England to provide for their defense and government.  To do this she began by establishing three new provinces.

In Canada she marked out the province of Quebec, part of the south boundary of which is now the north boundary of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

In the South, out of the territory given by Spain, she made two provinces, East and West Florida.  The north boundary of West Florida was (1764) a parallel of latitude through the junction of the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers.  The north boundary of East Florida was part of the boundary of the present state.  The territory between the Altamaha and the St. Marys rivers was “annexed to Georgia.”

%106.  The Proclamation Line.%—­By the same proclamation which established these provinces, a line was drawn around the head waters of all the rivers in the United States which flow into the Atlantic Ocean, and the colonists were forbidden to settle to the west of it.  All the valley from the Great Lakes to West Florida, and from the proclamation line to the Mississippi, was set apart for the Indians.

%107.  The Country to be defended.%—­Having thus provided for the government of the newly acquired territory, it next became necessary to provide for its defense; for nobody doubted that both France and Spain would some day attempt to regain their lost possessions.  Arrangements were therefore made to bring over an army of 10,000 regular troops, scatter them over the country from Canada to Florida, and maintain them partly at the expense of the colonies and partly at the expense of the crown.

[Illustration:  THE BRITISH COLONIES IN 1764]

The share to be paid by the colonies was to be raised

1.  By enforcing the old trade and navigation laws.

2.  By a tax on sugar and molasses brought into the country.

3.  By a stamp tax.

%108.  Trial without Jury.%—­In order to enforce the old laws, naval vessels were sent to sail up and down the coast and catch smugglers.  Offenders when seized were to be tried in some vice-admiralty court, where they could not have trial by jury.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  This is one of the things complained of in the Declaration of Independence.]

%109.  The Sugar Act and Stamp Tax.%—­The Sugar Act was not a new grievance.  In 1733 Parliament laid a tax of 6_d_. a gallon on molasses and 5_s_. per hundredweight on sugar brought into this country from any other place than the British West Indies.  This was to force the colonists to buy their sugar and molasses from nobody but British sugar planters.  After having expired five times and been five times reenacted, the Sugar Act expired for the sixth time in 1763, and the colonies begged that it might not be renewed.  But Parliament merely reduced the molasses duty to 3_d_. and laid new duties on coffee, French and East Indian goods, indigo, white sugar, and Spanish and Portuguese wines.  It then resolved that “for further defraying the expense of protecting the colonists it would be necessary to charge certain stamp duties in the colonies.”

At that time, 1764, no such thing as an internal tax laid by Parliament for the purpose of raising revenue existed, or ever had existed, in America.  Money for the use of the King had always been raised by taxes imposed by the legislatures of the colonies.  The moment, therefore, the people heard that this money was to be raised in future by parliamentary taxation, they became much alarmed, and the legislatures instructed their business agents in London to protest.

This the agents did in February, 1765.  But Grenville, the Prime Minister, was not to be persuaded, and on March 22, 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act[1].

[Footnote 1:  The exact text of the Stamp Act has been reprinted in American History Leaflets, No. 21.  For an excellent account of the causes and consequences of the Stamp Act, read Lecky’s England in the Eighteenth Century, Vol.  III., Chap. 12; Frothingham’s Rise of the Republic of the United States, Chap. 5; Channing’s The United States of America, 1765-1865, pp. 41-50.]

%110.  The Stamp Distributors.%—­That the collection of the new duty might give as little offense to the colonists as possible, Grenville desired that the stamps and the stamped paper should be sold by Americans, and invited the agents of the colonies to name men to be “stamp distributors” in their colonies.  The law was to go into effect on the 1st of November, 1765.  After that day every piece of vellum, every piece of paper, on which was written any legal document for use in any court, was to be charged with a stamp duty of from three pence to ten pounds sterling.  After that day, every license, bond, deed, warrant, bill of lading, indenture, every pamphlet, almanac, newspaper, pack of cards, must be written or printed on stamped paper to be made in England and sold at prices fixed by law.  If any dispute arose under the law, the case might be tried in the vice-admiralty courts without a jury.[2]

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[Footnote:  The stamps were not the adhesive kind we are now accustomed to fasten on letters.  Those used for newspapers and pamphlets and printed documents consisted of a crown surmounting a circle in which were the words, “One Penny Sheet” or “Nine Pence per Quire,” and were stamped on each sheet in red ink by a hand stamp not unlike those used at the present day to cancel stamps on letters.  Others, used on vellum and parchment, consisted of a square piece of blue paper, glued on the parchment, and fastened by a little piece of brass.  A design was then impressed on the blue paper by means of a little machine like that used by magistrates and notaries public to impress their seals on legal documents.  When this was done, the parchment was turned over, and a little piece of white paper was pasted on the back of the stamp.  On this white piece was engraved, in black, the design shown in the second picture on p. 113, the monogram “G.  R.” meaning Georgius Rex, or King George.]

[Illustration:  Stamps used in 1765]

The money raised by this tax was not to be taken to England, but was to be spent in America for the defense of the colonies.  Nevertheless, the colonists were determined that none should be raised.  The question was not, Shall America support an army? but, Shall Parliament tax America?

%111.  The Virginia Resolutions.%—­In opposition to this, Virginia now led the way with a set of resolutions.  In the House of Burgesses, as the popular branch of her legislature was called, was Patrick Henry, the greatest orator in the colonies.  By dint of his fiery words, he forced through a set of resolutions setting forth

1.  That the first settlers in Virginia brought with them “all the privileges and immunities that have at any time been held” by “the people of Great Britain.”

2.  That their descendants held these rights.

3.  That by two royal charters the people of Virginia had been declared entitled to all the rights of Englishmen “born within the realm of England.”

4.  That one of these rights was that of being taxed “by their own Assembly.”

5.  That they were not bound to obey any law taxing them without consent of their Assembly.[1]

[Footnote 1:  These resolutions, printed in full from Henry’s manuscript copy, are in Channing’s The United States of America, 1765-1865, pp. 51, 52.  They were passed May 29, 1765.]

Massachusetts followed with a call for a congress to meet at New York city.

%112.  Stamp-act Congress.%—­To the congress thus called came delegates from all the colonies except New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.  The session began at New York, on the 5th of October, 1765; and after sitting in secret for twenty days, the delegates from six of the nine colonies present (Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland) signed a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.” [1]

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[Footnote 1:  This declaration is printed in full in Preston’s Documents Illustrative of American History, pp. 188-191.]

%113.  Declaration of Rights.%—­The ground taken in the declaration was: 

1.  That the Americans were subjects of the British crown.

2.  That it was the natural right of a British subject to pay no taxes unless he had a voice in laying them.

3.  That the Americans were not represented in Parliament.

4.  That Parliament, therefore, could not tax them, and that an attempt to do so was an attack on the rights of Englishmen and the liberty of self-government.

%114.  Grievances.%—­The grievances complained of were:  1.  Taxation without representation. 2.  Trial without jury (in the vice-admiralty courts). 3.  The Sugar Act. 4.  The Stamp Act. 5.  Restrictions on trade.

%115.  The English View of Representation.%—­We, in this country, do not consider a person represented in a legislature unless he can cast a vote for a member of that legislature.  In Great Britain, not individuals but classes were represented.  Thus, the clergy were represented by the bishops who sat in the House of Lords; the nobility, by the nobles who had seats in the House of Lords; and the mass of the people, the commons, by the members of the House of Commons.  At that time, very few Englishmen could vote for a member of the House of Commons.  Great cities like Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, did not send even one member.  When the colonists held that they were not represented in Parliament because they did not elect any members of that body, Englishmen answered that they were represented, because they were commoners.

%116.  Sons of Liberty.%—­Meantime, the colonists had not been idle.  Taking the name of “Sons of Liberty,” a name given to them in a speech by a member of Parliament (named Barre) friendly to their cause, they began to associate for resistance to the Stamp Act.  At first, they were content to demand that the stamp distributors named by the colonial agents in London should resign.  But when these officers refused, the people became violent; and at Boston, Newark, N.J., New Haven, New London, Conn., at Providence, at Newport, R.I., at Dover, N.H., at Annapolis, Md., serious riots took place.  Buildings were torn down, and more than one unhappy distributor was dragged from his home, and forced to stand before the people and shout, “Liberty, property, and no stamps.”

%117.  November 1, 1765.%—­As the 1st of November, the day on which the Stamp Act was to go into force, approached, the newspapers appeared decorated with death’s-heads, black borders, coffins, and obituary notices.  The Pennsylvania Journal dropped its usual heading, and in place of it put an arch with a skull and crossbones underneath, and this motto, “Expiring in the hopes of a resurrection to life again.”  In one corner was a coffin, and the words, “The last remains

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of the Pennsylvania Journal, which departed this life the 31st of October, 1765, of a stamp in her vitals.  Aged 23 years.”  The Pennsylvania Gazette, on November 7, the day of its first issue after the Stamp Act became law, published a half sheet, printed on one side, without any heading, and in its place the words, “No stamped paper to be had.”  During the next six months, every scrap of stamped paper that was heard of was hunted up and given to the flames.  Thus, when a vessel from Barbados, with a stamped newspaper published on that island, reached Philadelphia, the paper was seized and burned, one evening, at the coffeehouse, in the presence of a great crowd.  A vessel having put in from Halifax, a rumor spread that the captain had brought stamped paper with him, and was going to use it for his Philadelphia clearance.  This so enraged the people that the vessel was searched, and a sheet of paper with three stamps on it was found, and burned at the coffee-house.

%118.  Non-importation Agreements.%—­Meantime, the merchants in the larger towns, and the people all over the country, had been making written agreements not to import any goods from England for some months to come.

The effect of this measure was immense.  Not a merchant nor a manufacturer in Great Britain, engaged in the colonial trade, but found his American orders canceled and his goods left on his hands.  Not a ship returned from this country but carried back English wares which it had brought here to sell, but for which no purchaser could be found.

%119.  Stamp Act repealed.%—­When Parliament met in December, 1765, such a cry of distress came up from the manufacturing cities of England, that Parliament was forced to yield, and in March, 1766, the Stamp Act was repealed.  In the outburst of joy which followed in America, the intent and meaning of another act passed at the same time was little heeded.  In it was the declaration that Parliament did have the right to tax the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.”

%120.  The Townshend Acts.%—­If the people thought this declaration had no meaning, they were much mistaken, for next year (1767) Parliament passed what have since been called the Townshend Acts.  There were three of them.  One forbade the legislature of New York to pass any more laws till it had provided the royal troops in the city with beds, candles, fire, vinegar, and salt, as required by what was called the Mutiny Act.  The second established at Boston a Board of Commissioners of the Customs to enforce the laws relating to trade.  The third laid taxes on glass, red and white lead, painter’s colors, paper, and tea.  None of these taxes was heavy.  But again the right of Parliament to tax people not represented in it had been asserted, and again the colonists rose in resistance.  The legislature of Massachusetts sent a letter to each of the other colonial legislatures, urging them to unite and consult for the protection of their rights.  Pennsylvania sent protests to the King and to Parliament.  The merchants all over the country renewed their old agreements not to import British goods, and many a shipload was sent back to England.

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%121.  Colonial Legislatures dissolved.%[1]—­The letter of Massachusetts to the colonial legislatures having given great offense to the King, the governors were ordered to see to it that the legislatures did not approve it.  But the order came too late.  Many had already done so, and as a punishment the assemblies of Maryland and Georgia were dismissed and the members sent home.  To dissolve assemblies became of frequent occurrence.  The legislature of Massachusetts was dissolved because it refused to recall the letter.  That of New York was repeatedly dissolved for refusing to provide the royal troops with provisions.  That of Virginia was dismissed for complaining of the treatment of New York.

[Footnote 1:  One of the charges against the King in the Declaration of Independence.]

%122.  Boston Riot of 1770.%—­And now the troops intended for the defense of the colonies began to arrive.  But Massachusetts, North Carolina, and South Carolina followed the example of New York, and refused to find them quarters.  For this the legislature of North Carolina was dissolved.  Everywhere the presence of the soldiers gave great offense; but in Boston the people were less patient than elsewhere.  They accused the soldiers of corrupting the morals of the town; of desecrating the Sabbath with fife and drum; of striking citizens who insulted them; and of using language violent, threatening, and profane.  In this state of feeling, an alarm of fire called the people into the streets on the night of March 5, 1770.  The alarm was false, and a crowd of men and boys, having nothing to do, amused themselves by annoying a sentinel on guard at one of the public buildings.  He called for help, and a corporal and six men were soon on the scene.  But the crowd would not give way.  Forty or fifty men came armed with sticks and pressed around the soldiers, shouting, “Rascals!  Lobsters!  Bloody-backs!” throwing snowballs and occasionally a stone, till in the excitement of the moment a soldier fired his gun.  The rest followed his example, and when the reports died away, five of the rioters lay on the ground dead or dying, and six more dangerously wounded.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The soldiers were tried for murder and were defended by John Adams and Josiah Quincy.  Two were found guilty of manslaughter.  The rest were acquitted.  On the massacre read Frothingham’s Life of Warren, Chaps. 6, 7; Kidder’s The Boston Massacre; Joseph Warren’s Oration on March 6, 1775, in Library of American Literature, Vol.  III., p. 256.]

This riot, this “Boston Massacre,” or, as the colonists delighted to call it, “the bloody massacre,” excited and aroused the whole land, forced the government to remove the soldiers from Boston to an island in the bay, and did more than anything else which had yet happened, to help on the Revolution.

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%123.  Tea sent to America and not received.%—­While these things were taking place in America—­indeed, on the very day of the Boston riot—­a motion was made in Parliament for the repeal of all the taxes laid by the Townshend Acts except that on tea.  The tea tax of 3d. a pound, payable in the colonies, was retained in order that the right of Parliament to tax America might be vindicated.  But the people held fast to their agreements not to consume articles taxed by Great Britain.  No tea was drunk, save such as was smuggled from Holland, and at the end of three years’ time the East India Company had 17,000,000 pounds of tea stored in its warehouses (1773).  This was because the company was not permitted to send tea out of England.  It might only bring tea to London and there sell it at public sale to merchants and shippers, who exported it to America.  But now when the merchants could not find anybody to buy tea in the colonies, they bought less from the company, and the tea lay stored in its warehouses.  To relieve the company, and if possible tempt the people to use the tea, the exportation tax was taken off and the company was given leave to export tea to America consigned to commissioners chosen by itself.  Taking off the shilling a pound export tax in England, and charging but 3d. import tax in America, made it possible for the company to sell tea cheaper than could the merchants who smuggled it.  Yet even this failed.  The people forced the tea commissioners to resign or send the tea ships back to England.  In Charleston, S.C., the tea was landed and stored for three years, when it was sold by South Carolina.  In Philadelphia the people met, and having voted that the tea should not be landed, they stopped the ship as it came up the Delaware, and sent it back to London.

%124.  The Boston Tea Party.%—­At Boston also the people tried to send the tea ships to England, but the authorities would not allow them to leave, whereupon a band of young men disguised as Indians boarded the vessels, broke open the boxes, and threw the tea into the water.

%125.  The Five Intolerable Acts.%—­When Parliament heard of these events, it at once determined to punish Massachusetts, and in order to do this passed five laws which were so severe that the colonists called them the “Intolerable Acts.”  They are generally known as

1.  The Boston Port Bill, which shut the port of Boston to trade and commerce, forbade ships to come in or go out, and moved the customhouse to Marblehead.

2.  The Transportation Bill, which gave the governor power to send anybody accused of murder in resisting the laws, to another colony or to England for trial.

3.  The Massachusetts Bill, which changed the old charter of Massachusetts, provided for a military governor, and forbade the people to hold public meetings for any other purpose than the election of town officers, without permission from the governor.

4.  The Quartering Act, which legalized the quartering of troops on the people.

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5.  The Quebec Act, which enlarged the province of Quebec (pp. 111, 124) to include all the territory between the Great Lakes, the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, and Pennsylvania.  This territory was claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia under their “sea to sea” charters (pp. 33, 46, 52, 156).

%126.  A Congress called.%—­When the Virginia legislature in May, 1774, heard of the passage of the Boston Port Bill, it passed a resolution that the day on which the law went into effect in Boston should be a day of “fasting, humiliation, and prayer” in Virginia.  For this the governor at once dissolved the legislature.  But the members met and instructed a committee to correspond with the other colonies on the expediency of holding another general congress of delegates.  All the colonies approved, and New York requested Massachusetts to name the time and place of meeting.  This she did, selecting Philadelphia as the place, and September 1, 1774, as the time.

%127.  The First Continental Congress.%—­From September 5 to October 26, accordingly, fifty-five delegates, representing every colony except Georgia, held meetings in Carpenter’s Hall at Philadelphia, and issued: 

1.  An address to the people of the colonies. 2.  An address to the Canadians. 3.  An address to the people of Great Britain. 4.  An address to the King. 5.  A declaration of rights.

%128.  The Declaration of Rights.%[1]—­In this declaration the rights of the colonists were asserted to be: 

1.  Life, liberty, and property. 2.  To tax themselves. 3.  To assemble peaceably to petition for the redress of grievances. 4.  To enjoy the rights of Englishmen and all the rights granted by the colonial charters.

[Footnote 1:  Printed in Preston’s Documents, pp. 192-198.  The best account of the coming of the Revolution is Frothingham’s Rise of the Republic of the United States, Chaps. 5-11.]

These rights it was declared had been violated: 

1.  By taxing the people without their consent. 2.  By dissolving assemblies. 3.  By quartering troops on the people in time of peace. 4.  By trying men without a jury. 5.  By passing the five Intolerable Acts.

Before the Congress adjourned it was ordered that another Congress should meet on May 10, 1775, in order to take action on the result of the petition to the King.


1.  As soon as Great Britain acquired Canada and the eastern part of the Mississippi valley from France, and Florida from Spain, she did three things: 

A. She established the provinces of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and the Indian country.

B. She drew a line round the sources of all the rivers flowing into the Atlantic from the west and northwest, and commanded the colonial governors to grant no land and to allow no settlements to be made west of this line.

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C. She decided to send a standing or permanent army to America to take possession of the new territory and defend the colonies.

2.  A part of the cost of keeping up this army she decided to meet by taxing the colonists.  This she had never done before.

3.  The chief tax was the stamp duty on paper, vellum, etc.  This the colonists refused to pay, and Parliament repealed it.

4.  The colonists having denied the right of Parliament to tax them, that body determined to establish its right and passed the “Townshend Acts.”  But the colonists refused to buy British goods, and Parliament repealed all the Townshend duties except that on tea.

5.  As the Americans would not order tea from London, the East India Company was allowed to send it.  But the people in the five cities to which the tea was sent destroyed it or sent it back.

6.  Parliament thereupon attempted to punish Massachusetts and passed the Intolerable Acts.

7.  These acts led to the calling and the meeting of the First Continental Congress.

France                                         Spain
/----------------\                                /-------\
Cape Breton.                                       Florida
Louisiana east of
the Mississippi.
and cuts the new territory (1763) into
Province of Quebec,
East Florida,
West Florida,
Indian country,
and draws proclamation line
limiting colonies in the west.
New colonial policy necessary.
Country to be defended by 10,000 royal troops. 
Cost of troops to be paid
Partly by crown.                  Partly by colonies.
Share of colonies to be raised by
Enforcing acts of trade and navigation. 
Taxes on sugar and molasses. 
Stamp tax (1765).
-\ Resisted.  Principle involved.  Action of Virginia and Massachusetts.  Stamp Act Congress.  Act repealed (1766).  Declaratory Act (1766). --------------- / \ | | Glass. | | | Red and white lead. | --------------- | Painters’ colors | Resisted and repealed (1770) Townshend Acts | Paper. | (1767). | Tea. / \ /--------^-------\ Enforced.  Resisted (1773).  Resistance / \ punished by | Five Intoler- | Continental | able Acts. | Congress called(1774). \ /



[Illustration:  Statue of the Minute Man at Concord]

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%129%.  When the 10th of May, 1775, came, the colonists had ceased to petition and had begun to fight.  In accordance with the Massachusetts Bill, General Thomas Gage had been appointed military governor of Massachusetts.  He reached Boston in May, 1774, and summoned an assembly to meet him at Salem in October.  But, alarmed at the angry state of the people, he fortified Boston Neck,—­the only land approach to the city, and countermanded the meeting.  The members, claiming that an assembly could not be dismissed before it met, gave no heed to the proclamation, but gathered at Salem and adjourned to Concord and then to Cambridge.  At Cambridge a Committee of Safety was chosen and given power to call out the troops, and steps were taken to collect ammunition and military stores.  A month later at another meeting, 12,000 “minute men” were ordered to be enrolled.  These minute men were volunteers pledged to be ready for service at a minute’s notice, and lest 12,000 should not be enough, the neighboring colonies were asked to raise the number to 20,000.

[Illustration:  Map of Country around Boston]

%130.  Concord and Lexington.%—­Meantime the arming and drilling went actively on, and powder was procured, and magazines of provisions and military stores were collected at Concord, at Worcester, at Salem, and at many other towns.  Aware of this, Gage, on the night of April 18, 1775, sent off 800 regulars to destroy the stores at Concord, a town some twenty miles from Boston.  Gage wished to keep this expedition secret, but he could not.  The fact that the troops were to march became known to the patriots in Boston, who determined to warn the minute men in the neighborhood.  Messengers were accordingly stationed at Charlestown and told to ride in every direction and rouse the people, the moment they saw lights displayed from the tower of the Old North Church in Boston.  The instant the British began to march, two lights were hung out in the tower, and the messengers sped away to do their work.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The ride of one of these men, that of Paul Revere, has become best known because of Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride. Read it. ]

The road taken by the British lay through the little village of Lexington, and there (so well had the messengers done their work), about sunrise, on the morning of the 19th, the British came suddenly on a little band of minute men drawn up on the green before the meeting house.  A call to disperse was not obeyed; whereupon the British fired a volley, killing or wounding sixteen minute men, and passed on to Concord.  There they spiked three cannon, threw some cannon balls and powder into the river, destroyed some flour, set fire to the courthouse, and started back toward Boston.  But “the shot heard round the world” had indeed been fired.[2] The news had spread far and wide.  The minute men came hurrying in, and from farmhouses and hedges, from haystacks, and from behind trees

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and stone fences, they poured a deadly fire on the retreating British.  The retreat soon became a flight, and the flight would have ended in capture had they not been reenforced by 900 men at Lexington.  With the help of these they reached Charlestown Neck by sundown and entered Boston.[3] All night long minute men came in from every quarter, so that by the morning of April 20th great crowds were gathered outside of Charlestown and at Roxbury, and shut the British in Boston.

[Footnote 2:  Read R. W. Emerson’s fine poem, Concord Hymn. ]

[Footnote 3:  Force’s American Archives, Vol.  II.; Hudson’s History of Lexington, Chaps. 6, 7; Phinney’s Battle of Lexington; Shattuck’s History of Concord, Chap. 7. ]

When the news of Concord and Lexington reached the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont, they too took up arms, and, under Ethan Allen, captured Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775.

%131.  Congress becomes a Governing Body.%—­The first Continental Congress had been chosen by the colonies in 1774, to set forth the views of the people, and remonstrate against the conduct of the King and Parliament.  This Congress, it will be remembered, having done so, fixed May 10, 1775, as the day whereon a second Congress should meet to consider the results of their remonstrance.  But when the day came, Lexington and Concord had been fought, all New England was in arms, and Congress was asked to adopt the army gathered around Boston, and assume the conduct of the war.  Congress thus unexpectedly became a governing body, and began to do such things as each colony could not do by itself.

%132.  Origin of the Continental Army.%—­After a month’s delay it did adopt the little band of patriots gathered about Boston, made it the Continental Army, and elected George Washington, then a delegate in Congress, commander in chief.  He was chosen because of the military skill he had displayed in the French and Indian War, and because it was thought necessary to have a Virginian for general, Virginia being then the most populous of the colonies.

Washington accepted the trust on June 16, and set out for Boston on June 21; but he had not ridden twenty miles from Philadelphia when he was met by the news of Bunker Hill.

%133.  Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.%—­On a narrow peninsula to the north of Boston, and separated from it by a sheet of water half a mile wide, was the village of Charlestown; behind it were two small hills.  The nearer of the two to Charlestown was Breeds Hill.  Just beyond it was Bunker Hill, and as the two overlooked Boston and the harbor where the British ships lay at anchor, the possession of them was of much importance.  The Americans, learning of Gage’s intention to fortify the hills, sent a force of 1200 men, under Colonel Prescott, on the night of June 16, to take possession of Bunker Hill.  By some mistake Prescott passed Bunker Hill, reached Breeds Hill, and before dawn had thrown up a large

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earthwork.  The moment daylight enabled it to be seen, the British opened fire from their ships.  But the Americans worked steadily on in spite of cannon shot, and by noon had constructed a line of intrenchments extending from the earthwork down the hill toward the water.  Gage might easily have landed men and taken this intrenchment in the rear.  He instead sent Howe[1] and 2500 men over in boats from Boston, to land at the foot of the hill and charge straight up its steep side toward the Americans on its summit.  The Americans were bidden not to fire till they saw the whites of the enemy’s eyes, and obeyed.  Not a shot came from their line till the British were within a few feet.  Then a sheet of flames ran along the breastworks, and when the smoke blew away, the British were running down the hill in confusion.  With great effort the officers rallied their men and led them up the hill a second time, to be again driven back to the landing place.  This fire exhausted the powder of the Americans, and when the British troops were brought up for the third attack, the Americans fell back, fighting desperately with gunstocks and stones.  The results of this battle were two fold.  It proved to the Americans that the British regulars were not invincible, and it proved to the British that the American militia would fight.

[Footnote 1:  General William Howe had come to Boston with more British troops not long before.  In October, 1775, he was given chief command.]

[Illustration:  BOSTON, CHARLESTOWN, ETC.]

%134.  Washington takes Command.%—­Two weeks after this battle Washington reached the army, and on July 3, 1775, took command beneath an elm still standing in Cambridge.  Never was an army in so sorry a plight.  There was no discipline, and not much more than a third as many men as there had been a few weeks before.  But the indomitable will and sublime patience of Washington triumphed over all difficulties, and for eight months he kept the British shut up in Boston, while he trained and disciplined his army, and gathered ammunition and supplies.

%135.  Montreal taken.%—­Meanwhile Congress, fearing that Sir Guy Carleton, who was governor of Canada, would invade New York by way of Lake Champlain, sent two expeditions against him.  One, under Richard Montgomery, went down Lake Champlain, and captured Montreal.  Another, under Benedict Arnold, forced its way through the dense woods of Maine, and after dreadful sufferings reached Quebec.  There Montgomery joined Arnold, and on the night of December 31, 1775, the two armies assaulted Quebec, the most strongly fortified city in America, and actually entered it.  But Montgomery was killed, Arnold was wounded, the attack failed, and, six months later, the Americans were driven from Canada.

[Illustration:  Bunker Hill Monument]

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%136.  The British driven from Boston, March 17, 1776.%—­After eight months of seeming idleness, Washington, early in March, 1776, seized Dorchester Heights on the south side of Boston, fortified them, and so gave Howe his choice of fighting or retreating.  Fight he could not; for the troops, remembering the dreadful day at Bunker Hill, were afraid to attack intrenched Americans.  Howe thereupon evacuated Boston and sailed with his army for Halifax, March 17, 1776.  Washington felt sure that the British would next attack New York, so he moved his army there in April, 1776, and placed it on the Brooklyn hills.

%137.  Independence resolved on.%—­Just one year had now passed since the memorable fights at Concord and Lexington.  During this year the colonies had been solemnly protesting that they had no thought of independence and desired nothing so much as reconciliation with the King.  But the King meantime had done things which prevented any reconciliation: 

1.  He had issued a proclamation declaring the Americans to be rebels.

2.  He had closed their ports and warned foreign nations not to trade with them.

3.  He had hired 17,000 Hessians[1] with whom to subdue them.

[Footnote 1:  The Hessians were soldiers from Hesse and other small German states.]

These things made further obedience to the King impossible, and May 15, 1776, Congress resolved that it was “necessary to suppress every kind of authority under the crown,” and asked the colonies to form governments of their own and so become states.

On the 7th of June, Richard Henry Lee, acting under instructions from Virginia, offered this resolution: 


That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Prompt action in so serious a matter was not to be expected, and Congress put it off till July 1.  Meanwhile Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to write a declaration of independence and have it ready in case it was wanted.  As Jefferson happened to be the chairman of the committee, the duty of writing the declaration was given to him.  July 2, Congress passed Lee’s resolution, and what had been the United Colonies became free and independent states.

[Illustration:  Campaigns of 1775-1776]

[Illustration:  %The Pennsylvania Statehouse, or Independence Hall[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From the Columbian Magazine of July, 1787.  The tower faces the “Statehouse yard.”  The posts are along Chestnut Street.  For the history of the building, read F. M. Etting’s Independence Hall.]

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%138.  Independence declared.%—­Independence having thus been decreed, the next step was to announce the fact to the world.  As Jefferson says in the opening of his declaration, “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another ... a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”  It was this “decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” therefore, which now led Congress, on July 4, 1776, to adopt the Declaration of Independence, and to send copies to the states.  Pennsylvania got her copy first, and at noon on July 8 it was read to a vast crowd of citizens in the Statehouse yard.[1] When the reading was finished, the people went off to pull down the royal arms in the court room, while the great bell in the tower, the bell which had been cast twenty-four years before with the prophetic words upon its side, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” rang out a joyful peal, for then were announced to the world the new political truths, “that all men are created equal,” and “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” and “that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

[Footnote 1:  The declaration was read from a wooden platform put up there in 1769 to enable David Rittenhouse to observe a transit of Venus.]

[Illustration:  The royal arms]

%139.  The Retreat up the Hudson.%—­A few days later the Declaration was read to the army at New York.  The wisdom of Washington in going to New York was soon manifest, for in July General Howe, with a British army of 25,000 men, encamped on Staten Island.  In August he crossed to Long Island, and was making ready to besiege the army on Brooklyn Heights, when, one dark and foggy night, Washington, leaving his camp fires burning, crossed with his army to New York.

Howe followed, drove him foot by foot up the Hudson from New York to White Plains; carried Fort Washington, on the New York shore, by storm (November 16, 1776); and sent a force across the Hudson under cover of darkness and storm to capture Fort Lee.  But the British were detected in the very nick of time, and the Americans, leaving their fires burning and their tents standing, fled towards Newark, N. J.

%140.  The Retreat across the Jerseys.%—­Washington, meanwhile, had gone from White Plains to Hackensack in New Jersey, leaving 7000 men under Charles Lee in New York state at North Castle.  These men he now ordered Lee to bring over to Hackensack, but the jealous and mutinous Lee refused to obey.  This forced Washington to begin his famous retreat across the Jerseys, going first to Newark, then to New Brunswick, then to Trenton, and then over the Delaware into Pennsylvania, with the British under Cornwallis in hot pursuit.


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%141.  The Surprise at Trenton.%—­Lee crossed the Hudson and went to Morristown, where a just punishment for his disobedience speedily overtook him.  One night while he was at an inn outside of his lines, some British dragoons made him a prisoner of war.  The capture of Lee left Sullivan in command, and by him the troops were hurried off to join Washington.  Thus reenforced, Washington turned on the enemy, and on Christmas night in a blinding snowstorm he recrossed the Delaware, marched nine miles to Trenton, surprised a force of Hessians, took 1000 prisoners, and went back to Pennsylvania.

The effect of this victory was tremendous.  At first the people could not believe it, and, to convince them, the Hessians had to be marched through the streets of Philadelphia, and one of their flags was sent to Baltimore (whither Congress had fled from Philadelphia), and hung up in the hall of Congress.  When the people were convinced of the truth of the report, their joy was unbounded; militia was hurried forward, the Jerseymen gathered at Morristown, money was raised; the New England troops, whose time of service was out, were persuaded to stay six weeks longer, and, December 30, 1776, Washington again entered Trenton.

Meantime Cornwallis, who had heard of the capture of the Hessians, came thundering down from New Brunswick with 8000 men and hemmed in the Americans between his army and the Delaware.  But on the night of January 2, 1777, Washington slipped away, passed around Cornwallis, hurried to Princeton, and there, on the morning of January 3, put to rout three regiments of British regulars.  Cornwallis, who was not aware that the Americans had left his front till he heard the firing in his rear, fell back to New Brunswick, while Washington marched unmolested to Morristown, where he spent the rest of the winter.

%142.  The Capture of Philadelphia.%—­Late in May, 1777, Washington entered New York state.  But Howe paid little attention to this movement, for he had fully determined to attack and capture Philadelphia, and on July 23 set sail from New York.  As the fleet moved southward, its progress was marked by signal fires along the Jersey coast, and the news of its position was carried inland by messengers.  At the end of a week the fleet was off the entrance of Delaware Bay.  But Lord Howe fearing to sail up the river, the fleet went to sea and was lost to sight.  Washington, who had hurried southward to Philadelphia, was now at a loss what to do, and was just about to go back to New York when he heard that the British were coming up Chesapeake Bay, and at once marched to Wilmington, Del.


It was the 25th of August that Howe landed his men and began moving toward Washington, who, lest the British should push by him, fell back from Wilmington, to a place called Chadds Ford on the Brandywine, where, on September 11, 1777, a battle was fought.[1] The Americans were defeated and retreated in good order to Chester, and the next day Washington entered Philadelphia.  But public opinion demanded that another battle should be fought before the city was given up, and after a few days he recrossed the Schuylkill, and again faced the enemy.  A violent storm ruined the ammunition of both armies and prevented a battle, and the Americans retreated across the Schuylkill at a point farther up the stream.

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[Footnote:  1 Among the wounded in this battle was a brilliant young Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette, who, early in 1777, came to America and offered his services to Congress as a volunteer without pay.]

Congress, which had returned to Philadelphia from Baltimore, now fled to Lancaster and later to York, Pa., and (September 26, 1777) Howe entered Philadelphia in triumph.  October 4, Washington attacked him at Germantown, but was repulsed, and went into winter quarters at Valley Forge.


%143.  New York invaded.%—­Though Washington had been defeated in the battles around Philadelphia, and had been forced to give that city to the British, his campaign made it possible for the Americans to win another glorious victory in the north.  At the beginning of 1777 the British had planned to conquer New York and so cut the Eastern States off from the Middle States.  To accomplish this, a great army under John Burgoyne was to come up to Albany by way of Lake Champlain.  Another, under Colonel St. Leger, was to go up the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario to Oswego and come down to Mohawk valley to Albany; while the third army, under Howe, was to go up the Hudson from New York and meet Burgoyne at Albany.  True to this plan, Burgoyne came up Lake Champlain, took Ticonderoga (July 5), and, driving General Schuyler before him, reached Fort Edward late in July.  There he heard that the Americans had collected some supplies at Bennington, a little village in the southwestern corner of Vermont, whither he sent 1000 men.  But Colonel John Stark met and utterly destroyed them on August 16.  Meanwhile St. Leger, as planned, had landed at Oswego, and on August 3 laid siege to Fort Stanwix, which then stood on the site of the present city of Rome, N.Y.  On the 6th the garrison sallied forth, attacked a part of St. Leger’s camp, and carried off five British flags.  These they hoisted upside down on their ramparts, and high above them raised a new flag which Congress had adopted in June, and which was then for the first time flung to the breeze.

[Illustration:  Flag of the East India Company]

%144.  Our National Flag.%—­It was our national flag, the stars and stripes, and was made of a piece of a blue jacket, some strips of a white shirt, and some scraps of old red flannel.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The flags used by the continental troops between 1775 and 1777 were of at least a dozen different patterns.  A colored plate showing most of them is given in Treble’s Our Flag, p. 142.  In 1776, in January, Washington used one at Cambridge which seems to have been suggested by the ensign of the East India Company.  That of this company was a combination of thirteen horizontal red and white stripes (seven red and six white) and the red cross of St. George.  That of Washington was the same, with the British Union Jack substituted for the cross of St. George.  After the Declaration of Independence, the British Jack was out of place on our flag; and in June, 1777, Congress adopted a union of thirteen white stars in a circle, on a blue ground, in place of the British Union.  After Vermont and Kentucky were admitted, in 1791 and 1792, the stars and stripes were each increased to fifteen.  In 1818, the original number of stripes was restored, and since that time each new state, when admitted, is represented by a star and not by a stripe.]

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[Illustration:  Flag of the United Colonies]

[Illustration:  British Union Jack]

%145.  Capture of Burgoyne.%—­When Schuyler heard of the siege of Fort Stanwix, he sent Benedict Arnold to relieve it, and St. Leger fled to Oswego.  Then was the time for the expedition from New York to have hurried to Burgoyne’s aid.  But Howe and his army were then at sea.  No help was given to Burgoyne, who, after suffering defeats at Bemis Heights (September 19) and at Stillwater (October 7), retreated to Saratoga, where (October 17, 1777) he surrendered his army of 6000 men to General Horatio Gates, whom Congress, to its shame, had just put in the place of Schuyler.  Gates deserves no credit for the capture.  Arnold and Daniel Morgan deserve it, and deserve much; for, judged by its results, Saratoga was one of the great battles of the world.  The results of the surrender were four fold: 

1.  It saved New York state. 2.  It destroyed the plan for the war. 3.  It induced the King to offer us peace with representation in Parliament, or anything else we wanted except independence. 4.  It secured for us the aid of France.

[Illustration:  %Flag of the United States, 1777%]

%146.  Valley Forge.%—­The winter at Valley Forge marks the darkest period of the war.  It was a season of discouragement, when mean spirits grew bold.  Some officers of the army formed a plot, called from one of them the “Conway cabal,” to displace Washington and put Gates in command.  The country people, tempted by British gold, sent their provisions into Philadelphia and not to Valley Forge.  There the suffering of the half-clad, half-fed, ill-housed patriots surpasses description.

But the darkest hour is just before the dawn.  Then it was that an able Prussian soldier, Baron Steuben, joined the army, turned the camp into a school, drilled the soldiers, and made the army better than ever.  Then it was that France acknowledged our independence, and joined us in the war.

%147.  France acknowledges our Independence.%—­In October, 1776, Congress sent Benjamin Franklin to Paris to try to persuade the French King to help us in the war.  Till Burgoyne surrendered and Great Britain offered peace, Franklin found all his efforts vain.[1] But now, when it seemed likely that the states might again be brought under the British crown, the French King promptly acknowledged us to be an independent nation, made a treaty of alliance and a treaty of commerce (February 6, 1778), and soon had a fleet on its way to help us.

[Footnote 1:  For an account of Franklin in France, see McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 253-270.]

%148.  The British leave Philadelphia.%—­Hearing of the approach of the French fleet, Sir Henry Clinton, who in May had succeeded Howe in command, left Philadelphia and hurried to the defense of New York.  Washington followed, and, coming up with the rear guard of the enemy at Monmouth in New Jersey, fought a battle (June 28, 1778), and would have gained a great victory had not the traitor, Charles Lee, been in command.[2] Without any reason he suddenly ordered a retreat, which was fortunately prevented from becoming a rout by Washington, who came on the field in time to stop it.

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[Footnote 2:  After remaining a prisoner in the hands of the British from December, 1776, to April, 1778, Lee had been exchanged for a British officer.]

After the battle the British hurried on to New York, where Washington partially surrounded them by stretching out his army from Morristown in New Jersey to West Point on the Hudson.

%149.  Stony Point.%—­In hope of drawing Washington away from New York, Clinton in 1779 sent a marauding party to plunder and ravage the farms and towns of Connecticut.  But Washington soon brought it back by dispatching Anthony Wayne to capture Stony Point, which he did (July, 1779) by one of the most brilliant assaults in military history.

%150.  Indian Raids.%—­That nothing might be wanting to make the suffering of the patriots as severe as possible, the Indians were let loose.  Led by a Tory[1] named Butler, a band of whites and Indians of the Seneca tribe of the Six Nations[2] marched from Fort Niagara to Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania, and there perpetrated one of the most awful massacres in history.  Another party, led by a son of Butler, repeated the horrors of Wyoming in Cherry Valley, N.Y.

[Footnote 1:  Not all the colonists desired independence.  Those who remained loyal to the King were called Tories.]

[Footnote 2:  By this time the Five Nations had admitted the Tuscaroras to their confederacy and had thus become the Six Nations.]

%151.  George Rogers Clark%.—­Meantime the British commander at Detroit tried hard to stir up the Indians of the West to attack the whole frontier at the same moment.  Hearing of this, George Rogers Clark of Virginia marched into the enemy’s country, and in two fine campaigns in 1778-1779 beat the British, and conquered the country from the Ohio to the Great Lakes and from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi.

%152.  Sullivan’s Expedition%.—­In 1779 it seemed so important to punish the Indians for the Wyoming and Cherry Valley massacres that General Sullivan with an army invaded the territory of the Six Nations, in central New York, burned some forty Indian villages, and utterly destroyed the Indian power in that state.

%153.  The South invaded%.—­For a year and more there had been a lull in military operations on the part of the British.  But they now began an attack in a new quarter.  Having failed to conquer New England in 1775-1776, having failed to conquer the Middle States in 1776-1777, they sent an expedition against the South in December, 1778.  Success attended it.  Savannah was captured, Georgia was conquered, and the royal governor reinstated.  Later, in 1779, General Lincoln, with a French fleet to help him, attempted to recapture Savannah, but was driven off with dreadful loss of life.

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These successes in Georgia so greatly encouraged the British that in the spring of 1780 Clinton led an expedition against South Carolina, and (May 12) easily captured Charleston, with Lincoln and his army.  By dint of great exertions another army was quickly raised in North Carolina, and the command given to Gates by Congress.  He was utterly unfit for it, and (August 16, 1780) was defeated and his army almost destroyed at Camden by Lord Cornwallis.  Never in the whole course of the war had the American army suffered such a crushing defeat.  All military resistance in South Carolina was at an end, save such as was offered by gallant bands of patriots led by Marion, Sumter, and Pickens.

%154.  The Treason of Arnold.%—­The outlook was now dark enough; but it was made darker still by the treachery of Benedict Arnold.  No officer in the Revolutionary army was more trusted.  His splendid march through the wilderness to Quebec, his bravery in the attack on that city, the skill and courage he displayed at Saratoga, had marked him out as a man full of promise.  But he lacked that moral courage without which great abilities count for nothing.  In 1778 he was put in command of Philadelphia, and while there so abused his office that he was sentenced to be reprimanded by Washington.  This aroused a thirst for revenge, and led him to form a scheme to give up the Hudson River to the enemy.  With this end in view, he asked Washington in July, 1780, for the command of West Point, the great stronghold on the Hudson, obtained it, and at once made arrangements to surrender it to Clinton.  The British agent in the negotiation was Major John Andre, who one day in September met Arnold near Stony Point.  But most happily, as he was going back to New York, three Americans[1] stopped him near Tarrytown, searched him, and in his stockings found some papers in the handwriting of Arnold.  News of the arrest of Andre reached Arnold in time to enable him to escape to the British; he served with them till the end of the war, and then sought a refuge in England.  Andre was tried as a spy, found guilty, and hanged.

[Footnote 1:  The names of these men were Paulding, Williams, and Van Wart.]

%155.  Victory at Kings Mountain.%—­After the defeat of Gates at Camden, the British overran South Carolina, and in the course of their marauding a band of 1100 Tories marched to Kings Mountain, on the border line between the two Carolinas.  There the hardy mountaineers attacked them (Oct. 7, 1780) and killed, wounded, or captured the entire band.

[Map:  %CAMPAIGNS IN THE SOUTH 1778-1781%]

%156.  Victory at the Cowpens%.—­Meantime a third army was raised for use in the South and placed under the command of Nathanael Greene, than whom there was no abler general in the American army.  With Greene was Daniel Morgan, who had distinguished himself at Saratoga, and by him a British force under Tarleton was attacked January 17, 1781, at a place called the Cowpens, and not only defeated, but almost destroyed.

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Enraged at these reverses, Cornwallis took the field and hurried to attack Greene, who, too weak to fight him, began a masterly retreat of 200 miles across Carolina to Guilford Courthouse, where he turned about and fought.  He was defeated, but Cornwallis was unable to go further, and retreated to Wilmington, N.C., with Greene in hot pursuit.  Leaving the enemy at Wilmington, Greene went back to South Carolina, and by September, 1781, had driven the British into Charleston and Savannah.

Cornwallis, as soon as Greene left him, hurried to Petersburg, Va.  A British force during the winter and spring had been plundering and ravaging in Virginia, under the traitor Arnold.  Cornwallis took command of this, sent Arnold to New York, and had begun a campaign against Lafayette, when orders reached him to seize and fortify some Virginian seaport.

%157.  Surrender of Cornwallis.%—­Thus instructed, Cornwallis selected Yorktown, and began to fortify it strongly.  This was early in August, 1781.  On the 14th Washington heard with delight that a French fleet was on its way to the Chesapeake, and at once decided to hurry to Virginia, and surround Cornwallis by land while the French cut him off by sea.  Preparations were made with such secrecy and haste that Washington had reached Philadelphia while Clinton supposed he was about to attack New York.  Clinton then sent Arnold on a raid into Connecticut to burn New London, in the hope of forcing Washington to return.  But Washington kept straight on, hemmed Cornwallis in by land and sea, and October 19, 1781, forced the British general to surrender.

%158.  The War on the Sea.%—­The first step towards the foundation of an American navy was taken on October 13, 1775.  Congress, hearing that two British ships laden with powder and guns were on their way from England to Quebec, ordered two swift sailing vessels to be fitted out for the purpose of capturing them.  Two months later Congress ordered thirteen cruisers to be built, and named the officers to command them.

Meantime some merchant ships were purchased and collected at Philadelphia, from which city, one morning in January, 1776, a fleet of eight vessels set sail.  As they were about to weigh anchor, John Paul Jones, a lieutenant on the flagship, flung to the breeze a yellow silk flag on which were a pine tree and a coiled rattlesnake, with this motto:  “Don’t tread on me.”  This was the first flag ever hoisted on an American man-of-war.

Ice in the Delaware kept the fleet in the river till the middle of February, when it went to sea, sailed southward to New Providence in the Bahamas, captured the town, brought off the governor, some powder and cannon, and after taking several prizes got safely back to New London.

Soon after the squadron had left the Delaware, the Lexington, Captain John Barry in command, while cruising off the Virginia coast, fell in with the Edward, a British vessel, and after a spirited action captured her.  This was the first prize brought in by a commissioned officer of the American navy.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  John Barry was a native of Ireland; he came to America at thirteen, entered the merchant marine, and at twenty-five was captain of a ship.  At the opening of the war Barry offered his services to Congress, and in February, 1776, was put in command of the Lexington.  After his victory he was transferred to the twenty-eight-gun frigate Effingham, and in 1777 (while blockaded in the Delaware) with twenty-seven men in four boats captured and destroyed a ten-gun schooner and four transports.  When the British captured Philadelphia, Barry took the Effingham up the river; but she was burned by the enemy.  In 1778, in command of the thirty-two-gun frigate Raleigh, he sailed from Boston, fell in with two British frigates, and after a fight was forced to run ashore in Penobscot Bay.  Barry and his crew escaped, and in 1781 carried Laurens to France in the frigate Alliance.  On the way out he took a privateer, and while cruising on the way home captured the Atalanta and the Trepassey after a hard fight.  As Barry brought in the first capture by a commissioned officer of the United States navy, so he fought the last action of the war in 1782; but the enemy escaped.  When the navy was reorganized in 1794, Barry was made senior captain, with the title of Commodore.  In 1798 he commanded the frigate United States in the war with France.  He died in 1803.]

In March, 1776, Congress began to issue letters of marque, or licenses to citizens to engage in war against the enemy; and then the sea fairly swarmed with privateers.

In 1777 the American flag was seen for the first time in European waters, when a little squadron of three ships set sail from Nantes in France, and after cruising on the Bay of Biscay went twice around Ireland and came back to France with fifteen prizes.  As France had not then acknowledged our independence, they were ordered to depart.  Two did so; but one of them, the Lexington, was captured by the British, and the other, the Reprisal, was wrecked at sea.

%159.  Paul Jones.%—­Meanwhile our commissioners in France, Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, fitted out a cruiser called the Surprise.  She sailed from Dunkirk on May 1, 1777, and the next week was back with a British packet as a prize.  For this violation of French neutrality she was seized.  But another ship, the Revenge, was quickly secured, which scoured the British waters, and actually entered two British ports before she sailed for America.  The exploits of these and a score of other ships are cast into the shade, however, by the fights of John Paul Jones, the great naval hero of the Revolution.  He sailed from Portsmouth, N.H., November 1, 1777, refitted his ship in the harbor of Brest, and in 1778 began one of the most memorable cruises in our naval history.  In the short space of twenty-eight days he sailed into the Irish Channel, destroyed four vessels, set fire to the shipping in the port of Whitehaven, fought and captured the British armed schooner Drake, sailed around Ireland with his prize, and reached France in safety.

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For a year he was forced to be idle.  But at last, in 1779, he was given command of a squadron of five vessels, and in August sailed from France.  Passing along the west coast of Ireland, the fleet went around the north end of Scotland and down the east coast, capturing and destroying vessel after vessel on the way.  On the night of September 23, 1779, Jones (in his ship, named Bonhomme Richard in honor of Franklin’s famous Poor Richard’s Almanac) fell in with the Serapis, a British frigate.  The two ships grappled, and, lashed side by side in the moonlight, fought one of the most desperate battles in naval annals.  At the end of three hours the Serapis surrendered, but the Bonhomme Richard was a wreck, and next morning, giving a sudden roll, she filled and plunged bow first to the bottom of the North Sea.  Jones sailed away in the Serapis.

[Illustration:  Benjamin Franklin]

In the Revolution the British lost 102 vessels of war, while the
Americans lost 24—­most of their navy.

%160.  Revolutionary Heroes.%—­It is not possible to mention all the revolutionary heroes entitled to our grateful remembrance.  We should, however, remember Lafayette, Steuben, Pulaski, and DeKalb, foreigners who fought for us; Samuel Adams and James Otis of Massachusetts, and Patrick Henry of Virginia, who spoke for freedom; Robert Morris, the financier of the Revolution; Putnam who fought and Warren who died at Bunker Hill; Mercer who fell at Princeton; Nathan Hale, the martyr spy; Herkimer, Knox, Moultrie, and that long list of noble patriots whose names have already been mentioned.

%161.  The Treaty of Peace.%—­The story is told that when Lord North, the Prime Minister of England, heard of the surrender of Yorktown, he threw up his hands and said, “It is all over.”  He was right; it was all over, and on September 3, 1783, a treaty of peace (negotiated by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay) was signed at Paris.

Meantime the British, in accordance with a preliminary treaty of peace signed in November, 1782, were slowly leaving the country, till on November 25, 1783, the last of them sailed from New York.[1] Washington now resigned his commission, and in December went home to Mt.  Vernon.

[Footnote 1:  They did not leave Staten Island in New York Bay till a week later.  For an account of the evacuation of New York see McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 271-280.]

%162.  Bounds of the United States.%—­By the treaty of 1783 the boundary of the United States was declared to be about what is the present northern boundary from the mouth of the St. Croix River in Maine to the Lake of the Woods, and then due west to the Mississippi (which was, of course, an impossible line, for that river does not rise in Canada); then down the Mississippi to 31 deg. north latitude; then eastward along that parallel of latitude to the Apalachicola River, and then by what is the present north boundary of Florida to the Atlantic.

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But these bounds were not secured without a diplomatic struggle.  As soon as France joined us in 1778, she began to persuade Spain to follow her example.  Very little persuasion was needed, for the opportunity to regain the two Floridas (which Spain had been forced to give to England in 1763) was too good to be lost.  In June, 1779, therefore, Spain declared war on England, and sent the governor of Lower Louisiana into West Florida, where he captured Pensacola, Mobile, Baton Rouge, and Natchez.  Made bold by this success, Spain, which cared nothing for the United States, next determined to conquer the region north of Florida and east of the Mississippi, the Indian country of the proclamation of 1763. (See map of The British Colonies in 1764.) The commandant at St. Louis[2] was, therefore, sent to seize the post at St. Joseph on Lake Michigan, built by La Salle in 1679.  He succeeded, and taking possession of the country in the name of Spain, carried off the English flags as evidence of conquest.  Now when the time came to make the treaty of peace, Spain insisted that she must have East and West Florida and the country west of the Alleghany Mountains, because she had conquered it.  France partly supported Spain in this demand.  The country north of the Ohio she proposed should be given to Great Britain, and the country south to Spain and the United States.

[Footnote 2:  It will be remembered that Spain now held Louisiana, or the country west of the Mississippi. (See Chapter VIII.)]


The American commissioners, seeing in all this a desire to bound the United States on the west by the Alleghany Mountains, made the treaty with Great Britain secretly, and secured the Mississippi as our western limit.

Spain at the same time secured the Floridas from Great Britain, and insisting that West Florida must have the old boundary given in 1764,[1] and not 31 deg. as provided in our treaty of peace, she seized and held the country by force of arms; and for twelve years the Spanish flag waved over Baton Rouge and Natchez.[2]

[Footnote 1:  See Chapter X.]

[Footnote 2:  Read Hinsdale’s Old Northwest, pp. 170-191; McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 280-292.]

The area of the territory thus acquired by the United States was 827,844 square miles, and the population not far from 3,250,000.  Apparently an era of great prosperity and happiness was before the people.  But unhappily the government they had established in time of war was quite unfit to unite them and bring them prosperity in time of peace.

[Illustration:  Washington’s sword]


1.  In accordance with one of the Intolerable Acts, General Gage became governor of Massachusetts in 1774.

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2.  Seeing that the people were gathering stores and cannon, he attempted to destroy the stores, and so brought on the battles of Lexington and Concord, which opened the War for Independence.

3.  The Congress of colonial delegates, which met in 1774 and adjourned to meet again in 1775, assembled soon after these battles, and assumed the conduct of the war, adopted the army around Boston, and made Washington commander in chief.

4.  Washington reached Boston soon after the battle of Bunker Hill, which taught the British that the Americans would fight, and he besieged the British in Boston.  In March, 1776, they left the city by water, and Washington moved his army to the neighborhood of New York.

5.  There he was attacked by the British, and was driven up the Hudson River to White Plains.  Thence he crossed into New Jersey, only to be driven across the state and into Pennsylvania.

6.  On Christmas night, 1776, he recrossed the Delaware to Trenton, and the next morning won a victory over the Hessians.  Then on January 3, 1777, he fought the battle of Princeton, and he spent the remainder of the winter at Morristown.

7.  In July, 1777, Howe sailed from New York for Philadelphia, to which city Washington hurried by land.  The Americans were defeated at the Brandy wine, and the city fell into the hands of Howe.  Washington passed the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge.

8.  Meantime an attempt had been made to cut the states in two by getting possession of New York state from Lake Champlain to New York city, and an army under Burgoyne came down from Canada.  He and his troops were captured at Saratoga.

9.  In February, 1778, France made a treaty of alliance with us and sent over a fleet.  Fearing this would attack New York, Clinton left Philadelphia with his army.  Washington followed from Valley Forge, overtook the enemy at Monmouth, and fought a battle there.  The British then went on to New York, while Washington stretched out his army from Morristown to West Point.

10.  So matters remained till December, 1778, when the British attacked the Southern States.  They conquered Georgia in the winter of 1778-1779.

11.  In the spring of 1780 they attacked South Carolina and captured General Lincoln.  Gates then took the field, was defeated, and succeeded by Greene, who after many vicissitudes drove the British forces in South Carolina and Georgia into Charleston and Savannah, during 1781.

12.  Meantime a force sent against Greene under Cornwallis undertook to fortify Yorktown and hold it, and while so engaged was surrounded by Washington and the French fleet and forced to surrender.


CAMPAIGNS OF 1775-1776

In New England.

1775.  Concord and Lexington. 
      Continental Army formed. 
      Washington, commander in chief. 
      Battle of Bunker Hill.

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1775-1776.  Siege of Boston.

1776.  Evacuation of Boston.

In Canada.

1775.  Arnold’s march to Quebec. 
      Montgomery’s march to Montreal. 
      Capture of Montreal.

1776.  Defeat and death of Montgomery at Quebec. 
      Americans return to Ticonderoga.

1776.  Howe sails for New York. 
      Washington marches to New York. 
      The Declaration of Independence. 
      Capture of New York. 
      Retreat across the Jerseys. 
      Surprise at Trenton.
1777.  Battle of Princeton. 
      Washington at Morristown. 
      Burgoyne and St. Leger move down from Canada to
        capture New York state and cut the colonies in two. 
      St. Leger defeated at Fort Stanwix. 
      Burgoyne captured at Saratoga. 
      Howe sails from New York to Chesapeake Bay and
        moves against Philadelphia. 
      Washington moves from New York to Philadelphia. 
      Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. 
      Philadelphia captured by the British.
1777-1778.  Americans winter at Valley Forge.
1778.  Alliance with France. 
      Fleet and army sent from France. 
      Clinton leaves Philadelphia and hurries to New York. 
      Washington follows him from Valley Forge. 
      Battle of Monmouth. 
      Washington on the Hudson.


1778.  The South invaded. 
      Savannah captured and Georgia overrun.
1779.  Clinton ravages Connecticut to draw Washington away
        from the Hudson. 
      Wayne captures Stony Point. 
      Lincoln attacks Savannah.
1780.  Clinton captures Charleston. 
      Campaign of Gates in South Carolina. 
      Battles of Camden and Kings Mountain. 
      Treason of Arnold.
1781.  Greene in command in the South. 
      Battle of the Cowpens. 
      March of Cornwallis from Charleston. 
      Battle of Guilford Courthouse. 
      Cornwallis goes to Wilmington and Greene to South Carolina. 
      Cornwallis goes to Yorktown. 
      Washington hurries from New York. 
        Surrender of Cornwallis.
1782-1783.  Peace negotiations at Paris.
1783.  Evacuation of New York.




%163.  How the Colonies became States.%—­When the Continental Congress met at Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, a letter was received from Massachusetts, where the people had penned up the governor in Boston and had taken the government into their own hands, asking what they should do.  Congress replied that no obedience was due to the Massachusetts Regulating Act or to the governor, and advised the people to make a temporary government to last till the King should

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restore the old charter.  Similar advice was given the same year to New Hampshire and South Carolina, for it was not then supposed that the quarrel with the mother country would end in separation.  But by the spring of 1776 all the governors of the thirteen colonies had either fled or been thrown into prison.  This put an end to colonial government, and Congress, seeing that reconciliation was impossible, (May 15, 1776) advised all the colonies to form governments for themselves (p. 132).  Thereupon they adopted constitutions, and by doing so turned themselves from British colonies into sovereign and independent states.[1]

[Footnote 1:  All but two made new constitutions; but Connecticut and Rhode Island used their old charters, the one till 1818, the other till 1842.  Vermont also formed a constitution, but she was not admitted to the Congress (p. 243).]



%164.  Articles of Confederation.%—­While the colonies were thus gradually turning themselves into the states, the Continental Congress was trying to bind them into a union by means of a sort of general constitution called “Articles of Confederation.”  By order of Congress, Articles had been prepared and presented by a committee in July, 1776, but it was not till November 17, 1777, that they were sent out to the states for adoption.  Now it must be remembered that six states, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, claimed that their “from sea to sea” charters gave them lands between the mountains and the Mississippi River, and that one, New York, had bought the Indian title to land in the Ohio valley.  It must also be remembered that the other six states did not have “from sea to sea” charters, and so had no claims to western lands.  As three of them, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, held that the claims of their sister states were invalid, they now refused to adopt the Articles unless the land so claimed was given to Congress to be used to pay for the cost of the Revolution.  For this action they gave four reasons: 

1.  The Mississippi valley had been discovered, explored, settled, and owned by France.

2.  England had never owned any land there till France ceded the country in 1763.

3.  When at last England had got it, in 1763, the King drew the “proclamation line,” turned the Mississippi valley into the Indian country, and so cut off any claim of the colonies in consequence of English ownership.

4.  The western lands were therefore the property of the King, and now that the states were in arms against him, his lands ought to be seized by Congress and used for the benefit of all the states.

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For three years the land-claiming states refused to be convinced by these arguments.  But at length, finding that Maryland was determined not to adopt the Articles till her demands were complied with, they began to yield.  In February, 1780, New York ceded her claims to Congress, and in January, 1781, Virginia gave up her claim to the country north of the Ohio River.  Maryland had now carried her point, and on March 1, 1781, her delegates signed the Articles of Confederation.  As all the other states had ratified the Articles, this act on the part of Maryland made them law, and March 2, 1781, Congress met for the first time under a form of government the states were pledged to obey.

%165.  Government under the Articles of Confederation.%—­The form of government that went into effect on that day was bad from beginning to end.  There was no one officer to carry out the laws, no court or judge to settle disputed points of law, and only a very feeble legislature.  Congress consisted of one house, presided over by a president elected each year by the members from among their own number.  The delegates to Congress could not be more than seven, nor less than two from each state, were elected yearly, could not serve for more than three years out of six, and might be recalled at any time by the states that sent them.  Once assembled on the floor of Congress, the delegates became members of a secret body.  The doors were shut; no spectators were allowed to hear what was said; no reports of the debates were taken down; but under a strict injunction to secrecy the members went on deliberating day after day.  All voting was done by states, each casting but one vote, no matter how many delegates it had.  The affirmative votes of nine states were necessary to pass any important act, or, as it was called, “ordinance.”

To this body the Articles gave but few powers.  Congress could declare war, make peace, issue money, keep up an army and a navy, contract debts, enter into treaties of commerce, and settle disputes between states.  But it could not enforce a treaty or a law when made, nor lay any tax for any purpose.

%166.  Origin of the Public Domain%.—­In 1784 Massachusetts ceded her strip of land in the west, following the example set by New York (1780), and Virginia (1781).

As three states claiming western territory had thus by 1784 given their land to Congress, that body came into possession of the greater part of the vast domain stretching from the Lakes to the Ohio and from the Mississippi to Pennsylvania.[1] Now this public domain, as it was called, was given on certain conditions: 

1.  That it should be cut up into states.

2.  That these states should be admitted into the Union (when they had a certain population) on the same footing as the thirteen original states.

3.  That the land should be sold and the money used to pay the debts of the United States.

[Footnote 1:  The strip owned by Connecticut had been offered to Congress in October, 1789, but not accepted.  It still belonged to Connecticut in 1785.  In 1786 it was again ceded, with certain reservations, and accepted.]

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Congress, therefore, as soon as it had received the deeds to the tracts ceded, trusting that the other land-owning states would cede their western territory in time, passed a law (in 1785) to prepare the land for sale by surveying it and marking it out into sections, townships, and ranges, and fixed the price per acre.

%167.  Virginia and Connecticut Reserves.%—­When Virginia made her cession in 1781, she expressly reserved two tracts of land north of the Ohio.  One, called the Military Lands, lay between the Scioto and Miami rivers, and was held to pay bounties promised to the Virginia Revolutionary soldiers.  The other (in the present state of Indiana) was given to General George Rogers Clark and his soldiers.  A third piece was reserved by Connecticut when she ceded her strip in 1786.  This, called the Western Reserve of Connecticut, stretched along the shore of Lake Erie (map, p. 175).  In 1800 Connecticut gave up her jurisdiction, or right of government, over this reserve in return for the confirmation of land titles she had granted.


%168.  Ordinance of 1787; Origin of the Territories.%—­Hardly had Congress provided for the sale of the land, when a number of Revolutionary soldiers formed the Ohio Land Company, and sent an agent to New York, where Congress was in session, and offered to buy 5,000,000 acres on the Ohio River:  1,500,000 acres were for themselves, and 3,500,000 for another company called the Scioto Company.  The land was gladly sold, and as the purchasers were really going to send out settlers, it became necessary to establish some kind of government for them.  On the 13th of July, 1787, therefore, Congress passed another very famous law, called the Ordinance of 1787, which ordered: 

1.  That the whole region from the Lakes to the Ohio, and from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi, should be called “The Territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio.”

2.  That it should be cut up into not less than three nor more than five states, each of which might be admitted into the Union when it had 60,000 free inhabitants.

3.  That within it there was to be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except in punishment for crime.

4.  That until such time as there were 5000 free male inhabitants twenty-one years old in the territory, it was to be governed by a governor and three judges.  They could not make laws, but might adopt such as they pleased from among the laws in force in the states.  After there were 5000 free male inhabitants in the territory the people were to elect a house of representatives, which in its turn was to elect ten men from whom Congress was to select five to form a council.  The house and the council were then to elect a territorial delegate to sit in Congress with the right of debating, not of voting.  The governor, the judges, and the secretary were to be elected by Congress.  The council and house of representatives could make laws, but must send them to Congress for approval.

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Thus were created two more American institutions, the territory and the state formed out of the public domain.  The ordinance was but a few months old when South Carolina ceded (1787) her little strip of country west of the mountains (see map on p. 157) with the express condition that it should be slave soil.  In 1789 North Carolina ceded what is now Tennessee on the same condition.  Congress accepted both and out of them made the “Territory southwest of the Ohio River.”  In that slavery was allowed.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The only remaining land-holding state, Georgia, ceded her claim in 1802 (p. 246).]

%169.  Defects of the Articles of Confederation.%—­While Congress at New York was framing the Ordinance of 1787, a convention of delegates from the states was framing the Constitution at Philadelphia.  A very little experience under the Articles of Confederation showed them to have serious defects.

No Taxing Power.—­In the first place, Congress could not lay a tax of any kind, and as it could not tax it could not get money with which to pay its expenses and the debt incurred during the Revolution.  Each of the states was in duty bound to pay its share.  But this duty was so disregarded that although Congress between 1782 and 1786 called on the states for $6,000,000, only $1,000.000 was paid.

No Power to regulate Trade.—­In the second place, Congress had no power to regulate trade with foreign nations, or between the states.  This proved a most serious evil.  The people of the United States at that time had few manufactures, because in colonial days Parliament would not allow them.  All the china, glass, hardware, cutlery, woolen goods, linen, muslin, and a thousand other things were imported from Great Britain.  Before the war the Americans had paid for these goods with dried fish, lumber, whale oil, flour, tobacco, rice, and indigo, and with money made by trading in the West Indies.  Now Great Britain forbade Americans to trade with her West Indies.  Spain would not make a trade treaty with us, so we had no trade with her islands, and what was worse, Great Britain taxed everything that came to her from the United States unless it came in British ships.  As a consequence, very little lumber, fish, rice, and other of our products went abroad to pay for the immense quantity of foreign-made goods that came to us.  These goods therefore had to be paid for in money, which about 1785 began to be boxed up and shipped to London.  When the people found that specie was being carried out of the country, they began to hoard it, so that by 1786 none was in circulation.

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%170.  Paper Money issued.%—­This left the people without any money with which to pay wages, or buy food and clothing, and led at once to a demand that the states should print paper money and loan it to their citizens.  Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, and Georgia did so.  But the money was no sooner issued than the merchants and others who had goods to sell refused to take it, whereupon in some of the states laws called “tender acts” were passed to compel people to use the paper.  This merely put an end to business, for nobody would sell.  In Massachusetts, when the legislature refused to issue paper money, many of the persons who owed debts assembled, and, during 1786-87, under the lead of Daniel Shays, a Revolutionary soldier, prevented the courts from trying suits for the recovery of money owed or loaned.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 281-295, 304-329, 331-340; Fiske’s Critical Period of American History, pp. 168-186.]

%171.  Congress proposes Amendments.%—­Of the many defects in the Articles, the Continental Congress was fully aware, and it had many a time asked the states to make amendments.  One proposed that Congress should have power for twenty-five years to lay a tax of five per cent on all goods imported, and use the money to pay the Continental debts.  Another was to require each state to raise by special tax a sum sufficient to pay its yearly share of the current expenses of Congress.  A third was to bestow on Congress for fifteen years the sole power to regulate trade and commerce.  A fourth provided that in future the share each state was to bear of the current expenses should be in proportion to its population.

But the Articles of Confederation could not be amended unless all thirteen states consented, and, as all thirteen never did consent, none of these amendments were ever made.

%172.  The States attempt to regulate Trade and fail.%—­In the meantime the states attempted to regulate trade for themselves.  New York laid double duties on English ships.  Pennsylvania taxed a long list of foreign goods.  Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island passed acts imposing heavy duties on articles unless they came in American vessels.  But these laws were not uniform, and as many states took no action, very little good was accomplished.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 246-259, 266-280; Fiske’s Critical Period of American History, 134-137, 145-147.]

%173.  A Trade Convention called to meet at Annapolis, 1786.%[2]—­Under these conditions, the business of the whole country was at a standstill, and as Congress had no power to do anything to relieve the distress, the state of Virginia sent out a circular letter to her sister states.  She asked them to appoint delegates to meet and “take into consideration the trade and commerce of the United States.”  Four (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) responded, and their delegates, with those from Virginia, met at Annapolis in September, 1786.

Page 87

[Footnote 2:  The report of this Annapolis convention is printed in Bulletin of Bureau of Rolls and Library of the Department of State, No. 1, Appendix, pp. 1-5.]



%174.  Call for the Constitutional Convention.%—­Finding that it could do nothing, because so few states were represented, and because the powers of the delegates were so limited, the convention recommended that all the states in the Union be asked by Congress to send delegates to a new convention, to meet at Philadelphia in May, 1787, “to take into consideration the situation of the United States,” and “to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”

%175.  The Philadelphia Convention.%[1]—­Early in 1787 Congress approved this movement, and during the summer of 1787 (May to September) delegates from twelve states (Rhode Island sent none), sitting in secret session at Philadelphia, made the Constitution of the United States.

[Footnote 1:  All we know of the proceedings of this convention is derived from the journals of the convention, the notes taken down by James Madison, the notes of Yates of New York, and a speech by Luther Martin of Maryland.  They may be found in Elliot’s Debates, Vol.  IV.]

[Illustration:  Independence Chamber[2]]

[Footnote 2:  The room where the Constitution was framed.]

%176.  The Virginia and New Jersey Plans%.—­The story of that convention is too long and too complicated to be told in full.[1] But some of its proceedings must be noticed.  While the delegates were assembling, a few men, under the lead of Madison, met and drew up the outline of a constitution, which was presented by the chairman of the Virginia delegation, and was called the “Virginia plan.”  A little later, delegates from the small states met and drew up a second plan, which was the old Articles of Confederation with amendments.  As the chairman of the New Jersey delegation offered this, it was called the “New Jersey plan.”  Both were discussed; but the convention voted to accept the Virginia plan as the basis of the Constitution.

[Footnote 1:  For short accounts, read “The Framers and the Framing of the Constitution” in the Century Magazine, September, 1887, or “Framing the Constitution,” in McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 106-149, or Thorpe’s Story of the Constitution, Chautauqua Course, 1891-92, pp. 111-148.]

%177.  The Three Compromises.%—­This plan called, among other things, for a national legislature of two branches:  a Senate and a House of Representatives.  The populous states insisted that the number of representatives sent by each state to Congress should be in proportion to her population.  The small states insisted that each should send the same number of representatives.  For a time neither party would yield; but at length the Connecticut delegates suggested that the states be given an equal vote and an equal representation in the Senate, and an unequal representation, based on population, in the House.  The contending parties agreed, and so made the first compromise.

Page 88

But the decision to have representation according to population at once raised the question, Shall slaves be counted as population?  This divided the convention into slave states and free (see p. 186), and led to a second compromise, by which it was agreed that three fifths of all slaves should be counted as population, for the purpose of apportioning representation.

A third compromise sprang from the conflicting interests of the commercial and the planting states.  The planting states wanted a provision forbidding Congress to pass navigation acts, except by a two-thirds vote, and forbidding any tax on exports; three states also wished to import slaves for use on their plantations.  The free commercial states wanted Congress to pass navigation laws, and also wanted the slave trade stopped, because of the three-fifths rule.  The result was an agreement that the importation of slaves should not be forbidden by Congress before 1808, and that Congress might pass navigation acts, and that exports should never be taxed.

%178.  The Election of President.%—­Another feature of the Virginia plan was the provision for a President whose business it should be to see that the acts of Congress were duly enforced or executed.  But when the question arose, How shall he be chosen? all manner of suggestions were made.  Some said by the governors of the states; some, by the United States Senate; some, by the state legislatures; some, by a body of electors chosen for that purpose.  When at last it was decided to have a body of electors, the difficulty was to determine the manner of electing the electors.  On this no agreement could be reached; so the convention ordered that the legislature of each state should have as many electors of the President as it had senators and representatives in Congress, and that these men should be appointed in such way as the legislatures of the states saw fit to prescribe.

%179.  Sources of the Constitution.%—­An examination of the Constitution shows that some of its features were new; that some were drawn from the experience of the states under the Confederation; and that others were borrowed from the various state constitutions.  Among those taken from state constitutions are such names as President, Senate, House of Representatives, and such provisions as that for a census, for the veto, for the retirement of one third of the Senate every two years, that money bills shall originate in the House, for impeachment, and for what we call the annual message.[1]

[Footnote 1:  On the sources of the Constitution, read “The First Century of the Constitution” in New Princeton Review, September, 1887, pp. 175-190.]

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The features based directly on experience under the Articles of Confederation are the provisions that the acts of Congress must be uniform throughout the Union; that the President may call out the militia to repel invasion, to put down insurrection, and to maintain the laws of the Union; that Congress shall have sole power to regulate foreign trade and trade between the states. No state can now coin money or print paper money, or make anything but gold or silver legal tender.  Congress now has power to lay taxes, duties, and excises.  The Constitution divides the powers of government between the legislative department (Senate and House of Representatives); the executive department (the President, who sees that laws and treaties are obeyed); and the judicial department (Supreme Court and other United States courts, which interpret the Constitution, the acts of Congress, and the treaties).

The new features are the definition of treason and the limitation of its punishment; the guarantee to every state of a republican form of government; the swearing of state officials to support the Federal Constitution; and the provision for amendment.

Among other noteworthy features are the creation of a United States citizenship as distinct from a state citizenship, the limitation of the powers of the states; and the provision that the Constitution, the acts of Congress, and the treaties are “the supreme law of the land.”

%180.  Constitution submitted to the People.%—­The convention ended its work, and such members as were willing signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787.  Washington, as president of the convention, then sent the Constitution to the Continental Congress sitting at New York and asked it to transmit copies to the states for ratification.  This was done, and during the next few months the legislatures of most of the states called on the people to elect delegates to conventions which should accept or reject the Constitution.

%181.  Ratification by the States.%—­In many of these conventions great objection was made because the new plan of federal government was so unlike the Articles of Confederation, and certain changes were insisted on.  The only states that accepted it just as it was framed were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, and Maryland.  Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia ratified with amendments. (For dates, see p. 176.)

%182.  “The New Roof."%—­The Constitution provided that when nine states had ratified, it should go into effect “between the states so ratifying.”  While it was under discussion the Federalists, as the friends of the Constitution were named, had called it “the New Roof,” which was going to cover the states and protect them from political storms.  They now represented it as completed and supported by eleven pillars or states.  Two states, Rhode Island and North Carolina, had not ratified, and so

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were not under the New Roof, and were not members of the new Union.  Eleven states having approved, nothing remained but to fix the particular day on which the electors of President should be chosen, and the time and place for the meeting of the new Congress.  This the Continental Congress did in September, 1788, by ordering that the electors should be chosen on the first Wednesday in January, 1789, that they should meet and vote for President on the first Wednesday in February, and that the new Congress should meet at New York on the first Wednesday in March, which happened to be the fourth day of the month.  Later, Congress by law fixed March 4 as the day on which the terms of the Presidents begin and end.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The question is often asked, When did the Constitution go into force?  Article VII. says, “The ratification of the conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same.”  New Hampshire, the ninth state, ratified June 21, 1788, and on that day, therefore, the constitution was “established” between the nine.]

%183.  How Presidents were elected%.—­It must not be supposed that our first presidents were elected just as presidents are now.  In our time electors are everywhere chosen by popular vote.  In 1788 there was no uniformity.  In Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia the people had a complete, and in Massachusetts and New Hampshire a partial, choice.  In Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia the electors were appointed by the legislatures.  In New York the two branches of the legislature quarreled, and no electors were chosen.

As the Constitution required that the electors should vote by ballot for two persons, such as had been appointed met at their state capitals on the first Wednesday in February, 1789, made lists of the persons voted for, and sent them signed and certified under seal to the president of the Senate.  But when March 4, 1789, came, there was no Senate.  Less than a majority of that body had arrived in New York, so no business could be done.  When at length the Senate secured a majority, the House was still without one, and remained so till April.  Then, in the presence of the House and Senate, the votes on the lists were counted, and it was found that every elector had given one of his votes for George Washington, who was thus elected President.  No separate ballot was then required for Vice President.  Each elector merely wrote on his ballot the names of two men.  He who received the greatest number of votes, if, in the words of the Constitution, “such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed,” was elected President.  He who received the next highest, even if less than a majority, was elected Vice President.  In 1789 this man was John Adams of Massachusetts.

[Illustration:  Federal Hall, New York[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an old print made in 1797.]

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[Illustration:  G Washington]

%184.  The First Inauguration.%—­As soon as Washington received the news of his election, he left Mount Vernon and started for New York.  His journey was one continuous triumphal march.  The population of every town through which he passed turned out to meet him.  Men, women, and children stood for hours by the roadside waiting for him to go by.  At New York his reception was most imposing, and there, on April 30, 1789, standing on the balcony in front of Federal Hall (p. 171), he took the oath of office in the presence of Congress and a great multitude of people that filled the streets, and crowded the windows, and sat on the roofs of the neighboring houses.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Full accounts of the inauguration of Washington may be found in Harper’s Magazine, and also in the Century Magazine, for April, 1889.]


1.  When independence was about decided on, Congress appointed a committee to draft a general plan of federal government.

2.  This plan, called Articles of Confederation, Maryland absolutely refused to ratify till the states claiming land west of the Alleghany Mountains ceded their claims to Congress.

3.  New York and Virginia having ceded their claims, Maryland ratified in March, 1781.

4.  These cessions were followed by others from Massachusetts and Connecticut; and from them all, Congress formed the public domain to be sold to pay the debt.

5.  The sale of this land led to the land ordinance of 1785 and the ordinance of 1787, for the government of the domain and the new political organism called the territory.

6.  The defects of the Articles made revision necessary, and produced such distress that two conventions were called to consider the state of the country.  That at Annapolis attempted nothing.  That at Philadelphia framed the Constitution of the United States.

7.  The Constitution was then passed to the Continental Congress, which sent it to the legislatures of the states to be by them referred to conventions elected by the people for acceptance or rejection.

8.  Eleven having ratified, Congress in 1788 fixed a day in 1789 (which happened to be March 4), when the First Congress under the Constitution was to assemble.

9.  The date of the first presidential election was also fixed, and George Washington was made our first President.

1776.  New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode
The Colonies adopt | Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Constitutions and —­| Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North become States. | Carolina, South Carolina.
|1777.  New York, Georgia.
\1780.  Massachusetts.

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Framed by Congress 1776-1777.
|Adopted by the states 1777-1781. 
Articles of        |In force March 1, 1781. 
Confederation    —­|Kind of government.
|Defects.   Result of the defects.
|Trade convention at Annapolis.
\Constitutional convention called.
Proceedings of the convention.
|The three compromises. 
Constitution of    |Sources of the Constitution.
the United States.-|Original features.
|Derived features.
| Ratification by the states.
\The Constitution in force.
Land claims of seven states.
|Demands for the surrender of   \
|the western territory.         |
The Territories. —­|The cessions by the states.    |—­The Public
|Ordinance of 1785.             |  Domain.
|Ordinance of 1787.             |
\Territorial government created.

The President. Manner of electing.
                   \Inauguration of Washington.

The Congress. Organization of the First
                   \under the Constitution.

The Supreme Court
The Judiciary. —­|The Circuit Court
\The District Court

Secretary of State
The Secretaries. —­|Secretary of Treasury
|Secretary of War
|The Attorney-general.
\Origin of the “Cabinet.”



%185.  The States.%—­What sort of a country, and what sort of people, was Washington thus chosen to rule over?  When, he was elected, the Union was composed of eleven states, for neither Rhode Island nor North Carolina had accepted the Constitution.[1] Vermont had never been a member of the Union, because the Continental Congress would not recognize her as a state.

[Footnote 1:  The states ratified the Constitution on the dates given below: 
1.   Delaware         Dec.  7, 1787
2.   Pennsylvania     Dec. 12, 1787
3.   New Jersey       Dec. 18, 1787
4.   Georgia          Jan.  2, 1788
5.   Connecticut      Jan.  9, 1788
6.   Massachusetts    Feb.  7, 1788
7.   Maryland        April 28, 1788
8.   South Carolina    May 23, 1788
9.   New Hampshire    June 21, 1788
10.  Virginia         June 26, 1788
11.  New York         July 26, 1788
12.  North Carolina   Nov. 21, 1789
13.  Rhode Island      May 29, 1790]

[Illustration:  The %UNITED STATES% March 4, 1789]

%186.  Only a Part inhabited.%—­Three fourths of our country was then uninhabited by white men, and almost all the people lived near the seaboard.  Had a line been drawn along what was then the frontier, it would (as the map on p. 177 shows) have run along the shore of Maine, across New Hampshire and Vermont to Lake Champlain, then south to the Mohawk valley, then down the Hudson River, and southwestward across Pennsylvania to Pittsburg, then south along the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Altamaha River in Georgia, and by it to the sea.  How many people lived here was never known till 1790.  The Constitution of

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the United States requires that the people shall be counted once in each ten years, in order that it may be determined how many representatives each state shall have in the House of Representatives; and for this purpose Congress ordered the first census to be taken in 1790.  It then appeared that, excluding Indians, there were living in the eleven United States 3,380,000 human beings, or less than half the number of people who now live in the single state of New York.

%187.  How the People were scattered.%—­More were in the Southern than in the Eastern States.  Virginia, then the most populous, contained one fifth.  Pennsylvania had a ninth, while in the five states of Maryland, Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia were almost one half of the English-speaking people of the United States.  These were the planting states, and, populous as they were, they had but two cities—­Baltimore and Charleston.  Savannah, Wilmington, Alexandria, Norfolk, and Richmond were small towns.  Not one had 8000 people in it.  Indeed, the inhabitants of the six largest cities of the country (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, and Salem) taken together were but 131,000.


[Illustration:  Boston in 1790[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From the Massachusetts Magazine, November, 1790.]

%188.  The Cities.%—­And how different these cities were from those of our day!  What a strange world Washington would find himself in if he could come back and walk along the streets of the great city which now stands on the banks of the Potomac and bears his name!  He never in his life saw a flagstone sidewalk, nor an asphalted street, nor a pane of glass six feet square.  He never heard a factory whistle; he never saw a building ten stories high, nor an elevator, nor a gas jet, nor an electric light; he never saw a hot-air furnace, nor entered a room warmed by steam.

In the windows of shop after shop would be scores of articles familiar enough to us, but so unknown to him that he could not even name them.  He never saw a sewing machine, nor a revolver, nor a rubber coat, nor a rubber shoe, nor a steel pen, nor a piece of blotting paper, nor an envelope, nor a postage stamp, nor a typewriter.  He never struck a match, nor sent a telegram, nor spoke through a telephone, nor touched an electric bell.  He never saw a railroad, though he had seen a rude form of steamboat.  He never saw a horse car, nor an omnibus, nor a trolley car, nor a ferryboat.  Fancy him boarding a street car to take a ride.  He would probably pay his fare with a “nickel.”  But the “nickel” is a coin he never saw.  Fancy him trying to understand the advertisements that would meet his eye as he took his seat!  Fancy him staring from the window at a fence bright with theatrical posters, or at a man rushing by on a bicycle!

[Illustration:  Philadelphia in 1800 (Arch Street)]

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%189.  Newspapers and Magazines.%—­A boy enters the car with half a dozen daily newspapers all printed in the same city.  In Washington’s day there were but four daily papers in the United States!  On the news counter of a hotel, one sees twenty illustrated papers, and fifty monthly magazines.  In his day there was no illustrated paper, no scientific periodical, no trade journal, and no such illustrated magazines as Harper’s, Scribner’s, the Century, St. Nicholas.  All the printing done in the country was done on presses worked by hand.  To-day the Hoe octuple press can print 96,000 eight-page newspapers an hour.  To print this number on the hand press shown in the picture would have taken so long that when the last newspaper was printed the first would have been three months old!

[Illustration:  A Franklin press]

[Illustration:  A fire bucket [1]]

[Footnote 1:  Original in the Pennsylvania Historical Society.]

%190.  The Fire Service.%—­the ambulance, the steam fire engine, the hose cart, the hook and ladder company, the police patrol, the police officer on the street corner, the letter carrier gathering the mail, the district messenger boy, the express company, the delivery wagon of the stores, have all come in since Washington died.  In his day the law required every householder in the city to be a fireman.  His name might not appear on the rolls of any of the fire companies, he might not help to drag through the streets the lumbering tank which served as a fire engine, but he must have in his hall, or beneath the stairs, or hanging up behind his shop door, at least one leathern bucket inscribed with his name, and a huge bag of canvas or of duck.  Then, if he were aroused at the dead of night by the cry of fire and the clanging of every church bell in the town, he seized this bucket and his bag, and, while his wife put a lighted candle in the window to illuminate the street, set off for the fire.  The smoke or the flame was his guide, for the custom of indicating the place by a number of strokes on a bell had not yet come in.  When at last he arrived at the scene he found there no idle spectators.  Every one was busy.  Some hurried into the building and filled their sacks with such movable goods as came nearest to hand.  Some joined the line that stretched away to the water, and helped to pass the full buckets to those who stood by the fire.  Others took posts in a second line, down which the empty buckets were hastened to the pump.  The house would often be half consumed when the shouting made known that the engine had come.  It was merely a pump mounted over a tank.  Into the tank the water from the buckets was poured, and it was pumped thence by the efforts of a dozen men.

[Illustration:  Fire engine of 1800[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an old cut]

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%191.  The Post Office.%—­Washington sees a great wagon or a white trolley car marked United States Mail, and on inquiry is told that the money now spent by the government each year for the support of the post offices would have more than paid the national debt when he was President.  He hears with amazement that there are now 75,000 post offices, and recalls that in 1790 there were but seventy-five.  He picks up from the sidewalk a piece of paper with a little pink something on the corner.  He is told that the portrait on it is his own, that it is a postage stamp, that it costs two cents, and will carry a letter to San Francisco, a city he never heard of, and, if the person to whom it is addressed cannot be found, will bring the letter back to the sender, a distance of over 5000 miles.  In his day a letter was a single sheet of paper, no matter how large or small, and the postage on it was determined not by weight, but by distance, and might be anything from six to twenty-five cents.

At that time postage must always be prepaid, and as the post office must support itself, letters were not sent from the country towns till enough postage had been deposited at the post office to pay the expense of sending them.  Newspapers and books could not be sent by mail.

%192.  The Franchise.%—­Taking the country through, the condition of the people was by no means so happy as ours.  They had government of the people, but it was not by the people nor for the people.  Everywhere the right to vote and to hold office was greatly restricted.  The voter must have an estate worth a certain sum, or a specified number of acres, or an annual income of so many dollars.  But the right to vote did not carry with it the right to hold office.  More property was required for office holding than for voting, and there were besides certain religious restrictions.  In New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, the governor, the members of the legislature, and the chief officers of state must be Protestants.  In Massachusetts and Maryland they must be Christians.  All these restrictions were long since swept away.

%193.  Cruel Punishments.%—­The humane spirit of our times was largely wanting.  The debtor was cast into prison.  The pauper might be sold to the highest bidder.  The criminal was dragged out into open day and flogged or branded.  From ten to nineteen crimes were punishable with death.  No such thing as a lunatic asylum, or a deaf and dumb asylum, or a penitentiary existed.  The prisons were dreadful places.  Men came out of them worse than they went in.

%194.  The Condition of the Laborer; of the well to do.%—­Men worked harder and for less money then than now.  A regular working day was from sunrise to sunset, with an hour for breakfast and an hour for dinner.  Sometimes the laborer was fed and lodged by the employer, in which case he was paid four dollars a month in winter and six in summer.  Two shillings (30 cents) a day for unskilled labor was thought high wages.

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[Illustration:  %Washington’s flute and Miss Custis’s harpsichord at Mount Vernon%]

Even the houses of the well to do were much less comfortable places than are such abodes in our day.  There were no furnaces, no gas, no bathrooms, no plumbing.  Wood was the universal fuel.  Coal from Virginia and Rhode Island was little used.  All cooking was done in “Dutch ovens,” or in “out ovens,” or in the enormous fireplaces to be found in every household.  Wood fuel made sooty chimneys, and sooty chimneys took fire.  In every city, therefore, were men known as “sweeps,” whose business it was to clean chimneys.

[Illustration:  %Earthenware stove—­Moravian%]

[Illustration:  %Dutch oven%[1]]

[Footnote 1:  The bread, or meat, to be baked was put into the pot, and hot coals were heaped all around the sides and on the lid, which had a rim to keep the coals on it.]

[Illustration:  a foot stove]

Washington was a farmer, yet he never in his life beheld a tomato, nor a cauliflower, nor an eggplant, nor a horserake, nor a drill, nor a reaper and binder, nor a threshing machine, nor a barbed wire fence.

[Illustration:  Kitchen in Washington’s headquarters in Morristown, N.J.[1]]

[Footnote 1:  This shows a fine specimen of the old-fashioned fireplace.  Notice the andirons, the bellows, the lamp, the spinning wheel, the old Dutch clock, and the kettles hanging on the crane over the logs.]

[Illustration:  A plow used in 1776]

His land was plowed with a wooden plow partly shod with iron.  His seed was sown by hand; his hay was cut with scythes; his grain was reaped with sickles, and threshed on the barn floor with flails in the hands of his slaves.

%195.  Negro Slavery.%—­No living person under thirty years of age has ever seen a negro slave in our country.  When Washington was President there were 700,000 slaves.  When the Revolution opened, slavery was permitted by law in every colony.  But the feeling against it in the North had always been strong, and when the war ended, the people began the work of abolition.  In Massachusetts and New Hampshire the constitutions of the states declared that “all men are born free and equal,” and that “all men are born equally free,” and this was understood to abolish slavery.  In Pennsylvania, slavery was abolished in 1780.  In Rhode Island and Connecticut gradual abolition laws were passed which provided that all children born of slave parents after a certain day should be free at a certain age, and that their children should never be slaves.  The Ordinance of 1787 had prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory.  But in 1790 New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and all the states south of these were slave states. (See map on the next page.)

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Though slaves were men and women and children, they had no civil rights whatever.  They could be bought and sold, leased, seized for a debt, bequeathed by will, given away.  If they made anything, or found anything, or earned anything, it belonged not to them, but to their owners.  They were property just as oxen or horses were in the North.  It was unlawful to teach them to read or write.  They were not allowed to give evidence against a white man, nor to travel in bands of more than seven unless a white man was with them, nor to quit the plantation without leave.

If a planter provided coarse food, coarse clothes, and a rude shelter for his slaves, if he did not work them more than fifteen hours out of twenty-four in summer, nor more than fourteen in winter, and if he gave them every Sunday to themselves, he did quite as much for their comfort as the law required he should.


If the slave committed any offense, if he stole anything, or refused to work, or ran away, it was lawful to load him with irons, to confine him for any length of time in a cell, and to beat him and whip him till the blood ran in streams from the wounds, and he grew too weak to stand.  Old advertisements are still extant in which runaway blacks are described by the scars left upon their bodies by the lash.  When such lashings were not prescribed by the court, they were commonly given under the eye of the overseer, or inflicted by the owner himself.

%196.  Six Days from Boston to New York.%—­Our country was small when Washington was President.  The people lived on the seaboard.  The towns and cities were not actually very far apart; but the means of travel were so poor, the time consumed in going even fifty miles was so great, that the country was practically immense in extent.  Now we step into a beautifully fitted car, heated by steam, lighted by electricity, richly carpeted, and provided with most comfortable seats and beds, and are whirled across the continent from Philadelphia to San Francisco in less time than it took Washington to go from New York to Boston.

[Illustration:  Old mill at West Falmouth, Mass.[1]]

[Footnote 1:  In many parts of the country where there was no water power, as Cape Cod, Long Island, Nantucket, etc., flour was ground at windmills.  The windmill shown in the picture was built in 1787, and is still in use.]

If you had lived in 1791 and started, say, from Boston, to go to Philadelphia to see the President and the great city where independence had been declared, you would very likely have begun by making your will, and bidding good-by to your friends.  You would then have gone down to the office of the proprietor of the stagecoach, and secured a seat to New York.  As the coach left but twice a week, you would have waited till the day came and would then have presented yourself, at three o’clock in the morning, at the tavern whence the coach started.

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The stagecoach was little better than a huge covered box mounted on springs.  It had neither glass windows, nor door, nor steps, nor closed sides.  The roof was upheld by ten posts which rose from the body of the vehicle, and the body was commonly breast high.  From the top were hung curtains of leather, to be rolled up when the day was fine, and let down and buttoned when it was rainy and cold.  Within were four seats.  Without was the baggage.  Fourteen pounds of luggage were allowed to be carried free by each passenger.  But if your portmanteau or your brass-nail-studded hair trunk weighed more, you would have paid for it at the rate per mile that you paid for yourself.  Under no circumstances, however, would you be permitted to take on the journey more than 150 pounds.  When the baggage had all been weighed and strapped on the coach, when the horses had been attached, and the waybill, containing the names of the passengers, made out, the passengers would clamber to their seats through the front of the stage and sit down with their faces toward the driver’s seat.

One pair of horses usually dragged the coach eighteen miles, when a fresh pair would be attached, and if all went well, you would be put down about ten at night at some wayside inn or tavern after a journey of forty miles.  Cramped and weary, you would eat a frugal supper and hurry off to bed with a notice from the landlord to be ready to start at three the next morning.  Then, no matter if it rained or snowed, you would be forced to make ready by the dim light of a horn lantern, unknown now, for another ride of eighteen hours.

If no mishaps occurred, if the coach was not upset by the ruts, if storm or flood did not delay you at Springfield, where the road met the Connecticut, or at Stratford, where it met the Housatonic, each of which had to be crossed on clumsy flatboats, the stage would roll into New York at the end of the sixth day.

%197.  Two Days from New York to Philadelphia.%—­And here a serious delay was almost certain to occur, for even in the best of weather it was no easy matter to cross the Hudson to New Jersey.  When the wind was high and the water rough, or the river full of ice, the boldest did not dare to risk a crossing.  Once over the river, you would again go on by coach, and at the end of two more days would reach Philadelphia.  In our time one can travel in eight hours the entire distance between Boston and Philadelphia, a distance which Washington could not have traversed in less than eight days.

[Illustration:  Stagecoach and inn[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From a print of 1798.]

%198.  The Roads and the Inns.%—­The newspapers and the travelers of those days complained bitterly of the roads and the inns.  On the best roads the ruts were deep, the descents precipitous, and the passengers were often forced to get out and help the driver pull the wheels out of the mud.  Breakdowns and upsets were of everyday occurrence.  Yet bad as the roads were, the travel was so considerable that very often the inns and taverns even in the large cities could not lodge all who applied unless they slept five or six in a room.

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%199.  A Steamboat on the Delaware.%—­Rude as this means of travel seems to us, the men of 1790 were quite satisfied with it, and absolutely refused to make use of a better one.  Had you been in Philadelphia during the summer of 1790 and taken up a copy of The Pennsylvania Packet, you could not have failed to notice this advertisement of the first successful steamboat in the world: 

     %The Steam-Boat

Is now ready to take Passengers, and is intended to set off from Arch Street Ferry in Philadelphia every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for Burlington, Bristol, Bordentown and Trenton, to return on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays—­Price for Passengers, 2/6 to Burlington and Bristol, 3/9 to Bordentown, 5/. to Trenton.  June 14. tu.th ftf.%

This boat was the invention of John Fitch, and from June to September ran up and down the Delaware; but so few people went on it that he could not pay expenses, and the boat was withdrawn.

%200.  To the Great West.%—­From Philadelphia went out one of the great highways to what was then the far West, but to what we now know as the valley of the Ohio.  The traveler who to-day makes the journey from Philadelphia to Pittsburg is whisked on a railroad car through an endless succession of cities and villages and rich farms, and by great factories and mills and iron works, which in the days of Washington had no existence.  He makes the journey easily between sunrise and sunset.  In 1790 he could not have made it in twelve days.

%201.  Towns beyond the Alleghany Mountains.%—­Though the country between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi had been closed to settlement from 1763 to 1776 by the King’s proclamation, it was by no means without population in 1790.  At Detroit and Kaskaskia and Vincennes were old French settlements, made long before France was driven out of Louisiana.  But there were others of later date.  The hardy frontiersman of 1763 cared no more for the King’s proclamation than he did for the bark of the wolf at his cabin door.  The ink with which the document was written had not dried before emigrants from Maryland and Virginia and Pennsylvania were hurrying into the valley of the Monongahela.

In 1769 William Bean crossed the mountains from North Carolina, and, building a cabin on the banks of Watauga Creek, began the settlement of Tennessee.  James Robertson and a host of others followed in 1770, and soon the valleys of the Clinch and the Holston were dotted with cabins.  In 1769 Daniel Boone, one of the grandest figures in frontier history, began his exploits in what is now Kentucky, and before 1777 Boonesboro, Harrodsburg, and Lexington were founded.

[Illustration:  %Model of Fitch’s steamboat%[l]]

[Footnote 1:  Now in the National Museum, Washington.]

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%202.  State of Franklin.%—­Before the Revolution closed, emigrants under James Robertson and John Donelson planted Nashville and half a dozen other settlements on the Cumberland, in middle Tennessee.  After the Revolution ended, so many settlers were in eastern Tennessee that they tried to make a new state.  North Carolina, following the example of her Northern sisters, ceded to Congress her claim to what is now Tennessee in 1784.  But the people on the Watauga no sooner heard, of it than under the lead of John Sevier they organized the state of Franklin, whereupon North Carolina repealed the act of cession and absorbed the new state by making the Franklin officials her officials for the district of Tennessee.  In 1789 she again ceded the district, and in May of that year Tennessee became part of the public domain.

%203.  Squatters in Ohio.%—­The cession to Congress of the land north of the Ohio led to an emigration from Virginia and Kentucky to what is now the state of Ohio.  As this territory was to be sold to pay the national debt, Congress was forced to order the squatters away, and when they refused to go, sent troops to burn their cabins, destroy their crops, and drive them across the Ohio.  The lawful settlement of the territory began after the Ohio and Scioto companies bought their lands in 1787, and John C. Symmes purchased his in 1788.

%204.  Pittsburg in 1790.%—­At Pittsburg, then the greatest town in the United States west of the Alleghany Mountains, were some 200 houses, mostly of logs, and 2000 people, a newspaper, and a few rude manufactories.  The life of the town was its river trade.  Pittsburg was the place where emigrants “fitted out” for the West.  A settler intending to go down the Ohio valley with his family and his goods would lay in a stock of powder and ball, buy flour and ham enough to last him for a month, and secure two rude structures which passed under the name of boats.

[Illustration:  %The first millstones and salt kettle in Ohio%]

%205.  A Trip down the Ohio in 1790.%—­In the long keel boat he would put his wife, his children, and such travelers as had been waiting at Pittsburg for a chance to go down the river.  In the flatboat would be his cattle or his stores.  Two dangers beset the voyager on the Ohio.  His boat might become entangled in the branches of the trees that overhung the river, or be fired into by the Indians who lurked in the woods.  The cabin of the keel boat, therefore, was low, that it might glide under the trees, and the roof and sides were made as nearly bullet-proof as possible.  The whole craft was steered by a huge oar mounted on a pivot at the stern.[1]

[Footnote 1:  See the boats in the pictures on next page.]

[Illustration:  Map of Ohio]

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%206.  Towns along the Ohio.%—­As the emigrant in such an ark floated down the river, he would come first to Wheeling, a town of fifty log cabins, and then to Marietta, a town planted in Ohio in 1788 by settlers sent by the Ohio Company.  Below Marietta were Belpre and Gallipolis, a settlement made by Frenchmen brought there by the Scioto Company.  Yet farther down, on the Kentucky side, were Limestone (now Maysville) and Newport, opposite which some settlers were founding the city of Cincinnati.  Once past Cincinnati, all was unbroken wilderness till one reached Louisville in Kentucky, beyond which few emigrants had yet ventured to go.

[Illustration:  %Cincinnati in 1802 (Fort Washington)%]

%207.  Cotton Planting.%—­The South, in 1790, was on the eve of a great industrial revolution.  The products of the states south of Virginia had been tar, pitch, resin, lumber, rice, and indigo.  But in the years following the peace the indigo plants had been destroyed year after year by an insect.  As the plant was not a native of our country, but was brought from the West Indies, it became necessary either to import more seed plants, or to raise some other staple.  Many chose the latter course, and about 1787 began to grow cotton.

[Illustration:  %Farmers’ Castle (Belpre) in 1791%]

%208.  Whitney and the Cotton Gin.%—­The experiment succeeded, but a serious difficulty arose.  The cotton plant has pods which when ripe split open and show a white woolly substance attached to seeds.  Before the cotton could be used, these seeds must be picked out, and as the labor of cleaning was very great, only a small quantity could be sent to market.  It happened, however, that a young man from Massachusetts, named Eli Whitney, was then living in Georgia, and he, seeing the need of a machine to clean cotton, invented the cotton gin.[1] Till then, a negro slave could not clean two pounds of cotton in a day.  With the gin the same slave in the same time could remove the seeds from a hundred pounds.  This solved the difficulty, and gave to the United States another staple even greater in value than tobacco.  In 1792 one hundred and ninety-two thousand pounds of cotton were exported to Europe; in 1795, after the gin was invented, six million pounds were sent out of the country.  In 1894 no less than 4275 million pounds were raised and either consumed or exported.  Of all the marvelous inventions of our countrymen, this produced the very greatest consequences.  It made cotton planting profitable; it brought immense wealth to the people of the South every year; it covered New England with cotton mills; and by making slave labor profitable it did more than anything else to fasten slavery on the United States for seventy years, and finally to bring on the Civil War, the most terrible struggle of modern times.

[Footnote 1:  The word “gin” is a contraction of “engine.”]

[Illustration:  %The cotton gin% A.  Whitney’s original gin. B.  A later form.]

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1.  When Washington was inaugurated, the United States consisted of eleven states, with a population of about 3,380,000.

2.  These people lived not far from the Atlantic coast.  Few cities existed; not one had 50,000 inhabitants.  Even the largest was without many conveniences which we consider necessaries.

3.  Travel was slow and difficult, and though a steamboat had been invented and used, it was too far ahead of the times to succeed.

4.  West of the Alleghany Mountains a few settlements had been made between 1763 and 1783.  But it was after 1783, when streams of emigrants poured over the mountains, that settlement really began.

6.  In the South cotton was just beginning to be cultivated; there all labor was done by slaves.  In the North slavery was dying out, and in five of the states had been abolished.

State of the Country in 1790

- On the Seaboard.
The population. {Number. 
                {Movement west. 
The cities {Size. 
                {Absence of many conveniences known to us. 
                {Newspapers and magazines. 
Communication between states. {Bad roads.  Slow travel. 
                              {The post offices. 
                              {The stagecoaches.  The inns. 
                              {The early steamboat.

- In the Ohio Valley. {Population.  Squatters. 
                              {Pittsburg in 1790. 
                              {A trip down the Ohio. 
                              {Towns in the valley.

- In the South. {Slavery. 
                              {Cotton planting. 
                              {Whitney and the cotton gin.



%209.  Organizing the New Government.%—­he President having been inaugurated, and the new government fairly established, it became the duty of Congress to enact such laws as were needed immediately.  The first act passed by Congress in 1789 was therefore a tariff act laying duties on goods, wares, and merchandise imported into the United States.  Customhouses were then established and customs districts marked out, and ports of entry and ports of delivery designated; provision was made for the support of lighthouses and beacons; the Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the territories was slightly changed and reenacted; the departments of State, War, and Treasury were established; and a call was made on the Secretary of the Treasury to report a plan for payment of the old Continental debt.

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%210.  The United States Courts.%—­The Constitution declares that the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.  Acting under this power, Congress made provision for a Supreme Court, consisting of a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices, and marked out the United States into circuits and districts.  The circuits were three in number.  In the first were the Eastern States; in the second, the Middle States; and in the third, the Southern States.  To each were assigned two Justices of the Supreme Court, whose business it was to go to some city in each state in the circuit, and there, with the district judge of that state, hold a circuit court.  The district courts were thirteen in number, one being established in each state.[1] Washington appointed John Jay the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

[Footnote 1:  For later changes, see Andrews’s Manual of the Constitution, p. 183.]

%211.  The Secretaries.%—­During the management of affairs by the Continental Congress three great executive departments had gradually grown up and been placed in charge of three men, called the “Superintendent of Finance,” the “Secretary of the United States for the Department of Foreign Affairs,” and the “Secretary of War.”  These the Constitution recognized in the expression “principal officer in each of the executive departments.”  Congress by law now continued the departments and placed them in charge of a Secretary of the Treasury, a Secretary of State, and a Secretary of War.  Washington filled the offices promptly, making Alexander Hamilton Secretary of the Treasury, Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State, and General Henry Knox Secretary of War.

%212.  The “Cabinet."%—­It has long been the custom for the President to gather his secretaries about him on certain days in each week for the purpose of discussing public measures.  To these gatherings has been given the name “Cabinet meetings,” while the secretaries have come to be called “Cabinet officers.”  The Constitution, however, never intended to give the President a body of advisers.  Indeed, a proposition to provide him with a council was voted down in the constitutional convention.  But Washington at once began to consult the Chief Justice, the Vice President, his three secretaries, and the Attorney-general on matters of importance.  At first he asked their opinions individually and in writing, but toward the end of his first term he convened a general meeting of the heads of departments, and by so doing set a custom out of which, in time, the “Cabinet” has grown.

%213.  The Origin of the National Debt.%—­As soon as Hamilton was made Secretary of the Treasury, it became his duty, in accordance with an order from Congress, to prepare a plan for the payment of the debts contracted by the Continental Congress.  When that body was unexpectedly called on, in May, 1775, to conduct the war, it had nothing with which to pay expenses, and was forced to use all sorts of means to raise money.

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[Illustrations:  Continental money]

%214.  Paper Money.%—­The first resort was the issue, during 1775 and 1776, of six batches of Continental “bills of credit,” amounting in all to $36,000,000.  These “bills” were rudely engraved bits of paper, stating on their face that “This bill entitles the bearer to receive ——­ Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in gold or silver.”  They were issued in sums of various denominations, from one sixth of a dollar up, and were to be redeemed by the states.  The amount assigned each state for redemption was in proportion to the supposed number of its inhabitants.

%215.  Loan-office Certificates.%—­In 1776 Congress tried another means.  It opened a loan office in each state and called on patriotic people to come forward and loan it money, receiving in return pieces of paper called “loan-office certificates.”  Interest was to be paid on these; but after a while Congress, having no money with which to pay interest, was forced to resort to another form of paper, called “interest indents.”

%216.  The Congress Lottery.%—­The loan office having failed to bring in as much money as was needed, Congress, toward the close of 1776, was driven to seek some other way, and resorted to a lottery.  A certain number of tickets were sold, after which a drawing took place, and all who drew prizes were given certificates payable at the end of five years.

%217.  More Bills of Credit.%—­But the sale of tickets went off so slowly that Congress had to go back to the issue of bills of credit.  In 1777, therefore, the printing press was again put to work, and issues were made in rapid succession, till more than $200,000,000 in Continental paper were in circulation.

%218.  The “New Tenor".%—­Then the Continental bills ceased to circulate, and in March, 1780, Congress called in the old money and offered to exchange it for a new issue, giving one dollar of the new paper money, or “new tenor,” for forty dollars of the old.  But the attempt to restore credit by such means was a failure, and by the end of the year 1781 all paper money ceased to circulate.

%219.  Certificates.%—­Long before this time officials had been forced to pay debts contracted in the name of Congress with other kinds of paper, called certificates, and known as treasury, commissary, quartermaster, marine, and hospital certificates, according to the department issuing them.  To these must be added the “final settlements,” or certificates given to the soldiers at the end of the war in payment of their services.

%220.  Foreign Debt.%—­Besides the debt thus contracted at home, Congress had borrowed a great sum in Europe.

%221.  The National Debt in 1790.%—­Thus the debt contracted by the Continental Congress consisted of two parts. 1.  The foreign debt, due to France, Holland, and Spain, and amounting, Hamilton found, to $11,700,000. 2.  The domestic or home debt, of $42,000,000.  But the states had also fallen into debt because of their exertions in the war.  Just how great the state debts were could not be determined, but they were estimated to be $21,500,000.

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%222.  Assumption and Funding.%—­For the redemption of this debt Hamilton prepared two measures,—­the funding, or, as we should say, the bonding, of the foreign and Continental debt, and the assuming and funding of the state debts.  This was done, and Congress ordered stock bearing interest to be issued in exchange for the old debts, and so established our national debt, which in 1790 amounted to $75,000,000.

%223.  The National Capital.%—­Funding the state debts was strongly opposed by many congressmen, and was not carried till a bargain was made by which it was agreed that if enough members from Virginia and Pennsylvania would support the measure to secure its passage through the House of Representatives, the national government should be removed from New York to Philadelphia for ten years, and after that to a city to be built on the Potomac.  This was faithfully carried out, and in the summer of 1790 the government offices were removed to Philadelphia, where they remained till the summer of 1800, when they were removed to Washington in the District of Columbia.

%224.  The Bank of the United States.%—­The troublesome questions of funding and assumption thus disposed of, Congress called on Hamilton for a report on the further support of public credit, and when it met in the session of 1790-91, received a plan for a great National Bank, with a capital of $10,000,000.  The United States was to raise $2,000,000; the rest was to be subscribed for by the people.  The bank was to keep the public revenues, was to aid the government in making payments all over the country.  To do this, power was given to the parent bank (which must be at Philadelphia) to establish branches in the chief cities and towns, and to issue bank bills which should be received all over the United States for public lands, taxes, duties, postage, and in payment of any debt due the government.  Great opposition was made; but the charter was granted for twenty years, and in 1791 the Bank of the United States began business.

The effect of these two measures, funding the debt and establishing a bank, was immediate.  Confidence and credit were restored.  Money that the people had long been hiding away was brought out and invested in all sorts of new enterprises, such as banks, canal companies, manufacturing companies, and turnpike companies.

[Illustration:  The first Bank of the United States]

%225.  “Federalists” and “Republicans."%—­When the Constitution was before the people for acceptance or rejection in 1788, they were divided into two bodies.  Those who wanted a strong and vigorous federal government, who wanted Congress to have plenty of power to regulate trade, pay the debts of the country, and raise revenue, supported the Constitution just as it was and were called “Federalists.”

Others, who wanted the old Articles of Confederation preserved and amended so as to give Congress a revenue and only a little more power, opposed the Constitution and wanted it altered.  To please these “Anti-Federalists,” as they were a large part of the people, Congress, in 1789, drew up twelve amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states.

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With the ratification of ten of these amendments, opposition to the Constitution ceased.  But as soon as Congress began to pass laws, difference of opinion as to the expediency of them, and even as to the right of Congress to pass them, divided the people again into two parties, and sent a good many Federalists into the Anti-Federalist party.

A very large number of men, for instance, opposed the funding of the Continental Congress debt at its face value, because the people never had taken a bill at the value expressed on its face, but at a very much less value; some opposed the assumption of the state debts, because Congress, they said, had power to pay the debt of the United States, but not state debts; others opposed the National Bank because the Constitution did not give Congress express power in so many words to charter a bank.  Others complained that the interest on the national debt and the great salary of the President ($25,000 a year) and the pay of Congressmen ($6 a day) and the hundreds of tax collectors made taxes too heavy.  They complained again that men in office showed an undemocratic fondness for aristocratic customs.  The President, they said, was too exclusive, and owned too fine a coach.  The Justices of the Supreme Court must have black silk gowns, with red, white, and blue scarfs.  The Senate for some years to come held its daily session in secret; not even a newspaper reporter was allowed to be present.

As early as 1792 there were thus a very great number of men in all parts of the country who were much opposed to the measures of Congress and the President, and who accused the Federalists of wishing to set up a monarchy.  A great national debt, they said, a funding system, a national bank, and heavy internal taxes are all monarchical institutions, and if you have the institutions, it will not be long before you have the monarchy.  They began therefore in 1792 to organize for election purposes, and as they were opposed to a monarchy, they called themselves “Republicans.” [1] Their great leaders were Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Randolph, and Albert Gallatin.

[Footnote 1:  This party was the forerunner of the present Democratic party.]

%226.  The Whisky Rebellion, 1794.%—­One of the taxes to which the Republicans objected, that on whisky, led to the first rebellion against the government of the United States.  In those days, 1791, the farmers living in the region around Pittsburg could not send grain or flour down the Ohio and the Mississippi, because Spain had shut the Mississippi to navigation by Americans.  They could not send their flour over the mountains to Philadelphia or Baltimore, because it cost more to haul it there than it would sell for.  Instead, therefore, of making flour, they grew rye and made whisky on their own farms.  This found a ready sale.  Now, when the United States collectors attempted to collect the whisky tax, the farmers of western Pennsylvania drove

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them away.  An appeal was then made to the courts; but when the marshal came to make arrests he, too, was driven away.  Under the Articles of Confederation this would have been submitted to.  But the Constitution and the acts of Congress were now “the supreme law of the land,” and Washington in his oath of office had sworn to see them executed.  To accomplish this, he used the power given him by an act of Congress, and called out 12,900 militia from the neighboring states and marched them to Pittsburg.  Then the people yielded.  Two of the leaders were tried and convicted of treason; but Washington pardoned them.

The insurrection or rebellion was a small affair.  But the principles at stake were great.  It was now shown that the Constitution and the laws must be obeyed; that it was treason to resist them by force, and that if necessary the people would, at the call of the President, turn out and put down rebellion by force of arms.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  II., pp. 189-204; Findley’s History of the Insurrection in Pennsylvania.]


1.  As soon as Washington was inaugurated, Congress proceeded to organize the new government.

2.  The Supreme Court and circuit and district courts were established.

3.  The departments of State, War, and Treasury were formed.

4.  Twelve amendments to the Constitution were proposed.

5.  Three financial measures were adopted: 
    A. A tariff act was passed. 
    B. The debts of the states were assumed, and, with that of the
       Continental Congress, funded. 
    C. A national bank was chartered.

6.  The price of funding was the ultimate location of the national capital on the Potomac.

7.  The first census was taken in 1790.

8.  The result of the financial measures of Congress was the rise of the Republican party (the forerunner of the present Democratic party).


Funding the
Continental Debt.
/ Money borrowed in \ Shall it be \
Foreign debt. | France, Holland, | funded at | Yes ------+
\ and Spain. / face value? / |
/ Bills of credit. \ |
| Loan-office | |
| certificates. | Shall it be \ |
| Lottery | funded at | Yes ----+ |
Domestic debt. | certificates. | face value / | |
| Interest indents. | or market \ | |
| New tenor. | value? / Yes --+ | |
| Certificates of | | | |
| officials. | | | |
\ Final settlements. / | | | \
| | | |

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Assumption of / Yes ---------------------------------------+-+ |[1]
state debts. \ No ----------------------------------+ | | |
| | | /
Establishment / Yes -----------------------------------------+
of a national | | |
bank. \ No ------------------------------------+ |
| | |
Internal revenue / Too heavy ----------------------- \ | | | taxes. \ | | | |
| | | |
/ / President too | | | |
| | exclusive. | | | | \
| Aristocratic | Secret sessions | | | | |
Administration | customs. | of the Senate. |—­+-+-+ |[2] not democratic. | | Gowns of the | |
| \ justices. | /
| Monarchial / Great debt. |
| institutions. | National bank. |
\ \ Heavy taxes. /

\ / Leaders.
[1]—–­| Federalists | Washington.
/ | Adams.
\ Hamilton.

\             /   Leaders.
|             | Jefferson.
[2]—–­| Republicans | Madison.
|             | Monroe.
|             | Randolph.
/             \ Gallatin.



%227.  Trouble with Great Britain and France.%—­From the congressional election in 1792 we may date the beginning of organized political parties in the United States.  They sprang from differences of opinion as to domestic matters.  But on a sudden in 1793 Federalists and Republicans became divided on questions of foreign affairs.

Ever since 1789 France had been in a state of revolution, and at last (in 1792) the people established the French Republic, cut off the heads of the King and Queen (in 1793), and declared war on England and sent a minister, Genet, to the United States.  At that time we had no treaty with Great Britain except the treaty of peace.  With France, however, we had two treaties,—­one of alliance, and one of amity and commerce.  The treaty of alliance bound us to guarantee to France “the possessions of the crown of France in America,” by which were meant the French West Indian Islands.  When Washington heard that war had been declared by France, and that a French minister was on his way to America, he became alarmed lest this minister should call on him to make good the guarantee by sending a fleet to the Indies.  On consulting his secretaries, they advised him that the guarantee applied only when France was attacked, and not when she was the attacking party.  The President thereupon issued a proclamation of neutrality; that is, declared that the United States would not side with either party in the war, but would treat both alike.

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%228.  Sympathy for France; the French Craze.%—­Then began a long struggle for neutrality.  The Republicans were very angry at Washington and denounced him violently.  France, they said, had been our old friend; Great Britain had been our old enemy.  We had a treaty with France; we had none with Great Britain.  To treat her on the same footing with France was therefore a piece of base ingratitude to France.  A wave of sympathy for France swept over the country.  The French dress, customs, manners, came into use.  Republicans ceased to address each other as Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones, Sir, or “Your Honor,” and used Citizen Smith and Citizen Jones.  The French tricolor with the red liberty cap was hung up in taverns and coffeehouses, which were the clubhouses of that day.  Every French victory was made the occasion of a “civic feast,” while the anniversaries of the fall of the Bastile and of the founding of the Republic were kept in every great city.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  II., pp. 89-96; Harpers Magazine, April, 1897.]

%229.  England seizes our Ships; the Rule of 1756%.—­To preserve neutrality in the face of such a public sentiment was hard enough; but Great Britain made it more difficult yet.  When war was declared, France opened the ports of her West Indian Islands and invited neutral nations to trade with them.  This she did because she knew that the British navy could drive her merchantmen from the sea, and that all trade between herself and her colonies must be carried on in the ships of neutral nations.

Now the merchants of the United States had never been allowed to trade with the French Indies to an unlimited extent.  The moment, therefore, they were allowed to do so, they gladly began to trade, and during the summer of 1793 hundreds of ships went to the islands.  There were at that time four questions of dispute between us and Great Britain: 

1.  Great Britain held that she might seize any kind of food going to a French port in our ships.  We held that only military stores might be so seized.

2.  Great Britain held that when a port had been declared to be blockaded, a ship bound to that port might be seized even on the high seas.  We held that no port was blockaded unless there was a fleet actually stationed at it to prevent ships from entering or leaving it.

3.  Great Britain held that our ships might be captured if they had French goods on board.  We held that “free ships made free goods,” and that our ships were not subject to capture, no matter whose goods they had on board.

4.  Great Britain in 1756 had adopted a rule that no neutral should have in time of war a trade she did not have in time of peace.

The United States was now enjoying a trade in time of war she did not have in time of peace, and Great Britain began to enforce her rule.  British ships were ordered to stop American vessels going to or coming from the French West Indies, and if they contained provisions, to seize them.  This was done, and in the autumn of 1793 great numbers of American ships were captured.

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%230.  Our Sailors impressed.%—­All this was bad enough and excited the people against our old enemy, who made matters a thousand times worse by a course of action to which we could not possibly submit.  She claimed the right to stop any of our ships on the sea, send an officer on board, force the captain to muster the crew on the deck, and then search for British subjects.  If one was found, he was seized and carried away.  If none were found, and the British ships wanted men, native-born Americans were taken off under the pretext that one could not tell an American from an English sailor.  Our fathers could stand a great deal, but this was too much, and a cry for war went up from all parts of the country.

But Washington did not want war, and took two measures to prevent it.  He persuaded Congress to lay an embargo for thirty days, that is, forbid all ships to leave our ports, and induced the Senate to let him send John Jay, the Chief Justice, to London to make a treaty of amity and commerce with Great Britain.

%231.  Jay’s Treaty, 1794.%—­In this mission Jay succeeded; and though the treaty was far from what Washington wanted, it was the best that could be had, and he approved it.[1] At this the Republicans grew furious.  They burned copies of the treaty at mass meetings and hung Jay in effigy.  Yet the treaty had some good features.  By it the King agreed to withdraw his troops from Oswego and Detroit and Mackinaw, which really belonged to us but were still occupied by the English.  By it our merchants were allowed for the first time to trade with the British West Indies, and some compensation was made for the damage done by the capture of ships in the West Indies.

[Footnote 1:  The Senate ratified this treaty in the summer of 1795.]

%232.  Treaty with Spain.%—­About the same time (October, 1795) we made our first treaty with Spain, and induced her to accept the thirty-first degree of latitude as the south boundary of our country, and to consent to open the Mississippi to trade.  As Spain owned both banks at the mouth of the river, she claimed that American ships had no right to go in or out without her consent, and so prevented the people of Kentucky and Tennessee from trading in foreign markets.  She now agreed that they might float their produce to New Orleans and pay a small duty, and then ship it wherever they pleased.

%233.  The Election of Adams and Jefferson, 1796%.—­Washington had been reelected President in 1792, but he was now tired of office, and in September, 1796, issued his “Farewell Address,” in which he declined to be the candidate for a third presidential term.  In those days there were no national conventions to nominate candidates, yet it was well understood that John Adams, the Vice President, was the candidate of the Federalists, and Thomas Jefferson, of the Republicans.  When the votes were counted in Congress, it was found that Adams had 71 electoral votes, and Jefferson 68; so they became President and Vice President.

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[Illustration:  John Adams]

%234.  Trouble with France.%—­Adams was inaugurated on March 4, 1797, and three days later heard that C. C. Pinckney, our minister to the French Republic, had been driven from France.  Pinckney had been sent to France by Washington in 1796, but the French Directory (as the five men who then governed France were called) had taken great offense at Jay’s treaty:  first because it was favorable to Great Britain, and in the second place because it put an end for the present to all hope of war between her and the United States.  The Directory, therefore, refused to receive Pinckney until the French grievances were redressed.

The President was very angry at the insult, and summoned Congress to meet and take such action as, said he, “shall convince France and the whole world that we are not a degraded people humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority.”  But the Republicans declared so vigorously that if a special mission were sent to France all would be made right, that Adams yielded, and sent John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry to join Pinckney as envoys extraordinary.  On reaching Paris, three men acting as agents for the Directory met them, and declared that before they could be received as ministers they must do three things: 

1.  Apologize for Adams’s denunciation of the conduct of France. 2.  Pay each Director $50,000. 3.  Pay tribute to France.

When the President reported this demand to Congress, the names of the three French agents were suppressed, and instead they were called Mr. X, Mr. Y, Mr. Z. This gave the mission the nickname “X, Y, Z mission.”

%235.  “Millions for Defense, not a Cent for Tribute."%—­As the newspapers published these dispatches, a roar of indignation, in which the Federalists and Republicans alike joined, went up from the whole country.  “Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute,” became the watchword of the hour.  Opposition in Congress ceased, and preparations were at once made for war.  The French treaties were suspended.  The Navy Department was created, and a Secretary of the Navy appointed.  Frigates were ordered to be built, money was voted for arms, a provisional army was formed, and Washington was again made commander in chief, with the rank of lieutenant general.  The young men associated for defense, the people in the seaports built frigates or sloops of war, and gave their services to erect forts and earthworks.  Every French flag was now pulled down from the coffeehouses, and the black cockade of our own Revolutionary days was once more worn as the badge of patriotism.  Then was written, by Joseph Hopkinson of Philadelphia,[1] and sung for the first time, our national song Hail, Columbia!

[Footnote 1:  The music to which we sing Hail, Columbia! was called The President’s March, and was played for the first time when the people of Trenton were welcoming Washington on his way to be inaugurated President in 1789.  For an account of the trouble with France read McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  II, pp. 207-416, 427-476.]

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%236.  The Alien and Sedition Acts.%—­Carried away by the excitement of the hour, the Federalists now passed two most unwise laws.  Many of the active leaders and very many of the members of the Republican party were men born abroad and naturalized in this country.  Generally they were Irishmen or Frenchmen, and as such had good reason to hate England, and therefore hated the Federalists, who they believed were too friendly to her.  To prevent such becoming voters, and so taking an active part in politics, the Federalists passed a new naturalization law, which forbade any foreigner to become an American citizen until he had lived fourteen years in our country.  Lest this should not be enough to keep them quiet, a second law was passed by which the President had power for two years to send any alien (any of these men who for fourteen years could not become citizens) out of the country whenever he thought it proper.  This law Adams never used.

For five years past the Republican newspapers had been abusing Washington, Adams, the acts of Congress, the members of Congress, and the whole foreign policy of the Federalists.  The Federalist newspapers, of course, had retaliated and had been just as abusive of the Republicans.  But as the Federalists now had the power, they determined to punish the Republicans for their abuse, and passed the Sedition Act.  This provided that any man who acted seditiously (that is, interfered with the execution of a law of Congress) or spoke or wrote seditiously (that is, abused the President, or Congress, or any member of the Federal government) should be tried, and if found guilty, be fined and imprisoned.  This law was used, and used vigorously, and Republican editors all over the country were fined and sometimes imprisoned.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The Alien and Sedition acts are in Preston’s Documents, pp. 277-282.]

%237.  Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.%—­The passage of these Alien and Sedition laws greatly excited the Republicans, and led Jefferson to use his influence to have them condemned by the states.  For this purpose he wrote a set of resolutions and sent them to a friend in Kentucky who was to try to have the legislature adopt them.[2] Jefferson next asked Madison to write a like set of resolutions for the Virginia legislature to adopt.  Madison became so interested that he gave up his seat in Congress and entered the Virginia legislature, and in December, 1798, induced it to adopt what have since been known as the Virginia Resolutions of 1798.

[Footnote 2:  Kentucky had been admitted to the Union in 1792 (see p. 213).]

Meantime the legislature of Kentucky, November, 1798, had adopted the resolutions of Jefferson.[3]

[Footnote 3:  E. D. Warfield’s Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.  The Resolutions are printed in Preston’s Documents, pp. 283-298; Jefferson’s Works, Vol.  IX., p. 494.]

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Both sets declare 1.  That the Constitution of the United States is a compact or contract. 2.  That to this contract each state is a party; that is, the united states are equal partners in a great political firm.  So far they agree; but at this point they differ.  The Kentucky Resolutions assert that when any question arises as to the right of Congress to pass any law, each state may decide this question for itself and apply any remedy it likes.  The Virginia Resolutions declare that the states may judge and apply the remedy.

Both declared that the Alien and Sedition laws were wholly unconstitutional.  Seven states answered by declaring that the laws were constitutional, whereupon Kentucky in 1799 framed another set of resolutions in which she said that when a state thought a law to be illegal she had the right to nullify it; that is, forbid her citizens to obey it.  This doctrine of nullification, as we shall see, afterwards became of very serious importance.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The answers of the states are printed in Elliot’s Debates, Vol.  IV., pp. 532-539.]

%238.  The Naval War with France.%—­Meantime war opened with France.  The Navy Department was created in April, 1798, and before the year ended, a gallant little navy of thirty-four frigates, corvettes, and gun sloops of war had been collected and sent with a host of privateers to scour the sea around the French West Indies, destroy French commerce, and capture French ships of war.[1] One of our frigates, the Constellation, Captain Thomas Truxton in command, captured the French frigate Insurgente, after a gallant fight.  On another occasion, Truxton, in the Constellation, fought the Vengeance and would have taken her, but the Frenchman, finding he was getting much the worst of it, spread his sails and fled.  Yet another of our frigates, the Boston, took the Berceau, whose flag is now in the Naval Institute Building at Annapolis.  In six months the little American twelve-gun schooner Enterprise took eight French privateers, and recaptured and set free four American merchantmen.  These and a hundred other actions just as gallant made good the patriotic words of John Adams, “that we are not a degraded people humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority.”  So impressed was France with this fact that the war had scarcely begun when the Directory meekly sent word that if another set of ministers came they would be received.  They ought to have been told that they must send a mission to us.  But Adams in this respect was weak, and in 1800, the Chief Justice, Oliver Ellsworth, William R. Davie, and William Vans Murray were sent to Paris.  The Directory had then fallen from power, Napoleon was ruling France as First Consul, and with him in September, 1800, a convention was concluded.

[Footnote 2:  For an account of this war, read Maclay’s History of the United States Navy, Vol.  I., pp. 155-213.]

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%239.  The Stamp Tax; the Direct Tax and Fries’s Rebellion, 1798.%—­The heavy cost of the preparations for war made new taxes necessary.  Two of these, a stamp tax very similar to the famous one of 1765, and a direct tax, greatly excited the people.  The direct tax was the first of its kind in our history, and was laid on lands, houses, and negro slaves.  In certain counties of eastern Pennsylvania, where the population was chiefly German, the purpose of the tax was not understood, and the people refused to make returns of the value of their farms and houses.  When the assessors came to measure the houses and count the windows as a means of determining the value of the property, the people drove them off.  For this some of the leaders were arrested.  But the people under John Fries rose and rescued the prisoners.  At this stage President Adams called out the militia, and marched it against the rebels.  They yielded.  But Fries was tried for treason, was sentenced to be hanged, and was then pardoned.  Thus a second time was it proved that the people of the United States were determined to support the Constitution and the laws and put down rebellion.

%240.  Washington the National Capital.%—­In accordance with the bargain made in 1790, Washington selected a site for the Federal city on both banks of the Potomac.  This great square tract of land was ten miles long on each side, and was given to the government partly by Maryland and partly by Virginia.[1] It was called the District of Columbia, and in it were marked out the streets of Washington city.

[Footnote 1:  In 1846 so much of the District as had belonged to Virginia was given back to her.]

Though all possible haste was made, the President’s house was still unfinished, the Capitol but partly built, and the streets nothing but roads cut through the woods, when, in the summer of 1800, the secretaries, the clerks, the books and papers of the government left Philadelphia for Washington.  With the opening of the new century, and the occupation of the new Capitol, came a new President, and a new party in control of the government.

[Illustration:  The National Capitol as it was in 1825]

%241.  The Election of Thomas Jefferson.%—­The year 1800 was a presidential year, and though no formal nomination was made, a caucus of Republican leaders selected as candidates Thomas Jefferson for President, and Aaron Burr for Vice President.  A caucus or meeting of Federalist leaders selected John Adams and C. C. Pinckney as their candidates.  When the returns were all in, it appeared that Jefferson had received seventy-three votes, Burr seventy-three votes, Adams sixty-five votes, Pinckney sixty-four votes.  The Constitution provided that the man who received the highest number of electoral votes, if the choice of the majority of the electors, should be President.  But as Jefferson and Burr had each seventy-three, neither had the highest, and neither was President.  The duty of electing a President

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then devolved on the House of Representatives, which after a long and bitter struggle elected Jefferson President; Burr then became Vice President.  To prevent such a contest ever arising again, the twelfth amendment was added to the Constitution.  This provides for a separate ballot for Vice President.  March 4, 1801, Jefferson, escorted by the militia of Georgetown and Alexandria, walked from his lodgings to the Senate chamber and took the oath of office.{1} He and his party had been placed in power in order to make certain reforms, and this, when Congress met in the winter of 1801, they began to do.

[Footnote 1:  For a fine description of Jefferson’s personality, read Henry Adams’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 185-191.  As to the story of Jefferson riding alone to the Capitol and tying his horse to the fence, see Adams’s History, Vol.  I, pp. 196-199; McMaster’s History, Vol.  II., pp. 533-534.]

%242.  The Annual Message.%—­While Washington and Adams were presidents, it was their custom when Congress met each year to go in state to the House of Representatives, and in the presence of the House and Senate read a speech.  The two branches of Congress would then separate and appoint committees to answer the President’s speech, and when the answers were ready, each would march through the streets to the President’s house, where the Vice President or the Speaker would read the answer to the President.  When Congress met in 1801, Jefferson dropped this custom and sent a written message to both houses—­a practice which every President since that time has followed.

%243.  Republican Reforms.%—­True to their promises, the Republicans now proceeded to repeal the hated laws of the Federalists.  They sold all the ships of the navy except thirteen, they ordered prosecutions under the Sedition law to be stopped, they repealed all the internal taxes laid by the Federalists, they cut down the army to 2500 men, and reduced the expenses of government to $3,700,000 per year—­a sum which would not now pay the cost of running the government for three days.  As the annual revenue collected at the customhouses, the post office, and from the sale of land was $10,800,000, the treasury had some $7,000,000 of surplus each year.  This was used to pay the national debt, which fell from $88,000,000 in 1801 to $45,000,000 in 1812, and this in spite of the purchase of Louisiana.

[Illustration:  Thomas Jefferson]

%244.  The Purchase of Louisiana.%—­When France was driven out of America, it will be remembered, she gave to Spain all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, together with a large tract on the east bank, at the river’s mouth.  Spain then owned Louisiana till 1800, when by a secret treaty she gave the province back to France.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Adams’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 352-376.]

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For a while this treaty was really kept secret; but in April, 1802, news that Louisiana had been given to France and that Napoleon was going to send out troops to hold it, reached this country and produced two consequences.  In the first place, it led the Spanish intendant (as the man who had charge of all commercial matters was called) to withdraw the “right of deposit” at New Orleans, and so prevent citizens of the United States sending their produce out of the Mississippi River.  In the second place, this act of the intendant excited the rage of all the settlers in the valley from Pittsburg to Natchez, and made them demand the instant seizure of New Orleans by American troops.  To prevent this, Jefferson obtained the consent of Congress to make an effort to buy New Orleans and West Florida, and sent Monroe to aid our minister in France in making the purchase.

When the offer was made, Napoleon was about going to war with England, and, wanting money very much, he in turn offered to sell the whole province to the United States—­an offer that was gladly accepted.  The price paid was $15,000,000, and in December, 1803, Louisiana was formally delivered to us.

%245.  Louisiana.%—­Concerning this splendid domain hardly anything was known.  No boundaries were given to it either on the north, or on the west, or on the south.  What the country was like nobody could tell.[1] Where the source of the Mississippi was no white man knew.  In the time of La Salle a priest named Hennepin had gone up to the spot where Minneapolis now stands, and had seen the Falls of St. Anthony (p. 63).  But the country above the falls was still unknown.

[Footnote 1:  In a description of it which Jefferson sent to Congress in 1804, he actually stated that “there exists about one thousand miles up the Missouri, and not far from that river, a salt mountain.  This mountain is said to be one hundred and eighty miles long and forty-five in width, composed of solid rock salt, without any trees or even shrubs on it.”]

%246.  Explorations of Lewis and Clark.%—­That this great region ought to be explored had been a favorite idea of Jefferson for twenty years past, and he had tried to persuade learned men and learned societies to organize an expedition to cross the continent.  Failing in this, he turned to Congress, which in 1803 (before the purchase of Louisiana) voted a sum of money for sending an exploring party from the mouth of the Missouri to the Pacific.  The party was in charge of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.  Early in May, 1804, they left St. Louis, then a frontier town of log cabins, and worked their way up the Missouri River to a spot not far from the present city of Bismarck, North Dakota, where they passed the winter with the Indians.  Resuming their journey in the spring of 1805, they followed the Missouri to its source in the mountains, after crossing which they came to the Clear Water River; and down this they went to the Columbia, which carried them to a spot where, late in November, 1805, they “saw the waves like small mountains rolling out in the sea.”  They were on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  After spending the winter at the mouth of the Columbia, the party made its way back to St. Louis in 1806.

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%247.  The Oregon Country.%—­Lewis and Clark were not the first of our countrymen to see the Columbia River.  In 1792 a Boston ship captain named Gray was trading with the Pacific coast Indians.  He was collecting furs to take to China and exchange for tea to be carried to Boston, and while so engaged he discovered the mouth of a great river, which he entered, and named the Columbia in honor of his ship.  By right of this discovery by Gray the United States was entitled to all the country drained by the Columbia River.  By the exploration of this country by Lewis and Clark our title was made stronger still, and it was finally perfected a few years later when the trappers and settlers went over the Rocky Mountains and occupied the Oregon country.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Barrows’s Oregon; McMaster’s History, Vol.  II., pp. 633-635.]

[Illustration:  Mouth of the Columbia River]

%248.  Pike explores the Southwest.%—­While Lewis and Clark were making their way up the Missouri, Zebulon Pike was sent to find the source of the Mississippi, which he thought he did in the winter of 1805-06.  In this he was mistaken, but supposing his work done, he was dispatched on another expedition in 1806.  Traveling up the Missouri River to the Osage, and up the Osage nearly to its source, he struck across Kansas to the Arkansas River, which he followed to its head waters, wandering in the neighborhood of that fine mountain which in honor of him bears the name of Pikes Peak.  Then he crossed the mountains and began a search for the Red River.  The march was a terrible one.  It was winter; the cold was intense.  The snow lay waist deep on the plains.  Often the little band was without food for two days at a time.  But Pike pushed on, in spite of hunger, cold, and suffering, and at last saw, through a gap in the mountains, the waters of the Rio Grande.  Believing that it was the Red, he hurried to its banks, only to be seized by the Spaniards (for he was on Spanish soil), who carried him a prisoner to Santa Fe, from which city he and his men wandered back to the United States by way of Mexico and Texas.


%249.  Astoria founded.%—­The immediate effect of these explorations was greatly to stimulate the fur trade.  One great fur trader, John Jacob Astor of New York, now founded the Pacific Fur Company and made preparations to establish a line of posts from the upper Missouri to the Columbia, and along it to the Pacific, and supply them from St. Louis by way of the Missouri, or from the mouth of the Columbia, where in 1811 a little trading post was begun and named Astoria.  This completed our claim to the Oregon country.  Gray had discovered the river; Lewis and Clark had explored the territory drained by the river; the Pacific Fur Company planted the first lasting settlement.


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1.  In 1793 France made war on Great Britain.  The United States was bound by the treaty of alliance of 1778 to “guarantee” the French possessions in America.

2.  This treaty, and the coming of the French minister, forced Washington to declare the United States neutral in the war.

3.  His proclamation of neutrality was resented by the Republicans, who now became sympathizers with France.  The Federalists, who were strongest in the commercial states, became the anti-French or English party.

4.  When France declared war on England, she opened her ports in the West Indies to the merchant trade of the United States.

5.  England held that we should not have a trade with France when at war, for we had not had it when France was at peace.  This was an application of the “Rule of 1756.”  In 1793-1794, therefore, England began to seize our ships coming from the French ports.

6.  This so excited the Republicans that they attempted to force the country into war with England.

7.  To prevent war, Washington sent Jay to London, where he made our first commercial treaty with Great Britain.

8.  This offended the French Directory, who refused to receive our new minister and sent him out of France.

9.  War with France now seemed likely.  But Adams, in the interest of peace, sent three commissioners to Paris to make a new treaty.  They were met with demands for tribute and came home.

10.  The greatest excitement now prevailed in the country.  The Navy Department was created, a navy was built by the people, and a provisional army raised.  The old French treaties were suspended, and a naval war began.

11.  The popular anger against the Republicans (the French party) gave the Federalists control of Congress, whereupon they passed the Alien and Sedition laws.

12.  Against these Virginia and Kentucky protested in a set of resolutions.

13.  In the election of 1800 the Federalists were defeated, and the Republicans secured control of the Federal government.

14.  In 1800 Spain ceded Louisiana to France, whereupon the Spanish official at New Orleans shut the Mississippi to American commerce.

15.  The whole West cried out against this and demanded war.  But Jefferson offered to buy West Florida from France.  Napoleon thereupon offered to sell all Louisiana, and we bought it (1803).

16.  The new territory as yet had no boundaries; but it was explored in the northwest by Lewis and Clark, and in the southwest by Pike.

17.  The discovery of the Columbia River in 1792, the exploration of the country by Lewis and Clark, and the founding of Astoria established our claim to the Oregon country.

|                                                 |

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| | Opens her ports | to neutral trade.  Sends a minister to the United States. ------------------------- --------------------------------------- 1.  England asserts rule This brought up the questions:  of 1756. 1.  Shall he be received?—­Yes. 2.  Seizes our ships in 2.  Is the old alliance applicable the West Indies. to offensive war?—­No. 3.  Impresses our sailors. 3.  Shall the United States | be neutral?--Yes. | | Washington issues a proclamation | of neutrality. | | -------------------------------- | Struggle for neutrality. ----------------------------------------------- | | Republicans oppose it.  Federalists support it.  Attempt retaliation on Great Britain.  Lay embargo.  Are aided by Federalists.  Prepare for war. | | ----------------------------------------------- | Washington sends Jay to England.  Jay’s treaty made (1794). | ------------------------------------------- | | 1.  France takes offense.  Violently opposed by the Republicans. 2.  Rejects Pinckney. 3.  Republicans demand a special mission. 4.  Adams yields and sends X, Y, Z mission. 5.  Insulted by Directory. 6.  Excitement at home leads to | _________________________|__________________________________
Establishment of Navy Department.  Creation of a navy.  Provisional army.  Washington, Lt.  Gen. Naval war with France.  Alien and Sedition laws.  Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.  Increased taxation.  The direct tax.  Fries’s rebellion.  Defeat of Adams and election of Jefferson (1800). | ---------------------------- Introduces reforms.  Annual message.  Buys Louisiana.  Exploration of the Northwest.



%250.  France and Great Britain renew the War.%—­The war between France and Great Britain, which had been the cause of the sale of Louisiana to us, began in May, 1803.  The United States became again a neutral power, but, as in 1793, was soon once more involved in the disputes of France.

Towards the end of the previous war, Great Britain had so changed her ideas of neutrality that the merchants of the United States, according to her rules,

1.  Could trade directly between a port of the United States and the ports of the French West Indies.

2.  Could trade directly between the United States and ports in France or Europe.

3.  But could not trade directly between a French West India island and France, or a Spanish West India island and Spain, or a Dutch colony and Holland.

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To evade this last restriction, by combining the voyages allowed in numbers 1 and 2, was easy.  A merchant had but to load his ship at New York or Philadelphia, go to some port in the French West Indies, take on a new cargo and bring it to Savannah, enter it at the customhouse and pay the import duties.  This voyage was covered by number 1.  He could then, without disturbing his cargo in the least, clear his vessel for France, and get back from the collector of customs all the duty he had paid except three per cent.  He was now exporting goods from the United States and was protected by number 2.  This was called “the broken voyage,” and by using it thousands of shipowners were enabled to carry goods back and forth between France and her colonies, by merely stopping a few hours at an American port to clear for Europe.  So universal was this practice that in 1804 the customs revenue rose from $16,000,000 to $20,000,000.

In May, 1805, however, the British High Court of Admiralty decided that goods which started from the French colonies in American ships and were on their way to France could be captured even if they had been landed and reshipped in the United States.  The moment that decision was made, the old trouble began again.  British frigates were stationed off the ports of New York and Hampton Roads, and vessels coming in and going out were stopped, searched, and their sailors impressed.  Before 1805 ended, 116 of our ships had been seized and 1000 of our sailors impressed.

%251.  Orders in Council, 1806.%—­In 1806 matters grew worse.  Napoleon was master of Europe, and in order to injure Great Britain he cut off her trade with the continent.  For this she retaliated by issuing, in May, 1806, an Order in Council, which declared the whole coast of Europe, from Brest to the mouth of the river Elbe, to be blockaded.  This was a mere “paper blockade”; that is, no fleets were off the coast to keep neutrals from running into the blockaded ports.  Yet American vessels were captured at sea because they were going to those ports.

%252.  The Berlin Decree.%—­Napoleon waited to retaliate till November, 1806, when he issued the Berlin Decree,[1] declaring the British Islands to be blockaded.

[Footnote 1:  So called because he was at Berlin when he issued it.]

%253.  Orders in Council, 1807.%—­Great Britain felt that every time Napoleon struck at her she must strike back at him, and in January, 1807, a new Order in Council forbade neutrals to trade from one European port to another, if both were in the possession of France or her allies.  Finding it had no effect, she followed it up with another Order in Council in November, 1807, which declared that every port on the face of the earth from which for any reason British ships were excluded was shut to neutrals, unless they first stopped at some British port and obtained a license to trade.

%254.  The Milan Decree, 1807.%—­It was now Napoleon’s turn to strike, which he did in December, 1807, by issuing the Milan Decree.[1] Thenceforth any ship that submitted to be searched by British cruisers or took out a British license, or entered any port from which French ships were excluded, was to be captured wherever found.

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[Footnote 1:  So called because he was in Milan at the time, and dated it from that city.]

As a result of this series of French Decrees and British Orders in Council,[2] the English took 194 of our ships, and the French almost as many.

[Footnote 2:  On the Orders in Council and French Decrees, read Adams’s History of the United States, Vol.  III., Chap. 16; Vol.  IV., Chaps. 4, 5, and 6; McMaster’s History, Vol.  III., pp. 219-223; 249-250; 272-274.]

%255.  Jefferson’s Policy; Non-importation Act.%—­The policy by which Jefferson proposed to meet this emergency consisted of three parts: 

1.  Lay up the frigates and defend our coast and harbors by a number of small, swift-sailing craft, each carrying one gun in the stern.  In time of peace they were to be hauled up under sheds.  In time of war they were to be shoved into the water and manned by volunteers.  Between 1806 and 1812, 176 of these gunboats were built.

2.  Make a new treaty with Great Britain, because that made by Jay in 1794 was to expire in 1806.  Under the instructions of Jefferson, therefore, Monroe and Pinckney signed a new treaty in December, 1806.  But it said nothing about the impressment of our sailors, or about the right of our ships to go where they pleased, and was so bad in general that Jefferson would not even send it to the Senate.[3]

[Footnote 3:  No treaty can become a law unless approved by the President and two thirds of the Senate.]

3.  The third part of his policy consisted in doing what we should call “boycotting.”  He wanted a law which would forbid the importation into the United States of any article made, grown, or produced in Great Britain or any of her colonies.  Congress accordingly, in April, 1806, passed what was called a “Non-importation Act,” which prohibited not the importation of every sort of British goods, wares, and merchandise, but only a few which the people could make in this country; as paper, cards, leather goods, etc.  This was to go into force at the President’s pleasure.

%256.  The Chesapeake and the Leopard.%—­Such an attempt to punish Great Britain by cutting off a part of her trade was useless, and only made her more insolent than before.  Indeed, just a week after the President signed the non-importation bill, as one of our coasting vessels was entering the harbor of New York, a British vessel, wishing to stop and search her, fired a shot which struck the helmsman and killed him at the wheel.

About a year later, June, 1807, an attack more outrageous still was made on our frigate Chesapeake.  She was on her way from Washington to the Mediterranean, and was still in sight of land when a British vessel, the Leopard, hailed and stopped her and sent an officer on board with a demand for the delivery of deserters from the English navy.  The captain of the Chesapeake refused, the officer returned, and the Leopard opened fire.  To return the fire was impossible, for only a few of the guns of the Chesapeake were mounted.  At last one was discharged, and as by that time three men had been killed and eighteen wounded, Commander Barron of the Chesapeake surrendered.  Four men then were taken from her deck.  Three were Americans.  One was an Englishman, and he was hanged for desertion.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Maclay’s History of the Navy, Vol.  I., pp. 305-308; McMaster’s History, Vol.  III., pp. 255-259.]

%257.  The Long Embargo.%—­The attack on the Chesapeake ought to have been followed by war.  But Jefferson merely demanded reparation from Great Britain, and when Congress met in December, 1807, asked for an embargo.  The request was granted, and merchant vessels in all the ports of the United States were forbidden to sail for a foreign country till the President saw fit to suspend the law.  The restriction was so sweeping and the damage done to American farmers, merchants, and shipowners so great, that the people began to evade it at once.  They would send their vessels to New Orleans and stop at the West Indies on the way.  They would send their flour, pork, rice, and lumber to St. Marys in Georgia and smuggle it over the river to Florida, or take it to the islands near Eastport in Maine and then smuggle it into New Brunswick.  Because of this, more stringent embargo laws were passed, and finally, in 1809, a “Force Act,” to compel obedience.  But smuggling went on so openly that there was nothing to do but use troops or lift the embargo.  In February, 1809, accordingly, the embargo laws, after fourteen months’ duration, were repealed.  Instead of them the Republicans enacted a Non-intercourse law which allowed the people to trade with all nations except England and France.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History, Vol.  III., pp. 279-338; Adams’s History, Vol.  IV., Chaps. 7, 11, 13, 15.]

%258.  Jefferson refuses a Third Term.%—­During 1806, the states of New Jersey, Vermont,[2] Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Georgia, and North Carolina invited Jefferson to be President a third time.  For a while he made no reply, but in December, 1807, he declined, and gave this reason:  “That I should lay down my charge at a proper period is as much a duty as to have borne it faithfully.  If some termination to the services of the Chief Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years, will in fact become for life; and history shows how easily that degenerates into an inheritance.”  This wise answer was heartily approved by the people all over the country, and with Washington’s similar action established a custom which has been generally followed ever since.

[Footnote 2:  Vermont was admitted into the Union in 1791 (p. 243).]

As Jefferson would not accept a third term, a caucus of Republican members of Congress met one evening at the Capitol in Washington and nominated James Madison and George Clinton.  The Federalists held no caucus, but agreed among themselves to support C.C.  Pinckney and Rufus King.  Madison and Clinton were easily elected, and were sworn into office March 4, 1809.

[Illustration:  James Madison]

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%259.  The Macon Bill; Non-intercourse.%—­When Congress met in 1809 one more effort was made to force France and England to respect our rights on the sea.  Non-importation had failed.  The embargo had failed.  Non-intercourse had failed, and now in desperation they passed a law which at the time was called the “Macon Bill,” from the member of Congress who introduced it.  This restored trade with France and England, but declared that if either would withdraw its Decrees or Orders, the United States would stop all trade with the other.

%260.  Trickery of Napoleon.%—­And now Napoleon came forward and assured the American minister that the Berlin and Milan Decrees should be recalled on November 1, 1810, provided the United States would restore non-intercourse with England.  To this Madison agreed, and on November 1, 1810, issued a proclamation saying that unless Great Britain should, before February 1, 1811, recall her Orders in Council, trade with her should stop on that day.  Great Britain did not recall her Orders, and in February, 1811, we once more ceased to trade with her.

Trade with France was resumed on November 1, 1810, and of course a great fleet of merchants went off to French ports.  But they were no sooner there than the villainy of Napoleon was revealed, for on December 25, by general order, every American ship in the French ports was seized, and $10,000,000 worth of American property was confiscated.  He had not recalled his Decrees, but pretended to do so in order to get the American goods and provisions which he sorely needed.

It is surprising how patient the Americans of those days were.  But their patience as to Great Britain now gave out, and our minister at London was recalled in 1811.  This alarmed the British, who promptly began to take steps to keep the peace, and offered to make amends for the Leopard-Chesapeake outrage which had occurred four years before (June, 1807).  They agreed to replace the three American sailors on the deck of the Chesapeake and did so (June, 1812).  But the day for peaceful settlement was gone.  The people were aroused and angry, and this feeling showed itself in many ways.

%261.  The President and the Little Belt.%—­In the early part of May, 1811, a British frigate was cruising off the harbor of New York with her name Guerriere painted in large letters on her fore-topsail, and one day her captain stopped an American vessel as it was about to enter New York, and impressed a citizen of the United States.  Three years earlier this outrage would have been made the subject of a proclamation.  Now, the moment it was known at Washington, an order was sent to Captain Rogers of the frigate President to go to sea at once, search for the Guerriere, and demand the delivery of the man, Rogers was only too glad to go, and soon came in sight of a vessel which looked like the Guerriere; but it was half-past eight o’clock at night before he came within speaking distance.  A battle followed and lasted till the stranger became unmanageable, when the President stopped firing; and the next morning Rogers found that his enemy was the British twenty-two-gun ship, Little Belt.

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%262.  The War Congress.%—­Another way in which the anger of the people showed itself was in the election, in the autumn of 1810, of a Congress which met in December, 1811, fully determined to make war on Great Britain.  In that Congress were two men who from that day on for forty years were great political leaders.  One was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina; the other was Henry Clay of Kentucky.

Clay was made Speaker of the House of Representatives, and under his lead preparations were instantly begun for war, which was finally declared June 18, 1812.  There was no Atlantic cable in those days.  Had there been, it is very doubtful if war would have been declared; for on June 23, 1812, five days after Congress authorized Madison to issue the proclamation, the Orders in Council were recalled.

The causes of war, as set forth in the proclamation, were: 

1.  Tampering with the Indians, and urging them to attack our citizens on the frontier.

2.  Interfering with our trade by the Orders in Council.

3.  Putting cruisers off our ports to stop and search our vessels.

4.  Impressing our sailors, of whom more than 6000 were in the British service.


1.  One reason which led Napoleon to sell Louisiana was his determination to go to war with England.  This he did in 1803.

2.  Renewal of war in Europe made the United States again a neutral nation, and brought up the old quarrel over neutral rights.

3.In 1806, Napoleon, who was master of nearly all western Europe, cut off British trade with the continent.  Great Britain in return declared, by an Order in Council, the coast from Brest to the Elbe blockaded; that is, shut to neutral trade.

4.  Later in the year 1806 Napoleon retaliated with the Berlin Decree, declaring the British Islands blockaded.

5.  Great Britain, by another Order in Council (1807), shut all European ports, under French control, to neutrals.

6.  Napoleon struck back with the Milan Decree.

7.  Our commerce was now attacked by both powers, and to force them to repeal their Decrees and Orders in Council, certain commercial restrictions were adopted by the United States.

A. Non-importation, 1806. 
B. Embargo, 1807-1809. 
C. Non-intercourse, 1809.

8.  Each of them failed to have any effect, and in 1812 war was declared.


%1803.  Renewal of War between France and Great Britain%
- | -------------+-------------- The United States a neutral. -------------+-------------- | +----------------+-------------------+----------------------
------------+ | | | British views of American views._ Napoleon’s view.

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neutrality._ ------------^----------- ------------^---------- ------------^------------------ Free ships, free goods.  Shall be no neutrals.  The broken voyage.  No paper blockades. -------------^------------- The new Admiralty ruling.  No search.  Attacks neutral commerce by Stations vessels off our ports.  No impressment. -------------v------------- Retaliates for French Decrees -----------v----------- | by | | --------------v---------------- -----------^----------- | | / Non-importation. \ French decrees. | | Long embargo. | -------^------- Orders in Council. }---------< Non-intercourse with >-------------/ 1806.  Berlin. | France and Great | \ 1807.  Milan. \ Britain. / -----------v----------- | +---------------------------+ | ---------------^--------------- Great Britain denies that French \ / France pretends to lift Berlin Decrees are lifted, and / -- -------------------- < and Milan Decrees.  Refuses to revoke the Orders \ \ Trade with France is restored. in Council. | Tampers with Indians. > --------------+ Insists on the right of search | | and impressment. / | | %DECLARATION OF WAR BY UNITED STATES, 1812.%



%263.  Fighting on the Frontier.%—­“Mr. Madison’s War,” as the Federalists delighted to call our war for commercial independence, opened with three armies in the field ready to invade and capture Canada.  One under Hull, then governor of the territory of Michigan, was to cross the river at Detroit, and march eastward through Canada.  A second, under General Van Rensselaer, was to cross the Niagara River, take Queenstown, and join Hull, after which the two armies were to capture York, now Toronto, and go on eastward toward Montreal.  Meantime, the third army, under Dearborn, was to go down Lake Champlain, and meet the troops under Hull and Van Rensselaer before Montreal.  The three were then to capture Montreal and Quebec, and complete the conquest of Canada.

The plan failed; for Hull was driven from Canada, and surrendered his army and the whole Northwest, at Detroit; Van Rensselaer, defeated at Queenstown, was unable even to get a footing in Canada; while Dearborn, after reaching the northern boundary line of New York, stopped, and the year 1812 ended with nothing accomplished.

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The surrender of Hull filled the people with indignation, aroused their patriotism, and forced the government to gather a new army for the recapture of Detroit.  The command was given to William Henry Harrison, who hurried from Cincinnati across the wilderness of Ohio, and in the dead of winter reached the shores of Lake Erie.  General Winchester, who commanded part of the troops, was now called on to drive the British from Frenchtown, a little hamlet on the river Raisin, and (in January, 1813) tried to do so.  But the British and Indians came down on him in great numbers, and defeated and captured his army, after which the Indians were allowed to massacre and scalp the wounded.

[Illustration:  The Canadian Frontier and Vicinity of Washington]

And now the British became aggressive, invaded Ohio, and attacked the Americans under Harrison at Fort Meigs, and then at Fort Stephenson, where Major Croghan and 160 men, with the aid of one small cannon, defeated and drove off 320 Canadians and Indians.

%264.  Battle of Lake Erie.%—­Again the Americans in turn became aggressive.  Since the early winter, a young naval officer named Oliver Hazard Perry had been hard at work, with a gang of ship carpenters, at Erie, in Pennsylvania, cutting down trees, and had used this green timber to build nine small vessels.  With this fleet he sailed, in September, in search of the British squadron, which had been just as hastily built, and soon found it near Sandusky, Ohio.  His own ship he had named the Lawrence, in honor of a gallant American captain who had been killed a few months before in a battle with an English frigate.  As Perry saw the enemy in the distance, he flung to the breeze a blue flag on which was inscribed, “Don’t give up the ship” (the dying order of Lawrence to his men), sailed down to meet the enemy, and fought the two largest British ships till the Lawrence was a wreck.  Then, with his flag on his arm, he jumped into a boat, and amidst a shower of shot and bullets was rowed to the Niagara.  Once on her deck, he again hastened to the attack, broke the British line of battle, and captured the entire fleet.  His dispatch to Harrison is as famous as his victory:  “We have met the enemy, and they are ours—­two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.”

%265.  Battle of the Thames.%—­Perry’s victory was a grand one.  It gave him command of Lake Erie, and enabled him to carry Harrison’s soldiers over to Canada, where, on the Thames River, Harrison defeated the British and Indians.  These two victories regained all that had been lost by the surrender of Hull.

Along the New York border little was done during 1813.  The Americans made a raid into Canada, and to their shame burned York.  The British attacked Sacketts Harbor and were driven off.  The Americans sent an expedition down the St. Lawrence against Montreal, but the leaders got frightened and took refuge in northern New York.

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%266.  Campaign of 1814.%—­In 1814 better officers were put in command, and before winter came the Americans, under Jacob Brown and Winfield Scott, had won the battles of Chippewa and Lundys Lane, and captured Fort Erie.  But the British returned in force, burned Black Rock and Buffalo in revenge for the burning of York, and forced the Americans to leave Canada.

The fighting along the Niagara River, by holding the army in that place, prevented the Americans from attacking Montreal, and enabled the British to gather a fleet on Lake Champlain, and send an army down from Quebec to invade New York state just as Burgoyne had in 1777.  But the land force was defeated by General Macomb at Plattsburg, while Thomas McDonough utterly destroyed the fleet in Plattsburg Bay.  This was one of the great victories of the war.

%267.  The Sea Fights.%—­While our army on the frontier was accomplishing little, our war ships were winning victory after victory on the sea.  At the opening of the war, our navy was the subject of English ridicule and contempt.  We had sixteen ships; she had 1200.  She laughed at ours as “fir-built things with a bit of striped bunting at their mastheads.”  But before 1813 came, these “fir-built things” had destroyed her naval supremacy.[1] With the details of all these victories on the sea we will not concern ourselves.  Yet a few must be mentioned because the fame of them still endures, and because they are examples of naval warfare in the days when the ships fought lashed together, and when the boarders, cutlass and pistol in hand, climbed over the bulwarks and met the enemy on his own deck, man to man.  During 1812 the frigate Constitution, whose many victories won her the name of “Old Ironsides,” sank the Guerriere; the United States captured and brought to port the Macedonian; and the Wasp, a little sloop of eighteen guns, after the most desperate engagement of the whole war, captured the British sloop Frolic.

[Footnote 1:  One reason for the success of the American navy was the experience it had gained in the clash with France, and also in a war with Tripoli in 1801-1805.  At that time the Christian nations whose ships sailed the Mediterranean Sea were accustomed to pay annual tribute to Tripoli and other piratical states on the north coast of Africa, under pain of having their ships seized and their sailors reduced to slavery.  A dispute with the United States led to a war which gained for our ships the freedom of the Mediterranean.]

When these sloops were some two hundred feet apart, the Wasp opened with musketry and cannon.  The sea, lashed into fury by a two days’ cyclone, was running mountain high.  The vessels rolled till the muzzles of their guns dipped in the water.  But the crews cheered lustily and the fight went on.  When at last the crew of the Wasp boarded the Frolic, they were amazed to find that, save the man at the wheel and three officers who threw down their swords, not a living soul was visible.  The crew had gone below to avoid the terrible fire of the Wasp.  Scarcely was the battle over when the British frigate Poictiers bore down under a press of sail, recaptured what was left of the Frolic, and took the Wasp in addition.

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During 1813 the Constitution took the Java; the Hornet sank the Peacock; the Enterprise captured the Boxer off Portland, Maine.  These and many more made up the list of American victories.  But there were British victories also.  The Argus, after destroying twenty-seven vessels in the English Channel, was taken by the Pelican; the Essex, after a marvelous cruise around South America, was captured by two frigates.  The Chesapeake was forced to strike to the Shannon.

The Chesapeake was at anchor in Boston harbor, in command of James Lawrence, when the British frigate Shannon ran in and challenged her.  Lawrence went out at once, and after a short, fierce fight was defeated and killed.  As his men were carrying him below, mortally wounded, he cried, “Don’t give up the ship!” words which Perry, as we have seen, afterwards put on his flag, and which his countrymen have never since forgotten.[1]

[Footnote 1:  On the naval war read Maclay’s History of the Navy, Part Third; Roosevelt’s Naval War of 1812; McMaster, Vol.  IV., pp. 70-108.]

%268.  The British blockade the Coast.%—­Never, in the course of her existence, had England suffered such a series of defeats as we inflicted on her navy in 1812 and 1813.  The record of those years caused a tremendous excitement in Great Britain, all the vessels she could spare were sent over, and with the opening of 1814, the whole coast of the United States was declared to be in a state of blockade.[1] In New England, Eastport (Moose Island) and Nantucket Island quickly fell.  A British force went up the Penobscot to Hampden, and burned the Adams.  The eastern half of Maine was seized, and Stonington, in Connecticut, was bombarded.

[Footnote 1:  All except New England had been blockaded since 1812; and in 1813 the coast of Chesapeake Bay had been ravaged.]

%269.  Burning of Washington.%—­Further down the coast a great fleet and army from Bermuda, under General Ross and Admiral Cockburn, came up the Chesapeake Bay, landed in Maryland, and marched to Washington.  At Bladensburg, a little hamlet near the capital, the Americans made a feeble show of resistance, but soon fled; and about dark on an August night, 1814, a detachment of the British reached Washington, marched to the Capitol, fired a volley through the windows, entered, and set fire to the building.  When the fire began to burn brightly, Ross and Cockburn led the troops to the President’s house, which was sacked and burned.  Next morning the torch was applied to the Treasury building and to the Departments of State and War.  Several private houses and a printing office were also destroyed before the British began a hasty retreat to the Chesapeake.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Adams’s History, Vol.  VIII., Chaps. 5, 6; McMaster’s History, Vol.  IV., pp. 135-148; Memoirs of Dolly Madison, Chap. 8.]

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%270.  Baltimore attacked.%—­Once on the bay, the army was hurried on board the ships and carried to Baltimore, where for a day and a night they shelled Fort McHenry.[2] Failing to take it, and Ross having been killed, Cockburn reembarked and sailed away to Halifax.

[Footnote 2:  Francis S. Key, an American held prisoner on one of the British ships, composed the words of The Star-Spangled Banner while watching the bombardment.]

%271.  The Victory at New Orleans.%—­The army was taken to Jamaica in order that it might form part of one of the greatest war expeditions England had ever fitted out.  Fifty of the finest ships her navy could furnish, mounting 1000 guns and carrying on their decks 20,000 veteran soldiers and sailors, had been quietly assembled at Jamaica during the autumn of 1814, and in November sailed for New Orleans.

News of this intended attack had reached Madison, and he had given the duty of defending New Orleans to Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, one of the most extraordinary men our country has produced.  The British landed at the entrance of Lake Borgne in December, 1814, and hurried to the banks of the Mississippi.  But Jackson was more than a match for them.  Gathering such a force of fighting men as he could, he hastened from the city and with all possible speed threw up a line of rude earthworks, and waited to be attacked.  This line the British under General Pakenham attacked on January 8, 1815, and were twice driven back with frightful loss of life.  Never had such a defeat been inflicted on a British army.  The loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 2036 men.  Jackson lost seventy-one men.  Five British regiments which entered the battle 3000 strong reported 1750 men killed, wounded, and missing.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Adams’s History, Vol.  VIII., Chaps. 12-14; McMaster, Vol.  IV., pp. 182-190]

%272.  Peace.%—­For a month after this defeat the British lingered in their camp.  At last, in February, the army departed to attack a fort on Mobile Bay.  The fort was taken, and two days later the news of peace put an end to war.  The treaty was signed at Ghent in December, 1814; but it did not reach the United States till February, 1815.

In the treaty not a word was said about the impressment of our sailors, nor about the right of search, nor about the Orders in Council, nor about inciting the Indians to attack our frontier, all of which Madison had declared to be causes of the war.  Yet we gained much.  Our naval victories made us the equal of any maritime power, while at home the war did far more to arouse a national sentiment, consolidate the union, and make us a nation than any event which had yet occurred.


1.  The land war may be divided into: 

    A. War along the frontier. 
    B. War along the Atlantic coast. 
    C. War along the Gulf coast.

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2.  War along the Canadian frontier resulted in a gain to neither side.  In 1812 Americans were beaten at Detroit and at Queenstown, and failed to invade Canada.  In 1813 the Americans were beaten at Frenchtown, but defeated the Canadians at Forts Meigs and Stephenson, and at the Thames River, and recovered Detroit.  Perry won the battle of Lake Erie.  The Americans failed in the attempt to take Montreal.  In 1814 the battles of Chippewa and Lundys Lane were won, and Fort Erie was taken.  But the British burned Buffalo and Black Rock and drove the Americans out of Canada.  McDonough won the battle of Lake Champlain.

3.  During 1812-13 the British blockaded the coast from the east end of Long Island south to the Mississippi.  New England was not blockaded till 1814.  Then depredations began, and during the year Washington was taken and partly burned, and Baltimore attacked.

4.  Later in the year the British, after the attack on Baltimore, went south, and early in 1815 were beaten by Jackson at New Orleans.

5.  The navy won a series of successive victories.  The defeats were about half as numerous as the victories.

6.  Peace was announced in February, 1815.


/       /             /               / 1812.   Hull surrenders Detroit.
|       |             |               | 1812.   Harrison attempts to recover it.
|       |             | Detroit . .   < 1813.   Frenchtown.
|       |             |               |        Battle of Lake Erie.
|       | The         |               |        Harrison invades Canada and wins
|       | expeditions |               \          the battle of the Thames.
|       | against     |
|       | Canada.     <               / 1812.   Van Rensselaer repulsed.
| War   |             |               | 1813.   York taken and burned. 
Second       | on    <             | Niagara . .   < 1814.   Battles of Chippewa and Lundys
War for      | land  |             |               |          Lane, and capture of Fort Erie. 
Independence <       |             |               \        Americans driven from Canada.
|       |             |
|       |             |               / 1813.   Expedition against Montreal.
|       |             | St. Lawrence  < 1814.   British come  down  from Canada.
|       |             \               \        Defeated on Lake Champlain.
|       |
|       |             / 1812.   Blockade of the coast south of Rhode Island.
|       | War on      | 1813.   Ravages on the coast of Chesapeake Bay.
|       | the         | 1814.   Entire coast blockaded.
|       | Seaboard.   <        New England attacked.
|       |             |        Washington taken and partly burned.
|       |             |        Baltimore attacked.
|       \             \ 1815.   Victory at New Orleans.
| War on              / The ship duels.
\ the sea.            \ The fleet victories on the Lakes.


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%273.% Twenty-five years had now gone by since Washington was inaugurated, and in the course of these years our country had made wonderful progress.  In 1790 the United States was bounded west by the Mississippi River.  By 1815 Louisiana had been purchased, the Columbia River had been discovered, and the Oregon country had been explored to the Pacific.  In 1790 the inhabitants of the United States numbered less than four millions.  In 1815 they were eight millions.  In 1790 there were but thirteen states in the Union, and two territories.  In 1815 there were eighteen states and five territories.

%274.  The Three Streams of Westward Emigration.%—­Sparse as was the population in 1789, the rage for emigration had already seized the people, and long before 1790 the emigrants were pouring over the mountains in three great streams.  One, composed of New England men, was pushing along the borders of Lake Champlain and up the Mohawk valley.  A second, chiefly from Pennsylvania and Virginia, was spreading itself over the rich valleys of what are now West Virginia and Kentucky.  Further south a third stream of emigrants, mostly from Virginia and North Carolina, had gone over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and was creeping down the valley of the Tennessee River.[1]

[Footnote 1:  For an account of the movement of population westward along these routes, see The First Century of the Republic, pp. 211-238.]

For months each year the Ohio was dotted with flatboats.  One observer saw fifty leave Pittsburg in five weeks.  Another estimated that ten thousand emigrants floated by Marietta during 1788.  As this never-ending stream of population spread over the wilderness, building cabins, felling trees, clearing the land, and driving off the game, the Indians took alarm and determined to expel them.

%275.  The Indian War.%—­During the summer of 1786 the tribes whose hunting grounds lay in eastern Tennessee and Kentucky took the warpath, sacked and burned a little settlement on the Holston, and spread terror along the whole frontier.  But the settlers in their turn rose, and inflicted on the Indians a signal punishment.  One expedition from Tennessee burned three Cherokee towns.  Another from Kentucky crossed the Ohio, penetrated the Indian country, burned eight towns, and laid waste hundreds of acres of standing corn.  Had the Indians been left to themselves, they would, after this punishment, have remained quiet.  But the British, who still held the frontier post at Detroit, roused them, and in 1790 they were again at work, ravaging the country north of the Ohio.  They rushed down on Big Bottom (northwest of Marietta) and swept it from the face of the earth.  St. Clair, who was governor of the Northwest Territory, sent against them an expedition which won some success—­just enough to enrage and not enough to cow them.

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%276.  St. Clair; Wayne.%—­Not a settlement north of the Ohio was now safe, and had it not been for the men of Kentucky, who came to the relief, and in two expeditions held the Indians in check till the Federal government could act, every one of them would have been destroyed.  The plan of the Secretary of War was to build a chain of forts from Cincinnati to Lake Michigan, and late in 1791 St. Clair set off to begin the work.  But the Indians surprised him on a branch of the Wabash River, and inflicted on him one of the most dreadful defeats in our history.  Public opinion now forced him to resign his command, which was given to Anthony Wayne, who, after two years of careful preparation, crushed the Indian power at the falls of the Maumee River in northwestern Ohio.  The next year, 1795, a treaty was made at Greenville, by which the Indians gave up all claim to the soil south and east of a boundary line drawn from what is now Cleveland southwest to the Ohio River.

%277.  Kentucky and Vermont become States.%—­These Indian wars almost stopped emigration to the country north of the Ohio, though not into Kentucky or Tennessee.  For several years past the people of the District of Kentucky had been desirous to come into the Union, but had been unable to make terms with Virginia, to which Kentucky belonged.  At last consent was obtained and the application made to Congress.  But the Kentuckians were slave owners, were identified with Southern and Western interests, and cared little for the commercial interests of the East, and as this influence could be strongly felt in the Senate, where each state had two votes, it was decided to offset those of Kentucky by admitting the Eastern state of Vermont.

What is now Vermont was once the property of New Hampshire, was settled by people from New England under town rights granted by the governor of New Hampshire, and was called “New Hampshire Grants.”  In 1764, however, the governor of New York obtained a royal order giving New York jurisdiction over the Grants on the ground that in 1664 the possessions of the Duke of York extended to the Connecticut River.  Then began a controversy which was still raging bitterly when the Revolution opened, and the Green Mountain Boys asked recognition as a state and admission into the Congress, a request which the other states were afraid to grant lest by so doing they should offend New York.  Thereupon the people chose delegates to a convention (in 1777), which issued a declaration of independence, declared “New Connecticut, alias Vermont,” a state, and made a constitution.  In this shape matters stood in 1791, when as an offset to Kentucky Vermont was admitted into the Union.  As she was a state with governor, legislature, and constitution, she came in at once.  Kentucky had to make a constitution, and so was not admitted till 1792.  Four years later (1796) Congress admitted Tennessee.


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%278.  The New Territories; Ohio becomes a State.%—­The quieting of the Indians by Wayne in 1794, the opening of the Mississippi River to American trade by Spain in 1795, coupled with cheap lands and low taxes, caused another rush of population into the Ohio valley.  Between 1795 and 1800 so many came that the Northwest Territory was cut in twain and the new territory of Indiana was organized in 1800.  The acceptance by Spain in 1795 of 31 deg. north latitude as the boundary of the Floridas, gave the United States control of the greater part of old West Florida, which in 1798 was organized as the Mississippi Territory.  Hardly a year now elapsed without some marked sign of Western development.  In 1800 Congress, under the influence of William Henry Harrison, the first delegate from the Northwest Territory, made a radical change in its land policy.  Up to that time every settler must pay cash.  After 1800 he could buy on credit, pay in four annual installments, and west of the Muskingum River could purchase as little as 320 acres.  This credit system led to another rush into the Ohio valley, and so many people entered the Northwest Territory, that in 1803 the southern part of it was admitted into the Union as the state of Ohio.

[Illustration:  Cincinnati in 1810[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an old print.]

In 1802 Georgia ceded her western lands, which were added to the Mississippi Territory.  From the Louisiana purchase there was organized in 1804 the territory of Orleans, and in 1805 the territory of Louisiana (see p. 247).  In 1805, also, the lower peninsula of Michigan was cut off from Indiana and organized as Michigan Territory.  In 1809 the territory of Illinois was organized (p. 247).  In 1812 the territory of Orleans became the state of Louisiana.

The third census showed that in 1810 the population of the United States was 7,200,000, and that of these over 1,000,000 were in the states and territories west of the Alleghanies.

%279.  Indian Troubles; Battle of Tippecanoe.%—­As the settlers north of the Ohio moved further westward, and as more came in, their farms and settlements touched the Indian boundary line.  In Indiana, where, save a strip sixty miles wide along the Ohio River, and a few patches scattered over the territory, every foot of soil was owned by the Indians, this crowding led to serious consequences.  The Indians first grew restive.  Then, under the lead of Tecumthe, or Tecumseh, they founded a league or confederacy against the whites, and built a town on Tippecanoe Creek, just where it enters the Wabash.  Finally, when Harrison, who was governor of Indiana Territory, bought the Indian rights to the Wabash valley, the confederacy refused to recognize the sale, and gave such signs of resistance that Harrison marched against them, and in 1811 fought the battle of Tippecanoe and burned the Indian village.  For a time it was thought the victory was as signal as that of Wayne.  But the Indians were soon back on the old site, and in our second war with Great Britain they sided with the British.

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[Illustration:  The United States and Territories in 1813]

%280.  Industrial Progress.%—­In 1789 our country had no credit and no revenue, and was burdened with a great debt which very few people believed would ever be paid.  But when the government called in all the old worthless Continental money and certificates and gave the people bonds in exchange for them, when it began to lay taxes and pay its debts, when it had power to regulate trade, when the National Bank was established and the merchants were given bank bills that would pass at their face value all over the country, business began to revive.  The money which the people had been hiding away for years was brought out and put to useful purposes.  Banks sprang up all over the country, and companies were founded to manufacture woolen cloth and cotton cloth, to build bridges, to construct turnpike roads, and to cut canals.  Between 1789 and 1795 the first carpet was woven in the United States, the first broom made from broom corn, the first cotton factory opened, the first gold and silver coins of the United States were struck at the mint, the first newspaper was printed in the territory northwest of the Ohio River, the first printing press was set up in Tennessee, the first geography of the United States was published, and daily newspapers were issued in Baltimore and Boston.  It was during this period that a hunter named Guinther discovered anthracite coal in Pennsylvania; that Whitney invented the cotton gin; that Samuel Slater built the first mill for making cotton yarns; that Eli Terry started the manufacture of clocks as a business; that cotton sewing thread was first manufactured in the United States at Pawtucket, R.I.; and that the first turnpike in our country was completed.  This extended from Philadelphia to Lancaster, a distance of sixty-two miles.

%281.  The Period of Commercial and Agricultural Prosperity.%—­Just at this time came another change of great importance.  Till 1793 we had scarcely any commerce with the West Indies.  England would not allow our vessels to go to her islands.  Neither would Spain, nor France, except to a very limited degree.  It was the policy of these three countries to confine such trade as far as possible to their own merchants.  But in 1793 France, you remember, made war on England and opened her West Indian ports to all neutral nations.  The United States was a neutral, and our merchants at once began to trade with the islanders.  What these people wanted was lumber, flour, grain, provisions, salt pork, and fish.  All this led to a demand, first, for ships, then for sailors, and then for provisions and lumber—­to the benefit of every part of the country except the South.  New England was the lumber, fishing, shipbuilding, and commercial section.  New York and Pennsylvania produced grain, flour, lumber, and carried on a great commerce as well.  So profitable was it to raise wheat, that in many parts of Virginia the people stopped raising tobacco and began to make flour, and soon made Virginia the second flour-producing state in the Union.  Until after 1795 the people of the Western States were cut off from this trade.  But in that year the treaty with Spain was made, and the people of the West were then allowed to float their produce to New Orleans and there sell it or ship it to the West Indies.  Kentucky then became a flour-producing state.

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As a consequence of all this, people stopped putting their money into roads and canals and manufactures, and put it into farming, shipbuilding, and commerce.  Between 1793 and 1807, therefore, our country enjoyed a period of commercial and agricultural prosperity.  But with 1807 came another change.  In that year the embargo was laid, and for more than fifteen months no vessels were allowed to leave the ports of the United States for foreign countries.  Up to this time our people had been so much engaged in commerce and agriculture, that they had not begun to manufacture.  In 1807 all the blankets, all the woolen cloth, cotton cloth, carpets, hardware, china, glass, crockery, knives, tools, and a thousand other things used every day were made for us in Great Britain.  Cotton grown in the United States was actually sent to England to be made into cloth, which was then carried back to the United States to be used.

%282.  “Infant Manufactures."%—­As the embargo prevented our ships going abroad and foreign ships coming to us, these goods could no longer be imported.  The people must either go without or make them at home.  They decided, of course, to make them at home, and all patriotic citizens were called on to help, which they did in five ways.

First, in each of the cities and large towns people met and formed a “Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Manufactures.”  Every patriotic man and woman was expected to join one of them, and in so doing to take a pledge not to buy or use or wear any article of foreign make, provided it could be made in this country.

In the second place, these societies for the encouragement of domestic manufactures, “infant manufactures,” as they were called, offered prizes for the best piece of homemade linen, homemade cotton cloth, or woolen cloth.

In the third place, they started “exchanges,” or shops, in the cities and large towns, to which anybody who could knit mittens or socks, or make boots and shoes or straw bonnets, or spin flax or wool, or make anything else that the people needed, could send them to be sold.

In the fourth place, men who had money came forward and formed companies to erect mills and factories for the manufacture of all sorts of things.  If you were to see the acts passed by the legislatures of the states between 1808 and 1812, you would find that very many of them were charters for iron works, paper mills, thread works, factories for making cotton and woolen cloth, oilcloth, boots, shoes, rope.

In the fifth place, the legislatures of the states passed resolutions asking their members to wear clothes made of material produced in the United States,[1] offered bounties for the best wool, and exempted the factories from taxation and the mill hands from militia and jury duty.

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  III., pp. 496-509.]

Thus encouraged, manufactures sprang up in the North, and became so numerous that in 1810, when the census of population was taken, Congress ordered that statistics of manufactures should be collected at the same time.  It was then found that the value of the goods manufactured in the United States in 1810 was $173,000,000.

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%283.  Internal Improvements:  Roads; Canals; Steamboats.%—­But there was yet another great change for the better which took place between 1790 and 1815.  We have seen how during this quarter of a century our country grew in area, how the people increased in number, how new states and territories were made, how agriculture and commerce prospered, and how manufactures arose.  It is now time to see how the people improved the means of interstate commerce and communication.

You will remember that in 1790 there were no bridges over the great rivers of the country, that the roads were very bad, that all journeys were made on horseback or in stagecoaches or in boats, and that it was not then possible to go as far in ten hours as we can now go in one.  You will remember, also, that the people were moving westward in great numbers.

As the people thus year by year went further and further westward, a demand arose for good roads to connect them with the East.  The merchants on the seaboard wanted to send them hardware, clothing, household goods, farming implements, and bring back to the seaports the potash, lumber, flour, skins, and grain with which the settlers paid for these things.  If they were too costly, frontiersmen could not buy them.  If the roads were bad, the difficulty of getting merchandise to the frontier would make them too costly.  People living in the towns and cities along the seaboard were no longer content with the old-fashioned slow way of travel.  They wanted to get their letters more often, make their journeys and have their freight carried more quickly.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  III., pp. 462-465.]

About 1805, therefore, men began to think of reviving the old idea of canals, which had been abandoned in 1793, and one of these canal companies, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, applied to Congress for aid.  This brought up the question of a system of internal improvements at national expense, and Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury, was asked to send a plan for such a system to Congress, which he did.  Congress never approved it.

%284.  The National Pike.%—­Public sentiment, however, led to the commencement of a highway to the West known as the National Pike, or the Cumberland Road.  When Ohio was admitted into the Union as a state in 1803, Congress promised that part of the money derived from the sale of land in Ohio should be used to build a road from some place on the Ohio River to tide water.  By 1806 the money so set apart amounted to $12,000, and with this was begun the construction of a broad pike from Cumberland (on the Potomac) in Maryland to Wheeling (on the Ohio) in West Virginia.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History, Vol.  III., pp. 469-470.]

[Illustration:  Phoenix[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an oil painting.]

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%285.  Steamboats.%—­This increasing demand for cheap transportation now made it possible for Fulton to carry into successful operation an idea he had long had in mind.  For twenty years past inventors had been exhibiting steamboats.  James Rumsey had exhibited one on the Potomac.  John Fitch had shown one on the Delaware in 1787. (See p. 190.) In 1804 Robert Fulton exhibited a steamboat on the Seine at Paris in France; Oliver Evans had a steam scow on the Delaware River at Philadelphia; and John Stevens crossed the Hudson from Hoboken to New York in a steamboat of his own construction.  In 1806 Stevens built another, the Phoenix.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Preble’s History of Steam Navigation , pp. 35-66; Thurston’s Robert Fulton in Makers of America Series.]

These men were ahead of their time, and it was not till the August day, 1807, when Robert Fulton made his experiment on the Hudson, that the era of the steamboat opened.  His vessel, called the Clermont, made the trip up the river from New York to Albany in thirty-two hours.

[Illustration:  Model of the Clermont[2]]

[Footnote 2:  Made from the original drawings, and now in the National Museum.]

Then the usefulness of the invention was at last appreciated, and in 1808 a line of steam vessels went up and down the Hudson.  In 1809 Stevens sent his Phoenix by sea to Philadelphia and ran it on the Delaware.  Another steamboat was on the Raritan River, and a third on Lake Champlain.  In 1811 a boat steamed from Pittsburg to New Orleans, and in 1812 steam ferryboats plied between what is now Jersey City and New York, and between Philadelphia and Camden.[3]

[Footnote 3:  On the early steamboats see McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  III., pp. 486-494.]

%286.  The Currency; the Mint.%—­Quite as marvelous was the change which in five and twenty years had taken place in money matters.  When the Constitution became law in 1789, there were no United States coins and no United States bills or notes in circulation.  There was no such thing as a national currency.  Except the gold and silver pieces of foreign nations, there was no money which would pass all over our country.  To-day a treasury note, a silver certificate, a national bank bill, is received in payment of a debt in any state or territory.  In 1789 the currency was foreign coins and state paper.  But the Constitution forbade the states ever to make any more money, and as their bills of credit already issued would wear out by use, the time was near when there would be no currency except foreign coins.  To prevent this, Congress in 1791 ordered a mint to be established at Philadelphia, and in 1792 named the coins to be struck, and ordered that whoever would bring gold or silver to the mint should have it made into coins without cost to him.  This was free coinage. As both gold and silver were to be coined,

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the currency was to be bimetallic, or of two metals.[1] The ratio of silver and gold was 15 to 1.  That is, fifteen pounds’ weight of silver must be made into as many dollars’ worth of coins as one pound of gold.  The silver coins were to be the dollar, half and quarter dollar, dime and half dime; the gold were to be the eagle, half eagle, and quarter eagle.  Out of copper were to be struck cents and half cents.  As some years must elapse before our national coins could become abundant, certain foreign coins were made legal tender.

[Footnote 1:  The first silver coin was struck in 1794; the first gold, in 1795; the first cent and half cent, in 1793.]

%287.  “Federal Money."%—­The appearance of the new money was followed by another change for the better.  In colonial days the merchants and the people expressed the debts they owed, or the value of the goods they sold, in pounds, shillings, and pence, or in Spanish dollars.  During the Revolution, and after it, this was continued, although the Continental Congress always kept its accounts, and made its appropriations, in dollars.  But when the people began to see dollars, half dollars, and dimes bearing the words “United States of America,” they knew that there really was a national coinage, or “Federal money,” as they called it, and between 1795 and 1798, one state after another ordered its treasurer to use Federal money instead of pounds, shillings, and pence; and thereafter in laying taxes, and voting appropriations for any purpose, the amount was expressed in dollars and cents.  The merchants and the people were much slower in adopting the new terms; but they came at last into general use.

%288.  Rise of the State Banks.%—­Had the people been forced to depend on the United States mint for money wherewith to pay the butcher and the baker and the shoemaker, they would not have been able to make their payments, for the machinery at the mint was worked by hand, and the number of dimes and quarters turned out each year was small.  But they were not, for as soon as confidence was restored, banks chartered by the states sprang up in the chief cities in the East, and as each issued notes, the people had all the currency they wanted.

In 1790, when Congress established the National Bank, there were but four state banks in the whole country:  one in Philadelphia, one in New York, one in Boston, and one in Baltimore.  By 1800 there were twenty-six, in 1805 there were sixty-four, and in 1811 there were eighty-eight.

In that year (1811) the charter of the National Bank expired, and as Congress would not renew it, many more state banks were created, each hoping to get a part of the business formerly done by the National Bank.  Such was the “mania,” as it was called, for banks, that the number rose from eighty-eight in 1811, to two hundred and eight in 1814, which was far more than the people really needed.

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Nevertheless, all went well until the British came up Chesapeake Bay and burned Washington.  Then the banks in that part of the country boxed up all their gold and silver and sent it away, lest the British should get it.  This forced them to “suspend specie payments”; that is, refuse to give gold or silver in exchange for their own paper.  As soon as they suspended, others did the same, till in a few weeks every one along the seaboard from Albany to Savannah, and every one in Ohio, had stopped paying coin.  The New England banks did not suspend.

%289.  No Small Change.%—­The consequences of the suspension were very serious.  In the first place, all the small silver coins, the dimes, half dollars, and quarter dollars, disappeared at once, and the people were again forced to do as they had done in 1789, and use “ticket money.”  All the cities and towns, great and small, printed one, two, three, six and one fourth, twelve and one half, twenty-five, and fifty-cent tickets, and sold them to the people for bank notes.  Steamboats, stagecoaches, and manufacturing companies, merchants, shopkeepers—­in fact, all business men—­did the same.

In the second place, as the banks would not exchange specie for their notes, people who did not know all about a bank would not take its bills except at very much less than their face value.  That is, a dollar bill of a Philadelphia bank was not worth more than ninety cents in paper money at New York, and seventy-five cents at Boston.  This state of things greatly increased the cost of travel and business between the states, and prevented the government using the money collected at the seaports in the East to pay debts due in the West.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History, Vol.  IV., pp. 280-318.]

%290.  The Second Bank of the United States.%—­Lest this state of affairs should occur again, Congress, exercising its constitutional “power to regulate the currency,” chartered a second National Bank in 1816, and modeled it after the old one.  Again the parent bank was at Philadelphia; but the capital was now $35,000,000.  Again the public money might be deposited in the bank and its branches, which could be established wherever the directors thought proper.  Again the bank could issue paper money to be received by the government in payment of taxes, land, and all debts.

The Republicans had always denied the right of Congress to charter a bank.  But the question was never tested until 1819, when Maryland attempted to collect a tax laid on the branch at Baltimore.  The case reached the Supreme Court of the United States, which decided that a state could not tax a corporation chartered by Congress; and that Congress had power to charter anything, even a bank.


1.  The census returns of 1790 showed that population was going west along three highways.

2.  As a result of this movement, Vermont (1791), Kentucky (1792), Tennessee (1796), and Ohio (1803) entered the Union.

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3.  The population of the country increased from 3,380,000 in 1790 to 7,200,000 in 1810; and the area from about 828,000 to 2,000,000 square miles.

4.  The period 1790-1810 was one of marked industrial progress, and of great commercial and agricultural prosperity.  It was during this time that manufactures arose, that many roads and highways and bridges were built, and that the steamboat was introduced.

5.  A national mint had been established.  The charter of the National Bank had expired, and numbers of state banks had arisen to take its place.  These banks had suspended specie payment, and the government had been forced to charter a new National Bank.


Territorial Changes. 1790-1812.

_ Movement of Population into the West._

Northern Stream.  Checked by Indian war. 
                            Indians quieted by Wayne. 
                            Population again moved westward.

New states. 1791.  Vermont.
                            1792.  Kentucky.
                            1796.  Tennessee.
                            1803.  Ohio.
                            1812.  Louisiana.

New Territories. 1798.  Mississippi.
                            1800.  Indiana.
                            1802.  Mississippi enlarged.
                            1804.  Orleans.
                            1805.  Michigan.
                            1805.  Louisiana (called Missouri
                                    after 1812).
                            1809.  Illinois.

Expansion of Territory. 1795.  Spain accepts 31 deg. as the boundary.
                            1802.  Georgia cedes her western territory.
                            1803.  Louisiana purchased from France.

Industrial Progress
    First carpet mill. 
    First brooms. 
    First United States gold and silver coins. 
    First press in Tennessee. 
    Daily newspapers. 
    Discovery of hard coal. 
    Cotton gin. 
    Manufacture of clocks. 
    Sewing thread. 
    Rise of manufactures. 
        Dependence of United States on Great Britain before 1807. 
        Effect of the embargo. 
        Manner of encouraging manufactures.
Agricultural Progress
    Effect of the French war. 
    State of agriculture in
        New England. 
        New York and Pennsylvania. 
        The South.
Improvements in Transportation
    Demand for roads and canals. 
    The national pike. 
        Early forms. 
        Rapid introduction of.
Financial Condition
    Federal money. 

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        The United States mint established. 
        Free coinage. 
        Coins struck. 
        Federal money comes slowly into use. 
    State Banks. 
        What led to the chartering of state banks. 
        Their rapid increase. 
        Effect of the expiration of the charter of the Bank of the
          United States. 
        General suspension in 1814. 
        Reason for chartering the second Bank of the United States.



%291.  Monroe inaugurated.%—­The administration of Madison ended on March 4, 1817, and on that day James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins were sworn into office.  They had been nominated at Washington in February, 1816, by a caucus of Republican members of Congress, for no such thing as a national convention for the nomination of a President had as yet been thought of.  The Federalists did not hold a caucus; but it was understood that their electors would vote for Rufus King for President.[1]

[Footnote 1:  In 1816 there were nineteen states in the Union (Indiana having been admitted in that year), and of these Monroe carried sixteen and King three.  The inauguration took place in the open air for the first time since 1789.]

[Illustration:  on the right of the previous paragraph, with caption “James Monroe”]

%292.  Death of the Federalist Party.%—­The inauguration of Monroe opens a new era of great interest and importance in our history.  From 1793 to 1815, the questions which divided the people into Federalists and Republicans were all in some way connected with foreign countries.  They were neutral rights, Orders in Council, French Decrees, impressment, embargoes, non-intercourse acts, the conduct of England, the insolence of the French Directory, the triumphs and the treachery of Napoleon.  Every Federalist sympathized with England; every Republican was a warm supporter of France.

But with the close of the war in 1815, all this ended.  Napoleon was sent to St. Helena.  Europe was at peace, and there was no longer any foreign question to divide the people into Federalists and Republicans.  This division, therefore, ceased to exist, and after 1816 the Federalist party never put up a candidate for the presidency.  It ceased to exist not only as a national but even as a state party, and for twelve years there was one great party, the Republican, or, as it soon began to be called, the Democratic.

%293.  The “Era of Good Feeling."%—­A sure sign of the disappearance of party and party feeling was seen very soon after Monroe was inaugurated.  In May, 1817, he left Washington with the intention of visiting and inspecting all the forts and navy yards along the eastern seaboard and the Great Lakes.  Beginning at Baltimore, he went to New York, then to Boston, and then to Portland; where he turned westward, and crossing New Hampshire and Vermont to Lake Champlain, made his way to Ogdensburg, where he took a boat to Sacketts Harbor and Niagara, whence he went to Buffalo, and Detroit, and then back to Washington.

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Wherever he went, the people came by thousands to greet him; but nowhere was the reception so hearty as in New England, the stronghold of Federalism.  “The visit of the President,” said a Boston newspaper, “seems wholly to have allayed the storms of party.  People now meet in the same room who, a short while since, would scarcely pass along the same street”.  Another said that since Monroe’s arrival at Boston “party feeling and animosities have been laid aside, and but one great national feeling has animated every class of our citizens.”  So it was everywhere, and when, therefore, the Boston Sentinel_ called the times the “era of good feeling,” the whole country took up the expression and used it, and the eight years of Monroe’s administration have ever since been so called.

%294.  Trouble with the Seminole Indians.%—­Though all was quiet and happy within our borders, events of great importance were happening along our northern, western, and southern frontier.  During the war with England, the Creek Indians in Georgia and Alabama had risen against the white settlers and were beaten and driven out by Jackson and forced to take refuge with the Seminoles in Florida.  As they had been the allies of England, they fully expected that when peace was made, England would secure for them the territory of which Jackson had deprived them.  When England did not do this, they grew sullen and savage, and in 1817 began to make raids over the border, run off cattle and murder men, women, and children.  In order to stop these depredations, General Jackson was sent to the frontier, and utterly disregarding the fact that the Creeks and Seminoles were on Spanish soil, he entered West Florida, took St. Marks and Pensacola, destroyed the Indian power, and hanged two English traders as spies.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Parton’s Life of Jackson, Chaps. 34-36; McMaster’s History, Vol.  IV., pp. 430-456.]

%295.  The Canadian Boundary; Forty-ninth Parallel.%—­This was serious, for at the time the news reached Washington that Jackson had invaded Spanish soil and hanged two English subjects, important treaties were under way with Spain and Great Britain, and it was feared his violent acts would stop them.  Happily no evil consequences followed, and in 1818 an agreement was reached as to the dividing line between the United States and British America.

When Louisiana came to us, no limit was given to it on the north, and fifteen years had been allowed to pass without attempting to establish one.  Now, however, the boundary was declared to be a line drawn south from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude and along this parallel to the summit of the Rocky Mountains.

%296.  Joint Occupation of Oregon.%—­The country beyond the Rocky Mountains, the Oregon country, was claimed by both England and the United States; so it was agreed in the treaty of 1818 that for ten years to come the country should be held in joint occupation.

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%297.  The Spanish Boundary Line.%—­One year later (1819) the boundary of Louisiana was completed by a treaty with Spain, which now sold us East and West Florida for $5,000,000.  Till this time we had always claimed that Louisiana extended across Texas as far as the Rio Grande.  By the treaty this claim was given up, and the boundary became the Sabine River from the Gulf of Mexico to 32 deg., then a north line to the Red River; westward along this river to the 100th meridian; then northward to the Arkansas River, and westward to its source in the Rocky Mountains; then a north line to 42 deg., and then along that parallel to the Pacific Ocean.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  IV., pp. 457-480.]

%298.  Russian Claims on the Pacific.%—­The Oregon country was thus restricted to 42 deg. on the south, and though it had no limit on the north the Emperor of Russia (in 1822) undertook to fix one at 51 deg., which he declared should be the south boundary of Alaska.  Oregon was thus to extend from 42 deg. to 51 deg., and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific.  But Russia had also founded a colony in California, and seemed to be preparing to shut the United States from the Pacific coast.  Against all this John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, protested, telling the Russian minister that European powers no longer had a right to plant colonies in either North or South America.

%299.  The Holy Allies and the South American Republics.%—­This was a new doctrine, and while the United States and Russia were discussing the boundary of Oregon, it became necessary to make another declaration regarding the rights of European powers in the two Americas.

Ever since 1793, when Washington issued his proclamation of neutrality (p. 206), the policy of the United States had been to take no part in European wars, nor meddle in European politics.  This had been asserted repeatedly by Washington, Jefferson, and Monroe,[1] and during all the wars from 1793 to 1815 had been carefully adhered to.  It was supposed, of course, that if we did not meddle in the affairs of the Old World nations, they would not interfere in affairs over here.  But about 1822 it seemed likely that they would interfere very seriously.

[Footnote 1:  See Washington’s Farewell Address; Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801; also his message to Congress, Oct. 17, 1803; Monroe’s Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817, and messages, Dec. 2, 1817, Nov. 17, 1818, Nov. 14, 1820; see also American History Leaflets, No. 4.]

[Illustration:  %NORTH AMERICA AFTER 1824%]

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Beginning with 1810, the Spanish colonies of Mexico and South America (Chile, Peru, Buenos Ayres, Colombia) rebelled, formed republics, and in 1822 were acknowledged as free and independent powers by the United States.  Spain, after vainly attempting to subdue them, appealed for help to the powers of Europe, which in 1815 had formed a Holy Alliance for the purpose of maintaining monarchical government.  For a while these powers (Russia, Prussia, Austria, France) held aloof.  But in 1823 they decided to help Spain to get back her old colonies, and invited Great Britain to attend a Congress before which the matter was to be discussed.  But Great Britain had no desire to see the little republics destroyed, and in the summer of 1823, the British Prime Minister asked the American minister in London if the United States would join with England in a declaration warning the Holy Allies not to meddle with the South American republics.  Thus, just at the time when Adams was protesting against European colonization in the Northwest, England suggested a protest against European meddling in the affairs of Spanish America.  The opportunity was too good to be lost, and Adams succeeded in persuading President Monroe to make a protest in behalf of the nation against both forms of European interference in American affairs.  Monroe thought it best to make the declaration independent of Great Britain, and in his annual message to Congress, December 2, 1823, he announced three great guiding principles now known as the

%300.  Monroe Doctrine.%—­

1.  Taking up the matter in dispute with Russia, he declared that the American continents were no longer open to colonization by European nations.

Referring to the conduct of the Holy Allies, he said,

2.  That the United States would not meddle in the political affairs of Europe.

3.  That European governments must not extend their system to any part of North or South America, nor oppress, nor in any other manner seek to control the destiny of any of the nations of this hemisphere.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 1-54; Tucker’s Monroe Doctrine.]

The protest was effectual.  The Holy Allies did not meddle in South American affairs, and the next year (1824) Russia agreed to make no settlement south of 54 deg. 40’.


1.  At the presidential election of 1816 the Federalist party, for the last time, voted for a presidential candidate.  Party politics were dead, and the “era of good feeling” opened.

2.  Many important matters which were not settled by the Treaty of Ghent were disposed of: 

     A. The forty-ninth parallel was made the boundary from a
        point south of the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.

     B. Oregon was held in joint occupation.

     C. The line 54 deg. 40’ was established.

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3.  The boundary between the United States and the Spanish possessions was drawn, and Florida was acquired.

4.  The Monroe doctrine was announced.

* * * * *


Death of the Federalist party ...

     End of the European war. 
     Disappearance of old party issues. 
     Monroe elected President. 
     The “era of good feeling.”

Seminole War ...

Creek Indians join the English. 
Driven out of Alabama by Jackson. 
Take refuge with Florida Seminoles. 
After the war rise against the settlers in Georgia. 
Destroyed by Jackson.

The boundaries ...

1818.  Northern boundary of Louisiana
settled to the Rocky Mountains.
1819.  Treaty with Spain settled the south
boundary of Louisiana.
1818.  Joint occupation of Oregon.
1824.  North boundary of Oregon established at 54 deg. 40’.

The Monroe Doctrine.

The Holy Allies. 
The South American republics. 
Proposal of the Holy Allies to reduce the
South American republics. 
The Monroe Doctrine announced (1823).



%301.  Rush into the West.%—­The settlement of our boundary disputes, especially with Spain, was most timely, for even then people were hurrying across the mountains by tens of thousands, and building up new states in the Mississippi valley.  The great demand for ships and provisions, which from 1793 to 1807 had made business so brisk, had kept people on the seaboard and given them plenty of employment.  But after 1812, and particularly after 1815, trade, commerce, and business on the seaboard declined, work became scarce, and men began to emigrate to the West, where they could buy land from the government on the installment plan, and where the states could not tax their farms until five years after the government had given them a title deed.  Old settlers in central New York declared they had never seen so many teams and sleighs, loaded with women, children, and household goods, traveling westward, bound for Ohio, which was then but another name for the West.

As the year wore away, the belief was expressed that when autumn came it would be found that the worst was over, and that the good times expected to follow peace would keep people on the seaboard.  But the good times did not return.  The condition of trade and commerce, of agriculture and manufactures, grew worse instead of better, and the western movement of population became greater than ever.

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%302.  Rapid Growth of Towns.%—­Fed by this never-ending stream of newcomers, the West was almost transformed.  Towns grew and villages sprang up with a rapidity which even in these days of rapid and easy communication would be thought amazing.  Mt.  Pleasant, in Jefferson County, Ohio, was in 1810 a little hamlet of seven families living in cabins.  In 1815 it contained ninety families, numbering 500 souls.  The town of Vevay, Ind., was laid out in 1813, and was not much better than a collection of huts in 1814.  But in 1816 the traveler down the Ohio who stopped at Vevay found himself at a flourishing county seat, with seventy-five dwellings, occupied by a happy population who boasted of having among them thirty-one mechanics of various trades; of receiving three mails each week, and supporting a weekly newspaper called the Indiana Register.  Forty-two thousand settlers are said to have come into Indiana in 1816, and to have raised the population to 112,000.

Letters from New York describe the condition of that state west of Utica as one of astonishing prosperity.  Log cabins were disappearing, and frame and brick houses taking their place.  The pike from Utica to Buffalo was almost a continuous village, and the country for twenty miles on either side was filling up with an industrious population.  Auburn, where twenty years before land sold for one dollar an acre, was the first town in size and wealth west of Utica, and land within its limits brought $7000 an acre.  Fourteen miles west was Waterloo, on the Seneca River, a village which did not exist in 1814, and which in 1816 had fifty houses.  Rochester, the site of which in 1815 was a wilderness, had a printing press, a bookstore, and a hundred houses in 1817.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  IV., pp. 381-386.]

%303.  Scenes on the Western Highways.%—­By 1817 this migration was at its height, and in the spring of that year families set forth from almost every village and town on the seaboard.  The few that went from each place might not be missed; but when they were gathered on any one of the great roads to the West, as that across New York, or that across Pennsylvania, they made an endless procession of wagons and foot parties.

A traveler who had occasion to go from Nashville to Savannah in January, 1817, declares that on the way he fell in with crowds of emigrants from Carolina and Georgia, all bound for the cotton lands of Alabama; that he counted the flocks and wagons, and that—­carts, gigs, coaches, and wagons, all told—­there were 207 conveyances, and more than 3800 people.  At Haverhill, in Massachusetts, a train of sixteen wagons, with 120 men, women, and children, from Durham, Me., passed in one day.  They were bound for Indiana to buy a township, and were accompanied by their minister.  Within thirteen days, seventy-three wagons and 450 emigrants had passed through the same town of Haverhill. 

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At Easton, Pa., which lay on the favorite westward route for New Englanders, 511 wagons, with 3066 persons, passed in a month.  They went in trains of from six to fifty wagons each day.  The keeper of Gate No. 2, on the Dauphin turnpike, in Pennsylvania, returned 2001 families as having passed his gate, bound west, between March and December, 1817, and gave the number of people accompanying the vehicles as 16,000.  Along the New York route, which went across the state from Albany to Buffalo, up Lake Erie, and on by way of Chautauqua Lake to the Allegheny, the reports are just as astonishing.  Two hundred and sixty wagons were counted going by one tavern in nine days, besides hundreds of people on horseback and on foot.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History.  Vol.  IV., pp. 387, 388.]

%304.  Life on the Frontier.%—­The “mover,” or, as we should say, the emigrant, would provide himself with a small wagon, very light, but strong enough to carry his family, provisions, bedding, and utensils; would cover it with a blanket or a piece of canvas or with linen which was smeared with tar inside to make it waterproof; and with two stout horses to pull it, would set out for the West, and make his way across Pennsylvania to Pittsburg, then the greatest city of the West, with a population of 7000.  Some, as of old, would take boats and float down the Ohio; others would go on to Wheeling, be ferried across the river, and push into Ohio or Indiana or Illinois, there to “take up” a quarter section (160 acres) of government land, or buy or rent a “clearing” from some shiftless settler of an earlier day.  Government land intended for sale was laid out in quarter sections of 160 acres, and after being advertised for a certain time was offered for sale at public auction.  What was not sold could then be purchased at the land office of the district at two dollars an acre, one quarter to be paid down, and three fourths before the expiration of four years.  The emigrant, having gathered eighty dollars, would go to some land office, “enter” a quarter section, pay the first installment, and make his way in the two-horse wagon containing his family and his worldly goods to the spot where was to be his future home.  Every foot of it in all probability would be covered with bushes and trees.

[Illustration:  Distribution of the Population of the United States Fourth Census, 1820]

%305.  The Log Cabin.%—­In that case the settler would cut down a few saplings, make a “half-faced camp,” and begin his clearing.  The “half-faced camp” was a shed.  Three sides were of logs laid one on another horizontally.  The roof was of saplings covered with branches or bark.  The fourth side was open, and when it rained was closed by hanging up deerskin curtains.  In this camp the newcomer and his family would live while he grubbed up the bushes and cut down trees enough to make a log cabin.  If he were a thrifty, painstaking man, he would smooth each log on four sides with his ax, and notch it half through at each end so that when they were placed one on another the faces would nearly touch.  Saplings would make the rafters, and on them would be fastened planks laid clapboard fashion, or possibly split shingles.

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An opening was of course left for a door, although many a cabin was built without a window, and when the door was shut received no light save that which came down the chimney, which was always on the outside of the house.  To form it, an opening eight feet long and six feet high was left at one end of the house, and around this a sort of bay window was built of logs and lined with stones on the inside.  Above the top of the opening the chimney contracted and was made of branches smeared both inside and out with clay.  Generally the chimney went to the peak of the roof; but it was by no means unusual for it to stop about halfway up the end of the cabin.

[Illustration:  Log cabin[1]]

[Footnote 1:  The birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, restored (reproduced, together with the first picture on the next page, from Tarbell’s Early Life of Abraham Lincoln, by permission of the publishers, S.S.  McClure, Limited).]

If the settler was too poor to buy glass, or if glass could not be had, the window frame was covered with greased paper, which let in the light but could not be seen through.  The door was of plank with leather hinges, or with iron hinges made from an old wagon tire by the nearest blacksmith or by the settler himself.  There was no knob, no lock, no bolt.

In place of them there was a wooden latch on the inside, which could be lifted by a person on the outside of the door by a leather strip which came through a hole in the door and hung down.  When this latch string was out, anybody could pull it, lift the latch, and come in.  When it was drawn inside, nobody could come in without knocking.  The floor was made of “puncheons,” or planks split and hewn with an ax from the trunk of a tree, and laid with the round side down.  The furniture the settler brought with him, or made on the spot.

[Illustration:  Hand mill [1]]

The household utensils were of the simplest kind.  Brooms and brushes were made of corn husks.  Corn was shelled by hand and was then either carried in a bag slung over a horse’s back to the nearest mill, perhaps fifteen miles away, or was pounded in a wooden hominy mortar with a wooden pestle, or ground in a hand mill.  Chickens and game were roasted by hanging them with leather strings before the open fire.  Cooking stoves were unknown, and all cooking was done in a “Dutch oven,” on the hearth, or in a clay “out oven” built, as its name implies, out of doors.

[Illustration:  Corn-husk broom [1]]

[Illustration:  Kitchen utensils [1]]

[Footnote 1:  From originals in the National Museum, Washington.]

%306.  Clearing and Planting.%—­The land about the cabin was cleared by grubbing the bushes and cutting down trees under a foot in diameter and burning them.  Big trees were “deadened,” or killed, by cutting a “girdle” around them two or three feet above the ground, deep enough to destroy the sap vessels and so prevent the growth of leaves.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  For a delightful account of life in the West, read W. C. Howells’s Recollections of Life in Ohio (edited by his son, William Dean Howells).]

In the ground thus laid open to the sun were planted corn, potatoes, or wheat, which, when harvested, was threshed with a flail and fanned and cleaned with a sheet.  At first the crop would be scarcely sufficient for home use.  But, as time passed, there would be some to spare, and this would be wagoned to some river town and sold or exchanged for “store goods.”

If the settler chose his farm wisely, others would soon settle near by, and when a cluster of clearings had been made, some enterprising speculator would appear, take up a quarter section, cut it into town lots, and call the place after himself, as Piketown, or Leesburg, or Gentryville.  A storekeeper with a case or two of goods would next appear, then a tavern would be erected, and possibly a blacksmith shop and a mill, and Piketown or Leesburg would be established.  Hundreds of such ventures failed; but hundreds of others succeeded and are to-day prosperous villages.

[Illustration:  Mississippi produce boat[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From a model in the National Museum at Washington.]

%307.  The New States._—­While the northern stream of population was thus traveling across New York, northern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and into Michigan, the middle stream was pushing down the Ohio.  By 1820 it had greatly increased the population of southern Indiana and Illinois, and crossing the Mississippi was going up the Missouri River.  In the South the destruction of the Indian power by Jackson in 1813, and the opening of the Indian land to settlement, led to a movement of the southern stream of population across Alabama to Mobile.  Now, what were some of the results of this movement of population into the Mississippi valley?  In the first place, it caused the formation and admission into the Union of six states in five years.  They were Indiana, 1816; Mississippi, 1817; Illinois, 1818; Alabama, 1819; Maine, 1820; Missouri, 1821.

%308.  Slave and Free States.%—­In the second place, it brought about a great struggle over slavery.  You remember that when the thirteen colonies belonged to Great Britain slavery existed in all of them; that when they became independent states some began to abolish slavery; and that in time five became free states and eight remained slave states.  Slavery was also gradually abolished in New York and New Jersey, so that of the original thirteen only six were now to be counted as slave states.  You remember again that when the Continental Congress passed the Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the territory lying between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, Pennsylvania and the Mississippi River, it ordained that in the Northwest Territory there should be no slavery.  In consequence of this, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were admitted into the Union

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as free states, as Vermont had been.  Kentucky was originally part of Virginia, and when it was admitted, came in as a slave state.  Tennessee once belonged to North Carolina, and hence was also slave soil; and when it was given to the United States, the condition was imposed by North Carolina that it should remain so.  Tennessee, therefore, entered the Union (in 1796) as a slave state.  Much of what is now Alabama and Mississippi was once owned by Georgia, and when she ceded it in 1802, she did so with the express condition that it should remain slave soil; as a result of this, Alabama and Mississippi were slave states.  Louisiana was part of the Louisiana Purchase, and was admitted (1812) as a slave state because it contained a great many slaves at the time of the purchase.

Thus in 1820 there were twenty-two states in the Union, of which eleven were slave, and eleven free.  Notice now two things:  1.  That the dividing line between the slave and the free states was the south and west boundary of Pennsylvania from the Delaware to the Ohio, and the Ohio River; 2.  That all the states in the Union except part of Louisiana lay east of the Mississippi River.  As to what should be the character of our country west of that river, nothing had as yet been said, because as yet no state lying wholly in that region had asked admittance to the Union.

%309.  Shall there be Slave States West of the Mississippi River?%—­But when the people rushed westward after the war, great numbers crossed the Mississippi and settled on the Missouri River, and as they were now very numerous they petitioned Congress in 1818 for leave to make the state of Missouri and to be admitted into the Union.

The petitioners did not say whether they would make a slave or a free state; but as the Missourians owned slaves, everybody knew that Missouri would be a slave state.  To this the free states were opposed.  If the tobacco-growing, cotton-raising, and sugar-making states wanted slaves, that was their affair; but slavery must not be extended into states beyond the Mississippi, because it was wrong.  No man, it was said, had any right to buy and sell a human being, even if he was black.  The Southern people were equally determined that slavery should cross the Mississippi.  We cannot, said they, abolish slavery; because if our slaves were set free, they would not work, and as they are very ignorant, they would take our property and perhaps our lives.  Neither can we stop the increase of negro slave population.  We must, then, have some place to send our surplus slaves, or the present slave states will become a black America.

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%310.  The Missouri Compromise.%—­Each side was so determined, and it was so clear that neither would yield, that a compromise was suggested.  The country east of the Mississippi, it was said, is partly slave, partly free soil.  Why not divide the country west of the great river in the same way?  At first the North refused.  But it so happened that just at this moment Maine, having secured the consent of Massachusetts, applied to Congress for admission into the Union as a free state.  The South, which had control of the Senate, thereupon said to the North, which controlled the House of Representatives, If you will not admit Missouri as a slave state, we will not admit Maine as a free state.  This forced the compromise, and after a bitter and angry discussion it was agreed

1.  That Maine should come in as a free, and Missouri as a slave, state.

2.  That the Louisiana Purchase should be cut in two by the parallel of 36 deg. 30’, and that all north of the line except Missouri should be free soil[1].  This parallel was thereafter known as the “Missouri Compromise Line.”

[Footnote 1:  The Compromise was violated in 1836, when the present northwest corner of Missouri was taken from the free territory and added to that state.  See maps, pp. 299 and 348]


The admission of Maine and Missouri raised the number of states to twenty-four.[1] No more were admitted for sixteen years.  When Missouri applied for admission as a state, Arkansas was (1819) organized as a territory.

[Footnote 1:  For the compromise read Woodburn’s Historical Significance of the Missouri Compromise (in Report American Historical Association, 1893, pp. 251-297); McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  IV., Chap. 39.]

%311.  The Second Election of Monroe.%—­This bitter contest over the exclusion of slavery from the country west of the Mississippi shows how completely party lines had disappeared in 1820.  In the course of that year, electors of a President were to be chosen in the twenty-four states.  That slavery would play an important part in the campaign, and that some candidate would be put in the field by the people opposed to the compromise, might have been expected.  But there was no campaign, no contest, no formal nomination.  The members of Congress held a caucus, but decided to nominate nobody.  Every elector, it was well known, would be a Republican, and as such would vote for the reelection of Monroe and Tompkins.  And this almost did take place.  Every one of the 229 electors who voted was a Republican, and all save one in New Hampshire cast votes for Monroe.  But this one man gave his vote to John Quincy Adams.  He said he did not want Washington to be robbed of the glory of being the only President who had ever received the unanimous vote of the electors.

March 4, 1821, came on Sunday.  Monroe was therefore inaugurated on Monday, March 5.

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1.  The dull times on the seaboard, the cheap land in the West, the love of adventure, and the desire to “do better” led, during 1814-1820, to a most astonishing emigration westward.

2.  The rush of population into the Mississippi valley caused the admission of six states into the Union between 1816 and 1821.

3.  The question of the admission of Missouri brought up the subject of shutting slavery out of the country west of the Mississippi, which ended in a compromise and the establishment of the line 36 deg. 30’.


   Northern Stream.

Effect of hard times in the East.—­ Scenes along the highways.—­Arrival of the emigrants in the West.—­The half-faced camp.—­The log cabin.—­ Household utensils.—­Clearing the land.—­Growth of towns.

   Middle Stream.

Moves down the Ohio valley, across southern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and pushes up the Missouri.

   Southern Stream.

      The defeat of the Creek Indians
      opens their lands in
      Mississippi Territory to settlement.

* * * * *

This settlement of the West leads to: 

   Admission into the Union of: 

1816.  Indiana. 1817.  Mississippi. 1818.  Illinois. 1819.  Alabama.

   Admission of these states brings up the question of slavery.

      1820.  Maine.
      1821.  Missouri.

   Organization of new territories.

      1819.  Arkansas.
      1822. 1823.  Florida.

Status of slavery after 1820.





Country west of the Mississippi.

   1804.  Not settled.
   1819.  Attempt to make Missouri a slave state.
   1820.  The compromise.



%312.  Improvement in Means of Travel%.—­We have now considered two of the results of the rush of population from the seaboard to the Mississippi valley; namely, the admission of five new Western states into the Union, and the struggle over the extension of slavery, which resulted in the Missouri Compromise.  But there was a third result,—­the actual construction of highways of transportation connecting the East with the West.  Along the seaboard, during

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the five years which followed the war, great improvements were made in the means of travel.  The steamboat had come into general use, and, thanks to this and to good roads and bridges, people could travel from Philadelphia to New York between sunrise and sunset on a summer day, and from New York to Boston in forty-eight hours.  The journey from Boston to Washington was now finished in four days and six hours, and from New York to Quebec in eight days.

[Illustration:  Bordentown, NJ.[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an old engraving.  Passengers from Philadelphia landed here from the steamboat and took stage for New Brunswick.]


In the West there was much the same improvement.  The Mississippi and Ohio swarmed with steamboats, which came up the river from New Orleans to St. Louis in twenty-five days and went down with the current in eight.  Little, however, had been done to connect the East with the West.  Until the appearance of the steamboat in 1812, the merchants of Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, and a host of other towns in the interior bought the produce of the Western settlers, and floating it down the Ohio and the Mississippi sold it at New Orleans for cash, and with the money purchased goods at Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, and carried them over the mountains to the West.  Some went in sailing vessels up the Hudson from New York to Albany, were wagoned to the Falls of the Mohawk, and then loaded in “Schenectady boats,” which were pushed up the Mohawk by poles to Utica, and then by canal and river to Oswego, on Lake Ontario.  From Oswego they went in sloops to Lewiston on the Niagara River, whence they were carried in ox wagons to Buffalo, and then in sailing vessels to Westfield, and by Chautauqua Lake and the Allegheny River to Pittsburg.  Goods from Philadelphia and Baltimore were hauled in great Conestoga wagons drawn by four and six horses across the mountains to Pittsburg.  The carrying trade alone in these ways was immense.  More than 12,000 wagons came to Pittsburg in a year, bringing goods on which the freight was $1,500,000.

[Illustration:  Boats on the Mohawk[1]]

[Footnote 1:  From an old print.]


With the appearance of the steamboat on the Mississippi and Ohio, this trade was threatened; for the people of the Western States could now float their pork, flour, and lumber to New Orleans as before, and bring back from that city by steamboat the hardware, pottery, dry goods, cotton, sugar, coffee, tea, which till then they had been forced to buy in the East[1].

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, Vol.  IV., pp. 397-410, 419-421.]

This new way of trading was so much cheaper than the old, that it was clear to the people of the Eastern States that unless they opened up a still cheaper route to the West, their Western trade was gone.

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[Illustration:  The Erie Canal]

%313.  The Erie Canal.%—­In 1817 the people of New York determined to provide such a route, and in that year they began to cut a canal across the state from the Hudson at Albany to Lake Erie at Buffalo.  To us, with our steam shovels and drills, our great derricks, our dynamite, it would be a small matter to dig a ditch 4 feet deep, 40 feet wide, and 363 miles long.  But on July 4, 1817, when Governor De Witt Clinton turned the first sod, and so began the work, it was considered a great undertaking, for the men of those days had only picks, shovels, wheelbarrows, and gunpowder to do it with.

Opposition to the canal was strong.  Some declared that it would swallow up millions of dollars and yield no return, and nicknamed it “Clinton’s Big Ditch.”  But Clinton was not the kind of man that is afraid of ridicule.  He and his friends went right on with the work, and after eight years spent in cutting down forests, in blasting rocks, in building embankments to carry the canal across swamps, and high aqueducts to carry it over the rivers, and locks of solid masonry to enable the boats to go up and down the sides of hills, the canal was finished.[1]

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s History, Vol.  IV., pp. 415-418.]

[Illustration:  Model of a canal packet boat]

Then, one day in the autumn of 1825, a fleet of boats set off from Buffalo, passed through the canal to Albany, where Governor De Witt Clinton boarded one of them, and went down the Hudson to New York.  A keg of water from Lake Erie was brought along, and this, when the fleet reached New York Harbor, Clinton poured with great ceremony into the bay, to commemorate, as he said, “the navigable communication opened between our Mediterranean seas [the Great Lakes] and the Atlantic Ocean.”

%314.  Effect of the Erie Canal%.—­The building of the canal changed the business conditions of about half of our country.  Before the canal was finished, goods, wares, merchandise, going west from New York, were carried from Albany to Buffalo at a cost of $120 a ton.  After the canal was opened, it cost but $14 a ton to carry freight from Albany to Buffalo.  This was most important.  In the first place, it enabled the people in New York, in Ohio, in Indiana, in Illinois, and all over the West, to buy plows and hoes and axes and clothing and food and medicine for a much lower price than they had formerly paid for such things.  Life in the West became more comfortable and easy than ever before.

In the next place, the Eastern merchant could greatly extend his business.  How far west he could send his goods depended on the expense of carrying them.  When the cost was high, they could go but a little way without becoming so expensive that only a few people could buy them.  After 1825, when the Erie Canal made transportation cheap, goods from New York city could be sold in Michigan and Missouri at a much lower price than they had before been sold in Pittsburg or Buffalo.

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%315.  New York City the Metropolis.%—­The New York merchant, in other words, now had the whole West for his market.  That city, which till 1820 had been second in population, and third in commerce, rushed ahead and became the first in population, commerce, and business.

The same was true of New York state.  As the canal grew nearer and nearer completion, the people from other states came in and settled in the towns and villages along the route, bought farms, and so improved the country that the value of the land along the canal increased $100,000,000.

A rage for canals now spread over the country.  Many were talked of, but never started.  Many were started, but never finished.  Such as had been begun were hurried to completion.  Before 1830 there were 1343 miles of canal open to use in the United States.

%316.  The Pennsylvania Highway to the West.%—­In Pennsylvania the opening of the Erie Canal caused great excitement.  And well it might; for freight could now be sent by sailing vessels from Philadelphia to Albany, and then by canal to Buffalo, and on by the Lake Erie and Chautauqua route to Pittsburg, for one third what it cost to go overland.  It seemed as if New York by one stroke had taken away the Western commerce of Philadelphia, and ruined the prosperity of such inland towns of Pennsylvania as lay along the highway to the West.  The demand for roads and canals at state expense was now listened to, and in 1826 ground was broken at Harrisburg for a system of canals to join Philadelphia and Pittsburg.  But in 1832 the horse-power railroad came into use, and when finished, the system was part railroad and part canal.

%317.  The Baltimore Route to the West.%—­This energy on the part of Pennsylvania alarmed the people of Baltimore.  Unless their city was to yield its Western trade to Philadelphia they too must have a speedy and cheap route to the West.  In 1827, therefore, a great public meeting was held at Baltimore to consider the wisdom of building a railroad from Baltimore to some point on the Ohio River.  The meeting decided that it must be done, and on July 4, 1828, the work of construction was begun.  In 1830 the road was opened as far as Ellicotts Mills, a distance of fifteen miles.  The cars were drawn by horses.

The early railroads, as the word implies, were roads made of wooden rails, or railed roads, over which heavy loads were drawn by horses.  The very first were private affairs, and not intended for carrying passengers.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The first was used in 1807 at Boston to carry earth from a hilltop to a street that was being graded.  The second was built near Philadelphia in 1810, and ran from a stone quarry to a dock.  It was in use twenty-eight years.  The third was built in 1826, and extended from the granite quarries at Quincy, Mass., to the Neponset River, a distance of three miles.  The fourth was from the coal mines of Mauchchunk, Pa., to the Lehigh River, nine miles.  The fifth was constructed in 1828 by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company to carry coal from the mines to the canal.]

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%318.  Public Railroads.%—­In 1825 John Stevens, who for ten years past had been advocating steam railroads, built a circular road at Hoboken to demonstrate the possibility of using such means of locomotion.  In 1823 Pennsylvania chartered a company to build a railroad from Philadelphia to the Susquehanna.  But it was not till 1827, when the East was earnestly seeking for a rapid and cheap means of transportation to the West, that railroads of great length and for public use were undertaken.  In that year the people of Massachusetts were so excited over the opening of the Erie Canal that the legislature appointed a commission and an engineer to select a line for a railroad to join Boston and Albany.

At this time there was no such thing as a steam locomotive in use in the United States.  The first ever used here for practical purposes was built in England and brought to New York city in 1829, and in August of that year made a trial trip on the rails of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.  The experiment was a failure; and for several years horses were the only motive power in use on the railroads.  In 1830, however, the South Carolina Railroad having finished six miles of its road, had a locomotive built in New York city, and in January, 1831, placed it on the tracks at Charleston.  Another followed in February, and the era of locomotive railroading in our country began.

%319.  The Portage Railroad.%—­As yet the locomotive was a rude machine.  It could not go faster than fifteen miles an hour, nor climb a steep hill.  Where such an obstacle was met with, either the road went around it, or the locomotive was taken off and the cars were let down or pulled up the hill on an inclined plane by means of a rope and stationary engine.[1] When Pennsylvania began her railroad over the Alleghany Mountains, therefore, she used the inclined-plane system on a great scale, so that in its time the Portage Railroad, as it was called, was the most remarkable piece of railroading in the world.

[Footnote 1:  Such an inclined plane existed at Albany, where passengers were pulled up to the top of the hill.  Another was at Belmont on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and another on the Paterson and Hudson road near Paterson.]

The Pennsylvania line to the West consisted of a horse railroad from Philadelphia to Columbia on the Susquehanna River; of a canal out the Juniata valley to Hollidaysburg on the eastern slope of the Alleghany Mountains, where the Portage Railroad began, and the cars were raised to the summit of the mountains by a series of inclined planes and levels, and then by the same means let down the western slope to Johnstown; and then of another canal from Johnstown to Pittsburg.

[Illustration:  Inclined plane at Belmont in 1835]

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As originally planned, the state was to build the railroad and canal, just as it built turnpikes.  No cars, no motive power of any sort, except at the inclined planes, were to be supplied.  Anybody could use it who paid two cents a mile for each passenger, and $4.92 for each car sent over the rails.  At first, therefore, firms and corporations engaged in the transportation business owned their own cars, their own horses, employed their own drivers, and charged such rates as the state tolls and sharp competition would allow.  The result was dire confusion.  The road was a single-track affair, with turnouts to enable cars coming in opposite directions to pass each other.  But the drivers were an unruly set, paid no attention to turnouts, and would meet face to face on the track, just as if no turnouts existed.  A fight or a block was sure to follow, and somebody was forced to go back.  To avoid this, the road was double-tracked in 1834, when, for the first time, two locomotives dragging long trains of cars ran over the line from Lancaster to Philadelphia.  As the engine went faster than the horses, it soon became apparent that both could not use the road at the same time; and after 1836 steam became the sole motive power, and the locomotive was furnished by the state, which now charged for hauling the cars.[1]

[Footnote 1:  On the early railroads see Brown’s History of the First Locomotives in America.]

[Illustration:  The first railroad train in New Jersey (1831)]

The puffing little locomotive bore little resemblance to its beautiful and powerful successors.  No cab sheltered the engineer, no brake checked the speed, wood was the only fuel, and the tall smokestack belched forth smoke and red-hot cinders.  But this was nothing to what happened when the train came to a bridge.  Such structures were then protected by roofing them and boarding the sides almost to the eaves.  But the roof was always too low to allow the smokestack to go under.  The stack, therefore, was jointed, and when passing through a bridge the upper half was dropped down and the whole train in consequence was enveloped in a cloud of smoke and burning cinders, while the passengers covered their eyes, mouths, and noses.

%320.  Railroads in 1835.%—­In 1835 there were twenty-two railroads in operation in the United States.  Two were west of the Alleghanies, and not one was 140 miles long.  For a while the cars ran on “strap rails” made of wooden beams or stringers laid on stone blocks and protected on the top surface, where the car wheel rested, by long strips or straps of iron spiked on.  The spikes would often work loose, and, as the car passed over, the strap would curl up and come through the bottom of the car, making what was called a snake head.  It was some time before the all-iron rail came into use, and even then it was a small affair compared with the huge rails that are used at present.

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%321.  Mechanical Inventions.%—­The introduction of the steamboat and the railroad, the great development of manufactures, the growth of the West, and the immense opportunity for doing business which these conditions offered, led to all sorts of demands for labor-saving and time-saving machinery.  Another very marked characteristic of the period 1825-1840, therefore, is the display of the inventive genius of the people.  Articles which a few years before were made by hand now began to be made by machinery.

Before 1825 every farmer in the country threshed his grain with a flail, or by driving cattle over it, or by means of a large wooden roller covered with pegs.  After 1825 these rude devices began to be supplanted by the threshing machine.  Till 1826 no axes, hatchets, chisels, planes, or other edge tools were made in this country.  In 1826 their manufacture was begun, and in the following year there was opened the first hardware store for the sale of American-made hardware.

The use of anthracite coal had become so general that the wood stove was beginning to be displaced by the hard-coal stove, and in 1827 fire bricks were first made in the United States.  It was at about this time that paper was first made of hay and straw; that boards were first planed by machine; that bricks were first made by machinery; that penknives and pocketknives were first manufactured in America; that Fairbanks invented the platform weighing scales; that chloroform was discovered; that Morse invented the recording telegraph; that a man in New York city, named Hunt, made and sold the first lock-stitch sewing machine ever seen in the world; that pens and horseshoes were made by machine; that the reaping machine was given its first public trial (in Ohio); and that Colt invented the revolver.

%322.  Condition of the Cities.%—­Yet another characteristic of the period was the great change which came over the cities and towns.  The development of canal and railroad transportation had thrown many of the old highways into disuse, had made old towns and villages decline in population, and had caused new towns to spring up and flourish.  Everybody now wanted to live near a railroad or a canal.  The rapid increase in manufactures had led to the occupation of the fine water-power sites, and to the creation of many such manufacturing towns as Lowell (in Massachusetts) and Cohoes (in New York).  The rise of so many new kinds of business, of so many corporations, mills, and factories, caused a rush of people to the cities, which now began to grow rapidly in size.

[Illustration:  New York in 1830 (St. Paul’s Chapel, on Broadway)]

This made a change in city government necessary.  The constable and the watchman with his rattle had to give place to the modern policeman.  The old dingy oil lamps, lighted only when the moon did not shine, gave place to gas.  The cities were now so full of clerks, workingmen, mechanics, and other people who had to live far away from the places where they were employed, that a cheap means of transportation about the streets became necessary.  Accordingly, in 1830, an omnibus line was started in New York.[1] It succeeded so well that in 1832 the first street horse-car line in America was operated in New York city.

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[Footnote 1:  Many did not know what the word “Omnibus” painted along the top of the stages meant.  Some thought it was the name of the man who owned them.  It is, of course, a Latin word, and means “for all”; that is, the stages were public conveyances for the use of all.]

%323.  The Owenite Communities.%—­The efforts thus made everywhere and in every way to increase the comforts and conveniences of mankind turned the years 1820-1840 into a period of reform.  Anything new was eagerly taken up.  When, therefore, a Welshman named Robert Owen came over to this country, and introduced what he considered a social reform, numbers of people in the West became his followers.  Owen believed that most of the hardships of life came from the fact that some men secured more property and made more money than others.  He believed that people should live together in communities in which the farms, the houses, the cattle, the products of the soil, should be owned not by individual men, but by the whole community.  He held that there should be absolute social equality, and that no matter what sort of work a man did, whether skilled or unskilled, it should be considered just as valuable as the work of any other man.

All this was very alluring, and in a little while Owenite communities were started in Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York, only to end in failure.[2]

[Footnote 2:  Noyes’s History of American Socialism.]

%324.  The Mormons.%—­But there was a social movement started at this time which still exists.  In 1827, at Palmyra, in New York, a young man named Joseph Smith announced that he had received a new bible from an angel of the Lord.  It was written, he said, on golden plates, which he claimed to have read by the aid of two wonderful stones; and in 1830 he gave to the world The Book of Mormon.

After the book appeared, Smith and a few others organized a church.  Many at once began to believe in the new religion.  But the West seemed so much better a field that in 1831 Smith and his followers started for Ohio, and at Kirtland established a Mormon community.  There the Mormons lived for several years, and then went to Missouri, whence they were expelled, partly because they were an antislavery people.  In 1840 they settled on the banks of the Mississippi in Illinois and built the town of Nauvoo.  At Nauvoo they remained till 1846, when, having adopted polygamy, they were driven off by the people of Illinois, and, led by Brigham Young, marched to Council Bluffs, in Iowa.  There they stopped to look about them for a safe place of abode, and finally, in 1847, left Council Bluffs for Great Salt Lake, then in the dominions of Mexico.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Kennedy’s Early Days of Mormonism.]


1.  The rise of the new states in the West, and the appearance of the steamboat on the Mississippi, were the causes of a great revival of public interest in internal improvements.

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2.  The first to build a great western highway was New York state, which, between 1817 and 1825, built the Erie Canal.

3.  This cut down the cost of moving freight to the West, led to settlement along the banks of the canal, and made New York city the metropolis of the country.

4.  It was during this period, 1815-1830, that many inventions, discoveries, and improvements were made in the arts and sciences.

5.  The railroad was introduced, and the steam locomotive successfully used.

6.  The cities grew, and in New York the omnibus and the street car began to be used.

The movement of population into the West.—­The formation of new states there.—­The rise of manufactures in the East.—­The fine market the West offers for the products and importations of the Eastern States.

* * * * *

Lead to great rivalry between the Atlantic seaboard cities for Western trade.

* * * * *

This rivalry leads to the development of three routes to the West.

The New York Route.

1807.  Steamboats on the Hudson.
1817-25.  Erie Canal
1818.  Steamboats on the Lakes. 
Chautauqua Lake and Allegheny valley. 
Effect of Erie Canal.

The Pennsylvania Route.

Old Conestoga wagons. 
Effect of Erie Canal.
1827.  Pennsylvania state canals and railroads. 
The Portage Railroad.

The Baltimore Route.

   1828.  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad commenced.

* * * * *

The expansion of the country.—­The development of the steamboat, the railroad, and manufactures, and the increased opportunities for doing business.

* * * * *

Lead to demand for labor-saving and time-saving machinery.

   Hard-coal grate and stove. 
   Fire bricks. 
   Paper made from straw. 
   Brick-making machine. 
   Planing machine. 
   Platform scales. 
   Reaping machine. 
   Colt’s revolver. 
   Sewing machine (Hunt). 
   Steel pens. 
   Threshing machine. 
   Telegraph (electric). 
   Steam printing press. 
   Matches, etc., etc.



%325.  New Political Institutions.%—­Of the political leaders of Washington’s time few were left in 1825.  The men who then conducted affairs had almost all been born since the Revolution, or were children at the time.[1] The same is true of the mass of the people.  They too had been born since the Revolution, and, growing up under different conditions, held ideas very different from the men who went before them.  They were more democratic and much less aristocratic, more humane, more practical.  They abolished the old and cruel punishments, such

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as branding the cheeks and foreheads of criminals with letters, cutting off their ears, putting them in the pillory and the stocks; they partly abolished imprisonment for debt; they established free schools, reformatories, asylums, and penitentiaries.  They amended their state constitutions or made new ones, and extended the right to vote, and introduced new political institutions, some of which were of doubtful value, but are still used.

[Footnote 1:  John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson were born in 1767; Henry Clay, in 1777; John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Martin Van Buren, and Thomas H. Benton, in 1782.]

%326.  Political Proscription; the Gerrymander.%—­One of these was the custom of turning men out of public office because they did not belong to the party in power, or did not “work” for the election of the successful candidate.  As early as 1792 this vicious practice was in use in Pennsylvania, and a few years later was introduced in New York by De Witt Clinton.  Jefferson resorted to it when he became President, but it was not till 1820 that it was firmly established by Congress.  In that year William H. Crawford, who was Secretary of the Treasury and a presidential candidate, secured the passage of a “tenure of office” act, limiting the term of collectors of revenue, and a host of other officials, to four years, and thus made the appointments to these places rewards for political service.

Another institution dating from this time is the gerrymander.  In 1812, when Elbridge Gerry was the Republican governor of Massachusetts, his party, finding that at the next election they would lose the governorship and the House of Representatives, decided to hold the Senate by marking out new senatorial districts.  In doing this they drew the lines in such wise that districts where there were large Federalist majorities were cut in two, and the parts annexed to other districts, where there were yet larger Republican majorities.


The story is told that a map of the Essex senatorial district was hanging on the office wall of the editor of the Columbian Centinel, when a famous artist named Stuart entered.  Struck by the peculiar outline of the towns forming the district, he added a head, wings, and claws with his pencil, and turning to the editor, said:  “There, that will do for a salamander.”  “Better say a Gerrymander,” returned the editor, alluding to Elbridge Gerry, the Republican governor who had signed the districting act.  However this may be, it is certain that the name “gerrymander” was applied to the odious law in the columns of the Centinel, that it came rapidly into use, and has remained in our political nomenclature ever since.  Indeed, a huge cut of the monster was prepared, and the next year was scattered as a broadside over the commonwealth, and so aroused the people that in the spring of 1813, despite the gerrymander, the Federalists recovered control of the Senate, and repealed the law.  But the example was set, and was quickly imitated in New Jersey, New York, and Maryland.  This established the institution, and it has been used over and over again to this day.

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%327.  The Third-term Tradition.%—­Another political custom which had grown to have the force of law was that of never electing a President to three terms.  There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent a President serving any number of terms; but, as we have seen, when Washington finished his second he declined another, and when Jefferson (in 1807-1808) was asked by the legislatures of several states to accept a third term, he declined, and very seriously advised the people never to elect any man President more than twice.[1] The example so set was followed by Madison and Monroe and had thus by 1824 become an established usage.

[Footnote 1:  McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 64-70.]

%328.  New Political Issues.%—­The most important change of all was the rise of new political issues.  We have seen how the financial questions which divided the people in 1790-1792 and gave rise to the Federalist and Republican parties, were replaced during the wars between England and France by the question, “Shall the United States be neutral?” It was not until the end of our second war with Great Britain that we were again free to attend to our home affairs.

During the long embargo and the war, manufactures had arisen, and one question now became, “Shall home manufactures be encouraged?” With the rapid settlement of the Mississippi valley and the demand for roads, canals, and river improvements by which trade might be carried on with the West, there arose a second political question:  “Shall these internal improvements be made at government expense?”

Now the people of the different sections of the country were not of one mind on these questions.  The Middle States and Kentucky and some parts of New England wanted manufactures encouraged.  In the West and the Middle States people were in favor of internal improvements at the cost of the government.  In the South Atlantic States, where tobacco and cotton and rice were raised and shipped (especially the cotton) to England, people cared nothing for manufactures, nothing for internal improvements.

%329.  Presidential Candidates in 1824.%—­This diversity of opinion on questions of vital importance had much to do with the breaking up of the Republican party into sectional factions after 1820.  The ambition of leaders in these sections helped on the disruption, so that between 1821 and 1824 four men, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, were nominated for President by state legislatures or state nominating conventions, by mass meeting or by gatherings of men who had assembled for other purposes but seized the occasion to indorse or propose a candidate.  A fifth, William H. Crawford, was nominated by the congressional caucus, which then acted for the last time in our history.

Before election day this list was reduced to four:  Calhoun had become the candidate of all factions for the vice presidency.

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[Illustration:  John Quincy Adams]

%330.  Adams elected by the House of Representatives.%—­The Constitution provides that no man is chosen President by the electors who does not receive a majority of their votes.  In 1824 Jackson received ninety-nine; Adams, eighty-four; Crawford, forty-one; and Clay, thirty-seven.  There was, therefore, no election, and it became the duty of the House of Representatives to make a choice.  But according to the Constitution only the three highest could come before the House.  This left out Clay, who was Speaker and who had great influence.  His friends would not vote for Jackson on any account, nor for Crawford, the caucus candidate.  Adams they liked, because he believed in internal improvements at government expense and a protective tariff.  Adams accordingly was elected President.  Calhoun had been elected Vice President by the electoral college.

[Illustration:  The United States July 4, 1826]

The election of John Quincy Adams was a matter of intense disappointment to the friends of Jackson.  In the heat of party passion and the bitterness of their disappointment they declared that it was the result of a bargain between Adams and Clay.  Clay, they said, was to induce his friends in the House of Representatives to vote for Adams, in return for which Adams was to make Clay Secretary of State.  No such bargain was ever made.  But when Adams did appoint Clay Secretary of State, Jackson and his followers were fully convinced of the contrary[1].

[Footnote 1:  Parton’s Life of Jackson, Chap. 10; Schurz’s Life of Clay, Vol.  I., pp. 203-258]

As a consequence, the legislature of Tennessee at once renominated Jackson for the presidency, and he became the people’s candidate and drew about him not only the men who voted for him in 1824, but those also who had voted for Crawford, who was paralyzed and no longer a candidate.  They called themselves “Jackson men,” or Democratic Republicans.

Adams, it was known, would be nominated to succeed himself, and about him gathered all who wanted a tariff for protection, roads and canals at national expense, and a distribution among the states of the money obtained from the sale of public lands.  These were the “Adams men,” or National Republicans.

%331.  Antimasons.%—­But there was a third party which arose in a very curious way and soon became powerful.  In 1826, at Batavia in New York, a freemason named William Morgan announced his intention to publish a book revealing the secrets of masonry; but about the time the book was to come out Morgan disappeared and was never seen again.  This led to the belief that the masons had killed him, and stirred up great excitement all over the twelve western counties of New York.  The “antimasons” said that a man who was a freemason considered his duty to his order superior to his duty to his country; and a determined effort was made to prevent the election of any freemason to office.

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[Illustration:  Andrew Jackson ]

At first the “antimasonic” movement was confined to western New York, but the moment it took a political turn it spread across northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and was led by some of the most distinguished men and aspiring politicians of the time[1].

[Footnote 1:  Stanwood’s Presidential Elections, Chap. 18]

%332.  The Election of Jackson.%—­When the presidential election occurred in 1828, there were thus three parties,—­the “Jackson men,” the “Administration,” and the Antimasonic.  But politics had very little to do with the result.  In the early days of the republic, the mass of men were ignorant and uneducated, and willingly submitted to be led by men of education and what was called breeding.  From Washington down to John Quincy Adams, the presidents were from the aristocratic class.  They were not men of the people.  But in course of time a great change had come over the mass of Americans.  Their prosperity, their energy in developing the country, had made them self-reliant, and impatient of all claims of superiority.  One man was now no better than another, and the cry arose all over the country for a President who was “a man of the people.”  Jackson was just such a man, and it was because he was “a man of the people” that he was elected.  Of 261 electoral votes he received 178, and Adams 83.

%333.  The North and the South Two Different Peoples.%—­Before entering on Jackson’s administration, it is necessary to call attention to the effect produced on our country by the industrial revolution discussed in Chaps. 19 and 22.  In the first place, it produced two distinct and utterly different peoples:  the one in the North and the other in the South.  In the North, where there were no great plantations, no great farms, and where the labor was free, the marvelous inventions, discoveries, and improvements mentioned were eagerly seized on and used.  There cities grew up, manufactures nourished, canals were dug, railroads were built, and industries of every sort established.  Some towns, as Lynn, Lowell, Lawrence, Fall River, Cohoes, Paterson, Newark, and Pittsburg, were almost entirely given up to mills and factories.  No such towns existed in the South.  In the South men lived on plantations, raised cotton, tobacco, and rice, owned slaves, built few large towns, cared nothing for internal improvements, and established no industries of any sort.

This difference of occupation led of course to difference of interests and opinions, so that on three matters—­the extension of slavery, internal improvements, and tariff for protection—­the North and the South were opposed to each other.  In the West and the Middle States these questions were all-important, and by a union of the two sections under the leadership of Clay a new tariff was passed in 1824, and in the course of the next four years $2,300,000 were voted for internal improvements.

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The Virginia legislature (1825) protested against internal improvements at government expense and against the tariff.  But the North demanded more, and in 1827 another tariff bill was prevented from passing only by the casting vote of Vice President Calhoun.  And now the two sections joined issue.  The South, in memorials, resolutions, and protests, declared a tariff for protection to be unconstitutional, partial, and oppressive.  The wool growers and manufacturers of the North called a national convention of protectionists to meet at Harrisburg, and when Congress met, forced through the tariff of 1828.  The South answered with anti-tariff meetings, addresses, resolutions, with boycotts on the tariff states, and with protests from the legislatures.  Calhoun then came forward as the leader of the movement and put forth an argument, known as the South Carolina Exposition, in which he urged that a convention should meet in South Carolina and decide in what manner the tariff acts should “be declared null and void within the limits of the state.”

%334.  May a State nullify an Act of Congress?%—­The right of a state to nullify an act of Congress thus became the question of the hour, and was again set forth yet more fully by Calhoun in 1831.  That the South was deeply in earnest was apparent, and in 1832 Congress changed the tariff of 1828, and made it less objectionable.  But it was against tariff for protection, not against any particular tariff, that South Carolina contended, and finding that the North would not give up its principles, she put her threat into execution.  The legislature called a state convention, which declared that the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were null and void and without force in South Carolina, and forbade anybody to pay the duties laid by these laws after February 1, 1833.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Houston’s A Critical Study of Nullification in South Carolina; Parton’s Jackson, Vol.  III., Chaps. 32-34; Schurz’s Life of Clay, Vol.  II., Chap. 14; Von Holst’s Life of Calhoun, Chap. 4; Lodge’s Life of Webster, Chaps. 6, 7; Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 40-50.]

Jackson, who had just been reelected, was not terrified.  He bade the collector at Charleston go on and collect the revenue duties, and use force if necessary, and he issued a long address to the Nullifiers.  On the one hand, he urged them to yield.  On the other, he told them that “the laws of the United States must be executed....  Those who told you that you might peacefully prevent their execution deceived you....  Their object is disunion, and disunion by armed force is treason.”

%335.  Webster’s Great Reply to Calhoun.%—­Calhoun, who since 1825 had been Vice President of the United States, now resigned, and was at once made senator from South Carolina.  When Congress met in December, 1832, the great question before it was what to do with South Carolina.  Jackson wanted a “Force Act,” that is, an act giving him power to collect the tariff duties by force of arms.  Hayne, who was now governor of South Carolina, declared that if this was done, his state would leave the Union.

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A great debate occurred on the Force Act, in which Calhoun, speaking for the South, asserted the right of a state to nullify and secede from the Union, while Webster, speaking for the North, denied the right of nullification and secession, and upheld the Union and the Constitution.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Johnston’s American Orations, Vol.  I., pp. 196-212; Webster’s Works, Vol.  III., pp. 248-355, 448-505; Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 50-52.]

%336.  The Compromise of 1833%.—­Meantime, Henry Clay, seeing how determined each side was, and fearing civil war might follow, came forward with a compromise.  He proposed that the tariff of 1832 should be reduced gradually till July, 1842, when on all articles imported there should be a duty equal to twenty per cent of their value.  This was passed, and the Compromise Tariff, as it is called, became a law in March, 1833.  A new convention in South Carolina then repealed the ordinance of nullification.

%337.  War on the Bank of the United States%.—­While South Carolina was thus fighting internal improvements and the tariff, the whole Jackson party was fighting the Bank of the United States.  You will remember that this institution was chartered by Congress in 1816; and its charter was to run till 1836.  Among the rights given it was that of having branches in as many cities in the country as it pleased, and, exercising this right, it speedily established branches in the chief cities of the South and West.  The South and West were already full of state banks, and, knowing that the business of these would be injured if the branches of the United States Bank were allowed to come among them, the people of that region resented the reestablishment of a national bank.  Jackson, as a Western man, shared in this hatred, and when he became President was easily persuaded by his friends (who wished to force the Bank to take sides in politics) to attack it.  The charter had still nearly eight years to run; nevertheless, in his first message to Congress (December, 1829) he denounced the Bank as unconstitutional, unnecessary, and as having failed to give the country a sound currency, and suggested that it should not be rechartered.  Congress paid little attention to him.  But he kept on, year after year, till, in 1832, the friends of the Bank made his attack a political issue[1].

[Footnote 1:  Roosevelt’s Life of Benton, Chap. 6; Parton’s Life of Jackson, Vol.  III., Chaps. 29-31; Tyler’s Memoir of Roger B. Taney, Vol.  I., Chap. 3; Von Hoist’s Constitutional History, Vol.  II., pp. 31-52; Schurz’s Clay, Vol.  L, Chap. 13; American History Leaflets, No. 24]

%338.  The First National Nominating Convention; the First Party Platform.%—­To do this was easy, because in 1832 it was well known that Jackson would again be a candidate for the presidency.  Now the presidential contest of that year is remarkable for two reasons: 

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1.  Because each of the three parties held a national convention for the nomination of candidates.

2.  Because a party platform was then used for the first time.

The originators of the national convention were the Antimasons.  State conventions of delegates to nominate state officers, such as governors and congressmen and presidential electors, had long been in use.  But never, till September, 1831, had there been a convention of delegates from all parts of the country for the purpose of nominating the President and Vice President.  In that year Antimasonic delegates from twenty-two states met at Baltimore and nominated William Wirt and Amos Ellmaker.

The example thus set was quickly followed, for in December, 1831, a convention of National Republicans nominated Henry Clay.  In May, 1832, a national convention of Democrats nominated Martin Van Buren for Vice President[1]; and in that same month, a “national assembly of young men,” or, as the Democrats called it, “Clay’s Infant School,” met at Washington and framed the first party platform.  They were friends of Clay, and in their platform they demanded protection to American industries, and internal improvements at government expense, and denounced Jackson for his many removals from office.  They next issued an address to the people, in which they declared that if Jackson were reelected, the Bank would “be abolished.” [2]

[Footnote 1:  It was not necessary to nominate Jackson.  That he should be re-elected was the wish of the great body of voters.  The convention, therefore, merely nominated a Vice President]

[Footnote 2:  For party platform see McKee’s National Platforms of all Parties.]

%339.  Jackson destroys the Bank.%—­The friends of the Bank meantime appealed to Congress for a new charter and found little difficulty in getting it.  But when the bill went to Jackson for his signature, he vetoed it, and, as its friends had not enough votes to pass the bill over the veto, the Bank was not rechartered.

The only hope left was to defeat Jackson at the polls.  But this too was a failure, for he was reelected by greater majorities than he had received in 1828.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Of the 288 electoral votes, Jackson received 219, and Clay 49.  Wirt, the Antimason, secured 7.]

%340.  Jackson withdraws the Government Money from the Bank.%—­This signal triumph was understood by Jackson to mean that the people approved of his treatment of the Bank.  So he continued to hurt it all he could, and in 1833 ordered his Secretary of the Treasury to remove the money of the United States from the Bank and its branches.  This the Secretary[1] refused to do; whereupon Jackson removed him and put another,[2] who would, in his place.  After 1833, therefore, the collectors of United States revenue ceased to deposit it in the Bank of the United States, and put it in state banks ("pet banks”) named by the Secretary of the Treasury.  The money already on deposit was gradually drawn out, till none remained.[3]

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[Footnote 1:  William J. Duane. ]

[Footnote 2:  Roger B. Taney. ]

[Footnote 3:  Parton’s Jackson, Vol.  III., Chaps. 36-39; American History Leaflets, No. 24; Sumner’s Jackson, Chaps. 13, 14; Von Hoist’s Constitutional History, Vol.  II., pp. 52-79; Roosevelt’s Benton, Chap. 6. ]

For this act the Senate, when it met in December, 1833, passed a vote of censure on Jackson and entered the censure on its journal.  Jackson protested, and asked to have his protest entered, but the Senate refused.  Whereupon Benton of Missouri declared that he would not rest till the censure was removed or “expunged” from the journal.  At first this did not seem likely to occur.  But Benton kept at it, and at last, in 1837, the Senate having become Democratic, he succeeded[1].

[Footnote 1:  When the resolution had passed, the Clerk of the Senate was ordered to bring in the journal, draw a thick black line around the censure, and write across it “Expunged by order of the Senate, January 16, 1837.”]

%341.  Wildcat State Banks.%—­As soon as the reelection of Jackson made it certain that the charter of the Bank of the United States would not be renewed, the same thing happened in 1833 that had occurred in 1811.  The legislature of every state was beset with applications for bank charters, and granted them.  In 1832 there were but 288 state banks in the country.  In 1836 there were 583.  Some were established in order to get deposits of the government money.  Others were started for the purpose of issuing paper money with which the bank officials might speculate.  Others, of course, were founded with an honest purpose.  But they all issued paper money, which the people borrowed on very poor security and used in speculation.

%342.  The Period of Speculation.%—­Never before had the opportunity for speculation been so great.  The new way of doing business, the rise of corporations and manufactures, drew people into the cities, which grew in area and afforded a chance for investors to get rich by purchasing city lots and holding them for a rise in price.  Railroads and canals were being projected all over the country.  Another favorite way of speculating, therefore, was to buy land along the lines of railroads building or to be built.  Suddenly cotton rose a few cents a pound, and thousands of people began to speculate in slaves and cotton land.  Others bought land in the West from the government, at $1.25 an acre, and laid it out into town lots,[1] which they sold for $10 and $20 apiece to people in the East.  In short, everybody who could was borrowing paper money from the banks and speculating.

[Footnote 1:  Sometimes ten such lots would be laid out on an acre]

Under these conditions, any cause which should force the banks to stop loaning money, or to call in that already loaned, would bring on a panic.  And this is just what happened.

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%343.  The Specie Circular.%—­Speculation in government land was so general that the annual sales rose from $2,300,000 in 1831, to $24,900,000 in 1836.[2] Finding that these great purchases were paid for not in gold and silver, but in state bank paper money, Jackson became alarmed.  Many of the banks were of doubtful soundness, and if they failed, all their money which the government had taken for land would be lost.  In 1836, therefore, Jackson issued his “Specie Circular,” which commanded all officials authorized to sell government land to receive payment in nothing but gold or silver or land scrip.  A great demand for specie and a removal of it from the banks in the East to those in the West followed, which of course hurt the Eastern banks, because it took away some of their money, and that kind of money which they were holding for the purpose of redeeming their paper.

[Footnote 2:  Shepard’s Van Buren, Chap. 8; Sumner’s Jackson, pp. 322-325]

Another thing which hurt the banks, by forcing them to stop loaning and to call for a settlement of debts, was the distribution of the surplus revenue among the states.

%344.  The Surplus Revenue.%—­What caused this surplus revenue?  Many things.

1.  The United States had no debt.  The national debt, you remember, was created in 1790 by funding the foreign and Congress debt and assuming those of the states, and amounted to $75,000,000.  When Jefferson was elected President in 1801, this debt had risen to $80,000,000; but during his administration it fell to $57,000,000.  The war with England raised it to $127,000,000, after which it once more decreased year by year till 1835, when every dollar was paid off, and the United States was out of debt[1].

[Footnote 1:  As bonds, etc., to the value of $35,000 were never presented for payment, the United States appears to have always been in debt.  This $35,000 probably represents evidences of indebtedness lost by the owners]

2.  The expenses of the government were not large.

3.  There was a heavy importation of foreign goods, which produced a great revenue under the tariff act.

4.  The immense speculation in government lands already described produced a large income to the government[1].

[Footnote 1:  The land sales were $4,800,000 in 1834, $14,757,000 in 1835, and $24,877,000 in 1836]

In consequence of these causes, the government on June 1, 1836, had in the banks $41,500,000 more than it needed.

What to do with this useless money sorely puzzled Congress.  It could not reduce the tariff, because that was gradually being reduced under the compromise of 1833.  Some wanted the money derived from the sale of land distributed.  But at last it was decided to take all the surplus the government had on January 1, 1837, subtract $5,000,000 from it, and divide the rest by the number of senators and representatives in Congress, and give each state as many parts as it had senators and representatives[1].

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[Footnote 1:  One state, New York, was to receive $4,000,000, three states over $2,000,000, six over $1,000,000, and eight over $500,000]

On January 1, 1837, the surplus was $42,468,000, which, after subtracting the $5,000,000, left $37,468,000 to be distributed.  It was to be paid in four installments[1]; but only three of them were ever paid, for, when October 1, 1837, came, the whole country was suffering from a panic[2].

[Footnote 1:  The days of payment were Jan. 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct. 1, 1837]

[Footnote 2:  Bourne’s History of the Surplus Revenue of 1837]

%345.  The Panic of 1837.%—­Now, when the banks in which the government surplus was kept were suddenly called on to give it up in order that it might be distributed among the states, (as they had loaned this surplus) they were all forced to call it in.  More than that, they would make no new loans.  This made credit hard to get.  As a consequence, mills and factories shut down, all buying and selling stopped, and thousands of workmen were thrown out of employment.  As everybody wanted money, it followed that houses, lands, property of every sort, was offered for sale at ridiculously low prices.  But there were no buyers.  In New York the distress was so great that bread riots occurred.  The merchants, unable to pay their debts, began to fail, and to make matters worse the banks all over the country suspended specie payment; that is, refused to give gold and silver in exchange for their paper bills.  Then the panic set in, and for a while the people, the states, and the government were bankrupt[1].

[Footnote 1:  Shepard’s Van Buren, Chap. 8.]

%346.  Election of Martin Van Buren; Eighth President.%—­In accordance with the well-established custom that no President shall have more than two terms, Jackson [Illustration:  Martin Van Buren] would not accept a renomination in 1836.  So the Democratic national convention nominated Martin Van Buren and R.M.  Johnson.  The Whigs, as the National Republicans called themselves after 1834, did not hold a national nominating convention, but agreed to support William Henry Harrison.  Van Buren was elected, and inaugurated March. 4, 1837[1].

[Footnote 1:  Ibid., Chap. 7.]

%347 The New National Debt; the Independent Treasury.%—­But scarcely had he taken the oath of office when the panic swept over the country, and his whole term was one of financial distress or hard times.  The suspension of specie payment and the failures of many banks and merchants left the government without money, and forced Van Buren to call an extra session of Congress in September, 1837.  Before adjourning, Congress ordered the fourth or October installment of the distributed revenue to be suspended.  It has never been given to the states.  Congress also authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to issue $10,000,000 in treasury notes, and so laid the foundation for the second national debt, which one cause or another has continued ever since.

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The experience the government had thus twice passed through (1814 and 1837) led the people to believe it ought not to keep its money in state banks.  But just where the money should be kept was a disputed party question.  The Whigs insisted on a third National Bank like the old one Jackson had destroyed.  Van Buren wanted what was called an “Independent Treasury,” and after four attempts the act establishing it was passed in 1840.

The law created four “receivers general” (one each at Boston, New York, Charleston, and St. Louis), to whom all money collected by the United States officials should be turned over, and directed that “rooms, vaults, and safes” should be provided for the safe keeping of the money.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Shepard’s Van Buren, Chap. 9.]

As might be expected, the people laid all the blame for the hard times on Van Buren and his party.  The Democrats, they said, had destroyed the National Bank; they had then removed the United States money, and given it to “pet” state banks; they had then distributed the surplus, and by taking the surplus from the state banks had brought on the panic.  Whether this was true or not, the people believed it, and were determined to “turn out little Van.”

The campaign of 1840 was the most novel, exciting, and memorable that had yet taken place.  Three parties had candidates in the field.  The Antislavery party put forward James Gillespie Birney and Thomas Earle.  The Democrats in their convention renominated Van Buren, but no Vice President.  The Whigs nominated W.H.  Harrison, and John Tyler of Virginia.  The mention of the Antislavery party makes it necessary to account for its origin.

%348.  The Antislavery Movement%.—­The appearance of the Antislavery or Liberty party marks the beginning in national affairs of an antislavery movement which had long been going on in the states.  When the Missouri Compromise was made in 1820, many people believed that the troublesome matter of slavery was settled.  This was a mistake, and the compromise really made matters worse.  In the first place, it encouraged the men in Illinois who favored slavery to attempt to make it a slave state by amending the state constitution, an attempt which failed in 1824 after a long struggle.  In the second place, it aroused certain men who had been agitating for freeing the slaves to redoubled energy.  Among these were Benjamin Lundy, James Gillespie Birney, and William Lloyd Garrison, who in 1831 established an abolition newspaper called the Liberator, which became very famous.  In the third place, it led to the formation all over the North, and in many places in the South, of new abolition societies, and stirred up the old ones and made them more active.[1]

[Footnote 1:  James G. Birney and his Times, Chap. 12.]

For a time these societies carried on their work, each independent of the others.  But in 1833, a convention of delegates from them met at Philadelphia, and formed a national society called the American Antislavery Society.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Its constitution declared (1) that each state has exclusive right to regulate slavery within it; (2) that the society will endeavor to persuade Congress to stop the interstate slave trade, to abolish slavery in the territories and in the District of Columbia, and to admit no more slave states into the Union.]

%349.  Antislavery Documents shut out of the Mails.%—­Thus organized, the society went to work at once and flooded the South with newspapers, pamphlets, pictures, and handbills, all intended to arouse a sentiment for instant abolition or emancipation of slaves.  The South declared that these were inflammatory, insurrectionary, and likely to incite the slaves to revolt, and called on the North to suppress abolition societies and stop the spread of abolition papers.  To do such a thing by legal means was impossible; so an attempt was made to do it by illegal means.  In the Northern cities such as Philadelphia, Utica, Boston, Haverhill, mobs broke up meetings of abolitionists, and dragged the leaders about the streets.  In the South, the postmasters, as at Charleston, seized antislavery tracts and pamphlets going through the mails, and the people burned them.  In New York city such matter was taken from the mails and destroyed by the postmaster.  When these outrages were reported to Amos Kendall, the Postmaster-General, he approved of them; and when Congress met, Jackson asked for a law that would prohibit the circulation “in the Southern States, through the mails, of incendiary publications intended to instigate the slaves to insurrection.”  From the legislatures of five Southern states came resolutions calling on the people of the North to suppress the abolitionists.[1] Congress and the legislatures of New York and Rhode Island responded; but the bills introduced did not pass.[2]

[Footnote 1:  South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and Georgia.]

[Footnote 2:  James G. Birney and his Times, pp. 184-194.]

This attempt having failed, the mobs again took up the work, and began to smash and destroy the presses of antislavery newspapers.  One paper, twice treated in this manner in 1836, was the Philanthropist published at Cincinnati by James Gillespie Birney.  Another was the Observer, published at Alton by Elijah Lovejoy, who was murdered in defending his property.[1] The Pennsylvania Freeman was a third.

[Footnote 1:  Wilson’s Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Vol.  II., Chap. 27; James G. Birney and his Times, pp. 204-219, 241-255.]

%350.  The Gag Rule%.—­Not content with attacking the liberty of the press, the proslavery men attacked the right of petition.  The Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people ... to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  Under this right the antislavery people had long been petitioning Congress to abolish slavery in the District

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of Columbia, and the petitions had been received; but of course not granted.  Now, in 1836, when John Quincy Adams presented one to the House of Representatives, a member moved that it be not received.  A fierce debate followed, and out of it grew a rule which forbade any petition, resolution, or paper relating in any way to slavery, or the abolition of slavery, to be received.  This famous “Gag Rule” was adopted by Congress after Congress until 1844.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Morse’s Life of John Quincy Adams, pp. 249-253, 306-308.]

%351.  The Liberty Party formed%.—­The effect of these extreme measures was greatly to increase the antislavery sentiment.  But the men who held these sentiments were largely members of the Whig and Democratic parties.  In the hope of drawing them from their parties, and inducing them to act together, the antislavery conventions about 1838 began to urge the formation of an antislavery party, which was finally accomplished at Albany, N.Y., in April, 1840, where James G. Birney was nominated for President, and Thomas Earle for Vice President.  No name was given to the new organization till 1844, when it was christened “Liberty party.”

%352.  The Log Cabin, Hard Cider Campaign%.—­The candidate of the Democrats (Martin Van Buren) was a shrewd and skillful politician.  The candidate of the Whigs (Harrison) was the ideal of a popular favorite.  To defeat him at such a time, when the people were angry with the Democrats, would have been hard, but they made it harder still by ridiculing his honorable poverty and his Western surroundings.  At the very outset of the campaign a Democratic newspaper declared that Harrison would be more at home “in a log cabin, drinking hard cider and skinning coons, than living in the White House as President.”  The Whigs instantly took up the sneer and made the log cabin the emblem of their party.  All over the country log cabins (erected at some crossroads, or on the village common, or on some vacant city lot) became the Whig headquarters.  On the door was a coon skin; a leather latch string was always hanging out as a sign of hospitality, and beside the door stood a barrel of hard cider.  Every Whig wore a Harrison and Tyler badge, and knew by heart all the songs in the Log Cabin Songster.  Immense mass meetings were held, at which 50,000, and even 80,000, people attended.  Weeks were spent in getting ready for them.  In the West, where railroads were few, the people came in covered wagons with provisions, and camped on the ground days before the meeting.  At the monster meeting at Dayton, O., 100,000 people were present, covering ten acres of ground.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Shepard’s Van Buren, pp. 323-335.]

[Illustration:  William H. Harrison]

%353.  William Henry Harrison, Ninth President; John Tyler, Tenth President%.—­Harrison was triumphantly elected, and inaugurated March 4, 1841.  But his career was short, for on April 4 he died,[2] and John Tyler took his place.  Tyler had never been a Whig.  He had always been a Democrat.  Nevertheless, the Whigs, confident of his aid, tried to carry out certain reform measures.

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[Footnote 2:  His death was a great shock to the people.  Two vice presidents, George Clinton and Elbridge Gerry, had died in office.  But nobody seems to have thought it likely that a president would die.]

[Illustration:  John Tyler]

%354.  The Quarrel between Tyler and the Whigs%.—­The first thing they did was to repeal the law establishing the Independent Treasury.  This Tyler approved.  They next attempted to reestablish the Bank of the United States under the name of the “Fiscal Bank of the United States.”  Tyler, who was opposed to banks, vetoed the bill, and when the Whigs sent him another to create a “Fiscal Corporation,” he vetoed that also.  Then every member of the cabinet save Webster resigned, and at a meeting of the great Whig leaders Tyler was formally “read out of the party.”

%355.  The Webster-Ashburton Treaty%.—­Webster was Secretary of State, and though a Whig, retained his place in order that he might complete a treaty which determined our boundary line from the source of the St. Croix to the St. Lawrence, thus settling a long dispute between Maine and the British provinces of New Brunswick and Canada.  The difficulty arose over the meaning of terms in the treaty of 1783, and though twice submitted to a joint commission, and once to arbitration, seemed further than ever from a peaceful settlement when Webster and Lord Ashburton arranged it in 1842.  The treaty ratified, Webster soon resigned.


The people meanwhile had recovered from the excitement of the campaign of 1840, and at the congressional election of 1842 they made the House of Representatives Democratic.  There were thus a Whig Senate, a Democratic House, and a President who was neither a Whig nor a Democrat.  As a consequence few measures of any importance were passed till 1845.


1.  During 1789-1825 a marked change had taken place in the ideas of government, and this led to new state constitutions; to an extension of the right to vote; to the belief that no President should have more than two terms; to the belief that political offices should be given to political workers; and to the introduction of the “gerrymander.”

2.  The disappearance of issues which divided the Federalists and Republicans; the loss of old leaders; the appearance of a new generation with new political issues, destroyed old party lines.

3.  First to disappear were the Federalists.  In 1820 there was but one presidential candidate (Monroe), and but one political party (the Republican).

4.  During Monroe’s second term the new issues began to break up the Republican party, and in the election of 1824 the people of the four great sections of the country presented candidates.  For the second time a President (John Quincy Adams) was elected by the House of Representatives.

5.  In 1828 the Republicans again supported Jackson, and his opponents under Adams were defeated.  In 1827 the antimasonic party arose.

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6.  The issues now before the people were the tariff, the recharter of the National Bank, and the use of the surplus revenue, and these became the leading questions of Jackson’s eight years (1829-1837).

7.  The general use of the steamboat, and the good roads, so reduced the cost of transportation that it was possible to introduce a new piece of political machinery—­the national convention—­to nominate candidates for President and Vice President.

8.  In Jackson’s second term the antislavery movement began in earnest; the Whig party was organized and named; the national debt was paid off, and the surplus distributed.

9.  Jackson was followed by Van Buren, in whose administration the great panic of 1837 occurred.  Because of this and hard times a second national debt was started.  A new financial measure was the establishment of the Independent Treasury.

10.  This the Whigs under Tyler destroyed.  They attempted to replace it with a third National Bank, but were prevented from doing so by Tyler’s vetoes.

* * * * *


New political ideas

   Extension of the franchise. 
   No third term for a President. 
   No nomination by congressional caucus.

New political issues.

   Use of public lands. 
   Internal improvements.

* * * * *

These issues and ideas break up the Republican party into factions led in 1824 by

Crawford and Gallatin, Caucus candidates.

Anti-caucus candidates.



   Adams by House of Representatives. 
   Calhoun by electoral college.

Renominated in 1828.

   Adams defeated. 
   Jackson and Calhoun elected.

|                         |                       18|32
|                         |           ______________|_________________________________
Tariff.                      |           |               |                              |
Of 1824, opposed             |     Clay defeated.   Jackson reelected.          1827, Rise of Antimasons.
by the South.            Finance                  Van Buren Vice President    1831, Originate national
Of 1828, \            ________________                   |                        nominating convention. 
Of 1832, / Nullified  |              |   ________________|___________________________________
by South    Attack on the     |                  |               |      |        |
Carolina    Bank of the       Removal of the   Surplus.       Specie     |   Speculation
in 1832.     United States.    deposits.         Cause of      Circular   |

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|___________| Renewal of Censure of the amount. | +--------+ | charter vetoed.  President.  “Deposit” or | Payments of the Compromise Censure distribution | national dept, of 1833. | expunged. among the | 1835. |_____________________| states. | | |____________| | Great increase of | | state banks. | | |______________________________|__________|_________|
Van Buren elected in 1836. 
Inaugurated, March, 1837. 
Panic of 1837.
|                                                |
Causes of the panic.               Great opposition to the Democratic party. 
Suspension of the banks.           Union of this opposition in 1840 with the Whigs. 
New national debt.                  ___________________|______________________________
Suspension of distribution of       |                     |                         |
the revenue.                     Democrats.             Whigs.                  Antislavery
Establishment of Independent      Issue their first     Issue no platform.       party. 
Treasury.                         party platform.      Nominate Harrison.      Origin of. 
Nominate Van Buren.    Elect him.              Nominates J.
Are defeated.                                 G. Birney.



%356.  Texas secures Independence.%—­The fact that Tyler now belonged to no party enabled him to commit an act which, had he belonged to either, he would not have ventured to commit at that time,—­to make a treaty of annexation with Texas.


In 1821 Mexico, which for years past had been fighting for independence, was set free by Spain, and soon established herself as a republic under the name of the United States of Mexico.  The old Spanish provinces were the states, and one of these provinces was Texas.  As a country Texas had been very attractive to Americans, and the eastern part would have been settled early in the century if it had been definitely known who owned it.  Now that Mexico owned it, a citizen of the United States, Moses Austin, asked for a large grant of land and for leave to bring in settlers.  A grant was made on condition that he should bring in 300 families within a given time.  Moses Austin died; but his son Stephen went on with the scheme and succeeded so well that others followed his example till seventeen such grants had been perfected.

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For some years the settlers managed their own affairs in their own way.  But about 1830 Mexico began to rule them harshly, and when they were unable to stand it any longer they rebelled against her in 1833, and in 1836 set up the republic of Texas.  At first the Texans were defeated, and on two memorable occasions bands of them were massacred by the Mexican soldiers after they had surrendered.  Money and troops and aid of every sort, however, were sent from the United States, and at length Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, who commanded the Mexicans, was defeated and captured and his army destroyed by the Texans under Samuel Houston at the battle of San Jacinto (1836).  The victory was hailed with delight all over our country, and the independence of Texas was acknowledged by the United States (1837), England, France, and Belgium.

%357.  Texas applies for Admission to the Union.%—­As soon as independence was acknowledged, the people of Texas became very anxious to have their republic become a state in our Union; but slavery existed in Texas, and the men of the free states opposed her admission.

At last in 1844 Tyler secretly negotiated a treaty of annexation with the Texan authorities, and surprised the Senate by submitting it in April.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The Senate rejected the treaty]

The politicians were very indignant, for the national nominating conventions were to meet in May, and the President by his act had made the annexation of Texas a political issue.  The Democrats, however, took it up and in their platform declared for “the reannexation of Texas,” and nominated James K. Polk of Tennessee for President and George Mifflin Dallas of Pennsylvania for Vice President.

%358.  The Joint Occupation of Oregon is continued.%—­But there was another plank in the Democratic platform of 1844 which promised the acquisition of a great piece of free soil.  We left the question of the ownership of Oregon at the time when the United States and Great Britain (in 1818) agreed to hold the country in joint occupation for ten years; and when Russia, the United States, and Great Britain had (in 1824 and 1825) made 54 deg. 40’ the boundary line between the Oregon country and Alaska.  Before the ten-year period of joint occupation expired, Great Britain and the United States, in 1827, agreed to continue it indefinitely.  Either party could end the agreement after a year’s notice to the other.

%359.  Attempts to end Joint Occupation.%—­Before this time the men who came to the Oregon country were explorers, trappers, hunters, servants of the great fur companies, who built forts and trading stations, but did little for the settlement of the region.  After this time missionaries were sent to the Indians, and serious efforts were made to persuade men to emigrate to Oregon.  Some parties did go, and as a result of their work, and of the labors of the missionaries, Oregon, in the course of ten years, became better known to the people of the United States.

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Efforts were then begun to persuade Congress to extend the jurisdiction of the United States over Oregon, order the occupation of the country, and end the old agreement with Great Britain.  Petitions were sent (1838-1840), reports were made, bills were introduced; but Congress stood firmly by the agreement, and would not take any steps toward the occupation of Oregon.  In 1842, Elijah White, a former missionary, came to Washington and so impressed the authorities with the importance of settling Oregon that he was appointed Indian Agent for that country, and told to take back with him as many settlers as he could.  Returning to Missouri, he soon gathered a band of 112 persons and with these, the largest number of settlers that had yet started for Oregon, he set off across the plains in the spring of 1842.  At the next session of Congress (1842-1843) another effort was made to provide for the occupation of Oregon at least as far north as 49 deg., and a bill for that purpose passed the Senate.

Meanwhile a rage for emigration to Oregon broke out in the West, and in the early summer of 1843, nearly a thousand persons, with a long train of wagons, moved out of Westport, Missouri, and started northwestward over the plains.  Like the emigrants of 1842, they succeeded in reaching Oregon, though they encountered many hardships.

%360.  “Fifty-Four Forty or Fight."%—­So much attention was thus attracted to Oregon, in 1843, that the people by 1844 began to demand a settlement of the boundary and an end of joint occupation.  The Democrats therefore gladly took up the Oregon matter.  Their plan to reannex Texas, which was slave soil, could, they thought, be offset by a declaration in favor of acquiring all Oregon, which was free soil.  The Democratic platform for 1844, therefore, declared that “our title to the whole of Oregon is clear; that no portion of the same ought to be ceded to England or any other power; and that the reoccupation of Oregon and the reannexation of Texas” were great American measures, which the people were urged to support.  The people thought they were great American measures, and with the popular cries of “The reannexation of Texas,” “Texas or disunion,” “The whole of Oregon or none,” “Fifty-four forty or fight,” the Democrats entered the campaign and won it, electing James K. Polk and George M. Dallas.

The Whigs were afraid to declare for or against the annexation, so they said nothing about it in their platform, and nominated Henry Clay of Kentucky and Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey.  The real question of the campaign was of course the annexation of Texas, and though the platform was silent on that subject their leader spoke out.  In a public letter which appeared in a newspaper and was copied all over the Union, Clay said that he believed slavery was doomed to end at no far away day; that the admission of Texas could neither hasten nor put off the arrival of that day, and that he “should be glad to see” Texas annexed if it could be done “without dishonor, without war, and with the common consent of the Union and upon just and fair terms.”

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[Illustration:  James K. Polk]

Language of this sort did not please the antislavery Whigs; and in New York numbers of them voted for James G. Birney and Thomas Morris, candidates of the Liberty party.  The result was that the vote for Birney in New York in 1844 was more than twice as great as he received in the whole Union in 1840.  Had half of these New Yorkers voted for Clay instead, he would have received the electoral vote of New York and would have been President.

[Illustration:  %THE OREGON COUNTRY%]

%361.  Texas annexed to the United States.%—­Tyler, who saw in the result of the election a command from the people to acquire Texas, urged Congress in December, 1844, to annex it at once.  But in what manner should it be acquired?  Some said by a treaty.  This would require the consent of two thirds of the Senate.  But the Democrats did not have the votes of two thirds of the Senate and so could not have secured the ratification of such a treaty.  It was decided, therefore, to annex by joint resolution, which required but a majority for its passage.  The House of Representatives accordingly passed such a resolution for the admission of Texas, and with her consent for the formation of four additional states out of the territory, those north of 36 deg. 30’ to be free.  The Senate amended this resolution and gave the President power to negotiate another treaty of annexation, or submit the joint resolution to Texas.  The House accepted the amendment.  Tyler chose to offer the terms in the joint resolution.  Texas accepted them, and in December, 1845, her senators and representatives took their seats in Congress.

%362.  Oregon.%—­By the admission of Texas, the Democrats made good one of the pledges in their platform of 1844.  They were now called on to make good the other, which promised the whole of Oregon up to 54 deg. 40’.  To suppose that England would yield to this claim, and so cut herself off entirely from the Pacific coast, was absurd.  Nevertheless, because of the force of popular opinion, the one year’s notice necessary to terminate joint occupation was served on Great Britain in 1846.  The English minister thereupon presented a treaty extending the 49th parallel across Oregon from the Rocky Mountains to the coast, and drawing a line down the strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific.  Polk and the Senate accepted this boundary, and the treaty was proclaimed on August 5, 1846.  Two years later, August 14, 1848, Oregon was made a territory.

%363.  General Taylor enters Texas; War with Mexico begins.%—­When Texas came into the Union, she claimed as her western boundary the Rio Grande from its mouth to its source and then a line due north to 42 deg..  Now this line was disputed by Mexico, which claimed that the Nueces River was the western boundary of Texas.  The disputed strip of territory was thus between the Nueces and the Rio Grande (p. 321).

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President Polk, however, took the side of Texas, claimed the country as far as the Rio Grande, and in January, 1846, ordered General Zachary Taylor to march our army across the Nueces, go to the Rio Grande, and occupy the disputed strip.  This he did, and on April 25, 1846, the Mexicans crossed the river and attacked the Americans.  Taylor instantly sent the news to Washington, and, May 12, Polk asked for a declaration of war.  “Mexico,” said he, “has passed the boundary of the United States; has invaded our territory and shed American blood on American soil.”  Congress declared that war existed, and Polk called for 50,000 volunteers (May 13, 1846).

When the Mexicans crossed the Rio Grande and attacked the Americans at Fort Brown, Taylor was at Point Isabel.  Hurrying southward to the relief of the fort, he met the enemy at Palo Alto, beat them, pushed on to Resaca de la Palma, beat them again, and soon crossed the river and took possession of the town of Matamoras.  There he remained till August, 1846, waiting for supplies, reinforcements, and means of transportation, when he began a march toward the city of Monterey.  The Mexicans, profiting by Taylor’s long stay at Matamoras, had gathered in great force at Monterey, and had strongly fortified every position.  But Taylor attacked with vigor, and after three days of continuous fighting, part of the time from street to street and house to house, the Mexican General Ampudia surrendered the city (September 24, 1846).  An armistice of six weeks’ duration was then agreed on, after which Taylor moved on leisurely to Saltillo (sahl-teel’-yo).

%364.  Scott in Mexico.%—­Meantime, General Winfield Scott was sent to Mexico to assume chief command.  He reached the mouth of the Bio Grande in January, 1847, and called on Taylor to send him 10,000 men.  Santa Anna (sahn’-tah ahn’-nah), who commanded the Mexicans, hearing of this order, marched at once against Taylor, who took up a strong position at Buena Vista (bwa’-nah vees’-tah), where a desperate battle was fought February 23, 1847.  The Americans won, and Santa Anna hurried off to attack Scott, who was expected at Vera Cruz.  Scott landed there in March, and, after a siege of a few days, took the castle and city, and ten days later began his march westward along the national highway towards the ancient capital of the Aztecs.  It was just 328 years since Cortez with his little band started from the same point on a precisely similar errand.  At every step of the way the ranks of Scott grew thinner and thinner.  Hundreds perished in battle.  Hundreds died by the wayside of disease more terrible than battle.  But Scott would not turn back, and victory succeeded victory with marvelous rapidity.  April 8 he left Vera Cruz.  April 18 he stormed the heights of Cerro Gordo.  April 19 he was at Jalapa (hah-lah’-pah).  On the 22d Perote (pa-ro’-ta) fell.  May 15 the city of Puebla (pweb’-lah) was his.  There Scott staid till August 7, when he again pushed westward, and on the 10th saw the city of Mexico.  Then followed in rapid succession the victories of Contreras (con-tra’-rahs), Churubusco (choo-roo-boos’-ko), Molino del Rey (mo-lee’-no del ra), the storming of Chapultepec (chah-pool-ta-pek’), and the triumphal entry into Mexico, September 14, 1847.  Never before in the history of the world had there been made such a march.

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[Illustration:  %CAMPAIGN OF GEN.  SCOTT%]

%365.  The “Wilmot Proviso."%—­In 1846 the Mexican War was very hateful to many Northern people, and as a new House of Representatives was to be elected in the autumn of that year, Polk thought it wise to end the war if possible, and in August asked for $2,000,000 “for the settlement of the boundary question with Mexico.”  This, of course, meant the purchase of territory from her.  But Mexico had abolished slavery in 1827, and lest any territory bought from her should be made slave soil, David Wilmot of Pennsylvania moved that the money should be granted, provided all territory bought with it should be free soil.  The proviso passed the House, but not the Senate.  Next year (1847) a bill to give Polk $3,000,000 with which to settle the boundary dispute was introduced, and again the proviso was attached.  But the Senate rejected it, and the House then gave way, and passed the bill without the proviso.

%366.  Conquest of New Mexico and California.%—­While Taylor was winning victories in northeastern Mexico, Colonel Stephen W. Kearny was ordered to march into New Mexico.  Leaving Fort Leavenworth in June, 1846, he went by the Upper Arkansas River to Bents Fort, thence southwest through what is now Colorado, and by the old Santa Fe trail to the Rio Grande valley and Santa Fe (p. 330).  After taking the city without opposition, he declared the whole of New Mexico to be the property of the United States, and then started to seize California.  On arriving there, he found the conquest completed by the combined forces of Stockton and Fremont.

%367.  The Great American Desert.%—­But how came Fremont to be in California in 1846?

If you look at any school geography published between 1820 and 1850 you will find that a large part of what is now Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Texas is put down as “THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT.”  Many believed it was not unlike the Desert of Sahara, and that nobody would ever want to cross it, while there was so much fertile land to the eastward.  This view made people very indifferent as to our claims to Oregon, so that when Thomas H. Benton, one of the senators from Missouri, and one of the far-sighted statesmen of the day, wanted Congress to seize and hold Oregon by force of arms, he was told that it was not worth the cost.  “Oregon,” said one senator, “will never be a state in the Union.”  “Build a railroad to Oregon?” said another.  “Why, all the wealth of the Indies would not be sufficient for such a work.”

[Illustration:  ROUTES OF THE %EARLY EXPLORERS% of the West]

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%368.  The Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.%—­Some explorations you remember had been made.  Lewis and Clark went across the Northwest to the mouth of the Columbia in 1804-1805, and Zebulon M. Pike had penetrated in 1806 to the wild mountainous region about the head waters of the Platte, Arkansas, and Rio Grande and had probably seen the great mountain that now bears his name.  Major Long followed Pike in 1820, gave his name to Longs Peak, and brought back such a dismal account of the West that he was largely responsible for the belief in a desert.  The great plains from the sources of the Sabine, Brazos, and Colorado rivers to the northern boundary Were, he said, “peculiarly adapted as a range for buffaloes, wild Goats, and other wild game,” and “might serve as a barrier to prevent too great an expansion of our population westward;” but nobody would think of cultivating the plains.  For years after that the American Fur Trading Company of St. Louis had annually sent forth its caravans into Oregon and New Mexico.  Because the way was beset by hostile Indians, these caravans were protected by large and strongly armed bands, and in time wore out well-beaten tracks across the prairies and over the mountain passes, which came to be known on the frontier as the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.  In 1832 Captain Bonneville[1] took a wagon train over the Rocky Mountain divide into the Green River Valley, and Nathaniel J. Wyeth led a party from New England to the Oregon country, and in 1834 established Fort Hall in what is now Idaho.  Still later in the thirties went Marcus Whitman and his party.

[Footnote 1:  Bead his adventures as told by Washington Irving.]

%369. %Explorations of Fremont.%—­By this time it was clear that the tide of westward emigration would soon set in strongly towards Oregon.  Then at last Benton succeeded in persuading Congress to order an exploration of the far West, and in 1842 Lieutenant Fremont was sent to see if the South Pass of the rocky Mountains, the usual crossing place, would best accommodate the coming emigration.  He set out from Kansas City (then a frontier hamlet, now a prosperous city) with Kit Carson, a famous hunter, for guide, and following the wagon trails of those who had gone before him, made his way to the pass.  He found its ascent so gradual that his party hardly knew when they reached the summit.  Passing through it to the valley beyond, he climbed the great peak which now bears his name and stands 13,570 feet above the sea.

Though Fremont discovered no new route, he did much to dispel the popular idea created by Long that the plains were barren, and the American Desert began to shrink.  In 1843 Fremont was sent out again.  Making his way westward through the South Pass, where his work ended in 1842, he turned southward to visit Great Salt Lake, and then pushed on to Walla Walla on the Columbia River (see map on p. 330).  Thence he went on to the Dalles, and then by boat to Fort Vancouver, and then, after returning to the Dalles, southward to Sutter’s Fort in the Sacramento valley, and so back to the States in 1844.

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In 1845 Fremont, who had now won the name of “Pathfinder,” was sent out a third time, and crossing what are now Nebraska and Utah, reached the vicinity of Monterey in California.  The Mexican authorities ordered him out of the country.  But he spent the winter in the mountains, and in the spring was on his way to Oregon, when a messenger from Washington overtook him, and he returned to Sutter’s Fort.

%370.  The Bear State Republic.%—­This was in June, 1846.  Rumors of war between Mexico and the United States were then flying thick and fast, and the American settlers in California, fearing they would be attacked, revolted, and raising a flag on which an image of a grizzly bear was colored in red paint, proclaimed California an independent republic.  These Bear State republicans were protected and aided by Fremont and Commodore Stockton, who was on the California coast with a fleet, and together they held California till Kearny arrived.

[Illustration:  %TERRITORY CEDED BY MEXICO 1818 and 1853%]

%371.  Terms of Peace.%—­Thus when the time came to make peace, our armies were in military possession of vast stretches of Mexican territory which Polk refused to give up.  Mexico, of course, was forced to yield, and in February, 1848, at a little place near the city of Mexico, called Guadalupe Hidalgo, a treaty was signed by which Mexico gave up the land and received in return $15,000,000.  The United States was also to pay claims our citizens had against Mexico to the amount of $3,500,000.  This added 522,568 square miles to the public domain.[1]

[Footnote 1:  This new territory included not only the present California and New Mexico, but also Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.]

%372.  The Gadsden Purchase.%—­When the attempt was made to run the boundary line from the Rio Grande to the Gila River, so many difficulties occurred that in 1853 a new treaty was made with Mexico, and the present boundary established from the Rio Grande to the Gulf of California.  The line then agreed on was far south of the Gila River, and for this new tract of land, 45,535 square miles, the United States paid Mexico $10,000,000.  It is generally called the Gadsden Purchase, after James Gadsden, who negotiated it.

Much of this territory acquired in 1848, especially New Mexico and California, had long been settled by the Spaniards.  But the acquisition of it by the United States at once put an end to the old Mexican government, and made it necessary for Congress to provide new governments.  There must be American governors, American courts, American judges, customhouses, revenue laws; in a word, there must be a complete change from the Mexican way of governing to the American way.  To do this ought not to have been a hard thing; but Mexico had abolished slavery in all this territory in 1827.  It was free soil, and such the anti-extension-of-slavery people of the North insisted on keeping it.  The proslavery people of the South, on the other hand, insisted that it should be open to slavery, and that any slaveholder should be allowed to emigrate to the new territory with his slaves and not have them set free.  The political question of the time thus became, Shall, or shall not, slavery exist in New Mexico and California?

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%373.  The Free-soil Party.%—­As a President to succeed Polk was to be elected in 1848, the two great parties did their best to keep the troublesome question of slavery out of politics.  When the Whig convention met, it positively refused to make a platform, and nominated General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana, and Millard Fillmore of New York, without a statement of party principles.

When the Democratic convention met, it made a long platform, but said nothing about slavery in the territories, and nominated Lewis Cass of Michigan and William O. Butler.

This refusal of the two parties to take a stand on the question of the hour so displeased many Whigs and Wilmot-Proviso Democrats that they held a convention at Buffalo, where the old Liberty party joined them, and together they formed the “Free-soil party.”  They nominated Martin Van Buren and Charles F. Adams, and in their platform made four important declarations: 

1.  That Congress has no more power to make a slave, than to make a king.

2.  That there must be “free soil for a free people.”

3.  “No more slave states, no more slave territories.”

4.  That we will inscribe on our banners “Free soil, free speech, free labor, and free men.”

They also asked for cheaper postage, and for free grants of land to actual settlers.

The Whigs won the election.

%374.  Zachary Taylor, Twelfth President.%—­Taylor and Fillmore were inaugurated on March 5,1849, because the 4th came on Sunday.  Their election and the triumph of the Whigs now brought on a crisis in the question of slavery extension.

[Illustration:  %Zachary Taylor%]

%375.  State of Feeling in the South.%—­Southern men, both Whigs and Democrats, were convinced that an attempt would be made by Northern and Western men opposed to the extension of slavery to keep the new territory free soil.  Efforts were at once made to prevent this.  At a meeting of Southern members of Congress, an address written by Calhoun was adopted and signed, and published all over the country.  It

1.  Complained of the difficulty of capturing slaves when they escaped to the free states.

2.  Complained of the constant agitation of the slavery question by the abolitionists.

3.  And demanded that the territories should be open to slavery.

A little later, in 1849, the legislature of Virginia adopted resolutions setting forth: 

1.  That “the attempt to enforce the Wilmot Proviso” would rouse the people of Virginia to “determined resistance at all hazards and to the last extremity.”

2.  That the abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia would be a direct attack on the institutions of the Southern States.

The Missouri legislature protested against the principle of the Wilmot Proviso, and instructed her senators and representatives to vote with the slaveholding states.  The Tennessee Democratic State Central Committee, in an address, declared that the encroachments of their Northern brethren had reached a point where forbearance ceased to be a virtue.  At a dinner to Senator Butler, in South Carolina, one of the toasts was “A Southern Confederacy.”

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%376.  State of Feeling in the North.%—­Feeling in the free states ran quite as high.

1.  The legislatures of every one of them, except Iowa,[1] resolved that Congress had power and was in duty bound to prohibit slavery in the territories.

[Footnote 1:  Iowa had been admitted December 28, 1846.]

2.  Many of them bade their congressmen do everything possible to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia.

The struggle thus coming to an issue in the summer of 1849 was precipitated by a most unlooked-for discovery in California, which led the people of that region to take matters into their own hands.

%377.  Discovery of Gold in California.%—­One day in the month of January, 1848, while a man named Marshall was constructing a mill race in the valley of the American River in California, for a Swiss immigrant named Sutter, he saw particles of some yellow substance shining in the mud.  Picking up a few, he examined them, and thinking they might be gold, he gathered some more and set off for Sutter’s Fort, where the city of Sacramento now stands.

[Illustration:  %Sutter’s mill%]

As soon as he had reached the fort and found Mr. Sutter, the two locked themselves in a room and examined the yellow flakes Marshall had brought.  They were gold!  But to keep the secret was impossible.  A Mormon laborer, watching their excited actions at the mill race, discerned the secret, and then the news spread fast, and the whole population went wild.  Every kind of business stopped.  The stores were shut.  Sailors left the ships.  Soldiers defiantly left their barracks, and by the middle of the summer men came rushing to the gold fields from every part of the Pacific coast.  Later in the year reports reached the East, but so slowly did news travel in those days that it was not till Polk in his annual message confirmed it, that people really believed there were gold fields in California.  Then the rush from the East began.  Some went overland, some crossed by the Isthmus of Panama, some went around South America, filling California with a population of strong, adventurous, and daring men.  These were the “forty-niners.”

[Illustration:  %San Francisco in 1847%]

%378.  The Californians make a Free-State Constitution.%—­When Taylor heard that gold hunters were hurrying to California from all parts of the world, he was very anxious to have some permanent government in California; and encouraged by him the pioneers, the “forty-niners,” made a free-state constitution in 1849 and applied for admission into the Union.[1]

[Footnote 1:  For an account of this movement to make California a state, see Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 111-116.]

%379.  Clay proposes a Compromise.%—­When Congress met in 1849 there were therefore a great many things connected with slavery to be settled: 

1.  Southern men complained that the existing fugitive-slave law was not enforced in the free states and that runaway slaves were not returned.

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2.  The Northern men insisted that slavery should be abolished in the District of Columbia.

3.  Southern men demanded the right to go into any territory of the United States, as New Mexico or Utah or even California, and take their slaves with them.

4.  The Free-soilers demanded that there should be no more slave states, no more slave territories.

5.  The North wanted California admitted as a free-soil state.  The South would not consent.

So violent and bitter was the feeling aroused by these questions, that it seemed in 1850 as if the Union was about to be broken up, and that there were to be two republics,—­a Northern one made up of free states, and a Southern one made up of slave states.

Happily this was not to be; for at this crisis Henry Clay, the “Compromiser,” the “Pacificator,” the “Peacemaker,” as he was fondly called, came forward with a plan of settlement.

To please the North, he proposed, first, that California should be admitted as a free state; second, that the slave trade—­that is, the buying and selling of slaves—­should be abolished in the District of Columbia.  To please the South, he proposed, third, that there should be a new and very stringent fugitive-slave law; fourth, that New Mexico and Utah should be made territories without reference to slavery—­that is, the people should make them free or slave, as they pleased.  This was called “popular sovereignty” or “squatter sovereignty.”  Fifth, that as Texas claimed so much of New Mexico as was east of the Rio Grande, she should give up her claim and be paid money for so doing.

%380.  Clay, Calhoun, Seward, and Webster on the Compromise.%—­The debate on the compromise was a great one.  Clay’s defense of his plan was one of the finest speeches he ever made.[1] Calhoun, who was too feeble to speak, had his argument read by another senator.  Webster, on the “7th of March,” made the famous speech which still bears that name.  In it he denounced the abolitionists and defended the compromise, because, he said, slavery could not exist in such an arid country as New Mexico.  William H. Seward of New York spoke for the Free-soilers and denounced all compromise, and declared that the territories were free not only by the Constitution, but by a “higher law” than the Constitution, the law of justice and humanity.[2]

[Footnote 1:  Henry Clay’s Works, Vol.  II., pp. 602-634.]

[Footnote 2:  Johnston’s American Orations, Vol.  II., pp. 123-219, for the speeches of Calhoun, Webster, and Clay.]

After these great speeches were made, Clay’s plan was sent to a committee of thirteen, from which came seven recommendations: 

1.  The consideration of the admission of any new state or states formed out of Texas to be postponed till they present themselves for admission.

2.  California to be admitted as a free state.

3.  Territorial governments without the Wilmot Proviso to be established in New Mexico and Utah.

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4.  The combination of No. 2 and No. 3 in one bill.

5.  The establishment of the present northern and western boundary of Texas.  In return for ceding her claims to New Mexico, Texas to receive $10,000,000.  This last provision to be inserted in the bill provided for in No. 4.

6.  A new and stringent fugitive-slave law.

7.  Abolition of the slave trade, but not of slavery, in the District of Columbia.

Three bills to carry out these recommendations were presented: 

1.  The first bill provided for (a) the admission of California as a free state; (b) territorial governments for New Mexico and Utah without any restriction on slavery; (c) the present northern and western boundary for Texas, with a gift of money.  President Taylor nicknamed this “the Omnibus Bill,” because of its many provisions.

2.  The second bill prohibited the slave trade, but not slavery, in the District of Columbia.

3.  The third provided for the capture and delivery of fugitive-slaves.

During three months these bills were hotly debated, and threats of disunion and violence were made openly.

%381.  Death of Taylor; Fillmore becomes President.%—­In the midst of the debate, July 9, 1850, Taylor died, and Fillmore was sworn into office.  Calhoun had died in March.  Webster was made Secretary of State by Fillmore.  In some respects these changes helped on the measures, all of which were carried through.  Two of them were of great importance.

[Illustration:  Millard Fillmore]

%382.  Popular Sovereignty.%—­The first provided that the two new territories, New Mexico and Utah, when fit to be admitted as states, should come in with or without slavery as their constitutions might determine; meantime, the question whether slavery could or could not exist there, if it arose, was to be settled by the Supreme Court.

%383.  The Fugitive-Slave Law.%—­The other important measure of the compromise was the fugitive-slave law.  The old fugitive-slave law enacted in 1793 had depended for its execution on state judges.  This new law of 1850

1.  Gave United States commissioners power to turn over a colored man or woman to anybody who claimed the negro as an escaped slave.

2.  Provided that the negro could not give testimony.

3.  “Commanded” all good citizens, when summoned, to aid in the capture of the slave, or, if necessary, in his delivery to his owners.

4.  Prescribed fine and imprisonment for anybody who harbored a fugitive slave or prevented his recapture.

[Illustration:  %Results of the COMPROMISE of 1850%]

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No sooner was this law enacted than the slave owners began to use it, and during the autumn of 1850 a host of “slave catchers” and “man hunters,” as they were called, invaded the North, and negroes who had escaped twenty or thirty years before were hunted up and dragged back to slavery by the marshals of the United States.  This so excited the free negroes and the people of the North, that several times during 1851 they rose and rescued a slave from his captors.  In New York a slave named Hamet, in Boston one named Shadrach, in Syracuse one named Jerry, and at Ottawa, Illinois, one named Jim, regained their liberty in this way.  So strong was public feeling that Vermont in 1850 passed a “Personal Liberty Law,” for the protection of negroes claimed as slaves.[1]

[Footnote 1:  On the Compromise of 1850 read Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 104-189; Schurz’s Life of Clay, Vol.  II., Chap. 26.  Do not fail to read the speeches of Calhoun, Clay, Webster, Seward; also Lodge’s Life of Webster, pp. 264-332.  For the rescue cases read Wilson’s Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, Chap. 26.]

The North was now becoming strongly antislavery.  It had long been opposed to the extension of slavery, but was now becoming opposed to its very existence.  How deep this feeling was, became apparent in the summer of 1852, when Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe published her story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  It was not so much a picture of what slavery was, as of what it might be, and was so powerfully written that it stirred and aroused thousands of people in the North who, till then, had been quite indifferent.  In a few months everybody was laughing and crying over “Topsy” and “Eva” and “Uncle Tom”; and of those who read it great numbers became abolitionists.


1.  The Mexican state of Texas revolts and in 1837 becomes independent.

2.  President Tyler secretly negotiates a treaty for the annexation of Texas to the United States, but this is defeated (1844).

3.  The labors of Elijah White and others lead to the rapid settlement of the Oregon country.

4.  The annexation of Texas and the occupation of the whole of Oregon become questions in the campaign of 1844.  The Democrats carry the election, Texas is annexed, and the Oregon country is divided between Great Britain and the United States.

5.  The question of the boundary of Texas brings on the Mexican War, and in 1848 another vast stretch of country is acquired.

6.  The acquisition of this new territory, which was free soil, causes a struggle for the introduction of slavery into it.

7.  The refusal of the Whigs and Democrats to take issue on slavery in the territories leads to the formation of the Free-soil party.

8.  The discovery of gold in California, the rush of people thither, and the formation of a free state seeking admission into the Union force the question of slavery on Congress.

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9.  In 1850 an attempt is made to settle it by the “Compromise of 1850.”


The reannexation of Texas.

   Texas annexed, August, 1845. 
   Rio Grande asserted as boundary. 
   Disputed territory, Nueces to Rio Grande.

1845-46.  Taylor sent to occupy the disputed territory.
1846.     Attacked by Mexicans.
1846.     War declared by the United States.

The reoccupation of Oregon to 54 deg. 40’.

   Our claims to Oregon. 
   Colonization of Oregon. 
   “Fifty-four forty or fight.” 
   Notice served on Great Britain. 
   The parallel of 49 deg. extended to the Pacific. 
   Oregon a territory (1848).

The Mexican War.


1846.  Wins battles of Palo Alto. 
Resaca de la Palma. 
1847.  Buena Vista.


1847.  Vera Cruz. 
Cerro Gordo. 
Molino del Rey. 


Santa Fe. 
Conquest of New Mexico.


Conquest of California. 
PEACE 1848.

Territory acquired from 42 deg. to Gila River; from Rio Grande to the Pacific.

Effort to make the territory slave soil.

   1848. The Whigs.

      No platform. 
      Elect Taylor and Fillmore.

1848. The Democrats.

Nothing in platform as to slavery in new territory. 
Defeated, 1848. 
Complaints of the South against the North: 

Popular sovereignty

1.  Fugitive slaves.
2.  Slavery in District of Columbia.
3.  Territory acquired from Mexico to be open to slavery.

Discovery of gold in California, 1848. 
Rush to California. 
The three routes. 
Free state of California, 1849.

Effort to keep the territory free.

The Wilmot Proviso, 1846, 1847. 
The Free-soil party, 1848. 
Demands of the party. 
Defeated in 1848. 
1.  California a free state.
2.  No slavery in District of Columbia.
3.  No more slave states. 
No more slave territories.

Whigs attempt a compromise.


1.  California a free state. 2.  Popular sovereignty in territory acquired from Mexico. 3.  No slave trade in District of Columbia. 4.  Texas takes present boundaries. 5.  Two new territories, Utah and New Mexico. 6.  New fugitive-slave law.



Page 190

%384.  Franklin Pierce, Fourteenth President.%—­Although the struggle with slavery was thus growing more and more serious, the two great parties pretended to consider the question as finally settled.  In 1852 the Democrats nominated Franklin Pierce and William E. King, and declared in their platform that they would “abide by and adhere to” the Compromise of 1850, and would “resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question.”  The Whigs nominated General Winfield Scott, and declared that they approved the fugitive-slave law, and accepted the compromise measures of 1850 as “a settlement in principle” of the slavery question, and would do all they could to prevent any further discussion of it.

[Illustration:  Franklin Pierce]

So far as the Whigs were concerned, the question was settled; for the Northern people, angry at their acceptance of the Compromise of 1850 and the fugitive-slave law, refused to vote for Scott, and Pierce was elected.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Pierce carried every state except Massachusetts, Vermont, Tennessee, and Kentucky.]

The Free-soilers had nominated John P. Hale and George W. Julian.

%385.  The Nebraska Bill.%—­Pierce was inaugurated March 4, 1853.  He, too, believed that all questions relating to slavery were settled.  But he had not been many months in office when the old quarrel was raging as bitterly as ever.  In 1853 all that part of our country which lies between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains, the south boundary of Kansas and 49 deg., was wilderness, known as the Platte country, and was without any kind of territorial government.  In January, 1854, a bill to organize this great piece of country and call it the territory of Nebraska was reported to the Senate by the Committee on Territories, of which Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois was chairman.  Every foot of it was north of 36 deg. 30’, and according to the Missouri Compromise was free soil.  But the bill provided for popular sovereignty; that is, for the right of the people of Nebraska, when they made a state, to have it free or slave, as they pleased.

%386.  The Kansas-Nebraska Law.%—­An attempt was at once made to prevent this.  But Douglas recalled his bill and brought in another, providing for two territories, one to be called Kansas[1] and the other Nebraska, expressly repealing the Missouri Compromise,[2] and opening the country north of 36 deg. 30’ to slavery.[3] The Free-soilers, led on by Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, Seward of New York, and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, did all they could to defeat the bill; but it passed, and Pierce signed it and made it law.[4]

[Footnote 1:  The northern and southern boundaries of Kansas were those of the present state, but it extended westward to the Rocky Mountains.]

[Footnote 2:  It declared that the slavery restriction of the Missouri Compromise “was suspended by the principles of the legislation of 1850, commonly called the compromise measures, and is hereby declared inoperative.”]

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[Footnote 3:  The “true intent and meaning” of this act, said the law, is, “not to legislate slavery into any territory or state, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.”  Read Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  I., pp. 425-490.]

[Footnote 4:  May 30, 1854.]

%387.  The Struggle for Kansas.%—­Thus was it ordained that Kansas and Nebraska, once expressly set apart as free soil, should become free or slave states according as they were settled while territories by antislavery or proslavery men.  And now began a seven years’ struggle for Kansas.  “Come on, then,” said Seward of New York in a speech against the Kansas Bill; “Come on, then, gentlemen of the slave states.  Since there is no escaping your challenge, I accept it on behalf of freedom.  We will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give the victory to the side that is stronger in numbers as it is in the right.”

[Illustration:  %THE UNITED STATES in 1851 SEVENTY FIVE YEARS AFTER INDEPENDENCE Showing Railroads and Overland Routes]

This described the situation exactly.  The free-state men of the North and the slave-state men of the South were to rush into Kansas and struggle for its possession.  The moment the law opening Kansas for settlement was known in Missouri, numbers of men crossed the Missouri River, entered the territory, held squatters’ meetings,[1] drove a few stakes into the ground to represent “squatter claims,” went home, and called on the people of the South to hurry into Kansas.  Many did so, and began to erect tents and huts on the Missouri River at a place which they called Atchison.[2]

[Footnote 1:  At one of their meetings it was resolved:  “That we will afford protection to no abolitionist as a settler of this country.”  “That we recognize the institution of slavery as already existing in this territory, and advise stockholders to introduce their property as early as possible.”]

[Footnote 2:  Called after Senator Atchison of Missouri.]

But the men of the North had not been idle, and in July a band of free-state men, sent on by the New England Emigrant Aid Society,[1] entered Kansas and founded a town on the Kansas River some miles to the south and west of Atchison.  Other emigrants came in a few weeks later, and their collection of tents received the name of Lawrence.[2]

[Footnote 1:  The New England Emigrant Aid Society was founded in 1854 by Hon. Eli Thayer of Worcester, Mass., in order “to plant a free state in Kansas,” by aiding antislavery men to go out there and settle.]

[Footnote 2:  After Amos A. Lawrence, secretary of the Aid Society.  It was a city of tents.  Not a building existed.  Later came the log cabin, which was a poor affair, as timber was scarce.  The sod hut now so common in the Northwest was not thought of.  In the early days the “hay tent” was the usual house, and was made by setting up two rows of poles, then bringing their tops together, thatching the roof and sides with hay.  The two gable ends (in which were the windows and doors) were of sod.]

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What was thus taking place at Lawrence happened elsewhere, so that by October, 1854, that part of Kansas along the Missouri River was held by the slave-state men, and the part south of the Kansas River by the free-state men.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The proslavery towns were Atchison, Leavenworth, Lecompton, Kickapoo.  The antislavery towns were Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, Waubunsee, Hampden, Ossawatomie.]

In November of the same year the struggle began.  There was to be an election of a territorial delegate[1] to represent Kansas in Congress, and a day or two before the time set for it the Missourians came over the border in armed bands, took possession of the polls, voted illegally, and elected a proslavery delegate.

[Footnote 1:  Each territory is allowed to send a delegate to the House of Representatives, where he can speak, but not vote.]

%388.  Kansas a Slave Territory.%—­The election of members of the territorial legislature took place in March, 1855, and for this the Missourians made great preparations.  On the principle of popular sovereignty the people of Kansas were to decide whether the territory should be slave or free.  Should the majority of the legislature consist of free-state men, then Kansas would be a free territory.  Should a majority of proslavery men be chosen, then Kansas was doomed to have slavery fastened on her, and this the Missourians determined should be done.  For weeks before the election, therefore, the border counties of Missouri were all astir.  Meetings were held, and secret societies, called Blue Lodges, were formed, the members of which were pledged to enter Kansas on the day of election, take possession of the polls, and elect a proslavery legislature.  The plan was strictly carried out, and as election day drew near, the Missourians, fully armed, entered Kansas in companies, squads, and parties, like an invading army, voted, and then went home to Missouri.  Every member of the legislature save one was a proslavery man, and when that body met, all the slave laws of Missouri were adopted and slavery was formally established in Kansas.

%389.  The Topeka Free-State Constitution.%—­The free-state men repudiated the bogus legislature, held a convention at Topeka, made a free-state constitution, and submitted it to the popular vote.  The people having ratified it (of course no proslavery men voted), a governor and legislature were chosen.  When the legislature met, senators were elected and Congress was asked to admit Kansas into the Union as a state.

%390.  Personal Liberty Laws; the Underground Railroad.%—­The feeling of the people of the free states toward slavery can be seen from many signs.  The example set by Vermont in 1850 was followed in 1854 by Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Michigan, and in 1855 by Maine and Massachusetts, in each of which were passed “Personal Liberty laws,” designed to prevent free negroes from being carried into slavery on the claim that they were fugitive slaves.  Certain state officers were required to act as counsel for any one arrested as a fugitive, and to see that he had a fair trial by jury.  To seize a free negro with intent to reduce him to slavery was made a crime.

Page 193

Another sign of the times was the sympathy manifested for the operations of what was called the Underground Railroad.  It was, of course, not a railroad at all, but an organization by which slaves escaping from their masters were aided in getting across the free states to Canada.

%391.  Breaking up of Old Parties.%—­Thus matters stood when, in 1856, the time came to elect a President, and found the old parties badly disorganized.  The political events of four years had produced great changes.  The death of Clay[1] and Webster[2] deprived the Whigs of their oldest and greatest leaders.  The earnest support that party gave to the Compromise of 1850 and the execution of the fugitive-slave law estranged thousands of voters in the free states.  The Kansas-Nebraska Bill, opposed as it was by every Northern Whig, completed the ruin and left the party a wreck.

[Footnote 1:  June 29, 1852.]

[Footnote 2:  October 24, 1852.]

But the Democrats had also suffered because of the Kansas-Nebraska law and the repeal of the Compromise of 1820.  No anti-extension-of-slavery Democrat could longer support the old party.  Thousands had therefore broken away, and, acting with the dissatisfied Whigs, formed an unorganized opposition known as “Anti-Nebraska men.”

%392.  The Movement against Immigrants.%—­Many old Whigs, however, could not bring themselves to vote with Democrats.  These joined the American or Know-nothing party.  From the close of the Revolution there had never been a year when a greater or less number of foreigners did not come to our shores.  After 1820 the numbers who came each twelvemonth grew larger and larger, till they reached 30,000 in 1830, and 60,000 in 1836, while in the decade 1830-1840 more than 500,000 immigrants landed at New York city alone.

As the newcomers hurried westward into the cities of the Mississippi valley, the native population was startled by the appearance of men who often could not speak our language.  In Cincinnati in 1840 one half the voters were of foreign birth.  The cry was now raised that our institutions, our liberties, our system of government, were at the mercy of men from the monarchical countries of Europe.  A demand was made for a change in the naturalization law, so that no foreigner could become a citizen till he had lived here twenty-one years.

%393.  The American Republicans or Native Americans.%—­Neither the Whigs nor the Democrats would endorse this demand, so the people of Louisiana in 1841 called a state convention and founded the American Republican, or, as it was soon called, the Native American party.  Its principles were

1.  Put none but native Americans in office.

2.  Require a residence of twenty-one years in this country before naturalization.

3.  Keep the Bible in the schools.

4.  Protect from abuse the proceedings necessary to get naturalization papers.

As the members would not tell what the secrets of this party were, and very often would not say whom they were going to vote for, and when questioned would answer “I don’t know,” it got the name of “Know-nothing” party.[1]

Page 194

[Footnote 1:  Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  II., pp. 51-58; McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 87-106.]

For a time the party flourished greatly and secured six members of the House of Representatives, then it declined in power; but the immense increase in immigration between 1846 and 1850 again revived it, and. somewhere in New York city in 1852 a secret, oath-bound organization, with signs, grips, and passwords, was founded, and spread with such rapidity that in 1854 it carried the elections in Massachusetts, New York, and Delaware.  Next year (1855) it elected the governors and legislatures of eight states, and nearly carried six more.  Encouraged by these successes, the leaders determined to enter the campaign of 1856, and called a party convention which nominated Millard Fillmore and Andrew Jackson Donelson.  Delegates from seven states left the convention because it would not stand by the Missouri Compromise, and taking the name North Americans nominated N. P. Banks.  He would not accept, and the bolters then joined the Republicans.

%394.  Beginning of the Republican Party.%—­As early as 1854, when the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was before Congress, the question was widely discussed all over the North and West, whether the time had not come to form a new party out of the wreck of the old.  With this in view a meeting of citizens of all parties was held at Ripon, Wisconsin, at which the formation of a new party on the slavery issue was recommended, and the name Republican suggested.  This was before the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.

After its passage a thousand citizens of Michigan signed a call for a state mass meeting at Jackson, where a state party was formed, named Republican, and a state ticket nominated, on which were Free-soilers, Whigs, and Anti-Nebraska Democrats.  Similar “fusion tickets” were adopted in Wisconsin and Vermont, where the name Republican was used, and in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

The success of the new party in Wisconsin and Michigan in 1854, and its yet greater success in 1855, led the chairmen of the Republican state committees of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Wisconsin to issue a call for an informal convention at Pittsburg on February 22, 1856.  At this meeting the National Republican party was formed, and from it went a call for a national nominating convention to meet (June 17, 1856) at Philadelphia, where John C. Fremont and William L. Dayton were nominated.

The Free-soilers had joined the Republicans and so disappeared from politics as a party.

The Whigs, or “Silver Grays,” met and endorsed Fillmore.

The Democrats nominated James Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge and carried the election.  The Whigs and the Know-nothings then disappeared from national politics.

[Illustration:  James Buchanan]

%395.  James Buchanan, Fifteenth President; the “Bred Scott Decision."%—­When Buchanan and Breckinridge were inaugurated, March 4, 1857, certain matters regarding slavery were considered as legally settled forever, as follows: 

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1.  Foreign slave trade forbidden.

2.  Slave trade between the states allowed.

3.  Fugitive slaves to be returned.

4.  Whether a state should permit or abolish slavery to be determined by the state.

5.  Squatter sovereignty to be allowed in Kansas and Nebraska, Utah and New Mexico territories.

6.  The people in a territory to determine whether they would have a slave or a free state when they made a state constitution.

Now there were certain questions regarding slavery which were not settled, and one of them was this:  If a slave is taken by his master to a free state and lives there for a while, does he become free?

To this the Supreme Court gave the answer two days after Buchanan was inaugurated.  A slave by the name of Dred Scott had been taken by his master from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois, and then to the free soil of Minnesota, and then back to the state of Missouri, where Scott sued for his freedom, on the ground that his residence on free soil had made him a free man.  Two questions of vast importance were thus raised: 

1.  Could a negro whose ancestors had been sold as slaves become a citizen of one of the states in the Union?  For unless Dred Scott was a citizen of Missouri, where he then lived, he could not sue in the United States court.

2.  Did Congress have power to enact the Missouri Compromise?  For if it did not then the restriction of slavery north of 36 deg.30’ was illegal, and Dred Scott’s residence in Minnesota did not make him free.

From the lower courts the case came on appeal to the Supreme Court, which decided

1.  That Dred Scott was not a citizen, and therefore could not sue in the United States courts.  His residence in Minnesota had not made him free.

2.  That Congress could not shut slave property out of the territories any more than it could shut out a horse or a cow.

3.  That the piece of legislation known as the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was null and void.  This confirmed all that had been gained for slavery by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and opened to slavery Oregon and Washington, which were free territories.

%396.  Effect of the Dred Scott Decision.%—­Hundreds of thousands of copies of this famous decision were printed at once and scattered broadcast over the country as campaign documents.  The effect was to fill the Southern people with delight and make them more reckless than ever, to split the Democratic party in the North; to increase the number of Republicans in the North, and make them more determined than ever to stop the spread of slavery into the territories.


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%397.  Struggle for Freedom in Kansas.%—­We left Kansas in 1856 with a proslavery governor and legislature in actual possession, and a free-state governor, legislature, and senators seeking recognition at Washington.  In 1857 there were so many free-state men in Kansas that they elected an antislavery legislature.  But just before the proslavery men went out of power they made a proslavery constitution,[1] and instead of submitting to the people the question, Will you, or will you not, have this constitution? they submitted the question, Will you have this constitution with or without slavery?  On this the free settlers would not vote, and so it was adopted with slavery.  But when the antislavery legislature met soon after, they ordered the question, Will you, or will you not, have this constitution? to be submitted to the people.  Then the free settlers voted, and it was rejected by a great majority.  Buchanan, however, paid no attention to the action of the free settlers, but sent the Lecompton constitution to Congress and urged it to admit Kansas as a slave state.  But Senator Douglas of Illinois came forward and opposed this, because to force a slave constitution on the people of Kansas, after they had voted against it, was contrary to the doctrine of “popular sovereignty.”  He, with the aid of other Northern Democrats, defeated the attempt, and Kansas remained a territory till 1861.

[Footnote 1:  The convention met at the town of Lecompton; in consequence of which the constitution is known as the “Lecompton constitution.”]

%398.  The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.%—­The term of Douglas as senator from Illinois was to expire on March 4, 1859.  The legislature whose duty it would be to elect his successor was itself to be elected in 1858.  The Democrats, therefore, announced that if they secured a majority of the legislators, they would reelect Douglas.  The Republicans declared that if they secured a majority, they would elect Abraham Lincoln United States senator.  The real question of the campaign thus became, Will the people of Illinois have Stephen A. Douglas or Abraham Lincoln for senator?[1]

[Footnote 1:  The Republican state convention at Springfield, June 16, 1858, “resolved, that Abraham Lincoln is the first and only choice of the Republicans of Illinois for the United States Senate as the successor of Stephen A. Douglas.”]

The speech making opened in June, 1858, when Lincoln addressed the convention that nominated him at Springfield.  A month later Douglas replied in a speech at Chicago.  Lincoln, who was present, answered Douglas the next evening.  A few days later, Douglas, who had taken the stump, replied to Lincoln at Bloomington, and the next day was again answered by Lincoln at Springfield.  The deep interest aroused by this running debate led the Republican managers to insist that Lincoln should challenge Douglas to a series of joint debates in public.  The challenge was sent and accepted, and debates were arranged for at seven towns[1] named by Douglas.  The questions discussed were popular sovereignty, the Dred Scott decision, the extension of slavery to the territories; and the discussion of them attracted the attention of the whole country.  Lincoln was defeated in the senatorial election; but his great speeches won for him a national reputation.[2]

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[Footnote 1:  One in each Congressional district except those containing Chicago and Springfield, where both Lincoln and Douglas had already spoken.  For a short account of their debates see the Century Magazine for July, 1887, p. 386.]

[Footnote 2:  Rhodes’s History of the United States, Vol.  II., pp. 308-339.  Nicolay and Hay’s Life of Lincoln, Vol.  II., Chaps. 10-16.  John T. Morse’s Life of Lincoln, Vol.  I., Chap. 6.]

%399.  John Brown’s Raid into Virginia%.—­As slavery had become the great political issue of the day, it is not surprising that it excited a lifelong and bitter enemy of slavery to do a foolish act.  John Brown was a man of intense convictions and a deep-seated hatred of slavery.  When the border ruffianism broke out in Kansas in 1855, he went there with arms and money, and soon became so prominent that he was outlawed and a price set on his head.  In 1858 he left Kansas, and in July, 1859, settled near Harpers Ferry, Va. (p. 360).  His purpose was to stir up a slave insurrection in Virginia, and so secure the liberation of the negroes.  With this in view, one Sunday night in October, 1859, he with less than twenty followers seized the United States armory at Harpers Perry and freed as many slaves and arrested as many whites as possible.  But no insurrection or uprising of slaves followed, and before he could escape to the mountains he was surrounded and captured by Robert E. Lee, then a colonel in the army of the United States.  Brown was tried on the charges of murder and of treason against the state of Virginia, was found guilty, and in December, 1859, was hanged.

[Illustration:  Harpers Ferry]

%400.  Split in the Democratic Party.%—­Thus it was that one event after another prolonged the struggle with slavery till 1860, when the people were once more to elect a President.

The Democratic nominating convention assembled at Charleston, S.C., in April, and at once went to pieces.  A strong majority made up of Northern delegates insisted that the party should declare—­“That all questions in regard to the rights of property in states or territories arising under the Constitution of the United States are judicial in their character, and the Democratic party is pledged to abide by and faithfully carry out such determination of these questions as has been or may be made by the Supreme Court of the United States.”

This meant to carry out the doctrine laid down in the Dred Scott decision, and was in conflict with the “popular sovereignty” doctrine of Douglas, which was that right of the people to make a slave territory or a free territory is perfect and complete.  The minority, composed of the extreme Southern men, rejected the former plan and insisted

1.  “That the Democracy of the United States hold these cardinal principles on the subject of slavery in the territories:  First, that Congress has no power to abolish slavery in the territories.  Second, that the territorial legislature has no power to abolish slavery in any territory, nor to prohibit the introduction of slaves therein, nor any power to exclude slavery therefrom, nor any right to destroy or impair the right of property in slaves by any legislation whatever.”

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2.  That the Federal government must protect slavery “on the high seas, in the territories, and wherever else its constitutional authority extends.”

Both majority and minority agreed in asserting

1.  That the Personal Liberty laws of the free states “are hostile in their character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.”

2.  That Cuba ought to be acquired by the United States.

3.  That a railroad ought to be built to the Pacific.

Their agreement was a minor matter.  Their disagreement was so serious that when the minority could not have its way, it left the convention, met in another hall, and adopted its resolutions.

The majority of the convention then adjourned to meet at Baltimore, June 18. 1860.  As it was then apparent that Douglas would be nominated, another split occurred, and the few Southern men attending, together with some Northern delegates, withdrew.  Those who remained nominated Stephen A. Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson.

The second group of seceders met in Baltimore, adopted the platform of the first group of seceders from the Charleston convention, and nominated John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon.

[Illustration:  A Lincoln]

%401.  The Constitutional Union Party.%—­Meanwhile (May 9) another party, calling itself the National Constitutional Union party, met at Baltimore.  These men were the remnants of the old Whig and American or Know-nothing parties.  They nominated John Bell, of Tennessee, and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, and declared for “the Constitution of the country, the union of the states, and the enforcement of the laws.”

%402.  Election of Lincoln.%—­The Republican party met in convention at Chicago on May 16, and nominated Abraham Lincoln, and Hannibal Hamlin of Maine.  It

1.  Repudiated the principles of the Dred Scott decision.

2.  Demanded the admission of Kansas as a free state.

3.  Denied all sympathy with any kind of interference with slavery in the states.

4.  Insisted that the territories must be kept free.

5.  Called for a railroad to the Pacific, and a homestead law.

The election took place in November, 1860.  Of 303 electoral votes cast,
Lincoln received 180; Breckinridge, 72; Bell, 39; and Douglas, 12.


1.  The Compromise of 1850 did not settle the question of slavery in the territories, and an attempt to organize Kansas and Nebraska brought it up again.

2.  In the organization of these territories a new political doctrine, “popular sovereignty,” was announced.

3.  This was applied in Kansas, and the struggle for Kansas began.  The first territorial government was proslavery.  The antislavery men then made a constitution (Topeka) and formed a free state government.  Thereupon the proslavery men formed a constitution (Lecompton) for a slave state.  This was submitted to Congress and rejected, and Kansas remained a territory till 1861.

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4.  In the course of the struggle for free soil in Kansas the Whig party went to pieces, the Democratic was split into two wings, and the Know-nothing or Native American party and the Republican party arose.

5.  The Republican party was defeated in 1856, but the Dred Scott decision in 1857 and the continued struggle in Kansas forced the question of slavery to the front, and in 1860 Lincoln was elected.

[Illustration:  ]



[Illustration:  Chicago in 1832]

%403.  The Movement of Population.%—­The twenty years which elapsed between the election of Harrison, in 1840, and the election of Lincoln, in 1860, had seen a most astonishing change in our country.  In 1840 neither Texas, nor the immense region afterwards acquired from Mexico, belonged to us.  There were then but twenty-six states and five territories, inhabited by 17,000,000 people, of whom but 876,000 lived west of the Mississippi River, mostly close to the river bank in Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  The great Northwest was still a wilderness, and many a city now familiar to us had no existence.  Toledo and Milwaukee and Indianapolis had each less than 3000 inhabitants; Chicago had less than 5000; and Cleveland, Columbus, and Detroit, each less than 10,000.  Yet the rapid growth of cities had been one of the characteristics of the period 1830 to 1840.

The effect of new mechanical appliances on the movement of population was amazing.  The day when emigrants settled along the banks of streams, pushed their boats up the rivers by means of poles, carried their goods on the backs of pack horses, and floated their produce in Kentucky broadhorns down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans, was fast disappearing.  The steamboat, the canal, the railroad, had opened new possibilities.  Land once valueless as too far from market suddenly became valuable.  Men grew loath to live in a wilderness; the rush of emigrants across the Mississippi was checked.  The region between the Alleghanies and the great river began to fill up rapidly.  During the twenty years, 1821 to 1841, but two states, Arkansas (1836) and Michigan (1837), were admitted to the Union, and but three new territories, Florida (1822-23), Wisconsin (1836), and Iowa (1838), were established.

So few people went west from the Atlantic seaboard states that in each one of them except Maine and Georgia population increased more rapidly than it had ever done for forty years.  From the Mississippi valley states, however, numbers of people went to Wisconsin and Iowa.

In consequence of this, Iowa was admitted to the Union in 1846, and Wisconsin in 1848.  Minnesota and Oregon were made territories.  Florida and Texas had been admitted in 1845, and the number of states was thus raised to thirty before 1850.  The population of the country in 1850 was 23,000,000.  Two states in the Mississippi valley now had each of them more than a million of inhabitants.

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%404.  The First States on the Pacific.%—­Until 1840 the people had moved westward steadily.  Each state as it was settled had touched some other east, or north, or south of it.  After 1840 people, attracted by the rich farming land and pleasant climate of Oregon, and after 1848 by the gold mines of California, rushed across the plains to the Pacific, and between 1850 and 1860 built up the states of California and Oregon (1859), and the territory of Washington (1853).  Minnesota was admitted in 1858.  The population of the United States in 1860 was 31,000,000.


%405.  Immigration to the United States since 1820.%—­The people whose movements across our continent we have been following were chiefly natives of the United States.  But we have reached the time when foreigners began to arrive by hundreds of thousands every year.  From the close of the Revolution to 1820, it is thought not more than 250,000 of the Old World people came to us.  But the hard times in Europe, which followed the disbanding of the great armies which had been fighting France and Napoleon from 1789 to 1815, started a general movement.  Beginning at 10,000, in 1820, more and more came every year till, in 1842, 100,000 people—­men, women, and children—­landed on our shore.  This was the greatest number that had ever come in one year.  But it was surpassed in 1846, when the potato famine in Ireland, and again in 1853, when hard times in Germany, and another famine in Ireland, sent over two immense streams of emigrants.  In 1854 no less than 428,000 persons came from the Old World; more than ever came again in one year till 1872.

%406.  Modern Conveniences.%—­When we compare the daily life of the people in 1850 with that of the men of 1825, the contrast is most striking.  The cities had increased in number, grown in size, and greatly changed in appearance.  The older ones seemed less like villages.  Their streets were better paved and lighted.  Omnibuses and street cars were becoming common.  The constable and the night watch had given way to the police department.  Gas and plumbing were in general use.  The free school had become an American institution, and many of the numberless inventions and discoveries which have done so much to increase our happiness, prosperity, and comfort, existed at least in a rude form.

Between 1840 and 1850 nearly 7000 miles of railroad were built, making a total mileage of 9000.  This rapid spread of the railroad, when joined with the steamboats, then to be found on every river and lake within the settled area, made possible an institution which to-day renders invaluable service.

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%407.  Express Companies.%—­In 1839 a young man named W.F.  Harnden began to carry packages, bundles, money, and small boxes between New York and Boston, and thus started the express business.  At first he carried in a couple of carpet bags all the packages intrusted to him, and went by boat from New York to Stonington, Conn., and thence by rail to Boston.  But his business grew so rapidly that in 1840 a rival express was started by P. B. Burke and Alvin Adams.  Their route was from Boston to Springfield, Mass., and thence to New York.  This was the foundation of the present Adams Express Company.  Both companies were so well patronized that in 1841 service was extended to Philadelphia and Albany, and in 1844 to Baltimore and Washington.  Their example was quickly followed by a host of imitators, and soon a dozen express companies were doing business between the great cities.

%408.  Postage Stamps introduced.%—­At that time (1840) three cents was the postage for a local letter which was not delivered by a carrier.  Indeed, there were no letter carriers, and this in large cities was such an inconvenience that private dispatch companies undertook to deliver letters about the city for two cents each; and to accommodate their customers they issued adhesive stamps, which, placed on the letters, insured their delivery.  The loss of business to the government caused by these companies, and the general demand for quicker and cheaper mail service, forced Congress to revise the postal laws in 1845, when an attempt was made to introduce the use of postage stamps by the government.  As the mails (in consequence of the growth of the country and the easy means of transportation) were becoming very heavy, the postmasters in the cities and important towns had already begun to have stamps printed at their own cost.  Their purpose was to save time, for letter postage was frequently (but not always) prepaid.  But instead of fixing a stamp on the envelope (there was no such thing in 1840), the writer sent the letter to the post office and paid the postage in money, whereupon the postmaster stamped the letter “Paid.”  This consumed the time of the postmaster and the letter writer.  But when he could go once to the post office and prepay a hundred letters by buying a hundred stamps, any one of which affixed to a letter was evidence that its postage had been paid, any man who wanted to could save his time.  These stamps the postmasters sold at a little more than the expense of printing.  Thus the postmasters of New York and St. Louis charged one dollar for nine ten-cent or eighteen five-cent stamps.  This increased the price of postage a trifle:  but as the use of the stamps was optional, the burden fell on those willing to bear it, while the convenience was so great that the effort made to have the Post-office Department furnish the stamps and require the people to use them succeeded in 1847.

[Illustration:  St. Louis postage stamp]

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%409.  Mechanical Improvements.%—­No American need be told that his fellow-countrymen are the most ingenious people the world has ever known.  But we do not always remember that it was during this period (1840-1860) that the marvelous inventive genius of the people of the United States began to show itself.  Between the day when the patent office was established, in 1790, and 1840, the number of patents issued was 11,908; but after 1840 the stream poured forth increased in volume nearly every year.  In 1855 there were 2012 issued and reissued; in 1856, 2506; in 1857, 2896; in 1858, 3695; and in 1860, 4778, raising the total number to 43,431.  An examination of these inventions shows that they related to cotton gins and cotton presses; to reapers and mowers; to steam engines; to railroads; to looms; to cooking stoves; to sewing machines, printing presses, boot and shoe machines, rubber goods, floor cloths, and a hundred other things.  Very many of them helped to increase the comfort of man and raise the standard of living.  Three of them, however, have revolutionized the industrial and business world and been of inestimable good to mankind.  They are the sewing machine, the reaper and the electric telegraph.

[Illustration:  The first Howe sewing machine]

%410.  The Sewing Machine.%—­As far back as the year 1834, Walter Hunt made and sold a few sewing machines in New York.  But the man to whose genius, perseverance, and unflinching zeal the world owes the sewing machine, is Elias Howe.  His patent was obtained in 1846, and he then spent four years in poverty and distress trying to convince the world of the utility of his machine.  By 1850 he succeeded not only in interesting the public, but in so arousing the mechanical world that seven rivals (Wheeler and Wilson, Grover and Baker, Wilcox and Gibbs, and Singer) entered the field.  To the combined efforts of them all, we owe one of the most useful inventions of the century.  It has lessened the cost of every kind of clothing; of shoes and boots; of harness; of everything, in short, that can be sewed.  It has given employment to millions of people, and has greatly added to the comfort of every household in the civilized world.

[Illustration:  The Wilson sewing machine of 1850]

%411.  The Harvester.%—­Much the same can be said of the McCormick reaper.  It was invented and patented as early as 1831; but it was hard work to persuade the farmer to use it.  Not a machine was sold till 1841.  During 1841, 1842, 1843, such as were made in the little blacksmith shop near Steel’s Tavern, Virginia, were disposed of with difficulty.  Every effort to induce manufacturers to make the machine was a failure.  Not till McCormick had gone on horseback among the farmers of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and secured written orders for his reapers, did he persuade a firm in Cincinnati to make them.  In 1845, five hundred were manufactured; in 1850, three thousand.  In 1851 McCormick placed one on exhibition at the World’s Fair in London, and astonished the world with its performance.  To-day two hundred thousand are turned out annually, and without them the great grain fields of the middle West and the far West would be impossible.  The harvester has cheapened the cost of bread, and benefited the whole human race.

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%412.  The Telegraph.%—­Think, again, what would be our condition if every telegraph line in the world were suddenly pulled down.  Yet the telegraph, like the reaper and the sewing machine, was introduced slowly.  Samuel F. B. Morse got his patent in 1837; and for seven years, helped by Alfred Vail, he struggled on against poverty.  In 1842 he had but thirty-seven cents in the world.  But perseverance conquers all things; and with thirty thousand dollars, granted by Congress, the first telegraph line in the world was built in 1844 from Baltimore to Washington.  In 1845 New York and Philadelphia were connected; but as wires could not be made to work under water, the messages were received on the New Jersey side of the Hudson and carried to New York by boat.  By 1856 the telegraph was in use in the most populous states.  Some forty companies, but one of which paid dividends, competed for the business.  This was ruinous; and in 1856 a union of Western companies was formed and called the Western Union Telegraph Company.  To-day it has 21,000 offices, sends each year some 58,000,000 messages, receives about $23,000,000, and does seven eighths of all the telegraph business in the United States.

%413.  India Rubber.%—­The same year (1844) which witnessed the introduction of the telegraph saw the perfection of Goodyear’s secret for the vulcanization of India rubber.  In 1820 the first pair of rubber shoes ever seen in the United States were exhibited in Boston.  Two years later a ship from South America brought 500 pairs of rubber shoes.  They were thick, heavy, and ill-shaped; but they sold so rapidly that more were imported, and in 1830 a cargo of raw gum was brought from South America for the purpose of making rubber goods.  With this C. M. Chaffee went to work and succeeded in producing some pieces of cloth spread with rubber.  Supposing the invention to be of great value, a number of factories[1] began to make rubber coats, caps, wagon curtains, of pure rubber without cloth.  But to the horror of the companies the goods melted when hot weather came, and were sent back, emitting so dreadful an odor that they had to be buried.  It was to overcome this and find some means of hardening the gum that Goodyear began his experiments and labored year after year against every sort of discouragement.  Even when the secret of vulcanizing, as it is called, was discovered, five years passed before he was able to conduct the process with absolute certainty.  In 1844, after ten years of labor, he succeeded and gave to the world one of the most useful inventions of the nineteenth century.

[Footnote 1:  At Roxbury, Boston, Framingham, Salem, Lynn, Chelsea, Troy, and Staten Island.]

%414.  The Photograph; the Discovery of Anaesthesia.%—­But there were other inventions and discoveries of almost as great or even greater value to mankind.  In 1840 Dr. John W. Draper so perfected the daguerreotype that it could be used to take pictures of persons and landscapes.  Till then it could be used only to make pictures of buildings and statuary.

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The year 1846 is made yet more memorable by the discovery that whoever inhaled sulphuric ether would become insensible to pain.  The glory of this discovery has been claimed for two men:  Dr. Morton and Dr. Jackson.  Which one is entitled to it cannot be positively decided, though Dr. Morton seems to have the better right to be considered the discoverer.  Before this, however, anaesthesia by nitrous oxide (laughing gas) had been discovered by Dr. Wells of Hartford, Conn., and by Dr. Long of Georgia.

%415.  Communication with Europe; Steamships%.—­Progress was not confined to affairs within our boundary.  Communications with Europe were greatly advanced.  The passage of the steamship Savannah across the Atlantic, partly by steam and partly by sail, in 1819, resulted in nothing practical.  The wood used for fuel left little space for freight.  But when better machinery reduced the time, and coal afforded a less bulky fuel, the passage across the Atlantic by steam became possible, and in 1838 two vessels, the Sirius and the Great Western, made the trip from Liverpool to New York by steam alone.  No sails were used.  This showed what could be done, and in 1839 Samuel Cunard began the great fleet of Atlantic greyhounds by founding the Cunard Line.  Aided by the British government, he drove all competitors from the field, till Congress came to the aid of the Collins Line, whose steamers made the first trip from New York to Liverpool in 1850.  The rivalry between these lines was intense, and each did its best to make short voyages.  In 1851 the average time from Liverpool to New York was eleven days, eight hours, for the Collins Line, and eleven days, twenty-three hours, for the Cunard.  This was considered astonishing; for Liverpool and New York were thus brought as near each other in point of time in 1851 as Boston and Philadelphia were in 1790.

%416.  The Atlantic Cable%.—­But something more astonishing yet was at hand.  In 1854 Mr. Cyrus W. Field of New York was asked to aid in the construction of a submarine cable to join St. Johns with Cape Ray, Newfoundland.  While considering the matter, he became convinced that if a cable could be laid across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, another could be laid across the Atlantic Ocean, and he formed the “New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company” for the purpose of doing so.  The first attempt, made in 1857, and a second in 1858, ended in failure; but a third, in 1858, was successful, and a cable was laid from Valentia Bay in Ireland to Trinity Bay in Newfoundland, a distance of 1700 geographical miles.  For three weeks all went well, and during this time 400 messages were sent; but on September 1, 1858, the cable ceased to work, and eight years passed before another attempt was made to join the Old World and the New.

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%417.  Condition of the Workingman%.—­Every class of society was benefited by these improvements, but no man more so than those who depended on their daily wages for their daily bread.  Though wages increased but little, they were more easily earned and brought richer returns.  Improved means of transportation, cheaper methods of manufacture, enabled every laborer in 1860 to wear better clothes and eat better food than had been worn or consumed by his father in 1830.  New industries, new trades and occupations, new needs in the business world, afforded to his son and daughter opportunities for a livelihood unknown in his youth, while the free school system enabled them to fit themselves to use such opportunities without cost to him.  When our country became independent, and for fifty years afterwards, a working day was from sunrise to sunset, with an hour for breakfast and another for dinner.  After manufactures arose, and mills and factories gave employment to thousands of wage earners, fourteen, fifteen, and even sixteen hours of labor were counted a day.  Protests were early made against this, and demands raised that a working day should be ten hours.  At last, late in the thirties, the ten hours system was adopted in Baltimore, and in 1840, by order of President Van Buren, was put in force at the navy yard in Washington and in “all public establishments” under the Federal government.  Thus established, the system spread slowly, till to-day it exists almost everywhere.  Indeed, in many states, and in all departments of the Federal government, eight hours of work constitute a day.  Thus, by the aid of machinery, not only are articles, formerly expensive, made so cheaply that poor men can afford to use them, but the wage earners who operate the machinery can make these articles so quickly that they to-day earn higher wages for fewer hours of work than ever before in the history of the world.  Not only did wages increase and the hours of labor grow shorter between 1840 and 1860, but the field of labor was enormously expanded.  In 1810, when the first census of manufactures in the United States was taken, the value of goods manufactured was $173,000,000.  In 1860 it was ten times as great, and gave employment to more than 1,000,000 men and women.

%418.  Few Manufactures in the Slave States%.—­From much of the benefit produced by this splendid series of inventions and discoveries, the people of the slave-owning states were shut out.  They raised corn, tobacco, and cotton, and made some sugar; but in them there were very few mills or manufacturing establishments of any sort.  While a great social and industrial revolution was going on in the free states, the people in the slave states remained in 1860 what they were in 1800.  The stream of immigrants from Europe passed the slave states by, carrying their skill, their thrift, their energy, into the Northwest.  The resources of the slave states were boundless, but no free man would go in to develop them.  The soil was fertile, but no free laborer could live on it and compete with slave labor, on which all agriculture, all industry, all prosperity, in the South depended.  The two sections of the country at the end of the period 1840-1860 were thus more unlike than ever.

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1.  Between 1830 and 1850 the rush of population into the West continued, but, instead of moving across the continent, most of the people settled in the states already in existence.

2.  This was due to the effect of such improved means of communication as steamboats, railroads, canals, etc.

3.  As a consequence, but six new states were admitted to the Union in twenty-nine years, and one of them was annexed (Texas).

4.  The period is also noticeable for the number of foreigners who came to our shores.

5.  After 1849 the existence of gold in California brought so many people to the Pacific coast that California became a state in 1850.

6.  As population grew denser, and transportation was facilitated by the expansion of railroads and steamboats and canals, business opportunities were increased, and new markets were created.

7.  Labor-saving and time-saving machines and appliances became more in demand than ever, and a long list of remarkable inventions and business aids appeared.

8.  The South, owing to its own peculiar industrial and labor condition, was little benefited by all these improvements, and remained much the same as in 1800.


The People.

Immigration Causes. 
                  Number of immigrants.

No. of people in 1840. 17,000,000
U. S. 1850. 23,000,000
                  1860. 31,000,000

Movement New States Arkansas, 1836.  Slave. 
Westward ..  Michigan, 1837.  Free. 
                                      Florida, 1845.  Slave. 
                                      Texas, 1845.  Slave. 
                                      Iowa, 1846.  Free. 
                                      Wisconsin, 1848.  Free. 
                                      California, 1850.  Free. 
                                      Minnesota, 1858.  Free. 
                                      Oregon, 1859.  Free.

Territories New Mexico, 1850. 
Utah, 1850. 
Washington, 1853. 
Kansas, 1854. 
Nebraska, 1854.

New Social and Business Conveniences.

Paved streets. 
General use of anthracite. 
Free schools. 
Railroad expansion. 
Postage stamps. 
Ocean steamships.

New Inventions.

   Number of patents. 
   The sewing machine. 
   The harvester. 
   The telegraph. 
   India rubber. 
   Atlantic cable.

The South.

   Little affected by new industrial conditions. 
   Few manufactures. 
   Increase of the cotton area. 
   No immigration.

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WAR FOR THE UNION, 1861-1865

%419.  South Carolina secedes%.—­The only state where in 1860 presidential electors were chosen by the legislature was South Carolina.  When the legislature met for this purpose, November 6, 1860, the governor asked it not to adjourn, but to remain in session till the result of the election was known.  If Lincoln is elected, said he, the “secession of South Carolina from the Union” will be necessary.  Lincoln was elected, and on December 20, 1860, a convention of delegates, called by the legislature to consider the question of secession, formally declared that South Carolina was no longer one of the United States.[1]

[Footnote 1:  “We the people of the state of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain ... that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.”]

%420.  The “Confederate States of America."%—­The meaning of this act of secession was that South Carolina now claimed to be a “sovereign, free, and independent” nation.  But she was not the only state to take this step.  By February 1, 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas had also left the Union.  Three days later, February 4, 1861, delegates from six of these seven states met at Montgomery, Ala., formed a constitution, established a provisional government, which they called the “Confederate States of America,” and elected Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens provisional President and Vice President.

Toward preventing or stopping this, Buchanan did nothing.  No state, he said, had a right to secede.  But a state having seceded, he had no power to make her come back, because he could not make war on a state; that is, he could not preserve the Union.  On one matter, however, he was forced to act.  When South Carolina seceded, the three forts in Charleston harbor—­Castle Pinckney, Fort Sumter, and Fort Moultrie—­were in charge of a major of artillery named Robert Anderson.  He had under him some eighty officers and men, and knowing that he could not hold all three forts, and fearing that the South would seize Fort Sumter, he dismantled Fort Moultrie, spiked the cannon, cut down the flagstaff, and removed to Fort Sumter, on the evening of December 26, 1860.

[Illustration:  CHARLESTON HARBOR]

This act was heartily approved by the people of the North and by Congress, and Buchanan with great reluctance yielded to their demand, and sent the Star of the West, with food and men, to relieve Anderson.  But as the vessel, with our flag at its fore, was steaming up the channel toward Charleston harbor, the Southern batteries fired upon her, and she went back to New York.  Anderson was thus left to his fate, and as Buchanan’s term was nearly out, both sides waited to see what Lincoln would do.

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%421.  Why did the States secede?%—­Why did the Southern slave states secede?  To be fair to them we must seek the answer in the speeches of their leaders.  “Your votes,” said Jefferson Davis, “refuse to recognize our domestic institutions [slavery], which preexisted the formation of the Union, our property [slaves], which was guaranteed by the Constitution.  You refuse us that equality without which we should be degraded if we remained in the Union.  You elect a candidate upon the basis of sectional hostility; one who in his speeches, now thrown broadcast over the country, made a distinct declaration of war upon our institutions.”

“There is,” said Howell Cobb, of Georgia, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, “no other remedy for the existing state of things except immediate secession.”

“Our position,” said the Mississippi secession convention, “is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery.  A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.  There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union.”

Alexander H. Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederacy, asserted that the Personal Liberty laws of some of the free states “constitute the only cause, in my opinion, which can justify secession.”

The South seceded, then, according to its own statements, because the people believed that the election of Lincoln meant the abolition of slavery.

%422.  Compromise attempted%.—­The Republican party in 1861 had no intention of abolishing slavery.  Its purpose was to stop the spread of slavery into the territories, to stop the admission of more slave states, but not to abolish slavery in states where it already existed.  A strong wish therefore existed in the North to compromise the sectional differences.  Many plans for a compromise were offered, but only one, that of Crittenden, of Kentucky, need be mentioned.  He proposed that the Constitution should be so amended as to provide

1.  That all territory of the United States north of 36 deg. 30’ should be free, and all south of it slave soil.

2.  That slaves should be protected as property by all the departments of the territorial government.

3.  That states should be admitted with or without slavery as their constitutions provided, whether the states were north or south of 36 deg. 30’.

4.  That Congress should have no power to shut slavery out of the territories.

5.  That the United States should pay owners for rescued fugitive slaves.

As these propositions recognized the right of property in slaves, that is, put the black man on a level with horses and cattle, the Republicans rejected them, and the attempt to compromise ended in failure.

%423.  A Proposed Thirteenth Amendment%.—­One act of great significance was done.  A proposition to add a thirteenth amendment to the Constitution was submitted to the states.  It read,

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“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said states.”

Even Lincoln approved of this, and two states, Maryland and Ohio, accepted it.  But the issue was at hand.  It was too late to compromise.

%424.  Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President%.—­Lincoln and Hamlin were inaugurated on March 4, 1861, and in his speech from the Capitol steps Lincoln was very careful to state just what he wanted to do.

1.  “I have no purpose,” said he, “directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists.”

2.  “I consider the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take care ... that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states.”

3.  “In doing this there need be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority.”

4.  “The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government and to collect the duties and imposts.”

[Illustration:  Fort Sumter]

%425.  Civil War begins.%—­One of the places Lincoln thus pledged himself to “hold” was Fort Sumter, to which he decided to send men and supplies.  As soon as notice of this intention was sent to Governor Pickens of South Carolina, the Confederate commander at Charleston, General Beauregard (bo-ruh-gar’), demanded the surrender of the fort.  Major Anderson stoutly refused to comply with the demand, and at dawn on the morning of April 12, 1861, the Confederates fired the first gun at Sumter.  During the next thirty-four hours, nineteen batteries poured shot and shell into the fort, which steadily returned the fire.  Then both food and powder were nearly exhausted, and part of the fort being on fire, Anderson surrendered; and on Sunday, April 14, 1861, he marched out, taking with him the tattered flag under which he made so gallant a fight.[1] The fleet sent to his aid arrived in time to see the battle, but did not give him any help.  After the surrender, one of the ships carried Anderson and the garrison to New York.[2]

[Footnote 1:  “Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge walls seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames, and its door closed from the effect of heat, four barrels and three cartridges of powder being available, and no provisions remaining but pork, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by General Beauregard . . . and marched out of the fort on Sunday afternoon, the 14th instant, with colors flying and drums beating . . . and saluting my flag with fifty guns.”—­Major Anderson to the Secretary of War.]

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[Footnote 2:  Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol.  I., pp. 60-73.]

%426.  The Life of the Republic at Stake%.—­Thus was begun the greatest war in modern history.  It was no vulgar struggle for territory, or for maritime or military supremacy.  The life of the Union was at stake.  The questions to be decided were:  Shall there be one or two republics on the soil of the United States?  Shall the great principle of all democratic-republican government, the principle that the will of the majority shall rule, be maintained or abandoned?  Shall state sovereignty be recognized?  Shall states be suffered to leave the Union at will, or shall the United States continue to exist as “an indestructible Union of indestructible States”?  As Mr. Lincoln said, “Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.”

%427.  The South better prepared%.—­For the struggle which was to decide these questions neither side was ready, but the South was better prepared than the North.  The South was united as one man.  The North was divided and full of Southern sympathizers.  She knew not whom to trust.  Officers of the army, officers of the navy, were resigning every day.  The great departments of government at Washington contained many men who furnished information to Southern officials.  Seventeen steam war vessels (two thirds of all that were not laid up or unfit for service) were in foreign parts.  Large quantities of military supplies had been stored in Southern forts.  All the great powers of Europe save Russia were hostile to our republic, and would gladly have seen it rent in twain.  The South, again, had the advantage in that she was to act on the defensive.

[Illustration:  The United States July 1861 Showing the greatest extension of the Southern Confederacy]

%428.  Results of firing on the Flag.%—­Not a man was killed on either side during the bombardment of Sumter.  Yet the battle was a famous one, and led to greater consequences: 

1.  Lincoln at once called for 75,000 militia to serve for three months.

2.  Four “border states,” as they were called, thus forced to choose their side, seceded.  They were Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.

3.  The Congress of the United States was called to meet at Washington, July 4, 1861.

4.  After Virginia seceded, the capital of the Confederacy, at the invitation of the Virginia secession convention, was moved from Montgomery to Richmond, and the Confederate Congress adjourned to meet there July 20, 1861.

%429.  West Virginia.%—­The act of secession by Virginia was promptly repudiated by the people of the counties west of the mountains, who refused to secede, and voted to form a new state under the name of Kanawha.  They adopted a constitution and were finally admitted in 1863 as the state of West Virginia[1].

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[Footnote 1:  A state made out of part of another state cannot be admitted into the Union without the consent of that state first obtained.  But as Congress and the people of West Virginia considered that Virginia consisted of that part of the Old Dominion which remained loyal to the Union, the people practically asked their own consent.]

%430.  The Call to Arms.%—­Lincoln held that no state could ever leave the Union, and that therefore no state had left the Union.  Those which had passed ordinances of secession were to his mind states whose machinery of government had been seized on by persons in insurrection against the government of the United States.  When, therefore, he made his call for 75,000 militia to defend the Union, he apportioned the number among all the states, slave and free, north and south, east and west, according to their population.  Those forming the Confederacy paid no attention to the call.  The governors of the border slave states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri) returned evasive or insulting answers.

But the people of the loyal states responded instantly, and tens of thousands of troops were soon on their way to Washington.  To get there was a hard matter.  Baltimore lay on the most direct railroad route between the Eastern and Middle States and Washington.  But Baltimore was full of disloyal men, who tore up the railroads, burned bridges, cut the telegraph wires, and as the Massachusetts 6th regiment was passing through the city from one railroad station to another, attacked it, killing some and wounding others of its soldiers.  This forced the troops from the other states to go by various routes to Annapolis and then to Washington, so that it was late in April before enough arrived to insure the safety of the city.

Though none of the border and seceded states sent troops, the response of the loyal states to Lincoln’s call was so hearty that more than 75,000 men were furnished.  The President decided to turn this outburst of patriotism to good purpose, and May 3, 1861, asked for 42,034 volunteers for three years unless sooner discharged, and ordered 18,000 seamen to be enlisted, and 22,714 men added to the regular army.  Baltimore was now occupied by Union troops, and communication with Washington through that city was restored and protected.

On July 1, 1861, there were 183,588 “boys in blue” under arms and present for duty.  These were distributed at various places north of the line, 2000 miles long, which divided the North and South.  This line began near Fort Monroe, in Virginia, ran up Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac to the mountains, then across Western Virginia and through Kentucky, Missouri, and Indian Territory to New Mexico.

This line was naturally divided into three parts: 

1.  That in Virginia and along the Potomac.

2.  That occupied by Kentucky, a state which had declared itself neutral.

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3.  That west of the Mississippi.

%431.  The Battle of “Bull Run” or Manassas%.—­General Winfield Scott was in command of the Union army.  Under him, in command of the troops about Washington, was General Irwin McDowell.  Further to the west, near Harpers Ferry, was a Union force under General Patterson.  In western Virginia, with an army raised largely in Ohio, was General George B. McClellan.  In Missouri was General Lyon, aided by all the Union people in the state, who were engaged in a desperate struggle to keep her in the Union.

In northern Virginia and opposed to the Union forces under General McDowell, was a Confederate army under General Beauregard, and these troops the people of the North demanded should be attacked.  “The Confederate Congress must not meet at Richmond!” “On to Richmond!  On to Richmond!” became the cries of the hour.  General McDowell, with 30,000 men, was therefore ordered to attack Beauregard.  McDowell found him near Manassas, some thirty miles southwest of Washington, and there, on the field of “Bull Run,” on Sunday, July 21, 1861, was fought a famous battle which ended with the defeat and flight of the Union army[1].

[Footnote 1:  Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol.  I., pp. 229-239.]

General George B. McClellan, who had defeated the Confederate forces in western Virginia in several battles, was now placed in command of the troops near Washington, and spent the rest of 1861 and part of 1862 in drilling and organizing his army.  Bull Run had taught the people two things:  1.  That the war was not to end in three months; 2.  That an army without discipline is not much better than a mob.

%432.  Fort Donelson and Fort Henry%.—­While McClellan was drilling his men along the Potomac, the Union forces drove back the Confederates in the West.  The Confederate line at first extended as shown by the heavy line on the map on p. 390.  In order to break it, General Buell sent a small force under General Thomas, in January, 1862, to drive back the Confederates near Mill Springs.  Next, in February, General Halleck authorized General U. S. Grant and Flag Officer Foote to make a joint expedition against Fort Henry on the Tennessee.  But Foote arrived first and captured the fort, whereupon Grant marched to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, eleven miles away, and after three days of sharp fighting was asked by General Buckner what terms he would offer.  Grant promptly answered,

[Illustration:  Handwritten note of Grant]

No terms excepting unconditional and
immediate surrender can be accepted. 
I propose to receive immediately upon
your word. 
           I am Sir:  very respectfully
                   your ** **
                      U. S. Grant
                        Brig.  Gen.

Buckner at once surrendered (February 16, 1862), and Grant won the first great Union victory of the war.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol.  I., pp. 398-429; Grant’s Memoirs, Vol.  I., pp. 285-315.]

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%433.  The Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing.%—­After the fall of Fort Donelson, the Confederates, abandoning Columbus and Nashville, hurried south toward Corinth in Mississippi, whither Halleck’s army followed in three parts.  One under General S. E. Curtis moved to southwestern Missouri, and beat the Confederates at Pea Ridge, Ark.  (March 6-8).  The second, under General John Pope, cooeperated with Flag Officer Foote, from the west bank of the Mississippi, in the capture of Island No. 10 (April 7).  Pope then joined Halleck in the movement against Corinth, while the fleet went on down the river, attacked Fort Pillow three times, captured it (June 4), and two days later took Memphis.

Meanwhile the third part of Halleck’s army, under Grant, following the Confederates, had reached Pittsburg Landing, where (April 6) he was suddenly attacked by General A. S. Johnston and driven back.  But General Buell coming up with fresh troops, the battle was resumed the next day (April 7), when Grant regained his lost ground, and the Confederates fell back to Corinth.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol., pp. 465-486.]

[Illustration:  Driving back the Confederate line in the West]

At this point General Henry Halleck arrived and took command, and at the end of May occupied Corinth.  Memphis then fell, and the Mississippi River was opened as far south as Vicksburg.  After the capture of Memphis, Halleck went to Washington to take command of the armies of the United States.

%434.  Bragg’s Raid into Kentucky.%—­The Confederate line which in January, 1862, had passed across Kentucky had thus by June been driven southward to Chattanooga, Iuka, and Holly Springs.  The Union line ran from near Chattanooga to Corinth and Memphis.  Against this the Confederates now moved, with the hope of breaking through and driving it back.  Gathering his forces at Chattanooga, General Bragg rushed across Tennessee and Kentucky toward Louisville.  But General Buell, perceiving his purpose, outmarched him, reached the Ohio, and forced Bragg to fall back.  At Perryville (October 8, 1862), Bragg turned furiously on Buell and was beaten.

%435.  Iuka and Corinth.%—­While Bragg was raiding Kentucky, Generals Price at Iuka and Van Dorn at Holly Springs, knowing that Grant’s army had been greatly weakened by sending troops to Buell, prepared to attack Corinth.  But Grant, thinking he could fight them separately, sent Rosecrans to Iuka (September 19).  Price was not captured, but retreated to Van Dorn, and the two then fell upon Rosecrans at Corinth (October 4), only to be beaten and chased forty miles.

%436.  Murfreesboro.%—­For these successes Rosecrans (October 30) was given command of Buell’s army, then centering at Nashville.  Bragg went into winter quarters at Murfreesboro, and thither Rosecrans advanced to attack him.  The contest at Murfreesboro (December 31, 1862, and January 2, 1863) was one of the most bloody battles of the whole war.  Bragg was again defeated, and retreated to a position farther south.

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%437.  Arkansas%.—­In January, 1862, the Confederate line west of the Mississippi extended from Belmont across southern Missouri to the Indian Territory.  Against the west end of this line General Curtis moved in February, 1862, and after driving the Confederates under Van Dorn and Price out of Missouri, beat them in the desperate battle at Pea Ridge, Arkansas (March 6-8, 1862), and moved to the interior of the state.  Price and Van Dorn went east into Mississippi (see Sec. 435), and when the year closed the Union forces were in control north of the Arkansas River, and along the west bank of the Mississippi.  On the east bank the only fortified positions in Confederate hands were Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, and Port Hudson.

%438.  Farragut captures New Orleans.%—­While Foote was opening the upper part of the Mississippi, a naval expedition under Farragut, supported by an army under Butler, had cleared the lower part of the river.  These forces had been sent by sea to capture New Orleans.  The defenses of the city consisted of two strong forts almost directly opposite each other on the banks of the river, about seventy-five miles south of the city; of two great chain cables stretched across the river below the forts to prevent ships coming up; and of fifteen armed vessels above the forts.  New Orleans was thought to be safe.  But Farragut was not dismayed.  Sailing up the river till he came to the chains, he bombarded the forts for six days and nights, while the forts did their best to destroy him.  Then, finding he could do nothing in this way, he cut the chains, ran his ships past the forts in spite of a dreadful fire (April 24, 1862), destroyed the Confederate fleet (April 25), and took the city.  General Butler, who had been waiting at Ship Island with 15,000 men, then entered and held New Orleans.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Farragut, after taking New Orleans, went up the river and captured Baton Rouge and Natchez.]

%439.  The Peninsular Campaign against Richmond.%—­The signal success of Grant and Farragut in the West was more than offset by the signal failure of McClellan in the East.  The wish of the administration, and indeed of the whole North, was that Richmond should be captured.  Against it, therefore, the Army of the Potomac was to move.  But by what route?  The government wanted McClellan to march south across Virginia, so that his army should always be between the Confederate forces and Washington.  McClellan insisted on moving west from Chesapeake Bay.  The result was a compromise: 

1.  Forces under Fremont and Banks were to operate in the Shenandoah valley and prevent a Confederate force attacking Washington from the west.

2.  An army under McDowell was to march from Fredericksburg to Richmond.

3.  McClellan was to take the main army from Washington by water to Fort Monroe, and then march up the peninsula to Richmond, where McDowell was to join him.

[Illustration:  The Peninsula Campaign]

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This peninsula, from which the campaign gets its name, lies between the York and James rivers.  Landing at the lower end of it, McClellan was met by General Joseph E. Johnston, who caused a long delay by forcing him to besiege Yorktown.  McClellan then advanced up the peninsula, fighting the battle of Williamsburg on the way.  At White House Landing he turned toward Richmond, extending his right flank to Hanover Courthouse, where McDowell was expected to join him.  But this was not to be, for General T. J. Jackson ("Stonewall” Jackson) rushed down the Shenandoah valley, driving Banks over the Potomac into Maryland, and retreated south before Fremont or McDowell could cut him off; during this campaign he won four desperate battles in thirty-five days.  Jackson’s success alarmed Washington, and McDowell was held in northern Virginia.  McClellan’s army, meanwhile, advanced on both sides of the Chickahominy River to within eight miles of Richmond.  At Fair Oaks and Seven Pines (May 31) his left flank was almost overwhelmed by Johnston; but the latter was wounded and his troops defeated.  Johnston was then succeeded by R. E. Lee, who, joined by Jackson, attacked McClellan at Mechanicsville and Games Mill, and forced him to fall back, fighting for six days (June 26 to July 1, 1862)[1] as he retreated to Harrisons Landing, on the James River.  There the army remained till August, when it was recalled to the Potomac.

[Footnote 1:  The “Seven Days’ Battles” are these and one fought June 25.]

%440.  Lee’s Raid into Maryland; Battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg.%—­While the Army of the Potomac was at Harrisons Landing, a new force called the Army of Virginia was organized, and General John Pope placed in command.  At the same time General Halleck was recalled from the West and made general in chief of the Union armies.  Pope intended to move straight against Richmond.  But when McClellan in obedience to orders left Harrisons Landing and took his army by water to the Potomac, near Washington, the Confederate army was left free to act as it pleased.  Seeing his opportunity, Lee moved at once against Pope’s army, whose line stretched along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers to the Shenandoah valley in western Virginia.  Near the Rapidan at Cedar Mountain was General Banks.  He was first attacked and beaten; after which Lee fell upon Pope on the old field of Bull Run, and put the army to flight.  Pope fell back to Washington, where his forces were united with those of McClellan.  Pushing northward, Lee next crossed the Potomac and entered Maryland.  But he was overtaken by McClellan at Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, where, September 17, 1862, a great battle was fought, after which Lee went back to Virginia.

McClellan was now removed and the command of the army given to General Burnside.  He was as reckless as McClellan was cautious, and on December 13 threw his army against the Confederates posted at Fredericksburg Heights and was beaten with dreadful slaughter.  Thus at the end of 1862 Richmond was not captured, and the two armies went into winter quarters with the Rappahannock River between them.

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%441.  Emancipation of the Slaves%.—­More than two years had now passed since South Carolina had seceded, and during this time a great change had taken place in the feeling of the North towards slavery.  When Lincoln was inaugurated, very few people wanted the slaves emancipated.  But two years of bloody fighting had convinced the North that the Union could not exist part slave, part free.  As Lincoln said in his speech at Springfield in 1858, “It must be all one thing, or all the other.”  Seeing that the people now felt as he did, Lincoln, in 1862 (March 6), asked Congress to agree to buy the slaves of the loyal slave states, and urged the members of Congress from those states to advise their constituents to set free their slaves and receive $300 apiece for them.  This they would not do; whereupon he decided to act upon his own authority, and declared all slaves within the lines of the Confederacy to be freemen.

For this he had two good reasons:  1.  So far the war had been one for the preservation of the Union.  By making it a war for union and freedom the North would become more earnest than ever. 2.  The rulers of England, who wanted Southern cotton, were only waiting for a pretext to acknowledge the independence of the South.  If, however, the North engaged in a war for the abolition of slavery, the people of England would not allow the independence of the Confederacy to be acknowledged by their rulers.

The time to make such a declaration was after some victory gained by the Union army.  When McClellan and Lee stood face to face at Antietam, Lincoln therefore “vowed to God” that if Lee were defeated he would issue the proclamation.  Lee was defeated, and, on September 22, 1862, the proclamation came forth declaring that if the Confederate States did not return to their allegiance before January 1, 1863, “all persons held as slaves” within the Confederate lines “shall be then, thenceforth, and forever free.”  The states of course did not return to their allegiance, and on January 1, 1863, a second proclamation was issued setting the slaves free.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Nicolay and Hay’s Life of Lincoln, Vol.  VI., Chaps. 6, 8.]

Now, there are three things in connection with the Emancipation Proclamation which must be understood and remembered: 

1.  Lincoln did not abolish slavery anywhere.  He emancipated or set free the slaves of certain persons engaged in waging war against the United States government.

2.  The Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to any of the loyal slave states,[1] nor to such territory as the Union army had reconquered.[2] In none of these places did it free slaves.

[Footnote 1:  Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri.]

[Footnote 2:  Tennessee, thirteen parishes in Louisiana, and seven counties in Virginia.]

3.  Lincoln freed the slaves by virtue of his power as commander in chief of the army of the United States, “and as a fit and necessary war measure.”

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%442.  The Battle of Gettysburg.%—­After Burnside was defeated at Fredericksburg, in December, 1862, he was removed, and General Hooker put in command of the Army of the Potomac.  Hooker—­“Fighting Joe,” as he was called—­led it against Lee, and (May 1-4, 1863) was beaten at Chancellorsville and fell back.  In June Lee again took the offensive, rushed down the Shenandoah valley to the Potomac, crossed Maryland, and entered Pennsylvania, with the Army of the Potomac in pursuit.  On reaching Maryland, Hooker was removed and General Meade put in command.  The opposing forces met on the hills at Gettysburg, Penn., and there, July 1-3, Lee attacked Meade.  The contest was a dreadful one; no field was ever more stubbornly fought over.  About one fourth of the men engaged were killed or wounded.  But the splendid courage of the Union army prevailed:  Lee was beaten and retired to Virginia, where he remained unmolested till the spring of 1864.  Gettysburg is regarded as the greatest battle of the war, and the Union regiments engaged have taken a just pride in marking the positions they held during the three awful days of slaughter, till the field is dotted all over with beautiful monuments.  On the hill back of the village is a great national cemetery, at the dedication of which Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg address.

[Illustration:  Part of the battlefield of Gettysburg]

%443.  Vicksburg%.—­The day after the victory at Gettysburg, the joy of the North was yet more increased by the news that Vicksburg had surrendered (July 4) to Grant.  After the defeat, of the Confederate forces at Iuka and Corinth in 1862, the Confederate line passed across northern Mississippi, touched the river from Vicksburg to Port Hudson, and then swept off to the Gulf.  As the capture of these river towns would complete the opening of the Mississippi, Grant set out to take Vicksburg.  Failing in a direct advance through Mississippi, Grant sent a strong force down the river from Memphis, and later took command in person.  Vicksburg stands on the top of a bluff which rises steep and straight 200 feet above the river, and had been so fortified that to capture it seemed impossible.  But Grant was determined to open the river.  On the west bank, he cut a canal through a bend, hoping to divert the river and get water passage by the town.  This failed, and he decided to cross below the town and attack from the land.  To aid him in this attempt, Porter ran his gunboats past the town one night in April and carried the army over the river.  Landing on the east bank, Grant won a victory at Port Gibson, and occupied Grand Gulf.  Hearing that Johnston was coming to help Pemberton, Grant pushed in between them, beat Johnston at Jackson, and turning westward, drove Pemberton into Vicksburg, and began a regular siege.  For seven weeks he poured in shot and shell day and night.  To live in houses became impossible, and the women and children took refuge in caves.  Food gave out, and after every kind of misery had been endured till it could be borne no longer, Vicksburg was surrendered on July 4.

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[Illustration:  The Vicksburg Campaign]

Five days later (July 9, 1863), Port Hudson surrendered, and the Mississippi, as Lincoln said, “flowed unvexed to the sea.”  It was open from its source to its mouth, and the Confederacy was cut in two.

%444.  Driving the Confederates eastward; Chickamauga and Chattanooga%.—­While Grant was besieging Vicksburg, Rosecrans by skillful work forced Bragg to retreat from his position south of Murfreesboro; then in a second campaign he forced Bragg to leave Chattanooga and retire into northwestern Georgia.  Bragg here received more troops, and attacked Rosecrans in the Chickamauga valley (September 19 and 20, 1863), where was fought one of the most desperate battles of the war.  So fierce was the onset of the Confederates that the Union right wing was driven from the field.  But the left wing, under General George H. Thomas, a grand character and a splendid officer, by some of the best fighting ever seen held the enemy in check and saved the army from rout.  By his firmness Thomas won the name of “the Rock of Chickamauga.”

Rosecrans now went back to Chattanooga.  Bragg followed, and taking position on the hills and mountains which surround the town on the east and south, shut in the Union army and besieged it.  For a time it seemed in danger of starvation.  But Hooker was sent from Virginia with more troops; the Army of the Tennessee under Sherman was summoned from Vicksburg; Rosecrans was superseded by Thomas, and Grant was put in command of all.  Then matters changed.  The forces under Thomas, moving from their lines, seized some low hills at the foot of Missionary Ridge, east of Chattanooga (November 23).  On the 24th, Hooker carried the Confederate works on Lookout Mountain, southwest of the city, in a conflict often called the “Battle above the Clouds”; and Sherman was sent against the northern end of Missionary Ridge, but succeeded only in taking an outlying hill.  On the 25th Sherman renewed his attack, but failed to gain the main crest, whereupon Thomas attacked the Ridge in front of Chattanooga, carried the heights, and drove off the enemy.  Bragg retreated to Dalton, in northwestern Georgia, where the command of his army was given to Joseph E. Johnston.

%445.  “Marching through Georgia”; “From Atlanta to the Sea."%—­As the Confederates had thus been driven from the Mississippi River, and forced back to the mountains, they had but two centers of power left.  The one was the army under Lee, which, since the defeat at Gettysburg, had been lying quietly behind the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers, protecting Richmond.  The other was the army at Dalton, Ga., now under J. E. Johnston.

[Illustration:  WAR FOR THE UNION Breaking the Confederate Line]

Early in the spring of 1864 General U.S.  Grant—­“Unconditional Surrender Grant,” as the people called him—­was made lieutenant general (a rank never before given to any United States soldier except Washington and Scott), and put in command of all the Federal armies.  General Sherman was left in command of the military division of the Mississippi.

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Before beginning the campaign, Grant and Sherman agreed on a plan.  Grant, with the Army of the Potomac, was to drive back Lee and take Richmond.  Sherman, with the armies of Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield, was to attack Johnston and push his way into Georgia.  Each was to begin his movement on the same day (May 4, 1864).

On that day, accordingly, Sherman with 98,000 men marched against Johnston, flanked him out of Dalton, and step by step through the mountains to Atlanta, fighting all the way.  Johnston’s retreat was masterly.  He intended to retreat until Sherman’s army was so weakened by leaving guards in the rear to protect the railroads, over which food and supplies must come, that he could fight on equal terms.  But Jefferson Davis removed Johnston at Atlanta, and put J. B. Hood in command.

Hood, in July, made three furious attacks, was beaten each time; abandoned Atlanta in September, and soon after started northwestward, in hope of drawing Sherman out of Georgia.  But Sherman sent Thomas and a part of the army to Tennessee, and after following Hood for a time, he returned to Atlanta, tearing up the railroads as he went.  Then, having partly burned the town, in November he started for the sea with 60,000 of his best veterans.


The troops went in four columns, covering a belt of sixty miles wide, burning bridges, tearing up railroads, living on the country as they marched.  Early in December the army drew near to Savannah; about the middle of the month (December 13) Fort McAllister was taken; and a few days later the city of Savannah was occupied.  During all this long march to the sea, nothing was known in the North as to where Sherman was or what he was doing.  Fancy the delight of Lincoln, then, when on the Christmas eve of 1864, he received this telegram: 

SAVANNAH, Georgia, December 22, 1864.


I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition; also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.


Sherman had sent the message by vessel to Fort Monroe, whence it was telegraphed to Lincoln.

%446.  Sherman marches northward.%—­At Savannah the army rested for a month.  Sherman tells us in his Memoirs that the troops grew impatient at this delay, and used to call out to him as he rode by:  “Uncle Billy, I guess Grant is waiting for us at Richmond.”  So he was; but he did not wait very long, for on February 1, 1865, the march was resumed.  The way was across South Carolina to Columbia, and then into North Carolina, with their old enemy, J. E. Johnston, in their front.  Hood, in a rash moment, had besieged Thomas at Nashville; but Thomas, coming out from behind his intrenchments, utterly destroyed Hood’s army.  This forced Davis to put Johnston in command of a new army made up of troops taken from the seaport garrisons and remnants of Hood’s army.  In March, Sherman reached Goldsboro in North Carolina.

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%447.  Grant in Virginia.%—­Meantime Grant had set out from Culpeper Courthouse on May 4, 1864, crossed the Rapidan, and entered the “Wilderness,” a name given to a tract of country covered with dense woods of oak and pine and thick undergrowth.  The fighting was almost incessant.  The loss of life was frightful; but he pushed on to Spottsylvania Courthouse, and thence to Cold Harbor, part of the line of fortifications before Richmond.  He would, as he said, “fight it out on this line if it takes all summer,” and went south of Richmond and besieged Petersburg.

%448.  Early’s Raid, 1864.%—­Lee now sent Jubal Early with 20,000 soldiers to move down the Shenandoah valley, enter Maryland, and threaten Washington.  This he did, and after coming up to the fortifications of the city, he retreated to Virginia.  A little later, Early sent his cavalry into Pennsylvania and burned Chambersburg.

Grant thought it was time to stop this, and sent Sheridan with an army to drive Early out of the Shenandoah valley.  “It is desirable,” said Grant, “that nothing should be left to invite the enemy to return.”

Sheridan set out accordingly, and on September 19 he met Early in battle at Winchester, and a few days later at Fishers Hill, beat him at both places, and sent him whirling up the valley.  Sheridan followed for a time, and then brought his army back to Cedar Creek, after burning barns, destroying crops, and devastating the entire upper valley.

%449.  Sheridan’s Ride.%—­And now occurred a famous incident.  About the middle of October Sheridan went to Washington, and while on his way back slept on the night of October 18 at Winchester.  At 7 A.M. on the 19th he heard guns, but paid no attention to the sounds till 9 o’clock, when, as he rode quietly out of Winchester, he met a mile from town wagon trains and fugitives, and heard that Early had surprised his camp at daylight.  Dashing up the pike with an escort of twenty men, calling to the fugitives as he passed them to turn and face the enemy, he met the army drawn up in line eleven miles from Winchester.  “Far away in the rear,” says an old soldier, “we heard cheer after cheer.  Were reinforcements coming?  Yes, Phil Sheridan was coming, and he was a host.”  Dashing down the line, Sheridan shouted, “What troops are these?” “The Sixth Corps,” came back the response from a hundred voices.  “We are all right,” said Sheridan, as he swung his old hat and dashed along the line to the right.  “Never mind, boys, we’ll whip them yet.  We shall sleep in our old quarters to-night.”  And they did.[1] Early was defeated.

[Footnote:1] Read Sheridan’s account in his Personal Memoirs, Vol.  II., pp. 66-92.

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%450.  Surrender of Lee.%—­At the beginning of 1865 the situation of Lee was desperate, and in February, Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, met Lincoln and Secretary Seward on a war vessel in Hampton Roads to discuss terms of peace.  Lincoln demanded three things:  1.  That the Confederate armies be disbanded and the men sent home. 2.  That the Confederate States submit to the rule of Congress. 3.  That slavery be abolished.  These terms were not accepted, and the war went on.  Sherman marched northward through the Carolinas and was reenforced from the coast; every seaport in the Confederacy was soon in Union hands; Sheridan finally dispersed Early’s troops, and joined Grant before Petersburg; and the lines of Grant’s army were drawn closer and closer around Petersburg and Richmond.

Plainly the end was near.  On April 2 Lee announced to Davis that both Petersburg and Richmond must be abandoned at once.  The rams in the James River were immediately blown up, and on the morning of April 3 General Weitzel, hearing from a negro what was going on, entered Richmond and found that Lee was in full retreat.  Grant followed, and on April 9 forced Lee to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, seventy-five miles west of Richmond.  Grant’s treatment of Lee was most generous.  He was not required to give up his sword, nor his officers their side arms, nor his men their horses, which they would need, Grant said, “to work their little farms.”  Each officer was to give his parole not to take up arms against the United States “until properly exchanged”; each regimental commander was to do the same for his men; and, “this done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home.”  Immediately after this surrender 25,000 rations were issued to Lee’s men.

[Illustration:  The house in which Lee and Grant arranged the surrender]

%451.  End of the Confederacy.%—­What little was left of the Confederacy now went rapidly to pieces.  On April 26 Johnston surrendered to Sherman near Raleigh, North Carolina.  A few days later the victorious army started for Richmond, and then went on over battle-scarred Virginia to Washington.  May 10, Jefferson Davis was captured.  When Lee fled from Richmond, Davis hurried to Charlotte, N.C., with his cabinet, his clerks, and such gold and silver coin as was in the Confederate Treasury.  But the surrender of Johnston forced Davis to retreat still farther south, till he reached Irwinsville, Ga., where the Union cavalry overtook him.

%452.  The Grand Army disbands.%—­As this was practically the end of the Confederacy, the great Union army of citizen soldiers, numbering more than 1,000,000 men, was called home from the field and disbanded.  Before these veterans separated, never to meet again with arms in their hands, they were reviewed by the President, Congress, and an immense throng of people who came to Washington from every part of the loyal states to welcome them.  During two days (May 23 and 24, 1865) the soldiers of Grant and Sherman, forming a column thirty miles long, marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and then, with a rapidity and quietness that seems almost incredible, scattered and went back to their farms, to their shops, to the practice of their professions, and to the innumerable occupations of civil life.

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Of the Confederates not one was molested, not a soldier was imprisoned, not a political leader suffered death.  Davis was ordered to be imprisoned at Fort Monroe for two years, but he was soon released on bail, was never brought to trial, and died at New Orleans in 1889.


1.  After the election of Lincoln seven states seceded from the Union, and formed the “Confederate States of America.”

2.  Four other states joined the Confederacy later.

3.  The refusal of the United States to recognize the right to secede led to the refusal to give up Federal forts in Charleston harbor.  The attempt to take Sumter by force led to the appeal to arms.

4.  The line which separated the troops of the two governments ran from Chesapeake Bay, across Virginia, and through Kentucky and Missouri, to New Mexico.

5.  While the Union troops held the Confederates in check on the eastern end of the line, they broke through the line in the West, and, aided by the Union fleet, opened the Mississippi River.

6.  The Confederates were thus driven from the Mississippi and forced back to the mountains of Georgia.  Sherman was sent against them, and in 1864 marched eastward through the heart of the Confederacy to the Atlantic.

7.  Marching north from Savannah, across Georgia and South Carolina, to Goldsboro in North Carolina, he was now in the rear of the Confederate army in Virginia.

8.  Grant, meantime, with the Army of the Potomac, had fought a series of battles with Lee, and had besieged Richmond and Petersburg; and Sheridan had cleared out the Shenandoah valley.

9.  Lee was thus forced, early in 1865, to leave Richmond, and while retreating westward he was forced to surrender.

--------- The South The North The cotton states secede.  Attempts to compromise.  The Confederacy formed.  Buchanan’s attitude.  A constitution adopted.  The Crittenden Compromise.  Unites States property seized.  A Thirteenth Amendment proposed. ------------------------------------------------------------
----- | | ------------------------------------------ | ------------------------------------------ Buchanan attempts to provision Fort Sumter Star of the West fired on. ------------------------------------------ | ------------------- Lincoln inaugurated. ------------------- | ------------------------------------------ Lincoln attempts to provision Fort Sumter The fort bombarded.  The surrender. ------------------------------------------ | ------------------------------------------------------------
---------- Arkansas, North Carolina, The call to arms.  Virginia, and Tennessee secede.  The march to Washington

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Richmond made the capital Fight in the streets of of the Confederacy.  Baltimore. -
----------------------------------------------------------------- | | ----------------------------------------- | ------------------ The war opens ------------------- | ------------------------------------------------------------
----- Fighting in the West. Fighting along the Potomac and in Virginia 1861-1862. Breaking the 1861. The attempt to take Richmond.  Confederate line.  Battle of Bull Run. ------------------------------------------------------------

1.  Line broken at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and driven out of Kentucky and West Tennessee.

2.  Driven out of Missouri and North Arkansas.

3.  New Orleans taken.

4.  Mississippi River nearly open.

1863. 1.  Vicksburg and Port Hudson taken, and Mississippi River open to the Gulf.

2.  The Confederacy cut in two.

3.  Arkansas and East Tennessee recovered.

1864.  Driving the Confederate line eastward.

1.  Sherman’s march to Atlanta; to the sea.

2.  The Confederacy again cut in two.

1865.  Driving the Confederate line northward.

1.  Sherman marches northward from Savannah to Goldsboro.

2.  Surrender of Johnston to Sherman.

1862 The attempt on Richmond renewed.
------------------------  ------------------------  --------------------------
1.  Fremont and Banks to   2.  McDowell to move from  3.  McClellan to move up
hold the Shenandoah       Fredericksburg.            Peninsula from Fort
valley.                ------------+-----------     Monroe.
------------+-----------              |             -------------+------------
|             ------------+-----------               |
------------+-----------  Jackson’s success in the  -------------+------------
Defeated by Jackson.       Shenandoah valley leads    McClellan, left without
------------------------  to recall of McDowell.     support of McDowell,
-------------------------- is defeated, changes base
to James River, and in
August is recalled north.
------------------ Removal of McClellan’s army leaves Lee free to act.  He attacks Pope and defeats him on old field of Bull Run.  After defeat of Pope, he rushes into Maryland, where, at Antietam, he is defeated, and goes back to Virginia. --------------------------------------+---------------------
----------------- | --------------------------------------+---------------------
----------------- 1.  Union victory at Antietam leads Lincoln to issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. 2.  McClellan relieved of command and Burnside put in his place. 3.  Burnside attacks Lee’s army and is beaten at Fredericksburg.

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----------------- 1863. 1.  Burnside removed and 1864.  Grant in command.  Hooker in command. 1.  The Wilderness and other battles. 2.  Hooker defeated at Chancellorsville. 2.  Early sent into the Shenandoah 3.  Lee runs past and enters Pennsylvania. valley, where Sheridan defeats him. 4.  Meade put in command.  Battle of 1865.  Richmond taken.  Gettysburg. 1.  Lee evacuates the city. 5.  Lee beaten and goes back to Virginia. 2.  Surrenders to Grant. 6.  The turning-point of the war. ------------------+----------------- | ------------------------------------------------------------
---------- %END OF THE WAR.%



%453.  State of our Navy in 1861.%—­On the day our flag went down at Sumter, the navy of the United States consisted of ninety vessels of every sort.  Fifty of these were sailing ships.  Forty were propelled by steam.  Of the steam fleet one was on the Lakes, five were unserviceable, seventeen were in foreign parts, and nine laid up in navy yards and out of service.  Eight steam vessels (one a mere tender) and five sailing vessels (a fleet of thirteen) made up the naval force of the United States that was available for actual service on April 15, 1861.

%454.  The Work before the Navy.%—­The duty of the navy was to

1.  Blockade the coast from Norfolk in Virginia to the Bio Grande in Texas.

2.  Capture the seaports and forts scattered along this coast.

3.  Acquire control of the sounds and bays, as Chesapeake, Albemarle, Pamlico, Mobile, and Galveston.

4.  Assist the army in opening the Mississippi, Arkansas, and other rivers.

5.  Destroy all Confederate cruisers and protect the commerce of the United States.

To accomplish this great work, most of the vessels abroad were recalled (a slow process in days when no ocean cable existed), more were hastily built, and in time 400 merchantmen and river steamboats were bought and roughly adapted at the navy yards for war service.

%455. %The Blockade of the Southern Coast.%—­The war on sea was opened (April 19-27,1861) by two proclamations of Lincoln declaring the coast from Virginia to Texas blockaded.  This meant that armed vessels were to be stationed off the seaports of the South, and that no ships from any country were to be allowed to go into or out of them.  To stop trade with the South was important for three reasons: 

1.  The South had no ships, no great gun factories, machine shops, or rolling mills, and must look to foreign countries for military supplies.

2.  The South raised (in 1860) 4,700,000 bales of cotton, almost all of which was sold to England and the North, and if this cotton should be sent abroad, the South could easily buy with it all the guns, ships, and goods she needed.

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3.  England was dependent on the South for raw cotton, and would sell for it everything the South wanted in exchange.

The blockade, therefore, was to cut off the trade and supplies of the South, and so weaken her.  But as England, a great commercial nation, wanted her cotton, it was certain that unless the blockade were rigorous and close, cotton would be smuggled out and supplies sent in.

%456.  Blockade Runners%.—­This is just what did happen.  The blockade in the course of a year was made close, by ships stationed off the ports, sounds, and harbors.  In some places the hulks of old whalers were loaded with stone and sunk in the channels, and to get in or out became more difficult.  As a result the price of cotton fell to eight cents a pound in the South (because there was nobody to buy it) and rose to fifty cents a pound in England (because so little was to be had).  Then “running the blockade” became a regular business.  Goods of all sorts were brought from England to Nassau in the West Indies, where they would be put on board of vessels built to run the blockade.  These blockade runners were long, low steam vessels which drew only a few feet of water and had great speed.  Their hulls were but a few feet out of water and were painted a dull gray.  Their smokestacks could be lowered to the deck, and they burned anthracite coal, which made no smoke.  They would leave Nassau at such a time as would enable them to be off Wilmington, N.C., or some other Southern port, on a moonless night with a high tide, and then, making a dash, would run through the blockading vessels.  Once in port, they would take a cargo of cotton, and would run out on a dark night or during a storm.  During the war, 1504 vessels of all kinds were captured or destroyed.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read T. E. Taylor’s Running the Blockade, pp. 16-32, 44-54.]

%457.  The Commerce Destroyers.%—­While the North was thus busy destroying the trade of the South, the South was busy destroying the enormous trade of the North.  When the war opened, our merchant ships were to be seen in every port of the world, and against these were sent a class of armed vessels known as “commerce destroyers,” whose business it was to cruise along the great highways of ocean commerce, keep a sharp lookout for our merchantmen, and burn all they could find.  The first of these commerce destroyers to get to sea was the Sumter, which ran the blockade at the mouth of the Mississippi in June, 1861, and within a week had taken seven merchantmen.  So important was it to capture her that seven cruisers were sent in pursuit.  But she escaped them all till January, 1862, when she was shut up in the port of Gibraltar and was sold to prevent capture.

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%458.  The Trent Affair, 1861.%—­One of the vessels sent in pursuit of the Sumter was the San Jacinto, commanded by Captain Wilkes.  While at Havana, he heard that two commissioners of the Confederate government, James M. Mason and John Slidell, sent out as commissioners to Great Britain and France, were to sail for England in the British mail steamer Trent; and, deciding to capture them, he took his station in the Bermuda Channel, and (November 8, 1861) as the Trent came steaming along, he stopped and boarded her, and carried off Mason and Slidell and their secretaries.  This he had no right to do.  It was exactly the sort of thing the United States had protested against ever since 1790, and had been one of the causes of war with Great Britain in 1812.  The commissioners were therefore released, placed on board another English vessel, and taken to England.  The conduct of Great Britain in this matter was most insulting and warlike, and nothing but the justice of her demand prevented war.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Harris’s The Trent Affair.]

%459.  The Famous Cruisers Florida, Alabama, Shenandoah.%—­The loss of the Sumter was soon made good by the appearance on the sea of a fleet of commerce destroyers all built and purchased in England with the full knowledge of the English government.  The first of these, the Florida, was built at Liverpool, was armed at an uninhabited island in the Bahamas, and after roving the sea for more than a year was captured by the United States cruiser Wachusett in the neutral harbor of Bahia in Brazil.  Her capture was a shameful violation of neutral waters, and it was ordered that she be returned to Brazil; but she was sunk by “an unforeseen accident” in Hampton Roads.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Bullock’s Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe, Vol.  I., pp. 152-224.]

The next to get afloat was the Alabama.  She was built at Liverpool with the knowledge of the English government, and became in time one of the most famous and successful of all the commerce destroyers.  During two years she cruised unharmed in the North Atlantic, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, along the coast of South America, and even in the Indian Ocean, destroying in her career sixty-six merchant vessels.  At last she was found in the harbor of Cherbourg (France) by the Kearsarge, to which Captain Semmes of the Alabama sent a challenge to fight.  Captain Winslow accepted it; and June 19, 1864, after a short and gallant engagement, the Alabama was sunk in the English Channel.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Ibid., Vol.  I., pp. 225-294. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol.  IV., pp. 600-625.]

The Shenandoah, another cruiser, was purchased in England and armed at a barren island near Madeira.  Thence she went to Australia, and cruising northward in the Pacific to Bering Strait, destroyed the China-bound clippers and the whaling fleet.  At last, hearing of the downfall of the Confederacy, she went back to England.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Bullock’s Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe, Vol.  II., pp. 131-163.]

%460.  The Ironclads.%—­To blockade the coast and cut off trade was most important, but not all that was needed.  Here and there were seaports which must be captured and forts which must be destroyed, bays and sounds, and great rivers coming down from the interior, which it was very desirable to secure control of.  The Confederates were fully aware of this, and as soon as they could, placed on the waters of their rivers and harbors vessels new to naval warfare, called ironclad rams.  These were steamboats cut down and made suitable for naval purposes, and then covered over with iron rails or thick iron plates.  The most famous of them was the Merrimac.

[Illustration:  %Remodeling the Merrimac%]

[Illustration:  %The U.S. steamer Merrimac%]

%461.  The Merrimac or Virginia.%—­When Sumter was fired on and the war began, the United States held the great navy yard and naval depot at Portsmouth, Va., where were eleven war vessels of various sorts, and immense quantities of guns and stores and ammunition.  But the officer in charge, knowing that Virginia was about to secede, and fearing that the yard would be seized by the Confederates, sank most of the ships, set fire to the buildings, and abandoned the place.  The Confederates at once took possession, raised the vessels, and out of one of them, a steamer called the Merrimac. made an ironclad ram, which they renamed the Virginia and sent forth to destroy the wooden vessels of the United States then assembled in Chesapeake Bay.

Well knowing that he could not be harmed by any of our war ships, the commander of the Merrimac went leisurely to work and began (March 8, 1862) by attacking the Cumberland.  In her day the Cumberland had been as fine a frigate as ever went to sea; but the days of wooden ships were gone, and she was powerless.  Her shot glanced from the sides of the Merrimac like so many peas, while the new monster, coming on under steam, rammed her in the side and made a great hole through which the water poured.  Even then the commander of the Cumberland would not surrender, but fought his ship till she filled and sank with her guns booming and her flag flying.  After sinking the Cumberland, the Merrimac attacked the Congress, forced her to surrender, set her on fire, and, as darkness was then coming on, went back to the shelter of the Confederate batteries.

[Illustration:  Monitor, side and deck plan]

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%462.  The Monitor.%—­Early the next day the Merrimac sailed forth to finish the work of destruction, and picking out the Minnesota, which was hard and fast in the mud, bore down to attack her.  When lo! from beside the Minnesota started forth the most curious-looking craft ever seen on water.  It was the famous Monitor, designed by Captain John Ericsson, to whose inventive genius we owe the screw propeller and the hot-air engine.  She consisted of a small iron hull, on top of which rested a boat-shaped raft covered with sheets of iron which made the deck.  On top of the deck, which was about three feet above the water, was an iron cylinder, or turret, which revolved by machinery and carried two guns.  She looked, it was said, like “a cheesebox mounted on a raft.”

[Illustration:  HAMPTON ROADS]

The Monitor was built at New York, and was intended for harbor defense; but the fact that the Confederates were building a great ironclad at Norfolk made it necessary to send her to Hampton Roads.  The sea voyage was a dreadful one; again and again she was almost wrecked, but she weathered the storm, and early on the evening of March 8, 1862, entered Hampton Roads, to see the waters lighted up by the burning Congress and to hear of the sinking of the Cumberland.  Taking her place beside the Minnesota, she waited for the dawn, and about eight o’clock saw the Merrimac coming toward her, and, starting out, began the greatest naval battle of modern times.  When it ended, neither ship was disabled; but they were the masters of the seas, for it was now proved that no wooden ships anywhere afloat could harm them.  The days of wooden naval vessels were over, and all the nations of the world were forced to build their navies anew.  The Merrimac withdrew from the fight; when the Confederates evacuated Norfolk, they destroyed her (May, 1862).  The Monitor sank in a storm at sea while going to Beaufort, N.C. (January, 1863).[1]

[Footnote 1:  Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol.  I., pp. 719-750.]

[Illustration:  %An encounter at close range%]

%463.  Capture of the Coast Forts and Waterways.%—­Operations along the coast were begun in August, 1861, by the capture of the forts at the mouth of Hatteras Inlet, N.C., the entrance to Pamlico Sound; and by the capture of Port Royal in November.  A few months later (early in 1862) control of Pamlico and Albemarle sounds was secured by the capture of Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City, and Newbern, all in North Carolina, and of Fort Macon, which guarded the entrance to Beaufort harbor.  McClellan’s capture of Yorktown in May, 1862, was soon followed by the hasty evacuation of Norfolk by the Confederate forces, so that at the end of the first year of the war most of the seacoast from Norfolk to the Gulf was in Union hands.

Along the Gulf coast naval operations resulted in opening the lower Mississippi and capturing New Orleans in April, and Pensacola in May, 1862.

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In April, 1863, a naval attack on Charleston was planned, but was carried no farther than a severe battering of Fort Sumter.  In August, 1864, Admiral Farragut led his fleet past Forts Morgan and Gaines, that guarded the entrance of Mobile Bay, captured the Confederate fleet and took the forts.  Mobile, however, was not taken till April, 1865, just as the Confederacy reached its end.  Fort Fisher, which commanded the entrance to Cape Fear River, on which stood Wilmington, the great port of entry for blockade runners, fell before the attack of a combined land and naval force in January, 1865.


1.  The naval operations of the war opened with the blockade of the coast of the Confederate States.

2.  This was necessary in order to prevent cotton, sugar, and tobacco being sent abroad in return for materials of war.

3.  As a result blockade running was carried on to a great extent.

4.  In order to destroy our commerce a fleet of cruisers was built in England, purchased and manned by the Confederate government.  They inflicted very serious damage.

5.  But the great event of the war was the battle between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac, which marked the advent of the iron-armored war ship.



%464.  The Cost in Money.%—­When Fort Sumter was fired on in 1861 and Lincoln made his call for volunteers, the national debt was $90,000,000, the annual revenue was $41,000,000, and the annual expenses of the government $68,000,000.  As the expenses were vastly increased by the outbreak of war, it became necessary to get more money.  To do this, Congress, when it met in July, 1861, began a financial policy which must be described if we are to understand the later history of our country.

%465.  Power to raise Money.%—­The Constitution gives Congress power

1.  “To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.”

2.  “To borrow money on the credit of the United States.”

3.  To apportion direct taxes among the several states according to their population.

%466.  Raising Money by Taxation; Internal Revenue.%—­Exercising these powers, Congress in 1861 increased the duties on articles imported, laid a direct tax of $20,000,000. and imposed a tax of three per cent on all incomes over $800.  The returns were large, but they fell far short of the needs of the government, and in 1862 an internal revenue system was created.  Taxes were now imposed on spirits and malt liquors; on manufactured tobacco; on trades, professions, and occupations; till almost everything a man ate, drank, wore, bought, sold, or owned was taxed.  The revenue collected from such sources between 1862 and 1865 was $780,000,000.

%467.  Raising Money “on the Credit of the United States."%—­Money raised by internal revenue and the tariff was largely used to pay current expenses and the interest on the national debt.  The great war expenses were met by borrowing money in two ways: 

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1.  By selling bonds.

2.  By issuing “United States notes.”

%468.  The Bonded and Interest-paying Debt.%—­The bonds were obligations by which the government bound itself to pay the holder the sum of money specified in the bond at the end of a certain period of years, as twenty or thirty or forty.  Meantime the holder was to be paid interest at the rate of five, six, or seven per cent a year.  Between July 1, 1861, and August 31, 1865, when our national debt was greatest, $1,109,000,000 worth of bonds had been sold to the people and the money used for war purposes.

%469.  United States Notes.%—­The United States notes were of two kinds:  those which bore interest, and those which did not.  Those bearing interest passed under various names, and by 1866 amounted to $577,000,000.

United States notes bearing no interest were the “old demand notes,” the “greenbacks,” the “fractional currency,” and the “national bank notes.”

The greenbacks (a name given them from the green color of their backs) were authorized early in 1862, were in denominations from $1 up, bore no interest, were legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, except duties on imports and interest on the public debt.  In time $450,000,000 were authorized to be issued, and in 1864, $449,000,000 were in circulation.

%470.  Fractional Currency.%—­The issue of the demand notes in 1861, and the fact, apparent to every one, that Congress must keep on issuing paper money, led the state banks to suspend specie payment in December, 1861.  As a consequence, the 3, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent silver pieces (and of course all the gold) disappeared from circulation.  This left the people without small change, and for a time they were forced to pay their car fare and buy their newspapers and make change with postage stamps and “token” pieces of brass and copper, which passed from hand to hand as cents.  Indeed, one act of Congress, in July, 1862, made it lawful to receive postage stamps (in sums under $5) in payment of government dues.  But in March, 1863, another step was taken, and an issue of $50,000,000 in paper fractional currency was authorized.

%471.  The National Banking System.%—­Yet another financial measure to aid the government was the creation of national banks.  In 1863 Congress established the office of “Comptroller of the Currency,” and authorized him to permit the establishment of banking associations.  Each must consist of not less than five persons, must have a certain capital, and must deposit with the Treasury Department at Washington government bonds equal to at least one third of its capital.  The Comptroller was then to issue to each association bank notes not exceeding in value ninety per cent of the face value of the bonds.  It was supposed that the state banks, which then issued $150,000,000 in 7000 kinds of bank notes, would take advantage of the law, become national banks, and use this national money, which would pass all over the country.  This would enable the government to sell the banks $150,000,000 and more of bonds.  But the state banks did not do so till 1865, when a tax of ten per cent was laid on the amount of paper money each state bank issued.  Then, to get rid of the tax, hundreds of them bought bonds and became national banks.

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%472.  The National Debt and State Expenditures.%—­On the 31st of August, 1865, the national debt thus created reached its highest figure, and was in round numbers $2,845,000,000.

Besides the debt incurred by the national government, there were heavy expenditures by the states, and we might say by almost every city and town, amounting to $468,000,000.  But even when the war ended, the outlay on account of the war did not cease.  Each year there was interest to pay on the bonded debt, and pensions to be given to disabled soldiers and sailors, and to the widows and orphans of men killed, and claims for damages of all sorts to be allowed.  Between July 1, 1861, and June 30, 1879, the expenditure of the government growing out of the war amounted to $6,190,000,000.

Many men who served in the army made great personal sacrifices.  They were taken away from some useful employment, from their farms, their trades, their business, or their professions.  What they might have earned or accomplished during the time of service was so much loss.

%473.  The Cost in Human Life.%—­While the war was raging, Lincoln made twelve calls for volunteers, to serve for periods varying from 100 days to three years.  The first was the famous call of April 15, 1861, for 75,000 three-months men; the last was in December, 1864.  When the numbers of soldiers thus summoned from their homes are added, we find that 2,763,670 were wanted and 2,772,408 responded.  This does not mean that 2,770,000 different men were called into service or were ever at any one time under arms.  Some served for three months, others for six months, a year, or three years.  Very often a man would enlist and when his term was out would reenlist.  The largest number in service at any time was in April, 1865.  It was 1,000,516, of whom 650,000 were fit for service.  In 1865, 800,000 were mustered out between April and October.

Of those who gave their lives to preserve the Union, 67,000 were killed in battle, 43,000 died of wounds, and 230,000 of disease and other causes.  In round numbers, 360,000 men gave up their lives in defense of the Union.  How many perished in the Confederate army cannot be stated, but the loss was quite as large as on the Union side; so that it is safe to say that more than 700,000 men were killed in the war.[1]

[Footnote 1:  A table giving the size of the armies and the loss of life will be found in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol.  IV., pp. 767-768.]

%474.  Suffering in the South.%—­The South raised all the cotton, nearly all the rice and tobacco, and one third of the Indian corn grown in our country, and depended on Europe and the North for manufactured goods.  But when the North, in 1861 and 1862, blockaded her ports and cut off these supplies, her distress began.  Brass bells and brass kettles were called for to be melted and cast into cannon, and every sort of fowling piece and old musket was

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pressed into service and sent to the troops in the field.  As money could not be had, treasury notes were issued by the million, to be redeemed “six months after the close of the war.”  Planters were next pledged to loan the government a share of the proceeds of their cotton, receiving bonds in return.  But the blockade was so rigorous that very little cotton could get to Europe.  When this failed, provisions for the army were bought with bonds and with paper money issued by the states.

This steady issue of paper money, with nothing to redeem it, led to its rapid decrease in value.  In 1864 it took $40 in Confederate paper money to buy a yard of calico.  A spool of thread cost $20; a ham, $150; a pound of sugar, $75; and a barrel of flour, $1200.

%475.  Makeshifts.%—­Thrown on their own resources, the Southern people became home manufacturers.  The inner shuck of Indian corn was made into hats.  Knitting became fashionable.  Homespun clothing, dyed with the extract of black-walnut bark or wild indigo or swamp maple or elderberries, was worn by everybody.  Barrels and boxes which had been used for packing salt fish and pork were soaked in water, which was evaporated for the sake of the salt thus extracted.  Rye or wheat roasted and ground became a substitute for coffee, and dried raspberry leaves for tea.

Quite as desperate were the shifts to which the South was put for soldiers.  At first every young man was eager to rush to the front.  But as time passed, and the great armies of the North were formed, it became necessary to force men into the ranks, to “conscript” them; and in 1862 an act of the Confederate Congress made all males from eighteen to thirty-five subject to military duty.  In September, 1862, all men from eighteen to forty-five, and later from sixteen to sixty, were subject to conscription.  The slaves, of course, worked on the fortifications, drove teams, and cooked for the troops.

%476.  Cost to the South%.—­Thus drained of her able-bodied population, the South went rapidly to rack and ruin.  Crops fell off, property fell into decay, business stopped, railroads were ruined because men could not be had to keep them in repair, and because no rails could be obtained.  The loss inflicted by this general and widespread ruin can never be even estimated.  Cotton, houses, property of every sort, was destroyed to prevent capture by the Union forces.  On every battlefield incalculable damage was done to woods, villages, farmhouses, and crops.  Bridges were burned; cities, such as Richmond, Atlanta, Columbia, Charleston, were well-nigh destroyed by fire; thousands of miles of railroad were torn up and ruined.  The loss entailed by the emancipation of the slaves, supposing each negro worth $500, amounts to $2,000,000,000.


1.  When the war opened, and the army and navy were called into the field, Congress proceeded to raise money by three methods:  A. Increasing taxation.  B. Issuing bonds.  C. Issuing paper money.

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2.  Taxation was in three forms:  A. Direct tax.  B. Tariff duties.  C. Internal revenue, which included a vast number of taxes.

3.  Paper money consisted of treasury notes, United States notes (greenbacks), fractional currency.

4.  Besides the cost to the nation, there was the cost to the states, counties, cities, and towns for bounties, and in aid of the war in general; and the cost to individuals.

6.  There is again the cost produced by the war and still being paid as pensions, care of national cemeteries, etc., and interest on the public debt.

6.  The cost in human life was great to both North and South; there was also a destruction of property and business, the money value of which cannot be estimated.




%477.  The Reelection of Lincoln%.—­While the war was still raging, the time came, in 1864, for the nomination of candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency.  The situation was serious.  On the one hand was the Democratic party, denouncing Mr. Lincoln, insisting that the war was a failure, and demanding peace at any price.  On the other hand was a large faction of the Republican party, finding fault with Mr. Lincoln because he was not severe enough, because he had done things they thought the Constitution did not permit him to do, and because he had fixed the conditions on which people in the so-called seceding states might send representatives and senators to Congress.  Between these two was a party made up of Republicans and of war Democrats, who insisted that the Union must be preserved at all costs.  These men held a convention, and dropping the name “Republicans” for the time being, took that of “National Union party,” and renominated Lincoln.  For Vice President they selected Andrew Johnson, a Union man and war Democrat from Tennessee.

The dissatisfied or Radical Republicans held a convention and nominated John C. Fremont and General John Cochrane.  They demanded one term for a President; the confiscation of the land of rebels; the reconstruction of rebellious states by Congress, not by the President; vigorous war measures; and the destruction of slavery forever.

The Democrats nominated General George B. McClellan and George H. Pendleton.  The platform demanded “a cessation of hostilities with a view to a convention of the states,” and described the sacrifice of lives and treasure in behalf of Union as “four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war.”  McClellan, in his letter of acceptance, repudiated both of these sentiments.  The platform called for peace first, and then union if possible.  McClellan said union first, and then peace.  “No peace can be permanent without union.”  The platform said the war was a failure.  McClellan said, “I could not look in the faces of my gallant comrades of the army and navy ... and tell them that their labors and the sacrifice of so many of our slain and wounded brethren had been in vain.”

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The result was never in doubt.  By September Fremont and Cochrane both withdrew, and in November Lincoln and Johnson were elected, and on March 4, 1865, were sworn into office.

%478.  The Murder of Lincoln%.—­By that time the Confederacy was doomed.  Sherman had made his march to the sea; Savannah and Charleston were in Union hands, and Lee hard pressed at Richmond.  April 9 he surrendered, and on April 14, 1865, the fourth anniversary of the evacuation of Fort Sumter, Anderson, now a major general, visited the fort which he had so gallantly defended, and in the presence of the army and navy raised the tattered flag he pulled down in 1861.

That night Lincoln went to Ford’s Theater in Washington, and while he was sitting quietly in his box, an actor named John Wilkes Booth came in and shot him through the head, causing a wound from which the President died early next morning.  His deed done, the assassin leaped from the box to the stage, and shouting, “Sic semper tyrannis” (So be it always to tyrants), the motto of Virginia, made his escape in the confusion of the moment, and mounting a horse, rode away.

The act of Booth was one result of a conspiracy, the details of which were soon discovered and the criminals punished.  Booth was hunted by soldiers and shot in a barn in Virginia.  His accomplices were either hanged or imprisoned for life.[1]

[Footnote 1:  The best account of the murder of Lincoln is given in “Four Lincoln Conspiracies” in the Century Magazine for April, 1896.]

%479.  Andrew Johnson, President.%—­Lincoln had not been many hours dead when Andrew Johnson, as the Constitution provides, took the oath of office and became President of the United States.  Before him lay the most gigantic task ever given to any President.

%480.  Reconstruction.%—­To dispose of the Confederate soldiers and politicians was an easy matter; but to decide what to do with the Confederate states proved most difficult.  Lincoln had always held that they could not secede.  If they could not secede, they had never been out of the Union, and if they had never been out of the Union, they were entitled, as of old, to send senators and representatives to Congress.

[Illustration:  Andrew Johnson]

But whether the states had or had not seceded, the old state governments of 1861, and the relations these governments once held with the Union, were destroyed by the so-called secession, and it was necessary to define some way by which they might be reestablished, or, as it was called, “reconstructed.”

Toward the end of 1863, accordingly, when the Union army had acquired possession of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana, Lincoln issued his “Amnesty Proclamation” and began the work of reconstruction.  He promised, in the first place, that, with certain exceptions, which he mentioned, he would pardon[1] every man who should lay down his arms and swear to support and obey the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation.  He promised, in the second place, that whenever, in any state that had attempted secession, voters equal in number to one tenth of those who in 1860 voted for presidential electors, should take this oath and organize a state government, he would recognize it; that is, he would consider the state “reconstructed,” loyal, and entitled to representation in Congress.

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[Footnote 1:  The Constitution gives the President power to pardon all offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.]

Following out this plan, the people of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana made reconstructed state governments which Lincoln recognized.  But here Congress stepped in, refused to seat the senators from these states, and made a plan of its own, which Lincoln vetoed.

%481.  Johnson’s “My Policy” Plan of Reconstruction.%—­So the matter stood when Lee and Johnston surrendered, when Davis was captured, and the Confederacy fell to pieces.  All the laws enacted by the Confederate Congress at once became null and void.  Taxes were no longer collected; letters were no longer delivered; Confederate money had no longer any value.  Even the state governments ceased to have any authority.  Bands of Union cavalry scoured the country, capturing such governors, political leaders, and prominent men as could be found, and striking terror into others who fled to places of safety.  In the midst of this confusion all civil government ended.  To reestablish it under the Constitution and laws of the United States was, therefore, the first duty of the President, and he began to do so at once.  First he raised the blockade, and opened the ports of the South to trade; then he ordered the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Interior, the Postmaster-general, the Attorney-general, to see that the taxes were collected, that letters were delivered, that the courts of the United States were opened, and the laws enforced in all the Southern States; finally, he placed over each of the unreconstructed states a temporary or provisional governor.  These governors called conventions of delegates elected by such white men as were allowed to vote, and these conventions did four things:  1.  They declared the ordinances of secession null and void. 2.  They repudiated every debt incurred in supporting the Confederacy, and promised never to pay one of them. 3.  They abolished slavery within their own bounds. 4.  They ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery forever in the United States.

%482.  The Thirteenth Amendment%.—­This amendment was sent out to the states by Congress in February, 1865, and was necessary to complete the work begun by the Emancipation Proclamation.  That proclamation merely set free the slaves in certain parts of the country, and left the right to buy more untouched.  Again, certain slave states (Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri) had not seceded, and in them slavery still existed.  In order, therefore, to abolish the institution of slavery in every state in the Union, an amendment to the Constitution was necessary, as many of the states could not be relied on to abolish it within their bounds by their own act.  The amendment was formally proclaimed a part of the Constitution on December 18, 1865.[1]

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[Footnote 1:  Before an amendment proposed by Congress can become a part of the Constitution, it must be accepted or ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of all the states.  In 1865 there were thirty-six states in the Union, and of these, sixteen free, and eleven slave states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, and so made it part of the Constitution.  When an amendment has been ratified by the necessary number of states, the President states the fact in a proclamation.]

%483.  Treatment of the Freedmen in the South%.—­Had the Southern legislatures stopped here, all would have been well.  But they went on, and passed a series of laws concerning vagrants, apprentices, and paupers, which kept the negroes in a state of involuntary servitude, if not in actual slavery.

To the men of the South, who feared that the ignorant negroes would refuse to work, these laws seemed to be necessary.  But by the men of the North they were regarded as signs of a determination on the part of Southern men not to accept the abolition of slavery.  When, therefore, Congress met in December, 1865, the members were very angry because the President had reconstructed the late Confederate states in his own way without consulting Congress, and because these states had made such severe laws against the negroes.

%484.  Congressional Plan of Reconstruction%.—­As soon as the two houses were organized, the President and his work were ignored, the senators and representatives from the eleven states that had seceded were refused seats in Congress, and a series of acts were passed to protect the freedmen.

One of these, enacted in March, 1866, was the “Civil Rights” Bill, which gave negroes all the rights of citizenship and permitted them to sue for any of these rights (when deprived of them) in the United States courts.  This was vetoed; but Congress passed the bill over the veto.  Now, a law enacted by one Congress can, of course, be repealed by another, and lest this should be done, and the freedmen be deprived of their civil rights, Congress (June, 1866) passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and made the ratification of it by the Southern States a condition of readmittance to Congress.

Finally, a Freedmen’s Bureau Bill, ordering the sale of government land to negroes on easy terms, and giving them military protection for their rights, was passed over the President’s veto, just before Congress adjourned.

%485.  The President abuses Congress%.—­During the summer, Johnson made speeches at Western cities, in which, in very coarse language, he abused Congress, calling it a Congress of only part of the states; “a factious, domineering, tyrannical Congress,” “a Congress violent in breaking up the Union.”  These attacks, coupled with the fact that some of the Southern States, encouraged by the President’s conduct, rejected the Fourteenth Amendment, made Congress, when it met in December, 1866, more determined than ever.  By one act it gave negroes the right to vote in the territories and in the District of Columbia.  By another it compelled the President to issue his orders to the army through General Grant, for Congress feared that he would recall the troops stationed in the South to protect the freedmen.  But the two important acts were the “Tenure of Office Act” and “Reconstruction Act” (March 2, 1867).

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%486.  The Reconstruction Act%.—­The Reconstruction Act marked out the ten unreconstructed states (Tennessee had been admitted to Congress in March, 1866) into five districts, with an army officer in command of each, and required the people of each state to make a new constitution giving negroes the right to vote, and send the constitution to Congress.  If Congress accepted it, and if the legislature assembled under it ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, they might send senators and representatives to Congress, and not before.

To these terms six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas) submitted, and in June, 1868, they were readmitted to Congress.  Their ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment made it a part of the Constitution, and in July, 1868, it was declared in force.

%487.  “Tenure of Office Act”; Johnson impeached%—­By this time the quarrel between the President and Congress had reached such a crisis that the Republican, leaders feared he would obstruct the execution of the reconstruction law by removing important officials chiefly responsible for its administration, and putting in their places men who would not enforce it.  To prevent this, Congress, in 1867, passed the “Tenure of Office Act.”  Hitherto a President could remove almost any Federal office holder at pleasure.  Henceforth he could only suspend while the Senate examined into the cause of suspension.  If it approved, the man was removed; if it disapproved, the man was reinstated.  Johnson denied the right of Congress to make such a law, and very soon disobeyed it.

In August, 1867, he asked Secretary of War Stanton to resign, and when the Secretary refused, suspended him and made General Grant temporary Secretary.  All this was legal, but when Congress met, and the Senate disapproved of the suspension, General Grant gave the office back again to Stanton.  Johnson then appointed General Lorenzo Thomas Secretary of War, and ordered him to seize the office.  For this, and for his abusive speeches about Congress, the House of Representatives impeached him, and the Senate tried him “for high crimes and misdemeanors,” but failed by one vote to find him guilty.  Stanton then resigned his office.


1.  In 1864 the Republican party was split, and one part, taking the name of National Union party, renominated Lincoln.  The other or radical wing, which wanted a more vigorous war policy, nominated Fremont and Cochrane.  The Democrats declared the war a failure, demanded peace, and nominated McClellan and Pendleton.

2.  The gradual conquest of the South brought up the question of the relation to the Federal government of a state which had seceded.

3.  Lincoln marked out his own plan of reconstruction in an amnesty proclamation.  Congress thought he had no right to do this, and adopted a plan which Lincoln vetoed.  His death left the question for Johnson to settle.

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4.  Johnson adopted a plan of his own and soon came into conflict with Congress.

5.  Congress began by refusing seats to congressmen from states reconstructed on Johnson’s plan.  It then passed, over Johnson’s veto, a series of bills to protect the freedmen and give them civil rights.

6.  Six states accepted the terms of reconstruction offered, and their senators and representatives were admitted to Congress (1868).

7.  Johnson, in 1866, traveled about the West abusing Congress.  For this, and chiefly for his disregard of the Tenure of Office Act, he was impeached by the House and tried and acquitted by the Senate.

* * * * *


Lincoln’s plan ...

States cannot secede; only some of their people were in insurrection. 
Amnesty proclamation. 
Recognizes Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana. 
Thirteenth Amendment.

Johnson’s plan ...

Provisional governors. 
Ratify Thirteenth Amendment. 
New state constitutions made. 
Congressmen chosen.

Congressional plan ...

Congress refuses them seats. 
Civil Rights Bill. 
Freedmen’s Bureau Bill. 
Tenure of Office Act. 
Reconstruction Act. 
Fourteenth Amendment.

Johnson vs. Congress ...

Vetoes Civil Rights Bill. 
         Freedmen’s Bureau Bill.

Denounces Congress. 
Violates Tenure of Office Act. 


THE NEW WEST (1860-1870)

%488.  Discovery of Gold near Pikes Peak.%—­In the summer of 1858 news reached the Missouri that gold had been found on the eastern slope of the Rockies, and at once a wild rush set in for the foot of Pikes Peak, in what was then Kansas.

[Illustration:  Crossing the plains]

During 1858 a party from the gold mines of Georgia pitched a camp on Cherry Creek and called the place Aurania.  Later, in the winter, they were joined by General Larimer with a party from Leavenworth, Kan., and by them the rude camp at Aurania was renamed Denver, in honor of the governor of Kansas.  In another six months emigrants came pouring in from every point along the frontier.  Some, providing themselves with great white-covered wagons, drawn by horses, oxen, or mules, joined forces for better protection against the Indians, and set out together, making long wagon trains or caravans.  All were accompanied by men fully armed.  Such as could not afford a “prairie schooner,” as the canvas-covered wagon was called, put their worldly goods into handcarts.

By 1859 Denver was a settlement of 1000 people.  They needed supplies, and, to meet this demand, the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell put a daily line of coaches on the road from Leavenworth to Denver.  This means of communication brought so many settlers that by 1860 Denver was a city of frame and brick houses, with two theaters, two newspapers, and a mint for coining gold.

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%489.  The Pony Express; the Overland Stage.%—­By that time, too, the first locomotive had reached the frontier of Kansas.  But between the Missouri and the Pacific there was still a gap of 2000 miles which the settlers demanded should be spanned at once, and it was.  In 1860 the same firm that sent the first stagecoach over the prairie from Leavenworth to Denver, ran a pony express from the Missouri to the Pacific.  Their plan was to start at St. Joseph, Mo., and send the mail on horseback across the continent to San Francisco.  As the speed must be rapid, there must be frequent relays.  Stations were therefore established every twenty-five miles, and at them fresh horses and riders were kept.  Mounted on a spirited Indian pony, the mail carrier would set out from St. Joseph and gallop at breakneck speed to the first relay station, swing himself from his pony, vault into the saddle of another standing ready, and dash on toward the next station.  At every third relay a fresh rider took the mail.  Day and night, in sunshine and storm, over prairie and mountain, the mail carrier pursued his journey alone.  The cost in human life was immense.  The first riders made the journey of 1996 miles in ten days.  Next came the Wells and Fargo Express, and then the Butterfield Overland Stage Company.

%490.  The Union Pacific Railroad; the Land Grant Roads.%—­Meantime the war opened, and an idea often talked of took definite shape.  California had scarcely been admitted, in 1850, when the plan to bind her firmly to the Union by a great railroad, built at national cost, was urged vigorously.  By 1856 the people began to demand it, and in that year the Republican party, and in 1860 both the Republican and Democratic parties, pledged themselves to build one.  The secession of the South, and the presence at Denver of a growing population, made the need imperative, and in 1862 Congress began the work.

Two companies were chartered.  One, the Union Pacific, was to begin at Omaha and build westward.  The other, the Central Pacific, was to begin at Sacramento and build eastward till the two met.  The Union Pacific was to receive from the government a subsidy in bonds of $16,000 for each mile built across the plains, $48,000 for each of 150 miles across the Rocky Mountains, and $32,000 a mile for the rest of the way.  It received all told on its 1033 miles $27,226,000.  The Central Pacific, under like conditions, received for its 883 miles from San Francisco to Ogden $27,850,000.  But the liberality of Congress did not end here.  Each road was also given every odd-numbered section in a strip of public land twenty miles wide along its entire length.

%491.  Land Grants for Railroads and Canals.%—­Grants of land in aid of such improvements were not new.  Between 1827 and 1860 Congress gave away to canals, roads, and railroads 215,000,000 acres.  This magnificent expanse would make seven states as large as Pennsylvania, or three and a half as large as Oregon, and is only 6000 acres less than the total area of the thirteen original states with their present boundaries.

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Although the roads were chartered in 1862, the work of construction was slow at first, and the last rail was not laid till May 10, 1869.

%492.  The Silver Mines; New States and Territories.%—­What the discovery of gold did for California and Denver, silver and the railroad did for the country east of the Sierras.  In 1859 some gold seekers in what was then Utah discovered the rich silver mines on Mt.  Davidson.  Population rushed in, Virginia City sprang into existence, the territory of Nevada was formed in 1861, and in 1864 entered the Union as a state.  In 1861 Colorado was made a territory, and what is now North and South Dakota and the land west of them to the Rocky Mountain divide became the territory of Dakota.  Hardly was this done when gold was found in a gulch on the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri River.  Bannock City, Virginia City, and Helena were laid out almost immediately, and in 1864 Montana was made a territory.  In 1860 and 1862 precious metals were found in what was then eastern Washington; Lewiston, Idaho City, and the old Hudson Bay Company’s post of Fort Boise became thriving towns, and in 1863 the territory of Idaho was formed, with limits including what is now Montana and part of Wyoming.  In 1863 Arizona was cut off from New Mexico, and in 1868 Wyoming was made a territory.

%493.  Population in 1870.%—­Thus in the decade from 1860 to 1870 gold, silver, and the Pacific Railroad gave value to the American Desert, brought two states (Nevada and Nebraska) into the Union, and caused the organization of six new territories.  More than 1,000,000 people then lived along the line of the Union Pacific.  Our total population in 1870 was 38,000,000.


1.  What the discovery of gold did for California in 1849, it did for the “Great American Desert” in 1858.

2.  The consequences were the founding of Denver, the establishment of a stagecoach line from the Missouri to Denver, the pony express to the Pacific; the overland coach; and the Pacific Railroad.

3.  Gold, the railroad, and the silver mines led to the organization of Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and the admission of Nebraska and Nevada into the Union.

4.  Other causes led to the organization of Arizona and Dakota.

New States (1860-1870).

   Kansas, 1861. 
   West Virginia, 1863. 
   Nevada, 1864. 
   Nebraska, 1867. 
   Total number of states in 1870, 37.

New Territories (1860-1870).

   Colorado, 1861. 
   Dakota, 1861. 
   Idaho, 1863. 
   Arizona, 1863. 
   Montana, 1864. 
   Wyoming, 1868.




%494.  New Issues before the People.%—­Five years had now passed since the surrender of Lee, and nine since the firing on Sumter.  During these years the North, aroused and united by the efforts put forth to crush the Confederacy, had entered on a career of prosperity and development greater than ever enjoyed in the past.  With this changed condition came new issues, some growing out of the results of the war, and some out of the development of the country.

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%495.  Amnesty.%—­In the first place, now that the war was over, the people were heartily tired of war issues.  Taking advantage of this, certain political leaders began, about 1870, to demand a “general amnesty” [1] or forgiveness for the rebels, and a stoppage of reconstructive measures by Congress.

[Footnote 1:  In 1863, Lincoln offered “full pardon” to “all persons” except the leaders of the “existing rebellion.”  Johnson, in 1865, again offered amnesty, but increased the classes of excepted persons; and, though in the autumn of 1867 he cut down the list, he nevertheless left a great many men unpardoned.]

%496.  The National Finances.%—­A second issue resulting from the war was the management of the national finances.  January 1, 1866, the national debt amounted to $2,740,000,000, including (1) the bonded debt of $1,120,000,000, and (2) the unbonded or floating debt of $1,620,000,000, that part made up of “greenbacks,” fractional currency, treasury notes, and the like.  Two problems were thus brought before the people: 

1.  What shall be done with the national bonded debt?

2.  How shall the paper money be disposed of and “specie payment” resumed?

As to the first question, it was decided to pay the bonds as fast as possible; and by 1873 the debt was reduced by more than $500,000,000.

As to the second question, it was decided to “contract the currency” by gathering into the Treasury and there canceling the “greenbacks.”  This was begun, and their amount was reduced from $449,000,000 in 1864 to $356,000,000 in 1868.

By that time a large part of the people in the West were finding fault with “contraction.”  Calling in the greenbacks, they held, was making money scarce and lowering prices.  Congress, therefore, in 1868 yielded to the pressure, and ordered that further contraction should stop and that there should not be less than $356,000,000 of greenbacks.

%497.  “The Ohio Idea”; the Greenback Party.%—­But there was still another idea current.  To understand this, six facts must be remembered. 1.  In 1862 Congress ordered the issue of certain 5-20 bonds; that is, bonds that might be paid after five years, but must be paid in twenty years. 2.  The interest on these bonds was made payable “in coin.” 3.  But nothing was said in the bond as to the kind of money in which the principal should be paid. 4.  When the greenbacks were issued, the law said they should be “lawful money and a legal tender for all debts, public and private, within the United States, except duties on imports and interest as aforesaid.” 5.  This made it possible to pay the principal of the 5-20 bonds in greenbacks instead of coin. 6.  Fearing that payment of the principal in greenbacks might have a bad effect on future loans, Congress, when it passed the next act (March 3, 1863) for borrowing money, provided that both principal and interest should be paid in coin.

At that time and long after the war “coin” commanded a premium; that is, it took more than 100 cents in paper money to buy 100 cents in gold.  Anybody who owned a bond could therefore sell the coin he received as interest for paper and so increase the rate of interest measured in paper money.  The bonds, again, could not be taxed by any state or municipality.

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Because of these facts, there arose a demand after the war for two things—­taxation of the bonds and payment of the 5-20’s in greenbacks.  This idea was so prevalent in Ohio in 1868 that it was called the “Ohio idea,” and its supporters were called “Greenbackers.”

%498.  Opposition to Land Grants to Railroads.%—­Much fault was now found with Congress for giving away such great tracts of the public domain.  In 1862 a law known as the Homestead Act was passed.  By it a farm of 80 or 160 acres was to be given to any head of a family, or any person twenty-one years old, who was a citizen of the United States or, being foreign born, had declared an intention to become a citizen, provided he or she lived on the farm and cultivated it for five years.  Under this great and generous law 103,000 entries for 12,000,000 acres were made between 1863 and 1870.  This showed that the people wanted land and was one reason why it should not be given to corporations.

%499.  The Election of 1868.%—­The questions discussed above (pp. 437-439) became the political issues of 1868.

The Republicans nominated Grant and Schuyler Colfax and declared for the payment of all bonds in coin; for a reduction of the national debt and the rate of interest; and for the encouragement of immigration.

The Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour and Francis P. Blair, and demanded amnesty; rapid payment of the debt; “one currency for the government, and the people, the laborer, and the office holder”; the taxation of government bonds; and no land grants for public improvements.

The popular vote was 5,700,000.  In the electoral college Grant had 214 votes, and Seymour 80.

%500.  Troubles in the South; the Ku Klux Klan.%—­Grant and Colfax began their term of office on March 4, 1869, and soon found that the reconstruction policy of Congress had not been so successful as they could wish, and that the work of protecting the freedman in the exercise of his new rights was not yet completed.  Three states (Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas) had not yet complied with the conditions imposed by Congress, and were still refused seats in the House and Senate.  No sooner had the others complied with the Reconstruction Act of 1867, and given the negro the right to vote, than a swarm of Northern politicians, generally of the worst sort, went down and, as they said, “ran things.”  They began by persuading the negroes that their old masters were about to put them back into slavery, that it was only by electing Union men to office that they could remain free; and having by this means obtained control of the negro vote, they were made governors and members of Congress, and were sent to the state legislature, where, seated beside negroes who could neither read nor write, but who voted as ordered, these “carpetbaggers,” [1] as they were called, ruled the states in the interest of themselves rather than in that of the people.

[Footnote 1:  As the men were not natives of the South, had no property there, and were mostly political adventurers, they were called “carpetbaggers,” or men who owned nothing save what they brought in their carpetbags.]

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Now, you must remember that in many of the Southern states the negro voters greatly outnumbered the white voters, because there were more black men than white men, and because many of the whites were still disfranchised; that is, could not vote.  When these men, who were property owners and taxpayers, found that the carpetbaggers, by means of the negro vote, were plundering and robbing the states, they determined to prevent the negro from voting, and so drive the carpetbaggers from the legislatures.  To do this, in many parts of the South they formed secret societies, called “The Invisible Empire” and “The Ku Klux Klan.”  Completely disguised by masks and outlandish dresses, the members rode at night, and whipped, maimed, and even murdered the objects of their wrath, who were either negroes who had become local political leaders, or carpetbaggers, or “scalawags,” as the Southern whites who supported the negro cause were called.

%501.  The Fifteenth Amendment.%—­To secure the negro the right to vote, and make it no longer dependent on state action, a Fifteenth Amendment was passed by Congress in February, 1869, and, after ratification by the necessary number of states, was put in force in March, 1870.  As the Ku Klux were violating this amendment, by preventing the negroes from voting, Congress, in 1871, passed the “Ku Klux” or “Force” Act.  It prescribed fine and imprisonment for any man convicted of hindering, or even attempting to hinder, any negro from voting, or the votes, when cast, from being counted.

[Illustration:  U. S. Grant]

%502.  Rise of the Liberal Republicans.%—­This legislation and the conflicts that grew out of it in Louisiana kept alive the old issue of amnesty, and in Missouri split the Republican party and led to the rise of a new party, which received the name of “Liberal Republicans,” because it was in favor of a more liberal treatment of the South.  From Missouri, the movement spread into Iowa, into Kansas, into Illinois, and into New Jersey, and by 1872 was serious enough to encourage the leaders to call for a national convention which gathered at Cincinnati (May, 1872), and, after declaring for amnesty, universal suffrage, civil service reform, and no more land grants to railroads, nominated Horace Greeley, of New York, for President, and B. Gratz Brown, the Liberal leader of Missouri, for Vice President.  The nomination of Greeley displeased a part of the convention, which went elsewhere, and nominated W. S. Groesbeck and F. L. Olmsted.  The Republicans met at Philadelphia in June, and nominated Grant and Henry Wilson.  The Democrats pledged their support to Greeley and Brown; but this act displeased so many of the Democratic party, that another convention was held, and Charles O’Conor and John Quincy Adams were placed in the field.

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%503.  The National Labor-Reform Party.%—­From about 1829, when the establishment of manufactures, the building of turnpikes and canals, the growth of population, the rise of great cities, and the arrival of emigrants from Europe led to the appearance of a great laboring class, the workingman had been in politics.  But it was not till the close of the war that labor questions assumed national importance.  In 1865 the first National Labor Congress was held at Louisville in Kentucky.  In 1866 a second met at Baltimore; a third at Chicago in 1867; and a fourth at New York in 1868, to which came woman suffragists and labor-reform agitators.  The next met at Philadelphia in 1869 and called for a great National Labor Congress which met at Cincinnati in 1870 and demanded

1.  Lower interest on government bonds.

2.  Repeal of the law establishing the national banks.

3.  Withdrawal of national bank notes.

4.  Issue of paper money “based on the faith and resources of the nation,” to be legal tender for all debts.

5.  An eight-hour law.

6.  Exclusion of the Chinese.

7.  No land grants to corporations.

8.  Formation of a “National Labor-Reform Party.”

The idea of a new party with such principles was so heartily approved, that a national convention met at Columbus, O., in 1872, denounced Chinese labor, demanded taxation of government bonds, and nominated David Davis and Joel Parker.  When they declined, O’Conor was nominated.

%504.  Anti-Chinese Movement.%—­The demand in the Labor platform for the exclusion of Chinese makes it necessary to say a word concerning “Mongolian labor.”

Chinamen were attracted to our shore by the discovery of gold in California, but received little attention till 1852, when the governor in a message reminded the legislature that the Chinese came not as freemen, but were sent by foreign capitalists under contract; that they were the absolute slaves of these masters; that the gold they dug out of our soil was sent to China; that they could not become citizens; and that they worked for wages so low that no American could compete with them.

The legislature promptly acted, and repeatedly attempted to stop their immigration by taxing them.  But the Supreme Court declared such taxation illegal, whereupon, the state having gone as far as it could, an appeal was made to Congress.  That body was deaf to all entreaties; but the President through Anson Burlingame in 1868 secured some new articles to the old Chinese treaty of 1858.  Henceforth it was to be a penal offense to take Chinamen to the United States without their free consent.  This was not enough, and in order to force Congress to act, the question was made a political issue.

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%505.  The Prohibition Party.%—­The temperance cause in the United States dates back to 1810.  But it was not till Maine passed a law forbidding the sale of liquor, in 1851, and her example was followed by Vermont and Rhode Island in 1852, by Connecticut in 1854, and by New York, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Iowa, in 1855, that prohibition became an issue.  The war turned the thoughts of people to other things.  But after the war, prohibition parties began to appear in several states, and in 1869 steps were taken to unite and found a national party.  In that year, the Grand Lodges of Good Templars held a convention at Oswego, N.Y., and by these men a call was issued for a national convention of prohibitionists to form a political party.  The delegates thus summoned met at Chicago in September, 1869, and there founded the “National Prohibition Reform party.”  The first national nominating convention was held at Columbus, O., in 1872, when James Black of Pennsylvania was nominated for President, and John Russell of Michigan for Vice President.

%506.  Campaign of 1872.%—­At the beginning of the campaign there were thus seven presidential candidates before the people.  But some refused to run, and others had no chance, so that the contest was really between General Grant and Horace Greeley, who was caricatured unmercifully.  The benevolent face of the great editor, spectacled, and fringed with a snow-white beard, appeared on fans, on posters, on showcards, where, as a setting sun, it might be seen going down behind the western hills.  “Go west,” his famous advice to young men, became the slang phrase of the hour.  He was defeated, for Grant carried thirty-one states, and Greeley six.

In many respects this was a most interesting election.  For the first time in our history the freedmen voted for presidential electors.  For the first time since 1860 the people of all the states took part in the election of a President of the United States, while the number of candidates, Labor, Prohibition, Liberal Republican, Democratic, and Republican, showed that the old issues which caused the war or were caused by the war were dead or dying, and that new ones were coming forward.

%507.  Panic of 1873.%—­Now, all these things, the immense expansion of the railroads, and the great outlay necessary for rebuilding Chicago, much of which had been burned in 1871, and Boston, which suffered from a great fire in 1872, absorbed money and made it difficult to get.  Just in the midst of the stringency a quarrel arose between the farmers and the railroads in the West, and made matters worse.  It stopped the sale of railroad bonds, and crippled the enterprises that depended on such sale for funds.  It impaired the credit of bankers concerned in railroad building, and in September, 1873, a run on them for deposits began till one of them, Jay Cooke & Co., failed, and at once a panic swept over the business world.  Country depositors demanded their money; the country banks therefore withdrew their deposits with the city banks, which in turn called in their loans, and industry of every kind stopped.  In 1873 there were 5000 failures, and in 1874 there were 5800.  Hours of labor were reduced, wages were cut down, workingmen were discharged by thousands.

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%508.  The Inflation Bill.%—­In hope of relieving this distress by making money easier to get, a demand was now made that Congress should issue more greenbacks.  To this Congress, in 1874, responded by passing the “Inflation Bill,” declaring that there should be $400,000,000 in greenbacks, no more, no less.  As the limit fixed in 1868 was $356,000,000, the bill tended to “inflate” or add to the paper currency $44,000,000.  Grant vetoed the bill.

%509.  Resumption of Specie Payments.%—­What shall be done with the currency? now became the question of the hour, and at the next session of Congress (1874-75) another effort was made to answer it, and “an act to provide for the resumption of specie payments” was passed.

1.  Under this law, silver 10, 25, and 50 cent pieces were to be exchanged through the post offices and subtreasuries for fractional currency till it was all redeemed.

2.  Surplus revenue might be used and bonds issued for the purchase of coin.

3.  That part of an act of 1870 which limited the amount of national bank notes to $354,000,000 was repealed.

4.  The banks could now put out more bills; but for each $100 they put out the Secretary of the Treasury must call in $80 of greenbacks, till but $300,000,000 of them remained.

5.  After January 1,1879, he must redeem them all on demand.

%510.  The Political Issues of 1876.%—­The currency question, the hard times which had continued since 1873, the rise of the Labor and Prohibition parties, the reports of shameful corruption and dishonesty in every branch of the public service, the dissatisfaction of a large part of the Republican party with the way affairs were managed by the administration, combined to make the election of 1876 very doubtful.  The general displeasure was so great that the Democratic party not only carried state elections in the North in 1874 and 1875, but secured a majority of the House of Representatives.

%511.  Nomination of Presidential Candidates.%—­When the time came to make nominations for the presidency, the Prohibition party was first to act.  It selected Green Clay Smith of Kentucky and G.T.  Stewart of Ohio as its candidates, and demanded that in all the territories and the District of Columbia, the importation, exportation, manufacture, and sale of alcoholic beverages should be stopped.  Two other demands—­the abolition of polygamy (which was practiced by the Mormons in Utah), and the closing of the mails to the advertisements of gambling and lottery schemes—­have since been secured.

Next came the Greenback or Independent National party, which nominated Peter Cooper of New York and Samuel F. Cary of Ohio, and called for the repeal of the Resumption of Specie Payment Act, and the issue of paper notes bearing a low rate of interest.

In June, the Republicans met in Cincinnati, and nominated Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, and William A. Wheeler of New York.  They endorsed the financial policy of the party, demanded civil service reform, protection to American industries, no more land grants to corporations, an investigation of the effect of Chinese immigration, and “respectful consideration” of the woman’s rights question.

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The Democrats nominated Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks, and called for reforms of every kind—­in the civil service, in the administration, in expenditures, in the internal revenue system, in the currency, in the tariff, in the use of public lands, in the treatment of the South.

%512.  Result of the Election.%—­While the campaign was going on, Colorado was admitted (in August, 1876) as a state.  There were then thirty-eight states in the Union, casting 369 electoral votes.  This made 185 necessary for a choice; and when the returns were all in, it appeared that, if the Republicans could secure the electoral votes of South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon, they would have exactly 185.  In these states, however, a dispute was raging as to which set of electors, Republican or Democratic, was elected.  Each claimed to be; and, as the result depended on them, each set met and voted.  It was then for Congress to decide which should be counted.

Now, the framers of the Constitution had never thought of such a condition of affairs, and had made no provisions to meet it.  Congress therefore provided for an

%513.  “Electoral Commission,"% to decide which of the conflicting returns should be accepted.  This commission was to be composed of five senators, five representatives, and five justices of the Supreme Court.  The Senate chose three Republicans and two Democrats; the House, three Democrats and two Republicans.  Congress appointed two Democratic and two Republican justices, who chose the fifth justice, who was a Republican.  The Commission thus consisted of eight Republicans and seven Democrats.  The decision as to each of the disputed states was in favor of the Republican electors, and as it could not be reversed unless both houses of Congress consented, and as both would not consent, Hayes was declared elected, over Tilden, by one electoral vote; namely, Hayes, 185; Tilden, 184.

[Illustration:  Rutherford B. Hayes]

%514.  Financial Policy of Grant’s Administration.%—­The inauguration of Hayes was followed by a special session of Congress.  In the House was a great Democratic majority, pledged to a new financial measure—­a pledge which it soon made good.

The financial policy of Grant’s eight years may be summed up briefly: 

1. (1869) The “Credit Strengthening Act,” declaring that 5-20 bonds of the United States should be paid “in coin.”

2. (1870) The Refunding Act, by which $1,500,000,000 in bonds bearing five and six per cent interest were ordered to be replaced by other bonds at four, four and a half, and five per cent.  In this refunding, the 5-20’s, whose principal was payable in greenbacks, were replaced by others whose principal was payable “in coin.”

3. (1873) The act of 1873, by stopping the coinage of silver dollars, and taking away the legal tender quality of those in circulation, made the words “in coin” mean gold.

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4. (1875) All greenbacks were to become redeemable in specie on January 1, 1879.

5.  To get specie, bonds might be issued.

%515.  Bland Silver Bill; Silver remonetized.%—­Against the continuance of this policy the majority of the House stood pledged.  Before the session closed, therefore, two bills passed the House.  One repealed so much of the act of 1875 as provided for the retirement of greenbacks and the issue of bonds.  The second was brought in by Mr. Bland of Missouri, and is still known by his name.  It provided

1.  That the silver dollar should again be coined, and at the ratio of 16 to 1; that is, that the same number of dollars should be made out of sixteen pounds of silver as out of one pound of gold.

2.  That silver should be a legal tender, at face value, for all debts, public and private.

3.  That all silver bullion brought to the mints should be coined into dollars without cost to the bringer.  This was “free coinage of silver.”

The House passed the bill, but the Senate rejected the “free coinage” provision and substituted the “Allison” amendment.  Under this, the Secretary of the Treasury was to buy not less than $2,000,000, nor more than $4,000,000, worth of silver bullion each month, and coin it into dollars.

The House accepted the Senate amendment, and when Hayes vetoed the bill Congress passed it over his veto and the “Bland-Allison Bill” became a law in 1878.

%516.  Silver Certificates.%—­Now this return to the coinage of the silver dollar was open to the objection that large sums in silver would be troublesome because of the weight.  It was therefore provided that the coins might be deposited in the Treasury, and paper “silver certificates” issued against them.

A few months later, January 1, 1879, the government returned to specie payment, and ever since has redeemed greenbacks in gold, on demand.

%517.  Foreign Relations; the French in Mexico.%—­The statement was made that with the exception of Russia the great powers of Europe sympathized with the South during the Civil War.  Two of them, France and Great Britain, were openly hostile.  The French Emperor allowed Confederate agents to contract for the construction of war vessels in French ports,[1] and sent an army into Mexico to overturn that republic and establish an empire.  Mexico owed the subjects of Great Britain, France, and Spain large sums of money, and as she would not pay, these three powers in 1861 sent a combined army to hold her seaports till the debts were paid.  But it soon became clear that Napoleon had designs against the republic, whereupon Great Britain and Spain withdrew.  Napoleon, however, seeing that the United States was unable to interfere because of the Civil War, went on alone, destroyed the Mexican republic and made Maximilian (a brother of the Emperor of Austria) Emperor of Mexico.  This was in open defiance of the Monroe Doctrine, and though the United States protested, Napoleon paid no attention till 1865.  Then, the Civil War having ended, and Sheridan with 50,000 veteran troops having been sent to the Rio Grande, the French soldiers were withdrawn (1867), and the Mexican republican party captured Maximilian, shot him, and reestablished the republic.

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[Footnote 1:  See Bullock’s Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe.]

%518.  The Alabama Claims; Geneva Award.%—­The hostility of Great Britain was more serious than that of France.  As we have seen, the cruisers (Alabama, Shenandoah, Florida) built in her shipyards went to sea and inflicted great injury on our commerce.  Although she was well aware of this, she for a long time refused to make good the damage done.  But wiser counsel in the end prevailed, and in 1871, by the treaty of Washington, all disputed questions were submitted to arbitration.

The Alabama claims, as they were called, were sent to a board of five arbitrators who met at Geneva (1872) and awarded the United States $15,500,000 to be distributed among our citizens whose ships and property had been destroyed by the cruisers.

%519.  Other International Disputes; the Alaska Purchase.%—­To the Emperor of Germany was submitted the question of the true water boundary between Washington Territory and British Columbia.  He decided in favor of the United States (1872).

To a board of Fish Commissioners was referred the claim of Canada that the citizens of the United States derived more benefit from the fishing in Canadian waters than did the Canadians from using the coast waters of the United States.  The award made to Great Britain was $5,500,000 $5,500,000 (1877).

In 1867, we purchased Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000.


Financial History, 1868-1880

1.  When the war ended, the national debt consisted of two parts:  the bonded, and the unbonded or floating.

2.  As public sentiment demanded the reduction of the debt, it was decided to pay the bonds as fast as possible, and contract the currency by canceling the greenbacks.

3.  Contraction went on till 1868, when Congress ordered it stopped.

4.  The payment of the bonds brought up the question, Shall the 5-20’s be paid in coin or greenbacks?

5.  The Democrats in 1868 insisted that the bonds should be redeemed in greenbacks; the Republicans that they should be paid in coin,—­and when they won, they passed the “Credit Strengthening Act” of 1869, and in 1870 refunded the bonds at lower rates.

6.  In the process of refunding, the 5-20’s, whose principal was payable in greenbacks, were replaced by others payable “in coin.”  In 1873, the coinage of the silver dollar was stopped, and the legal-tender quality of silver was taken away.  The words “in coin” therefore meant “in gold.”

7.  In 1875 it was ordered that all greenbacks should be redeemed in specie after January 1, 1879 (resumption of specie payment).

8.  In 1878 silver was made legal tender, and given limited coinage.

The South and the Negro

9.  In 1869, three states still refused to comply with the Reconstruction Act of 1867 and had no representatives in Congress.

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10.  Such states as had complied and given the negro the right to vote were under “carpetbag” rule.

11.  This rule became so unbearable that the Ku Klux Klan was organized to terrify the negroes and keep them from the polls.

12.  Congress in consequence sent out the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and in 1871 enacted the Force Act.

13.  These and other issues, as that of amnesty, split the Republican party and led to the appearance of the Liberal Republicans in 1872.

14.  In general, however, party differences turned almost entirely on financial and industrial issues.




%520.  Results of the War.%—­The Civil War was fought by the North for the preservation of the Union and by the South for the destruction of the Union.  But we who, after more than thirty years, look back on the results of that struggle, can see that they did not stop with the preservation of the Union.  Both in the North and in the South the war produced a great industrial revolution.

%521.  Effect on the South.%—­In the South, in the first place, it changed the system of labor from slave to free.  While the South was a slave-owning country free labor would not come in.  Without free labor there could be no mills, no factories, no mechanical industries.  The South raised cotton, tobacco, sugar, and left her great resources undeveloped.  After slavery was abolished, the South was on the same footing as the North, and her splendid resources began at once to be developed.

It was found that her rich deposits of iron ore were second to none in the world.  It was found that beneath her soil lay an unbroken coal field, 39,000 square miles in extent.  It was found that cotton, instead of being raised in less quantity under a system of free labor, was more widely cultivated than ever.  In 1860, 4,670,000 bales were grown; but in 1894 the number produced was 9,500,000.  The result has been the rise of a New South, and the growth of such manufacturing centers as Birmingham in Alabama and Chattanooga in Tennessee, and of that center of commerce, Atlanta, in Georgia.

%522.  Rise of New Industries in the North.%—­Much the same industrial revolution has taken place in the North.  The list of industries well known to us, but unknown in 1860, is a long one.  The production of petroleum for commercial purposes began in 1859, when Mr. Drake drilled his well near Titusville, in Pennsylvania.  In 1860 the daily yield of all the wells in existence was not 200 barrels.  But by 1891 this industry had so developed that 54,300,000 barrels were produced in that year, or 14,900 a day.

[Illustration:  Scene in the oil regions of Pennsylvania]

The last thirty years have seen the rise of cheese making as a distinctive factory industry; of the manufacture of oleo-margarine, wire nails, Bessemer steel, cotton-seed oil, coke, canned goods; of the immense mills of Minneapolis, where 10,000,000 barrels of flour are made annually, and of the meat dressing and packing business for which Chicago and Kansas City are famous.

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%523.  The New Northwest.%—­When the census was taken in 1860, so few people were living in what are now Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho that they were not counted.  In Dakota there were less than 5000 inhabitants.  The discovery of gold and silver did for these territories what it had done for Colorado.  It brought into them so many miners that in 1870 the population of these four territories amounted to 59,000.  Between Lake Superior (where in the midst of a vast wilderness Duluth had just been laid out on the lake shore) and the mining camps in the mountains of Montana, there was not a town nor a hamlet. (There were indeed a few forts and Indian agencies and a few trading posts.) Northern Minnesota was a forest, into which even the lumbermen had not gone.  The region from the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains was the hunting ground of the Sioux, and was roamed over by enormous herds of buffalo.

%524.  The Northern Pacific Railroad.%—­But this great wilderness was soon to be crossed by one of the civilizers of the age.  After years of vain effort, the promoters of the Northern Pacific began the building of their road in 1870, and pushed it across the plains till Duluth and St. Paul were joined with Puget Sound.  As it went further and further westward, emigrants followed it, towns sprang up, and cities grew with astonishing rapidity.

%525.  The New States.%—­Idaho, which had no white inhabitants in 1860, had 32,000 in 1880; Montana had 39,000 in 1880, as against none in 1860.  Kansas in twenty years increased her population four fold, and Nebraska eight fold.  This was extraordinary; but it was surpassed by Dakota, whose population increased nearly ten fold in ten years (1870-1880), and in 1889 was half a million.  The time had now come to form a state government.  But as most of the people lived in the south end of the territory, it was cut in two, and North and South Dakota were admitted into the Union as states on the same day (November 2, 1889); Montana followed within a fortnight, and Idaho and Wyoming within a year (July, 1890).  The four territories, in which in 1860 there were but 5000 white settlers, had thus by 1890 become the five states of North and South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, with a population of 790,000.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Colorado was admitted to the Union in 1876, Washington in 1889 (November 11); and Utah, the forty-fifth state, in 1896, under a constitution forever prohibiting polygamy.]

%526.  Wheat Farms and Cattle Ranches.%—­Such a rush of people completely transformed the country.  The “Great American Desert” was made productive.  The buffaloes were almost exterminated, and one now is as great a curiosity in the West as in the East.  More than 7,000,000 were slaughtered in 1871-1872.  In lieu of them countless herds of cattle and sheep, and fields of wheat and corn, cover the plains and hills of the Northwest.  In 1896 Montana contained 3,000,000 sheep, and Wyoming and Idaho each over 1,000,000.  In the two Dakotas 60,000,000 bushels of wheat and 30,000,000 of corn were harvested.  Many of the farms are of enormous size.  Ten, twenty, thirty thousand acre farms are not unknown.  One contains 75,000 acres.

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[Illustration:  A typical prairie sod house]

Over this region, the Dakotas, Montana, Kansas, and Nebraska, wander herds of cattle, the slaughtering and packing of which have founded new branches of industry.  The stockyards at Chicago make a city.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Read “Dakota Wheat-Fields,” Harper’s Magazine, March, 1880.  Also a series of papers in Harper’s Magazine for 1888.]

%527.  Oklahoma.%—­The eagerness of the “cattle kings” to get more land for these herds to graze over had much to do with the opening of Oklahoma for settlement.  Originally it was part of Indian Territory, and was sold by the Seminole Indians with the express condition that none but Indians and freedmen should settle there.  But the cattle kings, in defiance of the government, went in and inclosed immense tracts.  Many were driven out, only to come in again.  Their expulsion, with that of small proprietors called “boomers,” caused much agitation.  Congress bought a release from the condition, and in 1889 opened Oklahoma to settlement.

%528.  The Boom Towns.%—­A proclamation that a part of Oklahoma would be opened April 22, caused a wild rush from every part of the West, till five times as many settlers as could possibly obtain land were lined up on the borders waiting for the signal to cross.  Precisely at noon on April 22, a bugle sounded, a wild yell answered, a cloud of dust filled the air, and an army of men on foot, on horseback, in wagons, rushed into the promised land.  That morning Guthrie was a piece of prairie land.  That night it was a city of 10,000 souls.  Before the end of the year 60,000 people were in Oklahoma, building towns and cities of no mean character.

Within fifteen years Oklahoma had a population of over half a million; and Congress provided (1906) for the admission, in 1907, of a new forty-sixth state, including both Oklahoma and what was left of the old Indian Territory.


1.  One important result of the Civil War was a great industrial revolution.

2.  Mining for precious metals, the Northern Pacific Railroad, and other causes led to the admission into the Union of Colorado (1876), North and South Dakota, Montana, Washington (1889), Idaho, Wyoming (1890), Utah (1896), and Oklahoma (1907).



%529.  Mechanical Progress.%—­The mechanical progress made by our countrymen since the war surpasses that of any previous period.  In 1866 another cable was laid across the bed of the Atlantic Ocean, and worked successfully.  Before 1876 the Gatling gun, dynamite, and the barbed-wire fence were introduced; the compressed-air rock drill, the typewriter, the Westinghouse air brake, the Janney car coupler, the cable-car system, the self-binding reaper and harvester, the cash carrier for stores, water gas, and the tin-can-making machine were invented, and Brush gave the world the first successful electric light.

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%530.  Uses of Electricity.%—­Till Brush invented his arc light and dynamo, the sole practical use made of electricity was in the field of telegraphy.  But now in rapid succession came the many forms of electric lights and electric motors; the electric railway, the search light; photography by electric light; the welding of metals by electricity; the phonograph and the telephone.  In the decade between 1876 and 1886 came also the hydraulic dredger, the gas engine, the enameling of sheet-iron ware for kitchen use, the bicycle, and the passenger elevator, which has transformed city life and dotted our great cities with buildings fifteen and twenty stories high.

The decade 1886-1896 gave us the graphophone, the kinetoscope, the horseless carriage, the vestibuled train, the cash register, the perfected typewriter; the modern bicycle, which has deeply affected the life of the people; and a great development in photography.

%531.  Rise of Great Corporations.%—­That mechanical progress so astonishing should powerfully affect the business and industrial world was inevitable.  Trades, occupations, industries of all sorts, began to concentrate and combine, and corporations took the place of individuals and small companies.  In place of the forty little telegraph companies of 1856, there was the great Western Union Company.  In place of many petty railroads, there were a few trunk lines.  In place of a hundred producers and refiners of petroleum, there was the one Standard Oil Company.  These are but a few of many; for the rapid growth of corporations was a characteristic of the period.

%532.  Millionaires and “Captains of Industry."%—­As old lines of industry were expanded and new ones were created, the opportunities for money-getting were vastly increased.  Men now began to amass immense fortunes in gold and silver mining; by dealing in coal, in grain, in cattle, in oil; by speculation in stocks; in iron and steel making; in railroading,—­millionaires and multi-millionaires became numerous, and were often called “captains of industry,” as an indication of the power they held in the industrial world.

%533.  Condition of Labor.%—­Meanwhile, the conditions of the workingman were also changing rapidly:  1.  The chief employers of labor were corporations and great capitalists. 2.  The short voyage and low fare from Europe, the efforts made by steamship companies to secure passengers, the immense business activity in the country from 1867 to 1872, and the opportunities afforded by the rapidly growing West, brought over each year hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe to swell the ranks of labor.  Between 1867 and 1873 the number was 2,500,000. 3.  Bad management on the part of some corporations; “watering” or unnecessarily increasing their stock on the part of others, combined with sharp competition, began, especially after the panic of 1873, to cut down dividends.  This was followed by reduction of wages, or by an increase in the duties of employees, and sometimes by both.

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%534.  Labor Organizations; the Knights of Labor.%—­Trades unions existed in our country before the Constitution; but it was at the time of the great industrial development during and after the war, that the era of unions opened.  At first that of each trade had no connection with that of any other.  But in 1869 an effort was made to unite all workingmen on the broad basis of labor, and “The Noble Order of Knights of Labor” was founded.  For a while it was a secret order; but in 1878 a declaration of principles was made, which began with the statement that the alarming development and aggressiveness of great capitalists and corporations, unless checked, “would degrade the toiling masses,” and announced that the only way to check this evil was to unite “all laborers into one great body.”  The knights were in favor of

1.  The creation of bureaus of labor for the collection and spread of information.

2.  Arbitration between employers and employed.

3.  Government ownership of telegraphs, telephones, railroads.

4.  The reduction of the working day to eight hours.

They were opposed

1.  To the hiring out of convict labor.

2.  To the importation of foreign labor under contract.

3.  To interest-bearing government bonds, and in favor of a national currency issued directly to the people without the intervention of banks.

%535.  The Workingman in Politics%.—­As these ends could be secured only by legislation, they very quickly became political issues and brought up a new set of economic questions for settlement.  From 1865 to 1870 the matters of public concern were the reconstruction measures and the public debt.  From 1870 to 1878 they were currency questions, civil service reform, and land grants to railroads.  From 1878 to 1888 almost every one of them was in some way directly connected with labor.


1.  Great inventions founded and developed new industries.

2.  These in turn expanded the ranks of labor, and led to the rise of corporations and labor organizations, and a demand for a long series of reforms.



%536.  Candidates in 1880.%—­The campaign of 1880 was opened by the meeting of the Republican national convention at Chicago, where a long and desperate effort was made to nominate General Grant for a third term.  But James Abram Garfield and Chester A. Arthur were finally chosen.  The platform called for national aid to state education, for protection to American labor, for the suppression of polygamy in Utah, for “a thorough, radical, and complete” reform of the civil service, and for no more land grants to railroads or corporations.

The Greenback-Labor party nominated James B. Weaver and B.J.  Chambers, and declared

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1.  That all money should be issued by the government and not by banking corporations.

2.  That the public domain must be kept for actual settlers and not given to railroads.

3.  That Congress must regulate commerce between the states, and secure fair, moderate, and uniform rates for passengers and freight.

Next came the Prohibition party convention, and the nomination of Neal Dow and Henry Adams Thompson.

Last of all was the Democratic convention, which nominated General Winfield S. Hancock and William H. English.  The platform called for

1.  Honest money, consisting of gold and silver and paper convertible into coin on demand.

2.  A tariff for revenue only.

3.  Public lands for actual settlers.

%537.  Election and Death of Garfield.%—­The campaign was remarkable for several reasons: 

1.  Every presidential elector was chosen by popular vote; and every electoral vote was counted as it was cast.  This was the first presidential election in our country of which both these statements could be made.

2.  For the first time since 1844 there was no agitation of a Southern question.

3.  All parties agreed in calling for anti-Chinese legislation.

Garfield and Arthur were elected, and inaugurated on March 4, 1881.  But on July 2, 1881, as Garfield stood in a railway station at Washington, a disappointed office seeker came up behind and shot him in the back.  A long and painful illness followed, till he died on September 19, 1881.

[Illustration:  James A. Garfield]

[Illustration:  Chester A. Arthur]

%538.  Presidential Succession%—­The death of Garfield and the succession of Arthur to the presidential office left the country in a peculiar situation.  An act of Congress passed in 1792 provided that if both the presidency and vice presidency were vacant at the same time, the President pro tempore of the Senate, or if there were none, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, should act as President, till a new one was elected.  But in September, 1881, there was neither a President pro tempore of the Senate nor a Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the Forty-sixth Congress ceased to exist on March 4, and the Forty-seventh was not to meet till December.  Had Arthur died or been killed, there would therefore have been no President.  It was not likely that such a condition would happen again; but attention was called to the necessity of providing for succession to the presidency, and in 1886 a new law was enacted.  Now, should the presidency and vice presidency both become vacant, the presidency passes to members of the Cabinet in the order of the establishment of their departments, beginning with the Secretary of State.  Should he die, be impeached and removed, or become disabled, it would go to the Secretary of the Treasury, and then, if necessary, to the Secretary of War, the Attorney-general, the Postmaster-general, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Interior.

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%539.  Party Pledges redeemed.%—­Since the Republican party was in power, a redemption of the pledges in their platform was necessary, and three laws of great importance were enacted.  One, the Edmunds law (1882), was intended to suppress polygamy in Utah and the neighboring territories.  Another (1882) stopped the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years.  The third, the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883), was designed to secure appointment to public office on the ground of fitness, and not for political service.

%540.  Corporations.%—­These measures were all good enough in their way; but they left untouched grievances which the workingmen and a great part of the people felt were unbearable.  That the development of the wealth and resources of our country is chiefly due to great corporations and great capitalists is strictly true.  But that many of them abused the power their wealth gave them cannot be denied.  They were accused of buying legislatures, securing special privileges, fixing prices to suit themselves, importing foreign laborers under contract in order to depress wages, and favoring some customers more than others.

%541.  The Anti-monopoly and Labor Parties.%—­Out of this condition of affairs grew the Anti-monopoly party, which held a convention in 1884 and demanded that the Federal government should regulate commerce between the states; that it should therefore control the railroads and the telegraphs; that Congress should enact an interstate commerce law; and that the importation of foreign laborers under contract should be made illegal.

This platform was so fully in accordance with the views of the Greenback or National party, that Benjamin F. Butler, the candidate of the Anti-monopolists, was endorsed and so practically united the two parties.

[Illustration:  Grover Cleveland]

%542.  The Republican and Democratic Parties%.—­The Republicans nominated James G. Blaine and John A. Logan, and the Democrats Stephen Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Hendricks.  The Prohibitionists put up John P. St. John and William Daniel.  The nomination of Blaine was the signal for the revolt of a wing of the Republicans, which took the name of Independents, and received the nickname of “Mugwumps.”  The revolt was serious in its consequences, and after the most exciting contest since 1876, Cleveland was elected.

%543.  Public Measures adopted during 1885-1889.%—­Widely as the parties differed on many questions, Democrats, Republicans, and Nationalists agreed in demanding certain reform measures which were now carried out.  In 1885 an Anti-Contract-Labor law was enacted, forbidding any person, company, or corporation to bring any aliens into the United States under contract to perform labor or service.  In 1887 came the Interstate Commerce Act, placing the railroads under the supervision of commissioners whose duty it is to see that all charges for the transportation of passengers and freight are

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“reasonable and just,” and that no special rates, rebates, drawbacks, or unjust discriminations are made for one shipper over another.  In 1888 a second Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited the return of any Chinese laborer who had once left the country.  That same year a Department of Labor was established and put in charge of a commissioner.  His duty is to “diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with labor.”

%544.  Political Issues since 1888%.—­Thus by the end of Mr. Cleveland’s first term many of the demands of the workingmen had been granted, and laws enacted for their relief.  These issues disposed of, a new set arose, and after 1888 financial questions took the place of labor issues.

%545.  The Surplus and the Tariff.%—­These financial problems were brought up by the condition of the public debt.  For twenty years past the debt had been rapidly growing less and less, till on December 1, 1887, it was $1,665,000,000, a reduction of more than $1,100,000,000 in twenty-one years.  By that time every bond of the United States that could be called in and paid at its face value had been canceled.  As all the other bonds fell due, some in 1891 and others in 1907, the government must either buy them at high rates, or suffer them to run.  If it suffered them to run, a great surplus would pile up in the Treasury.  Thus on December 1, 1887, after every possible debt of the government was met, there was a surplus of $50,000,000.  Six months later (June 1, 1888) the sum had increased to $103,000,000.

Unless this was to go on, and the money of the country be locked up in the Treasury, one of three things must be done: 

1.  More bonds must be bought at high rates.

2.  Or the revenue must be reduced by reducing taxation.

3.  Or the surplus must be distributed among the states as in 1837, or spent.

%546.  The Mills Tariff Bill.%—­Each plan had its advocates.  But the Democrats, who controlled the House of Representatives, attempted to solve the problem by cutting down the revenue, and passed a tariff bill, called the Mills Bill, after its chief author, Mr. R. Q. Mills of Texas.  The Republicans declared it was a free-trade measure and defeated it in the Senate.

%547.  The Campaign of 1888; Benjamin Harrison, Twenty-third President.%—­In the party platforms of 1888 we find, therefore, that three issues are prominent:  (1) taxation, (2) tariff reform, (3) the surplus.  The Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman, and demanded frugality in public expenses, no more revenue than was needed to pay the necessary cost of government, and a tariff for revenue only.  The Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison and Levi P. Morton, and demanded a tariff for protection, a reduction of the revenue by the repeal of taxes on tobacco and on spirits used in the arts, and by the admission free of duty of foreign-made articles the like of which are not produced at home.

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[Illustration:  Benjamin Harrison]

The Prohibitionists, the Union Labor party, and the United Labor party also placed candidates in the field.  Harrison and Morton were elected, and inaugurated March 4, 1889.

%548.  The Republicans in Control.%—­The Republican party not only regained the presidency, but was once more in control of the House and Senate.  Thus free to carry out its pledges, it passed the McKinley Tariff Act (1890); a new pension bill, which raised the number of pensioners to 970,000, and the sum annually spent on pensions from $106,000,000 to $150,000,000; and a new financial measure, known as

%549.  The Sherman Act.%—­You remember that the attempt to enact a law for the free coinage of silver in 1878 led to the Bland-Allison Act, for the purchase of bullion and the coinage of at least $2,000,000 worth of silver each month.  As this was not free coinage, the friends of silver made a second attempt, in 1886, to secure the desired legislation.  This also failed.  But in the summer of 1890, the silver men, having a majority of the Senate, passed a free-coinage bill (June 17), which the House rejected (June 25).  A conference followed, and from this conference came a bill which was quickly enacted into a law and called the Sherman Act.  It provided

1.  That the Secretary of the Treasury should buy 4,500,000 ounces of silver each month.

2.  That he should pay for the bullion with paper money called treasury notes.

3.  That on demand of the holder the Secretary must redeem these notes in gold or silver.

4.  After July 1, 1891, the silver need not be coined, but might be stored in the Treasury, and silver certificates issued.

%550.  The Farmers’ Alliance%.—­This legislation, combined with an agricultural depression and widespread discontent in the agricultural states, caused the defeat of the Republicans in the elections of 1890.  The Democratic minority of 21 in the House of Representatives of the Fifty-first Congress was turned into a Democratic majority of 135 in the Fifty-second.  Eight other members were elected by the Farmers’ Alliance.

For twenty years past the farmers in every great agricultural state had been organizing, under such names as Patrons of Husbandry, Farmers’ League, the Grange, Patrons of Industry, Agricultural Wheel, Farmers’ Alliance.  Their object was to promote sociability, spread information concerning agriculture and the price of grain and cattle, and guard the interests and welfare of the farmer generally.  By 1886 many of these began to unite, and the National Agricultural Wheel of the United States, the Farmers’ Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, and several more came into existence.  In 1889 the amalgamation was carried further still, and at a convention in St. Louis they were all practically united in the Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union.

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The purpose of this alliance was political, and as its stronghold was Kansas, the contest began in that state in 1890.  At a convention of Alliance men and Knights of Labor, a “People’s Party” was formed, which elected a majority of the state legislature.  Five out of seven Congressmen were secured, and one United States senator.  Before Congress met (in December, 1891), another member of the House was elected elsewhere, and three more senators.  The support of fifty other representatives was claimed.  Greatly elated over this important footing, the Alliance men marked out a plan for congressional legislation.  They demanded

1.  A bill for the free and unlimited coinage of silver.

2.  The subtreasury scheme.

3.  A Land Mortgage Bill.

%551.  The Subtreasury Plan of the Alliance Party.%—­The idea at the base of these demands was that the amount of money in circulation must be increased, and loaned to the people without the aid of banks or capitalists.  It was proposed, therefore, that the government should establish a number of subtreasury or money-loaning stations in each state, at which the farmers could borrow money from the government (at two per cent interest), giving as security non-perishable farm produce.

%552.  The Land Mortgage Scheme% provided that any owner of from 10 to 320 acres of land, at least half of which was under cultivation, might borrow from the government treasury notes equal to half the assessed value of the land and buildings.

%553.  The People’s Party organized.%—­That either of the old parties would further such schemes was far from likely.  A cry was therefore raised by the most ardent Alliance men for a third party, and at a conference of Alliance and Labor leaders in May, 1891, a new national party was founded, and named “The People’s Party of the United States of America.”

%554.  Party Candidates in 1892.%—­When the campaign opened in 1892 there were thus four parties in the field.  The People’s party nominated James B. Weaver and James G. Field.  The platform called for

1.  The free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the ratio of 16 to 1.

2.  A graduated income tax.

3.  Government ownership of railroads, telegraphs, and telephones.

4.  The restriction of immigration.

5.  A national currency to be loaned to the people at two per cent interest per annum, secured by land or produce.

6.  All land held by aliens, or by railroads in excess of their actual needs, to be reclaimed and held for actual settlers.

The Prohibitionists nominated John Bidwell and J. B. Cranfill, and declared “anew for the entire suppression of the manufacture, sale, importation, exportation, and transportation of alcoholic liquors as a beverage.”

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The Democratic party selected Grover Cleveland for the third time and chose Adlai E. Stevenson for Vice President.  The platform condemned trusts and combines, advocated the reclamation of the public lands from corporations and syndicates, the exclusion of the Chinese and of the criminals and paupers of Europe, denounced “the Sherman Act of 1890,” and called for “the coinage of both gold and silver without discriminating against either metal or charge for mintage,” with “the dollar unit of coinage of both metals” “of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value.”

The Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid, expressed their sympathy with the cause of temperance, their opposition to trusts, and called for the coinage of both gold and silver in such way that “the debt-paying power of the dollar, whether silver, gold, or paper, shall be at all times equal.”

%555.  Grover Cleveland reelected.%—­The election was a complete triumph for the Democratic party.  Mr. Cleveland was again elected, and for the first time since 1861 the House, Senate, and President were all three Democratic.

Mr. Cleveland was inaugurated March 4,1893.  Never in its history had the country been seemingly more prosperous; the crops were bountiful; business was flourishing, manufactures were thriving.  But the prosperity was not real.  Business was inflated, and during the following summer an industrial and financial panic which had long been brewing swept over the business world, wrecking banks and destroying industrial and commercial establishments.

To understand what now happened, two facts must be remembered: 

1.  Under the Resumption of Specie Payment Act of 1875, the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to buy specie by the issue of bonds and keep it to redeem United States notes.

2.  In May, 1878, it was ordered that when a greenback was redeemed in specie, it should “not be retired, canceled, or destroyed, but shall be reissued and paid out again and kept in circulation.”  There were then $346,681,000 in greenbacks unredeemed.

%556.  The Gold Reserve.%—­Meantime, under the law of 1875, and before January 1, 1879, the secretary issued $95,500,000 in bonds, the proceeds of which, with other gold then in the Treasury, made a fund deemed sufficient to redeem such notes as were likely to be presented.  This has since been called our gold reserve, and has been fixed by the secretaries at $100,000,000.  January 1, 1879, the reserve was $114,000,000, and though it often rose and fell, it never went below that amount till July, 1892.  By that time there were other gold obligations.  The silver purchased under the law of 1890 was paid for with notes exchangeable for “coin”; but as the secretaries always construed “coin” to mean gold, and as by 1893 these notes amounted to $150,000,000, our gold obligations—­that is, notes exchangeable for gold—­were nearly $500,000,000 (greenbacks, $346,000,000; silver purchase

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notes, $150,000,000).  This immense and steadily increasing sum caused a doubt of our ability to pay in gold, and a fear that we might be forced to pay in silver.  Now silver, since 1873, had fallen steadily in value from $1.30 an ounce to $0.81 an ounce in 1893, so that the bullion value of a silver dollar was about 67 cents.  The fear, then, that our debts might be paid in silver (1) led foreigners to cease investing money in this country, and to send our stocks and bonds home to be sold, and (2) led people in this country to draw gold out of the banks and the Treasury and hoard it, so that in April, 1893, the gold reserve, for the first time since it was created, fell below $100,000,000 (to $97,000,000).

%557.  The Panic of 1893.%—­Business depression and “tight money” followed.  Over three hundred banks suspended or failed, manufactories all over the country shut down, and a period of great distress set in.  People, alarmed at the condition of the banks, began to draw their deposits and hoard them, thereby causing such a scarcity of bills of small denominations that a “currency famine” was threatened.

%558.  The Purchase of Silver stopped.%—­Believing that the fear that we should soon be “on a silver basis” had much to do with this state of affairs, and that the compulsory purchase of silver each month had much to do with the fear, the President assembled Congress in special session, August 7, and asked for the repeal of that clause of the Sherman Act of 1890 which required a monthly purchase of silver.  After a struggle in which both of the old parties were split, the compulsory purchase clause was repealed, November 1, 1893.

%559.  The Silver Movement.%—­The steady fall in the bullion value of silver was a serious blow to the prosperity of the great silver-producing states,—­Colorado, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and the territories of Arizona and New Mexico,—­where silver mining was “the very heart from which every other industry receives support.”  In Colorado alone 15,000 miners were made idle.  To the people of this section, some 2,000,000 in number, the silver question was of vital importance; and, alarmed at the call for the special session of Congress and the possible repeal of the silver-purchase clause, they held a convention at Denver, with a view to affecting public sentiment.  A few weeks after, the National Bimetallic League met at Chicago.  Both opposed the repeal, and demanded that if the government ceased to buy silver, the mints should be opened to free coinage.  This the friends of silver in the Senate attempted in vain to bring about.

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%560.  The Industrial Depression; the Wilson Bill.%—­The industrial revival which it was hoped would follow the repeal of the silver-purchase law did not take place.  Prices did not rise; failures continued; the long-silent mills did not reopen; gold continued to leave the country, imports fell off, and, when the year ended, the receipts of the government were $34,000,000 behind the expenditures.  With this condition of the Treasury facing it, Congress met in December, 1893.  The Democrats were in control, and pledged to revise the tariff; and true to the pledge, William L. Wilson of West Virginia, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, presented a new tariff bill (the Wilson Bill) which after prolonged debate passed both Houses and became a law at midnight, August 27, 1894, without the President’s signature.  As it was expected that the revenue yielded would not be sufficient to meet the expenses of government, one section of the law provided for a tax of two per cent on all incomes above $4000.  This the Supreme Court afterwards declared unconstitutional.

%561.  The Bond Issues.%—­We have seen that in April, 1893, the gold reserve fell to $97,000,000.  But it did not stop there; for, the business depression and the demand for the free and unlimited coinage of silver continuing, the withdrawal of gold went on, till the reserve was so low that bonds were repeatedly sold for gold wherewith to maintain it.  In this wise, during 1894-95, $262,000,000 were added to our bonded debt.

%562.  Foreign Relations; the Hawaiian Revolution.%—­when Cleveland took office, a treaty providing for the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands was pending in the Senate.  In January, 1983, these islands were the scene of a revolution, which deposed the Queen and set up a “provisional government.”  Commissioners were then dispatched to Washington, where a treaty of annexation was negotiated and (February 15) sent to the Senate for approval.  In the course of the revolution, a force of men from the United States steamer Boston was landed at the request of the revolutionary leaders, and our flag was raised over some of the buildings.  When these facts became known, the President, fearing that the presence of United States marines might have contributed much to the success of the revolution, recalled the treaty from the Senate, and sent an agent to the islands to investigate.  His report set forth in substance that the revolution would never have taken place had it not been for the presence and aid of United States marines, and that the Queen had practically been deposed by United States officials.  A new minister was thereupon sent, with instructions to announce that the treaty of annexation would not be confirmed, and to seek for the restoration of the Queen on certain conditions.  But President Dole of the Hawaiian republic denied the right of Cleveland to impose conditions, or in any way interfere in the domestic concerns of Hawaii, and refused to surrender to the Queen.

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%563.  The Venezuelan Boundary Dispute.%—­During 1895, the boundary dispute which had been dragging on for more than half a century between Great Britain and Venezuela, reached what the President called “an acute stage,” and made necessary a statement of the position of the United States under the Monroe Doctrine.  Great Britain was therefore informed “that the established policy of the United States is against a forcible increase of any territory of a European power” in the New World, and “that the United States is bound to protest against the enlargement of the area of British Guiana against the will of Venezuela”; and she was invited to submit her claims to arbitration.  Her answer was that the Monroe Doctrine was “inapplicable to the state of things in which we live at the present day” and a refusal to submit her claims to arbitration.  The President then asked and received authority to appoint a commission to examine the boundary and report.  “When such report is made and accepted,” said Cleveland, “it will in my opinion be the duty of the United States to resist by every means in its power, as a willful aggression upon its rights and interests, the appropriation by Great Britain of any lands, or the exercise of any governmental jurisdiction, over any territory which after investigation we have determined of right belongs to Venezuela.”  For a time the excitement this message aroused in Great Britain and our own country was extreme.  But it soon subsided, and on February 2, 1897, a treaty of arbitration was signed at Washington between Great Britain and Venezuela.

%564.  The Election of 1896%.—­By that time the presidential election was over.  When in the spring the time came to choose delegates to the party nominating conventions, the drift of public sentiment was so strong against the administration, that it seemed certain that the Republicans would “sweep the country.”  Little interest, therefore, was taken by the Democrats, while the Republicans were most concerned in the question whether Mr. McKinley or Mr. Reed should be their presidential candidate.  But as delegates were chosen by the Democrats in the Western and Southern States, it became certain that the issue was to be the free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the ratio of 16 to 1.

The Republican convention met in June, nominated William McKinley and Garret A Hobart, and declared the party “opposed to the free coinage of silver except by international agreement,” whereupon thirty-four delegates representing the silver states (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Utah) seceded from the party.  The Democratic convention assembled early in July, and after a most exciting convention chose William J. Bryan and Arthur Sewall, and declared for “the free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold at the present legal ration of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid and consent of any other nation.”  A great defection followed this declaration, scores of newspapers refused to support the candidates, and in September a convention of “gold Democrats,” taking the name of the National Democratic party, nominated John M. Palmer and Simon B. Buckner, on a “gold standard” platform.

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Meanwhile, the Prohibitionists, the National party (declaring for woman suffrage, prohibition, government ownership of railroads and telegraphs, an income tax, and the election of the President, Vice President, and senators by direct vote of the people), the Socialist Labor party, the Silver party, and the Populists, had all put candidates in the field.  The Silver party indorsed Bryan and Sewall; the Populists nominated Bryan and Thomas E. Watson.

[Illustration:  William McKinley]

%565.  McKinley, President.%—­An “educational campaign” was carried on with a seriousness never before approached in our history, and resulted in the election of Mr. McKinley.  He was inaugurated on March 4, and immediately called a special session of Congress to revise the tariff, a work which ended in the enactment of the “Dingley Tariff,” on July 24, 1897.

%566.  The Cuban Question.%—­Absorbing as were the election and the tariff, there was another matter, which for two years past had steadily grown more and more serious.  In February, 1895, the natives of Cuba for the sixth time in fifty years rebelled against the misrule of Spain and founded a republic.  A cruel, bloody, and ruinous war followed, and as it progressed, deeply interested the people of our country.  The island lay at our very doors.  Upwards of $50,000,000 of American money were invested in mines, railroads, and plantations there.  Our yearly trade with Cuba was valued at $96,000,000.  Our ports were used by Cubans in fitting out military expeditions, which the government was forced to stop at great expense.

%567.  Shall Cuba be given Belligerent Rights?%—­These matters were serious, and when to them was added the sympathy we always feel for any people struggling for the liberty we enjoy, there seemed to be ample reason for our insisting that Spain should govern Cuba better or set her free.  Some thought we should buy Cuba; some that we should recognize the Republic of Cuba; others that we should intervene even at the risk of war.  Thus urged on, Congress in 1896 declared that the Cubans were entitled to belligerent rights in our ports, and asked the President to endeavor to persuade Spain to recognize the independence of Cuba; and the House in 1897 recommended that the independence of Cuba be recognized.  But nothing came of either recommendation, and so the matter stood when McKinley was inaugurated.

During the summer of 1897 matters grew worse.  A large part of the island became a wilderness.  The people who had been driven into the towns by order of Captain General Weyler, the “reconcentrados,” were dying of starvation, and our countrymen, deeply moved at their suffering, began to send them food and medical aid.

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%568.  The Maine destroyed.%—­While engaged in this humane work they were horrified to hear that on the night of February 15, 1898, our battleship Maine was blown up in the harbor of Havana, and 260 of her sailors killed.  Although our Court of Inquiry was unable to fix the responsibility for the explosion, many people believed that it had been perpetrated by Spaniards, and the hope of a peaceable settlement of the Cuban question rapidly waned.  The sum of $50,000,000 was voted to the President for strengthening our defenses and buying ships and munitions of war.  After declining to recognize the Cuban Republic, Congress adopted a resolution, on April 19, declaring for the freedom of Cuba, demanding that Spain should withdraw from the island, and authorizing the President to compel her withdrawal, if necessary, by means of our army and navy.  Spain severed diplomatic relations with us on April 21, and the war began on that date, as declared by an Act of Congress a few days later.  Two hundred thousand volunteers were quickly enlisted, out of the much larger number that wished to serve.

%569.  War with Spain.%—­The Battle of Manila.—­While one fleet which had long been gathering at Key West went off and blockaded Havana and other parts of the coast of Cuba, another, under Commodore George Dewey, sailed from Hong-kong to attack the Spanish fleet at the Philippine Islands.  Dewey found it in the Bay of Manila, where, on May 1, 1898, he fought and won the most brilliant naval battle in the world’s history.  Passing the forts at the entrance, he entered the bay, and, without the loss of a man or a ship, he destroyed the entire Spanish fleet of ten vessels, killed and wounded over 600 men, and captured the arsenal at Cavite (cah-ve-ta’) and the forts at the entrance to the bay.  The city of Manila was then blockaded by Dewey’s fleet, and General Merritt with 20,000 troops was sent across the Pacific to take possession of the Philippines, which had long been Spain’s most important possession in the East.  For his great victory Dewey received the thanks of Congress and was promoted to be Rear-Admiral, and later was given for life the full rank of Admiral.

[Illustration:  Admiral Dewey]

[Illustration Rear-Admiral Sampson]

%570.  The Destruction of Cervera’s Fleet—­Capture of Santiago.%—­Meantime a second Spanish fleet, under Admiral Cervera, sailed from the Cape Verde Islands.  Acting Rear-Admiral Sampson, with ships which had been blockading Havana, and Commodore Schley, with a Flying Squadron, went in search of Cervera, and after a long hunt he was found in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba (sahn-te-ah’go da coo’bah), which was promptly blockaded by the ships of both squadrons, with Sampson in command.  The narrow entrance to the harbor was so well defended by forts and submarine mines that a direct attack on Cervera was impossible.  In an attempt to complete the blockade, Naval Constructor R. P. Hobson and a volunteer crew of seven men took the collier Merrimac to the harbor entrance, and, amid a rain of shot and shell, sank her in the channel (June 3).  The gallant little band escaped with life, but were made prisoners of war, and in time were exchanged.

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[Illustration:  General Shafter]

[Illustration:  Rear-Admiral Schley]

The capture of Santiago was decided upon when Cervera sought refuge in its harbor, and about 18,000 men (mostly of the regular army), under General Shafter, were hurried to Cuba and landed a few miles from the city.  On July 1 the enemy’s outer line of defenses were taken, after severe fighting at El Caney (ca-na’) and San Juan (sahn hoo-ahn’); and on the next day the Spaniards failed in an attempt to retake them.  So certain was it that the city must soon surrender, that Cervera was ordered to dash from the harbor, break through the American fleet, and put to sea.  On Sunday morning, July 3, the attempt was made; a desperate sea fight followed, and, in a few hours, all six of the Spanish vessels were sunk or stranded, shattered wrecks, on the coast of Cuba.  The Spanish loss in killed and wounded was heavy, while Admiral Cervera and about 1800 of his men were taken prisoners.  Not one of our vessels was seriously damaged, and but one of our men was killed.  When the battle began, the American war ships were in their usual positions before the harbor, as assigned them by Admiral Sampson; but Sampson himself, in his flagship, was several miles to the east on his way to a conference with General Shafter.  Commodore Schley’s flagship, the Brooklyn, was at the west end of the line, and as the enemy tried to escape in that direction, she was in the thickest of the fight.  Another war ship which especially distinguished herself was the Oregon, a Western-built ship, which had sailed from San Francisco all the way around Cape Horn in order to reach the seat of war.

[Illustration:  General Miles]

After the naval battle of July 3, all hope of successful resistance by the Spaniards vanished, and on July 17, General Toral surrendered Santiago, the eastern end of Cuba, and an army of nearly 25,000 men.  A week later General Miles set off to seize the island of Porto Rico.  He landed on the southern coast, and had occupied much of the island when hostilities came to an end.

571.  Peace.—­On August 12, 1898, a protocol was signed by representatives of the two nations, providing for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of Spain from the West Indies, and the occupation of Manila by the United States till the conclusion of a treaty of peace, which was to be negotiated by a commission meeting in Paris, and which was to provide for the disposition of the Philippines.

News of the cessation of hostilities was instantly sent to all our fleets and armies.  But, on August 13, before word could reach the Philippines, Manila was attacked by General Merritt’s army and Dewey’s fleet, whereupon the Spanish general surrendered the city and about 7000 soldiers.

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A formal treaty of peace was signed at Paris December 10, 1898, providing that Spain should relinquish her title to Cuba, and cede Porto Rico, Guam (one of the Ladrones), and the Philippines to the United States; and that the United States should pay $20,000,000 to Spain.  The treaty was then submitted to the governments of the United States and Spain for ratification; but in both countries it met some opposition.  In our country objections were made especially to the taking of the Philippines without the consent of their inhabitants, many of whom, under the leadership of Aguinaldo, had previously rebelled against Spain and were now demanding complete independence; but the prevailing view was that our immediate control was necessary to prevent civil war, anarchy, and foreign complications there.  Accordingly, on February 6, 1899, the treaty was ratified by the Senate by a vote of 57 to 27.  Spain also accepted the treaty, which was formally proclaimed April 11.  The $20,000,000 was promptly paid to Spain, and ordinary diplomatic relations were resumed.

%572.  The War Bonds and War Taxes.%—­For the expenses of the war with Spain Congress made ample provision.  The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to issue $400,000,000 in 3 per cent bonds,[1] and borrow $100,000,000 upon temporary certificates of indebtedness.  Stamp taxes, an inheritance tax, and a duty on tea were laid, and the silver in the Treasury was ordered to be coined at the rate of $1,500,000 a month.

[Footnote 1:  $200,000,000 of the war bonds were offered for popular subscription, and $109,000,000 were subscribed in sums under $500.  All was taken in sums under $5000.]

%573.  Hawaii annexed.%—­But in few respects was the effect of the war so marked as in the changed sentiment of the people toward Hawaii.  During five years the little republic had been steadily seeking annexation to the United States, and seeking in vain.  But with the partial occupation of the Philippines, and the impending acquisition of Porto Rico, and perhaps Cuba, the policy of territorial expansion lost many of its terrors, and the Hawaiian Islands were annexed by joint resolution of Congress, signed by the President July 7, 1898.  The formal transfer of sovereignty took place August 12.  The islands continued temporarily under their existing form of government, with slight modifications, till June 14, 1900, when they were organized as a territory.

[Illustration:  (World Map)]

[Illustration:  General Otis]

%574.  The War in the Philippines.%—­While the treaty with Spain was under consideration, the city of Manila was held by General Otis, Merritt’s successor; but native troops, under Aguinaldo, were in control of most of Luzon and several other islands.  On the night of February 4, 1899, the long-threatened conflict between them was begun by Aguinaldo’s unsuccessful attack on the Americans at Manila.  War now followed; but in battle after battle the natives

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were beaten and scattered, till by the beginning of the year 1900 the main army of the Filipinos had been completely broken up, and the only forces still opposing American authority were small bodies of bandits and guerrillas.  These held out persistently, and continued the warfare for more than a year.  In 1900 the President sent a commission to the Philippines to organize civil government in such localities and in such degree as it should deem advisable; and in 1902 Congress enacted a plan of government under which the Philippines are constituted a partly self-governing dependency.

%575.  Porto Rico and Cuba.%—­After the close of the Spanish war, both Porto Rico and Cuba remained under the military control of the United States for many months.  For Porto Rico, which had been ceded to our country, Congress provided a system of civil government which went into effect May 1, 1900.  This organized Porto Rico as a dependency.

Cuba, however, had not been ceded to the United States.  It had passed under our control only for the restoration of peace and the establishment of a stable government there; for Congress, in its resolution of April 19, 1898, asserted its determination, after the pacification of Cuba, “to leave the government and control of the island to its people.”  In June, 1900, the local city governments were turned over to municipal officers that had been elected by the people.  In the following winter a constitution was framed by a convention of delegates elected by the Cubans.  Then, after certain provisions had been added to this, to govern the future relations between Cuba and the United States, and after the first officers of the Cuban Republic had been elected, the United States troops were withdrawn and the new government took charge of the island, May 20, 1902.

%576.  Disorders in China.%—­Early in 1900 a patriotic society of Chinese, called the Boxers, began to massacre native Christians in the north of China, and to drive out or kill all missionaries and other foreigners.  The disorder soon spread to Pekin, where the foreign ministers and their countrymen (including some Americans) were besieged in their quarter of the city by Boxers and regular Chinese troops; for the Chinese government, instead of suppressing the Boxers, acted in sympathy with them.

President McKinley sent warships and soldiers to China, where they cooeperated with the forces of Japan and the European powers in rescuing the imperiled foreigners in Pekin.  War was not declared against China, though she resisted the invading troops, making it necessary for them to capture several towns and to fight several battles before Pekin was taken.  A treaty was then negotiated with the United States, Japan, and the European powers, providing for the restoration of order and a settlement of the various claims against China.

%577%.  At home during 1900 our population was counted; a President was elected; and a currency law of much importance was enacted.  In the United States and the territories there were found to be about 76,000,000 people, and in the one state of New York more inhabitants than there were in all the United States in 1810.

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By the currency law, known as the Gold Standard Act, it is provided:—­

1.  That the gold dollar shall be the standard unit of value.

2.  That all forms of money issued or coined shall be kept “at a parity of value” with this gold standard.

3.  That United States notes and Treasury notes shall be redeemed in gold coin.  For this purpose $150,000,000 of gold coin or bullion is set apart in the Treasury.

%578%.  When the time came to prepare for the election of a President and Vice President, eleven conventions were held, as many platforms were framed, and eight pairs of candidates were nominated.  There were the Democratic and Republican parties; the People’s Party (Fusionists) and the People’s Party (Middle of the Road Anti-Fusionists); the Prohibition, United Christian, Silver Republican, Socialist Labor, Social Democratic, and National parties; and the Anti-Imperialist League.  The things opposed, approved of, or demanded by these parties were many and various; but a few should be stated as showing what the people were thinking about:  Trusts, the gold standard, the free coinage of silver, a canal across Nicaragua or the isthmus of Panama, election of United States senators by the people, repeal of the war taxes, statehood for the territories, independence for the Filipinos, aid to American shipping, irrigation of the arid lands in the West, public ownership of railways and telegraphs, desecration of the Sabbath, equality of men and women, exclusion of the Asiatics, the Monroe Doctrine.

%579.  McKinley Reelected.%—­The Populist (Fusionist) convention nominated William J. Bryan and Charles A. Towne.  But the Democrats named Bryan and Adlai E. Stevenson.  Thereupon Towne withdrew, and Bryan and Stevenson were made the candidates of the Populists and the Silver party as well as of the Democrats.  The Democratic platform denounced imperialism and trusts, and reiterated the demand for the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1.  The Republicans renominated President McKinley, and nominated Theodore Roosevelt for Vice President, on a platform indorsing McKinley’s administration and favoring the gold standard of money.  McKinley and Roosevelt were elected.

%580.  McKinley Assassinated.% On March 4, 1901, the President began his second term, which six months later came to a dreadful end.  In May a great fair—­the Pan-American Exposition—­was opened at Buffalo, and to this exposition the President came as a guest early in September, and was holding a public reception on the afternoon of the 6th, when an anarchist who approached as if to shake hands, suddenly shot him twice.  For several days it was thought that the wounds would not prove fatal; but early on the morning of the 14th, the President died, and that afternoon Mr. Roosevelt took the oath of office required by the Constitution and became President.

[Illustration:  Theodore Roosevelt]

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%581.  Public Measures adopted in 1901-1904.%—­The events connected with our large island possessions had directed much attention to our military and naval forces.  As a result, Congress passed several measures to increase the efficiency of the army, and appropriated large sums for additions to the navy.  For the reclamation of the arid parts of the Far West an important law was enacted (1902), setting aside the money received from the sales of public land in that part of the country and appropriating it for the planning and construction of irrigation works.  In 1903 a ninth member was added to the President’s cabinet in the person of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.  The new department was made to include the Department of Labor established fifteen years before, and a number of other bureaus already existing; at the same time the Bureau of Corporations was newly established, and was given the power to investigate the organization and workings of any trust or corporation (except railroads) engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, and, with the President’s approval, to publish the information so obtained.

A long-standing dispute as to the eastern boundary of southern Alaska was referred to a British-American tribunal, which decided chiefly in favor of the United States (1903).  By a reciprocity treaty with Cuba which went into effect in 1904, the duties on Cuban trade were somewhat lowered.

%582.  The Isthmian Canal.%—­A French company many years ago began to dig a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama, but it failed through bad management before the work was half done.  A United States commission made a survey of this route and also of the Nicaragua route across Central America, estimated the cost of building each canal, and gave careful consideration to the advantages of each route.  The owners of the French canal having offered to sell for $40,000,000, Congress in 1902 authorized the President to buy and complete it, provided satisfactory title and permanent control of the route could be secured.  In all, about $200,000,000 was provided for this work.  In 1903 a treaty was negotiated with Colombia, giving the United States a permanent lease of a six-mile strip across the isthmus, for an annual rental of $250,000 and the payment of $10,000,000, but Colombia rejected the treaty.  The Colombian province of Panama thereupon seceded (November 3), and its independence was recognized by the United States and other nations.  A treaty was soon made whereby the United States guaranteed the independence of Panama, and Panama ceded to the United States a ten-mile strip across the isthmus for the sums rejected by Colombia.  The rights of the French company were then bought, and a United States commission began the work of completing the canal (1904).

%583.  Election of Roosevelt.%—­There were almost as many parties as ever in the campaign of 1904.  The Republicans indorsed the existing administration, demanded the continuance of the protective tariff and the gold standard, and nominated Roosevelt for President and Charles W. Fairbanks for Vice President.  The Democrats nominated Alton B. Parker and Henry G. Davis, and declared for a reduction of the tariff and against militarism and trusts, but were silent on the money question.  Roosevelt and Fairbanks were elected by a large majority.

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%584.  Interstate Commerce.%—­In spite of the act of 1887 and some later laws, favored shippers were still given various unfair advantages in the service and charges of railroads.  In 1906 Congress greatly enlarged the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to supervise railroads, express companies, and other common carriers operating in more than one state, and even authorized it to fix new freight and passenger rates in place of any it deemed to be unjust or unreasonable.

Besides this law to regulate interstate transportation, Congress passed several acts to regulate the quality of goods entering into interstate commerce.  Efficient inspection of meat-packing establishments was provided, at a cost of $3,000,000 a year.  Adulteration or misbranding of any foods, drugs, medicines, or liquors manufactured anywhere for sale in another state, was forbidden under heavy penalties.

%585.  Intervention in Cuba.%—­One of the provisions added to the Cuban constitution gave the United States the right to intervene “for the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty.”  This right was first exercised in the autumn of 1906, when the Cuban government failed to suppress an insurrection in the island.  Efforts were first made, in vain, to bring about peace in Cuba without armed intervention; then the Cuban president resigned, our envoy Secretary Taft proclaimed himself provisional governor of Cuba, United States troops were stationed at various points, and the insurgents peacefully disbanded.  The work of completing the restoration of order and confidence, preparatory to the holding of a new election under the Cuban constitution, was intrusted by the President to Charles E. Magoon, who became provisional governor in October.

%586.  The Panic of 1907.%—­For several years our country had enjoyed unusual prosperity.  Never had the business of the country been better.  A distrust of banks and banking institutions, however, was suddenly developed.  Belief that the money of depositors was being used in a reckless way became widespread, and when a run on some banks in New York city forced them to suspend, a panic swept over the country.  People everywhere made haste to withdraw their deposits, and the banks for a time were forced to refuse to cash checks for large sums.  Business depression and hard times followed.

%587.  The Currency Law.%—­In the midst of the panic the Sixtieth Congress met and in the course of its session enacted (for six years) a currency law.  This is an emergency measure by which the national banks, when currency is scarce, may issue more under certain conditions.  The total amount put out by all the national banks must not be greater than $500,000,000.  Those using this currency must pay a heavy tax, which it is believed will lead to its prompt recall as soon as the emergency has passed.

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%588.  Election of Taft.%—­For the thirty-first time in our history electors of President and Vice President were chosen in 1908.  Seven parties placed candidates in the field.  The Republicans nominated William H. Taft and James S. Sherman; the Democrats named William J. Bryan and John W. Kern.  Candidates were also presented by the Prohibition, Populist, Socialist Labor, Socialist, and Independence parties.  In many respects the Republican and Democratic platforms were alike.  Both declared for revision of the tariff, postal savings banks, a bureau of mines and mining, protection of our citizens abroad, a better civil service, improvement of our inland waterways, preservation of our forests, and the admission of Arizona and New Mexico as separate states.  The Democratic platform called for an income tax, the publication of the names of contributors to national campaign funds, legislation against private monopolies, and full control of interstate railways.  Taft and Sherman were elected.

One of Taft’s first acts as President was to call a special session of Congress, which met March 15 to frame a new tariff act.

[Illustration:  William H. Taft]


1.  The political issues before the country since 1880 have been of two general classes—­industrial and financial.

2.  The industrial issues led to the formation of certain great organizations, as the Farmers’ Alliance, Knights of Labor, Patrons of Industry, etc.; and to the enactment of certain important laws, as the Interstate Commerce Acts, the Anti-Chinese laws, the Anti-Contract Labor law, and the establishment of the Labor Bureau.

3.  The financial issues were in general connected in some way with the agitation for free coinage of silver.

4.  These issues seriously affected both the old parties and produced others, as the Anti-monopoly party, the People’s party, the Silver party, the National, the Socialist.

5.  In 1893 financial questions became so serious that a panic occurred, which forced the repeal of the purchase clause of the Sherman Act.  In 1907 there was another panic.

6.  Among our foreign complications during this period were the question of the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, the Venezuela boundary dispute, the Cuban question, which finally involved us in a war with Spain, and the trouble with China arising from the Boxer outbreak.

7.  The chief events of the war with Spain were Dewey’s naval victory in Manila Bay, May 1; the battles of El Caney and San Juan, near Santiago, July 1; the naval battle of July 3 off Santiago; the surrender of Santiago, July 14; the invasion of Porto Rico, near the end of July; and the capture of Manila, August 13.

8.  The war resulted in the cession of Porto Rico and the Philippines to our country, and in Spain’s withdrawal from Cuba.

9.  The withdrawal of Spain from the Philippines was followed by an uprising of natives led by Aguinaldo; but the insurrection was soon suppressed and a system of civil government established.

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10.  By peaceful negotiation a treaty was perfected giving the United States control of the route for the Panama Canal.



* * * * *



When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:  that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.—­Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.  The history of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States.  To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

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He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined, with others, to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation: 

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: 

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States: 

[Transcriber’s note:  This is an excerpt.  Please see Project Gutenberg’s complete text.]


[Footnote 1:  This reprint of the Constitution exactly follows the text of that in the Department of State in Washington, save in the spelling of a few words.]

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


SECTION 1.  All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

SECTION 2. 1 The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.

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2 No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

3 Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons[2].  The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.  The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

[Footnote 2:  The last half of this sentence was superseded by the 13th and 14th Amendments. (See p.16 following.)]

4 When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

5 The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

SECTION 3. 1 The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof for six years; and each senator shall have one vote.

2 Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes.  The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any State, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

3 No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

4 The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

5 The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

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6 The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.  When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the chief justice shall preside:  and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

7 Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States:  but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

SECTION 4. 1 The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.

2 The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

SECTION 5. 1 Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

2 Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

3 Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

4 Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

[Transcriber’s note:  This is an excerpt.  Please see Project Gutenberg’s complete text.]


We have seen (page 155), that in 1776 the Continental Congress advised the people of the colonies to form governments for themselves, and that the people of the colonies accordingly adopted constitutions and became sovereign and independent states.  Of the thirteen original state constitutions, none save that of Massachusetts is now in force, and even that has been amended.  Changes in political ideas, changes in the conditions of life due to the wonderful progress of our country, have forced the people to alter, amend, and often remake their state constitutions.

All our state constitutions now in force divide the powers of government among three departments,—­legislative, executive, and judicial.

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The Legislative Department—­called in some states the Legislature, in others the General Assembly, and in still others the General Court—­ consists in every state of two branches or houses, usually known as the Senate and House of Representatives.  In six states the legislature meets annually, and in all the rest biennially; the members of both branches are everywhere elected by the people, and serve from one to four years.  In most states a session of the legislature is limited to a period of from forty to ninety days.  The legislature enacts the laws (which must not conflict with the Constitution of the United States, the treaties, the acts of Congress, or the constitution of the state); but the powers of the two houses are not equal in all the states.  In some the House of Representatives has the sole right to originate bills for the raising and the expenditure of money, and in some the Senate confirms or rejects appointments to office made by the Governor.

The Governor is the executive; is elected for a term of years varying from one to four; and is in duty bound to see that the laws are enforced.  To him, in nearly all the states, are sent the acts of the legislature to be signed if he approves, or vetoed if he disapproves.  In some states the Governor may veto parts or items of an act and approve the rest.  He is commander in chief of the militia; commissions all officers whom he appoints; and in most of the states may pardon criminals.

The Judicial Branch of government is composed of the state courts, whose judges are appointed, or elected for a long term of years.

These three branches of government—­the executive, the legislative, and the judicial—­are distinct and separate, and none can exercise the powers of the others.  No judge can enact a law; no legislature can try a suit; no executive can perform the duties of a judge or a legislature.

When the thirteen colonies threw off their allegiance to the British Crown, the government set up by each was supreme within the limits of the state.  Each could coin money, impose duties on goods imported from abroad or from other states, fix the legal rate of interest, make laws regulating marriage and divorce and the descent of property, and do anything else that any supreme government could do.

But when the states united in forming a strong general government by adopting the Constitution, they did not give up all their powers of government.  They intrusted part of them to the Federal government, and retained the rest as before.  In other words, the people of each state, instead of continuing to have one government, adopted a double government, state and Federal, according to the plan laid down in the Constitution.  It is the Federal Constitution that makes the division of powers between the nation and the separate states.  The Constitution, for instance, gives the Federal government the powers of coining money and laying import duties, and forbids these powers to the states; but the rate of interest, marriage and divorce, and the descent of property are matters not mentioned in the Constitution, and concerning which the states retain the power to make laws.

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In many cases it is hard to decide whether a state has power to do a certain thing.  Whenever the question turns on the interpretation of the Federal Constitution, it is decided by the United States courts.  The Federal Constitution and the laws and treaties made in accordance with it are supreme in case of any conflict with a state constitution or law.

The powers of government exercised by the states are more numerous, and affect the individual citizen in more ways, than those of the nation.  The force of contracts; the relations of employer and employed, husband and wife, parent and child; the administration of schools; and the punishment of most crimes, are matters controlled by the state.  A much larger amount of taxes is imposed by the states than by the nation.

Local Governments.—­Moreover, the local government of counties, towns, and cities is entirely under the control of the state.  State constitutions contain many provisions in regard to this local government, but the legislature can make laws affecting it more or less greatly in the various states.  In the local government of a city, town, or county there is to some extent a distribution of powers among legislative, executive, and judicial officers.  The legislative function is exercised by the city council or board of aldermen, the town trustees (or by the whole body of voters), and the county board of supervisors or commissioners; the executive, by the city mayor, the county sheriff, and other officers; and the judicial, by various city courts, justices of the peace, and county courts.

Political Rights and Duties.—­The political rights and duties of citizens depend chiefly on the state constitutions and laws.  Elections, both state and national, are conducted by state officers.  The state prescribes who shall have the right to vote, and the various states differ greatly in this respect.  Congress grants citizenship by a uniform rule of naturalization; but some states allow aliens to vote (on certain conditions), and some provide that a naturalized citizen can not vote until a certain period has elapsed after his naturalization.  In some states women may vote; in some only those men who have certain property or educational qualifications.

The right to vote is the qualification for holding most offices; additional qualifications are prescribed for very important offices, in the Federal and state constitutions.  Thus, none but a native may be a President or Vice President of the United States, nor may a citizen under thirty years of age be a member of the United States Senate.  Besides voting and office holding, the most important political rights and duties of citizens are to sit on juries and to serve in the army.  The qualifications of jurors in state courts are prescribed by state authority, and in national courts by national authority.  Congress has the exclusive power to raise armies, and in the Civil War hundreds of thousands of citizens came under national authority in connection with the duty to bear arms.  The militia, however, is commanded by state officers, and in time of peace is under the control of the separate states.

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Abolition, laws;
  opposition to;
  Compromise Bill;
  issue of Civil War. 
Acadia, extent of;
  struggle for. 
Act, of 1870;
  of 1873;
  of 1875.
Adams, Alvin. 
Adams, Charles F.
Adams, John, defends soldiers;
  Declaration of Independence;
  negotiates treaty;
  vice president;
Adams, John Quincy, opposes European colonization;
  presidential nominee;
  opposed to slavery. 
Adams, John Q., vice-pres. nominee. 
Adams, Samuel. 
Adams Express Company. 
“Adams men”. 
“Administration men”.
Alabama, admitted;
Alabama claims. 
Alaska, boundaries;
Albany, Dutch at;
  colonial congress at. 
Alien and Sedition laws. 
Allegheny River, French on. 
Allen, Ethan. 
Allison amendment. 
Amendments to Constitution, ten;
  proposed thirteenth;
America, discovery of;
  naming of. 
American Antislavery Society. 
American Fur Trading Company. 
American party. 
American Republican party;
Amnesty, proclamation issued;
  political issue. 
Anaesthesia discovered. 
Anderson, Robert. 
Andre, Major John. 
Annapolis, Md., founded; riot at;
  trade convention at. 
Annapolis, Port Royal called. 
Annual message. 
Anti-Chinese movement. 
Anti-Nebraska men. 
Antietam, battle of. 
Antimasonic party. 
Antislavery movement. 
Appomattox Courthouse. 
Arbitration, policy;
  between England and Venezuela. 
Argall, Governor.
Arizona, territory;
  silver interests. 
Arkansas, becomes territory;
  Confederates in;
Army of the Cumberland;
Army of the Potomac, peninsular campaign;
  at Gettysburg;
  in Wilderness campaign;
Army of Tennessee. 
Army of Virginia. 
Arnold, Benedict, attacks Quebec;
  at Saratoga;
  treason of;
  in British service. 
Articles of Confederation. 
Ashburton, Lord. 
Assumption of state debts. 
Astor, John Jacob. 
Astoria founded. 
Atchison settled. 
Atlanta burned. 
Atlantic cable. 
Auburn settled. 
Aurania settled. 
Austin, Moses. 
Austin, Stephen.


Bahama Islands. 
Baltimore, founded;
  in colonial times;
  Congress at;
  route to the West;
  convention at;
  insurgents in;
  labor congress in. 
Baltimore, Lord,
Banks, United States, see National Bank;

Page 280

  state, see State Banks. 
Banks, N. P., presidential nominee, in
  Civil War,
Bannock City founded,
Barry, John,
Barron, Commander,
Baton Rouge, captured,
  Spaniards claim,
“Battle above the Clouds,”
Bean, William,
Bear State republic,
Beauregard, General,
Bell, John,
Belpre settled,
Bemis Heights, battle of,
Bennington, battle of,
Benton, Thomas II., senator,
Bents Fort,
Berkeley, Lord,
Berlin Decree,
Bidwell, John,
Bienville, Celoron de,
Big Bottom massacre,
Bills of credit,
Biloxi settled,
Birney, James Gillespie, presidential nominee,
Black, James,
Black Rock burned,
Bladensburg, battle of,
Blaine, James G.,
Blair, Francis P.,
Bland-Allison Silver Bill,
Blockade, of 1814,
Blockade runners,
Blue Lodges,
Bonded debt, of 1866,
  of 1894,
Bonds, United States,
Bonhomme Richard,
Bonneville, Captain,
Boom towns,
Boone, Daniel,
Boonesboro settled,
Booth, John Wilkes, assassinates Lincoln,
Border states secede,
Boston, founded,
  in colonial times,
  tea party,
  Port Bill,
  occupied by British,
  in 1790,
Boston Neck,
Boston Sentinel,
Boundary, of United States in 1783,
  in 1815,
  of Alaska,
  of Texas,
  map showing territorial growth of United States,
Braddock, Edward,
Bradford, William,
Brandywine, battle of,
Brazil discovered,
Breckinridge, John C., vice president,
  presidential candidate,
Breeds Hill, battle of,
Brewster, William,
British, see English. 
British Columbia, boundary of,
British Guiana,
Brown, B. Gratz,
Brown, Jacob,
Brown, John,
Brown, Robert,
Bryan, William J.,
Buchanan, James, president,
  attitude toward seceded states,
Buckner, General Simon B.,
Buell, General,
Buena Vista, battle of,
Buffalo burned,
Bull Run, battles of,
Bunker Hill, battle of,
Bunker Hill Monument,
Burgoyne, John,
Burke P. B.,
Burlingame, Anson,
Burnside, General,
Burr, Aaron,
Business depression of ’93,
Butler, A. P.,
Butler, Benjamin F.,
Butler, William O.,
Butterfield overland stage.


Cabinet, first,
Cable, Atlantic,
Calhoun, John C., in War Congress,
  vice president,
  favors nullification,
  on slavery,
  on Compromise Bill,
  death of,
California, Fremont in,
  slavery in,
  gold discoveries,
  applies for admission,
  settled and admitted,
  Pacific Railroad to,

Page 281

Cambridge settled,
Camden, battle of,
Canada, ceded to British,
  boundary of,
Canso attacked,
Cape Ann colony,
Cape Breton,
Cape Cod named,
Cape Fear River settlements,
Captains of industry. 
Caribbean Islands. 
Carleton, Sir Guy. 
Carolinas, settled;
  see North and South Carolina. 
Carson, Kit. 
Carteret, Sir George. 
Cartier, Jacques. 
Cass, Lewis. 
Castine massacre. 
Castle Pinckney. 
Catholics in Maryland. 
Cayuga Indians. 
Cedar Creek, battle of. 
Cedar Mountain, battle of. 
Celoron de Bienville. 
Census, first;
  of 1810;
  of 1870;
  of 1900. 
Central Pacific Railroad. 
Cerro Gordo, battle of. 
Certificates, national. 
Chadds Ford, battle of. 
Chambers, B. J.
Chambersburg burned. 
Chancellorsville, battle of. 
Chapultepec, battle of. 
Charles I., grants Maryland;
  persecutes Puritans;
Charles II., grants Connecticut;
  grants Carolina;
  grants Pennsylvania. 
Charleston, founded;
  in colonial times;
  opposes tea tax;
  nominating convention. 
Charleston harbor. 
Charlestown, settled. 
Charlestown Neck. 
Charter colonies. 
Charters, of 1606;
  of 1609;
  of 1629. 
Chase, Salmon P.
Chattanooga, battle of. 
Cherokee Indians. 
Cherry Creek. 
Cherry Valley massacre.
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. 
Chicago, Republican conventions;
  in 1832;
  in 1840;
  labor congress;
  convention of ’69;
  meat packing;
  Bimetallic League. 
Chickahominy River. 
Chickamauga, battle of. 
Chickasaw Indians. 
China, disorder in. 
Chinese Exclusion acts. 
Chinese immigration. 
Chippewa, battle of. 
Choctaw Indians. 
Church of New England. 
Churubusco, battle of. 
Cincinnati, in 1802;
  in 1810;
  convention of 1872;
  labor congress;
  convention of 1876. 
Circuit courts. 
Civil Rights Bill. 
Civil service reform. 
Civil War;
  cost of;
  results of. 
Clark, General George Rogers. 
Clark, William. 
Clay, Henry, speaker;
  presidential nominee;
  secretary of state;
  Compromise Tariff;
  Infant School;
  Compromise Bill;
  death of.
Cleveland, population in 1840. 
Cleveland, Stephen Grover, president. 
Clinton, George. 
Clinton, Governor De Witt. 
Clinton, Sir Henry, campaigns. 
Cobb, Howell. 
Cochrane, General John. 
Cockburn, Admiral. 
Cohoes founded. 
Coin at a premium. 
Coinage of gold and silver. 
Cold Harbor, battle of. 
Colfax, Schuyler. 
Collins steamship line. 
Colonial, life;
  forms of government. 

Page 282

Colonies, Spanish;
Colorado, acquired;
  a territory;
  silver interests. 
Columbia Centinel
Columbia River discovered. 
Columbus, Christopher. 
Columbus, Ky., evacuated. 
Columbus, O., population in 1840;
Commerce, in colonial times;
  about 1810;
  See also Trade. 
Committee of Safety. 
Compromise, Missouri;
  of 1850;
  of Crittenden. 
Compromises in Constitution. 
Comptroller of the Currency. 
Concord, battle of. 
Confederate cruisers. 
Confederate States, formed;
  during civil war;
  capital of;
  end of;
  military supplies of;
  debts and losses of;
  congress dissolved.
Congress, under Articles of Confederation, and see Continental Congress;
  reconstruction plan of;
  gives land grants;
  acts of 1862 and 1863. 
Congress, National Labor. 
Connecticut, settled;
  in colonial times;
Conscription, Confederate.
Constitution of U.S.,
  amendments to, see Amendments. 
  Printed in Appendix,
Constitutional Union party,
Continental army,
Continental Congress,
Continental debt,
Continental money,
Contract labor,
Contraction policy,
Contreras, battle of,
Conway cabal,
Cooper, Peter,
  battle of,
Cornwallis, Lord,
Corporations, rise of,
  opposition to,
Cotton gin,
Cotton industry,
Cotton-seed oil,
Council Bluffs, Mormons at,
Council for New England,
Coureurs de bois,
Court of Admiralty,
Courts of U.S. established,
Cowpens, battle of,
Cranfill, J.B.,
Crawford, William H.,
Credit Strengthening Act,
Creek Indians,
Crittenden’s Compromise,
Croghan, Major,
Crown Point, founded,
  English at,
Culpeper Courthouse,
Cumberland Road,
Cunard steamship line,
Currency, U.S.,
Curtis, Gen. S.R.,
Customs Commissioners.


Dakota Territory, formed,
  population of,
Dallas, George Mifflin,
Dalton, battle of,
Daniel, William,
Davenport, John,
Davie, William K.,
Davis, David,
Davis, Jefferson, president of Confederacy,
  capture of,
Dayton, William L.,
De Soto,
Deane, Silas,
Dearborn’s expedition,
Debt, national, after the Revolutionary War,
  in 1790,
  in 1801,
  in 1835,
  new national,
  during Civil War,
  in 1866,
  in 1887,
  in 1894,
Declaration of Independence,
  in Vermont,
  See Appendix,
Declaration of Rights,
Delaware, claims in,
  sold to Penn,
  in colonial times,
  slavery in,
Delaware, Lord, 32. 

Page 283

Delaware Indians, 68, 72. 
Delegates, territorial, 162, 351 n. 2. 
Democratic party,
Democratic Republicans,
Denver, settled,
   convention at,
Department of Labor established,
Detroit, settled
  surrender of,
Dewey, Commodore,
Dingley Tariff,
Dinwiddie, Governor Robert,
Direct tax,
District courts,
District of Columbia,
  slavery in,
Dixon, Jeremiah,
Dole, president of Hawaiian Republic,
Donelson, Andrew Jackson,
Donelson, John,
Dorchester settled,
Dorchester Heights captured,
Douglas, Stephen A., Nebraska Bill,
  debates with Lincoln,
  elected senator,
  presidential nominee,
Dover riot,
Dow, Neal,
Drake, Sir Francis,
Draper, Dr. John W.,
Dred Scott decision,
Duane, William J.,
Duluth founded,
Duquesne, Marquis,
Durham massacre,
Dutch, possessions,
Dutch West India Company.


Earle, Thomas,
Early, Jubal,
East India Company,
East Indies, trade with,
Eastern Colonies, occupations, etc.,
Eastport captured,
Edmunds Law,
Electoral college,
Electoral commission,
Elizabeth, Queen,
Elizabeth City captured,
Ellmaker, Amos,
Ellsworth, Oliver,
Emancipation, agitation;
  cost of. 
Embargo laws. 
Emigration, western. 
Endicott, John. 
English, possessions;
  relations with France;
  relations with Indians;
  government of colonies;
  attitude to colonies;
  war with colonies;
  at war with French;
  disputed right of trade;
  favor South American republics;
  favor South;
  Venezuelan boundary question. 
English, William H.
English fur companies.
Era of Good Feeling. 
Ericsson, Captain John. 
Ericsson, Leif. 
Erie Canal. 
Erie Indians.
Europe, claims in America;
  attitude during Civil War. 
Evans, Oliver. 
Everett, Edward. 
Exeter massacre. 
Explorations, European;
Express, pony. 
Express companies formed.


Fair Oaks, battle of. 
Farewell Address of President Washington. 
Farmers’ Alliance. 
Farragut, Admiral. 
Federal Hall. 
Federal money. 
Federalist party,
Ferdinand, King, aids Columbus. 
Field, Cyrus W.
Field, James G.
Fifteenth Amendment. 
“Fifty-four forty or fight”. 
Fillmore, Millard, vice president;
  presidential nominee. 
Financial, distress of ’37;
  condition after Civil War;
  policy, Grant’s;
  questions after ’88. 
First Continental Congress. 
Fiscal Bank of United States. 
Fiscal Corporation. 
Fishery question. 
Fitch, John. 
Five Nations, or Iroquois Indians. 

Page 284

Flag, national;
  American naval. 
Flamborough Head, 148.
Florida, discovered;
  a British possession;
  East and West;
  a Spanish possession;
  a territory;
Foote, Flag Officer. 
Force Act, of;
  of 1871. 
Foreign labor. 
Foreigners, see Immigration. 
Fort Assumption built. 
Fort Boise. 
Fort Chartres built. 
Fort Crevecoeur built. 
Fort Cumberland. 
Fort Donelson captured. 
Fort Duquesne built;
Fort Edward. 
Fort Erie captured. 
Fort Fisher captured. 
Fort Frontenac captured. 
Fort Hall founded. 
Fort Henry captured. 
Fort Le Boeuf built
Fort Leavenworth. 
Fort Lee attacked. 
Fort Loyal massacre. 
Fort McAllister captured. 
Fort McHenry bombarded. 
Fort Macon captured. 
Fort Meigs, battle of. 
Fort Monroe. 
Fort Morgan. 
Fort Moultrie. 
Fort Nassau built. 
Fort Natchitoches. 
Fort Necessity built. 
Fort Orange built. 
Fort Pillow captured. 
Fort Pitt. 
Fort Rosalie founded. 
Fort St. Louis built. 
Fort Stanwix besieged. 
Fort Stephenson, battle of. 
Fort Sumter;
  battles of. 
Fort Ticonderoga. 
Fort Tombeckbee built. 
Fort Toulouse founded. 
Fort Venango built. 
Fort Washington captured. 
Fourteenth Amendment. 
Fractional currency. 
Franchise right;
  interference with. 
Franklin, Benjamin, during the French War;
  Declaration of Independence;
  ambassador to France. 
Franklin, state of. 
Fray Marcos. 
Fredericksburg, in colonial times;
  battle of. 
Free coinage, of gold and silver;
  of silver. 
Free-soil party;
  joins Republicans. 
Freedmen, treatment after war;
Freedmen’s Bureau Bill. 
Frelinghuysen, Theodore. 
Fremont, John C., in California;
  presidential nominee;
  in Shenandoah valley. 
French, possessions;
  relations with Indians;
  relations with English;
  and Indian War;
  abandon America;
  acknowledge our independence;
  republic established;
  war with English;
  trouble with United States;
  during Civil War;
  in Mexico. 
French Directory. 
Frenchtown, battle of. 
Fries’s Rebellion. 
Frobisher, Sir Martin.
Frontenac, Count. 
Frontier life. 
Frye, Joshua. 
Fugitive-slave laws. 
Fulton, Robert. 
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. 
Funding of national debt. 
Fusion tickets.


Gadsden, James. 
Gadsden Purchase. 
“Gag Rule”. 
Gage, General Thomas. 
Gaines Mill, battle of. 
Gallatin, Albert. 
Gallipolis settled. 
Gallissoniere, Marquis de la. 
Gama, Vasco da. 
Garfield, James, president;

Page 285

  death of. 
Garrison, William Lloyd. 
Gates, General Horatio. 
Gates, Sir Thomas. 
Geneva awards. 
George II, grants charter. 
Georgia, settled;
  in colonial times;
  annexed territory;
  cedes land to Congress;
  Sherman’s march through;
  again in the Union;
Germantown, battle of. 
Gerry, Elbridge. 
Gettysburg, battle of. 
Gettysburg Address, Lincoln’s. 
Gila River. 
Gilbert, Sir Humphrey. 
Goffe, William. 
Gold, discovered in California;
  at Pikes Peak;
  in Northwestern States;
  payments suspended;
  sole legal tender;
Gold Democrats. 
Gold reserve. 
Gorges, Sir Ferdinando. 
Government, colonial;
  under Articles of Confederation;
  of territories;
  control of railroads, etc
Grant, General U. S., in Civil War;
  relations with Johnson;
  third term proposed. 
Gray, Captain. 
Great American Desert. 
Great Britain, see English. 
Great Lakes explored. 
Great Salt Lake.
Great Western
Greeley, Horace. 
Green Mountain Boys. 
Greenback party. 
Greene, Nathanael. 
Grenville, Prime Minister. 
Groesbeck, W. S.
Groton massacre. 
Guadalupe Hidalgo, treaty of.
Guilford founded. 
Guilford Courthouse, battle of. 


Hail, Columbia! written. 
Hale, John P.
Hale, Nathan.
Halleck, General Henry. 
Hamilton, Alexander. 
Hamlin, Hannibal. 
Hampton Roads, peace conference at;
  Confederate cruiser sunk in;
  Monitor and Merrimac
Hancock, General Winfield. 
Hand loom. 
Hand mill. 
Hand press. 
Hard cider campaign. 
Hard times of ’73;
  of ’93. 
Harnden, W. F.
Harpers Ferry. 
Harrisburg convention. 
Harrison, Benjamin, president. 
Harrison, William Henry, in War of 1812;
  delegate in Congress;
  at Tippecanoe;
  presidential candidate;
  death of. 
Harrisons Landing. 
Harrodsburg settled. 
Hartford settled. 
Hatteras Inlet. 
Haverhill massacre. 
Hawaiian annexation. 
Hayes, Rutherford B., president. 
Hayne, Governor. 
Helena founded. 
Hendricks, Thomas A.
Henry, Patrick. 
Highways of trade. 
Hispaniola colonized. 
Hobart, Garret A.
Hoe octuple press,. 
Holly Springs. 
Holy Alliance. 
Home manufactures defended. 
Homestead Law. 
Hood, General J.B. 
Hooker, General. 
Hooker, Thomas. 
Hopkinson, Joseph.
House of Burgesses. 
House of Commons. 
House of Lords. 
House of Representatives, formed,

Page 286

  elects president
  Houston.  Samuel. 
Howe, Elias. 
Howe, General William. 
Hudson, Henry. 
Hudson Bay Company. 
Hull’s surrender. 
Hunt, Walter. 
Huron Indians. 
Hutchinson, Anne.


Idaho, a territory
  silver interests. 
Idaho City founded. 
Illinois, a territory
Immigration, Chinese, see Chinese; European Western,
   see Emigration. 
Impeachment of Johnson. 
Impressment of sailors. 
Income tax. 
Indented servants. 
Independence Chamber. 
Independence, Declaration of. 
Independence Hall. 
Independent National party. 
Independent Treasury law. 
Independents or Mugwumps. 
India rubber. 
Indian country. 
Indiana, a territory;
Indiana Register
Indianapolis, population in 1840. 
Indians, alliance with French,
  traits of
  in French and Indian War
  during Revolution
  in 1790
  in 1812,
  troubles with
  in Oregon
  territory sold. 
Industrial revolution
Inflation Bill.
Interest indents. 
Internal improvements, political issue. 
Internal revenue system. 
Interstate Commerce. 
Intolerable Acts. 
“Invisible Empire,”. 
Iowa, a territory
  admitted, 366. 
Iroquois Indians. 
Isabella.  Queen, aids Columbus. 
Island No. 10 captured. 
Isthmian Canal. 
Iuka, battle of.


Jackson, convention at
  battle of. 
Jackson, Dr.
Jackson, General Andrew, at New Orleans,
  defeats Indians
  presidential nominee
  president, 301-811. 
Jackson, General T.J. 
“Jackson men,”
Jalapa, battle of. 
Jamaica discovered,. 
James I., creates Virginia Company;
  annuls charter. 
Jamestown settled.
Java captured. 
Jay, John, treaty of Paris,
  ambassador to London. 
Jay Cooke and Co.’s failure. 
Jefferson, Thomas, writes Declaration of Independence
  secretary of state,
  Republican leader
  vice president,
  opposes Alien and Sedition laws
  favors political proscription. 
Jerseys, see New Jersey;
  retreat across. 
Johnson, Andrew, vice president
  amnesty policy. 
Johnson, Herschel V.
Johnson, R.M. 
Johnston, Gen. A.S. 
Johnston, Gen. Joseph E.
Joliet.  Louis. 
Jones, John Paul. 
Julian, George W.


Kanawha state. 
Kansas, struggle for
  slavery question in,
  rapid growth
  Farmers’ Alliance. 
Kansas City. 
Kansas-Nebraska Law. 
Kaskaskia settled. 
Kearny, Colonel Stephen.
Kendall, Amos. 
  Confederates in;

Page 287

  slavery in. 
Key, Francis S., writes Star-Spangled Banner
Kickapoo Indians. 
King George’s War. 
King Philip’s War. 
King William’s War. 
King, Rufus. 
King, William R.
Kings Mountain. 
Knights of Labor. 
Know-nothing party. 
Knox, General Henry. 
Ku Klux Klan.


La Salle, Robert de. 
Labor, in 1763;
  in 1790;
  questions in 1860;
  after Civil War;
  slave and free;
  foreign and convict;
Labor department established. 
Lafayette, Marquis de. 
Lake Champlain, battle of. 
Lake Erie, battle of. 
Lancaster, Congress at. 
Land grants, free;
  to railroads;
Land Mortgage scheme. 
Lane, Joseph. 
Lane, Ralph. 
Larimer, General. 
Laud, Archbishop. 
Lawrence settled. 
Lawrence, Amos A.
Lawrence, James. 
Leaven worth. 
Lecompton constitution. 
Lee, Charles. 
Lee, Richard Henry. 
Lee, Robert E., campaigns in Civil War;
Lenni Lenape Indians.
Letters of marque. 
Lewis, Meriwether. 
Lewiston founded.
Lexington, 148. 
Lexington, battle of. 
Lexington, Ky. 
Liberal Republican party.
Liberty party. 
Limestone settled. 
Lincoln, Abraham, debates with Douglas,
in Illinois senatorial contest;
  elected president;
  during Civil War;
  inauguration speech;
  Emancipation Proclamation;
  Gettysburg Address;
  peace conference with Stephens;
Lincoln, General. 
Line of Demarcation.
Little Belt
Livingston, Robert R.
Loan-office certificates. 
Log cabin campaign. 
Log cabins. 
Log of the Mayflower. 
Logan, John A.
London Company. 
Long, Dr.
Long, Major;
  discovers Longs Peak. 
Long houses, Indian. 
Long Parliament. 
Lookout Mountain, battle of. 
Lords of Trade. 
Lottery, Congress. 
Louis XV. claims Ohio region. 
Louisburg, built;
  captured by English;
  restored to French. 
Louisiana, La Salle in;
  extent of;
  French in;
  struggle for;
  reconstructs government;
Louisville, settled;
  labor congress at. 
Lovejoy, Elijah. 
Lowell founded. 
Lundy, Benjamin. 
Lundys Lane, battle of. 
Lyon, General.


McClellan, General George B., campaigns;
  presidential nominee. 
McCormick reaper. 
McDonough, Thomas. 
McDowell, General Irwin, campaigns. 
McKinley, William, president. 
McKinley Tariff Act.
Macomb, General. 
Macon Bill. 
Madison, James, on the Constitution;
  Republican leader;

Page 288

  favors Virginia Resolutions;
Mails, see Postal System. 
Maine, settled;
  part of Massachusetts Bay colony;
Maine Law. 
Manassas Junction, battle of. 
Manhattan Island. 
Manila, battle of. 
Manufactures, in colonial times;
  about 1800;
  in slave states;
  during Civil War;
  since Civil War. 
March to the Sea, Sherman’s. 
Marcos, Fray. 
Marietta settled. 
Marshall, John. 
Martin, Luther. 
Mary, Queen, grants Massachusetts charter. 
Maryland, colonized;
  in colonial times.
  slavery in. 
Mason, Charles. 
Mason, James M.
Mason, John. 
Mason and Dixon’s Line. 
Massachusetts, Bay Company;
  religious intolerance in;
  Bay charter granted;
  in colonial times;
  opposes Stamp and Townshend Acts;
  cedes land to Congress. 
Matagorda Bay
Matamoras, battle of
Mayflower Compact
Mayflower Log
Maysville settled
Meade, General
Mechanical improvements
Memphis captured
Mexico, becomes republic
  French in
Miami Indians
Michigan, a territory
Michilimackinac, trading post
Middle Colonies, occupations, etc
Milan Decree
Milford founded
Military lands
Mill Springs, battle of
Mills, R. Q.
Mills Tariff Bill
Milwaukee, population in 1840
Minneapolis mills
Minnesota, slavery in
  a territory
Mint established
Minute men
Missionary Ridge, battle of
Mississippi River, explored
  French forts built on
  right of navigation
  slavery west of
  campaign in Civil War
Mississippi, a territory
  convention in
  opposed to Reconstruction Act
  again in the Union
Missouri, admitted
  opposes Wilmot Proviso
  elects Kansas delegate
  slavery in
Missouri Compromise
Missouri River, gold discovered on
Mobile, in colonial times
Mobile Bay explored
  British in
Mohawk Indians
Mohegan Indians
Molino del Rey, battle of
Money, see Currency, Gold, and Silver.
Monmouth, battle of
Monroe, James, Republican leader
  treaty with England
Monroe Doctrine
Montana, a territory
  silver interests
Montcalm, General
Monterey, Cal., Fremont at
Monterey, Mexico, battle of
Montgomery, Confederate capital
Montgomery, Richard
Montreal, attacked
  attacked in 1813
Moose Island captured
Morgan, Daniel
Morgan, William
Morris, Robert
Morris, Thomas
Morristown, Washington at
Morse, Samuel F.B. 

Page 289

Morton, Dr.
Morton, Levi P.
Mount Desert Island settled
Mount Pleasant settled
Mount Vernon.  Washington’s home
Murfreesboro, battle of
Murray, William Vans
Muskhogee Indians
Mutiny Act.


Nantucket Island captured
Napoleon, consul of France
  issues decrees
  seizes American vessels
  loses power
Napoleon, Louis, in Mexico
Narragansett Indians
Nashville, settled
  battle of
Nassau, blockade running
Natchez, in colonial times
  claimed by Spaniards
National Agricultural Wheel
National Bank, First
  loses charter
  proposed Third
National banks
National Bimetallic League
National debt, see Debt. 
National Democratic party
National Labor Congress
National Labor Reform party
National notes, see Bonds
National party
National Pike
National Prohibition Reform party
National Republican party, see Republican. 
National Union party
Native American party
Naturalization law
Naumkeag settled
Nauvoo built
Naval warfare,
  in Revolution
  in French War
  in War of 1812
  in Civil War
Navigation Acts
Navy department
Nebraska Bill
  struggle for
  rapid growth
  Proclamation of
  territory and state
  silver interests
New Albion
New Amsterdam,
  becomes New York
New England,
  early settlements
  occupations in colonies
  English victories in
New England Emigrant Aid Society
New France,
  extent of
  struggle for
New Hampshire,
  in colonial times
New Haven,
  in colonial times
  riot at
New Jersey,
  in colonial times
  plan for Constitution
New London,
  riot at
New Mexico,
  Spanish explore
  slavery in
  bought from Texas
  silver interests
New Netherland,
  becomes New York
New Orleans,
  in colonial times
  battle of
“New Roof”
New Sweden
“New tenor”
New York (state),
  New Netherland becomes
  in colonial times
  English in
  cedes land to Congress
New York (city),
  in colonial times
  colonial congress at
  national capital
  the metropolis
  in 1830
  labor congress at
New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company
  riot at
Newbern captured
  granted to English
Newport, Ky. settled
Newport, R.I.,
  riot at
  in colonial times
  in 1790
  about 1810
Newtown settled

Page 290

  expedition against
Nipmuck Indians
Nominating conventions
Non-intercourse Law
Norfolk evacuated
North, Lord
North American party
North Carolina,
  in colonial times
  cedes land to Congress
  Sherman in
North Castle
North Dakota admitted
Northern attitude toward slavery
Northern Pacific Railroad
  exploration of
  the new
Northwest passage to India
Northwest Territory,
  Indian troubles in
  slavery question in
Notes, United States, see Bonds. 
Nova Scotia,
  part of Massachusetts Bay colony
  struggle for
Nueces River
Nullification doctrine.


O’Conor, Charles
Oglethorpe, James
  currency plan
Ohio Land Company
Ohio River,
  struggle for
  settlements on
Old Demand notes
Old Ironsides
Olmsted, F. L.
Omnibus Bill
Oneida Indians
Onondaga Indians
Orders in Council of 1806 and 1807
  how passed
  of 1785
  of 1787
  joint occupation of
  boundaries of
  a territory
  slavery in
Orleans Territory
Ossawatomie settled
Oswego burned
Otis, James
Overland stage
Owen, Robert.


Pacific Fur Company
Pacific Ocean,
Pacific railroads,
Pacific States settled,
Pakenham, General,
Palmer, John M.,
Palmyra, Mormons at,
Palo Alto, battle of,
Panic, of 1837,
  of 1873,
  of 1893,
Paper currency,
Parker, Joel,
Party platforms, see Platforms. 
Patent office,
Patterson, General,
Pea Ridge, battle of,
Pemberton, General,
Pendleton, George H.,
Pendleton Civil Service Act,
Peninsular campaign,
Penn, William, settles New Jersey and Pennsylvania,
  relations with Indians,
Pennsylvania, granted to Penn,
  in colonial times,
  opposes Townshend Acts,
  Declaration of Independence in,
  Confederates in,
Pennsylvania Freeman,
Pennsylvania Gazette,
Pennsylvania Journal,
Pennsylvania Packet,
Pennsylvania route to West,
Pensacola captured,
People’s party,
Pequot Indians,
Perry, Oliver Hazard,
Perryville, battle of,
Personal Liberty laws,
“Pet banks,”
Petersburg, in colonial times,
  Cornwallis at,
Philadelphia, founded,
  in colonial times,
  First Continental Congress,
  Congress at,
  constitutional convention at,

Page 291

  in 1800,
  national capital,
Phips, Sir William,
Photographic discoveries,
Pickens, Governor,
Pierce, Franklin, president,
Pike, Zebulon,
Pikes Peak,
Pinckney, C. C., minister to France,
  Federalist candidate,
  treaty with England,
Pitt, William,
Pittsburg, founded,
  in 1790,
  rebellion at,
Pittsburg Landing, battle of,
Plains of Abraham,
Platforms, party,
Platte country,
Plattsburg, battle of,
Plymouth, charter,
  part of Massachusetts Bay colony,
Political issues, see Platforms. 
Political parties, beginning of,
  see Federalists, Democrats, Republicans, etc
Polk, James K., presidential nominee,
Ponce de Leon,
Pony express,
Pope, General John, campaigns,
Popham, Sir John,
Popular sovereignty,
Population, in 1790,
  in 1815,
  in 1810,
  in 1820,
  increase in,
  of Oregon,
  western immigrant,
  between 1840 and 1860,
  in 1870,
  of northwestern states,
  of Oklahoma,
Populists, see People’s Party. 
Port Gibson, battle of,
Port Hudson, battle of,
Port Royal, settled,
  French stronghold,
  called Annapolis,
Port Royal, S. C., captured,
Portage Railroad,
Porter, at Vicksburg,
Porto Rico,
Portsmouth, settled,
  in colonial times,
  navy yard,
Portuguese in Brazil,
Postage stamps,
Postal system, in colonial times,
  in 1790,
  in 1840,
  in 1860,
Powhatan Indians,
Prairie schooners,
Prescott, Colonel,
Presidential election, method of,
  proposed method of,
Presidential succession,
Presque Isle built,
Price, General,
Princeton, battle of,
Printing press,
Proclamation, line,
  of neutrality,
Progress, from 1790 to 1815,
  from 1840 to 1860,
  since Civil War,
Prohibition party,
Proprietary colonies
Proscription, political
Proslavery movement
  South opposes
  Clay favors
  political issue
  in colonial times
  riot at
Provincial colonies
Public domain
  additions to
  grants, see Land grants
Puerto Rico
  see Porto Rico. 
  forms of
  persecution of
  in New England
  become Separatists


Quaker settlements
Quartering Act
  boundaries of
  French stronghold
Quebec Act
Queen Anne’s War
Queenstown, battle of
Quincy, Josiah.


Page 292

Radical Republicans
  Northern Pacific
  in 1887
  land grants to
Ralegh, Sir Walter
Randolph, John
“Receivers general” created
Reconstruction Act
Reconstruction policy
Refunding Act
Reid, Whitelaw
  old party
  new party
Resaca de la Palma
  battle of
Resumption of Specie Payment Act
Revolutionary War
Rhode Island
  in colonial times
Ribault, John
  Confederate capital
  campaign against
Rio Grande
  convention at
Rittenhouse, David
Robertson, James
Robinson, John
Rochester settled
Rogers, Captain
Rolfe, John
Roosevelt, Theodore
Rosecrans, General
Ross, General
Roxbury settled
Royal colonies
Rule of 1756
Rumsey, James
Russell, John
  claims on the Pacific
  complies with Monroe Doctrine
  attitude in Civil War
  Alaska purchased from
Ryal, Captain.


Sacketts Harbor
  battle of
St. Augustine founded
St. Clair’s defeat
St. Croix River settlements
St. John, John P.
St. Joseph captured
St. Lawrence River explored
St. Leger, Colonel
St. Louis
St. Marks captured
St. Marys founded
St. Paul
Salem settled
Salmon Falls massacre
Sampson, W.T.
San Jacinto
San Jacinto,
  battle of
San Salvador
Santa Anna
Santa Fe
Santa Maria
Santiago, battles of
Saratoga, battle of
  in colonial times
Schenectady massacre
Schley, W.S. 
Schools, free
Schuyler, General
Scientific discoveries
Scioto Company
Scott, General Winfield
  in 1814
  in Mexican War
  presidential nominee
  in Civil War
Sea to sea grants
Secession, of Southern States
  states refuse troops
  reconstruction plans
Sedition Law
Seminole Indians
Senate formed
Seneca Indians
Seven Cities of Cibola
Seven days’ battles
Seven Pines, battle of
Sevier, John
Sewall, Arthur
Seward, William H.
Sewing machine invented
Seymour, Horatio
Sharpsburg, battle of
Shays, Daniel
Shenandoah valley, war in
Sheridan, General Phil., campaigns
Sherman, Roger
Sherman, General W.T., campaigns
Sherman Act
  silver-purchase clause repealed
Shiloh, battle of
Ship Island
Shirley, Governor
Silver, specie suspended
  mines discovered

Page 293

  free coinage of
“Silver Grays”
Sioux Indians
Six Nations
Slave trade forbidden
Slavery, established
  in colonial times,
  in territories
  at time of Constitution
  in 1790
  affected by cotton industry
  in Kentucky
  in early states
  beyond Mississippi River
  issue between North and South
  area expanded
  in Texas
  in New Mexico and California
  in Kansas
  in 1857
  in 1860
  Civil War
  Emancipation Proclamation
  during Civil War
  abolished in Confederate States
  position of negroes after war
Slidell, John
Smith, Green Clay
Smith, John, at Jamestown
  explores New England coast
  among the Indians
Smith, Joseph
Social conditions, in 1790
  about 1890
Socialist Labor party
Society for Encouragement of Domestic Manufactures
Somers, Sir George
Sons of Liberty
South American republics
South Carolina, settled
  in colonial times
  cedes land to Congress
  favors nullification
  Sherman in
South Dakota, admitted
silver interests
South Pass
Southern Colonies, occupations, etc
Southern States, English in
  attitude toward slavery
  form Confederacy
  at end of 1860
  at beginning of war
  coast blockade
  cost of war in
  reconstruction of
  troubles in
  the New South
Spanish, possessions
  settlements, etc.
  boundary line
  Florida bought from
  war with United States
Spanish America
Specie Circular
Specie payments
Speculation in 1836
Spottsylvania Courthouse, battle of
Springfield, settled
  Republican state convention at
  Lincoln’s speech at
Squatter sovereignty, see Popular Sovereignty
Stamford founded
Stamp Act
Stamp tax
Standish, Miles
Star of the West
Star-Spangled Banner
Stark, Colonel John
State banks
State debts
State department
Staten Island evacuated
States, formed
  thirteen original
  trade laws
  powers of
  new constitutions in
  sovereignty of
  government in seceded,
Stephens, Alexander II. 
Steuben, Baron
Stevens, John
Stevenson, Adlai E.
Stewart, G.T. 
Stillwater, battle of
Stockton, Commodore
“Stonewall” Jackson
Stonington bombarded
Stony Point captured
Stowe, H.B. 
Stuyvesant, Peter
Sub treasury plan
Sugar Act
Sullivan, General
Sumner, Charles
Sumter, Fort
Supreme Court
  gives Dred Scott decision
  on Wilson Bill
Surplus revenue
  in 1837
  in 1887
Sutter’s Fort
Symmes, John C.

Page 294


Taft, William II. 
Taney, Roger B.
  of 1789
  bills of 1824, etc.
  of 1861
  for revenue only
  Mills Bill
  McKinley Act
  revision of 1896
Tarleton, Commander
  in colonies
  of 1861
  of bonds demanded
  of Chinese
  a political issue
Taylor, General Zachary
  in Mexican War
  death of
Tea tax
Temperance party
Tender Acts
  part of public domain
  opposes Wilmot Proviso
  reconstructs government
Tenure of Office Act
Territory formed
Terry, Eli
  becomes independent
  annexed to United States
  boundaries of
  New Mexico purchased from
  opposed to Reconstruction Act
  again in the Union
Thames River
  battle of
Thayer, Hon. Eli
Third-term tradition
Thirteenth Amendment
Thomas, General George II.
Thomas, General Lorenzo
Thompson, Henry Adams
Thurman, Allen G.
Ticket money
Tilden, Samuel J.
Tippecanoe, battle of
  population in 1840
Tompkins, Daniel D.
Tonty, Henri de
Topeka free-state constitution
Townshend Acts
  in colonial times
  in original states
  convention at Annapolis
  regulated by Congress
  with West Indies
  regulations of English and French
  facilities for
  trades unions
Transportation Bill
  in 1790
  in 1810
Treasury department established
Treasury notes
  of Penn with Indians
  of Utrecht
  of Ryswick
  of Aix-la-Chapelle
  of Paris
  with France
  with Spain
  of Ghent
  of Greenville
  of 1818
  of 1819
  with Mexico
  with Texas
  of 1846
  with China
  of Washington
  with Hawaii
  between Great Britain and Venezuela
Trent, William
Trent Affair
  battle of
  war with
  see Corporations. 
Truxton, Captain Thomas
Tuscarora Indians
Twelfth Amendment
Tyler, John
  vice-presidential nominee


Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Underground Railroad
Union Labor party
Union Pacific Railroad
United Colonies of New England
United Labor party
United States
United States Bank
  see National Bank. 
United States bonds
  see Bonds. 
Usselinx, William
  Mormons in
  slavery question in
  silver interests


Page 295

Vaca, Cabeza de
Vail, Alfred
Valley Forge
Van Buren, Martin
  vice-presidential nominee
  presidential nominee
  favors 10 hours system
Van Born, General
Van Rensselaer’s expedition
Van Wart
Venezuela boundary question
Vera Cruz
  battle of
  passes Personal Liberty Law
Vespucci, or Vespucius, Amerigo. 
Vevay settled. 
Vice-admiralty courts. 
Vice president, manner of electing. 
Vicksburg captured. 
Vincennes settled.
Virginia, named;
  a royal colony;
  defends Ohio valley;
  in colonial times;
  opposes Stamp Act;
  cedes land to Congress;
  Plan of Constitution;
  resolutions of 1798;
  resolutions of 1849;
  Brown’s raid in;
  coast blockade;
  opposes reconstruction policy;
  again in the Union. 
Virginia City, Mont., founded. 
Virginia City, Nov., founded. 
Virginia companies. 
Volunteers during Civil War.


Wabash River, Indians on.
Wages, in 1790;
  in 1860;
  in 1873;
  in 1880. 
Walla Walla. 
Wampanoag Indians. 
War department. 
Ward, Ensign. 
Wars, Indian;
  French and Indian;
  with France;
  with Tripoli;
  war for commercial independence (War of 1812);
Washington, George, in French and Indian War;
  commander in chief;
  in Revolution;
  president constitutional convention;
  social conditions at time of. 
Washington, national capital;
  Confederates near. 
Washington, slavery question in;
  a territory;
  boundary of;
Watauga Creek settlements. 
Waterloo settled. 
Watertown settled. 
Watlings Island. 
Watson, Thomas E.
Wayne, Anthony, at Stony Point;
  in Indian warfare. 
Weaver, James B.
Webster, Daniel, birth;
  opposes nullification doctrine;
  secretary of state;
  speech on Compromise Bill;
  death of. 
Webster-Ashburton treaty. 
Weitzel, General. 
Wells, Dr.
West Indies discovered. 
West Point, Arnold at. 
West Virginia, admitted;
  slavery in. 
Western movement. 
Western Reserve of Connecticut. 
Western Union Telegraph Company. 
Wethersfield settled. 
Whalley, Edward. 
Wheeler, William A.
Wheeling settled. 
Whig party. 
Whisky Rebellion. 
White House Landing, battle of. 
White Plains, battle of, 135. 
White, John. 
White, John. 
Whitman, Marcus. 
Whitney, Eli. 
Wildcat state banks. 
Wilderness campaign. 
Wilkes, Captain. 
William, King, grants Massachusetts charter. 

Page 296

Williams, Roger. 
Williamsburg, in colonial times;
Wilmington, Del., Washington at. 
Wilmington, N. C., British at;
Wilmot, David. 
Wilmot Proviso. 
Wilson, Henry. 
Wilson, William L.
Wilson Bill. 
Winchester, General. 
Winchester, battle of. 
Winthrop, John. 
Wirt, William. 
Wisconsin territory and state. 
Wolfe, General James. 
Woman suffrage. 
Workingman, see Labor. 
Wyeth, Nathaniel J.
Wyoming massacre. 
Wyoming, acquired;
  a territory;
  silver interests.


“X, Y, Z mission.”


York, Canada, burned. 
York, Me., massacre. 
York, Pa., Congress at. 
York, Duke of. 
Yorktown, surrendered;
Young, Brigham.


Zuni pueblos.