« PreviousContinue »
TROUBLES IN MARYLAND.
mercies of royal favorites and extortioners, while the CHAP. printing-press, that dread of tyrants, was still forbidden. How dearly did loyal Virginia pay for the honor of being 1685. named the “ Old Dominion !”
The struggles of the people of Virginia under Bacon and others, had an effect on the people of Maryland. At the death of Lord Baltimore, his son and heir assumed the 1675. government, and ruled with justice till another revolution in England brought a change. The deputy-governor hesi- 1688. tated to acknowledge William and Mary. This was seized upon by some restless spirits to excite discontent in the minds of the people. Among other absurd stories, it was said that the Catholics, who were few in number, were about to invite the Indians to aid them in massacring the Protestants. At this time the Jesuits had excited the Indians of New England and Canada against the New England colonies. This gave a shadow of probability to the charge. Under the lead of some persons, who professed to be very zealous Protestants, the deputy-governor was seized, and a convention called, which deposed Lord Baltimore, and proclaimed the people the true sovereign, Two years after, 1691. King William, taking them at their word, unjustly deprived Lord Baltimore of his property, and made the colony a royal province. The people now suffered the penalty for ill treating their benevolent proprietary. The king placed over them a royal governor ; changed their laws for the worse ; established the Church of England, and taxed them to maintain it; did not promote education, but prohibited printing ; discouraged their domestic manufactures ; and finally disfranchised the Catholics, who had laid the foundation of the colony sixty years before. The rights of Lord Baltimore were afterward restored to his infant child, and the original form of government was 1716. established. No colony experienced so many vicissitudes as Maryland.
COLONIZATION OF NEW YORK.
Hudson's Discoveries.- Indian Traffic.–Fort on the Isle of Manhattan.
Walloons the first Settlers.-Peter Minuits.-The Patroons.-Van Twiller Governor; his Misrule.-Succeeded by Kieft.—Difficulties with the Indians.—They scek Protection; their Massacre.—Peace concluded.-Stuyvesant Governor.—The Swedish Settlement on the Dela. ware.-Pavonia.—Threatening Rumors.-New Netherland surreadered to England. -New Jersey sold by the Duke of York.—The Influence of the Dutch.
CHAP. When there were high hopes of discovering a north-west
passage to India, Henry Hudson was sent in search of it 1609. by a company of London merchants. He was unsuccess
ful; yet his enthusiasm was not diminished by his failure. He requested to be again sent on the same errand, but the merchants were unwilling to incur further expense. He then applied to the Dutch East India Company; the directors of which, at Amsterdam, furnished him with a ship, the HalfMoon, with liberty to exercise his own judgment in the prosecution of the enterprise. He first sailed to the north-east, away beyond the Capes of Norway, as far as the ice would permit. He saw that an effort in that direction would be fruitless. He turned to the west, crossed the Atlantic, and coasted along the continent till he found himself opposite the Capes of Virginia ; then turning to the north he entered "a great bay with rivers,” since known as the Delaware ; still further north he passed through a narrow channel, and found himself in a beautiful bay. Here he
A CHANGE WROUGHT.
remained some days. The natives, “ clothed in mantles CHAP. of feathers and robes of fur," visited his ship. Their astonishment was great ; they thought it was the canoe 1609. of the Great Spirit, and the white faces, so unlike themselves, were his servants. Hudson explored the bay, and noticed a large stream flowing from the north ; this, thought he, leads to the Eastern Seas. That stream, called by some of the native tribes the Cahohatatea, or River of Mountains, and by others the Shatemuc, he explored for one hundred and fifty miles; it did not lead to the Eastern Seas, yet that river has immortalized the name of Henry Hudson.
What a change has come over the “River of Mountains” since he threaded his way up its stream two hundred and fifty years ago !
It bas become the highway to the great inland seas of a continent, upon whose bosoms float the fruits of the industry of millions; and the island at its mouth the heart of a nation's commerce, whose every throb is felt throughout that nation's length and breadth From the highest church-steeple, on this Isle of Manhattan, the eye takes in a horizon containing a population 1861. two-fifths as great as that of the thirteen colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence. There are other changes which the philanthropist loves to contemplate. Here are seen the humanizing influences of Christianity, of civilization, of intelligence, and of industry, embodied in institutions of learning, of science, and of benevolence, that pour forth their charities and blessings, not alone for this land but for others.
The coincidence is striking, that, nearly at the same time, the representatives of three nations were penetrating the wilderness and approaching each other. Champlain, on behalf of France, was exploring the northern part of New York; John Smith, one of the pioneers of English
CHAP. colonization, was pushing his discoveries up to the head
waters of the Chesapeake, while the Half-Moon was slowly 1610. sounding her way up the Hudson.
Hudson arrived safely in England, but he was not permitted by the government to continue in the service of the Dutch, lest they should derive advantage in trade from his discoveries. However, he found means to transmit to his employers at Amsterdam, an account of his voyage. Once more he sailed under the patronage of some English merchants. He passed through the straits into the bay known by his name; groped among a multitude of islands till late in the season, and then determined to winter there, and in the spring continue his search for the wished-for passage. When spring came his provisions were nearly exhausted ; it was impossible to prosecute his design. With tears of disappointment he gave orders to turn the prow of his vessel homeward. A day or two afterward his crew mutinied. They seized him, put him, with his son and seven seamen, four of whom were ill, on board the shallop, and inhumanly left them to perish. “The gloomy waste of waters which bears his name, is his tomb and his monument.”
Hudson, in his communication to his employers, described the extensive region he had discovered as well watered by rivers, and as lying around bays and inlets ; as covered with forests abounding in the finest timber for ship-building; and as “a land as beautiful as ever man trod upon.” The numerous tribes of Indians who met him in friendship, and the multitudes of beaver and otter, gave indication also of a profitable trade.
The next year a ship was sent to trade; the traffic was profitable, and was still further prosecuted. In a few years there were forts or trading houses on the river, as far
up as Fort Orange, since Albany. A rude fort at the 1614. lower end of Manhattan island was the germ of the present
city of New YORK. The Dutch during this time were
busy exploring the waters from the Delaware to Cape CHAP. Cod. They were as yet but a company of traders ; no emigrants had left Holland with the intention of making 1614. a permanent settlement.
A company was formed, under the title of the Dutch 1621. West India Company; an association for the purpose of trade only. They took possession of the territory as temporary occupants; if they grew rich they were indifferent as to other matters; they had no promise of protection from Holland, and as a matter of policy they were peaceful. The States-General granted them the monopoly of trade from Cape May to Nova Scotia, and named the entire territory New Netherland. The claims of the English, French, and Dutch thus overlapped each other, and led to “territorial disputes, national rivalries, religious antipathies, and all the petty hatreds and jealousies of trade."
About thirty families, Walloons or French Protestants, who had fled to Holland to avoid persecution, were the first to emigrate with the intention of remaining. Some of these settled in the vicinity of what is now the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, others went up the river to Fort
The central position of the island of Manhattan obtained for it the honor of being chosen as the residence of the agent for the company. Peter Minuits was appointed such, under the title of governor, and the few cottages at the south end of the island were dignified with the name of New Amsterdam. The island itself belonged exclusively to the company, and was purchased from the Indians for about twenty-four dollars. Effort was now made to found a State. Every person who should emigrate had the privilege of owning as much land as he could properly cultivate, provided it was not on lands especially claimed by the company. To encourage emigration, it was ordered that any member of the company who in four years should