Слике страница



mus, lion, and tiger, which are natives of many parts of the Eastern Continent, here were found the bison, musk-ox, jagU-ar', tapir, and lama. Remains of the elephant, however, and of a still larger quadruped known as the mastodon, now extinct, have been dug up in different parts of the United States. All our domestic animals were introduced from Europe. Horses are now found wild in great numbers, but America is not their native land. They have sprung from those introduced by the Spaniards. The same is the case with the wild cattle that traverse in myriads the plains of Buenos Ayres [bo'-nos a'-riz]. Our varieties of native birds are numerous; we have many not found in the Eastern Continent, of which the turkey is the most important.

5. Having thus considered the natural features of America, we proceed to treat of its history. The part now constituting the United States will occupy most of our atten

but shall take occasion to glance at the great events in other portions of the continent also, particularly such as have had a bearing on the history of our own country.



DIVISION INTO PERIODS. American History may be divided into four periods :I. THE ABORIGINAL PERIOD, extending from the first

peopling of America to its discovery by Columbus,

A. D. 1492. II. THE COLONIAL PERIOD, from the discovery by Colum

bus to the breaking out of the American Revolution,

A. D. 1775. III. THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD, from the breaking out

of the Revolution to the organization of a govern

ment under the Federal Constitution, A. D. 1789. IV. THE CONSTITUTIONAL PERIOD, from the organization

of a government under the Federal Constitution to the present time.

some not found in this country. By what was their place supplied ? What remains are found? What is said of our domestic animals? Whence came the horse and the wild cattle of South America? What is said of our native birds ? 5. Into how many periods may American History be divided ? Give the name and limits of each.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]







ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS. 6. WHEN America was discovered by Europeans, it was occupied by tribes differing in many respects from the nations of the old world. Their manners, customs, languages, and personal appearance, all proclaimed them a distinct race. From their color, they were by some styled RED MEN, while the erroneous idea of early adventurers that America formed part of the East Indies, led to their being called INDIANS, and by this name they have generally been known. As these native tribes play a prominent part in our early history, it is important to consider their origin and peculiarities, their territorial limits and mutual relations.

17. We must first ask whence and how America was peopled. It is separated from the Eastern Continent, on one side by three thousand miles of ocean, and on the other by an expanse of water for the most part three times as broad.

6. When discovered, by whom was America occupied ? In what did they differ from the nations of the old world ? What names were given them, and why? 7. What would seem to render it impossible for America to have been peopled from the Eastern Continent? What were men first led to suppose? What book

men to

can be

Hence it seems, at first glance, almost impossible that it should have been reached, in an age when ships were small and frail, when the mariner's compass was unknown and the sailor durst not trust himself out of sight of land. This led suppose

that the inhabitants of America did not descend from Adam and Eve, but from a race previously created. Such a theory is plainly contrary to the Bible record, nor is it needed to account for the settlement of America.

8. Later discoveries have brought to light a fact unknown to geographers three hundred years ago, that America widens rapidly in the north, and there juts out into the ocean till it comes within thirty-six miles of Asia. As a current sets towards the American shore, the passage

thither readily made even in rude vessels. Boats may have been driven over by stress of weather, and the continent thus have been discovered without design. But there was a still easier means of communication. In severe seasons, Behring's Strait is frozen over. Many varieties of animals have passed on the ice from one continent to the other; and the first occupants of America, led by curiosity, or driven by violence, may have reached the new world in the same manner.

9. At what time this event took place, we are not informed. History makes no mention of it. It is probable that it occurred at an early date, not many centuries after the dispersion at Babel and the consequent emigration from the plain of Shi'nar. Mankind soon spread out from the limited district to which they were at first confined, and took possession of the vacant lands around them, which, as their numbers increased, became necessary to their comfort. Thus they gradually found their way to Northeastern Asia; and at length adventure or accident made them acquainted with the existence of a new continent.

10. Behring's Strait or the northern part of the Pacific

contradicts this opinion ? 8. What fact have later discoveries brought to light ? How near do the extreme points of America and Asia come? How may boats have been driven across ? What easier means of access was there? What, besides man, appear to have crossed on the ice? 9. When did the migration to America take place? What led mankind to spread out from their original location? Where at last did they find themselves ? 10. How do some think America

[blocks in formation]

could thus have been easily crossed; but some think that ancient navigators first reached the new world by way of the Atlantic. As early as the days of Solomon, the Phoenician seamen made voyages to O'phir. At a later date, Hanno, the Carthaginian, is said to have sailed thirty days southwest from the Strait of Gibraltar. The early Egyptian navigators were particularly distinguished for their skill and daring; and we are told that during the reign of Pharaoh Necho [fa'-ro ne'-ko], about 600 B. C., a company of explorers started from the Isthmus of Suez [800'-ez], on the Red Sea, and sailed completely round Africa to the opposite point of the Isthmus, –a distance of 16,000 miles. Other remarkable voyages are recorded, during some of which America


have been reached. Plato and several other ancient writers appear to have been aware that there was a large body of land in the west, and speak of an island in that direction more extensive than Europe and Africa.

11. Some historians have tried to trace the American Indians to the ten “lost tribes” of Israel, who were conquered by Shalmaneser [shal-ma-ne-zer], king of Assyria, about 700 B. C. Many of the vanquished were carried into captivity, and uniting with their conquerors lost all separate existence as a nation. But there were some, who, we are told in Esdras, “ took this counsel among themselves, that they



was first reached ? In Solomon's time, what voyages were made ? At a later date, what is Hanno said to have done? What early navigators were particularly distinguished for their skill? What remarkable voyage of theirs is mentioned ? Who appear to have known that a large body of land existed in the west ? 11. To whom have some tried to trace the American Indians ? What befell these ten tribes? What did some of them resolve to do? How far does History trace


« ПретходнаНастави »