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STATE OF SOCIETY IN THE COLONIES.
263. THE English colonies in America were originally confined to the region east of the Alleghanies. At the close of the “French and Indian War”, a few adventurous pioneers pushed across the mountains, and commenced settling in the rich valleys of the great western rivers. Educated in the school of hardship, and accustomed to rely upon themselves, they were well fitted to struggle with the difficulties encountered in the wilderness, and to make it blossom like the rose. Active, enterprising, and industrious, they were not long in spreading out over the fruitful region whose vast extent and exhaustless resources were even yet hardly appreciated.
The whole population of the thirteen colonies in 1760 is estimated at 1,700,000. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were the most populous. There were about 300,000 negroes in the colonies. They were for the most part slaves, and were distributed about as follows: in New England, 15,000; in the Middle Colonies, 80,000; in the Southern Colonies, 210,000.
264. The most populous cities in America at this time were Boston and Philadelphia, each of which, in 1753, contained not far from 18,000 inhabitants. The population of New York was about 12,000. The first church in the latter city had been erected by the Dutch inside of the fort. Trinity Church was built in 1696 on its present site. The houses were not numbered before the Revolution. The price of articles of food was regulated by law, that of beef being fixed at 41 pence a pound. The great coal mines of America had
263. To what region were the English colonies first confined ? What was done at the close of the French and Indian war? What was the character of these pioneers? What is the population of the thirteen colonies estimated to have been in 1760 ? What states were the most populous ? How many negroes were there, and how distributed ? 264. What were the most populous cities in America at this time? How many inhabitants did they contain in 1753? What was the population of New York? What is said of the churches of New York? What,
not yet been opened, and wood was the only kind of fuel
Albany was occupied by the descendants of old Dutch settlers, who were noted for their hospitality. A Swedish traveller tells us that the people had seats on the stoops of their dwellings, which in the evening were filled with young people, and that passers-by were “obliged to greet everybody unless they would shock the politeness of this town”.
265. Previous to the Revolution, nine colleges had been established in the colonies, in the following order: Harvard, William and Mary, Yale, Princeton, Columbia (originally called King's), Brown, Rutgers (then Queen's), Dartmouth, Hampden and Sydney. The first medical college was founded at Philadelphia, in 1764. The young people of these early times were far from having the educational advantages enjoyed at the present day. There were no public schools, and often in large districts no schools of any kind for the greater part
of the prices of food? What, of the fuel in use ? By whom was Albany occupied ? What does a Swedish traveller say about this place ? 265. Name, in their order, the colleges established before the Revolution. When and where was the
of the year. Public libraries were almost unknown. There was a small collection of books in the City Hall of New York, which were lent out to readers at 41 pence a week. In 1754, a subscription was started, which resulted in the establishment of the New York Society Library.
In 1700, there were but four printing-presses in the colonies. The first American newspaper, the Boston News Letter, was issued in 1704. In 1741, Franklin published the first magazine, at Philadelphia. In 1750, there were only seven newspapers in circulation, and no daily was attempted till 42
years afterwards, when the Federal Orrery was commenced at Boston. Few books were published before the Revolution, and these were principally histories, religious treatises, or political essays. No great poem or work of fic tion had yet been produced in America.
266. Manufactures at an early period engaged the attention of the colonists, especially at the north. What they needed for their own comfort was readily supplied, and they soon commenced producing different articles for export. Iron, hides, leather, and hats, were sent over to the old world, with considerable profit, till the government, fearing the effect of this competition on manufacturing industry at home, discouraged their exportation. This was the case particularly with hats, which the people of New England produced in such quantities, that we are told, if not restrained, they would soon have supplied the world with them.
With equal disregard for the interests of the colonies, the British government had sought to stifle with various restrio tions the spirit of commercial enterprise in America. A brisk coast trade, however, was carried on. The fisheries were not neglected; and the bold seamen of New England
first medical college founded? What is said of the educational advantages afforded in these early times ? What is said of public libraries? What two are mentioned in New York? In 1700, how many printing-presses were in the colonies ? When was the first American newspaper issued ? When, the first magazine! When, the first daily paper? What was it called ? What said of books before the Revolution ? 206. Where did manufactures receive special attention ? What articles were manufactured for export? What is said of the hats made in New England ? What measures were adopted by the British government? What was the policy of Great Britain with regard to the commerce of the colonies ? What
PROGRESS IN AGRICULTURE.
had even vied with the Dutch in pushing out into the frozen seas of the north in search of whales. At first they confined their efforts to the smaller kinds; but in 1712, one of the adventurous whalemen of Nantucket met, far out at sea, one of the largest species, and after a terrible battle succeeded in bringing it into port. Thus was a new impulse given to the whale-fishery in New England.
267. Agriculture, however, was the main reliance of the great body of the people. The richness of the primeval soil well repaid the husbandman for his labor. Maize, tobacco, and the potato, were extensively cultivated in the sunny fields of Virginia and the adjacent colonies. Rice and indigo were raised abundantly in South Carolina. Cotton received attention in the south, and began to be spun and woven. Fifteen years before the Revolution, the wife of Washington kept sixteen spinning-wheels running, and wore the fabrics made in her house under her own direction. The people of North Carolina lived in ease and plenty, relying much on hunting and fishing. Maize, tar, and turpentine, were the principal products of their domain. In the north, foreign as well as native grains and vegetables were everywhere raised. Barley was cultivated in New England from the time of its first settlement. Gosnold sowed it in Martha's Vineyard, in 1602.
268. Travelling facilities, at the time we are speaking of, were exceedingly limited. Railroads, steamboats, and even stage-coaches, were unknown. Passengers were conveyed from point to point on the coast in small sloops navigated by a man and a boy. They engaged to run from New York to Philadelphia in three days, unless in passing through the Narrows they were driven too far out to sea, in which case the voyage might take a week or more. New Jersey was crossed by land in wagons, which started twice a week from
progress had been made by the colonists in commercial matters? How was a new impulse given to the whale-fishery in New England ? 267. What was the main reliance of the colonists? What was the general character of the soil ? What were raised throughout the south? What, particularly in South Carolina ? What is said of cotton ? What is said of the wife of Washington? How did the people of North Carolina live? What were their principal products? What were raised in the north? Where was barley cultivated : 268. What is said of travelling facilities at this time? How were passengers carried from point to
New York. In 1765, a new line was established, consisting of wagons
without springs. The next year, a third line started, which promised to make the journey from New York to Philadelphia in two days; from this unprecedented speed its vehicles were called “flying machines”. The first stagecoach in America commenced running in 1972 from Boston to Providence, taking two days to go that distance.
CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
269. The people of America were descendants of men who had fled from oppression, and braved the hardships of the wilderness for the blessings of civil and religious liberty. They had endured incredible sufferings, and through their own unaided industry had at last prospered and grown strong. When poor and feeble, they had been neglected by the mother country; as soon as they became worth governing, Britain had sent them
governors; and now that they were growing rich, she sought to increase her revenue by taxing them. A pretext was not wanting. Heavy expenses had been incurred by the home government for the protection of the colonies in the French and Indian War; and these, it was claimed, should be reimbursed. The commanders sent over had been generally incompetent, and much of their success was due to the colonial troops and officers who served under them; yet the Americans would not have objected to contributing their share, had they been allowed a voice in laying the tax or directing how it should be appropriated. Having no representatives in Parliament, however, they
point on the coast? How long did it take to make the passage from New York to Philadelphia ? Give an account of the different lines that ran across New Jersey. When did the first stage-coach in America commence running ? On what route ? How long did it take to make the journey?
269. From whom were the people of America descended! How were they treated by the mother country? What pretext was assigned for taxing them ? Why did the Americans object to contributing their share of the expense ? How