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overjoyed adventurers a scene of strange beauty. The land was covered with the forests and gay foliage and blossoms of a tropical clime. The natives thronged from the woods and gazed with wonder and astonishment at the ships, which, with their white sails, they regarded as huge birds hovering over the sea. "Columbus was the first to touch the newly discovered shore. Richly attired and with drawn sword, he landed. Kneeling on the sand he kissed the earth and returned thanks to God. When he had taken formal possession of the country in the name of the king and queen of Spain, his followers rendered him homage as viceroy, and the inhabitants, regarding the Spaniards as a superior race, prostrated themselves at his feet." The land first reached was one of the Bahama islands, to which Columbus gave the name of San Salvador, by which name it is still known.

Having learned from the natives that gold was to be obtained further to the south, they soon sailed in that direction and discovered Cuba and Hayti. One of his vessels having been wrecked he left thirty-five of his men in Hayti, and on the 1st of January, 1493, embarked for Spain. A violent storm on the return voyage threatened his frail vessels, and Columbus, fearing his discoveries would be lost to the world, wrote an account of them on parchment, which he secured in a cask and threw into the sea, hoping that the winds and waves might cast it ashore. But he was mercifully spared to make known personally his discoveries. The shattered vessels finally entered the port of Palos in safety, amid the acclamations of the people and the thunder of cannon. Columbus presented himself before the king and queen and laid before them the history of his discoveries, exhibited specimen products of the new world with the natives whom he had brought with him, and in return was loaded with the highest honors.

On the 25th of September, 1493, Columbus started upon his second voyage to the new world. This time he had a fleet of seventeen vessels and one thousand five hundred men. On his arrival at Hayti he found that his colony had been cut off. By their injustice and cruelty to the natives they had provoked them to summary vengeance. After providing for the erection of a fort on this island, Columbus proceeded to explore the surrounding

islands. Soon after completing this work he was delighted by the arrival of his brother Bartholomew, whom he had not seen for thirteen years, and who, on returning from his unsuccessful mission to England, was sent by Isabella with supplies to the new world.

The followers of Columbus, being disappointed in obtaining gold, began to murmur and complain of his management of affairs, the result of which was, an emissary of his enemies was sent out to examine into it. Columbus returned to Spain and plead his own cause before the throne. He established his innocence and was received into favor.

In 1498 he made his third voyage, directing his course nearer the equator than he had previously done. During this voyage he discovered the island of Trinidad and the coast of South America, near the mouth of the Orinoco river. In the current from the mouth of this great river his fleet was for a time in great danger. This led him to believe that so mighty a stream must belong to a continent. On his return to his colony on the island of Hayti he found Bovadilla, whom, at the instigation of his enemies, the Spanish sovereign had vested with power to examine into his conduct, and if needful to supersede him in command.

Columbus was sent back to Spain in chains. The captain of the vessel, grieved to see so great a discoverer treated in this manner, offered to remove his chains. But Columbus, indignant at the ingratitude of his country, would not allow them to be removed, and ordered that they should be buried with him. Every charge made against him he repelled, but his sovereign never had the justice to restore him to his station, and when it became necessary to remove Bovadilla on account of his mismanagement, Ovando was appointed his successor.

Though feeling deeply this ingratitude, and also the infirmities of age, in 1502 Columbus set out on a fourth voyage. He still entertained the belief that the land he had discovered formed a part of Asia, which delusion he did not live to have dispelled. The object of this last voyage was to discover a new passage to India by sailing further west. He explored the coast along the

gulf of Darien. But at last, after a succession of disasters in the attempt to reach Hayti, he was wrecked off the coast of Jamaica, where, being nearly reduced to starvation and in danger of attacks from the Indians, he saved himself and his followers by an ingenious stratagem. From his knowledge of astronomy he knew that an eclipse of the moon was to take place, and calling the natives around him told them that the Great Spirit was displeased with them on account of their treatment to the white man, and that He would, that night, hide his face from them. When the moon became dark they were convinced of the truth of what he had said, and brought him supplies, and besought him to pray to the Great Spirit to receive them into favor again. After undergoing extraordinary hardships, Columbus finally reached Hayti, and returned to Spain in the summer of 1504. Queen Isabella had died a short time before, and the remaining two years of the great discoverer's life was shrouded in gloom. He died at Valladolid in the 71st year of his age. His chains were put in his coffin as he requested, and his remains now rest in the cathedral of Havana.

Encouraged by the success of Columbus, other Spanish navigators had found their way to the new world. Among these was Ojeda, in whose company was a well educated Florentine gentleman who published an interesting description of the lands he had visited. His name was Americo Vespucci. His was the first written account of the western continent, and as it left Columbus out of view, the continent, instead of being called after its real discoverer, was named from this Florentine, America.

The early inhabitants of this country were the North American Indians, but they, as a nation, have long since passed away, although a remnant still linger in some of the States and in the Indian territory, and beyond the Rocky mountains.

The three oldest towns in the United States are St. Augustine, in Florida, founded by the Spaniards in 1565; Jamestown, in Virginia, founded by the English in 1607; and Plymouth, in Massachusetts, in 1620, also by the English.

CHAPTER II.

NEW ENGLAND.

MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND.

The history of New England begins with the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, who were Englishmen, belonging to a sect of Christians called Puritans. During the reign of the Roman Catholic Queen, Mary of England, their ancestors had been driven to the continent of Europe, where they had learned a more simple mode of worship than that practiced by the English church. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, having returned to their country, they refused to become members of the established church, or to submit to its usages. They were therefore nicknamed Puritans, and were persecuted for their non-conformity, as it was called.

These persecutions they endured for about fifty years, when a small company of them, in the year 1608, fled to Holland. Here they remained until 1620, when they resolved to go to America. They went to England in a small vessel called the Speedwell, where they remained about two weeks, and set sail for America. But the Speedwell proving unseaworthy, they were obliged to return, and this vessel and those of the company whose courage failed them were dismissed, and the rest crowded into the Mayflower.

On the 6th of September, 1620, this frail bark, bearing its precious burden, lost sight of English ground. The number of Pilgrims was a hundred and one. While on shipboard they drew up a body of laws which they resolved to obey, and chose John Carver for their governor. This first American constitution was drawn up and signed on the lid of a chest of Norway pine belonging to Elder Brewster. This chest is still preserved in the Athenæum at Hartford.

It was the intention of the Pilgrims to settle near the mouth of the Hudson river, but owing to the ignorance of the captain

they were landed on the barren coast of Massachusetts. Considerable time was spent exploring the coast for a suitable landing place, and Plymouth Rock being decided upon, the sea-wearied Pilgrims, on the 21st of December, after a three months' voyage, stepped ashore. "Tradition says it was the foot of Mary Chilton, a young maiden of the band, that first pressed Forefathers Rock, as it is still named and honored by their descendants." "The heavy night hung dark,

The hills and waters o'er,

When a band of exiles moored their bark

On the wild New England shore.

Ay, call it holy ground,

The soil where first they trod !

They have left unstained what there they found,
Freedom to worship God."

Disease and

Severe trials awaited them in their new home. famine did their fearful work. Among the victims were Governor Carver, his wife and child. In the spring, only forty-six of the one hundred and one passengers were living. But during this time they were mercifully preserved from the murderous tomahawk of the Indian, a pestilence, the year before, supposed to have been the small pox, having carried off the most savage of the tribes. The first Indian they met was Samoset, who greeted them with the cheering salutation : "Welcome, Englishmen ! Welcome, Englishmen." He was from what is now called Maine, and had learned to speak English from the captain of a fishing vessel on the coast. He informed them that Massasoit, the great chieftain of that region, was approaching with his warriors. Samoset was engaged as interpreter, and by means of a few kindly presents, the sachem's good will was secured, and a treaty made which was faithfully kept for more than fifty years. Through Massasoit's influence, ninety less powerful chiefs were brought into treaty, and Canonicus, the only hostile one, was awed when the Governor returned the arms and rattlesnake skin which the savage had sent him in token of defiance, stuffing the latter with powder and ball.

Between the years 1620 and 1630, various settlements were made by individuals and parties around Massachusetts Bay, at

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