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villages, which they ravished like a passing storm; and for a full year they kept all New England in a state of terror and excitement. The exploring party was waylaid and cut off, and the mangled carcasses and disjointed limbs of the dead were hung upon the trees.
The laborer in the field, the reapers as they sallied forth to the harvest, men as they went to mill, the shepherd's boy among the sheep, were shot down by skulking foes, whose approach was invisible. Who can tell the heavy hours of woman? The mother, if left alone in the house, feared the tomahawk for herself and children; on the sudden attack, the husband would fly with one child, the wife with another, and, perhaps, one only escape; the village cavalcade, making its way to meeting on Sunday in files on horseback, the farmer holding the bridle in one hand and a child in the other, his wife seated on a pillion behind him, it may be with a child in her lap, as was the fashion in those days, could not proceed safely; but, at the moment when least expected, bullets would whizz among them, sent from an unseen enemy by the wayside. The forest that protected the ambush of the Indians secured their retreat.
Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York.
THE NEW NETHERLAND
From History of the United States )
URING the absence of Stuyvesant from Manhattan, the war
riors of the neighboring Algonkin tribes, never reposing
confidence in the Dutch, made a desperate assault on the colony. In sixty-four canoes they appeared before the town, and ravaged the adjacent country. The return of the expedition restored confidence. The captives were ransomed, and industry repaired its losses. The Dutch seemed to have firmly established their power, and promised themselves happier years. New Netherland consoled them for the loss of Brazil. They exulted in the possession of an admirable territory, that needed no embankments against the ocean. They were proud of its vast extent, - from New England to Maryland, from the sea to the Great River of Canada, and the remote Northwestern wilderness. They sounded with exultation the channel of the deep stream, which was no longer shared with the Swedes; they counted with delight its many lovely runs of water, on which the beavers built their villages; and the great travelers who had visited every continent, as they ascended the Delaware, declared it one of the noblest rivers in the world, with banks more inviting than the lands on the Amazon.
Meantime, the country near the Hudson gained by increasing emigration. Manhattan was already the chosen abode of merchants; and the policy of the government invited them by its good-will. If Stuyvesant sometimes displayed the rash despotism of a soldier, he was sure to be reproved by his employers. Did he change the rate of duties arbitrarily, the directors, sensitive to commercial honor, charged him "to keep every contract inviolate.” Did he tamper with the currency by raising the nominal value of foreign coin, the measure was rebuked as dishonest. Did he attempt to fix the price of labor by arbitrary rules,' this also was condemned as unwise and impracticable. Did he interfere with the merchants by inspecting their accounts, the deed was censured as without precedent “in Christendom”; and he was ordered to "treat the merchants with kindness, lest they return, and the country be depopulated.” Did his zeal for Calvinism lead him to persecute Lutherans, he was chid for his bigotry. Did his hatred of “the abominable sect of Quakers » imprison and afterward exile the blameless Bowne, “let every peaceful citizen,” wrote the directors, "enjoy freedom of conscience; this maxim has made our city the asylum for fugitives from every land; tread in its steps, and you shall be blessed.”
Private worship was therefore allowed to every religion. Opinion, if not yet enfranchised, was already tolerated. The people of Palestine, from the destruction of their temple an outcast and a wandering race, were allured by the traffic and the condition of the New World; and not the Saxon and Celtic races only, the children of the bondmen that broke from slavery in Egypt, the posterity of those who had wandered in Arabia, and worshiped near Calvary, found a home, liberty, and a burial place on the island of Manhattan.
The emigrants from Holland were themselves of the most various lineage; for Holland had long been the gathering-place of the unfortunate. Could we trace the descent of the emigrants from the Low Countries to New Netherland, we should be carried not only to the banks of the Rhine and the borders of the German Sea, but to the Protestants who escaped from France after the massacre of Bartholomew's Eve, and to those earlier inquirers who were swayed by the voice of Huss in the heart of Bohemia. New York was always a city of the world. Its settlers were relics of the first fruits of the Reformation, chosen from the Belgic provinces and England, from France and Bohemia, from Germany and Switzerland, from Piedmont and the Italian Alps.
The religious sects, which, in the middle ages, had been fostered by the municipal liberties of the south of France, were the harbingers of modern freedom, and had therefore been sacrificed to the inexorable feudalism of the north. After a bloody conflict, the plebeian reformers, crushed by the merciless leaders of the military aristocracy, escaped to the highlands that divide France and Italy. Preserving the discipline of a benevolent, ascetic morality, with the simplicity of a spiritual worship,
“When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones,” it was found, on the progress of the Reformation, that they had by three centuries anticipated Luther and Calvin. The hurricane of persecution, which was to have swept Protestantism from the earth, did not spare their seclusion; mothers with infants were rolled down the rocks, and the bones of martyrs scattered on the Alpine mountains. The city of Amsterdam offered the fugitive Waldenses a free passage to America, and a welcome was prepared in New Netherland for the few who were willing to emigrate.
The persecuted of every creed and every clime were invited to the colony. When the Protestant churches in Rochelle were razed, the Calvinists of that city were gladly admitted; and the French Protestants came in such numbers that the public documents were sometimes issued in French as well as in Dutch and English. Troops of orphans were shipped for the milder destinies of the New World; a free passage was offered to mechanics; for « population was known to be the bulwark of every State.” The government of New Netherland had formed just ideas of the fit materials for building a commonwealth; they desired “farmers and laborers, foreigners and exiles, men inured to toil and penury.” The colony increased; children swarmed in every village; the advent of the year and the month of May were wel. comed with noisy frolics; new modes of activity were devised; lumber was shipped to France; the whale pursued off the coast; the vine, the mulberry, planted; flocks of sheep as well as cattle
were multiplied; and tile, so long imported from Holland, began to be manufactured near Fort Orange. New Amsterdam could, in a few years, boast of stately buildings, and almost vied with Boston. « This happily situated province,” said its inhabitants, "may become the granary of our fatherland; should our Netherlands be wasted by grievous wars, it will offer our countrymen a safe retreat; by God's blessing, we shall in a few years become a mighty people.”
Thus did various nations of the Caucasian race assist in colonizing our central states.
Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York.
From History of the United States)
RANKLIN looked quietly and deeply into the secrets of nature.
His clear understanding was never perverted by passion, nor
corrupted by the pride of theory. The son of a rigid Calvinist, the grandson of a tolerant Quaker, he had from boyhood been familiar not only with theological subtilities, but with a catholic respect for freedom of mind. Skeptical of tradition as the basis of faith, he respected reason rather than authority; and, after a momentary lapse into fatalism, he gained with increasing years an increasing trust in the overruling providence of God. Adhering to none of all the religions in the colonies, he yet devoutly, though without form, adhered to religion. But though famous as a disputant, and having a natural aptitude for metaphysics, he obeyed the tendency of his age, and sought by observation to win an insight into the mysteries of being. The best observers praise his method most. He so sincerely loved truth, that in his pursuit of her she met him half-way. Without prejudice and without bias, he discerned intuitively the identity of the laws of nature with those of which humanity is conscious; so that his mind was like a mirror, in which the universe, as it reflected itself, revealed her laws. His morality, repudiating ascetic severities and the system which enjoins them, was indulgent to appetites of which he abhorred the sway; but his affections were of a calm intensity: in all his career, the love of man held the mastery over personal interest. He had not the imagination which inspires the bard or kindles the orator; but an exquisite propriety,
parsimonious of ornament, gave ease, correctness, and graceful simplicity even to his most careless writings. In life, also, his tastes were delicate. Indifferent to the pleasures of the table, he relished the delights of music and harmony, of which he enlarged the instruments. His blandness of temper, his modesty, the benignity of his manners, made him the favorite of intelligent society; and, with healthy cheerfulness, he derived pleasure from books, from philosophy, from conversation, - now administering consolation to the sorrower, now indulging in
now indulging in light-hearted gayety. In his intercourse, the universality of his perceptions bore, perhaps, the character of humor; but, while he clearly discerned the contrast between the grandeur of the universe and the feebleness of man, a serene benevolence saved him from contempt of his race or disgust at its toils. To superficial observers, he might have seemed as an alien from speculative truth, limiting himself to the world of the senses; and yet, in study, and among men, his mind always sought to discover and apply the general principles by which nature and affairs are controlled, - now deducing from the theory of caloric improvements in fireplaces and lanterns, and now advancing human freedom by firm inductions from the inalienable rights of man. Never professing enthusiasm, never making a parade of sentiment, his practical wisdom was sometimes mistaken for the offspring of selfish prudence; yet his hope was steadfast, like that hope which rests on the Rock of Ages, and his conduct was as unerring as though the light that led him was a light from heaven. He never anticipated action by theories of self-sacrificing virtue; and yet, in the moments of intense activity, he from the abodes of ideal truth brought down and applied to the affairs of life the principles of goodness, as unostentatiously as became the man who with a kite and hempen string drew lightning from the skies. He separated himself so little from his age that he has been called the representative of materialism; and yet, when he thought on religion, his mind passed beyond reliance on sects to faith in God; when he wrote on politics, he founded freedom on principles that know no change; when he turned an observing eye on nature, he passed from the effect to the cause, from individual appearances to universal laws; when he reflected on history, his philosophic mind found gladness and repose in the clear anticipation of the progress of humanity.