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Introductory Chapter




  He Cast, (Of Which We Rather Boast,)

  The Gospel's Pearl Upon Our Coast,

  And In These Rocks For Us Did Frame

  A Temple Where To Sound His Name.

  O Let Our Voice His Praise Exalt

  Till It Arrive At Heaven's Vault,

  Which There Perhaps Rebounding May

  Echo Beyond The Mexic Bay.

  Thus Sang They, In The English Boat,

  A Holy And A Cheerful Note,

  And All The Way To Guide Their Chime,

  With Falling Oars They Kept The Time.



  _Andrew Marvell's "Emigrants In The Bermudas."_



The Beginning Of The 17th Century Is An Interesting Epoch In American

Annals. Although The Atlantic Coast Of That Vast Country Now Comprised

Within The Limits Of The United States And Canada Had Previously Been

Traced By Navigators, And Some Little Knowledge Acquired Of The Tribes

Of Red Men Who Roamed Its Interminable Forests, No Attempt At

Colonization Worthy Of The Name Had Succeeded. The Principal, If Not

The Only Advantage Derived From The Discovery Of North America, Came

From The Fisheries Of Newfoundland And Labrador, Frequented Mostly By

The Adventurous Mariners Of England, France And Spain. In These Cold

Seas, To The Music Of Storms Howling From The North Pole, And Dashing

With Ceaseless Rage The Salt Spray Against The Rocky Shore, They

Threw Their Lines And Cast Their Nets, At The Same Time Enriching

Themselves, And Forming For Their Respective Countries A Race Of Hardy

And Skilful Sailors. 

Introductory Chapter

. The Land Attracted Them Not. The Inducements

Which Led To The More Speedy Conquest And Settlement Of South America

By The Spaniards, Were Wanting. Gold And Silver To Tempt Cupidity Were

Not To Be Found, And The Stern, Though Not Inhospitable Character Of

The Northern Tribes Was Very Different From The Imbecile Effeminacy Of

The Southern Races. The Opposition Likely To Be Encountered Was More

Formidable, And The Prize To Be Won Hardly Proportioned To The Hazard

To Be Incurred. While, Therefore, The Atrocious Spaniards Were

Enslaving The Helpless Natives Of Peru And Mexico, And Compelling Them

By Horrid Cruelties To Deliver Up Their Treasures, The Wild Woods Of

All That Region To The North Of The Gulf Bearing The Name Of The

Latter Country, Continued To Ring To The Free Shout Of The Tawny

Hunter. Not That Attempts Had Not Been Made To Obtain Footing On The

Continent, But They Had All Failed By Reason Of The Character Of The

Emigrants, Or The Want Of Support From Home, Or Of A Thousand Other

Causes Reducible To The Category Of Ill Luck, Bad Management, Or

Providential Determination.




But The 17th Century Introduced A New Order Of Things, Beginning With

The Arrival Of The First Permanent Colony On The Coast Of Virginia In

The Year 1607, Indissolubly Associated With The Name Of The Chivalrous

Captain John Smith; Followed In 1614 By The Occupancy Of The Mouth Of

The River Hudson, And Of The Island Of Manhattan, The Present Site Of

The City Of New-York, By The Dutch; And, In 1620, Of New-England, By

The English. The Fulness Of Time Had Arrived, When The Seeds Of A

Mighty Empire Were To Be Sown.




A Diversity Of Opinion Prevails With Regard To The Motives Of The Early

Colonists To Leave Their Homes. Without Entering Into An Elaborate

Discussion Of The Subject, And Thereby Invading The Province Of The

Historian, It May Perhaps Be Permitted Me To Say, That, In My

Judgment, They Were Partly Political, Partly Religious, Partly

Commercial, And Partly Adventurous.




One Of The First Acts Of James The First Of England, On His Accession

To The Throne In 1603, Was The Conclusion, By A Peace With Spain, Of

The Long War So Gloriously Signalized By The Destruction Of The

Armada. The Pacific Policy Wherewith He Began His Administration, He

Never Abandoned During The Twenty-Two Years While He Held The Sceptre.

Hence The Spirit Of Enterprise Which Exists In Various Degrees In

Every Flourishing Nation, Finding Itself Diverted From That Warlike

Channel Wherein It Had Been Accustomed To Flow, Was Obliged To Seek

Other Issues. The Immense Region Beyond The Sea Claimed By England By

Priority Of Discovery, Offered A Theatre For A Portion Of That Spirit

To Expend Itself Upon. Hither Turned Their Eyes Those Who, In The

Wars, Had Contracted A Fondness For Adventure, And Were Unwilling To

Sink Back Into The Peaceful Pursuits Of Laborious Industry. For Such

Men, The Vague And The Uncertain Possess Irresistible Attractions. 

Introductory Chapter

Them, Emigration Was Like The Hazard Of The Gaming-Table; Ruin Was A

Possible Consequence, But Fortune Might Also Crown The Most

Extravagant Hopes. The Merchant Regarded With Favor A Scheme Which

Would Furnish Employment For His Ships By The Transportation Of Men

And Stores. Besides, The Fisheries Had Always Been Productive; They

Might Be Largely Extended, And A Trade In Furs And Other Products Of

The Country Opened With The Indians. Perhaps The Precious Metals,

Found In Such Quantities By The Spaniards At The South, Might Enrich

The North. Happily They Found Not That Pernicious Bane Which Is Alike

The Corrupter Of Private Morals And The Debaucher Of Nations. To These

Considerations May Be Added A Willingness At Least On The Part Of The

Government, To Rid Itself Of Idle Profligates And Unruly Spirits.

Guided By This Chart, It Is Not Difficult To Understand Why Efforts

Similar To Those Which Had Proved Abortive, Should Now Be Successful.



The Character Of The First Emigrants To The Virginia Colony, And The

Products Of The Country Sent Home, Confirm These Views. They Are

Described As "Many Gentlemen, A Few Laborers, Several Refiners,

Goldsmiths, And Jewellers," And The Returning Ships Were Freighted

With Cedar And With A Glittering Earth, Which Was Mistaken For Gold.

Another Party Is Spoken Of By A Chronicler Of The Times, As "Many

Unruly Gallants Sent Hither By Their Friends To Escape Ill Destinies."

Doubtless Among Those Denominated Gentlemen And Gallants Were Some

Noble Souls, Like, Though _Longo Intervallo_, To The Heroic





While The Virginia Colony Was Slowly Struggling Against Adverse

Circumstances, And Attracting To Herself The Cavaliers Who, In Various

Capacities And With Different Fortunes, Had Figured In Those Troubled

Times, Important Changes Were Going On At Home Destined To Exert A

Mighty Influence On The New World. That Awakening Of The Intellect

Occasioned By The Speculations Of Wyckliff, The Morning Star Of The

Reformation, More Than Two Hundred Years Before, And To Which Luther

And Calvin Had Imparted A Fresh Impulse, Was Performing Its Destined

Work. By The Assertion Of The Right Of Private Judgment In Matters Of

Religion, The Pillars Of Authority Had Been Shaken. Nothing Was

Considered As Too Sacred To Be Examined. To The Tribunal Of The Mind

Of Every Man, However Undisciplined And Illiterate, Were Brought, Like

Criminals To Be Tried, The Profoundest Mysteries And Most Perplexing

Questions Of Theology, And In Proportion To The Ignorance Of The

Judge, Was The Presumption With Which Sentence Was Pronounced. A

General Love Of Dogma Prevailed. The Cross-Legged Tailor Plying His

Needle On His Raised Platform; The Cobbler In The Pauses Of Beating

The Leather On His Lap-Stone; And The Field-Laborer As He Rested On

His Spade; Discussed With Serene And Satisfied Assurance Problems,

Before The Contemplation Of Which, The Ripest Learning And Highest

Order Of Mind Had Veiled Their Faces. Dissatisfaction With The

Condition Of Things Spread More And More. All, In Both Church And

State, Was Considered Out Of Joint. 

Introductory Chapter

The Former Had Not Sufficiently

Cleansed Herself From The Pollutions Of Rome, And Lagging Behind At A

Wide Distance From The Primitive Model, Required To Be Further

Reformed; The Latter By Encroachments On The Liberties Of The Subject,

And Assistance Furnished To A Corrupt Hierarchy, Had Become Odious,

And Was To Be Resisted And Restrained. The Idea Of Abolishing The

Monarchy Had Indeed Not Entered The Mind Of The Most Daring Reformer;

But It Is Certain, That When His Feelings Were Inflamed By Brooding

Over Real And Fancied Wrongs From The Established Church, His Anger

Would Overflow Upon The Government, Which, With No Sparing Hand,

Wielded The Sword To Enforce Pains And Penalties, Imposed, Ostensibly

For The Protection Of Religion, But In Reality For The Interests Of An

Ally And Its Own Safety. It Was This Exasperation, Partly Of A

Religious And Partly Of A Political Nature, That Bore Its Legitimate

Fruit In The Execution Of Charles.



Before That Awful Lesson, However, Discontent Had Increased Until The

Unhappy Zealots, Too Feeble To Resist, Yet Too Resolute To Submit,

Determined To Leave Their Country. Hard Fate! Self-Banished From The

Associations Of Childhood, From The Memorials Of Their Ancestors! But

Whither Should They Fly? They Had Heard Indeed Of A Country; Far

Beyond The Sea, Where A Refuge Might Be Found, And Whither Some Of

Their Countrymen Had Gone; But Those First Emigrants Were Cavaliers,

Men Of The Same Creed As Their Persecutors, And Who Had Been Induced

To Leave England By Motives Different From Those Which Controlled

Their Minds. Their Purpose Would Not Be Attained By Joining The

Virginia Colony. They Were Not Merely Adventurers, Hunting After

Earthly Treasures, But Pilgrims In Search Of The Kingdom Of Heaven.

Their Company Consisted Of Delicate Women And Children, From Whom They

Could Not Part, As Well As Of Hardy Men; And Such Were Unfit To

Encounter The Perils Of A New Settlement, In An Untried Climate, And

An Unknown Country, Infested By Savages. Their Principal Want Was

Religious Liberty; That They Could Find In Holland, And To Holland

They Went. It Was Close At Hand, And Should Any Favorable Change Occur

In England, It Would Be Easy To Return. But After An Experience Of

Some Dozen Years, They Found Insuperable Objections To Remaining

There, And Determined, No Such Changes Having Taken Place As They

Anticipated When They Left Their Native Land, To Emigrate To America.

In A Season Of The Year As Stern As The Mood Of Their Own Minds, They

Sought The Stormy Shores Of New-England, And Their Example Was Soon

Followed By Others Direct From The Parent Country. This First Column

Was Composed Exclusively Of Protestants, Who Had Refused Conformity To

The Established Church, Or As They Were Called, Puritans. Later

Arrivals Brought More Mixed Companies, But Still The Puritan Element

Always Largely Prevailed. Now Separated By An Ocean From, Kings And

Bishops, They Resolved To Realize The Darling Idea Which, Like The

Fiery Pillar Before The Wandering Israelites, Had Conducted Them

Across The Sea, And That Was The Establishment Of A Commonwealth After


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