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political union is firmer, and that the interests of religion are strengthened rather than weakened, in the direct ratio in which the individuals of the community comprising the state are themselves strengthened and educated by the culture of responsibility in freedom, has been so manifestly demonstrated by the experience of this country, that to deny it is as absurd as it would be to deny at mid-day that the sunlight was about us, and to justify the denial by closing our eyes.
Industrially, also, the power developed by organized coöperation has been most triumphantly indicated by the career of the United States. From such feeble beginnings as made the construction of a grist-mill the great event of the year for isolated communities, who depended upon pounding in mortars the grain they had raised before it became possible to use it, up to the celebration of our first centennial anniversary by an industrial exhibition to which the whole world gathers, the progress has been one constant series of demonstrations of the possibilities of coöperation.
But this end was not reached without strenuous efforts to remove the obstacles in the way. Not only did the mother country, by restrictions, injunctions, duties, and all the appliances of the red tape that forms so important a part in what has been called “the science of government,” attempt to repress and destroy the growing enterprise of the colonies; but the colonies themselves were jealous and afraid of each other. Scattered in isolated communities, fringed along the sea-coast, the various settlements made up of different nationalities, and frequently bringing with them across the ocean the prejudices and hatreds of each other resulting from the wars of Europe, it seemed impossible that they should ever unite so harmoniously as to form a single state.
That in a little over a century a nation should arise from such apparently discordant and ill-assorted materials, is an evidence that the progress of mankind towards the organization of harmony and peace, has all the force of natural law, and that the activity of national life depends upon the atmosphere of liberty in which that life is passed.
At the end of the first century from the settlement of the country, the colonies, having achieved their political independence, met to organize their government, and in the preamble of the constitution then formed they gave to the world their conception of the objects and purposes of government. This matchless statement forms an era in the history of mankind. For the first time the people uttered their conception of what they felt was needed for their own development in freedom. This golden sentence, which cannot be too often repeated, read: “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
A century has passed since the promulgation of this document. Within that time the fringe of settlements that bordered the Atlantic has become a series of settled states stretching to the Pacific. A population of not quite three millions has become nearly forty millions. The railroad and the telegraph have stretched across the continent, and a distance of thousands of miles is less of a separation than a few hundreds were a century ago. What shall be the result of the nation's life and labors at the close of the next hundred years?
That it can be foretold with accuracy is manifestly impossible. But, judging from the past, it can with confidence be predicted, that the immediate task within this century, is for America to illustrate to the nations the need and the method for attaining industrial independence from the domination of the money power, which threatens the world with the reëstablishment of a worse feudalism than that of the sword; and that this result is to be attained, as our political independence was gained, by the establishment of a more perfect union; by the further extension of justice in the industrial relations of society; by the insurance of domestic tranquillity, and the guaranty of the common defence, so that the general welfare will be promoted and the blessings of industrial liberty preserved for ourselves and our posterity.
E. H. HAMMONTON, NEW JERSEY, 1876.
ANNALS OF NORTH AMERICA.
The pre-historic discovery of America by the Northmen of Europe is unquestioned, but the details of their voyages are generally considered to be of too mythical a character to be re
Henry Wheaton, the United States minister to Denmark, consulted the documents at Copenhagen, and in 1831 published a History of the Northmen. Professor Rafn's Antiquitates Americanae, 1834, contains much of the documentary evidence. There are various other publications in which the matter is treated, but our information upon the subject is still too vague to be called history.
The history of the original settlers of the American continent is purely a modern subject of study, and even the methods of investigation are hardly yet formulated into a consistent system. That in some far distant past the continent was the abode of numerous races, who have left their only records in their works, we know, but of the details of their history we shall probably remain ever ignorant.
In his Ancient America, J. D. Baldwin has given a condensed account of the chief remains we hare of the labors of the lost nations who lived on this continent. Herbert Howe Bancroft, in his work The Native Races of the Pacific States, still in course of publication, gives the fullest and completest account, based upon a personal examination, of the ruins themselves, and a study of all that has been written about them.
The European settlers of this country found it in possession of various races. From the general opinion held at the discovery of the country, that it was the east coast of Asia, or India, they were called Indians. In Mexico, the natives found in possession had made, comparatively, great progress in political and industrial development, being in many respects in advance of their Spanish conquerors. In North America, the various tribes had hardly emerged from the condition of savages. They may almost be said to have had neither government nor law, and they certainly had no settled industry. That the Mexicans had a method of recording events, we know, and that they kept such records is also known, though most of them were destroyed by the Spaniards. The Indians of North America had made the first step towards recording events, but only the first step.
The literature upon this subject, both for Mexico and North America, is very large. For Mexico, Prescott's History, Lord Kingsborough’s Antiquities, Humboldt's works; and for the North American Indians, Schoolcraft's, Parkman's, and Catlin's works. There is an Indian Bibliography by T. W. Field.
1492, OCTOBER 12. -- Christopher Columbus discovered land, in his western voyage from Palos, in Spain.
He had set sail Friday, August 3, 1492, a half hour before midnight, and discovered land at two in the morning. Palos is now several miles from the seacoast. The land was some island, whether one of the Turks Islands, or Watling Island, or San Salvador Grande, or Cat Island, is not known. Columbus himself believed it to be the western coast of China, or Cathay, as it was then called. Having also discovered Cuba and Hayti, he set sail again for Spain, and arrived at Palos March 15, 1493.
1493, May 3. — The Pope Alexander VI. granted the right to Ferdinand and Isabella, and their successors, to all the lands they had discovered or should discover.
A somewhat similar grant having been made to the Crown of Portugal, the Pope ordered an imaginary line to be drawn from pole to pole, one hundred leagues west of the Azores. All east of this line, not in possession of a Christian prince, to belong to the Portuguese, and all west to the Spaniards. The Portuguese and Spaniards, not quite satisfied with this, referred it to a commission of three from each nation, who, on the 7th of June, 1493, modified it by removing the imaginary line two hundred and twenty leagues farther to the west. The king of Spain signed this agreement July 2, 1493, and the king of Portugal February 27, 1494.
1493, SEPTEMBER 25. — Columbus sailed from Cadiz, in his sec. ond voyage to the New World.
He had three ships, fourteen caravels, and an ample supply of stores. On this voyage he is said to have brought the first domestic cattle to the New World. He made a settlement at Isabella, a town founded by him in Hayti, or Hispaniola. The natives were reduced to slavery, and exterminated by the enforced labor in the mines, under the Spanish rule.
1497, JUNE 24. - John Cabot, and his son Sebastian, who had sailed, in May, from Bristol, England, saw land, which is supposed to have been the coast of Labrador.
There is no authentic account of the particulars of this voyage, in which it is claimed that the continent of America was for the first time seen by modern Europeans. The new land seen by the Cabots abounded in white bears, and deer of unusual size, and was inhabited by savages, clothed in skins, and armed with spears, clubs, and bows and arrows. The Cabots having returned to England, another expedition, under Sebastian, set out in May, 1498, and is said to have sailed along the coast as far south as Florida. They attempted no settlement. The Cabots were Venetians living in London, and had been granted by Henry VII., on the 5th of March, 1496, a commission to discover lands unknown to Christians, to occupy and possess such as subject to the English crown, and to hold jurisdiction over them, on condition of paying to the king one fifth of their gains from them. In this voyage Cabot found the abundance of cod upon the banks of Newfoundland, and the fisheries there, soon attracted adventurers from various countries of Europe.
1498, May 30. — Columbus sailed on his third voyage of discovery from Spain, and on the 31st of July discovered an island he called Trinidad, and cruised among the numerous islands lying off the coast of Central America.
It was from this voyage that he was eventually sent home to Spain in chains, as a prisoner.
1501. - GASPAR CORTEREAL, under the authority of Emanuel, the king of Portugal, explored the coast of North America for several hundred miles.
He captured many of the natives, and carried them back as slaves. Having returned to Portugal, he set out upon a second voyage, from which he never returned, nor was anything heard of him.
1501, MAY 10. — Americus Vespuccius, for the king of Por- . tugal, sailed from Lisbon, and in August reached land.
He returned to Lisbon in 1502. At what point he touched is not known. There is great obscurity concerning the voyages of Vespuccius. He has the credit of having made four, the accounts of which have been frequently reprinted, and are professedly written by himself, though his authorship of them is doubted. It has been claimed that Vespuccius by subterfuge gave his name to America, but evidently he had nothing to do with this accident. The name was first suggested by Martin Waltzmuller, or Waldsee-muller, a native of Freiburg, and professor in Lorraine, who, according to the custom of the time, Grecized his name into Hylacomylus, by which he is more generally known. In a Latin work on cosmography, published in 1507, and in which is the account of Vespuccius' four voyages, he says, speaking of the lands he discovered: “But now that those parts have been more extensively examined and another fourth part has been discovered by Americus (as will be seen in the sequel), I do not see why we should rightly refuse to name it America, that is, the land of Americus or America, after its discoverer Americus, a man of sagacious mind, since both Europe and Asia took their names from women.” The date of Vespuccius' death is variously given as 1516 and 1518.
1502, May 11.- Columbus sailed on his fourth and last voy. age from Cadiz, and arrived at Hispaniola on the 29th of June.
In 1506, May 20, Columbus having returned, died at Valladolid, in the 59th year of his age.
1504.- FISHERMEN from Brittany discovered and named Cape Breton.
1506. - JEAN DENNYS, of Harfleur, France, is said to have drawn a map of the St. Lawrence, for the use of the French fishermen frequenting that locality.