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Cr. I.]

FERDINAND DE SOTO: JEAN RIBAULT.

9

1540.

1543.

1541.

mouth of the Mobile River. The in- half that with which they embarked,

habitants, disgusted with the floated down the Mississippi to

strangers, and provoked by an its mouth, and in September, outrage committed on one of their chiefs, 1543, reached a Spanish settlement near brought on a severe conflict, in which the present site of Tampico. two thousand of the natives and about Florida was thenceforth abandoned. twenty Spaniards were slain. A con- Not a settlement was made; not a sinsiderable number of Spaniards died af-gle site occupied by the Spaniards ; terwards of their wounds; they also yet Spain, under the name of Florida, lost about forty horses. The village laid claim to the entire sea-coast of was burnt in the action. After this en- America, as far even as Newfoundland. gagement, Soto retreated to Chicaça, Their first actual settlement arose out a small town in the country of the of that bitter hatred and fierce perseChickasaws, where he remained until cuting zeal which characterized at that March 1541. His army now resumed time, on the Continent, both Roman its march through the Indian territory, Catholics and Protestants. and after many mishaps and very

The illustrious and excellent Admiral grievous discouragements, in the latter de Coligny, one of the ablest of the

part of April Soto first beheld French Protestant leaders, was desirous

the Mississippi : this was proba- of finding a home in America for the bly not far from the thirty-fifth paral- persecuted Huguenots. Accordingly, lel of latitude. The river was crossed an expedition to Brazil in 1555 having by Soto, and still further attempts failed-he fitted out an expedition, were made to discover the wealth and sanctioned by the bigotted but feeble magnificence which they had set out to Charles IX., and gave the command to find in Florida. But it was all in vain : Jean Ribault of Dieppe, an exchagrined by a conviction of total fail- perienced mariner and decided ure, Soto sank under his disappoint- Protestant. The expedition consisted

ment, and died May 25th, 1542. of two ships, with a goodly company

“To conceal his death, his body who went out as colonists. Ribault was wrapped in a mantle, and, in the reached the coast of Florida in May, stillness of midnight, was silently sunk entered a spacious inlet which he named into the middle of the stream. The Port Royal, and built a fort called discoverer of the Mississippi slept be- CAROLINA, a name which still remains neath its waters. He had crossed a to us, although the early colony perlarge part of the continent in search of ished. Twenty-six were left to found gold, and found nothing so remarkable a settlement, while Ribault returned as his burial place."* The remains of to F

The remains of to France for supplies; but becoming this vaunted expedition, in number not disheartened, they hastily resolved to

abandon the settlement; the * Bancroft's “History of the United States," vol. i., commandant was killed in a mu

tiny; and well-nigh starved, they were

1562.

1542.

1563.

p. 57.

VOL. I.---4

M

once.

1564.

picked up by an English vessel, and land- remains, and though not a place of ed part in France, the rest in England. much size, is by more than forty years

Ribault found the fires of civil war / the oldest town in the United States. . burning throughout France, so that he Melendez was not long in finding the could not obtain the needed supplies at French colony. Ribault's. Vessels cut

A sort of peace having been their cables and put to sea; a violent patched up, in 1564 Coligny again re- storm arose, and the French vessels

newed his efforts. Three ships which had set out to attack the Span

were sent out, under command of iards, were scattered and cast on shore. Laudonnière, a companion of Ribault. Melendez marched overland from St. They landed in June at the River of Augustine through the forests and May, now the St. John's, and built a swamps, surprised the French fort, and fort. Mutinies occurred, and some of indiscriminately butchered men, women, the colonists set out on piratical expe- and children. A few escaped to the ditions, and took two Spanish vessels, woods, and having found two small vesthus becoming the first aggressors in sels in the harbor, after severe suffering the New World. In great distress for ultimately reached Bristol. But Riprovisions, they were about to abandon bault and his shipwrecked companions, the settlement when the notorious Sir half famished, reached the fort to find John Hawkins, the slave-merchant, re- it in the hands of the Spaniards. Relieved them. Ribault arrived in August lying on the word of honor of the perwith an abundant supply of all kinds. fidious Melendez, they gave themselves

But the colony was by no means as up, and were massacred, near St. Auyet in security. A fierce and unsparing gustine, with circumstances of most soldier, Pedro Melendez, obtained per- shocking barbarity. A number of the mission from Philip II. of Spain, to con- mangled limbs of the victims were then quer and occupy Florida, and also to suspended to a tree, to which was atdrive out the French as both intruders tached the following inscription:-“Not and heretics. “Death to the Hugue- because they are Frenchmen, but benots!" was the cry; and with some three cause they are heretics and enemies of

hundred soldiers and over two God."

thousand volunteers, the expedi- When intelligence of this horrible tion left Spain in July; although weak- outrage reached France, it excited an ened by the violence of a storm, Me- almost universal feeling of grief and lendez did not delay in Porto Rico; rage, and a strong desire for vengeance. but anxious to make quick work of his Charles IX. was invoked in vain, by the enemies, he sailed to the coast of Flor- prayers of the widows and orphans of ida. Land was seen on St. Augustine's the slain, to require of the Spanish day, August 28th, and Melendez named monarch that justice should be awarded the inlet and haven which he entered against his murderous subjects. An two days after, St. Augustine. The avenger, however, was speedily found. town here founded by this name still Dominic de Gourgues, a brave Gascon,

1565.

Ch. I.]

FRENCH ATTEMPTS AT COLONIZATION.

11

1567.

1568.

determined to devote himself, his for- unto traitors, robbers and murderers."

tune, and his whole being, to Having razed the three forts, and not

the achievement of some signal being strong enough to remain in the and terrible retribution. He found country, he returned to France in May, means to equip three small vessels, and 1568. Such was the end of the to put on board of them eighty sailors, efforts made by the French Protand one hundred and fifty troops. estants to found settlements in Florida. Having crossed the Atlantic, he sailed Had France been wise enough to have along the coast of Florida, and landed protected her sons in this attempt, she at a river about fifteen leagues' distance might easily have obtained a flourishfrom the river May. The Spaniards, ing empire in the south, before England to the number of four hundred, were had planted a single spot on the Contiwell fortified, principally at the great nent. But she did not, and Spain confort, begun by the French, and after- sequently retained her claim—such as wards repaired by themselves. Two it was—to Florida undisputed. leagues lower, towards the river's The long and bloody struggles bemouth, they had made two smaller tween Protestants and Roman Catholics forts, which were defended by a hun- in France during the latter half of the dred and twenty soldiers, well sup- 16th century, effectually prevented all plied with artillery and ammunition. attempts at colonization by that nation Gourgues, though informed of their in the New World. The accession of strength, proceeded resolutely forward, Henry IV., his abjuration of Protestantand, with the assistance of the natives, ism, and especially the issue of the made a vigorous and desperate assault. Edict of Nantes, which secured Of sixty Spaniards in the first fort, civil and religious freedom to the there escaped but fifteen; and all in Huguenots, restored peace and prosperthe second fort were slain. After a ity to France; and the wise and skilcompany of Spaniards, sallying out from ful administration of Sully fostered the the third fort, had been intercepted, arts of peaceful industry and trade. and killed on the spot, this last fortress A commission was obtained in 1598, by was easily taken. All the surviving the Marquis de la Roche, of Brittany, Spaniards were led away prisoners, with to take possession of Canada and other the fifteen who escaped the massacre at neighboring countries "not possessed the first fort; and were hung on the by any Christian prince;" the attempt, boughs of the same trees on which the however, failed entirely. On the death Frenchmen had been previously sus- of La Roche, Chauvin, a naval pended. Gourgues, in retaliation for officer, and Pontgravé, a merchant the label Melendez had attached to of St. Malo, entered profitably into the the bodies of the French, placed over fur trade, without, however, doing anythe corpses of the Spaniards the fol- thing of moment towards colonization. lowing declaration :"I do not this

In 1603, a company of merchants was as unto Spaniards or mariners, but as formed at Rouen, and Samuel Cham

1598.

1600. 1609,

1603.

1604.

plain, an able and scientific officer, was foundation of the city of Quebec, but sent out in command of an expedition. also the next year explored and This celebrated man, after care

was the first of white men to enful exploration and examination, ter the beautiful lake which bears his selected the site of Quebec as a suitable name and perpetuates his memory. place for a fort. This same year a patent This persevering and energetic man was issued to De Monts, a Huguenot lived through many and severe trials gentleman of the king's bedchamber, and afflictions which beset his efforts in and the sovereignty of ACADIE, from establishing the authority of his counthe fortieth to the forty-sixth degree of trymen on the St. Lawrence. He died north latitude-i. e., from about the in 1635. Consequent upon the exploralatitude of Philadelphia as far northerly tions of Champlain and others, the as Cape Breton—was granted to him, French laid claim to that vast tract of together with a monopoly of the fur interior America, which, together with

trade, etc. In 1604, the expedi- Canada and Acadie, was denominated

tion, consisting of four ships, NEW FRANCE. sailed for its destination. Poutrin- In concluding the present chapter, court, an officer of the expedition, ob- in which has been attempted a brief tained permission to remain in the har- sketch of some of the early voyagers bor, which he called Port Royal, now and discoverers, to whom succeeding Annapolis. Champlain explored the generations owe so large a debt of gratiBay of Fundy, discovered and named tude, the language of Mr. Bancroft may the River St. John's, and selected a site very appropriately be quoted: “Such for a settlement on the island St. Croix, were the voyages which led the way to in the river of the same name. But the the colonization of the United States. spot was not well chosen, and in the The daring and skill of these earliest

spring of the following year the adventurers upon the ocean deserve the

colony removed to Port Royal. highest admiration. The difficulties of Here the first actual settlement on the crossing the Atlantic were new, and it American Continent by the French was required the greater courage to encounmade. The hostility of the natives ter hazards which ignorance exaggeraalong the coast rendered it dangerous ted. The character of the prevalent to attempt settlements in the vicinity winds and currents was unknown. The of Cape Cod. During the following possibility of making a direct passage ten years, numerous and successful ef- was but gradually discovered. The forts were made by Jesuit priests to imagined dangers were infinite; the convert the natives.

real dangers exceedingly great. The The monopoly of De Monts having ships at first employed for discovery been revoked, a company of merchants were generally of less than one hun

of Dieppe and St. Malo founded dred tons burden; Frobisher sailed in

Quebec. This was principally due a vessel of but twenty-five tons; two to Champlain, who not only laid the of those of Columbus were without a

1605.

1608.

CH. II.]

THE AMERICAN INDIANS.

13

deck; and so perilous were the voyages suffering had rendered mutinous; Wildeemed, that the sailors were accus- loughby perished in the cold; Roberttomed, before embarking, to perform val, Parmenius, Gilbert-and how many solemn acts of devotion, as if to pre- | others ?-went down at sea; and such pare for eternity. The anticipation of was the state of the art of navigation, disasters was not visionary; Columbus that intrepidity and skill were unavailwas shipwrecked twice, and once re- ing against the elements without the mained for eight months on an island, favor of heaven."* without any communication with the civilized world; Hudson was turned

* Bancroft's "History of the United States," vol. i., adrift in a small boat by a crew whom

p. 115.

CHAPTER II.

1492-1600.

THE ABORIGINES OF AMERICA.

Origin of the name INDIANS — Preceding Races --- American Antiquities General characteristics of the Indian

tribes -- Columbus's Letter Manners and customs Government, laws, chiefs, priests - Law of retaliation War the Indian's great business - Females -- Numbers - Dialects spoken - Mr. Schoolcraft's paper

Intimations of prophecy View of Europeans as to the rights of Indians - Decision of the Supreme Court Origin of difficulties.

1492.

WHEN Columbus had succeeded in ever inappropriate, it is now too late to demonstrating the truth of his long and seek to change it. Before proceeding anxiously advocated views respecting with the history of the gradual colothe existence of land to be discovered nization of America, and the many and by sailing to the west, he supposed severe contests between the new-comers

that he had reached the far- and those whom they found in posses

famed Cathay, or the East Indies. sion of the country, it may be well to This natural error was one which the devote a brief space to some account of great navigator did not live to correct, the aborigines of the Western Contiand it led to the name INDIANS being nent, more especially of North America. applied to the inhabitants of the islands

Without entering into a discussion and main land of America. It is a of the question, whence came the peoname which time and custom have ple who first settled America—a quessanctioned as the designation of the tion more curious than profitable—it is natives of the soil when Columbus and quite certain that the Indian tribes his successors reached the New World, scattered over the face of the country as also of their descendants; and how- were the successors of a race or races

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