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As a
consequence, the Carolinas became, like Maryland and Pennsylvania, a
refuge for thousands of those who were persecuted in the name of
religion.


GEORGIA.

Georgia was the last of the thirteen original colonies to be settled,
and, though it long remained the weakest of them all, its history is
very interesting. It, too, was a country of refuge for those suffering
persecution, but their affliction was different in its nature from those
of whom we have made record.

One of the remarkable facts connected with the government of nations
claiming the highest civilization, hardly more than a century ago, was
the brutality of their laws. Many crimes, comparatively trifling in
their nature, were punishable with death. One of the most cruel of these
oppressive laws was that which permitted a man to throw into prison a
neighbor who was unable to pay the money he owed. If a poor tenant fell
ill, and could not pay his landlord, the latter could have him flung
into jail and kept there until the debt was paid. Since the debtor was
unable to earn a penny while in prison, and probably his wife and
children were equally helpless, the landlord thus deprived himself of
all possibility of getting his money, while the wretched debtor
literally "rotted" in prison. Thousands died in dreadful misery, merely
because they were poor.

[Illustration: COLONIAL PLOW WITH WOODEN MOULD-BOARD. 1706 (State
Agricultural Museum, Albany, N.Y.)]

This system of allowing imprisonment for debt prevailed in our own
country until within the memory of men still living. It makes one's
cheeks tingle with shame and indignation to recall that Robert Morris,
who devoted all his wealth and energies to raising money for the
patriots during the Revolution, who furnished Washington with thousands
of dollars, and but for whose help the war must have failed, became poor
after independence was gained and was imprisoned for debt.

The system caused such horrible suffering in England that the pity of
all good men was stirred. Among these was James Edward Oglethorpe, one
of the most admirable characters in modern history. He was a brave and
skillful soldier, eminently just, of the highest social position and a
member of Parliament. He determined to do something practical for the
perishing debtors in English jails. He, therefore, asked George II. to
give him a grant of land in America to which the imprisoned debtors
could be sent, and the king, whose heart also seemed to be touched,
promptly did so. It was said of Oglethorpe that the universal respect
felt for him made certain that any favor he asked of his own associates
or friends would be willingly granted.

[Illustration: ANCIENT HORSESHOES PLOWED UP IN SCHENECTADY CO., N.Y.

(In the New York State Agricultural Museum.)]

The king not only presented him with valuable equipments, but Parliament
granted him a liberal sum, to which wealthy citizens added. He had the
best wishes of his entire country when he sailed for America with one
hundred and fourteen persons. He named the new colony Georgia in honor
of the king, and began the settlement of Savannah in 1733, Darien and
Augusta being founded three years later. It need hardly be said of such
a man, that, like Penn and Baltimore, he bought the lands anew of the
Indians and retained their friendship from the start. On one of his
visits to England he took a party of red men with him, entertained them
at his country place and presented them at court.

The Spaniards claimed Georgia as their own territory, and raised a large
force with which to expel Oglethorpe, whose colony had been increased by
the arrival of other immigrants, but the English officer handled his men
with such extraordinary skill that the Spaniards were utterly routed.

[Illustration: A COLONIAL FLAX-WHEEL.]

It would be supposed that Georgia would have been one of the most
successful of the original colonies, since seemingly it possessed every
advantage, but such was far from the fact. One cause for this was the
"coddling" the pioneers received. They were harmed by too much kindness.
Had they been compelled to hew their own way, like their neighbors, they
would have done better. They were like children spoiled by being granted
too many favors.

[Illustration: HIAWATHA, FOUNDER OF THE IROQUOIS LEAGUE

The Iroquois League was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga,
Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora nations, who founded in the New York
wilderness a barbaric republic, with bonds of union that might serve in
many respects as a model for civilized nations.]

Another cause was the poor laws by which the people were ruled. Slavery
at first was forbidden within its borders, though it was tolerated all
about them. Then, in 1747, the trustees yielded to the general demand
and admitted slavery. Other rules caused discontent, and many settlers
moved away. Population appeared to be at a standstill, and finally the
trustees in 1752 surrendered their rights to the crown. More liberal
laws followed and the prosperity increased.

[Illustration: SILK-WINDING.

(Fac-simile of a picture in Edward Williams' "Virginia Truly Valued."
1650.)]

Of General Oglethorpe, it may be added that he lived to reach his
ninety-eighth year. It was said of him that he was the handsomest old
man in London, and people often stopped on the streets to look at and
admire him. He always had a warm regard for the American colonies.
Indeed, it was this marked friendship for them which prevented his
appointment as commander-in-chief of the British forces during the
Revolution.


GROWTH OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES.

It will thus be seen that, beginning with Virginia, in 1607, the
American colonies had grown in a little more than a century and a
quarter to thirteen. These were strung along the Atlantic coast from
Maine to Florida, and in 1750 their population was about 1,260,000. This
was vigorous growth. All the colonists, although born on this side of
the Atlantic, considered themselves Englishmen, and were proud of their
king, three thousand miles away across the ocean. With such loyal
subjects, the English crown had the best opportunity in the world to
become the most powerful of all the nations.

[Illustration: A COMFORTIER, OR CHAFING-DISH.

(New York State Cabinet of Natural History, Albany.)]

But Great Britain was not free from misgiving over the rapid growth of
her American colonies. Nothing looked more probable than that before
many years they would unite in one government of their own and declare
their independence of the British crown. Then was the time for the
display of wise statesmanship, but unhappily for England and happily for
the colonies, such wise statesmanship proved to be lacking on the other
side of the water. The colonies displayed great industry. They grew
tobacco, rice, indigo, and many other products which were eagerly
welcomed by the British merchants, who exported their own manufactures
in exchange for them. The inevitable result was that England and the
American colonies increased their wealth by this means. Not only that,
but the colonies voted ships, men, and money to help the mother country
in the wars in which she was often involved.

As early as 1651, Parliament passed the first of the oppressive
Navigation Acts, which forbade the colonies to trade with any other
country than England, or to receive foreign ships into their ports. This
act was so harsh and unjust that it was never generally enforced, until
the attempt, more than a century later, when it became one of the
leading causes of the American Revolution.

[Illustration: EARLY DAYS IN NEW ENGLAND.]

[Illustration: PLACES OF WORSHIP IN NEW YORK IN 1742.

1. Lutheran. 2. French. 3. Trinity. 4. New Dutch. 5. Old Dutch. 6.
Presbyterian. 7. Baptist. 8. Quaker. 9. Synagogue.]




CHAPTER III.

THE INTERCOLONIAL WARS AND THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.

King William's War--Queen Anne's War--King George's War--The French and
Indian War--England and France Rivals in the Old World and the New--The
Early French Settlements--The Disputed Territory--France's Fatal
Weakness--Washington's Journey Through the Wilderness--The First Fight
of the War--The War Wholly American for Two Years--The Braddock
Massacre--The Great Change Wrought by William Pitt--Fall of
Quebec--Momentous Consequences of the Great English Victory--The Growth
and Progress of the Colonies and Their Home Life.


KING WILLIAM'S WAR.

If anything were needed to prove the utter uselessness and horrible
barbarity of war, it is found in a history of the strife in which the
American colonies were involved through the quarrels of their rulers,
thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic. Men lived for
years in America as neighbors, meeting and exchanging visits on the most
friendly terms, and with no thought of enmity, until the arrival of some
ship with news that their respective governments in Europe had gone to
war. Straightway, the neighbors became enemies, and, catching up their
guns, did their best to kill one another. Untold misery and hundreds of
lives were lost, merely because two ambitious men had gotten into a
wrangle. The result of such a dispute possessed no earthly interest to
the people in the depths of the American wilderness, but loyalty to
their sovereigns demanded that they should plunge into strife.

As time passed, Spain and Holland declined in power, and England and
France became formidable rivals in the New World as well as in the Old.
In 1689, when William III. was on the throne of England, war broke out
between that country and France and lasted until 1697. The French,
having settled in Canada, were wise enough to cultivate the friendship
of the Indians, who helped them in their savage manner in desolating the
English settlements. Dover, New Hampshire, was attacked by the French
and Indians, who killed more than a score of persons and carried away a
number of captives. In other places, settlers were surprised in the
fields and shot down. Early in 1690, another party came down from
Canada, and, when the snow lay deep on the ground and the people were
sleeping in their beds, made a furious attack upon Schenectady.



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