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EARLY AMERICAN SETTLERS

If you become intrigued with genealogical exploration, and consequently history, touching your ancestors of the earliest American pioneering period, study their problems and so visualize their lives, you seemingly turn back the dock for three centuries&Dash;and then you find the span between you and 1492 AD. has been shortened to a scant 150 years! Yet in the first 100 of that 150 years there was literally nothing doing in colonizing America. After Columbus' celebrated exploit, the English in 1497-8 sent the Cabots to "investigate and report." They explored the coast from Nova Scotia nearly to Florida, but found no gold&Dash;a "strike" was wanted,&Dash;neither could they figure a percentage of profit in the little trade which might be worked up with the Indians. Whereupon John Bull, being always practical, drew a red line through his calendar memorandum about entrepreneuring in that part of the world; and lost interest in the subject for a full century following.

It was left to the Spaniards to make the first permanent settlement in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565, though it came to naught.

The Spanish made a great find in Central and South America; for a period they did an immensely profitable business in exploitation, largely in plundering the Indians of Peru, Mexico, and other parts of their precious metals and stones,&Dash;so much so that by the year 1600 South American mines had produced three times as much gold and silver as existed in Europe at the beginning of the century. but what do you suppose happened to all this gold? Spain just couldn't keep it. She wanted to buy things from France, England and other European countries, and gave them the ,gold in payment&Dash; money always had wings, but gold had the swiftest.

In the last half of the 16th century, England, under Elizabeth, had a reign of peace and prosperity. The great maritime rival, Spain, was crushed by the destruction of its Armada; England became the mistress of the seas, London the center of world trade. Her people had money to venture. And so in 1607, a land promoting company was organized, to begin American colonization; it included earls, bishops, knights, gentlemen and commoners, the butcher, the baker and candle-stick maker, representatives of important trades and even two business women.

Such a company had no difficulty in getting a royal grant of all the land necessary. (Though just how England became the owner would be extremely difficult to explain; she had neither discovered, conquered nor colonized. But that was trifling detail). King James I granted patents to Sir Thomas Gates and his associates covering all land within 100 miles of shore, from Maine on the North to Cape Fear to the South. Two companies were formed, one the Northern, or London Company, which received the grant of land from near thc mouth of the Hudson to the eastern point of Maine; called North Virginia; the other, the Plymouth or Southern Company the part south, as far as Cape Fear, N.C., called South Virginia. The charter required the colonizing agency to maintain the established religion of the church of England.

The London Company "represented in fact the dominant elements in commercial life. Its stock was advertised from pulpit and market place, and subscriptions made from motives of religion, patriotism and profit."* Red-hot high-pressure! The Plymouth Company stockholder list also included some of the most famous names in England, among them Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice.

The Plymouth Company landed its first expedition in Kennebec, Me., in 1607. Why there? Bad weather, poor navigation, &c. They had purposed a landing near the Hudson. Yet they went ashore&Dash; but not for long. They were a rather long-headed lot of immigrants: they found no gold lying on the surface; the Indians were lean and hungry-looking; the immigrants were suspicious. There was nothing inviting about the climate or the outlook. In fact they didn't like anything about it. So all but 45 went back to England on the boat which brought them. But the noble and nervy 45 had a bitter experience with a severe Maine winter, something they were unaccustomed to and unprepared for. To top off the adventure, fire burned their storehouse of supplies.

When another ship came in the spring, the colonists were let down some more. Sir John Popham and another "big name" in the Company had gone to their reward, if any.

So the survivors concluded to cal it a day, and with the new passengers, returned to merrie old England, sadder but wiser men. And did they tell of their experiences when they were once more among their friends? And howl Result, heap long time, no more colonizing. The Plymouth company did a limited fishing business along the shores, and such minor trading with the Indians as was available. But New England seemed dead as a dodo.

Yet, something else was brewing. The ferment was religious. In 1607-8 a Scrooby church group of Separatists (i.e., members who had left the Church of England) fled to Amsterdam, later moving to Leyden, Holland, there to enjoy, as they thought, the religious freedom found there. But they found they could not live on faith alone. They were chiefly laborers, artisans and small farmers. The Dutch trade unions (guilds) excluded them from profitable trades. They were in a picklement. They had to learn new and different vocations, and to work at hard labor 12 to 15 hours daily, to subsist in the slums.

On Dutch soil, among Dutch schools, shops, habits, customs, everything Dutch but themselves, they were "in Dutch" when it came to making a decent living. Even their young children were obliged to work so hard and such long hours as to make them decrepit in early life&Dash;and who knew how their immortal souls might be endangered by contact with those of little, or no, or heathenish faith?

And they were homesick&Dash;nostalgia had mowed them down! After debating and praying for long months over a new land to which to go, they sent two of their numbers to London to get consent of the Plymouth company to their settling near Chesapeake Bay, near the south end of the company's grant ! They asked the King for a written pledge of religious freedom there; he refused, but gave verbal assurance they would be left alone so long as they gave no public offense. And they did a very fine bit of financing by wangling a loan of several thousand pounds from some London speculators.

To cut a very interesting long story very short, 102 pilgrims, consisting of 74 males (of whom 15 were servants) and 28 females, made the crossing on the 100-ton Mayflower, sailing Sept. 6, 1620.

They sighted land at Cape Cod (same excuse of storms and bad navigation throwing a ship off its course), whereas their destination was the Chesapeake Bay or Hudson River. But after some weeks spent in scouting and exploration, they made their storied landing on "a stern and rock bound coast" at Plymouth, official date Dec. 21, 1620.

Within four months, 44 of the colonists died from exposure to the cold and lack of wholesome food!

Yet by 1631, the rest of the Leyden church group, to a total of about 600, had joined them, though the mortality rate among the new settlers continued very high.

The Plymouth colony looms large in American history because of the hardships endured, the tough fibre and strong character developed, rather than because of rapid growth, and because it was undoubtedly a stimulus to the New England colonization which followed. It was a long period before there was much new immigration. 70 years after founding, in 1690, the Plymouth colony had only 7,000 population, and that increase was doubtless chiefly due to a high birth rate.

But, it will be noted, their compelling reason for emigration from Holland was not the absence of religious, but of social and economic, freedom there.

And they were not Puritans; for Puritans were non-conformists who wished to remain in the Anglican church, but sought to ' purify" it by elimination of all trace of Roman Catholic formulas.

Independents or Separatists wanted to abolish the State church. the Puritans later were called Congregationalists; out of the welter of dogmas arose, at different points, Baptists, Presbyterians, Quakers and other sects. The Puritans were austere, very serious, very earnest. and not ignorant or uneducated. They were loyal Englishmen, chiefly of the middle-class of English society, some of the landed gentry, some wealthy merchants, some distinguished scholars from the universities, some from the professional classes and the yeomanry or small farmers in the eastern counties of England. Those who emigrated to New England between 1629 and 1640 were as good as England had, and of the virile sturdy stock that gave England its Cromwells, Hampdens and Pyms.

A "short" of English history is not out of place in seeking the inspiration for the mass immigration to the New World between 1629 and 1640.

In Roman possession for several centuries, until about 400 AD., England was conquered by the heathen Angles and Saxons and its territory divided among, them. It was finally united in one Kingdom in 827; under Alfred the Great (840-900 AD.) a strong navy was built; its insular character made it essentially a maritime country, self-defense required it become a sea power. It had frequent internal convulsions, and wars of conquest or defense throughout its history. Its own people were subject to all manner of conflict inspired by the ambition, envy or greed of kings and feudal lords, by the intolerance of all religionists, by the pitiless abuse of power by those who held it,&Dash;all kept England in a dither through the centuries.

In 1066, the Norman conquest came, and the beginnings of a new upward spiral of civilization, accelerated when King John's barons at Runnymede in 1215 issued the mandate, "Sign this, or else&Dash;" and Magna Charta, first great document establishing human liberties, was signed. There were setbacks, and even with a Parliament, things were not so wonderful for the common man. As late as the time of Henry VI (1367-1413) Parliament authorized the clergy to burn heretics at the stake. Which they did.

Insistence on thc "divine right of kings" had much to do with stirring of the leaven, and James I (1603-25) and Charles I (1625-1649) were not only autocrats, but New Deal-ish in trickery, extortion in taxation and build extravagance. The latter's favorite, Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, took a devilish delight in persecution of Puritans and inflicting on them punishment by the pillory, mutilation, loss of position,&Dash;anything to break their will. Between 1629 and 1640, Charles I reigned tyrannically, without Parliament, which he refused to call in session (although it was as intolerant of Puritans and Separatists as he). In 1637, Laud tried to compel Scotland to use a modified form of English prayer-book; it was the straw that broke the camel's bad;. And the Campbells put on their kilties and took to the war path. Then the Scotch army invaded England, Charles was broke, his army seditious, so, in panic, he summoned Parliament in 1640 to help him! It immediately took control, and scotched the King's powers. War broke out between the King's party and Parliament. The latter won (1645 AD.).

By this time the Puritans had split into Presbyterians and Independents, subsequently Congregationalists (Cromwell belonged to the latter), and in New England, at least, had wholly broken with the Anglican church. A Puritan officer, Col. Pride, "purged" the Presbyterians from Parliament. The remnant, known as the Rump Parliament, sent Charles I before the High Court of Justice to answer for his crimes. It arranged a block party for him. Parliament abolished the Kingship and the House of Lords.

There followed a Republican form of government, with Cromwell as head; then Cromwell, as dictator and Lord Protector, with Parliament out of the picture. After his death, he was succeeded but briefly by his own son ( 1658).

Under Cromwell, the Puritans held full sway; they had their turn at intolerance in action; to the common man, it must have seemed that government aimed to take all joy out of life, to make it one unending day of austerity, prayer, worship and regimented rectitude, with all accustomed pleasures prohibited.

Rigorously enforced righteousness, narrowness and intolerance inevitably react. Charles II was placed on the throne, and the people proceeded to relax and "let down their hair" in a big way. Hendrik Van Loon, in "America," (pub. 1933), opines the austere virtues of the Puritans resulted from thc normal reaction from the times of "Good Queen Bess" in which their parents and grandparents had lived, and during which the people had exhausted the pleasures of the flesh so thoroughly that the succeeding generation shuddered at the mention of the word "pleasure"; so the drabness of a world without pleasure or amusement brought Charles II as its inevitalble reaction in favor of thc worldly pleasures tabooed.

Charles II made thc usual mess, broke his pledge of religious freedom, tried to establish Catholicism as the official religion, narrowly escaped civil war.

But the Puritan reign arrested absolutism in England, and gave birth to ideas of political liberty which helped to produce the French and American revolutions.

Plainly, as coming events cast their shadows before, so thinking Englishman anticipated the disaster to hard-won liberties when Charles I suspended sittings of Parliament in 1629, and embarked on undisguised dictatorship.

Some historians regard the migration to New England as but an "episode" in a general desire of Englishmen to act away from it all.

Between 1620 and 1642, 18,000 persons emigrated from England to the little West Indian island of Barbados (area, 170 sq. mi.), as compared with 14,000 during, those years to Massachusetts; and 18,000 more to other British West Indian islands as compared with 4,000 to the rest of New England. Practically all were Puritans.

The tropical climate of the West Indies had the major lure. Probably only the very limited areas available in the then owned British West Indies restrained a really enormous emigration there, to the exclusion of New England.

What other social and economic reasons, it any, were back of this movement? Historians say that these years were in England a period of much change and unrest, political, economic and social, as well as religious.

The Puritans who organized this great colonization movement were largely country gentlemen and middle-class business men; all of them were feeling the economic stress of the times severely. There had been a sudden increase in living costs in England, with consequent unsettlement of established habits and social position,&Dash;a very strong influence with the more prosperous classes&Dash;and the heavy taxes made living very difficult for the middle class.

There was also a condition of "surplus population" or unemployment. It was created by a boom in the wool industry, which included owners of large landed estates to turn off their farm tenants and use their land for sheep-grazing. This created a serious problem for the small renters thus deprived of their usual means of livelihood.

Further, the long era of prosperity under Elizabeth had created and diffused a large amount of individual wealth, enlarging and intrenching the middle class. But the land title system, under which large estates were entailed from one generation to another so as to be inalienable, and the law of primogeniture, under which the eldest son inherited his father's estate, prevented a natural, periodic division of large holdings&Dash;and made it difficult for the common people to own land. There is a land hunger native to the human race, and accumulated savings, plus thc plausibility of their use for land-buying, sharpened it, and brought unrest and discontent.

Still more, the middle class had increasingly acquired the itch for freedom during the latter part of the 16th century, developed more "rugged individualism," emphasizing their fundamental rights as citizens. Thc repression's of civil and religious liberties by the Crown, plus unlawful and exorbitant tax exaction's to meet the King's profligate expenditures, were running sores on the body politic, even as in the United States from 1933 to 1941, with nothing but disaster certain.

England had an estimated population of about five million people in the ear]y 17th century. The exodus was not so enormous in number, but registered a very widespread desire to get away. At that time, a steerage passage cost twice as much as much as a first-class passage of today. And most people didn't have it, probably. But bear in mind that the emigrants knew they were leaving civilization and those they knew and loved for a wild and uncivilized country, inhabited only by savage tribes and possessed by an inhospitable winter climate. Or did they?

Far fields look greenest to promoters and confiding "prospects". Historians say that during the early 17th century, "glowing accounts of the climate and productivity of New England were carried back to England. It would be strange if promoters did not resort to more than that. Neither of the first two colonies had in fact prospered when the third, the Bay Colony project, the only one well organized, conducted and financed, was launched. The promoters had these undeniably sound arguments&Dash;an abundance of land for practically nothing, tile prospect of political freedom for a long period, and their plan of a Puritania for Puritans&Dash;one which would exclude all conflict of religious opinion. At the best, it could be no social or economic Utopia, however. It was a challenge to grit, character and endurance, as well as to dreams of empire. All in all, a remarkable combination of influences urged the plunge into the unknown.

In 1628, some leaders secured a Royal charter, confirmed in 1629, granting to the Massachusetts Bay Company a broad ribbon of land extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from three miles south of the Charles River to three miles north of the Merrimac. If not so controlled at its inception, the company was soon in the hands of Puritans. The Charter made the Company a remarkable institution, though not wholly unique in that period. Perhaps the King, was persuaded to encourage the migration of the Puritans, as a way to be rid of them. But he vested the Company with power to (1) prescribe an official religion, and forbid others. (2) coin money, regulate trade, collect taxes, provide for defense of the colony, etc.,&Dash;it was an autonomous government, blending governmental, commercial and religious powers and functions. Its officers were to be 18 magistrates, and a Governor, to be elected annually.

(Under the charter, as actually applied, only Congregationalist church members had the voting franchise, a condition existing until the new charter in 1691, which made freeholders the only qualified voters. Congregationalism was the official religion of the colony, confirmed by law in 1651, not repealed until 1S33 !)

John Winthrop, prominent lawyer and business man, wealthy and cultured, and fairly liberal in religion, was the leader in the colonization movement. The Company's promotional effort, in extent and expanse, must have broken all records. The cost of transporting the colonists and their equipment, &c, was estimated at four million dollars. The real debut of the Colony came when Winthrop arrived at Salem in 1630 with an expedition of eleven ships, 1~rin;,ing, some 900 colonists, estimated at 300 families.

They shortly planted settlements at Charlestown, Dorchester and other places. Despite the careful planning with which historians credit the Bay company, something went wrong, for 200 of the 900 new colonists died from disease by autumn. This incident perhaps caused a lag in immigration until 1635, when more than 3,000 settlers, including many men of wealth and distinction, arrived; and the influx continued through 1640.

But why did it then dwindle into a mere casual trickling of occasional immigrants? For New England received very few thereafter for about 140 years&Dash;until after the American Revolution.

The date coincides with the event of Charles I, after 11 years, calling Parliament in session again. Parliament simply took the bit in its teeth, never adjourned again during his life. He was on the defensive until he was executed. The Puritans who had remained in England had turned the tables; their urgent reasons for leaving England faded. But the Royalists were soon finding good reasons why they should leave, tho not to New England.

Why, you ask, was not the hegira to New England resumed by the Puritans after the Restoration of the Stuart dynasty to the throne ?

One good and sufficient reason is that with the return to the flesh-pots, the innate worldliness of the race asserted itself, the restrained devil in the individual was secretly gleeful. Puritan or no, the people proposed to let down and have a fling. They had been carrying along on too high a spiritual level for poor, weak mortals to maintain the pace any longer.

Another strictly worldly reason suggests itself: the colonization projects, viewed as investments or speculations, had not paid out.

New capital could not, therefore, be interested. None of the emigrants had gotten rich, though some doubtless had bettered themselves by emigration. Moreover, the unpleasant facts about the bitter winter climate were too well established. No high pressure leaders could work up a cheer for it.

Nevertheless, the colonial population continued to increase, chiefly by virtue of an enthusiastic birth rate. With the labor scarcity involved, the children as well as the wife were to be economic assets to the colonial husbandman, instead of a drain on his purse. The colonizing company had stressed this point by offering to married men double the acreage tendered to single men and women

As a theocracy, the Bay colony government was far from perfect. Religious controversy kept it for 50 years in the same kind of hot water which the Puritans had left in England; whereas Plymouth colony, without a state-imposed religion or a theocratic rule, had a religiously tranquil existence.

Nor did the vesting of all political powers&Dash;executive, legislative and judicial&Dash;in a single general court and Governor, work out so well it endured as long as it did in spite of its defect, rather than from merit in the form or substance; eventuating, through disapproving experience, into our present constitutional system of checks and balances.

As instances of the intolerance's, translated by zealotry into law, the general court prescribed the death penalty for ten different classes of crime, including idolatry, blasphemy, witchcraft and adultery; prohibited cards and dice; provided a heavy penalty for failure to attend church on Sunday; fined a husband for kissing his own wife on his own doorstep on Sunday; fined a woman who cut her hair like a man; prohibited a Roman Catholic or Jesuit from entering the colony; prohibited a man from wearing long and curled hair (aimed at the Cavaliers); required that in going to church one must not run or lag, but walk reverently, nor could one hurry so as to leave church before the blessing; prohibited women from wearing superfluous ribbons, or (1651) a person of either sex from wearing dress too expensive for his or her means, or from having an expensive wardrobe, etc.

In 1637, a synod of Puritan clergy held in Boston listed 82 blasphemies, erroneous or unsafe opinions held in the colony!

The Puritans were so zealous they could not admit of a liberal, understanding enforcement of laws obnoxious to decent people. They purposed making the stranger within their gates as righteous and sin-free as they meant to be,&Dash;he was to be saved, come hell-or-high-water, if laws and punishments could do it.

Had they been without their faults, they would not have been Puritans, but angels. Their intolerance, prejudices and ignorance were by no means unique&Dash;they were doing what kings and peoples elsewhere had been and were still doing. So, the witchcraft persecutions; yet for 10,000 years, witchcraft and sorcery had been taken for granted. Nearly 100 years later, Sir William Blackstone, patron saint of lawyers, declared that to deny witchcraft and sorcery was to fly in the face of the Bible and experience. And the historian Beard avers that, "not the atrocities committed by the Puritans, but their moderation, surprises their descendants." Such were the times.

The Quakers gave the Bay colony government a very bad time. They seemed to invite persecution. The colonists dreaded their coming; they took no joy in punishing their fellow-men, but to them it was a solemn Christian duty which could not be shirked. The Quakers naturally attracted the oppressed and the crackpots to their fold; they openly reviled preachers and magistrates, a heinous offense; they asserted it was a "sin" to pay ministers; they delighted breaking unjust laws, such as those prohibiting three Quakers getting together&Dash;that constituted a religious meeting, unlawful for them.

The court fixed a 100-pound fine for a shipmaster who brought a Quaker into the Colony; provided all Quakers should be whipped, and severe penalties for those who befriended them or their cause. It didn't stop them! To the Puritan mind, this indicated imposition of severer penalties; so they provided for cropping of cars, boring of tongues with a red-hot iron, and hangillg; three Quakers who returned a second time after sentence of exile from the colony had their right ears cut off by the hangman's knife; later, four Quakers were actually hanged for a similar offense. Reaction against the excesses came. The extreme laws were repealed in 1661.

An historian thus describes the intellectual life of the colonists of that day:

"Intellectual life centered around the church and on religion, because few but the preachers were well educated. The Puritans, both men and women, attended church with notebook in hand, followed the argument of the preacher, studied it during the week, discussed it at the regular open forum held for that purpose." There were fine points of personal salvation or religious propriety to constantly, provoke argument.

And," The magistrates of Massachusetts were obliged at one time to order reduced the number of religious lectures in order to give laymen more time for business and labor!"

What a life !

Put a serious-minded population down in one remote, primitive corner of the globe, feed it solely on religious controversy, theory and analysis until the entire population thinks and talks of nothing but the gospel the preacher pronounces, day in and day out,&Dash;and what else will be evolved but mental strait-jackets so rigid as to inevitably produce religious fanaticism with gruesome concomitants?

There was little higher education and not much primary education beyond scattered teaching of the three R's, plus Religion.

As late as 1680, Harvard University, opened in 1640, had only 10 to 20 students. For 60 years, half its graduates became ministers. That was the chief purpose of practically all the earlier Universities, &Dash;to assure a sustained output of clergy.

The frequent, if not constant, Indian menace must have kept the colonists on the ragged edge. Though tribal chieftains sold land to colonists, they begrudged it later &Dash; perhaps this originated the phrase ''Indian giving". As early as 1634, the Pequod tribe, small but warlike,, became threatening, and there were isolated cases of attacks on colonials, killings, burning of houses, etc. The whites, though small in number, had, by virtue of their firearms, a clear superiority over the Indians, with bows and arrows. Their experiences with the Indians had at least been fruitful in knowledge. So they acted decisively. On May 1, 1637, the General Court of Connecticut, (William Phelps, presiding,) resolved: "There shall be an offesive war against the Pequots"'&Dash;just that short and simple. The three colonies joined forces to exterminate the enemy. May 10, they had mustered a force of 90 whites, and 500 Narragansett Indians. In a forced march on a stormy night, this little army attacked the Pequod war camp, protected by palisades, at early dawn; set it afire, and shot down the Pequots as they attempted to escape. The dead, 2 whites, and an estimated 400-700 Pequots. A month later, 104 more Pequots were captured; 80 were women and children; 33 of the latter were given to the Indian allies, the rest sent to Boston to be sold as slaves, proceeds to help pay war costs. The mopping-up process continued, until but 200 Pequots were left, and these, by agreement with the friendly tribes, were absorbed by the latter.

But the most serious Indian war was King Philip's (1675-76). This crafty Wampanoag chief incited other tribes to join against the whites, with the objective of driving theft from the Connecticut Valley. He and his allies greatly outnumbered the colonial forces, and were armed with muskets, in the use of which they had become expert. Connecticut colony troops utilized friendly Indians as scouts, and avoided ambush losses, but the Bay and Plymouth colonies would not trust even friendly Indians, with the result their forces were repeatedly and disastrously ambushed. Out of some 90 white settlements in New England, Philip attacked 52, destroyed 12. The backbone of this deadly peril was broken by the killing of Philip in battle by an Indian ally of the whites. Following the technique of the times, Philip's head was chopped off, his body quartered, and the head given to the Indian who shot him. There is a legend that the skull hung on a gibbet in the public square at Plymouth for 20 years; while Philip's son was sold into slavery in the West Indies.

After the war, a terrible small-pox epidemic swept New England.

The eastern Indians did not stop fighting with the death of Philip, but continued intermittent hostilities for some years, and this was called Kin Williams war. The almost constant hostilities in Europe were reflected in the raids emanating from French Canadian soil, with the aid of the New England Indian allies of the French. The incidence of Indian attack is illustrated by the experiences of various of the Foote family, as recorded in the Foote genealogy, a series of raids, captures and massacres by the Indians in the territory about Hadley, Hatfield and Brookfield, Mass., and Lee and Wethersfield, Conn., covering a 35-year period. Queen Anne's War (1701-13) sw a series of Indian raids on the New England frontier villages. In King George's war (1744-48) colonial forces came to the aid of the British and captured Louisburg, supposedly impregnable French fortress. A short time later, the French and Indian War (1754-1763) saw the colonials, under George Washington, duplicating their previous success against Louisburg and otherwise aiding British forces.

It should not be imagined that this frequent warfare, and almost constant state of preparedness for defense, left the tenuous colonial economy unscathed. About 1702, the colonial government resorted to issuance of paper money without specie backing&Dash;with the usual results of printing-press currency; the rash eventually turned into a currency inflation fever, which, despite attempted price-control ravaged the whole economic structure; the value of the paper currency diminished in proportion to the amount issued, until it became virtually worthless, being finally wiped out by edict of the mother country in 1750, banning it as legal tender.

The unhappy times doubtless had Much to do with the stirring of pre-revolutionary animosities against the mother country; unjust impositions, during a period of great hardship, seemed doubly unjust, and fanned the flame of revolt.

But in 1775, when the Revolution began, the colonials again resorted to printing-press currency. By 1783, this was worth only around 1/2 of a cent on the dollar. Again the creditor class, the holder of intangible wealth, was the victim, and again the whole domestic economy was laid prostrate&Dash;the futile and ephemeral "Stray's Rebellion" being a manifestation.

In the fibre of your ancestors was a synthesis of the times in which they were born, lived and died. Self analysis, if you care to venture it, may divulge to you some of their faults or virtues.



Early American Settlers




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