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The History of the United States From 1492 to 1910

The History of the United States From 1492 to 1910

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The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1
From Discovery of America October 12, 1492 to Battle of

Lexington April 19, 1775
Author: Julian Hawthorne
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7131]

[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]

[This file was first posted on March 14, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-Latin-1
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HISTORY OF U.S., V1 ***

Produced by Nathan Harris, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team
[Illustration: THE WARRIOR'S LAST RIDE (See the Battle of Deerfield,

Vol. 1., p. 205) _Painted by Frederic Remington_]
THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1492 TO 1910
By JULIAN HAWTHORNE

VOLUME I
From Discovery Of America October 12, 1492
To
Battle Of Lexington April 19, 1775

CONTENTS OF VOLUME ONE
INTRODUCTION BEFORE DAWN
I. COLUMBUS, RALEIGH, AND SMITH
II. THE FREIGHT OF THE "MAYFLOWER"
III. THE SPIRIT OF THE PURITANS
IV. FROM HUDSON TO STUYVESANT

V. LIBERTY, SLAVERY, AND TYRANNY
VI. CATHOLIC, PHILOSOPHER, AND REBEL
VII. QUAKER, YANKEE, AND KING
VIII. THE STUARTS AND THE CHARTER
IX. THE NEW LEAF, AND THE BLOT ON IT
X. FIFTY YEARS OF FOOLS AND HEROES
XI. QUEM JUPITER VULT PERDERE
XII. THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM AND THE STAMP ACT
XIII. THE PASSING OF THE RUBICON
XIV. THE SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION

When we speak of History, we may mean either one of several things. A
savage will make picture-marks on a stone or a bone or a bit of wood; they
serve to recall to him and his companions certain events which appeared
remarkable or important for one or another reason; there was an
earthquake, or a battle, or a famine, or an invasion: the chronicler
himself, or some fellow-tribesman of his, may have performed some notable
exploit. The impulse to make a record of it was natural: posterity might
thereby be informed, after the chronicler himself had passed away,
concerning the perils, the valor, the strange experiences of their
ancestors. Such records were uniformly brief, and no attempt was made to
connect one with another, or to interpret them. We find such fragmentary
histories among the remains of our own aborigines; and the inscriptions of
Egypt and Mesopotamia are the same in character and intention, though more
elaborate. Warlike kings thus endeavored, from motives of pride, to
perpetuate the memory of their achievements. At the time when they were
inscribed upon the rock, or the walls of the tombs, or the pedestals of
the statues, they had no further value than this. But after the lapse of
many ages, they acquire a new value, far greater than the original one,
and not contemplated by the scribes. They assume their proper place in the
long story of mankind, and indicate, each in its degree, the manner and
direction of the processes by which man has become what he is, from what
he was. Thereby there is breathed into the dead fact the breath of life;
it rises from its tomb of centuries, and does its appointed work in the
mighty organism of humanity.

In a more complex state of society, a class of persons comes into being
who are neither protagonists, nor slaves, but observers; and they meditate
on events, and seek to fathom their meaning. If the observer be
imaginative, the picturesque side of things appeals to him; he dissolves
the facts, and recreates them to suit his conceptions of beauty and
harmony; and we have poetry and legend. Another type of mind will give us
real histories, like those of Herodotus, Thucydides, Tacitus and Livy,
which are still a model in their kind. These great writers took a broad
point of view; they saw the end from the beginning of their narrative;
they assigned to their facts their relative place and importance, and
merged them in a pervading atmosphere of opinion, based upon the organic

relation of cause and effect. Studying their works, we are enabled to
discern the tendencies and developments of a race, and to note the effects
of civilization, character, vice, virtue, and of that sum of them all
which we term fate.

During what are called the Dark Ages of Europe, history fell into the
hands of that part of the population which alone was conversant with
letters--the priestly class; and the annals they have left to us have none
of the value which belongs to the productions of classical antiquity. They
were again mere records; or they were mystical or fanciful tales of saints
and heroes, composed or distorted for the glorification of the church, and
the strengthening of the influence of the priests over the people. But
these also, in after times, took on a value which they had not originally
possessed, and become to the later student a precious chapter of the
history of mankind.

Meanwhile, emerging august from the shadows of antiquity, we have that
great body of literature of which our own Bible is the highest type, which
purports to present the story of the dealings of the Creator with His
creatures. These wonderful books appear to have been composed in a style,
and on a principle, the secret of which has been lost. The facts which
they relate, often seemingly trivial and disconnected, are really but a
material veil, or symbol, concealing a spiritual body of truth, which is
neither trivial nor disconnected, but an organized, orderly and catholic
revelation of the nature of man, of the processes of his spiritual
regeneration, of his final reconciliation with the Divine. The time will
perhaps come when some inspired man or men will be enabled to handle our
modern history with the same esoteric insight which informed the Hebrew
scribes, when they used the annals of the obscure tribe to which they
belonged as a cover under which to present the relations of God with all
the human race, past and to come.

*
*
*
*
*

Modern history tends more and more to become philosophic: to be an
argument and an interpretation, rather than a bald statement of facts. The
facts contained in our best histories bear much the same relation to the
history itself, that the flesh and bones of the body bear to the person
who lives in and by them. The flesh and bones, or the facts, have to
exist; but the only excuse for their existence is, that the person may
have being, or that the history may trace a spiritual growth or decadence.
There was perhaps a time when the historian found a difficulty in
collecting facts enough to serve as a firm foundation for his edifice of
comment and deduction; but nowadays, his embarrassment is rather in the
line of making a judicious selection from the enormous mass of facts which
research and the facilities of civilization have placed at his disposal.
Not only is every contemporary event recorded instantly in the newspapers
and elsewhere; but new light is being constantly thrown upon the past,
even upon the remotest confines thereof. Some of the facts thus brought
before us are original and vital; others are mere echoes, repetitions, and
unimportant variations.

But the historian, if he wishes his work to last, must build as does the
Muse in Emerson's verse, with
.... "Rafters of immortal pine,
Cedar incorruptible, worthy her design."

Or he may be sure that the historian who comes after him will sift the
wheat from his chaff, and leave him no better reputation than that of the
quarry from which the marble of the statue comes. He must tell a
consecutive story, but must eschew all redundancy, furnish no more

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