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Title: The Coming of the White Men - Stories of How Our Country Was Discovered
Author: Wade, Mary Hazelton Blanchard
Language: English
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Internet Archive)



  THE COMING OF THE
  WHITE MEN



[Illustration: THE NORSEMEN]



                           THE COMING OF THE
                               WHITE MEN

               Stories of How Our Country was Discovered

                                  BY
                          MARY HAZELTON WADE
          AUTHOR OF "TEN LITTLE INDIANS," "TEN BIG INDIANS,"
                   "THE LITTLE COUSIN SERIES," ETC.

                         WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
                            SEARS GALLAGHER

                          W. A. WILDE COMPANY
                          BOSTON      CHICAGO



  _Copyright_, 1905,
  BY W. A. WILDE COMPANY.
  _All rights reserved._

  THE COMING OF THE WHITE MEN



PREFACE


The true American is happy in the thought that his country is a great
and glorious one. He can say with his heart as well as his lips, "This
is the land of the Free and the home of the Brave."

Those who journey far from their native land and find themselves in
foreign countries tell us how they are stirred and thrilled when by
any chance the stars and stripes of the American flag meet their view.
These stars and stripes stand for the struggles for freedom, the brave
deeds in the cause of right and justice, the heroism of those who have
laid down their lives that their country should still live, and the
brother-love that binds together all the men, women, and children who
can say, "I am an American!"

It is only right that the boys and girls of America, as soon as they
are able to understand, should hear the stories of those who took the
first steps toward the building of this nation—those who risked life
and fortune and who were willing to face unknown dangers for the sake
of freedom.

If these boys and girls of America are to grow up with the earnest
desire of keeping the sacred trust that must descend to them; if they
are to keep this country the land of the free and the home of the
brave; if their aspirations and ideals shall be of the highest and the
purest, so that the powers and privileges of America shall increase
rather than diminish with the coming years, then let the plant of
patriotism take root early in their hearts that it may grow with their
growth and blossom in perfect fullness with their maturer years.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                     PAGE

     I. THE NORSEMEN                            11

    II. THE GENOESE SAILOR                      29

   III. JOHN CABOT AND THE CODFISH              49

    IV. THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH                   58

     V. THE GOOD KNIGHT AND THE LOST BABY       64

    VI. THE STORY OF A DARING MAN               75

   VII. HENRY HUDSON                            95

  VIII. THE PILGRIMS                           109

    IX. LITTLE PILGRIMS OF LONG AGO            127

     X. ROGER WILLIAMS                         136

    XI. THE FATHER OF WATERS                   141

   XII. THE STORY OF A YOUNG QUAKER            158

  XIII. LORD BALTIMORE AND THE CATHOLICS       167

   XIV. THE POOR DEBTORS                       177



ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                              PAGE

  THE NORSEMEN                 _Frontispiece_   18

  COLUMBUS AND HIS FLAG-SHIP                    36

  THE ENGLISH TRADING WITH THE INDIANS          68

  THE DUTCH CHILDREN AT PLAY                   102

  FUR-TRADING WITH THE FRENCH                  142



CHAPTER I

THE NORSEMEN


His name wasn't Sam and he wasn't their real uncle, but everybody else
called him Uncle Sam, so Joe and Lucy followed their example.

He was tall and thin and had a sharp face. A funny little tuft of
hair grew on his chin and when he was thinking deeply he was fond of
stroking this tuft with his big bony hand.

His clothes always seemed to be old-fashioned. When the neighbors were
speaking of him they would sometimes say, "How much he looks like the
newspaper pictures of 'Uncle Sam.'"

"Whenever I meet him, he somehow makes me think of America," said Joe's
father. "I never knew anyone who loved his country as dearly as he
does. He is perfectly happy whenever he can get anyone to listen to
stories of our great men and the things that happened here long ago."

It was for these reasons that people began calling him Uncle Sam before
Joe and Lucy were born.

His real name was Ebenezer Wilkins, but the children had to stop and
think before they could remember it. He lived in a cosy little cottage
at the end of the village and kept house there all alone from one
year's end to another.

Everybody loved him. His kind blue eyes looked tenderly upon each child
in the place. If measles or chicken-pox shut a boy or girl away from
playmates, Uncle Sam was sure to hear of it. Then, when his day's work
was done and he had eaten his supper of bread and milk, he would visit
the sick child and make him forget his troubles as he told stories
of boys and girls who lived in the early days of the white people in
America.

Joe and Lucy were twins. Somehow or other Uncle Sam had grown to love
them more than any other children in the country round. When they were
babies he used to dandle them on his knees. He taught them to take
their first steps alone. He bought a book of "Mother Goose's Melodies"
on purpose to learn the rhymes and afterwards repeat them to the
listening babies.

Sometimes he even stayed home from church on Sunday mornings so as to
take care of these twins and give their father and mother a chance to
go away together.

"Twins are a great care, a great care," he would say slowly. But he
would add with a twinkle in his eyes, "They are never too much of a
care for Uncle Sam."

"He is better than any _real_ uncle in the world," said Joe, as he and
Lucy opened the gate leading into the old man's garden.

It was a summer evening and the sun was just setting. The rows of
hollyhocks and marigolds looked prettier than ever in the sunset light.

"Uncle Sam loves bright things," said Lucy, looking at the flowers. "He
is always finding something new to admire. That is why I like to walk
in the woods with him."

"He shows me many things I should never see myself," answered Joe.

By this time the children had reached the door of the house, and
stepped inside. They never stopped to knock; Uncle Sam would not have
liked it.

"I've brought you some cookies, Uncle Sam," said Lucy, handing a
covered dish to the old man. "Mother made them this morning. She put
raisins in them because she knew you are fond of fruit cookies."

Uncle Sam was pleased when he lifted the napkin and looked at his
present.

"I can make bread and cook meat and potatoes, but cake is beyond my
skill. It takes women-folks to do such work." The old man laughed
softly as he put the cookies away in the cupboard.

"It is a lovely evening. Won't you come out on the porch and tell us
stories in the twilight?"

As Lucy spoke, she reached up and put her arms around Uncle Sam's neck.
He was so tall he had to bend down to let her do so.

"I suppose you want me to tell you about Cinderella for the fiftieth
time, or maybe you would rather hear about Aladdin and his Wonderful
Lamp?"

"No, Uncle Sam," said Joe before Lucy had a chance to answer. "We
are getting too big for fairy stories. We have just begun to study
geography at school. We like it better than anything we've ever had.
So Lucy and I have been talking it over. We said we would ask you to
tell us true stories now about America, and the Indians, and the brave
white people who first dared to come here, you know, and all such
things."

Uncle Sam fairly beamed with delight.

"I've been thinking of that very thing, children. I have been longing
for the time when you would like to hear some of the history of this
glorious country. You will like it, too. Why, it is better than any
fairy stories that ever were told."

In five minutes more the old man was sitting in his big easy chair on
the porch. Lucy was perched on one of the broad arms of the chair, and
Joe on the other.

"We are all ready, so please begin," said Lucy, coaxingly.

"Very well. Shut your eyes for a minute so you cannot look at those
rows of hollyhocks in front of you. I want you to see a different
picture. You must take a peep at this country of ours before a white
man ever set foot on it."

"All right; I am ready, for my eyes are shut tight," cried Joe with a
laugh.

"Now, then. First you must notice the great forests that stretch over a
large part of the land. Wild beasts are roaming about in the darkness
of those woods. Wolves and foxes, bears and wildcats live a free and
happy life, for the sound of a gun has never yet been heard.

"Turn your thoughts next to the great plains of the west. Thousands
of buffaloes are wandering about. The herds are so vast that in some
places the earth is fairly black with them.

"Here and there, over the country, stand the villages of the Red Men.
They are usually built near the shores of streams or ponds so that
fresh water may be plentiful.

"There are no stores, no factories, no churches, no roads, from one
shore of America to the other.

"At first, it may seem strange to you that the Indians made no roads,
for they were traveling a good deal of the time. They moved their homes
whenever the game became scarce where they happened to be living.
Besides that, they delighted in war and one tribe was continually
taking some other one by surprise.

"They did not, however, go about in the way white people do. They
journeyed on foot in single file and the narrow paths they trod through
the forests can be seen to this day. Some of those paths are hundreds
of years old. They are many miles in length. Such paths are called
trails.

"I have traveled over one of the Indian trails. It was in the state of
New York. It made me feel queer as I thought of the painted Red Men who
so long ago made that path through the dark woods.

"The clothing and houses of these people were quite different in the
different parts of this country. The games and festivals of one tribe
were often unlike those of any other.

"Some Indians lived in tents covered with the skins of wild animals.
Others had houses of birch bark. Then again, there were tribes who
braided grasses into pretty mats with which they covered the framework
of their houses.

"The food was also different. In the south, where the air is warm and
pleasant almost all the year, the Red Men ate a great deal of fruit.
Up here in the north they lived largely on the corn that the women
planted and tended, while out on the great plains they ate quantities
of buffalo meat."

Lucy's eyes opened wider and wider as the old man talked.

"I didn't need to close them at all," she said. "I can always see the
pictures you paint with words. You make them so bright, Uncle Sam."

"Some other time, my dear, we will talk more about the Red Children,
but now we will turn to the first white men who visited America.

"The first visitors from Europe were bold Norsemen. Their homes were
in the far north. There were many deep, narrow bays along the shores
of their own country and they loved the ocean from the time they
were born. While they were still children, they learned to sail over
its rough waves, and by the time they were young men they were quite
fearless. The worst storms and the fiercest winds did not make them
tremble.

"From year to year they kept sailing farther and farther westward in
their queer boats."

"Why were they queer, Uncle Sam?" asked Lucy.

"They would seem queer to us because they had such high prows and
sterns and because large figures of dragons and other strange creatures
were often carved on the ends of the boats. The sails, too, were of a
different shape from any you ever saw.

"But let me go on with my story. It happened one time that some
Vikings, as these brave Norse seamen were called, sailed so far into
the west that they came to an island they had never seen before. This
was Iceland. You have heard the name, haven't you, children?"

"Yes, Uncle Sam."

"Iceland lies about half-way between Europe and America, but it is much
farther north than we are. The Norsemen who came upon it by accident,
called it Snowland."

"I think that is a pretty name. I wish it were called Snowland, now,"
said Lucy, half to herself.

"Yes, it is a pretty name," said Uncle Sam. Then he went on.

"The one who first saw Iceland did not remain there. He went back to
Norway. Four years later, another Norseman was driven to the coast of
Iceland by a storm. Before he left it, he sailed all around its shores
and found it was an island.

"When he got home again, he said it was such a pleasant place that
another daring Viking decided to go to Iceland to live. He carried
seeds for planting and cattle to furnish milk and meat. He stayed there
all one winter. It was so cold that the poor cattle died.

"When spring came, the Norseman made ready to plant his seeds, but the
land was still covered with ice. 'This is not a fit place for anyone to
live,' he cried. He once more packed his goods on his ship and sailed
for Norway.

"That, however, was not the end of the white men's life in Iceland.
Ten years after that another band of Norsemen went there and settled.
They lived in peace and comfort. Children were born and grew up in that
cold island of the north. They were carefully taught by their parents
and became wise men and women. This settlement in Iceland lasted for
hundreds of years.

"You children may wonder why I tell you so much about the Norsemen
coming to Iceland, but it is like the first step of a ladder. Perhaps
you are getting tired, though, and do not wish to hear any more
to-night."

"O no, we are not a bit tired, Uncle Sam," said both Lucy and her
brother.

"Well, then, if Iceland was the first step toward America, Greenland
was the second one.

"Some of the early settlers in Iceland were driven westward in a storm
while they were out sailing. It was then that they first saw the rocky
shores of Greenland.

"A good many years after this there was a certain man living in Iceland
named Eric the Red. He did not get along very well with his neighbors
and had many quarrels with them. He said to himself:

"'I will seek that land west of us and will make a home for myself
there.'

"He sailed away from Iceland and was not heard of again for three
years. When he came back on a visit, he spoke of the place where he had
been living as 'Greenland.' He thought:

"'If I give it a good name, others will like to go there and settle.'"

"Now I know why it was called Greenland," said Lucy, laughing.
"Whenever we sing 'From Greenland's Icy Mountains,' I always wonder
about the name. I knew it must be a cold and icy land, because of the
words of the hymn."

"Yes, that was the way of it. The name Greenland sounded very pleasant
to the people of Iceland and a large company of them went back with
Eric to settle among the icy mountains you sing about.

"We come now to the third accident and the third step that brought the
Norsemen to our own land.

"Eric the Red had sons. They were bold and daring sailors, like their
father. During the long winter evenings they used to listen to the
stories of the older people. There was one that they liked best of
all. It was the tale of a young man named Biarne who was trying to find
the way from Iceland to Greenland. His father had gone there with Eric,
and Biarne wished to follow him.

"He started off in the right direction. When he had sailed out of sight
of land, a thick fog settled down. Then a north wind began to blow. Day
after day, the ship was driven by the strong north wind. Biarne could
do nothing but wonder, 'Where are we going? Surely, this wind will
never carry us to Greenland.'

"At last the fog cleared away and not long after that the Norseman
and his crew found they were sailing near a shore on which trees were
growing. Low hills rose behind it. It could not be Greenland, truly,
for Biarne had been told that the hills there were high and that they
were covered with ice.

"When Biarne refused to land, his men were quite angry. 'I must go on
with my search for my father,' he told them. 'I only care now to find
him.'

"Again they set sail and after two more days they saw land again. It
was low and wooded, so Biarne knew that this could not be the country
he was seeking.

"'I will not stop here,' he told his men. Of course they grumbled, but
they were obliged to do as he wished.

"Three more days passed, and a land with high and snowy mountains came
into sight.

"'I am sure this is not Greenland, either,' said Biarne, and he would
not stop. He sailed along its shores, however, long enough to find it
was an island.

"In three days from that time, he reached the shores of Greenland. When
Biarne at last cast anchor he was very near that part of the country
where his father was living.

"Whenever Eric's sons heard this story of Biarne, they thought, 'When
we grow up, we will go to sea. Then we will try to find the country
with green hills and many trees. Who knows what else we shall see in
such a pleasant land?"

"The time came at last when the eldest son of Eric was old enough to
start on a long voyage. It was in the year 1000. Biarne went with him.

"The first shore that met their eyes was Newfoundland. They landed and
found it was a plain covered with stones. They returned to the ships
and soon Nova Scotia came in sight.

"After they had looked over that land, they started once more and
sailed southward. They came to our own New England. I believe they were
not a hundred miles away from where we are this very minute.

"They were much pleased with the place. They found plenty of large
salmon in the waters. Trees grew everywhere about them. The air was
much warmer and pleasanter than in Greenland.

"There was one thing which delighted them more than anything else. They
found vines with great bunches of grapes growing upon them. This is how
it happened. One night one of their party was missing. He had gone with
a few men to look around and see what they could discover. This man was
a German and his name was Tyrker. His friends came back without him. He
had wandered away from them. They believed he was lost.

"Everyone felt bad. They thought they should never see him again. Some
of them went to hunt for the missing man. They had not gone far when
they met him. He seemed wild with joy. He could hardly speak, he was so
glad. At first, his friends thought he had lost his mind.

"After a while he was able to say that he had found vines with grapes
upon them. He knew what they were, for he had seen grapes growing in
his own country of Germany.

"It seemed too good to be true. They all knew that the wine they liked
so well was made from grapes. They followed Tyrker and found the vines
he had described.

"What a treasure they had discovered! Stores of grapes were gathered
day after day and carried on board the ship. Trees were also cut down,
for the people in Greenland would be glad to have all the lumber their
friends could bring them.

"The Vikings said, 'We will call this place Vinland because of the
grape vines we have found.'

"As soon as the ship had been loaded with all it could carry, the
joyful party left our shores and turned northward once more. During
their short visit here they saw no other people.

"When they reached home they told such bright stories of their visit
that others wished to go to Vinland.

"Another party of Norsemen soon started. When they got here, they met
some people who must have been Eskimos. These savages were quite short
and had broad faces. They had skin boats such as the Eskimos use to
this day."

"I never heard of Eskimos around here!" said Joe in surprise.

"I don't know how to explain it except in this way," replied Uncle Sam.
"In those days the Eskimos, or some of them, must have lived along
these shores, for the Norsemen certainly found them here. The Indians
may have driven them away afterwards. We can only guess about it.

"The last Norsemen who came here did not stay long. Many things
happened to prevent it. I will tell you of one of these, because it is
really funny.

"A bull which the Norsemen had brought among their cattle rushed out
of the woods one day. It frightened some Eskimos who had come to trade
with the white men. They managed to reach their boats and paddled away
as fast as they could go. They thought the bull was some dreadful
creature the Norsemen would use against them in war.

"They went away, as I said, but they returned with great numbers of
their own people. The Vikings said that they were now like a rushing
torrent. They came to fight and to drive the white men from their
shores.

"It would have been a sad day for the Norsemen if it had not been for
one brave woman. They were fleeing from the Eskimos when she rushed out
and faced the savages. She did not try to attack them, but began to
strike at herself with a sword. They were so startled that they turned
and fled to their boats.

"This was only one of the many adventures the Vikings had in Vinland.
They had so many troubles that after a few years they made up their
minds to remain in Greenland."

"How do you know all these things are true, Uncle Sam? Did the Norse
people write books about them?"

"Those are good questions, Joe. The Norsemen did not write any history
of themselves at that time. They did not know how to write. They were
great story-tellers, however, and during the long winter evenings they
used to tell, over and over again, the things that had happened to
them. They made songs about their adventures. Their children learned
these songs and when they grew up they taught them to their children.
Hundreds of years afterwards Roman priests came among them and told
them of the Christian God. At the same time the priests taught them
to read and write. They now began to write down the history of their
people.

"But, dear me, children, I have been so busy talking I never thought
how late it is growing. There is your father at the gate. He must be
coming for you."

"Thank you, Uncle Sam," said Lucy, as she kissed the old man
good-night, "I enjoyed what you told us ever so much."

"I am glad you started with the Norsemen," said Joe. "I always like to
hear the first part of anything. So, of course, as you are going to tell
us the story of America, we ought to know the very beginning of it."

"My dear boy," said Uncle Sam, "no one knows the real beginning. All
I could do was to start with the coming of the white men to this
country."



CHAPTER II

THE GENOESE SAILOR


"Here we are, Uncle Sam. We came early so there would be time for a
good long story."

The old man sat reading his newspaper in the soft light of the setting
sun. He looked up with a pleasant smile to greet the twins as they came
arm in arm down the path.

"So you did not get too tired last night, Joe?" he replied. "I didn't
know but that you would beg me to go back to fairy stories and leave
true ones till you get older."

"Fairy stories indeed!" exclaimed the boy with a look of scorn. "Lucy
and I both want to hear about real people. Don't we Lucy?"

"Of course; we said so last night, and we think so more than ever now.
Have you made up your mind what to tell us next, Uncle Sam? But perhaps
you want to finish your newspaper."

"Newspapers can wait till little folk are asleep in their beds, my
darlings. Besides, I have a story all ready and waiting. It is knocking
at the door of my mind this very moment and saying, 'Please let me out,
please let me out.' So out it must come. There, Joe, stretch yourself
comfortably in that hammock; and Lucy, take the steamer chair and draw
it up close by my side. Now I hope you are both ready for a visit to
another part of the world.

"We won't take any trunks, and there will be no sea-sickness, nor
trouble of any kind. So let us start at once on a voyage across the
Atlantic Ocean.

"Whew! Here we are safe and sound on the shores of Italy. The waves are
rolling gently and the air is sweet and pleasant.

"A dark-skinned boy is sitting on the edge of the wharf and looking out
to sea. He is watching the ships coming into port. He can see a tiny
speck in the distance but he knows it is the top of some mast. As he
watches it a sail comes into view under it. It comes nearer and nearer
until the whole of a ship can be seen.

"The name of the boy who sat looking out to sea was Christopher Columbus.

"He loved the sea better than anything else. He longed to live on it
and make long voyages. He did not know what it was to be afraid.

"As he grew up, he read all he could about the earth. He found that
some wise men believed it was not flat, as many supposed, but was
round. They also thought it much smaller than it really is.

"The young Columbus said to himself: 'If the world is really round,
we can reach India by sailing west, instead of making such a long and
tiresome journey to the east."

"Why did he care so much about getting to India?" asked Lucy.

"The people of Europe thought India was the richest land in the world.
It had great stores of gold and silver. Beautiful silks and satins,
wonderful pearls and emeralds, fragrant spices,—all these things were
brought from that glorious land. It is no wonder that Columbus, as well
as everyone else, was interested in such a rich country.

"There was another reason, however, why Columbus thought so much about
India and wished to find a shorter way of reaching it. He loved the
Lord with all his heart. He had been told that the people of the East
were heathens and that they worshiped idols.

"He thought: 'I would like to tell these people of the One God and of
Jesus, the Friend of all men.'

"I believe he cared more about that than for the silks and spices.

"As soon as Columbus was old enough, he went to sea with some of his
relations. He learned how to steer a ship and how to manage it in
storms. He proved himself brave and daring in sea-fights. He studied
the winds and tides.

"The time came at last when he spoke to the people of his own town in
Italy. He told them he believed he could find India by sailing to the
west. They did not listen to him. He himself could not fit up ships
to make a long voyage, for he had no money. So he could not try his
experiment.

"Years passed by and Columbus went to Portugal. He still had one great
desire in his heart. You know what that was.

"He lost no time in speaking to the King of Portugal. The king listened
to the plan. He thought it was a wise one. But he did not offer to send
Columbus on a voyage of discovery. O, no! He preferred to send some of
his own sailors. If the plan succeeded, he thought he would gain more
by so doing.

"He sent the Italian away. Then he took the maps and charts Columbus
had made and showed them to the wisest men of the country. He thought:
'I will make use of what Columbus knows, but he shall get no reward.'

"He was not honest. That is what I think. Don't you agree with me?"

"Of course we do," both children exclaimed.

"Some ships were fitted out and sailed into the west. They had not gone
far, however, before the sailors became afraid and turned back. The
king of Portugal did not try again."

"I am glad he didn't," said Lucy.

"It served him right," cried Joe.

"We must not leave Columbus," Uncle Sam went on. "The brave sailor
left Portugal, but he was not discouraged. He kept thinking, thinking
where he should try next. After a while, he thought of Spain. He knew
that country was eager for wealth and new lands. He would go there. He
started for the Spanish court. His little son went with him.

"The journey through the country was very tiresome. They went slowly,
for the roads were rough. The little boy sat in front of his father on
the horse's back.

"At last, one evening, they stopped to rest at a convent. Columbus told
the good monks of the plan that was so dear to him. He showed them his
charts of the world.

"They were much interested. They said: 'Our king and queen must see
your charts. We believe they will give you the money to fit out the
ships that you need. It will be a great thing for our country if you
find a short way to India.'

"Columbus felt happy when he heard the monks' words. He left his little
son in their care and went on his way to the court of Ferdinand and
Isabella.

"The king and queen listened kindly, but they could see no way of
giving money to Columbus. A war was going on at this very time and they
needed all their money to carry it on.

"Columbus stayed in Spain for seven long years. He tried to get some of
the rich men of the country to listen to his plans and furnish money.
It was all in vain.

"At last, just as he was leaving the country, some messengers came to
him. They said: 'Queen Isabella wishes to talk with you once more. She
would like to help you.'

"How gladly Columbus turned back! He found the queen had such faith
in him that she was even willing to sell her beautiful jewels, if
necessary, for the sake of giving him money.

"He set to work at once to get a fleet ready. Three ships were chosen.
Their bows and sterns were built high up out of the water. They were
very different from the ships of to-day. Provisions to last a whole
year were stowed away in them.

"It was not as easy to find sailors as it was to get the ships."

"I don't see why," interrupted Joe. "I should think there would have
been plenty of men eager to go."

"Not so, my lad," replied Uncle Sam. "Only the boldest men would dare
to sail far into the west at that time. The people of those days were
full of queer fancies. They thought they would come to enchanted
islands and great dragons and all sorts of fearful things if they went
far away from home.

"At last, however, enough sailors promised to go and the great day came
for the ships to set sail. How excited everyone was! Would these men
ever come back to the shores of Spain? Would they really find India, or
was it only the dream of a very bold man?

"The wharves were covered with people who had gathered to see the ships
start on their daring voyage.

"They sailed farther and farther into the west; now the lower parts
could be but dimly seen; then only the tops of the masts; then they
faded altogether from sight.

"Now let us leave the onlookers of the shores and join the brave
Columbus on the deck of the Santa Maria, his flag-ship.

"Day after day he guided the ships onward and ever westward. After they
had passed the Canary Islands, the men were always on the watch for
signs of some new land. After days, and then weeks, on the great ocean
the sailors became afraid. They begged their leader to turn back, but
they begged in vain. He would not listen.

"At first he tried to keep up their courage by telling them of the
riches they would gain, or the honors their church would give them if
they carried the teachings of Christ to the heathens. When such words
lost their power Columbus became stern. He told the men how angry the
king would be if they did not obey their captain.

[Illustration: COLUMBUS AND HIS FLAG-SHIP]

"The time came when they began to plot against Columbus. They said:
'We will destroy him. Then, when we get home, we will say that he fell
overboard.'

"Could they ever reach home, now they were so far away? The men became
afraid of what might happen to them if Columbus were dead and no one
left to pilot them home again. So they did not kill him.

"He knew they did not feel kindly to him and he thought it would be
best to make some bargain with them. So he said: 'If we do not see land
in a certain number of days I will promise to turn back toward Spain.'

"How eagerly he now watched from the deck of his vessel! It seemed
as though his hopes and beliefs would not prove true. The last day
came,—the day on which he had promised to turn back if they found no
signs of land.

"Lo! a stick carved by some person's hand came floating along by the
ship's side. This was not all, for a branch with berries on it was
picked up out of the water. Land must be near!

"'I will give a large reward to the man who first sees it,' cried
Columbus. As he watched that very night he saw a light in the
distance. It moved. He called two of his men to look at it.

"Their hearts leaped for joy at the sight.

"Before morning came, a sailor saw the shore in the distance by the
light of the moon.

"Children," said Uncle Sam solemnly, "never forget that it was the 12th
of October of the year 1492 that Columbus first stepped upon the shores
of the New World. He was dressed in a full suit of steel armor and he
held the royal banner of Spain as he landed on the island which he named
San Salvador.

"He planted the cross of the Christians and, with his officers and men
around him, knelt down to thank God for His great goodness in bringing
them so far in safety.

"'How beautiful, how beautiful!' Columbus exclaimed as he looked about
him. Tall palm trees were moving gently in the warm breeze; strange and
lovely flowers were growing all around; birds of bright colors flew
overhead.

"But these were not the only things to fill the brave sailor with
wonder. He and his men were soon surrounded by strange-looking people.
They had straight black hair and dark red skins. They wore little or no
clothing.

"'This is India, without a doubt,' said Columbus, 'and these people are
Indians.'

"He noticed the gold ornaments in their ears and he thought with
delight of the treasures he would carry back to Spain to good Queen
Isabella.

"The Red Men were as much surprised as the Spaniards. They whispered to
each other, 'These white beings must be gods come from the heavens to
visit us.'

"Then they pointed to the ships and said, 'The great birds that have
brought them to us are now floating on the water.'

"The Indians wished to show honor to their visitors. They hurried to
their simple homes and gathered grains and fruits. They brought them as
presents to the Spaniards.

"The white men were glad to receive the corn, cotton, and fruits. They
feasted on the delicious cocoanuts and bananas, yet they were not
satisfied. Gold was what they most wanted. When they asked the Indians
where to find it, the savages pointed towards the south."

"I am glad Columbus wasn't a Spaniard," said Joe, who had kept still a
long time for a lively boy. "I just hate the Spaniards. I believe all
they care for is riches. It's a good thing we beat them in the last war."

"My dear child," replied Uncle Sam, "You should hate no one. We may
thank the Spaniards for one thing at least. If it had not been for
them, Columbus might never have been able to cross the ocean and
discover America. You must remember they gave him the ships and money
he needed."

"It was the good Queen Isabella," said Joe, "and she didn't seem at all
like the rest of her people. But please excuse me for interrupting you,
Uncle Sam."

"That is all right, Joe. It shows you are a good listener. Now we will
go back to Columbus resting among the palm trees.

"I am sure you children would have loved him. He had bright, keen eyes,
yet they were kind and loving; and he moved about with the air of a
king."

"He had the right to do so," said Lucy, thoughtfully. "He couldn't help
feeling how great he was."

"You are quite right," answered Uncle Sam, as he patted the little
girl's head. "Even the steps of a brave man must be different from
those of a coward. The bravery gets into them without the man's
thinking about it.

"But dear me! It is getting late, and I am only half through my story.
We have turned our backs on Columbus and left him alone with the Red
Men quite as long as is polite. He enjoyed himself very much with them,
however, and stayed several days on the island.

"Then he took to his ships once more and sailed about among the
different islands which he called the Indies. He thought that the right
name for them, as he still believed he was near the mainland of India.

"Each time they landed, his men kept asking the natives where gold
could be found. Each time they were disappointed. But Columbus thought
it must be near at hand. He never dreamed that he was still far from
the land of spices and precious stones.

"At the end of twelve weeks he said, 'We ought to go back to Spain and
tell what we have discovered.'

"He gathered stores of the strange fruits and grains and rich woods
and packed them safely away in the ships. He also took some of the
brightly-feathered birds.

"He left a part of the sailors on one of the islands. They were to make
a settlement. Then they would have a home ready for Columbus when he
should come again with more of their people.

"When he had chosen some of the Indians to go back with him, all was
ready and he began to cross the great ocean once more."

"He must have been almost bursting with pride and joy," cried Joe. "And
the voyage home must have seemed long, because he had so much to tell."

"It came to an end at last, although there were terrible storms and the
ships came very near being wrecked," Uncle Sam went on. "At length,
however, they reached Spain.

"The news of their return spread quickly. As soon as Columbus landed
crowds gathered to hear about his voyage and the whole country was
filled with joy.

"When Columbus went to court to tell his story to the king and queen
they would not let him stand before them. 'He is too great a man,' they
thought. 'He has gained the right to sit in our presence.'"

"O, my!" said Joe, "I thought everybody had to stand before kings and
queens."

"Columbus wasn't a king, but he was certainly as great, only in
another way. Ferdinand was quite right in thinking so. He and his good
wife listened with delight to the story of the greatest voyage any man
ever made.

"They believed as Columbus did that a short way to India had been
found. They eagerly examined the curious things brought to them from
the west. They ate of the delicious fruits and admired the bright birds
and beautiful woods.

"They said: 'We will have a grand procession through the streets of
our city. Columbus shall wear beautiful garments and shall ride in the
midst.'

"The Indians, bright with paint and feathers, went first of all in the
procession. Crowds of people lined the streets to see the Red Men, the
curious fruits and flowers, the parrots, and the stuffed bodies of
animals they had never heard of before.

"They wished, most of all, to look upon the great man who had dared to
sail so far into the west and who had brought India with all its riches
to Spain. For everyone believed this was what Columbus had done.

"Many entertainments were prepared for the great sailor. Nearly
everyone wished to give him honor. A few, however, were jealous.

"One day while Columbus was at a dinner party given in his honor one of
the king's courtiers said:

"'It was not a hard thing to do what this Italian has done. Anyone else
might have done the same thing.'

"Of course the man said this because he was jealous and did not like to
see so much attention given to a poor sailor from Italy.

"Columbus did not seem troubled at this man's words. He took an egg
from the table and handed it to the speaker. Then he said:

"'Can you make that egg stand on end?'

"The man tried, but could not do it. It was passed from one person to
another. Everyone failed. At last it came back to Columbus. He took it
in his hand and struck it gently on the table so that the shell was
slightly cracked. Then, taking away his hand, he left it standing on end.

"'It is easy enough for anyone to do that,' cried the courtier.

"'It is also easy for anyone to find the Indies after I have shown the
way,' was the reply of Columbus.

"Not long after this the great man made ready for another voyage across
the ocean.

"How different everything was now! There was no trouble now to find
sailors willing to go with him. Indeed, it was almost too easy.
Everyone was anxious to visit the Indies. They believed it was the
quickest way to gain riches and comfort.

"When the second fleet was ready to sail there were seventeen ships and
fifteen hundred men. Only think of it! It was almost like a traveling
city.

"They had no trouble in crossing the ocean, but when they came to the
island where Columbus had before left a part of his men, there was no
sign of them nor of the homes they had made.

"'This time I will choose a different place to settle,' said Columbus.

"He sailed into a fine harbor about forty miles away. The men landed
and began to build the first city of the New World for white people to
live in. They called it Isabella after the good queen of Spain.

"Columbus spent some time as governor of the settlement. Then he went
back to Spain with news of the white men's city in the west. He did not
stay long, however. He was soon restless for a third voyage across the
great ocean.

"He sailed farther to the southward than he had before. For the first
time he saw the shores of South America. Then he went back to the
settlement in the West Indies, but the people were not glad to see him."

Uncle Sam stopped for a moment and looked quite sad.

"Children," he said, "I must tell the truth and say that Columbus was
not as good a governor as he was a sailor. It would have been hard work
for anyone to rule his people, for they had to work hard and they were
not satisfied because gold was not plentiful.

"'It is not what we expected,' they cried angrily. 'We thought you
would bring us to a land filled with gold and diamonds.'

"Some of them even whispered among themselves, 'Columbus is not what he
pretends to be. He has cheated us badly.'

"At last they declared they would not let him stay there any longer.
They put chains upon him and sent him back to Spain."

Uncle Sam took a picture from the table drawer.

"Look at Columbus now," said the old man. "There he sits on the deck of
the ship with heavy chains bound on his arms like one who has done a
great wrong. Yet he gave a whole continent to the people who put them
on him.

"'I will take off your chains,' said the kind-hearted captain of the
ship. It is a shame for you to wear them.'

"'No, no. Let them remain,' answered Columbus. I will wear them as a
token of the kindness of princes.'

"How different was his third landing in Spain! This time there were no
crowds waiting to show him honor. He was carried before the queen, who
wept in pity at the sight of her old friend in chains. The brave man
now broke down. As he tried to tell his story his words were choked
with sobs.

"Isabella did not desert him, however. She helped him to fit out
another fleet and he started on his last voyage. He sailed among other
islands of the West Indies and returned to Spain after a great deal of
suffering. He was sick and poor. There were many who once could not do
too much for him but who now mocked him.

"He died with the belief that he had found a short way to India. He had
no thought of what he had really discovered. It is a shame he did not
get the honor he deserved."

Uncle Sam rose suddenly from his arm chair and began to walk up and
down the room. "Yes, it is a shame. A burning shame. Children, let us
sing 'Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.'"

The old man turned to the little organ at one side of the room. In
a moment the house was filled with the voices of Uncle Sam and his
two young friends. When the song was over, the children kissed him
good-night and started for home.



CHAPTER III

JOHN CABOT AND THE CODFISH


That same night after the children had gone to bed Lucy was just
falling asleep when Joe called out:

"I say, Lucy, I wonder why our country isn't always called Columbia
instead of America."

"Do keep still, Joe. I was so nice and sleepy and now you have waked me
up," answered his sister. "You can ask Uncle Sam the next time you see
him."

Two or three evenings afterward the old man was on his knees weeding
his pansy bed when he heard steps near by.

"Uncle Sam! Uncle Sam! where are you?" called a girl's voice.

"Here I am, my little pink of a Lucy," and he straightened himself up
by the side of the apple tree around which the pansies were growing.

"That is a lovely place for them. They don't have too much sunshine.
How large the blossoms are! May I have that big purple one? It looks
at me like a loving face."

"Of course you may, Lucy. But where is Joe?"

"He has gone on an errand for mother. After that, he's coming here.
But we can't stay very long this evening. Mother said we must go to
bed early to-night so as to be fresh for the picnic to-morrow. You are
going, aren't you, Uncle Sam?"

"Certainly I am. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

"I'm so glad. Mother said I must be sure to tell you not to take any
lunch. We shall carry enough for you. It is a lovely lunch. Roast
chicken and nut cake and apple jelly. I can hardly wait for to-morrow.
Now aren't you glad you are going?"

"It makes me hungry to think of it, so you and I will have to eat some
cherries I picked this afternoon."

"Aren't they beauties! How juicy they are. Red cherries are prettier,
but I think I like these blackhearts the best. Here comes Joe now."

"You are just in time," called Uncle Sam, as Joe came hurrying along.

"Cherries are ripe, cherries are ripe," sang Lucy, as her brother sat
down on the steps, quite out of breath.

"Christopher!" exclaimed Joe as soon as he could speak. "I've had an
awful long walk and I'm as tired as anything."

"You shouldn't say 'Christopher,' nor 'awful,' either, Joe. They are as
bad as slang."

"You needn't preach, Lucy. I should like to know a better word
than 'Christopher' in the whole language. Wasn't Columbus's name
Christopher?"

"I know that. It is all the more reason for not making the word so
common. He was too great a man. But, Uncle Sam, that makes me think of
what Joe was saying the other night. He and I both think Columbia is a
better name for our country than America."

"Let us see about that, children. I must tell you how it all happened.

"You remember, of course, that Columbus never knew what he had
discovered. He thought he had visited the shores of Asia. Some years
after his first great voyage another man from his own country of Italy
sailed out into the west. His name was Americus Vespucius. A little
hard to say, isn't it?

"He was a merchant who had made several long voyages already. He
went farther south than Columbus and sailed along the shores of South
America.

"'It is a vast country,' he said to himself, and he was the first one
to call it the 'New World.' He wrote long letters telling of what
he had seen. The man who printed these letters called the New World
America in his honor. And it has been called America ever since. But I
like Columbia best myself, children. The name is very dear to me."

While Joe and Lucy finished eating the cherries, Uncle Sam sat thinking.

"What shall I next tell them about our glorious land?" he said to
himself. "Oh, now I know. I am sure they would like to hear about John
Cabot and the codfish. It isn't a very long story and there is just
time enough before they should go home."

The twins were quite willing to listen. They had already found that
true stories were quite as interesting as make-believe ones.

As they sat on the steps in the twilight this is what they heard:

Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived in Italy. It was
about the time that Columbus lived there, too. The boy's name was John
Cabot. He loved the sea as Columbus did. He liked to listen to stories
of strange lands.

When he grew up he was not satisfied to stay at home. He began to
travel and made longer and longer journeys. After a while he went to
England and made his home in that country. He did not stay there,
however, for he wished to learn all he could about the world.

On one of his journeys he traveled to Arabia. He met some men there who
were leading camels loaded with spices. People used a great deal of
spice in their food and drink, so it was very precious to them.

John Cabot began to talk with the men. He asked them where they got all
those spices. They pointed still farther to the east and explained to
him that it was a long, long way off.

He thought a good deal about what the men told him. He said to himself:

"If I should go west far enough I should surely come to the east. The
wise men must be right when they tell us the earth is round."

After he went back to England he heard the great news from Spain. A
man named Columbus had done just what Cabot thought possible. He had
reached the east by sailing west.

"It is truly wonderful," said the people. It was the talk of the whole
country. John Cabot was as much excited as everyone else. He asked the
king of England to send him on a voyage to the newly-found country. The
king thought:

"The Spaniards should not be the only ones to bring back the riches of
India. We must have a share of their good fortune."

He was quite willing, therefore, to send John Cabot, who was a wise man
and a good sailor. Cabot's son went with him on the voyage.

They came to the mainland of North America, but they were much farther
north than Columbus had ever been. It was quite cold and the place
looked bare and lonesome.

They saw no Indians, but there were some fishnets lying about near the
shore. These nets being there showed that probably people were not far
away.

"What great numbers of fish there are in these waters," exclaimed
Cabot. "I never in my life before saw so many. 'The Land of the
Codfish' is a good name for this country."

He did not stay long, for food was becoming scarce. So the ship soon
started on the homeward voyage. When they reached England the sailors
told wonderful stories about the "Land of the Codfish." They said:

"The waters were so thick with fish that the ship sometimes could not
move as fast as it otherwise would. One thing amused us very much. It
was the strange sight of bears fishing! The great creatures swam out
into the water and caught the fish in their paws. Sometimes the fish
were so large that they fought hard to get away, but the bears nearly
always won the battle."

John Cabot told the king he had discovered the country of China. He was
treated with the highest honor and called "The Great Admiral." He was
dressed in rich silks. The king promised he should have a sum of money
given him every year for the rest of his life.

After a while the king began to say to himself:

"It is all very well to make a voyage to the west and find the east,
but that is not enough. I should like some of the gold and gems and
delicious spices found there."

So it came about that John Cabot and his son started out on a second
voyage. When they reached North America this time they sailed along
its shores for a long distance. They saw Indians dressed in skins and
wearing ornaments of copper. But they found no gold nor spices.

Cabot still thought he had visited Asia. The king of England did not
care about him any longer, however. He was of no use if he could not
bring to England the treasures of India. This is probably the reason we
know nothing more about John Cabot.

We do not even know how long he lived nor when he died. His son
Sebastian lived to be a bright and lively old man and was always glad
to hear of the voyages of others to far-away places.

When Uncle Sam had finished the story of John Cabot he told the
children why he wished them to remember it.

"Columbus made his voyages with the help of Spain," said he. "That
country claimed the right to hold the lands he discovered. That is why
the people who settled in the West Indies and in almost all of South
America came from Spain and spoke the Spanish language.

"But John Cabot sailed for the English king and that is why the English
said:

"'We claim the eastern part of North America.'

"Years after the time of John Cabot they sent people to settle here.
They spoke our language and planted English ways and English thoughts
with their corn and potatoes."

Uncle Sam laughed as he added, "Maybe you and I would have been
Spaniards if it had not been for John Cabot. I wonder how you would
have liked that, Joe. I know you are not too fond of your Spanish
cousins."

"Cousins! Ugh! I don't like to think of their being relations of mine."

"My dear boy, this world isn't so very large after all, and one great
Father loves us and cares for all. Of course, we think America could
teach Spain one or two things, but I don't doubt she could help us in
some ways, too. No one is perfect, Joe, or else we shouldn't need to
live in this world. Come, children, give me a kiss and run off to your
little beds."

"Good-night, sleep tight, and don't let the mosquitos bite," Lucy
called to her old friend as she followed Joe down the path.



CHAPTER IV

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH


A finer day could not have been chosen for the picnic. When the
party started for the pine grove four miles from home there were six
carriages full of people. It was a lovely place for a picnic party and
Joe and Lucy played hard all day with their little friends. Six o'clock
came all too soon.

"Please stay a little longer and eat the rest of our lunch for supper,"
begged the children. The older people were quite willing.

"It is a good thing we can get plenty of good water from that spring,"
said Lucy's father. "It is nearly as cold as ice water and certainly as
cold as anyone ever ought to drink. I should like to come here every
day for the sake of a drink of it."

"I love to hear the water as it makes its way down over the rocks. They
say the spring never dries up, even in the hottest days of summer,"
said Uncle Sam, who was standing near.

"Uncle Sam! A story, a story!" cried some one, as they settled
themselves on the grass to eat chicken sandwiches and apple turnovers.

"That spring makes me think of something you might like to hear. It is
true, though it is nearly as strange as a fairy story. I suppose the
older ones all know it."

"Do tell it, Uncle Sam," cried the children, and their parents seemed
as willing to listen as the little ones.

As the evening clouds changed from silver to gold and crimson, and the
young moon peeped shyly out in the evening sky, Uncle Sam told the
story of


THE FOUNTAIN OF EVERLASTING YOUTH

A long time ago there was a young knight in Spain named Ponce de Leon.
He was gay and handsome, fond of dress and of good times. Columbus had
made his voyages to America and come back to Spain to die.

The men whom he had left in the West Indies needed a governor. The king
looked around his court. At last he chose Ponce de Leon as the best man
to send to the New World. The knight was quite willing, so he went to
live in the island of Porto Rico, one of the West Indies.

His life was an easy one. He did very little himself but was a cruel
master over the poor Indians who had to work hard at his bidding.
Before the white men came among them they had easy times, swinging in
their hammocks, bathing in the clear waters, and eating the wild fruits
which were so plentiful.

Everything was changed after the arrival of the cruel Spaniards.

"These white men are great and wise," the Indians had thought at first.
"We must serve them and give them all we can. They wish gold. We will
show them where they can find it in the earth and the beds of the
rivers."

These poor savages of Porto Rico were gentle creatures. They knew
little about war. When they found the Spaniards had no love for them
and cared for nothing except gold, it was too late to save themselves.
They were forced to wait upon their white masters. They had to work
in the gold mines as they had never worked before. They missed the
pleasant sunlight. They became weak and sick. Great numbers of them died.

All this time Ponce de Leon was storing away great piles of the gold
the Indians brought him. He made a poor governor. The king of Spain at
last sent word he should no longer rule over the island of Porto Rico.

He was now growing old. He had been sick many times. He began to think
of what the Indians had told him. They said:

"Much gold can be found in the land north of us. Something better than
gold can also be found there. It is a wonderful fountain. If anyone
tastes of its waters he shall never be sick again but shall be young
forever."

The heart of the Spaniard leaped for joy. "That is what I want," he
said. "Such a fountain is indeed better than all the gold in the world."

He might very easily say this, for he already had all the gold he
needed.

He started out with a gay company of his friends. They sailed about
among the islands, stopping here and there to feast and make merry.

Still they sailed on toward the north till at last they came in sight
of a land beautiful with flowers. It was a glorious Easter Sunday. The
air was sweet with delicious odors.

"I will call this place Florida," said Ponce de Leon, "because it is
the Flowery Easter."

He and his men spent some time wandering about through the country,
always looking for the wonderful fountain.

"It may be here," he would think as he picked his way through a forest.

"Listen!" one of his friends would cry as he heard the sound of running
water and thought it might be the Fountain of Youth they were seeking.

They were disappointed again and again. At last they went back to
the ships and sailed for Spain. They had found plenty of fruits and
flowers. They had met many Indians, some of whom were friendly and
gentle, but others were fierce and warlike. Their eager eyes never
beheld the Fountain of Youth.

Ponce de Leon did not give up his hope of finding it, however. He told
the king of Spain of the beautiful country of Florida and that he hoped
to find gold there. The king said:

"You may be the governor of this new land if you will take others with
you and settle there."

The old man went back to Florida. Alas! he only went to pain and
trouble. As he was about to land, a party of Indians came out to meet
him. They were not willing to let the white men come on shore. A fight
took place. Ponce de Leon was shot. A poisoned arrow entered his body
and made a frightful wound. He went back to the ship and set sail for
Cuba. His wound did not heal, for the poison from the arrow was still
working.

He never again tried to find the Fountain of Youth, for he died in a
few days.

"Nobody else ever found it, either," said Uncle Sam as he finished the
story.

"People used to have such silly notions," said one of the party, as
they packed up to go home.

"The more they traveled, the wiser they became," replied Uncle Sam.
"There is nothing like travel to make our minds grow. Some time I may
go round the world myself. I'm not too old yet."

"I hope you will let Joe and me go with you," said Lucy, as she took
hold of his hand and pointed to the waiting carriage.



CHAPTER V

THE GOOD KNIGHT AND THE LOST BABY


Joe and Lucy were sitting on Uncle Sam's steps. They were busy making
daisy wreaths.

"We will put a double crown on Uncle Sam's head," Lucy whispered. "Then
we will play he is the king of Spain sending Ponce de Leon to Florida."

The old man heard her. "I shall look quite royal with such a grand
crown," he said with a laugh. "But to-night you had better pretend I am
England's good Queen Bess. She lived long after John Cabot. Let me see!
It was about seventy-five years from then to the time Walter Raleigh
first met her."

"There! I've finished my wreath, so please let me put it on your head.
Then I'll be very still while you talk to us," said Lucy.

"Mine is done, too," cried Joe.

"Oh, Uncle Sam, you look just lovely," exclaimed the little girl,
standing up to admire her friend.

Then she and Joe settled themselves at his feet to hear the story of
Queen Elizabeth and her brave knight:

A long time ago there was a little boy in England named Walter Raleigh.
He was a very beautiful child and as brave as he was handsome.

While he was still very young he left his quiet home in the country and
went to war in other lands. In a few years he came back to England.
Now, however, he was a tall, strong man, as brave and handsome as ever.

One afternoon he dressed himself in rich and beautiful clothes and went
out to walk. He wore a white satin vest, a brown doublet embroidered
with pearls, yellow shoes tied with white satin ribbons and sparkling
with precious stones, and a wide hat trimmed with a long black plume.
His dark hair fell in curls over his shoulders. He was a grand sight,
indeed.

He had not walked far when lo! he saw Queen Elizabeth coming that way.
The ladies of her court were with her. Suddenly the queen stopped. A
pool of muddy water stood in her pathway, for a shower had fallen only
a short time before.

What should she do? The queen stopped to think how she could keep from
wetting her dainty shoes.

No sooner had she done this than Walter Raleigh stepped forward, threw
off his rich cloak, and spread it over the pool. A dry way was thus
made for the queen to pass over.

She turned to the young man and, thanking him, gave him a sweet smile.
Then she went on her way, but she did not forget him. She asked her
ladies his name. When he afterwards appeared at court she was ready to
show him kindness.

She found that Walter Raleigh was not only a true gentleman, but that
he was also brave and wise.

He went to sea in the queen's ships and showed that he was a good
sailor. He fought in battles for his country and proved that he was a
fine soldier. He read many books and wrote beautiful poems. In those
times, or any other times, it would be hard to find a better, braver,
finer gentleman than Walter Raleigh.

For many years the English people had given little thought to America.
When they found John Cabot did not discover a short way to India, they
lost interest in the New World.

Walter Raleigh, however, did not think like the rest of his people.

"O Queen," he said to Elizabeth, "you are a great ruler. But you
could become more powerful still. Why do you not claim some of that
land across the great ocean before Spain seizes all of it? We have
learned from sea captains who have been there lately that it is rich in
beautiful woods and many other good things."

Raleigh hated the Spaniards and had already fought against them in the
wars. He knew they were settled in Mexico, Florida, and the West Indies.
He did not wish them to get hold of the rest of America. Neither he nor
Elizabeth, however, dreamed of the great size of the country.

"I will fit out some ships," the queen answered, "and you may send
people to settle on the land which I will give you in America."

Two ships were made ready. The men who sailed in them did not plan to
settle in America. They went only to look around and find a good place
where settlers could come afterward.

They landed on different islands near the shores of the mainland. It
was farther north than Florida. The air was warm and pleasant. The
explorers found many fine trees of oak and cedar. Grapes and melons,
corn and peas, were plentiful.

The Indians whom they met seemed willing to be friends. They admired
the white skins of their visitors and brought presents to them. The
white men gave them beads and other cheap ornaments.

The Englishmen stayed among them for several weeks. The Indian women
made feasts for their visitors and bathed their feet and washed their
clothes. The time came at last when the white men said:

"We must go back to England and tell about this beautiful country. We
will take home some furs and skins and we will carry a bracelet of
pearls to Walter Raleigh."

How his eyes must have sparkled at the sight of the pearls! They were
as large as peas.

"The Indian women wear such pearls as ornaments," the sailors said.
"The men often go about with reeds in their mouths. Bowls of walnut
shell are fastened to these reeds and filled with the dried leaves of a
strange plant. Then the Indians set the leaves on fire. They suck the
smoke through the reeds and blow it out of their mouths. They seem to
take great pleasure in doing this."

The sailors were speaking of the tobacco plant and the smoking of its
leaves. They had never seen either before.

[Illustration: THE ENGLISH TRADING WITH THE INDIANS]

Elizabeth was much pleased with what she heard. She said:

"This beautiful country shall be called Virginia in honor of myself."

The queen was not married. She sometimes said: "I am wedded to my
country, and that is enough." It was because of this that she was often
spoken of as the "Virgin Queen." She always liked to be called by this
name.

At this time she made Walter Raleigh a knight and that is why he has
always since been called _Sir_ Walter Raleigh.

The next year he sent out one hundred people to settle in Virginia.
They must have been very brave to seek a new home among the Red Men
across the great ocean. They landed on one of the islands which their
people had visited the year before. They set to work at once to make a
home for themselves.

It was not long before some rough houses were built and English
housekeeping was begun in America.

The Indians were not as kind as they were the year before. They were
jealous of the white men. They thought:

"It was well enough for them to visit us, but we do not wish them to
live here."

They had good reasons for not liking the strangers, for the white men
did not treat them wisely.

I will tell you of one thing that happened to make the Indians angry.
When the Englishmen were on an exploring expedition a silver cup was
stolen.

"The Indians have taken it," they cried.

They were so angry they marched to an Indian town near by and burned
it to the ground. The red people of the town fled into the woods, so
no harm was done to them. They were very angry, however, because their
homes were destroyed. They said to one another:

"Let us drive the white strangers from our land. They do us nothing but
harm."

From this time the settlers were not safe. They never knew when the
Indians might attack them. Many of them were sick and longed to go back
to England.

When summer came and an English ship sailed into the harbor, most of
them were glad to get on board and bid good-bye to America.

They carried back with them three things which did not grow in England.
These were Indian corn, white potatoes, and tobacco.

Sir Walter Raleigh planted the potatoes at his home in Ireland. The
people there liked them so much that potatoes were soon growing in
every part of the country. That is why they were afterwards called
"Irish potatoes."

As for the tobacco, Sir Walter became so fond of smoking it that he was
often seen with a pipe in his mouth. Of course, this was then a strange
sight in Europe. The first time the knight's servant saw his master
smoking, he was frightened. He thought Raleigh was on fire. He rushed
forward with a pitcher of water and dashed it over his head. The sudden
bath must have been a surprise, but it probably made the good knight
laugh heartily.

Though the first settlers came back from America, Raleigh thought:

"I will not give up so easily. Virginia is a beautiful country. It will
make a good home. I will try again to make a settlement there."

The very next year he sent out a still larger number of people. There
were men, women and children. When they reached the island where
the first settlers had lived, they found the English fort had been
destroyed. Deer were roaming freely through the deserted village.

They did not lose heart. They set to work and new houses were soon
built. They tried to make friends with the Indians.

At this time a dear little baby was born. She was named Virginia in
honor of the queen and of her parents' new home. She was the first
white child of English people born in this great land of America.

Poor little Virginia Dare! You shall now hear her sad story. Her
grandfather was the governor of the English settlement. After a while
he said to his people:

"I will sail back to England to get help, for the Indians are not
friendly to us."

He was gone a long time—much longer than he expected to be. When he
reached England he found that war was going on, and Raleigh was busy
fighting for his country.

Two ships, however, were loaded with supplies and started to America.
Alas! they had not gone far before they had a fight with the Spaniards
and were obliged to go back to England.

It was three years before Virginia's grandfather was able to cross the
ocean again. What long, anxious years they must have been!

When he reached Virginia there was not one of his people to greet him;
no daughter to meet him with smiles and kisses; no little grandchild to
sit on his knee and put her arms around his neck.

All were gone—the fort, the village, men, women, and children. He
looked about for a sign of what had happened. This only met his eyes:
It was a tree into which these letters had been hurriedly cut:

  C-R-O-A-T-A-N

What was the meaning of these letters? Was it to let him know that the
white people could be found among the Croatan Indians? Had they been
made prisoners by that tribe of Red Men? He went to them and to other
tribes in the country around, but he was not able to learn anything
about his lost dear ones. At last he went back to England with a sad
heart.

No one knows to this day whether Virginia Dare was killed by the Red
Men or whether she lived to grow up among their children and learn
their ways and language. She and her people are spoken of to-day as
"The Lost Colony."

When Sir Walter Raleigh heard the sad news he was discouraged. He had
spent all his money and still had no colony. Queen Elizabeth died a few
years after this. King James, who now ruled over England, was not his
friend.

The king kept the brave knight in prison for twelve long years. At last
he ordered the good Sir Walter Raleigh's head to be cut off.

This was the end of that brave Englishman, after a life of good and
noble deeds.



CHAPTER VI

THE STORY OF A DARING MAN


"What a pity no one knows what became of little Virginia Dare," said
Lucy, sadly. "I hope she wasn't killed by the Indians. I'd rather think
she died of the measles or scarlet fever."

"Poor little child," said Uncle Sam softly. "It must have been a rough
life for her in the wild woods of the New World at that time, even if
the cruel savages had let her alone. My heart goes out also to Sir
Walter Raleigh, for he worked so hard to have English people settle
here. The saddest part of it is that he did not succeed.

"He lived long enough, however, to hear of other people going to
Virginia and making a home there. They would surely have failed, too,
if it had not been for Captain John Smith."

"What a common name that is," said Joe. "I know two boys named John
Smith."

"A common enough name, to be sure," answered Uncle Sam. "But the John
Smith I am thinking of was very different from any other. If you
children can stay long enough this evening, I will tell you about him."

"Mother said we needn't come home till eight o'clock unless you got
tired of us before that time."

"The idea of my getting tired of you and Joe, Lucy! I would be a lonely
old man if it were not for you children. You help to keep me young.
I can't think what I should do, either, if I had no one to listen to
the stories that keep running through my head. Just now it is fairly
bursting with the brave deeds of John Smith."

"Dear me! Don't let it burst, Uncle Sam. Do begin the story this very
minute," cried Lucy, trying to look frightened.

A moment afterward the little sitting-room was so still that anyone
could have heard the big clock ticking in the corner. Then Uncle Sam
began to tell of the strange life of


CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH

Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived on a farm in England.

When he was born his father and mother said, "We will call our son
John."

As soon as he was old enough he was set to work at a trade. His parents
were poor and they thought, "It is a good thing to have a trade, for
then a man can always get his own living."

The young John Smith could not agree with them. He did not like his
work, so he did what other boys sometimes do. He ran away. Then his
troubles began, for he had a hard life. He tried all sorts of things.

He became a soldier and later he went to sea and was out in such a
terrible storm that his ship was wrecked. Again he was out in a ship
when another storm came up.

"John Smith carries bad luck wherever he goes," the men whispered to
each other. "He has brought this storm upon us."

They threw him overboard. As he was a good swimmer and not far from
land, he managed to reach the shore in safety.

This is only one of the stories John Smith told of his strange life
when he was a young man.

Not long after that adventure he took part in a war against the Turks.
He was as brave as ever, for at one time he killed three Turks and cut
off their heads. He had no one to help him do it, either.

He did not succeed as well afterwards, for the Turks caught him and
made him a slave. His cruel master fastened an iron collar around his
neck and made him work very hard. He had to thresh wheat.

One day when he was working in the wheat field his Turkish master rode
up on horseback and began to whip him. How angry he was! He seized his
heavy flail and killed the Turk with one blow.

He must lose no time in getting away now. He lifted a bag of wheat to
the back of the horse, jumped up behind it, and off he rode as fast as
he could go.

He wandered through the wilderness for a long time. At last he reached
the seashore and got on board an English ship. When he reached England
there were many people ready to listen to his wonderful adventures.

On the other hand, John Smith heard many stories about the land across
the great ocean—of little Virginia Dare and her lost people, and of
the Red Men who lived such a free life in the forests of America. This
was not all, however, for people were saying:

"Why not try again to settle in Virginia? It is a beautiful country.
The weather is warm and pleasant there. It must be easy enough to live
in such a place, if we can only get along with the Indians."

John Smith eagerly listened to all this talk. England was too quiet for
him. He did not enjoy his life there, he liked excitement too well. He
said:

"If a party sails to Virginia I should like to join it."

He soon had a chance, for a number of men were at that time getting
ready to start. They were not the best kind of people to make a new
home in a strange land. Very few of them knew how to do any kind of
work. They had heard that the Spaniards found gold in America. They
thought they themselves might pick it up on the ground in Virginia.
They said to each other:

"We will get rich in the easiest way in the world."

They did not know how hard work it would be to make themselves safe, as
well as comfortable.

They settled at a place they called Jamestown, in honor of James, the
king of England.

When the Red Men saw these newcomers, they were not pleased. They were
not willing to have the Englishmen settle in their country. They said:

"We will kill these white men before they have a chance to save
themselves."

The English were taken by surprise. They did not have their guns with
them when the Indians drew near with their bows and arrows. It would
have been a sad day for John Smith and his party if the Indians had not
been frightened off.

Something came whizzing over their heads. The next moment the branch of
a tree came tumbling down in the midst of them.

"It is thunder," they thought. "The Great Spirit is angry with us."

They fled from the place as fast as their legs would carry them. They
did not stop to look around to see what had happened. If they had seen,
they would not have understood.

But the white men knew. Some of their friends on board of the ship had
seen their danger. They had fired a cross-bar shot from a cannon. That
was a bar of iron with a cannon-ball at each end. Such shot are not
allowed to be used now-a-days.

Although John Smith and his friends were saved at this time, many other
troubles were waiting for them.

They made some houses to live in, but made them so poorly that they
leaked and were very damp. They had brought food with them, but there
was not enough to last long. It is not strange that many of the party
became sick and died.

Those who still lived looked at the gardens of the Indians with a great
longing. They watched the fields of corn waving in the breeze, and when
it was ripe they tried to buy the grain.

They could not get it by offering money to the Red Men, for the savages
had no use for money—that is, for our kind of money. John Smith said
to his people:

"I will tell you what I will do. I will take some beads and other cheap
trinkets and will go up the river in a boat. I can surely get some corn
if I am willing to give the trinkets in return."

When the Indians saw the beads, bits of looking-glass, and other
ornaments, they longed to have them. They wanted them so much that they
gladly gave Smith a boatload of corn. In this way he saved his people
from sickness and death.

These white men called themselves "gentlemen." They had never done any
work in England. John Smith showed them they could only save their
lives by work. It must be hard work, too.

If it had not been for him they would not have known enough even to
build their houses. He taught them how to plough the ground and plant
corn so as to raise a crop for themselves. He said to them:

"We ought to protect our settlement by setting up a wall of stakes
around it."

Such a wall is called a palisade. It would have been helpful in keeping
their enemies away. The wall was not built, however. The men were lazy
and they thought:

"Captain Smith cannot be right. We are able to defend ourselves without
any palisade."

King James very much wished the settlers to look for three things. They
were to search for Virginia Dare and her people; they must find gold,
and they were also to look for some waterway through the land leading
to the Pacific Ocean, or the South Sea, as it was then called.

It was more than a hundred years since Columbus discovered America. Yet
still no one dreamed of the size of this country. How surprised John
Smith and his people would have been to learn that they would have to
travel three thousand miles westward before they reached another ocean.

As soon as Captain Smith had a chance he sailed along the shores and up
the rivers. He was looking for a way to reach the South Sea. One day he
went up the James River in a boat with two of his friends. They came to
another and smaller river flowing into the James.

"Let us see where this will carry us," said Smith.

They went on and on. The river became narrower and narrower. At last
Smith jumped ashore and left the other two men in charge of the boat.
He told them to guard it and on no account to leave it for a minute. He
would go inland to see what he could find.

He had not gone far when some Indians crept out of the woods. They took
the two men by surprise and killed them. Then the savages hurried after
Smith. He fought hard and managed to make a prisoner of one of the
Indians.

Quick as a flash, he bound his prisoner in front of him. In this way
he made a shield for himself. The Indians could not shoot at the white
man without running the risk of killing one of their own people.

By this time they had driven Smith into a swamp. The brave man was
sinking deeper and deeper into the mud. It was not long before he sank
up to his waist in it. He could no longer run nor fight. He would have
to give himself up.

He made a sign to his enemies that he would let them take him.

Even after they had taken him ashore he had hope. With quick thought
he drew a small compass from his pocket and offered it to the leader
of the party. He told the Indian to look at the needle. He showed how
it pointed. He explained that anyone who carried it could tell in what
direction he was going.

The savage was so pleased that he would not let the others do Smith any
harm. They started for their home with their prisoner. They did not
travel like white men. They walked in single file and made no noise.

They carried Smith to several Indian villages. Everyone was curious to
see him. Many of their people had never looked at a white man before.
They said to each other:

"Is he a friend or an enemy to us? He is certainly very wise and brave."

They looked at the compass and saw that it would really tell
directions. They thought:

"No common man could have such a wonderful thing as that."

Smith wrote a letter to his friends in Jamestown and asked the Indians
to send it to them. When the Red Men had done this and found that those
queer marks on a piece of paper told a story to the white men, they
were even more surprised. They said:

"We do not dare to kill our prisoner, he is too powerful."

What should they do with him? While they were trying to make up their
minds about this, they kept Smith shut up in a hut. They were not cruel
to him, however. O, no. They brought him quantities of food to eat.
There were bread made of corn, roasted deer meat, and all the dainties
which they themselves liked best. Smith thought:

"They are trying to make me fat before they kill me."

This thought took away all wish for food. The poor man could scarcely
eat.

Day after day went by until at last the Red Men said:

"We will take our prisoner to the great chief, Powhatan, and he will
tell us what to do."

Smith was brought out and carried in a strange procession to the
village in which the chief was then living. He was kept there for some
time before the chief would receive him.

When the day came at last, Powhatan was dressed in the grandest Indian
fashion. He wore a long robe made of feathers. His face and arms were
painted. His people stood around him. He wished Smith to think he was
great and powerful.

The white man was brought before him. Smith eagerly watched to see if
there were any signs of mercy in the stern face.

Powhatan talked for some time with his warriors. Then two of them got
up and went to the side of their white prisoner.

They led him off a short distance and stretched him out on the ground.
They placed his head on a stone.

"They are going to kill me," Smith said to himself. "I am bound so
tightly I cannot possibly get away. There is no help for me now."

Then a strange thing happened. Just as one of the Indians raised his
club to end the white man's life, a young girl rushed to his side. She
was Powhatan's favorite daughter. She threw her arms around Smith's
neck. Then, turning toward her father, she cried:

"Spare this man's life for my sake."

The beautiful girl had grown to love Smith during his stay in the
village. While he was shut up as a prisoner he had made whistles and
strings of beads for her. His kindness pleased her and her gentle heart
was filled with pity for the white man.

Powhatan could not refuse the daughter he loved so dearly. He said:

"I will spare the man's life for the sake of my child. He shall stay
among us and spend his time making ornaments for Pocahontas."

This is the story Smith afterwards told of the time when he was in the
hands of the Indians. Some people, however, do not believe it is quite
all true.

At any rate, his life was saved and Pocahontas was the friend of the
white people ever after.

In a few weeks Powhatan said to John Smith:

"You may go back to Jamestown if you will promise to send me two
cannons and a grindstone as soon as you arrive."

Smith was quite willing to make the promise.

When he was once more safe among his own people he found they were in
great trouble. Some of them were planning to run away in the only large
boat. The others would then be left to the mercy of the Red Men. They
were all much in need of their wise leader.

The promise to Powhatan was not forgotten. The Indians, however, who
had come back with Smith to get the cannons and the grindstone could
not carry them home. They were too heavy. So the men were quite willing
to take some trinkets instead.

Many times after that the people of Jamestown suffered because they did
not have enough to eat. They were saved again and again by Pocahontas,
who filled her boat with baskets of corn and paddled down the river to
her white friends.

One evening she heard her people making a plan. They said:

"We will creep upon the Englishmen and take them by surprise. Then we
will kill them."

She was brave as well as good. She did not lose a moment, but hurried
away through the dark woods. She did not stop till she reached
Jamestown. Then she told of the Indians' plot. She warned Smith to be
on his guard. Then she hurried away into the darkness once more.

The white men tried again and again to make friends with Powhatan. They
gave him a bedstead, a red cloak, and a wash-basin. They thought he
would now be willing to sell them corn.

Not so, however. After he received these presents, the great chief
became so proud he would not think of trading with the Englishmen.

They were almost starving when Smith thought of a new plan. He took a
box of blue glass beads and showed them to Powhatan. He said:

"These beads are made of the same stuff as the sky itself."

When the chief heard this he longed to have some for his own. What
precious things they must be!

"I will sell you a boatload of corn for those beads," he promised.

"You will see by this that Captain Smith did not always tell the
truth. It was because of just such deceits as this that the white men
afterwards had so much trouble with the Indians," said Uncle Sam.

The corn was just what Smith wanted, but he would not let the savages
know how glad he was. His boat was quickly filled with the precious
grain and he set out for Jamestown with a happy heart.

His troubles were not yet at an end. One day while he was at work, a
bag of gunpowder exploded near him. Poor Captain Smith was badly burned
and in great pain. Worse still, the burned flesh did not heal after
many days.

"I cannot get well here. I must go back to England," he told his
friends.

With a sad heart he bade them good-bye and left them to get along as
well as they could by themselves.

When Captain John Smith had gone, one trouble after another fell upon
the people of Jamestown. They came near starving to death. They were
glad to eat anything which would keep them alive. Dogs, snakes, and
even toads were killed for food.

Most of the men had already died when some ships came sailing into the
harbor. They brought some more settlers, as well as food and clothing
from England. The worst was now over.

Pocahontas was still the friend of the white men. She grew up to be a
beautiful young woman and married an Englishman named John Rolfe. The
wedding took place in a little church at Jamestown.

From that time the great chief Powhatan was the friend of the white men.

The rest of the story of Pocahontas is soon told. She was a good wife
to John Rolfe, and a year after they were married they had a lovely
baby boy. John Rolfe went to England on business and took his wife and
baby with him. The beautiful Pocahontas was invited to court by the
king. She was treated with great honor as an Indian princess, but it
did not make her vain or silly.

While she was in England she met her old friend John Smith. She had
been told that he was dead and she was much moved at seeing him.

Alas! Pocahontas did not live to see her own home again. Just as she
was about to sail to America a dreadful sickness came up her. It was
the smallpox. She died in a few days, but her baby son went back with
his father to Jamestown and lived to be a noble man.

John Smith is often called the father of Virginia. After his burns had
healed, he left England in search of new adventures.

He sailed again to the shores of America. He came to a place much
farther north than Jamestown. He looked upon a land with rocky shores.
It was not like Virginia. He called this part of America "New England"
and so it has been called ever since.

Smith sailed all along the shores of New England. He went in and out of
its bays and harbors. He made a good map of what he saw. Then he went
back to his own country to show his map to the king.

The next year he sailed on his last voyage. This time he wished to
settle in New England. He met with many troubles. There was a dreadful
storm and he was chased by pirates. Last of all, he was overtaken by a
fleet of French ships and made a prisoner. After a while he managed to
escape and get back to England.

This brave and daring man lived long enough to hear of other people
settling in New England. That is another story, however.

As Uncle Sam stopped speaking, Joe jumped up, crying:

"Hurrah for Captain John Smith! Next to Columbus he was the bravest man
I ever heard of. I wish I could have seen him kill that Turk."

"I should have liked to have been there when he offered those blue
beads to Powhatan," said Lucy. "He must have been laughing inside when
he did it."

"As for me, I like to think of his making those lazy Englishmen do some
work," said Uncle Sam, stroking his chin.

The neighbors all said there was no laziness about Uncle Sam, so it is
no wonder he spoke as he did.

"Uncle Sam is like John Smith in some ways," the children's father said
not long afterwards.

He had come into the back yard where Joe was stretched on the ground
with Lucy's arms around his neck.

"We are playing that I am John Smith and Lucy is Pocahontas. She is
trying to save my life. Uncle Sam told us all about them." Joe sat up
to explain.

"Yes, Uncle Sam is a good deal like John Smith. He is afraid of
nothing. He is always busy, and he can turn his hand to anything. One
time when he was a boy he was out sailing. The sail was an old one and
a sudden gust of wind caught it and tore it badly. Uncle Sam was a long
way from home and the sun was already setting. Quick as a thought he
took off his shirt, tore it open, and patched the sail with it. That
was the very thing John Smith did when he was away from Jamestown on
one of his excursions."



CHAPTER VII

HENRY HUDSON


"Listen! That is thunder, Uncle Sam. I'm afraid we are going to have a
storm. I wish I had covers to my ears so I couldn't hear that dreadful
rumbling."

"Nonsense, Lucy. There is no use in being afraid of anything. You
should have lived long ago among the Dutchmen in New York. They would
have told you it wasn't thunder, but was the sound made by Henry Hudson
and his men as they played ninepins with the dwarfs in the caves of the
Catskill mountains.

"But there! You don't know anything about Henry Hudson. Sit down, dear,
in that little chair close to me and turn your back to the window. Then
you will not see the lightning. I will tell you such a nice story you
will not listen to the thunder, either."

"I ought not to be afraid with you, Uncle Sam. I wish Joe were here,
though. He would like to hear the story."

"I will tell it to him some other time, Lucy. Or you may tell him
yourself. But here he comes now, just in time."

Uncle Sam leaned back in his armchair, pulled the beard on his chin,
and began the story of


HENRY HUDSON AND THE DUTCHMEN

It is nearly three hundred years since John Smith went to Jamestown.
He left a dear friend in England who was also a great sea captain. His
name was Henry Hudson.

At that time England was jealous of Spain because of her riches. The
Spaniards had found many gold and silver mines in America.

England was also jealous of Portugal, a small country joining Spain.
The Portuguese had found a way of reaching India by sailing southward
around Africa and then eastward. They brought home shiploads of gums,
spices, precious stones and rare woods. So the Englishmen thought:

"We must get rich, too. Why cannot we reach India by sailing to the
northeast or the northwest?"

They looked about for a brave and able captain who should find out if
this could be done. They chose Henry Hudson.

He sailed into the northern seas. He met with icebergs that made the
air very cold when they were still a long way off. He saw many whales.

Henry Hudson and his men killed some of the whales. They boiled the fat
and made many barrels of oil. This was the best oil known at that time
for burning in lamps. It was also useful in other ways.

The brave captain sailed far into the northern seas. It was now so cold
that great masses of ice almost stopped the ship.

"We must turn back," Henry Hudson said to his men. "It is of no use to
sail any farther northward in hopes of finding a passage to India."

When he got back to England, the people were pleased to learn about the
whales. They sent more ships to capture the great monsters and bring
home the oil.

Once more they sent Henry Hudson to look for a short way to India by a
northern passage.

Again he failed because of the ice in the waters, and again he came
home disappointed.

About this time the people of Holland heard of Henry Hudson and what he
was trying to do. People who live in that country are called Dutch or
Dutchmen. It was a rich country for so few people. They said:

"We had better send for this English captain. We will get him to sail
in our ships. We do not wish the Englishmen to find a shorter way to
India than we know now. If they do, they will become richer than we
are."

So they sent for Hudson. They offered him such good pay that he went to
Holland and made ready to take one of their ships into the north. As he
was about to sail he received a letter from his old friend John Smith.

The letter told him he should sail to the westward if he wished to find
the best way of reaching India. Just north of Virginia there was a
narrow strait. If a ship passed through that strait, it would enter the
ocean that washes the shores of India.

We all know now that Captain John Smith was wrong about this. But Henry
Hudson thought it must be true.

He turned his ship, the Half Moon, towards the west. He sailed in that
direction till he reached the shores of Newfoundland. Then he went
southward as far as Virginia, keeping near the coast. He now turned his
ship about and slowly sailed to the north. He entered many of the bays
and coves that reached into the land. He was always on the lookout for
the strait of which Smith had written.

At last he sailed into a fine harbor which no white men had ever seen
before. We call it to-day the harbor of New York and know it is one of
the best in the world.

Indians came down to the shore in crowds. They were curious to see the
strange-looking boat and the people with the white faces and hands. The
Red Men wore feather cloaks and necklaces of copper. They wished to make
friends with their visitors and offered them beans, oysters, and tobacco.

"What a beautiful country this is!" the white men thought.

There were sweet smells in the air and the open places along the shore
were covered with grass and flowers. The ship did not remain long in
the harbor. Hudson found he was at the mouth of a river. He thought:

"Who knows but that if I follow this river I may reach the Pacific
Ocean?"

So the ship sailed farther and farther up the river. It stopped at
several places where friendly Indians came out to meet the white men.
Hudson landed at one of these places and visited an Indian chief.

In the village he saw great piles of corn and beans. He noticed the
bark houses. The Red Men asked him to stay all night with them and
placed a mat on the ground for him to sit on. They brought him food in
a red wooden bowl.

They wished to show that they were truly his friends, so they took some
arrows and threw them into the fire. This told him more than the Indian
words he could not understand.

When he sailed again, Hudson noticed that the river was getting
narrower. At last it was so shallow that his ship could go no farther.
He sent some men in a small boat to see what they could find.

"This is no way to the Pacific," they said when they came back. "The
river comes to an end just beyond us."

The ship was turned about, and Hudson sailed down the river and out into
the harbor again. He gave his own name to the river he had discovered,
and it is still called the Hudson River. He never saw it again.

Now came the long voyage across the ocean. The Dutch people were sorry
that Hudson had not found what he was looking for. They were pleased,
however, to learn of the lovely country and the wild animals covered
with fur that were to be found in its forests.

"The Indians are pleasant and willing to be friends. They kill great
numbers of the wild animals with their bows and arrows and they tan the
skins." So the sailors said.

"Why not send some of our people to live on the shores of the Hudson
River?" thought the thrifty Dutch. "They can carry with them shiploads
of knives, axes, beads, and other things the Red Men like. They can
trade those things for the furs that bring high prices here in Europe."

This is how it happened that the Dutch people came to settle in America.

They brought chests full of linen, as well as the shining pewter
dishes they used in housekeeping. In fact, they packed in their ships
everything they needed to make themselves comfortable and happy.

When they built their houses in America they made them look as much
as possible like the homes they left behind them. They made their
fireplaces large enough to hold logs of great size. In the cold winter
evenings these logs crackled and burned brightly while the Dutchmen
with their wives and children sat before the fire and told stories.

Every house had a porch. As the sun set and the moon came out in the
summer time, the men sat in the porches telling stories and smoking
their pipes while their wives sat knitting beside them and the children
romped and played around the dooryards.

They still dressed in the fashions of their country. The men had hats
with broad brims and coats with wide skirts. The women wore so many
short skirts they looked like opened umbrellas.

These Dutch people were honest and they had kind hearts, so they got
along pretty well with their Indian neighbors. They hated idleness and
they were very neat.

All of them worked during the day, but when evening came it was a time
for rest and pleasure. Then were told the stories of the old days in
Holland, of fairies, and of the gnomes who lived underground digging
copper and gold.

[Illustration: THE DUTCH CHILDREN AT PLAY]

When the thunder rolled in the sky, they would nod to each other and
say: "It is only Henry Hudson and his men playing ninepins with the
dwarfs in the caves of the Catskill mountains."

You shall now hear how this queer fancy came into their heads.

After the brave captain had discovered the Hudson River and gone back
to Europe, he tried once more to find a short way to India. He thought
it best to cross the ocean again, but to sail farther north than he had
done on his first voyage to this country.

After he had reached the shores of America, he came into a large bay.
The land around him was bare and dreary. The ship was kept all winter
in this bay on account of the ice. The sailors suffered very much from
the bitter cold. Many of them became sick and died before the spring
opened and the ice broke up enough to let the ship move on.

By this time the food was almost gone. The day came when Hudson took
the last of the bread and divided it among his crew. He was so sad and
hopeless that tears filled his eyes.

The sailors blamed him for bringing them there and were very angry
with him. They thought, "We shall all lose our lives through him."

They were not even moved by his tears. When they had eaten the bread,
they seized him and put him and some sick sailors into a small boat.
Then they sent them adrift in the cold, dreary waters of the great bay.

They were never heard of again. This is all we know of the last days of
that very brave Englishman, Captain Henry Hudson.

As for the wicked sailors, some of them met with better fortune than
they deserved. Soon after they had treated their captain so badly,
birds came flying by. The men shot some of these and saved themselves
from starving. After that they had a fight with Indians on the shore
and several of the sailors were killed. The others managed to gather a
small supply of food with which they started for home.

Even then they suffered a great deal from hunger. They were so weak
they had to sit down to sail the vessel. All of them would have died if
they had not met another ship, which took them aboard and carried them
home.

Long before Uncle Sam had finished the story, the thunder-storm had
passed by.

"I hardly noticed it. I was thinking all the time about Henry Hudson,"
declared Lucy.

"I suppose Hudson never met his old friend John Smith after he got the
letter," said Uncle Sam, thoughtfully. Then he went on, "They were both
Englishmen, yet those who settled in Virginia with John Smith made a
very different home for themselves from those made by the Dutch who
followed Henry Hudson.

"The Dutch had their own ways; the English had theirs. The Dutch
planted gardens. They raised flocks of sheep, which furnished wool for
the women to card and spin. They gave beads and blankets of red wool to
their Indian neighbors. They took in return game and beautiful furs.
They sent the furs to Holland.

"They got up in the morning at sunrise, and went to bed at sunset. They
ate dinner at eleven o'clock in the morning, and tea parties were often
given at three in the afternoon.

"They had grand times at Christmas and New Year's, when feasts were
spread and everyone dressed in his best clothes.

"It was the Dutchmen who gave Santa Claus to American children. They
brought the dear old fellow from Holland along with their chests of
linen and pewter dishes."

"Hurrah for the Dutchmen! I say," exclaimed Joe. "Christmas wouldn't be
half the fun it is without Santa Claus. Do you know, Uncle Sam, last
year was the first time Lucy and I knew he was not a real man. Why, we
used to think he came down our chimney every Christmas Eve with his
pack of presents. We talked up the chimney to him when we went to bed
and told him what we wanted. I know now that you and father and mother
are the only Santa Claus."

"Now I think of it, the pictures of Santa Claus make him look like a
fat and jolly old Dutchman," said Lucy.

"After their people were well settled, the children of Virginia enjoyed
Christmas," Uncle Sam went on. "They lived on big plantations where
their fathers raised tobacco. The houses were large and pleasant.
Beautiful trees grew near and gave plenty of shade in the hot summer
time.

"At Christmas, wild turkeys were roasted in the big fireplaces. The
rooms were trimmed with holly and evergreens. There were dinner
parties, and dances that lasted all night. The ladies wore flowered
silk dresses with long trains. Their hair was powdered and 'done up'
on the head so it looked like a tower. The men wore knee-breeches and
shoes with bright buckles. Their coats were of silk or velvet and
trimmed with much gold and silver lace.

"The white people in Virginia did not work hard. They made their black
slaves care for the great fields of tobacco.

"'Where did the black men come from?' I see the question in Lucy's eyes."

Uncle Sam stopped for a moment to stroke his chin and slyly pull Joe's
hair, for the boy had turned his head to look at his sister.

"Ouch! That isn't fair, Uncle Sam," cried Joe. "I will try to forgive
you, though, if you don't do it again and go on with your story."

"The Dutch were the first ones to bring slaves to Virginia. They sailed
to Africa and caught the poor savages in their homes. Then they carried
them on board ship and afterwards sold them to the white planters in
America. That is one way the Dutch became rich.

"You may praise the Dutch for giving you Santa Claus, Joe. You may
blame them, however, for being the first to bring the dreadful curse
of slavery to this beautiful land."

Uncle Sam was getting excited.

"We may thank the Lord for sending us a good helper. It is because of
that helper that the people of America are now free."

The old man got up and made a deep bow before a picture hanging above
the organ.

"There is the face of one who loved his fellow men," he said, pointing
to the picture.

"When you children know a little more about your country, you shall
hear the story of Abraham Lincoln."



CHAPTER VIII

THE PILGRIMS


"I think mother cooks the best Thanksgiving dinners in the world," said
Joe, with a sleepy yawn. "It seems as though I could never be hungry
again."

"It is no wonder you feel as you do. I don't see where in that small
body of yours you were able to stow away so much turkey and mince pie,
to say nothing of the squash and mashed potatoes, the cranberry sauce,
nuts and raisins," said Uncle Sam. "I wonder if you ever thought why we
celebrate Thanksgiving Day. The people of other countries do not have
this holiday. If you are not too sleepy I will tell you about it."

Uncle Sam had been spending the day with the parents of Joe and Lucy.
The children's mother had said, "Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving
without Uncle Sam to share it with us. Even if my sister Mary comes
with her whole family, we can make room at the table for our dear old
friend."

The great dinner had been eaten and cleared away. The short day was
coming to an end when Uncle Sam spoke of a reason for Thanksgiving Day.

"Sleepy! I guess not. A story is just the thing before the lamps are
lighted and we play games," said Lucy.

"Just the thing," repeated her cousin Mabel. She was a year younger
than Lucy and copied everything the older girl said and did.

"We all like stories," added Arthur, a tall boy of ten years. He was
quiet and fond of books—very different from noisy Joe, who loved him
the best of all his cousins.

"Once upon a time," began Uncle Sam, "there were some people who lived
in England. They were good and honest, but they could not do just as
they wished. The king said everyone in the country must worship God in
a certain way. That way must be the same in every church.

"It happened that some of his people did not agree with the king. They
said: 'Everyone ought to worship God, but all should be free to worship
in the way they like best.'

"These people gathered together, and every Sunday they met in their own
little churches. This did not please the king and he made their lives
very unpleasant.

"Of course they were not happy. They thought: 'Why should we stay here
in England where we are treated so badly? Holland is not far away and
the Dutch people are kind and friendly. They are willing that everyone
in their country should worship as he likes. Let us go to Holland where
we can be free.'

"The plan seemed good. A small company of men, women and children left
England for a home among the Dutch.

"At first, they were happy and contented in Holland. The boys and girls
became men and women. The babies grew up into boys and girls. One thing
grieved their parents. Their children were fast forgetting the English
language. There were no English schools where they could learn their
lessons.

"'This is not right,' said the older ones. 'No people could be kinder
than our Dutch friends, but we do not wish our own children to grow up
and forget their own country and the beautiful English language.'

"'I will tell you what we can do,' said one. 'We have heard a good
deal about America. Some of our people have settled in Virginia. They
write that it is a fine place and that the air is soft and pleasant
all the year. Let us go to America. We will seek a home not far from
Virginia.'

"The others thought these were wise words. They left their Dutch
friends and went back to England. They wished to visit it once more
before they bade it good-bye forever.

"Two ships were soon ready and one hundred pilgrims sailed for America
in the year 1620.

"'We are like pilgrims,' they had said to each other, 'for we travel
from place to place.' From that day to this they have been called by
the name of the 'Pilgrims.'

"They had not sailed far before one of the ships began to leak. Its
captain said: 'It is not safe to cross the ocean in such a poor boat.'
So he turned back to England.

"All the Pilgrims now crowded into the second ship. It was called the
'Mayflower.'

"A long voyage was before the travelers. They were tossed about by
storm and wind. Almost all of them were seasick. A hundred people in
the small cabin of the Mayflower must surely have had a hard time.

"Land was sighted at last. It was their first view of their future
home, America. How happy the children must have felt when they thought
of running and playing on dry land once more!

"It was in November when they sailed around the end of Cape Cod. The
Pilgrims had not meant to come so far north of Virginia.

"Some of the men left the ship and went on shore. They found a place
where the earth looked as though it had been lately dug up. Perhaps
something was buried in this spot. Sure enough! It was some dried corn
which the Indians had put there for safe keeping.

"The men were pleased at the goodly sight. They carried the corn to the
ship. 'We may have need of it,' they said. They were honest people, so
when they afterwards found out what Indians had stored the corn there,
they paid for it quite willingly.

"A brave man named Miles Standish had come with the Pilgrims. He was
English, like themselves. They first met him while they were living in
Holland. He had gone there to help the Dutch in a war against Spain.

"Miles Standish did not belong to the same church as the Pilgrims, yet
the more he knew them, the better he liked them. When they spoke of
coming to America he said:

"'I will go with you to your new home.'

"They were much pleased, for he was a brave and able soldier. He could
help them if they had trouble with the Indians.

"After they found the corn, some one proposed to go along the coast in
a small boat. It would be the best way of finding a place to settle. As
they moved along, they saw some huts covered with mats. They thought
these must be the homes of Indians.

"They went back to the ship without finding a place to settle. Some
days after that they started out again. It was a very cold day in
December. The spray froze as it fell on their clothing.

"When they were several miles from the ship they landed and made ready
to spend the night out of doors. They built a wall of logs. They said:

"'We can sleep behind this wall. Then if the Indians should creep upon
us, we can defend ourselves.'

"They had no trouble during the night, but in the morning there was a
terrible sound. It was not like anything they had ever heard before. It
was the warwhoop of the Indians.

"'The guns!' They were in the boat where the men had just carried them.
There was a quick rush to the shore, while arrows came whizzing about
their heads. Then 'Bang! bang!' went the guns, and the frightened
Indians ran back into the woods.

"The Indians thought the white men carried thunder and lightning in the
iron tubes. Although brave, they could not stand against such fearful
weapons.

"The explorers hastened away. After a while they came into a small
harbor. The land along the shore had been cleared of woods. Brooks
flowed through it into the sea.

"'This would be a good place for our people to live,' Miles Standish
thought. The others thought so too.

"John Smith had visited this very place before and had marked it on his
map. As soon as the men came back, the ship set sail and brought the
pilgrims to the chosen spot.

"'God's will has led us here,' thought the good people. 'It must be
the best place for our new home.'

"One hundred persons had left England, but one hundred and two landed
on Plymouth Rock. How was that?"

Uncle Sam smiled as he looked at the faces of the wondering children.

"This was the way of it. Two babies had come to the Pilgrims on their
way to America. One was born in mid-ocean, so they called him Oceanus.
The other was a little girl who first saw the daylight when her people
were near the shores of their new home.

"'We will name her Peregrine,' said her parents. 'Peregrine means
wanderer, and she is a little wanderer, without doubt.'

"How good it must have seemed to the women and children when they left
the small, close cabin and the dirty ship. They had to live on board,
however, until the men had built a long, rough house on the hillside.
The whole party would have to live in this till better homes could be
made for each family.

"Not long after the big house was done, the captain of the ship said:

"'I cannot wait around here any longer. I must go back to England. Take
all your goods from my ship as quickly as possible.'"

"I should think the Pilgrims would have hated to see the ship leave,"
said Joe. "If they got homesick they couldn't go back to England, no
matter how bad they felt."

"They were not the kind of people to give up," replied Uncle Sam.
"Before they went on shore they had a meeting in the cabin of the
Mayflower. They made some good laws for themselves. They all promised
to obey them. Those promises were very helpful when troubles came.

"And troubles did come, too! The first winter at Plymouth, which was
the name they gave their new town, seemed to them long and very cold.
It was not really a very hard winter for _New_ England, but the climate
from which they had come was much milder. In _Old_ England they were
not used to so much cold, snow and ice as they now had, and they did
not know how to protect themselves properly.

"The food was poor and scarce. The one big house was not made tight
enough. The freezing air, snow and rain came though the many cracks.
One brave Pilgrim after another was seized with fever or other illness.
Before the warm days of spring came to cheer them one-half of them had
died. Alas! little baby Oceanus was one of these.

"They did not sit still and think over their troubles. Everyone who was
able kept at work. The men cut down trees in the forest with which to
build houses and a little church. They caught fish and lobsters. They
dug clams.

"The women washed and cooked and spun, and made everything as homelike
as they could for their husbands and children. The men carried their
muskets with them wherever they went. Miles Standish had told them:

"'We do not know when the Indians may take us by surprise. We must be
always ready.'

"The very day when the Pilgrims first stepped on Plymouth Rock they saw
Indians peeking at them from over the hilltop. That was all, however.
In a few minutes the Red Men were out of sight. It was a long time
before any of them were seen again.

"One day early in the spring the white men were having a meeting to
talk over some plans. Suddenly an Indian came into their midst. He was
painted in the best style of his people. He wore a bear-skin over his
shoulders.

"The men hastily seized their muskets. The Indian calmly looked from
one face to another. He seemed in no hurry. Then he slowly said:

"'Welcome, welcome, Englishmen!'

"How good those words sounded! All were filled with wonder and delight.
They were puzzled to think where this savage had learned English words.

"'Welcome, welcome, Indian.'

"Then they led him to their house and gave him a good dinner. Samoset,
for that was his name, seemed in no hurry to leave. He stayed hour
after hour. When night came the Pilgrims made up a warm bed by the side
of the fireplace. He slept there all night, while the white men kept
watch. They were not yet sure whether he meant to be their true friend.
When morning came they gave him some presents and he went away proud
and happy.

"He soon came back, bringing with him his friend Squanto and some other
Indians.

"Squanto could talk more English than Samoset. He told the Pilgrims he
had seen white men before and had lived with them. He had crossed the
great ocean with a white captain who came to Plymouth with John Smith.

"The white people had treated him kindly and had afterwards brought him
back to his old home. It was the very place where the Pilgrims were now
living. When Squanto got back he found that his family had all died of
a dreadful sickness. Many of his tribe had died from it at the same
time. That was why the others had burned their homes and moved away
from Plymouth.

"Squanto was a good friend to the white men. He came to live with them.
He showed them how to plant corn so it would grow well. He put a dead
fish in each hill to make the ground rich. He taught them the Indian
ways of hunting and fishing. If it had not been for his kindness and
knowledge the rest of the Pilgrims might have died for want of food.

"'God has sent us this friend,' thought the good people of Plymouth.

"Not far away from them lived an Indian chief named Massasoit. Squanto
belonged to his tribe. 'We would like to see Massasoit,' said the chief
men of the Pilgrims. They thought they would be much safer from attack
if they made peace with the Indian chief who lived nearest them.

"One day the great chief came to Plymouth. He liked the white men.
Before he went away he promised to be friendly to them. Massasoit kept
his word and was a good and true friend to the Pilgrims until he died.

"One time news came to Plymouth that Massasoit was very sick. Some of
his white friends went to see him. They found him stretched on a rough
bed in his little hut. He had a fever. The hut was almost filled with
Indians. The medicine men were there. They were making a fearful noise.
They thought an evil spirit had taken hold of Massasoit. They were
trying to drive it away with the noise. Then the chief would get well.

"The Indians have great faith in their medicine men. They are their
priests, as well as their doctors.

"'That noise is enough to make anyone ill,' said the white men. 'The
air in the hut is heavy and very bad because there are so many people
in it. Massasoit can never get well at this rate.'

"They got the crowd to leave the wigwam. Then they gave the sick chief
the proper medicine for his illness. The fever soon left the chief and
he believed that his white friends had saved his life.

"One day an Indian who did not belong to Massasoit's tribe came into
Plymouth. He brought a snake-skin filled with arrows and laid it on the
ground.

"'What is the meaning of this?' thought the chief men.

"'It means war,' said Squanto. 'The Indians who sent it are not your
friends.'

"The arrows were taken out of the snake-skin. Then it was filled with
bullets and sent back to the unfriendly Indians.

"This said as plainly as any words: 'If you come to attack us with your
arrows, we will shoot you with our bullets.'

"When the savages saw the bullets they were afraid. They said, 'Ugh!
Ugh!' but they did not dare to touch them. They at once sent the
fearful things back to Plymouth. They changed their minds about
fighting white people who used firearms."

Uncle Sam stopped and looked around.

"There's nothing like being brave," he said slowly. "The Pilgrims would
not even think of giving up, and that is why they held out against all
dangers. You remember I told you that only half of them lived through
that first winter. They were very careful not to let the savages know
how many of them had died. They were even careful not to make mounds
to mark the places where their friends were buried. They thought the
Red Men might count the mounds. They would know by that how few of the
settlers were left.

"As soon as the spring came, corn was planted over the graveyard. The
tall stalks were soon waving to and fro, hiding it from sight."

"Now the people were very busy. Gardens were planted; fish and lobsters
were caught in plenty, and everyone was happy. In the summer wild
berries were to be had for the picking, and the gardens which had been
planted began to yield nice vegetables.

"Then came the beautiful days of the New England autumn. The harvests
ripened and fields of corn seemed to cry:

"'Come, gather the golden grain and store it away for the cold days of
winter.'

"Squashes and pumpkins and other good things were ready for the
picking. Men, women, and children were busy and joyous.

"When the governor looked on the glad sight, he said:

"'The Lord has blessed us. We should praise Him for His mercy to us in
this strange land.'

"He set aside a day for prayer and thanksgiving. Feasts should be
spread and all work given up. His orders were followed.

"That was the first Thanksgiving Day in America.

"What numbers of pies and puddings were made for that day! What
quantities of fish and wild turkeys were brought by the men and cooked
by the women!

"Thanksgiving morning came at last, and after a good breakfast everyone
went to church. In those days not even the babies were left at home,
but were carried to church in their mothers' arms.

"There was a long service in the church. A very long one it must have
seemed to the children, who kept thinking of the great dinner to come
soon. The last hymn was sung, the last prayer made, and all turned
their steps to the tables loaded with good things to eat and drink.

"The Pilgrims had invited Massasoit and some of his people to share
their feast. The Red Men were pleased when they received the invitation.

"'We will do our part,' they said.

"They took their bows and arrows and went out into the forest. They
shot some red deer. Early on Thanksgiving morning they arrived in
Plymouth, bringing the game they had killed.

"When the great dinner was ready at last, one hundred Indians with
hungry stomachs were ready to share it with the white people.

"It must have been hard to entertain the visitors. They could speak and
understand only a few words of English. Now and then they would give a
deep grunt to show they were well pleased.

"They stayed not only to dinner, but to supper, also. Even then they
were in no hurry to go home. Many of them spent the night with their
white friends. They seemed to think Plymouth was a very pleasant place."

It was quite dark outside before Uncle Sam finished the story of the
first Thanksgiving Day. But big logs were burning in the fireplace
and giving a soft light all over the room. The old man could see the
children's happy faces. He knew they were having a good time, though
they had kept so quiet.

"I am ready for blind-man's-buff," he said, suddenly jumping up "I'll
be the blind man. Come, we have been still long enough."

Lamps were quickly lighted. In a minute the room was filled with the
laughter of the Young folks as Uncle Sam dashed right and left trying
to catch them in his long arms.

"The little Pilgrims though they had a good time on Thanksgiving Day.
But their parents would no let them make much noise. Dear me! If
children are not allowed to make a noise, they can't be happy." Uncle
Sam was talking to himself as he walked home after the party.

Just then his big black cat rubbed against his legs. "Hullo, Buzz, is
that you. And did you think I was speaking to you? Here, smell of this
turkey bone. I brought it home so you could have a feast, too."

Uncle Sam bent down and rubbed the cat's soft fur. The he went into the
house, leaving Buzz outside to enjoy his Thanksgiving supper.



CHAPTER IX

LITTLE PILGRIMS OF LONG AGO


"Pop! pop! pop!" went the corn as Joe shook the popper over Uncle Sam's
fire.

"It is the very evening for roasted apples and pop-corn," the old man
said soon after his young friends arrived. "Joe, you run down cellar
and get some of the biggest apples you can find. Lucy, dear, take these
ears of corn and shell them. We will put the apples in the hot ashes
and pop the corn over those lovely red coals."

"Oh, what fun!" cried Lucy. "You are always thinking of the nicest
things to do. I never knew anyone like you."

"I hope the Pilgrims had a few Uncle Sams with them," said Joe, coming
back with the apples.

"They popped corn sometimes, but not in our way," the old man said. "I
don't believe anyone of them ever saw a corn-popper. They used to hide
the kernels in the hot ashes and then watch for them to come shooting
out over the room.

"Then what fun there was as the children scrambled to get them! They
enjoyed it, and I am glad they did. Poor little children, they did
not have too much fun at any time. You must not blame their parents,
though. They had been brought up that way themselves. They thought they
must be very strict or their children might grow up to be bad men and
women.

"'Spare the rod and spoil the child,' they said over and over again.
And they also often repeated these words: 'Children should be seen and
not heard.'

"Now I believe children should look forward to Sunday with pleasure,"
Uncle Sam went on. "It ought to be the best day in the week for
everybody, young and old. But, dear me! the poor little Pilgrims had
to keep so still and sober from Saturday evening to Sunday evening, it
must have been painful. Not a loud word must be spoken, not a laugh
must be heard. Then there was the long sermon Sunday morning. Hours
long! Just think of it!

"Rain or shine, heat or cold, everyone went to church. That is, unless
he was too sick to sit up. They went in a sort of procession. The women
and children walked in the middle. Some of the men marched ahead and
the rest at the end of the line. They carried their guns, for they must
be ready for an attack by the savages at any moment.

"There was no fire in the church on the coldest day of winter. Some of
the people carried foot-stoves to keep themselves warm. These were iron
pans or cups in which live coals were carried. The children sat in one
part of the church and their parents in another."

Joe smiled.

"I know what you are thinking," said Uncle Sam, who noticed the smile.
"You are thinking that the children could whisper together during the
long sermon. That is a great mistake, Joe. There was always a man in
the church who looked out for such things. He stood where he could see
everything that was going on. He had a long stick with a squirrel tail
on one end and a hard knob on the other.

"If he saw one of the older people nodding, softly and quickly the
'tithing man', as he was called, would be at the side of the erring
one. Then the furry end of the stick would dance over the sleepy one's
face and the eyes would open with a start.

"But if a child began to whisper, he was not treated so gently. The
hard knob at the other end of the stick would suddenly come down on his
head and make it ache in a very unpleasant way.

"The Pilgrims had no clocks. They used hour-glasses instead.

"The tithing-man watched the hour-glass on the pulpit. The moment the
last grain of sand had fallen through, he walked softly up the aisle
and tipped the glass over.

"The hours in church must have passed very slowly for the children. The
sermon was very, very long, and they could understand little of what
the minister said.

"The poor children had no Santa Claus. Worse even than that, they had
no Christmas! Thanksgiving was the only great holiday of the year."

"No Christmas!" cried Joe and Lucy together.

"Why, Uncle Sam," Joe went on, "Christmas is the Christ Day. You know
what I mean. And the Pilgrims thought so much of the Bible and going to
church, and all that! Why, I don't understand."

"They thought it was wrong to make a pleasure of religious things,"
replied Uncle Sam. "It was many, many years before the fashion of the
Dutch people spread over America. It is a grand fashion, too. Well,
well, we cannot help it if the Pilgrims didn't celebrate Christmas, so
we will turn from that to the brave man whom the children admired so
much.

"I shouldn't wonder if they were a little afraid of Miles Standish. He
had a wonderful sword which he prized above everything else. A Turk had
given it to him. It was marked with strange figures which the Pilgrims
did not understand.

"'That sword will save you from harm so long as you keep it with you,'
the Turk had told the brave captain.

"Miles Standish was a little man and at first the Indians made fun of
him. They thought he was too small to be much of a warrior. But they
found they had made a mistake in this and learned to fear him.

"I think you children have never been to Plymouth. Next summer I will
take you there, if your mother is willing. You shall stand on the
rock where people say the Pilgrims landed. Then we will go up to the
Memorial Hall and look at Baby Peregrine's cradle and the chair of the
first governor. Dear me! I can't think of all the things saved from
those first days of Plymouth. We will see them all, though, and have a
good time."

"That will be jolly fun," said Joe, jumping up and dancing around the
room. "I wish it were next summer now."

"Don't be noisy Joe," said his sister. "Uncle Sam won't tell us
anything more, if you are."

"I have told more now than you will remember, my dear," said her old
friend. "Before we leave the Pilgrims, however, I must say one thing.
After they were well settled, friends from England came to join them.
This made them very happy.

"A few years afterwards, still other people came from England to live
in this part of the country. Their religion was not exactly the same as
that of the Pilgrims. They were called the Puritans. They said:

"'We do not wish to go out of the English church. Yet we would like
to make it _pure_. Some things have grown up in it which we think are
wrong.'

"There were many Puritans in England, but the king would not listen to
them. That is why they made up their minds to come to America.

"They were not poor like the Pilgrims. They brought plenty of clothes
and furniture, horses, cattle, and pigs, and everything they needed
to make themselves comfortable. They did not have to suffer as the
Pilgrims did.

"The first Puritans came to Salem. They said:

"'The word Salem means peace. It is a good name for our new home.'

"Hundreds of Puritans followed the first ones who came to America.
They settled in Boston and other places near by. They built forts and
schoolhouses, besides homes for themselves.

"They planted wheat and rye as well as Indian corn. They cut down the
forests and caught fish and salted them. They bought furs from the
Indians, and sent them, as well as lumber and salt fish, to England.
The English people were glad to buy these things and sent in return
books, tools, and other things the Puritans needed in their new home."

Uncle Sam stopped to rest a moment. Then he went on:

"Maybe you think the Pilgrims were strict."

Joe and Lucy nodded their heads.

"Well, I suppose they were. We call their ways old-fashioned,
now-a-days. But if you had lived in their time, you would have been a
good deal happier with them than with the Puritans.

"Strict! Why, the Puritans wanted to _make_ everybody believe just as
they did. They did not have any patience with those who did not agree
with them.

"They had hard laws, too. They punished anyone who swore, or even
scolded. A high frame called the stocks stood in the middle of every
village. It had a number of holes in it. Many of those who did small
wrongs had to sit all day with their legs and arms through these holes.
That was the way they were held up to scorn.

"Then there were ducking-stools. If women became common scolds, they
were bound to these stools and ducked in a river or pond.

"Once in a while a man was caught swearing. It was a sad day for him. A
split stick was fastened on his tongue for hours together. If that did
not cure him, his tongue was burned with a red-hot iron.

"The children had a hard time of it in school as well as at home. If
they told wrong stories, they had to hold out their tongues to be burnt
with a good dose of mustard."

Uncle Sam looked quite sad as he went on to tell of a little girl who
took something which belonged to a playmate.

"Her teacher held her fingers over red-hot coals and burned them."

"I don't believe children dared to turn round or whisper in school very
often," said Joe.

"I should say not. If they did, a sudden rap came upon their heads. It
made them wish they had not broken the rules."

"I am glad I am alive now, and have such a lovely home, and father and
mother, and—"

"Uncle Sam," said Joe, ending the sentence for his sister.



CHAPTER X

ROGER WILLIAMS


It was snowing hard outside and the wind howled around the little
cottage.

Joe and Lucy had been taking supper with Uncle Sam. Lucy had made a big
pile of buttered toast and her mother had sent over a plum cake. They
were all eaten.

"You must go home pretty soon, children. The snow is drifting a good
deal and it will be hard walking. It is well that you both wore rubber
boots."

Uncle Sam got up and went to the window.

"It was in just such weather that Roger Williams made his way through
the wilderness," he said as he looked out over the fields.

"I never heard of him before," said Joe.

"Then it is time you did. It is not a very long story. I don't believe
it will do you any harm to stay long enough to hear it. So here it is:

"Roger Williams was one of the noblest men who lived among the
Puritans of long ago. He was a young minister. He had fine thoughts of
his own. He did not need to have anyone else do his thinking for him.

"When he first came to America with his young wife he settled in
Boston. He afterwards went to Salem. He preached in a little church
there. He said so many good things that people liked to hear him.

"After a while the Puritans began to open their ears and their eyes,
too. The leading men said:

"'This man does not think just as we do. He must be wrong.'

"They were very angry. You remember what I told you the other day about
the Puritans?"

"They wished everyone else to believe just as they did," answered Joe.

"And were very strict and solemn," added Lucy.

"You must remember another thing, too. The leading men of the church
made all the laws for the town. Roger Williams did not think this was
right. He was a minister himself, yet he believed the church should
have nothing to do with governing the town.

"Besides that, he thought, 'the King of England has no right to give
the land in America to the people who come here. The Indians hold the
land. It is theirs. They are the only ones who should sell it or give
it away.'

"'Dreadful! dreadful!' said the people of Salem. 'Roger Williams cannot
be true to the king if he believes like that.'

"The leading men made it so unpleasant for the young minister that he
left Salem. He went to Plymouth and stayed among the Pilgrims for two
years. At the end of that time he went back to Salem. He preached good
sermons and the people said:

"'He has grown more careful in the use of his tongue. He does not say
unwise things any more.'

"Yet Roger Williams had not changed his mind. He believed just as he
did before and he could not help showing it.

"'This man is not safe. He puts wrong thoughts into the minds of the
people,' said some of the leaders. 'We must send him back to England.'

"Roger Williams heard what they intended to do. He fled into the
forests. It was very cold and heavy snow had fallen. Who would be his
friend and help him in his troubles now?

"Who indeed but his old friend Massasoit! The Indians loved Williams.
He had always been kind and gentle with them. He had been honest in all
his dealings.

"Massasoit was glad to give Williams a home. He stayed with the Indian
chief for some time. He was busy thinking what he should do. Where
should he make a home for himself and those who believed as he did?

"'I will give you some land on the shores of a river,' Massasoit told
him.

"As soon as the spring came Williams went to this place. He set to work
at once to build himself a log house. Five of his friends came from
Salem to be with him.

"They had not worked very long before they found they would be safer to
move to the other side of the river. Then they would be sure of a place
where the white men could not trouble them.

"They came to a wild and beautiful spot. The trees of the forest grew
all about it. The river flowed close by.

"The axes were soon swinging merrily and the tall trees came falling to
the earth. It was the beginning of the city of Providence.

"Roger Williams gave it that name. He said: 'God has provided a home in
the wilderness for me.'

"Not long after this a little son was born to him. He, too, was named
Providence. And when a baby daughter came to the happy family, she was
called Mercy. In this way the good minister showed that he did not
forget the loving care of his Heavenly Father.

"Do not forget Roger Williams," Uncle Sam ended as the children began
to put on their rubber boots. "He dared to say what he thought was
right when almost everyone was against him.

"Be sure to remember this, too: He had no trouble with the Indians,
because he treated them fairly. They lived in America before the white
people came, so he thought they had a better right to the land than
anyone else."



CHAPTER XI

THE FATHER OF WATERS


"Look, Uncle Sam! See my lovely new muff. I wanted one ever so much.
My hands get cold, even in my woolen mittens. Father bought it for a
birthday present. He got home from Canada to-day."

"What did he bring you, Joe?" Uncle Sam asked after he had admired
Lucy's muff.

"A fur cap. It is a perfect beauty."

"Father says Canada is a great place for hunters, there are so many
wild animals in the forests. He was dreadfully cold while he was there.
He is glad to be home again."

"Yes, the weather is colder there than it is here, because it is
farther north. Yet the cold did not keep the Frenchmen from going to
live in Canada long ago. They were willing to suffer a little so long
as they could get rich by hunting and trapping, and trading with the
Indians.

"They were the first white people to settle in Canada. They called the
country 'New France.'

"They built stations here and there along the shores of the St.
Lawrence River. The Indians used to bring loads of furs to sell to
them. The white men paid for the furs with hatchets, and beads, and
pieces of cloth. That was the kind of money the Indians liked best.

"The savages of Canada were always friendly to the Frenchmen. They
found that the settlers did not wish to harm them and that they were
treated fairly. So there was no trouble.

"The Frenchmen loaded ships with the furs they bought and sent them
home to France. They wrote to their friends in the old country about
the gentle and friendly Indians. Some good French priests heard the
news. They said:

"'We will cross the ocean and go to live among the Indians. We will
teach them about God and about Christ, the Savior.'"

Uncle Sam was so busy talking, he did not notice Joe making signs to
his sister. These signs said: "We had better take off our coats and
spend the evening. I know Uncle Sam feels like telling a story."

[Illustration: FUR-TRADING WITH THE FRENCH]

Lucy understood her brother. In another minute she and Joe were
sitting on either side of the old man as he began to tell of the good
priest Father Marquette and what he found.

It was a long time ago that Father Marquette left France and came to
Canada. Unlike the fur traders, he had no wish to get rich. He was a
priest with a kind, loving heart. He cared only to teach and help the
Indians.

As soon as he reached Canada, he asked many questions about the Red
Men. The fur traders told him of some Indians who lived not far away.
They said:

"These Indians are kind and honest. They will treat you well."

Marquette went to see them at once. They liked him because he was
gentle and good. They took him into their homes. He lived with them for
three years.

While he was there, he heard of a wonderful river. The Indians called
it "The Father of Waters" because it was so long and wide. They said
it was far, very far, to the west of them. Other Indians had told them
about it. They thought it would not be safe to sail down this river.
Tribes of fierce savages lived on its shores. They would kill anyone
who came among them.

The good Marquette was not afraid. He only thought: "These savage
Indians have all the more need of my teaching. I must go to them."

A fur trader named Joliet, and five other men, went with the priest.
They traveled in canoes made of birch bark. On they went, and still on.
Many days passed by. No Indians were seen as yet.

At last, they saw huts along the shore. These must be the homes of the
Red Men. In another minute they heard cries of welcome. The Indians
came hurrying to meet their visitors. They had heard of the good
Marquette from their friends to the eastward.

They asked him to stay with them. They begged him to go no farther or
he would surely come to harm. They repeated the stories he had already
heard,—the stories of fierce Red Men and of wicked demons which would
destroy him. Still Marquette did not fear. He must not stop yet. He and
Joliet started out once more.

They traveled for many days before they reached the great Father of
Waters. At last it met their eyes. How different it was from the river
on which they had been traveling! The waters rushed along, making a
mighty noise. It was a wonder their little canoe could be kept upright.

The travelers now saw a path leading down to the shore. It must be an
Indian trail. They left the canoe and followed the trail. They came to
an Indian village. Its people were afraid of the white men and ran to
hide behind the trees.

Some of their chiefs were braver than the others and came out to meet
Marquette. They held out the pipe of peace to him and his friend. When
the white men had smoked it and handed it back, they knew there was
nothing to fear.

When the good priest asked about the great river, the Indians told the
same old story he had heard so many times before.

"You must go no farther. There are very bad Red Men and many frightful
monsters to the southward. They will kill you and eat you if you go
among them."

Marquette and Joliet paid no heed to these words. Before they went on
their journey, however, they sat down to a great feast which the women
had prepared for them. A dish of mush came first. The Indians fed it
to the white men with big wooden spoons. Broiled fish came next, but
before it was offered to the visitors the bones were carefully taken
out. After this a roasted dog was proudly set before them. It was a
great dainty to the Red Men, but Marquette and Joliet would not taste
it.

"It is very queer," thought the Indians. They could not understand how
anyone should refuse to eat roast dog.

As soon as the feast was over, Marquette asked the Great Spirit to
bless these kind Indians. Then he bade them good-bye and paddled away
in his canoe.

The river grew wider and wider. Herds of buffaloes were feeding along
its shores. Some of them stopped feeding long enough to look at the two
white men as they paddled past them.

The daring travelers now came to a place where high rocks reached up
from the banks. Strange figures were carved on the rocks. They were
painted in fearful colors. They had red eyes and long beards. They
had bodies like fishes. They were ugly to look at. These must be the
monsters the white men had heard so much about.

They were only pictures of monsters, however, and not real ones. Yet
the Indians all along the river were afraid of them. Whenever the
Red Men had to pass the place, they offered prayers to these hideous
figures.

On went the white men, and still on. The river was growing wider all
the time.

At last they came to a place where the Indians were savage and
unfriendly. The travelers learned that cruel Spaniards were not far
away. After Ponce de Leon discovered Florida the Spaniards had claimed
that country. They settled there as well as in other parts of the
south. They had some villages near the lower part of the Mississippi.
Savage Indians and cruel Spaniards together made the danger too great
for the travelers.

"We should only be made prisoners. Then we could not go back and tell
our friends about the wonderful river." That is what the good priest
said to his friend.

It was too bad, for they were told it would take only five days more to
reach the mouth of the river. They had made a wonderful voyage already,
so they turned about and started homeward.

Storms and cold weather now troubled them. They were weak and half
sick long before home was in sight. The gentle priest was at last too
ill to travel any farther. He stopped with some friendly Indians while
Joliet went on to Canada.

Everyone was filled with delight on hearing about the great river. "It
will belong to France, because Frenchmen have discovered it," they said.

Cannons were fired and bells were rung in the city. It was a time of
gladness.

Poor Father Marquette was sick for a whole year. Indeed, he was never
entirely well afterwards. He stayed among his Indian friends and taught
them till he died. They loved him very much and waited upon the sick
priest with the most tender care.

"But this is not the whole story of 'The Father of Waters,'" said Uncle
Sam when he came to the death of Marquette. "There was another brave
Frenchman who followed in the path of the priest. I know you will like
to hear about him."

The children nodded their heads and Uncle Sam began


THE STORY OF LA SALLE

Once upon a time there was a brave young man named Robert La Salle. He
lived in France. He was always ready for some new adventure. While he
was still young he thought:

"I will join my countrymen in Canada and see something of their strange
life among the Indians."

He was soon busy among the fur traders along the St. Lawrence River and
the great lakes. A piece of land was given to him and he began to build
a fort. He was proud that the French people held Canada. He wished to
do his part in making it strong so that all enemies could be kept out.

Joliet came back from his long journey. He told of the great
Mississippi River. La Salle was much excited over the news.

La Salle said, "Our people must not only claim this river, but we must
also build forts and stations along its shores. Then we can keep off
the English and Spaniards."

His friends in Canada thought La Salle was the very one to go back to
France and tell the king about Marquette's wonderful trip. He went to
his own country as soon as possible and stood before his ruler.

He painted a fine word-picture of what could be done. The Englishmen
and Spaniards had been satisfied to live near the eastern and southern
shores of America. They might not always stay there. Now was the chance
for the French to enter the heart of the country and make it their
very own.

The king was delighted at what he heard. He praised La Salle and told
the young Frenchman to go back to Canada and work out his plans.

La Salle lost no time in obeying the king. As soon as he arrived on the
St. Lawrence he went to one of the lakes and began to build a boat. He
thought:

"Canoes are not strong enough for the great work before me. I must sail
as far as possible along the chain of great lakes. Then I shall not be
far from 'The Father of Waters'."

He and his men worked hard. It was not long before the boat was ready
to launch. It seemed very large to the Indians who came to see it start
on its first voyage. Never before had such a large boat sailed on the
lakes.

La Salle had to make his way very carefully, for he knew nothing about
these strange waters. He sailed through one great lake and passed
safely into the next one. Everything went well. Wherever La Salle
stopped, he met friendly Indians. They were ready to trust their
visitors, for Marquette had been among them. How good he had been! How
tenderly they had loved him! All other white men must be good, too.
This was what the Indians thought.

The vessel soon reached Green Bay, where Marquette had spent a year
among the Red Men.

The Indians had many rich and beautiful furs which they were ready to
sell. La Salle ordered his men to load the vessel with these furs as
quickly as possible. Then they were to sail back to Canada and unload
them. He and a few others would go on their way in canoes.

Alas! nothing happened as La Salle had hoped. A terrible storm arose
soon after the vessel started back. The winds swept over the lake and
the little canoes drifted now one way, and now another. Every moment it
seemed as though people and boats must be destroyed.

After four days, however, the storm went down and the men reached the
shore. They were faint from need of food and wet from head to foot. No
Indians were to be seen and they could find nothing to eat. As soon as
they had dried themselves, they started on again. They hoped to find a
village not far away where they could get food.

The poor tired men paddled on for some time more but no signs of Red
Men nor of their huts could be seen.

"We will land and look about us," they said at last. The canoes were
hauled up on the shore while La Salle and his men searched around.

"Here are corn caves!" some one cried in delight.

Sure enough, stores of corn were hidden away among the rocks. The
hungry men helped themselves to the grain and made their way back to
their camp. They were careful to leave presents near the caves. They
would not think of stealing the corn. The Red Men must be paid for it.

A fire was soon blazing. The corn was ground and cooked and they all
sat down to eat. Suddenly they heard a noise and two Indians appeared.
The Red Men held up the beads and cloth that the white men had left as
pay for the corn. They were as happy over their presents as children
are after Santa Claus has paid them a visit.

It was surely time now for the vessel to return. La Salle watched for
it in vain. It was never heard of again. It must have been wrecked in
the terrible storm.

After many days of waiting, the men begged to turn back toward home.
They were such a small company! There were so many dangers around
them, and the ship would never come to their help.

Go back! La Salle could not think of such a thing. He told his men they
should set to work at once to build a fort. They had little courage,
but they did as he ordered.

As soon as they had finished Fort Break-Heart, as they called it
because they were so sad and discouraged, a few men were left to hold
it. The rest of the party went on their way into the wild west.

When they came to another good stopping place, the men built another
fort. It was hard work, for they were sick and lonely.

"It is of no use to go any further now," thought La Salle. "Ice and
snow are around us. The food is scarce. Nothing can be done till spring
comes again. I will divide our small party into two parts. Some of the
men must stay here to hold the fort. The rest of us will make our way
back to Canada to get provisions."

It was a hard journey. The lakes and rivers were caked with ice. The
ground was covered with snow. The brave La Salle and his men suffered
from cold and wet and hunger before they reached a place where white
men were living.

They told their story, got fresh stores, and once more started off. La
Salle did not know the word "Fail."

Sometimes he and his men paddled along in their birch canoes. Sometimes
they lifted their boats upon their shoulders and made their way through
the woods.

Danger was around them everywhere. Wild animals roamed through the
forest. Unfriendly Indians might take them by surprise at any moment.
There were no roads,—no paths even. One thought filled the mind of La
Salle:

"I must find the Mississippi. I must travel to its very mouth. That is
the only way by which France can claim all the country on its shores."

When the returning party reached Fort Break-Heart, they found it torn
down. Their friends were not there. They thought those left to guard it
must have been killed or made prisoners by the Indians.

It was of no use to stop. They pushed on with sad hearts.

At last they had their reward. The great Mississippi lay before them.
La Salle's heart was full of hope as the canoes were launched upon its
waters.

On and on he paddled as Marquette had done before him. He passed tribes
of friendly Indians. He came to others who were ready to kill the white
men. Still he pushed onward till the waters became salt and rushed
outward to the Gulf of Mexico. The Frenchmen had at last reached the
mouth of the great river.

Now came the homeward journey and the joy of telling the good news to
the people in Canada.

La Salle did not rest even now. The king of France must hear what he
had done. He made haste to sail across the ocean to his own country.

The king said that ships must be made ready at once. A large party of
people should go to the mouth of the river. They must build a fort and
settle there and take the country in the name of France. La Salle was,
of course, chosen to go with them.

They did not go by the way of Canada. They went as straight as possible
to the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle thought it would not be hard to find
the mouth of the river.

The voyage across the Atlantic was safely made. The ships entered the
Gulf of Mexico and sailed along its shores. But La Salle could not find
the entrance of the Mississippi. He searched long and carefully. Many
times he thought it was in sight. Many times he was disappointed.

The food became scarce. One of the ships was wrecked. The men said:

"We had better give up the search and go back to France."

La Salle was left with a few men on the shore of Texas. He still had
hopes of finding the mouth of the river.

He wandered about for some time. Even now he was not willing to give up.

One day a very sad thing happened. The brave leader, La Salle, was
killed. And he was not killed by the savages, but by one of his own
men. They were angry because he had brought them there. This was the
only reason they had for doing such a mean and cruel deed.

Such was the end of Robert La Salle.

He did not do all he had hoped to do. Yet he led the way for other
Frenchmen, who afterwards settled along the banks of the Mississippi.

"The story has a very sad ending," said Lucy, when Uncle Sam had
finished. "I don't like to have a story stop at such a sad place."

"I think it is one of the very best you have told us," said Joe. "I
wish I could have been with La Salle a part of the time. It must have
been exciting, paddling through a strange country and sleeping at night
by the side of a big camp-fire."

"I don't think you would have slept much at first, with wolves howling
and wildcats screeching not far away," replied Uncle Sam. "Then how
would you have enjoyed going without food for days together and having
your clothes soaked through in the heavy rains?"

Even this unpleasant picture did not seem to frighten Joe. He was a
"regular boy," as his mother said.

"If you are going to have adventures, you must take good and bad things
together as they come," he said.

Uncle Sam was pleased with the answer.

"That is true, my dear, but remember one thing: No one should risk his
life just for the sake of adventure alone. Yet, if he is trying to do
some great and useful thing, as La Salle did, and cannot help meeting
dangers, he should be praised for meeting them bravely and with a stout
and trusting heart."



CHAPTER XII

THE STORY OF A YOUNG QUAKER


"I am so glad to see you again, Uncle Sam. It seems as though we had
been away a whole year, yet it is not four weeks."

Lucy talked very fast. Her cheeks were red as roses and her lips were
bright with excitement.

"Only four weeks! Yes, that is all, but it has been a long time to me,"
said Uncle Sam, as he bent down to take Lucy in his arms.

"You don't know how I have missed you children," he added. "I have been
a lonesome old man without you."

"We have ever so much to tell you," said Joe, who had followed Lucy.
"You know, this was our first visit to Philadelphia. We had never seen
our great-aunt before, either. She has lived there ever since she was a
young girl."

"She was so good, we began to love her at once," Lucy went on. "She has
a soft voice and she wears a gray dress and a white kerchief around
her neck all the time. When she spoke to me, she always said thee or
thou instead of you."

"That was because she is a Quaker," Joe broke in.

"I used to know your Aunt Rachel," said Uncle Sam. "It was a long time
ago, though. Now go on and tell me all about your visit."

The children had never heard that Uncle Sam had once loved their Aunt
Rachel very dearly. Everyone thought they would be married. Then she
went from home on a visit. While she was away she met a young Quaker
who soon became her husband.

Perhaps Uncle Sam never got over his love for the children's aunt.
Anyway, he never married.

"There are not very many Quakers in the country now," said the old man
as the children finished telling him about their visit. "There was a
time when they were glad to come to America. It was the only way they
could have peace. Would you like to hear about it?"

"Of course, Uncle Sam. We are so tired from our long journey we can
hardly move. Nothing would be nicer than to sit by your side and listen
to a story," said Joe.

Lucy showed she thought so, too, by pressing Uncle Sam's hand and
looking up at him with a pleased nod of her little head.

Uncle Sam smiled and began the story of


WILLIAM PENN THE QUAKER

A long time ago there was a rich man who lived in England. He was an
admiral in the English navy and a great friend of the king.

Admiral Penn had a son named William who was bright and handsome. The
boy had kind parents, a lovely home, and plenty of money to spend. The
family was a very happy one until William went away to college. It was
then that he first went to a meeting of the Quakers. He liked what he
heard, and he thought:

"I, too, would like to be a Quaker."

The Quakers believed quite differently from other people in England.
They were like the Pilgrims in one thing,—they would not go to the
regular church of the country, but had a different service among
themselves. They thought everyone should be free to worship God in
his own manner. They were quite different from the Pilgrims in other
ways, however. They thought it was wrong to fight, even to save their
country.

"One man should not take up arms against another," they said. They
believed it was not right to dress in gay colors. They said it makes
people proud and vain.

They spoke to each other simply, and used the words thee and thou
instead of you, after the manner of the Bible. They called themselves
"Friends," not "Quakers." The word "Quaker" was at first a "nickname,"
but is what they are now generally called.

It seems strange that a rich young man, brought up as was William Penn,
should care to join the Quakers.

He did care, however. He cared so much that he did not change his mind
even when he was driven from his college because of what he believed.

His father was very angry when he learned that his loved son had joined
with people who were despised by nearly everyone else. How Penn's
mother must have wept and pleaded with him!

It made no difference, however. The young man had made up his mind what
was right. He could not change his belief, even to please his parents.

When his father saw that words were of no use, he told William to leave
England and travel about in Europe. He gave him plenty of money with
which he could enjoy himself. Admiral Penn thought his son might forget
the Quakers while visiting other cities and having a good time.

It was not so, however. Soon after William Penn came home, he was sent
to Ireland on business. While he was there he went to several Quaker
meetings. He was arrested and put in prison because he was found in
these places. It was against the law for the Friends to hold meetings
or to attend them.

When Penn was free once more, his father sent for him to come home. He
said:

"I will forgive you everything if you will promise to do three things:
Take off your hat to the King, the King's brother, and to myself, your
father."

William Penn said he would think about it. He could not promise at
once, for the Friends did not think it right to take off one's hat to
certain people; all persons should be treated with the same honor.

After a while the young man came to his father and said:

"I cannot do as you wish."

His father was so angry that he turned his son out of doors. Young Penn
would have had a sad time if his mother had not sent him money to keep
him from want.

He began to preach in the streets of the city. He hoped other people
would listen to him and also become Quakers. It was not long before he
was arrested again. He was put in the Tower of London for breaking the
law. His cell in the Tower was a dark and dreadful place.

The king's brother was a great friend of William Penn. He tried hard to
have the young man set free. At last he brought it about.

Penn's father died soon after his son came out of prison. William was
now a rich man. He went again and again to the king, begging that
Quakers should not be whipped or put in prison.

At last he spoke of money which the king had owed his father. He said:

"You need not pay this money back to me if you will give me land in
America where the Quakers can have a free and happy home."

The king was willing to do this, for he owed a good deal of money and
found it hard to pay his debts.

The poor Quakers were allowed to come out of prison and seek a home
across the ocean. They called the country that the king had given
Penn, Pennsylvania, which means Penn's woods.

It could have had no better name. The country was covered with thick
woods, and the settlers had gained it through the kindness of William
Penn.

He came to Pennsylvania the year after the first settlers reached it.
He did not try to rule over his people. He said they should make their
own laws. He told them he wished the new home to be free to all. It did
not matter what a person believed. He should live in Pennsylvania in
peace and happiness.

He helped the Friends to lay out a city which they called Philadelphia.
That meant the city of Brotherly Love.

They had no trouble with the Indians. Penn sent word to the near-by
tribes that he wished to meet their chiefs. He said he meant no harm
to them. He would punish anyone who did a wrong to an Indian. He was
willing to pay them for the land where his people had settled.

One by one the chiefs arrived. They were all well armed and grand with
paint and feathers. They sat in a half-moon under a large elm tree.
Penn stood in their midst. He had no weapons whatever. The branches of
the tall elm tree waved gently overhead while the Quaker talked with
the Red Men and smoked the peace-pipe with them. He said:

"I will not call you my children, because fathers sometimes whip
their children. I will not call you brothers, because brothers
sometimes quarrel. But I will call you the same as we say of the white
people,—Friends."

He told them he and his people would treat them honestly. They wished
for peace always, and would do nothing to break it.

Before the meeting was over, the Indians promised to keep that peace
and to harm no Quaker. They gave Penn a belt of wampum. Wampum was very
precious to the Indians. It was made of peculiar shells. Penn's belt
was made of white ones. It had a picture in the middle made with purple
shells. This picture showed a white man and an Indian shaking hands.

The Red Men kept their promise. When they became old and ready to die,
they repeated it to their children, who also promised. Thus the Friends
lived in peace with the Indians, and Pennsylvania was the happy home of
many people.

Penn stayed a long time with his settlers. He often went to visit the
Indians in their villages. He joined them in their feasts. He played
with their children. The Red Men loved and trusted him.

When years passed by and the white men in other places had bloody wars
with the Indians, the Quakers among them were not harmed. The white
feather of peace was placed over the door of every house where Quakers
were living. That was the Red Man's sign for these words:

"No one here must meet with any harm. The Red Man is his friend."



CHAPTER XIII

LORD BALTIMORE AND THE CATHOLICS


"There are three churches in our village. Look, Uncle Sam, we can see
the spires of all of them lighted by the sunset."

"The sun does not have any favorites," was the reply. "He treats all
alike."

"Let me see. One is the Methodist, another the Congregational, and the
third is the Catholic church," Joe went on.

"They have different names, yet they were all built for one use,—the
worship of God."

Uncle Sam spoke softly as he looked from Joe to his sister.

"The _name_ of the church does not matter so much, so long as people
seek it for the right reason," he went on. "There was a time when
people were not free to choose their church. You remember the Pilgrims
and the Quakers, and how much trouble they had.

"Then there were the Catholics. They could not be happy in England any
more than the Pilgrims. They heard stories of the great land across
the ocean. They envied the free life of the Pilgrims and they thought:

"'Why should not we, too, find such a home?'

"Lord Baltimore was one of their leading men. The king was very fond
of him. When he asked that Catholics might seek a home in America with
him, the king was quite willing. He told Lord Baltimore they might go
with him to Newfoundland. More than that! Lord Baltimore should rule
over them with as much power as a king. He should make the laws and
punish people who did wrong. He need not ask the king about anything he
wanted to do.

"'Newfoundland is a beautiful country,' said the Catholics. 'At least
that is what we have been told by the sea-captains who have been there.'

"One of these captains had visited Newfoundland in the summer time. He
wrote a book about the place. He told of the berries and roses, the
birds, and the pleasant weather. He did not know that winters on the
island are long and cold.

"Lord Baltimore and his party went to Newfoundland with hearts full of
hope. Alas! at the end of the first winter they said:

"'We cannot make our home here. We suffer too much from the cold and
bad weather.'

"It is no wonder they felt so. Ten of their people had died. Many
others had been sick. Lord Baltimore himself was one of these last.

"He wrote a letter to the king telling of his troubles. He now asked
for land in Virginia. Then he bade good-bye to Newfoundland and sailed
south. He wished to find out if Virginia was as good a country as he
had been told it was.

"He was not disappointed this time. It was all he had hoped.

"When the people of Virginia heard that Catholics wished to settle
among them, they sent word to the king of England that they did not
like the plan at all. Then the king said:

"'I will give the land north of Virginia to Lord Baltimore.'

"When the second party was ready to leave England, their good friend
was dead. His son took his place as governor.

"'How beautiful this place is!' thought the travelers as they sailed up
the Potomac River after a long and dangerous voyage.

"'You should call the country I have given you Maryland, or the Land
of Mary,' the king had told them. This was in honor of the Queen
Henrietta Maria.

"It was because of this that their new home was called Maryland.

"The party landed first on an island. A large cross was set up in the
ground and the priests gave thanks to God for bringing them all safely
across the ocean.

"As they sailed up the river, they saw Indians along the shores. The
Red Men did not look kindly at the strangers. They seemed ready to make
war. The governor thought:

"'This will never do. We must not fight if we can help it. We must show
the savages that we wish to be friends.'

"He acted so wisely that fear and anger left the hearts of the savages.
They put their bows and arrows aside and began to help the newcomers.

"One day as some of the settlers were out on an excursion, a stranger
appeared among them. His skin was so dark, and he was dressed so
strangely, they thought at first that he was an Indian.

"He spoke to them in English, however, and explained who he was. His
name was Captain Henry Fleet. He had been living among the Red Men.
He had once been their prisoner. He gave the strangers good advice. He
said to them:

"'Do not settle on the island where you are now living. I know another
place you would like much better. It is on the shore of the main land.
Some Indians have a village there. They are kind and gentle. I think
they will be willing to sell their home to you.'

"It was a good plan. The white people went to the place and were much
pleased with it. It was in a lovely valley near the shore. Springs of
cool water bubbled up here and there. Groves of nut and oak trees gave
a pleasant shade. No fierce wild animals roamed through the forest near
by. They must find out at once if the Indians would be willing to sell
such a pleasant home.

"They brought cloth, tools, and beads to the Red Men. They said:

"'We will give you all these things in return for your village place.'

"The eyes of the Indians sparkled with delight. Cloth, tools, and beads
were the very things they most wished for. They were quite ready to
move away if they could have all these. They said to the strangers:

"'We will share our village with you till the harvest is ripe. Then we
will gather it and go somewhere else and leave you here alone.'

"Everyone was pleased and the white people settled themselves in the
huts of the Indians. All lived together in happiness till the season
came to an end. Then the Indians moved away, but they showed themselves
kind neighbors ever after.

"The white men built houses and planted gardens. They were more happy
and comfortable than they had ever been before in their lives.

"They went back and forth among their savage neighbors without fear.
Their priests taught the red children and baptized many of them. One
of the Indian chiefs trusted the white people so much that he sent his
little daughter to live with them. He said:

"'When I am dead she will rule over my people. She will be a wiser
ruler if she is brought up by the white men. They will teach her many
things she cannot learn in our village.'

"So it happened one bright morning that the little Indian maiden left
her home in the forest. She sprang into her light canoe and paddled
down the river. She soon came to the English village.

"The white people were very kind. Yet how strange their ways must have
seemed to her!

"She took off the soft moccasins in which she could run so easily. She
put on leather shoes such as the English children wore. They must have
seemed very stiff and uncomfortable at first.

"Her dress of beaver-skin and the pretty feather mantle, of which she
was so proud, were laid aside. She must now wear skirts and waists,
like the other girls around her.

"Now, too, she must spend a large part of each day in the house, for
she had to study lessons in books. She must also learn to cook and sew
and knit.

"Poor little Indian girl! How different all this was from her old free
life in the forest. Then the birds and bees, the rabbits and squirrels,
were around her from morning until night. No hat of any kind kept the
soft breezes from blowing through her hair."

"She must have been very homesick," said Lucy, when Uncle Sam reached
this part of the story. "I shouldn't wonder if she cried herself to
sleep every night."

"It is not Indian fashion to cry," replied Uncle Sam. "The Red Men are
ashamed to let tears come to their eyes. Even the little children are
taught not to show in their faces what they feel.

"This little girl may have been very unhappy at first. I really don't
know about that. At any rate, she lived among the white people till she
grew up. Then she married a white man, just as Pocahontas did."

Uncle Sam stopped for a moment and began to stroke his chin. That was
the sign that he was thinking.

Lucy began to pet Buzz, who had just waked up from a nap at her feet.
She was thinking, too. It seemed as though she could see that little
Indian girl of long ago. The child was in a birch canoe and gliding
down the river. Her bright black eyes were turned longingly toward her
home in the forest. Those eyes seemed to say:

"Good-bye, dear, happy days of freedom. Good-bye."

Joe sat thinking, too. He was wondering if the Indian girl went back to
her people with her white husband, and if she was a good ruler after
her father died.

"A penny for your thoughts!" said Uncle Sam suddenly. He spoke to Joe.

"I can't imagine that Indian princess ruling her people after the white
man's fashion. I do not believe it would have suited the Indians." The
boy spoke slowly.

"I think you are right, Joe," Uncle Sam answered. "But I believe she
did not have a chance to try. The Indians were not willing to let a
woman take the old chief's place. They chose his brother, I believe.

"Now I will tell you what I was thinking of myself. When I spoke of
Pocahontas, I went on to think of the people of Virginia. You might say
they lived next door to Maryland. They had a great deal of trouble with
the Indians, while their neighbors in Maryland did not have any.

"The people of Maryland lived in peace and let others come to settle
among them. It did not matter whether these newcomers were Catholics
like themselves, or Quakers, or Puritans. Anyone who wished was allowed
to live with them and believe as he liked.

"The only trouble they did have was with Virginia. It was about an
island in the river. Both colonies claimed that island. They even had
battles with each other before the trouble was settled. Maryland was
not much to blame, however. Her people always seemed to wish for peace.

"A happier colony never settled in America than the Catholics who came
to Maryland because of their kind friend Lord Baltimore."



CHAPTER XIV

THE POOR DEBTORS


"This is the last chance for a story for a long time and I am sorry,"
said Joe.

Lucy looked sad too. She was sorry to have Uncle Sam go away.

"We shall miss the nice stories, but we shall miss you even more than
the stories," she said, putting her arms around her old friend's neck.

Uncle Sam had been called to New York on business. He might be gone two
months. It might even be a longer time than that. He could not tell. He
looked from one child to the other with a face beaming with love.

"One more story. Yes, that is all. Then you children will have time to
think over what I have told you. And when I come back you will be ready
to hear some more. It is a good thing, after all, for me to go away and
give you a rest.

"You see, children, I get wound up just like a clock. If I once get to
going, I can't stop unless something makes me."

"Give us a rest, indeed!" cried Joe. "Lucy and I are not babies. We
like stories that mean something, now that we are nine years old.
Besides, you could not tire us anyway, Uncle Sam."

The old man looked pleased.

"Well, well, I am glad to hear it. But it is almost dark already. I
will begin at once with the story I promised for this evening.

"It is about some poor people in England who were shut up in prisons.
They were not wicked. They had not stolen nor done any other dreadful
deed. Yet the prison doors were tightly locked upon them and they were
shut out from the beauty of this great world.

"You shall hear why these people were not free. They owed money and
were not able to pay it back. In the old days in England there were
many poor people. It was hard to earn a living. Some of those who tried
the hardest, could get no work. Then, of course, they did not have
money. Yet they needed food and clothing for their families the same as
ever. They could not let them starve.

"It is no wonder they got into debt. If the debt was not soon paid,
they were taken from their homes. 'Stay in prison till you pay what
you owe.' This was the cruel law."

"But how _could_ they earn any money while they were in prison?" cried
Joe.

"It was impossible, of course. That is why the law was such a bad one.
By and by a very good man went to visit the prisons. His name was James
Oglethorpe.

"He saw the poor debtors and pitied their sad case. He wished to help
them. He thought of America. It had already given homes to many unhappy
people. He went to the king of England and said:

"'Will you let the debtors come out of prison and go with me to
America? They can have a fresh start and make a new home for themselves
there. You will then have no more trouble with them.'

"The king listened kindly to Oglethorpe's plan. It seemed a good one.
He promised to give land in America to these people and said that
Oglethorpe should be their governor.

"Not long afterwards, the debtors were set free. How glad they were to
be with their own families once more! How thankful they must have been
to James Oglethorpe who had done so much for them!

"When they left England for America, their good friend went too, so
that he might give them his wise help. Their new home was farther south
than that of any other English people in this country at that time. It
lay next to Florida. The Spaniards were their neighbors.

"The new colony was given the name of Georgia, in honor of George, the
king of England.

"The first day in the new home was given up to prayer. All gave thanks
to God for bringing them here in safety. Then came weeks of good hard
work. Houses were built, a wall was made around the village, and a fort
stood ready in case of an attack by enemies, red or white.

"General Oglethorpe was a wise governor. He made just laws for his
people. He drilled the men every day in order to make them good
soldiers in case they needed to fight.

"He treated the Indians so kindly they did not wish to make war upon
his people. There was one chief whose name was Tomachichi. He loved
General Oglethorpe very dearly. One day he brought a present for the
governor. It was the skin of a buffalo with the feathers of an eagle
painted on it.

"Tomachichi said: 'The skin of the buffalo is warm. The feathers of the
eagle are soft. These things therefore mean love and protection. The
English are swift as the eagle and strong as the buffalo.'

"Tomachichi afterwards visited England with General Oglethorpe. His
wife and nephew went with him. How strange the crowded streets and
large buildings of London must have seemed to these savages!

"Soon after Oglethorpe settled in Georgia, he invited the chiefs of
the near-by Indian tribes to meet together with him. At this meeting
he asked them to keep peace with him and his people. They were quite
willing to do as he asked.

"Then he gave each one of them a fine coat, a hat trimmed with lace,
and a shirt. They must have felt grand indeed when they put on such
elegant clothes.

"Oglethorpe noticed many mulberry trees growing in Georgia. He said:

"'Silkworms feed on mulberry leaves. It would be a good plan for the
next ship that comes from England to bring some silkworms. Then we can
make silk. We can sell it for a good price.'

"The silkworms were brought and silk was made. It was sent over to
England and the queen herself had a dress made of American silk. She
wore it on the king's birthday.

"After a while, however, the people gave up raising silkworms in
Georgia. It did not pay. They found they could get more money by
cutting lumber in the forests and trading for furs with the Indians.
They sent these things to other countries and were paid well for them.

"As long as General Oglethorpe was in Georgia the settlers had two good
laws. He would not allow rum or slaves to be brought into the country.
He was a kind and wise governor in every way.

"And now, children," said Uncle Sam, "don't you know enough about your
country to think the words of the old song are true? Can you see that
it is really the 'Land of the Free and the home of the Brave?'"

"Indeed yes, Uncle Sam," cried Joe and Lucy together.

"There is no country in the wide world like ours," added Joe with a
positive shake of his head.

"Very well, then. Let's sing 'America' with a heart and a will," said
Uncle Sam. "We can sit right here on the porch while we sing it. We
don't need the organ to help us out."

The birds had already gone to sleep. But several of them waked up in
the tree-top near by and added a cheerful chirp to the voices of the
three earnest singers.


THE END.



Transcriber's Note

  Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
  in hyphenation have been standardised but all other spelling and
  punctuation remains unchanged.





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