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The Land We Live In The Story of Our Country试读：
"The Story of Our Country" has been often told, but cannot be told too often. I have spared no effort to make the following pages interesting as well as truthful, and to present, in graphic language, a pen-picture of our nation's origin and progress. It is a story of events, and not a dry chronicle of official succession. It is an attempt to give some fresh color to facts that are well known, while depicting also other facts of public interest which have never appeared in any general history. Wherever I have taken the work of another I give credit therefor; otherwise this little book is the fruit of original research and thought. The views expressed will doubtless not please everybody, and some may think that I go too far in pleading the cause of the original natives of the soil. Historic justice demands that some one should tell the truth about the Indians, whose chief and almost only fault has been that they occupied lands which the white man wanted. Even now covetous eyes are cast upon the territory reserved for the use of the remaining tribes.
For such statements in regard to General Jackson at New Orleans as differ from the ordinary narrative I am indebted to a work never published, so far as I am aware, in this country or in the English language—Vincent Nolte's "Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres," issued in Hamburg in 1853. As Nolte owned the cotton which Jackson appropriated, and also served as a volunteer in the battle of New Orleans, he ought to be good authority.
In dealing with the late war I have sought to be just to both the Union and the Confederacy. The lapse of over thirty years has given a more accurate perspective to the events of that mighty struggle, in which, as a soldier-boy of sixteen, I was an obscure participant, and all true Americans, whether they wore the blue or gray, now look back with pride to the splendid valor and heroic endurance displayed by the combatants on both sides. Those who belittle the constancy and courage of the South belittle the sacrifices and successes of the North.
The slavery conflict has long been over, and the scars it left are disappearing. Other and momentous problems have arisen for settlement, but there is every reason for confidence that they will be settled at the ballot-box, and without appeal to rebellion, or thought or threat of secession. In the present generation, more than in any preceding, is the injunction of Washington exemplified, that the name of American should always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. This supreme National sentiment overpowering all considerations of local interest and attachment, is the assurance that our country will live forever, that all difficulties, however menacing, will yield to the challenge of popular intelligence and patriotism, and that the glorious record of the past is but the morning ray of our National greatness to come.Henry Mann.
The Land We Live In.
FIRST PERIOD.The Foothold.CHAPTER I.
A Land Without a History—Origin of the American Indians—Their Semi-civilization—The Spanish Colonial System—The King Was Absolute Master—The Council of the Indies—The Hierarchy—Servitude of the Natives—Gold and Silver Mines—Spanish Wealth and Degeneracy— Commercial Monopoly—Pernicious Effects of Spain's Colonial Policy— Spaniards Destroy a Huguenot Colony.
America presented itself as a virgin land to the original settlers from Europe. It had no history, no memories, no civilization that appealed to European traditions or associations. Its inhabitants belonged evidently to the human brotherhood, and their appearance and language, as well as some of their customs, indicated Mongolian kinship and Asiatic origin, but in the eyes of their conquerors they were as strange as if they had sprung from another planet, and the invaders were equally strange and marvelous to the natives. To the Spanish adventurer the wondrous temples of the Aztecs and the Peruvians bore no significance, except as they indicated wealth to be won, and rich empires waiting to be prey to the superior prowess and arms of the Christian aggressor; while the Englishman, the Frenchman, Hollander and Swede, who planted their colors on more northern soil, saw only a region of primeval forests inhabited by tribes almost as savage as the wild beasts upon whom they existed. It is needless, therefore, in this pen picture of our country, to go into any extended notice of its ancient inhabitants, although the writer has devoted not a little independent study to their origin and history. That study has confirmed him in the opinion that the American Indians came from Asia, with such slight admixture as the winds and waves may have brought from Europe, Africa and Polynesia. The resemblance of the American Indians to the Tartar tribes in language is striking, and in physical appearance still more so, while the difference in manners and customs is no greater than that between the Englishman of the seventeenth century and his descendant in the mountains of West Virginia or Kentucky. It is probable—indeed what is known of the aborigines indicates, that the immigrations were successive, and their succession would be fully accounted for by the mighty convulsions among Asiatic nations, of which history gives us a very dim idea. It is easy to suppose that more than one dusky Æneas led his fugitive followers across the narrow strait which divides Asia from America, and pushed on to the warmer regions of the South, driving in turn before him less vigorous and warlike tribes, seizing the lands which they had made fruitful, and adopting in part the civilization which they had built up. Many of the conquered would prefer emigration to submission, and in their turn push farther south, even to the uttermost bound of the continent.
The writer is not of those who believe that the remote inhabitants of America are unrepresented among the red men of the present age. In European and American history the myths about exterminated races are disappearing in the light of investigation. Our ancestors were not so cruel as they have been painted. It is not likely that any nation was ever cut off to a man. Men were too valuable to be destroyed beyond the requirements of warfare or the demands of sanguinary religious customs. Conquered nations, it is now agreed, were usually absorbed by their conquerors, either as equals or serfs. In either event unity was the result, as in the case of the Romans and Latins, the Scots and the Picts, the Normans and the Saxons. The mound builders, in all probability, survive in the Indian tribes of to-day, some of whom in the Southwest were mound builders within the historic period, while the ruined cities of Arizona and New Mexico were the product of a rude civilization, admittedly inherited by the pueblos of the present generation.
There was nothing in the civilization of the most advanced American races worth preserving, except their monuments. The destruction of the Aztec and Peruvian empires was, on the whole, an advantage to humanity. The darkest period of religious persecution in Europe saw nothing to compare with the sanguinary rites of Aztec worship, and bigoted, intolerant and oppressive as the Spaniards were they did a service to mankind in putting an end to those barbarities. The colonial system established by Spain in America was founded on the principle that dominion over the American provinces was vested in the crown, not in the kingdom. The Spanish possessions on this continent were regarded as the personal property of the sovereign.
The viceroys were appointed by the king and removable by him at pleasure. All grants of lands were made by the sovereign, and if they failed from any cause they reverted to the crown. All political and civil power centred in the king, and was executed by such persons and in such manner as the will of the sovereign might suggest, wholly independent not only of the colonies but of the Spanish nation. The only civil privileges allowed to the colonists were strictly municipal, and confined to the regulation of their interior police and commerce in cities and towns, for which purpose they made their own local regulations or laws, and appointed town and city magistrates. The Spanish-American governments were not merely despotic like those of Russia and Turkey, but they were a more dangerous kind of despotism, as the absolute power of the sovereign was not exercised by himself, but by deputy.
At first the dominions of Spain in the new world were divided, for purposes of administration, into two great divisions or vice-royalties: New Spain and Peru. Afterward, as the country became more settled, the vice-royalty of Santa Fe de Bogota was created. A deputy or vice-king was appointed to preside over each of these governments, who was the representative of the sovereign, and possessed all his prerogatives within his jurisdiction. His power was as supreme as that of the king over every department, civil and military. He appointed most of the important officers of the vice-royalty. His court was formed on the model of Madrid, and displayed an equal and often superior degree of magnificence and state. He had horse and foot guards, a regular household establishment and all the ensigns and trappings of royalty. The tribunals which assisted in the administration were similar to those of the parent country. The Spanish-American colonies, in brief, possessed no political privileges; the authority of the crown was absolute, but not more so than in the parent State, and it could hardly have been expected that liberties denied to the people at home would have been granted to subjects in distant America.
Over the viceroys, and acting for the sovereign, was the tribunal called the Council of the Indies, established by King Ferdinand in 1511, and remodeled by Charles V. in 1524. This Council possessed general jurisdiction over Spanish-America; framed laws and regulations respecting the colonies, and made all the appointments for America reserved to the crown. All officers, from the viceroy to the lowest in rank, could be called to account by the Council of the Indies. The king was supposed to be always present in the Council, and the meetings were held wherever the monarch was residing. All appeals from the decisions of the Courts of Audience, the highest tribunals in America, were made to the Council of the Indies.
The absolute power of the sovereign did not stop short at the Church. Pope Julian II. conferred on King Ferdinand and his successors the patronage and disposal of all ecclesiastical benefices in America, and the administration of ecclesiastical revenues—a privilege which the crown did not possess in Spain. The bulls of the Roman pontiff could not be admitted into Spanish America until they had been examined and approved by the king and Council of the Indies. The hierarchy was as imposing as in Spain, and its dominion and influence greater. The archbishops, bishops and other dignitaries enjoyed large revenues, and the ecclesiastical establishment was splendid and magnificent. The Inquisition was introduced in America in 1570 by Philip II., the oppressor of Protestant England and of the Netherlands, and patron of the monster Alva. The native Indians, on the ground of incapacity, were exempted from the jurisdiction of that tribunal. No scruple was shown, however, in converting the natives to Christianity, and multitudes were baptized who were entirely ignorant of the doctrine they professed to embrace. In the course of a few years after the reduction of the Mexican empire, more than four millions of the Mexicans were nominally converted, one missionary baptizing five thousand in one day, and stopping only when he had become so exhausted as to be unable to lift his hands.
Conversion to Christianity did not save the Indians from being reduced to slavery. Columbus himself, in the year 1499, to avoid the consequences of a disaffection among his followers, granted lands and distributed a certain number of Indians among them to cultivate the soil. This system was afterward introduced in all the Spanish settlements, the Indians being everywhere seized upon and compelled to work in the mines, to till the plantations, to carry burdens and to perform all menial and laborious services. The stated tasks of the unhappy natives were often much beyond their abilities, and multitudes sank under the hardships to which they were subjected. Their spirit was broken, they became humble and degraded, and the race was rapidly wasting away. The oppressions and sufferings of the natives at length excited the sympathies of many humane persons, particularly among the clergy, who exerted themselves with much zeal and perseverance to ameliorate their condition. In 1542 Charles V. abolished the enslavement of the Indians, and restored them to the position of freemen. This caused great indignation in the colonies and in Peru forcible resistance was offered to the royal decree. But although relieved in some degree from the burdens of personal slavery, the natives were required, as vassals of the crown, to pay a personal tax or tribute in the form of personal service. They were also put under the protection of great landholders, who treated them as serfs, although not exacting continuous labor, so that during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the condition of the Indians did not greatly improve.
Notwithstanding the avidity of the first Spanish adventurers for the precious metals, and the ardor with which they pursued their researches, their exertions were attended for a number of years with but little success. It was not until 1545 that the rich mines of Potosi, in Peru, were accidentally discovered by an Indian in clambering up the mountain. This was soon followed by the discovery of other highly productive mines of gold and silver in the various provinces, and Spanish America began to pour a flood of wealth into the coffers of Spain. The mines were not operated by the crown, but by individual enterprise, the crown receiving a share of the proceeds, and alloting a certain number of Indians to the mine-owners as laborers. These Indians did all the work of the mine without the aid of machinery, and with very little assistance from horse-power. Their industry enriched Spain and her colonies to a degree unexampled in the previous experience of mankind.
Silver and gold, however, did not bring lasting prosperity. Already in the early part of the seventeenth century Spain showed signs of decay. Her manufactures and commerce began to decline; men could not be recruited to keep up her fleets and armies, and even agriculture felt the blight of national degeneracy. The great emigration to the colonies drained off the energetic element of the population and the immense riches which the colonies showered upon Spain intoxicated the people and led them to desert the accustomed paths of industry. Nineteen-twentieths of the commodities exported to the Spanish colonies were foreign fabrics, paid for by the products of the mines, so that the gold and silver no sooner entered Spain than they passed away into the hands of foreigners, and the country was left without sufficient of the precious metals for a circulating medium.
Although wholly unable to supply the wants of her colonies Spain did not relax in the smallest degree the rigor of her colonial system, the controlling principle of which was that the whole commerce of the colonies should be a monopoly in the hands of the crown. The regulation of this commerce was entrusted to the Board of Trade, established at Seville.
This board granted a license to any vessel bound to America, and inspected its cargo. The entire commerce with the colonies centred in Seville, and continued there until 1720. It was carried on in a uniform manner for more than two centuries. A fleet with a strong convoy sailed annually for America. The fleet consisted of two divisions, one destined for Carthagena and Porto Bello, the other for Vera Cruz. At those points all the trade and treasure of Spanish America from California to the Straits of Magellan, was concentrated, the products of Peru and Chili being conveyed annually by sea to Panama, and from thence across the isthmus to Porto Bello, part of the way on mules, and part of the way down the Chagres river. The storehouses of Porto Bello, now a decayed and miserable town, retaining no shadow of former greatness, were filled with merchandise, and its streets thronged with opulent merchants drawn from distant provinces. Upon the arrival of the fleet a fair was opened, continuing for forty days, during which the most extensive commercial transactions took place, and the rich cargoes of the galleons were all marketed, and the specie and staples of the colonies received in payment to be conveyed to Spain. The same exchange occurred at Vera Cruz, and both squadrons having taken in their return cargoes, rendezvoused at Havana, and sailed from thence to Europe. Such was the stinted, fettered and restricted commerce which subsisted between Spain and her possessions in America for more than two centuries and a half, and such were the swaddling clothes which bound the youthful limbs of the Spanish colonies, retarding their growth and keeping them in a condition of abject dependence. The effect was most injurious to Spain as well as to the colonies. The naval superiority of the English and Dutch enabled them in time of war to cut off intercourse between Spain and America, and thereby deprive Spanish-Americans of the necessaries as well as the luxuries for which they depended upon Spain, and an extensive smuggling trade grew up which no efforts on the part of the authorities could repress. Monopoly was starved out through the very rigor exerted to make it exclusive, and the markets were so glutted with contraband goods that the galleons could scarcely dispose of their cargoes.
The restrictions upon the domestic intercourse and commerce of the Spanish colonies were, if possible, more grievous and pernicious in their consequences than those upon traffic with Europe. Inter-colonial commerce was prohibited under the severest penalties, the crown insisting that all trade should be carried on through Spain and made tributary to the oppressive duties exacted by the government. While Spain received a considerable revenue from her colonies, notwithstanding the contraband trade, the expenses of the system were very great, and absorbed much of the revenue. Corruption was widespread, and colonial officers looked upon their positions chiefly with a view to their own enrichment. They had no patriotic interest in the welfare of the colonies, and conducted themselves like a garrison quartered upon the inhabitants. Although salaries were high the expenses of living were great, and the salaries were usually but a small part of the income. Viceroys who had been in office a few years, went back to Spain with princely fortunes.
Such was the condition of affairs in Spain's vast American empire when England, France and the United Provinces started on a career of colonization in North America. It seems to have been providential that the same generation which witnessed the discovery of America witnessed the birth of Luther. In the century which followed the Theses of Wittenberg the eyes of sufferers for conscience' sake turned eagerly and hopefully toward the New World as a refuge from the oppression, the scandal and the persecution of the old. The first to seek what is now the Atlantic region of the United States with the object of making their home here were French Huguenots, sent out by the great Admiral Coligny, who afterward fell a victim in the massacre of Bartholomew's Day. The Frenchmen planted a settlement first at Port Royal, which was abandoned, and afterward built a fort about eighteen miles up the St. John's River, Florida, and named it Fort Caroline. This was in the year 1564. In the following year a Spanish fleet, commanded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, appeared at the mouth of the St. John's. In answer to the French challenge as to his purpose the Spanish commander replied that he came with orders from his king to gibbet and behead all the Protestants in those regions. "The Frenchman, who is a Catholic," he added, "I will spare. Every heretic shall die." The Huguenots, had they held together, might have been able to offer a successful resistance to the Spaniards, but Jean Ribault, the French commander, unfortunately decided to sail out from the shelter of Fort Caroline and seek a conflict at sea with the enemy. A storm destroyed the French fleet, but the crews succeeded in escaping to land. Menendez marched overland with his troops to the unprotected fort and easily captured it with its handful of defenders. The Spaniards cruelly murdered almost the entire colony of two hundred men, women and children, some of them being hung to trees with the inscription: "Not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans."
Ribault, ignorant of the tragedy at the fort, sought to return there from the place where he had been shipwrecked. His men were divided