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Part II. Modern Colonization




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(1) In America, Africa and Asia

SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE COLONIES. — It was a great day in the world's history when Christopher Columbus, a Genoese pilot, set sail from Spain with a small fleet of three vessels bound on that memorable voyage which resulted in the discovery of America, and in the opening of new regions for the industrial activity and enterprise of civilized man. After years of endeavour he had convinced Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain that the realms of Indian wealth and treasure could be reached by sailing in the direction of the setting sun; that, the earth being round, the countries of the east could be attained by sailing to the west, so that communication could be established over the whole world across the sublime highway of the ocean. Bold mariner was he, indeed, in that age, when the lamp of science burnt dimly, to gaze across the wild waves of the Atlantic, and, beyond its primeval darkness, to see the light of promise with its glimmering rays leading on to modern civilization. How transported with delight he was when, after tossing about in strange seas for twenty-one days, without sight of land, he saw grass floating on the waves, and birds appeared on the western horizon as the gentle messengers of a harbour of safety. It was on the night of the 12th October, 1492, that Columbus from the deck of his vessel descried a dim light flickering across the waves; and at 2 o'clock in the morning a cannon shot from the Pinta announced that a sailor had discovered land.

That light was a spark that has since illuminated the whole world, and the cannon shot will be heard echoing through all time. To Christopher Columbus is due the immortal honour of having discovered the continent of America. He was the first of a long line of maritime pioneers and discoverers who lifted the curtain of the trackless deep — who ploughed their way from sea to sea, from ocean to ocean, from continent to continent, until the great work of circumnavigating the globe, so daringly begun, was duly accomplished.

The second great voyage which largely assisted to expand the dominion of European civilization was that performed six years after the discovery of America, by Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese navigator. To that distinguished man was entrusted the execution of the project of sailing from Portugal to India round the continent of Africa. It may seem strange that both the expedition of Columbus and that of Vasco da Gama were launched for the purpose of reaching India. But the fact is that the nearest and safest route to the riches of Cathay and the trade of India was, to the commercial nations of the south-west of Europe, a problem of vital importance; they wished to compete with Venice and Genoa, which long enjoyed the monopoly of that trade by way of eastern caravan routes. Hence it was that the


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Portuguese were endeavouring to explore the western coast of Africa, with a view to reaching India by passing round its most southern promontory, many years before Columbus conceived the daring idea of sailing westward to India, in essaying which he was stopped by the Isthmus of Panama.

The Cape of Good Hope was discovered by Bartholomew Diaz in 1486. It was doubled by Vasco da Gania's fleet in November, 1497, and subsequently he arrived at Calicut, on the Malabar coast of India, the goal of his enterprise, where he established a trading station which marked the beginning of the European conquest of India. In comparing the achievements of Columbus and Da Gama as pioneers of oceanic exploration, it may be noted that whilst Columbus crossed a wild waste of waters, upon which man had never previously ventured, Da Gama, in circumnavigating Africa, followed the track of Pharoah Necho, an Egyptian king, whose ships had sailed round Africa more than 2,000 years before. But, for supreme grandeur, no exploit in the history of the human race is equal to the voyage of Fernando Magellan, a Portuguese mariner who inaugurated an expedition which first sailed round the world, demonstrating beyond all doubt the rotundity of our planet, and leading the way to the discovery of new islands and a new continent in the Southern Hemisphere. In September of the year 1519 Magellan was entrusted by Charles V. of Spain with the command of a fleet of five ships fitted out for the purpose of exploring the southern seas. Magellan succeeded in discovering the famous straits which bear his name, running between the southern headland of South America and Terra-del-Fuego; thence he passed into the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean, to which he gave its present name. Continuing his voyage, he sailed on, and on, month after month, undergoing privations and encountering perils until at last, in the year 1521, he arrived at the Philippine Islands, north of Australia, where he was killed in a skirmish with the natives. His vessel, conveying his records, charts and observations, was brought back to Spain by way of the Cape of Good Hope. The circumnavigation of the globe was thus completed after a three years' voyage of unparalleled difficulty and danger; the saddest event of the expedition being the loss of its intrepid commander before he had seen the accomplishment of his world-wide enterprise. It must be admitted that this voyage was the most triumphant in the whole record of navigation, ancient or modern. It was Magellan who burst through the gates of the American continent; it was he who first navigated the majestic Pacific, with its numerous islands and its mighty highway from America to the Indian Ocean, preparing the way for much that was to follow in the fulness of time. Well has Dr. Draper written of Magellan — "He impressed his name on earth and sky; on the straits connecting two oceans, and on clouds of starry worlds seen in the southern sky." — The Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. II., p. 169.

PIONEERS OF MODERN COLONIZATION. — Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Fernando Magellan were the first great pioneers of modern colonization to whom reference must necessarily be made in any account of the beginning and expansion of England's empire


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beyond the seas; for, although their expeditions and discoveries were conducted in the interests and at the expense and direction of Spain and Portugal, the time came when England obtained possession of most of the countries which they added to the inheritance of civilized man. They prepared the way for Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the earth in 1578, and for James Cook's voyage in 1769–70. The nation and the generation who sow the seed of progress do not always gather in the harvest, but sooner or later the human race, as a whole, enjoys and profits by what has been planted "with the blood and tears of a few." So it was in the case of those renowned navigators. Where now is the colonial empire of Spain? Nothing remains; her provinces were lost in the hurricane of revolution and conquest. Where is now the colonial empire of Portugal? Not an island of any consequence remains to speak of departed fame.

To England fell the greatest and richest share of the glorious result of those three great voyages which "broke the night of ages;" which ushered in modern times with all their bustling activity; which directed the course of civilization from the east to the west — from rivers such as the Nile, the Tiber, the Euphrates, the Danube and the Rhine, and from inland seas, such as the Black, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, to the broad Atlantic and the far-reaching stretches of the Pacific Ocean. From that time the nations of the Mediterranean were destined no longer to monopolize the commerce of the world. Egypt ceased to be the avenue to India; Europe was startled by the intelligence brought in quick succession from the new world, and an impetus of an unprecedented character was given to the spirit of adventure and discovery. Then began the mighty race for slices of the new world. England, of the sixteenth century, was not behindhand; she now began to lead the vanguard of nations in that grand struggle. See Seeley's "Growth of British Policy."

In many respects the English at that time were peculiarly qualified for the work to be done. For over a thousand years the people of the island had been going through various stages of preparation and apprenticeship calculated to fit them for the arts of navigation and colonization. In the first place, England itself had been for many centuries a colony belonging to different and successive, nations. The Phoenicians, the Romans, the Danes, the Saxons and the Normans, had, in successive periods, planted colonies in British soil, which left enduring traces in the country and in the character of the inhabitants. Then, again, the main element of the amalgamated population of Britain was composed of a sea-faring people, having habits and instincts which attached them to the sea and its associations. Under these circumstances it is hardly surprising to see the English come to the front in this remarkable epoch of geographical discovery and maritime enterprise.

NORTH AMERICAN DISCOVERIES. — Four years after Columbus had discovered America, and whilst Vasco da Gama was preparing to circumnavigate Africa, John Cabot, a Venetian pilot, with his son, Sebastian, a native of Bristol, obtained from King Henry VII. letters patent authorizing them to proceed on a voyage of exploration towards the north-west, in order, if possible, to find, conquer and


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settle unknown lands for the English crown. The King supplied one ship, and the merchants of Bristol and London placed a few smaller ones at their disposal, and with this meagre fleet the Cabots, father and son, sailed forth on their dangerous enterprise. The result of this and succeeding voyages made by John and Sebastian Cabot were most momentous; they laid the foundation of England's trans-Atlantic colonial empire. In June, 1497, they reached the coast of Newfoundland, or, as some think, of Labrador. Afterwards they sailed southwards along the eastern coast of the American continent as far as Cape Florida, near the Gulf of Mexico. They were the first Europeans who sighted and surveyed the coastline of the vast territory which was subsequently occupied by the thirteen original colonies, and which now belongs to the United States Republic. The discoveries of the Cabots gave England an international claim to the whole of North America, and that claim, although allowed to remain dormant for nearly a century, was eventually asserted in an emphatic and practical manner.

The Spanish devoted their energies and resources to the conquest of Central America, and a part of South America, together with the adjacent islands known as the West Indies, whilst the Portuguese took possession of Brazil; but neither of these nations explored or asserted a right to North America. Whilst the Spaniards and Portuguese were plundering and enslaving the defenceless natives of the south, committing unspeakable outrages, and spreading unutterable ruin wherever the lust of gold induced them to extend their devastating sway, the English by slow and cautious steps explored the apparently poor and inhospitable coast of North America. Many disasters and failures delayed the work of settlement. For many years after the Cabots, expeditions were sent across the Atlantic by English enterprise, for the purpose of finding what Columbus failed to discover — a north-west passage to India. At last these attempts were for the time given up; the route of Vasco da Gama round the Cape of Good Hope was resorted to, and trading factories were established on the shores of the Indian Peninsula, which were the feeble beginnings of our Indian empire.

FIRST ENGLISH COLONIES IN AMERICA. — After John and Sebastian Cabot, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh were two of the most famous pioneers of English colonization in North America. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, an English navigator and maritime discoverer, obtained from Queen Elizabeth, in 1578, a patent empowering him to discover and colonize any unsettled lands which he might reach. This was the first charter granted by an English monarch to found colonies. Two expressions from this remarkable instrument may be quoted: He was to take possession of "all remote and barbarous lands" and to govern them, subject to the proviso that "all who settled there should have and enjoy all the privileges of free citizens and natives of England." In his first voyage, in pursuance of this authority, he sailed for Newfoundland, but returned home unsuccessful. He sailed again in 1583, landed on the shores of Newfoundland, took possession of the harbour of St. Johns, and shortly afterwards lost his life in a storm whilst exploring the coast. In 1585 Sir Walter


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Raleigh, one of the most brilliant figures in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, promulgated a scheme for the settlement of those parts of North America not appropriated by Christian powers. Through his great influence with the Queen he obtained an extensive patent for that purpose, and by the assistance of wealthy friends and relatives two ships were fitted out for the expedition. It is interesting to observe that one of the clauses of Raleigh's first patent, like that of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, provided that the English subjects who accompanied him should have a guarantee of the "continuance and enjoyment of all the rights which they enjoyed at home." It was a maxim of the common law that, if an uninhabited country were discovered and peopled by English subjects, they were supposed to possess themselves of it for the benefit of their sovereign, and that such of the laws of England as were applicable and necessary to their situation and the conditions of an infant colony were immediately in force; that wherever an Englishman went he carried with him as much of English law and liberty as the nature of his circumstances required. — Petersdorff's Abridgment, vol. V., p. 540. Thus early was it recognised that Englishmen carried their political birthright with them over the broad surface of the earth; that the charters of freedom for which their ancestors fought were not left behind, but accompanied them to their new homes beyond the sea. This was the fundamental principle of English colonization, and it presents a marked contrast to the colonizing systems of Spain, Portugal and France.

In this expedition Sir Walter Raleigh founded a settlement on Roanoke Island, in what is now North Carolina. A few years previously a party of French Huguenots had settled at Port Royal, in what is now South Carolina, and had built a fort which they called "Arx Carolina" in honour of Charles IX. of France. They had, however, been murdered by the Spaniards from the adjoining territory of Florida. Raleigh's settlement was not successful and was soon broken up. His vessels brought to England some natural productions which proved the great value of the resources of the country, and another expedition was sent out under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, a kinsman of Sir Walter Raleigh. This was more successful, and resulted in the foundation of the colony of Virginia, so named in honour of the Virgin Queen Elizabeth. It was the first and greatest of the thirteen colonies established under the protection of the English flag. It is said that to Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition is due the introduction of the potato and tobacco plant into Europe. In these early attempts at colonization failure and success were blended together, and it was not until about the year 1606, in the reign of James I., that anything like safe and permanent settlement was effected in these strange and distant regions.

England's struggle with Spain had been long and deadly, but it ended with the defeat of the Spanish Armada in the year 1588. England became mistress of the sea, having only the Dutch as powerful rivals; and thus there were no longer serious dangers in the way of maritime discovery and adventure.

The reign of the Stuarts, disastrous as it was to themselves,


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prolific as it was in civil war and revolution at home, was above all things distinguished by the growth and expansion of England's first colonial empire in North America. Herein can be seen the vitality and energy of the people of whom we are the descendants, and whose political birthright we now enjoy with the fullest measure of freedom. During the tyrannical government of Charles I., the disorder and uncertainty of the Commonwealth under Cromwell, and the persecution and proscription of the Restoration under Charles II., thousands of Englishmen and Englishwomen fled from their land to seek for liberty and safety in the wilds of North America, and these were the pioneers of that great development of emigration and colonization which paved the way for the establishment of a greater Britain in the new world. And here one general remark must be made as to the character of these momentous movements to which is mainly owing the stability and success of the early colonies of America. These colonies were founded by private enterprise, not with the assistance, but only with the official sanction of the Crown. This will be best understood by a brief reference to examples.

In the year 1606, the year in which Torres passed through the straits, which now bear his name, and sighted the Australian coast, two companies were formed for the purpose of colonizing America — the London Company and the Plymouth Company. To the London Company was assigned by King James I. South Virginia, which extended from Cape Fear to the Potomac River; to the Plymouth Company was granted North Virginia, which extended from the Hudson River to Newfoundland. The country between the Hudson and Potomac was declared neutral territory. This division of Virginia, North and South, included nearly the whole of the eastern fringe of North America, but that divisional nomenclature was not long maintained. The London Company was the first in the field, and began the work of colonization in a practical manner, though at first with limited success. It was followed by the Plymouth Company, which also proceeded to distribute grants of land to actual settlers. The title of each of these companies was a charter from the Crown. The charter of the London Company contained provision for the creation of governing councils; one in London, appointed by the King, having power to appoint a colonial council, endowed with the absolute power of Government. The soil was vested in the Company by grant from the Crown. There was no mention made of representative assemblies in either charter, but each contained a clause somewhat similar to that of Raleigh's first patent, to the effect that "all British subjects who shall go and inhabit within the said colony and plantation, and their children and posterity, which shall happen to be born within the limit thereof, shall have and enjoy all the liberties, franchises, and immunities of free denizens and natural subjects within any of our dominions, to all intents and purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within their own realms of England or in any of our other dominions." This contained the germ from which afterwards sprang the system of representative self-government in the American colonies. In none of the charters, with the exception of that of Jamaica, to which allusion will presently be made,


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was there an express grant of representative government, but the right was asserted as inherent to and necessarily a part of those liberties, franchises, and immunities granted in the charters.

In 1607 Thomas Gates and Company sent out, under the leadership of Christopher Newport, three ships containing 105 emigrants, who were landed at Chesapeake Bay; and on the 13th May of that year the Commonwealth of Virginia was established by the building of Jamestown on the James River, which was so named in honour of the King. This party consisted of gentlemen of fortune, labourers, and other persons of no occupation, and without families, who were picked up in London. The friendly Indians sold them land and provisions, and they struggled along, clearing the wilderness and attempting to cultivate the soil. Owing to misgovernment and internal dissensions the infant colony was several times on the verge of starvation and dissolution. In 1609 the London Company superseded Gates' Company in the management of the colony and sent out Captain John Smith, who by his prudence and good counsel saved the struggling community from destruction. It was next reinforced by fresh arrivals from England under the direction of Lord Delaware. By this time the permanent establishment of the new settlement was assured. Gradually a liberal element began to prevail in the management of the London Company, and in 1619 the first representative assembly came into existence. In the quaint language of an old chronicle, "a House of Burgesses broke out in that year." The charter of James I. contained no provision for the creation of such an institution as "a House of Burgesses;" nevertheless that House was legally acknowledged by the Government of the mother country as being in strict accordance with the principles of Sir Walter Raleigh's patent, and with the general scope of the clause of the Company's charter.

In the same year which saw the forerunner and type of all American assemblies, convicts were sent out to the colonies from England, and negro slaves were introduced by the Dutch. The element of convictism and slavery did not spread to any very large extent in the early history of America, but they afterwards became the plague spot of England's colonial empire. The practice of negro slavery and the transportation of convicts was first introduced by the Portuguese and the Spaniards. And the system was too readily followed by other nations.

In 1624, the London Company surrendered its charter to the Crown, but the House of Burgesses elected by the people survived the surrender of the charter, and maintained the power of legislation and taxation, subject to the veto of the Governor. We have referred to the preliminary history of Virginia at some length, because it was the earliest settled, and the largest, richest, and most populous of all the original thirteen states. It was affectionately called the "old Dominion," and also the "mother of Presidents," because four out of five Presidents who ruled the Republic up to the year 1824 were natives of Virginia. It was the birthplace of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and Patrick Henry, who became the leaders of the revolution.




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Before passing from Virginia, reference should be made to four other colonies adjacent to it which were carved out of the original grant of territory to the London Company. In 1623, Sir George Calvert, afterwards the first Lord Baltimore, received a grant of land forming part of Virginia from Charles I. for the purpose of forming a proprietary colony. It was called Maryland by way of compliment to Queen Henrietta Maria. The first Lord Baltimore died before the letters patent were sealed, but the second Lord Baltimore carried out the scheme in 1632. The Baltimores were Roman Catholics, and Maryland was settled by Catholic gentry and others belonging to that Church, who were driven from England during the fierce persecutions of these times. Maryland became the "land of sanctuary," and claimed the proud distinction of being a refuge for the toleration of all religious denominations. Its form of administration was by a Governor having a patent right to veto acts of the legislature, which consisted of an Upper House nominated by him, and a Lower House elected by the people. The colony, according to the patent, belonged to the Proprietors, who nominated an administrative council and granted governmental privileges, for which they received certain consideration.

In 1662 the southern part of Virginia was granted as a proprietary colony to Lord Clarendon and others by Charles II. under the name of "Carolina." Its early population consisted for the most part of emigrants from Virginia. The young colony obtained a representative assembly in 1667, but its form of government was similar to that of the proprietary colony of Maryland. However, in 1717 the proprietors surrendered their patent to the Crown, and Carolina became a royal colony by purchase. In 1729, Carolina was divided into two separate and independent districts, North and South Carolina, which afterwards became two of the most important states of the union.

Georgia, which was organised into a colony in 1732, was the fifth distinct settlement carved out of the Virginia foundation.

Passing now to the northern group of colonies which were formed out of the territory assigned to the Plymouth Company, we find a record of progress and cultivation of the soil proceeding in the teeth of trials and obstacles as extraordinary as those experienced in the history of Virginia and its offshoots in the south. Under the direction and with the license of the Plymouth Company, a settlement was, during the year 1620, formed at Massachusetts Bay by the famous and heroic "Pilgrim Fathers," who were compelled to leave England on account of the persecution to which they were subjected for their non-conformity to the Church of England. They sailed from Southampton for America to the number of 102 persons, in the Mayflower, a little vessel of 160 tons burden, and landed on 21st December, 1620, at a place which they named New Plymouth, where they long had a desperate struggle for existence owing to the coldness of the climate, the poverty of their circumstances, and attacks by the Indians. They were afterwards joined by a society of Puritans, who also sought refuge there from the ecclesiastical policy of Charles I. Massachusetts became the centre and leader of four important colonies which in a few years sprang into existence in the North, between the Hudson


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River and Newfoundland. They were known as the New England Colonies, New England being the designation applied to the whole of that region by Captain John Smith, who explored the coast in the year 1614.

Settlers went to the south of Massachusetts, and formed colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, which received separate charters from the Crown. A fishing village to the north of Massachusetts, established under a grant of land to one John Mason, became the nucleus of the colony of New Hampshire.

Such were the four important plantations formed out of New England, the territory of the Plymouth Company. The Plymouth Company finally surrendered its charter, and Massachusetts received an independent charter from Charles I. in 1629, whilst Connecticut and Rhode Island received separate charters from Charles II. in 1662. These were the famous New England colonies, in which there was a larger measure of political freedom and local self-government than in any of the North American plantations. They were chartered colonies, in which the sovereign parted with his rights and prerogatives either wholly or in part to the settlers, who elected their own representative assemblies, having the power of legislation without appeal to the Crown, there being no royal governor or royal agent within the colonies. They elected their own governors, as well as their Parliamentary representatives in the Upper and Lower Houses. The Home Government did not interfere with them in any way. They were, in fact, simple democracies, if not veritable republics, the highest achievement in the way of political organisation, and the nearest approach to independent states attained by any of the thirteen colonies before the revolution. The only terms and conditions under which these colonies held their charters of colonization were, first, allegiance to the Crown, and, secondly, that one-fifth of the gold and silver found within their jurisdiction should be paid to the King. In the year 1665, only 40 years after the foundation of Massachusetts, and 100 years before the Declaration of Independence, we find the people of that settlement asserting that they did not regard themselves as subject to England, and maintaining that as long as they paid one-fifth of all the gold and silver according to the terms of their charter "they were not obliged to the king, but by civility." These advanced ideas of colonial independence and autonomy received a startling development and a determined assertion during the subsequent conflict with England, for it was in Massachusetts that the battles of Lexington and Bunker's Hill were fought.

We have now referred to two groups of colonies, that of Virginia and that of Massachusetts. which are described as the original foundations of British colonization in North America. There remains a third group, which grew up in the neutral zone between the Potomac and the Hudson rivers, between Virginia and New England. Whilst settlement was proceeding in the vast country to the north and the south, this central territory was explored by the Dutch, who established a trading station at Manhattan, the site of the present city of New York. The Dutch Government assigned this locality to the Dutch West India Company. It was named New Netherlands, and the town


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which sprang into existence at the mouth of the Hudson, a river discovered by Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the service of the Dutch, was called New Amsterdam. The Dutch, however, had a very precarious title and tenure of this country, and they were soon cleared out of North America. After the restoration of Charles II. in 1660, England and Holland went to war, and a fatal blow was struck at the colonial possessions of the Dutch. An English fleet under Colonel Nichols proceeded to New Amsterdam and conquered it, driving out the Dutch, and converting it into an English settlement. It was granted as a proprietary colony by Charles II. to his brother, the Duke of York, after whom it received the name of New York. The Duke granted a part of the territory of New York to Lord John, Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, who formed out of it the colony of New Jersey.

In 1681, the square tract of country to the west of New Jersey was granted by Charles II. to William Penn, the celebrated English Quaker and philanthropist, in satisfaction of a monetary claim against the Crown. Here arose another proprietary colony under the never-to-be-forgotten name of Pennsylvania. Penn had been unjustly persecuted for his religious faith; and his great desire was to establish a home for himself and his co-religionists in the distant wilderness of the west where they might enjoy religious and political liberty; where they might preach and practice according to their convictions in peace and quietness. Penn planned and named the great city of Philadelphia, and framed a liberal constitution for the young settlement, which became what Maryland was to the Catholics, and New England to the Puritans — a refuge and a sanctuary for the persecuted brethren, hunted out of their native land. Penn also purchased from the Duke of York a small strip of New York territory which was added to Pennsylvania until the revolution, when it was erected into a separate State called Delaware.

CLASSIFICATION OF THE ORIGINAL COLONIES. — Having sketched the thirteen original provinces of North America we are now in a position to consider generally their peculiar distribution and classification. First, as regards their location; the southern group consisted of five — Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; the northern group consisted of four — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island; the central group consisted of four — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The political constitutions, or forms of government of these colonies comprised three classes. First came the royalist colony of Virginia, which was always subject to the influence of the Crown more than in any other, even from the first, when the Executive Government was vested in a prerogative-created Council. Virginia became a thoroughly royalist colony in 1620, when the London Company decided to surrender its charter to the Crown. So New York, which began as a proprietary colony, was converted into a royalist colony when its proprietor, the Duke of York, became King as James II. Virginia, may be regarded as the type and model of modern colonies, in which representative and responsible government


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is the prevailing system, with a Governor appointed by the Crown as the agent of the sovereign to watch imperial interests.

The proprietary colonies were Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, and, in its early career, New York. In this class of colonies the soil was granted to and vested in certain proprietors or companies, who exercised the governmental powers which, in royalist colonies, were enjoyed by the king; they appointed administrative Councils to conduct public business; and sometimes they nominated their Governors, who had by charter the right of veto on the legislation of the colonial assemblies. This plan of colonization, which may be compared to that adopted by the East India Company, was found not to work satisfactorily as the population increased, and as conflicts between private and public interests arose. In time the proprietors became tired of continual quarrels and dissensions with the colonists, and one by one they either surrendered or lost their charters, until by degrees all the colonies assumed the royalist form of government, with the exception of two.

The chartered colonies were Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, in which, by their original title deeds from the Crown, the people had the right of choosing their own Governors, their own magistrates, and their own representatives, to make, interpret, and administer their own laws. They could repeal and abrogate the common law of England, except the general law of allegiance and dependence, without the danger of a veto by the Home Government. They could also repeal and abrogate the statute law of England, except such Acts as were expressly applicable to the whole empire. Massachusetts, however, lost its charter in consequence of proceedings taken against it in England by Charles II. After that it became a quasi-royalist colony. At the time of the revolution in 1770, Connecticut and Rhode Island were the only chartered colonies. It may be observed that the chartered colonies had a much larger instalment of constitutional liberty and local independence than any existing dependency of the British Crown.

Speaking generally of this survey of the political organization of the early North-American settlements, it is to be remarked that in their matured history they had local autonomy, self-government, self-taxation, and political equality, and that there was no State Church and no official aristocracy to become an incubus or a source of strife and bitterness. The transplanted institutions and franchises of the old country took root and flourished in the new country under the guidance and protection of bold and hardy bands of pioneers, who laid the foundations of a mighty Anglo-Saxon empire along the coast of the Atlantic. They carried with them the traditions and charters of their ancestors; Magna Charta, the Petition of Rights and the Bill of Rights formed a part of their political inheritance as much as those muniments of title were the birthright of those of their fellow countrymen whom they left behind them.

We are now in a position to notice the truth and importance of the statement with which this account of the American colonies was introduced. They were established not by Government agency, assistance or direction, but by private adventurers, who left their


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native land in search of that freedom denied them at home. The Anglican Cavaliers of Virginia, the Puritans of New England, the Quakers of Pennsylvania and the Catholics of Maryland emigrated from the land of their forefathers, and fought their way in the waste wilderness of the new world in order that they might escape political proscription and religious persecution; that they might, establish hearths, homes and hamlets where they would be far away from tyranny, spoliation and martyrdom. In other words, these colonies were places of refuge from the fierce political and ecclesiastical domination which prevailed in England in the seventeenth century, during the reigns of James I. and Charles I., the Protectorate, and the Restoration under Charles II. and James II.

WEST INDIAN COLONIES. — Leaving the thirteen provinces of the mainland, let us now glance at the progress of English colonization in other parts of the globe during the later half of the seventeenth century. Barbadoes is the oldest discovered British colony in the West Indies. It was taken possession of in 1605, when a party of roving Englishmen planted a cross on the island, and inscribed the words "James, King of England;" but no actual settlement was effected on it until 1624, when a patent for the island was granted to the Earl of Carlisle, as sole proprietor. A large number of royalists emigrated to Barbadoes during the civil war between Charles I. and his Parliament, and it became a prosperous and populous sugar-producing colony. Bermuda, another of the earliest West India plantations, was colonized from Virginia, and England shortly after 1609. Jamaica, the largest and wealthiest of our West Indian possessions, was taken from the Dutch by an expedition sent out by Oliver Cromwell during his protectorate in the year 1655. Charles II., after the restoration of 1660, sent a Governor to Jamaica, and provided for the creation of an elective Council to legislate for the Colony. This has been described as the first representative colonial Constitution granted by the Crown Of England to any of its possessions and plantations abroad; for it will be remembered that there was no express grant of elective assemblies by the Crown to any of the American colonies. In the eighteenth century Jamaica became the greatest sugar-producing country in the world, but it afterwards declined through the exhaustion of the soil and the competition of new sugar countries.

CANADIAN COLONIES. — Glancing northward of the New England colonies, we come to Newfoundland, which was discovered by Cabot in 1497; but England had a very doubtful title and precarious possession of that territory up to the end of the sixteenth century, as it was claimed by powerful and persistent French rivals. Newfoundland was not permanently settled by English emigrants until 1624, fourteen years after the planting of Bermuda. Though it was not that part of the American soil which was first settled from England, Newfoundland claims to be the earliest of existing British colonies from the fact that it was first discovered; and in the Colonial Conference held in London, in 1887, the representatives of Newfoundland were held entitled to the precedence attached to seniority.

At the time when Newfoundland was first colonized, Nova Scotia,


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New Brunswick and Canada belonged to France by priority of occupation. Although the coast of Canada was discovered by Sebastian Cabot in 1497, its interior was not explored by Europeans until 1541, when Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, sailed up that great arm of the sea which penetrates into the lake country, to which he gave the name of the River St. Lawrence. Jacques Cartier founded the first settlement at St. Croix's Harbour, but little progress was made for nearly 100 years. In 1603, Samuel Champlain, a French naval officer and marine explorer, was commissioned to initiate colonizing establishments in the New World, and he is justly celebrated as the pioneer of French exploration in North America. In his first voyage Champlain ascended the St. Lawrence to the part where Jacques Cartier had been stopped. In his second voyage he visited the coast of Nova Scotia. In his third expedition, in 1608, he fixed the site of the town of Quebec on the heights of Abraham, overlooking the St. Lawrence, and he also ventured as far as Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain, to which he gave his name. Quebec was founded and French settlement began in Canada a few years before the voyage of the Mayflower. The French possessions were gradually extended westward and southward from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi, and down that river to its mouth. The whole of the country at the back or westward of the thirteen states of America, the Hinterland, including the valley of Ohio and all Canada, was in the beginning of the eighteenth century claimed by France, which contended that the Alleghanies were the western limits of the British dominions.

BRITISH POSSESSIONS IN INDIA. — Before proceeding to show how France lost that vast colonial empire, we may draw attention to the march of British influence and the planting of British trading stations in Africa and Asia. After many fruitless attempts to find a north-west passage to East India, English merchants, traders and adventurers adopted the route discovered by Vasco da Gama, and sent their vessels to India by the Cape of Good Hope. In 1585, Queen Elizabeth granted a patent to a company to trade to Gambia, on the West Coast of Africa, but no settlement of any consequence was effected in that region until 1625. In its subsequent history Gambia became a notorious centre of the slave trade.

In December, 1600, Queen Elizabeth granted a charter to a company formed for the purpose of carrying on a trade with countries beyond the Cape and the Straits of Magellan. This company, which was the beginning of the famous East India Company, established a few trading factories in India, but their commerce was for many years very meagre. By the end of the eighteenth century the progress of the East India Company in the Peninsula of Hindostan had not advanced beyond the factory stage. The Company were simply leaseholders under the great Indian Princes, by whose leave they established trading stations in various localities along the sea coast. In the struggle for commercial ascendancy the East Indian Company had to contend with powerful rivalry from the French and the Dutch. But the Company, which was incorporated by Royal Charter and vested with sovereign powers by the Crown, ultimately became master of the whole of India. The history of its struggles and final triumph


  ― 19 ―
in laying the foundation of the British Empire in India is one of the most romantic and extraordinary in the whole record of colonization and conquest. These momentous events must be briefly summarised. Madras, the present capital of the presidency of that name, situated on the Coromandel (south-east) coast, was founded in 1639 by the Company, who obtained from the Rajah of Chandgerry a grant of a piece of land for the erection of a town and fort. Fort St. George, built in this district, was the first place where the British obtained a permanent footing. Madras soon grew into a flourishing city and became the central Station of the Company along the Coromandel Coast.

Bombay is, next to Madras, the oldest British possession in India. It was granted to the Portuguese by an Indian chief in 1530, ceded by Portugal to England in 1661, and transferred to the East Indian Company by King Charles II. in 1668.

The first factory established by the Company in Bengal was built on the Hoogly in 1664. The Company's representative, Job Charnock, was driven thence in 1686, and in 1690 he founded another settlement on the Hoogly, which expanded into the town of Calcutta. The site of the settlement was granted to the Company by the Nabob of Bengal, and the grant was confirmed by the Emperor Aurengzebe, the last of the Moguls. Fort William, was built at Calcutta in 1699, and it was so named after William III.

Such were the early and humble beginnings of the British East India Company. After the death of Aurengzebe, in 1707, the native princes who owed feudal allegiance to the Mogul Empire began to quarrel among themselves, and the French and English interfered to quell the disturbances. It was then evident that the political organization of India was thoroughly rotten, and that only a Strong arm was required to conquer and possess the whole country, and reduce the native princes to subjection. Then began the great contest between the French and British in India for the ascendancy and empire. At first the French maintained their superiority, but in the end they were defeated and driven out of India by the Company's forces, and the victory of Lord Clive at the Battle of Plassy on 26th June, 1756, established the exclusive sovereignty and supremacy of the British in India.

SOUTH AFRICAN COLONIES. — The Cape of Good Hope was first discovered in modern times by Bartholomew Diaz in the year 1486–7. The heavy seas which rolled along the coast prevented him from landing, and hence he named it the "Cabo doz tormentos," the "Cape of Storms," but King John II. of Portugal altered the name to "Cabo da Bona Esperanza," the Cape of Good Hope. Vasco da Gama doubled the Cape a few years afterwards on his voyage to India. The Portuguese, however, never formed any permanent establishment there. The Dutch took possession of it in 1650, and it became a powerful station for them in their journeys to and from their trading factories in India and Batavia. It was captured by the British in 1795, was restored to Holland at the Peace of Amiens in 1802, and was again captured in 1806. At the Congress of Vienna, in August, 1814, the Dutch colonies at the Cape of Good Hope, and in South America,


  ― 20 ―
were ceded by the Netherlands Government to Great Britain, six millions sterling being paid as part consideration for the transfer. On 11th March, 1853, Cape Colony was granted a Representative Legislature, composed of two elective chambers, followed in 1872 by the concession of Responsible Government. Between 1861 and 1870, British Kaffraria was added to the colony, and in 1880 Fingoland and Griqualand West were similarly incorporated. In 1894 and 1895, West Pondoland and British Bechuanaland became part of the same growing Dominion. Dutch farmers or Boers, who left the colony shortly after 1835, established the Republics known as the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.

In May, 1843, Natal, where the Boers were prevented from forming a republic, was proclaimed a British settlement and remained a part of Cape Colony until 1856, when it became a separate dolony under a Royal Charter, authorized by statute, with a Governor and a Legislative Council partly elective and partly nominated. In 1893, a new Constitution, embodying a bi-cameral legislature and accompanied by Responsible Government, was granted. In 1897, Zululand was made a province of Natal.

Through the enterprising operations of the British South Africa Company, led by Mr. Cecil Rhodes, the vast regions south of the Zambesi, known as Southern Rhodesia, formerly Mashonaland and Matabeleland, and north of the Zambesi known as Northern Rhodesia, including Nyassaland, have been, since 1888, added to the Empire. They are destined in course of time to be partitioned into a group of self-governing colonies.

CONQUEST OF CANADA. — From this survey of the progress of the British flag in Asia and Africa, we return to our review of the march of events in the New World during the eighteenth century. The Seven Years War with France, which terminated in the Peace of Paris, 1762, left Great Britain the first State in the world, with the equivocal reputation of the "Tyrant of the Seas." It was in this war that she completely established her supremacy on the ocean, which she first began to assert upon the defeat of the Spanish Armada. It was in this war, so vigorously prosecuted by the first William Pitt, afterwards Lord Chatham, that England obtained possession of the whole of North America, and drove the French out of Canada as they bad been driven out of India. The story of the invasion of Quebec by a British expedition sent up the St. Lawrence under the command of General Wolfe, the scaling of the Heights of Abraham by our troops in the dead of night, the fierce battle which followed on the plateau, the gallant, defence of the French under General Montcalm, the victory of the attacking party, and the death of both noble and heroic commanders in the midst of the fight, is one of the most thrilling in the whole range of naval and military history. This event was followed by the surrender of all Canada to the British, and the French power in that quarter of the globe was thus absolutely annihilated. But France had her revenge on Great Britain at a later date, when she assisted the American colonies in their revolt against the mother country.




  ― 21 ―
LOSS OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES. — To those colonies we must, now once more refer, and see how it came about that Britain lost the brightest jewel in the crown of a thousand years. During the first half of the eighteenth century the American colonies along the eastern coast of what is now the territory of the United States made enormous progress in settlement and internal prosperity. Neglected and uncared for in the early years of struggle, they sprang into importance and commanded attention from the people and government of England when their trade increased and their resources were developed. Whilst they enjoyed the amplest measure of local autonomy and local self-government, there was one serious exception and limitation to their legislative power. The Home Government claimed the right of regulating their external trade and commerce. Their export and import trade was watched with jealousy, and hedged about with hampering restrictions. They could not amend or repeal the slightest fiscal regulations, however obnoxious or oppressive. Apart from this, they had absolute freedom and independence; but in matters of trade, the British Parliament asserted its supremacy. The Navigation Laws passed during the Commonwealth under Cromwell, and mainly directed against the Dutch, with a view to ruin Dutch commerce, and the Dutch mercantile marine, were the basis of the colonial policy which subsequently pressed so heavily on the colonies. The main provisions of these laws were that no commodities of Asia, Africa, or America could be imported into Great Britain or her colonies except in British ships. This restricted the markets of the colonies, as they could not trade directly with other nations. On the other hand, Great Britain imposed high protective duties on the goods of foreign countries in favour of her colonies. Then there was a restriction on the manufacture of their raw products by the colonies and on the direct importation of the goods of foreign countries. This constituted what is called the old "colonial system," which was at the root of the quarrel and the war which led to American separation. We are now brought down to the reign of George III., a period well described as "the most eventful in the history of the human race," marked by two thrilling tragedies — the War of American Independence and the French Revolution. It was in the year 1764, that George Grenville, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, nicknamed "The Gentle Shepherd," induced the House of Commons to take the fatal step of attempting to draw a revenue from America by the taxation of the colonies. By the Stamp Act, 5 Geo. III. c. 12, he secured the imposition of duties on certain commodities imported into America from other European colonies, and also stamp duties similar to those contained in our own Stamp Acts. This was a violation of the fundamental principle of Constitutional Government — that there should be "no taxation without representation."

The news was received in America with indignation, and with a stern determination to resist. Virginia took the lead in organizing confederate resistance. In the House of Burgesses at Williamsburg, Patrick Henry spoke against the Stamp Act with burning eloquence. "Caesar had his Brutus," he cried, "Charles I. had his Oliver Cromwell, and George III. — " "Treason! Treason!" interposed the


  ― 22 ―
Speaker. "And George III. may profit by their example," replied Patrick Henry. "The torch of confederate opposition was carried through every Colony like a fiery cross." — Cassell's History of England, vol. V., pp. 58–71.

In October, 1765, the first Congress of Delegates was held in New York, at which resolutions were adopted, denying the right of the mother-country to tax the colonies without representation. The Stamp Act was repealed in the following year, by the Act 6 Geo. III. c. 11, but the British Parliament carefully avoided any appearance of a surrender of its rights. Indeed, it passed a Declaratory Act (6 Geo. III. c. 12) affirming the subordination of the colonies and the supreme authority of the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain. The mad policy inaugurated by George Grenville was followed, in 1767, by his successor, Charles Townshend, who as Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed the reduction of the Land Tax to relieve the country gentlemen, and, in order to make up the resulting deficiency in the revenue, determined to impose new taxes on goods imported into America, including tea. This scheme was carried in the Commons with the utmost indifference, and with hardly any debate. These Customs duties rekindled the fires of revolution in the colonies. The Republican party increased in power and influence. Non-importation societies were formed. Resistance and rebellion were openly advocated. The storm gathered in every quarter, and at last broke out in the seizure and destruction of several cargoes of dutiable tea in Boston Harbour. The Declaration of Independence was signed by the representatives of the thirteen colonies on the 4th July, 1776. The die was cast, and the great American catastrophe was brought about by the ruinous policy of "an infatuated King, a stone-blind Cabinet and a corrupt Parliament." The battle of Bunker's Hill, the surrender of General Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, the surrender of Lord Cornwallis' army at Yorktown, the mismanagement of British generals, the bravery of British soldiers, the pluck and patriotism of the colonial forces under George Washington, the recognition of the Independence of America in 1783, and the adoption of the federal constitution in 1787, are stirring events which can be only alluded to here for the purpose of urging a closer study — Cassell's History of England, Vol. V., pp. 71–100.

BRITAIN'S SECOND COLONIAL EMPIRE. — During one of the exciting debates which took place in the British Parliament on the subject of the American War, Lord Shelburne exclaimed, "When the Independence of America is admitted, the sun of England will have set for ever." That prediction was doomed to be falsified. No doubt the loss of her American colonies was a fearful blow to the Britain of 1783. But the world was wide, and colonization was still young. Canada, a vast tract of country extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, still belonged to Britain. Many loyalists fled from the southern colonies during the revolutionary wars and commenced the foundation of new settlements in Canada, which promised to be as great in wealth and population as some of the colonies that were lost.

In 1791, by the Act 31 Geo. III. c. 31, Canada was divided into two provinces, Upper Canada, afterwards Ontario, and Lower Canada,


  ― 23 ―
afterwards Quebec. In each province representative institutions were established, but the Executive was vested exclusively in the Crown. This system lasted until 1840, when the Canada Union Act, 3 and 4 Vict. c. 35, was passed. (R. R. Garran, The Coming Commonwealth, p. 81.) Under this Act the two provinces were united in one Constitution. A new Parliament, consisting of a Legislative Council, nominated by the Crown, and a Legislative Assembly, elected by the qualified inhabitants, coupled with Responsible Government, was constituted for the United Provinces. The new machinery of government was brought into operation under the Governor-Generalship of Mr. C. Powlett Thompson (afterwards Lord Sydenham) on 30th June, 1811. By the British North America Act, 1867 (30 and 31 Vict. c. 3) the two Canadas, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, were federally united in one Dominion by the name of Canada. The new Constitution was proclaimed on the 1st July, 1867, Lord Monck being Governor-General. The new province of Manitoba joined the Union in 1870, British Columbia and Vancouver Island in 1871, and Prince Edward Island in 1873. Newfoundland is the only British colony in North America which has not joined the Dominion.

The southern hemisphere was destined to present to Great Britain a new Colonial Empire to replace the one that was lost. The same year, during which the Americans were welded "into a more perfect union" by their federal constitution of 1787, saw Captain Arthur Phillip, with the "first fleet," on his way to the Southern Ocean in order to establish a settlement on the eastern shores of Australia, which had just been discovered and explored by Captain Cook.

(2) In Australasia

FROM MAGELLAN TO COOK. — No one man, no one nation, can exclusively claim the honour of having discovered Australia. Justice demands the acknowledgment that many brave mariners and the Governments of several pioneering and exploring countries assisted in the gradual unfolding of the situation and outlines of the great continent. See Barton, "History of New South Wales," Vol. I., pp. 25–39. In his interesting work, "The Discovery of Australia" (1895) Mr. George Collingridge (Sydney) propounds the thesis that either Spaniards or Portuguese discovered and charted the continent as early as 1508. He publishes a copy of what purports to be a French map of the world by Oronce Finé, dated 1531, in which "Terra Australis" is represented as forming part of an extensive ant-arctic land, and another, dated 1546, in which it is described as Java-la-Grande, with a small channel dividing it from the true Java. In an article in the Geographical Journal, October, 1899, Mr. George Heawood expresses the opinion that there is no authentic evidence that Australia was discovered before 1606. A number of events and incidents have, however, been commonly associated with the history of Australian discovery prior to 1606; these cannot be passed over or disregarded; they may be here mentioned with the observation that the evidence on which they are based is vague.




  ― 24 ―
It is said by some writers that in 1527 a Portuguese mariner named Menezis penetrated the Southern Ocean and touched at a group of rocky islands to which be gave the name of Abrolhos, and which may now be seen marked on the map, lying to the westward of Champion Bay, Western Australia. (Australian Hand Book, 1897, p. 363.) From maps and documents in the British Museum and the War Office of Paris, it would appear that a Provencal navigator, named Gillaume le Testu, a native of the French city of Grasse, discovered some portion of the Australian continent in the year 1531. Early in the year 1542 an expedition was despatched from Spain under the command of Luis Lopez de Villalobos to follow up the voyage of Magellan in the Pacific Ocean. He took possession of the Philippines for Spain, and coasted along a large island to which he gave the name of New Guinea, and which was then thought to be a part of the Great Unknown Southern Land, which Ptolemy, the geographer, supposed to exist south of the Indian Ocean. The next record is that in 1598, a Portuguese mariner named Houtman reached the Abrolhos, with which his name became associated. In 1605, Pedro de Quiros was despatched by the Court of Spain to the South Sea in command of a fleet of three vessels. On April 20th, 1606, he discovered one of the islands of the New Hebrides, which he believed formed part of the Southern Continent, and to which he gave the name of "La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo." In a memorial to Philip III. of Spain (the head of the house of Austria) de Quiros explained that he had named it "for the happy memory of your Majesty and for the sake of the name of Austria, because on your birthday I took possession of it." — Collingridge, Discovery of Australia, p. 248. One of his ships, commanded by Luis Vaez de Torres, became separated from the rest, and sailing westward he saw land which he believed to be the eastern extremity of New Guinea. He skirted along its southern coast and saw land to the south as he proceeded westward and passed through those straits which now bear his name. Torres was probably the European who first caught sight of the continent, afterwards to be known as Australia. The stories with respect to Menezis and Houtman are unsatisfactory. — Story of Geographical Discovery, Joseph Jacobs (1899), p. 158.

Other writers have, however, claimed for Dutch mariners the credit of being the first Europeans to sail in Australian waters. Whilst the Spaniards and Portuguese were engaged in exploring the South Seas the Dutch were not idle. From Batavia, the central station of their Indian trade, they sent out ships in search of islands and commerce. On 18th November, 1605, the Dutch despatched the ship Duyfhen (Dove) from Bantam in Java, to explore New Guinea. It is claimed for the Duyfhen that she skirted the west and south coast of New Guinea for nearly one thousand miles, sighted Cape York, touched the eastern shore of the great indentation, afterwards known as Carpentaria; and that some of her crew landed on the shores of the Gulf and were killed by the natives. "The exact dates of the respective discoveries of Torres and the commander of the Duyfhen cannot now be ascertained; but as the Dutch vessel had arrived in the island of Banda, on her return to Bantam, in the month


  ― 25 ―
of June 1606, while the letter of Torres, communicating an account of his voyage to the Spanish Admiralty, is dated at Manilla, in the month of August following, Captain Flinders conjectures, with every appearance of probability, that the honour of the discovery of Australia is due to the Dutch, and that it must have taken place in the month of March, 1606, a few months before the discovery of Torres." — Lang's History of New South Wales (1875), p. 3.

Referring to the conflicting claims for the honour of the discovery of Australia, Dr. Lang wrote:- "Whether these allegations, however, are well founded or not, we have to console ourselves, as Britons, with the comfortable reflection that, while neither the French nor the Dutch, neither the Spaniard nor the Portuguese, ever made any account of their alleged discoveries, we, the only practical people in the lot, have already, by following and settling in the track of our own great navigator, Captain Cook, founded a whole series of noble empires of the future in the Great South Land." — History of New South Wales (1875), p. 4.

Many Dutch navigators explored the west and southern coast line of the supposed continent during the seventeenth century, and left behind them lasting evidences of their visits, in the shape of names of islands, capes, and bays, which now figure prominently on the map of Australia. The first authentic discovery of any part of the west coast of the continent is said to have been made by Captain Dirk Hartog, who sailed from Amsterdam, in the Endraaght (Concord), in 1616. To the land on the west coast near the 25th parallel, which he visited, he gave the name of his vessel: Endraaght's Land. To one of the islands off the main coast be gave his own name, Dirk Hartog, and to another the name of Dorre, one of his sailors. The bay adjoining the island was afterwards named by Dampier Shark's Bay. In 1619 Captain Jan Edel visited that part of the coast south of Endraaght's Land. The south-west cape was rounded by Dutch mariners in 1622, and received the name of the vessel, "Leeuwin" (Lioness), in which the discovery was made. In 1627 Captain Van Pieter de Nuyts in the Gulde Zeepaert (Golden Serpent) cruised along a considerable part of the south coast of the continent, which he called Nuyts Land. Captain Pieter Carpenter, an officer in the service of the Dutch East India Company, in 1627, explored and gave his name to the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 1628–9 Captain Pelsart, in command of the Batavia, was wrecked on the west coast at the spot known as Houtman's Abrolhos. The most important discovery made by the Dutch navigators, in the seventeenth century, was that of Abel Janssen Tasman. In 1642, Anthony Van Diemen, the Dutch Governor-General of Netherlands India, organized an expedition to explore the coast of Australia, which had been sighted by so many Dutch adventurers, but which still remained a terra incognita. Tasman was placed in command. He sailed from Batavia on 16th August, 1642, proceeding southward until he almost reached the 44th parallel. On 24th November, 1642, land was seen, to which he gave the name of Van Diemen's Land. The land first seen by Tasman is supposed to have been Point Hibbs. He saw and named Storm Bay; discovered and named Maria Island, and then sailed eastward. On 18th December


  ― 26 ―
he discovered land, which he called Staaten Land, but which afterwards acquired the name of New Zealand; he anchored in a bay in the Strait, between the North and Middle Islands. He then sailed northward, passed and named Cape Maria Van Diemen, and made for the tropics, where he discovered the Tonga Islands. Had Tasman sailed from Van Diemen's Land northward instead of eastward, he would have anticipated Cook's discovery of eastern Australia by one hundred years. In 1664, the country, whose leading outlines were yet dimly understood, was named New Holland by the States-General, and the discoveries of Tasman were proudly inscribed on the map of the world, cut in stone upon the New Staathaus in Amsterdam.

In 1683, William Dampier, one of a company of bold buccaneers, started off on a voyage round the world. After passing through many wild adventures, Dampier obtained the command of a vessel called the Cygnet, in which he reached the Philippines, and thence he proceeded on a voyage to New Holland. He reached the west coast in latitude 16° 50' on 4th January, 1688. In his narrative he said: "New Holland is a very large tract of land. It is not yet determined whether it is an island or a main continent, but I am certain that it joins neither Asia, Africa or America." Dampier returned to England on 2nd September, 1691. In 1699, King William III. organized an expedition for the discovery of unknown lands. Dampier was placed in command, the name of the ship in which he sailed being the Roebuck. He reached the coast of New Holland on 4th July, 1699, and on the lst August his ship struck the Abrolhos rocks, but escaped being wrecked. A harbour was found, which proved to be that of Dirk Hartog, who had anchored there in 1616. To this harbour Dampier gave the name of Shark's Bay. Afterwards Dampier sailed northward, passing in his course the archipelago which now bears his name. The coastline traced by him was apparently sterile and inhospitable. Dampier was the first Englishman who landed on the shores of New Holland. By some historians he has been styled the "prince of voyagers" and "the Cook of a former age." European writers like Humboldt have borne testimony to his bravery, his skill, and his genius as a mariner, and to the value and accuracy of his reports concerning his discoveries. — Blair's History of Australia (1879), pp. 29-34.

The only voyage of consequence between Dampier's time and that of Cook was one by Willem de Vlamingh, a Dutch navigator, who, in 1699, was ordered by his Government to search for the Dutch ship Ridderschap, which was lost in 1684. In his search along the west coast, in the Geeliruk, Vlamingh discovered and entered Swan River.

COOK'S DISCOVERIES. — To Captain James Cook, one of Britain's bravest and most illustrious mariners was reserved the immortal fame of commencing and completing a voyage of discovery next in importance to those of Columbus and Magellan, by which he solved the problem of the Great Southern Continent, discovered and explored the eastern shores of Australia — or New Holland, as it was then called — and took possession of it in the name of the British Crown. The immediate occasion and motive of Cook's first voyage was not a


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thirst for gold or empire on the part of the British Government, but the conduct of a scientific expedition to the island of Otaheite, now called Tahiti, in the South Sea, for the purpose of observing the transit of the planet Venus across the sun's disc. On 26th August, 1768, Captain Cook sailed from Plymouth in the Endeavour, a barque of 360 tons, originally built for the coal trade. The barque was victualled for an eighteen months' voyage. Among those on board wore Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society; Mr. Charles Green, Assistant Astronomer; Dr. Solander, a Swedish Botanist; Zackary Hicks, lieutenant; Robert Molineux, master; Charles Clerke, mate; John Guthrey, boatswain; Stephen Forwood, gunner; John Satterly, carpenter; William B. Monkhouse, surgeon; Richard Orton, clerk. Cook's instructions were to sail to Otaheite, and after the completion of the astronomical observations to proceed south as far as the 40th parallel — with a view to ascertaining the existence of the supposed "Terra Australis," or Great Southern Continent (quite distinct from New Holland) which geographers believed to exist in polar regions — and then to steer westward until he reached New Zealand, after which he was to return to England.

The transit of Venus having been successfully observed, Cook and his party left Otaheite in the Endeavour on 13th July, 1769. He reached a latitude of 40° 12' without finding the imaginary continent, and then proceeded westward. After a run of about sixty-eight days, a lad on board the Endeavour, named Nicholas Young, saw land from the masthead, which afterwards proved to be the south-west point of Poverty Bay, New Zealand. That was on 6th October, 1769. Various parts of the island were visited, and on 10th November, 1769, Cook took formal possession of the country in the name of King George III. Having circumnavigated New Zealand and passed through the Straits which now bear his name, Cook, on 31st March, 1770, sailed from Cape Farewell towards the west, his plan being to steer westward until he should reach the east coast of New Holland, and then to follow the direction of that coast northward. On 18th April, Lieutenant Hicks caught sight of a projection of land which was named after him, Point Hicks. The name was subsequently changed to Cape Everard; it is situated between Cape Howe and the entrance to the Snowy River. Proceeding northward, on 28th April, a bay was discovered and entered, and a landing effected. The name given to it at the time — as appears from Cook's private log — was "Sting-ray Harbour;" and its present name of Botany Bay, obviously suggested by Banks' botanical discoveries, appears for the first time in Dr. Hawkesworth's embellished narrative of Cook's voyages See Historical Records of N.S.W., Vol. I., p. 161. During his stay in Botany Bay Cook caused the British flag to be displayed on the shore; and the ship's name and the date of his visit were inscribed on one of the trees near the watering place. On 6th May, 1770, the Endeavour resumed her voyage northward, and at noon on the same day Cook observed an opening in the coast which he called "Port Jackson," probably in honour of Mr. (afterwards Sir) George Jackson, one of the Secretaries of the Admiralty. See Historical Records of N.S.W., Vol. I., pp. 170–2.




  ― 28 ―
In the voyage northward all the prominent features of the coast were noted and named, including Smoky Cape, Port Macquarie, Moreton Bay, Cape Capricorn, and other bays and capes. After skirting the dangerous coast for a distance of about thirteen hundred miles, the Endeavour narrowly escaped shipwreck by striking some coral rocks. On 21st October, 1770, Cape York was reached. The Coast was followed in order to determine whether there was a passage between New Holland and New Guinea. A channel having been found, it was named Endeavour Straits — a name which has since been dropped in favour of Torres, the intrepid Portuguese who is supposed to have first sailed through. Cook landed and took formal possession of the whole country along which he had coasted. Cook's log, as "written up" by Hawkesworth, contains the following entry:- "I once more hoisted English colours, and though I had already taken possession of several parts, I now took possession of the whole eastern coast in right of His Majesty King George III., by the name of New South Wales, with all the bays, harbours, rivers and islands situated upon it; we then fired three volleys of small arms, which were answered by the same number from the ship. Having performed this ceremony upon the island we called it Possession Island." — Hawkesworth, Voyages, Vol. III., p. 616.

Legend has it that Cook gave this name to the country owing to a fancied resemblance to the Welsh coast about Swansea. It is remarkable, however, that neither his official log nor his private log, nor any of the journals of the ship's company, mentions the name of New South Wales. It seems either to have been an after-thought, or to have originated with Hawkesworth. See Historical Records of N.S.W., Vol. I., pp. 169–70.

The first voyage of the Endeavour and Cook's discoveries, constitute a story full of thrilling interest to Australians. His heroic services and his great work have not yet been adequately recognized by those of the British race who now possess and enjoy the glorious heritage, the Australian continent, which he helped so materially to bequeath to them. Whilst we are now celebrating the establishment of the Australian Commonwealth, and rejoicing at the beginning of a new era of national life which shall give us a more exalted citizenship, and a wider patriotism, let us not forget James Cook and his courageous comrades, who in a frail barque of 360 tons dared the storms of two oceans in search of new homes for the unborn millions of the British race. All honour to the name of Captain Cook!

Cook's second great voyage was commenced on 13th July, 1772, in the Resolution, 462 tons burthen; he was accompanied by Captain Tobias Furneaux, in the Adventure, 336 tons. The object was to make further search for the supposed Southern Continent of the geographers. In this vovage Cook and Furneaux directed their course towards the South Pole, and penetrated beyond the Antarctic Circle. On 8th February, 1773, the two vessels became separated. Cook then directed his course to Queen Charlotte's Sound, New Zealand, the appointed rendezvous. Captain Furneaux followed a more northerly course, coasted along the southern and eastern shores


  ― 29 ―
of Van Diemen's Land, and met Cook at Queen Charlotte's Sound. Subsequently Cook cruised in the Pacific, visited and named the New Hebrides group, landed on and named New Caledonia, discovered and named Norfolk Island. He returned to England on 30th July, 1775, after an absence of over three years, having conclusively proved that no Polar Continent existed in navigable seas. See Historical Records of N.S.W., Vol. I., pp. 333, 380.

In 1776 Cook commenced his third and last voyage. On, this occasion he was again in command of the Resolution, and was accompanied by Captain Clarke, in the Discovery, 300 tons. On 26th January, 1777, he arrived off the coast of Van Diemen's Land and anchored in Adventure Bay, which had been so named by Captain Furneaux. On 30th January the Resolution and Discovery left Van Diemen's Land and sailed for New Zealand. Thence they left for the Society Islands. Cook's tragic death took place at Hawaii, one of the Sandwich Islands, on 14th February, 1779. His work was done. Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand were by his labours for ever secured to the inheritance of the British people.

PROJECTS FOR SETTLEMENT. — The project of a settlement on the east coast of New Holland seems to have been due to the enthusiastic reports of Sir Joseph Banks as to the fertility and capacity of the country. Before a Committee of the House of Commons, appointed in 1779 to enquire into the question of transportation, he gave evidence that if it were thought expedient to establish a penal settlement in a distant land, "the place which appeared to him best adapted for such a purpose was Botany Bay, on the coast of New Holland." — Barton, History of N.S.W., Vol. I., p. xlv. The Committee, without recommending any particular locality, reported in favour of establishing a convict colony in some distant part of the globe.

The existing laws, however, only authorized transportation to the colonies and plantations of North America (see the Act 4, George I. c. 11); and as the independence of the American colonies had now been recognized, further legislation was necessary. Accordingly in 1784 the Act was passed under which the first settlement of Australia took place, and which is dealt with in Part III of this introduction.

Mention may here be made of a proposal by an Englishman, James Maria Matra, to establish in New South Wales a free settlement for the American loyalists who had suffered for their allegiance to the Crown during the war, and who might wish to remain under the British flag. This plan, though it received the hearty support of Sir Joseph Banks, was not favourably received by the Government, and New South Wales thus missed the opportunity of being founded as a free and settled colony — Barton, History of N.S.W., Vol I., pp. 1–10.

FROM COOK TO FLINDERS. — On 20th January, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Botany Bay with "the First Fleet," consisting of His Majesty's frigate Sirius, in command of Captain John Hunter, accompanied by one armed tender, three store ships, and six transports, conveying six hundred male and two hundred female prisoners, a guard consisting of one Major Commandant, three captains of marines, twelve sub-lieutenants, twenty-four non-commissioned officers,


  ― 30 ―
and one hundred and sixty-eight privates. There were also among them forty-two women, wives of the marines, together with their children. It was found that Botany Bay was not suitable for the proposed settlement. The ships remained in the harbour whilst Captain Phillip sailed along the coast in a boat for the purpose of examining the opening recorded by Captain Cook, and by him named Port Jackson. It was found to be a noble aud beautiful harbour. In one of its many bays a site suitable for a settlement was selected, and named "Sydney Cove" in honour of Viscount Sydney, one of the members of Pitt's administration. Returning to Botany Bay, Captain Phillip proceeded to make arrangements to send the ships around to Sydney Cove. Meanwhile two ships, flying the French colours, appeared on the scene. They proved to be the French exploring vessels Boussole and Astrolabe, under the command of La Perouse; they came there for wood and water. After delivering to Captain Phillip despatches to be forwarded to the French Government, La Perouse sailed away across the Pacific, and was never again seen or heard of, but in 1826 traces of his wrecked ship were found on the island of Vanikoro, near the Fijis. On 26th January the fleet sailed into Port Jackson. The people were disembarked at Sydney Cove. The British colours were hoisted. The Royal Proclamation and Commission constituting the colony of New South Wales were read. A salute was fired. The work begun by Cook was about to bear its fruit in the shape of Australian settlement and colonization.

In April, 1791, George Vancouver, an English navigator, who accompanied Captain Cook on his second and third voyages, made a careful survey of the south-west coast of Australia, in the course of which he inspected a harbour which he named King George's Sound in honour of the reigning sovereign.

In 1792, a French expedition, under Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in the Recherche, accompanied by Captain Huon Kermadec in the Esperance, discovered Recherche Archipelago and Esperance Bay, W.A., and then visited the coast of Van Diemen's Land in search of the lost La Perouse. They passed through the channel bearing the name of the Admiral, and sailed up the Huon and the Derwent.

In 1795 Captain John Hunter arrived in New South Wales, in the Reliance, to commence his duties as Governor in succession to Captain Phillip. There came with him two young men whose names have become honoured by their association with memorable events in connection with Australian maritime discoveries — Matthew Flinders, midshipman, and George Bass, surgeon. They afterwards took a leading part in exploring previously unknown tracts in Australian waters, and in solving geographical problems of great importance. On 3rd December, 1797, whilst Flinders was engaged on a surveying voyage at Furneaux's Islands, Bass, obtaining from the Governor the use of a whaleboat, a crew of six men, and provisions for six weeks, started from Sydney, cleared the heads and sailed southwards; explored the coast, discovered Twofold Bay, passed southward beyond the great projection of land, now called Wilson's Promontory,


  ― 31 ―
and then proceeded further westward until he discovered the harbour now known as Western Port. He had entered the channel which runs between Van Diemen's Land and Australia, though he was not certain of its continuity. In October, 1798, Flinders, associated with Bass, sailed from Sydney in a small decked vessel named the Norfolk, 25 tons; made for Van Diemen's Land; steered along its northern coast; discovered and entered Tamar heads and anchored in Port Dalrymple; rounded the north-west headland (Cape Grim) and eventually circumnavigated the island, for the first time determining its insularity. The name of Bass is immortalized in the Straits, to which, on the recommendation of Flinders, it was given. In 1799, Flinders was sent by Governor Hunter to explore the coastline north of Port Jackson. In the sloop Norfolk he proceeded along the coast, examined Moreton Bay and afterwards went as far as Hervey's Bay.

On 17th March, 1800, Lieutenant James Grant was sent from England, in command of the surveying ship Lady Nelson, 60 tons, for the purpose of exploring the southern coast of New Holland. On rounding the West Australian cape, he shaped his course to reach Sydney through the Straits discovered by Bass and Flinders, instead of proceeding via Van Diemen's Land. On 3rd December, 1800, Grant sighted a part of the coast of South Australia, to which he gave the name of Cape Northumberland. He also sighted and named other points, including Cape Bridgewater and Cape Otway. The Lady Nelson was the first ship to pass through Bass Straits from the westward. Afterwards Grant, in the Lady Nelson, surveyed the coast between Wilson's Promontory and Western Port. Lieutenant Murray succeeded Grant in command of the Lady Nelson. On 12th November, 1801, Murray started from Sydney for the purpose of prosecuting a more minute exploration along the south coast. This voyage resulted in the discovery of an opening between Western Port and Cape Otway; it was first seen on 5th January, 1802, but owing to unfavourable weather it could not be entered for several weeks. It was first inspected in a launch, by Mr. Bowen, the mate of the Lady Nelson, who entered it on 1st February. The Lady Nelson was then brought round from Western Port, and on 15th February passed through the narrow channel. This proved the gateway to what Murray described as "a noble harbour," which he named Port King, but the name was afterwards changed to Port Phillip, in honour of the first Governor of New South Wales.

At about this time Flinders was on his way back from England in the flagship Investigator, 334 tons. He reached Cape Leeuwin on 7th December, 1801; entered King George's Sound; surveyed the coast eastward; discovered and named Fowler's Bay, Smoky Bay, Streaky Bay, Port Lincoln, Spenser's Gulf, Hardwick Bay, Point Marsden, Nepean Bay, the Gulf of St. Vincent, Yorke Peninsula, Mount Lofty, Kangaroo Island, and Backstairs Passage. At Encounter Bay he came across Commodore Baudin, in command of the French ship Geographe.

In 1801 a French expedition commenced an exploration of the


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Australian coast which has left enduring traces of its investigations on the map of the continent. It consisted of three ships — the Geographe, the Naturaliste, and the Casurina. It was under the command of Commodore Baudin and his first lieutenant, M. Freycinet. They appeared to have examined a part of the west coast of the continent, and also the eastern coast of Van Diemen's Land, where they were engaged so long that Flinders, in the Investigator, had almost completed his survey of the southern coast when Baudin proceeded to explore from the east to westward. Referring to the meeting of Flinders and Baudin, Mr. David Blair wrote: "Flinders subsequently found that the French, by the orders of the Emperor Napoleon, claimed all the south coast as their discovery, and had named the various points along it by the names of the emperor and his courtiers. They even gave the whole territory the name of Napoleon Land. The officers of the Geographe knew well that all this was done without warrant, for one of them — M. Freycinet, first lieutenant to Captain Baudin — said afterwards to Flinders at Sydney Government House: ‘Captain, if we had not been kept so long picking up shells and catching butterflies in Van Diemen's Land, you would not have discovered the south coast before us.’ It is but justice to the French people to say that all idea of appropriating Flinders's discoveries has long since been abandoned by them." - Blair's History of Australia, p. 115.

Flinders proceeded on his voyage eastward, and on reaching Cape Otway he proceeded to explore the great indentation which Grant had reported. Flinders then discovered the opening within which was situated Port Phillip, which he entered on 27th April, 1802, without having any knowledge of its having been previously (15th February, 1802) entered by Lieutenant Murray. "Strangely enough," wrote Dr. Lang, "Port Phillip was afterwards discovered, on 30th March of the same year, by Captain Baudin, of the French expedition; and again, on the 27th April following — all independently — by Captain Flinders; but the honour of the discovery is unquestionably due to Lieutenant Murray, who had preceded Captain Baudiu six weeks and Captain Flinders ten." — History of New South Wales, p. 82. After quitting Port Phillip, Flinders proceeded on his journey to Sydney, which he reached on 9th May, 1802. On his arrival there, he found the French ship Naturaliste in the harbour, to the commander of which, Captain Hamlin, he showed his charts of the coast between Cape Nuyts and Encounter Bay. — Blair's History of Australia, p. 116.

In 1802, Governor King despatched Surveyor-general Grimes in the Cumberland to examine Port Phillip and to warn off Commodore Baudin, who was known to be in the neighbourhood, with the Geographe and the Naturaliste, and meditating annexation of the south coast for the French Government. Grimes fell in with Baudin on 8th December at King's Island. Grimes delivered his despatches to Baudin, and after exploring King's Island he entered Port Phillip and proceeded to examine its coast line. On 2nd February, 1803, he ascended the Yarra. He was the first white man


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who trod the destined site of the city of Melbourne.

THE NAME "AUSTRALIA." — The continent of Australia was not yet known by that name. It was usually described, either by the old name, "Terra Australis," given by the geographers, or by the Dutch designation of "New Holland." In 1606 de Quiros gave to an island in the New Hebrides, which he believed to be part of the Great Southern Continent, the name of "La Austrialia, del Espiritu Santo" (see p. 24 supra). De Brosses, in his Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes (1756), coined the name "Austral-Asia" to describe the islands in a part of the South Pacific. The word "Australia" seems to have been first used by Dalrymple, in his Collection of Voyages in the South Pacific, published in 1770, when Cook was actually in Australian waters. Dalrymple, however, applied the name, not to New Holland alone, but to "all the lands and islands to the westward of South America." The application of the word "Australia" to the Continent seems to have been first suggested by Matthew Flinders in 1814, and in about 1820 it came into general use. — Barton, History of N.S.W., vol. 1, pp. 86–93. In 1829 it first appeared in the Imperial Statute Book in the Act 10 Geo. IV. c. 22, which made legal provision for the settlement of "Western Australia, on the western coast of New Holland."

GREATER BRITAIN. — The limits of our space will not permit us to trace the progress of exploration and settlement along the shores and through the interior of Australia during the first century of its history. We can only present a brief sketch of the beginning and gradual development of Provincial Government in each colony leading up to the movement in favour of federal union. We bring to a close our review of the progress of British colonization with a few general observations on the relations of British colonies to the empire of which they form a part. The people of Australia are in the undisputed enjoyment and possession of one of the fairest countries beneath the sun, with all the rights and privileges of free institutions, political equality and local self-government. They are now entering upon that higher act of political union at all times contemplated, with the inestimable advantage of forming an integral part of the British Empire. That Empire is much vaster in dominion, much richer and more populous than when Great Britain lost the United States. "The sun of England" has not set for ever. It shines brighter than ever; brighter by reason of the passing away of political darkness, misgovernment, corruption, and despotism; brighter by reason of the enlightened views of her statesmen and the enfranchisement of her toiling masses; brighter by reason of the democratic constitutions which have been granted to her colonies and dependencies in all parts of the earth. The red line of British frontier has been creeping in advance of all the other national colours on the map; stretching into distant "regions Caesar never knew." But in all this the policy of the nation has been colonization, not conquest; the planting of people on the soil, and enabling them to build homes for themselves and reclaim the wilderness from the savage for their own benefit and the comforts and delights of existence; not for the glorification of princes, or


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the enrichment of families in Europe, as was the case in the Spanish and French systems.

Consider for a moment the vast magnitude, the enormous wealth, and the surprising population of the British Empire at the present time. There are about 56 colonies and dependencies recognizing the sovereignty of the Queen. The area at home and abroad amounts to 11,712,171 square miles; the coast line of this area exceeds in length the entire circumference of the earth, being 28,500 miles; the total annual public revenue of Great Britain and her colonies and her dependencies for the year 1897–8 was £256,452,167; the annual value of exports £515,730,000, and imports £746,407,484; the population was 385,280,140. Such is the majestic fabric of the British Empire of to-day, of which Daniel Webster, the American orator, said so long ago as May 1834, that she was the "power which dotted the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat, following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England."

From the contemplation of these facts we can, to some extent, realise the greatness of the birth-right which has descended to us through the labours, the enterprise, the patriotism, and the sacrifices of the pioneers of British colonization, and the builders of the British Empire.

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