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LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
of Lord Baltimore circulated the report that this delay was part of a plot, and that the Catholics of Maryland -- who were now not nearly so numerous as the Protestants -- had conspired with the Indians to massacre all the people of the colony not of their faith.
The story was wickedly false, but many of the Protestants believed it. They rose in revolt, and in consequence the new King thought it wise to take the government of the colony into his own hands. "The best men and the best Protestants" of the colony stood up for Lord Baltimore, but without avail.
The Church of England was now established as the government church in Maryland, and every taxpayer, no matter what his religion, had to pay forty pounds of tobacco yearly towards its support. The Catholic worship was not again allowed to be openly observed until Maryland became independent (1776).
On the death of the third Lord Baltimore (1715), his son, who had become a Protestant, was made proprietor and governor of Maryland. He and his descendants held it until the Revolution (1776). Meanwhile (1729), the city of Baltimore was founded, and named in honor of the originator of the colony.
William Penn had already founded the colony of Pennsylvania (1682), and from that time for many years there were bitter disputes about the boundary between that colony and Maryland. At length Mason and Dixon, two eminent English surveyors, were employed (1763-1767) to establish a boundary that would be satisfactory to both colonies.
They ran the main border line due west nearly two hundred and fifty miles; later it was carried thirty miles farther. When practicable, they set up a stone at every fifth mile, with the coat-of-arms of William Penn cut on the north side, and that of Lord Baltimore on the south. That boundary -- the Mason and Dixon's Line of history -- became famous, for it was looked upon as marking the division between the free and the slave states formed from the original thirteen which entered the Union.
106. Summary. The colony of Maryland was planted by Lord Baltimore, an English Catholic. He, first in America, established freedom of worship for all Christians. The peace of the colony was interrupted by civil war, and enemies of Lord Baltimore, joining with Puritan settlers who had come in, overthrew the government and forbade the exercise of the Catholic religion.
Lord Baltimore succeeded after a time in regaining his power and again granted freedom of worship; but, finally, the King took possession of the colony and compelled the people to maintain the Church of England until the Revolution, though the government of the colony was eventually restored to the Baltimore family, who had become Protestants.
VIII. RHODE ISLAND (1636)
107. Roger Williams seeks Refuge among the Indians; settles Providence. When (1635) Roger Williams fled from Massachusetts (§ 79) into the wilderness, his situation was one of extreme peril. It was midwinter and the snow was deep. Williams was in feeble health and a wanderer in a trackless forest. Fortunately he had made the Indians his friends and could speak their language. The exile made his way to the hospitable wigwam of the chief Massasoit (§ 74), at the bead of Narragansett Bay. There he found a home till spring.
Then with five friends, who had joined him from Massachusetts, he went to the Seekonk River1 and built a cabin on its eastern bank. Finding that the place he had chosen was under
1 Seekonk River, on the cast side of the city of Providence.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
the control of Plymouth colony, he and his companions crossed the river in a canoe. They were hailed by some Indians who were standing on a ledge of rock on the western bank.1 "What cheer?" cried the friendly red men to the wanderers.
This welcome from the natives led Williams and his friends to land for a short time. Then they paddled down the river and again landed at the foot of some rising ground, where they found a spring of excellent water. There (1636) they determined to stay and build homes for themselves. Out of gratitude to
"WHAT CHEER ROCK"
God's merciful Providence to him in his distress" Roger Williams gave to the place the appropriate name of PROVIDENCE. There he, with others, founded (1639) the first Baptist church in America. To-day Providence ranks as the second city of New England in population and wealth. So we see that in Roger Williams's case banishment instead of destroying his influence made it far greater.
108. Williams establishes a Colony; Liberty of Conscience; Growth of the Principle. More settlers came and the town of Providence took firm root. From the beginning entire freedom
1 "What Cheer Rock," on the cast side of Providence, foot of Power Street.
SETTLEMENT OF RHODE ISLAND
of conscience was given to every one. Maryland (§ 102) had granted such liberty to all Christians, but the colony of Providence granted it not only to Protestants and to Catholics, but to Jews. More than that even, it protected unbelievers, and declared that men of all religions and men of no religion should live unmolested so long as they behaved themselves.
Furthermore, Roger Williams denied that the government had the right to tax the people, against their will, to support any church. He first put in practice the American principle -- that government has nothing whatever to do with maintaining any particular form of religious worship.
That idea was so new and strange that the other colonies thought it false and dangerous, and predicted that it would soon die out. Instead of that it steadily grew and spread, until in time it became a part of the Constitution of the United States, and there we read this sentence, which Roger Williams himself might have written, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."1
109. Settlement of Rhode Island; the Charter. Later, emigrants from Massachusetts planted colonies at Portsmouth, Newport, and Warwick. Williams went to England (1644) and got a charter which united these colonies and practically gave them full power to rule themselves by such form of government as they thought best. That charter was confirmed by a second, and though Andros (§ 98), when he was made governor of New England, tried hard to get possession of it, yet Rhode Island kept it as her form of government until long after the Revolution (1842).
Rhode Island always remained true to the principle of "soul liberty," first successfully put in practice by Roger Williams (§ 79); and though at one time Catholics and Jews were not allowed to vote,2 yet they had full freedom of worship, and not
1 See Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, Article 1. Compare also Article VI of the Constitution: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
2 On this point see Windsor's "America," III, 379, 380.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
a single blot of religious persecution rests on the fair pages of the history of the colony.
During the Revolution every man in Rhode Island stood ready to fight for independence.
110. Summary. Roger Williams, an exiled minister from Massachusetts, with others, colonized Rhode Island and first established entire freedom of worship in this country. That principle now forms part of the Constitution of the United States.
IX. NEW SWEDEN, OR DELAWARE (1638)
111. The Swedes plant a Colony on the Delaware; it is captured by the Dutch. The names of the first European Colonies in America were generally expressive of ambition, youth, and hope. It was because the nations of the Old World had resolved to build up grander nations in the New. Thus the Spaniards had founded a New Spain 1; the French a New France 2; the Dutch, or Netherlanders, a New Netherland (§ 59); the English, a New England.
The Swedes, animated by a like feeling, endeavored to begin here a New Sweden (1638). That year their government sent over a colony which landed on the western bank of the Delaware River. At a point near where Wilmington now stands the emigrants built a fort which they named Christina in honor of young Queen Christina of Sweden.
I New Spain. This name was given by the Spaniards to Mexico, but Florida was also sometimes so called.
2 Canada was also known by the name of New France.
THE ENGLISH TAKE THE COUNTRY
The Dutch had already attempted to settle Delaware (1629). They claimed the territory; and Governor Stuyvesant (§ 62) came with a fleet from New Amsterdam (1654), captured the country, and sent home those of the colonists who would not swear fidelity to the Dutch government.
112. The English take the Country; the State of Delaware. The Dutch had been in possession of the land a little over ten years when the English Duke of York seized it (1665), as he had already seized that on the Hudson (§ 62). He sold it (1681) to the Quaker, William Penn (§§ 65, 119). Penn called the country "The Territories," or "The Three Lower Counties on the Delaware." Up to the Revolution it was considered a part of Pennsylvania and was under the control of the governor of that province, although after a time (1703) the people -- among whom were many English Quakers and Welsh -- obtained the privilege of having a Legislature of their own.
In 1776, when the war against Great Britain broke out, the inhabitants of "The Territories" declared themselves a free and independent state, and took the name of Delaware from the river which forms the northeastern boundary of the state.
Though the smallest of all the states, save Rhode Island, Delaware was foremost in accepting the national Constitution (1787), and was therefore the first to enter the American Union. On that roll of honor her name leads all the rest.
113. Summary. This colony, settled by the Swedes as New Sweden, was taken by the Dutch, and then by the English, who sold it to William Penn. He governed it as part of Pennsylvania. When it became independent it took the name of Delaware. After the Revolution it was the first state to adopt the Constitution of the United States.
X-XI. NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA (1663)
114. Grant of Carolina; First Settlements. Charles II of England granted an immense tract of land (1663) south of Virginia to a company composed of Lord Clarendon and seven