Part three of an eight part series on the history of America from its earliest times through to the age of George Washington, told by master storyteller Jacob Abbott. This volume starts with the very first sixteenth century colonization attempts in what is today the southern United States. It provides fascinating details of the early French settlers, who predated even the Spanish—and of how the religious strife in Europe between Catholic and Protestant, from which they had fled, followed them to the New World.
The book then moves on to describe the Spanish settlement of Florida, and then the intervention of the English settlers. Drawing upon original sources, manuscripts and diaries, Abbott weaves a gripping tale of the failure of the first English colonial attempts, including the famous “lost colony” of Roanoke, the second colony, the birth of the first European child on American shores, and of the incredible deprivations suffered by these early pioneers.
Next, Abbot describes the amazing adventures of John Smith and the settlement of Virginia, revealing the truth about the Indian Pocahontas on the way. The settlement of the Carolinas is then reviewed, including the internal tribulations which nearly wrecked the entire colonial effort, and the struggle to establish a European settlement in the face of staggering natural obstacles and hostile Indian natives.
Finally, the book discusses the creation of the colony of Georgia—first established as an anti-slavery settlement area in which Negroes were not allowed to be present. Abbott caps off this astonishing story with the sad tale of the origin of Negro slavery in the New World.
If you thought you knew the story of pre-Pilgrim American colonization, think again—this book will reveal the true history of a time period now hidden.
About the author: Jacob Abbott (1803–1879) was a native of the state of Maine who was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy, a minister, and founder of two schools (the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston and the Mount Vernon School for Boys, in New York City). He wrote more than 180 books and became famous for his easy-to-read style of historical storytelling, stripped of the dry dustiness which characterized other texts.
CHAPTER I: First Attempts at Colonization
A Century Spent in Abortive Undertakings.—Causes of These Failures.—Gaspard de Coligny.—Villegagnon’s Attempt.—John Ribault.—The First Landing.—Continuation of the Voyage.—Port Royal Entrance.—Excursions up the River.—The Two Kidnapped Indians.—Ribault’s Address to His Men.—Establishment of the First American Colony.—A Conflagration.—The First American Revolution.—Ultimate Fate of the Colony.—The Voyage Home.—Sir Martin Frobisher.—Incidents of the Second Voyage.—Kidnapping the Natives.—Frobisher’s Third Voyage.—Results Attained
CHAPTER II: The French and the Spaniards
Conflicting Claims of Europeans to the American Territory.—Laudonniere.—The Voyage of Laudonniere.—Supposed Salubrity of the Country.—Place Chosen for the New Settlement .—Foundation of the Town.—Plots and Conspiracies.—Piracy.—Condition of the Colony after the Departure of the Mutineers.—The Two Captive Spaniards.—The Captive Spaniards’ Story.—Gradual Decline of the Colony.—Murder of Peter Gamby.—Open Hostilities.—Relief.—The Spaniard Melendez.—The Founding of St. Augustine.—Danger of the French Colony
CHAPTER III: The First Colony of Roanoke
Sir Walter Raleigh.—The Reconnoitering Voyage .—Arrival of the Expedition on the Coast.—Appearance of the Country.—The First Interview with the Indians.—Visit from a Chief.—Friendly Intercourse with the Natives.—The Island of Roanoke.—Story of a Wreck.—Report of the Reconnoitering Party.—Sailing of the Colony.—Return of the Fleet.—The Stolen Cup.—Secotan.—State of the Colony after the Departure of the Fleet.—The Real Feelings of the Indians toward the Whites.—Failure of the Expected Relief from England.—No Possibility of Obtaining Food from the Indians.—Sir Francis Drake.—New Arrangements Made.—Return of the Colony to England
CHAPTER IV: The Second Colony of Roanoke
Arrival of the Expected Reinforcements.—A New Colony Sent Out.—The Voyage.—Trouble with the Master.—Arrival at the Colony.—Landing of the Colony.—Ruins of the Former Settlement.—Murder of One of the Assistants.—Communication with the Natives Reopened.—A Terrible Mistake.—Birth of the First English Child.—Prospects of the Colony.—The Governor Is Unwilling to Return.—The Governor Is Finally Persuaded to Return.—The Governor’s Passage Home.—Unsuccessful Attempts to Send .—Reinforcements.—The Governor Sails in Search of the Colony.—Arrival on the Coast.—Terrible Disaster
CHAPTER V: The Settlement of Virginia
Natural Advantages of Virginia.—Shorter Route Discovered from England to America.—Organization of a Grand Company.—Plan for the Government of the Colonies.—Sailing of the First Company.—The Great John Smith.—Difficulties on the Voyage.—Arrival of the Colony.—Selection of a Site for the Town.—Building of the Town.—Captain Smith’s Expedition up the River.—Settlement of the Quarrels.—Distress and Suffering.—A Change of Government.—An Expedition down the River.—A Meeting.—The Prospects Brighten
CHAPTER VI: Captain Smith’s Captivity
Excursion up the Chickahominy.—The Men Fall into an Ambuscade.—Smith Overtaken by His Pursuers.—Desperate Conflict .—Captain Smith a Prisoner.—March to the Indian Town.—First Attempt to Escape.—Plan Formed for an Attack upon James Town.—Letter Sent to James Town.—Powhatan.—Captain Smith at the Court of Powhatan.—Smith Saved by Pocahontas.—Captain Smith Recovers His Liberty.—Scenes of Disorder and Distress.—A Worthless Cargo
CHAPTER VII: Permanent Establishment of the Colony
First Exploration of Chesapeake Bay.—Progress of the Expedition.—Discovery of the Potomac.—Captain Smith Poisoned by a Stingray.—Varied Fortunes of the Colony.—Smith’s Efficient Government.—Lord Delaware.—An Extraordinary Emergency.—Captain Smith Disabled.—Inventory of the Colony.—The Three Commissioners.—The Wrecked Emigrants at the Bermudas.—Building of Ships.—The Colony on the Brink of Destruction.—Arrival of Lord Delaware.—The Colony Saved.—Subsequent Progress of the Colony.—Sequel of the History of Pocahontas.—Pocahontas in Captivity.—Her Marriage
CHAPTER VIII: Settlement of North Carolina
The Two Mother States.—First Expedition into North Carolina.—The Settlement of Nansemund.—Motives Which Led to These Emigrations.—Influence of the English Proprietors.—Process of Forming a New Settlement.—Religious Persecution.—The True Principles of Religious Liberty.—Journeying of an Emigrant Party.—The Portages.—Hardships to be Endured in a New Settlement.—The Cape Fear River Settlements.—Jurisdiction over the Colonists.—Grand System for an American Aristocracy.—Simple and Practical Laws Enacted by the Colony.—Origin of the New Constitution.—Provisions of the New Constitution
CHAPTER IX: Settlement of South Carolina
William Sayle.—Sayle’s First Voyage.—The Two Principal Enemies to be Feared.—Exploration of the Carolina Coast.—Arrangements for Sending out a Colony.—Changes in the Location of the Colony.—Hardships and Sufferings of the Settlers.—Agricultural Difficulties .—The Soil.—Hunting and Fishing.—The Indians.—The Grand Constitution.—Gradual Increase of the Colony.—Causes of Dissensions and Discord among the People.—Difficulties between the Colony and the Proprietors.—Governor Johnson.—The Crisis.—Quiet Determination of the People.—Announcement of the Determination of the Colony.—Negotiations.—Election of a New Governor.—The Revolution Consummated.—The Result in England
CHAPTER X: The Settlement of Georgia
General Oglethorpe.—Origin of American Slavery.—The Indians Intractable and Unmanageable as Slaves.—Introduction of Slaves from Africa.—Fugitives.—Plans of General Oglethorpe.—Charter from King George II.—Sailing of the First Party of Colonists.—Arrival of the Colony in America.—Mary Musgrave.—Establishment of the Colony.—Treaty with the Indians.—Return of Oglethorpe to England.—Conclusion
The American History Series by Jacob Abbott:
Volume I: Aboriginal America
Volume II: Discovery of America
Volume III: The Southern Colonies
Volume IV: The Northern Colonies
Volume V: Wars of the Colonies
Volume VI: Revolt of the Colonies
Volume VII: War of the Revolution
Volume VIII: George Washington