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rica, he has cause to regret, with all his contemporaries, the absence of so pleasing and faithful a guide....being obliged to collect materials from different sources, none of which are complete, of all the British settlements in North America, from their first landing to their final separation from the parent state.
The settlement of these colonies being made at different periods, with charters of incorporation extremely variant, and with governments as distinct as their geographical boundaries, rendered a history of the British empire in America, extremely complex and difficult. From this heterogeneous mass, however, the writer has endeavoured, with considerable labour, to educe a summary of those events that paved the way to the American Revolution; and which will constitute the introduction to the future histories of the UNITED STATES.
In that portion of the work which succeeds the confederation of the colonies, and the consequent declara- . tion of Independence, we set our feet on surer ground : we revive events that happened in our own memory; and of which there are faithful records within the reach of most of our readers. In treating on this part of the subject, it is not a very easy task, wholly to avoid that collision of opinions which is inseparable from free governments, and which constitutes so great a part in the annals of United America. This, however difficult, the writer has endeavoured to avoid, confining himself, as much as possible, to a history of facts, and to those only that are of a national concern. His principal object has been to present his readers with a comprehensive view of the whole, without any respect to the polities of a single state or party; and to excite, if possible, a zeal for the general welfare and honour of our common country.... How far he lias succeeded in this, as. well as other parts of the work, must be left to the candid reader; to whom it is now very respectfully submitted.
OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
Account of Pizarro, - -
Ceorge Washington appointed Commander in Chief,
Treaty of peace ratified, •
- - - - - ib.
HISTORY OF AMERICA.
THE discovery of America has led to events unrivalled in modern history, and we cannot sufficiently admire that steady unconquerable resolution, that amazing force of mind which carried the first bold discoverer through all opposition, and over innumerable obstacles, to the ultimate end of his grand design. The intelligent reader will be agreeably en- . tertained in following this skilful navigator, through unknown seas, in search of a New World : every little incident during the voyage will appear of sufficient magnitude to fix the attention, and excite a strong sympathy with the adventurous chief, in all the various turns of his fortune.
This first volume will contain what Doctor Robertson calls the most splendid portion of the American story : he is un. doubtedly right as far as it respects South America, and it is so detached, as to form a perfect whole by itself. Most of the prominent facts are a faithful transcript from that accu. rate and elegant historian. According to his note, No. XI. Christopher Columbus was born, A. D. 1447 : the place of his birth is not ascertained, but it appears he was a subject of the Republic of Genoa, and was allured into the service of the Portuguese by the fame of their discoveries ; he was de. scended from an honourable family, though reduced to indigence by various misfortunes.
Columbus discovered, in his early youth, a strong propensity and talents for a sea-faring life: this propensity his parents encouraged by the education they gave him ; after acquiring some knowledge of the Latin tongue, the only lan
guage in which science was taught at that time, he was in-.. structed in geometry, cosmography, astronomy, and the art of drawing. To these he applied with such unremitted ardour, as they were so intimately connected with navigation, his favourite object, that he advanced with rapid proficiency in the study of them. Thus qualified, he went to sea at the age of fourteen, and began his career on that element, which conducted him to so much glory. His early voyages were to those ports in the Mediterranean which his countrymen, the Genoese, frequented. This being too narrow a sphere for his active mind, he made an excursion to the northern seas, and visited the coast of Iceland; he procecded beyond that island, (the Thule of the ancients) and advanced several degrees within the polar circle.
This voyage enlarged his knowledge in naval affairs more than it improved his fortune'; afterwards he entered into the service of a famous sea captain of his own name and family. This man commanded a small squadron, fitted out at his own expense, and by cruising against the Mahometans and the Venetians, the rivals of his country in trade, had acquired both wealth and reputation. Columbus continued in the service of this captain for several years, distinguished both for his courage and experience as a sailor : at length, in an ob. stinate engagement off the coast of Portugal, with some Ve. netian caravals, returning richly laden from the low countries, the vessel on board of which he was, took fire, together with one of the enemy's ships, to which it was fast grappled. .
In this dreadful extremity his intrepidity and presence of mind did not forsake him ; for, throwing himself into the sea, and laying hold of a floating oar, by his own dexterity in swim. ming, he reached the shore, though above two leagues distant. Thus was a life saved, reserved for great undertakings.
When he had recovered sufficient strength, he repaired to Lisbon, where many of his countrymen resided, who warmly solicited hiin to stay in that kingdom, where his naval skill and experience could not fail of procuring him that reward, which his merit entitled him to. Columbus listened with a favourable ear to the advice of his friends : married a Portuguese lady, and fixed his residence at Lisbon. By this alli. ance, the sphere of his naval knowledge was enlarged. His wife was a daughter of Bartholomew Perestrello, one of the captains employed by prince Henry, and who, under his pro.