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THE

HISTORY OF ILLINOIS.

CHAPTER I.

Columbus arrives in Spain- Is denied an audience with the king—Is afterward admitted

into his presence-Council of Salamanca-Columbus appears before it—His theory is rejected— Returns to the convent of La Rabida—Martin Alonzo Pinzon-Columbus is again invited to court—The queen espouses his cause-Negotiation concluded Sets out for Palos-Difficulties in fitting out his squadron-Its description-Embarks -Discovers land-Origin of the term Indian.

PROBLEMS, incapable once of being solved by the aid of science, are now easily explained. Knowledge, which gave formerly to its possessor the rank of a philosopher, is now the common property of school-boysand experiments that, in the last century, would have brought their ope. rator to the stake for witchcraft, are now mere juvenile recreations.

Some curious phenomena, exhibited by a piece of iron ore, before our nation had an existence, led a philosopher of Amalfi, in Italy, to inquire into the cause. Particles of the same kind he perceived were mutually attracted. In one of his experiments, he saw it, when suspended by a thread, point directly to the northern star, and being turned in another direction and set free, it resumed its former position. The result of his experiment was sent to the academicians of Florence, and their curiosity was aroused. They tried similar experiments, and it was finally discov. ered that its magnetic properties were transferable to hardened steel. Hence the mariner's compass, which guided Columbus across the ocean, and led to the discovery of another world. Our nation now extends its arms from the St. Croix to the Capes of Florida, and from the Atlantic, westward, to the Rocky mountains and the Columbia river, embracing in its ample folds, a large portion of the American Continent. Eighteen

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