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Early settlement of Asia, Africa, and
Europe.-Progress of Navigation.

HE following pages are designed to comprise a History of the United States, with some account of other portions of America. History is a recital of what has happened respecting nations and countries; and our History of America will be an account of the most interesting events that have occurred in this quarter of the globe.

2. All our readers know that the history of mankind begins with

Questions.-CHAP. I.-VERSE 1. What is the object of the following pages? What is History? What will this History of America be?

Adam and Eve, about 6,000 years ago; and that their descendants spread over Asia first, then over Africa, and then over Europe.

3. At what time mankind began to settle in Europe we cannot precisely tell; we only know that about 1,856 years before Christ, that is, more than 3,700 years ago, a man by the name of In'-a-chus led a company of emigrants from Egypt into Greece.

4. These found that country inhabited by savages, who, no doubt, were the descendants of those who had wandered there from Asia, Inachus and his companions established themselves in Greece, and from that point of time Europe gradually became occupied by civilized people.

5. Thus the three quarters of the globe, Asia, Africa, and Europe, were settled; and as they all lay together in one continent, mankind gradually acquired a general, though still imperfect notion of their shape and extent. But America was separated from Asia by the Pacific Ocean, almost ten thousand miles across; and from Europe and Africa, by the Atlantic, about three thousand miles across. Of America, therefore, the people in ancient times knew nothing.

6. The ships in old times were small, ill-built, and feeble, compared with the ships of the present day. The people did not know the shape of the world; the art of navigation was in its infancy, and even the mariner's compass, that mysterious but steadfast friend of the sailor, was not used by the Europeans till about the year 1250. The crossing of wide oceans was therefore a thing that could not be accomplished. Navigators seldom dared to stretch forth upon the boundless sea; they only ventured to creep carefully along the shores, always keeping the land in sight.

7. But the weakness of the ships, and the inexperience of navigators, were not the only hinderances to the progress of navigation A multitude of imaginary dangers, brooding over the great waters were conjured up to appall the sailors, and prevent their venturing forth upon them.

8. Among these horrors was that described by Pyth'-e-as, who, many centuries before, had coasted from Marseilles [mar-sailz'] to the Shet'-land Isles, then a great and daring adventure. When he returned, he declared that his progress was stopped by an immense black clam or oyster, suspended in the air, and that any ship advancing toward it would be swallowed up in its gigantic shell!

2. What of the history of mankind? What of the descendants of Adam and Eve? 3. What of the settlement of Europe? 4. What did Inachus and his companions find in Greece? 5. Why did mankind early acquire a knowledge of Asia, Africa and Europe? Why did they not acquire a knowledge of America? 6. What of the ships of ancient times? 7. What other things hindered the progress of navigation? 8. What of the story of Pytheas?

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9. If such were the terrors of the Northern seas, still more awful dangers were supposed to beset those of the South. It was believed that a giant was stationed on the Ca-na'-ry Islands, who brandished a formidable club, and warned all vessels from proceeding to the westward of his island throne; and those who should venture across the equator into the regions of the Sun, it was said would be changed into negroes for their rashness.

10. Even the maps and charts of that day pictured the unknown portions of the sea as filled with concealed and treacherous horrors, such as terrible monsters and hideous water unicorns, ready to ingulf the voyager. The At-lan'-tic was then called the Sea of Darkness, and one of these devices represented the bony and gnarled hand of Satan as rising from out the waves, ready to seize and destroy the marine who should venture into those forbidden regions.

9. What of the giant of the Canaries? What of those who should venture to cross the quator? 10. What of the maps and charts of those days? What of sea monsters? What of the hand of Satan?



Sailors of Scandinavia.- Vasco da Gama.-Spectre of the Cape.-Improvement of Navigation.-Columbus.-Madoc.

1. In spite of all these difficulties, however, navigation steadily advanced. The daring sailors of Nor'-way, Swe'-den, and Den'-mark, then called Scan-di-na'-vi-a, ventured forth in ships scarcely larger thar boats, and traversed the stormy waters of the North Atlantic, discover ing Green'-land and Ice'-land. At a later period, several navigators coasted along the western shores of Africa; and finally, in 1498, Vas'-co da Ga'-ma, a Port'-u-guese navigator, doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and proceeded by that route to In'-dia.

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2. This was six years later than the great voyage of Columbus across the Atlantic, of which I shall soon give an account; but such were the popular superstitions of that time, that the crew of Da Gama, as they passed Table Rock, situated near the Cape, believed that they saw in the troubled sky a huge spectre waving off their vessel, and

CHAP. II. What of the sailors of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark? Vasco da Gama? 2. What of the spectre of the Cape?



threatening destruction to all who should dare to invade his dread dominions!

3. Nevertheless, as navigation improved, mankind grew more adventurous upon the sea; and, by degrees, their knowledge of the world-its seas and oceans, its shores and continents-was so far increased, that the Old World, or the Eastern Hemisphere, was tolerably well understood. The idea had also occurred to many individuals, that the great oceans probably contained large masses of yet undiscovered land.

4. It seems to be the course of Providence to make a gradual de velopment of the knowledge which is important to man; and when any great revelation, or any great discovery. is needful, the means of effecting the desired object are provided. The time had at length arrived for dispelling the mystery which had hitherto brooded over the mighty seas; and Chris'-to-pher Co-lum'-bus, the instrument of accom plishing this great work, was born and trained for his career.

5. It was he who not only discovered America, but made it known to the people of the Eastern Continent. The discovery was so new, vast, and surprising, that the land he had found seemed like another world; and accordingly it was called the New World.

6. But before we proceed to speak more particularly of Co-lum'-bus, we must say a few words respecting the accounts of the discovery of America previous to his time. The Welsh have a tradition of some celebrity, according to which, a chieftain of Wales, named Ma'-doc, made several distant voyages to the west, about the year 1170.

7. In one of these expeditions, they say that he discovered a fair and large country; and, returning to Wales, took with him a number of his friends and relatives, and set forth to settle there. From this period there was never any thing heard of them. It has been thought that the "fair and large country" was America, and that these emigrants went thither. But there is no good reason to believe this tradition.


Discovery and Settlement of the Northmen in North America.

1. THE discovery of America by the seamen of Norway and Denmark, called North'-men, at an earlier period than this of which we have just

8 What was the result of the improvement of navigation? What idea became com. mon? 4. What of the course of Providence? 5. What of Columbu 6-7. What of the tradition in respect to Madoc?

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