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in order that those who had the same religious beliefs as themselves might thereafter live in peace and comfort. Being generous-hearted men, they wished others also to have justice. So, in 1649, they secured the passage by the assembly of a Toleration Act, which granted freedom of worship to all Christians throughout the province. Thus Maryland set an example of liberty of conscience that some of the
Painting by Mayer, in the State Capitol, Annapolis
A province so wisely planned deserved to prosper, and it did. The settlers sent over were used to working with their hands; they felled forests, raised crops, wisely made friends with the Indians, and did not waste their time in seeking for gold mines. To be sure, there were some disputes between the proprietor and the colonial assembly, because the former wanted to make the people pay some of the costs of government; whereas the latter, as usual with Englishmen, insisted on their right to decide what taxes should be levied. However, both sides kept in good temper; and
so long as the Baltimores were in power, the political affairs of the colony ran quite smoothly. But in 1654, during the rule of the Commonwealth in England, the proprietors were driven out, the Toleration Act was repealed, and Roman Catholic worship forbidden. After four years, however, Parliament restored Lord Baltimore to his rights, and freedom of worship was again permitted.
There followed a quiet, prosperous term of thirty years. But a revolution then arose in England (1688-89), by which William and Mary came to the throne. This brought about a serious change in Maryland. The power of the Baltimore family again ceased for a time. Catholics were persecuted the same as in England, and for several years there was much disorder in the once peaceful province. In 1715 control was restored to the Baltimores, and Maryland once more became prosperous.
71. The Carolinas. A broad belt of unsettled land lay between the English colony in Virginia and the Spanish colony in Florida. It was claimed by England and known as Carolina, in honor of King Charles I.1 Many early adventurers from Virginia wandered into the unoccupied territory, traded with the Indians, and bought lands from them. But nothing of lasting importance happened here until 1663, when King Charles II, in a fit of generosity, gave it as a present to eight of his friends.
Religious liberty was allowed by the proprietors. This attracted to Carolina a large number of French Protestants, called Huguenots, who were being persecuted at home most cruelly. They settled chiefly in the southern part, and being intelligent, well educated, and industrious, made admirable colonists, from whom many of the best families of South Carolina to-day trace their descent.2
1 The name comes from Carolus, the Latin form of Charles. From 1562 to 1568 French colonies were attempted in Florida; and the entire region, including the country to the north, was named Carolina in honor of their boy-king, Charles IX. When the English settlements were planted, the old French name was retained in honor of Charles I of England.
2 In 1670-71, Charleston, South Carolina, was founded by William Sayle. Many Huguenots settled there.
In the northern part of the province, the settlers were mostly poor, hard-working people who had come to America from different countries of Europe, in the hope that here they would not be lorded over by aristocrats; and they made much trouble for the officers set over them. In the southern part, however, were many wealthy planters of rice and indigo,1 who were aristocratic in their manner of living, had negro slaves to serve them, and were friendly to the proprietors. So many dissensions broke out between the two sections that when the disappointed proprietors sold their rights to King George II, he divided the province into North Carolina and South Carolina, with much the same bounds that they have in our day.
72. Georgia. England now claimed the Atlantic Coast as far south as St. John's River; but as the southern boundary of South Carolina was virtually the Savannah River, there lay between these two streams a wide unoccupied strip. This, King George ordered to be called Georgia, after himself.
There lived in England at this time a gallant soldier, Gen
THE SOUTHERN COLONIES
1 The growing of rice was begun quite early in the history of the colony, near Charleston. South Carolina continues to be the center of this important industry in the United States.
eral James Oglethorpe. He was a kind-hearted man, who disliked to see Englishmen imprisoned for debt- as they then were, even for small debts. These poor debtors were sometimes kept so long in damp and unhealthy jails that they contracted diseases and even died in prison, while their families starved. Oglethorpe obtained from the King permission to plant a colony of debtors in Georgia. By making such a settlement, he hoped to accomplish two things:
(a) To provide these unfortunate people with a home, where they might make a good living by farming, raising silk, and trading with the Indians for furs.
(b) To provide a barrier between Carolina and the Spanish colony of Florida. The Spaniards were making free with Carolina, as though they owned the country, and by trading with the Indians interfered with the profits of English traders.
At Oglethorpe's request, the King ordered that there should be neither slavery nor liquor trade in Georgia, that no one should own over five hundred acres of land, that for twenty-one years the settlers should have no voice in making the laws, and that all except Roman Catholics should enjoy religious freedom.
In 1733 Oglethorpe himself landed with thirty-five families, and founded Savannah. At first his colony grew slowly, because it contained so many idle and worthless people who had not been able to manage their own affairs in England; but little by little there arrived thrifty Germans and Scotch Highlanders, and then affairs went better.
As the Spaniards continued to invade the country Oglethorpe built several forts along the seacoast to frighten them off. When a war broke out between Spain and England, in 1739, he set forth with eight hundred men and boldly laid siege to the strong fort of St. Augustine. Sickness in his camp soon obliged him to retire without success. Two years later the enemy retaliated by attacking him. This time, however, the English beat off the invaders, and the Spaniards never returned to bother their northern neighbors.
The laws of the colony were not popular with the settlers. The well-to-do wanted a chance to have large farms such as other Southern colonists enjoyed, and to use negro slaves; and merchants and sailors wished to engage in the profitable rum traffic with the West Indies. Oglethorpe returned to England in 1743, much chagrined at the disaffection of his people. Six years later new laws were passed, permitting slavery and the liquor traffic, and giving the colonists the right to make their own laws. In 1752 the founder and his associates surrendered their charter to the King, who thenceforth ruled Georgia as a " royal " province. The people were pleased at all these changes and took fresh interest in the colony, which now began to prosper.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
I. Locate on the map the territory granted by the King to Lord Balti
2. Contrast the character of the early colonists of Maryland with those of Virginia.
3. What is meant by religious freedom or toleration? Read the first part of Article I of the Amendments of the Constitution of the United States. (Appendix, page xxi.)
4. Compare the early settlers of North Carolina and of South Carolina. 5. Why did not the French Huguenots settle in the territory discovered and explored by the French?
6. What motives were in the mind of Oglethorpe in the settlement of Georgia?
7. From the history of the Georgia colony show how poor people fare better now than two hundred years ago.
8. Make a list of six Southern places of importance named in honor of kings and queens.
9. Name the various reasons why English people came to America, as told in this chapter.
10. Maryland, Carolina, and Georgia were the refuge of the weak, oppressed, and persecuted. Which class of these came to Maryland? to Georgia? to Carolina?
11. On a map of the Atlantic Coast south of the Delaware River, locate the five original colonies, the Spanish territory, and four important settle