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THE object of the author has been to condense into one volume the · Colonial, General, and Constitutional History of the United States.
This volume is a digest of the writings and speeches of the fathers of the Constitution of the United States, eminent American and foreign Jurists, the journals and annals of Congress, the Congressional Globe, the General History of the United States, the Statutes of the several States, the Statutes of the United States, the Decisions of the Supreme Courts of the several States, the Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States, and the Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States; of extracts from De Tocqueville, the Madison Papers, the “ Federalist,” “ Elliott's Debates," the writings of Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and Vattel, and of extracts from Jefferson, and other eminent authors on parliamentary law. The platforms of political parties are also given. The chapters on Colonial History and Civil Government will be found, at this time especially, instructive and useful. The author most respectfully hopes that this work will be welcomed by the legal profession, the press, and the statesmen of America. The quotations from the several authors are given in the language of the authors themselves. Those who wish to understand the structure of the Government of the United States (State and Federal), will find this volume a useful, reliable, and convenient manual and book of facts and reference.
The causes and consequences of the recent American Civil War are given. The history of Land Grants, the Homestead Law, and the laws pertaining to aliens and naturalization, will be found instructive. The author has studiously endeavored to make this work a useful treatise on our complex form of Government, including Colonial, State, Federal, Territorial, County, Town, and Parish.
For the terms of office of Governors and Members of the State Legislatures mentioned in this book, the reader is referred to the Constitutions of the several States as they were in 1848.
NEW YORK, July, 1875.
THE CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF TIIE STATES,
CHAPTER 1.-COLONIAL HISTORY. The first settlement of Englishmen in North America was attempted in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Her first patent was issued to Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1578. An abortive attempt to settle a colony in Virginia was made by Sir Walter Raleigh, in this reign, under a transfer of Gilbert's patent. In the year 1603, one hundred and ten years after the discovery of the New World, there was not an Englishman in America. In 1606, the Spaniards had established posts in Florida, and the French had settlements in New France, afterwards named Canada.
James I of England, who succeeded Elizabeth, by an ordinance, April 10, 1606, divided all of North America lying between 34 and 45 degrees of latitude into two districts. The first district was called Southern Virginia; and the second, Northern Virginia (Plymouth Colony) which was changed to New England.
Southern Virginia was granted to the London company in 1607, by James I, and Northern Virginia, (Plymouth Colony) or New England was granted to the Plymouth company November 3, 1620, composed of forty noblemen, knights and gentlemen, called the council," established at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, and governing New England in America, with the Earl of Warwick as head of the corporation.
South Virginia extended from the parallel of 34 to 40 degrees, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The first settlemeut, under the Grant to the London company, was made at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. The management of the colony was given to Christopher Newport and Captain John Smith. “The general superintendence of the colonies was vested in a Council, resident in England, named by the king, and subject to all orders and decrees under the sign manual; and the local jurisdiction was intrusted to a Council also named by the king, and subject to his instructions which was to reside in the colonies. Under these auspices, commenced, in 1607, the first permanent settlement in Virginia.”—Moore's Int. to the lives of Govs. Ply. & Mass. p. 9. In 1607, a new charter was granted to the company. The colony was to be governed by a governor and council. This was a close corporation. The aristocracy of England, at this period of English history, had little respect for the people. Indeed the idea
of a government of the people was repugnant to the aristocracy or wealthy classes of England. The governor was appointed by the Company.-Quackenbos, 73. The people of England had no idea of a Town Meeting as a body politic or a town meeting-" where the people met in their aggregate capacity to elect local officers.” For in England, the country was divided into counties, which were represented by Knights elected, generally, by the land owners. There were also certain boroughs represented by burgesses, generally, representing the mercantile interests. The idea of the people meeting in their collective capacity, as in the Republics of Greece, was unknown in England.-Blackstone, vol. I, pp. 159-160. In 1619, the people of Virginia were able to obtain a voice in the government of the colony. Virginia colony was divided into eleven boroughs; and two members from each borough formed the House of Burgesses, in imitation of the British House of Commons. This assembly was the first house of representatives in America.—Quack. 76. As the people were poor and lived in log-cabins they did not think of forming a House of Lords. It might be here remarked that the Southern Colonies followed the institutions and laws of old England which suited their wants and condition. That the people of all the colonies borrowed their laws from the English model, except the Puritans of New England, who followed the laws of Moses the Bible was the basis of their laws and government.--Moore's Lives Govs. Mass. 77. And as the colonists of Virginia were of the Church of England, they established parishes and maintained the clergy with tithes as in England.
Slaves were brought to Virginia in a Dutch man-of-war. The crown of England became jealous of the extensive powers and territory of the London company. And at last King James I dissolved this great monopoly—this overgrown corporation. The executive powers were in this corporation. King Charles I recognized the authority of the Assembly of Virginia. And as the struggle in England was between Charles and the Parliament, the latter being Puritans, and the former of the Church of England, Virginia took part with the king. The authorities banished all who would not use the liturgy of the Church of England. So Virginians, as well as the Puritans 'were intolerant—both established church and state.-Quack. 101. We see an antagonism between the South and New England when both held slaves. In 1758, the legislature of Virginia passed an act that the people might commute for the tobacco, in money, a tribute which had to be paid to the ministers of the Church of England. For in the early days of the colony tobacco was the usual currency; for nearly all payments were made in tobacco, as afterwards in the Western States, men had to take what was then called "store pay," that is, an order on a store for goods. Virginia, in a great measure, retained the old English aristocratic customs and prejudices of caste. The land holders, as in the old country, in that age, were the aristocracy. They were called the upper class, and the landless the lower class. The upper class was principally attached to the crown. The people of the South and of New England were dissimilar in politics, religion, manners and customs—they were not of the same race. The Virginians were the descendants of the Normans—" Cavaliers ;” and the Puritans of the Saxons, or “ Roundheads." The colony of Virginia restricted the right of suffrage to householders; and made the English church the state church. And it compelled att
at the worship of this church under penalty of twenty pounds. Penal laws were passed against Quakers and Baptists. The colonial legislature and Governor Berkeley were the embodiment of despotism. Berkely is reported to have said, “I thank God that there are no free schools or printing, and
I hope that we shall not have them these hundred years!” This was the status of the colonial legislature of Virginia until Bacon's rebellion, in 1676, when the old intolerant legislature was dissolved and a more liberal one elected. The governors of the colony were appointed by the king.
· THE CAROLINAS—NORTH CAROLINA. The Carolinas were settled under the auspices of Charles II, of England. The colony was granted, in 1663, to Edward Clarendon, Lord Albemarle, the Earl of Shaftesbury and others. The people established a House of Representatives. A short time after this, the colony was divided into North and South Carolina. In 1689, North Carolina banished her proprietary Governor.-Willard, p. 120.
SOUTH CAROLINA. In 1685, the French Hu-gue-nots, or French Protestants, settled in South Carolina. Governor Colleton was sent over from England, by the proprietors of the colony to govern the people. He was opposed by the Assembly of the people, and finally banished from the colony, in the reign of William and Mary.-Quack. p. 120. So the people of the Carolinas, dressed in “ homespun and deer-skins," were considered the “freest of the free.” They could not yield to the despotism of the proprietary governors. They wanted to rule themselves. They wanted a home governor.
MARYLAND. (After the Queen, Henrietta Maria of France.) Maryland, though a part of the territory granted to the London company, was granted to George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, in 1632. Though a Lord, he was democratic in principle. His son Cecil granted liberty of conscience to all men. The first settlement of the colony was made at the village of St. Mary's. “Maryland was the first to proclaim universal suffrage, and to introduce the most democratic forms into the conduct of the government."--De Tocqueville p. 32. Maryland was settled principally by Catholic Irish who granted liberty of conscience to all who believed in Jesus Christ. The majority of the settlers were Irish Catholics. Maryland was a refuge for all who fled from religious persecution from Europe, New England, and Virginia. The people met in one assembly and voted. Every freeman had a vote without religious or property test. The assembly was composed of members chosen by the people. At first the legislature was composed of one house, but afterwards of two houses. The Upper House was chosen by the proprietors, and the Lower House by the people. The Protestants, who flocked from persecution and took refuge in Maryland, soon obtained a majority, and strange to say persecuted the Catholics.
DELAWARE. The colony of Delaware was founded by Swedes and Fins. It was conquered by the Dutch; and brought under the dominion of New Netherlands, the name given to the Dutch colony in North America. The colonists remained quietly under the Dutch Government and with the Dutch passed under the dominion of England, in 1664.
NEW YORK. In 1625, Peter Minnets bought the whole Island of Manhattan from the Indians for $24. The Dutch built the city of New Amsterdam, now New York. The Hollanders settled on Long Island, Staten Island, and New
Jersey. The colony was under the control of the home government and the governors of New York. The Governors of New Netherlands were military governors; the people had no voice in this military despotism. The will of the governor of the garrison was supreme, At length deputies from the Dutch villages met in Assembly, and they demanded a government of the people. The government would not concede to their demands. The Dutch had no idea of a town meeting. In 1664, New Netherlands fell under the dominion of England, and it was called New York, in honor of the Duke of York, afterwards King James II, of England. The power of Holland ended in North America.
NEW JERSEY. In 1664, the region between the Hudson and the Delaware was granted to Berkeley and Carteret, and was called New Jersey. The people established a colonial Assembly. The early settlers were Quakers and Dutch.
PENNSYLVANIA. The Quakers, goaded by persecution in their native England, sought the wilds of America, and settled in New Jersey, in 1675. The early settlers of New Jersey were Quakers and Dutch. In 1681, William Penn obtained from Charles II a tract of land west of the Delaware, which was called Pennsylvania, or the woody land of Penn. Within this territory were settlements of Dutch and Swedes. The spot where now stands the city of Philadelphia was purchased by Penn from the Swedes. Penn also purchased the goodwill of the Indians. The people who emigrated to Pennsylvania with Penn were Englishmen. . They followed the institutions of England, so far as they were suitable to their condition and circumstances. They divided the colony into counties, the same as in England. Six members were chosen annually from each county to the Assembly or Legislature. The people were represented in the Assembly. They had no idea of a town meeting, as • a local government. All freemen had a vote who believed in God and kept the Lord's day holy. Murder alone was punished with death.—Quackenbos 124. Penn was proprietary governor.
GEORGIA. In 1732, James Oglethorpe, a member of the British Parliament, obtained from George II a charter of the country west of the Savannah river. Oglethorpe was the proprietary governor. In 1752, the trustees resigned Oglethorpe's charter to the king. The Kings of England were willing cnough, at first, to grant large tracts of country to favorites with a view to settlement. They allowed their favorites to exercise supreme authority while the settlements contained but a few persons, who had to contend with poverty, famine and the savages. But when the colonies became populous and the people had money and property to be taxed, the kings became jealous and wished to revoke the charters and take the government of the colonies under their immediate control and authority. Moreover, they dreaded the idea of self-government which was making such rapid strides in the colonies. They wished to have governors over the colonies chosen by the crown. From the moment that the Kings of England revoked or compelled the colonies to surrender their charters, we may date the struggle for independence, which increased in intensity as the colonies acquired wealth, intelligence and population. The colonists were thrown on their own resources on the wild shores of. America, to contend with poverty, famine and hostile Indians. In the stern school of adversity they learned th