It would be impossible to enumerate the offences for which Englishmen were pilloried: among them were treason, sedition, arson, blasphemy, witch-craft, perjury, wife-beating, cheating, forestalling, forging, coin-clipping, tree-polling, gaming, dice-cogging, quarrelling, lying, libelling, slandering, threatening, conjuring, fortune-telling, “prigging,” drunkenness, impudence. One man was set in the pillory for delivering false dinner invitations; another for a rough practical joke; another for selling an injurious quack medicine. All sharpers, beggars, impostors, vagabonds, were liable to be pilloried.
It was an engine of punishment specially assigned to scolding women; though sometimes kindred offenders, such as slanderers, “makebayts,” “chyderers,” brawlers, railers, and women of light carriage also suffered through it. Though gruff old Sam Johnson said to a gentle Quaker lady: “Madam, we have different modes of restraining evil—stocks for men, a ducking-stool for women, and a pound for beasts;” yet men as well as women-scolds were punished by being set in the ducking-stool, and quarrelsome married couples were ducked, tied back-to-back. The last person set in the Rugby ducking-stool was a brutal husband who had beaten his wife. Brewers of bad beer and bakers of bad bread were deemed of sufficiently degraded ethical standing to be ducked. Unruly paupers also were thus subdued.
This “barrel-shirt,” which was evidently so frequently used in our Civil War, was known as the Drunkard’s Cloak, and it was largely employed in past centuries on the Continent. Sir William Brereton, in his Travels in Holland, 1634, notes its use in Delft; so does Pepys in the year 1660. Evelyn writes in 1641 that in the Senate House in Delft he saw “a weighty vessel of wood not unlike a butter churn,” which was used to punish women, who were led about the town in it.
The punishments of authors deserve a separate chapter; for since the days of Greece and Rome their woes have been many. The burning of condemned books begun in those ancient states. In the days of Augustus no less than twenty thousand volumes were consumed; among them, all the works of Labienus, who, in despair thereat, refused food, pined and died.
The brank or scold’s bridle was unknown in America in its English shape: though from colonial records we learn that scolding women were far too plentiful, and were gagged for that annoying and irritating habit. The brank, sometimes called the gossip’s bridle, or dame’s bridle, or scold’s helm, was truly a “brydle for a curste queane.” It was a shocking instrument, a sort of iron cage, often of great weight; when worn, covering the entire head; with a spiked plate or flat tongue of iron to be placed in the mouth over the tongue. Hence if the offender spoke she was cruelly hurt.
Another common punishment for soldiers (usually for rioting or drinking) was the riding the wooden horse. In New Amsterdam the wooden horse stood between Paerel street and the Fort, and was a straight, narrow, horizontal pole, standing twelve feet high. Sometimes the upper edge of the board or pole was acutely sharpened to intensify the cruelty. The soldier was set astride this board, with his hands tied behind his back. Often a heavy weight was tied to each foot, as was jocularly said, “to keep his horse from throwing him.”
The custom of performing penance in public by humiliation in church either through significant action, position or confession has often been held to be peculiar to the Presbyterian and Puritan churches. It is, in fact, as old as the Church of Rome, and was a custom of the Church of England long before it became part of the Dissenters’ discipline. All ranks and conditions of men shared in this humiliation. An English king, Henry II, a German emperor, Henry IV, the famous Duchess of Gloucester, and Jane Shore are noted examples; humbler victims for minor sins or offenses against religious usages suffered in like manner.
Laying by the heels in the bilboes
There is no doubt that our far-away grandfathers, whether of English, French, Dutch, Scotch or Irish blood, were much more afraid of ridicule than they were even of sinning, and far more than we are of extreme derision or mockery to-day.
They were a simple but effective restraint; a long heavy bolt or bar of iron having two sliding shackles, something like handcuffs, and a lock. In these shackles were thrust the legs of offenders or criminals, who were then locked in with a padlock. Sometimes a chain at one end of the bilboes attached both bilboes and prisoner to the floor or wall; but this was superfluous, as the iron bar prevented locomotion
There is nothing more abhorrent to the general sentiment of humanity to-day than the universal custom of all civilized nations, until the present century, of branding and maiming criminals. In these barbarous methods of degrading criminals the colonists in America followed the customs and copied the laws of the fatherland. Our ancestors were not squeamish. The sight of a man lopped of his ears, or slit of his nostrils, or with a seared brand or great gash in his forehead or cheek could not affect the stout stomachs that cheerfully and eagerly gathered around the bloody whipping-post and the gallows.
The whipping-post was speedily in full force in Boston. At the session of the court held November 30, 1630, one man was [Pg 73]sentenced to be whipped for stealing a loaf of bread; another for shooting fowl on the Sabbath, another for swearing, another for leaving a boat “without a pylott.” Then we read of John Pease that for “stryking his mother and deryding her he shalbe whipt.”
The Capitualtion at Yorktown
House where General Charles Lee was captured
Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh
The House where the first American flag was made
Andrew Jackson's Cradle
Andrew Jackson was born in Union County, N. C., in 1767, of poor parents, who about two years before had come from Ireland. In a little clearing in the woods, they had built a rude log hut and settled down to hard work.
Daniel Webster, the Defender and Expounder of the Constitution
Webster's magnificent reach of thought and profound reverence for the Union is best expressed in his speeches. The most famous one is his brilliant "Reply to Hayne."
Senator Hayne, of South Carolina, had delivered an able speech, in which he put the authority of the State before that of the Union, and said that the Constitution supported that doctrine. Webster, then a senator from Massachusetts, had but one night to prepare an answer. But he knew the Constitution by heart, for he had been a close student of it since the days of childhood, when he had learned it from the cotton handkerchief.
Senator Hayne's masterly speech caused many people to question whether even Daniel Webster could answer his arguments, and New England men especially, fearing the dangerous doctrine of State Rights, awaited anxiously the outcome. When, therefore, on the morning of January 26, 1830, Mr. Webster entered the Senate Chamber to utter that memorable reply, he found a crowd of eager men and women waiting to hear him.
"It is a critical moment," said a friend to Mr. Webster, "and it is time, it is high time, that the people of this country should know what this Constitution is."
"Then," said Webster, "by the blessing of Heaven they shall learn, this day, before the sun goes down what I understand it to be."
Nationality was Webster's theme, his sole purpose being to strengthen the claims of the Union. For four hours he held his audience spellbound while he set forth with convincing logic the meaning of the Constitution. The great orator won an overwhelming victory. Not only were many of his hearers in the Senate chamber that day convinced, but loyal Americans all over the country were inspired with more earnest devotion to the Union. His last words "Liberty and Union! one and inseparable, now and forever" electrified his countrymen and became a watchword of national progress.
Abraham Lincoln the Liberator of the Slaves
William Penn and the Settlement of Pennsylvania
Among the most prominent was William Penn, who was born in London in 1644, the son of Sir William Penn, a wealthy admiral in the British Navy. Conspicuous service to his country had won him great esteem at Court, and he naturally desired to give his son the best possible advantages.
As we might expect from a man of his even temper and unselfish spirit, Penn treated the Indians with kindness and justice, and won their friendship from the first. Although he held the land by a grant from the King of England, still he wished to satisfy the natives by paying them for their claims to the land. Accordingly, he called a council under the spreading branches of a now famous elm-tree, where he met the red men as friends, giving them knives, kettles, axes, beads, and various other things in exchange for the land. He declared that[Pg 100] he was of the same flesh and blood as they; and highly pleased, the Indians in return declared that they would live in love with William Penn as long as the sun and moon should shine.
Penn's Slate-roof House, Philadelphia
Cavelier De La Salle
The same year in which William Penn laid out Philadelphia and there made a treaty with the Indians, a noted Frenchman sailed down the Mississippi River, exploring it in the interests of France. This man was Robert Cavelier, Better known as La Salle, who, like many of his countrymen, was trying, just as the Spaniards and Englishmen had tried, to find or do something in America that would not only bring glory to his own name, but also wealth and honor to his fatherland.
Long House of the Iroquois
Map Showing Routes of Cartier, Champlain, and La Salle, also French and English Possessions at the Time of the Last French War.
For two years the wretched little colony struggled for life. La Salle was in sore distress. He knew he had many enemies among his men who would gladly take his life, but he hoped for help from France. No help came. It was plain to La Salle that he could save the suffering colony only by making his way to Canada. He therefore started out on January 12, 1687, with a party of seventeen men and five horses, on another long and dangerous journey through the dense forests—this time from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
Travelling north, the party crossed the Brazos River and toiled onward to the Trinity River. But La Salle's men were tired of travelling through the forests, and some of them were thirsting for his blood. They were waiting only for a suitable opportunity to carry out their murderous purpose. On the morning of March 19th they lay in ambush, and shot him dead as he approached, probably not far from the Trinity River.
George Washington as a young soldier
Washington had another narrow escape from death. He had expected on reaching the Alleghany River to cross on the ice, but to his dismay he found the ice broken up and the stream filled with whirling blocks. There was no way of getting over except on a raft which he and his companion had to make with a single hatchet. Having at last finished it, they pushed off, and then began a desperate struggle with the current and, great blocks of floating ice. Washington, in trying to guide the raft with a pole, was thrown violently into the water. By catching hold of one of the raft logs he recovered himself, and by heroic effort succeeded in reaching an island nearby. Here the travellers suffered through a night of intense cold, not daring to kindle a fire for fear of the Indians.
The English Colonies and the French Claims in 1754
The French in the Ohio Valley
We have just seen how the English and the French struggled to get control of the Ohio Valley. But the fighting in the Last French War was not confined to this region. Many of the battles were fought to secure control of two waterways. One of these was the route to Canada, including Lakes George and Champlain, and the other was the St. Lawrence River. Indeed, the crowning feature of the Last French War was the heroic effort made by a young English general to capture Quebec.
This young general was James Wolfe. He was born in the southeastern part of England in 1727.
he French army at Quebec, commanded by General Montcalm, numbered more than 16,000 men, consisting of Frenchmen, Canadians, and Indians. But some were boys of fifteen, and others old men of eighty. Here they awaited Wolfe, whose army numbered 9,000.
The fighting was stubborn and furious, and Wolfe was in the thickest of the fray. While he was leading a charge, a bullet tore through his wrist. Quickly wrapping his handkerchief about the wound, he dashed forward until he was for the third time struck by a bullet, this time receiving a mortal wound. Four of his men bore him in their arms to the rear, and wished to send for a surgeon; but Wolfe said, "There's no need; it's all over with me." A little later, hearing someone cry "They run; see how they run!" he asked, "Who runs?" "The enemy, sir. Egad, they give way everywhere!" Then said Wolfe in his last moments, "Now, God be praised. I will die in peace."
Patrick Henry was one of many who were willing to risk everything in their earnest struggle against the tyrannical schemes of King George. Patrick Henry was born in 1736 in Hanover County, Va. His father was a lawyer of much intelligence, and his mother belonged to a fine old Welsh family.
George III. could not understand the feelings of the colonists, and he had no sympathy with their views. His mother had said to him when he was crowned, "George, be King," and this advice had pleased him. For he was wilful, and desired to have his own way as a ruler. Thus far he had shown little respect for the British Parliament, and he felt even less for Colonial Assemblies. Certainly if he was to rule in his own way in England, he must compel the obedience of the stubborn colonists in America. The standing army which the King wished to send to America was designed not so much to protect the colonies as to enforce the will of the King, and this the colonists knew. They therefore opposed with bitter indignation the payment of taxes levied for the army's support.
The East India Company arranged to ship cargoes of tea to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. When the tea arrived, the people in New York and Philadelphia refused to let it land, and in Charleston they stored it in damp cellars, where it spoiled. But in Boston, where the Tory Governor, Hutchinson, was determined to fight a hard battle for the King, there was a most exciting time. The result was the famous "Boston Tea Party."
Faneuil Hall, Boston
At three o'clock a great throng of eager men again crowded into the Old South Church and the streets outside to wait for the return of Rotch. It was a critical moment. "If the Governor refuses to give the pass, shall the revenue officer be allowed to seize the tea and land it to-morrow morning?" Many anxious faces showed that men were asking themselves this momentous question.
Meanwhile General Gage, who was in command of 3,000 British troops in Boston, had received orders from England to seize John Hancock and Samuel Adams as traitors. General Gage knew that Hancock and Adams were staying for a while with a friend in Lexington. He had learned also through his spies that the minute-men had collected some cannon and military stores in Concord, eighteen miles from Boston. The British General planned, therefore, to send a body of troops to arrest the two leaders at Lexington, and then to push on and destroy the stores at Concord.
Although he acted with the greatest secrecy, he was not alert enough to keep his plans from the watchful minute-men. Gage's failure was brought about by one of these minute-men, Paul Revere, whose famous "midnight ride" was one of the exciting episodes of the Revolution.
On the opposite bank he soon got ready a fleet horse. There he stood, bridle in hand, watching to catch sight of the signal lights. At eleven o'clock two lights gleamed out from the belfry, and told him that the British troops were crossing the Charles River on their march through Cambridge.
Leaping into his saddle he sped like the wind toward Lexington. Suddenly two British officers sprang out to capture him; but quickly turning his horse, he dashed into a side path, and soon outdistanced his pursuers. Ten minutes later he arrived at Medford.
Then at every house along the road, he stopped and shouted, "Up and arm! Up and arm! The regulars are out! The regulars are out!"
Dawes was soon making his way across Boston Neck, while Paul Revere went home and put on his riding suit for his long night-ride. Then, leaving orders for a lantern-signal to be hung in the belfry of the Old North Church, to indicate by which route the British forces were advancing, "one if by land and two if by sea," he rowed across the Charles River, passing near the British war-vessels lying at anchor.
Stone in Front of the Harrington House, Lexington, Marking the Line of the Minute-Men
On the death of Queen Elizabeth, James I. became king and, not favoring Raleigh, at length threw him into prison on a charge of treason. After an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was beheaded.
Prospecting for Gold
Rush For the gold fields
Toll under bridge
The Table of a Baron, as laid out in the Thirteenth Century.--Miniature from the "Histoire de St. Graal" (Manuscript from the Imperial Library, Paris).
Styli used in writing in the Fourteenth Century.
The bailiffs at the Châtelet were divided into five classes: the king's sergeant-at-arms, the sergeants de la douzaine, the sergeants of the mace, or foot sergeants, the sergeants fieffés, and the mounted sergeants. The establishment of these officers dated from the beginning of the fourteenth century, and they were originally appointed by the provost, but afterwards by the King himself. The King's sergeants-at-arms formed his body-guard; they were not under the jurisdiction of the high constable, but of the ordinary judges, which proves that they were in civil employ.
Sergeants-at-Arms of the Fourteenth Century, carved in Stone.--From the Church of St. Catherine du Val des Ecoliers, in Paris.
Woman under the Safeguard of Knighthood, allegorical Scene.--Costume of the End of the Fifteenth Century, from a Miniature in a Latin Psalm Book (Manuscript No. 175, National Library of Paris).
During the captivity of King John in England, royal authority having considerably declined, the powers of Parliament and other bodies of the magistracy so increased, that under Charles VI. the Parliament of Paris was bold enough to assert that a royal edict should not become law until it had been registered in Parliament. This bold and certainly novel proceeding the kings nevertheless did not altogether oppose, as they foresaw that the time would come when it might afford them the means of repudiating a treaty extorted from them under difficult circumstances.
Promulgation of an Edict.--Fac-simile of a Miniature in "Anciennetés des Juifs," (French Translation from Josephus), Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century, executed for the Duke of Burgundy (Library of the Arsenal of Paris.)
Olifant, or Hunting-horn, in Ivory (Fourteenth Century).--From an Original existing in England.
Officers of the Table and of the Chamber of the Imperial Court: Cup-bearer, Cook, Barber, and Tailor, from a Picture in the "Triomphe de Maximilien T.," engraved by J. Resch, Burgmayer, and others (1512), from Drawings by Albert Durer.
Nut-crackers, in Boxwood, Sixteenth Century (Collection of M. Achille Jubinal)
Dress of Noble Ladies and Children in the Fourteenth Century.--Miniature in the "Merveilles du Monde" (Manuscript, National Library of Paris).
Merchant Vessel in a Storm.--Fac-simile of a Woodcut in the "Grand Kalendrier et Compost des Bergers," in folio: printed at Troyes, about 1490, by Nicolas de Rouge
Merchants at Constantinople
View and Plan of Marseilles and its Harbour, in the Sixteenth Century.--From a Copper-plate in the Collection of G. Bruin, in folio: "Théâtre des Citez du Monde."
Dress of Maidservants in the Thirteenth Century.--Miniature in a Manuscript of the National Library of Paris.
Noble Lady and Maid of Honour, and two Burgesses with Hoods (Fourteenth Century), from a Miniature in the "Merveilles du Monde" (Manuscript in the Imperial Library of Paris).
Knife-handles in Sculptured Ivory, Sixteenth Century (Collection of M. Becker, of Frankfort).
Saint Catherine Surrounded by the Doctors of Alexandria.
Entry of Charles VII into Paris
And his Confessor, at Bordeaux in 1377, by order of the King of England's Lieutenant. Froissart's Chronicles. No. 2644, Bibl. nat'le de Paris.
Hunting-Meal.--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of the "Livre du Roy Modus" (National Library of Paris)
"How to shout and blow Horns."--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of Phoebus (Fifteenth Century).
How to allure the Hare."--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of Phoebus (Fifteenth Century).
German Sportsman, drawn and engraved by J. Amman in the Sixteenth Century.
The love for hunting wild animals, such as the wolf, bear, and boar (see chapter on Hunting), from an early date took the place of the animal combats as far as the court and the nobles were concerned. The people were therefore deprived of the spectacle of the combats which had had so much charm for them; and as they could not resort to the alternative of the chase, they treated themselves to a feeble imitation of the games of the circus in such amusements as setting dogs to worry old horses or donkeys, &c.