The Coming of the White Men/Lord Baltimore and the Catholics
|←The story of a young Quaker||The Coming of the White Men by
Lord Baltimore and the Catholics
|The poor debtors→|
"HERE are three churches in our village. Look, Uncle Sam, we can see the spires of all of them lighted by the sunset."
"The sun does not have any favorites," was the reply. "He treats all alike."
"Let me see. One is the Methodist, another the Congregational, and the third is the Catholic church," Joe went on.
"They have different names, yet they were all built for one use, the worship of God."
Uncle Sam spoke softly as he looked from Joe to his sister.
'The name of the church does not matter so much, so long as people seek it for the right reason," he went on. 'There was a time when people were not free to choose their church. You remember the Pilgrims and the Quakers, and how much trouble they had.
"Then there were the Catholics. They could not be happy in England any more than the Pilgrims.
i68 THE COMING OF
They heard stories of the great land across the ocean. They envied the free life of the Pilgrims and they thought:
" 'Why should not we, too, find such a home?'
"Lord Baltimore was one of their leading men. The king was very fond of him. When he asked that Catholics might seek a home in America with him, the king was quite willing. He told Lord Baltimore they might go with him to Newfoundland. More than that! Lord Baltimore should rule over them with as much power as a king. He should make the laws and punish people who did wrong. He need not ask the king about anything he wanted to do.
" 'Newfoundland is a beautiful country/ said the Catholics. 'At least that is what we have been told by the sea-captains who have been there/
"One of these captains had visited Newfoundland in the summer time. He wrote a book about the place. He told of the berries and roses, the birds, and the pleasant weather. He did not know that winters on the island are long and cold.
"Lord Baltimore and his party went to New- foundland with hearts full of hope. Alas! at the end of the first winter they said :
THE WHITE MEN 169
'We cannot make our home here. We suffer too much from the cold and bad weather/
"It is no wonder they felt so. Ten of their peo- ple had died. Many others had been sick. Lord Baltimore himself was one of these last.
"He wrote a letter to the king telling of his troubles. He now asked for land in Virginia. Then he bade good-bye to Newfoundland and sailed south. He wished to find out if Virginia was as good a country as he had been told it was.
"He was not disappointed this time. It was all he had hoped.
"When the people of Virginia heard that Catho- lics wished to settle among them, they sent word to the king of England that they did not like the plan at all. Then the king said :
" 'I will give the land north of Virginia to Lord Baltimore.'
"When the second party was ready to leave Eng- land, their good friend was dead. His son took his place as governor.
" 'How beautiful this place is !' thought the trav- elers as they sailed up the Potomac River after a long and dangerous voyage.
1 'You should call the country I have given you
170 THE COMING OF
Maryland, or the Land of Mary,' the king had told them. This was in honor of the Queen Henrietta Maria.
"It was because of this that their new home was called Maryland.
"The party landed first on an island. A large cross was set up in the ground and the priests gave thanks to God for bringing them all safely across the ocean.
"As they sailed up the river, they saw Indians along the shores. The Red Men did not look kindly at the strangers. They seemed ready to make war. The governor thought :
" This will never do. We must not fight if we can help it. We must show the savages that we wish to be friends.'
"He acted so wisely that fear and anger left the hearts of the savages. They put their bows and arrows aside and began to help the new-comers.
"One day as some of the settlers were out on an excursion, a stranger appeared among them. His skin was so dark, and he was dressed so strangely, they thought at first that he was an Indian.
"He spoke to them in English, however, and ex- plained who he was. His name was Captain Henry
THE WHITE MEN
Fleet. He had been living among the Red Men. He had once been their prisoner. He gave the strangers good advice. He said to them :
" 'Do not settle on the island where you are now living. I know another place you would like much better. It is on the shore of the main land. Some Indians have a village there. They are kind and gentle. I think they will be willing to sell their home to you/
"It was a good plan. The white people went to the place and were much pleased with it. It was in a lovely valley near the shore. Springs of cool water bubbled up here and there. Groves of nut and oak trees gave a pleasant shade. No fierce wild animals roamed through the forest near by. They must find out at once if the Indians would be will- ing to sell such a pleasant home.
"They brought cloth, tools, and beads to the Red Men. They said:
" 'We will give you all these things in return for your village place/
"The eyes of the Indians sparkled with delight. Cloth, tools, and beads were the very things they most wished for. They were quite ready to move
172 THE COMING OF
away if they could have all these. They said to the strangers :
" 'We will share our village with you till the har- vest is ripe. Then we will gather it and go some- where else and leave you here alone.'
"Everyone was pleased and the white people set- tled themselves in the huts of the Indians. All lived together in happiness till the season came to an end. Then the Indians moved away, but they showed themselves kind neighbors ever after.
"The white men built houses and planted gardens. They were more happy and comfortable than they had ever been before in their lives.
They went back and forth among their savage neighbors without fear. Their priests taught the red children and baptized many of them. One of the Indian chiefs trusted the white people so much that he sent his little daughter to live with them. He said:
" 'When I am dead she will rule over my people. She will be a wiser ruler if she is brought up by the white men. They will teach her many things she cannot learn in our village/
"So it happened one bright morning that the little Indian maiden left her home in the forest. She
THE WHITE MEN 173
sprang into her light canoe and paddled down the river. She soon came to the English village.
'The white people were very kind. Yet how strange their ways must have seemed to her!
"She took off the soft moccasins in which she could run so easily. She put on leather shoes such as the English children wore. They must have seemed very stiff and uncomfortable at first.
"Her dress of beaver-skin and the pretty feather mantle, of which she was so proud, were laid aside. She must now wear skirts and waists, like the other girls around her.
"Now, too, she must spend a large part of each day in the house, for she had to study lessons in books. She must also learn to cook and sew and knit.
"Poor little Indian girl ! How different all this was from her old free life in the forest. Then the birds and bees, the rabbits and squirrels, were around her from morning until night. No hat of any kind kept the soft breezes from blowing through her hair."
"She must have been very homesick," said Lucy, when Uncle Sam reached this part of the story. "I
i; 4 THE COMING OF
shouldn't wonder if she cried herself to sleep every night."
"It is not Indian fashion to cry," replied Uncle Sam. "The Red Men are ashamed to let tears come to their eyes. Even the little children are taught not to show in their faces what they feel.
'This little girl may have been very unhappy at first. I really don't know about that. At any rate, she lived among the white people till she grew up. Then she married a white man, just as Poca- hontas did."
Uncle Sam stopped for a moment and began to stroke his chin. That was the sign that he was thinking.
Lucy began to pet Buzz, who had just waked up from a nap at her feet. She was thinking, too. It seemed as though she could see that little Indian girl of long ago. The child was in a birch canoe and gliding down the river. Her bright black eyes were turned longingly toward her home in the forest. Those eyes seemed to say :
"Good-bye, dear, happy days of freedom. Good- bye."
Joe sat thinking, too. He was wondering if the Indian girl went back to her people with her white
THE WHITE MEN 175
husband, and if she was a good ruler after her father died.
"A penny for your thoughts!" said Uncle Sam suddenly. He spoke to Joe.
"I can't imagine that Indian princess ruling her people after the white man's fashion. I do not be- lieve it would have suited the Indians." The boy spoke slowly.
"I think you are right, Joe," Uncle Sam an- swered. "But I believe she did not have a chance to try. The Indians were not willing to let a woman take the old chief's place. They chose his brother, I believe.
"Now I will tell you what I was thinking of my- self. When I spoke of Pocahontas, I went on to think of the people of Virginia. You might say they lived next door to Maryland. They had a great deal of trouble with the Indians, while their neighbors in Maryland did not have any.
"The people of Maryland lived in peace and let others come to settle among them. It did not mat- ter whether these new-comers were Catholics like themselves, or Quakers, or Puritans. Anyone who wished was allowed to live with them and believe as he liked.
"The only trouble they did have was with Vir- ginia. It was about an island in the river. Both colonies claimed that island. They even had battles with each other before the trouble was settled. Maryland was not much to blame, however. Her people always seemed to wish for peace.
"A happier colony never settled in America than the Catholics who came to Maryland because of their kind friend Lord Baltimore."