Front Matter Our Country Long Ago The Barbarous Indians The Mounds Where the Northmen Went The Northmen in America Queer Ideas Prince Henry the Navigator Youth of Columbus Columbus and the Queen "Land! Land!" Columbus and the Savages Home Again Columbus Ill-treated Death of Columbus How America Got its Name The Fountain of Youth "The Father of Waters" The French in Canada French and Spanish Quarrels The Sky City Around the World Nothing but Smoke Smith's Adventures The Jamestown Men Smith Wounded Pocahontas Visits England Hudson and the Indians The Mayflower Plymouth Rock The First Thanksgiving Snake Skin and Bullets The Beginning of Boston Stories of Two Ministers Williams and the Indians The Quakers The King-Killers King Phillip's War The Beginning of New York Penn and the Indians The Catholics in Maryland The Old Dominion Bacon's Rebellion A Journey Inland The Carolina Pirates Charter Oak Salem Witches Down the Mississippi La Salle's Adventures Indians on the Warpath Two Wars with the French Washington's Boyhood Washington's Journey Washington's First Battle Stories of Franklin Braddock's Defeat Wolfe at Quebec England and her Colonies The Stamp Tax The Anger of the Colonies The Boston Tea Party The Minutemen The Battle of Lexington Bunker Hill The Boston Boys The British leave Boston Declaration of Independence A Lady's Way of Helping Christmas Eve The Fight at Bennington Burgoyne's Surrender Winter at Valley Forge The Quaker Woman Putnam's Adventures Indian Cruelty Boone in Kentucky Famous Sea Fights The "Swamp Fox" The Poor Soldiers The Spy A Traitor's Death Two Unselfish Women Surrender of Cornwallis British Flag hauled down Washington's Farewell

Story of the Thirteen Colonies - Helene Guerber

The Quakers

While the English were founding the New England colonies, many changes had taken place in England. King James I. was succeeded by Charles I., and the English, weary of monarchs who did not keep their promises, rose up in rebellion in 1643.

By this time, the English Puritans had increased so that they became masters of the whole country. It was governed by their chief, Oliver Cromwell, and called the Commonwealth of England. The Puritans, being in power, made the Roman Catholics and the Church of England people as uncomfortable as the latter had once made them. Many Catholics and Anglicans were therefore only too glad to cross the ocean, in their turn, so as to found new homes where they could worship as they pleased; and you shall soon hear how they prospered.

Cromwell, as Protector of the Commonwealth of England, made a new law (1651), called the Navigation Act. By this law it was decided that the colonists should build no more ships, and that all their goods should be carried across the ocean only in English vessels. This law was very unjust, and captains of English ships speedily took advantage of it to raise their prices for freight. So, while England was rapidly growing rich, her colonists grumbled sorely at the heavy rates they had to pay.

That same year began the great Quaker excitement in Massachusetts. The Quakers were the disciples of a very good man, George Fox. They called themselves Friends, but were called Quakers by the other people, because they often said one ought to quake at the thought of the wrath of God.

As some of the months and days of the week bore the names of old heathen gods, the Friends would not use them, but, instead, numbered the days and months, speaking of the first day of the sixth month, the twelfth day of the second month, and so on. They would not take any oaths, either, but used only the words "yea"and "nay." They further treated all persons alike, calling even the king by his given name, and refused to take off their hats in his presence. Although generally quiet and modest, a few of the Quakers were so anxious to spread the teachings of their preacher Fox that they came over to Massachusetts, knowing they would be ill-treated there.

Nevertheless, they began preaching, and firmly but quietly refused to stop when told to do so. They were therefore tortured and punished in many ways. A few were whipped, sent to jail, or put in the stocks. Their books were burned; they were driven out of the colony; and as all this was not enough, four of them were hanged.

The Quaker excitement finally grew so great that some of them were sent back to England and the rest forced to take refuge in Rhode Island, where they could practice any religion they liked. But the Quakers who had been shipped back to England, and especially a few discontented colonists, complained very much of the Massachusetts government, and made considerable trouble for New England.