New Patriotic Poetry

History Trivia

17th Century American History Trivia:

FACTS ON AMERICAN HISTORY* as recorded in Outlines of Universal History from the Creation of the World to the Present Time, 1855    (some important, some trivial, some obscure)


1. Early in the 17th century, the French, under De Monts and Champlain, explored the country around the Bay of Fundy  and that bordering on the St. Lawrence, laying claim to Acadie (Nova Scotia) and Canada, which together were called New France.

2. In 1609, the Dutch sent out Henry Hudson, who explored the American coast for a considerable distance, entered New York harbor, and sailed up the river which now bears his name.

3. Stimulated by a rivalry with France, English companies, under King James I were granted the whole country from Cape fear to Passamaquoddy Bay to be colonized by merchants and adventurers. The undertaking was motivated by profits and therefore resulted in disappointment and loss, and the companies were dissolved while the settlements were in their infancy.

4. The first band of colonists of the London Company that were sent to settle Jamestown were "poor gentlemen or broken down tradesmen unused to toil," and "fitter to breed a riot than to found a colony."

5. The direction of affairs in Jamestown had been given to a council, consisting of seven persons nominated by the company in England, one of whom was John Smith.

6. In spite of John Smith's "remonstrances", the settlers of Jamestown wasted their time seeking for gold and silver instead of cultivating the ground; they actually sent a vessel back to London laden with dirt containing glittering specks, which they mistook for gold.

7. Not long after being rescued by Pocahontas,  John Smith was severely injured by the accidental explosion of his powder bag, and had to return to England for surgical aid.


Source of the above list:

*Outlines of Universal History from the Creation of the World to the Present Time, Dr. George M. Weber, translated by Dr. M. Behr, Revised and corrected by Francis Bowen, A.M. with the addition of the History of United States of America by Francis Bowen, A.M., Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, In Harvard College;        Sixth Edition, Published by Hickling, Swan and Brown (Boston), 1855