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habitants in 1741, exclusive of a small garrison of soldiers, and in 1752, when the colony's charter was surrendered to the crown of England it contained only about two thousand three hundred white people and a thousand slaves. They had made scarcely any impression on the forests that surrounded them, and moved about hardly at all.
But little more need be said concerning general conditions in the South as they were just before the commencement of the population movements that introduced a new era into the history of America. Florida was merely the shuttlecock of foreign wars, alternately held by Spain and England, and her affairs bore no relation to the greater events of permanent human progress. Alabama was an unknown country with a slight fringe of settlements along the coast. Mobile, the chief of them, was a little town hedged in by a stockade and held by the English from 1763. New Orleans, like Florida, was the shifting prize of European warfare. France owned the Louisiana province until 1762, when she ceded it to Spain, and England was scheming to possess it. New Orleans had already become a place of considerable importance and contained some eight hundred houses and about four thousand inhabitants. It was surrounded by the inevitable stockade, two and a half miles in diameter. Nearly six thousand other people lived in the neighborhood of the city, whose activities extended up the Mississippi to a little French settlement called St. Louis, far off in the interior of the continent. Boats sometimes went up the river to St. Louis, taking two or three months for the trip, but, as has already been said, the navigation of the Mississippi at that time, or during its control by European nations, was not a factor in the development of the American travel system.
THE FIRST AMERICANS WHO MARCHED TO THE WEST
THEIR ANCESTRY, QUALITIES, APPEARANCE AND MAN-
present in , North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, and consider the people who were the first Americans to take up their march toward the West, together with the conditions that produced them and out of which their performance grew. Those men and women were Americans by birth and habit, and although the date of the exploits soon to be told was as early as the period between 1769 and 1779, the population that performed them could even then look back through several generations of ancestry which, like themselves, had grown up within the shadow of the woods and fought for life and substance with the same primitive conditions. They were the descendants of the bands of restless spirits that came down by overland marches from the more northern localities of Pennsylvania and New England during the north-and-south migrations of the period from 1735 onward, and who had brought with them into the South not only the traditional knowledge of border existence but a lifetime of personal experience as well.
So — as a race - they had no new things to learn. The instinct of the pioneer was in them, and a cool caution, surprising alertness, bravery and entire self-reliance
27.—A backwoodsman and his dog. The cabin dwellers' clothing was all of
home fabrication, and made of linsey-woolsey or deer skin. Original sketch by Joshua Shaw. This and the following fifteen illustrations, to No. 42 inclusive, constitute a series showing conditions of pioneer life and travel in the wilderness.
marked all their acts. They had no schools, but a boy's education nevertheless began as soon as he could walk. His lessons were not mere words for the brain to memorize and the tongue to repeat; they were the methods in which things were done and results accomplished by people older than himself, and it was his duty to observe those processes, comprehend their purpose and duplicate them with equal skill. He learned the lessons well, for he knew that many
times his life would depend on his proficiency. At the age of twelve or fourteen his father handed him a rifle and he ceased to be a boy.' With that act he became a man, having his man's share of responsibilities in the community and his particular loophole to defend.
The education of the girl was a similar process. By the time her brother had received his rifle she had mastered all the duties of a housewife. When a boy went on an errand he did not go spinning over the country on a bicycle or clattering along the pavements on roller skates. He took down his rifle from its pegs on the wall, looked at the priming and started across the clearing with every sense alert, and with a mind so trained that the appearance and condition of all the objects about him, together with the action of beast or bird and each other detail on the face of earth, spoke its true meaning. Though he had received no schooling in the fashion of later days he had long been enrolled in nature's university — the forest. All its varied aspects and voices had been his teachers at an age when the boys of nowadays are still flying kites and playing marbles. He had received his degree in the difficult art of self-preservation, and was about to enter on a post-graduate course in rearing a family and increasing his stock of worldly goods. Many of those little men and women were married at the age of fifteen or sixteen, and the rigid training they had received in self-reliance and the serious concerns of life made them competent to assume such relationship and—measured by the standards of the time — to win success.
* Long before reaching the age indicated he had become an expert with the weapon. The presentation of a rifle at that period of life had somewhat the quality of a ceremonial, and was intended to impress upon him his standing among the elders.
In personal appearance the people reflected the conditions under which they lived. Their faces, brown from exposure to the elements, were singularly set in expression and carried a sort of grimness. Nothing surprised them. The happening of every event was discounted in advance. Its coming was calmly awaited, and whatever action it demanded from them was performed so quickly that it seemed rather to be by instinct than as the result of thought or reason. Their eyes were the distinguishing feature of their countenances. Clear, inscrutable and direct, the vision of man or woman saw everything. When talking with one another they spoke eye to eye. While about their work, in the open or the forest, a single glance had the gathering power of a fisherman's net and the analysis of a microscope. But the chief quality and value of such a look was its instant perception of the abnormal. Trained from babyhood to recognize the normal appearance of all things about him, the eye of the woodsman automatically ignored what was undisturbed and pounced on whatever was as it should not be. A footprint of any sort shrieked like a ten-inch shell, and a single leaf standing on edge when it should have been lying flat made him halt and ask the question, "Why?”
Those early Americans carried no superfluous flesh. Somewhat above the average height, as men and women go, they were lean and supple. Their ancestors had been dwellers in the hills before them, and, of choice, had come into a mountainous country to make their new homes. Much walking and incessant labor had given them great endurance. The strength of their rough hands could break bones. Those who were weak died early, and many of the rest lived until they were killed in one way or another. They walked with a soft and swinging stride, keep