To the Boys and Girls of A merica: THE settlement of our country was the beginning of a new era in human affairs. The people of England, ever since the days of King John, when the barons compelled him to sign the Magna Charta in the meadow of Runnymede, had struggled against tyranny; and when the emigrants sailed across the Atlantic to rear their homes in Virginia and New England, it was the transplanting of liberty to a continent where everything was new, and where the conditions that surrounded them were wholly unlike those of the Old World. This volume is an outline of some of the principal events that transpired during the colonial period of our country, and portrays the hardships and sufferings of those who laid the foundations of a new empire. It will show how the Old World laws, habits, and customs were gradually changed; how the grand ideas of Freedom and the Rights of Man took root and flourished. It covers the period from the discovery and settlement of America to the Revolutionary War. In 1876 I wrote a volume entitled The Boys of 76 a narrative of the battles of the Revolution, and of the trials and devotion of our fathers in establishing the independence of the United States. While preparing that work, I discovered that there was no volume in existence that would give the young people of our country an idea of the struggles of men in England and Europe against the tyranny of emperors, kings, popes, archbishops, bishops, and inquisitors; to supply that want, I wrote a second volume, entitled The Story of Liberty, which traced a chain of events through a period of five hundred years, from the signing of the Magna Charta to the settlement of Jamestown and Plymouth. This volume, therefore, fills the gap between the others in time, and together they make a series, not of general history, but an outline history of the progress of ideas.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)