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EASTERN DISTRICT of PENNSYLVANIA, TO Wit :

BE'IT. REMEMBERED, that on the twenty-seventh day
SEAL

August, in the forty-sixth Year of the Independence of
United States of America, A. D. 1821, WILLIAM GRI

SHAW, of the said District, hath deposited in this office Title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words lowing, to wit :

“ History of the United States, from their first settlement as Colonies the cession of Florida, in Eighteen hundred and twenty-one ; compris every important political event ; with a progressive view of the Aborigii Population, Religion, Agriculture, and Commerce; of the Arts, Scieni and Literature ; oceasional Biographies of the most remarkable Colon Writers and Philosophers, Warriors and Statesmen ; and a copious Al; betical Index. By WILLIAM GRIMSHAW, Author of a History of I land, &c.”

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intitu " An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Co during the Times therein mentioned.”_ And also to the Act, enti 1 An Act supplementary to An Act, entitled, “ An Act for the Encour ment of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Book: the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the Times therein i tioned,” and extending the Benefits thereof to the Arts of designing graving, and etching historical and other Prints.”

D. CALDWELL,
Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylv:

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Accompanying this edition, there is a small book of Historical Quesi for the use of Schools.

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Reflections. Improvements in Astronomy, Navigation, and

Geography. Voyages of Columbus.

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ALTHOUGH the period of man's residence in this sublunary world is much curtailed, his amount of happiness is increased. Providence has more than compensated the diminution of his years, by the extension of his knowledge. His mental faculties are no longer engrossed by the mere operations of his body. When his corporeal frame is employed in its daily avocations, or reclined beneath the friend. Ży shade, to recruit its exhausted powers, his mind ranges with delight over the cultivated field of science. His acquaintance with distant regions is enlarged; he goes abroad to indulge his curiosity, or makes an ideal excursion to amuse his imagination.

The exploring of the deeply hidden nature of the elements has not been more tardy than our advances in geography. It is true, that the Chaldeans and the Egyptians, at a time even beyond the most ancient records of authentic history, had marked the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, with a degree of industry and success, no less worthy of admiration than difficult of comprehension, when we contemplate their scanty apparatus; and, that during the refined ages, many centuries before the Christian era, the latter, or perhaps the Greeks, had discovered the form, and the dimensions, of this globe, with a geometrical exactness approaching nearly to the truth; yet, their ideas concerning distant countries were extremely defective and perplexed. On this subject, their theories were, in general, absurd, and tended to restrain inquiry; thus, strengthening the maxim, that conscious ignorance is less injurious than dogmatical error.

About six centuries before Christ, Pythagoras of Samos became acquainted with the learning of Egypt, and diffused his observations throughout Greece and Italy. He taught that the sun was the centre of the universe, that the earth was round, that people had antipodes, and that the moon reflected the rays of the sun; a system deemed chimerical, until the philosophy and deep inquiries of the sixteenth century proved it to be incontestible and true. Philolaus, who fourished about a century afterwards, proceeded a step further in astronomy. Embracing the doctrine of Pythagoras, he asserted the annual motion of the earth about the sun; and, only a short time had elapsed, when its diurnal revolu. tion on its own axis was promulgated by Hicetas, a Syracusan. Nearly at the same time, Meton and Euctemon made improvements in the science at Athens; and, subsequently, in various parts, Eudoxus and Calippus, Aristarchus, Era. tosthenes, Archimedes, and Hipparchus; the last of whom, about one hundred and forty years before our era, ascertained the latitudes and longitudes of more than one thousand of the fixed stars, and enriched astronomy with many other valuable discoveries. In our first century, Ptolemy, an Egyptian, formed a theory, which, although erroneous, was followed by all nations for many ages. He composed a great work, called the Almagest, containing his own, and the observations of his most illustrious predecessors. This record, saved from the destruction of the Alexandrine library, when burned by the Saracens in the seventh century, was translated into Arabic in the ninth, by the Emperor Frederick the second, and into Latin in the thirteenth. Thus, were the acquirements in astronomy happily preserved, and extensively diffused.

From the latter period until the discovery of America, the science was cherished by many distinguished

philosophers, -Alphonso, king of Castile, Roger Bacon, an English monk, Purbach, and Muller. The latter, a native of Koëningsberg, who died in 1476, invented several instruments useful in navigation; amongst which, was an armillary astrolabe, resembling one formerly used by Hipparchus and Ptolemy at Alexandria; with which, and a good time piece, he made many observations.

Enabled by this preliminary sketch, to appreciate more .

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fully the efforts of the different navigators in extending the sphere of commercial enterprise, we shall review, with additional pleasure, their adventures, from the earliest accounts, to the accomplishment of the great undertaking, which gave, to what is denominated the old world, a knowledge of the new.

To the desire of riches, may chiefly be assigned our enlarged acquaintance with the globe which we inhabit. The ancients were not less eager than the moderns in the pursuit of wealth; but their progress was unaided by the faithful and constant guide, which now directs the mariner during the darkness of the night, or the gloomy horrors of the tempest. Though acquainted with the property of the magnet, by which it attracts iron, its more important and amazing quality, of pointing to the poles, had entirely es. caped their notice. Their r.avigation was therefore timid and uncertain. They seldom dared to sail beyond the sight of land; but crept along the coast, exposed to every danger, and retarded by innumerable obstructions.

The Sidonians and Tyrians were more enterprising than any other people of antiquity. Astronomy, on its decline in Chaldea and Egypt, having passed into Phenicia, those people applied it to navigation; steering by the north polar star: and, hence, became masters of the seu, and almost of the whole commerce of the world. Their ships frequented not only all the ports in the Mediterranean, but were the first that ventured beyond the straits of Gades, now called Gibraltar, or that visited the western coasts of Africa and Spain. At the same time, having obtained several commodious harbours towards the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, they established, after the manner of the Egyptians, a reguJar intercourse with Arabia and the continent of India, on the one hand, and with the coast of Africa, on the other; from which countries, they imported many valuable commodities, and, for a long while, engrossed that lucrative trade without a rival. They landed their cargoes at Elath, the safest harbour in the Red Sea, towards the north. Thence, they carried them, by land, to Rhinocolura on the Mediterranean, re-shipped them, and transported them to Tyre. The vast wealth which the Phenicians had acquired by this monopoly, incited the Jews, under David and Solomon, to pursue a similar trade. The latter fitted out fleets, which, under the direction of Phenician pilots, sailed from the Red Sea to Tarshish and Ophir; two ports supposed to

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