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IN 1830.


Koery Important Political Event; with a Progressive View of the Aborigines; Popu
lation, Agriculture, and Cominerce; of the Arts, Sciences, and Literature; and
Orcasional Biographies of the most kemarkable Colonists, Writers and Philosophers,
Warriors and Statesmen.



Author of a History of England, fc.


INST ctors of youth are respectfully informed, that stereolype edi. aons of the following historics, written by the author of this volume, expressly for the use of academies and schools in the United States, con tinue to be sold, by all the booksellers, on the most liberal terms :

History of FRANCE,


Each in one vclame, accompanied by a book of Questions and a Key, on a plan which affords unusual facilities, both to the teacher and the student.

The demand for Grimshaw's Histories, for the last fourteen years, has been greater than was ever known for any other historical works, in any age, or in any language.

ENTERED, according to the Act of Corgress in the year 18:32, by Wir LIAM GRIMSHAW, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Easter: District of Pennsylvania.





Reflections. Improvements in Astronomy, Navigation, ana

Geography. Voyages of Columbus. ALTHOUGII the period of man's residence in this sublunary world is much curtailed, his amount of happiness is increased. Providence has more than compensated for 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. His mind now 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 imagi. nation.

The exploring of the deeply hidden nature of the ele. ments, has not been more tardy than our advances in geography. It is true, that the Chaldeans and the Egyptians, at a time even beyond most ancient records of authentic history, had marked the revolutions of the heavenly bod. ies, with a degree of industry and success, not 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 concern. ing distant countries were extremely defective and perplexed. On this subject, their theories were, in general, absurd, and tended to restrain inquiry : thu.3, 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 diffus. ed his observations throughout Gre..ce and Italy. He laught, that the sun was the centre of the universe, thal the earth was round, that people had antipodes, and that che 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 flourished about a century after Pythagoras, proceeded a step further in astronomy. Embracing the same doctrine, le asserted the annual motion of the earth around the sun ; and, only a short time had elapsed, when its diurnal revolution on its own axis was promul. gated by Hicetas, a Syracusan. Nearly at the same time, Meton and Fuctemon made improvements in the science at Athens; and, subsequently, in various parts, Eudoxus and Calippus, Aristarchus, Eratosthenes, Archimedes, and Hipparchus ; the last of whom, about one hundred and forty years before our cra, ascertained the latitudes and longi. tudes of more than one thousand of the fixed stars, and on riched astronomy with many other valuable discoveries In our first century, Ptolemy, an Egyptian, formed a theo. ry, which, although erroneous, was followed by all nations for many ages. He composed, in the Greek language, 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, and (by the emperor Frederic,) into Latin, in the thirteenth ; and 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 Eng. lish nonk, Purbach, and Muller.The latter, a native of Koeningsberg, who died in 1476, invented several instruments useful in navigation; amongst which, was an armillary astrolabe, resembling one formerly used by Hipparchus and Ptolen:y, at Alexandria; with which, and a good time. piece, he made many observations.

Enabled by this preliminary sketch, to appreciate more 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 that great undertaking, which gave, to what is denominated the old world, a kuowledge 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 escaped their notice.

Their navigation 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 Egypi, having passed into Phenicia, those people applicd it to navigation ; steering by the north polar star: and, hence, became masters of the sea, and almost of the whole commerce of the world. Their ships frequented not only all the ports in the Mediterranean, but were the Erst that ventured beyond the strait of Gades, now called Gibraltar, or that visited the western coasts of Africa and Spain. At the same time, haring obtained several commodious harbours towards the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, they established, after the manner of the Egyptians, a regu. lar intercourse with Arabia and the continent of India, on from which countries, thelye imported many valuable com modities, 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 nortli. Thence, they carried them, by land, to Rhinocolura on the Mediterranean, re-shipped them, and transported them to Tyre; and the vast wealth which the Phenicians had acquired by this monopoly, incited the Jews, under David and Solomon, to pursue a similar trade. Carthage, a colo ny of Tyre, applied to naval affairs, with unremitting ai. dour, ingenuity, and success. It early rivalled and sur. passed the parent state in opulence and power. Without covtending with the mother country, for the trade of the

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