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Accession :.„.':'4?3 1 . Class 

■ ■^•. 















f j _ 





• 4 



B«CLARKB,Priiitcr» Wdl-itreet, Uadoii; 




chancellor of the state of new-york. 

Will you permit me to place under your 
protection the following pages, in which it is 
attempted to present a brief outline of the Re--> 
sources and Character of a Country, whose pub- 
lic weal you have so powerfully upheld by your 
judicial talents and learning ;^ whose private in«- 
ierests have been promoted, and whose private 
relations have been uniformly gladdened^ by 
your social and domestic virtues? 

I have the honour to be, 


Your much obliged 

And most obedient Servant, 




Towards the close of theyear 1809, when the re- 
sult of the battle of fFagram, had convinced the Ame- 
rican public that the continent of Europe was finally 
subdued^ and that England alone remained ^' an easy 
prey to the all-conquering arms of the Great Napoleon> 
I ventured to oppose the headlong current of popular 
opinion; and in the ^^ Hints on the National Bankruptcy 
of Britain^ and on her resources to maintain the present 
contest with France^ (afterward repubhshed under 
the title of ^^ Resources of the British Empire^) under- 
took to demonstrate that the final destruction of the 
overgrown power of France was to be expected; 
Firsty from the nature of the French political and mill- 
tary institutions; Secondly y from the resistance of the 
people of continental Europe; and. Thirdly ^ from the 
resources of the British Empire. 

This work was no sooner published than niany pro- 
found politicians pronounced the author to be ^^ a vi- 
sionary fanatic, a mere closet recluse, unacquainted with 
men and things, deficient in judgment, and wanting 
common sense ;^' and persisted, with increased vehe<- 
mehce, as they inhaled fi-esh inspirations from the 
^ scevi sptracula Ditis,** to prophesy that France '^ would 
soon stretch heY sceptre over the whole oif Europe, 
plant her tn-coloured flag on the Tower of Londoii\^ 


tnd establish a Gallic viceroy in the palace of St. 
James.'* That controversy, I presume, is now closed^ 
by the events of the years ISlfi, 1813, 181:4, and 1815 ; 
and by the present residence of the Imperial s[,nd Royal 
Exilei whom those sagacious statespien so long worn 
shipped as the god of their Jdolatiy. 

In the advertisement to the ^^ Ifints on the National 
Bankruptcy of Britain,'* it was said, ^Hhe consideration 
of the domestic policy, the foreign relations, the man* 
ii^s and habits, the laws, ri^ligion, morals, literature^ 
and science of this very interesting ai^d unparalleled 
country, whose institutions ape almost entirely unknown 
to the people of Europe, and not sufficiently understood^ 
at least in their remoter consequences^ Ijy the general 
body of our own citi^^ens, I shall take up, as soo.n as I 
have leisure and opportunity to arrapge the great mass 
of materials, facts, documents, and state-papers, re- 
specting these United States, with which I am furnished 
by the careful and diligent collection of more tjis^n three 
years, aided by the abundant and liberal communica*- 
tions of some American gentlemen, who. have distin^ 
guished themselves as stetesmen of the high^t order, 
by the zeal, fidelity, industry, and talent, with which 
th^y liave discharged the most arduous political duties, 
both in their own country and in tlie courts of the most 
powerful European kingdoms.'* 

More than eight yedis have now elapsed, since it was 
then proposed to publish a *^ Plew of the r^sour^e^ of 
this United StatesJ* Those eight years hav|5 added v^ry 
considerably to the bulk and intei^st of th^ oollectioii 
then formed; and the following p^es, selected and di-% 
geSfting from the voluminous masses of materials relating 
tQ lOur federative Republf q^ are offered to the re^er as 

tn eJBfbrt to redeem the pledge given so feng since as 
October, 1 809. 

It is not intended in the present work to gire a sta* 
tistical viefr of the United States. Tins has been done 
already with so much ability and accuracy by th^ 
Honourable Mr. Pitkin^ a member of Congress, from 
Connecticut, that the political economist has only to 
resort to his book iot ample instruction on the com* 
merce, i^rkfulture, manT:rfactures, public debt, revenues^ 
and expenditures of the United States. To Mr. Pitkin^s 
" StatUtical f^ieuT the following pages are much in- 
debted ; and I beg leave to embrace this opportunity 
of presenting to that gentleman my grateful acknow-^ 
ledgments for his very kind and liberal offer to furnish 
me with his own collection of documents respecting tho 
United States ; a coflection unrivalled in extent and 
value, and containing, in more than a hundred printed 
vc^umes, besides innumerable manuscripts, all the ne- 
cessary information respecting North America, from her 
Earliest settlement; and, more especially, respecting 
these United States, from their first establishment to 
the present hour. 

The object proposed in the following work, is merely 
to give a brief outline of the physical, intellectual, and 
moral character, capacity, and resources of the United 
States, with an entire determination to steer clear of 
all undue bias for or against either of the great con- 
tending political parties, which divide^ agitate, and 
govern this ever-widening republic. As I have never 
received nor sought any favour or benefit from any 
one of the numerous parties which have had their day 
pf triumph and defeat^ in the quick succession and rapid 


alternations which so peculiarly characterize dll the 
movements of men and things under our pc^ular insti- 
tutions^ I may perhaps be permitted to say^ in relation 
to those parties^ whether dominant or defeated^ 

<^ Troif T)friusque mihi nullo discrimine agetar." 

After a few introductory remarks on the importance 
of a right acquaintance with the resources and cha- 
racter of the United States^ and the grievous misrepre- 
sentation of them by European writers, the ^rst chap- 
ter exhibits the territorial aspect, population, agricul- 
ture, and navigable capacities of the United States; the 
second, their commerce, home and foreign ; the third, 
their manufactures; the ^ai#r<A, ' their finances; the 
J^th, their government, policy, and laws ; the «£x^A, 
their literature, arts, and science; the seventh, their re- 
ligion, morals, habits^ manners, and character. The 
work is concluded by an eye-glance at the present con- 
dition of Europe, particularly of Spain, France, Eng-. 
land, and Russia, and the probable consequences of the 
present European coalition to these United States. 


^ New*York, JprO, 1818» 


DEDicAtioN.-— Advertisement<^-general conviction of the 
United States, in 1809, that France would conquer Eng-' 
land, V— that convicticm opposed by the author then, ibid'^ 
intention, at that time, to give a view of the United States, vi.« 
— ^Mr. Pitkin's Statistics, vii.— plan of the present work, ibid. 


Capacity and character of the United States not understood 
in Europe, 1 — their importance, 2 — Atlantic and Western^ 
3— misrepresented by travellers, 4— as Imlay, Parkinson, Ashe, 
Janseu, &c. 5— Brissot's theory of the United States, 6 — 
Gilbert's theory, 8 — books on the United States recommended, 
9 — why the present work was written, 10. 



Territorial aspect of the United States, ll«-|>opulation of 
the United States, and other countries, 15 — rapid growth of 
the United States, 17— of New York, Baltimbre, Kentucky, 
New Orleans, 18 — foreign emigrants, 20— salubrity of the 
United States, 21 — population of the United States; how 
raised and distributed, 22— Virginia population, 23— agricul- 
ture of the United States, 24 — navigable capacities of thet 
United States, 25 — canals mat/ connect the whole union, ihid. 
their importance, 26 — power of congress to make them, 27-? 
the Alleghany mountains and their rivers, 28 — communications 
between the Atlantic rivers, the St. Lawrence, and the Lakes, 
32— the New York canal, S3 — its.impoitance, 34-^territoriai 
capacities ot the IJnited States, 35— works thereon, 36. 



Anti-commercial theory, 37— its folly and mischief, 38^ 
^te commerce of the world ; of the United States ; of 
in, S9^their commerciail distren, 40-^pe«nliar advan^ 

^ \ 


taseftof the United States, t&t <f<— their exports, 41— imports, 48 
—home aiid foreign trade, 43— toimage, 44— tonnage of Bri* 
tain, France, and other nations, 45— United States coasting 
trade, and naoy^ tftt(/— emancipation of Spanish America^ 46 — 
its importance to Britain; to the United States, 47— junction 
of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 48— negotiations with 
Britain and President Adams for emancipating Spanish 
America, nonnecessity of esrtion on the part of Sritain, 50. 



Connexion between agriculture and manu&ctures, 59^ibIIy 
of forcinft ijmnu&ctures, 6 j-*-their condition in the United 
States, 55 — efforts to establish their monopoly j 56-- its evil, 
d7— mechanical skill of the United States, 58 — their chief 
manu&ctures ; amount, quality, and value, 59— in the difi^rent 
Sutes, 6 i-^andinparticular places, asPatterson, Philadelphia, 
62— Wilmington,Prttriburg, 63— steam-boats, 65— Fulton, ibid. 



Necessity of internal taxation^ 67 — United States taxes 
established, destroyed, 68^— mistaken tconoirny of the United 
States, 69— standing army of the United States; of Britain, 
70— importance of taxation, and moneyed institutions, 7 1 — 
national debt of the United States, 72— loans of last war, 73— 
sinking fund, 74— revenue of the United States, 75— customs, 
duties, &c. 76— internal taxes, 81— their apportionment, 82— 
United States property in land, slaves, &c« 8^— its rapi4 
increase, 85— pt/Mc lands, 86— finances of the United States 
for lis 17, 8S— aggf^[ate of the United States' capital, income, 
and expenditure, 89— do. of Britain; her def,i%t^ 90— do. of 
l^mnce, and other powers, 94— purchase of Florida^ 95— con- 
trast between the energy of the United States and supinenesa 
of Britain? &6— impprtance of Cuba to Britain, 97— feverish 
suite of Europe, t^ jet— preponderance of Russia, liirf— Holy 
League^ 98— combtnat^QQ ()f Europe and th^ United Stages 
against Britain, ibid. 



. United States g^vermtents all elective, 99— importance of 
political economy, t6f(/— characteristic difierences between 
talent 9nd modem goyi||ii9iems, iOO-f best works on political 

{)blfo{K)ptiy, lOO^miachtef of nunt&poKefi whetli^ m^rcaftiile. 
olr liuoiu&cmrmg, or ajgriGuItun]) I98— the esseniiah of a good 
gdyemmem, 109— national sot^feignty of the United Stat^, 
II l--adva&t^B of a wfHien conntftntimi, 1 19-Mniportance of 
siudying Afnerk^n polity, 1 id^rektion of General and State 
coiTemn^t^ 1 14'-tneirprobabledaration,fMi^-Barb^deMa^' 
bois, lis— 6. Morris, tMd^Federal Constitution of the Uftited 
States; i^ powers ami ^epregentatives, 1 16— evik of frequent 
elections, 1 17— of voting by ballot, ISO^of universal suffiage, 
1^1 — of qualifications in (he elected^ fMtf---of disfranchising n» 
der^, i%%'^Senatcr8 of the United State? ; holv appointed* 
123-^imppftance of a durable Senate, 124— evils of excluding 
cabinet officer^ firom the legislature, ISO— of under-paying the 

{public 8erT9.nts, 199^executive negative, ]34'-^money-bilIs^ 
97— geiteral powers of confess, 138— evSs of the present 
location of the seat of the Federal Grovemm^ht, 1S9— ^/ore 
system hi the Unite d States, 148— in the world, 149-«-abofitioQ 
of the slave-BSarBTy iBe lliHKa States, 160-^ev9s of slavery, 
1^|— slaves burned dive in the United States, 158-^attiempt 
m the United States to colonize free blacks, 16S— 'Best writers 
Oh die United States government and policy, 156— p»p<?rf. of 
Oetterai HumilBptii B8«— powers of the United States Exeeu^ 
I we, W9 — President; Vice President; how chosen, 160— evils 
c^ caucus^ jftid^joint powers of Executive and Senate, 165^-^ 
evils of muttHudimms executive in the States generally, and pkr* 
ticularly in New-York, H7 — eitecutivepower ofptfrflfonwg:; its 
importance, 172— abused in the United States, 174— JirdtWaf 
powersof ^e United States, 175^— evils of cashiering Judges at 
Ji>/y, 177 — requisites of independence in jtkdiciary, 178— thieir 
dependence in many states, 180— power of American judiciary 
over legislative Acts, 185— which not Hnown in any other coon* 
try, ld4^UBurpa|ion of Georgia Legislature over the judiciary 
1S7— impor^nce of such power in the judiciary, ibid— -diversity 
of laws in the United States; its evil, 190— crime committed in 
one State ifot punishable in another, l93^dtselHng ; General 
Hamilton and his son, 194— importance of uniform laws in the 
United States, 195— miscellaneous powers of Congress, 196— 
ameiidmenisdt the Federal Constitution, 197— how made, 199 
*— onsuccessftd attempts to make, 201— by Senator Hillhouse^ 
ibidr^iht Hartford Convention, 202— General Hamilton's 
{dan of the United States Constitution, 909^paper constitu* 
tions, necessity of a vigorous administration of the Fe^i^ral 
Oovernment, 207— Presidents Washimrton, Adams, J^fkitmn^ 
Kl^i^ison, Monroe, 208— ejects pf the W^blpg^Qn aaininistra»« 
ikrn t^ ffie U^itefi St^^esf, 20ds<4|Yity f^f 4 ^ise government tc^ 
exclvtAe jfbreigners Sroinall pctU^cid privileges, SlO— necessity 
^f^ve^v^gmd$tr^g^f^€niitg^te^m^^ SIIhf^^, 


of its disnipdon, 913— all nra) g&vetnments weak; instancsed 
in Britain and the United States, 915— general gQvernmentof 
the tJnited States toowf-ak in itself, @l7--its probable''«at6er, 
218— chief characteristics of American institutions, ^^M—popu-" 
lation of the United. &ftate9 heiiery tjieir government weaker, 
than those of Europe, 221— chief defects m all ffOYemmentSy 
ancient and modem, 222— peculiar adaptation of the United 
States governments tQ its people,^ 225^Mr. Jay'» parallel 
between European $md American Governments, 2^— general 
course of all free. gQvemment, 2^— superior physical intel-, 
lectual, and 'moral qualities of the American people, 9^ — 
increased power of the people, all Qvef the. world, 230— 
Emperor Alexander, 2^1— M. Talleyrand, 232— relative 
importance of the United States, eastern and western: sections, 
1^33— probable consequences of western predominance, 234— 

Ssieral conviction, in the United States, of superiority of 
merican to the British people^ 235 — the great question at issue 
between American and European governments, 236 — Resour* 
ces of the United States relatively greater xhviXi those of Bri* 
tain, 237— tlie revolutionary question supported by the United 
States and Cpntinential Europe a^^ainst England, 241— its 
probable result, 242 — danger of British Colonies, particularly 
Canada; its maladministration,...S4Si-^€'ti6/i once ofiered. to 
Mr. Jefferson, ^5— l^panish American Colonies must &11 to 
the United States, whom Britain cannot conciliate, 24tl-^ 
Vienna Treaty, 247— Holy League, t^ti^-United Stated mor« 
forinidable to Britain than Rus^a, 248 — Mr. Jackson^s .(the 
British Ambassador to the United Stat^,) opinion of the 
American people, 249— their capacity aiid character, .in peace 
and war, ^O-^polUical parties in the United States, 251— 
their views and objects, t&tflt— home policy of the United States, 
. 252— their skilful diplomacy ^ ibid-^iis importance, 253— skilful 
diplomacy of France and Russia contrasted with the diplo* 
matic blunders of England, 254— origin and progress of the 
armed neutrality^ from 1754 to 1815,259— catim of England's 
unskilful diplomacy, 265— her intrinsic home power, 267 — ^Mr. 
Jefferson^s prophecy concemins her, in 1782, 269 — LAWS of 
the United States and the worid generally, 270— their study 
most important, 971— necessity of Lectures on, in the United 
States, 273— effect of the study of law on the human under- 
standing, 275— Mr. Burke, 276— Mr. Canning 277— author 
of Pursuits of Literature, 278— Lord Thurlow,Xord Kenyon, . 
Lord Bacon, S79— superioritjr of the rofnmon to the civil law, 
283— its prevalence in the United States, 284— outline of le^ 
study, 285— some defects in the juridical system of America^ 
286— no remedy ag^nst the United States or a separate State, 
J6id— bad insohehi laws, 287— lower law-officers badlf 


.appointed, tfcirf— usury, tWd— poor laws, SM-— New- York 
fikindayScTiool Union, f6irf— defects of Nexxh York Constitution, 
29f— necessity of amending New York Conistitution, tfrtc^— its 
Court of Errors, &c. 293— no Bar in a free coUntry can be 
overstocked, 294r-lawyers govern the United States, f6£(i^the 
American Bar averages a greater amount of talent than the 
British, 295— characteristics of American and British elo- 
quence; of ancient and modern speaking, 297— of American 
and British law-reporters, S02— English crown-lawyers and 
New- York lawyers, 303. 



^ The United States and England, ' 904— Mr. Southey ; 
Editors of the Edinbur^and Quarterly Reviews, S05~United 
States under^rated in Earape, 306 — Franklin's refutation of 
the French theory, 307 — causes of the United States literatura 
being defective, 30&— -no want of American genius, 309*-gene« 
nd course of readers and writers in the United States, 310 — 
too earltf practical life in the Umted States, 313— periodical 
publications, 314*-perbetual change, 315— necessity of aa 
original Remiew in the United States, 316— e/emfn/arv educa* 
tion in the United States; in Britasn, 319 — saying of Greorge 
the Third, t'Mrf— Greeks and Trojans in the United States^ 
importance of universal education, Hrid^ibetBl education 
d^ctive in the United States, 321— grammar-schools, S^-^ 
erammur decried in th^ United States, 323 — its' defence, 
324 — colleges in the United States, 327— want of Hectares in 
the United States^ 328— education imured by clerical monOi> 
poly, S*i9— elocution in the United States virions and nasal^ > 
831— pronunciation of English, Greek, and Latin tongues, 
SSS'^formal dulness a bad qualification for a professor, 3^9-*^ 
importance of enthusiasm in a teacher, 340«^outline of Lec- 
tures pn Belles Lettres and Rhetoric, and on Moral Philosophy, 
341— gradational studies, metaphysics, mathematics^ physics, 
dassics, 343"— outline of 'liberal education in En^and, S4d-» 
m Scotland, 347— importance of composition m prose and 
verse, 349— neglect of general literature in United States pro* 
finnons, 350— its importance to aZ/jprofessional men, 351.-^pr^ 
sody universally murdered in the United States, S52«-*United 
States writers, 353— history, 354— novels, tAirf— poetry, 356 — 
Marshal's Washington, 356— periodical works, 357— M'Fin- 
gab, 358— Mr. Wirt ; Fisher Amesc, 359— Colden's Fulton, 
960«*Mn Walsh, 361— medical ^ience iu the United State% 

969-*Fki6 Arte, 364— remedies ptopoaed for Ulemrr defici^nb- 
ciesof the United States^ 365*— karncd societiea in the United 
States, 867— Governor Clinton, 368— importance pf a Natimtal 
Umver$ity in the United Stiutes, SGO-^female education in th# 
United Stales, S71-*-Mr. Griscom, iW— Miss H. More, 37«. 



General ignorance of forei^tiersx particularly the British, 
respecting the character of the United Stdtes, 374 — causes of 
that ignorance, 375-|-M. Talleyrand^s notions of the American 
character, tfttrf— national gratitude, what, 876--*bftnd of tha 
United States character, 377— identity of language, 378-** 
iUnited States national loyalty, SSO— M. Talleymnd smi/aX-en 
as to the Ammcan character, 381— course of colonial settle^ 
ments, 384— United States ; Aocpaettled and peopled, 385-^ 
feneignififtj^gtatioiis to the Uiuted States; Iriah oalony; French 
estaUiflhifieaty 2967— x^ef, .their number and mtEect ip ^tlMi 
■United States, 3 88 — rg/yib» die baalsof aU lULtional cbirac* 
ier, and gauge of all national prospenty, S9fiL— serious cthasoM 
of religious ordinances in the United StaTes^ SIQir^infiddktf 
in the united States, c6f (/-^Virginia; Louisiana, 39e-^neces» 
fl|y of rdigion to hun^^a communities, 39frn?e!xpeiiment of 
naiionat in^elity .made fo Europe, '397"<~the three eras of pa« 
ganism, superstition, and infiklelity in itbe history of Jthe wodd^ 
and 4b€ir ^rradfttioiud effects, upon mankind, 398— infiddity 
rihed with the retolutiMwrjf question, exemjdified in France 
and fia^nd,'403f^United Stotes calmness m religion, 4Q5— 
Dr. Pnestly, 407— no national diurch in the United States; 
<|f who9epojMdation^m€N<Afr<^ witf lat^niyveligiom ordinances, 
408-^vils of eadmme State i^bgion,: 409— of Htbts, 41Q 
—spirit of the. Age; Arehbishop ILiaud; Lord Clarendon, 
411— prerailtng sects in the United States; their cAnr^w 
gavemmetiiy 41il^— ^AmericaQ clergy, 413-!^coUe2iajte chuches^ 
4 14— rdiigion and lijpocncy are ^nibstance and shadow, 414-^^ 
Sunday^chods, Missibnanr and Bible Societies in the United 
States, 415— stttdy of 8* S. 416'*^Owen's History of the Bri-« 
tish and Foreign Bible Society, 417<— mer«b and mannem^t 
the United States, 4l9*--New*En^d, 4S0^«-Middle Sta^ 
492— Southern States, 4S3««* American wametty ihid^^-^ret 
population d^terionates morals, 4SA^^H:aged slave in Yiijnnia, 
4S6— Western Sltates, 41d6-«^Americimff locomotive mud mi* 
gratorv, 4S7*^westem oetders, 488^-;-geneinBil maimers of th^ 
iJtilled tStfttes^ 4S0<'^pby8icd actinty and strength, of J^meid* 

am population, iSS^Hhmr iiiulkcti»l ahreW^nesSy 4S4<— and 
political fetation, tfrkf-^^superior, in wmss^ to all other peo- 
ple^ 4S5r^«<lJfuted States aa^jr^ ibid'^^masbaeh oil United 
Sttates morals ; locteriea; ittterpnsons; insolfent law»,436-«* 
poof-lftwff, AUT^innaodenaie^ Arinkingp sM^Umted States 
peopfechariiable; mwificeocie of BoslK^n, 4S8-'-pattperismiUid 
profligacy of New- York; 439 manners of the United States ; 
M. Volney's notion, 443---the real state of the fact, 444— gene--, 
ral aspect of American society, 445-^ travelling in the l^ited 
States, 446— gradational cleanliness in the western, southern, 
middle, and eastern divisions, 448 — universal use of tobaccOy 
in smoking and chevring, in the United States, 450 — United 
States ammementSf ffttefr-marria^s, 451 — efficient population 
of the United States, 453— 'universal trading spirit in the 
United States, 455— Ao2x) profited by British capital in credit 
and insolvencies, ibid^^exiravagance general in the United 
States, 456— Descartes and Dutch Stadtholder, 457— no 
Jandly wealth, 458 — ^nor social st/ftorcfmo^toff in children, scho- 
lars, servants, 459— national 'oaniiv pf the United States, 46p 
—means of rendering the United States the greatest nation in 
the world, 461. 



Necessity of vigorous administration of our Federal Govenw 
roent, 462— state of France, ifttrf— clergy; nobility, 463 — repre- 
sentation and revolution, 464 — balance of power deranged, 
f&/i/— Prussia, ifcfrf— Austria, i65^Spnin ; her capacity and 
condition, 466-— her general ignorance, 467 — governed oy fo- 
reigners, 4ffi— her constitution of 1812, 469— return of Ferdi* 
nand, ffrt<i«-intrinsic power of JFVaiyce, 470— her contra-indica- 
tions, 471— preponderance of Russia, 474— her steadv ambi- 
tion, 475— her portentous progress, 476-p-Sir Robert Wilson, 
477— radical aifierence between American and European 
governments, lAtcf— defects of all free governments, 473 — in« 
trinsic power of England^ 479— shatterSi by the French revo- 
lution, iMd*— British Constitution, 480— United States Consti-^ 
tution, 48S — European ffovemments either military or com* 
fiiercial, 483-^defects of English administration ; home, fo« 
reign, and colonial, 484— her employment of national talent, 
486 — her growth during the last three centuries, 487— duration 
of nationd power and talent, 488— Chatham; Pitt; Castle- 
reagh; Canning, 491 — her present condition, 492— death of 
lier lineal princess, 494— necessity of the United States toaug<* 
awt ib^r nfitional sUength, and general government, 495-^ 


their recent destruction of intermU revenue, and occupation of 
Amelia Island, 496— treasury documents for 1817, 498^rate8 
of pay to public officers in the United States, 500— memoranda 
of mutation and vanity, 501 — British revenue and expenditure 
for 1818, 503 — abolition of the slaye trade by Spain and Por- 
tugal, 504— war between the United States and Spain, ibid. 





importance of the United States^ — Misrepresentations 
of Travellers^ ^c* 

THE resom-ces and character, the present power, and 
future prospects, of the United States j are very imper- 
fectly appreciated or understood by the nations of 
Europe. Nay, one of the great British critics has re- 
cently informed us^ that the Americans themselves 
have not yet told their own story well ; nor siiifficiently 
directed their mind towards fathoming the capabilities 
of their own country. 

To ascertain and exhibit the resources of this ex- 
tended and rapidly-rising empire, is worthy the atten* 
tion of every one who feels a deep interest in the well- 
being of the republic. Indeed, no object can be pre- 
sented more worthy of the contemplation of all the 
nations of the globe^ than the growing capacities of a 
commonwealth which has borne itself triumphantly 
through two isevere and bloody conflicts, against th« 
most fearful odds ; and run a career of peace, unex- 
ampled in enterprise and prosperity throughout the 
history of the world. 

Humanly speaking, no circumstances caw prevent 
these United States from becoming, eventually, and at 
ao distant period, a great and; powerful nation, in- 



fluencing and controlling the other sovereignties of the 
world ; — seeing that they are secure from the dread of 
powerfiil neighbours ; that they are not composed of 
detached and distant territories ; but that one connect- 
ed, fertile, wide-spreading country is the goodly heri- 
tage of their dominion ; that they are blessed with a 
* vast variety of soils and productions, and are watered 
with innumerable streams for the delight and accom- 
modation of their inhabitants ; that a succession of na- 
vigable rivers forms an ocean-chain around their bor- 
ders, to bind them together ; while the most capacious 
waters, running at convenient distances, present theni 
with so many highways for the mutual transportation 
and exchange of all their various commercial commo- 
dities, both' rude and manufactured ; and also for the 
easy communication of all ^iendly aids, political and 

In addition to the Atlantic States, exhibiting Up* 
Wards of two thousand miles of sea^coast, with innu- 
merable bays, creeks, rivers, ports, and harbours, and 
covering a surface of nearly one million of square miles, 
displaying every variety of soil and produce, — a new 
empire has suddenly sprung up within the bosom of 
the union, like an exheJation from the earth* I mean 
that immense regioncalled the ^^^/eniCtmn/ry; bound*^ 
cd on the north by the great lakes Erie, Hurpn^ and 
Superior, and the chain of waters between the Grand 
Portage and the Lake of the Woods ; on the west by 
the Rocky Mountains ; on the south by the Gulf of 
Mexico; on the east by the Alleghany Hills; com* 
prisixig fvll^^een hundred thousand square miles, and 
more than Jiff t/ thotisand miles of internal ship and 
boat navigation. It contains two thousand miles "of 
lake; one thousand miles of gulf; and one hundrled 
thousand miles of river coast. The whole country is 
one continued intersection of rivers, commuiucati]^ 
with each other. 

These vast territorial domains are held by a popula- 
tion, free as the air they breathe— a population, pow^ 
erful in physical activity and strength ; patient of toil. 


ftnd prodigal of life ; brave, enterprising, intelligent, 
and persevering ; presenting, both in body and in mind, 
the noblest materials for the formation of national greats 
nesS) prosperity, and influence. 

There are many and obvious reasons why the nations 
of Europe are unacquainted with the resources and cha^ 
racter of the United States ; which present institutions 
political and social, altogether unique, and unparalleled 
in the annals of humankind. It is sufficient merely 
to mention one very broad source of European ignor 
ranee, with respect to this country ; namely, the op« 
posite, but equally erroneous views which die various 
travellers from Europe have given of the American Re^ 
public. By far the greater portion of these writers 
have fallen into the vitious extreme of unbounded 
praise, or of indiscriminate censure. 

Many persons, ffuatrated in their pernicious hdpea 
at home, and sometimes smarting from the recent 
scourge ; men who have been arraigned at the bar of 
justice in their own land, as traitors and felons, and 
have exchanged the welUmerited gallows for an igno« 
minious exiie„ have generally depicted this country as 
the seat of uncontaminated purity, and uninterfupted 
happiness. If we may believe the assertions of these 
political philosophers, the soil every where teems with 
spontaneous plenty ; the air is balmy and fragrant; the 
soft delights of perpetual spring dwell upon the land ; 
the form of government, as it is written down upon 
paper, and appears in a printed book, is the model of 
all human p€»rfection ; the rulers are, of necessity, all 
rirtae, wisdom, and strength; andthe/»eop/e,.whoelect4 
and from the midst of whom are elected these rulers, 
are, invariably, all incorruptible in their political in^ 
tegrity, pure in their personal conduct, simple and re*' 
finisd in their social manners. Vice kiiows no habitat 
tkm here ; and Paradise is again restored oft earth, as 
it ^cisted, in all the bloom of innocence and love, be* 
tore the fall of our primeval parents. 

Another set of writers, dither rankling under the dis^ 
appointment of their too sanguine expectations of siip* 



cess in this country ; or, from a very slight and super- 
ficial view of what they did not understand, and under 
the guidance of that self-sufficient malignity, which ii 
the inseparable concomitant of dulness and ignorance, 
iind measuring ievery thing they saw here by the habits 
and manners of the people in their own country, and 
resolutely condemning whatsoever differed from the 
standard to which they themselves had been accustom- 
ed ; without ever once reflecting upon the very dif- 
ferent states of society which must necessarily take 
placQ in an old, lon^-^established, and fully peopled 
country, and in one which labours under all the peculiar 
circumstances of national infancy— a thin and a scattered 
population over an immense extent of territmy. The 
unfinished condition of its social habits, the fluctuation 
of its political institutions^ the uncertainty of its popu* 
lar movements, have taken upon themselves to repre- 
sent these United States as cursed with a barren 
. and inhospitable soil ; an ungenial and dreary clime ; 
a government full of weakness, fraud, and violence ; a 
people made up and compounded of the sweepings and 
reftise of Europe — " the taint of anarchy, and the blast 
of crime," — fickle and turbulent in their politics,, rude 
and coarse in their behaviour, and steeped in all the 
vulgar brutality of vice and faction. 

Gilbert Imlay, and M, St. John de Crevecceur^ au- 
thor of " The American Farmer," and of pretended 
^* Travels in Upper Pennsylvania and the State of New 
York," have exceedingly exaggerated the excellencies 
of the United States, by representing them as the abode 
of Tnore than all the perfection of innocence, happiness^ 
plenty, learning, and wisdom, than can be allotted ta 
.human beings to enjoy. A far greater number of wri- 
ters, however, have outraged decency, by loading the 
American people with abuse and calumny. Among 
the vilest and silliest of these, are Parkinson, an 
English farmer; Jlshe, 9i soi-disant military c^cer; 
and one Jansen, a non-descript. 

These writers, as appears from their own confession, 
never herded with any other companions than . tht 


lower classes of society in the union, such as stage- 
cbiTers, masters of sloops, keepers of ale-houses, low 
mechanics, retail tradesmen, and labouring peasants. 
It is-not, indeed, pretended by any of the advocates of 
American character and claims, that among these classes 
of the community can be discovered any very great 
refinement of breeding, or any very extensive in- 
formation, or any very profound reflection. 

Another set of travellers in this country have comd 
hither with letters of introduction to some very respects 
able gentlemen in the United States ; and, in conse- 
quence, have been received into their families, and the 
families of their friends and acquaintance; and, in 
every instance, have been treated with hospitality and 
kindness. These men have gone away to Europe, and 
published anecdotes of private families, have given to 
the world accounts of mere domestic incidents, such as 
could only have been imparted in the moments of un- 
suspecting confidence ; and the relation of which can 
serve no other purpose than to sadden the heart of 
those who have been betrayed, and stamp, in cha- 
racters of lasting infamy, the baseness of the being 
who could thus drag into painful notice individuals 
wishing to pass their lives in the privacy of cultivated 
retirement, occasionally diversified by the more select 
intercourse of the social circle. 

On the height of this bad eminence stand the Mar^ 
quis de ChastilleuXy and the Duke de la Rouchefaucault 
Lainc&urty who have repaid the kindness of American 
hospitality, by descanting on the, vulgarity of American 
manners, and by detailing to the world.occurrences and 
conversations which they could never have known, had 
they not, unfortunately, been mistaken for gentlemen 
by those whose eivilities and confidence they thus 
abused. But, surely, private individuals, who do not 
dbtrude themselves upon the public, but rather shun 
the eye of vulgar observation, are not fit subjects for a 
traveller's merriment, or satire. In a world, bursting 
with vice and folly, there are always knaves and cox- 
<2omb8j in sufficient number^ to exhaust all the powers 


of ridicule and invective ;: and these are the ofi£y legiti^ 
mate objects^ against which the laugh of the wit, and 
the declamation of the moralist/ ought to be directed* 

The well-known poet, Mr. Thomas Moore, when 
quite a young man^ published a book, made up of prose 
and verse, in which he, very unmercifully, abused and 
inisrepresented the people of this country. Some little 
time since, however, he addressed a letter to Mr. John 
E. Hall, the editor of the Port-Folio, in Philadelphia^ 
in which he expresses his deep repentance for having 
slandered America, and swings into the opposite ex- 
treme of unmeasured praise, representing it, now, as 
the only land where freedom, and happiness, and so 
forth, are to be found. 

It would, indeed, be superfluous to descant upon the 
credulity of Mr. fVeld, who, in enumerating the peril- 
ous wild beasts of this country, gravely asserts, and, as 
he says, upon the authority of General Washington, 
that the moschetto of the United States is so terrible in 
its attacks as to bite through the thickest hoot. Now, 
the moschetto, which is a species of gnat^ is no more 
troublesome or offensive here than the gnats are in the 
fens of Lincolnshire, or the lowlands of Essex, in Eng- 
land, Besides, General Washington merely told Mr. 
Weld, that the moschetto will* bite through the thickest 
stocking^ above the boot-top, when there is any space 
between the boot and the knee-band. But Mr. Weld 
has substituted the word boot for stocking ; and thus, 
very reasonably, alarmed all cautious people with a tale 
of terror, respecting the dreadftd ravines of the mos- 
chetto tribe of North Ammca upon the human body. 

Still more insufferable would it be to dwell upon the 
meagre, miserable trash, that is occasionally foisted into 
the Monthlt/ Magazine, of London, under the signa- 
ture of a littf e obstetrical Quixote, at Alexandria, in the 
district of Columbia ; and, by a singular misnomer, 
called ^^ Inf(yrmation as to the United States.'* 

But the character of M. Brissot de JVarvillCy the 
leader of the Girof|de revolutionary fitction in France, is 
too iiotorious to permit his observations on the United 


States to be passed over in silence. In a printed book 
of his, on the commerce of this coimtry, he very pro* 
fusely praises the Americans, and c^ls himself a 
Quaker. Brissot had led a veiy wandering life, and had 
written an incredible number of books on politics, none 
of which were over-wise. He had be^i a subaltern in 
the police, under the old French monarchy, and had 
been sent to London on some service, in the line 
of his vocation, by the lieutenant of police in Paris* 
The revolution in France, of course, raised him to the 
level of his merit, and he became the doer of a news* 
paper, an office of high importance in all revolutionary 
?K)cieties. He was, however, a better disprganizer than 
philosopher : few, in a numuscript volume of his, now, 
or lately in the city of Philadelphia, in the hands of 
some elderly Friends, or Quakers, to whom he sent it 
for the express purpose of being published in this coun?p 
try (a step which his more prudent correspondents de^ 
clined), he solemnly maintains that the character of the 
American people can always be known, infallibly, by 
the course of the rivers throughout the union. 

For instance, says this profound observer of men and 
things, when he illustrates this notable proposition, ^^ in 
the Northern and Eastern States, the rivers are violent 
and irregular in their progress, and so is the character of 
the iuabitants of these States." — Alas ! for the people 
of New England, who have always, hitherto, been 
deemed the most sober, orderly, steady, and persevering 
in their habits and manners of all the Americans ! '^ lu 
the Middle States,'' continues Brissot, " the rivers are 
strong and majestic, and so are the people. In the 
Southern departments, as Virginia, the two Carolinas, 
and Georgia, the rivprs are muddy, slow, ebbing, and 
flowing capriciously ; and, accordingly, the people on 
these states are dull, stagnant, and fickle.'' 

This consolatory mode of determining the national 
character of a people was never equalled, but once, in 
the annals of philosophisip. An obscure madman, 
called ffyiiam Giibert, in the yeaf 1797, pubhshed, in 
LondQii, ft ppeim, entitled " -'^ Hurricane, a theoso- 


phical and western eclogue ; to which is subjoinea, a 
solitary eflusion in a summer s evening." In the notes 
appended to this solitary effusion, Mr. Gilbert assures 
tis (I quote his own words), " First, that all countries 
have a specific mind, or determinable principle. This 
character may be traced, with as much satisfaction, in 
the vegetable as in the animal productions. Thus, 
strength, with its attributes, namely, asperity, &c. is 
the character, or mind of England. Her leading pro- 
ductions are the oak, peppermint, sloes, crabs, and sour 
cherries. All elegance, all polish is superinduced ; and 
primarily, from France, of which they [Query, who ?] 
are natives. Secondly, that a country is subdued when 
its mind, or life, (its prince, according to Daniel,) or its 
genitis, according to the modem easterns, or its prin- 
ciple, according to Europeans, is either suppressed or 
destroyed, or chymically combined with that of a fo- 
reign country, in a form that leaves the foreign property 
predominant, and not till then. And this cannot ensue 
but upon suicide, upon a previous abandonment, on the 
part of a nation, of its own principle. For when the 
Creator made every thing very good, he also made it 
tenable on the one hand, and on the other complete ; 
consequently, without the necessity, without the desire 
of encroaching '; and also without the capabiHty, ex- 
fcept under the penalty of surrendering, with its own 
complete roundness, its own tenabihty.*' 

*^ Thus,** continues Mr. Gilbert, " I arrive at a pri^ 
mary Uw of nature, that every one must fall into the 
pit that he digs for others, either before or after, or 
without success. Thirdly, that in the European subju- 
^tion of America, the American mind or life, only 
suffered under a powerful affusion of the European ; 
and that, as the solution proceeds, it acquires a stronger 
and stronger tincture of the subject, till, at length, that 
which was first subdued, assumes an absolute, unexpug-^ 
nable predominancy, and a final; inasmuch as the con- 
test is between the two last parts of the world, and 
there is no prospective umpire to refer to ; but it must 
be decided by the possession of first principles^ or th« 


highest mind in the hierarchy of minds ; and the Eur^ 
ropean possession of mind^ having previously arrived 
at perfection, from her long intercourse with Africa 
and Asia ; and not being able to rescue her fix>m the 
present grasp and predominancy of American mind, 
the question is now settled for ever, and Europe yields 
to the influence, mind, and power of America^ linked 
in essential principle with Africa and Asia for ever. 
Besides, Europe had full success in her encroachments ; 
she succeeded in throwing America into the pit ; and, 
of course^ it must be her own turn to go in now ; she 
depopulated America, and, now, America must depo- 
pulate her."— Q. E. D. 

It would be unjust not to recommend the work of 
M. BeaujowTy late Consul from France, residing at 
Philadelphia: his view of the commerce, policy, 
finances, agriculture, manners, and habits of the United 
States, is written with great spirit and intelligence; 
and cannot fail to repay an attentive perusal with a 
rich harvest of instruction and amusement. 

To which may be added M. de Marbois's prelimi- 
nary discourse to his account of Arnold's conspiracy, 
where the United States, their institutions, and people, 
are spoken of in terms of high eulogy, and ardent ad- 
miration. For a splendid and interesting account, and 
an excellent translation of this work, the reader is re- 
ferred to the second volume of Mr. Walsh's American 
Register. Mr. Volney s " View of the Soil and Cli- 
mate of the United States of America ;" and Mr. 
Schults's ^' Travels on an inland voyage through the 
States of N6w-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, &c." 
may also be consulted with pleasure and profit. 

Much useful information, conveyed in a plain, unos- 
tentatious style, may likewise be derived from Mr. 
Mellish*s " Travels through the United States, in the 
years I806, I807, I8O9, 1810, and 1811 f a work 
which is particularly valuable for its account of the 
Western States, and for the candour with which it 
treats, generally, of the country, its people, institutions, 
lanbits, and maimers, Th^ r^ad?r will also find ^^ Tra^ 


veis in the Intmor o£ the United States/* by Jolrn 
Bradbury^ F. L. S.^ an entertaining and instructive 
book. Mr. Morris Birkbeck's ^^ Notes of a Journey in 
America^ from the coast of Virginia to the territory of 
Illinois/* with the exception of some Jacobin slang 
against England and her institutions^ will be found a 
valuable and interesting little work. 

Let it not be imagined^ that I seek, by thus censur- 
ing many of the writers who have treated of this coun^ 
try, to recommend to the notice of the reader the opi- 
nions contained in the present work. It is merely de- 
sired to state the simple fact, that the people of this 
country have been grossly misrepresented ; and some 
publications have been referred to, as proving the cor- 
rectness of this statement. The chief intention of the 
following pages is to show, that the truth, as is gene- 
rally the case in all human opinions and transactions, 
lies between the two extremes, which have been chosen 
by the calumniators and panegyrists of the United 
States ; that this country is neither the garden of £den 
nor the valley. of Top\\et; that the Americans them- 
selves are neither angels nor fiends, but human beings, 
clothed with flesh and blood, possessing the appetites 
and passions, the powers aiKl frailties pf njiortality ; and 
greatly influencea in their feelings, sentiments, and 
conduct, by the peculiar circumstances in which they 
are placed. It is wished, " nothing extenuating, nor 
setting down ai:^ht in malice,'* to give a faithful por- 
trait, a living likeness of the habits and condition of an 
enterprising, intelligent, spirited, asjnring people, that 
must be, ere long, and jthitt wghty before this period, 
to have be^ better known, ftnd more justly appr^ 
ciated 1^ the potentates and nations of Europe. 



Qn the Aspect, Agriculture, Population, S^c. of the 
United States. 

It is not intended^ in the following pages^ to give a 
minute detail of the agriculture^ commerce^ jfinances^ 
politics, religion^ education^ literature^ habits^ and man* 
ners of the United States ; but merely to present a brief 
outline of their resources and character^ such as they 
appear, from an inspection and examination during se- 
veral years. ./The reader who wishes for more ample'N 
information upon the statistics of this country, is re» 
ferred to the second edition of Mr. Pitkin* s very valu* 
able work, entitled " A statistical View of the Com- 
merce of the United States of America ; its connexion 
with Agriculture and Manufactures,'* &c. giving an ac* 
count of the public debt, revenues, and expenditure of 
the United States, &c. to Mr. Tench Coxe's " View of 
the United States of America," exhibiting the progress 
and present state of civil and religious liberty, popula- 
tion, agriculture, exports, imports, fisheries, navigation^ 
ship-building, manufactures, and general improvements; 
to Mr. Bhdgefs ^^ Economica, a Statistical Manual for 
the United States of America ;'* to Mr. Jefferson* s 
" Notes on Virginia," in answer to certain questions 
proposed by M. Barbe de Marb(HS ; to the fVestern 
Gazetteer, or Emigrant's Directory," containing a geo- 
graphical description of the Western States and Tern- 
tones, including the States of Kentucky, Indiana, Lou* 
isiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and the Terrin 
tories of Illinois, Missouri^ Alabama, Michigan^ and 
Northwestern ; out of whicb may b? carved at leat^ 


twelve new states, each as large as the United Kingdom 
of Great-Britain and Ireland. And, ffnally, the reader 
may consult Dr. Morses ^^ American Universal Geo- 
graphy," which contains much valuable information, 
respecting the. United States generally, and each sepa- 
rate state in particular.^ 

The United States possess prodigious physical capa- 
bilities of wealth and greatness, in a home territory, 
spre^ out to an enormous extent, and fertile in most of 
those productions which minister to the necessities and 
gratifications of man ; in navigable rivers, capacious and 
convenient ports, and the Atlantic main, which connects 
them with the other portions of the world. All these 
advantages, brought into exercise by the spirit and per- 
severance of an intelligent and enterprising people, af- 
ford the means and facilities of acquiring ample power, 
and permanent strength. Indeed, the whole aspect of 
Nature here, in America, has a direct tendency to en- 
large and elevate the mind of the sensible and refined 
spectator. Little are the feelings of that being to be 
envied, whose heart does not swell with sublime emo- 
tions, when he sees with what a bold and magnificent 
profusion the living God has scattered the great works 
of his creation ill this quarter of the globe ; on how 
vast and awful a scale of grandeur He has piled up 
the mountains, spread out the vallies, planted the fo-r 
rests, and poured forth the floods. 

Some political writers and moral philosophers have 
asserted, that assemblages of the grander objects of 
nature tend directly to elevate the minds of those who 
live in their vicinity, and to give them a magnanimity 
of thought and action, which we look for in vain from 
the inhabitants of less favoured regions. And the ele- 
vation of mind, which is supposed to characterize the 
Scottish Highlander and the peasant of Switzerland, is 
referred to tfie effect produced by the sublime scenery 
which the rugged mountains, the , winding streams, 
the sunken glens, and the roaring torrents of their 
respective countries continually offer to their per- 
ception and contemplation. This position, however^ 


•ught to be restricted in its application, and considered 
as relating only to those who are endowed with quick 
perceptions and acute feelings ; for all experience 
proves, that upon ordinary minds, upon the great and 
grosser mass of human animals, no such exalting effect 
is produced, by the contemplation of nature in any of 
her visible forms, either of magnijScence or beauty. 

The great majority of mankind, either employed in 
providing for the necessities of the passing day, or in- 
tent upon the pursuit of wesdth, or engaged in adminis* 
tering to the gratification of the grosser senses, have 
neither the inclination nor the ability to derive pleasure 
from surveying the calm or the agitated ocean; or from 
observing the various beauties of natiure that adorn the 
^r face of the earth. All that the sea can present of 
value or delight to them is contained in her depths, or 
wafted on her bosom, in the shape of marketable com* 
modities; and all of satisfaction or comfort that they can 
derive from the earth is either pent up within her bow- 
els^ in the form of the more precious minerals or metals, 
or appear upon her surface, in all the variety of those 
animal and vegetable productions that can be converted 
into nutriment or profit. Much stress, therefore, is not 
to be laid upon the grand disposition of natural scaieiy 
in the United States, as regulating or affecting the moral 
and political character of tKe American people. 

President Montesquieu, and other political philoso- 
phers (besides M, Brissot de Warville and Mr. Gil- 
bert)^ do, indeed, attribute much of national character 
to physical circumstai^e^^s, as scenery, soil^ climate, &c. 
But the physical circun^stances of Greece and Rome 
are the same now as in the days of Peridies and Plato, 
of CfiBsar and Cicero. Yet how different now are the 
il/en of Athens and Rome, quantum matatus ah illo 
Hectore ! Such is the quickening power of liberty , 
not only to render man, individually, great and power- 
ful, but also, to render his country, for its allotted hour, 
lord of the ascendant over other nations ; while des^ 
petism debases the individual citizens into slaves, and 
tfafiir. <?pUQtiy the vassal of .vassals. Witness 


Greece^ once the pride and terror of the world, now Jk 
bondwoman to the ignorant and barbarous Turk ; wit-» 
ness Rome, once mistress of the earth, now the mise^ 
rabie asylum of a cumbrous superstiticMi, decaying even 
to the last faint gleam of extinction. 

Prior to the reign of the Imperial Charles the Fifth, 
Spain was theyrce** nation in Europe : the power of 
her kings was guardedly limited; all orders wewe ad- 
mitted to an equal representation in the diet; she main* 
tained an entire independence on the Roman Church ; 
she engaged and excelled in every walk of literature, 
science, and erudition; she influenced and controlled 
every other European sovereignty. Now, she' is the 
forlorn and abject slave of papal superstition, the vic-^ 
tim of the inquisition, dark, ignorant, helpless, a prey 
to the most despicable civil and religious bondage. 
Yet the plains of Castile and Arragon show as wide a 
champaign, and the range of the Pyrenees, the chain of 
the Sierra Morena, and the Mountains of the Asturias, 
lift their heads as proudly to the skies, now in the 
darkest hour of Spanish thraldom and degradation, as 
in her brightest day of civil and religious liberty, chi- 
valric heroism, and mental illumination. The characteat 
of nations, therefore, is formed^ not by physical, but by 
moral causes and influences, as government, religion, 
laws, and education, which will, hereafter, be shown at 

The United States are situated between 25^" dO^ and 
49* 17' north latitude, and between IC* east and 
48* 20* west longitude fix>m Washington. The most 
northern part is bounded by a line, running due west 
from the northwest comer of the Lake of the Woodsy 
and the southern extremity is the outlet of the Rio del 
Norte. The eastern extremity is the Great Menan 
Island, on the coast of Maine, and the western ex« 
tremi^ is Cape Flattery, north of Columbia Rivxer, cftk 
the Pacific Ocean. Their greatest extent from north 
to south 16 1,700 miles, and from east to west 2,700.. 
Their surface covers more than 2,500,000 square miles^ 
or 1,600^000^000 acres I and their population h tm 



millions^ or about four persons to every square mile. 
The following table shows the population and surface 
of some of the most important parts of the world ; 
namely, in round numbers, which is sufficient for our 
present purpose, to point out the proportion of territory 
and people between the United iStates and other sove- 

'Statei !■ 181T. 

Populatioii. Square Milet. 

All Russia . • : 52,000,0003,650,000 

Italy 2p,000,000 100,000 

France 29,000,000 250,000 

Austria 2tf,000,000 280,000 

Turkey 57,000,000 940,000 

British Isles 20,000,000 100,000 

Spain 14,000,000 150,000 

Prussia 11,000,000 96,000 

Sweden and Norway . . . 4,500,000 270,0Q0 

Denmark 800,000 6o,000 

United Netherlands ..... 6,000,000 47,000 

Switzerland 2,200,000 1 6,000 

Portugal 2,300,000 28,000 

China 200,000,600 1,200,000 

United States N. America 10,000,000 2,500,000 


43 5,800,000 9,687,000 

So that the United States have the largest home ter- 
ritory of all the nations in the world, except Russia ; 
and their population is gaining fast upon that of all the 
European powers. China is laid out of the question, 
because she is barbarous, helpless, and effete; she ca^ 
never contend for the sovereignty or controlling in- 
fluence of the world ; that question must be decided 
hereafter, between America and the first-rate poten- 
tatef of Europe. Britaia possesses a hundred andjifty 



millions of subjects in her colonial empire, and covera a 
dominion equal to nearly one-J^th of the whole surface 
of the globe; but her main strength must always de- 
dend upon the resources, intelligence, spirit, ana cha- 
racter of her native population in the British Isles. If 
these fail, her colonial empire will be soon dissipated 
into thin air. The following table shows the gross 
population and surface of the four quarters of the 

Quarters of the World. 


Square Miles. 

All Asia 












Total . . 



The following tables show how fast the people in- 
. crease in an extensive country, under the auspices » of 
free and popular institutions^ In the 'year 1749, the 
whole white population of the North American colonies, 
now the United States, amounted only to 1,046,000 
souls, in the following proportions, as to the respective 
•olonies, now states : 

New-Hampshire - - - - 30,000 
Massachusetts ----- 220,000 
IjLhode-Island ----- 35,000 
Connecticut ------ 100,000 

New-York ------ 100,000 

New-Jersey - - • ' - - 6o,000 
Pennsylvania and Delaware - 250,000 
Maryland ------ 85,000. 

Virginia - - - - - - - 85,000 

North-Carolina ----- 45,000 

Georgia •- ' - - - • - • 6,000 





. im. 



Vermont .•..••••«.. 





























New Hampshire 

Maine !••••. 
Massachusetts { •••.. 






Delaware •••••••••.. 

Maryland • • 

Virginia ? 

Kentucky $ 

North Carolina 

South Carolina 

Georgia •••••••••••. 

Western Territories . . 
District of Columbia. . 
Tennessee -«..- 

9ft fiTii 1 AK, 9^K 

J 00 




liOuisiana - . . - . 

Indiana •• •• ,.* 







Af issis^inni 

Illinois Territory .... 
Michigan dn. « 


Itfissonri dn 





What the national capacities of the State of New- 
York are, may be inferred, not only from her territo- 
rial extent, which is ten thousand square miles larger 
than all England and Wales taken together, but also 
from the fact, that she has already, in 1817^ outstripped 
every other State in the Union, in the number of ner 
population ; although, at the close of the revolutionary 
war in 1783, she did not contain half the number of 
souls which the States of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, and Virginia, respectively possessed. The 
following facts will show how rapid has been the growth 
of isome particular places in the United States. In the 


year 1783, the population of the city of New-York' 
was only 26,000 ; in the year 1790, 33,000 ; in 1800, 
60,439; in 1810, 93,914; in I8I7, 122,000; thus 
multiplying four times in thirty-four years. Its har- 
bour, formed by the union of the Hudson with the 
strait of the Sound, called East river, makes a road- 
stead capable of containing all the navies of the world. 
Its commerce far surpasses that of any other city in the 
Union, and in the course of a few years will be second 
only to that of London. It imports most of the good^ 
consumed between the Raritan and the Connecticut, a 
coast of one hundred and thirty miles, and between 
the Atlantic ocean and the lakes, a range of four hun- 
dred miles. In the year I8I6, th^ foreign imports 
into the city exceeded fifty-six millions of dollars. 

Fifty years since, no such place as Baltimore existed ; 
and now it is a city, abounding in commerce, wealth, 
and splendour, and contains a population of nearly sixty 
thousand souls. 

In the year 177O, there was not a single white in- 
habitant in all Kentucky ; in 179O, there were 73,677 
souls; in 1800, 220,966; and now, in 1817* nearly 
700,000. In 1783, the city of New-Orleans was in- 
habited by a few miserable Spaniards, who carried on a 
small smuggling trade. Now, in 18 17, it numbers 
nearly 40,000 inhabitants : and its exports, during the 
last year, exceeded those of all the New-England States 
taken together : the steam-boats have been found able 
to stem the current of the Mississippi ; and hence- 
forth, the struggle to engross the foreign trade of the 
whole western country will be between New-Orleans, 
.New-York, Montreal, and Philadelphia. The diffi- 
culty of ascending the Mississippi, had until the experi- 
ment of the steam-boats, prevented New-Orleans from 
supplying the western States with foreign merchandise, 
which was purchased cheaper in New- York or Phila- 
delphia, and carried by land to Pittsburgh, at the con- 
fluence of the Monongahela and Alleghany rivers, and 
thence down the Ohio, to the various settlements on 


its banks, than it could be transported up the Missis*- 
sippi and the Ohio. The chief part of this immense 
ana rapidly augmenting commerce will fall, of course^ 
to that place which can supply foreign goods at the 
lowest rate ; the difference of price depending chiefly 
on the expense of internal transportation. At present^ 
Montreal seems to have the advantage over her rivals. 
The single portage, at the falls of Niagara excepted, 
there is a free navigation for vessels from Montreal to 
Lake Erie, and the vast extent of waters beyond ; un- 
less, indeed, the canal^ to be opened between Lake. 
Erie and. the Hudson, may succeed in diverting th« 
trade of the western country from Montreal to New- 

The population of New-Orieans is rapidly increasing 
by emigrations from all the other States in the Union, 
and from almost every country in Europe. The exports 
of Louisiana alreacfy exceed those of all the New- 
England States. Nearly four hundred sea vessels ar- 
rive and depart annually. And about one thousand 
vessels, of all denominations, departed during the year 
18 16, from the Bayou St. John, a port of delivery in 
the Mississippi district, and were employed in carr)rine 
the produce of the Floridas, belonging to the United 
States. Six hundred flat-bottomed boats, and three 
hundred barges brought down, last year, to New-Or- 
, leans, produce from the Western States and Tcrrito-* 
ries. Ten millions of pounds of sugar are made on the 
Mississippi alone. And twenty thousand bales of cot- 
ton are exported annually. 

If the population of the United States shall increasf 
for the next twenty-five years itr-the same ratio that it 
has increased during the last twenty-five years, what 
European country, single handed, will be able to com- 
pete with them, on the land or on the ocean? or what 
European power will be able to preserve its Americui 
colonies, whether in the West-Indies or on the conti- 
nent, from their grasp? And why the population 
should not increase as rapidly, in time to come, as in 
the past periodic it is difficult to prov^; fpr the extent 

c a 


of fertile territory^ yet uncleared, is imrnensie; and.any 
one^ in any vocation, manual or mechanical, may^^ by 
honest industry and ordinary prudence, acquire an in- 
dependent provision for himself and family; so high are 
the wages of labour, averaging, at least, double the 
rate in England, and quadruj^e that in France; so com« 
paratively scanty the population; so great the demand 
for all kinds of work; so vast the quantity, and so low 
the price of land; so Ught the taxes; so little burden- 
some the public expenditure and debt. 

The recent convulsions and distresses of Europe 
have, during the last two or three years, thrown a 
9iore than usual quantity^of foreign emigrants into the 
United States. 

For the rapid increase of population, however, tliii 
cbuntry is much less indebted to foreign emigration than 
is generally believed. The number of emigrants from 
other countries, into the Union, has not averaged more 
than j£t;e thousand annually, during the twenty-five 
years preceding the peace of Europe in 1815; and fiill 
half that number have^ during the same period, migrated 
from the United States, partly into Upper Canada, and 
partly as seafaring adventurers, all over the world. 
The proof that this country owes the rapid increase of 
its population chiefly to its own exertions in that univer-* 
sal domestic manufactory, the production of children, 
lies in the fact, that the average births are to the deaths, 
throughout the whole United States, as 100 to 48; in 
the healthiest parts, as New-England and the Middle 
States, as 100 to 44;— in the least healthy, namely^ 
the two Carolinas and Georgia, as 100 to 62.— The an- 
nual deaths average, throughout the United States, 
one in forty; in the healthiest districts, one in fifty-six; 
in the most unhealthy, one in thirty-five. There die, 
annually, in all Europe, in great cities, one in twenty- 
three; in moderately-sked towns, one in twenty-eight; 
in the country, one in thirty-five; and in the most 
healthy parts, oi^ in fifty-five. 

The aggregate salubrity of the United States sur- 
passes that of Europe; the males are, genaally, actkc, 


robust^ muscular^ and powerful, capable of great exer* 
tton and endurance; the females display a fine symme- 
try of person, lively and interesting countenances, irank 
and engaging manners. Neither the men nor the wo- 
men exhibit such ruddy complexions as the British, / 
Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Russians, Norwegians, and the ^ 
northern Europeans generally. The Americans ave- t ; 
rage a longer life than the people in Europe ; where ^ C// 
only ikreey out of every thousand births, reach the ages ^ 
of eighty to ninety years; whereas, in the United 
States, the proportion is jioe to every thousand. 

The population of the whole United States has, 
hitherto, doubled itself in rather less than twenty ;fivt 
years. The New-England States, of course, do 'mH 
retain their proportion of this increase, because large 
bodies of their people migrate annually to the western 
country; which, in consequence, has increased much 
faster than do the States on the seaboard. Kentucky, 
for example, has increased eighty per cent, in ten 
years ; Tennessee, ninety-^five ; Ohio, one hundred and 
eighty; Louisiana, one hundred and fifty; Indiana^ 
eight hundred ; Mississippi Territory, one hundred and 
sixty; Illinois Territoiy, seven hundred; Missouri Ter- 
ritory, six himdred; and Michigan Territory, six hun- 
dred;— while, of all the Atlantic States, the greatest 
increase is only forty-four per cent, the population 
growth of New-York; and the least is twenty per 
cent, that of Virginia. So that, in the course of a few 
years, the States will range, if the future be like the 
past, as to their aggregate population in the following 
order; New-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky^ 
Ohio, North-Carolina, Massachusetts, South-Carolina, 
Tennessee, Maryland, Georria, New-Jerse^, Connecti- , 
cut, Vermont, Louisiana, New-Hampshire, Indiana, 
Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Delaware, and Rhode* 

Although the Western Country draws off large 
migrations from the Atlantic States, particularly from 
New-England, yet the annually-increasing surplus of ^ 
population in those S^tes has become so great, that i,_ 


thejr will not very sensibly feel the drain ; because the 
whole of the annual increase will never migrate in any 

E'ven year, until the older States shall be oversto€]ce4« 
[assachusetts proper, Connecticut, and Rhode-Island^ 
a{^)ear to be approximating to that point ; for their po-r 
pulation averages a very slow increase ; and they fur* 
nish, yearly, great numbers of recruits to the Westerq 
Country. As long as the Federal Union lasts, every 
succeedincc year will diminish the relative importance 
of New-England in the American commonwealth, by 
rendering her population and resources less and lesn 
proportionate to those of the Western States, whose 
preponderance in the national councils is already begun 
to be felt. Supposing, however, that the national 
councils shall be directed for the benefit of the whole 
United States^ and not, exclusively, or too abundantly, 
for the local interests of some particular districts, then 
no injury can accrue to the older States, on accoi^nt of 
their annual migrations to the west : because, by aug? 
menting the population and resources of the Union at 
large, they do, in fact, augment their own strength, as 
an integral part of that Union. If otherwise, indeed, 
but it is not pleasant to indulge in ill-omened s^nticjp^^ 
tions — sufficient for the day is the evil thereof, 

The migrations to the west, at present, are suppose4 
to average one-third of the annual increase of the older 
States; to this, add the importation of foreigners from 
Europe, and the growth of their own native stock of 
population, in an extensive country, a fertile spil, and 
a favourable climate, and it requires no great skill in 
political arithmetic to calculate how soon the Western 
States will outweigh all the re^t of the Union in the 
general government, by the mere force of a more 
numerous people. An overstock of inhabitants mujst 
always he measured by the habits and manners pre- 
valent in any given country. In the earlier stages of bar- 
barous life, for instance, suph a^ oijr aboriginal Indians 
pursue, one hunter for every square mile is considered 
by tliem a full stock ; and when there is more than this 
proportion, they say, "it is time fpr pur ypimg men to 


go to war, or we shall starve'* Hence arises their mer* 
ciless modeof fighting^and extermination after conquest^ 
so common to all savage hostilities. In the next^. or 
pastoral state of human society, an increase, at the rate 
of three or four to each square mile, takes place; as is 
seen in Arabia, and other parts of Africa, and in Asia. 
In the more advanced stages of social life, in countries 
where agriculture and commerce prevail, the rate of 
population varies from three to three hundred for each 
square mile of territory, according to the different de^ 
grees of advancement in the arts of civilization^ and 
commercial, horticultural, agricultural, mechanical, and 
scientific pursuits. In the most populous parts of China, 
^hcre. are upwards of three hundred persons to each 
square mile; in England, Irelan4, the Netherlands, 
and Italy, the average is two hundred; in France, one 
hundred and fifty; in Scotland, seventy; in Massa* 
chiisetts, Rhode-Island, and Connecticut, fifty-two; 
New-York, twenty; Virginia, fifteen j the whole United 
States, four. 

- It is a.faot worthy of observation, that in the State 
of Virginia there appear to be three distinct races of 
people; those on the seaboard, up to the head of the 
tidewater, are a sickly, indolent, feeble tribe; fit^m 
the head of the tidewater to the base of the Blue-ridge 
the soil is inhabited by as fine, robust, athletic, power- 
ful a body of men as may be found in the world; on 
the ridge of the Blue-moimtains the population is less 
in stature, but extremely active, hardy, strong, and 

The rapid increase of a healthy and vigorous popu- 
lation implies a flourishing state of agriculture; and, 
Accordingly, the United States, during the last twenty 
? years, except 1808 (the embargo year), and 1814, in 
/addition to maintaining their own fast-growing popula- 
/ iion, have, on an average, exported one fourth of their 
! Agricultural produce. For the tables, showing these 
J exports, from the year 1791 to I8I6, both inclusive, 
the reader is referred to Mr. Pitkin's Statistical View 
I #f the United States.,^ Agriculture, as a science, is im^ 


proving rapidly; and agricultural societies aire dtt^ 
blished in Massachusetts^ New-York, Pennsylvania, and 
some other States, for the purpose of ascertaining the 
modes of tillage, pasture, and grazing, best adapted to 
the different districts of the Union, llie chief articles of 
agricultural export are wheat, flour, rice, Indian com, 
rye, beans, peas, potatoes, beef, tallow, hides, butter,, 
cheese, pork, &c. horses, mules, sheep, tobacco^ cotton, 
indigo, flax-seed, tvax, &c. &c. — ^The following state- 
ment shows the value of agricultural exports, consti- 
tuting vegetable food, in particular years, namely : 

In 1802, ^Sl 2,790,000; 1603, f9 14,080,000; 1807, 
*14,432,Q00; 1808, f8'2,6 60,000; 1811,<8'20,39i;000; 
1814, *2,179,000; 1815, sS'l 1,234,000 ; 18l6, 

The United States far surpass Europe in navigable 
capacities ; their rivers are inore numerous, more ca- 
pacious, and navigable a greater distance. The Hud- 
son, or North river, that ministers to the convenience 
and wealth of the city of New- York, and is, , by no 
means, to be reckoned among the largest of the Ame- 
rican rivers, is navigable for sizeable craft nearly two 
hundred miles from the Atlantic. Some notion may 
be formed of the facilities for internal navigation in this 
country, by casting the eye over a map of the United 
States, and tracing the course of some of the principal 
rivers J for instance, the Missouri, the Arkansas, th* 
Red River, the La Plate, the Ohio, the Tennessee, and, 
above all, the Mississippi, the eastern extremity of 
whose stream is the headwater of the Alleghany, in 
Pennsvlvania, about two hundred miles northwest of 
Philadelphia. Its western extriemity is the headwatef 
of Jefferson river, about 650 miles from the Pacific 
ocean; making a distance between these two extreme 
points of 170($ miles, in a straight line. Its northern 
cdctremity is a branch of the Missouri, about 670 miled 
west by north of the Lake of the Woods. Its southern 
extremity is the south pass into the Gulf of Mexico, 
about a hundred miles below New-Orleans; making a 
distaiioe^ between its extremie notih and soutiii^ in n 


straight line^ of one thousand six hundred and eighty 
miles. So that this river;, and itd brandies^ spread ovei- 
a surface of about fifteen hundr^ thousand square mil^s^ 
traversing) in the whole^ or in part^ the following States 
and Territories ; namely^ the Territories of Mississippi, 
Missouri) North-wj^st) and Illinois; and the States of In* 
• diana, Ohio, New-York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Vir- 
ginia, the two Camlinas, Gtorgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
and Louisiana. 

Several successful efforts have been made, and mbrt 
are now in progress and in contemplation, to render 
the vast internal navigation of the United States still 
more complMe by the help of canals. On this subject 
much valuable information may Ixs derived from the 
able and luminous report of Mr. Gallatin, when Se« 
cretary of the Treasury, on public roads and canitls, 
sent to the senate on the Isecond of March, ISOJT. This 
Report, the substance of which will be given presently, 
^recommends to the general government to form canals, 
JTom north to south, along the Atlantic sea-coast ; to 
open communicaticHis between the Atlantic and western 
waters, and between the Atlantic waters and those of 
the great lakefe, and river St. Lawrence ; and, finally, 
to make interior canals, wherever they may be wanted, 
throughout the Union. The United States possess a 
tidewater inland navigation, secure from storms and 
enemies, reaching from Massachusetts to the southern 
extremity of Georgia, and interrupted only by four 
necks of land ; namely, the isthmus of Barnstable, in 
Massachusetts ; that part of New Jersey which extends 
from the Raritan to the Delaware ; the peninsula be- 
tween the Delaware and the Chesapeake ; and the low 
marshy tract which divides the Chesapeake from Albe- 
marle Sound. 

It is needless to expatiate on the utility of such a 
range of internal navigation, whether in peace or war, 
to quicken the pace, and multiply the products of com- 
merce ; to augment the means, and magnify the re-* 
sources both of offensive and defensive warfare. 
The ineonyttusnces^ complaints ; nay, dangers^ tt 


suiting from a vast extent of territory, cannot be radi* 
cally removed or prevented, except bj^ opening speedy 
and easy communications through alt its parts. Canals 
would shorten distances, facilitate commercial and per- 
sonal intercourse, and unite by a still more intimate 
community of interests the. most remote quarters of the 
United States. No other single operation has so direct 
a tendency to strengthen and perpetuate that Federal 
Union, which secures external independence, domestic 
peace^ and internal liber^ to the many millions of free- 
men th^t are spread over an area of territory larger than 
the surface of all Europe. 

Impressed with the weight of these truths, the House 
of Representatives and Senate, in Congress assembled, 
in February, 1817^ passed a bill, appropriating a fund 
for intern^ improvement; the principal features of 
which were to perfect the communication fix>m Maine 
to Louisiana ; to connect the Lakes with the Hudson 
river; to connect all the great commercial points on the 
Atlantic, Philadelphia^ Baltimore, Washington, Rich- 
mond, Charlestown, and Savannah, with the Western 
States, and complete the intercourse betwcjeh the west 
and New-Orleans. On the third of March, Mr. Madison 
withheld his signature, on account of his scruples, that 
the Federal Constitution had not given to Congress any 
power to make internal improvements in the United. 
States ; and Mr, Monroe, in his message to Congress 
on the second of December, lpl7^ after expatiating on 
the benefit of canaU and roads, declares it to be his 
settled opinion that Congress has no power to make any 
such internal improvement; and advises an amendment 
to the Federal Constitution, that shall give such a power. 
But the committee of the House of Representatives, on 
this part of the President's Message, reported, on the 
fifteenth of December, I8I73 that Congress h4is power: 
First To lay out, construct, and improve post-roads 
through the several States, with the assent of the respec* 
tive States. Secondly. To open, construct, and im-, 
prove military roads, through the several Statps^ with 
tjxe assent of tlie respective States. Thirdly. To wt 


canals tlirough the several States^ with their assent, fi>r 
promotmg and giving s^urity to internal oommeroe, 
gad for the more safe and economical transportation of 
militarjr stores in time of war; leaving, in all these c^es, 
the iurisdictional right over the soil in the respective 

If the general government cannot aid^he internal na* 
vigation of the Union, it is in the power of the State go^ 
vemments to accompUsh that important object at a com* 
paratively small expense. For less than one hmidred 
thousand dollars, a sloop navigation might be opened 
between Buffaloe and the Fond du Lac, a distance of 
one thp^sand ^ight hundred miles ; the only intemip* 
"tfon being th^ Rapids of St. Mary, between lakes Huron 
and Superior, Tb^ iObio, by one of its branches, French 
JDreek, approaches, with a navigation for boats, to within 
^even i^iles of Lake £rie; by the Connewango, to within 
nine; by the Muski9gum to the source of the Cayahoga* 
The Wabash mingles its waters with those of the Miami 
of the Lakes; ana the waters of the Illinois interweave 
their streams with those of Lake Michigan, whepc^ to 
St. Louis bostts pass without meeting with ^ singly 

The Apalachian Mountains extend west of south froqd 
the forty second to the thirty-fourth degree of north lati- 
tude, approaching the sea, and washed by the tide, in the 
Stateof New- York; and thence, in their southerly course, 
gradually receding from the sea-shore. In breadth about 
one hundred and fifty miles, they present a succession 
of parallelridges, following nearly the direction of the sea- 
coast, irregularly intersected by rivers, and divided by 
narrow valleys. The ridge, called Alleghany, which di- 
vides the Atlantic rivers from the western waters, pre- 
serves throughout a nearly equal distance of two hun- 
dred and fifty nciiles from the Atlantic ocean, and a 
nearly uniform elevation of three thousand feet above 
the level of the sea. These mountains consist of two 
principal chains, between which lies the fertile lime- 
stone valley, that, although occasionally interrupted by 
transversal ridges, and, in one place, by the dividing or 


Alleghany ridge, reaches from Newburgh and Esopu^^ 
on the Hudson river, to Knoxville, on the Tennessee. 
The eastern and narrowest chain is the Blue Ridge of 
Virginia, which, in its north-east course, traverses, under 
various names, the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania/ 
and New-Jersey, forms the Highlands, broken at West- 
point by the tide of the Hudson, and then uniting with 
the Green Mountains, assumes a northerly direction,' 
and divides the waters of the Hudson and Lake Cham- 
plain from those of Connecticut river. 

On the borders of Virginia and North Carolina, the 
Blue Ridge is united by an inferior mountain with the 
great ^stem chain, and thence, to its southern extre- 
mity, becomes the principal or dividing mountain, dis-^ 
chaining eastward the rivers Roahbke, Pedee, Santee^ 
and Savannah, into the Atlantic Ocean; southward, the 
Chatahouchee, and the Alabama, into the Gulf of 
Mexico ; and westward, the New River, and the Ten* 
nessee. The New River, taking a course northward, 
breaks through all the ridges of the great western chain; 
and, a little beyond it unites,, under the name of Kan* 
hawa, with the Ohio. The Tennessee at first runs south- 
west between the two chains, until having, in a course 
westward, turned the southern extremity of the sreat 
western chain, it takes a direction northward, and joins 
its waters with those of the Ohio, a few miles above 
its confluence with the Mississippi. The western chain, 
much broader and more elevated, bears the names of 
Cumberland and Gauly mountains, from its southern 
extremity, near the great bend of the Tennessee river, 
until it becomes, in Virginia, the principal or dividing 
mountain. Thence, in its northerly course, towards the 
State of New- York, it discharges westward the Green 
Brier river, which, by its junction with the New River, 
ibrms the Kanhawa, and the'rivers Monongahela and 
Alleghany, which, from their confluence at Pittsburgh, 
assume the name of Ohio* Eastward, it pours into the 
Atlantic Ocean, James River, the Potomac, and the 
Susquehannah. From the northernmost and less ele- 
vated spurs of the chain^ the Genessee flows into the 

11IV£RS. 29 

lake CHkano; and in that quarter the northern branches 
of the Siisquchannah appear to take their source, from 
among' inferior ridges; and, in their course to the 
Chesapeake, to break through all the mountains. From 
the Susquehannah, the priuGipal chain runs more east- 
ward, and washed on the north by the lateral valley of 
the river Mohawk, terminates, under the name of Cats^ 
kill Mountain, m view of the tidewater of the Hudson. 

It is evident that a canal navigation cannot be carried 
across these mountains. The most elevated lock canal in 
the world is thatof Langu^dock; and the highest ground 
over which it is carried is only six hundred feet above 
the sea. England, with all her means and appliances, 
has never yet completed a canal of an elevation exceed- 
ing five hundred fe^ above the waters united by it. The 
Alleghany Mountain, generally, is three thousand feet 
above the level of the sea. The impracticability arises 
from the principle of lock navigation, which, in order to 
effect the ascent, requires a greater supply of water in 
proportion to the height to be ascended, whilst the sup- 
ply of water becomes less in the same proportion. Nor 
does the chain of mountains, through the whole extent 
where it divides the Atlantic from the western rivers, 
afford a single pond, lake, or natural reservoir. Indeed^ 
except in the swamps along the southern sea-coast, 
no lake is to be found in the United States south of 
forty-one degrees of north latitude; and almost every 
river, north of forty-two degrees, issues from a lake or 
pond. The works necessary, therefore, to facilitate the 
communications from the sea-ports across the moun- 
tains to the western waters, must consist either of arti- 
ficial roads, extending the whole way from tidewater to 
the nearest and most convenient navigable western wa- 
ters, or of improvements in the navigation of the leading 
Atlantic rivers to the highest practicable points, con- 
nected by artificial roads across the mountains, with the 
nearest points from which a permanent navigation can 
be relied on, down the western rivers. 

Tha undertaking may be accomplished, by making 
four artificial roads from the four great western riversj 
the Alleghany, Monongahela, Kanhawa, and Tennes^ 


see^ to the nearest corresponding Atlantic rivers, the 
Sasquehannah, or Juniata, the Potomac, James river, 
and either the Santee or Savannah, and continuing the 
roads eastward to the nearest sea*ports. To which add 
the improvem^it of the n$prigation of the four Atlantic 
rivers, from the tidewater to the highest practicable 
point effected, principally by canals round the fidls, and 
by locks, when necessary; and particularly a canal at the 
Falls of Ohio. And although a canal navigation, uniting 
the Atlantic and western waters in a direct course across 
the mountains, is not practicable, yet the mountains 
may be turned, either on the north, by means of the 
Mohawk valley and Lake Ontario, or on the south, 
through Georgia ai>d the Mississippi Territory. 

The country lying between the sources of the rivers 
Chatahouchee and Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico, is 
an inclined plane, regularly descending towards the 
sea; and, by following the proper levels, it presents no 
natural obstacles to opening a canal, ted by the waters 
€£ the Mobile and Chatahouchee, and extending from 
the tidewater on die coast of Georgia to the Mississippi. 
The distance in a direct line is about five hundred and 
fifty miles ; and the design, if accomplished, would dis« 
^harge the Mississippi into the Atlantic Ocean. An 
inland navigation, even for* open boate, already exists 
from New-Orleans by the Canal Carondelet to Lake 
Pontchartrain; thence, between the coast and the adja- 
cent islands, to the Bay of Mobile, and up its two prin- 
cipal rivers, the Alabama and the Tombigbee, to the 
head of the tide within the acknowledged boundaries of 
the United States. 

The current of these two rivers being much less 
rapid than that of the Mississippi, they were for a long 
time contemplated, particularly the Tombigbee, as ai^ 
fording a better communication to the ascending, or 
returning trade from NewrOrleans to the waters of the 
Tennessee, from which they are separated by short 
portages. The navigation of the Kanhawa and the 
eastern branches of the Tennessee, Monongahela, and 
Alleghany, in their course through the mountains, may 
be easily improved. From the foot of the mountains 

RIVSR8, 31 

all those rivers, especially the Ohio, flow with a much 
gentler current than the Atlai^tic rivers. All those 
rivers, at the annual melting of the snows, rise to the 
height of more than forty feet, affording from the upper 
points, to which they are navigable, a safe navigation to 
the sea for any ship that can pass over the bar at the 
mouth of the Mississippi. And numerous vessels, from 
one to four hundred tons burden, are now annually built 
at several ship-yards on the Ohio, as high up as Pitts- 
burg, and bringing down to New-Orleans the produce 
of the upper country consumed there, carry to £urope 
and the Atlantic ports of the United States the sugar, 
the cotton, and the tobacco of the States of Louisiana, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Indiana, and of 
the Missouri and Alabama Territories. 

Until lately the exports far exceeded the imports of 
New-Orleans; such were the labour, time, and expense, 
necessary to ascend the rapid stream of the Mississippi, 
the nature of whose banks, annually overflowed on a 
breadth of several miles, precludes the possibility of 
towing paths. So that whilst the greater part of the 
produce of the immense country watered by the Mis- 
sissippi and its tributary streams, was, of necessity, 
exported through the channel of New-Orleans, the im- 
portations of a considerable portion of that country 
were supplied from the Atlantic seapprts by water and 
land communications. But now steam-boats carry mer- 
chandise and men from New-Orleans up to the FaUs of 
Lfouisville, on the Ohio, a distance of seventeen hun- 
dred miles. Here a canal might be made for half a 
million of dollars. At present, however, there is a 
ports^e of less than two miles at the Ohio falls, whence 
steam-boats ply regularly to Pittsburgh, a distance of 
seven hundred miles ; thus ensuring to the Western 
Country and its great outlet, New-Orleans, a rapidity 
of growth in wealth, power, and population, unexam- 

E led in the history of the world. It is to be noted, 
owever, that steam^boat navigation is much more ex- 
pensive than that by sloops^ nearly as ^e^i to one. 


Ab to the communications between the Atlantid 
rivers and the river St. Lawrence and the great lake9> 
vessels ascend the St Lawrence from the sea to Mont^ 
real. The nvec Sorrel discharges at some distance be- 
low that town the waters of Lake George and Lake 
Champlain, which penetrate southward within the 
United States. From Montreal to Lake Ontario the as^ 
cent of the St. Lawrence is two hundred feet. From 
the eastern extremity, of Lake Ontario, an inland navi- 
gation for vessels of more than a hundred tons burden 
is continued above a thousand miles, through lakes Erie, 
St. Clair, and Huron, to the western and southern ex- 
tremities of Lake Michigan, with no other interruption 
than the falls and rapids of Niagara, between Lake Erie 
and Lake Ontario. Lake Superior, the largest of those 
inland seas, communicates with the northern extremity 
of Lake Huron, by the river and rapids of St. Mary's. 
Five Atlantic rivers approach the waters of the St. 
Lawrence ; namely, the Penobscot, Kennebeck, Con- 
necticut, the North, or Hudson river, and the Tioga ^ 
branch of the Susquehannah ; which last river might 
afford a useful communication with the rivers Seneca 
and Genessee, that empty themselves into Lake Onta- 
rio. The Susquehannah is the only Atlantic river whose 
sources approach both the western waters and those ot 
the St. Lawrence. 

The three eastern rivers afford convenient commu- 
nications with the Province of Lower Canada, but not 
with the extensive inland navigation which penetrates 
through the United States, within two hundred miles 
of the Mississippi. The North river is a narrow and 
long bay, which, in its course from the harbour of 
New-York, breaks through or turns all the mountains^ 
affi>rding a tide navigation for vessels of eighty tons to 
Albany and Troy, nearly two hundred miles above New- 
York. In this particular the Ncirth river differs from 
all other bays and rivers in the United States; the tide 
in no other ascends higher than the granite ridge, or 
comes widiin thirty miles of the Blue Ridge, or eastern 


chain of mountains. In the North river it breaks 
through the Blue Ridge at West-Point, and ascends 
above the eastern termination of the Catskill, or great 
western chain. A few miles above Troy, and the heul 
of the tide, the Hudson from the North, and ttm 
Mohawk from the west, unite their waters, and form 
the North river. ^ The Hudson, in its course, ap- 
proaches the waters of Lake Champlain, and the Mo- 
hawk those of Lake Ontario. An inland navigation^ 
opened by canals, between Lake Champlain and . the 
North river, would divert to the city of New-York the 
trade of one-half of the State of Vermont, and of part 
of the State of New-York, which is now principally 
carried through the St. Lawrence and Province of^ Ca- 
nada. The works necessary to effect water communi- 
cations between the tide^water of the North river, the 
St. Lawrence, and all <he lakes, except Lake Superior^ 
would not cost more than five millions of dollars. 

The principd interior canals, which have been al- 
ready completed in the United States, are the Middle- 
sex canal, uniting the waters of the Merrimack river 
with the harbour of Boston, and the Canal Carondelet, 
extending from Bayou St. John to the fortifications or 
ditch of New-Orleans, and opening an inland communi- 
cation with Lake Pontchartrain. The uniting this 
canal by. locks with the Mississippi, would, independ- 
ently of other advantages, enable the general gov^n- 
ment to transport with facility and effect the 9ame naval 
force for the defence of both the Mississippi and Lake 
Pontchartrain, the two great avenue by which New- 
Orleans may be approached from the sea. 

Ob the 17th of April, 1816, and l*tiiApril,1817,the 
State Legislature of New-York passed acts, appropriat- 
ing funds for opening navigable communications be- 
tween the Lakes £rie and Champlain and the Atlantic 
Ocean, by means of canals connected with the Hudson 
river. Ihis magnificent undertaking is already begun, 
and j)romises to make effectui^l progress under the 
auspices of Governor Clinton, who has always been its 
zealous promoter and patron. If ever this magnific^it 



project shall be accomplished, and a communication ae« 
tually opened by canals and Ipcks, between Lake Erie 
and the navigable- waters of Hudson's riv^r, and also 
between Lake Champkin and those waters, the State 
of New-York will soon become, in itself, a powerful 

The completion of the prdected canals would secure 
to the people of the Unitwl Stdtes the entire profits of 
this branch of home commerce, and give to tht general 
government the security an^ influence connected with 
a thickly settled frontier, and a decided superiority of 
shipping on the lakes. 

The §tate of New- York ought never to rest until it 
has accompUshed this grea.t object, seeing that its ac- 
complishment will speedily multiply all her resources of 
territory and population* This State contains ii^ex- 
haustible supplies of salt, gypsum, iron ore, and a vast 
variety of other valuable materials for manufaetuni^ 
establishments;. Its territory, containing upwards of 
thirty millions of acres, offers to agricultural industry a 
rich reward. A river navigation, scarcely paralleled 
in the world, for nearly two hundred miles, without in- 
terruption, and terminating on the seaboard at a port,, 
capacious, healthy, and easy of access, at a^ seasons of 
the year; its iiiterior boundary line passing, more than, 
half its length, through the waters of^Erie, Ontario, and 
Champlain; and the numerous navigable lakes included 
within its limits, afford the highest cpmmerci^ capa- 
bilities and benefits. But the remote sections of the 
eastern and western districts lie neighbouring to the 
British' provinces, and are washed by navigable waters, 
which flow into the Atlantic Ocean through those pro- 
vinces. Facihtated by the course of their streams, and 
the declivity of their country, the Americans already 
contribute largely to their cpmmerce. And, if not pre-> 
vented, it will become permanent, ai^d number among, 
its agents all those who liye beyond the highlands, in 
which our rivers, running to the nprth„ pri^nate, in- 
dixdi|fig what is now the most fertile, and what will 
soon be the most populous, part of the State. 


in adiHtjbn^^o fiecaU^t^td the market of New^York 
the.productionrof itt o#n soil^vnow alienated to Cana* 
dayitheoonatruction of these canals would draw to this 
IStater the trade of ttbe western psHts of Vermont, of a 
great portion' of Upper Canada, and of the Northern 
half .of all that vast region of the United States which 
lies west of the Alleghany mountains. The country 
south of .<the great lakes alone includes as many square 
mileS' as ccmstitute the whole home territory of some of 
the first-rate European powers ; and is, perhaps, the 
most fertile part' of' the globe. That country already 
contains more than* a million of souls, and is increasing 
in its population with a rapidity utterly inconceivable 
by the inhabitants of the old and folly peopled districts 
of Europe. The increase of New-England population;^ 
during tne last twenty years, has averaged six per cent^ 
annually : and the surplus thousands of this increase are 
continually migrating to the west. There they are 
joined by a numerous emigration from the Middle and 
Southern States, who, together with them, multiply and 
thrive, in proportion to the means of subsistence pro-i 
duced by their common industry. The projected canaU 
will open to this immense and rapidly augmenting po- 
pulation a cheaper, safer, and more expeditious road to. 
a profitable market, than they can possibly find in any 
other country; and, eventually, render the city of New-* 
York the greatest commercial emporium in the world. 

The United States then exhibit a mighty empire, 
covering a greater extent of territory than all Europe, 
and held together by twenty separate State sovereign^, 
ties, watching over and regulating, in their executive, 
legislative, and judicial departments, all its municipal 
and local interests; with a Federal head, a general 
government, preserving and directing all its national 
concerns and foreign relations ; with a soil, rich iu 
all the productions of prime necessity, of conveni^ice^^ 
and luxury, and capable of sustaining ^re hundred 
millions of people; a line of seacoast more than two 
thousand miles in extent, and a natural internal na- 
rigation, in itself excellent, and capable of still further 

s 2 


improvement, by the construction of canals, at a com* 
paratively trifling expense ; affi>rding within its capa* 
cious bosom an asylum sufficient to receire all the ais- 
tressed of Europe, and holding out the sure means of 
ample subsistence and perfect independence to every 
one who unites in his own character and conduct the 
qualities of industry, sobriety, perseverance, and in- 
tegrity. For the best mode of location in the boundless 
regions of the Western States and* Territories, and for 
the disposition of the public lands, held by the govern* 
ment in trust for the people of the United States, the 
reader may, profitably, consult Mr. Mellish's ^^ Geo- 

g-aphical Description of the United States ;** Mr. 
rown's ^^ Western Gazetteer, or Emigrant's Directory,'' 
and Mr. Darby's " Geographical Description of the 
State of Louisiana, the Southern part of the State of 
Mississippi, and Territory of Alabama:" and for the in- 
land navigation of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain aixd Ireland, see " Resources of the Britis^h 
Empire," pp. 216—233, both inclusive. 



Commerce y 8^c. of the United States* 

Some fiew yeard since^ a theory prevailed in thii 
country that the United States would become a more 
prosperous and happy nation^ if they woidd forego, 
altogether and for ever, all foreign commerce; and, as 
a practical commentary ,upon this text, the general go- 
vernment, at that time wielded by Mr. Jefferson, and 
at his special recommendation, laid on, embargo, on all 
the American trade with other countries, in the month 
of December, 1807; and continued it with various re- 
gulations and enforcements, affecting internal commerce 
also, until the spring of I8O9, a period of eighteen 
months. These " restrictive energies'' (as the^ were 
vauntiagly called by Mr. Jefferson) not only annihilated 
the foreign commerce, but also very matenally crippled 
the coasting trade of the United States. The distress, 
misery, aild ruin, produced by this great agricultural 
scheme, not merely to the merchants, but to the farmers 
also (whose interests it professed to subserve, but whose 
property it destroyed by taking away the markets for 
their produce), was so general, so deep, so intolerable, 
as to prove the entire ftJlacy of the theory ; and the 
Amencan people now appear universally to concur in 
the sentiment publicly pronounced by one of the ablest 
and most efficient practical statesmen, who now serve 
as ornaments and bulwarks to the commonwealth ;r 
nan^ely, that "commerce a navy, and a 
navy nourished by commercfe,'*^ is the policy best calcu 
latcd to render the United States a prosperous and pow- 
erful empire. 


The aggregate commerce of the world, doubtlesg, 
is increased in consequence of the universal peace esta- 
blished, in the year 1815; but, as certainly, the respec- 
tive trade of the United States and Britain has been di- 
minished by that event. Britain has lost her war 
monopoly, and America has ceased to be carrier for the 
world. They are each reduced to the level of peace 
competition ; and must now contend in foreign markets 
with the skill and ingenuity of France and Italy, the 
patient industry and perseverance of the United Nether- 
lands, the rival labours of Denmark, Sweden, Russia, 
and the commercial parts of Germany, to which add 
the efforts of Spain and Portugal. Hence have arisen, 
during the last three years, both in the United States 
and in the British Isles, very general and very grievous 
distress, bankruptcy, and ruin, among their merchants, 
manufecturers, and farmers. In Britain the pressure 
has been more severe, on account of the enormous pub- 
lic expenditure, the confined territory, and crowded 
population of her home dominions, which allow no out- 
let for her people ; who mu^t, therefore, if not directed 
by their government, and aided to settle ih the North 
Anxerican coldnies or the Cape of Good Hope, or New 
Holland, swarm out hither, to swell the rapid tide of 
our western emigration. 

Nevertheless, so immense is her capital, so excellent 
her manufactures, so persevering the industry of her 
people, so vigorous and all pervading her government, 
that hexfofeign trade is rapidly improving, more parti- 
cularly with the Brazils, the Baltic, Italy, and the East- 
Indies. In the most prosperous days her foreign com- 
merce did nof make eai eleventh part of her home ' and 
colonial trade. For the gradual progress and amount 
of the British trade, alike in the Isles, the<k)Ionies, and 
all the quarters of the world, for the last hundred years, 
see the ^^ Resources of the British Empire,** pp. 1«2 
— 140, both inclusive; and pp. 399—450, 
i~In the United States the pressure has been less se- 
^fii^ than in Britain^ although the bankruptcies amoi7g 
our merdianta and m^nufai^ureni hav« been sufficiently 


numerous and distressing ; and the farmers also faaTc 
suffered greatly for wanik of a market for their produce; 
neverthelfess^ the modierate public expenditure^ the 
comparatively scaifty population^ and the^ immense 
outlet for enjterprising Industry^ in the new lands and 
virgin soil of the Western Country, prevent the neces^ 
sityof any one, who possesses health and industry, suf- 
fering from absolute want of food, elothing, and lodg- 
ing. The foreign trade of this country is, indeed, at 
present much less than it was previous to the embargo 
system ; but such is the activity, skiH, and enterprise 
of the American people, so well built, well navigated, 
and speedy are their ships, and so abundant the soil in 
valuable staples, that she must always average her, fUU 
share of e^ttemal commerce; and her home tnide is con- 
tinually increasing, by the improvement of her internal 
navigation, the variety of her products, and the rapid 
growth of her population, wealth, and intercourse. • The 
wages of labour here average more than double their 
rate in England, and quadruple that in France^ and 
land is plentiful, cheap, and fertile ; so that those who 
are straitened and embarrassed in the large cities, ha^e 
only to fall back into the country, and become industry* 
OU3 yeomen, and they readily provide ample sustenanoa 
for themselves, and lay abroad and permanent founda- 
► tion of independence for their families. 

The reader is referred to the second edition of M?* 
Pitkin's. Statistics for an account of the exports and 
imports, the home and foreign trade of the' United 
States, and the proportions of their external commerce 
with different nations, during a period of nearly one 
himdred and twenty years, mcluding their colonial as 
well as their national existence and commerce. The 
following tables show the amount of American forei^ 
trade, in exporjts and imports, at different periods, in 
order to exhibit the rise and pn^ress, and altemations 
of the commercial career, which this country has nm^ 
from tb^ year 1700 down to the present time. 




Ayetag» from 1700 to 1710, 
.1710 to 1720, 
1720 to 1730, 
1730 to 1740, 
1740 to 1750, 
1750 to 1760, 
1760 to 1770, 
1770 to 178O, 

UoiteA Statei. 

«'1,000,000 «1,100,000 




Importf of the 
Uniied State*. 




6,160 000 

In 1784 




Totd Ezporti. 

Eiporl* of donic*- 

Bi ports of foicigp 

1791 — — 
1795 - - -- 

-lano . 

«19,0 12,041 








1803 ... - 
I8O7 - - - - 
bargo year, $ 


£bgland, y 

181« - - -^-^ 

I8I6 - - - - 









Of the domestic exports of the United States the pro* 
portions are ;— the produce of agricultuFe, three-fourths 
in value ; the produce of the forest^ one-ninth ; of the 
sea, one-fifteenth ; and manufactures, one-twentieth* 


Of the foreign exports, the proportions in 1 807 (the 
greatest commercial year ever experienced by the 
United States) being the year immediately preceding 
the embargo, were <8'43,525,320, imported from the 
British Isles ; «8'3,812,o65, from France and her de- 
pendencies; and <8*1 1,318,532, from the rest of the ^ 
world. During the years 1802, 1803, and 1804, the 
annual value of the imports into the United States was 
*75,3 16,937 ; and of the exports, *68,46o,000. Of 
the imports the proportions were. 

From Britain . ;8'35,g70,000 

the northern ppwers, Prussia, and 

Germany 7,094,000 

Dominions of Holland, France, 

Spain, and Italy 25,475,000 

Dominions of Portugal .... 1,083,000 
China, and other native powers of 

Aria 4,856,000 

All other countries 838^000 

Whence it appears that the trade between the 
United States and Britain is greater in amount than 
between the United States and all the rest of the 
world : which is a strong reason why the two countries, 
for their mutual benefit, should preserve friendly rela- 
tions towards each other, in the spirit as well as in the 
letter of peace. 

During the same three years, 1802, 1803, and 1804, 
the annual value of domestic exports was <S'39,928,000 
Of which was exported to the British 

dominions 20,653,000 

To northern powers, Prussia, ai)d 

Germany 2,918,00Q 

Dominions of Holland, France, 

Spain, and Italy . . . . . . 12,183,000 

Dominions of Portugal .... 1,925,000 

All other countries .;..... 2,249,000 


The annual value of foreign produce, re-exported to 
all parts of the world, during those three years was, 

Of which was exported to the British 

dominions 3,054,000 

To northern powers, Prussia, and 

Germany 5,051,000 

Dominions of Holland, France, 

Spain, and Italy ....... 18,495,000 

Dominions of Portugal .... 396,000 

All other countries ...... 1,537,000 

Annual value of importations being . . . 75,316,000 
exports — domestic 

produce .... 39,928,000 
foreign produce . 28,533,000 

. \ ^ 68,461,000 

Apparent balance against the United States, *6,855,000 

The imjports for the year I8O7 were, in 

value .............. 138,574,876 

exports— domestic 
produce .... ^48,699,592 

foreign produce . 59,643,558 


Total .... ^246,918,026 

From this great commerce with foreign nations, 
amounting to nearly two hundred and fifW millions of 
dollars in one year, together with all the wealth it 
poured into the country, and all the productive industry 
,it put in motion, Mr. Jefferson's embargo cut off the 

TONKAGIfi. 43 

United States ; which, in consequehcjs of our own re- 
strictive energies, the late war with England,, and the 
Seace diminution, have never yet nearly reached that 
Oodtide of trade which was fertilizing and enriching 
every comer of the' Uiiioii. l^or^a view of the trade 
of the United States with each* country, from the com- 
mencement of the government, . distin^ishing the 
trade of the parent country from that of her colonies 
and dependencies, together with a general account of 
the trade of America with each quarter of the world, 
the reader tnay most profitably consult Mr. Pitkin s 
Statistics of the United States, second edition, begin- 
ning at page 183, and cohtinuing to page 290, 

The United States, since the establishment of the 
Federal government in i/Sg, up to the commence- 
ment of commercial restrictions in December, I8O7, 
and the war with England in 1812, increased in wealth 
and population with unexampled rapidity^ as appears 
by the great iricreaBe of their eixporte ana imports ; of 
the duties on imports and tonnage, and of their com* 
mercial tonnage ; by the accumulation of wealth in all 
their cities, towns, and villages ; by the establishment 
of nunierous monied institutions ; by the great rise in 
the value of lands ; and by various internal improve- 
ments, in the shape of roads, bridges, ferries, and ca- 
nals ; and by their annual consumption of goods in- 
creasing rapidly. For instance, the average yearly 
amount of merchandise, paying duties ad valorem^ 
consumed, was, in 

Three years, from 179O to 1792 .... *19,310,80l 
Six^j^ears, — 1793 to 1798 . . . . 27,051,440 
Three years, — 1805 to I8O7 . . • . 38,549,966 

At least seventy millions of pounds weight of sugar, 
are consumed in the United States,^ :In IBIO, ten mil- 
lions of pounds were made in the territory of Orleans,, 
now State of Louisiana ; anil about the same quantity 
igade from the maple-tree throughout the U nit^ jStates. 



Sugar-cane plantations are increasing in Louisiana^ and 
twenty millions of pounds weight of sugar are supposed 
to have been made in I8I7. In the State of Georgia/ 
also, the sugar-cane is cultivated with success. The 
culture of the cane is not more laborious than that of 
cotton, and less liable to accidents : a moderate crop is 
1000 pounds per acre ; and in a few years a sufficient 
quantity will, probably, be made within the limits of 
the United States to supply their consumption. The 
increase of American tonnage is unexampled in the 
history of the commercial world, owing to tne increased 
quantity of bulky domestic produce exported, the in- 
crease of population, and extent of the carrying trade. 
The increase of the registered tonnage, or tonnage em- 
ployed in ^mfl^n trade, from 179^ to 1801, was 
358,815 tons, having nearly doubled in eight years. 
From 1793 to 1810, the increase was 6 10,535 tons. 
In 1 79^5 the tonnage employed in the coasting trade 
Wais 122,070 tons; in 1801, 274,551 tons. From 
1793 to 1810, the increase was 283, 276 tons. The 
tonnage employed in the fisheries increased from 1793 
to I8O7 abeut 40,000 tons. 

The whole tonnage of the United States, in 1810, 
was 1,424,780 tons, of which the different States 
owned the following proportions : 

New-Hampshire, Tons 28,817 
Massachusetts ....•••. 405,903 

Rhode-Islaod ........ 36, 1 5fi 

CoDoecticut. • •••...*. 45,108 

New-York 276,557 

New- Jersey 43,803 

Pennsylvania ..•;.... 125,430 
Delaware .i 8,190 

Maryland .... Tons 143,785 

Virginia •• 84,923 

North Carolina .•.••• 39,594 

South Carolina •••,••• 63,926 

Georgia 15,619 

Ohio • None 

New-Orleans 13,240 

The State of Massachusetts has many hundred 
niiles of Sea-cotust, with numerous inlets and harbours ;. 
and her amount of tonnage has always been greater 
than that of any other State in the Union. The 
tonnage of the principal seaports^ in 1 8 1 0, was. 


OfBostcm . • Tons I4%l2l 

New York • . . fi68,54B Second onljf to thai of London. 
Philadelphia . . 125 ,25S 
Baltimore . • . IOS9444 
Charleston ... 52^888 

Now, in 1817^ the whole tonnage employed in^^ 
reign trade is much less than it was in 1 810. So much 
has peace all over the world lessened the external 
commerce of the United States. The tonnage of 
Britain has not groM^i with a rapidity equal to that of 
America; for, in 1700, it was only, 273,693 tons; in 
1750, 690,798 tons; in 1800, 1,269,329 tons; in 
1813, 1,579,715 tons. In 1787, France owned only 
300,000 tons, in her foreign trade;' in 1800, only 
98,304 tons. In 1804, the nations round the Baltic, 
including Norway and Holstein, owned only 493,417 
tons, not half the tonnage of the United States. 

The extensive and rapidly increasing coasting trade, 
as well as the fisheries of the United States, will not 
only augment the wealth and comfort of the American 
people, but will always ensure a large body of excel* 
lent seamen for the supply of the navy, when wanted. 
The American navy, formerly proscribed as a burden 
and curse to the country, seems at length to have 
fought itself into favour with all parties. Its heroic 
achievements and splendid success, during the late war 
with England, and its present commanding attitude in 
the Mediterranean^ have elevated the character of the 
country, and conferred an imperishable glory upon its 
own name ; and justly claims the support and honour 
of the government and people, both m peace and in 
war, now and for ever. The American navy consists: 
of nearly one hundred ships, brigd, and schooners, be- 
sides small sloops, and gtin«boats«*of which nine are 
rated atseventy-four, but carry ninety guns ; ten forty-* 
four gun& ; one thirty-eight gillis ; two thirty-six guns ;. 
two thirty-two guns, and thirty from twenty-height to 
sixteen guns. The actual number far exceeds the rate 
f>f guns in all the classes of vessels. Congress^ has 

*6 >^AViri 

made Stmple appropriations f^r the annual increase of 
the navy ; so that the United States^ in all ptobability^ 
will soon be able to send out, fleets sufliciently nume* 
rous to cope with any European power, for the niastery 
of tb^t element^ whose dominion invariably 4M>nfers a 
paramount influence among all the sovereignties of the 
earth. The number of naval ofllicers^ at the commence- 
ment of the last war, were thirteen captains, nine m^is^ 
ters commanding, and seventy lieutenants, Ilie pro* 
motions during Qie war were siscteen captains, twenty- 
eight masters commanding, and one hundred and 
twenty lieutenants. The promotions since the peace 
have been ten captains, nineteen masters commanding, 
and sixty-eight lieutenants. ' 

An almost universal notion prevails in this eountrt^, 
that the commerce of the United States will be prodi- 
g;iously benefited by the emancipation of the Spanish 
Anierican colonies, and throwing open their trade t^ 
the v^orld. But this is at least problematical, because 
those immense regions produce all the staplers of th<| 
United States, and many mote also> and would find, in 
the event of their emancipation and free trade, a m6re 
profitable market in Britam than in the United States^ j 
and in return, England could supjJy them with 'manu- 
factured goods, better in quality, more abundant in 
quantity, and at a lower rate, than any other country can 
possibly do. A proof of this is to be fdrnid in the fadtj 
that the influx of British goods into the United States, 
siiice the peace of 1815, has destroyed or suspended a 
great portion of bur American manufacturing establish-, 
ments $ a fortiori, then, American cannot contend yith 
British manufactures in foreign markets, seeing that they 
are beat in the unequal competition at home, uJ)on their 
own ground, although aided by protecting duties. ' 

It appears somewhat doubtfiii, 'whether the Spanish 
colonies, unassisted by any other power, will be able; 
eventually, to shake off* the yoke of CMd Spain ; for, 
during neariy ten years of revolutipnatymovements,, 
they do not seem to have shown the intelligence; skill,, 
reflection, forecast, combination^ and p^:^everancej^ re-v 


quisite to establish ^ffee government. The hands of 
England, probably, are tied up by the Treaty of Vienna j 
and the United States government do not seem dis*- 
posed to interfere, as they passed an Act of Congress, a 
few months since, forbidding the transportation of nieq^ 
and arms, a^d ammmiition, frpm our American ports to 
aid the revolted colonies. The President, in his Message 
of the second of December, 181 7, states, that our citi-^ 
zens sympathize with the Spanish Americans, but the 
United States government have maintained, and will 
continue to maintain, a strict neutrality between the 
contending parties, keeping their ports open to both^ 
and seeking no exclusive commercial advantage from 
the colonies, if they shall become independent. Never- 
theless, the United States government have ordered the 
settlements on Amelia Island, at the mouth of St. Mary's 
River, near the boundary of Georgia, and at Galvestovhi, 
in the Gulf of Mexico, made by me Spanish Americans^ 
to be broken up by our tro<^s ; and nave sent comm]i8N» 
sioners along the southern coast of Spanish America, to 
communicate with the existing authorities, and claim 
redress for past and prevention bf future injuries. 
France and Spain both materially assisted the American 
colonies in their revolt bora the mother country ; and,, 
doubtless, any government, whether military, or mo* 
narchical, or republican, provided the Hispano-Ameri-' 
cans could establish their own national sovereignty and 
independence, would be infinitely preferable to. the co^ 
lonial system, of Old Spain-^a system which enslaves 
both body and mind, and debases the human animal 
below the condition of the brutes that perish^ In all 
probability, if their national independencie were once 
fixed, ix}., whateva* form, and under how many sove- 
reignties soever, the f^icitous contagion of liberty 
would spread from the United States, and graduallj^ 
improve the spirit, and liberalize the character an4 
conduct of the new-bom dynasties. 

llie reader may find considerable information on thit 
subject:, by consuUing the ^^ Outline of the RevoluticMx 
in Spanish America, &€.** by a South American, firsih 


published in London^ and republished in New-York, 
m November, 1817« This work gives a full and fair 
account of the origin, progress, and actual state of the 
war between Spain and Spanish America, down to thie 
close of the year 1 8 1 6. The " Letter to Mr. Monroe,? 
on the Spanish American revolution, supposed to be 
written by Mr. H. Brackenridge, is an able and spirited 
performance ; it advises our government to acknowledge 
the independence of the Hispano-American provinces, 
as Soon as they become independent de facto ; but not 
to go to war with Spain on their account ; nor to aid 
them with men, money, arms, or ammunition. See also 
a very able article in the Quarterly Review, for No- 
vember, 1817^ respecting Spain and her colonies; in 
which the writer maintains it to be the duty of Britain, 
either to observe a strict neutrality, or to mediate ami- 
cably between the contending parties. This article 
contains much valuable information respecting Spanish 
America, and some profound and accurate observations 
on the different characteristics of its pdpulation and of 
that of the United States. 

The advantages of the emancipation of Spanish Ame- 
rica will pervade the whole world; but, in the first 
instance, will be more particularly directed towards 
England. The liberation of this immense region from 
colonial bondage has engaged the attention of some of 
the most distinguished statesmen, in this country and in 
Europe. Early in the first revolutionary war, a Jesuit, 
bom m Arequipa, in the province of Peru, addressed the 
Spanish colonists, and called upon them to establish a 
free and independent government, which might at once 
secure their own prosperity and happiness, and open a 
liberal intercourse of reciprocal benefits with the rest of 
the world. This enlightened ecclesiastic, who exhibits 
an intimate acquaintance with* the most aj^roved prin-^ 
ciples of political philosophy, died iii London, in 1798, 
and left his manuscript papers in the hands of the 
Honourable Rufus King, at that tiine minister in Britain, 
frcmi the United States. Some part of these papers was 
afterward printed, through the intervention of Gener^ 


Miranda, for the purpose of being distributed among 
his countrymen, previous to his unsuccessful expedition 
in 1806. . 

Perhaps the greatest commercial benefit, resulting 
from the emancipation of Spanish America, would be 
the formation of a navigable passage across the isthmus 
of Panama, the junction of the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans. The expense of such an undertaking would 
not exceed three or four millions sterling ; and Britain 
could not more profitably^ employ twenty or thirty 
thousand of her distressed labourers than in executing 
such a task, under the superintendence of competent 
engineers. The completion of this navigation would 
pve England the command of the commerce of the 
whole world, and soon compensate her for all the toil, 
and wealth, ?md blood, which she has expended during 
twenty-five years of unexampled warfare, waged for the 
redemption of Europe from revolutionary bondagei 

In the year 1790, the scheme of Spanish American 
emancipation was first proposed to Mr. Pitt by General 
Miranda, and met with a cordial reception ; but was 
soon afterward laid aside, on account of Britain and 
Spain resuming their pacific relations with each other. 
In the year 1797/ Miranda was met at Paris by deputies 
and commissioners from Mexico and the other principal 
provinces of Spanish America, for the purpose, of con-» 
certing with him the means of emancipating ^heir 
country. It Was decided that Miranda should, in their 
name, repair to England, and communicate their pro* 
positions to the British government ; one of which was 
to join the Atlantic and Pacific at the expense of the 
colonies, and another to cede the Floridas to the United 
States, the Mississippi being proposed as the boundary 
between the two nations ; and the stipulation of ^ smalt 
military force, from the Anglo-Americans, to aid the es- 
tablishment of the proposed independence. It was 
also proposed to resign all the islands which belong to 
the Spaniards, excepting Cuba, the possession of which 
is rendered necessary by the situation of the Havanna^ 
commancUng the passage from the Gulf of Mexico. This 


dMument U dated at Parish) 22d of December^ ^79!* 
The proposal for the return of Miranda to England was 
acceaed to by Mr. Ktt, with whom a conferenee was 
held in January foHowing. It was proposed that the 
United States should famish ten thous»ad troops; and 
the British government agreed to find money md ships. 
But Mr* AdamS) then the American President^ declined 
to transmit an immediate answer; and the measure 
was^ in consequence^^ postponed. In the year 1806| 
Mr. Jefierson, at that time President of the United 
States, disavowed the expedition of Miranda to eman- 
cipate Spanish Americaji and actually caused Messrs. 
Smith and Ogdea^ two merchants of the city of New- 
York, to be indicted in the Circuit Court for this Bis^ 
trict for aiding and abetting Miranda's enterprise; but 
the jmy found a verdict of acqmttal* For a most ample 
and splendid account of the practicability and effects of 
liberating Spanish America,, and joining the two oceans, 
see the tibirteenth volume of the Edinburgh Review, 
pp. 277 — i^^i hoth inclusive. 

It appears necessary for Elngland, now, to make 
some extraordinary effi>rt to recruit her exhausted 
strength, and to relieve her present pressure. She has^ 
indera> during the lapse of five and twenty years, di« 
reeted, with a daring and a steady hand, the vast re- 
sources of her migh4y empire, against the common 
enemy of the biunan race: with the guardianship of 
presiding genius, she has aided the weak and restrained 
' the encroachments of the strong: she has assisted the 
people of continental Europe in their patriotic efforts to 
trample beneath their feet the foreign domination of an 
invading foe; she has caused the star of Napoleon to 
fode into a dim tinct; she has put together the glitter- 
ing fragments of diqointed Europe, and given again to 
^lat fair portion of the world the beamings of religion, 
the light of morals, and the beauty of social order. But 
her recent ^ries have led her to a painful pre-emi- 
lienee; h^ceforth she is doomed to the proud but n^e- 
lahcholy necessity of being Jirst or nothing. The mo- 
ment ahe recedes, the moment she bows her bfiy head 


beneath the ascendency of any other nation^ that mo- 
ment she is dashed from off her wide ambitious base^ 
and falls^ Uke Lucifer^ never to rise zgam. In her late 
protracted conflict, her frame has been shattered ; her 
finances are dilapidated; her agriculture languishes; her 
manufactures droop ; her commeree is diminished ; her 
population is impoverished ; and, if she hopes to sus- 
tain that high eminence which her achievements have 
reached, in the times of EUzabeth, of William, and of 
her present sovereign; achievements which have ren- 
dered her the arbitress of Europe, the bulwark of civil 
and religious liberty, and the tutelary angel of man; 
she must hasten to emancipate the Spanish American 
colonists, and unite the waters of the Atlantic and Paci- 
fic oceans. Unless some measures be adopted by 
Britain to employ and teheve her superabundant and 
indigent popuktion, a much greater proportion than has 
ever yet left her native isles will find their way hither, 
to augora^ ib0 niimbv of our AmerioaB dtiMiis. 

fi a 



On the Manufactures of the United States. 

There can be no doubt that agriculture has a ten- 
dency to produce a more abundant and more healthy 
population than that which springs from manufactures; 
but agriculture and manufactures act and re-act upon 
each other for their mutual benefit ; for the greatest 
and most important branch of the commerce of every 
nation is that which is carried on by the inhabitants of 
the towns and cities with those of the country. The 
townsmen draw from the people of the country the 
rude produce, the fruits of tne soil, for which they pay 
by sending back into the country a part of this rude 
produce manufactured and prepar^ for immediate use; 
or, in other words, this trade between town and coun- 
try consists in a given quantity of rude produce being 
exchanged for a given quantity of manufactured pro- 
duce. Whatever, therefore, has a tendency, in any 
country, to diminish the progress of manufactures, has* 
also a tendency to diminish the home market, (the most 
imporimit of all markets for the rude produce of land) 
and consequently to cripple the efforts of agriculture. 

In young and lately established countries, however|. 
where the population is wof, as yet, sufficiently nume- 
rous to answer fully the demand for labour ; it is perhaps 
more adviseable to confine their attention chiefly to the 
raising of rude produce, to the clearing new lands, and 
cultivating those already reclaimed ; because they can 
import manufactured goods from an old and thickly 
peopled country, at a cheaper rate than they can fabri- 
cate them in their own; and they will more rapidly in- 


crease the number, strength, and wealth of their people- 
by so doing, than by consuming a larger quantity of 
capital in forming manufactured goods of a worse qua^ 
lity, and at a higher price than that for which they can 
bring them from abroad. 'Bedsides, as the wi^s of 
labour are so high, and land so chieap, in the United 
States (and in all new countries), there is a continual 
bounty oiFered to labourers to leave their manu&cturing 
masters, and go and buy land, tod till it for them* 
selves; since every man, who has any proper feeling of 
independence beating at his heart, would rather toil for 
himself and his family, as an uncontrolled yeoman^ 
than labour as a confined servant to a stranger. Whence 
the manufacturers would be (as indeed they are daily 
and. hourly in the United States,) liable to frequent in* 
terruptions in their proceedings, and suffer much pre- 
judice in their trade, enhancing the price and deterio- 
rating the quality of their wares; all which «vil must, 
ultimately fidl upon the consumers, and necessarily 
«!itail a burdensome impediment upon the productive 
exertions of the community^ 

. The United States, therefore, it should seem, would 
do well not anxiously to endeavour to force the produc-* 
tion of manufactures by government bounties, by pro- 
tecting or prohibitory duties, by monopoly prices, be- 
fore an effectijal demand shall be made for them by an 
increased density of population along the seaboard, and 
in the interior; by the more minute division of labour^ 
and by the more complete filling up of the other chan^ 
nels of trade and agriculture. Nay, perhaps it would be 
wiser, for some years yet to come (until the wilderness 
be reclaimed, and the population be more compact), for 
the Americans to confine themselves chiefly to the rais^ 
ing of raw materials, and let Europe continue to be the 
workshop where those raw materials might be manu- 
factured;, beeause experience has uniformly shown that 
no nation has ever yet pushed its manufactures to any 
great ^extent, without introducing and continuing a very 
alarming quantity of misery and disease, decrepitude^ 
vice^ and profligacy, among the lower orders of the p^o* 


pie ; and this tx> the stttesmm^ who measures the 
itrength and greatness of a nati(ni by the health and 
virtue^ the prosperity and haj^iness, of its citi2ens9 
seems too great a price to pay for the privilege of nm- 
nufacturing a few yards of broadcloth^ or a few pieces 
6f inuslin. England herself is a portentous illustration 
^ this truth : recently^ and for the last five and 
twenty years^ her manufacturing districts have sent 
forth fall bands of Luddites^ and Spenceans^ and 
jacobins, and anarchists, and rebels, and assassins, that 
have tontinually put to the test the strength, and 
strained the nenres of her'govemment. See the ^^ He^ 
sources of the British Empire,*" {^. 140«-'154, for 
the state of British manu&ctures. 

But as the introduction of manufactures into, and 
their extended increase in a country, generally promise 
large profits to speculators and ciqpitalists, it is noi to 
be €3Cpeeted that the mere circumstance of manu£u^« 
tares being destructive of the virtue, health, and happi* 
ness of the labourers employed in them, will ever be of 
sufficient weight to deter any nation from introducing 
and establishing these nurseries of individual wealth, 
aiMlwide^-spread poverty, among themselves, whenever 
an opportunity shall occur. The wages of labour in 
the .united States are at least one hundred per cent, 
higher than in England, and quadruple those of France ; 
iiM yet the agricultural products of this country find a 
profitable market in Europe; while the expense of 
. meeting and contimiing manufacturing estabhshmentt 
is such as, in many instances, to disable them from 
competing with those of Europe, unless protected ly 
bounties, prohibitory duties, and a monopoly. The 
cause of these apparently contradictory efiects is to be 
found in the vast quantity and low price of our new and 
fertile lands. One man is aUe to spread his agricul* 
tural labour over a much wider surface of soil in the 
immense regions of America^ than can be done in tiie 
Comparatively small and circumsoribed districts into 
wl^ich the European farms are necessarily divided, on 
account of the narrow limits of territory^ coupled wkh 


a crowded population^ Hence, aldiottgh tiie ^yMSttk of 
agriculture in the United States is less perfect, ttid less 
productive on a given quantity of ground, than in some 
parts of Europe, yet the far wider range of land under 
cultivation (about lin*ee times as many acres as mka 
up the whole superficies of the Britisii isles) pro4»ces 
annually a more abundant crop, in mass, to theiiidus^ 
of a given number of proprietors. 

Formerly, some of our leading poUtickns jprofessed 
to think it more adviseable for the United States to prtK 
secute the labours of agriculture^ than ti^ atteknpt tb 
force manu&ctures into a premature mA peniicilNiii 
existence. Mr. Jeflfefson,^ in his ^ Ndtes on Virginia,** 
strenuously labours this point, and patheticalfy dc^rdi- 
cates the hour when the American pec^e shall be con*'- 
verted from robust and virtuous farmers into sickly and 
profligate manufacturers. But he has lately altered hi& 
opinion, as appears from his recent letter to the Secre- 
tary of the Society for encouraging Americaninanufao- 
tures, in which he Sj^ms to have forgotten 2M hik 
former exclamations in favour of agriculture, and all his 
^ Jeremiade^ against manufactures. In order to ac- 
complish their purpose, this Society, consisting of ma» 
nufacturers all over the Union, is continually beseeching 
and besieging Congress to exclude all foreign goods ifrom 
the United States, and give them a monoroly of the 
American market; that is, in other words, to lay a 
heavy tax upon all the other classes of the community^ 
the fanners, clergy, lawyers, merchants, physicians, and 
all tile labouring orders, that a few manufacturers^ 
about a hundredth part of the wh<^e population, may 
enrich themselves by selling to their fellow^citizc^s bad* 
goods, at a much greater price than they could import 
lar better commodities from Europe. 

This is, in fact, chccl^ing the growth of the wailth 
and population of the United States, by at least alt the 
difierence between the monopoly pirice of American 
manufactures and the fair comj^tton price of import^ 
European goods ; to do which, might, indeed, be very 
good patriotism, but it is certidnJy tery bad poficy. Th^ 


United States having but recently commenced their 
national career, and looking forward to many ages of 
improvement and growth, should be, above all other 
i^ountsies, particularly careful to avoid the errors of the 
European mercantile system ; errors which sprang up 
amidst the darkness and ignorance of feudal despotism ; 
and which all the most distinguished political philoso- 
phers of the present age unite to condemn. The United 
States, therefore, should resolutely cast from off their 
shoulders all the shackles of bounties, protections, pro-^ 
hibitions, and monopolies, and permit agj-icnlture, 
commerce, and manufactures, to find the legitimate level 
of unimpeded competition, and to employ just so much 
of the productive industry and capital of the country as 
indwidual incliastion and interest might require, with- 
out any interference on the part of the government, 
which ever acts the wisest part, when it suffers all the 
various classes of the community to manage their own 
affairs in their own way. Laissez nousjaire was the 
reply of the French merchants to M. Colbert, when he 
attempted to build up.the delapidated commerce of 
France, by ministerial intermeddling with what no 
minister can possibly either direct or understand so 
well as the merchants themselves. 

Besides, every free country manufactures as fast a$ 
its wants and interests demand; because every country, 
as well as every individual, prefers a home to a foreign 
market, for the purpose of barter, sale, and purchase. 
Nevertheless, the interests of agriculture are quite in- 
adequate to icontend with the spirit of encroachment 
and monopoly so inherent in the very nature of manu^ 
facturers. Manufacturers enjoy a great advantage over 
the farmers, who are scattered thmly throughout the 
country, in the facility of combinmg together, and 
acting in large bodies, so as to compel the government 
to hsten to their complaints. Their standing com.-^ 
mittees, and eternal clamoiu* about the dignity of pa^ 
triotism, and the necessity of not depending on foreign 
nations for articles of use and convenience, are always^ 
an overmatch for the yeomen^ whoj, widely separated 


from each other^ cannot act in such close concert^ nor 
with such efficient activity and perseverance. Add to 
which, many of the Members of Congress, themselves 
farmers, and therefore pecuUarly representing the agri- 
cultural interests, are deeply engaged in manufactures 
and banks ; whence they are not so clear-sighted to the 
evils of a monopoly, on the part of the manufacturers, 
as they otherwise might be. 

During the late war with England, manufactures 
thrived in the United States, precisely because they 
had a monopoly of the home niarket, and compelled 
the consumer to pay above a hundred per cent, more 
for goods of an inferior quality to those which might 
have been imported fix)m Europe at half the price, if 
our ports had been open for the admission of foreign 
commodities. At that period there was a capital of 
about fS' 1,000,000,000 employed in carrying on Ame- 
rican msmufactures ; but on the return of peace, the 
influx of European goods reduced the price to at least 
one-half, and stopped perhaps more than half of the 
manufacturing establishments in the Union ; so that the 
capital now employed in American manufactories 
scarcely reaches the sum of five hundred millions of ^ 
dollars. Nevertheless, our manufacturers are convihced 
that continuing this war monopoly, and compelling the 
American people to pay adoublepricefor all their articles 
oi* consumption, would materially promote the national 
welfare of the United States. Whether or not thei ge- 
neral government is to be borne down by this incessant . 
clamour, and sacrifice the interests of the rest of the 
community to those of a very small portion of that 
community, remains yet to be seen. The President, in 
his Message of the 2d of December, says, " Our manu- 
factures will require the continued attentioh of Con- 
gress: the capital employed in them is considerable, 
and the knowledge acquired in the machinery and fabric 
of all the most useful manufactures is of great value : 
their preservation, whichdependson due encouragement, 
is connected with the high interests of the nation.** 


Few nations, howev^, can boast of skill and inge^ 
nuity in manufiictures^ and especially improvements in 
labourHNiTing machinery, equal to those which have 
been exhibited and discovered in the progress of the 
mechanical arts in the United States. The causes of 
this superior ingenuity and skill are various. The high 

-price of labour, and the compai-ative scarcity of la- 
bourers, offer a continual bounty of certain and imme- 
diate remuneration to all those who shall succeed in the 
construction of any machinery that may be substituted 
in the place of human labour. Add to this, the entire 
freedom of vocation enjoyed by every individual in this 
country. Here there are no compulsory apprenticeships ; 
no town and corporation restraints, tying each man 
down to his own peculiar trade aiid calling, as in Eu- 
rope ; the whole, or nearly the whole of which still 
labours under this remnant of feudal servitude. In the 

• United States every man follows whatever pursuit, and 
in whatever place, his inclination, or opportunity, or 
interest prompts or permits ; and consequently a much 
greater amount of active talent and enterprise is em- 
ployed in individual undertakings here than in any other 
country. Many men in the United States follow various 
callings, either in succession or simultaneously. One 
and the same person sometimes commences his career 
as a farmer, and, before he dies, passes through the 
several stages of a lawyer, clergyman, merchant, con- 
gress-man, soldier, and diplomatist. There is also a 
constant migration hither of needy and desperate talent 
front Europe, which helps to swell the aggregate of 
American ingenuity and mvention; and the European 
discoveries in art and science generally reach the United 
States within a few months after they first see the light 
in their own country, and soon become amalgamated 
with .those made by Americans themselves. 

For information respecting the manufactures of the 
United States, the reader is referred to General Hamil- 
ton's ^^ Report on the subject of Manufectures,*' made 
in the year 179 1> when he was Secretary of rfie Trea- 

SUMMARY oAM^fj^tWvtEd 69 

sury, in consequence of an oraSroflile House of Repre- 
sentatives. It is not too much to say^ that this is one 
of the ablest State Papers which ever came from the 
pen of man. See also the list of American patents^ 
published by order of Congress ; Mr. Tench Coxe * 
"View of the United States f Mr. Fessendens '' Re- 
gister of the Arts ;" Dr. Redman Coxe's " Emporium 
of the Arts and Sciences ;** and Mr. Pitkin s " Statistics 
ofthe United States." 

The following very slight summary of American ma- 
nufactures is M that the limits of the present work will 

What the present annual value of manufactures in 
the United States is has not been ascertained; but^ 
before the peace of 1815 had reduced their monopoly 
price, and diminished the number of manufacturing 
establishments, their yearly value was estimated thus : 

Manufactures of Wood . *25,000,000 

Leather ........ 24,000,000 

Soap andTallow Candles 10/X)0,000 
Spermaceti Candles & Oil ^00,000 

Refined Sugar 1,600,000 

Cards SOO/XM) 

Hats 13,000,000 

Spirituous andmaltliqucm 14,000,000 

Iron 18,000,000 

Cotton, Wool, and Flax 46,000,000 

Makmga Total of «151,400,000 

Of this amount nearly the whole is consumed at 
hdme, as iq[»pear8 from the following table <tf £xports : 




From dftmntic mate- 

From fureicn mate- 

Total of botli. 





«8^ 790,000 

S 566,000 

» 1,350,000 





















































The manufactures from foreign materials ate^ spirits 
^ from molasses^ refined sugar^ chocolate^' gunpowder, 
brass and copper, and medicines. The manufacture of 
wool is extending rapidly in the United States. The 
Merino breed thrives well in this climate, and their 
number is augmenting fast throughout the Union. The 
whole number of sheep already reaches nearly twenty 
millions, and is continually increa^ng. The British 
Isles maintain about thirty millions of sheep ; only one- 
third more than the American sheep, of all kinds, taken 
together ; and the United States can easily support 
twenty times their present number. In the articles of 
iron and hemp, and more especially hemp, the United 
States, probably, will soon be independent of Russia 
and the rest of the world. The culture of hemp suc- 
ceeds in many parts of the Union, especially in Ken- 
tucky, which, m one year, produced upwards of one 
hundred and twenty thousand hundr^-weight, va- 
lued at ^700,000 and made also, in the same year^ 
forty thousand hundred-weight of cordage, valued at 


^400,000, making a million and one hundred thou- 
sand dollars for these two articles. The manufacture of 
cotton increases rapidly here ; and the quantity con- 
sumed in the country, on the average of the years 
1811, 1842, and 1813, exceeds twenty millions of 
pounds weight. 

The manufactures of wood are household fomitufe, 
carriages of every kind, and ship-building, and pot and 
pearl ashes. The manufactures of leather are boots, 
shoes, harness, and saddles. Soap and tallow candles 
are manufactured both in establishments and in fami- 
lies. Cotton, wool, and flax, are manufactured both 
in establishments and in families. Iron abounds in 
the United States : fifty thousand tons of bar iron are 
consumed annually, of which forty thousand are ma- 
nufactured at home, and ten thousand imported. Sheet, 
slit, and hoop iron, are almost wholly of home manu- 
facture ; as are cut nails, three hundred tons of which 
are annually exported. Cutlery, and the finer speci- 
. mcM of hardware and steel work, are still imported 
from Britain. Of the copper and brass manufactured, 
the zinc is chiefly, and the copper wholly, imported. 
Of the tin ware, the sheets are all imported. Lead 
is made into shot ; and colours of lead, red and white 
iead, are imported to a large "amount. Plated ware is 
made in large quantities in Philadelphia, New-York, 
Boston, Baltimore, and Charleston. The manufac- 
ture of gunpowdey nearly supplies the home market, 
as do coarse earthen ware, window glass, glass bottles, 
and decanters. About a million bushels of salt are 
manu&ctured annually, and three times that quantity 
imported. White crockery ware is said to be made in 
Philadelphia of as good quality as any in England. 

Saltpetre is manufactured largely in Viipnia, Ken-^ 
tucky, Massachusetts, East and West Tennessee. Sugar 
from the maple tree is produced in Ohio, Kentucky, 
Vermont, and East Tennessee, to the amount of nearly 
ten millions of pounds weight annfually. West Tennes- 
see and Vermont afford abundance of good copperas. 
Tyrenty^-five millions of gallons of ardent spirits are an* 


nually distilled^ and annually conBumed in the United 
States* Four hundred water and horse-mills^ workii^ 
<Mie hundred and twenty thousand spindles, are em* 
ployed in spinning cotton. The fulling-mills amount 
to two thousand ; and the number of looms exceedf^ 
four hundred thousand ; and the number of yards of 
cloth^ manufactured from wool, cotton, and flax, is 
about one hundred millions. There are three hundred 
gunpowder-mills ; six hundred furnaces, forges, and 
bloomeries, and two hundred paper-mills. 

In the state of Vermont the chief manufactures aro 
of iron, lead, pipe-clay, marble, distilleries, maple- 
sugar, flour, and wool. In Massachusetts, the {Hin* 
cipal manufactures are duck, cotton, woollen, eut^ 
nails (by a machine kiTented in Newburyport, and 
capable of cutting two hundred thousand in a^ay), 
paper, cotton and wool cards, playing cards, shoea, 
9ilk «id thread lace, wire, Hvaffy oil, chocolate and 

rder-miUs, iron-works, and slitting-mills, and mills 
sawing lumber, grinding grain, and fulling doth, 
distiileries; and glans. In Rhode-Island are manufac- 
tured cotton, lini^, and tow cloth, iron, rum, spi- 
rits, paper, wool and cotton cards, spermaceti, sugar, 
machmes finr cutting screws, and furnaces f<M* casting 
hollow-ware. In Connecticut are manufactured silk^ 
wool, card-teeth (bent and cut by a machine to the 
isiiinber of eighty-six thousand in an hour), buttons, 
linen, cotton,, gl^ss, snuff, powder, iron, paper, oil, 
and very mperior jQjr&-arms. In New-York a^re ma- 
nufacturod wheel carriages of all kinds, the common 
manufactures, refined sugar, potter's ware, umbrellas, 
musical instruments, glass, iron, and steam-boats. In 
New^ersey are numeroua tannmes, leather manufaq- 
tories, iroivworks, powder-mills, cotton, paper, cop- 
per*«mine8, lead mines, six>ne and s&te quarries. In 
Pemisylvania there are valuable coUeries on the Lehigh 
liYeTf distilleries, rope-walks, sugar-houses, hair-powder 
manufactories, iron foiinderies, shot maaii&ctone$, 
fteasn-engines, miU machinery, the pneumatic cock for 
tappbg onr^ght eadcs,, hydfoatalic bIow>-pipe^ ^yp^ 


founderies, imprpvements in printing, and a earpet 
manufactory. In Delaware tti^re are cotton and bolt* 
ing^cloth and powder manufactories^ fulling, snuiF, slit- 
ting^ paper, grain, and gaw-mills. In Maryland are 
iron-works, collieries, grist-mills, ^ass-works^ stills, pa* 
per-mills, and cotton. In Virginia there are lead^mines, 
which yield abundantly, iron mines, copper mines, vast 
collieries, and marble quarries. In Kentucky are ma^ 
nufactured cotton, wire, paper, and oil. In Ohio ship* 
building is carried to a great^xtent ; indeed, in this 
branch of manufactures the Americans generally surpass 
the mechanics of all other countries. In North Caro* 
Una the pitch-pine affords excellent pitch, tar, -turpen- 
tine, and lumber; there are also iron-works, mud a 
gold niine, which has furnished the mint of the United 
States with a considei;^ible quantity of virgin gdd. la 
South Carolina there are gold, silver, lead, black Jeac^ 
copper and iron mines, as also pellucid stones of di& 
ferent hues, coarse cornelian, variegated marUe, nitrouft 
stone and sand, red and yellow ochres, potter's day, 
fuller's earth, and a number of die*stuffs, chalk, crude 
alum, sulphur, nitre, and vitriol. ^Xn Georgia theiiift» 
nufactures are indigo, silk, and sago. In Xjouisiana are 
manufactured cotton, ^ool, cord^e, shot, and hair^ 

Of the many places in the Union well adapted for 
manufacturing establishments, it is sufficient, atpres^it, 
to notice the fe^ following : — The town of PlattersoBv 
in the State of New Jersey, is, perhaps, as exceUently 
situated lor this purpose as any spot in the world. The 
falls of the Passaic river afiR>rd every conyeni^ace thi^ 
water can give to put in motion machinery to any exr 
tent. In 1 791 , a Manu£aK:turing Gompsmy was iiicorpo^ 
rated by the New-Jersey Legislature, with great privi«- 
^gea. A subscription for the encouragement of every 
kind of manufacture was opened,, under the patifonage 
of the Secretary of State ; five hundred thousand dok 
krs were subscribed, and works erected at the falls of 
ihe Passaic. During the late war, the Patterson mami»- 
factifires flourished, and were rendered fMrdfitable to Ih* 

64 . "manufacturing ESTABLISHif ENTS. 

proprietors by their monopoly price. Since the peace 
they have declined considerably ; but there still remain 
some valuable cotton aiid paper manufactories ; and so 
admirable is the situation of the place^ that manufac- 
tures cannot fail to flourish there as fast and as abun- 
dantly as the wants and inclination^ and interest of the 
United States demand. The manufacture of sugar, 
from the cane, thrives well ; and is increasing rapidly 
in Louisiana and Georgia. 

There is no part of die world, probably, where, in 
proportion to its population, a greater number of inge- 
nious mechanics may be found than in the city of Phi- 
ladelphia, and its immediate neighbourhood; or where, 
in proportion to the capital employed, manufactures 
thrive better; and certainly, more manufacturing capi- 
tal is put in motion in that than in any other city of tne 
Union, The town of Wilmingtoli, and its vicinity, in 
the State of Delaware, are, for their size, the greatest 
seats of manufactures itx the United States ; and are 
capable of much improvement, the country being hilly, 
and abounding with running water. The Brandy wine 
>iver might, at a comparatively small expense, be car- 
ried to the top of the hill on which Wilmington is si- 
tuated, and make a fall sufficient to supply fifty mills, 
in addition to those already built. The town of Pitts- 
burgh, in the State of Pennsylvania, situated beyond 
the Alleghany hills, on the confluence of the Mononga- 
hela and Alleghany rivers, where their junction forms 
the Ohio, promises, in the course of a few years, to 
become the Birmingham of America. It has coal in all 
abundance, .and of a very superior quality ; its price is 
pot quite three-pence sterling a bushel. It is supposed 
that the whole tract of country between the Laurel 
Mountain, Mississippi, and Ohio, yields coal. Pitts- 
burgh, in addition to various oth^r manufactures, is said 
to make glass bottles, tumblers, and decanters, of equal 
quality to any that are imported from Europe. It has 
an inland navigation, interrupted only by the falls at 
Louisville, of two thousand four hundred miles down 
the Ohio and Mississippi to New-Orleans, and an inex- 


haustible market for its manufactures in aU the States 
and settlements on the borders of those mighty^ rivers. 

But the most extraordinary^ and most important 
manufacture in the United States, and perhaps in the 
world^^ is that of stedm^botUs ; for an interesting and in- 
structive account of which, the reader is referred to 
Mr. Colden's valuable Life of Mr. Fulton. A very few 
facts and observations are all that can find a place here. 
Without entering into the dispute, re(q)ecting the me- 
chanicians who Jirst applied the force of steam to the 
purposes of navigation, it is certain that no one applied 
it *MCcc*^% prior to Mr. Fulton; thejprobf of which 
is to be found in the fact, that since the accomplish- 
ment of this scheme in the United States, the use of 
steam-boats has become common in Europe ; whereas, 
before that period, the attempts to propej boats by 
steam, in that quarter of the' world, were (eminently 
vain tad fruitless. Great numbers of steam-b6ats have 
been launched in Britain within a few years past; yet 
the principles on which they are navigated dp hot ap- 
pear to be fully understood in that country, if we may 
judge from the accounts given by those who have seen 
and travelled in them, ana by some recent publications 
on this subject. In the year 1 807, the first steam-boat - 
plied between the cities of New-York and Albany ; and 
since that time, this mode of navigation has been used 
with great success in many other rivers of the Union 
besides the Hudson : nay, steanvboats now ascend the ; 
Mississippi and Ohio rivers, hitherto neariyunhavigablcf, 
except in the direction of their currents. The facility, 
teonomy, and despatch of travelling, are all wondep- ' 
fully augmented by steam navigation, the same dis- 
tance being now covered in less than half the time for^ 
jnerly required. Albany is brought within twenty-fout 
hoidrs of New-York, instead of averiagiiig three days by 
water, and two days by land. The following table 
shows the great benefit derived to the traveller fi*om this 
invention ; and the cheapness of travelling, since food 
as well as conveyance is mcluded. 






From Philadelphia to Ncw-York, by> and stai^ea i 

New. York to Albany, by steam.boaf 
Albany to Whitehall, by stages . . 
Whitehall to St. John's, by steamo 
boat •••'••• ••• ••#• .) 

St. John^s to Montreal 

Montreal to Quebec, by steam.boat 
















• In the spring of 1 8 1 7, a steam-boat reaehedLouisville, 
in Kentucky, from Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, drop- 
ping down the Ohio. She displayed her power by dif- 
ferent tacks in the strongest current on the falls, and 
returned over the falls, stemming the current with ease. 
About the same time a large steam-boat reached Louis- 
ville from New-Orleans, laden vnth sugar, coffee, wines, 
queensware, raisins, fur, sheet lead, &c. Her freight 
exceeded twenty-five thousand dollars ; so that now 
the western waters can be ascended to any navigable 
point; and the commerce of the west is falling fast into 
its natural channel. The use of steam, applied to na- 
vigation, has so effectually removed those obstacles 
which the length and rapidity of the Mississippi pre- 
sented to bpats propelled by personal labour alone, that 
a voyage from Louisville to New-Orleans and back 
again, a distance of three thousand four hundred miles, 
•*can be performed in thirty-five or forty days ; and the 
property freighted is infinitely less liable to dam$ige, and 
IS transported at less than one-haJf the cost of the route 
across the mountains. Hence it does not seem extra- 
vagant to expect, that, in due ^ime, steam-boats will 
find their way from the Atlantic Ocean into, our great 
inland seas, by the junction of the waters of the Hudi^on 
river and Lake Erie; and, from the lakes, will carry 
their treasures to the Gulf of Mexico. 



Financed, S^c. 0f the United States^ 

It is the duty of every free govemmctit to tmin iU 
people gradually to bear a due weight of internal tata'^ 
tion, in order to raise an ample revenue for the purposes- 
of national defence, of internal improvement, of reward- 
ing long-tried, faithful public services, and the encou-^ 
ragement and patronage of literature, arts, and science. 
On extraordinaryi emergencies, as the sudden breaking 
out of war, or the necessity of sustaining a pfxrtracted 
conflict against a powerful enemy, a liberal Use should 
be made of the fimding system ; because a national debt, 
provided it be not so great as to impede the productive 
labour of the community, is the best possible mode of 
combining immediate active and vigorous efforts on the 
part of a country with the means of ftiture developemetit 
and growth ; it is, in fact, the only scheme by which a 
nation can make great present exertions without de- 
strojdng its future resources. It is worise than childish^ 
it is insane policy to trust, for the public revenue, alto- 
gether to the customs, or duties upon imported foreign 
goods (I say imported only, because tiie Federal Con- 
stitution prohibits the laying any duty on exports from 
the United States)— which a single year of naaritime 
warfare may destroy. This is too contingent, too pre-- 
carious a source of revenue on which to stake the ope- 
rations of government, and to balance the movements 
of the public weaL The customs of England, although 
consisting of duties both on imports and exports, do 
not make ene-tenth of her public revenue ; she wisely 
leans upoa internal taxation as the main prop and sup-- 
pcNTt of h^ goveromeut expenditure^ 

F 2 

08 Necessity of iMTERKAt taxation. 

In these United States, the Washington administra* 
tion, under the auspices of Hamilton as Secretary of the 
Trcksury, as the great founder of the system of Ameri- 
can finance, as the wise parent of pubHc credit in this 
country, laid the foundation of an internal revenue by 
moderate and judiciously imposed taxes. The first act 
of Mr. Jefferson*s practical ministry was to abolish the 
whole of this system, and leave the public revenue to 
rest altogether upon the customs. Mr. Madison sedu- 
lously clung to this same feeble and dastardly policy, . 
bmg after the failure of revenue, the bankruptcy of the 
government, ^Bd the necessities of the country, had 
prove4 its entire fallacy and folly. Towards the close 
of the Iftst war, his party, reluctantly and fearfully, laid 
some internal taxes on land, houses, and manufactures, 
not ai&ounting, in the whole, to ten millions of dollars ; 
a considerable portion of which they have actually re^ 
pealed since the peace. Mr. Munroe has a noble 6p^ 
portunily of being, in facty a President of the Unit^- 
States, and not merely the leader of a doiaiinant faction ;• 
and if he be wise to consult the real interests of the 
Union, he will at once labour resolutely to establish a 
fiermanient system of internal taxation, sufficiently ample 
for all present purposes, and containing in itself die 
germs of a gradual increase,, keeping equal pace widi 
ue growing resources, wealth, and population of the 
Xlnited States. The revenue of a stkte, so far as re- 
ganb national power, prosperity, strength, and great*^ 
ness, is emphatically the State; and a governments 
wh(Me income is scanty and precarious, cannot fail to 
become nerveless and despicable. Since this^ hope was 
expressed, Mr. Munroerhas, actually, in his message of 
^ December, 1817, recommended to Congress the 
repeal of all internal taxes ! 

Them ie, indeed, an awfiil tendency in all parties of 
the American pec^le towairds what, by a miseraU^ mis^ 
nomer, is called ecommy ; as if a system, whkh pre** 
vents tiie go^emment firom calling out the resoiirees of 
the eoy&tiy, firom rew;ardin^ its publk servantSy' heat 
preserving a commanding attitude in wsps^ t» foreign 


potKtMeSy were not the most pernicious prodigality t 
The proceedings in Congress, during tbe ^o last 
winters^ were^ in this point of rieir, portentcnu. The 
reduction of the direct tax, from six to three milUoiia of 
doUares and the limitaticm of those three ttiUibm to oaljr 
<me year, are fearful omens df the entire ei^tiiiction 0f 
that tax. Nay, in the month of February last, a propo^ 
3itioh was made to abolish a// the inteiteai taxes ; a 
seheme, say its advocates, that failed only because it 
was introduced too late i#the session ; and which may 
be carried ii^to a law, by a triumphant majority, at the 
next meeting of the^iational legislature* 
. Tlie reduction of the regular army probafahr would 
fellow, as a matter of course, cm the repeal c^ the ink 
t&mzl taxes. Indeed, it was proposed m the Senate 
l^t spring, on the ground that ten thousand 9oldiers are 
dangerous to the liberties of the American people ; and, 
therefore, should be (hminished to five thousand. Bri* 
tain has an army of one hundred and &fty thousand 
men^ stattcmed at home, in France, and in colonial gaiv 
risona ; besides her miUtia, amounting to two hundrod 
thousand, and her Sepoy troops in the £k»t-In£es, rated 
at a hundred and fifty thousand. And yet, no man in 
his sober senses believes that the liberties of the British 
people are endangered by this standing army. The 
liberties of En^and are not about to expire under the 
pressure of her military, or the encroachments of her 
goyemment ; if they are to perish, they wijft perish un-^ 
der the daggers of her democracy : if she is to be blotted 
out from the list of independent and powerful nati^ns^ 
she win be erased from that high scroll by the paricidal 
hand of her own ' rabble, led on to tl^ir own and 
tiieiv country's perdition by anarchial reformers, who 
axe atike bankrupt in fortune, reputation, character^ 
and principle* But we have no oocasion to entertain 
?uchJEMTO at present ; for, while the Sovereign governs 
under the benignant influepce oS the laws; while 
the people are free; while rdSgion, mor«Js, intelli* 
gencey learning, science, industry, enterprise, ^ and 
vakMir> continue to make England their favouirc^ ab^dt^ 


the ran of Jier national gloiy can never set, but will 
bum with brighter andstillbrighterlight,untilaU the ages 
of time shall be lost in the profound of eternity. The 
standing army of Britain may be too numerous and 
too expensive for the present dilapidated state of her 
finances ; but, in regard to the liberties of her pec^Ie^ 
it is utterly harmless and innocent. 

How much more afortwri then must the liberties of 
the American people be secure, under the presence of 
ten thousand men, mostly fAtive citizens, and com-, 
manded by officers, whose courage, loyalty, and talents 
have been displayed on the battle-field, and have re- 
ceived the reward of their country's gratitude ! This 
little army is divided and stationed in garrisons along the 
Atlantic coast, from the District of Maine to St Mary's, 
in Georgia, a distance of nearly two thousand miles^ 
and on uie west, from the lakes to New-Orleans, a dis- 
tance still greater. The American citizens are intelli- 
gent, well ^ucated, and awake to the preservation of 
tihteir liberties ; every where armed, ana trained to the 
use of arms, and comprising a militia of nearly a mil- 
lion of free men. Are such a country, and such a 
people, in j eopardy, as to their freedom, from the ex- 
istence of a standing army of ten thousand men ? 
. Upon what grouml of political forecast and wisdom 
is it, that so many members of the Congress, and so large 
a portion of the people out of the national legislature^ 
SKm bent upon lessening the defences of the country ; 
and that, too, precisely at the moment when the United 
States, by their rapid augmentation in greatness, and by 
the peculiar condition of tfae world, which has thrown 
all Europe into the hands of three or four powerfril 
sovereigns, and which forbids the very existence of 
any weak or nerveless government, are more than ever 
exposed to disturbance in their foreign rdations? 
Against all saving of mere money^ at the expense of 
national dignity and strength, it behoves the American 
jgovemment to contend with all its influence, power,. 
H&d vigilanpe. And, unless the govemm^it gradually 
frain its people to b^ar the weight of due taxatiouj how 


can it expect their adequate support in a fierce and 
protractea struggle for national superiority, or sove- 
reignty, or existence ? Are the people of the United 
States prepared, now, for such a conflict, as the British 
people have, with so much courage j and wisdom, and 
perseverance, endured for five and twenty years, and 
finally conducted to so triumphant an issue ? A con- 
flict which, at the expense of seven hundred milHons of 
pounds sterling, and of three hundred thousand lives, 
has broken down the pfl|er of revolutionary France, 
and rescued Europe, America herself, and the whole 
world, from impending bondage ? 

If not, how are they to acquire such habits of endur^ 
ing patriotism and loyalty ? When the danger comes, 
it will be too late ; it will then be in vain to appeskl to 
the fears and hopes of the people, to talk of forced 
loans, and of conscriptions, of requisitions of men and 
money. The government alone can inspire such high 
and heroic habits into the people, by a wisely adjusted 
system of internal ttaxation, which, increasing with the 
augmenting wealth and population of the Union, will 
enable government to call out, either on a sudden, or 
for a continuance, all the resources of the country, 
whether for the purpose of defence or offence, when- 
ever the interests of the nation may require. Not a 
moment ought to be lost in laying the foundation of 
such a system ; to frame which may well employ the 
deepest reflection of our ablest legislators and finan-- 
ciers ; that the taxes shall be so laid as not to obstruct 
the progress of productive labour, nor ^divert capital 
from its legitimate objects, but leave all individual effort 
free to find the advantages of unrestrained competition 
in every allowable pursuit. 

The banking capital of the United States exceeds a 
hundred millions of dollars. In most of the States there 
are several chartered banks for the purposei^ of di»^ 
count and de|)osit. The United States Bank has a 
capital of thirty-five millions of dollar*, of which the 
general government is a stockholder to the amount of 
«even millions, and appoints five out of twetity-fiv^ 


directors^ twenty bmg chosen «nn^aIly by the stopk-^ 
holders at large. The influence whjch government has 
over tliis bank will greatly facihtate all its monied 
operations in future, both in war an4 in peace* The 
int^nsic benefits which banking institutions afford to 
ev^ commercial con^munity are too well known to 
require any minute elucidation. The youthful student 
will jSnd those benefits fully displayed in Sir James 
Stub's Work on political economy; Dr. Smith's^ 
^^ Wealth of Nittions/' aqd ii^Ir. Thornton s admirable 
Trei^tise on Paper Credit. " 

The nationsd debt of the United States at present 
d^s not amount to one hundred and twenty millions of 
4oUars. The expense of the revolutionary war, which 
gave independence and sovereignty to America, was 
upwards of one hundred and thirty-five millions of 
dollars. About one-half pf this expense was paid by 
taxe^, levied and collected during the war, and the 
residue reniained a debt due from the United and the 
separate States op the return of peace, in 1783. The 
advances made from the American Treasury were prin- 
eipally in paper, espied Continental Money, which, ul- 
timately, depreqis^ted so much that one thousand dollars 
would not. buy more than cme dollar in silver ; but the 
specie value of the debt, independently of the paper 
depreciation, amounted in April, 1783, to iS'42,QOO,37&, 
and the sumual interest to iS'2,4 15,956. The interest, 
howeyer, was not paid under the old confederation; 
and in i7905 the debt amounted to iS'54, 124,464^ and 
the >State debts, including interest, were estimated at 
SMfiOOjOWk, Mx. Hamilton, the first Secretary of the 
Treasury, afler the establishment of the Federal Cpn- 
stitutioUj^ advised the general government to assume 
the wh<^ of this debt, both state and continental, 
amounting to ^79^000,000, and besiring an annual in^ 
terest of ^4^l»87)444^ but Congr<&ss assumed only 
£'2^1,500,000, of the debts of the several States, which 
were appropriated t<> each State. On thf^ 31st day of 
Beoe/nber, 1 794, the sum tot^ Qf the unred^emtiji 4^bt 

KATtoxAL Brtrr, 73 

provision was made by law, first for paying the in- 
terest, and then for the redemption of the capital of the 
debt. For the payment of the interest, the permanent 
duties on imported articles, the tonnage duties, and 
duties on spirits distilled widiin the United States, and 
on stills, after reserving ^600,000 for the support of 
the general government and the national defence, were 
. appropriated and pledged. The Sinking Fund, for the 
redemption of the debt, was placed under the manage- 
Qient of the President o&^he Senate, the Chief Justice 
of the United States, the Secretary of State, the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General, for the 
time being, ' as Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, 
which consisted of the surplus of the duties on imports 
and tonnage to the end of the year 177^ ; ^be proceeds 
of loans, not exceeding <8*2,000,000 ; the interest on the 
public debt, purchased, redeemed, or paid into the 
Treasury, together with the surpluses of monies ap^ 
propriated for interest ; and, lastly, the avails of the 
public lands. The amount of debt purchased by the 
Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, up to the 3 1st of 
December, 1794, was «2,265,032. In March, 1795, 
Congress made considerable additions to the income of 
the Sinking Fund, and appropriated and vested them in 
the Commissioners, in trust, till the whole debt should 
be redeemed. 

On the 1st of January, 1800, the total debt, funded 
and temporary, of the United States, amounted to 
«8r79,*33,820 ; the debts ct)ntracted. by the general 
government from the year 1790 to 1800, being 
*10,786,100, and the debts discharged dtiring that 
time being JSS, 1 6^,938. The causes of the augme^ita- 
tion of the debt were the extrawdinary expenses! in- 
curred in the wiars with the Indians ; ^1,250,Q06 ex- 
ploded in siq^ressing tWo msurrections in Pennsylva- 
nia^ on account of the tax on whiskey; more than 
^l^bOyOOO spent in the transactions of the United 
States .with; Algiers and the oAer Barbary powers, and 
^ the still ^reat^ exposes occasioned by the disjmtes 
irith revolutionary France, in 179B and 1799/ On a 


change of administration, in 1 80 1 , the Sinking Fund was 
modified anew, and on the 9&th of April, 1809, Con- 
gress enacted, that (97,300,000 should be appropriated 
annually to the Sinking Fund ; which was to be ap- 
plied first to paying the interest and principal of the 
public debt. In 1 803, the amount dP debt was a little 
more than *70,000,000, of which *32, 119,9 11 were 
owned by foreigners— by the English, * 15,8 89,797; 
the Dutch, «1 3,693,9 18 ; other foreigners, «t,549,49^- 
Of the residue, particular St|tes owned i9i,603,564 ; 
incorporated bodies in the United States, j8'10,096,398; 
individuals, *99,330,606. 

In the purchase of Louisiana the United. States paid 
the French government * 1 5,000,000; of which 
«8^3,75O,OO0 were to be paid to the American mer- 
chants, for their claims on that government, and 
iS"! 1,950,000 to be paid in stock, at six per cent.— the 
interest payable in Europe, and the principal payable 
in fpur equal annual instalments, the first becoming due 
in 1818. By the Act of Congress, 10th Nov. 1803, 
creating this stock, <8'700,000 annually was added to 
the Sinking Fund, making its income ?8'8,00O,OO0. 
After the United States, had concluded peace with 
France, in 1800, the vast increase of their revenues, 
arising from'duties on import^ and tonnage, owing to a 
rapidly increasing population, and an unparalleled ex-p 
tension of commerce, enabled them to pay off a large 
proportion of the debt> which on the 1st January, 1849, 
was &i5y 1 54,489 ; the payments in redemption, from the 
1st of April, 1801, to Jan. 1, 1819, being *46,099,&10, 
During this period no additional tax was laid, except a 
duty of two and a half per cent, oxk goods imported, 
paying ad valorem duties* The sums received from 
1 801 to 1811, inclusive, and applicable to the payment 
of the interest and principal of the debt was about 

In the month of June, 1819, Mr. Madison and the 
Senate of the United States decliared war against £ng-^ 
land, about the same time that Bonaparte left Frasce 
with an army of five hundred thousand. men, for thcb 

/LOASS. 75 

purpose of subjugating Russia, and completing his con* 
tinental system for the destruction of the British Em- 
pire. In anticipation of their war on England, Congress, 
by an act of the 14tii March, ISIS, authorized a loan 
of *1 1 ,000,000, of which were obtained *10, 1 84,700 ; 
certain banks loaning #3,150,000, and the residue, 
being «8'9,034,700, was funded. About half of this resi- 
due was obtained from banks, the rest from individuals. 
In 1813, the Sinking Fund redeemed (9394,900 of this 
stock. On the 8th of Jan. 1 8 1 3, a loan of i'l 6,000,000 
was authorized, which sum was obtained, principally 
from individuals, at the rate of 88 for ioo dollars ; that 
is, for every 88 dollars paid in money a certificate of 
stock for 100 dollars was issued, bearing an interest of 
six per cent. The stock issued for this loan amounted 
to 3? 18, 1 09,377, giving a bonus to the lenders of 
^2^109,377. By an act of August 2, 18 13, a further 
loan of sS7> ^00,000 was authorized, which was raised, 
by giving for every 100 dollars received stock to the 
amount oftSllS^^ at six per cent. The stock issued 
on this loan was (8^,498,583, allowing a bonus of 
i8'998,583. On the 24th of March, 1814, a loan of 
^25,000,000 was authorized, of which only (8*1 1,400,000 
was rais^, and for which ^S"! 4,269,351 of stock was 
issued, ms^ing a bonus of (8^2,859,000. 
. The terms of these loans were so disastrous to the 
government, so clearly indicating its want of credit, 
and the price of stocks so depressed, as to be sold at 
69 and 70 for cash, a depreciation of 30 per cent, that 
no more was raised of the ^95,000,000 loan, and Trea« 
sury Notes were issued to make up the deficiency. On 
all these loans, the money received by government was 
only *49,934,700, for which *48,905,012 of stock was 
issued, m^ng a difference of (95,970,319 against the 
J/nited States Treasury. In addition to this, New-York 
and. Philadelphia lent government money, for which 
Sli, 100,009 of stock was issued, making the whole stock 
funded on these loans to be ^50,105,092. Treasury 
Notes were issued to the amount of^l 8,452,800. The 
aicertaimd debt incurred by the late war, on the 20tb» 


ofFebraary, 1815, was £^68,789,699, to Which tM ^ 
old debt of (939,903, 183, and the total is ^9 108,688,805^ 
to which must be added outstanding debts to the amount 
of ^13,000,000, and the whole debt of the United^ 
States is only * 1 2 1 ,688,805- On the 24th of Fiebruary, 
18} 5, the issue of ^95,000,000 erf Treasury Notes was 
authorized; on the dd of March, IS 15, a loan of 
^18,459,800 was authorized to be made in the Trea^ 
sury Notes previously issued. 

The Sinking Fund consists^ of an annual appropria- 
tion of i8'8,000,000, arising from the interest of the debt 
redeemed, amounting in 1 8 1 3 to ^ 1 ,939, 1 07 ; from the 
sales of public lands, equal in that year to <S'830,671, and 
from the duties on imports and tonnage. For the na- 
ture of the British Sinking Fund, and wherein it differs 
from that of the United States^ see " The Resources of 
the British Empire^"* p. 936, et seq. The American 
linking Fund had redeemed of the national debt^ on 
the 1st of January, 1814, *33,873,463. In March, 
1817> the Sinking Fund income was raised to ten mil-, 
lions of dollars. 

The revenues of the United States, previous to the 
late war against England, were derived nrom duties and on imports^ tonnage of ships and vessels, spirits 
distilled within the United States, and stills, postage of 
letters, taxes on patents, dividends on bank stock, snuff 
manufactured in the United States, sugar refined here, 
salea at auction, licenses to retail wines and distilled 
spirits, carriagee for the conveyance of persons, jstafnraed 
paper, direct taxes, and sales of public lands. The 
revenues have been chiefly derived from duties on. im- 
ports and tonnage^ Int^na) taxes were hud st di£- 
fer^it periods, by the Washington administration, but 
were tUl discofUimiied hy sn wat passed in» April, 1802, 
under the auspices of Mr. Jefferscm. On the I4rth c^ 
July, 1798, a direct tax of i92,000;,000 was laid upon 
th^e United States^ and was the only dhrect'tax imposed 
previous to &e late War. The customs consist of dutM 
on imports aiid tonnage, and of monies for pass^ 
liorts^ dearancesyiight-money,. &c» . >The.gra99^9momkt 


of th6 customs is what accrues on the importation of 
merchandise; the net amount is what remains after de* 
dueting the drawbacks on the exportation of the same 
merchandise; and drawbacks on domestic spirits ex-* 
ported^ on which a duty has been paid^ and bounties 
and allowances for the fisheries^ and on the exportation 
of salted provisions ; and, after deducting the expenses 
of prosecution and collection, the amount is secured 
to government by bonds payable at different periods,^ 
according to the term of credit given to the importer. 

The amount of the actual receipts from the Customs^ 
from the 4th of March, 17^9, the commencc|ment of 
the government, to the 30th of June, 18l6, was, 

In 1791 ..jg* 4,899,472 

1792. 3,443,070 

ir9$.\ 4,265,306 

1794.. 4,801,065 

1795. •.. 6,688,461 

1796 6,667,987 

1797 7,549,649 

1798 7,106,061 

1799 6,610,449 

1800 9,080^932 

1801 10,750,778 

1802...: IM^M^^ 

1803 10,479,417 

From tlie Ist of January to theSOth of Jane, 1816, ^16,426,951 

fn 1804. •*• iS'l 1,098,665 

1805 12,936,487 

1806 14,667,698 

1807 ,.15,846,621 

1808 16,363,650 

1809 7,296,020 

1810 8,583,309 

1811 13,313,2^ 

1812 8,958,777 

1813... 13,224,623 

1814 6,998,772 

1815 7,282,942 

The Uouhle duties-made the amount for 1815 so 
large: the Custom-house bonds became due, on an 
average, the year after the importation of the goods j 
which explains the low amount of customs for the years 
I869— 1810; they being the fruits of the embai^, 
which was suspended in 18()g; and, in consequence, 
affbnied.^ rich harvest lo the Treasury in 1811. In 
1811 the restrictive system was again enforced, and 
produced tibe famine of 1812 to the exchequer. The 
small amount of the year 1814 wis owing to the war, 
commenced in June, 1812, and terminated in February, 
1815. The Report of tlie Secretary of the Treasury, 
(die late Mr. Dallas,) for the year 181 6, states, that on 


the twelfth of February, I8I6, the whole of the pubhc 
debt, funded and floating, was ^123,630,69^2; but, en 
the first of January, 1817, did not exceed «Sl09,748,372; 
reducing the debt, from the twelfth of February, 181 6, 
to the first of January, 181 7, ^13,883,420. 

The appropriations and payments for 18 16 were 

Demands on the Treasory for that year by appropri- 
ations .•... ig*S2,4W,S0S 

Tiz."— For civil department, foreign intercourse, and 

misceilaneous ei^pcnses 3,540,770 

Military department, current 

expenditure «8'7, 794,250 

Arrearages 8,035,373 

. 16,7«9,6W 

Naval establishment • 4,904,91 1 

Public debt .^^ 8,000,000 

Payments at the Treasury, to the Ist df August, 1816,;S'^6,332,174 

For civil department, &c. • • 1^839,015 

Military do. current ezpen* 

diture *4,?85,236 

Arrearages ••••. 8,935,379 

--*— — 13,«90,608 

Naval department • . • . . » . 1,977,788 

Public debt, (adding to the appropriation 
of 1816 part of the balance of appro- 
priation of 1&15,) .,. 9,354^752 

Leaving an unexpended balance of the annual appro- 
priation on the Ist of August, 1816, of ; . .s^6,143,129 

To VFhich add the part surplus of the appropriatioD of 

1815, used for the sinking fund «.«... 1,354,769 

And the whole balance is. , ^,497,891 


Thej^tual receipts of the Treasury for 1 8 1 6 were. 

The Cash Balance in the Treasury, (eiclading Trea- 
sury Notes^) 1st January, 1816 ^ti^29B^65% 

Customs, for seven months, from the Ist of Jan. to 
, the last of August, 1816, without allowing for dc- 

bentures on drawback, estimated at $^1,829,564, 21^354,743 
Direct Tax, including the assumed quotas of New- 
York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Georgia, for 

the direct tax of 1816 3,713,063 

Internal duties • 3,864,000 

Postage, and incidental receipts ••••••••..• 127,025 

Sales of public lands, (excluding agf'Sl 1,440 re. 
ceiled in the Mississippi Territory, and pay. 
able to Georgia, ) 676,710 

Receipts in rerenue, from the 1st of January to 

the 1st of August, 1816 •..•iS'36,035,00^ 

Loans, by funding and issuing Treasury 

Notes 9,700,825 

Gross receipts from the 1st of January to the 1st 

of August, 1816. 45,825,918 

Estimated receipts^ from the 1st of August to the 
31st of December, 1816 1P,876,710 

f .., 

Gross annual receipts for 1816 «. 2^65,702,62 8 



>bable receipts compared with probable Jnpendi- 
of 1816. \ 

The gross annual receipt for 1 81 6 18*65,70^,63 i 

Appropriation for 1816 •••« ^32,475,303 

Excess, above the appropriation .. 6,970,395 
Unsatisfied appropriations of 1815 • • 7,972,977 


Balance of receipts fOr 1816 • • • 18,984,656 

Deduct Loans and Treasury Notes 9,790,821 

Ultimate surplus for 1816 1^,193,835 

Customs from March, 1815, to July, 1816, both in. 

clusiye •••• ^ 28,271,143 

Debentures during the same period • • • • 2,624^421 

Product of Customs, eiclusiye of collection ^5,646,722 

Customs from March to Dec, 1815, both incluslTe, 6,916,399 
Debentures during the same period , • • . 794,857 

I^rodnct of Customs, excIustTe of collection • • • iS'6,121,542 

Customs from January to July, 1816, both incIusiTe, 21,354,743 
Debentures during the same period 1,829,564 

Product of Customs, exclusWe of collection •••••«• 28^19,525,179 

New-York Customs, from March, 1815, to July 

1816, both inclusiTe «¥9,926,188 

Philadelphia.... 5,085,205 

Boston 3,579,130 

Baltimore 3,339, 101 

Charleston 1,047,546 

New.Orleans 732,083 

Sarannah • 521,287 

Norfolk 491,150 

The duties remained nearly the saitie from 1 802 to 
1819, except the additional two and a half per cent, on 
merchandise imported, paying duties ad valorem, which 
constituted the Mediterranean fund : whence the great 

.lirrER^AL DUTIES. ^% 

tncfease of duties, from 1802 to the eommencemetit of 
the restrictive system, was owing chiefly to the increased 
^ population and consumption of the country,' and the 
prosperous state of American commerce, until destroyed 
by the embargo. On the first of July, 1812, one hun- 
dred per cent, was added to all the permanent duties^ 
which was to continue during the war against England, 
and one year thereafter. This increased the rate of 
duties, ad valorem, to 40, 30, and 25 per cent. 

Soon after the establishment of the federal govern- 
ment in 1789, duties on American spirits and stills 
were laid ; other internal taxes were afterward laid ; 
but were all repealed in 1 802. Thie sums paid on these 
internal taxes, from their commencement to September 
30th,1812, was #6,460,003, of which «'l, 048 ,033 were 
paid in 1801 ; and in 1812, only *4,903. The states 
which paid the largest proportions of the internal taxes 
were Massachusetts, j8*232,566; New-York, jS'I 43,757; 
Pennsylvania, *209,445; Virginia, «1 14,444. Al- 
though these internal duties were repealed in 1802, 
their collection has never yet been completed. On 
the first of January, 1812, the balances due on the 
internal revenue, in the several States, amounted to 

At tile first session of the thirteenth Congress, held 
in the summer of 1813, internal duties were laid on 
licences for stills and boilers, carriages for conveyance 
of persons, licences to retailers of foreign merchandise, 
wines, and spirituous liquors, on sales at auction, re* 
fin^sd sugar, and stamped paper. The amount of the 
tax was abdut double its former rate on most of these 
articles, and three times that amount on licences to re* 
tailers. The original plan of the Treasury Department, 
and adopted by Congress, was to carry on the war hy 
loans \ and to provide no more revenue than might 
be sufficient to aefiay the ordinary expenses of the go- 
vernment, to pay the interest of the existing public debt, 
and of new loans, amounting to about {8^9,000,000, 
which were to be raised by doubling the duties on 
imports, and laying twenty cent3 a. bushel on salt ; 


by sales of public lands ; by direct tax of iffS^OOO^OOQ | 
and iS'SyOOO^OOO by a tax on stills^ sj^urits^ refined sugar, 
licences to retailers, sales at auction, carriages^ and 
stamp paper. These taxes, however, were not per- 
mitted to commence until the first of Janu^uy, 1814. 
The sums rsdsed by these internal taxes, exclusive of 
the direct tax, for the two first quarters of 1814;| 
amounted to iS'2,312,491 ; for the two last quar* 
ters, to «8'1, 000,000. ' On the nineteenth of September^ 
1814, additional duties were laid on spirits, licences 
to retailers, carriages, sales at auction, and stamped 

jDuring the same session. Congress also imposed 
duties on goods, wares, and merchandise, manufactured 
within the ^ United States, as iron, candles, hats and 
Caps, paper, umbrellas and parasols, playing and vi- 
sitmg cards, saddles and bridles, boots and shoes^ beer, 
ale, and porter, tebacco, snuff and segars, leather, gold 
and silver plated-ware, jewellery, paste-work, house- 
hold furniture, and gold and silver watches. 

The amount of internal duties, accruing in 

1814, was ^3,262,197 

Deduct duties, refunded or remitted .... 11,793 

And expense of collection ....;•.•..• 148,991 
The amount paid into the Treasury, in 

1814, was only 1,76^,003 

In 1815, the internal duties, accruing, 

amounted to ...*..,. ^,242,503 

Deduct duties refunded, &c. «8'1 26,769, 

and collection expense 279,227 

The amount paid mto the Treasury, in 

1815, was '. 4,697,252- 

The amount paid from the first of January 

to the thirtieth of June, 181 6, was .... 3,241,427 

Soon afler the close of the war, in 1815, the duties 
on manufactures, household furniture, gold and silver 
watches, and spirits distilled within the United States, 
were repealed, as were the additional duties on postage^ 


and retail licences. The internal duties^ remaining in 
18179 are duties on licences for stills and boilers^ to 
retailers^ on carriages^ refined sugar^ sales at auction^ 
stamped paper, and bank notes. 

Most of these internal duties, especially those on 
manufactures, were laid upon the articles ad valorem ; 
and both the value and quantity of the articles manufac- 
tured is made to depend, principally, on the books and 
oaths of the manufacturer, or those employed by him. 
The multiplication of oaths is bad policy in any govern- 
ment ; it is, in fact, offering a perpetual bounty to one 
of the worst species of immorality, that of false-swear- 
ing. All the world knows what a latitude of conscience 
custom-house oaths imply in England, in Prance, in 
Holland, in these United States, and in every com- 
mercial community; and our American government 
now adds to this mass of evil, by a new incitement to 
perjury, in collecting its duties on manufactures, upon 
the oaths of those persons who are most directly inte- 
rested to falsify the returns. 

On the fourteenth of July, 1798, the first direct tar, 
amounting to ^2,000,000, was laid upon the United 
States, and apportioned according to the provisions of 
the federal constitution, the fourth clai^se of the ninth 
section of the first article of which declares, that no 
capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in 
proportion to the census or enumeration, directed by 
the third clause of the second section of the first 
article ; namely," representatives and direct taxes shall 
be apportioned among the several states, according to 
their respective numbers, determined by adding to the 
tvhole number of free persons, (including those bound 
to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians 
not taxed), three-fifths of all other persons ; the actual 
enumeration to be made once in every ten years. By 
marking the apportionment of direct taxes at different 
periods, the relative growth of the population of the 
several states during those periods may be distinctly 
ascertained. In 1798, the two millions of dollars, 
direct tax, were thus apportioned among the states : 



New Hampshire 
Connecticut , 
Vermont . • , 
New-York . , 
New-Jersey .. 
Pennsylvania . 








Delaware • 
Maryland • 
Virginia . . . . 
Kentucky • . » 
North CaroUna . 
South Carolina • 
Georgia • • . • 
Tennessee . . . 

« 30,43a 








This tax was laid upon all dwelling-houses, lands, 
and slaves, between the ages of twelve and fifty, within 
the United States. 

The number of acres, valued under the 

Act, was 163,746,688, valued at . . *479,293,264 
Number of dwelling-houses, above jS'IOO, 

276,695, valued at 140,683,984 

Total lands and houses *6l9,977,248 

The slaves enumerated were 393,219. The pro- 
portion assessed upon houses was ^471,989, on land, 
1^1,327,713; on slaves, «8'196,6l0. In some of the 
states the valuations were not completed until three or 
four years after the tax was laid ; and from the date of 
its imposition to the 30th of September, 1812, a period 
of fourteen years, only <8'1 ,7^7,240 of this tax were 
paid into the Treasury ; and large balances are still due, 
now, towards the close of 181 7. A second direct tax 
was laid on the 2nd of August, 1813, to the amount of 
^8*3,000,000 ; and thus apportioned among the states, 
according to the census of 1810 : 



New Hampshire 
Massachusetts • 
Rhode-Island • 
Connecticut . . 
Vermont . . . . 
New-Ydfk . . . 
New-Jersey . . 
Pennsylvania . . 
Delaware • . • . 

« 96,793 




Maryland . . i8'161,624 
Virginia . . . 369,018 
Kentucky . • 168,929 
Ohio .... 103,151 
North Carolina 220,238 
South Carolina 151,906 
Tennessee . . 110,087 
Georgia .... 94,937 
Louisiana . • . 28,925 

This apportionment shows, that from 1798 to 1813, 
the states of New-York, Kentucky, Ohio, andTenneS' 
see, have made the most rapid growth in population ; 
and that the New-England States, particularly Massa- 
chusetts,' Rhode-Island, and Connecticut, have aug- 
mented their numbers very slowly. Delaware is nearly 
stationary ; while the rest, especially Georgia, Virginia, 
Maryland, and Pensylvania, are increasing their num- 
bers with sufficient speed and force. 

This tax was laid and assessed on the value of all 
lands and lots of ground, with their improvements, 
dwelling-houses and slaves ; all of which articles were 
to be enumerated and valued by the assessors, at the 
rate each of them were worth in nioney. In the year 
1814, the lands and houses of the states of New-^Hamp- 
shire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode-Idand, Con- 
necticut, and New-York, were valued at *559,27®,622 ; 
in 1799, at (8*283,651,885 ; making an increased value 
in fUleen years of ^275,91 8, Jt3 8 in six states. In 
Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, and Tennessee, 
the increased value of lands, houses, and slaves, be* 
twecn 1799 and 1814, was *365,0O0,O00. In the 
whole United States the increased value exceeded 
*1,000,000,000. The States of New-Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, 
and Ohio, assumed their proportion of the ta;x, and ' 
were allowed a discount of fifteen per c^U 


They paid into the Treasury, as their re- 
spective quotas ^S^l, 159,796 

The non-assuming states had paid up to 

December 31st, 1815 . 1,210,000 

Total . • . , . 2|369,796 

Leaving an average of & 630,204 

The aggregate, Valuation ot houses, lands, and 
slaves, in the United States, under these acts, 
^cceeded «8'2,000,000,000, of which the slaves make 
«8'4OO,O0O,OOO, the lands and houses more than 
^1,600,000,000; giving an increase of one thousand 
millions of dollars between 1799 ^^d 1815. But, 
doubtless, this is a very great under-valiuition,.especi3l\y 
in relation to the Southern and Western States. In 
New-York, the increase, during these fifteen years, has 
been from one to three hundred millions of dollars ; in 
Pennsylvania, from one hundred and twenty to three 
hundred and seventy millions. 

The average value of land per acre, including the 
buildings thereon, thro^ghout the United States, is ten 
dollars. In particular states it varies ; as for example, 
in I^ew- Hampshire, &Q ; Massachusetts, JSI6; Rhode- 
Island, «8'40 ; Connecticut, ^35 ; Vermont, JSj ; New- 
York, ^17; New-Jersey, j^35 ; Pennsylvania, ^30; 
Delaware, ^13 ; Maryland, «8'20 ; Virginia, Sb ; North 
Carolina, ^3 ; South Carolina, ^Ss ; Georgia, ^3 ; Ken- 
tucky, ^4 ; Tennessee, JSb ; Louisiana ,<S2 ; Mississi{)pi, 
&2 i Indiana, *2 ; Ohio, ^6. 

On the 9th of January, 1815, an annual direct tax 
of ^8*6,000,000 was laid, to be assessed, like that of 
1813, but was reduced again to <8'3,000,000, on the 
5th of March, I8I6. 

Since the op'ening^of the several land-offices for the 
sale of public lands belonging to the United States, in 
1796, ^8,437,531 have been received from the pro- 
ceeds of those sales, up to the close of the year 1814. 


The whole number of acres sold has been^ during that 
period^ 5^385^467. The whole purchase-money was 
*1 1,356,688; leaving nearly *3,000,000 due to the 
Treasury. There are yet unsold upwards oijhe hun-^ 
dred millions of acres of public lands, lying in the States 
of Ohio, Indiana, and Mississippi, and in the Territories 
of Michigan, Illinpis, and Alabama, and in the Louis- 
iana purcnase. The various taxes laid in 1815 were 
considered as war taxes, and necessary to support pub- 
lic credit. The whole revenues of the United States 
were at that time upwards of twenty-one millions of 
dollars : namely, customs, (94,000,000 ; internal duties, 
<9l 0,1 59,000; direct tax, <8'6,000,000 ; public lands, 
«1, 000,000 ; but in 1816 they produced * 1,500,000. 

The postage of letters produces a net revenue of 
about *100,000 to the Treasury. 

The following statement shows the estimated receipts 
and expenditures of the United States, at different 
periods, viz. 





« 4,418,913 

« 1,718,129 






















The estimates of receipts and expenditure for th« 
years 1818, I8I9, and 1820, were made by the Com- 
mittee of Ways and Means. The net amount of re- 
yenue received in 1815 wa8«^60,906,106; being from 
customs, *37,656,486; internal duties, «y5,963,225 ; 
direct tax, *5,723,152; public lands, *1, 287,959; 
postage, &c. ^8^275,282. 


The President's Messsige, of the 2d December/ 
1817, states, that after satisfying the appropriation 
made by law for the support of the civil government, 
military and naval Establishments, provision for fortifi- 
cations, increase of the navy, paying interest of public 
debt, and extinguishing more than eighteen millions of 
the principal within the present year, a balance of more 
than six millions of dollars remains in the Treasury, 
applicable to the current service of the ensuing year. 
The estimated receipts for 181 8, from imports and ton- 
nage, amount to twenty millions of dollars ; internal 
revenues, two millions and a half; public lands, a mil- 
liQn and a half; bank dividends and incidental receipts, 
half a million ; making a total of twenty-four millions 
and a half. The annual permanent expenditure for 
the support of the civil government, army and navy, as 
now established by law, amounts to eleven millions^ 
eight hundred thousand dollars ; and for the Sinking 
Fund, ten millions, leaving an annual excess of revenue 
beyond the expenditure of two millions seven hundred 
thousand dollars. The whole of the Louisiana debt 
may be redeemed in 1819; after which, if the public 
debt continues above par, five millions of the Sinking 
Fund will be annually unexpended, until 1836, when 
the loan of 1812, and the stock created by funding 
Treasury notes, will be redeemable. The Mississippi 
stock also will, probably, be discharged during I8I9, 
ftom the proceeds of public lands ; after which those 
proceeds will annually add to the public revenue a mil« 
lion and a half, making the permanent yearly revenue 
amount to twenty-six millions of dollars, leaving an 
excess of income, above the expenditure, of more thai^ 
four millions of dollars. 

The Secretary of the Treasury, in his report of the 
5th of December, I8I7, corroborates this statement,, 
and estimates the expenditure of the year 1818 at 
1821,946,351 ; namely, civil, miscellaneous, diplomatic,, 
aiid foreign intercourse, iS2,o6g,S43 ; military services, 
including arrearages of half a million, ^6,265, 132; na- 
Tal service, indumng a million for the gradual increase 


of the navy, (8'3^6l 1,376; public debt, *10,000,0CX); 
leaving a balance in the Treasury of <8'8,578,648, on 
the first of January, I8I9. 

The following summary, in round numbers, will con- 
vey a tolerably accurate view of the capital^ income, 
and expenditure of the United States. 

Capital, real and personal <S'7,200,000,000 

Income . . 360,000,000 

Expenditure, UnitedStatesj8'25,000,00« 

The States. . . 20,000,000— 45,000,000 
National debt 100,000,000 

The capital consists in reality, of 

Public lands, 500,000,000 of acres, 

at .8'2 per acre <8*l,000,000,00a 

Cultivated lands, 300,000,000 of acres, 

at jS" 10 per acre 3,000,000,000 

Dwelling-houses of all kinds. ..... 1,000,000,000 

Total of real property. . , . . . .jS5,000,000,000 

The personal property of the United States consists 
of the national debt, which, although a debt on thcj 
part of government is. 
Capital to the stockholders, who are 

American citizens ^S* 100,000,000 

Banking stock 100,000,000 

Slaves, 1,500,000, at =^150 each.. . . . 225,000,000. 

Shipping of all kinds 225,000,000 

Money, farming stock and utensils, ma^ 

nufactures, household furniture, plate, 

carriages, and every other species of 

personal property 1,550,000,000 

Total of personal property .^2,200,000,000 

real property. . 5,000,000,000 

Grand total of American capital*.. . .^7,200,000,000 

* See General Hamilton's Reports " On Public Credit," and '* On 
ft National Bank;*' Mr, Gallatin*! «< Sketches of the Finances of 


Contrast this view with that of the capital, income, 
debt, and expenditure of ^y European nation, and it 
will instantly appear how^much greater the resources 
of the United States are, in proportion to their popula- 
tion and territory, than those of the first-rate powers in 
Europe. For example. 

Capital, real and personal of Britain. .* 1 8,000,000,000 

Income * 900,000,000 

Expenditure 300,000,000 

Public revenue ^ . 230,000,000 

National debt *5,000,000,000, less, re- 
deemed by sinkingfand*! >400,000,000, 3,600,000,000 

Yet, notwithstanding this alarming annual d^idt in 
the public revenue of «870,000,000, the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, in the last budget, (June, 1817) did 
not hold a desponding language, but stated, that he did 
not intend to reduce the interest of the national debt, 
nor to lessen the income of the sinking fund below the 
amount to which he had cut it down iii 1813, which 
at that time was twelve million£» sterling; it is now 
nearly fourteen. The exchequer bills issued to supply 
the deficit bore a premium of five per cent., and an in- 
terest of only three and'a-quarter, and the stocks had 
risen twenty per cent, during the preceding year, and 
the agriculture, trade, and manufactures of the whole 
empire were improving, so as to promise, in future, a 
larger public revenue, and less severe pressure upon the 

For the facts and reasons, given at length, to show the 
necessity and importance of movded institutions ^ more 
especially the funding system, a national debt, internal 
taxation, and a national bank, in order to stimulate na- 
tional industry, give efficiency and strength to govern- 
ment, and promote the prosperity and power of the 

the United States ;'' the Treasury Reports from 1790 to 1817^; 
Mr. Blodget's ^* Economica," and, above all^ the second edition 
of Mr« Pttkin's <« Statistics of the United States." 


whole community in every free country, the reader is 
referred to the *' Resources of the British Empire/* 
pp. 234 — 306, containing a fidl account of the rise, 
progress, and present state of the financial system of 
England. This system, however, may be pushed too 
far, by stretching the public expenditure beyond the 
power of taxation to furnish an adequate income. This 
appears to have been done^ already in Britain, where 
the expenditure for 1817 was rf67,8 17,7^2, and the 
revenue only rf52,860,328, leaving a deficit of fifteen 
millions sterling, in a season of universal peace. The 
finance committee estimated the income of the years 
1818 and 18^19, at 5&30,000,000, and the expenditure 
at ^65,216,657, still leaving a deficit of more thai^ 
fifteen millions sterling annusUly. 

How is this deficit to be supplied ? Mr. Vansittart^i 
in the year 1813, destroyed the progressive force of the 
sinking ftmd, by diverting all the dividepds of the 
stock then redeemed, amounting to about nine millions 
sterling, to the current expenses of the year, instead of 
leaving it, according to Mr. Pitt's plan, for the redemp- 
tion of the national debt, to swell the income of the 
sinking fund, which, instead of being nearly twenty-^ve 
millions, as it Qught to have been in the year I817, was 
not qnite fourteen milHons sterUng. On the first of 
January, 1818, the outstanding or unftmded debt of 
Britain, will be upwards of seventy millions, making, 
together with the funded debt, the sum of one thousand 
millions, of which, nearly four hundred millions have 
been redeemed by the operation of the sinking fimd^ 
from the year 1786 to 1818, a period of thirty-two 
years ; during which time, seven hundred millions have 
been added to the debt. So that, by Mr. Vansittart's 
destroying Mr, Pitt's plan of liquidating the debt, by the 
continual progression of the sinking ftmd, the redemp- 
tion of that debt seems to be adjourned sine die, since it 
cannot very well be accomplished by paying oS fourteen 
and borrowing fifteen millions a-year. If England is 
compelled to augment her debt annually, in time of 
profound peace^ what is she to do in the event of 


another war, which would immediately raise her expen- 
diture from sixty-five to a hundred millions per annum? 
During the last war with revolutionary France, her 
Bank paper was at a discount of thirty-two per cent, 
which, itself, terribly enhanced her expenditure, when 
she had to purchase, with such depreciated paper, gold 
and silver for the maintenance of her armies abroad, and 
supplies for her services at home. Her national in- 
come from houses, lands, and every species of personal, 
property, does not exceed two hundred millions, of 
which the government expends one-thirdy a proportion 
full as much as any people can pay, and at the same 
time exert their productive industry, so as to prevent 
the capital of the nation fron suffering a grievous an-^ 
nual diminution. 


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6. CI'**' 

§ Si^-s- 


In the year 1813^ the expose gave the population of 
old France at 38^700^000 ; and of the whole empire at 

Capital,' real and personal j at tSl 8,900,000,000 

Income at 945,000,000 

Capital of France in 1817 12,000,000,000 

Income 600,000,000 

Public revenue. . . 140,000,000 

Expenditure 250,000,000 

A deficit this of (S'l 10,000,000, is so alarming in the 
present exhausted condition of France, as to portend 
either national bankruptcy, or the still greater evil of 
national convulsion. The dilapidated state of all the 
European exchequers, probably, renders it a matter of 
necessity for the allied sovereigns to maintain their 
armies of occupation at the expense of the French 
people. But such an annual expenditure is so far be- 
yond the power of France, in the present depressed 
state of her agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, 
to support, as to threaten the total destruction of her 
ways and means ; and to create an innumerable multi- 
-tude of paupers, ripened by himger and nakedness into 
a state of desperation, ready for any revolution. 

Russia can hardly be said to have organized any sys- 
tem of finance as yet; and has never been able to move 
her armies out of her own territories without a subsidy 
from England. She has, indeed, recently established a 
bank at Petersburgh, for the purpose of facilitating the 
monied operations of her immense empire. The finances 
of Austria, Prussia, Spain, and the United Netherlands, 
are in a condition truly deplorable, and require many 
years of peace and economy to reduce them to order, 
and render them productive. 

It is supposed that the United States have, very re- 
cently, purchased Florida for five millions of dollars. 


If so^ they have done wisely to add k valuable terri^ 
tory to their southern frontier at a very small expense, 
in the way of barter, which is a much easier, safer, and 
better mode of acquiring dominion than that of war and 
conquest. The whole purchase-money does not amount 
to quite sevenpenee sterling an acre, for the fet simple 
of upwards of thirty-seven millions of acres, to say 
nothing of the territoriaji sovereignty. The public 
lands, as yet ungr^ted, will pay the price of the whole 
country ten times over. 

Ita surface covers 58,00Q square miles, and contains 
not quite 10,000 people,, or about one person to every 
six square miles. Its sea-coast is extensive, and pre* 
sents many fine harbours, and many good situations for 
.commercial towns. Indeed, the whole country, when 
cleared, drained, and cultivated, will maintain an 
abundant population. 

If Florida be incorporated with the dommion of the 
United States, it will very soon number a greater popu- 
lation than ten thousand souls. Sucl)i is the contrast 
between the quickening power of popular liberty and 
the benumbing influence of single despotism. Spanish 
America, and the Brazils, are far superior to the United 
States in all the physical advantages of soil, climate, 
the products of the earth, and navigable waters ; and 
yet, under the weak, improvident, tyrannical adminis- 
tration of the Sptoish and Portuguese governments, 
those vast regions languish in ignorance, superstition, 
poverty, weakness, and vice; while the United Staten 
present to the eyes of an astonished world the extreme 
reverse of all these bad qualities and conditions. New- 
Orleans,; while under the dominion of Spain, was lost in 
imbecility, idleness, and folly ; but now, after expe- 
riencing only fourteen years of American freedom, it is 
advancing rapidly towards the Tank of a first-rate com- 
mercial city, by its enterprise and spirit, its growth in 
wealth and population. And so will it fare with Cuba, 
with Mexico, and Peru, when they become integral 
parts of the United States, and exchange their present 
penury and bondage for the freedom a^d abundance 


that invariably follow the foot-tracks of a popular go- 

How strange and portentous is the contrast between 
the steady and progressive policy of the United States, 
and the supine indifference of the British government ! 
Britain has lavished the life's blood of a hundred thou- 
sand of her bravest warriors, and expended uncounted 
millions, in rescuing Spain from the yoke of France ; 
and yet she cannot, or will not, acquire a single inch of 
territory, in any quarter of the globe, from the Spanish 
government; while the United States, without sacri- 
ficing the life of a single citizen, and at the expense of 
only twenty millions of dollars, have, within the course 
of a few years, obtained from France and Spain the ex- 
clusive sovereignty over a fair and fertile dominion, at 
least twenty times the extent of all the British isles taken 

Why does not England, as part of the indemnity due 
to her from Spain, transfer to her own sceptre the 
sovereignty of Cuba ; seeing that the Havanna com- 
mands the passage from the Gulf of Mexico ? Why does 
she not take possession of Panama on the south, and 
Darien on the north, and join the waters of the Atlantic 
with those of the Pacific ocean, in order to resuscitate 
her drooping commerce ? Or is it her iiitention still 
to slumber on, until she is awakened from the stupe- 
•fection of her dreams by the final fall of Spanish 
America, and of her own North American provinces, 
beneath the ever-widening power of the United States; 
and by the floating of the Russian flag, in token of 
Russian sovereignty, over the Grecian Archipelago, 
and on the towers of Constantinople ? Are all her na- 
tional glories to be blotted out in one hemisphere, by a 
power but recently emerged from the snows and bar-, 
barism of the north ; and in the other hemisphere, to 
be trampled into the dust by the gigantic footsteps of 
her own child ? Is the heathen mythology of Jupiter 
tnd Saturn to be verified in the nineteenth century ? 

The island of Cuba would soon exhibit another, and 
a better aspect^ under the vigorous dominion of Britaiii, 


than she now presents^ under the forlorn and beggariy 
govemmeiit of Spain. By her free and equal laws, by 
the weight of her capital, by the skill, industry, spirit, 
and enterprise of her people, Britain would soon render 
that island a powerful nation in itself, and a most valu-- 
able outwork of her own maritime empire. By the 
possession of Panama and Darien, and the junction of 
the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean, England might 
command the commerce of the east and west, and pour 
such a floodtide of wealth over all her home tenitOTf 
as would relieve her people from the pressure of their 
national burdens, and give to their productive labour an 
unimpeded course, and an abundant recompenses 
Doubtless, the proposals made to the British govern-*, 
ment, in the years 1792 and 1798, by the Spanish Ame- 
rican delegates, for the emancipation of their country,* 
and the junction of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and 
which have been already adverted to in a preceding 
chapter, on the Commerce of the United States, are to 
be found in the Oflice of the Secretary for Foreign 
Aiiairs, in London. 

Notwithstanding the shattered state of ihe Euro* 
pean system of ^finance, and the consequent weakness 
of the governments of Europe, it is more than ever in- 
cumbent upon the United States to lay the foundation of 
an ample, permanent, "and growing internal revenue, 
arising from home taxation; because, whenever Europe 
becomes generally embroiled again, America will find 
that she now fills too large a space in the eye of the 
world to preserve her neutrality, and to keep aloof 
from the conflict. In spite of tne apparent calm, the 
elements of an approaching tempest are every where 
visible in the European horizon. There are no symp- 
toms of continuous health and long life in the coalition 
of the allied severeigns. Russia already exhibits signs 
of jealousy at the naval preponderance and commercial 
influence of Britain ; while England is alarmed at the 
enormous strides of the Russian government towards ab- 
solute ascendency on the continent of Europe: she re- 
fiises to join, and looks with apprehension on the Holy 


League^ wiM>8e axxmed principka are ao atareolKlf 
timple, not to say childish^ that they eaimot iaU to 
rouse the suspici(Mi of every one that is acquainted with 
the steady^ strait-forward prog!Pess by which Russia 
has enlarged her territory^ swollen her population^ and 
augmentra her power, during the last hundred years. 
Austria and Prussia both tremble at the overgrown 
greatness of their imperial neighbour ; and see, in the 
increase of that greatness, the forerunner of their own 

Meanwhile, Franoe, whose habitual intrigue and dii* 
plomatic cunning never sleep, whatever be the fbrai of 
hst government, will labour incessantly to sow the aeed 
and ripen the harvest of dissension among the coalesced 
sovereigns ; and will strain every nerve to embroil Bri- 
tain with Russia aad America, tbat she herself may 
profit amidst the general loonfiision. The United States 
will be called upon to take sides in the Europeon eon* 
test; and they will, both government and people, range 
themselves against England, whom they hate with all 
their heart, and soul, and strength, .as their naval and 
Mmmercial rival, who must, at all evaits, be exter- 
minated. They must, therefore, build up tiheir finan- 
cial system on a broad basis, in order to maintain a 
long and desperate struggle^-^since the British lion will 
not yield in subjection, while ^ drop of blood plays 
around and warms his heart ; he will not lie down in 
bondage until the whole lifetidc shall have be^ drains 
ed from out his veins. 



On the Ooverntnent, Policy y Laws, 8^c. of the 
United States. 

As 9II the govermnents of this country are purely ' 

islective, and founded upon the full sovereignty of the 
people^ the study of political economy ought to make 
an essential part of Ametdcan education ; whereas, ex- 
cc^tmg in the State of Virginia, our schools and col- 
leges. generaHy neglect this important branch of philo^ 
aophiod inquiry altogether. Indeed, it is far too 
fashioni^Ie a doctrine in the United States, that a man 
may be a very profound political economist, although 
•his ignorance on all other subjects is quite conspicuous^ 
and his general dulness no less manifest. But, in fact^ 
^there is no royal road to this science ; and although, in 
an hereditary aristocracy, men arc bom legislators, yet 
no privileges of birth can confer a knowledge of poli- 
tical philosophy. And I would advise tho$e' sapient^ 
personages, who insist upon the extreme facilities of 
•this science, and that its whole compass lies within the 
rafige of the every-day exertions of of dinary under- 
standings, to learn the individual application of the ar^ 
gwnemtum ad modestium to themselves, by a perusal of 
the political effiisions of the greatest philosophers and 
•tatesmiett of ancient Greece ; for instancy, the Treatise 
of Plato on the best constitution of a Republic ; the 
elaborate work of Aristotle on Politics, and the schemes 
of Isocrates for obviating or preventing the external 
quarrels of the Greeks among themselves, by directing 
a constant hostility against foreign nations^ more es» 
peeially against the monarchy of Persia. 

H 2 

C i 


Indeed, notwithstanding their progress in civilization^ 
and their frequent practice in war, had led the Greeks^ 
though not to the generosity of the warfare of modern 
Christendom, yet to the occasional usages adopted to 
humanize hostility, in some degree, and to diminish the 
aggregate amount of its bloody horrors, still the radical 
impenections of their political system, and the turbu^ 
lent habits which it superinduced, led their greatest 
statesmen and profoundest sages to conclude that war- 
fare was the natural state of man; a state which might, 
possibly, be regulated, but could not be prevented, or 
suspended, by any efforts of human policy, dt^ i^ pos- 
sible that certain popular modern writers have ever seen 
the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon ? 
or, at least, learned from their perusal to eictol Greece 
as the favourite land of freedom, in which that greatest 
of social blessii^s peeuliarly flourished, from the age 
of Pisistratus to the usurpation of Philip of Macedon ? 
Bold and frequent struggles, indeed, were made, and 
much private assassination, and many public butcheries, 
were perpetrated in the name of liberty, whose sjirit 
seemed to be continually boiling up into fire, and smoke, 
and vapour ; but whose substance was seldom, if ever, 
to be found in any of the Grecian commonwealths, 
whether following the fortunes^ and obepng the com- 
mands of the Lacedemonian aristocracy, or those of the 
imperial democracy of Athens. 

Could the battle of Cheronea itself, which made 
Philip master of Greece, be more fatal ta Grecian free- 
dom than the fields of Aigospotami and Leuctra? Xeno- 
phon, certainly, felt that his cotemporaries were njof 
free ; as all his narrative writings sufficiently testify. 
And, if we turn from the recorded history of what ac- 
tually did take place, to the observations and schemes 
of the ablest men who speculated upon those transac- 
tions, about the same time we find Plato, and Isocrates^ 
and Aristotle, profound and eloquent as they were, ut- 
terly unable to propose any plan, or devise^ any meanai^ 
by which Greece might be free. The great difficulty 
of mastering so complicated a science, as that of poli- 


Heal economy, must be accepted as an apology for the 
system of policy recommended in that work^ so much 
admired by the ancients, both Greek and Roman — I 
mean Xenophon's Cyropaideia. Fortunately for us^ 
experience has taught some few of the nations of modem 
Christendom forms of government, beyond all compa- 
rison more favourable to private and public liberty and 
peace. Although successive demagogues had most 
ivretchedly degraded the ancient Adienian constitu- 
tion; yet, if there ever existed in Greece any foundation 
for a good government, it seems to have been in the» 
laws, customs, and habits of Athens^ as derived from 
the institutions of Theseus and Solon. That excellent 
principle — the only one on which a free government 
can be firmly grounded — namely, that the aggregate of 
private should make public good ; and its practical co- 
rollary, that the rights of individuals, once established 
by law, should always be held sacred, seem to have been 
originsJ principles, established in the kingdom of Tha^ 
sens, and the republic of Solon. 

But a quite different principle obtained a very gene- 
ral prevalence among^ the other Grecian common- 
wealths ; namely, an ideal public good, always distinct 
from, and for the most part destructive of, private good; 
pretty much resembling the modem jacobin doctrine, 
that the tme business of government is so efTectually to 
provide fo^ the general good, as most unerringly to de- 
stroy all individual happiness and virtue. Whereas, by 
jflie very constitution of human- nature, self-lave^ or the 
desire of personal happiness, is implanted in the heart 
by God, as the primary, the perpetual spring of all hu- 
man action. Man cannot love his kind, unless he first 
love himself. The ever-active principle of self-love is 
strongest in the heart of every individual ; and is gnu- 
dually weakened as it extends its affections throughout 
all the kindred charities of life— parental, conjugal^ filial 
—throughout all the social ties of friends, neighbours^ 
acquaintance, magistrates, country. The predominant 
power of the principle of self-love is implied in the very 
terms of that divine command, " Thou shalt lov6 thy 


neighbour as thyself.'^ Meaning, that under the 
selectest influences of Christian charity man is re-^ 
quired to give the whole aflections of his nature to hif 
neighbour ; that is, to every one who stands in need of 
his kindness. 

But turbulent, discontented, profligate men, in all 
countries, trample upon the individual affections of hu^ 
manity, and, in proportion as they prove themselves 
faithless husbands, unnatural lathers, disobedient sons, 
cruel masters, false friends, quarrelsome neighbours, 
rebellious citizens, unprincipled in all their conduct, do 
they arrogate to themselves the claim of being th^ «4?- 
*c/tmt?e champions of the public good; as if it were 
possible for a wretch, steeped in all the afrocity and de- 
gradation of private vice, to be a real patriot, actuated by 
a sincere desire to promote the welfiare of his country ! 
O yag (junrsKvos (says i^schines, most indignantly, in his 
oration against Ctesias) xm Tramq vo^mqo^y owe av worf 

ysvOiTO iyif^ytuy^ X^^^^i ^^^^ ^ '^^ (fCkyiaxa, xau oijcsiorara ffWfMirci 
jJLfjfi <Trs§y4»v, ovJ«roT« vimis ireqi wXetovo^ Tromffarai roi/s- aXXorgiot/r, 
ovh. y« iJia vovn^Sy ovx, av vars ysvoiro Sa)ixo«« x^i'^^^* ** It IS 

impossible, that the unnatural father, the hater of his 
own blood, should be an able and feithful leader of his 
country ; that the heart which is insensible to the inti- 
mate and touching influences of domestic affection 
should be alive to the remoter impulses of patriotic feel- 
ing ; that private depravity should consist with public 

One of the very first symptoms that discover the set 
flsh and mischievous ambition of a demagogue is the 
profligate disregard of individual feeling and domestic 
affection. To be tenderly attached to the little, precious 
circle of kindred, to feel a yearning of the heart toward^ 
the particular subdivision of isociety to which we belong, 
is the first principle, the radical g^rm ofpubUc affection. 
It is the first link in the series of that golden chain of 
love, by which we are bound, first to our fttmilies and 
frietids, theli to our country and mankind at lisirge. 

Of all the legislators of ancient Greece, who under-, 
took to promote the public welfare, by destroying all 


private good^ Lyeui^ns the Spartan was most ti)icces»» 
iui. His first st^ was to make the Lacedemonians 4 
natipn of paupers ; to destroy almost the Tery vestigenr 
of private prc^rty^ under pretence cf providti^ for 
the interest of tfa^ oommilni^^ Every individual vras 
requirei^ to »crifiee all his own pmrstitS) comfort^ and 
haj^iness^ to whatever was catted the gMd of the siate ^ 
by which patriotic and fashionable phrase^ nothing more 
was in reality messat^ than that all private intercai* 
shoi[ikl 3rield> and be rendered subservient to the sdiemea 
and tiews of tfaie few ambitious m&i ^fHfio governed tinte 
state^ and made the bodies^ minds^ and wilk of all their 
fellow-dtizens the pedestal of then* own exalted power* 
And^ as the pablic or national education (for no private 
instruotion Ivas allowed) vrkM chiefly directed to renders 
mg the frame hardy and robust, to instfl the necussitf 
of personal eouraige, to teich dexterity in thievmg, and 
ridU m lying, to nicuicate habits of riefmorseless cruehy^ 
the Liacedemoniaiifs, imder their existing kada^, were 
always pepared for the perpetration of any criiiaes, how- 
ever dsulc and aitrociovs; and, in conseipience, were 
perpetimlfy employed, either in assassinaiting the He^ 
htesy a nation of brodier Greeks, whom they had re^ 
duced to slavery, or in ca)nymg on war against, and 
dotnineerhig over md op^essing, thcnr sister repute 
lican states. Whence, iul over Oreece, tiie ])eaceable 
and the quiet, wfa^ difd nbt aim at pohtical inflveenoa 
or mffitary power, bat onlydesu*ed peace, and security, 
and dvil orAer, were exposed to eonstaot alarms, and 
^ severest sufferings. 

But even the constitatiorns of Theseus and Solon, m 
nv^H as thoae <£ every othef Grecian commonwealth^ 
were n want of anotiie^ great political principle, spead 
(wer many portifons of modem E^nrope, namely, repre^ 
semtatixm^ which is^^ifti faict, the beginning, middle, and 
end of afl the governments^ bodi Stalte aM Fedend, of 
these United States. Hie essmtial advantage of tiie 
prineiple of r^resentation is, not merely that a great 
. mition can tranaaet all its pis^e busin^BSs ccxtivemontly 
by its representatives, which tiMn' a tcty raudl cbontrf 


cannotdo^ byits assembled numbers^ in wild democracy; 
but also, that some responsibility may be attached, to 
every department of constituted power ; by which pro- 
vision CLumey whatever be the name or form of govern- 
ment, real despotism can be obviated or prevented* 
For the want of this grand improvement in modem 
political science, the Grecian L^slators were quite at 
a loss how to secure liberty to the great body of the 
people without giving them despotic power ; and thus^ 
m effect, the multitude became absolute and unrespon- 
sible tyrants, instead of being, what they ought to be 
in every country, orderly freemen, living in obedience 
to the municipal laws of the existing governments. 

Those persons are either not wise, or not honest, or 
neither, who pretend that political and legislative 
science is easy and obvious, level to the meanest capa- 
city, and most unlettered education ; to the apprehen- 
sion of the peasant who directs the plough, the artiskn 
who plies the loom, the carman who guides his horse, 
and of all the labouring classes, whose daily toil is de- 
voted to providing for the necessities of each passing 
day. The writings of the ablest Grreek philosophers 
and statesmen, showing how very deficient that en- 
lightened and illustrious nation was in many of the most 
important principles of political economy, abundantiy 
prove how difficult and complicated that science is* In- 
deed, the history of all nations demonstrates by what 
slow and painfid steps, by what apparently accidental 
circumstances, by what Jarring of discordant interests, 
by what violence of faction from within, by what pres- 
sure of hostility from without, by what dear-bought ex- 
perience of long-continued and accumulated evils, any 
advance towarcb perfection in the ccmstitution and ad* 
ministration of government has been made. The works 
of Plato and Xenopl^on should, in particular, be stu-* 
died, in order to form an accurate notion of the imper-* 
fection of political science in their time, and of the en-* 
tire inability, even of their great genius and extensive 
learning, to remedy the defects, or enlarge the boundary 
ries of that important seieiice. 


To arrive at any certain and comprehensive results 
in political philosophy^ requires a previous patient and 
accurate analysis of by far the most complicated class 
of phenomena that can engage our attention ; namely^ 
those effects which result from the intricate, and often 
imperceptible mechanism of political society. In ancient 
times^ it was impossible to make this analysis; because, 
before the inventionof printing, and consequent diffusion 
of knowledge among a large proportion of every civi- 
lized community, the human mmd was compelled to 
waste itself in such researches, unaided and solitary^ 
and the difficulties attending these complicated inquiries 
must for ever have baffled the efforts df individual ge- 
nius; since, even now, they yield slowly and reluctantly 
to the united exertions of so many successive age;, and 
such numerous hosts of philosophers and politicians^ all 
combined to prosecute the same inquiries. In propor- 
tion as the experience and reasonings of different indivi* 
duals, of different ages and countries, are brought to 
bear directly upon the same objects, and are so skilfully 
combined, .as to illustrate, modify, and limit each other, . 
the science of political economy assumes more and 
more that systematic arrangement and form, which 
give both encouragement and assistance to the efforts of 
Aiture investigators. 

In prosecutine the scienceof political philosophy, little 
is to be learned from perusing the speculations of an- 
cient sages ; because they confine their attention to a 
comparison of the different forms of government, whe- 
ther simple, as monarchial, aristocratic, or democratic ; 
or mixeo, as in a combination, variously proportioned of 
these elemental institutions; and to examining the pro- 
visions made by each state, for pei^etuating its own 
national existence, and extending its own military glory. 
It was reserved for the purer religion, and brighter phi- 
losophy of modem times, to investigate those universal 
principles of moral justice, which ought, under every 
tohn of government, to regulate the whole system of 
social order, and make as equitable a distribution as 
posstt)le^ among all the different members of a commu* 


nity, of l^e advantages and burdens of political unioi^. 
In all the departments of literature^ science^ and art/in 
which genius discovers wit^n itself the materials of its 
own labour^ as oratory, poetry, painting, architecturej 
sculpture, pure geometry, and some branches of moral 
philosophy, the ancients have left great and finished 
specimens of excellence* But in physics, or natural 
philosophy, where the progress of improvem^it depends 
upon an immense collection of accumulated &d:s, and 
their skilftd combination ; and, above all, in politicsf^ 
where the materials of information are scattered over 
the whole surface of human society, and are still more 
difficult to collect and arrange, the means of communi* 
cation afforded by the press, have, in the lapse of the 
two last centuries, done infinitely more to accelerate the 
progress of the human mind, by the increase of sub- 
stantial infonitati<m^ than had been accomplished in all 
preceding ages.* 

One chief design of the legislators of antiqmty was 
to counteract the love of money, aiid prevent luxury, 
by positive institiltions, and sumpt«iary laws ; and to 
perpetuate habits of frugahty^ and a stem severity of 
manners, throughout the great mass of the populatiofih. 
The Grecian and Roman historians and philosophers 
uniformly attribute the define and fall of every nation 
to the destructive influence ofgenercd wealth upon the 

* During the last fifty yean, 4ha most enlighteDed.poKtical < 
mists in Europe bafe laboured^ to improTe the condition of hamaa 
society, by ^ndeaTOuring to inibrm the mipds, and amend the actual 
poKcy of existing statesmen and legislators. StiOie of the best works 
on this subject are^ Sir James SfttarTs Treatise on PoUHeat Sco^ 
nomy. Dr. Smith's Wealth of il^atlons;^ Mr. Malihus's Essay on 
Population, Mr. Brougham's Inquiry into Colonial Policy • the Ead 
of Selkirk's Essay on Emigration, the Chevalier f'ilangiens's Trea. 
tise on ix^gishition, Mr. Bentham's work on the same subject, file 
works of M. Tnrgoti, and M. Qn«snay, of M. Say, of Ao Min^uto 
Beccaria, and of Camponaoes, .the Spanish philoso^er, whoae 
work on the importance of Agriculture and Commerce led him to 
the dungeons of the Inquisition in 17^96, from which he was libe« 
rated, after an incarceration of twdre ineakiB, by the reYblafiofi of 
1808. .. / ' 


national character ; rendering the men i<He^ effeminate, 
dastardly^ and profligate^ fit only to be slaves and syco- 
phants } and inducing the women to be immodest and 
vitious. But the policy of modem le^slators is directly 
the reverse of these self-denying ordinances ; so far 
from dreaming that iM>verty apd b%gary are the sinetrs 
of national strength, they are perpetually labouring to 
open new sources of individual and collective opulence, 
and to stimulate the active industry of all classes, by 
encoura^ng a general taste for the conveniences, com- 
forts, aiid luxuries of life. And in modem Christendom, 
the most wealthy nations invariably exhibit a popula* 
tion, which exercises the greatest industry, and enjoys 
the most unrestrained freedcnn ; indeed, it was the ge-r 
neral diffusion of wealth among the lower order of the 
people, more especially among the burghers^ of the 
cities, which first gave birth to the spirit of personal in- 
dependence and national liberty in modem Europe; 
and which produced m some of the governments, even 
on the European continent, as in Holland, the Hanse 
Towns, Sweden, and Switzerlahd, a far more equal dii^ 
fusion of freed#m and happiness than ever existed under 
the most highly vaunted constitutions of heathen anti- 

^ The free governments of continental Europe, to be 
aure, were ovothrown, and for a while destroyed by 
the force and fraud of revolutionary France, who, with 
the most rigid impartiality, restored all her vassal states 
to their pristine condition of poverty, "^ barbarism, and 
bondage, such as shrouded the whole of Christendom 
in Cimmerian darkness, before commerce and wealth 
had poured in their streams of civilization, intelligence, 
and freedom. But Britain, who was enabled, by the 
prompt and perman^it power of her. government, and 
by the characteristic energy of her people, to ride out 
in safety and triumph the revolutionary storm and tem- 
pest, which scattered the wrecks of the other European 
governments over all the Ocean of ruin, has uniformly 
increased in the strength of her executive, and in the 
liberty and refinement of her peo^le^ in proportion as 


private and public weahh have been diffused throughout 
all her dominions. The radical and fatal defect of an^ 
cient legislation appears to have been its constant aim 
to shape and mould, by the force of positive institutions^ 
the order of human society, according to some pre- 
conceived, abstract notion of political expediency, with- 
out sufficiently trusting to those universal principles in 
the natural constitution of man, which, when allowed 
full scope of ex/ertion, never fail to conduct the com- 
monwealth to a progressive improvement in its condi* 
tion, and to a continual exaltation of character. 

The chief excellence in the system of modem policy, 
is its conformity, in some of the most important points 
of economics, to the order of nature ; and it is errone-^ 
ous, just so far as it imposes restraints upon the natural 
course of human affairs, by stifling the growth or per- 
verting the direction of individual industry* and private 
property. Some of the most absurd and ruinous of 
these restraints are to be found in mercantile monopolies, 
which increase, unnecessarily, the price of all the mono^ 
poly articles ; in protecting duties on domestic manu- 
factures, which ensures to the consumer a worse com* 
modity at a heavier expense than a better article could 
be furnished by foreign importation ; in prohibitions of 
exportation, which operate as a check to production, by 
closing the avenues to competition in the markets 
of other nations ; in all the beggarly and despicable ex- 
pedients of embargo, non-rintercourse, and non-importa- 
tion, the misbegotten progeny of the restrictive system; 
all of which directly tend to repress the growth of na- 
tional wealth, retard the progress of population, para- 
lyze the exertions of private enterprise, wither the 
sinews of public resource, render the government odious 
and oppressive at home, ineffectual and contemptible 

The most efficient plan of policy, which any govern- 
ment can pursue for establishing the prosperity and ad- 
vancing the greatness of its people, is carefiilly to follow, 
and steadily maintain, the order of things pointed out by 
JSature herself; that is to say, by allowing every one 


tid long ias he observes the rules of justice and common 
honesty, to pursue his own private interest in his own 
way, and use his industry, talents, and capital, in the 
most free and unrestrained competition with the capital, 
talents, and industry of his fellow-citizens ; and thus to 
ensure a continual augmentation of the aggregate 
amount of national labour, intelligence, and riches. 
Every system of policy which endeavours,' either by ex- 
traordinary encouragements to seduce towards any 
given species of industry a larger proportion of the 
capital of the country than would be naturally employed 
therein, if each man were left to the unbiassed employ- 
ment of his own labour and property — or, by extraor* 
denary restraints, to force from any particular species of 
industry some share of the capital which would other- 
wise be employed in it— has a direct tendency to im- 
poverish and weaken the whole community. . 

A most instructive chapter on political economy might 
be written on the ruinous effects of those short-sighted 
views, which prompted our general government, some 
few years since, to endeavour to build up the interests of 
the American fiirmers upon the ruin of the American 
merchants ; whereas the well-being of agriculture and 
commerce is reciprocal ; they are twin-sisters ; they are 
bom, and flourish, and fade, and die together. In mo- 
dem Europe, generally, a system of policy the reverse 
of this has been adopted; and one, scarcely less opposed 
to the order of nature, in the developement of national 
wealtib and greatness : I mean encouraging the industry 
of towns and cities, at the expense of the labour of the 
country; and sacrificing the interests of agriculture to 
those of commerce. 

Tile mercantile system, which is^ now interwoven in 
ev^ department of European policy, is based upon 
two radically erroneous principles ; namely, restramts 
upon importation, and encouragements to exportation ; 
both of wlneh are unpropitious to the wealth and pros- 
|>erity of the nation tiiat imposes them. 

Generally speakmg, the jfe€r a government is, the 
more it consuRs and provides for the personal, domestic. 


and social liberty aud happiness of its own people^ the 
less inclined^ and less able it is to watch over^ and in* 
fluence the movements of other countries ; and, so far it 
is deficient in its system oi foreign policy. Hence arises 
the difficulty of constituting a system of &;ovemment 
which shall unite in itself me threefold aavanti^ <^ 
personal liberty, a strong executive^ and an ample deve* 
lopement of the nationsd mind; because the full enjoy- 
ment of individual freedom, and great power in the 
executive, are continually operating to thwart and 
counteract the efforts of each other ; and, without a 
permanently powerful executive, it is scarcely possible 
to obtain a general developement of the national mind; 
BO as to provide a regular succession of able and e»e* 
rienced men, in all the departments of public service^ 
through a series of ages. 

The^r^^ requisite, the most essential foundation of all 
good government, the full preservation of personal li- 
berty^ and private property, which may be considered 
as the sheet-anchor of human society, is provided for in 
a most eminent degree hyaU the American constitutions, 
both State and Federal. But not one of them all gives 
a sufficient scope and permanency of power to its execu* 
tive, nor suffiaently provides for the devdopement of 
the national mind, on a scale of large and liberal informa- 
tion. Whence^ conaequently, ^very individual in the 
United States is called upon to provide, to the utmost of 
his ability, m his own personal vigilance over the best 
interests of religion and morals, for the deficient power 
and energy of the government. In most other ooun* 
tries, the govemment is bH, and the peojde nothing ; 
whence they exhibit the melancholy spectade of eapri* 
cious t3nrants on the one tumd, and the suffering slaves 
^ oppression and ignorance on the other;— whereas, 
in the Unit^ States, it is neariy the reverse : the people 
are all, and the goveroment nothing; which ia the earcetf 
of Uberty, and imposes severer obligations of datir on 
every free citiz^i to watdi a^et me wel&re of the 
public, the most p^manent props and bottcessea of 
which welfare are the strict preservatiiai ud general 


dii&sion of pure rdigion and sound morals^ tturoughout 
all the different orders of the community. 

Whatever, political relation subsisted between the 
American colonies antecedent to the revolution^ in 
1776^ as <x>n8tituent parts of the British empire^ or as 
c^pendencies upon it^ was completely dissolved from 
' the moment of the declaration of American indepen^ 
d^nce; for^ from that moment they became, sevemlly, 
independent and sovereign States, possessing all the 
rights, jurisdictions, and authority that other sovereign 
States, however constituted or named, possess; and 
bound by no ties, legal or political, but of uieir own cre- 
ation, excepting those by which all other civilized na* 
tions are equally bound; and which, tc^ther, consti* ' 
tute the conventional and customary law of nations. 
The constitution, considered as a federal compact, or 
alliance between the siveral States of the Union, does 
not diffar from other national cdmj^acts ; but, consideredi 
as an original socicd compact, it is novel and unique. 
The American revolution gave birth to this system of 
polity; and in the States, generally, a written constitu*^ 
tion was framed, and adopted by the people, both in 
their individual and sovereign capacity and character. 

The advantages of a written constitution are many 
and obvious;* power, when undefined, has a perpetual 
tendency to become absolute; and the investigatimi of 
social nghts, when there is no constitutional text to 
<X)nsult for theit^ explanation, is a task difficult to ac- 
complish, and almost useless when performed. As it is 
necessary to the preservation of a free government, es- 
tablished upcMQi the principles of a representative repub^ 
Uc, that ev^ man should know his own rights, it is 
also necessary tp be able, on all occasions, to refer to 
them. Where the sovereignty is vested in the people, 
government is a subordinate power, and the^'mere crea-* 
tare of the peoplje's will ; it ou^ht, thepefore, to be so 
constructed that its operations may be the subject of 
constant observation and severe scrutiny. By com- 
paring the principles of the civil polity of the United 
states with their e&cts upon the progress of the Ame* 


lican government^ and the spirit of the American peo^ 
ple^ we should be led to appreciate the mmiicipal insti-^ 
tutions of this coimtry at their true value. And^ per- 
hapS) it would be adviseable to derive the elements of a 
le^ and parliamentary education in the United States^ 
chiefly from the history and constitutions of America 
herself; by which means might be imbibed the genu- 
ine principles of republican government from legitimate 
fountains; and the student also avoid the bias of any 
undue impressions derived from the artificial distinc- 
tions^ the oppressive establishments^ the feudal en- 
croachments^ the ecclesiastical intolerance and mono* 
poly^ which distinguish and deform almost all the na- 
tions of Europe. 

Undoubtedly the British constitution, which, al- 
though not written, and therefore constructive, is yet to 
be learned from various precedents respecting the royal 
prerogative on one hand, and the privileges of the peo- 
ple on the other ; and in which the several powers of 
government are limited, though in an uncertain way, in 
respect to each other; and the three ppwers of king, 
lords, and commons, combined together, are without any 
check at all in the constitution; whence their union in 
parliament has been styled omnipotent, from the sove* 
reignty of the nation residing in that body; and the 
municipal code of England, consisting of the commoii or 
customary, and the statute law, to an intimate acquaint-^ 
ance with which the American lawyers are so early, 
so deeply, and so constantly introduced by the prevail- 
ing course of their professional inquirie;s and practice, 
teeni with invaluable principles of unstained justice, 
liberal equity, profound policy, and accomplished social 
order — principles which cannot be too generally known, 
studied, and received; nevertheless, it must be remem- 
bered, that many of the fundamental doctrines of the 
English government, and many of the maxims of 
English jurisprudence, are utterly subversive of an 
equidity of political rights, aiid totally incompatible with 
the republican form and spirit of the American institu-^ 
tions and establishments. We must, therefore, care- 


fbUy Histinguish between the principles which pervade 
the British, and the genius which quickens the Ame- 
ijcan government; and cultivate a correct acquaintance 
with republican maxims, and cherish a devoted attach- 
ment to the systems of liberty and justice, established 
in these United States. This subject i? elaborately 
and ably unfolded by Mr. Chancellor Kent, in the In- 
troduction to his Course of Lectures on Law, delivered 
in Columbia College. 

All the American Constitutions, as well those of the 
separate as of the United States, are based on an 
equality of civil and rehgious rights in all the people, 
except the negro slaves, and an entire absence of all 
privileged orders, and politico-religious establishments. 
They differ from all other governments, ancient and 
modern, in being altogether elective and representative; 
and in consisting of so many different state sovereign- 
ties, with a general or federal head. The existence of 
the state sovereignties, with each its separate executive, 
legislative, and judicial departments, provides for all 
the purposes of municipal and local regulation, and 
adbfiits of any extent of territory^ and any increase of 
population, without danger or inconvenience; \rhile 
the general government is organized to watch over the 
national interests, to maintain due intercourse with 
foreign powers, and determine . the momentous ques- 
tions of peace and war. Many per^ns in this Country, 
and Europeans generally, express their conviction that 
the present form of our government cannot last long; 
but that the American confederacy will be speedily dis- 
solved by its own intrinsic Weakness, and prodigious 
extent of terFitory; ■ . 

But a closer, and more patient inspection, probably, 
would induce them to believe in the continuance of the 
union, and the prepetuity of free and popular institu- 
tions. We have the authority of two distinguished 
statesmen of the present day for beUeving in the dura- 
tion of our republican institutions; the one a foreigner, 
the other a native. A French philosopher, Barb6 de 
Marbois, in speculating upon this subject, says, ^^Th« 


experience of past ages, the recollection of human revo- 
lutions^ excites some disquietude in relation to the fu- 
ture destinies of the United States. The usual con- 
sequences are apprehended from the movements of 
private ambition, the inequality of fortunes, the lov« 
of conquest. But, under the peculiar circumstances 
in which the United States are placed, the past 
cannot serve as a criterion for the future. It is true, 
that free nations have been lost in despotism; but had 
those nations a precise idea of their rights and du- 
ties? Were they acquainted with the. tutelary institu- 
tions of this day, the independence of the judiciary, 
the trial by jury, the system of representative assem- 
blies and self taxation, the force of public opinion, now 
superior to all opposition? Among the ancients, liberty 
was but a feeling; in our times, it is both a feeling and 
a positive science. We all know how liberty is lost; 
we are all acquainted with the means of defending and 
preserving it. The United States have now been happy 
and free for nearly half a century. Liberty has struck 
deep root in the country; it is entwined with the first 
affections of the heart; it enters into the earliest com^ 
binations of thought; it is spun into the primitive sta* 
pie of the mental frame of the Americans; it is wrought 
into the very stamina of all their institutions, political 
and social; it thoroughly pervades, and perceptibly 
modifies even their domestic life; it is protected by re- 
ligion and the laws; it is linked with every habit, opin* 
ion, and interest; it has, in fine, become the common 
reason, and the want of all the American people. Pro- 
pose slavery to such a people; talk to them of unity in 
the head; multiply your sophisms as you please, to 
prove to them the paternity of arbitrary pow^r, thef 
will never understand you. We must not suppose that 
the love of conquest, that fatal passion, will master or 
lead astray the councils of a nation, which, setting out 
from a line of nearly fifteen hundred leagues of coast, 
|nay spread the noble and hallowed empire of industry 
foid tbe arts firom the shores of ihm Nortliera Ocean 
tethosepfthePiwific,'* ^ 


The late Mr. Gouverneur Morris, who was one ot 
the most Me, splendid, and efficient of the statesmen 
that framed the Federal Constitution, in a private letter, 
written to a fnend towards the close of his life, e^^- 
presses himself thus : " Those who formed our con- 
stitution were not blind to its defects: they believed a 
republican government to be the best; they believed a 
monarchial form to be neither solid nor durable; they 
conceived it to be vigorous or feeble, active or slothful, 
wise or foolish, niild or cruel, just or unjust, according 
to the personal character of the prince. It is a dupery 
to cite the duration of the French monarchy at eight 
centuries. In that period, the provinces which lately 
composed it passed, by various fortune, from their sub- 
jection to Rome, through the conquests of barbarians, 
the ferociousness* of feudal aristocracy, and the horrors 
of anarchy and civil war, to their union under the Bour- 
bons. That union was not consolidated until the soar- 
ing spirit of Riohlieu, and the flexible temper of Mazarin^ 
liad' tamed an indignant nobility to the yoke of obe- 
dience. By the vanity, the ambition, and the talents of 
Louis the Fourteenth, France became the terror of Eu^^ 
rope. By the facile immorality of the Regent, and the 
lasciviousness and feebleness of Louis the Fifleenth, sh« 
sunk alfllost into contempt. After a few years of dis- 
tempered existence, tmder the mild and virtuous Louis 
the Sixteenth, the lamp of that boasted monarchy was 
extinguished in his blood."'— There are also some very 
ahrewd and sensible remarks, on the probable duration 
of our confederated republic, in " Letters Jrom the 
South^* a work lately published. 

The general, or F^eral Constitution of the United 
States was framed by a convention of deputies from the 
States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
New-York, NeW^ersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ma- 
ryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and 
Georgia, at a session, begun May 35th, and ended Sep- 
tember 17th, 1787* It first went into operation on the 
4th of March, 1 789. Its provisions are, in substance^ 
i%Me :*— All hgislatifie powers^ granted by the Coustatu^ 


tion, are vested in a Congress of the United States, con- 
sisting of a Senate and House of Representatives. The 
representatives are chosen every second year b^ the peo- 
ple of the several states; the electors in each state 
having the qualifications requisite for electors of the 
most numerous branch of the State Legislature. The 
representative must be twenty-five years old, have been 
a citizen of the United States seven years, and be an 
inhabitant of the state in which he is chosen. Re- 
presentatives and direct taxes are apportioned among 
the several states, according to their respective num- 
bers, determined by adding to the whole number of 
free persons, including those bound to service, and ex- 
cluding Indians not taxed, three-fiflhs of all other per- 
sons. The actual enumeration of the people is to be 
made every ten years, in the mode directed by Con- 
gress; the number of representatives not exceeding one 
in thirty thousand: only, each state shall have at least 
one representative. When vacancies happen in the 
representation from any state, the State Executive issues 
writs of election to fill them. The House of Repre- 
sentatives choose their speaker, and have the solt 
power of impeachment. 

On this portion of the Federal Constitution it may 
be observed, that the mode of electing the members of 
the lower house of Congress varies in the diiferent 
states according to the various modes of electing their 
own representatives, established by the laws of the 
several states. In some, the whole number to which 
the state is entitled is elected by the whole people of 
the state; in others, they are distributed intp election 
districts; in some, a majority of all the votes is requi- 
site; in others, only a plurality; in some, residence of 
the candidate in the district is required; in others, not. 
The mode by districts, and plurality of votes with resi- 
dence of the candidate, is most general throughout the 
tJnion. . .„. 

iThe frequent recurrence to* the people, by the fre- 
quency of elections, is a radi^^al imperfection ' which 
pervades all the American constitutions, both state and 


federal. It has a direct tendency to make the repre- 
sentatives too local in their poUcy^ and to induce them 
rather to aim at pleasing their own immediate constitu- 
ents than to advance the general good of the nation at 
large ; a measure which sometimes requires an apparent 
sacrifice of the local interest of the peculiar dis^ct 
which they represent. When once seated in Congress^ 
the members should recollect that they represent the 
United States^ as one great empire^ and not merely the 
little district of any particular state, whether of Virginia, 
or of Rhode-Island, of New-York, or of Delaware. A 
triennial election is quite frequent enough for the gene- 
ral government of so extensive a country, and such a 
rapidly-increasing population. This frequency of elec^ 
tion, however, is praised as the consummation of pohti- 
cal excellence, by many writers and speakers on the art 
of government ; yet it seems to have an immediate ten- 
dency to throw great obstacles in the way of national 
improvement and prosperity. The elections, both of 
senators and representatives, as well in the general as 
in the state governments, recur too often, particularly of 
the lower branch of the legislature. South Carolina and 
Tennessee are the only two states in the Union whose 
representatives are elected for so long a term as two 
years ; in Connecticut and Rhode-Island, the elections 
are semiannual ; in all the other states, yearly. 

The almost necessary consequence of these frequent 
elections is, that tiie representatives feel themselves too 
dependent upon the will of their constituents ; whereas, 
they ought to. be lefl entirely free to exercise the power 
delegated to them, at their own discretion, and to the 
best of their judgment, for the good of the country at 
large. The people also are incessantly exposed to cor- 
ruption, amidst the perpetual intrigue and turmoil of fre- 
quently recurring elections ; whence incapable members 
are too liable to be returned to the legidature. It is a 
notorious fact, that in many districts of the Union, un- 
less a representative follows and obeys the current 
opinions, prqudices, and passions of the day, he will fioi 
be re-elected, owin^ to the running of the popular tidf 


against him^ whatever may be his other qualifications. 
Add to this, that in consequence of the short period of 
pubUc service, it is not easy to investigate and annul 
spurious elections, before the session itself be at an end ; 
whence, there is a danger, that if a return can be ob- 
tained, no matter by what improper means, the irre- 
gular member, who takes his seat of course, shall hold it 
quite long enough to answer all his purposes of legis- 
lation. What is this in effect, but offering ahigh bounty 
by law, for the employment of electioneering intrigue 
and fraud> in order to obtain a return? Such a system, 
having an unavoidable tendency to bewilder and corrupt 
the people, and to induce them to elect unworthy re- 
wesentatives, almost ensures the production of a legis- 
Mure^ not the best qualified by talents, learning, wealth, 
probity, and character, to discharge so solemn and 
imjportant a duty, as that of framing laws for the well* 
being of an extensive^ powerful, and fast-growing com- 

A great part of every year, in eveiy place through- 
out the Union, is literally consumed in cabals and in- 
trigues, carried on between the candidates of the several 
parties and the people, in order to prepare and accom- 
plish all the various manoeuvres of electioneering 
tactics, which are put in constant requisition, by the 
frequent recurrence of elections for representatives, 
bothof the separate and of the United States. Whence, 
a large portion of the time which the people ought to 
employ in productive industry, is expended in prose- 
cuting the unprofitable trade of politics. The expe- 
rience of history shows^^ that the democratic forms of 
government are also in themselves liable to these in^ 
conveniences; namely, that they are too tedious in 
coming to any public resolution, and seldom sufficiently 
alert and expeditious in carrying their resolutions into 
effect ; that as various minds are successively employed, 
they are necessarilj^ waverifig and unsteady, and 
^scarcely ever perseverp to the accomplishment of the 
measures which tbey resolvf to pursue ; that they are 
0ft?n involved in ^tions, which expose the nation tpt 


be made the instrument, if not the victim, of foreigii 
powers. Now, frequent elections cannot fail of render- 
ing a government too dilatory in its resolves ; because, 
under such circumstances, no prudent administration 
would ever venture upon any important national mea- 
sure, until it had felt the pulse, not only of the legisla-- 
ture, but of the people also. 

The experience of history equally proves, tliat the 
great body of the people, in every country, are prone to 
be too much elated by temporary success, and too much 
dejected by occasional misfortune. This disposition 
alone rdkiders them perpetually wavering in their 
opinions about affairs of state^ and prevents the possi- 
bility of their ever long contirxuing steadily fixed to anv 
one point. And as the House of Representatives is 
chosen by the voice of the general people, a choice so 
often renewed, almost ensures the legislature to be as 
wavering and unsteady in their councils, as the people 
themselves are in their sentiments. And it being im- 
possible to carry on the public affairs of the executive 
government, without the concurrence of the lower' 
house, the administration is always obliged to comply 
with the notions of the leading members of that house ; 
and, consequently, obliged to change its measures as 
oflen as the populace change their minds. Whence, it 
is impossible to lay down, and steadily prosecute, any 
plan for the gradual developement of the national re- 
sources, and the gradual growth of the country, in 
prosperity, wealth, power, and influence. 

Besides, in all democratic governments, faction is 
continually springing up from the delusions perpetually 
played off upon the collective wisdom of the multitude. 
While the essential principles of human nature remain 
the same, as they ever have been, there always will be^ 
in every country, and under every possible form of go- 
vernment, many unquiet, turbulent, and unprincipled 
spirits, who can never be at rest, whether in or out of 
power. When in possession of the government, th^y 
require every one to submit entirely to their direction 
and control ; in words, they profess to be the exclusive 


champions of liberty ; iii action^ they are the veriest 
tyrants imaginable. When outof power^ they are.alwayt 
working and intriguing against the government, without 
any regard to truth, justice, or common honesty, or 
the welfare of their country. In popular gpveniments, 
where the election of representatives too frequently re- 
curs, such pernicious men have too many opportunities! 
of mischief, in working upon, deceiving, and corrupt- 
ing the minds of the people, in order to injSame them 
against those who have the management of public 
affairs for the time being ; and thus, eventually, are 
enabled to ripen the discontents of the deluded multi* 
tude into violent and seditious movements. Such are 
scrrne of the evil consequences invariably resulting from 
the too frequent recurrence of elections, which also (it 
may be remarked) necessarily incapacitates the repre* 
sentatiye from acquiring an adequatj^ acquaintance with 
the public business and real interests of his couatry, 
owing to the short duration of his term of service. 
There are likewise some other imperfections grafted 
» into the system of election throughput the States, 
which deserve notice. The voting %^a//o^, instead 
. of viva voce, is accounted a wonderful improvement ; 
whereas, it excludes the open, wholesome influence of 
talent and property at the elections ; and encourages a 
perpetual course of intrigue and fraud, by enabling the 
cunning demagogue to impose upon the credulity of the 
weak and ignorant. In^deed^ the frauds pr^ictised by 
the svbstitutwn of one set of baljots for another, in 
every electionec^ring campaign throughout the country, 
are in themselves innumerable and shameless ; and the 
success pf elections, generally, depends on the adroit- 
nesjr of intrigue exhibited by the more active ppUtical 
^ Universal svjffrage, also, is a favourite feature in our 
republican system, except in the State of Virginia, 
"" "»erc a respectable property in land is the prescribed 
^^* Wication of a voter : in some of the states, no pro- 
?*faii v qualificatioii, either in pcrsonf\l or real estate, 
pt'iet^i ed, and in the rest, (save Virginia) much too 


•mall a possession of ptopertyys whether real or per* 
sonal^ is suffered to quali^ the electors. Now^ universal 
suffi^ge is full of evil, without any alloy of good; for 
it gives efficiency and perpetuity to the anti-social con- 
spiracy of poverty against wealth, of canning against 
wisdom, of knavery against integrity, and of conmsion 
against order ; the necessary tendencies of which are, 
to exclude the great talents, high character, and large 
property of the community, from the administration of 
government ; which, under such circumstances^ is too 
apt to exhibit a scene of folly and oppression at home, 
and to become an object of contempt and scorn abroad. 
The only stable government, which can at once secure 
prosperi^ to its own people, and command the respect 
of foreign nations/ must lay its foundations in the pre* 
servation and ascendena/ of property. No man ought 
to be allowed to vote, who is not possessed of a freehold 
in land, that those who have the deepest stake in the 
soil may have the most influence in the country. 

The states, however, generally require a qualification, 
both of property and of age, in the elected; which 
seems to be quite useless ; since it is fair to presume 
that a man must have already acquired some considera- 
ble standing in the community before his fellow-citizens 
will hold him up as a candidate for electic^i in either 
branch of the legislature, whether state or federal, 
more especially if the electors are required to possess 
a proprietary qualification^ Still less should there be 
any limitation as to age ; Tor as soon as a man fairly 
distinguishes himself by his talents and character, de- 
monstrating in him a capacity for public service,, so soon 
has he the passport of God and nature to the trust and 
confidence of the community. How much of zeal and 
talent, displayed in her service, would England have 
lost, if Charles Fox and William Pitt had been denied 
admittance into the House of Commons until they had 
reached their thirtieth year, instead of obtaining an 
entrance into parliament as soon as they had passed 
the age of twenty-ons ! 


It is somewhat singular^ that a republic professing til 
establish fiiU toleration^ and ^ve equal political right! 
to every religious sect, shomd in so many instances 
exclude the clergy from a seat in the legislature. This 
exclusion occurs in the constitutions of New-York^ 
Maryland, Kentucky, North and South Carolina^ 
Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisiana. 

Mr. Smith, in his Comparative View qf the Omsti- 
tutions, makes-some veiy sensible and spirited observa- 
tions on the exclusion of the cleigy from all official and 
legislative privileges, as well as on all the prominent 
features of the federal and state constitutions, which 
existed in the year 1796- 

The disqualification of the clergy in so many states 
Beems either a remnant of the old Gothic policy, trans- 
mitted from times when ecclesiastics were immured in 
monasteries ; though even then ecclesiastics did greatly 
^uide the political movements of nations ; or, perhaps 
it is copied from the practice of the British government, 
(some years since, backed by a statute passed in order 
to keep Home Tooke out of Parliament) which excludes 
lliem from a seat in the House of Commons, under 
pretence of their being represented in convocation, al- 
though both the upper and lower Houses of Convoca- 
tion have been abolished for more than a century, and 
the bishops are allowed to sit in the House of Lords : 
wherefore, according to the well-known maxim, cessante 
ratione, cessat et ipsa lex, as the English clergy are not 
now represented in convocation, they ought to be re- 
presented in parliament ; or, lastly, their disqualifica- 
tion in the states is the offspring of a misguided jealousy 
towards the clerical order, on the part of the laity. 

The expediency of admitting into the legislature the 
clergy ought to be left to their own sense of propriety, 
to the feelings and wishes of their congregations, to the 
rules and ordinances of the religious body to which they 
belong, and to the good sense, discretion, and opinion 
of the electors. When the laity undertake to exclude 
the clergy by constitutional regulations, the exdustosi 


favours strongly of political intolerance; it is, in fact, 
disfrancMsing the whole of a very respectable and im- 
portant diss of the community. The constitution of 
the United' States contains no such exclusion; and the 
experience of nearly thirty years has not demonstrated 
either its necessity or its use. After all, perhaps the 
exercise of the religious duties of ecclesiastical life are 
not quite compatible with the incessant agitations of act- 
ive politics; and, doubtless, the Saviour of the world 
himself delivered an awful lesson of denunciation against 
earthly avarice and ambition, when he emphatically de- 
clared, that his kingdom is not of this world. Never- 
theless, the admission into the legislativecouncils of their 
country ought to be left to the individual discretion of 
the clergy themselves, and of those with whom they are 
connected: they ought not to be disfranchised of a great 
political right, to which they are justly entitled, in com- 
mon with all the rest of their fellow-citizens, by any 
municipal regulations of a free and popular govem^aent. 
The Senate of the United States is composed of two 
senators from each state, chosen by its legislature for 
six years: each senator has one vote. They are divi- 
ded into three classes. The seats of the senators of the 
first class are vacated at the expiration of the second; 
pf the second class, at the expiration of the fourth ; of the 
third class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that 
one-third of the senate is chosen every second year. 
if any vacancy happen, during the recess of a state le-» 
gislature, the state executive may make a temporary 
appointment, until the next meeting of the legislature, 
which then fills up the vacancy, either by a new appoint- 
ment, or by sanctioning that of the executive. A sena- 
tor must be thirty years old, have been nine years a ci- 
tizen of the United States, and be an inhabitant of the 
state for which he i^ chosen. The Vice-President of 
the United States is president of the senate, but has no 
vote, unless the House is equally divided. The senate 
chooses its other officers, and a president pro tempore, 
in the absence of the Vice-President; or when he exer- 
cises the office of President of the United States. Th^ 

134 SENATB. 

j^enate tries all impeachment^^ and when so sitting is on 
itsoath or affirmation. When thePresident of the United 
States is- tried, the Chief Justice of the United States 
presides -..the concurrence of two-thirds of the members 
present is necessary to conviction. In cases of impeach* 
ment, judgment only extends to removal from the exist- 
ing office, and disqualification for any other office of 
honour, trust, or profit, under the United States; leav- 
ing the party convicted liable to indictment, trial, judg- 
ment, and punishment,, according to law. 

The modes of appointing the senators of the United 
States vary in diflferent states: they are generally regu- 
lated by state statute. In some, one house nolhinates to 
the other till both concur; in others, both houses unite 
in convention^ and make a joint choice; the first is called 
a concurrent y the last b, joint vote. Both modes are either 
vivd voce, or by ballot. In the first mode, the senate 
possesses the same equal power with the House of Re- 
presentativiBs, which they have in every other legislative 
act, and of which they ought not to be deprived in so im- 
portant a measure as this. In the last mode, their num- 
bers being always smaller than those of the lower house, 
their influence is, of course, proportionally smaller. The 
mode hy joint vote, and Join/ ballot, is the most preva- 
lent; the representatives, being the more popular branch, 
too generally carry their point against the senate. 

The durati[on of the senators of the United States for 
^ic year? is well calculated to give system and stability 
to this important branch of the general government, more 
especially as it acts sl judicial part in the trial of impeach- 
ments; and discharges executive functions, in appointing 
public officers, and in making treatise with foreign pow- 
ers. In many of the state constitutions, pecuniary 
qualifications arc required in all candidates for public 
office; in the federal constitution none is required, 
either in the representatives, senators, or president. 
Perhaps it would be always most prudent to throw the 
proprietary iqualification upon the e/ecfor, the person who 
votes; because men without property, generally, not 
only feel less solicitude for the public trantjuilUty ancj 


welfare, inasmuch as they have less stake in the country, 
but are also more open to the seductive influence bf cor- 
ruption. Whereas, it is fair to presume/ that men who 
are sufficiently distinguished to appear as can4idates for 
public office, when the power pf voting is confined to 
those who have a stake of property in the soil, will be 
sufficiently qualified by talents and information to discern 
the real interests of their Country, whether they them- 
selves possess property or not. Indeed, it is fair to infer 
that candidates for the federal legislature will, generally, 
be men of some property also, as well as men distin- 
guished in their respective states for political talents and 

It is of the greatest moment to the best interests of 
the commonwealth, that the senate should be stable in 
duration, and efficient in power; because it is the only 
proper and effectual clieck upon the haste and passion 
by which the legislative resolutions of any single assem- 
bly, derived immediately from the people, are liable ta 
be influenced. The institution^ of a senate afibrds an 
opportunity for the deliberations of the one legislative 
body to correct the precipitancy of the other, not only 
because the legislators are divided into two separate 
branches; but also because the component parts of each 
separate branch will, probably, be diflerent ; and, con- 
sequehtly,a diflerent system and spirit will grow up from 
the diflerence of organization in the two bodies ; thus 
serving as a salutary constraint upon the public move- 
ments of each other. It is to be regretted that the se- 
parate states, throughout the Union, do not in general 
imitate this valuable provision in the federal constitu- 
ti(Mi ; for the state senates are, too frequently, cither 
chosei^ for so short a time, or so immediately by the peo- 
ple^ that they cannot exist as a legislative body, watch- 
ing over, controlling, and directing, for the, common 
good, the wayward passions and prejudices of the more 
uninformed portion of the community. 

The state of Maryland is an honourable exception to 
this general and radical error in the formation of govern- 
ment By the constitution of that state, electors are 


appointed for the express purpose of choosing senators ' 
and are bound by oath to select men distinguished for 
their wisdom, talents, and virtues. The senators arc 
elected for Jwe years. The benefits of thus, in a great 
measure, securing the independence of the senate upon 
the people, have often been felt in Maryland during the 
earlier years of American sovereignty. On many occa- 
sions the integrity and firmness of the senators opposed 
and overruled the tumultuous passions, and disorganizing 
shocks of the more popular branch of the legislature* 
There is very little resembling the wisdom of this insti- 
tution in other parts of the American body politic, ex^ 
cept the appointment, by electors, of state senators in 
Kentucky, of federal senators by the separate state 
legislatures, and of the President and Vice President of 
the United states by electors. In the other states of 
the Union, the election of senators, immediately by the 
people, almost necessarily ensures a perpetuity of in-* 
trigue and cabal, and renders the senators themselves 
too dependent upon the leading demagogues in the seve^ 
ral districts. As. the senate ought to be a salutary 
check upon the precipitancy and passion of the more 
popular branch, it should be constituted in some mode 
different from that of the House of Representatives— 
either by electors or by the people^ modified and restrict* 
ed in their votes by some particular proprietary qualifi^ 

Mr. Jefferson, in his " Notes on Virginia,** condemns 
the constitution of that great state for having overlook- 
ed this important provision in all good government His 
observations are extremely judicious, and well worthy a 
most attentive perusal. In Maryland and Kentucky 
alone, the mode of choosing senators by electors prevails. 
In several of the other states the voters for senators 
must have greater pecuniary qualifications than voters 
for the other branch of the legislature; and the senators 
themselves must possess more property than the repre- 
sentatives. In other countries, whatever be the form of 
government, the upper or checking branch of the legis- 
lature may emanate firom some source different from tht 


will of the people; but in the United States all political 
power, according to the letter and spirit of every Ameri-^ 
can constitution, whether state or/federal, must flow 
either mediately or immediately from the same foun* 
tain, the choice of the people ; in whom alone the es^ 
sential sovereignty of this extended empire resides; 
wherefore, in order to invigorate the senate With an 
adequate controlling power, it is necessary to render it 
less dependent upon the fluctuating will of the people 
than is the House of Representatives. This cah only 
be done by one or other of the modes above suggestedL 
The plan adopted by the states of Maryland and Ken- 
tucky appears to be the best. 

The times of greatest peril to all democratic govern- 
ments are derived from the contagious spreading over 
the House of Representatives of those violent passions 
which occasionally agitate the people in every free 
country ; and this contagious influence of popular pas- 
sion and ftiry must be generally difiused over the repre- 
sentative branch of the legislature, in every place 
where annua/ elections prevail. If the Senate be elected 
immediately by the people, will it not necessarily be 
subject to die influence of the same popular passions, 
ana so lose all power of efiectually checking the occa- 
sional phrensy of the lower house ? The longer duration 
of the senate, which exists in many of the states, in 
some measure counterbalances the evils necessarily at- 
tendant upon the prevailing mode of electing senators ; 
and the experience of the American people has, in all 
the recent revisions of their state constitutions, (ex- 
cepting that of Georgia), induced them to increase the 
term of senatorial service. The Senators of the United 
States are elected for six years ; those of Maryland for 
five years; of New-York, Peimsylvania, Kentucky, 
Virginia, South Caroliria, and Louisiana, for four years ; 
of Ohio for two years; and of Delaware and Mississippi 
iov three years. In order to unite firmness, stability, 
and S3rstem in the upper house, together with suflficient 
dependence and responsibility in the senators, all 
thosa 90Rititi|tion8, excepting those of Maryland and 


Kentucky^ have established the plan of rotation ; by 
which an adequate permanency is supposed to b^ com- 
bined with the necessary change. The mode and fre* 
quency of rotation vary in almost all the state constitu- 
tions; but the result is, in all, the same; that of periodi- 
cally infusing new members into a permanent legis- 
lative body. 

In the federal government there is a biennial rota- 
tion of oncrthird of the senators ; in .the state govern- 
ments of New- York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and 
liOuisiana, an annual rotation of one-fourth ; ill that of 
Ohio and South Carolina, a biennial rotation of one- 
half ; in those of Delaware and Mississippi, an annual 
rotation of one-third. In Maryland the senators sit 
for five years ; and in Kentucky for four ; but without 
rotation. It is worthy of notice, that in the eastern, 
or New-England States, no senatorial check upon the 
precipitancy of the lower house has been adopted. 
Their institutions are the most democratic in the 
whole Union. In New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, 
Rhode-Island, and Vermont, the senates, or councils, 
are elected annually, as are also the Council of New- 
Jersey, and the senates of North Carolina and Georgia. 
The habits of order and moderation, together with 
general difiusion of elementary intelligence, through- 
out the New-England states, render a check upon the 
popular branch of the legislature less necessary than in 
countries not so favourably circumstanced. It is 
however, dangerous to trust altogether to the influence 
of personal feeling and individual habit in national 
affairs ; more especially when counteracted by the force 
of fixed and positive institutions. 

The reason of this omission in the eastern states, in 
New- Jersey, and in !^j^6lh Carolina, probably is, that 
their constitutions j^i^^^ all, excepting that of Vermont, 
made during,tfefi lieat and fury of the revolutionary war, 
when they had little experience to guide them in the 
formation of governments ; and, above all, when the ar-* 
bitrary proceedings of the royal councils of the mother 
country had created a considerable antipathy in th« 

AFPOiMTMEinr or senators* 129 . 

leaders of the infant republics^ to executive councils^ 
and senatorial branches. As to Vermont, though her 
constitution was made so recently as July, 1793, yet the 
newly settled state of the country could not be expected 
to furnish forth the most profound legislators^ and en- 
lightened statesmen. Wim respect to Georgia^ the re- 
cent change in the duration of her senate, from three 
years to one, is not so easily accounted for. She ajp^ 
pears to retpocede in the science of government, while 
her sister states are advancing in improvement. 'The 
constitutions of Connecticut and Jlhode-Island are sub- 
stantially the old charters, obtained from Charles the , 
Second ; those of Massachusetts, New-Jersey, afld North 
Carolina, were framed in 17763 snd 178O; those of the 
United States, Pennsylvania, Kentucky^South Carolina, , 
Ohio, Tennessee, Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi, 
were established since the year 1787 } those of New- 
York and Maryland were made during the revolutionary 
war in 1776 and 1777; and, considering that circum- 
stance, it is surprising that they contain such judicious 
Arrangements in respect to the senate. 

It is to be hoped, that whenever the New-Eiigland. 
states revise their constitutions, they will make their 
senate more independent of the fluctuations of the po- 
pular will, and render them more efficient checks to 
the occasional precipitancy of the House of Representa- 
tives. The senates of Maryland, Massachusetts, and 
Kentucky, have power to fill up their own vacancies. 
In the United States the senatorial vacancies are sup- 
plied by the state legislatures ; in almost all the sepa- 
jfate states they are filled by popular election. Thui, 
by the very mode of their election, and the brief term 
M^ their duration, are the senators of many of the Ame- - 
dean States almost necessarily induced to become 
rather the suitors of afidde and fantastic popularity. V, 
than, as they ought to be, the steady guardians of th|^ / 
people's welftire ; often, in direct opposition to the po- 
pvl3T passion and clamour. Those who ar* entirely,- 
dependent' tq[)on the people^ can seldom render any. 
essential service to the state by the wisdom to Bjcttir 


ness of their legislation. Such men incur the unavt>id-. 
able hazard of becoming the parasites, instead of the 
law-givers ; the instruments^ not the directors of the 
people. Under such circumstances, if any one should 
happen to be so imprudently honest, as to propose a 
plan, which by restraining the licentiousness of anarchy, 
might augment the prosperity and happiness of the com-^ 
monwealth, his more artful compeers would have a fine 
opportunity of throwing him out at the next election, by 
loud and long harangues upon the essential majesty, the 
immutable sovereignty, the collective wisdom, the im- 
. maculate virtue of the multitude. Nay, even those 
who profes5 to deceive, in order to benefit the people, 
must soon find, that by propagating mischievous and 
disorganizing doctrines, tliey render it impossible at 
any future period to induce the multitude to submit 
to the wholesome restraints of justice and order. 

The times, places, and manner of holding elections 
for federal senators and representatives, are prescribed 
in each state, by the legislature ; subject, however, to 
the alterations of Congress, by law, except as to the 
places of choosing senators. Congress must assemble 
itt least once in every year, on the first day of December, 
unless they by law appoint a different, day. Each 
/house is judge of the elections, retui'ns, and qualifica- 
tions of its own meipbers ; and a majority of each con- 
stitutes a quorum to transact business ; but a smaller 
number may adjourn from day to day, ^nd Qompel the 
attendance of absent members, under penalties provided 
by each house. Each house determines the rules of its 
proceedings, punishes its members for disorderly beha- 
, viour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expeU 
a member. Each house keeps a journal of its proceed- 
ings, and publishes whatever it is not .deemed necessary 
'^ - to conceal. Neither house^ during the session of Con- 
•gress, can, without the consent of the other, adjourn for 
^^more than three days : nor to any other place than that 
in which the two houses are sitting. The senators and 
representatives receive a compensation for their ser- 
vices^ ascertained by law^ and paid out of the treasury of 


the United States. They are, in all cases, excepting trea- 
son, felony, and breach of the peace, privileged from 
arrest during their attention at the session of their re- 
spective houses, and in going to, and returning from, 
the same ; nor can they be questioned in any othei* 
place;, for any speech, or debate, in either house. 

No senator or representative can, dining the time for 
which he is elected, be appointed to any civil office un« 
der the authority of the United States, which shall have 
been created, or the emoluments of which shall have 
been increased, during such time ; and no person, hold* 
ing any office under the United States, can be a member 
of either house during his continuance in office. 

The excluding the executive, or cabinet-officers, from 
a seat in the legislature, is a favourite position in the 
American constitutions: its wisdom, however, may rea- 
sonably be questioned ; and, perhaps, a little examina- 
tion will show this scheme to be rather a subtle refine- 
ment in political theory, than a sound; practical improve- 
ment in the art of government. For executive officers^ 
although excluded from the legislature, must gdvern thei 
whole country; and as they do actually possess thtf 
highest rank, influence, and power, in the nation, their 

E laces will dways be the great objects of political am- 
ition* To say, that the legislature would have no con- 
cern with these men, and that the chief executive ma- 
gistrate, whether president, emperor, or king, might 
change or appoint them at his own mere will and plea* 
sure, without producing the least sensation in the Re- 
presentative Assembly, would be idle. The legislature 
would be bound by a sense of duty— (in the United 
States the senate is constitutionally bound) to con^ 
cem itself in kll such nominations; and would undoubt- 
edly take such concern, from the still more imperative 
motives of personal interest, of political considerations, 
of ihe ties of blood and affection. 

The only practical effect, produced by excluding gof- 
yemment-^officers from a seat in the legislature is, that 
the parliamentary debates are conducted by deputies^ 
whom e^ch sjet of ministers employ to maintain their 



cause, while th^y are themselves transacting the husi 
liess of their office. Ambitious men are obliged to con- 
tend for the preservation of their places^ by an inferior 
order of reasoners and speakers; and the ambition 
which ought to bring the loftiest talents of the country 
into open competition, on the deliberative floor of the 
nation, is confined, chiefly, to the more dangerous and 
uncontrolable intrigues of the executive cabinetf; while 
the legislator is left to a secondary race of men, who 
struggle for their respective chiefs* 

It is, likewise, deemed to be a marvellous improve* 
ment in the modem system of political economy, to 
miete out a meagre subsistence to the public servants of 
a country, and to calculate, to a single dollar, the exact 
amount of bodily and mental labour, for which a given 
salaiy is to be equivalent. Accordingly, there is not a 
sufficient stipend allowed to any American public officer, 
whether executive, or judicial, or ministerial, or naval, 
or military, to enable him to support the decent exte- 
rior of a gentleman. The President of the United Stated 
himself receives only a little more than Jf?ye thousand 
pounds sterling a-year, the Vice-President, and Secre- 
tary of State, about on? thousand sterling per annum ; 
aiitt the inferior government officers, in due descending 
proportion. And the officers of the separate states are 
worse paid than those of the United States. 

This doctrine, also, is a theoretic illusion, and a prac- 
tical evil ; for in every civilized, opuletit, and thnvin^ 
society, a certain magnificence of expenditure is an in- 
dispensable part of official greatness ; and, if the high 
places of the state do not afibhi sufficient nieans to 
maintain their p9^sessof' with due dignity, they are ne- 
cessarily left to the acquisition of mitids of spi inferiot 
order. Whence, the most important offices are likely 
to be fitted by persons of subordinate talenta; and meii 
of genius, being virtually excluded from the helm of go^ 
vemmeiit, are tempted to oppose and disturb a system^ 
which Qiight, under a more IiberiBd ofder of things, have 
relied upon them as its surest bulwarks of doppbrt ; 
ind, ab^ve all, this mistaken policy actually preve^fitk 


^the developement of great talents on a l^fge scale^ by • 
withholding all opportunities of national exertion* Sp 
that ill fact, this state parsimony is thfe worst pf 
possible state extravagance; inasmuch^ as it blights th,e 
gi;owtJi of intellect, and squanders away the mind flif 
the country. 

Mr. Thomas Paine, in his c^ebrated compendi1^n of 
modern politics, called The Rights of Man^ undi»1;ake,s 
to demonstrate, that no free jpeople, if they be wise, 
will ever give more than three thousand two hundred 
and fifty dollars a-year to their chief magistrate, whis- 
ther called president or king; and he proceeds to 
prove how any nation might easily procure a discreet 
man, able to -ride on horse-back, fully competent Ao dis- 
charge aU the functions of executive government, for 
iBuch a limited yearly stipend. It is however surmised, 
that the profound observations of Mr, Paine on the sipi- 
ence of political economy are not now quite in 5ucji 
good odour, either in the United States, or in Fraflce, 
a^ they were towards the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. It is necessary, in order to ensure the pr9gres- 
sive power, and permanent exaltation of a country, tp 
affix large salaries to all the great offices of st^te> and 
to all those public situations to the discharge of whosfi 
functions it is for the common beneftt thit ambitipn 
should invite high talents. 

It is mere insanity to say, the people can get the 
work done for less money, and therefore they ought b> 
give less. No doubt, a cobler, or a, retail xlealer ip 
small wares. Or an attorney without practice, wjll patri- 
otically consent to take upon himself the burden of ^ 
yeming the country, in any one of the great exec^itive 
^departments of state, for a small stipend; because the of office, though compar^tiveljr low, a&rd a 
larger income than ^i5ier of these enlight^ed politi- 
dians can derive from the profits of his individual pro- 
fession. But the business of the nation will not he well 
jdone* ^fay^ even in a mpney point of view, the nation 
wiU be a loser^ by employing und^litigs at a SS19II sa- 
lary, to' conduct the goveiTup^i l^tf^'Vm Vl^ SfS^ 


will actually destroy more public property, in twelve 
months of mal-administration, by restraints on com- 
merce, by bounties on manufactures, by crippling the 
growth of productive industry, and by numberless other 
jpolitical blunders, than would suffice to pay the most 
magnificent stipends to executive' officers for a hundred 
years. And if we add to this the much higher consi- 
derations of the loss of national honour^ and the degra- 
dation of national character— which an incapable admi- 
nistration always inflict upon their country — we cannot 
hesitate to pronounce, that the system of under-paying 
public officers has a direct tendency to ensure the per- 
petual weakness and disgrace of a community. 

All bills for raising revenue in the United States 
originate in the House of Representatives ; the senate 

Eroposing, or concmxing with amendments, as on other 
ills. Every bill, which has passed the House of Re- 
presentatives and the senate, before it becomes a law, is 
presented to the President of the United States : if he 
approve, he signs it ; if not, he returns it, with his ob- 
jections, to the house originating the bill : that house 
enters the objections on its journals, and reconsiders 
the bill ; when, if two-thirds agree to pass it, the bill 
is sent, with the objections, to the other hous^, 
which also re-considers it ; and, if t^vo-thirds of that 
bouse approve, it becomes a law. If any bill be not 
returned by the President within ten days (Sundays 
excepted) after it has been presented to him, it is a 
|aw, unless Congress prevent its return by their ad- 
journment. The same rules are applicable to every 
order, resolution, or vote of either house. 

This qualified negative upon the proceedings of the 
legislature is given to some of the state governors, by 
their state constitutions, as well as to the President of 
the United States, by the federal compact. In England, 
the executive possesses an absolute negative upon legis- 
lative acts; byt in republican governments this is deem- 
ed toe great a power. The royal v^io was violently 
discussed in France at the commencement of the re- 
¥P*^tion^ aiid ^e d^sfussipn closed bv cutting off th^ 


king*s head. M. Necker^ the Genoese banker and 
financier^ wrote a whole book upon the subject^ for the 
express purpose of enlightening the mind of Louis the 
Sixteenth, who, however, did not live long enough to 
read it through. Thus fares it with kings, when their 
subjects enter into abstract discussions respecting execu- 
tive prerogatives and privileges. The question, whe- 
ther or not, in these United States, the executive shall 
have the power to obstruct altogether, or only to arrest 
and for a time suspend the will of a majority of the 
representatives of the people, assembled as a legislative 
body, has been variously decided in different states^ 
In some, the executive has no control ; in others, only 
a limited or qualified ; in none an absolute control. 
The balance of opinions is in favour of a qualified ne* 
gative. In 1777 the state of New-York established 
this principle in her constitution; but united it with a 
council of' revision, composed of the governor, the 
chancellor, and the judges of the supreme court,. ta 
whom all bills are submitted, after they have passed 
both houses of the legislature. 

In 17^0 the constitution of Massachusetts vested the 
veto in the governor alone. In 1 786 the constitution of 
Vermont vested in the governor and council the power 
not only to propose amendments to laws, but to sus- 
pend them to the next session of the legislature. In 
1787 the constitution of the United States vested in the 
president; in 1789, and 1795, the constitution of 
Georgia, in 1 790 that of Pennsylvania, in 179^ those of 
New- Hampshire and Kentucky, in 1812 that of Louisi- 
ana, in August, IS 17j that of Mississippi, vested in their 
respective governors the power to negative all laws, 
unless re-considered, and passed by both houses of the 
legislature. In Connecticut the governor and council, 
forming the Upper House, possess complete legislaitivo 
powers. In the states of Delaware, Tennessee, South 
Carolina, and Ohio, (which last constitution was framed 
in November, 1802,) the constitutions withhold eyea a 
qualified negative from the executive. By the eonsti- 
tution of South Carolina, in 177^, the governor had ^ 

fM and unqutiified veiof in dl cases. This powdr wa4^ 
wnuUed by the constitution of 1 77%, and ev«il a quali--^ 
fied negative was refused admittanoe into the constitu-* 
tito of 1790. This seems to bi? a momentous errors 
for^ whateva^ may be thought of the impropriety of 
entrusting a nspublican executive witih an absolute veto 
upon all legidative proceedings^ yet the advantages of 
a Ratified negative are many and dimous. 

In nearly aU the states the senate is elected by the 
same electors who vote for representatives^ and in con- 
sequence must generally be influenced by the same 
popular prejudices^ and propelled by the same sudden 
and impetuous emotions ; whence it cannot be a suffi* 
cient check upon the passions of the Liower House, 
When laws are passed amidst the heat and smoke of 
diose violent impulses^ which occasionally agitate every 
free community^ it is essential to the stability and cha* 
racter of the government^, that some external check, 
dehors tiie legislature^ should exist, in order to arrest 
and allay the temporaiy ebullitions of legislative in* 
sanity. And in what hands so proper as those of the 
executive can such a power be deposited ? In the event 
of the governor's using his qualified negative, the le* 
^slature may ^ill pass the law, provided, upon a recon- 
sideration of tile question, two-thirds of both houses 
concur in thinking the bill salutaiy. But the mere cir- 
cumstance of callmg upon them again to consider the 
bill, laden with the deliberate objections of the execu- 
tive, when time has been given for the storm of popu* 
lar passion to subside, will, in general, be sufficient to 
prevent the passing of a very pernicious law. 

In the constitution of the United States, and in those 
of all the states, except Vii^inia and North Carolina, 
there seems to b^ the same mode of trying by impeach- 
ment, the iCccusation proceeding from the more nu- 
merous branch of the legislature, tmA being heard be- 
fore the other house. There are some varaations in ihe 
different constitutions, as to the number of m^oafa^:* 
required in both houses to constitute an accusation and 
conviction; in some, simple majorities being sufficieiit; 

111 oth^r^^ two-thicdg being requirisd ; fa SQm» ^ ffiierj^ 
^ajorji^ ibf t^e housie B^y vote ain impeaichmi^t^ but 
^o-thir4$ of tbe isenat^ mmt convict. )t nught be ob- 
served diat th^ praeti^ of originating money Jmls in tb^ 
Jljouse of Representative^^ whicb prevjails very generally 
in the America^ Constitutions^ is derived from a similar 
practice in the House of Commons in JSoglattd, and waf 
trw^anted to this icountry^ and engrafted into its sys- 
tem of coloniaj policy. Whatever reason there migbt be 
for such a provision in JSngland^ in order to give tbe 
jLiOwer House some counterpoise of strength against the 
{H'edominating influence of an hereditary monarchy and 
anstocracy^or however necessary it might have been un^ 
d^ the colonial governments of British America, aa a 
^oimterbalance to the weight of the Councils, or Upper 
Houses, appointed by the crown, there d^es mot appear 
to be the same urgent neoessity for adopting such a pro^ 
vision in the present American constitutions, since in all 
of them, with only tiiree exceptions, namely, those of 
the Uoited States, Maryland, and Kentucky, the sena^ 
tors and representatives both emanate from the same 
^source, that of popular election; and, throughout the 
Union, the lower brandi of the legislature has a tepr 
ilency to absorb within its OYm vortex all the substantial 
powers of government, both state and federal. 

Under the authori^ of the federal constitution Con- 
gress has power to lay and, collect taxes, duties^ imposts^ 
end excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the com- 
mon d^ence and general welfare of the United States, 
—^1 duties, imposts, and exciaes being uniform through- 
out the United States ; to borrow money on the credit 
ipf the United States ; to regulate copunerce with fo- 
x^d^ naticms, and among tl^ several statjCft, and with 
the Indian tribes ; to establish a uniform rule of natu- 
raUzaticm, and imifbrm laws on the subject of b«Mikrupt- 
ciesi throu^ont the United States ; to coin money, and 
regulate its value and that of foreign coin, and l&x the 
etandard of weights and measures ; to provide for the 
{Monisfament of oounterfi^ting the securities ^nd .eur- 
»nt coin of the Unked States ; to establish post^isffici^ 


and post-roads ; to promote the progress of science and 
useful arts^ by securing^ for limited times^ to authors and 
inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings 
and discoveries ; to constitute tribunals inferior to the 
supreme court ; to define and punish piracies and fe> 
lonies committed on the high seas, and offences against 
the law of nations ; to declare war, grant letters of 
marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures 
on land and water ; to raise and support armies, (no 
appropriation of money, however, for that use, being 
for a longer term than two years,) to provide and main- 
tain a navy ; to make rules for the government and re- 
gulation of the land and naval forces ; to provide for 
calling forth the militia, to execute the laws of the 
Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions ; to 
provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the mi- 
litia, and for govemmg such part of them as may be 
employed in the service of the United States, reserving 
to the states respectively the appointment of the offi- 
cers, and the authority of training the militia, accord- 
ing to the discipline prescribed by Congress. 

The federal constitution likewise empowers CcMigress 
to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases> over such 
district, not exceeding ten miles square, as may by ces- 
sion of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, 
become the seat of the government of the United States ; 
and to exercise like authority over all places purchased 
by the consent of a state legislature, for the erection of 
forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other need- 
ful buildings; and to make all laws necessary and 
proper for carrying into execution the foregoing power*, 
vested by the constitution in the government of the 
United States, or any of its d^artments or offices. 
The permanent seat of the government of the United 
States was established, by act of Congress, upon the 
river Potomac, including the town of Alexandria, in 
Virginia, and Georgetown, in Maryland. The laws of 
Virginia, with some exceptions, were declared in force 
in that part of the ten miles square ceded by Virginia, 
and those of Maiyland in the part ceded by Maryland, 


At present the district of Columbia is neither repre- 
sented in Congress, nor in any state legislature, nor 
has it any of the rights or privileges of an American 
state, the supreme court of the United States having 
decided that it is not a state under the provisions of the 
federal constitution. 

^ Notwithstanding the opinion of many very respect- 
able persons, that the seat of the United States govern- 
ment at the City of. Washington, in the district of Co- 
lumbia, is peculiarly adapted for promoting and quick- 
ening the progress of American prosperity and strength, 
it is reasonable to infer, that the location of this remote 
metropolis is, of itself^ too well calculated to produce an 
inefficient administration of government. At present;, 
seventeen years after its first location, in 18Q0, the 
federal city is, in fact, little more than a large waste, 
with a few straggling houses and half-built ruins, thinly 
scattered over an immense surface. A stranger is 
forcibly struck with the contrast between the magnifi- 
cence of the natural scenery of the place and the forlorn 
appearance of the few buildings and broad streets, with 
their long rows of trees, that the inhabitants call a 
city. The Potomac spreads out into a vast breadth 
immediately below, and is navigable up to the verge of 
Washington ; the back country is very extensive, and 
the river affords a navigation of two hundred miles 
above Georgetown. So early as the year 1798, the 
members or Congress, then sitting at Philadelphia, 
were repeatedly consulted respecting the assistance to 
be given to the federal city, but they were nearly all 
opposed to every expedient that promised to prepare the 
public buildings for the reception of the general govern- 
ment. Whence the proprietors in the metropolis (full 
half of which they had given to the government) suf- 
fered considerably. So that in 1809, fifteen hundred 
lots, with their buildings, which had cost two hundred 
thousand dollars, were bought in for less than twentjr- 
six thousandji exhibiting a depreciation of nearly seven- 
eighths of their whole value. 

Yet, in spite of the tardy po|p«ss, ^nd the present 


forlorn appC3jra»ce of the federal city, there arje not 
wanting politicians, who still continue to a^sijeit thai 
this metrbpolijs i^ adojiirahly calculated, by its central 
situation, for the seat of American government ; not 
only now, but also when the whole continent of North 
America shall be included within the boundaries of the 
United States, and members of Congress shall be sent 
to Washington, from the coast of Labrador, and the 
Idthmus oi Darien. But notwithst^ding these subli- 
mated schemes, and Utopian visions, many of the more 
sober people in the United States so sensibly feel the 
inconvenience resulting from the seat of government 
being fixed at Washington^ that they anxiously wish for 
its removal to some more civilized and habitable spot. 
JFor the accomplishment of this piupose, scarcely a ses- 
, sion of Congress has passed since the establishment of 
Washington as the metropolis of America, without some 
attempt being made, by motion, or petition, to re- 
move the seat of government to some less intolerable 

The chief topics of complaint are, the desolate condi- 
tion of the city itself; its remoteness from all the great 
commercial ports and cities of the Union, and the conse- 
quent difficulty and delay in procuring political informa- 
tion, respecting either foreign or domestic events; an4 
the additional useless expense, in all the branches of go- 
vernment, entailed upon the nation, by their residenoe 
in Washington. To all which it lias been answered, both 
in and out of Congress, that there must be some national 
metropolis ; that the federal constitution empowered 
Congress to fix upon a permanent seat of national go- 
vernment, and tnat it has accordingly fixed upon 
Washington, which must therefore, ^^jor the horumr of 
the nation^ continue to be the .American metropolis, 
notwithstanding any tempprary inconvenience or mis- 
chief thence resulting to tiie Unipn. Leaving the Con- 
gress to settle the point xjf honou;r among themselyes,. 
it is not difficult to proye^ that mnc^ injwy is derive^ 
to the United States from fi^i^ fche s^at jof goven^ipjent 
^ Washington, AH that SiW \^ •lle^ in fay^r oL 


the American metropolis may be reduced to the fol- 
lowing heads; namely, 1st. its central situation, facili- 
tating the means of political information to the members 
of government. 9ndly. Its tendency to become populous 
and wealthy, by being the seat of government. 3rdh/. 
Its commercial and manufacturing capabilities; and 
Athhf. Its pleasant situation, holding out strong induce- 
ments for the residenqe of gentlemen of independent 
fortunes. ^ 

First. As to its central situation, it happens that roads 
and navigation do not always naturally, and of neces- 
sity, radiate in straight lines from the centre to the cir- 
cumference, as do Tight and sound ; nor does the na- 
tional existence of the United States depend upon being 
geographically metropolital. For if so, nearly all the 
great empires in Europe would long since have been 
overthrown; because, with the exception of Madrid, 
no great European metropolis is central ; and it remains 
to be proved, that any particular dearth of the neces- 
sary political information prevails in Paris, London, 
Vienna, Berlin, or Petersburgh, merely on account 
of not being situated exactly in the heart of their re- 
spective territories; or that Spain is better informed, 
and more enlightened, than the rest of Eurbpe, because 
she is blessed with a central metropolis. Besides, 
Washington is not central^ since the addition of Louisi- 
ana to the Union ; and will be still less so, when Flo- 
rida, and Mexico likewise, shall be belted within the 
4^ircle of our territorial dominion. Madrid, to be sure, is 
regulated in its position, by this supposed geographical 
excellence. Being nearly in the centre of the Spanish 
peninsula, it was deemed best fitted for the foundation 
of a capital. But it possesses no other local advantages; 
and it can never argue the most profound policy to se- 
lect nierely advantageous mathematical points, without 
regarding other and more important circumstances; 
but compelling the habits and conveniences of a whole 
tiatron to bend to these unpurposed notions of geagra- 
phicsd eiceJlence. The^ Spaniards, by going only 
thirty-flte miles to the southward^ mignt select many 


beautiful and advantageous situations on the banks of 
the Tagus, either on the plains^ in the neighbourhood of 
Aranjuez, or on the hills of Toledo ; whereas, Madrid is 
built on the banks of the Manzanares, which is only 
one of the tributary streams of the Tagus, and, during 
the summer months, is merely a little rivulet, crawling 
through a wide bed of sand. Whenc/ii, by its injudici- 
ous position, the capital of Spain is deprived of many 
commercial advantages* 

The geographical centre of a country is not necessa- 
rily the focus of its power ; for that power must be 
derived from its superior wealth, and greater papula* 
tion ; neither of which advantages the city of Washing- 
tpn now possesses, or, perhaps, ever can possess, since 
places can only become populous and wealthy by their 
progress in commerce and manufactures ; or by the in- 
flux of the opulent and idle, with all their apparatus of 
attendants, equipages, and establishments ; or by the 
attractions of a seat of government — not one of which 
circumstances will apply in favour of the growth of our 
American metropolis ; for. 

Secondly/, the federal . government of the United 
States never can, by its attractions and influence, gather 
together a concourse of people large enough to consti- 
tute a moderately sized city. What are the attractions 
of the American government, that will, alone, ensure a 
great increase of wealth and population to the city of 
Washington? Ar^ they inferred from the naked walU 
of the unfinished buildings, scattered here and there 
over the plain ? or do they flow from the expenditure 
of the ample revenues, and the establishment of the 
magnificent households of the members of Congress, • 
with all their menials, retainers, and dependants, that 
swell the train of legislative pomp and official great- 
ness ? These very congress-men, consisting of forty 
senators and about two hundred representatives, ar^,. 
for the greater part, made up of farmers, tradiesmen, 
mechanics, feeless physicians, and unpractising law- 
fexB, whose wages of legislation amount to six dol- 
ars a-day (averaging less than on^ thousand 4ollars a 




^ear), during the session, while they sit brooding and 
engendering laws for the direction of the Union — these 
men^ without equipages, nay, unattended by a single 
servant, annually wander up to Congress, from their 
respective districts, in steam-boats, sloops, and stages ; 
and, during their session in the federal city, are domi- 
ciled in boarding-houses. What great and permanent 
influx of wealth and population can such legislators and 
statesmen bring into the seat of government? Nor do 
the executive ofl^cers of the United States, as already 
shown, receive salaries sufficient to support even a 
decent exterior to the world. 

Thirdly. Great wonders, however, are expected from 
the extraordinary facilities of promoting commerce and 
marmfactures, which the city of Washington possesses. 
But our manufactures are already carried on in districts 
much more favourably situated for their prosecution, on 
account of the superior number, wealth, and industry 
of their inhabitants, than Washington is, or ever can be. 
Apd the commerce of the United States naturally finds 
its way to the great outlets and inlets of American na- 
vigation: it never will flow, in any large streams, to the 
banks of the Potomac, lying at least two hundred miles 
from the ocean, merely because Congress sits and legis- 
lates there; while there are so many great cities in the 
Union, so much better calculated for all the purposes 
of trade; while the great seaports of Boston, New- 
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, and New- 
Orleans, are so admirably fitted by their natural advan- 
tages, as well as their acquired weight of capital, popu- 
lation, skill, and industry, to retain and increase the 
ample commercial operations, which they have long 
carried on with such immense benefit to the whole coun- 
try. Besides, Alexandria, lower down on the Potomac, 
and nearer the sea, intercepts all the foreign trade car- 
ried on in that navigation, before it can come to Wash- 
ington; and Georgetown confers upon the federal city 
a similar kindness, by engrossing to itself all the inland 
tcade that is floated down the Potomac from the interior 

144 WASHINOTdy. 

Settlements and plantations of Vii^ifitia and Mtafyland; 
so that Washington is perpetually barred, by the very 
nature of its position, from ever becoming a great com* 
mercial or manufacturing city. 

It only remains, Fourthly, To examine ho\t far the 
pleasantness of its situation might induce the independ- 
ent gentlemen of the United States to fix their resi- 
dence in Washington, What seductions of pleasure ar6 
to be found in a place, which, in the. summer, is too 
hot for any person who can fly from it to endure; and 
which, in wmter, is remarkable for the deamess, scanti- 
ness, and badness of all kinds of accommodations, and 
conveniences, would require much argument and more 
sophistry to show. And even if Washington were so 
pleasantly situated as to induce a desire of living in it, 
who are the gentlemen of independent fortune that will 
flock thither ? Such independent gentlemen are a very 
fare order of bein^ in the United States, owing to the 
in&ncy of the nation, the form and substance of its po* 
litical institutions, and more particularly to the very 
general custom of dividing the property, both real and 
personal, of a family in equal portions among aH its 
members. Indeed, nearlv every state in the Union has 
abolished the law of entails, and the rights of primoge- 
niture, and adopted the English statute of distributions, 
for the disposition of real as well as personal estate. 
Almost all the men, in this country, are employed in 
prosecuting some profession, trade, or calling, as the 
means of their subsistence; whence the number of opu^ 
lent men, not engaged in actual business, is veiy smaH 
throughout the Union. Nay, even if they were more 
numerous, while the separate states remain distinct and 
independent sovereignties, the scat of the general go- 
vernment never can present so nkany inducements to the 
unemployed wealAy to crowd thither, as will always be 
foutid in their own respective states, where their influ- 
ence must be greater and more perc^tible ;. and where 
the perpetual fluctuations of the exectrtive and legisla- 
tive bodies continually hold out objects to stimulate theJr 

WASHmGTO><« 149 

Hence^ Washington carmoty withiu.any reasonable p^. 
nod to come^ grow into a large and commodious city^ 
s^ein^ that it holds out no attracdons of residency to 
the opulent and unemployed; possesses no greal; capa^ 
bihties of commerce or manufactures; is the seat of ^ 
very meagre and ill^paid gdTernma:it; and is not well 
situated for obtaining, speedily and correetly^ the politic 
cal ioformation necessary to guide the movements of tb^ 
American, administration with sagacity and wisdom. 

The real, the ^cient cause of fixing, and continuing 
the seat of the general government in the district of 
Columbia, is to be found in the deSkerminatiQn to entaii 
upon the state of Virgima the chief sway aiui iaAur 
eBQQ ov^r a& the. rest di the Union; and to dhesk the 
career of the northern and middle states, whose far su-^ 
perior capacities, both physical and moral, in popula** 
tBon, wealth, industry, and intelUgenee, would eventual-* 
)y sink Virginia into the rattk of a second-rate sovere^iiy- 
ty, if the seat of the national government were on the 
northern line, and the northern states wepe permitted 
to avail themselvea of all their agriodtural and co«f- 
mereial advantages. Wh^ieas now, the Virginians 
harring the seat of gQivemmeat within their own teni» 
tory, make it the focus of their own political intrigues; 
.£uid l^ managing the people without doors, in the diS- . 
fereat states, tliey retura nearly wfaatfii»abeifs toC^gy^ 
gress they fdease; and indnee them to legislate in ac^ 
cordance with tlie scheme of Virginian policy, whidi 
never has been faivourable to large and liberal views of 
commercial enterprise. 

Indeed, it is almo^ impossible that there ever ean be 
a wise and efficie^ administration pf the American go*- 
Temment while its seat continues at Washington, be- 
cause no practical in£>rn^ion, upon any subjects of im^ 
portanee to the welUbeing of the community, can be 
obtained there. If advice be wanted on any great po-- 
Htical er commerciid question, no advice can be had; 
for no statesmen or merchants reside at Waslungtof^; 
and ndidier pubiie nor private libraries are to be found 
there: whatever wisdom is requir^, miwt be derived 


irom the members of Congress themselves. Add to 
this, that there is no lyeight of population, talents, pro- 
perty, or character, to regulate and influence the dis- 
cussion of Congress, so as to restrain that venerable 
body from too often enacting absurd and oppressive 
laws. If the seat of government were fixed in any one 
of the large and populous cities, which adorn and 
strengthen the more civilized parts of the Union, the 
members of Congress would not dare to pass such acts, 
as they have too frequently passed, while sitting as le- 
gislators in the district of Columbia; for they would 
be assailed on all sides, out of doors, by the talents, in- 
formation, character, and influence, of the more intelli- 
gent part of the community; and by the popular indig- 
nation of their more unthinking brethren of the multi- 
tude. . 

But now, the members of Congress go up from all 
quarters of the Union to Washington, and generally 
canying with them only moderate natural capacities 
and no very profound acquaintance with the great poli- 
tical relations subsisting between the United States, 
and the other sovereignties of the world: they assem- 
ble together in the senate and House of Representa- 
tives, and hurry through into statutes all sorts of bills, 
the meaning and import of which they do not always 
know, and concerning the probable results of which 
they cannot sometimes even guess ; but they obey the 
directions of their civil commanders, the leaders of the 
Virginian dynasty. And having performed these fea^ 
of legislation, the congress-men retire to their respec- 
tive domiciles ; and congratulate each other upon their 
deliberative sagacity and wisdom, without any dread of 
encountering the ridicule or reproaieh of an intelligent 
human being, amidst the gross population, so thinly scat- 
tered over the naked metropolis of America. The emr- 
bar go of I807, 1808, and I809, that suicidal act, which 
atone death-stroke cut asunder all the sinews of na- 
tional industry, wealth, and reputation, was absolutely 
carried through the senate of the United States in the 
little, compass oifour hours ; the three readings of the 


bill being forced onward/ one after another^ with all the 
rapidity of guilt ; and when the two or three really wise 
and practical statesmen^ who at that period happened 
to be in the senate^ and who foresaw the ruinous con- 
sequences of that miserable measure^ requested the go- 
vernment party to pause^ until they could obtain some 
correct information as to its probable effects upon the 
mercantile and agricultural interests of the country, 
they were answered, that the American senate wanted 
no political information ; that its collective wisdom was 
fully adequate to provide laws for promoting the wel- 
fare of the Union; and accordingly, the American 
senate, in its collective wisdom, didy in the space of 
four hours, take up, consider, and pass into a law, an 
act laying fSi perpetual embargo on all the commerce of 
the United States. 

Above all, the seat of government being fixed at' 
Washington, gives fiill play and opportunity for the 
exercise of Ftrginian influence to acquire complete 
ascendency Wer the other portions of the Union. Virgi- 
nia is the largest of all the United States ; its laws, for- 
bidding real property to be attached for debt ; the cus- 
tom of leaving the landed estates of the family to the 
eldest son, in hereditary succession; the power of voting, 
in proportion to the number of negro slaves upon each 
plantation, (the slaves amounting to about half the po- 
pulation of the state;) the proprietary qualification of 
a considerable freehold required in every white voter ; 
together with some other circumstances, in their state, 
constitution, laws, and customs, all confer upon the 
Virginians very great political advantages^ and enable 
them to act in a compact body, for the purpose of per- 
petuating their dominion over the middle and northern 
states, throughout which they encourage the preva- 
lence of democracy by every means in their power, 
while they do not suffer it even to exist within the prer 
cincts of their own state ; for, by excluding all free- 
men, who have no freehold, from voting, by themaelvei 
possessing votes, according to the number of their 



sUres ; by traoamittinff their UiWed property in bere(jUU 
tary succe^im ; apd by fr^^isig thecDselv^ fropi tH# 
embarrassmf^xits attending the subj^^on of their lands 
to attachmeut fiw debt, th« jj^t^rs of Virginia b*ve 
erected tkews^lve? ittto 9l feudal ari^qra^ of uptitled 
and unblwoiK^d peer$» aiujl manage th^r a^Q^ir^ so 
adroitly 9fi to give b,ws to the re$t of the Union. 

3y the esprit du corpSy whi^qh actu^teg ey^y Vir-r 
ginian landholder, and by the constitutional policy 
which bknds togeUier the ex^utive and legislative^ mi 
in uowG im^^uro the judici;^! departments and functions 
of Virginia, th^t ftate i» enabled to spread the web of 
influence over all the elections, as well state as fer 
deral, ui the Union, so as to secure the appointment of 
proper personages, to be guided and directed by th^^ 
master-hand of its leading politiciau^ ; wh^c^ thc^ 
congr^s$-nien generally, and a ni^ority of the state 
legislatun^s, hav^ long been induced to vot^ and Wj^$ 
laws in conformity with the political views of their Vir- 
ginian lord^ WeU migh<^ the Virginian landhold^s,, 
therefore, ^ strenjup^sly uji^ist upon continuing the se^t 
of govemmont at W^^bington, lest tlieir influence over 
Congress should be counteraeted and defeated by the 
superior intclUgence^ activity, and virtue, always to be 
found in larg^ ajudpopuion^if cities. Nay, it would not 
be so easy, aft^r a whije, to induce \ery unqualified 
men to sit in Congre^, if the se^t of government were 
fi^ed in any civilij?;^d place, and the iDeu9tbers were i^oxin 
stantly liable to be ft&sailed for their incapacity by th« 
superior {jense and ppiritof.tbeiiph^bitant* of tjji^ mfetro- 
polis; and cons^uently a wiper ordi^ ol* beings would 
be selected to taJve upon th^vmlv^ tbQ very important 
charge of legislating fcr nullionn of their feljow-pmen. 

The ne^t cUujsie of the constitutipn is p^/^t^cul^rly 
important, as relating to the at>olition c^' the ^4 
trade ; it runs thus : 

Thf migratu>n or ijuportation of swjh p^ri ons ai th« 
states, esqstii;^ at the time ojf fr^mi^g th^ ff d^^ oqn^ 
stitution, should think proper to *d»it, is not to be proi- 

hibited by Coiigv^s prfoi* to tti* yeMtV 16(M» | but ft ta*^ 
hot ei:ceaimg tea dollars a h^idl> tifmy be $hi|>oi^ed ^ 
toch importatioki. 

Iti the Northern and Middle Stitte*, thfe slates a^e 
few t Mawftchusetts has, by stattite, Abolished skveiy 
altogether within her jurisdittfODft ; NeW-Yotk, NeW- 
Jersey, sind PeAhiylvania, have piissM acts for its gria-*^ 
dual abolition Within their territories ; Ohi6 Mi pro^ 
hibited, by her eettstitirtion, its ^iiitenee wfthiti het* 
preeinets i Maryland, Vir^ia, North Carolina, Sou^ 
^rolina, Georgia, LoniAiana, Kentucky, Tennes^ee^ 
and Mississippi, keep up a large body of Blares within 
their respective sovereignties, aittonWing t6 about <mc- 
ihird of their whole popnktion, and making about tme^ 
sixth of the population of itll the tJnited {States { 
namely, Maryland, IjJJ&jObOj Virginia, 460,000 1 
North Carolina, 254,000 ;" South Carolina^ iJ46,000 ; 
Georgia, 173,0065 Kentticky, *S«jOOO; TMnnesse^, 
102,000; Louisiana, 67,000 5 Mfesls^ippl, 81,000 :-« 

Making n total of i ,7 1 1 ,000* 
If a Heathen poet tould e^telaitti 

what ought a Chrifttian phil^opher t6 think ? Dttrmg 
the session of Congress, in the winter df I8l6^7i a so* 
ciety was established at Wikshingt?ott> for the purpose of 
coloniifting the free people t6Jf cokjun The eiti«ens of 
the i^uthem State* httve long eitperieftced the ento 
rciulthig fhwn the dilate iyHem. Th^y ar^ kept in eon-i 
tihu^l tltmk &nd f^ar 6f ^ tikMtfef^^m ^f the ria^ei 
themiielteti5 and the freej^laekii itre so numerous md 
profligate, iA tt^ be A eur^e and pe^ifene* to ill oui^ 
large eitie*. N&y, 4ven ift the Northern and Middta 
Stateis, ^hete they afe bettef edAcftted tlito iii th« 
South, their habit* tire no tltioui^ m td render thwn t 
btoden on the pobt^fAtefc^ wd liWitifi^Al eandidiato fer 
the *tttt6f riion. Ii U aaid^ th« Boftie rf th^ Southwi 


planters begin to be convinced that their lands; may be 
tilled to greater advantage by free white labourers than 
by negro slaves. If this conviction should spread^ it 
may eventually lead to the abolition of slavery all over 
the United States. The intention, at present; on the 
part of the Colonization Company, is to settle as many 
tree blacks as they can induce to go on the banks of 
the river Sherborough, some distance south of Sierra 
Leone^ under the protection of England, and supply 
the^i with suitable agricultural implements, school- 
masters, and religious teachers. If this benevolent 
scheme should succeed, it may become a powerful 
means of christianizing and civilizing the immense 
continait of Africa, containing a hundred and fifty 
millions of Mahomedans and Pagans, steeped in igno- 
rance, superstition, brutality, vice, and crime. Sir 
James Lucas Yeo's late letter to the British Admiralty 
throws much light on the slave trade as it now exists^ 
and on the state of Africa. 

The nations of antiquity most celebrated for counte- 
nancing the system of domestic slavery were the Jews, 
Greeks, Romans, and ancient Germans ; but it has been 
of almost universal prevalence. Its beginning may be 
dated from the remotest periods in which there are any 
traces of the history of mankind. It commenced in the . 
barbarous stages of human society; and was retained 
even among nations far advanced in civilization. By the 
ancient Germans it was continued in the countries which 
they over-ran, and was thus transmitted to the various 
kingdoms and states that arose in Europe out of the 
ruins of Western Rome. In process of time, however, 
this species of servitude gradually fell into decay in most 
parts of £iurope ; and, amongst the various causes which 
contributed to this essential alteration in the whole sys-* 
tern of European society, none, probably, w;ere more 
e&ctual than the uniform experience of the diss^dvan- 
tagesof slavery itself ; the difficulty of continuing .it, 
amidst the Rowing civilization of commercial ienterpris# 
and industry, and a progressive persuasion that ;the op-^ 


pressiqn and cruelty, necessarily incident to its existence^ 
were incompatible with the religious doctrines and th# 
pure morality of the Christian dispensation. 

Such was the expiring state of domestic slavery in 
Europe at the commencement of the sixteenth century, 
when the discovery of America^ and of the western and 
eastern coasts of Africa, gave occasion to the introduc- 
tion of a new species of slavery, which took its rise from 
the Portuguese, who, in order to supply the Spaniards 
with persons able to sustain the fatigue of cultivating 
their new possessions in America, particularly in the 
West-India islands, opened a trade between Africa and. 
America, for the sale of negro slaves. This execrable 
commerce in the blood and sinews — the bones and 
marrow of the human species, was begun in the year 
1508, when the first importation of negro slaves was 
made into Hispaniola, (now St. Domingo) from the 
.Portuguese settlements on the western coasts of Africa* 
The employment of slaves in colonial labour was not 
, long confined to the Spaniards, but was soon adopted 
by the other European nations, as they acquired posses* 
sions in America. In consequence of this general 
practice, negroes became a very considerable article of 
merchandise, in the commerce between Africa and 
America ; and domestic slavery struck so deep a root, 
that the nineteenth century had actually commenced 
before the powers of Christendom interfered to restrain 
the progress of the slave trade. 

In the year 1803 the general government of the 
United States passed an act of Congress, prohibiting 
the importation of negro staves into ^ any part of the 
Union, after the commencementof the year 1808 ; in 
the year 1 806, the British parliament abolished the im- 
poHation of negro slaves into any part of the territories, 
home or colonial, of the empire. In 1815, Napoleon, 
on his return from Elba, abolished the slave trade in 
Prance; which abolition was confirmed by a subsequent 
decree of the present king. The Spaniards and Por- 
tuguese still continue this detestable traffic in human 
flesh ; and the domestic slaveiy of the n^oes is main*. 


tained in nearly all the American colonies of Eurc^;, ~ 
whetlMr continental or insular, and in these United 
States, particularly those of the south and west. 

Slavery is an absolute evil, unqualified by any alloy of 
good: it implies an obligation of perpetual service, which 
nothing but the consent of the master can dissolve. It 
also generally gives the master an arbitrary power of 
administering every sort of bodily correction^ however 
severe and inhuman, not immediately affecting the life 
or limb of the slave. Nay, sometimes even these are 
left exposed to the unrestrained will of a capricious 
Inaster ; or they are protected by paltry fines, and other 
flight punishments, too inconsiderable to prevent ex- 
cessive cruelty ; as was exemplified in that South Ca- 
rolina master, who, in the year 1811, after lashing his 
ttegro slave most unmercifully, compelled another of bis 
pegroes (the intimate companion and friend of the per- 
son punished) to sever his head from his body with an 
(ixe, while iie was hdd down on a block by his feUow- 
slaVes. For this atrocious and deliberate murder the 
toaster was punished by the imposition of a small fine^ 
prescribed by statute. • If he had stolen a horSe in South 
Carolina, and had been found guilty of the offence, the 
laws of ^at state would have i^iged him ; but the de- 
. Ubecute murder of his fellow-creature Was commuted 
for a few dollars. God made of one blood all the 
nations of the earth ; but the Bible is not often the 
manual of a slave-holder* 

Slavery creates a legal incapacity of acquiring pro- 
perty, ^xoept for the master s benefits It aUoVrs thd 
master to transfer ov«r> and alienate the person of the 
slavB> in the same nianner 9» he alienated and trsaisfetd 
any other sp^ies of goods mA chattels^ Serviti*de dc^ 
seetids irom patent to efaUd^ with all its severe append* 
a^s, This citfeiogue of aniery b ntHhing otere tKaa a 
liutbfkl (teecriptbn of every kknd of pef sonad slayfery^ 
Whether aktmg undiftr the munidjpdL laws of Micient 
. Greec^andRxsuie^ai^tfaeihstitv^nc^t^fe^ 
£umpe, during the daric ages» or the preseirt cowtiityMBi 
i»l'Regra^lMmbH^f exbeptki^ tha* timmcmU^i^vUhi^ 

£VttS OF SLAVERY, 153» 

^kVeiy^ which is altogether ^dished in Enghiid and 

Prince, but still lingers^ under t^arious denominations) in 

Som^ of the counties of continental Europe^ pakticnlarly 

in Itkly^ Austria^ and Russia, is considerably qualified itt 

favour of the slave, by the humane pfovistons, and grow* 

ing civilization of modem times. The bsrfe view of the 

condition of slavery is Sufficient to point out its pemi*- 

<nous consequences to those communities where it ib 

suffered to exist. It corrupts the morals of the master, 

by freeing him from those legal mstraints^ with respect 

to his slave, so necessary for the control of the human 

passions, so beneficial in promoting the practice, and 

ccmfirniing th^ habit of virtue. It is dso dat^erous to 

the' master; because his systematic oppression ^dtet 

all the worst emotions of impl^able resentment and 

hatii^ in the bosom of the slav6; the eiitreme misery 

of whose (condition continuaUy prompts him to hazafd 

every peril for the gratificHition of r6veng^; and hk situ* 

ation iutnishes him with frequent opporhmities of slaking 

his thirst of vengeance in the blood of his opprt»sor« 

Acc<mlingly, the planters of our Southern states, and of 

the We8t4ndies generally, are kept in perpetual alam 

and horror, lest an insurti^tion of th^r slaves shd«dd 

consign them to the docmi which the French mastera 

experienced in th^ massacres of St. Domingo* 

To the slave himself, penional bondia^e communieatet 
all the afflictions of life, without affording hiil^ the re* 
compense of a single delight, physical^ intellectual, or 
moral. It stifles all the growth of native excellence, 
by denying the otdinary means and ftiottves of humstfi 
imptvivement. It is likewise full of peril to the <tom- 
monwealth, by the fadical, the heart cofruption isff those 
citizens on whose etettions of virtu^ua patriotism 
its prosperity so essentially depends; and by adMit^ 
ting within its bosom a vast muhjtud^ of perstNUS^ who^ 
being excluded ftbtn the et^mmon benefits of its po- 
litfcal constittiti6i|i> "Ate necessarily interestisd in^ de^ 
vising tftie means d its desCfuction. In whattever light 
we vie^ it, domestic slavery is a moM pernieious msiN 
titttion )^ niok^ hjfimediiiitdty . ta ttie vietttiii, 


convulsive agony under its scorpion lash; indirectly tit 
the master^ who riots in uncontrolled dominion; and 
' eventually to the state itself, which suffers such a 
leprous instilment to be poured into all the veins and 
arteries of the body politic. 

It must, however, be remembered that the fatal ten- 
dencies of personal bondage to corrupt and destroy 
individuals, domestic society, and the community at 
large, are slackened in our southern states, by some 
favourable circumstances, which do not exist in the 
West-Indian coloniesf of the European powers. ITie 
most important of these are the much less disproportion 
between the number of slaves and free men, tnere being 
in many of the West-India islands ten blacks to one 
white; whereas, in none of our states does the black 
more than equal the white population; — the superior 
order of the permanent free inhabitants, more especially 
of the great planters, whose native talents are deve- 
lopied by liberal education, and whose manners are 
polished ■ by all the refinements of well-bred society; . 
whereas, the greater portion of West-Indian planters 
are needy and desperate adventurers from Europe, who 
pass their temporary residence in the colonies m igno- 
rance, luxurious rioting, brutal sensuality, gaming, cru- 
• elty, and every kind of vitious indulgence, until they 
either perish there, or amass enough treasure from the 
tears . and blood of their n^oes to return home, and 
corrupt the morals of the neighbourhood where they 
settle;— the very superior condition and accomplish- 
ments of the female portion of our southern community, 
compared with that of the West-Indies, and the vicinity 
of sister states bound up in the same girdle of political 
confederacy, but steaoily and systematically discou- 
raging the existence of domestic slavery within the limits 
pf their own territorial jurisdiction. 

Nevertheless, on the score of humanity to negroes^ 
our slave-holding states hayeYiothing to boast; at least 
90 far a9 relates to the provision of the municipal law. 
Our southern. plant^s exercise the lash at. their own 
dyicret;i(>n ; tl^y pay a small mpincy-ifihe for the murdeir 


of their slaves^ and they occasionally subject them to 
very severe bodily torture. The United States afibrd 
no instance of a master being capitally punished for 
killing his slave; yet, in the British West-Indies, some 
few years since, Mr. Hodge, a planter of large fortune, 
a magistrate, and a member of the executive council, 
was publicly hanged, at noon-day, after a jury of his 
counfiymen had found him guilty of excessive cruelty 
to the negroes on his plantation. 

In South Carolina the negro slaves are,by law, burned 
alive for the crimes of arson, burglary, and murder. So 
lately as the year 1808, two negroes were actually 
burned alive, ov^r a slow fire, in the midst of the market- 
place in the city of Charleston. What must be the 
code of municipal law; what must be the state of pub- 
lic feeling, in respect to the wretched African race, that 
could suffer two human beings to be gradually consum- 
ed by fire, as a public spectacle, in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, in the midst of a city containing nearly twenty 
thousand nominal Christians, and the best of all possi- 
ble republicans, who profess to look with scorn upon 
the tyrants, and with compassion upon the slaves of 
Europe! . 

By theprovisions of the federal constitution the privi- 
ege of the writ of habeas corpuscsxmot be suspended, un- 
less required by the public safety, in cases of rebellion or 
invasion. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law can 
be passed. No capitation, or other direct tax can be 
laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration 
directed to be taken by a preceding provision of the 
constitution. No tax or duties can be laid on articles 
exported from any state. No preference can be given 
by any regulation of commerce or revenue, to the ports 
of one state over those of another; nor can vessels, 
bound to or from one state, be obliged to enter, clear, 
or pay duties in another. No money can be drawn 
frona the Treasury, but in consequence of apprppriationfi 
made by law; and a regular statement and account, of 
the receipts and expenditures of all public n^oney must 
()€ pi:^bli8bed^ from time tp ^me. No title pf nobility 

156 GoYt,mtU9:^ xst) policy. 

ean b^ gntiited by thie United States; and no person, 
holding Uiy office of profit of tnlst under them, c^n, 
withont cottdeAt of Congress, accept any present, etoo^ 
lument, o^«, or title, from any king, prince, or foreign 
8t&te% No state Cfen enter into treaty, alliance, or con^ 
fedemtbn^ grant letters of marque and r^risal, coin 
money, emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold and 
silver coin «i tender in payment of debts, pass any bill 
of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obli^ 
g^tion of contracts, or grant any title of nobility. No 
state can, without consent of Congress, lay any imposts, 
or duties on imports or exports, except what may be 
absolutely necessary for executing its mspection laws; 
and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by 
any state on imports or exports, must be for the use 
of the Treasury of the United States'^ and all such 
laws be subject to the revision and control of Congress. 
No stAte can, without consent of Congress, lay any 
duty on tonnitge^ keep troops, or ships of war in time of 
peace^ enter into any agreement or compact with ano^ 
ther stftte, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, 
unless actually invaded, or in such imminent diinger as 
will not admit of delay. 

The reader may receive much Valuable informiitlon 
upon Affteriimn aflairs, rekting to the government, laws, 
institutions, and policy of the United States, by a pem-^ 
^al of the following works, to the first of which, in parti- 
cular, the preceding pi^« have been greatly indebted i 
nitmely, Mr* Smith's ^* Comparative View of the Con* 
ttitutions of the several states with each other, and 
wkh that of the United States, exhibiting, itt tables, th^ 
pitiminent features of tadi Constitution, mA classing 
together their mos* intportAnt pfovisions, undef th^ 
sef^^fftl heads of administratrofl,withn6tfes«ndobsefv{u. 
tiotts.'* Tht F^dtmM; was Writteft coiijoltttly by 
Gen«#al Hftmiltcm^ Mr. Jay, and Mr. Madtiison. Mk 
Jay wi»oie only a few erf the earUet* papei^} Mf. M^i^ 
son wtot^ some of the historical essays } and ilte chi^f 
portion of the work was ttcecuwd by Genefal Haiflaton. 
fe depth and eitent of political wisdom, in <he philosot 

pby pf jurisprudence, in comprebansion aiui ekfTation of 
natiiwal view»^ in high and blaxnel^^^ hanour, in pro^. 
found and luminous ratiocination, in n/^rvou^ and manly 
eloquence^ m lofty and incorruptiWe patriotism, tha 
American Federalist ha» no superior, and very few 
equals, in all the volumes of political ecomnny, contain-^ 
ing the lucuhr^ons of the greatest sages and statasm^n 
of modem Ewope, whether of England, France, Ger-i 
many, Italy, Spain, or Holland. 

Pacificus was written to defend and enwur»g# the 
imi>artial, persevering neutrality of th^ United States, 
during the whole conflict between revolutionary France 
and England; a conflict that grew out of the Jacohini-* 
cal insolence, intolerance, and a^y^ssion of thf French 
revolutionary government ; and for a seasc^ ftw#pt along 
all the continent of Europe down its tide of rum and 
degradation*. No higher commendation ^n he given of 
this work, than to say that it is altogether the compo*- 
sition of General Hamilton* CamiBus wa^ written tp 
defend and explain Mr. ^ Jay's Treaty with ^g^and, 
concluded in Novemher, 1 79^ 5 that treaty, ti> which the 
United States were indexed (op a oontmuai sti^^am 9f 
prosperity and wealth, unexampled in the hiatory of n^r 
tions. Th^ commercial part was written by Mr. Hufiis 
King, formerly American minister near the Court of 
$t James's; and the political portion l^y General Ha- 
milton^ The whole performance displays the highest 
fvidepace of the spund judgnjient, exten^ve infQrmatii99« 
end powerful and pointed reasiWMig of the two diMiiv 
gui^ihed «t;ateswen whi> compoeed it. The Ametkaxi 
^em^mirmf^nr contaiw a Ij^ige niass of essays, Fesolw- 
tions^ wd i^ecbe»' for ai4 against Mr. Jays Treaty. 
Tfhe eWef opponertb of Camillus was the late Chaneelr 
loroftJU? *to*e of Nevr-Vork, Mr. JUivingstw. This 
wlWqtion e^hihUs PHich talent and viplenee, b<p*h per^ 
im^ and l€^i4ative( uj^ present an ampW 9^d \^ 
afavctive pietuw pf the publie mind, dming one of tb^* 
W^t t^ywg apd twrhnlefet p^^ods in the national eweer 
fifths VlMlit^lStdltes. 


The American Museum is in thirteen octavo volumes, 
and amidst much idle trashy and multifarious nonsense, 
contains a large portion of valuable information^ relating 
to the agriculture, commerce, manufactures, politics, 
morals, manners, national character, natural and civil 
histoiy, biography, law, and state documents of Ame- 
rica, from the beginning of the year 1 787, to the end of 
the year 179^^ R most interesting period, during which 
the federal constitution was framed, and carried into 
practical effect. The collection of American State 
papers, of which ten octavo volumes have been recently 
published at Boston, is a most valuable addition to our 
stock of information, respecting the government and 
policy of the United States. 

If the papers of the late General Hamilton were pub- 
lished, ' either in a connected narrative form ; or a judi- 
cious selection of them were made, and given to the 
public, an immeasurable volume of light would be shed 
upon the internal structure, the home administration, 
and the foreign relations of the American government ; 
upon the laws and polity, the commerce aiid manufac* 
tures of the United States ; upon all that tends, directly 
or indirectly, to subserve the best interests, and pro- 
mote the national strength, prosperity, and honour of 
our federative republic. 

In the ancient republics of Greece and Rome, one 
man used to excel in many various departments of iij^- 
tellectual greatness ; the same man was an illustrious 
warrior, statesman, lawyer, and orator. But the more 
' minute division of labour in modem times, is satisfied 
with excellence in a single vocation, and we are ready 
to pronounce a man great, if he be a skilful general, or 
a jprofound' lawyer, or a wise statesman, or an able 
writer, or an eloquent speaker. General Hamilton, 1k>w« 
ever, united all these high characters in himself: for he 
was unquestionably the greatest lawyer, statesman, 
financier,' orator, and writer of his o^vn country, an^ 
perhaps of the age in which he lived. Hamilton was 
one of the IlfivrafiXot, but with this distinction in hi& 
favour, that ^e won the- prize in every contest.. 


On the subject of representation generally, the ex-^ 
elusion of cabinet ministers froin the legislature, the 
allowing scanty stipends to public servants, and some 
other topics intimately connected with the wise and 
efficient administration of government, much very valu* 
able instruction might be obtained by a careful peru- 
sal of the papers on parliamentary reform, scattered 
throughout the Edinburgh Review; and more espe- 
cially the article on Cobbett's Register, in the tenth 
volume ; a political discussion, which for depth, clear- 
ness, comprehension, and liberality, has probably 
never been surpassed. 

The federal constitution vests the executive power 
in a President of the United States, who holds his office 
during the term of four years, and, together with the- 
Vic^President^ chosen for the same period, was origi- 
nally elected thus : Each state appoints, at the discre- 
tion of its legislature, as many electors as itself has 
senators and representatives in Congress. But no se- 
nator or representative, or person holding any office of 
trust or profit under the United States, can be appointed 
an elector. The electors meet in their respective 
states, and vote by ballot for two persons, one of whom, 
at least, must not be an inhabitant of the same state 
with themselves. They make a list of all the persons 
voted for, and the number of votes for each, which they 
sign, certify, and transmit, sealed, tothe seat of govern- 
ment of the United States, directed to the President of 
the senate, who, in the presence of the Senate and House 
of Representatives, opens all the certificates, and the 
votes are counted. He who has the greatest number of 
votes is President, if that number make a majority of 
all the electors appointed. In choosing the President, 
the votes are taken by states, the representation from 
each state having one vote ; a quorum for this purpose 
consists of a member or members from two-thirds of 
tibe states ; and a majority of all the states is necessary 
to a choice. After the choice of a President, the per- 
son l)«vihg the gireatest number of votes of the electors 
if Vice-President. Congress may determine the time of 

choosing electom/ancl the day oa which they shall ^ve 
their votes. ; the day being the same throughout the 
United States* The President must be a natural bom 
citizen, or a dtizen of the United States at the time of 
adopting the. federal constitution, and be thirty-fire 
years old, and have been fourteen years a resident 
within the United States. In case of the removal of die 
President iroim office, or of his death,- resignation, or 
inability, the same devolves on the Vice-President ; and 
CcmgresB may, by law, provide for the case of removal^ 
deaths or inability, both of the President and Vice- 
President, declaring what officer shall act as President 
until the disability be removed, or a President elected. 

By the twelfth article of the amendments to the fe-ir 
derai constitution, it is provided that the electors shall 
name in their ballots the persoil voted for as President, 
s^d ih diaiinet ballots the person voted for as Vice-Fte- 
sident ; but ni> ooe, constitutionally indi^ble as Pre-r 
stdeat, shall be eligible as Vice-President of tlie 
United States* 

This amendment is no improvement The design of 
d)€ original constitution was to put two ^cient persona 
'^ least in nomination f(H* the presidency; one of whom 
being efaooen, the other would be con^tent to fill the 
efiice in the event of any accident befallitig the Presi^ 
dent. But, because in the year 1801, Mr. Burr hod 
nearly jostled Mr. Jefferson out of the presidency, this 
amendment was isitroduced, in order to prevent anjr 
&ttt£e ooUision between the presidential and vice^pitt^ 
aidentbl \amdidarfes..> The comequepoe has been, that 
not a single ^cientpenson has been eledbed to the vicei* 
presidency sinea diis amendment beeamepartof the 
constitution* The iiffioe, ever since dmt tinte, a^^ars 
to hai» been designated eidser far si^raamuttted and 
didevepit men^ or for perscms peculiarly marked hy 
their mental inJoiecilky^ andindividuai^iniHiportaaee. 

The constkutson providesr^^^ tkut die Pnesvknt shaii 
be elected by fetors a{q[K>inted by the state Ic^ku* 
tKure, and prombite eongww$^mm feom li^aring either vote 
or influence in the matter This provi»oii ef the oon^ 

TMjs CAtJCuai. 161 

tj^ution ako Mr. Jefferson has annulled, by a practical 
ataiendment called a caUcus. This felicitous invention 
is carried into fall effect, by convening a meeting 6i all 
the democratic members of Congress, as well senator^: 
ais representatives^ to settle among themselves, in the 
city of Washington, who shall be the next President- 
and Vice-President. Which being done, they send cir- 
culars to eveiy state, setting forth the candidates they 
recommend, who, as a thing of course, are voted for by 
all the electors in the democratic states. In this man^ 
ner Mr. Madison was made President ; and thus, alsOj^ 
Mr. Munroe was chosen, although with some difficulty, 
as the democratic congress*men were, atfirst, in a ma- 
jority for Mi*. Grawfoi^, of the state of Georgia. But, 
as Virginia could not permit a President of the .United 
States to be produced without the pale of her own do- 
minion, she having filled the presidential chair with her 
own citizens twenty-four out of the twenty-eight years 
which have elapsed since the establishment of the fe- 
deral constitution, Mr. Crawford himself and his friends 
were 'induced, after two or three meetings of the cau« 
cus, to yield to the Virginian claims of Mr. Monroe, 
who was accordingly nominated ; whereupon the usual 
circular was sent to the several states, whose legisla-* 
tures accordingly appointed electors who voted for. 
Mr. Monroe, and who was elected President. 

This is, in effect, taking the election of President of 
the United States out of the hands of the people, and 
ti*ansferring it ta those of an oligarchy of congress-men. 
In March, 18 16, the senate of the United States dis- 
cussed the prc^riety of amending the federal consti- 
tution> by establishing an uniform mode of election, by , 
districts, of electors of President and Vice-President. 
The pmposition was negatived; but the remarks of Mr. 
Rufas King, a senator from the state of New-York, 
and one of Qie members of the general convention that 
framed the constitution, on that question, deserve the 
fell consideration of every sober statesman. Mr. King 
said, ^^ The states; may now severally direct the mann^ 


of choosing their own electors : it is proposed that th^ 
manner shall be prescribed by the constitution. This 
would be an important change^ and an improvement. 
If there was any part of the constitution^ deemed by 
its framers and advocates to be better secured^than any 
other against the enterprises which have since occurred, 
it was the very provision on the subject of election to 
iheprendency. The idea was, that the action of iAai , 
particular agency, which has since controlled it, was as 
much displaced by the constitutional plan of electing 
the President and Vice-President, as could possibly be 
devised. The opinion had been, that all undue agency 
or influence was entirely guarded against; that the 
men, selected by the people from their own body, 
would give their votes in sucli a manner as to afford no 
cpportunity for a combinatioh to change the freedom ,. 
and popular character which naturally belox^ to th# 
Sectoral bodies. 

*^ We all know the course which this thing hm taken. 
The election of a President of the United States is no 
.longer that process which the constitution contem- 
plated. In conformity with the original view of the 
authors of that instrument, I would restore, as tho* 
roughly as possible, the freedom of election to the 
people ; I would make ihe. mode of election uniform 
throughout the country, by throwing the whole nation 
into as many districts as there are electors, and let the 
people of each district choose one elector. Then all 
the people in the country would stand precisely on 
the same footing ; and no particular addresses could be 
made to the special interests and particular views of 
. particular men, or particular sections of the coun.* 
try. The course now pursued, in this respect, is not en- 
titled to that high distinction. On the contrary, our pro- 
gress in government is not for the better ; it is not likely, 
hereafter, to be in favour of popular rights. It was 
with thp people the constitution meant to place tha 
electio]^ of the chief magistrate ; that being me source 
the least liable to be corrupt. But i^ under the name 


of the liberty of the people^ we put this power into 
other hands^ with different interests^ we place it in a si- 
tuation in which the rights of the people are violated. 

" With regard to the rights of the people^ and the 
freedom of the country^ no man can name a matter so 
important as the choice of the President of the nation. It 
is an infirmity in our natures, that we look for chiefs and 
rulers, either for their superior virtue, or their supposed 
subserviencyto the views of those in subordinate situa- 
tions. It is against the evil of the latter principle we 
must guard. The liberties of the people are more af- 
fected by the choice of President, than by any other or- 
dinary political act. In this point, they are vulnerable. 
Here i)ught the rights of the people and of the states 
to be guarded. Our existence, and the passions c^the 
present day, are ephemeral ; public liberty should be 
immortal. Considering the senate should be to the 
people and the states not only the safe guardians of 
their rights, but the protectors of their liberty, I hope 
they will adopt a provision, so nearly connected with tho 
perpetuaticm of both. All experience has shown, that 
the people of any country are most competent to a cor- 
rect designation of their first magistrate. So far as his- 
tory affords us light, it leads us to this point ; that in 
times of difficulty and peril to a nation, when it is in 
the utmost need of superior talent for its high stations, 
no tribunal is more competent to discern, and select it^ 
than the people. Intrigue, turbulence, and corruption, 
may have some sway in quiet times, when all is tran- 
quillity, in regard to ^the general situation of the coun- 
try ; but when the ship of state is in danger, turbulence 
ceases, and the best men are, by an instinctive power^ 
fixed on by the people for their governors. This has 
been wonderfully illustrated by history ; and the best 
designations of mi^strates have been produced ill this 

*^ My sober view is, that as to the election of chief mia^ 
gistrate of this nation, nobody is so competent as the 
great body of the freemen to make a proper selection. 
W hether^ on this question, their^r^^ impression should 



be taken^ is a question of great importance: thiere would 
be difficulty in making the returns of the votes: those 
who collected and compared the votes might defeat the 
choice of the peeple. Not that these objections are insu- 
perable; and the course of things^ under the present 
mode of choosing a president, is in its nature pernicious^ 
and has a tenden^ to prevent the object intended by 
the constitution of a pure elective magistracy. Men now 
Uve, who will probably see the end of our government, 
as we now go on : terminate when it will, the termina* 
tion will not be in favour of public liberty. For five 
years past, I 'have seen a character developing itself, the 
predominance of which I fear. Not a people on earth 
are more capable of high excitement than this people. 
.During the excitement of the passion, to .which 1 refer, 
if a Contested election occurs, llie gownsmen must stand 
aside; another character supersedes them ; and there 
can be little difficulty in judging what will be the re- 
ault The march from military rule to despotism is 
certain, invariable. Those who think they see the pro* 
bable tendency of our present system should interpose 
something remediaL The people in this particxilar are 
the best keepers of their own nghts; and any vlevice to 
remove that power from them, weakens its security. 
I know that tnis proposition, if agreed to, will break 
down the power of the great states. I have no objec- 
tion, if in curtailing their power, the same measure re* 
gulates the rights of the whole nation equally. I am 
willing to let the election for tlie presidency rest wholly 
on the people.** 

And in the same debate. General Harper, a senator 
from Maryland, said, that^^as to the main proposition, he 
was decidedly in its &vour, for this general reason, that 
its adoption would tend to make the elections of Presi- 
dent'less a matter of juggle and intrigue than they now 
are. He would not say that it would have the effect of 
wholly excluding intrigue ; of placing this great elec- 
"tion on the footing on which the great men who framed 
the constitution vainly imagined they were placing it, 
tf a free^ unbiassed expression of the public will ; but 


it would bring it nearer than at present. Party arrange- 
ments and bargains would not be so tasy. Bargain! 
could not be so readily struck with one state for this great 
office, with another for that, as according to the present 
mode of election. Districting the states for electors 
would have a tendency to render the presidential elec* 
tion more free and independent; to remove it more from 
the grasp of party arrangements ; to prevent bargains 
between profligate agents, and the selling of the nation 
for offices to the highest bidder.** 

The President, at stated times, receives for his ser- 
vices a compensation, that can neither be increased nor 
diminished .during the period for which he is elected ; 
nor can he receive within that period any other emolu^ 
m€;nt from the United States, or any single state. Be* 
fore he enters on the execution of his office, he takes 
the following oath or affirmation : ^* I dosolemnly swear^ 
(or affirm) that I wiH faithfully execute the office of 
President of the United States, and will, to the best of 
my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitu- 
tion' of the United States." The president is com- 
mander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United 
States, and of the militia of the several states, when 
called into the actual service of the United States. He 
may require the opinion in writing of the principal offi- 
cers in each of the executive departments, upon any 
subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; 
and he has power to grant reprieves and pardons^ for . 
offences against the United States, except in cases of 
impeachment. He has power^ by and with the advice 
and consent of the senate, to make trmties, provided 
two-thirds af the senators present concur ; and he no- 
minates ; arid, by and with the advice and consent of the 
senate, appoints ambassadors and other public minis- 
ters and consuls, judges of the supreme court, and all 
other officers of the United States, whose appointments 
are not otherwise provided for in the constitution, and 
which are established by law. But Congress may by 
law vest the appointment of such inferior dfficen as 

l66 BXBCirnvs and senate. 

they think proper, in the president alone^ in the courts 
of law^ or in the heads of departments., 

As to the propriety of vesting the constitutional pow- 
ers allotted to the President in that officer, the Fede^ 
ralist enters into a most elaborate and able discussion, 
more particularly upon the ^eafy-making power, which 
he shares with the senate. During the session of 
1815-16,. Congress discussed, with ereat ability, the 
propriety of confining the power of making treaties 
with foreign states to the president and senate, and ex- 
cluding the House of Representatives from all inter- 
ference on that subject. In that debate, Mr. Pinckney, 
late American minister in London, and now ambassa- 
dor from the United States to Russia,^ particularly dis- 
tinguished himself; and the able speeches of Messrs. 
Randolph^ Gaston, Calhoun, Forsythe, ^and Hopkinson^ 
threw great light on some of the fundamental principles 
of the' constitution. The right, asserted by the House 
of Representatives, to interpret and sanction treaties^ 
was negatived ; and properly, because the senate is a 
popular body of representatives, and the addition of the 
Lower House could furnish no new principle of safety or 
control. The practice of the British House of Com- 
mons, in sanctioning treaties, is no precedent for the 
lower branch of the American Congress ; because, in 
England) the executive is without any check in the 
conclusion of treaties, except the subsequent discussion 
and appropriation of the inferior house of parliament 
The lords have no share in the treaty-making power, 
although they, like the crown, arc hereditary; whereas 
our senate^ as well as our executive^ is popular and 

The British government also, in its collective 
branches of king, lords, and commons, is all-powerful ; 
and the distribution of its respective authorities very 
much blended together. But, under the federafconsti- 
tution^ the powers are precisely measured out to each 
branch of the general government, and the power of 
making treaties with foreign potentates is spedfically 


given to the President and senate^ as other powers are 
given separately to the Hotise of Rroresentatives ; and 
others^ to all the departments ot government con« 

The President is empowered to fill up all vacancies 
that happen during the recess of the senate, by grant- 
ing commissions, which expire at the end of their next 
session. He must, from time to time, give Congress in- 
formation of the, state of the Union, and recommend to 
their consideration such measures as he may judge 
necessary and expedient. He may, on extraordinary 
occasions, convene either, or both houses ; and if they 
disagree as to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn 
them to what time he thinks proper. He receives am- 
bassadors, and other public ministers ; takes care that 
the laws are faithiuUy executed, and commissions all 
the officers of the United States. Tlie President, Vice- 
President, and all civil officers of the United States^ are 
removeable from c^ce on impeachment for the convic- 
tion of treason, bribery, or ptiier high crimes and mis- 

In many of the states the electors of the President 
are chosen by the people; in some, by the state legis- 
lature. The constitution has left this point undeter- * 
mined ; it has only given Congress the power to deter- 
mine tiie time of choosing the electors, and to fix a 
uniform day, throughout the United States, on which 
they shall give their votes. Prom the executive power 
to pardon, cases of impeachment, as in Britain, are ex- 
cepted in all the American constitutions ; and in some 
of the states murder and forgery are also excepted. 

If there be any one principle of municipal government 
more imperatively important than the rest, it is that the 
executive should be one and indivisible. This position 
is most ably enforced and illustrated by General Hamil- 
ton, in the Federalist. The framers of the federal 
^^x>nstitution were too wise to encumber the President 
of the United States with a constitutional council, which 
he is compelled to consult. He is only authorized to re- 
quire of the principal executive officers their opinions in. 


writif^^ on ^ay subject relatmg to their official duties, 
tt'heeeveral states differ on this part; some haviftg 
a council, established by the constitution, which the 
executive must consult, and without whose assent he 
cannot act ; while others have nocouncil. The general 
effects, resulting frmn the institution of a constitutional 
council,, that they serve as a cloak to the executive, 
to cover him from punishment when he does wrong ; 
and act as obstacles to impede his motions, when he 
wishes to do right. It is always best that the chirf 
magistrate of every republic .should act upon his own 
responsibility : in difficult questions of the law he can 
consult the attomey«^neral ; and on,oomplicated politic 
Cal cases he can have recourse to the state secretaries, 
and high officers. Tn a multitudinous executive the 
subdivision of responsibility weakens the hold of public 
opinion and power upon the executive councils and 
-measures ; in a single executive the responsibility is 
concentred and operative. Wherever a constdtutionai 
council exists, every act of the executive, whether re*- 
lating'to appointments to office, or to qualified negatives 
upon the legislature, or to the pardoning of criminals, 
or any other matter, is done by the executive, with the 
advice and consent of such council. 

A notion has long prevailed among a numerous body 
of American politicians, that a vigorous executive is in^- 
consistent with the genius of republican govcmmeat ; 
and^ accordingly, not a single constitution, state or fede- 
ral, gives sufficient power to the executive. If the posi- 
tion so prevalent with us were true, republican gOvan- 
snent would be just good for nothing ; because the eg&- 
perience of all time has shown, that energy in the exe-* 
eutive is a leading feature in alt good government^ 
whatever be its form or substance. It is essential to t^ 
protection of the commonwealth against the assaults of 
foreign power; it is equally necessary to the steady 
administration of xhunicipal laws to the protectimi of 
private property (the sheets-anchor of human society), 
from all arbiteary encroachment ; to secure libwty, both 
personal and political, against the intrigufis, ait^prisciii^ 


«aifo< ^saults of aiiibition^ faction^ and aiuirchy . A feeble 
^^ dative imjdies a feeble execution of the goyemment: 
x6^akiiess in high places is never harmleisi, because it 
evolves the ruin of untold millions in its career of folly. 
It is better for a nation that its government should be 
occasionally^ decidedly, and vigorously wrong, than 
alwajrs feeble and waveringly right. A goTOmmeut 
weakly exeeuted, whatever it may be in theory , and 
how beautiful soever it may appear in main}.acnpt, or in 
print, on paper, or on parchment, is, for all the practical 
piHposes of the community, as far as remects the pros- 
perity and hiqppiness of the nation, a ia J/govemment. 

Unity, duration, adequate BKx>me, and competent 
powers, are all requisite to constitute ener^ in the 
executive. The observations, at present, must be con- 
fined to the imp(»tance of executive unity. A single 
^asecutive, and a numerous legislature, are best a^dapt^ 
to unite vigour in the government, with deliberation 
and wisdom in Ihe national councils^ and the means of 
conciliating the confidence of the people, and of Beci^^g 
their privileges and interests. Now, unity is coxiducive 
to energy, because decision, activity, secrecy, and de- 
apatch, other things being equal, always characterize ihe 
proceedings of one man more than those of many men 
acting togedier ; and in proportion as the number of 
^^its is increased, will be the indecision, inactivity, 
want of secrecy, and positive delay in all their move- 
ments, in practice, it is of no moment whether the 
«xteutive unity is destroyed by vesting the power in 
two or raore magistrates of equal dignity and authority^ 
or by vesting it ostensibly in one man, but subject, in 
whole or in part, tO' the control and co-operation df 
executive counsellors. The last mode of dividing and 
weakening the executive government is incorporated 
into many of our state constitutions. That of New- 
Ycnrk provides a Council of Appointment^ consisting of 
a senator from each of the four great districts of the 
state, nominated annually by the house of assembly : of 
this council the governor, or administering lieutenant- 
governor, or president of the senate, is president, and 


has a castmg, but no other vote. This council appoints 
to all the offices of the state, except those provided for 
by the constitution itself. In New-Jersey the governor 
must consult his council ; but it is doubtful if their re^ 
solutions bind his judgment. In many other states the 
executive council has much more power over the go- 
vernor than in New-York or New-Jersey. 

A Httle reflection will show the mischief of dividing 
the executive in any way. Wherever, and whenever 
two or more men are engaged in any common pursuit, 
they are liable to diifer in opinion. If it be a high puh- 
lie office, in which they claim equal dignity aud^ power,, 
their difference of opinion lessens the respectstbiMty, 
weakens the authority, distracts the plans, and slackens 
the operations of government. It also tends to split the 
community into viol^it and ^irreconcilable factions, 
whose mutual animosities continually disturb the pubHe 
peace ; it embarrasses the execution of every meai^ure 
from the conmiencement to its conclusion ; it counter^ 
acts, without any counterbalancing benefit, the qualities 
'most essential to a good execi;itive government, namely, 
vigour and expedition. Above all, in conducting war 
with a powerml enemy, executive energy is the great 
bulwark of national security. 

In addition to this, an executive council tends directly 
to conceal the faults, and destroy the responsibility of 
government. Owing to the multipUcation of the execu- 
tive, it is almost impossible, amidst the mutual accusa- 
tions of the governor and his council, to determine <m 
whom the blame or punishment of any pernicious mear- 
sure ought to fall. It is shifted from one to another 
with so much pohtical dexterity and legerdemain^ that 
the public is bewildered in suspense as to the real author 
of its calamities. In the single instance in which the 
governor of New-York is coupled with an executive 
council, the appmntment to offices, eveiy day s experi- 
ence brings to light additional mischief. Widiout stoop* 
ing to any personal crimination, it cannot be illiberal to 
remark that sometimes scandalous appointments to im- 
portant oflices have been made. Indeed, some^ cases 


have been so flagrant that aZ/ parties have concurred in 
censuring them ; but when inquiry has been made^ the 
blame has been laid by the governor on the members 
of the council^ who, in return, have charged it upon the 
nomination of his excellency ; while the people are at a 
loss to determine by whose flagitious influence their in?* 
terests have been committed to hands so incompetent. 

An executive council deprives the people of their 
two greatest securities for the faithful exercise of all 
delegated power; namely ,^r^<, the restraints of public 
opinion, which lose their efficacy alike on account of the 
jdivision of censure, attached to evil measures among a 
number of persons, and the uncertainty on whom the 
blame ought to be fixed; and, secondly y the opportunity 
of discovering the actual misconduct of those whom 
they trust, in order to remove them from office, or sub- 
ject them to merited punishment. This part of the 
scheme of government seems to be borrowed from 
England, without any analogy to warrant such a loan 
from a monarchy to a republic. In England the king 
is an hereditary, perpetual chief magistrate ; and, for 
the sake of public peace,^ can do no wrong ; nor is he 
himself accountable for the acts of his administration, 
and his person is sacred. Under such circumstances, it 
is necessary to annex to the monarch a constitutional 
council, responsible to the people for their advice, and 
for the measures of the executive government ; other- 
wise, there would be no responsibility in the executive; 
and, in the place of a fi-ee government would be substi-^ 
tut^d an unqualified d^potism. Yet, in England, the 
king is not bound by the resolutions of his council ; 
although they are answerable for their advice to him. 
He is absolute master of his. own conduct^ in the exer- 
cise of his office, and may, at his sole discretion, ob- 
serve or disregard the counsel offered to him. 

But in a representative republic, as are these United 
States, where the people themselves are the only unre- 
sponsible sovereigns who can do no wrong, whose ma- 
' jes^ is inviolable, and whose persons are sacred, evetjf 
magistrate is^ and ought to be^ a servant of die public^ 


ani personally answerable to the nation ifbr his conduct 
wkile in office; and^ consequently^ the reason which m 
the British constitution argues, the necessity of an ex- 
eeutive council is strong against the pn^riety of such 
an institution in this countiy . In the monarchy of £ng- 
bnd it furnishes a substitute for the prohibited respon* 
jibili^ of the chief magistrate ; but in the America^ 
republic an executire council only serves to diminish the 
personal responsibility of the chief magistrate himsel£ 
The general prevalence of an executive council in 
our state constitutions is also derived^ in part^ from that 
mistakep maxim of republican jealousy, which considers 
power as safer in the hands of many than of one; 
whereas the executive authority is more easily confined 
when single than when multitudinous. It id safer to 
have a single object for popular vigilance and jealousy 
to observe, than to distract attention by a number of 
8uch objects. All multiplication of the executive is 
dan|;^ous, not friendly to social liberty. For the united 
credit and influence of several individuals must be more 
formidable than the credit and influence of either of 
them s^arately. The thirty tyrants of Athens, the de^ 
cemvirs of Rome, and the execrUive directory of revolu- 
tionary France, were more terrible in their respective 
usurpations than anyone of them singly could have been, 
and deluged Athens, Rome, and France, with nmre na- 
tive blood. From either of such combinations America 
would have more to fear and more to suffer^ than from 
the criminal ambition Of any single president of the. 
United States or state governor. An executive coun- 
cil to a magistrate, who is himself responsible for his 
official acts, is only a drag-chain upon his good inten- 
tions ; the instrument ana accomplice of his pernicious 
measures, and an effectual covering and defence of his 
evil deeds< 

The power of pardoning lodged in the handa of tKe 
executive, and .the power of punishing crimes vested in 
the law, must always be taken together as parts of the 
same municipal system. The law is fixed, as to the 
punishment of crime> but^ discretionary power is left 


in the chief magiBtrate to moderate the punislment 
according to the circumstances of commission. The 
degree and species ol punishment being fixed, b*st eh*, 
sures the personal and poUtical freedom of the ptople ; 
there being no slavery so miserable as where tie law 
is uncertain in its exposition and application. '* Mser(^' 
servituSy ubi jtis, aut vagum, aut incognitum*^ The 
punishment being capital for certain crimes, b«t an- 
swers the purposes of terror, by its warning exanple to 
others ; whence by punishing the crime severly ia 
one instance, its perpetration is, in many instance, pre- 
vented. And the executive power of moderatiig, by 
occasionally relaxing the severity of capital pnish- 
ment, temper^ justice with mercy: and while it scures 
the aufliority of the laws, does away the imputaion of 
making crimes of different degrees of malignity Mjual^ 
by inflicting death alike upon all. 

In most civilized nations, the power of pardonig cep. 
tain crimes has been given to the executive. It ipecu- 
Uarlyso in England, whence the United States hae bor« 
ft)wed nearly all their common and much of th<r sta- 
tute law. The king's power of pardoning is said)y the 
old Saxon jurists to be derived ^^ a legesuce digftoHs'^ 
As laws, in order to be just, must be general andSxed ; 
and as it is impossible precisely to graduate the iale of 
punishment tb the exact proportion of crimes, >n ac- 
count of the incessant variation of circumstanceiwhich 
renders the same generic crime more or less axjciotit 
in degree, it is always prudent to allow a resortbr par- 
don to the discretion of the executive, lest case should 
sometimes occur to justify Cicero*s observatin, that 
^^ quandoquidentj summum jttst est sunrnm rijtaiaS 
And, although laws ought not to be framed oi princi- 
ples of compassion to guilt, yet, according to he con- 
stitution of every free government, justice shoud awaya 
be administered in mercy ; and, therefore, it isth^great 
duty required from tlw British executive, by hi^ coro- 
nation oath, and the act of his government in«t en- 
tirely his own and j^ersoiial. In some comtrfcff the 
power of pardoning in the executive is notsu#AentIjr 

174 Executive power of pardoning* 

flecuret. In HoHaiid> for instance^ under their old go^ 
vemnvnt, before the Dutch were conquered by revolu- 
tionai} France^ {what it is now^ I cannot tell^ having 
had noopportunity of examining the constitution of the 
United Netherlands) there was no power to pardon^ 
unless :here happ^ied to be a Stadtholder, a magistrate, 
who \ws cmly an accidental part of their municipal 
system Thus the Dutch republic omitted to establish 
in its :onstitution a provision essential to all sound 
policy^as necessary to the welfare of the communit^r 
as justce itself; nay^ in the opinion of some of the 
most elebrated jurists^ giving to justice a perfection of 
benignty^ which did not originally belong to her stern 
and unccommodating nature. 

In iigland^ during all the varieties and revolutions 
of govmment, the alternations of tyranny and anarchy 
and wll-tempered freedom, the greatest weight hn 
always b^en laid upon the prerogative of xi^oning 
lodgedin the hands of the executive. Indeed, this 
power s a considerable abatement of the severity of 
what i deemed by some able jurists the harshest part 
of the:riminal law of England, the law of forfeiture. 
Ever sice the Union of the two roses, in Henry the 
Seventiand his queen Elizabeth, the pardoning power 
has ge«rally been employed to the peace and preserv- 
ation oifamilies. In the records of parliament, even 
' in the rorst times of the most'tjrrannical dynasties^ 
firom th reign of the Norman conqueror to the do- 
minion f the arbitrary Tudors and execrable Stuarts^ 
example of the benignant exercise of this prerogative 
are not panting: and since the revolution in 1688, in 
the bet(< times of welUbalanced liberty> it has been 
pecuIiar)^ beneficial. 

It is j»t, however, to be dissembled that this pardon- 
ii^ pw4* has been sometimes abused in England and 
else^cK^. Towards the close of the seventeenth cen- 
txuj hif^'Jiv^ thousand criminals were pardoned at 
wce,by ^general act of grace from the republic of 
Venics, in\ order to raise a large sum of money* 
Franc* tli^ First of France gave Cfurdiaal Wols9y» 


then on an embassylrom Henry the Eighth of England^ 
the power of pirdomng ail criminals in every French 
town through which he should pass. The House of 
Commons petitioned Edward the Third to be less libe- 
ral in pardoning malefactors^ on condition of their serv- 
ing Irim in his continental wars. Witli what unreflect- 
ing facility the most atrocious criminals are frequently 
pardoned in several of our American states^ in order to 
make room for fresh candidates for imprisonment^ is too 
notorious to need a comment^ and too injurious to th» 
community to be passed over in silence. 

By the federal constitution^ the judicial power of the 
United States is v^ted in one supreme courts and such 
other inferior courts as Congress may^from time to time^ 
<M;dain and establisfau The judges, both, of the supreme 
and inferior courts, hold thdr offices during good be- 
haviour ; and, at stated times, receive for their services 
a compensation/ not Xo he diminished during their con- 
tinuance in office. The judicial power extends to all 
cases inlaw and equity arising under the constitution^ 
the laws of jthe United States, and treaties made under 
their authority ; to all eases affecting ambassadors, other 
public ministers, ajid consuls ; to ,all cases of admirally 
and maritime jurisdiction ; to controversies to whicn 
the United States are a party ; to controversies between 
two or more states, between a state and citizens of 
jmotfaer state, between qitiz^s of different states, be- 
tween ^citizens of ^the same state claiming laiids under 
grants of different states, and between a State or its 
citizens and foreign aytate^ citizens, or subjects. The 

2reme court has anginal jurisdiction in all cases 
cting ambassadcNTS, other public ministws, and 
consuls, and those, in which a st^iUe is a party. But, by 
the eleventh articli^ of the .amendments to the consti-, 
tution, it is declared, that the judicial power of the 
Ul^ited States shall not extend to any suit in law, or 

S[uity, conimelM>ed.or prosecuted against one of the 
nited States by citizens of another state^ op by 
^ntizens or subjects of any foreign state. 


In all other cases before mentioned (together^^; 
the exceptions enumerated above) the supreme court of 
the United States has appellate jurisdiction, both^as to 
law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regu- 
lations as Congress shall' see fit to make* The trial dT 
all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, must be by 
jury, and the trial held in the state where such <»imes 
have been committed ; but when not committed within 
any state, the trial to be at such place as Congress' may^ 
by law, have directed. Treason against the United 
States consists only in le\^ng war against them, or in 
adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and com- 
fort No person can be convicted of treason unless oil 
the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, 
or on confession in open court. Congress has power to 
declare the punishment of treason ; but no attainder of 
treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, 
except during this life of the person attainted. 

The American law, both state and federal, differs 
from that of England, in the crime of treason not 
working forfeiture of property and corruption of blood. 
There are some very able arraments in favour of the 
English doctrine of attainder, in Lord Hardwicke'ii 
*^ 'Kreatise on the Law of Forfeiture,'* and in Bishop 
Warburton s •* Divine Legation of Moses.** Both these 
great men lay much stress on this punishment operating 
as a strong preventative against the crime, by holding 
up to the culprit the certainty of the extreme infamy, 
and absolute penury of his own immediate descendants 
and kindred, if he persist \n perpetrating the forbidden 

MnSmith,inhis ^^Comparativeyiew,**and thepresent 
Chancellor of the state of Nelv*York, in an introductory 
lecture to a C(S>\ir8e of law lectures> delivered by him 
in November, 1794, when professor of law in Colum*^ 
bia College, have given some v&ry valuable observations^ 
on the American JWicta/y. Ixie substance of tiiese 
observations, with such additional remarks as -may 
occur during the discussion, will now be presa»ted ; 


Premising, however^ that the State Constituticm of New- 
ork declares^ that no judge^ either of law or equity, . 
shall hold his office after he reaches the age of sixty 
years* This seems to be a strange constitutional pro* 
vision, that a man must cease to be a judge as soon as 
he is sixty years; because in the common course of 
events, provided he habitually exercises his mind by 
observation, reading, and reflection, he is wiser, and 
consequently better fitted to discharge the important 
functions of the judicial office after than before he 
reaches the i^e of sixty. The Spartans were so well 
aware of this general truth, at least practically, that they 
did not suffer a man to become an Ephor, or Judge of 
their highest legal tribimal, until he had actually entered 
his sixty^rst yedT. 

The State Constitution of New-Hampshire prohibits 
<^y j^<^ from continuing in office after he attains the 
age of seventy years. This limitation as to age is un- 
doubtedly wiser by ten years than the New-York con- 
stitutional provision, which cashiers a judge as soon as 
he is sixty. All limitations of this kind are foolish and 
cruel; because they pretend to point out the precise 
time when human intelligence fails; and then consign a 
man to absolute want, that his life may not falsily their 
prediction of the appointed decay of his interlect . Lord 
Mansfield sate on the King's Bench until he was eighty ; 
and does any sound lawyer find in his decisions, during 
the last twenty years of his judicial career, that incapa- 
city which our New-York constitution fixes upon a 
judge the moment he becomes sixty years old? At all 
events, if a limitation be allowable, sixty years of age 
is too early a period. It requires the habitual diligence 
of the greatest part of a man's life, together with good 
sound strong natural talents, to acquire the extent and 
depth of information, andthe practical experience, which 
are the essential requisites of an able judge; and to cjis- 
quaUfy him by law, at a period of life when his know- 
ledge and experience could render him most competent 
to the due administration of public justice, does not exhibit 
a,yery profound degree of political sagacity or wisdom. 

17^ JUmCtAtiV SVSTSM. 

Thid limitation is no lesiK crael than absurd; for it 
makes noprovision for th^ maintenance of the discarded 
judge. Tne NeW-Yotfc con^tution, in this respect, 
imitates the conduct of Frederic; the Second of Prussia, 
who boasted, ^^that he used men as he used oranges, 
he squeezed out the juice, and threw away the rini** 
For it casts a man destitute upon the worid, precisely 
at a time when he is not able to provide for himself, by 
adopting any other calling; after it has availed itself of 
the youth and manhood, the time and talents, the leam-^ 
mg and industry of him, whom it consigns to h(q>eless 
penury and barren sorrow. The least which ought in 
common justice to be done, is, that if our legislators will 
persist in cashiering a judge for no other crime than 
being sixty years of age, they allow an adequate pen« 
sion for fife to those whom tbey dismiss. 

I'erhaps ho one compMent part of the Americsn 
^oftetttutions involves more momentous eflfects tiian our 
judiciary system. Some of the ablest papers in t^ Fe* 
deraHst are dev<rt£d to theconsiderattiofiof t^s sublet; 
The two chief Essentials in the organization of thit 
branch of tbfe government, are, a proper appointment in 
ftie first instance; and an adequate independence du* 
ring their judicial existence; which last implies a per* 
manent tenure of office, and a fixed coiiipetanit salary. 

To secure the first object, the appointment of judges 
shold be vested in that branch of government which 
presents the greatest probability of making a good, and 
the ipost certain responsibility, in tbe event <rf making , 
a bad choice. The executive, if single, is completely 
responsible: a single chief magistrate will, in general^ 
be sutficiently interested iri his own r^utation, to search 
for able men ; a multitudinous executive is under no such 
pressing responsibility; and a legislative body are al^ 
most entirely irresponsible ; for voting hy ballot, as is 
the fashion of this country, their choice is that of hopar^ 
ticular member, but every one is sheltered from ae^ 
pouiitability by the vote of every other person jk^esent^ 
Besides, most ofthe members are changed eittoer annu^ 
^y, or biennially; and the same body of mto, ^^Yitdk 

when bis i)|i(Capaci^ is diacovered^ no p^liSic sham^ b 
attcM^hie^ to t^m as a legislature* The responsibility 
of the e'XjeoUtiv^ aljAough lessened^ b uok however an^ 
mbiikited by assigfiing to a senate^ or covacil^ a neg$^ 
thife 04» hb fioioiHiaibion; wd it ispossibie that sach a 
m^^ye xmy soo^ines aot as a sialutMy check upon 
ei^^ti w pai?tiality ; but uad^uMediy^ as a general rukiy 
h divide e:Kcutt^e b penaicioug ; wd there b also at 
lesgit all equalchance, that a seMtoriai^ or council neg^ 
tive^ leaj^ d^eat bb many proper nominations as it may 
prem^t iesiprpper appointineiifts. 

The ind^jmdeftoe of the ju^obry can be established 
only by an c^dal tenure, during good behaviour, and 
hy an adequjate oompensationfer i^eir services^ not lia- 
ble to diminution. A limited commission infallibly cre- 
ates a dcpeiodeiiee on ^e anthoiity invested with the 
power of ffe-appotntsnent; and a precanons compensa- 
tion entails a mii^«rable d^endence upon that branch of 
the l^idature wl^Udi holds the public purse. The con- 
«(titutiea c^ the United Srkai^ ef|[ectiially seoures these 
advsnrtages; far aldiouigh the senate possesfics a oheck 
upon ^e nomination of the president^ yet thb qualified 
jiegative ia less tnjiirious when applbd to the Union at 
iaitge, than in relation to a particular s^te; because the 
aenators in Congress^ representing their respective 
states, are more Ukely to be acquainted with the merits 
0aA dxaraoter of the person nominated, than the exeoa- 
tive, who being himself chosen from one particular stata^ 
caiinot be expected to be so well informed as to 1^ 
wants and wishes of the ot^r states. 

The federal judges, wh^n once appointed, hold their 
offices during good behaviour, without any limitation as 
to age, and receive a fixed annual salary, not subjeet 
to ^minution during their term of service. The sala- 
nea 6f these judges, like those of all other officers in 
4i)e Ufii<m, whether attached to the general^ or state 
goyimimentB, are not sufficient. Mr. Burke, in his *^ Re- 
Seetiotis oni t)ie Vrsstudk Raistoliition/* offers some pro* 

N 2 


found and eloquent observations on the pernicious pnv 
digality of underpaying the public servants of a country. 

The constitutions of Pennsylvania and Delaware 
vest the appointment of the judges absolutely in the 
executive ; and contain every paper requisite to secure 
a good judiciary^ except an aaequate salary ; the con« 
Ititution of New-York vests the choice of judges in the 
council of appointment; those of New-Hampshire^ 
Massachusetts^ • and Maryland^ in the governor and 
council ; those of Kentucky and Louisiana^ in the go* 
yemor^ with the advice and consent of the senate; those 
of Connecticut, Rhode-Island, Vermont, New-Jersey, 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Ten- 
nessee, Ohio, and Mississippi, in the legislature. In 
North Carolina, however, the governor possesses the 
power of nomination. 

In most of the states, the official tenure of the judgea 

is during good behaviour, with the exception of the li-^ 

mitation as to age, in New-Hampshire, and New-York; 

for instance, in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware^^ 

Maryland, Kentucky, Vii^inia, North and South Caro- 

linas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In Con-> 

necticut and Rhode^Island, the judges are appointed 

annually; which is a moi^t lamentable provision, because 

it renders the judges altogether dependent upon the 

power which creates them ; and what self-confidence can 

men possess, who know that in the course of a few 

months their term of office expires, and their re-appoint* 

ment depends upon the mere pleasure of another body, 

over whom they have neither control nor , mfluence ? 

In Rhode-Island, the people have experienced the fiill 

benefit of this absurd regulation; but the patriarchal 

customs, eini steady habits of Connecticut, Umg pre- 

vented her from suffering any very material injury from 

this deformity in her political code; because it was a 

matter of course, annually to reamioint the same mao 

las long as he lived, unless guilty of some flagrant mis* 

conduct Nowy however, Connecticut is beginning to 

reap: the fruit of this tdtra democratic provision; wd 


bids fair to have all her institutions completely revo- 

In Vermont, there is still greater danger of an undu« 
^djependence of the judges on the legislature ; for they 
are not only elected annually, but the constitution adds, 
^^ and o/ienetf if need be/* An annual election of the 
judiciary ou^ht to satisfy democracy herself. In New- 
Jersey, the judges of the 'superior court are chosen for 
seven, and of the inferior court, for five years. By the 
former constitution of Pennsylvania, the judges were 
appointed for six years, but the present constitution has 
had the wisdom to give them an official tenure during 
good behaviour. In Georgia, the judges hold their 
offices only three, in Ohio, seven years. It is^ however, 
matter of gratulation, that the judges of this country 
are independent, as to official tenure, except in the 
states of Connecticut, Rhode^Island, Vermont, New- 
Jersey, Georgia, and Qhio. 

The immutability of compensation, except as to in- 
crease, is essential to judicial independence. This is 
secured to the judges in the constitutions of the United 
States, Pennsylvania, Delaware, KentucWj South Caro- 
lina, Georgia, Ohio, Liouisiana, and Imssissippi; and 
indeed in every constitution made since the establish- 
ment of the federal government, in 1789, except that 
of Tennessee, which only provides "that the judges 
of the superior court shall, at stated times, receive a 
compensation for their services, to be ascertained by 
law;" a provision, which places the judges at the mercy 
of the legislature, who, by giving or withholding an 
adequate compensation, exercise a power little short of 
life and death, according to the doctrine of old Shylock, 
when he says, " You do take my life, if you do take the 
means by which I live." The Tennessee constitution 
has also another singular provision, namely, "that the 
judges shall not charge juries with respect to matters of 
fact, but may state the testimony, and declare the law." 
This seems to be as much an extreme, one way, as 
Lord Mansfield's doctrine of compelling the jury not to 
intermeddle with the law at all, even when rendering a 


general T€rdict, was ah extrome the other wi^. At «H 
events, the jury can never be injured by an able utiA 
dbpassionate charge of an lightened jildge iq[M>ii the 
iacts of the caie, more espeeiaify if they diocild b& nu-- 
merous and complicated. 

In New^Hampshire and Massachuaetts the judg^ are 

empoweted by the eonatitution tx> giv« their opihion to 

the governor and council, on solemn occa$io«i9, and to 

the legislature on points of law. This provision is of 

doubtful policy; for it seems best that jtidges dhoiitd 

never givB their opinions in matters of law except tn^m 

the bench. In Kigland, indeed, th^ are oeefasiohally 

called Upon to deliver their opkiiotis in the H^ute of 

Lords; ofA some of the judgeis are thems^lvids legislft^ 

tors, as t^nporal piidra in parliament. But the separa* 

tion of the great libpartments of ^v«rniiietit, the eMe^u^- 

tive, legislative, aip(d judicial, is not so accurately and 

extensively ,established in Britain as it ought to be. And, 

moreover, the occasional blending of these bfaiiches to* 

gether is noA so daQgeroua in the powerful a^ st'abte 

govemmetit bf a constitutional and limited moimt-eby and 

im hereditary aristbcraoy as amldkt the pet^tual flucta«^ 

atkms of an efective detnoferacy, where the only sure 

bulwark of indiviidhial liberty is to be found in th^ pure, 

unstained adnlinistratioh of justice to all parties m every 

question of pfop^tty, person, and ehara<!tet. 

In all the state feonstittitionsj and iti Ait of the Umteid 
States,, the jt^gei^ ate t>emovable flolln their c^ice by 
impeachment. In NfeW-Hampshii'e, Massaphusfetts, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware^ M&tylandj Keniteeky, Louisi- 
ana, and Mississippi, ikey atie also i^^mSVable by the 
governor, on an address of the Idgiti^tiSre, for miscon- 
duct not sufScient to require impeachment; fo Nfew^ 
Hampshire and Massachusetts the geVerhoi* acUl ^(^buii^ 
oil may remove, on the address df It riiAjori^ >f both 
houses; in Pennsylvania, Delawar^^ MaryliAd, Kdilteie- 
ky^ and Mi)»sissip^i^ tHl the addr<eS^ 6f tWd-tttiHl^dif b6th 
hfDufiOi $ ih Loufisiania, on the addl-eM 6f three^ Ibur'thil' of 
b^thhoiMte. Gormg ^e s^siito oflBbttgt*eSs,' ftt i^S \ ^ if\ 
Mt Srodford, a feehatw from die ttate of Pf 6WiYt»*, 


fr&po&ed to ameud. the ooruititutiou of Jk}ici V^^ 
States^ by making the fed^ial judges ri«j|^iqyi4>l« frPIP pf- 
fioe^on the vote of two-th^s of ))Qth jijipw^^CrQi^esSt 
with the consent of thp|)ri$si4eKit. This filjmpaing if^m- 
yation was not c^rricud i^to efiect. JAr. .liidg, M^X^^t 
from New-Yprk, and Mr. F^nc^eB^ff^ J^ep^tor from I^t 
isi^na, resisted the motion with grj^ »h}i\ty And f9r<)9» 
f^nd the seaaite i^eg^l^ived it by a&overwhf)mingmy9Hty» 
Si^ch » proviaikifi endanger^ the ipdependenc0 gf tm 
judges; be^sause, wkw pwty spirit nipi hijgb, it would 
1^ he difl^culit ito obtoin w address of » majprity^ #r (qf 
twi^tbi^dsj OT eves qf thr^^fourths of hoth homes of 
the l^;}^aivMre tp ti^ e^ecptivQ, to rempye fr^»)i oBSim 
a judge^ whpfi^ chief crime might be the bdi^n^ng to 
« di^r^t p9Jiitic3»l sect* fnm that embnucied by Ibn 
doiKJiMHKt iG(N9tLon. In genera)^ the impeachmei^t (^ tJie 
judges 19 framed by the J^presentatives^ wA tried he* 
tore the senate or council; but i^ Maiylend they may 
be rimft^yed fpr pjiisbehaviow^ Qti cocwiction in a eourt. 
of Jaw, In yif^iMit^ t^ impe^ehmiai)^ *rf the judges of 
the geuefrfl f»wt «» pr^f^rred by the hdu^e of dc|e* 
g^tes^ fi^d tried by the eowt of itpp^iU; »nd that of 
the judges of the court ^f 9$»|ii^s is tried by the judges 
of the supreme owrt. in hior\k Q^fotiw^ f^ imfie^dv 
meut ji^the judges wsy be fr«mf4 by the Msembly or 
9WkI j.ury, ^ud tried by r sppciel eourt appointed for 
&e pwpose. ^ 

The Awericffn justiciary, both state 'and fedW^ 
possesfte^ m e^iieaey ui)kna\mto the aourfeo of justioe ia 
other c^cH^ntries; I meMi tbe. power ef hiingilig the ya<^ 
Mty of a law, a sta^Bj pasniied by the legidature, 
whether of a ' single stotfs iur of the United &ates, to tj^us 
test fi{ ijm, letter end spirit of .a wrUtefk eonetitntion. In 
iMwpe it ha^ foareely jsva^. been. cosrf»mpJiuted to {dace 
ai^ fsonstUuteonai iimits to the e:(eriQ»e ef legisUriiD^ 
aij^faonty. In £n^and, wfaece the eonablutioh haaee^ 
parated and designated thoj^xficitfiire, legisiatiise^ aisA 
judical departowfftts of ^ovenunent, nrith ^ater pre- 
CHim than any mother »itiAB isscept the Uiaiitad Stetos, 
the padiamwt is etiU consideisd fM^f»amt and dnlo* 

184 JumClAftY* 

lute, and, Bvyn De Lolme, ^' can do every thing eitcept 
make a man a woman, or a woman a man/* And, al« 
though some of the judges have declared that a statute, 
made against natural equity, was void, yet it is generally 
laid dovm as a fundamental principle of Elnglish law^ 
that no act of parliament can be questioned or disputed; 
that, in no case whatever can a judge oppose his own 
opinion and authority to the clear will and declaration 
of the legislature: his province is to interpret and obey 
the mandates of the supreme power of the state. Let 
the inconveniences of a statute be what they may, no 
judge, or bench of judges, can constitutionally dispense 
witfi theni; their office is to expound, not make law; 
and, during the last hundred and fifty years, no instance 
has occurred of any English judge declaring an act of 
parliament void, on account of its being unconstituti- 
onal, or repugnant to the principles of reason or equity, 
or on any other ground. 

But in the United States the people have estabUshed 
certain rights paramount to the power of the ordinary 
legislature; a precaution essential to security, andne* 
cessary to guard against the occasional triumph and vio- 
lence of party, in a government altogether popular, elec- 
tive, and representative. Without some such express 
provision settled in the original compact, as set f<^h in 
the written constitution, and constantly protected by the 
firmness and moderation of the judicial department, the 
equal rights of the minor party would probably be often 
disregai^ed in the conflicts for political power, and be 
sacrificed to the ftiry of a vindictive majonty. No ques- 
tion can be made in these United States but that all 
legislative acts, contrary to the provisions of the consti- 
tution, ought to be null and void. The only inquiry is, 
if the legislature itself be a competent judge of its own 
constitutional limits; or the business of determining the 
constitutionality of a statute be the fit and exclusive 
province of the courts of justice? 

If the legislature be left the unresponsible judge of 
its own constitutional bahriers, the efficacy of this check 
is lost; fcNT tlE^ legislature woidd incline to narrow down 

or explain away the provisions of the constitution^ front , 
the force of the same popular passion, or some consider- 
ations of expediency, which would lead it to overturn 
private rights/ and invade the security of private pro* 
perty. The legislative wiU would then be the supreme 
uncontrollable law, as much with as without these con- 
stitutional limits and safi^uards. Nor would th^ force 
of public opinion (the only restraint then left) be much^ 
felt or regarded ; for, if public opinion were sufficient to 
check the tendency to mischief in governments, ther^ 
would be no need of original limitations and constitu*^ 
tional restraints. But all experience teaches,* that when 
powerful political rivalries prevail in the commonwealth, 
and parties are thoroughly disciplined and highly hostile,* 
every measure of the legislative majority> however 
tyrannical and fkgitious, is sure to receive tibe sanction^ 
of their constituents ; and every step of the minor party 
will be equally approved of: by their adherents, as well 
as indiscriminately rejected, misrepresented, and con- 
denmed by the voice and vote of the prevailing faction. 

The courts of justice, therefore, which are organized 
with peculiar advantages, well calculated to exen^pt 
them, and their judicial proceedings, from the influence 
of faction, and to secure a steady and impartial interpre- 
tation of municipal law, are the most proper power 
among all the departments of government to keep the 
legislature within the Umits of prescribed duty, and 
maintain inviolate the authority of the constitution. It 
is also an indisputable maxim in American politics, that 
the executive, legislative, and judicial branches should 
be, as &r as possible, kept distinct and separate. The 
legislature ought not to exercise the powers of the exe- 
cutive or judiciary, except in clearly specified cases. An 
innovation upon this distribution of power tends directiy 
to overturn the due balance of government, and intro- 
duce an unqualified despotism. But the exposition of 
the constitution is as much a judicial act, and requires 
the exercise of the same legal discretion, as the inter- 
pretation of a law, whether statute or common. . The 
eoorts of justice are, indeed, bound to regard the con^;^^ 


atituticm tA a law of the bi^;)ue;st caterer— the aupnme 
\mf dihe lani, to which m^ry iniexioT or derivttiye 
kgal regidatioii muat conform an4 he obeidknt. 

The constitution oemas from the ppople in their 

cbaracter of plenary soyereignfy, wh^ oe^fiixiing the 

permaneilt: conditioBa of the social aljiance between the 

chifereat states of the Union ; amd^ thm'efore, to eontend 

liiat the courts of justice must ailhere impliciitly to leQ^s-* 

lati^w aots^ without regarding the precisions of the con* 

stittttipn^ is to contend lliat the power of the ag»it 

exceeds that of the pidncipal ; and that die wfll of only 

one concurrent and coi^ondinate defiartment of mbmdi* 

note authority ou^ to coiutrol the fundamepfbd laws 

of theaorei^ign pto^, Hiis judicial }x>wer of d^ter^^ 

mining the constitutionalij^ of statutes is necessary to 

preserve die equil&rium of due Amencan govi^iunenty 

and tp premnt die nsnipitions of any one dq>artmeBifc 

upon die powers and. privileges of th/e ethers. And of 

lAl the brandies of go^emment, in e^eay tn» jxaaaoiay, 

the legisladveis mpst impetuous and pow^vfiil ; arfaence 

diene<^ssity of aiming theexeouiirs with a negative^ 

either absolute or qualified, upon die pvooeedipgsof 

the iegisiature. Spe some very ingenious reaarniing in 

Montesquieu's ]^prit deis Loi:)^^ and a still abler disqaisi-^ 

don ill die Fedeimiist, on the necessary fvactieal sepa* 

ratid^ of the exeoutive^ legislative, ai|d judicial ppwcarB^ 

from which it appears that the judicial power is idle 

weakest oi the thcee ; apd, as it is- equally essoxtial to 

the wdUbeing of the commonwealth, to preserve jaidiae 

the power of the judiciary, it ought mt to be le& ex-^ 

posed to the attacks of a pcmular legisla4:uie, wkhoKt 

adequate means of a constitational defisnqew 

This is one reason why the judges in the state of 
l^ew-York are c^sdtasdonally associated .with die 
gi»vemor 4o. fiinn the Council of Reomaa^ to revise all 
Mk about to be passed into laws by die legislatmre; 
and thi^ singulais aaaoctadon, jiving a kind of legisfattivie 
p€»verto the judiciary, rk^^^rssome of theipceceding 
observations less applacabfe to the co^istitiition of Mem^ 
York than to ithat of any c^aer &ee governments . N09 

told itokindiled soknee^ niunicipatjiimpfradfiioe, it will 
be found that the right of expouiidai^ the coiuititutiMt, 
m wdH a» the statute ItarW^ is the iBO0t fit and eifectual 
weapon by which the cnurts of justkas <»n iqpel all 
hi»Btile aalsaulta^ and guard against all uiicomtitiitmial 
encmaohmenfs upon tbair eharteped ckims and rigbfai« 
Nor is these anjir daxiger that the establishmcirt of this 
principle dwaiutd ^!isalt the judicial above the I^alatina 
power; finr th^ are aM>rdinate bFanchea of gotwn^ 
meixt^ ahdequattjr bamiid by tiie G«nstttution } and if the 
judg^ shoilld sidistitttte caprice and arbitrary will fiar 
dEie idpn«fie<0f sober diacretion and ratioual judgment, 
they are 1$at laft^ like the legislature^ to t^ ineffiectual 
contnyt of pidsilie opinton ; but are liable^ t^ an coepiseBS 
pratision of the ocnjisdlMltion, to be impeadhed for mia- 
dondioeityafid tried by the legislature ; and^ if convicted^ 
vamoved from oflkie. 

ThB United St^es^ and ^ separate states generaUy, 
acknowle^ethift power to reside intheju^ciafy ; but^ 
on the 119th ^ November^ 181^ the Geofgia ti^use of 
r^resentatives nassed a res<4«iti<m cemurihg thdr 
stite judges fer oeciding <ike«l/ma<^ law; that is, a 
statute, passed by the Georgia legisli^Uire, piohibitii^ 
tile liie oS any legal meai«s for the reoovety of debts, to 
be umxsniititutional; and also denykig to tiJM judidavy 
the right of gfvitig any opinion upon the constitution- 
aiity of tegislativ# acts. This resolution is suffieiei|tly 
ilagnint and Hl4^al| because it denied to a separate 
and ee^-ordinate branch 1^ government aeonstitutiotial 
right, whi^h has bea^i ^cqiiiiesced in, and mteA^^p^my 
by di6 United States^ by the other separate states, 
wad by Georgia herself, heretofore; a right which, 
frMd the Veiv nature of our repubhean^ institutioim, ap^ 
f^ertaitts te the jadidary. But' tbid o^^l^tgdoua resolu* 
tiian scarcely equals tibe usurping cofiduct <tf the Georgia 
seitete, upon i^hose tabk^ va November, 1815, was l3^ing 
si bittto cbmj^d'the judges to eihibit to th^ legislative 
dllhemlesef their courts; end to take away from the 

iga . JumciARr. 

bar and jttdiciaiy the right of establishing any rules for 
their own government, unless they have first received 
the legislative 8ancti<m. 

This is, at one stroke, cutting up by the robt^the 
constitutional independence of the judiciary, and ren-- 
dering the judges mere passive instruments of an arbi* 
trary and overbearing legislature ; which is, in iacty 
establishing the most dangerous, because the most un- 
responsible of all tyrannies. A single despot may be 
resisted, called to account, and punidbed ; but a multi- 
tudinous despotism, conqxwed of a numerous body of 
popular representatives, elected only for a short season, 
may, at any time, crush the liberties, and trample on 
all the political rights of the community, without ccm- 
trol, and without punishment. Several of the leading 
members of the Geoigia legislature pledged themseh«s 
never to cease their exertions until the omnipotence of 
the legislature was acknowledged ; and they also con* 
tended that the constitution, whether state or federal, 
is not law, but merely the ti;i// of the people ; which 
can only be known by the voice, resolution, and vo1;e of 
its constitutional organ— the legislative assembly-— 
which is, therefore, paramount in power and authority 
to every other department of government. 

The judiciary of Georgia are sufficiently dependent 
by the tenure of their office, without any .legislative 
encroachments upon their rights and privileges; for 
they are elected only for three years^ and are removable- 
by the governor, on the address of two«4hirds of both 
houses. Now judges, who know that their re-election 
to office hinges upon the will and pleasure of their 
electors, at so short a distance, cannot feel themselves 
independent, and at liberty to act without regard to 
the opinions of those who may, or not, at their own 
discretion, re-appoint them to office ; and the judges 
are equally at tiie mercy of the legislature, when two- 
thirds of the members can, by their mere address to the 
executive, remove them from office. It is vain, under 
>PUcK circumstwces^ to expect an impartial administra- 

tion of justice. It is to be hoped that this encroachment 
upon the constitutional rights of the judiciary will not 
be imitated by any other state in the Union. 

The question as to the power of trying the validity 
of statutes^ by the provisions of the constitution^ and 
of treaties with foreign powers, being lodged in the, 
hands of the judiciary, could not well arise />nor to th« 
revolution, because the American colonies were partly 
eoverned by British statutes, the constitutiondity of 
which the Bnglish judges themselves were not su&red 
to examine ; and consequently, ajhrtiori, no such au- 
thority would have been tolerated in the American 
judiciary. Nor were the colcmial legislatures likely to. 
permit their judges to determine the validity of statutes 
enacted by them, lifter the revolution, this power, 
although not given in express words to the judiciaiy, was 
claimed as necessarily arising out of the existence of a 
written constitution, the exposition of which, like that 
of any otlier law, can be. safely entrustied 'only to the 
courts of justice. It would be destructive of all popular 
liberty, to' permit the executive, both to explain and 
execute the law ; 4ior would it be less perilous to allow 
the legislature to expound as well as make laws. 

The federal judiciary decide upon the validity t>f 
acts of Congress, state constitutions, and state statutes^ 
by the provisions of the constitution, and foreign 
treaties; but have no power to determine the* validity 
of state statotes, by the provisions of state constitu- 
tions ; that power belonging exclusively to the state 
judiciary; wlw> likewise possess the right of trying the 
vdidity of state statutes and state constitutions, and 
acts of Congress, by the provisions of foreign treaties, 
and of the federal constitution. It is fair to infer, that 
fii>«i, the French and Dutdi judiciary have power to try 
ithe. legality cf the acts of their respective legislatures, 
because France and the United Netherlands have each 
tL fcnV^€ntK>n8titatioii ; whereas in England the judges 
have no such power, precisely because in that country 
:^^.i9 o^ written eomtitution, by the letter and spirit 


of whose pravnioDB tht v^lMkty ^f Ut» of ptitlkiac^ 
may be exsamtiffd uid detenmned. 

It is important that such a fnywer sbould be lodg^ 
in the judidaiyof erery countiy ; because^ atehoug^ the 
common kw possesses the peculiar faeulty of adc^i^ 
itself to the growth of die coonnunity, ana of amenditig 
itself,^ in consequence of erroneous deoidions being ovep- 
ruled by siibsei|iient judges, or by the same judgei^ 
wlien better advised ; yet> a statute y if unFe|>eaIed, and 
if the statute book be never revised, makc^ 2m integral 
and permanent part of the mnoie^pal law; and the 
expenenee of aU history ^ows^ diat statiotes are lofltne^ 
times passed amidat the heat and fury, the fire and 
smoke of party violence and wr<»^ ; whence the noGtes!^ 
sity of that two4bId guard, wUdi so hazily extflts in 
ocMT state of New- York ; namely, the power of die 
judiciaiy to try the legality of each stalnite, by ^e 
{]¥ovisions of the oonstki^on ; and 1^ ocoaaionid revi^ 
mm of die sts^ute book, in otAec to expunge them 
}^slative acts, which die progress of time (t^e .gveatost 
of all innovators, as Lovd Baom cails him) die .ohange. 
ef circumstances, and the growth of the oommunity, 
might have rendered eidier obsolete, or knpraoticablp, 
ca* pernicious. 

The federd constitution provides, that full ikidEi ^md 
credit 4shall be given in each state to the piibbc -aota^ 
i^^^opds, and ju£cial pfXK:!eedings of overy other atste ; 
aAd congress may, by penid laws, prescribe 4^e nnnner 
in t^hich such itds, records, andjproceedings Bhadi be 
|»^ved, and the effect ther^. This provision of ^^ 
eoiffistitutMn has been feconded by an act of Congress, 
deciarmg, diat the recorda, and judicial proeeotUi^ of 
ench state, 4shall have sadi faith and ei^it given to 
Ihem in every conrt witbin the United jStttes, ^ tbey 
hav<B by lawor «rsage in the conlrts of^bes^te ifuhen^ 
these records me taken. 

This provisi(»[i of the ^eral «oniiCitntimi ptolidbly 
was intended gradnally to ro^ce to 01^ whdeeome 
levd of agrebm^t ^etaws and juKtieitii <)MiliOitt df 


the seveml states of the union; in like mtinner as the 
law decistom of the difibrmt courts in England have 
been brought to agree^ in all great legal and equhable 
principles^ by the long-continued^ and well-directed e& 
forts of able, enlightened, and upright judges. /^ La 
diversity des k>ix civiles (say the distingui^gid jurists^, 
who compiled the Napoleon Code,) est, comme la di^ 
versite de religion^ on de laiigage, une iWriere, qui vead 
Strangers, Tun a rautre> Lbs peoples les plus voisins, et 
qui les ^xip^di^ de m^iltipliiiet entreux des transa^ 
tions de tout genre, et de concourir unai mittuelleniient 
a raccroissement de leur prosp^t*^/' Indeed, nothing 
tends so direcdy to establish the whole commimity in 
social order, prosperity, and strength, as the preydenoe 
of harmony and uniformity, in t^e judicial decisions of 
the difierent courts of jiHtice tliroughout the eoniriay. 
Such a uniformity in the deeisions of our courts, heih 
rtate and federal, wotdd prove the surest and firmest 
eement of a ducaUe political unieci in the Ameneaut 

The law deetfi^os of the di&rent English oourte 
used to clash with each other^ until the pnfaficatiQm of 
the various mocfef^r6portfei^gvadua%1arougfattibe legal 
judgments of the Kings Beiidi, Common Heas, luid 
Exchequer, to a salutaiy imiformity; which greatly 
augments the peace and security both of person mi 
property; and consequently greatly increases the nm^ 
iwmd prosperity and strength of the whole Britisbpeo- 
pie. Tiiose persons who have diUgoitLy studied l^e 
law of England, as the ftutidatiDn of American law, 
ifaroughout all the slates, know that for more than a 
century past, indeed ^ever ,sinee the ccMUplets establish- 
ment of the revolution, towards the dose of the sevens 
teenth century, a donstant, deliberate, and upright ad- 
ministration of justicet^ founded upo^ the most rational 
principles^ has prevailed in the dififcrent courts of the^ 
British empire. 

If this provision of the colnstitutic^ was intended to 
jpromote a uniformity of laws and judicial decisions 
^rou|[hout the United Stateis^ it has not succeeded; fat 


there are actually no less than three different legal docv 
trines afloat in tne different states^ apon this single con- 
stitutional clause; in some states a ^^er judgment^ that 
is, a judgment rendered in one of the sister states of the 
union is held to be of no more validity than Sijvreign 
judgment, that is, a judgment rendered in any state, or 
country, unconnected with our American confederacy: 
for example, France or England; in other states, a sis* 
ter judgment is held equal to a domestic judgment, that 
is, a judgment rendered in the state, taking cognizance 
of the sister judgment; in other states again, a sister 
judgment is considered as a kind of tertium quid, as not 
quite so high as a domestic, nor quite so low as a foreign 

Indeed, the discrepancy between the laws of our dif- 
ferent states producds serious evil, by i^tarding and 
perverting the course of justice. For example, in some 
of the states an attachment law prevails, under which a 
person, absent from the state, may have a judgment 
rendered against him, that shall bind all his property 
all over the world, without any personal notice being 
^ven to him, or any opportunity afforded for him to de- 
fend the suit; which is a mode of proceeding contrary 
to the first principles of justice. This attachment law 
is in full force throughout all the New-England and 
many of the southern and western states, while the 
middle states hold it in abhorrence, as contrary to the 
principles of the common law, and endeavour to defeat 
its ^cacy in their own tribunals. The laws in the 
southern and western districts of the union are gene* 
rally very lax, and favour the debtor at the expense of 
the creditor. Nor are they very scrupulous in enfor- 
cing coatracts. During the last winter, a g^itieman of 
the city of ,New-York, intending to remove into the 
state of Kentucky, bargained with a servant, to pay his 
expenses of travelling thithier, and a. certain rate of 
wages for one year, the servant, on his part, contract- 
ing to remain with and jserve his master faithifuUy 
during that period. On their arrival in Kentucky, the 
servant refased to live any ioogdr with his, master, be-^ 

^^eanji^e )xe ,cc)uld dohcjljt^ for W?i?#. 5J^e jpipst^ ap. 
jpUe3 tQ thi^ j^w fcfi x^esfi, wU a K^tpcky Jjwy 
(V^hiich is^ in truth/ the ju^ge, tpth or ,^a,w i^ jffucft) 
di$mlv.^s the coj^traqt, pn i^ groi^d^^at twp 'ge^^ 
j^a? ^9t acquainted with the ii^t^^re of the ^western 
^QQuntrjr .)v!hen,he fliade ^e ljargp[in. J^e ^Mter >v^ 
' ^^^K<^ut Jredr^s?^ and, in ad^ losijng all ^t|;^ia9^y 
,c:icpewe:4 iPj^onvejring his ^rvant ^ jquroey of jhe^4y 
p^e ..^ho\isand .^^fes, he was sa^i^led with ihe cf^ 
fxf the suit insitituted for the j)uip9se .of ohto^ 
justice. , ! 

, By padty, of reasoning, fi contract ma^e in Lond^ppr 
Paris ojight not to he enforced in New-yori, hepau^^ 
the contracting party did not know the nature of ^^e^. 
York when he made the contra(;t. Sudh a loose ahd 
yitious adniinistratipn of municipal law argues and i^- 
crea^es a very lax state of public morals and of public 
feeling in regard to the eternal distinctions betjWeen 
right ap(d wrong. 

A crime committed in one state is not punishsfble jn 

a^9^t\er; fpr e^xample, if a man steaU aj^ors^j or Mia 

liis jU^iffljibour, in the city 9^ iNewTYj^rk, ^d ccpsf^s 

.,di^, ferry into the state of New- Jersey, ^e may, escape 

.punisi^jnent altogether, for the New-Jersey law takes 

up cc^^ance of a/ crime conralit^a in .the st^ate of 

. .Nj^w-^Yprk, anfi, the Njew-^i^ork law^has no jurisijictiqn 

,in,tj|e ^t^te ot^l^ewJersey. Under ^uch,cir<juqistanoea5| 

4lie 9gly,qhance of punishing, t^ cvdprit lies ifi .a pro- 

^^vi^figp rpf tlje iederal.cons^[tution,.wl>^ gi.Y^s ^e qti- 

.^^Sj^gf {/each sjate all the p^v^leges and immunities of 

^ci^^s ip ^he ^ey^ral §tgtes ; aiuldej^lares tljat a p^-. 

[j^on cjigraed T in jiny state wil^^ treason, felony, pr other 

cr}Q;ie, vmp flies fjx^m justice, ^j^ is found ;in ;^p(i^her 

^^il^je, flijill, on/(J.emand of the .executiye authority pf 

^her^J^te wh^mycjl^e fle^^ to he reipoy^d 

,ftoj t|>e stjtq ]^s^vj|jig Jurisdiction of the cringe. 

J^t.soljt^if^ffi^acy has this constitution^ 

.;ip jpr^Yfnting ^e c9mmissiop of criujie, ;|)iat it is.the 

.o$pam^ pja^jtice- oiFj[>ur^ ,citiiens to jjass . firoip one state 

j,*|j|tcj^tfejej^t^e'j^^ which 


done^ the surviving parties return to the state which 
they had expressly left in order to commit a breach of 
the laws^ and deride all notion of punishment. In the 
lapse of little more than one year, the late General Ha- 
milton and his eldest son both crossed over the Hudson^ 
to be killed on the New-Jersey shore, and their surviving 
antagonists have never been called to any legal account 
for destro3dng two of the brightest ornaments and 
surest bulwarks of the niition. *^ Thus Abner died as 
a fooldieth;'* and the peerless Hamilton has added fns 
name to swell the long and bloody muster-roll of those 
who have fallen victims at the shrine of the worst rem- 
nant of gothic barbarity and feudal homicide. The 
Christian requires no arguments to be urged against the 
prevailing practice of fashionable murder ; for the 
Christian knows that man has no right, either to seek 
his fellow*s hfe, or to throw away his own (except at 
his country s call), but that he is accountable alike for 
liis own and his brother's blood to the God of the spirits 
6f all flesh. 

But to that portion of the community, which is not 
Aifficientlv under the control of religious feeling, this is a 
subject of deepest import. In the united States, in pro- 
portion to their population, more duels are annually 
fought than in any other nominally Christian country; 
and of these duels a greater number is fatal, owing to 
the superior practice and skill, and the more deliberate 
deadly coolness with which the Americans aim at each 
other's hfe. How many families are, at this moment^ 
sorrowing, in hopeless misery, over the loss of a father^ 
or a husband, or a brother, or a son, who either has been, 
or who might have become, riot only the prop and sup- 
port of his kindred house, but the defence and glory, of 
his admiring country ; who might have led her annies 
to victory, or shaken her senate with the thunders of his 
doquence, or have built her up into a high and palmy 
a(tate of national honour and strength, by the wisdom of 
his counsel! If thfe laws are ineffectual, and the guar- 
dians of those laws slumber on tiieir post of duty, it is 
high time for the morcd force of the country to be put 


in requisition ; for the men of talents^ character^ pro- ' 
perty, and influence in the community to unite tncir 
efforts, to stand in the gap between the dead and the 
living, to stay the plague, and bid the destroying angel 
depart from our reformed land for ever. 

It is all-important for the permanent security, repose, 
and prosperous condition of the United States, that the 
administration of justice, both civil and criminal, should 
be uniform and certain throughout the whole Union. 
Doubtless, the multiplication of our state reporters will, 
in process of time, exercise a very salutary influence in 
producing this desirable uidformity in the law decisions 
of the different state courts. But a. scrupulous con- 
formity to that clause of the constitution, which de- 
^ clares, ^' that full faith and credit shall be given to the' 
' public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of each 
state in any other state,** would more certainly and 
more speeoily produce this great effect; since the 
habit of receiving the judicial proceedings of each 
state in every other state, as equally binding with 
those of its own, would soon induce the different state 
courts to assimilate their law opinions, principles, and 
decisions with each other, as the legitimate effect of 
such constant and friendly intercourse. Whereas, by 
treating the judgments of sister states merely as fo- 
reign judgments, they necessarily tend to recede as 
far from any amicable assimilation with them as with 
the decisions of foreign courts. But nothing would 
so directly conduce to consolidate the strength, and 
prolong the duration of the American Union, as a 
uniformity in the legal provisions of the constitutions, 
statutes, and common law judgments of the several 
states composing that Union. Such a course of pro- 
ceeding would, in the lapse of time, enable America to 
exhibit a more complete digest of municipal jurispru- 
dence than the world has yet seen ; because she has an 
opportunity of borrowing from the two great systems of 
legal civilization, the civil and the common law, what- 
ever is best calculated to promote and protect the spirit 
of her own popular institutions, and to combine with 


\vhat "^hfe 'thus bditbVs the lights of her oivii various 
arid 'progressive ^iperietice in the different departments 
iif^utnan*^s6(ifetjr/ political, coirimercial, and scientific. 
Tills 'is ^heifidre impcirtiant to strive after, because the 
science of legislation is yet, of necessity, crude and im- 
]perf^t in Tni's young iind' growing republic, owing to 
4)ie want df Ibrtg-^coritinued political experience, and the 
e^ireiiie^faidillty arid latitude of eiripirical experiments 
ti^6h the bbdy politic, Which the supreme sovereignty 
6i*fo'rhUriy*^epirate' independent republican states at- 
fbrds aM'^hcotirages. 

* Arid it JsTiill'tiihe that the people of this country 
should ledrti'the necessity of hdllasting the speculative 
. projfe'i^ts' of the sanguine, the credulous, the , preeipita<te 
. political innovator, with the cautious deliberation, the 
tiraCticarwisdom of the experienced, forecasting states- 
nVdVi,y6f the profound and enlightened judge. Then, 
iride^id, might the whole federal 'Union be melted 
*do\vn into' dne living body of national peace, security, 
j^ermanent prosperity, arid power, by ihe gradual diflfu- 
iion of a uniform system of rifiunicipal law over all the 
dfifTef erit ' conffederated state sovereignties. It would 
not then be easy, even for the hydra-headed monster 
faction herself, to disentangle the warp and the woof 
Vliich might be interwoven, thread * upon tlu'ead, 

throughout all the texture of society. 

The 'federal constitution provides, that no person 

held' to labour or service in one state, under its laws, 
"escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law 
'or reflation of that other state, be discharged from 
'isuch service or labour, biit shall be delivered up on 
' claim of the pai-ty to whom such service or labour may 
*t)e due. This provision enables the master of a run- 
* away slave to claim him, even in a state, the municipal 

law of wliich has abolished or prohibited slavery, be- 

- cause the constitution of the United States is the su- 

' jprerifie law of the land, to which all state laws must 

yields Otlierwise such fugitive slaves would be pro^ 
^tected> because in all penal or criminal matters, munici« 

pal law permits no interference ori the jpsM of! local law. 

and tb« Uoa loci xiQt opei:aj(;u3g|, eveu ii^ civil c^a> a& oj^ 
l^rsoual contracts, wtienevi^i: its operatipix woy^ 9^^ 
Mfitb 01: ooptrafdict tlp^ provi^ipn^ pjf Dj^unvcipj^l iajw,. 
Ohio, who has prohibited the existeijce of slav(^tyJ>y 
he^ CQipk^titutipipi, border; oijl ^U sides, upoi^ »\xy^;-iiiji^d\ng 
states, fraoa wbich ^W^way slp-ves often ^papif.mtp 
her d6«^]pion ; 9jp4 ^^ ^eluctaixce^ np^t; to ^^y aiPspmie 
r^fusaljt to give Up such fugitives to they: o.\\^i^erj^^ Jt^ 
recently occa^oned considerable lieat and ^nimos^ty \^ 
tweei^h^fr and her jl^eigbboyr Ke^tqcky, vho pqs^ess?;^ a 
large body of slaves withiip, l^er terri^tory, dff/i show3 no 
inclination to diminish tb^ff flwijiber. 

The constitution alsp prqvid^s^ that n^if. states ^^y 
be admitt^ by flq^gre^s intp the Union; V^lf^P ^^^^ 
^tate tbrq^d: within the jvirisdiQtioi^ qf any oth^t state, 
nor ^x\y state formed by tbe junction of t>vo or flf^pre 
f tatesj- witboift the consent of the legislati|res qf thie 
states^ concerned as well^i? of Congress. Congfcss h^ 
-power to dispose of, and W^^^ all needful r^les ^nd regu- 
lations respecting the territory, pr ot^pr propierty |]>plqng- 
ingto the United States; w4 nothing jn the^cons^itu- 
tion shall be so qpnstrued as to prodnee ^ny claims qf 
the United States, or of any partjcular state, Thp 
United States shall guarantee to every sb^te ip tjip 
Union a republican form of govemnjent, and protect 
each of them against invasion; and on application qf 
the legislature, or qf the executiye when the legisla- 
ture cannpt be convened, against don^estic viojencg. 
Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shajj 
deem it necessary, shall propose ameiiflments to the con- 
stitution; or on the application of the legislatures qf 
two-thirds of the several states, shall call a eqqventiqn 
for jH'oposing amendnients^ which in either c^e sh^l 
be valid, as parf qf fhe constitution, when fi^tified by 
the legislatnres' qf three-fburths of the several states, 
.or by conventions in three-fourths of the states as qne, 
jor other mode i^f ratificajtiqn may be pressed by Con- 
gress; pipvided, that no ainendni^^nt >iade prior tqthe 
yefur 1811^ ph^l a^feqt the proyisions res^ 
^tion^ or ins^qits^t^c^^ ^ ppTfipi??^ into, pr jfroin thJ? 


several states^ and the imposition of capitation^ or oth^^ 
direct taxes; and provided, that no state, without its 
Consent, shall be deprived of its equal sufirage in the 

All debts contracted, and engagements entered into 
before the adoption of the constitution, shall be valid 
against the United States, under the constitution, as 
under the confederation. The constitution, and the 
laws of the United States, made in pursuance thereof, 
and all treaties made under the authority of the United 
States,' shall be the supreme law of the land, and the 
judges in every state bound thereby, any thing in the 
constitution or laws of any state to the contrary not- 
withstanding. The senators and representatives in 
Congress, and the members of the several states legis- 
latures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of 
the United and the several states, shall be bound by 
oath, or affirmation, to support the constitution; but no 
religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to 
any office, or public trust, under the United States. 

The amendments already made to the constitution 
are, that Congress shall make no law respecting an 
esjtablishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exer- 
cise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of 
the press, or the right of the people peaceably to as- 
semble and petition government for a redress of griev- 
ances. A well regulated militia being necessary to the 
security of a free state, the right of the people to keep 
and bear arms shall not be infringed. No soldier shall 
in time of peace be quartered in any house without the 
consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a man- 
ner to be prescribed by law. The right of the people 
to be secure in tlieir persons, houses, papers, and effects, 
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be 
violated ; and no warrants shall issue, but upon proba- 
ble cause, supported by oath, or affirmation, and parti- 
cularly describing the place to be searched, and the per- 
sons or things to be seized. No one shall be held to 
answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless 
0n a presentment, or indictment of a grand j«ry; ex? 


cept in cases arising in the Is^nd or naval forees^.or mi- 
litia, when in dctuaJ service, in time of war or public 
danger ; nor shall any one be subject for the same of- 
fence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor 
shall be compelled in any criminal ease to be witnessf 

' against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or pro- 
perty, without due process of law ; nor shall private 
property be taken for public use, without just compen-^ 
sation. • 

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shs^U have a. . 
right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury 
of the state and district wherein the crime was com- 
mitted (which district shall have been previously as- 
certained by law), and be informed of the nature and 
cause of the accusation,be confronted with the witnesses 
against him, have compulsory process for obtaining wit- ^ 
nesses in his favour, and have the assistance of counsel 
for his defence. In suits at common law, where the 

, value in controversy exceeds twenty dollars, the right 
of trial by jury shall be preserved; and no fact tried by. 
jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the 
United States, than according to the rules of the com- ' 
mon law. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor ex- 
cessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment 
inflicted. The enumeration in the constitution of cer- 
tain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage 
others retained by the people. The powers not delegar 
ted to the United States by the constitution, nor prohi- 
bited by it to the states, are reserved to the states res- 
pectively, or to the people. The judicial power of the 
United Sfates shall not be construed to extend to any 
suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against 
one of the United States, by citizens of another state, 
or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state. The 
electors shall name in their ballots the person voted for 
as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for 
as Vice-President; but no person, constitutional ineli- 
gible to the office of President, shall be eligible to that 
of Vice-President of the United JStatcs. 

iB& AilEKDMENTS 6f THE toWSTlt'utlON/ 

ii is ^ Very important provision, which prescrfbes th« * 
mode of proposing and eitrying into effect futurd 
miendmefUsto the constitufibn^ without ha:^arding a &^ 
solution of the confederacy, or suspendinj^ the opera-? 
tion of the existing government. Accorcntijgty, twelve 
additional articles were appended, as stmenameh^^ to 
the constitution, within a few years aftei: it first wen£ 
into operation; and, in the year 1804, the amencfmeni. 
respecting the election of President and Vice-Predident' 
Was added. The amendment may be effected eithef oi| 
a recommendation from' Congress whenever ty^d-tl^rdi 
of both houses concur in the expediency of such sinjeac^ 
fif^rie; or . by a, mode which secures to ihe. Separate 
litates an influence, in case Congress should negfect to 
rtecommehd such amendments, fioth these mode^ ap- 
tfear to be good: of the efflcacy of the firs^t the nation 
nas had full experience, in the ariienciirierits dlfeady 
t^aae. The second seems a fit mode, w^^enevet the 
l^eneral govfemmerit shall betray such symptoms of cdiv 
option as to render it expedient for the seve^l staiei 
toexejptthemselves, in order to apply some rs^ical aiicl 
^iPectuaT remedy. , 

It is not easy to bestow too much praise upon this 
article of the constitution, which thus provides a sajfe 
and peaceable remedy for its own defects, as they may> 
from time to time, be discovered. A change of goyerq- 
nient, in other countries, is generally attende4 with con- 
vulsions that menace its entire <lissolut}pn, and portend 
$cme$ of horror ahd bloodsheathiat deter mankind froih 
attempting to correct abuses, or remove oppressions, 
"until they have become altogether intolerable — when a 
national explosion ensues that buries all the orders of 
the state beneath its ruins* Nor need it be apprehend- 
ed that this salutary provision in the federaf constitu- 
tion will, of itself^ produce instability in the general 
government; for the mode, both of originating and 
ratiiying amendments directed by the constitution, must 
necessarily be attended with such obstacles and delays, 
as must prove a sufficl^t bar agamst light or frequent 

*lScVeriij amehAiiretrts have beipti: proposed by tho' 
Stated of VirgiAifi, Ne\t-York, North Carpfifta/Massa- 
ciiu^6ttg, J^ew-Hftmpdhh-e, Ehode-IsJand, and South 
Cdr6iina, at S^fferent tftnes, m convention : they are all 
cpilectea in the 3d, 4th, jrtb^ ind 8th volumes of the 
Ainericjtn Museum. Sotne of them appear fo have 
b(^eff pftferfed bhly ei iihmddnii cduttld, as s^urity 
against iniscotistru6tioil, 6r ten uiidue extension of thef 
power$V0stedih thefederd government; while others 
seeiri to hk^e beefi caiictrlatedlo ^einfedy som^ r^icirl de- 
fects iri the hational iy^iem. T#o 6ther unsuccessful 
efrofts fo^metidthecohstitiitJon.hav^ beeh made sittce 
ijttk 6ublicdtioh of the Americsb Museum ; namely^ bnfe 
On the i2tjl of A^ril, 1666, slifcmitted by Mr. Hillhouse, 
a rfespeciablfe senator in Congress frOm the state of Con* 
n6cticut, to the seiiate tif the United States; His propo^ 
j^itioils vir^pe many, ahd the ^eet^h enforcing tHem inge- 
nious and attute. The chief amiendib tot proposed was. 
In fact, a ^ikujil abolition df the executive, as a separate 
b^nch of the American government, by reducing the 
PresiSeht^S tefiii of service from four years to one, by 
loweriiig His Salaiy, by transferring from him to the 
senate the pOweir of appointing to and removing from 
office ; and by attnually choosing by ballot the execu-. 
five from a given number of senators. 

Mr. fetillhouse contended that many advantages would 
flow to the Uhited States from this proposed alteration in 
the foriii and substailce of their government. But, with- 
out minutely considering the various fallacies of this 
scheme, it is sufficient to observe, that the mere circum- 
stance of blinding together the executive atid legislative 
departments would entail innumerable evils upon Ame-» 
rica, and speedily erect an unmitigated despotism upon 
the ruins of the republic. iTie practical as well as 
theoretic division of powers in a government into the 
three distinct departments of executive, legislative, and 
judicial, being the comer-stone of social liberty, and an 
brder^, upright administration of the commonwealth. 
Mr. HUlhouse's plan of amendment' was rejected iri the , 
senate of the United S^tes by a large majority, 


On the 1 5th of December, 1 8 1 4, a convention of de- 
legates from the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
and Rhode-Island, the counties of Cheshire and Grafton, 
in the state of New-Hampshire, and the county of 
Windham, in the state of Vermont, met at Hartford, in 
Connecticut, to propose amendments to the constitution. 
In order to accompUsh which, they pubUshed a general 
view of the measures that they deemed essential to se- 
cure the Union against the recurrence of those difficul- 
ties and dangers which they thought arose from the ra- 
dical defect of the constitution itself, aided by an unwise 
and impolitic administration ef the general govern- 
ment. The amendments proposed were-l?Srrf. That 
representatives and direct taxes should be apportioned 
among the several states included within the Union, ac- 
cording to their respective numbers oifree persons, in- 
cluding those bound to serve for a term of years, and 
excluding Indians not taxed, and all other persons. 5e- 
coruUy. No new state shall be admitted into the Union 
by Congress, without the concurrence of two-thirds of 
both houses. Thirdly. Congress shall not have power 
to lay any embargo op the ships or vessels of the citi- 
zens of the United States, in the ports and harbours 
thereof, for more than sixty days. Fourthly. Congress 
shall not*have power, without the concurrence of two-i 
thirds of both houses, to interdict the commercial inter- 
course between the United States and any foreign na- 
tion, or its dependencies. Fifthly. Congress shall not 
make or declare war, or authorize acts of hostility 
against any foreign nation, without the concurrence of 
two-thirds of both houses, except such acts of hostility 
be in defence of thejfcerritory of the United States when 
actually invaded. Sixthly. No person, who shall here- 
after be naturalized, shall be eligible as a member of 
the Senate or House of Representatives of the United 
States, nor capable of holding any civil office under the 
authority of the United States. Seventhly. The same 

Serson snail not be elected President of the United 
tates a second time; nor shall the President be elected 
two terms in succession from the same state, . 


These resolutions were forwarded by the Hartford 
convention to the legislatures of the several states in 
the Union, by a majority of which they were rejected ; 
and, by those of New- York and Virginia, assailed with 
all the bitterness of reproach. 

The Federalist, doubtless, is equal to any work, an- 
cient or modem, in political philosophy, judicial wisdom^ 
and profound, perspicuous^ comprehensive reasoning ; 
but it plays the part of an advocate for the constitution 
of the United States, whose excellences it blazons forth 
with matchless ability, but whose radical defects it cau- 
tiously conceals from public view. The proof of this lies 
in the fact, that General Hamilton, the principal writer 
in this work, has left, in his own hand- writing, the 
draught of a constitution far more efficient than that 
which he praises so elaborately and ably, under the sig- 
nature of Publius. The truth is, all the tendencies to 
weakness and disunion, in the frame and texture of the 
American governments were, from the beginning, mani- 
fest to his sagacity and genius. He had long observed 
that in the revolutionary war, the independence of his 
countiy was perpetually endangered by the imbecility 
of its government ; and that for some years after the 
establishment of peace, in 1783, the loss of reputation, 
and the sacrifice of its best intwests, flowed from the 
same source. He laBoured, therefore, to erect a govern- 
ment of sufficient force and energy to protect and guide 
its own people at home, and secure reverence and ho- 
nour in the eyes of foreign liations. And, in the gene- 
ral convention of 1787* he pressed, with all the weight 
of his stupendous talents, the necessity of adopting a 
more efficient form of government, as will fully appear 
if ever his most able and eloquent speech on that oc- 
casion shall be published. He drew the following 
outline of a plan of government for the United States, 
as better calculated than the present constitution to 
combine national strength with popular liberty. 

First. The supreme legislative power of the Unitod 
States of America to be vested in two different bodies 
of men ; one to be called the Assembly, thd oth^ th^ 


Senate ; whcx^ together^ shafi form the legi^uve of the 
United States^ wkh power to pass all laws whatao^rep> 
lubject to the negative hereafter mentioned. SeconMjf, 
The Assembly to. consist of persons elected by the peo- 
ple to serve for three years. Thirdly. The Senate tjQ 
consist of persons elected to serve during good behaviour; 
their election to be made by electors chosen for that 
purpose by the people; the atate^ to be divided into 
election districts. On the deaths removal^ or resigna^ 
tion of any sei>ator, bis place to be fiUed out of the di3- 
trict whence he came. 

» Fourthly. The supreme eocetuUve authority of thf 
United States to be vested in a governor^ elected duriwg 
good behavimoTy by electors chosen by the people iu the 
election district ) the govemw to have a negative upon, 
all laws about to be passed^ and the execution of all 
laws passed; to have the direction of war, when au- 
thorized or begun ; to have, with the advice and con- 
sent of the Senate, the power of making all treaties ; to 
have the sole appointment of the heads or chief officers - 
of jSnance and foreign affairs ; to have the nomination 
bf all other officers, including ambassadors to foreign 
nations, but subject to the approbation or rejection of 
the Senate; to have the power of pardoning all ofiences 
except treason, which he shall not pardon without the 
awrobation of the Senate. FiftfJy. On the death, m^ 
iignation, or removal of the Governor, his authorities 
and functions to be exercised by the president of the 
Senate, until a successor be appomted. Sixthly. Hie 
Senate to have the sole power to deelare war ; the 
power to advise and approve all treaties ; to approve 
CH* reject all appointments of officers, except the heads 
or cluefs of the dcpartmepts of finance, war, and foreign 

Seventhly. The sufn^me judicial authority of the 
United States to be vested in judges, to hold their office 
during good behaviour^ with adeipiote and permanent sar- 
laries ; ikie court to h»veore|;i/uz/ji0ris4ictron in. all cases 
€>f capture; ^md an appellate jurisdiction in^ causes, isk^ 
^whieh the rev^niM^^ tbe general government ixr tha 

Hamilton's Th\^ 6t GbysuNMlNT. 205 

citiis^s of foreign nations are concemeci. Wtgkthty. 
The legislsttttre of the United States to have .power to 
institute courts in e ach state for the determination of 
all matters of general concern. Ninthly. The governor, 
senators, and all officers of the United States, to be 
liable, to impeachment for mal and corrupt conduct; 
and on conviction, to be removed from office, and disK 
qualified from holding any place of trust or profit. All 
impeachments to be tried by a court, consisting of the 
chief justice or judge of the superior court of law of 
each state, prtydided such judge hold his place during 
good'behaviour, and have a permanent salary. Tentkb/0 
aU laws of the particular states, contrary to the con- 
stitution, orlaws of the United ^States, to be void ; and 
the better to prevent such laws 'from being passed, the 
governor, or president of . each state, «hdll be ap* 
pointed by the general government ; and shall have ^ 
negative upon the laws about tobe passed in his state. 
'Eleventhly. No state to have any force, land or naval; 
and the militia to be under the sole and exclusive di- 
rection of the United States ; who shall appoint and 
commission' the militia officers. 

The chief peints in which^ General Hamilton's ^chenw 
diflfers from the present federal constitution are, the 
superior permanency of tlie sqnate, -the longer duratioii 
and greater power of the executive, and the more 
extensive control of the general government over the 
' separate states. But although Generil Washington ap* 
proved of these, provisions, as calciilated to protect the 
country from disorder and anarchy within, and from 
impotence and contempt abroad, yet he would no/. ven- 
ture to recommeiid so efficient a measure to the dele- 
., gates assembled together in the • national convention ; 
and quoted the well-known saying Of^olon, who, on 
being asked if he had framed the b^t possible laws for 
the Athenians? answered, ^' A^o, ' but * the best laws, 
which the people of Athens, in their present temper 
and situation, will bear.** ' . 

The distinguishing features bf all thcAmerican^ con- 
stkutions, as they now starid, are, that they make 


every office elective, as eontradistmguished from the 
hereditary tenures prevailing in monarchical and aris- 
tocratic forms of government ; and also^ that while they 
provide amply for the protection of personal liberty, and 
the property of individuals, which is, indeed, the only 
sure foundation of all good government, they do not 
sufficiently attend to promoting the two other great re- 
quisites of good government ; namely, putting a strong 
and permanent disposeable force into the hands of the 
executive ; and developing the national mind on a great 
scale, by instituting and encouraging large and liberal 
systems of general instruction. In most other coun- 
tries, the government is all, and the people nothing ; in 
the United States, the people are all, and the govern- 
ment nothing. The same general principle applies to 
all paper constitutions, which applies to all statute law ; 
Qamely, that so p^etual is the fluctuation of human 
affidrs, so various the modifications of which property 
is susceptible, so boundless the diversity of relations, 
which may arise in civil Ufe, so infinite the possible com- 
binations of events and circumstances, that they elude 
the power of enumeration, and mock all the efforts of 
human foresight. Whence, it is the duty of every wise 
and good government to abstain from too great a rage 
for multiplying statutes, and from too much minuteness 
in specifying the particular powers of the municipal de- 
partments. It is best, under the responsibility of im- 
. peachment for mal-conduct, to leave to the powers of 
government, more especially the executive, a sufficiently 
. undefined latitude of authority, to enable them to adapt 
the necessary national measures to those exigencies 
which are continually arising ; but which no paper con- 
stitution can possibly provide for, or foresee. 

Having gone through a summary of the provisions of 
the United States constitution, it is proposed now to 
offer some general observations on the radical, the in- 
trinsic weakness of the federal government; the neces- 
sity of gradually strengthening it, more especially in 
its executive branch ; and, above all, the necessity of a 
vigorous administration of the generjJ government upon 


federal pnhciples^ that is to say, the principles on which 
the constitution* itself was founded and constructed* 
This was done by General Washington, throughout the 
whole course of his administration; and Mr. Adams 
appeared to begin his presidential career in the same 
track ; but, towards its close, his policy assumed an 
aspect peculiarly strange and wayward, visionary and 
fantastic, turbulent and unsettled. Mr. Jefferson and 
Mr. Madison avowedly administered the general govern- 
ment altogether- upon the democratic scheme, and set 
themselves stoutly to the task of undoing all that Wash- 
ington had done ; namely; disbanding the regular army, 
destroying the national army, annihilating the internal 
revenue, ruining the commerce of the country, breaking 
up the bank of the United States, and many other phi- 
losophical improvements in the art of misgoverning the 
commonwealth. Those who profess to be the intimate . 
friends of Mr. Monroe, and to be acquainted with his 
sentiments, are Ikbouring strenuously to cause the Ame- 
rican people ,to believe that our new President intends 
to follow the good old federal plan of General Wash- 
ington, and watch over the finances, encourage the 
commerce^ nourish tlienavy, protect the army, cherish 
the liberty, prosperity, strength, and happiness of the 
nation at home, and secure its respect and influence 
abroad ; that the miserable party distinctions of Fe- 
deralist and Democrat are to be for ever abolished, and 
a political millennium to be established throughout the 

It is the more to be lamented, that the federal go- 
vernment should have been eyer administered on demo- 
'cratic principles, because it is, in its essential conform- 
ation, too weak at once to balance the weight of the 
separate state sovereignties, to maintain its own steady 
dominion over all the portions of its immense Union, 
and to build up the nation at large, by certain steps^ 
into a paramount power, influencing and controlling the 
greater potentates of the elder quarter^ of the globe. 
The great statesmen (led by Washington himself, and 
illumined by the transcendent genius of Hamilton) who 
fi-a];ae4 the federal constitution^ earnestly deprecttted 

. the jD0)tiqn..9f 4t^ being CQQsi4isrc4^r c^ff4s^/ete^as 4 4^ 
,mQcrg>c^. And many very .elaiioj^te .ai^jl ^a^blp argji-' 

, il[>en^, founfled on a car$fql in49qtiQ^ ^^om fydL^ 1^ 
cordi^d i^ hi&tory^ and resting on ^the ^^asis €^ the most 

. iB^pproyed principlps of -politiqal philQ35^%^ yfffpe ^ad* 
,duced ^to prove that the jepj^rs^i^go^Y^rjnBnent of tha 
.United States is not a df^fnpcracy^ ^but ,^at ^are h^ 
.been taken by lAie Oenerql (^^^e^tian^ which met at 
^Iji^d^lphift, iji tl^e year ,17^7, , to iij^e, f^ jft\\kch as 
existing, i^ircmnstances wouldaUpw^.pf (he wi^doiqiand 
energy of f^ristopmcy^ .to tepp^ and re3tr$tin;the tur- 
bttlenceji .tl>e fliictimtiQn^ an4 th^ weakne^ of unba-' 
lanc^4 4^)^04^racy) which tliey .qoipha^ic^Uy.d^lared 
tobethe gT(^te9t,iiiisibrtuue,t^at^ be mflicted on 

* *ny countiy * 

Th^»e, illustrioud sages jsipfl j)iactic^l po|itipiaii8 knew 
iulL Avdl, .that,a«n uncontrpUed .4^Qtqcracy had flestroy^d 
Athei^s^ . ajid^ Carthage, ^d Jlome, . and the iltalian je- 

. publics oi^tjl^e mid4ie fliges^and thus Utjited Proyinqe^ of 
jHoll^md: .tpwhi^h qfielapclioly ipu9t^r->^roU pf perdi* 

. tion ,njay,npjr b^ ^dded the j^OQ^inipii of .rqvoljtfion^ry 

^France. .Tfc^y> th^rejEpre, fem*^ tl^fit the prc^valence of 

^n unch^i^kfd de^iocraqy throMdiput the VnitedSt^tes 
would co^k^jl^ , to destruction U^e j^ib^rties, the we^l|:)i, 
the Jionq^i:,, t^ character, the Ix^ppine^ss, the religiQii,, 
the^aorals, th^Mhole ai}gia3tj»bnc pf pubhq{N*ps;perity 

vapd private jyortb, whicK kw^y,j9i'tjsm^A^^pmomj^ 
,riods of their bistpiy, fio pgqiilifurly idiptii^^i^^d the 
national career of the confederated states of Aiq§ri^. 

It is the Jb«|u^den ,4¥ty .9f tbe^jp^Gj^ 

..^o^n.try to W4^t(?h py^r.^iidjprsserve their pygilib^fs, 

„ by k|?(;pi{^ the >4^i^r<^tion9 ftnA jnpasures, of their rulers 

ii^rithin thq j^upfJs pf 4eleg^tedr4^jaaHiip|ij pri^jscrib^ by 

, the letter. %Q^rtl^.§pirit of the ;n^tip^al cpn^.tit^tippi. 

,And it isjpquj^iy the, duty of the^w^TWW^^ ofev^ 

,fr^ country, to gjiard »gaimt .^ll wcrpachm^ts jippn 

^,4;he ^bertiefii.9f^the people ; to enqpurag^ the.^gjjalmid 

impartial i|4i»i»>ftr^tien.ofou«tice ; ;tp.prpiwteithe.t^fst 

.U5^terf§tsofil«*i:fp^ ^tp f9^t^r^th«l5lrtSjMld^ftci^nc^; to 

.quieken the ; ^qtivity pf agiiQ»lWr:e> jiokanu&ctures, and 


skill; to reverence and aid the progress oFpure religion 
and sound morals^ in all the V^arious denominations of 
reUgious belief, and throughout all the classes of the 
community; in a word, to labour unremittingly to ren- 
der the people prosperous and happy at home, respect- 
ed, feared, and courted abroad. 

In order to accomplish these great purposes, it is 
one, among many, of the indispensable duties of the 
government to^ exclude ^foreigners from Buy political 
interiRsrence or influence in the afikirs of the nation. 
They should be protected equally with the natives in 
all the pursuits of private industry and enterprise, but 
should never be permitted to lay their unhallowed hands 
upon the ark of the national governinent; to invade the 
recesses of the executive cabinet; to violate the sanctity 
of the temple of legislation, or to polute the ennine of 
justice in the tribunals of the country. All men, unless^ ' 
they are unsound at the hearts core, cling wijth fond 
attachment to the land that gave them birth, to its hills, 
and dales, and woods; to its people, government, and 
laws; to all the associations, physical and moral, that 
exercise the strongest dominion over the human mind; 
All jTtecA associations, prejudices, and predilections, every 
honest foreigner necessarily carries with him into Ame- 
rican office; into the service of a country, whose social 
institutions, taken altogether, have no parallel in the 
history of the world. If a foreigner does not love his 
own native country, does not desire her well-being and' 
prosperity, what Mnd of heart has he? Can a traitor 
at home be faithful abroad? Can one, who aims the 
assassin s knife at the vitals of his own parent country, 
be fitted to uphold the great nationaf interests of a 
stranger land? Are unnatural hatred, dastardly re- 
venge, and camiibal malignity, to be mistaken for lofty 
patriotism, comprehensive wisdom, and unblenched in- 

It is indeed mere madness and political suicide, in anjf 
and in £very country, to mSer foreigners to have a poh- 
tical vote; to permit them to elect or be elected to ainy 
office in the state, from th^t of the chief executive of 



the whole nation down to the lowest ministerial offieex: 
in the obscurest hamlet of an obscure district. It is 
quite enough that a foreigner be Jirotected in his person, 
his property, his reputation, his individual efforts in his 
calling,, by the equal administration of justice dealt out 
to him in common with all the other inhabitants of the 
community. But every country ought to be exclusively 
governed by its own native talent and property. In 
every nation that arrogates to itself the proud preroga-^ 
tive of being an independent substantive power, its own 
native warriors should lea4 their armies; its own native 
heroei should bear their naval thunders over every sea; 
its own native statesmen should guide the councils, re- 
gulate the finances^ administer, the government of their 
country; its own native judges should dispense th^ 
streams of law, justice, and equity throughout all the 
land; thatthie people, growing up under the shelter of 
the talent, property, and character of their natural guar- 
dians, may, through a long series of years, advance in 
prosperity, intelligence, wealth, and power, until they 
become the bulwark and ornament of a jsunrounding 
world. Let America, in the. day of her exaltation, re- 
member the advice of Rome's best poet: > 

" Tu regere imperio populos, Romane^ memento; 
IIo3 tibi erunt ar^es ; pacisqae imponere Morem, 
Parcere snbjecds, etdebelUre superbos.*' 

General Washington administered the government of 
the United States with a practical efficiency and wis- 
dom peculiarly calculated to render the country pros- 
{)erous at home, and respected abroad. Owing to va^ 
rious untoward causes, the chief of which, however, was 
the entire inefficacy of the old confederation of the 
states^ this country was in the most deplorable condi- 
tion when President Washington first took upon him- 
self the administration of the federal government, in 
the year 1789' The whole nation stood upon the verge 
of dissolution; all the » national movements a/ home 
•were, full of disorder and xronluwpn, m^ai^Qid fidl of 


rweaknes&andfclly; the finances were dilapidated; the 
commerce amuhilated; the manufactares sinkii^; the 
agiicalture depressed; an internal faction availed itself 
of and increased evpry domestic tumult and distress^ in 
order to lay prostrate dl the wholesome restraints of 
legitimate government and eiFective laws; the great body 
of the people themselves were rushing headlong into 
revolt and instruction against all' the lawful authorities, 
both state and continental. 

Are not the knowledge and remembrance of all these 
evils so many additional incitements to cling to and pro* 
tect the federal ttnion?—^ that mighty remedy which 
was found ibr the healing of all these national disorders 
— that federal union which gave form and pressure, a 
body and a soul^ hfe, health, and spirit, strength, beau- 
ty, and power, to the disjointed, perishing members of 
these United States — that federal union which, if pre- 
*served, cherished, and progressively/ strengthened, can* 
not fail to build up the whole extent of this vast conti- 
nent into imperial magnificence, wealth, and power;**— 
protecting, exalting all its own citizens and subjects; 
and commanding the respect of all other nations;— /Aa^ 
federal union, which, if once dissolved, ensures the 
breaking up of the foundations of civil order, peace, and 
safety, over all the range of this extensive territgty ; en- 
sures a perpetuity of the anarchy, civil war, carnage, 
and desolation, tnat in the elder ages^of the world de- 
formed the fair face of the Grecian commonwealths; 
and which, in a more recent period, fastened upon all 
the Germanic empire, and on. nearly the whole circum- 
ference of continental Europe, an entire century of un- 
interrupted hostilities, with all their train of attendant 
horrors and unavoidable anguish. 

From the innumerable evils of its condition, this 
country was at that time preserved by the federal con- 
stitution, administered by the integrity and discretion of 
Washington; borne onward, and guided by the para- 
mount d(»ninion of 'the genius of Hamilton. 

These^eat jprOjC^eca/ statesmen combined the personal 
liberty and security of the^ individual (atiss/^ with an 


effisctiye adminirtration of the national govenunent; 
with an apt disposition of the public force; with the 
levying^ discipline^ and obedience of a regular army; 
the creation and support of an heroic riavy; the collec- 
tion of a productive and well-distributed internal reve- 
nue; the production and encouragement of religious 
ordinances aiid moral duties; the multiplication of the 
means of acquiring, preserving, and' enjoying property; 
the general difiusion of peace and order, of civil and 
socid habits, manners, and properties, throughout the 
United States. 

These heroes and sages saw that no man has any 
legitimate qualification for office, except the possessicxi 
of integrity, talents, and knowledge, both speculative 
and practical; that wherever these qualifications are 
fouod, in whatever age, or calling, or condition of life, 
they ought to be the unquestionable passports to all the 
offices of public honour, trust, and profit;— that every 
nation must be perilously situated, which, either through 
ignorance, or through the madness of party rage, shuts 
the gates of public . service against its citizens who are 
most illustrious in wisdom, ven^^ble in virtue, and re- 
spectable in wealth; which condemns for ever to the 
shades of retirement and privacy that weight and 
energy of character, so peculiarly fitted to establish, 
and difiuse over all the earth, their country's strength 
and glory ; which industriously places the helm of ^go- 
vemment in the hands of men of low education, of iUi^ 
bend habits, of narrow views, of sordid occupations, of 
visionary. brains, of cold, unfeeling, selfish hearts and 

These lights and beacons of their age knew that by 
the fatal facility of changing the form and aspect, the 
body and substance of the national policy, as often, as 
much, and in as many ways as might seem expedient to 
the floating fancies of moon-struck, miserable politicians, 
the whQle chain and continuity of the state must be for 
ever broken; — all the golden links of civilized existence, 
which bind together the succeeding generations of the 
human race, must be torn asimder for ever, and the 


ages of men be no more than the swarms of flies on a 
summer's day ;— no more than the fleeting family of 
leaves that is scattered along the sky by the violence ol 
the autumnal blast. 

These great architects of their country's honow 
showed, by the whole series of their public conduct^ 
how vastly preferable is that jprac/ica/ administration of 
government which builds up to thot theoretic policy 
which destroys a coimtry ; that which adorns to that 
which deforms a nation ; that which enriches to that 
which impoverishes a people; that which whitens every 
sea with the commercial canvass to that which drains the 
streams, and dries up the sources of trade ; that which 
s^nds forth a navy, full freighted with Coltmibia's 
glory, to that which dismantles all the ships of war^ 
and consigns their keels to the dry docks of destine* 
tioU ; that which estabUshes a permanent system of 
finance, by a wel|*arranged internal taxation^ to that 
which rests all the revenue of a nation upon the preca- 
rious basis of duties on foreign commerce. 

<( Foriunati Ambo^ n, quid meapagina postitj 
Nulla dies unquam roemori tos ezimet »to." 

And let it be remembered, as an additional incite- 
ment for all holiest men to rampire the Union round 
about with their bodies, as with a living wall, and guard 
it from danger, that calamitous as was the state offings 
in this country, under the crazy auspices of the old co«- 
Jederatian, the condition of the American people would 
be infmitely more calamitous, if ihejederal union were 
now to be dissevered ; and this vast continent, with its 
reoently added dominion in the west, were to be split 
up, and shattered into numerous unconnected puny so- 
vereignties, which could not fail to become the foul and 
iruitM sources of innumerable intestine broils. Bettor, 
hr better would it be for these United States to endure 
an entire centuryof^br^u war; or to labour fifty years 

^ Waibiogtpo and HamiUon. 


under' the burden of domestic maladndnistratioh, than 
by severing the federal Union into a multitude of petty 
principalities^ to entail upon all the extent of the north- 
em continent of America the prevalence of foreign 
factions^ French, Russian, and British, perpetually in- 
terfering with, and confounding all their fume move^ 
ments and measures ; and, above all, to ensure a per- 
petuity of feudal anarchy and brigandage; of castellated 
feuds ; of partisan warfare ; of hereditary hostility ; of 
iarbitrary incarceration ; of inquisitorial torment ; of mi- 
litary execution ; of private assassination; of public pil* 
Jage; of universal oppression, and all the calamities in* 
cident to afflicibed humanity, when jfcrce and fraud are 
the arbiters of right and wrong. 

It is sifact which should never be forgotten, that the 
Ufiited States, during the period of eigkt years, uiider 
the guidance <rf fFashington's administration, vrtere 
Raised from the lowest p6int of national depression, pe^ 
nury, and disgrace, to an exalted eminence of national 
elevation, riches, and honour. The public credit, which 
had been annihilated, was revived ; private confidence, 
which had been extinguished, was renewed; commerce, 
which had long languished in indolence and despair, 
spread its active enterprise over the whole globe ; the 
national debt, which had been considered' as for ever 
tponged, and the public creditors, in Consequence, die- 
Jrauded, was funded, land in the full course of liquida- 
tion; a well-adjusted aiid a growing ew/enttr/ revenue 
was collected, without pressing upon, and impeding the 
progress of productive labour ; industry^ sobriety, good 
order, moral decency, and wealthy were substituted in the 
room of idleness, inteinperAnce, tumult, profligacy, and 
poverty; peace was established and maintained effectu- 
ally and sincerely, with- all the world; native talents and 
virtue were sought for, btought forward, and raised into 
high official authority and trust ; the national honour 
and influence were sustained at home, by a strict admi- 
nistration of justice, dealt out impartially to every in^ 
yidual in the community, and the national dignity was 

DURING Washington'^ ADMiNisraAxioN. i 1 5 

upheld abroad^ by the capacity^ wisdom^ and courage of 
its diplomatic representatives in foreign courts- 
America presented to the eyes of all other nations a 
spectacle unparalleled in the history of the human spe-^ 
cies ; an infant repuUic^ the growth of yesterday, out*- 
stripping countries white with the hoar of unnumbered 
ages^ in population, wealth, and power; in arts and 
arms; in reputation, authority, and influence; and the 
elder sovereigns of Europe, the great, rival, primary, 
<k>ntending powers, vied with each other in professions of 
esteem, in proffers of friendship, in the wooings of al- 
liance to the newrborn dynasty of this western world. 

All these wonderful achievements of national godd^ 
were the results of only eight years of a wise and j^rac- 
^ica/ administration of the federal government* 

It is the more necessary to lay the foundations of go* 
vemment broad and deep, since every fiew govemiricnt 
is of necessity wealcj^ precisely, because it is new. Ge-' 
neral Hamilton was so well aware of this important 
truth, that he laid before the general convention^ 9a 
stated in the preceding pages, in the year 1787/ a much' 
stronger scheme of govemmentthan ih^ federal cofisti- 
ttUion, which was ultimately adopted. But Washing^ 
ton's prudence or timidity prevailed over the intrepid 
sagacity of Hamilton; and the present federal constitu- 
tion was established. The rejection of Hamilton s plan^ 
and the adoption of a feebler frame of national govern- 
ment, is the more to be regretted, because, every new 
government founded on principles of personal and social 
liberty, miist be feeble; and stand in need of a very 
firm and vigorous administration ; until time has ren- 
dered its authority venerable, and fortified its power by 
giving it an opportunity of growing up, and.mingliiig 
with the feelings. and habits of the people. 

This simple but momentous truth may be illustrated 
by reference to the. history of Britain, and of the United 
States. For.a long period after the revolution of 1688^ 
which placed WiUmm of Orange on the British throne; 
so slender was the confidence of the people of Englar d 
in the stability and credit of their ^Qveniment^ that the 


Chancellor of the Exchequer of that day^ Montagu^ the 
father of public credit in England, could not raise a very 
9mall sum, by way of loan, without taking the Lord 
Mayor of London by his side, as the guarantee for* 
government ; and going, cap in hand, from house to 
house, and from shop to shop, requesting to borrow a 
hundred pounds, or evena less sum. And for the money 
thus laboriously raised in small parcels, their best public 
securities bore an interest of twelve per cent. ; and the 
paper of the Bank of England was at a discount of 
twenty per cent. Whereas, for a period of twenty^five 
years, at the dose of the 1 8th and beginning of the 1 9th 
.century, the British goyemmeiit was enabled to raise 
loans amounting in the aggregate to three thousand mil^ 
lions of dollars, at an average of less than Jft;e per cent, 
interest ; and during almost all those years, she main- 
tained a state of unexampled warfare with nearly the 
whole of continental Europe, arrayed under' the ban- 
ners of revolutionary France* 

. The American government, about forty years after 
^ the establishment of the federal constitution, during 
the war with Eugland, commenced in 1813, and closed 
in 1815, could not raise so insignificant a sum as sixty 
millions of dollars, by way of loan, although they gave 
in bofius and interest above twenty per cent* for what 
they borrowed. The paper of the southern banks was 
depreciated at least twenty^ve per cent ; and the banks 
generally throughout the Union, excepting those at 
Boston, stopped paying jrpecie for their own notes. Be- 
fore two years of the war were expired, the administra- 
tion of the United States were literally bankrupted, both 
in men and money : no one in the whole community 
would lend them a sii^gle dollar; novi would a single in- 
dividual t;o/iin^ar% enrol himself in their armies, so that 
they had actually prepared statutes for Congress to 
pass, enabling them to raise money by requisitions and 
forced loans, and to levy men by the French system of 
conscription, when the return of peace arrested these 
deathblows to all the popular institutions and republi- 
can liberties of the United States of America. A me- 


morable practical comment this upon the inherent 
imbecility of the federal constitution; and affording 
a national tribute of honour to the prophetic sagacity 
of Hamilton. ♦ 

The power of a government must always depend 
upon the quantity of men and money which it has at its 
own disposal and command ; the mass or surplus capital 
floating in the community, and the confidence of the 
people in the wisdom, and their ready obedience to the 
directions, of their rulers ; and not on the exteht of 
territory, or the huge size of an immense population. 
The empire of China is spread over a vast surface, and 
supposed to contain two hundred millions of people ; and 
yet so little disposable force, in men and money, has 
the Chinese, government at command, that it exercises 
little or no influence over foreign nations; less, inde^d^ 
than is exercised by Holland, or Sweden, or Portugal, 
or any other of the smaller third and fourth-rate so- 
vereignties of Europe. Now, influence over other poten- 
tates 18 the guage of a nation ^respectability and power ; 
in like manner as the influence of an indhnduul over the 
interests, passions, and prejudices of his fellow-citizens, 
is the measure of tiiat individual's power: 

Thfe general government of the United States has 
too little disposable force at command ; it has neither 
an army nor a navy sufficiently numerous and extensive ; 
its public revenue is too scanty, and too precarious ; and 
it never can depend upon the long-continued support of 
the popular favour for enabling it to prosecute any per* 
manent measures of enlarged and liberal policy. Being ) 
altogether a representative republic^ it is obliged to exist i 
too much by exciting and following the passions and ; 
prejudices of the : multitude ; to control and regulate^ 
which is the bounden duty of every wise and upright ' 
.government, since the ignorance and violence of the 
multitude have an invariable tendency to defeat the 
execution of every intelligent and long-sighted national 
scheme. If the American government oppose the hasty 
clamours of a misguided populace, the officers of that 
government will soon be converted, by dint of universal 


sufirage, into private citiz^is; and the Union is of 
course condemned to a perpetual oscillation of poli^cal 

It is not in the ordinary course of human affiurs for 
such a state of tilings to be permanent ; and it is to be 
apprehended, that th^ }>resent general government of 
the United States will either assume a new form^ or 
(what, is much more desirable) will retain its name^ 
but gradually become more stable and efficient^ by fix- 
ing its rule upon the broad and firm foundations oipro* 
perty and talent ; and, by progressively augmenting the 

Eower of the executive, enable it to mould the feelings, 
abits, and manners of the people to its own growth in 
strength and influence ; and thus render the national 
government secure at home and respectable abroad. 
Indeed, in all popular and free governments, it is safer 
and better silendy and gradually to devolve upon the 
executive those powers which experience proves it ex- 
pedient to lodge there, than to confer upon it lai^e and 
extensive authorities by written law ; because that go^ 
vemment is always best fitted to promote the prosperity 
and haj^iness of a nation, which has gradually grown 
up with and fashioned itself according to the feelings 
and interests of the people. 

The experience of the past, in th'e history of nations, 
is the only safe guide to our reasonings upon future 
events; and that experience seems to teach us, that in 
process of time, the United States will run the same ca- 
reer as other sovereignties have run ; that in the course 
of necessity and experiment they will gradually disco- 
ver and adopt that system of government {in practice 
as well as in theory) which is best suited to the genius 
of their people, and best calculated to wield to advan- 
tage their great and growing resources. Their consti- 
tution may, eventually, be shaped in accordance with 
the developement of all those great and shining quali- 
ties and faculties which go to the formation of daring 
and elevated characters ; aijd which call into existence 
the exertions of legislative wisdom^ and the achieve^ 
meats of heroic valour ;-^all emanating from a erystem 


that places and permanently fixes the helm of govern- 
ment in the hands of the men of talent and property, as 
the only safe and legitimate sources and guardians of 
all political power. 

The materials for making a great and powerful na- 
tion are all-abundant in the United States. They only 
wait the gradual growth of an energetic government, 
and its administration by sagacious and active statesmen. 
The vast extent of territory, the general salubrity of 
the climate, the natural fertility of the soil, and variety 
of its productions; the unparalleled capabilities of the 
country for commerce, owing to its long line of sea- 
coast, its numerous harbours, and its internal navigation ; 
the intelligence, spirit, intrepidity, and enterprise of the 
people generally, are all admirably adapted to establish 
a system of political order and regulation, which, by un- 
folding and directing to the pursuit of their proper ol> 
jects the energies of the people, in all the various classes 
of the community, shall render America a high and a 
mighty natioA, protecting and rendering prosperous her 
citizens at home, and claiming and enforcing the respect 
and reverence due to her- exalted moral and political 
rank from the other powers of the world. 

The tendency of the general government to acquire 
strength at the expense of the state sovereignties was 
evident during all its different administrations, until the 
course of policy that eventuated in the late war begar 
to alarm aiad alienate the more commercial states. 
When first established, the general government wai 
looked upon as a bond of union, for certain specified 
purposes, between so many sovereign independett 
states ; but the sovereignty and independence of tb 
separate states were, by degrees, almost lost sight iy 
and the government, which had been collateral, camex> 
be viewed as the principal. Men of talents, from dl 
parts of the Union, turned their-^es to the seat of tie 
national government as the field of their ambition, uitil 
the measures of that government reminded the sepante 
states of their individuality, and that there were ri^ts 
and powers which they had 7U>t surrendered* 7he 


consequence was, that the state governments immedi- 
ately rose in importance, and the state legislatures, 
which had gradually sunk into objects of derision, re- 
ceived important accessions of strength in men of tar 
lents, who withdrew from the national legislature, to 
rally rpund their ns(tive states^ And it more than, 
once happened, during the late war, that the govern- 
ment of a single state placed itself across the path of 
the general government, and arrested its movements in 
that quarter. 

The leading characteristics of the political and legal 
institutions of the United States at present 3xe— First, 
The extreme elevation of the democracy or popular 
sovereignty of the country, and the corresponding de- 
pression of its talent and property in the scale of national 
influence, ^^econdf/j^. The want of jperman^nc^ in ofl&ciat 
station, arising from the elective nature of the executive 
and legislative, and, in some instances, of the judicial 
departments, and the rapid changes of the public ser- 
vants. Thirdly^ The very general diffiision of elemen- 
tary intelligence, but the too scanty portion of very high 
or profound acquisitions throughout the community ; 
whence the American people, individtiaUy, are more 
adroit, more skiliul, more enterprising, than the corres- 
ponding classes of society in Europe ; but the aggregate 
fiation, as put in motion and directed by the govcm- 
nent, is not so prompt and efficacious, because the too 
frequent mutations of office prevent the possibility of 
acquiring sufficient knowledge and power to enable the 
fiovemment to put in requisition^ and call forth into ac- 
4ve and long-continued e\&T\Aoriy all the resources of the 
<t)mm6nwealth ; whereas, in Europe, although the mass 
<{ the people are, indimduaUy^ less intelligent and less 
e|erpnsing than the corresponding population of the 
lijiited States, yet, in consequence of the greater per- 
manency of <^ce^ the larger accumulation of family 
width, the more comprehensive education of the lib^ 
ra|y instructed, and the stricter obedience and subor- 
di^tion of all ranks of society, the government is 
«nibled to make a wider display and a more protracted 


exhibition of national power and strength^ than it is 
possible for the American government to accomplish 
under the same or similar circumstances. 

Nevertheless/ it will be much easier for the Ame- 
rican government to become as powerful and efficacious 
as those of Europe, and for American statesmen to 
' acquire as much learning and political information as 
^hose of Europe, than for the European population to 
become as intelUgent and enterprising as that of tho 
United States ; and all the world knows, that a power- 
ful and active population is the great and. effective 
enginery by which a statesman is enabled to aggrandize; 
bis country — is that lever of Arcl^iimedes, by which 
the universe itself is moved. 

It is peculiarly tneumbent on the people of this con- 
tinually widening country, to examine the political his- 
tory of the world, with;a view to ascertain how far a«y 
nation, ancient or modem, has approximated in its 
social institutions tow:ards the union of the ihree great 
requisites of a good government ;. that is to say — Firsty 
The personal liberty of individuals. Secondly y A strong 
' and permanent power always at the disposal. of the ex- 
ecutive. Thirdly y An ample developement of the na- 
tional mind, by a system of large and liberal education. , 

Such an inquiry belongs, emphatically, to the pro- 
vince of jioK/ica/ /?Aifo«c)p%, which is not sufficiently 
studied in these United States. In the most splendid 
era of the Athenian government the people were suf- 
ficed to run riot into turbulence and anarchy, but they 
enjoyed no real liberty ; the; executive and effective 
ephemeral magistrate possessed no permanent, no ef- 
fectual power ; the national mind^ indeed, was exhibited 
in most dazzling magnificence, and has left imperishable 
monuments of strength^ elegance, taste, and splendour, 
in poetry, the fine arts, eloquence, history, and philoso- 
phy, for the admiration and imitation of all ftiture ages. 
Republican Rome, while she continued aristocratic, pre- 
. served for several centuries a strong disposable power 
-in the hands of her executive government, which mainly 
enabled her to achieve the conquest of the world ; but 


she did no^ allow much individual liberty to the people^ 
nor sufficiently develope the national miiid, except for 
the purposes of war and politics. General literature and 
science were never pushed to any very grea^ perfection 
under the Roman government, whether consular or iih- 
perial. As soon as she widened into a democracy, the 
whole commonwealth was torn to pieces by the fury of 
'contending factions, whose party violence speedily paved 
the way for the establishment of a military despotism, 
that hushed into dread repose alike the voice of liberty 
and every effusion of exalted manly intellect. 

Jn these United States the personal liberty of indivi- 
duals is amply secured, both by the several constitu- 
tions and by the laws of the country, ip its federal capa- 
city, and in its state sovereighties ; but the power of 
the executive government is nlot sufficiently stable or 
strong, either in its federal head or in its state supre- 
macies ; nor is the national mind sufficiently unfolded, 
either by liberal systems of public education, or by the 
discerning patronage of a munificent government The 
British government is prevented from uniting in itself 
all th^ three requisites of excellence, by the remains of 
an hereditary feudal aristocracy, giving to a few over- 
grown families too much habitual influence and autho- 
rity, and retarding the full expansion of intellect and 
power in the middle and lower orders of the people. It 
wants, as Lord Chatham said, a greater infusion of life's 
blood from tjie vigour of those men to whom Providence 
has given the intrinsic qualities of genius and courage, 
but from whom he has withheld :&e fictitious advan- 
taws of birth, rank, and fortune. 

Lord Hardwicke undertakes to prove, that, although 
governments ought to be calculated with a view to the 
infirmities of those who govern, yet it is to be remem- 
bered, that resistance on the part of the governed should 
not be easy, and that no ^rw of government can pos- 
sibly liye long continued, unless a high d^ree of con- 
fidence and power be reposed in it. Every form of go- 
vernment, whether monarchical, or aristocratic, or demo- 
cnatic^ is^ indeed) liitbk to abuse, but ought not^ there- 


fore, to be exposed to ruin. Let the fonn of govern- 
ment be ever so unrestrained^ let it be a complete demo- 
cracy, yet resistance to its operatioins ought to be diffi* 
cult. For, if not, men might be inflamed by slight faults, 
by personal af&onts, by private sufferings, to disturb the 
peace of their country, and involve the whole commu- 
nity in all the horrors of confusion, violence, and blood. 
A man s fears always bear proportion to his hopes; and 
one kind of passion, or weight of considerations, is ba- 
lanced by another. In times of social order, and an 
upright administration of government, the laws ought to 
be sufficiently strong to deter men, moved by ambition 
or resentment, by private and partial affections, from 
erecting the standard of resistance and revolt. Nor is 
it to be apprehended, that in ^ifree country, if the con- 
stitution be affected, if tyrannical designs be openly 
avowed, and supported by injustice, good men will be 
deterred from eventually resisting. The laws, by in- 
spiring caution, however, will retard resistance, until it 
be fully ripened into action ; so as to facilitate and se- 
cure its consequences ; but in such a juncture of affairs, 
when men are roused by a love of liberty^ order, and 
the common good, arguments addressed to private fears 
will not be able to weigh down the force of public af- 

A government should never be founded upon the no- 
tion, that those who are entrusted with power are of 
necessity more likely to abuse their authority than some 
of the particular persons, who owe it allegiance, are 
prone to endeavour to change or subvert that govern- 
ment. Such a notion is destructive of all systems of 
human law ; because it supposes an expediency of weak- 
ening those strong sanctions which have been employed 
in every civilized country, to give them their due force 
and operation. The checks upon goverf^ment should 
be altogether of awoMer kind; they should consist in 
keeping the balance of the separate departments ias 
even as possible ; by forming every estate in the con- 
stitution, the executive, legislative, and judicial, a com- 
plete.coiitn)! upon each qth^. But \t is* the extreme of 


absurdity and danger to think of leaving the least 
strengdi or temptation to ituUviduah^ to resist or control 
the government itself. 

Such a notion is also inconsistent with the nature of 
laWy in two other points of view; ^rst, as itnplying an 
error in theory; namely^ that a lawgiver, when framing 
a scheme of government, should pay as much attention^ 
to its passible dissolution as to its necessary support; 
and instead of securing obedience and perpetuity to it, 
by the strongest sanctions which wisdom can devise or 
justice will admit, ought to weaken those sanctions, in 
order to provide iFor cases^ which are out of his reach, 
and which must be left to themselves ; because their 
very happening implies a dissolution of both law and 
government. Secondly^ as such a notion implies an er- 
ror infact; namely, that a law for punishment, or a liw 
for indenmity, can operate in times of civil disorder and 
revolution, as in times of peace and obedience, either 
to create terror or afford protection. It implies, that 
the legislature must proviae for cases of extreme' neces- 
sity and dissolution; and thus, in effect, enlarge the right 
of private judgment respecting those cases, by taking 
off the strongest checks to private' resistance. The 
laws of a free country should be so poised, and balanced, 
that a justifiable ana national resistance, such as that of 
England, at the revolution of 1688, and that of the 
United States in the revolution of 1 776, should not be 
attended with too much difficulty and terror. 

Indeed, generally speaking, when those who are en- 
trusted virith the executive power have abused the design, 
or exceeded the limits of their trust, a weakness in 
the hands of government follows, which disables it from 
exacting the legal forfeitures that were originally esta- 
blished for the security of its power. The experience 
of all history proves, that very little protection is de- 
rived from the operation of la^v amidst the tumults of 
civil commotion; leges inter arma silent. When the 
troubles of Greece ceased by the surrender of Athens to 
the LCcedemonian arms, at the conclusion of the Pe- 
loppcmnesian war^ the thirty tyrants exercised cruelties 


against those who' opposed their aLdmiiiistHatioil of gb- 
vernment, unknown, not only to the municipal la\fs of 
Athens, but to those laws whitjh cemented the general 
union of the Grecian states. In Rome, the jiroscrip- 
tions of Sylla, and of the second triumvirate, Augustus 
Anthony, and Lepidus, were contrary to the genius, the 
ancient policy, and all the legal institutions of the com- 
monwealth, although wqjl accommodated td the situa- 
tion and interests of those usurping demagogues, who 
had risen into absolute power upon the ruins of the re- 
public. In Florence, also, the l^anishment arid entirife, 
extirpation of numerous families were the frequent 
modes of proceeding, during the troubles which so perf 
petually shook the Italian repiiblics in the middle ages: 
And in revolutionary France, the assassin's knife, and 
the guillotihe, superseded altogether the use of the 
French municipal code, and of the law of nations ; na^yi 
even of the law of fiatttre itself. 

All these violent measures were resorted to in parti- 
cular instances of civil commotion or usurpation, accord- 
ing as one or smother faction prevailed, but were not 
derived from any permanent law of policy established 
in the respective countries, nor grounded .upon thie ac- 
customed legal punishment of stated crimes. In fact, 
no correct inference can be drawn from the accidental 
severities of civil violence, against the equal, regular, 
and peaceable ttdministration of justice. 

Nevertheless, after all that can be said or Mitten 
upon this subject, it should be remembered, that the 
farm of government, like every other created thing, 
must always be relative^ must always bear a close rela-^ 
tion to the existing circumstances of the country go- 
verned. In every free country, the form of government 
must always be the result of, and adapted to, the feel- 
ings, affections, and habits pf the people ; who would 
aoon break up any political establishment opposed to 
such habits, affections, and feelings ; and therefore, if 
an hereditary monarchy, an hereditary aristocracy, and 
an hereditary transmission of property, have been found 
w^U suited to the fedihgs and habits of the people of 


England, experience has fiilly shown than an elective 
executive^ an elective senate^ and a general distribution 
of prc^rhr, are equally well suited to the affections and 
habits of the people of the United States. And as long 
as those habits and affections shall continue to be repub^ 
lican and democratic^ will the government continue to 
be a representative republic ; nor would it be other than 
folly^ and madness^ and crime> in any politician to wish 
it different. Where are the materials m the republican 
equality of the United States to be founds out of which 
may be composed an hereditary sovereign, an hereditary 
house of peers, the vast accumulation of entailed pro- 
perty, throughout a series of ages ; and the establish* 
luent of a national church, throughout all the rank^ 
and gradations of a well-compacted hierarchy ? 

Mr. Jay, late Chief Justice of the United States, in 
exainining the question, whether or not an American 
state can be sued in the federal courts, draws with great 
precision the broad line of demarcation between the 
nature and jurisdiction of the American and European 
governments. This venerable statesman and incorrup- 
tible patriot says, that '*/>nar to the revolution,, all the 
country now possessed by .the United States was a part 
of the dominions belonging to the British crown. All 
the land in this countiy was then held, mediately or . 
immediately, by grants from that crown, of which all 
the American people were subjects, and owed allegiance 
to the king; from whom flowed all the civil authority 
exercised here. They were fellow-subjects and one 
people ; who at the revolution in 177^, appointed their 
general or national delegates Jn Congress. The decla- 
ration of Independence, in 1776, found the American 
people, throughout all the colonies or provinces, already . 
united for ^ewera/ purposes; and at the same time, pro- 
viding for their more domestic concerns, by state con- 
ventions and other temporary arrangements. 

^^ From the crown of Great Britain, the sovereignty of 
the United States passed to the American people ; and 
the unappropriated lands belonging to that crown passed 
nx>t to the people of the colony, or state withu^ whpjse 


limits they were situated/ but to the u?/to/e people of the 
United States. Thirteen state sovereignties emerged 
from the principles of the revolution, combined with 
local convenience and considerations ; but the people still 
considered themselves in a national point of view, as one 
people; and managed their national concerns accord- 
mgly. Afterward, in the hurry of war, and in the 
warmth of mutual confidence, they made a confederatixm 
of the states the basis of a general government; and 
more recently, in their national and collective capacity^ 
the people established the present federal constitution; 
in establishing which they acted as sovereigns of the 
whole country, and declared that the state governments 
and constitutions should be bound by, aiid conform to> 
the constitution of the United States. Every state 
constitution is a compact, made by and between the 
citizens of a state, to govern themselves in* a certain 
manner ; and the constitution of the United States is a 
compact^ made by the people of the United States, to 
govern themselves, as to general objects, in a certain 
manner. By this great compact, however, many pre- 
rogatives were transferred to the national government; 
such as making war and peace; contrp^cting alliances; 
coining money^ &c. The sovereignty of the nation be- 
ing in the people of the nation, and the residuary sove* 
reignty of each state being in the people of each state^ 
a comparison of these sovereignties with those of Eu- 
rope may show whether or not all the prerogatives of 
European sovereignty are essential to American spve- 

" The sovereignties in Europe, and particularly in 
Engkmdy exist on Jmdal principles, which consider the 
prince as the sovereign, and the people as his subjects, 
and regard his person as the object of allegiance, and 
exclude the notion of his being on an equal footing with 
a subject, either in a coyrt of juctice or elsewhere. 
The feudal system contemplates the prince as the foun- 
tain of honour and authority, .from whose grace and 
grant flow all franchises, immunities, and privileges; 
whence such a sovereign cannot be amenable to a court 

a 2 


of justice, nor subjected to judicial control and actual 
constraint. It was of necessity, therefore, that suability 
became incompatible with sovereignty. Besides, the 
prince, having all the exeeutive powers, the judgment of 
the court Would, in fact, be only monitory, not manda- 
tory to him; and a capacity to be advised is quite a 
distinct thing from a capacity to be sued. The same 
feudal notions run through all their jurisprudence, and 
constantly keep in view the broad line of distinction be- 
tween the prince and the subject. But no such ideas 
prevail in the United States. At the revolution the 
swereignty devolved upon the American j^eop/e, who are 
truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sove- 
reigns without subjects, (unless the negro slaves are 
such) and have none to govern but themselves; tlie 
citizens of America are all equal as fellow-citizens, and 
as joint tehants in the national sovereignty. The dif- 
ferences between feudal sovereignties, and governments : 
feund<Ml on' compacts, create a difference in their re- 
spective prerogatives. Sovereignty is the right to go- 
vern; and a nation or. state sovereign is the person or 
pdrsons in whom that right resides. 

*^ In Etirope the sovereignty is in the prince; i|)L the 
United States it rests with the people ; there, the sovcr-* 
reign actually administers the government, here, never, 
in a single instance: our state governors are only the 
agents of the people, and, at rnolsti^ stand in the same 
relation to their sovereign in which regents in Europe 
stan^ to their sovereigns. European princes have per^ 
sonal powers, dignities, and pre-eminences, but Ameri- 
can rulers have only o^aa/ privileges and rank, nor do 
they partake in the sovereignty (whether state or na- 
tional) otherwise, or in any other capacity, than as yri-^ 
vate citizens." 

To these observations of Mr. Jay, it might be added, 
thit in every ^ree country the government runs a course 
similarly that of th<e common law; it has its origin in the 
want^, and is ^adapted to the conveniences and views of 
the community; grows with its growth, a«id embraces 
all the exigences of the nation, as it passes through its 


sut^cessive stages of infainGy^ youth^ manhood, and agei 
As the government of a country is formed fry, so it ma-^ 
terially helps to, form the character of the people, by 
c^onstant action and reaction upon each other. It is a 
notoripus fact, that the republican polity of the United 
States, in combination with some other circumstances) 
has rendered the American population superior to that 
of any other country, ancient or modem. A vast ex- 
tent of territory, averaging a fertile soil, and a favoura-t 
blc climate; a comparatively thin population; high 
wages of labour; an abundance of provisions ; a variety 
of employ tnents, in the labours of agriculture, the pur- 
suits of commerce, the sports of the field and of the 
forest, all conspire to give^/iyjr/ca/ activity and strength 
to the inhabitants of the United States. 

The general diffusion of elementary and popular in- 
telligence among all classes of society, more particularly 
in New-England, gives to the inhabitants of the Unit^ 
States a larger average of mental activity and power 
than falls to the lot of the mass of the people in most 
other countries. Indeed, with the exception of Scot^ 
land, Holland, Sweden, and the Protestant Cantons, of 
Switzerland, no country, save America, gives to it» 
people at large the means of acquiring the rudim^its 
of education; and consequently the improvement and 
, expansion of thye general intellect of the nation are pre- 
vented. The sovereignty residing in the people, their 
political equality, their stake in the commonwealth, by 
the right of sufeage, gives to the citizens of the United 
States a greater moral elevation, a higher consciousness 
of self-importance, respect, and dignity, than are to b« 
found in the people of any other country under the ca*. 
nopY of heaven. * ■, t 

Whence, in the prosecution of the arts of peace^ 
whether at home or abroad; in agricultural toil;^/ift 
mechanical skill; in mercantile enterprise, the Ameri^ 
cans exhibit an aggregate of physical strength, actiYit^ 
and perservance; of mental quickness, acuteness, aiid 
eomprehension; of moral energy, loftiness, and poswrj 
surpassing that of toy other tniire ^nation, v And '^ th^ 


perils of warfare, amidst the noise, and fire, and smoke, 
and carnage of the battle, whether on the ocean or on the 
land, the American squadrons do by no 'means yield the 
palm of deliberate valour, accomplished skill, and heroic 
patriotism, to the embodied legions of ancient Greece 
and Rome, nor to the well-appointed hosts of the great- 
est nations of modern Europe. There must be much of 
intrinsic, radical excellence in the political institutions of 
a country, which have lent their efficient aid to form the 
physical, intellectual, and moral character of such a peo- 
ple as are fiow spreading themselves over the vast and 
various territory of the United States, and daily and 
hourly reclaimmg the waste and wilderness from the 
dominion of nature to the cultivation of man. And 
while these general causes continue to operate, the 
people of the United States will continue to average a 
physical, intellectual, and moral superiority over those 
of every other nation; and so loAg may they well con- 
tinue to cherish their present form of government as ad- 
mirably adapted to their feelings, their affections, their 
habits, and their interests^. 

It is, however, quite another and a distinct considera- 
tion, how far a government, based altogether in demo- 
cracy, where the people, either immediately or mediate- 
^ ly ; that is to say, immediately in their own persons, or 
mediately through the medium of electors chosen by 
themselves, elect all their rulers, executive, senatorial, 
and representative; how far such a government wbuld 
be able to sustain the pressure of an overgrown popu^ 
lation, elbowing each other for a morsel of bread, and 
greatly deteriorated in their physical, intellectual, and 
moral qualitieSj^ as in the old and fully peopled coun- 
tries of Europe. At this hour, the United States do 
not zvengejive persons to a square mile; the state of 
New- York gives only twenty to every square mile, and 
the most populous state, Connecticut, not more than 
J^iy; whereas, in England, Ireland, France, and the 
United Netherlands, the average is two hundred souls to 
each square mile. And it becomes a serious question 
iot the American statesman to ponder wh^her or not 


the present form and system of government will be abb 
' to restrain and keep in order such a populace as now 
presses upon the respective rulei^ in Paris^ London^ and 
l>ublin; and whether or not the many myriads^ who 
must then be scantily fed^ clothed^ lodged^ and taught^ 
will be apt^ by dint of universal suf&age^ to pass aa 
Agrarian law; or^ by the more summary mode of sud- 
den violence, scatter the property oiF the comparatively 
few who might then be in easy circumstances? 

At all events, such a state of things opens a wida 
field of active enterprise to ambitious aiid unprincipled 
demagogues, inviting them to put into riotous motion tht 
great mass of the people; and what such a mass, so put 
in motion, can do, has been fully shown by revolution - 
aty France; the eflfects of whose anarchial movemAitt 
are seen all over Europe at this moment, and will never 
cease to be felt, in every nerve and arteiy of man*9 so- 
cial state, as long as the world itself endures. What* 
ever other politicd lessons the French revolution might 
have taught, it has rendered perfectly intelligible this 
truth; namely, that whenever the people of any country 
choose to move in mass, they can tear up from its foun- 
dations their existing government, and scatter its frag- 
ments to the winds of heaven; and there never are 
wanting, perhaps, in any country, (certainly not in any 
country idiose political institutions are cast in a popular 
mould,) a sufficient number of daring and turbulent spi- 
rits, who eagerly desire so to stir up and incite the popu- 
lace to violence, that they tiiemselves may ride aloft in 
the whirlwind, and direct the storm. The Emperor 
Alexander seems to be so much alive to this sign of the 
times, that he actually appears to labour to play the 
part of a good democrat himseUL 
- At the present hour, indeed> no such danger presses 
imminently upon the United States; nor wiu it, proba- 
bly, so long as the western country opens such an im- 
mense extent of fertile soil, and favourable location^ 
that those needy and desperate adveaturers, whosc^ 
pernicious habits of idleness, and vice render them alik^ 


unable and unfit to live in a 4tate of orderly and well-^ 
regulated society^^ can flock thither^ and evaporate, in 
reclaiming the wilderness, that factious violence, and dis- 
contented disposition, which would be much more de- 
structively employed in plundering the property and 
cutting the throats of their more sober-mmded fellow- 
citizens. M. Talleyrand was greatly surprised to find 
that in the United States, some few years after the close 
of the revolutionary war, the ordinary effects of a revo- 
lution were $iot visible in the candition of the communi- 
ty; and he philpsophizes on it thus; every change lay^ 
the foundation for another, . says Machiavelli; and, in 
&Gt,. without speaking of the hatreds which they .perpe.** 
tuate,'and of the motives for vengeance whidi they leave 
in the minds of men, revolutions that baveshaken eveiy, 
thing, and in wMch the whole community has taken 
part, create a general restlessness, of mind, a ^craving 
after ehange,, an indefinite eageme3s for hazardous en* 
terprises, a vague and|turbu]ent ambition, whose ten- 
dencies are unceasingly to alter and destroy every thing 
that is. 

This is more emphatically true, when the revolution, 
has been made in tiie name of /ifterijy;— a^e^ govem- 
^ ment, says Montesquieu; that is, onecdways agitated; 
atfd it b^g. impossible to stop the agitation, it must be 
regulated so as to exercise itsdf, no/ at the expense, but 
fof* the promotion of the public happiness. After the 
crisis of revolutions, there are always many men worn 
out and made old under the impression of misfortune:^ 
elUch i»^i are no< apt to love their country, in which 
they have experienced nothing^ but misery; and their, 
hatred must be guarded against, and, if possible, render- 
ed impotent. Time and good laws, indeed, will do 
much; but estabhshments and outlets for such danger- 
ous beings are necessary. In America, after a revolu** 
tion, very dissin^ilar doubtless to that of France, thcrai 
remained only sKght traces of ancient animosities ;l hut > 
little agitaticNi and inquietude; few, .or none, of tboise 
symptoms whi^h, i|»^eneral,-threatep every moment tha 


tranquillity of states newly bursting into freedom. One 
great cause of this strange appearance deserves consi^ 

No doubt the American, like other revolutions, had 
left in the minds of men dispositions to excite or receive 
new troubles ; but this need of agitation had been able 
to find a different satisfaction in a vast and new country, 
where adventurous projects allure the mind; where 
immense tracts of uncultivated lands give men a facility 
of employing a fresh activity, far from the scene of their 
first dissensions ; of placing their hopes and fears in 
fresh speculations ; of plunging themselves at once into 
the midst of a crowd of new schemes ; of amusing them*- 
selves by frequenl; cha^e of place ; and eventually ex- 
tinguishing, witHft\l!E@&M»osoms, the flame of the revo- 
lutionary passions, x, 

. This very facility, however, of emigraition into the 
western country, raises another very important question 
for the contemplation of the American statesman. Thf 
direct tendency of such emigration is to enable the 
western territory, in the course of a few years, to out- 
number, both in the senate and in the House of Kepre- 
sentatives, the Atlantic States ; which being done, the 
Western States, as great inland nations, and erroneously 
considering that the commercial policy of the Atlantic 
seaboard is opposed to their agricultural interests, will 
be apt to sacrifice^ that commercial policy to their own 
mistaken views of territorial aggrandizement. Such an 
alteration in the system of government would be most 
pernicious to New-England, the cradle of the revolution, 
and the efficient founder of American independence. 
The soil of New-England does not raise a sufficient 
quantity of provisions to maintain a crowded population, 
but its long lime of sea and river coast, its numerous 
harbours, and the habitual enterprise of its people, give 
it a commercial capability, certainly never surpassed, if 
ever equalled by any other nation. Hence Mr. Picker- 
ing, one of the most enlightened and intrepid of her 
statesmen, said, in reference to his New-England fellow 
citi^eus^ ths^t their farms were on the ocean. 


Great as was once the weight of New-England in the 
' American councils, her influence of late has been borne 
down by the preponderance of the west. New-Eng- 
land, including Massachusetts and Maine, New-Hamp- 
shire, Vermont, Rhode-Island, and Connecticut, covers 
only a surface of little more than sixty thousand square 
miles, and contains a population of about one million 
and a half; whereas, the western country already 
counts a greater number of states-^ as Ohio, Kentucky, 
Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiani, and Louisiana, which 
give it a preponderance in the senate of the United 
States ;— in addition to which there is an immense ex- 
tent of surplus territorj^ out of which new states with- 
out number may be carved in- the lapse of a few years* 
Its population already reaches between two and three 
millions, which enables it to vote down New-England in 
the House of Representatives ; and it covers a sur&ce 
of more than one million Jive hundred thousand square 
tniles ; that is to say, more th^m^teen times as large as 
the British Isles, England, Ireland, and Scotland, put 
together, and averages a fertile soil, admirably adapted 
to sustain a very full and numerous population; a popu- 
lation abundantly sufficient to outvote not only the New- 
England, but all the other Atlantic States, all the 
states that composed the old Union which converted 
America from a British colony into an independent 

iTie commercial policy is necessary to the very exist- 
ence of New-England, whose depopulation must follow 
as an inevitable result from its destruction or restriction, 
and its tide of emigration augments the numbers znd re- 
sources of that western country, which is inclined to 
strike a deathblow to the prosperity of the Atlantic sea- 
board. There cannot well be a more erroneous politi- 
cal theory, than that the interests of agriculture are op- 
posed to those of commerce, and conversely ; for the 
facts and proofs that merely agricultural nations can 
never become either prosperous or powerful, and that 
commerce most materially forwards the improvement 
of agriculture itself, and of national wealth and civilizar 


tion, see ^' the Resources of the British Empire,** pp. 
383, 398, 487, 49^* If the western and agricultural 
policy should prevail, the Atlantic States will suffer, in 
the following order; New-England most, then New* 
York, New-Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, then 
Pennsylvania, which being a great manufacturing state, 
depends less upon foreign commerce ; then Virginia, 
the two Carolinas, and Georgia, which are great plant- 
ing states, their staples being tobacco, rice, and 

The tendency of all this, beyond a peradventure, is 
cither to break up the Federal Union, and entail a per- 
petuity of anarchy and civil broils throughout the whole 
continent, or to crush the Atlantic States beneath the 
enormous hoofs of the western mammoth. 

If however, from these, or from any other causes, the 
British government shoiild suppose that the United 
States are destitute of resources, and the people reluct- 
ant to engage in a new war, on account of the events 
of the recent conflict, it is egregiously mistaken. The 
resources, territorial, intellectual, and moral, of this 
country, are immense and various, and widening on all 
sides with inconceivable rapidity ; and the settled con- 
viction of the American people, arising out of the cir 
cumstances of the last war is, that they are decidedly 
superior to the British, and can always beat them man 
to man, ship to ship, gun to gun, bayonet to bayonet, 
both on the flood, and in the field. And uncounted 
myriads of American hearts now beat high and quick, 
in eager aspirations for another contest with Britain ; a 
spirit which the government carefully cherishes, by 
newspaper efliisions, by public toasts and orations, by 
congressional and state legislative speeches and resolu- 
tions ; the great objects of American ambition being to 
annex to their already too gigantic dominion the British 
North-American colonies on the continent, and the 
West-India Islands ; and also the Spanish colonies bor- 
dmng on the southern states. 

The. general government^ indeed, was itsdf broken 
down during the last war; it fled at Bladeiitburgh^ 


gave up Washington to the flames of a victorious enc^ 
my, and was unable to send a single recruit to its 
skeleton armies, or to pour a single stiver into its ex- 
hausted treasury. But the people never despaired rf 
the republic; they always showed what feats of heroism 
they Were capable of performing, when directed by 
competent leaders; atPlattsburgh, at Baltimore, at New- 
Orleans, they rolled back the tide of invasion, and de- 
monstrated the fatal folly of attempting to fix a hostile 
army on the soil of America. On the lakes, and on 
the ocean, the American stars were flying above the red- 
cross flag of England ; the American ships were better 
built, better manned, and better fought than those of 
Britain ; as is natural to suppose, when of two kindred 
nations equally brave, the one has an overgrown navy too 
large lor its population and resources ; while the other 
has onty a few select ships, the crews of which are all 
picked-knen ai|d skilful seamen. The fashionable po- 

?ular logic in this country is, " the British beat the 
Vench both by sea and land, the Americans beat the 
British ; and therefore, the United States have nothing 
to fear from Europj^an prowess; certainly not 'from 
England, if she conducts her future wars so, clumsily 
as she did the last." 

The American government will probably never a^in 
exhibit such a spectacle of nerveless impotence as was 
displayed during the last war. It i;s daily and hourly 
acquiring fresh strength ; its influence over the United 
States bank will give it the ccmimand of the national 
purse, and facilitate the raising of loans. Its military 
academies throughout the Union are rendering ablm^ 
dant the materials of a skilful, well-disciplined, well-ap- 
pointed regular army ; its dock-yards and arsenals are 
well-supplied, and no effort or expense spar^, to create 
a powerful navy, consisting of first-rate sliips of the line, 
large frigates, sloops, steam batteries, &c. besides the 
fleets on the lakes ; all which, manned by American 
sailors, will give to the general government a formrda- 
Ue influence, both in- peace and war, with the greatest 
JiUropean sovereignties, Xhe American rulers have: 


become wiser by their own experience, have profited 
By their own blunders, have extracted strength from a 
sense of their own weakness. They are m)t likely 
again to plunge into a war, without funds, and without 
men : they are now preparing,, in the bosom of peace, 
the means pf future conflict ; by building up the finances 
of the country, by* planting every where the germs. 
of an army, by sowing those seeds which will soon 
start up into bands of armed warriors, by a rapid aug- 
mentation of their navy ; and, above all, by attempting 
to allay the animosities of party spirit, and endeavour- 
ing to direct the whole national mind and inclination of 
the United States towards their aggrandizement by 
conquest, alike on the land and on the ocean; by add- 
ing/ to their present immense empire the continental 
possessions of Spain and England, and the British in« 
fiular domains in the West Indies. 

The federal government, to be sure, is radically weak 

in its frame and composition; but, like all other govern^ 

ments, it will continually increase in strength the longer 

it lasts, by the natural tendency of power in the hands 

of all men, whether good or bad, wise or foolish, to 

augment itself; by the constant growth of executive 

patronage and of public expenditure ; by the latitude 

of construction which ambitious ingenuity may fasten 

upon the words and letters of the constitution of the 

United States. Whence, in the course of a few years, 

the American government will be quite strong enough 

to act a very offensive part to those European powers 

who vainly flatter themselves with the hope that the 

United' States are in themselves impotent, and destitute 

of those resources whioh are requisite to give a country 

a commanding attitude in its intercourse, pacific or beU 

ligerent, with other nations. 

The great question now at issue between America and; 
Europe, is, which of the two shall change its form and 
system of government?* whether Europe shall become 
more democratic, or the United States more aristocratic? 
It is scarcely credible with what eagerness the presi- 
deiftial liiessagesare read in every European court and 


cabinet, and among every European people. Not un^ 
derstanding the nature, if they know the existence of 
our separate state sovereignties, they are exceedingly- 
surprised to find that the general government of ten 
millions of people is carried on at an expenditure of less 
than six millions sterling ^year, while the expenses of' 
their own governments range bom Jtf'ty to one hundred 
millions sterling per andum. And, as every very expen<^ 
give government must be oppressive, because it impedefs 
the prepress of productive industry, and perpetuates 
the hopeless poverty qf the great mass of the people, 
the Europeai^is are naturally led to desire that their own 
govemn^ents might approximate to that of the United 
States, in popular liberty and in tnoderation of expen- 
diture, while the American rulers, observing that the 
European sovereigns have more command over the po- 
pulation and resources of their respective countries than 
they can exercise over those of the Union, as naturally 
desire to build up into more extensive and permanent 
power the system and administration of the federal 

The probable result is, that the goyeniments of Ame- 
rica and Europe will approximate towards each other, 
infact, although in name th^y may still remain different; 
the generality of mankind being governed by names, 
and very apt to be shocked and roused into tumult by 
their sudden change. The European governments ge- 
nerally, although still retaining the name of monarchies^ 
will, perhaps, become more representative, more demo- 
cratic; wliile the government of America, still retaining 
the name of a republic, will, peradventure, become 
more aristocratic, more powerful in its executive, and 
more permanent in its senate. The great difficulty, how- 
ever, will be to temper the strength of the government 
with the personal liberty of the people; for it is a ge- 
neral rule, with as tew exceptions as most general rules, 
that the freier the people the weaker the government, 
and conversely ; the danger therefore is, lest the Ame- 
rican government in strengthening itself, should so far 
restrain the liberties of the people, as to render them in. 


the aggregate less excellent than they now are in phy- 
sical, intellectual, and moral qualities. - ^ 

At present, there can be no difficulty in showing that 
the resources of the United States are relatively* gresiter 
than those of Britain. The British government spends 
ane'third of the whole national income of that country. 
Before the close of the war with Prance, the national 
income of Britain amounted to four hundred millions 
sterling per annum ; the peace reduced the value of 
lands, houses, and all other productive property in that 
country, at least, one half, besides throwing several 
thousand families out of all employment. The govern* 
ment did not reduce its expenditure in the same pro- 
portion: it spends now about seventy millions sterling a- 
year, while the national income, the product of all it4 
houses, lands, ships, manufactures, money, and every 
species of property, is not more than fwohundredTaillion}^ 
sterling ; that is, giving at five per cent, a British capi- 
tal, real and personal, of four thousand millions sterling. 
Add to this, the British national debt is above four 
tlK>usand five hundred millions of dollars, of which, in- 
deed, the Sinking Fund has redeemed about one-third, 
or one thousand five hundred millions of dollars ; but 
that does not lessen the annual expenditure, because the 
government continues to receive the dividends of all 
the stock redeemed, which dividends are provided for 
by taxes taken from the people, the government having 
no other income than what is raised by taxation. The 
outstanding or unfunded debt also amounts to seventy 
inillions sterling, and the deficit of revenue now, in the 
season of universal peace, amounts to fifteen millions 
sterling, or sixty-seven millions of dollars ; the income 
this year being fifty-two millions sterling, and the ex- 
penditure upwards of sixty-seven millions. So that, 
unless the British government can either diminish their 
expenses or augment their revenue, they must soon be- 
come bankrupt; for the nation never can support a 
much longer continuance of loans in times of peace; or, 
what is tantamount to loans^ the issue of Exchequer 
t)ills, which swells the aggregate of the unfunded debt. 

240 National debt of America. 

And there ^ is the less prospect of Britain's lightening 
her load of debt^ on account of Mr. Vansittart having, 
since the year 1813, broken the progressive force of 
the Sinking Fund, by diverting the dividends of the 
stock redeemed to the current expenses of the empire, 
instead of permitting them to constitute a part of the 
income of the Sinking Fund, which was the essence of 
Mr. Pitt's scheme for the liquidation of the debt. The 
income of the Sinking Fund this year is under Jburteen 
millions sterling. If Mr. Vansittart had not stopped its 
progress, it would have been upwards of twenty-four ^ 
ifnillions. A deficit of only three millions sterling wa« 
the proximate cause of those revolutionary movements 
which put the French monarchy in ohegance during 
twe|ity-five years. 

Besides^ the British Isles have no elbow-room for the 
spreading of an increased population ; they contain only 
one hundred thousand square miles^ or sixty-four mil- 
lions of acres of land, on which twenty millions of 
people are crowded ; whereas, the United States cover 
a surface of more than two millions five hundred thou- 
sand square miles, or one thousand six hundred millions 
of acres, over which are thinly scattered a population of 
ten millions. The whole annual expenditure of the 
United States is not more than one-eight of the national 
income ; say, the general government spends about siaH 
millions sterling, and the twenty state sovereignties 
about ybtir millions per annum, altogether making a 
sum total of ten millions ; the nationsd income^ arising 
from the lands, houses, ships, manufactures, money, 
and every species of property, may be estimated at 
eighty millions sterlings or three hundred and sixty mil- 
lions of dollars ; that is, giving, at five per cent., a pro- 
ductive, real, and personal capital of sixteen hundred 
millions sterling, or seven thousand two hundred mil- 
lions of dollars. , ' 

The national debt of America is scarcely one hundred 
and twenty millions of dollars; to set off against which, 
there are, at least, five hundred millions of acres of 
public lands; that is to sav lands held in tnjst by the 


general mvc^mment for the pneople of the United States^ 
^nd appUcable to the liquidation of the debt^ and to the 
current demands of the public ei^penditure. tt is rating 
these lands much below their real value, to say they are 
worth a thxmsandv^WimA of dollars. These lands con- 
sist of about two himdred millions of acr^s, ceded by 
the different states to the United States, and of the ter- 
ritory of Louisiana, purchased by the American govenv 
ment; 6£* which ell the laftd not previously granted 
out by the crowns of Prance and Spain belongs to the 
American govertiment, as trustee for the .American 
people. For it is a first principle in the law of tenures^ 
that the state^ or sovereign, whether a single person, 
as in a monarchy, or the whole people, as in a repub- 
lic, is the only original soured of titles^ and possesses t 
sovereign right to grant lands to whom it pleases. The 
prodigious extent of territory yet unoccupied, but fer- 
tile, gives to the United States immense resources for 
future growth rti population and wealth ; for all the 
prosperity of pacinc enterprise ; for all the compre^ 
nensive energy and peirseverance of protracted warfare. 
So that there can be no comparison between the capa- 
bilities and resources of any other country and those of 
the United States, provided the federal Union ksts, 
and increases in strength as it advances in age. 

The probable approximation of the American and, 
European governments towards each other, in effect, if 
hot in form, is intimately connected with what may be 
called the revolutionary question ; that is to say, the 
question first practically started by the United States, 
in their revolt from the mother country, and pushed t6 
a jdauch wider extreme by Frimce, towards the close of 
the eighteenth century. The United States, indeed, 
only made a radical change in the form of their govern- 
ment, by converting an hereditary monarchy intb a re- 
presentative republic. They still retained, substantially, 
the laws, the religion, and the morals of the parent 
state ; and, froth time to time, frame and modify their 
municipal system according to the exigency of exi«tinff 
^ircunwtaiices. But revolutionary France suddenly ah* 


violently changed every thing ; changed its government^ 
religion, hahits, manners, the whole framt of civil polity 
and social order ; nay, the very language itself, giving 
it an inflated, bombastic, fraudulent character, that un* 
happily is spreading itself all over Christendom, and 
in no countries more rapidly and widely than in these 
United States and England. Every demagogue, who 
breathes tiiiischief and ruin, talks loudly, in newspapers, 
und pamphlets, and club speeches, about ^^ the high 
destinies of liberty," *' the liberal spirit of the age," 
^' the annihilation of all prejudices in favour of religion^ 
morcdity^ learning, and all the obsolete usages of igno- 
rant . antiquity ;" the whole of which means, in his 
mouth, that all above him, whether in wealth, talent, 
learning, wisdom, virtue, or character, should be pulled 
down, and he himself exalted, according to his own 
notions of his own transcendental merit. 

The revolutionary question, as understood and en- 
forced by its present advocates in France, Britain, and 
America, is not a question respecting the prevalence of 
any particular religious denomination, whether Papist or 
Protestant, Episcopalian, or Presby teri an. Independent or 
Methodist; but it is a question between rehgion and no 
religion ; a flagitious attempt to carry on government, 
and social and domestic life, without any religion of any 
kind whatsoever, and consequently without any morals; 
Tevelation being the basis of all moral obligation, and 
every system of morals not so based, being easily redu- 
cible to the mere calculations of political expediency and 
personal convenience, from the x«Xov xai ayaSov of Aris- 
totle, and the utile et honestum of Cicero, down to 
Hume's scheme of utility y or Godwins plan o( general 
good; good so very general as to destroy all individual 
virtue and happiness. Nor is the revolutionary ques- 
tion a question as to the rdative excellence of any 
particularybnw of government, whether a republic, or a 
monarchy, or an aristocracy,. or a democracy, or an iih- 
perial autocracy, be in itself preferable ; but it is an «* 
sumption of fact, that at any time, ambitious and un- 
principled men may labour to overset the existing order 


bf things under which they live, whfethet as citizens ck 
aliens, in the eager, hope of raising themselves to tur- 
bulent ahd bloody distinction, amidst the genersd wreck 
bf hunian society'. 

In a word, it is a desperate fexperiihefit, to be made 
by desperate, needy, profligate adventurers, of every 
gradation of talent; knowlege, dulness, and ignorance, 
in every country, particularly in every free country, that 
religion, goveminent, social order, private pursuits, all 
that relates to man, individually or as connected with 
his fellows, may be always kept afloat, always fluctuate 
in a revolutionary state, and the peoplfe be perpetually 
fermented by appeals to their vanity, and fbUy^ and 
viler passions ; that ambitious demagogues may lift 
themselves up to power, and be enabled to govern by 
fraud or force, by the bayonet and sword, or by* a muz- 
zled and perverted press. The United States, although 
at present blessed with free constitutionsj and good 
codes of, law, are yet revolutionary, and contain within 
them the seeds of thbse sudden ehanges which scatter 
upon the wings bf ruin all the labours and products of 
past experience, and mock the hopes of all human ex- 
pectation. France is still eminently revoltttionary ; her 
present throne is placed upon the crater of an unextin- 
guished volcano, whose eructations bf smouldering 
nxnoke^ and molten stones, and burning lava, every in- 
stant threaten it with destruction; Every step that re- 
ligion arid government make is made upon the reeking 
ashes, the still glowing embers of revolutionary fires ; 
those fires which are seen in fitful and portentous blaze 
over all the extent of continental Europe. And, unhap- 
pily, neither France nor the rest of the European con- 
tinent can find a suflScient counterpoise to the revolu- 
tionary spirit, in their own governments, which do not 
bi^athe a suflSicient air of freedom ; nor in their legal . 
codes, nor iri th«ir difiusion of pure religion, and sound 
morality, throughout their dominions. The struggle, 
in that quarter of the glpbe, appears to be fast ripemng 
into a conflict between indignant despotism and lawless 
democracy ; the collision of which two opposite ex- 

R 2 

244 DANGEft or Tfll^ »»ITI$f| COtOVIES^ 

tremea cannot ftil to shtke to iU foundation the social 
fabric ; and, whichever wde ultimately prevails, to steep 
the yictor*s wreath of triumph in tears and blood. 

The British government, mdeed, has hitherto stood 
forth as the great bulwark of social order, against the 
ever-beating tide of revolutionary fury ; but, labouring 
as she now i^ under the exhaustion of so long and ter- 
rible a conflict, so enormous a pressure of expenditure 
and debty so alarming a diminution of her agriculture, 
manufactures, and commerce, so awful an increase of 
pauperism, in all the classes of her community, will 
^he be able long to maintain the proud but melancholy 
distinction of being the solitary rock of social safety, 
amidst the storms and tempests of the agitated ocean ; 
the sole remaining monument of stable rule amidst the 
ruins of thrones, and principalities, and powers ? Even 
in the midst of her own home dominions, democracy is 
fast gaining- ground, and insisting upon its scheme of 
revo wtionary change ; in spite of her hereditary ex- 
ecutive, her hereditiHy peers, hear recent orders of 
kn^hthood, her nationally established hierarchy, her 
close alliance between chiux^h and state. 

Meanwhile her child and rival, America, is rapidly 
emerging into unparalleled national greatness ; is flam- 
ing Inwards, like a pyramid of fire ; so that all the 
western horizon is in a blaze with the brightness of its 
ascending glory. Nor is the ambition of America less 
aspiring than the progress of her power is alarming. 
The United States, not contented with their present ter- 
ritory, although more than double the extent of the 
whole Chinese empire, lay claim to both the Floridas, 
and avowedly stretch their pretensions westward to the 
Pacific Ocean ; and give very intelligible hints, through 
all the numberkss organ^pipes of tideir followers, Md 
flatterers, and servants, that they wiH never rest from 
their labours, till they have aecompUshed their aim, by 
treaty, or encroachment, or conquest; their unvarying 
motto being, dolus an virtus^ qais in hosie requirat ? 

Popular governments are always sufficiently ambi- 
tious, warlike, and unresponsible ; too apt to encroach 


Upon thrir neighbours ; and not very pradish ad to the. 
means of aggrandizement. The United States look 
wistfully towards the British provinces on our North- 
American OHitinent ; and the unwise act of Lord Gren- 
ville, passed through parlilament in the y^ar 1784, per- 
mitting the people of lower Canada to conduct their 
pleadings, and promulgate their laws, in the French lan- 
guage, has prevented them from ever becoming British ; 
and so far weakened the colony as an outwork of the 
mother country. It has always been the poKw-of able 
conquerors, as soon as possibUb, to incorporate their van- 
quished subjects with their own citizens, by giving them 
their own language and laws, and not suferiiig them 
to retain those of their pristine dominion. These were 
among the most efficient means by which ancient Home 
built up, and established her empire over the whole 
world ; and these were the most efficient aids by which 
modem France spread her dominion scrtapidly over the 
continent-of Europe. While lower Cana(& continues to 
be Fretich in language, religion, law, habits, and man- 
ners, it is obvious that her people will not make good 
British subjects ; and Britain may most assuredly look 
to the speedy loss of her North-American colottieife, un- 
less she immediately sets about the establishment of an 
able statesmanlike government theVe, and the direction 
thitherward of that tide of emigration from her own 
loins, which now swells the strength and resources of 
<lie United States. Her North-American colonies gon^, 
her West-India Islands will soon follow. 

Indeed, it is, now well understood, that if the Ameri- 
can government had been long-sighted and wise, "the 
United States might have been a great West India power 
at this moment. For Britain, during her late conftct 
with revolutionary France, o^red either Cuba, or St. 
Domingo to this country ; but Mr. Jefferson sul^ried his 
own litde personal feehngs towards France, and against 
Ekigland, to prompt him to decline the offer; and thus 
let slip an opportunity of aggrandizing the United 
States^ which may never again occur under such favour- 
able circumstances. The dominion of either *of thosf 


gre^t islands would have considerably augmented thq 
commerce and increased the naval armaments of Ame- 
rica ; and also h^ve given her a much higher importance 
in the scale of nations than she now holds. But, diis 
aUter visum est ; the fears and hatreds pf her executive; 
chief have materially delayed the career of America, 
towards the summit of national^ ascendency a^ gr€;at-»^ 

As for the Spanish colonies, they will fall, a§ a flatter, 
of course, to the superior energy ai^^d enterprise, of the, 
United States; for it is as natural for wdoknce, and 
ignorance, and procrastination, to yi^4 to industry, to 
intelligence, and activity, as it is for the tides of the. 
ocean to follow the phases of the moon. It is superla-; 
tiv^ly idle to suppose, that the forlorn and beggarly go- 
vernment of Spain, headed by a patron of the inqui^i-r 
tion, and an embroiderei: of petticoats for the Virgin 
Mary, will be s^ble to resist the constant encroachments, 
or the direct attack? of a neighbour so enterprising, in- 
telligent, aler^^ dauixtless, a;idpersevering> a^ the United 

Nor let England ever lay the flattepng unctioji to her 
spql, that it is possible ever to make America her friend. 
These two countries will never cease to be commercial 
rivals, and political enemies, until one or the other falls. 
As the world could not bear two suns, nor Persia two 
kings, so the d?iy is fast approaching when the globe 
will not be able to endure the existence of these two 
mighty maritime empire^,. The maxim of delenda est 
Carthago never fouiid more cordial a,dvo<jates in the Ro- 
man senate than it now fipds as applicable to Britain 
in the inmost recesses of every American bosom. But 
it behoves tlie United States to pause, at least ^br the 
;preseniy intbieir strides towards territorial j^ggrandize- 
ment ; for it is understood that the Treaty ^Fienna, 
which is now the basis of national convention law in Eu- 
rope,' ^ the Trpaty of Westphalia was, prior to thq^^ 
FrencH revolution, stipulates, that if one European n%i 
tioh'has any domestic quarrels, either with its colonifd; 
pr within, its home dominions, the high contriictingji^-* 


tie? do not interfere ; but, if any power attacks the in^ 
tegral empire of any European sovereignty, the parties 
to the Vienna treaty protect it. Hence, Spain and her 
colonies are left to fight out their mutual battles, as they 
best can ; but Portugal is forbidden to encros^ch upon 
the Spanish domains on the American continent ; un- 
less, indeed, the Holy League^ which, under the veil of 
evangelical union between the contracting powers, seems 
to look towards planting the Russian flag upon the 
seven towers of Constantmople, should br^ab in upon 
find derange the provisions of the Congress of Vienna. 
If such be the stipulations of the Vienna pact, the 
United States should be wary in their attempts on the 
Floridas, the British Northern Provinces, and West 
India islands, lest they bring all Europe upon them with 
her numerous and well-disciplined veteran arinies. It is 
the business of the Amcricsm government to wait, and 
nourish the growing resources of the Union, till tinie and 
circumstance shall dissolve the present unparalleled cO:*. 
alition of European sovereigns, and then gradually bear 
down all possible opposition from arty single foe. As 
the disposahie force of every country must; be always 
mainly proportioned to the compactness of its population, 
it is self-evident, that, at present^ the United States, with 
only ten millions of inhabitants, spread over a territory 
of two millions and five hundred thousand square miles, 
cannot be very powerful for the purposes of offensive 
warfare ; a circumstance, probably, which the states- 
men who framed the federal constitiition took into 
their consideration, ^ince they so seem to have jnoulded 
that national compact as not to give the geueraf gjov^m- 
ment the power of earring on an offensive Warfare. 

These great men, doubtless, desirgd that their native 
country might po98^s all the means of defence j when • 
assailed by an invading foe; and, accordingly, they haye 
made the most admirable provisions in th^ federal 
consiitution for the accomplishment of this all-important 
object ; their apparent design being, as much ^s pos- 
sible, to preserve the. United States free from the cala- 
fiTties ofroreign warfare^ and incite them to avail them*. 


selves of their va$t phgfjdcdtl capaoiti^^ and to accelerate 
the grow^ of their population and wealthy inx>rder that 
America^ at no distant day^ ntight be able to rank with 
the^rst-rat^ sovereigQties of the earthy in the e^toit, 
permanency^ and disposable efficiency of her national 
resourpe^. By premtiure efforts to ag^ndize them- 
selves by conquest, the United States will put all their 
present advantages in jeopardy^ and endanger the dis^ 
solution of the Union, \>y the preservation of which 
they can ahne hope to b^qome lastingly prosperous and 
great. Let them reoi^mber Franklin s position, that by 
patience and perseverance they will h^ able to outgrow 
all grievances, all difficulties, and all resistance. 

Is Russia now, and for the time to come, deemed 
formidable to Europe? Behold another and a greater 
Russia here. With a better territory, a better govern-^ 
ipent, and a better people, America is ripening &st into 
^ substance, a.n attitude of power, which will prove far, 
more terrible to the world than it is ever possible for 
the warriors of the Don or the de^nders of Moscow to 
become. Let it not, for a moment, be imagined that 
I seek to lean upon the exalted character, or to detract 
from the well-tried prowess of Britain. Under the 
blessing of Divine Providence, the world owes to her 
unrivalled e;8;ertions, to her vehement and sustained for^ 
titude, a liberation froui the most galling, base, profli- 
gate, and cruel bondage that ever stained th^ annals of 
the humsm race. Braver than Britons meA cannot be. 
It is not in human nature to do more tluui afiront death 
with cool, collected, steady, unyielding valour. Is it 
possible for them that are bom of women to display 
more unbending, more triupiphant heroism, than was 
e^diibited by the British pu th^ field of Waterloo and in 
the harbour of Algiers ? 

But it is xne^nt to assert, because it can h^ proved, 
that the United State^ from their territoriad extent, 
their local situation, their political institution^ the^ pe- 
culiar circumstai^^es, dp produce a gi^eater ^oiomit of 
physical^ intellectual, and moral enteiyrise, and fierce in 
the gre^t ma^s of their people^ thaa i^or am jbe pi^ 

fd BRiTAti^ rnAH EussiA. i4g 

tluced m tha s^ggr^gitte papulation of ai^ other country. 
Indeed^ an enquiry into the condition and character of 
the £ngUsh people Mrould senre as the best basis on 
which to build the inYe&tigation of the charactieristie 
qualities of the American population^ seeing that both 
nations ere sprung &om the same native stocky speak 
the same language^ and exercise the same religion^ are 
governed by similar laws, exhibit in their lives and de- 
portments similar habits, manners, and customs. And 
if, under the ph}rsical and moral circumi^tances of Eng- 
Ismd, her comparatively narrow territory, her actually 
crowded population, her continual wars, her frequent 
internal convulsions, h^ prodigious national expend!* 
ture, her enormous public debt, the great body of her 
people have been progressivehf improving, physically, 
intellectually, and morally, during the last entire cen- 
tury, and are now, as they ha?ve long been, decidedly 
superior to tlie population of every other European 
Country — a fortiori, must the people of the UnitedTStates 
during the same period have been bettered in all their* 
qualities and conditions, by the progress of civilization 
diffused among a comparatively thin population, spread^ 
over avast and various soil, by unfrequent foreign 
warsy by internal peace, by a sm«dl national expendi^ 
ture, by a trifling public debt, by institutions, polhical, 
Uioral, and religious, which give the freest scope to 
personal activity and individual enterprise. 

A late minister from the court of St. James, near 
the American government, M-. Jackson, who had sur- 
veyed with a sitateaman's eye every court and every 
country, every cabinet and every people in Europe, 
both insular and continental, told me, ^^ That he had 
passed through s^nd diligently studied the states of 
New-York and New-England, that he had never seen 
suph diecided maimiais of national greatness ^^ their 
{]^pulation exhibited; that the American people were 
ri^t-mmded, stroi^-minded, sound-minded, and high- 
mmded.** And in all the soberness of solemn truth,; the 
peopleof this country have verified tiie prophetic words 
of the departed^ stait^man ; they have, indeed, fidly 



shown that Englishmen do not degenerate in the soil of 
America ; for th^ have compelled the theteor-flag of 
England, which had waved in triumph on the ocean for 
a thousand years, to lower its ancient ensign beneath the 
new-bom standard of her child ; they have driven back 
from before their hardy yeomanry the conquerors of 
France, the deliverers of Portugal, the liberators of 
Spain, the emancipators of Europe ; they have twined 
round their victorious brows wreaths of naval and of 
militaryglory, which will flourish in eternal verdure, long 
as the everlasting hills shall rest upon their foundations^^ 
and the starfe of Heaven continue to shed their light. 

In the turmoil of battle, and in the pursuits of peace, 
the Americans effect more by a given number of people 
than the population of any other country can effect. At 
present, indeed, the European land fectics are impracti-. 
cable in the United States : huge masses of cavalry, nu-v 
merous parks of artillery, and solid columns of infantry, 
cannot apt in a country overgrown with trees, and 
bushes, and underwood, which afford means and shelter 
for the deadly musketry and riflemen of America, to 
destroy their enemy at their own leisure-^ themselves 
unseen and inaccessible. The United States must wait 
till their country is more cleared of its forests, particu- 
larly on their borders, before they can exhibit any mi- 
litary conflicts .on a large and comprehensive scale. 
Meanwhile the ocean is open, and will, ere hmg^ have 
its waters deeply died with American and British blood, 
contending for the exclusive dominion of that element, 
wtich is, emphatically, the cradle and the home of the 
mariners of both nations. 

From the commencement of the French revolution, 
in the year 1789, to the close of the late war between 
America and England, in 1815, the^ political |>arfte^ in 
th? United States were opposed to each other with ex- 
ceeding bitterness. Party spirit u^ed to prevent social 
intercourse, and poison domestic peace. The tyranny 
of faction was much greater in this country than it ever 
has been in Britain, where it neither disturbs the har- 
nmy of families, nor treujphes upon the da[:orum ot 


lociety, either among the leadens or followers of the 
two great contending parties which divide, agitate, and 
govern that kingdom.— See the " Resources of the Bri- 
tish Empire," pp. 331— 376, for the facts and reasont 
to prove, that no free government can be carried on hut 
by the agency of contending parties ; and that no da^u 
ger is to be apprehended either to the ministry or the 
people from tlie jprevalence of party spirit. Since the 
peace of 1815, Mr. Monroe*s tour, aided by the circum- 
stances of the country and the times, has considerably 
abated the acrimony of faction in the United States, 
jmd democrats s^nd federalists now dine at the same 
table without any fear of reciprocal offence. 

Some of th^ wisest and best men of America, parti- / 
CularVy Washington, Hamilton, and Ames, laboured to 
convince their fellow citizens of the necessity of extin- 
guishing parties in out jM^ular and elective government. 
President Washington's " Farewell Address" to the 
people of the United States, General Hamilton's Essays 
in the Federalist, and Mr. Fisher Ames's lucubrations 
scattered over all his works, contain most forcible and 
eloquent arguments against the mischiefs of faction. 
But, after all that can be said or written on the subject, 
a country must either be governed by the bayonet, and 
be enslaved ; or governed by party, and be free. Par- 
ties in the United States are substantially like those in 
England. Two great; rival sections of the people con- 
tend with each other for the exclusive administration of 
the govemni^nt, nof because they think themselves 
always right, and their opponents always Wrong, but 
because^ on the wholly they think they could manage 
jthe government better than their antagonists. They 
differ more about the means than the end : they both 
wish to exalt their country, and render her prosperous 
at home, aiid respectable abroad, however they may 
disagree as to the measures by which this comnoion 
object can be best attained. 

Indeed, now, the federalists and democrats do nof dif^ 
fer, evejti as to the means ; they both wish to exalt theW 
coi^ntry by the same means. For more than tweni^. 


years, truly, they varied most essentially in their notion! 
respecting the best mode of administering the govern- 
ment; the democrats > denouncing foreign commerce, 
foreign diplomacy, internal taxation, a national bank, 
a regular army, and a fighting navy, as being all ex- 
tremely anti-republican. But for the last two or three 
years they seem to have outgrown these theories, and 
to have begun, like other people, to take experience and 
fact as the best foundation, and safest guides of politi- 
. cal econcMny. 

The United States are so very favourably circum- 
stanced for a rapid growth in wealth, and population^ 
and national strength, that it requires only the exercise 
of a little common sense to administer the home govern- 
ment, and permit the laws and institutions, which are 
generally most propitious to the establishment and fur- 
therance of pc^ular liberty, to take their due course. 
It requires, however, considerable sagacity and prudence 
so to conduct our foreign afiairs as to secure the friend- 
ship and respect of other potentates. But there is no 
occasion to enter into any detail on this point, seeiiHg 
that General Washington has left a bright example of 
all that a wise and upright administration of govern- 
ment can accomplish, for the welfare of the country ; 
and our future presidents have only to fi)ilow feithfally 
in his foot-tracks, in order to ensure, under Providence, 
the internal prosperity, and the external respectability 
of America. 

In one, and that the most important department of 
foreign policy, namely, d^lomactfy the American govern- 
ment, under all its administrations, has exhibited great 
talents and skill. In the United States there is no corps 
of regularly bred statesmen, as in Europe ; but our 
politicians generally, and naore especially our diplmafia- 
tists, are taken from the class of practising kwy^s, who, 
being men of business, shrewd observers, and well ac-^ 
quainted with mankind, have always been a mfttch, and 
often an orormatdh, for the European anibassadors^ 
and plenipotentiaries, who have been systematically 
."Yained in the routine of office, amidst sdl ^e formi» and 


devices of the closet. During the last fifty years, Ame- 
rican diplomacy has signalized itself in every court and 
cabinet of Europe ; and the names of J^, Adams, Mor- 
ris, King, Jefferson, Marshal, Monroe, Pinkney,and the 
Commissioners at Ghent> will deservedly rank as high 
as those of any diplomatic characters which have adorn- 
ed other countries. The peace concluded with Eng- 
land in 1793, by Mr. Jay, Mr. Adams, and Dr. Frank- 
lin, and the commercial treaty made with England in 
1794, by Mr. Jay, are evidences of consummate diplo- 
matic wisdoni and skill. A very slight perusal of the 
American State papers^ lately published at Boston, "will 
show that the American diplomatists, invariably, wield 
a more pointed and powerftil pen than their European 
antagonists ; that they press their arguments with more 
force, place them in a greater variety of lights^ and de* 
feat, or evade, or parry, the strokes of their, opponents 
with more adroitness and effect. The Marquis of 
Wellesley, in April 1815, said in his place on the floor 
of the House of Lords, when discussing the negociation 
between thje United States and Britain, respecting peace, 
'^ that the American commissioners had shown die most 
asttmishing superiority over the British during tbe whole 
of the correspondence. The noble Earl (Liveipool) 
opposite, probably felt sore at this observation, as no 
doubt the British papers were communicated from the 
common fund of ministers in England.** 

The American commissioners at Ghent were Mr. 
Gallatin, late Secretary of the United States Treasuiy, 
and now Ambassador to France ; Mr. John Quincy 
Adams, a Masi^chusetts lawyer, formerly tninister to 
the courts of Berlin, Petersburgh, and London, now 
Seo^etary of State ; Mr. Bayard, a Delaware lawyer, 
and a senator of the United States ; Mr. Clay, a Ken-- 
tucky lawyer, and Speaker of the House of Represents 
stives in Congress ; and Mr. Jonathan Russel, formerly 
a merchant in New York. 

Considering that diplomacy is much more effectual to 
t)ermanently a^randize k nation than war and conquest. 
It i* astonishing that so few governments, in the history 

£94 biPLOMAcy or frakce and ftussiXi 

bf the worid, hare availed themselves bf its aid. Uifc* 
less t^re admit the United States within the circle, ther^ 
are only three nations that have successfully seconded 
their efforts at extension and powet^ by diplomatic skill ; 
namely, ancient Romb, modem France, and Russia; 
The reasons why British diplomacy hsu? beeii for the last 
five hundred years, in general, so deplorably defective, 
are detailed at length in ^ the Resourced of the British 
Empire," pp. 333, 344; 

Now, the only sound policy of every nation is to se- 
cure its independence, to augment itd power, to elevate 
its rank. Neither of these three great objects can be 
pursued singly ; they are inseparably interwoven with 
one another. The national independence of a state can 
only be secured by an unremitted jprogre^on in positive 
power, of which a greater relative rank is the neces-* 
sary consequence. It is as much the duty of states as 
of individuals Constantly to use all honourable means 
of advancing themselves in wealthy character, influence^ 
authority, and power. All nations begin to decline 
from the moment they cease to rise. JVon progedi est 
regredi is the great political axiom of human affairs. 
As soon^s a man ceases to improve his mind by obser- 
vation, study, and reflection, his intellect begins to lose 
ground in acuteness, strength, splendour, and compre- 
hension: The ^ambition, avarice, and ignorance of in- 
dividuals allow to nations no intervals of stationary 
quiet, or drowsy security. 

In modem times, however, the only European govern- 
ments that seem to have acted on any digested system 
of national aggrandizement, are^ that of France, since 
the accession of Louis the 14th, in l643 ; and that of 
Russia, since the commencement of Peter's reign, in 
1696. These two great monarchs felt the internal 
strength, and appreciated the immense natural resources 
of their respective empires. Although Louis did not 
in his own person succeed in the ultimate object of ac- 
quiring a universal French monarchy, he yet fixed the 
ascendency of France over the other European powers 
on a broad and permanent basis. When he ascended 


the throne, his donptinipus were hemmed in, on all sldes^ 
by powerful neighbours. The House o£ Austria, init» 
two great brancnes, swayed the sceptres, of Gennany 
and Spain, whose territpries almost surrounded France; 
the republic of Holland completed the line pi circumva- 
lation. Nevertheless, alth^ugji, during the l^st thir^ 
years of his reign, Louis was ajmoal; incessantly beaten 
by the ^lied armies of Austria^ England, and. ^olland, 
he contrived, by the superiofr skill ot French diplomacy, 
to enlarge hk own heredi<j|ary, possessions^ by consider* 
able acquisitions from Geijmaiiy j, to place a Bourbon on 
the throne of Spain, to shaiter Austria, to crush Holland, 
tp cripple England, to leave ; prance so intrinstcally 
powerful, as to enable her, under the augmented im- 
pulses of revolutionsu-y action^ to be an overmatch for 
the other powers of continental Europe, not merely 
single-handed, but for a pombinatjon ,of them all; so 
that, in 1813, ISH^.and 1815, about a century after the 
death of Louis the Fourteenth, it required the united 
strength, in its full exertion, of Russia, Austria, Prussia, 
Sweden, Spain, and Portugal, aided by the fleets and 
armies of England, to rescue the whole European con- 
tinent from the humiliation of French oppression. 

Contrast the adroit diplomacy of France with the 
most miserable negotiations of England, at the peace of 
Amiens. So low, indeed, had Englanid fallen under 
the degrading conditions of this treaty; so completely 
evaporated was that spirit, which, under the auspices of 
Marlborough, had rendered her the arbitress of Europe; 
that spirit which, under the presiding mind of Chatham, 
had smitten both branches of the House of Bourbon, 
and loosened the joints of the loins of France and Spain; 
that the Addington administration actually submitted 
to the mandate of Bonaparte, and indicted Mr. Peltier 
for a libel against Napoleon, whom he represented as a 
ruffian, an upstart, and an assassin. It was high time 
for Messrs. Addington and Company to obliterate from 
the memory of the Enghsh people, and to raze from the 
records of history^ all mention of the fields of Poictiers, 
Cressy, and Agincourt, of the battles of Blenheim, 



Raittillies, and Malplaquet, and to xylite the name, 
FrMch department y upon the veteran front df the 
Britii^h empire. 

While revolntionarv France was making herself 
complete mistress of the sooth-west half of continental 
Europe, another power of equal force (as subsequent 
events proved,) claimed a similar dominion over the 
northern and eastern sections of that <fistrict of the globe. 
After Austria was humbled, Prussia bekten down, the 
German empire broken up, Flanders, Holland^ Switzer- 
land, and Italy, conquered by the Gallic armies, the 
political powers and mihtary forces of the European 
continent Were divided between the governments of 
Fitmcc and Russia. These two mighty empties touch- 
ied each other in the beginning of the year 1813 ; Bcf* 
lin, Vienna, and Constantinople, were only three milita- 
iy posts in the line of their imperial demarcation. A 
free and secure communication between the southern 
provinces of Russia, and the Mediterranean Sea, was 
an essential part of the system of policy established by 
the first Peter. This scheme of national aggrandize^ 
ment has been pursued by all his successors, and is of 
such importance to the Russian empire, as never to be 
abandoned without a severe struggle. 

Russia covets Candia, Negropont, and the other 
Greek Island in the Archipelago, as posts that might 
command the communication between the Black Sea 
and the Mediterranean. Oczakow is the key to the 
' northern provinces of Turkey, and is to Constantinople 
what the Pjrrenees ought always to be to Madrid. That 
post Russia will never relinquish; she took it from the 
Grand Signior in 1/37, when England Was mediating^ 
in favour of Turkey, with thirty-six line of battle-ships. 
Russia has steadily, and successfully, pursued her 
scheme of national aggrandizement, since the accession 
of Peter the First, to the present hoilr; in consequence 
of which she now possesses a territory larger than all 
the rest of Europe, with a brave and hardy population 
of more than fifitjr millions, four-fifths of which ifihabit 
her European dominions. She has recently added Po- 


land^ as an outwork to her empire; and, in a few years^ 
probably it will require nearly as powerful a coalition to 
stop her progress to universal dominion as was found 
necessary, in 1813, to reduce revolutionary France 
within reasonable limits. Indeed, France and Rus- 
sia are the only two European powers who system* 
atically act upon th^conviction that skilful negoti- 
ation is as necessary as victory in war to augment 
and consolidate national dominion. The Treaty of 
Amiens gave more power and influence to France than 
she could have acquired by ten years of successful 

Nay, ever since nations have fought to extend their 
dominions, their progression in power has depende4 
more upon the ability of negotiators and peacemakers 
than upon the talents of military heroes. Every one 
knows that repubhcan Rome augmented and consoli- 
dated all her militaiy conquests by the consummate skill 
of her diplomacy: her whole history, during the first 
seven hundred years of her national existence, was little 
else than an alternation of successful wars, improved by 
dexterous negotiation, and of dexterous negotiation 
preparing thje way for successful wars. Peter the First, 
the founder of Russian greatness, was a profound politi- 
cian, as well as an^able soldier: he knew that to con- 
quer in war was not enough; that not to be conquered^ 
in his turn, it was necessary to retain^ in peace, such 
posts as could both guarantee the possession of his 
own dominions, and facilitate the acquisition of fur- 
ther territories. Charles the Twelfth, of Sweden, con- 
quered Denmark and Poland; but being no states- 
man (only a mere soldier), he lived long enough, al- 
though he died young, to lose all his conquests, and 
one-half of his hereditary dominions, and the indejpen- 
dence of his whole kingdom, which has been, ever since 
his death, in 17 18, under the control of Russia or 

The acquisition of Noteburg, npw Schusselburgh, of 
Nyeskantz,- now Petersburgh, and of the islands of Re* 
lusary^ now Cronstadt, posts of no consideration to th* 



obtuser vision of the Swedish herO) hafi secured to Rus^ 
sia, for ever, the domiiiion of the North of Europe, 
which is still more extended and magnified by her later 
acquisitions in Fiidand and Poland. By the more recent 
accessions of territory in the Crim^ and Georgia^ and 
in the possession of Oczakow, Constantinople^ Ispahan^ 
and Delhi^ the capitok of Turkey, Persia, and th^ 
Great Mogul, are kid open to the arts and arms, the 
legions and the diplomatists of Russia. 

The war, carried on by the Grand Alliance, made in 
1686, between Germany, Britain, and Holland, against 
France, was one continued series of victory for twenty'- 
seven years; and yet^ owing to the unskilnil diplomacy 
ci £i:^nd, the peace of Utrecht and Radstadt, in 
1713-14, ruioed the house of Austria, the principal 
party m the alliance, subjected Holland, laid all Ger- 
many open to the inroads of France, placed a French 
moBWch npoa the Spanish throne, and annihilated the 
influence of Britain upon the continent of Europe. Th« 
maritime war, carried on by Britain against France, 
from 17*9 to 1763, was a train of conquests, as was 
also her land-war in the North-America colonies, during 
the same period. Yet the British were so far out-ma^ 
noeuvred by the French negotiators, that the peace of 
1763 laid the foundation of the treaty of 1 783, by which 
England was shorn of half her physical strength, and 
all her national honour. 

Had the British diplomatists at Utrecht secured, as 
was then easily to be done, an independent monarchy 
in Spain, and given to the United Provinces of Holland 
(what, in fact, they did a century after, by the Treaty 
of Paris, in 1814), a territorial basis, made by a perma- 
nent incorporation of all the Low Countries, then the 
Spanish Netherlands, with the existing Dutch domir 
nions, the indep^adezice of continental Europe probably 
would not have fallen a sacrifice to revolutionary 
France. And, if Britain, at the peace of 1763, had re- 
tained her conquests, made in the preceding war, she 
might not have been compelled to sign away half her 
^npire, by the treaty of 1783; and, still les^j, to ds> 


kaowledga tlie paramount superiority of regicide France^^ 
by the pfsace of Amiens^ in i802. 

One of the most triumphant issues of French dipk)« 
macy, which has already ^iven rise to one war between 
the United States and England^ and will probably ere 
long breed ONCcasion for another conflict between these 
two kindred nations, was the originating and establish^ 
ing the doctrine of the ^^ armed neutrality ;*' a doctrine 
which gradually gre^v from sufficiently large beginnings 
into the three sweeping propositions whicm Bonaparte, 
as the French revolutionary chief, and Mr. Madison, ap 
our American President, laboured to compel England 
to receive as an improvement in the system of interna- 
tional law. These propositions are— -Rrjf, Free ships 
make free goods. Second, The flag protects the crew. 
Thirdy No blockade is legal unless a place be invest^ed 
both by sea and lan4. 

This interpolation of national law l;ias no other ob- 
ject in view than the destruction of the British maritime 
power. If ever acceded to, it will merge all bellige^ 
rent rights in neutral pret^isions. France, as a great 
Isuad power, wants to annihilate England on the ocean x 
she has never been able to accomplish thi^ purpose by 
fair fighting, in open and honourable warfare; she, 
therefore, seeks to^ efiect her object by a war in dis« 

Siise, which she calls neutraiity ; a name that these 
nited States readily adopted under the auspices of 
Mr. Jefferson and Mr, Madison, in order to ftirther their 
own peculiar views against Britain, as well as to second 
the designs of revolutionary France. A most unwi^^ 
act on the part of America, because she is ripening fast 
into a first-rate naval power, and is therefore deeply in- 
terested in maintaining belligerent maritime rights. £x^ 
amine for a nokoment 9ie practical effect of these three 
neutral propositions. Britain and France are at war 
with each qtiber : America remains neutral : the United 
States carry, on all the trade of France, both foreign 
and coasting, in American vessels, under the eyes of 
the English cruisers, who have no pow^ to annoy the^ 
trade of their enemy, because fr^ ships make free goods. 

% 2 


The United iStates cany a body of French troops from 
the coast of France for the invasion of Ireland^ and the 
British cruisers must not touch these precious transports, 
because the flag protects all it covers. The United 
States carry provisions to a French West -India Island, 
which a British squadron is besieging ; and^ of course, 
the impartial neutral cannot be molested^ because no 
place is blockaded^ unless it be invested with an ade- 
quate force, both by sea and land. 

No doubt this doctrine is in good odour at the courts 
of America and Franee, because k gives the united ad- 
vantages of war and peace to France ; and to America, 
all the benefits of a war against England, without either 
its expense or danger, while it delivers up the naval 
power, the commerce, and the national existence of 
the British empire, an unresisting and helpless victim 
to the combined force and fraud of the United States 
and France. 

* The origin and nature of the first northern armed 
neutrality were forged in the diplomatic arsenals of 
Paris, partly for the purpose of arming the navies of 
Sweden, Denmark, and Holland, as a check upon the 
naval operations of England, and partly to prevent a 
confederacy between Russia and Britain. Tnc imbe* 
cility exhibited by England, in the war that ended in 
the 'truce of Aix la Chapelle, in 17^8, encouraged 
France to form the project of expelKng the British from 
North America and the East Indies; to facilitate the 
accomplishment of which objects she endeavoured to 
prevent the co-operation of a Russian fleet with the 
English navy. Accordingly, in 17^4, the French go- 
vernment proposed to S^veden and Denmark an armed 
naval conventton, to protect the trade of the maritime 
States, and maintain the liberty of the Baltic. Little 
notice was taken of this proposal by Denmark and Swe- 
den, until the events of the war seemed to promise suc- 
cess to France ; when, in 17^8, in hope of gaining a 
share of whatever commerce or naval influence England 
might lose, they entered into such a convention, under 
the sanction of France and Prussia. But the exploits. 


of the British navy, in 1759, and the succeeding cani- 
paign&, together with the brilhant success of the arm« 
of old England and New England against the French 
Norfli American colonies, disconcerted the measures, 
and suspended the effects of this armed neutrality. 

The next disquisition on the mercantile rights of neu- 
tral states was brought forward by Britain herself, on 
some Silesian linen, which her cruisers had captured. 
The whole doctrine of neutral claims was fully and ably 
argued by Lord Mansfield, Sir Dudly Ryder, and Mn 
Lee, on the part of the British government, in answer 
to the Prussian manifesto, delivered in 17*95 hy order 
of Frederic the Second. The British High Court of 
Admiralty condemned this Prussian linen as contraband 
of war, because it was captured on its way to France, 
fer the supply of her naval canvass. Yet, notwithstand^ 
ing the very elaborate and able report of the English 
crown lawyers, the British government finely paid 
Frederic for his cloth, and thiis created a precedent, 
upon which were afterward founded the avowed pieten- 
sions of the armed neutrality in 1 780. England haying, 
at the peace of 1763, given up to France nearly all her 
dearly-acquired sources of maritime trade, and those 
strong holds in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, 
which would for ever have secured her naval superi- 
ority, the French government, as might be expected, 
soon renewed its former project of confining the British 
empire to the island of Great Britain. 

France at that time possessed but little influence in 
the Russian cabinet, and being still apprehensive of ai^ 
alliance between England and Russia, in order to raise 
some misunderstanding between the two powers, she 
fawned upon the Empress Catharine^ intrigued with her 
favourites, and caressed the ladies of her court. The 
French also wrote Yerses and sung ballads upon the 
heroism and. legislation of Frederic of Prussia, and the 

Patriotism and maternal affection of Juliana, Queen of 
Denmark ; they Hkewise, from 1772 to 177«> gave the 
King of Sweden large sums of money to repair his de- 
msiy&i navy ; all which was done, as they said, to secure 

t^i AltM&X> NEUTRALmr. 

for continental Europe *^ ihe liberty of the seas.** TTic 
unsuccessiiil CBiinpaigns of Eingland in the United States, 
in 1778 and 1779, ^^^ accession of Spain and Holland 
to the American cause, together with the retreat of the 
British fleet, even in her own home seas, from before 
the French squadron, under d'Orviliers, seemed again 
to crown the intrigue and perfidy of France with cer- 
tainty of success. All the governments of Europe were 
then convinced that Britain had lost America, and they 
concluded, that her expulsion from the Efist Indies 
would be the speedy consequence. Tlie entire Hiin of 
the British nation was deemed to be certainly approach-- 
ing, and the parcelling out of the spoils of her empire 
became the subject of general discussion among the; 
several powers of continental Europe. 

The famous convention of armed neutrality was, 
therefore, drawn up and published ; and in 178O ac- 
teded to by all the maritime states ; even by Turkey and 
Russia, together with Prussia, Sweden, Denmark, 
Franfce, Spain, and Holland ; and in 178I was acceded 
to by the United States. The Count de Florida Blanca, 
then premier of Spain, at the instigation of Prance, de- 
tained all neutral vessels in the Straits, under pretence of 
the blockade of Gibraltar, and answered to the com- 
plaints of the neutral ministers at Madrid, that if their 
sovereigns would resist the similar claims of England 
such pretensions would be relinquished by Spain. The 
doctrine of blockade, however, was not, at that time, 
pushed to the extent for which the French and Ame- 
rican governments afterward contended; namely, that 
to constitute a legal blockade a place must be invested 
witji an adequate force, both by sea and land, for the 
only thing required by the armed convention of 1780, 
to constitute a blockaded port, was, that there shouldl 
actually be a number of enemy's ships stationed near 
enough to make an entry evidendy dangerous ; and the 
definition in the ordinance of our American Congress, 
In 1781, is to the same effect. And, in the convention 
of the Baltic powers, in 1800, signed by Russia, 
Sweden^ and X>»unark, diede&iition ef blockade ift 


^^ where the disposition and number of ships' nkoM be 

(Such as to render it apparently hazardous to enter.** 

' This same definition was incorporated into the conveU'^ 

tion between England and Russia in .1801 ; and the 

Srinciple of that treaty has been recognised in a solemn 
ecision of the highest legal tribunal in the state of 
New- York. 

The armed neutrality, although its avowed pretension 
was the protection of maritime trade and indemnificaticHi 
for illegal captures^ was, in fact, supported by the pre* 
cedent which Britain herself had established in the case 
of the Prussian linen. All stated, when once believed to 
be on the declitie, like individual merdiants, whose cre*» 
g.dit is suspected, must look for a general run o^ attaek 
upon their property. It was so with Sweden, at the 
death of Charles the Twelfth; with Austria, at the death 
of Charles the Sixth; with England, on the success of 
the American revolution ; and with France, in the first 
confusion of her revolutionary struggle. To maintain 
the political independenceof auation,progr^m(min pow^ 
er is necessary. The convention of 1800, betweoi the 
Emperor Paul of Russia and the subordinate powers c^ 
the North, at the instigation of France, was plamied ftnd 
acceded to, upon principles very different from thos6 erf 
the former conventi<His: it began to assume the mon- 
strous aspect of that new code of neutrality which was 
^erward promulgated by the two cabinets of St. Cloud 
and Washington. When Catharine broke off the com- 
mercial intercourse between Russia and revolutionary 
France, she signified her motives to Sweden and Den^ 
mark, and invited them to follow her example, but oIk 
served, that with the exception of France in its then 
rebellious state, she still adfhered to the principles of a 
free neutral trade. 

But England never acknowledged the pretensions of 
the armed neutrality, and persist^, during the first de- 
cade of the French revolutionary war, in capturing all 
neutral vestels employed in illicit commerce with her 
enemies. But the battle of Marengo and treaty of 
Luneville gave France, such a decided military and 


political aicendency upon the European continent, that 
she was enabled, partly by intrigue and partly by m^enace, 
to induce Paul of Russia^ Sweden^ Denmark, and Prus- 
sia, to unite in getting up a second and an enlarged edi« 
tion of .the armed neutrality, which Nelson committed 
to the flames of Copenhagen, in 18D1 • After the peac« 
of Tilsit, in I8O7, Alexander of Russia, in obedience to 
the commands of Bonaparte, again insisted upon en* 
forcing the doctrines of the arm^ neutrality^ to which 
Mr. Canning, on the part of the British government, 
replied (18th December, I8O7,) " that the King of Eng^ 
land neither understands nor will admit the pretension 
of the Emperor of Russia to dictate the time or mode 
of his negotiations with other-powers. It never will be 
endured by his Majesty, that anj/ government shall in-^^ 
demnify itself for the humiliation ofsermency to France, 
by the adoption of an insulting and peremptory tone 
towards Great Britain. England proclaims anew tliose 
principles of maritime law, against which the armed 
neutrality, under the auspices of the Empress Catharine, 
was originally directed, and against which the present 
hostilities of Russia are dienounced. Those principles 
have been recognized, and acted u|)on, in the best pe^* 
riods of the history of Europe, and' acted upon by np 
power with more strictness and severity than by Kus* 
sia, in the reign of the Empress Catharine. Those 
principles it is the right of England to maintain ; and, 
against every confederacy England is determined, under 
the blessing of Divine Providence, to maintain them. 
Theyiiave at all times contributed essentially to the 
support of the maritime power of Great-Britain; but 
they are become incalculably. ^ore valuable and im* 

S)rtant, at a period, when the maritime power of Great 
ritain constitutes the sole remaining bulwark against 
the overwhelming usurpations of France, the onlj/ refuge 
to which other nations may yet resort, in happier times, 
for assistance and protection. 

Nevertheless, France still continued to clsunour f6r 
the liberty of the seas; and in 18L2, Bonaparte underr 
look to establish all neutral claims by the subjugatior 


ot Russia, in whiqh, however, he did not succeed. In 
the same year, Mr. Maddison also, as chief of our Ame* 
rican government, undertook, by a war against England, 
to compel her to acknowledge by treaty the whole of 
the new neutral code; to wit, that free ships make free 
goods; the flag protects all it covers; no blockade is 
fe^l, unless the place be strongly invested by sea and 
land. The war was continued by the United States for 
nearly three years, when, on the S4th of December, 
1814, a treaty of peace was made with Britain, in 
which no acknowledgment, nor mention of any one of 
these neutral claims, was inserted; that is to say, ac- 
cording to the law of nations, as laid down by Gro- 
tius, Puffendorff, Vattel, and, indeed, by all the great 
publicists; the United States have aian^emecj these pre* 
tensions; for, whenever a nation goes to war for the 
avowed purpose of obtaining any given object, and 
makes peace without obtaining it; that object is for 
ever waved and relinquished. 

About sixteen or seventeen years since, a little work 
was printed in Holland, said to be the production of the 
late Mr. Windham. It contains some of the most pro- 
found and comprehensive views of the nature and im- 
portance of diplomacy, together with a foil develcme- 
ment of the diplomatic policy and career of the differ*; 
ent nations ot Europe, more particularly of France;, 
England, and Russia, that have ever been exhibited to 
the world. Every page breathes the energy and wis- 
dom of an accomplished and high-minded statesman. 
Whether or not the book has been republished in Bri- 
tain,or has found its way to these United States, I am ig*« 
norant. It well deserves to become the manual of every 
political student. Many of the preceding facts and 
observations have been taken from it so far as it reaches; 
namely down to the peace .of Amiens, in 1801-3, includ- 
ing the preliminary and definitive treaties. 

The great National importance of establishing a sys- 
tem of skilfol diplomancy will be manifest upon consi- 
dering to what extreme peril the want of such a system 
Tfdu<^ the whole Brititb esipire^ during the second ten 

208 CAUMs or England's 

years of the French revolutionary war. In that awful 
crisis of the worlds when England alone^ singk^handed^ 
maintained the cause of Hberty, social virtue, and tiviU 
ized enjoyment, against the greater part of £urope, and 
its dependencies, moving under the banner of France; 
even t/ieriy theBritish government didno^ sufficiently con- 
sider, how they should best play for the few foreign 
stakes yet left in their hands; but most unwittingly 
threw them also into the grasp of their enemy. 

It was incumbent upon England then to alter the ge-* 
neral course of her accustomed diplomacy ; and send 
out to other governments, as ambassadors, men of sound, 
strong, comprehensive minds, of discreet habits, and con-^ 
ciliatory manners ; who would always pdy a becoming 
deference to the national feelings arid prejudices of the 
people among whom they reside, and yet justly and 
honourably consult and advance the real, permament in- 
terests of their own country, in their various diplomatic 
transactions. Above all, it was a matter of deep and 
serious import to England, to keep constantly in these 
United States a resident minister, able to comprehend 
the interests and relations of the two people, and of suf- 
ficient magnanimity to endeavour to unite them in the 
closest bonds of amity, by promoting those measures of 
• policy and commerce, which would redound to their 
mutual advantage; and thus, by conjoining in the tie* 
of friendship, the only two nations on the globe which 
enjoy popular liberty, and an equitable administration 
of justice, she might, perhaps, have earlier raised an ef- 
fectual barrier against that unrelenting military despo- 
tism which was for so many years rolling together, as a 
scroll, the republics, kingdoms, and empires of the ci- 
vilized world ; was so long flooding out a tide of deso- 
lation, that having swept away all the ancient bounda- 
ries and land-marks of the fairer and better portions of 
the earth, then threatened to delugte the remainder with 
the waters of bitterness and death. 

When it is recollected, that ambassadors furnish the 
intelligence, which directs all the movements of their 
respective governments,. ill felation to foreign powcri. 


berhaps it will not be thought that too much stress has 
been, or well can be, laid upon the great importance of 
establishing a system of adroit and able diplomacy. In 
some periods of her history, Britain has seemed sensible 
of this momentous truth. She has availed herself of 
the diplomatic talents of Throgmorton, Temple, Marl- 
borough, Walpole, Malmesbury, and Jackson. And^ 
if she would oftener have recourse to such negotiators, 
she could not be so frequently overseen by France in 
her diplomatic pacifications and treaties?; nor be so 
constantly exposed to the perilous necessity of standing 
alone, against the armed combinations of other powers, 
who are often blinded to their own essential interests, 
and duped into hostility against her by the more dex- 
. terous diplomacy of her Gallic neighbour. It must not, 
however, be forgotten, that the negotiations of Lord 
Castlereagh, which in 1814 and 1816 gave the Bour- 
bons back to France, and restored peace to Europe, 
may be reckoned among the wisest and most felicitous 
of all the diplomatic transactions that have occurred in 
the history of the world. 

The character of a nation is to be tried by the same 
test as that of an individual. Whoever produces the 
greatest results with the least means vindicates to him- 
self the most exalted character. Now, England, with 
less physical resources and powers, that is to say, with 
less extent of home territory, and a smaller population, 
has produced greater national results than France. The 
British Isles cover only a surface of a hundred thousand 
square miles, and contain only twenty millions of souls; 
whereas France has a territorial basis of nearly three 
hundred thousand square miles, and a population of 
nearly thirty millions; yet, in -all that constitutes per- 
manent national strength and power; namely, a people 
hardy, brave, active, intelligent, and moral ; productive 
industry, commerce, wealth, colonial possessions, all the 
qualities of good domestic government, in peace, in war, 
in high reputation for probity and honour, she is supe - 
rior to France. The uniform testimony of a series of 
centuries proves, Aat whenever the British and Fren^Ji 

i6i CAUSES OF England's 

engage in mutual conflict^ by land or on the ocea.n, 
wi5i any thing like a parity, of numbers, victory never 
for a moment flutters in suspense oyer EnglancTs na- 
tional banner. Britain, therefore, in spite of the inces- 
sant errors of her diplomacy, and her being so often 
out-manoeuvred by the more dexterous poUcy of France, 
is, as u natian, greater than France. 

It is also to be remembered, that, although England 
has never yet been wise enough to retain in peace a 
sufficient portion of her war conquests, yet she generally 
holds same portion of them, and very seldom gives up 
any part of her own dominions. Whence, she is posi^ 
iivehf str(mger in territory, at the end than at the begin* 
ning of every war, although relatively to France she 
does not make herself so strong as she ought. Almost 
the only instance of her giving up any part of her own ' 
dominions occurred at the peace of 1783, when sh« 
signed away all that part of America which constitutes 
the whole of the old United States, and Louisiana,, and 
the Floridas. Thus, by continually developing her own 
internal resources of intelligence, policy, trade, agricul- 
ture and manufactures, England has gradually, in the 
course of ages, grown up into a first rate power, pos- 
sessing, in additicm to her home territory and population, 
nearly one^fifth of the whole habitable globe in colo- 
nial territory, containing more than one hundred millions 
of subjects, spread over the East and West Indies, Eu- 
rope, North America, aod Austral-Asia. 

The causes of England's giving up so much of her 
conquests, at the close of every war, and her always 
making such miserable peace negotiations, are to be 
found partly in the jaature of her popular government, 
which compels the ministry to conclude a peace on al- 
most any terms, whenever the people, headed by the 
opposition in Parliament, become generally clamorous 
against a longer continuance of war ; and partly from 
the ministry themselves being corrupt, or weak; corrupt^ 
as at the negotiations of Utrecht, in 17l*> when St. 
John, Lord Bolingbroke, and Harley, Lord Oxford, sa- 
crifice the best interests of England, betrayed Hpllaad 


to her ruin, deserted Austria in her hour of need, gave 
Spain to a Bourbon, made France the mistress of £u- 
rbpe; and all for what?— that a tory French sfac^on 
might domineer over Marlborough, and Godolphin, and 
Somers,- and all the • disciples of William of Nassau 
Orange, whose wisdom and valour had rescued Europe 
from the iron dominion of Louis the Fourteenth, by 
seven and twenty years of uninterrupted victoiy ; cor^ 
rupt as when, in 1763, Lord Bute and the I>uke of 
Bedford, for a beggarly sum of money, paid into their 
own private purse, sold all the conquests of Chatham's 
glorious war, in Asia, Europe, and America/ for a peace 
which laid the foundation of the dismemberment of the 
British empire, in 1783 ; an event which the weakness 
of Lord North's administration iniposed upon Briton ; 
weak as when, in 1803, the Addington ministry con* 
eluded the peace c^ Amiens, which degraded and weak* 
ened England, and gave to revolutionary France the 
dominion of Europe, and extended her controlling in-* 
fluence over the other three quarters of the globe. 

Nevertheless, in spite of these pernicious blunders in 
her diplomatic policy, England has, on the whole, 
averaged an increase of national wealth, strength, and 
power, during the last three centuries, from the reigit 
of Elizabeth to the present hour, by acting on fixed 
principles of liberty, industry, enterprise, justice, cou- 
rage, and wisdom. She is in possession now of a very 
large proportion of the commerce of the world ; her 
empire in India is immense beyond a parallel ; she belta 
the globe with her colonial dominion ; she covers Eu- 
ropie, and Africa, and Asia, and America, with her in- 
fluence. She has recently rallied the millions of Portur 
gal, and Spain, and Hothind> and Prussia, and Austria, 
and Russia, and Swedeii, arid Italy, and Germany, 
aground her protecting banner, and led them to redemp^ 
tion from the most galling military and political bond* 
age that ever bowed the spirit of man to the dust from 
which he sprung. 

In the year 1782, Mr. Jefferson, in his " Not^s oa 
Virginia," declared that the sun of England was for 


ever set in darkness and in sorrow^ never again to peer 
above the horizon ; that she was on the eve of beings 
blotted out from the list of nations; that her liberty and 
gloiy had departed from her, and taken their flight 
across the Adaniic, to fix their everlasting abode in 
these United States. " Thy heart was father, Thomas, 
to that wish T' But nearly forty years have rolled their 
eventful tide of time, since the sage of Montioello croak- 
ed, from out his mountain cavern, this ill-omened pro- 
phecy <^axid the sun of England is not set. Nay, has it 
yet culminated from the equator ? Have facts accorded 
with the sinister forebodings of this inauspicious pro- 
ject } Since the utterance of this oracular dirge, has 
she not brdcen down the giant strength of revolutionary 
France, restored the balance of empire to Europe, > 
given peace to an exhausted world, and seated herself 
upon an eminence of naticmal glory, that casts into 
shade all the lustre of Greek and Roman fame ? 

There is no subject of pursuit more worthy the atten^ 
tion of the moral philosopher and statesman than a sci* 
entific investigation of human laws, municipal and inter- 
national; which are, in feet, the historians of the justice ^ 
of mankind; while the relations of political and mill* 
tary events are, for the most part, only the accounts of 
their ambition and violence. What can be more in- 
structive than to trace out the first obscure and scanty 
fountains c^* that mighty river of jurisprudence which 
now waters and enriches the many nations of modem 
Christendom with so abundant and fertilizing a flood ? 
to observe the first principles of individual right, and. 
national freedom, springing up, amidst the dai<kness of 
superstition and the pollutions of crime, to mark their 
progress, until the lapse of years, and a concurrence of 
favourable circumstances, brightened themintocleamess,. 
and unfolded them into maturity of strength ? What 
4?iore instructive study than to watch the, progress of 
the laws, their courses of deflection, of circuit, of ad- 
vance ; sometimes trodd^i down, and i^parentjy lost 
^r ever, amidst the tumult and confusion <^ domestic 
anarchy and external war; sometimes quite overruled 


by thie hand of municipal power at home; then victcwri'- 
OU8 over internal tyranny; growii^ eventually stronger, 
clearer, and more decisive, by the very violence which 
they have suffered ; more deeply rooted by the fury of 
the tempest which scattered their topmost branchet 
into the air, and covered the ground with their wither- 
ed foliage ; enriched even by the temporary desolaticm 
of those foreign conquests which menaced their entire 
destruction ; softened by peace, sanctified by religion^ 
improved, enlarged, exalted by commerce, by social in*** 
tereourse, by science, and by erudition ? 

In addition to this course of general inquiry, the 
Americtm student ought to obtain that information 
lirhich results from an analytical investigation of the 
constitu/ti<»tf, statutes, and judicial decisions of the 
united ^id separate states ; a branch of legal learnii^ 
the more necessary, because the people of this country 
possess the supreme sovereign power of creatii^ig, altera 
kig, and annihilating, at their own discretion, their re- 
qpective governments, whether state or federal. Andj 
tha^efore, it ia peculiarly incumbent on them to acquire 
that legal aud political knowledge which will best 
qualify them for the judicious exercise of so important a 
pnvilege, so difficult a duty, so dangerous an experi- 
menL By carefully examining our diffearent consti- 
tutnons, statutes, and judicial decisions, by comparing 
them together, and, at the same time, referring to the 
various degrees of order and prosperity, the condition 
of society, and the standard of religion and morals in 
each particular state, aa accurate estimate might be 
iannm of the relative excellences and defects of the 
diffQre];^: 'Constitutions and legal codes of the Union; 
znd a pathway of light pointed out, by which eissential 
alteratiosis and substantial imjtfovements might hegra* 
duudly introduced into the municipal systems, and poli-^ 
tical &brics of the respective states. 

Yet, notwithstanding the manifest utility of such in-* 
formation, and the advantages to be derived from such 
comparative views, however accurately the constitution 
and laws of any particular state may be known within 


its own limits, those of other states are very slightir 
studied beyond the boundaries of their respective tern-' 
tories. There are many able and learned New-York, 
and Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and Virginian 
lawyers ; but, there are very few American lawyers in 
the United States ; that is to say, men acquainted with 
the constitutional, common, and statute laws of the se- 
veral different states and of the Union. It is to be 
regretted, that an analytical examination of the munici- 
pd systems of the general and state governments is not 
made a component part of academical instruction in the 
colleges of the Union. Such an enquiry ought to fol- 
low a regular examination of the institutions of Lycur- 
gus, Solon, and Numa; and an analysis of the different 
systems of American polity and jurisprudence ought to 
be considered the legitimate sequel of an investigation 
into the merits of the political and legal fabrics of 
Sparta, Athens, and Rome. 

Some few attempts have been made to establish a 
system of legal instruction in different parts of the 
Union. For full thirty years past, Mr. .Justice Reeve, 
first alone, and latterly in conjunction with Mr. Grould, 
an eminent lawyer and advocate, has been employed in 
delivering an annual course of lectures on the common 
law and on American jurisprudence in the State of 
Connecticut. These lectures have long been justly 
distinguished for their legal precision and learning; and 
have accordingly, for many years past, attracted a great 
number of students from all the different states. 

About twenty-five years since, the present Chancellor 
of the State of New-York, as Professor of Law in Co- 
lumbia College, delivered lectures the first session to 
forty students, the next to two, and the third to none, 
when he resigned his chair. It is no little impeachment 
of the good sense of the legal students of this city, that 
they neglected to avail themselves of the opportunity of 
profiting by the instruction of one *of the ablest and 
most learned jurists pf the age in which we live. In 
Virginia, prelections on international law are delivered 
by Mr. Nelson, one of the district chancellors of that 

was once so ably occupied by MT.infmJ^9^iTu^r,,thfi 

Ntuies. iJjieBtateiwce, JUn Ji^njfiQ jWiirera; Icctm^^^ Qp 
.W:: ihe^hasJ^tWy fwdpWhedia wORk^jC^titlQcl, '^,|^ 
.Coucte of l«^lfAti*dy^'Vwhi^.iS:iiotionJy pefiulWfer 
i»ewu»aU©io jthe ptii4ientv,b»t j^ p«iTO€i4 mthm^ 

iskifl k>tt&yai:i<iualegftl learmi^mriusf «d aud j&:'(bibi;^* 
> Jf. the. 3eY€rr^> states ofaC^nnj^tiQPt^ Vifguiiai.ftnd 
:(Mi^aiid> ifffoiid ,to.tbeir.r^{«^yQ:9.tudeQts.AU(^.Q|H 
xjmlufBties^f Jegal iiis(bractiof^> itit»otJncuifib^tMp2(|& 
e1ld:ie.^&atjStateof'jN^»r^Y€^k^^S^^^ (cqofitt@:»a9 

u»f ill the streaii^iof >Amm£9^,UiteilligenQe a^ 
jmse^asiweU legaLiuid in^fJ> iMri^mui^rcial^and fdi-^ 
ptal^ to hegm taJayjtbei.£H>ndditi<mao£a.geDefd^9^ 
•o^ jurispnxknce. 

A^difiareaoe d£ opinion exi^iJietw^cgaj^caQie of ottr 1 
ablest is^iiimrtl^ia cousitry. r^speetingitheiiijkilify ofilec* 
itures ;jone<party^a8aeiting^^titbey contey inainfitrac- 
ddon^ however /coiiipofied and .anranged^ iwiiile.aiiothfir 
insists, ;^ty ^f nsell fdigesj^^ andifdeatlyitold^ they ma- 
JteriaUy aid , the . piogcesa. isf tiie. pupil in inapcois^mmit. 
dLecttses, on Mrh^jkever. saliyeet, ' must^ indeed^; fpr ikm 
^ost-pait, be only .a iSme&.of .qompilfttionsyi becauaeino 
one can create jfac^<$. ' He can^ect^ by patiest 
<4i^igeiiGe, the^experienaoc^nd jobservaJdons of c^liers^ 
.'^h^i^soesier. scatterad 4n Kplumuioua nabonds^ or Abating 
iii^traditioiiary forms. To such a collodion of mate- 
dti^Sythd leebirar must^apply the Jtnalytical amlaynthe- 
itical proae8ses.4if judgment^ xeasoining, selection^ and 
^oombination^ in , otdet to. exhibit the^ ^o^l and spirit .of 
.ihe^subjacts jdiscussed^. condensed into plain and practi- 
cal peavdts. This i& ^espepially the .ca^e .with those who ^ 
iuidartake tolectuie .on;2au;.'; because^ >na piivate iiMl]* 
yidual «can m^e law^ iwhich is the iresult of the prac^ 
ttical axpeci^iGe 4if ^the^coliEimunity^ embodied into au- 
mhoraty^^f^er byjiadicial ^d^siops oratrtujtes. The 
iteaoher x»n i>nly Btate ithe lawto beasJie^findsit al- 
cft^y/detemuaed or>enaotad9vaQdith0ncey by jndtK'tioii^ 

ij4 LfiCrUBE8 ON Tfit LAWS. 

derive general principleft^ applicable to similar facts and 
analogous particulars. 

But it do^s not therefore follow that lectures are 
useless. Nor will it suffice to say^ the student may 
consult the books^ and compile a system for himself. 
Very few can possess the requisites for such a laborious 
and extensive undertaking, A great command of 
books^ abundant leiswe, indefatigable industry^ expe- 
rience to know where to search, and how to sdect from 
amidst the vast masses of unconnected paiticular facts 
and points, are all necessary. Now, ytmng men cannot 
oflen be qualified to arrange and mould into shape and 
syinmetrv the huge chaos of matter that lies floating, 
without jlorm and void> amidst the shoreless ocean of tho 
law. Young gentlemen, just emancipated iirom the si^ 
lutary restraints of acadanical life, are not very likely 
to forego the pleasures incident to that vernal season, 
or exchange the fascinating pursuit of classical studies 
and the belles lettres for the solitary task of endea* 
vouring to thread the mazes of the le^ labyrinth, with 
no Ariadne near to furnish a clue by which te guide 
their bewildered steps. But, when uie precq)tor*s di-> 
ligence has cleared away the underwood, struck out 
roads, and marked distances through the forest, the 
student will be abb to journey on his way with alacri^ 
and improvement. 

He who does not study at stat^ times, and sys* 
tematically, stodies to little purpose ; and it is one great 
benefit of lectures, that they inculcate the necessity and 
furnish an example of the utility of' habitual and sys- 
tematic study, by pointing out the source& of general 
instruction, by giving practical results, by exhibiting an 
analysis of what is disorderly and obscure, by dealing 
out regular and periodical information. Besides, new' 
compilations in the form of lectures are necessary on a 
-subject so complicated, so voluminous, so constantly 
mcreasing in bulk, as the law must be, from its duty of 
Jiabitually watching over, guiding, protecting, and pu- 
nishing the eircumstances, words, and actions of human 
society, ever fluctuating and various. Succeeding ages 


and multiplied researches produce new varieties of legal 
points and new modifications of the principles of evi- 
dence, which should be arranged and added in a syte* 
xpatic £>rm to the existing mass. The evidence, autho- 
rity, and proof of law, are all of the curmUaiitfe kind, 
increasing with the increasing age, civilization, growth, 
prosperity, and intelligence of the communitjr« And^ 
by adding to the long established elementary principles 
of jurisprudence the discoveries and improvements of 
each succeeding generation, we improve the proportion;, 
and beautify the symmetry of the legal code. 

New compilations, also, are serviceable on all sub* 
jects admittmg improvements and accommodation to 
the passing times, because all men write most success* 
fully and intelligibly for the age in which they live. 
Whatever, may be our admiration of the glowing senti- 
ments and splendid eloquence of the great writers of an- 
tiquity, every day and every hour present our own age, 
in aspects and under circumstances, that, for all the pur- 
^poses of practical utility and instrjiction, chains down the 
mind to the contemplation of the present, and causes 
its existing interests, passions, prejudices, habits, evils, 
•conveniences, hopes, and fears, to predominate over 
those of the past ages, which are already mingled with 
the years before the flood. All which applies, with pe- 
<:uliar force, to works on law, because the legal code 
of every nation depends upon the general improvement 
of society for its own progr^ession towards perfection. 
In proportion as the science of metaphysics sheds its 
light on the principles of evidence ; as history unfolds 
the series of human actions; 9iS political economt/ teaches 
the relations between government and people fmd the 
elements of intemationallaw; as moral philosophy points 
out the duties and charities of life, will the jurispru^ 
xlence of a country become clear and upright in all its 
provisions, a shield to protect the innocent^a sword to 
punish the guilty, the bulwark of individual liberty, of 
private property, and social reputation. 

It is tile opinion of some very distinguished writers, 
that the study of the law invariably tends to rmrouj th« 

T 3 

p^^ EFFECTS 0¥ T^ *Wp¥ W !»£ tAVf 

"kj! !tJ>^ ilQWi^y jp^atl)?. o^ Wtev^Jjir^ cr ^ange 'Jjhronghout 
the Hxuvcr^ w quest ^f vast and viiried iai^rmatiffli. 
tt i^ assmxicdj a3 ^;i uaqiu^stip^^b ptPpoaitian, that ^ 
inorppgh lawyer is^ by the wry iact ^' undis^rBtanding 
|)[^is pw^ professioi^ w(^, disqualified from loddng up*- 
vrard ii!qd Iraversiog the higher re^oos of intdikci; ; ih^ 
fields of niejta{xi}ysica^l^ political, mprid, Utfimy^ and 
s/?|ptific ipvcstigatipn. A^P^^ the»e igsfw^e^rs of Jthe 
^t44y of tUe h^y the aapwist <)OiEM3|)M?uou8 in jsodenii 
^mes ?tre %\ JJurke, Mr. Ciu^ai^g, aod th^ airfJior of 
tjj^ Pttrs\ii^ of ^itpratu^re^ who euforce tbcir fltacturcs 
y^fim i^ J^^oYiif^S t^adeuci^ ifi .^aifii of lofty Md 

. ^^t ^. Burkiejgivep up ^h:e whofe i^esjbioA iviieii he 
5fiy?> ^^ ^f!(?^ i^ person n^ru ^^WP^V Awm.'* If ^i«e 
:firj9td^ W^^ i^a^P 9f SW^^> of great native tai^nt, (an^^ 
\\x tfl^dir pqnt^xt, tl^^y do not ^dmit of any aliuer signifi- 
c^tiqn) ^bfs ohargi^ s^aifii^t t^ iiarrpi^ing teadency ^f tiie 
jpj^y. pjP tljy^ law fa}ls to ih^ ground ; for no naanpre^ 
<H^ep ih^^ tlii^ study <>f ti:ie liiw ^^ can open and tibe*- 
r^^^ misid? of aa^^ely prdini^ry capacity, beauiae no 
^ind of study can pr<^oe such an efiert. JSuch nindi 
ar^ tiy tbpif y^ry nature iuca,|KaU4e of compehensiTe en- 
^&^^:> ^^ the^-^r^ have rm bttfiinees with the 
^gjy of t|^ \fsff, m. a science^ They may, indeed, and 
jpften dpj pick up an acquaintance with its ipinuter fonps, 
its obscurer details, and ito more auhoisdinate technical 
litieig. But law, in its higher and more legitimate aoc^t^ 
^tion, is to them for ever a^ a fountain closed, and a vo<- 
lume sealed. If the law do open and Uberalize minds 
^^ happily Wtn," th^t is to $ay, minds of great natireca^ 
pacity , theii the narrowing tendency is not in Ae study 
itself, but in, the mind of the students which being by 
nature small and narrow, cannot be dilated nor i|treldie4 
into magnitude by any intellectual process ; because edu- 
cation can n^ver create any new &cu}^j nor increase 

the native poi^er of the imcfei-standiflgr;; itc caft^ehfy Aj- 
Tek)pd, by use shid exfeircHidythbte taknitsy^llc^thi^r dfatonjg; 
and raj^d^ or sl6w and Wcabv wImcW Gtecf hto giVitt to 
rtiew, as the nteamire of thisir natatalraMi^. 

Mr, Canning also- yields tlte fbwse df hig' obJ6cfiofr; 
whea he says> ^^ were Ifhc-stud^ of thelkw,* i*ideedy coii'-^ 
ducted a*^^ it tmght, it liiight well be eoitridetfed as a pjr6^' 
ijfex ppeparatioii ft)r the dixtiies of a statesma^v* &e. IBxd 
M<> rales of feir reasoning adinit of afguing' a^ain^t tli^ 
atee of a thing, froita 'M^use. And i^ a* prop^ mode of 
Htudyin^. the law will prepare the ihiiidfor thfe enJar^d 
horiaon: of a statesmahV view^; it cannoit be essential to 
the nature of law to njrtrow the Uttdifersfeittding; ; but the 
<iharge apjdiesronly to an ilttbfefsd and utilise Methbd 
of studying it. And such a mode 6f studying any oftliei* 
scisncey cw» any department of letter^y wx>tild MrroW^the 
mtnd> and render it bleak and barfen. ''#he proper and 
wtell-directfed study of the daissidd^ beltes^ tettrfes, itieta- 
j^ji^es;^ physic^, politick, tiieolbgy; erilar^i^' and 
st^ehgthehs^ the intellect ][^t t& finefst capacity 
would Bfecoiri^ minu<B stnd paitty; wer^e it tte- study^atiy, 
or ail: d? thesfe branches of learning ih the^ nidde' stf 
jiisdy^rt^oteted by MV: Canniiig^ namety, '* iii drdbr' 
to aoqnnpea kttoWiedge <jf fbmivof ail iU-dtrtttint^d* 
tdchnicai jar^onji andf of at- mtfe^^ of decisions and- rd- 
guladohv^ without siiflltibnt s^eeiMion' to tfie^ eincurtii- 
litairoes» inr whi^ they oWigin«ted>, the priHeiples'' oti^ 
whic^ th^^T^ foiindedi or^ tfeftr"^ d^ftfctS, ahd poaftsibld 
improvamentsi'^ The kw itself; th^refbi^, is fttee from- 
the^e^objeetionsr^ which canitelette oilly tx> the iiiiprbjiet 
ihodet of conducting ittr sftudy: 

Tfife^ aJUthor of the* " j^urmih^ 6f IMeraPur^e' undfei^-^ 
takes to prove, " that in^state afftiits- all btfrrtsfer^ are" 
duU;T aiid yet admits^ that? the Lord*- TbtrWbWafnd 
lioiig^orough: wert g^eat- sttitesihen. BUt? Weddfel^-^ 
bwne and THuiib\t*^ Vfiere aktt'eitfiitent lalv^ts. AVid^ 
iP the study? of thte hw did- «fdf 'n^VrOW^ tlWif nflnd^ it 
can inare: na nartwwiitfcfndeftey t6 prodticef stocH atlPdfect^ 
iw^anyi other stttdewtt. Bid> the stUdjf'df Itfw' ristftt)^^^ 
the' niin* of BiicMi/^ <#- Bfdei ot^' Hiitd\*tcke; <tf^ 


Mansfield^ or Jones, or Hamilton ? The fault, theti> 
if fault there be^ lies not in the natureof the study, but 
in the mode of studymg, or in the mind of the students- 
The tendency of a strong mind is to study law, as well 
as every other branch of intellectual inquiry, on the 
broad ground of general principles. To generalize, or 
dimb, by an induction from particular facts to ^neral^ 
results. Lord Bacon calls the proud prerogative of 
genius. But slow and feeble minds have no power to 
make general combinations. Isolated facts lie scattered 
up and down, singly, in their brain, Ukfe dry and 
withered sticks, without any bond of connexion, with- 
out any faculty of reasoning and ims^nation, to cause 
them to strike .root, and branch foith into great and 
productive principles. 

Such men, to be sure, always make formal, minute,, 
narrow-minded ca^e4awyers. Yet it is not the study of 
' the law which narrows their intellect, but their inteW 
lect which narrows the study of the law. Were they 
• to pursue any other study than that of law they 
would still be narrow-minded ; they would, in the pur- 
suit of politics, or theology, or medicine, be ca*e-politi- 
dans, co^^-divines, or co^e-physicians, because they are 
case^mefiy and must necessanly carry the groundwork 
of their nature into whatever calling they follow ; must 
preserve the dowlass texture of their garment, whatever 
of embroidery or ornament they may heap upon it. 
The standard of the Persian monarchs, in meir ruder 
ages, was a leathern apron. In after times, the sove- 
reigns endeavoured to hide its unseemliness from the 
view, by covering it all over with barbaric pearl and 
gold ; but it stiU remained, intrinsically, a leathern 
apron^ notwithstanding its external pomp. 

The following facts will show that the study of the 
law has no necessaiy tendency to narrow a strong 
mind. When Lord Thurlow was at the bar, and con- 
sulted on any great question, he used to make himself 
well acquainted with the facts of the case, and meditate 
on them patiently until he reached his result, by fair rea- 
soning on the general principles of law, as applied to 


the question hef^te bim. He then rq>aired to Mr. 
(aftenvard Lord) Kenyon, the most learned common 
lawyer in Westminster Hall^ since Sir Matthew Hale, . 
stated to him the facts, and his own results, in order to 
see if his conclusions coincided with the inference of laW 
to be drawn from judicial decisions on the same or a 
similar subject. And it almost invariably happened 
that Thurlow*s result, derived from general reasoning, 
wa^ in strict accordance with the inference drawn by 
Kenyon, from an examination of decided cases. What 
an eulogium does this, fact convey, not only upon the 
comprraensive sagacity and reasoning powers of Lord 
Thurlow, but also on the wisdom ana justice of the 
common law ! 

Lord Bacon was a profound lawyer, as sufficiently 
i^oears by his law-tracts, and more particularly hit 
'• Reading on the Statute of Uses.** And, whether or 
not the study of the law narrowed Ai$ mind, may be 
discovered by examining his " Novum Orgamtm^ and 
his treatise ^^ De Augmentis Sdentiarum;^ works in 
which his stupendous intellect, anticipating the age in 
which he lived by at least a thousand years, has laid 
down those universal principles of investigation and 
reasoning, by which alone the mind can successfully 
regulate its searcjii afiter improvement and truth : 

•< ■ Clanim, et Tenerabile nomen, 

*^ Gentlbus, et nostro mttltam quod prodidit orbi.'* 

The denunciations agiunst the narrowing tendencies 
of the study of the law, pronounced by Mr. Burke, Mr. 
Canning, and the author of jthe '^ iWsuits of Litera- 
ture,*' are to be found in Mr. Burke*s speech on Ame- 
rican taxation, delivered in the House of Commons, on 
the nineteenth of April, 1774 ; and in an ^^Answer to an 
Inquiry into the State of the Nation,** written in I806, 
in order to refute the positions of a celebrated pamphlet, 
written conjoiintly by Mr. Fox and Mr. Brougham, Mr. 
Canning's strictures on the study of the law were called 
forth, by the apj^intment of Lord Ellenborough, Chief 
Justice of the lung*B Bench, to a seat in the executive 

calfeiet. *^ A^prefetdiy'fipigtle on tWPiijMii<itUi* 
tetatare," is eitcfeeditigly sevfei-e^ <M alMaWyfert? aild) 
es{teciidly on llord (then Mr;) BrskiAei ftr theiV iricom-^ 
pfetency in poMtieial affiilrs, All these pferfiirtAafitees^ 
are eiiiblftioftedM*lth sffl4n*^-elo(juetlefeJ ahd'two^ oP 
thevti ate ako enliveh-^ With keen aiid^dlkihed \^itS* 
\Mt their irtfercfaces' I- h^ have bfeea- proved td* be' 

It i$' dbjected^by' Mk Bferithaw^ in his^ celebrated' 
Treatise ohLegisktion, that ttie ctmirmM ^law of EisfgUfid' 
iS^rude airid'barbarbusin its origin, uftfit^ fit the present' 
adVailced stkte' of ciyiltektiAn; far inferior to the Rothtai^ 
cSr civil \kWy ifa' comprehensive wiidoitii attd atctl^ac3^ 
ef detail, and radically defective in rwt bdilg^a^wtittett^ 
c^dfe, but merely custirtiatj^, atid'gtowiAlg o^ cPtihie 
iJwa^ets and habits of the' pbnMminity. 

The si6ti[nd|le$d of thfeaisfertidtt, althbtigh^rirged^y 
sSfelf h%h'aiithoritjr, is xjtiestionable; for* no individual^ 
ri*>:Vfem*b'tittityc&w J^^ ffyr^ ot%te%ke the^exigfeifatfciesi' 
i*hieh' arfe cdhtinttJ^Uy aHsin^amidst^the^ ceaseless' fliici 
tttfction of^^^utttxtt'^Bi^ if there^ 

i^i^ite^legaVctrdi^ sjhre^ ito4:he sKajpe 

cPdrdinanee, stktutig, or*decrpe, society 'wottldb^, at* 
owefe^ toomtich trattttoelled iii its'tytove^erits, crfidSlritfiv 
out remedy irt itiany emergenciesi Tlris'ii' emphatically* 
the case v^ Chii^a ajid Hjndpstan, whose written codes 
are prodigipu$ly piinute in their provi«ons, watching 
over^ and regulating all the little details of i^dividud 
i^i'sUit> ddirie$tie efcohbmy, and' soeial^ lift*; Beside/ in 
1^1 cotiiitrielsy even' t>f€r ttiosl'd^pcrtie, a'ctomnAoh' ot ctidr' 
tcfthtoy'^laW'pi'eWUs^^ c^ tb' the* d^^Krtte irfee«n|te« 
teriee of jJdaitiVeJ eii^htefeitfel le^lktlt;^ prbvisiohis, tM 
(S^eftitive d«rareefe; tb> i^guktfe all tHe^c!biictt*s» oP tfttf 
cSbftrfmiitnty; Hfenee* it* existed ahibng^ theiliftlbris-of 
atttiqtdty, Whether fheef or ^enslaVed^ a^the*Greel?si B^4 
fi^^i^i and J^bliiatti^, it e!twtS*rfiO'iii thfe^ilWdehi^^rtd, 
aMbn^tWfr^boiidand^fVee;' amoh^tHe H5ifrf*M>€Hiatfeter^ 
^'Tiirfej' the ritftiohs^ (tf^continefttal'Bmyjpej. WWetf 
Birmadc^ed'tlie' civil' law ^ tlie 1:)*^ dftHrir^o^i^ 
l«ttiicij^x^«S, tlfe^I^^ OfejiSaAsj Ittflifth'sr, {^V 

nktd^y ^odButch^ c* 1^11 a« the Bfiglish, IHsh^ and* 
Almfericaris, who proflb^s ta he governed almost entirely^ 
by' the provisions of the common law. 

'Wlis^oomtnoti, or customary law, implies^ in it& very 
nattie, as springing from the customs- and -habits of the 
dbuntry v^here it exists, that it is in a state of perpetual* 
<iiange ;; > since the customs and habits of a^people, more* 
especidly^if free to follow their own inclinations^ ar^ 
perpetually changing; A common kw prevails in s^H 
nations,'. Imt most in free communities^ because in them 
tfc^gre«ft6st^respect ispaidtbtheleelingsi habits, man*^ 
jlers^i and customs of the people. It is impossible, by 
statiit^; tb provide for every particular case that may: 
at4ie amidst the various modifications of which pro- 
jp«rt^ is 'susceptible, the diversity of relations in civir 
Jllfe, the many possible combinations of events and^cir^ 
<!^diiistbilde9^ which eliidfe the power^ofenumerationi aind* 
jtibck the reach of all » human foresight. 

But whatever is n<AtBHUen\% comrnen law»;, and ac- 
<5M^rtgl3r, in every countty pretending to any adiniiiiss- 
jttation of justice, it ha« been found expedientto entrust 
Ihe^jiidges with the power of deducing 'from the more 
geriefal'pit)positions of law, and fhmi the hkbits and 
customs} sanctioned by usage, such practical corollaries^ 
ja^may most conduce tb the furtherance of justice. De- 
dkctiohi^ thtisf formed and established, in the adjudica-^ 
tion* of particular causei?, become part of the text or 
body of the inurticipaHaw: Succeeding judges receive 
thetn-ak sudi, and generally^considfertiiemseH^ asmuch 
Bound by them as by the* pmvisibns of statute law. 
Thui^^\^up, gradually, a- body of commoner cibp. 
tiQWiaiy lahTp Gicero; inhis •^' OroJtorte Pftrtffeon^;^- ' ex- 
piresisIyaBSert^^ ttiat in every countty tWo sorts of laW 
• prevsdl; one written; the other not writtien, but spring- 
fng'Upi either f^omtHeTights ofnationi^, orthe niutrici^ 
paP ea^btm of ttieir^ ancestors. Rome and^Ehglaxwi; 
undfer' tJteijf^ miked gbvemmetttsj the one inclining^ to^ 
democracy ift its later stages', theothei' prettyequ&ll]f 
pkl^i^ed^ by^ tfte^ cbtifHctSng forces of^monarchy^ acri^o- 
icmt^f Md-demott^^ H^ve^lfett]('i!^egreatesft%iaa^ 


tors recorded in histoiy. Rome has left the foundatioff^ 
and great part of the superstructure^ of her civil code^ 
to the whole European continent — to Scotland^ to the 
colonies of France^ Spain, Holland, Sweden, and Den-* 
mark. England has, in her own island, carried the au^ 
thority and government of law to a very high eminence 
of penection ; atxd has transmitted her municipal code 
to Ireland, to her European, African, Asiatic^ and Ame^ 
rican colonies, and to these United States. 

Under both the Roman and English establishments, 
the common law, or known customs, and the practice 
and decisions of courts^ acquired equal authority with 
positive statutes. Effectual precautions were taken for 
the impartial application of general rules to particular 
cases ; and a surprising coincidence exists in the modes 
of jurisdiction adopted by these two nations. In both 
countries the people reserved to themselves the office of 
judgment, and brought the decision of civil rights and 
criminal questions to the tribunal of peers, or a Jury, 
who, in judging their fellow-citizens, prescribed a con- 
dition of life for themselves. Nay, the term common 
law, as well as the thing itself, is not confined to the 
law of England. .Sir Heneage Finch, afterward Lord 
Nottingham, one of the ablest of a very long list of able 
English Chancellors, says, ^^ that it is not a word new^ 
nor strange, nor barbarous, nor proper only to England, 
but is common to other countries also.** Euripides, 
more than once, makes mention of the common laws of 
Greece ; and Plato, in his Treatise on a republic, de-^ 
fines the common law to be ^^ that which is first taken 
up by the common consent and usage of a country, 
and afterward sanctioned by judicial decisions ; he also 
calls it "the golden and sacred rule of reason ;'* a 
phrase borrowed by Lord Coke, when he said, . " that 
common Jaw was nothing else but right reason f * mean- 
ing, doubtless, that refined reaso% the offspring of ex- 
perience and wisdom, whose authority is generally 
obeyed by the consent of all. 

The common law is peculiarly favourable to the 
growth and maintenance of liberty , both personal und 

f6 tlffi ClVtt LAW. . it^S 

poliitcal^ because it cherishes and establishes those 
usages and customs of the people, which experience has^ 
proved to be practically beneficial; whereas, written 
law is unfavourable to freedom, by fettering the move-^ 
ments of social action^ and by leaving no room for the 
growth of popular habits and customs. Hence the 
common law prevails most in the freest countries, whose 
freedom it continually augments; for example, it be^rs 
greater sway in England, and in the United States, than 
in any other country; because they are the most essen- 
tially free, and substantially civilized, of all nations, an-^ 
cient or modem. The distinguishing characteristic of 
the common law is its elastic energy, accommodated to 
all social exigencies; alike fitted to direct and regulate 
the tender infancy, the aspiring youth, the matured 
manhood, and the venerable age of nations. Whence, 
its limits are in continual progression; as new exigen- 
cies arise in the community, and consequently new com-, 
binations and applications, of common law principles 
are necessary. And, as the English and American 
judges, following the light of Lord Mansfield's great 
example, embrace the general principles of jurispru- 
dence, the common law will travel over the dominions 
of equity; and that which is merely equity now, will, in 
the lapse of half a century, be established common law 
decision and practice. Within the last fifty years, the 
common law has embraced a considerable portion of 
equity jurisdiction. 

In England, the common law has grown with the 
growth of the nation, in arts, and arms, in religion, mo- 
rals, science, literature, and civilization. The English 
common law was rude and scanty in its origin, contain- 
ing a few imperfect regulations respecting person and 
property, under the Anglo-Saxon and Danish dynasties; 
at the Norman conquest it embraced the feudal law, in 
relation to real property; afterward it incorporated the 
civil law, with regard to personal property. In the pro- 
gress of its growth, it received withjin its capacious bo- 
som the commercial law; and lastly, has girded within 
its immeasurable belt the whole system of international 


IttMr, wUch connecto together in the bonds ef soeiil v^ 
tercourse all the ifthabkiaits of the civilised worlds 
The criminal law of £<ngland id in part Saxoii> Danish^ 
and Norman^ much modified by subsequent staiHites* 
The European codes^ geueralW^ are siBiilar in their ori» 
gin^ and in much of their progresai Thus^ the En^i^h) 
Wefeh^ ScottifiAi^ French^ Italian^ j^adwh, Getnftui^ Da> 
iH»h^. and Swedish codeg^ reflect mutual Iig)it upon each 
ether>. in all the essential points of their respective j^iri^ 
dical systems. This is so much the case between tibose 
c^ France and England, that the best iUusta^ations of 
the Micieiit French code are to be found* in the earlier 
kfw wrifeer* of England ; and the best commentary upon 
the old English law exists in the: writings of the elder 
Fraich jurists. 

Some of the most distinguished of our* Am^ican ju? 
rists* are divided in opinion respecting the introduction 
of the comnMm law of England into, and its authority 
within, the United States. On one side^ it iscontekided 
that tlie English common law is the unwritten law of 
the United States, in^t^eir national or fiederaJ- capacity; 
and that the commonlaw of the separate states i^emains 
the same as before the pevolation. While on the other 
side it is urged^ that no common law" exists in the courts 
of the United States', but their whole range is confined 
to taking, cognizance of, and expounding; the American 
eonstitutions, the actsof Cbngressy andtlreaties bietween 
the United States and foreign powers. It is>.howevei^ 
admitted onallsideis, that tSe common>law df Engird, 
as it existed on tiie breaking; outi of the r6\)tbItitiod3«haa 
been incorporated into o/i the sepatvte states^ as ih& 
boaisof their municipal law; subject, of course^, to the 
oimtroU and modiiioationf of legislative- provisions^i 

Stmie ofthe prihcipa^ differenoe^, ^ present etxisting 
between. the. AenerieanrandEngliab law,, are; that our 
nmnitapid) code tdnda to- scatter realf property,^ at: the 
dsadi} of e!^ery head of a &mflyv wbeiras.' that of rBhg» 
llEod^ by tibEe commontlaw ofi descent,' .the stattrti^rof 0m 
tnfe^ aitdi die custoiif ofi strict? •manria^ settlement; 
tmdfi tpj aornmi^a^ ^ipi^fpsttiator fimiiy'' propertj^i 


Jn Jdae ^lifliribution of peBsonal prc^erty, the AnaerieaA 
jbllows the English, j^hich is derived from the <*ivii law. 
Our criminal code is mucfh milder than that of England, 
iwidch is too severe, and encourages crime, by the uncer^ 
tavntjf of jiunishment; while we augment crime by th^ 
inadequaojf of punishmeiit to such a degree^ as to keep 
our state-prisons generally ftiU, besides a <x)ntinually in- 
creasing body of pardoned criminals, let loose to prey 
upon the public. The courts of the United States, al- 
though they disavow any binding authority in the Eng- 
lish common law upon them, yet in fact expound their 
legal questions, whether civil ol- criminal, upon com- 
mon law principles. 

Upon the whole, then, the best groundwwpk for the 
earlier studies of the English and American jurists is 
to be found in the diligent perusal of Judge Blackstone's 
Commentaries, as containing an' admirable outline of 
En^ish law, both civil and criminal; and then the Insti- 
tutes of Justinian, because the legal provisions respect- 
ing p^sonal property, both here and in England, arc 
almost entirely derived from the Roman code. The 
late Oenefal Hasftihon used to say, that he had learned 
more of the elenients and principles of jurisprudence^ 
as a science, from the study^ of this tl^ian of any other 
work. Next in order, should be read the Book of 
F^«ids, because the English law of real property is de- 
rived from the feudal system, and that of America (with 
some statute modifications), from the English law. Then 
Be^wes's Lex Mercatoria wiH give an acquaintanca 
with eomoierdial law, as an essential part or the com- 
mon law; and Vattel presents a trief outline of the 
law of nations, which also constitutes an integral por- 
tion of the common law. A work on national law, em- 
bracing the questions decided since the time of Vattel, 
is piueh wanted. At present, only a few miscellaneous 
observations can be made on some of the defects in our 
juridical ^stem, which hate been partly borrowed from 
fngland, smd are in part weeds of our own growtfa. 

in Engluid, indlvidml subjects, to whom the 50Ve- 
reig;n is indebted, have a remedy in the Kingfs own 


courts^ by a petition of right; whereas^ in the United^ 
and separate states^ every part of the English com- 
moQ law relating to the sovereign was aboUshed by the 
revolution^ whicn fixed the sovereignty in the American 
people. And our courts only possess so much judicial 
power^ as is given by constitution and statute^ neither 
of which gives an action at the suit of an individual 
against a state^ or against the United States. Whence 
a creditor, whether of a separate state, or of the United 
States, has no other remedy than to petition the legis- 
lature to make a money appropriation to the amount of 
the debt due to him; which is a very precarious reme- 
ydy, as appears from the fate of so many petitions to 
Congress, and the state legislatures, by. claimants on 
the score of revolutionary services, during that war 
which gave national independence and sovereignty to 
the United States. There is no legal mode of compel- 
ling any one of our states to pay its just debts, whether 
due to its own citizens, or the citizens of other states, 
or the subjects of a foreign sovereign. Nay, if a state ' 
violates a treaty or an act of Congress, or any of the 
provisions of the federal constitution, there is no le- 
gal remedy, because the separate states are ruot amena-> 
ble to the judicial authority of the United States. 

The laws in this country generally favour the debtor ^ 
at the expense of the creditor, and so far encourage 
dishonesty. The number of insolvents, in every state, 
is prodigious, and continually increasing. They very 
seldom pay any part of their debts^ but get discharged 
by the state insolvent acts with great facility, and se- 
crete what property they please for their own use, with- 
out the creditor's being ablfe to touch a single stiver. 
There is no bankrupt law in the United States, and no 
appeal in these matters from the state to the federal 
courts; whence, in every state, the insolvent acts ope- 
rate as a general jail delivery of all debtors, and a per- 
manent scheme, by which creditors are defrauded of 
their property. Tne British merchants and manufac-^ 
turers who have trusted our people doubtless under- 
stand thist 


Throughout the separate states, whatever may be 
the mode of appointing, or the official tenure of the 
superior judges, the justices and judges of the common 

5 leas, and other inferior courts, are generally appointed 
uring pleasure, and receive their income from die fees 
^f office ; whence litigation i^ grievously encouraged 
among the poorer classes of the community, and a hor* 
xible perversion of justice corrupts the whole body of 
the commonwealth. 

The United and separate States have transcribed 
into their statute book the English laws against tisury. 
All the best political philosophers unite in condemning 
any legislative interference with the rate of interest for 
the use of money ; see Dr. Adam Smith, Mr. Hume, 
jSir James Stuart, and particularly Mr. Benth^m, who 
demonstrates the absurdity and mischief of all usury 
laws most conclusively and forcibly. A single fact is 
jiufficient to prove their inutility and folly ; namely, that 
the legal always differs from the market rate of interest. 
In countries abounding with capital, the legd is above, 
in . those deficient in capital it is below the market 
price* For example, in England, at this moment, the 
legal rate of interest is five per cent., the market pric^ 
x>nly three ; in the United States the average legal rate 
is six per cent., and the market price varies from ten to 
twenty per cent, according to the rapacity of the lander, 
and toe exigexicy of the borrower. In Hamburgh, where 
there is no usury law, the rate of interest is lower, in 
proportion to its capital, than if such law existed, 
because no premium is required for breaking it. 

Sotne.of our states, particularly that of New- York, 
have borrowed the Enghsh system of poor laws. NoWj^ 
whether we adopt the theory of population laid down 
.by Mr. Malthus, or that more recently urged by Mr. 
W iejand, both of whom exhibit great talent, and a most 
instructive di^lay of facts, in support of their respective 
propositioi>s, we must be compelled to admit, that the 
poor laws of England are an awful evil to that country ; 
that thj^y increase the indigence which they profess to 
relieve, and enormously augment the vice, misery, and 

^8 ' PO<Ml LAW*. 

degmd&tkm x^ tke great m^iscr of the English jp^pW^ 
Whoever wkheg to see the diartaUs iQ)on this subjeat, 
maV'eoiisult the diMOfisions in the Hou3e of ComKiQiigy 
imd the Rmoits oa Mendicity, l^itely published in Ijoiir' 
don ; and the causes of the sptem pcoduciing •such j^r- 
nicious effects are unfolded with great force and ^cfeai?^ 
tiesn by Mr, MaMius^ in his Essay oh P^ipulation. 

As yet, on account of their extensive territory, oom^ 
paratively thin population, high wages of labour, abun^ 
dance c^ employment and sustenance, th6 United States 
do not suffer so muc^ from the system of poor laws 
as England. But, as far as they go, they produce subb- 
11:antial evil, unmingled with any good, la thiis; city of 
^ew-Yerk, for instance, it appears, from a memorickl 
€iddress^ to oUr state legislature, in the month of 
March, IHJ, that, during the last winter,^^S!een i&ott^ 
v^afk/panpei^, that is to say, about ii seventh of oucMifaole 
^pulation, received ahns. For several yeavs past tlie 
nmnbers c^ our poor have been increasing, dx^^hsiw 
been attended with a coFrespcinding augmentation x»f 
proiigae^ and crime. When the si^^p^intendants ^at 
the New*¥ork Sunday School Union Society, in Jthp 
•spring of 18 1^, first engaged in their labours of love, to 
<»ec48lim tlie children of poverty, idleness, and ^oe, ffom 
^the^rrer-of daeir ^ay^ to the wisdom ofthe ju^, they 
Jdund the stress of the <»ity and the habitations of ^fehe 
^oor one living-spectacle of intoxicatioti. They-wew 
•ahodced to -see ihe squalid misesy, the loathsome dk^ 
oease, and ^till ^fnore loathsome moral -de^rmity ^in- 
fancy, youth, manhood, ^nd age^ all occasioned ^y the 
thcibfttml aise of -cordent spirits among the poor, without 
distinction-of ^exior yesa*B. It is but the tribute of j«a-r 
^tioe^o -the merits ^ those estimable men, to dedare, 
•thattlihetrti^emofistTances andefierts in the sacred-cauae, 
-whfcSi^they have espoused with so muchaeal, ^hanty^ 
"Wisdoin^ 2»id perseverance, have somewhat ^minisheil 
^hishorrible^ice, as weU«as lessened the profimati^^ 

-It is 'surely needlessrto^Qix^tiateon a^K^et eatabliidied 
^by the^Lpen»iee^f alPhiStory ; nain^ly, tbaftwhenaTOr 

the Icmer orders of the community are generdly cor^ 
rupted m their morals^ the death-warrant of their civil 
' and religious liberties is ah-eiady signed. And^ if such 
an event has uniformly tsJcen place in tbegovernments 
of the old world, where the people are no^ sufficed to 
exercise any great share of political power, or enjoy any 
great portion of political rights and privilegesy^/Mi' much 
more cettaiii and speedy must be the desolation in the 
United States, all of whose: governments have their 
foundations laid brosid and deep in the popidar sove- 
reignty, and all of whose institutions resty ultimately, 
upon the basis of popular opinion? It requires no pro- 
phetic inspiration to foretel the rapid dii^solution of a 
government, planted in the soil of. universal ^ sufimge, 
when once its electors have become deaf to the calls of 
du^, by the long-continued habit of iniquity, and when 
the mere sale of -their votes to the highest bidder may 
be considered as one of the leaist dark in the long cata« 
logue of their accustomed crimes^ 
' 'Mie chief cause of the degradation, and misery >in our 

Eaupers, doubtless, is to be found in that system of poor- 
tw»,- which we have fkithfiiliy transcrTbed from the 
English statute book into our own legal code-^a sys- 
tem by wluch the English poor have been, materially 
injured in their morals, their habits of industry, their 
sense of character, in all that contributes to give 
strength and permanency to national prosperity; a 
system first adopted in the reign of Elizabetb, and since 
that time swollen, by successive statutes and innumer- 
able judicial decisions, into a voluminous and frightful 
code. The same causes invariably produce the. same 
e&cts, when applied to the same circumstances ; and 
therefore, although atprefeent^ owing to our thin po- 
pulation, abundance of wages, provisions, . and work, 
and the small public expenditure,' the burden of the 
poor rates does not press with so very alarming a 
weight, yet it is an evil \n perpetual progression^ and 
will continue to eat into and gangrene the life organs 
of the commonwealth, precisely in proportion as the 
pwfh shall continue to augment in number, and agri- 


m tb? l^M ^t(KU9i» Wfi^9 ^ l^sMlnton^ m its 19^ 
4ofHi «i34 meiipy^f «« ^ tp twttuhilate pr alti^r the whole 

But 4^ potfit-Aum f yite|n tekw away Ihb umveruil im- 
6iplie|xiiivlii|s^9 }^ jnelkiriog «tf toe n^edjr thatgppiy 
2br hdp; tlb^ in Im^ Mcoiiiagang that very 
lirj^cb if tile fltigiiial. wd famditavjr fsia ^our commfiii 
n«t}ire* I^im; i$ iiUeofiM wer a solitary vipe: it kads 
iMfmit of aecfsai^ its votaries ix> inteoiiperajice, frauds 
tHeft^ and Uiose stiU more atrodana crimes which ahake 
the fiwndatioiif vf human soeiel^* l^he Spai^ish ftnh 
MSfh is, ^Uhe deyil temiits other pecifile> Init idfe jieo^e 
iemjpt the deviL'" If me Spaniards would profit % ^ 
good sense of their oiro proverb^ tb^ would Soon ex- 
hihit a beauliiiil and splendid cmiti?aat to the midnight 
darkness oidoikmdstmery which now ffiishpQttdstfaeir 
i^ligioussentiments^thm political o^nions^ their pablic 
liherty^ tbdr kifiividuai enterprise. The legislature of 
thU isountrje;^ and m<xe particularly of our own-stote^ 
IS caU^ upon by the voice of duty^ as they .iregard the 
welfare of the people committed to their charge^ to 
check tl}e gix>wdi of an evit^ whose midiedced pfpgres» 
must eventually convert (he great masf of oui: oomauif- 
ni^ intoidle^ intemperate^ profligate bpings^ and tibrough 
their msiimmenieLmjf consign our civil and religipusls* 
beities^ our political and soaialinstitutions, the pride and 
ornament of an enligntened age, oi}r private cpnsola^ 
tions, and pubhc defences, the incentives to exertion, 
the light of hope, and the love of life, to the silence an^ 
forgetfulness of the n^ulchre. 

I cannot close this veiy slight summary of a few qf 
the defects of our legal system, without noticing t^e ra- 
dically imperfect organisation of our New-¥ork£^W ef 
^JErrorsy which cannot be done better than in the wbrds 
of Mr. Piatt, now one of the judges of ouir siqxpeme 

tontt, but ti^dtig ^ a %etM» «f but ItMift, #})M!^ life 

judicial tribunal. 

The Ne#-Y^k Sttibe Cc^stitttlidn pi^id^t^ tW a 
^emirt fer thte tfid of i^peiatehlnehts^ tod ceiteetit^^ 
«frol^9 Hhall (kHiBkt of th« Pn^ideiit bf &^ fSetikte^ thi 
SiMatol^^ ChMicdlor^ ahdi Judges of dto supbej^ edtuft^ 
W Ae majority of th^to. ^* I Cannot admit,** t>ay« Mh 
Jwtiee fiatt, ^' the doctrine of im7^ir?aft^% ita tfoe d^ 
^siofi^ of this courts td the tinqualifled liltettt dlieinnfed 
hf thte plaintifs couttisel. The decisions of MtitiM af* 
iwif the law, bfet only tddenee of law. And tiife eVicfenftfe 
ii fittt)nger of wtafeeir, accofdittg tb the nUttibei^ and 
teiifomiky of acyudicatidnis, the unanimity of dfei^tftion 
^ «|ie judgeii, the isolidity of Ih^i neast^^nis oh ^hieh tfie 
deekionf ai^ founded, and thte perspicuity and pwcisroft 
with whi<*h thOfte iieadOns afift eltpressed. The Weight 
and authority of jtltodicial deeisidrts depend also ott fhfe 
character and tempet of the timefe in which they art 
brohotin^d. Aq adjudieation at a nioment when tnr- 
iuleht pfesisiotts, of i^evolutiohaiy phrtn^ies prevail, dei 
serves much less respect than if it wer6 made at a reai. 
ton prb|>itioM toimpaHialiliqUity ahd caliD dellbei^tioR. 
The pedulietr organisation iand prac*tice of this toix^ 
ytnAtf It difficult to e^Mblish a systeta of prec^fenti. 
Iti th<^ sOj)!feme court, the jtldgjes fconffer together, ttotfti 

Kre Opinions, Weigh each otnei^s reasons, and elicit 
^ht fwm each othfer. If they ^gfee, one is Usually dt*^ 
legated by th^ others, riot ohly to ptonotmce judgihfent, 
%ot to a^sigh treasons for the wholfe bench. But <sv^ 
4ti that <!bWt, ahd in the courts of Westnllnstet-Hffl^ 
tihe judges Who silently acqttics^fe ih the rtefeult do Mi 
l*on$ider themselves bound to reCoghl^e a^ law all thd 
trffrta 6f th^ Judge who delivert thfe opinion of the cbuft; 
In thif Court of ErrOW, thfe membert ne¥fet hold Wijf 
|>iNvlOttl»coflsUltt|tioritog*thfer: We Vote for the ilioH 
^rt air in ouf legi^titm eapkcify. Fei^ aSsigh itty 
MMOhS, «id fewttr still give Written opiiiions, Whifch 
may be f eported. For these reason^, I think it wotild 
be extravagant and dangerous to consider the dicta And 

u 3 


opinions of a single member^ as settling definitively the 
law of the land, on all the points on which he chooses 
to give opinions^ or to assign reasons*** 

The. House of Lords in England, in relation to its 
being the highest legal tribund in die empire, is liable 
to nearly the same objections which Mr. Justice Piatt 
urges against the Court of Errors in this state. But 
in England, on every question of law, the peers, both 
clerical and lay, are in the habit of trusting implicitly , 
to the opinions of the twelve judges ; whereas, in 
-New-York, our judees have not always the weight 
in the decisions of the Court, of Errors which their 
acknowledged talents and learning ought, in all places^ 
to command. It would be exceedingly beneficial to 
this state, if a convention of the people were called 
for the purpose of altering the constitution, at least 
in three particulars ; namely, constituting a Court of 
£^ors entirely of /e^a/ characters ; abolishing the limi- 
tation as to age in the official tenure of our judges; 
and annihilating the Council pf Appointment, that 
pur governor nught be a single, responsible^^ executive 

It is a common complaint, that the Anierican bar is 
cverstocked. With what ? — with talent and learning. 
This, I believe, is not asserted, and would be difficult to 
demonstrate ; since no community, in whole or in part, 
can be so overstocked, because, native talent is a plant 
of rare growth, and still rarer cultivation, in every age 
and country. But our bar is overstocked with numbers. 
Grant the fact ; and ask if talent and learning have any 
tj^n^to fear from >utmumbered cpinbinations of dulness 
and igncnance. Can mere numbers of pei^ons, who 
either negiect to exercise their understandings, or who 
have no minds to exercise, stop the prog^ef s of the 
combined force of talent, industry, and lean^ing, in a 
profession where success so mainly depends unon the 
public display of genius and knowledge? Pid the 
shades of Tartarus, the unsubstaiitial forms that hovered 
round his path, impede for a mcmient the march of 
Mn^aa onward to Elysium ? 


Whether ^^ or not our bar be overstocked with num.' 
bers, I am ignorant, having no data on which to calcu- 
late with any degree of certainty and precision, if the 
annual increase of lawyers averages a greater propor-' 
tion than it ought to bear to the yearly augmentation of 
wealth and population in the United States, fiut if the 
bar be, at present, overstocked with numbers, it is of no 
importance. It is merely a local and temporary incon- 
venience, which, when left to itself, will soon find its 
own remedy; for the quantity of every commodity 
always suits itself, ultimately, to the effectual demand 
of the existing market. Apply this doctiine to the law, 
and lawyers, and there need be no alarm as to the con- 
sequences of an excessive influx of students. If the bar 
be understocked, the practice of its members will be 
. so abundant and lucrative, as to offer a high bounty for 
ah immediate supply of new recruits. If it be over- 
stocked^ the practice will be so irionojpolized by its abler 
sons, as to speak to the less efiiciei^it barristers in the' 
very iiitefligible language of nakedness and hunger^ that 
the bar is no place for them ; that it opens no market 
for the vent of their wares; that its cardinal pillars are' 
not ignorance and idleness; that its walls are not to be 
buttressed up by dulness and implidence ; and that they 
therefore must- betake themselves to some employ- 
ment more congenial to their nature and acquisitions, 
than a calling which requires the combination, of na- 
tive talent, with patient and persevering industry. / 
. At aH events, talent and industry need never be 
terrified from the pursuits of law, since, by the very na- 
ture and condition ofmen andthings, there never can bean- 
overstock of diligence and capacity upon the face of the 
earth; aiui since Me^, when directed by prudence and* 
discretion, cannot fiul of commanding success and honour' 
in every walk of life, and in none more certainly and' 
more splendidly than the bar. Whichever political party ' 
be uppermost in the United States, the lawyers govern 
the country; they possess more influence, and exercise 
more powerithan any other power; they «are emphati- 
cally the men of business, and as we have no separate^ 

cqqpiaof profesooi]^ politidapt^^ ^y efigr»s9 Martjf all 
th^ high oSSfi&s. o£ s^to> whelH^r M hmn^ or airraid. 
Withi the exceptiyan of General Wa^hidifkfin^ ev9ty tW^ 
sidioot c/ the United Sta^^es ha» boefi a Uv¥^$ wd^ 
witlioiiit 9Xky e^ceptioB, all (mr a1>left| 4%^kmitt$|i hsre 
, be^a selected from tl^ some p^relefMsiOik 

The A^ieric^ bar ailw^^ya eewpftandlt a WlS thai^ dT 
the gif^at taWnt of the fowitfy^ indeed, tt oi^gfal^ aa»d;il^ 
^^ji enhjtutat in proyoFtiQB to ow wiiole pcq^laAiM^ M 
cpmpi^Qd witht t£^t of tlie BriAishi t^lea^ a ht^ ngg^ 
»Mr^ deploy <)if intellect thac^ i» mmifesbei 1^^ that <ff 
ttv^ pp^ted Kj^^ of Gv^i^t jfo-itam aiMi ifetaki; 
t(xc^ ia the United Stotes^ tl^ev^ ia a^o^otfa^r gea^ml cMlk 
l^ for thf Jiv^st-^rBOfi' talent tlisi^ the pfofcmoift c^ tlM^ 
Wi T]^^ «»twe c^ their {xoliM^ai in^litiikiftta forbids 
a^qigf (loge of. tbeic st^lesHiett eveir atytyrfTiMg $i^ pavmai^ 
nepjt power or exteo^iive weakh and iviiasMr is& tW 
cpupWQiwi^^ apdi eoABi^uentl^^ afietc^ aer ad9i{i»hto ittH 
^^qinpn^ |)iMr th« pi^iaia|»|^ t9!il(N|ta ^£ tha^ ecpnilji^ ta d»« 
ifQt<ft tbj^iiM»efev«a^M%ii^ %^ a liAr af f^fi«v»9 idlenw 
4}^ aflaAe. ^eldom^ op nava^ cpiiiMa^ far hei^ fwmmmit 
aimnp^li^ fic^^^^^ flii^i^ifa ^ hiea^ eUltk*M. TlaajMi£i 
jpl^ of AiBe^iea) w^ ii^nt 8iij)ikaiw% c hara db tt Aliy #Mg 
i^iti|anf4 Of atata> ^gi^Mmmfif^ nof taftaientlf aseoi^ 
i^jBie^d^ liiljs pubtic opipi^^ pof « reaMMTatad by » snffiu 
cv?D% ^nifAe a^wpepaalioia^ to^^antadaquaiabDattlf 
t^ thif. highesjb offdei^ of tal^»»t^ 1!ha;aii^sr aad oemi^p ai 
the U^itedt i^tea hd^ae 1^ 3fet gPMwapto a^si^Siiciaat 
fii^e a])4 axt(w^ ta ^m^dii0fvtettar thMWislwa! the eaaploy- 
ifiieiitt oi^ Wf vary- g^eat pn^fMDslifMp^ afi «ha ftoBl torn a£ 
^WK eyw ai p t> ^fuuv^ Th^ imo^ ittM^iiow pEafewiowa 
]Ojaat^:^a|]aȴo x^ep^ y^eam o| aiaah pMe adfena awi 
qwwipi^bigtfa^ sam^ tjjbi^x;^. tllK^ haute aaw ynt aaew^ 

4jb4 i«b i>^ oqnaffHiixily b«^ tgBHfe- oa^ i|iaai i>i i tf«apc» > ti» 
Ijliwag^oirti^ W^jMpii, tejtetn tf»i iijgiatf j wri w a t l e»# Ito^ 
eitipiMi^ qj^ H^i^ aomipaiid^ aMJitiaa^ M «MW and. 
rJw^a i <ig|j<jkHPa»»»}fr iM»i w geoiMat inta aidiar a^ thMa> 

SUPERIOR TAUnff OF THit AIMeHimi I^SlllirYERS. Sffi 

oehqHitions, tt^tufi^ dttpttmt *rvt0m 4f ^^f H 
elfdier «eek9 riftmk m< the txM} 6t, tcirste m^HHit ^ 
bnoidfs of m cowffltbi^ fptitigtr MWaM iWfb « #%Mi ^ 
iateUeet more ficeed to ittf iki«h*MM( Ited ea^)f;f ; 
Thef 6ar d««n is dite gre«l, t)^ tM^diitf ^e^fefeitof^ <^ - 

United Stdte^. .^Md th« |(i^kn«ry Hitdif^ geMittf >aI tlill 
extettshre tountfehT/ I^CttglMikt >dl jH tf§|NMtt Myte 
aovcttiffittiesi rtcBfhi&s tittw!£t£t to° llMf wgftl MfDMlra; rfi 

inflden^^, tc&khiiink^i ikiApbHtitf thMttile mtamoi^iiStti^ 
itfitis nrefMit dvctttetinois/ 6ftlk gim 

tmAittRj ^6* £#6ilKhMiMc^ ^ BAvopif vu(k- btfKBttlfif or 
tlHT vfhcJk itMA dmag mhst&t^f«ti9i hm m 

navV) a)!WMH, COTOkntn ^^c^ei^^li^Ms,' doff JinnMhiSi^ 
s«pnHAft>iitf;^ ^Mtetef Mi)»^hWb^tf feftfios ^UMi< ^e 

ofstksohdiii^iMiiMib. m«ii*eAM^l)l^/inJliaitf;#^ 
sfatt avaiftet heri^ otf' h^ fidb^iX^ 66fkt^l^pipff 1 
Mttf« «f tti^ hffiV. Stii hat. itsht BUibtfy KAd Hfl^^ «d^ 
H«M*vrieH' iiAd! MaMittdtf, sti^^tiV^V ilMiilllMt ^t 
difMfj^ h6r «lst('9' df jti^tictf. 9^ ilmt #ui ar (iifeiiliatf 
wfaM) l^ese gVM iiliM!Bei^pM<k w^ Wiirfted to- IMaCf 
up audi^jpe ittVtA the ftdh^^of p^edl!idnv l^v jttMO&idf^ 
sytlibeifll-; «» r^fto^ 1ii« d»^i(HM»' of ftjl^ vA^iiki^ CiMMfsof 

and C6i1JkiiA^, thrdughbikt alf «}te r6a\ily of ftlfti* ^iMiemA^ 
eiAj>ik«; It ^iHiH ^d*/ ^ ft' 1$ther,> ^H^ ^& fkXl^k^ tih^\ 
cttUMitdMftbs p^itttfld h^r «6> ^^nai^ 4« hlcffsiMfii Hf 

r«wlMibiW^of AM^iicef aiMK Fraflc^, sb' je^i% aUtf id^ 
reMlCtMg hast b««W ^ {U>li4J^iil»pi«^«A)i^ 6f Et^iind^- 
tkoe A0 tttts! bteh eoihp^^ td' pou^ dttV n^niH^ alP ttei> 
flkVsran^ilifelleiM) <ifm iSaS H/i^e ^ H# «x(Jlehi^Vi6' doi 


And oonsequenltly^ as primary talent is never profiiselF • 
dispensed in any. i^ or country^ she has . be^n scarcely ' 
able to spare.any of it permanently to the service of the 
bar; but the moment she has discovered it to have acci- 
dentally stray^ into the precincts of the forum^ she has 
immediately called it thence into the upper regions of ; 
the state; as she did her Burke, her Pitt, her Gren- 
ville, her • Canning, and her Brougham. Whence, as 
native genius is equally distributed over all the nations . 
and sections of the earth, and differs only in different . 
countries, in its developement and display, according to 
the circumstances jin^ which it is placed, and as the^ 
American bar employs th<e first-rate^talent of the United 
States, and. the British bar uses only the secondary ca- 
pacities of Britain^it follows that the. American; 
must average a greater intellectual power than is exhi* 
bited in the British forum, which is undouhtedlythefact^ 
more especially ; in extemporaneous public speaking. 

The Author of ^^Inchiquin, a Jesuifs Letters," makes . 
some spirited and eloquent observations on the compa^ . 
rative merits of .American and British oratory, and gives . 
a decided preference to th^t of the United States, par- 
ticularly m forensic speaking. He allows the Eiiglish 
to be good reasoners^ chaste writers, and classical scho- 
lars, but by no means equal to the Americans in extem- 
poraneous elocujtion*. The English ptdpif, he says, 
IS. learned, didactic, phlegmatic, and never eloquent; 
the English ben*, addicted to a bad style, and ungraceful 
elocution; and in parliament sober reasoning prevails 
ov^ imagination and rhetoric. Chatham and Burke, he 
allows, and Sheridan he is inclined to admit, as orators; 
but they are the only orators which Britain has pro- 
duced. The few others who were eminent, for instance^ 
Pitt and Fox, were nothing more than adroit debaters; 
and the great body of public speakers in parliament, at 
the har^ and frpm the pulpit,, with great good sense, . 
and extensive acquirements, are deficient in all the pro^ 
perries of eloquc^nce. ] To Ireland the palm of modem 
oratory is awarded^ ftpd Burke^ Sheridan, Curran, and 
Grattan^ held up, a^ \i^ht ^^^amples. A doubt is ex- . 


pressed if the United States have yet produced a Cha- 
thani^ or a Burke ; and an opinion declared that bur best 
speakers want the finish of oratory ; but it is confidently 
asserted that the Americans surpass all other nations in 
aptitude for public speakings and in flights of bold^ vigo* 
rous^ and beautiful eloquence. In their public bodies^ 
in Congress^ the state assemblies^ the bar of the several 
states^ and their numerous political and academic asso- 
ciations^ there is a much greater number of agreeable 
speakers than in the similar assemblies of Great 
Britain, ' ' 

These observations of Inchiquin have been con- 
densed for the sake of brevity^ but the whole substanceis 
preserved, and the reader is recbmmended to peruse the 
original, which abounds in spirited eloquence, and pow- 
erful efforts to vindicate the literary and national charac- 
ter of the United States from the aspersions so liberally 
bestowed upon them by Europeans. The preceding 
observations of Inchiquin, however, require a little mo- 
dification. It appears somewhat sublimated, to exalt 
the public speaking in Congress, and the several state 
legislatures, so &r above that of the British Senate, - 
whose superior eloquence is almost necessarily implied 
in the fact, that the first-rate talent of England con- ' 
stantly directs and adorns her parliament ; whereas the 
primary capacity of the United States too seldom finds 
its way into Congress and the state legislatures, owing 
to the causes already mentioned, and also to the consti- 
tutional exclusion of all office-holders fi'om a legislative 
seat. And it must always be pretty much a lilatter of - 
course for the ablest men of every dominant p^rty to' 
lay their oum hands upon^ and place under their own -' 
immediate guidance and control, the great offices of the 
executive government. Whence, consequently, in the 
ordinary current of events, only the eloquence of the - 
secondary men, of that prevailing party at least, can be ' 
heard on the deliberative floor, whether of Congress, • 
or of die twenty separate state legislatures. 

It is rathc^ extraordinary that Inchiquin should deny ' 
the irieed of eloquence to, Pitt and Fox, and^ consider- 


ibem, in €6aimon wi^otW fttrfi«msiiita^ 
only as* ^^ adroit^ debaitery." Ner t» it ktf» tfeiqpnHag M» 
aMert tiiat '^ tbere are no <nraitor» mw m m Britbb. 
Senate.'' What yosMl^ definitiett t»f aei orater em^ W 
g^veatkaU shall, ave&i^e tke naMtoof Gateingi^i WeHto* 
ley, MlwkMh, Gr^viU)^^ Gvey^ BvougbaiBi^ I^iiadawB% 
Peel, and asany otUers } . 

The pvipit of BdtMa^ it mus^ be confesa^^ ta aliftea^ 
entirely destitnteof pureelequeaee^ the podtCv|Mdrt: ef 
oratory, ardour of iinagiflwltioii^ ri^hnfsfs ^ sentaiient^ 
energetic and splendid expression. In speaking of the 
sermons of England, reference is dhiefty made to. writ^ 
ten diseowseay becaiiBseher ^4eQlpo]iaAeoiit:pvdidie»i' 
goieraUy lose as Bauek m elegateo aeki omadteEma ar 
they gain m, vivacity ami vigoilir^ ofr a€c6imfr of tibobr 
too littdie pFevious pi?eparatiim for tbeii^ pitlptt exeretecjs. 
The s^naaoa^ of England aregenevaUy ^MOMimtiAhy^ 
purity of atyle^ corseet aad himtnon^ ^eaflCH»fi^ ainq^ 
and tempiarate e^^anee. Biit th^ 9eld4» At> if e^ary aooir 
at esLciting ov eoiMSroUing tlie grea* umteiHpB^Maar oi 
the heart ; nor do they e&en reach the Bc^her ftgMs of 
tbaefc ebqutocie^, whieh,t by ptedueing strong andr pmtana^ 
lueiit eiBk>t]^na, tmrnp^ ofKer Utejiidgfteenft^ aaddaaiiia; 
ca^bi^e tb^ will of the* audience. 

It muat also be aehiie^wded^Mt thatt-tiha- BvittshI &«r 
geneaajyiy pleada guil^f^ to thlet diarge i|fgedi agatnfr it,, 
soi st^verely aadf penimpteriiy bif idle S^emit^ l^et, Whf^ 
in thememocy ^maiR^ tbali bivr ba^feiemiledby Makl»- 
field, 'JlMxlpiYFy and' WedderbuMaefy three Ukdatvioas 
lawyei^y who were eqnalled. by fe#^ 9mA Mifpaased li^ 
aoney iof compaaa aiacfr vapiefey o^ msfdoM' andl elaqftaBoer. . 
i^e^n- noM^;:in her day of S99<mdanf harycEa, the 
hpnpnr of her bar ha;^ been^ condnctad: to pr^fiuotikMir fay 
Lord jE'r^XasneV&fieitonft eoib^i^najion^ of pm^und li^at 
raasoning^ wkh; s^ei^dSjd 4loq\};eniee; Peftrhapa, it^ ia iiroti 
goings too &Mf io aay>( t^ml^Erdiii:^'^ Speeeh^^ 
publifibed> aife theimoat finidhedr apeeiateas' 6f iar qib^ 
toryt6atanya@e:0i?o(kMti^.hft%fff^^ Thia^nbislrfae 
im^fvtfcKNjy iii^ationr to tihemMdhfifedt^^ 
^^^r(^ifa;aiid pdiliunettii^ 

JkMCUKT Aim MKMKBIIll %P1bJmtl9i ^ 

aand Cicemi whose UOf* upeee^hfl^ at% IM ^tf tei tKM« 
of Efdbte^ ; ilthoBgh tb^e b ito M»)gii$«fcye pVofmrtkyti 

m«rgy of the Gfmky cr Ib^ MM^e^il tiMlji^^ of tii# 
IWmaii or^ifeor^ 

1^9 wh#ap*a>&^ more tlMfi tiiM^e^c^y, o^attf ]^^I{e 
%9mmil^«tekwfaift8(Mikkigdtll^ii^ wbeMM be #^ 
«^ «p«iih9 ttfiMg^ 0Im| t)Mi e€iaMs/tf^ hi9 e}c^M6<jfr 
atl^ aMi»it of obtaabiiif gMiMtl^^ 
<ilg«M It avAffi i^d iocirtf ofedtivepN^tkial h^ktg. Jufiw 

«MW^ amii WBOst IiorM AMrii %r f bo ilupe^r #e%JKt of 
CMw'if taloiMI, dR^lott en^rf^y tod ^«&e6cif #Mbar. 
MM^Othor gMlB^fia€9ft b^Mifes Ciceff« bate irif AMi>^ 

]M)t oniy lisMUseF l£oto bM^ titem wbo bi^yjiMfki # 
p oiK i op geirai^y avi^pron)^ ki oonMiofih #ltK^ aS p^€¥lWI 
laiiadts, 1^ giM^t^e^ toiMf to ti^ tfl»agiii€ttioil<^ iMp6i^MrK 
libeir biB«eA tfldMifeiiMb to ^^^ 
ila»iikig^. boolda of lititfe «ii(i s^pMOy ^e^WW^^MMKdM^ 
Mfirida JfcoaA^«^te]t ddsb, beoaMe tSMIpt^^mMi^ of ^ite^ 
low ilactf cte^ varyf gdi^Mia^ toleiMi^ma^ ftreiufe^ spedc^' 
the b«r8l» q£ dee|y, kMotiBey ^A^ fenfdB^ pa^siMyr-^a' 
mh ^metjr of imageirjr,. iftiteJ^^bKr iigfbfid^of pc^ ^ef 
iStttt! tolRiie^ of teiichdniOBd^ the cefes^ fisiohar of a^ 
sublimaftBiJpbiloBopbj^^itbe fi[it^6»fio Amj^tede of a style, 

«« K^a!i4»d<carH0iirt«lataiiDN, Hibf«9i 
** QueiD tfuper notHs iJ^Hlr^ rifasl^ 
^ Fer?e^ raimensusque ruitr pi^unda 

'Ike Mi^d»ii« tlkdliM> ^^ 
s«Mtftoe»i^M^ilfll|t^tf^^ of tSb^ip 


lents equal to those of Cicero and Demosthenes ; yet^ a9 
they do not labour so intensely on the study of their art, 
modem oratory cannot rival that of the elder time. It 
mtist be inferior in methodical ccnnposition, in the dis* 
tribution of the subjects, in the style, elaborated to per- 
fection by the combined efforts of study, taste, and ge- 
nius ; in the mode of delivery, refined by a long course 
of exact discipline ; in the exquisite union of refinement 
with the most perfect air of simplicity, in the con^bina- 
tion of art with nature. The proof of this may be found 
by comparing the deliberative orations of Demosthenes 
and Cicero with the parliamentary and congressional 
effusions of modem debiaiters. Yet, doubtless, the ex- 
temporaneous reasoning aad declamation of modem 
times are better fitted for transacting the business of real 
life, than, the more highly finished compositions of anti- 
quity. Wherefore, as all life consists in action^ it is per- 
haps wiser for public men, more.particularly for lawyers 
and statesmen, whose whole business it is to be occu* 
pied in the transactions of real life, to accustom tliem* 
s^es to speaking extempore, winch, although it can 
never render them such regular and finished orators as 
Qreece and Rome exhibited in the best days of their 
high dnd palmy greatness, will yet better enable them 
to discha.rge, with. credit to themselves and benefit to 
the community, those various important and difficult du- 
ties, which must ever devolve upou genius and wisdom, 
amidst the ceaseless activity of commercial enterprise, 
and the everlasting agitations of popular freedom. 

It cannot be necessary to expatiate upon the benefit 
of an habitual study of the best recorded speeches, both 
ancient and modem, because they contam a, vast fund 
of important mpral, political, financial, commercial, and 
-legal information, delivered by the ablest men of the 
most civilized countries in their most cultivated ages, as 
the last result of their happiest eflbrts, under the inspi- 
ration of excited genius, giving vent to its effusions, in. 
" thoughts that breathe, and words that bum." They 
furnish the best models of cl^ar^ profound, and co/npre*. 
hensiv^ reasoning, illuipiined %;^1 thebnlliaiicy of 


quence* They afford the finest exercise to the ahalyti- 
csl powers of the mind^ while tracing the golden links of 
their argumentative chain ; they enlarge the understand- 
ing, and elevate the imagination, hy opening the richest 
treasures of lofty sentiment and extensive thoij^ht, 
glistening in all the splendour of appropriate and co- 
pious language. 

The result as to the comparative merit of American 
and English public speaking may be given in a few 
words. In the United States there is less learning and 
science among our clergy, less particular legal re-> 
search among our lawyers, and less political information 
among our statesmen, than among the corresponding 
professions in Britain; yet, the eloquence of the Ame- 
rican pulpit, bar, and senate, is more full of vigour and 
animation than that of the British church, forum, and 
parliament. In England, the college scholarships and 
fellowships, and various other munificent institutions, 
lend continual aid to the learning and science of her 
clergy; the liberal and protracted classical education, 
and we minute division of intellectual labour, giving to 
one man the single vocation of an attorney; to a second, 
that of solicitor ; to a third, that of conveyancer; to a 
fourth, that of special pleader ; to a fifth, that of ]Ht>c« 
tor; to a sixths tnat of a common lawyer; to a seventh^ 
that of a civilian; to an eighth, that of a chancery law* 
yer, enable each lawyer to be more profoundly and 
extto[isively versed* in the researches of his own parti- 
cular department: and there being a separate class of 
men trained up exclusiydy to the pursmts of political 
life^ who have, in &ct, no other vocation than to ac-* 
quire political and general information, and transact the 
public bu^ipess, enable the British statesmen to become 
at once minutely and comprehensively informed of all 
that regards the policy of their country, both in its 
home government and its foreign relations. 

But, in the United States^ our clergy have moderate - 
salaries ; no public, and few private libraries ; no fel 
lowships nor scholarships ; no learned leisure, constant 
pr^^hin|^:and perpejtual parochial duty : our lawyer3 

•dfi AMMieAii AKi> Mrrisii law RirdittBtiii; 

^opUnt in one wid itit Hme pera<mage dl the i^lwi 
imiiftiom af pn ^Wtv ta%^r^ a dviliim, eomitiofi law* 
y«r. pnMitor^ qp^eial pleader^ oonveyaneer, i^iekt^^ 
mm attorney ; atitl oar politicians ^onstkute no fiepamte 
dan^ but ora tak^ti ehi^fly from our practising htwy^era; 
whanee tliavis r^pectiva bodiei hnvt no opjKHrtunity of 
acquiring so much learning and science^ whether pro- 
fMaidnal or gene^al^ as those of Bi4tain. Yet^ being 
teMmelled to rely entirely on the resources of their owh 
nittiiiii) in their various employments^ and to place their 
tngamiity und ^i£0ur in a state of constant requisitiotf^ 
dKer^ acquire hamO of greater intellectual promptness 
IMM ^^(^ than their British brethren who labour in 
similar ewin^> and^ leaning systematicalh^ on their ntk» 
marotts artificial props of mnltifs^ous inmrmiition and 
Minute subdivision of employment^ exhibit^ indeed, 
Hiere learning and knowledge on the sulyects which th^ 
discuiM, whe«ier Terhalty or in writing; but, in genera^ 
display less acuteness, strength, animation^ ai^ resoi^Me 
of intellect thte the Americans, wh<>> hnvtng fewer 
enitehei, are oli^iged to trust the more to ^eiir own 1^ ; 
whence, in the United States, the individuslli;, imd, in 
Britain, the aggregate nation is the most pdWelr^. At 
least, tiiis appears^ to be the faet to on<$ Who h«i tMsd an 
o{^p(M<tuoity of observing the people df b^ cSUHtrfWi, 
hy a residei^ee t>lf' {several yeafs in eiK^h. , 

Tt^ comtnoii tew Importers 6f the Un^iHi 6tetes, mi 
of the sepand:e sti;te$ of New-York^ Mk^Mclmst^, 
^nnsylvanift, Oonneetieut, And Virginitt, nf e ftolly iq«il 
to those of Engird i and the New^Ypi^ Hhfo^ivryn^ 
ports are far supeiior to any that Bf itldn hfts e¥^ pH^ 
duced. In a reeent e^m^ the two erawn^liWi^fen of 
England sent to this eity it joint mi t^qided i»)9fmiMI m 
a Very important questie^i, i«rnMng iiti imfSAmntia^mtA 
of property, and requiring fbriH wlutlen nn iatimalt 
acquaintance with the Unglish common IttW^ ^«d Wfth 
international hw in all iti branehe$^ natVkl*^, cofiipfen- 
tional, and eustomar;^. Thin epiiiien Wfti sMtbifiitted «l 
some of the leaders of our Nw^York \m, who, dtef 
due detiberation, gttve idi «|^dn iiNc% c^tt^mf H 


that delivered by the attorney and solicitor general of 
England^ and supported it by legal references and gene- 
ral reasoning. When it risacbed England^ and met the 
eyes of the crown-lawyers, those gentlemen were in- 
duced to reconsider the subject, the result of which 
was, that they finally rctratcted their former opinion^ 
and acceded to that of our New-York lawyers. 

In fine, those who ^ne acqwioted with both countries 
cannot hesitate to declare, that, although in particular 
departments of. legal inquiry the British lawyers may'' 
be more learned, more minutdy and extensiyejv pegd, 
yet, in the exhibition of prompl^ various, and vigorQ^s 
taleirt, the bars of New-York, Philadelphia, and pos|9i^ 
fturpass thos^ qf London, Edinburgh^ and I)i}l^ij^. 



On the Literature of the United States, 

The writer of a pamphlet called ^^ Tlie United States 
and England^ being, a Reply to the Criticism on Inchi- 
quins; Letters, contained m the Quarterly Review for 
January, 1814," trace's with considerable acuteness and 
ingenuity the causes which have retarded the progress 
of literature, art, and science, in this country. But the 
whole performance is miserably disgraced by a rancour 
of personal hatred, and a venom of vulgar scurrility 
that ought never to be admitted into literary contro- 
versy; such weapons of warfare resembling rather the 
tomahawk of a savage than the sword of a gentleman. 

Mr. Southey is selected as the victim of the writer's . 
spleen, and loaded with every epithet of abuse that 
trie language of vindictive vituperation can furnish. And 
England, together with her institutions, religious and po- 
litical, moral and social, is assailed with all the bitter- 
ness of a foiled French jacobin. It 'was hoped that this 
essence sans-cullottism had long since descended from 
all decent society, both here and in Europe, to the 
dregs of the populaoe. Besides, Mr. Southey did not 
write the Review of Inchiquin's Letters, which is said 
to have been the production of Dr. Ireland's pen. Who- 
ever wrote that article, ought to have known better 
than to indite such execrable trash against America; 
and it is dijfficult to determine whether ignorance or 
scurriUty be its predominant characteristic. 

In a recent publication, called ^^ Letters from the 
South," the American champion has glanced again at 
the same subject ; and, if possible, has plunged into a 
still lower abyss of personal rancour and scurrility. 

Hian m his facmer praducticm. Tbe respective editws 
pf the Edinburgh atidi Quarterly Aoviews are suig)M 
out. as the objects of attadk : tb& Scottish editor is £6^ 
prehended for his criticism on the late Dean Swifi^ and 
con^ared to a ^^ little cur dog ihak y^elps at the carcase 
of a dead lion ;"' but the most: ei].ireiM>iBcd shafts we k- 
veiled at the EngKsh editor, wiiaae trnpaffdonaUe eiime 
it is to have risen from a ver3r bundoAe Uarth^ and obseune 
condition, into the rank of one of the aiakst writers, and 
most ^urcxnnplished sdiblars m Europe ;^ and to have de* 
voted his talents and learning to Ihe sr^pprt of the 
government of bis countrjr. Amang odwr ]MliaUedis-» 
coveries, it is found thlU:tte Quarted^ Rmiew is ^9.l^w, 
obscure, coatemptiUe, Billingsgate prpdmbdaon."* Io»- 
deed, the philosc^y of these ^an^.(ni22o<i6^ writers ap- 
pears to consist in vent^g low boffixmery, and the 
coarsest calumnies, on all that mankind generally deem 
iUustrious and elevated. If amanunfortuoialdyhappen, 
whether by btrth or perdonalservices^to beapcince, or 
a lord, or a gentleman, he is immediately pronowiced to 
be both knave and fiKart* by these profound pbilosic^emi 
necording to \diose canons of judgment no oise possess^ 
any daim to either virtue or wisdom, unless he be bom 
a peasant or a cobier. Aiid the whole patriotism of 
tlnese men cojisists in caluftmiatii^ England, cwtaanly 
without adormng or stJrengthening Ameriea. 

It is to be lamented that any one should pervert a fbe 
understanding, and aiair proportion of iAform«itibn,byaii 
invetH*ate habit of hating and calumniating whatever has 
a tenden^ to soften national- asperity^ to refine the ta^te, 
enlarge the intellect, and exalt the character of man. 

The substance of thtswriter^sreaBOiis^for the a^pai^olu ^ 
ly low state of tetters in the Un^ed Statesy is, th$rt their 
learning, like thdr riches, is ni<6re equid.41y distributed 
than ki any other country; and although not to be found 
in great masses, is tKfius^, in a certaki degree, through* 
cfat the whole body of the peopk. There are many 
causes assighed why literature has hot been more culti-r 
vated on this sid^ the Atlantic ; the chi^f of which af^i, 
the ftcili^ of a«f^i|iring wealthy and distinction by 


other means, less laborioas and more certain ; the hard- 
ships and dangers of the wiginsd settlers ; ^e revolu- 
tionairy war ; the unsettled state of things for several 
years after its termination ; and the origin and progress 
of the French revcdution; all tending to divert the 
American mind to the love of gain, to military pur- 
suits, to political strife, rather than to the calmer plea- 
sures of the pen and page. 

These reasons, douhtiess, are correct, and , are urged 
with considerable force, both of thought and expression* 
It is now, and has been for some years past, a subject of 
complaint among our most respectable writers, that the 
-^British are too apt to underrate the literary claims of the 
United States^ and arrogantly condemn their produc- 
tions, as being, for the most part, coarse and superficial. 
Mr. Walsh, in the first volume of his '^ American Re- 
: view,** expresses his indignation at this conduct, in 
terms pointed and eloquent ; and Mr. Washington Ir- 
ving, in his very interestii^ ^^ Biographical Sketch of 
Campbell,** the Scottish poet enters more lawely into 
the subject, in a strain exquisitely touching. The cchu- 

Slaints urged by these gentiemen have too much foun- 
ation in truth; and it would be reciprocally beneficial, 
if the United States and England were both to abstain 
from mutual recrimination; and to enter upon a friendly 
and honourable rivalry in the career of literary exertion, 
of scientific pursuit, and liberal praise. It may be use- 
^ ful, perhaps, to inquire into some of the principal causes 
which have influenced the progress of letters in this 
country; premising, however, atheory of the French 

{>hilosophers respecting the nature of American intel- 
ect, and its practical refutation by Dr. Franklin. 

The essence of this theory was, that something in the 
nature and constitution of the American soil, and cli- 
mate necessarily diminishes the powers, physical and in- 
tellectual, of all its inhabitants, whether human or brute. 
This position the Count de Bufibn first advanced, in 
his disquisitions on Natural History; and has been 
followed by a numerous host of philosophers, who 
maintain that all our animals are smaller and weaker 

franklin's BEFUTAtlON of TH£ FRENCH THSORIT. 8O7 

than those in Europe ; that our dogs do not bark ; that 
no hair grows on the bodies of our aboriginal Indians ; 
that Europeans^ who migrate hither^ degenerate i>oth in 
body and mind ; and that their descendants are exceed- 
ingly deficient in ph3^ical activity and force^ and in in- 
tellectual quickness and strength. One of these precious 
theorists received an adequate entertainment from the 
Arabs^ into whose hands he fell a prisoner^ during Bona^ 
parte's expedition to ^ypt^ in 1798. This French 
^fovani, in order to escape manual drudgery^ when 
questioned bv his captors respecting his usual occupar 
tions^ replied that he had led!^a sedentary life : the de- 
scendants of Ishmael immediately covered him with 
tar and feathers, and set him to hatch eggs, by preserve 
ing a sedentary posture on them in the hot sand. 

Dr. Franklin, while American ambassador at Paris, un- 
dertook to refute this theory. He invited six of his own 
countrymen, and six Frenchmen, to dine with him. As 
was expected, the French gentlemen, who were all pro- 
found philosophers, began to enquire into the causes oi 
the dedension of nature, vegetable, animal, .^nd morale 
in America ; one said, the reason why man^ in particular, 
became feebler in body and mind, was owing to the cli- 
mate being too hot; another insisted that it arose from 
the climate being too cold ; a third assigned, as the effi- 
cient cause, the too great quantity of rain ; a fourth at* 
tributed the deficiency to too much drought ; while the 
two last demonstrate that, both man and beast were 
dwarfed in America from a want of food in the country. 
Each Gallic disputant maintained his own side of the 
question with characteristic volubility for a length of 
time : when, at last, they all referred to Franklin, for 
a philosophical solution of the causey why all American 
creatures are so inferior to Europefms in size and 
strength? The Doctor very gravely desired his six 
countrymen to stand up, side by side ; which they did, 
and exhibited a goodlv spectacle ; for they were all 
stout, well-proportioned!, tall^ handsome men ; the half- 
dozen Frenchmen were then requested to stand up, 
si4e by side ; they did so^ and presented a ludicrous 

X 2 

308 CAU8B9 O* THE feKltlB STATES 

eoRtrast to the degenerate Americans ; for they were aU 
little, lank> yellow, shrivelled personages, resembliag 
Java KMmlteys. They aJl peeped up at their oppowte 
neighbours, and were silent, tboagh not satisfied* 

It is, iiidieed, quite plnlosophieal to measure senius by 
geographical Imes, and to suppose that Providence ap- 
portions talent according to degrees of latitude. The 
limits of the present work will not allow the diseossion, 
or it were easy to show, both by reasoning, apri&riy on 
geners^ principles, and also by a regular induction from 
facts, that although mdhiduah diier from each other in 
degrees of native talent, yet large masses of human be- 
ings overage 9Xi equal i^gregate amount of capacity, in 
all ages and countries. Indeed, when it is- said there 
must be an average equatity of talent rs^ the whole, or in 
any large portions of the human race, in all ages and 
eountries, it is dnly saying, in other words, • that man is 
substantially the same being, in body, mind, and spirit 
from the beginning to the knA of the* human creation. 
Whence, although individuals differ from each other in 
their respedire proportions of talent, so that scarcely vstf 
two persons^ perhaps, bring intoth»worfd precisely the 
same extent of capacity, the gradations of intellect be^ 
ing as various as Uie forms and countenances of men, 
yet the whole, or any large portion of mankind, averages 
an equal aggregate of talent with that of the same num-^ 
ber in any other age or country. For instance, the 
ten millions of people who now, in 1817, inhabit these 
United States, average as large an ag^egate of native 
genius as ten millions of French, or British, or Greeks, 
or Romans, or any other people, of whatever age or 
country, ancient or modern. 

At all events, it is too late now to oppose any mere 
theory respecting the degeneracy of men in America, to 
the irresistible argument of contrary facts, seeing, Aat 
the Americans have, for a series of years, displayed the 
utmost intelligence, enterprise, spirit, and perseverance 
in all the occupations of peace ; and likewise exhilnted 
the most consummate skill, intrepidily, and heroism in. 
war, wbetiier conflicting in the field or.<m the ocean. 


"The trudi isy that tbe gtekt mass of the Amencan peo- 
ple surpasses that of all other comitries in shrewdness ot 
intdlect^ m general intelligence, and in diai versatile 
capacity which enables men to enter opdn, and prosecute 
successfully, new situations and nntned employments. 
It would be difficult for any countiy to show that it has 
produced men of greater genius, in dmr respective' dc^ 
partments, than Rittenhouse, Franklin, and West, 

The causes, therefore, why the United, States hw€ 
not yet equalled the most civilized Ekiropean ixations in 
the refinements of art, the imprarements of science, tmd 
the splendours of erudition, are to be sought mi^Mer 
sources than those of any natural defidency in intellec* 
tual vigour and strength. Some of these causes are 
now to be examined. ^^ 

Compare, for a moment, the relative situation t^ a ^ 
$(tudent in the United States and tn En^and, ^d &ere 
will be no necessity of recurring to physical causes^ in 
order to account for the comparative inferiority of Anie^ 
rican to British literature. In Britain the candidates «^ 
for literary fame are in possession of the accuntiukted 
learning of several centuries ; they haw a wess to ataiple 
libraries, containing books written upon almost emry 
subject of human inquiry; from the great <*rowl&ig of 
population, they ei^oy the benefit of a continual compe- 
tition of talent: owing to the great opulence of the 
(Country, there is a constant demand for literary pro* 
ductions, which are multiplied alike by the magnificent 
liberality of the hereditarily wealthy, who tcdlect to- 
gether innumerable volumes, and by the spirit and in- 
^ligence of the middle <mlers of the people, indnding 
the learned professions, the country gentlemen, the mer- 
chants, the manufactures, and the yeomanry, who ex- 
amine for themselves into the merits of the writers tfaey 
perase; from the liberally endowed seminaries of edu- 
cation, both schools and colleges, a high bounty of 
emohttnent and honour is perpetually offered for the 
eiee^rtions of lettered max; by the ext^isive eircuiation 
and salutaiy i^lhience of so ntany literaiy joufnalS) rt^ 
plete with various informatiim, und Adl of the w«K9t n« 


gorous clispla3r8 of genius^ the republic of letters in 
Great Britain is lopped of its lipcurianoei swept of its 
frivolity and absurdity, cleansed of its dulness and igno- 
rance, chastened in its strength, and brightened in its 
ornament. All these, and many other causes, are con* 
tinually operating to recite the men of letters in Britain 
to a display of the most energetic and brilliant exhibit 
tions of talent and learning; and do we therefore mar^ 
yd that in every department of literature. and science, 
the nation has produced, and still continues to produce, 
works of such transcendent excellence, that her philo* 
sophers, poets, orators, ^historians, moralists, and critics, 
command the applause and homage of their contempora** 
ries, and ensure the admiration of all future ages? 
...^ But what is the ca^e with respect to the United 

•- States? The very condition of society in this country 
forbids its pwple, as yety to possess an axalted literary 
character. A companitively thin population, spread 
over an immense surface, opposes many serious obsta* 

» -* des to the production and circulation of literary eflu- 
sions: the infancy of its national independence, and the 
peculiar structure of its social institutions, do not allow 
a sufficient accumulation of individual znd family wealth 
to exist in the community, so as to create an effectual 
demand. for the costly or frequent publications of ori- 
ginal works : the means of subsistence are so abundant, 
and so es^sy of attainment, and the sources of personal 
revenue so numerous, that nearly all the active talent in 
the nation is employed in prosecuting some commercial^ 
or agricultural, or professional pursuit, instead of being 
devoted to th<^ quieter and less lucrative labours of lite* 
rature: the scarcity of public libraries and of private 
collections of books, renders any great attainments in 
science and erudition exceedingly toilsome and difficult: 
the want of literary competition, rewards, and honours^ 
the entire absence of all government patronage, whether 
state or federal, together with the very generally defect 
tive means of Uberal education, necessarily deter men of 
high talents from dedicating themselves solely to the 
oecupation of Jetti^rs; and consequently prevent the. 


appearance of those finbhed prodw^cms, iHbelher in 
verse or prose, which ca» anfy find an existence when 
the fsfforts of genius are aided by; undisturbed leisure 
and extensive Teaming. 

Such are some of the causes which contribute to n^ . 
tard the progress of Uterature in the United States; 
whence we have no right to expect, while these causes 
continue to operate, the appearance of many original 
American publications, beanng the stamp of yeiy pro- 
found science or veiy comprehensive eradition. Tlif — 
literary taste of the generality of cmr readers may be 
inferred from inspecting the books of the public libraries 
in New-York, Philadelphia, and Boston, the three most 
enlightened portions of the union. The Novels, chiefly 
£nglish, wiui a few bad translations from French fie* 
tions, the sweepings of the Minerva press, in Leaden- 
hall-street, are most abundantly used, as jsi&rding the 
highest gratification to the lovers of literature; Plajfs 
and Farces are in the next degree of requisition; Moral 
Essays and History suffer a little ifijury in the first, less 
in the second, and none in the subsequent volumes; the 
Classics, elementaiy books on Metaphysics, Political 
Economy, sgid PkUosophical subjects, generally sleep 
securely on their shelves, undusted and undisturbed by 
any profane hand or prying eye. Of course, this state- -* 
ment does not apply to the liberal scholars who wmt 
these libraries — they, however, are comparatively few. 

As is the generality of readers, so is that of writers, 
in a oountry; for the literary, like every other mar- ' 
kj^t^ must always be supplied with commodities in qua- 
lity and quantity proportioned to its demand for mer- 
chantable wares. If die purchasers insist upon being 
provided with nons^nse^ there will always be a sufficient 
supply of that article forthcoming for the use of the 
home consumpjtion trade. Hence, as must ever happen 
in such an ord^r of thii^, the press teems with mose 
nujLsliroom productions of folly, which are engendered 
by the conjunction pf ignorani^ with impertinence. 
Thus, at the first dawning pf the revival of letters in 
the «outh of Europe^ the Troutmdors and Provengal 

i/n^rn dduged ^tit land wkh « flood of fantastic fep* 
peiy and chSdish conceit. Hius, in later times^ even 
m our own days, the minor men of letters, die literatuU 
of the age, enter into a small coaspimey against all use* 
ful and solid information, and commit a feeble outrage 
upon the efforts of genius and learning. And as is the 
^base with seII weak animals, these aelf-styled wise men, 
instinctively throng together in herds, and while they 
wi^e .eternal warfare against all exalted intellect, inces- 
santly besmear the efiusions of each otiier*s folly, with 
the igndble ordure of e?ich other's praise. They per- 
petually and reciprocally lavish the epithets of^^^inge^ 
nious,** ^'leam^,*' *^ acute," "illustrious,** "profound,'* 
*^^ philosophical,*' and so ford), upon the dismal lucubra^ 
. tions of themsdves and tiieir brethren, which afford no 
light, but rather darkness visible; while at the same 
time they industriously raise the cry of alarm and hor- 
ror, even at the sound of the distant footsteps of sense 
and knowledge. 

The defenceless field animals are always gregarious; 
always found in flocks and herds; but the lion ranges 
alone over the e;xtent of his undisputed dominion, 'mie 
genius scorns the knavish arts of popular adulation: it 
loves to be solitary; and when surrounded by the cack- 
ling of fblty, it broods over the inmost recesses of its 
soul in silence, and " pines, like the melancholy eagle^ 
amidst the meaner domestic birds.** 

It is however to be remembered, that although the 
condition of society forbids us, at present, to expect in 
the United States many original writers on subjects ii^ 
volving an intimate acquaintance with the depths of sci' 
^cncfe, and the heights of learning, yet there is muck 
more literary excellence in this country than ever meets 
the public eye; because, as from die compilative thin- 
ness of the population, as well as from oth^r reasons^ 
authorship is not a distinct and separate calling, as in 
some of the more crowded parts oi Europe: the best 
scholars in ^erica are those who follow other pur- 
suits, in addition to that of letters; namely, our proles- 
nonal gentlemen/ the dergy^ physidans^ and lawyers; 


taci 9ome who are not attac^hcd to either of theg^ voca^ 
tiohs, but are immersed in ccanmercial aiterprises^ or 
agricultural experiments. Among these different classesr^ 
are to be found individuals^ who^ on general subjects of* 
learning and taste^ need not turn their backs to any of 
the literary veterans on the other side of tlie Atlantic. 
From the comparatively small demand for origkud 
works in the United States^ pur ablest and best in«* 
formed men seldom appear as writers ; and die field of 
letters is left almost entirely clear^ for the exhij^itionsof 
those who are not to be numbered among the most 
learned^ and the ablest men in America. Add to tfais^ ^ 
that the continual influx of British literature^ although 
beneficial in imparting to our people new and extensive 
information upon a great variety of subjects^ is so far 
piejudicral, as it depresses the spirit of native literature^ 
by creating a fastidious rage for foreign publications^ 
and an affectation of contempt for the productions of 
eur own press. 

Yet notwithstaiiding all these unprPpitious circum- 
stances^ the literary spirit has been for some years past ^ 
rising in the United States; witness the progressive in- 
crease in the iaiportati<»i of foreign books, in the repub- 
lication of British works, and the productions of Ameri- 
can writers. And probably, on a fair view of the sub- 
ject, we may eonciude the progress of letters in this - 
country to be praportiimally equal to that of Britain ; 
considering the different states of society in the two 
countries. But, perhaps, it may be usenil to notice 
some of the other causes which obstruct the course of 
literature in the Union. Among these, is to be particu- 
larly noticed, the unfctftunate practice of entaring upon "^ 
actasre life at too early an age. Partly fix)m the condi- 
tion of society, and partly firom the eager iappetite for 
wealth, which especially characterizes all youi^ and 
diiniy-settled countries : divines, lawyers, physicians^ 
and merdhants^ rush into the occupations of active life^ 
almost before they reach that period which the wisdom 
of the comiBoa law allots as the termination of in&ncy^ 
Pbii^puiig so early into the minuter details of practical 


employment prevents the due developement of the in- 
tellectual faculties ; and after a while renders the mind, 
from disuse^ both unable and unwilling to direct its 
attention to the more abstracted pursuits of literature 
and science. 

There is a salutary adage in the old law books^ which 
runs thus, " In juvene thjeologo conscientiae detrimen* 
turn ; in juvene legistlt bursse detrimentum ; in juvene 
medico csemeterii incrementum ;" the consciences of his 
parishioners suiler by a young clergjrman ; the purse of 
his clients diminishes in the hands of a young lawyer ; 
knd the chtirchyard increases by the labours of a young 
physician. This adage, however, has not yet found its 
way into the United States, where the young people of 
all classes are precipitated into business during child- 
hood. Lord Bacon complains, that in his time the 
full growth of mind was retarded by the pernicious 
custom, then prevalent in Europe, of permitting youth 
to enter into active life at so early an age as thirty. This 
prince of philosophers was, in common with other great 
men, his contemporaries, in the hat»t of indulging Uto- 
pian visions concerning the millennial perfection of this 
his ^^ New Atalantis ;'' and the most confident predic- 
tions were hazarded, that America, rising superior to 
the heedlesimess of European haste, would patioitly 
unfold her national intellect, by large and Hberal study ; 
so as to produce in each particular calling the most 
beneficial results, and most luminous discoveries. 

With such a conviction, how would Verulam be 
moved, could he behold with what unmeasured preci- 
pitancy this New Atalantis, this Athens of the western 
world, pouFS forth its swarms of unfledged youth to 
assume the responsibilities of public life, ere they have 
passed the little period of one and twenty years* At 
this unripe age, the preacher takes upon himself to ex- 
pound the aUUimportant doctrines that characterise the 
stupendous scheme of redemption, and to impart a|M- 
ntual consolation to veteran Christians. The physician^ 
also, 16, at this early age, licensed to break the siv^h 
epmmandment ; and the lawyer is, at this preiiQtatUJrc 


j)eriod^ allowed to practise^ as master of a 83r8tem9 which 
has grown up to its present complicated perfectioa 
under the continuous efforts of the ablest men of many 
generations, in both the hemispheres^ European and 
American; a system, which has reached its present 
maturity of wisdom as the result of the social expe- 
rience of twelve hundred yearsi At this early age, over 
youth are deemed competent to prosecute the business 
of active commerce, and to venture gratuitous opinions 
upon the most difficult questions of policy, involving 
great national relations and interests. 

The consequences of this precocious publicity are, a 
superficial elementary education, a perpetual pruriency 
of prattle upon all subjects, without a due fathoming of 
the depths of any one of them, and an entailed disability* 
of fully developing the understanding, which is nar^ 
rowed in early life, by being prematurely absorbed in 
the minute, but necessary details, incident to every 
practical calling. Whence, with their due proportion of 
genius, in common with all other nations, and with the 
advantage of a more general diffusion of popular intelli*- 
gence than is to be found in any other community, too 
many of our citizens, in all the learned professions, begin, 
continue, and end their career, on much narrower ground 
than^ their native capacity, properly unfolded by pre*- 
vious general information, would enable them to cover. 

The regular order of events, however, is providing a 
remedy for the intemperate haste, which has hitherto 
plunged beardless boys into public life. The mere 
pressure of a rapidly increasing population, by aug- 
menting professional competition, must, in due time, 
compel the adoption of a better course of previous edu*- 
cation. Even now a larger stock of elementary inform*^ 
ation is necessary to enable a man to distinguish him*- 
self as a divine, or physician, or lawyer, than was re* 
quisite twenty years since. And, doubtless, twenty 
years hence, what is now deemed a sufficiency of liberal 
' mstruction, will prove but a slender share of essential 

dl6 P£lltOCItCAL PUBllCAtlOK9. 

Seeing then, that sufficient time andopporttinitj are 
hot allowed our profesMOnal itien to pfcieeutc tkeraiy 
pursuits^ from what fountams are the streams of Ameri- 
can literature to spring ? — from the colleges, sca^ered so 
profusely all over the Union ? Alas ! few, tf any of 
these academical institutions are so munificently en- 
dowed, as to enable their inmates to devote tfie com- 
bined advantages of talent, leisure, independence, mid 
inclination, to the service knd promodbn of letters. In 
this country there are no fellowships, no scholarships^ 
no exhibitions, none of those situations. Which, in th6 
colleges of Europe, direct so large a portion of talents to 
the successful prosecution of learning. Our professors 
and teachers are too scantily paid, and too constantly 
"* worked, to be often able to execute origind and 

^fxtensive literary undertakings. 
_ ^ Another obstacle to the growth of literature in the 
United States arises from the great prcraensity to con- 
sume the talent of the country in the effusion of news- 
pi^r essays, and political pamphlets, instead of con- 
centrating it in the production of some regular, consecu- ' 
tive work. In consequence of these desultory intellec- 
tual habits, periodical journals, as Reviews and Mi^a- 
sines, seldom last long. The author can obtain little 
t^r no assistance from others in his literary efforts ; the 
persons competent to aid him in such an undertaking 
being comparatively few throughout the Union, and 
those, for tne most part, actively employed in some la- 
borious calling ; and it id not in the power of any one 
man, however gifted with talent, adorned with know- 
ledge, and armed with industry, to execute, alone, a lite** 
rary journal as it ought to be executed. Add to this, 
the universal vice of the United States, a perpetual 
craving after novelty. The charge which Demosthenes 
brought against his own countrymen, that they were 
jCcmtinually running about, and asking, *^ Is there wiy 
Uhing new ?** is equally a{^Ucable to the Americans. 
fThis eternal restlessness, aim desire of change, pervade 
the whole structure of our society : the same-mah will 
start into life as a clergyman, then turn lawyer, next 

<!onyert him^lf mto a former and land-jobber^ and, 
taking a scat m Congfsess^ or some state legislature^ hyi 
the waj, end his days as a merchant and money-broker* 
The people are incessandy shifting llteir hafakations^ 
employments^ views^ and schemes ^ the residenee of a 
servant does not average two mondi&in each ]|)IaGe; tha 
abode of a ^hole household is generally cbainged once 
a year^ and sometime^) oftener ; numerous families^ that 
have been longer settled in the elder states of Nen- 
York^ Connecticut^ and Massaefausetts, are contimiatiy: 
migrating into Ohio, or the territories of Alabama, 
Illinois^ andMississippi; the eiceeutive, the legialaton^ th^ 
magistrates^^ and officers of all kinds, are changed biea« 
liiaUy, or annually, or hal&yearly, accordiiig to the. 
greater «or lesa infusion of the restless spirit of demo- 
cracy int^ OOF various forms of government. 

Such being the temper, disposition, and hal»ts of the 
peopie, new periodical publications are ccmtinuaUy start- 
ing up, receive a little eager, capricious encovuragement, 
ki^uisb a brief space, and die, leaving t^ same sidcly 
course to be run by a race of successors, equally san- 
gmne and short4iyed. it is doubtful if any one ^ the 
best European journals, most distinguished for the mag-' 
nifioent display of genius and knowledge, were to issue 
from the American press, as a native production, it 
would reach the second year of its* unsupported exist- 
ence. Some years since, a very respectable body of 
men, in New-York, selected from all the three learned 
professions^ started a periodical work, caHed " The -^— 
American Review, and Magazine," which was ably 
conducted, and parished fw want of patronage. The 
*^ Boston Antfiology," supported by the laboiH*s of some 
of the best literary m^i of all callings in that towuy 
.^ome time after, shared* the same fate. And, at a more 
receiit period, die " American Review,'* edited by — 
Mr. Wsdsh, was suffered to expire, notwithstuiding the 
aptendid Indents and various erudition of its^ conductor. 
T^ere never was a lime when the United ^Stotes stood 
so nmch'-iniieed of anoriginai, native review, as now, in 
4tfder to erect a^ standard of independent^ impartial crir 


tidsm, for the benefit both of writers and readers; t» 
animadvert upon American productions, and give some 
account of European literature, particulariy of France^ 
Italy, and Germany. The Edinburgh and Quarterly 
Reviews are republished, and widely circulated iii this 
countiy; they are,' unquestionably, the ablest literary 
journals the world has ever yet produced ; they display 
a stupendous aggregate of genius, taste, and learning, 
upon almost every subject of human inquiry ; and are 
also important to us, as exhibiting the sentiments of 
the two great contending parties that divide and govern 
the British empire* But they say littie on American 
literature ; and that little is not always either liberal or 
just. Besides, they suffer their political feelings and 
opinions to mingle too much with, and occasioiuilly to 

Servert, their literary criticisms. An original United 
iates Review^ ther^ore, which should steer dear of 
the extremes of pwrty spirit, and exhibit a fair and ho- 
nest view of American literature, and such an account 
of European productions as might be readily obtained 
by a liberal correspondence with that quarter of the 
globe, would very materially tend to promote the cause 
of letters in this country, and draw out into public jio- 
tice, as contributors, our ablest and best informed men, 
who now are the grave of their own extensive acquisi<- 
tions, by readii^ all and writing nothing. 

But, although in the higher walks of literature the 
United States do not yet excel, they surpass all other 
" " nations in elementary education ; that is to say, in im- 
parting the rudiments of instruction to the people at 
targe. Most of the states, and especially those of New- 
England, have established district schools, for the in- 
struction of the children of all the inhabitants. Whence, 
scarcely a native American is to be found who cannot 
read and write, and cast accounts ; and they all read 
— newspapers, of which there are mwe printed in the 
Union than in all the British empire, and political 
pamphlets, if they read nothing else. The great body 
of the European people are altogether uneducated. Hot- 
land, Sweden, the Protestant Cantons of Switzerland^ 


and ScotlaJid^ it is believed, are the only prntn^s of 
Europe in which the government makes any provision 
for the general instruction of its population; The in- 
tellectual and moral advantages of such a system are 
manifest in the superior habits and character of the 
New-England people, when compared with the rest of 
the Union ; in the greater sobriety and providence of 
the Scottish, when compared with their English and 
Irish neighbours ; in the more regular and orderly oon- 
dqct of the Dutch, Swedes, and Swiss, in oomparisoD 
with the rest of continental Europe. 

Yet, notwithstanding the system of panx^hial schoob 
has. proved so exceedingly baieficial m Scotland, the 
British government has no/ introduced it into England 
or Ireland. If the people, of those two countries were 
as well instructed as the Scottish, the moral power c^ 
theBritish empire, and consequently its national strength 
and greatness, would be quadrupled in fiAy years. 
Nevertheless, Britain has of late considerably increased 
the education of her English and Irish population,, by 
means of the B^ and Lancaster plans, and Charity 
and Sunday-schools. But these operate only partially ; 
she must establish a national system, if she wishes to 
have aU her people instructed. The saying of Gre<Mrge 
the Third, " that he hoped soon to know that every 
poor man, within his realm, possessed and could read 
the Bible,** was dictated by a spirit.of exalted benevo- 
lence and enlarged wisdom, better calculated to im>- 
prove and render prosperous a nation, than the most 
splendid achievements of naval and military heroism. 

Both countries would be highly benefited by bor- 
rowing from each other; England by adopting the 
American system of instructing all the people, and the 
United States by cultivating that higher c^iecies of 
learning, which has rendered the English schdiars, for 
a series of ages, so peculiarly pre-eminent When 
will the day arrive, that, in reference to our own clasH^ 
ad writers^ we may be able to exclaim with C^Uingut- 

Ome r oXov TO fjulkoAfO)/ 1 wofy SMafy oarif a^^nffis. I 

I am airatd some considerable time will elapse before 
Apolk) will' deiga to desoend, and visit the temple of 
American inspiration, in the same manner, and to the 
tame extent, niat he has vitnted Greece, Rome, and Eng« 
land. Upon the first introdx^ion of the Gredk Ian* 
gnai^e into the English nniverBities, it met with very de^ 
tided oppo^on: the cembatants divided into two 
companies, the one favourable to the study of tlie *^ mw 
tongue,'* as it was called, being denominated Cheeks ; 
that against it, Trojans, which last, whenever they saw 
any thing they did not* understand, cried out ^^ Graseum 
est, et non potest legi/' For a long time, in England, 
the TVcjans triumphed ; at last they imited th^r fiwrcea 
with their opponents, and both have, ever since, contri* 
buted^ to augment the strength, and brighten the splen- 
dour of their countiy's literature. In the United States^ 
at present^ the Trojans »e a fearful majority. 

The power, wealth, and influence of every nation 
depends mere np<m the aggregate of disposable intelU^ 
gence afloat in the communily llian upon its extant of 
territory and number of ihhabitants* The progress of 
all nati<His in wealth and strength, in internal security 
and external influence, has been proportioned to their 
activity of mind and advatieement in knowledge. The 
art of navigation, the resources of commerce, the ascen* 
dency in war, the discoveries of science, the duration of 
donumon^ can never take up their abode permanently, 
ezeepting in countries where the paths of knowledge 
are incessantly explwed by the various but combined 
efforts of numerous minds. And a general activi^ 6[ 
intellect can <Miljr be called forth in a nation by allowing 
full freedom of inquiry on all religious, political, and 
moral sulgects* A due prmortion of this general ac- 
tivity will always be directed to the cultivation of those 
wrts and sciences which subserve the purposes of prac- . 
tical life, the increase of individual convenience/ and 
the augmentation of national power. The triunaphant 

imai of ciyilised warfkre is tiidissdlably eonnectod with 
idie active cuttivatioa of mind^ the wide diff^^ioH of 
knowkdge^ the free exercisd of reitson, smdxi^ the home 
pofmlation. of every country.- . Noipreoanoiis si^ply^ ob 
mq9c»rtati<» of talent frotntabi'oad^ no partial^ jUteiition 
to any cHie branch of impFO»i^eiaeQt to the exdusion of 
tfa» i^est, can compensate for the want of general cuki-^ 
vaticm in the mind of the native infaabitarits. 

Of what immehse benefit/ was the ^nsral eikicatioti 
of their people t^ the Unitad iStates^ dnriB^ theit^ revo^ 
Itttionary stpfiggleandi their reoent conflict with Bri- 
tain^ in multiplpng their res6urces^ . mergyy and skill! 
And how prodigioi^^y has it forwarded their national 
oaiieer in all the arts and oeeupations* of peace! 

But although elementary instruction is generally dif- 
fered throughout the Union, liberal educatidri is tiot suf- 
ficiently encouraged; the cauaes of which ane rooted in 
the very condition of our social faWit;. Some of these 
it may be useful to enumerate. ' Owii^ to the peculiar 
circumstances of America, and her great commercial 
ca|»ioities, a laorge proportion of her active tadent is d€- - 
voted to trade. But although tradcy When conpsidered 
iti the a^regate, its a great engine of civilization, ornd 
very beneficial to mankixMl, by comiecting different ^nn* 
\tions, by c^iening a wider field for the eixertions of 
productive industry, and by enlarging the sphere of 
inquiry, yet. its elfect upon the understanding of the 
individus^ employed in it is not so beneficial. For the 
trader, whether a wholesale merchant, or a retail dealer, 
must employ his mind chiefly in detail, in attending to 
xfnnute particulars aild pfetty circumstances^ which is apt 
to generate a hslbit adverse to expansion of the intellect. 
He, whose bead is filled with commercial calculations 
and speculations from morning to night> will not b^ 
>0ften inclined to peruse the pages of the faisfcorian, th^ 
philosopher, or the moralist. Under «uch circrnn- 
atances^ wealth alone will be the object of desire; and, 
as lifterature opens no such shining path to \tB votafici, 
it will become ritther an dbject of contempt that of cuU 


In consequence of the general predominance of the 
trading spirit^ there is a great dearth of liberal educa- 
tion throughout the United States. For no man can 
know the value of what he himself has never possessed; 
•and consequently an illiterate fiaither can never appre- 
'^aate the importance of his son's being liberally edu- 
cated^ nor know what progress his boy makes in learn- 
ing; and will be apt to imagine that it is not necessary 
to consume much time^ or expend much money, in giving 
. the child an opportunity of acquiring general inform- 
' ation. Accordingly, our grammar schools are, for the 
'most part, deplorably defective. The schoolmasters 
consist generally of unlettered foreign adventurers and 
native boys, who are tliemselves studying law, or phy- 
sic, or divinity, and propose to teach others, that tliey 
may be able to defray the expense of their own profes- 
sional probation, and then quit the trade of teaching 
altogether. Such schoolmasters swarm in every lane 
• and alley of our towns and cities, and vie with each 
■other in bold assertions, that they can carry a boy 
through a course of liberal education in a few months, 
and at a small exp^ise. This delectable promise is 
swallowed by the ignorant and credulous parent, who 
applauds his own and the preceptor's sagacity for con-- 
tjriving and executing a system of instruction, which, by 
the expenditure of a few dollars, shall be able to coun- 
teract all the accustomed laws of human nature, falsify 
all human experience, operate impossibilities, and ma- 
nufacture a jscholar by teaching him nothing. 

The use of the grammar is. either exploded alto- 
gether, or very superficisdiy taught, or translated into 
English, as some profound scholars have done with 
More*s Greek grammar, in order to lessen the labour of 
education. But the basis of all valuable instruction 
must be laid in the necessity of intellectual toil; no 
mental, acquisition worth possessing can be obtained 
without previous mental exertion. What is not known 
accurately is not known at all; and nothing can be 
known accurately without previous labour of the un^ 
4erstandiiig. The only use of education is to unfold 


the faeullieft of the mind^ and teach the jieopleto tibitiki 
but the superficial smattering of a few assemblages of 
words and phrases, badly understoodj and woi^e deli« 
vered, can never develope any power df the mind^ nor 
render man ai|L animal capable of reasoning. Neverthe^ > 
less, some grown-up men, who pass for scholars in. the 
United States^ profess to condemn the mode of teaching 
Latin and Gi*eek by the aid of grammar ^ which they 
say is too abstract for the comprehaision of bpysi 
wherefore they recommend those languages to be 
taught '^ by reading a great deal, and committing the 
Dictionary and Lexicon to niemory.*" . 

This^ although a fa^ionaUe^ appears to be a strange 
method of teaching any, especially the dead language* 
'Why strire to encumber a child's memory with the 
numberless words and phrases of a whole l)ictionaryy 
when it would be so much easier to learn and retain the 
comparatiyely few and simple rules of grai^mar? Be* 
sides^ it is the nature of things that childrm shall 
read a great deal ; it is necessary that their tasks be short 
and simple^ aijid that they be allowed to promote their 
health and growth by spending a great proportion ojt 
their time in bodily exercise and amuseme^t Npr^isit 
easy to .perceive how the mind can be much improved 
by committing to memory a vast number of wcMrds and 
phrases to, which they attach no d^pite meaning. 
Words are merely arbitrary signs to designate certain 
things; language is made upof words, and. grammar is 
the reduction or language into general and fixed rules. 
And the. universal voice of the wise and learned in all 
ages has required that well . educated persons should 
speak and write with grammatical accuracy 9 in order to 
distinguish their effusions from those of the untaught 
multitude. : 

At first, children learn by single words, which is only 
endurable, while they are so young as to be only capa^ 
ble of receivix^ a few simple ideas : it would be endless 
to endeavour to teach a whole language by single 
words. The science of grammar, therefore^ steps iny 

Y S . > ' 

114 tHlE tfrODT Oi* GRAMMAR. 

ft6d by teftbhkigli^ ehiM a few general mle^, together 
with th^t* toplicatiem, enables it to understand &1 the 
pMiadats 0* that language, so reduced to general rules 
iatA princijrfes. Inde^, all sfdences rest' ujkm general 
rtlfes aiwl' priiadples as theit basis; and thiis, not only 
t^hder knowtedg* more ready At our call, and more 
Wsf of application, but also enable us continually to in- 
itwase itd limits- SaVages teach fhdr children by sin- 
gle word^; and how scanty and iniperfeet are their Ian* 
guages! Xaftnts can atAy be ttiught in detail, by single 
w6i^; but asl soon as the tnhid begins to open, and is 
able to rise from details to ^ricral nAes, grammar is 
tftught Aem, in <^er to fecilitate, and tender sure and 
perttmaent the- acquisition of language. 

Teaching langua^ without the helfk 6f grammar 
Wte a fafourite scheme of Mr. Locke, who, in his book 
^education, say#, ^^that languages leartied by rote 
serte ^dl eWoUgh for the comnion affiiirs of life, and 
Wdinasy c<m^ei^e.r NoW, s^lowihg this to be the fact, 
iSit suot: a knowledge df language as to en^Ie a pler- 
fofi to ^pe«k and write rt Cortectfy ? If not^/ 'Why dis- 
iiafrd the ifee iof grammar? The truth is, Mr. LockeV 
bbok% a veiy^ meagre performance, not calculated to 
^ite the studeht enlarged and comprehensive yie^s, but 
iMlended metfely for the use of country gentlemen ; and all 
the worfd kn6ws what ^ort of philosophers the En^ish 
eoutttoty squires were k hundred years since. His re- 
mait^s VLpoii' poetry and language are peculiarly frigid 
and unsatisfactoiyt The treatises on Education^ by 
Bjr. Knox and Dr. Barrow, contain ample refutations of 
all Mr. Locke's anti-clasadcal heresies. Nay, but these 
very men, who explode the use of gramrimr hi teaching 
bo;^s, admit that when these boys grow up, they must 
study grammar, to obtain a more critical knowledge of 
the fadiguage. The whole of this boasted meliiod men, 
at feat, resolves itself into this, liwit grammar is of no use 
ift teaching a language, but a boy must leam a diction- 
aiy by heart, and r^ a great deal, awd after several 
years so qpent> he iwost then learn the graihmar, in 
order to understand the language. 

^Ut; ^& it lil!:ely that bayi| wfco bav# b^^fi twgH w* so 
d^sulWy and unconm^t^ a Burner wiell stjody gram- 
mar wbf^n ti^«y become mpx } Jt i§ b^tr i^ begiipi,;sft 
th^ right fp^y and teaeb the graWHiar \n th^ first )i^ 
stance; for ^pb general pule of graiiu^^> by it| a{^^ 
cation to a multi^e of partricular^^ ii^ surely a readier 
and mpre certain method of teaching atangi^^gf^ thajn 
by learning single words or detached phraiea^ without 
.any general rules by which light c^ be tbrQT^l^ UfMH^ 
the different parts of the language^ wd by which thoi^ 
different parts can be cpiyoined.^ so s|s to constitute ^ 
whole ^ correct in its synin^etry, and fair in itf propojr 
tions. And requiring boys, to comn^it the grwunar to 
pa^mooy, and to og^^ its rules to the words and phntW 
that occur in the course of reiading) which \% call^ 
parsings at analyzing the language, is a: betteir ei^ercHf^ 
of the mindj ana better calculated to unfold th^n^aiiioi^ 
ing powers than working a proposition in Euclid-^ . • • 

'^ The study of graqimar requires morefc^ceof 9tte;i^ 
tion and counesdon of thought than that of mtlthecna- 
tics. Grammar unites ideas^ as osculation oombiuf^ 
figures ; and its logic is as precise a^ ths^t of Algebflb 
with the additional advantage of making at the Mme 
time a direct and powerful application to all that is aliy^ 
and vigorous in the mind. Words at .once d^notf 
sounds^ and numbers^ and images^ to excite emotionfs , 
in the understanding. They are subject to the i^tricHt 
discipline of syntax^ and y^t fuU of the native foripe and 
signification of the ideas they conventionally repr^swt* 
In the ipetapbysios of grammar, the philosophy of Iwi* 
gu$^e^ energy of thought, and accuracy of re^ouil^i 
are intimi^tely u|][ited.'' 

England and Ireland have for aome centuri^* pA9t 
produced the most accomplished classical schoWn in thia 
world ; and they tewb Latin and Qre^ the ^£W^ 
mar. Now, it will require very strong evidence teproW 
thp superiority of any new-fangled thwry, to a iwtbo4 
whose entire i|upoess h^s he^n est^blishj^d by ft Mftet ^t 
national i^fit? for 90 V^t « l«?3!gth of til^^ 


^^ .... 

Nevertheless, we shall prohably witness the abolition 
of grammar, as the basis of classical study in the United 
States ; for some of our coUege-professors maintain the 
necessity of teaching, Latin and Greek without gram- 
mar, and triumphantb' ask, *^ if children are not taught 
to speak and write English without the use of gram- 
mar, merely by reading and comiflitting the dictionary 
to memory ?**— To which the answer is obvious, that 
those who have never learned grammar of any kiiid are 
not apt to write, if to speak Enghsh correctly; besides, 
there are no opportunities of teaching a dead, as we can 
a living language, by peaking it. Nor are the facilities 
of reading it so great. The utmost that this ro^e-method . 
of teaching languages without the aid of grammar can 
accomplish, is to enable people to prattle in a living 
tongue, upon the ordinary topics of every-day discourse'; 
but it cannot teach them to write correctly, even in a 
livfaig tongue ; and, certainly, will give only a very su- 
perficial knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages. 
For undeniable witnesses to the truth of this assertion, 
we refer to those amongst us who have been taught 
the classics in this way. 

- In this city, the grammar-schools are as good as in 
any part of the Union, and there are some few excellent 
teachers, gentlemen who have made teaching their pro* 
fession, and are themselves good classical scholars. But 
New- York has her full share of inefficient preceptors. , - 

- A deep conviction of the deplorable condition of our 
elementary schools induced the President of Columbia 
College, the Rev. Dr. Harris, in the year 1316, to lay 
before the Board of Trustees a plan for establishing a 
seminary of instruction, similar to the high school in 
Edinburgh, and attaching it to the college, as an insti- 
tution that might prepare boys for entering with effecton 
their collegiate course; the senior form of the grammar 
schoql being, after due examination, to be transferred 
into the college Ireshman-class. This plan, the outline 
and details pf which appear to be veiy judicious, has not 
yet been adopted by the Trustees of Columbia College. 


If the grammar-schools are deflcieht, if the rudiment« 
of the classics arc not accurately taught ; if the boy is 
only crammed with a senseless jargon, conned by rote, 
and mechanically remembered, of course our colleges 
and umversUies cannot be calculated to produce good 
scholars. Where no foundation is laid no superstruc- 
ture can be reared; what is never begun can never be 
finished. If the grammiur^schools transmit to the col- 
leges boys ignorant of the first principles of a liberal 
education, the colleges will, in due season, send out into 
the world those boys empty and uninformed, to dis- 
charge the important functions of legislating and admi • 
nistering government and justice for a great and rising 
empire. Our boys generally enter college at fourteen, ' 
and commence their baccalaureate at eighteen years of 
age, when they begin their studies for the profession of 
law, or divinity, or physic, ^r enter the counting-house' 
of a merchant, where, of course, all studies excepting 
the ledger and the newspaper are laid aside. Nor do 
the professional students often prosecute classical stu^ 
dies to any great extent or d^h. Nor is it to be ex- 
pected, ' seeing, that in the ooileges the pupils arc not 
very ccAnprehensively instructed in the classics, or belles- 
lettres, rhetoric, or moral philosophy, or history, or poli- 
tical economy, or natural philosophy, or metaphysics, or 
any of those great branches of knowledge peculiarly 
jBtted to invigorate, enlarge, and adorn t}r3 intellect. 

In addition to this, the American colleges generally - 
are suffered to languish for want%of sufficic^nt funds, 
either firom private contributions or the aid of govern- 
ment. Whence, they can seldom oflfer a bounty high 
enough to procure, as presidents and professors, men of 
talents and information sufficiently forcible and extensive 
to lead the minds of their pupils to litei:ary excellence^ . 
or inspire them with an inextinguishable ardour for im« 
provement. For men of powerful intellect generally 
know their own value, and cannot often be imluced to 
starve upon a seanty stipend, when a different direction 
of their time, industry, and tatents, might conduct th«n 
to honour and independence. The phr^y formultiply^ 

93$ i60tX.Ba69. 

me colleges aU over the Unioi!i^ and ti» cudtom of ap^ 
pointing illiterate men as trustees^ aho retcord the pio^ 
^8s of literature, by diminishing the number of stu«- 
dents at eaeh college, and thus kssenttig the means of 
its support, and by ensuring the aj^intment of absurd 
regulations abd impracticable plans of study. Whence^ 
altogether. Dr. Johnson s sarcasm is much more aj^lL* 
cable to the United States than to the country at which 
it was originally levelled, namely, ^^ learning here is like 
bread in a besieged town, every man has a moutbfuI> 
amd no one a belly fiilL'* 

There are about Jifh/ colleges in the United Stat^ i 
almost every state having two or three. Of these. 
Harvard in Massachusetts, Yale in Gonaecticut, and 
Princeton in New-Jersey, stand highest in numbers and 
reputation. Harvard is the most munificently endowed 
of all the American collies; the people of Boston 
wisely considering that the encouragen^cait of sound 
literature is one of the main supports of national great- 
ness and elevation. It has thirteen professorships, and 
affords a wider range of liberal instruction than any 
Other college in the United States. Yale owes its high 
eminence to the exertions of its late president^ Doctor 
Dwight, who, perhaps more than any pian of his age, 
united in himself great talents, extensive learning, steady 
authority, affectionate regsurd, and practical wisdom, to 
discern time and circumstance, and convert everything 
to the advantage of the institution which he governed, 
and the pupils whom he instructed. Columbia College 
ought to equal, if not surpass, every other college in the 
Union. Its outiine of study presaibed by the statutes 
is excellent ; and it is situated in the heart of the mostr 
pc^ulous and opulent city in the United States at pre- 
sent, and which possesses the greatest capacities of fu- 
ture increase ; and yet it numbers but . orae hundred 
students, while Princeton has two, Yale three, and Har- 
vard four hundred. 

Scarcely any systematic lectures on moral philosq^hy, 
metaphysics, political economy, histosy, bodies lettres, 
and thetMie, ai:e delivered in our odi^^s, I know but 

0f two instaeieqi) th<>i»,Qf lector Smithy late Prendent 
of Piincaton^ on ^^ loiorsd and poHtical pbileaophy f ahi 
those of Mr,' Joha Quiacy Adasrif^ how Seeret^ry of 
Stiite, on ^^ bejles-lettrea and rhetoric,*' when he was 
professor at Harvard* Mr. Adams's lectures contain 
an abuadanee of useful learning, well ooUeoted, and 
many able observations and inferences; but the ^tyle is 
occasionally too inflated and mysterious. Those of 
Doctor Smith are excellent so far as relates to the ethiw 
cal psoi: ; but the lecturer not being either a clvitisMi ot 
political economist, the two great branches of polideai 
philosophy^ and the law of haticHis, are very slightly 
touched. In the European colleges these subjects have 
employed the ablest talents; and Doctoi; Ferguaon^s 
'^ Moral Science," Dr. Smith's '' Wealth of Nations,'^ 
Mr. Tytler's (Lord Woodhouselee's,) ^^ Elements of 
History," Professor Millar's *^ Origin of Hanks,** and 
Mr. Dugald Stuart's " Elements of the PhilQsophy ci 
the Human Mind;" all the substance of lectures d^Uver^ 
ed by their respective authors are among the most in- 
structive and interesting works ever delivered to th^ 
world. Perhaps no want is more ui^ent in our coUegey 
tiaan that c^ a course of lectures on history; of whi<^^ 
whether general^ as of the world at large, or of parties-* 
iar countries, the Americans, men, women, and ohil- 
dren, are lamentably ignorant. 

. Chie reason, perhaps, why lectures are so seldom d^ 
livered on ^eat general subjects, in the American cplr 
leges, is the, incessant tendei»sy of the clergy to monopo* 
lize the professors' chairs. This is the case with aH the: 
clerical denominatibiis, according to tiieir aseei^deney in 
«the various collegea, whether Episcopalian, or Presby- 
terian, or Independent^ or Baptist. During the darl^ 
ages of feudal Europe^ tbete was some ^^cuse for ithe . 
ecclesiastical monopoly of education, because the very 
little learning then afloat was confined to the o}ergy ; 
but as soon as the European laitf b^ul learned to read 
and write, this monopoly ceased ; and Icu/men produced 
such lectures on moral philos<^by, political eoenomy, 
metap^iysics^ and ^isto»p, as thta combined oiei^ oH 


Christendom have never equalled. The clergy of the 
United States^ however, can set up no such exclusive 
claim; because they are not a more generally learned 
body than the laity. Indeed, their education very sel- 
dom comprises within its range a very profound or ex- 
tensive acquaintance with histoiy, or political philo^ 
Bophy, or metaphysics; it is, for tne most part, confined 
to the acquisition of a little Latin, and less Greek, and 
their own peculiar system of theology, whether Calvin- 
istic, or Arminian, or Arian, or Unitarian, together with 
such miscellaneous reading as they may be able to 
snatch in the brief intervals of time between the compo- 
sition of sermons, the details of parochial business, pas- 
toral visits to their flock, morning calls, dining out, tea 
and evening parties. It is to be remembered too, that 
their previous preparation generally consists in going to 
an indifferent grammar-school, till fourteen; then enter- 
ing college, which is left at eighteen ; then studying di- 
vinity, and at twenty-one beginning to preach. 

Besides, the clergy of the United States, for reasons 
given in apreceding chapter, are not often men of primary 
talents. Sometimes, indeed, the controlling influence of 
piety drives men of great talents into the church ; and 
sometimes, perhaps, other circumstances; but, generally 
speaking, no one clerical denomination possesses a large 
proportion of the strong and active talent of the coun* 
try, which is, for the most part, seduced into the law, 
physic, and merchandise, by the more splendid rewards 
of wealth, reputation, and mfluence, held out by those 
callings. Whence, in fact, the philosophical chairs in 
our colleges are not often filled ; instead of a full, sys- 
tematic course of moral philosophy, including the three 
great branches of ethics, poUtical economy, and inter^ 
national law, Beattie's Syllabus, or Paley^s Treatise, is 
given to the boys, who learn by rote, and transcribe 
some pages of the book, with probably here and there 
a remark from the professor. Conning over ^^ Blair^s 
Lectures,** generally serves both maater and pupil fop 
a course of belles-lettres and rhetoric; and Vatter& 
little Outtine of the Law of Nutiws, r^d, and p§r% 


transcribed^ completes the circle of international latr. 
As for metaphysics and political economy, they receive 
ft very slender portion of regard. 

The elocution^ in the colleges, is in general extremely 
vitious ; in ad^tion to the common nuisance of a 
mouthing, monotonous rant, a no^a/ twang pervades the 
pronunciation. This eloquence of the nose, rather than 
of the mouth, prevails greatly in New-England, whose 
surplus population- has lotig been spread annually over 
New- York and the Western States ; whence this mode 
of elocution is continually gaining ground throughout 
the Union* Its origin is supposed to be traced to the 
county of Kent, in England, and it greatly resembles 
the nasal sing«-song, or eternal chant of the few elder 
Scottish congregations, whether Covenanters or Sece- 
ders> that are yet to be found in this country. Unfor^ 
tunately, our ears are saluted with these funereal sounds 
ftt the bar, from the pulpit, and ex cathedra, in the col- 
leges. In common conversation also, we meet them ;— 
and even the roseate lips of female loveliness occasionally 
condescend to call in the aid of the nasal organ to tem- 
per the sweetness of their silve)* tones. 

Nov, a distinct, various, well-adapted, impressive ut- 
terance, is necessary to all who desire to render their * 
conversation instructive and pleasing. And how nmch 
of life depends upon conversation for its means of im- 
provement and delight ! how much it heightens domes- 
tic endearments, irradiates social intercourse, enforces 
Earehtal instruction, deepens filial reverence, and exalts 
rotherly affection ! In public life, a prompt and vigor- 
ous elocution is essential to the acquisition and* mainte- 
nance of that personal influence over the feeKngs, 
opinions, passions, and actions of others; %vithout which 
human communities would be deprived of their greatest 
cement of imion, and best guide to exertion. Without 
the aid of felicitous delivery, in vain may the divine, the 
politician, lawyer, or teacher, endeavour to give to their 
respective sentiments, doctrines, arid arguments, their 
due ^eight and effiicacy. Without the accompaniments 
pf ^UameWf and forpe of enunciation^ variety and adap« 

999 PEWtrJiyfi|ATi0if* 

tatbn of empbai^is, precis^ion 4fi4 fuUie$A qf ci^Uvf^fy^ tfaie 
}o^ie6t ^eatimeaUy the s^ost Dowerful r^i^K>ning«^ ttie 
tenderest touches of feeUng^ tm qapst an^m^ted 0a#hfi^ 
' of peal eloquence, are to. the uufpr^uaate au^i^ijiQa tpme 
|tnd uuimpreflisive. 

The anciaat Greeks and RomanSj in the best dayp 
1^ their repubUcs, made thi^ study of elocution aa ^f^W-- 
tial part of liberal education. Many years were devote4 
to learning, in the schools of rhetoric^ the rules ^4 
€lemei^ts of appropriate ^n4 energetic delivery. N<»- 
ther Demosthenas nor Cicero would have deenyed hiipr 
aelf quali^ed to appear h& a public speali^r at the bar> 
or iii the senate^ until he had diligently studied th^ 
fneans of obtaining a prompt, easy, aptf m^. forceful utr 
terance. But th^ scholars, aud great men of modem 
Clmstendom have, in general, been too xv^glig^nt of 
their deliver, both in reading and speaking* Whence^ 
it if pot uncommon tq heaj:, from the, pulpit, at th^ bar# 
and lu th^ sraate, orationB, full of leamkig, argument, 
and eloqu^ee, so marred in the enunciation as nearly 
to destroy their effect, Thf$ public spes^ing and read* 
ing of the present day if too often disgraced, either by 
a drawling, drivelliug monotony, or a quick, indistinct, 
•ingi^smig cadence. The^ whole law qf eloqueuoe ii 
fiomprff ed in a single sentence ; ^^ gravitas sententiarum, 
splendor verborum, proprietas actionis}" — w^ght of 
sepse, splendour of language, and aptness of deliyeryf 
The three requisites of good delivery, or elocuticm, are, 
a df^ar and distinct articulation of every word, syllable, 
and letter ; aa adaptation of the various inflections aiu) 
intoi^ations of the voice to the yarious sense and feeling 
of what is spoken or read, and the following Qf the ac- 
tion or gesture, af a faithful ei^positor of the feelipg and 
fense whibited by the r^^r and speaker . 

But what a difference is generally exhibited betwe^i 
tile easy, varioua, apt, en?rgeti^, mii . n^turjd topes qf 
animated conversation, and the^tiffj ccM^trwe^, i^om^ 
tonous,, and unqaturcd ^mvd^ emitted in publiq 
wading aud speaking. Children alow^t universally af« 
taught tQ r^adina dljfereia^ mai»«r, &n4te v»# <Jjff«?^ 

€ette§, cadences, j)fituses, and emphases, from those which 
ifMttiire dictate by the impulses of feeling and passioii 
m nnc6nstrtiined converdfttion. And this artificial, un- 
natural method, is either inculcated or tolerated in the 
recitals, public i^peakings, headings, and dediiLmations of 
!^ch6ols and colleges. Thesie reading arid speaking 
tones ar^ seldom more ihan two; one, marking, that 
ti^e sense is not quhe 66mpletted, th^ other, that the 
sentence is closed. Theflrst one consists of a uniform 
elevation,^ tYtc Secoiid of a uhiform deptts^&ii of voice. 
H^ce atisesr the tihnatotal and n^onotohdtis linaanef of 
reading and speaking which is so prevafent, and which 
habit ottljr renders mott invtt^ate and incurltble. The 
only effectual remedy Wottld be, to make the study of 
elocution sm essential part of liberal education. At 
present, the rudiments of delivery are generally taught 
by unintelligent dames, and old women, or illiterate 
hicn, who are quite ignorant of the general principles 
ind practical rules of elocutiori. And, when boys thus 
faiitiated into -the mysteries of bad reading are transferred 
to the granmiar^sehooi, the matter is' not mended; 
for the teachers are too much absorbed in drilling their 
young recfuits in cotaBtrting and pafsing, to pay any 
Srttention to the mahnet' in whidi they read and speak 
their own vemaculftr tongile. We are not then to map- 
Vel, that a thick and indistinct, a monotonous, drawling, 
and vapid elocution is so general. 

Next to the acquisition of that primary requisite of 
good delivery, a dear, distinct, aitd forcible arfc'cafefton, . 
the student should labour i6 oblsain a proper pronnncia^ 
twftj or the most approved method of souttdfefg words', 
including the intonation and inflexion 6f the ^ce, the 
acceht and emphasis. An 'awkward pronunciation, a 
bad manstgetttent of the'v6ice, the pitching too high or 
too low a key-note, speaking too loudly, or feebly, to 
be distinctly heard, the use of harsh intonations, of 
fahe, ufrceitaih, irregular cadences and emphases, are 
ifce pectdiar imperfections of particular classes of men 
m every conrnitmity, atod spring from a faulty education, 
vufgar society^ few examples, inveterate habits, mnA 


provincial barbarisms. The difference pf pronunciatmi^ 
between different men, relates to bodies rather than 
individuals! whether inhabitants of the same or diffisrent 
countries^ For instance, the English, Irish, and Scot« 
tish, have each their own peculiar idiom in pronouncing 
the English tongue; and also the different provinces 
and countries of each of those nations have a peculiar 
dialect; whence, not only do the Scottish, Irish, and 
English differ from each otlier in the pronunciation of 
the same language, but the Aberdeen dialect is scarcely 
intelligible to a man of Edinburgh; that of Dublin to 
the people of Belfast ; that of Cornwall to the cockneys 
in Lonaon. The great object, therefore, it to discover 
the standard pronunciation of a country. In every en« 
tire, ccmsolidated sovereignty, the seat of government 
or court fix^ and regulates that standard. The court 
at Paris is the model for all those who asjpire to speak 
French exquisitely ; the court of Madrid is the pattern 
of Spanish pronunciation ; that of Berlin regulates the 
pronunciation of the north, as the cabinet of Vienna% 
does that of the south of Germany ; the government 
circle in London gives the tone of pronunciation to all 
those in the British isles who profess to be liberally 
educated and welUbred. All other idioms or dialects 
jLi*e considered as tokens of a. low and defective educa* 
tion, and, as such^ disgracefiiL This standard pronun* 
elation beitig, in its minuter nioeties, continually fluc^ 
mating with the fluctuations of the manners and fashions 
of the age, capnot easily ]be taught by written or printed 
rules, but can be_ acquired only, by habits . of inter* 
course and conversation with those who have been thus 
liberally ^tr^iiied. 

These observations, however, do not apply to the 
United States, where there is no standard pronunciation 
of the English language ; for America not being a 
consolidated sover^gnty, but a confederacy of indepen-* 
dent states, ^o one state or portion of the Union can ar* 
rogate to itself the privilege of fixing the standard by 
which every well-bred American shall regulate his pro^ 
nunciation. Massachusetts will not implicitly follow the 


government pronunciation of New-Orleans, or Georgia, 
or the Caroliiias, or Virginia, or Maryland ; nor will 
New- York pride itself in copying the ccwirt enunciation 
of New-Jersey, or Pennsylvania, or Ohio, or Kentucky, 
or Tennessee, or Indiana, or Mississippi. And still less 
will any of these republican sovereignties suffer th^ 
federal city of Washington topresdribethe courtly stand-, 
ard of pronunciation. Nor do the separate i^tates look 
to their own seats of government as the models of pro- 
nunciation. ^ The people of New- York are not anxious 
to adopt the mode used by their governor, senators^ 
and representatives, convened at Albany ; nor are the 
g^lemen of Philadelphia ambitious to copy the govern* 
ment enunciation of Lancaster or Harrisburgh. 

Nevertheless, there is a greater uniformity in the 
pronunciation of English, and less diversity of dialects^ 
idioms, and provincialisms in the United States, than in 
England, Ireland, or Scotland. The people of Georgia 
and Massachusetts, of Connecticut and Virginia, of New- 
York and Kentucky, approximate much nearer to each 
others pronunciation than do the natives of York and 
Devon, of Dublin and Donaghadee, of Edinburgh and 
Inverness. Some of the. reasons for this great equality 
of American pronunciation are, that the United States 
were chiefly settled by Englishm^en, in the times of Eli- 
zabeth, James the First, and the two Charleses. These 
first settlers, particularly in New-England, were gene- 
rally people of some education, as well as of strong 
religioiisj'eeling ; and therefore less likely to be infect^ 
with the peculiar dialects and provincial idioms of the 
places whence they emigrated. The Americans also^ 
are a very enterprising locomotive people ; the inhabit- 
ants of the different states intercommunicate much with 
each other, and consequently assimilate in the pronun- 
ciation of that vernacular tongue common to them all. 
And their having no national standard induces them 
. to look to that of England for their model ; with this 
advantage, that whereas in England, every different 
county has a different dialect, the United States escape 
the importation of these^ and follow as nearly as they 


can the best English standard, by the help of approved 
tmtten rules ai»d regulations^ and the personal inter- 
course of some of their most intelligent cittsens with 
the best society in the British metropolis. 

The question has been much debated, whether mor 
Aefm nations should pronounce Greek and Latin accord- 
kig to the analogies of their own living languages, or 
establish a unifonn pronunciation, tiliat of the Greeks 
and Romans themselves. The great objection to a plan 
4if universal pronunciation is, that we loiow very litde 
M to what was the Greek and Roman pronunciation. 
iSeholars, to this day, are much divided in opinion upon 
Ihis subject ; and, at least, until their discussions can 
be adjusted, may not the English continue their own 
mode of pronouncing Greek and Latin^ which is in full 
accordance with the analogy of their own living tongue ; 
^etk if it does not approximate in some few instances 
#o nearly to the ancient pronunciation as the Italian, 
French, German, and Scottish modes ? For we have 
no means of ascertaining how the Greeks and Romans 
^tuaily pronounced the great prc^rtion of their lan^ 
guages; aiid we do know that all their idioms and 
> ^Kalects, all their nicer tones and varieties of inflexion, 
have perished for ever. 

Hie Americans speak EngKsh all over the Union, yet 
read Greek and Latin with the Scottish pronunciation. 
The reason of this anomaly is, that although English is 
their mother-tongue, v^t, ever since the country has 
been settled, the deaci languages have been generally 
tttught by Scottish schoolmasters and professors, who 
grafted their own mode of pronnnciation upon the 
native stock of English in the United States. The Scot- 
tish, as a people, are more generally educated than the 
English ; and, consequently, being more enterprising, 
spread themselves in greater numbers ais tejtchers all 
over the world. The most universally intelligent are 
always the nfiost enterprising and industrious nations. 
The Scottish pronunciation of Greek and Latin more 
neatly resembles that of the French, Italians, Spaniards, 
atid e^i^ncgaftal Europeans, g^^^rafiyy than does the 

lEi^gtidh) bec&U]^ the Scottish mode of proaottticing 
English bears a greater resemblance to the vernacular 
pronunciation of the European continent ; which mbde 
is supposed also to approximate nearer than tiiat of the 
English to the pronunciation of tjie ancient Greeks and 
Romans. . ^ - 

But there appears to be no go6A reason why the 
Americans^ who in general pronounce the English laon- 
guage in greater purity^ than the people of England, 
should violate all the analogies of their own living pn>* 
nunciation, and engraft into their classical utterance :k' 
foreign tone and accent^ borrowed from the Scottish^ 
whose idioms, intonations, and inflexions, m^ altogether: 
^lien from their own. Nor csin this habit iong continue: 
in the United States; for they will sobn ceaSe to look 
to Sco^and for teachers of the dead languages. And^ 
when American scholars instruct the youth of this 
country, they will^ of coursey follow the genius and 
chidracter of their own language, whose ansdogies will 
eventually eradicate all the vestiges of Scottish pro» 
nunciation; which^ even now, does not pervade the 
union | for at the colk^es of Schenectady^ in New-Yoric, 
Princeton, in New-Jersey, and of New-England, gene*, 
raliy^ the students are taught to read and speak th^ 
classics after the English mode^ ' "- 

The object to be acquired is, to ascdf taih the English 
quantity with which the vowels and consonants of the 
Greek and Latin languages are-to be pronounced; and> 
then give utterance to these learned tongues, with the 
same distinct and manly articulation, the same bold and 
impressive intonations, the same force of emphasis and 
variety of cadence, with which the best English poets 
and prose writers are read and spokefn. This, however, 
cannot be accomplished by the mere knowledge of the 
dead limguages, but by an intimate acquaintance with 
the general analogies and floating usages of our own 
motheiytongue. And in the nature of things, and the 
radical conformation of the human mind, these analogies 
must always enter largely into the scholar's pronuncia- 
tion of the ilead languages* And; in fact, every nation 


does puarsiitf thia colirso. The Scottish^ Frencb^ItaUaoi^j, 
Gmomom, , aad Spanuurds all pronounce Greek and 
Latia acoordiag to the analogies of theur own living 
todgiies; and whi^ reason can be assigned why the 
Americana and English^ who both speak one common 
language^ whose mother tongue is neither Spanish nor 
Gefman, nor Italian, n<^Frelioh^ nor Scottish, should 
not he permittcxl to follow the same law of ])ature> rear. 
a/tik^ aikd liberty^- in pronouncing the dead koi^ages^ 
Moording to the analogies of t^ir own hying idiom? 
On what pffinci{>le shoidd a Freitehman or Scotchman 
luidettake to teach fen Atnerican or Englishman to read 
and qpealL Latin and. Greek, wi^h a French or Scottish 
pmnondEtioQ, whi<^h would not equally justify teaching 
the ^upil to read and speak fkiglish with a French or 
Soottish profrancdatioli? Let then a Scotchman and 
Frenchman^ as laag as they contini^ to talk (Scottish 
atnd Fnench^ follow the analogies of their own living 
tongues in pronouncing the dead languag^s^ and also 
let^e mttneroila aad growing ihiUi^s of America and 
fidgiaiiMl pronounce the .classical toi^es according to 
thb general .anaJbgies ajld best usages of their own 
liTii^. language, md cherish that English pronunciation 
which has taken deep root, and sprung up aloft in their 
own native soil; which is congenial . to the frame and 
dkaracter of their language^ which owes its origin to 
the: habits and manners, the idea^^ .opinions^ and senti- 
ifaeBta, the pe<^liarities>. views, intelligence, and national 
acbiei^ements of die people. 

! The cu$tom which regulates the pronunciation of all; 
living languages is nol made up altogether of the usage, 
of the mere nmltitude ofspeak^^, in a qommunity, 
counted numerically, and suffered to vote, ji^er capita^ for 
the: standard of national utterance; nor does it sprilig' 
eiktirely from the usages of the studious,, in the I'eqeases 
of their halls and colleges ; nor does it owe its origin to 
the unmingled efforts and efiusions of the affluent, gay, 
and fashionable portion of sodety ; but is compounded 
c^ the usages, of sdl these three ckmses of men. The. 
learning of th^ scholars acts as a restrali^t ahd balance*. 


wheels alike upon the friirolous affibctatbfi and tver^ 
shiftuig cftpiiee of the wealthy and fashionable, and 
upon the uliterateness and ignorance of the multitude.: 
Ihe refinement and delicacy of. the welUbred and po» ^ 
lished curb and diminish th^ pedantry <^ the ^lene 
scholar^ ai^ iloAen the rude forward vulgaiity of the 
mieducated and uninformed^ while the plain^ strong, 
home-bred, practical oc^mon sense of the industrious 
4>rders, ere4!:ts a barrier of equal force against the light and 
airy incorsions of fiieshion,-aiHi the ponderous attacks ctf 
laborious sdfiolaiship. The Latin and Greek infusiions of ' 
the schools, the nicer peenliarities of polished life, and 
tiie nativie provincialisms of the irregularly educated^ 
most all be reeeif^ed and tolerated by each other, for a 
longtime, and to a great extent, bef(»re they can grow 
up into that permanent general use, which copstituis^ 
bit established custom of pronunciation* 

The si tn^ meflere, etc. of Horace is aa af^ticable 
to teaching as to dramatic enunciation ; and no lecture 
will ever be able to reiser his labours eith^ interesting 
or instruetive to his pupils, if his manner be dull, cold, 
and fimnai, and his elocuticm monotonoua, drawling, 
nasal, and vapid. The ii^entoua ardour, or, as the nxih 
^ients call it, the sacred fire of youth, can mily be kept 
Idfve, and fanned into a brighter f^ane, by the. |cinched 
enthusiasm of the teadber, whose example , as weU as 
precept, is necessary to inspire the student with alove 
for letters. The enthusiasm of the head is genius^ the 
«»thusiaim of the heart is virtue; and both lie at the 
(foundation of all real greatness. The paramount ex-> 
cdleaoe of every iratructor consists in the ability, so 
happily to temper and combine the three several in- 
fiuencesof ^fy, necessity ^soAamlniiuny^n to make them . 
all co-operate in their respective stations and pow»*s, to 
produce in his pupils confirmed hahits of intellectual 
diligence^ This once accomplished, his work is efectu«» 
ally done, for they will ever after continue to enlarge 
the hmits of their understanding, by vigilant observa- 
tion, by systematic reading, by patient reflection, by ra- 
tion^ conversation, so that all which they see, observir, 

z 2 


read^ and hear^ shall directly tend to sharpen the sense 
of perceptifm, strengthen the power of association, 
quicken and render more retentive the memory, exercise 
and invigorate the judgmenl, deepen and enlarge the 
faculty of reasoning, and kindle all the firesp of the 
imagination into a brighter and steadier blaze. 

The course of lectures on belles-lettres . and rhetoric 
should contain an inquiry into the elements of criticism 
on metaphysical "principles, by which Aristotle's Poetics, 
the fragment of Longmus on the sublime, and Quino- 
tilian's institutes, should be examined and tried. A cri- 
tical code of general rules should be established^ aad 
illustrated by selections of passages remarkable for their 
sentiment, or expression, or both, from the best poets 
and prose writers, in the Greeks Latin, English, Frejach, 
Italian, and Spanish languages.. 

The course of lectures on moral pkUosophf should 
demonstrate, that all the systems of ethics, whether an- 
cient or modem, which are no/ based on revelation, arc 
reducible to a calculation of individual expediency, for 
want of a sufficient sanction to enforce the observance 
of their rules and prec^ts; whereas the moral code 
revealed in the Scriptures is applicable to all the condi- 
tions and circumstances of human life, individual, do- 
mestic, and social. This should constitute the first great 
division of the subject ; the second should Consist of ^ an 
oii^e (Apolitical philosophy, and the attention b^ par- 
.ticularly directed towards an investigation of the means 
best adapted to render a nation permanently prosperous 
and powerful. The third division should cciaQaprehend 
an inquiry into the law of nations, as founded on the law 
-of nature, on conventional, or treaty kw, and on com- 
mon, or customary law. It would require the labour of 
several years, employed in genecal reading, and patient 
thought, tp improve and complete two mch courses of 
lectures, which would find very imperfect substitutes 
in the daily or weekly dole of a few pages of Blair, 
Beatlie, and Vattel. -^ 

The few following might be some of the subjects 
wJiich would admit of profitable discussion ; namely. 


firsty that the mora/ impulses and infeZ/ecftia/ capacities 
of ereiy human being are by nature co-equal, and co-or- 
, dinate ; that is to say, the sensibilities of the heart, and 
powers of the head, in every being, are naturally equal, 
in strength ; a dull man having by the very constitution 
of his nature slow and blunt feelings ; and genius being 
by nature endowed with quick and ardent sensibilities; 
and so, proportionally, through all the gradations of in- 
tellect^ from the highest to die lowest order of minds. 
In (ifter life, the moral and mental co-equality is seldom 
preserved, owing to some persons cultivating their feel- 
ings more than their understandings ; while others im- 
prove their minds to the neglect, or at the expense of 
their moral impulses and emotions ; and, consequently, 
as all the human powers, whetlier physical, or intellec 
tual, or moral, grow in strength, or, decay in weiakness> 
as they, are exercised or disused, the na^ra/ coequality 
of feeling and mind is deranged by the subsequent cul- 
tivation of the one, in an undue and disproporticmate 
preference to the other. 

Secondly. That the possession and display of great in- 
tellect does not necessarily imply the exercise or pos- 
session of moral virtue* For, if it did, individuals and 
nations would be just and upright, precisely in propor- 
tion to the quantity of their talent aiul information ; and 
communities and persons would be vicious and profli- 
gate in the direct ratio of their dulness and ignorance ;. 
propositions which are contradiqted by the uniform ex- 
perience of fact and history. 

IMrdly. An inquiry should be made into the compa- 
rative-mind of the andents and modems. This, question 
has been agitated by the learned in Europe ever sbce 
the revival of letters. One sect of scholars has contend- 
ed that the ancients excel the moderns in all the attri- 
butes of genius, while another maintains the superiorityr 
of the modems. In the last century a third heresy 
sprang up amidst the European philosophers and scho-. 
lars, who, at that time, as they supposed, discovered the 
secret of mm s perfectibility,; which doctrine, if^ true, 
decides the question; for if the human race be growing. 


wiser and wiser^ ^^ tucceeding genermtioii, in ito pim* 
gress towards perfection^ of course the ancients wem 
mere children^ as to talents and acquisitions, in oompa- 
risen with modem wise men ; and the politicians^ w«r. 
ribrs, poets, historians, orators, and philosophers of 
Greece and Rome, are, by several centuries, inferior to 
the corresponding classes of men who protect, adom^ 
and guide the present era of illumination. By pushing 
the two first theories to their legitimate extremes, their 
ihconclusiveness will appear : for, on the suppositi<m 
that the ancients were superior in capacity to tne mo* 
dems, the world has only to grow to a certain i^^ 
when all the human beings in it will be m^e drills and 
changelings, if mind diminishes every succeeding g^ie- 
ration ; and on the supposition that the modems excel 
the ancients in talent, the converse result will be pro-^ 
duced^ and the neaf er we travel up to the commence- 
ment of the creation, the more c^tainly we approximate 
tb a rkce of ideots and dunces. 

It should therefore be shewn, both by reasoning, a 
priori, from certain undisputed elementary principles of 
nietaphysics, and also by a general induction from par- 
ticular facts, that neither of these three (pinions is cor- 
rect; but, that although individuals differ from each 
other in the amount of native talent, yet large masses of 
men, as whole communities, average an equality of na- 
tural capacity, in all ages and countries. How far that 
natural capacity $hall be developed into active powar 
and' display, must, of course, diepend upon the existii^ 
circumstances of the age and country in which it ap- 
pears ; as di9 form and spirit of government, sptems of 
education, character of the pe<^le, and all those predomi^ 
nating influences which stamp the family features, and 
direct the destinies of nations. In examming this ques* 
tion, an inquirv should be made into the best means of 
se^curing for the public service a succemony regularhr 
continued from nge to age, of able men, in ail the high 
departments of th^ state, pditical, military, and literaiy. 
And, in particular, shouM be' explored <^e cames whi^ 
acederate or retard die growth of mind in diese Unitedl 


States, 8o fkr as it it employ^ in tKe pursuit 0f poM- 
tics, literature, art, and seienee. 

Fodorthhf. An analy«s of the poUtiJCal history of the 

vnorld should be made, with a view to aseeitam how far 

any nation, ancient or modern, has approidmated in its 

'.aodal institutions towards the union of the three great 

requisite^ of a good government ; namely, the personal 

liberty of the people, strong and permanent power in 

the hands of the executive, and an anu4e devebpen^mt 

'of the national mind, by a system of comprehensive^ 

liberal educaticm. 

FifthJfy. An inquiry should be made into the elemen- 
taxy {H^ineipies and practical ei^hibition of eloouence^ 
both oral and written ; in the course of which, tne best 
writers of Greece, Rome, Italy, FVance, and England^ 
ahould be analyzed, and their happiest elusions pointed 
out, as illustrations of the general rules laid down. 
These few subjects, with some others which might be 
named, if properly discussed and exemplified, would 
very materially tend to lay the foundation of intellect 
^tual excellence, broad and deep, in the student* Simind. 

In our colleges, the mathematics are generally well 
taught; butno^sb either the classics or metaphysics^ 
or belles*l^tres and rhetoric, or moral philosophy, in- 
cluding the three bratiches of ethics, political economy^ 
and national law. 

The ^txxdiyoSmetaphfncs is eminentlyusefUl in sharp- 
ening, brightening, and strengthening the faculties of 
the mind, by accustoming it to the process of analysis, 
the exercise of abstraction, recollection, arrangement, 
careful inquiry into the springs and sources of human 
passions, character, and conduct. And, in addition to 
opening the best roads for the judicious direction and 
management of the understandihg, the science of mind 
is kindred to, and prepares the way for the investiga- 
tion of other important sciences. The only certain 
foundation of philohgy and criticism rests upon a 
knowlege of metaphysics, which enable us. to examine 
and classify the ideas that words represent, to give 
precision akd force to language, and to ascertain this 


sources of the emotions raised within our boscnns hy 
the contemplation of sublime or beautiful objects, 
whether belonging to the material world, or the ofi- 
spring of moral magnificence and loveliness. Moral 
philosophy owes its existence to metaphysical investiga^ 
tion, which explores and analyzes those feelings, affeo* 
tions, passions, and sentiments pf the heart, which it 
is the business of morals to regulate and guide. No 
moral writer can clear even the threshold of his science, 
without the aid of meti^hysics. TStven political economy 
derives light and direction in its pursuits, and endea* 
vours to promote the well-being of states from the in<* 
sight which metaphysics afford into the nature of indi<c 
vidual man, seeing that the multiplication of these in» 
dividuals constitutes the living materials of that state 
which the political economist labours to adorn and 

Neither the mathematics nor the physical sciences are 
well adapted to develope the faculties of youth* In 
e^ly life, the study of mathematics exercises only the 
mechanism of the understanding; and children who are 
early doomed to th§ drudgery of casting calculations, 
and eternally working in figures and algebraic signs, 
bury in everlastiqg ibrgetfulness alt the fine and fertile 
seeds of iinagiuatipu, which in that vernal seasoji of ex- 
istence, ^under a more liberal culture, would spring up 
into a lo% stem, wave itai lu^curi^nt branches in the |dr, 
display the rich beauty of its blos^qms, and ripen into 
ail abundance of fragraut fiaiit.. Nor are the destruc^ 
tiqn of all fancy and the pr<svention of all taste counter- 
balanced by ?^ny transcendent accuracy of mind : for 
arithmetic, algebra, and mathematics, ooily make us 
acquainted, iu many different forms, with a few simple 
propositious ajwayp tl^e same. Demonstrated truths do 
not show u^ the w^y to those that ^re probable and 
co^tiiigen^, and whic^ alone can direqt our steps in the 
jBictive business of practical life, in the prosecution of.the 
^rts, in the intercourse of society. This doubtless ap-. 
Jiefi only to the common labours in the matiiematicat 
tPfnehes ; fgr inventiou in this scicuce;, ^s in every other 


pursuit, is the felicitous result of excited genius. But 
of the thousands, who pore over the beaten track of 
mathematics, how many exhibit either sense or reason 
in the important transactions of life ? To those who 
are not inventors, this study affords the means of un- 
folding only one faculty, that of reasoning closely and 
conclusively upon gtvew premises ; it confers no power 
of taking ground, and laying down priemises on which to 
build up a system of prompt, various, inductive reason- 
ing. A dull man may make a good mathematician^ but 
byno possibility a good classical scholar. 

It is die province of liberal education to develope and 
improve all the faculties of the mind, and to cultivate 
and improve the whole moral being ; which desirable 
purpose is best accomplis^hed by the study of hngufige, 
as the chief object o^ instruction, attended, indeed, md 
aided by the cultivation of the arts and sciences, but 
itself the primary pursuit. ITbe study of languiage is 
peculiarly fitted to render the faculty of associating 
similar and simple ideas, or of combining various and 
dissimilar images more facile and rapid. By attributing 
definite ideas to arbitrary signs and conventional sounds, 
and > by forming abstract and general, when particular 
and definite notions cannot be obtained, the powers of 
association and imagination, like all the other faculties, . 
must, by exercise and use, be greatly strengthened. 
Add to whichi by increasing the rapidity and strength 
of the associative faculty, the study of language im« 

{)rove8 the capacity of reasoning, increases the brrl« 
iancy of wit, and brightens the blaze of imagination ; 
whence all the mental powers are enabled to work with 
greater promptness and effect upon every subject of 
human inquiry submitted to their cognizance and con-» 

But, above all the dead languages, the Greek and 
Latin tongues should be move especially studied^ as 
conducive to the great end of liberal education ; riot 
pniyr because they contain some of the highest flights of 
genius, but also because they have a greater accuracy, 
A more philosophical precision than aiiy livings floatingi 


QQatinuaUy«^hiftiiig langimge <mi posses*. By fWjFHlg 
pgrt^cttlar ;itteiiti(»i to the study of these two ineatimabte 
ta^guAges, from the first dawning of ac%d^c instnMH 
tioq to the close of life^ the mind is - quicke^ed^ 
strai^rth^ned^ and rendered clear and lujumous in all 
its views. It is from the long experience of their uti^ 
lity that the study of these languages has been made 
the basi^ of all the estaUi^hments of liberal education 
which have trained up so many profound and acoom- 
pliahed scholars in Europe. 

All the qualities and dements united in language are 
gradually comprehended by the student while engaged 
in translatini from one tongue into another. Ml his 
faculties are improved by the process of mastering the 
pecqUar idioms of two different. languages at the same 
time. Heisoompelled^bytheverynatureofhisstudyy 
to make himself acquainted with die several ideas pre>* 
^nted by the words he reads in n^lar succession ; to 
ocNOdpare aii4 combine diflerent sorts of analo^es and 
probabilities clfered to his consideration in the opinions^ 
sentimimtSt and propositions that he peruses. The 
number of faculties whioh this study awakens at the 
same time ensures it the preeminence over every other 
species of instruction. It quickens the power of perw 
ception^ by accustoming the mind to discern die nicer 
peculiarities of idiomati^ language in different tongues; 
it gives speed and force to the faculty of association^ by 
presenting various shades of d^renoe in the ideas 
expressed by words> similar or synonymous^ in diffibrent 
knguages; it renders the memory strong and retentive^ 
by exercising it constantly in the recollection of new 
yrprds and images; it deepens and strengthens the 
judgment, by continually soliciting its decbions on the 
more exquisite models of taste and beauty in eomposi-^ 
tion which the great writers of antiquity have left; it 
invigomtes and enlargea the capacity of reasoning, by 
perpetually requiring a train of argument upon the va^ 
rious questions in ethics and politics, started by th^ 
ancients, under very peculiar aspects of the human 
mind; itbrightmsaudrcsidersBiQreintensdy s^ 


thf» imaginatioiiy bjr intm4ucing it to an intimatp ^p^ 
quaintanee mth th^ Sm^9t ^peciineps of paltry and eloh 
qiumct^ preciaely at ths^t period in the history of ms^fi 
when ihty were moiat e^g^fy and su^ccessfully cultivated* 

Bvit fiirther, the appiK^riate subject of the best por^ 
tion afch^sical learning, the study pf the poets, bwftOf 
rians, orators, andphilo^ophar^ of Crreece and Rome, 4^ 
the investigation and improvement of our mi)ral natup'^ ; 
the feelings, passions, plans of action> hidden «pring9j 
and various mov^ements <^ our being. The piKM^t exalted 
wisdom, the most sound, practical common sense of 
social U&, in its highest refinement, is drawn from th§ 
springs of Hehcon aiui the fountains of Parnassus, froni 
the groves of Academus, and from the schools of th# 
Portico and Lyceum^ AH narrow and single systemv 
of education are bad ; but if any one branch of learning 
deserves pre-eminence, it is that which induces an har 
bitual contemplation of ourselves imd of our commoi^ 
nature, in a close acquaintance with which men must 
always feel a deeper interest and possess a larger stak^^ 
than in the lines and diagrams of the* mathematician, the 
rdtorts and alembics of the chymist, or any combination 
of material substances which the natural philosophef 
may explore. It is far better, however, that the «tudy 
of die classics should be accompanied with that of aU 
the sciences, in order to impart a course of full and 
accomplishexl education. 

It might, perhaps, be of some utility to sketch a very 
brief outline of the system of instruction pursued in the 
schools and colleges of England, that the people of the 
United States might know how far classdcsd literature if 
prized in the land of their fathers, and learn, themselves, 
to set a higher value upon it than they have hitherto 
done. Let us; instance the three great public schoob of 
Eton, fVe^tminsttTj and Winchester , as leading the van 
of English liberal education. .At these schools ahoy 
stays until he is eighteen ; before he readies which pe- 
riod he is expected to be able to read, ad aperturom 
lihriy Virgil, Horace, Terence, Cicero, and Ljivy; 
Homer, Bemoathenesy Iiongiaus^ Ariitopb^lies^ and 


the Greek tragedians^ to compose, readily, and abon* 
dandy, and c6nstantly, in English verse and prose, and 
in Latin verse and prose ; and, occasionally, in Greek 
verse and prose ; to make Latin epigrams extempore, 
to declaim in Latin, to write Latin critiques on a given 
book of Homer, or play in Aristophanes, or iEschylus, 
or Sophocles, or Euripides ; to have the finest passages 
of the Greek and Latin classics always afloat in the me- 
mory, and ready for apt citation and sLllusion. In the 
English universities these studies are prosecuted on a 
wider scale, and with the additional pursuits of mathe 
matics, natural philosophy, history, moral philosophy, 
logic, belles-lettres, rhetoric, and municipal law. Cam- 
bndge is supposed to be peculiarly partial to mathema- 
tical, and Oxford to classical studies ; but at both, the 
system of instruction is ample and highly liberal. At 
two and twenty they graduate, and i^ter this, (except 
in the church, whose order of deacon is taken at three 
and twenty), they begin to study for the learned pro- 
fessions of law and physic. This is the general course in 
England and Ireland, which produce the most finished 
scholars in Europe. Trinity College in Dublin has long 
been celebrated for its great proficiency in all classical 
attainments. The English and Irish, generally,, con- 
tinue their acquaintance with the classics in after-life. 

In Scotland the boys learn no Greek at school, which 
they leave at twelve, when they enter the university, and 
graduate at sixteen; so that classical literature is not 
much cultivated. A few years since, indeed, the study 
of prosody, and the composition of Latin verse, were in- 
troduced into the high school of Edinburgh* But the 
principal studies among the Scottish are moral philo- 
sophy, political economy, public law, and metaphysics. 
' It is an old objection of Mr. Locke, but bandied about 
the United States with as much eager txiumj^ as if it 
were both novel and wise, " that it is foolish to require 
boys to compose in verse, if we do not wish to make 
them poets." The answer is— that boys are required 
to make verses, not in order to become poets, but to ob- 
^n a more complete acquaintance with, anddominioa 


over the language in which they compose. Let any^ 
one make the experiment, and he will find that he must 
pass more thought through his brain, and a greitcr 
abundance and selection x)f expression in composing 
twenty lines of verse, in whatever language, than in 
Writing four times the same quantity of prose^r hotd 
Mansfield was not disqualified for beii^ one of the 
greatest lawyers, statesmen, and orators, the world evar 
saw, because, all his life, even after he was eighty , he 
used to write Latin, verses in the various rythms, nearly 
equal to the best poetiy of the Augustan age. Nor was 
Sir William Jones a less profound jurist and philosopher 
because he was an accomplished versifier in the English, 
Latin, and Greek languages. 

It is too prevalent a fashion in the United States to 
consider all classical, nay, all general education, at an 
end, as soon as a boy leaves college at the age of eigh- 
teen, when he begins to prepare himself for becoming a. 
merchant, who is supposed not to stand in need of any 
literature; or a clergyman, or physician, or lawyer, who 
are deemed to want nothing more than a mere know- 
ledge of theology, medicine, or law. In addition to 
which, it is thought prodigious wisdom to rail at all stu* 
dious habits, and talk loudly about trusting to the ener* 
gies of native genius, which must not be stifled by 
poring over books* The consequence is, that the Latin > 
of our college boys soon becomes threadbare, and their 
Greek quite worn out. 

When Demosthenes was reproached by a fopling of. 
his day, that his orations smelt of the lamp, he replied, 
" true, there is some difierence between what you and I 
do by lamp-light.** To derive all from native genius, to 
owe nothing to others, to scorn to look jEit objects through 
the spectacles of books, is the praise which many men 
who think little and talk much delight to bestow upon 
themselves and their kindred favourites. But no one in 
his senses would wish to exclude the student from an 
acquaintance with the Works of others ; for if it were 
possible, and men were forbidden to avail themselves of 
the labours of their predecessors, each succeeding gene- 


mldott wouM betibliged to begin anew their rei^itrehes 
WBkto the first rudiments of knowledge; und mankind for 
ever remain in merely an infantile state, a^ to all the 
porposer of improvement : that man being, as Cicero 
observes, only a child in understsmding, who is ignorant 
d the transactions and events, the opinions and disco- 
veries, of those who iMive gone before him. The truth 
k^ the repeated perusal of the heroes of literature, as 
Longinus calls them, is of absolute necessity in the first 
years of study, and of immense importance in after life. 
Nor will it e^eeble the mind and prevent its exhibition 
of originality. Invention, doubtless, is the great charac- 
teristic dP genius; but men learn to invent by being 
conversant with the inventions of others, as they learn 
to think by reading the thoughts of others. 

Whoever has so far formed his taste as to eontem* 
plate with delight, and feel deeply the excellences of 
grdwt writers, has already studied to considerable e£^. 
Qatnctilian says, that to take real pleasure in reading 
Cicero, is one of the most unequivocal marks of genius 
a student canf exhibit. For, merely ^from a conscious- 
ness of 4el%hting ki what is excellent, the mind is ele- 
vated, and roused to an effort at resembling what it 
admires. The inventions of preceding writere are not 
only the best nourishment of infant genius, but also the 
most substantial supply of energy and animation to ma^ 
ture talents. The most poweH^l mind is in itself but 
a barren soil, soon exhausted, if left to repeat often the 
perixxlical growth of its cnvn native vegetation ; a soil 
which will produce only a few scanty crops, unless con- 
tintially fertiUzed with the abundant addition of foreign 

Nevertheless, it is gravely asserted by many, and 
prad:ically enforced by the example of more, that clas- 
sical literature and general information are injurious to 
professional men; that those make the best divines who 
ktK>w nothing but the peculiarities of their own secta- 
rian theology ; that tho^e ai:e the most expert physi- 
cians who peruse only the prevailing systems of* the 
nosology of the diy; that those are the soundest 


Iniwyen who^e whole reading is con&aed to the pointSy 
cases^ and practice of law. But error hasher gray 
hairs as well as truth. The real inference is^ that he 
who professes to know nothing but his own seheme of 
divinity^ or the existing system of medicine, qc the mere 
technicalities of law^ is not a sound theologian^. or able 
physician, or profound lawyer, because it di8pla3rs 
either dulness or idleness, or both, ,for cm^ to pass, 
through life without acquiring general information. In- 
deed, idleness long continued produces nearly the same 
efiects as dulness, by. blunting the powers of genius it^ 
self; since man holds all his natural faculties, physical, 
intellectual, and moral, only upon this conditional tenure, 
that byi exercise they are all stren^ened and enlarged, 
by disuse all weakened and diminished. 

Were Luther, and Calvin, and Horseley, less pro- 
foundly skilled in their own pecuUar systems of theo- 
logy than the most i^orant clerg3anen of their respec- 
tive sects, because they were suso learfied in all the 
learning of their times ? Were f^riend, and Boerhaave, 
and Haller, and Heberden, less expert in the healing 
art than the most ignorant, .impudent, and murderous 
empiric, because they were eminently distinguished as 
general s<^holars, in audition to bdng most accomplished 
physicians ? Were Bacon, and Hale, and Mansfield^ 
and Jones, less able, and les9 profound, as jurists, than^ 
the most illiterate, narrow-minded, pettifogging attor- 
ney, because they had assiduously strengthened and 
adorned the stupei^dous power of their original genius 
by a vast and varied acquaintance with the recondite 
depths of science, the exquisite refinements of art, and 
the dazzling splendours of erudition? It were indeed 
a consummation devoutly to. be wished^ that our Ame- 
rican students, following the fbot-tracks of these illus- 
trious examples, would prefer to herding in the dark and 
dismal abode)» of the antagonists of learning, to what-: 
ever profession they may belong, the directing of their, 
devoted, though distant, gaze and admiration.towards 
the regions gl the sun, where sdiine in unborrowed 

d53 IMPOtCtAtlCIL Ot LlTflLAtUllJS. 

lostre the great poets^ historians^ otators^ statesmeit^ 
and philosophers of the world ; 

« ■ odi T* Hovr yiptyevtas 

In ei>^^ profession various kinds of learning are emi- 
nently useful^ although t6 common^ slow understand- 
ings they do not appear to bear any very close relation 
to their particular calling; and various general informa^ 
tion always tends to quicken the power of penetration^ 
and strengthen the judgment. A mind, liberally culti- 
vated, has an extensive intellectual grasp, which seizes 
at once, as by intuition, every argument that bears fairly 
on the question, and thus ensures accuracy and stabi- 
lity to ail its serious deliberations and mature conclu- 
sions. But a narrow understanding (and all ignorance in 
its very nature^ and ex vi termini^ implies narrowness 
of the understanding,) being Unacquainted with elemen- 
tary principles and general truths, is confused and per- 
plexed, by evenr ordinary occurrence, and is busied only 
in managing little points, and raising quibbling objec- 
tions that cannot stand a moment against the direct at- 
tillery of that able, well-applied, comprehensive reason- 
ing, which is ever the legitimate result and sure re- 
ward of time diligently employed in laying the broad 
basis of a liberal education. 

Ignorance is the greatest of all evils, because it tends 
to augment and perpetuate every other evil, by pre- 
cluding the possible entrance of all good. Its fatal in- 
fluence not only indisposes the -mind to exertions for its 
ewn deliverance, but also excites a malignant opposition 
to every effort to enlighten mankind. Men love this 
darkness rather than light, because it conceals the di- 
mensions of danger, favours the slumber of indolence, 
and soothes the dreams of folly. And so completely 
does /bng'-eon/fntiec? ignorance tend todisqualify the mind 
for improvement, that it is. only in the earlier stages of 
life that it is capable of being trained by the patient 

CORRUPTION OP Prosody in the united states.- 353 

process of education^ to habits of intelligence. It is 
vain to endeavour to operate any great moral change^ 
or intellectual improvement^ on the fall-grown popular 
tion of any community. Their characters are fixed; 
their faculties have ceased to be progressive ; the range 
of their ideas has already taken the form and pr^ssure^ 
the hue^ and colouring, and direction, of their previous 
education ; and cannot tolerate any innovation upon their 
long cherished prejudices and circumscribed customs. 
It is with youth, nay, with childhood^ the labours of the 
preceptor must begin; for to them, in a great measure^ ' 
IS the successful prosecution of intellectual and moral 
culture confined. " He (observes Dr. Johnson) who t 
voluntarily continues in ignorance, when he may be in- 
structed, is guilty of all the crimes and follies which ig^ 
norance produces ; as to him who extinguishes the night 
fires of a beacon, are justly to be imputed all the cala- 
mities of the shipwreck occasioned by the darkness.'" 
It is by the difiusion of general information alone that 
the understanding can be improved in all its faculties; 
that the thoughts, which now only occasionally appear 
to the secluded speculations of a few solitary thinkers^ 
can be communicated from intellect to intellect, concen*. 
trated in strength, and brightened in reflected s{)lendour; 
so that an uninterrupted chain of progressive improve- 
ment may unite together all the intelligent minds of an 
enlightened community. 

The rythm of the Latin language is entirely disre- 
garded; and in this free country we murder prosody ad 
libitum. Our gravest divines, most learned physicians, . 

{)rofound lawyers, and Celebrated professors, talk fami« 
iarly of ^^ Aristides^ of ^' Herodotus^'' of suing f^in 
Jbrmd pauperis,'* of the writ ^^Jacias habere posses-' 
sianem,** and so forth. The excuse for this systematic 
rebellion against all metre was for a long time found in 
the fact that our Scottish 'teachers neglected all prosody: 
tliis apology must cease now, because some years since 
the proper metrical pronunciation of the classics was 
introduced, as part of its system of education, into the 
high school at Edinburgh ; and that celebrated seminary 

A a 


nowprcKjuces prize poenasinLatinHexameters. Mr •Burke 
might have thundered hie " magnum vectigal est parsi- 
monia'' into the ears of an American adjiiinistration^ 
without offending th^r nicer classical organs, or hear- 
ing both frpm the treasury and the opposition benches, 
theportenlK>us sound of "tigal, tigal," echoing through 
all the house, until his premeditated speech was prema* 

' turely brought to a close. 

It would be considered a sure token of a low. and 
vsilgar education, if an American were to mis-pronounc45 
every English word he uttered, and make all the long 
syllables. short, and all the short syllables long; and it 
is not less offensive to hear the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages treated in the same barbarous manner; to observe 
the quantity of every word in Homer and Virgil, in 
Demosthen^ and Cicero, regularly. assassinated by m«n 
who call themselves scholars. To confess the truths 
howeva*, our free-born citizens are apt to take as much 
liberty with the rythm of their motJier tongue as with 
that of the dead, languages; and we. daily hear, from 
the pulpit, in the senate, and at the bar, of " peremp- 
tSry," "territory," "dormitory," "legislature,*' "genu* 
ine," "sanguine," &c.* The late Mr. Gouvemeur Mor- 
ris, one of the ablest and most eloquent men whom the 
world has produced, in an inaugural discourse to the 
New-York Historical Society, condescended to use 
some splendid sophistry, in order to prove that poetry 
and rythm iare unworthy the attention of America, be- 
cause steam-'boats are useful to the community. The 

. . language of the orator is lofty, but we might ask whether 
or not his judgment would have been as sound, and 
his imagination as well disciplined, if he himself had 
been a classical scholar; ana whether or not £ngland 

ii . _ 1 . I ■ ■ '. .« 

* Note, thai this page, iitstancinc; the neglect of prosody, was 
banded to me without a single mark to denote the quautity of iha 
syllables which our American scholars so regularly mis.pronounce. 
Upon inquiring the cause, I was informeti, that they had no such 
marks, and the press was stopped till the type-founder could cast 
ifaero. And this priutinguofliiGe is on« of the firsi aad moat net p«C9> 
table la the UjiUfid6tat£8« 


is inferior to other nations in the iiiYentidtis of art^ and 
the discoveries of science^ because she excels tfaem all 
in literature? 

The United Stiites have produded scarcely fit singk^ 
learned writer, in the strict acceptation of that term; 
indeed^ I do not know; one American ivork on classical 
literature^ or that betrays any intimate acquaintance 
with the classics* And^ exceptingCioero^s works^prtnted 
accurately and well by Wells and Lilley, at Boston, the 
only classical productions of the American press are thjs ' 
republication of a few common schoolbooks. Nor^ I be« 
lieve, have the United States produced any elementary 
work on ethics^ or political economy, or metaphysics. 
The great mass of our native publications consists of 
newspaper essays, and party pamphlets. There are 
several respectable state and local histories, as those 
of New-York and New-Jersey, by Smith, Trumbull's 
History of Connecticut, Ramsay^s History of South-> 
Carolina, to which add his Account of the United 
Stater, and Holmes's Arnials, M^Call's Georgia, Dar-- 
by's Louisiana, and Stoddart's Account of that State, 
Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, Borman's Maryland, / 
Prud's Pennsylvania, Williams's Vermont, Belknap's V^ 
New-Hampsbiire, Hutchinson's Massachusetts, Sulli- 
van's Maine, Minot's History of Shay's RebelKon, and ^ ' 
Drake's History of Cincinnati, in Ohio; together with 
divers accounts of the late war, mostly written in that 
crusading style which revolutionary Fnmde has render«> 
ed current throughout the w<»*ld. 

Of native novels we have no great stock, and none \ 
good; our democratic institutions plafcing fill the people \ ;\ 
on a dead level of political equidity; and the /pretty 
equal diffusion of property throughout the country af- 
fords but little room for varieties, and contrasts of cha« 
racter; nor is there much scope for fiction, as the coun<^ 
try is quite new, and all that has happened from its 
first settlement to the present hour, respecting it, ia 
known to every one. There is, to be supe^ some tra«f 
ditionary rc»nance about the Indians; but a novel de- 
scribing these o^iserable barbariaas^ their squaws^ and 

A a 3 

3^6 iTKrriD statss writers. 

papooses^ would not be very interesting to the present 
race of American readers. 

Our poetry is neither abundant ^nor excellent; the 
state of society is not favourable to its production ; there 
is not much individual wealth to affora patronaee, nor 
any collegiate endowments bestowing learned leisure: 
the trading spirit pervades the whole community, and 
the merchant s ledger and the muses do not make very 
suitable companions. The aspect of nature, in the Uni- 
ted States, presents magnificence and beauty in all pro- 
fusion; but hill and dale, and wood and stream, are 
not alone sufficient to breathe the inspirations of poetiy, 
unless seconded by the habits and manners, the feeling, 
taste, and character of the inhabitants. Besides, the 
best English poets are as much read here as in Britain; 
and Milton, Cowper, Bums, Scott, Southey, Byron, 
Campbell, and Moore, are formidable rivals to our 
Ameriican bards, who must either follow some other 
more, substantial vocation than poesy, or soon mingle/ 
as spirits, with the inhabitants of the ediereal world ; for, 
beyond all peradventure, the most exalted genius, aided 
by the most extensive learning, if dependent on literary 
pursuits al<me for subsistence, would be permitted to 
starve by our good republican Miecoenates. The late 
president Dwight, when quite a young man, wrote two 
respectable poems, called ^^ The Conquest of Canaan,** 
and '' Greenfield Hill.- Mr. Barlow's « Columbiad,** 
though full of hard words, andloud-sdunding lines, has 
many magnificent descriptions of natural scenery, and 
some most £uitastic visions of crude philosophy, and 
still cruder politics. Mr. Sargeant, of Bostcm, has 
written some very spirited national lyrics; and Mr. 
Pierpoinfs ^^ Airs of Palestine** are an elegant and po- 
pular performance. *^ The Bridal of Vavmond' is m a 
much higher strain; and the writer, though evidently 
young and unexperienced, has swept the chords of his 
Ijrre with a master's hand, and gives token of an energy 
oT intellect, reach of thought, and variety of infonhation, 
which, if well directed, and steadily impelled, cannot 
fail to conduct him eventually to the heights of our com- 


munity. Possibly this little poem may uot be a favour* 
ite with those profomider critics who read by the finger 
rathei* than the ear^ on account of its various rythm ; 
but those to whom the happier efiiisions of genius^ taste, 
and feeling are dear, cannot fail to appreciate ks high ex* 
cellence. ffoodwortKs poems, lately published in New* 
York, are manifestly the production of an uneducated 
mind; but they evince a vigour of talent, a depth of 
feeling, and, in many instances, a purity of taste, that 
ought to cany their possessor up from the drudgery of 
ame re mechanical employment intp a purer and a more 
congenial atmosphere. The too scanty biographical 
sketch of the author, prefixed to these poems, contains 
an interesting account of the struggles of unassisted go* 
nius with early penury, and a protracted period of im* 
propitious circumstances. A mnt is thrown out in this 
sketch of the publication of a second volume of Mr. 
Wbodworth*s poems: if this be done, it is adviseable for 
the author to bestow some additional care .upon the 
rythm, the rhymes, and the general structure ana finish* 
inffof his verses. • 

The greatest national work which the United States ^ 
have produced, is Chief Justice Marshall's ^^ Life of 
Washington.** The character of Mr. Marshall, for great 
talents wd soiind information, has been long thoroughly 
established. When young, his reputation as an advo* 
cate was great. Some years sipce, in 1797*8, he dis- 
pla3red his dexterity, judgment, and decision, as a diplo- 
matist, in his well-known negotiation with M. Taliey-> 
rand; and now^ as Chief Justice of the United States, 
he maintains, with masterly ability, firmness, and dig-' 
nity, the best interests of liberty arid law ; which, in-* 
de^, .are always inseparable. The work, however, 
bears evident marks of haste and negUgence, which^^ 

indeed, is confessed by the author ; but , 


zjui^e should never be too indolent. Nevertheless, the 
book is written in, a Qleai[, Jwmly, a^^ vigorous s^Ie, 


and contiiins an admirable outline of the history of the 
British North American colonies from their first settle- 
ment to the breaking ont of the revolutionary war. 
Full justice is done to the exalted character of Washing- 
ton, and to his illustrious compatriots ; an ample and 
instructive account is given of the origin and progress 
of political parties in the United States; and the notes 
contain disquisitions, replete with profound reasoning 
fmd philosophical analysis. 
— - Of periodical works we have some few that exhibit 
; considerable talent, and contain much valuable informal 
' tion. The Port Folio is conducted by its present edi^ 
tor, Mr. John E. Hall, with great ability, taste, and 
judgment, and displays many admirable specimens of 
elegant and finished (Composition, and of sound, manly 
criticism. This journal was originally established by 
the late Mr. Dennie, who is called the American AA- 
dison, nearly twenty years since, and is the only pe- 
riodical work in the United States to which so long a 
Kfe has been accorded. Mr. Dennie was the first gem 
tleman in this country who devoted himself, exclusivehf^ 
to the pursuit of letters, which he cultivated to the last 
hour of his earthly pilgrimage; and received from his 
benevolent fellqw-^citizens, as a recompence for his feli- 
citous effusions of genius, taste, feeling, tenderness, 
eloquence, wit, and \\\vaio\iV'- permission to starve. 

For general ability, and various information, the 
i^ North American Review ^^ edited at Boston, isproba^ 
bly the most conspicuous of all the periodical publica* 
tions in the United States. 

In the Analectic Magazine there are able original 
essays, well written biography, and some judicious cri- 
ticism. Th^ Portico displays a vigour of thought, a 
boldness of t)riginality, and a manly eloquence,^ that 
deserve much more than the languishing support, ba- 
lancing between life and death, which it receives from 
the opulent citizens of Baltimore. The American Ma-^ 
gazine and Review, recently floated in New- York, con- 
tains much valuable information respecting the proceed* 
. ipgs'of the. various learned societies in the United 


States ; but iteoritical depsutment staikdft altogether on 
a false foundation, namely^ that ctiticism consists in 
finding fault. *^ H^t is a very great critic/* says She- 
ridan, i^arcastically, ^' for nothing pleases hini/* It re*- 
qmres, however, much mbre talent and learning, as well 
as more good temper, to praise judiciously than to blame 
indiscriminately. The Neologist is a periodical paper^ 
of which nearly one hundred numbers have appeared 
in the New-Yof k Daily Advertiser, which still continueii 
to publish its hicubratioiis twice ar-week. It is, evident- 
ly, the produi^on of young persons, who have, as yet, 
but little ^peHence in the affairs of the world, or thm 
social habits of our great cities; but, beyond all doubt, 
the United States have notj hitherto, produced essayH 
^ual to those of the Neologist, in t*eal genius, learned 
criti<^sm, ethical disquiilition, fine taste, sound tlidugfat, 
chaste ciompodition^ various erudition, and touching elo>- 
quence. And we trust, as it is widely circulated 
through the nnedium of the neWspapers in New-York 
and Boston^ that it will serve to correct and restrain 
the pruriency of our little master-misses and literary 
foplings to prattle incontinently^ upon the merits of a 
jttlinute ballad, <Mr small song, or new|ia^ seul; and teach 
them^ either to be silent, or learn to direct theii' atten* 
tion to some more profitable employment : perhaps the 
Neologist may teach them th^ meaning of the proverb, 
^^ m sutw ultm ^imdam.'' >, 

Mr. Trnmh^X^ WFingal^ t^^ritten to ridicule the to- ; 
ries during the ifevolution, exhibits much of the wit, and 
some of the learning, of Butler's Hudibras. Mr. Wash- 
ington Irving's Salmagundi and History of Knickerhoc^ 
kery need not shrink from competition with aiiy European 
]>erform9fenee, in the felicitous combination of good hu- 
moured wit, ddidate irony, dexterous delineation of cha-r 
tfacter, skilful deposition of the fashionable follies preva- 
lent in the United States, with the occasional relief of 
e^^quisitely finished c6mposition, fell of tenderness, me- 
lancholy, pathos, and eloquence. Mf . Irving's Sketch of 
the Life tf Oamja^U, the Scottish poet^ is m adxjdrablc 


iinioii of sound philosophy^ delicate taste^ judicious cri^ 
ticism, fine feeling, and elegant writing. 

Mr. Wirt has long been known as one of the n^ost 

« eloquent speakers and writers in the unioii : as lA advo- , 

cate, he is considered the first at the Virginia bar, a bat 

fertile in powerful and animated oratory. His Old 

BcusheloTy a collection of essays on various subjects^ first 

> stamped his excellence as a writer, and is b^me de« 

servedly popular all over the country : its chief objects 

- . are to vindicate the American character and intellect 

from European aspersions, to rouse the martial spirit of 

>^ ' .bis countrymen, and excite a love of letters in the United 

^'^^^ Stsctes. His British Spy exhibits the finer characteris*- 

; ^^ tics of American eloquence, alike in the author's own 

composition, and in his delineations of some of our firstt- 

' \ rate oratory.^ His Sketches of the Life of Patrick 

Jfcmy gives a most interesting, instructive, and ekv 

auent account of Henry, who is considered a^ one of 
be greatest orators and profoundest statesmen ^at Vir*- 
ginia has produced. And also it exhibits the origin 

, and progress of the chief actors who brought about 

. . the independence of the United States. 

It is quite enough to say of the late Fisher Ames^ 

. that he is denominated by his fellow citizens the Burke 
of America. 

Mr. Colden*s L^e of Fulton is a very instructive and 
valuable work. It is, however, manifestly the produc- - 
tion of one more accustomed to public speaking than to 
doset-composition ; and it is well known, that some of 
the most eloquent speakers in the senate, and at the bar, 
both in Britain and in the United States, jfbr wafd of 
practice, do not write with «o much precision, fluency, 
and force, as their undoubted talents and information 
would naturally lead us to expect. Rousseato used to 
say, *^ that with whatever faculties a man might be bom, 
that of writing well was not one ; for that can only be 
attained by long and constant exercise, and hablt^al 
imitation of the best models.*' And when Dr. Johnson 
ivas once shown a book written by an eminent British 


Statesman, he said, *^ this book, Sir, is written with 
great abihty: it displays vast reach of thought and vari- 
ety of erudition; and the style,considering the gentleman 
has not been used to write, is excellent." 

It is not, of course, intended to notice all the writers 
who have by their telents and information shed a lus-> 
tre on the United States, but merely to mark out a few 
examples of different species of literary excellence. It 
woula, however^ be quit^ unpardonable to omit the 
name of Mr. IValshy who is, confessedly, the first man "^ 
of letters we have on this side of the Atlantic. His in- 
formation on general literature, poUtics, and history, is 
copious and accurate. His style of writing is elaborate, 
vigorous, splendid, and eloquent; with, perhaps, rather 
too frequent a use of the sesquipedalia verba, and of 
French words and phrases, which weaken the strength, 
and mar the uniformity of the composition. The Eng- 
lish language is sufficiently comprehensive and ener* 
getic to give adequate expression to any sentiment, how- 
ever sublime, or tender, or indignant, or pathetic: the 
whdie compass of the human heart and head may be 
struck upon its chords, and every tone made to dis- 
course most excellent music. Dr. Johnson, in animad- 
verting upon the gallicisms of Mr. Hume, said,/^ that if 
they were sufferea to gain ground, Eilgland would soon 
be reduced to babble a diadect of France." What is 
BOW said is by no means said for the purpose of de- 
pressing or detracting from the ^at merits of Mr. 
Waltb, from whose writings, (to use a strong expression 
of Lord Bacon,) *^ he who does not receive instruction 
and delight, must be more than man. or less than beast." 
And, might I be permitted to ada, that splendid and 
vigorous as are the writings of Mr. Walsh, his conversa- 
tion is still more rich, instructive, and interesting? ^ 

The United States ought to cherish the efforts of a 
man so gifted and so adorned, who devotes to the pro 
' secution of letters talents and learning, that, otherwise 
^Qcted, would command any height of exaltation and 
'influ^ce which our community can give. Mr. Walshes 
Lettteronthe char actm: and geniw oftheFrwchgovfsrfh 


tnent is a peculiarly splendid production, and contaiiis 
some very valuable information^ altogether new, when 
promulgated, on the finances and internal administra- 
tion of the imperial revolutionary government. It 
was profusely praised by both the Edinburgh and Quar- 
terly Reviews, and cited with great applause by Lord 
Chief Justice EUenborough, from his seat in the King^s 
Bench. Mr. Walsh's American R&ieWy in four oetavo 
volumes, contain much very interesting information on 
the state of society and manners, in France and £ng^ 
land, which ought to be published in a separate form, 
as a most acceptable boon to every reader. This re;^ 
view also exhibits some sound criticism on American 
productions, and considerable information on foreign 
literature, particulariy the French, German, and Italian ; 
and, above all, a loily and sustained effort to raise the 
tone of literature in the United States, and make his 
country sensible, that no nation ever can become really 
great and permanently prosperous, until it protects ana 
cultivates letters. In his correspondence with General 
Harper, on the probable result of the conflidt betwe^a 
revolutionary France aVid the rest of Europe, the samts 
characteristics of copious information and splendid ekv 
quence appear: his remarks on the portentous power of 
Russia, doubtless, the European sovereigns now feel to ^ 
be true and just. 

In his American Register,* of which two octavo vo- 
lumes have appeared, betakes a wider range, as may be 
seen by a reference to his very admirable introduction 
to the first volume. He gives an able and interesting 
birdVeye view of the poKtical state of Europe, the do- 
fnestic occurrences of the United States, the congress- 
ional and parliamentaijy debates on the most important 
topics of finaiice, navigation, and general policy; and 
exhibits a fine panorama c^ American and European 
literature. He particularly presses upon his colmtiy- 
roen the necessity and importance of a wider system of 
edueation^ and a more extended circle of literature: his 
olyservaticms on the benefits of a national umversity attd 
reptetcwitb msdom wd ehq^aimee, ^ 



Sufficient juctice has no* been rendered to Mr. Walsh'a 
literary eflforts in the United States; in Britain he is 
better appreciated; There they demanded jTour edi- 
tions of his Letter on the French government in a few 
weeks; whereas here his own countrymen have suffered 
a second edition t6 languish uncirculated through the 
space of several years. It was a duty to say thus much 
of one, from whose lucubrations I have received so much 
pleasure and instruction; and I have nothing further to 
add, than to express* my warmest wishes for the con- 
tinuance of his literary career, in the words of his own 

*^ I, 4#ctti, I, QOfttrQO)) et meliaribus ntere fatis I*' 

Medical science appears to have made by far the - 
greatest improvement of any intellectual pursuit in the 
linked States; and the schools of New- York, Phila* 
d^Iphia, Boston, and Baltimore, are so well supplied 
with able professors and lecturers, as to supersede the 
necessity of bur . medical students resorting to Edin- 
burgh, London, or Paris, for instruction in any one 
branch of the healing art A medical school has also 
been recently established in Kentucky, under the most 
favourable auspices of able teachers, and a strong incli« 
nation on the part of the western states to support the 
institution with funds, and supply it with pupils. Seve- 
ral able medical periodical works are continually issuing 
from the American press. » 

With regard to the^ne arts, our sculpture extends but 
little beyond chisselii^ grave-stones for a church-yard j 
and OUT painting, for want pf individual wealth, is chiefly 
confined to miniatures, portraits, and landscapes: the 
only splendid exceptions, are Mr. TrumbHll's historical 
paintings of the Battle of Bunkers Hill, the Death of 
Montgomery, the Sortie from Gibraltar; together with 
some Scripture pieces, and the great national pictures 
which he is now preparing for the capitol* at Washing- 
ton« But Ameidcan genius* is equal to that of Europe 
lor tlie fiiie ^9^ as is evident ircna the* United Statet 


having produced West, TrambuU, Stuart, Copeley, Al- 
ston, and Leslie. The Academies of the fine arts, a£ 
New-York and Philadelphia, contain some fine paint- 
ftigs, and a few good pieces of sculpture, imported irom 
£urope. Boston, New- York, Philadelphia, and Wash- 
ingtvi>, contain some veiy handsome public buildings; 
the city-ball of New-York, a marble edifice, probably 
surpasses in magnificence and beauty every European 
building out of Italy. 

Mr. Walsh, in the second volume of his Register j in 
translating M. de Marbois*s preliminary discourse, says, 
^ ^^ Hitherto the Americans hav^ not made great prepress 
in the elegant arts: their public libraries, their museums, 
would not in Europe be thought worthy to decorate the 
mansion of an opulent amateur. They style the *edi- 
fices in which their legislators assemble capitols ; and 
this appellation, which is now held ambitious, will one 
day appear quite modest. They have no cirques, am- 

Ehitheatres, nor mock sea-fi^ts. It will never perhaps 
e necessary for them to construct citadels, or environ 
their towns with ditches and ramparts. There will not 
be seen among them, either pyramid^, or proud mauso- 
leums, or basilicks, or temples, like those of Ephesus 
aiid Rome. Ages must revolve before they will erect 
those edifices, of which the idle and barren magnificence 
imposes heavy sacrifices on the present generation, di- 
verts their industry towaixls objects of mere parade, 
and entails wretchedness on posterity. The time of the 
Americans is wisely divided between permanently use- 
» ful labours and necessary repose. They employ them- 
selves in preparing their fields for the production of 
food ; in rendering their dwellings commodious, in open- 
ing roads, and digging canals. Commerce and naviga^ 
tion already supply them with wealth; the arts of real 
utility etnbellii^h their cities ; and Europe, which so long 
«tood single, as the country of the sciences and human 
wisdom, now shares with America this noble distinction."* 
The geniusT of America is peculiarly distinguished for 
its invention in the useful mechanics arts: in allusion to 
this, the late A&.Goavemeur Morris^ a few mcmths be* 


fore his lamented death, said, ^^ there are persons ot 
some eminence in Europe, who look contemptuously at 
our country, in the persuasion that all creatures, not ex-* 
cepting man, degenerate here. They triumphantly 
call on us to exhibit a list of our scholars, poets, heroes, - 
and statesmen. Bethis the careof posterity. But, admit- 
ting we h^d no proud names to show, is it reasonable to 
ma^e such heavy demand on so recent a people? Could 
the culture of science be expected from Uiose, who, in 
cultivating the earth, were obliged, while they held a 
plough in one hand, to grasp a sword in the other ? 
•Let those who depreciate their brethren of the west 
remember that our forests, though widely spread, gave 
no academic shade. In the century succeeding Hud* 
son's voyage, the great poets of J^gland flourished, 
while we were compelled to earn our daily bread by 
our daily labour. The ground, therefore, was obdupied 
before we had leisure to make 'our approach. The va- 
rious chords of our mother tongue have, long since, 
been touched to all their tones, by minstrels, bene^h 
whose master hand it has resounded every sound, from 
the roar of thunder rolling aloi^ the vault of heavai, 
to ^ the lascivious pleasings of a lute/ British genius 
and taste have already given to iEill ^ the ideal forms 
that imagination cian body forth, a local habitation and 
a name.' Nothing then remains, for the present age 
but to repeat their just thpughts^ in their pure style.. 
Those, who on either side of the Atlantic, are too 
proud to perform this plagiary task, must convey false 
thoughts in the old classic diction, or clothe in frippery 
phrase tlie correct conceptions of their predecessors, 
but other paths remain to be trodden, other fields to be 
cultivated, other regions to be explored. The fertile 
earth is not yet wholly peopled : the raging ocean b 
not yet quite subdued* Be it ours to boast, that the 
first vessfi successfully propelled by steam was launch* 
cd on the bosom of Jiudson s river. It was here that. 
American genius, seizing the arm of European science, > . 
bent to the purpose of our favourite parent art the 
wildest and .most devouring element. This invention is. 


spreading fast tlHoughthe civilized world; and l^ogh 
excluded, as yet, from Russia, will, ere long, be extend* 
ed to that vast empire^ A bird hatched on tlie Hudson 
will soon people the floods of the Wolga; and cygnets 
descended from an American swan, glide along the sur- 
face of the Caspian Sea* Then the hoary genius of 
Asia, high throned on the peaks of Caucasus, his moist 
eye glistening while it glances over the ruins of Baby- 
Ion, PersepoUs, Jerusalem, and Palmyra, shall bow with 
grateful reverence to the inventive spirit of this westera 

The remedies to be applied for the removal of those 
impediments which obstruct the progress of literature 
in the United States are not very difficult of access, 
since no material causes of defect exist to render the' 
intellect of America incapable of any improvement 
within the compass of human genius to attain* 
i The trading spirit, indeed, cannot be extinguished by 
/ the anathemas of the priest, or the declamations of the 
' moralist. Massilon may preadi, and Boileau may sa- 
tyrize, yet the merchant will continue to speculate, and 
count his gains. Nor is it desirable, if it were possible, 
to exterminate the trading spirit, which is indelibly and 
beneficially written on the human heart, and renders 
man, by nature, a trading animal. It can, however, and 
ought to be modified and restrained, lest it become 
excessive, and absorb air honour, intellect, virtue, pro* 
priety, and feeling into its insatiable gulph. So fell 
Tyre, and Sidon, and Carthage, and Venice, and Hol- 
land. This spirit requires restraint iii the United 
States. The beginnipgof the remedy must be found in 
meliorating our sy^temsof elementary education; in ren- 
dering them seminaries where the morals of youth may 
be purified and exalted, and their understandings in- 
vigorated and expanded. If this be once done, the 
colleges, of course, must adopt a larger and more libe- 
ral .plan of instruction; whence, the absorbing tendtocy 
of the trading spirit will be restrained and counter- 
]K>ised, the love of literature flourish, literary compe^ 
titioa spring into existence^ litectry rewards and hcmours 


create an effectual demand for the exertions of geniut 
and learning, large private collections of books and 
ample public libraries be gathered together, and the 
whole nation rise in the scale of power and dignity, by 
having the hie s-blood of intellect and knowledge in- 
flised into all its veins and arteries, from the source of cir** 
eulation, the heart. Then, indeed, may we expect the 
refinements of art, and science, and letters,* to follow in 
the train of opulence, and purify it froni its grossness. 

The means of literary competition must be provided 
and multiplied. Men of genius must be roused to 
exertion by the collision of kindred genius. " Give me 
kings to run with, and I will start," said Alexander^ 
when urged to contend at the Olympic games. Men 
of great talents, if they see no high standard of literary 
excellence raised in the country, either pursue some 
other vocation, or sink into indolence and ease. This 
desirable purpose may be accomplished by properly 
constructed Literary Societies, where men meet to- 
gether to contribute, each his share, to the common 
stock of intellect, and mutually watch over, collide with, 
and invigorate each other*s understanding. A remark- 
able illustration of their utility is furnished by the 
French Academy^ founded in l636, by Cardinal Richlieu, 
to improve the French language, grammar, poetry, and 
eloquence. This academy pubUshed an excellent Die- 
tionary, and exceedingly improved the style of IVench 
composition. In its first harangues, the style is cold^ 
barren, feeble, insipid, and uninteresting. As we ad* 
vance in the perusal of its volumes, the language be- 
comes richer, mdre splendid, and, occasionally, elegant 
and vigorous; and the concluding dissertations are full 
of the happiest sentiment, conveyed into language bril- 
liant, energetic, and eloquent. 

In a literary society, properly constituted and well 
conducted, every member is continually incited to dili- 
gence in the composition of his writings, because ho 
knows that they will undergo a strict examination from 
his fellows, whose criticisms will enable him to correct 
what is ^froneousy bright^ what is -obscure, lop what 


is superfluous^ invigorate his seatiments, and chastcB 
his language. Such institutions also diffuse an honour- 
able spirit of literary ambition over the community, by 
holding up an objectof esteem, towards which men of ge- 
nius maypress for enrolment among its members, by giv- 
ing to the public its lucubrations, to form a literary reposi-. 
tory; and, by creating modelsof good writings tostrengtb- 
en the understanding, and refin<! the taste of the nation 
into which they breathe the spirit of their intelligence* 
And such an institution is exceedingly beneficial to 
the members, in enlarging their knowledge, and po- 
lishing their taste by the collision of intellect in their . 
literary conferences* In such a republic of letters, men 
bear sway in proportion to their superior mind. T6 the 
opinions of such men on matters of literary investiga* 
tion attention is always paid, and rewarded by corres- 
ponding improvement. Men of equal or similar talents 
and acquisitions contend in this amicable conflict, and 
from the reciprocal contest results mutual instruction, 
and the growth of wisdom and information is rapidly 
increased by the continual application of the most 
powerful incitements to intellectual exertion ; namely, 
the authority of the already celebrated, the contradic- 
tion of aspiring candidates for literary renown, the de- 
sire of praise so generally prevalent^ the dread of ridi- 
cule, which so much more generally prevails, and finally, 
by the elevated wish to become useful to our country 
and to the world. 

There are learned societies in Boston, New-York, 
and Philadelphia, which have contributed, and are con- 
tinually contributing, much to the growth of intellect 
and information in the United States. The Historial, 
" and the Literary and Philosophical Societies of New- 
York, have been peculiarly serviceable in promoting 
the progress of letters and science. Some of their 
members have read able and instructive papers: the 
orations of the late* Mr. Gouvemeur Morris were 
compositions peculiarly splendid and finished;^ and Mr. 
Clinton s Introductory discourse to the Literary and 
Philosopliical Society covers a vast and various extent 

IM^OJtTAK^Cl^ dt A l^ATlbNAt UNtVEfetTY. 3^9 

f)f scifence and eraditiofi. Ifad^ed^ Governor CKritoh 
has always a:pproved himself the warm frieitd And pa- 
tron of art, Kt(^rature, and science, as the means best 
calculated to make his comitry permanently illustriouft 
and powerful ; as well as rendered them essential ser* 
vice by his own personal contributions. The Corpora^ 
Hon of the city of New-York deserve all praise fo* 
their magnificent impropriation of an extensive range 
of buildings, to. the exclusive use of literary and sden« 
tific societies. 

But, perhaps, the most effectual means of promoting 
the progress of leslmiilg in the United States would be 
the establishment of a National University. Mr. Blod-* 
get, in his Econofhdcdj details at length General WaiilK 
ingtorfs vi^ws and wishes. respecting this iniportant sub- 
ject. Mr. Walsh, in the Introduction to the first volume 
of his Register f has lent all the aid of his talents and 
eloquence, to set forth the vast advantages of isuch a 
measure. And the President, in his Message of the lid 
of December, 16175 stiggests to Congress '^ the pro* 
priety of recommtoding to the states an amendment of 
thm federal constitution, giving to Congress power to in- 
stitute seminaries of learning, for the aM-importaftt pur- 
pose of diffusing knowledge among onlr feUow-citisent 
throughout the United States/' ^ 

So early as the year 177^^ ^ ^^^ ^^ cdmttience*" 
ment of the revolutionary struggle. General Washington, 
while in camp at Cambridge, near Boston, looked for- 
ward to the establishment of a national university. Not 
being able, when living, to effect this object, he lefl, by 
his will, stock equal to twenty-five thousand dollars, to^ 
wards establishing such an institution in the fedenfl dty, 
jcnd invited the subscriptions of his fellow-dtizens for 
the same pilrpose. He directs the annual proceeds of 
hiil oWn legacy to be invested at compound interest until 
the fund, together with other subscriptions, should be 
sufficient to accomplish the whole plan proposed. If 
ever a national university, liberally endowed, atid well 
sustained by the talents and learning of its professors, 
shall be established, it wiD do more towards promoting 



the progress of letters in the United Sates than anj 
single instituticm which has yet been planted* In such 
a national seminary^ the whole circle of the arts, and 
sciences^ and erudition, should be taught ; the classics, 
both Greek and Latin, thoroughly, as the best basis of 
all liberal education ; to which add the mathematics and 
natural philosophy, and regular courses of lectures on 
moral philosophy, political economy, belles-lettres and 
rhetoric, elocution^ metaphysical science, municipal 
jurisprudence, and the law of nature and nations. It 
would be a patriotic duty for all classes of society, the 
people at large, the men of leisure, the men of business, 
the physicians, the lawyers, the statesmen, and the di- 
vines of America, to unite their powerful efibrts to 
create and maintain such a national institution ; another 
Athens in this western orb, which, under their guardian 
auspices, may long flourish, as the general repository 
of learning ; and eventually render these United States 
at once the bulwark and orni^nient of literature within 
their own extensive dopainipns, and the permanent 
object of esteem and admiration to the whole surround^ 
ing world. ^ 

The following observations of Mr. Walsh, in re-, 
lation to this suQect, cannot be too often repeated, nor 
too widely circulated. 

^^ Sovereign^ and governments alone can raise up in- 
stitutions for education^ of the amplitude and mecban* 
ism required to give energy and efficacy to all the hu- 
man faculties. Without such institutions we cannot, in 
the United States, expect to display that perfection of 
individual and social being which the European nationa 
havenearly attained, and which we are, in other respects, 
beyond the rest of the world, privileged to reach. It 
is to the national government that we must look for the 
means of becoming the rivals of Europe in the pursuits 
which give most honour and hapjpiness to our species^ 
The *to/e-govemments have not the ability, and are not 
likely to have the inclination, to create those means. 
We are a great commercial, and are to be a great mili- 
Ury people, only through the federal system ; we can 


become a literary and philosophical people hy the same 
agency alone. All these qualifications are neciessary 
to constitute national greatness^ upon the scale which 
suits our unrivalled opportunities. We must be Greece^ 
Rome^ and Carthage^ at once ; or^ what is more mo- 
dem^ Italy, France, and England, in the same frame/* 

Generally speaking, our systems of education for * 
girls are practically better than those for boys ; and 
accordingly, our women generally are more intelligiBnt 
and conversible than the men. In some of our larger 
cities, it is fashionable for the young ladies to learn the 
elements of botany and ch3miistry, in addition to the 
common rudiments of female instruction. In our own 
oily of New-York, Mr. Griscom, a celebrated teacher^ 
has established a course of lectures on natural philoso- 
phy for young ladies, who attend him in great numbers, 
irom our most respectable fomiiies. Such a course of 
instruction, combined with suitable reading and reflect 
tion at home, would lay the basis of solid and substan-^ 
tial information, as the means of utility and delight 
throughout the whole of life. 

Miss Hannah Morels ^^ Strictures on the ModemSys^ 
tern of Female Education'' are admirably adapted to ren- 
der women sensible, well-bred, and excellent in all the 
various relations and charities of life. They teach, 
that domestic virtue is woman's chiefest ornament and 
praise, and more Ukely to be found in a liberally edu- 
cated than in an unintelligent female. Her observa- 
tions on this point are peculiarly good ; there is, at pre- 
sent,room onlyfor the fewfoUowing sentences. "Since, 
then, there is a season, when the youthful must cease to 
be young, and tiie beautiful to excite admiration, to 
learn how to grow oldgracefulh/y is, perhaps, one of the 
rarest and most valuable arts which can be taught to 
woman. And, it must be confessed, it is a most severe 
trial for those women to be called to lay d^wn beauty, 
who have notiiiing else to take up. It is for this sober 
season of Ufe, that education should lay up its rich re- 
sources. However disregarded they may nitharto have 
beenj they wUl be wanted now. . When admirers fall 



away, atid fl^ttercors became mute, the mind wiU b^ 
driven ta retire into ilfSelf^; and if it entertaoi* 
meint at home,, it will be driven baek again uponr the 
world wUh inea^eaeed force. Yet>. forgetting this, do we 
not seem to educate ovir daugtiAer» ec^lusiuel^ for the 
tfdJUMent period of youAb, when it is to maiturer Kfe we 
' ought to advert ? Do ive not educate them for a crowds 
forgetting that they are to live at hooie? For the 
world, sffid not for themsdlves ? For ahc^, and not for 
use ? For time, and not fw eternity ? 

" The chief end to be proposed in cultivating the un- 
denstandk^ of women, is to qualify them for the prac-' 
Heal purposes of life* Th^ knowld^ is not often, 
like the learning of men> to be reproduced in some lite* 
rary ccmiposition, nor eveB in any learned profession ; 
but it. is to come out in ctmdiuct It i» to be exhibited in 
life and mavncM. A lady studiesi, not that she naay 
quajyiiy herself to become an orator or a pleader ; not 
diat she may learn to debate,, but to act She is> to read 
&e best books, not so' to stable her to taik.of 
them, as to bring the improvement whidi they fumtsh 
to the rectification of her principles, and the formation 
of her habits. Hie grea£ uses of study to a woman 
are, to enable her to regulate her own mind, and to be 
instrumental to the good of others. To woman, there^ 
fore, whatever be her rcmk, I would recommend a pre^^ 
dominance of those more sober studies, which, not hav- 
ing display for their object, may make her wise without 
vanity, h^ppy without witnesses, and content without 
panegyrists ; the exercise of whidi! will not bring, 
eelebrity, but improve usefiilness." 

The AiKierican ladies have learned, that it i& mt^alto*^ 
gether the business of their lives to administer^ to .the 
mere pleasure of man^ as the plaything <^ hi& hours of 
relaxationfiromthe.toils of ambition, or the cravings of 
wealth ;^ to be entirely absorbed in the pursuits of ephe- 
meral foshion, and ^^ when God has given them one face, 
to make unto themselves another, to .jig, to amUe^ and 
lisp^ and nid^name God*s creatures, and make their 
wantonness their ignorance/' They have discovered^ 


that God has given them such high capacities of ex- 
cellence, such acute perception, such exquisite feeling, 
such ardent affection, for the purpose of becoming man's 
companion and guide; the soother of his sorrows and 
heightener of his joys; the object of his proud submis- 
sion, his dignified obedience, his chivalrous worship; 
the being whose smile forms the joy of his life, the sun- 
shine of his existence. 

<< Till Hymen brought bis lote-delighted hour, 
There dwelt no joy in Eden's roseate bower. 
In vain the Tiewless seraph, lingering therd. 
At starry midnight charm'd the silent air ; 
In rain the wild JUrd carolled ffob the steep, 
'fo hi|il Uie ftaa slow wfaoeling from the deep ; 
. Jn rain, to soothe, the solitary shade, 
Aenal notes in mingling measuce play'd ; 
I'he summer wind that shook fte spangled tree, 
The whispering ware, the mttfmiiHiig of tlio \m^ 
Still slowly passed IbemdiiiiQhcily dsy^ 
And still the, fitrnQger wist nqt where to stray ; 
The world was sad, the garden was a wild, 
And man, (be hermit, A%WHiRw(man smiPdJ^ 



On the Habits, Manners, and Character of the United 


That foreigners, tvho do not speak the same Ian- 
mage as the people of this country, should be extreme- 
iy ignorant ot the resources and character of the Ame- 
ricans, is not a subject of surprise: the very circum- 
stance of their speaking in a different tongue, added ta 
the general prevalence of despotism in their respective 
gevemments, and want of information in their subjects, 
will sufficiently account for their unacquaintance with 
the past histoiy, the present situation, the future pros- 
pects of the United States. But Britain can find no 
such excuse for her portentous ignorance of this coun- 
try: her blood flows in every vein, and quickens every 
artery of the giant ofispring, sprung from her teeming 
loins; her language, laws, religion, habits, manners, and 
pursuits, have reproduced another Britain in this west- 
em world, on a far more extended scale of capacity, 
magnificence, and power, than its venerable mother can 
ever hope to attain; cooped and cabined in as she is, by 
the narrow dimensions of her own territorial dominions* 

Indeed, the general, not to say universal ignorance 
which prevails in Britain, alike in the government and 
in the people, respecting all the essential quaUties, and 
nationid cnaractenstics of these United States, is almost 
incredible to those who have not attentively examined 
the subject. Perhaps it is chiefly owing to the inter* 
course between the two countries being almost exclu- 
sively commercial; for in general merchants are not 
apt to investigate a country, cither very comprehensive*- 
ly, or veiy accurately, beyond the states of its markets. 


and the course of its prices current. And, until it shall 
become the fashion for the gentlemen and men of edu- 
cation, both of America and of Britain, to travel over, 
and explore each others country, the two nations must, 
and will remain in profound ignorance of dieir recipro- 
cal relation, character, and interest. 

In addition-to all this, the British government has no/ 
been sufficiently careful to send out able and intelligent 
ambassadm^Sdimdi ministers to the United States. 

The reasons why the British diplomacy is in general 
defective; and why, in particular, so few able ambassa- 
dors have been sent out by her to these United States, 
are detailed at length in " The Resources oj the British 
Empire,'' from p. 332 to 351; containing also, the 
causes of Britain's general unacquaintance with the 
movements and dispositions of foreign nations, and of 
her neglecting to avail herself of the presses of other 
countries, in order to tell her own story, and to justify 
her own measures to the world. 

This is the more to be regretted, as it regards the 
United States and Britain, because the interests of both 
countries are similar; and their mutual peace, good un- 
derstanding, and friendship, redound so much to the 
essential benefit of both. M. Talleyrand, first a bishop 
under the old regime, then a citizen sans-culotte, then 
a revolutionary and imperial prince, and finally, a Bour- 
bon prime minister, was so well aware of the recipro- 
cal interests of America and Britain, that in a memoir 
read to theJ National Institute, he proposed the fixing a 
powerful French establishment in the United States, as 
the only means of counteracting the peacefiil and ami- 
cable tendencies of two nations sprung fix>m the same 
stock, speakifi^ the same language, living under the 
same or similar laws, using the same religion, and ex- 
hibiting the same habits and manners. 

The clerical citizen prince complains grievously of 
the existence of any commercial or friendly intercourse 
between America and Britain; when, after the revolu- 
tionary struggle, in which the French so effectually 
aided the ir new allies, and the United States had thrown 


off the 4onainion of tlie English, ^vpiy rp^on seemed ta 
indicate a dissob/tHon of thos^ merc^til^ coauexion^ 
^nrliich h^ before subsisted l^^tweea two portions of the 
^ame people. The chief of the§^ rei^sons were — the 
recollection of the evils produced by a seven years* war; 
a defiance and hatred of Britain, and attachment to 
Frsmce, as their companion in arms, and their liberator 
i^om colonial vassalage; attachment, most forcibly 
manifested at the breaking out of the war between 
France and England, in the year 1793; at which pe- 
riod the conversation and actions of the American pe6« 
pie, their newspapers and pamphlets, their town-meet- 
mgs and public speeches, their illuminations and da-^ 
mour, almost drove tl^e gi,dministration of Washington 
hiinsdf to manifest, by joining the Fr^ich revolutionary 
republic, in its war against Britain, the strong inclina- 
tion towards France, and the equally deadly hatred to- 
wards England, which then pervadoi so large a portion 
of the United States. 

These, and other reasons, it was hoped would, for 
cyw, turn the tid§ pf Am^nc^n commerca from its ac- 
customed channel; or, if it should happen to incUne a 
little towards the §hof es of England, it would require a 
very trifling exertion, on the part of FtancCy to divert it 
entirely to her own dominions. Closer, and more accu- 
rate observation, however, will soon detect the fallacy 
of all such conclusions, and point out the helplessness of 
an artificial and circuitous policy to resist the universal 
efficiency of nature herself when she appeals to the 
human heart, in the accents of a kindred tongue, and 
with the alt-prevaiUng voice of manifest advantage. 
Jkdim(kmls may sometimes, and under certain circum- 
stances, feel the impulses oSgratiiude^ and act under a 
d^p wd permanent sense of kindness shown and bene* 
fits received; a great proportion of individuals^ how- 
ever, Uke Milton's hero, consider it to be a debt, ^^ so 
burdensome^ stilt paying, still to owe,'' that they are 
e^ger to cast it oi)f for ever, by returning the recom- 
p^ce of hatred and calumny into the l^om of their 
^^^eMfactor* Nations^ large masis^ of men, being a 


body in continual flux, liable to perpetual chi^nga in 
opinions^ sentiments, relations, and actions, never can 
be capable of gratitude to other nations. It is idle, 
thereforje, for France to insist upon a grateful return 
from the United States, on account of her aiding them 
in their revolutionary war ; and equally idle for Britain 
to request that the American people shall cease to revile 
and calumniate all her institutions and proceedings, be- 
cause her capital and o^it have enabled the United 
States to render themselves opulent and powerful in ail 
extensive commerce, in growing manufactures, in a 
widening agriculture, in a variety of thriving moneyed 
establishments. Interest and ambition are the pole-star 
and magnet of nations ; gratitude and affection the in* 
centives of individual, not of i^ational action. Besides, 
the gratitude pf America was due to Louis XVI. per- 
sonally, and was fully caiicelled by his subsequent re-^ 
gret thftt he had ever assisted the United States, and 
^ l^ the efforts of his cabinet, in the year 1783, to pre- 
vent England from acknowledging their independence, 
to exclude them from the Newfoundland fisheries, and 
to confine their territory to the eastward of the Alle- 
ghany mountains; all showing that the object of 
France was no# regard to the United States, but a de- 
sire to weaken both America and Britain, by protracting 
the conflict between them. 

Whdever has well observed America, cannot doubt 
that she still remains essefiUally English^ in language, 
habits, laws, customs, manners, morals, and religion ; 
that her aiicient commerce with England iiicreased, 
manyfold, instead of declining in activity and extent, sub-; 
sequent to the independence of the United States; aod 
that, consequently, so &r as^ relates to commercial in* 
tercourse, the independence of America ki^ beea bene- 
ficial to Britain. M. Talle^andy incbed, labours to 
prove that the inconsidevate coiEiduct of the old French 
government (as contradistingliished from the revdhi«« 
tiona^ system) laici ike foundation of the commesciajr 
cuccess Q^ England with title Uviited States* Me thinks^ 
thM if^ after the peace which secuf ed theandependehce 


of America^ France had been sufficiently sensible of the 
full advantage of her existing position^ she would have 
continued and sought to multiply exceedingly, those 
political, commercial, and social relations, which, durii^ 
the revolutionary war, had been established between 
her and her Transatlantic Allies ; and which had been 
forcibly, and bloodily broken off with Britain. If this 
had been done, the ancient habits and relations between 
America and Ei^land being almost forgotten, France 
could have contended with peculiar advantages against 
every thing which had the least tendency to reconcile 
the Americans with the English, so as to prevent the 
possibility of any cordial and permanent friendship ever 
existing between the two nations. 

But the French court was fearful, that the same 
principles of democracy y which she had protected and 
encouraged by her arms in America, should introduce 
themselves, and be disseminated among her own people^ 
and therefore, at the conclusion of &e war in 1783, 
she did not sufficiently continue, and pi^omote her 
political and commercial connexions with tl^e United 
States. Whereas England wisely forgot, and subdued 
the bitterness of her resentments ; ^l{e immediately re- 
opened her channels of communication bdth social and 
mercantile with America, and rendered them still more 
active than at any period prior to the Revolution. By 
such conduct she directed the attention of the United 
States towards a profitable market ; and thus increased 
the obstacles to the ascendency of French Jnfluence. 
For the will of man is always powerfully swayed by in- 
clination and interest; and notwithstanding the occur- 
rence of a loag and sanguinary war, and all the efforts 
oJF political faction, the Americans have a natural bias 
towards England, to whose kindred people all their 
own habits assimilate them. 

Identify of language itself, as M. Talleyrand ob- 
serves, is a fundamental relation between different indi- 
viduals and different countries ; upon which the poli- 
tical moralist, and the moral philosopher, cannot too 
patiently, and too profoundly meditate. This ,veiy 


identity of tongue establishes between the two nations^ 
America and England^ a common character^ which will 
always enable^ nay, induce them to recognize and con- 
sort with each other. They mutually feel themselves 
at home, whenever they travel into each other s ter- 
ritory, they give and receive reciprocal pleasure in the 
interchange of sentiment and thought, in the discussion 
of their varibus opinions, views, and interests. But an 
insurmountable barrier is raised up between two dif- 
ferent people, who speak two different languages ; and 
who, therefore, cannot utter a single word, without 
being compellc^d to remember that they do not belong 
to the same country ; between whom every solitary 
transmission of sentiment and thought is irksome la- 
bour, and not a social enjo3anent ; who never can be 
made to understand each other thoroughly ; and with 
whom the result of conversation, after the fatigue of un- 
availing efforts to be reciprocally intelligible, is to find 
themselves reciprocally ridiculous. This of course ap- 
plies to the mass of a people ; there are well educated 
individuals in most countries, who can converse with 
each other fully in a tongue not common to both 

Accordingly, notwithstanding the government of 
France, both under the Bourbons during the old 
regime and under the revolutionary regicides, whether 
democratic, directorial, consular, oi" imperial, always 
exercised considerable influence over the government of 
America ; which so far from being influenced by, was 
always prone to suspect and take offence at every act 
of the British government, however harmless or well 
intended ; yet, in every part of the United States, in- 
dividual Englishmen feel themselves to be Americans ; 
and individual Frenchmen find themselves to be as 
completely strangers as if they were animals of dif- 
fierent species at least ; even if they might be consi- 
dered generically the same. - - 

Nor is it any marvel to see this natural, necessary, 
habitual assimilation towards England, in a country 
where, in addition to the identity of lan^age in both, 
the great distinguishing and characteristic features of 


the form of government; and of the system of muni- 
cipid law, whether in the federal union, or in the sepa* 
rate state-sovereignties, are impressed with so strong a 
family resemblance to the leading lineaments of the 
British constitution. The personal liberty of the indi-» 
yidual citizen in the United States rests upon pre- 
cisely the same foundations as those which support 
the personal freedom of the British subject ; namely, 
the habeas corpus act, and trial by jwry. Whocfver 
attends the sittings of Congress, and the state-l^sla* 
tures, and listens to the discussions respecting the 
framing of laws, whether for the Union, or for the 
separate states, will hear all their quotations, analo^ 
gies, and examples, taken from the laws, the history, 
the customs, the parliamentary rules and usages of 
England. In the American courts of justice, the su« 
thorities cited are the statutes, the judgments, the 
decrees, the reported decisions of the English coiuts ; 
in familiar and friendly accompanim«nt with those of 
the American tribunals. 

In the higher and more cultivated dasses of society 
in hoth countries, there is also a community of taste 
and sentiment on subjects of literature, and a common 
feeling of pride in.the great poets, philosophers, his* 
torians, and general writers of the mother county, that 
forms a strong bond of union. 

Now, if a people so trained and so circumstanced^ 
have no na^ral, no habitual bias and inchnaiion towards 
England, we must renounce all belief and trust in the 
controlling influences of language, la^ira, habUs, maomers^ 
customs and usages, upon the opinions, feeliBgs,passiens, 
actions, and character of men; we must dei^ that man 
i^ceives any effectual imptressions, any permanent modi- 
fications, fpom surrounding eirciunstanceS} from all that 
he sees^ iieavs, reads, observes, and is engaged in, ^om 
the cradle to the grave. It is, comjparatively, of Kttla 
moment, that the names of a republic and a monwAsf 
ajppear to place between the two govenmients distinc- 
tions which cannot be conibimded, and obstaeies which 
cannot be sunnountedl. For, in fact, tiieM ave yteon^ 
r^id>tieain feaiturea in the F^es^ntetii^ pdition e|tbe* 


English constitution ; and there are monarchial linea- 
ments distinctly visible in the executive bpanctids of thie 
American constitutions^ both statd and fitd^ah This 
was moce peculiaiy the case, as long as the presidency 
of General Washington continued ; for the force of pub- 
lic opinion andsentiment^attachedto Ms j^t^^on through- 
out the whole of the United States^ bore a strildtfg re^ 
sembknce to that kind of magical power and illusion, 
which many most distinguished political writers attri- 
bute to the pervading infloenees of monarchy, under th<? 
name of hyaHjf to the reigning sovereign. 

This sentiment,, however, did not survive the execu^ 
tive magistracy of Washington: ; tlie Grange and way- 
ward conduct of. President Adams, together with the 
schism in the federal party during his administration, 
forbade all personal attachment to him. And Mr. Jef- 
ferson and Mr. Madison avowedly administered the fe- 
deral govenmient altogether on democratic ^rm^v^e^ 
and views, which cut up by the i<oot all possibihty of 
personfd attachment, stifle ev0ry genei^sus feeling of 
enthusiasm and reverence, and degrade the g6vi3mment 
of a country from the high eminence of a national ad- 
ministration, into the deepabyss of the domimori of a 
faction. M>, Mtonroe; indeed^ has lately been making 
progress through the United Sti3ites> and " birjring gblden 
opinions* from adl sorti of men," with the hope of re- 
kindling that flame of loyalty and natioif)!al attaichniefbt 
to thrirejsecutive chief; which' gtotv^d irt the besoms of 
the Ameriosffi people for the illustrious Washington, 
"firs^inwar, fh»t' in peace, and firfetiiithe hearts of 
his ftllbw-citi^^ens.'* 

It ir surprising, that Mi Tall^atidi vrho has^ mad<^ 
soi many profound i rieimirks^, aiid drietwn sueh wise and 
co»i|»r^aiaive it¥fi3rences, in his iMfemoir'tO' the National 
Institote^ sh0uld^60 egregiously have mii^iakett'the chu^ 
ratter' o^* t^ Amerieails^. He says^ that as a people* 
newly ctmstitiited' an* formed- of difterteAt eletnertts, 
th^v national characti^ is • liot' y^t' decided. They re-^ 
main English from aiiciettt habit; attd- because' they' 
have not yet had time to become completely^ Americatts. 


Their climate is not yet fonned : their character stilf 
less. If we consider those pomilous cities filled with 
£nglish, Germans^ Irish, and Dutch, as well as with 
their indigenous inhabitants; those remote towns so 
distant from each oth^ ; those vast uncultivated traats 
of soil, traversed rather than inhabited by men who 
belong to no country, what common bond can we con- 
ceive in the midst of so many incongruities ? It is a 
novel sight to the traveller, wno, setting out from a 
principal city where society is in perfection, passes in 
succession through all the degrees of civilization and 
industry, which he constantly finds growing weaker 
and weaker, until in a few days he arrives at a misshapen 
and rude cabin, formed of the trunks of trees lately 
cut down. 

Such a journey is a sort of practical and living ana- 
lysis of the origin of people and states: we set out from 
the most compounded mixture, to arrive at the most 
simple ingredients : at the end of every day we lose 
sight of some of those inventions which our wants, as 
they have increased, have rendered necessary ; and it 
appears as if we travelled backwards in the histor}' of 
the progress of the human mind. If such a sight lays 
a strong hold upon the imagination ; if we please our- 
selves by finding in the succession of space what appears 
to belong only to the succession of time, we must make 
up our minds to behold but few social connexions, and 
no common character amongst men, who appear so lit- 
tle to belong to the same association. In many districts 
the sea and the woods have formed fishermen and wood- 
cutters. Now, such men have no country ; and their 
social morality is reduced within a veiy small compass. 
Man is the disciple of that which surrounds nim. 
Hence, he whose bounds are circumscribed by nothing 
but deserts, cannot receive lessons with regard to the 
social comforts of life. The idea of the need which 
men have of each other does not exist in him ; and it 
is merely by decomposing the trade which he exercises, 
that one can find out the principles of his affections and 
the sum of his morality. 


The American wood-cutter. does not interest himself 
in any thing; every sensible idea is remote from him. 
Those branches so agreeably disposed by nature, beau- 
tiful foliage, the bright colour which enlivens one part 
of the wood, the darker green which gives a melancholy 
shade to another ; these things are nothing to him ; 
he pays them noattenticHi; the number of strokes of his 
axe required to fell a tree fills all his thoughts. He 
never planted ; he knows not its pleasures. A tree of 
his own planting would be good for nothing in his 
estimation, for it would never during his life be large 
enough to fell. It is by destruction he lives ; he is a de- 
stroyer wherever he goes. Thus, every place is equally 
gooa in his eyes; he has no attachment to the spot 
on which he has spent his labour, for his labour is only 
fatigue, and unconnected with any idea of pleasure. 
In the effects of his toil he has not witnessed those gra- 
dual increases of growth so captivating to the planter ; 
he regards not the destination of his productions ; he 
knows not the charm of new attempts; and if, in quit- 
ting the abode of many years, he does not by chance 
forget his axe, he leaves no regret behind him. 

The vocation of an American fisherman begets an 
apathy almost equal to that of the wood-cutter. His 
affections^ his interest, his life, are on the side of that 
society to which it is thought he belongs. But it would 
be a prejudice to suppose him a useful member. For 
we must not compare these fishermen to those of Eu- 
rope, and think that the fisheries here are, like them^ a 
nursery for seamen. In America, with the exception 
of the inhabitants of Nantucket, who fish for whales, 
fishing is an idle employment ! Two leagues from the 
coast, when they have no dread of foul weather ; a sin- 
gle mile, when the weather is uncertain ; is the sum of 
the courage which they display ; and the line is the only 
instrument of which they know the practical use. Thus 
their knowledge is but a trifling trick ; and their action, 
which consists in constantly hanging one arm over the 
«de of the boat, is little short of idleness. They are 
4tttached to no place; their only connexion with th« 



land is by means of a wretched house which th^y in-^- 
habit. The sea affords them nourishment; and a few 
cod-fish, more or less determine their country. If their 
number seems to diminish in any paliicdiar quslrter, 
they emigrate in search of another countiy, where they 
are more abundant. The remark, that fishing is a sort 
of agriculture, is not solid; all the qualities and virtues 
attached to agriculture are wanting m him who lives by 
fishing. Agriculture produces a patriot, in the truest 
acceptation of the word ; fishing can only form a cos- 

So that it is not only by reason of their origin, lan- 
guage, and interest, the Americans so constantly find 
themselves to be Englishmen; an observation Which 
applies more especially to the cities. When one looks 
upon the people wandering among the woods, upon the 
shores of the sea, and by the banks of the rivlrs,* the 
general observation is strengthen^ with regstrd to 
them, by that indolence, and want of native cJuttacter^ 
which renders this class of Americans niOre ready to 
receive and preserve di foreign impression. Dbiibness, 
this will grow weaker, and altogether disappear, when 
the constantly increasing populatioh shall, by the culture 
of so many desert lands, have bhiught the inhabitants 
nearer together. As for the other causes, they have 
taken such deep root, that it would require a French 
establishfiient in the United States to successfully coun- 
teract their ascendency. Undoubtiedly, such a political 
project should not be overlooked by the government of 
France. No confutation of such positions can be neces- 

M. Talleyrand, however, has discovered his usual sa- 
gacity in tracing the settlement of colonies, and the 
sources of their population, when he says, the different 
causes which gave rise to colonial establishments have 
l^eeh seldom pure. Thus, ambition and the ardour of 
conquests carried the first colonies of the Phoeniciahs 
and Egyptians into Greece: violence, thai of the Tyri-r 
ans to Carthage; the misfortunes of war, that of the 
fugitive Trojans to Italy; commgrce^ and the lovi of 


liches, those of the Carthaginians to the isles of the 
Mediterranean, and the coasts of Spain and Africa; ne* 
cessity, those of the Athenians into Asia Minor, Jthepeo^- 
pie becoming too numerous for their limited and barren 
territory; prudence, that of the Lacedemonians to Ta- 
i^entum, to deliver themselves from some turbulent citi- 
zens ; and urgent policy, the numerous small and unim- 
portant colontes of the Romans, who showed their wis- 
dom in giving up to their colonists a portion of the con- 
quered countries; because they appeaLsed the people, 
who incessantly demanded a new division df the land, 
and because they thus formed of the discontented thepi- 
selves a sure guard in the countries which they had 
subdued. The ardour for plunder, and the fury of war, 
much moi*e than the excess of population, sent the co- 
lonies, or rather irruptions of the people of the north 
into the Roman empire; and a romantic piety, greedy 
of conquest, those of the Europeancroisaders into Asia. 
After the discovery of America, the folly, injustice, 
and avarice of individuals thirsting after gold, threw 
them upon the first countries to which their barks con- 
veyed them. The more rapacious they were, the more 
they separated; they wished not to cultivate, but to lay 
iwaste. -Those, indeed, were wo^ true colonists. Some 
time afterward, religious dissensions gave birth to more 
regular establishments; thus the puritans took refuge 
in the north of America; the English catholics in Ma- 
ryland; the quakers in Pennsylvania; whence Dr. Smith 
concludes, that the vices^ not the wisdom of European 
governments, peopled the. new world. Other great 
emigrations likewise, were owing to a gloomy policy, 
falsely called religious. Thus Spain rejected the Moors 
from her bosom; France the protestants; almost all 
governments the Jews; and every where the error 
\yhich had dictated such deplorable counsels was recog- 
nized too late. They 'had discontented subjects, and 
they made them enemies who might have sefrved, but 
were forced to injure, their country. 

C^ The inhabitants of the United States consist of Eu-. 
Topeans and their descendants, African negroes and 

c c 


their descendants^ and the Aboi^ginal Indians^ — of 
which last it is not intended to treaty as they are verging 
rapidly to extinction, under the pressjore oi^ American 
encroachment, which Mr* Monroe, in his Message of 
tpe Sd of Pecember, ISlf, maintains to be quite pro- 
per, and says, ^^The hunter state can exist only in the 
vast uncultivated desert. It yields to the more dense 
and compact form, and greater force of civilized popu- 
lation; and, of right, it owg-A^ to yield, for the earth was 
given to mankind, to support the greatest number of 
Which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right 
to withhold from the wants of others more than is ne- 
cessary for their own support 4^nd conifort." 

The great niass of our people is of English origin, 
and not made up, originally, of convicts, mendicants, 
and vagabonds, according to the vulgar, but erroneous 
opinion. The first settlers in this country were, for 
the most part, of respectable families and good charac- 
ter, who came hither under the guidance of intelligent 
and distinguished leaders, and laid the basis of an in* 
numerable people in the best principles and habits of 
religious toleration, political independence, and social 
yirtue. These early colonists flea from civil and reli- 
gious persecution m their native eountry, to find an 
asylum in the western world, and have given birth to 
a people who still retain the puritanical precision, the 
stem republicanism, and the daring intrepidity of their 
ancestors. ^ New-England was sctUed altogether by 
Englishmen, except an Irish colony in the hiUy part of 
one county of Massachusetts, and a few Scottish and 
Irish settlements in New-IJampshire. With these ex- 
ception?, the New-England population is, at this houi^ 
entirely of English origin. The same sour^ al^ ^V"^?- 
plJes a great majority of the people in.^he middle, and 
a jstill larger proportion in the southern sta^t^?. 111? 
Germans mdce about a fourth of the population of 
Pennsylvania, and apart of the inhabitants of I^ew-rYorjk 
and New-Jersey. They are, ho^ev«:, $Bist yieldiflg 
their languajge, habits, ajnd customs to the predominance 
of the English, The s^me may be said of t^e ^ut^h 


>Qttl^ in New>Yorkj Ncw<rJ«8ey, and Pennsylvania. 
A iEew Fxench protestants settled at New Rochelle suad 
Staten^Island^ in the stateof New^York^ and in Charies^ 
toa^. South-Carolina. The Irish emigrants are found 
^iefly in PenHiylvania and Maryl^d; and many are 
te^ttored over New-Yorfc, New-Jersey, Kentucky, and 
some other states. Thosie who are papists^ from the 
middle end south of Ireland, compose the bulk of the 
day labourers in our large cities; the protestants from 
the north of Ireland generally become agriculturists in 
the interior of the country. 

The Scottish, who are generally intelligent, indus- 
l;rious, good citiz^is, have si^tlemients in New-Hamp- 
ifihire, New-York, New-Jersey;, Pennsylvania, and 
North-Carolina. Some Swedes are found in New- 
Jersey, Pennsylvania^ and Maryland; and some Swiss 
are settled in the state of Indiana. Some small Welsh 
settlements have beea made in Pennsylvania andNew^ 
.York. The new states, which are continually rising, 
like exhalations from the earth, in the western country, , 
and denoting a growth of population rapid and gigan- 
tic, beyond all parallel in me history of naticms, are 
aupiilied with settlers chiefly from the annual surplus of 
Ne\^-!Ekigland, which indeed has been for many years 
the qfficma gentium to the states of New-Yodk, Ofaio^ 
Kjentucky, aiod all the interminable regions of the west. 
The accessions bom foreign countries make but a 
small proportion of the aggregate of American popu- 
lation. From 1 7&& to 1815, the annual impoftatum of 
fcHTieigners into tlie United States did not exceed five 
thousand. Since that period diie £ure|)ean migrations 
iutber have been more abundant. Of these, the Fretiicb, 
in gfttit numbers, direct tiieir steps to the Alabama 
territcHy; and the Irish are endeavouring, under the 
auspices ei Mr. Enunet, of New-i^York, to g^ up aa 
Hibernian colony in the Illinois oovntiy . mjdaay cdP our 
imported, foreigners are the lees and dregs, tiie refuse, 
the vilest specimens of Irish and En^uh population, . 
wkH% reside chiefy in the large cities on our seaboard^ 
and alK>w jbr^h th(rir paftriotism b^ iiieessantly vi^ifymg 

c c » 


all theinstitutions of their native country, and by vio- 
lating the laws of their adopted nation. The propor- 
tion of these imported politicians, however, to the whole 
community, is not great. The New-England States^ 
throughout, are unpolluted with the mixture of foreign 
population; and our yeomanigr, generally, all over me 

•IJnion, are native Americans. 

Fyll one million seven hundred thousand negroes are 
held as sUxves in the United States, which also contain 
upwards of two hundred thousand /ree people of colour. 
Both these classes, however, acqmre occasionally an ad- 
mixture of the blood of the white portion of our popula- 

- tion, and the mestizos are gaining fast in number upon 
the blacks. The gro^t body of American negroes are 
to be found in our southern states^ 

The experience of all history proves that the struc* 
tureof society in slave-holding countries is unfavourable 
to internal security and peace at all times; and still 
more so to security and strength in the season of foreign 
warfare. Indeed, all moral evil possesses a dreadful 

'power of perpetuating and augmenting its own atrocity; 
whence, the evil of slavery, once established, scarcely 
admits of remedy; because the emancipation of slaves 
•in large masses is nearly, if not quite impracticable ; the 
difference between the habits of a slave and those of a 
free citizen being wide as the poles asunder. A slave 
is ignorant of the very elements oiindastryy which is the 
basis of all social prosperity. While in bondage he 
only obeys the impulse of another's will, he is ac- 
tuated by no' other motive than the dread of the lash ; 
whereas, when made free, he must think, will, plan^ pro- 
vide for himself and family, and perform all die duties 
of a citizen. It is ne^essaiy to make a slave a man, an 
animal capaUe of thought and refiectidn, before he is 
made a free man. The slave, recently liberated, has 
experienced only the most laborious and irksome of the 
occupations of a citizen, and not having learned any 
forecast, is unwilling to toil when free. The negroes 
of St. Domingo at first knew only the two extremes of 
slavery and r^Uion; afterward they experienced the 


blessings of military despotism^ under the pressure of 
which they at this hour bend and groan ; and it is not 
easy to determine from which of these three miserable 
states the transition to the social and orderly rank of a 
free citizen is most difficult. 

Besides^ our slaves are in a very uncivilized state ; 
and, as is peculiarly exemplified in our aboriginal In- 
dians, the industry of a savkge, his habits of voluntary 
obedience, his perception of political rights, his capacity 
of becoming the citizen of a regular community, is still 
lower than ^at of a mere slave. He is quite ignorant 
of the necessity of voluntary exertion and peaceable 
submission, which forms the strongest cement of civi* 
lized society. Savages know no medium between the 
extremes of unlimited servility and uncontrolled de- 
spotism ; among them it is the lot of the slave to obey 
and toil, the privilege of the master to command and be . 
idle. This is manifested all over the coast of Africa^ 
where the sable chiefs exercise absolute sway over 
their wretched' subjects, or slaves. We are not, there- 
fore, to expect that a body of emancipated slaves^ 
whether emancipated by manumission or rebellion, can 
be converted into a connnunity of free citizens, living 
under a regular government and equitable laws. Much 
instruction on this point may be derived from a carefrd 
perusal of Mr. Brougham's very able and learned work 
on " CoUmiol Policy ; and Sir James Lucas Yeo*s re- 
Cjsnt letter to Mr. Croker contains some very interesting 
Information respecting the condition and conduct of the 
free negro colony at Sierra Leone. 

The experience of St. Domingo, for nesM'ly twenty-^ 
five years past, proves that revolted slaves are inca- 
pable of receiving and enjoying the blessings of free 
mstitutions, for they have only exchanged the horrors 
of civil bondage for those of military diespotism. And 
the emancipated Negroes of Massachusetts prove that 
such an order of beings have not the capacity of avaiU . 
ing themselves of the benefits of civil liberty. For in 
that state, where slavery is abolished by law, and which 
consequently opens an asylum to fugitive slaves from 

390 SLAVBs IK Tinc umrrED stm'jes. 

neighlxmnng states^ the negroes do mit'keep iip^ tkeir 
stock of population, by the help both of native bi^eed^ 
ing and runaway importation; so improvident, so help* 
hsSf so wanting in all tho9e fa^Uts olf steady md useAii 
industry^ which are essentially neeessary to en^Me the 
citizens of a free eommunky to obtain a cornpetent 
support for themselves and a growing family, have tHiey 
b^n rendered by a long continiiaiice of slavery, either 
in their own persons, or in those of their immediate pro^ 
getoitors, and by their almost total destitution even of 
ztie rudest elements of civilization and culture. 

This incapacity for receiving and profiting by th<» 
pi^ecious boon of liberty, would be still i^or^ visible in: 
the event of emancipating the slaves^ of our sputherti^ 
states, because MeJKnegroe^ are much more numerouSji 
and have always been more harshly treated Ihai^ tiiose 
of Massachusetts^; for l^e pecuUar situation of the 
n^groea under such circumstsoices' would tend very lit- 
i^ to promote their eontentment^, or peaceable dcr 
nieiHi6r,or regular industry. They would form the lowest 
. part of the community, destitute of property; and thel*e^- 
lore unable to enjoy some^ of the most essential political 
privileges, and toiling for a bi^'e subsistence; It is to be 
feared;^ therefore, that our southern negroes; while la*- 
bouring unde^r the double curse of slavery and want of 
civilization, can only be kept in subjection by their whit» 
masters so long as they are kept in chains; The day 
that breaks the fetters of a slave destroys f he authority^ 
and endangers the security of his^ lord* Whibtthe 
slave-holding system eidsts, tjie division of theiiegroesi 
the vigilance of the overseer, the fear of th^driver'a 
lash> uid the hprrib|e torment^ inflicted upon servile 
cG^tumacy, may prevent the blacks* from uniting and< 
extirpating their masters. Altiiough Mr. John Rbn^ 
dolph> on the floor of Congress; declared, that even now^ 
whenever the midnight bell tolls the sdarm of flm in any 
of the towns" or dties of Virgiraa, every mother claspr 
her infant to her bosom in agonizing eitpectation that 
the tocsin is sounding the cry of a general negro insms 
jee^tt, and weaning the devoted i^ctims of the nea^ 


flqpiproteh of ihdiscrimmate pilWge^ rape, iftufd^r, id$ 
cohMgtdLtion, ' 

Thus theindderii system of negro slavehf, as it ]^te- 
Vailsih the European colonies, and in this free republic, 
i^ orte entire circle of evil. It not only creates ah enor- 
mous massr of physical suffering and moral guilt, during; 
the continuance of the negroes in the fetters of personal 
bondage 'y but also, by brutalizing their bodies, by dart- 
eifiing their uhderstandiiig, by corrupting their hearts/ 
it ineapadtates thfem for recei^ng and using the privi-*^ 
lejg^s^ arid blessings of civil and religious liberty, whence 
tms systiem, as it now flourishes amorig nations callin^j' 
theihselVes Christian, provides, by the yerv atrocity 
aiid vast aggregate amount of its owngUilt for its owii 
frightful perpetuity. 

In our southern states the slaves are i>ot ofteii allowed^ 
to' profit by religious instruction, their masters having 
ail absolute prbjierty in their bodies, are apt to consider 
thfeir soufs as thrown into the bargain, and seldom sufier 
the mild light' of revelation to irradiate the gloom of 
their dfesolate condition. The^ee blacks which swarm 
iri'ouir northern and middle states are gehenJly idle, 
vitidus^ and profligate, with very little sense of moral 
obligation to deter theni from lying, thieving, and still 
niore atrocious crimes. For some winters past, a gang 
of free blacks used to amuse themselves in the city of 
New-York, by setting fire to whole rows of houses, for 
thepuipose of pilfering amidst tlie coriftision and horror 
of the flkmes. In the winter of 18l6-iy, a negro was 
hanged for this crime, and'fires have been proportionally 
scarcfe in Neiw-York ever siniie. A hint this, which 
might be rendered profitable, if our state legislature 
would strengthen the criminal code, and recommend our 
houst'breahers^ Mghway-rohhers^'mAforgerSy to the gal-. 
lows, itistead of providing them with ja comfortable do-, 
ntieile in the state prison for j^ season, and then letting 
them out to renew their depredations upon the public. 

Of late^'howeyer, some philanthropists, among whom 
the f^ettdsy or Quakers (as they always do in e^ery 
work of b^fievplence aiwl usefuMess) bear a distinguish* 


ed part^ have endeavoured to meliorate the moral con- 
dition of the free blacks in the northern and middle 
states. In consequence of which, African schools and 
churches have risen up, and black teachers and preathers 
have shown themselves as competent to perform their 
important functions as their white brethren. Doubtless^ 
the only possible means of rendering these negroes 
honest, industrious, and provident, are to be found in 
the general diffusion of religious and moral instruction 
among them. And it is certainly high time to refute^^ 
by practical proof, the assertion of Mr. Jefferson, in his 
Notes on Virginia, that the negroes are a race of animals 
inferior to man. A few ages of civil liberty and gene- 
ral education would silence this cavil of infidelity 
against the scriptural doctrine, that God made of one 
blood all the nations of the earth. 

As religion is the great basis of national character, it 
is necessary to examine its effects in relation to the 
UnitedStates. Inthe ^^Resourcesof theBritishEmpire,** 
beginning at page 377> ^^e adduced reasons to show the 
intimate connexion between the piety and prosperity of 
nations, and conversely ; the necessity ana importance 
of nattonoli as contradistinguished from personal, reli^ 
gion,4that is to say, the acknowledgment of God as the 
Governor of the world, by the state or government, as 
the representative of the community ; and the inesti-* 
mable benefits resulting from a general difiiision of indi* 
vidual or personal religion. 

Indeed, the voice of all history, which is emphatically 
the voice of philosophy speaking by example, warns us, 
thW every nation which nas broken asunder the bonds . 
of religioui whether founded on the light of natiiral con- 
science, inherent in the heart of every mian, or upon the 
clearer light of Revelation from Heaven, has invariably 
given itself up to every sp^cifss of profligacy ; untying 
all the ligaments of social virtue, and stifling in lust and 
blood every dear relation, every domestic charity of pa^ 
rental, conjugal, and filial duty. When ancient Persia 
departed from the simplicity and purity of the religious 
institutions of the elder Cyrus, she fdl headlong into all 


the corruptions of effeminate immorality; and sunk in 
the dastardly enarvation of univeriBal vice, yielded her 
extended empire to the yoke" of a foreign conqueror* 
When the ancient Republics of Greece exchanged the 
simple maxims of their pristine religion for the general 
prevalence of philosophical unbelief, they degenerated 
into universal sensualism; and all classes of the com- 
munity, setting themselves in open sale to the highest 
bidder, followed their clamorous and ignorant dema- 
gogues throughout all the gradations of domestic anar- 
chy, weakness, and corruption, into the sepulchral sleep 
of external despotism. When iJome, despising the re- 
ligious reverence of her republican ancestors, ceased to 
regard the obligations of an oath, and cultivating gene- 
ndly the atheistic materialism of her infidel philosophers, 
practised with unblushing impudence every crime of 
violence and fraud, she fell from her high estate of na- 
tional glory, into the despicable meanness of unrestrain- 
ed democracy ; whence, by an easy, quick, and natural 
transition, she passed into the kindred bondage of sin- 
gle military tjrranny; and finally 'bowed her imperial 
head beneath the sterner morality and superior prowess 
of the Barbarians of the north. 

In later times. Continental Europe has read a memo- 
irable lesson to all nations and ages, of the inevitable 
ruin attached to a wilful departure from the doctrines 
and duties of Heaven's last best gift to man, revealed xe- 
ligion. During the greater part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, the kings and princes, the nobles and ambassadors, 
the politicians, writers, and people of almost every na- 
tion on the European continent, strove in wretched rival- 
ry for a vile pre-eminence in the guilt of rejecting the 
Scriptures of God, and calumniatingthe religion of Christ. 
As tne necessary consequence of this universal specula- 
tive unbelief, as universal a deluge of immorahtv, base- 
ness, and corruption, private and public, national as well 
as individual, flooded their foul and feculent streams of 
pollution over all the surface of continental Europe. 
And what has been thegreat practical commentary which 
Jehovah himself has given upon the impious text of this 


neto philosophy? For the space of five-aild-twfenfyye&ri 
every liominalfy Christian nation oh the Etiropeltn con* 
tinCTtt has^ been n^asted by fire, and sWotd, and j^sti<* 
Imce; by famine, and internal broil, and foreign inva^ 
Aion ; not a single country within Ihe Verge of conti-^ 
Aehtal European Christendom has escaped the terriblid 
lustration of human blood. 

And have these United States no cause of sitnilar 
alarm? Cannot they read the sattie handwriting upon 
the wail, which declared tb the kindred nations of £u-i 
rope, diat they had been weighed in the balance, and 
were found waiiting? When the purer light of Chris^ 
tumity is corrupted and darkened in the eastern sec-* 
tion of out* Union, and the Revelation of God too gene-> 
rally rejected in the southern and Western extremities^ 
of the commonwealdi, have we any right to expect that 
tfM countiy will escape those national visitations, lyhich' 
the European continent has so abundantly reapcid in a 
fall hal^rest of agony and ruin? The late pi^esident 
il^wtght declared, in 1 gl 3, thatthere weiie three miUhMsi 
of souls in the tJnitdd' States entirely destitute of all 
religious ordinances and worship. It is also asserted>^ 
by good authority, that in the southern and western 
states societies exist, built on thcf model of the Triarisil- 
pine clubs in Italy, and the atheistic assemblies of 
Prance and Germany, and> like thiifn)^ incessantly Ik'* 
bouring to root out every vestige of Chrfstiariitjr. - So 
that, in the lapse of a few years, we ar^ in danger of 
being overrun with unbaptized infidels, the niost' atro- 
cious and remorseless banditti th^t infest and dfesblate 
hllman' society .« 

Indeed, mtany scions people doubt the perinanence 
of the federal constitution^ because in that natidn^^ 
compact there is no referelice to the Providence of Grod; 
'* ff^e thepedple*^ being the cohsthntional suhstitiite of 
Jehovah. Of tioMonal rdigion We have riot much t6 
boast; a fi^' qf cWr state gchrernments, particularly in 
New^Bngland^ and r^cet^tly in NeWr^Yiirfc, do acknow- 
ledge God astheg6vern6ratn6iig the nations, and occk- 
fidnMty ri^omfi^e^^^fei^ theyi hate tiopow^^ to aj^B(^]| ' 

iKFiD£i.rry in t»e i^KmD iyates, 59s 

Avyn to be set apart for geneial fastings and prayer^ and 
. ti^fcsgiviilg* jBut the greater number of the states 
declare it to be niMonstUutiondl to refer to the Provi-^ 
dence of God in any of their public acts; and Virginia 
earrief this doctrine so far^ as not to aHow any chaplain 
to officiate in her i|tate legislature; giving as a reason^ 
by an overwhelming majority of her representatives^ in 
Decemb^r^ ISl^f uiat the constitution permits no one 
religious sei^t to have preference to any other; and 
therefore^ d& a chaplain must belong to some sect, it 
nfould be- unconstitutional for the Virginian legislators 
to listen to his preaching or prayers. 

In the winter of 1 81 4-1 5, the I^slature of Louisiana 
rejected, by an immense majority, a bill " For the bet- 
ter observance of the Sabbath; for punishing the crime 
c$ sodomy; for preventing the defkcing of the church* 
yaMls;- for shutting the theatres and stores on Sunday; 
and for other purposes." The chief opposer of the 
bill dedisiring, on the legislative floor, *'that ^nch. per* 
isemtin^ intQlepanee might .well suit the New-England 
puritans, who Were descended from the bigoted fana*^, 
tics of old Engknd^ who were great readers of the 
Bibley and> cansequentlj/, ignorant, prejudiced, cotd-^ 
blooded, false,, and cruel; but could never be fastened 
on the moite enlightiened, liberal, and philosophical in- 
habitants of Louisiana; the descendants of Frenchmen.** 

In this respect the Louisianians have shown* their 
kindred t6 the regenerated citizens of modem France, 
who have <K>mpelled Louis the Eighteenth to repeal his 
dect^ee for enforcing a decent respect to the Sabbath; 
and the Sunday now is, as it was during the revolutidns 
a day of business; or plei^urig, without any regard or* 
refofenc^ to the divine founder of the CHristian diispen^* 

ft wab reserved for thfe illumined^ siages of the eifeb- 
teeiith century of the Christian ertt to discover* tha*? 
reUgum was die cause of all the political evils which 
deform human society. The Egyptian, Piwian, Gre^ 
cian, arid Roman legislators; all deemed it necessary tb' 
|a^ the ftnu]fdatio|i pf their i]ttunici|>al cxA^ upon th<^ 


broad basis of religious sanction. Not a single philoscv 
pher, statesman, or isovereign, is to be found in all th^ 
records of heathen antiquity, who ever for a moment 
doubted that some higher bond of obligation, than can 
possibly be derived from the exterior ligaments of hu- 
man law, is indispensable to connect together communi- 
ties of men in firm and lasting ties. They knew full 
well, that without a direct appeal to the tribunal of 
natural conscience, without the reUgious obligation of 
an oath, without the Internal safeguard of an habitual 
watch over the thoughts of the heart, regulating an 
innumerable multitude of words and deeds, which no 
human laws can touch, but which, according to their 
good or evil direction, either, adorn or dishonour the 
aggregate of life, no community of men can long flourish 
in personal virtue, or national prosperity. What human 
laws can regulate the intercourse of benevolence and 
gratitude between the rich and poor, or measure out 
the affection that ought to be shown to a parent, wife, 
or child? Or prescribe the limits of friendship, or gra- 
duate the scale of punishtnent to the numberless tres- 
passes against the duties of affection and charity? In 
all these, and countless other instances, religion alone 
can bind the obligation and measure of du^ upon the 
heart. Where the authority and power of man reach 
not, the arm of God alone can guide the footsteps of 
human conduct 

Revolutionary France possesses the execrable honour 
of having first reduced individual and national atheism 
to a regiidar system. In the beginning of the 18th cen- 
tury, Mr. Bayle, who had escaped from the fangs of 
the Doctors of the Sorbonne, at Paris, into the marshes 
of Holland, undertook to teach Europe that a nation of 
atheists must, infallibly, be better governed than a coun- 
try of Christians ; because, being freed from all the 
restraints of religious prejudice, they would be at liberty 
to follow the pure impulses of a virtuous and unimpeded 
nature. Bishop Warburton, in his Divine Legation, 
and President Montesquieu, in his Esprit des Loix, both 
laboured^ in opposition to Bayle*s doctrine^ to prove^ 


that a society of atheists could wo* be held together^ for 
want of a bond of mutual obligation alike binding upon 
all ; for an atheist^ not allowing the authority of any 
higher tribunal than his own estimate of his own self- 
interest, will break any human law, whenever, accord- 
ing to his own calculations, it would be advantageous to 
Aim, wd provided also he could elude personal punish- 
ment. But the disciples of Bayle, the metaphysical 
and political doctors of the French revolution, Helve- 
tius, Raynal, D'Alembert, Condorcet, Diderot, and all 
the rest of those brilliant banditti, who set fire to the 
four comers of the world, improving on their master's 
hint, united all the force of perverted genius^ misapplied 
learning, ill-directed science, dazzling declamation, glit- 
tering wit, and habitual sophistry, in order to persuade 
men, that all the political evils which disfigure the 
earth, flowed immediately from the existence and sup- 
port of the Christian, Religion ; and that mankind^ 
could not fail of enjo3dng uninterrupted beatitude, if 
they would only eradicate every vestige of Christianity 
from the human heart and c^onduct. 

Revolutionary France tried the grand experiment ; 
«he aboUshed Christianity, declared death to be an eter- 
nal sleep, passed a decree denouncing terrible vengeance 
against all who believed in the existence of a God, wor- 
shipped the perfection of human reason in the person of 
a prostitute, and placed her on that same altar which 
hw .been reared by the hand of adoration to the Lord 
Jesus Christ himself; pronounced marriage an unholy 
monopoly, and stigmatized all the feelings and affec- 
tions of parents,brethren, and children, as vulgar and un- 
philosophical prejudices. From July, 179^, to March, 
1796, it was death by law in France for any one to pro- 
nounce the name of God or Christ, except in execra*^ 
tion ; and during this period, many thousands of men^ 
women, and chimren, were actually murdered by law, 
for the crime of professing themselves to be Christians* 
Acting upon these enlightened views, and original 
discovmes, the French nation proceeded to murder 
their lawful sovereign^ to butcher their ancient nohi* 

lityy and established di^et^ ; toprocUim and enforce an 
indiscriminate pillage of all public and prjivate pro- 
perty^ to bathe their hands in each other's life^ to ei;alt 
a mHU^ight assassin to an imperial throne, to cradle the 
new-bom dynasty of an ^pstart r^ffiw in tears and 
bloody to convert all France into one unjivi^rsa} brothcj^ 
one universal slau^ter-house. 

As the other nations of contin^ital JSurc^ foJUo^ed 
with too fatal a faciUty the fbotst^ of FV^nch illmni- 
nation, jacobin and atheistic France, fiiiding a bosom 
friend in the athebm aiad jacobinism c^ the rest of the 
Eoiopean continent, was soon enabled by the poison of 
fraud, and the force of arms, to triumph over all the 
religious, moral, and social establishments c^ Cbristeo* 
dom. Thrones wer^ overturned, and the altars of God 
trampled down beneath the doven hoof cf impiety ; 
the mdsi were despoiled d th^r poa^^lsioiiPj and fA\ the 
people in <oe undistinguished mais i^iisbed ben^th 
tl\e groat nether milbtone of an opppeeisiea unpa^ 
niUded in the amoals of remof^dessf tyranny. Nor 
was the tide of QaUie mvaaion ever roUed ha^tk, nor 
its caraer of victoiy cbed^ed^ w»til the princea and 
peq>le of cantinwtal £uioi>e bad been iasned by the 
acQfpioB whip of long eoiMimied calamity A»d mmK 
into tibie full cooviotion that the ww philosQid[iy i^ the 
uneiring road to pemonal and natimaj rula^ Ac- 
cQK^py, when they had been pnliicieiitly i#ieipbaed 
in the sevene, hut salutwy sichooil <tf wfenring, th/e 
£iirapean niLtiona, fvom the «tortb tftd ff^v^ i^0 aouth, 
£rom the ea^ and from tW yreiti of th^ir ffsffakm 
4xmtinent, mtuitn/^ to the gc^ old Way of re^erwce 
to God, integi^^ty towaids man^ a^d hig^flieaited loy- 
alty to their nativie knd; and tallying bom ajll qi;airt«is 
under the hpsuiers of a legitimate patriotiam, routfd the 
hordes of GaUUu2 philosophy, dm^a them himi cy^nfowMlh 
pi within the hoodera of i^ir own. doimnions^ and in the 
heart of Fsance silaflad jacq^bim^m in ita owh> hV% 

At the BAxmk oS tjjbe Measialt, tli^ gieatei: podioa of 
the Jamwa woiM waa under the d^mmsion m£ otiCii 

pire* Knowle4g^ &ik1 civilization bad reached a higher 
point of excellence than«at any preceding period* This 
general and excessive intellectual culture was accom- 
panied with a corredj)ondingly general and ea^cessive 
immorality-^a fact in itself amounting to a dem^nstra^ 
tion, that the mere improvement of &e mind can do 
nothing towards removing or aniending the natural de<- 
pravity of the human heart« At this time the Greek 
. and Latin languages. had reached their summit of per- 
fection. They divided between themselves the intel- 
lectual dominions of the whole empire. The Latin pre- 
dominated over the western, the Greek over the eastern 
seiction of imperial Rome. The ancient dialects of 
Italy, the lai^agqs of Africa, Spain, Gaul, Britain, and 
Pannonia, had all retired before the use of the Roman 
tongue. The Greek was the language of science and 
literature, the Latin that of all public transactions, laws, 
ordinances, and institutions of government. Weli edu- 
cated men were alike conversant with both. All the 
knowledge then afloat in the world was concentrated 
in one focus of brightnesi^ by the best writers of Greece 
and Rome. Art, md nature, and science, were ran-* 
sacked, explored, exhausted ; to furnish the po^t with 
splendid imagery, to emblazon the eloquence of the 
orator, to sharpen the weapons of the dialectician ; to 
point the sting of the satynst, to round the period c/lt 
the philosopher, to swell the pomp of learning. 

But in the midst of all this blaze of intellectual gloiy, 
what was the condition of the human heart ? The heart 
of man was at this time darker and more hideous than 
the sepulchre of death. The barriers of moral decencgr. 
were broken dpwn; every crime and every abomina- 
tion ^as either perpetrated, or tolerated ; public profli-* 
gacy and private vice had convei^d the whole earth 
into one yast charneUhouse of atrocity aiptd horror. Att 
the profane historians and annalists of that period bear 
testimony to the charges against the ih^ath^i world, 
which the holy £}puit of God putsinto^j^he mouthed 
the apftrtte of the Gentiks^ 


Such was the deplorable condition of the moral world, 
when the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing in 
his wings^ and the darkest recesses of the human heart 
were illumined with the light of life. AVherever Chris- 
tianity has prevailed in its purity, and precisely in pro- 
portion to the evangelism of its doctrines^ setting f<H*th 
the fall of man from his primeval innocence, the origi- 
nal and natural depravity of the human heart, the justi- 
fication of sinners by Jesus Christ, the sanctification of 
the human spirit by the Holy Ghost, the Godhead of 
the three Divine Persons in one mysterious. Trinity, 
have individual purity of morals, and national prosperity 
and happiness uniformly flourished. Wherever Christi' 
ani^^ spread its mild and benignant light, the waste and 
wilderness of life began to bloom as the paradise of God ; 
the nations of the earth became purified and exalted in 
all their moral and intellectual faculties, they were freed 
from the fetters of political, social, and domestic, slavery; 
they were more advanced in skill and knowledge, more 
deeply versed in science, more accomplished in literature^ 
more alive to industry and enterprise, more refined in 
all social ihtercourse, more adorned with every nobler 
virtue, and every perished grace, more benevolent to 
man, more devoted to God. 

But the dawning of this brightest day was soon over- 
cast with clouds and thick darkness ; superstition soon 
poisoned the waters of Hfe in their springs, and in their 
sources ; a superstition which lulled to rest all fears of 
future punishment, while it sanctioned and encouraged 
the commission of every crime ; which held out incite- 
ments to the most profligate ambition, and provided for 
the indulgence.of the most sensual sloth ; a superstition, 
whose imposing ceremonies were interwoven with all the 
institutions of society ; and whose spirit of delusion was. 
diffused throughout all the principles of civil govem- 
meht. The ^^orruj^m oi Christianity soon began to 
darken> and gSraSually to extinguish the lights of the 
understanding, and the sensibilities of the heart ; so that 
a greater and more stupendous mass of ignorance and 


Iniquitj^^ thiia had ever yet oppi-essed tbeearth, was ejD- 
hibited in, the moral tt^nd iHtellectual death of ten su<v . 
<5essive centuries. The whole circumference of Chris-* 
^tendom was veiled in the darkest pall of eivil and^ 
religious bondage ; the human conscience was beiiighted 
amidst the terrors of the dungeon^ the rack^ the gibb^, 
and the ilame; and the persons of men were delivered 
over a prey to the perpetuity of feudal anatohy and 

• horror. 

In the midst c^.this noon of nighty it pleased Divine 
Providence again to interpose for the benefit of human 
kind : the Spirit of < God again moved upon the moral 

^and intellectual chaos^ and in the fulness of his own ap- 
pointed time, he raised up Luther, and Calvii^ and 
Knox, and an innumerable army of saints and martyrs, 

t at the era of the Reformation^ to bring back the chil- 
<lren of disobedience fropi the error of their ways to the 
wisdom of the just ; to teach men the pure doctrines oF 

- revelation, to be the means of .enlightening, the mind, 

/and amending the heart of all the forlorn beings that were 
slumbering in the confines of darkness, or. trembling 
under the shadow of death. Then, indeed, arose a new, 
order of things; the human heart swelled with the sub- 
iimest raptures of spiritual devotion ; all the charities 
of father, husband, son, and brother, were mingled in 
every lif^throb of the bosom; .i^bstantial integrity and 
habitual courtesy at once supported and embellished the 

• whole fabric of society : the mind of man sprang up- 
-ward like a pyramid of fire, and by its bla^e of intellec-* 
tual lightj dissipated the Stygian darkness of the middle 

.ages, and an uninterrupted chain of progressive im- 
provement united .together all the intelligent minds of 
re-illumined Christendom*: . 

But man, > weak, frail, uns]i:d>st^ntial man, the change 

. lii^ of an hour, ever prone to pass from one into the 

• cither extreme, soon vibrated from the grossest supersti- 
- tion into the most obdurate unbelief And we, who now 

jive upon the earth, are doomed to witness this last sind 
jmost dreadful of aQ the er^s.of human depravity, that 

D d 


Of g«fieml poii^ate u^^U&f. Ilie li^Dt o{ raligiou 
being ^ufiio^eAy tkiat of moral pkibsophy is, s|H^dily 
iwaHowed up in the surroimding darkn^Sft ; all the dii^ 
ties o£ moval ob]|igatioa luaviag. iia otW bans tibua the 
wiH of God reveated to maa m his ii^spjured wovd- AU 
politicsal 8tudi«& are prosi^ihed^ leat th^y should pokkt 
out the path to civil and reif gLoua liheifi^. NcKmoial 
culture is encouraged^ and no intellectual iixipvovei0^]»t 
permitted^ save that which teaches the more speedy bc- 
compiishm^ of thi^ works, of hlood ^ni ^aolalaon, 
which iRsJces war more freqifent^ mone e^tenssve^ mo«e 
B^urderous. Whence, a fevt^agea of in/scf^i^ would; iy>ll 
^ack the nations of the earth into alLthe barbaciBii^of 
universal ignoFan<;e^ into ^ the. aboHun^tions of uni- 
versal' iniquity. To thia most dieplonahle eoodition was 
the European, oontinent verging rapidliyr^ undev the t»r- 
^el dpminibn of revolutionaity France* 

Let us pause^ a moment^ and versury^* the tfiree&ld 
pro^ssiv^ augmentation of heavenly lights accompa- 
nied with a threefold progressive deterior^tioniof hufinan 

When man had only the lesser light c^: natural cc»* 
scienoe to guide his uncertain stepa through, the mazes 
of mo^al duty, the Pagan worl^, although partially 
illun[)ined in inteJieot, was immersed in^the ^ossness and 
profligacy of vice. Yet vt^ere. tha heatheiis. superior, 
both in doctrine and |)raqt}oe, to-tha^nuidccMrnipteDs^of 
Ghristiapity^ whose superstition polluted the. giteatef^ 
li^ht of revelation^ ^nd approi&imatedthQjhuman^ amtaal 
nearer to the brute beast iXi undeisstan^ii^^ and to^ the 
fiendin iniquity. But the total^ec^ai. of itfae greater 
light of revjelation produces a mpre imp^ietcaUe dar^-n 
ness of the understanding, and a moreentira^d^a^ty 
of the heart than ever arose fixmi the-unitedieffi)rts of 
the corruption of Cbrisitianity a^id perveFsion^of tl)^ na^ 
tural conscience^ So that the worMtn^wppesentft^the 
spectacle of the greatest lightof mind^andimott^unspot^ 
ted- purity of he^rt in tho^e countriea: where- tlbl^ unao- 
jrfiisticatea ^spel is beHeved/ oontpasted^mth the^mid- 


itigfbl isf tke ilitellect and tbs loothsonie iniqaity of ihose 
rcrgtona which kave cMot off tU allcgsaiicci to €k)d and to 

Tfer mfiaence of infidilkffy VAm the faanefoi Upa^^ kys 
the hand of death npdn all that it todches ; it coirrtipts 
the nuMvls^ dcha«^ the intellect^ perverts the resou^ces^ 
tafrashes the character^ aaniiBlates the honcmr of every 
maple fHhom it ettfoioki m the harlotry of its embrace ; 
il v€iU together as a scroR all tfaerights* mid liberties of 
chriliaed society; k c^sfta that scroll into the fire of hell^ 
findnif vpoitthe misery df man ; k cuts oS* every retread 
immt virtae and happngwss into bcmoaii intereourse; k 
lays fm over lw«a ks tm. imth»eiy timdb ail tiiat dignity, 
tsovkraesK^ wMbilr^ chatky^ s^eti«»K, and confidence^ 
can add ^ hiatrr aitod of \tive to the doddiren of mortay- 
lity ; k hoaaic^cr foiled^ wfaeresoererk haa rolled ks 
watsBfPs ofUjrfcterneBaaitidof dbatfaytostveep^away all the 
ancient hattndaries^ and htndmaska of human httprote^ 
tMnt ; k }iM vAXbA it» sfveadi off rtn^n over ail the art 
Old pride of Egypt, Chfeee^ mA Ilalip', and every other 
pe^on, wtete w eilitiv^d, ^olesioiiie or poisonoua^ 
ks the eartfe 3 k A«i^ pisfltiited tber sAmdei^of (earning and 
aciMice, had opew and desolate' the properties of men, 
levelled tba- temptes; andi destroyed the altars of the 
Ixviitg 6t)d^ scattered ti» the u^Id fovy of the \tinds 
every h<^e and every ptHDdiietioy^ of natove that looks 
upward* to the Ucn^eiis : mi. aftei^ undermining ali the 
peeps and huibtwi^aes ol soeial order that have been 
reared and strett^ened> l^ Ihe' lsd!>ours of heredkaiy 
ages^ after v^ashmg^ ^vm in^b the> mire of desohUdon 
kingsbme;^ and^ ntftionsy a:ndie&)]^i^^ andf people, and 
Inngnsiges, so <^t be^^ it-the eai<tlv vi^ias as tb^ Gavdeft 
fif Edmi, and^ bsAimd it^ ^ de^et^d> waste, it fdunges 
ksdi^ tiiigfthJ^ with aHitlm^ iteBOittdes, into theg^tph 
olt Femeinkas: peiiditioA^' 

In< tlwi prafMfi M^Woi thW Worhl, infp&Iity^ is clc^y 
aUkd^ wkb iitke^fi^i^pdullhm^ qii^fStio^ ; and; generally ^ 
spakiing^ thtsea w4iditfeeag^tb i«MbIhtkH%isre al}» exists 
mtg goite»niie«is- umiet^the'cAit^iisible ^fe^ee of pic»t 
Hteting' ikkf^tUffk^md^pffi^m^6fr^^ are alike 

D d 8 


infidels in precept and in practice. But these patriotic 
^politicians widely mistake the matter ; for all past expe- 
rience shows, that civil liberty and national, prosperity 
'always flourish most where pure Christianity prevails ; 
and that despotism is. the most unrestrained and cruel, 
and public happiness most completely stifled where un- 
belief predominates. This was strongly exemplified in 
the contrasted condition of Britain and France, during 
the revolutionary conflict. France, during that awfiil 
period, ws^s a prey to the worst species of desolation ; 
her whoje people, let loose from the salutary restraints 
of religious and moral obligation, presented the hideous 
spectacle of one entire mass of systematic and legalized , 
corruption ; her agriculture was neglected, her external 
-commerce annihilated, her internal trade stagnant, her 
manufactures drooping, her science and literature dark- 
ened almost to extinction; her whole community groan- 
ed under the most sanguinary and remorseless tyranny 
that ever crushed the heart of man to the earth ; Ker 
sons were dragged in chains to whiten with their jbonea 
and moisten widi their bipod the soil of far-distant landsr, 
while her own deserted widows and fatherless babes lay 
mouldering in unburied heaps throughout every nook 
and comer of her swol len and overgrown empire. Dur- 
ingthis same period, the Britishpeople were protected 
in their equal rights by the unstained administration of 
•equal justice ; the full security, of life, liberty, and pro- 
perty, was preserved to all ; a continual accumulation 
of weadth pervaded all the departments of her domi- 
nions, which exljibited an improved and improving sys- 
tem of agriculture, an extensive and extending commerce, 
manufiictures thriving ahd increasing, the arts liberally 
patronized, science and literature in all their ^branches 
promoted ; their lands, cctnals, houseis, jivfers, presenting 
the most unequivocal proofs of progressive industry and 
prosperity; the .people advsincinv in pure religion and 
^ound morals, steady in their habits ajcid manners; 
whence resulted the enlargement of their territorial 
possessions by hcmpurable conquest ; their inexhaustible 
stock. q£ talent^ theiibving ^m»i^ i>f freedom andintelli* 


gence, which explored the powers sind recesses of na- 
ture, to abridge the labours and embeUish the produc- 
tions of art; rendering knowledge tributary to the 
wants, the comforts, and the enjoyments, not only of 
their own offspring, but also of the whole human race. » - 

M. Talleyrand observes, that he was particularly 
struck with the calmness^ in relation to religion, evi- 
denced in the United States, so contrary to the zeal and 
enthusiasm displayed, in England ;' and he attributes it 
to a variety of causes, some of which it may be well to 
mention. He supposes that the first and most important 
consideration in a new country is to increase its riches ; 
that the proof of such a disposition itianifests itself every 
where in America ; and that we find evidence of it iii 
every part of their conduct ; and that the customs^ with 
regard to religion itself, are strongljr tinctured with this? 
prevailing disposition. In England religion has always 
exercised a powerful influence over the national mind 
and character of the people; in that country the greatest 
philosophers and profoundest sages have cast the sanc- 
tity of religion over their most intense and various 
intellectual pursuits. Since the age in which Luther 
first peered above the horizon, as the morning star of 
the Refonnation, numerous sects and denominations of 
Christianity have either sprung up in England, or found 
their way thither from other countries. « And, although 
in general the great national establishment of the church; 
together with nearly a full toleration of other persua-^ 
sions, has maintained a general current of tranquillity 
and peace within the bosom of the British isles ; yet, 
occasionally, the temporary ascendency and fierce fana^ . 
ticism of some of the other denominations have wrought 
sudden and great political changes in that nation.^ - ^ 
r AH these .various Christian denominations hkve been - 
transplanted into America ; and several of the separate 
states actually pwe their political origin to the exclusive 
emigratioiis of some of these sects. It was, therefore; 
to be expected that these religious emigrants would; 
af%er their transmigration, continue to maintaih their 
original state smd character, and frequently; t<mtulst 

and ft^tfite the Amoricim body |>olitie. Bui, though 
fi)r » time religion appoArad to give a cMt of aotioBal 
eharaeter to the orifinal pilgrimt , and their immednte 
descendants, yet those distifiguishin^ features gradually 
disappeared, and religion in the United States has gra^ 
dually fettled down into the level of a mere persmial^ 
portable secreti instead of continuing to be what it yet 
remains in JSngland— a kindred fire^ fiammg withelec^ 
tricsd diiiiision, firom heart to heart, and li^tmg up tho 

?low of general enthusiasm among the people. In the 
Jnited Statea all the various religious sects seem to 
co<^st in a calm, unrufllai atmosphere. It is not very 
lincommon for the fiither, mother, and children of the 
fame family, mch to fdlow, without oppositiee, their 
respective modes of worship; a qiectack that seldoia 
occurs in Eumpe, where religion, when it operatao at 
;ill, actuateflf not only individuals, but masses ef men, 
in their joint views and eomfamed exoiions. 

Hence, no leader of any religious persuasion m the 
United States, howev€9' ardent may be bis ewa aeal, 
9nd however vigorous and incessant his own efforts, can 
induce bi^ Sowars to labour to aggrandize that sect, 
tvith as much ^ectual exertion as he conld, ondbrtbe 
fame circum^tiinces, induce a similar biailym £uropete 
coKoperate with him* On the daya of public worship, 
in this country, the mdividuals cf ike same fiunily set 
out together ; each goes to hear the ministee of \m wm 
sect, and they afterward return hcane to employ them«^ 
lelves, in common^ in thtsr domestic concems. Thia 
diversity of regions opinion does not seem to prodoce 
any contradiotion or disoordaece in their seattmenta as 
to other things* Whence^ if ^era happena to nnrrve 
here, fr<w Europe, an wahitious sectary, eager te sdfasd 
% triumph to hia own particular tenets^ fay inAimtng the 
pwiond of men^ so fer from ftidnig, as inolfa^ oou^ 
txmr muMtudea d»apaaed to enlist under bis ba]iapar», 
Md ready to aeeend hm vkdence, Ma very existenoek 
9W«fdy|Mf«eivedbyhisneaffert hisindi^ 

vidiial 4iilh\i9iasm ia madier attraoti^ not inCerestmg^ 
HDf e^ntagigiii; heinapiieamMier love, nee hattN»d|»ia^ 

j»R* PRI£STi»£Y. 407 

tjiUiostiy; bi<t ui ftf^r^d to d\t s^mf ipto nothings be-* 
iteath the fi^zen pole rfuniveiTSjal indiiference. , 

Thk was peeulnLri()r exemplified in JDr.^ Priestjey^, 
This her^itf chi m^ vet^eran trttopeter of sedition^ Jiad 
opeilaij menkcdd the hi^arbHy ^f England and the Bri* 
tifih cofastittttion with speedy dlestfuctip^« Ji^:S partis 
sdns followed faim> ea^rly. and blindly^ throughput all 
th« numbness chahges of his ever^shiitinf religious 
aiid pdliticfed breeds; they p6Hred out lit his fjset tJieir 
tiihe^ iheir property) theiif obedi^nbe3 their declamation f 
At^ tenablj^ him to dublish^ and eirqukte wid4y> his^ 
pestileot heresies^ aad mali^ant iiiyeGt}V/es against; the 
church and goverhmeht of England^ , He isat0) like a 
di?mj-»god^ imiifiing up thei intense of ^dulattbh from the 
Sodhian dekiiocrats of Great Britain. But hf>^ re-, 
▼ertod the picture^ when he exchanged tin £inglish for 
an Americfm hoihe ! A med^e deputlEitiori ^ obsci'ure 
clergymen in odr city of New- York Ivelconjied. him to 
the United Stiktes with an absurd speech j fhll of jae^bidt 
bombsst ai^ fdstiah* Ho^ ifterward fepaired to. Phi-*, 
Ikdelphiaj where he prfoched k tew frigorine j^ero^ns 
tb thin and drows}^ audiences ;. he theli retired t^ 
Northdmbertafid^ in Peniisy]Vi^ma$ tvb^re he |>as&ed 
the renmi^twr of his life ih .ntoking small ^xjierimeiltli. 
amidst his Uenibic^s^ eruciblte, dnd r&tort$, S^rthfe re- 
sult of which no one exprd^d the l^ast interest ; alid > 
he mso occasionally ushered from, the press rfeligioH^^ 
and jpolitical jpamphldt^/ which tio oi^ dyer #ead. His 
deilth ex6ited littM^ if any more sensation among tbd 
Penni^yiyaniaR pidriotri than they are Wont to ^hibit at 
the dissolution of a. Germail iarmerj or A C^eriliaa 
Xn^j^tier's Horsej 

in tnfe United Stlite^f erery Mie follows^ pretty much ~* 
according to fanl own ineliaatilin^ bis religi^s epiniojisj* 
mud porMes wkb aaadirided ei^^ness Ins tem|KMP^ 
^Oflicems. Tkik apparent apathy perhaps dlrises ff^f. . 
&am <lb^ miivepsat eqimfity of aU Religious dericMiinU* 
•ion^» in Amerksff na ibmi of worship is prfescribedi no 
Migicwr of^tiiaas4^ a#o . ei^bbsbtd by W^ whene^ 

408 R£U6IdU8 TOLERA'ftOK. 

every individual is left at liberty to follow hig own vntip 
to neglect or cultivate religion as he sees fit. Almost: 
all the ardour of the moment that is passing is employed 
in devising the means of acquiring wealthy and promot-> 
ing the success of the political party^in which the active^ 
individuals are enrolled. Hence result a^ general calm- 
ness and composure in the American community, with 
regard to the peraon^l feelings and universal difiusion^ 
of rdigipn ; aiid it sometimes happens that Jehovah 
himself is shouldered from the altar peculiarly >dedi-* 
cated to his solemn services, by the devotedness of the 
whole heart to the shrine of mammon, or to. the pur- 
suits and calculations of political intrigue. 
-- In the United States there is no national church> 
established, no lay-patronage, no system of tithes* The 
people call and support their minister; few churches 
having sufficient funds to dispense with the necessity of: 
contribution by the congregation. The law/ enforces 
the contract between the pastor and his flock, and re- 
quires the people to pay die stipulated salkry so long 
as the clergyman preaches and performs his parochisd 
duty, accdrding to the; agreement between him and his 
parishioners. In Massachusetts, Vermont, New-Hamp- 
shire, and Connecticut, the law requires eacKtownto 
provide, by taxation, for the suj^ort of religious wor- 
ship ; but leaves it optional with every individual to 
choose his own sect. The general government has no 
power to interfere with or regulate the religion of the. 
'Union, and the states, generally, have not legislated 
farther than to incorporate, with certain restrictions^ 
such religious bodies as have applied for charters. In 
consequence of this entire indifference on the part o£ 
tfee state governments; full one-third of our whole popu- 
latioti are destitute of all religious ordinances, and a 
much greater proportion in our southern and western 
districts. It is quite just and proper that no, one sect 
should have any preferencCj either religious or political^ 
over the others; but the state-governments ought, at 
Wast^ to interfere sp hx as New-rEngland has done^ and \ 

Seligious toleration. 409 

^eaiforce By law the maintenance of religious wor^hipnn 
every town, leaving the choice of his denomination to. 
each individual. ^ 

The not interfering at all is a culpable extreme one 
way, as the English syptem of an exclusive national 
church,, shutting out the other sects from equal political 
privileges, is a mischievous extreme the other. In the 
United Netherlands, in Prussia, in Russia, ainl even in. 
France, all the religious denominations stand on equal 
political ground ; and cannot Britain learn to augment 
her intellectual and moral power, by repealing her test 
and corporation acts, and permitting all her people to 
serve her to. the full extent of their capacity, in her civil 
and mihtary functions ? During the time when Russia, 
broke, down the military strength of revolutionary 
France, the commander-in-chief of all her armies be- 
longed to the Greek Church, her minister of finance 
was a Protestant, and her premier was a Papist. Her 
affairs were not the worse conducted because she dis- 
franchises nqne/of her sects of their political rights, on 
account of their religious opinions. The prominent 
evils of the English Church system are the ministerial^ 
and ktj^ patronage, and the tithes. Suppose, for exam- 
ple (as was actually the fact when Lord Bolingbroke 
served Queen Anne,) the British prime minister is an 
avowed injidely what kind of clergy would he be apt to 
place in the crown livings? Evangelical men, or careless 
irreligious clerks ? The /ay patrons, also, whether noble 
or gentle, put into the livings, in their gift, pastors, in 
whose call .the people have no voice, but are, neverthe- 
less, required to sit under their ministration. Now, if 
the lay patron be not reUgious, the, probability is that 
his clergyman shall not be too well acquainted with 
the stupendous scheme of revelation. And, perhaps, 
few things are better calculated to foster the growth of 
infidelity in a country than putting into any church 
men who dole out only a little thin, diluted Sabba- 
tical morality once in seyen days, instead of expounding 
the great statute book of Christianity, and inculcating 
the characteristic^ distinguishing doctrines of the Bibl^. 

4t0 t^ntfts. 

^ Meftnvrhile^ tb^ iitifigiy nhinp iook tqi^ lu«d are fmt 
fed,** and yet grave personages profess to marvel at the 
rapid growth of other denominations^ whMe pastors^ on 
mt>derate stip^nds^ perform fatthfidly llie duties of the 
htgheist^ the holiest^ (fie most important^ and the most 
interesting tbbation that can be accoHied to man. ' 

The system of titkes k pertiaps the very worst poii- 
sibte mode of providing for the clergy that eoiild be 
devised. They impede the progress ol agriculture^ and 
create perpetual dissensions between the pastor and hfr 
own people; and keep in a slate of incessant exafepera- 
ii6n all those other sects, who dissent from the doctrines 
jlhd government of episcopacy. The tithes take a tenth 
part of the gross produce of the land, and consequents^ 
operate as a |Kx, oppressive in proportittm to the amount 
expended in caltivatitig, and not to the net pn^s of thift 
Ikttd produce; whence, they grow more and mdre into^ 
lerable, as a country expends more and more ca]f)ital in 
agriculture; and are a much greater grievance in Eng-^ 
land now, when so vast an aggregate of farming capital 
is employed, than when agriculture consisted chiefly m 
pasture, and very little money Was expended in culture^ 
or tillage. Unless the British government shall commute 
the tithe system for some other mode of maintaining the 
national clergy, it will continue ah evil, as perniekms as 
the poor laws, the public debt, or the game laws, all of 
which are, in their nature atid atnbunt^ lingnlarly op 
pressivc, and two of them tend directly to produced in*- 
morality and vice. The tithes amount to nearly pne^ 
fourth of the rental of England and Ireland; to ^ least 
teii millions sterling a year; to which add ebiMfch land^ 
and other property, jfive millions more^ and it gives an 
antiud expenditure of fifteen miUiond sterling, or ^ior^ 
setert rtiilHons of dollars, for the tnaiitietiatt^ rf-tle 
Established chui'ch ; io wbkfb add ten Inflliom £w poefr 
fate^, fotty-fonr n&iHiohs for the ilriefre^ of 1^9 n^kftfal 
d^bt, arid t\^6hty-6rief mifiions for governn;^nt €fii^aadi- 
fuf e, in^unthi^ in atll io mMiy <niIlioid^ iftlfl^ng^ Cfr/oitr 
hmdred arid ^vi iiiiWians 6f dolfars a-yifar; a» awful 
hntded 6f experiditti^o on tt^^n^ miOiottS' «f ptoj^; 

^eragitig tiedrly five pounds, or at leaftt Vweaty dollars 
a head for ea<^h inhabitant of the British Isl^es ; whereas^ 
in the United States the whole public expenditure of 
the general government, twenty state governments, the 
poor laws, corporations^ and counties, scarcely amount 
to i^ly millions of dollars, or five doll€u*s a head for eadi ' 
indivulual of ten millions of people who are rapidly in- 
creasing in number, and whose immense land resointsea 
are rising in value every hour. 

In Ireland, the tithe system is still more oppressive 
than in £ngland. Four-Jifihs of the population lure 

K piste. In many parishes all the people are papists, 
ving noprotestant minister, but the nominal ptrwn 
resides either in England or France, or ebewb^, as 
8uit9 him, and the tithe proctor grinds do4|n the Irish 
&rmer and peasant^ and perpetuates their abjegt hopeless 

Our different secte, dispute here verbally^ and by 
writing, pretty much as they do in Europe. But th# 
liberal piety of the age, its philosophical spirit andge* 
nius, the circumstances of Christendom, the prevalence 
of Bible and Missi(»nary Societies and Sunday Schools, 
all conspire to approximate the different religious per- 
suasions towards each other in the labours of love, and 
in the beauty of harmony ; to break down the partition 
wall of sectarianism, and to unite all denominations in 
their blessed efforts to spread the light of revealed tratb 
over the remotest comers of the globe. It is in vain^ 
for any chiif eh to attempt to uphold its exclusive preten- 
sions against the social institutions^ feelings, and habits, 
of the country where it is placed ; imd still more vain 
to endeavour to revive now> in these United States, the 
intfiilersnt Ingotry, which disgraced Europe in the sevens 
teentk century, iiord Clarendon^ in his Life of Mm^ 
self, mikes some very si^dous observatioiia on the 
manner m which Ardibtshop Laudy by sffainiiig bi* 
eedesiasticail pretensioaa too far> and iiraulging an un^ 
bamided kiat ef derieal doiiiiiiatioa, brongbt hit rental 
raatster to the Meek, and mined that v^ohnrtgii whioll 
he so xeiloiisly i^oQrsd to exalt. 


The prevailing religioas sects in the United Statteii 
are, the Presbyterians, the Independents, the Episcopa- 
lians, Methodists, and Baptists ; of which last persuasion 
there are 2,600 settled, and 1,000 unsettled congrega- 
tions. Pure Episcopacy is in fact an ecclesiastical mo- 
narchy, the bishop being the executive chief over all 
the clergy of his diocess. It is, however, in this country 
mcxre adapted to the genius of our republican institutions 
than it ever was in England, even before the houses of 
convocation were abolished ; for with us, the annual 
state convention consists of lav delegates as well as 
clergy, the bishop presiding ; and the general convention, 
which meets once in three years, is coinposed of all the 
bishops in the Union, Vho form the upper house, and 
of lay delegates and clergy from all the different diocesses, 
who constitute the lower house. Indeed, every church 
must of necessity conform its government and discipline 
in some measure to the spirit and substance of the 
social institutions of the country where it is fixed. Yet, 
notwithstanding our republican polity and habits, the 
bishops exercise great authority over their diocesan, 
clergy, and possess very considerable power in regulat- 
ing and governing the church. 

Presbytenanism, in its government, is a representa- 
tive republic ; its ecclesiastical tribunals throughoiit all 
their ^*adations of church sessions, presbyteries, synods, 
and genera] assemblies, are composed of an equal num- 
ber of clergy and lay elders, whose votes have all equal 
efficacy, and who transact their business on their delibe- 
rative floor, much in the same manner is do our Con- 
gress arid state legislatures. In the Independent Con- 
gregational churches all is carried by universal suflfrage 
in each separate congregation, there being no general 
ecclesiastical tribunal to which may be referred the 
graver matters of doctrine and discipline, but all being 
submitted, finally and without appeal, to the votes, male, 
and female, of each single audience. In such a system 
it is almost impossible to prevent the departure from 
ojd, and the introduction of new doctrines ; and, accord- 
^^^Yy hoth in old and >few England, many of tlielnde^ 

THE CLEE^Vi ' 41 S 

p^ideut churches have passed gtadnally from Calvin** 
ism, through the inteitnediate stages - of Arminianism, 
Arianism, and Semi-Arianism, into Socinianism> or Uni* 
tarianism; or, as Priestley calls it, Humanitariaiiism, be- 
cause it denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, and consi- 
ders him merely " as a frail, peccable, erring man." 

The great body of the Congregation alists are to be 
found in New-England, and some of their churches ar^ 
scattered through the middle and southern states, 
which are, however, chiefly occupied by the Presbyte- 
rians. Episcopacy prevails most in New-York, Penn- 
fiylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South-Carolina, and 
is supposed to be gaining ground in some parts of New- . 
England. The Friends, or Quakers, are most numer- 
ous in the middle states ; they are here, as in Europe, 
and every where else,, peculiarly active in all works of 
benevolence. For example, in promoting peace, dis- 
couraging war, aiding the progress of Bible Societies 
and Sunday Schools, and the abolition of slavery. The 
. Methodists occupy chiefly the interior of the southern 
^states, although they have churches scattered over the 
greatest part of the I Jnion. The Baptists abound most 
in the western states. The Papists are most numerous 
in Maryland,, and in the large cities on bur sea-^board ; 
their numbers are contihually augmented by European 
importation ; but they seldom make proselytes from 
other se<^t8. The Dutch Reformed Church is princi- 
. pally confined to New- York and New-Jersey. Jews 
are scattered in small numbers all over the Union, ■■ ex- 
cepting New-Ikigland, where a veritable Israelite is no 
more able to live than in Scotiand. ' 

The American clergy of all denominations are in ge- - 
neral decorous in their exterior, and faithful in the dis- 
cbarge of their pulpit and parochial duties. There is, 
t however, in some of our cities a custom, which dimi- 
Bishes their usefrilness; namely, the co/fegiafe S3)rste9i, 
which makes three or four churchesicommon to as many 
or mote clergymen. In New-York, the Presbyterians 
h^ve wisely abandoned this scheme; the Episcopalians 
an4 Jluteb^U retain it Instead of, givingone^tegslar 


^Ic^i^tc^ sy^t^^n 19^ Bot to 911^ the same dkffg3nnaiito^ 
jureaed Itwioe* 9vic€e08tvefy in the same church j whtnoe, 
ti^r# C9t» be mk, regular exprnitioit of the aaripteve^^ 
wkbovt whieh no eoogreg^t^don ean be bnill iq» in 
Chri#tiw ins^Nw^tiottf; mere single isncombeeted wBtmema, 
4H* s^b^^ieai essayi^ never did> and ]ie¥cr vitt, t^uch a 
people the schiBQieoillevelatioiib Tkea^Uegtates^fntam 
a^ doc^ not admiA of paskogiral duty mi paroefattd: ma- 
tatiaa> wi^out which tfale^ real religisn of z eburehi eaa 

' tteiirer be kepfc «fi or ettabliidiedr. A iBanster of onadbir 
rate ^hi^ and leamiag, i£ he be the stated paaiarefm 
aui^ cbDrchy wiU be. aUe to da much mm» goedf by 
fe^dm^ preaching asui e^osition of the seriptnues^faid 
pdi^Qf^alr viaitatitm^ than, a man of th&firsi^rate capaeitr 
eai^ poflfiiMy eSbct by occMioa&l praafifaio^ in a diiMrd^ 
mcomwi^on with talenta and karaing of erery mdoiis 
gtfiA^^np Hof ofii&r of ability ami iafiMmifrtiQH. aan 
Qopipemate Ion a. iwtical dsAcvoney o£ systMou 

-- !^b^itto:alld]Slgr sor lapge a portion of Mtir popidaiiaa 
10 altagelhep wiiboi^ rahgioitsr ordraancoa, yet^ qS lala^ 
i^etigipntbrabeen^ unquestionably^ g^u^ang gwmidbiii^tibie 
Un^edStatoa; andthaibo^hLbloodedFCDiiipoipadoflinMi^ 
ttgion^irony^ seMstmeiss^ andisaixrasm^iHhidbtdie Stench 
mil) ]^M/iageiy isncxt w» n&uaim d^s^hnsamcl^^ fbeHgaxi 

^i^ h^cxmtiiig jit^ImmAle among ua^ Wifaidv is a^ steromg 
pnaaf o£ tbe> esdstenoeof agveali loaasiof walipse^in 
tlnei cQl^lt]fyv fiomo^ o£ our soi^iMtS fk^kumjimsa, 
how.eiireiv.pKQiesft to ridieufe tiiis ftHdnon^ afi«ktt;^cfemiie 
the cunt- aiid b^oiaconsf/: of tiie pjresaoti di^^ whiidb t|ief 
liken to the fanaticiami of the puntana^. vdkOieDiiftftsd 
tfe^'En^ith^nuMiandiy^ into atprstestoiateu 

But the intent a£ hypoflxiay must aiwajfc^ be>iNi^- 
lated by tliat (^ true: nehgipou. If religion h& not gaii9- 
rally spread amr the eenunuoit^, tfaBre; c^bi' hs^uo 
effaatuai dmsnnd fbr tfdBmsgive> hypaemy^ wlmd^ ki 
ilifielf^vimutacartauy^thiiig^inereiti^ a6 vise 

to ^ttxm If the greatbody ofi thepeepl^e^du^olr'fa^h^ 
yaluei r«jUg|0av i^b am.wsvm ha.woi&A. tite white <ff^ tola-* 
Viff, aio^eonw tix; plaji^ tilei h}^poar]tG^. a^ afi^ei t«^^ be 


pioiju^ m order to bjeeonoA acceptable in thie ejres of die 
nation. If the politicians of reyolutionajcy France^ aad 
of oup soutkem and western states, do not find it neces- 
sary to coiiceal their dasnegavd for all seriousness and 
peUgion^ but- can affbrd to avow their im^ous tesjets of<ire and practical infidelity, it only proves tibftt 
there is too. little religion in their respective communi- 
ties, to cow^l them to. wear the made of hypocvisy^ and 
assume the semblance of that piety which is gtisefally 
diftised. It only proves^ that the host of infidek ace 
now become more numevous, and more daring in Chris* 
tendom, than tli^were insoiiie&Mrmer a^es. kiBritain, 
religion ia so pravalent among all sects and denomina^ 
tions, tl^ her leading politidans dcare no#, whatever 
may be their private opinions, openly avow themsdves 
to be infidels, whether Deists or Atheists. 

The rapid spread c^ Sundajf Schools^ and of Missum- 
dry 2Lnd Bible Societies^ affi:)rd$ a most consolatory proof 
of the increase of religioa in the United States^ Two 
years have not yet elapsed, since their first institution 
m this^ country, and they have alrea(fy considerably 
diminished tbei^Aomttce, poventy, and vice of ourl^orger 
cities. Many ci our most respectaUe iamiliei^, both 
ladies and gaitlemen^ gratuitously engage in the labour 
of teaching the Sunday scholars, black and white^ old 
and youngs Their exertions ha;vce caused the Sabbath 
to be rfCspectedi by the poor, the idle, and the profl- 
gate; ai^d have quickened the gr<^»id[i of piet^, order« 
industry, and cleanliness amidst the habitations of filth, 
indolence, confusipn^ and iniquity. The t^^ptoof the 
various^ Sunday School Societies are peculiarly interest- 
ing, for their mass of important facts, their strain of 
manly^ rehgion^ andj benevolence, the ability and elo- 
€]fa^Aee o£ their^ compo»itioi|i 

T^ie^Missionaiy Sbdeties are'established fbr tl^e pur- 
pofe^ o^ converting tfaose^ indianii wbo are^^ot yet ok- 
terminated by the sword of American encroachment; 
and' alfto t04iupply with religious instruction the millions 
of our own peqjd^ who are^altogether^ d^asdtude^of t^li^ 
gioua^MfdinanceSi l%o labours 6£ thes^sooie^^ha^e 


been singularly benefldal^ and are daily and honrl/ 
augmenting in usefulness. 

Both the Sunday Schools and Missions imtte their 
excellent efforts to aid the progress of Bible Societies^ 
which, perhaps, constitute the most important and most 
.com{»rehensively useful institution that has ever blessed 
the human race, since the day-star of the Reformation 
first dawned upon a ben^hted world* The most effect 
tual means probably, that, under the blessing of Divine 
Providence, can be devised to oppose an effectual obsta- 
cle to the general progress of unbelief and immorality, 
.are to be found in the extensive and judicious distribu^ 
tion of the sacred Scriptures. The study of the Bible 
facilitates access to the fountain of life; prepares the 
way for the instructions of the living teacher; opens the 
widest road to all moral and intellectual improvement; 
axalts the whole nature of man to a higher eminence in 
the scale of rational and spiritual being. ' If you wish to 
know what is in man; what his natm^, and what his 
conduct, under every form of society, political as well as 
religious; what his character in every individual condi* 
tion, savage or civilized, give your days and nights to 
the study of the Scriptures. They were dictated by 
the Holy Spirit of that Almighty God who created man, 
and who, therefore, is most intimately acquainted with 
the nature of his creature. That nature is most clearly 
depicted throughout all the pages of the inspired vo- 
lume; which, indeed, affords the largest range of con- 
templation to those enlightened. and sagacious minds 
that are earnestly bent upon directing successfully their 
inquiries into the inmost recesses of the human heart; 
because it is upon his own entire knowledge of the na- 
ture and character of man, that the Divine Saviour of 
the world has so strikingly accommodated Ai^ scheme 
of religion to the wants and relief of that being for 
whose means of eternal salvation Christianity was pro- 

What has been already affected by the efforts of the 

Bible Societies, scattered over so laige a portion of Chris- 

v^tendQiUj in r<^moving the dftrkhess of the understanding^^ 

BRITISH AKD^ :|^0ilfiieKlil6l.« ^t^CIEnn^ 41f' 

and purifying the corruptions of titte hearty (or^ at least^ 
in rendering the exterior morals more decorous, for the 
heart of man can only be cleansed foom its imrighteous- 
ness by the inspiration of the Spirit of God^) is a<6ufl[i^ 
cient plledge to encourage the unremitted e5(ertiond of 
every real Christian, of whatever name^ sect, or pei^sua* 
sion, to persevere in this labour of love^ Fourteen years 
have not yet elapsed since the first establishment of the 
British and Foreign Bible Society ; and in this Kttle pe^ 
riod the sacred Scriptures have been spread oyer all the 
home dominions of Great Britain ; have been translated 
in whole, or in part, into more than a hundred different 
languages^ and dispersed over almost all the habitable 
globe ; Qver the whole of continental Europe, a part of , 
Africa, a considerable portion of Asia; nay, have even ' 
penetrated the habitations of the aboriginal barbarians 
* of our American wilden;Kes8. 

The Reverend Mr. Owen's History of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society is one of the most able, elQcjuent, 
instructive, and interesting books which has ever pro^ 
ceeded from the pen of man. 

Since the establishment of this primary institution, 
Bible Societies have sprung up in unnumbered multi- 
taides, partly branching off from the parent trunk, partly 
sel£-created and independent, but all in Christian har- 
mony Mid accord with each other, wheresoever scattered 
aver the distant regions of the earth. In Britain the 
affiliated societies are augmented beyond all power of 
count, and fomish a- continual supply of the word of 
Ufe to those vast masses of the poor and destitute, which - 
are always to be found in old and fully peopled counta*ies. 
On continental' Europe these blessed institutions, in some 
mearare, allayed even the horrors of universal warfsH-e; 
and where the ravages of earthly desolation continued 
to spread tilemselves, the revealed word* of God taught 
the sufferers to lift theif hearts above this perishing 
scene of things/ and direct their vifews towards those 
mansions of eternal joy, '^ where the wifeked cease from 
troubling, and the Wfeary are at rest.** In Russia, mot*6 
ospeoiaUy^. Bxid to an immense extent ; in Swedfen, Ben* 

E e 



mark^ Saxony, Bohemia, Hungary, the United Nether- 
lands, Prussia, Switzerland, and many other parts of the 
European continent, Bible Societies, aided by the mu- 
nificent donations of the British and Foreign Institu- 
tion, are perpetually diffusing the word of God. .May 
Divine I^vidence enable these societies to stem the * 
torrent of general infidelity, which has been infecting 
the nations of continental Europe with the taint of death 
duruig the lapse of an entire century ! 

Nor have these United States, in proportion to their 
population and means, fallen short of their Christian 
iTethren in Europe in well-directed efforts to dissemi- 
nate the sacred Scriptures. In almost every state of 
the Union, north, east, west, and south, and in many 
separate districts of some of the states, have Bible So- 
cieties started up, under the auspices of zeal and wis- 
dom. The American Bible Society y a national institu- 
tion, established so recently. as in May, I8I6, has 
already about a hundred and fifty auxiliary branches ; 
besides which there are some few independent Bible 
Associations, and a considerable number of Bible and 
Common Prayer-book societies. The old and young, 
the rich and poor, of every Christian d^iomination, have 
sprung forward with a^aerity.and ardour to enrol them- 
selves under the banners of the Cross; to do personal 
suit and service to the great Captain of their salvation, 
by distributing His glad tidings of present peace, and 
future hope, and eternal safety, among all those who 
have hitherto lived without God in the.worlcl. 

Neither can it be said, that America does not stand 
in need of every individual, every social efibrt, to distri«> 
bute the sacred oracles among her children. The sa- 
vage tribes of Indians, who prowl around our frontiers, 
pr who roam over the pathless wilderness, remain still 
benighted in all the original darkness of pagstn ignorance 
and superstition* Nay, even our own fellow-citizens in 
the United States require all the assistance that can be 
given to facilitate their access to the means of eternal 
ilife. Full three millions of our people are altogether 
destitute of Cbristim ordioances ; and as the population 


of this country increases with a rapidity hitherto unex- 
ampled in the history of nations, unless som« effectual 
means be adopted to spread the light of the gospel over 
those sections of the Union, which now lie prostrate in 
all the darkness of unregenerated depravity, before half 
a century shall have elapsed, our federative republic 
will number within its bosom more than twenty 
millions of unbaptized infidels. 

The voice of duty, therefore, and of humanity, and 
Christian charity, calls loudly upon us to strain every 
sinew, to stretch every nerve, in strenuous and unre- 
mitted exertion, to circulate the Holy Scriptures among 
all the orders and classes of our community. This soul- 
ennobling duty is the more incumbent upon BibleSoci- 
eties, because it is their peculiar privilege to be a Chris- 
tian Society, instituted for truly Christian purposes : 
with them, engaged as they are in one common labour 
of philanthropy, every partition wall of sectarian "bigo- 
tiy is broken down ; every denomination of all Chris- 
tian persuasions is met together with one heart, and 
With one accord. Thej/ leave to graceless zealots the 
miserable consolation of worr3ring each other, tod dis- 
gracing themselves by the fiercest contentions about the 
paltry shibboleths of puny polemics ^ their sole object 
is to give a free course, a wider circulation to the unso- 
phisticated word of God; and I trust that they will 
never for one moment slacken their exertionid of time, 
talent, knowledge, substance, opportunity, body, soul, 
and spirit, their univei^sal nature, in this great, this in- 
teresting service, while a single section, of our country, 
a single town, village, or hamlet, nay, a single family, 
or individual, within tbe whole circmnference of our 
vast and rapidly widening republic, is to be found, to 
whom the sacred Scriptures are as a fountain closed, 
and a volume sealed. 

The moroHsymannerSfBiid character of every country 
are based upon its religious and social institutions, which, 
in the United States are framed in the fulness of indir 
vidual liberty, leaving every one to think^speak, imdact, 
acoofiding to his own inclination and yisssEh prQvided, 



however, that he keeps (a&. ^^ikspeare. c^ft it) on thfr 
vf indy side of the l(iw« 

The great ho4y of the American people are of £ng*-< 
Ush ori^n; an4 r^Qs^pible their parent couptiy in m6rate> 
manners, 4n4oh9^n^^t^p, n|odifie4, indeed, by the diver- 
sities of g€fVeivmeAt, soil^ cUmate, a^ copditioa of so- 
ciety. Being, however, all tmder ^e influenceii^Qf th^ 
same language, religion, laws, and policy, the sevierQli 
rtates which composi^ the Union present ^batantially 
tibe 9^me character, with only a feiw shft^eii of local, va- 
riety. AU our: goveminents are elfi^tivc and popular, 
the plenary sovereignty residing in the peoj^e^ whp 
th^rf^pre feel a.e^nse of p^rspn^iimpprtf^nce ai\d elevar 
tipn unknown to the qiaeus of po{H|latipn in^ any othec^ 
country. To^ which add their, general intelljg^Me,* 
abundance, enteipris^, and ^irit, ai^d wie see a^ people: 
superior to those of ^very other nation in physicid^ 

^ inteUeotual, and mpial g^pacity and poWiCr; 
^ In NeW'-^Tkglmd property \^, n^ore equally divide 
than in any other civili2;ed country < Th(M*e are but few^ 
overgrown capitalipt^^ and still fewer plunged int6 tike 
depths of ind}ge|[ice. Tho^e states aye alike free froo^ 
the insolence . of weialth on ow hand, and the servility of 
pauperism oU the other. They exhibit a more.peifect 
equality in means^ morals, manners, and character thaUi 
has. ever elsewhere been found* With the e^cf^ptipn oC^ 
Rhode-JUland, they all si^port religion by law ; th^ifr 
numerous pajish priests, all chosen by the people them* 
selves, moderately paid> and,, in general, wellipfprm^ 
and pious, are dontinually employed on the sabbatht^ 
and during tb§ week dayjs, in the instruction and awejid- 
ment of their respective congregations ; th^ el^meiiT 
tary^choqls are established in eVery tpwuship, smd pem 
baps not a native of New-England is to be found who- 

' cannot read, and write, and cast aqcqunts^. Th^y llvft 
universally in villages^ or mpdi^^iBytely si?^. taw»s, 
and cairy on their comme^eial, manufactufing^ and 
agricultwral Aperatic^s by the vpluntaiy labour of 
freemeu, and npt by the compelled ixM'ofs^Yes, In 
spim^ of rnQj^lJ^a^d-mannerp^ in,int«llig^ce, spciii. 

titnd criferprifee^ tfce New-EflglaM men anS lh6 iSdottish 
«re yeiry tairch a(iki&. Dr. Cutrie, in liis profound arid 
elegant brograjphjr of Bti^s, enteric at length into thfe 
causes which havie l^endered the great body of the Scot- 
tish people so very superior to those of toy other Euro- 
pean country ; the result of his reasoning is, fliat lhi& 
national superiority is owing to the combined efforts 0;f 
the system bt parish schools^ giving to all the means of 
(elementary education, and cxf a moderately paid, able, 
and well-informed clergy, coming into constant contact 
with, and instructing and regulating the peopfe ; to 
whidi he adds, as no small auxiliary, the absenceof those 
poor laws which have impoverished, and deteridrated^ 
arid coiTujrt^d the whole people of Englarid. 

in this country we have unfortunately adopted the 
English poor-law system ; which, so fiir as it yet ope- 
rates, is a carikerworm knsawing at the hearts core of 
otxv national morals, prosperity, and strength. Thfe 
American people, h'oweNrer, possess one dedded advan- * 
tage over those of Scotland and every other country ; 
namely, thatof the political sovereignty residingin them ; 
whence they eihibit in their own persons a ntofralfear- 
tessness, confidence, and elevation, unknown and uriifna- 
ginfed elseiVhere. A nktive free-bom Ameirican knows 
no sTiperior on earth; from the wadle to the grave he is 
taught to believe that hiife magistrate^ are his ^ervarits : 
and while in all other cotmtries the people art continu- 
kfly flatteririg and pridsing their governors, owr govern- 
ment is c6mpelled to be eternally playing the sycophant 
and acting the parasite to the majesty of the people. 
It may, on the Whole, be safely asserted that the New- 
flngland population surpasses that of all the rest of the 
VeoM in steady habits, dauntless courage, intelligence, 
enterprise, perseverance-T^in all the qualities necessaiy 
fo render a nation first in war and first in peace. / Upon 
ihqairy, I was informed by one of oijir southern generals, 
who particularly distinguished hiriiself on our northern 
frontiers during the last war, thkt the New-England re- 
giment in his brigade was peculiarly conspicuous for 
its exact discipline, its patient endurance of fatigue and 


privation, ite steady, unyielding valour in the field, 
while his own native Virginians .were more careless, 
more reckless, more inflammatory, more fit for a forlorn 
hope, or some desperate impracticable enterprise. He 
added, that he regularly found that all the rum dealt 
out as rations to his New-England soldiers had ghded 
down the throats of his Virginian regiment, whose j^a^ 

. in return, had been regularly transferred to the pockets 
of the more prudent eastern warriors.. 
• In the mtati?/e states* the population is not so national 
and unmixed as in New-England, whose inhabitants are 
altogether of English origin. They do not support re- 
ligion by law; and a considerable portion of their 
people are destitute of clergymen, even in the state of 
New-York, and a still greater proportion in some of the 
other middle states. In some of them, elementary 
schools are not numerous, particularly in Pennsylvania, 
many of whose people can neither write nor read. Pro- 

* perty is not so equally divided, and the distinction of rich 
and poor is more broadly marked than in New-England. 
Many of their settlements are more recent, and exhibit 
the physical, intellectual, and moral disadvantages of 
new settlements, in the privations, ignorance, and irreli- 
gion of the settlers, who were composed of many dif- 
ferent nations, havinc no one common object in view, 
either in regard to rchgious, ormoral, or'social institu- 
tions. The English, Dutch, Germans, French, Irish, 
Scottish, Swiss, have not yet had time and opportunity to 
be all melted down into one homogeneous national mass 
of American character. The skLves in this section of 
the Union are more numerous than in New-England, 
and in Maryland sufficiently so. to influence and detcrio^ 
rate the character of the people. The moral habits of 

^the middle states, generally, are more lax than those of 
New-England. New-York, indeed, partly from proxi- 
mity of situation, but chiefly from its continual acquisi- 
tion of emigrants from the eastern states, is rapidly 
assuming a New-^England character and aspect. 

In the southern states, religion receives no support 
Irom the'law ; and a very large proportion of the inha- 



bitants are destitute of regular preaching and religion* 
instruction. The elementary schools are few, aiwi in 
general not well administered; many of the white in- 
habitants cannot even read. Labour on the seaboard 
is performed chiefly by slaveys ; and slaverjt here, as. 
every where else, has corrupted the public morals«^ 
The mulattoes are increasing very rapidly; and, perhaps, • 
in the lapse of years, the black, white, and yellow po- 
pulation will be melted down into one common mass. 
Duelling and gdming are very prevalent ; and, together 
with other vices, require the restraining power of re- 
ligion and morality to check their progress towards na- 
tional ruin. V, 

When speaking of the gradual relaxation of morals' — 
in the United States, as we pass from the north and 
east to the south and west, it is to be understood that 
the American ladies are not included in this geographic 
cal deterioration. In no country under the canopy of 
heaven do female virtue and purity hold a higher rank 
than in the Union. We have no instances among us of 
those domestic infidelities which dishonour so many fa- 
milies in Europe, and even stain the national character 
of Britain herself, high as she peers over all the other 
European nations in pure religion and sound morality. 
Our American ladies make virtuous and affectionate 
wives, kind and indulgent mothers ; are, in general, 
-easy, affable, intelligent, and well-bred ; their manners 
presenting a happy medium between the two distant 
reserve and coldness of the English, and the too obvious, 
too obtrusive behaviour of the French women. Their 
manners have a strong resemblance to those of the 'Irish 
and Scottish ladies. 

The public morals, however, of the female popula- ^ 
tion of our southern and western states are materially 
injured by the existence of the slave system. Even Mr. 
Morris Birkbeck, whose ultra whiggism has led him in 
his old age to fly with horror fr6m the despotism of 
Britain, because she overthrew his friend Napoleon, the 
great patron saint of liberty, in Europe ; even he ex- 
presses grave doubts if the condition of his enslaved 


countermen be quite so bsMl as that of the negroes 
m Virginia; and he runs a philosophical parallel^ very 
much after the nianner of Plutarch^ betw^ the situa- 
tion of the English peasantry and that of the Virginian 
slaves^ balancing their respective evils under various 
heads of inquiry ; and^ upon the whole, seems inclined 
to think that the British people are not yet reduced so 
low in the scale of oppression and suffering as the black 
inhabitants of our ^^ Ancient Dominion.*^ Indeed^ the 
sensibilities of this veteran reformer were so much 
awakened^ he says^ as actuary to cause him to shed 
tears when he saw sqme slaves sold in Richmond^ tbo 
capital of Virginia ; and he does not hesitate to affirm^ 
that the superior morals of those states which have 
abolished slavery proves servitude to be, in truths the 
bane of society. 

Mr. Birkbeck says, that in May, 1817> be was at 
Pbtersburgh^ on his way to Indiana, where he is now 
endeavourii^ to lay the foundations of a colony, to be 
peopled by English, who^ like himself, are too virtuous 
and too wise to live under the British government^ 
whose wickedness and tyranny are consummating its 
speedy perdition. He>says he found a Virginian tavern 

. ^ like a French hotel^ but niore filthy, without its culinary 
excellence, and dearer than an English inn. The daily 
number of guests at its ordinary was fifty:, consisting of 
travellers, shopkeepers^ lawyers, and doctors. He found 
the Virginian planter a r^ublican in politics, and ftill of 
high-tsprited independence^ but aslave-master, irascible^ 
lax in morals, and wearing a dirk. He ^ever saw in 
England an assemblage of cpui^trymen who averaged 
so well in dress and manners. T^eir conversation gave 
him a high opinion of their intelligence — the prevailing 

>t^ topic was negro slavery^ an evil which all professed to 
deplore, many were anxious to fly fit>m> but for which 
none could devise a remedy. 

One gentleman^ an invalid, was wretched at the 
thought of his family bein^ left, for a single night, wi&** 
out his protection from his own slaves. He was him» 
self Ubouring under the effects of a poisonous potio% 

ftdminifiter^d to him by a negro^ his own personal ser- 
vant^ to Mrhom he l^d been psurticnlarly kinfl and gene^ 
reus, and who thus recompensed his indulgence* It 
was stated, that severe and rigorous masters seldom 
suffer from the resentment of their slaves. On the lath 
of May, 1 8 1 7r Mr. Birkbeck saw two female ^aves jand 
thdr diildren sold by auction in the street at Rich' 
mond;' a spectacle which exceedingly shocked him^ he 
could scarcely endure to see them handled and ex« 
amined like cattle, and when he heard their sobs, fmd 
saw the tears roll down their cheeks, at the thought 
of being separated, he could not refHin from weqping 
with them. Such is the consistency of an English 
patriot^ who laments that his own native country was 
not enslaved by that virtuous republican, Bonaparte! 

In sdling slaves, our southern planters and dealers 
pay no regard to parting nearest relations, to separating 
parents and children, or tearing asunder husbands and /- 
wives. Virginia prides itself on the comparative mild- 
ness with which its slaves are treated; and yet, in the 
first volume of the American Museum th^re is a heart- 
rending account p( a slave being, for some offence, put 
into an iron cage, suspended to the branches of a .lofty 
teee, and left to perish by famine and thirst, unless the 
birds of prey, to admit which the bars of th^ cage stood 
at intervals sufficiently wide, could terminate his life 
sooner, by plunging their beaks suid talons into his vi-* 
tids. In the mean time the eagle, the vulture, aiid the 
raven feasted upon the quivering flesh of the living vic- 
tim, whose body they mangled at their own leisiire; 
dnd the high-spirited republicans of the ancient do- 
minion were grati^ed by knowing that the air was 
tainted by the putrefaction, and loaded with the expiring 
cries and groans of an agonized fellow-man, doomed to 
die by protracted torture. 

Virginia supplies, annually, with slaves of her own 
growth, the states farther south, where the treatment 
of the negroes is said to be much more severe and more 
destructive of life. There are regular dealers, who 
buy up slaves, and drive them in gangs, chained to- 


father, and more than half naked, to a southern market* 
ew weeks pass without some of these wretched crea- 
tures being marched through Richmond, on their south* 
ward course: a few months since nearly two hundred 
were sold by auction in the street, and filled all the 
region round with their cries, and shrieks, and lamenta- 
tions. Mr. Birkbeck observes, that he found in Vir- 
ginia the condition of the negroes more miserable, and 
the tone of moral feeling in their owners much higher 
than he had anticipated; that he is confimfed in his 
detestation of slavery, both in principle and practice^ 
and that he esteems the general character of the Vir- 
^ The western states participate in the ii|.orals, man- 
ners, and character of those sections of the Union by 
which they are peopled, namely, the southern and mid- 
dle, and, above all, the New-England States. Mr. 
Birkbeck*s account of the emigration westward^ and <^ 
his own progress through the new settlements^ is in- 
teresting and instructive: from his narrative I shall bor- 
row such facts as may illustrate the present inquiry. 
Indeed, all America appears to be moving to the west. 
.The political consequences of this migration will soon 
be portentous. During the revolutionary war, and for 
some years after its termination, the influence of New- 
England predominated in our national councils, and 
Washington's administration established the prosperity 
and glory of the country on a solid basis. Afterward 
Virginia contrived, by managing the southern and mid- 
dle states, to render New-England nearly a political 
^ cypher in the Union. Arid now, the rapid growth of 
the western states, in population, wealth, and strength, 
threaten, ere long, to give them a preponderance over 
all the Atlantic sections of the United States, and to 
entail upon us a system of tramontane policy, but little 
accordant with our commercial views and interests. 
The first step of decided western legislation probably 
will be the removal of the seat of general government 
from Washington across the Alleghany mountains^ to 
some place near the Pacific Ocean. 


On the grieat route towards the Ohio, the traveller ^ 
has constantly in view groups of emigrants, directing 
their steps towards the land of promise; some with a 
little light waggon, covered with a sheet or blanket, 
and containing bedding, utensils, provisions, and a co- 
lony of children, drawn by one or two small horses, and 
perhaps accompanied by a cow* A few silver doUars 
also are carried for the purchase of public land, at two 
dollars an acre, one-fourth of the purchase-money to be 
paid immediately, upon entering the claim at. the land- 
office of the district where the purchase is located; 
The New-England pilgrims are said to be known by 
the light step and cheerful air of the women, marching 
in front of , the family caravan; the New-Jersey wan- 
derers by being quietly housed under the tilt of the 
ws^gon; while the Pennsylvanian emigrants creep 
loitering behind, with melancholy gait, and slow. A 
cart with one horse, or a single horse and pack-saddle^ 
transports a family from the eastern to the western sec- 
tion of the Union, a distance of between two and three 
thousand miles; and, not unfrequently, the adventurer 
carries all his fortunes on his staff, while his wife^ bare- 
footed, follows, bearing on her shoulders the treasure of 
the cradle. '^ 

'The Americans are unquestionably the most loco-TI 
motive, migrating people in the worldU Even wh^ j 
doing well in the northern, or middle, or southern states, 
they will break up their establishmeiit, and move west- 
ward with an alacrity and vigor that nothing but the ' 
necessity of adverse circumstances could induce in any 
other population. In the year 1817, nearly twenty 
thousand waggons, averaging a burden of forty hundred 
weight each, travelled between Baltimore and Philadel- 
phia, on one side, and Pittsburgh on theother side of the 
Alleghany mountains. The freight, or carriage of the 
goods thus conveyed exceeded two millions of dollars; 
to which add;rmmberless well loaded stages and maik, 
travellers in'waggons, on horses, and on foot, and som« 
notion may be'form^ of the incessant line of march ' 
over these three hundred miles of the western road*: 


TraveUersfmm die ettrtem Au^bekta^eRea leave their 
hones at Pittsburg^h^ 'and go down iAie Ohio to their 
place of destination; while those from the west^ pro- 
eeed eastward in statges. Even elderly women make 
long journeys on horsdback, for instance, from Temies^ 
see to Pittsburgh, a distance of twelve butuired miles; 
nay, sometimes the lady willcatry an infant on the 
horse, in addition to herself, a blanket above anfd be- 
neath the saddle, a pair of saddte'-bi^, a great coat, and 
an «mbrella« Mr. Birkbeek, in June, 1 81 7, when at 
Washington, in Pennsylvama, saw a farmer and his wife 
well mounted and equipt: they had ridden from the 
neighbourhood of Cincinnati, in Ohio, and were pro^ 
ceeding on horseback to visnt their friends at New Y(H-k 
isnd Philadelphia, a distance of seven hundred miles. 
Tb&if had left Cinicma^ti ^ days before, had travelled 
two hundred and seventy-two miles, and their horses 
were quite fresh; a condasive proof cf their exceHence. 
V Mr. Birkbeck gives the history of a farmer and ta* 
vem*keeper,about twenty miles from Washington, as an 
e:itAmpie of the t&piA appreciation of property in the 
wester^ countrv. The man is thirty, has a wife and 
three fine children. His father is a farmer in the neigh^ 
bourhood, and gave him five hundred dollars to be^m 
the world With, which h^ did by taking a cai^a of flour 
to New4)rleanB, distant about two thousand miles* In 
181 S, he had increased his property to nine hundred 
dollars, and bought two hundf^ and fifty acres of land> 
ftixty-^ve of which are d^ared, and laid down to ght^s^ 
for three thousand &rb hundred dollars, of which thi^to 
thousand are already paid. His property is now worth 
seven thousand ddlars, havin|^ grown half that sum in 
value in two years, withafiill prospectof a mudfi greater 
lippreciation in fuMire. Ift many parts of Ohio land is 
Aow wwth ftom twenty to thirty dollars to acre; an 
advance in value of « tfumsmid per cent in the fast t^n 

Nevertheless, Mr. Bttkbeck admits, that emigfemts 
with small dipitals, particularly if from Europe, are lia- 
ble to great inconvenience. For money, although abuii^ 

eKKS>iU.L MA.NKEM. 4^1^ 

dioiitjy ooqipeteiit to the purchase of land^, is soon coxi^' 
sum^ in the expenses of travelling, which are greats 
The setders in me new country are generally needy 
adventurers, and exposed to diiSiGulties^ which, in addi-' 
tion to unhealthy situations, shorten life. . The public 
land intended for sale is laid out in the government 
surveys in quarter sections of l60 acres each, or^ one*- 
fburtli of a square mile. The whole is set up at auction, 
€^nd what remains unsold may be bought at the district 
land office, at two dollars an acre; on&-fourth to be 
paid down, and the residue in instalments, to be com-> 
pleted in five years. The emigrant having paid his 
eighty dollars for a quarter section, is often left penny- 
less, and repairs to his purchase in a waggon, containing 
his wife and children, a few blankets, a skillet, a rifle^ 
and an axe. Aft^er greeting a httle log hut, he clears,' 
with intense labour, a plot of ground for Indian com, as 
his nfext year's subsistence, depending, in the mean- 
time, on his gun for food. In pursuit of game, he 
must often, dfter his day's work, wade through the 
evening dews up to the -waist, in long grass or bushes^ 
and returning, lie on a bears skin, spread on the damp 
giY>un<^ exposed to every blast through the open sides, 
and to every shower through the open roof of his dwell- 
ing, which is never attempted to be closed until the ap- 
proach of winter, arid often not then. Under suah ex- 
treme toil and exposure, many of the settlors speedily 

Sometimes he has to carry his grain fifty miles to a 
mill to be ground, and wait there some days tilL his 
turn oomes. These difficulties of course diminish as 
the settlements thidken; and the number of emigrants 
increases each succes$ive year with increcfible rapidity. 
Land cleared, commands from twenty to thirty dollars' 
an acre; and thus, in the course of the last fifteen years^ 
a tract of country four times as lai^e as the British- 
Isles tias been dedtpled in value. The towns in the 
western corintry, as is particularly the case witfi Ztoes- 
ville, Lancaster, and Gnilicothe, in Ohio, are often situa- 
ted witfaottt aay regard to of the inhabitants, 


provided they be well located for profit; gain being the 
chief object of pursuit with our American adventurers. 
Cincinnati itself stands too low on the banks of the 
'Ohio; its lower parts being within reach of the spring 
floods'. But it has grown as by enchantment^ and pro- 
mises soon to become one of the first cities of the west. 
Within the little space of five years the greatest part 
of its present diipensions and wealth has been produced* 

It exhibits now^ where^ within the memory of man^ 
stood <»ily one rude cabin^ several hundreds of commo- 
dious handsome brick houses, spacious and busy mar- 
kets, substantial public buildings, thousands of indus- 
trious thriving inhabitants, gay carnages, and elegit 
females, shods of craft on the river, incessant enlarging 
and improvement of the town, a perpetual influx of 
strangers and travellers; all sprung up firom the bosom 
of the woods, as it wet'e but yesterday. Twenty years 
since, the immense region, comprising the states ofOhio 
and Indiana, numbered only thirty thousand souls, less 
than are now contained in the little county of Hamil- 
ton, in which Cincinnati stands. % ^ 

Probably the time is not far distant when the chief 
intercourse with Europe will no through die 
Atlantic States, but be carried on through the great 
rivers, which communicate by the Mississippi with the 
ocean, at New-Orleans; in consequence of the ascend- 
ing navigation of these streams being subdued by the 
power of steam. 

Full two thousand boatmen are regularly employed 
on the Ohio, and are provefbially ferocious and profi- 
gate. The settlers along the line of this great naviga- 
tion exhibit similar habits; and profligacy and fierce- 
ness appear to characterize the population on the banks 
of these mighty rivers. Indiana is more recently set« 
tied than Ohio, and its settlers superiw in rank and 
chaiiacter ; the first founders of Ohio being very needy 
adventurers. The inhabitants of Indiana have genera- 
ally brought with them from their parent states habits 
of comfort, and the means of procuring the conv^tnces 
of life. They are prderiy^ peacjeabte €idz&m, respect 


and obey the laws, are kind and neighbourly to eacli 
other, and hospitable to strangers. The mere hunters, 
who rely for subsistence on their rifle, and a scanty cul- 
tivation of com, and. live in a state of poverty and pri- 
vation nearly equal to that of the Indians, always retire 
at the approach of the regular settlers, and keep them- 
selves on the outside, of the cultivated farms. 

There is no striking difference in the general deport- 
mcnt and appearance of the great body of American? 
in the towns, from Norfolk in Virginia, to Madison in 
Indiana. The same well-looking, well-dressed, tall," 
stout men, appear every where pretty much at their 
ease, shrewd and intelligent, and not too industrious. 
'When asked why they do not employ themselves? they 
answer, " we live in freedom, we need not work like the 
English; as if idleness itself were not the worst species 
of slavery. In the country are to be found several back- 
woodmen, who are savage and fierce, and view new- 
congers as intruders. They, however, must tjuickly yield 
to iJie rapid growth of civilization. The great body of 
the western settlers are, beyond all comparison, superior 
to the European farmers and peasantry in manners and 
habits, in physical capacity, and abundance, and above 
all, in intelligence and political independence. 

The activity and enterprise of the Americans far ex- 
ceed those of any other people. Travellers continual- 
ly are setting out on journeys of two or three thousand 
miles, by boats, on horses, or on foot, without any ap- 
parent anxiety or deliberation. Nearly a thousand per- 
sons every summer pass down the Ohio as traders or 
boatu>en, and return on foot; a distance by water of 
seventeen hundred, by land, of a thousand miles, 
. Many go down to New-Orleans from Pittsburgh, an 
additional five hundred miles, by water, and three 
hundred by land. The store or shop-keepers of the 
western towns resort to Baltimore, New- York, and 
Philadelphia, once a year, to lay in their goods. But 
in a short time, probably, these joumeyings eastward 
will be exchanged for visits down the 'Ohio and Missis- 
sippi to New-Orleans*, The vast and growing produce 


of the westam states^ ia grain, flour^ cotton, ragaH'5 tot- 
baccoi pejjtiy, lumb^ &c. wbich finds a readf ixMtfket 
alNew-Orleans^will^by means of steam-boat nafvigadon, 
be retunied through the same channel in the manu&ic- 
tm^ and bixmies of Idirope and Asia, to sisppty the 
qonstantly-increasing demands of the west, and readier 
New-Orleans qne of the greatest commercial cities in 
the imiyerse. 
^ Learning, taste, and science, of course, have not yet 
made much headway in the west; their reading is, in 
V general, confined to newspapers and political pamphlets, 

a little history, and less religion; but their intellects are 
keen, vigorous, and active. The following observations 
of Mr. Walsh, in thi^ first volume of the American Re- 
gister, are expressed in his usual style of felicitous splen-- 
dour:«--^^In inspecting the schools of our western 
country we are alarmed: lest the population should im- 
measurably outgrow the means of instruction, and their 
intellectual fall far short of their numerical weight in 
our national councils. But the apprehension vamshes, 
in a great degree, before the activity, the emulation> and 
the sanity which characterize our tramontane bre« 
thr^i. Th^ force with which the mind vegetates among 
them can be best illustrated by the growth of their 
plants in a virgin loam. All the faculties knit, spread, 
and luxuriate, vigorously and wildly, as the branches 
of their sycamore. This intense vifadity of the iiitellect, 
when fed by science, and the knowledge of mankind, 
must give the most splendid retndts. We may judge 
from the specimens of the ore which we have seen in 
Congress what the metal will be after sublimation. I 
must confess that I was lost in admiration at the pros- 
pects which open in that quarter upon the pride of hu- 
man intelligence and power; it is a perspective of which 
the magnificence can be credible only to those who 
have made their examination at leisure upon the spot, 
and with a recollection of what history relates as to the 
adoleacenceof the mightiest communities mentioned in 
its annals. At a distance hardly a suspicion is entertaii;!- 
ed 9f thepromise-^I should say, rather> the impending 


maturity of the west. It is a great empire, lying, as it '- 
were, in ambush for mankind, tod destined to explore 
al! parts of the intellectual world. Liberal education, — 
by which I mean the systematic tuition of the sciences 
and classics, is there exceedingly backteard; biit tlie 
rudiments of mere £nglish education are almost uni- 

Having thus, very summarihr, glanced at the morals, 
habits, and manners, of the iovlv great sections of the 
Union, a few remarks will be hazarded ^s applicable 
to the Americans, generally, in their national capacity 
and character. 

The high wages of laboi^, the abundance' of qyery ** 
kind of manual and mechanical employment, the plenty 
of provisions, the vast quiantity and low price of lana, 
all contribute to produce a healthy, strong, and vigorous 
population. Four-fifths of our people are engaged in ^ 
s^cultural pursuits, and the great majority of these are 
proprietors oi the soil which they cultivate. In the in- 
tervals of toil their amusements cbhsist chiefly of huntinjg 
and shooting, in the woods, or on th^ mountains;, 
whence they acquire prodigious muscular activity and 
strength. \Ve have no game laws, such as exist i^ 
Europe, to prohibit the possession and use of flre-arms 
to the great body of the people. Our boys carry a gun 
almost as soon as they can walk ; and the habitual praCr 
tice of shooting at a target, with the rifle, renders the 
Americans the mosiimerrihg marksmen^ and the most 
deadly musketry in th6 \yorId ; as was singukrly evi*. 
iftnceddit Bunker^ mih i^ t^^ commencement of ,thif 
revolutionary conflict, and at New«.Ofleans, at the close 
of the last war. Every male, from the age of eighteen 
to forty *five, is liable to be enrolled in the militia; of 
\yhich the President's Messagie of the second of lieceni-- 
ber, I8I7, informs us the United States have now eight 
hundred diousand. These nieii make the best mate- 
rials for a regular ariny, as they learn the use of arms 
in platoons, and the element^ rf military disfciplitie^ ^ . 
£heir militia exercises and 4rffls. The ABnuerica^^ 
excellent engineers aiid artillerists, arid serVe tHeir'guriS 



well^ both in the field and on the! floods as their ene-^ 
mies can testify ; — whereas, the people in Europe iife 
Aot suffered to be familiar with the use of arms ; whence 
neither their seamen nor their soldiers fire with aiiy 
thing like the precision and execution of the American 
army and navy. 

Thus the people of the United States possess, in an 
eminent degree, the jpA^^^ica/ elements of national great- 
ness and strength. Add to these, the general preva- 
— lehce of elementary instruction, which enables the great 
mass of the people to develope their natural faculties 
and powers, and capacitates them for undertaking any 
employment, success in which depends upon shrewd- 
ness, intelligence, and skill ; whence their singular in- 
genuity in mechanical and manual operations, and their 
sound understanding, enterprise, and perseverance in 
the practical concerns of life. And to crown all, th# 
political sovereignty of the nation residing in the people^ 
gives them a personal confidence, self-possession, and 
elevation of character, unknown and unattainable in any 
other country, and under any other form of government; 
land which renders them quick to perceive, and prompt 
to resent and punish any insult offered to individual or 
national honour. Whence in the occupations of peaccp 
and the achievements of war, the Americans average a 
greater aggregate of effective force, physical, intellec- 
1:ual, and moral, than ever has been exhibited by a given 
^number of any other people, ancient or modem. Indi- 
viduals, in other countries, may, and do exhibit as much 
bodily activity and strength, as much intellectual acute- 
^ess and vigour, as much moral force and elevation, a% 
.can be shown forth by any American individuals ; but 
no country can display such a population, in mdss^ as 
are now quickening the United States with their pro- 
lific energy, and ripening fast into a substance of power, 
^yery movement of which will soon be felt in its vibra- 
tions to the remotest comers of the earth. 

Sagacity and shrewchiess are the pecuhardiaracter- 
fstics of American intellect, and were in nothing more 
pre-eminent, thanin the advice of President Washing-. 

biSKERAL kEifARRS. 48$ 

tdn s secretary of the iiavy, that the United States shcmld' 
build their ships nominally of the same rate with those 
of Europe^ but really of greater j^tredgth^ of itiore speed, 
toiulage^ and guns, than the corresponding classes of 
!l&uropean vessels^ that they might ensiire victoty over 
an enemy of equal> or nearly equal force, ^d esC^apb, 
by superior sailings any very unequal conflict. This 
was good policy ; as it served materially to raise the 
naval character of the country, to lessen that of Eng^ 
land, and to put out of use and service the European 
ixavies, and compel other nations to construct their ships 
anewi aft^ the American model. Thiis policy is still 
persisted in, arid our seventyi^foiirs are equal in tonnage^ 
bulk, strength, guns, and crew^ to any hundred gun 
ships in the British navy. The American crews also 
are far superior to those of Europe : every seaman is & 
good gunner, and the ships are manned with picked 
men, and a fuU complement of real, able-bodied, skilful 
sailors ; whereas the Europeali ships seldom have mortt 
than one-third of their crews able seamen, the other 
two-thirds generally consisting of landsmen and boys. 
\yhen we shall have a navy, as large as we ought to 
have, in proportion to our long line of sea-coast, our 
immense Jake and river navigation, and our immense 
and rapidly-augmenting resources, it will not be easy 
tQ man our fleets and squadrons as we now do our few 
single ships ; nay, it is doubtful, if they can be manned 
at all* without the aid of impressment, which^ ipdeedj 
was strongly recommended to Congress by our secretary 
of the navy, towards the close of the last war, as the 
onlif possible mode of filling up the complement wanted 
for the two and twenty vessels, of all sizes, frigates^ 
sloops, and brigs, which we then had in commission. 

There are, however, drawbacks upon the high ele- 
ments of national greatness above enumerated, to be 
found in some* of our political and social institutions. 
For example, slavery demoralizes the southern, and-^ 
those of the western states, which have adopted this exe- 
crable system, lotteries pervade the middle, southern, 
f^n^ western .statUs, and spread a horribly increasing 


4§& L0TT£RI£S--^ra49K*raiI80KS»-**900R-LAWS« 

i^Mi of i^enen^ Arvtuc^ tboft, fabriiood^aod proffi^ftcy 
tj^rongb^uj^ 9i\t\m d«»ei of aur hbcmm]^ populaliolu 
Th^ wymi^ rnqnity md eril of this sjrstem sm ^ofi^. 
ffXimg tibe Bi^tiab pfriiameoat tD abolish it altog^dler 
in tbat€ioi«rtry» Our state-legisktures neirer assemUe 
witliout tugmentutg the mxmber of lotteries. Oi^ fa-- 
vmrite scheme of aubatitutiiig a state prison £^ the gaU 
lowi if a most prrolific mother of crime. Duriiig the ae- 
y&Aty of the wmtor season^ its lodgings asid apoMusio* 
dfttadii^. an^ better than those of many of otir paupers; 
wh^ are thereby incited to crime in. order to mend 
thm eoiiditioii« And the pernicious custom ef pardon^ 
ingiki0 moist alz^ous eriminads^ after a short residence 
in.the aMc^prison,. iacGoxtinually augmenting oih* flying 
s%iiadix»i8 of murdaEers^ hoose-bveakers, foot^padis^ 
forgets^ fa^fairay raUbers, and mncUefft^ of all sorts^t 
13^<eflirQtof.Mr. Bentham^splaa of a pcmtetrtii^y with 
iffa. pljiD]Bma(andi\idiiiqperiDg galleiy^ is not knowl^f^ be* 
caiOM k. haS' netw been ^led inu this amaveyi but^ 
beyiimlaJl^peradivaitiirj^ owatate^prisonsy asatpreseiM^ 
cooslabluted^ iae:gRaiid demondixers oCour pebple^ 
Our stote.' insolvent laws^ likewiw (f^r w& are lee 

{mtcioticto ^finaait.Congress to pass an uniform bsa^r^jp 
miF^ that m^t oompd our merdbants to pay their y^- 
mp& eveditor&)5 acts as a perpetual bounty for disho- 
nesty and ftand; A few favoured creditors^ by whose 
faise: representations the.debtor has obtained large cre^ 
dUa^ are secured^, and the rest of tlie (H*editor8> moM' 
espsoiaUy if th^y happn to be British^ are sut^ to ge6' 
nothing. The insolvent is discharged^ i» a natter of 
cdunse^ fnxfn all responsibility, and left at liberty to re^ 
new his depredations upon theprdpet4y of otheiis*ae^ 
ing to hii» own inclination^ experieQce^ aildde£|imty« 

Thepoor^liamBy^m^ aa ajn awM eheoucftgement to 
pawerism and proflig9W> re^re»n:QfUrth(Q^GQlilMmft; 
Wima- the exception otfmsger^ in the ingenuky and^ 
audacity^of wfaach: our no^e Amedeans stirpasA aM^ 
other people^ andii^ which our state-prison» dd n^af^ 
foMe^6n<i^]iaUktive^ nyuek lessee Mmedy/the^d^i^ 
ai$dii&»blac]bisaR theifi^rt^n^^ df^ 


Mr oriminafe. Tk& ^ iow trU^^ ni tiMy am iealM) 
who GOme ^ut to tn in isfhods fi«Ml their <mti ooinrtiy^ 
and are hf ftr die mo»t m^itiotia donation ^^t^ tte 
United States i^eceive from Brttaifi^ fill up our \0m%f^ 
departments of labour in (fie mamifiteteries^ or the wa^ 
nual operatroM of our large cities^ as hod^^nen^ piDVbdm, 
and so forth^ are in general^ nkle^ intemperate^ and 
abandoned. They tenairt our bridewells and itate^ftri^ 
eons in great numbers. Tlie next in the soele of plPofli^ 
gacy, as criminals^ are the freed negroes; then ^oiiie 
foreigners^ oth^r than Irish $ md lastly/ out* own natii^ 
eitizi^ns^ of whidh few find their way into <ioiiiii«|»etit 
for ortrae, excepting, as before 'stateft^ for ftnrgeiyi of 
tMiepts in which the United Stages produce a greats . 
«|umbor, in proportionr to their population, ^n aAf 
country in Europe ; their ii«mbers, howe^er^ mighl: be 
matemlly diminished^ if our legislatot« c<yidd ^ per- 
/(uaded ]to try the experiment of ^egattowf upon theini. ^ 

The prerraiiing t^cethroc^kout the Union^ ^oeptittl" - 
New-^En^and, is immoderate drinking; enootntiged 
donbtless by the relaxing heats of the ot^ate, in the 
southern^ middle^ and western states^ by tli^ high wagob 
of labour, and by the sibsence of all restrtctbn, in the 
shape of e:s:cise> or internal dirty. Not only our labow-^ 
ers gai^ally, but too many of oar famiers, AierehaHtii, 
and other classes of tiie community^ are prone <0 ^ pe^ 
nicious indulgenee in spirituous l^uei^« 

The alarming increase of pauperism, drunkonnesd,-^ 
and general profligacy, in the city of NeW-York, has 
induced our most respectaUe citizafis of all datrses fo 
appoint a committee to examine into the causes^ and do- 
vise the meaiis of cheeking this great national e^l, which 
menaces the very existence of our social fabric. This 
committee is now in session ; and every succeeding day 
presents them with an accumulating mass of facts, all 
conspiring to show forth the loathsome deformity of our 
city, with respect to its rapidly augmenting pcffifty and 
vi<». In the y^ar I8I7, our corporation expended me 
Aim^etf cMcftomifyiAoci^d^doffan in the poor te# sys- 

4SB rAi;PE&»M. 

tern ; which 9um i6 in additipn to other public charities^ 
B» the hospital^ asylum for .oi^Juuis^ widow*s society^ 
charity schools^ &c. and in addition tp the mivate cha^ 
rities^ which in this city are numerous ana expensive. 
Indeed^ the Americaps^ generally^ are a charitable bener 
yolent people^ both in private and in public. The city 
pf New-York hfts very recently, raised five thousand 
dollars for th$^ sufferers by the Is^te fire at St. John s 
in Newfoundland. And Boston^ with only one-third 
pf th^ NewrYork population^ subscribed ten thou- 
sand dollars for th^ same object. Out Boston has 
always been peculiarly munificent ; witness ^ few years 
since, when some of our principal citizens subscribed 
twelve thpus^d dollars i^x the support of the lyidow 
imd children of the British Consul for that district, whi> 
had died in indigent circumstances. 

^ ' In consequence of the pxtr^^pie fu£^ring of the poor 
in the city .of New-rYock^ storing the winter of 1 8I0-1 7, 
in JanuarV) 1317^ ^ large mating of the citizens was 
convened |br the puropse of devising some means of imr 
mediate ri^lief for their brethren in affliction. Commit- 
tees were apppii\|:ed, in <^ch ^ai^ of the city, tip. r?^ise 
money ,hy Subscription, aj^d fidminister to the ipore 
pressing wants of the depei^dent clc^sses oi^ the communi- 
tv. Six thousand dollars were instantly raised, and eur 
.tirely consumed in the course of a few days ; so prodi- 
^ous waii the number of distressed applicants for foo4, 
fuel, and clothings Indeed, the number of indigent 
poor, destitute of all the first ^necessaries^ of life, as 
povering, provisions, fuel, lodging, upoi^ careful examir 

-nation, was found to far exceed tns^t of any former pe- 
riod of distress. The several committees faithfiiUy dis- 
charged their important but painful dutips ; they visited 
the habitation of every fami]y that applied for relief. It 
lyas not possible fof any city in Europe— for London, 
for Paris, for Dublin itself— even at that awful hour of 
universal distress and visitation, to exhibit a greater j^o- 
pqrtional number of wretched objects, sunk to the lowest 
pitch of barren sprrpw and destitution, than w^e ^ t^ 

iK>9ed to the astonished view of the various comtnitteesj^ 
m their rounds of inquiry through the city of New-^ 

FnllJ^eenthotisand men, women and children^ during ^ 
that season/ received aid from the hand of public and 

. private charity ; that is to say, about one-seventh of the 
whole pbpulation of our city. It raised a cry of alarm 
and horror throughout all the comers of their extended. "" 
empire, when, in the year 181 6, it was^discovered that 
one-ninth of the population of the British isles was re- 
duced to a state of pauperage and dependence on the 
bounty of others. Ought such to be the condition of 
the mass of the people in ani/ part of the United States ; 
where a comparatively small population is spread over 
an immense territory, blessed with a fertile soil and • 
genial clime ; where the burden of government expendi- 
ture is scarcely felt ; where the national debt is trifling, 
and the taxes nothing ; where there are no tithes ; and 
where the demand for agricultural labour is consttotly ^ 
outrimnihg its supply ? 

It is a lamentable and alarming fact, that the number 
of destitute poor in the city of New-York has averaged 
an annual augmentation far exceeding the rate of its 
actual increase of population for several years past ; 
more especially since the winter when the battery, at 
the confluence of the North and East rivers, was broken 
tip, and distributed for firewood amongst the indigent ; 
and the corporation proclaimed that it would give f6od 
and fuel, at the Almshouse, to all distressed applicants. 
This is the very essence of the impracticable folly, and 
positive evil of the poor-law system, which promises 
work and support to all that want ; as if it were possi- 
ble for any human scheme to create either food or em- 
ployment where neither is to be found in existence. 
It is not, however, to be dissembled, that a large pro^ r- 

. portion of our New-York paupers are^breigwer^, chiefly 
from Europe, and some n-om the licighbouring states 
and towns. Nor can it be concealed, that the leprosy 
of wickedness and crime has tainted the lower class of 

iDur citizeqs in a most awful degree; as was to be €X<» 

fefit^, ip (M>iuH^(|!i^oe pi their prcvressively itic^^ 
pauperism, it will scarcely be qrecuted in Europe^ tli^t 
a large proportibn of these proflig^e paupers are Jref 
qnd inamendent voters at our elections^ for charter-* 
officer;^ for 3tate Representatives^ and for Congr^s- 

The sevelral oommit^iees laboured to invj^tigate the 

^ tmses which have produced the present wret^ed and 
degrad^ condition of the poor ija, our city. Some of 
£he distress^ undoubtedlyi is to be attributed to th^ vast 
influx of indigent^ and not imniaculate^ foreigners ; to the 
presenjt depressed qondition of commerce and manufac^ 
tures; to we prodigious niimber of benevolent sodetief. 
which have^ with the best and most charitable inten- 
tions^ undesignedly od^red a standing bounty for thd 

. continual increase of needy applicants ; and to soma 
other causes not proper, perhaps, now to be enumera- 
ted, but which our legislators and city magistrates can 
easily remove if they will ; and, perhaps, to die natural 
tendency 6f human society to dc^teriorate, if not con-^ 
stantly watched and guarded by, religious and moral 
culture. A greater portion of the distress, probably, is 
occasioned by our system of jpoor-tow^, which we have 
borrowed from England, llie British Review for No* 
yember, 1 8I7, contains an elaborate, masterly, and tem-^ 
perate exposition of the evils which that system haa 
burned, in characters of the nether fire, into the heart 
and vitalsf, the body, soul, and spirit of the English po- 

^> But beyond all controversy, the most fertile source of 
tli^ present unparalleled distress among the poor of thei 
city of New-York, is the general, not to say uniyersal|. 
n?fe of ynritums liquor^ by the low^ order?; qf the im- 
munity, of each sex and every age. There are i^isarly 
thr^e thmsmd houses liicemea to sell poison to the poor,' 
in the ^hape of alcohol ; in addition to which tb^re ar^ 
^reat number? of Qi^llars and vaults, where ardent fpirits: 
V0 veiuled mtthfut Ikemi^. And do we wonder at the 
rapid augni^ntatiph of mendicity and cnmp ia ti&is ci^^ 
W^. i*^?!|^ ?^^J<> ?»*»y c^»*!^l l^oum of i^«|t^»ttyA, 

beafih^ religion, and momls, cpen d^y ^d t%h$/^ 
every hour^ for the conaignmejit of th&f victiil^ to ^ 
untimely gruyc ? , 

By information from the mayor of Philadelphnt, Cfffffr 
mnniciMted to a committee of om* Htmffm Sgcjie^, in 
December^ 1809, it appears that there lyece theiii 19 tbf -^ 
city of Philadelphia only one hundred andnimty iicepaeil 
houses ; and in th^ whole couiity of P)iil9delphi«^ ii|r 
eluding the $uburbs of the city^ several consider a][>l^ 
towns and villages, and a large tract of coipitiy, €onr 
taining altogether a population of more thwi one hxp^ 
dred and fif^ thousand souls^only two hundredcmdff^y 
houses licensed to sell spirits. Since that period i^p t^ 
the present hour, the magistracy of Philadelphia hay? 
been most laudably employed in diminishing even tbi^ 
comparatively mocferate number, which pomjniehfends alj 
the taverns, beer-houses, groceries, and otbejr pl»^ 
licensed to sell spirituous liquors by retail. So that f)i|r 
sister city of Philadelphia permits less thaii om-rf^t^pf 
inflammable poison, m proportion to her populatiQi}, %9 
be distributea among her citizens, in comparison fif title 
heedless prodigality with which die o^ici^ guard|an|k of 
New-York waste the health and integfity of th^ p^or 
committed to their charge. 

. Nay, even in London, that mart of all the world, it 
appears from a recent report on the mendicity of tihe 
JSntish empire to the House of Commons, that there 
are no more than^/bier thousand two hundred and twenty 
houses licensed to sell spirits ; and that number is com* 

Elained of as being too great for a city and its neighhourr 
ood, containing about on^ million, three hundred thou-: 
sand inhabitants, and continually receiving into its capa*- 
cious bosom a prodigious influx of profligacy and crime, 
from every tongue, andeyery nation, and every quarter 
of the globe. The population of New-York is not much 
more than one b^ndred thousand ; and therefore it if; 
liecessary for her, young as she is in her national career, 
and simple as she is in all her forms and habits of epcial 
institution, to reduce the licens^ ho{ises tp^at \9Mt^ 
three hui^dredi W W^r tq re^qb tjhe hv4,in, m^fff^^^ 

4411 PAtJrtSRISM AND ¥^ll6rUfiACy or NEW-YORfc. 

to iniquity i of an overgrown metropolis, hoary with 
ftge, and presenting the mo&t artificial and complicated 
state of society ever yet. exhibited in the history of the 
human race. 

On a very moderate computation, the licensed house« 
in New-York sell a yearly aggregate of spirits, amount- 
ing to three millions of dollars. One-tentn of the popu- 
lation of the whole state resides in this city, and, allow- 
ing that thejfy owing to the greater tendencies of a 
crowded city to idleness ind profligacy, consume as 
much as all the other nine-tenths, the annual expendi- 
ture of our state in spiriluous liquors will amount to six 
millions of dollars. Now it is an enormous evil, that so 
large a portion of our annual income should be diverted 
from the service of productive industry ; from adminis- 
tering to the agriculture, commerce, manufactures, con- 
veniencies, comforts, and embellishment of the state. 
The sum so expended is about equal to a capitation tax 
of slv dollitrs upon every man, woman, and child, 
throughout the state. But the mere detraction of so 
much money annually from the public service, from 
private comrort, from social ornament, is, by no means, 
the greatest evil resulting from such an application of 
the funds of labour. The habitual use of ardent spirits 
enervates the bodily frame, renders it irritable, and 
liable to disease, lays the sure foundation of constitu- 
tional decay, and premature death ; it dissipates all the 
powers of the mind in shapeless idleness, quenches the 
fires of genius, and puts out the lights of learning ; it 
corrupts and debases the whole moral nature of man \ 
scars up his conscience i^gainst every obligation of duty, 
jitifles the voice of aflection, extinguishes in his bosora 
all the charities of parent, child, and brother ; eradi- 
cates every principle and evety sentiment of religion, 
and renders him an incarnate fipnd, ripe for the perpe- 
tration oi every enormity that can carry anguish and 
ruin into the recesses of private life, and convert soci- 
ety itself into a scene of rapine, and violence, of fraud, 
injustice, anarchy, and bloodl 

Thi» eyil is too great, too deeply rooted in ^hp t^abitf 


and passions of our people,, for individual charity^ how* 
leyep active and persevering, to remove, or. even sensibly 
jto diminish. Itis.tothe /e^/a/ie^reof thestate thatwe 
must look for a remedy to an evil, whiqh is eating, like 
a cankerworm into the heart of the community, and 
rendering that structure of- human society, which is so 
fair and.glistening in its exterior form, full of dead men^ 
}x>nesandvall uhcleanness within. What should forbid 
pur legislature? — nay, but is it not their imperious duty^ 
insfeutly,without the delay of a moment, as they regard 
the welfare, temporal and eternal, of the people cpm^ 
mitted .to their trust, by the Governor among thenflHons^ 
4:6 put a stop to this great and growing evil, by the wise 
jmA wholesome restraint of efficient laws ? Can it be 
deemed a sufficient objection to the diminution of these 
receptacles of vice and misery^ that such a measure 
will lessen the state revenue ? Are the guardians of 
the commonwealth^ who are appointed to their, high 
office for the express purpose of promoting the we//i- 
being of the people, to put into one scale a little paltry 
tax, and into the other Jhe healthy the industry, the 
morals, the proaperity^ the happiness^ of the great [mass 
of the communitjr, and make their miserable peppeiu- 
<5om of revenue weigh the heaviest ? But for a moment, 
putting aside all reference to morality and religion, 
.which however ought always to be the most powerful 
end conclusive arguments to the magistrates of a Chris- 
4ian country, the state revenue itself may, he infinitely 
augmented by the increase of industry, social order, 
public and private wealth, which would instantly spring 
up from amidst the ruins of the present demoralizing 
system. Since writing the above, the iViw-l^r A. Cow- 
mittee have puhUshed a report, in which, with great 
wisdomi and judgment^ they state theevils^ and point 
to the remedies of pauperism. : 

With regard to the manners of the Unk^ States, 
M. Voli^ey, in the preface to his view of this cpmitry:> 
4»ys, ^^that he would dissuade his cautttiymen from 
.settling here, because, althoi^^h niaiiiy facilities and h^ 
11^4^ attend the e^tabliihihent of f^gUsh^ ^cots, G^isr 

4di GinEiAi. AaTBcr jor. aoaBn« 

manS) sitd HaBanden^ &em tlie resembianceAst pre* 
Vilk between th^r manners aad fadsks^ wad tiioae of 
Ameiici^yet then are i^aadvantages wad obstG^s^ iratt 
a eonirariefy in tii^ae retpeet$y attendii^ mHw^ «f 
Ftance. There is nothing in the social forms and habits 
<rf*the two nations that can make thai&iCoaleBce^ " They 
. tax us with levity, loquacity, and felly, while we reproach 
' them with coldness, reserve, and haughty tacitumit]^ ; 
with despising thosi^ sedulous and engaging civilities^ 
whiph we so ni^y value, and the want cf which it 
eonstruod l^ us into proofs of unpoliteness m the in<&* 
vidual, or of barbarism in the whole society. Tim 
national indmlity appears to flow from the mutual kv> 
dependence of each (Hher, and thd genial equditv, tu 
to fortune and condition, in which individuals ui Ame* 
ifea are, for the most part, placed.** 
.^ The truth however, is, that the United States eKhibit 
a tnedinim of manners, between tibe rude vulgaris of the 
lower orders, and the artificial refinem^it ot the higher 
classes in Europe. l%e great body ^ our people exhi- 
bit an erect muiliness c^bdiiaviour, equally r^note from 
the brutal ferocity of a revolutionary r«iffian, and the 
daborate politeness of ^ petit maitre. The <ndy exces- 
sively polite people we have are the negroes ^ who ^ Sir 
and Madam each other ^^rlastingly ; aikiknowno 
other order amongsA themselves than that of ^^ gentie- 
men and ladies!^ Some of oiu* young men who visit 
Europe, on their return exhibit what th^ call fasluon- 
able European manners, that is to ^y, a studied indif- 
ference to all parsons and things, as if politeness could 
consist in the apparent absence of all texuie mod feeling. 
These travellers, however, are soon compelled, either 
to resume their native habits and mam^rs, or to revisit 
' Europe, or to lounge awiiy thisir lives in solitaiy idle- 
_ ness. For our people are aimoirt wiveividty employed; 
in some cslMng : the scmth^mi dbsiteps SM lawyers and 
politicians ( i&t northern, middle^ andwesiem states, 
are employed in evravvaiiety of pursuit. Anditgefie- 
nSif haj^ns tha^t the wqim oS om opvdent oiti^ns be- 
oGnie i^; good fer mti^ig^ mad eventuadH^ paupen ; 

Gt^ARAi^ A^^acr m stfoit«ir« 445 

^ite n^ed^ adt^entnt^rs^ from thcr cmtMy^ A^ged b/ 
tile twofoM^ ^ikhtdus of necessity atid ambitioiv/ g^ra- 
dndly win tihe height of political^ l^g^i snd coftimdr* 
oidi^ emiifence. 

Oil? ^edMiier ckfeBes^ particularly in the lat^ cities^ — 
eathibit an great an average of real politeness and good 
breedings as the corresponding orders in Europe : for 
e^an^le^ the mtififle class of Britain^ whose iiitelligence^ 
gdod mibMnefs^ and virtue^ ha^e atlways been reckoned 
the bulwark and ot^nan^ht of the empirie^ d^ which 
inehides* i^hin its i^ainge the learned professiiohSy the^ 
army and navy^ the merehants> ^igficulturidfey and tketi' 
of letters. The iticotties of our ^^ decent lii^rs/' as they - 
are called^ reach from^ five hundred to ten tbousandf 
sterling a yeso*; although vety few individually ki the 
Union possess revenues so large as the latter sum indi- 
CBttes» Our American ladiei^ are, in their ptmxiB lovely, -^ 
in their manners easy and grat[eful, in conversation 
lively and s^isibte, in their various relations of wivfs^ 
da^ghtiBfirs> and ntothers, exemplary and excellent The ~* 
aspect' of society in tiie United States is somewhat 
doudl^ by the marvellous facility with vfiuclk^e^rier^y 
of eVei^^ sort) species, and completion, gaiii aceessf to 
our most respectable circles. A pattenvcard, a p9&t of 
suddle^bi^, and a letter of credit, ajqpear to be all the 
qualifications necessanr to enable the agents of £uro»* 
peiin traders to mingle intimately with comj^any in Ame^ 
ricil'^ &f superior^ to any that they cbuld ever command^ 
in^eir own country . 

Although the* origin' of the Andetican ]>eople b' hot^ 
hotnogenoug, yet the primaiy causes of their migration 
llM^t were similiir:; and the liberal freedom of theii* 
social instittttioms^ their g^nerdi intelligence,' and com« 
mdn interests, have apprOxithiAed their habits and man''-' 
ners so much, that, notwithstanding a comparativdy 
sttidl population is spread over an extensive territory, 
ttore are f^er provincial diversities of character and' ^ 
behaviduf in the United Stateis thanin any other count' 
tiy. Nme^t^iHiis of our people speak the' same* Ian- 
guii^e,wi^at'u^varie^of(d^eet; whichis,initsd[f/ ' 


a bond of national vanty, not to be found in any part 6f 
£urope ; every different section of which, even in the 
same nation, speaks its own peculiar provincial patois j 
The laws, government, policy, interests, religion, and 
opinions of the inhabitants of all the di&rent states es- 
sentially correspond and coincide. They are aU bound 
together by the same mighty bands of political and 
commercial liberty. Our civil institutions, and religious 
toleration, tend to produce habits of intelligence and in- 
dependence; we have no division into the higher^middlej 
and lower orders ; we have no grandees, and we have 
\_ no populace ; we are all people. 

Natural equality we cannot have, because some men 
will be taller, or stronger, or richer, or wiser than 
others, in spite of every effi>rt of human legislation. But 
political equality we possess in a degree far superior to 
what has been known in any other country, ancient or 
modem. All our civil and religious institutions are 
framed in the spirit of social equality. By the high 

-rwages of labour, the abundance and facility of subsist* 
ence, the general diffusion of elementary education, and 
the right of universal sufirage, every man, not black, is 
a citizen, sensible of his own personal importance. Not 

--^more than one niillion of our people reside in the large 
cities and towns ; the other mne millipns live on farms 
or in villages: most of them are lords of the soil they 
cul^tivate, and some are wealthy, . This subdivision of 

Eroperty, operating as a kind ofAgrarian law, and aided 
y the abolition of the rights of primogeniture, the re- 
peal of the statutes of entails, and the equal distribution 
of land and money among all the children, gives an in«r 
dividual independence and an equality of manner to our 
population,, unknown in Europe; every country of 
which is yet. deeply scared by the stabs and gashes of 
baronial dominion and feudal vassalage. 

The personal independence which every one in the 
United States mai/ enjoy, in any calling, by ordinary in^ 
dustry, and common prudence, is in itself one of the 
greatest of political blessings. So long as a man obeys 
that injunction of Scripture, to ^^ owe no one any things'* 


(and in this country debt must arise fix>m idl^ness^ oi* 
vice, or misfortune, or folly,) he is as free as the air he 
breathes; he knows no superior, hot even the Prcsideiit,- 
whom his vote has either helped or hindered in the 
career of exaltation. But this personal independence 
can only be supported by a man's cleaving exelusiyely 
to his own calling, and diligently discharging its duties! 
and demands ; for the moment he wants the aid of his 
fellow-citizens, in awy capacity or character, and ha& 
competitors for that aid, he is subjected to a scene of 
intrigue, electioneering, influence, and cabal, that would 
not have disgraced a conclave of Cardinals, when the 
popedom was worth having- 

Generally speaking, those are most attached to a 
country who own a part of its soil, and have, therefore 
a stake, in its welfare. But a great majority of the 
American people have this stake. In other countries 
low wages and unremitted labour stupefy the under* 
standing, break the spirit, and vitiate the virtue of the 
great body of the population. In the United States the 
price of labour is high, and constant toil merely optional; 
but the ocean and the land offer continual incitements to 
industiy, by opening inexhaustible regions of ente^rprise 
and wealth. In consequence, all is motion ; every one 
follows some vocation, and the whole country is in per- 
petual progress ; each industrious individual feels him- 
self rismg in the scale of opulence and importance; 
and the universal nation^ growing with the growth of 
its aspiring children, hasfens onward, with continually* 
augmenting velocity, towards the maturity of resistless . 
strength and unrivalled power. 

A people so lately sprung from, and so closely con- 
nected with, Europe, must greatly resemble it in i?ian* 
ners. But the universality of employment, and gen^l — 
equality of fortune, enable, and eause the Americans to 
steer equally clear af the luxurious refinement and the 
irude vulgarity of Europe. Hospitality and politeness — 
are the common virtues of the United States. Mr. 
Birkbeck was peculiarly struck with the urbaiiity and 
civilization that prevail throughout tlxis country, even ix^^ 


i^Huations the most remote from our large dtie^. In hi* 
journey from Norfolk, on the Virrinia eo^ to the 
heart of the western country, he dia not fot a' moment 
Tose sight of the manners of civiluced life. He found 
^nei&er the excess of ar^flcial refudement, nor the ex- 
treme of vulgarity, which exist in his own country. In 

• cTery department of common Ufe, he here saw employ- 
ed peitons far superior in education, habits, and manners, 
to the corresponding classes iti England. He complains, 
however*, that the taverns in the great towns east df the 
ASlediany mountains, which lay in their route westward, 

— afforded nothing corresponding with their habits and 
notions of convenient accommodation, except the ex^ 

* _ He $ays, that every thing in these places is grega- 

tious ; every thing is public by day and by night ; for 
even the night aflordi^ no privacy m an American inn. 
Whatever be the number of guests, they must eat in 
mass^y and sleep in mass. Hiree times a day, the great 
bell rings, and a hundred people rush from sdl quarters 
to eat a huiried meal, composed of Mty different dishes, 
liie breakfast consists of fish, flesh, and fowl, bread, 
butter, eg^, coffee, and tea; the dinner resembles 
brekkfa^t, with the omission of tea and coffee, and tha 
addition of fermented liquors; the supper ii§ a repetition 
of the breakfast. After which, the guests are crammed 
into roomsf crowded with beds, like the wards of an 
hospital; where they undress ih public, and generally 
receive a human partner in their bed, in addition to the 
myriads of gentlemen in brown livery, who occupy every 
house on a perpetual lease. Into the horrors of the 
■^ kitchen of an American inn, with its darkness and ne- 
gr^s, and dirt, I have no appetite to follow Mr. Birk- 
beck, who, however, accounts properly for the indepehd- 
eiit air of the landlord, so entirely in contrast wifli the 
obsequious civility of an English tavern-keeper, by 
stating, that he is generally a man of property, cul-r 
tivating his own farm, and a general, or colonel, or, at' 
least, a captain of militia, and, consequently, feels him- 
self AiUy as great as the guests whom he entertains^ and 


behaves father as if 4ie Gotvfers than receives a favour^ 
by accomaipdating them and their attendants^ and re* 
iieiviiig their money. ^ . ._ 

The political equality which pervades the United 
States opens kll official ranks to aU persons ; and^ ac^ 
cprdingly, w6 have' innkeepers, tod tailors, and shoe* 
makers, 2»k1 retail shop-keepers, as well as merchants^ 
and lawyers, and farmers, slinong our generals and co^ 
lonels; whence arises that equal air of;denieailor and 
manner that so much surprises Europeans who have I 
been accustomed to the insolence of wealth and power ' 
on one hand, and to the servility of pauperism and de* 
pendQnce on the other. Besides, the Europeans gene^ 
fally do not receive so much civility from our tavemers, 
because they are very apt to insult us by exaggerated 
comparisons of the marvellous superiority of Europeai^ 
wisdom, convenience, comfort, elegance, and refine- 
ment, to those of the United States ; and an Ameri^saa 
citizen, who is taught from his cradle to despise the na-^ 
tions of Europe, as paupers and slaves, is not very nice 
in showing his contempt at these sublimated parallels. 

In another part of his notes, Mr. Birkbeck proceeds 
to offer the result of his own observations on the man^ 
ners of that section of the Union which he saw ; namely^ 
part of the southern, and nearly the whole of the west-^ 
em division. He thinks, that as ttie Americans haveno 
centrd focus of fashion, or locil standard bf politeness-, 
no remote situation affords any apology for sordid appa- ' 
rel or coarse behaviour ; and he found no examples of 
that rural simplicity, that embarrassed, awkward, sheep^ 
ish air, so frequent among the peasantry, and even the 
farmers, of England; This self-possession he attributes . 
very justly to the political equality of .our people; the 
consciousness of which accompanies all their intercourse, 
and operates most powerfully on the manners of the 
lowest class^ He complains, however, that cleanKness, — 
in house and person, is neglected to a degree quite disl- 
gusting to an Englishman ; and tells of court-houses in 
the western country, used as places of worship, iii which 

o g 


idl kinds of filth have been acqumtulating ever since they 
were built. 
'^ The truth is, the people of the sputhem and western . 
states, generally s|)eaking, are no/ cleanly either in 
their person?, or houses, or habits. The inhabitants of 
the. New-England and middle states are, in general, 
given to cleanliness^ particularly the Dutch settlers and 
their descendants. There, is, however, ene veryjilthy 
custom, which pervades tiie whole union; I mean the 
<-^habit of eating and smoking tobacco. Our judges and 
la^vyers^ politicians and parsons, doctors and merchants^ 
army ana navy, farmers and mechanics^ in a word^ our 
whole people, from the president of the United States 
down to the pauper in the alms-house, itmoke and chew 
tobacco, and abundantly eject its concocted juice in all 
places, at all times, amd under all circumstances, without 
any remorse of conscience, or regard for the white dra- 
peries and finer sensibilities of our most delicate ladie#; 
or for its execrable annoyance to all those who did not 
happen to be cradled in America. The late Mr. Gou- 
vemeur Morris, during his residence abroad^ saw that 
the use of tobacco, sav^ in the shape of snuflT, was con- 
fined^ in Europe, to the lowest orders of soldiers and 
sailors, boors and mechanics. On his return home, two 
' of his male cousins began to question him on European 
habits and maani^s, keeping him all the while under 
the cross-fire of their segars. At length one of them 
laid, ^ Mr, Morris, do the gentlemen ift J^urope smoke 
much?'* ^* Sir/' replied jMj. Morris, sinking \mjambe 
4e hois sharply on the ground, ^^ Genitttnen »moke in 
no country " 
^ The amusements of the Americsuis do not, exhibit so 
^ ferocious an aspect as those of the English; they being 
more addicted to dancing and music,. than to bull-bait- 
ing, cock-fighting, and boxing. Not that the English 
are^ really^ more ferocious than the American people; 
but the United States either never adopted, or have laid 
aside, certain savage custopis still preserved in England. 
.Theatrical exhibitions, balls, rgut^, the sporti of the 


iKelii and turf^ and thie pleasures of the table^ are the 
chief amusements of our people^ and conducted much 
in the same ^ray as in Europe; from which quarter w« 
geneijiHy import our players^ dancings-masters, singers, 
and musicians; such commodities^ as y^t, making n6 
part of the staple of the United States4 When Pericles 
vras asked if he could play on any instrument, he an- . 
swered, ^^ No, I cannot fiddle^ but I can make a little 
empire a great one." Our r(m