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rendered familiar and agreeable, though a guished that race, admirably fit a man for regard to their health may compel some of the labour and isolation necessarily to be them to seek a change by passing to the endured before he can be a successful south or north of their original latitude. colonist. Now, New-England, together The New England tide of emigration, in its with the States of New York, New-Jersey, westward course, penetrated and settled Delaware, and Pennsylvania, with the exthe northern and western parts of the State ception of Dutch and Swedish elements, of New-York, and advancing still farther in which were too inconsiderable to affect the the direction of the setting sun, entered general result, were all colonized by peonorthern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illi- ple of Anglo-Saxon origin. And assuredly nois, extended over the whole of Michigan, they have displayed qualities fitting them and is now stretching into the Territory for their task such as the world has never of Wisconsin. That from the southern witnessed before. No sooner have the counties of New York, from New Jersey, relations between the colonies and the and Eastern Pennsylvania, first occupied Aborigines permitted it to be done with Western Pennsylvania, and then extended safety (and sometimes even before), than into the central districts of Ohio and Indi- we find individuals and families ready to
The Maryland and Virginia column penetrate the wilderness, there to choose, colonized Western Virginia and Kentucky, each for himself or themselves, some ferand then dispersed itself over the southern tile spot for a permanent settlement. If parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois ; while friends could be found to accompany him that from North Carolina, after having and settle near him, so much the better; colonized Tennessee, is reaching into but if not, the bold emigrant would venture Missouri and Iowa. The South Carolina alone far into the trackless forest, and surcolumn, mingling with that of Georgia, mount every obstacle single-handed, like a after having covered Alabama and a great fisherman committing himself to the deep part of the State of Mississippi, is now ex- and passing the livelong day at a distance tending itself into Arkansas.
from the shore. Such was the experience This account of the progress of coloni- of many of the first colonists of New-Engzation westward, as a general statement, is land; such that of the earliest settlers in remarkably correct, and it furnishes a bet- New-York, New Jersey, Delaware, and ter key to the political, moral, and religious Pennsylvania; such in our own day has character of the West, than any other that been the case with many of the living occould be given. The West, in fact, may cupants of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michibe regarded as the counterpart of the East, gan, Wisconsin, and lowa; and thus is after allowing for the exaggeration, if I may colonization advancing in all those states so speak, which a life in the wilderness and territories at the present moment. tends to communicate for a time to man- Living on the lands which they cultivate, ners and character, and even to religion, the agricultural inhabitants of the Newbut which disappears as the population England and Middle States are very much increases, and the country acquires the dispersed; the country, far and wide, is stamp of an older civilization. Strag- dotted over with the dwellings of the landglers may, indeed, be found in all parts holders and those who assist them in the of the West, from almost all parts of the cultivation of the soil. For almost every East; and many emigrants from Europe, landowner tills his property himself, astoo, Germans especially, enter by New- sisted by his sons, by young men hired for Orleans, and from that city find their way that purpose, or by tenants who rent from by steamboats into Indiana, Illinois, Mis- him a cottage and a few acres. Field souri, Wisconsin, and Iowa. But all these work in all those states is performed by form exceptions that hardly invalidate the men alone; a woman is never seen handgeneral statement.
ling the plough, the hoe, the axe, the sickle, or the scythe, unless in the case of foreign emigrants who have not yet
adopted American usages in this respect. CHAPTER VI.
Now it is in this isolated and independent
mode of life that our men best fitted to PECULIAR QUALIFICATIONS OF
penetrate and settle in the wilderness are SAXON RACE FOR THE WORK OF COLONIZA-trained; and from this what may be em
phatically called our frontier race has Apart altogether from considerations of sprung, and is recruited from time to time. a moral and religious character, and the in- Take the following case as an illustrafluence of external circumstances, we may tion of the process that is continually going remark, that the Anglo-Saxon race possess-on in the frontier settlements. A man rees qualities peculiarly adapted for success-moves to the West, he purchases a piece ful colonization. The characteristic per- of ground, builds a house, and devotes severance, the spirit of personal freedom himself to the clearing and tillage of his and independence, that have ever distin-) forest acres. Ere long he has rescued a
farm from the wilderness, and has reared to the merchant, who has opened his store a family upon it. He then divides his land at'some village among the trees, perhaps among his sons, if there be enough for a some miles off, and there laying out the farm to each of them; if not, each receives little money they may have left. With money enough to buy one as he comes of economy and health, they gradually beage. Some may settle on lands bestowed come prosperous. The primitive log-house on them by their father; others, preferring gives place to a far better mansion, cona change, may dispose of their portion and structed of hewn logs, or of boards, or of proceed, most commonly unmarried, to brick or stone. Extensive and well-fenced To the new country,” as it is called, that is, fields spread around, ample barns stored to those parts of the West where the pub- with grain, stalls filled with horses and catlic lands are not yet sold. There he tle, flocks of sheep, and herds of hogs, all chooses out as much as he can convenient- attest the increasing wealth of the owners. ly pay for, receiving a title to it from the Their children grow up, perhaps to pursue District Land Office, and proceeds to make the same course, or, as their inclinations for himself a home. This is likely to be in may lead, to choose some other occupathe spring. Having selected a spot for his tion, or to enter one of the learned profesdwelling, generally near some fountain, sions. or where water may be had by digging a This sketch will give the reader some well, he goes round and makes the acquaint- idea of the mode in which colonization: ance of his neighbours, residing within advances among the Anglo-Saxon race of the distance, it may be, of several miles. the Middle and New-England States of A time is fixed for building him a house, America. Less Anglo-Saxon in their oriupon which those neighbours come and gin, and having institutions and customs: render him such efficient help, that in a modified by slavery, the Southern States single day he will find a log-house con- exhibit colonization advancing in a very structed, and perhaps covered with clap- different style. When an emigrant from boards, and having apertures cut out for those states removes to the “ Far West,” the doors, windows, and chimney. He he takes with him his wagons, his cattle, makes his floor at once of rough boards his little ones, and a troop of slaves, so as riven from the abundant timber of the sur-to resemble Abraham when he moved from rounding forest, constructs his doors, and place to place in Canaan. When he seterects à chimney. Occupying himself, tles in the forest he clears and cultivates. while interrupted in out-door work by the ground with the labour of his slaves. rainy weather, in completing his house, he Everything goes on heavily.
Slaves are finds it in a few weeks tolerably comfort- too stupid and improvident to make good able, and during fair weather he clears the colonists. The country, under these disunderwood from some ten or fifteen acres, advantages, never assumes the garden-like kills the large trees by notching them appearance that it already wears in the round so as to arrest the rise of the sap, New-England and Middle States, and which and plants the ground with Indian corn, or is to be seen in the northern parts of the maize, as it is called in Europe. He can great Central Valley. Slavery, in fact, easily make, buy, or hire a plough, a har- seems to blight whatever it touches..
a row, and a hoe or two. If he finds time, Next to the Anglo-Saxon race from the he surrounds his field with a fence. At British shores, the Scotch make the best length, after prolonging his stay until his settlers in the great American forests. crop is beyond the risk of serious injury The Irish are not so good ; they know not from squirrels and birds, or from the growth how to use the plough, or how to manage of weeds, he shuts up his house, commits the horse and the ox, having had but little it to the care of some neighbour, living experience of either in their native land. perhaps one or two miles distant, and re- None can handle the spade better, nor are: turns to his paternal home, which may be they wanting in industry. But when they from one to three hundred miles distant first arrive they are irresolute, dread the from his new settlement. There he stays forest, and hang too much about the large until the month of September, then mar- towns, looking around for such work as: ries, and with his young wife, a wagon their previous mode of life has not disquali. and pair of horses to carry their effects, a fied them for. Such of them as have been few cattle or sheep, or none, according to bred to mechanical trades might find sufficircumstances, sets out to settle for life in cient employment if they would let ardent the wilderness. On arriving at his farm, he spirits alone, but good colonists for the forSows wheat or rye among his standing In- ests they will never be. Their children dian corn, then gathers in this last, and may do better in that career. The few prepares for the winter. His wife shares Welsh to be found in America are much all the cares incident to this humble begin- better fitted than the Irish for the life and ning. Accustomed to every kind of house- pursuits of a farmer. hold work, she strives by the diligence of The perseverance and frugality of the her fingers to avoid the necessity of going | German, joined to other good qualities
which he has in common with the Anglo- upon the existence of but one language, Saxon race, enable him to succeed tolera- can the citizens of the United States make bly well even in the forest, but he finds it any claim to it; for the colonists from more to his advantage to settle on a farm whom they are descended brought with bought at second-hand and partially culti- them the languages of the different counvated. The Swiss are much the same with tries from which they came, and these are the Germans. The French and Italians, retained in some instances to the present on the other hand, are totally unfit for day. At least eleven of the different lanplanting colonies in the woods. Nothing guages of Europe have been spoken by could possibly be more alien to the usual settlers in the United States. habits of a Frenchman. The population But let us examine these two points of France is almost universally collected somewhat more minutely, and we cannot in cities, towns, villages, and hamlets, and fail to be struck with the facts which will thus, from early habit as well as constitu- be presented to our view. tional disposition, Frenchmen love socie- And in the first, never has there been ty, and cannot endure the loneliness and witnessed so rapid a blending of people isolation of the settlements we have de- from different countries, and speaking difscribed. When they attempt to form colo- ferent languages, as may be seen in the nies, it is by grouping together in villages, United States. Within the last two hunas may be seen along the banks of the St. dred years, people have been arriving from Lawrence and of the Lower Mississippi. some eleven or twelve different countries, Hence their settlements are seldom either and distinguished by as many different extensive or vigorous. They find them- tongues, yet so singular a' fusion has taselves happier in the cities and large towns. ken place, that in many localities, where If resolved to establish themselves in the population is at all compact, it would puzcountry, they should go to comparatively zle a stranger to determine the national well-settled neighbourhoods, not to the for- origin of the people from any peculiarity ests of the Far West.
of physiognomy or dialect, far less of language. Who can distinguish in New-York the mass of persons of Dutch descent from
those of Anglo-Saxon origin, unless, perCHAPTER VII.
haps, by their retaining Dutch family names? Where discover, by the indices of language, features, or manners, the de
scendants of the Swedes, the Welsh, with FOREIGNERS who have written about the a few exceptions the Poles, the NorweUnited States have often asserted that it gians, the Danes, or the great body of is a country without a national character. French Huguenots ? Almost the only exWere this the mere statement of an opin- ceptions to this universal amalgamation ion, it might be suffered to pass unnoticed, and loss of original languages are to be like many other things emanating from found in the Germans and French; and even authors who undertake to speak about in regard to these, had it not been for comcountries which they have had only very paratively recent arrivals of emigrants partial, and hence very imperfect, opportu- caused by the French Revolution, the St. nities of knowing. But as the allegation Domingo massacres, and various events in has been made with an air of considerable Germany, both the French and German pretension, it becomes necessary that we languages would have been extinct ere now should submit it to the test of truth. in the United States. The former is spo
If oneness of origin be essential to the ken only by a few thousands in the large formation of national character, it is clear cities, and some tens of thousands in Loui-that the people of the United States can siana. In the cities, English as well as make no pretensions to it. No civilized French is spoken by most of the French; nation was ever composed of inhabitants and in Louisiana, the only portion of the derived from such a variety of sources ; Union which the French language has ever for in the United States we find the de- ventured to claim for itself, it is fast giving scendants of English, Welsh, Scotch, place to English. German, also, spoken Irish, Dutch, Germans, Norwegians, Danes, although it be by many thousands of emiSwedes, Poles, French, Italians, and Span- grants arriving yearly from Europe, is fast iards ; and there is even a numerous and disappearing from the older settlements. distinguished family in which it is admitted, The children of these Germans almost uniwith pride, that the blood of an Indian prin- versally acquire the English tongue in their cess mingles with that of the haughty Nor- infancy, and where located, as generally man or Norman-Saxon. Many other na- happens, in the neighbourhood of settlers. tions are of mixed descent, but where shall who speak English as their mother tongue, we find one derived from so many distinct learn to speak it well. Indeed, over nearly races ?
the whole vast extent of the United States, Neither, if national character depends English is spoken among the well-educ?
ON THE ALLEGED WANT OF NATIONAL CHAR
ACTER IN AMERICA.
ted, with a degree of purity to which therement of their claims to national character, is no parallel in the British realm. There, do the same. on a space not much larger than a sixth part Amalgamation takes place, also, by inof the United States territory, no fewer than termarriages to an extent quite unexamthree or four languages are spoken; and in pled anywhere else ; for though the AngloEngland alone, I know not how many dia- Saxon race has an almost undisputed poslects are to be found which a person unac- session of the soil in New-England, peocustomed to them can hardly at all com- ple are everywhere else to be met with prehend, however familiar he may be with in whose veins flows the mingled blood pure English. As for France, with its Gas- of English, Dutch, Germans, Irish, and con, Breton, and I know not how many French. other remains of the languages spoken by Nor has the assimilation of races and the ancient races which were once scat- languages been greater than that of mantered over its territory, the case is still ners, customs, religion, and political prin
Nor does either Germany or Ita- ciples. The manners of the people, in ly present the uniformity of speech that some places less, in others more refined, distinguishes the millions of the United are essentially characterized by simplicity, States, with the exception of the newly-ar- sincerity, frankness, and kindness. The rived foreigners; a uniformity which ex- religion of the overwhelming majority, and tends even to pronunciation, and the ab- which may therefore be called national, is, sence of provincial accent and phraseology in all essential points, what was taught by A well-educated American who has seen the great Protestant Reformers of the sixmuch of his country may, indeed, distin- teenth century. With respect to politics, guish the Southern from the Northern with whatever warmth we may discuss the modes of pronouncing certain vowels; he measures of the government, but one feel, may recognise by certain shades of sound, ing prevails with regard to our political if I may so express myself, the Northern institutions themselves. We are no propor Southern origin of his countrymen; but agandists : we hold it to be our duty to these differences are too slight to be read- avoid meddling with the governments of ily perceived by a foreigner.
other countries ; and though we prefer our Generally speaking, the pronunciation own political forms, would by no means of well-educated Americans is precisely insist on others doing so too. that given in the best orthoëpical authori- ernment we believe to be the best for any ties of England, and our best speakers people under which they live most happiadopt the well-established changes in pro- ly, and are best protected in their rights of nunciation that from time to time gain person, property, and conscience; and we ground there. A few words, however, are would have every nation to judge for itself universally pronounced in a manner differ- what form of government is best suited to ent from what prevails in England. Either secure for it these great ends. and neither, for example, are pronounced Assuredly no country possesses a press eether and neether, not ither and nāther, nor more free, or where, notwithstanding, pubwillour:lawyers probably ever learn to say lic opinion is more powerful ; but on these lien for lēen. There is a very perceptible points we shall have more to say in andifference of accent between the English Other part of this work. and Americans, particularly those of the The American people, taken as a whole, Eastern or New-England States. There are mainly characterized by perseverance, is also a difference of tone ; in some of the earnestness, kindness, hospitality, and selfstates there is more of a nasal inflexion of reliance, that is, by a disposition to depend the voice than one hears in England. upon their own exertions to the utmost,
English literature has an immense cir- rather than look to the government for asculation in America; a circumstance which sistance. Hence, there is no country where may be an advantage in one sense, and a the government does less, or the people disadvantage in another. We are not want more. In a word, our national character ing, however, in authors of unquestion is that of the Anglo-Saxon race, which able merit in almost every branch of liter- still predominates among us in conseature, art, and science. till, if a litera- quence of its original preponderancy in ture of our own creation be indispensable the colonization of the country, and of the to the possession of a national character, energy which forms its characteristic diswe must abandon all claim to it.
tinction. It may be added, that we have no fash- Has the reader ever heard Haydn's celions of our own. We follow the modes of ebrated oratorio of the Creation performParis. But in this Germans, Russians, ed by a full orchestra ? If so, he cannot Italians, and English, without any abate- have forgotten how chaos is represented * I have been informed that there are twelve dis
at the commencement, by all the instrutinet lauguages and patois spoken in France, and ments being sounded together without the that interpreters are needed in courts of justice with least attempt at concord. By-and-by, howin a hundred miles of Paris !
ever, something like order begins, and
THE ROYAL CHARTERS.
at length the clear notes of the clarionet, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, but
1 are heard over all the others, controlling the northern and southern bounding lines, them into harmony. Something like this if extended according to the terms of the has been the influence in America of the charter, would have terminated, the one in Anglo-Saxon language, laws, institutions, the Pacific Ocean, and the other in Hud
son's Bay ; yet by the same charter, they But if, when it is alleged that we have were both to terminate at the South Sea, no national character, it be meant that we as the Pacific Ocean was then called. have not originated any for ourselves, it The North Carolina and Georgia charmay be asked, What nation has ? All owe ters conveyed to the colonists provinces much to those from whom they have that were to extend westward to the South sprung; this, too, has been our case, al- Sea. though what we have inherited from our The Massachusetts and Connecticut remote ancestors has unquestionably been charters made these colonies also reach much modified by the operation of politi- to the South Sea, it never appearing to cal institutions which we have been led to have entered the royal head that they must adopt by new circumstances, and which, thus have interfered with the claims of probably, were never contemplated by the Virginia. New-York, which they must also founders of our country.
have traversed, seems not to have been thought of, though claimed and occupied
at the time by the Dutch. Indeed, conCHAPTER VIII.
sidering the descriptions contained in their charters, it is marvellous that the colonies
ever ascertained their boundaries. LookFew points in the colonial history of the ing at the charter of Massachusetts, for United States are more interesting to the example, and comparing it with that state curious inquirer than the royal charters, as laid down on our maps, we are amazed under which the settlement of the country to think by what possible ingenuity it first took place.
should have come to have its existing These charters were granted by James boundaries, especially that on the northI., Charles I., Charles II., James II., Will- east. Still more confounding does it seem iam and Mary, and George I. They were that Massachusetts should have successvery diverse, both in form and substance. fully claimed the territory of Maine, and Some were granted to companies, some to yet have had to relinquish that of Newsingle persons, others to the colonists Hampshire. themselves. Most of them preceded the The charter granted to William Penn foundation of the colonies to which they for Pennsylvania was the clearest of all, referred; but in the cases of Rhode Island yet it was long matter of dispute whether and Connecticut, the territories were set- or not it included Delaware. On the othtled first ; while Plymouth colony had no er hand, Delaware was claimed by Marycrown charter at all, and not even a grant land, and with justice, if the charter of the from the Plymouth Company in England, latter province were to be construed lituntil the year after its foundation. erally. Still, Maryland did not obtain
he ordinary reader can be interested Delaware. only in the charters granted by the crown Such charters, it will be readily supof England; those from proprietary com- posed, must have led to serious and propanies and individuals, to whom whole tracted disputes between the colonies provinces had first been granted by the themselves. Many of these disputes were crown, can interest those readers only still undetermined at the commencement who would study the innumerable lawsuits of the war of the Revolution; several reto which they gave occasion. Such in mained unadjustified long after the achievethose days was the utter disregard for the ment of the national independence; and it correct laying down of boundaries, that was only a few years ago that the last of the same district of country was often cov- the boundary questions was brought to a ered with two or more grants, made by the final issue before the Supreme Court of the same proprietors, to different individuals; United States. thus furnishing matter for litigations which After the Revolution, immense difficullasted in some colonies more than a cen- ties attended the settlement of the various tury, and sometimes giving rise to lawsuits claims preferred by the Atlantic States to even at the present day.
those parts of the West which they beThe royal charters give us an amusing lieved to have been conveyed to them by idea of the notions with respect to North their old charters, and into which the tide American geography entertained in those of emigration was then beginning to flow. days by the sovereigns of England, or by Had Virginia successfully asserted her those who acted for them. The charter claims, she would have had an empire in of Virginia not only included those vast the Valley of the Mississippi sufficient, at regions now comprised in the States of some future day, to counterbalance almost