Slike strani

don their country, rather than submit to a kind seemed to vanish, when compared tyranny that threatened to enslave their im- with the boundless interval which separamortal minds, and made them seek in the ted the whole race from Him on whom New World the freedom of conscience their own eyes were constantly fixed. that was denied to them in the Old. They recognised no title to superiority but

They have been justly accused, indeed, His favour; and, confident of that, they of not immediately carrying out their prin- despised all the accomplishments and all ciples to their legitimate results, and of be- the dignities of the world. If their names ing intolerant to each other. Still, be it were not found in the registers of heralds, remembered to their honour, that both in they felt assured that they were recorded theory and in practice, they were in these in the Book of Life. If their steps were respects far in advance of all their con- not accompanied by a splendid train of temporaries ; still more, that their descend- menials, legions of ministering angels had ants have maintained this advanced posi- charge over them. Their palaces were tion; so that the people of the United houses not made with hands; their diaStates of America now enjoy liberty of dems, crowns of glory which should never conscience to an extent unknown in any fade away. On the rich and the eloquent, other country. Persecution led the Puri- on nobles and priests, they looked down tan colonists to examine the great subject with contempt; for they esteemed themof human rights, the nature and just extent selves rich in a more precious treasure, of civil government, and the boundaries and eloquent in a more sublime language; at which obedience ceases to be a duty. nobles by the right of an earlier creation, What Sir James Mackintosh has said of and priests by the imposition of a mightier John Bunyan might be applied to them: hand. The very meanest of them was a The severities to which he had been sub- being to whose fate a mysterious and jected had led him to revolve in his own terrible importance belonged; on whose mind the principles of religious freedom, slightest action the spirits of light and until he had acquired the ability of baf- darkness looked with anxious interest; fling, in the conflict of argument, the most who had been destined, before the heavens acute and learned among his persecutors." and the earth were created, to enjoy a feThe clear convictions of their own minds licity which should continue when heaven on this subject they transmitted to their and' earth should have passed away. posterity, nor was the inheritance neglect- Events, which short-sighted politicians ed or forgotten.

ascribed to earthly causes, had been orThe political institutions of the Puritan dained on his account. For his sake emcolonies of New England are to be traced pires had risen, and flourished, and decayto their religion, not their religion to their ed. For his sake the Almighty had propolitical institutions, and this remark ap- claimed his will, by the pen of the evangeplies to other colonies also. Now, if the list, and the harp of the prophet. He had reader would know what the religious been rescued by no common Deliverer character of those Puritans was, let him from the grasp of no common foe. He peruse the following eloquent eulogy upon had been ransomed by the sweat of no them, from a source which will not be sus- vulgar agony, by the blood of no earthly pected of partiality to their religion, what-sacrifice. It was for him that the sun had ever opinions may be attributed to it in re- been darkened, that the rocks had been lation to their political principles. rent, that the dead had arisen, that all na

" The Puritans were men whose minds ture had shuddered at the sufferings of her had derived a peculiar character from the expiring God."* daily contemplation of superior beings and eternal interests. Not content with acknowledging in general terms an overruling Providence, they habitually ascribed

CHAPTER XI. every event to the will of the Great Being for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know Him, to serve Him, to enjoy Him,

Some knowledge of the civil and politiwas with them the great end of existence cal structure of the government is almost They rejected with contempt the ceremo

indispensable to a correct investigation of nious homage which other sects substitu- the religious economy of the United States; ted for the pure worship of the soul. In- for although there is no longer a union stead of catching occasional glimpses of there between Church and State, still the the Deity through an obscuring veil, they interests of religion come into contact, in aspired to gaze full on the intolerable many ways, with the political organizations brightness, and to commune with Him face of the General and State Governments. to face. Hence originated their contempt

The Government of the United States of earthly distinctions. The difference must appear extremely complicated to a between the greatest and meanest of man- * Edinburgh Review, vol. xli., 339,




foreigner accustomed to the unity that hold circuit courts in different parts of the distinguishes most monarchical polities, country. The whole country is divided, and complicated it is in fact. We will en also, into districts, each having a judge apdeavour to describe its leading features as pointed by the President, for the decision briefly as possible.

of causes that fall within the cognizance The whole country, then, is subject to of the United States' courts, and from what is called the National or General whose decisions an appeal lies to the SuGovernment, composed of three branches : preme Court. That court decides how I. The Executive; II. The Legislative; far the laws passed by the National ConIII. The Judicial.

gress, or by the legislatures of the differThe executive power is lodged in one ent states, are consistent with the Constiman, the President; who is appointed for tution; also, all questions between indifour years, by electors chosen for that vidual states, or between the United States purpose, each state being allowed as many and an individual state, and questions arias it has members of Congress. These sing between a foreigner and either the are chosen differently in different states, United States or any one state. but generally by districts, each district The government of the states individuchoosing one elector, and that for the sole ally, closely resembles that of the Consedpurpose of electing the President and Vice-eration, the jurisdiction of each being conPresident. The latter presides over the fined, of course, to its own territory. Each Senate, but his office is almost nominal : has its own governor and its own Legislashould the President die, the Vice-Presi- ture; the latter, in all cases but one,* condent immediately steps into his place. sists of a Senate and House of Representa

The President appoints the secretaries tives, besides a supreme law court, with of state, or ministers of the various depart- subordinate district and county courts. ments of the administration, such as the The Legislature of each state embraces a treasury, navy, war office, &c., and, direct- vast variety of subjects, falling within the. ly or indirectly, he appoints to all offices compass of its own internal interests. The in the National or General Government; different states vary materially on several in the case of the more important ones, points, such as the term during which the however, only with the consent and appro- governor holds office, and the extent of his bation of the Senate.

power; the terms for which the senators The legislation of the National Govern- and representatives are elected, and for ment is committed to the Congress, and which the judges are appointed; the salathat has two branches, the Senate and the ries of those functionaries, and so forth. House of Representatives. The Senate is With the exception of South Corolina composed of two persons from each state and Louisiana, in which the territorial diin the Union, chosen by the legislatures visions are called districts, all the states of the states respectively, and for the are subdivided into counties, having courts period of six years. The House of Rep- of justice attached to each, and officers, resentatives is chosen by the people of the likewise, for a great many local objects, states, generally by districts, and for the such as maintaining the roads, providing period of two years.* Their number is, for the poor, &c., &c. These counties are from time to time, determined by law. The subdivided into what are called townships, House of Representatives represents the averaging six or eight miles square, in Newpeople; the Senate represents the states. England, New-York, New Jersey, PennsylNo act of Congress has the force of law vania, and most of the states in the Valley without the President's signature, unless of the Mississippi ; in Delaware they are when two thirds of each House has voted called Hundreds, and in Louisiana Parishin favour of an act which he refuses to es, while in Maryland, Virginia,t the two sign. All matters falling within the legis- Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tenlative jurisdiction of the Congress are spe- nessee, the counties form the smallest terricified in the Constitution of the United torial divisions. In the Territories, the subStates : such as are not specifically men- division into townships has been adopted. tioned there, are reserved for the legisla- These townships form important politition of the individual states.

cal and civil districts and corporations; the The judicial power is vested in a Su- inhabitants meet once a year, or oftener, preme Court, consisting at present of nine for local purposes, and for the appointjudges, appointed by the President, with ment of local officers and committees. At the consent of the Senate. They can be these primary assemblies the people acremoved only by impeachment before the quire habits of transacting public business, Senate, and hold a yearly winter session which are of the greatest importance in fitat Washington, the capital of the United States. When not thus united there, they * Vermont has but one House in its Legislature.

+ In the eastern part of Virginia, and a great part By a recent law, the members of the House of of Maryland, the parochial subdivisions that existed Representatives are hereafter to be chosen by dis- previous to the Revolution are still retained for many tricts.

local purposes, and are even recognised by the law.

[ocr errors]

ting them for legislation and government

CHAPTER XII. both in national and local affairs. As for A BRIEF GEOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF THE UNITED the larger towns, they are incorporated as

STATES. cities and boroughs, and have municipal governments of a threefold kind : legisla- physical character and resources of the

In like manner, a short account of the tive, executive, and judicial.

United States will be found useful to the The separation of the colonies from Great

reader. Britain, and the reorganization of their respective governments, produced changes allels of 24° 27' and 54° 40' north latitude,

The United States lie between the parless essential than at first view might be sup- and 66° 50' and 125° west longitude from posed. The King, Parliament, and Justicia Greenwich, and are bounded as follows: ry of England were superseded by the Pres. On the east, by the Atlantic and the Britident, Congress, and Supreme Court of the ish Province of New-Brunswick; on the United States, the nature of the government remaining essentially the same. For a he south, by the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, and reditary sovereign, we have a President, the Pacific Ocean; and on the north, by

the Republic of Mexico; on the west, by chosen once in four years; for a hereditary, the British possessions, from which they House of Peers, a Senate, the members of which are chosen for six years; the powers rence and the great chain

of lakes that flow

are separated partly by the River St. Lawof the President and Senate being almost identical in most things with those of the into, or, rather, that form a series of excorresponding branches of the British Con- pansions of that river, and partly by a constitution. As for the several colonies, ains, which line has not been determined.

ventional line west of the Oregon Mountthese the Revolution transformed into The United States' government claims up states, and the old royal charters were su- to latitude 54° 40', but this is resisted by perseded by constitutions. Beyond this there was no essential change, and but lit- England. The 49° degree of north latitude tle alteration even in forms. Instead of will most probably be agreed to, that being being appointed by the British crown, or by those

mountains to the Lake of the Woods,

the latitude of the boundary eastward of proprietary companies or individuals, the governors are chosen by the people them

after which it pursues a southeast direction selves. The legislative and judicial branch- through some small lakes, and across an ines underwent very little modification.

tervening portage to Lake Superior, which There are now in the American Union is the uppermost of the chain of lakes twenty-six organized states, three territo- through which the St. Lawrence flows. ries, and one district. The territories are

A glance at the map will show that this under the government of the President and vast territory consists of three grand secCongress of the United States, but will be- tions, the Atlantic slope, the Pacific slope, come states as soon as the amount of and the intermediate Valley of the Missistheir population entitles

them, in the opin- sippi. The whole is computed by Mr. Tanion of Congress, to be represented in the ner, a distinguished American geographer, National Legislature. They have a Legis

to contain 2,037,165 square miles. lature of their own, but their governors are

The outlines of the entire territory may appointed by the President. Two, namely, be given as follows: Wisconsin and lowa, will soon have a suf- On the north, from the mouth of the St. ficient population to entitle them to a place

Croix River to the Oregon Mountains among the states. And when these are ad- From the Oregon Mountains to the Pacific

Ocean mitted, Florida will probably be so too. Along the Pacific, from lat. 54° 40' to lat. 420 865

Under the impression that the National Along the Mexican and Texan territories, Government should be removed from the from the Pacific to the mouth of the Sabine immediate influence of any one state, the

District of Columbia, ten miles square, was Along the Atlantic Ocean

Along the Gulf of Mexico to Florida Point taken from Virginia and Maryland, and set

Making a total outline of 9665 apart as the seat of the National Government, and to it, that is, to the President,

Of the 2,037,165 square miles, constituCongress, and Supreme Court, it is imme- ting, according to Mr. Tanner, the area diately subject. Experience has hardly

of the United States, about 400,000 are approved of this measure as either wise or Florida ; 1,341,649 in, the Valley of the

found on the Atlantic slope, including East necessary. No part of the country is worse governed, Congress being too much occu

Mississippi,* and 295,516 on the Pacific pied with other matters to pay much atten- slope. Hence it appears that nearly two tion to so insignificant a territory.

thirds of the whole territory of the United The preceding outline will suffice to give States lie in the Valley of the Mississippi, the reader some idea of the government of a fact which shows the vast relative importhe United States, and prepare him for tance of that section of the country. understanding many things which might

According to Mr. Darby's estimate, the Valley of otherwise be obscure in the farther course I the Mississippi contains 1,341,649. of this work.




2300 1100 1800


Upon a survey of the whole of this ter- and enlarging, as it advances, southward, ritory, it will be found to possess physical from twenty to nearly a hundred miles advantages such as few other countries broad, the latter being its width in the state enjoy. While, with the exception of Flor- of North Carolina. Between this sandy ida, all parts of it comprise a large pro- tract and the Alleghany Mountains the land portion of excellent soil, many exhibit the is generally fertile, and produces various most astonishing fertility. It abounds in crops, according to the climate, such as fine the most valuable minerals. Iron is found wheat and the other cereal grains in Newin several states in great abundance. At Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virvarious points, but particularly in the Mid- gia ; in which last two states tobacco is dle States, there are vast deposites of coal, also largely cultivated, cotton in the Carowhich is easily conveyed by water carriage linas and in Georgia; and on the rich botto other parts of the country. Even gold tom lands along the bays and streams of is found in considerable quantities in the the sandy tract, rice and indigo. western parts of North Carolina, and the As we advance northward along this adjacent parts of South Carolina and Geor- fertile tract intervening between the sand gia, and some in Virginia and Tennessee. and the mountains, we gradually leave the The almost boundless forests of the inte region of transition and secondary rocks, rior furnish timber suited to all purposes. and enter on that of granite, so that before Navigable rivers everywhere present fa- reaching the State of Maine, primitive cilities for trade. On the Atlantic slope, rocks abound everywhere, even on the surbeginning from the east and advancing face of the ground. southwest, we find in succession the Pe- But in point of fertility the Atlantic slope nobscot, the Kennebec, the Merrimac, the bears no comparison with the Valley of the Connecticut, the Hudson, the Delaware, Mississippi, embracing a territory about six the Susquehanna, the Potomac, the Rap- times as large as that of France, and likely, pahannock, the James River, the Roanoke, ere long, to be the abode of many millions the Neuse, the Fear, the Pedee, the San- of the human race. Fifty years ago it contee, the Savannah, the Altamaha, and the tained little more than a hundred thousand St. John's, without reckoning many small- inhabitants; the population of the settled er but important streams, navigable by part of it amounted, as we have seen, in common boats and small steamers. Many 1840,* to above six millions, and this, it is of these rivers, such as the Delaware, the calculated from the data supplied in the Potomac, the Rappahannock, the James, last forty years, will have increased, in and the Roanoke, expand into noble estua- thirty-five years hence, to not much under ries before they fall into the ocean; and thirty millions. By the end of the present the coast is indented, also, with many bays, century it will probably be not less than unrivalled in point of extent and beauty fifty or sixty millions. Beginning from the east, we have Portland The tabular view on page 22 shows the or Casco Bay, Portsmouth Bay, Newbury- immense size of the eleven states and two port Bay, Massachusetts Bay, Buzzard's territories already organized in this vast Bay, Narragansett Bay, New-York Bay, valley ; let us now look for a moment to Amboy Bay, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake their natural resources. Bay, into which twelve wide-mouthed riv- Ohio, lying between the beautiful river ers fall, Wilmington Bay, Charleston Bay, of that name and Lake Erie, comprises &c., &c.

40,260 square miles, and a population of With the exception of part of the eastern above a million and a half. As England coast of Connecticut, a chain of islands, and Wales have 57,929 square miles, and some inhabited, many not, runs parallel to 15,906,829 inhabitants, Ohio, at the same the shore, beginning at Passamaquoddy ratio, would have 11,055,066. With the Bay, and extending to the southern ex- exception of a part of it in the southeast, tremity of Florida, and thence round into on the Hockhocking River, there is little the Gulf of Mexico, and along its coast, to poor land in the state. Vast forests cover beyond the western limit of the United the greater part of it to this day. Lake States. Thus are formed some of the finest Erie on the north, the River Ohio on the channels for an extensive coasting trade, south, and several navigable streams flowsuch as Long Island Sound, Albemarle ing from the interior, both to the north and Sound, Pamlico Sound, and many others. south, 'give it great natural advantages for To increase these facilities, canals and rail-commerce; in addition to which, two imroads have been extended along the coast portant artificial lines of communication, from Portland in Maine, to Charleston in made at great expense, traverse it from South Carolina, and even farther.

* The exact population of the eleven states and Immediately on the seacoast of the west- two territories of the Valley of the Mississippi was, ern part of New Jersey, there commences a without including Western Virginia, Pennsylvania, belt of sand, which extends along the whole and Flordia, in 1840, 6,376,972; in 1830 "it was

3,342,680 ; in 1820 it was 2,237,454; in 1810 it was margin of the Southern States, covered with 1,099,180 ; in 1800 it was 385,647; in 1790 it was an almost uninterrupted forest of pines, only 109,838.



Lake Erie to the Ohio. Cincinnati, its world. But besides these two great inlets commercial capital, has a population of not from the north and south, communication less than fifty thousand inhabitants. with the Atlantic slope has been opened

Indiana and Illinois are scarcely, if at up at various points of the Alleghany chain, all, inferior to Ohio in natural advantages ; by means of substantial roads of the ordiand considering its proportion of first-rate nary construction, and also by canals and land, Michigan is, perhaps, the best state railways. Thus a railway, above six hunin the Union. Kentucky and Tennessee dred miles in length, unites the town of abound both in good land and in mineral Buffalo on Lake Erie with Boston; a ca

nal unites it with Albany, and from that Missouri, one of the largest states in the point the Hudson River connects it with Union, possesses a vast extent of excellent New-York. Buffalo communicates, again, land, besides rich mines of iron and of lead. with all the northern parts of Ohio, IndiThe two territories, Iowa and Wisconsin, ana, Michigan, and Illinois, and with the lying northward of Missouri and Illinois, eastern side of the Wisconsin Territory, the former on the west, and the latter on by fifty steamboats which ply between it the east of the Upper Mississippi, are large and the ports of those regions. To all and fertile districts of country, abounding these advantages we must ascribe the rapalso in lead mines. Both are evidently id appearance of so many large cities in destined to become great states. Arkan- this great Western Valley, such as Newsas having a great deal of inferior, as well Orleans, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, as of fertile land, is considered one of the and Pittsburgh, to say nothing of smaller poorest states on the Mississippi. The towns on spots which, with the exception large State of Alabama, with the exception of New Orleans, may be said to have been of a small part in the south, about Mobile, covered by the forest only fifty years ago. and another part in the north, near the Ten- I conclude this chapter by remarking nessee River, was, in 1815, in the occupan- for a moment on the kind and wise Provicy of the Creek, Chocta, and Chickasa In- dence which kept the great Valley of the dians, chiefly the first of those tribes, but Mississippi from the possession, and alis now rapidly increasing in population. most from the knowledge of the colonists The State of Mississippi has also much of the United States, for more than one land of the very best quality, and although hundred and fifty years. By that time, its financial affairs are at present in a de- they had so far occupied and reduced to plorable condition, from bad legislation, it cultivation the less fertile hills of the Atmay be expected, in a few years, to emerge lantic slope, and there had acquired that from its embarrassments. Humanly speak- hardy, industrious, and virtuous character, ing, it must be so, for its natural resources which better fitted them to carry civilizaare great. And as for Louisiana, the rich tion and religion into the vast plains of the alluvial soil of the banks of its rivers, and West. So that, at this day, the New-Engits advantages for commerce, derived from land and other Atlantic States, while inits position in the lowest part of the great creasing in population themselves, serve, Valley of the Mississippi, must eventually at the same time, as nurseries from which make it a rich and powerful state. But it the West derives many of the best plants would require the perseverance shown in that are transferred to its noble soil. similar circumstances by the people of Holland, to defend with dikes the southern portion of the Delta of the Mississippi, and to make the whole the valuable coun

CHAPTER XIII. try into which it might be converted.

An immense tract of almost unexplored country lies to the northwest of the State of Missouri and the Territories of Iowa and

COUNTER IN AMERICA : 1. FROM THE ERROWisconsin, much of which is believed to be fertile. What new states may yet be formed there, time alone will show.

Nearly the whole of this vast valley is Some persons in Europe entertain the drained by one great river and its branch- idea, that if the “ American plan” of supes, of which no fewer than fifty-seven are porting religion, by relying, under God's navigable for steamboats. Indeed, the blessing, upon the efforts of the people, Missouri, the Arkansas, the Red River, rather than upon the help of the governand the White River, flowing from the ment, has succeeded in that country, it has west, and the Illinois, the Ohio, the Cum- been owing, in a great measure, to the fact berland, and the Tennessee, from the north that the country presented an open field and east, are themselves great rivers. On for the experiment; that everything was the north the great lakes, and on the south new there, that no old establishments had the Gulf of Mexico, form openings into to be pulled down; no deep-rooted prejuthis vast region for the commerce of the dices to be eradicated; no time-honoured


[ocr errors]




« PrejšnjaNaprej »