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Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader by Benj. N. Martin

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and was susceptible of the impression it was calculated to make. It
consisted in a well-written and graphical description of the terrible
sweep of the late pestilence; the wild dismay and temporary desolation
it had produced; the scenes of family and individual suffering and woe
he had witnessed during its ravages; the mental dejection, approaching
despair, which he himself had experienced, on account of the entire
failure of his original mode of practice in it, and the loss of his
earliest patients (some of them personal friends); the joy he felt on
the discovery of a successful mode of treating it; the benefactions
which he had afterwards the happiness to confer; and the gratulations
with which, after the success of his practice had become known, he was
often received in sick and afflicted families. The discourse, though
highly colored, and marked by not a few figures of fancy and bursts of
feeling, was, notwithstanding, sufficiently fraught, with substantial
matter to render it no less instructive than it was fascinating.

[Footnote 29: A native of North Carolina; prominent as a physician and

* * * * *

=_Thomas H. Benton, 1783-1858._= (Manual, p. 487.)

From the "Thirty Years' View of the United States Senate."


He was above the pursuit of wealth, but also above dependence and
idleness, and, like an old Roman of the elder Cato's time, worked in the
fields at the head of his slaves in the intervals of public duty, and
did not cease this labor until advancing age rendered him unable to
stand the hot sun of summer.... I think it was the summer of 1817,--that
was the last time (he told me) he tried it, and found the sun too hot
for him,--then sixty years of age, a senator, and the refuser of all
office. How often I think of him, when I see at Washington robustious
men going through a scene of supplication, tribulation, and degradation,
to obtain office, which the salvation of the soul does not impose upon
the vilest sinner! His fields, his flocks, and his herds, yielded an
ample supply of domestic productions. A small crop of tobacco--three
hogsheads when the season was good, two when bad--purchased the exotics
which comfort and necessity required, and which the farm did not
produce. He was not rich, but rich enough to dispense hospitality and
charity, to receive all guests in his house, from the president to the
day laborer--no other title being necessary to enter his house but that
of an honest man;... and above all, he was rich enough to pay as he
went, and never to owe a dollar to any man.

... He always wore the same dress,--that is to say, a suit of the same
material, cut, and color, superfine navy-blue,--the whole suit from the
same piece, and in the fashion of the time of the Revolution, and always
replaced by a new one before it showed age. He was neat in his person,
always wore fine linen, a fine cambric stock, a fine fur hat with a
brim to it, fair top-boots--the boot outside of the pantaloons, on the
principle that leather was stronger than cloth.

... He was an habitual reader and student of the Bible, a pious and
religious man, and of the "_Baptist persuasion_," as he was accustomed
to express it.

[Footnote 30: Nathaniel Macon, United States Senator from North

* * * * *

=_Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, 1803-1845._= (Manual, pp. 490, 505.)

From the Life of Commodore Decatur.


When all were safely assembled on the deck of the Intrepid, (for so
admirably had the service been executed that not a man was missing, and
only one slightly wounded,) Decatur gave the order to cut the fasts and
shove off. The necessity for prompt obedience and exertion was urgent.
The flames had now gained the lower rigging, and ascended to the tops;
they darted furiously from the ports, flashing from the quarter gallery
round the mizzen of the Intrepid, as her stern dropped clear of the
ship. To estimate the perils of their position, it should be borne in
mind, that the fire had been communicated by these fearless men to the
near neighborhood of both magazines of the Philadelphia. The Intrepid
herself was a fire ship, having been supplied with combustibles, a mass
of which, ready to be converted into the means of destroying other
vessels of the enemy, if the opportunity should offer, lay in barrels on
her quarter deck, covered only with a tarpaulin.

With destruction thus encompassing them within and without, Decatur and
his brave followers were unmoved. Calmly they put forth the necessary
exertion, breasted the Intrepid off with spars, and pressing on their
sweeps, caused her slowly to withdraw from the vicinity of the burning
mass. A gentle breeze from the land came auspiciously at the same
moment, and wafted the Intrepid beyond the reach of the flames, bearing
with it, however, a shower of burning embers, fraught with danger to
a vessel laden with combustibles, had not discipline, order, and calm
self-possession, been at hand for her protection. Soon this peril was
also left behind, and Decatur and his followers were at a sufficient
distance to contemplate securely the spectacle which the Philadelphia
presented. Hull, spars, and rigging, were now enveloped in flames. As
the metal of her guns became heated, they were discharged in succession
from both sides, serving as a brilliant salvo in honor of the victor,
and not harmless for the Tripolitans, as her starboard battery was fired
directly into the town.

The town itself, the castles, the minarets of the mosques, and the
shipping in the harbor, were all brought into distinct view by the
splendor of the conflagration. It served also to reveal to the enemy the
cause of their disaster, in the little Intrepid, as she slowly withdrew
from the harbor. The shot of the shipping and castles fell thickly
around her, throwing up columns of spray, which the brilliant light
converted into a new ornament of the scene. Only one shot took effect,
and that passed through her top-gallant sail. Three hearty American
cheers were now given in mingled triumph and derision. Soon after, the
boats of the Siren joined company, and assisted in towing the Intrepid
out of the harbor. The cables of the Philadelphia having burned off, she
drifted on the rocks near the westward entrance of the harbor; and then
the whole spectacle, so full of moral sublimity, considering the means
by which it had been effected, and of material grandeur, had its
appropriate termination in the final catastrophe of her explosion.

Nor were the little band of heroes on board the Intrepid the only
exulting spectators of the scene. Lieutenant Stewart and his companions
on board the Siren, watching with intense interest, beheld in the
conflagration a pledge of Decatur's success; and Captain Bainbridge,
with his fellow-captives in the dungeons of Tripoli, saw in it a motive
of national exultation, and an earnest that a spirit was at work to
hasten the day of their liberation.

* * * * *

=_I.F.H. Claiborne,[31] About 1804-._=

From "Life and Times of General Samuel Dale."


I saw the Shawnees issue from their lodge; they were painted black, and
entirely naked except the flap about their loins. Every weapon but the
war-club,--then first introduced among the Creeks,--had been laid aside.
An angry scowl sat on all their visages; they looked like a procession
of devils. Tecumseh led, the warriors followed, one in the footsteps of
the other. The Creeks, in dense masses, stood on each side of the path,
but the Shawnees noticed no one; they marched to the pole in the centre
of the square, and then turned to the left.

... They then marched in the same order to the Council, or King's
house,--as it was termed in ancient times, and drew up before it. The
Big Warrior and the leading men were sitting there. The Shawnee chief
sounded his war-whoop,--a most diabolical yell, and each of his
followers responded. Tecumseh then presented to the Big Warrior a wampum
belt of five different-colored stands, which the Creek chief handed to
his warriors, and it was passed down the line. The Shawnee pipe was then
produced; it was large, long, and profusely decorated with shells,
beads, and painted eagle and porcupine quills. It was lighted from the
fire in the centre, and slowly passed from the Big Warrior along the
line. All this time not a word had been uttered; every thing was still
as death; even the winds slept, and there was only the gentle rustle of
the falling leaves. At length Tecumseh spoke, at first slowly, and in
sonorous tones, but soon he grew impassioned, and the words fell in
avalanches from his lips. His eyes burned with supernatural lustre, and
his whole frame trembled with emotion; his voice resounded over the
multitude,--now sinking in low and musical whispers, now rising to its
highest key, hurling out his words like a succession of thunderbolts.
His countenance varied with his speech; its prevalent expression was a
sneer of hatred and defiance; sometimes a murderous smile; for a brief
interval a sentiment of profound sorrow pervaded it; and at the close, a
look of concentrated vengeance, such, I suppose, as distinguishes the
arch-enemy of mankind, I have heard many great orators, but I never saw
one with the vocal powers of Tecumseh, or the same command of the
muscles of his face.

... Had I been deaf, the play of his countenance would have told me what
he said. Its effect on that wild, superstitious, untutored, and warlike
assemblage may be conceived; not a word was said, but stern warriors,
the "stoics of the woods," shook with emotion, and a thousand tomahawks
were brandished in the air. Even the Big Warrior, who had been true to
the whites, and remained faithful during the war, was for the moment
visibly affected, and more than once I saw his huge hand clutch,
spasmodically, the handle of his knife.... When he resumed his seat, the
northern pipe was again passed round in solemn silence. The Shawnees
then simultaneously leaped up with one appalling yell, and danced their
tribal war-dance, going through the evolutions of battle, the scout, the
ambush, the final struggle, brandishing their war-clubs, and screaming,
in terrific concert, an infernal harmony fit only for the regions of the

[Footnote 31: Was born in Mississippi; by profession a lawyer, and for
some years a member of Congress; author of several biographical works of
interest, chiefly relating to the Southwest.]

* * * * *

=_George Washington Greene,[32] 1811-._=

From The Life of General Greene.


... Mrs. Greene had joined her husband early in January, bringing with
her her summer's acquisition, a stock of French that quickly made her
little parlor the favorite resort of foreign officers. There was often
to be seen Lafayette, not yet turned of twenty-one, though a husband, a
father, and a major-general; graver somewhat in his manners than
strictly belonged either to his years or his country; and loved and
trusted by all, by Washington and Greene especially. Steuben, too, was
often there, wearing his republican uniform, as, fifteen years before,
he had worn the uniform of the despotic Frederick; as deeply skilled in
the ceremonial of a court as in the manoeuvring of an army; with a
glittering star on his left breast, that bore witness to the faithful
service he had rendered in his native Germany; and revolving in his
accurate mind designs which were to transform this mass of physical
strength, which Americans had dignified with the name of army, into a
real army which Frederick himself might have accepted. He had but little
English at his command as yet, but at his side there was a mercurial
young Frenchman, Peter Duponceau, who knew how to interpret both his
graver thoughts and the lighter gallantries with which the genial old
soldier loved to season his intercourse with the wives and daughters of
his new fellow-citizens. As the years passed away, Duponceau himself
became a celebrated man, and loved to tell the story of these checkered
days. Another German, too, De Kalb, was sometimes seen there, taller,
statelier, graver than Steuben, with the cold, observant eye of the
diplomatist, rather than the quick glance of the soldier, though a
soldier too, and a brave and skillful one; caring very little about the
cause he had forsaken his noble chateau and lovely wife to fight for,
but a great deal about the promotion and decorations which his good
service hero was to win him in France; for he had made himself a
Frenchman, and served the King of France, and bought him French lands,
and married a French wife. Already before this war began, he had come
hither in the service of France to study the progress of the growing
discontent; and now he was here again an American major-general, led
partly by the ambition of rank, partly by the thirst of distinction, but
much, too, by a certain restlessness of nature, and longing for
excitement and action, not to be wondered at in one who had fought his
way up from a butlership to a barony. He and Steuben had served on
opposite sides during the Seven Years War, though born both of them on
the same bank of the Rhine; and though when Steuben first came, De Kalb
was in Albany, yet in May they must have met more than once. How did
they feel towards each other, the soldier of Frederick, and the soldier
of Louis? If we had known more about this, we should have known better,
perhaps, why Lafayette, a fast friend of De Kalb, speaks of the
"methodic mediocrity" of Steuben, and Steuben of the "vanity and
presumption" of the young major-general.

In the same circle, too, was the young Fleury whom we have seen bearing
himself so gallantly at Fort Mifflin, and who, a year after, was to
render still more brilliant service at Stony Point; and the Marquis de
la Rouerie, concealing his rank under the name of Armand, and combatting
an unsuccessful love by throwing himself headlong into the tumult of
war; and Mauduit Duplessis, whose skill as an engineer had been proved
at Red Bank, and who about this time was breveted Lieutenant-Colonel,
at Washington's recommendation, for "gallant conduct at Brandywine and
Germantown," and "distinguished services at Fort Mercer," and a "degree
of modesty not always found in men who have performed brilliant
actions," but whom neither modesty nor gallantry could save from a
fearful death at San Domingo; and Gimat, aide to Lafayette now, but who
afterwards led Lafayette's van as colonel in the successful assault
of the British redoubts at Yorktown; and La Colombe, who was to serve
Lafayette faithfully in France as he served him here; and Ternant,
distinguished in America, France, and Holland, but who this year
rendered invaluable service to American discipline by his aid in
carrying out the reforms of Steuben. Kosciusko was in the north, but
Poland had still another representative, the gallant Pulaski, who had
done good service during the last campaign, and who the very next year
was to lay down his life for us at the siege of Savannah.

[Footnote 32: Born in Rhode Island; a grandson of the distinguished
General Greene of the Revolution, whose life he has written, with many
interesting details of that struggle.]

* * * * *

=_James Parton, 1822-._= (Manual, pp. 490, 532.)

From "Life and Times of Aaron Burr."


To judge this man, to decide how far he was unfortunate, and how far
guilty; how much we ought to pity, and how much to blame him,--is a task
beyond my powers. And what occasion is there for judging him, or for
judging any one? We all know that his life was an unhappy failure. He
failed to gain the small honors at which he aimed; he failed to live
a life worthy of his opportunities; he failed to achieve a character
worthy of his powers. It was a great, great pity. And any one is to be
pitied, who, in thinking of it, has any other feelings than those of
compassion--compassion for the man whose life was so much less a blessing
to him than it might have been, and compassion for the country, which
after producing so rare and excellent a kind of man, lost a great part
of the good he might have done her.

The great error of his career, as before remarked, was his turning
politician. He was too good for a politician, and not great enough for a

If his expedition had succeeded, it was in him, I think, to have run a
career in Spanish America similar to that of Napoleon in Europe. Like
Napoleon, he would have been one of the most amiable despots, and one of
the most destructive. Like Napoleon, he would have been sure, at last,
to have been overwhelmed in a prodigious ruin. Like Napoleon, he would
have been idolized and execrated. Like Napoleon, he would, have had his
half dozen friends to go with him to St. Helena. Like Napoleon, he would
have justified to the last, with the utmost sincerity, nearly every
action of his life.

We live in a better day than he did. Nearly every thing is better now
in the United States than it was fifty years ago, and a much larger
proportion of the people possess the means of enjoying and improving
life. If some evils are more obvious and rampant than they were, they
are also better known, and the remedy is nearer ...

Politics, apart from the pursuit of office, have again become real and
interesting. The issue is distinct and important enough to justify the
intense concern of a nation. To a young man coming upon the stage of
life with the opportunities of Aaron Burr, a glorious and genuine
political career is possible. The dainty keeping aloof from the
discussion of public affairs, which has been the fashion until lately,
will not again find favor with any but the very stupid, for a long
time to come. The intellect of the United States once roused to the
consideration of political questions, will doubtless be found competent
to the work demanded of it.

The career of Aaron Burr can never be repeated in the United States.
That of itself is a proof of progress. The game of politics which he
played is left, in these better days, to far inferior men, and the moral
license which he and Hamilton permitted themselves, is not known in the
circles they frequented. But the graver errors, the radical vices, of
both men belong to human nature, and will always exist to be shunned and

* * * * *

From "Famous Americans."


It is surprising how addicted to litigation were the earlier settlers of
the Western States. The imperfect surveys of land, the universal habit
of getting goods on credit at the store, and "difficulties" between
individuals ending in bloodshed, filled the court calendars, with land
disputes, suits for debt, and exciting murder cases, which gave to
lawyers more importance and better chances of advancement than they
possessed in the older States. Mr. Clay had two strings to his bow.
Besides being a man of red-tape and pigeon-holes, exact, methodical, and
strictly attentive to business, he had a power over a Kentucky jury
such as no other man has ever wielded. To this day nothing pleases aged
Kentuckians better than to tell stories which they heard their fathers
tell of Clay's happy repartees to opposing counsel, his ingenious
cross-questioning of witnesses, his sweeping torrents of invective, his
captivating courtesy, his melting pathos. Single gestures, attitudes,
tones, have come down to us through two or three memories, and still
please the curious guest at Kentucky firesides. But when we turn to the
cold records of this part of his life, we find little to justify his
traditional celebrity. It appears that the principal use to which his
talents were applied during the first years of his practice at the bar,
was in defending murderers. He seems to have shared the feeling which
then prevailed in the Western country, that to defend a prisoner at the
bar is a nobler thing than to assist in defending the public against his
further depredations; and he threw all his force into the defence of
some men who would have been "none the worse for a hanging." One day, in
the streets of Lexington, a drunken fellow whom he had rescued from the
murderer's doom, cried out, "Here comes Mr. Clay, who saved my life."
"Ah! my poor fellow," replied the advocate, "I fear I have saved too
many like you, who ought to be hanged.". The anecdotes printed of his
exploits in cheating the gallows of its due, are of a quality which
shows that the power of this man over a jury lay much in his manner. His
delivery, which "bears absolute sway in oratory," was bewitching and
irresistible, and gave to quite common-place wit and very questionable
sentiment, an amazing power to please and subdue.

* * * * *

From an Article in the Atlantic Monthly.


At the West, along with much reckless and defiant unbelief in every
thing high and good, there is also a great deal of that terror-stricken
pietism which refuses to attend the theatre unless it is very bad
indeed, and is called "Museum." This limits the business of the theatre;
and as a good theatre is necessarily a very expensive institution, it
improves very slowly, although the Western people are in precisely that
state of development and culture to which the drama is best adapted and
is most beneficial. We should naturally expect to find the human mind,
in the broad, magnificent West, rising superior to the prejudices
originating in the little sects of little lands. So it will rise in due
time. So it has risen, in some degree. But mere grandeur of nature has
no educating effect upon the soul of man; else Switzerland would not
have supplied Paris with footmen, and the hackmen of Niagara would spare
the tourist. It is only a human mind that can instruct a human mind.

* * * * *

To witness the performance, and to observe the rapture expressed
upon the shaggy and good-humored countenances of the boatmen, was
interesting, as showing what kind of banquet will delight a human soul,
starved from its birth. It likes a comic song very much, if the song
refers to fashionable articles of ladies costume, or holds up to
ridicule members of Congress, policemen, or dandies. It is not averse
to a sentimental song, in which "Mother, dear," is frequently
apostrophized. It delights in a farce from which most of the dialogue
has been cut away, while all the action is retained,--in which people
are continually knocked down, or run against one another with great
violence. It takes much pleasure in seeing Horace Greeley play a part in
a negro farce, and become the victim of designing colored brethren. But
what joy, when the beauteous Terpsichorean nymph bounds upon the scene,
rosy with paint, glistening with spangles, robust with cotton and cork,
and bewildering with a cloud of gauzy skirts! What a vision of beauty
to a man who has seen nothing for days and nights but the hold of a
steamboat and the dull shores of the Mississippi!

* * * * *


=_John Heckewelder,[33] 1743-1823._=

From the "Narrative" of the Moravian Missions among the Indians.


Both these congregations, being supplied with missionaries and
schoolmasters, were so prosperous that they became the admiration of
visitors, some of whom thought it next to a miracle that, by the light
of the gospel, a savage race should be brought to live together in peace
and harmony, and above all devote themselves to religion. The people
residing in the neighborhood of those places were also intimate with
these Indians, and both were serviceable to each other; one instance of
which is here inserted. In February of the year 1761, a white man, who
had lost a child, came to Nain weeping, and begging that the Indian
Brethren would assist him and his wife to search for his child, which
had been missing since the day before. Several of the Indian Brethren
immediately went to the house of the parents, and discovered the
footsteps of the child, and tracing the same for the distance of two
miles, found the child in the woods, wrapped up in its petticoat, and
shivering with cold. The joy of the parents was so great that they
reported the circumstance wherever they went. To some of the white
people, who had been in dread of the near settlement of these Indians,
this incident was the means of making them easy, and causing them to
rejoice in having such good neighbors.

... The war being over, the Indians who had been engaged in it freely
confessed to their friends and relations, and to some white people they
had heretofore been acquainted with, that "the Brethren's settlements
had been as a stumbling-block to them; that had it not been for these,
they would most assuredly have laid waste the whole country from the
mountains to Philadelphia; and that many plans had been formed for
destroying these settlements."

[Footnote 33: Prominent among the Moravian clergy for his experience of
missionary life among the American Indians, for his knowledge of the
Indian languages, and for his lifelong devotion to the missionary work.]

* * * * *

=_Jeremy Belknap, 1744-1798._= (Manual, p. 490.)

From "The History of New Hampshire."

=_113._= THE MAST PINE.

Another thing worthy of observation is the aged and majestic appearance
of the trees, of which the most noble is the mast pine. This tree often
grows to the height of one hundred and fifty, and sometimes two hundred
feet. It is straight as an arrow, and has no branches but very near the
top. It is from twenty to forty inches in diameter at its base, and
appears like a stately pillar, adorned with a verdant capital, in form
of a cone. Interspersed among these are the common forest trees of
various kinds.

When a mast tree is to be felled, much preparation is necessary. So tall
a stick, without any limbs nearer the ground than eighty or a hundred
feet, is in great danger of breaking in the fall. To prevent this the
workmen have a contrivance which they call bedding the tree, which is
thus executed. They know in what direction the tree will fall; and they
cut down a number of smaller trees which grow in that direction; or if
there be none, they draw others to the spot, and place them so that the
falling tree may lodge on their branches; which breaking or yielding
under its pressure, render its fall easy and safe. A time of deep snow
is the most favorable season, as the rocks are then covered, and a
natural bed is formed to receive the tree. When fallen, it is examined,
and if to appearance it be sound, it is cut in the proportion of three
feet in length to every inch of its diameter, for a mast; but if
intended for a bow-sprit or a yard, it is cut shorter. If it be not
sound throughout, or if it break in falling, it is cut into logs for the

When a mast is to be drawn on the snow, one end is placed on a sled,
shorter, but higher than the common sort, and rests on a strong block,
which is laid across the middle of the sled.

In descending a long and steep hill they have a contrivance to prevent
the load from making too rapid a descent. Some of the cattle are placed
behind it; a chain which is attached to their yokes is brought forward
and fastened to the hinder end of the load, and the resistance which
is made by these cattle checks the descent. This operation is called
_tailing_. The most dangerous circumstance is the passing over the
top of a sharp hill, by which means the oxen which are nearest to the
tongues are sometimes suspended, till the foremost cattle can draw the
mast so far over the hill as to give them opportunity to recover the
ground. In this case the drivers are obliged to use much judgment and
care to keep the cattle from being killed. There is no other way to
prevent this inconvenience than to level the roads.

* * * * *

=_David Ramsay, 1749-1815._= (Manual, p. 491.)

From "The History of the Revolution in South Carolina."


In South Carolina, an enemy to the Hanoverian succession, or to the
British constitution, was scarcely known. The inhabitants were fond
of British manners even to excess. They for the most part, sent their
children to Great Britain for education, and spoke of that country under
the endearing appellation of Home. They were enthusiasts for that sacred
plan of civil and religious happiness under which they had grown up and
flourished.... Wealth poured in upon them from a thousand channels. The
fertility of the soil generously repaid the labor of the husbandman,
making the poor to sing, and industry to smile, through every corner
of the land. None were indigent but the idle and unfortunate. Personal
independence was fully within the reach of every man who was healthy
and industrious. The inhabitants, at peace with all the world, enjoyed
domestic tranquility, and were secure in their persons and property.
They were also completely satisfied with their government, and wished
not for the smallest change in their political constitution.

In the midst of these enjoyments, and the most sincere attachment to the
mother country, to their king and his government, the people of South
Carolina, without any original design on their part, were step by step
drawn into an extensive war, which involved them in every species of
difficulty, and finally dissevered them from the parent state.

... Every thing in the colonies contributed to nourish a spirit of
liberty and independence. They were planted under the auspices of the
English constitution in its purity and vigor. Many of their inhabitants
had imbibed a largo portion of that spirit which brought one tyrant to
the block, and expelled another from his dominions. They were
communities of separate, independent individuals, for the most part
employed in cultivating a fruitful soil, and under no general influence
but of their own feelings and opinions; they were not led by powerful
families, or by great officers in church or state.... Every inhabitant
was, or easily might be, a freeholder. Settled on lands of his own, he
was both farmer and landlord. Having no superior to whom he was obliged
to look up, and producing all the necessaries of life from his own
grounds, he soon became independent. His mind was equally free from all
the restraints of superstition. No ecclesiastical establishment invaded
the rights of conscience, or lettered the free-born mind. At liberty to
act and think as his inclination prompted, he disdained the ideas of
dependence and subjection.

* * * * *

=_Henry Lee,[34] 1736-1818._=

From "Memoirs" of the War in the South.


JOHN RODGERS CLARKE, colonel in the service of Virginia, against our
neighbors the Indians in the revolutionary war, was among our best
soldiers, and better acquainted with the Indian warfare than any officer
in our army. This gentleman, after one of his campaigns, met in Richmond
several of our cavalry officers, and devoted all his leisure in
ascertaining from them the various uses to which horse were applied,
as well as the manner of such application. The information he acquired
determined him to introduce this species of force against the Indians,
as that of all others the most effectual.

By himself, by Pickens, and lately by Wayne, was the accuracy of
Clarke's opinion justified....

The Indians, when fighting with infantry, are very daring. This temper
of mind results from his consciousness of his superior fleetness; which,
together with his better knowledge of woods, assures to him extrication
out of difficulties, though desperate. This is extinguished when he
finds that, he is to save himself from the pursuit of horse, and with
its extinction falls that habitual boldness.

[Footnote 34: In the revolutionary war he was distinguished as a cavalry
officer, and subsequently, in political life, as a writer and speaker.]

* * * * *


The State of Delaware furnished one regiment only; and certainly no
regiment in the army surpassed it in soldiership. The remnant of that
corps, less thaw two companies, from the battle of Camden, was commanded
by Captain Kirkwood, who passed through the war with high reputation;
and yet, as the line of Delaware consisted of but one regiment, and
that regiment was reduced to a captain's command. Kirkwood never
could be promoted in regular routine--a very glaring defect in the
organization of the army, as it gave advantages to parts of the same
army denied to other portions of it. The sequel is singularly hard.
Kirkwood retired, upon peace, as a captain; and when the army under St.
Clair was raised to defend the west from the Indian enemy, this veteran
resumed his sword as the eldest captain in the oldest regiment.

In the decisive defeat of the 4th of November,[35] the gallant
Kirkwood fell, bravely sustaining his point of the action. It was the
thirty-third time he had risked his life for his country; and he died as
he had lived, the brave, meritorious, unrewarded Kirkwood.

[Footnote 35: St. Clair's defeat.]

* * * * *

=_Peter S. Duponceau,[36] 1760-1844._=

From "An Address."


WILLIAM PENN stands the first among the lawgivers whose names and deeds
are recorded in history. Shall we compare him with Lycurgus, Solon,
Romulus, those founders of military commonwealths, who organized their
citizens in deadly array against the rest of their species, taught them
to consider their fellow-men as barbarians, and themselves as alone
worthy to rule over the earth?... But see William Penn, with weaponless
hand, sitting down peaceably with his followers, in the midst of
savage nations whose only occupation was shedding the blood of their
fellow-men, disarming them by his justice, and teaching them, for the
first time, to view a stranger without distrust. See them bury their
tomahawks in his presence, so deep that man shall never be able to
find them again. See them, under the shade of the thick groves of
Coaquannock, extend the bright chain of friendship, and solemnly promise
to preserve it as long as the sun and moon shall endure. See him then,
with his companions, establishing his commonwealth on the sole basis of
religion, morality, and universal love, and adopting, as the fundamental
maxim of his government, the rule handed down to us from Heaven, "Glory
to God on high, and on earth peace and good will towards men."

[Footnote 36: An eminent jurist and philologist, of French origin, but
for many years a citizen of Philadelphia.]

* * * * *

=_Charles J. Ingersoll,[37] 1782-1862._=

From the "Historical Sketch" of the War of 1812.


John Caldwell Calhoun was the same slender, erect, and ardent logician,
politician, and sectarian, in the House of Representatives in 1814 that
he is in the Senate of 1847. Speaking with aggressive aspect, flashing
eye, rapid action and enunciation, unadorned argument, eccentricity of
judgment, unbounded love of rule, impatient, precipitate, kind temper,
excellent in colloquial attractions, caressing the young, not courting
rulers; conception, perception, and demonstration quick and clear, with
logical precision arguing paradoxes, and carrying home conviction beyond
rhetorical illustration; his own impressions so intense as to discredit,
scarcely listen to, any other suggestions; well educated and informed.

[Footnote 37: A native of Pennsylvania; long conspicuous in the law,
literature, and political life.]

* * * * *


In a fair national trial of the military faculties, courage, activity,
and fortitude, discipline, gunnery, and tactics, for the first time the
palm was awarded by Englishmen to Americans over Englishmen. Without
fortuitous advantage the Americans proved too much for the redoubtable
English, though superior in number, therefore universally arrogating to
themselves even with inferior numbers, a mastery but faintly questioned
by most Americana; no accident to depreciate the triumph of the younger
over the older nation; no more fortune than what favors the bravest.

Physical and even corporeal national characteristics, did not escape
comparison in this normal contest. The American rather more active and
more demonstrative than his ancestors, many of the officers of imposing
figure, Scott and McNeil particularly, towering with gigantic stature
above the rest, stood opposed in striking contrast to the short, thick,
brawny, burly Briton, hard to overcome.... The Marquis of Tweedale,
with his sturdy, short person, and stubborn courage, represented
the British.... Even the names betokened at once consanguinity and
hostility. Scott, McNeill, and McRee, in arms against Gordon, Hay, and
Maconochie. And the harsh Scotch nomenclature, compared with the more
euphonious savage Canada, Chippewa, Niagara, which latter modern English
prosody has corrupted from the measure of Goldsmith's Traveller:--

"Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
And Niagara stuns with thundering sound."

... Mankind impressed by numbers and bloodshed, regard the second more
extensive battle near the falls of Niagara, on the 25th of the same
month, between the same parties with British reinforcements, known as
the battle of Bridgewater, as more important than its precursor.... The
victory of Chippewa was the resurrection or birth of American arms,
after their prostration by so long disuse, and when at length taken up
again, by such continual and deplorable failures, that the martial and
moral influence of the first decided victory opened and characterized
an epoch in the annals and intercourse of the two kindred and rival
nations, whose language is to be spoken, as their institutions are
rapidly spreading, throughout most of mankind. Fought between only some
three or four thousand men in both armies, at a place remote from
either of their countries, the battle of Chippewa may not bear vulgar
comparison with the great military engagements of modern Europe.

... The charm of British military invincibility was as effectually
broken, by a single brigade, as that of naval supremacy was by a single
frigate, as much as if a large army or fleet had been the agent.

* * * * *

=_Henry M. Brackenridge,[38] 1786-._= (Manual, p. 505.)

From "Recollections of the West."


The house of M. Beauvais was a long, low building, with a porch or shed
in front, and another in the rear; the chimney occupied the center,
dividing the house into two parts, with each a fireplace. One of these
served for dining-room, parlor, and principal bed-chamber; the other was
the kitchen; and each had a small room taken off at the end for private
chambers or cabinets. There was no loft or garret, a pair of stairs
being a rare thing in the village. The furniture, excepting the beds and
the looking-glass, was of the most common kind.... The yard was enclosed
with cedar pickets, eight or ten inches in diameter, and six feet high,
placed upright, sharpened at the top, in the manner of a stockade fort.
In front the yard was narrow, but in the rear quite spacious, and
containing the barn and stables, the negro quarters, and all the
necessary offices of a farm-yard. Beyond this, there was a spacious
garden enclosed with pickets....

The pursuits of the inhabitants were chiefly agricultural, although all
were more or less engaged in traffic for peltries with the Indians, or
in working the lead mines in the interior. Peltry and lead constituted
almost the only circulating medium. All politics, or discussions of the
affairs of government were entirely unknown; the commandant took care
of all that sort of thing. But instead of them, the processions and
ceremonies of the church, and the public balls, furnished ample matter
for occupation and amusement. Their agriculture was carried on in a
field of several thousand acres, enclosed at the common expense, and
divided into lots.... Whatever they may have gained in some respects, I
question very much whether the change of government has contributed to
increase their happiness. About a quarter of a mile off, there was a
village of Kickapoo Indians, who lived on the most friendly terms with
the white people. The boys often intermingled with those of the
white village, and practised shooting with the bow and arrow--an
accomplishment which I acquired with the rest, together with a little
smattering of the Indian language, which I forgot on leaving the place.

[Footnote 38: Distinguished in literature and as a political writer; a
native of Pennsylvania.]

* * * * *

=_Gulian C. Verplanck, 1786-1870._= (Manual, p. 487.)

From the "Literary and Historical Discourses."


The schoolmaster's occupation is laborious and ungrateful; its rewards
are scanty and precarious. He may indeed be, and he ought to be animated
by the consciousness of doing good, that best of all consolations, that
noblest of all motives. But that too must be often clouded by doubt and
uncertainty. Obscure and inglorious as his daily occupation may appear
to learned pride or worldly ambition, yet to be truly successful and
happy he must be animated by the spirit of the same great principles
which inspired the most illustrious benefactors of mankind. If he bring
to his task high talent and rich acquirement, he must be content to look
into distant years for the proof that his labors have not been wasted,
that the good seed which he daily scatters abroad does not fall on stony
ground and wither away, or among thorns to be choked by the cares, the
delusions, or the vices of the world. He must solace his toils with
the same prophetic faith that enabled the greatest of modern
philosophers,[39] amidst the neglect or contempt of his own times, to
regard himself as sowing the seeds of truth for posterity and the care
of Heaven. He must arm himself against disappointment and mortification
with a portion of that same noble confidence which soothed the greatest
of modern poets when weighed down by care and danger, by poverty, old
age, and blindness, still

"--In prophetic dreams he saw
The youth unborn with pious awe
Imbibe each virtue from his sacred page."

He must know and he must love to teach his pupils not the meager
elements of knowledge, but the secret and the use of their own
intellectual strength, exciting and enabling them hereafter to raise for
themselves the veil which covers the majestic form of Truth. He must
feel deeply the reverence due to the youthful mind fraught with mighty
though undeveloped energies and affections, and mysterious and eternal
destinies. Thence he must have learned to reverence himself and his
profession, and to look upon its otherwise ill-requited toils as their
own exceeding great reward.

If such are the difficulties and the discouragements, such the duties,
the motives, and the consolations of teachers who are worthy of that
name and trust, how imperious then the obligation upon every enlightened
citizen who knows and feels the value of such men to aid them, to cheer
them, and to honor them.

But let us not be content with barren honor to buried merit. Let us
prove our gratitude to the dead by faithfully endeavoring to elevate the
station, to enlarge the usefulness, and to raise the character of the
schoolmaster amongst us. Thus shall we best testify our gratitude to the
teachers and guides of our own youth, thus best serve our country,
and thus most effectually diffuse over our land light, and truth, and

[Footnote 39: Bacon.]

* * * * *

=_John W. Francis, 1789-1861._= (Manual, pp. 487, 532.)

From his "Reminiscences."


He who has passed a period of some three score years and upward, some
faithful Knickerbocker for instance, native born, and ever a resident
among us, whose tenacious memory enables him to meditate upon the
thirty thousand inhabitants at the time of his birth, with the almost
oppressive population of some seven hundred thousand which the city at
present contains; who contrasts the cheap and humble dwellings of
that earlier date, with the costly and magnificent edifices which now
beautify the metropolis; who studies the sluggish state of the mechanic
arts at the dawn of the Republic, and the mighty demonstrations of skill
which our Fulton, and our Stevens, our Douglas, our Hoe, and our Morse,
have produced; who remembers the few and humble water-craft conveyances
of days past, and now beholds the majestic leviathans of the ocean which
crowd our harbors; who contemplates the partial and trifling commercial
transactions of the Confederacy, with the countless millions of
commercial business which engross the people of the present day, in our
Union; who estimates the offspring of the press, and the achievements of
the telegraph, he who has been the spectator of all this, may be justly
said to have lived the period of many generations, and to have stored
within his reminiscences the progress of an era the most remarkable in
the history of his species.

If he awakens his attention to a consideration of the progress of
intellectual and ethical pursuits, if he advert to the prolific
demonstrations which surround him for the advancement of knowledge,
literary and scientific, moral and religious, the indomitable spirit of
the times strikes him with more than logical conviction. The beneficence
and humanity of his countrymen may be pointed out by contemplating her
noble free schools, her vast hospitals and asylums for the alleviation
of physical distress and mental infirmities; with the reflection that
all these are the triumphs of a self-governed people, accomplished
within the limited memory of an ordinary life. Should reading enlarge
the scope of his knowledge, let him study the times of the old Dutch
Governors, when the Ogdens erected the first church in the fort of New
Amsterdam, in 1642, and then survey the vast panoramic view around him
of the two hundred and fifty and more edifices, now consecrated to the
solemnities of religious devotion. It imparts gratification to know that
the old Bible which was used in that primary church of Van Twiller is
still preserved by a descendant of the builder, a precious relic of the
property of the older period, and of the devotional impulse of those
early progenitors. To crown the whole, time in its course has recognized
the supremacy of political and religious toleration, and established
constitutional freedom on the basis of equal rights and even and exact
justice to all men. That New York has given her full measure of toil,
expenditure, and talent in furtherance of these vast results, by her
patriots and statesmen, is proclaimed in grateful accents by the myriad
voice of the nation at large.

* * * * *

=_William, Meade, 1789-1862._=

From the "Old Churches &c. of Virginia."

=_123._= Character of the Early Virginia Clergy.

It has been made a matter of great complaint against the Legislature of
Virginia, that it should not only have withdrawn the stipend of sixteen
thousand weight of tobacco from the clergy, but also have seized upon
the glebes. I do not mean to enter on the discussion of the legality of
that act, or of the motives of those who petitioned for it. Doubtless
there were many who sincerely thought that it was both legal and right,
and that they were doing God and religion a service by it. I hesitate
not, however, to express the opinion, in which I have been and am
sustained by many of the best friends of the Church then and ever
since, that nothing could have been more injurious to the cause of true
religion in the Episcopal Church, or to its growth in any way, than the
continuance of either stipend or glebes. Many clergymen of the most
unworthy character would have been continued among us, and such a
revival as we have seen have never taken place.... Not merely have the
pious members of the Church taken this view of the subject, since the
revival of it under other auspices, but many of those who preferred the
Church at that day, for other reasons than her evangelical doctrine and
worship, saw that It was best that she should be thrown upon her own
resources. I had a conversation with Mr. Madison, soon after he ceased
to be President of the United States, in which I became assured of this.
He himself took an active part in promoting the act for the putting down
the establishment of the Episcopal Church, while his relative was Bishop
of it, and all his family connection attached to it....

It may be well here to state, what will more fully appear when we come
to speak of the old glebes and churches in a subsequent number, that
the character of the laymen of Virginia for morals and religion was in
general greatly in advance of that of the clergy. The latter, for the
most part, were the refuse or more indifferent of the English, Irish,
and Scotch Episcopal churches, who could not find promotion and
employment at home. The former were natives of the soil, and descendants
of respectable ancestors, who migrated at an early period.... Some of
the vestries, as their records painfully show, did what they could to
displace unworthy ministers, though they often failed through defect of
law. In order to avoid the danger of having evil ministers fastened upon
them, as well as from the scarcity of ministers, they made much use of
lay-readers as substitutes.... The reading of the service and sermons in
private families, which contributed so much to the preservation of an
attachment to the Church in the same, was doubtless promoted by this
practice of lay-reading. Those whom Providence raised up to resuscitate
the fallen Church of Virginia can testify to the fact that the families
who descended from the above mentioned, have been their most effective
supports.... And when, in the providence of God. they are called on to
leave their ancient homes, and form new settlements in the distant South
and West, none are more active and reliable in transplanting the Church
of their Fathers.

* * * * *

=_Jared Sparks, 1794-1866._= (Manual, p. 490.)

From "The Life of General Stark."


The German troops with their battery were advantageously posted upon a
rising ground, at a bend in the Wollamsac (a tributary of the Hoosac),
on its north bank. The ground fell off to the north and west, a
circumstance of which Stark skilfully took advantage. Peters' corps of
Tories were entrenched on the other side of the stream, in lower ground,
and nearly in front of the German Battery. The little river, that
meanders through the scene of the action, is fordable in all places.
Stark was encamped upon the same side of it as the Germans, but, owing
to its serpentine course, it crossed his line of march twice on his way
to their position. Their post was carefully reconnoitered at a mile's
distance, and the plan of attack was arranged in the following manner.
Colonel Nichols, with two hundred men, was detached to attack the rear
of the enemy's left, and Colonel Herrick, with three hundred men, to
fall upon the rear of their right, with orders to form a junction before
they made the assault. Colonels Hubbard and Stickney were also ordered
to advance with two hundred men on their right, and one hundred in
front, to divert their attention from the real point of attack. The
action commenced at three o'clock in the afternoon, on the rear of the
enemy's left, when Colonel Nichols, with great precision, carried into
effect the dispositions of the commander. His example was followed by
every other portion of the little army. General Stark himself moved
forward slowly in front, till he heard the sound of the guns from
Colonel Nichols' party, when he rushed upon the Tories, and in a few
moments the action became general. "It lasted," says Stark, in his
official report, "two hours, and was the hottest I ever saw. It was like
one continued clap of thunder." The Indians, alarmed at the prospect of
being enclosed between the parties of Nichols and Herrick, fled at the
commencement of the action, their main principle of battle array being
to contrive or to escape, an ambush, or an attack in the rear. The
Tories were soon driven over the river, and were thus thrown in
confusion on the Germans, who were forced from their breast-work.
Baum made a brave and resolute defence. The German dragoons, with the
discipline of veterans, preserved their ranks unbroken, and, after their
ammunition was expended, were led to the charge by their Colonel with
the sword; but they were overpowered and obliged to give way, leaving
their artillery and baggage on the field.

They were well enclosed in two breast-works, which, owing to the rain
on the 15th, they had constructed at leisure. But notwithstanding
this protection, with the advantage of two pieces of cannon, arms and
ammunition in perfect order, and an auxiliary force of Indians, they
were driven from their entrenchments by a band of militia just brought
to the field, poorly armed, with few bayonets, without field-pieces, and
with little discipline. The superiority of numbers on the part of the
Americans, will, when these things are considered, hardly be thought to
abate anything from the praise due to the conduct of the commander, or
the spirit and courage of his men.

* * * * *

From the "Life of Count Pulaski."


(The Battle of Brandywine.)--On that occasion, Count Pulaski, as well as
Lafayette, was destined to strike his first blow in defence of American
liberty. Being a volunteer, and without command, he was stationed near
General Washington till towards the close of the action, when he asked
the command of the General's body guard,--about thirty horse,
and advanced rapidly within pistol-shot of the enemy, and after
reconnoitering their movements, returned and reported that they were
endeavoring to cut off the line of retreat, and particularly the train
of baggage. He was then authorized to collect as many of the scattered
troops as came in his way, and employ them according to his discretion,
which he did in a manner so prompt and bold, as to effect an important
service in the retreat of the army; fully sustaining, by his conduct and
courage, the reputation for which the world had given him credit. Four
days after this event, he was appointed by Congress to the command of
the cavalry, with the rank of brigadier general.

(Before Charleston in 1779.)--Scarcely waiting till the enemy had
crossed the ferry, Pulaski sallied out with his legion and a few mounted
volunteers, and made an assault upon the advanced parties. With the
design of drawing the British into an ambuscade, he stationed his
infantry on low ground behind a breast-work, and then rode forward a
mile, with his cavalry in the face of a party of light-horse, with whom
he came to close quarters, and kept up a sharp skirmish till he was
compelled to retreat by the increasing numbers of the enemy. His
coolness, courage, and disregard of personal danger, were conspicuous
throughout the rencounter, and the example of this prompt and bold
attack had great influence in raising the spirits of the people, and
inspiring the confidence of the inexperienced troops then assembled in
the city. The infantry, impatient to take part in the conflict, advanced
to higher ground in front of the breast-work and thus the scheme of an
ambuscade was defeated.

(His death at Savannah.)--The cavalry were stationed in the rear of the
advanced columns, and in the confusion which appeared in front, and in
the obscurity caused by the smoke, Pulaski was uncertain where he ought
to act. To gain information on this point, he determined to ride forward
in the heat of the conflict, and called to Captain Bentalou to accompany
him. They had proceeded but a short distance, when they heard of the
havoc that had been produced in the swamp among the French troops.
Hoping to animate these troops by his presence, he rushed onward, and
while riding swiftly to the place where they were stationed, he received
a wound in the groin from a swivel-shot, and fell from his horse near
the abattis. Captain Bentalou was likewise wounded by a musket-ball.
Count Pulaski was left on the field till nearly all the troops had
retreated, when some of his men returned, in the face of the enemy's
guns, and took him to the camp. (His character.)--He possessed in a
remarkable degree, the power of winning and controlling men, a power so
rare that it may be considered not less the fruit of consummate art than
the gift of nature. Energetic, vigilant, untiring in the pursuit of an
object, fearless, fertile in resources, calm in danger, resolute and
persevering under discouragements, he was always prepared for events,
and capable of effecting his purposes with the best chance of
success.... He embraced our cause as his own, harmonizing, as it did
with his principles and all the noble impulses of his nature, the cause
of liberty and of human rights; he lost his life in defending it; thus
acquiring the highest of all claims to a nation's remembrance and

* * * * *

=_William H. Prescott, 1796-1859._= (Manual, p. 494.)

From the "History of Ferdinand and Isabella."


Whatever be the amount of physical good or evil immediately resulting
to Spain from her new discoveries, their moral consequences were
inestimable. The ancient limits of human thought and action were
overleaped; the veil which had covered the secrets of the deep for so
many centuries was removed; another hemisphere was thrown open; and a
boundless expansion promised to science, from the infinite varieties in
which nature was exhibited in these unexplored regions. The success of
the Spaniards kindled a generous emulation in their Portuguese rivals,
who soon after accomplished their long-sought passage into the Indian
seas, and thus completed the great circle of maritime discovery. It
would seem as if Providence had postponed this grand event, until the
possession of America, with its stores of precious metals, might supply
such materials for a commerce with the east, as should bind together
the most distant quarters of the globe. The impression made on the
enlightened minds of that day is evinced by the tone of gratitude and
exultation, in which they indulge, at being permitted to witness the
consummation of these glorious events, which their fathers had so long,
but in vain, desired to see.

The discoveries of Columbus occurred most opportunely for the Spanish
nation, at the moment when it was released from its tumultuous struggle
in which it had been engaged for so many years with the Moslems. The
severe schooling of these wars had prepared it for entering on a bolder
theater of action, whose stirring and romantic perils raised still
higher the chivalrous spirit of the people. The operation of this spirit
was shown in the alacrity with which private adventurers embarked in
expeditions to the New World, under cover of the general license, during
the last two years of this century. Their efforts, combined with those
of Columbus, extended the range of discovery from its original limits;
twenty-four degrees of north latitude, to probably more than fifteen
south, comprehending some of the most important territories in the
western hemisphere. Before the end of 1500, the principal groups of
the West India islands had been visited, and the whole extent of
the southern continent coasted from the Bay of Honduras to Cape St.
Augustine. One adventurous mariner, indeed, named Lepe, penetrated
several degrees south of this, to a point not reached by any other
voyager for ten or twelve years after. A great part of the kingdom
of Brazil was embraced in this extent, and two successive Castilian
navigators landed and took formal possession of it for the crown of
Castile, previous to its reputed discovery by the Portuguese Cabral;
although the claims to it were relinquished by the Spanish Government,
conformably to the famous line of demarkation established by the treaty
of Tordesillas.

While the colonial empire of Spain was thus every day enlarging, the man
to whom it was all due was never permitted to know the extent, or the
value of it. He died in the conviction in which he lived, that the land
he had reached was the long-sought Indies. But it was a country far
richer than the Indies; and had he on quitting Cuba struck into a
westerly, instead of southerly direction, it would have carried him into
the very depths of the golden regions, whose existence he had so long
and vainly predicted. As it was, he "only opened the gates," to use his
own language, for others more fortunate than himself; and, before he
quitted Hispaniola for the last time, the young adventurer arrived
there, who was destined by the conquest of Mexico to realize all the
magnificent visions, which had been derided only as visions, in the
lifetime of Columbus.

* * * * *

From "The History of the Conquest of Mexico."


While these things were passing, Cortes observed one of Teuhtlile's
attendants busy with a pencil, apparently delineating some object. On
looking at his work, he found that it was a sketch, on canvas, of the
Spaniards, their costumes, arms, and, in short, different objects of
interest, giving to each its appropriate form and color. This was the
celebrated picture-writing of the Aztecs, and as Teuhtlile informed him,
this man was employed in portraying the various objects for the eye of
Montezuma, who would thus gather a more vivid notion of their appearance
than from any description by words. Cortes was pleased with the idea;
and as he knew how much the effect would be heightened by converting
still life into action, he ordered out the cavalry on the beach, the
wet sands of which afforded a firm footing for the horses. The bold
and rapid movements of the troops, as they went through their military
exercises, the apparent ease with which they managed the fiery animals
on which they were mounted, the glancing of their weapons, and the
shrill cry of the trumpet, all filled the spectators with astonishment;
but when they heard the thunders of the cannon, and witnessed the
volumes of smoke and flame issuing from these terrible engines, and the
rushing sound of the balls, as they dashed through the trees of the
neighboring forest, shivering their branches into fragments, they were
filled with consternation, from which the Aztec chief himself was
not wholly free. Nothing of all this was lost on the painters, who
faithfully recorded, after their fashion, every particular, not omitting
the ships--"the water-houses," as they called them--of the strangers,
which, with their dark hulls and snow-white sails reflected from the
water, were swinging lazily at anchor on the calm bosom of the bay. All
was depicted with a fidelity that excited in their turn the admiration
of the Spaniards, who, doubtless unprepared for this exhibition of
skill, greatly overestimated the merits of the execution.

* * * * *

From "The History of the Conquest of Peru."


These articles consisted of goblets, ewers, salvers, vases of every
shape and size, ornaments and utensils for the temples and the royal
palaces, tiles and plates for the decoration of the public edifices,
curious imitations of different plants and animals. Among the plants,
the most beautiful was the Indian corn, in which the golden ear was
sheathed in its broad leaves of silver, from which hung a rich tassel of
threads of the same precious metal. A fountain was also much admired,
which sent up a sparkling jet of gold, while birds and animals of the
same material played in the waters at its base. The delicacy of the
workmanship of some of these, and the beauty and ingenuity of the
design, attracted the admiration of better judges than the rude
Conquerors of Peru.

Before breaking up these specimens of Indian art, it was determined to
send a quantity, which should be deducted from the royal fifth, to the
Emperor. It would serve as a sample of the ingenuity of the natives,
and would show him the value of his conquests. A number of the most
beautiful articles was selected, to the amount of a hundred thousand
ducats, and Hernando Pizarro was appointed to be the bearer of them to

The doom of the Inca was proclaimed by sound of trumpet in the great
square of Caxamalca; and, two hours after sunset, the Spanish soldiery
assembled by torch-light in the _plaza_ to witness the execution of the
sentence. It was on the twenty-ninth of August, 1533. Atahuallpa was led
out chained hand and foot,--for he had been kept in irons ever since the
great excitement had prevailed in the army respecting an assault. Father
Vicente de Valverde was at his side, striving to administer consolation,
and, if possible, to persuade him at this last hour to abjure his
superstition and embrace the religion of his Conquerors. He was willing
to save the soul of his victim from the terrible expiation in the next
world, to which he had so cheerfully consigned his mortal part in this.

During Atahuallpa's confinement the friar had repeatedly expounded to
him the Christian doctrines, and the Indian monarch discovered much
acuteness in apprehending the discourse of his teacher. But it had not
carried conviction to his mind, and though he listened with patience,
he had shown no disposition to renounce the faith of his fathers. The
Dominican made a last appeal to him in this solemn hour; and, when
Atahuallpa was bound to the stake, with the fagots that were to kindle
his funeral pile lying around him, Valverde, holding up the cross,
besought him to embrace it, and be baptized, promising that by so doing
the painful death to which he had been sentenced should be commuted
for the milder form, of the _garrote_,--a mode of punishment by
strangulation, used for criminals in Spain.

The unhappy monarch asked if this were really so, and, on its being
confirmed by Pizarro he consented to abjure his own religion, and
receive baptism. The ceremony was performed by Father Valverde, and the
new convert received the name of Juan de Atahuallpa,--the name of Juan
being conferred in honor of John the Baptist, on whose day the event
took place.

Atahuallpa expressed a desire that his remains might be transported
to Quito, the place of his birth, to be preserved with those of his
maternal ancestors. Then turning to Pizarro, as a last request, he
implored him to take compassion on his young children, and receive them
under his protection. Was there no other one in that dark company who
stood grimly around him, to whom he could look for the projection of his
offspring? Perhaps he thought there was no other so competent to afford
it, and that the wishes so solemnly expressed in that hour might meet
with respect even from his Conqueror. Then, recovering his stoical
bearing, which for a moment had been shaken, he submitted himself calmly
to his fate,--while the Spaniards, gathering around, muttered their
_credos_ for the salvation his soul. Thus by the death of a vile
malefactor perished the last of the Incas.

* * * * *

=_George Bancroft, 1800-._= (Manual, pp. 487, 491, 531.)

From the "History of the United States."


The genial climate and transparent atmosphere delighted those who had
come from the denser air of England. Every object in nature was new and
wonderful. The loud and frequent thunder-storms were phenomena that had
been rarely witnessed in the colder summers of the north; the forests,
majestic in their growth, and free from underwood, deserved admiration
for their unrivalled magnificence; the purling streams and the frequent
rivers, flowing between alluvial banks, quickened the ever-pregnant soil
into an unwearied fertility; the strangest and the most delicate flowers
grew familiarly in the fields; the woods were replenished with sweet
barks and odors; the gardens matured the fruits of Europe, of which the
growth was invigorated and the flavor improved by the activity of the
virgin mould. Especially the birds, with their gay plumage and varied
melodies, inspired delight; every traveller expressed his pleasure in
listening to the mocking-bird, which carolled a thousand several tunes,
imitating and excelling the notes of all its rivals. The humming-bird,
so brilliant in its plumage, and so delicate in its form, quick in
motion, yet not fearing the presence of man, hunting about the flowers
like the bee gathering honey, rebounding from the blossoms into which
it dips its bill, and as soon returning "to renew its addresses to its
delightful objects," was ever admired as the smallest and the most
beautiful of the feathered race. The rattlesnake, with the terrors of
its alarms and the power of its venom; the opossum, soon to become as
celebrated for the care of its offspring as the fabled pelican: the
noisy frog, booming from the shallows like the English bittern; the
flying squirrel; the myriads of pigeons, darkening the air with the
immensity of their flocks, and, as men believed, breaking with their
weight the boughs of trees on which they alighted,--were all honored
with frequent commemoration, and became the subjects of the strangest
tales. The concurrent relation of all the Indians justified the belief
that, within ten days journey towards the setting of the sun, there
was a country where gold might be washed from the sand, and where the
natives themselves had learned the use of the crucible; but definite
and accurate as were the accounts, inquiry was always baffled; and the
regions of gold remained for two centuries an undiscovered land.

Various were the employments by which the calmness of life was relieved.
George Sandys, an idle man, who had been a great traveller, and who did
not remain in America, a poet, whose verse was tolerated by Dryden
and praised by Isaac Walton, beguiled the ennui of his seclusion by
translating the whole of Ovid's Metamorphoses. To the man of leisure the
chase furnished a perpetual resource. It was not long before the horse
was multiplied in Virginia; and to improve that noble animal was early
an object of pride, soon to be favored by legislation. Speed was
especially valued, and "the planters pace" became a proverb....

* * * * *


In Asia, the victories of Olive at Plassy, of Coote at the Wandewash,
and of Watson and Pococke on the Indian seas, had given England the
undoubted ascendency in the East Indies, opening to her suddenly the
promise of untold treasures and territorial acquisitions without end. In
America, the Teutonic race, with its strong tendency to individuality
and freedom, was become the master from the Gulf of Mexico to the Poles;
and the English tongue, which but a century and a half before had for
its entire world a part only of two narrow islands on the outer verge
of Europe, was now to spread more widely than any that had ever given
expression to human thought.

Go forth, then, language of Milton and Hampden, language of my country,
take possession of the North American continent! Gladden the waste
places with every tone that has been rightly struck on the English lyre,
with every English word that has been spoken well for liberty and for
man! Give an echo to the now silent and solitary mountains; gush out
with the fountains that as yet sing their anthems all day long without
response; fill the valleys with the voices of love in its purity, the
pledges of friendship in its faithfulness; and as the morning sun drinks
the dewdrops from the flowers all the way from the dreary Atlantic to
the Peaceful Ocean, meet him with the joyous hum of the early industry
of freemen! Utter boldly and spread widely through the world the
thoughts of the coming apostles of the people's liberty, till the sound
that cheers the desert shall thrill through the heart of humanity, and
the lips of the messenger of the people's power, as he stands in beauty
upon the mountains, shall proclaim the renovating tidings of equal
freedom for the race!...

France, of all the states on the continent of Europe the most powerful
by territorial unity, wealth, numbers, industry, and culture, seemed
also by its place marked out for maritime ascendency. Set between many
seas, it rested upon the Mediterranean, possessed harbors on the German
Ocean, and embraced within its wide shores and jutting headlands, the
bays and open, waters of the Atlantic; its people, infolding at one
extreme the offspring of colonists from Greece, and at the other,
the hardy children of the Northmen, were called, as it were, to the
inheritance of life upon the sea. The nation, too, readily conceived or
appropriated great ideas, and delighted in bold resolves. Its travellers
had penetrated farthest into the fearful interior of unknown lands;
its missionaries won most familiarly the confidence of the aboriginal
hordes; its writers described with keener and wiser observation the
forms of nature in her wildness, and the habits and languages of savage
man; its soldiers,--and every lay Frenchman in America owed military
service,--uniting beyond all others celerity with courage, knew best how
to endure the hardships of forest life and to triumph in forest warfare.
Its ocean chivalry had given a name and a colony to Carolina, and its
merchants a people to Acadia. The French discovered the basin of the
St. Lawrence; were the first to explore and possess the banks of the
Mississippi, and planned an American empire that should unite the widest
valleys and most copious inland waters of the world.

But new France was governed exclusively by the monarchy of its
metropolis; and was shut against the intellectual daring of its
philosophy, the liberality of its political economists, the movements of
its industrial genius, its legal skill, and its infusion of Protestant
freedom. Nothing representing the new activity of thought in modern
France, went to America. Nothing had leave to go there but what was old
and worn out.

The colonists from England brought over the forms of the government of
the mother country, and the purpose of giving them a better development
and a fairer career in the western world. The French emigrants took with
them only what belonged to the past, and nothing that represented
modern freedom. The English emigrants retained what they called English
privileges, but left behind in the parent country English inequalities,
the monarch, and nobility, and prelacy. French America was closed
against even a gleam of intellectual independence; nor did it contain so
much as one dissenter from the Roman Church; English America had English
liberties in greater purity and with far more of the power of the people
than England. Its inhabitants were self-organized bodies of freeholders,
pressing upon the receding forests, winning their way farther and
farther forward every year, and never going back. They had schools, so
that in several of the colonies there was no one to be found beyond
childhood, who could not read and write; they had the printing press
scattering among them books, and pamphlets, and many newspapers; they
had a ministry chiefly composed of men of their own election. In private
life they were accustomed to take care of themselves; in public affairs
they had local legislatures, and municipal self-direction. And now this
continent from the Gulf of Mexico to where civilized life is stayed by
barriers of frost, was become their dwelling-place and their heritage.

* * * * *

From "The History of the United States."


But already the hope of New France was gone. Born and educated in camps,
Montcalm had been carefully instructed, and was skilled in the language
of Homer as well as in the art of war. Greatly laborious, just,
disinterested, hopeful even to rashness, sagacious in council, swift in
action, his mind was a well-spring of bold designs; his career in Canada
a wonderful struggle against inexorable destiny. Sustaining hunger and
cold, vigils and incessant toil, anxious for his soldiers, unmindful
of himself, he set, even to the forest-trained red men, an example of
self-denial and endurance, and in the midst of corruption made the
public good his aim. Struck by a musket ball, as he fought opposite
Monckton, he continued in the engagement, till, in attempting to rally
a body of fugitive Canadians in a copse near St. John's gate, he was
mortally wounded.

On hearing from the surgeon that death was certain, "I am glad of it,"
he cried; "how long shall I survive?" "Ten or twelve hours, perhaps
less." "So much the better; I shall not live to see the surrender of
Quebec." To the council of war he showed that in twelve hours all the
troops near at hand might be concentrated and renew the attack before
the English were intrenched. When De Ramsay, who commanded the garrison,
asked his advice about defending the city, "To your keeping," he
replied, "I commend the honor of France. As for me, I shall pass the
night with God, and prepare myself for death," Having written a letter
recommending the French prisoners to the generosity of the English, his
last hours were given to the hope of endless life, and at five the next
morning he expired.

* * * * *

From "The History of the United States."


From the fullness of his own mind, without consulting one single book,
Jefferson drafted the declaration, he submitted it separately to
Franklin and to John Adams, accepted from each of them one or two
unimportant verbal corrections, and on the twenty-eighth of June
reported it to Congress, which now on the second of July immediately
after the resolution of independence entered upon its consideration.
During the remainder of that day and the next two, the language, the
statements, and the principles of the paper were closely scanned.

* * * * *

This immortal state paper, which for its composer was the aurora of
enduring fame, was "the genuine effusion of the soul of the country
at that time," the revelation of its mind, when, in its youth, its
enthusiasm, its sublime confronting of danger, it rose to the highest
creative powers of which man is capable. The bill of rights which it
promulgates, is of rights that are older than human institutions, and
spring from the eternal justice that is anterior to the state. Two
political theories divided the world: one founded the commonwealth
on the reason of state, the policy of expediency, the other on the
immutable principles of morals; the new republic, as it took its place
among the powers of the world, proclaimed its faith in the truth and
reality and unchangeableness of freedom, virtue, and right. The heart of
Jefferson in writing the declaration, and of Congress in adopting it,
beat for all humanity; the assertion of right was made for the entire
world of mankind, and all coming generations, without any exception
whatever; for the proposition which admits of exceptions can never be
self-evident. As it was put forth in the name of the ascendant people
of that time, it was sure to make the circuit of the world, passing
everywhere through the despotic countries of Europe; and the astonished
nations as they read that all men are created equal, started out of
their lethargy, like those who have been exiles from childhood, when
they suddenly hear the dimly remembered accents of their mother tongue.

* * * * *


The King of France, whilst he declared his wish to make no conquest
whatever in the war, held out to the King of Spain, with the consent of
the United States, the acquisition of Florida; but Florida had not power
to allure Charles the Third, or his ministry, which was a truly Spanish
ministry, and wished to pursue a truly Spanish policy. There was indeed
one word which, if pronounced, would be a spell potent enough to alter
their decision; a word that calls the blood into the cheek of a Spaniard
as an insult to his pride, a brand of inferiority on his nation. That
word was Gibraltar. Meantime, the King of Spain declared that he would
not then, nor in the future, enter into the quarrel of France and
England; that he wished to close his life in tranquility, and valued
peace too highly to sacrifice it to the interests or opinions of

So the flags of France and the United States went together into the
field against Great Britain, unsupported by any other government, yet
with the good wishes of all the peoples of Europe. The benefit then
conferred on the United States was priceless. In return, the revolution
in America came opportunely for France.... For the blessing of that same
France, America brought new life and hope; she superseded scepticism by
a wise and prudent enthusiasm in action, and bade the nation that became
her ally lift up its heart from the barrenness of doubt to the highest
affirmation of God and liberty, to freedom and union with the good, the
beautiful, and the true.

* * * * *

=_J.G.M. Ramsey,[40] about 1800-._=

From "The Annals of Tennessee."


The Etowah campaign was the last military service rendered by Sevier,
and the only one for which he ever received compensation from the
government. For nearly twenty years he had been constantly engaged in
incessant and unremitted service. He was in thirty-five battles, some of
them hardly contested, and decisive. He was never wounded, and in all
his campaigns and battles was successful and the victor. He was careful
of the lives of his soldiery; and, although he always led them to the
victory, he lost, in all his engagements with the enemy, but fifty-six
men. The secret of his invariable success was the impetuosity and vigor
of his charge. Himself an accomplished horseman, a graceful rider,
passionately fond of a spirited charger, always well mounted, at the
head of his dragoons, he was at once in the midst of the fight. His
rapid movement, always unexpected and sudden, disconcerted the enemy,
and, at the first onset, decided the victory. He was the first to
introduce the Indian war-whoop in his battles with the savages, the
Tories, and the British. More harmless than the leaden missile, it
was not less efficient, and was always the precursor and attendant of
victory. The prisoners at King's Mountain said, "We could stand your
fighting; but your cursed hallooing confused us. We thought the
mountains had regiments, instead of companies." Sevier's enthusiasm was
contagious; he imparted it to his men. He was the idol of the soldiery;
and his orders were obeyed cheerfully, and executed with precision. In
a military service of twenty years, one instance is not known of
insubordination, on the part of the soldier, or of discipline by the

Sevier's troops were generally his neighbors, and the members of his own
family. Often no public provision was made for their pay, equipments, or
subsistence. These were furnished by himself, being at once commander,
commissary, and paymaster. The soldiery rendezvoused at his house, which
often became a cantonment; his fields, ripe or unripe, were given up to
his horsemen; powder and lead, provisions, clothing, even all he had,
belonged to his men.

The Etowah campaign terminated the military services of General Sevier.
Hereafter, we will have to record his not less important agency in the
civil affairs of Tennessee.

[Footnote 40: A native of Tennessee. His Annals contain much valuable

* * * * *

=_Charles Gayarre, 1805-._= (Manual, p. 490.)

From the "History of Louisiana."


His very physiognomy prognosticated what soul was encased within the
spare but well-ribbed form which had that "lean and hungry look"
described by England's greatest bard as bespeaking little sleep of
nights, but much of ambition, self-reliance, and impatience of control.
His lip and eye denoted the man of unyielding temper, and his very hair,
slightly silvered, stood erect like quills round his wrinkled brow, as
if they scorned to bend. Some sneered, it is true, at what they called
a military tyro, at the impromptu general who had sprung out of the
uncouth lawyer and the unlearned judge, who in arms had only the
experience of a few months, acquired in a desultory war against wild
Indians, and who was, not only without any previous training to his new
profession, but also without the first rudiments of a liberal education,
for he did not even know the orthography of his own native language.
Such was the man who, with a handful of raw militia, was to stand in
the way of the veteran troops of England, whose boast it was to have
triumphed over one of the greatest captains known in history. But those
who entertained such distrust had hardly come in contact with General
Jackson, when they felt that they had to deal with a master-spirit.
True, he was rough hewn from the rock, but rock he was, and of that kind
of rock which Providence chooses to select as a fit material to use in
its structures of human greatness. True, he had not the education of a
lieutenant in a European army; but what lieutenant, educated or not,
who had the will and the remarkable military adaptation so evident in
General Jackson's intellectual and physical organization, ever remained
a subaltern? Much less could General Jackson fail to rise to his proper
place in a country where there was so much more elbow-room, and fewer
artificial obstacles than in less favored lands. But, whatever those
obstacles might have been, General Jackson would have overcome them all.
His will was of such an extraordinary nature that, like Christian faith,
it could almost have accomplished prodigies and removed mountains. It is
impossible to study the life of General Jackson without being convinced
that this is the most remarkable feature of his character. His will had,
as it were, the force and the fixity of fate; that will carried him
triumphantly through his military and civil career, and through the
difficulties of private life. So intense and incessantly active this
peculiar faculty was in him, that one would suppose that his mind was
nothing but will--a will so lofty that it towered into sublimity. In him
it supplied the place of genius--or, rather, it was almost genius. On
many occasions, in the course of his long, eventful life, when his
shattered constitution made his physicians despair of preserving him, he
seemed to continue to live merely because it was his will; and when his
unconquerable spirit departed from his enfeebled and worn-out body,
those who knew him well might almost have been tempted to suppose that
he had not been vanquished by death, but had at last consented to
repose. This man, when he took the command at New Orleans, had made up
his mind to beat the English; and, as that mind was so constituted that
it was not susceptible of entertaining much doubt as to the results of
any of its resolves, he went to work with an innate confidence which
transfused itself into the population he had been sent to protect.

* * * * *

=_Brantz Mayer, 1809-._= (Manual, p. 490.)

From "Mexico, Aztec," &c.


At the end of the Aztec or Toltec cycle of fifty-two years,--for it
is not accurately ascertained to which of the tribes the astronomical
science of Tenochtitlan is to be attributed,--these primitive children
of the New World believed that the world was in danger of instant
destruction. Accordingly, its termination became one of their most
serious and awful epochs, and they anxiously awaited the moment when the
sun would be blotted out from the heavens, and the globe itself resolved
once more into chaos. As the cycle ended in the winter, the season of
the year, with its drearier sky and colder air, in the lofty regions of
the valley, added to the gloom that fell upon the hearts of the people.
On the last day of the fifty-two years, all the fires in temples and
dwellings were extinguished, and the natives devoted themselves to
fasting and prayer. They destroyed alike their valuable and worthless
wares; rent their garments, put out their lights, and hid themselves for
awhile in solitude....

At dark on the last dread evening,--as soon as the sun had set, as they
imagined, forever,--a sad and solemn procession of priests and people
marched forth from the city to a neighboring hill, to rekindle the "New
Fire." This mournful march was called "the procession of the gods," and
was supposed to be their final departure from their temples and altars.

As soon as the melancholy array reached the summit of the hill, it
reposed in fearful anxiety until the Pleiades reached the zenith in the
sky, whereupon the priests immediately began the sacrifice of a human
victim, whose breast was covered with a wooden shield, which the chief
_flamen_ kindled by friction. When the sufferer received the fatal stab
from the sacrificial knife of _obsidian,_ the machine was set in motion
on his bosom until the blaze had kindled. The anxious crowd stood round
with fear and trembling. Silence reigned over nature and man. Not a word
was uttered among the countless multitude that thronged the hill-sides
and plains, whilst the priest performed his direful duty to the gods. At
length, as the fire sparks gleamed faintly from the whirling instrument,
low sobs and ejaculations were whispered among the eager masses. As the
sparks kindled into a blaze, and the blaze into a flame, and the flaming
shield and victim were cast together on a pile of combustibles which
burst at once into the brightness of a conflagration, the air was rent
with the joyous shouts of the relieved and panic-stricken Indians. Far
and wide over the dusky crowds beamed the blaze like a star of promise.
Myriads of upturned faces greeted it from hills, mountains, temples,
terraces, teocallis, house-tops, and city walls; and the prostrate
multitudes hailed the emblem of light, life, and fruition, as a blessed
omen of the restored favor of their gods, and the preservation of their
race for another cycle. At regular intervals, Indian couriers held aloft
brands of resinous wood, by which they transmitted the "New Fire" from
hand to hand, from village to village, and town to town, throughout the
Aztec empire. Light was radiated from the imperial or ecclesiastical
center of the realm. In every temple and dwelling it was rekindled from
the sacred source; and when the sun rose again on the following morning,
the solemn procession of priests, princes, and subjects, which had taken
up its march from the capital on the preceding night with solemn steps,
returned once more to the abandoned capital, and, restoring the gods to
their altars, abandoned themselves to joy and festivity, in token of
gratitude and relief from impending doom.

* * * * *

=_Albert James Pickett,[41] 1858-._= (Manual, p. 490.)

From "The History of Alabama."


During my youthful days, I was accustomed to be much with the Creek
Indians, hundreds of whom came almost daily to the trading-house. For
twenty years I frequently visited the Creek nation. Their green-corn
dances, ball plays, war ceremonies, and manners and customs, are all
fresh in my recollection. In my intercourse with them I was thrown into
the company of many old white men called "Indian country men," who had
for years conducted a commerce with them. Some of these men had come to
the Creek nation before the Revolutionary War, and others, being
tories, had fled to it during the war, and after it to escape from whig
persecution. They were unquestionably the shrewdest and most interesting
men with whom I ever conversed. Generally of Scotch descent, many of
them were men of some education. All of them were married to Indian
wives, and some of them had intelligent and handsome children.... I
often conversed with the chiefs while they were seated in the shades
of the spreading mulberry and walnut, upon the banks of the beautiful
Tallapoosa. As they leisurely smoked their pipes, some of them related
to me the traditions of their country. I occasionally saw Choctaw and
Cherokee traders, and learned much from them. I had no particular object
in view, at that time, except the gratification of a curiosity which
led me, for my own satisfaction alone, to learn something of the early
history of Alabama.

[Footnote 41: A native of North Carolina, who removed in early life to
Alabama. His "History" abounds in interesting matter.]

* * * * *

=_Charles Wentworth Upham, 1802_= (Manual, pp. 490, 532.)

From the "History of Witchcraft and Salem Village."


The Indians were carrying all before them. Philip was spreading
conflagration, devastation, and slaughter around the borders, and
striking sudden and deadly blows into the heart of the country. It was
evident that he was consolidating the Indian power into irresistible
strength.... From other scouting parties it became evident that this
opinion was correct, and that the Indians were collecting stores and
assembling their warriors somewhere, to fall upon the colonies at the
first opening of spring. Further information made it certain that
their place of gathering was in the Narragansett country, in the
south-westerly part of the colony of Rhode Island. There was no
alternative but, as a last effort, to strike the enemy at that point
with the utmost available force.... It was between, one and two o'clock
in the afternoon, and the short winter day was wearing away, Winslow saw
the position at a glance, and, by the promptness of his decision,
proved himself a great captain. He ordered an instant assault.
The Massachusetts troops were in the van, the Plymouth, with the
commander-in-chief, in the center, the Connecticut in the rear. The
Indians had erected a block-house near the entrance, filled with
sharpshooters, who also lined the palisades. The men rushed on, although
it was into the Jaws of death, under an unerring fire. The block-house
told them where the entrance was. The companies of Moseley and Davenport
led the way. Moseley succeeded in passing through. Davenport fell
beneath three fatal shots, just within the entrance. Isaac Johnson,
captain of the Roxbury company, was killed while on the log. But death
had no terrors to that army. The center and rear divisions pressed up to
support the front, and fill the gaps, and all equally shared the glory
of the hour. Enough survived the terrible passage to bring the Indians
to a hand-to-hand fight within the fort. After a desperate straggle of
nearly three hours, the savages were driven from their stronghold, and
with the setting of that sun their power was broken. Philip's fortunes
had received a decided overthrow, and the colonies were saved. In all
military history there is not a more daring exploit. Never, on any
field, has more heroic prowess been displayed.

* * * * *

=_John Lothrop Motley, 1814-._= (Manual, p. 532.)

From "The History of the United Netherlands."


Ferdinando Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva, was now in his sixtieth
year. He was the most successful and experienced general of Spain, or of
Europe. No man had studied more deeply, or practiced more constantly,
the military science. In the most important of all arts at that epoch he
was the most consummate artist. In the only honorable profession of the
age he was the most thorough and the most pedantic professor. Having
proved in his boyhood at Fontarabia, and in his maturity at Muehlberg,
that he could exhibit heroism and headlong courage when necessary, he
could afford to look with contempt upon the witless gibes which his
enemies had occasionally perpetrated at his expense.... "Recollect,"
said he to Don John of Austria, "that the first foes with whom one has
to contend are one's own troops--with their clamors for an engagement at
this moment, and their murmurs about results at another; with their 'I
thought that the battle should be fought,' or, 'It was my opinion that
the occasion ought not to be lost.'"

On the whole, the Duke of Alva was inferior to no general of his age.
As a disciplinarian, he was foremost in Spain, perhaps in Europe.
A spendthrift of time, he was an economist of blood; and this was,
perhaps, in the eye of humanity, his principal virtue.... Such were
his qualities as a military commander. As a statesman, he had neither
experience nor talent. As a man, his character was simple. He did not
combine a great variety of vices; but those which he had were colossal,
and he possessed no virtues. He was neither lustful nor intemperate; but
his professed eulogists admitted his enormous avarice, while the world
has agreed that such an amount of stealth and ferocity, of patient
vindictiveness and universal blood-thirstiness, were never found in a
savage beast of the forest, and but rarely in a human bosom.

* * * * *

From "The History of the United Netherlands."


The Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella entered the place in
triumph, if triumph it could be called. It would be difficult to
imagine a more desolate scene. The artillery of the first years of the
seventeenth century was not the terrible enginery of destruction that
it has become in the last third of the nineteenth, but a cannonade,
continued so steadily and so long, had done its work. There were no
churches, no houses, no redoubts, no bastions, no walls, nothing but a
vague and confused mass of ruin. Spinola conducted his imperial guests
along the edge of extinct volcanoes, amid upturned cemeteries, through
quagmires, which once were moats, over huge mounds of sand, and vast
shapeless masses of bricks and masonry, which had been forts. He
endeavored to point out places where mines had been exploded, where
ravelins had been stormed, where the assailants had been successful, and
where they had been bloodily repulsed. But it was all loathsome, hideous
rubbish. There were no human habitations, no hovels, no casemates. The
inhabitants had burrowed at last in the earth, like the dumb creatures
of the swamps and forests. In every direction the dykes had burst, and
the sullen wash of the liberated waves, bearing hither and thither
the floating wreck of fascines and machinery, of planks and building
materials, sounded far and wide over what should have been dry land. The
great ship channel, with the unconquered Half-moon upon one side and
the incomplete batteries and platforms of Bucquoy on the other, still
defiantly opened its passage to the sea, and the retiring fleets of the
garrison were white in the offing. All around was the grey expanse of
stormy ocean, without a cape or a headland to break its monotony, as the
surges rolled mournfully in upon a desolation more dreary than their
own. The atmosphere was murky and surcharged with rain, for the wild,
equinoctial storm which had held Maurice spell-bound, had been raging
over land and sea for many days. At every step the unburied skulls of
brave soldiers who had died in the cause of freedom, grinned their
welcome to the conquerors. Isabella wept at the sight. She had cause to
weep. Upon that miserable sandbank more than a hundred thousand men had
laid down their lives by her decree, in order that she and her husband
might at last take possession of a most barren prize. This insignificant
fragment of a sovereignty which her wicked old father had presented to
her on his deathbed--a sovereignty which he had no more moral right or
actual power to confer than if it had been in the planet Saturn--had
at last been appropriated at the cost of all this misery. It was of no
great value, although its acquisition had caused the expenditure of at
least eight millions of florins, divided in nearly equal proportions
between the two belligerents. It was in vain that great immunities were
offered to those who would remain, or who would consent to settle in the
foul Golgotha. The original population left the place in mass. No human
creatures were left save the wife of a freebooter and her paramour, a
journeyman blacksmith. This unsavory couple, to whom entrance into the
purer atmosphere of Zeeland was denied, thenceforth shared with the
carrion crows the amenities of Ostend.

* * * * *

From the Preface to the "Rise of the Dutch Republic."


The rise of the Dutch Republic must ever be regarded as one of the
leading events of modern times. Without the birth of this great
commonwealth, the various historical phenomena of the sixteenth and
following centuries must have either not existed, or have presented
themselves under essential modifications.... From the handbreadth of
territory called the province of Holland, rises a power which wages
eighty years' warfare with the most potent empire upon earth, and which,
during the progress of the struggle, becoming itself a mighty state, and
binding about its own slender form a zone of the richest possessions of
earth, from pole to tropic, finally dictates its decrees to the empire
of Charles.

... To the Dutch Republic, even more than to Florence at an earlier day
is the world indebted for practical instruction in that great science of
political equilibrium which must always become more and more important
as the various states of the civilized world are pressed more closely
together, and as the struggle for pre-eminence becomes more feverish and
fatal. Courage and skill in political and military combinations enabled
William the Silent to overcome the most powerful and unscrupulous
monarch of his age. The same hereditary audacity and fertility of genius
placed the destiny of Europe in the hands of William's great-grandson,
and enabled him to mould into an impregnable barrier the various
elements of opposition to the overshadowing monarchy of Louis XIV. As
the schemes of the Inquisition and the unparalleled tyranny of Philip, in
one century led to the establishment of the Republic of the United
Provinces, so, in the next, the revocation of the Nantes Edict and the
invasion of Holland are avenged by the elevation of the Dutch Stadholder
upon the throne of the stipendiary Stuarts.

To all who speak the English language, the history of the great agony
through which the republic of Holland was ushered into life must have
peculiar interest, for it is a portion of the records of the
Anglo-Saxon race--essentially the same whether in Friesland, England, or

... The great Western Republic, therefore--in whose ... veins flows much of
that ancient and kindred blood received from the nation once ruling a
noble portion of its territory, and tracking its own political existence
to the same parent spring of temperate human liberty--must look with
affectionate interest upon the trials of the elder commonwealth.

... The lessons of history and the fate of free states can never be
sufficiently pondered by those upon whom so large and heavy a
responsibility for the maintenance of rational human freedom rests.

* * * * *

=_Alexander B. Meek,[42] 1814-1865._= (Manual, p. 523.)

From "Romantic Passages in Southwestern History."


Upon the colony they bestowed the name of Marengo, which is still
preserved in the county. Other relics of their nomenclature, drawn
similarly from battles in which some of them had been distinguished, are
to be found in the villages of Linden and Arcola....

Who that would have looked upon Marshal Grouchy or General Lefebvre, as,
dressed in their plain, rustic habiliments,--the straw hat, the homespun
coat, the brogan shoes,--they drove the plough in the open field, or
wielded the axe in the new-ground clearing, would, if unacquainted with
their history, have dreamed that those farmer-looking men had sat in the
councils of monarchs, and had headed mighty armies in the fields of the
sternest strife the world has ever seen? "Do you know, sir," said a
citizen to a traveller, who, in 1819, was passing the road from Arcola
to Eaglesville,--"do you know, sir, who is that fine-looking man who
has just ferried you across the creek?" "No. Who is he?" was the reply.
"That," said the citizen, "is the officer who commanded Napoleon's
advanced guard when he returned from Elba." This was Colonel Raoul, now
a general in France.

[Footnote 42: One of the few writers of Alabama. The "Romantic passages"
is a book of great interest.]

* * * * *


But the mind of the young Indian, though grasping with singular
readiness the knowledge thus imparted, was subject to stronger tastes
and propensities; and he indulged in all the wild pursuits and
amusements of the youth of his nation with an alacrity and spirit which
won their approval and admiration. He became one of the most active,
athletic, and swift-footed participants in their various games and
dances, and was particularly expert and successful, as a hunter, in the
use of the rifle and the bow. He was also noted, even in his youth, for
his reckless daring as a rider, and his graceful feats of horsemanship,
which the fine stables of his father enabled him to indulge. To use the
words of an old Indian woman who knew him at this period, "The squaws
would quit hoeing corn, and smile and gaze upon him as he rode by the

* * * * *

=_Abel Stevens,[43] 1815-._=

From "The History of Methodism."


They composed a class which, perhaps, will never be seen again. They
were distinguished by native mental vigor, shrewdness, extraordinary
knowledge of human nature, many of them by overwhelming natural
eloquence, the effects of which on popular assemblies are scarcely
paralleled in the history of ancient or modern oratory, and not a few by
powers of satire and wit which made the gainsayer cower before them. To
these intellectual attributes they added great excellences of the heart,
a zeal which only burned more fervently where that of ordinary men would
have grown faint, a courage that exulted in perils, a generosity which
knew no bounds, and left most of them in want in their latter days, a
forbearance and co-operation with each other which are seldom found in
large bodies, an entire devotion to one work, and, withal, a simplicity
of character which extended even to their manners and their apparel.
They were likewise characterized by rare physical abilities. They were
mostly robust. The feats of labor and endurance which they performed,
in incessantly preaching in villages and cities, among slave huts and
Indian wigwams, in journeyings seldom interrupted by stress of weather,
in fording creeks, swimming rivers, sleeping in forests,--these, with
the novel circumstances with which such a career frequently brought them
into contact, afford examples of life and character which, in the hands
of genius, might be the materials for a new department of romantic
literature. They were men who labored as if the judgment fires were
about to break out on the world, and time to end with their day. They
were precisely the men whom the moral wants of the new world at the time

[Footnote 43: A prominent clergyman of the Methodist church. His History
of Methodism is a work of great research and value. A native of

* * * * *

=_Francis Parkman, 1823-._= (Manual, pp. 496, 505.)

From "The Conspiracy of Pontiac."


These rude and hardy men, hunters and traders, scouts and guides, who
ranged the woods beyond the English borders, and formed a connecting
link between barbarism and civilization, have been touched upon already.
They were a distinct, peculiar class, marked with striking contrasts of
good and evil. Many, though by no means all, were coarse, audacious,
and unscrupulous; yet, even in the worst, one might often have found a
vigorous growth of warlike virtues, an iron endurance, an undespairing
courage, a wondrous sagacity, and singular fertility of resource. In
them was renewed, with all its ancient energy, that wild and daring
spirit, that force and hardihood of mind, which marked our barbarous
ancestors of Germany and Norway. These sons of the wilderness still
survive. We may find them to this day, not in the valley of the Ohio,
nor on the shores of the lakes, but far westward on the desert range of
the buffalo, and among the solitudes of Oregon. Even now, while I write,
some lonely trapper is climbing the perilous defiles of the Rocky
Mountains, his strong frame cased in time-worn buck-skin, his rifle
griped in his sinewy hand. Keenly he peers from side to side, lest
Blackfoot or Arapahoe should ambuscade his path. The rough earth is his
bed, a morsel of dried meat and a draught of water are his food and
drink, and death and danger his companions. No anchorite could fare
worse, no hero could dare more; yet his wild, hard life has resistless
charms; and while he can wield a rifle, he will never leave it. Go with
him to the rendezvous, and he is a stoic no more. Here, rioting among
his comrades, his native appetites break loose in mad excess, in deep
carouse, and desperate gaming. Then follow close the quarrel, the
challenge, the fight,--two rusty rifles and fifty yards of prairie.

* * * * *

From "The Discovery of the Great West."


The river twisted among the lakes and marshes choked with wild rice;
and, but for their guides, they could scarcely have followed the
perplexed and narrow channel. It brought them at last to the portage;
where, after carrying their canoes a mile and a half over the prairie

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