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Lands of the Slave and the Free by Henry A. Murray

Part 9 out of 10

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but many with whom, though you might like to meet them in general
society, you do not think it desirable to be on more intimate terms; and
even in a club, who will deny that it is often used to gratify private
malice, and frequently, when candidates are numerous, are black-balls
put in to hasten forward the election of friends? While freely
confessing and deeply regretting the disgraceful jobbery and bribery
which an inquiry into our own elections too often reveals, we ought to
be thankful for the light of experience which a contemplation of the
elective system of the United States affords, warning us as it does that
an imprudent lowering of the franchise and a recourse to the secret
ballot do but aggravate the evils they were intended to cure. Before we
proceed to lower our franchise, should we not do wisely to try and
devise some means for obtaining the votes of those already entitled to
vote? Many an honest and industrious artisan at present entitled to a
vote will not come to the poll on account of the violence which--if not
of the mobular party--he may be subject to; his family depend on his
exertions for their daily bread--a broken limb, or any such accident
happening to him, may bring the whole family to deep distress, if not to
the workhouse. It appears by the _Edinburgh Review_ of October, 1852,
that at a previous general election, 40 per cent, of those possessing
the privilege did not poll their votes. A hasty lowering of the
franchise would certainly increase that number, and thus while losing
more votes of the peaceful and industrious citizens, we should be
increasing those of the more turbulent, and of those who are excited by
designing demagogues.

But to return to the United States. In the former edition I omitted to
explain that "a Congress" meant a Parliament for two years--the term for
which the representatives are elected. One of the sessions is from the
first Monday in December to about the end of August, and is called the
long session; the other commences the same day, and sits till the 4th
March, and is called the short session; but, besides these regular
sittings, there may be extra sessions as often as the President thinks
fit to assemble Congress. At the time I was in the States, by a fiction
very agreeable to the members, if Congress closed the session on Monday,
and the President ordered its reassembling on Tuesday, the members were
supposed to be at their respective homes, and received mileage payment
accordingly. This snug little bonus was called "constructive mileage."

In the year 1856 an act was passed fixing the payment of members at
1260l. each for their services in each Congress of two years, and
abolishing the constructive mileage job. The only deduction from the
above is that made for non-attendance of members. The payment is thus
arranged:--Each member receives 1l. 13s. 6d. for every day he
attends in Congress; the whole number of days a session lasts are
calculated at the above rate, and the difference between that amount and
630l. (the half of 1260l.) is a bonus given, at the end of the first
year's session, and is in lieu of all further payments for any extra
sessions which the President may think it advisable to call during the
year. It will thus be seen that each member receives the same sum, minus
1l. 13s. 6d. for every day's non-attendance.

Mileage is allowed at the rate of 1l. 13s. 6d.. for every twenty
miles distance to and fro, but only for one session each; year. The
advantage Texas and Californian members obtain from this liberal
allowance is obvious, and its injustice is felt by those who live in the
neighbouring States to Washington.

Now, as travelling, in most parts of the Union, is at the rate of less
than 2d. a mile, and living at the rate of two and a half dollars
(10s. 6d.) a day, it is obvious that the situation of a
representative is advantageous in a pecuniary point of view to those who
wish to make a trade of politics. A member coming from a distance, say
of 200 miles, and attending 120 days, would have a clear balance of
about 150l. left for the rest of the year; and a member from Texas
would clear about 500l. How far such a measure is wise, and brings the
most desirable men into the public service, let their own countrymen
tell. Mr. Venables, of North Carolina, in a speech at Richmond, Virginia
(quoted by Mr. Tremenheere) says, "With money enough, any bill can be
carried through Congress." No nation--and, least of all, so very
sensitive a nation as the United States--would pass an act which could
possibly throw a cloud of doubt over the integrity of its
representatives were there not some imperative necessity; the act
referred to below will be found in page 363 of _Appendix_ to
Tremenheere's _Constitution of the United States_, one clause of which
runs thus:--"That any senator or representative in Congress who, after
the passage of this act ... shall receive any gratuity, or any share of,
or interest in, any claim from any claimant against the United States,
&c., on conviction shall pay a fine not exceeding 5000 dollars
(1000l.), suffer imprisonment in the Penitentiary, not exceeding one
year, or both, as the court in its discretion shall adjudge." Another
clause follows, against the knowing and wilful destruction of public
documents; another, against any individual who shall tempt any member of
the Senate or House of Representatives with bribe of any kind to
influence his vote, and against members accepting the same. This act
bears date Feb. 26, 1853, and certainly proves that Mr. Venables'
assertion had some solid foundation in truth.

It will be remembered by some that Collins, finding the Cunard line of
steamers, when supported by Government, too strong for him to contend
against, applied to Congress for a Government grant. In obtaining that
grant, I do not pretend to say that he, or any one on his behalf, used
bribery or corruption, when he took round one of his magnificent vessels
to Washington, and feasted Congress on board in a most champagnely
style; but this I know, that many Americans were most indignant at the
proceeding, for, coupled with the act above referred to, it could not
but excite suspicion; and I feel sure, if Cunard had brought round one
of his splendid steamers to the Thames, and there feasted the
Legislature while his obtaining a Government grant was under discussion,
he could not have taken a more effectual method to mar his object. _La
femme de Cesar ne doit pas etre suspecte_. Thus, then, as far as we can
judge of any advantage to be derived from payment of members, we can see
nothing to induce us to adopt such a system; and, if I mistake not, the
American himself feels disposed to give it up, believing that the
standard of the representative will be raised thereby.

We will now make a few remarks upon a body peculiar to America, and
known as "the Lobby." But, first, I would observe that, by a rule in
both Houses, changeable at pleasure, ex-members of Congress, ministers,
secretaries of legation, &c., are allowed the privilege of coming within
the bar to hear debates; and of the people so privileged the Lobby is
chiefly composed. They have no counterpart in this country, but may
perhaps be said to have a faint and distant resemblance to our
Parliamentary agents, and they are in no way recognised by Congress.
Their work consists in endeavouring to force all members who purpose
presenting public or private bills to employ them, which, of course,
involves a "consideration;" and, as their name is "Legion," and their
motto on this point "unanimity," they are enabled, owing to their
influence with the members, to throw the greatest possible obstruction
in the way of most bills which are not passed through their "greased
palms." The result need not be described. The correspondent of the
_Times_, who, if report he correct, has held the highest situations a
citizen of the United States can hold, states, in a letter to be found
in that journal, on the 27th January 1857, that the Minnesota Land Bill
had been said, in the House of Representatives, to be supported by
bribery, and that one member openly avowed in his seat that he had been
offered 1500 dollars for his vote in favour of the bill. The consequence
was an inquiry into the alleged charge, and doubtless it will affect the
weight of the Lobby. He adds--"The Lobby has, no doubt, great influence
on the Legislature, but it is not yet all-powerful." In estimating the
effect of a vote, it must be remembered that there are only 234 members
in the House of Representatives, and 62 in the Senate; and, to give some
idea of the interests concerned, the correspondent states--"It is
scarcely an exaggeration to say that the Federal Congress at Washington
has a disposing power over twice the amount of national property subject
to the votes of the Parliament at Westminster." Those who feel an
interest in this subject I would strongly urge to read the whole of the
very able letter alluded to.

I have before spoken of the very great readiness with which any stranger
gains admittance to Congress to listen to the debates. As a broad
feature, I believe their discussions are carried on in a sober,
practical, business-like manner; nevertheless, most outrageous scenes
have occurred. I subjoin the following extract, not from any one
sentence it contains, but from its continuity, as a proof that the tone
of the House is not worthy of the dignity of so great a country. A
member of any community may get up and use the most gross and offensive
language; but if the offender be immediately called to order, and made
to retract the offensive expressions, the community thus vindicates its
character. Should, however, the most gross and offensive language be
used by two members for any length of time without any interference,
reprobation, retraction, or punishment, the community as a body must
fairly be considered, by their silence, as endorsing such conduct.

The extract is taken from that widely circulating journal, "the
_Illustrated London News_:--

"In the House of Representatives at Washington, on the 11th ult., the
following amusing but disgraceful scene occurred between two of the
members--Messrs. Stanly and Giddings. The former having charged the
latter with uttering a falsehood, the following conversation ensued:--

"Mr. Stanly: 'It is usual for one who has no regard for the decencies of
life to relieve himself from responsibility by pronouncing statements
false, and it is characteristic of the man who sneaked away from this
House, and took his pay for work which he did not do.

"Mr. Giddings: 'When the gentleman descends to low vulgarity, I cannot
follow him, I protest against Dough-faces prompting the gentleman from
South Carolina.

"Mr. Stanly: 'It is the business of a scavenger to have anything to do
with him, and I will have to wash my hands after handling him; but the
thing has to be done, as he has thrust himself on us as a kind of
censor. It is a small business for me, and I don't know how I can
descend any lower than to take hold of the hon. member for Ohio. (Cry of

"Mr. Giddings: 'Will you hear me?

"Mr. Stanly: 'Nobody wants to hear you, but I will indulge you.

"Mr. Giddings: 'The gentleman is barking up the wrong tree.

"Mr. Stanly: 'The galled jade winces again.

"Mr. Giddings: 'The gentleman sha'n't crack the overseer's lash to put
me down.

"Mr. Stanly: 'I hope that the gentleman will not gnash his teeth so
hard; he might hurt himself. Who is here playing the overseer over white
men--who but he, who is throwing his filthy gall and assailing everybody
as Northern Whig Dough-faces, and what he calls the vile slave-holders?
He is the only man who acts in that way. We don't raise the overseer's
lash over our slaves in North Carolina. If that member was in the
southern country, nobody would own him as a black man with a white
skin--(laughter)--but he would be suffered to run wild as a free negro,
and in the course of three weeks he would be brought up to the
whipping-post and lashed, for stealing or slandering his neighbours.
(Laughter.) If I say that he is a gentleman, I tell a falsehood.

"The Speaker (to Mr. Stanly)--'Will the gentleman suspend for a moment?

"Mr. Stanly: 'We ought to suspend that fellow (pointing to Mr. Giddings)
by the neck. (Laughter.)

"Mr. Giddings: 'The gentleman from North Carolina reminds me of the boy
who turned round so fast that the hind part of his breeches was on both
sides. (Laughter.) The gentleman says that I was at Norristown, too; but
where was he and the members of the House? Why, drinking their grog.

"Mr. Stanly: 'I charge the official reporters not to let his (Mr.
Giddings') felonious hand touch one word of what I say, for we know how
he on a former occasion misrepresented my colleague from the Orange
district, and his own colleague from the Chillicothe district, having
altered his own speech after he got to his room with his coloured
friends. (Laughter.) He talks about my associates: but has anybody ever
seen him in private decent company? Free negroes may call to see him. He
does not let his right hand know what his left doeth. He alludes to my
absence; but I have not set myself up as a standard. I don't say I'm
always in the house as I ought to be. He says we were here drinking our
grog during Christmas times. Where was he? In Philadelphia, drinking
beer and eating oysters with free negroes. (Laughter.) Which was the
best off? Judge ye. (Laughter.) He thinks he was better off than we
were. [Mr. Stanly paused, and, looking towards Mr. Preston King, who was
standing near Sir. Giddings, remarked, raising his voice to a higher
pitch, "Help him out; he needs a little more poison." (Voices, "Ha, ha!
Good! Ha, ha!")] I quit this subject in disgust. I find that I have been
in a dissecting-room, cutting up a dead dog. I will treat him as an
insane man, who was never taught the decencies of life, proprieties of
conduct--whose associations show that he never mingled with gentlemen.
Let him rave on till doomsday.'

"The conversation then ceased."

Any one who has seen much of American gentlemen, must know that such
language as the above contains would be reprobated by them fully as
strongly as by any gentleman in this country. To doubt that would be to
do them a gross injustice. Does not, therefore, the recurrence of such
scenes go far to prove, that the advance of ultra-democratic principles
has the effect of lowering the tone of the Representative Chamber, and
that men of liberal education and gentlemanly bearing do not constitute
the majority in that House? In the days of Washington, would any member
have dared to use, or would any other member have for a moment
tolerated, such language? It is but justice to say, that the tone of the
Senate Chamber is far more dignified; and many who have been members of
that body have established a world-wide reputation both as orators and

Let us now turn for a few minutes to that important subject, the
Judiciary of the States, one peculiar feature of which is, its being a
co-ordinate branch of the Legislature. The Supreme Court of the United
States is the highest tribunal in the country; it consists of a Chief
Justice and eight associate Justices, the Attorney-General, a reporter,
and a clerk. All questions affecting foreign ambassadors, consuls, &c.,
are tried before this court; and it is a final court of appeal in cases
involving constitutional questions, and various others, too long to
enumerate here. It has even the power of annulling the acts of the
Federal Congress at Washington, if such acts are contrary to the

The following article in the Constitution regulates the terms upon which
alone any change may be made, and which is of so peculiar and
conservative a character that I insert it in full:--

"ARTICLE V.--_Power of Amendment_.

"The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it
necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the
application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States,
shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either
case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this
Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of
the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the
one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress;
provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one
thousand eight hundred and eight, shall in any manner affect the first
and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article, and that
no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage
in the Senate."

The foregoing article is a remarkable instance of prudence and
forethought, and acts as the strongest safeguard against hasty measures,
which in times of great excitement may sometimes obtain a majority that
would afterwards be regretted by all parties. If the principle involved
in any question is really felt to be of vital importance, the majority
can dissolve the Union if they consider the object in view worth the

The salary of the Chief Justice is about 1050l. a-year. This court is,
I believe, invariably composed of men of the highest talent and
integrity; their appointment is from the President, and endorsed by the
Senate, and their tenure of office is "during good behaviour."[CD] There
has, fortunately, been no change in the manner or term of these
appointments; but, in the different States, the democratic mania has
removed the old landmarks of prudence bequeathed to them by their
fathers. Mr. Tremenheere tells, that in 1833 only 5 States out of the 24
had adopted the principle of electing Judges, and appointing them for a
term of years; in 1844, 12 States out of the 29 had adopted the
principle; and in 1853, 22 out of the 31 States had come to the same
resolution. We surely have in these facts a most important warning of
the danger of introducing too much of the democratic element into the
constitution of any country. Reflect, if but for a moment, on the danger
to the community, where the selection of the Judges of the land may be
guided by political rancour or public clamour; the bare knowledge that
such may be the case, even if the purity of the masses be so great as
not to admit of such sinister influence, the bare possibility, I say, is
calculated to lower the respect in which it is most desirable the
judiciary should ever be held,[CE] and to deter the most pure and
high-minded citizens from offering their services. The salaries of the
Judges range from 250l. to 400l. a-year.

The next point to which I would call attention, is to be found in Art.
I., sect. 6, of the Constitution of the United States, the last clause
of which runs thus:--"No person holding any office under the United
States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in
office." This was probably one of the most extraordinary blunders such
an able body of men as the framers of the Constitution ever made; and if
their object was to guard against corruption, and the undue influence of
the leading men of the country, it has most signally failed, as the Act
before referred to, of February, 1853, fully testifies. Only conceive
the effect of excluding all the Cabinet and high functionaries from
seats in the Lords and Commons; conceive the great statesmen of this
country being obliged to hand over the introduction of most important
measures, and the defence and explanation of them, to other hands. On
this point, Mr. Justice Story remarks: "Thus, that open and public
responsibility for measures, which properly belongs to the executive in
all governments, especially in a republican government, as its greatest
security and strength, is completely done away. The executive is
compelled to resort to secret and unseen influence,--to private
interviews and private arrangements,--to accomplish its own appropriate
purposes, instead of proposing and sustaining its own duties and
measures by a bold and manly appeal to the nation in the face of its
representatives. One consequence of this state of things is, that there
never can be traced home to the executive any responsibility for the
measures which are planned and carried at its suggestion. Another
consequence will be--if it has not yet been--that measures will be
adopted or defeated by private intrigues, political combinations,
irresponsible recommendations, by all the blandishments of office, and
all the deadening weight of silent patronage; ... ministers may conceal
or evade any expression of their opinions."

In charity it should be presumed that in all nations which possess
anything worthy of the name of free institutions, the ablest men of the
political majority constitute the Cabinet; and, by the enactment we are
considering, all this talent is excluded from the councils of the
nation, whereas all the talent of the Opposition may be there arrayed
against their measures. I confess it is beyond my penetration, to see
how this can be reconciled to justice or common sense; in no one
principle of their Government did they more completely ignore the wisdom
and experience of the mother country, and in the object they had in view
they appear to have most completely failed. It is but fair to the
democrats to say it is no act of theirs; they inherited the misfortune,
and are likely to keep it, as it is one of the fundamental principles of
their Constitution, and they have a salutary dread--much to their
praise--of tinkering up any flaw they find in that document, lest in
mending one hole they make two. They have, as a nation, so greatly
prospered under its combined enactments, and possess such an unlimited
independence in their individual States, that although the exclusion of
the Cabinet is now very generally admitted to be an error, I saw no
inclination to moot the question; probably, lest other questions
affecting the slave and non-slave-holding States might be brought on the
boards, and again disturb the bonds of union.

Another very remarkable--and in a Republic anomalous--feature in the
government, is the power of the President, who, by the Constitution, is
enabled during his four years' tenure of office to rule in total
opposition to the majority, obstructing all the measures they may bring
forward, unless the majority amounts to two-thirds in both Houses of

Article I., section 7, clause 2, runs thus:--"Every bill which shall
have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, before
it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if
he approves, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it with his
objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall
enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to
re-consider it. If after such re-consideration two-thirds of that House
shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the
objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be
re-considered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall
become a law," &c.

This power of the President has been used by Washington, Jackson, Tyler,
and Polk; particularly by Tyler, who opposed the wishes of the majority
even when those wishes were backed by his own ministry. During the
discussions on the Constitution, many of the wisest heads at that
eventful period desired to establish the Presidency for life, but
eventually the term of four years was agreed upon; and if such powers of
obstructing the wishes of a majority were to accompany the office, it
certainly was a prudent conclusion they arrived at. In a densely
populated community like Great Britain, such powers, whether in the
hands of the sovereign or the ministers, would produce a revolution in
much less time than four years. It may, however, be questioned, whether
these powers are not productive of evil, by rendering necessary such
frequent elections for the Presidency. On this point, Mr. Justice Story
states: "The inconvenience of such frequently recurring elections of the
chief magistrate, by generating factions, combining intrigues, and
agitating the public mind, seems not hitherto to have attracted as much
attention, as it deserves." And Chancellor Kent remarks, that "the
election of a supreme executive magistrate for a whole nation affects so
many interests, addresses itself so strongly to popular passions, and
holds out such powerful temptations to ambition, that it necessarily
becomes a strong trial to public virtue, and even hazardous to public

There is another evil which attends these frequent elections of the
chief magistrate--namely, the enormous patronage at his disposal, and
the mass of jobbery and corruption to which the exercise of it almost
invariably leads. Besides the appointment of nearly ever military,
naval, civil, judicial, and revenue-collecting official--some of these
subject, it is true to the approval of the Senate--Mr. Justice Story
remarks, that with regard to inferior offices "his patronage probably
includes ninety-nine out of every hundred of the lucrative offices of
the government." His great rival in patronage is the Postmaster-General,
who has power to appoint and remove all deputy-postmasters, which, as
the number of post-offices is 22,688, amounts to something considerable.

This power was doubtless intended for the public good, and in order that
incompetent or inefficient persons should be removed. To the honour of
Washington, it is recorded that during his eight years' Presidency only
nine removals took place. To President Jackson they are indebted, as I
have before remarked, for the introduction of the present corrupt
system. According to Justice Story, on his entering office he removed
233 _employes_; since then, the snowball has been steadily increasing
till the present moment; it has now reached an amount which it would
require Mr. Babbage's machine to calculate. Who can doubt that such vast
patronage, has far more influence in the selection of a President, than
any personal qualification for the high and important post? Nothing
could prove more clearly that such influences are paramount to all
others than the last election. There were eight candidates on the
democratic side, of whom General Pierce was not one; all the eight had
their special friends, and each party was loth to lose the chance of
patronage which their friend's election might reasonably lead them to
hope for. Thus they fought so vigorously that there was no chance of any
one having the requisite number of votes, i.e., a majority of the
whole number polled.

The Convention being deputed by the different States to select from the
candidates already in the field, how do they get out of the difficulty
at the eleventh hour? They take upon themselves to nominate a candidate
for the Presidential chair, who was not fettered by any particular
followers, and from whom all parties hoped they would receive some share
of the loaves and fishes as a reward for their support. The electors
endorsed the new selection of the Convention, and General Pierce, lately
commanding a brigade in the Mexican war, was elected by a most
astounding majority. Scarcely any President was ever elected with such
all-but unanimity, and the Press was equally undivided in its praises.
Every paper I read, in every place I passed through, was full of the
most unbounded eulogy. But mark the change a few months made. Before
the end of the year, one-half of that Press, which had bespattered him
with such fulsome adulation during the honeymoon of which his
inauguration was the centre, were filling their columns with long and
loud complaints, if not abuse. And what was the chief burden of their
invective? It was the manner in which he distributed his patronage. In
short, they were discontented with the share they received of the loaves
and fishes, and thus the target of their adulation during the summer of
hope, became the butt for their abuse in the winter of disappointment.

There is another subject connected with these elections, which speaks
with warning voice against the presumable advantage of democracy. I
would not be misunderstood as casting the slightest reflection upon the
amiable qualities, intellectual powers, or administrative talents of any
American citizen who has been raised to the Presidency during later
years. Let any candid reader, however, whether English or American, look
at the following lists of Presidents since the Constitution, and he
cannot fail to observe that while the franchise was restricted in nearly
every State, those called to that high post were the marked men of the
highest talent in the country--men whose reputation and abilities were
patent to the whole community; while, with the increase of democracy,
those selected during later years are men who, whatever their virtues
and capabilities, were comparatively unknown. In the case of General
Franklin Pierce, he was never even named by the community; but, as we
have shown, was selected by the Convention at the eleventh hour, as a
compromise of political partisanship. Let us not forget, that while some
of the later Presidents were elected, Calhoun, Clay, and Webster--whose
names are the just pride of the Republic, and household words in every
family--were passed over.[CF] Surely these simple facts may afford us
subject for profitable reflection.

We will now pass on from the Governor of the Republic to the Governors
of individual States. Their salaries vary in different States, and range
from 300l. to 2000l. a-year. Their election is in some States by the
people, in others by the legislature: their term of office varies; in
some States the election is annual, and in all for a very limited
period; and under them each separate State has its own House of
Representatives and its Senate. The chief power, which resides in the
Governor alone, is that of pardon; and here we may observe, that it is
only reasonable to suppose that so enlightened a community as the United
States would not for any considerable number of years have tolerated the
most flagrant abuse of such a power as that of pardon; and consequently
that if it be found that such abuse do now exist, it must have grown
with the ever-growing democratic element.

Mr. Tremenheere quotes largely from a work by Dr. Lieber, Professor of
Political Philosophy in the State College of South Carolina. Among
others of a similar character, the following passage occurs:--"I
consider the indiscriminate pardoning so frequent in many parts of the
United States, one of the most hostile things, now at work in our
country, to a perfect government of law." He elsewhere states "that the
New York Committee had ascertained that there are men who make a regular
trade of procuring pardons for convicts by which they support
themselves." Further on he says, "To this statement we have now to add
the still more appalling fact, which we would pass over in silence if
our duty permitted it, that but a short time ago the Governor of a large
State--a State among the foremost in prison discipline--was openly and
widely accused of taking money for his pardons. We have it not in our
power to state whether this be true or not, but it is obvious that a
state of things which allows suspicions and charges so degrading and so
ruinous to a healthy condition, ought not to be borne with." He then
subjoins this note:--"While these sheets are going through the press,
the papers report that the Governor of a large State has pardoned thirty
criminals, among whom were some of the worst characters, at one stroke,
on leaving the gubernatorial chair."--Among the conclusions Dr. Lieber
draws on this point, is the following astounding one--"That the
executive in our country is so situated that, in the ordinary course of
things, it cannot be expected of him that he will resist the abuse; at
least, that he will not resist it in many cases."

The foregoing extracts are certainly entitled to no small weight when it
is remembered they come from the pen of a republican professor, writing
upon "Civil Liberty and Self-government." I do not pretend to say that
such gross cases as those referred to by him came within my cognizance
during my travels, but I most certainly did hear charges made against
governors, in more than one instance, of granting pardons through
corrupt influence.

I have now given a cursory review of the leading features in the
executive of the United States; and I have endeavoured, while doing so,
to point out the effects which the gradual inroads of the democratic
element have produced. The subject is one of the deepest interest to us
as Englishmen, inasmuch as it is the duty of every government to
enlarge, as far as is consistent with the welfare of the nation, the
liberty of the subject. The foregoing remarks on the constitution of the
United States appear to me conclusive as to one fact--viz., that the
democratic element may be introduced so largely as that, despite a high
standard of national education and worldly prosperity, its influence
will produce the most pernicious effect upon the government of the

This truth cannot be too strongly brought forward, for undoubtedly
change is the mania of the day; and as, in a free country, all
constitutional changes must have a liberal tendency, it behoves our
legislators to study deeply and patiently the effect produced upon any
country whose constitution is more democratic than our own, so as to
enable them, while steadily advancing with the age, to know when the
well-being of their country requires them, as true patriots, to resist
those measures which threaten injury to the social fabric committed to
their guidance. No field can afford them more profitable subjects for
reflection than the United States. Independent of the fact that her
institutions are more democratic than our own, she possesses natural
advantages that enable her to carry them out, such as we do not; and,
therefore, the British statesman may always study her career with
profit when any great liberal movement is being agitated in his own

Lest any one should be disposed to imagine that the statements I have
made, or the deductions I have drawn, are merely the prejudices of a
traveller brought up under a constitutional monarchy, I will add a
passage showing the conclusions at which one of the ablest men in
America has arrived.

Bishop Hopkins, in an address delivered before the House of Convocation
of Trinity College, Hartford, after eulogizing the wisdom and
patriotism, of the founders of his country, as being "the wise master
builders of the noblest republic in the world," asks what is its present
state after seventy years' brief experience? Behold the reply:--"First,
then, we hear on every side the charge of political corruption. Bribery
is practised in all our elections. The spoils of office are expected as
a matter of course by the victorious party. The President of the United
States dares not be impartial; for, if he were, he would lose the
confidence of his friends without gaining the confidence of his enemies.
The oldest statesmen, and the most prominent, cannot follow the dictates
of their own judgment and conscience without being reproached as though
they were laying a trap for the presidential chair. The very laws of
Congress are set down as the results of personal venality or ambition.
The House of Representatives, or even the Senate Chamber, are disgraced
every year by fierce passion and violent denunciation. The barbarous and
unchristian duel is anticipated as quite inevitable unless it be averted
by explanations which may satisfy worldly honour, in utter contempt of
all religious principle. And no member of either House can go to the
performance of his public duties with any security that he may not be
insulted by coarse invective before the day is closed. Yet our rulers
are never weary of lauding the character of Washington, as if they were
quite convinced that the time had passed by when they might be expected
to verify the language of praise by the act of imitation. When we look
into the other classes of the community, the same charge of venality and
corruption meets us again. Our merchants are accused of all sorts of
dishonest management; our brokers, of stock-jobbing; our city aldermen,
of bribery; our lawyers, of knavery; our justices, of complicity with
the guilty. The same worship of Mammon seems to govern the whole, and
the current phrase, 'the almighty dollar,' is a sad but powerful
exponent of the universal sin which involves the mass of our

Being perfectly aware what a "glass house" of corruption we ourselves
are living in, I do not quote the foregoing by way of "throwing a
stone," but insert it merely as a warning of the direction in which we
should not seek for an advance in purification.


[Footnote CB: Why is it that, in our yearly debate in Parliament, and in
all the journals of the day, from the _Times_ down even to the _Morning
Advertiser_, the United States are always quoted as a republic where the
ballot succeeds, when there is no excuse for the most commonly educated
man being ignorant of the fact, that the ballot, as understood in this
country, does not exist among them? To their honour be it said, they
hold secret voting in sovereign contempt.]

[Footnote CC: _The Ballot_, by the Rev. SYDNEY SMITH. 1839.]

[Footnote CD: This expression, both in America and England, is
tantamount to--for life.]

[Footnote CE: _Vide ante_, opinion of New York Press upon the trial of
Matthew F. Ward.]

[Footnote CF:

G. Washington 1789
J. Adams 1797
T. Jefferson 1801
J. Madison 1809
J. Munroe 1817
J.Q. Adams 1825
A. Jackson 1829
M. Van Buren 1837
W.H. Harrison 1841
J. Tyler 1841
J.K. Polk 1845
Z. Taylor 1849
M. Fillmore 1850
F. Pierce 1853]


_The Church, the School, and the Law._

Although the Church has no connexion with the State, it must ever be a
most important element in any Christian community. I therefore furnish a
table of the various denominations, so as to enable the reader, at a
glance, to get the particular information he may desire. Some of the
denominations given in this table are, of course, again divided into
other sects, such as "Reformed Methodists," "Episcopal Methodists,"
"Wesleyan Methodists," "Six Principle Baptists," "Seventh-Day Baptists,"
"Anti-mission Baptists," &c.

Denominations. Number of Aggregate Total Value
Churches. Accommodation. of
Church Property.
Baptists 8791 3,130,878 2,295,590
Christian 812 296,050 177,621
Congregational 1674 795,177 1,674,532
Dutch Reformed 324 181,986 860,313
Episcopal 1422 625,213 2,365,013
Free 361 108,605 52,973
Friends 714 282,823 359,071
German Reformed 327 156,932 29,024
Jewish 31 16,575 78,036
Lutheran 1203 531,100 602,205
Mennonite 110 29,900 19,791
Methodist 12,467 4,209,333 3,073,700
Moravian 331 112,185 93,002
Presbyterian 4584 2,040,316 3,017,675
Roman Catholic 1112 620,950 1,884,505
Swedenborgian 15 5,070 22,701
Tunker 52 35,075 9,665
Union 619 213,552 144,913
Unitarian 243 137,367 686,305
Universalist 494 205,462 371,073
Minor Sects 325 115,347 155,815

Total 36,011 13,849,896 L17,973,523

If the foregoing table may be taken as indicative of the whole
population, it will be seen that one person out of every three is a
Methodist, and only one in every twenty-two is a Romanist; but what is
more worthy of remark is, the provision which, under the voluntary
system, has been made for public worship.

We here see accommodation provided for 14,000,000 in a population of
23,000,000--of which 3,000,000 are slaves. At the same time, it must
also be observed, that all these churches are not necessarily supplied
with ministers. Their support being dependent upon their congregation,
it will occasionally happen that a minister gets starved out, and some
time may elapse before a successor is appointed; the inconvenience of
which contingency occurring is obvious. More than one such case came
under my own observation when travelling through the country.

With regard to the distribution of the churches, the only peculiarity I
observe is, that the Unitarian community appear to be nearly all
gathered into one spot, and that spot the Land of the Pilgrim Fathers,
and the State that is considered foremost in education. Out of 243
churches, 163 are situated in Massachusetts. I have never heard any
reason given for this curious fact; doubtless the great talents of
Channing tended to swell their numbers, but could hardly account for the
extraordinary proportion established in this State.

In proportion to its numbers, it will be seen that the Episcopal is the
wealthiest of all Churches; and yet we find complaint made of the
insufficiency of the support for their ministers. Bishop Eastburn, of
Massachusetts, in a pastoral letter, states that in his diocese
"respectable parents will not bring up their children to the clerical
profession, because the salaries hardly keep people from starving." How
far this is true generally, or whether confined to his own
neighbourhood, I cannot say. The Episcopal Church in America is free
from the violent factions that have distracted and thrown obloquy upon
the sister church in this country. The puerile struggle about surplices,
and candles, and steps up to altars, and Brussels lace offerings, appear
to have attracted little attention among those in America, whose
theological views assimilate with the extreme high party in England: and
I never heard, during my residence in the States, any of that violent
and uncharitable language with which discussions on religious topics too
frequently abound in this country; nor is the Episcopal community by any
means so divided as it is here. The Bishop of New Zealand is far nearer
their type than the controversial prelate of Exeter.

The Book of Common Prayer, as arranged by Convention in 1790, is well
worthy of notice, and, in many points, of imitation. These pages are not
the proper place for a theological discussion, and my only reason for
touching upon the subject at all is, that the public voice is constantly
calling for some modification of the great length of our present Sunday
services, and I therefore conclude that the following observations may
be interesting to some of my readers.

The leading points of retrenchment are--removing all repetitions, such
as the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Collect for the day; a portion
of the close of the Litany is omitted at the discretion of the minister.
The Communion Service is not read every Sunday. I suppose the Church
authorizes this omission at the discretion of the minister, as I have
attended service on more than one occasion when the Communion was not
read; when read, Our Lord's commandment, Matthew xxii. 37-40, follows
the Commandments of the Old Testament, and a short Collect, followed by
the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the day, finish that portion of the
service. Independent of the regular Psalms, for the day, there are ten
separate short collections, any one of which the minister may substitute
for the proper Psalms, and the Gloria Patri is only said after the last

The leading features of difference from our own "Common Prayer" are as
follow:--They appoint proper Second Lessons for the Sunday, instead of
leaving them, to the chance of the Calendar--they place the Nicene and
Apostles' Creed side by side, and leave the minister to select which he
prefers, and to use, if he think proper, the word "Hades" instead of
Hell. They remove the Athanasian Creed entirely from the Prayer Book,
leaving to the minister to explain the mysteries which that creed so
summarily disposes of. When it is considered how many Episcopalians are
opposed to its damnatory clauses, and how much more nearly the other
creeds resemble that model of simplicity, the Lord's Prayer, they appear
to have exercised a sound discretion in this excision. Few
deep-thinking people, I imagine, can have heard the children of the
parish school reading the responses of that creed after the minister,
without pain.

Lest the passing opinion of a traveller upon the subject be deemed hasty
or irreverent, I beg to quote Bishop Tomline's opinion. He says--"Great
objections have been made to the clauses which denounce eternal
damnation against those who do not believe the faith as here stated; and
it certainly is to be lamented that assertions of so peremptory a
nature, unexplained and unqualified, should have been used in any human
composition.... Though I firmly believe that the doctrines of this creed
are all founded on Scripture, I cannot but conceive it to be both
unnecessary and presumptuous to say that, "except every one do keep them
whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly." Mr.
Wheatley also, when writing on the Creed, says, that the third and
fourth verses constitute the creed, and that what follows "requires our
assent no more than a sermon does, which is made to prove or illustrate
a text."--To resume.

They have proper prayers and thanksgivings for individuals who desire
their use, instead of, as with us, introducing a few words into the
ordinary service. They have provided a liberal collection of psalms and
hymns for singing in church, and no others are allowed to be used. Each
psalm and hymn has the Gloria Patri suited to it marked at the
beginning. The inconvenience of the total want of such a provision in
our Church is most palpable. Not long before I went to America, I was
attending a parish church in the country, where a great proportion of
the psalms and hymns used were the minister's own composition, and if I
recollect right, the book cost half-a-crown. I came up to town, and I
found my parish church there had a selection under the sanction of the
Bishop of London. Since my return from America, I have gone to the same
London church, under the same Bishop, and I have found a totally
different book in use.--The foregoing are the principal alterations in
the Sunday services.

The alterations in the other services are chiefly the following:--In the
full Communion Service, the word "condemnation" is substituted for
"damnation," in the notice of intimation. The whole of the damnatory
clause in the exhortation, from the word "unworthily" to "sundry kinds
of death," is expunged. The first prayer in our Church after the
reception, is modified by them into an oblation and invocation, and
precedes the reception. The remainder of the service is nearly the same
as our own.

They have removed the objectionable opening of the Marriage Service;
but, not content with that, they have also removed the whole of the
service which follows the minister's blessing after the marriage is
pronounced, and thus reduced it to a five minutes' ceremony. While on
this subject, I may as well observe that, from inquiries I made, I
believe but few of those marriages take place by which husband and wife
are prevented from kneeling at the same altar, by which their highest
interests can never be a subject of mutual discussion, and by which
children are either brought up without any fixed religious ideas at all,
or else a compromise is entered into, and the girls are educated in one
church and the boys in another. In short, I believe the Romanists in
America marry but rarely out of the pale of their own church. I cannot
say what the law of divorce is, but it appears to offer far greater
facilities than would be approved of in England. A gentleman mentioned
two cases to me, in one of which the divorce was obtained by the wife
without the husband being aware of it, although living in the same
State; in the other, the wife returned to the State from which her
husband had taken her, and there obtained a divorce without his
knowledge.--To return from this digression. In the Visitation of the
Sick they have removed that individual absolution of the minister, the
wording of which is so objectionable that, if I am rightly informed, it
is rarely used by ministers in England. In the Burial of the Dead, they
have changed the two concluding prayers in those sentences which refer
to the deceased. The Commination they have entirely expunged. They have
added a full service for Visitation of Prisoners, and a Harvest
Thanksgiving; and they have provided a form of morning and evening
prayer for families.

The foregoing constitute the leading points of difference. Of course
there are many minor ones which are merely verbal, such, for instance,
as their expunging the scriptural quotation of "King of kings, Lord of
lords," from the prayer for the President, probably out of deference to
the prejudices of the Republicans, for which omission they have
partially atoned by the substitution of the grander expression of "only
Ruler of the Universe," in lieu of the more limited term "only Ruler of
Princes." To enter into all these verbal changes would be alike tedious
and useless. Enough, I trust, has been written to convey a general idea
of the most striking and interesting points of difference.

Other churches transplanted to this hemisphere seem to differ from the
parent stock most essentially. Thus I find in the almanack for 1853,
"Methodist Episcopal Church (North) 3984 ministers, and 662,315
communicants," and below them "Methodist Episcopal Church (South)"
without any return of statistics. I regret not being able to give the
reader any history of this occidental hierarchy. I do not even know the
Episcopacizing process they go through, whether it is entirely lay or
entirely clerical, or whether it is a fusion of the two. At first I
imagined it was a Wesleyan offshoot, but I can find no indication of
that fact; and, moreover, the Wesleyan is a very small body, numbering
600 ministers and 20,000 communicants. I only allude to it because it
appears to me a totally novel feature in Dissenting bodies--as
understood in England. Another curious change produced by this Western
climate is, that it turns all my Presbyterian friends instrumentally
musical. I do not remember entering any of their churches without
finding an organ, and in many instances a very good choir. Although I
approve highly of the euphonious improvement, I feel sure that many of
my countrymen in the extreme north would rather see a picture
representing Satan in Abraham's bosom inside their kirk than any musical
instrument. Such is the force of habit and prejudice.

The extent to which the churches in America have increased is doubtless
most creditable to the community, when it is remembered that all the
various denominations are supported voluntarily. Nor is their number the
only point worthy of notice: the buildings themselves have all, some
ecclesiastical appearance, and many of them are fine specimens of
architecture. Besides which, they are always kept clean and in good
order; you will never find those unsightly barns, and still less the
dilapidation which is often met with in the mother land. I have myself
been in a church at home where the flooring was all worn away, and
gravel from the outside substituted, and where the seats were so rickety
that a fall might be anticipated at any moment. The parishioners were
poor Highlanders, it is true, but the owner of the soil was a man of
considerable wealth.

I have, since my return to England, been into a beautiful old parish
church in one of the midland counties; the building was in a most
deplorable state of dilapidation, and the communion-rail formed a
music-stand, while inside were placed an orchestra of two fiddles and a
bass-viol. The minister received, for the first three years he
officiated, the exorbitant remuneration of thirty pounds a year; since
which time he has taken the duties of parish schoolmaster, the salary of
which, increased by a small sum from Queen Anne's Bounty, enables him to
keep body and soul together. But of course the school engrossed all his
time, except what was necessary to prepare his discourses, and his
parishioners were unavoidably and totally neglected, till dissenting
ministers came to the rescue. As a natural consequence, they soon
followed the ministers who made them the objects of their care, and when
I attended this beautiful old parish church, the congregation,
independent of the orchestra and the parish school, consisted of eleven
souls, three of whom came from the minister's own house. You might seek
in vain to parallel such a case throughout the whole Republic.

I now propose to make a few observations about disbelief in the United
States. On this point I have no statistics to refer to, nor do I believe
such exist. I therefore can form no idea of its extent; but the open way
in which some parties not only express their doubts of the authenticity
of Scripture, but dispute every doctrine which it contains, and openly
proclaim it the enemy of man, is worthy of some notice. An Ismite
Convention was held for many days at Hartford, in one of the New England
States (Connecticut) where, I suppose, education may be considered as
universal as in any other State in the Union.

The meeting was considered of sufficient importance to occupy daily
several columns of one of the New York leading journals, and to employ a
special reporter. It is thus headed--"MEETING OF PHILOSOPHERS,
ATHEISTS, AND NEGROES." Details of this Convention would be too
tedious; I propose only giving a few of their resolutions.
Resolved--"That the Bible, in some parts of the Old and New Testament,
sanctions injustice, concubinage, prostitution, oppression, war,
plunder, and wholesale murder, and, therefore, that the Bible as a
whole, originated,[CG] is false, and injurious to the social and
spiritual growth of man." After which the chairman goes on to prove (?)
it is purely human, &c. Another resolution reiterates the former, and
adds that "the time has come to declare its untruthfulness, and to
unmask those who are guilty of its imposture." Then follows a resolution
for the especial consideration of slave-owners:--"Resolved--That it is
the climax of audacity and impiety for this nation to receive the Bible
as the inspired Word of God, and then to make it a penal offence to give
it to any of the millions who are held as chattel slaves on its soil,
thus conspiring to make them miserable here and hereafter." Then follows
a charitable resolution, declaring their belief that all the clergy
"would readily burn the Bible to-morrow if public sentiment demanded
it." One of the orators brings the Bible to the bar of geology, and
there condemns it, and recommends "that the Hindoos should establish a
mission to enlighten Christians of this and other countries. He believed
that the priesthood and the Bible were opposed to all liberty and
progress, and the deadliest enemies of mankind."

Another member of this blasphemous band becomes highly indignant because
the orthodox clergymen--who probably remembered that "evil
communications corrupt good manners"--would not meet them on their
infidel platform, and he presents a resolution declaring that "by their
absence, they had openly declared their infidelity to their professions
of theological faith, and had thus confessed the weakness and folly of
their arrogant assumptions, and proved that they loved popular favour
more than common good; and they are therefore moral cowards, pharisees
of this nineteenth century, seeking to enslave more and more the mind of
man," &c. Another orator then proposes a resolution, to the effect that
the spirit and genius of Bible religion is not a system of salvation
from sin and its effects, but a system of damnation into sin and its
effects; that it is the friend of moral and spiritual slavery, and
therefore "the foe of human mental and spiritual liberty." Subsequently
a strong-minded woman, called Mrs. Rose, appeared on the platform amid
considerable uproar, followed by extinguishing the gas and singing
songs. After a severe struggle, the lady managed to express her
sentiments in these mild and Christian terms:--"The Church is upon your
neck. Do you want to be free? Then trample the Church, the priest, and
the Bible under your feet."--The last day's proceeding closed by a row
in the gallery, owing to a fight, in which a dirk had been drawn; and
then the Convention adjourned till the following year.

The reader must not imagine that I state this as an indication of the
tone of religious feeling in the New England States,--far from it; but
it appears to me a fact worth noticing, that a Convention of such a
nature and magnitude, and considered of sufficient importance to employ
the special reporter of a leading journal of New York, should by any
possibility assemble for days and days together, and give vent to such
blasphemous sentiments among a people so liberally educated and so amply
supplied with means of religious instruction. I only hope that the
infidelity of the whole Republic was gathered into that one assembly,
and that having met in so uncongenial an atmosphere, they all returned
to their homes impregnated with some of the purer atmosphere of the
great majority of the people.

The subject of Education naturally follows the Church; but, on this
point, any attempt at accuracy is hopeless. Whether it be from the
variety of school systems in the different States, or from some innate
defect in the measures taken to obtain information, I cannot pretend to
say; but the discrepancies between the statements made are so great,
that I can only pretend to give a moderate approximation to the truth,
which is the more to be regretted, as the means provided for education
throughout the length and breadth of the Republic constitute one of its
noblest features. In rough numbers, they may be thus stated:--

Schools. Number. Instructors. Pupils.

Public 81,000 92,000 4,000,000
Colleges 220 1500 20,000
Academies, & others 6,000 12,000 261,000

Of the above colleges, theology claims 44, medicine 37, law 16.

Among the expenses of the various colleges, which I can refer to, I find
University College, Virginia--the terms of which occupy 44 weeks--is the
most expensive. The annual charges for a student are the
following:--College expenses, 40l.; board, 22l.; washing, fuel, and
lights, 4l.--in all, 70l. It is obvious that no provision is here
made for champagne suppers, hunters, tandems, and other "necessaries,"
of our University students, including a few "auxiliaries," in the shape
of I O U's, for red coats, top-boots, Hudson's regalias, and mysterious
jewellery bills for articles that men don't wear. Doubtless some papas
would prefer the Virginian bill of fare; but then, they must remember
that the republican lads go to college to learn something, whereas many
papas send their first-born hopes to Oxford and Cambridge to save
themselves trouble, and to keep the youths out of mischief during the
awkward period of life yclept "hobbledehoyhood." How they succeed is
pretty well known to themselves, and probably their bankers have some
idea also; yet, with all these drawbacks, who will deny that those seats
of learning turn out annually some of the most manly and high-minded,
and some of the best educated and most industrious, young men in the

Having entered into some of the details of education at various places
during my travels, I shall not trespass on the reader's patience by
dwelling further on the subject, except to call attention to the
following important regulation with regard to children in factories; and
I most sincerely hope it may reach the eye of Lord Shaftesbury, or some
other of his coadjutors in the noble work of the protection and
education of helpless youth. The regulation exists in some shape or
other in many States. I subjoin the wording of it from that of

_"No child under the age of fifteen years shall be employed in any
manufacturing establishment, unless such child shall have attended some
public or private day-school, where instruction is given by a teacher
qualified according to law to teach orthography, reading, writing,
English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and good behaviour, at least one
term of eleven weeks of the twelve months next preceding the time of
such employment, and for the same period during any and every twelve
months in which such child shall be so employed."_

Although my salt-fish friends are probably very familiar with
sea-lawyers, the general reader may be astonished to see any allusion to
law made by a sea-captain. I therefore beg to inform him, that the
following observations on a most interesting point are furnished me by a
friend who is legitimately at home in that complicated business, and who
devoted much attention to the study of the method by which land is
conveyed in the United States with so much ease and so little expense:--

"In America all conveyances of land, whether absolute or by way of
mortgage only, are, with the exception of some chattel interests,
required to be registered within a fixed or a reasonable time after
their execution. Registration is constructive notice to all the world;
if not registered, a deed is only valid against the parties to it and
the heirs and devisees of the grantor. Generally, however, notice
obtained by a purchaser previous to his purchase, will, if clearly
proved, prevent his taking the advantage, though he may have been
beforehand in registering his own title.

"By the old laws of Massachusetts, all deeds of conveyance were required
to be recorded, 'that neither creditors might be defrauded, nor courts
troubled with vexatious suits and endless contentions.' In consequence
of the number of registers established in each county--and the
excellence of their arrangements, no inconvenience results from the
accumulation of deeds, notwithstanding the early period to which they go
back. In register for Suffolk county, Massachusetts, are to be seen
copies of deeds from 1640 down to the present time. They are bound up in
640 volumes, and do not as yet take up much space. They have lately
multiplied in an increasing ratio, the volumes having risen from 250 to
their present number in the last 25 years.

"The register for Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, contains within a
moderate compass deeds from 1683 downwards. They are referred to by
indices on the following plan: All deeds made within a certain time, and
in which the name of the grantor commences with the same letter of the
alphabet, are bound up in one volume; thus, a volume marked "H
1820-1847," contains all deeds executed between those years by grantors
whose names begin with H. One index volume contains the names of all
grantors between those years in alphabetical order, another that of all
grantees, and both refer to volume and page of the books of deeds. A
third index gives the names of grantors and grantees, arranged
chronologically, according to the year in which the deed they were
parties to was executed.

"The original deed remain in the possession of the proprietors, but are
of secondary importance. They are written in a plain, legible hand on
paper, parchment being seldom used. The signatures of the parties are of
course requisite; but the seal, which is essential to a deed in England,
is in many States dispensed with. The custom of registering obviates the
necessity for those long recitals that so swell out an English
conveyance, and the shortest possible forms of covenants are preferred.
The American conveyance only witnesses that the grantor conveys the
property therein described, which, or part of which, was conveyed to him
by such a one by a deed of such a date, and a marginal note states the
volume and page where the deed thus mentioned is to be seen.

"The advantages of registration are,--greater security of title, and
brevity and economy in conveyances. The example of the United States
shows that there is nothing in the Anglo-Saxon laws of real property to
render such a system impracticable. Several of the most eminent lawyers
in Boston declared, that their registration was found to work easily and
safely; the only change desired was by a few, who expressed a wish that
more registers should be established, as, one for every district,
instead of for every county. They all expressed their astonishment that
a similar plan had not long ago been adopted in England. They admitted
that dealings with property were more simple in America, where strict
settlements are either not allowed, or not generally in use, but
maintained that the real obstacles to a registration in this country
lie not so much in the difficulty of carrying it out, as in the
prejudices of landowners, the self-interest of lawyers, and the
superstitious dread entertained by John Bull generally of anything to
which he is unaccustomed."[CH]

I am no lawyer, as I observed before, and therefore I do not pretend to
pass an opinion on the details of the foregoing remarks; but of the
results produced by their system, I certainly can speak, for I have seen
property transferred without the slightest trouble, and for a few
shillings, which, owing to the amount involved, and the complications
connected with it, would, if transferred in this country, have kept the
firm of Screw, Skinflint, and Stickem hard at work for mouths, and when
finished, would have required a week to make up the bill of costs, &c.


[Footnote CG: I suppose originated _from the Deity_ is

[Footnote CH: Communicated to me by Mr. J.G. Dodson, son of the Right
Honourable Sir J. Dodson, Dean of the Arches, &c.]


_Inventions and Inveighings.--Palquam qui meruit ferat._

Writing about law makes one litigious; so I seize this opportunity for
making a few observations on American claims. I am not going to open the
question of the Bay of Fundy, &c., fisheries; because British liberality
has resigned a right, the retention of which was a source of continual
irritation to our republican neighbours. I must, however, quote a few
lines from the work of their able Chancellor, Kent, to show how fully
justified we were in claiming the sovereignty of the Bay of Fundy. If
the Chancellor's work on the Law of Nations is consulted, it will be
found that he points out to his countrymen their right to the
sovereignty of lines stretching "from Cape Anne to Cape Cod, Nantucket
to Montauck Point, thence to the Capes of the Delaware, and _from the
South Cape of Florida to the Mississippi."_ With such wholesale claims
asserted on their part, it would require something more than modest
assurance to dispute England's right to the Bay of Fundy. But my
litigation with the Republic is respecting some of their claims to
inventions, which they put forward in so barefaced a manner, that the
unwary or the uninquiring--which two sections of the human family
constitute the great majority--are constantly misled into a belief of
their truth; and the citizens of the Republic would do well to remember,
that by putting forward unwarrantable pretensions to some discoveries,
they afford just grounds for questioning their lawful claims to others.

The first I shall mention is with reference to Fulton and steam. Mr.
Charles King, the President of Columbia College, in a lecture delivered
before the Mechanics' Institute, Broadway, New York, in December, 1851,
claims for Fulton "the application of a known force _in a new manner,
and to new and before unthought-of purposes_." Now what are the real
facts? James Watt, in 1769, patented the double-acting engine, which
was the first step by which the steam-engine was made capable of being
used to propel a vessel. In 1780, James Pickard patented what is no
other than the present connecting rod and crank, and a fly-wheel, the
second and last great improvement in the steam-engine, which enabled it
to be of service in propelling vessels.[CI] In 1785, William Symington
took out a patent, by which he obtained, with economy of fuel, a more
perfect method of condensation of steam and a more perfect vacuum.

In 1787, Mr. Miller, of Dalswinton, a gentleman who had spent a fortune
of nearly 30,000l. in ship-building experiments, was urged by Mr.
Taylor to try and apply the power of steam to vessels. William Symington
was applied to, with the view of knowing if he could apply his engine to
one of Mr. Miller's boats, which he accordingly did, and propelled a
little pleasure vessel on the lake at Dalswinton, at the rate of five
miles an hour, on the 14th November, 1788. In the following year, Mr.
Symington made a double engine for a boat to be tried upon the Forth and
Clyde Canal; and in the month of December, 1789, this trial-vessel was
propelled at the rate of six and a half miles an hour. Lord Dundas, who
was a large proprietor in the Forth and Clyde Canal, employed Symington
to make experiments in 1801. The result of these trials was the
construction of the "Charlotte Dundas," the first practical steam-boat
ever built. The engines of this vessel combined the patents before
mentioned of Watt, Pickard, and Symington, which combinations--made by
the latter patentee--constitute the present system of steam navigation.
The "Charlotte Dundas" made her trial trip in March, 1802, and so
satisfactory was the trial, that the Duke of Bridgewater ordered eight
boats of Symington, for the purpose of running on his canal. The Duke of
Bridgewater died immediately after; and the Forth and Clyde proprietors,
owing to the injury caused to the banks, discontinued the use of the
boat. The foregoing observations prove that if any one individual can
claim the merit of inventing the steam-engine, that man is William
Symington, who, combining previous inventions with his own patent,
constructed the engine as at present in use. At the same time, every
credit is due to Mr. Miller, who first afforded Symington the
opportunity of putting his ingenuity to the test.


Let us now look at Mr. Fulton's part in the transaction. In 1801 he
visited Scotland, and was present at one of the experiments making by
Symington on the canal, and from him he obtained permission to make full
sketches and notes of both boat and apparatus. The fact is sworn to on
oath of the presence of an American gentleman, who called himself Mr.
Fulton, during the experiments; and further evidence is found in the
fact that the engines he ordered of Messrs. Boulton and Watt for the
"Clermont" were precisely of the same dimensions as those in the
"Charlotte Dundas," with the exception of two inches more diameter in
the piston; and the patent of Fulton dates from 1809--twenty years after
Symington had propelled a boat by steam on Lake Dalswinton, and eight
years after he had himself taken sketches of Symington's engines in the
Forth and Clyde canal-boat.

Beyond the foregoing evidence, there is the testimony of Mr. Bell that,
at Fulton's request, he sent him information, plans, &c., of Mr.
Miller's first experiments. The long and the short of the story is
clearly this:--Mr. Fulton was a shrewd and clever engineer. He came to
England, copied the steam-engine which Symington had combined--one can
hardly say invented--and then returned to his own country, and applied
it successfully, for which the Republic ought to be thankful to him, and
to honour his name; but, for a president of a college lecturing before a
mechanics' society, to call Fulton the inventor "of applying a known
force _in a new manner and to new and before unthought-of purposes,"_
exhibits an ignorance or an assurance, for neither of which the
slightest excuse can be made.[CJ]

With equal accuracy Mr. King informs the mechanics that "Colonel John
Stevens had clearly worked out in his own mind, long before any
locomotive was constructed in Europe, the theory of such an application
of steam, and the actual form in which it could be advantageously made,
as well as the cost of constructing and working a railway for the use of
locomotives." If this were true, how does it happen that the son of the
Colonel, an able and ingenious mechanician, came over to George
Stephenson, at Liverpool, to learn what he was doing, and to order
engines from him; but Mr. King out-herods Herod, for he claims on behalf
of the Colonel, the working of Steam expansively in 1815, for which Watt
had taken out a patent thirty-five years before. If presidents of
colleges in America cannot in their lectures deal more closely with
facts, the instruction given within the walls of the college will come
under very unfavourable suspicions.

In conclusion, I will only add a few remarks as to ocean steamers, on
which subject, as on the invention of the engine, there is considerable
difficulty in awarding the honours to any single individual. The
Americans were the first to employ steamers along the coast, and the
"Savannah," built by them in 1819, was the first vessel that crossed the
ocean employing steam in any way as an assistant. But in her the steam
was a very small auxiliary power, and upon the sails the vessel mainly
depended. She cannot, therefore, fairly be called an ocean steamer. The
"Enterprise," a vessel of 500 tons burden, with two 120 horse-power
engines, started from London for Calcutta, touching at the Cape of Good
Hope, about the year 1826; and may be fairly considered as the first
vessel that made an ocean journey essentially dependent on steam.
Subsequently the "Royal William," built at Quebec, after running between
that port and Halifax from 1831 to 1833, started in the fall of the
latter year for Falmouth; and to her belongs the honour of being the
first _bona fide_ paddle-wheel steamer that crossed the Atlantic. She
was afterwards sold to the Portuguese government, and fitted up as a
man-of-war steamer, under the name of the "Dona Isabella."

If, however, it be asked, where oceanic communication took its rise,
unquestionably that honour belongs to Bristol and the "Great Western," a
steamer of 210 feet in length, 1240 tons, fitted with two engines of 210
horse-power each. This vessel started on the 8th of March, 1838, under
the command of Captain Hosken, reached New York in thirteen days ten
hours, and made the return passage in fifteen days. Since that date
ocean steamers and steam companies have risen up like mushrooms. England
and America have established a kind of weekly Derby, Cunard entering one
horse and Collins the other. Unquestionably the Americans have been
pioneers in improving the build, and a rivalry has sprung up which is as
useful as it is honourable.

The English boats adhere to a greater proportion of sail, in case of
accidents to the engine; the Americans carry less sail than we do, for
the sake of increasing the speed. As to relative comfort on board the
two boats, an American gentleman, who had made several voyages, told me
the only difference he ever discovered was, the same as exists between
the hotels of the respective countries.--To return to litigation.

Another claim frequently set up in America is the invention of the
telegraph. Even in the Census Report--which I suppose may be considered
a Government work--I read the following:--"It is to American ingenuity
that we owe the practical application of the telegraph. While the honour
is due to Professor Morse for the practical application and successful
prosecution of the telegraph, it is mainly owing to the researches and
discoveries of Professor Henry, and other scientific Americans, that he
was enabled to perfect so valuable an invention." It is difficult to
conceive a more unblushing piece of effrontery than the foregoing
sentence, which proclaims throughout the Union that the electric
telegraph in its practical working is the invention of one American, and
in its scientific details the invention of other Americans, neither of
which assertions has truth for its basis, and consequently the
superstructure is a fiction--the only available excuse for which would
be, that the writer had never heard of what was going on in Europe. Had
he taken the least trouble to inquire into the subject before he wrote,
he never would--it is to be hoped--have so grossly deceived his

He might have easily ascertained that such men as Oersted, Ampere,
Arago, Sturgeon, had mastered in detail the various scientific
difficulties that stood in the way of the accomplishment of the
long-desired object; and he might also have known that Cooke in England
and Stienhiel in Germany had both overcome the practical difficulties
before Professor Morse had enlightened the Republic with his system,
which--like Bain's--is simply another method of producing the same
result--i.e., telegraphic communication.

Mr. Cooke took out his patent in conjunction with Professor Wheatstone,
whose attention had long been turned to this subject, and whose name has
been so much before the public, that not a few persons attribute the
telegraph to him exclusively. There was, indeed, some dispute between
them as to their respective claims, and the matter was referred to Sir
I. Brunel and Professor Daniell for arbitration. The burden of their
decision was, that Mr. Cooke was entitled to stand alone as the
gentleman to whom Great Britain is indebted for having practically
introduced and carried out the telegraph as a useful undertaking;
Professor Wheatstone's profound and successful researches having already
prepared the public to receive it.--So much for the justice of the
American claim to the invention, which, like steam, has been the produce
of many heads, and was brought into practical use first by Cooke, then
by Stienhiel in Germany, and lastly by Morse in America.

Another invention of which the public have heard no little discussion
lately is the reaping machine. To the American nation doubtless belongs
the credit of forcing it into notice and into use; but as for any claim
to the invention, it is equally certain they have none. That honour is
due solely to the Rev. Patrick Bell, a Scotch minister in the presbytery
of Arbroath. He first tried his reaping machine in August, 1828, at his
father's farm on Lord Airlie's estate, where it has been in yearly use
ever since; and in October he exhibited it at the Highland Society's
meeting at Glasgow. The principle upon which his first machine was made
differs in nothing from those making at this hour; and, as some of the
people employed on his father's farm migrated to America, it is only
reasonable to suppose they carried sufficient information with them to
explain the machine. American ingenuity soon copied, and American energy
soon gave an impulse to, Mr. Bell's machine, for which, though denying
them the invention, we ought not to deny them our thanks.

But while I thus explain the unwarrantable claims which Americans have
set forth, I must not allow John Bull to lay the flattering unction to
his soul that none of his claimed discoveries are disputed on the other
side of the Atlantic, I have seen a _Book of Facts_ printed in America,
which charges us with more than one geographical robbery in the Arctic
Seas, in which regions, it is well known, American enterprise and
sympathy have been most nobly employed. As I am incapable of balancing
the respective claims, I leave that subject to the Hydrographer's office
of the two countries.

The citizens of the Republic have but little idea of the injurious
effects which the putting forward unwarrantable claims has upon their
just claims. I have now before me a letter from a seafaring man who has
spent a quarter of a century upon the borders of the United States; he
is writing on the subject of their claims to the invention of steam, and
he winds up in these words:--"They are with this, as they are with
every other thing to which either merit or virtue is attached--the sole
and only proprietors and originators, and say both the one and the other
are unknown out of the universal Yankee nation." I do not endorse the
sentiment, but I quote it to show the effect produced on some minds by
the unfounded claims they have put forward.

They have ingenuity and invention enough legitimately belonging to them
for any nation to be justly proud of, without plucking peacock's
feathers from others, and sending them throughout the length and breadth
of the Republic as the plumage of the American eagle. How many useful
inventions have they not made in machinery for working wood? Is not
England daily importing some new improvement therein from the American
shores? Look again at their perfect and beautiful invention for the
manufacture of seamless bags, by Mr. Cyrus Baldwin, and which he has at
work at the Stark Mills. There are 126 looms in operation, all
self-acting and each one making 47 bags daily; the bags are a little
more than three and a half feet long, and chiefly used, I believe, for
flour and grain. When they are finished, sewing-machines are at hand,
which can hem at the rate of 650 bags each daily. This same gentleman
has also adapted his looms to the making hoses for water, of which he
can complete 1000 feet a day by the experimental loom now in use, and it
is more than probable these hoses will entirely supersede the use of the
leather ones, being little more than one-tenth the price, and not
requiring any expense to keep in order.

Another and very important purpose to which their ingenuity has applied
machinery is, the manufacture of fire-arms. It has long been a matter of
surprise to me, why so obvious and useful an application of machinery
was neglected by the Government at home. The advantages of being able to
transfer all screws, springs, nipples, hammers, &c., from one musket to
another, are so manifest to the most infantine comprehension, that I
suppose they considered it beneath their notice; nor can I make out that
they have duly inquired into the various breech-loading systems used in
the States, some of which they have been testing in their Navy for
years. As, however, we are beginning to copy their application of
machinery, I dare say the next generation will take up the question of
breech-loading arms.

A few observations on the Militia appear to follow naturally after
remarks on fire-arms. According to the most reliable information which I
have been able to obtain, every able-bodied male between 18 and 40 years
of age is liable to militia service. Those who do not serve are subject
to a fine, varying in different States, from 3s. upwards; which sum
helps to pay those who do duty. The pay of a private while on duty is
about 10s. a-day, and that of officers in proportion. Formerly, they
only turned out two days in the year; now I believe, they generally turn
out ten, and in some of the cities twenty, days annually. The persons
excused from militia service, are the clergy, medical men, fire
companies, and those who have held a commission for three years. Each
regiment settles its own uniform; and it is a strange sight to see
companies in French, German, and Highland uniforms, all marching gaily
through the streets.

The day of firing at a mark is quite a fete; they parade the town, with
the target untouched, on their road to the ground: there they commence
firing, at 100 yards; if the bull's-eye be not sufficiently riddled,
they get closer and closer, until, perforated and in shreds, it scarce
hangs together as they return through the town bearing it aloft in
triumph, and followed by all the washed, half-washed, and unwashed
aspirants to military glory.

I believe the good sense of the people is endeavouring to break through
the system of nationalizing the companies into French, German, Highland,
&c., believing that keeping up such distinctions is more calculated to
produce discord than harmony. How long it will be before they succeed in
eradicating these separate nationalities, I cannot pretend to say.

With respect to their numbers, I cannot give any accurate information.
_The American Almanack_--generally a very useful source of
information--puts them down at 2,202,113; which is evidently a little
bit of Buncombe, as those figures represent very nearly the whole
able-bodied men in the Republic between the ages of 18 and 40. As they
are liable to be called on, the _Almanack_ puts them down as though
regularly enrolled; their real numbers I leave to the fertility of the
imagination. In the same authority, I find the officers calculated at
76,920, of which 765 are generals. These numbers, I imagine, must also go
through a powerful process of subtraction before the exact truth would
be arrived at, although I believe there are twice 765 citizens who enjoy
the titular honour.

One fact, however, is beyond doubt; they have a large militia,
accustomed to, and fond of, using fire-arms; and those who feel disposed
to approach their shores with hostile intentions, will find the old
Scotch motto applicable to them in its fullest sense,--

"Nemo me impune lacessit."


[Footnote CI: The Marquis de Jouffroy is said to have worked a boat by
steam on the Seine in 1781; but the Revolution breaking out, he appears
to have been unable to complete his invention.]

[Footnote CJ: The foregoing details are essentially extracted from a
work by Mr. Woodcroft, professor of machinery at University College,
London; who, after proving that the previous inventions of his
countrymen were combined together, for the first time, in the boat
engined by Symington, thus clearly and summarily disposes of the
pretensions put forward in favour of Fulton:--"In fact, if these
inventions separately, or as a combination, were removed out of Fulton's
boat, nothing would be left but the hull; and if the hull could then be
divested of that peculiarity of form, admitted to have been derived from
Colonel Beaufoy's experiments, _all that would remain would be the hull
of a boat of ordinary construction."_]


_Adverse Influences._

I now come to the consideration of the annual celebration of the 4th
July, an event which presents itself to my mind under two opposite
aspects, the one beneficial, the other injurious. If contemplated as a
nation's grateful acknowledgment to Providence for the successful
termination of an arduous struggle for independence, it assumes an
aspect at once dignified and Christian; but if into its celebration
other elements enter which are calculated to nourish hostile feelings
towards those who have long ceased to reciprocate such unworthy
sentiments, in that case I think its aspect may be fairly termed both
injurious and unchristian.

Let me then call your attention to the method of celebration. It
consists of three parts:--First, the reading of the Declaration of
Independence; secondly, an oration on the subject; lastly, procession
and jollification.

Now what is the Declaration of Independence? It is a document which
details their views of the oppression and injustice which justified
their rebellion against the mother country. The clauses are too numerous
to quote in full, but I subjoin a few, that the reader may form his own
opinion. Speaking of the sovereign of Great Britain, they say he has
protected "armed troops among us, by a mock trial, from punishment for
any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and
destroyed the lives of our people. He is, at this time, transporting
large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death,
desolation, and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty
and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally
unworthy the head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our
fellow-citizens taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against
their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren,
or to fall themselves by their hands. He has excited domestic
insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the
inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known
rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes,
and conditions. In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned
for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been
answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose character is thus
marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler
of a free people."

I pause not to ask if any of these charges are correct or not: grant
them accuracy in every statement, nay more, admit that they were
eminently calculated to stir up the feelings of the colonists, and to
inflame that spirit which was requisite to make their struggle for
independence justifiable and successful, and that they were therefore
called for by the emergencies of the day;--but nearly eighty years have
rolled over since that Declaration was penned; there is no success
sought for now which renders such appeals necessary, and surely it is
not for the purpose of justifying their rebellion that they are made.
Where then is the good to be derived from such declarations? Is there
any misgiving in the Republic as to sentiments of patriotism or pluck?
Surely none. But who can help seeing the evil to which they lead? These
annual recapitulations of old grievances, buried beneath nearly a
century, must tend to excite hostile feelings towards England. Conceive
for one moment France reading annually a declaration of independence
from British arms on the anniversary of their recapture of Calais, and
engrossing in that document every injustice or atrocity which the
English perpetrated during their rule; not to mention the undignified
nature of such a course, who can doubt that it would be pre-eminently
calculated to generate those hostile feelings which it is the bounden
duty of all civilized States to allay? In short, what does it so much
resemble as the system by which, in barbarous days long since past, the
Highland clans used to perpetuate their feuds. If a Christian community
cannot glory in and commemorate national independence without such
adjuncts, such a ceremony would, in my humble opinion, be more honoured
in the breach than in the observance.

Among other pernicious influences, I should mention that the Irish
celebrate the battle of the Boyne annually in order to prevent their
national angry passions from subsiding. Not the least curious features
in these same Paddies is the fact that, while cursing England for her
treatment of Ireland, they all unite as one man in favour of Slavery.
Mr. Mitchell, the escaped convict, is said to have expressed his opinion
that a plantation on the Alabama river with fifty sleek slaves, was the
_beau ideal_ of a terrestrial paradise. If he be a bachelor, and still
entertain the same sentiments, I would recommend him to take "The
stewardess of the Lady Franklin" as the sharer of his joys.

With regard to the orations pronounced, the one I heard at Geneseo had
nothing that struck me as in any way lending itself to those feelings I
have so freely censured; but it is not always so. I have before me now
an epitome of a speech made by the Honourable D.S. Dickenson, at
Syracuse, on July 4th, 1853. Being an honourable, it is not unfair to
suppose him--mind, I say to suppose him--a man of superior attainment,
selected by a well-educated people. The epitome is headed "Vigorous
Discussion and Patriotic Sentiments." I only quote one passage, which I
could almost fancy Matthew Ward, the hero of the Louisville school-room,
had written; it runs thus--"The eloquent orator then went on for nearly
half an hour in a strain of withering sarcasm and invective, exposing
the shameless and wicked oppressions of England in her collieries, in
her factories, in her oppression of Ireland; denouncing her as a nation
whose history was written in oppression and blood (_great
applause_.)"--It is difficult to believe that the chosen representative
of an intelligent community should thus speak of that nation to which
his own country is indebted for nearly every valuable institution she
possesses; but when such ridiculous vituperation is received with shouts
of applause from the gaping rowdies who throng around him, does it not
clearly demonstrate the truth of my previous statements as to the
effects which the celebration of the 4th of July, as now observed, may
naturally lead to? I say, may lead to, because I would fain hope, for
the sake of the credit and dignity of the Republic, that such
disreputable orations are rare exceptions.

But that such feelings of aversion to the mother country are generated
among the masses, is proved indirectly in another quarter--viz.,
Congress. During the debate on the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, a Mr. Douglas,
to whom I have before alluded, and who may be considered as the
representative of the rabid and rowdy portion of the community, thus
expresses himself with regard to England: "It is impossible she can love
us,--I do not blame her for not loving us,--sir, we have wounded her
vanity and humbled her pride,--she can never forgive us. But for us, she
would be the first Power on the face of the earth,--but for us, she
would have the prospect of maintaining that proud position which she
held for so long a period. We are in her way. She is jealous of us; and
jealousy forbids the idea of friendship. England does not love us; she
cannot love us, and we cannot love her either. We have some things in
the past to remember that are not agreeable. She has more in the present
to humiliate her that she cannot forgive."--After which expressions, the
poor little man, as though he had not the slightest conception of the
meaning of the words he was using, adds the following sentence,
deprecating all he had previously uttered: "I do not wish to administer
to the feeling of jealousy and rivalry that exists between us and
England. I wish to soften and smooth it down as much as possible."

On a subsequent occasion, Mr. Butler, senator for South Carolina, who
honestly did deprecate such language as the foregoing, referred, by way
of contrast, to the many constitutional principles the Republic had
derived from England, and also to the valuable literature which she had
produced, and by which the Republic had benefited. Upon which, poor Mr.
Douglas got furious, and asserted, that "Every English book circulated
contains lurking and insidious slanders and libels upon the character of
our people and the institutions and policy of our Government."--He then
discovered that abolitionism began, in England, and that "she keeps her
missionaries perambulating this country, delivering lectures and
scattering abroad incendiary publications, designed to excite
prejudices, hate, and strife between the different sections of the
Union."--He then, with Illinois truthfulness, hints at _Uncle Tom's
Cabin_, as though it were English literature, and which, he says, "is
designed to stir up treason and insurrection around his--Mr.
Butler's--fireside," &c.--He returns to the charge, and asserts, with
equal accuracy, "Millions are being expended to distribute _Uncle Tom's
Cabin_ throughout the world, with the view of combining the fanaticism,
ignorance, and hatred of all the nations of the earth in a common
crusade against the peculiar institutions of the State and section of
this Union represented by the senator from South Carolina." One might
almost imagine that the copy of Webster's Dictionary, which Mr. Douglas
has in his library--if he possess such a thing--has omitted an old
English word, spelt T R U T H.

But the point I wish to call the reader's especial attention to, is,
that the little senator's rabid rhapsody was received with shouts of
gallery applause, which, as I have before observed, is an exhibition of
sentiment not allowed in the Senate to either members of Congress or
gallery. Yet, so thoroughly had he expressed the feelings of the said
rowdies, that they could not resist the unlawful burst of approval. Mr.
Butler of course replied to his absurd arguments; but my object is not
discussion. I only allude to the subject at all for the purpose of
proving my previous assertion, that within the walls of Congress itself,
elements calculated to engender feelings of animosity towards Great
Britain are to be found at work. It is this deep-seated consciousness of
guilt that makes that portion of the citizens of the Republic so
sensitive with regard to the observations which proceed from this
country. Americans like Mr. Butler, who maintain the dignity of their
country without descending to paltry popularity-hunting calumny, can
afford to read any criticisms which may come from across the water with
as much calmness as American remarks are read here. Such men have no
accusing conscience gnawing at their vitals. If the population of the
two countries were fed upon Judge Douglas's venomous diet, ere long,
like the Kilkenny cats, nothing but the tails would be left.

I have felt it imperative to make these remarks, that my countrymen may
understand why they so constantly find the strongest symptoms of
hostility to England in a certain class of American writers. Even in the
text-books for children, you can detect the same animus working. Miss
Willard, in her _History of the United States_, narrates that six Indian
chiefs came to Colonel Washington, the grandfather of the founder of
the Republic, to treat for peace. The treachery to, and cold-blooded
murder of, these poor Indians she disposes of thus:--"He _wrongfully_
put them to death." General Clinton's conduct, in the prosecution of his
duties to his country, which never displayed any such revolting act, she
describes as reviving in a civilized age "_barbarous atrocities_."--Take
another instance of amiable sentiments towards England, as exhibited by
the Common Council of New York, who voted 200l. to entertain John
Mitchell, the convict who had escaped from custody. The Mayor addresses
him in the following terms:--"When, sir, you were silenced by restraint,
overpowered by brutal force, and foreign bayonets were employed on your
own soil to suppress truth and to bind upon your limbs and mind the
shackles of slavery, we sympathized with you in your adversity. We hated
the tyrant and loved the victim. And when, sir, after the semblance of a
trial, you were condemned and hurried as a felon from your home, your
country, and your friends, to a distant land, we were filled with
indignation, and pledged a deeper hatred towards the enemies of
man."--Mr. Mitchell, in reply, confesses himself from earliest youth a
traitor to his country, and honours the British Government with the
following epithets: "I say to them that they are not a government at
all, but a gang of conspirators, of robbers, of murderers." These
sentiments were received by the multitude around with "great applause."
Considering how many causes for exciting ill-will exist, the only wonder
is that, when so large a portion of the Republicans are utterly ignorant
of the truth as regards England, the feeling is not more hostile.

It is needless to assert, that the feelings of jealousy and animosity
ascribed to England by Mr. Douglas, exist only in the disordered
imagination of his own brain and of those of the deluded gulls who
follow in his train: for I am proud to say no similar undignified and
antagonistic elements are at work here; and, if any attempt were made to
introduce them, the good sense of the country would unite with one voice
to cry them down. I defy all the educated, ignorant, or rabid population
of the Republic to bring forward any instance where, either in the
celebration of any ceremony, the orations of any senator, or the
meetings of any corporation, such unworthy and contemptible animosity
towards the United States has ever been shadowed forth.

I must not, however, allow the reader to understand from the foregoing
remark that there is an universal national antipathy to England;
although, whenever she is brought into juxtaposition with the Republic,
it may appear very strongly developed. The most erroneous impressions
were at the time this was written, abroad among my countrymen, in
respect of American sympathies with Russia. Filibusteros, rabid
annexationists, inveterate Slaveholders, and Rowdies of every class, to
which might have been added a few ignoble minds who made the grave of
conscience a "stump" from which to pour forth Buncombe speeches to catch
ephemeral popularity, constituted the body in America who sympathised
with Russia. All the intelligence of the North, and a great portion of
that of the South, felt the deepest interest in our success, not merely
as descendants of the mother country, but also because they recognised
the war in which we were engaged as a struggle in the cause of liberty.
We could not suffer ourselves to be deceived by the Filibustero Press,
nor by the accounts we read of vessels laden with arms carrying them to
Russia. Those were no more proofs of the national feeling, than the
building of slave-clippers every year at Baltimore is a proof that the
nation wishes to encourage the slave-trade. The true feeling of a nation
must be sought for far deeper than in the superficial clamour of
political demagogues, backed though it be by the applause of gaping
crowds whose worst passions are pandered to for the sake of a transient
breath of popularity.


_Olla Podrida._

The preceding observations lead naturally to a few observations upon
American character in a national point of view; for in treating of so
exceedingly varied a community, combining as it does nearly every nation
of the Old World, it would be beyond the limits of a work like this to
enter into details on so complicated a subject.

As I prefer commencing with the objectionable points, and winding up
with the more favourable, I shall first name Vanity as a great national
feature. The fulsome adulation with which the Press bespatters its
readers, throughout the length and breadth of the Union, wherever any
comparisons are drawn with other nations, is so great that the masses
have become perfectly deluded; and being so far removed from the nations
of the Old World, and knowing, consequently, nothing of them except
through the columns of a vanity-feeding Press, they receive the most
exaggerated statements as though they were Gospel truths--little aware
how supremely ridiculous the vaunting which they read with delight makes
them appear in the eyes of other people.

I insert the following extract from the Press, as one instance among
many of the vain and ridiculous style of some of their editorial
leaders. It is taken from the _New York Herald_--one of the most
widely-circulated papers in the Union, but one which, I am bound in
justice to say, is held in contempt[CK] by the more intelligent portion
of the community. Speaking of Mrs. B. Stowe's reception in England, he
says:--"She proves herself quite an American in her intercourse with the
English aristocracy. Her self-possession, ease, and independence of
manner were quite undisturbed in the presence of the proud duchesses
and fraughty dames of the titled English nobility. They expected
timidity and fear, and reverence for their titles, in an untitled
person, and they found themselves disappointed. Mrs. Stowe felt herself
their equal in social life, and acted among them as she felt. This,
above all other things, has caused a great astonishment in the higher
circles in favour of American women, for in fact it is a quality
peculiarly distinguishing an American woman, that she can be and is a
duchess among duchesses."

Even in the simple article of diplomatic dress we see the same feature
peeping out. Vanity may be discovered as readily in singularity, however
simple, as in the naked savage who struts about as proud as a peacock,
with no covering but a gold-laced cocked hat on his head and a
brass-mounted sword at his side. When civilized society agrees upon some
distinctive uniform for diplomatic service, who can fail to observe the
lurking vanity that dictated the abolition of it by the Republic?--not
to mention the absurdity of wearing a sword in plain clothes. The only
parallel it has among bipeds, that I know of, is a master-at-arms on
board a ship, with a cane by his side; but then he carries a weapon
which he is supposed to use. The Minister of the Republic carries a
weapon for ornament only. In quadruped life, it reminds me of a poodle
closely shaved all over, except a little tuft at the end of his tail,
the sword and the tuft recalling to mind the fact that the respective
possessors have been shorn of something.

Firmly convinced, from my earliest schoolboy days, of the intimate
connexion which exists between boasting and bullying, I had long blushed
to feel how pre-eminent my own country was in the ignoble practice; but
a more intimate acquaintance with the United States has thoroughly
satisfied me that that pre-eminence justly belongs to the great
Republic. But it is not merely in national matters that this feeling
exhibits itself; you observe it in ordinary life as well, by the intense
love shown for titles; nobody is contented until he obtain some rank. I
am aware this is a feature inseparable from democracy. Everybody you
meet is Captain, Colonel, General, Honourable, Judge, or something; and
if they cannot obtain it legitimately, they obtain it by courtesy, or
sometimes facetiously, like a gentleman I have before alluded to, who
obtained the rank of judge because he was a connoisseur in wine. In
these, and a thousand other ways, the love of vanity stands nationally

I do not think Americans are aware what injustice they do themselves by
this love of high-sounding titles.[CL] For instance, in a paper before
me, I see a Deputy Sheriff calling on the mob to resist the law; I see
Governor Bigler authorizing General King to call out the military, one
naturally supposes to keep order; but observe he calls Mr. Walker, of
Erie, a traitor and a scoundrel; of the directors and managers of the
railroad, he says, "We will whip them, will whip them, will bury them so
deep electricity can't reach them--we will whip them--we will whip the
g--ts out of them!" &c.--Now, judging of these people by their titles,
as recognised by the rest of the civilized world, what a disgrace to the
higher classes of Americans is the foregoing! But anybody who really
knows the title system of the Republic will at once see that the orator
was a mere rowdy. Thus they suffer for their vanity. It pervades every
class of the whole community, from the rowdy, who talks of "whipping
creation," to the pulpit orator, who often heralds forth past success to
feed the insatiable appetite: in short, it has become a national
disease; and were it not for the safety-valve formed by the unmeasured
terms of mutual vituperation they heap upon each other on occasions of
domestic squabbles, their fate would assuredly be that of the frog in
the fable.

In the medical world, it is said no one has a cold without fever; and I
think it may with equal truth be asserted of the national world, no
nations are vain without being afflicted with sensitiveness: at all
events, it is true as regards the United States. No maiden in her teens
is so ticklishly sensitive as the Americans. I do not refer merely to
that portion of the community of which I have selected Mr. Douglas, of
Illinois, as the type; I allude also to the far higher order of
intelligence with which the Republic abounds. There is a touchiness
about them all with respect to national and local questions which I
never saw equalled: in fact, the few sheets of their Press which reach
this country are alone sufficient to convince any one on that point; for
in a free country the Press may always be fairly considered, to a
certain extent, as the reflex of the public mind. I suppose it is with
nations as with individuals, and that each are alike blind to their own
failings. In no other way can I account for the Republic overlooking so
entirely the sensitiveness of others. Take for instance the appointment
of M. Soule--a Frenchman naturalized in America--as minister to the
court of Spain. I do not say that he was a Filibustero, but he was
universally supposed to be identified with that party; and if he were
not so identified, he showed a puerile ignorance of the requirements of
a Minister, quite beyond conception, when he received a serenade of five
thousand people at New York, who came in procession, bearing aloft the
accompanying transparencies, he being at the time accredited to his new

On the first transparency was the following motto:--



On the second banner:--

Free thought and free speech for the Cubans.

'Tis no flight of fancy, for
Cuba must be, and 'tis
Written by fate, an isle
Great and free.

O pray, ye doomed tyrants,
Your fate's not far:
A dread Order now watches you,--
It is the Lone Star.

On the third banner:--

Cuba must and shall be free.

The Antilles Flower,
The true Key of the Gulf,
Must be plucked from the Crown
Of the Old Spanish Wolf.

Monumental representation--a tomb and a weeping willow. On the tomb were
the words--



They and their companions are not forgotten.

M. Soule accepts the compliment, and makes a speech, in which he informs
his audience that he cannot believe "that this mighty nation can be
chained now within the narrow limits which fettered the young Republic
of America," &c.

Change the scene, and let any American judge in the following supposed
and parallel case. Imagine expeditions fitted out in England, in spite
of Government, to free the slaves in the Southern States; imagine a
Lopez termination to the affair, and the rowdy blood of England forming
other Filibustero expeditions; then imagine the Hon. Mr. Tenderheart
identifying himself with them, and receiving an appointment as minister
to Washington; after which, imagine him serenaded at St. James's by
thousands of people bearing transparencies, the first representing a
naked woman under the slave-driver's lash; the second, containing some
such verses as "The Antilles Flower," &c.; for instance:--

"The slaves must be plucked
From the chains that now gall 'em,
Though American wolves
An inferior race call 'em."

Let the minister accept the serenade, and address the multitude,
declaring "that this mighty nation can no longer be chained down to
passive interference," &c. Let me ask any American how the Hon. Mr.
Tenderheart would be received at Washington, particularly if a few days
after he took a shot at his French colleague because another person
insulted him in that gentleman's house?--I ask, what would Americans say
if such a line of conduct were to be pursued towards them? I might go
further, and suppose that a conclave of English Ministers met at Quebec,
and discussed the question as to how far the flourishing town of
Buffalo, so close on the frontier, was calculated to endanger the peace
and prosperity of Canada, and then imagine them winding up their report
with this clause--If it be so--"then by every law, human and divine, we
shall be justified in wresting it from its present owners." The American
who penned that sentence must possess a copy of the Scriptures unknown
to the rest of the world. Surely America must imagine she has the
monopoly of all the sensitiveness in the world, or she would never have
acted by Spain as she has done. How humiliated must she feel while
contemplating the contrast between her act in appointing the minister,
and Spain's demeanour in her silent and dignified reception of him!

This same sensitiveness peeps out in small things as well as great,
especially where England is concerned: thus, one writer discovers that
the Americans speak French better than the English; probably he infers
it from having met a London Cit who had run over to Paris for a quiet
Sunday, and who asked him "_Moosyere, savvay voo oo ey lay Toolureeze?"_
Another discovers that American society is much more sought after than
English; that Americans are more agreeable, more intelligent, more
liberal, &c.; but the comparison is always with England or the English.
And why all this? Simply because it feeds the morbid appetite of many
Republican citizens, which the pure truth would not.

This sensitiveness also shows itself in the way they watch the opinions
of their country expressed by _The Times_, or by any largely circulating
paper. I remember an American colonel who had been through the whole
Mexican war, saying to me one day, "I assure you the Mexican troops are
the most contemptible soldiers in the world; I would rather a thousand
to one face them than half the number of Camanche Indians."--The object
of this remark was to show on what slight and insufficient grounds _The
Times_ had spoken of the United States as a great military nation since
the Mexican war. An article giving them due credit for a successful
campaign was easily magnified beyond its intended proportions, and my
gallant friend was modestly disclaiming so high-sounding an appellation;
but such evidently was the construction which he felt his countrymen had
put upon it.

I turn now for a few moments to the question of Morals; and here, again,
it is of course only in a wholesale manner I can treat of the subject.
As far as my inquiries enable me to judge, I find the same elements
producing the same results here as in England. Wherever masses are
clustered together most largely, there vice runs as rampant as in
England; nay, I have the authority of a lecture delivered at the
Maryland Institute, for saying that it is even worse in many places.
After describing various instances of lawless conduct, the lecturer
continues thus: "Such lawlessness as I have described is not tolerated
in any other part of the world, and would not be tolerated here for a
moment, but for the criminal apathy of our citizens generally, and the
truckling, on the part of our politicians and public officers, for the
votes of the very men whom they know to be violating and trampling on
the laws."--In illustration, he states, "In every part of Europe in
which I have travelled,--in England, Holland, France, Germany,
Switzerland, and Italy; under all the different systems of religion and
forms of government; in the large cities, and the small towns and
villages; in the highways and byways,--I found better public order, more
decorum, where bodies of men were assembled together, and less tendency
to rowdyism, pugilism, and violence, than there is in most parts of this
country. In this general statement of the fact, all unprejudiced
travellers will, I suppose concur."--Further on, he draws a comparison
favourable to London; and, with regard to the Police in our metropolis,
he says, "A more respectable and finer-looking body of men it would be
difficult to find in any country. A stranger may apply to one for
information, with a certainty of receiving a polite and intelligent
answer," &c.--I only quote the last paragraph, in case Mr. Matt. Ward
should see these pages, and that he may know how the Police behave
towards those who know how to conduct themselves.[CM]

The lecturer goes on to complain of the depravity of youth. He then
attacks the dispensation of the law, pointing out many instances of
their mal-administration. He then proceeds to attack the fire companies;
he admits their courage and daring, but points out at the same time
their lawlessness. He says--speaking of Philadelphia--"Almost every
company has its war-song, breathing the most barbarous and bloodthirsty
sentiments towards some rival association, and describing the glory of
the fireman to the destruction of his enemy's apparatus, or worse yet,
his life."--He gives the following list of the terrific names of the
companies: "Hornets, Snappers, Blood-reds, Bed-bugs, Rock-boys,
Buffaloes, Skimmers, Scrougers, Revengers, Knockers, Black-hawks,
Pirate-boys, Kill-devils." After which he gives the following specimen,
of their songs, written by a "Bluffer and Red-devil:"--


"We're the saucy Hyena-boys of George's-street, as all knows; We can
whip the Penn and Globe, likewise the Carroll Hose; We'll whip the
three together, the Bed-bugs and South Penn throw in for ease; We do
run our carriage among our foes, and run her where we please.

"You'd better hush your blowing, Globe, if you know when you are well;
For if we take your engine again, we'll smash her all to hell. Here is
luck to the Bluffers, and all honest boys of that name; Here is to the
Hyenas and Red-devils, that no one can tame."

He subsequently points out the evils of allowing political passions to
guide citizens in the selection of officers, and declares, "that persons
are elected to, and now fill, important offices in Baltimore, to whom no
responsible trust in private life would be confided by the very men who
voted for them."[CN] With regard to the actual commission of crime, and
the due punishment of the offenders, he draws the following comparison
between London and Baltimore: "The population of the former is 13 times
greater than that of the latter; but the number of arrests is as 1 to
7,--in other words, the commission of crime, in proportion to numbers,
was 46 per cent. greater than in London. Then, to show the inefficiency
of the law, he proceeds to state, that the commitments for trial were
only 29 per cent. greater, and that, even of those committed, many
escaped just punishment. Of course, the large cities in America are the
only places in which any comparison can be made with this country; but,
while doing so, the tide of emigration, which helps to fill up their
numbers, must not be lost sight of, or we should judge them unfairly.

With regard to the masses that are spread over the length and breadth of
the land, I certainly have never seen nor heard anything that need make
England ashamed of the comparison. It would not be equitable to judge by

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