By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 15 (of 20)
Author: Sumner, Charles
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 15 (of 20)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

   [Illustration: A. W. Elson & Co. Boston: WILLIAM PITT FESSENDEN]

               _Statesman Edition_             _VOL. XV_

                            Charles Sumner

                          HIS COMPLETE WORKS

                           With Introduction
                       HON. GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR


                            LEE AND SHEPARD

                       COPYRIGHT, 1875 AND 1877,
                      FRANCIS V. BALCH, EXECUTOR.

                           COPYRIGHT, 1900,
                           LEE AND SHEPARD.

                          Statesman Edition.
                           OF WHICH THIS IS
                                No. 259

                            Norwood Press:
                        NORWOOD, MASS., U.S.A.



    in the Senate, on the Ratification of the Treaty between the
    United States and Russia, April 9, 1867                               1

    PRECAUTION AGAINST THE PRESIDENT. Remarks in the Senate, on a
    Resolution asking for Copies of Opinions with regard to the
    Tenure-of-Office Law and Appointments during the Recess of
    Congress, April 11, 1867                                            170

    FINISH OUR WORK BEFORE ADJOURNMENT. Remarks in the Senate, on a
    Motion to adjourn without Day, April 11 and 12, 1867                172

    the Senate, proposing the Good Offices of the United States,
    April 20, 1867                                                      174

    CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Letter to the New York Independent,
    April 20, 1867                                                      176

    Dinner in a Tent, June 17, 1867                                     181

    QUORUM. Protest in the Senate, at its Opening, July 3, 1867         185

    HOMESTEADS FOR FREEDMEN. Resolution in the Senate, July 3, 1867     188

    CAUCUSES. Speeches in the Senate, July 3, 5, and 10, 1867           189

    WITHOUT DISTINCTION OF COLOR. Speeches in the Senate, on the
    Third Reconstruction Bill, July 11 and 13, 1867                     217

    STATES BY ACT OF CONGRESS. Remarks in the Senate, on a Bill to
    enforce Several Provisions of the Constitution by securing the
    Elective Franchise to Colored Citizens, July 12, 1867               229

    COLUMBIA. Remarks in the Senate, on a Bill for the further
    Security of Equal Rights in the District of Columbia,
    July 16, 1867                                                       234

    in the Senate, on a Bill to strike out the Word “White” in the
    Naturalization Laws, July 19, 1867                                  238

    in the Senate, on the Resolution of Adjournment, July 19, 1867      240

    Joint Resolutions in the Senate, July 19, 1867, and July
    21, 1868                                                            246

    IMPEACHMENT. Resolutions in the Senate, July 20, 1867               249

    PROPHETIC VOICES CONCERNING AMERICA. A Monograph                    251



    Thirteen governments founded on the natural authority of the
    people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and
    _which are destined to spread over the northern part of that
    whole quarter of the globe_, are a great point gained in favor
    of the rights of mankind.--JOHN ADAMS, _Preface to his Defence
    of the American Constitutions_, dated Grosvenor Square, London,
    January 1, 1787: Works, Vol. IV. p. 293.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Barbarous and stupid Xerxes, how vain was all thy toil to
    cover the Hellespont with a floating bridge! Thus rather
    wise and prudent princes join Asia to Europe; they join and
    fasten nations together, not with boards or planks or surging
    brigandines, not with inanimate and insensible bonds, but
    by the ties of legitimate love, chaste nuptials, and the
    infallible gage of progeny.--PLUTARCH, _Morals_, ed. Goodwin,
    Vol. I. p. 482.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Late in the evening of Friday, March 29, 1867, Mr. Sumner,
    on reaching home, found this note from Mr. Seward awaiting
    him: “Can you come to my house this evening? I have a matter
    of public business in regard to which it is desirable that I
    should confer with you at once.” Without delay he hurried to
    the house of the Secretary of State, only to find that the
    latter had left for the Department. His son, the Assistant
    Secretary, was at home, and he was soon joined by Mr. de
    Stoeckl, the Russian Minister. From the two Mr. Sumner learned
    for the first time that a treaty was about to be signed for
    the cession of Russian America to the United States. With a
    map in his hand, the Minister, who had just returned from
    St. Petersburg, explained the proposed boundary, according
    to verbal instructions from the Archduke Constantine. After
    a brief conversation, when Mr. Sumner inquired and listened
    without expressing any opinion, they left together, the
    Minister on his way to the Department, where the treaty was
    copying. The clock was striking midnight as they parted, the
    Minister saying with interest, “You will not fail us.” The
    treaty was signed about four o’clock in the morning of March
    30th, being the last day of the current session of Congress,
    and on the same day transmitted to the Senate, and referred to
    the Committee on Foreign Relations.

    April 1st, the Senate was convened in Executive session by the
    proclamation of the President of the United States, and the
    Committee proceeded to the consideration of the treaty. The
    Committee at the time was Messrs. Sumner (Chairman), Fessenden,
    of Maine, Cameron, of Pennsylvania, Harlan, of Iowa, Morton, of
    Indiana, Patterson, of New Hampshire, and Reverdy Johnson, of
    Maryland. Carefully and anxiously they considered the question,
    and meanwhile it was discussed outside. Among friendly
    influences was a strong pressure from Hon. Thaddeus Stevens,
    the acknowledged leader of the other House, who, though without
    constitutional voice on the ratification of a treaty, could
    not restrain his earnest testimony. Mr. Sumner was controlled
    less by desire for more territory than by a sense of the amity
    of Russia, manifested especially during our recent troubles,
    and by an unwillingness to miss the opportunity of dismissing
    another European sovereign from our continent, predestined,
    as he believed, to become the broad, undivided home of the
    American people; and these he developed in his remarks before
    the Senate.

    April 8th, the treaty was reported by Mr. Sumner without
    amendment, and with the recommendation that the Senate advise
    and consent thereto. The next day it was considered, when Mr.
    Sumner spoke on the negotiation, its origin, and the character
    of the ceded possessions. A motion by Mr. Fessenden to postpone
    its further consideration was voted down,--Yeas 12, Nays 29.
    After further debate, the final question of ratification was
    put and carried on the same day by a vote of Yeas 37, Nays
    2,--the Nays being Mr. Fessenden, and Mr. Morrill, of Vermont.
    The ratifications were exchanged June 20th, and the same day
    the treaty was proclaimed.

    The debate was in Executive session, and no reporters were
    present. Senators interested in the question invited Mr. Sumner
    to write out his remarks and give them to the public. For some
    time he hesitated, but, taking advantage of the vacation, he
    applied himself to the work, following precisely in order and
    subdivision the notes of a single page from which he spoke.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The speech was noticed at home and abroad. At home, the Boston
    _Journal_, which published it at length, remarked:--

        “This speech, it will be remembered, coming from the
        Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and abounding
        in a mass of pertinent information not otherwise accessible
        to Senators, exerted a most marked, if not decisive, effect
        in favor of the ratification of the treaty. Since then,
        the rumors of Mr. Sumner’s exhaustive treatment of the
        subject, together with the increasing popular interest in
        our new territory, have stimulated a general desire for
        the publication of the speech, which we are now enabled
        to supply. As might be expected, the speech is a monument
        of comprehensive research, and of skill in the collection
        and arrangement of facts. It probably comprises about
        all the information that is extant concerning our new
        Pacific possessions, and will prove equally interesting
        to the student of history, the politician, and the man of

    A Russian translation, by Mr. Buynitzky, appeared at St.
    Petersburg, with an introduction, whose complimentary character
    is manifest in its opening:--

        “Senator Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, appears, since
        the election of Lincoln, as one of the most eloquent and
        conspicuous representatives of the Republican party. His
        name stands in the first rank of the zealous propagators of
        Abolitionism, and all his political activity is directed
        toward one object,--the completion of the glorious act of
        enfranchisement of five millions of citizens by a series of
        laws calculated to secure to freedmen the actual possession
        of civil and political rights. As Chairman of the Senate
        Committee upon Foreign Relations, Mr. Sumner attentively
        watches the march of affairs in Europe generally; but, in
        the course of the present decade, his particular attention
        was attracted by the reforms which took place in Russia.
        The emancipation of the peasants in our country was viewed
        with the liveliest sympathy by the American statesman, and
        this sympathy expressed itself eloquently in his speeches,
        delivered on various occasions, as well in Congress as in
        the State conventions of Massachusetts.”

    A French writer, M. Cochin, whose work on Slavery is an
    important contribution to the literature of Emancipation, in a
    later work thus characterizes this speech:--

        “All that is known on Russian America has just been
        presented in a speech, abundant, erudite, eloquent, poetic,
        pronounced before the Congress of the United States by the
        great orator, Charles Sumner.”[1]

    On the appearance of the speech, May 24th, Professor Baird, the
    accomplished naturalist of the Smithsonian Institution, wrote,
    expressing the hope that some Boston or New York publisher
    would reprint what he called the “Essay” in a “book-form,”
    adding: “It deserves some more permanent dress than that of a
    speech from the _Globe_ office.” This is done for the first
    time in the present publication.

       *       *       *       *       *

    These few notices, taken from many, are enough to show the
    contemporary reception of the speech.


MR. PRESIDENT,--You have just listened to the reading of the treaty
by which Russia cedes to the United States all her possessions on the
North American continent and the adjacent islands in consideration of
$7,200,000 to be paid by the United States. On the one side is the
cession of a vast country, with its jurisdiction and resources of all
kinds; on the other side is the purchase-money. Such is the transaction
on its face.


In endeavoring to estimate its character, I am glad to begin with what
is clear and beyond question. I refer to the boundaries fixed by the
treaty. Commencing at the parallel of 54° 40´ north latitude, so famous
in our history, the line ascends Portland Canal to the mountains, which
it follows on their summits to the point of intersection with the
meridian of 141° west longitude, which it ascends to the Frozen Ocean,
or, if you please, to the north pole. This is the eastern boundary,
separating the region from the British possessions, and it is borrowed
from the treaty between Russia and Great Britain in 1825, establishing
the relations between these two powers on this continent. It is seen
that this boundary is old; the rest is new. Starting from the Frozen
Ocean, the western boundary descends Behring Strait, midway between
the two islands of Krusenstern and Ratmanoff, to the parallel of 65°
30´, just below where the continents of America and Asia approach each
other the nearest; and from this point it proceeds in a course nearly
southwest through Behring Strait, midway between the island of St.
Lawrence and Cape Chukotski, to the meridian of 172° west longitude,
and thence, in a southwesterly direction, traversing Behring Sea,
midway between the island of Attoo on the east and Copper Island on the
west, to the meridian of 193° west longitude, leaving the prolonged
group of the Aleutian Islands in the possessions transferred to the
United States, and making the western boundary of our country the
dividing line which separates Asia from America.

Look at the map and observe the configuration of this extensive region,
whose estimated area is more than five hundred and seventy thousand
square miles. I speak by authority of our own Coast Survey. Including
the Sitkan Archipelago at the south, it takes a margin of the main-land
fronting on the ocean thirty miles broad and five hundred miles long to
Mount St. Elias, the highest peak of the continent, when it turns with
an elbow to the west, and along Behring Strait northerly, then rounding
to the east along the Frozen Ocean. Here are upwards of four thousand
statute miles of coast, indented by capacious bays and commodious
harbors without number, embracing the peninsula of Alaska, one of the
most remarkable in the world, twenty-five miles in breadth and three
hundred miles in length; piled with mountains, many volcanic and some
still smoking; penetrated by navigable rivers, one of which is among
the largest of the world; studded with islands standing like sentinels
on the coast, and flanked by that narrow Aleutian range which,
starting from Alaska, stretches far away to Kamtchatka, as if America
were extending a friendly hand to Asia. This is the most general
aspect. There are details specially disclosing maritime advantages
and approaches to the sea which properly belong to this preliminary
sketch. According to accurate estimate, the coast line, including bays
and islands, is not less than eleven thousand two hundred and seventy
miles. In the Aleutian range, besides innumerable islets and rocks,
there are not less than fifty-five islands exceeding three miles in
length; there are seven exceeding forty miles, with Oonimak, which is
the largest, exceeding seventy-three miles. In our part of Behring
Sea there are five considerable islands, the largest of which is St.
Lawrence, being more than ninety-six miles long. Add to all these the
group south of the peninsula of Alaska, including the Shumagins and
the magnificent island of Kadiak, and then the Sitkan group, being
archipelago added to archipelago, and the whole together constituting
the geographical complement to the West Indies, so that the northwest
of the continent answers to the southeast, archipelago for archipelago.


The title of Russia to all these possessions is derived from prior
discovery, being the admitted title by which all European powers have
held in North and South America, unless we except what England acquired
by conquest from France; but here the title of France was derived from
prior discovery. Russia, shut up in a distant interior and struggling
with barbarism, was scarcely known to the other powers at the time they
were lifting their flags in the western hemisphere. At a later day the
same powerful genius which made her known as an empire set in motion
the enterprise by which these possessions were opened to her dominion.
Peter, called the Great, himself ship-builder and reformer, who had
worked in the ship-yards of England and Holland, was curious to know
if Asia and America were separated by the sea, or if they constituted
one undivided body with different names, like Europe and Asia. To
obtain this information, he wrote with his own hand the following
instructions, and ordered his chief admiral to see them carried into

    “One or two boats with decks to be built at Kamtchatka, or at
    any other convenient place, with which inquiry should be made
    in relation to the northerly coasts, to see whether they were
    not contiguous with America, since their end was not known. And
    this done, they should see whether they could not somewhere
    find an harbor belonging to Europeans or an European ship. They
    should likewise set apart some men who were to inquire after
    the name and situation of the coasts discovered. Of all this an
    exact journal should be kept, with which they should return to

The Czar died in the winter of 1725; but the Empress Catharine,
faithful to the desires of her husband, did not allow this work to be
neglected. Vitus Behring, Dane by birth, and navigator of experience,
was made commander. The place of embarkation was on the other side
of the Asiatic continent. Taking with him officers and ship-builders,
the navigator left St. Petersburg by land, 5th February, 1725, and
commenced the preliminary journey across Siberia, Northern Asia, and
the Sea of Okhotsk, to the coast of Kamtchatka, which they reached
only after infinite hardships and delays, sometimes with dogs for
horses, and sometimes supporting life by eating leather bags, straps,
and shoes. More than three years were consumed in this toilsome and
perilous journey. At last, on the 20th of July, 1728, the party
was able to set sail in a small vessel, called the Gabriel, and
described as “like the packet-boats used in the Baltic.” Steering in
a northeasterly direction, Behring passed a large island, which he
called St. Lawrence, from the saint on whose day it was seen. This
island, which is included in the present cession, may be considered as
the first point in Russian discovery, as it is also the first outpost
of the North American continent. Continuing northward, and hugging the
Asiatic coast, Behring turned back only when he thought he had reached
the northeastern extremity of Asia, and was satisfied that the two
continents were separated from each other. He did not penetrate further
north than 67° 30´.

In his voyage Behring was struck by the absence of such great and
high waves as in other places are common to the open sea, and he
observed fir-trees swimming in the water, although they were unknown
on the Asiatic coast. Relations of inhabitants, in harmony with these
indications, pointed to “a country at no great distance towards the
east.” His work was still incomplete, and the navigator, before
returning home, put forth again for this discovery, but without
success. By another dreary land journey he made his way back to St.
Petersburg in March, 1730, after an absence of five years. Something
was accomplished for Russian discovery, and his own fame was engraved
on the maps of the world. The strait through which he sailed now bears
his name, as also does the expanse of sea he traversed on his way to
the strait.

The spirit of discovery continued at St. Petersburg. A Cossack chief,
undertaking to conquer the obstinate natives on the northeastern
coast, proposed also “to discover the pretended country in the Frozen
Sea.” He was killed by an arrow before his enterprise was completed.
Little is known of the result; but it is stated that the navigator
whom he had selected, by name Gwosdeff, in 1730 succeeded in reaching
“a strange coast” between sixty-five and sixty-six degrees of north
latitude, where he saw people, but could not speak with them for want
of an interpreter. This must have been the coast of North America, and
not far from the group of islands in Behring Strait, through which the
present boundary passes, separating the United States from Russia, and
America from Asia.

The Russian desire to get behind the curtain increased. Behring
volunteered to undertake the discoveries yet remaining. He was created
Commodore, and his old lieutenants were created captains. The Senate,
the Admiralty, and the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg, all
united in the enterprise. Several academicians were appointed to
report on the natural history of the coasts visited, among whom was
Steller, the naturalist, said to be “immortal” from this association.
All of these, with a numerous body of officers, journeyed across
Siberia, Northern Asia, and the Sea of Okhotsk, to Kamtchatka, as
Behring had journeyed before. Though ordered in 1732, the expedition
was not able to leave the eastern coast until 4th June, 1741, when two
well-appointed ships set sail in company “to discover the continent
of America.” One of these, called the St. Peter, was under Commodore
Behring; the other, called the St. Paul, was under Captain Tschirikoff.
For some time the two kept together, but in a violent storm and fog
they were separated, when each continued the expedition alone.

Behring first saw the continent of North America 18th July, 1741, in
latitude 58° 28´. Looking at it from a distance, “the country had
terrible high mountains that were covered with snow.” Two days later,
he anchored in a sheltered bay near a point, which he called, from the
saint’s day on which he saw it, Cape St. Elias. He was in the shadow
of Mount St. Elias. Landing, he found deserted huts, fireplaces, hewn
wood, household furniture, arrows, “a whetstone on which it appeared
that copper knives had been sharpened,” and “store of red salmon.” Here
also birds unknown in Siberia were noticed by the faithful Steller,
among which was the blue-jay, of a peculiar species, now called by his
name. At this point, Behring found himself constrained by the elbow in
the coast to turn westward, and then in a southerly direction. Hugging
the shore, his voyage was constantly arrested by islands without
number, among which he zigzagged to find his way. Several times he
landed. Once he saw natives, who wore “upper garments of whales’ guts,
breeches of seal-skins, and caps of the skins of sea-lions, adorned
with various feathers, especially those of hawks.” These “Americans,”
as they are called, were fishermen, without bows and arrows. They
regaled the Russians with “whale’s flesh,” but declined strong drink.
One of them, on receiving a cup of brandy, “spit the brandy out again
as soon as he had tasted it, and cried aloud, as if he was complaining
to his countrymen how ill he had been used.” This was on one of the
Shumagin Islands, near the southern coast of the peninsula of Alaska.

Meanwhile the other solitary ship, proceeding on its way, had sighted
the same coast 15th July, 1741, in the latitude of 56°. Anchoring at
some distance from the steep and rocky cliffs before him, Tschirikoff
sent his mate with the long-boat and ten of his best men, provided
with small-arms and a brass cannon, to inquire into the nature of the
country and to obtain fresh water. The long-boat disappeared behind a
headland, and was never seen again. Thinking it might have been damaged
in landing, the captain sent his boatswain with the small boat and
carpenters, well armed, to furnish necessary assistance. The small
boat disappeared also, and was never seen again. At the same time a
great smoke was observed continually ascending from the shore. Shortly
afterwards, two boats filled with natives sallied forth and lay at
some distance from the vessel, when, crying, “_Agai, Agai_,” they put
back to the shore. Sorrowfully the Russian navigator turned away, not
knowing the fate of his comrades, and unable to help them. This was not
far from Sitka.

Such was the first discovery of these northwestern coasts, and such
are the first recorded glimpses of the aboriginal inhabitants. The
two navigators had different fortunes. Tschirikoff, deprived of his
boats, and therefore unable to land, hurried home. Adverse winds and
storms interfered. He supplied himself with fresh water by distilling
sea-water or pressing rain-water from the sails. But at last, on
the 9th of October, he reached Kamtchatka, with his ship’s company
of seventy diminished to forty-nine. During this time Behring was
driven, like Ulysses, on the uncertain waves. A single tempest raged
for seventeen days, so that Andrew Hasselberg, the ancient pilot,
who had known the sea for fifty years, declared that he had seen
nothing like it in his life. Scurvy came with disheartening horrors.
The Commodore himself was a sufferer. Rigging broke; cables snapped;
anchors were lost. At last the tempest-tossed vessel was cast upon a
desert island, then without a name, where the Commodore, sheltered in a
ditch, and half covered with sand as a protection against cold, died,
8th December, 1741. His body, after his decease, was “scraped out of
the ground” and buried on this island, which is called by his name,
and constitutes an outpost of the Asiatic continent. Thus the Russian
navigator, after the discovery of America, died in Asia. Russia, by
the recent demarcation, does not fail to retain his last resting-place
among her possessions.


For some time after these expeditions, by which Russia achieved the
palm of discovery, imperial enterprise in those seas slumbered. The
knowledge already acquired was continued and confirmed only by private
individuals, who were led there in quest of furs. In 1745 the Aleutian
Islands were discovered by an adventurer in search of sea-otters.
In successive voyages all these islands were visited for similar
purposes. Among these was Oonalaska, the principal of the group of Fox
Islands, constituting a continuation of the Aleutian Islands, whose
inhabitants and productions were minutely described. In 1768 private
enterprise was superseded by an expedition ordered by the Empress
Catharine, which, leaving Kamtchatka, explored this whole archipelago
and the peninsula of Alaska, which to the islanders stood for the whole
continent. Shortly afterwards, all these discoveries, beginning with
those of Behring and Tschirikoff, were verified by the great English
navigator, Captain Cook. In 1778 he sailed along the northwestern
coast, “near where Tschirikoff anchored in 1741”; then again in sight
of mountains “wholly covered with snow from the highest summit down
to the sea-coast,” with “the summit of an elevated mountain above the
horizon,” which he supposed to be the Mount St. Elias of Behring; then
by the very anchorage of Behring; then among the islands through which
Behring zigzagged, and along the coast by the island of St. Lawrence,
until arrested by ice. If any doubt existed with regard to Russian
discoveries, it was removed by the authentic report of this navigator,
who shed such a flood of light upon the geography of the whole region.

Such from the beginning is the title of Russia, dating at least from
1741. I have not stopped to quote volume and page, but I beg to be
understood as following approved authorities, and I refer especially
to the Russian work of Müller, already cited, on the “Voyages from
Asia to America,” the volume of Coxe on “Russian Discoveries,” with
its supplement on the “Comparative View of the Russian Discoveries,”
the volume of Sir John Barrow on “Voyages into the Arctic Regions,”
Burney’s “Northeastern Voyages,” and the third voyage of Captain Cook,
unhappily interrupted by his tragical death from the natives of the
Sandwich Islands, but not until after the exploration of this coast.

There were at least four other Russian expeditions, by which this title
was confirmed, if it needed any confirmation. The first was ordered by
the Empress Catharine, in 1785. It was under the command of Commodore
Billings, an Englishman in the service of Russia, and was narrated from
the original papers by Martin Sauer, secretary of the expedition. In
the instructions from the Admiralty at St. Petersburg the Commodore was
directed to take possession of “such coasts and islands as he shall
first discover, whether inhabited or not, that cannot be disputed,
and are not yet subject to any European power, with consent of the
inhabitants, if any”; and this was to be accomplished by setting up
“posts marked with the arms of Russia, with letters indicating the time
of discovery, a short account of the people, their voluntary submission
to the Russian sovereignty, and that this was done under the glorious
reign of the great Catharine the Second.”[3] The next was in 1803-6,
in the interest of the Russian American Company, with two ships, one
under the command of Captain Krusenstern, and the other of Captain
Lisiansky, of the Russian navy. It was the first Russian voyage round
the world, and lasted three years. During its progress, Lisiansky
visited the northwest coast of America, and especially Sitka and the
island of Kadiak. Still another enterprise, organized by the celebrated
minister Count Romanzoff, and at his expense, left Russia in 1815,
under the command of Lieutenant Kotzebue, an officer of the Russian
navy, and son of the German dramatist, whose assassination darkened the
return of the son from his long voyage. It is enough for the present
to say of this expedition that it has left its honorable traces on the
coast even as far as the Frozen Ocean. There remains the enterprise
of Lütke, at the time captain, and afterward admiral in the Russian
navy, which was a voyage of circumnavigation, embracing especially the
Russian possessions, commenced in 1826, and described in French with
instructive fulness. With him sailed the German naturalist Kittlitz,
who has done so much to illustrate the natural history of this region.


So little was the Russian title recognized for some time, that, when
the unfortunate expedition of La Pérouse, with the frigates Boussole
and Astrolabe, stopped on this coast in 1786, he did not hesitate
to consider the friendly harbor, in latitude 58° 36´, where he was
moored, as open to permanent occupation. Describing this harbor,
which he named Port des Français, as sheltered behind a breakwater of
rocks, with a calm sea and a mouth sufficiently large, he announces
that Nature seemed to have created at the extremity of America a port
like that of Toulon, but vaster in plan and accommodations; and then,
considering that it had never been discovered before, that it was
situated thirty-three leagues northwest of Los Remedios, the limit of
Spanish navigation, about two hundred and twenty-four leagues from
Nootka, and a hundred leagues from Prince William Sound, the mariner
records his judgment, that, “if the French Government had any project
of a factory on this part of the coast of America, no nation could
pretend to have the slightest right to oppose it.”[4] Thus quietly
was Russia dislodged. The frigates sailed further on their voyage,
and never returned to France. Their fate was unknown, until, after
fruitless search and the lapse of a generation, some relics from them
were accidentally found on an obscure island of the Southern Pacific.
The unfinished journal of La Pérouse, recording his visit to this
coast, had been sent overland, by way of Kamtchatka and Siberia, to
France, where it was published by a decree of the National Assembly,
thus making known his supposed discovery and his aspiration.


Spain also has been a claimant. In 1775, Bodega, a Spanish navigator,
seeking new opportunities to plant the Spanish flag, reached the
parallel of 58° on this coast, not far from Sitka; but this supposed
discovery was not followed by any immediate assertion of dominion.
The universal aspiration of Spain had embraced this whole region
even at an early day, and shortly after the return of Bodega another
enterprise was equipped to verify the larger claim, being nothing less
than the original title as discoverer of the strait between America
and Asia, and of the conterminous continent, under the name of Anian.
This curious episode is not out of place in the present brief history.
It has two branches: one concerning early maps, on which straits are
represented between America and Asia under the name of Anian; the other
concerning a pretended attempt by a Spanish navigator at an early day
to find these straits.

There can be no doubt that early maps exist with northwestern straits
marked Anian. There are two in the Congressional Library, in atlases of
the years 1680 and 1717; but these are of a date comparatively modern.
Engel, in his “Mémoires Géographiques,” mentions several earlier,
which he believes genuine. There is one purporting to be by Zaltieri,
and bearing date 1566, an authentic pen-and-ink copy of which is now
before me, from the collection of our own Coast Survey. On this very
interesting map, which is without latitude or longitude, the western
coast of the continent is delineated with a strait separating it from
Asia not unlike Behring’s in outline, and with the name in Italian,
_Stretto di Anian_. Southward the coast has a certain conformity with
what is now known to exist. Below is an indentation corresponding to
Bristol Bay; then a peninsula somewhat broader than that of Alaska;
then the elbow of the coast; then, lower down, three islands, not
unlike Sitka, Queen Charlotte, and Vancouver; and then, further south,
is the peninsula of Lower California. Sometimes the story of Anian
is explained by the voyage of the Portuguese navigator Gaspar de
Cortereal, in 1500, when, on reaching Hudson Bay in quest of a passage
round America, he imagined that he had found it, and proceeded to name
his discovery “in honor of two brothers who accompanied him.” Very soon
maps began to record the Strait of Anian; but this does not explain the
substantial conformity of the early delineation with the reality, which
seems truly remarkable.

The other branch of inquiry is more easily disposed of. This turns
on a Spanish document entitled “A Relation of the Discovery of the
Strait of Anian, made by me, Captain Lorenzo Ferrer Maldonado, in the
Year 1588.”[5] If this early account of a northwest passage from the
Atlantic to the Pacific were authentic, the whole question would be
settled; but recent geographers indignantly discard it as a barefaced
imposture. Clearly Spain once regarded it otherwise; for her Government
in 1789 sent out an expedition “to discover the strait by which Laurent
Ferrer Maldonado was supposed to have passed, in 1588, from the coast
of Labrador to the Great Ocean.”[6] The expedition was unsuccessful,
and nothing more has been heard of any claim from this pretended
discovery. The story of Maldonado has taken its place in the same
category with that of Munchausen.


Turning from the question of title, which time and testimony have
already settled, I meet the inquiry, Why does Russia part with
possessions associated with the reign of her greatest ruler and filling
an important chapter of geographical history? Here I am without
information not open to others. But I do not forget that the first
Napoleon, in parting with Louisiana, was controlled by three several
considerations. First, he needed the purchase-money for his treasury;
secondly, he was unwilling to leave this distant unguarded territory
a prey to Great Britain, in the event of hostilities, which seemed
at hand; and, thirdly, he was glad, according to his own remarkable
language, “to establish forever the power of the United States, and
give to England a maritime rival that would sooner or later humble her
pride.”[7] Such is the record of history. Perhaps a similar record may
be made hereafter with regard to the present cession. There is reason
to imagine that Russia, with all her great empire, is financially poor;
so that these few millions may not be unimportant to her. It is by
foreign loans that her railroads have been built and her wars aided.
All, too, must see that in those “coming events” which now more than
ever “cast their shadows before” it will be for her advantage not to
hold outlying possessions from which thus far she has obtained no
income commensurate with the possible expense for their protection.
Perhaps, like a wrestler, she strips for the contest, which I trust
sincerely may be averted. Besides, I cannot doubt that her enlightened
Emperor, who has given pledges to civilization by an unsurpassed act of
Emancipation, would join the first Napoleon in a desire to enhance the
maritime power of the United States.

These general considerations are reinforced, when we call to mind the
little influence which Russia has been able thus far to exercise in
this region. Though possessing dominion for more than a century, the
gigantic power has not been more genial or productive there than the
soil itself. Her government is little more than a name or a shadow. It
is not even a skeleton. It is hardly visible. Its only representative
is a fur company, to which has been added latterly an ice company. The
immense country is without form and without light, without activity and
without progress. Distant from the imperial capital, and separated from
the huge bulk of Russian empire, it does not share the vitality of a
common country. Its life is solitary and feeble. Its settlements are
only encampments or lodges. Its fisheries are only a petty perquisite,
belonging to local or personal adventurers rather than to the commerce
of nations.

In these statements I follow the record. So little were these
possessions regarded during the last century that they were scarcely
recognized as a component part of the empire. I have now before me an
authentic map, published by the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg
in 1776, and reproduced at London in 1780, entitled “General Map
of the Russian Empire,”[8] where you will look in vain for Russian
America, unless we except the links of the Aleutian chain nearest to
the two continents. Alexander Humboldt, whose geographical insight was
unerring, in his great work on New Spain, published in 1811, after
stating that he is able from an official document to give the position
of the Russian factories on the American continent, says that they are
“for the most part mere collections of sheds and cabins, but serving as
store-houses for the fur-trade.” He remarks further that “the larger
part of these small Russian colonies communicate with each other only
by sea”; and then, putting us on our guard not to expect too much from
a name, he proceeds to say that “the new denomination of ‘Russian
America,’ or ‘Russian Possessions on the New Continent,’ must not lead
us to think that the coasts of Behring’s Basin, the peninsula of
Alaska, or the country of the Tchuktchi have become Russian provinces
in the sense given to this word in speaking of the Spanish provinces of
Sonora or New Biscay.”[9] Here is a distinction between the foothold of
Spain in California and the foothold of Russia in North America which
will at least illustrate the slender power of the latter in this region.

In ceding possessions so little within the sphere of her empire,
embracing more than one hundred nations or tribes, Russia gives up no
part of herself; and even if she did, the considerable price paid,
the alarm of war which begins to fill our ears, and the sentiments of
friendship declared for the United States would explain the transaction.


I am not able to say when the idea of this cession first took shape. I
have heard that it was as long ago as the Administration of Mr. Polk.
It is within my knowledge that the Russian Government was sounded on
the subject during the Administration of Mr. Buchanan. This was done
through Mr. Gwin, at the time Senator of California, and Mr. Appleton,
Assistant Secretary of State. For this purpose the former had more than
one interview with the Russian minister at Washington, some time in
December, 1859, in which, while professing to speak for the President
unofficially, he represented that “Russia was too far off to make the
most of these possessions, and that, as we were near, we could derive
more from them.” In reply to an inquiry of the Russian minister, Mr.
Gwin said that “the United States could go as high as $5,000,000 for
the purchase,” on which the former made no comment. Mr. Appleton, on
another occasion, said to the minister that “the President thought the
acquisition would be very profitable to the States on the Pacific;
that he was ready to follow it up, but wished to know in advance if
Russia was ready to cede; that, if she were, he would confer with his
Cabinet and influential members of Congress.” All this was unofficial;
but it was promptly communicated to the Russian Government, who seem
to have taken it into careful consideration. Prince Gortchakoff, in
a despatch which reached here early in the summer of 1860, said that
“the offer was not what might have been expected, but that it merited
mature reflection; that the Minister of Finance was about to inquire
into the condition of these possessions, after which Russia would be in
a condition to treat.” The Prince added for himself, that “he was by no
means satisfied personally that it would be for the interest of Russia
politically to alienate these possessions; that the only consideration
which could make the scales incline that way would be the prospect of
great financial advantages, but that the sum of $5,000,000 did not
seem in any way to represent the real value of these possessions”;
and he concluded by asking the minister to tell Mr. Appleton and
Senator Gwin that the sum offered was not considered “an equitable
equivalent.” The subject was submerged by the Presidential election
which was approaching, and then by the Rebellion. It will be observed
that this attempt was at a time when politicians who believed in the
perpetuity of Slavery still had power. Mr. Buchanan was President,
and he employed as his intermediary a known sympathizer with Slavery,
who shortly afterwards became a Rebel. Had Russia been willing, it
is doubtful if this controlling interest would have sanctioned any
acquisition too far north for Slavery.

Meanwhile the Rebellion was brought to an end, and peaceful enterprise
was renewed, which on the Pacific coast was directed toward the Russian
possessions. Our people there, wishing new facilities to obtain fish,
fur, and ice, sought the intervention of the National Government. The
Legislature of Washington Territory, in the winter of 1866, adopted the
following memorial to the President of the United States, entitled “In
reference to the cod and other fisheries.”

        “_President of the United States_.

    “Your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly of Washington
    Territory, beg leave to show that abundance of codfish,
    halibut, and salmon, of excellent quality, have been found
    along the shores of the Russian possessions. Your memorialists
    respectfully request your Excellency to obtain such rights
    and privileges of the Government of Russia as will enable
    our fishing vessels to visit the ports and harbors of its
    possessions, to the end that fuel, water, and provisions may
    be easily obtained, that our sick and disabled fishermen may
    obtain sanitary assistance, together with the privilege of
    curing fish and repairing vessels in need of repairs. Your
    memorialists further request that the Treasury Department be
    instructed to forward to the collector of customs of this
    Puget Sound district such fishing licenses, abstract journals,
    and log-books as will enable our hardy fishermen to obtain
    the bounties now provided and paid to the fishermen in the
    Atlantic States. Your memorialists finally pray your Excellency
    to employ such ships as may be spared from the Pacific naval
    fleet in exploring and surveying the fishing banks known
    to navigators to exist along the Pacific coast from the
    Cortés Bank to Behring Straits. And, as in duty bound, your
    memorialists will ever pray.

        “Passed the House of Representatives January 10, 1866.

            “EDWARD ELDRIDGE,
            “_Speaker, House of Representatives_.

        “Passed the Council January 13, 1866.

            “HARVEY K. HINES,
            “_President of the Council_.”

This memorial, on presentation to the President, in February, 1866,
was referred to the Secretary of State, by whom it was communicated to
Mr. de Stoeckl, the Russian minister, with remarks on the importance
of some early and comprehensive arrangement between the two powers to
prevent the growth of difficulties, especially from the fisheries in
that region. At the same time reports began to prevail of extraordinary
wealth in fisheries, especially the whale and cod, promising to become
an important commerce on the Pacific coast.

Shortly afterwards another influence was felt. Mr. Cole, who had been
recently elected to the Senate from California, acting in behalf of
certain persons in that State, sought from the Russian Government
a license or franchise to gather furs in a portion of its American
possessions. The charter of the Russian American Company was about to
expire. This company had already underlet to the Hudson’s Bay Company
all its franchise on the main-land between 54° 40´ and Cape Spencer;
and now it was proposed that an American company, holding directly
from the Russian Government, should be substituted for the latter.
The mighty Hudson’s Bay Company, with headquarters in London, was
to give way to an American company, with headquarters in California.
Among letters on this subject addressed to Mr. Cole, and now before
me, is one dated San Francisco, April 10, 1866, in which the scheme is

    “There is at the present time a good chance to organize a
    fur-trading company, to trade between the United States and the
    Russian possessions in America; and as the charter formerly
    granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company has expired, this would
    be the opportune moment to start in.… I should think that by
    a little management this charter could be obtained from the
    Russian Government for ourselves, as I do not think they are
    very willing to renew the charter of the Hudson’s Bay Company,
    and I think they would give the preference to an American
    company, especially if the company should pay to the Russian
    Government five per cent. on the gross proceeds of their
    transactions, and also aid in civilizing and ameliorating the
    condition of the Indians by employing missionaries, if required
    by the Russian Government. For the faithful performance of the
    above we ask a charter for the term of twenty-five years, to be
    renewed for the same length of time, if the Russian Government
    finds the company deserving,--the charter to invest us with
    the right of trading in all the country between the British
    American line and the Russian Archipelago.… Remember, we wish
    for the same charter as was formerly granted to the Hudson’s
    Bay Company, and we offer in return more than they did.”

Another correspondent of Mr. Cole, under date of San Francisco,
September 17, 1866, wrote:--

    “I have talked with a man who has been on the coast and in the
    trade for ten years past, and he says it is much more valuable
    than I have supposed, and I think it very important to obtain
    it, if possible.”

The Russian minister at Washington, whom Mr. Cole saw repeatedly
upon the subject, was not authorized to act, and the latter, after
conference with the Department of State, was induced to address Mr.
Clay, minister of the United States at St. Petersburg, who laid the
application before the Russian Government. This was an important step.
A letter from Mr. Clay, dated at St. Petersburg as late as February 1,
1867, makes the following revelation.

    “The Russian Government has already ceded away its rights in
    Russian America for a term of years, and the Russo-American
    Company has also ceded the same to the Hudson’s Bay Company.
    This lease expires in June next, and the president of the
    Russo-American Company tells me that they have been in
    correspondence with the Hudson’s Bay Company about a renewal
    of the lease for another term of twenty-five or thirty years.
    Until he receives a definite answer, he cannot enter into
    negotiations with us or your California company. My opinion
    is, that, if he can get off with the Hudson’s Bay Company,
    he will do so, when we can make some arrangements with the
    Russo-American Company.”

Some time had elapsed since the original attempt of Mr. Gwin, also a
Senator from California, and it is probable that the Russian Government
had obtained information which enabled it to see its way more clearly.
It will be remembered that Prince Gortchakoff had promised an inquiry,
and it is known that in 1861 Captain-Lieutenant Golowin, of the
Russian navy, made a detailed report on these possessions. Mr. Cole
had the advantage of his predecessor. There is reason to believe,
also, that the administration of the fur company had not been entirely
satisfactory, so that there were well-founded hesitations with regard
to the renewal of its franchise. Meanwhile, in October, 1866, Mr. de
Stoeckl, who had long been the Russian minister at Washington, and
enjoyed in a high degree the confidence of our Government, returned
home on leave of absence, promising his best exertions to promote good
relations between the two countries. While he was at St. Petersburg,
the applications from the United States were under consideration; but
the Russian Government was disinclined to any minor arrangement of the
character proposed. Obviously something like a crisis was at hand with
regard to these possessions. The existing government was not adequate.
The franchises granted there were about to terminate. Something must
be done. As Mr. de Stoeckl was leaving for his post, in February, the
Archduke Constantine, brother and chief adviser of the Emperor, handed
him a map with the lines in our treaty marked upon it, and told him he
might treat for cession with those boundaries. The minister arrived
in Washington early in March. A negotiation was opened at once. Final
instructions were received by the Atlantic cable, from St. Petersburg,
on the 29th of March, and at four o’clock on the morning of the 30th of
March this important treaty was signed by Mr. Seward on the part of the
United States and by Mr. de Stoeckl on the part of Russia.

Few treaties have been conceived, initiated, prosecuted, and completed
in so simple a manner, without protocol or despatch. The whole
negotiation is seen in its result, unless we except two brief notes,
which constitute all that passed between the negotiators. These have
an interest general and special, and I conclude the history of this
transaction by reading them.

                    “DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, March 23, 1867.

    “SIR,--With reference to the proposed convention between
    our respective Governments for a cession by Russia of her
    American territory to the United States, I have the honor to
    acquaint you that I must insist upon that clause in the sixth
    article of the draft which declares the cession to be free
    and unincumbered by any reservations, privileges, franchises,
    grants, or possessions by any associated companies, whether
    corporate or incorporate, Russian or any other, &c., and must
    regard it as an ultimatum. With the President’s approval,
    however, I will add $200,000 to the consideration money on that

    “I avail myself of this occasion to offer to you a renewed
    assurance of my most distinguished consideration.


    “MR. EDWARD DE STOECKL, &c., &c., &c.”


                                      “WASHINGTON, March 17 [29], 1867.

    “MR. SECRETARY OF STATE,--I have the honor to inform you,
    that, by a telegram, dated 16th [28th] of this month, from St.
    Petersburg, Prince Gortchakoff informs me that his Majesty the
    Emperor of all the Russias gives his consent to the cession
    of the Russian possessions on the American continent to the
    United States, for the stipulated sum of $7,200,000 in gold,
    and that his Majesty the Emperor invests me with full powers to
    negotiate and sign the treaty.

    “Please accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurance of my
    very high consideration.


    “_Secretary of State of the United States_.”


The treaty begins with the declaration, that “the United States of
America and his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, being desirous
of strengthening, if possible, the good understanding which exists
between them,” have appointed plenipotentiaries, who have proceeded
to sign articles, wherein it is stipulated on behalf of Russia that
“his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias agrees to cede to the
United States by this convention, immediately upon the exchange of the
ratifications thereof, all the territory and dominion now possessed
by his said Majesty on the continent of America and in the adjacent
islands, the same being contained within the geographical limits herein
set forth”; and it is stipulated on behalf of the United States, that,
“in consideration of the cession aforesaid, the United States agree
to pay at the Treasury in Washington, within ten months after the
exchange of the ratifications of this convention, to the diplomatic
representative or other agent of his Majesty the Emperor of all the
Russias duly authorized to receive the same, $7,200,000 in gold.” The
ratifications are to be exchanged within three months from the date of
the treaty, or sooner, if possible.[10]

Beyond the consideration founded on the desire of “strengthening the
good understanding” between the two countries, there is the pecuniary
consideration already mentioned, which underwent a change in the
progress of the negotiation. The sum of seven millions was originally
agreed upon; but when it appeared that there was a fur company and also
an ice company enjoying monopolies under the existing government, it
was thought best that these should be extinguished, in consideration of
which our Government added two hundred thousand to the purchase-money,
and the Russian Government in formal terms declared “the cession of
territory and dominion to be free and unincumbered by any reservations,
privileges, franchises, grants, or possessions, by any associated
companies, whether corporate or incorporate, Russian or any other, or
by any parties, except merely private individual property-holders.”
Thus the United States receive the cession free of all incumbrances,
so far at least as Russia is in a condition to make it. The treaty
proceeds to say: “The cession hereby made conveys all the rights,
franchises, and privileges now belonging to Russia in the said
territory or dominion and appurtenances thereto.”[11] In other words,
Russia conveys all she has to convey.


There are questions, not unworthy of attention, which arise under the
treaty between Russia and Great Britain, fixing the eastern limits
of these possessions, and conceding certain privileges to the latter
power. By this treaty, signed at St. Petersburg, 28th February,
1825, after fixing the boundaries between the Russian and British
possessions, it is provided that “for the space of _ten years_ from the
signature of the present convention, the vessels of the two powers,
or those belonging to their respective subjects, shall mutually be at
liberty to frequent, without any hindrance whatever, all the inland
seas, the gulfs, havens, and creeks on the coast, for the purposes of
fishing and of trading with the natives”; and also that “the port of
Sitka, or Novo Archangelsk, shall be open to the commerce and vessels
of British subjects for the space of _ten years_ from the date of the
exchange of the ratifications of the present convention.”[12] In the
same treaty it is also provided that “the subjects of his Britannic
Majesty, from whatever quarter they may arrive, whether from the ocean
or from the interior of the continent, shall _forever_ enjoy the
right of navigating freely and without any hindrance whatever all the
rivers and streams which in their course towards the Pacific Ocean may
cross the line of demarcation.”[13] Afterwards a treaty of commerce
and navigation between Russia and Great Britain was signed at St.
Petersburg, 11th January, 1843, subject to be terminated on notice from
either party at the expiration of ten years, in which it is provided,
that, “in regard to commerce and navigation in the Russian possessions
on the northwest coast of America, the convention concluded at St.
Petersburg on the 16/28th February, 1825, continues in force.”[14]
Then ensued the Crimean War between Russia and Great Britain, effacing
or suspending treaties. Afterwards another treaty of commerce and
navigation was signed at St. Petersburg, 12th January, 1859, subject
to be terminated on notice from either party at the expiration of ten
years, which repeats the last provision.[15]

Thus we have three different stipulations on the part of Russia:
one opening seas, gulfs, and havens on the Russian coast to British
subjects for fishing and trading with the natives; the second making
Sitka a free port to British subjects; and the third making British
rivers which flow through the Russian possessions forever free to
British navigation. Do the United States succeed to these stipulations?

Among these I make a distinction in favor of the last, which by its
language is declared to be “forever,” and may have been in the nature
of an equivalent at the settlement of boundaries between the two
powers. But whatever its terms or its origin, it is obvious that it
is nothing but a declaration of public law, as always expounded by
the United States, and now recognized on the continent of Europe.
While pleading with Great Britain, in 1826, for the free navigation
of the St. Lawrence, Mr. Clay, then Secretary of State, said that
“the American Government did not mean to contend for any principle
the benefit of which in analogous circumstances it would deny to
Great Britain.”[16] During the same year, Mr. Gallatin, our minister
in London, when negotiating with Great Britain for the adjustment of
boundaries on the Pacific, proposed, that, “if the line should cross
any of the branches of the Columbia at points from which they are
navigable by boats to the main stream, the navigation of such branches
and of the main stream should be perpetually free and common to the
people of both nations.”[17] At an earlier day the United States made
the same claim with regard to the Mississippi, and asserted, as a
general principle, that, “if the right of the upper inhabitants to
descend the stream was in any case obstructed, it was an act of force
by a stronger society against a weaker, condemned by the judgment of
mankind.”[18] By these admissions our country is estopped, even if the
public law of the European continent, first declared at Vienna with
regard to the Rhine, did not offer an example which we cannot afford
to reject. I rejoice to believe that on this occasion we apply to Great
Britain the generous rule which from the beginning we have claimed for

The two other stipulations are different in character. They are not
declared to be “forever,” and do not stand on any principle of public
law. Even if subsisting now, they cannot be onerous. I doubt much if
they are subsisting now. In succeeding to the Russian possessions, it
does not follow that the United States succeed to ancient obligations
assumed by Russia, as if, according to a phrase of the Common Law,
they were “covenants running with the land.” If these stipulations are
in the nature of _servitudes_, they depend for their duration on the
sovereignty of Russia, and are _personal_ or _national_ rather than
_territorial_. So, at least, I am inclined to believe. But it is hardly
profitable to speculate on a point of so little practical value. Even
if “running with the land,” these servitudes can be terminated at the
expiration of ten years from the last treaty by notice, which equitably
the United States may give, so as to take effect on the 12th of
January, 1869. Meanwhile, during this brief period, it will be easy by
Act of Congress in advance to limit importations at Sitka, so that this
“free port” shall not be made the channel or doorway by which British
goods are introduced into the United States free of duty.


From this survey of the treaty, as seen in its origin and the questions
under it, I might pass at once to a survey of the possessions which
have been conveyed; but there are other matters of a more general
character which present themselves at this stage and challenge
judgment. These concern nothing less than the unity, power, and
grandeur of the Republic, with the extension of its dominion and its
institutions. Such considerations, where not entirely inapplicable, are
apt to be controlling. I do not doubt that they will in a great measure
determine the fate of this treaty with the American people. They are
patent, and do not depend on research or statistics. To state them is

       *       *       *       *       *

1. _Advantages to the Pacific Coast._--Foremost in order, if not
in importance, I put the desires of our fellow-citizens on the
Pacific coast, and the special advantages they will derive from this
enlargement of boundary. They were the first to ask for it, and will be
the first to profit by it. While others knew the Russian possessions
only on the map, they knew them practically in their resources. While
others were indifferent, they were planning how to appropriate Russian
peltries and fisheries. This is attested by the resolutions of the
Legislature of Washington Territory; also by the exertions at different
times of two Senators from California, who, differing in political
sentiments and in party relations, took the initial steps which ended
in this treaty.

These well-known desires were founded, of course, on supposed
advantages; and here experience and neighborhood were prompters.
Since 1854 the people of California have received their ice from the
fresh-water lakes in the island of Kadiak, not far westward from Mount
St. Elias. Later still, their fishermen have searched the waters about
the Aleutians and the Shumagins, commencing a promising fishery. Others
have proposed to substitute themselves for the Hudson’s Bay Company
in their franchise on the coast. But all are looking to the Orient,
as in the time of Columbus, although like him they sail to the west.
To them China and Japan, those ancient realms of fabulous wealth, are
the Indies. To draw this commerce to the Pacific coast is no new idea.
It haunted the early navigators. Meares, the Englishman, whose voyage
in the intervening seas was in 1788, recounts a meeting with Gray,
the Boston navigator, whom he found “very sanguine in the superior
advantages which his countrymen from New England might reap from this
track of trade, and big with many mighty projects.”[19] He closes his
volumes with an essay entitled “Some Account of the Trade between the
Northwest Coast of America and China, &c.,” in the course of which[20]
he dwells on the “great and very valuable source of commerce” offered
by China as “forming a chain of trade between Hudson’s Bay, Canada, and
the Northwest Coast”; and then he exhibits on the American side the
costly furs of the sea-otter, still so much prized in China,--“mines
which are known to lie between the latitudes of 40° and 60°
north,”--and also ginseng “in inexhaustible plenty,” for which there
is still such demand in China, that even Minnesota, at the head-waters
of the Mississippi, supplies her contribution. His catalogue might be
extended now.

As a practical illustration of this idea, it may be mentioned, that,
for a long time, most, if not all, the sea-otter skins of this coast
found their way to China. China was the best customer, and therefore
Englishmen and Americans followed the Russian Company in carrying these
furs to her market, so that Pennant, the English naturalist, impressed
by the peculiar advantages of the coast, exclaimed, “What a profitable
trade [with China] might not a colony carry on, was it possible to
penetrate to these parts of North America by means of the rivers and
lakes!”[21] Under the present treaty this coast is ours.

The absence of harbors belonging to the United States on the Pacific
limits the outlets of the country. On that whole extent, from Panama
to Puget Sound, the only harbor of any considerable value is San
Francisco. Further north the harbors are abundant, and they are all
nearer to the great marts of Japan and China. But San Francisco itself
will be nearer by the way of the Aleutians than by Honolulu. The
projection of maps is not always calculated to present an accurate idea
of distances. From measurement on a globe it appears that a voyage
from San Francisco to Hong Kong by the common way of the Sandwich
Islands is 7,140 miles, but by way of the Aleutian Islands it is only
6,060 miles, being a saving of more than one thousand miles, with the
enormous additional advantage of being obliged to carry much less coal.
Of course a voyage from Sitka, or from Puget Sound, the terminus of the
Northern Pacific Railroad, would be shorter still.

The advantages to the Pacific coast have two aspects,--one domestic,
and the other foreign. Not only does the treaty extend the coasting
trade of California, Oregon, and Washington Territory northward, but it
also extends the base of commerce with China and Japan.

To unite the East of Asia with the West of America is the aspiration
of commerce now as when the English navigator recorded his voyage.
Of course, whatever helps this result is an advantage. The Pacific
Railroad is such an advantage; for, though running westward, it will
be, when completed, a new highway to the East. This treaty is another
advantage; for nothing can be clearer than that the western coast must
exercise an attraction which will be felt in China and Japan just in
proportion as it is occupied by a commercial people communicating
readily with the Atlantic and with Europe. This cannot be without
consequences not less important politically than commercially. Owing
so much to the Union, the people there will be bound to it anew, and
the national unity will receive another confirmation. Thus the whole
country will be a gainer. So are we knit together that the advantages
to the Pacific coast will contribute to the general welfare.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. _Extension of Dominion._--The extension of dominion is another
consideration calculated to captivate the public mind. Few are so cold
or philosophical as to regard with insensibility a widening of the
bounds of country. Wars have been regarded as successful, when they
have given a new territory. The discoverer who had planted the flag
of his sovereign on a distant coast has been received as a conqueror.
The ingratitude exhibited to Columbus during his later days was
compensated by the epitaph, that he had “found a new world for Castile
and Leon.”[22] His discoveries were continued by other navigators,
and Spain girdled the earth with her possessions. Portugal, France,
Holland, England, each followed the example of Spain, and rejoiced in
extended empire.

Territorial acquisitions are among the landmarks of our history. In
1803, Louisiana, embracing the valley of the Mississippi, was acquired
from France for fifteen million dollars. In 1819, Florida was acquired
from Spain for about three million dollars. In 1845, Texas was annexed
without purchase, but subsequently, under the compromises of 1850,
an allowance of twelve and three fourth million dollars was made to
her. In 1848, California, New Mexico, and Utah were acquired from
Mexico after war, and on payment of fifteen million dollars. In 1854,
Arizona was acquired from Mexico for ten million dollars. And now it is
proposed to acquire Russian America.

The passion for acquisition, so strong in the individual, is not less
strong in the community. A nation seeks an outlying territory, as an
individual seeks an outlying farm. The passion shows itself constantly.
France, passing into Africa, has annexed Algeria. Spain set her face
in the same direction, but without the same success. There are two
great powers with which annexion has become a habit. One is Russia,
which from the time of Peter has been moving her flag forward in every
direction, so that on every side her limits have been extended. Even
now the report comes that she is lifting her southern landmarks in
Asia, so as to carry her boundary to India. The other annexionist is
Great Britain, which from time to time adds another province to her
Indian empire. If the United States have from time to time added to
their dominion, they have only yielded to the universal passion,
although I do not forget that the late Theodore Parker was accustomed
to speak of Anglo-Saxons as among all people remarkable for “greed of
land.” It was land, not gold, that aroused the Anglo-Saxon phlegm.
I doubt, however, if this passion be stronger with us than with
others, except, perhaps, that in a community where all participate in
government the national sentiments are more active. It is common to the
human family. There are few anywhere who could hear of a considerable
accession of territory, obtained peacefully and honestly, without a
pride of country, even if at certain moments the judgment hesitated.
With increased size on the map there is increased consciousness of
strength, and the heart of the citizen throbs anew as he traces the
extending line.

       *       *       *       *       *

3. _Extension of Republican Institutions._--More than the extension
of dominion is the extension of republican institutions, which is a
traditional aspiration. It was in this spirit that Independence was
achieved. In the name of Human Rights our fathers overthrew the kingly
power, whose representative was George the Third. They set themselves
openly against this form of government. They were against it for
themselves, and offered their example to mankind. They were Roman in
character, and turned to Roman lessons. With cynical austerity the
early Cato said that kings were “carnivorous animals,” and probably at
his instance it was decreed by the Roman Senate that no king should be
allowed within the gates of the city. A kindred sentiment, with less
austerity of form, has been received from our fathers; but our city can
be nothing less than the North American continent, with its gates on
all the surrounding seas.

John Adams, in the preface to his Defence of the American
Constitutions, written in London, where he resided at the time as
minister, and dated January 1, 1787, at Grosvenor Square, the central
seat of aristocratic fashion, after exposing the fabulous origin of
the kingly power in contrast with the simple origin of our republican
constitutions, thus for a moment lifts the curtain: “Thirteen
governments,” he says plainly, “thus founded on the natural authority
of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and
_which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole
quarter of the globe_, are a great point gained in favor of the rights
of mankind.”[23] Thus, according to the prophetic minister, even at
that early day was the destiny of the Republic manifest. It was to
spread over the northern part of the American quarter of the globe, and
it was to help the rights of mankind.

By the text of our Constitution, the United States are bound to
guaranty “a republican form of government” to every State in the
Union; but this obligation, which is applicable only at home, is an
unquestionable indication of the national aspiration everywhere.
The Republic is something more than a local policy; it is a general
principle, not to be forgotten at any time, especially when the
opportunity is presented of bringing an immense region within its
influence. Elsewhere it has for the present failed; but on this account
our example is more important. Who can forget the generous lament of
Lord Byron, whose passion for Freedom was not mitigated by his rank as
an hereditary legislator of England, when he exclaims, in memorable

    “The name of Commonwealth is past and gone
    O’er the three fractions of the groaning globe”?

Who can forget the salutation which the poet sends to the “one great
clime,” which, nursed in Freedom, enjoys what he calls the “proud
distinction” of not being confounded with other lands,--

    “Whose sons must bow them at a monarch’s motion,
    As if his senseless sceptre were a wand”?

The present treaty is a visible step in the occupation of the whole
North American continent. As such it will be recognized by the world
and accepted by the American people. But the treaty involves something
more. We dismiss one other monarch from the continent. One by one they
have retired,--first France, then Spain, then France again, and now
Russia,--all giving way to the absorbing Unity declared in the national
motto, _E pluribus unum_.

       *       *       *       *       *

4. _Anticipation of Great Britain._--Another motive to this
acquisition may be found in the desire to anticipate imagined schemes
or necessities of Great Britain. With regard to all these I confess
doubt; and yet, if we credit report, it would seem as if there were
already a British movement in this direction. Sometimes it is said that
Great Britain desires to buy, if Russia will sell. Sir George Simpson,
Governor-in-chief of the Hudson’s Bay Company, declared, that, without
the strip on the coast underlet to them by the Russian Company, the
interior would be “comparatively useless to England.”[24] Here, then,
is provocation to buy. Sometimes report assumes a graver character.
A German scientific journal, in an elaborate paper entitled “The
Russian Colonies on the Northwest Coast of America,” after referring
to the constant “pressure” upon Russia, proceeds to say that there are
already crowds of adventurers from British Columbia and California now
at the gold mines on the Stikine, which flows from British territory
through the Russian possessions, who openly declare their purpose of
driving the Russians out of this region. I refer to the “Archiv für
Wissenschaftliche Kunde von Russland,”[25] edited at Berlin as late as
1863, by A. Erman, and undoubtedly the leading authority on Russian
questions. At the same time it presents a curious passage bearing
directly on British policy, purporting to be taken from the “British
Colonist,” a newspaper of Victoria, on Vancouver’s Island. As this was
regarded of sufficient importance to be translated into German for the
instruction of scientific readers, I am justified in laying it before
you, restored from German to English.

    “The information which we daily publish from the Stikine
    River very naturally excites public attention in a high
    degree. Whether the territory through which the river flows
    be regarded from a political, commercial, or industrial point
    of view, it promises within a short time to awaken a still
    more general interest. Not only will the intervention of the
    royal jurisdiction be demanded in order to give it a complete
    form of government, but, if the land proves as rich as there
    is now reason to believe it to be, it is not improbable that
    it will result in negotiations between England and Russia
    for the cession of the sea-coast to the British Crown. It is
    not to be supposed that a stream like the Stikine, which is
    navigable for steamers from one hundred and seventy to one
    hundred and ninety miles, which waters a territory so rich in
    gold that it will attract myriads of men,--that the commerce
    upon such a road can always pass through a Russian gateway of
    thirty miles from the sea-coast to the interior. The English
    population which occupies the interior cannot be so easily
    managed by the Russians as the Stikine Indians of the coast
    manage the Indians of the interior. Our business must be in
    British hands. Our resources, our energies, our spirit of
    enterprise cannot be employed in building up a Russian emporium
    at the mouth of the Stikine. We must have for our merchandise a
    depot over which the British flag waves. By the treaty of 1825
    the navigation of the river is secured to us. The navigation
    of the Mississippi was also open to the United States before
    the Louisiana purchase; but the growing strength of the North
    made the acquisition of that territory, either by purchase or
    by force of arms, an inevitable necessity. We look upon the
    sea-coast of the Stikine region in the same light. The strip
    of land which stretches along from Portland Canal to Mount St.
    Elias, with a breadth of thirty miles, and which, according
    to the treaty of 1825, forms a part of Russian America, _must
    eventually become the property of Great Britain_, either as the
    direct result of the gold discoveries, or from causes as yet
    not fully developed, but whose operation is certain. For can we
    reasonably suppose that the strip, three hundred miles long and
    thirty miles wide, which is used by the Russians solely for the
    collection of furs and walrus-teeth, will forever control the
    entrance to our immense northern territory? It is a principle
    of England to acquire territory only for purposes of defence.
    Canada, Nova Scotia, Malta, the Cape of Good Hope, and the
    greater part of our Indian possessions were all acquired for
    purposes of defence. In Africa, India, and China the same rule
    is followed by the Government to-day. With a power like Russia
    it would perhaps be more difficult to arrange matters; but
    if we need the sea-coast in order to protect and maintain our
    commerce with an interior rich in precious metals, then we must
    have it. The United States needed Florida and Louisiana, and
    took them. We need the coast of New Norfolk and New Cornwall.

    “It is just as much the destiny of our Anglo-Norman race to
    possess the whole of Russian America, however desolate and
    inhospitable it may be, as it has been that of the Russian
    Northmen to possess themselves of Northern Europe and Asia. As
    the Wandering Jew and his phantom, so will the Anglo-Norman and
    the Russian yet gaze at each other from the opposite sides of
    Behring Strait. Between the two races the northern halves of
    the Old and New World must be divided. America must be ours.

    “The recent discovery of the precious metals in our hyperborean
    Eldorado will most probably hasten the annexation of the
    territory in question. It can hardly be doubted that the gold
    region of the Stikine extends away to the western affluents of
    the Mackenzie. In this case the increase of the business and
    of the population will exceed our most sanguine expectations.
    Who shall reap the profit of this? The mouths of rivers, both
    before and since the time of railroads, have controlled the
    business of the interior. To our national pride the thought,
    however, is intolerable, that the Russian griffin should
    possess a point which is indebted to the British lion for its
    importance. The mouth of the Stikine must be ours,--or at least
    a harbor of export must be established on British soil from
    which our steamers can pass the Russian belt. Fort Simpson,
    Dundas Island, Portland Canal, or some other convenient point,
    might be selected for this purpose. The necessity of speedy
    measures, in order to secure the control of the Stikine, is
    manifest. If we let slip the opportunity, we shall live to see
    a Russian city arise at the gates of a British colony.”

Thus, if we credit this colonial ejaculation, caught up and preserved
by German science, the Russian possessions were destined to round and
complete the domain of Great Britain on this continent. The Russian
“griffin” was to give way to the British “lion.” The Anglo-Norman was
to be master as far as Behring Strait, across which he might survey
his Russian neighbor. How this was to be accomplished is not precisely
explained. The promises of gold on the Stikine failed, and it is not
improbable that this colonial plan was as unsubstantial. Colonists
become excited easily. This is not the first time that Russian America
has been menaced in a similar way. During the Crimean War there seemed
to be in Canada a spirit not unlike that of the Vancouver journalist,
unless we are misled by the able pamphlet[26] of Mr. A. K. Roche, of
Quebec, where, after describing Russian America as “richer in resources
and capabilities than it has hitherto been allowed to be, either by the
English, who shamefully gave it up, or by the Russians, who cunningly
obtained it,” the author urges an expedition for its conquest and
annexion. His proposition fell on the happy termination of the war, but
it exists as a warning, with notice also of a former English title,
“shamefully” abandoned.

This region is distant enough from Great Britain; but there is
an incident of past history which shows that distance from the
metropolitan government has not excluded the idea of war. Great
Britain could hardly be more jealous of Russia on these coasts than
was Spain in a former day, if we listen to the report of Humboldt.
I refer again to his authoritative work, “Essai Politique sur la
Nouvelle-Espagne,”[27] where it is recorded, that, as early as 1788,
even while peace was still unbroken, the Spaniards could not bear the
idea of Russians in this region, and when, in 1799, the Emperor Paul
declared war on Spain, the hardy project was formed of an expedition
from the Mexican ports of Monterey and San Blas against the Russian
colonies; on which the philosophic traveller remarks, in words which
are recalled by the Vancouver manifesto, that, “if this project had
been executed, the world would have witnessed two nations in conflict,
which, occupying the opposite extremities of Europe, found themselves
neighbors in the other hemisphere on the eastern and western boundaries
of their vast empires.” Thus, notwithstanding an intervening circuit of
half the globe, two great powers were about to encounter each other on
these coasts. But I hesitate to believe that the British of our day, in
any considerable numbers, have adopted the early Spanish disquietude at
the presence of Russia on this continent.

       *       *       *       *       *

5. _Amity of Russia._--There is still another consideration concerning
this treaty not to be disregarded. It attests and assures the amity of
Russia. Even if you doubt the value of these possessions, the treaty is
a sign of friendship. It is a new expression of that _entente cordiale_
between the two powers which is a phenomenon of history. Though unlike
in institutions, they are not unlike in recent experience. Sharers of
common glory in a great act of Emancipation, they also share together
the opposition or antipathy of other nations. Perhaps this experience
has not been without effect in bringing them together. At all events,
no coldness or unkindness has interfered at any time with their good

The archives of the State Department show an uninterrupted cordiality
between the two Governments, dating far back in our history. More
than once Russia has proffered her good offices between the United
States and Great Britain; once also she was a recognized arbitrator.
She offered her mediation to terminate the War of 1812; and under her
arbitration questions with Great Britain arising under the Treaty of
Ghent were amicably settled in 1822. But it was during our recent
troubles that we felt more than ever her friendly sentiments, although
it is not improbable that the accident of position and of distance had
influence in preserving these undisturbed. The Rebellion, which tempted
so many other powers into its embrace, could not draw Russia from her
habitual good-will. Her solicitude for the Union was early declared.
She made no unjustifiable concession of _ocean belligerence_, with all
its immunities and powers, to Rebels in arms against the Union. She
furnished no hospitality to Rebel cruisers, nor was any Rebel agent
ever received, entertained, or encouraged at St. Petersburg,--while,
on the other hand, there was an understanding that the United States
should be at liberty to carry prizes into Russian ports. So natural
and easy were the relations between the two Governments, that such
complaints as incidentally arose on either side were amicably adjusted
by verbal explanations without written controversy.

Positive acts occurred to strengthen these relations. As early as 1861,
the two Governments agreed to act together for the establishment of a
connection between San Francisco and St. Petersburg by an inter-oceanic
telegraph across Behring Strait; and this agreement was subsequently
sanctioned by Congress.[28] Meanwhile occurred the visit of the
Russian fleet in the winter of 1863, intended by the Emperor, and
accepted by the United States, as a friendly demonstration. This was
followed by a communication of the Secretary of State, dated 26th
December, 1864, inviting the Archduke Constantine to visit the United
States, where it was suggested that such a visit “would be beneficial
to us and by no means unprofitable to Russia,” but “forbearing to
specify reasons,” and assuring him, that, coming as a national guest,
he “would receive a cordial and most demonstrative welcome.”[29]
Affairs in Russia prevented the acceptance of this invitation.
Afterwards, in the spring of 1866, Congress by solemn resolution
declared the sympathies of the United States with the Emperor on his
escape from the madness of an assassin,[30] and Mr. Fox, at the time
Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was appointed to take the resolution
of Congress to the Emperor, and, in discharge of this trust, to declare
the friendly sentiments of our country for Russia. He was conveyed
to Cronstadt in the monitor Miantonomoh, the most formidable ship of
our navy, and thus this agent of war became a messenger of peace.
The monitor and the minister were received in Russia with unbounded

In relations such as I have described, the cession of territory seems
a natural transaction, entirely in harmony with the past. It remains
to hope that it may be a new link in an amity which, without effort,
has overcome differences of institutions and intervening space on the


Such are obvious considerations of a general character. The interests
of the Pacific States, the extension of the national domain, the
extension of republican institutions, the foreclosure of adverse
British possession, and the amity of Russia,--these are the points we
have passed in review. Most of these, if not all, are calculated to
impress the public mind; but I can readily understand a difference of
opinion with regard to the urgency of negotiation at this hour. Some
may think that the purchase-money and the annual outlay that must
follow might have been postponed another decade, while Russia continued
in possession as trustee for our benefit; and yet some of the reasons
for the treaty do not seem to allow delay.

At all events, now that the treaty has been signed by plenipotentiaries
on each side duly empowered, it is difficult to see how we can refuse
to complete the purchase without putting to hazard the friendly
relations which happily subsist between the United States and Russia.
The overtures originally proceeded from us. After a delay of years, and
other intervening propositions, the bargain was at length concluded.
It is with nations as with individuals. A bargain once made must be
kept. Even if still open to consideration, it must not be lightly
abandoned. I am satisfied that the dishonoring of this treaty, after
what has passed, would be a serious responsibility for our country. As
an international question, it would be tried by the public opinion of
the world; and there are many who, not appreciating the requirement of
our Constitution by which a treaty must have “the advice and consent
of the Senate,” would regard its rejection as bad faith. There would
be jeers at us, and jeers at Russia also: at us for levity in making
overtures, and at Russia for levity in yielding to them. Had the Senate
been consulted in advance, before the treaty was signed or either power
publicly committed, as is often done on important occasions, it would
be under less constraint. On such a consultation there would have been
opportunity for all possible objections, and a large latitude for
reasonable discretion. Let me add, that, while forbearing objection
now, I hope that this treaty may not be drawn into a precedent, at
least in the independent manner of its negotiation. I would save to the
Senate an important power justly belonging to it.


There is one other point on which I file my _caveat_. This treaty must
not be a precedent for a system of indiscriminate and costly annexion.
Sincerely believing that republican institutions under the primacy of
the United States must embrace this whole continent, I cannot adopt
the sentiment of Jefferson, who, while confessing satisfaction in
settlements on the Pacific coast, saw there in the future nothing but
“free and independent Americans,” bound to the United States only by
“ties of blood and interest,” without political unity,[31]--or of
Webster, who in the same spirit said of settlers there, “They will
raise a standard for themselves, and they ought to do it.”[32] Nor am
I willing to restrict myself to the principle so tersely expressed by
Andrew Jackson, in his letter to President Monroe: “Concentrate our
population, confine our frontier to proper limits, until our country,
to those limits, is filled with a dense population.”[33] But I cannot
disguise my anxiety that every stage in our predestined future shall
be by natural processes, without war, and I would add even without
purchase. There is no territorial aggrandizement worth the price of
blood. Only under peculiar circumstances can it become the subject
of pecuniary contract. Our triumph should be by growth and organic
expansion in obedience to “preëstablished harmony,” recognizing always
the will of those who are to become our fellow-citizens. All this must
be easy, if we are only true to ourselves. Our motto may be that of
Goethe: “Without haste, without rest.” Let the Republic be assured in
tranquil liberty, with all equal before the law, and it will conquer by
its sublime example. More happy than Austria, who acquired possessions
by marriage, we shall acquire them by the attraction of republican

    “Bella gerant alii; tu, felix Austria, nube;
      Nam quæ Mars aliis, dat tibi regna Venus.”[34]

The famous epigram will be just as applicable to us, inasmuch as our
acquisitions will be under the sanction of wedlock to the Republic.
There may be wedlock of a people as well as of a prince. Meanwhile
our first care should be to improve and elevate the Republic, whose
sway will be so comprehensive. Plant it with schools; cover it with
churches; fill it with libraries; make it abundant with comfort, so
that poverty shall disappear; keep it constant in the assertion of
Human Rights. And here we may fitly recall those words of Antiquity,
which Cicero quoted from the Greek, and Webster in our day quoted from
Cicero: “You have a Sparta; adorn it.”[35]


I am now brought to consider the character of these possessions
and their probable value. Here I am obliged to confess a dearth of
authentic information easily accessible. Few among us read Russian, so
that works in this language are locked up from us. One of these, in
two large and showy volumes, is now before me, entitled “An Historical
Survey of the Formation of the Russian-American Company, and its
Progress to the Present Time, by P. Teshmeneff, St. Petersburg.” The
first volume appeared in 1860, and the second in 1863. Here, among
other things, is a tempting engraving of Sitka, wrapt in mists, with
the sea before and the snow-capped mountains darkened with forest
behind. Judging from the table of contents, which has been translated
for me by a Russian, the book ought to be instructive. There is also
another Russian work of an official character, which appeared in 1861
at St. Petersburg, in the “Morskoi Sbornik,” or Naval Review, and is
entitled “Materials for the History of the Russian Colonies on the
Coasts of the Pacific.” The report of Captain-Lieutenant Golowin,
made to the Grand Duke Constantine in 1861, with which we have become
acquainted through a scientific German journal, appeared originally in
the same review. These are recent productions. After the early voyages
of Behring, first ordered by Peter and supervised by the Imperial
Academy, the spirit of geographical research seems to have subsided at
St. Petersburg. Other enterprises absorbed attention. And yet I would
not do injustice to the voyages of Billings, recounted by Sauer, or of
Lisiansky, or of Kotzebue, all under the auspices of Russia, the last
of which may compare with any as a contribution to science. I may add
Lütke also; but Kotzebue was a worthy successor to Behring and Cook.

Beside these official contributions, most of them by no means fresh,
are materials derived from casual navigators, who, scudding these seas,
rested in the harbors as the water-fowl on its flight,--from whalemen,
who were there merely as Nimrods of the ocean, or from adventurers in
quest of the rich furs it furnished. There are also the gazetteers and
geographies; but they are less instructive on this head than usual,
being founded on information now many years old.

Perhaps no region of equal extent on the globe, unless we except the
interior of Africa or possibly Greenland, is so little known. Here I
do not speak for myself alone. A learned German, whom I have already
quoted, after saying that the explorations have been limited to the
coast, testifies that “the interior, not only of the continent, but
even of the island of Sitka, is to this day unexplored, and is in
every respect _terra incognita_.”[36] The same has been repeated of
the other islands. Admiral Lütke, whose circumnavigation of the globe
began in 1826, and whose work bears date 1835-36, says of the Aleutian
Archipelago, that, although frequented for more than a century by
Russian vessels and those of other nations, it is to-day almost as
little known as in the time of Cook. Another writer of authority, the
compiler of the official work on the People of Russia, published as
late as 1862, speaks of the interior as “a mystery.” And yet another
says that our ignorance with regard to this region would make it a
proper scene for a chapter of Gulliver’s Travels.

Where so little was known, invention found scope. Imagination was
made to supply the place of knowledge, and poetry pictured the savage
desolation in much admired verse. Campbell, in the “Pleasures of Hope,”
while exploring “Earth’s loneliest bounds and Ocean’s wildest shore,”
reaches this region, which he portrays:--

    “Lo! to the wintry winds the pilot yields
    His bark careering o’er unfathomed fields.
    Now far he sweeps, where scarce a summer smiles,
    On Behring’s rocks or Greenland’s naked isles;
    Cold on his midnight watch the breezes blow
    From wastes that slumber in eternal snow,
    And waft across the waves’ tumultuous roar
    _The wolf’s long howl from Oonalaska’s shore_.”

All of which, so far at least as it describes this region, is
inconsistent with truth. The poet ignores the isothermal line, which
plays such a conspicuous part on the Pacific coast. Here the evidence
is positive. Portlock, the navigator, who was there toward the close
of the last century, after describing Cook’s Inlet, which is several
degrees north of Oonalaska, records his belief “that the climate here
is not so severe as has been generally supposed; for, in the course
of our traffic with the natives, they frequently brought berries of
several sorts, and in particular blackberries, equally fine with
those met with in England.”[37] Kotzebue, who was here later, says
that he found “the weather pretty warm at Oonalaska.”[38] South of the
Aleutians the climate is warmer still. The poet ignores natural history
also, as regards the distribution of animals. Curiously enough, it
does not appear that “wolves” exist on any of the Fox Islands. Coxe,
in his work on Russian Discoveries,[39] records that “reindeer, bears,
_wolves_, ice-foxes, are not to be found on these islands.” But he was
never there. Meares, who was in those seas, says, “_The only animals_
on these islands are foxes, some of which are black.”[40] Cook, who
visited Oonalaska twice, and once made a prolonged stay, expressly
says, “Foxes and weasels were _the only quadrupeds_ we saw; but they
told us that they had hares also, and marmottas.”[41] But quadrupeds
like these hardly sustain the exciting picture. The same experienced
navigator furnishes a glimpse of the inhabitants, as they appeared to
him, which would make us tremble, if the “wolves” of the poet were
numerous. He says, “To all appearance, they are the most peaceable,
inoffensive people I ever met with”; and Cook had been at Otaheite. “No
such thing as an offensive or even defensive weapon was seen amongst
the natives of Oonalaska.”[42] Then, at least, the inhabitants did
not share the ferocity of the “wolves” and of the climate. Another
navigator fascinates us by a description of the boats, which struck
him “with amazement beyond expression”; and he explains: “If perfect
symmetry, smoothness, and proportion constitute beauty, they are
beautiful; to me they appeared so beyond anything that I ever beheld.
I have seen some of them as transparent as oiled paper.”[43] But these
are the very boats that buffet “the waves’ tumultuous roar,” while “the
breezes” waft “the wolf’s long howl.” The same reporter introduces
another feature. According to him, the sojourning Russians “seem to
have no desire to leave this place, where they enjoy that indolence so
pleasing to their minds.”[44] The lotus-eaters of Homer were no better
off. The picture is completed by another touch from Lütke. Admitting
the want of trees, the Admiral suggests that their place is supplied
not only by luxuriant grass, but by wood thrown upon the coast,
including trunks of camphor from Chinese and Japanese waters, and “a
tree which gives forth the odor of the rose.”[45] Such is a small
portion of the testimony, most of it in print before the poet sang.[46]

Nothing has been written about this region, whether the coast or the
islands, more authentic or interesting than the narrative of Captain
Cook on his third and last voyage. He saw with intelligence, and his
editor has imparted to the description a clearness almost elegant.
The record of Captain Portlock’s voyage from London to the Northwest
Coast, in 1785-8, seems honest, and is instructive. Captain Meares,
whose voyage was contemporaneous, saw and exposed the importance of
trade between the Northwest Coast and China. Vancouver, who came a
little later, has described some parts of the coast. La Pérouse, the
unfortunate French navigator, has afforded another picture of it,
painted with French colors. Before him was Maurelle, an officer in the
Spanish expedition of 1779, a portion of whose journal is preserved in
the Introduction to the volumes of La Pérouse. After him was Marchand,
who, during a circumnavigation of the globe, stopped here in 1791.
The Voyage of the latter, published in three quartos, is accompanied
by an Historical Introduction, which is a mine of information on all
the voyages to this coast. Then came the successive Russian voyages
already mentioned, and in 1804-6 the “Voyage to the North Pacific” of
Captain John D’Wolf, one of our own enterprising countrymen. Later
came the “Voyage round the World” by Captain Sir Edward Belcher, with
a familiar sketch of life at Sitka, where he stopped in 1837, and an
engraving of the arsenal and light-house there. Then followed the
“Overland Journey round the World,” in 1841-2, by Sir George Simpson,
Governor-in-chief of the Hudson’s Bay Company, with an account of a
visit to Sitka and the hospitality of its governor. To these I add
the “Nautical Magazine” for 1849, Volume XVIII., which contains some
excellent pages about Sitka; the “Journal of the Royal Geographical
Society of London” for 1841, Volume XI., and for 1852, Volume XXII.,
where this region is treated under the heads of “Observations on the
Indigenous Tribes of the Northwest Coast of America,” and “Notes on
the Distribution of Animals available as Food in the Arctic Regions”;
Burney’s “Northeastern Voyages”; the magnificent work entitled
“Description Ethnographique des Peuples de la Russie,” which appeared
at St. Petersburg in 1862, on the tenth centennial anniversary of
the foundation of the Russian Empire; the very recent work of Murray
on the “Geographical Distribution of Mammals”; the work of Sir John
Richardson, “Fauna Boreali-Americana”; Latham on “The Nationalities
of Europe,” in the chapters on the population of Russian America;
the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” and the admirable “Physical Atlas”
of Alexander Keith Johnston. I mention also an elaborate article by
Holmberg, in the Transactions of the Finland Society of Sciences
at Helsingfors, replete with information on the Ethnography of the
Northwest Coast.[47]

Doubtless the most precise and valuable information has been
contributed by Germany. The Germans are the best of geographers;
besides, many Russian contributions are in German. Müller, who
recorded the discoveries of Behring, was a German. Nothing more
important on this subject has ever appeared than the German work of
the Russian Admiral Von Wrangell, “Statistische und Ethnographische
Nachrichten über die Russischen Besitzungen an der Nordwestküste von
Amerika,” first published by Baer in his “Beiträge zur Kenntniss des
Russischen Reiches,” in 1839. There is also the “Verhandlungen der
Russisch-Kaiserlichen Mineralogischen Gesellschaft zu St. Petersburg,”
1848 and 1849, which contains an elaborate article, in itself a volume,
on the Orography and Geology of the Northwest Coast and the adjoining
islands, at the end of which is a bibliographical list of works and
materials illustrating the discovery and history of the western half
of North America and the neighboring seas. I also refer generally
to the “Archiv für Wissenschaftliche Kunde von Russland,” edited by
Erman, but especially the volume for 1863, containing the abstract
of Golowin’s report on the Russian Colonies in North America, as it
appeared originally in the “Morskoi Sbornik.” Besides these, there are
Wappäus, “Handbuch der Geographie und Statistik von Nord-Amerika,”
published at Leipsic in 1855; Petermann, in his “Mittheilungen über
wichtige neue Erforschungen auf dem Gesammtgebiete der Geographie,”
for 1856, p. 486, for 1859, p. 41, and for 1863, pp. 70, 237, 277;
Kittlitz, “Denkwürdigkeiten einer Reise nach dem Russischen Amerika,
nach Mikronesien und durch Kamtschatka,” published at Gotha in 1858;
also, by the same author, “The Vegetation of the Coasts and Islands of
the Pacific,” translated from the German, and published at London in

Much recent information has been derived from the great companies
possessing the monopoly of trade. Latterly there has been an unexpected
purveyor in the Russian American Telegraph Company, under the direction
of Captain Charles S. Bulkley; and here our own countrymen help us.
To this expedition we are indebted for authentic evidence with regard
to the character of the region, and the great rivers which traverse
it. The Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Academy of Sciences
coöperated with the Telegraph Company in the investigation of the
natural history. Major Kennicott, a young naturalist, originally in
the service of the Institution, and Director of the Museum of the
Chicago Academy, was the enterprising chief of the Yukon division of
the expedition. While in the midst of his valuable labors, he died
suddenly, in the month of May last, at Nulato, on the banks of the
great river, the Kwichpak, which may be called the Mississippi of the
North, far away in the interior, and on the confines of the Arctic
Circle, where the sun was visible all night. Even after death he
was still an explorer. From this remote outpost, his remains, after
descending the unknown river in an Esquimaux boat of seal-skins,
steered by the faithful companion of his labors, were transported
by way of Panama to his home at Chicago, where he now lies buried.
Such an incident cannot be forgotten, and his name will always remind
us of courageous enterprise, before which distance and difficulty
disappeared. He was not a beginner, when he entered into the service
of the Telegraph Company. Already he had visited the Yukon country by
the way of the Mackenzie River, and contributed to the Smithsonian
Institution important information with regard to its geography and
natural history, some of which is found in their Reports. Nature in
novel forms was open to him. The birds here maintained their kingdom.
All about him was the mysterious breeding-place of the canvas-back
duck, whose eggs, never before seen by naturalist, covered acres.

If we look to maps for information, here again we are disappointed.
Latterly the coast is outlined and described with reasonable
completeness; so also are the islands. This is the contribution of
navigators and of recent Russian charts. But the interior is little
more than a blank, calling to mind “the unhabitable downs,” where,
according to Swift, the old geographers “place elephants for want of
towns.” I have already referred to what purports to be a “General Map
of the Russian Empire,” published by the Academy of Sciences at St.
Petersburg in 1776, and republished at London in 1780, where Russian
America does not appear. I might mention also that Captain Cook
complained in his day of the Russian maps as “singularly erroneous.” On
the return of the expedition, English maps recorded his explorations
and the names he assigned to different parts of the coast. These were
reproduced in St. Petersburg, and the Russian copy was then reproduced
in London, so that geographical knowledge was very little advanced.
Some of the best maps of this region are by Germans, who excel in maps.
I mention an excellent one of the Aleutian Islands and the neighboring
coasts, especially to illustrate their orography and geology, which
will be found at the end of the volume of Transactions of the Imperial
Mineralogical Society at St. Petersburg to which I have already

Late maps attest the tardiness of information. Here, for instance, is
an excellent map of North America, purporting to be published by the
Geographical Institute of Weimar as late as 1859, on which we have the
Yukon pictured, very much like the Niger in Africa, as a large river
meandering in the interior with no outlet to the sea. Here also is a
Russian map of this very region, as late as 1861, where the course of
the Yukon is left in doubt. On other maps, as in the Physical Atlas of
Keith Johnston, it is presented, under another name, entering into the
Frozen Ocean. But the secret is penetrated at last. Recent discovery,
by the enterprise of our citizens in the service of the Telegraph
Company, fixes that this river is an affluent of the Kwichpak, as the
Missouri is an affluent of the Mississippi, and enters into Behring
Sea by many mouths, between the parallels of 62° and 63°. After the
death of Major Kennicott, a division of his party, with nothing but a
skin boat, ascended the river to Fort Yukon, where it bifurcates, and
descended it again to Nulato, thus establishing the entire course from
its sources in the Rocky Mountains for a distance exceeding a thousand
miles. I have before me now an outline map just prepared by our Coast
Survey, where this correction is made. But this is only a harbinger of
the maturer labors of our accomplished bureau, when the coasts of this
region are under the jurisdiction of the United States.

In closing this abstract of authorities, being the chief sources of
original information, I cannot forbear expressing my satisfaction,
that, with the exception of a single work, all these are found in
the Congressional Library, now so happily enriched by the rare
collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Sometimes individuals
are like libraries; and this seems to be illustrated in the case of
Professor Baird, of the Smithsonian Institution, who is thoroughly
informed on all questions connected with the natural history of Russian
America, and also of George Gibbs, Esq., now of Washington, who is
the depositary of valuable knowledge, the result of his own personal
studies and observations, with regard to the native races.


I pass now to a consideration of the character and value of these
possessions, as seen under these different heads: first, Government;
secondly, Population; thirdly, Climate; fourthly, Vegetable Products;
fifthly, Mineral Products; sixthly, Furs; and, seventhly, Fisheries.
Of these I shall speak briefly in their order. There are certain words
of a general character, which I introduce by way of preface. I quote
from Blodget on the “Climatology of the United States and of the
Temperate Latitudes of the North American Continent.”

    “It is most surprising that so little is known of the great
    islands and the long line of coast from Puget’s Sound to
    Sitka, ample as its resources must be even for recruiting the
    transient commerce of the Pacific, independent of its immense
    intrinsic value. To the region bordering the Northern Pacific
    the finest maritime positions belong throughout its entire
    extent; and no part of the West of Europe exceeds it in the
    advantages of equable climate, fertile soil, and commercial
    accessibility of the coast. The western slope of the Rocky
    Mountain system may be included as a part of this maritime
    region, embracing an immense area, from the forty-fifth to the
    sixtieth parallel and five degrees of longitude in width. The
    cultivable surface of this district cannot be much less than
    three hundred thousand square miles.”[48]

From this sketch, which is in the nature of a picture, I pass to the
different heads.

       *       *       *       *       *

1. _Government._--The Russian settlements were for a long time without
any regular government. They were little more than temporary lodgements
for purposes of trade, where the will of the stronger prevailed.
The natives, who had enslaved each other, became in turn the slaves
of these mercenary adventurers. Captain Cook records “the great
subjection”[49] of the natives at Oonalaska, when he was there in 1778;
and a Russian navigator, fourteen years later, describes the islands
generally as “under the sway of roving hunters more savage than any
tribes he had hitherto met with.”[50] At Oonalaska the Russians for
a long time employed all the men in the chase, “taking the fruits of
their labor to themselves.”[51]

The first trace of government which I find was in 1790, at the
important island of Kadiak, or the Great Island, as it was called,
where a Russian company was established under direction of a Greek by
the name of Delareff, who, according to the partial report of a Russian
navigator, “governed with the strictest justice, as well natives as
Russians, and established a school, where the young natives were
taught the Russian language, reading and writing.”[52] Here were about
fifty Russians, including officers of the company, and another person
described as “there on the part of Government to collect tribute.”[53]
The establishment consisted of five houses after the Russian
fashion,--barracks laid out on either side, somewhat like the boxes
at a coffee-house, with different offices, represented as follows:
“An office of appeal, to settle disputes, levy fines, and punish
offenders by a regular trial; here Delareff presides, and I believe
that few courts of justice pass a sentence with more impartiality; an
office of receival and delivery, both for the company and for tribute;
the commissaries’ department, for the distribution of the regulated
portions of provision; counting-house, &c.: all in this building, at
one end of which is Delareff’s habitation.”[54] If this picture is not
overdrawn,--and it surely is,--affairs here did not improve with time.
But D’Wolf, who was there in 1805-6, reports “about forty houses of
various descriptions, including a church, school-house, store-house,
and barracks”; and he adds: “The school-house was quite a respectable
establishment, well filled with pupils.”[55]

There were various small companies, of which that at Kadiak was the
most considerable, all finally fused into one large trading company,
known as the Russian American Company, organized in 1799, under a
charter from the Emperor Paul, with the power of administration
throughout the whole region, including coasts and islands. In this
respect it was not unlike the East India Company, which has played
such a part in English history; but it may be more properly compared
to the Hudson’s Bay Company, of which it was a Russian counterpart.
The charter was for a term of years, but it has been from time to time
extended, and, as I understand, is now about to expire. The powers of
the Company are sententiously described by the “Almanach de Gotha” for
1867, where, under the head of Russia, it says that “to the present
time Russian America has been the property of a company.”

I know no limitation upon the Company, except that latterly it has been
bound to appoint its chief functionary, called “Administrator General,”
from the higher officers of the imperial navy, when he becomes invested
with what are declared the prerogatives of a governor in Siberia. This
requirement has doubtless secured the superior order of magistrates
since enjoyed. Among these have been Baron Wrangell, an admiral,
there at the time of the treaty with Great Britain in 1825; Captain
Kuprianoff, who had commanded the Azof, a ship of the line, in the
Black Sea, and spoke English well; Captain Etolin; Admiral Furuhelm,
who, after being there five years, was made governor of the province
of the Amoor; Admiral Woiwodsky; and Prince Maksutoff, an admiral
also, who is the present Administrator General. The term of service is
ordinarily five years.

The seat of government is the town of New Archangel, better known by
its aboriginal name of Sitka, with a harbor as smooth and safe as a
pond. Its present population cannot be far from one thousand, although
even this is changeable. In spring, when sailors leave for the sea and
trappers for the chase, it has been reduced to as few as one hundred
and eighty. It was not without a question that Sitka at last prevailed
as the metropolis. Lütke sets forth reasons elaborately urged in favor
of St. Paul, on the island of Kadiak.[56]

The first settlement there was in 1800, by Baranoff, the superintendent
of the Company, whose life was passed in this country, and whose name
has been given to the island. But the settlement made slow progress.
Lisiansky, who was there in 1804, records, that, “from his entrance
into Sitka Sound, there was not to be seen on the shore the least
vestige of habitation.”[57] The natives had set themselves against a
settlement. Meanwhile the seat of government was at Kadiak, of which
we have an early and friendly glimpse. I quote what Lisiansky says, as
exhibiting in a favorable light the beginning of the government, now
transferred to the United States.

    “The island of Kadiak, with the rest of the Russian settlements
    along the northwest coast of America, are superintended by
    a kind of governor-general or commander-in-chief, who has
    agents under him, appointed, like himself, by the Company
    at Petersburg. The smaller settlements have each a Russian
    overseer. These overseers are chosen by the governor, and are
    selected for the office in consequence of their long services
    and orderly conduct. They have the power of punishing, to a
    certain extent, those whom they superintend; but are themselves
    amenable to the governor, if they abuse their power by acts
    of injustice. The seat of government is the Harbor of St.
    Paul, which has a barrack, different store-houses, several
    respectable wooden habitations, and a church, the only one to
    be found on the coast.”[58]

From this time the Company seems to have established itself on the
coast. Lisiansky speaks of a single hunting party of nine hundred
men, gathered from different places, as Alaska, Kadiak, Cook’s Inlet,
Prince William Sound, and “commanded by thirty-six _toyons_, who are
subordinate to the Russians in the service of the American Company, and
receive from them their orders.”[59] From another source I learn that
the inhabitants of Kadiak and of the Aleutian Islands were regarded as
“immediate subjects of the Company,”--the males from eighteen to fifty
being bound to serve it for the term of three years each. They were
employed in the chase. The population of Alaska and of the two great
bays, Cook’s Inlet and Prince William Sound, were also subject to the
Company; but they were held to a yearly tax on furs, without regular
service, and they could trade only with the Company; otherwise they
were independent. This seems to have been before a division of the
whole into districts, all under the Company, which, though primarily
for the business of the Company, may be regarded as so many distinct
jurisdictions, each with local powers of government.

Among these were two districts which I mention only to put aside, as
not included in the present cession: (1.) the Kurile Islands, being
the group nestling near the coast of Japan, on the Asiatic side of the
dividing line between the two continents; (2.) the Ross settlement in
California, now abandoned.

There remain five other districts: (1.) the District of Atcha, with
the bureau at this island, embracing the two western groups of the
Aleutians known as the Andreanoffsky Islands and the Rat Islands, and
also the group about Behring’s Island, which is not embraced in the
present cession;--(2.) the District of Oonalaska, with the bureau at
this island, embracing the Fox Islands, the peninsula of Alaska to
the meridian of the Shumagin Islands, including these, and also the
Pribyloff Islands to the northwest of the peninsula;--(3.) the District
of Kadiak, embracing the peninsula of Alaska east of the meridian of
the Shumagin Islands, and the coast eastward to Mount St. Elias, with
adjacent islands, including Kadiak, Cook’s Inlet, and Prince William
Sound; then northward along the coast of Bristol Bay, and the country
watered by the Nushagak and Kuskokwim rivers; all of which is governed
from Kadiak, with redoubts or palisaded stations at Nushagak, Cook’s
Inlet, and Prince William Sound;--(4.) the Northern District, embracing
the country of the Kwichpak and of Norton Sound, under direction of
the commander of the redoubt at St. Michael’s; leaving the country
northward, with the islands St. Lawrence and St. Matthew, not included
in this district, but visited directly from Sitka;--(5.) the District
of Sitka, embracing the coast from Mount St. Elias, where the Kadiak
district ends, southward to the latitude of 54° 40´, with adjacent
islands. But this district has been curtailed by a lease of the Russian
American Company in 1839 for the space of ten years, and subsequently
renewed, where this Company, in consideration of the annual payment of
two thousand otter skins of Columbia River, under-lets to the Hudson
Bay Company all its franchise for the strip of continent between Cape
Spencer at the north and the latitude of 54° 40´, excluding adjacent

The central government of all these districts is at Sitka, from which
emanate all orders and instructions. Here also is the chief factory,
the fountain of supplies and the store-house of proceeds.

The operations of the Government are seen in receipts and expenditures,
including salaries and allowances. In the absence of a complete
series of such statistics to the present time, I mass together what I
have been able to glean in different fields, relating to particular
years, knowing well its unsatisfactory character. But each item has
instruction for us.

The capital of the Company, in buildings, wares, vessels, &c., was
reported in 1833 at 3,658,577 rubles. In 1838 it possessed twelve
vessels, with an aggregate capacity of 1,556 tons, most of which
were built at Sitka. According to Wappäus, who follows Wrangell, the
pay of the officers and workmen in 1832 amounted to 442,877 rubles.
At that time the persons in its service numbered 1,025, of whom 556
were Russians, 152 Creoles, and 317 Aleutians. In 1851 there were
one staff officer, three officers of the imperial navy, one officer
of engineers, four civil officers, thirty religious officers, and six
hundred and eighty-six servants. The expenses from 1826 to 1833, a
period of seven years, were 6,608,077 rubles. These become interesting,
when it is considered, that, besides what was paid on account of furs
and the support of persons in the service of the Company, were other
items incident to government, such as ship-building, navigation,
fortifications, hospitals, schools, and churches. From a later
authority it appears that the receipts reported at St. Petersburg for
the year 1855 were 832,749 rubles, against expenses, 683,892 rubles,
incurred for “administration in Russia and the colonies,” insurance,
transportation, and duties. The relative proportion of these different
expenses does not appear.

These are explained by other statistics, which I am able to give from
the Report of Golowin, who furnishes the receipts and expenditures from
1850 to 1859, inclusive. The silver ruble, which is the money employed
in the table, is taken at our mint for seventy-five cents.

               _Receipts from 1850 to 1859, inclusive._

                                                        Silver Rubles.

    Tea traffic                                          4,145,869.76
    Sale of furs                                         1,709,149.00
    Commercial licenses                                  2,403,296.61
    Other traffics                                         170,235.76
          Total                                          8,528,551.13

             _Expenditures from 1850 to 1859, inclusive._

                                                       Silver Rubles.

    Sustenance of the colony                            2,288,207.20
    Colony’s churches                                      71,723.18
    Benevolent institutions                               143,366.23
    Principal administrative officers                   1,536,436.49
    Tea duty                                            1,764,559.85
    Transportation and packing of tea                     586,901.72
    Purchase and transportation of merchandise            213,696.29
    Insurance of tea and merchandise                      217,026.55
    Loss during war and by shipwreck                      132,820.20
    Reconstruction of Company’s house in St. Petersburg    76,976.00
    Capital for the use of the poor                         6,773.02
    Revenue fund capital                                  135,460.40
    Dividends                                           1,354,604.00
          Total                                         8,528,551.13

Analyzing this table, we arrive at a clearer insight into the affairs
of the Company. If its receipts have been considerable, they have been
subject to serious deductions. From the expenditures we also learn
something of the obligations we are about to assume.

Another table shows that during this same period 122,006 rubles were
received for ice, mostly sent to California, 26,399 rubles for timber,
and 6,250 for coal. I think it not improbable that these items are
included in the list of “receipts” under the term “other traffics.”

In Russia the churches belong to the Government, and this rule
prevails in these districts, where are four Greek churches and five
Greek chapels. There is also a Protestant church at Sitka. I am glad
to add that at the latter place there is a public library, which
some years ago contained seventeen hundred volumes, together with
journals, charts, atlases, mathematical and astronomical instruments.
In Atcha, Oonalaska, Kadiak, and Sitka schools are reported at the
expense of the Company, though not on a very comprehensive scale;
for Admiral Wrangell mentions only ninety boys as enjoying these
advantages in 1839. In Oonalaska and Kadiak there were at the same
time orphan asylums for girls, where there were in all about thirty;
but the Admiral adds, that “these useful institutions will, without
doubt, be improved to the utmost.” Besides these, which are confined
to particular localities, there is said to be a hospital near every
factory in all the districts.

I have no means of knowing if these territorial subdivisions have
undergone recent modification. They will be found in the “Russischen
Besitzungen” of Wrangell, published in 1839, in the “Geographie” of
Wappäus in 1856, and in the “Archiv von Russland” of 1863, containing
the article on the Report of Golowin. I am thus particular with regard
to them from a double motive. Besides helping us to understand the
government, they afford suggestions of practical importance in any
future organization.

The Company has not been without criticism. Pictures of it are by no
means rose color. These, too, furnish instruction. Early in the century
its administration was the occasion of open and repeated complaint.
It was pronounced harsh and despotic. Langsdorff is indignant that
“a free trading company should exist independent, as it were, of the
Government, not confined within any definite regulations, but who can
exercise their authority free and uncontrolled, nay, even unpunished,
over so vast an extent of country.” In stating the case, he adds, that
“the Russian subject here enjoys no protection of his property, lives
in no security, and, if oppressed, has no one to whom he can apply for
justice. The agents of the factories, and their subordinate officers,
influenced by humor or interest, decide everything arbitrarily.”
And this arbitrary power seems to have prevailed wherever a factory
was established. “The stewardship in each single establishment is
entirely despotic; though nominally depending upon the principal
factory at Kadiak, these stewards do just what they please, without
the possibility of their being called to account.” If such was the
condition of Russians, what must have been that of natives? Here the
witness answers: “I have seen the Russian fur-hunters dispose of the
lives of the natives solely according to their own arbitrary will,
and put these defenceless creatures to death in the most horrible
manner.”[60] Our own D’Wolf records Langsdorff’s remonstrance in
behalf of “the poor Russians,” and adds that it was “but to little
purpose.”[61] Krusenstern concurs in this testimony, and, if possible,
darkens the colors. According to him, “Every one must obey the iron
rule of the agent of the American Company; nor can there be either
personal property or individual security, where there are no laws. The
chief agent of the American Company is the boundless despot over an
extent of country which, comprising the Aleutian Islands, stretches
from 57° to 61° of latitude and from 130° to 190° of east longitude”;
and he adds, in a note, “There are no courts of justice in Kadiak, nor
any of the Company’s possessions.”[62] Chamisso, the naturalist of
Kotzebue’s expedition, while confessing incompetency to speak on the
treatment of the natives by the Company, declares “his wounded feelings
and his commiseration.”[63] It is too probable that the melancholy
story of our own aborigines has been repeated. As these criticisms were
by Russian officers, they must have had a certain effect. I cannot
believe that the recent government, administered by the enlightened
magistrates of whom we have heard, has been obnoxious to such terrible
accusations; nor must it be forgotten that the report of Lisiansky,
contemporaneous with those of Langsdorff and Krusenstern, is much less

Baranoff, who had been so long superintendent, retired in 1818. He is
much praised by Langsdorff, who saw him in 1805-6, and by Lütke, who
was at Sitka in 1828. Both attribute to him a genius for his place,
and a disinterested devotion to the interests of the Company, whose
confidence he enjoyed to the end. D’Wolf says, “He possessed a strong
mind, easy manners and deportment,” and “commanded the greatest respect
from the Indians.”[64] Although administering affairs for more than a
generation without rendering accounts, he died poor. He was succeeded
by Captain Hagemeister. Since then, according to Lütke, an infinity of
reforms has taken place, by which order and system have been introduced.

The Russian officer, Captain Golowin, who visited these possessions
in 1860, has recommended certain institutional reforms, which are not
without interest at this time. His recommendations concern the governor
and the people. According to him, the governor should be appointed by
the Crown with the concurrence of the Company, removable only when his
continuance is plainly injurious to the colony; he should be subject
only to the Crown, and his powers should be limited, especially in
regard to the natives; he should provide protection for the colonists
by means of cruisers, and should personally visit every district
annually; the colonists, Creoles, and subject natives, such as the
Aleutians, should be governed by magistrates of their own selection;
the name of “free Creole” should cease; all disputes should be settled
by the local magistrates, unless the parties desire an appeal to the
governor; schools should be encouraged, and, if necessary, provided at
the public expense. These suggestions, in the nature of a reform bill,
foreshadow a condition of self-government in harmony with republican

It is evident that these Russian settlements, distributed through an
immense region and far from any civilized neighborhood, have little
in common with those of European nations elsewhere, unless we except
the Danish on the west coast of Greenland. Nearly all are on the coast
or the islands. They are nothing but “villages” or “factories” under
protection of palisades. Sitka is an exception, due unquestionably
to its selection as headquarters of the Government, and also to the
eminent character of the governors who have made it their home. The
executive mansion and the social life there have been described by
recent visitors, who acknowledged the charms of politeness on this
distant northwestern coast. Lütke portrays life among its fogs, and
especially the attractions of the governor’s house. This was in the
time of Admiral Wrangell, whose wife, possessing a high education,
embellished the wilderness by her presence, and furnished an example
of a refined and happy household. His account of Sitkan hospitality
differs in some respects from that of English writers who succeeded. He
records that fish was the staple dish at the tables of functionaries
as well as of the poor, and that the chief functionary himself was
rarely able to have meat for dinner. During the winter, a species of
wild sheep, the Musmon or Argali, also known in Siberia, and hunted in
the forests, furnished an occasional supply. But a fish diet did not
prevent his house from being delightful,--as was that of Baranoff, at
an earlier day, according to D’Wolf, who speaks of “an abundance of
good cheer.”[65]

Sir Edward Belcher, the English circumnavigator, while on his voyage
round the world, stopped there. From him we have an account of the
executive mansion and fortifications, which will not be out of place in
this attempt to portray the existing Government. The house is of wood,
described as “solid,” one hundred and forty feet in length by seventy
feet wide, of two stories, with lofts, capped by a light-house in the
centre of the roof, which is covered with sheet-iron. It is about sixty
feet above the sea-level, and completely commands all the anchorage in
the neighborhood. Behind is a line of picketed logs twenty-five feet in
height, flanked at the angles by block-houses, loopholed and furnished
with small guns and swivels. The fortifications, when complete,
“will comprise five sides, upon which forty pieces of cannon will be
mounted, principally old ship-guns, varying from twelve to twenty-four
pounders.” The arsenal is praised for the best of cordage in ample
store, and for the best of artificers in every department. The interior
of the Greek church was found to be “splendid, quite beyond conception
in such a place as this.” The school and hospital had a “comparative
cleanliness and comfort, and much to admire,--although a man-of-war’s
man’s ideas of cleanliness are perhaps occasionally acute.” But it
is the social life which seems to have most surprised the gallant
captain. After telling us that “on their Sunday all the officers of the
establishment, civil as well as military, dine at the governor’s,” he
introduces us to an evening party and dance, which the latter gave to
show his English guest “the female society of Sitka,” and records that
everything “passed most delightfully,” especially, that, “although the
ladies were almost self-taught, they acquitted themselves with all the
ease and elegance communicated by European instruction.” Sir Edward
adds, that “the society is indebted principally to the governor’s
elegant and accomplished lady--who is of one of the first Russian
families--for much of this polish”; and he describes sympathetically
her long journey through Siberia with her husband, “on horse-back or
mules, enduring great hardships, in a most critical moment, in order to
share with him the privations of this barbarous region.” But, according
to him, barbarism is disappearing; and he concludes by declaring that
“the whole establishment appears to be rapidly on the advance, and
at no distant period we may hear of a trip to Norfolk Sound through
America as little more than a summer excursion.”[66] Is not this time
near at hand?

Four years afterward, Sir George Simpson, governor-in-chief of the
Hudson’s Bay Company, on his overland journey round the world, stopped
at Sitka. He had just crossed the continent by way of the Red River
settlements to Vancouver. He, too, seems to have been pleased. He shows
us in the harbor “five sailing vessels, ranging between two hundred
and three hundred and fifty tons, besides a large bark in the offing in
tow of a steamer”; and he carries us to the executive mansion, already
described, which reappears as “a suite of apartments, communicating,
according to the Russian fashion, with each other, all the public
rooms being handsomely decorated and richly furnished, commanding
a view of the whole establishment, which was in fact a little
village, while about half-way down the rock two batteries on terraces
frowned respectively over the land and the water.” There was another
Administrator-General since the visit of Sir Edward Belcher; but again
the wife plays her charming part. After portraying her as a native of
Helsingfors, in Finland, the visitor adds: “So that this pretty and
ladylike woman had come to this, her secluded home, from the farthest
extremity of the Empire.” Evidently in a mood beyond contentment, he
says: “We sat down to a good dinner in the French style, the party,
in addition to our host and hostess and ourselves, comprising twelve
of the Company’s officers”; and his final judgment seems to be given,
when he says: “The good folks of New Archangel appear to live well.
The surrounding country abounds in the chevreuil, the finest meat that
I ever ate, with the single exception of moose,” while “in a little
stream which is within a mile of the fort salmon are so plentiful at
the proper season, that, when ascending the river, they have been known
literally to embarrass the movements of a canoe.”[67] Such is the

With these concluding pictures I turn from the Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. _Population._--I come now to the Population, which may be considered
in its numbers and in its character. In neither respect, perhaps,
can it add much to the value of the country, except so far as native
hunters and trappers are needed for the supply of furs. Professor
Agassiz touches this point in a letter which I have just received from
him, where he says: “To me the fact that there is as yet hardly any
population would have great weight, as this secures the settlement
to our race.” But we ought to know something, at least, of the
people about to become the subjects of our jurisdiction, if not our

_First._ In trying to arrive at an idea of their _numbers_, I begin
with Lippincott’s Gazetteer, as it is the most accessible, according to
which the whole population in 1851, aboriginal, Russian, and Creole,
was 61,000. The same estimate appears also in the London “Imperial
Gazetteer” and in the “Geographie” of Wappäus. Keith Johnston, in his
“Physical Atlas,” calls the population, in 1852, 66,000. McCulloch, in
the last edition of his “Geographical Dictionary,” puts it as high as
72,375. On the other hand, the “Almanach de Gotha” for the present year
calls it 54,000. This estimate seems to have been adopted substantially
from the great work, “Les Peuples de la Russie,” which I am disposed to
consider as the best authority.

Exaggerations are common with regard to the inhabitants of newly
acquired possessions, and this distant region is no exception. An
enthusiastic estimate once placed its population as high as 400,000.
Long ago, Schelekoff, an early Russian adventurer, reported that he
had subjected to the Crown of Russia 50,000 persons in the island of
Kadiak alone.[68] But Lisiansky, who followed him there in 1804-5,
says: “The population of this island, when compared with its size, is
very small.” After “the minutest research,” he found that it amounted
only to 4,000 souls.[69] It is much less now,--probably not more than

It is easy to know the number of those within the immediate
jurisdiction of the Company. This is determined by a census. Even here
the aborigines are the most numerous. Then come the Creoles, and last
the Russians. But here you must bear in mind a distinction with regard
to the former. In Spanish America all of European parentage born there
are “Creoles”; in Russian America this term is applicable only to those
whose parents are European and native,--in other words, “half-breeds.”
According to Wrangell, in 1833, the census of dependants of the Company
in all its districts was 652 Russians, 991 Creoles, and 9,016 Aleutians
and Kadiaks, being in all 10,659. Of these, 5,509 were men and 5,150
were women. In 1851, according to the report of the Company, there was
an increase of Creoles, with a corresponding diminution of Russians and
aborigines, being 505 Russians, 1,703 Creoles, and 7,055 aborigines,
in all 9,263. In 1857 there were 644 Russians, 1,903 Creoles, and
7,245 aborigines, in all 9,792, of whom 5,133 were men and 4,659 were
women. The increase from 1851 to 1857 was only 529, or about one per
cent. annually. In 1860 there were “some hundreds” of Russians, 2,000
Creoles, and 8,000 aborigines, amounting in all to 10,540, of whom
5,382 were men and 5,158 were women. I am thus particular, that you
may see how stationary population has been even within the sphere of
the Company.

The number of Russians and Creoles at the present time in the whole
colony cannot be more than 2,500. The number of aborigines under the
direct government of the Company may be 8,000. There remain also the
mass of aborigines outside the jurisdiction of the Company, and having
only a temporary or casual contact with it for purposes of trade. In
this respect they are not unlike the aborigines of the United States
while in their tribal condition, described so often as “Indians not
taxed.” For the number of these outside aborigines I prefer to follow
the authority of the recent work already quoted, “Les Peuples de la
Russie,” according to which they are estimated at between forty and
fifty thousand.

_Secondly._ In speaking of _character_, I turn to a different class of
materials. The early Russians here were not Pilgrims. They were mostly
runaways, fleeing from justice. Langsdorff says, “The greater part of
the Promüschleniks and inferior officers of the different settlements
are Siberian criminals, malefactors, and adventurers of various
kinds.”[70] The single and exclusive business of the Promüschleniks was
the collection of furs. But the name very early acquired a bad odor.
Here again we have the same Russian authority, who, after saying that
the inhabitants of the distant islands are under the superintendence
of a Promüschlenik, adds,--“which is, in other words, under that of a
rascal, by whom they are oppressed, tormented, and plundered in every
possible way.”[71] It must be remembered that this authentic portrait
is not of our day.

The aborigines are all, in common language, Esquimaux; but they differ
essentially from the Esquimaux of Greenland, and they also differ among
themselves. Though popularly known by this family name, they have as
many divisions and subdivisions, with as many languages and idioms, as
France once had. There are large groups, each with its own nationality
and language; and there are smaller groups, each with its tribal idiom.
In short, the great problem of Language is repeated here. Its forms
seem to be infinite. Scientific inquiry traces many to a single root,
but practically they are different. Here is that confusion of tongues
which yields only to the presence of civilization; and it becomes more
remarkable, as the idiom is often confined to so small a circle.

Looking at them ethnographically, we find two principal groups or
races,--the first scientifically known as Esquimaux, and the second
as Indians. By another nomenclature, having the sanction of authority
and usage, they are divided into Esquimaux, Aleutians, Kenaians, and
Koloschians, being four distinct groups. The Esquimaux and Aleutians
are reported Mongolian in origin. According to doubtful theory, they
passed from Asia to America by the succession of islands beginning
on the coast of Japan and extending to Alaska, which for this
purpose became a bridge between the two continents. The Kenaians and
Koloschians are Indians, belonging to known American races. So that
these four groups are ethnographically resolved into two, and the two
are resolved popularly into one.

There are general influences more or less applicable to all these
races. The climate is peculiar, and the natural features of the country
are commanding. Cool summers and mild winters are favorable to the
huntsman and fisherman. Lofty mountains, volcanic forms, large rivers,
numerous islands, and an extensive sea-coast constitute the great Book
of Nature for all to read. None are dull. Generally they are quick,
intelligent, and ingenious, excelling in the chase and in navigation,
managing a boat as the rider his horse, until man and boat seem to be
one. Some are very skilful with tools, and exhibit remarkable taste.
The sea is bountiful, and the land has its supplies. From these they
are satisfied. Better still, there is something in their nature which
does not altogether reject the improvements of civilization. Unlike our
Indians, they are willing to learn. By a strange superstition, which
still continues, these races derive descent from different animals.
Some are gentle and pacific; others are warlike. All, I fear, are
slaveholders; some are cruel task-masters; others, in the interior, are
reputed cannibals. But the country back from the sea-coast is still an
undiscovered secret.

(1.) Looking at them in ethnographical groups, I begin with the
_Esquimaux_, who popularly give the name to the whole. They number
about 17,000, and stretch along the indented coast from its eastern
limit on the Frozen Ocean to the mouth of the Copper River, in 60°
north latitude, excluding the peninsula of Alaska, occupied by
Aleutians, and the peninsula of Kenai, occupied by Kenaians. More
powerful races, of Indian origin, following the courses of the great
rivers northward and westward, have gradually crowded the Esquimaux
from the interior, until they constitute a belt on the salt water,
including the islands of the coast, and especially Kadiak. Their
various dialects are traced to a common root, while the prevailing
language betrays an affinity with the Esquimaux of Greenland, and
the intervening country watered by the Mackenzie. They share the
characteristics of that extensive family, which, besides spreading
across the continent, occupies an extent of sea-coast greater than
any other people of the globe, from which their simple navigation has
sallied forth so as to give them the name of Phœnicians of the North.
Words exclusively belonging to the Esquimaux are found in the dialects
of other races completely strangers, as Phœnician sounds are observed
in the Celtic speech of Ireland.

The most known of the Russian Esquimaux is the small tribe now
remaining on the island of Kadiak, which from the beginning has been a
centre of trade. Although by various intermixture they already approach
the Indians of the coast, losing the Asiatic type, their speech remains
a distinctive sign of race. They are Esquimaux, and I describe them in
order to present an idea of this people.

The men are tall, with copper skins, small black eyes, flat faces,
and teeth of dazzling whiteness. Once the women pierced the nostrils,
the lower lip, and the ears, for ornaments; but now only the nostrils
suffer. The aboriginal costume is still preserved, especially out of
doors. Their food is mostly from the sea, without the roots or berries
which the island supplies. The flesh and oil of the whale are a special
luxury. The oil is drunk pure, or used to season other food. Accustomed
to prolonged abstinence, they exhibit at times an appetite amounting
to prodigy. In one night six men were able to devour the whole of
a large bear. A strong drink made from the strawberry and myrtle,
producing the effect of opium, has yielded to brandy. Sugar and tea
are highly esteemed; but snuff is a delight. Lisiansky records that
they would go out of the way twenty miles merely for a pinch.[72] They
have tools of their own, which they use with skill. Their baidars, or
canoes, are distinguished for completeness of finish and beauty of
form. Unlike those of the Koloschians, lower down on the coast, which
are hollowed from trunks of trees, they are of seal-skins stretched on
frames, with a single aperture in the covering to receive the person of
the master. The same skill appears in the carving of wood, whalebone,
and walrus-ivory. Their general mode of life is said to be like that
of other tribes on the coast. To all else they add knowledge of the
healing art and passion for gaming.

Opposite Kadiak, on the main-land east, are the Tchugatchi, a kindred
tribe, speaking the same language, but a different dialect. Northward
is a succession of kindred tribes, differing in speech, and each with
local peculiarities, but all are represented as kind, courteous,
hospitable, and merry. It is a good sign, that merriment should
prevail. Their tribal names are derived from a neighboring river, or
some climatic circumstance. Thus, for instance, those on the mighty
Kwichpak have the name of Kwichpakmutes, or “inhabitants of the great
river.” Those on Bristol Bay are called by their cousins of Norton
Sound Achkugmutes, or “inhabitants of the warm country”; and the same
designation is applied to the Kadiaks. Warmth, like other things in
this world, is comparative; and to an Esquimaux at 64° north latitude
another five degrees further south is in a “warm country.” These
northern tribes have been visited lately by our Telegraphic Exploring
Expedition, which reports especially their geographical knowledge and
good disposition. As the remains of Major Kennicott descended the
Kwichpak, they were not without sympathy from the natives. Curiosity
also had its part. At a village where the boat rested for the night,
the chief announced that it was the first time white men had ever been
seen there.

(2.) The _Aleutians_, sometimes called Western Esquimaux, number about
3,000. By a plain exaggeration, Knight, in his Cyclopædia of Geography,
makes them 20,000. Their home is the archipelago of volcanic islands
whose name they bear, and also a portion of the contiguous peninsula of
Alaska. The well-defined type has already disappeared; but the national
dress continues. This is a long shirt with tight sleeves, made from
the skins of birds, either the sea-parrot or the diver. This dress,
called the _parka_, is indispensable as clothing, blanket, and even as
habitation, during a voyage, being a complete shelter against wind and
cold. They, too, are fishermen and huntsmen; but they seem to excel as
artificers. The instruments and utensils of the Oonalaskans have been
noted for beauty. Their baidars were pronounced by Sauer “infinitely
superior to those of any other island,”[73] and another navigator
declares them “the best means yet discovered to go from place to place,
either upon the deepest or the shallowest water, in the quickest,
easiest, and safest manner possible.”[74] These illustrate their
nature, which is finer than that of their neighbors. They are at home
on the water, and excite admiration by the skill with which they manage
their elegant craft, so that Admiral Lütke recognized them as Cossacks
of the Sea.

Oonalaska is the principal of these islands, and from the time they
were first visited seems to have excited a peculiar interest. Captain
Cook painted it kindly; so have succeeding navigators. And here have
lived the islanders who have given to navigators a new experience.
Alluding especially to them, the reporter of Billings’s voyage says:
“The capacity of the natives of these islands infinitely surpasses
every idea that I had formed of the abilities of savages.”[75] There is
another remark of this authority which shows how they had yielded, even
in their favorite dress, to the demands of commerce. After saying that
formerly they had worn garments of sea-otter, he pathetically adds,
“but not since the Russians have had any intercourse with them.”[76]
Poor islanders! Exchanging choice furs, once their daily wear, for
meaner skins!

(3.) The _Kenaians_, numbering as many as 25,000, take their common
name from the peninsula of Kenai, with Cook’s Inlet on the west and
Prince William Sound on the east. Numerous beyond any other family in
Russian America, they belong to a widespread and teeming Indian race,
which occupies all the northern interior of the continent, stretching
from Hudson’s Bay in the east to the Esquimaux in the west. This is the
great nation called sometimes Athabascan, or, from the native name of
the Rocky Mountains, on whose flanks they live, Chippewyan, but more
properly designated as Tinneh, with branches in Southern Oregon and
Northern California, and then again with other offshoots, known as the
Apaches and Navajoes, in Arizona, New Mexico, and Chihuahua, thirty
degrees of latitude from the parent stem. Of this extended race, the
northwestern branch, known to travellers as Loucheux, and in their own
tongue as Kutchin, after occupying the inner portion of Russian America
on the Yukon and the Porcupine, reached the sea-coast at Cook’s Inlet,
where they appear under the name of Kenaians. The latter are said to
bear about the same relation, in language and intellectual development,
to the entire group, as the islanders of Kadiak bear to the Esquimaux.

The Kenaians call themselves in their own dialect by yet another name,
Thnainas, meaning Men; thus, by a somewhat boastful designation,
asserting manhood. Their features and complexion associate them with
the red men of America, as does their speech. The first to visit them
was Cook, and he was struck by the largeness of their heads, which
seemed to him disproportioned to the rest of the body. They were
strong-chested also, with thick, short necks, spreading faces, eyes
inclined to be small, white teeth, black hair, and thin beard,--their
persons clean and decent, without grease or dirt. In dress they were
thought to resemble the people of Greenland. Their boats had a similar
affinity. But in these particulars they were not unlike the other races
already described. They were clothed in skins of animals, with the fur
outward, or sometimes in skins of birds, over which, for protection
against rain, was a frock made from the intestines of the whale,
“prepared so skilfully as almost to resemble our gold-beater leaf.”[77]
Their boats were of seal-skin stretched on frames, and of different
sizes. In one of these Cook counted twenty women and one man, besides
children. At that time, though thievish in propensity, they were not
unamiable. Shortly afterwards they were reported by Russian traders,
who had much to do with them, as “good people,” who behaved “in the
most friendly manner.”[78] I do not know that they have lost this
character since.

Here, too, is the accustomed multiplicity of tribes, each with its
idiom, and sometimes differing in religious superstition, especially
on the grave question of descent from the dog or the crow. There is
also a prevailing usage for the men of one tribe to choose wives from
another tribe, when the tribal character of the mother attaches to the
offspring, which is another illustration of the Law of Slavery, _Partus
sequitur ventrem_. The late departure from this usage is quoted by the
old men as a sufficient reason for the mortality which has afflicted
the Kenaians, although a better reason is found in the ravages of the
small-pox, unhappily introduced by the Russians. In 1838, ten thousand
persons on the coast are reported victims to this disease.

(4.) Last of the four races are the _Koloschians_, numbering about
4,000, who occupy the coast and islands from the mouth of the Copper
River to the southern boundary of Russian America, making about sixteen
settlements. They belong to an Indian group extending as far south as
the Straits of Fuca, and estimated to contain 25,000 souls. La Pérouse,
after considerable experience of the aborigines on the Atlantic coast,
asserts that those he saw here are not Esquimaux.[79] The name seems
to be of Russian origin, and is equivalent to Indian. Here again is
another variety of language, and as many separate nations. Near Mount
St. Elias are the Yakutats, who are the least known; then come the
Thlinkits, occupying the islands and coast near Sitka, and known in
Oregon under the name of Stikines; and then again we have the Kygans,
who, beginning on Russian territory, overlap Queen Charlotte’s Island,
beneath the British flag. All these, with their subdivisions, are
Koloschians; but every tribe or nation has four different divisions,
derived from four different animals, the whale, the eagle, the crow,
and the wolf, which are so many heraldic devices, marking distinct

Points already noticed in the more northern groups are repeated here.
As among the Kenaians, husband and wife are of different animal
devices. A crow cannot marry a crow. There is the same skill in the
construction of canoes; but the stretched seal-skin gives place to the
trunk of a tree shaped and hollowed, so that it sometimes holds forty
persons. There are good qualities among Aleutians which the Koloschians
do not possess; but the latter have, perhaps, stronger sense. They
are of constant courage. As daring navigators they are unsurpassed,
sailing six or seven hundred miles in open canoes. Some are thrifty,
and show a sense of property. Some have developed an aptitude for trade
unknown to their northern neighbors, or to the Indians of the United
States, and will work for wages, whether in tilling the ground or other
employment. Their superior nature discards corporal punishment, even
for boys, as an ignominy not to be endured. They believe in a Creator,
and in the immortality of the soul. But here a mystic fable is woven
into their faith. The spirits of heroes dead in battle are placed in
the sky, and appear in the Aurora Borealis. Long ago a deluge occurred,
when the human family was saved in a floating vessel, which, after the
subsidence of the waters, struck on a rock and broke in halves. The
Koloschians represent one half of the vessel, and the rest of the world
the other half. Such is that pride of race which civilization does not
always efface.

For generations they have been warriors, prompt to take offence, and
vindictive, as is the nature of the Indian race,--always ready to exact
an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. This character has not
changed. As was the case once in Italy, the dagger is an inseparable
companion. Private quarrels are common. The duel is an institution. So
is slavery still,--having a triple origin in war, purchase, or birth.
The slave is only a dog, and must obey his master in all things, even
to taking the life of another. He is without civil rights; he cannot
marry or possess anything; he can eat only offal; and his body, when
released by death, is thrown into the sea. A chief sometimes sacrifices
his slaves, and then another chief seeks to outdo his inhumanity.
All this is indignantly described by Sir Edward Belcher and Sir
George Simpson. But a slave once a freedman has all the rights of a
Koloschian. Here, too, are the distinctions of wealth. The rich paint
their faces daily; the poor renew the paint only when the colors begin
to disappear.

These are the same people who for more than a century have been a
terror on this coast. It was Koloschians who received the two boats’
crews of the Russian discoverer in 1741, as they landed in one of
its wooded coves, and no survivor returned to tell their fate. They
were actors in another tragedy at the beginning of the century, when
the Russian fort at Sitka was stormed and its defenders put to death,
some with excruciating torture. Lisiansky, whose visit was shortly
afterward, found them “a shrewd and bold, though a perfidious people,”
whose chiefs used “very sublime expressions,” and swore oaths, like
that of Demosthenes, “by their ancestors, by relatives living and dead,
and called heaven, earth, the sun, moon, and stars to witness for them,
particularly when they meant to deceive.”[80] According to D’Wolf,
“both sexes are expert in the use of fire-arms,” and he saw them
bathing in the sea with the thermometer below freezing, running over
the ice, and “performing all manner of antics with the same apparent
enjoyment as if it had been a warm spring.”[81] The fort has been
repeatedly threatened by these warriors, who multiply by reinforcements
from the interior, so that the governor in 1837 reported, that,
“although seven hundred only were now in the neighborhood, seven
thousand might arrive in a few hours.”[82] A little later their
character was recognized by Sir George Simpson, when he pronounced them
“numerous, treacherous, and fierce,” in contrast with Aleutians, whom
he describes as “peaceful even to cowardice.”[83] And yet this fighting
race is not entirely indocile, if we may credit recent report, that its
warriors are changing to traders.

       *       *       *       *       *

3. _Climate._--From Population I pass to Climate, which is more
important, as it is a constant force. Climate is the key to this whole
region. It is the governing power which rules production and life,
for Nature and man must each conform to its laws. Here at last the
observations of science give to inquiry a solid support.

Montesquieu has some famous chapters on the influence of climate
over customs and institutions.[84] Conclusions regarded in his day
as visionary or far-fetched are now unquestioned truth. Climate is a
universal master. But nowhere, perhaps, does it appear more eccentric
than in the southern portion of Russian America. Without a knowledge of
climatic laws, the weather here would seem like a freak of Nature. But
a brief explanation shows how all its peculiarities are the result of
natural causes which operate with a force as unerring as gravitation.
Heat and cold, rain and fog, to say nothing of snow and ice, which play
such a part, are not abnormal, but according to law.

This law has been known only of late years. Even so ingenious an
inquirer as Captain Cook notices the mildness of the climate, without
attempting to account for it. He records, that, in his opinion,
“cattle might subsist in Oonalaska all the year round without being
housed”;[85] and this was in latitude 53° 52´, on the same parallel
with Labrador, and several degrees north of Quebec; but he stops
with a simple statement of the suggestive fact. This, however, was
inconsistent with the received idea at the time. A geographer,
who wrote a few years before Cook sailed, has a chapter in which,
assuming that the climate of Quebec continues across the continent,
he argues that America is colder than Asia. I refer to the “Mémoires
Géographiques” of Engel.[86] He would have been astonished, had he
seen the revelations of an isothermal map, showing precisely the
reverse: that the climate of Quebec does not continue across the
continent; that the Pacific coast of our continent is warmer than the
corresponding Atlantic coast; and that America is warmer than Asia,
so far at least as can be determined by the two opposite coasts. Such
is the truth, of which there are plentiful signs. The Flora on the
American side, even in Behring Strait, is more vigorous than that
on the Asiatic side, and the American mountains have less snow in
summer than their Asiatic neighbors. Among many illustrations of the
temperature, I know none more direct than that furnished by the late
Hon. William Sturgis, of Boston,--who was familiar with the Northwest
Coast at the beginning of the century,--in a lecture on the Oregon
question in 1845. After remarking that the climate there is “altogether
milder and the winter less severe than in corresponding latitudes on
this side the continent,” he proceeds to testify, that, as a proof of
its mildness, he had “passed seven winters between the latitudes of
51° and 57°, frequently lying so near the shore as to have a small
cable fast to the trees upon it, and only once was his ship surrounded
by ice sufficiently firm to bear the weight of a man.”[87] But this
intelligent navigator assigns no reason. To the common observer it
seemed as if the temperature grew milder, travelling with the sun until
it dipped in the ocean.

Among authorities open before me I quote two, which show that this
difference of temperature between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts
was imagined, if not actually recognized, during the last century.
Portlock, the Englishman, who was on the coast in 1786, after saying
that during stormy and unsettled weather the air had been mild and
temperate, remarks that he is “inclined to think that the climate here
is not so severe as has been generally supposed.”[88] La Pérouse,
the Frenchman, whose visit was the same year, having been before in
Hudson’s Bay, on the other side of the continent, says still more
explicitly, “The climate of this coast seemed to me infinitely milder
than that of Hudson’s Bay, in the same latitude. We measured pines
six feet in diameter and a hundred and forty feet high; those of the
same species at Fort Prince of Wales and Fort York are of a dimension
scarcely sufficient for studding-sail booms.”[89] Langsdorff, when at
Sitka in 1805-6, was much with D’Wolf, the American navigator, and
records the surprise of the latter “at finding the cold less severe
in Norfolk Sound than at Boston, Rhode Island, and other provinces of
the United States, which lie more to the south.”[90] D’Wolf, in his
own work, says: “January brought cold, but not severe weather”; and in
February, the weather, though “rather more severe than the previous
month,” was “by no means so cold as in the United States, latitude

All this is now explained by known forces in Nature. Of these the
most important is a thermal current in the Pacific, corresponding to
the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic. The latter, having its origin in the
heated waters of the Gulf of Mexico, flows as a river through the
ocean northward, encircling England, bathing Norway, and warming all
within its influence. A similar stream in the Pacific, sometimes called
the Japanese Current, having its origin under the equator near the
Philippines and the Moluccas, amid no common heats, after washing the
ancient empire of Japan, sweeps north, until, forming two branches, one
moves onward to Behring Strait, and the other bends east, along the
Aleutian Islands, and then south, along the coast of Sitka, Oregon,
and California. Geographers have described this “heater,” which in the
lower latitudes is as high as 81° of Fahrenheit, and even far to the
north as high as 50°. A chart in Findlay’s “Pacific Ocean Directory”
portrays its course, as it warms so many islands and such an extent
of coast. An officer of the United States Navy, Lieutenant Bent, in a
paper before the Geographical Society of New York, while exhibiting the
influence of this current in mitigating the climate of the Northwest
Coast, mentions that vessels on the Asiatic side, becoming unwieldy
with accumulations of ice on the hull and rigging, run over to the
higher latitude on the American side and “thaw out.” But the tepid
waters which melt the ice on a vessel must change the atmosphere,
wherever they flow.

I hope you will not regard the illustration as too familiar, if I
remind you that in the economy of a household pipes of hot water are
sometimes employed in tempering the atmosphere by heat carried from
below to rooms above. In the economy of Nature these thermal currents
are only pipes of hot water, modifying the climate of continents by
carrying heat from the warm cisterns of the South into the most distant
places of the North. So also there are sometimes pipes of hot air,
having a similar purpose; and these, too, are found in this region.
Every ocean wind, from every quarter, traversing the stream of heat,
takes up the warmth and carries it to the coast, so that the oceanic
current is reinforced by an aërial current of constant influence.

These forces are aided essentially by the configuration of the
Northwest Coast, with a lofty and impenetrable barricade of mountains,
by which its islands and harbors are protected from the cold of the
North. Occupying the Aleutian Islands, traversing the peninsula of
Alaska, and running along the margin of the ocean to the latitude of
54° 40´, this mountain-ridge is a climatic division, or, according to
a German geographer, a “climatic shed,” such as perhaps exists nowhere
else in the world. Here are Alps, some of them volcanic, with Mount
St. Elias higher than Mont Blanc, standing guard against the Arctic
Circle. So it seems even without the aid of science. Here is a dike
between the icy waters of Behring Sea and the milder Southern Ocean.
Here is a partition between the treeless northern coast and the wooded
shores of the Kenaians and Koloschians. Here is a fence which separates
the animal kingdom, having on one side the walrus and ice-fox from the
Frozen Ocean, and on the other side the humming-bird from the tropics.
I simply report the testimony of geography. And now you will not fail
to observe how by this configuration the thermal currents of ocean and
air are left to exercise their climatic power.

One other climatic incident here is now easily explained. Early
navigators record the prevailing moisture. All are enveloped in fog.
Behring names an island Foggy. Another gives the same designation to
a cape at the southern extremity of Russian America. Cook records fog.
La Pérouse speaks of rain and continued fog in the month of August. And
now visitors, whether for science or business, make the same report.
The forests testify also. According to physical geography, it could not
be otherwise. The warm air from the ocean, encountering the snow-capped
mountains, would naturally produce this result. Rain is nothing
but atmosphere condensed and falling in drops to the earth. Fog is
atmosphere held in solution, but so far condensed as to become visible.
This condensation occurs, when the air is chilled by contact with a
colder atmosphere. These very conditions occur on the Northwest Coast.
The ocean air, coming in contact with the elevated range, is chilled,
until its moisture is set free.

Add to these influences, especially at Sitka, the presence of mountain
masses and of dense forests, all tending to make the coast warmer in
winter and colder in summer than it would otherwise be.

Practical observation verifies these conclusions of science. Any
isothermal map is enough for our purpose; but there are others which
show the relative conditions generally of different portions of the
globe. I ask attention to those of Keith Johnston, in his admirable
Atlas. But I am glad to present a climatic table of the Pacific
coast in comparison with the Atlantic coast, recently compiled,
at my request, from the archives of the Smithsonian Institution,
with permission of its learned secretary, by a collaborator of the
Institution, who visited Russian America under the auspices of the
Telegraph Company. By this table we are able to comprehend the relative
position of this region in the physical geography of the world.

              |     Mean Temperature in     |   Precipitation in Rain or
              |     Degrees Fahrenheit.     |    Snow. Depth in Inches.
              |  S  |  S  |  A  |  W  |  Y  |  S  |  S  |  A  |  W  |  Y
   Places of  |  p  |  u  |  u  |  i  |  e  |  p  |  u  |  u  |  i  |  e
  Observation.|  r  |  m  |  t  |  n  |  a  |  r  |  m  |  t  |  n  |  a
              |  i  |  m  |  u  |  t  |  r  |  i  |  m  |  u  |  t  |  r
              |  n  |  e  |  m  |  e  |  .  |  n  |  e  |  m  |  e  |  .
              |  g  |  r  |  n  |  r  |     |  g  |  r  |  n  |  r  |
              |  .  |  .  |  .  |  .  |     |  .  |  .  |  .  |  .  |
  St.         |28.75|52.25|27.00| 7.00|27.48|  …  |  …  |  …  |  …  |  …
  Michael’s,  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Russ. Am.   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 63° 28´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  45´´ N.     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Fort Yukon, |14.22|59.67|17.37-23.80|16.92|  …  |  …  |  …  |  …  |  …
  Russ. Am.   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. (near) |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  67°.        |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Ikogmut,    |19.62|49.32|36.05| 0.95|24.57|  …  |  …  |  …  |  …  |  …
  Russ. Am.   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 61° 47´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Sitka,      |39.65|53.37|43.80|32.30|42.28|18.32|15.75|32.10|23.77|89.94
  Russ. Am.   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 57° 3´ |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Puget Sound,|48.88|63.44|51.30|39.38|50.75| 7.52| 3.68|15.13|20.65|46.98
  Wash. T.    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 47° 7´ |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Astoria,    |51.16|61.36|53.55|42.43|52.13|16.43| 4.85|21.77|44.15|87.20
  Oregon      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 46° 11´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  San         |55.39|58.98|58.29|50.25|55.73| 6.65| 0.09| 2.69|13.49|22.92
  Francisco,  |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Cal.        |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 37° 48´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Nain,       |23.67|48.57|33.65| 0.40|26.40|  …  |  …  |  …  |  …  |  …
  Labrador    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 56° 10´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Montreal,   |41.20|68.53|44.93|16.40|42.77| 7.66|11.20| 7.42| 0.72|27.00
  Canada East |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 45° 30´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Portland,   |40.12|63.75|45.75|21.52|42.78|  …  |  …  |  …  |  …  |  …
  Maine       |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 43° 39´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Fort        |47.84|71.35|55.79|32.32|51.82|11.69|11.64| 9.88|10.31|43.52
  Hamilton,   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  N. Y.       |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 40° 37´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
              |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Washington, |54.19|73.07|53.91|33.57|53.69|10.48|10.53|10.16|10.06|41.23
  D. C.       |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Lat. 38° 54´|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |

It is seen here that the winters of Sitka are relatively warm, not
differing much from those of Washington; but the summers are colder.
The mean temperature of winter is 32.30°, while that of summer is
53.37°. The Washington winter is 33.57°; the Washington summer is
73.07°. These points exhibit the peculiarities of this coast,--warm
winters and cool summers.

The winter of Sitka is milder than that of many European capitals.
It is much milder than that of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Stockholm,
Copenhagen, Berlin, or Bern. It is milder even than that of Mannheim,
Stuttgart, Vienna, Sebastopol in the Crimea, or Turin. It is not much
colder than that of Padua. According to observations at Sitka in
1831, it froze only two days in December and seven days in January.
In February, the longest frost lasted five days; in March, it did not
freeze during the day at all, and rarely in the night. During the next
winter, the thermometer did not fall below 21° Fahrenheit; in January,
1834, it reached 11°. On the other hand, a temperature of 50° has been
noted in January. The roadstead is open throughout the year, and only a
few landlocked bays are frozen.

The prevailing dampness at Sitka renders a residence there far from
agreeable, although it does not appear injurious to health. England
is also damp; but Englishmen boast that theirs is the best climate of
the world. At Sitka the annual fall of rain is about ninety inches.
The mean annual fall in all England is forty inches, although in
mountainous districts of Cumberland and Westmoreland the fall amounts
to ninety and even one hundred and forty inches. In Washington it is
forty-one inches. The forests at Sitka are so wet that they will not
burn, although frequent attempts have been made to set them on fire.
The houses, which are of wood, suffer from constant moisture. In 1828
there were twenty days when it rained or snowed continuously; one
hundred and twenty when it rained or snowed part of the day, and only
sixty-six days of clear weather. Some years, only forty bright days
have been counted. Hinds, the naturalist, records only thirty-seven
“really clear and fine days.”[92] A scientific observer who was there
last year counted sixty. A visitor for fourteen days found only two
when nautical observations could be made; but these were as fine as he
had ever known in any country.

The whole coast from Sitka to the peninsula of Alaska seems to have the
same continuous climate, whether in temperature or moisture. The island
of Kadiak and the recess of Cook’s Inlet are outside this climatic
curve, so as to be comparatively dry. Langsdorff reports winters
“frequently so mild in the low parts of Kadiak that the snow does
not lie upon the ground for any length of time, nor is anything like
severe cold felt.”[93] Belcher, on his passage between Montague and
Hinchinbrook Islands, found an “oppressively hot sun.”[94] The Aleutian
Islands, further west, are somewhat colder than Sitka, although the
difference is not great. The summer temperature is seldom above 66°;
the winter temperature is more seldom as low as 2° below zero. The
snow falls about the beginning of October, and is seen sometimes as
late as the end of April; but it does not remain long on the surface.
The mean temperature of Oonalaska is about 40°. Chamisso found the
temperature of spring-water at the beginning of the year 38.50°. There
are years when it rains on this island the whole winter. The fogs
prevail from April till the middle of July, when for the time they are
driven further north. The islands northward toward Behring Strait are
proportionately colder; but I remind you that the American coast is
milder than the opposite coast of Asia.

From Mr. Bannister I have an authentic statement with regard to the
temperature north of the Aleutians, as observed by himself in the
autumn of 1865 and the months following. Even here the winter does not
seem so terrible as is sometimes imagined. During most of the time,
work could be done with comfort in the open air. Only when it stormed
the men were kept within doors. In transporting supplies from St.
Michael’s to Nulato, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles, they
found no hardship, even when obliged to bivouac in the open air.

On Norton Sound and the Kwichpak River winter may be said to commence
at the end of September, although the weather is not severe till
the end of October. The first snow falls about the 20th or 25th of
September. All the small ponds and lakes were frozen early in October.
The Kwichpak was frozen solid about the 20th or 25th of this month. On
the 1st of November the harbor at St. Michael’s was still open, but on
the morning of the 4th it was frozen solid enough for sledges to cross
on the ice. In December there were two thaws, one accompanied by rain
for a day. The snow was about two feet deep at the end of the month.
January was uniformly cold, and it was said that at a place sixty-five
miles northeast of St. Michael’s the thermometer descended to 58° below
zero. February was usually mild all over the country. In the middle
of the month there was an extensive thaw, with showers of rain. About
half the snow disappeared, leaving much of the ground bare. March was
pleasant, without very cold weather. Its mean temperature was 20°; its
minimum was 3° below zero. Spring commences on the Kwichpak the 1st of
May, or a few days later, when the birds return and vegetation begins.
The ice did not entirely disappear from the river till after the 20th
of May. The sea-ice continued in the bay of St. Michael’s as late as
1st June. The summer temperature is much higher in the interior than
on the coast. Parties travelling on the Kwichpak in June complained
sometimes of heat.

The river Yukon, which, flowing into the Kwichpak, helps to swell that
stream, is navigable for at least four, if not five, months in the
year. The thermometer at Fort Yukon is sometimes at 65° below zero
of Fahrenheit, and for three months of a recent winter it stood at
50° below zero without variation. In summer it rises above 80° in the
shade; but a hard frost occurs at times in August. The southwest wind
brings warmth; the northeast wind brings cold. Some years, there is
no rain for months; and then, again, showers alternate with sunshine.
The snow packs hard at an average of two and a half feet deep. The ice
is four or five feet thick; in a severe winter it is six feet thick.
Life at Fort Yukon, under these rigors of Nature, although far from
inviting, is not intolerable.

Such is the climate of this extensive region, so far as known, along
its coast, among its islands, and on its great rivers, from its
southern limit to its most northern ice, with contrasts and varieties
such as Milton describes:--

    “For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions fierce,
    Strive here for mastery.”

       *       *       *       *       *

4. _Vegetable Products._--Vegetable products depend upon climate. They
are determined by its laws. Therefore what has been already said upon
the one prepares the way for the consideration of the other; and here
we have the reports of navigators and the suggestions of science.

From the time this coast was first visited, navigators reported the
aspects which Nature assumed. But their opportunities were casual,
and they necessarily confined themselves to what was most obvious.
As civilization did not exist, the only vegetable products were
indigenous to the soil. At the first landing, on the discovery of the
coast by Behring, Steller found among the provisions in one of the
Indian cabins “a sweet herb dressed for food in the same manner as
in Kamtchatka.” That “sweet herb” is the first vegetable production
of which we have record on this coast. At the same time, although
ashore only six hours, this naturalist “gathered herbs, and brought
such a quantity to the ship that the describing of them took him a
considerable time.” This description was afterwards adopted by Gmelin
in his “Flora Sibirica.”[95]

Trees were noticed even before landing. They enter into descriptions,
and are often introduced to increase the savage wildness of the scene.
La Pérouse doubts “if the deep valleys of the Alps and the Pyrenees
present a scene so frightful, but at the same time so picturesque that
it would deserve to be visited by the curious, if it were not at one
of the extremities of the earth.”[96] Lisiansky, as he approached the
coast of Sitka, records that “nothing presented itself to the view
but impenetrable woods, reaching from the water-side to the very tops
of the highest mountains”; that he “never saw a country so wild and
gloomy; it appeared more adapted for the residence of wild beasts than
of men.”[97] Lütke portrays the “savage and picturesque aspect” of the
whole Northwest Coast.[98]

As navigators landed, they saw Nature in detail; and here they were
impressed by the size of the trees. Cook finds at Prince William Sound
“Canadian and spruce pine, and some of them tolerably large.”[99] La
Pérouse describes pines measuring six feet in diameter and one hundred
and forty feet in height, and then again introduces us to “those superb
pines fit for the masts of our largest vessels.”[100] Portlock notices
in Cook’s Inlet “wood of different kinds in great abundance, such as
pine, black-birch, witch-hazel, and poplar; many of the pines large
enough for lower masts for a ship of four hundred tons burden”; and
then again at Prince William Sound “trees of the pine kind, some very
large; a good quantity of alder; a kind of hazel, but not larger than
will do for making handspikes.”[101] Meares reports “woods thick,”
also “the black-pine in great plenty, capable of making excellent
spars.”[102] Sauer, who was there a little later, in the expedition
of Billings, reports that they “took in a number of fine spars”; and
he proceeds to say: “The timber comprised a variety of pines of an
immense thickness and height, some extremely tough and fibrous, and
of these we made our best oars.”[103] Vancouver mentions, in latitude
60°, a “woodland country.”[104] Langsdorff describes trees in the
neighborhood of Sitka, many of them measuring six feet in diameter and
one hundred and fifty feet in height, “excellent wood for ship-building
and masts.”[105] Lisiansky says, that, at Kadiak, “for want of fir,
we made a new bowsprit of one of the pine-trees, which answered
admirably.”[106] Lütke testifies to the “magnificent pine and fir” at
Sitka, adding what seems an inconsistent judgment with regard to its
durability.[107] Belcher notices Garden Island, in latitude 60° 21´, as
“covered with pine-trees”; and then again, at Sitka, speaks of “a very
fine-grained, bright yellow cypress” as the most valuable wood, which,
besides being used in boats, was exported to the Sandwich Islands, in
return especially for Chinese goods.[108]

Turning westward from Cook’s Inlet, the forests on the sea-line are
rarer, until they entirely disappear. The first settlement on the
island of Kadiak was on the southwestern coast; but the want of timber
caused its transfer to the northeastern coast, where are “considerable
forests of fine tall trees.”[109] But where trees are wanting, grass
seems to abound. This is the case with Kadiak, the peninsula of Alaska,
and the Aleutian Islands generally. Of these, Oonalaska, libelled in
the immortal verse of Campbell, has been the most described. This
well-known island is without trees; but it seems singularly adapted to
the growth of grass, which is often so high as to impede the traveller
and to overtop even the willows. The mountains themselves are for a
considerable distance clothed with rich turf. One of these scenes is
represented in a print you will find among the views of the vegetation
of the Pacific in the London reproduction of the work of Kittlitz.
This peculiarity was first noticed by Cook, who says, with a sailor’s
sententiousness, that he did not see there “a single stick of wood of
any size,” but “plenty of grass, which grows very thick and to a great
length.”[110] Lütke records, that, after leaving Brazil, he met nothing
so agreeable as the grass of this island.

North of the peninsula of Alaska, on Behring Sea, the forests do not
approach the coast, except at the heads of bays and sounds, although
they abound in the interior, and extend even to within a short distance
of the Frozen Ocean. Such is the personal testimony of a scientific
observer recently returned from this region. In Norton Sound, Cook,
who was the first to visit it, reports “a coast covered with wood, an
agreeable sight,” and, on walking into the country, small spruce-trees,
“none of them above six or eight inches in diameter.” A few days
afterward “a party of men were sent on shore to cut brooms, and the
branches of spruce-trees for brewing beer.”[111] On the Kwichpak, and
its affluent, the Yukon, trees are sometimes as high as a hundred feet.
The supply of timber at St. Michael’s is from the drift-wood of the
river. Near Fort Yukon, at the junction of the Porcupine and Yukon,
are forests of pine, poplar, willow, and birch. The pine is the most
plentiful; but the small islands in the great river are covered with
poplar and willow. Immense trunks rolling under the fort show that
there must be large trees nearer the head-waters.

But even in northern latitudes the American coast is not without
vegetation. Grass takes the place of trees. At Fort Yukon, in latitude
67°, there is “a thin, wiry grass.” Navigators notice the contrast
between the opposite coasts of the two continents. Kotzebue, while in
Behring Strait, where the two approach each other, was struck by black,
mossy rocks frowning with snow and icicles on the Asiatic side, while
on the American side “even the summits of the highest mountains were
free from snow,” and “the coast was covered with a green carpet.”[112]
But the contrast with the Atlantic coast of the continent is hardly
less. The northern limit of trees is full seven degrees higher in
Russian America than in Labrador. In point of fact, on the Atlantic
coast, in latitude 57° 58´, which is nearly that of Sitka, there are no
trees. All this is most suggestive.

Next after trees, early navigators speak oftenest of berries,
which they found in profusion. Not a sailor lands who does not
find them. Cook reports “a variety of berries” at Norton Sound,
and “great quantities” at Oonalaska.[113] Portlock finds at
Prince William Sound “fruit-bushes in great abundance, such as
bilberry-bushes, raspberry-bushes, strawberries, elder-berry-bushes,
and currant-bushes, red and black,” and “any quantity of the berries
might be gathered for a winter’s stock.”[114] Meares saw there “a few
black-currant-bushes.”[115] Billings finds at Kadiak “several species
of berries, with currants and raspberries in abundance, the latter
white, but extremely large, being bigger than any mulberry he had
ever seen.”[116] Langsdorff notes most of these at Oonalaska, with
cranberries and whortleberries besides.[117] Belcher reports at Garden
Island “strawberries, whortleberries, blaeberries, pigeon-berries, and
a small cranberry, in tolerable profusion, without going in search of
them.”[118] These I quote precisely, and in the order of time.

Next to berries were plants for food; and these were in constant
abundance. Behring, on landing at the Shumagin Islands, observed the
natives “to eat roots which they dug out of the ground, and scarce
shaked off the earth before they eat them.”[119] Cook reports at
Oonalaska “a great variety of plants, several of them such as we find
in Europe and in other parts of America, particularly in Newfoundland:
… all these we found very palatable, dressed either in soups or in
salads.”[120] La Pérouse, who landed in latitude 58° 37´, finds a
French bill of fare, including celery, chicory, sorrel, and “almost
all the pot-herbs of the meadows and mountains of France,” besides
“several kinds of grass suitable for forage.” Every day and each meal
the ship’s kettle was filled with these supplies, and all ate them in
soups, ragouts, and salads, much to the benefit of their health.[121]
Portlock mentions at Port Etches, besides “fine water-cresses,” “just
above the beach, between the bay and the lake, a piece of wild wheat,
about two hundred yards long and five yards wide, growing at least
two feet high,” which, “with proper care, might certainly be made an
useful article of food”; and at Cook’s Inlet he reports “ginseng and
snakeroot.”[122] Meares reports at the latter place “inexhaustible
plenty” of ginseng, and at Prince William Sound “snakeroot and ginseng,
some of which the natives have always with them as a medicine.” He
adds: “The ginseng of this part of America is far preferable to that of
the eastern side.”[123] Billings finds at Kadiak “ginseng, wild onions,
and the edible roots of Kamtchatka,” and then again at Prince William
Sound “plenty of ginseng and some snakeroot.”[124] Vancouver finds at
Port Mulgrave “wild vegetables in great abundance.”[125] Langsdorff
adds to the list, at Oonalaska, “that sweet plant, the Siberian
parsnip.”[126] These, too, I quote precisely, and in the order of time.

Since the establishment of Europeans on this coast, an attempt has
been made to introduce the nutritious grains and vegetables known
to the civilized world, but without very brilliant success. Against
wheat and rye and against orchard fruits are obstacles of climate,
perhaps insuperable. These require summer heat; but here the summer
is comparatively cold. The northern limit of wheat is several degrees
below the southern limit of these possessions, so that this friendly
grain is out of the question. Rye flourishes further north, as do oats
also. The supposed northern boundary of these grains embraces Sitka and
grazes the Aleutian Islands. But other climatic conditions are wanting,
at least for rye. One of these is dry weather, which is required at the
time of its bloom. Possibly the clearing of the forest may produce a
modification of the weather. At present barley grows better, and there
is reason to believe that it may be cultivated successfully very far
to the north. It has ripened at Kadiak. Many garden vegetables have
become domesticated. Lütke reports potatoes at Sitka, so that all have
enough.[127] Langsdorff reports the same of Kadiak and Oonalaska.[128]
There are also at Sitka radishes, cabbages, cauliflowers, peas, and
carrots,--making a very respectable list. At Norton Sound I hear of
radishes, beets, and cabbages. Even as far north as Fort Yukon, on the
parallel of 67°, potatoes, peas, turnips, and even barley, have been
grown; but the turnips were unfit for the table, being rotten at the
heart. A recent resident reports that there are no fruit-trees, and not
even a raspberry-bush, and that he lost all his potatoes during one
season by a frost in the latter days of July; but do not forget that
these potatoes were the wall-flowers of the Arctic Circle.

Thus it appears that the vegetable productions of the country are
represented practically by trees. The forests, overshadowing the coast
from Sitka to Cook’s Inlet, are all that can be shown under this head
out of which a revenue can be derived, unless we add ginseng, so much
prized by the Chinese, and perhaps also snakeroot. Other things may
contribute to the scanty support of a household; but timber will, in
all probability, be an article of commerce. It has been so already.
Ships from the Sandwich Islands have come for it, and there is reason
to believe that this trade may be extended indefinitely, so that
Russian America will be on the Pacific like Maine on the Atlantic, and
the lumbermen of Sitka vie with their hardy brethren of the East.

These forests, as described, seem to afford all that can be desired.
The trees are abundant, and they are perfect in size, not unlike

               “the tallest pine
    Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast
    Of some great ammiral.”

But a doubt has been raised as to their commercial value. Here we
have the inconsistent testimony of Lütke. According to him, the pines
and firs, which he calls “magnificent,” constitute an untried source
of commercial wealth. Not only California, but other countries, poor
in trees, like Mexico, the Sandwich Islands, and even Chili, will
need them. And yet he does not conceal an unfavorable judgment of
the timber, which, as seen in the houses of Sitka, suffering from
constant moisture, did not seem durable.[129] Sir Edward Belcher
differs from the Russian admiral, for he praises especially “the
timber of the higher latitudes, either for spars or plank.”[130]
Perhaps its durability may depend upon the climate where it is used;
so that, though failing amidst the damps of Sitka, it may be lasting
enough, when transported to another climate. In the rarity of trees
on the islands and main-land of the Pacific, the natural supply is
in Russian America. One of the early navigators even imagined that
China must look this way, and he expected that “the woods would yield
a handsome revenue, when the Russian commerce with China should be
established.”[131] American commerce with China is established. Perhaps
timber may become one of its staples.

A profitable commerce in timber has already begun at Puget Sound. By
official returns of 1866 it appears that it was exported to a long list
of foreign countries and places, in which I find Victoria, Honolulu,
Callao, Tahiti, Canton, Valparaiso, Adelaide, Hong Kong, Sydney,
Montevideo, London, Melbourne, Shanghae, Peru, Coquimbo, Calcutta,
Hilo, Cape Town, Cork, Guaymas, and Siam; and in this commerce were
employed no less than eighteen ships, thirty barks, four brigs,
twenty-eight schooners, and ten steamers. The value of the lumber and
spars exported abroad was over half a million dollars, while more than
four times that amount was shipped coastwise. But the coasts of Russian
America are darker with trees than those further south. Pines, in which
they abound, do not flourish as low down as Puget Sound. Northward,
they are numerous and easily accessible.

In our day the Flora of the coast has been explored with care.
Kittlitz, who saw it as a naturalist, portrays it with the enthusiasm
of an early navigator; but he speaks with knowledge. He, too, dwells on
the “surprising power and luxuriance” of the pine forests, describing
them with critical skill. The trees which he identifies are the
Pinus Canadensis, distinguished for its delicate foliage; the Pinus
Mertensiana, a new species, rival of the other in height; and the
Pinus Palustris, growing on swampy declivities, and not attaining
height. In the clearings or on the outskirts of thickets are shrubs,
being chiefly a species of Rubus, with flowers of carmine and aromatic
fruit. About and over all are mosses and lichens, invigorated by the
constant moisture, while colossal trees, undermined or uprooted, crowd
the surface, reminding the scientific observer of the accumulations of
the coal measures. Two different prints in the London reproduction of
the work of Kittlitz present pictures of these vegetable productions
grouped for beauty and instruction. I refer to these, and also to the
Essay of Hinds on “The Regions of Vegetation,” the latter to be found
at the end of the volumes containing Belcher’s Voyage.

In turning from the vegetable products of this region, it will not be
out of place, if I refer for one moment to its domestic animals, for
these are necessarily associated with such products. Some time ago it
was stated that cattle had not flourished at Sitka, owing to the want
of proper pasturage, and the difficulty of making hay in a climate of
such moisture. Hogs are more easily sustained, but, feeding on fish,
instead of vegetable products, their flesh acquires a fishy taste,
which does not recommend it. Nor has there been great success with
poultry, for this becomes the prey of the crow, whose voracity here
is absolutely fabulous. A Koloschian tribe traces its origin to this
bird, which in this neighborhood might be a fit progenitor. Not content
with swooping upon hens and chickens, it descends upon swine to nibble
at their tails, and so successfully “that the hogs here are without
tails,” and then it scours the streets so well that it is called the
Scavenger of Sitka. But there are other places more favored. The grass
at Kadiak is well suited to cattle, and it is supposed that sheep would
thrive there. The grass at Oonalaska is famous, and Cook thought the
climate good for cattle, of which we have at least one illustration.
Langsdorff reports that a cow grazed here luxuriously for several
years, and then was lost in the mountains. That grazing animal is a
good witness. Perhaps also it is typical of the peaceful inhabitants.

       *       *       *       *       *

5. _Mineral Products._--In considering the Mineral Products, I ask
attention first to the indications afforded by the early navigators.
They were not geologists. They saw only what was exposed. And yet,
during the long interval that elapsed, not very much has been added
to their conclusions. The existence of iron is hardly less uncertain
now than then. The existence of copper is hardly more certain now
than then. Gold, which is so often a dangerous _ignis-fatuus_, did
not appear to deceive them. But coal, which is much more desirable
than gold, was reported by several, and once at least with reasonable

The boat that landed from Behring, when he discovered the coast, found
among other things “a whetstone on which it appeared that copper knives
had been sharpened.” This was the first sign of the mineral wealth
which already excites such interest. At another point where Behring
landed, “one of the Americans had a knife hanging by his side, of which
his people took particular notice on account of its unusual make.”[132]
It has been supposed that this was of iron. Next came Cook, who, when
in Prince William Sound, saw “copper and iron.” In his judgment, the
iron came, “through the intervention of the more inland tribes, from
Hudson’s Bay, or the settlements on the Canadian lakes,” and his
editor refers in a note to the knife seen by Behring as from the same
quarter; but Cook thought that the copper was obtained near at home, as
the natives, when engaged in barter, gave the idea, “that, having so
much of this metal of their own, they wanted no more.”[133] Naturally
enough, for they were not far from the Copper River. Maurelle, in
1779, landed in sight of Mount St. Elias, and he reports Indians with
arrow-heads of copper, which “made the Spaniards suspect mines of this
metal there.”[134] La Pérouse, who was also in this neighborhood, after
mentioning that the naturalists of the expedition allowed no stone or
pebble to escape observation, reports ochre, copper pyrites, garnets,
schorl, granite, schist, horn-stone, very pure quartz, mica, plumbago,
coal, and then adds that some of these substances announce that the
mountains conceal mines of iron and copper. He reports further that
the natives had daggers of iron, and sometimes of red copper; that
the latter metal was common enough, serving for ornaments and for the
points of arrows; and he then states the very question of Cook with
regard to the acquisition of these metals. He insists also that “the
natives know how to forge iron and work copper.”[135] Spears and arrows
“pointed with bone or iron,” and also “an iron dagger” for each man,
appear in Vancouver’s account of the natives on the parallel of 55°,
just within the southern limit of Russian America.[136] Lisiansky saw
at Sitka “a thin plate made of virgin copper” found on Copper River,
three feet in length, and at one end twenty-two inches in breadth, with
various figures painted on one side, which had come from the possession
of the natives.[137] Meares reports “pure malleable lumps of copper
ore in the possession of the natives,”--one piece weighing as much
as a pound, said to have been obtained in barter with other natives
further north,--also necklaces and bracelets “of the purest ore.”[138]
Portlock, while in Cook’s Inlet, in latitude 59° 27´, at a place called
Graham’s Harbor, makes another discovery. Walking round the bay, he
saw “two veins of kennel coal situated near some hills just above the
beach, and with very little trouble several pieces were got out of the
bank nearly as large as a man’s head.” If the good captain did not
report more than he saw, this would be most important; for, from the
time when the amusing biographer of Lord Keeper North described that
clean flaky coal which he calls “candle,” because often used for its
light, but which is generally called “cannel,” no coal has been more of
a household favorite. He relates, further, that, returning on board in
the evening, he “tried some of the coal, and found it to burn clear
and well.”[139] Add to these different accounts the general testimony
of Meares, who, when dwelling on the resources of the country, boldly
includes “mines which are known to lie between the latitudes of 40°
and 60° north, and which may hereafter prove a most valuable source of
commerce between America and China.”[140]

It is especially when seeking to estimate the mineral products that
we feel the want of careful explorations. We know more of the roving
aborigines than of these stationary tenants of the soil. We know more
of the trees. A tree is conspicuous; a mineral is hidden in the earth,
to be found by chance or science. Thus far it seems as if chance only
had ruled. The Russian Government handed over the country to a trading
company, whose exclusive interest was furs. The company followed its
business, when it looked to wild beasts with rich skins rather than
to the soil. Its mines were above ground, and not below. There were
also essential difficulties in the way of exploration. The interior
was practically inaccessible. The thick forest, saturated with rain
and overgrown with wet mosses, presented obstacles which nothing but
enlightened enterprise could overcome. Even at a short distance from
the port of Sitka all effort failed, and the inner recesses of the
island, only thirty miles broad, were never penetrated.

The late Professor Henry D. Rogers, in his admirable paper on the
Physical Features of America, being part of his contribution to Keith
Johnston’s Atlas, full of knowledge and of fine generalization, says
of this northwest belt, that it is “little known in its topography
to any but the roving Indians and the thinly scattered fur-trappers.”
But there are certain general features which he proceeds to designate.
According to him, it belongs to what is known as the tertiary period
of geology, intervening between the cretaceous period and that now in
progress, but including also granite, gneiss, and ancient metamorphic
rocks. It is not known if the true coal measures prevail in any part,
although there is reason to believe that they exist on the coast of the
Arctic Ocean between Cape Lisburne and Point Barrow.

Beginning at the south, we have Sitka and its associate islands,
composed chiefly of volcanic rocks, with limestone near. Little is
known even of the coast between Sitka and Mount St. Elias, which,
itself a volcano, is the beginning of a volcanic region occupying the
peninsula of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, and having no less than
thirty volcanoes, some extinct, but others still active. Most of the
rocks here are volcanic, and the only fossiliferous beds are of the
tertiary period. North of Alaska, and near the mouth of the Kwichpak,
the coast seems volcanic or metamorphic, and probably tertiary, with
a vein of lignite near the head of Norton Sound. At the head of
Kotzebue Sound the cliffs abound in the bones of elephants and mammals
now extinct, together with those of the musk-ox and other animals
still living in the same latitude. From Kotzebue Sound northward, the
coast has a volcanic character. Then at Cape Thompson it is called
subcarboniferous, followed by rocks of the carboniferous age, being
limestones, shales, and sandstones, which extend from Cape Lisburne
far round to Point Barrow. At Cape Beaufort, very near the seventieth
parallel of latitude, and north of the Arctic Circle, on a high ridge
a quarter of a mile from the beach is a seam of coal which appears to
be of the true coal measures.

From this general outline, which leaves much in uncertainty, I come to
what is more important.

It is not entirely certain that iron has been found, although
frequently reported. Evidence points to the south, and also to the
north. Near Sitka it was reported by the Russian engineer Doroschin,
although it does not appear that anything has been done to verify his
report. A visitor there, as late as last year, saw excellent iron,
said to be from a bed in the neighborhood, reported inexhaustible, and
with abundant wood for its reduction. Then again on Kotzebue Sound
specimens have been collected. At 66° 13´ Kotzebue found a false result
in his calculations, which he attributes to the disturbing influence of
“iron.”[141] A resident on the Yukon thinks that there is iron in that

Silver, also, has been reported at Sitka by the same Russian engineer
who reported iron, and, like the iron, in “sufficient quantity to pay
for the working.”

Lead was reported by the Russian explorer, Lieutenant Zagoyskin, on
the lower part of the Kwichpak; but it is not known to what extent it

Copper is found on the banks of the Copper River, called by the
Russians the Mjednaja, meaning copper, and of its affluent, the
Tchetchitno, in masses sometimes as large as forty pounds. Of this
there can be little doubt. It is mentioned by Golowin, in the “Archiv”
of Erman, as late as 1863. Undoubtedly from this neighborhood was
obtained the copper which arrested the attention of the early
navigators. Traces of copper are found in other places on the coast;
also in the mountains near the Yukon, where the Indians use it for

Coal seems to exist all along the coast,--according to Golowin,
“everywhere, in greater or less quantity.” Traces are reported on the
islands of the Sitkan archipelago; and this is extremely probable,
for it has been worked successfully on Vancouver’s Island below. It
is also found on the Kenaian peninsula, Alaska, the island of Unga,
belonging to the Shumagin group, Oonalaska, and far to the north
at Cape Beaufort. At this last place it is “slaty, burning with a
pure flame and rapid consumption,” and it is supposed that there are
extensive beds in the neighborhood better in quality. For an account of
this coal I refer to the scientific illustrations of Beechey’s Voyage.
The natives also report coal in the interior on the Kwichpak. The coal
of Oonalaska, and probably of Alaska, is tertiary, and not adapted
for steamers. With regard to that of Unga scientific authorities
are divided. That of the Kenaian peninsula is the best and the most
extensive. It is found on the eastern side of Cook’s Inlet, half way
between Cape Anchor and the Russian settlement of St. Nicholas, in
veins three quarters of a yard or more in thickness, and ranging in
quality from mere carboniferous wood to anthracite. According to one
authority, these coal veins extend and spread far into the interior.
This coal has more than once been sent to California for trial, and
was there pronounced a good article. Since then it has been mined
by the Company, not only for their own uses, but also for export to
California. In making these statements, I rely particularly upon
Golowin, in the “Archiv” of Erman, and upon the elaborate work of
Grewingk, in the “Transactions of the Mineralogical Society of St.
Petersburg” for 1848 and 1849,[142] where is a special map of the
Kenaian peninsula.

Gold is less important than coal, but its discovery produces more
excitement. The report of gold in any quarter stimulates the emigrant
or the adventurer hoping to obtain riches swiftly. Nor is this distant
region without such experience. Only a few years ago, the British
colony of Victoria was aroused by a rumor of gold in the mountains of
the Stikine River, not far in the interior from Sitka. At once there
was a race that way, and the solitudes of this river were penetrated by
hunters in quest of the glittering ore. Discomfiture ensued. Gold had
been found, but not in any sufficient quantities reasonably accessible.
Nature for the present had set up obstacles. But failure in one place
will be no discouragement in another, especially as there is reason
to believe that the mountains here contain a continuation of those
auriferous deposits which have become so famous further south. The
Sierra Nevada chain of California reaches here.

Traces of gold have been observed at other points. One report places
a deposit not far from Sitka. The same writer who reports iron also
reports that during the last year he saw a piece of gold as large as
a marble, which was shown by an Indian. But the Russian engineer,
Doroschin, furnishes testimony more precise. He reports gold in
at least three different localities, each of considerable extent.
The first is the mountain range on the north of Cook’s Inlet and
extending into the peninsula of Alaska, consisting principally of
clay slate with permeating veins of diorite, the latter being known
as a gold-bearing rock. He observed this in the summer of 1851. About
the same time, certain Indians from the Bay of Yakutat, not far from
Mount St. Elias, brought him specimens of diorite found in their
neighborhood, making, therefore, a second deposit. In the summer of
1855, the same engineer found gold on the southern side of Cook’s
Inlet, in the mountains of the Kenay peninsula. Satisfying himself,
first, that the bank occupied by the redoubt of St. Nicholas, at the
mouth of the Kaknu River, was gold-bearing, he was induced to follow
the development of diorite in the upper valley of the river, and, as
he ascended, found a gold-bearing alluvion, gradually increasing,
with scales of gold becoming coarser and coarser, instead of scarcely
visible, as at first.

It does not appear that the discoveries on Cook’s Inlet were pursued;
but it is reported that the Hudson’s Bay Company, holding the country
about the Bay of Yakutat under a lease from the Russian Company, have
found the diorite in that neighborhood valuable. This incident has
given rise to a recent controversy. Russian journals attacked the
engineer for remissness in not exploring the Yakutat country. He has
defended himself by setting out what he actually did in the way of
discovery, and the essential difficulty at the time in doing more: all
which will be found in a number, just received, of the work to which I
have so often referred, the “Archiv” of Erman, for 1867.[143]

Thus much for the mineral resources of this new-found country, as
recognized at a few points on the extensive coast, leaving the vast
unknown interior without a word.

       *       *       *       *       *

6. _Furs._--I pass now to Furs, which at times have vied with minerals
in value, although the supply is more limited and less permanent.
Trappers are “miners” of the forest, seeking furs as others seek gold.
The parallel continues also in the greed and oppression unhappily
incident to the pursuit. A Russian officer, who was one of the early
visitors on this coast, remarks that to his mind the only prospect of
relief for the suffering natives “consists in the total extirpation of
the animals of the chase,” which he thought, from the daily havoc, must
take place in a very few years.[144] This was at the close of the last
century. The trade, though essentially diminished, still continues an
important branch of commerce.

Early in this commerce, desirable furs were obtained in barter for
a trifle; and when something of value was exchanged, it was much
out of proportion to the furs. This has been the case generally in
dealing with the natives, until their eyes have been slowly opened. In
Kamtchatka, at the beginning of the last century, half a dozen sables
were obtained in exchange for a knife, and a dozen for a hatchet; and
the Kamtchadales wondered that their Cossack conquerors were willing
to pay so largely for what seemed worth so little. Similar incidents
on the Northwest Coast are reported by the early navigators. Cook
mentions that in exchange for “beads” the Indians at Prince William
Sound “readily gave whatever they had, even their fine sea-otter
skins,” which they prized no more than other skins, until it appeared
how much they were prized by their visitors.[145] Where there was
no competition, prices rose slowly, and many years after Cook, the
Russians at Oonalaska, in return for “trinkets and tobacco,” received
twelve sea-otter skins, and fox skins of different kinds to the number
of near six hundred.[146] These instances show in a general way the
spirit of this trade even to our own day. On the coast, and especially
in the neighborhood of the factories, the difference in the value of
furs is recognized, and a proportionate price obtained, which Sir
Edward Belcher found in 1837 to be for “a moderately good sea-otter
skin from six to seven blankets, increasing to thirteen for the best,”
together with “sundry knick-knacks.”[147] But in the interior it is
otherwise. A recent resident in the region of the Yukon assures me that
he has seen skins worth several hundred dollars bartered for goods
worth only fifty cents.

Beside whalers and casual ships, with which the Esquimaux are in the
habit of dealing, the commerce in furs, on both sides of the continent,
north of the United States, has for a long time been in the hands of
two corporations,--being the Hudson’s Bay Company, with directors
in London, and the Russian American Company, with directors in St.
Petersburg. The former is much the older of the two, and has been the
most flourishing. Its original members were none other than Prince
Rupert, the Duke of Albemarle, Earl Craven, Lord Ashley, and other
eminent associates, who received a charter from Charles the Second,
in 1670, to prosecute a search after a new passage to the South Sea,
and to establish a trade in furs, minerals, and other considerable
commodities in all those seas, and in the British possessions north
and west of Canada, with powers of government, the whole constituting
a colossal monopoly, which stretched from Labrador and Baffin’s Bay
to an undefined West. At present this great corporation is known only
as a fur company, to which all its powers are tributary. For some
time its profits were so considerable that it was deemed advisable to
hide them by nominal additions to the stock. With the extinction of
the St. Petersburg corporation under the present treaty, the London
corporation will remain the only existing fur company on the continent,
but necessarily restricted in its operation to British territory. It
remains to be seen into whose hands the commerce on the Pacific side
will fall, now that this whole region will be open to the unchecked
enterprise of our citizens.

This remarkable commerce began before the organization of the Russian
Company. Its profits may be inferred from a voyage in 1772, described
by Coxe, between Kamtchatka and the Aleutians. The tenth part of the
skins being handed to the custom-house, the remainder were distributed
in fifty-five shares, consisting each of twenty sea-otters, sixteen
black and brown foxes, ten red foxes, and three sea-otter tails;
and these shares were sold on the spot at from eight hundred to one
thousand rubles each, so that the whole lading brought about fifty
thousand rubles.[148] The cost of these may be inferred from the
articles given in exchange. A Russian outfit, of which I find a
contemporary record, was, among other things, “about five hundred
weight of tobacco, one hundred weight of glass beads, perhaps a dozen
spare hatchets and a few superfluous knives of very bad quality,
an immense number of traps for foxes, a few hams, a little rancid
butter.”[149] With such imports against such exports, the profits must
have been considerable.

From Langsdorff we have a general inventory of furs at the beginning
of the century in the principal magazine of the Russian Company on the
island of Kadiak, drawn from the islands, the peninsula of Alaska,
Cook’s Inlet, Prince William Sound, and the continent generally.
Here were “a great variety of the rarest kinds of fox skins,” black,
blackish, reddish, silver gray, and stone fox,--the last probably a
species of the Arctic; “brown and red bears, the skins of which are of
great value,” and also “the valuable black bear”; the zisel marmot, and
the common marmot; the glutton; the lynx, chiefly of whitish gray; the
reindeer; the beaver; the hairy hedgehog; “the wool of a wild American
sheep, whitish, fine, and very long,” but he could never obtain sight
of the animal that produced this wool; also sea-otters, once “the
principal source of wealth to the Company, now nearly extirpated, a few
hundreds only being annually collected.”[150] Many of the same furs
were reported by Cook on this coast in his day. They all continue to
be found,--except that I hear nothing of wild sheep, save at a Sitkan

There has been much exaggeration with regard to the profits of the
Russian corporation. An English writer of authority calls the produce
“immense,” and adds that “formerly it was much greater.” I refer to
the paper of Mr. Petermann, read before the Royal Geographical Society
of London, in 1852.[151] The number of skins at times is prodigious,
although this fails to reveal precisely the profits. For instance,
Pribyloff collected within two years, on the islands northwest of
Alaska which bear his name, the skins of 2,000 sea-otters, 40,000
sea-bears or ursine seals, 6,000 dark ice-foxes, together with 1,000
poods of walrus ivory.[152] The pood is a Russian weight of thirty-six
pounds. Lütke mentions that in 1803 no less than 800,000 skins of the
ursine seal were accumulated in the factory at Oonalaska, of which
700,000 were thrown into the sea, partly because they were badly
prepared, and partly to keep up the price,[153]--thus imitating the
Dutch, who for the same reason burned spices. Another estimate masses
the collection for a series of years. From 1787 to 1817, for only part
of which time the Company existed, the Oonalaska district yielded
upwards of 2,500,000 seal-skins; and from 1817 to 1838, during all
which time the Company was in power, the same district yielded 879,000
seal-skins. Assuming, what is improbable, that these skins were sold
at twenty-five rubles each, some calculating genius has ciphered out
the sum-total of proceeds at more than 85,000,000 rubles,--or, calling
the ruble seventy-five cents, a sum-total of more than $63,000,000.
Clearly, the latter years can show no approximation to any such
doubtful result.

Descending from these lofty figures, which, if not exaggerations, are
at least generalities, and relate partly to earlier periods, before
the existence of the Company, we shall have a better idea of the
commerce, if we look at authentic reports for special periods. Admiral
Von Wrangell, who was so long governor, must have been well informed.
According to statements in his work, adopted also by Wappäus in
his “Geographie,” the Company, from 1826 to 1833, a period of seven
years, exported to Russia the skins of the following animals: 9,853
sea-otters, with 8,751 sea-otter tails, 39,981 river-beavers, 6,242
river or land otters, 5,243 black foxes, 7,759 black-bellied foxes,
16,336 red foxes, 24,189 polar foxes, 1,093 lynxes, 559 wolverenes,
2,976 sables, 4,335 swamp-otters, 69 wolves, 1,261 bears, 505
musk-rats, 132,160 seals; also 830 poods of whalebone, 1,490 poods
of walrus-teeth, and 7,121 pairs of castoreum.[154] Their value does
not appear. Sir George Simpson, the Governor-in-chief of the Hudson’s
Bay Company, who was at Sitka in 1841, represents the returns of the
Company for that year, 10,000 fur-seals, 1,000 sea-otters, 2,500
land-otters, 12,000 beavers, and 20,000 walrus-teeth, without including
foxes and martens.[155] There is a report for the year 1852, as
follows: 1,231 sea-otters, 129 young sea-otters, 2,948 common otters,
14,486 fur-seals, 107 bears, 13,300 beavers, 2 wolves, 458 sables, 243
lynxes, 163 mole-skins, 1,504 pairs of castoreum, 684 black foxes,
1,590 cross foxes, 5,174 red foxes, 2,359 blue Arctic foxes, 355 white
Arctic foxes, and also 31 foxes called white, perhaps albinos.

Besides these reports for special years, I am enabled to present, from
the Russian tables of Captain Golowin, another, covering the period
from 1842 to 1860, inclusive,--being 25,602 sea-otters, 63,826 otters,
probably river-otters, 161,042 beavers, 73,944 foxes, 55,540 Arctic
foxes, 2,283 bears, 6,445 lynxes, 26,384 sables, 19,076 musk-rats,
2,536 ursine seals, 338,604 marsh-otters, 712 brace of hare, 451
martens, 104 wolves, 46,274 castoreums, 7,309 beavers’ tails. Here is
an inexplicable absence of seal-skins. On the other hand are sables,
which belong to Asia, and not to America. The list is Russian, and
perhaps embraces furs from the Asiatic islands of the Company.

From a competent source I learn that the value of skins at Sitka during
the last year was substantially as follows: Sea-otter, $50; marten,
$4; beaver, $2.50; bear, $4.50; black fox, $50; silver fox, $40; cross
fox, $25; red fox, $2. A recent price-current in New York gives the
following prices there in currency: Silver fox, $10 to $50; cross
fox, $3 to $5; red fox, $1 to $1.50; otter, $3 to $6; mink, $3 to $6;
beaver, $1 to $4; musk-rat, $0.20 to $0.50; lynx, $2 to $4; black bear,
$6 to $12; dark marten, $5 to $20. These New York prices vary from
those of Sitka. The latter are the better guide to a comprehension of
the proceeds at Sitka, subject to deduction for the expenses of the
Company. Of the latter I say nothing now, as I have considered them in
speaking of the existing Government.

The skins are obtained in three different ways: first, through the
hunters employed by the Company; secondly, in payment of taxes imposed
by the Company; and, thirdly, by barter or purchase from independent
natives. But, with all these sources, it is certain that the Russian
Company has enjoyed no success comparable to that of its British rival;
and, still more, there is reason to believe that latterly its profits
have not been large.

Amid all the concealment or obscurity which prevails with regard to
revenues, it is easy to see that for some time to come there must be a
large amount of valuable furs on this coast. The bountiful solitudes
of the forest and of the adjoining waters have not yet been exhausted;
nor will they be, until civilization has supplied substitutes. Such,
indeed, is part of that humane law of compensation which contributes
to the general harmony. For the present there will be trappers on the
land, who will turn aside only a little from prizes there to obtain
from the sea its otter, seal, and walrus. It cannot be irrelevant,
and may not be without interest, if I call attention briefly to those
fur-bearing animals which are about to be brought within the sphere of
republican government. If we cannot find their exact census, we may at
least learn something of their character and value.

The comparative poverty of vegetation in the more northern parts of the
continent contrasts with the abundance of animal life, especially if
we embrace those tenants of the sea who seek the land for rest. These
northern parallels are hardly less productive than the tropics. The
lion, the elephant, and the hippopotamus find their counterpart in the
bear, the walrus, and the seal, without including the sables and the
foxes. Here again Nature, by unerring law, adapts the animal to the
climate, and in providing him with needful protection creates also a
needful supply for the protection of man; and this is the secret of
rich furs. Under the sun of the tropics such provision is as little
needed by man as by beast; and therefore Nature, which does nothing
inconsistent with wise economy, reserves it for other places.

Among the furs most abundant in this commerce are those of the fox,
in its different species and under its different names. Its numbers
were noticed early, and gave the name to the eastern group of the
Aleutians, which were called Lyssie Ostrowa, or Fox Islands. Some of
its furs are among the very precious. The most plentiful is the red,
or, as sometimes called, American; but this is not highly prized. Then
comes the Arctic, of little value, and of different colors, sometimes
blue, and in full winter dress pure white, whose circumpolar home is
indicated by its name. The cross fox is less known, but much more
sought, from the fineness of its fur and its color. Its name is derived
from dark cruciform stripes, extending from the head to the back and
at right angles over the shoulders. It is now recognized to be a
variety of the red, from which it differs more in commercial value than
in general character. The black fox, which is sometimes entirely of
shining black with silver white at the tip of the tail, is called also
the silver fox, when the black hairs of the body are tipped with white.
They are of the same name in science, sometimes called _argentatus_,
although there seem to be two different names, if not different values,
in commerce. This variety is more rare than the cross fox. Not more
than four or five are taken during a season at any one post in the fur
countries, although the hunters use every art for this purpose. The
temptation is great, as we are told that “its fur fetches six times
the price of any other fur produced in North America.”[156] Sir John
Richardson, the authority for this statement, forgot the sea-otter,
of which he seems to have known little. Without doubt, the black fox
is admired for rarity and beauty. La Hontan, the French commander in
Canada under Louis the Fourteenth, speaks of its fur in his time as
worth its weight in gold.[157]

Among the animals whose furs are less regarded are the wolverene,
known in science as _Gulo_, or glutton, and called by Buffon the
“quadruped vulture,” with a dark brown fur, becoming black in winter,
and resembling that of the bear, but not so long, nor of so much value.
There is also the lynx, belonging to the feline race, living north
of the Great Lakes and eastward of the Rocky Mountains, with a fur
moderately prized in commerce. There is also the musk-rat, which is
abundant in Russian America, as it is common on this continent, whose
fur enters largely into the cheaper peltries of the United States in so
many different ways, and with such various artificial colors that the
animal would not know his own skin.

Among inferior furs I may include that very respectable animal, the
black bear, reported by Cook “in great numbers,” and “of a shining
black color.”[158] The grizzly bear is less frequent, and is inferior
in quality of fur to all other varieties of the bear. The brown bear
is supposed to be a variety of the black bear. The polar bear, which
at times is a formidable animal, leaving a footprint in the snow nine
inches long, was once said not to make an appearance west of the
Mackenzie River; but he has been latterly found on Behring Strait, so
that he, too, is included among our new population. The black bear, in
himself a whole population, inhabits every wooded district from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Carolina to the ice of the Arctic,
being more numerous inland than on the coast. Langsdorff early remarked
that he did not appear on the Aleutians, but on the continent, about
Cook’s Inlet and Prince William Sound, which are well wooded.[159] He
has been found even on the Isthmus of Panama. Next to the dog, he is
the most cosmopolitan and perhaps the most intelligent of animals, and
among those of the forest he is the most known, even to the nursery.
His showy fur once enjoyed great vogue in hammer-cloths and muffs, and
it is still used in military caps and pistol-holsters; so that he is
sometimes called the Army bear. Latterly the fur has fallen in value.
Once it brought in London from twenty to forty guineas. It will now
hardly bring more than the same number of shillings.

The beaver, amphibious and intelligent, has a considerable place in
commerce, and also a notoriety of its own as the familiar synonym
for the common covering of a man’s head; and here the animal becomes
historic. By royal proclamation, in 1638, Charles the First of England
commanded “that no beaver-makers whatsoever, from henceforth, shall
make any hats or caps but of pure beaver.”[160] This proclamation was
the death-warrant of beavers innumerable, sacrificed to the demands of
the trade. Wherever they existed over a wide extent of country, in the
shelter of forests or in lodges built by their extraordinary instinct,
they were pursued and arrested in their busy work. The importation of
their skins into Europe during the last century was enormous, and it
continued until one year it is said to have reached the unaccountable
number of 600,000. I give these figures as I find them. Latterly other
materials have been obtained for hats, so that this fur has become less
valuable. But the animal is still hunted. A medicine supplied by him,
and known as the castoreum, has a fixed place in the Materia Medica.

The marten is perhaps the most popular of all the fur-bearing animals
belonging to our new possessions. An inhabitant of the whole wooded
region of the northern part of the continent, he finds a favorite home
in the forests of the Yukon, where he needs his beautiful fur, which is
not much inferior to that of his near relative, the far-famed Russian
sable. In the trade of the Hudson’s Bay Company the marten occupies the
largest place, his skins for a single district amounting to more than
fifty thousand annually, and being sometimes sold as sable. The ermine,
which is of the same weasel family, is of little value except for its
captivating name, although its fur finds a way to the English market
in enormous quantities. The mink, also of the same general family, was
once little regarded, but now, by freak of fashion in our country, this
animal has ascended in value above the beaver, and almost to the level
of the marten. His fur is plentiful on the Yukon and along the coast.
Specimens in the museum of the Smithsonian Institution attest its
occurrence at Sitka.

The seal, amphibious, polygamous, and intelligent as the beaver, has
always supplied the largest multitude of furs to the Russian Company.
The early navigators describe its appearance and numbers. Cook
encountered them constantly. Excellent swimmers, ready divers, they
seek rocks and recesses for repose, where, though watchful and never
sleeping long without moving, they become the prey of the hunter. Early
in the century there was a wasteful destruction of them. Young and
old, male and female, were indiscriminately knocked on the head for
the sake of their skins. Sir George Simpson, who saw this improvidence
with an experienced eye, says that it was hurtful in two ways: first,
the race was almost exterminated; and, secondly, the market was glutted
sometimes with as many as two hundred thousand a year, so that prices
did not pay the expense of carriage.[161] The Russians were led to
adopt the plan of the Hudson’s Bay Company, killing only a limited
number of males who had attained their full growth, which can be done
easily, from the known and systematic habits of the animal. Under this
economy seals have multiplied again, vastly increasing the supply.

Besides the common seal, there are various species, differing in
appearance, so as to justify different names, and yet all with a
family character,--including the sea-leopard, so named from his spots,
the elephant seal, from his tusks and proboscis, and the sea-lion,
with teeth, mane, and a thick cylindrical body. These are of little
value, although their skins are occasionally employed. The skin of the
elephant seal is strong, so as to justify its use in the harness of
horses. There is also the sea-bear, or ursine seal, very numerous in
these waters, whose skin, especially if young, is prized for clothing.
Steller speaks with grateful remembrance of a garment he made from one,
while on the desert island after the shipwreck of Behring.

Associated with the seal, and belonging to the same family, is the
walrus, called by the British the sea-horse, the morse, or the sea-cow,
and by the French _bête à la grande dent_. His two tusks, rather than
his skin, are the prize of the hunter. Unlike the rest of the seal
family, he is monogamous, and not polygamous. Cook vividly describes
immense herds asleep on the ice, with some of their number on guard,
and, when aroused, roaring or braying very loud, while they huddled and
tumbled together like swine.[162] At times their multitude is so great,
that, before being aroused, several hundreds are slaughtered, as game
in a park. Their hide is excellent for carriage-braces, and is useful
about ship. But it is principally for their ivory that these hecatombs
are sacrificed. A single tooth sometimes weighs several pounds. Twenty
thousand teeth, reported as an annual harvest of the Russian Company,
must cost the lives of ten thousand walruses. The ivory compares with
that of the elephant, and is for some purposes superior. Long ago, in
the days of Saxon history, a Norwegian at the court of Alfred exhibited
to the king “teeth of great price and excellencie,” from what he called
a “horsewhale.”[163] Unquestionably, they were teeth of walrus.

I mention the sea-otter last; but in beauty and value it is the first.
In these respects it far surpasses the river or land otter, which,
though beautiful and valuable, must yield the palm. It has also more
the manners of the seal, with the same fondness for sea-washed rocks,
and a maternal affection almost human. The sea-otter seems to belong
exclusively to the North Pacific. Its haunts once extended as far south
as the Bay of San Francisco, but long ago it ceased to appear in that
region. Cook saw it at Nootka Sound.[164] Vancouver reports in Chatham
Strait an “immense number about the shores in all directions,” so that
“it was easily in the power of the natives to procure as many as they
chose to be at the trouble of taking.”[165] D’Wolf, while at Sitka,
projected an expedition to California “for the purpose of catching
sea-otter, those animals being very numerous on that coast.”[166]
But these navigators, could they revisit this coast, would not find
it in these places now. Its present zone is between the parallels of
50° and 60° north latitude, on the American and Asiatic coasts, so
that its range is comparatively limited. Evidently it was Cook who
first revealed the sea-otter to Englishmen. In the table of contents
of his second volume are the words, “Description of a Sea-Otter,” and
in the text is a minute account of this animal, and especially of its
incomparable fur, “certainly softer and finer than that of any others
we know of.” Not content with description, the famous navigator adds,
in remarkable words, “Therefore the discovery of this part of the
continent of North America, where so valuable an article of commerce
may be met with, cannot be a matter of indifference.”[167] This account
stimulated the commercial enterprise of that day. Other witnesses
followed. Meares, describing his voyage, placed this fur high above all
other furs,--“the finest in the world, and of exceeding beauty”;[168]
and La Pérouse made it known in France as “the most precious and the
most common peltry” of those regions.[169] Shortly afterwards all
existing information with regard to it was elaborately set forth in the
Historical Introduction to the Voyage of Marchand, published at Paris
under the auspices of the Institute.[170]

The sea-otter was known originally to the Russians in Kamtchatka,
where it was called the sea-beaver; but the discoveries of Behring
constitute an epoch in the commerce. His shipwrecked crew, compelled
to winter on the desert island now bearing his name, found this
animal in flocks, ignorant of men and innocent as sheep, so that they
were slaughtered without resistance, to the number of “near nine
hundred.”[171] Their value became known. Fabulous prices were paid
by the Chinese, sometimes, according to Coxe, as high as one hundred
and forty rubles.[172] At such a price a single sea-otter was more
than five ounces of gold, and a flock was a gold mine. The pursuit of
gold was renewed. It was the sea-otter that tempted the navigator,
and subsequent enterprise was under the incentive of obtaining the
precious fur. Müller, calling him a beaver, says, in his history of
Russian Discovery, “The catching of beavers in those parts enticed many
people to go to them, and they never returned without great quantities,
which always produced large profits.”[173] All that could be obtained
were sent to China, which was the objective point commercially for
this whole coast. The trade became a fury. The animal, with exquisite
purple-black fur, appeared only to be killed,--not always without
effort, for he had learned something of his huntsman, and was now
coy and watchful, so that the pursuit was often an effort; but his
capture was always a triumph. The natives, accustomed to his furs as
clothing, now surrendered them. Sometimes a few beads were the only
pay. All the navigators speak of the unequal barter,--“any sort of
beads,” according to Cook.[174] The story is best told by Meares:
“Such as were dressed in furs instantly stripped themselves, and in
return for a moderate quantity of large spike-nails we received sixty
fine sea-otter skins.”[175] Vancouver describes the “humble fashion”
of the natives in poor skins as a substitute for the beautiful furs
appropriated by “their Russian friends.”[176] The picture is completed
by the Russian navigator, when he confesses, that, after the Russians
had any intercourse with them, the natives ceased to wear sea-otter
skins.[177] In the growing rage the sea-otter nearly disappeared.
Langsdorff reports the race “nearly extirpated,” since “the high price
given for the skins induces the Russians, for the sake of a momentary
advantage, to kill all they meet with, both old and young; nor can
they see that by such a procedure they must soon be deprived of the
trade entirely.”[178] This was in 1805. Since then the indiscriminate
massacre has been arrested.

Meanwhile our countrymen entered into this commerce, so that Russians,
Englishmen, and Americans were all engaged in slaughtering sea-otters,
and selling their furs to the Chinese, until the market of Canton
was glutted. Lisiansky, who was there in 1806, speaks of “immense
quantities imported by American ships,--during the present season no
less than twenty thousand.”[179] By-and-by the commerce was engrossed
by the Russians and English. At length it passes into the hands of
the United States, with all the other prerogatives belonging to this

       *       *       *       *       *

7. _Fisheries._--I come now to the Fisheries, the last head of this
inquiry, and not inferior to any other in importance,--perhaps the
most important of all. What even are sea-otter skins, by the side of
that product of the sea, incalculable in amount, which contributes to
the sustenance of the human family?

Here, as elsewhere, in the endeavor to estimate the resources of this
region, there is vagueness and uncertainty. Information is wanting; and
yet we are not entirely ignorant. Nothing is clearer than that fish in
great abundance are taken everywhere on the coast, around the islands,
in the bays, and throughout the adjacent seas. The evidence is constant
and complete. Here are oysters, clams, crabs, and a dainty little fish
of the herring tribe, called the oolachan, contributing to the luxury
of the table, and so rich in its oily nature that the natives are said
to use it sometimes as a “candle.” In addition to these, which I name
only to put aside, are those great staples of commerce and main-stays
of daily subsistence, the salmon, the herring, the halibut, the cod,
and, behind all, the whale. This short list is enough, for it offers a
constant feast, with the whale at hand for light. Here is the best that
the sea affords, for poor or rich,--for daily use, or the fast-days of
the Church. Here also is a sure support, at least, to the inhabitants
of the coast.

To determine the value of this supply, we must go further, and
ascertain if these various tribes of fish, reputed to be in such
numbers, are found under such conditions and in such places as to
constitute a permanent and profitable fishery. This is the practical
question, which is still undecided. It is not enough to show that the
whole coast may be subsisted by its fish. It should be shown further
that the fish of this coast can be made to subsist other places, so
as to become a valuable article of commerce. And here uncertainty
begins. The proper conditions of an extensive fishery are not yet
understood. It is known that certain fisheries exist in certain waters
and on certain soundings, but the spaces of ocean are obscure, even to
the penetrating eye of science. Fishing-banks known for ages are still
in many respects a mystery, which is increased where the fishery is
recent or only coastwise. There are other banks which fail from local
incidents. Thus, very lately a cod-fishery was commenced on Rockall
Bank, one hundred and sixty-five miles northwest of the Hebrides, but
the deep rolling of the Atlantic and the intolerable weather compelled
its abandonment.

Before considering the capacity of this region for an extensive
fishery, it is important to know such evidence as exists with regard to
the supply; and here again we must resort to the early navigators and
visitors. Their evidence, reinforced by modern reports, is an essential
element, even if it does not entirely determine the question.

Down to the arrival of Europeans, the natives lived on fish. This
had been their constant food, with small additions from the wild
vegetation. In summer it was fish freshly caught; in winter it was fish
dried or preserved. At the first landing, on the discovery, Steller
found in the deserted cellar “store of red salmon,” and the sailors
brought away “smoked fishes that appeared like large carp and tasted
very well.”[180] This is the earliest notice of fish on this coast,
which are thus directly associated with its discovery. The next of
interest is the account of a Russian navigator, in 1768-9, who reports
at the Fox Islands, and especially Oonalaska, “cod, perch, pilchards,
smelts, roach.”[181] Thus early the cod appears.

Repairing to Cook’s Voyage, we find the accustomed instruction; and
here I shall quote with all possible brevity. At Nootka Sound he
finds fish “more plentiful than birds,” of which the principal sorts,
in great numbers, are “the common herring, but scarcely exceeding
seven inches in length, and a smaller sort, the same with the anchovy
or sardine,” and now and then “a small brownish cod spotted with
white.”[182] Then again he reports at the same place “herrings and
sardines, and small cod,”--the former “not only eaten fresh, but
likewise dried and smoked.”[183] In Prince William Sound “the only
fish got were some torsk and halibut, chiefly brought by the natives
to sell.”[184] Near Kadiak he records, that, “having three hours’
calm, our people caught upward of a hundred halibuts, some of which
weighed a hundred pounds, and none less than twenty pounds,”--and he
adds, naturally enough, “a very seasonable refreshment to us.”[185]
In Bristol Bay, on the northern side of the promontory of Alaska, he
reports “tolerable success in fishing, catching cod, and now and then
a few flat-fish.”[186] In Norton Sound, still further north, he tells
us, that, in exchange for four knives made from an old iron hoop, he
obtained of the natives “near four hundred pounds weight of fish, which
they had caught on this or the preceding day,--some trout, and the
rest in size and taste somewhat between a mullet and a herring.”[187]
On returning southward, stopping at Oonalaska, he finds “plenty of
fish, at first mostly salmon, both fresh and dried,--some of the fresh
salmon in high perfection”; also “salmon trout, and once a halibut
that weighed two hundred and fifty-four pounds”; and in describing the
habits of the islanders, he reports that “they dry large quantities of
fish in summer, which they lay up in small huts for winter use.”[188]
Such is the testimony of Captain Cook.

No experience on the coast is more instructive than that of Portlock,
and from his report I compile a succinct diary. July 20, 1786, at
Graham’s Harbor, Cook’s Inlet, “The Russian chief brought me as a
present a quantity of fine salmon, sufficient to serve both ships for
one day.” July 21, “In several hauls caught about thirty salmon and
a few flat-fish”; also, further, “The Russian settlement had on one
side a small lake of fresh water, in which they catch plenty of fine
salmon.” July 22, “The boat returned deeply loaded with fine salmon.”
July 28, latitude 60° 9´, “Two small canoes came off from the shore;
they had nothing to barter except a few dried salmon.” July 30, “Plenty
of excellent fresh salmon, which we obtained for beads and buttons.”
August 5, “Plenty of fine salmon.” August 9, “The greatest abundance of
fine salmon.” August 13, off the entrance of Cook’s Inlet, “Hereabouts
would be a most desirable situation for carrying on a whale fishery,
the whales being on the coast and close in shore in vast numbers,
and there being convenient and excellent harbors quite handy for the
business.”[189] Soon after these entries the English navigator left the
coast for the Sandwich Islands.

Returning during the next year, Portlock continued to record his
observations, which I abstract in brief. May 21, 1787, Port Etches,
latitude 60° 21´, “The harbor affords very fine crabs and muscles.”
June 4, “A few Indians came alongside, bringing some halibut and cod.”
June 20, “Plenty of flounders; crabs now very fine; some of the people,
in fishing alongside for flounders, caught several cod and halibut.”
June 22, “Sent the canoe out some distance into the bay, and it soon
returned with a load of fine halibut and cod; this success induced
me to send her out frequently with a fishing party, and they caught
considerably more than what was sufficient for daily consumption.”
June 30, “In hauling the seine, we caught a large quantity of herrings
and some salmon; the herrings, though small, were very good, and two
hogsheads of them were salted for sea-store.” July 7, “We daily caught
large quantities of salmon, but, the unsettled state of the weather not
permitting us to cure them on board, I sent the boatswain with a party
on shore to build a kind of house to smoke them in.” July 11, “The
seine was frequently hauled, and not less than two thousand salmon were
caught at each haul; the weather, however, preventing us from curing
them so well as could have been wished, we kept only a sufficient
quantity for present use, and let the rest escape. The salmon were now
in such numbers along the shores that any quantity whatever might be
caught with the greatest ease.”[190] All this testimony of the English
navigator is singularly explicit, while it is in complete harmony with
that of the Russian visitors, and of Cook, who preceded Portlock.

The report of Meares is similar, although less minute. Speaking of the
natives generally, he says, “They live entirely upon fish, but of all
others they prefer the whale.”[191] Then again, going into more detail,
he says, “Vast quantities of fish are to be found, both on the coast
and in the sounds or harbors. Among these are the halibut, herring,
sardine, silver-bream, salmon, trout, cod, … all of which we have seen
in the possession of the natives, or have been caught by ourselves.”
The sardines he describes as taken in such numbers “that a whole
village has not been able to cleanse them.” At Nootka the salmon was
“of a very delicate flavor,” and “the cod taken by the natives were of
the best quality.”[192]

Spanish and French testimony is not wanting, although less precise.
Maurelle, who was on the coast in 1779, remarks that “the fish most
abundant was the salmon and a species of sole or turbot.”[193] La
Pérouse, who was there in 1786, mentions a large fish weighing
sometimes more than a hundred pounds, and several other fish; but he
preferred “the salmon and trout, which the Indians sold in larger
numbers than could be consumed.”[194] A similar report was made in
1791 by Marchand, who finds the sea and rivers abounding in “excellent
fish,” particularly salmon and trout.[195]

Meanwhile came the Russian navigator Billings, in 1790; and here we
have a similar report, only different in form. Describing the natives
of Oonalaska, the book in which this visit is recorded says, “They
dry salmon, cod, and halibut, for a winter’s supply.”[196] At Kadiak
it says, “Whales are in amazing numbers about the straits of the
islands and in the vicinity of Kadiak.” Then the reporter, who was the
naturalist Sauer, says, “I observed the same species of salmon here
as at Okhotsk, and saw crabs.” Again, “The halibuts in these seas are
extremely large, some weighing seventeen poods, or six hundred and
twelve pounds avoirdupois.… The liver of this fish, as also of cod,
the natives esteem unhealthy and never eat, but extract the oil from
them.”[197] Then, returning to Oonalaska the next year, the naturalist
says, “The other fish are halibut, cod, two or three species of salmon,
and sometimes a species of salmon very common in Kamtchatka, between
four and five feet long.”[198]

From Lisiansky, the Russian navigator, who was on the coast in 1804,
and again in 1805, I take two passages. The first relates to the fish
of Sitka. “For some time,” he says, “we had been able to catch no fish
but the halibut. Those of this species, however, which we caught were
fine, some of them weighing eighteen stone, and were of an excellent
flavor. This fish abounds here from March to November, when it retires
from the coast till the winter is at an end.”[199] The other passage
relates to the subsistence of the inhabitants during the winter.
“They live,” he says, “on dried salmon, train oil, and the spawn of
fish, especially that of herrings, of which they always lay in a good

Langsdorff, who was there in 1805-6, is more full and explicit. Of
Oonalaska he says: “The principal food consists of fish, sea-dogs,
and the flesh of whales. Among the fish, the most common and most
abundant are several sorts of salmon, cod, herrings, and holybutt. The
holybutts, which are the sort held in the highest esteem, are sometimes
of an enormous size, weighing even several hundred pounds.”[201] Of
Kadiak he says: “The most common fish, those which, fresh and dry,
constitute a principal article of food, are herrings, cod, holybutt,
and several sorts of salmon; the latter come up into the bays and
rivers at stated seasons and months, and are then taken in prodigious
numbers by means of nets or dams.”[202] Of Sitka he says: “We have
several sorts of salmon, holybutt, whitings, cod, and herrings.”[203]
A goodly variety. The testimony of Langsdorff is confirmed in general
terms by his contemporary, D’Wolf, who reports: “The waters of the
neighborhood abounded with numerous and choice varieties of the finny
tribe, which could be taken at all seasons of the year.”[204]

Lütke, also a Russian, tells us that he found fish the standing dish
at Sitka, from the humblest servant to the governor; and he mentions
salmon, herring, cod, and turbot. Of salmon there were no less than
four kinds, which were eaten fresh when possible, but after June they
were sent to the fortress salted. The herring appeared in February
and March. The cod and turbot were caught in the straits during
winter.[205] Lütke also reports “fresh cod” at Kadiak.[206]

I close this abstract of foreign testimony with two English
authorities often quoted. Sir Edward Belcher, while on the coast in
1837, records that “fish, halibut, and salmon of two kinds, were
abundant and moderate, of which the crews purchased and cured great
quantities.”[207] Sir George Simpson, who was at Sitka in 1841, says:
“Halibut, cod, herrings, flounders, and many other sorts of fish, are
always to be had for the taking, in unlimited quantities.… Salmon have
been known literally to embarrass the movements of a canoe. About
100,000 of the last-mentioned fish, equivalent to 1,500 barrels, are
annually salted for the use of the establishment.”[208] Nothing could
be stronger as statement, and, when we consider the character of its
author, nothing stronger as authority.

Cumulative upon all this accumulation of testimony is that of recent
visitors. Nobody visits here without testifying. The fish are so
demonstrative in abundance that all remark it. Officers of the United
States navy report the same fish substantially which Cook reported, as
far north as the Frozen Ocean. Scientific explorers, prompted by the
Smithsonian Institution, report cod in Behring Strait, on the limits
of the Arctic Circle. One of these reports, that, while anchored near
Oonimak, in 1865, the ship, with a couple of lines, caught “a great
many fine cod, most of them between two and three feet in length.”
He supposes that there is no place on the coast where they are not
numerous. A citizen of Massachusetts, who has recently returned from
prolonged residence on this coast, writes me from Boston, under date
of March 8, 1867, that “the whale and cod fisheries of the North
Pacific are destined to form a very important element in the wealth
of California and Washington Territory, and that already numbers of
fishermen are engaged there, and more are intending to leave.” From all
this testimony there can be but one conclusion, with regard at least
to certain kinds of fish.

Salmon exists in unequalled numbers, so that this fish, so aristocratic
elsewhere, becomes common. Not merely the prize of epicures, it is
the food of all. Not merely the pastime of gentle natures, like
Izaak Walton or Sir Humphry Davy, who employ in its pursuit an
elegant leisure, its capture is the daily reward of the humblest. On
Vancouver’s Island it is the constant ration given out by the Hudson’s
Bay Company to the men in service. At Sitka ships are gratuitously
supplied with it by the natives. By the side of the incalculable
multitudes swarming out of the Arctic waters, haunting this extended
coast, and peopling its rivers, so that at a single haul Portlock took
not less than two thousand, how small an allowance are the two hundred
thousand which the salmon fisheries of England annually supply!

Herring seem not less multitudinous than the salmon. Their name,
derived from the German _Heer_, signifying an army, is amply verified,
as on the coast of Norway they move in such hosts that a boat at times
makes its way with difficulty through the compact mass. I do not speak
at a venture, for I have received this incident from a scientific
gentleman who witnessed it on the coast. This fish, less aristocratic
than the salmon, is a universal food, but here it would seem enough for

The halibut, so often mentioned for size and abundance, is less
generally known than the others. It is common in the fisheries of
Norway, Iceland, and Greenland. In our country its reputation is local.
Even at the seaport of Norfolk, in Virginia, it does not appear to
have been known before 1843, when its arrival was announced as that of
a distinguished stranger: “Our market yesterday morning was enriched
with a delicacy from the Northern waters, the halibut, a strange fish
in these parts, known only to epicures and naturalists.” The larger
fish are sometimes coarse and far from delicate, but they furnish a
substantial meal, while the smaller halibut is much liked.

The cod is perhaps the most generally diffused and abundant of all,
for it swims in all the waters of the coast, from the Frozen Ocean
to the southern limit, sometimes in immense numbers. It is a popular
fish, and, when cured or salted, is an excellent food in all parts
of the world. Palatable, digestible, and nutritious, the cod, as
compared with other fish, is as beef compared with other meats; so that
its incalculable multitudes seem to be according to a wise economy
of Nature. A female cod is estimated to contain from three to nine
million eggs.[209] Talk of multiplication a hundred fold,--here it
is to infinity. Imagine these millions of eggs grown into fish, and
then the process of reproduction repeated, and you have numbers which,
like astronomical distances, are beyond human conception. But here the
ravenous powers of other fish are more destructive than any efforts of
the fisherman.

Behind all these is the whale, whose corporal dimensions fitly
represent the space he occupies in the fisheries of the world, hardly
diminished by petroleum or gas. On this extended coast and in all
these seas he is at home. Here is his retreat and play-ground. This is
especially the case with the right-whale, or, according to whalers,
“the _right_ whale to catch,” with bountiful supply of oil and bone,
who is everywhere throughout this region, appearing at all points and
swarming its waters. D’Wolf says, “We were frequently surrounded by
them.”[210] Meares says, “Abundant as the whales may be in the vicinity
of Nootka, they bear no comparison to the numbers seen on the northern
part of the coast.”[211] At times they are very large. Kotzebue reports
them at Oonalaska of fabulous proportions, called by the natives
_Aliamak_, and so long “that the people engaged at the opposite ends
of the fish must halloo very loud to be able to understand each
other.”[212] Another whale, known as the bow-head, is so much about
Kadiak that it is sometimes called the Kadiak whale. The valuable
sperm-whale, whose head and hunch are so productive in spermaceti,
belongs to a milder sea, but he sometimes strays to the Aleutians. The
narwhal, with his long tusk of ivory, out of which was made the famous
throne of the early Danish kings, belongs to the Frozen Ocean; but he,
too, strays into the straits below. As no sea is now _mare clausum_,
all these may be pursued by a ship under any flag, except directly on
the coast and within its territorial limit. And yet the possession of
this coast as a commercial base must necessarily give to its people
peculiar advantages in the pursuit. What is done now under difficulties
will be done then with facilities, such at least as neighborhood
supplied to the natives even with their small craft.

In our country the whale fishery has been a great and prosperous
commerce, counted by millions. It has yielded considerable gains, and
sometimes large fortunes. The town of New Bedford, one of the most
beautiful in the world, has been enriched by this fishery. And yet
you cannot fail to remark the impediments which the business has been
compelled to overcome. The ship was fitted on the Atlantic coast for a
voyage of two or three years, and all the crew entered into partnership
with regard to the oil. Traversing two oceans, separated by a stormy
cape, it reaches at last its distant destination in these northern
seas, and commences its tardy work, interrupted by occasional rest and
opportunity to refit at the Sandwich Islands. This now will be changed,
as the ship sallies forth from friendly harbors near the game which is
its mighty chase.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the whale fishery I turn to another branch of inquiry. Undoubtedly
there are infinite numbers of fish on the coast; but to determine
whether they can constitute a permanent and profitable fishery,
there are at least three different considerations which must not be
disregarded: (1.) The existence of banks or soundings; (2.) Proper
climatic conditions for catching and curing fish; (3.) A market.

(1.) The _necessity of banks or soundings_ is according to reason.
Fish are not caught in the deep ocean. It is their nature to seek the
bottom, where they are found in some way by the fisherman, armed with
trawl, seine, or hook. As among the ancient Romans private luxury
provided tanks and ponds for the preservation of fish, so Nature
provides banks, which are immense fish-preserves. Soundings attest
their existence in a margin along the coast; but it becomes important
to know if they actually exist to much extent away from the coast. On
this point our information is already considerable, if not decisive.

The Sea and Strait of Behring, as far as the Frozen Ocean, have been
surveyed by a naval expedition of the United States under Commander
John Rodgers. From one of his charts, now before me, it appears, that,
beginning at the Frozen Ocean and descending through Behring Strait
and Behring Sea, embracing Kotzebue Sound, Norton Bay, and Bristol
Bay, to the peninsula of Alaska, a distance of more than twelve
degrees, there are constant uninterrupted soundings from twenty to
fifty fathoms,--thus presenting an immense extent proper for fishery.
South of the peninsula of Alaska another chart shows soundings along
the coast, with a considerable extent of bank in the neighborhood of
the Shumagins and Kadiak, being precisely where other evidence points
to the existence of cod. These banks, north and south of Alaska, taken
together, according to indications of the two charts, have an extent
unsurpassed by any in the world.

There is another illustration full of instruction. It is a map of the
world, in the new work of Murray on “The Geographical Distribution
of Mammals,” “showing approximately the one hundred fathom line of
soundings,” prepared from information furnished by the Hydrographic
Department of the British Admiralty. Here are all the soundings of
the world. At a glance you discern the remarkable line on the Pacific
coast, beginning at 40° of north latitude, and constantly receding from
the shore in a northwesterly direction; then, with a gentle sweep,
stretching from Sitka to the Aleutians, which it envelops with a wide
margin; and, finally, embracing and covering Behring Strait to the
Frozen Ocean: the whole space, as indicated on the map, seeming like
an immense unbroken sea-meadow adjoining the land, and constituting
plainly the largest extent of soundings in length and breadth in the
known world,--larger even than those of Newfoundland added to those
of Great Britain. This map, prepared by scientific authority, in the
interest of science, is an unimpeachable and disinterested witness.

Actual experience is better authority still. I learn that the people
of California have already found cod-banks in these seas, and have
begun to gather a harvest. Distance was no impediment; for they were
already accustomed to the Sea of Okhotsk, on the Asiatic coast. In 1866
no less than seventeen vessels left San Francisco for cod-fishery in
the latter region. This was a long voyage, requiring eighty days in
going and returning. On the way better grounds were discovered among
the Aleutians, with better fish; and then again, other fishing-grounds,
better in every way, were discovered south of Alaska, in the
neighborhood of the Shumagins, with an excellent harbor at hand. Here
one vessel began its work on the 14th of May, and, notwithstanding
stormy weather, finished it on the 24th of July, having taken 52,000
fish. The largest catch in a single day was 2,300. The average weight
of the fish dried was three pounds. Old fishermen compared the fish
in quality and method of taking with those of Newfoundland. Large
profits are anticipated. While fish from the Atlantic side bring at
San Francisco not less than twelve cents a pound, it is supposed that
Shumagin fish at only eight cents a pound will yield a better return
than the coasting-trade. These flattering reports have arrested the
attention of Petermann, the indefatigable geographical observer, who
recounts them in his journal.[213]

From an opposite quarter is other confirmation. Here is a letter, which
I have just received from Charles Bryant, Esq., at present a member of
the Massachusetts Legislature, but for eighteen years acquainted with
these seas, where he was engaged in the whale fishery. After mentioning
the timber at certain places as a reason for the acquisition of these
possessions, he says:--

    “But the chiefest value--and this alone is worth more than
    the pittance asked for it--consists in its extensive cod
    and halibut fish-grounds. To the eastward of Kadiak, or the
    Aleutian Islands, are extensive banks, or shoals, nearly, if
    not quite, equal in extent to those of Newfoundland, and as
    well stocked with fish. Also west of the Aleutian Islands,
    which extend from Alaska southwest half-way to Kamtchatka, and
    inclosing that part of land laid down as Bristol Bay, and west
    of it, is an extensive area of sea, varying from forty fathoms
    in depth to twenty, where I have found the supply of codfish
    and halibut unfailing. These islands furnish good harbors for
    curing and preparing fish, as well as shelter in storm.”

In another letter Mr. Bryant says that the shoals east of the entrance
to Cook’s Inlet widen as they extend southward to latitude 50°; and
that there are also large shoals south of Prince William Sound, and
again off Cross Sound and Sitka. The retired ship-master adds, that he
never examined these shoals to ascertain their exact limit, but only
incidentally, in the course of his regular business, that he might
know when and where to obtain fish, if he wished them. His report goes
beyond any chart of soundings I have seen, although, as far as they
go, the charts are coincident. Cook particularly notices soundings in
Bristol Bay, and in various places along the coast. Other navigators
have done the same. Careful surveys have accomplished so much that at
this time the bottom of Behring Sea and of Behring Strait, as far as
the Frozen Ocean, constituting one immense bank, is completely known in
depth and character.

Add to all this the official report of Mr. Giddings, acting
surveyor-general of Washington Territory, made to the Secretary of the
Interior in 1865, where he says:--

    “Along the coast, between Cape Flattery and Sitka, in the
    Russian possessions, both cod and halibut are very plenty, and
    of a much larger size than those taken at the Cape, or further
    up the Straits and Sound. No one, who knows these facts, for
    a moment doubts but that, if vessels similar to those used by
    the Bank fishermen that sail from Massachusetts and Maine were
    fitted out here, and were to fish on _the various banks along
    this coast_, it would even now be a most lucrative business.…
    The cod and halibut on this coast, up near Sitka, are fully
    equal to the largest taken in the Eastern waters.”[214]

From this concurring evidence, including charts and personal
experience, it is easy to see that the first condition of a
considerable fishery is not wanting.

(2.) _Climatic conditions_ must exist also. The proverbial hardihood
of fishermen has limits. Elsewhere weather and storm have compelled
the abandonment of banks which promised to be profitable. On a portion
of this coast there can be no such rigors. South of Alaska and the
Aleutians, and also in Bristol Bay, immediately to the north of the
peninsula of Alaska, the fishing-grounds will compare in temperature
with those of Newfoundland or Norway. It is more important to know
if the fish, when taken, can be properly cured. This is one of the
privileges of northern skies. Within the tropics fish may be taken in
abundance, but the constant sun does not allow their preservation.
The constant rains of Sitka, with only a few bright days in the year,
must prevent the work of curing on any considerable scale. But the
navigators make frequent mention of dry or preserved fish on the coast,
and it is understood that fish are now cured at Kadiak. “Dried fish”
from this island is described by D’Wolf.[215] For a long time it was
customary there to dry seal flesh in the air, which could not be done
on the main-land. Thus the opportunity of curing the fish seems to
exist near the very banks where they are taken, or Fuca Straits may be
a “half-way house” for this purpose. The California fishermen carry
their fish home to be cured, in which they imitate the fishermen of
Gloucester. As the yearly fishing product of this port is larger than
that of any other in North America, perhaps in the world, this example
cannot be without weight.

(3.) The _market_ also is of prime necessity. Fish are not caught
and cured except for a market. Besides the extended coast, where an
immediate demand must always prevail in proportion to increasing
population, there is an existing market in California, amply attested
by long voyages to Kamtchatka for fish, and by recent attempts to find
fishing-grounds. San Francisco at one time took from Okhotsk nine
hundred tons of fish, being about one eighth of the yearly fishing
product of Gloucester. Her fishing-vessels last year brought home
from all quarters fifteen hundred tons of dried fish and ten thousand
gallons of cod-liver oil. There is also a growing market in Washington
and Oregon. But beyond the domestic market, spreading from the coast
into the interior, there will be a foreign market of no limited amount.
Mexico, Central America, and the States of South America, all Catholic
in religion, will require this subsistence, and, being southern in
climate, they must look northward for a supply. The two best customers
of our Atlantic fisheries are Hayti and Cuba, Catholic countries under
a southern sun. The fishermen of Massachusetts began at an early day to
send cod to Portugal, Spain, and Italy, all Catholic countries under a
southern sun. Our “salt fish” became popular. The Portuguese minister
at London in 1785, in a conference with Mr. Adams on a commercial
treaty with the United States, mentioned “salt fish” among the objects
most needed in his country, and added, that “the consumption of this
article in Portugal was immense, and he would avow that the American
salt fish was preferred to any other, on account of its quality.”[216]
Such facts are more than curious.

But more important than the Pacific States of the American continent
are the great empires of Japan and China, with uncounted populations
depending much on fish. In China one tenth subsist on fish.
Notwithstanding the considerable supplies at home, it does not seem
impossible for an energetic and commercial people to find a market here
of inconceivable magnitude, dwarfing the original fur-trade with China,
once so tempting.

From this survey you can all judge the question of the fisheries,
which I only state, without assuming to determine. You can judge if
well-stocked fishing-banks have been found under such conditions of
climate and market as to supply a new and important fishery. Already
the people of California have anticipated the answer, and their
enterprise has arrested attention in Europe. The journal of Petermann,
the “Geographische Mittheilungen,” for the present year, which is the
authentic German record of geographical science, borrows from a San
Francisco paper to announce these successful voyages as the beginning
of a new commerce. If this be so, as there is reason to believe, these
coasts and seas will have unprecedented value. The future only can
disclose the form they may take. They may be a Newfoundland, a Norway,
a Scotland, or perhaps a New England, with another Gloucester and
another New Bedford.


An eminent French writer, an enthusiast on fishes, Lacepède, has
depicted the influence of fisheries, which he illustrates by the
herring, calling it “one of those natural products whose use decides
the destiny of empires.”[217] Without adopting these strong words,
it is easy to see that such fisheries as seem about to be opened on
the Pacific must exercise a wonderful influence over the population
there, while they give a new spring to commerce, and enlarge the
national resources. In these aspects it is impossible to exaggerate.
Fishermen are not as other men. They have a character of their own,
taking complexion from their life. In ancient Rome they had a peculiar
holiday, with games, known as _Piscatorii Ludi_. The first among us
in this pursuit were the Pilgrims, who, even before they left Leyden,
looked to fishing for support in their new home, giving occasion
to the remark of King James: “So God have my soul, ’tis an honest
trade; ’twas the Apostles’ own calling.”[218] As soon as they reached
Plymouth they began to fish, and afterwards appropriated the profits
of the fisheries at Cape Cod to found a free school. From this Pilgrim
origin are derived those fisheries which for a while were our chief
commerce, and still continue an important element of national wealth.
The cod fisheries of the United States are now valued at more than two
million dollars annually. Such an interest must be felt far and near,
commercially and financially, while it contributes to the comfort of
all. How soon it may prevail on the Pacific who can say? But this
treaty is the beginning.

It is difficult to estimate what is so uncertain, or at least is
prospective only. Our own fisheries, now so considerable, were
small in the beginning; they were small, even when they inspired
the eloquence of Burke, in that most splendid page never equalled
even by himself.[219] But the Continental Congress, in its original
instructions to its commissioners for the negotiation of treaties of
peace and commerce with Great Britain, required, as a fundamental
condition, next to independence, that these fisheries should be
preserved unimpaired. While the proposition was under discussion,
Elbridge Gerry, who had grown up among the fishermen of Massachusetts,
repelled the attack upon their pursuit in words which are not out of
place here. “It is not so much fishing,” he said, “as enterprise,
industry, and employment. It is not fish merely; it is gold, the
produce of that avocation. It is the employment of those who would
otherwise be idle, the food of those who would otherwise be hungry, the
wealth of those who would otherwise be poor.”[220] After debate, it was
resolved by Congress that “the common right of fishing should in no
case be given up.”[221] For this principle the eldest Adams contended
with ability and constancy until it was fixed in the treaty of peace,
where it stands side by side with the acknowledgment of independence.

In the discussions which ended thus triumphantly, the argument for the
fisheries was stated most compactly by Ralph Izard, of South Carolina,
in a letter to John Adams, dated at Paris, 24th September, 1778; and
this early voice from South Carolina may be repeated now.

    “Since the advantages of commerce have been well understood,
    the fisheries have been looked upon by the naval powers of
    Europe as an object of the greatest importance. The French
    have been increasing their fishery ever since the Treaty of
    Utrecht, which has enabled them to rival Great Britain at
    sea. The fisheries of Holland were not only the first rise
    of the Republic, but have been the constant support of all
    her commerce and navigation. This branch of trade is of such
    concern to the Dutch that in their public prayers they are
    said to request the Supreme Being ‘that it would please Him
    to bless the Government, the Lords, the States, and also their
    fisheries.’ The fishery of Newfoundland appears to me to be
    a mine of infinitely greater value than Mexico and Peru. It
    enriches the proprietors, is worked at less expense, and is the
    source of naval strength and protection.”[222]

Captain Smith, the adventurous founder and deliverer of the colony
of Virginia, when appealing to Englishmen at home in behalf of the
feeble New England settlements, especially dwells upon the fisheries.
“Therefore,” he concludes, “honourable and worthy Country men, let not
the meannesse of the word fish distaste you, for it will afford as good
gold as the Mines of _Guiana_ or _Potassie_, with lesse hazard and
charge, and more certainty and facility.”[223] Doubtless for a long
time the neighboring fish-banks were the gold-mines of New England.

I have grouped these allusions that you may see how the fisheries of
that day, though comparatively small, enlisted the energies of our
fathers. Tradition confirms the record. The sculptured image of a
cod pendent from the ceiling in the hall of the Massachusetts House
of Representatives, where it was placed during the last century,
constantly recalls this industrial and commercial staple, with the
great part it performed. And now it is my duty to remind you that these
fisheries, guarded so watchfully and vindicated with such conquering
zeal, had a value prospective rather than present, or at least small
compared with what it is now. Exact figures, covering the ten years
between 1765 and 1775, show that during this period Massachusetts
employed annually in the fisheries 665 vessels, measuring 25,630 tons,
with only 4,405 men.[224] In contrast with this interest, which seems
so small, although at the time considerable, are the present fisheries
of our country; and here again we have exact figures. The number of
vessels in the cod fishery alone, in 1861, just before the blight of
war reached this business, was 2,753, measuring 137,665 tons, with
19,271 men,--being more than four times as many vessels and men, and
more than five times as much tonnage, as for ten years preceding the
Revolution were employed annually by Massachusetts, representing at
that time the fishing interest of the country.

Small beginnings, therefore, are no discouragement; I turn with
confidence to the future. Already the local fisheries on this coast
have developed among the generations of natives a singular gift in
building and managing their small craft so as to excite the frequent
admiration of voyagers. The larger fisheries there will naturally
exercise a corresponding influence on the population destined to build
and manage the larger craft. The beautiful baidar will give way to the
fishing-smack, the clipper, and the steamer. All things will be changed
in form and proportion; but the original aptitude for the sea will
remain. A practical race of intrepid navigators will swarm the coast,
ready for any enterprise of business or patriotism. Commerce will find
new arms, the country new defenders, the national flag new hands to
bear it aloft.


MR. PRESIDENT,--I now conclude this examination. From a review of the
origin of the treaty, and the general considerations with regard to it,
we have passed to an examination of these possessions under different
heads, in order to arrive at a knowledge of their character and value.
And here we have noticed the existing government, which was found to
be nothing but a fur company, whose only object is trade; then the
population, where a very few Russians and Creoles are a scanty fringe
to the aboriginal races; then the climate, a ruling influence, with its
thermal current of ocean and its eccentric isothermal line, by which
the rigors of the coast are tempered to a mildness unknown in the same
latitude on the Atlantic side; then the vegetable products, so far as
observed, chief among which are forests of pine and fir waiting for
the axe; then the mineral products, among which are coal and copper,
if not iron, silver, lead, and gold, besides the two great products
of New England, “granite and ice”; then the furs, including precious
skins of the black fox and sea-otter, which originally tempted the
settlement, and remain to this day the exclusive object of pursuit;
and, lastly, the fisheries, which, in waters superabundant with animal
life beyond any of the globe, seem to promise a new commerce. All these
I have presented plainly and impartially, exhibiting my authorities as
I proceeded. I have done little more than hold the scales. If these
incline on either side, it is because reason or testimony on that side
is the weightier.


As these extensive possessions, constituting a corner of the continent,
pass from the imperial government of Russia, they will naturally
receive a new name. They will be no longer Russian America. How shall
they be called? Clearly, any name borrowed from classical antiquity
or from individual invention will be little better than misnomer or
nickname unworthy of the historic occasion. Even if taken from our
own annals, it will be of doubtful taste. The name should come from
the country itself. It should be indigenous, aboriginal, one of the
autochthons of the soil. Happily such a name exists, as proper in sound
as in origin. It appears from the report of Cook, the illustrious
navigator, to whom I have so often referred, that the euphonious
designation now applied to the peninsula which is the continental link
of the Aleutian chain was the sole word used originally by the native
islanders, “when speaking of the American continent in general, which
they knew perfectly well to be a great land.”[225] It only remains,
that, following these natives, whose places are now ours, we, too,
should call this “great land” Alaska.[226]

Another change should be made. As the settlements of this coast came
eastward from Russia, bringing with the Russian flag Western time, the
day is earlier by twenty-four hours with them than with us, so that
their Sunday is our Saturday, and the other days of the week are in
corresponding discord. This must be rectified according to the national
meridian, so that there shall be the same Sunday for all, and the other
days of the week shall be in corresponding harmony. Important changes
must follow, of which this is typical. All else must be rectified
according to the national meridian, so that within the sphere of our
common country there shall be everywhere the same generous rule and one
prevailing harmony. Of course, the unreformed Julian calendar, received
from Russia, will give place to ours,--Old Style yielding to New Style.

An object of immediate practical interest will be the survey of the
extended and indented coast by our own officers, bringing it all
within the domain of science, and assuring to navigation much-needed
assistance, while the Republic is honored by a continuation of national
charts, where execution vies with science, and the art of engraving
is the beautiful handmaid. Associated with this survey, and scarcely
inferior in value, will be the examination of the country by scientific
explorers, so that its geological structure may become known, with its
various products, vegetable and mineral. But your best work and most
important endowment will be the Republican Government, which, looking
to a long future, you will organize, with schools free to all, and
with equal laws, before which every citizen will stand erect in the
consciousness of manhood. Here will be a motive power without which
coal itself is insufficient. Here will be a source of wealth more
inexhaustible than any fisheries. Bestow such a government, and you
will give what is better than all you can receive, whether quintals of
fish, sands of gold, choicest fur, or most beautiful ivory.



    Mr. Sumner moved the following resolution, and asked its
    immediate consideration:--

        “_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be
        requested to furnish to the Senate, if in his opinion
        not incompatible with the public interests, copies of
        any official opinions which may have been given by the
        Attorney-General, the Solicitor of the Treasury, or by any
        other officer of the Government, on the interpretation of
        the Act of Congress regulating the tenure of offices, and
        especially with regard to appointments by the President
        during the recess of Congress.”

    There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the
    resolution. Mr. Sumner said:--

Before the vote is taken, allow me to make a statement. I understand
that opinions have been given by one or more officers of the Government
which go far to nullify a recent Act of Congress. In short, it seems
as if we are to have Nullification here in Washington in the Executive
branch of the Government. According to these opinions, the President, I
understand, is to exercise a power of appointment during the recess of
Congress, notwithstanding the recent Act which undertakes to regulate
the tenure of office.

We all know the astuteness of lawyers. It is a proverb. And it is
sometimes said that a lawyer may drive a coach-and-six through an Act
of Parliament, or even an Act of Congress. The Administration is now
about to drive its coach-and-six through our recent legislation. In
other words, it is about to force upon the country officers who cannot
be officers according to existing law. It seems to me, that, before we
adjourn, we should know the precise state of this question. We should
understand if any such opinion has been given, and the reasons for it.
It is on this account that I have introduced the resolution now before
the Senate.

    The resolution was adopted.


12, 1867.

    On the day after the adjournment of Congress the Senate was
    convened for the transaction of Executive business. Treaties
    and nominations were laid before it.

    April 11th, on motion of Mr. Williams, of Oregon, the Senate
    considered a resolution for adjournment _sine die_ “the 13th
    instant.” Debate ensued. Mr. Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland,
    said: “We can fix the adjournment to-morrow or next day.” Mr.
    Trumbull, of Illinois, said: “Let us fix it to-day.” Mr. Sumner

I do not think we can fix it to-day, and, further, I do not think we
ought to fix it to-day. It seems to me the calendar should be cleared
before we talk of going home.

A Senator exclaims, “Wait until we get through.” So I say. Senators
are perfectly aware, that, owing to an interpretation recently put by
the Executive upon the Tenure-of-Office Bill, there is an increased
necessity for our staying. We have passed a law. We should see to its
enforcement. At any rate, we should manifest coöperation with the
Executive, so that there shall be no excuse for setting it aside. I
do not admit that he can in any way set it aside; but I wish to do
everything that can be done to prevent him from undertaking to set it
aside. We ought to stay until our work is fully done. There can be no
excuse for going home while any part of the Executive business remains
unfinished. Other Congresses have stayed here till midsummer, and even
into the month of September. If the necessities of the country require
it, I see no reason why we should not stay till then.

    April 12th, the subject was resumed, when Mr. Sumner said:--

I will say, that, just in proportion as we draw to the close of our
business, we shall be better prepared to determine when we can adjourn
finally. As we have not drawn to the close, I submit we are not in a
condition to fix the day. That time may come; but I may remind the
Senate that there is in Executive session unfinished business beyond
what we had reason to expect. I say “reason to expect,” because it is
well known that there are many offices still unfilled; and it is our
duty, before we leave, so far as it depends upon us, to see that they
are filled.


We should stay, it seems to me, until the offices are filled, rejecting
nominations that are bad and confirming the good,--doing, in short,
all we can, as a Senate, to secure good officers, and I insist, also,
officers on the right side, who agree with Congress, and will sustain
the policy which Congress has declared.

    The resolution was amended so as to make the adjournment 16th
    April, and then adopted,--Yeas 26, Nays 11,--Mr. Sumner voting
    in the negative. The time was afterwards extended, on motion of
    Mr. Sumner, to 20th April, when the Senate adjourned without


STATES, APRIL 20, 1867.

    Resolution proposing the good offices of the United States
    between the contending parties of Mexico.

Whereas the Republic of Mexico, though relieved from the presence of a
foreign enemy by the final withdrawal of the French troops, continues
to be convulsed by a bloody civil war, in which Mexicans are ranged on
opposite sides;

And whereas the United States are bound by neighborhood and republican
sympathies to do all in their power for the welfare of the Mexican
people, and this obligation becomes more urgent from the present
condition of affairs, where each party is embittered by protracted
conflict: Therefore,

_Be it resolved_, That it is proper for the Government of the United
States, acting in the interest of humanity and civilization, to tender
its good offices by way of mediation between the contending parties of
the Republic of Mexico, in order to avert a deplorable civil war, and
to obtain the establishment of republican government on a foundation of
peace and security.

    This was offered on the last day of the session. It was printed
    and laid on the table. Other resolutions on the same subject
    were offered by Mr. Henderson, of Missouri, and Mr. Reverdy
    Johnson, of Maryland.



                                    SENATE CHAMBER, April 20, 1867.

  MY DEAR SIR,--You wish to have the North “reconstructed,” so
  at least that it shall cease to deny the elective franchise on
  account of color. But you postpone the day by insisting on the
  preliminary of a Constitutional Amendment. I know your vows to
  the good cause; but I ask you to make haste. We cannot wait.

  Of course, we can always wait for the needful processes; but
  there are present reasons why we should allow no time to be lost.
  _This question must be settled forthwith_: in other words, it
  must be settled before the Presidential election, now at hand.
  Our colored fellow-citizens at the South are already electors.
  They will vote at the Presidential election. But why should they
  vote at the South, and not at the North? The rule of justice is
  the same for both. Their votes are needed at the North as well
  as the South. There are Northern States where their votes can
  make the good cause safe beyond question. There are other States
  where their votes will be like the last preponderant weight in
  the nicely balanced scales. Let our colored fellow-citizens vote
  in Maryland, and that State, now so severely tried, will be fixed
  for Human Rights forever. Let them vote in Pennsylvania, and
  you will give more than twenty thousand votes to the Republican
  cause. Let them vote in New York, and the scales, which hang
  so doubtful, will incline to the Republican side. It will be
  the same in Connecticut. I mention these by way of example. But
  everywhere the old Proslavery party will kick the beam. Let all
  this be done, I say, before the next Presidential election.

  Among the proposed ways is a new Constitutional Amendment. But
  this is too dilatory. It cannot become operative till after
  the Presidential election. Besides, it is needless. Instead of
  amending the Constitution, read it.

  Another way is by moving each State, and obtaining through
  local legislation what is essentially _a right of citizenship_.
  But this again is too dilatory, while it turns each State into
  a political maelström, and submits a question of _National_
  interest to the chances of local controversy and the timidity of
  local politicians. This will not do. Emancipation was a National
  act, proceeding from the National Government, and applicable
  to all the States. Enfranchisement, which is the corollary
  and complement of Emancipation, must be a National act also,
  proceeding from the National Government, and applicable to all
  the States. If left to the States individually, the result,
  besides being tardy, will be uncertain and fragmentary.

  There is another way, at once prompt, energetic, and
  comprehensive. It is by Act of Congress, adopted by a majority of
  two thirds, in spite of Presidential veto. The time has passed
  when this power can be questioned. Congress has already exercised
  it in the Rebel States. I do not forget its hesitations. Only
  a year ago, when I insisted that it must do so, and introduced
  a bill to this effect, I was answered that a Constitutional
  Amendment was needed, and I was voted down. A change came, and
  in a happy moment Congress exercised the power. What patriot
  questions it now? But the power is unquestionable in the other
  States also. It concerns the rights of citizenship, and this
  subject is as essentially national as the army or the navy.

  Even without either of the recent Constitutional Amendments,
  I am at a loss to understand how a denial of the elective
  franchise simply on account of color can be otherwise than
  unconstitutional. I cannot see how, under a National Constitution
  which does not contain the word “white” or “black,” there can be
  any exclusion on account of color. There is no such exclusion
  in the Constitution. Out of what text is this oligarchical
  pretension derived? But, putting aside this question, which will
  be clearer to the jurists of the next generation than to us,
  I vouch the authoritative words of the National Constitution,
  making it our duty to guaranty a republican form of government
  in the States. Now the greatest victory of the war, to which all
  other victories, whether in Congress or on the bloody field, were
  only tributary, was the definition of a republican government
  according to the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
  A government which denies the elective franchise on account of
  color, or, in other words, sets up any “qualifications” of voters
  in their nature insurmountable, cannot be republican; for the
  first principle in a republican government is Equality of Rights,
  according to the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
  And this definition, I insist, is the crowning glory of the war
  which beat down Rebellion under its feet. It only remains for
  Congress to enforce it by appropriate legislation.

  There are two recent Constitutional Amendments, each of which
  furnishes ample and cumulative power.

  There is, first, the Amendment abolishing Slavery, with its
  clause conferring on Congress the power to enforce it by
  appropriate legislation, in pursuance of which Congress has
  already passed the Civil Rights Act, which is applicable to the
  North as well as the South. Clearly, and most obviously beyond
  all question, if it can pass a Civil Rights Act, it can also pass
  a Political Rights Act; for each is appropriate to enforce the
  abolition of Slavery, and to complete this work. Without it the
  work is only half done.

  There is yet another Amendment, recently adopted by three
  fourths of the loyal States, which is itself an abundant source
  of power. After declaring that all persons born or naturalized
  in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof
  are “citizens,” this Amendment proceeds to provide that “no
  State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
  privileges or immunities of _citizens_ of the United States”; and
  Congress is empowered to enforce this provision by appropriate
  legislation. Nothing can be plainer than this.

  Here, then, are three different sources of power in the
  Constitution itself, each sufficient, the three together three
  times sufficient,--each exuberant and overflowing, the three
  together three times exuberant and overflowing. How, in the face
  of these provisions, any person can doubt the power of Congress
  I cannot understand. But, alas! there are doubters always.

  I have already sent you a copy of my bill to settle this question
  by what I call “the short cut.” Give us your vote. Of course, you
  will. Believe me, my dear Sir,

      Very faithfully yours,



    This was followed by an editorial article sustaining and
    vindicating Mr. Sumner’s bill. It began:--

        “Yes. Mr. Sumner has our vote. He has always had it; he is
        always likely to have it. ‘How did Roger Sherman vote?’
        asked our forefathers. They believed it was safe to vote
        with Roger Sherman. It is just as safe to vote with Charles

    After explanation and argument, the article proceeds:--

        “Not only is Mr. Sumner right as to the power of Congress
        in the present case, but long ago he was right as to the
        power of Congress to govern the unconstitutional States
        as conquered provinces. He then stood almost alone in the
        Senate in an opinion which he has since seen adopted by his
        brother Senators. We trust his compeers will agree to his
        present bill. We happen to know that Thaddeus Stevens--who,
        even when sick, is more well than most men--is preparing,
        on his sick-bed, an argument in support of Mr. Sumner’s
        plan. We happen to know, also, that Chief Justice Chase
        agrees with Mr. Sumner’s view.”



    West Cambridge, originally part of Cambridge, Massachusetts,
    assumed the name of Arlington, with the consent of the
    Legislature. The change was celebrated in the town by a public
    dinner in a tent.


In looking around me on this beautiful scene of hospitality, I am
reminded of that doge of Genoa, who, finding himself amid the splendors
of Versailles, in its incomparable palace, and being asked what about
him caused the most surprise, replied, “To find myself here.” And so to
me, coming from other scenes, and for many years absolutely unused to
such occasions, this spectacle is strange. But it is not less welcome
because strange.

Coming here to take part in this interesting celebration, I am not
insensible to the kindness of good friends among you, through whom the
invitation was received. But I confess a neighborly interest in your
festival. Born in Boston, and educated in Cambridge, I am one of your
neighbors. Accept, then, if you please, the sympathies of a neighbor on
this occasion.

Yours is not a large town; nor has it any extended history. But
what it wants in size and history it makes up in beauty. Yours is a
beautiful town. I know nothing among the exquisite surroundings of
Boston more charming than these slopes and meadows, with background
of hills and gleam of water. The elements of beauty are all here.
Hills are always beautiful; so is water. I remember hearing a woman
of genius, Mrs. Fanny Kemble, say more than once, that water in a
landscape is “like eyes in the human countenance,” without which the
countenance is lifeless. But water gleams, shines, sparkles in your
landscape. Here the water-nymphs might find a home. Gardens, beautiful
to the eye and bountiful in nourishing and luscious supplies, are also
yours. Surely it may be said of those who live here, that their lines
have fallen in a pleasant place.

I go too far, when I suggest that you are without a history. West
Cambridge was part of that historic Cambridge so early famous in our
country, the seat of learning and the home of patriotism. The honor of
Cambridge is yours. West Cambridge adjoins Lexington, and was in the
war-path of the British soldiers on that 19th of April, which, perhaps,
as much as any day after the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, determined
the fortunes of this continent. The shots of Concord and Lexington were
heard here before their echoes began the tour of the globe. Shots from
here followed, and your beautiful fields bore testimony in blood. The
road from Concord was a prolonged battleground, on which British troops
fell; there were patriots, also, who fell.

Then came the Battle of Bunker Hill, on the very day we now celebrate,
followed soon by the arrival of Washington, who, on the 3d day of
July, 1775, drew his sword as Commander-in-Chief under the well-known
elm of Cambridge Common. Do not forget that you were of Cambridge
then. The first duty of the new commander-in-chief was to inspect his
forces. The mass of the British army, amounting to 11,500 men, occupied
Bunker Hill and Boston Neck, while their general with his light horse
was in Boston. The Patriot forces, amounting to about 16,000 men, were
so posted as to form a complete line around Boston and Charlestown,
from Mystic River to Dorchester, nearly twelve miles in circuit.
Regiments from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut occupied
Winter Hill and Prospect Hill, where it is easy still to recognize
their earthworks; several of the Massachusetts regiments were at
Cambridge; and others from Connecticut and Massachusetts covered the
high grounds of Roxbury. This was the Siege of Boston. With all these
preparations, Washington was still provident of the future. And here
commences an association with the hills about your town, which must be
my justification for these details.

Many years ago, when I first read the account of this period by
one of the early biographers of Washington, Rev. Dr. Bancroft, of
Worcester, the father of our distinguished historian, I was struck by
the statement, which I quote in his precise words, that, “in case of
an attack and defeat, the _Welsh Mountains in Cambridge_, and the rear
of the lines in Roxbury, were appointed as places of rendezvous.”[227]
Perhaps this association, and even the name of the mountains, may be
new to some whom I have the honor of addressing. “The Welsh Mountains”
are the hills which skirt your peaceful valley. Since then I have
never looked upon them, even at a distance, I have never thought of
them, without feeling that they are monumental. They testify to that
perfect prudence which made our commander-in-chief so great. In those
hours when undisciplined patriots were preparing for conflict with the
trained soldiers of England, the careful eye of Washington, calmly
surveying the whole horizon, selected your hills as the breastworks
behind which he was to retrieve the day. The hills still stand firm and
everlasting as when he looked upon them, but smiling now with fertility
and peace. They will never be needed as breastworks. There is no enemy
encamped in Boston and ready to sally forth for battle; nor is there
any siege.

But you will allow me to remind you that the ideas of the Revolution
and the solemn promises of the Declaration of Independence are still
debated. There are some who have the hardihood to deny them. Here I
venture to bespeak from you the simple loyalty of those whose places
you occupy. Should an evil hour arrive, when these ideas and promises
are in peril, then let them find a breastwork, not in your hills, but
in your hearts. And may the rally extend until it embraces the whole
country, and the Revolution begun by our fathers is completed by the
establishment of all the rights of all!



    July 3d, according to the provision in the resolution of
    adjournment at the last session, Congress met at noon this day.
    The Chief Clerk read the resolution.[228] Mr. Sumner then said
    that he rose to a question of order on the resolution.

The resolution under which Congress is to-day assembled, so far as it
undertakes to direct the adjournment of the two Houses of Congress
without day, in the absence of a quorum of the two Houses, is
unconstitutional and inoperative, inasmuch as the Constitution, after
declaring that “a majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to
do business,” proceeds to provide that “a smaller number may adjourn
from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of
absent members”; and therefore such resolution must not be regarded
by the Chair, so far as it undertakes to provide for an adjournment
without day.

As, according to the view, there is a quorum already present, the
incident contemplated by the resolution will not arise; but I felt it
my duty, by way of precaution and _caveat_, to introduce this protest,
to the end that the resolution may not hereafter be drawn into a
precedent so as to abridge the rights of the two Houses of Congress
under the Constitution of the United States.

    Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, differed from Mr. Sumner, and
    entered his “protest against any such construction of the
    Constitution as denies to the two Houses of Congress the right
    to regulate their own adjournments.” After quoting the text of
    the Constitution, that “a majority of each shall constitute a
    quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from
    day to day and may be authorized to compel the attendance of
    absent members,” Mr. Sumner said:--

Here is a concurrent resolution providing for a future meeting of
Congress. To that extent it is unquestionably constitutional; but
when the resolution imposes shackles upon the two Houses of Congress
assembled by virtue of that resolution, then, I submit, it does
what, under the National Constitution, it cannot do,--its words are
powerless. Congress, when once assembled by virtue of that resolution,
has all the powers of a Congress of the United States under the
Constitution. That resolution cannot restrain it. Such, at any rate,
is my conclusion, after the best reflection that I have been able to
give to these words of the Constitution; and I feel it my duty to make
this protest, to the end that what we now do may not be drawn into an
example hereafter. It is well known that those words were introduced in
order to tie the hands of Congress, should it come together and there
be no quorum present,--in short, to despoil the Congress then assembled
of the prerogative secured to it by the National Constitution. To that
extent I suggest that the resolution hereafter shall be regarded as of
no value, and not be quoted as a precedent.

    After reply from Mr. Trumbull, the subject was dropped.



_RESOLVED_, That the reconstruction of the Rebel States would be
hastened, and the best interest of the country promoted, if the
President of the United States, in the exercise of the pardoning power,
would require that every landed proprietor who has been engaged in
the Rebellion, before receiving pardon therefor, should convey to the
freedmen, his former slaves, a certain portion of the land on which
they have worked, so that they may have a homestead in which their own
labor has mingled, and that the disloyal master may not continue to
appropriate to himself the fruits of their toil.

    On motion of Mr. Sumner, this was printed and laid on the
    table. The rule limiting business during the present session
    prevented him from calling it up.




    Mr. Sumner had looked to this session not only for precautions
    against the President, but for legislation on Suffrage. He had
    never doubted that there would be a session. March 30th, just
    before the final adjournment, he gave notice that on the first
    Wednesday of July he should ask the Senate to proceed with his
    bill to secure the elective franchise to colored citizens,
    when Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, said, “The Senator had better add,
    ‘or some subsequent day.’” [_Laughter._] Mr. Sumner said: “I
    beg the Senate to take notice that there will be a session on
    the first Wednesday of July, to proceed with business. I have
    reason to believe that there will be a quorum here, for there
    will be important public business that must be attended to.”

    On the completion of the organization, Mr. Sumner proceeded
    to offer petitions, when he was interrupted by Mr. Fessenden,
    of Maine, who said: “I desire to interpose an objection to
    the reference of these petitions; and I may as well bring the
    question up here now, before the Senator offers any more. I
    do it for the reason that in my judgment it is not expedient
    at the present session to act upon general business”; and he
    referred to the course at the session of the Twenty-Seventh
    Congress, called by President Harrison. Mr. Sumner said, in

MR. PRESIDENT,--We are a Congress of the United States, assembled
under the National Constitution, and with all the powers belonging
to Congress,--ay, Sir, and with all the responsibilities also. We
cannot, by agreement or understanding, divest ourselves of these
responsibilities, being nothing less than to transact the public
business,--not simply one item or two items, but the public business
in its sum total, whatever it may be,--in one word, all that concerns
the welfare of this great Republic. Now the Senator limits us to one
item, which he has only alluded to, without characterizing. I suppose I
understand him; but he must know well that even that business has many
ramifications. But why are we to be restricted thus? Looking at past
usage, I need not remind you that we have habitually sat throughout
the summer into the month of August, and on one occasion into the
month of September. It is no new thing that Congress should be here
in July. It is an exception that Congress is not here in July, during
every alternate year. Therefore, in considering public business, even
under these heats, we are only doing what our predecessors before us
have done; we are following the usage of Congress, and not setting up
a new usage of our own. The motion of the Senator, if it be a motion,
or rather his suggestion, does set up a new usage. It is virtually
to declare, that, when admonished by the heats of July, we will fold
our hands, and will not even consider public business, except in one
particular case; that all the other vast interests of this country will
be left, without reference to a committee, without inquiry, unattended
to, neglected.

The Senator from Maine says, that, when Congress adjourned at the
end of March, it was not supposed that there would be a session at
this time. He may not have supposed there would be a session. I never
doubted that there would be one. I saw full well that the public
interests would require a session in July, and I labored to bring it
about, feeling that in so doing I was only discharging a public duty.
Do you forget whom you have as President? A constant disturber, and a
mischief-maker. So long as his administration continues, it is the duty
of Congress to be on guard, perpetually on watch against him; and this
must have been obvious when Congress adjourned, as it is obvious now.
Senators may not have foreseen precisely what he would do; but I take
it that there were few who did not foresee that he would do something
making it important for Congress to be present. I did not doubt, then,
that it would be our duty to be here in our places to make adequate
provision against his misdeeds. He is President, and the head of the
Executive, invested with all the powers belonging to that department.
It is hard, I know, to provide against him; but nevertheless you must
do it. This Republic is too great, too vast, and too precious, to be
left in the hands of a bad man.

One of the greatest masters in the art of war tells us, as the lesson
of his great military experience, that the good general always regards
that as probable which is possible. I know no better rule for the
statesman. Now, with a President such as we have, anything in the
nature of disturbance or interference with the public security is
possible through the Executive arm. Therefore you are to regard it
as probable, and make provision against it. So I argued last spring,
and was satisfied that it would be our duty to be in our seats at the
coming July. We are here, and I now insist that it is our duty to go
forward and discharge all our duties, without exception, under the
National Constitution.

    Mr. Fessenden replied, referring to the proceedings at the
    called session of the Twenty-Seventh Congress on resolutions of
    Mr. Clay to limit business. Mr. Sumner rejoined:--

I hope the Senate will pardon me, if I add one word to what I have
already said. The Senator from Maine introduces as a precedent
something which he will pardon me if I say is not a precedent. He
calls our attention to a session of Congress convened by virtue of a
summons of the President, being a called session. Why, Sir, this is no
called session. This is simply a continuing session, begun on the 4th
day of March. It is not a new session. It is a session already begun,
prolonged by adjournment into the midst of July. Were it such a session
as the Senator from Maine seems to imagine, his precedent might be
applicable. We might then search the message of the President to find
the subjects proper for consideration. It is, however, no such session.
We are here broadly, under all our powers as a Congress, our life as a
Congress having begun here on the 4th day of March at noon. Therefore,
allow me to say, the precedent is inapplicable.

The practical question, then, is, What shall we do, being a Congress
assembled as any other Congress, with all powers and all duties? I
submit, proceed with the public business in due order, until such time
as by the reports of committees or by votes of the two bodies we shall
be satisfied that it is not advisable to proceed further. I think,
therefore, petitions should be presented and referred, bills introduced
and take their proper destinations, and business of all kinds be
brought before the Senate.

    At the suggestion of Senators, the petitions were laid on the
    table to await formal action on the question.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 5th, Mr. Anthony, of Rhode Island, moved the following
    resolution, which had been agreed upon in a caucus of
    Republican Senators:--

        “_Resolved_, That the legislative business of this session
        be confined to removing the obstructions which have been or
        are likely to be placed in the way of the fair execution of
        the Acts of Reconstruction heretofore adopted by Congress,
        and to giving to said Acts the scope intended by Congress
        when the same were passed; and that further legislation, at
        this session, on the subject of Reconstruction, or on other
        subjects, is not expedient.”

    Mr. Sumner at once appealed to Mr. Anthony:--

Before a resolution of such importance, so open to criticism, so
doubtful in point of order, so plainly contrary to the spirit of
the Constitution, is brought under consideration, I do think that
the Senator who brings it forward should enlighten us in regard to
its object, and the reasons in justification of so extraordinary a

    Mr. Anthony made a brief statement, in which he said that
    he “supposed the reason for this proposition was so evident
    to every Senator who has conversed with the members of the
    body, that it would require no explanation whatever”; that
    “the public sentiment of the country demanded that there
    should be some legislation in order to make the Reconstruction
    Acts precisely what we intended them to be, and not as they
    have been construed.” Mr. Sumner then moved the following

        “That the Senate will proceed, under its rules, to the
        despatch of the public business requiring attention, and
        to this end all petitions and bills will be referred for
        consideration to the appropriate committees, without
        undertaking in advance to limit the action of Congress to
        any special subject, and to deny a hearing on all other

    He then remarked:--

I object to the proposition of my friend from Rhode Island, which I
cannot but think he has introduced hastily and without sufficient
consideration, or at any rate under influences which I think his own
better judgment should have rejected. I am against it on several
grounds. If I said it was contrary to precedent, I should not err; for
the attempt made the other day to show that there was precedent for
such a proceeding, it seems to me, signally failed. Attention was then
called to a resolution adopted at a session of Congress convened by the
President of the United States for a declared purpose, announced at the
time in advance. I think the course taken by Congress was regarded as
questionable, even under the peculiar circumstances. But the two cases
are different. The present session is not like that. It is a continuing
session of a Congress begun on the 4th day of March last, being simply
a prolongation of that session; and the practical question is, whether
you will limit the business of Congress in a general session called
under a statute of the United States. Clearly there is no precedent for
any such proceeding. You plunge into darkness without a guide.

But I go further, and I say, that, even if there were a precedent, I
would reject it; for I much prefer to follow the National Constitution.
I do not say that the text of the Constitution positively forbids the
proposition, but I cannot doubt that the spirit of the Constitution
is against it. How often, in other times, have we all throbbed with
indignation at the resolution in the other House, also in this Chamber,
to stifle discussion on a great question! You do not forget the odious
rule by the name of the “Gag,” attached to which was the name of its
author, beginning with the letter A.[229] I hope there will be no other
gag of a larger character to be classified with the letter A. That was
justly offensive, because it violated the right of petition; but you
propose not only to interfere with the right of petition, but also with
all possible measures concerning the public welfare, except as they may
relate to one single business, and that in its narrowest relations.

I object to such a proposition as in its spirit unconstitutional. I
appeal to my associates to reject it, that it may not pass into history
as a precedent of evil example to be employed against Freedom. You may
see, Sir, how obstructive it is, if you will glance at certain matters
within my own knowledge, which, I submit, it is our duty to consider,
and my duty as a Senator to press upon your attention. No relations
with political associates can absolve me from official responsibility.

Every Senator, doubtless, has within his own knowledge business which
in his judgment deserves attention, and other business which he does
not doubt must be acted on. There are Senators on the other side of
the Chamber who will plead the cause of the frontiers menaced by the
Indians. I have heard something of that peril from chance travellers
during these few weeks past; and yet, by the proposition of my friend
from Rhode Island, we are to abandon the frontiers, and I know no other
reason than that the weather is too hot. It may be hot in this Chamber;
but it is hotter there. The reports from the frontier show that danger
has begun. The sound of the war-whoop has broken even into this
Capitol. The corpses of fellow-countrymen lie unburied on the roadside,
and their memories haunt us. And yet we fold our hands, and decline to
supply the needed protection.

    Mr. Sumner then alluded to the necessity of legislation to
    carry out a recent treaty with Venezuela, and also the treaty
    with Russia.

I mean that important treaty by which the Emperor of Russia has
ceded to the United States all his possessions on the North American
continent. The ratifications were exchanged only about a fortnight
ago. Yesterday, the 4th of July, I was honored by a visit from the
Minister of Russia, who put into my hand a cable despatch from St.
Petersburg, announcing that on the day before the Russian Commissioner
left St. Petersburg for Washington to make the formal surrender of that
vast region to the United States. To my inquiry when the Commissioner
would arrive the Minister replied, “In a fortnight.” In a fortnight,
then, final proceedings will be had for the establishment of your
jurisdiction over that region, and two questions arise: first, our
duty to complete the contract, in consideration of the cession, to
pay $7,200,000; and, secondly, our other duty to provide a proper
government. But the proposition of my friend from Rhode Island would
exclude these important topics from our consideration.

    MR. ANTHONY. Would the Senator have the Senate originate an
    appropriation bill?

    MR. SUMNER. I would have the Senate originate a bill for the
    government of this territory, and, if need be, originate a bill
    for the payment of the money due. There is no objection in the

    MR. ANTHONY. It has never been done.

    MR. SUMNER. I beg the Senator’s pardon; it has been done again
    and again.

    MR. ANTHONY. An appropriation bill originated in the Senate?

    MR. SUMNER. Oh, yes.

    MR. ANTHONY. I never knew that to be done but once; and then
    the House rejected it, refused to consider it.

MR. SUMNER. The Senator refers to what are called the general
appropriation bills. The Senate constantly makes appropriations for
individual cases and for carrying out treaties. Does it not appropriate
for private claims, for salaries, for other obligations? In principle,
the present case does not differ from an appropriation for an estate
adjoining the Capitol. Alaska is not an estate adjoining the Capitol;
but it is to be paid for.

That I may make this clearer, I call attention to the very words of the
treaty with Russia:--

    “His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias shall appoint
    with convenient despatch an agent or agents for the purpose
    of formally delivering to a similar agent or agents appointed
    on behalf of the United States the territory, dominion,
    property, dependencies, and appurtenances which are ceded as
    above, and for doing any other act which may be necessary in
    regard thereto. But the cession, with the right of immediate
    possession, is nevertheless to be deemed complete and absolute
    on the exchange of ratifications, without waiting for such
    formal delivery.”[230]

So that, by the terms of the treaty, on the exchange of ratifications
you became possessors of this jurisdiction; and now, by the
approaching surrender, through an official agent, your jurisdiction
will be consummated. With this jurisdiction will be corresponding
responsibilities. You must govern the territory; you must provide
protection for the property and the other interests there. Already,
by the telegraph, we learn that a large ship is about to leave San
Francisco for Sitka, with merchandise of all kinds. There is also the
immense fur-trade, which has been the exclusive Russian interest ever
since the discovery of the country, which will be left open, without
regulation, unless you interfere by appropriate law. There is that
most important fur, the origin of wealth on that whole northwestern
coast, the sea-otter, which will be exposed to lawless and destructive
depredation, unless the Government supplies some regulations. Will you
not do something? Will you leave these interests without care?

Senators exclaim, that they may be considered next winter. Do not
forget the distance between Washington and that far-away region;
you will then see how long you postpone the establishment of your
jurisdiction. Months must elapse after the meeting of Congress next
December, leaving this region without government. There should be
no delay; you should proceed at once. You certainly will not show
yourselves worthy to possess this country, unless you provide at once
a proper government. Leaving it a prey to lawless adventure, you will
only increase the difficulties of dealing with a region so vast and so

But there is another obligation still. You receive the territory; you
ought to pay the money at the same time. A Senator before me cries out,
“It will not be appropriated at this session.”

    MR. EDMUNDS. It is not due yet.

MR. SUMNER. I ask the Senator’s attention to the point. I understand,
as a matter of history, in this negotiation, that, while it was
proceeding, it was proposed that the payment should be on the exchange
of ratifications, so that, when the cession was completed, the
transaction on our part should be completed also; but as the treaty
was being drawn, it was understood that there would be no meeting
of Congress before next December, while the ratifications might be
exchanged before that time. To meet this case, a special provision was
introduced, extending the time of payment to a period of ten months
from the exchange of ratifications. This explains the article I now

    “In consideration of the cession aforesaid, the United States
    agree to pay at the Treasury in Washington, within ten months
    after the exchange of the ratifications of this convention, to
    the diplomatic representative or other agent of His Majesty
    the Emperor of all the Russias, duly authorized to receive the
    same, seven million two hundred thousand dollars in gold.”[231]

By the letter of the treaty, you may, if you see fit, postpone the
payment to ten months from the exchange of ratifications; but I submit
to the Senator from Vermont, whether he is willing to do so,--whether,
since the transaction is consummated on the part of Russia, he is
not willing, nay, desirous also, that it shall be consummated on the
part of the United States in the spirit of the original negotiation?
I submit this as a question of sound policy,--I will not say of
integrity, but simply of sound policy on the part of our Government,
a republic representing republican institutions, by whose conduct
republican institutions are always judged. Surely you will not fail to
protect the national honor; nor will you stick at the letter of the

       *       *       *       *       *

I have alluded to two important matters under treaties; but there is
still another, more important than any treaty or any appropriation,
which dwarfs treaties and dwarfs appropriations, which is not less
important, certainly, than the protection of the frontier, now menaced
by Indians. I refer to a whole region of our Republic, embracing two
extensive States, now menaced by a foe more dangerous to the national
peace and welfare than any tribe of Indians. These are returning Rebels
in the States of Kentucky and Maryland. Provide against them. They are
Indians within your jurisdiction. You have the power; you have the
means. Give the ballot to the colored citizens in those States, as you
have given it already to colored citizens in the Rebel States, and you
will have an all-sufficient protection against these intruders. Here is
something to be done. Who doubts the power? Out of three fountains in
the Constitution it may be derived. It is your duty, then, to exercise
it. See to it that these States have a republican government. Fix in
your statute-book an authoritative definition of a republic. Enforce
the two Amendments of the Constitution,--one abolishing Slavery, and
the other declaring the rights of citizens. Any delay to exercise so
clear a power is a failure of duty; and it becomes more reprehensible,
when we consider the perils that may ensue. Communicate, if you please,
with Union citizens of those two States. Listen to what they say. Be
taught by their testimony.

I have, for instance, a letter from an eminent citizen of Maryland,
written from Baltimore the 1st of July, which concludes:--

    “I will only add, that the interest felt by the loyal people of
    this State in the passage of this bill cannot be overstated.”

Communicate with your late colleague upon this floor, that able and
patriotic Senator, Mr. Creswell. Listen to his testimony. There can be
no doubt that Unionists, whether black or white, in Maryland, require
your protection. Give it to them. Do not leave them a prey to Rebels.
In the same way they are exposed in Kentucky. Here is a letter from a
distinguished citizen of that State, dated July 1st: and I read these,
out of many others, simply because they are the latest; they have come
within a few hours:--

    “I hope you will be able to do good at the extra session, and
    extend and protect the rights of the freedmen, as they are
    sadly in need of it in Kentucky. Reconstruct us; this is the
    only loyal hope.”

Such is the cry. Kentucky needs reconstruction, and it is your duty
to provide it. Put her on an equality with the Rebel States. Let her
colored citizens enjoy the full-blown rights of citizens, and let the
white Unionists there have the protection of their votes. You sent
muskets once; send votes now.[232]

On your table is a bill “to enforce the several provisions of the
Constitution abolishing Slavery, declaring the immunities of citizens,
and guarantying a republican form of government by securing the
elective franchise to colored citizens.” Pass this bill, and you
furnish the needed protection in these semi-rebel States. Pass this
bill, and you supersede strife on this much-vexed and disturbing
question in other States of the Union. You at once bring to the
elective franchise thousands of good citizens, pledged by their
lives and inspired by their recently received rights to sustain the
good cause which you have so much at heart. Do this; help in this
way the final settlement of the national troubles; pass this bill
of peace,--for such it will be, giving repose in all the Northern
States,--and in this way help establish repose in all the rest of the
country. And yet I am told that even this important measure is to be
set aside. We are not to enter upon its consideration; we are not to
debate it; we are not to receive petitions in its favor. Is this right?
Is it not a neglect of duty? Is it not intolerable?

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. President, on these grounds I object to this proposition. I might
have objected to it, in the first place, as out of order, and asked
the ruling of the Chair, not doubting how the Chair, inspired always
by a generous love of human rights, must rule,--not doubting that
the Chair would say that a proposition of such a character was too
closely associated with one of the most odious measures of our history
to deserve welcome at this time. I have raised no such question. I
confine myself now to other objections. I object to it as a departure
from sound usage, as contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, and as
setting up an impediment and obstruction to the transaction of public
business of an urgent character, which you cannot neglect without
neglect of duty. I ask you to provide for the execution of recent
treaties with Venezuela and Russia, to assure protection to Unionists
in Maryland and Kentucky, and to give peace to the country. Above all,
do not make a bad precedent, to be quoted hereafter to the injury of
the Republic.

    Mr. Pomeroy, of Kansas, felt “embarrassed in voting against
    the resolution offered by the Senator from Rhode Island,”
    but he thought it “impracticable and unwise,” that it would
    “subject us to censure, and that we ourselves should regret it
    hereafter.” Mr. Yates, of Illinois, “was for a special session
    for a special purpose.” In reply to a question of Mr. Yates,
    Mr. Sumner said:--

I do not believe Congress would have come together, if they had had
faith in the President. I believe the session beginning on the 4th of
March had its origin in want of confidence in the President. I believe
my friend agrees in that.

    MR. YATES. Yes.

MR. SUMNER. It was to counteract and watch the President that Congress
met on the 4th of March. When this session was about to adjourn,
provision was made for its renewal, or a continuation or a prolongation
of it, if you may so regard it. I take it in the same spirit with the
original enactment.

It was to provide against the President, and to do such other
incidental business as the public interests might require. I never
doubted that there would be a session on the 3d of July.[233] I so
stated at the passage of the resolution. I have so stated constantly
since; and I have advised more than one gentleman connected with
Congress not to leave the country, because his post of duty was here. I
believe that I have answered the question of my friend.

And now one word more. We are assembled under an Act of Congress
and the National Constitution. By the Constitution it is provided
that “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” That
is all it can do. It may not annihilate proceedings; it may not
forbid proceedings. It may provide rules for them; but it cannot, in
a just sense, prevent. Therefore I submit that the resolution, if
not positively unconstitutional, is contrary to the spirit of that

    Mr. Ross, of Kansas, hoped “that either the proposition of the
    Senator from Massachusetts or something similar to it would
    carry.” Mr. Tipton, of Nebraska, was “embarrassed in regard
    to voting for the original resolution.” After further debate,
    the vote was taken on Mr. Sumner’s substitute, and it was
    rejected,--Yeas 6, Nays 26.

    Mr. Ross then moved a substitute limiting business “to removing
    the obstructions which have been or are likely to be placed in
    the way of the fair execution of the Acts of Reconstruction,”
    and “such as may be rendered necessary for the preservation of
    the peace on the Western frontier.” Debate ensued, in which
    Mr. Howe, of Wisconsin, said: “I did not suppose any gentleman
    would insist that I was bound by the decision of that body, or
    by the conclusion arrived at in that consultation.… I do not
    know what penalties I subject myself to by disagreeing here
    and now with the conclusions then arrived at.” Mr. Wade, of
    Ohio, spoke vigorously against the original resolution. In his
    judgment, “there are some questions about which a Senator has
    no right to conform his view to that of the majority,” and he
    took the original resolution to be of that class. “It sets a
    precedent of the greatest danger in high party times.” He hoped
    “that no such detriment to a minority will ever be successfully
    urged here.” He judged Mr. Sumner’s “measure, which is to give
    universal suffrage by Act of Congress, to be upon the subject
    of Reconstruction, and one of the most efficient measures
    to that end; and yet gentlemen seem to suppose that that is
    within the scope of the excluding clause of this resolution.”
    Mr. Fessenden was equally positive the other way. He referred
    to the caucus of Republican Senators where the original
    resolution was prepared, which he deemed “eminently proper.”
    “When gentlemen go into consultation with their friends, and
    make no protest whatever against having the result of that
    consultation acted upon, they agree impliedly and expressly,
    in my judgment, that they will be bound on that subject by the
    decision which their friends come to, unless they give notice
    to the contrary,--that is to say, in case they continue to act
    on the subject to the end.” Mr. Sumner followed.

MR. PRESIDENT,--I should not have said another word, but for topics
introduced by the Senator from Maine; yet before I allude to those
particularly, allow me to answer his argument, so far as I am able to
appreciate it. He will pardon me for saying that he confounds right and
power. Unquestionably the Senate has the power which he attributes to
it; but it has not the right. A jury, as we know, in giving a general
verdict, has power to say “Guilty” or “Not guilty,” disregarding the
instructions of the court; but I need not say that it is a grave
question among lawyers whether it has the right. Now, assuming that the
Senate has the power which the Senator from Maine claims, it seems to
me it has not the right. It has not the right to disregard the spirit
of the National Constitution; and the present proposition is of that
character. The Senator does not see it so, I know; for, if he did, he
could not give to it the weight of his character. Others do see it
so; and if they do, the Senator from Maine must pardon them, if they
act accordingly. The Senator would not vote for anything he regarded
as hostile to the spirit of the Constitution. I cannot attribute to
him any such conduct. Can he expect others to do what he would not do
himself? This is my answer to the argument, so far as I understand it.
Perhaps I do not do justice to it; yet I try.

There was one other point of argument. The Senate, so the Senator
argues, may postpone an individual measure to the next session. Grant
it; does it follow that they may postpone, immediately on their
arrival, the whole business to another session?

    MR. FESSENDEN. They can adjourn on the next day, or on the day
    they meet, if they please.

MR. SUMNER. But so long as they continue in session as a Senate, then,
under the National Constitution, they must attend to the business
of the country. They cannot tie their hands in advance. To do so is
to violate the spirit of the Constitution. The Senator cannot have
forgotten the Atherton gag, to which I referred before, without
naming it, however. Was it not justly an offence and a stench in the
nostrils of every patriot citizen? Has it not left a bad name upon
the Congresses that recognized it? But this was simply a declaration
not to receive petitions on one subject; and now, under the lead of
the Senator, we are to continue in session an indefinite time, and
to receive no petition, no bill, nothing on anything except on one
specified subject. I submit, if the Atherton gag was unconstitutional,
if it was odious, if it was a bad precedent, then you are very rash in
establishing this much broader precedent. Do not condemn the offensive
legislation of the past; do not condemn those slave-masters once so
offensive in these Chambers. You go further than they. You impose a gag
not upon petitions merely, but upon the general business of the country.

The Senator from Ohio [Mr. WADE] has, with unanswerable force, depicted
the offensive character of this precedent, and he has taught us how,
now that we are a majority, we should hesitate to set such an example
for the future. How should we feel, he has aptly reminded us, if, as a
minority, we had such a cup handed to our lips by a patriot Senator?
Doubtless, that for the time patriotism had departed.

I should not have been betrayed into these remarks now, but for topics
introduced by the Senator from Maine. When I opened this debate, this
morning, Senators will bear me witness, I made no allusion to any
discussion elsewhere. I did not think a caucus a proper subject for
this Chamber; nor did I attribute to it anything of the character
which the Senator from Maine does. He makes it not merely sacred, but
a _sacro-sanct pact_, by which every one at the meeting is solemnly
bound. What authority is there for any such conclusion? Senators went
to that caucus, I presume, like myself, without knowing what was to
be considered; and let me confess, when the proposition, in its first
form, was presented, I was startled by its offensive character. I
could not believe that a Senator, knowing the responsibilities and
duties of a Senator, and under the oath of a Senator, could start such
a thing. Well, Sir, discussion went on. The proposition was amended,
modified, mitigated, losing something of its offensiveness in form,
but it still remained substantially offensive. I am not aware that any
Senator suggested that it should be adopted as a rule of the Senate.
If any one did, I did not hear it, though paying close attention to
the discussion. I do not think the Senator from Maine made any such
suggestion. I certainly never supposed that anybody would propose such
a rule. So far as it was to have any value, I supposed it was to be the
recorded result of the deliberations of political associates,--so far
as practicable, a guide for their action, but not a constraint embodied
in a perpetual record. At the last moment, after the vote had been
declared to which the Senator from Maine refers, and to which I should
make no allusion, if he had not brought it forward, I rose in the
caucus, and said, “I will not be bound by any such proposition.” When
it had arrived at the stage to which I refer,--the Senator from Maine
will not forget it, for he interposed a remark which I will not quote

    MR. FESSENDEN. You had better quote it. I said, “Then you
    should not have voted on the subject, if you did not mean to be
    bound by the decision of the majority.”

MR. SUMNER. To which I replied, “I am a Senator of the United States.”

    MR. FESSENDEN. I did not hear the reply.

MR. SUMNER. By that reply I meant that my obligations as a Senator were
above any vote in caucus; that I had no right to go into caucus and
barter away unquestioned rights on this floor. We are under obligations
here to discharge our duties as Senators. We cannot in advance tie our
hands. I have not said in so many words, “You violate the Constitution
in doing it.” Perhaps better reflection would lead me to adopt the
stronger language, and say, “You violate the National Constitution.” I
feel plainly, clearly, beyond doubt, that such is the character of the
National Constitution, and such are our obligations under it, that we
cannot, without a dereliction of duty, consent to such a proposition.
So I see it; I cannot see it otherwise.

And now I submit to my associates in this body, with whom I am proud to
act, whose good opinion I value, whether they would have me, feeling as
I do regarding this resolution, act otherwise than as I do. Should I
not, as an associate in this Chamber, anxious for the good name of the
Senate to which we all belong, proud of this Republic whose honor we
hope to bear aloft, and anxious that no precedent should be established
which may hereafter be brought to our detriment, should I not enter my
frank protest? And, doing so, do I deserve the rude suggestions that
have been made to-day? Should I be told that one may not go into a
caucus and assist in the debate, and then appear in this Chamber only
with the bands of the caucus upon his hands?

Nor is the duty changed by the time of the protest. Vote or no vote
makes no difference. No caucus could constrain a Senator on such a
question. It was our duty to stay and resist the offensive proposition
to the last, and then afterward resist it elsewhere. Senators, if they
choose, may take it in their hands and bear it into this Chamber, to
enshrine it in the rules of the Senate. If placed there, I know it will
do no good; it will stay there to the dishonor of the country, and as a
bad precedent for the future.

    Mr. Howe spoke again, beginning his remarks as follows: “I am
    not so familiar with the history of this country as I wish I
    was. I do not know whether it has ever happened hitherto in
    the history of the country that a Senator has been arraigned
    before the Senate for a violation of a duty to a partisan
    caucus. If there ever has been such a trial before, I hope
    there never will be such a trial again.” Mr. Yates concluded by
    saying: “Now, Sir, there is one of two things, and it commences
    this day: that the decisions of such consultations have to be
    carried out, or this day begins the death of any consultations
    by the majority in the Senate.” Mr. Sumner followed.

MR. PRESIDENT,--It is evident that this debate has opened a broader
question than was imagined at first. Doctors disagree. The learned
Senator from Illinois differs from the learned Senator from Maine. One
expounds the caucus obligations in one way, and the other in another.
Now I am clear that this debate ought not to be closed without some
defined code of caucus, and it seems to me that the learned Senators,
so swift in judgment, ought to supply this code. It should be reduced
to a text. We should know to what extent one is bound, and to what
extent not bound: whether the Senator from Illinois, who refuses to be
bound by the caucus in one point, which was fully discussed, is a man
of honor; whether another Senator, who refuses to be bound on other
points, is a man of honor. That question could be settled by some
explicit code: for we have been admonished that we cannot differ from
the caucus without a departure from propriety, if not from duty; and I
do not know that stronger language has not been employed. If it has, I
will not quote it. It seems to me that this should lead to a practical
conclusion, and it is this: to have nothing to do with a proposition
which can be discussed only through such avenues, which requires such
refinement of detail, with regard to which the Senator from Illinois
makes one exception, and other Senators other exceptions, and to which
still other Senators entirely object.

Now I am not going to complain of the Senator from Illinois. In
following his convictions he is doing right; but then I wish him to
understand that others on this floor may have the privilege he claims
for himself,--justly claims; it is his title. I recognize the Senator
as a man of honor, though he does refuse to carry out the decrees of
the caucus. I believe that every Senator here has responsibilities as
a Senator which are above any he can have to a caucus, which is only
a meeting of friends for consultation and for harmony, where each
gives up something with a view to a common result, but no man gives
up a principle, no man gives up anything vital. No Senator can expect
another Senator to give up anything vital; no Senator can expect
another Senator to sacrifice a principle. I will not imagine that any
Senator would sacrifice a principle. If a Senator expects another to
accord with him in the conclusions of a caucus, I know well it is
because he does not see it in the light of principle; but if another
Senator does see it in the light of principle, how can he be expected
to act otherwise than according to his light? It is not given to all to
see with the clearness of the caucus-defenders. Theirs is the pathway
of light; they see the obligation as complete. Others cannot see it
so. I am in that list. I cannot see it as a final obligation. I have
been present in many caucuses, and I believe, looking over the past, I
have harmonized reasonably with my associates. Sometimes I have been
constrained to differ, and have expressed that difference, and it has
generally been received with kindness. The other day I expressed the
same difference, little expecting, however, an arraignment on this

    Here followed a conversation, in which Mr. Sumner, Mr. Yates,
    Mr. Howe, Mr. Grimes, of Iowa, and Mr. Thayer, of Nebraska,
    took part. Mr. Yates was willing to except from the resolution
    necessary legislation on the Western frontiers. Mr. Sumner

Now I submit to my excellent friend, whether his conclusion does not
entirely impair the value of the caucus conclusion, except to this
extent, in which we all agree, that it is an expression of the opinion
of political associates, calculated to exercise a strong influence on
the course of public business, and to be received with respect, but not
to be imposed upon this Chamber as a rule.

    MR. YATES. Allow me to ask the Senator whether he did
    not submit himself to the same sort of decision in the
    Reconstruction measures. Those matters were before a caucus,
    and acted upon.

MR. SUMNER. In the caucus on Reconstruction I moved the amendment that
in the future constitutions of the Rebel States the ballot should be
required. A division was had. I allude to it now because interrogated
openly in the Senate. A division was had, and there were two stand-up
votes, when the motion was carried by a vote of 15 to 13. By 15 to 13
in that caucus it was voted to require suffrage for all in the future
constitutions of the Rebel States.

    MR. EDMUNDS. And what would you have thought, if the thirteen
    had repudiated that action?

MR. SUMNER. To repudiate a proposition in favor of human liberty would
have been a very different thing from repudiating a proposition
against human liberty.

    MR. FESSENDEN. When the question is put to the Senator, what he
    would have thought, if the thirteen had repudiated it, he says
    that is a very different thing, being in favor of liberty.

MR. SUMNER. Very well, does not the Senator say the same?

    MR. FESSENDEN. I say there is no difference, where a man
    promises to do a thing with a full understanding; he has no
    right to violate it, whether it is one way or the other.

MR. SUMNER. The question is, whether the man does promise. There is the

    MR. FESSENDEN. Very well, then, my reply is, that, if there was
    no promise in the case of the thirteen to support the decision,
    there is no promise here; if there was a promise in the case
    of the thirteen to be bound by it and support it, as they
    did, then there was a promise here. The Senator may make the
    distinction, if he can.

MR. SUMNER. I will make the distinction clear. I have never said there
was a promise in the case of the thirteen, as I insist there was no
promise in the recent caucus. Had the Senator felt it his duty to come
into the Senate and oppose the report, I should have been pained to
find him on the side of wrong; but I am not ready to say that he would
have been constrained by the caucus. But, plainly, the repudiation of
a caucus vote for Human Rights is to be judged differently from the
repudiation of a caucus vote adverse to Human Rights,--assuming, as I
do, that there is no promise in either case.


Sir, I am tired of this talk of honor, in connection with the public
business. This is too solemn; we are under too great responsibilities.
Every Senator acts with honor. The Senator from Maine acts with honor,
when he seeks to impose a rule which I think offensive to the spirit
of the Constitution. The Senator from Illinois acts with honor, when
he says that he will not be bound by the vote of this caucus in a
particular case. Other Senators act with honor, when they refuse to be
bound by the resolution in any of its terms. Every Senator acts with
honor. He only acts otherwise who makes injurious imputations upon his

Yes, Sir, let us have this caucus code. If it is to be administered
with such severity, let us know it in advance, its terms and its
conditions,--what extent of dishonor is to be visited upon those who
do not adopt the caucus conclusions, and what extent of honor upon
those who so steadfastly and violently carry them forward. Let us have
the code. I believe, Sir, that the true code for the Senate is found
in the National Constitution, in the rules of this body, and in the
sentiments of right and wrong which animate every honest soul; and I
believe that no advantage can be taken of any Senator by reminding him
that he forbore at a particular moment to register his objection, just
as if we were all there on trial, to be saved by speaking promptly.
It was no such debate; we were there with friends and brothers, each
respecting the sensibilities and convictions of his associates, and, by
interchange of opinions, seeking harmony, but not submitting to a yoke.

    After further remarks from Mr. Fessenden and Mr. Tipton, the
    substitute of Mr. Ross was rejected,--Yeas 15, Nays 19. The
    resolution, was then adopted,--Yeas 23, Nays 9.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 10th, Mr. Sumner called up the following, introduced by
    him July 8th:--

        “_Resolved_, That the resolution of the Senate, adopted the
        5th of July last, limiting the business of the Senate, be,
        and hereby is, rescinded.”

    In remarks that followed, he showed the character of the
    proceedings in the Twenty-Seventh Congress, which had been
    adduced as a precedent for the limitation of business. In reply
    to Mr. Fessenden, he said:--

I have simply done my duty, in calling attention to the past precedent
which had been introduced into the discussion. When it was introduced
by the Senator from Maine, I had no means of replying to it. I had not
the Journal or the Globe with me, and I supposed, from the statement
of the Senator, that it was a resolution practically adopted in this
Chamber. I was not aware of what followed. I was not aware of the
extent to which the whole spirit of the proposition was denounced. Nor
was I aware that its original mover, Mr. Clay, was obliged to abandon
his proposition,--that he magnanimously, justly, and considerately
abandoned it. That is the true precedent in this body; and that is the
precedent which, I submit, it would be better for the Senate to follow.
Nothing, surely, could be lost by following it.

The resolution adopted by the Senate on Friday, while it remains, will
only be of evil example. If hereafter quoted as a precedent, it may be
at last for some purpose of oppression, when Senators will not all be
as just as those I now have the honor of addressing. It may be seized
then as an engine of tyranny. For one, Sir, I would leave no such
weapon in this Chamber to be grasped hereafter by any hand.

    The Senate refused to take up the resolution.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 13th, Mr. Sumner made another attempt by the following

        “_Resolved_, That the rule of the Senate limiting business
        be suspended, so far as to allow the consideration of
        the bill (S. No. 124) to enforce the several provisions
        of the Constitution abolishing Slavery, declaring the
        immunities of citizens, and guarantying a republican form
        of government by securing the elective franchise to colored

    But he was not able to obtain a vote upon it, and the important
    bill was left on the table.



13, 1867.

    July 8th, Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, from the Committee on the
    Judiciary, reported a “Bill to give effect to an Act entitled
    ‘An Act to provide for the more efficient Government of the
    Rebel States,’ passed March 2, 1867.” This was the third
    Reconstruction measure of the present year. It was debated for
    several days. July 11th, Mr. Sumner said:--

MR. PRESIDENT,--Before offering amendments which I have on my table, I
desire to call attention briefly to the character of this bill.

The subject of Reconstruction has been before Congress for many years.
It first appeared in the Senate as a proposition of my own, as long ago
as February, 1862. From that time it has been constantly present. If at
any moment Congress has erred, it has been from inaction, and not from
action. And now the same danger is imminent.

Mark, if you please, the stages. At every step there has been battle.
Nothing could be proposed which was not opposed, often with feeling,
sometimes even with animosity. I do not speak now of the other side,
but of friends on this side of the Chamber, some of whom have fought
every measure.

To my mind nothing has been plainer from the beginning than the
jurisdiction of Congress. Obviously it was not for the Executive, but
for the Legislative. The President was commander-in-chief of the army;
that function was his. But he could not make States or constitutions,
or determine how States or constitutions should be made. All that
he did to this end was gross usurpation, aggravated by motives and

Unquestionably the jurisdiction was in Congress; and I shall never
cease to lament that it was not asserted promptly and courageously. Our
delay has postponed the establishment of peace and reconciliation. Much
as the President has erred, Congress has not been without error also.
The President erred from assuming powers which did not belong to him;
Congress erred from declining to assume powers which belonged to it.
The sins of the President were of commission; the sins of Congress were
of omission. The President did the things he ought not to have done;
Congress left undone the things it ought to have done.

In the exercise of unquestioned jurisdiction, Congress should at once
have provided civil governments, through whose influence and agency
the Rebel States might have been shaped into republican forms. Such a
proceeding would have been more constitutional and more according to
the genius of our institutions than that which was adopted. It is hard
to reconcile a military government, or any government born of military
power, with the true idea of a republic. Tardily, too tardily,
Congress entered upon the work; and then began hesitations of another
character. Even when assuming jurisdiction, it halted.

For a long time it refused to confer the suffrage upon the colored
race. At last this was done.

Then it refused to exclude Rebels from the work of Reconstruction;
and when at last it attempted something, its rule of exclusion was so
little certain that an ingenious lawyer by a written opinion has set it

There have been bills with riders, and after the passage of these bills
there has been a supplementary bill with riders. And still further
legislation is needed.

Surely these successive failures have their lesson. They admonish us
now to make thorough work.

If you will not establish civil governments, with the military power
simply as a support, then at least do not hesitate to vacate the
existing governments, which are so many roots and centres of sedition.
All the officers of these governments, from highest to lowest, exercise
an influence adverse to a just reconstruction. They are in the way of
peace and reconciliation. They increase the essential difficulties of
forming new governments. Through their influence a hostile spirit is
engendered and sustained. Such an obstacle should be removed.

At the same time be careful that Rebel influence is not allowed to
prevail in the new governments. Of course this can be only by excluding
Rebels during this transition period, until the new governments are
formed. The rule of exclusion may be properly changed, when loyal
and republican governments are established. Attention has already
been called to cases deserving notice: as, for instance, naturalized
citizens who have taken an oath to support the National Constitution
and afterward became Rebels, but yet are not excluded; cadets at the
Military and Naval Academies; persons who have contributed to Rebel
loans or invested money in Rebel bonds or securities; contractors who
furnished Rebel supplies; also persons who, as authors, publishers,
editors, contributors, or as speakers or preachers, encouraged the
secession of any State or the waging of war against the United States.

Considering what we hear with regard to the boards of
registration,--that in some States they are of doubtful principles,
that in others colored fellow-citizens are excluded, so that a large
proportion of the electors have no representation in the boards,--it
seems to me that we ought by positive words to provide that the boards
shall be constituted without distinction of color. Colored persons may
be chosen to office, and I cannot doubt that we shall soon welcome
colored Senators and Representatives to the National Capitol. Meanwhile
the boards of registration must be kept as open as these Chambers; and
no commanding general can be allowed to set up a rule adverse to the
rights of a race.

A system of public schools without distinction of color should be
required. This important duty must not be left to caprice, or to the
triumph of truth through local influence. Its performance should be
enforced as essential to republican government. We have required
suffrage for all; we should require also education for all.

Provision should be made to invalidate the decrees of court in the
Rebel States which have not been voluntarily executed. This is
necessary for the protection of loyal persons. Look, for instance, at
Texas, where, according to recent report, immense sums have been taken
by unjust decrees. If the remedy is not applied now, it is doubtful if
the opportunity will not be lost forever.

In submitting a constitution to the people, it seems to me advisable
that it should not be complicated by any election of officers, State
or National, but that all elections should be postponed until after
approval of the constitution by Congress.

There should also be penalties for the violation of the Act. The pardon
of the President must not be allowed to confer a title to vote; and
since officials have shown such a disposition to impair the efficacy
of an Act by interpretation, reducing it to a mere shadow, we ought to
provide that it shall be interpreted liberally.

In making these propositions, I ask that you should not hesitate simply
because they may not be embraced within the terms of the original Acts.
I would do now all that we can to make this measure of Reconstruction
just and beneficent. I know no other rule worthy of the Senate or
adequate to the occasion.

In carrying out these ideas, I propose to offer several amendments,
which I will send to the Chair in order. I begin by an amendment as an
additional section:--

    “_And be it further enacted_, That every constitution in
    the Rebel States shall require the Legislature to establish
    and sustain a system of public schools open to all, without
    distinction of race or color.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    Mr. Trumbull objected to the amendment as not in order under
    the rule limiting the business of the session. The question of
    order was submitted to the Senate, and the amendment was ruled
    out of order,--Yeas 11, Nays 22.

    Mr. Sumner then moved the following amendment, which he was
    sure must be in order, even under the stringent rule of the

        “_Provided_, That no person shall be disqualified as member
        of any board of registration by reason of race or color.”

    Mr. Conkling, of New York, inquired “whether there is any doubt
    upon the law, as it stands now, that men otherwise qualified
    are eligible, notwithstanding they are black.” Mr. Sumner

I am accustomed to that class of questions on this floor. When, some
two or three years ago, I felt it my duty to move, on one bill after
another, that there should be no exclusion from the street cars on
account of color, I was encountered by learned lawyers, and by none
more constantly than my friend opposite, the Senator from Maryland [Mr.
JOHNSON], with precisely the suggestion which my friend from New York
now makes: that in point of law it was unnecessary; that under the
actual law, which was none other than the Common Law, there could be
no exclusion on account of color: and yet, in the face of that Common
Law, Senators all know that there was an exclusion from the cars on
account of color, and the grossest outrages committed. Colored persons
were precipitated into the streets, into the mud, under a pelting rain,
and they could obtain no redress; and when I asked for redress, grave
Senators said, “Let them apply to the courts”; and it was suggested
that perhaps I had better volunteer as counsel in court rather than
appear in this Chamber. Now the question of my friend from New York
is precisely in the same spirit. I cannot doubt, that, under the
existing Reconstruction law, there can be no exclusion on account of
color,--that nobody is for that reason disqualified from the exercise
of any function. What is there to prevent a colored person from being
a Senator of the United States? and who can doubt that within a very
few months it will be our business to welcome a colored Senator on this
floor? I cannot doubt it.

    MR. JOHNSON [of Maryland]. How many?

MR. SUMNER. That I do not know. But I ask you who look to the colored
vote in these States as the means of security and peace, through
which you are to find protection for this Republic, and for white
fellow-citizens there as well as for the colored themselves, to see
that this stigma is not put upon them by any commanding general
pretending to act by virtue of our legislation. It is not enough
to tell me, that, under the actual law, colored persons may be
designated. To that I reply, in the State of Virginia they have not
been designated; and I wish now that Congress should declare that any
exclusion on account of color is without the sanction of law.

And that brings me to the inquiry of my friend from Illinois, as to the
penalty, I think, or as to the extent of the remedy.

    MR. TRUMBULL. The question was, whether your proviso afforded
    any remedy.

MR. SUMNER. That I will answer. My proviso affords precisely the same
remedy that it afforded on the Railroad Bills. It is in nearly the same
terms. I followed those terms, because I know my friend likes good
precedents, and we have enough of those on the question of the street
cars. The Senate adopted that proviso at least half a dozen times.
There it is, without penalty, and yet it has been most efficacious,
not only in these streets, but as an example throughout the country.
Adopt this proviso now, and I am sure it will be most efficacious
with our generals even without any penalty. Should they exclude
fellow-citizens on account of color, it will be a violation of law and
a failure of duty; there can be no votes of thanks for them,--“no hope
of golden spurs to-day.”

    Mr. Conkling replied: “I do not wish, for one, to vote for an
    amendment which I think carries nothing with it, but which
    simply incumbers the bill with unnecessary, and I might say
    verbose provisos.”

    The amendment was rejected by a tie-vote,--Yeas 18, Nays 18.

    At the next stage of the bill, Mr. Sumner renewed his
    amendment. In reply to Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, Mr. Sumner

I will not spend time. There has been an abuse which has come to our
knowledge. We know that in whole States colored persons are excluded
from the boards, and this justifies our intervention.

    On this second trial the amendment was adopted,--Yeas 21, Nays 8.

    Mr. Sumner offered the following:--

        “_And be it further enacted_, That there shall be no
        elections of State or National officers under any new
        constitution until after the same has been approved by

    This was objected to by Mr. Trumbull, as out of order under the
    rule, and so decided by the Senate.

    Mr. Sumner then moved the following amendment:--

        “_And be it further enacted_, That in each of these
        States all judgments and decrees of court which have not
        been voluntarily executed, and which have been rendered
        subsequently to the date of the Ordinance of Secession in
        each State respectively, shall be subject to appeal to the
        highest court in the State, organized after the State shall
        be admitted again by Congress into the Union; but no such
        appeal shall be allowed, unless the motion for the same
        shall have been lodged in the court, or clerk’s office of
        the court, in which the decree was rendered, within sixty
        days after the governor appointed under this Act shall have
        entered upon the discharge of the duties of his office,
        and for all judgments rendered subsequently to such date,
        within sixty days after the same have been rendered.”

    Mr. Trumbull objected to it as out of order under the rule. Mr.
    Sumner said:--

My attention has often been called to the necessity of such a
provision, by gentlemen from the South, and especially by lawyers
there. They tell me that without some such provision the grossest
injustice will be done. Throughout the whole Rebellion the local
tribunals were sitting to administer justice; yet it was not justice,
but injustice, that they administered. Under their decrees private
rights were overthrown; and I doubt not that my friend from Illinois
has recently read the account of an extensive injustice in Texas, where
private property to an almost incalculable amount was taken away by
these unjust decrees.

Should there not be a remedy? I think all will say that there should
be. This is, if I may so express myself, the last time of asking. If
those States are once organized as States and received into the Union,
I know not if we have the power of applying a remedy. That we have now
I am sure. I cannot doubt our constitutional power at this moment to
set aside all those decrees, so far as they have not been voluntarily
submitted to, or subject them, according to the provision of my
amendment, to appeal in a higher tribunal after the reorganization of
justice in these States. Is not the provision reasonable? Is it not
to serve the ends of justice? If you do not accept it now, can you
accept it at any time hereafter? And if you do not accept it now or
hereafter, will not these parties go without remedy? On that question I
do not pronounce dogmatically. I do not mean to say that they will be
absolutely without remedy; but I do not easily see their remedy. I see
difficulties in the way, while at this moment I see no difficulties in
the way.

Then I encounter the objection that this is not in order. Why not? Is
it not to carry out your Reconstruction Bill, to smooth difficulties,
to remove wrong, to establish justice? It may not have been specially
foreshadowed in the original bill or the supplemental bill; but I
submit that it is entirely germane to both those bills. Besides, it is
commended by an intrinsic justice, which should make it acceptable at
any time.

    The amendment was decided to be out of order.

    Mr. Sumner then offered this amendment:--

        “_And be it further enacted_, That all the provisions of
        this Act, and of the Acts to which this is supplementary,
        shall be construed liberally, to the end that all the
        intents thereof may be fully and perfectly carried out.”

    There was no objection of order to this amendment, and it was
    agreed to without a division.

    After further amendment the bill was ingrafted upon a House
    bill on the same subject and passed,--Yeas 32, Nays 6. Being
    referred to a Conference Committee, the report of the Committee
    was adopted: in the Senate, Yeas 31, Nays 6,--and in the House,
    Yeas 111, Nays 23.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 13th, on the report of the Conference Committee in the
    Senate, Mr. Sumner said:--

And now, as we are about to dismiss this subject for the present
session, I cannot forbear again expressing regret that the measure has
not been made more complete,--in one word, more radical. This is the
third bill of Reconstruction on which we have acted. We ought never
to have acted on more than one; and had the Senate been sufficiently
radical, had it founded its bill on clear, definite principle, there
would have been no occasion for more than one. Just so far as we have
failed to found ourselves on clear, definite principle, our bills have
failed; and should there be failure under the present bill, it will be
precisely on that account.

I shall never cease to lament that Congress did not at once assume
jurisdiction of the whole region, and in the exercise of its plenary
authority establish civil governments, supplying ample military
support. Such a Reconstruction would have been founded on principles
to defy the criticism of history. I trust that what we have done will
be judged leniently hereafter. I know, however, that it is not above
criticism. Of course, such Reconstruction would have removed out of
sight all existing State governments and municipal governments set up
by Rebel authority, or by the President in the exercise of usurped
power. In my opinion, it is not too late to do this last work. Even
if you decline to establish civil governments, I think, that, under
the Military Bill, you should go forward and brush away all the
existing governments there. From information, private and public, out
of every one of the Rebel States, I am led to this conclusion. Those
governments, whether State or municipal, are just so many engines of
Rebel influence. They stand in the way of Reconstruction. They prevent
the beneficent operation of your work. But the Senate has declined that
path. I regret it, and now at this last moment record my regret.

I am sorry to add that the Senate has declined to require of these
people conditions which I think essential to republican government. One
of these is a system of public education. I can never cease to mourn
the failure in this regard. Here is a paper from New Orleans, which
has come to me since I have been at my desk to-day, edited by colored
persons,--and an excellent paper it is,--“The New Orleans Tribune” of
July 9, 1867, which contains an article entitled “Public Schools,” from
which I will read a brief sentence:--

    “Who will open the public schools to all children? We are of
    opinion that it will only be done by a colored mayor with
    colored members of the city council. This opinion is justified
    by facts.”

The article then sets forth the impediments in the way of public
schools. And yet, in the face of such intelligence from the Rebel
States, we decline to require a system of public education as an
essential element in these new governments. I lament it; and I desire
again to record this sentiment.

I fear also, Mr. President, that in the operation of this bill you
will find that we have not been sufficiently explicit in the exclusion
of Rebel influence. I have made my best effort to remove doubts and
to enlarge the exclusion. But, in saying this, I desire to add, that,
in my judgment, all exclusions belong to what I call the transition
period. When Reconstruction is accomplished, the time will come for us
to open the gates,--but not till then.

    July 19th, the bill was vetoed by the President, and on the
    same day it was re-passed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses:
    in the Senate, Yeas 30, Nays 6,--and in the House, Yeas 109,
    Nays 25; so that it became a law.[234]


JULY 12, 1867.

    March 26, 1867, Mr. Sumner asked, and by unanimous consent
    obtained, leave to introduce a bill to enforce the several
    provisions of the Constitution abolishing Slavery, declaring
    the immunities of citizens, and guarantying a republican form
    of government, by securing the elective franchise to colored
    citizens, which was read twice by its title and printed. He
    then remarked on the importance of the bill, and said that it
    was intended to cut the Gordian knot of the Suffrage question
    throughout the country.

    At the session beginning July 3d, he made constant efforts for
    its consideration, challenging objection and argument.

    July 12th, he moved its consideration, calling it “the Capstone
    of Reconstruction”; but the Third Reconstruction Bill was
    pressed by Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, to the exclusion of the
    other. Mr. Sumner would not antagonize his bill with that. As
    soon as the other measure was disposed of, he pressed his bill
    again. It was objected to by Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, as not in
    order under the rule of the session limiting business,[235] and
    the question of order was referred to the Senate. On this Mr.
    Sumner said:--

My argument is precisely this, and I ask the attention of my friend
from Maryland [Mr. JOHNSON]. We all know his eminence at the bar of
the Supreme Court, and I submit to him this: We have already by
Reconstruction Acts conferred the suffrage upon colored persons in the
Rebel States; now is it not important that our legislation should be
completed and rounded by conferring the suffrage in the other States
as conferred in the Rebel States? You have conferred it in the Rebel

    MR. JOHNSON. What has that to do with the other States?

MR. SUMNER. Will you have the great right of suffrage depend upon Act
of Congress in one half of the Union, and not upon Act of Congress
in the other half? If you can pass an Act for one half, can you not
for the other half? I know the answer, that in the Rebel States the
fact of rebellion gives a power we have not in the other States. But
the present bill is founded not simply on the fact of rebellion, but
on the clause in the National Constitution by which we are bound to
guaranty a republican form of government throughout the whole country;
also on the other clause by which Slavery is abolished throughout the
whole country, and we are empowered by proper legislation to enforce
it; also that further clause by which the rights of citizens are
secured throughout the whole country, and we are empowered by proper
legislation to enforce it. Here are three sources of power, equally
applicable to all the States, Rebel or Loyal. And now I submit that
such an Act for the Loyal States is only the just complement to our
action in the Rebel States.

How can you look the Rebel States in the face, when you have required
colored suffrage of them and fail to require it in the other States? Be
just; require it in the Loyal States as you have required it in the
Rebel States. There is an unanswerable argument, and I submit it on the
question of order. If we are privileged to consider only matters in
aid of the original Reconstruction measures, then do I say that this
bill is in aid of those measures, for it gives to them completeness and
roundness. Without this bill your original measures are imperfect, ay,
radically unjust. I know it is said there is one title to legislation
over the Rebel States which we have not with regard to the Loyal
States,--to wit, that they have been in rebellion. But the great
sources of power in the two cases are identical; they are one and the

There is the guaranty clause in the National Constitution, the sleeping
giant of the Constitution, never until this recent war awakened, but
now it comes forward with a giant’s power. There is no clause like it.
There is no text which gives to Congress such supreme power over the
States. Then, as I have so often said, are the two other clauses. Your
power under the Constitution is not less complete than beneficent.

I am not to be betrayed into the constitutional argument. I am now on
the question of order. I say that this bill is essential to perfect
the original Reconstruction measures. You should not return to your
homes without this additional Act by which Reconstruction is finished.
If any Senator has any reason to bring against this bill, if any
one can suggest a doubt of its constitutionality, I should like to
hear the reason or the doubt, and I shall be ready to answer it. I
invite discussion. I challenge the expression of any reason against
it, or of any doubt with regard to its constitutionality; and I ask
Senators to look at it as a great measure of expediency as well as of
justice. How will you settle this question in the Loyal States? Here
are Delaware, Maryland,--my friend over the way will not be sensitive
when I allude to his State,--and Kentucky, in each of which this
measure will be the salvation of Union citizens. In other States, like
Pennsylvania, it will rally at once--I am speaking now on the question
of expediency--twenty thousand votes to the Union cause. In Indiana,
too, it will settle the Suffrage question. I say nothing of Iowa. There
is Wisconsin.

    MR. TRUMBULL. They all vote there now.

MR. SUMNER. Under the decision of the Supreme Court. So much the
better. There is Connecticut. It would obtain three thousand votes
there for the good cause. A short Act of Congress will determine the
political fortunes of Connecticut for an indefinite period by securing
three thousand additional votes to the right side. There is New York,
also, where the bill would have the same excellent beneficent influence.

Who, then, can hesitate? Look at it in any light you please. Regard it
as the completion of these Reconstruction measures, as a constitutional
enactment, or as a measure of expediency to secure results we all
desire at the approaching elections, and who can hesitate? There has
been no bill before you for a long time of more practical value than
this. I hope there will be no question about proceeding with it, and
that we may pass it before we separate to-night.

    MR. EDMUNDS. I agree with my friend from Massachusetts, that
    the bill has very great merit. It has supreme moral merit. I
    agree to every word of it. I am a little afraid, it is true,
    that there is a higher law that will bind us not to pass it,
    for want of power.

    MR. SUMNER. Want of power! Will the Senator be good enough to
    state the reason?

    MR. EDMUNDS. No, not on this point, because it is not relevant
    to this question of order.

    MR. SUMNER. But, as the Senator is going into the question of
    the want of power, I really wish he would deign to enlighten us
    upon that.

    MR. EDMUNDS. My friend will have to go without it, so far as I
    am concerned, for I shall not make it.

    MR. SUMNER. Then I shall begin to think the Senator cannot.

    MR. EDMUNDS. That is not a very dangerous state of things; but
    there are others who can.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The Senate decided the motion out of order,--Yeas 12, Nays 22.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 13th, and again on the 15th, Mr. Sumner made another
    effort, by a resolution suspending the rule limiting business,
    so as to allow the consideration of this bill; but he could not
    get a vote on the resolution. The Senate rose without touching



    July 16th, Mr. Sumner offered a petition from citizens of
    Washington, setting forth, that, under the existing charter
    of Washington, colored persons are excluded from office, and
    praying relief. He supported the petition with the following
    bill “for the further security of Equal Rights in the District
    of Columbia”:--

        “_Be it enacted, &c._, That in the District of Columbia
        no person shall be excluded from any office by reason
        of race or color, and all parts of laws making any such
        discrimination are hereby repealed.”

    The bill was read, when Mr. Sumner asked unanimous consent to
    proceed with its consideration.

I think there can be no objection to this bill. It is simply to carry
out what is understood to be the effect of existing legislation, but
which practically does not seem to be its effect. At the late election
in the District it appeared that by the terms of the charter colored
persons could not be qualified as aldermen, as common-councilmen, or as
assessors; and on examining the charter, which I have now on my desk, I
find that by its terms, strictly construed, these offices are confined
to free white persons. By our legislation, all persons, without
distinction of color, can be voters, but nothing is said about being
office-holders. I cannot doubt, that, under the Constitution, and
particularly since the recent legislation, the discrimination adverse
to colored persons is void; but practically it is not so regarded.
I submit, therefore, that it is proper in Congress to remove this

    Mr. Buckalew, of Pennsylvania, objected to its consideration,
    when Mr. Sumner gave notice that he should endeavor to call it
    up the next day. He gave further notice, that, if any objection
    were made, he should move to suspend the rule limiting business
    so far as to allow this bill to be considered.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 17th, on motion of Mr. Sumner, the Senate proceeded to
    consider the bill. Mr. Hendricks, of Indiana, then said:--

        “The Senator from Massachusetts was the author of the
        proposition that the colored people should vote. He made
        the commencement of that policy with the District of
        Columbia. He now claims--and I believe his party friends
        have come up to his position--that that is to be made
        universal throughout the States. I suppose he will be
        frank enough to inform us whether it is intended as the
        commencement of the policy that negroes shall be allowed
        to become office-holders, to hold both Federal and State
        offices throughout the country,--whether he regards this as
        the inauguration of that policy. I suppose he does, from
        the fact that he expressed with a great deal of warmth, the
        other day, the desire that he might see colored Senators
        here in a very short time. If we are to regard it as the
        inauguration of the policy, it is well enough to know it.”

    Without any reply, Mr. Sumner asked for a vote, when the bill
    was passed,--Yeas 25, Nays 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

    July 18th, in the other House, the bill was reported by Mr.
    Wilson, of Iowa, from the Judiciary Committee, with the
    following substitute, intended to avoid in legislation the
    repetition of the phrase “race or color.”

        “The word ‘white,’ wherever it occurs in the laws relating
        to the District of Columbia or in the charter or ordinances
        of the city of Washington or Georgetown, and operates as
        a limitation on the right of any elector of said District
        or either of said cities to hold any office or to be
        selected and to serve as a juror, be and the same is hereby
        repealed; and it shall be unlawful for any person or
        officer to enforce or attempt to enforce said limitation
        after the passage of this Act.”

    The substitute was adopted, and the bill thus amended
    passed,--Yeas 90, Nays 20.

    July 19th, the Senate concurred in the amendment, and, on
    motion of Mr. Harlan, of Iowa, further amended the bill by an
    additional section authorizing “the necessary grand and petit
    jurors for the June term of the Criminal Court for the year
    1867.” This amendment, though not relating to Equal Rights, was
    concurred in by the House.

    July 20th, the bill was duly enrolled and transmitted to the
    President for his signature, but was not returned by him before
    the adjournment, the same day, so that it failed to become a
    law. Mr. Sumner complained that Senators “proposed to go home
    and leave Equal Rights in the District without the protection
    we owe them.”

       *       *       *       *       *

    November 21st, on the first day of the meeting of Congress
    after the adjournment, Mr. Sumner introduced the same bill as
    it had passed both Houses, and asked the Senate to proceed with
    it at once; but this was prevented by the objection of Mr.
    Davis, of Kentucky. Mr. Sumner forbore calling it up for eleven
    consecutive days of the session, to see if within that time it
    would be returned to Congress, with or without objections. It
    was not returned, and on application at the Department of State
    it was ascertained that it had not been received there.

    December 5th, the bill was taken up, on motion of Mr. Sumner,
    discussed, and again passed,--Yeas 32, Nays 8.

    December 9th, it passed the House,--Yeas 104, Nays 39.

    December 11th it was presented to the President.

    December 20th, Congress adjourned for the holidays.

    The President, by a message, January 24, 1868, in reply to
    an inquiry of the Senate, stated that it was presented for
    his approval December 11, 1867, but that “Congress by their
    adjournment [December 20th] prevented the return of the bill
    within the time prescribed by the Constitution.”

    January 7th, Mr. Sumner a third time introduced the same bill.
    Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, thought “we ought to consider whether
    it is not already a law.” Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont, said that
    “this bill has become a law, if it has not been returned with
    a veto.” Under these circumstances, the bill was referred to
    the Judiciary Committee to consider its true condition and the
    question of further legislation.

    February 11, 1869, the bill being once more before the Senate,
    Mr. Sumner moved it again, as appears by the following passage.

        MR. SUMNER. I move that the Senate proceed to the
        consideration of Senate bill No. 228.

        MR. DRAKE [of Missouri]. What is it?

        MR. SUMNER. A bill for the further security of Equal Rights
        in the District of Columbia. I will make one minute’s
        explanation, and then the Senate will see that it ought to
        be passed. This bill has already twice passed both Houses
        of Congress, but immediately before recesses, and it has
        fallen from the President failing to return it with his
        veto, and from the unsettled condition of the practice or
        law in such cases.

        THE PRESIDING OFFICER [Mr. MORGAN, of New York, in the
        chair]. It requires the unanimous consent of the Senate to
        consider the bill at this time.

        MR. DRAKE. I appeal to the honorable Senator from
        Massachusetts on behalf of a poor and most worthy woman----

        MR. SUMNER. Why should the Senator make that appeal to
        me? I appeal on behalf of all the colored people in this
        District, who ask the passage of this bill.

        MR. CONKLING [of New York]. Whether the objection should
        be made or not depends perhaps upon this, which I should
        like to inquire: Has not this bill not only passed twice,
        I think three times, but has it not become a law certainly

        MR. SUMNER. It has not become a law; at least, it has
        not found place in the statute-book, and the courts have
        declined to recognize it as law. Under the circumstances,
        it has seemed the best and the shortest way for Congress to
        pass it again, so as to remove all doubt.

    The bill passed the Senate without a division, and, March 2d,
    it again passed the other House without a division. Again it
    failed to receive the signature of the President, nor was it
    returned with his objections.

    March 6th, at the opening of a new Congress, with a new
    President, Mr. Sumner introduced it again, and asked unanimous
    consent to proceed with its consideration; but Mr. Vickers, of
    Maryland, objected.

    March 8th, it passed the Senate without a division; March 15th,
    passed the other House,--Yeas 111, Nays 46; March 18th, was
    approved by the President, and so at last became a law.[236]



    July 19th, Mr. Sumner introduced a bill to amend the several
    Acts of Congress relating to Naturalization, by striking
    out the word “white,” and he asked unanimous consent of the
    Senate to consider the bill at once. Mr. Edmunds, of Vermont,
    objected. Mr. Sumner then said:--

I hope the Senator will not object. I have received a letter from
Norfolk, calling attention to the case of a colored person there,
an inhabitant for more than twenty-five years, but unable to obtain
naturalization because of the words of color in our naturalization
laws. It is only reasonable that we should put an end to that
grievance. In short, I would punch the word “white” out of the
statute-book, wherever it appears. If the Senator from Vermont is
disposed to keep it in, then I can understand that he would object to
the bill.

    MR. EDMUNDS. I am not disposed to keep it in----

MR. SUMNER. I did not suppose the Senator was.

    MR. EDMUNDS. My punch is not quite so case-hardened as that of
    my friend.

    And he insisted upon its reference to the Committee on the
    Judiciary, “so that there may be that examination which will
    make the bill perfect, if it is not now perfect, to answer the
    end that my friend from Massachusetts and myself both want to
    reach.” The bill was referred accordingly.

    February 17, 1869, Mr. Stewart, of Nevada, reported the bill
    from the Committee adversely. In the few remaining days of the
    session Mr. Sumner was unable to call it up.



    July 19th, the Senate considered a resolution from the other
    House to reassemble November 13th. Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, moved
    to amend by making the day of meeting “the first Monday of
    December next.” Mr. Sumner moved to amend the amendment by
    substituting “the second Wednesday of October next.” He then

On that question I have a word to say, and I must speak frankly.
I cannot help it. How Congress, after listening to the message of
to-day,[237] which is only the logical consequence of other messages,
can quietly vote to go home and leave this post of duty until next
winter, passes my understanding. To me it is incomprehensible. The
message, from beginning to end, is a menace. Needless to quote its
precise language. Its defiant tone fills this Chamber, and will soon
fill the whole country. Listening to this appeal, so well calculated
to revive the dying Rebellion, I felt that one of two things was
needed,--the removal of its author from the Executive chair, or
Congress in permanent session to watch and counteract him. Such is the
alternative. One failing, the other must be.

Now, Sir, when thus insisting, let it be understood that I am not
unmindful of any of my responsibilities in this Chamber. Other duties
may devolve upon me hereafter. For the present I speak as a Senator,
bound, in the discharge of official duty, to do what he can for the
public good. As a Senator, I must be plain; nor can I be constrained by
the possibility that hereafter I may be called to judge the President.
I am called to judge him now. The proposition that Congress should go
home compels me to judge him.

Unquestionably it is for the other House to initiate the proceedings
which shall bring the President to your bar. But until then it is the
right and duty of every Senator to express himself freely with regard
to his conduct; nor can there be any limit to this latitude. It is as
broad as human thought. No future duty can be a strait-jacket now.
Because the President may be impeached, the Senate is not obliged to be
silent with regard to him. The National Constitution is guilty of no
such absurdity. Until a Senator is sworn on the trial of impeachment,
according to the requirement of the National Constitution, he is a
Senator, free to criticize any public functionary, from the President
to the humblest officer; and if either has so acted as to deserve
removal, there is no reason why he should not say so. This is only
according to the National Constitution and common sense.

Now, since Andrew Johnson remains President and he is not yet at your
bar, I cannot doubt that we ought to stay in our seats to encounter the
evil proceeding from him. We must meet him constantly, and not leave
the field unoccupied.

For this reason, simply and briefly stated, I object to the motion of
the Senator from Ohio. If I had powers of persuasion, I would use them
all to induce you to remain as a guard to the National Constitution
and a constabulary force for the Rebel States. Possibly you may not
like the office. But I doubt if any of us can be better employed
anywhere than in contributing to the success of Reconstruction, and in
preserving peace throughout that distressed region of country. Sitting
in our seats here, we are a mighty police, ready at the call of general
or citizen, and also a terror to the evil-doer.

Senators wish to leave. So do I. Nobody can wish to leave more than
myself. I suffer much from these heats. I long to be at home. But I
feel that it is my duty to be here. All that I have felt before is now
intensified by the menace of this message. Hereafter no Senator can say
that he did not know what to expect. He will not be taken by surprise.
Here is distinct and open notice that the President will do all in his
power to thwart your legislation and to arrest a just Reconstruction.
There he stands, a constant impediment to peace, and an ally to the
Rebellion. And yet, knowing these things, it is proposed to go home and
leave him undisturbed master till winter.

    Mr. Sherman said: “It does seem to me a very strange thing
    that a judge, by whose vote alone the President can be
    removed, should declare that he must be removed. [Mr. Sumner
    said, “Or Congress must stay here to watch him.”]… If the
    House of Representatives desire to present an impeachment
    of any officer of the Government, I am perfectly willing to
    stay and try him. No such case is presented.” Mr. Buckalew,
    of Pennsylvania, said: “The Senator from Massachusetts who
    first spoke [Mr. SUMNER] maintains his usual position at the
    end of this session. I do not remember any occasion when
    that member supported a resolution of adjournment. I do not
    remember an occasion when he did not vote for reassembling,
    when the opportunity was afforded him, at an early date. In
    fact, I suspect, that, if the truth were known, the Senator
    from Massachusetts would be prepared with business the whole
    three hundred and sixty-five days of the year, and that, if
    we consulted his views, we should make a French revolutionary
    assemblage of the two Houses of Congress,--we should be in
    permanent session, without vacation and without recess.” He
    insisted that “we should withhold ourselves from the expression
    of judgment upon a question which is not here, and which
    cannot come here, unless it be brought here by the House of
    Representatives, over whose action we have no control.” This
    brought up Mr. Sumner again.

MR. PRESIDENT,--There is just the point. The Senator says the question
is not here,--in other words, that this is not the time to discuss
the President. He is mistaken; this is the very time. The question is
here at the instance of the Senator from Ohio, who gravely moves that
we leave our seats, and from this time forward till December abdicate
our constitutional guardianship of the public interests. To such a
proposition there is but one natural and logical reply. It is, that we
must not abdicate, so long as Andrew Johnson is in the Executive chair.
If he continues President, we must remain at our posts, precisely as
Grant remained before Richmond.

Sir, if another person wielded the Executive powers of the nation,
if there was anybody in that high office mindful of the National
Constitution as interpreted by the Declaration of Independence,
and disposed to carry forward the Acts of Congress adopted by such
triumphant majorities, then I could vote with Senators to go home.
Unhappily, it is not so. Anything but this. Our President is a public
enemy, successor in spirit and opinion of Jefferson Davis, through whom
the Rebellion is once more on its legs. Does any Senator, accustomed
to vote with the Union party and to sustain the Union cause, question
this simple statement of fact? Does he believe it overdrawn? Let him
answer, if he does. Let him say where my language goes by a hair’s
breadth beyond the exact truth.

    Here Mr. Sumner stopped for answer, and then proceeded.

Because we have the successor of Jefferson Davis in the Presidential
chair, therefore Congress must stay. That is my argument. A volume or
oration could not add to the force of this simple statement.

The more I think of this duty, the more commanding it seems. The
President is the Executive; we are the Legislative. His influence is
great; but ours is greater. If we choose to say so, we can be masters.
We can apply the corrective to his mischief. Surely here is a motive.
Ten States are now exposed to his malign influence, all of which may
be arrested by our presence here. Let it be known that we are to
continue in our seats, and every Union man throughout the Rebel States
will feel stronger. He will be conscious at once of a panoply, which
the President, and the Rebel tail, of which he is the head, cannot

There are the generals, also, who, as soon as we are gone, may be
his victims. The telegraph may flash to us, in the comfort of home,
that the gallant Sheridan, as true in government as he was skilful in
war, has been driven from his post by an enemy with whom he could not
contend. It may flash the removal of Pope, who has shown such talent
and thoroughness in the organization of his district, and also the
displacement of Sickles, who has carried into his new duties such
varied experience and patriotic purposes. All this may occur; for the
President is vindictive in his assault upon the upholders of Human
Rights. Is it not worth our care to provide against such calamity? But
you propose to go home and leave all, whether citizen or general, a
prey to the President. I protest against it.

    The amendment of Mr. Sumner was rejected. That of Mr. Sherman
    was adopted, and the resolution as amended was then agreed
    to,--Yeas 23, Nays 14. On the report of a Committee of
    Conference, it was amended again by making the adjournment
    to “the 21st day of November next,” which was adopted by the
    Senate,--Yeas 17, Nays 14,--Mr. Sumner voting in the negative.



    July 19th, reported from the Committee on Foreign Relations by
    Mr. Sumner:--

Resolution declaring sympathy with the suffering people of Crete.

_RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the people of the United
States feel a strong sympathy with the people of Crete, constituting a
part of the Greek family, to which civilization owes so much; that they
are pained by the report of the present sufferings of this interesting
people; and they unite in the hope that this declaration, which they
feel it their duty to make, will be favorably considered by the
Government of Turkey in determining its policy towards Crete.

SEC. 2. _And be it further resolved_, That it shall be the duty of the
President of the United States to communicate this resolution to the
Government of Turkey.

    On the same day, this resolution was, by unanimous consent,
    read three times, and passed both Houses, and on the next day
    approved by the President.[238]

    July 21, 1868, the contest of the Cretans for independence
    still continuing, Mr. Sumner reported from the Committee on
    Foreign Relations the following joint resolution:--

Joint Resolution appealing to the Turkish Government in behalf of the
people of Crete.

_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled_, That the people of the United
States renew the expression of their sympathy with the suffering people
of Crete, to whom they are bound by the ties of a common religion,
and by the gratitude due to the Greek race, of which the Cretans are
a part; that they rejoice to believe that the sufferings of this
interesting people may be happily terminated by a policy of forbearance
on the part of the Turkish Government; and they hereby declare their
earnest hope that the Turkish Government will listen kindly to this
representation, and will speedily adopt such generous steps as will
secure to Crete the much-desired blessings of peace, and the advantage
of autonomic government.

SEC. 2. _And be it further resolved_, That religion, civilization, and
humanity require that the existing contest in Crete should be brought
to a close; and to accomplish this result, the civilized powers of the
world should unite in friendly influence with the Government of Turkey.

SEC. 3. _And be it further resolved_, That it shall be the duty
of the President to instruct the minister of the United States at
Constantinople to coöperate with the ministers of other powers in all
good offices to terminate the sufferings of the people of Crete; and
that it shall be the further duty of the President to communicate a
copy of this resolution to the Government of Turkey.

    The resolution was considered on the same day, and passed
    without a division.

    July 25th, it passed the other House without a division.

    July 27th, it was approved by the President.[239]

       *       *       *       *       *

    These two resolutions gave expression to the sentiments
    of the American people, who sympathized strongly in the
    Cretan struggle for independence. For a time the courage and
    determination of the insurgents inspired confidence, and it
    seemed as if they would prevail; but, after a protracted
    struggle, they succumbed to superior force. The following
    contemporary account is from the Washington correspondent of
    the _Boston Journal_.

        “Mr. Sumner’s resolutions appealing to the Turkish
        Government in behalf of Crete, which were passed by both
        Houses of Congress, have been much spoken of in diplomatic
        circles. Some think they were too late, as in their opinion
        the Cretans are already vanquished. This is not the
        opinion with the Greek Legation, who is very hopeful, and
        insists that the Turks can never prevail. The resolutions
        themselves, even among those who do not sympathize with
        their object, are regarded as a masterpiece of composition,
        inasmuch as, while very strong, they did not fail in
        courtesy toward the Turkish Government. There was a great
        pressure to have the independence of Crete acknowledged,
        especially by the Greek Legation, and by friends of the
        Cretans in Massachusetts; but Mr. Sumner took the ground
        that independence was a fact to be determined by evidence,
        and that, whatever might be the opinion of individuals with
        regard to the future result, there was no official evidence
        showing that independence was yet established.”



    The misconduct of the President, and his obstruction of
    important legislation, naturally aroused judgment and
    indignation. The question was then raised with regard to
    the privileges of the Senate. July 20th, in the debate on
    adjournment, Mr. Fessenden, of Maine, said: “The time has
    come, undoubtedly, when there is a very serious difference of
    opinion in Congress upon a very important question. With regard
    to the Senate, I have considered that upon that question it
    was not proper for a Senator to express an opinion, or even,
    if he could avoid it, to form an opinion.” Mr. Sumner never
    doubted the complete immunity of the Senate, and its duty to
    consider these things in advance of impeachment, and he spoke
    accordingly. On the day of Mr. Fessenden’s remarks he offered
    the following resolutions, which were ordered to be printed.

Resolutions declaring the privileges of debate in the Senate with
regard to civil officers liable to impeachment.

Whereas it has been asserted that the conduct of a civil officer liable
to impeachment cannot be freely considered and condemned by Senators in
the course of legislative proceedings;

And whereas such an opinion is calculated to impair the just privileges
of debate: Therefore,

_Resolved_, That the Constitution, in providing for the impeachment
of “all civil officers” of the National Government, embracing the
President, members of the Cabinet, diplomatic representatives, and
other civil functionaries, did not intend to limit debate in the Senate
on the conduct of any civil officer, so far as the same may arise in
legislative proceedings; that any other interpretation is inconsistent
with the privileges of the Senate, and tends directly to shield
misconduct in civil office.

_Resolved_, That the Constitution expressly declares, that, when
sitting to try an impeachment, the Senate “shall be on oath or
affirmation,” thus superadding a judicial oath to that already taken
as Senator; that from the taking of this oath the judicial character
of the Senate begins, and until then each Senator is free to express
himself openly on the conduct of any civil officer, and thereupon to
invite the judgment of the Senate and the country; that at times this
may be a duty, and is always a sacred right, which cannot be renounced
or abridged.[240]



    I have another and a far brighter vision before my gaze. It
    may be but a vision, but I will cherish it. I see one vast
    confederation stretching from the frozen North in unbroken line
    to the glowing South, and from the wild billows of the Atlantic
    westward to the calmer waters of the Pacific main,--and I see
    one people, and one language, and one law, and one faith, and,
    over all that wide continent, the home of Freedom, and a refuge
    for the oppressed of every race and of every clime.--JOHN
    BRIGHT, _Speech at Birmingham_, December 18, 1862: _Speeches on
    Questions of Public Policy_, ed. Rogers, (London, 1868,) Vol.
    I. p. 225.

       *       *       *       *       *

    This monograph appeared originally in the “Atlantic Monthly”
    for September, 1867. It is now revised and enlarged. In the
    celebration of our hundredth birthday as a nation, now fast
    approaching, these prophetic voices will be heard, teaching how
    much of present fame and power was foreseen, also what remains
    to be accomplished.

                                                              C. S.

    MARCH, 1874.

       *       *       *       *       *

    History shows that the civilization to which we belong is
    subject to a general law which makes it advance with halts, in
    the manner of armies, in the direction of the Occident, making
    the sceptre pass successively into the hands of nations more
    worthy to hold it, more strong and more able to employ it for
    the general good.

    So it seems that the supreme authority is about to escape
    from Western and Central Europe, to pass to the New World. In
    the northern part of that other hemisphere offshoots of the
    European race have founded a vigorous society full of sap,
    whose influence grows with a rapidity that has never yet been
    seen anywhere. In crossing the ocean, it has left behind on
    the soil of old Europe traditions, prejudices, and usages,
    which, as _impedimenta_ heavy to carry, would have embarrassed
    its movements and retarded its progressive march. In about
    thirty years the United States will have, according to all
    probability, a hundred millions of population, in possession
    of the most powerful means, distributed over a territory which
    would make France fifteen or sixteen times over, and of the
    most wonderful disposition.…

    Vainly do the occidental and central nations of Europe
    attribute to themselves a primacy, which, in their vanity,
    they think sheltered from events and eternal: as if there were
    anything eternal in the grandeur and prosperity of societies,
    the works of men!--MICHEL CHEVALIER, _Rapports du Jury
    International: Exposition Universelle de 1867 à Paris_, Tom.
    I., Introduction, pp. DXIV-DXVI.

       *       *       *       *       *

    America, and especially Saxon America, with its immense
    virgin territories, with its republic, with its equilibrium
    between stability and progress, with its harmony between
    liberty and democracy, is the continent of the Future,--the
    immense continent stretched by God between the Atlantic and
    Pacific, where mankind may plant, essay, and resolve all social
    problems. [_Loud cheers._] Europe has to decide whether she
    will confound herself with Asia, placing upon her lands old
    altars, and upon the altars old idols, and upon the idols
    immovable theocracies, and upon the theocracies despotic
    empires,--or whether she will go by labor, by liberty, and
    by the republic, to coöperate with America in the grand work
    of universal civilization.--EMILIO CASTELAR, _Speech in the
    Spanish Cortes_, June 22, 1871.


The discovery of America by Christopher Columbus is the greatest event
of secular history. Besides the potato, the turkey, and maize, which
it introduced at once for the nourishment and comfort of the Old
World,[241] and also tobacco, which only blind passion for the weed
could place in the beneficent group, this discovery opened the door to
influences infinite in extent and beneficence. Measure them, describe
them, picture them, you cannot. While yet unknown, imagination invested
this continent with proverbial magnificence. It was the Orient, and
the land of Cathay. When afterwards it took a place in geography,
imagination found another field in trying to portray its future
history. If the Golden Age is before, and not behind, as is now happily
the prevailing faith, then indeed must America share, at least, if it
does not monopolize, the promised good.

Before the voyage of Columbus in 1492, nothing of America was really
known. Scanty scraps from antiquity, vague rumors from the resounding
ocean, and the hesitating speculations of science were all that the
inspired navigator found to guide him. Foremost among these were the
well-known verses of Seneca, so interesting from ethical genius and a
tragical death, in the chorus of his “Medea,” which for generations had
been the finger-point to an undiscovered world:--

                    “Venient annis
    Secula seris, quibus Oceanus
    Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens
    Pateat tellus, Tiphysque novos
    Detegat orbes, nec sit terris
    Ultima Thule.”[242]

These verses are vague and lofty rather than specific; but Bacon,
after setting them forth, says of them, “A prophecy of the discovery
of America”; and this they may well be, if we adopt the translation of
Archbishop Whately, in his notes to the Essay on Prophecies: “There
shall come a time in later ages, when Ocean shall relax his chains and
a vast continent appear, and a pilot shall find new worlds, and Thule
shall be no more earth’s bound.”[243] Fox, turning from statesmanship
to scholarship, wrote to Wakefield: “The prophecy in Seneca’s ‘Medea’
is very curious indeed.”[244] Irving says of it: “Wonderfully apposite,
and shows, at least, how nearly the warm imagination of a poet may
approach to prophecy. The predictions of the ancient oracles were
rarely so unequivocal.”[245] These verses were adopted by Irving as
a motto on the title-page of the revised edition of his “Life of

Two copies are extant in the undoubted handwriting of
Columbus,--precious autographs to tempt collectors,--both of them in
his book on the Prophecies.[246] By these the great admiral sailed.

Humboldt gives the verses in the following form:--

    “Venient annis sæcula seris,
    Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum
    Laxet, et ingens pateat tellus,
    Tethysque novos detegat orbes,
    Nec sit terris ultima Thule.”[247]

This sympathetic and authoritative commentator, who has illustrated
the enterprise with all that classical or mediæval literature affords,
declares his conviction that the discovery of a new continent was more
completely foreshadowed in the simple geographical statement of the
Greek Strabo,[248] who, after a long life of travel, sat down in his
old age, during the reign of Augustus, to write the geography of the
world, including its cosmography. In this work, where are gathered the
results of ancient study and experience, the venerable author, after
alluding to the possibility of passing direct from Spain to India, and
explaining that the inhabited world is that which we inhabit and know,
thus lifts the curtain: “There may be in the same temperate zone _two
and indeed more inhabited lands_, especially near the parallel of Thinæ
or Athens, prolonged into the Atlantic Ocean.”[249] This was the voice
of ancient Science.

Before the voyage of Columbus two Italian poets seem to have beheld
the unknown world. The first was Petrarca; nor was it unnatural that
his exquisite genius should reach behind the veil of Time, as where he

    “The daylight hastening with wingèd steps,
    Perchance to gladden the expectant eyes
    _Of far-off nations in a world remote_.”[250]

The other was Pulci, who, in his “Morgante Maggiore,” sometimes called
the last of the romances and the earliest of Italian epics, reveals an
undiscovered world beyond the Pillars of Hercules:--

    “Know that this theory is false; his bark
    The daring mariner shall urge far o’er
    The western wave, a smooth and level plain,
    Albeit the earth is fashioned like a wheel.
    Man was in ancient days of grosser mould,
    And Hercules might blush to learn how far
    Beyond the limits he had vainly set
    The dullest sea-boat soon shall wing her way.

    “_Men shall descry another hemisphere_,
    Since to one common centre all things tend;
    So earth, by curious mystery divine
    Well balanced, hangs amid the starry spheres.
    _At our Antipodes are cities, states,_
    _And throngèd empires, ne’er divined of yore._
    But see, the sun speeds on his western path
    To glad the nations with expected light.”[251]

This translation is by our own eminent historian, Prescott, who first
called attention to the testimony,[252] which is not mentioned even by
Humboldt. Leigh Hunt referred to it at a later day.[253] Pulci was
born in 1431, and died about 1487, five years before Columbus sailed;
so that he was not aided by any rumor of the discovery he so distinctly

       *       *       *       *       *

Passing from the great event which gave a new world not only to Spain,
but to civilized man, it may not be uninteresting to collect some of
the prophetic voices concerning the future of America and the vast
unfolding of our continent. They will have a lesson also. Seeing what
has been fulfilled, we may better judge what to expect. I shall set
them forth in the order of time, prefacing each prediction with an
account of the author sufficient to explain its origin and character.
If some are already familiar, others are little known. Brought together
in one body, on the principle of our National Union, _E pluribus unum_,
they must give new confidence in the destinies of the Republic.

Only what has been said sincerely by those whose words are important
deserves place in such a collection. Oracles had ceased before our
history began; so that we meet no responses paltering in a double
sense, like the deceptive replies to Crœsus and to Pyrrhus, nor any
sayings which, according to the quaint language of Sir Thomas Browne,
“seem quodlibetically constituted, and, like a Delphian blade, will
cut on both sides.”[254] In Bacon’s Essay on Prophecies there is a
latitude not to be followed. Not fable or romance, but history, is the
true authority; and here experience and genius are the lights by which
our prophets have walked. Doubtless there is a difference in human
faculties. Men who have lived much and felt strongly see further than
others. Their vision penetrates the future. Second-sight is little more
than clearness of sight. Milton tells us that

         “Old experience doth attain
    To something like prophetic strain.”

Sometimes this strain is attained even in youth. But here Genius with
divine power lifts the curtain and sweeps the scene.

The elder Disraeli, in his “Curiosities of Literature,” has a chapter
on “Prediction,” giving curious instances, among which is that of
Rousseau, toward the end of the third book of “Émile,” where he says,
“We approach a condition of crisis and the age of revolutions.”[255]
Our own Revolution was then at hand, soon followed by that of France.
The settlement of America was not without auguries even at the


Before passing to the more serious examples, I bring into group a few
marking at least a poet’s appreciation of the newly discovered country,
if not a prophetic spirit. The Muse was not silent at the various
reports. As early as 1595, Chapman, famous as the translator of Homer,
in a poem on Guiana, thus celebrates and commends the unknown land:--

    “Guiana, whose rich feet are mines of gold,
    Whose forehead knocks against the roof of stars,
    Stands on her tiptoes, at fair England looking,
    Kissing her hand, bowing her mighty breast,
    And every sign of all submission making,
    To be her sister, and the daughter both
    Of our most sacred Maid.
    And there do palaces and temples rise
    Out of the earth and kiss the enamored skies,
    Where New Britannia humbly kneels to Heaven,
    The world to her, and both at her blest feet
    In whom the circles of all empire meet.”[256]

In similar strain, Drayton, who flourished under James the First, says
of Virginia:--

      “And ours to hold
    Earth’s only paradise.

    “Where Nature hath in store
    Fowl, venison, and fish,
      And the fruitfull’st soil,
      Without your toil,
    Three harvests more,
    All greater than your wish.


    “To whose the Golden Age
    Still Nature’s laws doth give,
      No other cares that ’tend
      But them to defend
    From winter’s age,
    That long there doth not live.”[257]

Daniel, poet-laureate and contemporary, seemed to foresee the spread of
our English speech, anticipating our own John Adams:--

    “And who (in time) knows whither we may vent
    The treasure of our tongue? To what strange shores
    This gain of our best glory shall be sent,
    T’ enrich unknowing nations with our stores?
    What worlds, in th’ yet unformèd Occident,
    May come refined with th’ accents that are ours?”[258]

The emigration prompted by conscience and for the sake of religious
liberty inspired the pious and poetical Herbert to famous verses:--

    “Religion stands on tiptoe in our land,
    Ready to pass to the American strand.”[259]

The poet died in 1632, twelve years after the landing of the Pilgrims
at Plymouth, and only two years after the larger movement of the
Massachusetts Company, which began the settlement of Boston. The verses
saw the light with difficulty, being refused the necessary license;
but the functionary at last yielded, calling the author “a divine
poet,” and expressing the hope that “the world will not take him to
be an inspired prophet.”[260] Fuller, writing a little later, was
perhaps moved by Herbert, when he said: “I am confident that America,
though the youngest sister of the four, is now grown marriageable,
and daily hopes to get Christ to her husband by the preaching of the
Gospel.”[261] In a different vein, a contemporary poet, the favorite of
Charles the First, Thomas Carew, in a masque performed by the monarch
and his courtiers at Whitehall, February 18, 1633, made sport of New
England, saying that it had “purged more virulent humors from the
politic body than guaiacum and all the West Indian drugs have from the
natural bodies of this kingdom.”[262] But these words uttered at the
English Court were praise.

Then came answering voices from the Colonies. Rev. William Morrell, of
the Established Church, a settler of 1623, said of New England, in a
Latin poem translated by himself:--

    “_A grandchild to Earth’s paradise is born_,
    Well-limbed, well-nerved, fair, rich, sweet, yet forlorn.”[263]

“The Simple Cobbler of Agawam,” another name for Rev. Nathaniel Ward,
of Ipswich, Mass., at the close of his witty book, first published in
1647, and having four different editions in this single year, sends an
invitation to those at home:--

    “So farewell, England Old!
      If evil times ensue,
    Let good men come to us,
      We’ll welcome them to New.”

Another witness we meet in the writings of Franklin. It is George Webb,
who, decamping from Oxford and the temptations of scholarship, indented
himself according to the usage of the times, and became what Franklin
calls “a bought servant” on our shores, where his genius flowered in
the prophetic couplet, written in 1727:--

    “Europe shall mourn her ancient fame declined,
    _And Philadelphia be the Athens of mankind_.”[264]

Another, Gulian Verplanck, of New York, in verses written in England in
1773, foretells the repetition of British wealth, power, and glory in
the New World:--

    “In other worlds another Britain see,
    And what thou art America shall be.”[265]

And yet another, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, born in Scotland, and a
graduate of our Princeton College in 1771, in a Commencement poem on
“The Rising Glory of America,” pictured the future of the continent,
adopting as a motto the verses of Seneca twice quoted by Columbus:--

    “This is thy praise, America, thy power,
    Thou best of climes by Science visited,
    By Freedom blest, and richly stored with all
    The luxuries of life! Hail, happy land,
    The seat of empire, the abode of kings,
    The final stage where Time shall introduce
    Renownèd characters, and glorious works
    Of high invention and of wondrous art,
    Which not the ravages of Time shall waste,
    Till he himself has run his long career!”[266]

To these add Voltaire, who, in his easy verse, written in 1751,
represents God as putting fever in European climates, “and the remedy
in America.”[267]

From this chorus, with only one discordant voice, I pass to a long line
of voices so distinct and full as to be recognized separately.


The list opens with John Milton, whose lofty words are like an overture
to the great drama of emigration, with its multitudes in successive
generations. If not a prophet, he has yet struck a mighty key-note in
our history.

The author of “Paradise Lost,” of “Comus,” and the heroic Sonnets,
needs no special mention beyond the two great dates of birth and
death. He was born 9th December, 1608, and died 8th November, 1674. The
treatise from which I quote was written in 1641.

    “What numbers of faithful and free-born Englishmen and good
    Christians have been constrained to forsake their dearest
    home, their friends and kindred, whom nothing but the wide
    ocean and the savage deserts of America could hide and shelter
    from the fury of the bishops! Oh, Sir, if we could but see the
    shape of our dear mother England, as poets are wont to give
    a personal form to what they please, how would she appear,
    think ye, but in a mourning weed, with ashes upon her head and
    tears abundantly flowing from her eyes, to behold so many of
    her children exposed at once and thrust from things of dearest
    necessity, because their conscience could not assent to things
    which the bishops thought indifferent?… Let the astrologer be
    dismayed at the portentous blaze of comets and impressions in
    the air, as foretelling troubles and changes to states; I shall
    believe there cannot be a more ill-boding sign to a nation
    (God turn the omen from us!) than when the inhabitants, to
    avoid insufferable grievances at home, are enforced by heaps to
    forsake their native country.”[268]

Here in a few words are the sacrifices made by our fathers, as they
turned from their English homes, and also the conscience which prompted
and sustained them. Begun in sacrifice and in conscience, their empire
grew and flourished with constant and increasing promise of future


Contemporary with Milton, and at the time a rival for the palm of
poetry, was Abraham Cowley, born 1618, died 28th July, 1667. His
biography stands at the head of Johnson’s “Lives of the English Poets,”
the first in that instructive collection. The two poets were on
opposite sides,--Milton for the Commonwealth, Cowley for the King.

His genius was recognized in his own time; and when he died, at the age
of forty-nine, after a night of exposure under the open sky, Charles
the Second said, “Mr. Cowley has not left a better man behind him in
England.” He was buried in Westminster Abbey, near Chaucer and Spenser.

He composed, in much-admired Latin verse, six books on Plants: the
first and second in elegiac verse, displaying the qualities of herbs;
the third and fourth in various measures, on the beauties of flowers;
and the fifth and sixth in hexameters, like the Georgics, on the uses
of trees. The first two books, in Latin, appeared in 1662; the other
four, also in Latin, were not published till 1668, the year after his
death. They did not see the English light till near the close of the
century, when a translation was published by Tate, from which I quote.

Two fruits of America are commemorated. The first is that which becomes

    “Guatimala produced a fruit unknown
    To Europe, which with pride she called her own:
    Her Cacao-Nut, with double use endued,
    (For Chocolate at once is drink and food,)
    Does strength and vigor to the limbs impart,
    Makes fresh the countenance and cheers the heart.”[269]

The other is the Cocoa-Nut:--

    “While she preserves this Indian palm alone,
    America can never be undone;
    Embowelled, and of all her gold bereft,
    Her liberty and Coccus only left,
    She’s richer than the Spaniard with his theft.”[270]

The poet, addressing the New World, becomes prophetic:--

    “To live by wholesome laws you now begin,
    Buildings to raise, and fence your cities in,
    To plough the earth, to plough the very main,
    And traffic with the universe maintain.
    Defensive arms, and ornaments of dress,
    All implements of life, you now possess.
    To you the arts of war and peace are known,
    And whole Minerva is become your own.
    Our Muses, to your sires an unknown band,
    Already have got footing in your land.


    “Long rolling years shall late bring on the times,
    When, with your gold debauched and ripened crimes,
    Europe, the world’s most noble part, shall fall,
    Upon her banished gods and virtue call
    In vain, while foreign and domestic war
    At once shall her distracted bosom tear,--
    Forlorn, and to be pitied even by you.
    _Meanwhile your rising glory you shall view;_
    _Wit, learning, virtue, discipline of war,_
    _Shall for protection to your world repair,_
    _And fix a long illustrious empire there._


    “Late Destiny shall high exalt your reign,
    Whose pomp no crowds of slaves, a needless train,
    Nor gold, the rabble’s idol, shall support,
    Like Motezume’s or Guanapaci’s court,
    But such true grandeur as old Rome maintained,
    Where Fortune was a slave, and Virtue reigned.”[271]

This prophecy, though appearing in English tardily, may be dated from
1667, when the Latin poem was already written.


Dr. Johnson called attention to a tract of Sir Thomas Browne entitled
“A Prophecy concerning the Future State of Several Nations,” where the
famous author “plainly discovers his expectation to be the same with
that entertained lately with more confidence by Dr. Berkeley, _that
America will be the seat of the fifth empire_.”[272] The tract is
vague, but prophetic.

Sir Thomas Browne was born 19th October, 1605, and died 19th October,
1682. His tract was published two years after his death, in a
collection of Miscellanies, edited by Dr. Tenison. As a much-admired
author, some of whose writings belong to our English classics, his
prophetic prolusions are not unworthy of notice. Among them are the

    “When New England shall trouble New Spain;
    When Jamaica shall be lady of the isles and the main;
    When Spain shall be in America hid,
    And Mexico shall prove a Madrid;


    _When Africa shall no more sell out their blacks,_
    _To make slaves and drudges to the American tracts;_


    _When America shall cease to send out its treasure,_
    _But employ it at home in American pleasure;_
    _When the New World shall the Old invade,_
    _Nor count them their lords, but their fellows in trade;_


    Then think strange things are come to light,
    Whereof but few have had a foresight.”[273]

Some of these words are striking, especially when we consider their
early date. In a commentary on each verse the author seeks to explain
it. New England is “that thriving colony which hath so much increased
in our days”; its people are already “industrious,” and when they have
so far increased “that the neighboring country will not contain them,
they will range still farther, and be able in time to set forth great
armies, seek for new possessions, or _make considerable and conjoined
migrations_.”[274] The verse touching Africa will be fulfilled “when
African countries shall no longer make it a common trade to sell away
their people.” And this may come to pass “whenever they shall be
well civilized, and acquainted with arts and affairs sufficient to
employ people in their countries: if also they should be converted to
Christianity, but especially unto Mahometism; for then they would never
sell those of their religion to be slaves unto Christians.”[275] The
verse concerning America is expounded thus:--

    “That is, When America shall be better civilized, new policied,
    and divided between great princes, it may come to pass that
    they will no longer suffer their treasure of gold and silver to
    be sent out to maintain the luxury of Europe and other parts;
    but rather employ it to their own advantages, in great exploits
    and undertakings, magnificent structures, wars, or expeditions
    of their own.”[276]

The other verse, on the invasion of the Old World by the New, is

    “That is, When America shall be so well peopled, civilized, and
    divided into kingdoms, _they are like to have so little regard
    of their originals as to acknowledge no subjection unto them_:
    they may also have a distinct commerce between themselves, or
    but independently with those of Europe, and may hostilely and
    piratically assault them, even as the Greek and Roman colonies
    after a long time dealt with their original countries.”[277]

That these speculations should arrest the attention of Dr. Johnson is
something. They seem to have been in part fulfilled. An editor quietly
remarks, that, “to judge from the course of events since Sir Thomas
wrote, we may not unreasonably look forward to their more complete


In contrast with the poets, but mingling with them in forecast, were
two writers on Trade, who saw the future through facts and figures,
or what one of them called “political arithmetic,” even discerning
colonial independence in the distance. These were Sir Josiah Child,
born 1630 and died 1699, and Dr. Charles Davenant, born 1656 and died

Child is mentioned by De Foe as “originally a tradesman”; others speak
of him as “a Southwalk brewer”; and McCulloch calls him “one of the
most extensive, and, judging from his work, best-informed, merchants
of his time.”[279] He rose to wealth and consideration, founding a
family which intermarried with the nobility. His son was known as
Lord Castlemaine, Earl Tylney, of Ireland. Davenant was eldest son of
“rare Sir William,” the author of “Gondibert,” and, like his eminent
father, a dramatist. He was also member of Parliament, and wrote much
on commercial questions; but here he was less famous than Child, whose
“New Discourse of Trade,” so far as it concerned the interest of money,
first appeared in 1668, and since then has been often reprinted and
much quoted. There was an enlarged edition in 1694. That now before me
appeared in 1698, and in the same year Davenant published his kindred
“Discourses on the Public Revenues and on the Trade of England,”
among which is one “on the Plantation Trade.” The two authors treated
especially the Colonies, and in similar spirit.

       *       *       *       *       *

The work of Child was brought to more recent notice by the voluminous
plodder, George Chalmers, particularly in his writings on the Colonies
and American Independence,[280] and then again by the elder Disraeli,
in his “Curiosities of Literature,” who places a prophecy attributed
to him in his chapter on “Prediction.” After referring to Harrington,
“who ventured to predict an event, not by other similar events, but by
a theoretical principle which he had formed,” and to a like error in De
Foe, Disraeli quotes Chalmers:--

    “Child, foreseeing from experience that men’s conduct must
    finally be decided [directed] by their principles, foretold the
    colonial revolt. De Foe, allowing his prejudices to obscure
    his sagacity, reprobated that suggestion, because he deemed
    interest a more strenuous prompter than enthusiasm.”

The pleasant hunter of curiosities then says:--

    “The predictions of Harrington and De Foe are precisely such
    as we might expect from a petty calculator,--a political
    economist, who can see nothing farther than immediate results;
    but the true philosophical predictor was Child, who had read
    _the past_.”[281]

Disraeli was more curious than accurate. His excuse is, that he
followed another writer.[282] The prediction attributed to Child
belongs to Davenant.

The work of Child is practical rather than speculative, and shows a
careful student of trade. Dwelling on the “plantations” of England and
their value, he considers their original settlement, and here we find
a painful contrast between New England and Virginia.[283] Passing from
the settlement to the character, New England is described as “being a
more independent government from this kingdom than any other of our
plantations, and the people that went thither more one peculiar sort
or sect than those that went to the rest of our plantations.”[284] He
recognized in them “a people whose frugality, industry, and temperance,
and the happiness of whose laws and institution, do promise to
themselves long life, with _a wonderful increase of people, riches, and
power_.”[285] And then: “Of all the American plantations, his Majesty
hath none so apt for the building of shipping as New England, nor none
comparably so qualified for breeding of seamen, not only by reason of
the natural industry of that people, but principally by reason of their
cod and mackerel fisheries.”[286] On his last page are words more than

    “To conclude this chapter, and to do right to that most
    industrious English colony, I must confess, that, though we
    lose by their unlimited trade with our foreign plantations, yet
    we are very great gainers by their direct trade to and from Old
    England: our yearly exportations of English manufactures, malt,
    and other goods, from hence thither, amounting, in my opinion,
    to ten times the value of what is imported from thence.”[287]

Here is keen observation, but hardly prophecy.

Contrast this with Davenant:--

    “As the case now stands, we shall show that they [the Colonies]
    are a spring of wealth to this nation, that they work for us,
    that their treasure centres all here, and that the laws have
    tied them fast enough to us; so that it must be through our
    own fault and misgovernment, _if they become independent of
    England_.… Corrupt governors by oppressing the inhabitants
    may hereafter provoke them to withdraw their obedience, and
    by supine negligence or upon mistaken measures we may let
    them grow, more especially New England, in naval strength and
    power, _which if suffered, we cannot expect to hold them long
    in our subjection_. If, as some have proposed, we should think
    to build ships of war there, we may teach them an art which
    will cost us some blows to make them forget. Some such courses
    may, indeed, drive them, or put it into their heads, _to erect
    themselves into independent Commonwealths_.”[288]

Davenant then, following Child, remarks upon New England as “the most
proper for building ships and breeding seamen,” and adds:--

    “So that, if we should go to cultivate among them the art of
    navigation and teach them to have a naval force, _they may set
    up for themselves and make the greatest part of our West India
    trade precarious_.”[289]

These identical words are quoted by Chalmers, who exclaims: “Of that
prophecy we have lived, alas! to see the fulfilment.”[290]

Chalmers emigrated from Scotland to Maryland, and practised in the
colonial courts, but, disgusted with American independence, returned
home, where he wrote and edited much, especially on colonial questions,
ill concealing a certain animosity, and on one occasion stating that
among the documents in the Board of Trade and Paper Office were “the
most satisfactory proofs of the settled purpose of the revolted
colonies, from the epoch of the Revolution in 1688, to acquire direct
independence.”[291] But none of these proofs are presented. The same
allegation was also made by Viscount Bury in his “Exodus of the Western
Nations,”[292] but also without proofs.

The name of De Foe is always interesting, and I cannot close this
article without reference to the saying attributed to him by Chalmers.
I know not where in his multitudinous writings it may be found, unless
in his “Plan of the English Commerce,” and here careful research
discloses nothing nearer than this:--

    “What a glorious trade to England it would be to have those
    colonies increased with a million of people, to be clothed,
    furnished, and supplied with all their needful things, food
    excepted, only from us, and _tied down forever to us by that
    immortal, indissoluble bond of trade, their interest_!”[293]

In the same work he says:--

    “This is certain, and will be granted, that the product of our
    improved colonies raises infinitely more trade, employs more
    hands, and, I think I may say, by consequence, brings in more
    wealth to this one particular nation or people, the English,
    than all the mines of New Spain do to the Spaniards.”[294]

In this vision the author of “Robinson Crusoe” was permitted to see the
truth with regard to our country, although failing to recognize future


It is pleasant to think that Berkeley, whose beautiful verses
predicting the future of America are so often quoted, was so sweet and
charming a character. Atterbury said of him: “So much understanding,
so much knowledge, so much innocence, and such humility I did not
think had been the portion of any but angels, till I saw this
gentleman.”[295] Swift said: “He is an absolute philosopher with regard
to money, titles, and power.”[296] Pope let drop a tribute which can
never die:--

    “To Berkeley every virtue under Heaven.”[297]

Such a person was naturally a seer.

He is compendiously called an Irish prelate and philosopher. Born in
the County of Kilkenny, 1684, and dying in Oxford, 1753, he began as
a philosopher. While still young, he wrote his famous treatise on
“The Principles of Human Knowledge,” where he denies the existence of
matter, insisting that it is only an impression produced on the mind
by Divine power. After travel for several years on the Continent,
and fellowship with the witty and learned at home, among whom were
Addison, Swift, Pope, Garth, and Arbuthnot, he conceived the project of
educating the aborigines of America, which was set forth in a tract,
published in 1725, entitled “A Proposal for the better Supplying of
Churches in our Foreign Plantations, and for Converting the Savage
Americans to Christianity, by a College to be erected in the Summer
Islands, otherwise called the Isles of Bermuda.” Persuaded by his
benevolence, the Minister[298] promised twenty thousand pounds, and
there were several private subscriptions, to promote what was called
by the King “so pious an undertaking.” Berkeley possessed already
a deanery in Ireland, worth eleven hundred pounds a year. Turning
away from this residence, and refusing to be tempted by an English
mitre, offered by the Queen, he set sail for Rhode Island, “which lay
nearest to Bermuda,” where, after a tedious passage of more than four
months, he arrived 23d January, 1729. Here he lived on a farm back
of Newport, having been, according to his own report, “at very great
expense in purchasing land and stock.”[299] In familiar letters he
has recorded his impression of this place, famous since for fashion.
“The climate,” he says, “is like that of Italy, and not at all colder
in the winter than I have known it everywhere north of Rome.… This
island is pleasantly laid out in hills and vales and rising grounds,
hath plenty of excellent springs and fine rivulets, and many delightful
landscapes of rocks and promontories and adjacent islands.… The town of
Newport contains about six thousand souls, and is the most thriving,
flourishing place in all America for its bigness. It is very pretty,
and pleasantly situated. I was never more agreeably surprised than at
the first sight of the town and its harbor.”[300] He seems to have
been contented, and when his companions went to Boston stayed at home,
“preferring,” as he wrote, “quiet and solitude to the noise of a great
town, notwithstanding all the solicitations that have been used to draw
us thither.”[301]

The money he had expected, especially from the King’s ministers,
failed, and after waiting in vain expectation two years and a half,
he returned to England, leaving an infant daughter buried in the
churchyard of Trinity, and bestowing upon Yale College a library of
eight hundred and eighty volumes, as well as his estate in Rhode
Island. During his residence at Newport he preached every Sunday,
and was indefatigable in pastoral duties, besides meditating, if not
composing, “The Minute Philosopher,” which was published shortly after
his return.

In his absence he had not been forgotten at home; and shortly after
his return he became Bishop of Cloyne, in which place he was most
exemplary, devoting himself to his episcopal duties, to the education
of his children, and the pleasures of composition.

It was while occupied with his plan of a college, especially as a
nursery for the colonial churches, shortly before sailing for America,
that the great future was revealed to him, and he wrote the famous
poem, the only one found among his works, entitled “Verses on the
Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America.”[302] The date may
be fixed at 1726. Such a poem was an historic event. I give the first
and last stanzas.

    “The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
      Barren of every glorious theme,
    _In distant lands now waits a better time,_
      _Producing subjects worthy fame_.


    _Westward the course of empire takes its way_;
      The four first acts already past,
    A fifth shall close the drama with the day;
      Time’s noblest offspring is the last.”

It is difficult to exaggerate the value of these verses, which have
been so often quoted as to have become a commonplace of literature and
politics. There is nothing from any oracle, there is very little from
any prophecy, which can compare with them. The biographer of Berkeley,
who wrote in the last century, was very cautious, when, after calling
them “a beautiful copy of verses,” he says that “another age perhaps
will acknowledge the old conjunction of the prophetic character with
that of the poet to have again taken place.”[303] The _vates_ of the
Romans was poet and prophet; and such was Berkeley.

Mr. Webster calls this an “extraordinary prophecy,” and then says:
“It was an intuitive glance into futurity; it was a grand conception,
strong, ardent, glowing, embracing all time since the creation of the
world and all regions of which that world is composed, and judging
of the future by just analogy with the past. And the inimitable
imagery and beauty with which the thought is expressed, joined to the
conception itself, render it one of the most striking passages in our

The sentiment which prompted the prophetic verses of the excellent
Bishop was widely diffused, or perhaps it was a natural prompting.[305]
Of this illustration is afforded in the life of Benjamin West. On
his visit to Rome in 1760, the young artist encountered a famous
improvvisatore, who, learning that he was an American come to study the
fine arts in Rome, at once addressed him with the ardor of inspiration,
and to the music of his guitar. After singing the darkness which for so
many ages veiled America from the eyes of Science, and also the fulness
of time when the purposes for which this continent had been raised
from the deep would be manifest, he hailed the youth before him as an
instrument of Heaven to create there a taste for the arts which elevate
man, and an assurance of refuge to science and knowledge, when, in the
old age of Europe, they should have forsaken her shores. Then, in the
spirit of prophecy, he sang:--

    “_But all things of heavenly origin, like the glorious sun,
    move westward_; and Truth and Art have their periods of
    shining and of night. Rejoice, then, O venerable Rome, in thy
    divine destiny! for, though darkness overshadow thy seats,
    and though thy mitred head must descend into the dust, _thy
    spirit, immortal and undecayed, already spreads towards a new

John Adams, in his old age, dwelling on the reminiscences of early
life, records that nothing in his reading was “more ancient in his
memory than the observation that arts, sciences, and empire had
travelled westward, and in conversation it was always added, since
he was a child, that their next leap would be over the Atlantic into
America.” With the assistance of an octogenarian neighbor, he recalled
a couplet which he had heard repeated “for more than sixty years”:--

    “The Eastern nations sink, their glory ends,
    And empire rises where the sun descends.”

The tradition was, as his neighbor had heard it, that these lines came
from some of our early Pilgrims, by whom they had been “inscribed, or
rather drilled, into a rock on the shore of Monument [Manomet] Bay in
our Old Colony of Plymouth.”[307]

Another illustration of this same sentiment is found in Burnaby’s
“Travels through the Middle Settlements in North America, in 1759 and
1760,” a work first published in 1775. In reflections at the close the
traveller remarks:--

    “An idea, strange as it is visionary, has entered into the
    minds of the generality of mankind, _that empire is travelling
    westward; and every one is looking forward with eager and
    impatient expectation to that destined moment when America is
    to give law to the rest of the world_.”[308]

The traveller is none the less an authority for the prevalence of this
sentiment because he declares it “illusory and fallacious,” and records
his conviction that “America is formed for happiness, but not for
empire.” Happy America! What empire can compare with happiness? Making
amends for this admission, the jealous traveller, in his edition of
1798, after the adoption of the National Constitution, announces “that
the present union of the American States will not be permanent, or last
for any considerable length of time,” and “that that extensive country
must necessarily be divided into separate states and kingdoms.”[309]
Thus far the Union has stood against all shocks, foreign or domestic;
and the prophecy of Berkeley is more than ever in the popular mind.

SAMUEL SEWALL, 1697-1727.

Berkeley saw the sun of empire travelling westward. A contemporary
whose home was made in New England, Samuel Sewall, saw the New Heaven
and the New Earth. He was born at Bishop-Stoke, England, 28th March,
1652, and died at Boston, 1st January, 1730. A child emigrant in 1661,
he became a student and graduate of our Cambridge; in 1692, Judge of
the Supreme Court of Massachusetts; in 1718, Chief Justice. He was of
the court which condemned the witches, but afterwards, standing up
before the congregation of his church, made public confession of error,
and his secret diary bears testimony to his trial of conscience. In
harmony with this contrition was his early feeling for the enslaved
African, as witness his tract, “The Selling of Joseph,” so that he may
be called the first of our Abolitionists.

Besides an “Answer to Queries respecting America,” in 1690, and
“Proposals touching the Accomplishment of Prophecies,” in 1713, he
wrote another work, with the following title:--

    “Phænomena quædam Apocalyptica ad Aspectum Novi Orbis
    configurata: Or, Some Few Lines towards a Description of the
    New Heaven as it makes to those who stand upon the New Earth.
    By Samuel Sewall, A. M., and sometime Fellow of Harvard College
    at Cambridge in New England.”

The copy before me is the second edition, with the imprint,
“Massachuset, Boston. Printed by Bartholomew Green, and sold by
Benjamin Eliot, Samuel Gerrish, and Daniel Henchman. 1727.” There is
a prophetic voice even in the title, which promises “some few lines
towards a description of the New Heaven as it makes to those who stand
upon the New Earth.” This is followed by verses from the Scriptures,
among which is Isaiah, xi. 14: “But they shall fly upon the shoulders
of the Philistines toward the west”; also, Acts, i. 8: “Ye shall be
witnesses unto me unto the uttermost part of the earth,”--quoting here
from the Spanish Bible, “_hasta lo ultimo de la tierra_.”

Two different Dedications follow,--the first dated “Boston, N. E.,
April 16th, 1697.” Here are words on the same key with the title:--

    “For I can’t but think that either England or New England, or
    both, (together is best,) is the only bridemaid mentioned by
    name in David’s prophetical Epithalamium, to assist at the
    great wedding now shortly to be made.… Angels incognito have
    sometimes made themselves guests to men, designing thereby to
    surprise them with a requital of their love to strangers. In
    like manner the English nation, in showing kindness to the
    aboriginal natives of America, may possibly show kindness to
    Israelites unawares.… Instead of being branded for slaves with
    hot irons in the face and arms, and driven by scores in mortal
    chains, they shall wear the name of God in their foreheads,
    and they shall be delivered into the glorious liberty of the
    children of God.… Asia, Africa, and Europe have each of them
    had a glorious Gospel-day. None, therefore, will be grieved at
    any one’s pleading that America may be made coparcener with her
    sisters in the free and sovereign grace of God.”

In the second Dedication the author speaks of his book as “this
vindication of America.”

Then comes, in black letter, what is entitled “Psalm 139, 7-10,”
containing this stanza:--

    “Yea, let me take the morning wings,
      And let me go and hide:
    Even there where are the farthest parts,
      Where flowing sea doth slide.
    Yea, even thither also shall
      Thy reaching hand me guide;
    And thy right hand shall hold me fast,
      And make me to abide.”

Entering upon his subject, our prophet says:--

    “Whereas New England, and Boston of the Massachusetts, have
    this to make mention of, that they can tell their age, and
    account it their honor to have their birth and parentage kept
    in everlasting remembrance. And in very deed, the families
    and churches which first ventured to follow Christ thorow the
    Atlantic Ocean into a strange land full of wild men were so
    religious, their end so holy, their self-denial in pursuing of
    it so extraordinary, that I can’t but hope that the plantation
    has thereby gained a very strong crasis, and that it will not
    be of one or two or three centuries only, but by the grace of
    God it will be very long lasting.”[310]

Then again:--

    “New Jerusalem will not straiten and enfeeble, but wonderfully
    dilate and invigorate Christianity in the several quarters of
    the world,--in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, and in America.
    And one that has been born, or but lived in America more than
    threescore years, it may be pardonable for him to ask, Why may
    not that be the place of New Jerusalem?”[311]

And here also:--

    “Of all the parts of the world which do from this charter
    entitle themselves to the government of Christ, America’s plea,
    in my opinion, is the strongest. For when once Christopher
    Columbus had added this fourth to the other three parts of the
    foreknown world, they who sailed farther westward arrived but
    where they had been before. The globe now failed of offering
    anything new to the adventurous traveller,--or, however,
    it could not afford another New World. And probably the
    consideration of America’s being _the beginning of the East and
    the end of the West_ was that which moved Columbus to call some
    part of it by the name of Alpha and Omega. Now if the last Adam
    did give order for the engraving of his own name upon this last
    earth, ’twill draw with it great consequences, even such as
    will in time bring the poor Americans out of their graves and
    make them live.”[312]

Again he says:--

    “May it not with more or equal strength be argued: New
    Jerusalem is not the same with Jerusalem; but as Jerusalem was
    to the westward of Babylon, so New Jerusalem must be to the
    westward of Rome, to avoid disturbance in the order of these

Then quoting Latin verses of Cowley[314] and English verses of
Herbert,[315] he says: “Not doubting but that these authorities, being
brought to the king’s scales, will be over weight.”[316]

Afterwards he adduces “learned Mr. Nicholas Fuller,” who “would fain
have it believed that America was first peopled by the posterity of
our great-grandfather Japheth, though he will not be very strict with
us as to the particular branch of that wide family.”[317] The extract
from this new authority is remarkable for its vindication to Columbus
of the name of the new continent: “Quam passim _Americam_ dicunt, vere
ac merito _Columbinam_ potius dicerent, a magnanimo heroë Christophoro
Columbo Genuensi, primo terrarum illarum investigatore atque inventore
plane divinitus constituto.”[318] This designation Fuller adopts: thus,
“Hinc ergo _Columbina_ primum”; and again, “Multo is quidem propior
est _Columbinæ_”; then again, “America, seu verius _Columbina_”; and
yet again, “Repertam fuisse _Columbinam_.”[319] This effort draws from
our prophet a comment:--

    “But why should a learned man make all this _Dirige_ for
    Columbus’s name? What matter is it how America be called? For
    Flavio of Malphi in Naples hath in great measure applied the
    virtues of the loadstone to the mariner’s compass in vain,
    the Portugals have found the length of Africa’s foot in vain,
    the Spaniards sent out the Italian dove in vain, Sir Francis
    Drake hath sailed round the world and made thorow lights to
    it in vain, and Hakluyt and Purchas have with endless labor
    acquainted Englishmen with these things in vain, if, after
    all, we go about to turn the American Euphrates into a Stygian
    Lake. The breaking of this one instrument spoils us of the
    long-expected and much-desired consort of music.”[320]

Very soon thereafter he breaks forth in words printed in large Italic
type and made prophetic:--

    “_Lift up your heads, O ye Gates_ [of Columbina], _and be ye
    lift up, ye Everlasting Doors, and the KING of Glory shall come


From the Puritan son of New England, pass now to a different character.
René Louis de Voyer, Marquis d’Argenson, a French noble, was born
18th October, 1694, and died 26th January, 1757; so that his life
lapped upon the prolonged reigns of Louis the Fourteenth and Louis
the Fifteenth. At college the comrade of Voltaire, he was ever
afterwards the friend and correspondent of this great writer. His own
thoughts, commended by the style of the other, would have placed him
among the most illustrious of French history. Notwithstanding strange
eccentricities, he was often elevated, far-sighted, and prophetic,
above any other Frenchman except Turgot. By the courtiers of Versailles
he was called “the Stupid” (_la Bête_), while Voltaire hailed one of
his productions, yet in manuscript, as the “work of Aristides,” and
pronounced him “the best citizen who had ever reached the ministry,”
and the Duc de Richelieu called him “Secretary of State for the
Republic of Plato.”[322]

Except a brief subordinate service and two years of the Cabinet
as Minister of Foreign Affairs, his life was passed in meditation
and composition, especially on subjects of government and human
improvement. This was his great passion. “If I were in power,” he
wrote, “and knew a capable man, I would go on all fours and seek him,
to pray him to serve me as counsellor and tutor.”[323] Is not this a
lesson to the heedless partisan?

In 1725 he became an active member of a small club devoted to hardy
speculation, and known, from its place of meeting at the apartment
of its founder, as _l’Entre-Sol_. It is to his honor that he mingled
here with the Abbé Saint-Pierre, and sympathized entirely with the
many-sided, far-sighted plans of this “good man.” In the privacy of his
journal he records his homage: “This worthy citizen is not known, and
he does not know himself.… He has much intelligence, and has devoted
himself to a kind of philosophy profound and abandoned by everybody,
which is the true politics destined to procure the greatest happiness
of men.”[324] In praising Saint-Pierre our author furnished a measure
of himself.

His “Considérations sur le Gouvernement Ancien et Présent de la
France,” a work which excited the admiration both of Voltaire and
Rousseau, was read by the former as early as 1739, but did not see the
light till some years after the death of the author. It first appeared
at Amsterdam in 1764, and in a short time there were no less than
four editions in Holland. In 1784 a more accurate edition appeared in
France, and in 1787 another at the command and expense of the Assembly
of Notables. Here was a recognition of the people, and an inquiry how
far democracy was consistent with monarchical government. Believing
much in the people and anxious for their happiness, he had not ceased
to believe in kings. The book was contained in the epigraph from the
“Britannicus” of Racine:--

          “Que dans le cours d’un règne florissant,
    _Rome soit toujours libre_, et César tout-puissant.”

Other works followed: “Essays in the Style of those of Montaigne”;
and the “Journal and Memoirs,” in nine volumes, published tardily.
There still remain in manuscript: “Remarks while Reading”; “Memoirs of
State”; “Foreign Affairs, containing Memoirs of my Ministry”; “Thoughts
since my Leaving the Ministry”; and especially, “Thoughts on the
Reformation of the State.” In all these there is a communicativeness
like that of Saint-Simon in his “Memoirs,” and of Rousseau in his
“Confessions,” without the wonderful talent of either. The advanced
ideas of the author are constantly conspicuous, making him foremost
among contemporaries in discerning the questions of the future. Even
of marriage he writes in the spirit of some modern reformers: “It is
necessary to press the people to marriage, _waiting for something
better_.”[325] This is an instance. His reforms embraced nothing
less than the suppression of feudal privileges and of the right of
primogeniture, uniformity of weights and measures, judges irremovable
and salaried by the State, the dismissal of foreign troops, and the
residence of the king and his ministers in the capital embellished by
vast squares, pierced by broad streets, “with the _Bois de Boulogne_
for country.” This is the Paris of latter days. Add to this the
suppression of cemeteries, hospitals, and slaughter-houses in the
interior of Paris,--and many other things, not omitting omnibuses,
and even including balloons. “Here is something,” he records, “which
will be treated as folly. I am persuaded that one of the first famous
discoveries to make, and reserved perhaps for our age, is to find the
art of flying in the air.” And he proceeds to describe the balloon.[326]

His large nature is manifest in cosmopolitan ideas, and the inquiry if
it were not well to consider one’s self “as citizen of the world” more
than is the usage. Here his soul glows:--

    “What a small corner Europe occupies on the round earth! How
    many lands remain to be inhabited! See this immense extent of
    three parts of the world, and of undiscovered lands at the
    North and South! If people went there with other views than
    that tiresome exclusive property, all these lands would be
    inhabited in two centuries. We shall not see this, but it will

And then, after coupling morals and well-being, he announces the true
rule: “An individual who shall do well will succeed, and who shall do
ill will fail: _it is the same with nations_.”[328] This is just and
lofty. In such a spirit he cherished plans of political reconstruction
in foreign nations, especially in Italy. The old Italian cry was his:
“The Barbarians must be driven from Italy”; and he contemplated “a
republic or eternal association of the Italian powers, as there was a
German, a Dutch, an Helvetic,” and he called this “the greatest affair
that had been treated in Europe for a long time.” The entry of Italy
was to be closed to the Emperor; and he adds: “For ourselves what a
happy privation, if we are excluded forever from the necessity of
sending thither our armies to triumph, but to perish!”[329]

The intelligence that saw Italy so clearly saw France also, and her
exigencies, marking out “a national senate composed equally of all
the orders of the state, and which, on questions of peace and war,
would hold the kings in check by the necessity of obtaining supplies”;
also saw the approaching decay of Turkey, and wished to make Greece
flourishing once more, to acquire possession of the holy places, to
overcome the barbarians of Northern Africa by a union of Christian
powers, which, “once well united in a kind of Christian Republic,
according to the project of Henry the Fourth detailed by the Abbé
Saint-Pierre, would have something better to do than fighting to
destroy each other as they now do.”[330] Naturally this singular
precocious intelligence reached across the Atlantic, and here he became
one of our prophets:--

    “Another great event to arrive upon the round earth is this.
    The English have in North America domains great, strong,
    rich, well regulated. There are in New England a parliament,
    governors, troops, white inhabitants in abundance, riches, and,
    what is worse, a marine.

    “I say that some fine morning these dominions may separate from
    England, rise and erect themselves into an independent republic.

    “What will happen then? Do people think of this? A country
    civilized by the arts of Europe, in a condition to communicate
    with it by the present perfection of its marine, and which
    will thus appropriate our arts in proportion to their
    improvement,--patience! such a country in several centuries
    will make great progress in population and in refinement; such
    a country in a short time will render itself master of America,
    and especially of the gold-mines.”

Then, dwelling on the extension of commercial freedom and the
improvement of the means of communication, he exclaims, with lyrical

    “And you will then see how beautiful the earth will be! what
    culture! what new arts and new sciences! what safety for
    commerce! Navigation will precipitate all nations towards each
    other. A day will come when one will go about in a populous
    and orderly city of California as one goes in the stage-coach
    of Meaux.”[331]

The published works of D’Argenson do not enable us to fix the precise
date of these remarkable words. They are from the “Thoughts on the
Reformation of the State,” and the first three paragraphs appear
to have been written as early at least as 1733, while his intimacy
with the Abbé Saint-Pierre was at its height; the fourth somewhat
later;[332] but all preceding Turgot and John Adams. Each, however,
spoke from his own soul, and without prompting.

TURGOT, 1750, 1770, 1776, 1778.

Among the illustrious names of France few equal that of Turgot. He
was a philosopher among ministers, and a minister among philosophers.
Malesherbes said of him, that he had the heart of L’Hôpital and the
head of Bacon. Such a person in public affairs was an epoch for his
country and for the human race. Had his spirit prevailed, the bloody
drama of the French Revolution would not have occurred, or it would at
least have been postponed: I think it could not have occurred. He was
a good man, who sought to carry into government the rules of goodness.
His career from beginning to end was one continuous beneficence. Such a
nature was essentially prophetic, for he discerned the natural laws by
which the future is governed.

He was of an ancient Norman family, whose name suggests the god Thor.
He was born at Paris, 1727, and died, 1781. Being a younger son, he
was destined for the Church, and began his studies as an ecclesiastic
at the ancient Sorbonne. Before registering an irrevocable vow, he
announced his repugnance to the profession, and turned aside to
other pursuits. Law, literature, science, humanity, government, now
engaged his attention. He associated himself with the authors of the
“Encyclopédie,” and became one of its contributors. In other writings
he vindicated especially the virtue of Toleration. Not merely a
theorist, he soon arrived at the high post of Intendant of Limoges,
where he developed talent for administration and sympathy with the
people. The potato came into Limousin through him. But he continued
to employ his pen, particularly on questions of political economy,
which he treated as a master. On the accession of Louis the Sixteenth
he was called to the Cabinet as Minister of the Marine, and shortly
afterwards gave up this place to be the head of the Finances. Here he
began a system of rigid economy, founded on curtailment of expenses
and enlargement of resources. The latter was obtained especially by
removal of disabilities from trade, whether at home or abroad, and the
substitution of a single tax on land for a complex multiplicity of
taxes. The enemies of progress were too strong at that time, and the
King dismissed the reformer. Good men in France became anxious for the
future; Voltaire, in his distant retreat, gave a shriek of despair, and
addressed to Turgot remarkable verses entitled “Épître à un Homme.”
Worse still, the good edicts of the minister were rescinded, and
society was put back.

The discarded minister gave himself to science, literature, and
friendship. He welcomed Franklin to France and to immortality in
a Latin verse of marvellous felicity. He was already the companion
of the liberal spirits who were doing so much for knowledge and
for reform. By writing and by conversation he exercised a constant
influence. His “ideas” seem to illumine the time. We may be content
to follow him in saying, “The glory of arms cannot compare with the
happiness of living in peace.”[333] He anticipated our definition of
a republic, when he said “it was founded upon _the equality of all
the citizens_,”[334]--good words, not yet practically verified in all
our States. Such a government he, living under a monarchy, bravely
pronounced “the best of all”; but he added, that he “never had known
a constitution truly republican.”[335] With similar plainness he
announced that “the destruction of the Ottoman Empire would be a real
good for all the nations of Europe,” and he added, still further,
for humanity also, because it would involve the abolition of negro
slavery, and because “to despoil an oppressor is not to attack, but to
vindicate, the common rights of humanity.”[336] With such thoughts and
aspirations the prophet died.

But I have no purpose of writing a biography, or even a character. All
that I intend is an introduction to Turgot’s prophetic words. When only
twenty-three years of age, while still an ecclesiastic at the Sorbonne,
the future minister delivered a discourse on the Progress of the Human
Mind, in which, after describing the commercial triumphs of the
ancient Phœnicians, covering the coasts of Greece and Asia with their
colonies, he lets drop these remarkable words:--

    “Les colonies sont comme des fruits qui ne tiennent à l’arbre
    que jusqu’à leur maturité: devenues suffisantes à elles-mêmes,
    elles firent ce que fit depuis Carthage,--_ce que fera un jour

    “Colonies are like fruits, which hold to the tree only until
    their maturity: when sufficient for themselves, they did that
    which Carthage afterwards did,--_that which some day America
    will do_.”[337]

On this most suggestive declaration, Dupont de Nemours, the editor of
Turgot’s works in 1808, remarks in a note:--

    “It was in 1750 that M. Turgot, being then only twenty-three
    years old, and devoted in a seminary to the study of theology,
    divined, foresaw, the revolution which has formed the United
    States,--which has detached them from the European power
    apparently the most capable of retaining its colonies under its

At the time Turgot wrote, Canada was a French possession; but his words
are as applicable to this colony as to the United States. When will the
fruit be ripe?

       *       *       *       *       *

In contrast with this precise prediction, and yet in harmony with it,
are the words of Montesquieu, in his ingenious work, which saw the
light in 1748, two years before the discourse of Turgot. In the famous
chapter, “How the laws contribute to form the manners, customs, and
character of a nation,” we have a much-admired picture of “a free
nation” “inhabiting an island,” where, without naming England, it is
easy to recognize her greatness and glory. And here we meet a Delphic
passage, also without a name, pointing to the British Colonies:--

    “If this nation sent out colonies, it would do so more to
    extend its commerce than its dominion.

    “As people like to establish elsewhere what is found
    established at home, it would give to the people of its
    colonies its own form of government; and this government
    carrying with it prosperity, _we should see great peoples
    formed in the very forests which it should send to

The future greatness of the Colonies is insinuated rather than
foretold, and here the prophetic voice is silent. Nothing is said of
the impending separation, and the beginning of a new nation; so that,
plainly, Montesquieu saw our future less than Turgot.

       *       *       *       *       *

The youthful prophet did not lose his penetrating vision with years.
In the same spirit and with immense vigor he wrote to the English
philosopher, Josiah Tucker, September 12, 1770:--

    “As a citizen of the world, I see with joy the approach of
    an event which, more than all the books of the philosophers,
    will dissipate the phantom of commercial jealousy. _I speak
    of the separation of your colonies from the mother country_,
    It is then that the discovery of this part of the world will
    become truly useful to us. It is then that it will multiply our
    enjoyments much more abundantly than when we purchased them
    with torrents of blood. The English, the French, the Spaniards,
    etc., will use sugar, coffee, indigo, and will sell their
    products, precisely as the Swiss do to-day; and they will also,
    like the Swiss people, have the advantage, that this sugar,
    this coffee, this indigo will no longer serve as a pretext for
    intriguers to precipitate their nation into ruinous wars and to
    oppress them with taxes.”[339]

It is impossible not to feel in this passage the sure grasp of our
American destiny. How clearly and courageously he announces the
inevitable future! But the French philosopher-statesman again took the

This was in the discharge of his duties as minister of the Crown, and
in reply to a special application. His noble opinion is dated 6th
April, 1776. Its character appears in a few sentences:--

    “The present war will probably end in the absolute independence
    of the Colonies, and that event will certainly be _the epoch of
    the greatest revolution in the commerce and politics, not of
    England only, but of all Europe_.… When the English themselves
    shall recognize the independence of their colonies, _every
    mother country will be forced_ in like manner to exchange
    its dominion over its colonies for bonds of friendship and
    fraternity.… When _the total separation of America_ shall have
    cured the European nations of commercial jealousy, there will
    exist among men one great cause of war the less; and it is very
    difficult not to desire an event which is to accomplish this
    good for the human race.”[340]

His letter to the English Dr. Price, on the American Constitutions,
abounds in profound observations and in prophecy. It was written
just at the time when France openly joined against England in our
War of Independence, and is dated March 22, 1778, but did not see
the light until 1784, some years after the death of the author, when
it was published by Dr. Price.[341] Its criticism of the American
Constitutions aroused John Adams to his elaborate work in their

Of our Union before the adoption of the National Constitution he

    “In the general union of the provinces among themselves I do
    not see a coalition, a fusion of all the parts, making but one
    body, one and homogeneous. It is only an aggregation of parts
    always too much separated, and preserving always a tendency to
    division, by the diversity of their laws, their manners, their
    opinions,--by the inequality of their actual forces,--still
    more by the inequality of their ulterior progress. It is only
    a copy of the Dutch Republic: but this Republic had not to
    fear, as the American Republic has, the possible enlargement of
    some of its provinces. This whole edifice has been supported
    hitherto on the false basis of the very ancient and very
    vulgar policy: on the prejudice that nations and provinces, as
    bodies, can have interests other than that which individuals
    have to be free and to defend their property against brigands
    and conquerors; a pretended interest to carry on more commerce
    than others,--not to buy the merchandise of the foreigner, but
    to force the foreigner to consume their productions and their
    manufactures; a pretended interest to have a vaster territory,
    to acquire such or such a province, such or such an island,
    such or such a village; an interest to inspire fear in other
    nations; an interest to surpass them in the glory of arms, and
    in that of arts and sciences.”[343]

Among the evils to be overcome are, in the Southern Colonies, too
great an inequality of fortunes, and especially the large number of
black slaves, whose slavery is incompatible with a good political
constitution, and who, even when restored to liberty, will cause
embarrassment by forming two nations in the same State. In all the
Colonies he deprecates prejudice, attachment to established forms,
a habit of certain taxes, fear of those which it might be necessary
to substitute, the vanity of the Colonies who deem themselves most
powerful, and the wretched beginning of national pride. Happily he
adds: “I think the Americans destined to aggrandizement, not by war,
but by husbandry.”[344] And he then proceeds to his aspirations:--

    “It is impossible not to desire earnestly that this people may
    attain to all the prosperity of which they are capable. They
    are the hope of the human race. They can become its model. They
    are to prove to the world, by the fact, that men can be free
    and tranquil, and can dispense with the chains of all kinds
    which the tyrants and charlatans of every cloth have pretended
    to impose under the pretext of the public good. They are to
    give the example of political liberty, of religious liberty, of
    commercial and industrial liberty. The asylum which they open
    to all the oppressed of all nations is to console the earth.
    The facility thereby afforded for escape from a bad government
    will force the European governments to be just and enlightened.
    The rest of the world, little by little, will open their eyes
    to the nothingness of the illusions in which politicians have
    indulged. To this end it is necessary that America should guard
    against them, and should not again become, as your ministerial
    writers have so often repeated, an image of our Europe, _a mass
    of divided powers_, disputing about territory or commercial
    profits, and continually cementing the slavery of the peoples
    with their own blood.”[345]

After these admirable thoughts, so full of wisdom and prophecy, Turgot
alludes to the impending war between France and England:--

    “Our two nations are going to do each other reciprocally much
    evil, probably without either of them obtaining any real
    advantage. The increase of debts and charges and the ruin of a
    great many citizens will be, perhaps, the only result. England
    seems to me even nearer to this than France. If instead of
    this war you had been able to yield with good grace from the
    first moment,--if it had been given to policy to do in advance
    what infallibly it will be forced to do later,--if national
    opinion could have permitted your Government to anticipate
    events,--and, supposing that it had foreseen them, it had
    been able to consent at once to the independence of America
    without making war on anybody,--I firmly believe that your
    nation would have lost nothing by this change. It will lose now
    what it has already expended, and what it shall yet expend.
    It will experience for some time a great falling off in its
    commerce, great domestic disturbances, if it is forced to
    bankruptcy, and, whatever may happen, a great diminution of
    political influence abroad. But this last matter is of very
    small importance to the real welfare of a people; and I am not
    at all of the opinion of the Abbé Raynal in your motto.[346] I
    do not believe that this will make you a contemptible nation,
    and throw you into slavery. On the contrary, your troubles
    will perhaps have the effect of a necessary amputation; they
    are perhaps the only means of saving you from the gangrene
    of luxury and corruption. If in your agitations you could
    correct your Constitution by rendering the elections annual,
    by apportioning the right of representation in a manner
    more equal and more proportioned to the interests of those
    represented, you would gain from this revolution as much,
    perhaps, as America; for your liberty would remain to you, and
    with this and by this your other losses would be very speedily

Reading such words, the heart throbs and the pulse beats. Government
inspired by such a spirit would become divine, nations would live at
peace together, and people everywhere be happy.

HORACE WALPOLE, 1754, 1774, 1777, 1779.

Most unlike Turgot in character, but with something of the same spirit
of prophecy, and associated in time, was Horace Walpole, youngest son
of England’s remarkable Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. With the
former, life was serious always, and human improvement the perpetual
passion; with the latter, there was a constant desire for amusement,
and the world was little more than a curious gimcrack.

Horace Walpole was born 5th October, 1717, and died 2d March,
1797, being at his death Earl of Orford. According to his birth he
was a man of fashion; for a time a member of Parliament; a man of
letters always. To his various talents he added an aggregation of
miscellaneous tastes, of which his house at Strawberry Hill was an
illustration,--being an elegant “Old Curiosity Shop,” with pictures,
books, manuscripts, prints, armor, china, historic relics, and art in
all its forms, which he had collected at no small outlay of time and
money. Though aristocratic in life, he boasted that his principles were
not monarchical. On the two sides of his bed were hung engravings of
Magna Charta and the Sentence of Charles the First, the latter with the
inscription “_Major_ Charta.” Sleeping between two such memorials, he
might be suspected of sympathy with America, although the aristocrat
was never absent. His Memoirs, Journals, Anecdotes of Painting in
England, and other works, are less famous than his multifarious
correspondence, which is the best in English literature, and, according
to French judgment, nearer than any other in our language to that of
Madame de Sévigné, whom he never wearied in praising. It is free, easy,
gossipy, historic, and spicy.

But I deal with him now only as a prophet. And I begin with his
“Memoires of the last Ten Years of the Reign of George the Second,”
where we find the record that the Colonists were seeking independence.
This occurs in his description of the Duke of Newcastle as Secretary
of State for the Colonies, during the long Walpole administration.
Illustrating what he calls the Duke’s “mercurial inattention,” he
says: “It would not be credited what reams of papers, representations,
memorials, petitions from that quarter of the world [the Colonies], lay
mouldering and unopened in his office”; and then, showing the Duke’s
ignorance, he narrates how, when it was hinted that there should be
some defence for Annapolis, he replied, with evasive, lisping hurry:
“Annapolis, Annapolis! Oh, yes, Annapolis must be defended,--to be
sure, Annapolis should be defended;--where is Annapolis?” But this
negligence did not prevent him from exalting the prerogative of the
Crown; and here the author says:--

    “The instructions to Sir Danvers Osborn, a new governor of
    New York, seemed better calculated for the latitude of Mexico
    and for a Spanish tribunal than for a free, rich British
    settlement, and in such opulence and of such haughtiness that
    _suspicions had long been conceived of their meditating to
    throw off their dependence on their mother country_.”[348]

This stands in the “Memoires” under the date of 1754, and the editor
in a note observes, “If, as the author asserts, this was written at
the time, it is a very remarkable passage.” By direction of the author
the book was “to be kept unopened and unsealed” until a certain person
named should attain the age of twenty-five years. It was published in
1822. Perhaps the honesty of this entry will be better appreciated,
when it is noted, that, only a few pages later, Washington, whom the
author afterwards admired, is spoken of as “this brave braggart” who
“learned to blush for his rodomontade.”[349]

As the difficulties with the Colonies increased, he became more
sympathetic and prophetic. In a letter to Sir Horace Mann, 2d February,
1774, he wrote:--

    “We have no news, public or private; but there is an
    ostrich-egg laid in America, where the Bostonians have canted
    three hundred chests of tea into the ocean; for they will
    not drink tea with our Parliament.… Lord Chatham talked of
    conquering America in Germany. _I believe England will be
    conquered some day or other in New England or Bengal._”[350]

In May, 1774, his sympathies again appear:--

    “Nothing was more shocking than the King’s laughing and saying
    at his levee that _he had as lief fight the Bostonians as the
    French_. It was only to be paralleled by James the Second
    sporting on Jeffreys’s ‘campaign in the West.’”[351]

And under date of 28th May, 1775, we have his record of the encounter
at Lexington, with the reflection:--

    “Thus was the civil war begun, and a victory the first fruits
    of it on the side of the Americans, whom Lord Sandwich had had
    the folly and rashness to proclaim cowards.”[352]

His letters to the Countess of Ossory, written during the war, show his
irrepressible sentiments. Thus, under date of 9th November, 1775:--

    “I think this country undone almost beyond redemption. Victory
    in any war but a civil one fascinates mankind with a vision of
    glory. What should we gain by triumph itself? Would America
    laid waste, deluged with blood, plundered, enslaved, replace
    America flourishing, rich, and free? Do we want to reign over
    it, as the Spaniards over Peru, depopulated? Are desolate
    regions preferable to commercial cities?”[353]

Then under date of 6th July, 1777:--

    “My humble opinion is, that we shall never recover America,
    and that France will take care that we shall never recover

“Friday night, late,” 5th December, 1777, he breaks forth:--

    “Send for Lord Chatham! They had better send for General
    Washington, Madam,--or at least for our troops back.… No,
    Madam, we do not want ministers that would protract our
    difficulties. I look on them but as beginning now, and am
    far from thinking that there is any man or set of men able
    enough to extricate us. _I own there are very able Englishmen
    left, but they happen to be on t’other side of the Atlantic._
    If his Majesty hopes to find them here, I doubt he will be

“Thursday night,” 11th December, 1777, his feelings overflow in no
common language:--

    “Was ever proud, insolent nation sunk so low? Burke and Charles
    Fox told him [Lord North] the Administration thought of nothing
    but keeping their places; and so they will, and the members
    their pensions, and the nation its infamy. Were I Franklin, I
    would order the Cabinet Council to come to me at Paris with
    ropes about their necks, and then kick them back to St. James’s.

    “Well, Madam, as I told Lord Ossory t’other day, I am
    satisfied: _Old England is safe,--that is, America, whither the
    true English retired under Charles the First_: this is Nova
    Scotia, and I care not what becomes of it.… Adieu, Madam! I am
    at last not sorry you have no son; and your daughters, I hope,
    will be married to Americans, and not in this dirty, despicable

All this is elevated by his letter of 17th February, 1779, where he

    “Liberty has still a continent to exist in. I do not care a
    straw who is Minister in this abandoned country. It is _the
    good old cause of Freedom_ that I have at heart.”[357]

Thus with constancy, where original principle was doubtless quickened
by party animosity, did Horace Walpole maintain the American cause and
predict a new home for Liberty.

JOHN ADAMS, 1755, 1765, 1776, 1780, 1785, 1787, 1813, 1818.

Next in time among the prophets was John Adams, who has left on record
at different dates predictions showing a second-sight of no common
order. Of his life I need say nothing, except that he was born 19th
October, 1735, and died 4th July, 1826. I mention the predictions in
the order of utterance.

       *       *       *       *       *

1. While teaching a school at Worcester, and when under twenty years of
age, he wrote a letter to one of his youthful companions, bearing date
12th October, 1755, which is a marvel of foresight. Fifty-two years
afterwards, when already much of its prophecy had been fulfilled, the
original was returned to its author by the son of his early comrade and
correspondent, Nathan Webb, who was at the time dead. After remarking
gravely on the rise and fall of nations, with illustrations from
Carthage and Rome, he proceeds:--

    “England began to increase in power and magnificence, and
    is now the greatest nation upon the globe. Soon after the
    Reformation, a few people came over into this New World for
    conscience’ sake. Perhaps this apparently trivial incident _may
    transfer the great seat of empire into America_. _It looks
    likely to me_: for, if we can remove the turbulent Gallics, our
    people, according to the exactest computations, will in another
    century become more numerous than England itself. Should this
    be the case, since we have, I may say, all the naval stores of
    the nations in our hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery
    of the seas; and then the united force of all Europe will not
    be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up
    for ourselves is to disunite us. _Divide et impera._ Keep us
    in distinct colonies, and then some great men in each colony
    desiring the monarchy of the whole, they will destroy each
    other’s influence, and keep the country _in equilibrio_.[358]

On this his son, John Quincy Adams, famous for important service and
high office, remarks:--

    “Had the political part of it been written by the minister
    of state of a European monarchy, at the close of a long
    life spent in the government of nations, it would have been
    pronounced worthy of the united penetration and experience of a
    Burleigh, a Sully, or an Oxenstiern.… _In one bold outline he
    has exhibited by anticipation a long succession of prophetic
    history, the fulfilment of which is barely yet in progress,
    responding exactly hitherto to his foresight_, but the full
    accomplishment of which is reserved for the development
    of after ages. The extinction of the power of France in
    America, the union of the British North American Colonies,
    the achievement of their independence, and the establishment
    of their ascendency in the community of civilized nations by
    the means of their naval power, are all foreshadowed in this
    letter, with a clearness of perception and a distinctness of
    delineation which time has hitherto done little more than to
    convert into historical fact.”[359]

       *       *       *       *       *

2. Another beautiful instance followed ten years later. In the
beginning of 1765, Jeremy Gridley, the eminent lawyer of Colonial days,
formed a law club, or Sodality, at Boston, for the mutual improvement
of its members. Here John Adams produced the original sketch of his
“Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law,” which appeared in the
“Boston Gazette” of August, 1765, was immediately and repeatedly
reprinted in London, and afterwards in Philadelphia.[360] The sketch

    “This Sodality has given rise to the following speculation of
    my own, which I commit to writing as hints for future inquiries
    rather than as a satisfactory theory.”[361]

In this Dissertation, the writer dwells especially upon the settlers of
British America, of whom he says:--

    “After their arrival here, they began their settlement, and
    formed their plan, both of ecclesiastical and civil government,
    in direct opposition to the canon and the feudal systems.”[362]

This excellent statement was followed, in the original sketch
communicated to the Sodality, by this passage, which does not appear in
the printed Dissertation:--

    “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence
    and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in
    Providence for the illumination of the ignorant and the
    emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the

On these prophetic words, his son, John Quincy Adams, remarks:--

    “This sentence was perhaps omitted from an impression that
    it might be thought to savor not merely of enthusiasm, but
    of extravagance. Who now would deny that this magnificent
    anticipation has been already to a great degree realized? Who
    does not now see that the accomplishment of this great object
    is already placed beyond all possibility of failure?”[364]

His grandson, Charles Francis Adams, alluding to the changes which took
place in the original sketch, says:--

    “As not infrequently happens, however, in this process, one
    strong passage was lost by it, which at this time must be
    regarded as the most deserving of any to be remembered.”[365]

Thus again, at an early day, did this prophet discern the future. How
true it is that the mission of this Republic is “the illumination
of the ignorant,” and, still further, “the emancipation of the
slavish part of mankind all over the earth”! Universal enlightenment
and universal emancipation! And the first great stage was National

       *       *       *       *       *

3. The Declaration of Independence bears date 4th July, 1776, for on
that day it was signed; but the vote which determined it was on the 2d
July. On the 3d July, John Adams, in a letter to his wife, wrote:--

    “Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was
    debated in America; and a greater, perhaps, never was nor
    will be decided among men.… I am surprised at the suddenness
    as well as greatness of this revolution. Britain has been
    filled with folly, and America with wisdom. At least this is
    my judgment. Time must determine. _It is the will of Heaven
    that the two countries should be sundered forever.…_ The day
    is passed. The second day of July, 1776, will be the most
    memorable epocha in the history of America. _I am apt to
    believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as
    the great anniversary festival._ It ought to be commemorated,
    as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God
    Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with
    shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations,
    from one end of this continent to the other, from this time
    forward, forevermore. You will think me transported with
    enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood
    and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration,
    and support and defend these States. _Yet, through all the
    gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I
    can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and
    that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction_, even
    although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall

Here is a comprehensive prophecy, first, that the two countries would
be separated forever; secondly, that the anniversary of Independence
would be celebrated as a great annual festival; and, thirdly, that
posterity would triumph in this transaction, where, through all the
gloom, shone rays of ravishing light and glory: all of which has
been fulfilled to the letter. Recent events give to the Declaration
additional importance. For a long time its great premises, that all men
are equal, and that rightful government stands only on the consent of
the governed, were disowned by our country. Now that at last they are
beginning to prevail, there is increased reason to celebrate the day
on which the mighty Declaration was made, and new occasion for triumph
in the rays of ravishing light and glory.

       *       *       *       *       *

4. Here is another prophetic passage, in a letter dated at Paris, 13th
July, 1780, and addressed to the Comte de Vergennes of France, pleading
the cause of the Colonists:--

    “The United States of America are a great and powerful people,
    whatever European statesmen may think of them. If we take into
    our estimate the numbers and the character of her people, the
    extent, variety, and fertility of her soil, her commerce, and
    her skill and materials for ship-building, and her seamen,
    excepting France, Spain, England, Germany, and Russia, there is
    not a state in Europe so powerful. Breaking off such a nation
    as this from the English so suddenly, and uniting it so closely
    with France, is one of the most extraordinary events that ever
    happened among mankind.”[367]

Perhaps this may be considered statement rather than prophecy; but it
illustrates the prophetic character of the writer.

       *       *       *       *       *

5. While at Amsterdam, in 1780, Mr. Adams met a gentleman whom he calls
“the giant of the law,” Mr. Calkoen. After an unsatisfactory attempt
at conversation, where neither spoke the language of the other, it
was arranged that the latter should propound a series of questions in
writing, which the American minister undertook to answer. The questions
were in Dutch, the answers in English. Among the questions was this:
“Whether America in and of itself, by means of purchasing or exchanging
the productions of the several provinces, would be able to continue
the war for six, eight, or ten years, even if they were entirely
deprived of the trade with Europe, or their allies, exhausted by the
war and forced to make a separate peace, were to leave them?” To this
question our prophet replied:--

    “This is an extreme case.… Why, then, should we put cases that
    we know can never happen? However, I can inform you that the
    case was often put before this war broke out; and I have heard
    the common farmers in America reasoning upon these cases seven
    years ago. I have heard them say, if Great Britain could build
    a wall of brass a thousand feet high all along the sea-coast,
    at low-water mark, we can live and be happy. _America is most
    undoubtedly capable of being the most independent country upon
    earth._ It produces everything for the necessity, comfort, and
    conveniency of life, and many of the luxuries too. So that, if
    there were an eternal separation between Europe and America,
    the inhabitants of America would not only live, but multiply,
    and, for what I know, be wiser, better, and happier than they
    will be as it is.”[368]

Here is an assertion of conditions essential to independence of
“the most independent country upon earth,” with a promise that the
inhabitants will multiply.

       *       *       *       *       *

6. In an official letter to the President of Congress, dated at
Amsterdam, 5th September, 1780, the same writer, while proposing an
American Academy “for refining, correcting, improving, and ascertaining
the English language,” predicts the extension of this language:--

    “_English is destined to be in the next and succeeding
    centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin
    was in the last or French is in the present age._ The reason of
    this is obvious,--because the increasing population in America,
    and their universal connection and correspondence with all
    nations, will, aided by the influence of England in the world,
    whether great or small, force their language into general use,
    in spite of all the obstacles that may be thrown in their way,
    if any such there should be.”[369]

In another letter, of unofficial character, dated at Amsterdam, 23d
September, 1780, he thus repeats his prophecy:--

    “You must know _I have undertaken to prophesy that English will
    be the most respectable language in the world; and the most
    universally read and spoken, in the next century, if not before
    the close of this_. American population will in the next age
    produce a greater number of persons who will speak English than
    any other language, and these persons will have more general
    acquaintance and conversation with all other nations than any
    other people.”[370]

David Hume, in a letter to Gibbon, 24th October, 1767, had already

    “Our solid and increasing establishments in America, where
    we need less dread the inundation of Barbarians, _promise a
    superior stability and duration to the English language_.”[371]

But these more moderate words, which did credit to the discernment of
the philosopher-historian, were then unpublished.

The prophecy of John Adams is already accomplished. Of all the European
languages, English is most extensively spoken. Through England and the
United States it has become the language of commerce, which sooner
or later must embrace the globe. The German philologist, Grimm, has
followed our American prophet in saying that it “seems chosen, like its
people, to rule in future times in a still greater degree in all the
corners of the earth.”[372]

       *       *       *       *       *

7. Another field was opened by a European correspondent, John Luzac,
who writes from Leyden, under date of 14th September, 1780, that,
in pleading the cause of American Independence, he has twenty times
encountered, from sensible and educated people, an objection which he
sets forth as follows:--

    “Yes, but if America becomes free, she will some day give the
    law to Europe. She will take our islands, and our colonies
    at Guiana; she will seize all the Antilles; she will absorb
    Mexico, even Peru, Chili, and Brazil; she will carry off
    our freighting commerce; she will pay her benefactors with

To this Mr. Adams replied, in a letter from Amsterdam, 15th September,

    “I have met often in Europe with the same species of reasoners
    that you describe; but I find they are not numerous. Among
    men of reflection the sentiment is generally different, and
    that no power in Europe has anything to fear from America.
    The principal interest of America for many centuries to
    come will be landed, and her chief occupation agriculture.
    Manufactures and commerce will be but secondary objects, and
    always subservient to the other. America will be the country
    to produce raw materials for manufactures, but Europe will be
    the country of manufactures; and the commerce of America can
    never increase but in a certain proportion to the growth of its
    agriculture, until its whole territory of land is filled up
    with inhabitants, which will not be in some hundreds of years.”

After referring to tar, iron, and timber as American articles, he

    “In fact, the Atlantic is so long and difficult a navigation,
    that the Americans will never be able to afford to carry to the
    European market great quantities of these articles.”

If the prophet fails here, he is none the less wise in the suggestion
with which he closes:--

    “If Europe cannot prevent, or rather if any particular nations
    of Europe cannot prevent, the independence of America, then
    the sooner her independence is acknowledged, the better,--the
    less likely she will be to become warlike, enterprising, and
    ambitious. The truth is, however, that America can never unite
    in any war but a defensive one.”[374]

Had the prophet foreseen the increasing facilities of commerce, the
triumphs of steam, the floating masses of transportation, the wonders
of navigation, quickened and guided by the telegraph, and to these had
he added the diversified industry of the country, extending, expanding,
and prevailing, his remarkable vision, which already saw so much, would
have viewed other glories in assured certainty.

       *       *       *       *       *

8. There is another prophecy, at once definite and broad, from the
same eminent quarter. In a letter dated London, 17th October, 1785, and
addressed to John Jay, at the time Secretary for Foreign Affairs under
the Confederation, John Adams reveals his conviction of the importance
of France to us, “while England held a province in America”;[375]
and then, in another letter, dated 21st October, 1785, reports the
saying of people about him, “_that Canada and Nova Scotia must soon be
ours_; there must be a war for it,--they know how it will end,--but
the sooner, the better; this done, we shall be forever at peace,--till
then, never.”[376] These intimations foreshadow the prophecy found in
the Preface to his “Defence of the American Constitutions,” written in
London, while minister there, and dated Grosvenor Square, 1st January,

    “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the
    first example of governments erected on the simple principles
    of Nature.… Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural
    authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or
    mystery, and _which are destined to spread over the northern
    part of that whole quarter of the globe_, are a great point
    gained in favor of the rights of mankind. The experiment is
    made, and has completely succeeded.”[377]

Here is foretold nothing less than that our system of government is to
embrace the whole continent of North America.

       *       *       *       *       *

9. This series may be concluded by other words, general in character,
but deeply prophetic, showing a constant sense of the unfolding
grandeur and influence of the Republic.

The first is from the concluding chapter of the work last cited, and in
harmony with the Preface:--

    “A prospect into futurity in America is like contemplating the
    heavens through the telescopes of Herschel. Objects stupendous
    in their magnitudes and motions strike us from all quarters,
    and fill us with amazement.”[378]

Thus, also, he writes to Thomas Jefferson, November 15, 1813:--

    “Many hundred years must roll away before we shall be
    corrupted. _Our pure, virtuous, public-spirited, federative
    Republic will last forever, govern the globe, and introduce the
    perfection of man._”[379]

Then, again, in a letter to Hezekiah Niles, 13th February, 1818:--

    “The American Revolution was not a common event. Its effects
    and consequences have already been awful over a great part of
    the globe. _And when and where are they to cease?_”[380]

The prophetic spirit which filled the “visions” of youth continued
in the “dreams” of age. Especially was he constant in foreseeing the
widening reach of the great Revolution he had helped at its beginning;
and this arrested the attention of his eloquent eulogist at Faneuil


If I enter the name of the Marquis de Montcalm on this list, it is
because prophetic words have been attributed to him which at different
periods have attracted no small attention. He was born near Nismes, in
France, 1712, and died at Quebec, 14th September, 1759, being at the
time commander of the French forces in Canada. As a soldier he was the
peer of his opponent, Wolfe, who perished in the same battle, and they
have since enjoyed a common fame.

In 1777, amidst the heats of our Revolutionary contest, a publication
was put forth by Almon, the pamphleteer, in French and English on
opposite pages, entitled “Letters from the Marquis de Montcalm,
Governor-General of Canada, to Messrs. De Berryer and De la Molé, in
the Years 1757, 1758, and 1759,” and the soldier reappeared as prophet.

The first letter is addressed to M. de Berryer, First Commissioner of
the Marine of France, and purports to be dated at Montreal, 4th April,
1757. It contains the copy of an elaborate communication from “S.
J.” of Boston, proposing a scheme for undermining the power of Great
Britain in the Colonies by free trade with France through Canada, and
predicting that “all our colonies in less than ten years will catch
fire.”[382] In transmitting this letter Montcalm did little more than
indorse its sentiments; but in his second letter to the same person,
dated at Montreal, 1st October, 1758, he says:--

    “All these informations, which I every day receive, confirm me
    in my opinion that _England will one day lose her colonies on
    the continent of America_; and if Canada should then be in the
    hands of an able governor who understands his business, he will
    have a thousand opportunities of hastening the event: this is
    the only advantage we can reap for all it has cost us.”[383]

In the third letter, addressed to M. Molé, First President of the
Parliament of Paris, and dated at the camp before Quebec, 24th August,
1759, on the eve of the fatal battle in which both commanders fell,
Montcalm mounts the tripod:--

    “They are in a condition to give us battle, which I must not
    refuse, and which I cannot hope to gain.… The event must
    decide. But of one thing be certain, that I probably shall not
    survive the loss of the Colony.[384] … I shall at least console
    myself on my defeat, and on the loss of the Colony, by the
    full persuasion that this defeat will one day serve my country
    more than a victory, and that the conqueror, in aggrandizing
    himself, will find his tomb the country he gains from us.[385]…
    All the English Colonies would long since have shaken off the
    yoke, each province would have formed itself into a little
    independent republic, if the fear of seeing the French at their
    door had not been a check upon them.[386]… Canada, once taken
    by the English, would in a few years suffer much from being
    forced to be English.… They would soon be of no use to England,
    and perhaps they would oppose her.”[387]

At once, on their appearance, these letters played an important part
in the “high life” of politics. The “Monthly Review”[388] called them
“genuine.” The “Gentleman’s Magazine”[389] said that “the sagacity of
this accomplished general was equal to his bravery,” and quoted what
it characterized as a “remarkable prediction.” In the House of Lords,
30th May, 1777, during a debate begun by Lord Chatham, and flashing
with great names, Lord Shelburne said that they “had been discovered to
be a forgery”;[390] but Lord Mansfield, the illustrious Chief Justice,
relied upon the letters, “which he insisted were not spurious.”[391]
In another important debate in the House of Lords, 5th March, 1778,
Earl Temple observed that “the authenticity of those letters had been
often disputed; but he could affirm that he saw them in manuscript,
among the papers of a minister now deceased, long before they made
their appearance in print, and at a time when American independency
was in the contemplation of a very few persons indeed.”[392] Such was
the contemporary testimony; but the pamphlet shared the fate of the
numerous brood engendered by the war.

Oblivion seemed to have settled on these letters, when their
republication at Gibraltar, as late as 1858, by an author who treated
them as genuine,[393] attracted the attention of Thomas Carlyle, who
proceeded to make them famous again, by introducing them as an episode
in his Life of Frederick, sometimes called “the Great.” Montcalm
appears once more as prophet, and the readers of the career of the
Prussian monarch turn with wonder to the inspired Frenchman, with “his
power of faithful observation, his sagacity and talent of prophecy, so
considerable.”[394] Then, quoting a portion of the last letter, the
great author exclaims at different points: “Prediction first”; “This is
a curiously exact prediction”; “Prediction second, which is still more

If the letter quoted by Carlyle were genuine, as he accepted it,
(also as it was evidently accepted by Lord John Russell,)[396] and
as the family of Montcalm seem to believe, it would indicate for the
soldier all that was claimed by his descendant, when, after speaking
of his “political foresight,” he added that it “was proved by one
of his letters, in which he made a remarkable prophecy concerning
the American Revolution.”[397] Certainly,--if the letter is not an
invention; but such is the present impression. On the half-title of
the original pamphlet, in the Library of Harvard University, Sparks,
whose judgment is of great weight, has written: “The letters are
unquestionably spurious.” Others unite with him. It is impossible to
read the papers in the “Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical
Society,” already quoted, and the pungent note of Henry Stevens, in his
“Bibliotheca Historica,” under the title of the much-debated pamphlet,
without feeling, that, whatever may have been the merits of Montcalm
as a soldier, his title as a prophet cannot be accepted. His name is
introduced here that I may not omit an instance which has attracted
attention in more than one generation.

DUC DE CHOISEUL, 1767, 1768.

Another Frenchman in this far-sighted list was the Comte de Stainville,
afterwards Duc de Choiseul, born 28th June, 1719, and died 8th May,
1785. His brilliant career as diplomatist and statesman was preceded
by a career of arms with rapid promotion, so that at the age of forty
he became lieutenant-general. Meanwhile he was ambassador at Rome and
then at Vienna, the two pinnacles of diplomatic life. In 1758 he became
Minister of Foreign Affairs, also duke and peer; then Minister of War,
and of the Marine; but in 1766 he resumed the Foreign Office, which
he held till 1770, when he was disgraced. The King could not pardon
the contempt with which, although happy in the smiles of Madame de
Pompadour, the Prime-Minister rejected the advances of her successor,
the ignoble Du Barry; and he was exiled from court to live in his
château of Chanteloup, in the valley of the Loire, where, dispensing a
magnificent hospitality, he was consoled by a loving wife and devoted

He had charm of manner rather than person, with a genius for
statesmanship recognized and commemorated in contemporary writings.
Madame du Deffant speaks of him often in her correspondence, and
depicts him in her circle when Franklin was first presented there.
Horace Walpole returns to him in letters and in his memoirs,
attributing to him “great parts,” calling him “very daring, dashing,
and whose good-nature would not have checked his ambition from doing
any splendid mischief.”[398] The Abbé Barthélemy, in his “Travels of
Anacharsis,” portrays him under the character of Arsame. Frederick of
Prussia, so often called the Great, hailed him “Coachman of Europe.”
And our own historian Bancroft, following Chatham, does not hesitate
to call him “the greatest minister of France since Richelieu.”

The two volumes of Memoirs purporting to be written by himself, and
printed under his eyes in his cabinet in 1778, were accidental pieces,
written, but never collected by him, nor intended as memoirs.[399]
In the French treasure-house of these productions they are of little
value, if not unworthy of his fame.

Besides a brilliant and famous administration of affairs, are several
acts not to be forgotten. At Rome his skill was shown in bringing
Benedict the Fourteenth to a common understanding on the bull
_Unigenitus_. Through him in 1764 the Jesuits were suppressed in
France, or were permitted only on condition of fusing with the secular
clergy. But nothing in his career was more memorable than his foresight
and courage with regard to the English Colonies. American Independence
was foreseen and helped by him.

The Memoirs of Choiseul have little of the elevation recognized in his
statesmanship, nor are they anywhere prophetic. Elsewhere his better
genius was manifest, especially in his diplomacy. This was recognized
by Talleyrand, who, in a paper on the “Advantages to be derived from
New Colonies,” read before the Institute toward the close of the last
century, characterized him as “one of the men of our age who had the
most forecast of mind,--_who already in 1769 foresaw the separation
of America from England_, and feared the partition of Poland”; and he
adds that “from this epoch he sought to prepare by negotiations the
cession of Egypt to France, that on the day our American colonies
should escape from us, he might be ready to replace them with the same
productions and a more extended commerce.”[400]

Bancroft, whose work shows unprecedented access to original documents,
recognizes the prevision of the French minister at an earlier
date, as attested by the archives of the French Foreign Office.
In 1766 he received the report of a special agent who had visited
America. In 1767 he sent Baron de Kalb, afterwards an officer in our
Revolution,--sparing no means to obtain information, and drawing even
from New England sermons, of which curious extracts are preserved
among the State Papers of France.[401] In August of this year, writing
to his plenipotentiary at London, the Minister says with regard to
England and her Colonies: “Let her but attempt to establish taxes in
them, and those countries, greater than England in extent, and perhaps
becoming more populous, having fisheries, forests, shipping, corn,
iron, and the like, will easily and fearlessly separate themselves
from the mother country.”[402] In the next year Du Châtelet, son
of her who was the companion of Voltaire and the French translator
of Newton, becomes his most sympathetic representative. To him the
Minister wrote, 15th July, 1768: “According to the prognostications of
sensible men, who have had opportunity to study the character of the
Americans, and to measure their progress from day to day in the spirit
of independence, this separation of the American Colonies from the
metropolis sooner or later must come.… I see all these difficulties,
and do not dissemble their extent; but I see also the controlling
interest of the Americans to profit by the opportunity of a rupture
to establish their independence.”[403] Again he wrote, 22d November,
1768: “The Americans will not lose out of their view their rights and
their privileges; and next to fanaticism for religion, the fanaticism
for liberty is the most daring in its measures and the most dangerous
in its consequences.”[404] That the plenipotentiary was not less
prompt in forecast appears in a letter of 9th November, 1768: “Without
exaggerating the projects or the union of the Colonies, the time of
their independence is very near.… Three years ago the separation of
the English Colonies was looked upon as an object of attention for the
next generation; the germs were observed, but no one could foresee that
they would be so speedily developed. This new order of things, this
event which will necessarily have the greatest influence on the whole
political system of Europe, will probably be brought about within a
very few years.”[405] The Minister replied, 20th December, 1768: “Your
views are as subtle as they are comprehensive and well-considered. The
King is perfectly aware of their sagacity and solidity, and I will
communicate them to the Court of Madrid.”[406]

These passages show a persistency of view, which became the foundation
of French policy; so that the Duke was not merely a prophet, but a
practical statesman, guided by remarkable foresight. He lived long
enough to witness the National Independence he had foretold, and to
meet Franklin at Paris, while saved from witnessing the overthrow of
the monarchy he had served, and the bloody harvest of the executioner,
where a beloved sister was among the victims.

ABBÉ RAYNAL, 1770-1780.

Guillaume Thomas François Raynal, of France, was born 11th March, 1711,
and died 6th March, 1796, thus spanning, with his long life, from the
failing years of Louis the Fourteenth to the Reign of Terror, and
embracing the prolonged period of intellectual activity which prepared
the Revolution. Among contemporary “philosophers” his place was
considerable. But he was a philosopher with a cross of the adventurer
and charlatan.

Beginning as Jesuit and as priest, he somewhat tardily escaped the
constraints of the latter to employ the education of the former in
literary enterprise. A long list of acknowledged works attests the
activity of his pen, while others were attributed to him. With these
avocations, yielding money, mingled jobbing and speculation, where even
the slave-trade, afterwards furiously condemned, became a minister of
fortune. In the bright and audacious circles of Paris, especially with
Diderot and D’Holbach, he found society. The remarkable fame which he
reached during life has ceased, and his voluminous writings slumber
in oblivion, except, perhaps, a single one, which for a while played
a great part, and by its prophetic spirit vindicates a place in our
American gallery.

Only the superficial character of this work appears in its
title,--“Philosophical and Political History of the Establishments and
of the Commerce of the Europeans in the two Indies,”[407] being in six
volumes. It was a frame for pictures and declamations, where freedom of
thought was practically illustrated. Therefore it was published without
the name of the author, and at Amsterdam. This was as early as 1770.
Edition followed edition. The “Biographie Universelle” reports more
than twenty regular and nearly fifty pirated. At least twelve editions
of an English translation saw the light. It was translated, abridged,
and reprinted in nearly all the languages of Europe. The subject was
interesting at the time, but the peculiar treatment and the open
assault upon existing order gave the work zest and popularity. Though
often vicious in style, it was above the author in force and character,
so that it was easy to believe that important parts were contributed
by others. Diderot, who passed his life in helping others, is said
to have supplied nearly a third of the whole. The work at last drew
down untimely vengeance. Inspired by its signal success, the author,
in 1780, after the lapse of a decade, put forth an enlarged edition,
with frontispiece and portrait, the whole reinforced with insertions
and additions, where Christianity and even the existence of a God
were treated with the license already applied to other things. The
Parliament of Paris, by a decree dated May 21, 1781, handed the work to
the public executioner to be burned, and condemned the author in person
and goods. Several years of exile followed.

The Revolution in France found the Abbé Raynal mellowed by time,
and with his sustaining philosophers all dead. Declining active
participation in the great conflict, he reappeared at last, so far
as to address the President of the National Assembly a letter, where
he pleaded for moderation and an active government. The ancient
assailant of kings now called for “the tutelary protection of the royal
authority.” The early _cant_ was exchanged for _recant_.

The concluding book of the enlarged edition of his famous work contains
a chapter entitled “Reflections upon the Good and the Evil which the
Discovery of America has done to Europe.”[408] A question of similar
import, “Has the Discovery of America been hurtful or useful to the
Human Race?” he presented as the subject for a prize of twelve hundred
livres, to be awarded by the Academy of Lyons. Such a question reveals
a strange confusion, inconsistent with all our prophetic voices, but
to be pardoned at a time when the course of civilization was so little
understood, and Buffon had announced, as the conclusion of science,
that the animal creation degenerated on the American Continent. In his
admirable answer to the great naturalist, Jefferson repels with spirit
the allegation of the Abbé Raynal that “America has not yet produced
one good poet, one able mathematician, one man of genius in a single
art or science.”[409] But he does not seem aware that the author in
his edition of 1780 had already beaten a retreat from his original
position.[410] This is more noteworthy as the edition appeared before
the criticism.

It was after portraying the actual condition of the English Colonies
in colors which aroused the protest of Jefferson that the French
philosopher surrendered to a vision of the future. In reply to doubts,
he invokes time, civilization, education, and breaks forth:--

    “Perhaps then it will be seen that America is favorable to
    genius, to the creative arts of peace and of society. A new
    Olympus, an Arcadia, an Athens, a new Greece, on the Continent,
    or in the archipelago which surrounds it, will give birth,
    perhaps, to Homers, Theocrituses, and, above all, Anacreons.
    Perhaps another Newton will rise in the new Britain. It is from
    English America, no doubt, that the first ray of the sciences
    will shoot forth, if they are to appear at last under a sky so
    long clouded. By a singular contrast with the ancient world,
    where the arts passed from the South toward the North, in the
    new we shall see the North enlighten the South. Let the English
    clear the land, purify the air, change the climate, meliorate
    Nature; _a new universe will issue from their hands for the
    glory and happiness of humanity_.”[411]

Then, speculating on the dissensions prevailing between the Colonies
and the mother country, he announces separation, but without advantage
to the European rivals of England:--

    “Break the knot which binds the ancient Britain to the new;
    soon the Northern Colonies will have more strength alone than
    they possessed in their union with the mother country. That
    great continent, set free from all compact with Europe, will
    be unhampered in all its movements.… The colonies of our
    absolute monarchies, … following the example of the English
    colonies, will break the chain which binds them shamefully to

The New World opens before the prophet:--

    “So everything conspires to the great dismemberment, of which
    it is not given to foresee the moment. Everything tends to
    that,--both the progress of good in the new hemisphere, and the
    progress of evil in the old.

    “Alas! the sudden and rapid decline of our morals and our
    strength, the crimes of kings and the woes of peoples, will
    render even universal that fatal catastrophe which is to
    detach one world from the other. The mine is prepared beneath
    the foundations of our rocking empires.… In proportion as our
    peoples are growing weak and all succumbing one to another,
    population and agriculture are increasing in America. The
    arts transported by our care will quickly spring up there.
    That country, risen from nothing, burns to figure in its turn
    upon the face of the globe and in the history of the world. O
    posterity! thou wilt be more happy, perhaps, than thy sad and
    contemptible ancestors!”[413]

The edition of 1780 exhibits his sympathies with the Colonies. In
considering the policy of the House of Bourbon, he recognizes the
grasp of the pending revolution. “The United States,” he says, “have
shown openly the project of drawing to their confederation _all North
America_”; and he mentions especially _the invitation to the people of
Canada_. While questioning the conduct of France and Spain, he adds:--

    “_The new hemisphere is to detach itself some day from the
    old._ This great disruption is prepared in Europe by the
    fermentation and the clashing of our opinions,--by the
    overthrow of our rights, which made our courage,--by the
    luxury of the court and the misery of the country,--by the
    everlasting hate between the effeminate men, who possess all,
    and the strong, even virtuous men, who have nothing to lose but
    life. It is prepared in America by the growth of population,
    of agriculture, of industry, and of enlightenment. _Everything
    tends to this scission._”[414]

In a sketch which follows are pictured the resources of “the thirteen
confederate provinces” and their future development. While confessing
that the name of Liberty is sweet,--that it is the cause of the
entire human race,--that revolutions in its name are a lesson to
despots,--that the spirit of justice, which compensates past evils
by future happiness, is pleased to believe that this part of the New
World cannot fail to become one of the most flourishing countries of
the globe,--and that some go so far as to fear _that Europe may some
day find its masters in its children_, he proceeds to facts which may
mitigate anxiety.[415]

The prophetic words of Raynal differ from others already quoted.
Instead of letters or papers buried in secrecy or disclosed to a few
only, they were open proclamations circulated throughout Europe, and
their influence began as early as 1770. A prompt translation made
them known in England. In 1777 they were quoted by an English writer
pleading for us.[416] Among influences coöperating with the justice of
our cause, they were of constant activity, until at last France, Spain,
and Holland openly united with us.


Not without heartfelt emotion do I write this name, never to be
mentioned by an American without a sentiment of gratitude and love.
Such goodness and ability, dedicated so firmly to our cause, make
Shipley conspicuous among his contemporaries. In beauty of character
and in prophetic spirit he resembles Berkeley. And yet biographical
dictionaries make little mention of him, and in our country he is known
chiefly through the friendship of Franklin. He was born about 1714, and
died 9th December, 1788.

His actual preferments in the Church attest a certain success, arrested
at last by his sympathy for us. At an early day John Adams spoke of
him as “the best bishop that adorns the bench.”[417] And we learn from
Wraxall, that it was through the hostility of the King, that, during
the short-lived Coalition Ministry, Fox was prevented from making him
Archbishop of Canterbury.[418] But his public life was better than any
prelacy. It is impossible to read his writings without discovering the
stamp of superiority, where accuracy and clearness go hand in hand with
courage and truth.

The relations of Franklin with the good Bishop are a beautiful episode
in our Revolutionary history. Two men, one English and the other
American, venerable with years, mingled in friendship warm as that
of youth, but steady to the grave, joining identity of sentiment on
important public questions with personal affection. While Franklin
remained in England, as Colonial representative, watching the
currents, he was a frequent guest at the Englishman’s country home;
and there he entered upon his incomparable autobiography, leaving
behind such pleasant memories that afterwards the family never walked
in the garden “without seeing Dr. Franklin’s room and thinking of the
work that was begun in it.”[419] One of the daughters, in a touching
letter to him, then at his own home in Philadelphia, informed him of
her father’s death,[420] and in reply to his “dear young friend,” he
expressed his sense of the loss, “not to his family and friends only,
but to his nation, and to the world,” and then, after mentioning that
he was in his eighty-fourth year and considerably enfeebled, added,
“You will, then, my dear friend, consider this as probably the last
line to be received from me, and as a taking leave.”[421]

       *       *       *       *       *

This brief story prepares the way for the two productions illustrating
his service to us. The first has the following title: “A Sermon
preached before the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel in Foreign Parts, at their Anniversary Meeting in the
Parish Church of St. Mary-le-Bow, on Friday, February 19, 1773.” Of
this discourse several editions appeared in London, New York, and
Boston.[422] Lord Chatham, after confessing himself “charmed and
edified” by it, wrote: “This noble discourse speaks the preacher not
only fit to bear rule in the Church, but in the State; indeed, it
does honor to the Right Reverend Bench.”[423] Franklin, coupling it
with another of his productions relating to America, wrote: “Had his
counsels in those pieces been attended to by the Ministers, how much
bloodshed might have been prevented, and how much expense and disgrace
to the nation avoided!”[424]

This discourse was from the text, “Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good-will toward men.”[425] After announcing that “perhaps
the annals of history have never afforded a more grateful spectacle to
a benevolent and philosophic mind than the growth and progress of the
British Colonies in North America,” the preacher becomes prophet, and
here his words are memorable:--

    “The Colonies in North America have not only taken root and
    acquired strength, but seem hastening with an accelerated
    progress to such a powerful state _as may introduce a new and
    important change in human affairs_.”[426]

Then picturing the Colonies as receiving “by inheritance all the
improvements and discoveries of their mother country,”--commencing
“their flourishing state at a time when the human understanding has
attained to the free use of its powers, and has learned to act with
vigor and certainty,” and being in such a situation that “they may
avail themselves not only of the experience and industry, but even of
the errors and mistakes of former days,” the prophet proceeds:--

    “The vast continent itself, over which they are gradually
    spreading, may be considered as a treasure yet untouched of
    natural productions _that shall hereafter afford ample matter
    for commerce and contemplation_. And if we reflect what a stock
    of knowledge may be accumulated by the constant progress of
    industry and observation, … _it is difficult even to imagine to
    what height of improvement their discoveries may extend_.”[427]

The prophet opens another vista: “And perhaps they may make as
considerable _advances in the arts of civil government_ and the conduct
of life.” Then, exhibiting the excellences of the British Constitution
with its “equal representation,” which he calls “the best discovery of
political wisdom,” and inquiring anxiously if they “must rest here,
as in the utmost effort of human genius,” the preacher becomes again

    “May they not possibly be more successful than their mother
    country has been in preserving that reverence and authority
    which is due to the laws,--to those who make, and to those
    who execute them? May not a method be invented of procuring
    some tolerable share of the comforts of life to those inferior
    useful ranks of men to whose industry we are indebted for the
    whole? _Time and discipline may discover some means to correct
    the extreme inequalities of condition between the rich and
    the poor, so dangerous to the innocence and the happiness of

Beautiful words! And in the same spirit the prophet discerns increasing
opportunities of progress:--

    “The diversity of new scenes and situations, which so many
    growing states must necessarily pass through, _may introduce
    changes in the fluctuating opinions and manners of men which
    we can form no conception of_. And not only the gracious
    disposition of Providence, but the visible preparation of
    causes, _seems to indicate strong tendencies towards a general

To a spirit so elevated the obligations of duty are the same for
nations as for individuals, and he nobly vindicates the duty of the
Christian preacher “to point out the laws of justice and equity
which must ultimately regulate the happiness of states as well as of
individuals,” and which he declares “are no other than those benevolent
Christian morals which it is the province of this Society to teach,
transferred from the duties of private life to the administration of
public affairs.”[430] Then again he declares amazement, in which all
but hardened politicians will unite, at seeing “how slowly in all
countries the principles of natural justice, which are so evidently
necessary in private life, have been admitted into the administration
of public affairs.” And, in the same spirit, he announces:--

    “A time, I doubt not, will come, in the progressive improvement
    of human affairs, when the checks and restraints we lay on the
    industry of our fellow-subjects and the jealousies we conceive
    at their prosperity will be considered as the effects of a
    mistaken policy, prejudicial to all parties, but chiefly to

Then, after presenting it as “a noble effort of virtuous ambition … to
make our country great and powerful and rich, not by force or fraud,
but by justice, friendship, and humanity,” this remarkable sermon
concludes with calling attention to “the plain good rules so often
repeated to us in Scripture,” which “lie before the eyes of men like
medicinal herbs in the open field.”[432]

In the course of his remarks, the preacher lets drop words often quoted
since, and doubtless considered much in conversation with Franklin.
After setting forth that the Colonies had “been trusted in a good
measure with the entire management of their affairs,” he proceeds
to say: “And the success they have met with ought to be to us an
ever-memorable proof that _the true art of government consists in not
governing too much_.”[433]

In similar spirit the good Bishop came to the defence of Massachusetts,
in the crisis which followed the nullification of the Tea-Tax,--as
witness an able pamphlet, printed in 1774, entitled “A Speech intended
to have been spoken on the Bill for altering the Charters of the Colony
of Massachusetts Bay.” In this most vigorous production, reported
by Franklin as “a masterpiece of eloquence,”[434] where he pleads
for reconciliation, after announcing that England had drawn from the
Colonies, by commerce, “more clear profit than Spain has drawn from all
its mines,”[435] he says: “Let them continue to enjoy the liberty our
fathers gave them. Gave them, did I say? They are coheirs of liberty
with ourselves; and their portion of the inheritance has been much
better looked after than ours.”[436] Then again: “My Lords, I look upon
North America as the only great nursery of freemen now left upon the
face of the earth.”[437] And yet once more: “But whatever may be our
future fate, the greatest glory that attends this country, a greater
than any other nation ever acquired, is to have formed and nursed up
to such a state of happiness those Colonies whom we are now so eager to
butcher.”[438] Thanks, perpetual thanks, to the good friend who stood
so well by our country in its beginning, and discerned so clearly its
exalted future!


In contrast with Shipley was his contemporary, Josiah Tucker, also of
the Church, who was born 1712, and died 4th November, 1799.

The contrast is more curious, when it is considered that Tucker,
like Shipley, was for the peaceful separation of the Colonies from
the mother country; but the former was biting and cynical, while the
latter was sympathetic and kind. The former sent forth a succession of
criticisms as from the tub of Diogenes, while the latter, with genial
power, vindicated America and predicted its future. The former was a
carping censor and enemy of Franklin; the latter, his loving friend.

Tucker was rector of a church in Bristol and Dean of Gloucester, and he
announces that he had “written near three hundred sermons, and preached
them all again and again”;[439] but it was by political essays that he
made his name known and became a conspicuous gladiator.

Here it is easy to recognize industry, facility, boldness. He was not
afraid to speak out, nor did he shrink from coping with those who
commanded the public attention,--joining issue directly with Burke,
“in answer to his printed speech, _said to be spoken_ in the House of
Commons on the 22d of March, 1775,”[440] being that famous masterpiece,
on “Conciliation with America,” so much read, so often quoted, and so
highly placed among the efforts of human genius. The Dean used plain
language, charging the great orator with excelling “in the art of
ambiguous expressions,” and at all times having one general end in
view, “to amuse with tropes and figures and great swelling words,” and
hoping, that, while emulating the freedom of Burke in examining the
writings and opinions of others, he should do it “with more decency and
good manners.”[441] More than once the Dean complains that the orator
had classed him by name with what he called “court vermin.”[442]

As early as 1766, in the heats of the Stamp Act, he entered the lists
by an unamiable pamphlet, entitled “A Letter from a Merchant in London
to his Nephew in North America, relative to the Present Posture of
Affairs in the Colonies.” Here appears the vigorous cynicism of
his nature. The mother country is vindicated, and the Colonies are
told that “the complaint of being unrepresented is entirely false
and groundless,” inasmuch as every member of Parliament, when once
chosen, becomes “the equal guardian of all,” and “_our_ Birminghams,
Manchesters, Leeds, Halifaxes, &c., and _your_ Bostons, New Yorks, and
Philadelphias are all as _really_, though not so nominally, represented
as any part whatsoever of the British Empire.”[443] In the same spirit
he ridiculed the pretensions of the Colonists, putting into their
mouths the words: “What! an Island! a spot such as this to command the
great and mighty Continent of North America! Preposterous! A Continent,
whose inhabitants double every five-and-twenty years! who, therefore,
within a century and an half will be upwards of an hundred and twenty
millions of souls! Forbid it, Patriotism, forbid it, Politics, that
such a great and mighty Empire as this should be held in subjection by
the paltry Kingdom of Great Britain! _Rather let the seat of empire
be transferred; and let it be fixed where it ought to be, namely, in
Great America!_”[444] And then declaring “the calculations themselves
both false and absurd,” taunting the Colonists with inability to make
the mother country “a province of America,” and depicting the evils
that will ensue to them from separation, he announces, that, “having
been surfeited with the bitter fruits of American Republicanism, they
will heartily wish and petition to be again united to the mother

As the conflict approached, the Dean became more earnest and incessant.
In 1774 he published a book entitled “Four Tracts on Political
and Commercial Subjects,” of which the third was a reprint of the
“Letter from a Merchant in London,” and the fourth was a new appeal,
entitled “The True Interest of Great Britain set forth in regard to
the Colonies, and the only Means of Living in Peace and Harmony with
them,”--“including Five different Plans for effecting this Desirable
Event.”[446] Here he openly proposed separation, and predicted
its advantage to England. On general grounds he was persuaded that
extensive colonies were an evil rather than an advantage, especially to
a commercial nation, while he was satisfied of a present alienation on
the part of America, which it would be unprofitable, if not perilous,
to combat. England was in no mood for such truth, and the author was
set down as madman or quack. Evidently he was a prophet.

A few passages will show the character of this remarkable production.

    “It is the nature of them all [colonies] to aspire after
    independence, and to set up for themselves as soon as ever they
    find that they are able to subsist without being beholden to
    the mother country.”[447]

True enough, and often said by others. In dealing with the different
plans the Dean shows originality. To the idea of compulsion by arms he
exclaimed: “But, alas! victory alone is but a poor compensation for all
the blood and treasure which must be spilt.”[448] The scheme numbered
Fourth was nothing less than “to consent that America should become
the general seat of empire, and that Great Britain and Ireland should
be governed by viceroys sent over from the court residences either at
Philadelphia or New York, or at some other American imperial city,”--to
which the indefatigable Dean replies:--

    “Now, wild as such a scheme may appear, there are certainly
    some Americans who seriously embrace it; and the late
    prodigious swarms of emigrants encourage them to suppose that a
    time is approaching when the seat of empire must be changed.
    But, whatever events may be in the womb of Time, or whatever
    revolutions may happen in the rise and fall of empires, there
    is not the least probability that this country should ever
    become a province to North America: … unless, indeed, we should
    add one extravagance to another, by supposing that these
    American heroes are to conquer all the world; and in that case
    I do allow that England must become a province to America.”[449]

Then comes the Fifth Scheme, which was, “To propose to separate
entirely from the North American Colonies, by declaring them to be
a free and independent people, over whom we lay no claim, and then
by offering to guaranty this freedom and independence against all
foreign invaders whatever.”[450] And he proceeds to show that by such
separation the mother country would not lose the trade of the Colonies.
His unamiable nature flares out in the suggestions, that, “the moment
a separation takes effect, intestine quarrels will begin,” and that,
“in proportion as their factious republican spirit shall intrigue
and cabal, shall split into parties, divide and subdivide, in the
same proportion shall we be called in to become their general umpires
and referees,”[451] while his confidence in the result is declared:
“And yet I have observed, and have myself had some experience, that
measures evidently right will prevail at last”; therefore he had “not
the least doubt” but that a separation would take place “within half a
century.”[452] Though seeing the separation so clearly, he did not see
how near at hand it then was.

The Dean grew more earnest. Other pamphlets followed: for instance, in
1775, “An Humble Address and Earnest Appeal, … whether a Connection
with or a Separation from the Continental Colonies of America be most
for the National Advantage and the Lasting Benefit of these Kingdoms.”
Here he says openly:--

    “My scheme, which Mr. Burke, in his last speech, of March 22,
    1775, is pleased to term a _childish_ one, is, To separate
    totally from the Colonies, and to reject them from being
    fellow-members and joint partakers with us in the privileges
    and advantages of the British Empire, because they refuse
    to submit to the authority and jurisdiction of the British
    legislature,--offering at the same time to enter into alliances
    of friendship and treaties of commerce with them, as with any
    other sovereign, independent state.”[453]

Then, insisting that his scheme “most infallibly cuts off all the
present causes of dispute and contention between the two countries, so
that they never can revive again,”[454] he establishes that commercial
intercourse with the Americans would not cease, inasmuch as it cannot
be shown that they “will no longer adhere to their own interest when
they shall be disunited from us.”[455]

Among subsequent tracts was one entitled “_Cui Bono?_ or, An Inquiry,
What Benefits can arise either to the English or the Americans, the
French, Spaniards, or Dutch, from the Greatest Victories or Successes
in the Present War? Being a Series of Letters addressed to Monsieur
Necker, late Controller-General of the Finances of France. London,
1782.” Here was the same ardor for separation, with the same bitter
words for the Colonies.

Tardily the foresight of the Dean was recognized, until at last
Archbishop Whately, in his annotations upon Bacon’s Essay on Honor
and Reputation, commemorates it as an historic example. According
to him, “the whole British nation were in one particular manifestly
_puzzle-headed_, except _one_ man, who was accordingly derided by
all.” Then mentioning the dispute between the mother country and her
colonies, he says: “But Dean Tucker, standing quite alone, wrote a
pamphlet to show that the separation would be no loss at all, and that
we had best give them the independence they coveted at once and in a
friendly way. Some thought he was writing in jest; the rest despised
him, as too absurd to be worth answering. But now, and for above half
a century, every one admits that he was quite right, and regrets that
his view was not adopted.”[456] Unquestionably this is a remarkable
tribute. Kindred to it was that of the excellent Professor Smyth, who,
in exhibiting the “American War,” dwells on “the superior and the
memorable wisdom of Tucker.”[457]

The bad temper shooting from his writings interfered, doubtless, with
their acceptance. His spirit, so hostile to us, justified his own
characterization of himself as “the author of these tracts against the
rebel Americans.” As the war drew to a close, his bad temper still
prevailed, heightened by antipathy to republicanism, so that, after
picturing the Colonies, separated at last from the mother country,
as having “gained a general disappointment mixed with anger and
indignation,”[458] he thus predicts their terrible destiny:--

    “As to the future grandeur of America, and its being a rising
    empire under one head, whether republican or monarchical, it
    is one of the idlest and most visionary notions that ever was
    conceived, even by writers of romance. For there is nothing
    in the genius of the people, the situation of their country,
    or the nature of their different climates, which tends to
    countenance such a supposition.… Above all, when those immense
    inland regions beyond the back settlements, which are still
    unexplored, are taken into the account, they form the highest
    probability that the Americans never can be united into one
    compact empire, under any species of government whatever.
    Their fate seems to be--_a disunited people till the end of

Alas! But evidently the Dean saw the future of our continent no better
than the Ministry saw their duty with regard to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Unlike in spirit was Matthew Robinson, a contemporary friend of
America, whose able and elaborate tracts[460] in successive editions
are now forgotten, except so far as revived by the notice of Professor
Smyth.[461] His vindication of the Colonies, at the time of the Boston
Port Bill, was complete, without the harshness of Tucker, and he did
not hesitate to present the impossibility of conquering them. “What
expectation or probability,” he asks, “can there be of sending from
hence armies capable to conquer and subdue so great a force of men
defending and defended by such a continent?”[462] Then, while depicting
English mastery of the sea, he says: “We may do whatever a fleet can.
Very true; but it cannot sail all over North America.”[463] The
productions of this enlightened author cannot have been without effect.
Doubtless they helped the final acknowledgment of independence. When
will the “Old Mortality” appear, to discover and restore his monument?

The able annotator of Lord Bacon was too sweeping, when he said that on
the great American question all England was wrong, “except _one_ man.”
Robinson was as right as the Dean, and there were others also. The
“Monthly Review,” in an article on the Dean’s appeal for separation,
said: “This, however, is not a new idea. It has frequently occurred
to others.”[464] Even Soame Jenyns, a life-long member of Parliament,
essayist, poet, defender of Christianity, while upholding the right
to tax the Colonies, is said to have accepted the idea of “total

    “Let all who view th’ instructive scene,
      And patronize the plan,
    Give thanks to Gloucester’s honest Dean,
      For, Tucker, thou’rt the man.”[465]

In a better spirit, and with affecting earnestness, John Cartwright,
once of the Royal Navy, and known as Major from his rank in the
Nottinghamshire Militia, followed the Dean, in 1774, with a series of
letters collected in a pamphlet entitled “American Independence the
Interest and Glory of Great Britain,” where he insists upon separation,
and thenceforward a friendly league, “that the true and lasting welfare
of both countries can be promoted.”[466] In enforcing his conclusion
the author says: “When we talk of asserting our sovereignty over the
Americans, do we foresee to what fatal lengths it will carry us? Are
not those nations increasing with astonishing rapidity? _Must they not,
in the nature of things, cover in a few ages that immense continent
like a swarm of bees?_”[467] Then again: “We may, indeed, by means of
fleets and armies, maintain a precarious tyranny over the Americans for
a while; but the most shallow politicians must foresee what this would
end in.”[468] Then, in reply to the Dean: “’Tis a pity so able a writer
had not discovered that the Americans have a right to choose their own
governors, and thence enforced the necessity of his proposed separation
as a religious duty, no less than a measure of national policy.”[469]
Cartwright continued at home the conflicts of principle involved in our
War of Independence, and became an English Reformer. Honor to his name!

DAVID HARTLEY, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1785.

Another English friend was David Hartley. He was constant and even
pertinacious on our side, although less prophetic than Pownall, with
whom he coöperated in purpose and activity. His father was Hartley
the metaphysician, and author of the ingenious theory of sensation,
who predicted the fate of existing governments and hierarchies in
two simple sentences: “It is probable that all the present Civil
Governments will be overturned”; “It is probable that the present
forms of Church Government will be dissolved.”[470] Many were alarmed.
Lady Charlotte Wentworth asked the prophet when these terrible things
would happen. The answer was: “I am an old man, and shall not live to
see them; but you are a young woman, and probably will see them.”[471]

The son was born in 1729, and died at Bath in 1813. During our
Revolution he sat in Parliament for Kingston-upon-Hull. He was also
the British plenipotentiary in negotiating the Definitive Treaty
of Peace with the United States. He has dropped out of sight. The
biographical dictionaries afford him a few lines only. But he deserves
a considerable place in the history of our Independence.

John Adams was often austere, and sometimes cynical, in his judgments.
Evidently he did not like Hartley. In one place he speaks of him
as “a person of consummate vanity”;[472] then, as “talkative and
disputatious, and not always intelligible”;[473] and in still another
place remarks, “Mr. Hartley was as copious as usual;”[474] and when
appointed to sign the Definitive Treaty, “It would have been more
agreeable to have finished with Mr. Oswald.”[475] And yet, when writing
most elaborately to the Comte de Vergennes on the state of affairs
previous to the final campaign, he introduces opinions of Hartley
at length, saying that he was “more for peace than any man in the
kingdom.”[476] Such testimony may well outweigh the other expressions,
especially as nothing of the kind appears in the correspondence of
Franklin, with whom Hartley was much more intimate.

The “Parliamentary History” is a sufficient monument for Hartley. He
was a frequent speaker, and never missed an opportunity of pleading our
cause. Although without the immortal eloquence of Burke, he was always
clear and full. Many of his speeches seem written out by himself. He
was not a tardy convert, but began as “a new member” by supporting
an amendment favorable to the Colonies, 5th December, 1774. Then, in
March, 1775, he brought forward “Propositions for Conciliation with
America,” which he sustained in an elaborate speech, where he avowed
that the American question had occupied him for some time:--

    “Though I have so lately had the honor of a seat in this House,
    yet I have for many years turned my thoughts and attention to
    matters of public concern and national policy. This question of
    America is now of many years’ standing.”[477]

In this speech he acknowledges the services of New England at

    “In that war too, Sir, they took Louisburg from the French,
    single-handed, without any European assistance: as mettled
    an enterprise as any in our history; an everlasting memorial
    of the zeal, courage, and perseverance of the troops of New
    England. The men themselves dragged the cannon over a morass
    which had always been thought impassable, where neither
    horses nor oxen could go; and they carried the shot upon their
    backs. And what was their reward for this forward and spirited
    enterprise,--for the reduction of this American Dunkirk? Their
    reward, Sir, you know very well: it was given up for a barrier
    to the Dutch.”[478]

All his various propositions were negatived; but he was not
disheartened. Constantly he spoke,--now on the Budget, then on the
Address, and then on specific propositions. At this time he asserted
the power of Parliament over the Colonies, and he proposed, on the
2d November, 1775, that a test of submission by the Colonists should
be the recognition of an Act of Parliament enacting “that all the
slaves in America should have the trial by jury.”[479] Shortly
afterwards, on the 7th December, 1775, he brought forward a second set
of “Propositions for Conciliation with America,” where, among other
things, he embodied the test on slavery, which he put forward as a
compromise; and here his language belongs not only to the history of
our Revolution, but to the history of Antislavery. While declaring that
in his opinion Great Britain was “the aggressor in everything,”[480]
he sought to bring the two countries together on a platform of human
rights, which he thus explained:--

    “The act to be proposed to America, _as an auspicious beginning
    to lay the first stone of universal liberty to mankind_, should
    be what no American could hesitate an instant to comply with,
    namely, that every slave in North America should be entitled to
    his trial by jury in all criminal cases. America cannot refuse
    to accept and to enroll such an act as this, and thereby to
    reëstablish peace and harmony with the parent state. _Let us
    all be reunited in this, as a foundation to extirpate slavery
    from the face of the earth. Let those who seek justice and
    liberty for themselves give that justice and liberty to their
    fellow-creatures._ With respect to the idea of putting a final
    period to slavery in North America, it should seem best that
    when this country had led the way by the act for jury, that
    each Colony, knowing their own peculiar circumstances, should
    undertake the work in the most practicable way, and that they
    should endeavor to establish some system by which slavery
    should be in a certain term of years abolished. _Let the only
    contention henceforward between Great Britain and America be,
    which shall exceed the other in zeal for establishing the
    fundamental rights of liberty to all mankind._”[481]

How grand and beautiful!--not to be read without gratitude! The motion
was rejected; but among the twenty-three in its favor were Fox and

During this same month the unwearied defender of our country came
forward again, declaring that he could not be “an adviser or a
well-wisher to any of the vindictive operations against America,
because he thought the cause unjust; but at the same time he must be
equally earnest to secure British interests from destruction”; and he
thus prophesies:--

    “The fate of America is cast. You may bruise its heel, but you
    cannot crush its head. It will revive again. _The New World
    is before them. Liberty is theirs._ They have possession of a
    free government, their birthright and inheritance, derived to
    them from their parent state, which the hand of violence cannot
    wrest from them. If you will cast them off, my last wish is to
    them, May they go and prosper!”[482]

Again, on the 10th May, 1776, he vindicated anew his original
proposition; and here again he testifies for peace and against

    “For the sake of peace, therefore, I did propose a test of
    compromise, by an acceptance, on the part of the Colonists,
    of an Act of Parliament which should lay _the foundation for
    the extirpation of the horrid custom of slavery in the New
    World_.… My motion was … simply as an act of compromise and
    reconciliation; and, as far as it was a legislative act, it was
    still to have been applied in correcting the laws of slavery
    in America, which I considered as repugnant to the laws of the
    realm of England, and to the fundamentals of our Constitution.
    Such a compromise would at the same time have saved the
    national honor.”[483]

All gratitude to the hero who at this early day vowed himself to the
abolition of slavery! Hartley is among the first of Abolitionists,
with hardly a predecessor except Granville Sharp, and in Parliament
absolutely the first. Clarkson was at this time fifteen years old,
Wilberforce sixteen. Only in 1785 Clarkson obtained the prize for the
best Latin essay on the question, “Is it right to make men slaves
against their will?”[484] It was not until 1791 that Wilberforce moved
for leave to bring in a bill for the abolition of the slave-trade. It
is no small honor for one man to have come forward in Parliament as
an avowed abolitionist, while at the same time a vindicator of our

Again, on the 15th May, 1777, Hartley pleaded for us:--

    “At sea, which has hitherto been our prerogative element, they
    rise against us at a stupendous rate; and if we cannot return
    to our old mutual hospitalities towards each other, a very few
    years will show us a most formidable hostile marine, ready to
    join hands with any of our enemies.… I will venture to prophesy
    that the principles of a federal alliance are the only terms of
    peace that ever will and that ever ought to obtain between the
    two countries.”[485]

On the 5th of June, three weeks afterwards, the “Parliamentary History”
reports briefly:--

    “Mr. Hartley went upon the cruelties of slavery, and urged the
    Board of Trade to take some means of mitigating it. He produced
    a pair of handcuffs, which he said was a manufacture they were
    now going to establish.”[486]

Thus again the abolitionist reappeared in the vindicator of our
independence. On the 22d June, 1779, he brought forward another formal
motion “for reconciliation with America,” and, in the course of a
well-considered speech, denounced the ministers for “headstrong and
inflexible obstinacy in prosecuting a cruel and destructive American
war.”[487] On the 3d December, 1779, in what is called “a very long
speech,” he returned to his theme, inveighing against ministers for
“the favorite, though wild, Quixote, and impracticable measure of
coercing America.”[488] These are only instances.

During this time he maintained relations with Franklin, as appears in
the “Diplomatic Correspondence of the Revolution,” all of which attests
a desire for peace. In 1778 he arrived at Paris on a confidential
errand, especially to confer with Franklin. On this occasion John
Adams met him and judged him severely. In 1783 he was appointed a
commissioner to sign the Definitive Treaty of Peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

These things belong to history. Though perhaps not generally known,
they are accessible. I have presented them for their intrinsic value
and prophetic character, but also as the introduction to an unpublished
letter from Hartley, which I received some time ago from an English
friend, who has since been called away from important labors. The
letter concerns _emigration to our country, and the payment of the
national debt_. The following indorsement explains its character:--

    “NOTE. This is a copy of the material portion of a long letter
    from D. Hartley, the British Commissioner in Paris, to Lord
    Sydenham, January, 1785. The original was sold by C. Robinson,
    of 21 Bond Street, London, on the 6th April, 1859, at a sale
    of Hartley’s MSS. and papers, chiefly relating to the United
    States of America. It was Hartley’s copy, in his own hand.

    “The lot was No. 82 in the sale catalogue. It was bought by J.
    R. Smith, the London bookseller, for £2 6_s._ 0_d._

    “I had a copy made before the sale.


    “LONDON, 18 July, ’59.”

The letter is as follows:--

    “MY LORD,--In your Lordship’s last letter to me, just before
    my leaving Paris, you are pleased to say that any information
    which I might have been able to collect of a nature to promote
    the mutual and reciprocal interests of Great Britain and the
    United States of America would be extremely acceptable to his
    Majesty’s government.… Annexed to this letter I have the honor
    of transmitting to your Lordship some papers and documents
    which I have received from the American ministers. One of them
    (No. 5) is a Map of the Continent of North America, in which
    the land ceded to them by the late treaty of peace is divided
    by parallels of latitude and longitude into fourteen new States.

    “The whole project, in its full extent, would take many years
    in its execution, and therefore it must be far beyond the
    present race of men to say, ‘This shall be so.’ Nevertheless,
    _those who have the first care of this New World will probably
    give it such directions and inherent influences as may guide
    and control its course and revolutions for ages to come_. But
    these plans, being beyond the reach of man to predestinate,
    are likewise beyond the reach of comment or speculation to
    say what may or may not be possible, or to predict what
    events may hereafter be produced by time, climates, soils,
    adjoining nations, or by the unwieldy magnitude of empire, _and
    the future population of millions superadded to millions_.
    The sources of the Mississippi may be unknown; the lines
    of longitude and latitude may be extended into unexplored
    regions; and the plan of this new creation may be sketched out
    by a presumptuous compass, if all its intermediate uses and
    functions were to be suspended until the final and precise
    accomplishment, without failure or deviation, of this unbounded
    plan. But this is not the case; the immediate objects in view
    are limited and precise; they are of prudent thought, and
    within the scope of human power to measure out and to execute.
    The principle, indeed, is indefinite, and will be left to the
    test of future ages to determine its duration or extent.

    “I take the liberty to suggest thus much, lest we should be led
    away to suppose that the councils which have produced these
    plans have had no wiser or more sedate views than merely the
    amusement of drawing meridians of ambition and high thoughts.
    There appear to me to be two solid and rational objects in
    view: the first is, by the sale of lands nearly contiguous
    to the present States, (receiving Congress paper in payment
    according to its scale of depreciation,) _to extinguish the
    present national debt_, which I understand might be discharged
    for about twelve millions sterling.…

    “It is a new proposition to be offered to the numerous common
    rank of mankind in all the countries of the world, to say that
    there are in America fertile soils and temperate climates
    in which an acre of land may be purchased for a trifling
    consideration, which may be possessed in freedom, together with
    all the natural and civil rights of mankind. The Congress have
    already proclaimed this, and that no other qualification or
    name is necessary but to become settlers, without distinction
    of countries or persons. The European peasant, who toils for
    his scanty sustenance in penury, wretchedness, and servitude,
    will eagerly fly to this asylum for free and industrious labor.
    The tide of emigration may set strongly outward from Scotland,
    Ireland, and Canada to this new land of promise.

    “A very great proportion of men in all the countries of the
    world are without property, and generally are subject to
    governments of which they have no participation, and over
    whom they have no control. The Congress have now opened to
    all the world a sale of landed settlements where the liberty
    and property of each individual is to be consigned to his own
    custody and defence.… These are such propositions of free
    establishments as have never yet been offered to mankind, and
    cannot fail of producing great effects in the future progress
    of things. The Congress have arranged their offers in the most
    inviting and artful terms; and lest individual peasants and
    laborers should not have the means of removing themselves,
    they throw out inducements to moneyed adventurers to purchase
    and to undertake the settlement by commission and agency,
    without personal residence, by stipulating that the lands of
    proprietors being absentees shall not be higher taxed than the
    lands of residents. This will quicken the sale of lands, which
    is their object.

    “For the explanation of these points, I beg leave to refer
    your Lordship to the documents annexed, Nos. 5 and 6,--namely,
    the Map, and Resolutions of Congress, dated April, 1784.
    Another circumstance would confirm that it is the intention
    of Congress to invite moneyed adventurers to make purchases
    and settlements, which is the precise and mathematical mode
    of dividing and marking out for sale the lands in each new
    proposed State. These new States are to be divided by parallel
    lines running north and south, and by other parallels running
    east and west. They are to be divided into hundreds of ten
    geographical miles square, and then again into lots of one
    square mile. The divisions are laid out as regularly as the
    squares upon a chessboard, and all to be formed into a Charter
    of Compact.

    “They may be purchased by purchasers at any distance, and
    the titles may be verified by registers of such or such
    numbers, north or south, east or west: all this is explained
    by the document annexed, No. 7, namely, _The Ordinance for
    ascertaining the mode of locating and disposing of lands in the
    Western Territory. This is their plan and means for paying off
    their national debt, and they seem very intent upon doing it._
    I should observe that their debt consists of two parts, namely,
    domestic and foreign. The sale of lands is to be appropriated
    to the former.

    “The domestic debt may perhaps be nine or ten millions, and
    the foreign debt two or three. For payment of the foreign debt
    it is proposed to lay a tax of five per cent. upon all imports
    until discharged, which, I am informed, has already been agreed
    to by most of the States, and probably will soon be confirmed
    by the rest. Upon the whole, it appears that this plan is as
    prudently conceived and as judiciously arranged, as to the
    end proposed, as any experienced cabinet of European ministers
    could have devised or planned any similar project.

    “The second point which appears to me to be deserving of
    attention, respecting the immense cession of territory to
    the United States at the late peace, is a point _which will
    perhaps in a few years become an unparalleled phenomenon in the
    political world_. As soon as the national debt of the United
    States shall be discharged by the sale of one portion of those
    lands, we shall then see the Confederate Republic in a new
    character, as a proprietor of lands either for sale or to let
    upon rents. While other nations may be struggling under debts
    too enormous to be discharged either by economy or taxation,
    and while they may be laboring to raise ordinary and necessary
    supplies by burdensome impositions upon their own persons and
    properties, _here will be a nation possessed of a new and
    unheard-of financial organ of stupendous magnitude, and in
    process of time of unmeasured value, thrown into their lap as a
    fortuitous superfluity, and almost without being sought for_.

    “When such an organ of revenue begins to arise into produce and
    exertion, what public uses it may be applicable to, or to what
    abuses and perversions it might be rendered subservient, is far
    beyond the reach of probable discussion now. Such discussions
    would only be visionary speculations. However, thus far it
    is obvious, and highly deserving of our attention, that it
    cannot fail becoming to the American States a most important
    instrument of national power, the progress and operation of
    which must hereafter be _a most interesting object of attention
    to the British American dominions which are in close vicinity
    to the territories of the United States; and I should hope that
    these considerations would lead us, inasmuch as we value those
    parts of our dominions, to encourage conciliatory and amicable
    correspondence between them and their neighbors_.”

This private communication, now for the first time seeing the light, is
full of prophecy, or of that remarkable discernment and forecast which
mark the prophetic spirit, whether in announcing “the future population
of millions superadded to millions,” or in the high estimate of the
National Territory, destined to become in a few years “an unparalleled
phenomenon in the political world,” “a new and unheard-of _financial
organ_ of stupendous magnitude.” How few at home saw the Public Lands
with as clear a vision as Hartley!

GALIANI, 1776, 1778.

Among the most brilliant in this extending list is the Abbé Galiani,
the Neapolitan, who was born 1728, and died at Naples 1787. Although
Italian by birth, yet by the accident of official residence he became
for a while domesticated in France, wrote the French language, and now
enjoys a French reputation. His writings in French and his letters have
the wit and ease of Voltaire.

Galiani was a genius. Whatever he touched shone at once with his
brightness, in which there was originality as well as knowledge.
He was a finished scholar, and very successful in lapidary verses.
Early in life, while in Italy, he wrote a grave essay on Money, which
contrasted with another of rare humor suggested by the death of the
public executioner. Other essays followed; and then came the favor
of the congenial pontiff, Benedict the Fourteenth. In 1760 he found
himself at Paris as Secretary of the Neapolitan Embassy. Mingling
with courtiers officially, according to the duties of his position,
he fraternized with the liberal and adventurous spirits who exercised
such influence over society and literature. He was recognized as one
of them, and inferior to none. His petty stature was forgotten when
he conversed with inexhaustible faculties of all kinds, so that he
seemed an Encyclopædia, Harlequin, and Machiavelli all in one. The
atheists at the Thursday dinner of D’Holbach were confounded while he
enforced the existence of God. Into the questions of political economy
occupying attention at the time he entered with a pen which seemed
borrowed from the French Academy. His “Dialogues sur le Commerce des
Blés” had the success of a romance: ladies carried this book on Corn in
their work-baskets. Returning to Naples, he continued to live in Paris
through his correspondence, especially with Madame d’Épinay, the Baron
d’Holbach, Diderot, and Grimm.[489]

Among later works, after his return to Naples, was a solid volume--not
to be forgotten in the History of International Law--on the Duties
of Neutrals, where a difficult subject is treated with such mastery,
that, more than half a century later, D’Hautefeuille, in his elaborate
treatise, copies from it at length. Galiani was the predecessor of this
French writer in the extreme assertion of neutral rights. Other works
were left at his death in manuscript, some grave and some humorous;
also letters without number. The letters preserved from Italian
_savans_ filled eight large volumes; those from _savans_, ministers,
and sovereigns abroad filled fourteen. His Parisian correspondence did
not see the light till 1818, although some of the letters may be found
in the contemporary correspondence of Grimm.

In his Parisian letters, which are addressed chiefly to that clever
individuality, Madame d’Épinay, the Neapolitan abbé shows not only
the brilliancy and nimbleness of his talent, but the universality of
his knowledge and the boldness of his speculations. Here are a few
words from a letter dated at Naples, 12th October, 1776, in which he
brings forward the idea of “races,” so important in our day, with an
illustration from Russia:--

    “_All depends upon races._ The first, the most noble of races,
    comes naturally from the North of Asia. The Russians are the
    nearest to it, and this is the reason why they have made more
    progress in fifty years than can be got out of the Portuguese
    in five hundred.”[490]

Belonging to the Latin race, Galiani was entitled to speak thus freely.

In another letter to Madame d’Épinay, dated at Naples, 18th May, 1776,
he had already foretold the success of our Revolution. Few prophets
have been more explicit than he was in the following passage:--

    “Livy said of his age, which so strongly resembled ours, ‘_Ad
    hæc tempora ventum est, quibus nec vitia nostra nec remedia
    pati possumus_,’--‘We are in an age when the remedies hurt
    at least as much as the vices.’[491] Do you know how matters
    stand? _The epoch has come of the total downfall of Europe,
    and of transmigration to America._ Everything here is falling
    into rottenness,--religion, laws, arts, sciences,--and
    everything is going to be rebuilt anew in America. This is no
    joke; nor is it an idea drawn from the English quarrels; I
    have said, announced, preached it, for more than twenty years,
    and I have always seen my prophecies fulfilled. _Do not buy
    your house, then, in the Chaussée d’Antin; you must buy it
    in Philadelphia._ My trouble is, that there are no abbeys in

This letter was written some months before the Declaration of

In another, dated at Naples, 7th February, 1778, the Abbé alludes to
the great numbers of English men and women who have come to Naples
“for shelter from the American tempests,” and adds, “Meanwhile the
Washingtons and Hancocks will be fatal to them.”[493] In still another,
dated at Naples, 25th July, 1778, he renews his prophecies in language
still more explicit:--

    “You will at this time have decided the greatest revolution of
    the globe,--namely, _if it is America which is to reign over
    Europe, or if it is Europe which is to continue to reign over
    America_. I would wager in favor of America, for the reason,
    merely physical, that for five thousand years genius has turned
    opposite to the diurnal motion, and travelled from East to

Here again is the idea of Berkeley which has been so captivating.


In contrast with the witty Italian is the illustrious philosopher and
writer of Scotland, Adam Smith, who was born 5th June, 1723, and died
17th July, 1790. His fame is so commanding that any details of life or
works would be out of place. He was thinker and inventor, through whom
mankind was advanced in knowledge.

I say nothing of his “Theory of Moral Sentiments,” constituting an
important contribution to the science of Ethics, but come at once to
his great work of political economy, entitled “An Inquiry into the
Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” which first appeared in
1776. Its publication marks an epoch described by Mr. Buckle, when
he says that Adam Smith, “by the publication of this single work,
contributed more towards the happiness of man than has been effected
by the united abilities of all the statesmen and legislators of whom
history has preserved an authentic account.”[495] The work is full
of prophetic knowledge, and especially with regard to the British
Colonies. Writing while the debate with the mother country was still
pending, Adam Smith urged that they should be admitted to Parliamentary
representation in proportion to taxation, so that their representation
would enlarge with their growing resources; and here he predicts
nothing less than the transfer of empire:--

    “The distance of America from the seat of government, the
    natives of that country might flatter themselves, with
    some appearance of reason too, would not be of very long
    continuance. Such has hitherto been the rapid progress of that
    country in wealth, population, and improvement, that, in the
    course of little more than a century, perhaps, the produce of
    American might exceed that of British taxation. _The seat of
    the empire would then naturally remove itself to that part of
    the empire which contributed most to the general defence and
    support of the whole._”[496]

In these tranquil words of assured science the great author carries the
seat of government across the Atlantic.

Did Adam Smith in this remarkable passage do more than follow a hint
from our own prophet? The prophecy of the great economist first
appeared in 1776. In the course of 1774, and down to April 19, 1775,
John Adams published in the “Boston Gazette” a series of weekly
articles, under the signature of “Novanglus,” which were abridged in
Almon’s “Remembrancer” for 1775, with the following title: “History of
the Dispute with America, from its Origin in 1754 to the Present Time.”
Although this abridged edition stops before the prophetic passage, it
is not impossible that the whole series was known to Adam Smith. After
speculating, as the latter did afterwards, on the extension of the
British Constitution and Parliamentary representation to the outlying
British dominions, our prophet says:--

    “If in twenty years more America should have six millions of
    inhabitants, as there is a boundless territory to fill up, she
    must have five hundred representatives. Upon these principles,
    if in forty years she should have twelve millions, a thousand;
    and if the inhabitants of the three kingdoms remain as they
    are, being already full of inhabitants, what will become of
    your supreme legislative? _It will be translated, crown and
    all, to America._ This is a sublime system for America. It will
    flatter those ideas of independency which the Tories impute
    to them, if they have any such, more than any other plan of
    independency that I have ever heard projected.”[497]

Thus plainly was John Adams precursor of Adam Smith.

In 1784 these papers were reprinted from the “Remembrancer,” by
Stockdale, in London, bearing the same title, substantially, as before,
“History of the Dispute with America, from its Origin in 1754,” with
the addition, “Written in the Year 1774, by John Adams, Esq.” The
“Monthly Review,” in a notice of the publication, after speaking of
“the inauspicious system of American taxation,” says, “Mr. Adams
foretold the consequence of obstinately adhering to it, and the event
hath too well verified his predictions. They were, however, predictions
which required no inspiration.”[498] So that his wise second-sight was
recognized in England much beyond the prevision of Adam Smith.

The idea of transferring the seat of government to America was often
attributed to Franklin by Dean Tucker. The former, in a letter, as
early as 25th November, 1767, reports the Dean as saying, “That is his
constant plan.”[499] In one of his tracts, the Dean attributes it not
only to Franklin, but also to our people. With strange exaggeration he
says: “It has been the unanimous opinion of the North Americans for
these fifty years past, that the seat of empire ought to be transferred
from the lesser to the greater country,--that is, from England to
America, or, as Dr. Franklin elegantly phrased it, from the cock-boat
to the man-of-war.”[500] It is impossible to say how much of this was
from the excited brain of the Dean.

RICHARD PRICE, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1784.

A true and solid ally of our country at a critical period was Dr.
Price, dissenting clergyman, metaphysician, political writer, and
mathematician, who was born in Wales, 23d February, 1723, and died in
London, 19th April, 1791.

His earliest labors were “A Review of the Principal Questions and
Difficulties in Morals,” by which he was recognized as a metaphysician,
and “Observations on Reversionary Payments,” by which he was recognized
as an authority on a large class of financial questions. At the same
time his sermons were regarded as excellent. Amidst these various
labors he was moved to enlist as a pamphleteer in defence of the
American Colonies. This service, prompted by a generous devotion to
just principles, awakened grateful sentiments on both sides of the

The Aldermen and Common Council of London marked their sympathy by
voting him the freedom of the city in a gold box of fifty pounds value.
The American Congress sent him a different testimonial, officially
communicated to him, being a solemn resolution declaring “the desire of
Congress to consider him a citizen of the United States, and to receive
his assistance in regulating their finances.”[501] In reply, under
date of 18th January, 1779, while declining the invitation, he offered
“assurances that Dr. Price feels the warmest gratitude for the notice
taken of him, and that he looks to the American States as _now_ the
hope and likely _soon_ to become the refuge of mankind.”[502] Franklin
and Adams contracted with him relations of friendship. The former,
under date of 6th February, 1780, wrote him: “Your writings, after all
the abuse you and they have met with, begin to make serious impressions
on those who at first rejected the counsels you gave”;[503] and 24th
October, 1788, he wrote to another: “Remember me affectionately to good
Dr. Price.”[504] The latter, in correspondence many years afterwards,
recorded the intimacy he enjoyed with Dr. Price, “at his own house, at
my house, and at the houses and tables of many friends.”[505]

The first of his American tracts was in 1776, being “Observations on
the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government, and the
Justice and Policy of the War with America.” The sale of sixty thousand
copies in a few months shows the extensive acceptance of the work.
The general principles so clearly exhibited are invoked for America.
Occasionally the philosopher becomes prophet, as when he predicts the
growth of population:--

    “They are now but little short of half our number. To this
    number they have grown, from a small body of original settlers,
    by a very rapid increase. The probability is that they will go
    on to increase, and that in fifty or sixty years they will be
    _double our number, and form a mighty empire, consisting of a
    variety of States, all equal or superior to ourselves in all
    the arts and accomplishments which give dignity and happiness
    to human life_.”[506]

Nothing less than “a vast continent” seems to him the sphere of this
remarkable development, and he revolts at the idea of this being held
“at the discretion of a handful of people on the other side of the
Atlantic.”[507] In the measures which brought on the war he saw “the
hand of Providence _working to bring about some great ends_.”[508] And
the vast continent was to be dedicated to Liberty. The excellent man
saw even the end of Slavery. Speaking of “the negroes of the Southern
Colonies,” he said that they “probably will now either soon become
extinct or _have their condition changed into that of freemen_.”[509]
Years and battle intervened before this precious result.

This production was followed in 1777 by “Additional Observations on
the Nature and Value of Civil Liberty, and the War with America,”--to
which was added “Observations on Public Loans, the National Debt, and
the Debts and Resources of France.” In all this variety of topics, his
concern for America breaks forth in the inquiry, “Must not humanity
shudder at such a war?”[510] And he sees untold loss to England, which,
with the Colonies, “might be the greatest and happiest nation that ever
existed”; but without them “we are no more a people; … our existence
depends on keeping them.”[511] This patriotic gloom is checked by
another vision:--

    “These measures have, in all probability, hastened that
    disruption of the New from the Old World, _which will begin a
    new era in the annals of mankind_, and produce a revolution
    more important, perhaps, than any that has happened in human

Thus was American Independence heralded, and its influence foretold.

Constantly sympathizing with America, and impressed by the magnitude of
the issue, his soul found another utterance, in 1778, in what he called
“The General Introduction and Supplement to the Two Tracts on Civil
Liberty, the War with America, and the Finances of the Kingdom.” Here
again he sees a vision:--

    “A great people, likely to be formed, in spite of all our
    efforts, into free communities, under governments which have no
    religious tests and establishments. A new era in future annals,
    and a new opening in human affairs, beginning, among the
    descendants of Englishmen, in a new world. _A rising empire,
    extended over an immense continent, without bishops, without
    nobles, and without kings._”[513]

After the recognition of Independence and the establishment of peace,
Dr. Price appeared with another tract: “Observations on the Importance
of the American Revolution and the Means of making it a Benefit to the
World.” This was in 1784. And here he repeated the exultation of an
earlier day:--

    “With heartfelt satisfaction I see the revolution in favor
    of universal liberty which has taken place in America,--_a
    revolution which opens a new prospect in human affairs_, and
    begins a new era in the history of mankind.… Perhaps I do not
    go too far, when I say, that, next to the introduction of
    Christianity among mankind, the American Revolution may prove
    the most important step in the progressive course of human

Thus announcing the grandeur of the epoch, he states that it “may
produce a general diffusion of the principles of humanity,” and may
lead mankind to see and know “that all legitimate government consists
in the dominion of _equal laws_, made with common consent,” which
is another expression of the primal truth of the Declaration of
Independence. Then, referring to the “community or confederacy” of
States, he says, “I can almost imagine that it is not impossible but
that by such means _universal peace_ may be produced, and all war
excluded from the world”; and he asks, “Why may we not hope to see this
begun in America?”[515] May America be true to this aspiration! There
is also a longing for Equality, and a warning against Slavery, with
the ejaculation, in harmony with earlier words, “Let the United States
continue forever what it is now their glory to be, a confederation of
States, prosperous and happy, _without lords, without bishops, and
without kings_.”[516] In the midst of the bloody conflict this vision
had appeared, and he had sought to make it a reality.

His true friendship for our country and his devotion to humanity,
with the modesty of his nature, appear in a letter to Franklin, 12th
July, 1784, communicating a copy of the last production. After saying
that “it is intended entirely for America,” the excellent counsellor

    “I hope the United States will forgive my presumption in
    supposing myself qualified to advise them.… The consciousness
    which I have that it is well intended, and that my address
    to them is the effusion of a heart that wishes to serve the
    best interests of society, helps to reconcile me to myself
    in this instance, and it will, I hope, engage the candor of

The same sentiments which proved his sympathies with our country
reappeared with fresh fires at the outbreak of the French Revolution,
arousing, in opposition, the immortal eloquence of Burke. A discourse
“On the Love of our Country,” preached at the Old Jewry, 4th November,
1789, in commemoration of the English Revolution, with friendly glances
at what was then passing across the Channel, prompted the “Reflections
on the Revolution in France.” The personal denunciation which is the
beginning of that remarkable performance is the perpetual witness to
the position of the preacher, whose prophetic soul did not hesitate to
accept the French Revolution side by side with ours in glory and in

GOVERNOR POWNALL, 1777, 1780, 1783.

Among the best friends of our country abroad during the trials of the
Revolution was Thomas Pownall, called by one biographer “a learned
antiquary and politician,” and by another “an English statesman and
author.” Latterly he has so far dropped out of sight that there are
few who recognize in him either of these characters. He was born
1722, and died at Bath 1805. During this long period he held several
offices. As early as 1745 he became secretary to the Commissioners
for Trade and Plantations. In 1753 he crossed the ocean. In 1755, as
Commissioner for Massachusetts Bay, he had a share in the negotiations
with New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in union with New England,
which resulted in the confederated expedition against Crown Point. He
was afterwards Governor of Massachusetts Bay, New Jersey, and South
Carolina, successively. Returning to England, he was appointed, in
1762, Comptroller-General of the army in Germany, with the military
rank of colonel. He sat in two successive Parliaments until 1780, when
he passed into private life. Hildreth gives a glimpse of his personal
character, when, admitting his frank manners and liberal politics,
he describes his habits as “rather freer than suited the New England

Pownall stands forth conspicuous for championship of our national
independence, and especially for foresight with regard to our national
future. In both these respects his writings are unique. Other
Englishmen were in favor of independence, and saw our future also; but
I doubt if any one can be named who was his equal in strenuous action,
or in minuteness of foresight. While the war was still proceeding, as
early as 1780, he openly announced, not only that independence was
inevitable, but that the new nation, “founded in Nature and built up in
truth,” would continually expand; that its population would increase
and multiply; that a civilizing activity beyond what Europe could ever
know would animate it; and that its commercial and naval power would
be found in every quarter of the globe.[519] All this he set forth at
length with argument and illustration, and he called his prophetic
words “the _stating of the simple fact_, so little understood in the
Old World.” Treated at first as “unintelligible speculation” and as
“unfashionable,” the truth he announced was “neglected where it was not
rejected, but in general rejected as inadmissible,” and the author,
according to his own language, “was called by the wise men of the
British Cabinet _a Wild Man_, unfit to be employed.”[520] But these
writings are a better title now than any office. In manner they are
diffuse and pedantic; but they hardly deserve the cold judgment of John
Adams, who in his old age said of them that “a reader who has patience
to search for good sense in an uncouth and disgusting style will find
in those writings proofs of a thinking mind.”[521]

He seems to have written a good deal. But the works which will be
remembered the longest are not even mentioned by several of his
biographers. Rose, in his Biographical Dictionary, records works by
him, entitled “Antiquities of the Provincia Romana of Gaul”; “Roman
Antiquities dug up at Bath”; “Observations on the Currents in the
Atlantic Ocean”; “Intellectual Physics”; and contributions to the
“Archæologia”: nothing more. To this list Gorton, in his Biographical
Dictionary, adds briefly, “besides many political tracts,” but without
particular reference to the works on America. This is another instance
where the stone rejected by the builders becomes the head of the corner.

At an early date Pownall comprehended the position of our country,
geographically. He saw the wonderful means of internal communication
supplied by its inland waters, and also the opportunities of external
commerce afforded by the Atlantic Ocean. On the former he dwells, in a
Memorial drawn up in 1756 for the Duke of Cumberland.[522] Nobody in
our own day, after the experience of more than a century, has portrayed
more vividly the two vast aqueous masses,--one composed of the Great
Lakes and their dependencies, and the other of the Mississippi and
its tributaries. The Great Lakes are described as “a wilderness of
waters, spreading over the country by an infinite number and variety of
branchings, bays, straits, &c.”[523] The Mississippi, with its eastern
branch, called the Ohio, is described as having, “as far as we know,
but two falls,--one at a place called by the French St. Antoine, high
up on the west or main branch”; and all its waters “run to the ocean
with a still, easy, and gentle current.”[524] The picture is completed
by exhibiting the two masses in combination:--

    “The waters of each respective mass--not only the lesser
    streams, but the main general body of each going through
    this continent in every course and direction--have, by their
    approach to each other, by their interlacing with each other,
    by their communication to every quarter and in every direction,
    an alliance and unity, and form one mass, a one whole.”[525]

And he remarks, that it is thus seen

    “how the watery element claims and holds dominion over this
    extent of land: that the great lakes which lie upon its bosom
    on one hand, and the great river Mississippi and the multitude
    of waters which run into it, form there a communication,--an
    alliance or dominion of the watery element, that commands
    throughout the whole; that these great lakes appear to be
    _the throne_, the _centre of a dominion_, whose influence,
    by an infinite number of rivers, creeks, and streams, extends
    itself through all and every part of the continent, supported
    by the communication of, and alliance with, the waters of

If these means of internal commerce were vast, those afforded by the
Atlantic Ocean were not less extensive. The latter were developed
in the treatise on “The Administration of the Colonies,” the fourth
edition of which, published in 1768, is now before me. This was after
the differences between the Colonies and the mother country had begun,
but before the idea of independence had shown itself. Pownall insisted
that the Colonies ought to be considered as parts of the realm,
entitled to representation in Parliament. This was a constitutional
unity. But he portrayed a commercial unity also, which he represented
in attractive forms. The British Isles, and the British possessions in
the Atlantic and in America, were, according to him, “a grand marine
dominion,” and ought, therefore, by policy, to be united into one
empire, with one centre. On this he dwells at length, and the picture
is presented repeatedly.[527] It was incident to the crisis in the
world produced by the predominance of the commercial spirit already
beginning to rule the powers of Europe. It was the duty of England to
place herself at the head of this great movement:--

    “As the rising of this crisis above described forms precisely
    the _object_ on which Government should be employed, so the
    taking leading measures towards the forming all those Atlantic
    and American possessions into one empire, of which Great
    Britain should be the commercial and political centre, is the
    _precise duty_ of Government at this crisis.”[528]

This was his desire. But he saw clearly the resources as well as the
rights of the Colonies, and was satisfied, that, if power were not
consolidated under the constitutional auspices of England, it would
be transferred to the other side of the Atlantic. Here his words are

    “The whole train of events, the whole course of business, must
    perpetually bring forward into practice, and necessarily in
    the end into establishment, _either an American or a British
    union_. There is no other alternative.”[529]

The necessity for union is enforced in a manner which foreshadows our
National Union:--

    “The Colonial Legislature does certainly not answer all
    purposes,--is incompetent and inadequate to many purposes.
    Something, therefore, more is necessary,--_either a
    common union amongst themselves_, or a one common union
    of subordination under the one general legislature of the

Then, again, in another place of the same work, after representing the
declarations of power over the Colonies as little better than mockery,
he prophesies:--

    “Such is the actual state of the really existing system of our
    dominions, that _neither the power of government over these
    various parts can long continue under the present mode of
    administration_, nor the great interest of commerce extended
    throughout the whole long subsist under the present system of
    the laws of trade.”[531]

Recent events may give present interest to his views, in this same
work, on the nature and necessity of a paper currency, where he follows
Franklin. The principal points of his plan were: That bills of credit,
to a certain amount, should be printed in England for the use of the
Colonies; that a loan-office should be established in each Colony,
to issue bills, take securities, and receive the payments; that the
bills should be issued for ten years, bearing interest at five per
cent.,--one tenth part of the sum borrowed to be paid annually, with
the interest; and that they should be a legal tender.[532]

When the differences had flamed forth in war, then the prophet became
more earnest. His utterances deserve to be rescued from oblivion.
He was open, almost defiant. As early as 2d December, 1777, some
months before our treaty with France, he declared, from his place in
Parliament, that “the sovereignty of this country over America is
abolished and gone forever”; that “they are determined at all events
to be independent, _and they will be so_”; and that “all the treaty
that this country can ever expect with America is federal, and that,
probably, only commercial.” In this spirit he said to the House:--

    “Until you shall be convinced that you are no longer sovereigns
    over America, but that the United States are an independent,
    sovereign people,--until you are prepared to treat with them as
    such,--it is of no consequence at all what schemes or plans of
    conciliation this side the House or that may adopt.”[533]

The position taken in Parliament he maintained by writings; and here he
depicted the great destinies of our country. He began with “A Memorial
to the Sovereigns of Europe,” published early in 1780, and afterwards,
through the influence of John Adams, while at the Hague, abridged and
translated into French. In this remarkable production independence was
the least that he claimed for us. Thus he foretells our future:--

    “North America is become a new primary planet in the system of
    the world, which, while it takes its own course, in its own
    orbit, must have effect on the orbit of every other planet,
    and shift the common centre of gravity of the whole system of
    the European world. North America is _de facto_ an independent
    power, which has taken its equal station with other powers, and
    must be so _de jure_.… The independence of America is fixed as
    Fate. She is mistress of her own fortune, knows that she is
    so, and will actuate that power which she feels she hath, so
    as to establish her own system _and to change the system of

Not only is the new power to take an independent place, but it is
“to change the system of Europe.” For all this its people are amply
prepared. “Standing on that high ground of improvement up to which
the most enlightened parts of Europe have advanced, like eaglets
they commence the first efforts of their pinions from a towering
advantage.”[535] This same conviction appears in another form:--

    “North America has advanced and is every day advancing to
    growth of state with a steady and continually accelerating
    motion, of which there has never yet been any example in
    Europe.”[536] “It is a vitality, liable indeed to many
    disorders, many dangerous diseases; but it is young and strong,
    and will struggle, by the vigor of internal healing principles
    of life, against those evils, and surmount them.… Its strength
    will grow with its years.”[537]

He then dwells in detail on “the progressive population” of the
country; on its advantage in lying “on another side of the globe,
where it has no enemy”; on the products of the soil, among which is
“bread-corn to a degree that has wrought it to a staple export for
the supply of the Old World”; on the fisheries, which he calls “mines
producing more solid riches to those who work them than all the silver
of Potosi”; on the inventive spirit of the people; and on their
commercial activity.[538] Of such a people it is easy to predict great
things; and our prophet announces,--

1. That the new state will be “a great naval power,” exercising a
peculiar influence on commerce, and, through commerce, on the political
system of the Old World,--becoming the arbitress of commerce, and
perhaps the mediatrix of peace.[539]

2. That ship-building and the science and art of navigation have made
such progress in America that her people will be able to build and
navigate cheaper than any country in Europe, even Holland, with all her

3. That the peculiar articles to be had from America only, and so
much sought in Europe, must give Americans a preference in those

4. That a people “whose empire stands singly predominant in a great
continent” can hardly “suffer in their borders the establishment of
such a monopoly as the European Hudson’s Bay Company”; that it cannot
be stopped by Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope; that before long
“they will be found trading in the South Sea and in China”; and that
“the Dutch will hear of them in Spice Islands.”[542]

5. That by constant intercommunion of business and correspondence, and
by increased knowledge with regard to the ocean, “America will seem
every day to approach nearer and nearer to Europe”; that “a thousand
attractive motives will … become the irresistible cause of _an almost
general emigration to that New World_”; and that “many of the most
useful, enterprising spirits, and much of the active property, will go
there also.”[543]

6. That “North America will become a _free port_ to all the nations of
the world indiscriminately, and will expect, insist on, and demand,
in fair reciprocity, a _free market_ in all those nations with whom
she trades”; and that, adhering to this principle, she must be, “in
the course of time, the chief carrier of the commerce of the whole

7. That America must avoid complication with European politics, or “the
entanglement of alliances,” having no connections with Europe “other
than merely commercial”;[545]--all of which at a later day was put
forth by Washington in his Farewell Address, when he said: “The great
rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending
our commercial relations, to have with them as little political
connection as possible”; and also when he asked: “Why, by interweaving
our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and
prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest,
humor, or caprice?”[546]

8. That “the similar modes of living and thinking, the same manners
and same fashions, the same language, and old habits of national love,
impressed in the heart and not yet effaced, _the very indentings of
the fracture whereat North America stands broken off from England, all
conspire naturally to a rejuncture by alliance_.”[547]

9. That the sovereigns of Europe, who “have despised the unfashioned,
awkward youth of America,” and have neglected to interweave their
interests with the rising States, when they find the system of the new
empire not only obstructing, but superseding, the old system of Europe,
and crossing all their settled maxims, will call upon their ministers
and wise men, “Come, curse me this people, for they are too mighty for

This remarkable appeal was followed by two Memorials, “drawn up solely
for the King’s use, and designed solely for his eye,”[549] dated at
Richmond, January 2, 1782, where the author most persuasively urges his
Majesty to “treat with the Americans as with free states _de facto_,
under a truce.”[550] And on the signature of the treaty of peace he
wrote a private letter to Franklin, dated at Richmond, 28th February,
1783, where he testifies to the magnitude of the event:--

    “MY OLD FRIEND,--I write this to congratulate you on the
    establishment of your country as a free and sovereign power,
    taking its equal station amongst the powers of this world.
    I congratulate you, in particular, as chosen by Providence
    to be a principal instrument of this great Revolution,--_a
    Revolution that has stronger marks of Divine interposition,
    superseding the ordinary course of human affairs, than any
    other event which this world has experienced_.”[551]

The prophet closes his letter by allusion to a proposed tour of
America, adding, that, “if there ever was an object worth the
travelling to see, and worthy of the contemplation of a philosopher,
it is that in which he may see the beginnings of a great empire at
its foundation.” He communicated this purpose also to John Adams, who
answered him, that “he would be received respectfully in every part of
America, that he had always been considered as friendly to America, and
that his writings had been useful to our cause.”[552]

Then came another work, first published in 1783, entitled “A Memorial
addressed to the Sovereigns of America,” of which he gave the
mistaken judgment to a private friend, that it was “the best thing
he ever wrote.”[553] Here for the first time American citizens are
called “sovereigns.” At the beginning he explains, and indicates the
simplicity with which he addresses them:--

    “Having presumed to address to the Sovereigns of Europe a
    Memorial, … permit me now to address this Memorial to you
    Sovereigns of America. I shall not address you with the court
    titles of Gothic Europe, nor with those of servile Asia. I
    will neither address your Sublimity or Majesty, your Grace or
    Holiness, your Eminence or Highmightiness, your Excellence or
    Honors. What are titles, where things themselves are known and
    understood? What title did the Republic of Rome take? The
    state was known to be sovereign, and the citizens to be free.
    What could add to this glory? Therefore, United States and
    Citizens of America, I address you as you are.”[554]

Here again are the same constant sympathy with Liberty, the same
confidence in our national destinies, and the same aspirations for our
prosperity, mingled with warnings against disturbing influences. He
exhorts that all our foundations should be “laid in Nature”; that there
should be “no contention for, nor acquisition of, unequal domination in
men”; and that union should be established on the attractive principle
by which all are drawn to a common centre.[555] He fears difficulty in
making the line of frontier between us and the British Provinces “a
line of peace,” as it ought to be; he is anxious lest something may
break out between us and Spain; and he suggests that possibly, “in the
cool hours of unimpassioned reflection,” we may learn the danger of our
“alliances,”[556]--referring plainly to that original alliance with
France which at a later day was the occasion of such trouble. Two other
warnings occur. One is against Slavery,[557] which is more memorable,
because in an earlier Memorial he enumerates among articles of commerce
“African slaves, carried by a circuitous trade in American shipping
to the West India markets.”[558] The other warning is thus strongly

    “Every inhabitant of America is, _de facto_ as well as _de
    jure_, equal, in his essential, inseparable rights of the
    individual, to any other individual,--is, in these rights,
    independent of any power that any other can assume over him,
    over his labor, or his property. This is a principle in act and
    deed, and not a mere speculative theorem.”[559]

This strange and striking testimony, all from one man, is enhanced
by his farewell words to Franklin. As Pownall heard that the great
philosopher and negotiator was about to embark for the United States,
he wrote to him from Lausanne, 3d July, 1785:--

    “Adieu, my dear friend. You are going to a New World, formed to
    exhibit a scene which the Old World never yet saw. You leave me
    here in the Old World, which, like myself, begins to feel, as
    Asia hath felt, that it is wearing out apace. We shall never
    meet again on this earth; but there is another world where we
    shall meet, and _where we shall be understood_.”[560]

The correspondence was continued across the intervening ocean. In a
letter to Franklin, dated at Bristol, 8th April, 1788, the same devoted
reformer refers to the Congress at Albany in 1754, “when the events
which have since come into fact first began to develop themselves, as
ready to burst into bloom, and to bring forth the fruits of Liberty
which you in America at present enjoy.” He is cheered in his old age
by the proceedings in the Convention to frame a Constitution, with
Franklin’s “report of a system of sovereignty founded in law, and
above which law only was sovereign”; and he begins “to entertain hopes
for the liberties of America, and for what will be an asylum one day
or other to a remnant of mankind who wish and deserve to live with
political liberty.” His disturbance at the Presidential term breaks
out: “I have some fears of mischief from _the orbit of four years’
period_ which you give to the rotation of the office of President.
It may become the ground of intrigue.”[561] Here friendly anxiety is
elevated by hope, where America appears as the asylum of Liberty.

Clearly Pownall was not understood in his time; but it is evident that
he understood our country as few Englishmen since have been able to
understand it.

How few of his contemporaries saw America with his insight and courage!
The prevailing sentiment was typified in the conduct of George the
Third, so boldly arraigned in the Declaration of Independence.
Individual opinions also attest the contrast, and help to glorify
Pownall. Thus, Shirley, like himself a Massachusetts governor, in
advising the King to strengthen Louisburg, wrote, under date of July
10, 1745:--

    “It would, by its vicinity to the British Colonies, and being
    the key of ’em, give the Crown of Great Britain a most absolute
    hold and command of ’em, if ever there should come a time
    when they should go restiff and disposed to shake off their
    dependency upon their mother country, _the possibility of which
    seems some centuries further off than it does to some gentlemen
    at home_.”[562]

Nothing of the prophet here. Nor was Hume more penetrating in his
History first published, although he commemorates properly the early
settlement of the country:--

    “What chiefly renders the reign of James memorable is the
    commencement of the English colonies in America, colonies
    established on the noblest footing that has been known in any
    age or nation.…

    “Speculative reasoners during that age raised many objections
    to the planting those remote colonies, and foretold, that,
    after draining their mother country of inhabitants, they would
    soon shake off her yoke, and erect an independent government
    in America; but time has shown that the views entertained by
    those who encouraged such generous undertakings were more
    just and solid. _A mild government and great naval force have
    preserved, and may long preserve, the dominion of England over
    her colonies._”[563]

In making the reign of James chiefly memorable by the Colonies, the
eminent historian shows a just appreciation of events; but he seems to
have written hastily, and rather from imagination than evidence, when
he announces contemporary prophecy, “that, after draining their mother
country of inhabitants, they would soon shake off her yoke, and erect
an independent government in America,” and is plainly without prophetic
instinct with regard to “the dominion of England over her colonies.”

CÉRISIER, 1778, 1780.

Again a Frenchman appears on our list, Antoine Marie Cérisier, who was
born at Châtillon-les-Dombes, 1749, and died 1st July, 1828, after a
checkered existence. Being Secretary of the French Legation at the
Hague, he early became interested in the history of Holland and her
heroic struggle for independence. An elaborate work in ten volumes on
the “General History of the United Provinces,”[564] appearing first
in French and afterwards translated into Dutch, attests his industry
and zeal, and down to this day is accepted as the best in French
literature on this interesting subject. Naturally the historian of the
mighty effort to overthrow the domination of Spain sympathized with the
kindred effort in America. In a series of works he bore his testimony
to our cause.

John Adams was received at the Hague as American Minister, 19th April,
1782. In his despatch to Secretary Livingston, 16th May, 1782, he
wrote: “How shall I mention another gentleman, whose name, perhaps,
Congress never heard, but who, in my opinion, has done more decided
and essential service to the American cause and reputation, within
these last eighteen months, than any other man in Europe?” Then,
after describing him as “beyond all contradiction one of the greatest
historians and political characters in Europe, … possessed of the
most genuine principles and sentiments of liberty, and exceedingly
devoted by principle and affection to the American cause,” our minister
announces: “His pen has erected a monument to the American cause more
glorious and more durable than brass or marble. His writings have been
read like oracles, and his sentiments weekly echoed and reëchoed in
gazettes and pamphlets.”[565] And yet these have passed out of sight.

First in time was an elaborate work in French, purporting to be
translated from the English, which appeared at Utrecht in 1778,
entitled, “History of the Founding of the Colonies of the Ancient
Republics, adapted to the present Dispute of Great Britain with her
American Colonies.”[566] Learning and philosophy were elevated by
visions of the future. With the representation of the Colonies in
Parliament, he foresees the time when “the influence of America will
become preponderant in Parliament, and _able, perhaps, to transfer
the seat of empire_ to their country, and so, without danger and
without convulsive agitation, render this immense continent, already
so favorably disposed by Nature to that end, the theatre of one of the
greatest and freest governments that have ever existed.”[567] Then
indulging in another vision, where French emigrants and Canadians,
already invited to enter the Confederacy, mingle with English
colonists, he beholds at the head of the happy settlements “men known
for their superior genius, their politics friendly to humanity, and
their enthusiasm for liberty,” and he catches the strains of ancient
dramatists, “whose masterpieces would breathe and inspire a hatred of
tyrants and despots.” Then touching a practical point in government,
he exclaims: “The human species there would not be debased, outraged
by that odious and barbarous distinction of nobles and plebeians, as
if anybody could be more or less than a man.” And then again: “Could
not that admirable democracy which I have so often pleased myself in
tracing be established there?”[568]

This was followed in the same year by another publication, also
in French, entitled “Impartial Observations of a True Hollander,
in Answer to the Address of a self-styled Good Hollander to his
Countrymen.”[569] Here there is no longer question of Colonial
representation in Parliament, or of British empire transferred to
America, but of separation, with its lofty future:--

    “This revolution is, then, the most fortunate event which could
    happen to the human species in general and to all the States
    in particular. In short, tender souls see with transport that
    reparation at last is to be made for the crime of those who
    discovered and devastated this immense continent, and recognize
    the United States of North America as replacing the numerous
    nations which European cruelty has caused to disappear from
    South America.”[570]

Addressing Englishmen directly, the Frenchman thus counsels:--

    “Englishmen! you must needs submit to your destiny, and
    renounce a people who do not wish longer to recognize you. To
    avoid giving them any uneasiness, and to prevent all dispute
    in the future, _have the courage to abandon to them all the
    neighboring countries which have not yet shaken off your

Then turning to his own countrymen:--

    “_Let Canada make a fourteenth confederate State._ What glory
    for you to have labored first for this interesting revolution!
    What glory for you that these settlements, sprung from your
    bosom, should be associated with a powerful confederation, and
    govern themselves as a Republic!”[572]

The idea of Canada as “a fourteenth confederate State” was in unison
with the aspiration and invitation of the Continental Congress.

Another friendly work in French, pretending to be from the English,
saw the light in 1780, and is entitled “The Destiny of America; or,
Picturesque Dialogues.”[573] Among the parties to the colloquies are
Lord North, with other English personages, and a Philosopher, who must
be the author. Among the topics considered are the causes of current
events, the policy of European powers relative to the war, and the
influence it must have on the happiness of mankind. In answer to Lord
North, who asks, “What are these precious means [of saving our honor
and interests]?” the Philosopher replies: “Commence by proclaiming
the independence of the thirteen revolted Colonies, of Florida, _and
of Canada_; … then, in a manner not less solemn, renounce Jamaica,
Barbadoes, and all your Windward Islands.”[574] This is to be followed
by the freedom of the Spanish and French colonies,--also of the
Dutch, the Portuguese, and the Danish. Then, rising in aspiration,
the Philosopher, exalting the good of humanity over that of any
nation, proclaims that the root of future wars must be destroyed,
that the ocean may not be reddened with blood; but this destiny will
be postponed, “if America does not become entirely free.”[575] Then,
looking forward to the time when nations will contend on the ocean only
in commercial activity, and man will cease to be the greatest enemy of
man, he declares: “If Perpetual Peace could be more than the dream of
honest men, what event could accelerate it more than the independence
of the two Americas?”[576] Confessing that he does not expect the
applause of the present age, he concludes, “My heart tells me that I
shall have the acknowledgment of all free and tender souls, and the
suffrage of posterity.”[577] Most surely he has mine. Nothing can be
happier than the thought that Perpetual Peace would be accelerated by
American freedom, thus enhancing even this great boon.


I am glad to enter upon our list the name of this illustrious scholar,
who was born in London, 28th September, 1746, and died in Calcutta,
27th April, 1794.

If others have excelled Sir William Jones in different departments
of human activity, no Englishman has attained equal eminence in so
many, and at the same time borne the priceless crown of character. His
wonderful attainments and his various genius excite admiration, but
his goodness awakens love. It is pleasant to know that his benediction
rests upon our country.

From boyhood to his last breath he was always industrious, thus
helping the generous gifts of Nature,--and it is not easy to say where
he was most eminent. As a jurist, he is memorable for the “Essay on
the Law of Bailments,” undoubtedly at the time it appeared the most
complete and beautiful contribution to the science of jurisprudence
in the English language. As a judge, he was the voice of the law and
of justice, so that his appointment to a high judicial station in
India was called “the greatest blessing ever conferred by the British
Government on the inhabitants of the East.”[578] As a linguist, knowing
no less than twenty-eight languages, he was the predecessor of Baron
William Humboldt, and the less scholarly prodigy, Mezzofanti, while
as a philologist he will find a parallel in the former rather than
the latter. As an Orientalist, he was not only the first of his time,
but the pioneer through whom the literature of the East was opened to
European study and curiosity. As a poet, he is enshrined forever by his
Ode modestly called “An Ode in Imitation of Alcæus,”[579] and doubtless
inspired by sympathy with the American cause:--

      “What constitutes a State?
    Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
      Thick wall or moated gate;
    Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned;
      Not bays and broad-armed ports,
    Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
      Not starred and spangled courts,
    Where low-browed Baseness wafts perfume to Pride:
      No; MEN, high-minded MEN,
      Men, who their _duties_ know,
    But know their _rights_, and, knowing, dare maintain;
      _Prevent the long-aimed blow,_
    _And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain_:
      _These_ constitute a State.”[580]

To all these accomplishments add the glowing emotions of his noble
nature, his love of virtue, his devotion to freedom, his sympathy for
the poor and downtrodden. His biographer records as “a favorite opinion
of Sir William Jones, that all men are born with _an equal capacity
for improvement_,”[581] and also reports him as saying: “I see chiefly
under the sun the two classes of men whom Solomon describes, the
oppressor and the oppressed.… I shall cultivate my fields and gardens,
and think as little as possible of monarchs or oligarchs.”[582] With
these declarations it is easy to credit Dr. Paley, who said of him,
“He was a great republican when I knew him.”[583] Like seeks like, and
a long intimacy in the family of the good Bishop of St. Asaph,[584]
ending in a happy marriage with his eldest daughter, shows how he must
have sympathized with the American cause and with the future of our

Our author had been the tutor of Lord Althorp, the same who, as Earl
Spencer, became so famous a bibliophile and a patron of Dibdin, and
on the marriage of his pupil with Miss Lavinia Bingham, he was moved
to commemorate it in a poem, entitled “The Muse Recalled: an Ode
on the Nuptials of Lord Viscount Althorp and Miss Lavinia Bingham,
eldest Daughter of Charles Lord Lucan, March 6, 1781,”[585] which his
critic, Wraxall, calls “one of the most beautiful lyric productions in
the English language, … emulating at once the fame of Milton and of
Gray.”[586] But beyond the strain of personal sympathy, congenial to
the occasion, was a passion for America, and the prophetic spirit which
belongs to the poet. Lamenting that Freedom and Concord are repudiated
by the sons of Albion, all the Virtues disappear,--

    “Truth, Justice, Reason, Valor, with them fly
    To seek a purer soil, a more congenial sky.”

But the soil and sky which they seek are of the Delaware:--

    “Beyond the vast Atlantic deep
      A dome by viewless genii shall be raised,
    The walls of adamant, compact and steep,
      The portals with sky-tinctured gems emblazed:
      There on a lofty throne shall Virtue stand;
        To her the youth of Delaware shall kneel;
      And when her smiles reign plenty o’er the land,
        Bow, tyrants, bow beneath the avenging steel!
          _Commerce with fleets shall mock the waves,_
          _And Arts, that flourish not with slaves,_
      _Dancing with every Grace and every Muse,_
    _Shall bid the valleys laugh and heavenly beams diffuse._”

Wraxall remarks, that “here, in a fine frenzy of inspiration,” the
poet “seems to behold, as in a vision, the modern Washington and the
Congress met, after successfully throwing off all subjection to Great
Britain,” while “George the Third is pretty clearly designated in
the line apostrophizing tyrants.”[587] But to an American the most
captivating verses are those which open the vista of peaceful triumphs,
where Commerce and the Arts unite with every Grace and every Muse.

Kindred in sentiment were other contemporary verses by the anonymous
author of the “Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers,” now understood
to be the poet Mason,[588] which Wraxall praises for their beauty, but
condemns for their politics.[589] After describing the corruption of
the House of Commons under Lord North, the poet declares that it will
augment in enormity and profligacy,--

    “Till, mocked and jaded with the puppet play,
    Old England’s genius turns with scorn away,
    Ascends his sacred bark, the sails unfurled,
    _And steers his state to the wide Western World_.
    High on the helm majestic Freedom stands;
    In act of cold contempt she waves her hands:
    ‘Take, slaves,’ she cries, ‘the realms that I disown,
    Renounce your birthright, and destroy my throne!’”[590]

The two poets united in a common cause. One transported to the other
side of the Atlantic the virtues which had been the glory of Britain,
and the other carried there nothing less than the sovereign genius of
the great nation itself.


The Count Aranda was one of the first of Spanish statesmen and
diplomatists, and one of the richest subjects of Spain in his day; born
at Saragossa, 1718, and died 1799. He, too, is one of our prophets.
Originally a soldier, he became ambassador, governor of a province, and
prime-minister. In this last post he displayed character as well as
ability, and was the benefactor of his country. He drove the Jesuits
from Spain, and dared to oppose the Inquisition. He was a philosopher,
and, like Pope Benedict the Fourteenth, corresponded with Voltaire.
Such a liberal spirit was out of place in Spain. Compelled to resign
in 1773, he found a retreat at Paris as ambassador, where he came into
communication with Franklin, Adams, and Jay, and finally signed the
Treaty of 1783, by which Spain recognized our independence. Shortly
afterwards he returned to Spain, and in 1792 took the place of Florida
Blanca as prime-minister for the second time. He was emphatically a
statesman, and as such did not hesitate to take responsibility even
contrary to express orders. An instance of this civic courage was
when, for the sake of peace between Spain and England, he accepted the
Floridas instead of Gibraltar, on which the eminent French publicist,
M. Rayneval, remarks that “history furnishes few examples of such a
character and such self-devotion.”[591]

Franklin, on meeting him, records, in his letter to the Secret
Committee of Correspondence, that he seemed “well disposed towards
us.”[592] Some years afterwards he had another interview with him,
which he thus chronicles in his journal:--

    “_Saturday, June 29th_ [1782].--We went together to the
    Spanish Ambassador’s, who received us with great civility and
    politeness. He spoke with Mr. Jay on the subject of the treaty
    they were to make together.… On our going out, he took pains
    himself to open the folding-doors for us, which is a high
    compliment here, and told us he would return our visit (_rendre
    son devoir_), and then fix a day with us for dining with

Adams, in his Diary,[594] describes a Sunday dinner at his house,
then a new building in “the finest situation in Paris,” being part of
the incomparable palace, with its columnar front, still admired as it
looks on the Place de la Concorde. Jay also describes a dinner with the
Count, who was living “in great splendor,” with an “assortment of wines
perhaps the finest in Europe,” and was “the ablest Spaniard he had ever
known”; showing by his conversation “that his court is in earnest,”
and appearing “frank and candid, as well as sagacious.”[595] These
hospitalities have a peculiar interest, when it is known, as it now
is, that Count Aranda regarded the acknowledgment of our independence
with “grief and dread.” But these sentiments were disguised from our

After signing the Treaty of Paris, by which Spain recognized our
independence, Aranda addressed a Memoir secretly to King Charles
the Third, in which his opinions on this event are set forth. This
prophetic document slumbered for a long time in the confidential
archives of the Spanish crown. Coxe, in his “Memoirs of the Kings of
Spain of the House of Bourbon,” which are founded on a rare collection
of original documents, makes no allusion to it. It was first brought
to light in a French translation of Coxe’s work by Don Andres Muriel,
published at Paris in 1827.[596] An abstract of the Memoir appears in
one of the historical dissertations of the Mexican authority, Alaman,
who said of it that it has “a just celebrity, because results have made
it pass for a prophecy.”[597] I give the material portions, translated
from the French of Muriel.

    “_Memoir communicated secretly to the King by his Excellency
    the Count Aranda, on the Independence of the English Colonies,
    after having signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783._

    “The independence of the English Colonies has been
    acknowledged. This is for me an occasion of grief and dread.
    France has few possessions in America; but she should have
    considered that Spain, her intimate ally, has many, and
    that she is left to-day exposed to terrible shocks. From the
    beginning, France has acted contrary to her true interests in
    encouraging and seconding this independence: I have often so
    declared to the ministers of this nation. What could happen
    better for France than to see the English and the Colonists
    destroy each other in a party warfare which could only augment
    her power and favor her interests? The antipathy which reigns
    between France and England blinded the French Cabinet; it
    forgot that its interest consisted in remaining a tranquil
    spectator of this conflict; and, once launched in the arena,
    it dragged us, unhappily, and by virtue of the Family Compact,
    into a war entirely contrary to our proper interest.

    “I will not stop here to examine the opinions of some
    statesmen, our own countrymen as well as foreigners, which I
    share, on _the difficulty of preserving our power in America.
    Never have so extensive possessions, placed at a great distance
    from the metropolis, been long preserved._ To this cause,
    applicable to all colonies, must be added others peculiar to
    the Spanish possessions: namely, the difficulty of succoring
    them, in case of need; the vexations to which the unhappy
    inhabitants have been exposed from some of the governors; the
    distance of the supreme authority to which they must have
    recourse for the redress of grievances, which causes years to
    pass before justice is done to their complaints; the vengeance
    of the local authorities to which they continue exposed while
    waiting; the difficulty of knowing the truth at so great a
    distance; finally, the means which the viceroys and governors,
    from being Spaniards, cannot fail to have for obtaining
    favorable judgments in Spain: all these different circumstances
    will render the inhabitants of America discontented, and make
    them attempt efforts to obtain independence as soon as they
    shall have a propitious occasion.

    “Without entering into any of these considerations, I shall
    confine myself now to that which occupies us from the dread of
    seeing ourselves exposed to dangers from the new power which
    we have just recognized in a country where there is no other
    in condition to arrest its progress. _This Federal Republic is
    born a pygmy_, so to speak. It required the support and the
    forces of two powers as great as Spain and France in order to
    attain independence. _A day will come when it will be a giant,
    even a colossus, formidable in these countries._ It will then
    forget the benefits which it has received from the two powers,
    and will dream of nothing but to aggrandize itself. _Liberty of
    conscience, the facility for establishing a new population on
    immense lands, as well as the advantages of the new government,
    will draw thither agriculturists and artisans from all the
    nations: for men always run after Fortune. And in a few years
    we shall see with true grief the tyrannical existence of this
    same colossus of which I speak._

    “The first movement of this power, when it has arrived at its
    aggrandizement, will be to obtain possession of the Floridas,
    in order to dominate the Gulf of Mexico. After having rendered
    commerce with New Spain difficult for us, it will aspire to the
    conquest of this vast empire, which it will not be possible
    for us to defend against a formidable power established on
    the same continent, and in its neighborhood. These fears are
    well founded, Sire; they will be changed into reality in a
    few years, if, indeed, there are not other disorders in our
    Americas still more fatal. This observation is justified by
    what has happened in all ages, and with all nations which have
    begun to rise. Man is the same everywhere; the difference of
    climate does not change the nature of our sentiments; he who
    finds the opportunity of acquiring power and of aggrandizing
    himself profits by it always. How, then, can we expect the
    Americans to respect the kingdom of New Spain, when they
    shall have the facility of possessing themselves of this rich
    and beautiful country? A wise policy counsels us to take
    precautions against evils which may happen. This thought has
    occupied my whole mind, since, as Minister Plenipotentiary
    of your Majesty, and conformably to your royal will and
    instructions, I signed the Peace of Paris. I have considered
    this important affair with all the attention of which I am
    capable, and, after much reflection, drawn from the knowledge,
    military as well as political, which I have been able to
    acquire in my long career, I think, that, in order to escape
    the great losses with which we are threatened, there remains
    nothing but the means which I am about to have the honor of
    exhibiting to your Majesty.

    “Your Majesty must relieve yourself of all your possessions on
    the continent of the two Americas, _preserving only the islands
    of Cuba and Porto Rico_ in the northern part, and some other
    convenient one in the southern part, to serve as a seaport or
    trading-place for Spanish commerce.

    “In order to accomplish this great thought in a manner becoming
    to Spain, three Infantes must be placed in America,--one as
    king of Mexico, another as king of Peru, and the third as
    king of the Terra Firma. Your Majesty will take the title of

I have sometimes heard this remarkable Memoir called apocryphal, but
without reason, except because its foresight is so remarkable. The
Mexican historian Alaman treats it as genuine, and, after praising
it, informs us that the project of Count Aranda was not taken into
consideration, but that “the results have shown how advantageous it
would have been to all, and especially to the people of America,
who in this way would have obtained independence without revolution
and enjoyed it without anarchy.”[598] Meanwhile all the American
possessions of the Spanish crown, except Cuba and Porto Rico, have
become independent, as predicted, and the new power, known as the
United States, which at that time was a “pygmy,” is a “colossus.”

In proposing a throne for Spanish America, Aranda was preceded by no
less a person than the great French engineer and fort-builder, Marshal
Vauban, who, during the reverses of the War of the Spanish Succession,
submitted to the court of France that Philip the Fifth should be sent
to reign in America; and that prince is said to have consented.[599]

Aranda was not alone in surprise at the course of Spain. The English
traveller Burnaby, in his edition of 1798, mentions this as one of the
reasons for the success of the Colonists, and declares that he had
not supposed, originally, “that Spain would join in a plan inevitably
leading, though by slow and imperceptible steps, to the final loss
of all her rich possessions in South America.”[600] This was not an
uncommon idea. The same anxieties appeared in one of Mr. Adams’s Dutch
correspondents, whose report of fearful prophecies has been already
mentioned.[601] John Adams also records in his Diary, under date of
14th December, 1779, on landing at Ferrol in Spain, that, according
to the report of various persons, “the Spanish nation in general have
been of opinion that the Revolution in America was of bad example to
the Spanish colonies, and dangerous to the interests of Spain, as the
United States, if they should become ambitious, and be seized with the
spirit of conquest, might aim at Mexico and Peru.”[602] All this is
entirely in harmony with the Memoir of the Spanish statesman.


With the success of the American Revolution prophecy entered other
spheres, and here we welcome a remarkable writer, the Rev. William
Paley, an English divine, who was born July, 1743, and died 25th May,
1805. He is known for various works of great contemporary repute, all
commended by a style of singular transparency, and admirably adapted to
the level of opinion at the time. If they are gradually vanishing from
sight, it is because other works, especially in philosophy, are more
satisfactory and touch higher chords.

His earliest considerable work, and for a long period a popular
text-book of education, was the well-known “Principles of Moral and
Political Philosophy,” which first appeared in 1785. Here, with grave
errors and a reprehensible laxity on certain topics, he did much for
truth. The clear vision with which he saw the enormity of Slavery was
not disturbed by any prevailing interest at home, and he constantly
testified against it. American Independence furnished occasion for a
prophetic aspiration of more than common value, because embodied in a
work of morals especially for the young:--

    “The great revolution which seems preparing in the Western
    World may probably conduce (and who knows but that it is
    designed?) _to accelerate the fall of this abominable tyranny_:
    and when this contest, and the passions that attend it, are
    no more, there will succeed a season for reflecting whether
    a legislature which had so long lent its assistance to the
    support of an institution replete with human misery was fit to
    be trusted with an empire the most extensive that ever obtained
    in any age or quarter of the world.”[603]

In thus associating Emancipation with American Independence, the
philosopher became an unconscious associate of Lafayette, who, on
the consummation of peace, invited Washington to this beneficent
enterprise,[604]--alas! in vain.

Paley did not confine his testimony to the pages of philosophy, but
openly united with the Abolitionists of the day. To help the movement
against the slave-trade, he encountered the _claim of pecuniary
compensation_ for the partakers in the traffic, by a brief essay, in
1789, entitled “Arguments against the Unjust Pretensions of Slave
Dealers and Holders to be indemnified by Pecuniary Allowances at the
Public Expense, in Case the Slave Trade should be abolished.”[605]
This was sent to the Abolition Committee, by whom the substance was
presented to the public; but unhappily the essay was lost or mislaid.

His honorable interest in the cause was attested by a speech at a
public meeting of the inhabitants of Carlisle, over which he presided,
9th February, 1792. Here he denounced the slave-trade as “this
diabolical traffic,” and by a plain similitude, as applicable to
slavery as to the trade in slaves, held it up to judgment:--

    “None will surely plead in favor of scalping. But suppose
    scalps should become of request in Europe, and a trade in them
    be carried on with the American Indians; might it not be
    justly said, that the Europeans, by their trade in scalps, did
    all they could to perpetuate amongst the natives of America the
    inhuman practice of scalping?”[606]

Strange that the philosopher who extenuated Duelling should have been
so true and lofty against Slavery! For this, at least, he deserves our
grateful praise.


From Count Aranda to Robert Burns,--from the rich and titled minister,
faring sumptuously in the best house of Paris, to the poor ploughboy
poet, struggling in a cottage,--what a contrast! And there is contrast
also between him and the philosopher nestling in the English Church. Of
the poet I say nothing, except that he was born 25th January, 1759, and
died 21st July, 1796, in the thirty-eighth year of his age.

There is only a slender thread of Burns to be woven into this web, and
yet, coming from him, it must not be neglected. In a letter dated 8th
November, 1788, after a friendly word for the unfortunate House of
Stuart, he prophetically alludes to American Independence:--

    “I will not, I cannot, enter into the merits of the case, but
    I dare say the American Congress in 1776 will be allowed to be
    as able and as enlightened as the English Convention was in
    1688, _and that their posterity will celebrate the centenary
    of their deliverance from us as duly and sincerely as we do
    ours from the oppressive measures of the wrong-headed House of

The year 1788, when these words were written, was a year of
commemoration, being the hundredth from the famous Revolution by
which the Stuarts were excluded from the throne of England. The
“centenary” of our Independence is not yet completed; but long ago the
commemoration began. On the coming of that hundredth anniversary, the
prophecy of Burns will be more than fulfilled.

This aspiration is in harmony with the address to George the Third in
the “Dream,” after the loss of the Colonies:--

    “Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
      Is e’en right reft and clouted,”[608]--

meaning broken and patched; also with the obnoxious toast he gave at
a supper, “May our success in the present war be equal to the justice
of our cause”;[609] and also with an “Ode on the American War,”

    “No Spartan tube, no Attic shell,
      No lyre Eolian I awake;
    ’Tis Liberty’s bold note I swell;
      Thy harp, Columbia, let me take.”[610]

How natural for the great poet who had pictured the sublime brotherhood
of man!--

    “Then let us pray that come it may,
      As come it will for a’ that,
    That man to man, the warld o’er,
      Shall brothers be for a’ that.”[611]


Sheridan was a genius who united the palm of eloquence in Parliament
with that other palm won at the Theatre. His speeches and his plays
excited equal applause. The House of Commons and Drury Lane were the
scenes of his famous labors, while society enjoyed his graceful wit. He
was born in Dublin, September, 1751, and died in London, July 7th, 1816.

I quote now from a speech in the House of Commons, 21st January, 1794.

    “America remains neutral, prosperous, and at peace. America,
    with a wisdom, prudence, and magnanimity which we have
    disdained, thrives at this moment in a state of envied
    tranquillity, and _is hourly clearing the paths to unbounded
    opulence_. America has monopolized the commerce and the
    advantages which we have abandoned. Oh! turn your eyes to her;
    view her situation, her happiness, her content; observe her
    trade and her manufactures, adding daily to her general credit,
    to her private enjoyments, and to her public resources,--_her
    name and government rising above the nations of Europe with a
    simple, but commanding dignity, that wins at once the respect,
    the confidence, and the affection of the world_.”[612]

Here are true respect and sympathy for our country, with a forecast of
increasing prosperity, and an image of her attitude among the nations.
It is pleasant to enroll the admired author of “The Rivals” and “The
School for Scandal” in this catalogue.


In quoting from Charles James Fox, the statesman, minister, and orator,
I need add nothing, except that he was born 24th January, 1749, and
died 13th September, 1806, and that he was an early friend of our

Many words of his, especially during our Revolution, might be
introduced here; but I content myself with a single passage, of later
date, which, besides its expression of good-will, is a prophecy of our
power. It is found in a speech in the House of Commons, on his motion
for putting an end to war with France, 30th May, 1794.

    “It was impossible to dissemble that we had a serious dispute
    with America, and although we might be confident that the
    wisest and best man of his age, who presided in the government
    of that country, would do everything that became him to avert
    a war, it was impossible to foresee the issue. America had no
    fleet, no army; but in case of war she would find various means
    to harass and annoy us. Against her we could not strike a blow
    that would not be as severely felt in London as in America, so
    identified were the two countries by commercial intercourse.
    _To a contest with such an adversary he looked as the greatest
    possible misfortune._ If we commenced another crusade against
    her, we might destroy her trade, and check the progress of
    her agriculture, but we must also equally injure ourselves.
    Desperate, therefore, indeed, must be that war in which each
    wound inflicted on our enemy would at the same time inflict one
    upon ourselves. He hoped to God that such an event as a war
    with America would not happen.”[613]

All good men on both sides of the ocean must join with Fox, who thus
early deprecated war between the United States and England, and
portrayed the fearful consequences. Time, which has enlarged and
multiplied the relations between the two countries, makes his words
more applicable now than when first uttered.


Henri Grégoire, of France, Curate, Deputy to the States General,
Constitutional Bishop, Member of the Convention, also of the Council
of Five Hundred, and Senator, sometimes called Bishop, more frequently
Abbé, was born 4th December, 1750, and died 28th April, 1831. To these
titles add Abolitionist and Republican.

His character and career were unique, being in France what Clarkson
and Wilberforce were in England, and much more, for he was not only
an Abolitionist. In all history no hero of humanity stands forth
more conspicuous for instinctive sympathy with the Rights of Man and
constancy in their support. As early as 1788 he signalized himself
by an essay, crowned by the Academy of Metz, upholding tolerance
for the Jews.[614] His public life began, while yet a curate, as a
representative of the clergy of Lorraine in the States General, but
his sympathies with the people were at once manifest. In the engraving
by which the oath in the Tennis Court is commemorated he appears in
the foreground. His votes were always for the enfranchisement of the
people and the improvement of their condition, his hope being “to
Christianize the Revolution.”[615] In the night session of 4th August,
1789, he declared for the abolition of privileges. He was the first
to give adhesion to the civil constitution of the clergy, and himself
became a constitutional bishop. The decree abolishing royalty was
drawn by him, and he avows that for many days thereafter the excess
of joy took from him appetite and sleep. In the discussion on the
execution of the King he called for the suppression of the punishment
of death. At his instance the Convention abolished African slavery.
With similar energy he sustained public libraries, botanical gardens,
and experimental farms. He was a founder of the Bureau of Longitudes,
the _Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers_, and of the National Institute.
More than any other person he contributed to prevent the destruction of
public monuments, and was the first to call this crime “Vandalism,”--an
excellent term, since adopted in all European languages. With similar
vigor he said, in words often quoted, “Kings are in the moral order
what monsters are in the physical order”; and, “The history of kings
is the martyrology of nations.” He denounced “the oligarchs of all
countries and all the crowned brigands who pressed down the people,”
and, according to his own boast, “spat upon” duellists. “Better a loss
to deplore than an injustice to reproach ourselves with,” was his
lofty solace as he turned from the warning that the Colonies might be
endangered by the rights he demanded.

Such a man could not reconcile himself to the Empire or to Napoleon;
nor could he expect consideration under the Restoration. But he was
constant always to his original sentiments. In 1826 he wrote a work
with the expressive title, “The Nobility of the Skin, or the Prejudice
of Whites against the Color of Africans and that of their Black
and Mixed Descendants.”[616] His life was prolonged to witness the
Revolution of 1830, and shortly after his remains were borne to the
cemetery of Mont Parnasse by young men, who took the horses from the

This brief account of one little known is an introduction to signal
prophecies concerning America.

As early as 8th January, 1791, in a document addressed to citizens of
color and free negroes of the French islands, he boldly said:--

    “A day will come when deputies of color will traverse the ocean
    to come and sit in the national diet, and to swear with us
    to live and die under our laws. A day will come when the sun
    will not shine among you except upon freemen,--when the rays
    of the light-spreading orb will no longer fall upon irons and
    slaves.… It is according to the irresistible march of events
    and the progress of intelligence, that all people dispossessed
    of the domain of Liberty will at last recover this indefeasible

These strong and confident words, so early in date, were followed by
others more remarkable. At the conclusion of his admirable work “De
la Littérature des Nègres,” first published in 1808, where, with
equal knowledge and feeling, homage is done to a people wronged and
degraded by man, he cites his prediction with regard to the sun shining
only upon freemen, and then, elevated by the vision, declares that
“this American Continent, asylum of Liberty, is on its way towards an
order of things which will be common to the Antilles, and _the course
of which all the powers combined will not be able to arrest_.”[619]
This vigorous language is crowned by a prophecy of singular extent
and precision, where, after dwelling on the influences at work to
accelerate progress, he foretells the eminence of our country:--

    “When an energetic and powerful nation, to which everything
    presages high destinies, stretching its arms over the two
    oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific, shall dispatch its vessels
    from one to the other _by a shortened route,--whether by
    cutting the Isthmus of Panama, or by forming a canal of
    communication, as has been proposed, by the River St. John
    and the Lake of Nicaragua,--it will change the face of the
    commercial world and the face of empires_. Who knows if America
    will not then avenge the outrages she has received, and if our
    old Europe, placed in the rank of a subaltern power, will not
    become a colony of the New World?”[620]

Thus resting on the two oceans with a canal between, so that the early
“secret of the strait” shall no longer exist, the American Republic
will change the face of the world, and perhaps make Europe subaltern.
Such was the vision of the French Abolitionist, lifted by devotion to


Small preface is needed for the testimony of Jefferson, whose life
belongs to the history of his country. He was born 2d April, 1743, and
died 4th July, 1826.

Contemporary and rival of Adams, the author of the Declaration of
Independence surpassed the other in sympathetic comprehension of
the Rights of Man, as the other surpassed him in the prophetic
spirit. Jefferson’s words picturing Slavery were unequalled in the
prolonged discussion of that terrible subject, and his two Inaugural
Addresses are masterpieces of political truth. But with clearer eye
Adams foresaw the future grandeur of the Republic, and dwelt on its
ravishing light and glory. The vision of our country coextensive
and coincident with the North American Continent was never beheld
by Jefferson. While recognizing that our principles of government,
traversing the Rocky Mountains, would smile upon the Pacific coast,
his sight did not embrace the distant communities there as parts of
a common country. This is apparent in a letter to John Jacob Astor,
24th May, 1812, where, referring to the commencement of a settlement
by the latter on Columbia River, and declaring the gratification with
which he looked forward to the time when its descendants should have
spread through the whole length of that coast, he adds, “covering it
with free and independent Americans, _unconnected with us but by the
ties of blood and interest_, and employing, like us, the rights of
self-government.”[621] In another letter to Mr. Astor, 9th November,
1813, he characterizes the settlement as “the germ of a great, free,
and _independent empire on that side of our continent_,”[622] thus
carefully announcing political dissociation.

But Jefferson has not been alone in blindness to the mighty
capabilities of the Republic, inspired by his own Declaration of
Independence. Daniel Webster, in a speech at Faneuil Hall, as late as
7th November, 1845, pronounced that the Pacific coast could not be
governed from Europe, or from the Atlantic side of the Continent; and
he pressed the absurdity of anything different:--

    “Where is Oregon? On the shores of the Pacific, three thousand
    miles from us, and twice as far from England. Who is to
    settle it? Americans mainly; some settlers undoubtedly from
    England; but all Anglo-Saxons; all, men educated in notions of
    independent government, and all self-dependent. And now let me
    ask if there be any sensible man in the whole United States who
    will say for a moment, that, when fifty or a hundred thousand
    persons of this description shall find themselves on the shores
    of the Pacific Ocean, they will long consent to be under the
    rule either of the American Congress or the British Parliament.
    They will raise a standard for themselves, and they ought to do

Such a precise and strenuous protest from such a quarter mitigates
the distrust of Jefferson. But after the acquisition of California
the orator said, “I willingly admit, my apprehensions have not been

On the permanence of the National Union, and its influence throughout
the world, Jefferson prophesied thus, in a letter to Lafayette, 14th
February, 1815:--

    “The cement of this Union is in the heart-blood of every
    American. I do not believe there is on earth a government
    established on so immovable a basis. Let them in any State,
    even in Massachusetts itself, raise the standard of separation,
    and its citizens will rise in mass and do justice themselves on
    their own incendiaries.”[625]

Unhappily the Rebellion shows that he counted too much on the
patriotism of the States against “their own incendiaries.” In the same
hopeful spirit he wrote to Edward Livingston, the eminent jurist, 4th
April, 1824:--

    “You have many years yet to come of vigorous activity, and I
    confidently trust they will be employed in cherishing every
    measure which may foster our brotherly union and perpetuate a
    constitution of government _destined to be the primitive and
    precious model of what is to change the condition of man over
    the globe_.”[626]

In these latter words he takes his place on the platform of John Adams,
and sees the world changed by our example. But again he is anxious
about the Union. In another letter to Livingston, 25th March, 1825,
after saying of the National Constitution, that “it is a compact of
many independent powers, every single one of which claims an equal
right to understand it and to require its observance,” he prophesies:--

    “However strong the cord of compact may be, there is a point of
    tension at which it will break.”[627]

Thus, in venerable years, while watching with anxiety the fortunes of
the Union, the patriarch did not fail to see the new order of ages
instituted by the American Government.


George Canning was a successor of Fox, in the House of Commons, as
statesman, minister, and orator. He was born 11th April, 1770, and died
8th August, 1827, in the beautiful villa of the Duke of Devonshire,
at Chiswick, where Fox had died before. Unlike Fox in sentiment for
our country, he is nevertheless associated with a leading event of our
history, and is the author of prophetic words.

The Monroe Doctrine, as now familiarly called, proceeded from Canning.
He was its inventor, promoter, and champion, at least so far as it
bears against European intervention in American affairs. Earnestly
engaged in counteracting the designs of the Holy Alliance for the
restoration of the Spanish colonies to Spain, he sought to enlist the
United States in the same policy; and when Mr. Rush, our minister at
London, replied, that any interference with European politics was
contrary to the traditions of the American Government, he argued,
that, however just such a policy might have been formerly, it was no
longer applicable,--that the question was new and complicated,--that
it was “full as much American as European, to say no more,”--that “it
concerned the United States under aspects and interests as immediate
and commanding as it did or could any of the States of Europe,”--that
“they were the first power established on that continent, and now
confessedly the leading power”; and he then asked: “Was it possible
that they could see with indifference their fate decided upon by
Europe?… Had not a new epoch arrived in the relative position of the
United States towards Europe, which Europe must acknowledge? _Were the
great political and commercial interests_ which hung upon the destinies
of the new continent to be canvassed and adjusted in this hemisphere,
without the coöperation, or even knowledge, of the United States?”[628]
With mingled ardor and importunity the British Minister pressed his
case. At last, after much discussion in the Cabinet at Washington,
President Monroe, accepting the lead of Mr. Canning, and with the
counsel of John Quincy Adams, put forth his famous declaration, where,
after referring to the radical difference between the political systems
of Europe and America, he says, that “we should consider any attempt
on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere
as _dangerous to our peace and safety_,” and that, where governments
have been recognized by us as independent, “we could not view any
interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any
other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light
than as _the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the
United States_.”[629]

The message of President Monroe was received in England with
enthusiastic congratulations. It was upon all tongues; the press was
full of it; the securities of Spanish America rose in the market;
the agents of Spanish America were happy.[630] Brougham exclaimed in
Parliament, that “no event had ever dispersed greater joy, exultation,
and gratitude over all the freemen in Europe.”[631] Mackintosh
rejoiced in the coincidence of England and the United States, “the
two great English commonwealths,--for so he delighted to call them;
and he heartily prayed that they might be forever united in the cause
of justice and liberty.”[632] The Holy Alliance abandoned their
purposes on this continent, and the independence of Spanish America
was established. Some time afterwards, on the occasion of assistance
to Portugal, when Mr. Canning felt called to review and vindicate his
foreign policy, he assumed the following lofty strain: this was in the
House of Commons, 12th December, 1826:--

    “It would be disingenuous not to admit that the entry of
    the French army into Spain was, in a certain sense, a
    disparagement, an affront to the pride, a blow to the feelings
    of England.… But I deny, that, questionable or censurable as
    the act might be, it was one which necessarily called for
    our direct and hostile opposition. Was nothing, then, to be
    done?… If France occupied Spain, was it necessary, in order
    to avoid the consequences of that occupation, that we should
    blockade Cadiz? No. I looked another way. I sought materials of
    compensation in another hemisphere. Contemplating Spain, such
    as our ancestors had known her, I resolved, that, if France
    had Spain, it should not be Spain ‘with the Indies.’ _I called
    the New World into existence, to redress the balance of the

If the republics of Spanish America, thus summoned into independent
existence, have not contributed the weight thus vaunted, the growing
power of the United States is ample to compensate deficiencies on this
continent. There is no balance of power it cannot redress.


With De Tocqueville we come among contemporaries removed by death. He
was born at Paris, 29th July, 1805, and died at Cannes, 16th April,
1859. Having known him personally, and seen him at his castle-home in
Normandy, I cannot fail to recognize the man in his writings, which on
this account have a double charm.

He was the younger son of noble parents, his father being of ancient
Norman descent, and his mother granddaughter of Malesherbes, the
venerated defender of Louis the Sixteenth; but his aristocratic birth
had no influence to check the generous sympathies with which his
heart always palpitated. In 1831 he came to America as a commissioner
from the French Government to examine our prisons, but with a larger
commission from his own soul to study republican institutions. His
conscientious application, rare probity, penetrating thought, and
refinement of style all appeared in his work, “De la Démocratie en
Amérique,” first published in 1835, whose peculiar success is marked
by the fourteenth French edition now before me, and the translations
into other languages. At once he was famous, and his work classical.
The Academy opened its gates. Since Montesquieu there had been no
equal success in the same department, and he was constantly likened
to the illustrious author of “The Spirit of Laws.” Less epigrammatic,
less artful, and less French than his prototype, he was more simple,
truthful, and prophetic. A second publication in 1840, with the same
title, the fruit of mature studies, presented American institutions in
another aspect, exhibiting his unimpaired faith in Democracy, which
with him was Equality as “first principle and symbol.”[634]

Entering the French Chambers, he became eminent for character,
discussing chiefly those measures in which civilization is most
concerned,--the reform of prisons, the abolition of slavery, penal
colonies, and the pretensions of socialism. His work, “L’Ancien Régime
et la Révolution,” awakens admiration, while his correspondence is
among the most charming in literature, exciting love as well as delight.

His honest and practical insight made him philosopher and prophet,
which he was always. A speech in the Chambers, 27th January, 1848, was
memorable as predicting the Revolution which occurred one month later.
But his foresight with regard to America brings him into our procession.

His clearness of vision appears in the distinctness with which he
recognized the peril from Slavery and from the pretensions of the
States. And in Slavery he saw also the prolonged and diversified
indignity to the African race. This was his statement:--

    “The most formidable of all the evils which menace the future
    of the United States springs from _the presence of the
    blacks on their soil_. When we seek the cause of the present
    embarrassments and of the future dangers of the Union, from
    whatever point we set out, we almost always come upon this
    primary fact.”[635]

Then with consummate power he depicts the lot of the unhappy African,
even when free: oppressed, but with whites for judges; shut out
from the jury; his son excluded from the school which receives the
descendant of the European; unable with gold to buy a place at the
theatre “by the side of him who was his master”; in hospitals separated
from the rest; permitted to worship the same God as the whites, but not
to pray at the same altar; and when life is passed, the difference of
condition prevailing still even over the equality of the grave.[636]

Impressed by the menace from Slavery, he further pictures the Union
succumbing to the States:--

    “Either I strangely deceive myself, or the Federal Government
    of the United States is tending every day to grow weaker. It
    is withdrawing gradually from affairs; it is contracting more
    and more the circle of its action. Naturally feeble, it is
    abandoning even the appearance of force.”[637]

Such was the condition when De Tocqueville wrote; and so it continued
until the Rebellion broke forth, and the country rose to save the
Union. Foreseeing this peril, he did not despair of the Republic,
which, in his judgment, was “the natural state of the Americans,”[638]
with roots more profound than the Union.

In describing the future he becomes a prophet. Accepting the conclusion
that the number of inhabitants doubles in twenty-two years, and not
recognizing any causes to arrest this progressive movement, he foresees
the colossal empire:--

    “The Americans of the United States, whatever they do, will
    become one of the greatest people of the world; they will
    cover with their offshoots almost all North America. The
    continent which they inhabit is their domain; it cannot escape

Then, declaring that the “English race,” not stopping within the limits
of the Union, will advance much beyond towards the Northeast,--that
at the Northwest they will encounter only Russian settlements without
importance,--that at the Southwest the vast solitudes of Mexican
territory will be appropriated,--and dwelling on the fortunate
geographical position of “the English of America,” with their climate,
their interior seas, their great rivers, and the fertility of their
soil, he is ready to say:--

    “So, in the midst of the uncertainty of the future, there is
    at least one event which is certain. At an epoch which we can
    call near, since the question here is of the life of a people,
    the Anglo-Americans alone will cover all the immense space
    comprised between the polar ice and the tropics; they will
    spread from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean even to the coasts
    of the South Sea.”[640]

Then, declaring that the territory destined to the Anglo-American race
equals three fourths of Europe, that many centuries will pass before
the different offshoots of this race will cease to present a common
physiognomy, that no epoch can be foreseen when in the New World there
will be any permanent inequality of conditions, and that there are
processes of association and of knowledge by which the people are
assimilated with each other and with the rest of the world, the prophet

    “There will then come a time when there will be seen in North
    America one hundred and fifty millions of men, equal among
    themselves, who will all belong to the same family, who will
    have the same point of departure, the same civilization, the
    same language, the same religion, the same habits, the same
    manners, and among whom thought will circulate in the same form
    and paint itself in the same colors. All else is doubtful, but
    this is certain. Now here is a fact entirely new in the world,
    of which imagination itself cannot grasp the import.”[641]

No American can fail to be strengthened in the future of the Republic
by the testimony of De Tocqueville. Honor and gratitude to his memory!


Coming yet nearer to our own day, we meet a familiar name, now
consecrated by death,--Richard Cobden, born 3d June, 1804, and died 2d
April, 1865. In proportion as truth prevails among men, his character
will shine with increasing glory until he is recognized as the first
Englishman of his time. Though thoroughly English, he was not insular.
He served mankind as well as England.

His masterly faculties and his real goodness made him a prophet
always. He saw the future, and strove to hasten its promises. The
elevation and happiness of the human family were his daily thought.
He knew how to build as well as to destroy. Through him disabilities
upon trade and oppressive taxes were overturned; also a new treaty
was negotiated with France, quickening commerce and intercourse. He
was never so truly eminent as when bringing his practical sense
and enlarged experience to commend the cause of Permanent Peace in
the world by the establishment of a refined system of International
Justice, and the disarming of the nations. To this great consummation
all his later labors tended. I have before me a long letter, dated
at London, 7th November, 1849, where he says much on this absorbing
question, from which, by an easy transition, he passes to speak of the
proposed annexation of Canada to the United States. As what he says on
the latter topic concerns America, and is a prophetic voice, I have
obtained permission to copy it for this collection.

    “Race, religion, language, traditions, are becoming bonds
    of union, and not the parchment title-deeds of sovereigns.
    These instincts may be thwarted for the day, but they are too
    deeply rooted in Nature and in usefulness not to prevail in
    the end. I look with less interest to these struggles of races
    to live apart for what they want to undo than for what they
    will prevent being done in future. _They will warn rulers that
    henceforth the acquisition of fresh territory by force of arms
    will only bring embarrassments and civil war_, instead of that
    increased strength which in ancient times, when people were
    passed, like flocks of sheep, from one king to another, always
    accompanied the incorporation of new territorial conquests.

    “This is the secret of the admitted doctrine, that we shall
    have no more wars of conquest or ambition. In this respect
    _you_ are differently situated, having vast tracts of unpeopled
    territory to tempt that cupidity which, in respect of landed
    property, always disposes individuals and nations, however rich
    in acres, to desire more. This brings me to the subject of
    Canada, to which you refer in your letters.

    “I agree with you, that _Nature has decided that Canada and
    the United States must become one, for all purposes of free
    intercommunication_. Whether they also shall be united in the
    same federal government must depend upon the two parties to the
    union. I can assure you that there will be no repetition of
    the policy of 1776, on our part, to prevent our North American
    colonies from pursuing their interest in their own way. If the
    people of Canada are tolerably unanimous in wishing to sever
    the very slight thread which now binds them to this country,
    I see no reason why, if good faith and ordinary temper be
    observed, it should not be done amicably. I think it would be
    far more likely to be accomplished peaceably, _if the subject
    of annexation were left as a distinct question_. I am quite
    sure that _we_ should be gainers, to the amount of about a
    million sterling annually, if our North American colonists
    would set up in life for themselves and maintain their own
    establishments; and I see no reason to doubt that they also
    might be gainers by being thrown upon their own resources.

    “The less your countrymen mingle in the controversy, the
    better. It will only be an additional obstacle in the path
    of those in this country who see the ultimate necessity of a
    separation, but who have still some ignorance and prejudice
    to contend against, which, if used as political capital
    by designing politicians, may complicate seriously a very
    difficult piece of statesmanship. It is for you and such as
    you, who love peace, to guide your countrymen aright in this
    matter. You have made the most noble contributions of any
    modern writer to the cause of Peace; and as a public man I hope
    you will exert all your influence to induce Americans to hold a
    dignified attitude and observe a ‘masterly inactivity’ in the
    controversy which is rapidly advancing to a solution between
    the mother country and her American colonies.”

A prudent patriotism among us will appreciate the wisdom of this
counsel, more needed now than when written. The controversy which
Cobden foresaw “between the mother country and her American colonies”
is yet undetermined. The recent creation of what is somewhat grandly
called “The Dominion of Canada” marks one stage in its progress.


From Canada I pass to Mexico, and close this list with Lucas Alaman,
the Mexican statesman and historian, who has left on record a most
pathetic prophecy with regard to his own country, intensely interesting
to us at this moment.

Alaman was born in the latter part of the last century, and died June
2, 1855. He was a prominent leader of the monarchical party, and
Minister of Foreign Affairs under Presidents Bustamente and Santa Aña.
In this capacity he inspired the respect of foreign diplomatists. One
of these, who had occasion to know him officially, says of him, in
answer to my inquiries, that he “was the greatest statesman Mexico has
produced since her independence.”[642] He was one of the few in any
country who have been able to unite literature with public life, and
obtain honors in each.

His first work was “Dissertations on the History of the Mexican
Republic,”[643] in three volumes, published at Mexico, 1844-49. In
these he considers the original conquest by Cortés, its consequences,
the conqueror and his family, the propagation of the Christian religion
in New Spain, the formation of the city of Mexico, the history of
Spain and the House of Bourbon. All these topics are treated somewhat
copiously. Then followed the “History of Mexico, from the First
Movements which prepared its Independence in 1808 to the Present
Epoch,”[644] in five volumes, published at Mexico, the first bearing
date 1849, and the fifth 1852. From the Preface to the first volume it
appears that the author was born in Guanajuato, and witnessed there
the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1810, under Don Miguel
Hidalgo, the curate of Dolores; that he was personally acquainted with
the curate, and with many who had a principal part in the successes of
that time; that he was experienced in public affairs, as Deputy and as
member of the Cabinet; and that he had known directly the persons and
things of which he wrote. His last volume embraces the government of
Iturbide as Emperor, and also his unfortunate death, ending with the
establishment of the Mexican Federal Republic, in 1824. The work is
careful and well considered. The eminent diplomatist already mentioned,
who had known the author officially, writes that “no one was better
acquainted with the history and causes of the incessant revolutions
in his unfortunate country, and that his work on this subject is
considered by all respectable men in Mexico a _chef-d’œuvre_ for purity
of sentiments and patriotic convictions.”

It is on account of the valedictory words of this History that I
introduce the name of Alaman, and nothing more striking appears in this
gallery. Behold!--

    “Mexico will be, without doubt, a land of prosperity from its
    natural advantages, _but it will not be so for the races which
    now inhabit it_. As it seemed the destiny of the peoples who
    established themselves therein at different and remote epochs
    to perish from the face of it, leaving hardly a memory of
    their existence; even as the nation which built the edifices
    of Palenque, and those which we admire in the peninsula of
    Yucatan, was destroyed without its being known what it was or
    how it disappeared; _even as the Toltecs perished by the hands
    of barbarous tribes coming from the North_, no record of them
    remaining but the pyramids of Cholula and Teotihuacan; and,
    finally, even as the ancient Mexicans fell beneath the power of
    the Spaniards, _the country gaining infinitely by this change
    of dominion, but its ancient masters being overthrown_;--so
    likewise its present inhabitants shall be ruined and hardly
    obtain the compassion they have merited, and the Mexican
    nation of our days shall have applied to it what a celebrated
    Latin poet said of one of the most famous personages of Roman
    history, STAT MAGNI NOMINIS UMBRA,[645]--Nothing more remains
    than the shadow of a name illustrious in another time.

    “May the Almighty, in whose hands is the fate of nations,
    and who by ways hidden from our sight abases or exalts them
    according to the designs of His providence, be pleased to grant
    unto ours the protection by which He has so often deigned to
    preserve it from the dangers to which it has been exposed!”[646]

Most affecting words of prophecy! Considering the character of the
author as statesman and historian, it could have been only with
inconceivable anguish that he made this terrible record for the land
whose child and servant he was. Born and reared in Mexico, honored by
its important trusts, and writing the history of its independence, it
was his country, having for him all that makes country dear; and yet
thus calmly he consigns the present people to oblivion, while another
enters into those happy places where Nature is so bountiful. And so a
Mexican leaves the door open to the foreigner.


Such are prophetic voices, differing in character and importance,
but all having one augury, and opening one vista, illimitable in
extent and vastness. Farewell to the narrow thought of Montesquieu,
that a republic can exist only in a small territory![647] Through
representation and federation a continent is not too much for practical
dominion, nor is it beyond expectation. Well did Webster say, “The
prophecies and the poets are with us”; and then again, “In regard to
this country there is no poetry like the poetry of events, and all the
prophecies lag behind their fulfilment.”[648] But my purpose is not
with the fulfilment, except as it stands forth visible to all.

Ancient prophecy foretold another world beyond the ocean, which in the
mind of Christopher Columbus was nothing less than the Orient with
its inexhaustible treasures. The continent was hardly known when the
prophets began: poets like Chapman, Drayton, Daniel, Herbert, Cowley;
economists like Child and Davenant; New-Englanders like Morrell, Ward,
and Sewall; and, mingling with these, that rare genius, Sir Thomas
Browne, who, in the reign of Charles the Second, while the settlements
were in infancy, predicted their growth in power and civilization;
and then that rarest character, Bishop Berkeley, who, in the reign
of George the First, while the settlements were still feeble and
undeveloped, heralded a Western empire as “Time’s noblest offspring.”

These voices are general. Others more precise followed. Turgot, the
philosopher and minister, saw in youth, with the vision of genius, that
all colonies must at their maturity drop from the parent stem, like
ripe fruit. John Adams, one of the chiefs of our own history, in a
youth illumined as that of Turgot, saw the predominance of the Colonies
in population and power, followed by the transfer of empire to America;
then the glory of Independence, and its joyous celebration by grateful
generations; then the triumph of our language; and, finally, the
establishment of our republican institutions over all North America.
Then came the Abbé Galiani, the Neapolitan Frenchman, who, writing from
Naples while our struggle was still undecided, gayly predicts the total
downfall of Europe, the transmigration to America, and the consummation
of the greatest revolution of the globe by establishing the reign
of America over Europe. There is also Adam Smith, the illustrious
philosopher, who quietly carries the seat of government across the
Atlantic. Meanwhile Pownall, once a Colonial governor and then a
member of Parliament, in successive works of great detail, foreshadows
independence, naval supremacy, commercial prosperity, immigration from
the Old World, and a new national life, destined to supersede the
systems of Europe and arouse the “curses” of royal ministers. Hartley,
also a member of Parliament, and the British negotiator who signed the
definitive treaty of Independence, bravely announces in Parliament that
the New World is before the Colonists, and that liberty is theirs; and
afterwards, as diplomatist, instructs his Government, that, through
the attraction of our public lands, immigration will be quickened
beyond precedent, and the national debt cease to be a burden. Aranda,
the Spanish statesman and diplomatist, predicts to his king that the
United States, though born a “pygmy,” will some day be a “colossus,”
under whose influence Spain will lose all her American possessions
except only Cuba and Porto Rico. Paley, the philosopher, hails our
successful revolution as destined to accelerate the fall of Slavery,
which he denounces as an “abominable tyranny.” Burns, the truthful
poet, who loved mankind, looks forward a hundred years, and beholds
our people rejoicing in the centenary of their independence. Sheridan
pictures our increasing prosperity, and the national dignity winning
the respect, confidence, and affection of the world. Fox, the liberal
statesman, foresees the increasing might and various relations of the
United States, so that a blow aimed at them must have a rebound as
destructive as itself. The Abbé Grégoire, devoted to the slave, whose
freedom he predicts, describes the power and glory of the American
Republic, resting on the two great oceans, and swaying the world.
Tardily, Jefferson appears with anxiety for the National Union, and
yet announcing our government as the primitive and precious model to
change the condition of mankind. Canning, the brilliant orator, in a
much-admired flight of eloquence, discerns the New World, with its
republics just called into being, redressing the balance of the Old.
De Tocqueville, while clearly foreseeing the peril from Slavery,
proclaims the future grandeur of the Republic, covering “almost all
North America,” and making the continent its domain, with a population,
equal in rights, counted by the hundred million. Cobden, whose fame
will be second only to that of Adam Smith among all in this catalogue,
calmly predicts the separation of Canada from the mother country by
peaceable means. Alaman, the Mexican statesman and historian, announces
that Mexico, which has already known so many successive races; will
hereafter be ruled by yet another people, taking the place of the
present possessors; and with these prophetic words, the patriot draws a
pall over his country.

All these various voices, of different times and lands, mingle and
intertwine in representing the great future of our Republic, which from
small beginnings has already become great. It was at first only a grain
of mustard-seed, “which, indeed, is the least of all seeds; but when it
is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that
the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Better
still, it was only a little leaven, but it is fast leavening the whole
continent. Nearly all who have prophesied speak of “America” or “North
America,” and not of any limited circle, colony, or state. It was so,
at the beginning, with Sir Thomas Browne, and especially with Berkeley.
During our Revolution, the Colonies struggling for independence
were always described by this continental designation. They were
already “America,” or “North America,” (and such was the language of
Washington,) thus incidentally foreshadowing that coming time when the
whole continent, with all its various states, shall be a Plural Unit,
with one Constitution, one Liberty, and one Destiny. The theme was
also taken up by the poet, and popularized in the often quoted lines,--

    “No pent-up Utica contracts your powers,
    But the whole boundless continent is yours.”[649]

Such grandeur may justly excite anxiety rather than pride, for duties
are in corresponding proportion. There is occasion for humility also,
as the individual considers his own insignificance in the transcendent
mass. The tiny polyp, in unconscious life, builds the everlasting
coral. Each citizen is little more than the industrious insect. The
result is reached by the continuity of combined exertion. Millions of
citizens, working in obedience to Nature, can accomplish anything.

Of course, war is an instrumentality which true civilization disowns.
Here some of our prophets have erred. Sir Thomas Browne was so much
overshadowed by his own age, that his vision was darkened by “great
armies,” and even “hostile and piratical assault” on Europe. It was
natural that Aranda, schooled in worldly life, should imagine the
new-born power ready to seize the Spanish possessions. Among our own
countrymen, Jefferson looked to war for the extension of dominion. The
Floridas, he says on one occasion, “are ours in the first moment of
the first war, and until a war they are of no particular necessity to
us.”[650] Happily they were acquired in another way. Then again, while
declaring that no constitution was ever before so calculated as ours
for extensive empire and self-government, and insisting upon Canada as
a component part, he calmly says that this “would be, of course, in
the first war.”[651] Afterwards, while confessing a longing for Cuba,
“as the most interesting addition which could ever be made to our
system of States,” he says that he is “sensible that this can never be
obtained, even with her own consent, but by war.”[652] Thus at each
stage is the baptism of blood. In much better mood the poet Bishop
recognized empire as moving gently in the pathway of light. All this is
much clearer now than when he prophesied.

It is easy to see that empire obtained by force is unrepublican, and
offensive to the first principle of our Union, according to which all
just government stands only on the consent of the governed. Our country
needs no such ally as war. Its destiny is mightier than war. Through
peace it will have everything. This is our talisman. Give us peace, and
population will increase beyond all experience; resources of all kinds
will multiply infinitely; arts will embellish the land with immortal
beauty; the name of Republic will be exalted, until every neighbor,
yielding to irresistible attraction, seeks new life in becoming part of
the great whole; and the national example will be more puissant than
army or navy for the conquest of the world.


[1] Conférences Américaines, p. 143.

[2] Müller’s Voyages from Asia to America, tr. Jefferys, (London,
1764,) p. 45.

[3] Articles XV., XVI.: Billings’s Expedition, Appendix, No. V., pp.
41, 42.

[4] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 147.

[5] A translation of this document is given in Barrow’s Arctic Voyages,
Appendix, No. II., pp. 24, seqq.

[6] Voyage of Malaspina: Barrow, p. 127.

[7] Barbé-Marbois, Histoire de la Louisiane, (Paris, 1829,) p. 335.

[8] Prefixed to Coxe’s Russian Discoveries (London, 1780).

[9] Essai Politique sur le Royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagne, Tom. I. pp.

[10] United States Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. pp. 539-543.

[11] Article VI.

[12] Articles VII., VIII.: Hertslet’s Commercial Treaties, Vol. III. p.

[13] Art. VI.: Ibid.

[14] Art. XII.: Ibid., Vol. VI. p. 767.

[15] Ibid., Vol. X. p. 1063.

[16] Wheaton’s Elements of International Law, ed. Lawrence, (Boston,
1863,) Part II. ch. 4, § 19, p. 359.

[17] Greenhow, History of Oregon and California, p. 346. Executive
Documents, 20th Cong. 1st Sess., H. of R., No. 199, pp. 23, 44.

[18] Wheaton, Part II. ch. 4, § 18, p. 353.

[19] Voyages from China to the Northwest Coast of America, (London,
1791,) Vol. I. p. 354.

[20] Ibid., Vol. II. pp. 283-291.

[21] Arctic Zoölogy (London, 1792), Vol. I. p. 104.


    “Por Castilla y por Leon
    Nuevo mundo halló Colon.”

[23] Works, Vol. IV. p. 293.

[24] Journey round the World, Vol. I. p. 209.

[25] Band XXII. pp. 47-70.

[26] Russian America and the Present War.

[27] Tom. I. p. 345.

[28] Act of July 1, 1864: Statutes at Large, Vol. XIII. pp. 340, 341.

[29] Diplomatic Correspondence, 1865-66: Executive Documents, 39th
Cong. 1st Sess., H. of R., No. 1, p. 366.

[30] Joint Resolution, May 16, 1866: Statutes at Large, Vol. XIV. p.

[31] Letters to John Jacob Astor, May 24, 1812, and November 9, 1813:
Writings, Vol. VI. pp. 55, 248. See also Letter to Mr. Breckenridge,
August 12, 1803: Ibid., Vol. IV. pp. 498-501.

[32] Speech at Faneuil Hall, November 7, 1845: Boston Daily Advertiser,
November 10th.

[33] Letter on the Florida Treaty, June 20, 1820: Parton’s Life of
Jackson, Vol. II. p. 585.

[34] Attributed to Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary. See Coxe,
History of the House of Austria, (London, 1820,) Ch. XXV., Vol. II. p.

[35] Cicero, Epist. ad Atticum, IV. 6.

[36] Erman, Die Russischen Colonien an der Nordwestküste von Amerika:
Archiv, Band XXII. p. 48.

[37] Voyage, p. 118.

[38] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 275.

[39] Part I. ch. 11, p. 148.

[40] Voyages, Vol. I. p. xvi.

[41] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 518.

[42] Ibid., pp. 509, 515.

[43] Billings’s Expedition, p. 157.

[44] Ibid., p. 161.

[45] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 232.

[46] Captain D’Wolf, whose little book was not printed till 1861, says
there was “little or no game but foxes,” and he adds that in fact he
“was the only Wolf ever known upon the island.”--_Voyage to the North
Pacific_, pp. 69, 70.

[47] Ethnographische Skizzen über die Völker des Russischen Amerika,
von H. J. Holmberg: Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicæ, 1856, Tom. IV.
Fasc. 2, pp. 281, seqq.

[48] Blodget, Climatology, p. 532.

[49] Voyage to the Pacific (London, 1784), Vol. II. p. 509.

[50] Billings’s Expedition, p. 274.

[51] Ibid., Appendix, p. 55.

[52] Ibid., p. 171.

[53] Ibid., p. 172.

[54] Ibid., p. 173.

[55] Voyage to the North Pacific, pp. 63, 64.

[56] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 153.

[57] Voyage, p. 145.

[58] Voyage, pp. 214, 215.

[59] Ibid., p. 153.

[60] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. pp. 69, 70.

[61] Voyage, p. 54.

[62] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 107.

[63] Voyage, Vol. III. p. 314.

[64] Voyage, p. 22.

[65] Voyage, p. 51.

[66] Voyage round the World, Vol. I. pp. 95-106.

[67] Journey round the World, Vol. I. pp. 218, 219, 220, 227.

[68] Voyage, 1783-87: Coxe’s Russian Discoveries (4th edit.), p. 219.

[69] Voyage, pp. 192, 193.

[70] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. pp. 67, 68.

[71] Ibid., pp. 69, 70.

[72] Voyage, p. 179, note.

[73] Billings’s Expedition, p. 157.

[74] Langsdorff, Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 43.

[75] Billings’s Expedition, p. 273.

[76] Ibid., p. 155.

[77] Cook, Voyage to the Pacific, Vol. II. p. 362.

[78] Billings’s Expedition, p. 197.

[79] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 205.

[80] Voyage, p. 167, note.

[81] Voyage, pp. 48, 49.

[82] Belcher, Voyage, Vol. I. p. 94.

[83] Journey round the World, Vol. I. p. 225.

[84] De l’Esprit des Lois, Liv. XIV.

[85] Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, Vol. II. p. 520.

[86] Part. III. § 6, pp. 196, 197.

[87] The Oregon Question, p. 28.

[88] Voyage, p. 118.

[89] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 187.

[90] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. pp. 101, 102.

[91] Voyage, pp. 52, 53.

[92] Belcher’s Voyage round the World, Appendix, Vol. II. p. 332.

[93] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 61.

[94] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 70.

[95] Müller, Voyages from Asia to America (London, 1764), p. 85.

[96] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 191.

[97] Voyage, p. 145.

[98] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 101.

[99] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 379.

[100] Voyage, Tom. II. pp. 187, 188.

[101] Voyage, pp. 102, 251.

[102] Voyages, Vol. I. pp. lxiv, lxv.

[103] Expedition, pp. 197, 198.

[104] Voyage, Vol. III. p. 95.

[105] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 103.

[106] Voyage, p. 191, note.

[107] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 105.

[108] Voyage, Vol. I. pp. 73, 97.

[109] Langsdorff, Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 65.

[110] Voyage, Vol. II pp. 425, 520.

[111] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 476, 480, 482.

[112] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 249.

[113] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 478, 494.

[114] Voyage, pp. 251, 252.

[115] Voyages, Vol. I. p. lxv.

[116] Expedition, p. 182.

[117] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 34.

[118] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 74.

[119] Müller, Voyages, p. 90.

[120] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 519, 520.

[121] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 188.

[122] Voyage, pp. 118, 242.

[123] Voyages, Vol. I. p. lxiv; II. p. 287.

[124] Expedition, pp. 182, 198.

[125] Voyage, Vol. III. p. 233.

[126] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 34.

[127] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 118.

[128] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. pp. 35, 62.

[129] Voyage, Tom. I. pp. 105, 151.

[130] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 300.

[131] Lisiansky, Voyage, p. 236.

[132] Müller, Voyages from Asia to America, pp. 85, 90.

[133] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 379, 380.

[134] La Pérouse, Voyage, Introduction, Tom. I. p. 340.

[135] Voyage, Tom. II. pp. 151, 152, 192, 207.

[136] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 335, 339.

[137] Voyage, p. 150.

[138] Voyages, Vol. II. pp. 33, 34.

[139] Voyage, p. 108.

[140] Voyages, Vol. II. p. 291.

[141] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 214.

[142] Page 112.

[143] Band XXV. pp. 229, seqq.

[144] Sauer, Billings’s Expedition, p. 274.

[145] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 357, 358.

[146] Billings’s Expedition, p. 277.

[147] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 101.

[148] Coxe, Russian Discoveries, (3d edit.,) pp. 11, 12.

[149] Billings’s Expedition, p. 275.

[150] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. pp. 66, 73-75.

[151] Journal, Vol. XXII. p. 120.

[152] Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. XXII. p. 120.

[153] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 256.

[154] Wrangell, Nachrichten über die Russischen Besitzungen, pp. 23,
24. Wappäus, Geographie, p. 302.

[155] Journey round the World, Vol. I. pp. 221, 222.

[156] Richardson, Fauna Boreali-Americana, Part I. p. 94.

[157] Ibid., pp. 94, 95.

[158] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 293.

[159] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 74.

[160] Rymer, Fœdera, Vol. XX. p. 231.

[161] Journey round the World, Vol. I. p. 222.

[162] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 458.

[163] Hakluyt (London, 1599), Vol. I. p. 5.

[164] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 295.

[165] Voyage, Vol. III. p. 294.

[166] Voyage, p. 29.

[167] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 295, 296.

[168] Voyages, Vol. II. p. 23.

[169] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 190.

[170] Tom. I. pp. lxxiii, seqq.

[171] Müller, Voyages from Asia to America, p. 101.

[172] Russian Discoveries (3d edit.), p. 14.

[173] Voyages from Asia to America, p. 108.

[174] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 357.

[175] Voyages, Vol. I. p. xxvii.

[176] Voyage, Vol. III. p. 151.

[177] Billings’s Expedition, p. 155.

[178] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. pp. 73, 74.

[179] Voyage, p. 281.

[180] Müller, Voyages from Asia to America, pp. 85, 86.

[181] Levascheff: Coxe’s Russian Discoveries (3d edit.), p. 211.

[182] Voyage, Vol. II. p. 298.

[183] Ibid., p. 320.

[184] Ibid., p. 379.

[185] Ibid., p. 417.

[186] Ibid., p. 432.

[187] Ibid., p. 481.

[188] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 495, 511.

[189] Voyage, pp. 100-123.

[190] Voyage, pp. 229-241.

[191] Voyages, Vol. I. p. lxv.

[192] Ibid., Vol. II. pp. 29-32.

[193] La Pérouse, Voyage, Introd., Tom. I. p. 333.

[194] Voyage, Tom. II. p. 189.

[195] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 235.

[196] Expedition, p. 161.

[197] Expedition, pp. 181, 182.

[198] Ibid., p. 264.

[199] Voyage, p. 164.

[200] Ibid., p. 239.

[201] Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 33.

[202] Ibid., p. 76.

[203] Ibid., p. 108.

[204] Voyage, p. 53.

[205] Voyage, Tom. I. p. 116.

[206] Ibid., p. 148.

[207] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 85.

[208] Journey round the World, Vol. I. p. 227.

[209] London Philosophical Transactions, 1767, pp. 280, 291. Cuvier,
Animal Kingdom, (London, 1827-35,) Vol. X. p. 508.

[210] Voyage, p. 63.

[211] Voyages, Vol. II. p. 23.

[212] Voyage, Vol. I. p. 264.

[213] Geographische Mittheilungen, 1867, p. 120.

[214] Executive Documents, 39th Cong. 1st Sess., H. of R., No. 1, Vol.
2, p. 161.

[215] Voyage, p. 50.

[216] John Adams to Secretary Jay, November 5, 1785: Works, Vol. VIII.
p. 339.

[217] Histoire Naturelle des Poissons, Tom. V. p. 429.

[218] Winslow’s Brief Narration: Young’s Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p.

[219] Speech on Conciliation with America, March 22, 1775: Works
(Boston, 1865-67), Vol. II. pp. 116-118.

[220] Austin’s Life of Gerry, Vol. I. p. 289.

[221] Secret Journals, Vol. II. pp. 161, 230.

[222] Works of John Adams, Vol. VII. pp. 45, 46.

[223] The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer
Isles, (London, 1626,) p. 248.

[224] Sabine, Report on the Fisheries, p. 174.

[225] Voyage, Vol. II. pp. 505, 506, October, 1778.

[226] The word Alaska was not improved when spelt Alas_h_ka, and the
dropping of the letter _h_ in Oon_alaska_ seemed to show the better and
more natural spelling. The following communication, more than a year
after the Speech, was in answer to an inquiry about the spelling with
an _i_, as Al_i_aska, which was adopted by several journals.

                                      “SENATE CHAMBER, May 8, 1868.

    “DEAR MR. BARNEY,--I have your note of the 8th in reference to
    the spelling of Alaska.

    “I think ‘Aliaska’ is a mistake, for which the Coast Survey,
    in the first map of this country, are partly responsible. On
    inquiry, I found there was no particular authority for this
    spelling, and at my suggestion it was altered to Alaska in a
    subsequent edition.

    “When called to consider the purchase of this territory, I
    found that it had the general name of ‘Russian Possessions in
    America,’ or ‘Russian America.’ In the event of transfer to the
    United States, this was evidently improper. Looking for a name,
    my attention was arrested by the designation of the promontory
    stretching to the Aleutian Islands, called by Captain Cook,
    the first Englishman who visited the region, Alaska, without
    an _i_, as the large and neighboring island was called
    Oon_alaska_. This is the first time, so far as I am aware,
    that the name appears. Though at a later day it was sometimes
    written ‘Aliaska,’ it seemed to me that the earlier designation
    was historically more just, while in itself a better word. On
    this account, at the close of my speech I ventured to propose
    it as a name for the whole country.

    “While I was doing this in Washington, General Halleck, in San
    Francisco, was writing an elaborate letter to the Government
    about the new territory, in which he proposed the same name,
    with, as I understand, the same spelling.

        “Yours truly,

            “CHARLES SUMNER.

    “HON. HIRAM BARNEY, New York.”

A new edition of the map appeared with the pamphlet edition of the
Speech, on which Mr. Hilgard, of the Coast Survey, in a letter dated
May 25th, wrote to Mr. Sumner:--

    “As this edition will make its first appearance appended to
    your speech, I have ventured to put on it the name Alaska,
    proposed by you, as I have no doubt it will be generally

[227] Bancroft’s Life of Washington (Worcester, 1807), p. 47.

[228] _Ante_, Vol. XIV. p. 355.

[229] Hon. Charles G. Atherton, Representative from New
Hampshire,--author of the resolutions of December 11, 1838, on which
was based the notorious 21st Rule of the House, providing that “No
petition, memorial, resolution, or other paper, praying the abolition
of slavery in the District of Columbia or any State or Territory, or
the slave-trade between the States or Territories of the United States
in which it now exists, shall be received by this House, or entertained
in any way whatever.”

[230] Article IV.: United States Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. p. 542.

[231] Article VI.

[232] The allusion to Kentucky drew from Mr. Davis, of that State, some
days later, a vehement Philippic, where, among other things, he said:
“The Senator from Massachusetts himself has been complicated in the
crime of treason” (alluding to his opposition to the Fugitive Slave
Bill).… “Massachusetts now is in high feather. Why? She feels conscious
and proud that the Constitution of the United States is prostrate at
her feet, and that she is leading the whole Radical host of America
to execute her wild, oppressive, and unconstitutional behests.… The
Senator from Massachusetts pretends to be a statesman, and gets up
to speak in this Chamber, not only to the Senate, not only to the
people of the United States, but to the legislators and statesmen
and publicists of Europe, … as if he fancied himself the autocratic
lawgiver of the whole land,--as though he was a great Colossus in
wisdom and power, bestriding Government, Constitution, and country.…
The people of the South are enslaved; they are enslaved by the usurped
power of the Senator from Massachusetts, in part, and he knows it.… If
justice could overtake the States of this Union, Massachusetts would be
reconstructed and brought to greater shame than even South Carolina.
The honorable Senator was almost in an ecstasy, a few days ago, when he
foretold the advent of negro Senators into this body. He was jubilant.…
We see the fell purpose of the honorable Senator from Massachusetts.
We know with what persistence he pursues his objects.” Mr. Sumner, in
reply, simply read extracts from speeches by Judge Goodloe, Willard
Davis, G. H. Graham, and General Brisbin, all of Kentucky, at a recent
celebration, on the 4th of July, at Lexington, in that State.[A]

    [A] Congressional Globe, 40th Cong. 1st Sess., July 13, 1867,
    pp. 631-633.

[233] See, _ante_, p. 190.

[234] Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. pp. 14-16.

[235] _Ante_, p. 193.

[236] Statutes at Large, Vol. XVI. p. 3.

[237] The Veto of the Third Reconstruction Act.

[238] Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. p. 31.

[239] Statutes at Large, Vol. XV. pp. 263, 264.

[240] The character of the Senate as a court of impeachment was
discussed by Mr. Sumner in his Opinion on the Impeachment of President

[241] In the Description of England, prefixed to Holinshed’s
Chronicles, and dated 1586, one of these gifts is mentioned: “Of
the potato and such venerous roots as are brought out of Spaine,
Portingale, and the Indies to furnish vp our bankets, I speake not.”
Book II. Ch. VI., Vol. I. p. 281 (London, 1807).

[242] Act. II. 374-379.

[243] Bacon’s Essays, annot. Whately, (London, 1858,) p. 379.

[244] June 20, 1800. Memorials and Correspondence, ed. Russell, Vol.
IV. p. 393.

[245] Life of Columbus, Appendix, No. XXIV., Author’s Revised Edition,
(New York, 1860,) Vol. III. p. 402.

[246] Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viages y Descubrimientos, Tom. II.
pp. 264, 272. Humboldt, Examen Critique de l’Histoire de la Géographie
du Nouveau Continent, Tom. I. p. 101.

[247] Examen Critique, Tom. I. p. 162.

[248] Ibid., pp. 152, 165.

[249] Geographica, Lib. I. p. 65, C. Comp. Lib. II. p. 118, C. See
Humboldt, Examen Critique, Tom. I. pp. 147, seqq.; Cosmos, tr. Otté,
Vol. II. pp. 516, 556, 557, 645.


    “… che ’l dì nostro vola
    A gente, che di là forse l’aspetta.”

_Rime_, Part. I. Canzone V.

[251] Canto XXV. st. 229, 230.

[252] History of Ferdinand and Isabella, Vol. II. pp. 117, 118.

[253] Stories from the Italian Poets, (London, 1846,) Vol. I. p. 295.

[254] Christian Morals, Part II. Sec. 3: Works, ed. Wilkin, (London,
1835,) Vol. IV. p. 81.

[255] Œuvres, (Paris, 1821-23,) Tom. VIII. p. 336. Curiosities of
Literature, (London, 1849,) Vol. III. p. 301, note.

[256] De Guiana Carmen Epicum: Hakluyt, Voyages, (London, 1600,) Vol.
III. pp. 668-672.

[257] To the Virginian Voyage: Anderson’s British Poets, Vol. III. p.

[258] Musophilus: Ibid., Vol. IV. p. 217.

[259] The Church Militant, 239, 240.

[260] Life, by Izaak Walton.

[261] The Holy State, Book III. Ch. 16: _Of Plantations_.

[262] Cœlum Britannicum: Anderson’s British Poets, Vol. III. p. 716.

[263] Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc., Vol. I. p. 126.

[264] Griswold’s Poets and Poetry of America, (Philadelphia, 1856,) p.

[265] Ibid., p. 29.--Mr. Webster, quoting these lines, attributes them
to an anonymous “English poet.” Speech at the Festival of the Sons of
New Hampshire, November 7, 1849: Works, Vol. II. p. 510.

[266] Duyckinck’s Cyclopædia of American Literature, Vol. I. p. 299.


    “Il met la fièvre en nos climats,
    _Et le remède en Amérique_.”

_Épître_ LXXV., _Au Roi de Prusse_: Œuvres, (edit. 1784,) Tom. XIII. p.

[268] Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England, Book II.:
Works, (London, 1851,) Vol. III. pp. 44, 45.

[269] Book V. 874-879.

[270] Book V. 955-959.

[271] Ibid., 1202-1237.

[272] Life of Sir Thomas Browne: Works, (Oxford, 1825,) Vol. VI. p. 490.

[273] Works, ed. Wilkin, (London, 1835,) Vol. IV. pp. 232, 233.

[274] Works, ed. Wilkin, Vol. IV. p. 233.

[275] Ibid., p. 235.

[276] Ibid., p. 236.

[277] Works, ed. Wilkin, Vol. IV. pp. 236, 237.

[278] Ibid., p. 231, note.

[279] The Literature of Political Economy, p. 42.

[280] See Opinions on Interesting Subjects of Public Law and Commercial
Policy arising from American Independence, p. 108. A motto on the
reverse of the title-page is from Child.

[281] Curiosities of Literature, (London, 1849,) Vol. III. p. 303.

[282] Chalmers, Life of De Foe, p. 68.

[283] A New Discourse of Trade, (London, 1698,) p. 183.

[284] Ibid., p. 201.

[285] Ibid., p. 212.

[286] Ibid., p. 215.

[287] A New Discourse of Trade, (London, 1698,) p. 216.

[288] Discourses on the Public Revenues, (London, 1698,) Part II. pp.
204, 205.

[289] Discourses on the Public Revenues, (London, 1698,) Part II. p.

[290] Opinions on Interesting Subjects, p. 108.

[291] Opinions of Eminent Lawyers on Various Points of English
Jurisprudence, chiefly concerning the Colonies, etc., Preface, p. xvi.

[292] Vol. II. pp. 295, seqq.

[293] A Plan of the English Commerce, (London, 1728,) pp. 360, 361.

[294] Ibid., pp. 306, 307. See also The Complete English Tradesman,
Chap. XXVI.: Miscellaneous Works, (Oxford, 1841,) Vol. XVII. pp. 254,

[295] Letters by Several Eminent Persons, ed. Duncombe, (London, 1773,)
Vol. I. p. 107, note.

[296] Letter to Lord Carteret, September 3, 1724: Works, ed. Scott,
(Edinburgh, 1824,) Vol. XVI. p. 441.

[297] Epilogue to the Satires, Dialogue II. 73.

[298] Sir Robert Walpole.

[299] Letter to Thomas Prior, May 7, 1730: Works, (Dublin, 1784,) Vol.
I. p. lvii.

[300] Letter to Thomas Prior, April 24, 1729: Works, Vol. I. p. liii.

[301] To Same, March 9, 1730: Ibid., p. lv.

[302] Works, Vol. II. pp. 441-444.

[303] Bp. Stock, Life of Berkeley, prefixed to Works, Vol. I. p. xv.

[304] Address at the Laying of the Corner-Stone of the Addition to the
Capitol, July 4, 1851: Works, Vol. II. p. 596. See also p. 510.

[305] Grahame, History of the United States, Vol. IV. pp. 136, 448.

[306] Galt’s Life of West, Part I. pp. 116, 117.

[307] Letter to Benjamin Rush, May 23, 1807: Works, Vol. IX. pp. 599,

[308] Travels, (London, 1775, 4to,) p. 89.

[309] Preface, p. xi.

[310] Page 1.

[311] Pages 1, 2.

[312] Pages 2, 3.

[313] Page 31.


    “At tu præteritas tandem obliviscere clades:
    Nam tanti non parva Deus tibi, America, vindex,
    Et dedit et majora dabit solatia damni.
    Gaude sorte tua: pars omnis amara vorata est
    Jam dudum; dulcis superest.…
    Ingenium, Pietas, Artes, ac Bellica Virtus
    Huc profugæ venient, et regna illustria condent.
    Et domina his Virtus erit, et Fortuna ministra.”

_Plantarum_, Lib. V. 1137-1200.


    “Then shall Religion to America flee:
    They have their times of Gospel, even as we.”

_The Church Militant_, 247, 248.

[316] Page 34.

[317] Pages 49, 51.

[318] “Which everywhere they call _America_; truly and deservedly they
should say rather _Columbina_, from the magnanimous hero Christopher
Columbus, the Genoese, first explorer, and plainly divinely appointed
discoverer of those lands.”--_Miscellanea Sacra_, Lib. II. cap. 4, _in
fine_. Sewall, p. 49.

[319] Fuller, _in loc. cit._ Sewall, pp. 49, 50.

[320] Pages 50, 51.

[321] Page 52.

[322] Voltaire à d’Argenson, 21 Juin, 1739, 13 Mars, 1750; à Richelieu,
4 Février, 1757: Œuvres de Voltaire, (1784-89,) Tom. LIII. p. 246; LIV.
p. 225; LV. p. 406.

[323] Journal et Mémoires, Introduction, Tom. I. p. xlvii.

[324] Journal et Mémoires, Février, 1734, Tom. I. p. 185.

[325] Journal et Mémoires, Introduction, Tom. I. p. xxvii.

[326] Ibid., p. liv, note.

[327] Journal et Mémoires, Introduction, Tom. I. p. xxxiii.

[328] Ibid., p. xxxiv.

[329] Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du Lundi, Tom. XII. p. 105: _Le Marquis
d’Argenson_. Journal et Mémoires, Introduction, Tom. I. p. xxxvii.

[330] Journal et Mémoires, Tom. I., Introduction, p. xliii; Appendice,
p. 363.

[331] Pensées sur la Réformation de l’État: Journal et Mémoires,
Introduction, Tom. I. pp. lv, lvi.

[332] Ibid. Compare p. lvi, notes 1 and 2; p. iv, note 2; and p. xvii,

[333] Letter to Dr. Price, March 22, 1778: Price’s Observations on the
Importance of the American Revolution, (London, 1785,) App., p. 98.

[334] Ibid., p. 93.

[335] Condorcet, Vie de Turgot: Œuvres, éd. O’Connor et Arago, (Paris,
1847-49,) Tom. V. p. 209.

[336] Ibid., p. 213.

[337] Œuvres, éd. Dupont de Nemours, (Paris, 1808-11,) Tom. II. p. 66.
Ibid., éd. Daire, (Paris, 1844,) Tom. II. p. 602.

[338] De l’Esprit des Lois, Liv. XIX. ch. 27.

[339] Œuvres, éd. Daire, Tom. II. p. 802.

[340] Ibid., pp. 557, 581, 564. Bancroft, History of the United States,
Vol. VIII. pp. 337, 338.

[341] Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution,

[342] Works, Vols. IV.-VI., where (IV. 278-281) is found the larger
part of the letter of Turgot.

[343] Price, Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution,
App., pp. 96, 97. Turgot, Œuvres, éd. Daire, Tom. II. p. 808.

[344] Price, Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution,
App., p. 100. Turgot, Œuvres, éd. Daire, Tom. II. p. 809.

[345] Price, Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution,
App., pp. 102, 103. Turgot, Œuvres, éd. Daire, Tom. II. pp. 809, 810.

[346] “Should the morals of the English be perverted by luxury,
should they lose their colonies by restraining them, &c., they will
be enslaved, they will become insignificant and contemptible; and
Europe will not be able to show the world one nation in which she can
pride herself.”--Motto on title-page of Price’s second tract on Civil
Liberty, from Raynal, _Histoire Philosophique et Politique_, Liv. XIX.

[347] Price, Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution,
App., pp. 103-105. Turgot, Œuvres, éd. Daire, Tom. II. p. 810.

[348] Memoires, Vol. I. p. 344.

[349] Ibid., p. 347. See also Letter to Sir Horace Mann, October 6,
1754: Letters, ed. Cunningham, Vol. II. p. 398.

[350] Letters, ed. Cunningham, Vol. VI. p. 57.

[351] Journal of the Reign of George III. from 1771 to 1783, ed. Doran,
Vol. I. p. 366.

[352] Ibid., p. 491. See Speech of Earl of Sandwich in the House of
Lords, March 15, 1775: Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XVIII.
col. 446.

[353] Letters, ed. Cunningham, Vol. VI. p. 279.

[354] Letters, ed. Cunningham, Vol. VI. p. 450.

[355] Ibid., Vol. VII. pp. 12, 13.

[356] Ibid., pp. 14, 15.

[357] Letters, ed. Cunningham, Vol. VII. pp. 176, 177.

[358] Works, Vol. I. pp. 23, 24. See also Vol. IX. pp. 591-593.

[359] Works, Vol. I. pp. 24-26.

[360] Ibid., Vol. III. p. 447.

[361] Ibid., Vol. I. p. 66.

[362] Ibid., Vol. III. p. 451.

[363] Ibid., Vol. I. p. 66; Vol. III. p. 452.

[364] Works, Vol. I. p. 66.

[365] Ibid., Vol. III. p. 448.

[366] Works, Vol. I. pp. 230, 232.

[367] Works, Vol. VII. pp. 226, 227.

[368] Twenty-Six Letters upon Interesting Subjects respecting the
Revolution of America, written in Holland in the Year 1780: Works, Vol.
VII. pp. 274, 275.

[369] Works, Vol. VII. p. 250.

[370] Letter to Edmund Jenings: Ibid., Vol. IX. pp. 509, 510.

[371] Gibbon, Life, ed. Milman, (London, 1839,) p. 231, Chap. VII.,
Notes and Additions.

[372] Alexander Keith Johnston, Physical Atlas, (edit. 1856,) p. 114,

[373] Works of John Adams, Vol. VII. p. 254.

[374] Works, Vol. VII. pp. 255, 256.

[375] Works, Vol. VIII. p. 322.

[376] Ibid., p. 333.

[377] Ibid., Vol. IV. pp. 292, 293.

[378] Works, Vol. VI. p. 218.

[379] Writings of Jefferson, Vol. VI. p. 258.

[380] Works, Vol. X. p. 282.

[381] Webster, Discourse in Commemoration of the Lives and Services of
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, delivered in Faneuil Hall, Boston,
August 2, 1826: Works, Vol. I. p. 139.

[382] Page 8.

[383] Page 18.

[384] Page 21.

[385] Page 22.

[386] Page 24.

[387] Page 27.

[388] April, 1777.

[389] July, 1777.

[390] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XIX. col. 346.

[391] Ibid., col. 351.

[392] Ibid., col. 847.

[393] The Plains of Abraham, Notes Original and Selected, by
Lieutenant-Colonel R. E. Beatson.

[394] History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, (London, 1858-65,) Vol. V.
p. 557.

[395] History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. V. p. 558.

[396] Speech in the House of Commons, February 8, 1850: Hansard’s
Parliamentary Debates, 3d Ser., Vol. CVIII. col. 537.

[397] Remarks of Mr. Parkman: Proceedings of the Massachusetts
Historical Society, 1869-70, p. 113.

[398] Letter to the Countess of Ossory, November 8, 1789: Letters, ed.
Cunningham, Vol. IX. p. 234.

[399] Mémoires de M. le Duc de Choiseul, écrits par lui-même, et
imprimés sous ses Yeux dans son Cabinet à Chanteloup en 1778. 2 Tom.
Chanteloup et Paris, 1790.

[400] Essai sur les Avantages à retirer de Colonies nouvelles dans les
Circonstances présentes, par le Citoyen Talleyrand, lu à la Séance
publique de l’Institut National, le 25 Messidor, An V. See Historical
Characters, by Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, Vol. I. p. 461, Appendix.

[401] Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. V. p. 193; VI. pp.
25, 67.

[402] Ibid., Vol. VI. pp. 95, 96.

[403] Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. VI. pp. 169, 170.

[404] Ibid., p. 237.

[405] Ibid., pp. 244, 245.

[406] Ibid., p. 245.

[407] Histoire Philosophique et Politique des Établissemens et du
Commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes.

[408] Histoire Philosophique et Politique, (Genève, 1780,) Liv. XIX.
ch. 15.

[409] Notes on Virginia, Query VI.: Writings, Vol. VIII. p. 312.

[410] Liv. XVIII. ch. 32.

[411] Histoire Philosophique et Politique, (Amsterdam, 1772,) Liv.
XVIII. Tom. VI. p. 379.

[412] Ibid., pp. 426, 427.

[413] Histoire Philosophique et Politique, (Amsterdam, 1772,) Liv.
XVIII. Tom. VI. pp. 427, 428.

[414] Histoire Philosophique et Politique, (Genève, 1780,) Liv. XVIII.
ch. 51, Tom. IX. pp. 369, 370.

[415] Ibid., Liv. XVIII. ch. 52, pp. 373, seqq.

[416] Dr. Price, in his second tract, “Additional Observations on the
Nature and Value of Civil Liberty and the War with America,” (London,
1777,) pp. 87, 88, note.

[417] Novanglus, or a History of the Dispute with America, written in
1774: Works, Vol. IV. p. 37.

[418] Historical Memoirs of his own Time, (London, 1836,) Vol. III. p.

[419] Letter of Miss Catherine Louisa Shipley, August 2, 1785:
Franklin’s Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. p. 220.

[420] Letter of Same, December 24, 1788: Ibid., pp. 379, 380.

[421] Letter to Same, April 27, 1789: Ibid., p. 391.

[422] One of London and another of New York are in the Congressional
Library. The New York copy has the pencil lines of Mr. Webster, marking
what he calls “remarkable passages,” used by him in his “Address at the
Laying of the Corner-Stone of the Addition to the Capitol, 4th July,
1851”: Works, Vol. II. p. 597.

[423] Letter to the Earl of Shelburne, October 24, 1773:
Correspondence, Vol. IV. p. 302.

[424] Letter to Miss C. L. Shipley, April 27, 1789: Works, ed. Sparks,
Vol. X. p. 391.

[425] Luke, ii. 14.

[426] Sermon, (Boston, 1773,) p. 5.

[427] Sermon, pp. 7, 8.

[428] Ibid., pp. 8, 9.

[429] Sermon, p. 9.

[430] Ibid., p. 14.

[431] Ibid., pp. 15, 16.

[432] Ibid., p. 16.

[433] Sermon, p. 11.

[434] Letter to Mr. Coombe, July 22, 1774: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol.
VIII. p. 124.

[435] Speech, (London, 1774,) p. 15.

[436] Ibid., p. 27.

[437] Ibid., p. 31.

[438] Speech, pp. 32, 33.

[439] Chalmers, Biographical Dictionary, art. TUCKER.

[440] Tucker’s Letter to Burke, (Glocester, 1775, 2d edit.,) title-page.

[441] Ibid., p. 6.

[442] See Letter to Burke, 1775, 2d edit., p. 5; Humble Address, 1775,
2d edit., p. 8; and Series of Answers to Popular Objections, 1776, pp.
xii, 97. For the matter thus repeatedly and long complained of, see
Burke’s Speech on American Taxation, April 19, 1774: Works, (Boston,
1865-67,) Vol. II. pp. 56, 57.

[443] Letter from a Merchant in London, (London, 1766,) pp. 19, 20.

[444] Letter from a Merchant in London, p. 42.

[445] Ibid., pp. 43, 54.

[446] The Fourth Tract was published separately in Philadelphia, in
1776, with this addition to the title.

[447] True Interest of Great Britain: Four Tracts, (3d edit.,
Glocester, 1776,) pp. 161, 162.

[448] Ibid., pp. 196, 197.

[449] True Interest of Great Britain: Four Tracts, (3d edit.,) pp. 201,

[450] Ibid., pp. 202, 203.

[451] Ibid., pp. 218, 219.

[452] Ibid., p. 221.

[453] Humble Address, (2d edit.,) p. 5.

[454] Ibid., p. 29.

[455] Ibid., p. 47.

[456] Bacon’s Essays, ed. Whately, (London, 1858,) pp. 548, 549.

[457] Lectures on Modern History, ed. Sparks, (Cambridge, 1841,)
Lecture XXXII., Vol. II. p. 377.

[458] Cui Bono? (3d edit.,) p. 96.

[459] Cui Bono? (3d edit.,) pp. 117-119.

[460] Considerations on the Measures carrying on with respect to the
British Colonies in North America (1774). A Further Examination of our
Present American Measures, and of the Reasons and the Principles on
which they are founded (1776). Peace the Best Policy (1777).

[461] Lectures on Modern History, ed. Sparks, Lecture XXXII., Vol. II.
pp. 380-383.

[462] Considerations, (2d edit.,) p. 66.

[463] Considerations, (2d edit.,) p. 72.

[464] February, 1774, Vol. L. p. 135.

[465] The American Coachman: Works, Vol. I. p. 205. The editor, not
regarding this little poem as a jest, says of it: “The author, with
that conciseness as to the matter and humor in the manner so peculiar
to himself, recommends and supports the Dean’s plan.”

[466] American Independence, (Philadelphia, 1776,) title-page.

[467] Ibid., Letter VI., March 27, 1774, p. 65.

[468] Ibid., p. 66.

[469] Ibid., p. 68.

[470] Observations on Man, Part II., Propositions 81, 82.

[471] Disraeli’s Curiosities of Literature, (Boston, 1859,) Vol. IV. p.
174: _Prediction_.

[472] Diary, April 19, 1778: Works, Vol. III. p. 137.

[473] Letter to Arthur Lee, April 12, 1783: Ibid., Vol. IX. p. 517.

[474] Diary, April 27, 1783: Ibid., Vol. III. p. 363.

[475] Letter to Secretary Livingston, April 14, 1783: Ibid., Vol. VIII.
p. 54.

[476] Letter, July 13, 1780: Ibid., Vol. VII. p. 226.

[477] Speech, March 27, 1775: Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol.
XVIII. col. 553.

[478] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XVIII. col. 556.

[479] Ibid., col. 846.

[480] Ibid., col. 1050.

[481] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XVIII. col. 1049.

[482] Speech on the American Prohibitory Bill, December 21, 1775:
Ibid., col. 1104, 1105.

[483] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XVIII. col. 1356.

[484] Clarkson’s History of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade,
(Philadelphia, 1808,) Vol. I. pp. 167, 170.

[485] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XIX. col. 258-260.

[486] Ibid., Vol. XIX. col. 315.

[487] Ibid., Vol. XX. col. 904.

[488] Ibid., Vol. XX. col. 1190.

[489] Biographie Universelle (Michaud). Biographie Générale (Didot).
Louis Blanc, Histoire de la Révolution Française, Tom. I. pp. 390,

[490] Correspondance Inédite, (Paris, 1818,) Tom. II. p. 221. See also
Grimm, Correspondance, (Paris, 1812-14,) Tom. IX. p. 282.

[491] “On est dans un siècle où les remèdes nuisent au moins autant que
les vices.”

[492] Correspondance Inédite, Tom. II. pp. 202, 203. Grimm, Tom. IX.
pp. 284, 285.

[493] Correspondance Inédite, Tom. II. p. 275.

[494] Ibid., p. 280.

[495] History of Civilization in England, (London, 1857-61,) Chap. IV.,
Vol. I. p. 197.

[496] Wealth of Nations, (London, 1789,) Book IV. Ch. VII. Part 3, Vol.
II. p. 458.

[497] Novanglus, No. VII.: Works of John Adams, Vol. IV. pp. 101, 102.

[498] Monthly Review, June, 1784, Vol. LXX. p. 478.

[499] Letter to William Franklin, November 25, 1767: Works, ed. Sparks,
Vol. VII. p. 367.

[500] A Series of Answers to certain Popular Objections against
separating from the Rebellious Colonies and discarding them entirely,
(Glocester, 1776,) pp. 58, 59. See also Cui Bono? (London, 1782,) p. 87.

[501] Secret Journals of Congress, October 6, 1778, Vol. II. p. 101.
The Commissioners to Dr. Price, December 7, 1778: Works of John Adams,
Vol. VII. p. 71.

[502] Franklin’s Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. VIII. p. 355, note.

[503] Ibid., p. 417.

[504] Letter to Benjamin Vaughan: Ibid., Vol. X. p. 365.

[505] Letter to Jefferson, September 14, 1813: Works, Vol. X. p. 68.

[506] Observations on Civil Liberty, (London, 1776,) pp. 43, 44.

[507] Ibid., p. 44.

[508] Ibid., p. 97.

[509] Ibid., p. 70, note.

[510] Additional Observations, (London, 1777,) p. 71.

[511] Ibid., p. 73.

[512] Additional Observations, p. 87.

[513] General Introduction, (London, 1778,) pp. xv, xvi.

[514] Observations on the American Revolution, (London, 1785,) pp. 1-6.

[515] Ibid., pp. 6, 14, 15.

[516] Ibid., p. 72.

[517] Franklin’s Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. p. 105.

[518] History of the United States, Vol. II. p. 476.

[519] See Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe (London, 1780).

[520] Memorial to the Sovereigns of America, (London, 1783,) pp. 73, 74.

[521] Letter to William Tudor, February 4, 1817: Works, Vol. X. p. 241.

[522] Administration of the Colonies, (4th edit., London, 1768,)
Appendix, pp. 2, seqq.

[523] Ibid., pp. 6, 7.

[524] Ibid., p. 6.

[525] Ibid., p. 7.

[526] Administration of the Colonies, (4th edit.,) Appendix, p. 9.

[527] Administration of the Colonies, pp. 9, 10, 164.

[528] Ibid., p. 10.

[529] Administration of the Colonies, Dedication, p. xviii.

[530] Ibid., p. 165.

[531] Ibid., p. 164.

[532] Administration of the Colonies, pp. 240, 241. See also Franklin’s
Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. II. pp. 353, 354, note.

[533] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XIX. col. 527, 528. See
also col. 1137.

[534] Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, (London, 1780, 2d edit.,)
pp. 4, 5.

[535] Ibid., p. 43.

[536] Ibid., p. 56.

[537] Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, (2d edit.,) pp. 68, 69.

[538] Ibid., pp. 56-63, 69, 70.

[539] Ibid., pp. 74, 77.

[540] Ibid., p. 82.

[541] Ibid., p. 83.

[542] Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, (2d edit.,) p. 85.

[543] Ibid., pp. 86, 87.

[544] Ibid., p. 80.

[545] Ibid., p. 78.

[546] Writings, ed. Sparks, Vol. XII. pp. 231, 232.

[547] Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, (2d edit.,) p. 93.

[548] Ibid., p. 91.

[549] Two Memorials, (London, 1782,) Preface, p. 1.

[550] Ibid., pp. 20, 33.

[551] Franklin’s Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. IX. p. 491.

[552] Letter to the President of Congress, February 10, 1784: Works,
Vol. VIII. p. 179.

[553] Letter to John Nichols, February 8, 1788: Nichols’s Literary
Anecdotes, Vol. VIII. p. 112, note.

[554] Memorial to the Sovereigns of America,(London, 1783,) pp. 5-7.

[555] Ibid., pp. 16, 21, 22, 37.

[556] Ibid., p. 41.

[557] Ibid., pp. 108-110.

[558] Memorial to the Sovereigns of Europe, p. 83.

[559] Memorial to the Sovereigns of America, p. 55.

[560] Franklin’s Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. p. 200.

[561] Franklin’s Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. X. pp. 343, 344.

[562] Palfrey’s Compendious History of New England, 1728-65, p. 180.

[563] History of England, (London, 1763, 4to,) Vol. V. pp. 126, 127,
Appendix to Reign of James I., _Colonies_.

[564] Tableau de l’Histoire Générale des Provinces-Unies (Utrecht,

[565] Works, Vol. VII. pp. 589, 590.

[566] Histoire de la Fondation des Colonies des Anciennes Républiques,
adaptée à la Dispute présente de la Grande-Bretagne avec ses Colonies
Américaines (Utrecht, 1778).

[567] Ibid., p. 155.

[568] Ibid., p. 176.

[569] Observations Impartiales d’un Vrai Hollandois, pour servir de
Réponse au Discours d’un soi-disant Bon Hollandois à ses Compatriotes
(Arnheim, Amsterdam, etc., 1778).

[570] Ibid., p. 15.

[571] Ibid., p. 58.

[572] Ibid.

[573] Le Destin de l’Amérique, ou Dialogues Pittoresques (Londres,

[574] Ibid., p. 109.

[575] Ibid., p. 112.

[576] Ibid., pp. 113, 114.

[577] Le Destin de l’Amérique, p. 115.

[578] Meadley’s Memoirs of Paley, (2d edit., Edinburgh, 1810,) p. 221.

[579] Dated Abergavenny, March 31, 1781.

[580] Works, (London, 1807,) Vol. X. p. 389.

[581] Teignmouth, Life of Sir William Jones, prefixed to Works, Vol.
II. p. 299, note.

[582] Letter to Teignmouth, October, 1793: Ibid., p. 229.

[583] Meadley’s Memoirs of Paley, (2d edit.,) p. 221.

[584] Dr. Jonathan Shipley. See, _ante_, pp. 82, seqq.

[585] Works, Vol. X. pp. 381, seqq.

[586] Historical Memoirs of his own Time, (London, 1836,) March, 1781,
Vol. II. p. 378.

[587] Historical Memoirs, March, 1781, Vol. II. p. 379.

[588] Walpole’s Journal of the Reign of George III., March, 1773, Vol.
I. p. 187, note.

[589] Historical Memoirs, March, 1781, Vol. II. p. 377.

[590] An Epistle to Dr. Shebbeare, by the Author of “An Heroic Epistle
to Sir William Chambers,” (London, 1777,) 214-221. See Poems of William
Mason, in Chalmers’s English Poets, Vol. XVIII. pp. 416-418.

[591] Institutions du Droit de la Nature et des Gens, (Paris, 1851,)
Tom. II. p. 311.

[592] Paris, January 4, 1777: Works, ed. Sparks, Vol. VIII. p. 194.

[593] Ibid., Vol. IX. pp. 350, 351.

[594] June 1, 1783: Works, Vol. III. pp. 378, 379.

[595] Life of John Jay, by his Son, Vol. I. p. 140; Vol. II. p. 101.

[596] L’Espagne sous les Rois de la Maison de Bourbon, ou Mémoires
relatifs à l’Histoire de cette Nation, depuis l’Avénement de Philippe
V. en 1700 jusqu’à la Mort de Charles III. en 1788. Écrits en Anglais
sur des Documens originaux inédits, par William Coxe; traduits en
Français, avec des Notes et des Additions, par Don Andres Muriel.
Paris, 1827. Tom. VI. pp. 45-54, Chap. III. additionnel.--The document
in question is cited as a manuscript in the “Collection de M. le duc de
San Fernando.”

[597] Disertaciones sobre la Historia de la República Mejicana,
(Méjico, 1849,) Tom. III. p. 351.

[598] Disertaciones, Tom. III. p. 353.

[599] Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV., Chap. XXI.: Œuvres, (édit. 1784,)
Tom. XXI. p. 19.

[600] Travels through the Middle Settlements in North America, Preface,
p. x.

[601] _Ante_, p. 314.

[602] Works, Vol. III. p. 234.

[603] Moral and Political Philosophy, (London, 1785, 4to,) Book III.
Part 2, Ch. 31, _Slavery_, p. 197.

[604] Letter, February 5, 1783: Correspondence of the American
Revolution: Letters to Washington, ed. Sparks, Vol. III. p. 547.

[605] Meadley, Memoirs of Paley, (2d edit.,) p. 151.

[606] Meadley, Memoirs of Paley, (2d edit.,) Appendix G, p. 383.

[607] To the Editor of the Star: Life and Works of Burns, ed. Chambers,
(Edinburgh, 1851-52,) Vol. II. p. 295. Grahame’s History of the United
States, (London, 1836,) Appendix, Note XXI., Vol. IV. p. 462.

[608] Life and Works, ed. Chambers, Vol. I. p. 259.

[609] See Burns’s Letter to Mr. Samuel Clarke, Jun., Dumfries: Ibid.,
Vol. IV. p. 57.

[610] Autograph MS., in the possession of Henry Stevens, cited in his
Bibliotheca Geographica, (London, 1872,) Part I. p. 57.

[611] Béranger reproduced the same life-giving cosmopolitan sentiment:--

    “Peuples, formez une sainte-alliance,
      Et donnez-vous la main.”--_La Sainte-Alliance des Peuples._

[612] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XXX. col. 1219.

[613] Hansard’s Parliamentary History, Vol. XXXI. col. 627.

[614] Essai sur la Régénération Physique, Morale et Politique des Juifs.

[615] “Bourdon de l’Oise le caractérisa parfaitement, lorsqu’il
lui reprocha, au club des Jacobins, de vouloir _christianiser la
révolution_.”--CARNOT, _Notice Historique sur Grégoire_: Mémoires de
Grégoire, (Paris, 1840,) Tom. I. p. 7.

[616] De la Noblesse de la Peau, ou du Préjugé des Blancs contre la
Couleur des Africains et celle de leurs Descendants noirs et sang-mêlés.

[617] The leading events of his life will be found in the two French
biographical dictionaries,--Biographie Universelle (Michaud) and
Biographie Générale (Didot),--where his name occupies considerable

[618] Lettre aux Citoyens de Couleur et Nègres Libres de
Saint-Domingue, et des autres Isles Françaises de l’Amérique, p. 12.

[619] Littérature des Nègres, p. 282.

[620] Ibid., p. 283.

[621] Writings, Vol. VI. p. 55.

[622] Writings, Vol. VI. p. 248.

[623] Boston Daily Advertiser, 10th November, 1845. This speech is not
found in the collected works of Mr. Webster.

[624] Speech at Pilgrim Festival, New York, 1850: Works, Vol. II. p.

[625] Writings, Vol. VI. p. 426.

[626] Ibid., Vol. VII. p. 344.

[627] Ibid., p. 404.

[628] Rush, Residence at the Court of London from 1819 to 1825, 2d
Series, (London, 1845,) Vol. II. pp. 44, 45.

[629] Annual Message, December 2, 1823: State Papers, 18th Cong. 1st
Sess., Doc. No. 2, p. 14.

[630] Rush, Residence at the Court of London, 2d Series, Vol. II. p.
73. Wheaton’s Elements of International Law, ed. Dana, pp. 97-112, note.

[631] Speech, February 3, 1824: Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, N. S.,
Vol. X. col. 68.

[632] Speech, June 15, 1824: Ibid., Vol. XI. col. 1361.

[633] Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, N. S., Vol. XVI. col. 397.

[634] Démocratie en Amérique, (Paris, 1864,) Tom. III. Part. IV. Ch. 7,
p. 527.

[635] Ibid., Tom. II. Ch. 10, p. 302.

[636] Démocratie en Amérique, Tom. II. Ch. 10, p. 307.

[637] Ibid., p. 397.

[638] Ibid., p. 399.

[639] Démocratie en Amérique, Tom. II. Ch. 10, pp. 378, 379.

[640] Ibid., p. 428.

[641] Démocratie en Amérique, Tom. II. Ch. 10, p. 430.

[642] The excellent Baron von Gerolt, for so long a period at
Washington as Minister of Prussia and of the German Empire.

[643] Disertaciones sobre la Historia de la República Megicana.

[644] Historia de Méjico, desde los primeros Movimientos que prepararon
su Independencia en al Año de 1808 hasta la Época presente.

[645] In the original text of Alaman this is printed in large capitals,
and explained in a note as said by Lucan of Pompey (Pharsalia, I. 135).

[646] Historia, Tom. V. pp. 954, 955.

[647] L’Esprit des Lois, Liv. VIII. Ch. 16.

[648] Speech at the Festival of the Sons of New Hampshire, November 7,
1849: Works, Vol. II. pp. 510, 511.

[649] By Jonathan M. Sewall, in an epilogue to Addison’s Tragedy of
“Cato,” written in 1778 for the Bow Street Theatre, Portsmouth, N. H.

[650] Letter to President Madison, April 27, 1809: Writings, Vol. V. p.

[651] Letter to President Madison, April 27, 1809: Writings, Vol. V. p.

[652] Letter to President Monroe, October 24, 1823: Ibid., Vol. VII.
pp. 316, 317. See also letters to same, dated June 11 and 23, 1823:
Ibid., pp. 288, 299.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 15 (of 20)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.