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ways for public and private use are very numerous and of a very considerable aggregate length. The first telegraph line was laid in 1865. Now they run from Merida to Campeche and to all the chief towns, to the frontiers of the State and to Mexico by the intermission of cable. The telephone is very widely used. Besides the two lines owned by two companies, there are many private lines. The railroads of course have their own telegraph and telephone service. A line of meteorological observatories has been established over the whole state with a full equipment of the most modern instruments. The central station is in Merida, and there is one in the chief towns of the other districts. 986,655,683 kilogrammes of merchandise were imported in the year 1903 from foreign ports to the amount of $7,011,553, and 67,377,714 kilogrammes worth $18,729,644 were imported from domestic ports. During that year the exports amounted to 100,883,683 kilogrammes worth $37,497,169, in which numbers hemp counts for 93,058,666 kilogrammes worth $33,331,157 Mexican money. In 1904 we exported 606,008 bales of hemp, weighing 97,205,649 kilogrammes on board 167 steamers, which hemp was estimated at the value of $32,022,563. Of those 606,008 bales, 509,634 weighing 81,093,418 kilogrammes were exported to the United States. Finally a concession for the water supply of the city of Merida has been granted to an American company that has already begun work.
THE JACKSON AND VAN BUREN
BY WILLIAM MAC DONALD.
I HAVE lately had occasion to examine the papers of Jackson and Van Buren in the Library of Congress, and the president of this Society adjudged that some remarks about those collections would be appropriate for this meeting.
The Jackson papers are known as the Montgomery Blair collection. They were presented to the Library in 1903 by the family of Montgomery Blair, who received them from the Jackson heirs. I do not know entirely the history of the Jackson papers, but enough to suggest that it is an interesting one. I remember the late Senator Hoar saying a few years ago, speaking of these papers, that when he was a member of the Senate Committee on the Library, there were brought to the rooms of the Committee at the Capitol two trunks, said to contain the papers of Andrew Jackson. The trunks had been removed temporarily from a building in Washington in which they had been stored for some time, and the custodians, being in doubt as to the safest disposition to make of them, had placed them temporarily in the Capitol in the custody of the Senate Library Committee, or some member of it. The Senator told how he opened one of the trunks, and discovered that the papers were neatly arranged in bundles; and having a curiosity to examine some of them, he took up the one lying on top, and read, endorsed in Jackson's handwriting upon the outside of it, “General Pakenham's plan of the battle of New Orleans, picked up on the field.”
Mr. Worthington C. Ford, custodian of the manuscripts
in the Library, is my authority for saying that the Jackson papers were turned over by Jackson himself to Amos Kendall, Postmaster-General in Jackson's administration, to be used in the preparation of a biography of Jackson. From those papers Kendall selected such as he desired to use, but the whole collection in his hands was destroyed in a fire which consumed Kendall's library.
The Jackson collection is very large, extending to a great many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of papers. At the time I examined it, somewhat less than a year ago, the papers had not been calendared, although a calendar was in process of preparation; and the papers were roughly classified by years, arranged in the admirable style with which everyone is familiar, in the Library.
The Van Buren collection is also very extensive. It is, however, only one of two existing collections of Van Buren's papers; another still remains in private hands. This one came to the Library through Mrs. Thompson Van Buren. Neither this collection nor the one still in private hands was used by Mr. Shepard, the author of the biography of Van Buren in the American Statesmen Series. The collection which is still in private hands, I understand is inaccessible to students. It is to be hoped that it will eventually pass into the hands of the Library.
The most important portion of both collections is the correspondence. The Jackson papers are evidently fragmentary, there being large gaps in the whole collection. The Van Buren collection is more orderly, having apparently been selected with care by Van Buren himself from the papers he desired to preserve. Of the two collections, the Van Buren collection is far the richer, although there are many Jackson letters in the Van Buren collection and some Van Buren letters in the Jackson collection. The Van Buren collection contains in the neighborhood of three hundred letters, many of them confidential, between Jackson and Van Buren.
In looking over these papers, I noted a few of the subjects to which they relate, and I here suggest a few of the points that will have light thrown upon them whenever these papers shall be made available through publication.
One of the first things that attracted my attention was the bearing of the papers on Jackson's alleged illiteracy and lack of education. It has not been an uncommon charge of Jackson's biographers that he was an unlettered person; that he did not write his own state papers, and that at the best he furnished perhaps ideas and invigoration, but relied upon friends like Kendall, James A. Hamilton of New York, Isaac Hill of New Hampshire, and others to write the papers for him. Jackson's handwriting is unmistakable, and while there are few of his great State papers in either of these collections in his own handwriting, those papers preserved being obviously copies, there are fragments enough to lead me to the conclusion that not only the ideas, but the essential language of all of Jackson's more important papers are his own. He was illiterate, but certainly not uneducated. No more than most men, perhaps, did he always spell correctly. His punctuation is sometimes astray, and as he evidently wrote in a hurry, we find lapses of grammar and rhetoric which would be repaired by revision. But I think the evidence is strong that the essential thoughts and phraseology of his niore important writings are distinctly his, and no one's else. I see no reason to believe, from examination of those papers, that his State papers underwent any more or different revision, or were prepared in any different way, than the State papers of most of our Presidents.
The most interesting single paper which I had occasion to note is a document which is filed with the papers of October 1828, but undated. It is unmistakably in Jackson's handwriting, and is headed, “Memorandum of points to be considered in the administration of the government." It bears every evidence of having been written before Jackson took office as President, though whether or not it should be assigned to October, or to a date subsequent to the election, I cannot determine. The "points" are extremely interesting. They are as follows:
"1. A strong constitutional Attorney-General.
“2. A genuine old-fashioned Cabinet, to act together, and form a counsel consultative.
"3. No solicitors to be appointed.
“4. No members of Congress, except heads of departments, or foreign ministers to be appointed.
"5. No foreign minister to be rejected without the Senate, etc.
“6. The public debt paid, and the tariff modified, and no power usurped over internal improvements.
“7. A high-minded and enlightened principle in the administration of the government, as to appointments and removals.
"These things will give a brilliant career to the administration."
Some of these "points" are peculiarly interesting, when we recall the things which Jackson did, or sought to do, and the things which he was said to desire to do. We know, for example, that he had difficulty with his Cabinet, and that it was twice reconstructed during his two terms of office. The first Cabinet crisis over the Mrs. Eaton affair has become famous in our annals; yet in one of his letters, April 26, 1829, before his Cabinet was entirely complete, he declares it to be one of the strongest that has ever been in the United States.
Prof. Sumner, in his “Life of Jackson," has, I believe, taken the position that when Jackson dismissed his Cabinet and acted independently of it, he not only did not usurp any authority, but reverted to the original theory of the Cabinet, namely, that the Cabinet was simply a body of heads of departments whom the President might consult if he chose,