« AnteriorContinuar »
their legislators to authorize and di- , this hasty and casual. glance at our rect those baseless issues of irredeem- | country, under the old federation, able paper money, by which a tem without noting some features which porary relief is achieved, at the cost tend to relieve the darkness of the of more pervading and less curable picture. The abundance and exceldisorders. In the year 1786, the lence of the timber, which still coverlegislature of New Hampshire, then ed at least two-thirds of the area of sitting at Exeter, was surrounded, evi- the then States, enabled the common dently by preconcert, by a gathering people to supply themselves with of angry and desperate men, intent habitations, which, however rude and on overawing it into an authorization uncomely, were more substantial and of such an issue. In 1786, the famous comfortable than those possessed by Shays's Insurrection occurred in west- the masses of any other country on ern Massachusetts, wherein fifteen earth. The luxuriant and omnipreshundred men, stung to madness by ent forests were likewise the sources the snow-shower of writs to which of cheap and ample supplies of fuel, they could not respond, and execu- | whereby the severity of our northern tions which they had no means of winters was mitigated, and the warm, satisfying, undertook to relieve them- bright fireside of even the humblest selves from intolerable infestation, family, in the long winter evenings and save their families from being of our latitude, rendered centers of turned into the highways, by dis- cheer and enjoyment Social inter'persing the courts and arresting the course was more general, less formal, enforcement of legal process alto- more hearty, more valued, than at gether. That the sea-board cities, present. Friendships were warmer depending entirely on foreign com and deeper. Relationship, by blood merce, neither manufacturing them or by marriage, was more profoundly selves, nor having any other than regarded. Men were not ashamed foreign fabrics to dispose of, should | to own that they loved their cousins participate in the general suffering, better than their other neighbors, and earnestly scan the political and and their neighbors better than: social horizon in quest of sources and the rest of mankind. To spend a conditions of comprehensive and en- month, in the dead of winter, in a during relief, was inevitable. And visit to the dear old homestead, and thus industrial paralysis, commercial in interchanges of affectionate greetembarrassment, and political disorder, ings with brothers and sisters, marcombined to overbear inveterate pre- ried and settled at distances of judice, sectional jealousy, and the twenty to fifty miles apart, was not ambition of local magnates, in cre- deemed an absolute waste of time, ating that more perfect UNION, where- nor even an experiment on fraternal of the foundations were laid and the civility and hospitality. And, though pillars erected by Washington, Ham- cultivation was far less effective than. ilton, Franklin, Madison, and their now, it must not be inferred that food compeers, in the Convention which was scanty or hunger predominant. framed the Federal Constitution. The woods were alive with game,
Yet it would not be just to close and nearly every boy and man be
tween fifteen and sixty years of age merchant's for his groceries and was a hunter. The larger and smaller wares. A few bushels of corn, a few rivers, as yet unobstructed by the sheep, a fattened steer, with, perhaps, dams and wheels of the cotton-spin- a few saw-logs, or loads of hoop-poles, ner and power-loom weaver, abound- made up the annual surplus of the ed in excellent fish, and at seasons husbandman's products, helping to fairly swarmed with them. The square accounts with the blacksmith, potato, usually planted in the vege- the wheelwright, the minister, and table mold left by recently extermi- the lawyer, if the farmer were so unnated forests, yielded its edible tubers fortunate as to have any dealings with a bounteous profusion unknown with the latter personage. His life, to the husbandry of our day. Hills during peace, was passed in a narthe most granitic and apparently rower round than ours, and may well sterile, from which the wood was seem to us tame, limited, monotburned one season, would, the next onous; but the sun which warmed year, produce any grain in ample him was identical with ours; the measure, and at a moderate cost of breezes which refreshed him were labor and care. Almost every farm- like those we gladly welcome; and, er's house was a hive, wherein the while his road to mill and to meeting
great wheel and the little wheel was longer and rougher than those —the former kept in motion by the we daily traverse, he doubtless passed hands and feet of all the daughters them unvexed by apprehensions of a ten years old and upward, the latter snorting locomotive, at least as conplied by their not less industrious tented as we, and with small suspimother-hummed and whirled from cion of his ill-fortune in having been morning till night. In the back born in the Eighteenth instead of the room, or some convenient appendage, Nineteenth Century: the loom responded day by day to The illusion that the times that the movements of the busy shuttle, were are better than those that are, whereby the fleeces of the farmer's has probably pervaded all ages. Yet flock and the flax of his field were a passionately earnest assertion, which slowly but steadily converted into many of us have heard from the lips substantial though homely cloth, of the old men of thirty to fifty years sufficient for the annual wear of the ago, that the days of their youth family, and often with something were sweeter and happier than those over to exchange at the neighboring we have known, will doubtless justify us in believing that they were by no | live stock, and nearly two hundred means intolerable. It is not too and fifty millions' worth of implemuch to assume that the men by ments and machinery. The value of whose valor and virtue American in- animals annually slaughtered was redependence was achieved, and who turned at over two hundred millions lived to enjoy, for half a century of dollars. The annual product of thereafter, the gratitude of their Wheat was more than one hundred country, and the honest pride of their and seventy millions of bushels, with children, saw wealth as fairly dis- an equal quantity of Oats, and more tributed, and the labor of freemen than eight hundred millions of bushas adequately rewarded, as those of els of Indian Corn. Of Tobacco, our almost any other country or of any annual product was more than four previous generation.
2" Vagabonds, without visible property or are so comfortable and so certain, that they vocation, are placed in workhouses, where they never think of relinquishing them to become are well clothed, fed, lodged, and made to labor. strolling beggars. Their situation, too, when Nearly the same method of providing for the sick, in the family of a good farmer, where every poor prevails through all the States; and, from member is anxious to do them kind offices, where Savannah to Portsmouth, you will seldom meet they are visited by all the neighbors, who bring a beggar. In the larger towns, indeed, they them little rarities which their sickly appetites sometimes-, present themselves. These are may crave, and who take by rotation the nightly usually foreigners who have never obtained a watch over them, when their condition requires settlement in any parish. I never saw a native it, is, without comparison, better than in a general American begging in the streets or highways. | hospital, where the sick, the dying, and the dead, A subsistence is easily gained here: and if, by | are crammed together in the same rooms, and misfortunes, they are thrown on the charities of often in the same beds.”—Jefferson's Notes on the world, those provided by their own country | Virginia, p. 196.
hundred millions of pounds; and of Eighty years had not passed since Rice, nearly two millions. Of Wool, the acknowledgment of our inde our annual clip was over sixty milpendence, when the returns of the lions of pounds, and our consumption Eighth Decennial Census afforded us probably double that amount. Of the means of measuring our coun- ginned Cotton, ready for market, our try's growth and physical progress product was about one million of during nearly its whole national his- tuns, or more than Five Millions of tory. The retrospect and the pros- bales of four hundred pounds each. pect might well minister to the pride Four hundred and sixty millions of (though that were needless) of a pa- pounds of Butter, and one hundred triotic apostle of 'manifest destiny.' and five millions of pounds of Cheese, During those eighty years, or within were likewise returned as our aggrethe memory of many still living, the gate product for the year 1859. We area of our country had been ex- made in that year three hundred and panded, by successive and, in good forty millions of pounds of Sugar, part, peaceful acquisitions, from and more than twenty-five millions Eight Hundred Thousand to about of gallons of Molasses. And, beside Three Millions of square miles. Its consuming all this, with twenty-five population, excluding the Aboriginal millions of pounds of home-made savages, had increased from Three to Honey, we imported from abroad to more than Thirty Millions. Of its the value of over thirty-six millions two thousand millions of acres of dry of dollars. We dragged from our land, about five hundred millions had forests, not including fuel, Timber been divided into farms; leaving valued at more than Ninety-three three-fourths of its surface as yet un- Millions of dollars. We made Flour improved, though but in part unap-| to the value of Two Hundred Milpropriated. Its farms were officially lions. We manufactured over fiftyestimated as worth six thousand six five millions' worth of Cotton into hundred and fifty millions of dollars, fabrics, worth one hundred and and were doubtless actually worth fifteen millions of dollars, beside imnot less than Ten Thousand Millions porting largely from abroad. We of dollars. On these farms were over fabricated over eighty millions of eleven hundred millions' worth of pounds of Wool, costing forty mil
OUR COUNTRY IN 1859-60.
lions of dollars, into sixty-eight mil- with twelve thousand two hundred lions' worth of goods, though import- and sixty teachers and two hundred ing nearly all our finer woolen and sixty-three thousand and ninetyfabrics. We produced sixty-three six pupils; eighty thousand nine millions worth of Leather; eight hundred and seventy-eight Common hundred and seventy-five thousand Schools, with three millions three tuns of Pig Iron, worth twenty mil- hundred and fifty-four thousand and lions of dollars; four hundred thou- eleven pupils; three hundred and sand tuns of Wrought Iron, worth eighty-six Daily Newspapers, circulattwenty-one millions; and Agricul- ing in the aggregate one million four tural Implements to the value of hundred and seventy-eight thousand seventeen millions. The grand four hundred and thirty-five copies; total of Manufactures, returned by one hundred and forty-six Trithis Census, amounted in value to Weekly and Semi-Weekly, and three One Thousand Nine Hundred Mil- | thousand one hundred and fifty-three lionsman increase of forty-five per Weekly journals, circulating seven cent. within ten years. Our Exports, millions five hundred and sixty-four for the year ending in 1860, amounted thousand three hundred and fourto a little more than Four Hundred teen copies ; with nineteen QuarterMillions of dollars, whereof all but lies, five hundred and twenty-one Twenty-seven Millions were of do- Literary, and two hundred and sevenmestic production. Our Imports ty-one Religious periodicals, mainly were a little over Three Hundred issued weekly, sufficiently attest that and Sixty Millions. Of Gold and our progress had not been purely Silver, we exported, in that year, physical, but intellectual and moral nearly fifty-seven millions of dollars, as well. and imported about eight millions The temptation to increase these and a half; indicating that ours had citations from the Census is one hard become one of the great gold-pro- to resist. Yet any multiplication of ducing countries on earth, if not the details would tend rather to confuse very greatest. The number of ocean than to deepen their impression on voyages terminating in our ports the mind of the general reader. Let during the year ending June 30, it suffice, then, in conclusion, that the 1861, was Twenty-two Thousand, less Real and Personal Estate of our forty; their aggregate tunnage a people, which in 1850 was returned little more than seven millions two as of the aggregate value of a little hundred and forty thousand-more over Seven Thousand Millions of than two-thirds of it American. dollars, was, in 1860, returned as About fifty thousand churches, with worth over Sixteen Thousand Milforty thousand clergymen; two hun- lions-an increase in ten years of dred and thirty-nine Colleges, having more than one hundred and twentyone thousand six hundred and seven- five per cent. It is quite probable ty-eight teachers and twenty-seven that both these aggregates are largely thousand eight hundred and twenty- under the truth; but, conceding one pupils; six thousand and eighty- their accuracy, it is perfectly safe five Academies and Private Schools, to assume that Fifteen of the Six
teen Thousand Millions of property world by the industry, enterprise, returned in 1860 had been created and thrift of our people during the and added to the wealth of the I eighty preceding years.
SLAVERY BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.
VICE, whether individual or gene- harvests; yet armies and their deral, is ever conceived in darkness and pendents must be fed. Rapacity, as cradled in obscurity. It challenges well as destruction, seems almost inobservation only in its hardy matu- separable from war. The soldier, rity and conscious strength. Slavery impelled to destroy for his chief's or is older than Civilization-older than his country's sake, soon learns to save History. Its origin is commonly re- and appropriate for his own. The ferred to war--to the captivity of the natural and necessary distinction bevanquished, and to the thrift and tween “mine' and thine' becomes clemency of the victor, who learns in his mind confused, if not obliterby experience that the gratification ated. The right of every one to the of killing his prisoner is transient, product of his own labor is one which while the profit of sparing him for his vocation incites, and even comservitude is enduring; and thus, in pels, him to disregard. To enslave rude ages, not merely the vanquished those whom, whether combatants or warriors, but their wives and chil- otherwise, he might justifiably kill, dren, their dependents and subjects, appears to him rather an act of huwere accounted legitimate “spoils manity than of injustice and wrong. of victory,” along with the lands, Hence, the warlike, conquering, houses, flocks and herds, the goods dominating races of antiquity almost and chattels of the conquered people. universally rejoiced, when at their “Woe to the conquered!" is the pri- acme of power and greatness, in the mary rule of savage and of barbarian possession of innumerable slaves... warfare; and the captivity of the Slavery of a mild and gentle Jews in Babylon, the destruction by type may very well have grown up Rome of Capua, of Carthage, and of insensibly, even in the absence of other cities and peoples which had war. The patriarch has shelter and provoked her special enmity, prove food, with employment for various that nations which regarded them- capacities; and his stronghold, if he selves as far advanced in civilization, be stationary, or his tents, if he be were hardly more merciful than sav- nomadic, become the refuge of the ages, when maddened by fear and unfortunate and the destitute from hate. War wastes and devastates. the region around him. The aban-. The earth, plowed however deeply doned wife, the unwedded mother, with cannon-wheels, yields uncertain the crippled or infirm of either sex,