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Address delivered at Jefferson College, St. James' Parish, La..
The observations, in this address, upon the systems of instruction pursued in our colleges and common schools, are of a highly important character, and should receive careful attention from every parent in the country. It is essential to the well being of the south, and the cause of intelligence, that some plan should be devised for the improvement of our schools ; and we think that the legislature should take same action, in regard to it, during the present session. The suggestions of President Everett, will, we think, produce a salutary effect : they cannot fail of making people see how much might be gained by paying some attention to what has been so long neglected.
President Everett's remarks upon the various collegiate studies, their adaptation to the wants of the mind, their usefulness, and moral tendency, are such as we should naturally expect from one of his talents and experience,-perfectly suited to the occasion, and eminently calculated to urge his hearers to thought and action. It is scarely necessary to state, that the address is penned in an elegant and pleasing style, characteristic of the force and clearness of the distinguished author's conceptions and thoughts, as well as indicative of his acquirements, and peculiar talent for composition.
From the many excellent passages in this address, we extract the following, illustrative of the advancement of the physical sciences, in modern times.
“ The improvements in physical science, and its application to the arts, force themselves, as I remarked just now, upon the attention, and are familiar to all. The scene that so often presents itself, when we turn the eye from the place where we are now assembled, to the celebrated stream which flows by our side, at a few hundred yards distance, affords a more striking demonstration of the recent triumphs of physical science, than could be given by volumes of description. Forty years ago, there was nothing seen, in the way of navigation, on the river Mississippi, but a few clumsy rafts, which, after bringing down the produce of the interior, were broken up at New Orleans, and never attempted to return; and a few small vessels, struggling painfully with sails, against the current, aná employing three or four months to ascend to the heads of navigation. Even after the introduction of steam boats, the first voyages to Louisville occupied twentyeight days. Now, there is scarcely an hour, in which one or more of these majestic moving palaces are not seen to pass, on their upward or downward progress, following or stemming the current with nearly equal facility, and performing their voyages to and from Lovisville, in from five to seven days; at the same time, others are performing their outward and homeward vovages, from Boston and New York, across the Atlantic, in an average time of from twelve to fourteen or fifteen. What a contrast to the state of things, when the Mayflower brought out the first settlers of the colony of Plymouth, from Delfthaven, in Holland, in a little less than six months ; or even as lately as a century ago, when the vessel that conveyed the good Bishop Berkley to Rhode Island, was announced, the day after her arrival, in the Newbury Gazette, as having had a fair passage, of about four months ! In the application of steam to locomotion, on land, by the machinery of railroads, the results have been, if possible, still more brilliant. Dr. Franklin, who was postmaster general of the colonies, before the revolution, remarked, that he did not himself despair of seeing the time when the mail should be conveyed in a fortnight, from Philadelphia to Boston. Now the mail leaves Boston at four o'clock, in the afternoon, and reaches Washington,-a hundred and fifty miles beyond Philadelphia,
;-on the evening of the following day. From New Orleans, it is regularly carried to Boston, in nine days. New Orleans is, of course, for practical purposes, nearer to Boston, than Philadelphia was before the revolution. Between New Orleans, the extreme point of civilized America, and St. Petersburg, the extreme point of civilized Europe, intelligence regularly passes in five weeks ; about one third of the time which was formerly employed in going up the river, from here to Louisville.
A Discourse, delivered before the Georgia Historical Society,
This pamphlet is of exceeding interest and value. It throws light upon a portion of the history of Georgia, of which little has hitherto been written, although, perhaps, the most important period of all, when those causes and influences were at work, throughout the entire British American Colonies, which finally broke out in the war of the Revolution. From the discourse before us, we learn that Georgia was not backward in exhibiting her opposition to the encroachments of tyranny, in whatever shape they appeared. Our author furnishes us with a spirited and luminous account of the proceedings in Georgia, consequent on the passage of the Stamp Act, in 1765, “a matter which," he says, “was entirely unnoticed in the only history of Georgia which has been published.” We give the details of the attempt to introduce the Stamp Act into Georgia, in the author's own words:
“ The act was to take effect from the first of November, 1765, yet, as neither the papers nor the distributing officer had arrived, the Governor, by advice of his council, on the thirty-first of October, stopped the issue of all warrants and grants for land, and gave let-passes to the vessels, with a clause certifying the non-arrival of any stamped papers, or officer, in the province. On the fifth of December, his majesty's ship of War, Speedwell, Captain Fenshaw, with the stamps, arrived in the river, and the papers were secretely transferred to Fort Halifax, and placed under the care of the commissary; for the Liberty Boys,' as they were then termed, had entered into an association to prevent the distribution of the papers, and to compel the officer to resign, as soon as he arrived. To oppose these measures, Governor Wright summoned all his energies, and labored day and night, in public and in private, and by his commanding influence, ably seconded by his council, was temporarily successful. Secret meetings, however, were often held, all business was stopped, and the province remained in a state of anxious agitation
On the second of July, about 3, P. M., Captains Milledge and Powell, informed
the governor, that nearly two hundred Liberty Boys had assembled together, threatening to break open the Fort, and destroy the papers. The Governor, arming himself, immediately ordered the two companies of Rangers, numbering fifty-four men, to attend him, marched them to the Fort, took out the stamps, placed them in a cart, and, escorted by the military, conveyed them to his mansion. The people looked on in sullen silence, but it was a silence that gave the governor so much alarm, that for many days he kept a guard of forty men over his house; and for four nights was in such anxiety and fear, that he never removed his clothes. The next day, about one o'clock, the Governor, by preconcerted signals, was made acquainted with the arrival of Mr. Angus, the stamp distributor, at Tybee, and fearing the rage of the citizens, immediately despatched an armed scout-boat, with two or three friends of the government, who, with much secrecy, and a charge to allow him to speak to no one, brought him to the city, on the fourth, where he was received by the Governor, at his house, and that afternoon took the required oaths. But a few days' residence at the governor's, even with a guard, mounted, convinced him of his insecurity, and in a fortnight he left the city. Nor were these feelings confined to Savannah; the mountains echoed back the voice of the sea-board, and every stream, as it rolled to the ocean, bore a tribute of patriotism on its bosom. The whole province was arouse parties of armed men assembled in various places; society was convulsed, and its tumultuous heavings threatened general ruin and desolation. Then was exhibited, in an eminent degree, the zeal and energy of the Governor, and such was his resolution and weight of character, that, for a time, all rebellious proceedings ceased, and he could write, on the 15th of January, 1766, 'every thing, at present, is easy and quiet, and I hope peace and confidence will be restored in general.' A few days served to dissipate his hope. About the 20th, menacing letters were sent to Governor Wright; President Habersham was waylaid at night, his new and well-stored house threatened with destruction, and he was obliged to take refuge in the garrisoned mansion of the Governor.
Towards the close of January, a body of six hundred men assembled within a few miles of the city, and intimated to the Governor, that unless the papers were removed from the place, they would march thither, raze his dwelling to the ground, attack the Fort, and destroy the Stamps. The Governor immediately sent the papers down to Fort George, at Cockspur, and placed them in charge of a captain, two subalterns, and fifty privates of the Rangers. But even this was not deemed a sufficient security, and, on the 3d of February, they were once more removed, and finally deposited on board the man-of-war which had brought them to the colony.” pp. 12, 13.
The repeal of this obnoxious act soon followed, but other laws equally unjust and tyrannical, were imposed upon the colonies. It had become the settled determination of the British Government, as was boldly declared by Lord North, “not to listen to the complaints of America, until she was at her feet.” The colonies were equally determined to permit no aggressions upon their just rights. The Georgians early exhibited their patriotism, by entering into non-importation agreements, &c.
"On the 16th of September, 1769, a meeting of the merchants and traders of Savannah was held at the house of Mr. Alexander Creighton, at which they resolved, that any person or persons whatsoever, importing any of the articles subject to parliamentary duties, after having it in their power to prevent it, ought uot only to be treated with contempt, but also as enemies of their country.' Three days after, a larger meeting was convened, with the Hon. Jonathan Bryan, one of the Governor's Council, in the chair; at which the same subject was
renewedly canvassed, and resolves of non-importation, similar to those of the other colonies, unanimously passed. One of the resolves, based on the sentiments of the Bostonians in 1765, was, to abolish mourning at funerals, as the black stuffs used for such purposes were of British manufacture. Yes, rather than submit to an arbitrary taxation, the son could bury his father without the garments of the mourner, the bereaved husband forego the weeds of his affliction, and the mother commit her first born to the grave, with no habiliments of maternal sorrow; the weeping eye, the widowed bosom, the breaking heart, ay, even death, and the grave, could not separate them from their beloved liberty! Subdue such men ! Sooner would the raging waves of the Hellespont be calmed by the chains of Xerxes, than the spirit of freemen be lashed into obedience by the iron thongs of a vindictive ministry.” pp. 22, 23.
The instances adduced in the forgoing remarks and extracts, abundantly show, that the spirit of liberty animated tbe sons of Georgia, not less than her neighbors,—that her star, among the thirteen, emitted no inferior lustre. We should like to extend our remarks, as well as quotations, but we have time for neither. Indeed, we feel at a loss what to select, where the whole is so interesting and beautifully written. We cannot recollect the period when we have read anything that has afforded us more deep and solid gratification. The style is exceedingly animated, and the anecdotes and illustrations introduced, are happy and apt. Dr. Stevens, certainly, deserves well of the citizens of Georgia, for this highly successful effort to rescue from oblivion, the record of deeds and events, of which she may justly be proud. This short essay alone should be sufficient to crown him with an enduring chaplet, and transmit his name to posterity, among the benefactors of Georgia. We understand that Dr. Stevens does not, however, intend to rest his fame here, but is already preparing a history of Georgia from its first settlement to the present time. No one could be better fitted, than our author, fot such a literary effort. We have no doubt but that it will be all that his friends or the public could wish or expect. We shall hail its appearance with unfeigned pleasure, and with a certainty of having a rich historical and intellectual repast.
We subjoin the following extract from the work before us, not only as a specimen of our author's style, but as a generous and deserving tribute to the character of our Revolutionary matrons, and to their conduct during the trying scenes of a protracted war:
“ The retired sphere in which woman moves, affords but few incidents to engage the pen of the historian. There are periods, however, which call forth the strong characteristics of her mind; which draw her from the restricted orbit of domestic life, and elicit those sublime traits of fortitude, courage and firmness, which make us acknowledge her superiority and her worth. Such a period was the American revolution, when the fortunes of the colonist were shrouded in gloom, and a night of despair at the failure of so many schemes, was gathering its blackness around them, then it was, that they developed those sterling attributes of patriotism and self-devotion, which made even the 'raven down of darkness smile.' It was a woman who gave to the patriots of Boston the first intimation they ever had of the approaching hostilities of the 19th of April, 1775.
It was a woman whose vigilance saved the army of Washington at Valley Forge; and throughout the seven long years of that struggle, there were no higher instances of patriotism exhibited than by those who had sent their fathers, their husbands, their brothers, their sons, to the battle field, and waited in their desolate dwelling the sound of every footstep, lest it should bring the intelligence of sorrow and bereavement. You, daughters of America, who enjoy the broad sunlight of liberty, little know the painful watchings, the pinching want, the dismal wretchedness, the anguished bosoms, and the breaking hearts of the heroines of the revolution. In this province, owing to their proximity to the Indian territory, their sufferings were peculiarly severe. Their husbands were butchered by their sides ; their dwellings committed to the flames; the scalps of their sons strung around their necks; their babes torn from their arms to be dashed against the stones; exposed to every insult and brutality; the price of blood upon their heads without, and famine staring at them from their hearths within. Such was the price which many a wife and mother, and daughter, paid for your freedom. The record of their trials no pen can write, the worth of their struggles no mind can conceive. Silent and unseen to mortal eye, their prayers craved blessings on their country's arms, and their charities ministered to the suffering soldiers. They were clad by the garments of their needles ; fed by the provisions which their jewels purchased ; cheered by the encomium of their smiles; led to victory under banners which their hands wrought; and, to their cooperation should be ascribed an eminent degree of that glory which encircles the name of 'Time's last and noblest offspring.'
p. p. 38, 39.
17. – Edinburgh Review for October, 1841.
The leading article in the Edinburgh Review is on the “ Poor Laws,” and takes a survey of the enactments relating to the poor, from the time of Edward the III., till the poor law amendment bill was passed by the whig administration of 1834. This bill has always been unpopular with the English. It was a general feeling throughout the country, that the poor were treated with unmerited harshness, as if poverty and distress, instead of exciting commiseration, as misfortunes, incurred the penalty, which should only be awarded to guilt; and this law was passed by the very men who made such a parade of their humanity,—who declaiined so much, in favor of softening the criminal code, and who had taken up the cause of the indolent, well fed, well clothed blacks, at the expense of twenty millions to the hard-working and frugal and industrious people of England.
Erom the earliest period of her history, England has always been remarkable for the number of her charitable institutions. The religion of Christ is, essentially, the religion of charity. In all Catholic institutions, ample provisions was always made for the poor. In the article in the 'Edinburgh,' the reviewer commences with some regulations respecting the wages of labor in the time of Edward the III., instead of going back to the earliest provisions made for the poor, and which he will find embodied in the canons of the Catholic Church.
On the institution of tythes, by Ethelwolf, in was expressly stated,