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THE ANGLO-SAXONS AND THE AMERICANS:
EUROPEAN RACES IN THE UNITED STATES.*
We are glad to learn that a new edition) and power successively disappeared, to give of Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons is place to a proud Norman nobility, are about to be published in London. The among the subjects of the history undertaAmerican edition of 1841 of this excellent ken by Sir Francis Palgrave. We shall exand authentic work is, we believe, nearly out pect to see these and other topics connected of print. The sixth London edition was with the Norman Conquest fully detailed published in 1836, the first edition hav- in the volumes, of which the first is mainly ing been issued in successive parts between introductory. the years 1799 and 1805. In his preface The “ English in America" is a work of to the edition of 1836, the author remarks: a different character than we might have “That he should live to revise its sixth edi-expected from Judge Haliburton, whose hapa tion was more than he expected; for it is py delineations of American character in now thirty-seven years since he published his “Sam Slick," and other humorous works, its first volume. This is pleasing ; but it is have gained him much celebrity. In the still a greater gratification to observe, that two volumes of his new work, the English so much of the attention of the public con- in America are described principally as untinues to be directed to the transactions and couth, disingenuous and repulsive Puritans, remains of their Anglo-Saxon ancestors, and who emigrated to America in the early part that so many able men still apply them. of the seventeenth century, for the sake of selves to illustrate this truly national subject an envied indulgence in disloyalty and by various and valuable publications." schism. In his introductory chapter the
An American edition of the History of author states in effect that one of the prinNormandy is also announced; the first vol-cipal objects in writing the volumes has been ume only having as yet appeared in Eng. to inform Englishmen that Democracy did land. The author, Sir Francis Palgrave, is not appear for the first time in America durfavorably known for his large work on “The ing the war of Independence; and that the Rise and Progress of the English Common- peculiar form of religion that prevailed at wealth," and a smaller work on the “History an early period in the New-England States of the Anglo-Saxons.” In his History of exerted a very powerful effect over their polNormandy, and the effects of the Norman itics and modes of government. The auConquest on the English nation, he eluci- thor of “Sam Slick” cannot surely claim any dates a most important portion of English originality for this idea. Doctor Robertson, history, the particulars of which have here- in his posthumous History, George Chalmers, tofore been much neglected by historians, as in his various works on the Colonies, Burke, well as general readers. The origin and in his speeches and writings, and other Britcharacter of the Normans, and the manner ish statesmen, politicians and historians of in which nearly all the lands in the kingdom the last century have fully developed, not were transferred froin their Saxon possessors only all the facts, but most of the philosoto the conquerors; also the way in which the phy which is contained in the present volfamilies that under the Anglo-Saxon dynasty umes. The circumstances connected with had been distinguished by their opulence the early history of the British settlements
* The History of the Anglo-Saxons, from the Earliest Period to the Norman Conquest. By SHARON TURNER. In 2 yols. London and Philadelphia.
The History of Normandy, and of England. By Sin FRANCIS PALGRAVE. Vol. I. London: John Murray.
The English in America. By JUDGE HALIBURTON of Nova Scotia. London: Colburn,
in America are too well known to permit , conflict, and is equally conspicuous in revo. any attempt at systematic and unscrupulous lutions of three days, temperance movements, disparagement of the early Puritan colonists and meetings on the bill of Tara; the same to be successful. Judge Haliburton con- sociability and demonstrativeness ; the same fines himself almost wholly to the events natural refinement of manners, down to the which took place in the colony of Massa- | lowest rank; in both, the characteristic chusetts, and on that basis has written a weakness of an inordinate vanity, and their book, half declamation and half treatise, ready susceptibility to influences in a degree against Democracy and dissent to the Church to which the more obstinate races are stranof England. Still, this publication pos- gers;—to what, except their Gaelic blood, sesses very great merit, so far as the mere can we ascribe all this similarity between composition is concerned. It is written with populations, the whole course of whose nathe usual ability of the author ; the style is tional history has been so different? We vigorous, lively, and sometimes eloquent. say Gaelic, not Celtic, because the Cymri of The narrative parts are extremely pleasing, Wales and Brittany, though also called Celts, and where the peculiar opinions of the wri- have evinced throughout history in many ter on the subjects referred to are not prom- respects an opposite type of character, more inent, the reader is delighted with the acute like the Spanish Iberians than either the observation and good sense which distin- French or Irish ;-individual, instead of greguish the work. But the unfair statements garious; obstinate, instead of impressible; of the learned Judge respecting the early instead of the most disciplinable, one of the settlers of New-England, and his attempt most intractable races among mankind.” to unsettle the verdict which an impartial Historians who preceded Michelet had age has long ago pronounced on questions seen chiefly the Frankish or the Roman elorelating to the character of the pilgrim fa- ment in the formation of modern France ; thers and the Puritan colonies, will not be Michelet in his History of France calls attenlikely to be received with favor by the un- tion to the Gaelic element. “ The foundation prejudiced at the present day, or to add to of the French people,” he says, “is the youththe popularity the author enjoys as a delin- ful, soft, and mobile race of the Gaels, brueator of traits of human character.
yante, sensual, and legère, -prompt to learn, Those who would obtain an accurate prompt to despise, greedy of new things." To knowledge of the people of the United States, the ready impressibility of this race, and the and look to the internal moving forces of easy reception it gave to foreign influences, human affairs as developed on this continent, he attributes the progress made by France. cannot but attach great importance to the It is certain that no people in a semi-barbaconsideration of races. To understand the rous state ever received a foreign civilization national character of our government and more rapidly than the French Celts. In a the spirit of our laws, we must go back century after Julius Cæsar, not only the to the earliest ages of the history of Eng. south, but the whole east of Gaul, was alland, and study the character of the vari- ready almost as Roman as Italy itself. The ous races that from early times have set- Roman institutions and ideas took a deeper tled on the island of Great Britain. Of the root in Gaul than in any other province of the great influence of race in the production of Roman empire, and remained long predomnational character, no reasonable inquirer inant, wherever no great change was effected can now doubt. “ As far as history and social in the population by the ravages of the incircumstances generally are concerned,” says vaders. But, along with this capacity of a late British writer, “how little resemblance improvement, M. Michelet does not find in the can be traced between the French and the Gauls that voluntary loyalty of man to man, Celtic Irish !-in national character, how that free adherence, founded on confiding much! The same ready excitability; the same attachment, which was characteristic of the impetuosity when excited, yet the same readi- Germanic tribes, and of which, in his view, ness under excitement to submit to the the feudal relation was the natural result. It severest discipline—a quality which at first is to these qualities, to personal devotedness might seem to contradict impetuosity, but and faith in one another, that he ascribes which arises from that very vehemence the universal success of the Germanic tribes of character with which it appears to in overpowering the Celts. He finds already
in the latter the root of that passion for their appellations, had been deprived of equality which distinguishes modern France; their independence, at the same time that and which, when unbalanced by a strong others, amid the revolutions of two or three principle of sympathetic union, has always, centuries, had risen to a high pre-eminence he says, prevented the Celts from becoming of power. a nation.
1 It has been a much controverted question Although it is impossible at this time to to which of the two great races from whom estimate the full effect produced on the char- the population of the principal part of acter of the British people by the Roman Europe appears to be derived—the Celts or Occupation and dominion of four centuries, ! Goths — the ancient Belgæ or maritime yet it is certain that the influence of Roman Britons are to be considered as belonging. institutions and ideas was far less in Great It must be admitted that the point is an Britain than in Gaul and in other provinces. exceedingly doubtful one. The distinction, The Britons retained their language and in respect both of language and of lineage, many of their manners and customs, modi- between the Celtic and the Teutonic, Gerfied by the early introduction of Christianity. manic or Gothic races, may be said to be
It is generally admitted that the numer- the fundamental canon of the modern phious population which the Romans found in losophy of the origin and connection of the occupation of the southern part of the nations, but it is not very long since its imisland of Britain, about half a century before portance came to be understood. The most the commencement of the Christian era, was elaborate discussion the subject has met principally a wild race called Cymri, who with, is that which it received from the late had in all probability been immediately de- John Pinkerton, a most learned and acute rived from the neighboring country of Scottish antiquary, in all whose historical France, then known by the name of Gallia. investigations the radical distinction between Julius Cæsar, the first of the ancient writers the Celtic and the Gothic races, and the who saw the people, or who has described inherent inferiority of the former, are mainthem, informs us that their buildings were tained with as much zeal and vehemence as almost similar to those of the Gauls, and that if the writer had a personal interest in the their religion was the same; and it appears establishment of the point. The correctness also that a close political alliance existed be- of the new views, in so far as respects the tween Britain and Gaul, and that the Gauls general position of the non-identity of the were all along aided by the Britons in their Celtic and Germanic nations, and also their contests with the Romans.
importance to the elucidation of the whole Cæsar makes a marked distinction be subject of the original population of Europe, tween the inhabitants of the coast of Britain are now universally admitted. and those of the interior, not only describing Mr. Pinkerton, after long and laborious the latter as much more rude in their man- investigation, thinks he has established the ners, and less advanced in civilization than fact, that the Belga, who were a German or the former, but also expressly declaring Gothic people, and did not speak the Celtic them to be of a different race. Cæsar but the Gothic tongue, came into Britain could speak from personal knowledge only about three centuries before the Christian of the tribes that dwelt near the mouth of era. Their descendants were those Britons the Thames. These he informs us were of whom Cæsar saw, and who resisted the Belgic descent. Their ancestors had, at no Roman army with such remarkable and very distant period, invaded the island, ex- continued bravery. The people of the inpelled the original inhabitants from the terior were, says Pinkerton, palpably the coast, and in their new settlements still re- Welsh, afterwards called Britons, as the tained the names of the parent states. The most ancient inhabitants, for all memory of number of the inhabitants in the districts the Gael or Celts who are supposed to have which fell under his observation astonished preceded the Cymri in their emigration to the Roman general, and there is reason to Britain, was unknown to the Roman and believe that many other districts were Saxon writers. equally well peopled. The population of It is also contended by Pinkerton, that the whole island comprised above forty the Picts or Caledonians were also of the tribes, of which several, while they retained i Gothic or Scythian race, and, emigrating
from Scandinavia, settled in Scotland about to the Romans under the name of Germans. the same period as the Belgæ—a kindred They occupied all the continent but the Gothic tribe from Belgic Gaul-settled in Cimbric peninsula, and had reached and South Britain, or about three centuries be- even passed the Rhine. One of their divifore the Christian era. The Picts, it is sions, the Belgæ, bad for some time estabasserted, are the ancestors of the Lowland | lished themselves in Flanders and part of Scotch, while the Highlanders of Scotland, it France, then Gaul. It is most probable, is well known, are Celts. We may here add says Sharon Turner, that the Belgæ in that many antiquaries consider the Low- Britain were descendants of colonists or inlanders as of Anglo-Saxon descent. The vaders from the Belge in Flanders (now proportion of real Gael or Celts in Scotland Belgium) and Gaul. On this point, it will and its isles, was estimated by Pinkerton, be observed, Turner agrees with Pinkerton. who wrote over sixty years since, at four Although classed under one general head hundred thousand, or about one quarter of as Saxons, there were three tribes of Anglothe inhabitants of that part of the British Saxons which composed the adventurers isles. The north of Ireland, it is well who conquered England. These tribes were known, is mainly peopled with the descend- the Jutes, the Angles, and the Saxons. ants of the Lowland Scotch, who emigrated Bands of adventurers from the Frisians and to that quarter principally during the seven- other German tribes joined the invaders, and teenth century. It is from the stock of also settled in Britain. These promiscuous Lowland Scotch, it should be remembered, conquerors have been since known in history that most of the Scotch and Irish emigrants by the common appellation of Anglo-Saxons. to America in the seventeenth and eighteenth When Beda wrote, in A. D. 731, or nearly centuries came, and but few were of the Celtic three centuries after the first appearance of race.
the Saxons in England, he informs us that The Anglo-Saxons were the people who there were four languages spoken in Britain, transported themselves from the Cimbric pe- namely, English, Pictish, British or Cumraig, ninsula (now Denmark) and its vicinity, in and Scottish or Irish. Hence, Pinkerton inthe fifth and sixth centuries, into England. fers that as the name of Angli was given to They were branches of the great Saxon con- all the possessors of South Britain except federation, which, from the Elbe, extended the Welsh, this speech, which Beda calls itself at last to the Rhine. According to Anglic, (or English,) was in fact the Belgic, Sharon Turner, the Anglo-Saxons, Low- with a new name. Pinkerton also thinks land Scotch, Normans, Danes, Norwegians, that the Latin language was very little used Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Lom- by either Belgians or Welsh. Tacitus, in bards and Franks, have all sprung from Agricola, tells us indeed that the filii printhat great fountain of the human race, dis- cipum of Britain used the Latin ; and it tinguished by the terms Scythian, German, seems to have been always confined to the or Gothic. The first appearance of the upper ranks, for all Roman Britain did not Scythian tribes in Europe may be placed, produce one Latin author, although Spain according to Strabo and Homer, about the and Gaul did many: as Mela, Lucan, Seneighth, or, according to Herodotus, in the leca, Martial, Sidonius, Ausonius, and others. seventh century before the Christian era. The most important conclusion arrived at The first scenes of their civil existence and by Pinkerton is, that at the conquest of Engof their progressive power were in Asia, to land by the Anglo-Saxons, the Belgic Britthe east of the Araxes. Here they multi-ons were not exterminated. While the plied and extended their territorial limits, Cymri were driven into Wales and Brittany, for some centuries, unknown to Europe. the Belgæ, he supposes, having been so lost Their general appellation among themselves in the luxuries of Rome during the dominion was Scoloti, but the Greeks called them of that power, that they seem to have toScythians, Scuthoi, or Nomades. They tally abandoned their character of the have become better known to us in recent bravest of the Gauls, could not exist without periods under the name of Getæ or Goths, Roman protection, submitted to their Saxon the most celebrated of their branches. In conquerors, and became their serfs and vasthe days of Cæsar, the most advanced tribes sals. The Jutes, 'Saxons and Angli were of the Scythian or Gothic race were known I really the Gothic brethren of the Belgæ, but
finding them so defenseless, usurped their stock, may seem a misnomer ; but it should power, and became their masters. Admit- be recollected that names are often arbitrary ting the Belgæ only to the ranks of coloni or accidental, and applied incorrectly, of and villani, their natural enmity to the which we have abundant instances on this Cymri induced them to give them no quar- continent; but long-continued custom sancter, till driven to the highlands of Wales and tions what cannot be strictly approved by the rocks of Cornwall, after an extermina- the
rules of criticism or abstract propriety. tion of nearly a third, and expulsion to We have thus endeavored to give our France (Brittany) and Ireland of nearly views of what races and people composed another third. The Belgæ Pinkerton rather the Anglo-Saxons or English, at the time of extravagantly estimates to have amounted at the Norman Conquest, since when Scotland that time to three millions, whereas, he says, and Ireland, with the colonies, have been their Anglo-Saxon conquerors never appear to added to the British empire. From that have exceeded one hundred thousand. The period until the seventeenth century, when numerous coloni and slaves of the Saxons, the settlement of the British colonies in even down to the Norman invasion in 1066, America commenced, no change of imporsurprise historians who know that the Cymritance occurred to affect the relative position or Welsh were expelled, but forget that such of the different races inhabiting the British a people as the Belgæ existed. No traces Isles. Probably very little amalgamation of Welsh names being found among the took place between the descendants of the Saxons, these numerous coloni must all have Gothic and Celtic races. The Welsh, who been Belgę, who, by intermarriages, &c., we have seen are the descendants of the gradually changed their fortunes, so that be- Cymri, have doubtless mixed more with fore the Norman times the Saxons and Belga their English neighbors than have the had nearly coalesced into one people; though Scotch and Irish; and of the emigrants to even then Domesday Book shows that the America, particularly to New-England, it coloni and villani possessed the far greater was often difficult to distinguish between
of the lands in England. “When the the Welsh and English who came over English history becomes studied by English together. There were, however, a few Welsh writers," Pinkerton sarcastically remarks, colonies in the United States in the last cen" and it is universally perceived that the tury, where the emigrants retained their lanBelgæ, a Gothic people, who fought in this guage, manners and customs. Such is the isle against Julius Cæsar, are the real ances- county of Cambria in Pennsylvania, and tors of three quarters of the present English, some smaller settlements in New-York and it may prove a national question whether the other States. Belgæ or Picts were the first Goths who The British colonies in America forming took possession of Britain. This question the original thirteen States were settled by might be agitated for ever, for it is abso- colonists, a large proportion of whom were lutely impossible to decide it. All author- natives of Great Britain. No considerable ities, facts and reason warrant us to believe emigration of Celtic Irish, or other people of that the Belge entered the south and the Celtic origin, took place to this country, unPicts the north of Britain, about one and the til after the commencement of the present same time."
century. The New-England States, NewAdmitting the probability of Mr. Pinker- Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, ton's conclusion, we have the interesting fact, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and that what are now by general consent termed Georgia were mainly settled by Englishmen, Anglo-Saxons, at the time of the Norman as is well known. New-York, the only Dutch conquest included not only the descendants colony, passed under English_dominion, of the Saxon conquerors of the fifth and with a small population, partly Dutch and sixth centuries, but those of the ancient Bel- partly English, in 1674. The Dutch regic inhabitants
, besides the Danes and other cords of 1673 say: “They, and as many Scandinavians who made inroads in Britain, of the Dutch nation as are yet residing under in the ninth and tenth centuries; and among this Government, are calculated to amount, all these were few or none of Celtic blood. The women and children included, to about six term Anglo-Saxon applied to such a people, thousand." In 1698, the total number of even after the Norman graft on the original l inhabitants in the colony was 18,067, and