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1842.]

More complete Illustration of our History.

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sophistry, striven to confound all distinction between right and wrong, audaciously violated the constitution, and avowed doctrines utterly incompatible with the maxims of liberty. Let us leave these Tarentines and the angry deities they worship, in company together. Among these promotions, I should like to see the son of our enemy, John Adams, appointed minister to the court of Petersburg. The more

The more unexampled such an act, the greater will be its effect. It implies a sincere confidence in the promoter, and that his mind moves in a region above the stormy or the obscuring passions. Another consideration will come home to such a heart as thine. This honorable regard to a falling family will be soothing to them. It may render them less unhappy; and as it is a blessed thing to have the power of doing good to others, even a chance of its application is valuable. As to political considerations, internal or external, they appear to me decisive. As to the first, it may be sufficient to add to what has been said, that the warm persons who inay be displeased will become reconciled. As to the second, I have never heard any satisfactory reason assigned why the greatest northern power has been

slighted by our prompt advances to those that are inferior. The accession of a new prince, the points of public law now in controversy, and a number of accompanying circumstances, seem to call upon us to form a treaty that shall recognise principles favorable to all mankind, and convince Russia that we wish to come to her market for some of her manufactures. It strikes me that a perfectly friendly intercourse with that country and with France, is of more importance to us than with any other two portions in Europe.”

The appeal to Mr. Jefferson's magnanimity, it is needless to say, was vain. Mr. John Quincy Adams was dismissed from the subordinate office which he held, and Mr. Jefferson set up the poor excuse of ignorance for the act.

In concluding this article, already, we fear, extended much too far, we will venture to make a suggestion not immediately connected with our subject, but having a direct relation to what we have much at heart, the further and more complete illustration of our revolutionary history. It is a subject in which, as we have said, we take deep interest. We desire to see it better illustrated, better understood, and more thoroughly studied. It is worth it for its use. It is well xo. XX-VOL. X.

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worth it for its interest. The perusal of these volumes of familiar correspondence has increased our appetite, and made us anew regret the limited extent to which the collection and publication of such historical treasures have yet gone. Besides the unexplored stores in the hands of individuals, and in this country, there is much which has never seen the light in the archives of the federal and state governments, and in Europe.

The official correspondence of our public men has been partially disclosed. There are in the departments at Washington alone volumes of manuscript documents of great value which never can be secure until printed, and which are exposed to daily and imminent risk of destruction. The state archives are equally valuable and equally exposed. Yet no public man seems to think it part of his duty to preserve them. A moderate appropriation by Congress, and each of the thirteen legislatures, which would not be felt amidst the countless sums squandered every year on what are dignified as practical and useful objects, would suffice to place these records beyond all risk. But even more than this should be done. There are, as we have said, in the public offices and private collections, both in England and on the continent, vast bodies of papers connected with the history of this country, colonial and revolutionary, without the benefit of which no student can, with even ordinary advantage, pursue his researches, and which can only be made accessible through the agency of the government. In the State Paper Office and British Museum alone, the historical collections are of inestimable value. At any moment these buildings may meet with the fate of the Parliament House and the Tower, and all that they contain be lost. The private and unpublished correspondence, too, of the ministry at different periods, of the Grenvilles, Hillsboroughs, Lansdownes, Dartmouths, or Lord Nortb, now, we presume, with proper pains accessible, would hare bigb interest and value. Any one who will take the trouble to see what Mr. Sparks, by his own unassisted enterprise, has been able to accomplish, will understand how much yet remains to be done, and how contéssed s inadequate individual means are. Why cannot the government of the Union do something for the history of the Union. Let it do what the State of New York has done, send a commission abroad, to Great Britain and the continent to procure copies of all papers which are yet extant, and 1842.)

Papers in foreign Archives.

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which will serve to illustrate our annals, and let them be published at the expense of the government. There are many highly-gifted individuals who might be safely entrusted with this duty, not politicians who believe the history of the country to date no further back than at some poor party era of their own, but scholars and gentlemen of proper cultivation and intelligence. Such a work, with ordinary industry, might be completed within two, or at most three years. The cost to the government, for of this of course we must speak, could not be very great, and if far greater than it would be, will be more than repaid by the value of what would thus be rescued. We do not know whether the terms of the Smithsonian bequest permit such an appropriation of its funds, nor do we know whether any part of that fund, once submerged in the sinking Arkansas securities, yet survives, but if it be within the purview of the legacy, and if it yet exists, what better use could be made of it? This hint we make at random. But the government, in any event, is able, and ought to be willing, to do what is thus needed. There are gentlemen connected with the different branches of the government at this time, to whom we feel confident this appeal, earnestly and sincerely made, will commend itself. It will not be invidious to refer to the Secretary of State, and the Attorney-General, as those who may be supposed to favor such an effort in behalf of our neglected history. They have studied it, are imbued with its spirit, know its deficiencies, and during their sojourn abroad must have realized how easily, if undertaken in a proper way, such a thing may be accomplished. There is another public man, venerable in age, and especially venerable in public service, to whom this appeal is directly made. He who, more than any other living man, is learned in our history. He who, when eleven years of age, may be said to have entered the service of his country and who is in it yet, whose life began before the birth of the republic, and who yet, with powers unimpaired, and energies unbroken, as a representative of the people, watches and guards her destiny. The son of John Adams of the Revolution could not, with more honor to himself, or advantage to his fellow-citizens, close his illustrious public life, than by a successful effort, such as we are sure he can make, an effort worthy of himself, his ancestry, and the cause, in behalf of the HISTORY OF THE REVOLUTION.

ART. II. — American Antiquities, and Researches into the Origin and History of the Red Race. By ALEXANDER W. BRAD

New York : 1841. Dayton and Saxton. 8vo.

FORD.

A GREAT deal has been written of late about modern European civilization, and the philosophy of history. By some Christianity has been treated as a mere result of civilization, and of what is called the progressive development of the human race; by others as a mere element, although confessedly an important one, of that peculiar civilization which modern Europe has exhibited. Others again, proceeding on the principle which led the Arabian calif to destroy the Alexandrian library, have argued, at least practically, that if modern civilization, with its vast benefiis, proceeded wholly from the Christian religion, the Christian religion must contain all that the knowledge of civilization could give; but if not, then it must be either unnecessary to the integrity of that religion, or opposed to it, and so the knowledge of it likewise either unnecessary or injurious. At all events, it is certain that history, and especially historical criticisın, has either been neglected, or pursued chiefly by those who have approached their investigations with a very imperfect apprehension that what gives 10 the history of men its real worth is the intervention therein of God, making it the history of his providence and his church. But this being once understood, it is altogether unnecessary to deny that Christianity is built upon civilization, and presupposes its historical development. The church is indeed the soul, the life of Christendom, but what are its materials ? The hardy northern tribes contributed their new and unexhausted animal energies; the fragments of the Roman empire gave the forms of civil administration and the theory of jurisprudence ; Greece, in due time, added her letters and philosophy. All would have been nothing, doubtless, without the church, which actuated and controlled these in themselves ineffectual elements - converting the Goths, consecrating the authority of princes, and surrounding her own by impenetrable defences of logic and philosophy, drawn from the ancient literature which she was principally instrumental in preserving. For if we trace the history of civilization back beyond Christianity, and to such a period 1842.]

Ancient Civilization of America.

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as admits no suspicion of her indirect influence, we shall find no examples of savage, or balf-savage conquerors, originating, like the Gotlis in modern Europe, a civilization infinitely superior to that of the nations they had conquered. Nay, the civilization of the west, anterior to the Christian, can easily be traced back to one primitive and original fountain. Rome derived her religion from Etruria, her laws and letters from Greece. The Egyptians instructed the Greeks, and the Etrurian civilization was either a contemporaneous development of the same culture which existed'in Egypt, or else was transplanted after its development from one country to the other. Hence the great importance of studying well that primitive type of civilization, if we would have any true knowledge of that which is derived from it, and especially of the Christian, which has appropriated all its remains. À true conception of that first culture, which existed in the world immediately after the deluge, and diffused itself so widely over the face of our planet, has, we may boldly say, not heretofore been mastered by those who have written wisely and well of man's history. Nothing, indeed, can be finer in their way than the Researches of Heeren, but they do not touch this point.

We confess it is chiefly because Mr. Bradford's book has laid the foundation for a just theory on this subject, that we regard it as worthy of that detailed examination which we are about to give it. The ancient and now extinguished civilization of America, has heretofore been regarded as either an historical anomaly, or an example of a commencing civilization arrested midway in its course of spontaneous development. Those who have considered it as anomalous have of course been able to make no use of it in solving the problems presented by the civilization of the eastern continent. Those who have considered it in the second light to which we have alluded, have unhesitatingly applied the generalizations founded on such a view to the solution of those problems; and of course if, as we believe, the ancient American civilization was neither a spontaneous one, nor just commencing at the time of the Spanish conquest, they have generalized erroneously. It is needless to say how perpetually, in works treating of the origin and development of nations, a covert allusion to the assuined history of the Peruvian and Mexican empires is the real strength of the argument.

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