Obrazy na stronie

language of the history which records its execution. “The aborigines of these countries,” said he, “I have regarded with the consideration their position inspires. Endowed with the faculties and the rights of men, breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence, and occupying a country which left them no desire but to be undisturbed, the streams of overflowing population from other regions directed itself on these shores. Without power to divert, or habits to contend against it, they have been overwhelmed by the current, or driven before it. Now reduced within limits too narrow for the hunter state, humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts—to encourage them to that industry which alone can enable them to maintain their place in existence, and to prepare them in time for that state of society which, to bodily comforts, adds the improvement of the mind and morals." We have therefore liberally furnished them with the implements of husbandry and householdure; we have placed instructors amongst them in the arts of first necessity; and they are covered with the ægis of the law against aggressors from among ourselves. A few stubborn individuals, misled by prejudice or ambition, and carrying with them fragments of their tribes, have resisted the inevitable fate of their race, and have compelled our authorities to subdue them by arms; but the greater part of the tribes have gone to their new homes beyond the Mississippi cheerfully, and in peace. Some, like the Cherokees, have been raised to a higher European civilization; and all aro in a condition superior to that in which they were found by our people.

The annexation of Texas, secondly, it is needless to dwell upon, because it was an cvent so incvitable as a historical development, and so clear in all its principles, that it requires no justification. A bordering people, in the natural increase of population and trade, settle in a foreign state, where they acquire property and rear families; thoy gradually become citizens, and look upon the place as their home; but they are oppressed by the government, and rise in revolt; they carry on a successful revolution; they organize and maintain a free and stablo government: they are acknowledged as independent by all the leading powers of Christendom; and then to secure themselves from external assault, and to acquire additional internal strength, -led too, by old and natural affinities,

they seek a constitutional alliance with the people to whom they forinerly belonged, and are still cordially at

tached. That is the whole history of Texas, and we see nothing in our yielding to her request for admission to the rights and protection of the Federal Union, that is, in the least, extraordinary, or atrocious, or particularly greedy. As a question of domestic policy, the annexation may have properly divided opinion ; but as a question of international relations, nothing could have been more simply and obviously just.

Again: in respect to conquests, we have but one to answer for—that of Mexico, and there is nothing in either the commencement, the course, or the end of that -if even it may be called a conquest-for which the lover of his country or humanity, needs to blush. It was a regular war, begun in vindication of the clearest national rights, which had been outraged; carried on with vigor, but with the strictest regard also to the most just and honorable principles; and closed by a deliberate treaty, in which, though it was in our power to confiscate the whole nation, by reducing it to the state of a dependent province, we refrained from all arbitrary or exorbitant demands, and agreed to pay generously for every acre of land that we retained, and for every iota of loss we had occasioned! It is true that the territories thus acquired proved subsequently, through their unexampled mineral deposits, to be of priceless worth ; but this peculiar source of value was unsuspected at the time, while it is probable that, if they had remained in the same hands, they might have been unknown to this day.

Compare, then, the "annexation” of the United States, for which it is so largely ridiculed, or so roundly abused, with the same process as it has been conducted by other nations ! Not with those predatory expeditions of the magnificent bandits of the East; not with the Roman conquests, which were incessant scenes of spoliation, violence, subjugation and tyranny; not with the irruptions of the northern hordes, whose boast it was that no grass grew where they had trod; not with the merciless and gory marches of Pizarro or Cortes. because those were the deeds of rude and brutal

ages; nor yet even with the stormy anabasis and ratabasis, as De Quincy somewhere calls it, when,

“Tho Emperor Nap. ho did set off

On a pleasant excursion to Moscow;" but compare it with the more modern, and, therefore, we may suppose, the more just and humano management of their external relations, by any of the most advanced nations of Europe ! With the treatment of Algiers by the French,

for instance; or of Poland by Russia ; or the dispersion of the Teutonic races over of Hungary and Italy by Austria ; or of Italy, France, and England; down to the Ireland and India by England! We shall exodus of the Pilgrims, and the hegira see the latter subduing: plundering, depo- from all lands into the golden reservoirs pulating, carrying decay or death where- of California, there appears to have been ever they spread, maintaining their supre- a decided movement southward and westmacy or:ly by armies of functionaries and ward of the populations of the world. It soldiers, who consume the substance and was never constant and continuous, and yet, blast the industry of their dependents; contemplated in large epochs, it was always and shaping their entire policy with a discernible. Sometimes, creeping slowly single eye to their own interests. We like a silent brook in the shade of forests; shall see, also, that they are hated and sometimes arresting itself like pools in the cursed, with unrelenting bitterness, by hollows of rich valleys; sometimes, intheir victims. On the other side, we own deed, seeming to 'recede, and then springno subject nations, no colonial victims, no ing suddenly from hill-top to hill-top, as trembling provinces—and we never desire the lights which bore the news of Greto own them ;-we waste no fields, we cian victory, in old Homer's poem, it has ruin no cities, we exhaust no distant set- gone forward, to the gradual civilization tlements ;-the weak Indian tribes among of the earth. By natural growth, by the us we have striven to redeem and civil

multiplying ties of trade, by warlike exize; the weak Mexican and Spanish races cursions, by voluntary migrations, by reabout us, a prey to anarchy and misrule, volutions and by colonizations, the supewe offer the advantages of stable govern. rior races of the great central cradles of ment, of equal laws, of a flourishing and Western Asia have spread, pursuing the refined social life; and we aim at no alli- paths of the sun, until they now quite ances which are not founded on the broad- circle the globe. Nor is there any reaest principles of reciprocal justice and son for believing that this diffusive c076goodwill. Away, then, with the base natus will be stopped, while there remains calumnies which hold us up to the world a remotest island, or secluded western as a nation of reckless filibusters! Away nook, to be reduced to the reception of with the European cant of the invading Christianity and European arts. An iutendencies of Republicanism!

stinct in the human soul, deeper than the 6: Our past, at least," as Webster said, "is wisdom of politics, more powerful than secure.” It brings no crimson to our chceks: the sceptres of states, impels the people not, however, that our people are any better on, to the accomplishment of that high in themselves than other people-human destiny which Providence has plainly renature, we suppose, is much the same every served for our race. where-but because our free and open in- Annexation, consequently, is an inevistitutions, through which the convictions table fact, and it would be in vain for the of men and not the interests of monarchs American people to resist the impulses or families are expressed, incito no sinister which are bearing all nations upward and and iniquitous proceedings. The glory of onward, to a higher development and a Republicanism is, that it is aboveboard, closer union. Nor, when we consider the reflecting solely the extant wisdom and attitude in which we are placed towards justice of the aggregate of its supporters. other nations of the earth, is it desirable

Thus far, we have only disposed of the for us, or them, that this expansive, yet invectives of foreigners, showing what magnifying influence, should be resisted ? gratuitous and unfounded malice they are ; As the inheritors of whatever is best in but we have yet to consider our subject modern civilization, possessed of a political in its most important aspects, or in its and social polity which we deem superior bearings upon the internal policy of the to every other, carrying with us wherever State. The annexation of contiguous ter- we go the living seeds of freedom, of inritories, in one shape or another, is a telligence, of religion ; our advent every question that must constantly arise in the where, but particularly among the savage course of our progress, and it is well for and stationary tribes who are nearest to us to know the true principles on which it us, must be a redemption and a blessing. should be managed.

South America and the islands of the sea From the time that Adam was sent out ought to rise up to meet us at our coming: of the sunset gate of Eden; from the and the desert and the solitary places be earliest descent of the Scythians upon glad that the hour for breaking their fatal the plains of Iran; from the Phænician enchantments, the hour of their emancisettlernents in Grecce; the tremendous pation, had arrived. invasions of the Mongolians in Russia; and If the Canadas, or the provinces of South

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or Central America, were gathered into sea; the palsy-smitten villages broken into our Union, by this gradual and natural pieces before they are built, would teem absorption, by this species of national en- like hives with " singing-masons building dosmosis, they would at once spring into golden caves ;" and the scarcely human new life. In respect to the former, the societies, leprous with indolence, or altercontrasts presented by the river St. Law- nately benumbed by despotism, or conrence, which Lord Durham described, and vulsed by wild, anarchical throes, would which are not yet effaced, would speedily file harmoniously into order, and like endisappear. “On the American side,” he chanted armies, when the spells of the sor says, “all is activity and bustle. The fo- cerers are gone, take up a march of triumph: rests have been widely cleared ; every year

"Such power there is in heavenly polity." numerous settlements are formed, and thousands of farms are created out of the Nor would the incorporation of these waste; the country is intersected by roads. foreign ingredients into our body,- we On the British side, with the exception of mean by regular and pacific methods, by a few favored spots, where some approach a normal and organic assimilation, and to American prosperity is apparent, all not by any extraneous force or fraud, scems waste and desolate.

The an

swell us out to an unmanageable and plecient city of Montreal, which is naturally thoric size. It is the distinctive beauty of the capital of Canada, will not bear the least our political structure, rightly interpreted, comparison in any respect with Buffalo, that it admits of an almost indefinite exwhich is a creation of yesterday. But it tension of the parts without detriment to is not in the difference between the larger the whole. In the older nations, where towns on the two sides, that we shall find the governments assume to do every thing, the best evidence of our inferiority. That an increase of dimensions is always accompainful but undeniable truth is most mani- panied by an increase of danger,—the head fest in the country districts, through which is unable to control the extremities, which the line of national separation passes for fly off into a St. Vitus's dance of revolu a thousanıl miles. There on the side of tion, or the extremities are paralyzed, both the Canadas, and also of New Bruns- through a congestion of despotic power in wick and Nova Scotia, a widely scattered the head. But with us there is no such population, poor, and apparently unenter- liability: the political power, dispersed and prising, though hardy and industrious, se- localized, the currents of influence pass parated by tracts of intervening forests, reciprocally from the centre to the circumwithout town or markets, almost without ference, and from the circumference to the roads, living in mcan houses, drawing lit- centre, as in the circulation of the blood; tlo more than a rude subsistence from and whether the number of members in ill-cultivated land, and seemingly incapa- the system be more or less, the relations ble of improving their condition, present of strength between them and the head the most instructive contrast to their cn- remain pretty much the same; or, rather, terprising and thriving neighbors on the as our federal force is the net result and American side.” The Canadas have rap- quotient of the contributions of the sepaidly improved since Durham wrote, gal- rate States, it is rather strengthened than vinized into action chiefly by American ex- weakened by the addition of new elements. ample and energy, and the larger freedom Our circle of thirty-one integers works as they now enjoy ; but what might not their harmoniously as it did when it was como development be if wholly emancipated and posed of only thirteen, while the probabilrepublicanized? Or, still more, in respect ity of rupture is lessened, from the greater to the silent and barren regions of the number which are interested in the Union. Southern Continent, what magical trans- A powerful community, like New-York or formations, a change of political relations Ohio, might have its own way opposed to would evoke? The rich wastes given over a mére handful of smaller communities; to the vulture and the serpent, — where the but opposed to a vast network of commusunshine and air of the most delicious cli- nities, though never so small in themselves, mate fall upon a desolation,-would blos- it would be compelled to listen to reason. som and put forth like the golden-fruited Indeed, the dangers likely to arise in the Hesperides, opening a glorious asylum to practical workings of our system, will rethe over-crowded labor of Southern Eu- sult from an excessive centripetal, rather rope; the immense rivers which now hear than centrifugal tendency, and the annexno sound, save their own complaining moan ation of new States is, therefore, one of the as they woo in vain the churlish banks that best correctives of the vice. spurn their offers of service, would then But be that as it may, it is clear that laugh with ships and go rejoicing to the we must maintain some relations to the other nations of the world, either under -to all who lie on the margins of Beththe existing international law, or by treaty, esda, waiting for the good strong arm to or else by regular constitutional agree- thrust them in the invigorating pool. ment. Now, which of the three is the Precisely, however, because this tenbest? International law, as we all know, dency to the assimilation of foreign ingreis the merest figment in practice, pro- dients, or to the putting forth of new verbially uncertain in its principles, with- members, is an inevitable incident of our out sanctions or penalties, and wholly in- growth, because too, of the manifest adeffective when it conflicts with the will of vantages to all concerned, -there is no powerful states, of which fact the whole need that it should be specially fostered or continent of Europe is witness. Treaties stimulated. It will thrive of itself: it of amity and commerce are often only will supply the fuel of its own fires : it temporary, and

may be abrogated at the requires only a wise direction. A masoption of the parties to them, or openly terly inactivity is here emphatically the violated, when one of the parties is strong rule, for it will better secure us the desirand unscrupulous. But à constitutional ed result than the noisy, proselytizing, union, an eternal and brotherly league of buccancering zeal of over hasty demaindependent and equal sovereignties, is the gogues. The fruit will fall into our most permanent, peaceful, and unoppres- hands, when it is ripe, without an officious sive in which states can be joined the shaking of the tree. Cuba will be ours, wisest, strongest, and happiest relation and Canada and Mexico, too, --if we want that can be instituted among civilized na- them,-in due season; and without the tions. We are, therefore, decidedly in favor wicked impertinence of a war. Industry, of its adoption in settling the terms of our : commerce, silent migrations, the winning intercourse with all the people who are example of high prosperity joined to a Freearound and about us; carrying our faith dom which sports like the winds around in its efficacy and beneficence so far, in an Order which is as firm as the Pyrafact, that we expect to behold, at no dis- mids, are grappling them by unseen ties, tant day, the whole earth encompassed, and drawing them closer each day, and not by warring tribes and jealous nation- binding them in a unity of intercourse, alities, but by a glorious hierarchy of free of interest and of friendship, from which and independent republics.

they will soon find it impossible to break, The fears, therefore, that some express if they would, and from which, also, very at our assumed velocity and breadth of soon, they would not break if they could. expansion, would, if they were well-found- Let us then await patiently the dowries ed, be ungenerous, as well as unmanly of time, whose promises are so complaand un-American. They are petty, un- cent and decided, reasoning, and extra-timid. If we ever

"Nor weave with bloody bands the tissue of our line." had swept, or were likely to sweep over the earth, sirocco-wise, drinking the dews, It should be, moreover, always borne in withering the grass, blearing the eyes mind, as the truth inost certain of all the of men, or blistering their bodies, there truths that have been demonstrated by would then be some excuse for such appre- the experience of nations, that their home hensions ; or, if in the might and intensity policy, their domestic relations, their inof the centrifugal impulse there were danger ternal development, the concentration, not of dislocating our own systein, whirling the dispersion, of their energies, are the obthe fragments off into measureless space, jects to which they should devote their first it would become the character of every and last, most earnest and best regards. patriot to shout an carnest halt. But It is the most miserable and ruinous of all Caucasians as we are, carrying the best ambitions, which leads nations into dreams blood of time in our veins,- Anglo-Saxons, of external domination and power. The the inheritors of the richest and profound- wars they engender, deadly as they may est civilizations: Puritans, whose religion be, are comparatively nothing to the sap is their most imperishable conviction : ping, undermining, exhausting drains and native Yankees of indomitable enterprise, sluices they open in the whole body and and a capacity for government and self- every limb and member of the state. government, which masters every element Ships, colonies, and commerce,” has -the effeminacy of climate, the madness been the cry of the old world cabinets, of gold-hunting, the spite and rage of and the effects are seen in bankruptcies, seas and winds,—we go forth as a bene- in Pelion-upon-Ossas of debt, in rotten ficent, not a destructive agency; as the courts, in degraded and impoverished bearers of life, not death, to the prostrate peoples, and in oppressed and decaying nations-to the over-ripe or the under-ripe neighbor-nations. Thus, France, instead


of giving a chance to her thirty-six mil- and yet, her poor at home are imbruted, lions of lively and industrious people, to half-starved, earning only one tenth of recover and enrich their soils, to open what they might for her, while younger roads, to make navigable their streams, and freer nations are enticing away the and to build themselves up in knowledge commerce of the very dependencies which and virtue, has ever been smitten with an it has taken whole generations of wrong, insane love of foreign influence; but might torture, and bloodshed to create ! rather have been smitten with the plague. On the other hand, the United States, She has overrun and ruined Lombardy; refraining from the spoliation of her neighshe has overrun and paralyzed, if not bors, devoting herself steadily to the tasks ruined, the Netherlands and Holland; she of industry set before her, welcoming the has overrun and arrested the civilization people of all nations poor and rich, reof Catalonia ; she has overrun and deeply stricting government to its simplest duties, wounded Belgium ; she has been the per- securing every man by equal laws, and petual enemy of the free cities of Germany, giving to every citizen opportunities of stirring up thirty years wars, and assist- honor, fortune, self-culture,—has, in a ing Austria in infamous schemes of de- short fifty years, overtaken the most adstruction; she has invaded Genoa, Sicily, vanced nations, has left the others far in Venice, Corsica, Rome, suppressing them the rear, and in less than ten years from the time and again with her armies ; she date at which we write, will take her stand hangs like a nightmare upon Algeria ; as the first nation of the earth-without a she maintains penal colonies at Guiana- rival-without a peer-as we hope without and all with what gain to herself? With an enemy;-but, whether with or without what gain ? Heavens! Look at the semi- enemies, -able, single-handed, to dictate barbarism of her almost feudal rural popu- her terms, on any question, to a leash of lation; at the ignorance, licentiousness, the self-seeking, and therefore decrepit, and crime of her cities; at her vast agri- monarchies of Europe. By not aiming at cultural resources, not only not developed, foreign aggrandizement, of which she is so but laden with taxes and debt; at her often recklessly accused, she has reached unstable governments, shifting like the a position which puts it easily in her power. forms of a kaleidoscope; at her Jacqueries, Her strength has been in her weakness; her St. Bartholomews, her dragonades, her ability to cope with the world has her Coups d'Etat; her fusiladed legis- grown out of her unwillingness to make the lators, and her exiled men of science and attempt; and behold her now a magnificent poets! France, under a true decentralized example of the superior glory of peace, jusfreedom, with the amazing talents of her tice, good will and honest hard work. God quick-witted and amiable people, left to grant that she may never find occasion to the construction of their own fortunes, walk in the devious paths of intrigue, to might now have been a century in advance raise the battle cry of invasion; and God of where she is; but she followed the ignis grant too, -we ask it with a double earnestfatuus of glory, of power abroad instead ness,—that she may not, in her prosperity, of industry and peace at home! England, forget those that are in adversity; that she too, in spite of her noble qualities and gi- may never take part with the oppressor, gantic industry, has depopulated Ireland, but give her free hand of sympathy to the starved India, ruined her West India oppressed, whenever they shall undertake islands, hamstrung the Canadas, in order the struggle for their rights ! to make distant markets for her trade,


W ran folded hands tho lady lies

In flowing robes of whito,
A globed lamp beside her couch,

A round of tender light.
With such a light above her load,

A little year ago,
Sho walked acown the shadowy vale,

Where the blood-red rosos grow!
A shape, or shadow joined her thero,

To pluck the royal flower,

But stole the llly from her broast,

Which was her only dower.
That gone, all went: her falso love first,

And then her pouco of heart;
The hard world frowned, her friends grow cold,

She hid in tears apart:
And now she lies upon her couch,

Amid tho dying light,
Nor wakes to hear the little voico

That moans throughout the night!

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