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twelve months' notice to the other. We are inclined to the opinion, that under the operation of this convention, by which the United States and Great Britain are nominally placed on the same footing, the country is rapidly passing, in reality, into British hands.
Propositions, it is well known, have, at different times, been submitted to Congress, to take some measure by way of appropriating to themselves that portion of the country, which is incontestably within the jurisdiction of the United States, and of bringing the question of boundary to a definitive settlement. Formal attempts to obtain the sanction of Congress, to the establishment of a territorial government, have been made in the House of Representatives; for the last time, in 1829, under the lead of Governor Floyd of Virginia. The project found, at that time, but little favor at Washington. Some of the objections to the territorial occupation were unquestionably of great weight; but not a little of the argument ran upon topics, one would have thought beneath the case. Thus, it was a consideration pretty strongly urged against the proposed measure, that, at some seasons of the year, owing to a heavy surf, the mouth of the Columbia was very difficult of entrance. This is an argument not unlike one, which might have been urged against making an effort for the acquisition of Louisiana, that the mouths of the Mississippi are obstructed by bars. The region watered by the Columbia is not much smaller than the United States, east of the Alleghany Mountains. While the settlements are confined to a few hunting posts near the mouth of the river, the surf that breaks on its bar is a matter of consequence, no doubt; but what is it to the ultimate character and importance of a country, equal in extent to the old United States, and stretching for nine or ten degrees of latitude, along the great ocean? We do not know that we can better bring our article to a close, than by the concluding paragraphs, on this subject, from Mr. Irving's book.
"It is painful, at all times, to see a grand and beneficial stroke of genius fail of its aim. But we regret the failure of this enterprise in a national point of view; for, had it been crowned with success, it would have redounded greatly to the advantage and extension of our commerce. The profits drawn from the country in question by the British Fur Company, though of ample amount, form no criterion by which to judge of the
advantages that would have arisen, had it been entirely in the hands of citizens of the United States. That company, as has been shown, is limited in the nature and scope of its operations, and can make but little use of the maritime facilities held out by an emporium and a harbour on that coast. In our hands, besides the roving bands of trappers and traders, the country would have been explored and settled by industrious husbandmen; and the fertile valleys bordering its rivers, and shut up among its mountains, would have been made to pour forth their agricultural treasures to contribute to the general wealth.
"In respect to commerce, we should have had a line of trading posts from the Mississippi and the Missouri across the Rocky Mountains, forming a high road from the great regions of the West to the shores of the Pacific. We should have had a fortified post and port at the mouth of the Columbia, commanding the trade of that river and its tributaries, and of a wide extent of country and seacoast; carrying on an active and profitable commerce with the Sandwich Islands, and a direct and frequent communication with China. In a word, Astoria might have realized the anticipations of Mr. Astor, so well understood and appreciated by Mr. Jefferson, in gradually becoming a commercial empire beyond the mountains, peopled by 'free and independent Americans, and linked with us by ties of blood and interest.'
"We repeat, therefore, our sincere regret, that our government should have neglected the overture of Mr. Astor, and suffered the moment to pass by, when full possession of this region might have been taken quietly, as a matter of course, and a military post established, without dispute, at Astoria. Our statesmen have become sensible, when too late, of the importance of this measure. Bills have repeatedly been brought into Congress for the purpose, but without success; and our rightful possessions on that coast, as well as our trade on the Pacific, have no rallying point protected by the national flag, and by a military force.
"In the mean time, the second period of ten years is fast elapsing. In 1838, the question of title will again come up, and most probably, in the present amicable state of our relations with Great Britain, will be again postponed. Every year, however, the litigated claim is growing in importance. There is no pride so jealous and irritable as the pride of territory. As one wave of emigration after another rolls into the vast regions of the West, and our settlements stretch towards the Rocky Mountains, the eager eyes of our pioneers will pry beyond, and they will become impatient of any barrier or impediment in the way
of what they consider a grand outlet of our empire. Should any circumstance, therefore, unfortunately occur to disturb the present harmony of the two nations, this ill-adjusted question, which now lies dormant, may suddenly start up into one of belligerent import, and Astoria become the watchword in a contest for dominion on the shores of the Pacific." — Vol. 11. pp. 261, 262.
ART. XII.—1. An Oration delivered on the Anniversary of the New England Society, Charleston, S. C., December 22d, 1835; in Commemoration of the Landing of the Pilgrims upon the Rock of Plymouth, December 22d, 1620. By JOSHUA BARKER WHITRIDGE, A. M., M. D. Published at the request of the Society. Charleston; E. J. Van Brunt. 1836. 8vo. pp. 62.
2. Memoirs of a Nullifier. Written by Himself. By a Native of the South. Columbia, S. C. Printed and published at the Telescope Office. 1832. 12mo. pp.
3. An Address delivered before the Pilgrim Society of Plymouth, December 22d, 1835. By Hon. PELEG SPRAGUE. Boston; Light & Stearns. 1836. 8vo. pp. 32.
WHEN left to our own imaginations, we simpletons of New England fancy that we find very sufficient reason to be satisfied with our history, our condition, and one another. More than almost any other people, we are entitled to call our history our own. Almost as much as any other, we are a homogeneous race; scarcely the Chinese more so. With the exception of a few Huguenot families who came over at the close of the seventeenth century, and who, from religious sympathy, and other causes, were easily grafted on the primeval vine, we are all descendants of English, established here within thirty years from the earliest settlement. We have not so much as a city, which is a colluvies of foreign and domestic elements. The interior feeds the seaports. In the principal of these are a few Irish, mostly arrived since the war, but not sufficient in number to be of any account in estimating the character of the population; and of other
emigrants, or descendants of emigrants, not belonging to the original stock, we have almost literally none.
This history of our soil and society, which is at the same time the history of our own progenitors, we should be utterly unwilling (with all respect for the subjects of other histories) to exchange for any other which we read. Had our fathers come hither to secure a condition of more affluence or more ease, there would have been no fault to find with their enterprise. Had they come, because they had not succeeded in getting an honest living at home, this would have been no discreditable motive; and other communities, founded in such a beginning, have risen afterwards to great respectability. But they came for a much better reason than either. They betook themselves to this "outside of the world," to secure to themselves and theirs the liberty of thought and worship. Is there any nobler impulse, under which men can make struggles and sacrifices, and does history tell of another society, which may boast of a similar origin?
The founders of the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts differed in some particulars; the former being for the most part of the class of yeomen and artisans, while among the latter were many men of fortune, some belonging to noble families, and numbers educated in all the scholarship and refinements of the time. But, essentially, they were the same sort of men. They had been adherents at home of the same cause, and they came across the water under the same impulse. Arrived here, though independent of each other, both proceeded to build up a society in substantially the same manner; for both went to work in the way which their AngloSaxon instincts prompted. They did not pitch their first tent in this chilly land of promise, till they had set up the safeguards of popular freedom. They had hardly looked to the necessities of life, when they provided for the necessities of learning and religion. Taking prudent care of the beginning, they looked steadily and hopefully on to the end. It is past a doubt, that the Massachusetts colonists contemplated, from the first, the establishment of an independent commonwealth. With this view they insisted on bringing their charter over with them, and neither they, nor their descendants, ever abandoned the design, till it was consummated by the war of the Revolution.
The progress of their institutions was the developement of
the capacities of an intelligent, industrious, religious, heroic race. They won upon the aborigines by their fair and liberal dealing, rather than through the resources of their superior civilization. "I think I can clearly say," said Governor Winslow, of Plymouth, in 1676, "that before these present troubles broke out, the English did not possess one foot of land in this colony, but what was obtained by honest purchase of the Indian proprietors." Always watchful of the great interest, and prodigal of every other, now they are seen opposing an undismayed front to the aggressions of the parent country, and now beggaring their treasury, and lavishing their best blood, in the boldest expeditions against the common enemy, the French. Meanwhile, nothing diverts them, for a moment, from the pursuit, at home, of all measures for building up a strong and prosperous commonwealth. Not only is a competent education provided for every child, at the public cost, but his guardians are compelled, under a penalty, to accept for him the advantage thus afforded. The higher places of education are fostered with a liberal patronage. The town corporations, covering with their several jurisdictions the whole territory, are charged with whatever may be done, by municipal regulation, for the security and comfort of a neighbourhood, and are strictly held to their responsibility by the higher powers. The ministers of the law are made independent of official dictation and of popular caprice; and religion, by a sufficient but cautious provision for the maintenance of its institutions, is aided to enforce its sanctions on the public mind.
Under such auspices, a state of things has grown up, which a man must be querulous to complain of. Dwelling "among our own people" of these six States, we find them a very good people to dwell with. That Massachusetts, for instance, is not a decidedly ineligible home, might be partly conjectured from the fact, that it numbers eightyseven inhabitants to the square mile, while the Ancient Dominion, blacks included, counts but twenty-five, and the most populous State out of New England, New York, gives to the same space a census of forty-six, little more than half that of the Bay State. With no natural wealth for exportation, except what consists in granite and ice,-"absolutely nothing but rocks and ice," as of late a distinguished southern statesman emphatically testified, to keep the wolf, Want, from the door.
we yet make shift We take good care