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distinguished. They made themselves more active in the race, more sagacious in the council, more watchful in the ambush, and more untiring in the pursuit. In civilized warfare, too, the same characteristics been displayed, whether with Paul Jones, and Isaac Hull, and Samuel Tucker, and David Porter, on the ocean, or at Louisbourg, or Bunker Hill, or Quebec, or Niagara. In the paths of Christian benevolence, what missionaries have exhibited a more fearless and devoted spirit, whether among the North American Indians, or at Indostan, or the Sandwich Islands, or at Sumatra, faithful even unto death?

“ The effects of this pervading zeal and ardor and energy are seen everywhere. It is this which has studded our iron-bound coast with cities and villages, and clothed our barren fields with verdure, which has subdued the forest and spread far and wide the beams and the blessings of civilization. Other parts of our country have been peopled originally from other portions of Europe; but go where you will, the effects of New England enterprise and skill and labor are seen and felt. In every State of the Union, you will find that they have taken the lead in energy and activity, and wherever there have been the greatest advances, there you may be sure to find the sons of New England. The Puritan blood flows everywhere, swelling every vein of this great republic, diluted perhaps by intermixture, enfeebled perhaps, but still imparting something of its pristine strength and ardor.” — pp. 9- 11.

ART. XIII. — CRITICAL NOTICES.

1. — Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Vol.

V. of the Third Series. 8vo. pp. 300. Boston; Russell,
Shattuck, & Co. 1836.

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We are glad to find that this highly respectable Society continues to add voluine after volume to our stores of historical information, and is as vigorously productive in its old age, as it was at its formation, nearly fifty years ago. It is among the oldest of our literary and philosophical societies, and we know of none that has published so much, either in amount or value, or whose transactions reflect more credit on the intellectual character of the country. Twenty-five octavo volumes, relating to American history and antiquities, make a large and substantial contribution to our literary treasures.

At the time of the Society's institution, in 1791, the plan

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which it projected was a novel one. Its purpose was to collect and preserve the scattered records and papers relating to the history of this country, for the benefit and instruction of after times. Its object was not merely to drag forth these dusty and mouldering manuscripts from their forgotten hiding-places in old family cabinets, and deposit them in a safe place, where they might be accessible to the scholar and the antiquarian; but its chief aim was to secure their perpetuity, and extend the knowledge which they contained, by multiplying copies through the agency of the press, and thus putting them within the reach of the inquisitive in all parts of the country. Its object was not to hoard, but to diffuse, these treasures. And experience had abundantly shown the great need of such a measure. The irreparable loss of Governor Bradford's History of Plymouth Colony, the shameful destruction of Governor Hutchinson's papers by the mob in 1765, and the depredations committed by the British soldiers on the invaluable collections of Prince, deposited in the steeple of the Old South Church, all proved that there was no security for our ancient documents, so long as they remained in manuscript.

It was, then, an important and necessary work which this Society proposed to itself, and one which it has pursued with great singleness of aim and intensity of purpose for nearly half a century. If it had done nothing more than print Hubbard's History of New England from the original manuscript, it would have conferred a lasting obligation on the community. Its collections are now continually appealed to, as unquestionable authorities, wherever an interest is taken in American history. No one presumes to write the history of a town or a State, without referring to them for information; and it may be safely asserted that the admirable history of the United States, which has lately proceeded from the pen of Mr. Bancroft, never could have been written without the use of the materials which this Society had so amply provided and so liberally dispensed.

The volume w before us, which the Society has just issued, yields to none of its predecessors in interest and value. The articles are nearly all printed from original manuscripts preserved in its archives. Several of them relate to great public transactions and events; and those of a private character are full of those minute particulars and details, narrated with persect simplicity and naturalness, which lend such a touching interest to the diaries and autobiographies of our fathers. Our limits will permit us only to glance at the contents of the volume.

1. The first article, consisting of seventy pages, is the Journal, never before printed, of the proceedings of the Congress held at Albany, in 1754, and which sat for twenty-two days, for the purpose of treating with the Six Nations of Indians, and concerting a scheme of general union among the British American colonies against the French and their Indian allies. This congress was held at the suggestion and under the sanction of the mother country, and Governor Hutchinson, who was himself a member of it, justly remarks in his History of Massachusetts, that “it was the most deserving of respect of any which had ever been convened in America, whether we consider the colonies which were represented, the rank and characters of the delegates, or the purposes for which it was convened.” Governor Livingston says of this convention, that “the commissioners were, both for abilities and fortune, some of the most considerable men in North America. The speakers were not many; but of those who spoke, some delivered themselves with singular energy and eloquence. All were inflamed with a patriotic spirit, and the debates were nervous and pathetic. This assembly might very properly be compared to one of the ancient Greek conventions for supporting their expiring liberty against the power of the Persian empire, or that Louis of Greece, Philip of Macedon.” The plan of union which was agreed upon by the Congress, was drawn up by Franklin, who was one of the commissioners; but it was rejected, on different grounds, both by the colonial assemblies and by the government at home,

the assemblies thinking that there was too much prerogative in it, and the government that there was too much of the democratic. Some estimate may be formed of the value of this document from the fact, which has lately come to our knowledge, that the accomplished chief magistrate of our State, than whom there is no one among us more familiar with the history of the country, some years since had an exact transcript of it made under his own eye, being unwilling that the record of so important a transaction should exist only in a single manuscript. Five hundred printed copies of it now put it beyond the reach of destruction.

2. The second article, of twenty-five pages, is a journal, now first printed, of a negotiation at Albany, in August, 1775, between the Six Nations and commissioners of the Continental Congress. It is well known that the attention of Congress was very early drawn to the importance of securing the alliance, or at least the neutrality, of the Indian tribes during the impending conflict with the mother country; and commissioners were accordingly appointed to treat with the Indians, to preserve peace and friendship, and to prevent their taking any part in the approaching commotions. This journal shows the prudence and skill with which the commissioners discharged their difficult and delicate duty, in their interview with the powerful and warlike tribes that dwelt along the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

3. The third article is a very interesting journal, kept by Captain Christopher Gist, of Virginia, a frontier settler and a pioneer of the forest, who accompanied Washington in 1753, in his tour over the Alleghany Mountains, to visit the commander of the French fort on the Ohio. Washington's narrative of that expedition, it is well known, was published at the time, and is contained in Mr. Sparks's admirable edition of his Writings; but the journal of his only companion in this arduous and perilous enterprise has never before seen the light. Some of the adventures and hair-breadth escapes here related are singularly romantic, particularly Washington's narrow escape from drowning when he fell from the raft in the Alleghany river, and his miraculous deliverance from the deliberate and deadly aim of an Indian's rifle.

4. The next article, of sixty-seven pages, is General Lincoln's Journal of his tour, when sent by Washington in 1793, in company with Timothy Pickering and Beverley Randolph, to effect a treaty with the Indian tribes northwest of the Ohio, who were then in a state of hostility with the United States. This journal is peculiarly interesting at this time, as presenting a graphic description of the state of the country through which the writer passed, more than forty years ago, from Philadelphia by the way of New York, Albany, the Mohawk river, Wood Creek, Lake Oneida, Lake Ontario, and Niagara, to Detroit. It likewise contains, as do the first and second articles in the volume, the best specimens of Indian eloquence and diplomatic skill, that we have ever met with. Appended to the Journal is a beautiful lithographic copy of a sketch of the conference with the Indians at Buffalo Creek, in 1793, taken on the spot by a young British officer who was present. It is well remarked by the publishing committee that “ an exhibition of that occurrence so many years since, multiplied by an art then undiscovered, is a suitable appendage to the relation of a tour in the land where all the objects which then solicited the traveller's attention, except Ontario, Erie, and Niagara, are totally changed."

5. The fifth article, which we are inclined to think will prove the most generally acceptable, is an autobiography of the Rev. John Barnard, of Marblehead, who was born at Boston in 1681, and died in 1770, in his 89th year. This paper was drawn up in 1766, when the writer was in his 85th year, for the use of President Stiles, of Yale College. It records in a very simple

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and touching manner, his life and adventures from his schoolboy days to his declining years. And his was an eventful life; he went as chaplain in the expedition against Port Royal in 1707, of which he gives a very minute account from the journal which he kept ; was present at the trial of Sacheverel in Westminster Hall, in 1709; was the cotemporary and opponent of the Mathers, and had great and deserved influence both in church and state. In 1741, he oppposed “the Whitfieldian ferment,” as he calls it, and was appointed by the convention to draw up their “public testimony against the errors and bad practices prevalent" at that time. It was likewise by bis advice and recommendation, that Holyoke was chosen president of Harvard College, in 1737. We hardly know when we have met with an article of American biography more interesting than this.

6. We have next a brief paper from the Rev. Dr. Holmes, of Cambridge, in which he proves conclusively that the claim of Rhode Island of having early established a universal toleration of religious opinions, is altogether unfounded. He maintains that in the act of toleration, passed in 1664, the Roman Catholics were excepted, and he brings forward, as evidence of this, a copy of an act of the General Assembly of that State,'passed in 1783, repealing the excepting clause in the act of 1664, and extending to Roman Catholics all the rights and privileges of Protestant citizens. We presume this sets the question at rest for ever.

7. We then have a letter from Colonel George Morgan to General Washington, enclosing the Lord's prayer in Shawanese; and the volume closes with biographical sketches of several of the deceased members of the Society. Of these, the notices of the Rev. Drs. Freeman and Prince, by their respective colleagues, Messrs. Greenwood and Upham, are deservedly more full and extended, since these venerable men were among the founders and fathers of the Society.

We cannot take leave of this volume without strongly recommending it, and the series of works to which it belongs, to the patronage of the community. We know of no set of books more deserving of a place in a public or private library. We regret to learn that the sales have not been sufficient to reimburse the Society for the cost of their publication; although the labor of preparing the volumes for the press is performed gratuitously by its members. The Society have recently resolved to publish a volume annually, and have reduced the price to one dollar a volume. We trust they will meet with sufficient encouragement to authorize them to proceed in their useful and meritorious labors.

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