« ПретходнаНастави »
The Adventures of Gil Blas, of Santillane. Translated by T. Smollett, M. D. With a Memoir of the Author, by Thos. Roscoe ; illustrated by Geo. Cruikshank. 2 vols. New York. Harper & Brothers.
Conversations of Lord Byron with the Countess of Blessington. 1 vol. Philadelphia. E. L. Carey & A. Hart.
The Desultory Man. By R. G. B. James, Author of “Richelieu," “ Darnley," &c. 2 vols. New York. Harper & Brothers.
Marriage, a Novel. Inheritance, a Novel. By Miss Ferriar. 1 vol. New York. Geo. Dearborn.
The Canary Bird, and other Tales, originally German, translated from the French. 18mo. Philadelphia. C. Donahue.
The Works of Edward Lytton Bulwer. 1 vol. 8vo. Philadelphia. Carey & Hart.
Leiters from the South. Written during a Journey to Algiers, &c. By Thos. Campbell, Esq., Author of “ The Pleasures of Hope.” 1 vol. Philadelphia. Carey, Lea, & Blanchard.
Paley's Natural Theology, with illustrative Notes. By Henry Lord Brougham, F. R. S., and Member of the National Institute of France; and Sir Charles Bell, K. G., H. F.R. S. L. and E., Professor of Surgery in the University of Edinburgh; formerly of the Council, and Prof. Anat. Roy. Coll. Surg. London, &c. To which are added Supplementary Dissertations, by Sir Charles Bell. With numerous Wood Cuts. 2 vols. 12mo. New York. William Jackson.
A Discourse on Natural Theology; showing the Nature of the Evidence, and the Advantages of the Study. By Henry Lord Brougham, F. R. S., and Member of the National Institute of France. New York. William Jackson. 12mo. pp. 252.
Our views of this latter work were expressed in full in the Number for last April. The American reading public are under special obligations to Mr. Jackson for introducing it to them in an edition, in which it forms one set with Paley's Natural Theology, and Sir Charles Bell's Illustrations. Three volumes, got up in better style, without an extravagant price, are hardly to be seen; and three more useful volumes can scarcely be placed upon one's table.
The Duchess de la Vallière. A Play, in five Acts. By the Author of “Eugene Aram," “ The Last Days of Pompeii," "Rienzi," &c. New York; Saunders & Otley. Boston ; Light & Stearns. 12mo.
NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.
Art. I. - Biography and History of the Indians of North
America, from its First Discovery to the Present Time, with an Account of their Antiquities, Manners and Customs, Religion and Laws. By Samuel G. DRAKE. Fifth Edition, with large Additions and Corrections, and numerous Engravings. Boston. 1836. 8vo. pp. 576. We owe a lasting obligation to Mr. Drake, for his unwearied efforts to collect and preserve the scattered memorials of a people that so soon must cease to exist. Their character and fate form a chapter of mournful interest in our American history; and there is something almost holy in the task of thus tracing out the few and faint vestiges that remain of an ill-fated race, and, as it were, rearing, with the cold and scattered hearth-stones of their once cheerful homes, a monument to their memory.
Their origin is enveloped in obscurity; and their history, from the time that they first became known to the Europeans, exists only in meagre and detached fragments. But whoever reads Mr. Drake's “ Book of the Indians of North America," cannot but feel that the task of collecting and arranging these has fallen into skilful hands. Ilis sympathy for the hard fate of the Indian, bis indefatigable diligence in collecting materials from original and authentic sources, and his strict love of truth and accuracy, evinced in the full and minute reference VOL. XLIV. NO. 95.
to authorities, by which he seems to have courted the scrutiny of the closest examination, admirably qualified him for the work be bas now so faithfully executed. Much had been done, within a short time, by the learned labors of Duponceau, Heckewelder, Cass, Pickering, and others, to illustrate the institutions, language, and history of the Indians; but the subject was by no means exhausted. Mr. Thatcher's Indian Biography, however meritorious as a popular narrative, makes no claim to originality either in matter or manner, and, by the accurate historian, can be considered, at best, only as a hasty compilation, even the language of other writers being very often retained. There was, therefore, still needed, as a volume of authority and standard reference, a more full and complete collection. Such a work we feel little hesitation in pronouncing the volume before us. While it cannot fail to interest the common reader, the antiquary will regard it as a valuable accession to the stock of Indian history.
Mr. Drake was first known to us by an edition of Church's History of Philip's War, which he published about ten years since, accompanied with notes, discovering diligent research and a true antiquarian spirit. Since that time, he seems to have devoted bimself with much assiduity to the subject of Indian history and antiquities. In 1832, he published the first edition of the work before us. This was a duodecimo volume of about 350 pages, entitled "Indian Biography," and was the first book of the kind, which we recollect to have been published in the country.
The second edition was a thick octavo, and the present volume contains nearly six hundred pages, closely printed, in small type. We mention these circumstances, to show that Mr. Drake has long labored in this department; and, as the constantly increasing size and interest of his “ Book of the Indians ” shows, with great assiduity and success.
The arrangement of the work is judicious and appropriate. Authorities are faithfully given for the facts stated, making it of permanent value to the historian as a book of reference; and a full and complete index, a thing indispensable in such a collection of comparatively isolated facts, as the bistory of the Indians must necessarily be, places the whole contents at the immediate disposal of the reader. The style is unambitious, and, as the author remarks in his Preface, “all verbiage is avoided, and plain matters of fact have been arrived at by
the shortest and most direct course.” Undoubtedly the eye of the verbal critic might detect occasional improprieties in the use of words, and point out some expressions hardly suited to the dignity of historical composition. But the great labor and extensive research, the tedious examination and collation of musty volunies and defaced records, which the compilation of such a work must have cost the author, the minute and faithful accuracy with which he has given every fact, and the industry and strict adherence to truth, visible on every page, are merits sufficient to atone for minor and trivial faults.
But we have spoken sufficiently of the general character of the work, and will now proceed to examine, more particularly, its contents. It is divided into five Books, which we shall take up separately in their order ; believing that we cannot do the author better justice, than by making known to the reader what his volume contains, and allowing him occasionally to speak for himself.
The first Book is devoted to remarks on the origin, antiquities, manners and customs of the Ainerican Indians. After quoting a few passages from ancient authors, supposed by some to refer to America, and by them adduced in support of the opinion that the western continent was known to the ancients, - a point on which we feel at liberty to be quite skeptical, — the author gives the substance of the opinions of most of the modern theorists, who have written upon the great question of the first peopling of America. These theories were noticed probably more by way of curiosity, than with the expectation of enlightening the reader on a subject, which, in all human probability, must for ever remain in obscurity. Thomas Morton, in his New Canaan," published in 1637, was of the opinion, that the Indians "might originally have come of the scatiered Trojans,” from the circumstance of a similarity of language, which he inferred from fancying he had heard among their words Pascopan; hence he believed, without a doubt, that their ancestors were acquainted with the god Pan. Adair, Boudinot, and several other authors, have fancied that they perceived in the Indian languages a strong resemblance to the Hebrew; and have labored hard to prove the identity of the American Indians with the long-lost ten tribes of Israel. William Wood, the author of “New England's Prospect," who left the country in 1633, after a short stay, says; “Of their language, which is only peculiar to thern
selves, not inclining to any of the refined tongues, some have thought they might be of the dispersed Jews, because some of their words be near unto the Hebrew; but by the same rule they may conclude them to be some of the gleanings of all nations, because they have words which sound after the Greek, Latin, French, and other tongues.” Josselyn judged the Mohawks to be “ Tartars, called Samoades, being alike in complexion, shape, habit, and manners.” Cotton Mather, with his “ wig full of learning,” could not, of course, be silent on so important a theme; and, as in his mythology the Devil was always a most important personage, he assigns to him the business of conducting hither the first expedition, and of peopling America, with the hope of establishing an empire so remote that “the sound of the silver trumpets of the gospel might never disturb his territories." " The natives of the country,” he says, in another place, “now possessed by the Newenglanders, had been forlorn and wretched heathen ever since their first herding here; and though we know not when or how these Indians first became inhabitants of this mighty continent, yet we may guess that probably the Devil decoyed those miserable salvages bither, in hopes that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ would never come here to destroy or disturb his absolute empire over them.” “But our Eliot,” continues he, “was on such ill terms with the Devil, as to alarm him with sounding the silver truinpets of heaven in his territories, and make some noble and zealous attempts towards ousting him of ancient possessions here. There were, I think, twenty several nations (if I may call them so) of Indians upon that spot of ground which fell under the influence of our Three United Colonies; and our Eliot was willing to rescue as many of them as he could from that old usurping landlord of America, who is, by the wrath of God, the prince of this world.”
This question, which the learned Doctor (who took good care to have always a sufficient force of the like supernatural agency in reserve, to explain all that he could not readily account for by his varied learning, and illustrate by a Latin or Greek quotation,) thus disposes of, bas exercised also the pens of Grotius, Robertson, Voltaire, Lord Kaims, and others; and their different solutions, though they might have satisfied, for the time, their authors, at least, are based on principles about as sound, and may be deemed about as certain, as that